May 7, 2013: A solid, new article about the Sabich shooting is in the British edition of GQ. I learned a few new details. Hilarious that the writer makes a goof related to this website, labeling Longet "the woman who once recorded an album called Cuddle Up With Claudine Longet." A misleading statement, obviously. That's my title, long after the fact.
This website experienced a mysterious surge of hits on March 17th and 18th. On the 17th in particular, the tally of hits jumped over 800 hits beyond the usual mediocre figure. Now I'm wondering if this writer was using my site for research.
September 25: Claudine's ex-husband (and legendary easy-listening singer and television star) Andy Williams has died of bladder cancer. He was 84.
November 15: The Rolling Stones are releasing a deluxe version of their famous "Some Girls" album on the 21st, and the bonus disc will include "Claudine," the oft-bootlegged ode to Claudine Longet.
November 6: Sorry to say, Andy Williams has announced that he has bladder cancer. But he does sound optimistic.
December 7: I belatedly discovered that Andy Williams has penned a new autobiography titled "Moon River and Me." I was in a local bookstore today, and skimmed it. This is hardly a full-bore book review, but let's just say that he comes off like a pleasant, courteous, sincere man, just as one would expect. He does allow himself a couple of racy anecdotes, which is appreciated (look up the one about Ava Gardner). As for Longet content, well, it mostly boils down to four topics: their initial romance (their early phone calls required a French interpreter), their split (the familiar "my career kept me away from home and drove us apart" tale), their relationship with Robert and Ethel Kennedy (Williams' account of the assassination is quite powerful) and the Sabich shooting. Yes, he does talk about the latter -- I wondered if the subject might be entirely excluded.
Longet first appears on page 112 of the hardback pressing. The Sabich shooting is discussed around pages 256-266. Longet is not mentioned again beyond that point, except in the epilogue thank-you's. There is a page or so about her professional career, with perfunctory content. I was amused to learn she was bad at poker, because she would stick with every hand until the end. Another cute detail: She was initially so naive about America that she thought she could pay a L.A. cab fare with a leftover casino chip, just like she had done in Las Vegas.
Williams' take on the Sabich shooting seems fairly straightforward and unguarded. He believes it was an accident. He mentions Longet burning her diary, which remains troubling, but he also cites some unfair treatment of her (such as the dubious smear about her pointing the gun at Sabich and jokingly saying "Bang bang").
Some of the book's text is readable online at the above Amazon link.
March 11: I suppose this is somewhat of a "State of the Union" address. A few issues seem to call for my attention. I initially intended to write just a paragraph, but some other relevant topics occured to me.
Firstly, I am sorry to report that the Claudine Longet mailing list is in major trouble. The list always has been a mess -- whoever launched it insists upon remaining invisible and anonymous, and the posts go totally unmoderated. Spammers are not booted (there are currently 95 members, and I bet at least a third of them are transient spammers), and the "OneList.com" links in the message footers are badly outdated. Maybe the moderator doesn't even subscribe anymore -- the boat seems sadly rudderless. But now, this unhealthy situation has become a crisis. A new spammer has joined, and is posting garbage like this roughly twice a day. Given the list's otherwise feeble volume (83 posts during all of 2008), there really isn't enough constructive content to balance the burden of this obnoxious girlie spam. I believe one person has already unsubscribed, and I suspect more will follow. It's probably futile to demand action from the list's comatose moderator, but I'll send out this call anyway.
I haven't even mentioned another problem which was evident from the start: The moderator's introductory message ("List devoted to the great French Singer/Actress," etc.) fails to mention Claudine by name, which means that anyone searching Yahoo for lists related to "Claudine Longet" will not be given this list in his/her results! Another oversight which needs to be corrected.
In recent months, I've also been dismayed to receive two or three emails from Longet fans gingerly wondering if this site is dead and not being updated anymore. This is troubling, because I don't like to be perceived as "negligent." The simple truth is that the site is devoted to a woman who has been in strict seclusion for about 30 years, and there just isn't much fresh material which demands to be incorporated. Of course, there are new compilations now and then, and I always add information about those. But otherwise, there's not much to do beyond just digging around for more and more old pictures. And alas, the Claudine Longet blog is more fanatical about this than me, and has "scooped" me with several nifty photos which seem unethical for me to copy for my own purposes. Furthermore, I'm admittedly a little peeved that the superficial "Pictures" page of this site continues to be the most visited section month after month, when I've put so much time into composing the text.
