Friday, June 09, 2023

Saturday 9

 Saturday 9: Big Spender (1966)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) In this song, Peggy Lee invites a gentleman to join her for fun, laughs, and a good time. What will you be doing for fun this weekend? I'm meeting my former coworkers for lunch. First time we've been together since we were let go back in October. Should be fun to catch up.
2) Peggy was blessed with perfect pitch. It's estimated that just 1 in 10,000 has this gift. Tell us about something that comes naturally to you. This writing thing is easy for me.
3) Peggy was an influential performer whose fans included singers as diverse as Carly Simon, Petula Clark, and Joni Mitchell. Bette Midler even did a Peggy Lee tribute album. What songstress do you listen to most often? It changes. But my affection for her is eternal. This is how I sound in my dreams.

4) Paul McCartney was also a big Peggy Lee fan. In the 1970s he was invited to meet her in her London home. He arrived with a carefully chosen hostess gift: a bottle of champagne and an original song ("Let's Love") which she recorded and he produced. Have you more recently given or received a gift? Received. My friend Elaine is so thoughtful! I shot her an email letting her know I finished the jar or body butter she gave me months ago for my birthday -- just wanted reiterate how appreciated her gift was. How did she respond? With another jar of body butter!

5) Cy Coleman wrote the music to "Big Spender." Unlike Peggy Lee, who never took a music lesson, Coleman was classically trained and studied composition, conducting, and orchestration at New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts and at the New York College of Music. If you could take classes in anything that interested you, what would you choose to learn more about? Maybe I'd like to try Spanish again. Or American history. As much as I know about the Civil War and WWII, I don't know much about The Revolution or WWI.

6) Coleman met lyricist Dorothy Fields by chance, at a party. Though Fields was more than 20 years his senior, they hit it off immediately and he invited her to work with him. Their collaboration resulted in two Broadway shows including Sweet Charity, which featured "Big Spender." Think about the person you spent the most time with last week. Were they older, younger or about the same age as you? Last weekend it was my nephew, who is quite naturally younger. This week has been spent with people about the same age.
7) In 1966, when disc jockeys were playing this record, consumers were discovering garage door openers. These transistorized devices weren't cheap. Typically about $150 in 1966, that would be more than $1,000 in today's dollars. These days garage door openers are far more affordable and common. Can you think of something that was a luxury item when you were a kid that today you take for granted? Air conditioning. Back in the 1970/80s, I knew people who didn't even have window units. Midwestern summers are miserable, humid affairs. I'm grateful a/c is now commonplace.
8) 1966 found Jacqueline Susann atop the best seller list with her steamy novel, Valley of the Dolls. Though it was savaged by critics, countless Americans enjoyed the book. Do you have a similar guilty pleasure? Is there a book, movie, TV show or song you enjoy, even though you know it has little artistic merit? I'll go with the movie version of Valley of the Dolls. It was just on TCM tonight! It is ridiculous, over-the-top trash and I love every wretched frame. Terrific, campy fun.

BTW, I read the book for the first time not too long ago. It really was awful. I only finished it out stubbornness. It was so stupid I believe I may have lost IQ points while reading it.

9) Random question: When at a Mexican restaurant, what's your go-to order? Quesadillas. I can't tolerate Mexican food, but quesadillas tend to be bland enough for me to nibble on without enduring hours of anguish later.


  1. I don't think I saw "Valley of the Dolls" because Judy Garland was supposed to be in it and she was replaced.

  2. I hope you have a nice lunch with your friends. Did you get to see Alexander Hamilton? We watched it with my grandkids, and it helped them understand more about that period of history. My granddaughter was learning about that during the lockdown, so the musical was a plus for them. I read Valley of the Dolls when I was a young adult back in the 70's.

  3. #5 When I was little during the summer we went to all the Civil War battlefields. My father was a teacher and for a month we would travel around the country visiting Civil War and Revolutionary War sites.
    #7 When we traveled to the battlefields the cars didn’t have AC back then… only open windows. That made for mighty cranky kids by the end of the day.
    #9 Ditto, Quesadillas.

  4. Your answer to #8 made me laugh. I read that book when I was really young and don't recall much about it. Have a great lunch!

  5. I'm glad we have a short span of hot, humid weather. Usually we're in school for the brunt of it--with no air conditioning!

  6. Yeah, air conditioning at home was not the norm when I was a child. Glad that changed.


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