Goodnight everyone, and have a 007 weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

Sad news from the entertainment world this week. Dapper British actor Roger Moore  died on Tuesday in Switzerland from cancer. He was 89.

Moore appeared in seven films as secret agent 007, James Bond, beginning in 1973 with “Live and Let Die” and winding up in 1985 with “A View to a Kill.”

Moore was often compared with Sean Connery who preceded Moore as Bond on screen.

“I’m often asked, ‘Who is the best Bond?’” Moore wrote in his 2012 book, “Bond on Bond.”

“Apart from myself? It has to be Sean. Sean was Bond. He created Bond. He was a bloody good 007.”

Moore was not very Bond-like. He was a hypochondriac, afraid of heights, and he hated guns. As for vodka martinis, Moore preferred gin.

This week, music from the Bond movies. Let’s get started with the only way to open.

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When “Goldfinger” premiered in London in September of 1964, fans fought with one another in an attempt to get into the theater.

“Of all the Bonds, ‘Goldfinger’ is the best, and can stand as a surrogate for the others,” wrote film critic Roger Ebert in 1999. “If it is not a great film, it is a great entertainment, and contains all the elements of the Bond formula that would work again and again.”

Elements indeed.

An evil cruel villain. Did you know German actor Gert Fröbe who played Auric Goldfinger couldn’t speak a word of English?  So his entire performance had to be dubbed by British actor Michael Collins.

There was Oddjob and his bowler hat, Pussy Galore, and the Aston Martin DB5 equipped with machine guns in the grill, rotating license plates, and ejector seat.

The theme song was a winner, sung  in a bold and brassy fashion.

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In an interview last December Shirley Bassey made it abundantly clear she was not impressed with today’s female performers.

“It is like they are all in competition with each other,” she said.  “Who can wear the skimpiest outfit? I mean come on. These young girls are talented singers, they don’t need that, but they feel they have to be in competition to have the least covering. That’s the saddest thing.”

As for Bassey’s sequins, boas, and low-cut gowns?

“So let me get right to the point. I don’t pop my cork for every man I see. I think you have to leave a lot to the imagination. Yes, my act was sexy and my dress had slits down to here, but I left a lot to the imagination. I didn’t show everything.”

Bassey was made a dame commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000. She has sold more than 135 million records.

Most James Bond theme songs had the same titles as the movies. Not this one.

Marvin Hamlisch composed the theme song for the 1977 film starring Moore, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” It was one of the most successful Bond movie songs ever.

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Now another theme song with a different title than the movie.

“All Time High” was written by Tim Rice. He’d later write “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” and “A Whole New World.”

For this 1983 Bond movie Rice had no choice but to come up with lyrics that were different than the film title.

“I think it would have been more interesting if we had tried to write a song called ‘Octopussy'” he once said.

“All Time High” refers to the aerial footage in “Octopussy.”

This also marked the first time a theme song from a Bond movie was made into a video with Rita Coolidge singing in the Royal pavilion at Brighton, accompanied by film clips.

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According to 007.com it was Moore’s decision to leave the Bond movies after “A View To A Kill.”

“When they start running out of actors old enough to look as though they could be knocked down by Bond, and leading ladies are your mother’s age when you started making Bond, then it’s time you move on,” Moore said.

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli released a statement about Moore:

“On the screen, he reinvented the role of James Bond with tremendous skill, charisma and humor. In real life, he was a genuine hero working as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for many years dedicating his life to alleviating the suffering of children all over the world. He was a loyal and beloved friend and his legacy shall live on through his films and the millions of lives he touched. We shall miss him enormously.”

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Paul McCartney said Moore had “a heart of gold, a great sense of humor and will be missed by the many people who loved him.”

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You just know he came out for an encore at that concert.

Here’s what we can offer.

BONUS!

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “But don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t forget”

This week back in 1981 a mega-medley was rapidly moving up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, placing in at #5. One month later it was #1.

The mysterious Dutch group “Stars on 45” scored big with the “Stars on 45 Medley.” That was actually quite short for the record’s official title.

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Dutch musicians Bas Muys,  Okkie Huysdens, and Hans Vermeulen had an uncanny ability to emulate other singers,  predominantly the Beatles on this single. Snippets of famous songs were perfectly mixed together.

What was the inspiration behind the medley?

A man named Michel Ali reportedly stopped in at a Montreal club where a DJ named Michel Gendreau was working and and showed him a tape that had a mix of popular disco songs, Beatles hits and other old songs. The quality of the tape was sub-par. So Gendreau and an editor named Paul Richer reworked the medley.

Admitting it was risky, they decided the medley would not be all disco. They’d toss in some 60’s classics. Again,a  gamble because at that time clubs didn’t spin Beatles records.

Eventually a producer at a Dutch record company put together a similar version, and the 4-minute single enjoyed success, first in the Netherlands, then the UK, and then America.

Since the single was so popular, the medley was expanded to 16 minutes to fit on side one of the Stars on 45’s 1981 debut full-length, which was known in the U.S. as “Stars on Long Play.”

And that’s our Forgotten Oldie this week.

Kevin’s conscience: Wait a minute. This week’s oldie is 16 minutes long? 16 minutes?

Kevin: That’s right.

Kevin’s conscience: And you expect people to click on and listen?

Kevin: I wouldn’t post it if I thought otherwise.

Kevin’s conscience: The entire 16 minutes…

Kevin: Well I certainly hope so. It’s time well spent.

Kevin’s conscience: OK. what makes you think this will happen?

Kevin: Lots of reasons. Not the least of which there’s a curiosity factor.

Kevin’s conscience: Go on.

Kevin: It’s Beatles music for heaven’s sake.

Kevin’s conscience: Yes, Beatles music. How can you possibly categorize this as a Forgotten Oldie?

Kevin: The Beatles tunes are obviously forgotten. This medley might be. Some may not have heard this in over 35 years. Some may have never heard what we’re about to post. Never. That’s exciting.

Kevin’s conscience: Fine. What else?

Kevin: Once you start listening and get caught up in all those wonderful classic clips, it’s hard to stop. You are hooked.

Kevin’s conscience: I repeat. 16 minutes!

Kevin: It’s a long weekend. Plenty of time to soak it all in.

Kevin’s conscience: What about that disco opening and dance theme? A lot of people hate disco.

Kevin: When the Beatles clips begin to roll the disco beat isn’t as prominent. It’s very listenable and enjoyable.

Kevin’s conscience:  One more thing…

Kevin: No, I’m done with you. I should have known better than to get into this with you. I’m posting and no reply from you, get it?

So, here we go.

Normally I despise impersonators. Not this time because these folks were so good!

30, count ’em, 30 Beatles hits in 1 gigantic medley, from “No Reply” to “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

Fasten your seat belts for a terrific nostalgic ride!

And kudos to the person who produced the homemade video. True Beatles fans will understand and totally love it!

It’s so cool and worth the look!

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Some quick notes (05/26/17)

1) Fox 6 has reported that 6 sex offenders are suing the city of Milwaukee over its ordinance that restricts where they can live. The offenders say they can’t find a place because the ordinance is too strict.

This was bound to happen. Milwaukee is densely populated with lots of schools, parks, etc. As the Journal Sentinel reported last year about the city’s law:

The ordinance bans many sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of areas where children are commonly found, such as schools, parks and day care centers. In Milwaukee, that means hundreds of sex offenders are limited to 117 possible housing units. And even those 117 units might not be available to rent or buy.

Thus, a federal lawsuit. No surprise.

2) Without much fanfare the Franklin Public Schools have a new superintendent.  Franklin is calling the position a district administrator, but in effect it’s a superintendent.

Dr. Judy Mueller, the current director of human resources at FPS, replaces Steve Patz who retired earlier this year.

With more than 30 years in education Mueller is highly regarded.  She doesn’t appear to have, that I’m aware of, any agenda like her predecessor, Steve “Tax, spend and build, tax, spend and build” Patz.

I wish her the best of luck, but urge her to remember she works for the school board, not the other way around. And please, go easy on the already beleaguered Franklin taxpayers.

3) We will be posting all of our regular blogs this holiday weekend. Please stop by if and when you can. It all starts with our music features tonight.

4) Over on my wife’s blog, news from Gov. Walker, mattresses, romantic GIFs, and more. Check it out.

A disgusting reversal against police by a biased WI newspaper

If this isn’t a blatant example of liberal media bias it’s a clear case of wimpy, weak, flip- flopping by a daily newspaper in Wisconsin.

At first the Janesville Gazette spoke in support of “Support the Badge” yard signs.

And then the paper did a preposterous, despicable about-face.

Why?

In their own words:

In retrospect, some in the newsroom believe attaching The Gazette’s name to the signs was a mistake. Many people view the signs as having a political meaning, and some people could view The Gazette as aligning itself with those who oppose efforts to expose racial injustices.

Our intent was to draw positive attention to law enforcement, but some people, minorities in particular, might feel The Gazette is taking sides in the public debate over law enforcement’s use of deadly force.