The one area where I'll regrettably confess negligence is my album reviews. I've intended to post commentaries about all her original albums since the very beginning, and as yet I've only written about three of the later ones (and those reviews are just re-jiggered passages from my Cuddle Up with Claudine liner notes). Bad form. So, I offer no excuses here. Hopefully, I'll find the time and energy to review her five A&M albums someday, but I'm not exactly receiving daily pleas to do so. (More likely, I'll get a plea to find contemporary photos of her -- sorry, you're better off trying to contact one of her family members. The paparazzi moved onto fresher targets decades ago.)
While I'm here, I also could add a comment about the feedback that I receive. It's a strangely mixed message, indicating that I fail to please a lot of people. About 80% of the mail is appreciative, and usually comes from older fans who fondly remember seeing Longet on television or film during the '60s. But I also receive (usually inarticulate) abuse of the "your honoring a disgusting murderer!" variety. I somewhat resent this mail because my site doesn't proclaim Longet's innocence anywhere, and the material is obviously much more focused on her musical and acting careers. In fact, some TMZ-minded folks are disappointed that I don't luridly dwell on the shooting more. Meanwhile, Longet's personal circle obviously shuns my site because I mention the Sabich shooting at all. So, what's a poor boy to do?
August 31: In recent times, I noticed that Wikipedia's Claudine Longet page had removed the link to my website. I wondered why. Another symptom of the obvious disapproval which the ever-silent Longet clan feels toward me?
Well, I just went through the page's revision history to figure out what happened. Whew, what an incredible number of revisions! Revisions and revisions and revisions, and often of really ticky-tacky items. HTML formatting, little word swaps, minor documentation, etc. However, plenty of information about her relationship with Bobby Kennedy has been added since I last looked. The text is an interesting read but, on the other hand, I feel this new section slants the page's balance too far away from her music/acting career.
Anyway, here's what I discovered: The Wikipedia link to my Longet site was removed on March 30th of this year. The reason cited was that the link had died.
This makes sense, because this was back when my site kept dying at the end of every month due to bandwidth overload. This also probably explains why my traffic has dropped. By about half? Uh oh.
In any case, I have re-added the link now.
August: I'm told that the new film "Pineapple Express" includes Longet's "Love Is Blue" as background score during one scene. It is not on the soundtrack album, however. But, hey, Spiritualized is!
May 2: I checked the Hulu site again. Now it also has the "Big Raffle" episode of McHale's Navy, which also happens to be Longet's acting debut. Nice! I already watched it myself. It's pure junk -- unfunny, sexist and even a bit racist -- but, hey, Claudine looks gorgeous. Note: Ernest Borgnine only appears in one quick scene at the very end. Strange.
March 12: Hulu launched today, offering many new and old TV episodes (and films) for viewing. This includes "Journey from San Juan," the Alias Smith and Jones episode where Longet is a guest actress. I'm going to see the episode for the first time myself!
December 23: I feel the need to insert a general note here. For quite awhile now (perhaps ever since someone purchased the www.claudinelonget.com domain and linked it to this site), I've exhausted my site's monthly alloted bandwidth at some point during every month. The threshold has been passed as late as the final day of the month, and as early as the 13th or so. Earthlink always warns me that my site will be shut down until the end of the month as a result, but it never seemed to actually happen. Well, lately, it has been happening. As I write these words, my website is dead for the rest of December. The primary cause of the problem seems pretty clear to me -- by far, the most popular section of this site is (lamentably) the page which required the least work from me: the Pictures page. I thought I could fix the traffic problem by storing those pictures in a different Earthlink space (I moved them two or three months ago), but this doesn't seem to be working. I can't see any solution to this problem, beyond simply getting rid of multiple pictures. And no one wants that, right? So...I don't know what else to say here beyond, well, maybe you folks might explore some of the site's text-based sections more often.
July 2: The oft-coveted Run Wild, Run Free is being reissued again! Amazon already has a page for the CD.
May 3: Today, the CW announced that "Gilmore Girls" will not be returning for an eighth season. But presumably, its two surprising plugs for Longet's music will live on in syndication.
March 23: Believe it or not, I saw "McHale's Navy" for the very first time this month. Thank you, AMC...I think? Wow, what an awful movie. I've rarely seen a film which was shot so much like a TV sitcom -- only the laugh track was missing. Longet mainly appears in two isolated sequences, and serves as an unlikely romantic interest for Tim Conway -- a comedian whose exaggerated, bumbling persona has always left me utterly cold. I'll deduct one more point for a scene where McHale's impossibly "out of control" vehicle chases his commanding officer (Joe Flynn) around some village streets, runs him down and leaves us with the most glaringly obvious use of a stunt dummy I've ever seen. One interesting note: I did not realize Gavin MacLeod had a small role in this film, which I suppose earns him a badge of honor for being the only actor to appear in two films with Claudine.
