Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Thought for the day

Patron Saint of Cappadocia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Malta, Portugal, Aragon, Catalonia, Sicily and Sardinia, and, of course, of England...

...happy St George's Day!

Monday, 22 April 2019

Some day I'll be in Diva bliss!

It's a Bank Holiday here, and the weather is still beautiful - the hottest Easter Monday on record, apparently! - which is utterly unheard of. I have (needless to say) been out in it from morning till dusk; loads of grotty old plant pots have been washed ready for more flowers, and I've been moving pots and troughs around into their (possibly) permanent positions ready for summer.

Enough of all that - it is still a Tacky Music Monday, and this week's showbiz extravaganza comes courtesy of this remarkable opening routine for the 1998 Tony Awards; featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Patti LuPone [yesterday's birthday girl - she's 70 years old!], Jennifer Holliday and Betty Buckley:


Have a good week, my sweeties.

Sunday, 21 April 2019


Happy 93rd birthday to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, Queen of Scots, Duke of Lancaster, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, Royal Lady and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Sovereign of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India, Dame Grand Cross and Sovereign Head of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Lady of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Sovereign of the Royal Victorian Order, Sovereign of the Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Sovereign of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Sovereign of the Distinguished Service Order, Colonel-in-Chief of the UK's armed forces...

...and who more appropriate to feature on this occasion than that archetypal British band, Pet Shop Boys?


Saturday, 20 April 2019

Full bloom ahead

Tulip Gavota in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers

Another glorious sunny day - and on a Bank Holiday weekend; unheard of! - and, needless to say, I have spent it tending to the garden, as well as shopping for more compost and bits'n'bobs.

I am weary, but happy at how it is coming along. What better way to relax that in the company of some gorgeous people in exotic locations - courtesy of Soft Tempo Lounge, of course?


[Music: Sunfish - Unknown artist (Robert Hall Productions)]

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Another me

“I woke up in Medellín.
Another me could now begin.”

She's back, but who is she?

Following hot on the heels of the announcement that Our Glorious Leader is to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest next month, Madonna has announced a new album, and a mysterious new persona - Madame X...

...and here is her teaser video that serves as an introduction:

This new nom-de-plume, it seems, is the herald (as well as the title) of Queen Madge's first new album in four years which, as announced in the pre-publicity, will feature collaborations with rappers [groan; please spare us] SwaeLee and Quavo [who both sound like exotic vegan meat substitutes], with Brazilian "funk carioca" superstar Anitta, and with Colombian reggaeton singer Maluma.

And here is the first song released from the album, featuring the latter:

It's actually rather good [thankfully]!

We look forward to seeing - ahem - more of Mr Maluma [tats or no tats] in the future...

Pre-order a copy of Madame X at Madonna's official website

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Does anybody miss me? Anybody feel the way I do?

Another prodigious musical talent has departed for Fabulon - Mr Les Reed.

Who? I hear you say...

Mr Reed was the man behind myriad hits in the 1960s and 70s for the likes of Connie Francis, Gene Pitney, Sammy Davis Jnr., The Fortunes, Mirielle Mathieu, Sandie Shaw, The Dave Clark 5, Des O'Connor, Cleo Laine, The Drifters, Frank Ifield, The Applejacks, P.J. Proby, Petula Clark, Elvis Presley and many, many more.

Including these!

Classics, every one.

RIP, Leslie David Reed OBE (24th July 1935 – 15th April 2019)

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

I guess it's just the story of my life - what you gonna say?

Our Patron Saint of the Beehive 'Do, Miss Dusty Springfield would have been 80 years old today. We still miss her.

I have, of course, done many a tribute to the great lady over the years, so today I thought I'd select a few more - ahem - unusual moments from Dusty's long and extensive career in the spotlight, for your delectation. Enjoy...

A goddess walked amongst us. For that we should be eternally grateful.

Dusty Springfield OBE (born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, 16th April 1939 – 2nd March 1999)

Monday, 15 April 2019

You're gonna whimper like a pup the day I catch up with you

Wallflowers looking, and smelling, gorgeous.

