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#1

makelikeatree

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 5:19 PM

I saw a preview for this and I came over here to check if there was a thread. I thought I saw one before but I couldn't find it. The last episode was on Annie Leibovitz and I swear I remember a discussion somewhere but I can't find it anymore. Anyway, this show has a pretty random schedule and once in a while they show some great specials. There will be a new special tomorrow (Wednesday) May 2 at 9 pm ET. This week's show is called "Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built" which is the story of the late Ahmet Ertegun who founded the label and was responsible for signing many legends. The special is supposed to feature special performances and interviews with Atlantic artists like Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, etc. Should be very interesting. I'm hoping they show some never-before-seen performance footage from these artists like they promised. Bette Midler will be narrating this episode. Here is the link to the PBS site.

#2

sweetjane

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Posted May 10, 2007 @ 3:39 AM

The old thread might have been started between mid-Dec. and mid-Jan. in which case it fell victim to the massive loss of data that occurred then.

I watched "Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built," but I left it on in the background while I was doing other stuff. I thought was a pretty comprehensive take on Ertegun's career. Since I was mostly listening as opposed to watching, I think I was hoping to hear more music, and I wasn't that impressed with Bette Midler's narration. But the focus on Ertegun, his background, and his love of music was good. A lot of his history as a record producer is well known but it was nice to see it all presented together with all the diverse acts that he worked with. He was a good interview subject. I liked when they asked him if he ever did drugs, and he just said, "I inhaled." I also liked his story about sneaking off to a jazz club in Harlem when he was a small kid.

Edited by sweetjane, May 10, 2007 @ 4:50 AM.


#3

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Posted Jul 10, 2007 @ 12:29 AM

There will be a new special, "Les Paul: Chasing Sound" this Wednesday, July 11.

#4

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Posted Jul 12, 2007 @ 6:22 AM

Loved the installment on Les Paul! At the risk of sounding like a gushing school girl, it was magnificent to see how many lives and artists' careers this man has touched due to his keen musicianship and innovative technological developments. The person who said that while the general public may not know much about Les Paul, any active musician or recording engineer is impacted by his work on a daily basis is telling the gospel truth. I got misty seeing Eddie Van Halen thanking Les Paul- did anyone else's PBS station follow this show with one on Chet Atkins (this show was originally aired by TNN in 2000)? That was a great pairing, because Paul and Atkins recorded together (Chester & Lester). Another misty moment was hearing from Peter Frampton, who recalled meeting the duo at a Grammy presentation in the mid 80s, and was speechless in meeting these two guitar legends. And seeing how excited Richard Carpenter was in recalling every riff off of those early Les & Mary records... wow. Whether or not you care for the music of Les Paul, or the people who participated in the show, you've just got to respect that Les Paul heard a sound - in his head- and was able to translate it out into the world for others to enjoy. Watching these two shows redeemed my faith in humankind as a species- and I haven't had that feeling from a tee-vee show in a long, long time. Thanks, PBS! [schoolgirl gush over]

Edited by Decormaven, Jul 12, 2007 @ 10:29 AM.


#5

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Posted Jul 12, 2007 @ 3:20 PM

I had to watch the Les Paul one. He was in the same hospital room as my dad - they were both having open heart surgery back when it was not done every single moment of the day. At the time (I was very young) I had no idea who he was, but my mom, dad, and grandparents were very squee-ish about it.

I got a little misty seeing Eddie Van Halen telling him that they wouldn't be able to record records the way they do without him. The contribution he made is just amazing.

#6

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Posted Jul 12, 2007 @ 3:44 PM

HD Dee Dee, it's a small world, isn't it? I was struck by the story Les told about his car accident. It put him out of commission for about two years, and there was real concern that he would not be able to play again. He took that time to further develop technological advances that are still in place today. I can't quite get his quote right, but he said it was a time for him to be still - a time that allowed him to come up with those advancements. That's some positive thinking there, taking what could have been a negative and turning it into something positive.
Now I want to go to NYC to hear Les in person. It's amazing how many musicians just show up to jam or to watch Les play. That's a tribute.