February 27: Back Numbers, the second album by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (both, late of Luna), was released today. Phillips' breathy vocals have plenty of Longet-esque appeal, and the album even includes a version of "White Horses." Regardless of my interest in Longet, I recommend this fine album.
February 22: Looks like Longet's older A&M anthology is being reissued, now bundled with a compatible Chris Montez collection.
January 6: Another Longet-focused blog has risen. Ain't life grand?
October 15: Well, whaddya know? Competition! There's a new blog, entirely devoted to Claudine Longet. And the blogger already has managed to grab a publicity picture which I hadn't come across, darn it. Oh, cursed eBay, you are such a fickle benefactor....
May 10: Thanks to the "Scout" function which DirecTV provides, I managed to get notified about Encore's Action channel showing a rerun of "Silver Service," the Combat! episode featuring Claudine. I actually haven't seen any of her acting roles beyond "The Party," so this was fun to see.
I was surprised. The episode was fairly well-written, with a theme reminding me somewhat of the silent classic "Greed" as well as a 1961 Twilight Zone episode called "The Rip Van Winkle Caper." I was also surprised at the size of Longet's role and her solid performance.
Naturally, the setting is France. Mickey Rooney is the guest star (Claudine is only listed in the closing credits), playing the familiar type of a charismatic, fast-talking "operator" who's always playing the angles. He would get along great with Klinger from M*A*S*H*. The episode opens with the character ("Harry") winning big at craps, using loaded dice. The other soldiers discover the ruse too late, and run out to see Harry's truck driving away. But shortly thereafter, a bombing occurs and the tone turns serious. One of the main characters, Kirby, staggers away and ends up finding Harry stuck with an empty gas tank. A karmic twist, since the soldiers had secretly siphoned gas from the truck to [....].
The two flee from the bombings, and burst into a small village home. They startle a lovely girl named Claudette (Longet) and her ailing grandfather (Ramon Novarro, a star from the silent era whose films include the original "Ben-Hur" and "The Prisoner of Zenda"). Kirby is injured, and collapses almost as soon as he enters the room. Claudette rushes to nurse him. The subsequent scenes are a little hard to watch, though it's refreshingly odd to see Longet sparring with a legendary actor like Rooney.
March 21: Today is the 30th anniversary of the day which changed Claudine's life forever.
February 13: [IMPORTANT] Well, the long-awaited CourtTV program about the Sabich shooting aired three times tonight, resulting in about 600 hits for the evening (the average tally for that period would be just 40 or so). The bounty included three doses of hate mail, blasting me for glamorizing Longet with this site. My favorite potshot was "I hope your daughters grow up to be just like her." Yowsa. It's ironic to recall an email exchange back in November, when the person who wrote the liner notes for the recent Rev-Ola compilation hinted (apparently based on direct communication with the Longet/Williams clan) that I'd always be shunned by Longet's circle, as long as my site has so much negative focus on the shooting. So, I guess I'm too sympathetic and too cruel to her. I can't please anyone, eh?
But, what to say about the episode itself? It's hard to take issue with any of the research presented, but the style of the program was pure tabloid. The program's webpage immediately lets the viewer know what he's in for, with its sensational title ("Dominick Dunne's Power Privilege and Justice"), tacky animation, melodramatic sloganeering ("The thing they couldn't buy was...their innocence") and its promise to unveil "the dark side of the rich and famous." The episode's structure followed formula as well, with its steady dependence on blurry recreations, flashy editing, stylized slow-motion and jagged closeups.
I've been in steady contact with the episode's producer in recent months, and she seems like a very nice (and intelligent) woman, so I blame the stylistic trappings on the show's established format. I did learn a few interesting facts here and there, however. Or at least, I was reminded of some facts which I had forgotten. I'll add a few more comments, in the near future.
Parenthetical note: I've been recently monitoring this site's hit count for the first time in awhile. Mostly out of necessity -- the site has exceeded its allotted monthly bandwidth for the past two months. Even as I post this, Earthlink has allegedly "shut down" the site through the end of January, though I can perceive no actual disruption (can you?). In any case, I am amazed at how the site's traffic has grown. If you had asked me to guess a few months ago, I would have estimated that the site draws 50 or 60 hits a day. For the first few years, it was more like 30. However, over the past week, it has averaged approximately 173 hits a day. Zoinks. That's nothing by general Web standards, of course, but I am stunned that so many folks are regularly compelled to seek out such a minor, decades-inactive celebrity. It's probably safe to say that most visitors seek the voyeuristic, tabloid qualities of the Sabich shooting rather than information about Longet's show-business career, but still...wow. Where are you people coming from? I wonder if I am newly linked from some popular, high-traffic website. Possibly PopJunkie?