After another busy weekend's humping and shifting [oo-er, Missus!], including plants, pots, troughs, clods of earth, and two loads of compost and a big bag of gravel from the shops, the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers are progressing nicely - but I am aching like bugger, and in no mood to haul my carcass off to work.

Hey ho - some things are destined to cheer us up, such as the weirdly amusing news that a man in Indiana [where else? This could only happen in the USA] is suing his parents for $87,000 because they threw out his porn collection...

...and, on this Tacky Music Monday, a song-and-dance number from the original pin-up girl [a not-quite-appropriate-link to the above story, but it'll do], Miss Betty Grable!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass

“God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was quite the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization.”

“Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament - -the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana - is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the Seder at Passover, which is obviously modelled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.”

“I am not even an atheist so much as an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches and the effect of religious belief is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually true... There may be people who wish to live their lives under cradle-to-grave divine supervision, a permanent surveillance and monitoring. But I cannot imagine anything more horrible or grotesque.”

“My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass.”

The late, great Christopher Hitchens would have been 70 years old yesterday. His wisdom will outlive us all.

Here's an appropriate song:

Read my previous tribute to this most influential of men.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

The Songbird of Wassoulou

After a busy pottering Saturday - in between dodging showers and even hail, I managed to drag our biggest Salvias (Amistad and Blue Enigma) kicking and screaming out of their massively congested pots and began the process of repotting them, and other random leftover plants, into new soil; then of course I had to troll off (to Tottenham Hale, a fair distance away, as our local Wilko had sold out) to get more compost, which drew proceedings to a halt - what better than some jolly music from faraway lands?

In this case, it's yet another brand new diva discovery - from Mali, yet; the country that is home to the mythical ancient city of Timbuktu - Miss Oumou Sangaré.

A megastar in her home country, Miss Sangaré is an outspoken spokesperson for the rights of African women, and has been recognised by the UN for her work and for her music.

Here she is, with a double-bill of her irresistibly joyful choons:

That girl certainly knows how to play "The Queen" - love her "safety gays"!

Oumou Sangaré biography.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Don't you feel it too?

Ok, if you insist!

The weekend is looming, thank heavens, and I cannot wait.

Time, methinks, for a bit of a rave-up, just for a change - with a song that I had forgotten all about until I heard it on the ever-lovely Miss Ana Matronic's Radio 2 Dance Devotion show last weekend. It's been in my head ever since...

Thank Disco Old Skool It's Friday!

Oh your smile is carved of stone
And your eyes say take me home
You and I could spend a night of romance
We'll be alive
But when the morning comes
Will I still want you
Mmmmmmmmmmmm yeah yay

You can dance into my heart
But I know that's not the part
That you want to steal away
So when the morning comes
There'll be nothing left to say

Baby let me love you for tonight
I gotta have your love
I really need it now
Baby let me love you for the night
I know you want my love
My love will treat you right

You know I want you boy!

We all need to love today
But the heart will surely pay
Cos the moment that our love and
Kissing reaches the stars
You say goodbye to me
Then nothing will remain

You know I want you boy
Don't you feel it too?
You know I need the love
That's deep inside of you
So take me for the night
But don't lie or pretend
But when tomorrow comes
We'll be more than just friends

Hit it
Baby let me love you for tonight
I gotta have your love
I really need it now
Baby let me love you for the night
I know you want my love
My love will treat you right

Love it.

Have a great weekend, dear reader.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

La Reina y la Reina

Spot the difference.

Campness abounds! Not only are we fired-up by the news that Our Glorious Leader Queen Madge, none other than Madonna herself will be performing in the interval of next month's Eurovision Song Contest final, but my erstwhile other half Madam Arcati has somehow stumbled across another Diva worthy of our attention here at Dolores Delargo Towers!

Madrid's finest, the drag queen formerly known as José Ignacio Galán Ordoñez is a talent to behold, indeed. Sharing a music producer with such Andalusian icons as Lola Flores and our own Patron Saint of Copla Isabel Pantoja, her style is OTT (to say the least)...

Laydeez and gentlequeens, meet Señorita Nacha La Macha (and her boys)!

[speaking of Madonnas...]:


Wednesday, 10 April 2019

You can act real wild they don't treat you like a child

You know you're getting old when...

