Friday, October 31, 2014

Ed Wood's BLOOD SPLATTERS QUICKLY: 'Hellfire' (1972)

Satan looms over a young maiden in this illustration for Ed Wood's "Hellfire."

NOTE: This article is part of my ongoing coverage of Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Marine graves at the Battle of Tarawa
The story: "Hellfire," originally published in Horror Sex Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1 from Gallery Press in January 1972.

Synopsis: On a remote island in the Pacific Ocean with an active, phallic volcano called Zakaaka, the Devil rules over the souls of the damned, who have willingly pledged themselves to him. There, he keeps a harem of adoring, devoted women who attempt to satiate his never-ending lust. He consorts with and impregnates one of his mistresses, who begs him for more sex. Taking on human form, he becomes a character called Lived and stalks the streets of an unnamed city, searching for prostitutes, hustlers, and degenerates. His first encounter is with a young African-American prostitute named Paulette, whom he lures into an alley and turns into his eternal sexual slave. He then strikes up a conversation with a blond homosexual man, who calls on four male friends when he feels threatened by Lived. These men are no match for the Devil, who quickly defeats them and turns them into his subjects. He reveals that the word "lived" is "devil" backwards and declares he is always on the lookout for new souls to claim.

Wood trademarks: An island in the Pacific (setting for Ed's own WWII experiences); active volcano (cf. Venus Flytrap); powerful, cape-wearing ruler with a bevy of obedient women (cf. Orgy of the Dead); the phrase "Beware... take care" (cf. Glen or Glenda?); dialogue which places an emphasis on "facts"; sexualized reference to snakes; streetwalkers doomed for eternity (cf. Orgy of the Dead); female character whose name has a masculine root (prostitute Paulette, as opposed to Glen/Glenda or the female gang members in The Violent Years); traumatic impregnation scene (cf. Drop Out Wife); punning name for a sinister character ("Devil" becomes "Lived" just as "Dracula" becomes "Dr. Acula"); use of the Devil as a character (cf. Glen or Glenda?); and an angora sweater (in this case, worn by the Devil's mistress).

Excerpt: "He put more pressure around her waist and led her toward the alley near at hand... and at that point he drew back the scarlet cape and his nudity was exposed... there was the shaft and the things she had seen at the hockshop many times... however there were only two of them... not three... but the ebony eyes told her to take the shaft in both hands, and to put the shaft between her deep purple lips and take it with her tongue and to drive it deep down her throat where she would gag and choke and sputter... but swallow the venom... and on her knees in that alley she would again look up into the eyes and some of the fluid would spill over her chin and down into the cleavage of her open blouse and she would know she had visited with LIVED..."

[Note: The above is one continuous sentence; the ellipses are Ed Wood's, not mine.]

Reflections: This is a tricky story to review, since its bizarre tone and surreal, shifting structure seem intended to obfuscate rather than enlighten. "Hellfire" is stubbornly weird, even by Ed Wood's standards. It is significant to me that the author chose an island in the Pacific as his setting for hell on earth, since that's where he saw action as a Marine in World War II.  Ed survived the three-day Battle of Tarawa in November 1943, but over a thousand of his fellow Marines didn't. Ed also endured torture at the hands of the Japanese. One of my pet theories about Wood's life is that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to these events and that his later alcoholism and abusive behavior towards his wife were rooted in survivor's guilt. PTSD might have also played a role in Eddie's work, including this story. Our protagonist, the Devil, is a surprisingly complex, hard-to-define character. Like Johnnie in "Scream Your Bloody Head Off," he is a massively-endowed super-stud who fucks without conscience or compassion. But he has weaknesses, too. He longs for the human blood which will never flow through his own veins for instance. And while the aliens of Plan 9 surprised the earthlings by declaring their faith in God, the Devil cringes at the very mention of the word "God." Since he is always scouting for new recruits, so to speak, the Devil cannot relax and never seems comfortable or contented. His is a restless, transitory life.

