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Roger Green (Wisbech. UK)

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Only Make Believe: My Life in Show Business
Only Make Believe: My Life in Show Business
by Howard Keel
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars Some things are better left unsaid!, 19 Jun 2014
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Howard Keel, a handsome 6'3" and a wonderful voice. Having seen him on film and on stage many times, I was eager to read his memoirs - how I wish I hadn't!
Four letter words and crude language abound, you'll learn how he first got infested with pubic lice and how he wore a sanitary pad after having an operation on his haemorrhoids. Then you'll hear all about his intimate friend 'Omar the tent maker' who pointed him in the direction of desirable women, especially Marilyn Monroe who had a 'wonderful body' but we never get to know what was going on between her ears ....
I don't know how much of this story is actually true, but I am amazed that a man of his standing would have authorised the publication of this manuscript - but perhaps he died before he could read it.
If you're thinking of buying this tome my advice is: DON'T! Put on a DVD of 'Kiss Me Kate' or 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' instead,you'll have a much nicer time!

A Woman Like Me
A Woman Like Me
by Bettye LaVette
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.87

3.0 out of 5 stars WILD!, 6 Nov 2013
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This review is from: A Woman Like Me (Hardcover)
Bettye Lavette is a tough, no nonsense kind of woman and this is a tough, no no bones about it kind of autobiography.
Her career was dogged by bad luck but there's no doubt that her tough as nails attitude didn't help her along either. She has led a life fueled by drink and cocaine, given herself to men in return for supporting her and attracted some bad apples along the way. A defiant atheist she expected no miracles and only expected a constant battle to get anywhere with her career. When she didn't get what she wanted it was usually the fault of someone else and they invariably end up being called a 'mother****a' in the book, a term that is used constantly throughout. Not one to be bogged down by responsibility, Bettye abandoned her daughter to the care of relatives pretty early on.
There are some vivid descriptions of the music scene in Detroit and we get the lowdown on several legendary names, particularly memorable are a gun toting Tammi Terrell and a spat ending with Diana Ross literally being torn off a strip!
I can't say this book endeared me to Ms Lavette but it certainly won't stop me listening to her records because there is no doubt that music is in her soul.

Wonderful London (DVD)
Wonderful London (DVD)
Price: 18.92

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars London long ago ..., 26 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Wonderful London (DVD) (DVD)
This release will be of great interest to anyone interested in the history of London but it's not quite as good as I thought it might be. It's nicely presented with an interesting booklet and there are 6 restored films in colour tints and 6 in black & white. The films are a wonderful glimpse of bygone times but they are just a glimpse, scenes are very short and before one has a chance to take it all in it's gone and we're off to the next one. The only exception to this are the scenes shot from barge and boat which have a more leisurely pace. Many shots are also repeated over different films and sometimes scenarios are repeated. These are silent films and have a piano accompaniment to all of them which is okay but becomes wearing after a while as it does seem to dominate things. I would much rather have had a narration by a London historian which could have added to our knowledge. Anyway we have what we have and sights that particularly jumped out at me were The Crystal Palace, a huge advertising sign for a Rudolph Valentino film at the London Pavilion and street entertainment outside the Ambassadors and St. Martins Theatres long before the arrival of 'The Mousetrap'! Things I didn't like were the awful re-enactments of Dickens characters and the racist attitudes of the times but the world was different then of course. Overall I'm glad I had this opportunity to see the ghosts of our past going about their business in a busy London which, with few exceptions, has vastly changed.

Eegah [DVD]
Eegah [DVD]
Dvd ~ Arch Hall Snr
Price: 4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's cheap, it's a laugh and a classic of its kind., 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Eegah [DVD] (DVD)
At last one of the worst movies of all time makes its way to UK DVD thanks to Elstree Hill. Pop star wannabe Arch Hall Jr and his hair star in his fathers production about a primitive cave man living in the Californian desert. Expect poor acting, cheap sets (well one set and lots of desert) and characters spouting inane dialogue sometimes without even moving their lips. This release is advertised as being in black and white on the packaging but in fact it's an old colour print (now mainly pink and green) which is so faded you can forgive the mistake. Richard Kiel sports a false beard, an animal skin and a wooden club and is very taken by Marilyn Manning who faints at the very sight of him. However she comes too when Kiel starts sniffing around her (it's the perfume)and she makes him handsome by giving him a shave. To give Arch Hall Jr his due he gave up his movie career after half a dozen failed efforts and to be fair he does stand out here especially when he wears his white bathing trunks. Motown afficiandos may spot a very young Deke Richards in the band before he went on to become a prolific writer and producer for the label, unfortunately the songs here are nothing to write home about.

The Motown Anthology
The Motown Anthology
Price: 5.89

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven Sent indeed!, 6 July 2007
This review is from: The Motown Anthology (Audio CD)
If you've ever listened to that remarkable lead vocal on 'Heaven Must Have Sent You' and wondered who it was and where this group came from, then you simply must buy this fantastic Anthology.
Not only do you get the whole history of this wonderful group but you get to listen to the evolution of 'The Motown Sound'. Saundra Edwards was a young and powerful singer when signed to Motown but she only had one release: 'Camel Walk' which flopped. For the first time now you can listen to the other solo sides she cut at the time. The Downbeats were an all male group whose released 45 'Request Of A Fool' flopped, that's included here, together with other scheduled releases which never appeared. There are some tremendous sides here, all superb examples of that earlier, bluesy Motown sound and many with a great 'doo-wop' feel.
When Saundra joined the group to create The Elgins true Motown Magic was made with the release of 'Put Yourself In My Place' and 'Heaven Must Have Sent You', followed by an excellent album: 'Darling Baby'. If you liked what they released, wait until you hear what they didn't release! Some of the finest and varied Motown sounds of the mid sixties 'Golden Era'. Saundra was eventually replaced by Yvonne Vernee Allen who is still performing today. Included in the anthology are some stunning previously unreleased tracks with Yvonne on lead. There is something for everyone on this terrific release with it's huge variety of vocal styles and recordings from 1962 to 1968. A 2 CD set, with at least half the tracks never heard before, an informative booklet with rare photo's and all tracks fully annotated with recording dates and production credits, means this is a 'must buy' for all true Motown fans.

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