Blog Posts Eddie Deezen Likes

The Favorite Books of 32 Famous People

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

"What book did you always love?" What a great question! Let's take a look at 32 well-known people and the books they "always loved."

Charlie Chaplin: Oliver Twist

Mel Brooks: Crime and Punishment

 Barack Obama: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Steven Spielberg: Treasure Island and The Last of the Mohicans

Madonna: Gone With The Wind

John F. Kennedy: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, From Russia with Love, and John Quincy Adams

Dean Martin: Black Beauty (Dean only read one book in his life)

Morgan Freeman: Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp

Magic Johnson: Jack and the Beanstalk

Gloria Steinem: Little Women

Groucho Marx: Charlotte's Web

General Norman Schwarzkopf: White Fang

Elvis Presley: The Impersonal Life by Joseph Bennen, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, and The Bible

Angelina Jolie: In Search of the Real Dracula

Ted Kennedy: Lad, a Dog

Sammy Davis, Jr.: Wuthering Heights

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Breyer: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Willard Scott: The Little Engine That Could

Stephen King: Lord of the Flies

Larry King: Lou Gehrig, a Quiet Hero

Ronald Reagan: The Bible

Jim Carrey: Dr. Seuss books

Bill Clinton: The Dick and Jane readers and The Silver Chalice

Darryl Hannah: Horton Hears a Who

Tom Hanks: Crime and Punishment, all the books of Leon Uris, read The Hobbit in fifth grade (but not the LOTR trilogy)

Tim Allen: Curious George

John Lennon: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Wind in the Willows

Will Smith: The Alchemist

Hilary Clinton: Goodnight Moon

James Earl Jones: The Cat in the Hat

Lily Tomlin: The Shipping News

James Dean: The Little Prince

Okay, now it's your turn. What book have YOU "always loved?"

Lina Medina: The 5-year-old Mother

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Lina Medina was born on September 27, 1933, in the village of Ticrapo, Peru. A little over five years later, Lina was to become a world-famous celebrity. Lina Medina is the youngest documented mother in human history, giving birth at the age of five.

Lina was born with a rare condition called "precocious puberty." Precocious puberty is basically the early onset of sexual development. Most girls begin experiencing puberty around the age of ten (boys usually start a little later, around the ages of 11 or 12). Lina had experienced her first menstrual cycle at the age of eight months, although erroneous contemporary reports stated that the event occurred at the age of two and a half or three. She had fully developed breasts by the age of four.  

At five, she experienced a widening of her pelvis and had advanced bone maturation. It was at the age of five that Lina's midsection started growing massively. Her mother, Victoria, thought that her daughter was possessed by evil spirits. When she brought Lina to a hospital to be examined, the initial diagnosis was a possible tumor.

It was soon discovered, to the great shock and surprise of all, that she was actually eight months pregnant. When doctors did a full examination of Lina, they found that, although she was only five years old, she had fully mature sexual organs.

Dr. Geraldo Lozada became Lina's attending doctor, fully taking over the case. Dr. Lozada took Lina to a more advanced hospital in Lima to confirm the pregnancy diagnosis. The diagnosis was confirmed.

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Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About Muhammad Ali

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) was the greatest boxer ever to lift a glove. Heavyweight boxing, without his amazing presence, is nowadays dull and almost completely uninteresting. Can anyone name the current heavyweight champion of the world? Ali turns 71 today, and in his honor, here are ten facts about "The Greatest."

1. He never turns down an autograph request.

As a young boy, Cassius Clay asked his idol, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson for an autograph. Robinson rudely told the boy "I don't got time." Young Cassius never forgot how hurt he was by Robinson's rejection. To this day, he has never once turned down a request for an autograph. He even has a special P.O. box for anyone who wants his autograph.

2. He used to race the school bus.

As a kid growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius didn't ride the bus to school like other kids. Instead of riding, Cassius would literally race the bus to school every morning.

