Monday 28 June 2021

Clint Eastwood: Western King, a tribute video with a difference

Clint Eastwood: Western King, a tribute video with a difference

Posting privately made or tribute videos is something that I don’t usually do here on the Archive. However, once in a while something comes along which is something a little bit special. 

I discovered this video at the weekend, purely by luck - and have become somewhat addicted to it ever since. I was desperate to reach out to the creator of it, a young lady named Daria. 

Simply titled Clint Eastwood - Western King, Daria explains in her notes that she is an Eastwood fan and was inspired to put this tribute video together using clips from all of Clint’s major western movies. But it's not just a quick ‘chop’ and ‘paste’ job, it’s really an incredibly well done piece of editing, Using all High definition clips, Daria has also taken a great piece of music (‘outro’) from the French Electronic band M83. Taken from their album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (2011), the track brings a truly epic feel to the classic  images. We think it looks (and sounds) pretty fabulous and thought it deserves to be seen more. So we’re very happy to feature it here. How about an Eastwood / cop tribute too Daria? Now that would also be something! Great work!


Saturday 26 June 2021

Rare Two Mules article with reference to Elizabeth Taylor’s involvement

Rare Two Mules article with reference to Elizabeth Taylor’s involvement

Some longtime friends of The Archive will no doubt be aware of what has come to be known as the ‘58lbs of treasures’ box - an incredibly generous gift that was donated to the Archive by an old friend of mine James Elliott (full story HERE). 

Well I like to return to it fresh every so often, and always seem to find something of interest for scanning and posting on the Archive. Just the other week I was sorting through it again - in order to try and get more of it catalogued, and came across this 4 page original article. 

What caught my eye was the sub heading about Elizabeth Taylor. As fans will already know, Taylor was originally meant to co-star with Clint in Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) after the couple struck up a friendship on meeting during the shooting of Where Eagles Dare, alongside Taylor’s then husband Richard Burton. Not many pieces make reference to this, and while this article doesn’t delve too deeply it offers some kind of explanation and detail. It also reveals a couple of stories featuring Taylor’s replacement Shirley MacLaine. So I thought it was interesting enough for the Archive. The one major problem is the source. I have absolutely no idea from which magazine this originally appeared and there are no real clues, no title at the head or footer of each page - so I’m completely in the dark. I suppose we can only be thankful that it has survived - and of course I owe my thanks to James for that.

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Sally Stevens – Harry’s Unsung Heroine

Sally Stevens – Harry’s Unsung Heroine
Look up the term ‘Unsung Heroine’ and you’ll probably find a definition which resembles something to the effect of - A woman who has made a positive impact on a community through her work or words. She is someone who has dedicated her time; energy and enthusiasm to helping others thrive and inspires the people around her because of it. In many ways, it is also a definition which perfectly encapsulates everything about the enormously talented and delightful Sally Stevens.

It was a great pleasure to recently share a little time with Sally Stevens. A native of L.A., Sally began her work as a vocalist for film back in the Sixties with the epic western; How the West was won (1962). Since then, her credits have been both plentiful and prolific. During the late Sixties and early Seventies things really started to take off for Sally. She found herself working with Elvis Presley providing backing vocals for the film Charro! (1968), on his album Almost in Love (1970) and on instantly recognisable hits such as ‘Edge of Reality’ and ‘A Little Less Conversation’. She even found time for a certain NBC 1968 Comeback Special!

Sally has also worked and sang vocals under the composer Burt Bacharach on his score for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). In 1971, Sally worked with composer Dominic Frontiere for the Steve McQueen / Bruce Brown produced (and Academy Award nominated) documentary film On Any Sunday – a superb insight into McQueen’s passion sport of motorcycling. Sally also wrote and performed the film’s title track. 

In amongst these varied projects, Sally teamed up with composer Lalo Schifrin to provide some ‘dreamy’ vocals for James Coburn’s satirical black comedy The President’s Analyst (1967). Whilst perhaps a little insignificant to Sally at the time, those haunting, wordless vocals were about to cement one of her most defining trademarks - and a highly memorable signature sound.

It isn't too hard to see why this period is often defined as the Golden years.   

“When I worked on those early films, it was really at the beginning of my career”, said Sally. “Somehow that breathy ‘AHHH’ stuff caught on, and I did it for a number of films. In ensemble/ choral situations, I was always the high soprano, but I LOVED doing that breathy, close-up solo stuff.” 