Edited by Decormaven, Jul 12, 2007 @ 3:45 PM.


#7

sweetjane

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Posted Jul 12, 2007 @ 5:25 PM

The Les Paul show was an absolute joy to watch. What a life that man has led. At 92 he is truly a national treasure. I could kick myself for never going to see him play during all the years I used to live in NY. I loved hearing him talk about his early career, influences in Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian, playing with the greats like Art Tatum, how he hooked up with Bing Crosby.... The archival footage was excellent and it was all so well put-together. It was so moving near the end when they showed his mother's 100th birthday. I could've watched 2 more hours of material on him. I'm annoyed that they aren't re-airing this because I would love to see it again or at least tape it.

#8

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Posted Jul 12, 2007 @ 6:32 PM

sweetjane, PBS is bound to repeat this show again- it's just that good. I, too, loved Les' recollections of Django (just seeing Django's guitar in his possession gave me goosebumps), and hearing Paul's play on Bing's "It's Been a Long, Long Time" made me head to ITunes. But damn, ITunes doesn't have the original recording of "Lover" - Paul's first foray into overdubbing/multitracking. The guitar work on that sounds otherwordly- almost like space music. Watching Richard Carpenter act out the finger runs on that made me laugh. I'm sure Richard is a keen student of Les Paul's technological work in the recording studio, given how much he focused on recording artistry with the Carpenters. (Don't laugh- the overdubbing and studio work on the Carpenters' music was really stellar, even if you don't care for the duo's style.)

#9

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Posted Aug 5, 2007 @ 11:55 PM

Did anyone else watch the specials on David Hockney or John James Audubon? While not quite as inspirational as the Les Paul one, they were both very good. I didn't know much about either of them and Audubon's story was particularly fascinating. He sounds like he was quite a character - he was a compulsive liar, he was frequently impoverished and had to abandon his family to find work, he was obsessed with birds yet he had to kill them to draw them. It was sad that his fortune could not support his widow until her death and she died in poverty, especially since she had had to sell her belongings to help support them when they were newly married.

#10

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Posted Aug 23, 2007 @ 9:31 AM

The ATL PBS station aired Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built last night. It was great to get such an overview of Ahmet's career. What an ear that man had for good music! Like sweetjane, I enjoyed the story about Ahmet sneaking off to Harlem while he was a teenager. You could tell that the artists who talked with Ahmet (Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Phil Collins, Bette Middler, Ray Charles) in the interview sections really had a good relationship with him. How many in the recording industry still enjoy this type of relationship? In his coverage of the Phil Spector case in Vanity Fair, Dominick Dunne speaks of talking with Phil Spector, and clueing Phil in on the details of Ahmet's memorial service. (Phil got his big break at Atlantic.) If you enjoyed this show, it's worth a rental of Tom Dowd: The Language of Music; Tom was a producer/engineer at Atlantic - you see him in this PBS piece, but his documentary goes more in detail about his work with the artists.

#11

sweetjane

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Posted Aug 29, 2007 @ 3:45 AM

For anyone that's interested, Amazon has "Les Paul: Chasing Sound" on DVD for only $11.99 (over half off suggested retail price!). The price could go up without warning, though. I have already decided to get it for myself. I finally caught a re-run and taped it on my crappy VHS, but I'd rather have a good copy that I can share with others. Plus there is supposed to be 90 minutes of bonus features on the DVD, according to the PBS site, which makes it totally worth it. I started to watch it again the other day, and couldn't stop watching until I'd watched the whole thing again.

#12

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Posted Sep 11, 2007 @ 3:35 PM

Just wanted to let people know there will be a new special this Wednesday, Sept. 12, "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends" at 9 pm ET (as usual, check your local listings). It is executive produced by jazz lover/musician Clint Eastwood (who appears in several interviews filmed over this summer) and directed by Bruce Ricker (who also directed the American Masters on Eastwood). It sounds like it will be a real treat.

