Great Love Songs #15 to #21 for February Facebook Meme

In late January, I proposed a Facebook meme to share a love song a day for February that contains Valentine’s Day.

Here are the first seven songs and the second seven songs I had shared.

Below is the third set of seven great love songs I shared, with some short commentary for each.

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My Video for The Lies of Handsome Men, sung by Margaret Whiting

Jack Wrangler & Margaret Whiting

Jan 2011 update:
Margaret Whiting passed away on Jan 10, 2011. It is sad, of course, but what a legacy she left us with, including the song in the video below written by Francesca Blumenthal in 1986. Rest in peace, Margaret.

At this time in 2009, I started building this blog as part of my year to learn about social media. In 2010, I am learning about multi-media and this is my first video. I should point out that like my study of social media, it’s about knowing its capabilities and potential more than the technical stuff, though a lot can be learned by doing hands-on technical stuff. It’s too bad all too many “boss” types in the world never really learn the details of things they “manage” from doing to appreciate the challenges and power of those things.

I used Windows Movie Maker to make this video, with its rather limited capabilities and features. I know it’s not a great video editing program, but I’ll get around to one soon enough. I created the images from Photoshop actions I made to save a lot of time and repetitive effort.

The idea for this video first came to me in the middle of 2009 when I wanted to social media share the 1986 song The Lies of Handsome Men, written by Francesca Blumenthal, sung by 1940s crooner Margaret Whiting in 1990 when she was 66! Thank you to Francesca for correcting my mistake in a comment below. What a beautiful song this is and I hope you’ve got more such songs in your repertoire, past and future!

In my opinion, Margaret’s version is the definitive version of the song. I haven’t heard anybody else sing it like it, and I love it when I find definitive versions of songs that just blow the rest of the versions away. What made the difference for me, as I later found out through research, was that Margaret had been involved in acting and she used those acting skills to put just a little more intonation and feeling into the song. I listened and I really believed she meant everything she said. Mind you, the way she ended up with a former gay porn star 20 years her junior while in her 50s for 33 years of her life (see notes near the end of the notes before the video), she’s a mighty fine actress to have convinced me she believed those lies when she obviously brushed them aside!

Usually, I can find what I want in music online on YouTube. However, there was no version of this song I could find anywhere to share so I penned it down as an idea for a video in 2010 when I would be focusing on learning multi-media. I thought of it as a simple project, to create a slide show video where the images would be male movie stars and musicians of an era past, in black and white.

Images were mostly from an amazing site of black and white movie portraits called Dr Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans. Portraits were so beautiful and noble back in those days! Order of the portrait tied the images to something in the lyrics as much as possible, albeit sometimes rather vague and sometimes without connection because it isn’t easy to have a limited collection to suit any old set of lyrics, you know! Names of subjects are at the bottom of this post.

I wanted to use past celebrities’ B&W portraits because they were more true to the song’s age and feel, as well as avoid all the people today created out of hype with faults yet to be found. The stars in the past have had their good and bad days and have their legacies pretty much written so they are more “timeless” since public opinion won’t likely change much on them any more.

Had I thought of this video in December, I might have gone after the images of the women of Tiger Woods. Hahaha!

But I can still dedicate it to them, can I not?

Alas, they ain’t got nothing on Margaret! On her fourth marriage, Margaret married a gay porn star 20 years her junior in the late Jack Wrangler (neé John Stillman), who eventually also came to do straight porn.

Ooops. Bad pun intended! 😉

According to Jack, this was how they met.

In 1976, Jack Wrangler met celebrated 1940s pop singer and film actress Margaret Whiting when she attended one of his one-man erotic shows in New York. As he later recalled, “I was with my manager when I looked over at Margaret, who was surrounded by five guys at a booth. ‘There she was with the hair, the furs and the big gestures. I thought, ‘Boy, now that’s New York! That’s glamour!’ I had to meet her.” A relationship developed. He was 33; she was 55. When Wrangler confided to Whiting that he was gay, her response was “only around the edges, dear.” The couple has never married. As Whiting told People magazine in 1987, “There’s no point in us getting married. We’re not having kids.”

Remember, Margaret Whiting made her debut as a crooner in the 1940s! Those women of Tiger Woods ain’t got nothin’ on her!

Margaret is still alive so far as I know. Jack passed away in April 2009 from emphysema after 40 years of smoking. Their picture together is the slide in the video.