So you found yourself working with Lalo Schifrin in 1967, a memorable experience?

“Oh yes, I remember Lalo’s score for the film The President’s Analyst, it was probably recorded in 1966 or 1967 and very early in my career. I did some solo cues on that for Lalo. I also remember there was a group of 6 or so singers, Ron Hicklin contracted and we did group vocals and then there were some solo cues they wanted me to do. So I stayed, just me on the scoring stage and a bunch of guys in the control booth. 

They decided they wanted some ‘love making’ sounds in one of the scenes along with the vocals (and I was obviously not a professional in that area of performance!) I was very embarrassed, and I could see them all being very amused by my predicament in the booth, through the glass! So yes, it was certainly memorable!

But some of it made it into the sound track so I guess it worked!

All in the name of entertainment and getting the job done!

(Laughs) Yes, exactly! 

The Seventies began with some really incredible projects including the Academy Award nominated documentary On Any Sunday (1971). How did you come to work with Dominic Frontiere? 

"Well, I had already worked with Dom on a number of projects as a singer, usually with the Ron Hicklin Singers, but I had finally gotten brave enough to share some of my own song writing with him, hoping perhaps he might sometime need a lyricist. He approached me about the On Any Sunday project, and I was excited to have a chance to try a lyric for him. I think the opportunity presented itself because it was somewhat of an independent project."

It’s a really enduring song, so was the world of motorcycling something that you were familiar with - the lyrics seem to illustrate perfectly the ‘freedom’ and ‘spirit’ of biking? 

"Oh no, I had only ridden motorcycles twice in my life – once, when I was engaged to a vice cop early in my college years, and then when my brother Charles took me for a ride on the back of his. Yes, many people have conveyed their love for that song. I remember trying to find the right words for the title song and words that captured the essence of the sport. When I finally finished the lyric, Dom presented our song to Bruce Brown, the creator of the film, and they also loved it. So I received a writing credit, but not a screen credit for the singing."

Let's take a listen

It’s a film that has really attained a cult status in the passing years, no doubt helped by Steve McQueen’s involvement and appearance.

"It’s incredible, the film became rather iconic among the biker community, and they have had many gatherings over the years to honour the film and the music. I’ve even received notes and letters in recent years from writers and enthusiasts from that whole community who have re-discovered the music and talk about how the words and visuals captured the emotions of the motorcycling experience."

And you continued to collaborate with Dominic Frontiere on other projects including Hammersmith is Out (1972) - another particular favourite of mine.

"That’s right, I worked on several other projects with Dom as lyricist, and over the years his family all became dear friends. Yes, we also wrote songs for Hammersmith Is Out, it’s a shame it’s such a little-known and seldom seen film considering it starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. We collaborated on several other little theatrical musical projects."

Did your song writing extend to other composers?

“Yes, the lyric writing continued to grow into projects with other composers – for Don Ellis, on Ruby, for Dave Grusin on Absence of Malice - which included a little Christmas song written for children to sing as a source cue, ;Who Comes This Night?’ that some years later James Taylor recorded on his first Christmas album!”

Also in 1971 you found yourself working on arguably two of the finest thrillers of the decade, starting with Alan J. Pakula’s Klute and then Don Siegel's Dirty Harry . Was you feeling more confident working within film?

“In those days, even if doing solos, I never assumed I was on the level of actually being able to speak to people in the control booth,. Back then I was just working as a free-lance singer, I was shy, I almost never knew who I was working for in terms of who was producing or directing. I just showed up, read and sang the notes, said thank you and trotted off. What I do remember in regards to Klute, when I did the vocal solos for composer Michael Small, it was the first time I had worked with Michael, and I was so nervous because we did those vocals ‘Live’ with the orchestra, and I knew if I screwed up or made a mistake, they would all have to start the cue over again.”

Sally circa 1971
And from Klute, you went straight back to working with Lalo again on Dirty Harry. You mentioned the technique of working with Michael Small; did this differ from working with Lalo?

“Well I remember several occasions of working with Lalo and they were mostly always vocals done after the orchestra was recorded, so it would be just the singers or me if it was solo, in the studio communicating with the booth.

Let’s talk about Dirty Harry and those wonderful vocals which signified Scorpio’s presence? For me and many others, they are practically part of the film’s life blood and DNA. 

