The dedicated makeshift jazz music stage in Lummus Park for this weekend's Art Deco Weekend festivities, Miami Beach, Fla., 9:30 p.m., January 14, 2022
Since I'm taking a bit of a break (at least a week) from blogging (see below), and since it is Saturday night, I figured I'd have a Jukebox Saturday Night entry.
Above and below: Two more images of the ticketed-only jazz music area in Lummus Park that is part of ongoing Art Deco Weekend events. It features all kinds of food, drink, and craft pavilions along Ocean Drive -- which is a nice change from just having highly disruptively stuff built on the beach.
Predictably expensive -- you can't go anywhere without spending $20 -- but it is still nice. Unfortunately, I never enjoy things like this because, well, I just don't get along with anyone including myself.
You'll note how clear the sky is. We are presently in the "depths of winter" by Miami Beach standards with dew points around 45F and overnight lows as low as 52F or so right on the shoreline.
However, an unwanted big storm system is going to blow through tomorrow with yet another damn unwanted cold frontal passage -- and this one bringing strong northwesterly winds rather than the northeasterly winds with a more east-west elongated one (see animated forecast weather map directly below).
As for this Jukebox Saturday Night entry, I had the idea of featuring the upbeat, catchy, and even outright joyful theme songs of three great Black sitcoms of the 1980s. (Well, two were distinctly Black and one was an interesting mix starring a wonderful lady who died much too young. And two of them technically lasted into the 1990s.)
Let me note upfront, though, that two of these shows -- reflected in the first and third theme song videos below -- are now being shown on Cozi-TV during the day. This is why I have them on my mind.
First up ...
"Shine on Me" (Theme Song to "Amen"), 1986
On the air from 1986 to 1991, Amen starred Sherman Hemsley, who is best known for playing George Jefferson on The Jeffersons once it had spun off from All in the Family.
I'm glad Sherman Hemsley did this show precisely because it was so different from The Jeffersons and allowed him to demonstrate his ability to play different characters and general comedic acting skill. This is true even if there are underlying similarities in terms of the Napoleon-like swagger and bombast).
The show is set in Philadelphia, which was Sherman Hemsley's actual home town. The church featured in the opening is the very real Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.
Next up, a show that is always wonderful to find somewhere in reruns...
"227" Theme Song with vocals by Marla Gibbs and supporting choir, 1985
Marla Gibbs, of course, is best known for her role as Florence Johnston on The Jeffersons, where she was the foil to Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson.
But I think Gibbs had a much more versatile and richer role on the under-appreciated TV sitcom 227. The show had great story lines, likeable characters in real families (yes, even if Jackée was sometimes drag queen-like over-the-top), and a lot of great physical comedy (which was often done in costumes). It was so much better than the vastly overrated and insufferable show The Cosbys.
The show was set in Washington, D.C., at the fictitious address of 227 Lexington Place, which gave it the name "227." However, this address had no directional quadrant (i.e., NE, NW, SE, SW) appended, which every address in D.C. has
Ten years ago when I was still firmly a D.C. resident, I wrote this entry about the show and trying to find the location of the row house as suggested in the opening sequence. It was part of an even longer New Year's Eve 2012-themed post.
However, at the time, I didn't realize (1) that the show was supposed to be set at 227 Lexington Place and (2) that there is an actual Lexington Place NE in the Capitol Hill section of D.C. close to Stanton Park. However, it is just a snippet of an east-west running side street (not part of the main alphanumeric street grid) that exists only between 6th and 7th Streets NE -- hence, it is only a 600 block NE.
Gibbs is now 90 years old and last year had a star added on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last July (when she was overcome and almost fainted). She also made some nice comments about Betty White -- who died on New Year's Eve just 18 days shy of her 100th birthday. (In fact, White would have been 100 this Monday).
Marla Gibbs and Betty White together on the set of Hot in Cleveland for an episode "Cleveland Calendar Girls" that aired on April 22, 2015.
Lastly, here is a theme song that not only do I love, but I also greatly admire and respect the star of the show who sang it ...
"Gimme a Break!" Theme Song, Season 1, with vocals by Nell Carter, 1981
In the case of Gimme a Break!, there are at least three different versions of the theme song -- with vocals by Nell Carter. I happen to like the very first one, which was featured for the first part of season 1 in 1981-'82
As for Nell Carter, I'm a real fan of hers. I deeply admire her both for her amazing singing ability that dazzled the world in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' and and her acting work she did to include Gimme a Break!
I also know that she had a difficult personal life marred with serious tragedies, violence, and adversity that was cut way too short by her weight-related health problems. Carter died in Jan 2003 at the age 54. In fact, I could easily write an entire entry about her.
Instead, I direct you to here: Nell Carter's Life and Final Years after 'Gimme a Break!'
By the way, the ever-useful IAMNOTASTALKER website has a webpage dedicated to the location of the house featured in that first season opening sequence.
The house -- pictured above both in 1981 and 2020 -- is located in, of course, Los Angeles at 515 S Norton Avenue in an area called Windsor Square, not far from Wilshire Blvd. The house is today painted a light green but there is no mistaking it.
As a brief update ...
Apologies but as I alluded to at the outset, I'm probably not going to update this blog for at least a week.
I'm totally burnt out on this blog and even trying to write it -- I just sit here basically paralyzed on what to write and, of course, always being overloaded with inputs from whatever I happen to be reading.
What's more, as much as I would like to write an entry tonight on all sorts of things -- weather, that Tonga underwater volcanic eruption and the resulting (small) tsunamis on the U.S. West Coast, politics, Covid crap, a personal update including on an impending visit by a friend from back in the "DMV" plus other visits and plans -- I just can't do it.
Above: Tim and I at Monty's here in Miami Beach on Thursday evening (yes, at sunset). Below: A short while earlier, Tim holding a small dog belonging to an elderly lady we passed. Even though she was masked and elderly, Tim managed to strike up a friendly conversation with her and suddenly, we were holding her little dog.
I can never do stuff like that.
I just can't keep up this blog for the time being because it is a such a vexing and pointless time sink. I also have a great deal of work to finish for my job (one of those periodic sets of desktop financial monitoring reviews for a set of five state Grantees), and I need to have at minimum three done by the end of January and preferably four with the fifth to follow that first week of February.
OK, that's it for now. Again, barring something major, my next entry likely will not be until next weekend.