3. A stolen bicycle started his boxing career.

Why did Cassius Clay become a boxer? As a 12-year-old boy, he was given a beautiful new bicycle as a gift. The bicycle was stolen, and when Cassius went to the local police department to report the theft, he met officer Joe Martin. Martin introduced Cassius to the world of boxing, and this was the beginning of his boxing career. Also Cassius vowed that he was "going to whip whoever stole his bike," but the stolen bicycle never turned up.

4. He only wore Elvis' robe once.

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The Only #1 Song Recorded by a Father and Daughter

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

The #1 song on the very first singles chart published by Billboard magazine was "I'll Never Smile Again" by the Tommy Dorsey Band. The record featured a skinny, young lead vocalist named Frank Sinatra. The date was June 20, 1940. Frank's final charting hit was his cover of "The Theme from New York, New York." The record peaked at #32 in 1980. It made its last appearance on the Hot 100 chart on July 19, 1980, giving Frank an unbelievable chart span of 40 years -to the day!

But now it was the middle of the '60s, and yes, while Frank Sinatra was definitely a show business power and legend, he had only one #1 hit during the rock era -that was "Strangers in the Night," which he'd recorded the previous year.

"Something Stupid" was a love song written by C. Carson Parks in 1966. In fact, Parks himself had recorded the original version with his wife, Gaile. But it was a cover version of a year later that was destined to become the classic.

The song was a collaboration of Frank Sinatra's producer, Jimmy Bowen, and his daughter Nancy's producer, Lee Hazelwood. Frank had originally brought the record to Hazelwood and played it for him, asking him if he liked it. Hazelwood replied that he loved it and "If you don't record it with Nancy, I will."

"Okay, let's record it," replied Frank. "Book a studio."

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Love Me Tender: Elvis Presley's First Film

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. This article was selected for publication on January 8th, the anniversary of Elvis' birth in 1935. This post contains spoilers.

Elvis Presley was the hottest act in all of show business by the summer of 1956. The 21-year-old singing dynamo had electrified the entire world in his live show, concerts, and television appearances. His records and albums were selling like the proverbial hotcakes. In the early months of 1956, Elvis' long sideburns, swinging hips, and wild gyrations had made him one of the most famous men in America. But in spite of all his incredible success, Elvis had one major dream- he wanted to be a movie star.

As a teenager, Elvis had been an usher in a movie theater. He studied his silver screen idols: Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and above all, James Dean. Elvis watched Dean's iconic performance in 1955's Rebel Without a Cause dozens of times. It was reputedly his favorite film of all time and he knew the entire movie's dialogue verbatim.

Dean's tragic death at the age of 24 in September of 1955 profoundly affected young Elvis (Elvis was to call Dean "a genius"). There seems little doubt that Elvis' fervent hope at this early point in his career was to become the movies' next James Dean.

Early in 1956, after two screen tests, Elvis was put under contract to Paramount Studios. But Elvis' film debut was to be a "loan out" to 20th-century Fox. Although Elvis had signed a multi-picture deal with Paramount, his manager Colonel Tom Parker had shrewdly incorporated a clause allowing him to work with other studios.

Elvis' first day on the set was August 20, 1956. The film, originally titled The Reno Brothers, was a Western, set in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Elvis' co-stars were veteran actors Richard Egan, Robert Middleton, William Campbell, and Mildred Dunnock. His leading lady was the lovely Debra Paget, who Elvis developed a huge crush on.

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10 Facts You May Not Know About James Bond

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

James Bond: the world's most famous and beloved spy. Every guy wanted to be him and every woman wanted to be with him. From Sean Connery, the big screen's original Bond, to Daniel Craig (the first-ever blond Bond), the star of the biggest-grossing-ever Bond feature Skyfall, agent 007 has captured the hearts of fans the world over. Let's take a look at a few things you may not have known about agent 007.

1. The First Ever James Bond Live Incarnation

Although we all automatically think of James Bond as a British chap, the very first living incarnation of the famous agent was American. In 1954, on CBS television, American actor Barry Nelson played James "Jimmy" Bond on the anthology show Climax! Uh, Jimmy Bond? No kidding -Jimmy Bond.

As if to be deliberately ironic, CIA agent Felix Leiter was converted to British MI6 agent Clarence Leiter for this adaptation -he was played by Australian actor Michael Pate.