“When Lalo was scoring this movie, he told producer and director Don Siegel that he wanted to use female vocals for the scenes with the Scorpio Killer in them. When Siegel naturally asked him why, Schifrin replied that he believed Scorpio was a conflicted character, on the one hand he wore a peace symbol as a belt buckle, yet he was a cold-blooded murderer. Schifrin believed that Scorpio also heard voices in his head and the female vocals would represent that” 

Lalo Schifrin 1971
*Schifrin has also alluded to this, quoting in an interview that, “these were the days of a lot of upheaval and turmoil in American society”, and that Scorpio was, "in a way, exploiting that - wearing a peace symbol on his belt while murdering random innocents. That gave me the idea to use some kind of acid-rock music for him. Then, he was very disturbed, deranged. He was hearing voices."

Is it still a cherished memory?

“Oh yes, I just wish I could remember more details about the actual recording session. I just know I was thrilled to be there, I think I recall Clint being present in the booth, but I don’t remember having any interaction with him, sadly.”

Well, how much do you remember about that fabulous outtake?
(Laughing) “That was so embarrassing! There was this one cue with a vocal entrance that had no lead-in orchestral track, and I went straight in and started on the wrong note - I was so embarrassed, and I laughed and apologised, and we started the cue over. But that wrong note, and the laugh, my apology, and the start-over were included on the CD of the score that I ran across a few years ago! I had totally forgotten about it until then, I never realised they had it and included it in the release of the score!”

Let's have a listen to the wonderful 'Scorpio's View'
I think it’s a score that has really endured the test of time and successfully transcended into the modern age, would you agree?

“Absolutely, I know Lalo’s score and my vocals were later sampled, effectively and powerfully, by the rap group NWA in 1991 for their track ‘Approach to Danger’, and I’m sure there were a couple of other examples too.”

So with Dirty Harry celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, how do you reflect back at it now and in particular, your involvement?

“It’s actually so much more meaningful to me now in these later days, when I realise what iconic projects those films turned out to be, and how blessed I was to work on them. Both Klute and Dirty Harry remain two of my most very special projects.”

(Left, Sally and Clint at The Society of Composers and Lyricists  Christmas event 2011)

You were certainly blessed to work on a number of Clint’s movies. I was checking again just recently - Coogan's Bluff, Kelly's Heroes, Dirty Harry, High Plains Drifter, Magnum Force, Bronco Billy, Pale Rider and most recently J. Edgar where you served as both singer and vocal contractor – it’s a quite extraordinary list of credits, do you ever consider slowing down? 

(Laughs) “Yes, I think I spoke to you just recently about working on the score of Clint’s film J. Edgar. I also did a photo shoot during one of the orchestra sessions with Clint in the booth. It was delightful, of course, to be in the studio with him. I don’t think though, that we ever talked about the fact that I had done the vocals for Dirty Harry. As for slowing down, about 25 years after I started singing professionally, I started also to do vocal contracting, and in those years I became much more ‘plugged in’ to the projects - I would confer with the composer ahead of time, I came to know more of the people in charge and I accepted that it was my job to communicate with them. I was blessed to be Chorale Director for the Oscars for about 22 years, in addition to contracting choirs for composers such as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, James Horner, James Newton Howard, and so many others…and I’ve continued singing in that time. But my activity is rightfully and understandably winding down - there are so many other talented young people here in town and they also need their time at bat.”

Sally thank you so much for your time, it’s been a complete pleasure.

‘Thank YOU Darren, I’m really honoured to be part of the celebration!”

Below, Sally's photo of Clint during the scoring sessions for J. Edgar at The Eastwood Scoring Stage on the Warner Bros lot, 2011

*Dirty Harry Recorded at Burbank, California: October 4, 1971
Time, Jay Cocks cited the "excellent, eerie jazz score by Lalo Schifrin."
Variety, A.D. Murphy wrote "Lalo Schifrin's modernistic score is very effective."
The New Yorker, Pauline Kael wrote: "Lalo Schifrin's pulsating; jazzy electronic trickery drives the picture forward”

Buy the Dirty Harry CD ALEPH 030 HERE  

Please be sure to check Sally’s sites at 

Sally Stevens Writer  HERE     
Sally Stevens Photography HERE

The Hollywood Film Chorale HERE

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Dirty Harry Exclusive 50th Anniversary painting

Dirty Harry Exclusive 50th Anniversary painting

Our resident artist and long-time friend of the Archive Graham Kennedy has commissioned this wonderful painting in order to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dirty Harry. I spoke with Graham back in 2020 and told me: 

‘I actually saw Magnum Force before Dirty Harry. I was 16 at the time, so getting into 'X' certificate movies wasn't always easy! Dirty Harry was next of course, and it was love at first sight! A friend of mine, Geoff Patten and I must have seen it more than 20 times at the cinema, this was in the days when double bills would do the rounds of all the local cinemas over a few weeks. We would see it one Saturday, then see it somewhere else the following Saturday!

