Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Singer Gisele MacKenzie, 1950s star with class

I often wonder if today's TV personalities will be remembered. Probably not when the Nostalgic Rambler can recall many very talented stars who once dominated entertainment but are now distant memory.

Take Gisele MacKenzie for example. She was a singing sensation for years as she guested on everyone's TV show, from Ed Sullivan to Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Comedian Jack Benny was in awe of Gisele, not only for her singing talents but her violin abilities. He showcased her on one of his shows which led to her long term gig on "Your Hit Parade." Several years later she headlined her own "Gisele MacKenzie Show." Click here or here. Here is a clip of her with pianist Roger Willams (see the recent blog I did on this great piano man). Oddly enough these shows are now on Youtube through a friend of Gisele's who said MacKenzie had her whole series on film, archived and in her garage getting ruined by the California heat!

After seeing her on a Jack Benny rerun several years ago, I found one of her RCA record lps (pic above--dontcha love those earrings?) in a thrift shop. Collector's Choice released a cd of her recordings which is about the only collection available and highly recommended.

Gisele was a Canadian but eventually obtained her American citizenship. She died in 2003 but apparently was still working theater and concerts in her later years.

As you can see from the pics, she was on the cover of TV Guide, kids used to play with her paper cutout dolls, and she was seen by millions every week. Nice to bring her back in the spotlight this time on the Nostalgic Rambler Blog.

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