...you discover that the "cool rockabilly rebel" of the turn of the 80s, Mr Brian Setzer is 60 years old! He's made a big name of himself over the years, with his own swing orchestra as well as solo; but it is for the youthful exuberance of his time with the Stray Cats - all snake-hips and big quiffs - we remember him most:

Get kicked out for coming home at dawn,
Mom and Dad cursed the day you were born,
Throw your clothes into a duffle bag
shoutin' as ya slam the door home is a drag

Who can I turn to and where can I stay?
I heard a place is open all night and all day
There's a place you can go where the cops don't know
You can act real wild they don't treat you like a child

Runaway boys

Your hair's all greasy and you feel like a slob,
You're only fifteen and you can't get a job,
Go into the luncheonette and shoot a few games
Losing all your quarters, man it's always the same

Steal a couple of bucks to buy a new toy,
Slip into the alley with the

Runaway boys

Runnin' faster, faster all the time
You're under age and God knows, that's a crime!

Runaway boys

Brian Robert Setzer (born 10th April 1959)

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

None of that Heston Blumenthal crap

Carnivores have demanded special fake vegetables made out of meat after seeing the variety of plant-based sausages, bacon and beef available.

The production of vegan burgers that bleed, vegan bacon that can be fried and tofu chicken that tastes of nothing at all just like the real thing has prompted non-vegans to request a quid pro quo.

Meat-eater Norman Steele said:
“I can’t eat vegetables for the moral reason that I don’t like how they taste.

“But what people don’t realise is that’s endangering my health and making me look bad in front of attractive young waitresses in the Harvester, so it’s my turn for the fake shit.

“I want an aubergine that’s really a chorizo, a bunch of ham carrots, lamb peas and lettuce leaves made of wafer-thin turkey. For starters.

“And make them proper. I don’t want any of that Heston Blumenthal crap. If it can’t fool my GP, they need to go back and start again.”

Food scientist Dr Helen Archer said: “There would be no benefit whatsoever to doing this. But it’ll sell, so fine.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday, 8 April 2019


Oh bugger. Another weekend has evaporated away, and the turgid working week has begun again...

Never mind, eh? On the weekend, my sis and I happened to touch on the topic of the Eurovision Song Contest [obviously we at Dolores Delargo Towers will be playing host again to our motley crew of ardent dressing-up fans for the contest's grand final next month]. As one does.

So obviously that inspired me to post - for your delectation and by way of a pick-me-up on this Tacky Music Monday - THIS!

Oh, those Romanians...

Have a good week, peeps!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

So I'll start a revolution from my bed

Our ferns and Martagon lilies don't mind the rain.

Oh, dear. "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry", indeed.

Having taken up a whole day visiting Mother in Portsmouth yesterday, I had all sorts of plans today for sorting out more bits in the garden (including lifting and replanting anemones and other Spring bulbs, re-potting the ginormous cordyline, and splitting-up and re-potting another of the Salvias that is practically climbing out of its pot), but in the end I only managed to saw up and bin the bits of broken branch still sat in the garden after Madam Arcati had lopped it from the evil overhanging sycamore, and to lift-and-shift some daffs that had gone over in order to free the pots for washing and replanting with summer flowers, before the rains hit with a vengeance. Groo.

Never mind, eh? Sundays are supposed to be for relaxation and enjoyment - and I can think of little more enjoyable on a gloomy day than a triple-bill of ingenious re-workings of modern classics by the faboo Postmodern Jukebox!

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don't you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you'd never been
But all the things that you've seen
Will slowly fade away

So I'll start a revolution from my bed
'Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside, summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out

And so Sally can wait
She knows it's too late as she's walking on by
My soul slides away
"But don't look back in anger," I heard you say

We adore Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox here at Dolores Delargo Towers...

Saturday, 6 April 2019

And she'll tease you, she'll unease you

Having overslept this morning and had to rush across London to Waterloo Station, in order to catch the train booked by my sis and head to the South Coast to spend the day in Portsmouth visiting The Mother, I am quite understandably a bit knackered...

I also realise that among the "consecutive Diva birthdays" that occur at the time of year, I neglected one of the most important of our Patron Saints, the magnificent Miss Bette Davis - whose birthday it would have been yesterday.