The artwork I've produced doesn't (and isn't meant to) work as a bona fide movie poster...rather I see it as an artistic tribute to the movie, showing all the great cast and characters that feature in'd seldom put such minor characters as Marcella Platt on a movie poster! 

I watched the film again just recently...50 years on and boy, it still holds up so well.  Like its star, there's not an ounce of 'fat' on it! A lean, mean 102 minutes of perfect film making. “Do you feel lucky?", we, the audience, certainly were!’

Well we certainly feel lucky in having Graham produce this lovely, unique piece. Nice work, Sir. 

For details on how to order please see below. 

A Signed A3 print, mounted on board (so flat, not tube)

The art process was drawn using a mix of Tria Markers, colour pencil and airbrush.

Price £25 per print + £2 p&p. within the UK

Overseas delivery is also available – please check with Graham for prices

Tuesday 15 June 2021

For a Few Dollars More - Rare single from Singapore

 For a Few Dollars More - Rare single from Singapore 

A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to come into contact with a UK Record dealer who surprised me by informing me that he had a rather rare Singapore pressing from 1967. The 7” single was a cover version of Morricone’s For a Few Dollars More backed up on the flip side by Coffin for a Gunfighter, which I believe is either an alternative title for Django (1966) or at least one of its sequels. These films were produced so quickly, the genre became something of a minefield. It's not entirely sure if this pressing was even a legal one, it’s not the original recording of course. 

In this instance both tracks are performed by ‘Charlie and his Orchestra’ just one of many inferior cover versions that were being released all over the place at the time, such was their popularity. In all fairness, these are not too hard to endure, I’ve certainly heard worse.   

So I was aware of this release, as the cover insert contains a great image of Eastwood and Van Cleef taking on Indio’s gang members in the street shootout. I was also aware that there were two pressings of this from the same year (a Red and a Green label version), This particular version that surfaced was on the Red label (both carried the same Car No Star Swan ‎– SS 3). As I was offered it at a very reasonable price, I naturally accepted it. 

On its arrival I was both shocked and surprised to find that the package contained two copies, both in their identical sleeves, but the records were both the Red and the Green label versions. I was completely delighted of course. It seemed the seller was really impressed with our work here on the Archive, found the other version and kindly included it for my collection. Some people really do restore my faith, proving that it isn't always just about the money, So Alan, thank you sir, you are a complete gentleman. 

Sunday 6 June 2021

Kelly’s Heroes co-star Gavin MacLeod, dies at 90

Of late, It feels that all we seem to be reporting on is the passing of co-stars or crew members  associated with Clint’s movies, and once again it grieves me to announce that actor Gavin MacLeod has died at the age of 90.

For many of us, MacLeod will be fondly remembered as Moriarty from Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Oddball’s machine-gunner and tank mechanic - often accused of spreading ‘those negative waves.’ 
Variety reported: Gavin MacLeod, a sitcom veteran who played seaman “Happy” Haines on “McHale’s Navy,” Murray on “Mary Tyler Moore” and the very different, vaguely patrician Captain Stubing on “The Love Boat,” has died. He was 90.

MacLeod’s nephew, Mark See, confirmed his death to Variety. MacLeod died in the early morning on May 29. No cause of death was given, but MacLeod’s health had declined in recent months.
MacLeod was born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, N.Y. His mother worked for Reader’s Digest, while his father was an electrician who was part Chippewa. He grew up in Pleasantville, N.Y., and went to Ithaca College, where he studied acting and graduated in 1952. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall as an usher and elevator operator while seeking work as an actor. During this time he changed his name.