2. The James Bond Name

There is a slight dispute about the genesis of the James Bond name. Some claim the name is derived from Sir Thomas Bond, a 15th-century English landowner. In fact, in the James Bond novels, the agent actually says he is related to the knight. Shortly before his death in 1964, Bond author Ian Fleming said he wanted to find a name "as mundane as possible." Fleming claims he ended up getting the moniker from a birdwatching book he had handy. The super spy was named in honor of ornithologist Dr. James Bond.

Many claim the Bond character was based on Fleming himself: they both preferred coffee to tea, both smoked the same kind of cigarettes, both were commanders in the British Navy, and both loved and had the same taste in women.

3. The James Bonds That Never Were

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The Record Company That Rejected The Beatles

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

It was New Year's Eve 1961. A quartet of very young and very hopeful rock musicians who called themselves the Beatles stuffed themselves into the van of their road manager, Neil Aspinall. The four Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and drummer Pete Best, were naively confident.

A young assistant A&R man from Decca Records named Mike Smith had seen the boys perform at their local Liverpool haunt, the Cavern Club, and was quite impressed, perhaps more so by the enthusiastic crowd reaction than the music itself. Based on this live performance, Smith informed the boys' manager, Brian Epstein, that he'd allow the band to audition for him and his boss, senior A&R man Dick Rowe, at Decca Studios in London.

The audition date was set for New Year's Day, January 1, 1962. It was a freezing, snowy day as the boys crowded into Aspinall's cramped van. The journey to London would have normally taken four to five hours, but as luck would have it, their driver got lost and ten hours were consumed. The boys huddled close together inside the van to combat the freezing cold.

They finally arrived in London around 10PM, in time, as John Lennon recalled, "to see the drunks jumping into the Trafalgar Square fountain." According to Pete Best, instead of wisely resting up for the biggest audition of their lives, the Beatles indulged themselves and did a good bit of New Year's Eve drinking.

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The Father of the Countdown

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

We've all seen the classic countdown, you know, in every film about astronauts, every TV documentary about astronauts, every cartoon about astronauts, and even on I Dream of Jeannie. And live from Kennedy Space Center, too!

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 …Blast off!

Well, interestingly enough, the creator of the classic countdown didn't work at NASA or Cape Kennedy. The creator of the countdown was actually a motion picture director, His name was Fritz Lang.

Lang's claim to fame hitherto was the film M (1931) starring Peter Lorre. He also directed another well-known silent film called Metropolis (1926). Both films are now considered classics by film scholars and movie fans the world over.

In the late 1920s, Lang directed one of the very first science fiction films. It was called Lady on the Moon (1929), sometimes known as The Woman in the Moon. A highlight of the film was the launch of a mammoth rocket which looked uncannily like the ones we later launched from Cape Canaveral.

It occurred to Lang that suspense could be created by switching from the conventional. So instead of the expected "one-two-three" count preceding the movie rocket launch, Lang used exactly the reverse. Thus, the first countdown occurred 80 years ago. In a sci-fi movie!

Soon science imitated art and the reverse countdown, as we know it, became standard operating procedure on all rocket launches.

When Hitler and the Nazis came to power in Germany, they used some of Lang's other rocket launch props in their experiments. Ironically, this occurred after Lang himself had been forced to flee Nazi Germany for his life. The generally accepted (but unconfirmed) story is that Lang was summoned to the office of HItler's Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, in 1934.

Goebbels had two messages for Lang. The first was that his film Dr. Mabuse (1933) was to be banned in Germany because of "incitement to public disorder." The second message was that Goebbels was so impressed by Lang's films, he wanted to make him the head of a German film studio.

Lang, having a Jewish background, must have been scared out of his wits during that meeting! He had actually already planned to leave Nazi Germany, but he now realized he had to get out as soon as possible. Since the meeting with Goebbels ran so late, the banks in Germany were all closed by the time it ended. So, having no choice, and fearing the "discovery" of his Jewish blood, Lang fled that very night -with no money.