Miss Kim Carnes had the perfect tribute - a song that never fails to lift the spirits, and just what I need to wind down as I head off to bed...


Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (5th April 1908 – 6th October 1989)

Friday, 5 April 2019

Oh, Miss Jones...

"April is the cruellest month", according to Mr T.S. Eliot, and it certainly has thrown a bit of eveything at us, weather-wise, this week - glorious sunshine alternating with gales, sleet, rain, and almost-freezing temperatures. The good news is that it looks like it may warm up on the weekend (thank heavens), so we know what that means - it's time to start planning for a party!

Who better to lead us in our mission than our Patron Saint of "Couldn't-give-a-fuck-what-you-think"-dom herself, Miss Grace Jones?!

Described on Pitchfork thus: "...Jones’ promenading in a frock and bustier through a stagy castle with human hand candle sconces, barnyard fowl, and a nearly naked prince has the power to broaden most rubrics", here is the lady in all her glory, doing what she does...

Thank Disco It's Friday!

I've got to do or die
I'm reachin' for the sky
I'd like to make you mine
You know I will in time
No retreating gotta do or die
No matter how you try
You'll never change my mind
I got to Do or Die!!


Have a good one, dear reader!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has struck another blow against low-quality cuisine by barricading the doors of his own restaurants.

Oliver has used chairs and tables to block the entrances of branches of Jamie’s Italian around the country, saving hundreds of diners from indifferent meals only bought because of their association with a man off the telly.

Oliver said: “I’ve tried asking nicely. Now it’s time for direct action.

“Anyone attempting to eat at one of these faux-authentic establishments – Italian? I’m from bloody Essex, mate – will be greeted with a barrage of stem-ripened cherry tomatoes and told to go and find a restaurant run by actual Italians, not some celebrity cash-in.

“It’s time to prove I’m serious about improving the nation’s cuisine. As of today, finding a decent meal in overpriced urban centres got a little bit easier.”

Oliver has vowed to continue his fight by closing his Islington restaurant Fifteen, admitting that Fanta tastes nice and retraining as a driving instructor.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

As long as you're groovin'

The gorgeous Ipheion uniflorum 'Jessie' in the extensive gardens of Dolores Delargo Towers.

Spring may have suddenly (hopefully temporarily) juddered to a halt, with rain and cold northerly winds descending upon us; but some things never fail to warm the cockles of our hearts - such as our burgeoning garden, and the music of Mr Marvin Gaye (who would have been 80 years old today)...

Here's the one that was shamefully plundered by Messrs Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, Mr Gaye's 1977 funk classic:

I done got myself together baby
And now I'm havin' a ball
As long as you're groovin'
There's always a chance
Somebody watches
Might wanna make romance

Such a talent, sadly missed.

Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr., 2nd April 1939 – 1st April 1984)

Monday, 1 April 2019

Let this fool rush in

Ooh, it's all happening at the moment - on Saturday night/Sunday morning our clocks went forward, meaning that we are now in British Summer Time (yay! - shame the temperatures have dipped ten degrees since Saturday); yesterday was Mothers' Day; and today, the world's assorted pranksters/cynical marketing types have embraced April Fool's Day with a vengeance:Groan.

After all that jocularity, here's an appropriate number for this Tacky Music Monday:

We're not closing with just the Lawrence Welk Show and that cheesy bloke wearing ridiculous clothing, however - not when it's the late, great Miss Debbie Reynolds' birthday... In this clip, she's introduced by Liberace, surrounded by safety gays, high-kicking and wielding a tambourine like a scimitar - of course she's going to get the last word!

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds (1st April 1932 – 28th December 2016)

Sunday, 31 March 2019

One magic moment

Once again, Mothering Sunday (Mothers' Day over here in the UK) is upon us. Quite appropriate, really, that today's birthday girl is the "Great Earth Mother" of The Partridge Family, Miss Shirley Jones, who is 85 years old today!

Here is the lady herself, in her absolute prime, with a faboo version of a Gershwin classic...

Many happy returns, Shirley Mae Jones (born 31st March 1934).

Saturday, 30 March 2019

I now detect an alien vibration here

Bloody Hell!