Party animal Jonathan Edwards
Tonally, "Hellfire" is closest to Ed's script for Orgy of the Dead from 1965. It is not difficult to imagine the Devil as a first cousin of Criswell's character from that film, the Emperor. Just like Criswell, the Devil of "Hellfire" wears a cape and presides over a harem of obedient women who are being punished eternally for their sins. Both characters speak in a rather lofty, formal way, too, and carry themselves with an air of haughty arrogance. Significantly, the Devil's post-coital exchange of dialogue with his mistress bears a striking resemblance to the scenes in Orgy between Criswell and Fawn Silver's never-satisfied, always-pleading Princess of Darkness. To wit:
     "There will be another time," he muttered as he donned his scarlet cape.
     "But I have not finished. I haven't completed all that I can give you. You have left me lacking. I am only human, master."
     "If you were not human... you would not be here!"
Morally, it's tough to say exactly where Ed Wood was coming from with this story. One obvious interpretation is that this a straight-up, Jonathan Edwards-inspired sermon in which homosexuals and prostitutes are doomed for all eternity in a fiery pit. Support for this theory lies in its ominous closing sentence: "Beware... take care... Lived searches everywhere!" But just as in Orgy of the Dead, Ed Wood emphasizes the sexual aspects of eternal damnation rather than the punishment or suffering. Certainly, men inAnd in both works, it is unclear what happens to men in the afterlife. Only women are required to please the Emperor and the Devil. For that matter, it's unclear how either of these characters' operations work. At one point in "Hellfire," it's implied that the Devil/Lived keeps his island stocked with fresh souls by impregnating the women he has enslaved. But in the rest of the story, he has to assume human form and prowl the streets for new victims. And what are we to make of the racial aspect of this strange tale? Paulette, the prostitute, is black, an extreme rarity for an Ed Wood character. The Devil reassures her: "There is no color barrier in my sphere." Is it a racial breakthrough that Satan is colorblind? Here, as elsewhere, "Hellfire" yields no easy answers.

Next: "No Atheists in the Grave" (1971)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

So this dumb blog is 5 years old today! Whoop-de-freakin'-do!

Remember this summer when we all found out that Hello Kitty is actually not a cat at all?

This blog started on October 30, 2009. That makes today the fifth anniversary of Dead 2 Rights. I thought that I should acknowledge this milestone in some way. That's what this post is: me acknowledging a milestone. Hi, milestone! Do you feel acknowledged? Good. Let's move on with our lives.

Ed Wood's BLOOD SPLATTERS QUICKLY: "Scream Your Bloody Head Off" (1972)

A woman's negligee gives her a bat-like appearance in this vintage Ed Wood story.

NOTE: This article is part of my ongoing coverage of Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

The magazine where this story appeared.
The story: "Scream Your Bloody Head Off," originally published in Horror Sex Tales, Vol. 1, No. 1 from Gallery Press in January 1972.

Synopsis: During a raging winter storm, jealous wife Stella tries to stab her womanizing husband Johnnie with a butcher knife, but at the last second Johnnie is able to grab the knife and force it into Stella's chest, killing her. Through flashbacks, we learn both Johnnie and Stella had affairs with a neighbor, Barbara. Hopelessly trapped by the weather, the man must find some way of disposing of his wife's body without being spotted by neighbors. After an initial bout of panic, everything seems to be going Johnnie's way. The wayward husband, however, had not accounted for one pesky remnant of his wife's corpse which refuses to cooperate.

Wood trademarks: Tempestuous weather; marital discord; alcohol, particularly whiskey; repeated references to graves, cemeteries, and coffins; the phrase "the animal instinct" (cf. Glen or Glenda?); the phrase "your Puritan upbringing" (cf. Orgy of the Dead); character name Barbara (cf. Glen or Glenda?); reference to snakes; sheer negligees; anguished inner monologue; hallucinations.

Excerpt: "He had never wanted a drink so badly in all his life.  There was plenty in the living room... and he fought through the cobwebs and spiders of his mind... and the red oozing stuff which seemed to cling to his feet and his hands as he made his way through the dark hall and into the adjoining living room where the single lighted lamp did little to clear his mind."

