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Culture

Bing and Ol’ Medicine Hat

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4 minute read

Reynolds, Crosby and Astaire

It seems that Medicine Hat was hit with movie gold not once, but twice since the 1940s.  There is, of course, the well documented case of the Monty Python skit ( https://www.todayville.com/monty-python-and-medicine-hat/ ) but also another well known and higher profile mention of this Alberta city….

Bing Crosby was an American entertainer who was well known world-wide for his crooning and his entertaining films and his USO tours with his friends and co-workers over during WWII and subsequent conflicts.

Among his many memorable films, “Holiday Inn,” was released in 1942 with great success for not only one of the first releases of ‘White Christmas,’ which won an Oscar for best music but also the pairing of Fred Astaire and Crosby in a delightful love triangle film set in a ski resort.  The film was reprised in the classic ‘White Christmas,’ that included Rosemary Cluny and song and dance legend Danny Kaye in 1954.

‘Holiday Inn,’ starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds centred around Fred Hardy, a laid back composer who buys an Inn to put on Broadway style shows on special days so his life is not so hectic.  Sadly, Fred Astaire, Ted Hanover, has a history of stealing dance partners and falls in love with them.  Hardy discovers Linda Mason (Reynolds) and much to the chagrin of Hardy, Hanover winds up at one of his holiday specials and finds her, falls in love with her and the rest of the film follows Hardy’s efforts to keep Mason away from Hanover.

During the film, a couple of great moments occur, one with Astaire, apparently very drunk, dancing with Mason for the delight of the gathered crowd.  The dance choreography is amazing, just as Astaire was an amazing performer and teacher.

However, Medicine Hat comes full front and centre when Hanover is expected to come hunting for Mason and Hardy askes his driver to take the long way home so she cannot be stolen by Hanover.

Hardy hands his driver $10, and utters the now famous dialogue…

“For that kinda of money you oughta be able to go by way o’ Medicine Hat!

Of course, the ploy is successful, and she is angry with Hardy that she could not refuse Hanover, but in the end, love wins and show biz rules the Inn.

This may seem like a random entry into the film but it may have been planned or more likely an improv by Crosby who had a predilection for pheasant hunting in the area just as Humphrey Bogart liked moose hunting in Cabri, Saskatchewan!

The story behind the story is that Brooks at one time was the BEST pheasant hunting area in North America and along with Bob Hope, the pair hunted in the area in the 1940s.  An old timer recalled seeing Crosby and Clark Gable in the Cecil Hotel during hunting season!

Is there evidence that Crosby was in the Hat?

Only old hotel records could ever say, and the Cecil Hotel has been stilled forever…

In the meanwhile, “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…”

Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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Alberta

Alberta loosens rules for singing, wind instruments as long as precautions taken

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s top doctor says people can sing and play wind instruments indoors once again, provided COVID-19 precautions are in place.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says those activities were severely restricted because they were thought to pose unique risks of spreading the virus.

But she says new evidence shows they can be done safely with certain safeguards.

Limited band practices, singing, and wind instrument concerts are allowed as long as there’s proper physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and other precautions.

Choirs can restart with maximum size limits and masks, but audience singing is still not allowed.

Alberta reported 111 new COVID-19 cases in Friday’s update and one new death.

There are 1,444 active cases with 41 in hospital and six in intensive care.

Hinshaw also says there are 29 schools where someone attended while infectious with COVID-19 and that 32 cases have been linked to those schools.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Love Alberta? Listen and share “Sweet Alberta”!

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Editor’s Note:  “Sweet Alberta” may be the perfect song to pull you out of your funk and re-aquaint you with the province you love.  

Original Article:

If you’re a music lover you know that sometimes when you’re feeling down a good song played at just the right time can turn it all around.   If you think of all that’s gone wrong for the province of Alberta during 2020 you might say this whole province could use a hug and a great tune!  Just as it looked like the oil and gas industries might be able to turn a corner, a dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia early this year resulted in an historic downturn.  Then.. COVID.  Need we say more?  Well hopefully we can all get a hug from someone we love.  As for the tune, here’s a brand new option produced by Alberta artists.. for the entire Province of Alberta to enjoy.  It’s called “Sweet Alberta” and it just might be that special tune that becomes an anthem.  It’s that good. Co-written by Red Deer’s Scott Wiber (who also plays base on this track) and a fellow musician from London, England, this new single is officially out today (Friday, August 7).

Jesse Roads also from Red Deer is the lead singer and front man for this production. Based in Red Deer, Jesse’s a been touring Alberta and beyond for over 20 years.  Right up until COVID swept artists off the stage back in March he was filling up bars and performing for raucous audiences wherever he went. Check out this tune and you’ll see why this should be the song that takes you out of the summer of 2020!

 

 

Here are a couple of other tunes performed by Jesse Roads any new fan is going to want to hear.

 

Enjoy a taste of “No Love” a Jesse Roads classic.

 

This “COVID” concert was recorded live at The VAT this spring.  Check it out to get a real good taste of Jesse Roads and his fabulous band.   (Click ahead to the 41 minute mark for the start of the music)

Originally published August 8, 2020. 

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