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!)
If it hardly rains here, why does NBC-4 need its new highly-promoted mobile Doppler radar truck? ... Chef Vartan Abgaryan’s last restaurant was Cliff’s Edge. And now he’s working at the top of the US Bank Tower. But he’s afraid of heights. ... All the Rolling Stones songs from the 1960s have been remastered in the original mono, and you’ll be shocked at how good they sound. ... OK OK, it doesn’t feel like autumn yet, but it officially arrived this week, and there’s nothing better on a brisk autumn day than cider, so we’ll explore the latest culinary thing: cider houses.
Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam tells us about his new film, "For the Love of Spock," which candidly digs into their difficult father-son relationship ... Kraftwerk, the German electronic music band at the Bowl next weekend, has a couple of surprising fans in pioneering LA Hip Hop DJs Arabian Prince and Egyptian Lover ... We'll talk with the last surviving member of the wheelchair basketball team that rose to national fame in 1947 from a VA rehab hospital in Norco ... And we go in-depth with Felipe Esparza. He's a common sight at comedy clubs and on TV, but years ago he was almost swallowed up by the gangs of East LA.
When Adolfo Guzman Lopez hears the late Juan Gabriel’s music, he remembers the 1970s, listening to Gabriel’s songs on the radio as he and his mom rode in taxis and buses in Tijuana ... Why do waves happen, and why are they shaped like waves? Brains On brings in an expert to explain ... One of the founding fathers of LA punk, John Doe, joins us to talk about his memoir and sing new songs from his latest album ... Film score composer John Williams is at the Hollywood Bowl all weekend, leading the LA Phil in some of his best-known works. We talk with music writer Alex Ross about how Williams pretty much saved the classical music film score.
Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Reviews of the week's new movies, interviews with filmmakers, and discussion.
News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Movies, music, TV, arts and entertainment, straight from Southern California.