Reflections: This is a genuinely unsettling Tales from the Crypt-type quasi-morality tale in which the protagonist's sinful actions are repaid with a ghoulishly appropriate comeuppance. Given what I have read of Ed and Kathy Wood's own noisy, profane, and sometimes violent arguments in the 1970s, it is impossible for me not to see Johnnie and Stella as stand-ins for the author and his wife. Perhaps through this story, Ed was working through frustrations about his own domestic life. The story is told by an omniscient, third-person narrator, but we get glimpses into the minds of the husband and wife as they think back to the circumstances which led to the central tragedy. The pornographic elements of this story are somewhat gratuitous, perhaps, but they do not distract from the overall narrative. There are no sex scenes in "Scream Your Bloody Head Off," just memories of past romantic encounters and boastful descriptions of the characters' own physical attributes. Stella's breasts are complemented on their softness -- always a plus in Wood's world -- while Johnnie is described as a massively-equipped stud undone by his own libido. Those in search of campy touches will appreciate two of Ed's euphemisms for the female sex organ: "love box" and "love nest."

Next: "Hellfire" (1972)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ed Wood's BLOOD SPLATTERS QUICKLY: An introduction

Blood Splatters Quickly reintroduces America to the short fiction of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

"It got to the point where, when one of the kids got an ear infection and we needed to buy antibiotics, [my wife] Tabby would say -- half-joking and half not -- 'Hurry up, Steve, think of a monster.'"
-Stephen King on his short story-writing career

I have decided not to write an article about Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (O/R Books, 2014), the newly-published volume which contains several dozen short stories written by Ed Wood in the early-to-mid-1970s, most of them unseen for over 40 years. Instead, I'm going to write 33 articles about it... 34, I guess, counting this one. After some careful consideration, you see, I have come to the conclusion that it would be best to cover each of the stories individually. As I've been making my way through these marvelously twisted and unmistakably Wood-ian tales, one persistent thought has been gnawing away at me: "How am I ever going to condense this down into one Ed Wood Wednesdays piece without skipping a bunch of stuff?" Well, who says I have to skip anything? So instead of my usual 5,000-plus-word behemoth (and do you realize that I've now written about a quarter of a million words about ol' Eddie at this point?), Blood Splatters Quickly will receive coverage here on a day-by-day, story-by-story basis. That way, I'll be able to discuss each entry in the book at my leisure while also providing a more steady supply of new content at Dead 2 Rights. Doesn't that sound like fun? Trust me, this is gonna work like gangbusters or my name isn't Adkon Telmig.

While the stories contained within its covers were written by Ed Wood, the omnibus Blood Splatters Quickly owes its existence to one man: Hollywood resident and tireless Ed Wood booster Bob Blackburn, whom you may remember from my coverage of I Woke Up Early the Day I Died . A lifer in the radio business himself and the son of a prominent Seattle sports announcer, Bob met Kathy Wood, Ed's widow, in 1992 and became a good friend to her in the last 14 years of her life. Significantly, Bob assisted her in an ongoing quest to make sure that Eddie's life and work were not forgotten even though the man himself died in 1978. Besides getting I Woke Up Early made into a full-length, all-star motion picture in 1998, Bob and Kathy also arranged for a New York firm called Four Walls Eight Windows to finally publish Ed's previously-unseen Hollywood Rat Race, along with attractive new editions of Death of a Transvestite and Killer in Drag. Kathy Wood passed away in 2006 at the age of 84, and Bob became the caretaker of the Edward D. Wood, Jr. estate. His dedication to Wood's memory has not wavered in the intervening eight years. His latest accomplishment, of course, is Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr. The 33 short stories reprinted here were originally cranked out for pornographic publications known euphemistically as "men's magazines" between roughly 1971 and 1975. Though explicitly sexual in nature, many (or most) of the tales have a horror or supernatural element as well.

Sam Yorty
Bob Blackburn himself pens an affectionate, informative introduction to the new book. He gives a thumbnail history of Ed Wood's literary career, including a retelling of Eddie's long association with Bernie Bloom at low-end Pendulum Publishing in the 1970s. The introduction also includes a biographical sketch of Ed Wood's entire colorful life, touching on his stint in the Marines during World War II and the low-budget film career which made him famous/infamous in the 1950s and beyond. Ed's work with the Autonetics aviation firm and controversial Los Angeles politician Sam Yorty are also covered. Not ignored in all this, of course, is Eddie's decades-long struggle with alcoholism. This crucial subject is treated in a matter-of-fact way, highlighted by vivid details. (An example: "Ed would take a thermos of vodka to work with him and by the end of the day, he would be smashed.") But Kathy's life is given due attention as well; this may be the first time that her post-1978 life has ever been described at any length in a book. A little of the woman herself shines through in the process. "Kathy was a very private person," Blackburn writes, "and couldn't quite understand the growing fascination with Ed's work and the re-appraisal of his films and writings. She later told me that Ed would have loved it all, but it was too late." Those all-important words "too late" cast a pall over Eddie's entire posthumous career, including this very book.

