Will Ryan, leader of the Cactus County Cowboys, calls their brand of music "Cowboy Skiffle." They entertained Mickey Rooney, Margaret O'Brien, Rose Marie, and the rest of the crowd at the Southern California Motion Picture Council's annual holiday banquet, but Off-Ramp host John Rabe got a special preview as they were warming up. In this iteration, Ryan -- the voice of Tigger for 16 years -- is joined by Westy Westenhofer, John "Presto" Reynolds, "Chaparall Katie" Cavera, "Buckaroo Benny" Brydern, and "Cactus Chloe" Feoranzo.
Margaret O'Brien -- "Journey for Margaret," "Meet Me in St Louis," "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" -- was one of the biggest stars of her time. But Hollywood didn't believe that a delightful, spunky, preternaturally talented child actor could make it as an adult. But O'Brien, who turns 75 on January 15, is still as smart, fun, and youthful (she wears diamonds in her nose piercing!) as she ever was. Off-Ramp host John Rabe spoke with her at the annual holiday banquet of the Southern California Motion Picture Council, one of O'Brien's favorite causes.
1/7/2012 UPDATE: The LA Zoo is celebrating Betty White's 90th birthday this month with a cake for the first 900 people through the gate and a special scavenger hunt. Betty won't be there; she's too busy! We taped this interview last summer. It's true, and when she's petting the tapir, she's thinking about the koala, and possibly the elephant. Betty White, America's sweetheart and author of the memoir "If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)," talks with KPCC's John Rabe about the LA Zoo (and its upcoming Beastly Ball fundraiser), acting in "Advise and Consent" under Otto Preminger, and about looking like a grandma.
UPDATE: The state of California may close Los Encinos State Historic Park, at Balboa and Ventura Blvd. in Encino, once "the hub of human habitation in the Southern San Fernando Valley," because it doesn't make enough money. No, it's not a moneymaker, but it's tranquil, fun, and rich in history. Off-Ramp talked with local historian Kevin Roderick about the park a few years ago.
When the alleged Hollywood arsonist was arrested this past Monday, the man responsible was reserve Sheriff’s deputy Shervin Lalezary. A Beverly Hills based lawyer by day who—for all his hard work for LA County, makes just one dollar a year in compensation. That got KPCC’s Kevin Ferguson wondering: how does that work?
Last October, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry delivered a bizarre speech in New Hampshire during which he bounced on his heels, giggled, and struggled to stay on point. Many people thought that he was drunk, and the claims became so widespread that Perry had to publicly deny them. But short of going back in time and taking a blood sample, there was no way to be sure. That is, until a team of researchers from USC came along.
Conceptual art is as much, or more, about the process of experiencing (making, looking at, thinking about, documenting) art as the art object itself. And SoCal, not weighed down by the strictures and structures of the art establishment, was a hotbed of conceptual art. It's the focus of the Orange County Museum of Art's Pacific Standard Time entry, State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970. Off-Ramp host John Rabe talked with artist Al Ruppersberg, a surprise guest, and OCMA's co-curator, Karen Moss. (The exhibit closes January 22d, so go see it now!)
We go to Wilson High School in El Sereno to talk with students in the brand new firefighter magnet school ... The destruction of the Summit Inn hits one community especially hard: the hot-rodders who traditionally stopped at the diner on the way to and from the Bonneville Salt Flats ... Advice for the new LA Rams from linebacker Roman Pfifer, who moved with the Rams from Anaheim to St Louis in 1995 ... Brains On, the science podcast for kids, takes some kids into a glass factory to see how the odd substance is made ... And why you should go to the Huntington right after you see “London Calling” at the Getty.
Meet the East Side Moto Babes, a motorcycle club by women, for women; and the LAPD's class of 1966, men sworn-in the year after the Watts riots. With the Rams returning to town, and their first game this weekend at the Coliseum, we go to Tom Bergen’s, the venerable Irish pub on Fairfax and home of the original LA Rams.
A vacant lot is one of downtown LA's most historic spots ... A local morning radio personality tells how her father chose to commit suicide rather than die of bladder cancer ... We’ll go to the neighborhood that inspired Dexter Story latest jazz album ... Brains On explains how you get an allergic reaction to pollen ... The director of “A Million Dollar Duck,” a new doc about the Federal Duck Stamp contest ... And Tim Cogshell puts together a DIY film festival of continuity errors.
We’ll take you to the devastating Sand Fire to meet a woman who lost her house, a man who almost did, and people who rescued horses ... Genndy Tartakovsky brings back 'Samurai Jack' after a long hiatus. Will he ever get home? ... The Getty scores two firsts with its new exhibit, “London Calling.” ... We’ll have the next piece in Priska Neely’s series on teenage artists. This time, we’ll meet a skinny gay Jewish teenage rapper who tells us why hip hop helps him feel more like himself.
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