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October 2009 Archives

Songs That Paul Shaffer Knows

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It Ain't Me. Babe. (Photo courtesy of Doubleday Books)

Musician-band leader Paul Shaffer answered almost all of my questions during a recent hour-long interview to promote his memoir "We'll Be Here For The Rest of Our Lives (A Swingin' Showbiz Saga)" [Flying Dolphin/Doubleday, $26] with one exception.

I inquired how many songs he knows.

"I know a lot of standards from my parent's generation because they had music playing in the house all the time," said Shaffer, who turns 60 on Nov. 28. "As far as rock n' roll goes, I have an intimate knowledge of 1962 through 1974. Then it stops. But within that narrow area, I know a lot."
As a hard core "Late Show with David Letterman" fan I'm always amazed at how quick Shaffer picks up a musical cue......

Soupy Sales: A pie in the sky

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Soupy Sales 1.jpg Soupy sends a pie to fellow funnyman Pat Cooper during Soup's 75th birthday party at the Friar's Club in New York.

Slapstick comedian Soupy Sales has died.
His former manager reported that Sales died of multiple health problems Thursday night in a New York City hospice. Sales was 83.
Another bit of my childhood has been chipped away. I had to revisit this 1997 piece I did with the Soupman when he came Merrillville, Ind. to open for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at the Star Plaza Theater.
Hope you chuckle at the cornball jokes. I apologize for my puns.

Life has been a bowl of cheeries for Soupy Sales.

Stop it.

The gags are going to fly like pies in the sky. I asked Soupy what people can expect when the 70-year-old pop culture icon opens for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

"Jokes," he answered in a call from his Manhattan home. "A woman goes to the doctor, the doctor says, `What's your problem? The woman says, `My water just broke, what should I do? The doctor says, `Get off my rug.' "


"What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is all the time? A widow."
Let's hang on. The soup's on........

Michael Moore on Newspapers

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Citizen Moore.jpg Newspapers---when will the bubble burst?

My colleagues wanted me to ask filmmaker Micheal Moore about his "good riddance" to American newspapers in a September press conference at the Toronto Film Festival. Moore told the gathering that elsewhere in the world newspapers are supported first by readers and then by advertising. He argued that in the U.S. greed for advertising and profit margin supersedes quality journalism and grass root writers like Joseph Mitchell (my favorite).
Newspaper staffs are cut, news holes shrink.
Many forget that Moore, 55, began his career in print in Flint (Mich.) as the founder of the Flint Voice, an alternative newspaper. In 1986 he moved to San Francisco for a brief period to become editor at Mother Jones magazine........

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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