Happy birthday, Charlie Kaufman and Tommy Dorsey!

Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman was born on this day in New York City, 1958. Kaufman is known for his quirkiness and bizarre genius as a producer and director in Hollywood. But more importantly, he is a writer responsible for such films as Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. He also wrote a sound play (a live radio experience where the actors read their lines onstage to an audience) in 2005 called “Hope Leaves The Theater.”

Tommy Dorsey

The “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing,” aka Tommy Dorsey, was born on this day in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, 1905. This Jazz trombonist, who also played the trumpet, was a very successful big band leader and composer who never thought much of improvisation and planned things to the T. He was also a sharp businessman and would poach musicians from other bands. Having a natural nose for talent, Dorsey supposedly discovered Frank Sinatra.


PM Radio, your afternoon dispatch of rock and lit news

What’s in a literary name?

One reader and writer contemplates the significance of names in fiction. http://bit.ly/PRU6hq

Courtney Love and rock documentarist Brett Morgan team up to make Kurt Cobain documentary

“We’ve been trying to find the right time to put this film together and the time is now.” http://bit.ly/PVxj4n

AM Radio, your morning dispatch of rock and lit news

Vonnegut, his daughter, and love

“‘How many times have you been in love?’ His answer was instantaneous, and he held up three long fingers.” http://bit.ly/UHJ2Rh

Little Prince dolls to be taken down

The creator of these adorable miniature scenes of Prince being awesome received a cease-and-desist letter. They’ll be gone this afternoon. http://bit.ly/T3IAPY

Happy birthday, Chinua Achebe and W. C. Handy!

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe was born on this day in Ogidi, Nigeria, 1930. A man of many talents and awards, this novelist and poet is also a highly respected literary critic, an ambassador, and a professor of African studies. His very first book, Things Fall Apart, is considered his masterpiece and is greatly read and treasured in both Africa and the States. Today Achebe is 81.

 W. C. Handy

W. C. Handy was born on this day in Alabama, 1873. Handy made a name for himself by composing, compiling, and performing some of the very first blues performances ever held at Carnegie Hall. He also collected many pieces for musical anthologies. His autobiography, Father of the Blues, came out in 1941.

PM Radio, your afternoon dispatch of rock and lit news

Da Chen pays tribute to The Bird Artist’s unsettling setting

“…setting is a local goddess you must kowtow to before you lift your pen and attempt to create an authentic fictional world.” http://n.pr/TLRG22

Mumford & Sons brings folk to the masses

Tom Lamont explores the worldwide appeal of the band’s “hoedown folk.” http://bit.ly/ZBb5Y2

Happy birthday, J.G. Ballard and Anni-Frid Lyngstad!

J.G. Ballard

J.G. Ballard was born to English parents on this day in Shanghai, 1930. As an author he changed the face of science fiction forever. His childhood in China influenced his work, Empire of the Sun, and his controversial novel Crash was made into a movie by David Cronenberg – not the one about racism in LA, but the one about people getting it on after car accidents with James Spader.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born on this day in Norway, 1945. Although “Frida” is a bona fide Countess, she is better known for being one of the four members of the Swedish sensation, ABBA. This princess will go down in history for singing “Dancing Queen” along with many other tunes that are familiar to those of us with no shame.