19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie
. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 29, 2010 -
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain
" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87
. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog
, Tom and Jerry
and Diver Dan
, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody
. His nephew has posted a remembrance
on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight
." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 28, 2010 -
Alan "Fluff" Freeman
has died at the age of 79
he gave up broadcasting in 2000
, due to poor health, he will always be remembered as the man who invented the chart rundown, complete with background music and jingles.
He is probably best known for Pick of the Pops
, which reached a mainstream audience, but was also a champion of rock music. Along with John Peel
and Tommy Vance
, Fluff was the last of the three great DJ's I grew up listening to on late night radio. I'm too young to remember his Radio Luxembourg shows, but The Saturday Night Rock Show on Radio 1 was compulsory listening, part for the music and part for Fluff's unique catchphrases and jingles, particularly Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal (rm)
which became his theme on all his radio shows. He was also the inspiration behind the Harry Enfield character Dave Nice
. We'll miss you Fluff. Not 'arf!
posted by bap98189
on Nov 28, 2006 -
Harry Secombe passes at 79.
I just saw the Peter Sellers bio on American Movie Classics the other day, and found out how important The Goon Show
was in the history of comedy. A Hard Day's Night
and Monty Python had their roots in this groundbreaking British radio show that ran from 1949-1960.
posted by aflakete
on Apr 11, 2001 -