On Christmas last year, my brother got, well, drunk. Which, I hasten to add, is OK, because he hardly ever does that, and because he let me drive him home, and that led us to the strange night in Obetz where we met the dog sitting at the bar.
Anyway, my Christmas present to my brother that year included a couple of CDs. One was a Robert Goulet collection, selected for one song — “Come Back to Me,” one of those Broadway B-sides I remember hearing a thousand different singers performing on the Merv Griffin Show. And part of being a happy drunk that Christmas night included him playing that song over and over. So now, with Goulet’s obituaries in the papers and the tributes pouring in, I’m not thinking of “If Ever I Would Leave You.” I’ve got three or four lines stuck in my head:
Don’t get lost in Korvette’s
Don’t get signed by the Mets
Take a train, take a plane,
Don’t give up cigarettes,
Come back to me…
There’s nothing like a great baritone, is there? Sigh.
I liked him in “Atlantic City,” m’self.
Off to carve pumpkins. Come back for pictures.
Danny said on October 31, 2007 at 9:08 am
Will Ferrell did a couple of good skits as Robert Goulet.
“Once a pro gets their mitts on a song, that’s when it really takes off. Dabba Dee Doo Dee-Dee-Dee.”
ashley said on October 31, 2007 at 9:38 am
My voice teacher in LA paid me the ultimate compliment once, by telling me that when I was singing well in our lessons, I sounded like Bob Goulet.
I can sound like Frank Zappa, but as she told me, Frank can’t even make money sounding like Frank. And she should know.
John said on October 31, 2007 at 9:47 am
I must have watched him playing opposite Sandre Dee, Andy Williams and Maurice Chevalier in “I’d Rather Be Rich” a dozen times and never grew tired of it.
Peter said on October 31, 2007 at 9:48 am
I’m sorry to continue yesterday’s discussion here, but I slow in more ways that one.
There was one item in the WaPo article that ticked me off, and that was where the sluttly six year old phenomenon is due to Baby Boomers who still want to party.
I bought that argument – at first – because it’s true that a lot of Baby Boomers have arrested development, but then it hit me – the article said that this has been going on for about three years. WTF – Baby Boomers have been ruining life far longer than that! I’d bet that many Baby Boomers have grandchildren in that age bracket!
OK, we may be wussy draft dodgers and hedonists, but gee, not EVERYTHING is our fault!
LA mary said on October 31, 2007 at 9:55 am
On a plane…on a jet
With your hair in a net
In a towel soaking wet..
I’m trusting my memory on those lines.
I remember I’d Rather Be Rich. I saw in the movies with my pre-teen friends. No matter what was showing, we went to the movies every Friday night.
alex said on October 31, 2007 at 9:58 am
Peter, I saw a segment on Entertainment Tonight or some such in a bar yesterday evening and the interviewees struck me as the sort of fashion-conscious middle/upper-middle class folk who give money to the Republicans and think their own shit don’t stink, probably a decade too young to be called boomers. They see nothing wrong with indulging their daughters’ desires to be part of the “in” crowd and the slutty costumes were no worse, in the parents’ opinion, than what their kids wear every day.
Actually, what I’ve seen of boomer parents is interesting. They don’t want their kids fucking and taking drugs like they did and they’re absolutely draconian control freaks.
Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2007 at 10:12 am
Trivia from someone whose youth (and middle age) were spent on Broadway musicals: Come Back to Me is from a musical and then movie named “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”. The plot is a ridiculous trifle about a woman who has lived/is living multiple lives in history. Barbra Striesand was in the unwatchable movie, but the soundtrack album was great. The title track features Babs in her glorious best; she holds that last note forever. The end of the piece also bears remarkable similarity to the song she sings at the end of “Yentyl”; I can never hear one without thinking of the other. In a “paying his dues” role, Jack Nicholson plays her hippy-dippy boyfriend.
4dbirds said on October 31, 2007 at 10:33 am
I always got Robert Goulet/Carol Lawrence and Steve Lawrence/Eydie Gorme mixed up. No matter, I loved them all on Merv Griffin.
Sue said on October 31, 2007 at 10:56 am
I always liked that Goulet seemed willing to spoof his “handsome leading man” image in later years; he seemed to have a sense of humor. I was kind of creeped out when I heard that he died while waiting for a lung transplant, though.
Dorothy said on October 31, 2007 at 11:32 am
Ick Eydie Gorme – could not stand her. I always thought she was kind of shrill. But Robert Goulet always made my mom and Grandma swoon. No one could sing like him, that’s for sure.
LA mary said on October 31, 2007 at 12:42 pm
I remember still the little review in the movie listings in the New Yorker regarding On a Clear Day You Can See Forever: Yves Montand at the mercy of Barbra Streisand and her clothes.
LA mary said on October 31, 2007 at 12:47 pm
Alex, not all of us are control freaks. I’m pretty sure there are no drugs going on with my sons, 13 and 17, but I am pretty sure there’s some sex going on with the older one. We’ve had some talks about being careful and responsible in both the physical and emotional ways. No crises so far.
Dave said on October 31, 2007 at 1:00 pm
You just tripped my memory of the one and only Broadway show I ever saw, Golden Rainbow, 1968, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Not central to this conversation but it struck me funny how it just jumped into my thoughts.
alex said on October 31, 2007 at 1:02 pm
I know, Mary. Little overgeneralization there. But my boomer friends are definitely hip to what kids are capable of getting into and a lot more protective in general.
John said on October 31, 2007 at 1:38 pm
“But my boomer friends are definitely hip to what kids are capable of getting into and a lot more protective in general.”
That is an accurate statement. I always told my children that I expected them to be a better person then I was (as a teen), but never ever told them how low of a hurdle that was.
Cosmo Panzini said on October 31, 2007 at 6:25 pm
Nance–The actual lyric is: Don’t get lost at Korvette’s, Don’t get signed by the Mets, Don’t give up cigarettes, Come back to me. Sounds better that way, doesn’t it? Korvette’s was a very large discount store in the NYC area that was born and died long before Wal-Mart got big, btw.
nancy said on October 31, 2007 at 7:44 pm
Thanks, Cosmo. Much better.
LA Mary said on October 31, 2007 at 8:49 pm
I used to work at Korvette’s when I was in high school. It smelled like polyester slacks.
alex said on October 31, 2007 at 9:40 pm
Gilda Radner used to play up Korvette’s. A Detroit thing that reeked of cheap.
LA mary said on November 1, 2007 at 2:22 pm
Was Korvette’s a Detroit thing? They were all over the NYC area. The rumor was that it was founded by eight Jewish Korean war vets, hence EJ Korvettes.
alex said on November 2, 2007 at 6:17 am
Maybe it was NYC but Korvette’s used to be all over Detroit as well.