Lang's wife, Thea Von Harbou, had sympathized with HItler's cause and joined the Nazi Party in 1932. The two divorced  in 1933.

Frau im Mond (1929)
(YouTube link)

"Happy Xmas (War is Over)"

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

John Lennon and the Beatles have a fairly substantial number of Christmas-themed records. The Beatles recorded a special Christmas record for their fans every year from 1963 to 1969. These seven records are not only very funny, but are now quite nostalgic to listen to, so many years after the band's breakup.

After the Beatles split in 1969, three of the four Beatles paid Christmas a special tribute on record. Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" (1979) is typical McCartney lighthearted entertainment. It has remained a classic annual song at Yuletide. Ringo Starr recorded a full Christmas album in 1999 called I Wanna Be Santa Claus. Only George Harrison omitted a Christmas record or album from his solo resume. George did, however, put out that rarest of rare, a New Year's Eve record, called "Ding Dong Ding Dong" in 1974.

In 1969, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono had giant poster-billboards put up around the world in various major cities featuring the inscription (in black letters on a stark white background) "War is over! If you want it. Happy Xmas from John and Yoko." The posters appeared in Paris, London, Hollywood, Athens, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome, and Toronto. Perhaps most pointedly, one also appeared in Times Square, New York, directly across the street from a Marine recruiting center. This was right in the heart of the most political phase of Lennon's fascinating career (the late '60s and early '70s).

John and Yoko jointly composed a song to go along with the posters in a New York City hotel room. The song's actual melody and chord structure were taken directly from a folk song about a race horse called "Stewball."

The John and Yoko song, called "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," was recorded at the Record Plant in New York City over October 28th and 29th in 1971. The song was produced by John's old friend Phil Spector. It featured four guitarists: Hugh McCracken, Stuart Scharf, Chris Osborn, and Teddy Irwin. Famed bassist Klaus Voorman was scheduled to play, but his plane was delayed on the day of recording and an unknown player filled in for him. Nicky Hopkins played "keyboards, chimes, and glockenspiel" along with Yoko. Jim Keltner played drums. The Harlem Community Choir (30 kids strong) sang the chorus. When the song was released, it was credited to John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir.

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Things You Don't Know About Christmas Carols

You’ve probably heard them over and over throughout the last month, and might even be dying for them to finally disappear again, but what do you actually know about Christmas songs other than the lyrics? Here are some fun facts about the carols you keep hearing.

The Man Behind The Music

While he hasn’t created every carol, no man has contributed more to the Christmas music genre than Jonny Marks, who wrote such classics as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver and Gold,” and “Run Rudolph Run.” Interestingly, despite writing so many of modern day Christmas classics, Marks didn’t even celebrate the holiday because he was Jewish.

His career in carols all started when he wrote “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in 1949. The song was based on a poem that was written by his brother-in-law, Robert L. May, for the Montgomery Ward Company. The song was also his biggest hit, selling a total of 25 million copies, making the album the best selling record of all time up until the 1980s.

Sources: Wikipedia #1 and #2

The Best-Selling Single Ever

Because we might only listen to Christmas songs for a short part of the year, they often become some of the most enduring pop songs since they are a lot harder to get burned out on. In fact, the best-selling single of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide, isn’t sung by the Beetles, Michael Jackson or even Justin Beiber, but is instead by Bing Crosby. When you listen to “White Christmas” though, it’s easy to see why it has continued to sell so well throughout the years -Crosby’s classic crooning immediately sets the mood for Christmas, even seventy years after it was released.

Funny enough though, when it was featured in the film Holiday Inn in 1942, the song didn’t do well and was overshadowed by the movie’s other big hit, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart.” Within a few months though, the holidays were nearing and “White Christmas” started climbing up the charts. The melancholy, homesick vibe of the song only helped its sales, being as how it came out right during the middle of WWII, making it feel incredibly appropriate to both those away at war and those who stayed at home.


Thank Hollywood

Think Christmas songs are too commercial now with Justin Beiber, Cee Lo Green and Mariah Carey topping the charts? Well, get used to it because that’s nothing new. In fact, two of the most widely celebrated Christmas songs were written for movies. As mentioned above, “White Christmas” was written for Holiday Inn, and the classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was first performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis, even if the more popular version was recorded later by Frank Sinatra.

