To approximately half our Canadian readers, Happy Simcoe Day, Happy Colonel By Day, Happy British Columbia Day, Happy Natal Day, Happy Nunavut Civic Holiday or Happy whatever this August Monday is known as in your neck of the woods.
For those who don't have today off, well, neither do I. I'm returned to the land of the free-ish tonight, Monday, on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific – with a rerun at 12 midnight Eastern. I hope you'll dial us up - and stay tuned for a full week of me on TV and radio in the days ahead.
~The funky Chinamen just got funkier: A few years ago a guy was arrested on oldies night at an Isle of Wight pub for the hate crime of singing "Kung Fu Fighting". And ever since, as you'll know if you've seen me on stage in Australia, Canada or Mansfield, Ohio in recent years, I've taken to performing the classic Seventies hit as the unlikely hill for western civilization to die on. (Approximately half the Aussie cabinet have been exposed to my rendition of the number.) Because, if "There were funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown" is a crime, then nothing is not a crime.
I'm not sure if funky Chinatown has a funky bookstore, but, if it has, be sure to swing by and pick up the brand new Chinese edition of my enduring bestseller America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It. I've no idea why it has a French tricolor eyeball on the cover (top right), but I'm sure there are good reasons - and perhaps some of our many readers in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing will enlighten us.
~After last night's Song of the Week, our indispensable expert in boomer pop, Dan Hollombe, writes à propos one-hit wonders:
Does the name Ruthann Friedman ring any bells? I assume not, but like eden ahbez, she was the composer of a monster #1 hit, and to the best of my knowledge, never wrote anything else that charted at all.
I'll give you a couple of hints: Like "99 Miles From L.A," there are no rhymes in the verses, but one massive triple-rhyme in the bridge. Also of interest to you, one of the two lead vocalists hails from New Hampshire. It topped the charts for four weeks until it was finally superseded by "Light My Fire." Give up? Click here.
Nice havin' ya back.
Do click on Dan's link - I had a phase in my disc-jockey days where I was very partial to that record. Latterly, alas, whenever I find myself singing it, I realize by the middle section that I've somehow segued into a devastating Rush Limbaugh parody thereof.
However, I'm truly grateful to our Californian correspondent for reminding me of '99 Miles from LA", which is a great song - although Dan may be disturbed to hear that my very favorite version of it is by Johnny Mathis. In a six-decade career in which he's taken a crack very credibly at almost everything, "99 Miles from LA" is one of Mathis' very best - and I'm always a wee bit disappointed if I go to hear Johnny in concert and he doesn't do it. The song was written by Albert Hammond, Gibraltar's finest (not sure where he stands on Brexit), and Hal David, who also wrote "24 Hours from Tulsa". I once had a vague idea for a medley of the two numbers as "99 Hours from Tulsa" and "24 Miles from LA".
~Our upcoming inaugural Mark Steyn Club Cruise from Montreal to Boston is fast approaching. We hope you'll want to join me and my doughty crew Michele Bachmann, John O'Sullivan, Phelim McAleer and Ann McIlhenney, plus special musical guest Tal Bachman, as we attempt some seaboard versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Tales for Our Time, our Sunday Poem and other favorite features. If you're thinking of joining us, don't leave it too late, as the price is more favorable the earlier you book.
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a Topical Take on Zimbabwe's first post-Mugabe election. Our guest film programmer Kathy Shaidle concluded her series of summer movie picks with Rita Hayworth in Gilda, and our Song of the Week told the story of a strange enchanted boy, who wrote a strange enchanted song. If you were too busy with Simcoe Day preparations, we hope you'll want to check out one or two of the foregoing.
Thank you so much for all the Mark Steyn Club subscription renewals over these past few weeks. As our second year cranks into top gear with our inaugural Club Cruise and more, I know very well that I would not have survived the last hellish eighteen months without the support of our members around the world. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our limited-time Gift Membership.
Catch you on the telly tonight with Tucker live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.