The original "post-punk professional weirdo" Miss Lene Lovich, icon of Goths and outsiders everywhere, is seventy years old...


A lot of water has passed under the bridge [four decades, in fact] since this classic hit our charts:

Many happy returns, Lene Lovich (born Lili-Marlene Premilovich, 30th March 1949)

Friday, 29 March 2019

It's a neverending promise of a holy grail

And so, on the day we were supposed to be leaving the bloody EU once-and-for all, the debacle just carries on, and on, and on...
TV show Blue Peter has asked children to make a basic Brexit plan and send them in, with the best ones going to Parliament to be voted on.

Presenter Lindsey Russell demonstrated how to draw a Brexit deal with felt tips, or make one from washing-up liquid bottles, kitchen foil and double-sided sticky tape.

She said: “The best Brexit plans will be sent straight to the world-famous House of Commons, right next to Big Ben, where people called ‘MPs’ will put them through a series of ‘indicative votes’.

“If your plan’s good enough it could go all the way to becoming law and shaping our relationship with our neighbours for decades to come.

“You’ll be invited on the show to meet Speaker of the House John Bercow and you’ll get a very rare ‘I Had a Plan for Brexit’ Blue Peter badge.

“Sorry, this competition is not open to viewers in Northern Ireland at the DUP’s request.”

Nine-year-old Nathan Muir said: “My dad helped me with it but the Irish backstop kept falling out. We just sent it in anyway. They won’t notice.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Still, there's always a party to look forward to on the weekend... Let's start as we mean to go on, in the company of Mr Moroder and Miss Minogue - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

When the lights start flashing
It could open up your eyes
And the highest mountain
Is the one that you have climbed

I could look for love, to skies in blue
I could look for love, to get over you
I could look for love, for a deeper kiss
Nothing ever felt, as good as this

Staring in your eyes, I see the sunrise
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
No deeper feeling, this is the real thing
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
There's nowhere else but right here, right now

It's a neverending
Promise of a holy grail
But this place I'm in, it feels so real
Gotta sit back and exhale

I could look for love, to skies in blue
I could look for love, to get over you
I could look for love, for a deeper kiss
Nothing ever felt, as good as this

Staring in your eyes, I see the sunrise
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
No deeper feeling, this is the real thing
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
There's nowhere else but right here, right now

Cause the way you hold me tonight
Makes it feel like there's nowhere else I'd rather be
Than right here, right now, tonight
Yeah, right here, right now, tonight

There's nowhere else but right here, right now
There's nowhere else but right here, right now

Have fun, whatever you get up to this weekend, dear chums...

Thursday, 28 March 2019


Timeslip moment time again...

The USS Enterprise-D has deposited us a quarter of a century ago, in the nexus of 1994 - the year of the Channel Tunnel, Nelson Mandela and the final end of apartheid, Edwina Currie's support of the lowering of the age of consent for homosexual relationships to 16 which was rejected and followed by the passing of an amendment which made it 18, Fred and Rose West and the "House of Horrors" murders, the sinking of the MS Estonia in the Baltic Sea with 852 deaths, Prince Charles' confession on TV of adultery with Camilla (and Diana wearing that iconic "little black dress" on the same day), the Britpop "war" between Oasis and Blur, Newt Gingrich, Pulp Fiction, the arrest of OJ Simpson for murder, the Sony Playstation, genocide in Rwanda, Wet Wet Wet's Love Is All Around being at #1 for 15 weeks, Serial Mom, civil war in Yemen, "Life is like a box of chocolates", and the Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley freakshow wedding; the births of Tom Daley, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Friends, Yahoo, AOL and Amazon; and the deaths of Jackie Onassis, Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Burt Lancaster, Fanny Cradock, Cesar Romero, Telly Savalas, Labour leader John Smith, Henry Mancini, John Curry, Kurt Cobain, Cab Calloway, Ayrton Senna and Doris Speed.

