Category: film

On this day in music history: November 13, 1965 – “The Sound Of Music – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 2 weeks. Produced by Neely Plumb, it is recorded at RCA Victor Studios in Hollywood, CA in Late 1964. Recorded over just a few days in the Fall of 1964, the soundtrack album is produced by RCA Records A&R man Neely Plumb (father of actress Eve Plumb). The score to the film adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical is written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and features vocal performances by the films’ cast including Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Along with the film, the soundtrack album is a runaway success in both the US and is an even larger success in the UK where it spends seventy weeks (non-consecutive) the top of the chart over a three year period. The original vinyl LP comes packaged with a booklet featuring liner notes on the cast and composers, and still photos taken during filming on location in Austria. Reissue pressings of the LP are released in gatefold sleeves (originals feature a single pocket jacket), with the booklet contained inside. The front of the sleeve also features an Academy Award statuette printed on the front, also indicating the awards won by the film. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music wins the Academy Award for Best Adapted Score in 1966. “The Sound Of Music – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1998.

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Robin Givens and Forest Whitaker publicity photos for A Rage in Harlem (1991) 

Photos by Richard Blanshard

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Joan Crawford and her namesake niece Joan Crawford LeSueur, 1937.

Little Joan (December 2, 1933 – December 15, 1999) was the daughter of Joan’s older brother Hal LeSueur and his wife Kasha Haroldi. She spent a lot of time with her aunt Joan in the 1930s. Joan often had her over on weekends and there are photos of her with Joan on the sets of movies in 1936 and 1937. There were even magazine reports that Joan considered adopting her. When her mother remarried she became Joan Lowe, the name by which she was known professionally as a Broadway dancer, later Mrs. Joan Fowler.

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Ebony Magazine Covers – 1951

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Julie Andrews on set of “The Sound of Music” in 1964. 

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Betty White photographed by Elmer Holloway in 1954.

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Louise Brooks portrait session circa 1927

Robin Givens publicity photos for A Rage in Harlem (1991)

Photos by Richard Blanshard

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In her 2010 memoir, Foxy: My Life In Three Acts, Pam Grier

claimed that her sexual relationship with Richard Pryor caused cocaine to enter her system! Richard also got engaged to another woman while dating her. Pam was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1988.

Pam

recounts how a conversation with her doctor led to her confronting Richard:

He said, “Pam, I want to tell you about an epidemic that’s prevalent in Beverly Hills right now. It’s a buildup of cocaine residue around the cervix and in the vagina. You have it. Are you doing drugs?”

“No,” I said, astonished.

“Well, it’s really dangerous,“ he went on. “Is your partner putting cocaine on his penis to sustain his erection?”

“No,” I said, “not that I know of. It’s not like he has a pile of cocaine next to the bed and he dips his penis in it before we have sex.” I had a nauseating flash of one of Richard’s famous lines: Even my dick has a cocaine jones.

“Are you sure he isn’t doing it in the bathroom before he comes to bed?” the doctor asked.

“That’s a possibility,” I said. “You know, I am dating Richard Pryor.”

“Oh, my God,” he said. “We have a serious problem here. If he’s not putting it on his skin directly, then it’s worse because the coke is in his seminal fluid. You can have some serious cervical and uterine problems. You can even become sterile and you might have to have a hysterectomy.”

“Will it ever go away,” I asked. “It’ll go away eventually,” the doctor said.

“In the meantime, he has to wear a condom or you’re going to be a very sick woman.”

The doctor then asks her if her mouth went numb while performing oral sex on Richard, she says it did, and he links it the Novocaine-like effects of cocaine. Pam confronted Richard about protecting her health and he rejected the issue:

Later that evening, I told Richard, I have cocaine inside of me. It’s eating me up and it could kill me. Have you been putting it on your penis?

“No. Of course not,” he answered quickly. I took a deep breath. “I have to ask you to wear a condom when we have sex.”

“What?” was all he said.

I said, “you have to Richard,” I pleaded with him. “Only for a while. I have to get rid of these lesions so I don’t get infections.”

He said, “I hate condoms. I can’t feel anything.”

“Will you at least talk to my doctor?”

“No.”

I realized at that moment that I was not truly loved by this man.

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Audrey Hepburn meets Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their dressing room at the Paramount Studios in 1953.

Photos by Bob Willoughby.