What do Hedy Lamarr, Lefty Gomez, and David Bromberg have in common? Hedy is a 1940’s movie star. Lefty is a hall of fame major league pitcher. Bromberg is an amazing multi-instrumentalist, song writer, and singer. Take a break from your busy day to find the answer.
That’s Hedy not Hedley. Hedy Lamarr is not the Hedley of Blazing Saddles fame. Ms. Lamarr was one of Hollywood’s most successful and glamorous leading ladies in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood. In addition, Ms. Lamarr was also a technology nerd. She co-invented ‘spread spectrum frequency-hopping’. This technology is the basis of Bluetooth, WiFi, and cell phones. Check out her tech story at the following links: CEPro and WNYC.
Lefty Gomez is best remembered as a Hall of Fame major league pitcher. From 1900 to 1950, only Lefty Grove, Christy Mathewson, and Whitey Ford have both more victories and a higher winning percentage than Lefty Gomez.
Lefty is also a character in an epic American saga that includes covered wagons crossing the Rockies, life in the San Francisco bay area prior to the building of the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, playing in ball parks from Point Reyes California to Yankee Stadium. His story also includes friendships with 20th century notables such as Babe Ruth, James Michener, Ernest Hemingway, George Gershwin, and Joe DiMaggio.
I originally became aware of this story via an interview with Lefty’s daughter, Verona, at KNBR in San Francisco with host Marty Lurie. Marty’s pod cast is no longer available for free. But I found this link to another Verona Gomez interview via a Portland Oregon radio broadcast: Select KEX. If you like what you hear, you may also want to check out this link: LeftyGomez
My final story looks back at David Bromberg and the song ‘Mr. Bo Jangles’ written by Jerry Jeff Walker. This was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1972. It was a monster top 40 hit. If you were around at the time, you couldn’t get away from it. However, David offers a different spin on this classic Jerry Jeff song. I first heard his version live at the Troubadour in L.A. in the winter of 1976. David’s version reveals the true story of Bo Jangles and Jerry Jeff. The following link is a recording of his performance. Be patient, the real story unfolds about three minutes into the recording. Select this YouTube link: Bo Jangels.
What do Hedy, Lefty, and David have in common? Well, not much other than each is a story that has languished in my blog-to-do-list notes for many months. I am just happy to finally publish them in my blog.
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