Programming note: Tomorrow, Sunday, I'll be hosting another audio edition of Steyn's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio in the UK at 5.30pm British Summer Time (that's 12.30pm North American Eastern/9.30am Pacific). You can listen from anywhere on the planet by clicking the button in the top right-hand corner here.
Welcome to Part Twenty-Six of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade. Thank you for your kind comments about this audio version of what's been a favorite book of readers. Tom Gelsinon, a First Day Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from Arizona, says of last weekend's instalment:
Garland was a one-in-a-million talent. It's a shame she was so often treated badly, and had such a troubled life. She was as good an actress as she was a singer, and that's saying something. Besides The Wizard of Oz, my favorite of her films is Meet Me in St. Louis. Nice to know that at least one of the guys who married her actually loved her. Excellent, though rather sad, obit of Sid Luft.
Indeed, Tom. In this week's episode we look at the vicissitudes of pop celebrity a couple of generations on - an Eighties rock chick and a Sixties bit-player. The latter intersects with all the big names - Lennon & McCartney, etc - while the former bumps along with an oleaginous talent-show host, a philandering telly bishop, and a game show called Find the Lady, in which the audience has to work out which of the sixteen female contestants is the tranny.
But it's not just pioneering transgender content; both Paula Yates and Denny Doherty (of The Mamas and Papas) have Canadian connections - Denny to Theodore Tugboat (the Canadian Thomas the Tank Engine), and Paula to Sir Sam Hughes, Ottawa's Minister of Militia in the Great War. As I observe along the way:
'There are no second acts in American lives,' said Scott Fitzgerald. But there are if you're willing to move to Canada.
I'll be back tonight, shortly after Rick McGinnis's movie date, with the latest episode of Jack London's Burning Daylight. If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, H G Wells, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Louisa May Alcott, George Orwell and more), we've introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You'll find more details here.
See you next weekend for another instalment of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade.