On a recent visit to Camarillo’s Old Town, I came across this life-sized bronze of actor Joel McCrea, a longtime area resident and benefactor prior to his 1990 death. Recollecting that McCrea attended Pomona College, I took a photo. A check of his Wikipedia page confirms that McCrea, a South Pasadena native, did attend the school:
“McCrea graduated from Hollywood High School and then Pomona College (class of 1928), where he had acted on stage and took courses in drama and public speaking, and appeared regularly at the Pasadena Playhouse. Even as a high school student, he was working as a stunt double and held horses for cowboy stars William S. Hart and Tom Mix. He worked as an extra, stunt man and bit player from 1927 to 1928, when he signed a contract with MGM, where he was cast in a major role in The Jazz Age (1929), and got his first leading role that same year, in The Silver Horde.”
He’s most famous for starring roles in “Sullivan’s Travels,” “The Palm Beach Story,” “The More the Merrier,” “Foreign Correspondent,” “The Virginian” and “Ride the High Country.”
A few of us on the Bulletin staff who listen to a lot of music, myself among them, compiled lists of our favorite releases of 2012. The lists can be found on the Music Now blog here. I stretched my top 10 list to include five runners-up. There’s not much overlap between our lists, which is part of the fun; that’s due in part to differing tastes and in part to not having heard many of each others’ choices. (We all listen to music, but we don’t do it for a living.)
I’ll add that one of my favorites this year wasn’t really eligible for inclusion, since it’s a 1970 album that was released on CD in 2008, although most people wouldn’t have heard it until this year: Rodriguez’ “Cold Fact,” popularized due to the “Searching for Sugar Man” documentary. Highly recommended.
Feel free to agree or disagree with any of my choices, or suggest your own favorites of 2012, either here or on Music Now.
The intersection of 5th and Flower streets in downtown L.A. was designated Ray Bradbury Square in a ceremony Thursday. Fittingly, because Bradbury was a tireless advocate for libraries and often said he attended the library as if it were his university, this is near the Central Library.
John Clifford of Pomona was there and contributes the photo of the sign. “Author-Angeleno” pretty much sums it up. Bradbury moved to Los Angeles at age 14 — he was born in Waukegan, Ill., and lived briefly in Arizona before his family settled in L.A. — and stayed here for almost eight decades. He died in June at age 91.
Wednesday’s column (read it here) compiles three more literary(ish) references to the Inland Valley, the most startling being from Beat writer Jack Kerouac, who name-dropped Cucamonga in unique fashion. There’s also a mention by thriller author David L. Goldman, and another by humorist Dave Barry.
Would you like a little behind-the-scenes info? I wrote this column in February (!) for use during a vacation, but decided to sit on it because it seemed like a perennial. Didn’t need it during my June vacation, though, and decided because of the Thanksgiving angle that I might save it until then. Which I did, after rewriting the ending last Friday. Also, Wendy Leung having left for another newspaper job in April, “colleague” became “former colleague.” Otherwise, it was full steam ahead.
Some James Bond fan went to the trouble of compiling every cameo, fleeting glimpse and voiceover of co-producer Michael G. Wilson in the series, an impressive enough feat that I’m going to the trouble of sharing it here. Wilson is an alumnus of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont.
Fathom Events, the same company that re-presented “Lawrence of Arabia” earlier this month in theaters, on Wednesday will play “Frankenstein” (1931) and “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935). AMC 30 Ontario Mills and AMC 12 Victoria Gardens will show the double feature at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Information can be found <a href=”http://www.fathomevents.com/classics/event/tcmfrankensteins.aspx”>here</a>.
Next up in the series: “To Kill a Mockingbird” Nov. 15.
In related news, “Nosferatu” will screen Friday at Bridges Auditorium in Claremont at both 7 p.m. and midnight, with live accompaniment. Information is <a href=”http://business.claremontchamber.org/events/details/silent-film-nosferatu-with-hobo-jazz-3451″>here</a>.
The subtitle is “The ’70s Pop Culture Box,” and this seven-disc set, with shag carpeting on the cover and CDs in such ’70s colors as Avocado, Burnt Orange and Harvest Gold, was put out by Rhino (the label) in 1998. It’s got 160 songs from the Me Decade. There are omissions, of course (no Stevie Wonder, no Elton John, etc.), most likely due to licensing costs, but a lot of one-hit wonders are here. It’s dy-no-mite.
I’ve owned this for a decade or so but recently played it through again and thought it was worth a blog post, under the assumption that many of you are in the proper age bracket to appreciate it. If you are, you’ll love it. (It’s out of print, but used copies can be had on Amazon, etc.)
One bonus is that short audio snippets of news or speeches appear now and then, most of them placed ironically. One about the first test tube baby comes before “Miracles” by Jefferson Starship; one in which President Nixon says he’s not a crook is followed by “You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt. Bracingly, Ford’s pardon of Nixon segues into “The Payback” by James Brown (“I’m mad!”). Heh.
50th anniversary screenings of the 1962 classic are taking place Thursday around the country, with two of them in the Inland Valley. You can see it at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the AMC 30 Ontario Mills and the AMC 12 at Victoria Gardens. More information about the screenings is here and a list of theaters is here. You can buy tickets here; price is $12.50 for either show.
I expect to attend one of these, schedule permitting. “Lawrence” is among my favorite movies. I’ve seen it twice before, both times at the Cinerama Dome/ArcLight, so seeing the movie has “event” status for me.
The movie lasts 216 minutes, or 3 hours, 36 minutes. Above is the trailer, and at 4:43, even it’s long.
That would be the Curbed LA blog and Millard Sheets, respectively. The blog is posting all week about the Pomona-born artist who had such an impact on Southern California art and architecture. Click on this link for what’s been posted to date, and keep checking back for more if so inclined.
So far there’s a photo tour of the former Sheets art studio in Claremont (now an optometrist’s office), photos and text about Sheets’ bank commissions and an image of his painting “Tenement Flats,” one of my favorites. Thanks to Bob House for the link.
Happy birthday to the avant-garde composer, who was born Sept. 5, 1912, died in 1992 and attended Pomona College his freshman and sophomore years. The college has several events planned this semester, starting with a John Cage Centenary at 7 p.m. Wednesday. If nothing else, the people-watching should be excellent.
Other events this fall include an organ recital, a lecture, an evening of music cheekily titled “Cage-o-Rama” and, in October, an orchestral concert that will include Cage’s famous “4’33″ — 4 minutes, 33 seconds of silence. Here’s the schedule.