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New TVWW Managing Editor's First Scoops: Ice Cream, TV, and Music Videos
July 28, 2015  | By Jim Davis  | 1 comment

[Great news, TVWW readers: We've found a new Manager Editor -- and we're very lucky to have him. Jim Davis, known as Jimmie Dan to those who worked for and with him in his newspaper years, clocked decades of experience editing features and TV, including at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where I was hired by him, and learned so much from him, in the mid-'80s. He worked directly for Gene Roberts, one of the best newspaper editors ever, and now the other TVWW writers and I will be getting guidance and enthusiasm from him. Here we go -- and I expect you'll notice the difference quickly. Maybe you have already: He's been working with us behind the scenes for a few weeks, to test the waters, and now he's joining the masthead and diving in. Welcome, JD! -- David Bianculli]

TV is like most things I love. Like ice cream. I love it so much I have to carefully control how much I allow myself to indulge. 

For dramas, the ones that have invited watching multiple times are The SopranosSix Feet UnderThe Wire, and Deadwood, to name just a few. All were beautifully written and brilliantly acted and directed. 

For comedies, I recorded and watched every episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Both constantly revealed the sad decline in news shows. I now find only one indispensable: Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Beyond her liberal political bent, I enjoy her ability to tell a story clearly and simply. I love that when she interviews someone she gives a summation of why the person is there and then always gives that person the chance to correct any misstatements. Those are rare. 

I have been a devoted follower of Today for generations, but my admiration for Charlie Rose has won the day for CBS This Morning

Time for some ice cream...


Bob Dylan speaks for many of us when he recalls the early days of pop music.

"I don't think what we call pop music today is any worse than it was,” Dylan said, in an interview from his tour program and reprinted on artsandopinion.com in 2005. "We never liked pop music. It never occurred to me [in the '50s] that Bing Crosby was on the cutting edge 20 years before I was listening to him. I never heard that Bing Crosby. The Louis Armstrong I heard was the guy who sang Hello, Dolly! -- I never heard him do West End Blues."

Ah, yes. West End Blues, a twelve-bar blues composition by Joe "King" Oliver.  Oliver recorded it first, but the incomparable recording of West End Blues is the 3-minute-plus, 78 RPM recording made by Armstrong and His Hot Five on June 28, 1928 and was also featured prominently in the Louis Armstrong section of the Ken Burns Jazz documentary series.

It features Armstrong (trumpet), Fred Robinson (trombone), Mancy Carr (banjo), Jimmy Strong (clarinet, tenor sax), Earl Hines (piano), and Zutty Singleton (drums).

Armstrong's trumpet introduction -- a cadenza that has been called the most famous 12 seconds in jazz – is followed by his scat singing, an answer and call variation on the melody played by the clarinetist, and a piano solo by Hines. This recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1979.

Here is a listening guide to the recording. Enjoy...

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Hi, You listed my all time favorite TV show series with the addition of Battlestar Galactica, so I'll be watching your column closely. Yes there are many more favorite shows, but if I had to pick only 4 shows, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Wire, and BSG would be it. I have yet to watch all of, The Sopranos or, The Shield. With any luck I'll get to watch them both, more than once. Now on to your, Blues Listening guide. In a former life I was going to be a harmonica player, thanks to Bob Dylan and Corky Siegel. If your a harmonica fan, I highly recommend Corky Siegel. Watched him play at least six times some 40 years ago, and still going strong. Best harp player, ever.
Jul 29, 2015   |  Reply
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