January 18: So, we learn the upcoming CourtTV episode about Longet/Sabich is titled The Starlet and the Skier.
January 9, 2006: Frank Tucker, the former District Attorney who was prosecutor in the Longet/Sabich trial, has died of cancer at 64. I was not aware until now that he was later "disgraced" himself, and spent time in jail due to an embezzlement conviction.
December 14: A small factoid, which is awkward to insert anywhere else. The CourtTV producer who's working on the Longet/Sabich special tells me that the actual wedding date of Claudine and her attorney Ron Austin was June 1, 1985. This contradicts the 1986 date given by "The E! True Hollywood Story."
October: British reissue label Rev-Ola has released a new compilation called Hello Hello: The Best of Claudine Longet. The disc only spans her A&M catalog, but it's packed with 25 tracks, including the b-sides "White Horses," "Sleep Safe and Warm" and "I Don't Intend to Spend Christmas Without You." See more information here.
September: [IMPORTANT] Cable's CourtTV channel -- specifically, this program -- is planning an hourlong episode devoted to the Longet/Sabich saga. The show's producer contacted me through my site, and we have exchanged numerous emails and a phone call. There's a small chance that I may appear on-camera as a "talking head" to offer background on Longet's show-biz career. But, unfortunately, I don't believe the show has scored any important interview subjects from Longet's circle, so there probably won't be much fresh ground covered.
May 17: "Gilmore Girls" does it again! On the WB show's season finale, the moodsetting background music for a climactic sad scene was Claudine's version of "I Think It's Going to Rain Today." Someone tell Amy Sherman-Palladino to send me a quote, regarding her thoughts on Claudine's music.
April 26: The combined We've Only Just Begun/Let's Spend the Night Together reissue is now available.
February, 2005: Helpful fans have informed me that, on April 26, Pennsylvania-based Collectables Records will be issuing a two-fer Longet CD which combines the We've Only Just Begun and Let's Spend the Night Together albums. Based on the quality of the cover artwork, I'm not expecting any miracles in the liner-notes and remastering departments but, hey, as long as it's legal....
September: Highly respected Mojo magazine gives the Cuddle Up with Claudine compilation a promotional boost, and includes "Jealous Guy/Don't Let Me Down" on a giveway CD of Beatles covers!
July 1: rdkRecords has reissued the 1975 Little Prince children's album, which includes Claudine's spoken role as "The Flower." There's even an entire website devoted to it, including a rare Longet picture. Check it out! You can order the CD or cassette through the site, or through a general retailer like Amazon.
February 29: This year's Oscars ceremony gave a special career award to Blake Edwards (director of "The Party"), and a showcased montage of film clips included a short flash of the "Party" scene in which Peter Sellers and Claudine frolic in a room full of soap bubbles. Serendipity!
January 23: Today, a record-business insider passed me some current sales figures for Claudine's catalog. They're interesting to see, though the tallies obviously don't include sales from the pre-computer era. This is crucial in Longet's case, since her catalog is practically out of print. Anyway, the most worthwhile information is that her Varèse anthology has currently sold 2,756 copies. About what I would expect, I guess? The other pitiful numbers:
Claudine: 10 copies
No numbers available at all for her other releases.
The Look of Love: 6 copies
Love Is Blue: 4 copies
We've Only Just Begun: 8 copies
Cuddle Up with Claudine: 10 copies (huzzah!)
The Best of Claudine Longet (import): 160 copies
January 20, 2004: Brutal! I just discovered that this search site has downgraded Claudine from the "Celebrities" category to the mere "People" category.
August 27: Sheer madness. A copy of the Japanese Run Wild, Run Free CD sold for $312.00 on eBay.
July 4: A French fan informs me that Telerama magazine has published an article about Claudine. It's in French, but perhaps I'll work on translating it. Here is Google's translation attempt....
May 27: Shindig Magazine actually reviewed the Cuddle Up compilation! Wonders never cease. Now pardon me, while I take a moment to reflect on how I feel about being labeled her "super-fan."
May 19: In France, RCA Victor has released a new issue of "The Party" on CD -- including Claudine's much-coveted version of "Nothing to Lose" as a bonus track. Amazon's French and American sites are among the places which have it for sale. The French version also posts soundclips of five tracks (but not "Nothing to Lose").
May 16: More mainstream exposure for Claudine! I just discovered that May 23rd will bring a remake of the 1979 hit film "The In-Laws." The stars include Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks and Candice Bergen. Why do we care? Because the soundtrack features Claudine's old version of "A Man and a Woman"! Read about the film, or check out the CD. Incidentally, the disc also includes "A Love for You," a new song by Paul McCartney.
