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D. Davis RSS Feed (Southern CA)

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Cruisin 1962
Cruisin 1962
Price: $8.99
28 used & new from $4.53

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes You Right Back..., June 15, 2007
This review is from: Cruisin 1962 (Audio CD)
I think "Cruisin' 1962" is the best of the Cruisin' series: songs and product ads, from the radio, just as they were in 1962, as heard on KLIF 1190 AM in Dallas. I play it frequently at social gatherings--in particular, the 4th of July and at swim parties and cocktail parties--and it always, always elicits inquiries and positive responses. The collection of songs is great and perhaps one of the greatest doo-wop style songs, "What's Your Name?" by Don & Juan, is the high-light of this set. The radio ads are fun, and listeners from "back in the day" remember many of the products, ironically enough, fondly: for example, "My mom smoked L & M cigarettes" (remember cigarette ads on TV and radio?). One ad, in particular, always stuns me and leaves me breathless...for the new and upcoming 1963 Chryslers; the radio announcement is a little cryptic and startling, in hind-sight, as this Dallas Chrysler lot is located "out by Love Field," which, as we know, would be the site of John Kennedy's disembarking from Air Force One in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the date of his assassination in Dealey Plaza. What we now can see (or hear, rather) as historical tidbits provide a deeper political and social context and interesting counterpoints to this seemingly frivolous collection of pop music: For example, we hear "Solider Boy" from The Shirelles, just as the Viet Nam War is beginning to escalate. But this music takes us to, let's say, summer 1962; we spent the day at the pool, and tonight, the circus is in town, or maybe we'll go see Marilyn Monroe in "The Misfits," and the summer will be seemingly endless. The very next year, the world will change, and America will see violence in the streets of Dallas and, as Sam Cooke will tell us, "A change is gonna come." But for now, our love is sealed with a kiss and we can Wah-tusi and Twist the night away. See you in September...dd

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort and Looks, June 15, 2007
Born shoes are the best. Comfortable and attractive. They always garner a positive response. Spendee, yes, but worth it.

No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, June 15, 2007
This is crisp and citrusy. Reminds me of grapefruit. A very spring and summery fragrance. It wears well and clean and doesn't conflict with other scents/lotions you may use.

Claiborne by Liz Claiborne for Men, Cologne Spray, 3.4-Ounce
Claiborne by Liz Claiborne for Men, Cologne Spray, 3.4-Ounce
Price: $12.79
43 used & new from $7.74

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent..., June 15, 2007
An excellent fragrance. My favorite. It is crisp and clean and wears well.

Mama's Family: Season 1
Mama's Family: Season 1
DVD ~ Vicki Lawrence
12 used & new from $5.07

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Show...But Not Complete, June 15, 2007
This review is from: Mama's Family: Season 1 (DVD)
What I really want to know is when the unedited episodes of season two will be released. Some have indicated that Mama's Family was a low point in American popular culture. On some levels, I heartily agree. But when I look back at the sitcoms we were watching in the Eighties--The Facts of Life, Gimme a Break, Different Strokes, Family Ties and, Lord, help us, The Golden Girls--I remember Mama's Family as being hysterically funny. It's a shame that these episodes are the edited ones that aired in syndication, and the cuts are in fact noticeable, as a previous reviewer indicates. Nevertheless, there are some very good episodes here, and to call this show only a comedy would be to mis-label it; I remember in the Eighties, TV Guide referred to this show as a comedy/drama. There are dramatic moments between the laughs, and what one sees here, which we did not see in the sketches that originally aired on The Carol Burnett Show, is that Thelma Harper is a full person, a complex character who speaks from sorrow, heartache, fear, jealousy. She is not just a loud-mouth old lady (who reminds me of my Italian grandmother of the same generation), but a character to whom we can relate, and when we learn of her past, her fears, her disappointments, we understand why she is as she is and perhaps behaves as she does, and therein lies the shows value: its revelations into the conflicted human soul, punctuated by laughs. I don't want to over-dramatize that here, but the relationships between the characters are at times very realistic and based in things any of us can relate to: hating your new "floozie-in-law," enduring disappointment from your kids, living with relatives, realizing how much you loved your spouse once he or she is gone, realizing, maybe too late, that the life you are living is not the life you thought you'd be living. These revelatory moments come between the laughs of episodes like The Wedding and Fran's Dress and The Double Standard. Thelma Harper was a product of her times, the pre-Oprahfied times, where we didn't have talk shows to tell us how to feel or how to think of ourselves as victims who need to overcome our roots and beginnings. When I first saw these episodes again, I thought to myself, This plays like a really bad high-school play...And some of the episodes do, and they never transcend that; but some of them are almost extraordinary.

