Outside the Apollo Theatre, New York – Photo by Sam Falk
Georgette Harvey, Ethel Waters and Fredi Washington on the Broadway set
To set eyes on Alfred Sole is to like him instantly.
He’s just welcomed me onto the Warner Brothers soundstage in Los Angeles where he works. At 75, Alfred is technically of retirement age, but he remains an in-demand production designer on popular television shows like MacGyver, Veronica Mars and Castle.
As I approach him, Alfred smiles broadly and extends his hand. He has a boyish face and a soft-spoken, warm manner. He’s of average height with salt-and-pepper hair. He’s like your friendly uncle, or your favorite person to sit next to at the neighborhood bar.
But looks can be deceiving, so I have to ask myself: Is this really the man who in the early 1970s was at the center of a national scandal about a pornographic film titled Deep Sleep?
The GOP Reacts (And Doesn’t) To Trump’s Racist Tweets
Stephen Colbert, 2019
In September 1887, Nellie Bly assumed the persona of “insane girl” Nellie Brown to go under cover at the notorious women’s asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Her assignment: to tell “a plain and unvarnished narrative of the treatment of the patients therein.”
Upon her release, Bly wrote an exposé cataloguing the dire conditions faced by inmates, from freezing forced baths to solitary confinement in vermin-filled rooms and physical violence. This six-part investigation, initially published in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World but later released in a collection titled Ten Days in a Mad-House, catapulted the intrepid reporter to fame and brought much-needed attention to the plight of the mentally ill.
Legendary New York radio station WPLJ — which launched in 1971 as a pioneering AOR (album oriented rock) station, then embraced the MTV-inspired new wave movement of the early ‘80s and eventually morphed into a hot adult contemporary outlet — will go dark Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
The frequency, acquired from Cumulus Media by leading religious programmers Educational Media Foundation earlier this year, will immediately transition into a contemporary Christian music station, an affiliate of the national K-LOVE network.
For 18 years, the New York Yankees have played Kate Smith’s 1939 recording of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at home games. They began the tradition after 9/11, and kept it going until this season, when they swapped it out for a different recording of the song. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the team made the switch after it learned that Smith had recorded a few shamelessly racist tracks from that era.
Character actor Ray Middleton was the first actor to play Superman in public, which he did on July 3, 1940, during the 1939 New York World’s Fair’s “Superman Day.”