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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Some Lyrics for Singing Voice Mail Messages

I had written these “voice mail songs” many years ago, when I used to live in Vancouver and we only had answering machines. It was also when I didn’t have to worry about getting “professionals” calling me. If you might have to worry about that, I highly recommend you don’t use these and just enjoy them. The singing messages are about 30 seconds long to sing, which is long for a voice mail, but that’s these lyrics’ “price” of fun. That’s why I recommend no intros, despite some being written as first verses of the songs where you could have the intros.

I sang these lyrics into my answering machines with the real music playing in the background, loud enough so you had the tune, but not nearly loud enough to overpower my voice. Given the recording quality of answering machines then, it was as good as poorly recorded karaoke. That technique can still work today, but given all the tech out there for karoake YouTube videos and recording features right on the cell phones and computers, try recording using the karoake links below with your cell phone or computer recording feature.

Or just record singing solo, unaccompanied.

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Mr Grinch, from the original Dr Seuss Christmas special

This is most appropriate for December, or whenever you feel is appropriate to start having the Christmas theme in your life. However, I don’t think it has to be for December or Christmas. For singing purposes, it is the part from 1:25 in the video below. In the lyrics of the real song in the video link below the lyrics to the karaoke version, it’s the verse that starts with You’re a foul one, Mr Grinch.

Don’t hang up please, like the Grinch,
Leave a message, it’s a cinch!
Leave your number and your name,
And a message if you’re game,
It’s a cin-inch!
The three words that best describe when
Are as follows, and I quote:
“At! The! Beep!”

Mr Grinch Karoake Link to YouTube

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Somethin’ Stupid, by Frank and Nancy Sinatra

This is meant to be recorded straight up from the beginning. To keep your message as short as possible, though, I would recommend skipping the intro and starting at 0:11 of the video below (or the equivalent in the karoaoke video link below the lyrics).

Hello, my friend, you’ve reached (two-syllable name)
But I’m not home to get the phone
And chit-chat with you.
But if you leave a message then, I’m sure that when
I’m home I’ll get in touch with you.
So at the beep please leave your name and number
And why you called me so I won’t be blue.
And then hang up so when I’m home
I’ll know you called and I’ll make sure
I call you…
(I’ll call you –
like at the end of the song)

Somethin’ Stupid Karaoke Link to YouTube

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Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, by Bob Dylan

This one I would absolutely recommend skippping the intro cause it’s 35 seconds long and people will hang up before then, wondering what the heck that music is all about, including if they’ve dialed the correct number. I don’t care if there’s auto-dial these days. They’ll recheck, or think they hit the wrong auto-dial. You’ll have wasted their time, and if it’s long distance, their money. So start at 0:31 or so of the video for a brief lead-in, or the equivalent spot on the karoake video link.

They’ll phone ya when you’re tryin’ to have some fun,
They’ll phone ya when your mind is out to lunch,
They’ll phone ya when you’re tryin’ to make a buck,
They’ll phone ya when you’re tryin’ to get a (beep!),
But never will they phone when you’re at home!
(That’s when) Everybody should get phoned!

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Karaoke Link to YouTube

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Games that Lovers Play, by Connie Francis

I think Wayne Newton has the more famous version of this song, but I was not able to find it on YouTube. However, composer James Last wrote it for Connie Francis, specifically, so this is the original version. The intro is pretty short, but I would still skip it and start at 0:09 of the video below. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a karoake link. If you can find either the Wayne Newton version or karoake link, please do share. Thanks!

There are games that many foolish callers play,
Like how some don’t leave a message come what may,
Never caring who gets hurt along the way,
Let’s not play those games that callers play.

No karoake link was found for Games that Lovers Play

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