Press release at All About Jazz: Tony Bennett American Masters on PBS September 12th

AP article at SF Chronicle: Clint Eastwood tells Tony Bennett's story for 'American Masters'

Interview at PBS.org: Tony Bennett

#13

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Posted Sep 14, 2007 @ 5:24 PM

The Tony Bennett show gave a great picture of his career, and how it adapted over the decades to make him the legend he is. Lots of great music, of course, and I enjoyed seeing his paintings, too. The comparisons to Sinatra and Astaire were also interesting. I'm a big fan of Astaire's singing (as well as dancing), and I hadn't noticed the influence before, but once it was mentioned I could hear it.

The Les Paul film was another great one. I knew the outline of what he had accomplished, but I was blown away to see how he put it all together, and what he had overcome to accomplish what he had. The wide spectrum of musicians on the show was amazing.

#14

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Posted Oct 10, 2007 @ 8:49 AM

Caught the segment on Bob Dylan last night; think it originally aired during the summer of 2006. Great stuff! The clips of Dylan during the 1960s were wonderful- the fateful Newport "electric" show, the performance in London. Loved Joan Baez's take on their professional/personal relationship, as well as Dylan's thoughts. What was it he said? Something about wisdom and love not mixing well.. I'll have to see a repeat to get the quote correct. The sheer poetry of Dylan's work- who currently gets so much expression in a song?

Edited by Decormaven, Oct 10, 2007 @ 8:50 AM.


#15

sweetjane

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Posted Oct 29, 2007 @ 4:21 AM

Decormaven, if you're talking about Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home," that's definitely one of my favorites in the series. Of course it doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of all things Dylan, but when it first came out I doubted it would compare to my favorite Dylan documentary, Dont[sic] Look Back by D.A. Pennebaker. I was pleasantly surprised and I actually think they make good companion pieces (if you haven't seen Dont Look Back I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed "No Direction Home"). I've got both of them on DVD.


I enjoyed the Tony Bennett special. It had Clint Eastwood's stamp all over it, with the jazz-style editing. Their conversations were fun to watch.


Tonight (Monday, Oct. 29) is a new special on Charles Schulz, "Good Ol' Charles Schulz" which airs 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET (check your local listings, as usual).

“Good Ol’ Charles Schulz” includes excerpts from classic ‘Peanuts’ television specials, archival footage, personal photos and home movies — as well as unlimited use of the comic strips. Archival interviews with Schulz himself offer insight into a humble man who reached the pinnacle of his profession but still described himself as ordinary. Original interviews include Schulz’ widow and three oldest children, the real-life inspirations for Linus and the “little red-haired girl,” prominent cartoonists who knew “Sparky” Schulz and David Michaelis, author of Schulz and Peanuts (available in October from HarperCollins), who served as consultant to the film.

According to this NY Post article, one of Schulz's sons was not happy with the way the documentary portrayed his father as "dour and depressed."

PBS's interview with filmmaker David Van Taylor.

Reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, Variety, NY Daily News, and NY Newsday.

Edited by sweetjane, Oct 29, 2007 @ 4:36 AM.


#16

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Posted Oct 29, 2007 @ 8:13 AM

According to this NY Post article, one of Schulz's sons was not happy with the way the documentary portrayed his father as "dour and depressed."

The family was also unhappy with the recent biography of Schulz which drew the same conclusion. So maybe the documentary and the biography are linked, or Charles Schulz was human and not always the happy go lucky type he was depicted as during his life.

#17

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 @ 10:30 AM

I'm starting to think the family is protesting too much. I think it's clear from the strip itself that Schulz was a pretty morose guy at heart: that undercurrent of sadness is one of the key elements of the entire strip! Who knows, maybe they think focusing on that aspect will hurt the licensing or something. God knows none of them ever have to work a day in their lives.

