FEBRUARY 2004 NEWS!

Click here to link to the interview!

Lion-O Speaks!

Check out an interview Rob Shan Lone had with Larry Kenney, the voice of Lion-O from Rankin/Bass' television series Thundercats and Bluegrass in R/B's Silverhawks! Click the pic to read the interview at www.insomniacmania.com (interview link at page bottom).

A Rankin/Bass Gift of Love!

RANKIN/BASS fan JACKIE SCOTT sent us this photo of her homemade NESTOR THE LONG-EARED DONKEY Doll! Nestor was made by MIKE SCOTT as a gift for her! Thanks, Jackie!

Rick Lends a Hand at tvguide.com!
R/B historian Rick Goldschmidt recently helped answer a question submitted to "Ask the Televisionary" column at tvguide.com:

Question: The version of Rudolph I adored (and memorized) as a child contained a different song: During Hermey and Rudolph's first romp together (when they're now singing "We're a Couple of Misfits") they sang a song called "Fame & Fortune". When and why was this changed? Maryanne F., Short Hills, N.J.

Televisionary: Good question, Maryanne. And since I didn't know myself, I got in touch with someone who did. Rick Goldschmidt, author of The Making of a Rankin/Bass Holiday Classic: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Miser Bros. Press) and co-creator of the Rankin/Bass website, provided the following answer:

"There are many changes between the original special that aired in 1964 and the 1965-98 version of the special. Hermey and Rudolph originally sang 'We're a Couple Of Misfits' in the 1964 broadcast, but sponsor General Electric decided to make changes in the 1965 broadcast. A G.E. exec thought 'We're a Couple Of Misfits' was too much of a downer song and wanted an upbeat, positive tune, so 'Fame & Fortune' was recorded and the scene was re-animated. This is the G.E. exec who said to Arthur Rankin, 'There is no such thing as a girl elf,' to which Arthur replied, 'There is no such thing as an elf.'

"In 1998, the special was restored to its original 1964 version, except for the original end credits. The original credits had an elf throwing packages off Santa's sleigh with the credits on them. Later, they re-animated that sequence and had him throwing the misfit toys off with umbrellas, and many of the names in the second version of the credits are spelled wrong.

"'Fame & Fortune' is on the Rudolph DVD as an extra."

Cool, huh? Shameless plug for a guy who was nice enough to help me out: Read more of Rick's fascinating details in his book, available on the Rankin/Bass site.

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New Rudolph DVD?

NEWS has broke in some magazines that CLASSIC MEDIA is doing a special RUDOLPH DVD release for this CHRISTMAS BUT they have yet to involve myself, ARTHUR, JULES etc. How special will this release be? Would be GREAT if they would include interviews that I could conduct with MAURY LAWS, TONY PETERS, etc. and RARE Archival stuff. The last DVD had some nice EXTRAS but was packaged mainly for KIDS rather than the COLLECTORS...which there are many.

Ebay Charity Auctions!

2002 Tony Award winner Sutton Foster will launch several charity auctions on ebay Starting MARCH 2nd and we contributed quite a bit of RANKIN/BASS materials to it. It will benefit the PIED PIPER'S CHILDRENS Theatre and Program for the youngsters in NY. She is C0-Producing SNOOPY, THE MUSICAL for the Theatre either in MARCH or APRIL. Our Friends TIME & SPACE TOYS (timeandspacetoys.com), KIRSTEN ULVE (kirstenulve.com) and SHAG (www.shag-art.com) Contributed items to the auction as well!

Autographed Mrs. Claus Photo!

Be sure to order your Photo of Santa & Mrs. Claus from Rankin/Bass' Santa Claus is Comin' To Town autographed by the actress/singer who voiced the character of Jessica (who became Mrs. Claus), Robie Lester! All proceeds will be forwarded to Robie as she has recently fallen ill. Click the pic to visit our Online Shoppe - then click "Ad Reprints" to order yours today!

The Starving Artists!

Click here to see the band! I would like to let everyone know I've recently been back into music full force! My band, the STARVING ARTISTS, have been playing music regularly and are recording 12 songs in our first session back at HAIR BEAR STUDIOS later this month! The lineup is myself with DENNIS RIORDAN on bass, CHRIS GOLDSCHMIDT on Drums, JOE RABIG on Lead Guitar and possibly guest TOM MARGARITES as a LEAD GUITAR/SITAR performer. LINDSEY GOLDSCHMIDT is singing backup on some tracks and STACEY GOLDSCHMIDT is shooting the session for a video/documentary for DVD. And, the STARVING ARTISTS will be on WGN MORNING NEWS in MAY! (Click the pic to check out some photos of the band!)

-Rick

- Rick and Mark