Like “White Christmas,” WWII was part of the reason “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was so popular thanks to lines like “let your heart be light/Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.” Interestingly, the song was originally much darker, but Garland and her co-star Tom Drake pushed creator Hugh Martin for a few rewrites to make it a little more cheerful. In fact, the lines above were originally, "It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past” –not quite as full of holiday cheer is it?

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The Only Christmas Song to Hit #1 on the Charts

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Okay, here's your question of the day: What's the only Christmas song to hit #1 on the pop charts? Did you guess Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"? "Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer"? "Frosty the Snowman"? "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"? Maybe Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" (God forbid)? All good guesses, but read on.

In 1958, Ross Bagdasarian (also known as David Seville) created a fictional recording group and dubbed them "The Chipmunks."

(Pause for trivia: four years earlier, Ross was a young actor trying to make it in Hollywood. You can glimpse him as a struggling composer in the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock classic film Rear Window with James Stewart and Kim Novak Grace Kelly.)

The Chipmunks consisted of three animated members. Ross himself took on the voices of two of the Chipmunks: Simon, the oldest Chipmunk, and Alvin, the youngest and most mischievous one. Ross' wife, Janile Klarman, took on the voice of the middle chipmunk, Theodore.

The Chipmunks' voices sounded like three little kids who had been inhaling helium. To get his voice high-pitched enough to play a chipmunk, Ross doubled the speed of the tape recorder he used. Ross had his first number one hit earlier in 1958 with "Witch Doctor," a catchy novelty tune using the same technique.  

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A Few Things About Frank Sinatra

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

This post was selected because today is the 97th anniversary of the Frank Sinatra's birth.

He was "the Chairman of the Board." "Old Blue Eyes." There is no debate about whether he was a great singer. That would be rather like debating whether Michael Jordan was a great basketball player. The debate is whether he was the greatest popular singer of all time. He also happened to be a brilliant, underrated movie actor. He was the ultimate "swinger," leaving countless swooning women and girls in his wake. He loved to brawl, and he loved his Jack Daniels. He was a completely original and unique character in the history of show business.

Okay, that being said, here's a few facts you may not have known about the one and only Mr. Frank Sinatra.

A forced delivery at birth left permanent scars on his neck and cheek and ruptured an eardrum. This eardrum injury is what kept Frank from enlisting and serving in World War II.

When Frank was born, his parents had wanted a girl. They had already picked out the feminine name "Frances," so when Frank was born, they changed the chosen name to "Francis" for a boy.

According to Mia Farrrow (who Frank had been married to briefly), Frank offered to have Woody Allen's legs broken for her after he found out Woody was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn.

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Why Do People Tell Actors to "Break a Leg"?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

The term "break a leg" is unique to actors. Actors often tell each other to "break a leg" and the term is also commonly used by non-actors, who wish the sentiment on actual actors. It means, of course, "Do well!" or "Have a great show!" The term can be used before a stage performance, a show, or an audition. I have never heard it used before filming a movie, but I guess it can be used on that occasion, too.

Interestingly, stagehands do not use the term, just actors. Stagehands will often tell each other "Don't mess up" or the more graphic "Don't f*** up" before a big or important performance.

Like many popular sayings and terms, the origin of "break a leg" is nebulous and disputed. The term "break a leg" was used originally, some say, to discourage evil spirits from deliberately causing one's performance to suffer. According to this theory, wishing someone "good luck" would be invoking the "evil eye." So "good luck" would actually cause bad luck for the actor. This, "break a leg," by this logic, would be a wish for good luck.

The term "break a leg" may be traced back to the Elizabethan language. To "break a leg" in Shakespeare's time meant, literally, to bow -by bending at the knee. Since a successful actor would "break a leg" onstage and receive applause, the phrase would, in effect, be a wish for good luck. However, in the 16th century "break a leg" also meant to give birth to an illegitimate child, which is hard to connect to the theatrical world.