#18

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 @ 2:41 PM

I've been collecting anything Peanuts since 1967 at age 7. I always felt there was an underlying sadness in Mr Schultz's life, from losing his Mother as he was going off to serve in WWII, to the loss of his first and probably truest love when she married another man, to the breakup of his first marriage. He wasn't perfect, but sometimes profound sadness can produce true art, which I think Peanuts was.I am willing to give the kids a break, I know from personal experience that losing a parent can lead to all sorts of mixed feelings and memories.I don't think at this point they are worrying about the licensing or the money.Granted, they are certainly all financially set for life, but from what I've seen of them, they seem to honestly want their Dad's legacy to be of a good man who tried his best.

Edited by prairiegirl, Oct 31, 2007 @ 2:42 PM.


#19

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 @ 8:02 PM

I enjoyed the Schultz biography, and it brought back a lot of happy memories of growing up with Snoopy and the Peanuts characters. Even if he had done nothing but "A Charlie Brown Christmas," he would be renowned. I do agree that it's hard to read the comic strip and not feel a sadness or insecurity underneath the humor. That's what made the strip so universally appealing. Plus, the people who were interviewed for the special and talked about his difficulties in life seemed to have genuinely loved him. They didn't come off as disgruntled people with an agenda.

#20

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Posted Nov 2, 2007 @ 10:11 PM

The Schulz episode did have a bit of a depressed air about it, but it seemed fitting given that the subject appears to have been a very complex man who could only express his true feelings through a comic strip. The somber piano soundtrack really underscored the sad atmosphere as well. I can sort of identify with how his family may have felt about the portrayal of their father, although they didn't have the most cheery things to say about him themselves. The show gave a lot of insight to Schulz's background and how he was affected by celebrity. It was particularly enlightening to have his strips juxtaposed with the events in his life, such as the disintegration of his marriage reflected in the poor communication between Lucy and Schroeder. It was definitely a thought-provoking and nostalgic piece.

This Monday, they have another new entry with Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character

#21

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Posted Nov 3, 2007 @ 7:55 PM

Yes, I'd never looked at the Lucy/Schroder relationship in that light, but they did an excellent job in picking the strips to highlight what was being reported about his real life. What a job that must have been, given how many strips he wrote.

It's sad that Charlie Brown and Snoopy have lost their appeal for the very young. He's just not as well-known as he was ten or fifteen years ago among that age group. Here in Minnesota, the amusement part in the Mall of America used to be called Camp Snoopy, but no more. We do have several statues of the characters decorating our streets businesses, thanks to several summers focusing on each of the characters.

I grew up loving Carol Burnett (you know, back when there were good shows on the networks on Saturday night), so I'm looking forward to seeing that one.

#22

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Posted Nov 5, 2007 @ 10:07 AM

One last word on Charles M Schultz:no matter what was going on in his life, the man was a bonafide genius, IMO.
Looking forward to Carol Burnett tonight. Must-see TV on Saturday nights.

#23

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Posted Nov 6, 2007 @ 9:02 AM

It was such pleasure to watch the show on Carol Burnett.

She has such true grace and class on top of her amazing talent.

Though I've seen all the material dozens of times before, it still makes me laugh. All I have to do is see her in the Norma Desmond get-up, and I'm laughing. And I smile whenever I think of "I saw it in a window and just had to have it."

I would love to see a special just on the Bob Mackie outfits. He was such an outrageous designer.

I'd also like to see a special that's just movie spoofs from the Carol Burnett Show. Though GWTW and Sunset Boulevard are the most famous, I also loved the spoofs of Rebecca and Mrs. Miniver.

#24

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Posted Nov 6, 2007 @ 10:57 AM

Don't forget Mildred Fierce!"Get your hands off me, you sleazy, greasy person!"
"I think someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning".

"Went With The Wind" is still funny. Soldier: "Maa'm, this is to inform you that the Union army is now occupying Atlanta. You got a match?"
"Sissy":"Sure. Here you go".