Seems Margaret didn’t believe in the lies of handsome men if she convinced Jack to be her mate despite his openly gay declaration. 😉

Here is the video below. Please give constructive criticisms if you can afford the time. Thank you.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1

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LYRICS

I believe in star signs
And I believe in film romances
I believe in in fantasy
And I believe with just one glance he’s
Crazy for my eyes
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men

I believe in witchcraft
And I believe in Cinderella
I believe in gypsies
And I believe I cast a spell that
Sends him to the skies
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men

Somewhere in a corner of my mind
I’m not a fool, completely blind
But even though he’s hooked me on his line
I find the pleasure has been mine

I believe in love songs,
They seem to know just what I’m feeling
I believe in Prince Charming
I never guess he’s double dealing
How my spirits rise
Believing in the lies
Of handsome men

Sometimes in a dark and quiet place
The truth and I meet face to face
And even if his Highness disappears
I keep some lovely souvenirs

So I believe in heroes
And I expect that happy ending
Wishing on some rainbow
I pretend he’s not pretending
Someday I’ll get wise
But right now I need the lies
Of handsome men

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STARRING
(in order of appearance, group by song verses)

Margaret Whiting

Bing Crosby, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Duke Ellington, Paul Newman, Basil Rathbone, Tony Curtis

Lex Barker, Gene Kelly, Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, Louis Armstrong, Robert Young, Elvis Presley

Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, Ray Charles, Henry Fonda, Warner Baxter, John Wayne

Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Rudolph Valentino, Rudolph and wife Natacha Rambova, Clark Gable, John Garrick, Ronald Reagan

Ralph Bellamy, Robert Montgomery, Buster Crabbe

Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Vincent Price, Sidney Poitier, Laurence Olivier, Johnny Mack Brown, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains

Muhammad Ali, Gene Autry, Fred Astaire, Joel McCrea, Vic Damone, Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood

Jack Wrangler and Margaret Whiting

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Who I Think Killed Michael Jackson, What About You?

Ever since Michael Jackson died, it seems everyone has been wanting to find out who killed him. Lots of people have also been putting out theories. It seemed someone had to have killed Michael. It wouldn’t seem right otherwise. It wouldn’t be right otherwise. The final piece of Michael’s legacy had to be tragic, rather than taboo that he had somehow killed himself, inadvertently or intentionally. The latter would be especially damning. Can you imagine how differently we would think of James Dean, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye or John Lennon if they had committed suicide instead of dying, whether at their own hands in a risky activity or someone else’s hands? Seems our Western society, at least, likes our story book endings, whether the story ends on a good tone or not. If someone is gone before their time, we want to add a little something dramatic about it rather than possibly admit a less than glamorous truth. To me, you can be as legendary as whoever, if you want to be driving sports cars you can handle beyond what you can handle, or seek bigger highs from heavier dosages of drugs all the time, stupidity is part of your legacy, in my eyes… along with your endearing traits to push the envelope.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

In Michael Jackson’s case, with complete autopsy results not yet available at the time of this posting, it seems people are trying to put the blame on someone to save Michael’s legacy. One of Michael’s doctor’s office just got raided and he seems to be the prime target for “letting” Michael die, if not having killed Michael himself. But in not yet having some official results, we can also speculate Michael having a hand in his death, and that’s where I come in.

I think Michael Jackson committed suicide.

I think he realized he was not going to be able to put on a show like he used to in this farewell tour of his, and decided to drop while he was still the King of Pop instead of bowing out as the King of Flop.

Michael danced at a very high level while in his prime. Now 50, without the conditioning sustained — nor probably the practice cause it wasn’t all natural, you know — over the years, I doubt very much he could still put on the same show. How many people do you know who performed at a high level of physical activity in their 20s and can still do it without the maintenance work over the years? Unlike singing, where you can lip sync your way through your old material, Michael can’t groin sync through his past dance moves. I also doubt he would have had the stamina to go through a full show, never mind the 50 he was reluctant to do. He only wanted to do 12 shows or so, I believe it was said. Michael would probably have been good at the shows, as I think he is that good to still be good at less than 100%. However, I think he would most certainly have disappointed many attending who would have been expecting legendary… even with allowance for pity he wasn’t what he was in his prime.

Let’s face it. Michael’s career was legendary up to its peak, but the rest is one of shame aside from the momentary lapse of fame. There is a tragedy to it all, but I think that tragedy ended with him, in his hands, in shame, rather than at the hands of another who could be blamed so as to martyr his legacy.

Ironically, what pop culture seems to fail to see is what every culture knows to be true… that among the greatest tragedy which can happen to a person is when s/he decides the gift of life given to him/her is no longer worth living. Why do you think suicide is so taboo in so many cultures and religions? There is the concept of an honourable death, practiced by the samurai, mafia and certain other cultures, but I’m not sure they’d think of committing suicide because you can’t dance like you used to is just reason for an honourable death. I hope they would know it was about living up to expectations of the masses, though, rather than just the dancing.

But that’s all just my opinion. How un-Canadian of me to have one! What’s yours?

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.1

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Share who you think killed Michael Jackson and why (as a comment)