Before we go, here's a neat video introduction that Bob recently made for an Ed Wood film festival. It's shot in front of the infamous "Yucca Flats" apartment building (6383 Yucca Street, Los Angeles, CA 90028) where Ed and Kathy spent their last few turbulent years as a couple. Just as in Ed's day, the building is still located next door to a 7-11 convenience store. The famed Capitol Records building (glimpsed in Nympho Cycler) is just a few blocks to the east. Head west on Yucca and you'll soon find another quintessential Wood location: Pla-Boy Liquor (still in operation as of this writing).

NEXT: "Scream Your Bloody Head Off" (1972)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lunchboxes of my youth: fear comes with its own Thermos

As a child, I spent my lunchtimes staring at the coked-out visage of Ms. Carrie Fisher.

Springview Elementary: a chamber of horrors.
The onset of fall always brings back memories of my own elementary school days. Unfortunately, most of those memories suck, and I would rather repress them than relive them. No offense to my former classmates, who have grown into thoughtful and friendly adults, but you scared the living shit out of me when you were children. Kids can spot weakness in a second, and I was lousy with it. I made the bullies' job too easy by being such a tempting and passive victim. (Fun fact: one of my childhood tormentors eventually did some prison time, a fate I had secretly predicted for him years earlier.) What would I have done differently, knowing what I know now about the world and about human nature? Just about everything. Back in the early-to-mid-1980s, though, I was as clueless as they come. I mean, I was alert enough to realize I was not getting along well with my classmates, but I had no idea why that was or what I could do to change the situation. Walking to Springview Elementary School in the morning, I felt like a condemned man walking the green mile. I would not have known the words "alienated" or "ostracized" in those days, but both of those adjectives applied themselves manifestly to me. There was no sadder day on the calendar than the last day of summer vacation. I still shudder to think about it. For most kids that age, lunch and recess provide a welcome relief from class. In my case, it was just the opposite. At least in class there were rules and some semblance of order. The playground and, especially, the lunchroom were consequence-free zones where all sorts of torture, mostly psychological but some physical, was either tolerated or ignored.

Despite all this, I still have some residual affection for lunchboxes. I might have been part of one of the last generations in this country who actually got to carry the metal ones to school with them. These were banned years ago because -- and this should come as no shock -- horrible, bratty children were using them as weapons. That's how much kids suck. A second-grader gets a beautiful metal lunchbox in his possession, and his first thought is, "I should just straight-up brain somebody with this thing. It looks like it could cause serious injury." So now, metal lunchboxes exist only as collectibles for sad grown-ups like me. I don't actually buy them, mind you, but on especially lonely nights I do browse through Ebay and see if I can find any of the lunchboxes I carried as a kid. In fact, I think I can trace my entire youth through those long-gone food containers with their matching Thermoses. Let's take a trip down Pointless Nostalgia Lane, shall we?
(Note: I do not currently possess any of these lunchboxes. These are all pictures I yoinked off the Internet. Even if I did still have these, they wouldn't be worth anything because I treated these lunchboxes as carelessly as I treated all my possessions in those days. I was a profoundly stupid child.)

Was the Twilight Zone's 'Eye of the Beholder' episode just about lousy doctors?

"I'm sorry, Miss Tyler, but we did all we could... which was absolutely nothing."

