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!)
LACMA marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a huge show, but leaves out one important fact: Martin Luther was a horrible anti-Semite ... The LA Zoo marks its 50th birthday with a 1966 cocktail party. Rabe and the way cool Toronado (R) also debuted in 1966 ... We’ll take you to a racetrack where the cars do thousand-foot laps in 17-seconds, cost 4-thousand dollars, and are as big as a shoebox ... We go to Newport Beach to see possibly the most awesome Christmas light display you’ll ever see. There will be penguins.
The Institute of Mental Physics, founded near Joshua Tree as a sort of utopian society, happens to be the largest single collection of buildings designed by architect Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. ... There have been many exhibits of Roy Lichtenstein’s work. But our critic says The Skirball Center’s new show stands out because it pairs the pop artist’s work with the comic book illustrations that inspired it, and they deserve the share the spotlight.
Prepare to drool as Mario Batali gives us his Thanksgiving making turkey porchetta recipe ... We meet a woman who’ll spend Thanksgiving organizing dinner for her huge family, taking care of her elderly parents, and being the caregiver for a 91-year old woman ... Rosalie Atkinson explains how the late Leon Russell’s music helped her meet her mom ... The Friends of the Rockhaven Sanitarium in Glendale are celebrating after the city council approved their preferred plan to preserve the historic site.
Pasadena's annual Doo Dah Parade is an artsy, easygoing alternative to the Rose Parade ... California’s coast stretches 840 miles, and has never been captured in one art exhibit, until now ... The LA Ladies Arm Wrestling Fall Brawl ... Comedian Danny Lobell tells us how a tortoise named Mr Tennebaum helped him learn to love living in LA.
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