In the headlines in late March twenty-five years ago? The first women were ordained as priests in the Church of England, the grim discoveries continued of the numerous victims of the Wests at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, the IRA launched three successive mortar attacks on Heathrow Airport, at the 66th Academy Awards Schindler's List won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, and that famous photo of the "Loch Ness Monster" from 1934 was finally exposed as a fake; in the ascendant was Silvio Berlusconi (whose right-wing coalition won the Italian general election), but we waved a sad farewell to actor-turned-wildlife-conservationist Bill Travers (of Born Free fame). In our cinemas: What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, Philadelphia and Sister Act 2. On telly: Play Your Cards Right with Bruce Forsyth, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, and the final appearance of "Ivy Tilsley" in Corrie.

And in our charts: Ace Of Base, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Salt'n'Pepa with En Vogue, Reel 2 Reel, D:Ream, Bon Jovi, Blur and Degrees of Motion were all present and correct, but there was only one winner...

...at the Number 1 slot was this pseudo-1920s number:

Loved it!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

More lost without you, and so it goes

Janelle, whoooo?!

"I am not a special person. I am a regular person who does special things."

"There's a category for me. I like to be referred to as a good singer of good songs in good taste."

"As soon as I hear an arrangement, I get ideas, kind of like blowing a horn. I guess I never sing a tune the same way twice..."

"There are notes between notes, you know."

"I dig Doris Day!"

It's Consecutive Diva Season again, folks - Scott Walker's death rather overshadowed the fact it would have been Queen Aretha's 77th on Monday, yesterday we had Miss Ross a-blowing out 75 candles, and today (as well as being the 120th anniversary of the birth of Miss Gloria Swanson) would have been "Sassy" Sarah Vaughan's 95th birthday!

To celebrate, here is "The Divine One" herself, with her inimitable version of a cabaret standard...

We adore her.

Sarah Lois Vaughan (27th March 1924 – 3rd April 1990)

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ooh, little girl please don't wait for me

As previously mentioned over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp, it is the seventy-fifth anniversary today of the birth of the one-and-only Miss Diana Ross!

Confirming just why Miss Ross is [as if any question could be raised to the contrary] a gay icon - here's the lady herself, doing what she does best:

Facts about Diana Ross:
  • With Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown, she was a member of "The Primettes" when they auditioned for Motown; Berry Gordy agreed to sign them as long as they agreed to change the band's name to The Supremes.
  • In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared her the most successful female music artist in history, having had more hits than any female artist in the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist.
  • She was born Diane but due to an admin error, her name became Diana.
  • She was nominated twelve times for a Grammy without ever winning, but received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • The $20 million deal she signed when she left Motown for RCA in 1981 was, at the time, the most lucrative deal known in the history of music.
  • She received an Oscar nomination for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues in 1972.
  • During filming for her other star-vehicle film Mahogany, not only was the original director Tony Richardson sacked and replaced by Berry Gordy, but Miss Ross argued so much with Gordy that she quit prematurely, leaving his secretary to act as her body double; the film was not a success.
Many happy returns, Miss Diana!

Monday, 25 March 2019

Cute in a stupid ass way

"He was enigmatic, mysterious and with some of his latter recordings, to me, infuriating. An absolute musical genius, existential and intellectual and a star right from the days of the Walker Brothers. So many of his songs will go round in my head forever. And that voice! We lost Bowie now we’ve lost him. There is surely a crack in the Universe. Thank you Scott." - Marc Almond
Sad news. That most influential of pop stylists, the singer-songwriter Scott Walker is dead.

Cited as a major source of inspiration on their own work by such luminaries as David Bowie, Julian Cope, Soft Cell, Billy MacKenzie, Brian Eno, Goldfrapp, Neil Hannon, Jarvis Cocker, Radiohead, Damon Albarn and David Sylvian, his lush deep baritone vocals, paired with a taste for the unusual in his musical projects, made him a cult favourite long after the glitter of pop stardom (mainly with The Walker Brothers) had faded.

