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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Excellent Crooner and Organist Earl Grant

Nat "King" Cole was one of the smoothest singers around. He also played a pretty mean piano. In the shadows of Nat was another talented musician named Earl Grant. He had a similar voice and also played the piano as well as the organ.

Nat seems to have almost vanished from the memory of today's music scene, except where his daughter Natalie tries to keep it alive. Poor Mr. Grant has vanished altogether, so today's Nostalgic Rambler blog wants to bring his music to the forefront.

One of the most beautiful melodies and lyrics I've ever heard is the song "The End" sung by Earl Grant recorded for Decca in 1957. It was a top ten hit. Listen to it by clicking here and see how magical this classic record is. What a beautiful love song. Romance at its finest. I'm not kidding.

Nat sang some songs in Spanish. I was surprised to find that Earl sang his hit "The End" in German! Listen to his version in German here!

Oddly enough even though Earl Grant had similar talents as Nat "King" Cole, he also jumped on the Cole bandwagon as well and recorded an album entitled "Earl Grant Sings And Plays Songs Made Famous By Nat King Cole."  I wonder if Nat ever sang "The End?" Would have been nice to hear his rendition.

Swingin' Gently was an instrumental hit for Earl Grant. It's pretty catchy. You can listen to it here.

Earl Grant was a star that dimmed in an instant. He died at the age of 39 in a car accident back in 1970.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Love Lucy in Color coming to CBS?!

Since its inception my all time favorite TV show has been broadcast in black and white. That's the way "I Love Lucy" was filmed in the 1950s. It seems frozen in time that way. Safe. Nostalgic. And unfortunately for today's younger set a turn off.

We have had several younger visitors over the years from Germany, where "I Love Lucy" isn't well known at all. Invariably when I show them the program here, they groan "Oh, it's in black and white?!" They begrudgingly sit through the first few minutes until they realize how funny the show is. Then they can't get enough.

As you very well know (if you read this blog regularly) I don't have much interest or patience for today's television. Why can't CBS just show "I Love Lucy" in prime time like they did in the 1950s? Well, according to a couple of websites I found, "I Love Lucy" is returning to CBS prime time ICOLOR!  

Unfortunately not all of the 180 shows will be colorized, but it's a start. According to the rumors CBS will air two shows on December 20th 2013  including the famous grape stomping episode. I hope the rumors are true.

Several years back CBS aired a colorized version of the Lucy Christmas special which garnered huge ratings. Lots of fans squawked at the color scheme as it wasn't true to the original set. It sounds like they are going to re-do that show to make it look more realistic.
I'm sure if Desi Arnaz had had color capability in 1951 we'd be watching the show in color for years. CBS has milked millions out of the black and white shows, so why not rejuvenate it by colorizing? I'm looking forward to it. 
Colorized or original, it beats anything they can come up with today. 

And for those of you who want to see Lucy and Desi in color today, they starred in two color pictures for MGM, The Long Long Trailer and Forever Darling.

And as always remember "I Love Lucy" is a Desilu Production!