Saturday, July 26, 2008

Michael Connelly; Casey Kasem; Teen Angel; First Line

Terrill Lankford has produced another excellent video for Michael Connelly. Go here

What I admire about it so much is that it not only builds suspense it takes you into the heart of the book while it's doing so. I'm hoping that someday soon somebody will be doing a video for Terrill himself, one of the most gifted crime novelists of our time.

------Casey Kasem

While driving over to Mystery Cat books today I heard a a 1970-something rebroadcast of a Casey Top 4000 or whatever the hell it was. In the days of many less pound sand far sturdier knees I was a half-assed runner. I always listened to Casey on my Walkman or whatever they were then. My favorite part was the weekly dedication, which I assume was written by some demonic stoner on casey's staff. But I'd forgotten just how cheesy they were-- Straight from Nathaneal West's Miss Lonelyhearts. I'm sending one to the old Caster just to see if he'll use it.

"Dear Casey-- looks like I now not only have my sister knocked up but my Mom, too. Ever since the cops took Dad away again I've kind of had to become the Man of The House, if you know what I mean. Dad always said it was Ok if I spent time with Sis but Mom was strictly hands off. Well, Casey, now my Dad's gettng out of prison and boy is he going to be pissed off at me. I was wondering if you could play his favorite Elvis song `Big Hunk `O Love' and tell him it's from his son DeWayne. Thanks, Casey, I knew you'd understand."

------Indian Nation

I remember a local dj playing Paul Revere's "Indian Nation" one day and then getting all sappy about Native Americans and the Mesquakie reservation (now casino) about thirty miles form here. One of the phoniest most cynical hammiest (and to me irritating) Poltiically Correct songs of all time done by a bunch of no-talent white boys...and this dj is getting all misty. But then there was Running Bear back in The Fifties, another white boy paen to the folks we stole this country from. But it had a great fake Indian chorous hooba-hooba,ias you the elderly persuasion will likely recall.

These were second only to the teen tragedy songs, my favorite being Tell Laura I love Her. Wasn't this the one where the dipshit teen singing the song is in the Indy 500 or something, wipes out aand they drag his burning body out and his last words were Tell Laura i Love Her? I remember laughing out loud the first time I heard it and a girl I knew telling me how insensitive I was. Needless to say she was right. And needless to say it became number one.

-------Politically InCorrect

Carol collects opening lines to share with students in her writing class. Any time I see one I type it out and e mail it to her so she'lll have a record of it.

Donald Hamilton and Philip Atlee are two espionage writers of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies I find fresh as anybody working today. So I reread them frequently.

Today I grabbed Atlee's The Death Bird Contract from the shelf opened it up and immediately did cartoon eyes--you know. when your eyes bug out like Slinkies?

Here's the first sentence: "I awakened from a dark, drugged sleep, and without opening my eyes knew I was in Mexico because I could smell Mexicans."


Bill Crider said...

A little trivia bit for you. The "oomba-oombas" in "Running Bear" were sung by George Jones and The Big Bopper.

Fred Blosser said...

Ed, I don't know if her show is broadcast in your area, but the modern Casey Kasem is Delilah, the syndicated radio talk/music hostess and queen of the hard luck stories.

Someone really should reprint the Atlee books, god bless him. DEATH BIRD CONTRACT is full of equal parts outrageousness and despair. As good as the current crop like Bruen, Guthrie, and Lansdale are, Atlee still gives em a kick in the pants.

Anonymous said...

I must have grown up in a protected world in the forties. Characters and situations like these seem to rise from a different America than the one that formed me. How little I knew. Maybe that's why I lean toward MGM musicals, or Gary Cooper tall in the saddle.

Richard Wheeler

Anonymous said...

Casey Kasem's stories tug at the heart in the wrong ways. I guess it works because he's still doing it all these years later.

I'll look out for the Philip Atlee title.

Ed Lynskey

buckycatt said...

What?! No one had a comment about poor DeWayne's heartfelt dedication? Reminded me of that timeless Garth Brooks classic "Papa Loved Mama".