Our staff, and particularly our journalists and editors in the newsroom, work to ensure readers perceive the newspaper as impartial in its coverage. The placement of The Gazette’s logo on these signs could raise questions about The Gazette’s impartiality. It shouldn’t. Our job is to remain impartial.

Cop-out.

Cowardly.

That’s an obvious admission of liberal bias (“some in the newsroom believe attaching The Gazette’s name to the signs was a mistake”).

The Janesville Gazette got immediate and appropriate reaction from readers.

So you regret backing the badge. Would you regret backing the fire department or the EMTs or any of the first responders? The Gazette really needs a disclaimer on ‘Our Views’ that says the views reflected by the liberal who writes ‘Our Views’ do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Gazette staff

I consider it a cowardly act on the part of The Gazette to withdraw your support from the men and women who sacrifice for our community. I will not purchase or even look at another Janesville Gazette until you give a positive demonstration of support for the men and women of our law enforcement agencies.

Rest assured, Gazette, I’ll remove your logo from my sign and urge others to do the same.

And the managers of papers like the Janesville Gazette, in total denial, wonder why their circulation is down.

Shame on them.

Today’s highly interesting read (05/25/17): Accidental shootings involving kids often go unpunished

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the stunning news this week:

A 2-year-old Milwaukee boy found his father’s handgun and accidentally shot himself with it, police said Wednesday.

The toddler is expected to survive, and his father was arrested after police say he left the gun in an accessible location in the house.

The shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 3400 block of N. 36th St., and prosecutors are expected to review the case later this week.

Wisconsin’s misdemeanor law for these types of shootings applies under specific circumstances: if an adult recklessly stores or leaves a loaded firearm within reach or easy access of a child; if the child obtains the firearm without permission of the owner, guardian or caretaker; and if the child fires the gun and causes bodily harm or death.

“We don’t prosecute very many of them, probably two a year or so, and we don’t have many referred to us,” said Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern.

“We certainly have seen this here, but many times, the circumstances are such that the parent should not be held liable,” Lovern said Wednesday. “It’s just a tragic set of circumstances.”

Even before this week’s accidental shooting in Milwaukee the Associated Press was conducting a detailed investigation into these types of incidents going on all across America.

Here’s the issue in a nutshell:

Children under age 12 die from gun accidents in the United States about once a week, on average. Almost every death begins with the same basic circumstances: an unsecured and loaded gun, a guardian’s lapse in attention. And each ends with the same basic questions: Who is to blame, and should the person be punished?

An investigation by the USA TODAY Network and The Associated Press found those questions are answered haphazardly across the nation.

Read the entire report here.

OK, so what’s this weekend all about again?

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The upcoming weekend.

Three days off, not just two.

Pretty decent weather expected.

The first official weekend of summer and all that goes with wonderful summer days.

But there’s a problem. In my view, a big problem.

It’s rather sad, actually. We’ll get to that shortly.

In the early to mid 1990’s I was News Director at WTMJ Radio. I covered the news. I wrote about the news. I anchored the news. I managed the award-winning news department of the largest radio station in the state.

Then the station made a move that literally changed my career and my life. And no, that’s not an exaggeration.

WTMJ hired Charlie Sykes who had been working at WISN. One of the reasons Charlie came to WTMJ was that he would, in addition to hosting his daily radio talk show, also host a weekly Sunday TV roundtable pundit program.

Charlie, whom I knew very well from covering the same stories when he was at the Milwaukee Journal, asked that I be a regular panelist on his TV show, Sunday Insight.

Suddenly, it was as if the tape was ripped off my mouth. You mean I can express my real opinion while the cameras are rolling?

You betcha. The First Amendment is a truly marvelous thing.

And so I started talking.

On TV.

Week.

After week.

The audience watching was, well, kinda big.

I had worked at public radio from 1978 -1989, and then at WTMJ. Always perfectly objective. But because so many of the years on my resume were spent at WUWM it was assumed I wore beads and sandals. And then I’m suddenly talking a la Barry Goldwater.

People were surprised, even shocked. And saddened and downright betrayed.

I didn’t realize until I was on a routine assignment, covering a regular meeting of the Milwaukee County Board.  In the hallway behind the board room I was approached by then-Milwaukee County Supervisor Dorothy Dean, a prior huge fan.  Dean saw me and immediately went off.

How could I, she asked, totally out of her normal serene character. I had become “a clown, a showman,” she scolded.

I responded how could she really know me since I was so objective for years.  That whole free speech thing? Didn’t register.