You're Cookin' It Country: My Favorite Recipes and Memories
You're Cookin' It Country: My Favorite Recipes and Memories
by Loretta Lynn
Edition: Hardcover
51 used & new from $4.49

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad..., May 23, 2007
I wasn't sure what to expect from this cookbook. I've always liked Loretta Lynn's homespun "Mayberry" wisdom; and her anecdotes and narratives, while seemingly disconnected and random, are nevertheless charming and succinct. In her recollections, we meet Johnny and June Carter Cash, and, of course, Patsy Cline. We learn that Cline loved rabbit and that Loretta served fried rabbit the last time she saw Cline before her untimely death in March of 1963. I was prepared not to like this cookbook at first glance...Others, like Naomi Judd's, produce consistently disappointing results, but every recipe we've tried from this book has been, frankly--to my surprise--outstanding. The breakfast casserole is superb, and we served it on Christmas morning, with champagne, to rave reviews. The sausage pinwheels and BLT dip were served with cocktails on New Year's Eve, and everyone asked for the recipes. From the desserts...The fudge pie is excellent! The recipes are easy to cook and don't require any alterations or tampering like some cookbook recipes do. I'm a little squeamish about some of the included recipes, like Kentucky frog legs and possum--her daddy's favorite dish (Loretta tells us that possum meat is tough, and must be cooked slowly and for a long time, and oily)--but these are regional dishes and give the book an historical context. These recipes are on par with what I think are the best cookbooks anywhere--church cookbooks that represent real tried and true recipes from Americans. There's nothing fancy here. Just a collection of recipes that have produced some good eats.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2014 8:06 PM PDT

Sarah + 2
Sarah + 2
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $9.36
32 used & new from $4.46

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Words..., October 13, 2006
This review is from: Sarah + 2 (Audio CD)
This collection of recordings from 1962 is on par with Vaughan's After Hours...And probably even surpasses that stellar recording. Vaughan is in extremely fine voice. Her control and restraint create an intoxicating and sophisticated atmosphere. The musical accompaniment is purposely understated and the interplay between the Divine One and her musicians is masterful. This collection has been out of circulation for a long time. This is one you want to snatch up. I would include this in my top 20 vocal recordings of all time. dd

Nun: A Memoir
Nun: A Memoir
by Mary Gilligan Wong
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from $0.01

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Story, June 4, 2006
This review is from: Nun: A Memoir (Paperback)
Mary Gilligan Wong's Nun is quite simply the best of the semi-fictionalized nun memoirs that have been written in the last 35 years. It tells the poignant tale of Mary Agnes Gilligan, good Catholic girl, who leaves her home in Illinois in the 1950s to enter a pre-convent girls' school run by the Sisters of Blessing. Wong's intense narrative chronicles her years with the sisters, roughly 1957 through 1968. At the outset, Mary Agnes is a dreamy-eyed American girl who wants to leave all things secular to follow Christ and live as his bride. But matrimony to a crucified bridegroom takes it toll in many humiliating and infantilizing instances. Those of us who had encounters with nuns will recognize the kernels of painful memory in each of these scenarios that Wong so clearly limns. What happens to dreamy-eyed Mary Agnes? In becoming Sister Mary de Paul, she enters the Medieval world of nuns living in the modern world. The sixties explode outside the convent's walls and Sister Mary de Paul begins to chafe at the restrictions of convent life and at the impositions of her superiors, who treat their novices and postulants as children--all in the name of upholding the Holy Rule that governs a nun's every move and every thought--from the way she walks, to how she talks, to how she eats, to what she does with her eyes; the Rule dictates that a good nun at all times keeps custody of herself. She does not galumph. She is Christ's bride and must act accordingly. What is so refreshing about Wong's narrative is that she does not bash the Catholic Church, the pope, the sisters; although she may challenge some of the Church's outmoded tenets, Wong ultimately acknowledges the gifts she received as the crucified groom's wife: a love for nature and the seasons of the Church, an understanding of the need for solitude and contemplation, the simplicity to be had in a regulated life. What, ultimately, seems to drive the young nun from the convent is her desire to help people, to change the world, to make a do that first before being a nun. But first, she must take on the greatest challenge of all: that of confronting herself, of coming to know herself, not as a nun in a community, not just as a woman, but as a human being.