It's an episode with which all fans of classic television in general and classic science-fiction in particular should be familiar. Written by Rod Serling himself, "The Eye of the Beholder" first aired as part of CBS' The Twilight Zone on November 11, 1960 at the very tail end of the Eisenhower era. It's a classic morality tale with an intriguing switcheroo at the center of the plot. In some unnamed and unspecified future society, men and women considered attractive by our modern day standards are extremely rare and deemed hideous outcasts, while people with pig-like snouts, drooping upper lips, and jutting foreheads are held up as the norm.  To make things even worse, all of these people live in a totalitarian society where conformity is the law and deviation is a crime. Using a shadowy, film-noir-esque hospital as its unsettling backdrop, the plot of "Eye of the Beholder" focuses on one unfortunate woman, Janet Tyler (portrayed at various stages in the program by both Maxine Stuart and The Beverly Hillbillies' Donna Douglas), who has undergone countless unsuccessful surgeries to look more like the twisted, monstrous people around her. If her latest procedure does not prove successful, she will have to live in an isolated community with others of her kind, making her a social leper. The mood of "Eye of the Beholder" is extremely tense, as Janet impatiently waits for doctors to remove the bandages from her face. The lighting, set design, cinematography, music (by Bernard Herrmann), and makeup all combine to give this episode the feel of a nightmare, which helps to explain why it made such a strong impression on viewers. Decades after its initial airing, the sketch was given an elaborate parody on Saturday Night Live, with Pamela Anderson in the Janet Tyler role. Along with being remade for an early 2000s Twilight Zone revival, "Eye of the Beholder" has been referenced on such TV series as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Futurama. There are even "Eye of the Beholder" action figures from Sideshow Collectibles.

But is it possible that "The Eye of the Beholder" is not about hypocritical beauty standards or the dangers of conformity but rather about doctors who just don't know what the hell they're doing? This is a tricky issue, because one of the most sympathetic characters in the episode is Dr. Bernardi, portrayed by William D. Gordon. Though he tries to be impersonal, the kindly doctor cannot help but sympathize with Miss Tyler and even casts doubt upon the wisdom of an all-powerful ruler known simply as "the Leader," even though he knows it is treasonous to do so. Even with his pig nose, Dr. Bernardi seems like a nice guy. But I put it to you, dear readers, that he might not be much of a doctor... at least as far as the whole "medicine and surgery" thing is concerned. In one scene, he tries to explain to Janet about the medical community's past failures in her case:
"Up to now, you haven't responded to the shots, the medications, any of the proven techniques. Frankly, you've stumped us, Miss Tyler. Nothing we've done so far has made any difference at all. However, we're very hopeful for what this last treatment may have accomplished. There's no telling, of course, until we get the bandages off."
Actor William D. Gordon recites this eerily dry speech like an elementary school principal patiently explaining to his students why the field trip to the amusement park has been cancelled in favor of an all-day algebra marathon. So what is the latest "treatment" upon which the good doctor has pinned his -- and Janet's -- hopes? Some vaguely-described "injections," presumably different from the previous "shots" which also failed to work. The Twilight Zone tends to be a bummer, so I don't think many viewers were really holding out hope for Janet to turn into a nice, well-adjusted pig lady at the end of the episode. Besides, the prejudiced society she inhabits seems pretty rotten, so we wouldn't want her to conform to it anyway. But, still, Bernardi's a medical professional, and it's his job to make Ellie Mae Clampett look as much like Arnold Ziffel as possible. So how did he do? Well, let's take a look at the results.

Quite a discrepancy, wouldn't you say?

That, sir, is some lousy doctoring. Did Dr. Bernardi even do anything? Was he the least bit concerned when Janet's eyebags and forehead folds failed to develop? Didn't he notice, even through the bandages, that his patient's nostrils hadn't grown to the size of golf balls? Or that her upper lip hadn't melted down to her chin? Before Janet Tyler packs her bags and takes the shortbus to Camp Loserville with fellow freak Walter Smith (Edson Stroll), she might want to make a call to her lawyer. I think she has an open and shut case of medical malpractice here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The (continued) dark side of Mark Trail

Ha! It's funny 'cause somebody probably died!