Here, also paying tribute, is one of our own cult divas:

But here is the man himself, with my fave among his solo songs:

And if one day I should become
A singer with a Spanish bum
Who sings for women of great virtue
I'd sing to them with a guitar
I borrowed from a coffee bar
Well, what you don't know doesn't hurt you
My name would be Antonio
And all my bridges I would burn
And when I gave them some they'd know
I'd expect something in return
I'd have to get drunk every night
And talk about virility
With some old grandmother
That might be decked out like a Christmas tree
And though pink elephants I'd see
Though I'd be drunk as I could be
Still I would sing my song to me
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

And if I joined the social whirl
Became procurer of young girls
Then I would have my own bordellos
My record would be number one
And I'd sell records by the ton
All sung by many other fellows
My name would then be handsome Jack
And I'd sell boats of opium
Whisky that came from Twickenham
Authentic queers
And phony virgins
If I had banks on every finger
A finger in every country
And every country ruled by me
I'd still know where I'd want to be
Locked up inside my opium den
Surrounded by some china men
I'd sing the song that I sang then
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

Now, tell me, wouldn't it be nice
That if one day in paradise
I'd sing for all the ladies up there
And they would sing along with me
And we be so happy there to be
Cos' down below is really nowhere
My name would then be Junipher
Then I would know where I was going
And then I would become all knowing
My beard so very long and flowing
If I became deaf, dumb and blind
(was: If I could play deaf, dumb and blind)
Because I pitied all mankind
And broke my heart to make things right
I know that every single night
When my angelic work was through
The angels and the Devil too
Would sing my childhood song to me
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

RIP, Scott Walker (born Noel Scott Engel, 9th January 1943 – 25th March 2019)

Your nearest exits are here, here and here

We went to see Captain Marvel on the weekend. It looked nothing like this.

Another faboo weekend, over too quickly. Sigh.

Only Scopitone can save us now! On this Tacky Music Monday, let's have a bit of Teddy, his teeth, and his performing stewardesses...

Have a good week, peeps.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

As Mother Nature proudly spreads her new green carpet

Finally, it would appear that Spring has arrived! The sunshine and balmy temperatures have perked the plants up no end, and everything is either sprouting or blooming as we speak. Yesterday I spent a few hours helping our friend John-John in potting-up some new plants he'd bought for his back yard; and today I spent all day in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, tackling some of our large salvias - we now have three S. patens "Deep Blue" and two S. ulignosa; and in previous weeks we also divided our big yellow dahlia into two, and our phlox into three, so the garden will be even more of a jungle this summer than it was last year...

...and, to top it all, our Cymbidium orchid (as pictured above) has fourteen beautiful flowers on an impressive 4ft spike - and it's only the second time it has bloomed in its life!

All this floral goodness deserves an appropriate bit of "Sunday music" to celebrate, and what better than this Spring medley by the impeccable Dame Julie and the man they described as the "greatest living entertainer in the world"?

Medley includes: I Love You, Spring Is Here, Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, April In Paris, It Happens Every Spring, It Might As Well Be Spring.


Saturday, 23 March 2019

It's Mommie's birthday today...

...have a slice!

And by way of a tribute...

Joan Crawford (born Lucille Fay LeSueur, 23rd March 1904 – 10th May 1977)

Friday, 22 March 2019

On a ride through paradise

Phew - another week is drawing to its close, and we need to get into the mood for a party!

On the great George Benson's 76th birthday, what better excuse do we have but to play his legendary and uber-cool floor-filler? But first, a word from our strippers:

Not exactly the image Mr Benson and his producer Mr Quincy Jones wanted to cultivate, I would suggest.

Here's the original (and far superior) version - Thank Disco It's Friday!

Whenever dark has fallen
You know the spirit of the party
Starts to come alive
Until the day is dawning
You can throw out all your blues
And hit the city lights
'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

You need the evening action
A place to dine, a glass of wine
A little late romance
It's a chain reaction
You'll see the people of the world
Coming out to dance
'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

So come on out tonight
And we'll lead the others
On a ride through paradise
And if you feel all right
Then we can be lovers
'Cause I see that starlight
Look in your eyes
Don't you know we can fly
Just gimme the night
Gimme the night

'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

So come on out tonight
And we'll lead the others
On a ride through paradise
And if you feel all right
Then we can be lovers
'Cause I see that starlight
Look in your eyes
Don't you know we can fly

And if we stay together
We'll feel the rhythm of the evening
Taking us up high
Never mind the weather
We'll be dancing in the street
Until the morning light
'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere

So gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
So, gimme the night


Have a great weekend, peeps!

Many happy returns, George Benson (born 22nd March 1943)