Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Elaine Stritch

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Elaine Stritch (1925-2014)

Today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post is a bit different from any other I’ve done to date.  Instead of offering up a recommended recording, or a video, or a book, I’m prescribing a person: the indomitable Elaine Stritch (1924-2014).  Love her or not, she was like a gorilla in your boudoir: impossible to ignore.  She was one-of-a-kind and deserves to be celebrated! Madame Stritch Nearing the End On February 17, 2014, just five months before she passed away on July 17, 2014, at the age of 89, a wheelchair-bound Elaine Stritch appeared onstage at the 92nd Street Y (in New York City) for an interview.  Stritch’s age and infirmity meant nothing; seven particularly good one-liners from that interview are linked below:   The Emmy Award-winning actress Holland Taylor (born 1943) said this about her long-time friend and mentor, Elaine Stritch: “There was always the element of danger with her, and the possibility of dying of embarrassment.”  That there was. Stritch was, in turns, loud, domineering, irascible, volcanic, and funny as hell, a consummate entertainer who carried – and happily celebrated! – her many demons on her sleeve.  A self-professed “gravel voiced broad,” her career – which began in the 1940s – […]

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Music History Monday: Elaine Stritch: An Appreciation

We mark the death on July 17, 2014 – 9 years ago today – of the Broadway and television actress Elaine Stritch, in Birmingham, Michigan, at the age of 89.  I personally have a soft spot in my heart for Ms. Stritch the size of Manitoba. She was your quintessential brassy, tart-tongued (a euphemism for foul mouthed), cigarette smoking, alcohol-soaked blonde who took nothing from no one and could sell a song like nobody’s business.  (Please note that I didn’t say “sing a song” but rather, “sell a song.” Her ability to do so will be discussed in tomorrow’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post.) It is my great hope that by the time you finish this Music History Monday and tomorrow’s Dr. Bob Prescribes posts, you will have come to love her almost as much as I do. My decision to profile Elaine Stritch is, in my estimation, a great sign of respect, given the other musical events of the day.  Both the tenor saxophonist John Coltrane and the singer Billie Holiday died on this date, in 1967 and 1959, respectively.  (Be assured that both of these luminaries – Coltrane and Holiday – will receive their due on these pages sooner […]

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