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"Imagine": John Lennon's Signature Song

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Many great composers, like many great actors and many great painters, have a signature work. And so it is with the Beatles. Although, strangely, two of the three prolific Beatle composers have as their "signature" song a non-Beatles tune. Paul McCartney, of course, achieved his greatest heights as a composer with his 1965 Beatles classic "Yesterday." Not so with George Harrison, who penned "My Sweet Lord" in 1969, right after leaving the band. Likewise, John Lennon wrote his most famous and beloved song two years after the Beatles split up, in 1971.  

"Imagine," besides the above, is also, unlike Paul's and George's songs, hotly debated as to its true meaning. To its millions of fans, "Imagine" is a lovely anthem of peace, freedom, harmony, and a oneness of all mankind. To its many detractors, it is communistic, socialistic, anti-religion, and anti-American.

Interestingly, John Lennon, a huge egomaniac, was to admit taking full credit for the song when, in truth, his wife Yoko Ono was its co-composer. According to John, "The lyric, the concept, came from Yoko. But in those days I was more selfish, more macho, and omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of her Grapefruit book -there's a whole pile of pieces about imagine this and imagine that." Lennon was referring to Ono's 1964 book of poetry, and more specifically, a poem within called "Cloud Piece." "Cloud Piece" contains phrases like "Imagine the sky crying" and "Imagine you're a cloud." Lennon, in fact, had the lyrics of "Cloud Piece" printed on the back of the Imagine album upon its release.

"Imagine" was originally released as a single in America on October 11, 1971, peaking at #3 on the charts. It came out in the U.K. four years later, on October 25, 1975, topping out at the #6 spot on the British charts. It hit #1 in Canada and was to be Lennon's only #1 song in Australia.

Like so many great Beatles songs, ardent fans will often argue over the true meaning of "Imagine." Always the most political of the Beatles, Lennon once confessed to being "an instinctive socialist." He also once stated that "Imagine" was "virtually a communist manifesto, even though I'm not a communist and do not belong to any movement."

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A Sincere Homage to Larry Fine

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Louis Fineberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 5, 1902. Louis grew up as a normal boy with an easygoing personality and a devil-may-care attitude (traits he would keep for his entire life).

One day, young Louis (or Larry) picked up a cup of the acid that his father used to etch the jewelry in his jewelry shop and tried to drink it, thinking it was a beverage. (If the incident hadn't been so frightening, one might easily imagine it being in a Three Stooges short.) His father, seeing his son bring the acid to his lips, instantly smacked it out of his hand. This may have saved his life, but the acid spilled on and deformed young Larry's arm.  

As therapy for his now-withered arm, Larry took up the violin. It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this article that Louis Fineberg was later to grow up, begin a career in show business, join the great comedy team the Three Stooges, and become one of the most famous movie actors of all time.

All of the above is true, but it doesn't quite fit, doesn't sound quite right, does it? "One of the most famous movie actors of all time"?

Well, who doesn't know the Three Stooges? Who hasn't laughed, even if while protesting how stupid and silly they were? Larry Fine was "that middle guy" in the Three Stooges. The one everyone was sort of aware of, but no one really cared about. I've even had people ask me if he was Curly. Of course, they had seen his trademark curly, frizzy hair and assumed he was the one they called Curly.

Larry's world-famous frizzy-haired, bald-in-the-middle hairstyle came about when he was performing in vaudeville in 1925 and a comic named Ted Healy, along with fellow comics Moe Howard and his brother Shemp, came into his dressing room and tried to recruit Larry to become a member of their comedy team. They weren't yet called "The Three Stooges," but they would be in a few short years.

In his dressing room, Larry had been washing his hair in a sink and it was dripping wet. Like a fast-growing chia pet, Larry's hair started to blossom out into an Afro-like monstrosity. Moe, Shemp, and Ted all immediately knew Larry had to be a part of their act and Larry, in turn, agreed to sign on. At that time, Larry had a violin-playing act with his wife, Mabel. Ted Healy offered him $90 a week, and even $100 -if he'd drop the fiddle.

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Profile for Eddie Deezen

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