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The links on the upper left side of this page are primarily concerned with my music and career.

It features a biography, music samples, a section on my Dad, "The Silver Fox". The road section features information about recent or upcoming shows. There's a merchandise section, where you can buy CDs, and photos. There's also a full length video section, a guestbook area, and finally a weblog, which I try to update frequently.

I will also be addressing some of the questions that I'm often asked during my travels. So, with that in mind, enjoy the site and carry on...
$CRjr

MY FAVORITE MOVIES

Citizen Kane
It's hard to believe that Orson Wells was just 25 years old when he made this classic film. Groundbreaking achievements in cinematography, layout, and design. Shots that experimented with shadows and light, elaborate camera movements, this was an experiment that works on so many levels. A plot that spans the life of newspaper owner and entrepreneur Charles Foster Kane. Based on real life's William Randolph Hearst, the movie generated quite a bit of controversy when it was released. I'll leave it to you to find your own lessons in this movie.
The Wizard Of Oz
The classic fantasy movie of all time, The Wizard Of Oz has it all. Action, adventure, loads of comedy, and very possibly the best musical score ever written. There's little I could say that you don't already know about this great American fairy tale. Judy Garland is perfect, Bert Lahr hilarious, Jack Haley, Ray Bolger, and Margaret Hamilton as the scariest which of all time. Harold Arlen's musical genius and Yip Yip Harburg's wonderfully creative lyrics are a match made in heaven. Not a note or a line out of place. Talk about your classic movies, this is it.
Tommy Boy
Chris Farley and David Spade at their finest. Get ready to laugh so hard you'll cry. This is a movie I didn't even want to like, but it's a comedy classic. Anyone that doesn't love this movie is totally devoid of a sense of humor. Memorable classic lines, such as "You know, you look like a Helen", "Boy that's gonna' leave a mark", and "Richard, what'd you do". I was not a big Chris Farley fan, not until I saw Tommy Boy, but this is a movie I could watch a thousand times. Trust me on this one. You know I could get a good look at a T-Bone, but Tommy Boy is as good a comedy as has ever been made.
The Good Earth
This is probably my favorite movie. Some reviewers at amazon.com have mentioned how it stereotypes women in an overly simplified and docile way. I think that misses the point. It's unrealistic to try and put today's accepted set of values on books or movies that were made with the best of intentions way back in 1937. The book, by Perl Buck, won the Pulitzer prize. The very issues that seem to bother so many people that have seen this movie today, are actually a focal point of the movie. What I take from the movie is that the woman is the hero, the real strength. The man is the weaker of the two. A key point of the movie that Wang Lung, the husband/farmer eventually learns of that strength, despite living in a culture that exemplified chauvinistic and very inegalitarian values. The movie stars Paul Muni and Luise Rainer, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in her role as O-lan. In the beginning of the movie, O-lan is a house servant that has been treated poorly. Wang Lung arranges for a marriage with her, as was the custom. As he's taking her back to his farm, he casually throws away a peach pit that he's just finished eating. She runs to the side of the road to retrieve it, and says to him "a tree will grow from this". At the end of the movie, after O-lan has died, he walks out, underneath the tree, which is now grown and says "O-lan you are the earth". Along the way they struggle and suffer through political revolution, drought, famine, locusts, and infidelity. Neither of the two principal characters is totally virtuous. O-lan has to do some pretty shocking things just so they can survive. It's an epic movie, and well worth watching. I highly recommend it.
My Cousin Vinnie
Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, and the late Fred Gwynne give wonderful performances in this wacked out comedy about two New York city "utes" who take a trip down to Alabama, and get wrongly blamed for a murder they didn't commit. The two college buddies need a lawyer fast, so one of them, Bill (Ralph Macchio), calls on his cousin Vinnie (Joe Pesci). By his side is his beautiful fiancee, Lisa Vito, played by (Marisa Tomei)who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in her performance. Like a fish out of water, Vinnie takes the challenge of defending the two boys in the heart of the south. This movie is a belly laugh from start to finish. Check it out on DVD.
Flower Drum Song
This is definitely the most underrated Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It also happens to be my favorite. I didn't discover it until years after it was in theaters. For me that was 1990. The music has as much breadth and variety as any of Rodgers and Hammerstein's shows. What struck me the most about this little gem is that it's just plain funny. The script is second to none, and the musical numbers range from hilarious to beautiful. This is a great family movie. They haven't released it in DVD "yet", but you can rent or buy the video.
City Lights
One of my two favorite Charlie Chaplin films, the other being "The Great Dictator, this is not a "talkie". The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with. Chaplin wrote the music himself (and everything else), and it's spectacular. This is a beautiful silent movie that holds up well after all these years. This is definitely one that comes under the category, "I laughed, I cried". A very poignant film.
Night Of The Hunter
This movie is most famous for the scene where you see Robert Mitchum's hands with "love" and "hate" tattooed with a letter on each of his fingers. I remember this one scared me when I was young. I rented the DVD recently and I can see why it did.
Groundhog Day
Bill Murray at his funniest. His dead pan delivery was completely over the top on this one. As with a lot of comedies, it's totally implausible, but you have to go with the premise. It's a great vehicle for Murray, and I think it's hilarious.
Snow White
This is the very first movie I ever saw. I couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old. I vividly remember the deep,rich, scarlet and burgundy colors emanating from the screen. The jewels, as they sparkled, in the mine, the perfect little dwarf's cottage. It was pure magic.

Still more stuff...

  1. Being taken seriously.
  2. How my father became a star.
  3. So, you wanna' be a country star?
  4. Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
  5. You'll eat what you're served...
  6. The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
  7. It's great exposure.

Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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