There are some fine treasures here today, dear reader, so hold tight, we're off and running! First, isn't it time for another cat cartoon? In the past decade or so, we've had cartoons with fish, cartoons with cars, cartoon with snails, little yellow minions - did I mention snails? - cartoons with girls with literal frosted tips, and, yes, snails! But no cats. This isn't just wrong, it's a travesty of the greatest magnitude. Because cats, as you and the internet know, can be so many things; cute, grumpy, sneaky and quite terrifying, to name just a few. They're also skilled jazz musicians.
"The Aristocats," the last animated movie that Disney had his hand in before he died, is delightful fun, especially if you enjoy watching cats swing, baby, swing, and the soundtrack is a kick. But then it's hard to beat Scatman Crothers performing "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" or Phil Harris crooning "Thomas O'Malley Cat" (an Irish cat!). The jaunty score, by the Sherman Brothers, Al Rinker and Floyd Huddleston, is heavily influenced by New Orleans and 1940's-era jazz, but with added Broadway oomph. It shouldn't work, but it does.
Meanwhile, behold the lovely DiMarco Sisters!
Here's a question. What do they have in common with the fetchingly dishy Rita Moss?
Or the teary-eyed Alice Darr?
Stumped? Don't be. They're all part of a terrif compilation called "Rare Female Vocal Cuts" (which sounds sort of stomach-churning and gory) (but I digress). It has a bevy of seldom heard, sometimes what-the-wha?, tracks from the ladies mentioned above, along with Joni James, Big Maybelle, Ruth Olay, Marilyn Michaels, Frances Faye and what seems like countless more. When I first got it, I was a bit daunted by how many tracks there were, so I played it while puttering about and cleaning off my desk 'n' such, allowing the stand-out tracks to take me by surprise. Soon I was just kicking back and listening. Trust me, it's wonderful collection.
As I was listening to "Rare Female Cuts," I was particularly struck by the singer Kathy Barr, who I'd never heard of before, but who first earned wide notice in the 1945 Broadway operetta "Marinka," in which she played a suicidal mistress, pictured below.
The Secret Song File knows from sass, brass and suchlike. But sometimes, she likes to chill - and without traveling to India. So she travels to a Paris lounge instead, where she listens to music from a certain Buddha series. Okay, like, those hints were so-o-o obvious, that if you don't know what this is yet, The Secret Song File would like to interest you in a bridge and its adjoining city, or perhaps a genuine diamonelle.
This is the latest in the seemingly endless series, and while the last few entries were a bit hit-or-miss, this one you can play straight through. Is it relaxing? Absolutely. It's also nice to play as your holiday party winds down (to send boring guests home before you bring out the really good drugs), but I'm sure you'll find your own special use for it. It's trippy, but gently so, which sometimes is just right.
How much sass and brass do you have?
Make us all envious, why dont'cha? Tell us in the comments!