The Exorcist (The Version You've Never Seen)
The Exorcist (The Version You've Never Seen)
DVD ~ Ellen Burstyn
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $5.63
300 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Sacrifice, Redemption, and Resurrection, December 5, 2003
The ancient Babylonian demon, Pazuzu, unearthed by a priest in modern Iraq, returns, this time to a house in Georgetown in which a little girl and her mother live. The true horror of this 1973 masterpiece lies not in its special effects, which are meant to manifest the demon's presence, but in the narrative's details of each character's life. This film, based on William Peter Blatty's novel, explores the battles between the physical and the metaphysical, between body and soul (cf: Lieutenant Kinderman in his conversation with Father Karras). The true horror lies in the quotidian, in presence of the noonday demon, which is the demon to be feared above all others. The true horror is Father Karras' mother dying alone in an apartment in New York, while her highly-educated son, an oblate, a psychological eunuch, serves God and his dying Church, both ultimately leading to the priest's profound crisis of faith. I've known Catholic religious who've regretted the choice they were forced to make, many years ago, when their religious order forced them to decide between visiting the sick bed of a dying parent or attending the funeral, but not both. Karras' story is not far-fetched at all. Karras' dilemma is a real one and in that lurks the noonday demon (cf: the Roman Ritual) that smiles broadly at you during the brightest part of the day. The other horror is to be found in the broken home of the MacNeil family, and in a little girl's vulnerability, which perhaps invites the Devil in first disguised as Captain Howdy. The narrative is divided into a holy three: Manifestation, Possession, Expulsion. Never mind the special effects. They're silly to us thirty years later because special effects technology has advanced and because these graphic scenes have been parodied so much (remember Bernadette Peters hopping around and foaming at the mouth on The Carol Burnett Show?) that they've become an integral part of our pop-cultural history. "The Version You've Never Seen" has some things good and some bad. The demonic flashes insult the viewer's intelligence. We know a demonic presence is lurking. It's behind closed bedroom doors; it's upstairs; it's by the open window. We don't need the demon's visage flashed on the hood of a stove or in front of the little girl's door to remind us. It's there in the lights flickering and in the phone that rings. The added footage in the doctor's office is brilliant. Today, thanks to HMOs, we can relate very strongly to the battery of tests Regan undergoes and which any child would be put through (only to be prescribed Ritalin) if his or her behavior suddenly changed. These very real scenes help build the suspense and horror later to be manifested. Blatty's novel, unlike the film, let's not forget, takes place in the spring, during Easter, so as to parallel the Christians' Easter myth of death and resurrection. Re-contextualizing it within Halloween will forever make this a Halloween horror flick, but we must not forget that, ultimately, this is an ancient story told in a modern way of sacrifice, redemption, and resurrection.

Sassy: The Life Of Sarah Vaughan
Sassy: The Life Of Sarah Vaughan
by Leslie Gourse
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.00
60 used & new from $3.96

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, September 29, 2003
While Gourse's biography of the Divine One traverses Vaughan's life decade by decade, it does so in a very cursory way, so if you know anything at all of Vaughan's life, you've probably already been exposed to most of the contents of this biography. While this book is decent in its cursory examination of Vaughan's life and her wonderful contributions to American and world music, one doesn't go away from this book feeling he or she has encountered Vaughan on an intimate level...the Devil's in the details, but it seems as though many of the details that would have allowed for an ampler and fuller study of Vaughan on a quotidian level were not provided. There are some interesting photographs of Vaughan, her family, her friends, her coterie of fans and colleagues, included in this biography, but those pictures should have been in bold, beautiful color, full pages, allowing the reader to see the vagaries of Vaughan in all her glamour, sophistication, and wit. One will learn more from listening to Vaughan's vast recording history. Still, this book will be of interest to Sass's devoted fans.

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