For a few moments I felt terrible.  This was Dorothy Dean, a friend, a colleague, someone I could call anytime for a much-needed sound bite. Never, ever, ever an issue between us. And here she was, verbally undressing me behind the scenes at a public meeting.

I rebounded quickly, because I understood that not only was I my own person but that I had resurrected to the next level in my career.

Not only would I fill in for Charlie when he was on vacation or one of his many book tours the station’s program director asked that I produce a daily radio editorial. It would be called Kevin Fischer’s Radio Column.

Remember, this is the early 1990’s. The Journal Sentinel’s radio/TV columnist took me to task. How can a news reporter/anchor, not to mention the station’s news director be spewing his opinions on the air?  I was accused of, OMG, “blurring the lines.”  Pretty tame stuff compared to today’s media climate.

One of my radio columns back then was produced on a whim. Days preceding Memorial Day were exceptionally fantastic weather-wise. I hated man-on-the-street interviews. You have to interview 10 walking zombies to get one decent quote. But I took my tape recorder and microphone and headed to, where else, a crowded Bradford Beach. The question I posed to beach-goers was really simple.

“What are your plans this Memorial Day weekend?”

Yes, that simple. Not exactly tough stuff.

I interviewed enough people to help fill out my 3-minute radio column. Answers?

Golfing.

Tennis.

Boating.

More time at the beach.

Grilling.

Sleeping in.

A movie.

Yard work.

Swimming.

Etc.

My radio column ran these sound bites, one after another, until the final seconds, the conclusion.

I narrated that no one, no one mentioned putting out an American Flag, visiting a cemetery, decorating a cemetery grounds, attending a Memorial Day ceremony, even stopping the day for a moment of silence.

That was over 20 years ago. I’ve never forgotten. And it bothers me ever since. I appreciate before the explosion of talk radio that WTMJ allowed me to express my right-wing opinions every day.

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Important Ballpark Commons vote today

*THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED*

Today the Milwaukee County Board considered a resolution regarding the Ballpark Commons proposal in Franklin.

A County Board committee has already voted 3-1 in favor of selling county land at 76th and Rawson to Mike Zimmerman’s group that wants to develop the multi-use Ballpark Commons. If the sale is approved, the move could pave and expedite the way for project construction, including minor league baseball in a new stadium.

Details of the resolution, as reported by Sean Ryan of the Milwaukee Business Journal:

  • Milwaukee County would sell about 140 acres of land at South 76th Street and
    West Loomis Road to a group led by  Zimmerman.
  • The land includes the Rock Sports Complex.
  • Zimmerman built The Rock on county land.
  • The area to be sold also would be used for a minor-league baseball stadium, golf driving range, indoor sports training center and supporting restaurants and stores.
  • The  development would also include about 300 apartments and a 100-room hotel south of Rawson Avenue.
  • The landfill at the site is a concern, Zimmerman concedes.
  • Ryan reports Zimmerman’s group would assume from the County the responsibility for maintaining the landfill gas system on the property, costing about $167,000 a year.
  • The current landfill gas system would be replaced in 2018.
  • The county and developers would both put money into a trust fund to pay for the gas system’s maintenance and eventual replacement in 2038.
  • The developers would commit about $127,000 a year to that fund, and the county $20,000.
  • The full Milwaukee County Board must vote on the sale later this month.
  • If the sale is approved, and environmental studies come back positive, construction could start in late summer.
  • The first baseball games in the stadium could take place in late May 2018.


UPDATE:
The County Board voted 11-6 today to refer the matter back to the Parks Committee for further discussion. Supervisors Steve Taylor and Dan Sebring voted against sending it back to committee. Thank you, Supervisor Taylor, for the update.

UPDATE: Sean Ryan of the Milwaukee Business Journal reports:

County Board members on Thursday said there are too many unanswered questions regarding the complicated land transaction.

Supervisor Tony Staskunas, who supported sending the deal to committee, said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s office and the city of Franklin have had more than a year to digest the Ballpark Commons project.

“We at the County Board have had it for about 60 days,” Staskunas said. “I don’t think we’re delaying anything.”

UPDATE: It hasn’t happened in Franklin…yet

Previously on This Just In…

Two GOP state lawmakers and three city of Milwaukee aldermen held a news conference (in April) at the West Allis Police Department to discuss proposed legislation to strengthen penalties for carjacking and allow judges to impose longer youth prison sentences on juvenile offenders.

Mark Belling reported today that in the state Assembly a representative from Oshkosh who chairs the committee where the legislation is to be considered is refusing to schedule a hearing that would kill it.

The update.

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