I don't know why I find the comic strip Mark Trail so endlessly amusing. It's one I used to read as a kid, and even then my appreciation was ironic. Nowadays, I keep up with it through Josh Fruhlinger's Comics Curmudgeon blog. For the uninitiated, Mark Trail is a nature writer, adventurer, and outdoorsman who travels around and gets into life-and-death scrapes while doing research for undoubtedly boring articles. His employer is a publication called Wood & Wildlife. Almost always clad in a tan jumpsuit and sporting immaculately Brylcreemed hair, Mark is simultaneously the squarest, dullest, and manliest character in American newspaper comics today. Here, we see him chatting with his equally-boring editor, Bill Ellis. They're so humorless and straight-laced that it's almost too easy to make fun of them. But I do it anyway. Forgive me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Video held for questioning in mysterious disappearance of radio star

The glorious sight of a radio blowing up.

Behold the glory of Wa Wa Nee.
I don't hate the radio. Really, I don't. When I was an adolescent back in those musty, backwards days known as the 1980s and 1990s, I actually cherished the radio. It was, along with MTV, where you went to hear the latest in rock and pop, an essential part of any clueless white kid's life in the Middle West. In those days, the go-to stations for teens in the Flint, MI area were WIOG and the ever-so-slightly hipper WWCK. I used to set my alarm on Saturday mornings so I could hear the beginning of America's Top 40 with Casey Kasem. I think Casey's show ran on WIOG, but I wouldn't bet my paycheck on it. With commercial breaks and long distance dedications and such, the show actually ran for several hours. There was no way to listen to all of it. But I definitely wanted to hear the beginning of the show (numbers 40 through 30 ), because that's when you'd hear the newest hits -- the ones that had just crawled into the lower reaches of the Top 40. Sometimes, a song would only stick around for a week or two and wouldn't get past #30. Those were some of the tracks I found most fascinating of all. I was intrigued by the phenomenon of getting so close to the big time without actually making it. In 1987, for instance, there was an upbeat ditty called "Sugar Free" by an Australian funk-pop outfit improbably named Wa Wa Nee. The song peaked at #35 and was Wa Wa Nee's only appearance on the countdown. Casey Kasem only had to say the name "Wa Wa Nee" for a week or two at the most. He'd always mention which songs had fallen off the charts during a particular week; it was always a moment of somber reflection for me when he read that list. "Sugar Free" was nothing special -- I barely remember it now -- but I went ahead and bought (with my parents' money, natch) a cassette of the group's one album anyway. Did I ever even listen to it all the way through? Probably not. It was just part of my weird Top 40 fetish back then.

I listen to a lot of Top 40 radio now, too, though this time it isn't by choice. The sound of a CHR (contemporary hits radio) station wafts across the bank of cubicles at my workplace each morning. I don't know where it comes from, but it's unmistakable nevertheless. The songs are distinguishable, but the rest of the audio registers in my mind's ear as unintelligible background slush. The station must be somewhere in Chicago, since I toil in the Loop, about a block away from the structure formerly known as the Sears Tower. From what I can make out of what I hear, the chuckling deejays banter back and forth, take phone calls from listeners, run some sort of daily contest, and play lots and lots of prerecorded sound effects. I don't know what these purpose these interludes serve, but it involves a lot of loud boinging and twanging noises. And in between, of course, there is the music. This being Top 40, they're drawing from a very small pool of songs and playing them over and over, several times a day, for months on end. I have heard "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift and "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea more times than any human ever should. A few months ago, I grew to hate songs like Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" with a stubborn, iron-clad passion. Some nights, I still wake up with "Roar" by Katy Perry echoing in my head. That song is my Vietnam. Keep in mind, this is at 7:30 in the morning. Nobody wants to hear Pink or Ke$ha at that hour of the day. Not even their own mothers.

Radio, as a medium, has given us lots of great things. For me, it's Bob & Ray, The Stan Freberg Show, and good ol' Dr. Demento. I listen to a lot of podcasts these days. That's not precisely radio, but it's the bastard stepchild of radio at least. The only time I voluntarily listen to regular, over-the-air FM radio these days is when I'm in the car. Then it's just NPR or maybe some classical or jazz station where the disc jockeys talk in those half-whispery, golf-announcer voices. I mentioned Stan Freberg a few sentences back, though. He was -- and maybe still is -- a great believer in radio. In fact, he wrote this wonderful little advertising ditty on behalf of the radio industry. It's sung by Sarah Vaughn and conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones. Give it a whirl, won't you?