dimanche 9 mai 2010

Scatman Crothers - Oh Yeah!

Scatman Crothers' musical background :

By the age of 15 Crothers had taught himself enough to be playing in one of the local bars of Terre Haute frequented by Chicago gangsters, including Al Capone, looking to lie low. After time spent touring the with bands such as Montague's Kentucky Serenaders and Eddie Brown and His Tennesseans, Scatman Crothers spent some of the 1930s on the road with his own band. It was while performing in Ohio, in 1936, that Crothers met Helen Sullivan, from nearby Steubenville. They married in 1937 and stayed together for the rest of their lives.

The 1940s found Scatman's band working in Chicago, dabbling on the edges of the new Be-Bop scene. But by 1945 he had disbanded this group and he and Helen had moved to Hollywood to look for work with both his own small combo and as a sideman with other musician's. In 1946 he did a stint as the drummer with Slim Galliard's trio and this steady income helped him to settle on the West Coast.
After leaing the the Gaillard group, in 1948 Crothers was introduced to Phil Harris, a star of the radio and of Jack Benny's program in particular. They became friends and started wrighting songs together including "Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy. Crothers recorded two more hits that same year, "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "Dead Man's Blues." He became a regular guest on the show, and the pair would collaborate on records and in films for many years to come.

Now installed in Los Angeles, Scatman was in just the right place for picking up the film and TV work that would define his showbusiness career over the coming years.

Scatman's cinematographic background :

Scatman Crothers was never what you would call a film star, but he appeared in a whole string of films starting with Yes Sir, Mr. Bones (1951) and ending with the unlikely Transformers:the movie (1986). In between he had many small parts in around 50 movies ranging from the forgettable to classics such as by far the best film adaptation of a Stephen King novel, The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick.

This film, with the perfectionist Kubrick directing, proved difficult for all involved. Jack Nicholson would not bother learning the lines given him until just before shooting a scene as he knew that yet another rewrite would be in his hands by then. Nicholson had to intervene with Kubrick after 70 takes of one scene drove Scatman to the edge of breakdown.

"That movie was all right to make, but you know Stanley likes to do a lot of takes. It gets kind of boring, but when you take a job you do it." - Scatman Crothers

The "Making of the Shining" documentary filmed by the director's 17 year old daughter Vivian, gives us a glimpse of the gruelling working methods on a Kubrick set, but also a look at Jack Nicholson, Scatman Crothers, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and others involved talking about the overall positive experience it had been.

The hard work paid off though and Scatman Crothers won a Best Supporting Actor Saturn award in 1981 for his role as Dick Hallorann, the hotel chef who shares a physic talent with the young boy Danny (played by Danny Lloyd).

Scatman Crothers was good friends with Jack Nicholson, and they appeared in four films together: The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Fortune (1975), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and The Shining (1980).

This is definitely my month's favorite album! Such a big man & deep voice..
If you like jump blues, jazz & rhythm 'n blues you should dig this groovy album.

01 - Exactly Like You
02 - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself A Letter)
03 - Ghost Riders In The Sky
04 - September Song
05 - The Gal Looks Good
06 - Baby Won't You Please Come Home
07 - My Blue Heaven
08 - Nobody Knows Why
09 - St. James Infirmary
10 - The Best Things In Life Are Free
11 - I Got Rhythm
12 - Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
13 - Bonus Track: Blueberry Hill
14 - Bonus Track: I'm In Love Again

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