What great memories.And Carol looks great.

#25

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Posted Nov 6, 2007 @ 9:27 PM

What a gracious and talented lady, Ms Burnett. So much sadness in her life but handled with considerable grace.
My mother and I watched her faithfully from the Garry Moore days, her various specials and many years of her own show. She was - long before the term was coined - "must see" TV.
One of my favourite lines (probably somewhat paraphrased) from the Mildred Fierce skit - " she's the daughter I never knew I had".

#26

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Posted Nov 7, 2007 @ 12:01 PM

The Schulz episode did have a bit of a depressed air about it,


I've been trying to figure out why, and I think it's because there were so many still photos of him sitting alone in his office drawing the cartoons. See the sad and lonely artist!

I guess it never occurred to any of his loved ones that he may have been suffering from depression. Some of his behavior sounds similar to my father's (the sulking silences, the nasty outbursts), and I'm convinced that my father suffered bouts of depression all his adult life.

I would also love to have heard more about the business side of Peanuts, i.e., the merchandising. Schulz seems to have been at the cutting edge of this. How much of his time did it take up? Did he make all the decisions himself? That kind of thing. Guess I'll have to read the book. And does anybody know how much he was worth when he died? I can't remember any of the obits even speculating about it.

Funny that the following episode was about Carol Burnett. Both Carol and Charlie Brown were huge parts of my childhood.

Speaking of the movie parodies, remember when she played the Bette Davis twins in A Stolen Life and turned her voice into a foghorn? "Hi Paaat-sssyyyy. Hi Paaatt-ssyyyy."

#27

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Posted Nov 7, 2007 @ 4:46 PM

I was so grateful for the Carol Burnett episode! I've tried so freaking hard to explain to my bf (who's only 1 1/2 years younger than me) what the appeal was, but I think he'd never really seen the show, or he must have been way too freaking young when it went off the air, so he had no memories of it.

The "I saw it in the window and I had to have it!" line killed him! Yaaay! I was so happy! Trying to describe the gag to someone doesn't do it justice.

It was also nice that they showed the Q&A section of the show. She was so funny off the cuff, and it's so hard to describe how a person can be funny that way. For some reason, I think he thought she was just this physical comedian who acted goofy. I don't even think he knew she sang.

#28

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Posted Nov 8, 2007 @ 11:19 AM

I grew up with Carol Burnett and loved, loved, loved that show! My favorite bit was Eunice and Mama which, underneath the laughs, had a lot to say about the complicated relationship between Mother and Daughter. It also said a lot about the frustrations underlying a Woman's life especially just pre Woman's Lib.

#29

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Posted Nov 9, 2007 @ 8:11 AM

I fell off the sofa when Harvey Korman, with a straight face, zinged Carol's tough upbringing:

"She had an alcoholic father, and an alcoholic mother, and an alcoholic milkman, and an alcoholic maid...."

Carol's so cool that I'll bet she laughed too.

But I was ultimately disappointed. I learned more about how the show worked from Carol's appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio a few years back.

For instance, they always taped the dress rehearsal as a back-up, in case something went wrong when they were taping in front of the studio audience. Tim Conway would do the dress exactly as the script called for. And after they were done, he'd work on his improvised bits that always caused Carol and Harvey to break up. They knew he was gonna do something crazy, but didn't know what until they were actually performing.

Another: it was Vicki's idea to play Mother Harper without old-lady makeup.

That's the kind of backstage trivia that I missed in this show. Still, 90 minutes with Carol is better than nothing.

Edited by Sarcastico, Nov 9, 2007 @ 8:22 AM.


#30

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Posted Nov 10, 2007 @ 12:00 AM

I was stunned at how frail Harvey Korman appeared. He and Tim Conway were in town fairly recently doing a play--I think The Sunshine Boys. From the way he looked on American Masters, I'm surprised he could make it all the way through. Tim Conway, on the other hand, barely seems to have aged.