After a few uncredited film roles, MacLeod made his credited big screen debut in the 1958 Susan Hayward vehicle “I Want to Live,” playing a police lieutenant, then played a G.I. in Gregory Peck starrer “Pork Chop Hill” the next year. His supporting role in Blake Edwards’ WWII comedy “Operation Petticoat,'' starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis and focusing on the chaotic goings on aboard a submarine, gave the young actor a flavor of what he would be doing a few years later on “McHale’s Navy.” In the meantime he appeared in the 1960 thriller “Twelve Hours to Kill,” which starred future “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden; Blake Edwards’ musical comedy “High Time,” starring Bing Crosby and Fabian; and the critically hailed but now forgotten Korean War film “War Hunt.” He also did a boatload of guest appearances on TV before his stint on “McHale’s Navy.”
MacLeod left “McHale’s Navy” in order to be able to appear in a supporting role in the excellent period adventure film “The Sand Pebbles,” starring Steve McQueen, and he appeared in a number of other films throughout the decade: “A Man Called Gannon” and Blake Edwards’ Peter Sellers comedy “The Party” in 1968; “The Thousand Plane Raid,” “The Comic” and “The Intruders” in 1969; and, in 1970, the World War II caper film “Kelly’s Heroes,”
During the mid-1980s, MacLeod and his second wife became Evangelical Christians, and the pair credited the religion for reuniting them. He wrote about it in his 1987 book “Back on Course, the Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage.” He and Kendig appeared in the Christian big-screen time-travel epic “Time Changer,” along with Hal Linden, in 2002, and he played the title role in the 2008 Christian film “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.
His memoir “This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life,” was published in 2013.

Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with his family and friends,

Thursday 3 June 2021

Hang ‘Em High star Arlene Golonka dies at 85

Hang ‘Em High star Arlene Golonka dies at 85 

More sad news from the Eastwood circle of friends. 

Sitcom veteran Arlene Golonka, best known for portraying Millie Swanson in the 1968 to 1971 series “Mayberry R.F.D.,” died Monday. She was 85. Her niece, Stephanie Morton, said she had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and passed away in West Hollywood, according to Variety.

The Chicago native studied theatre there until moving to New York City at age 19, where she would go on to land roles in shows including “The Night Circus” (her debut), “Come Blow Your Horn,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and more. She also was a one-time roommate of the late “Rhoda” star Valerie Harper.

She first played her most notable role of Millie Hutchins, Sam Jones’ (Ken Berry) girlfriend, in two episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” in 1967. 

From there, she took the character — renamed Millie Swanson — for 49 episodes of “Mayberry R.F.D.” 

Over her decades-long career, Golonka was a TV fixture, with guest and recurring appearances in notable shows including “The Flying Nun,” “That Girl,” “M*A*S*H,” “All in the Family,” “Love, American Style,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Maude,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “The Rockford Files,” “Fantasy Island, “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote” and many more. Her last television appearance was in a 2015 episode of the Kevin James and Leah Remini sitcom “The King of Queens.”
Her movie roles included “Airport 77,” “The Busy Body,” “The In-Laws,” “Love at First Bite” and as Jennifer  in “Hang ‘Em High,” opposite Clint Eastwood in his first American film and Malpaso production.  The date of Golonka’s death was recorded as May 31st- - the date of Eastwood’s birthday,
According to Variety, she is survived by a sister, nieces and nephews.
Our sincere condolences go out to her friends and family.
RIP Arlene.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Dirty Harry: 50th Anniversary

Dirty Harry: 50th Anniversary

So, as we are just about at the midway point of 2021, I thought it was about time to remind fans that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of one of Clint’s greatest movies, Dirty Harry (1971). Dirty Harry has always been my favourite Eastwood movie. I can also remember it as the first ever home video cassette I ever purchased back in the very early 1980’s - the Big Box Warner Home Video release with its cast card sat inside the case (remember those?) was a beautiful thing to own back in the day. Looking back at it now, there was nothing too special about it in context - home video was still very much in its infancy, there wasn’t even a trailer included, and the film itself was a terrible, grainy  panned and scanned version - all of which cost an almighty £35 to purchase. Nevertheless, it was a slice of luxury back then. 

Throughout the rest of this year I am hoping to post a few little Dirty Harry pieces in order to celebrate its 50th anniversary. I may also republish some articles from the past just to bring to the fore and tie-in with the anniversary. I thought I would start with this Dirty Harry Photo Opportunity - (a new one to the Archive). a fantastic shot, which captures Clint on the Universal backlot during the filming of the bank robbery sequence. Clint is photographed holding both his 44 Magnum in one hand, and the pump action shotgun (retrieved from actor Albert Popwell in the ‘Do you feel lucky’ sequence) in the other hand. It’s a rarely seen, stunning photo and one that remains a firm favourite of mine.