May 6: Wow. Already, a copy of the Cuddle Up With Claudine Longet CD has been sold on eBay...for a steep $42.99! Someone is going to be unhappy, once he checks the sale prices posted on my Shop page....
[IMPORTANT] April 15: The Cuddle Up With Claudine Longet anthology is finally released! No kidding! See here for more details about the album, or here for some websites where it can be purchased.
January 26, 2003: An intriguing development in this site's visibility has occured. A Longet fan has purchased the domains www.claudinelonget.com and www.claudinelonget.info. As of now, this site is (almost) directly accessible through those addresses. Try them and see.
November 25: The release of the Cuddle Up With Claudine anthology has been pushed back yet again...this time, to January. However, the cover art is now available. See right.
October 1: A new "Gilmore Girls" soundtrack CD is in stores, courtesy of the geniuses at Rhino Records. In addition to personally favored artists like XTC, John Lennon, Sam Phillips, P J Harvey, Black Box Recorder, Yo La Tengo, Big Star, Björk, Yoko Ono, Elastica and Komeda, the album includes Claudine's version of "God Only Knows." What a great selection of tracks!
September 23: A rare copy of Claudine's Run Wild, Run Free CD sold for a whopping $133.37 on eBay. Amazing!
September 10: Now, Munster tells me the Longet anthology will come out on November 21st.
September 9: According to Amazon's German site, a Japanese label released three Longet compilations today? But no useful information is provided, beyond the titles (Guantanamera, Time After Time, More I See You - Call Me). I'm told these titles are incorrectly credited, and were actually released by other A&M artists like the Sandpipers and Chris Montez.
July 1: A search of the GEMM website reveals a surprising number of vendors who claim to be selling the upcoming Cuddle Up With Claudine anthology. Highly dubious, I'd say. Note that all of these sources only rate one out of five stars for reliability.
June 4: Munster Records tells me the new Longet anthology will probably be released in September.
May 29: Those darn liner notes are done, at last! All 4,990 words of 'em!
May 1: The E! channel is showing the old "Saturday Night Live" episode with the infamous "Claudine Longet Invitational" parody. Check here for an episode synopsis, including a transcript of the Longet segment.
April 18: I conducted an interview with Longet producer Ken Mansfield, trying to get information for the Munster liner notes. Read the entire interview here.
March 13: This week's "South Park" episode concerned the boys taking a trip to Aspen. To ski. With the help of a ski instructor. Anyone see a missed opportunity for a tasteless throwaway joke here? A surprising oversight, given the show's history. While I'm here, I might almost mention that the week's "Simpsons" episode referenced Andy Williams (as well as notorious easy-listening mecca Branson, MO). Consecutive theater marquees were seen, saying "ANDY WILLIAMS PRESENTS GLEN CAMPBELL" and "GLEN CAMPBELL PRESENTS ANDY WILLIAMS."
March 9: A provocative post landed on the Claudine Longet mailing list, today...the first possible evidence that Longet has actually checked out this site. (No one from her camp has ever contacted me -- that's four-and-a-half years of silence.) The writer's grammar is, um, less than exemplary and she could be delusional, but here's what she wrote: "i am a good frend of Claudine Longet and Andy williamms and I tell you one thing i did not like what every one saying bad thning about her she is a very sweet woman i have ever know I know one thing she did not like the webside of her and that song that some one did of her they made her to a cold boldkiller and she wes very upset about her and her kids fell the same way if you like Claudine like you say you did you would not up thing up like that about here." My strenuous efforts to parse this statement tell me Longet may dislike this site because it includes negative as well as positive information. Well, it's not realistic to expect otherwise. I think I'm more than fair to her case, and believe me, there are loads of cheap shots on the Web which this site chooses to ignore.
Munster Records has sent me the track listing for its upcoming Longet anthology, which closely follows my own suggestions. The CD will include all the tracks from We've Only Just Begun except "Make It With You"; all the tracks from Let's Spend the Night Together except "When I Loved Him," "Epilogue/While You're Sleeping" and "Prologue/While You're Sleeping"; and six tracks ("Guess Who I Saw in Paris," "You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry," "All Alone Am I," "Sugar Me," "You Set My Dreams to Music" and "As If You Walked Away") from the Sugar Me rarities album. In addition to the CD, the label also will offer a double-vinyl pressing which adds seven tracks not found on the CD: "Make It With You," "When I Loved Him," "I Cannot Love You," "Who Broke Your Heart," "Anytime of the Year," "Every Beat of My Heart" and (somewhat mysteriously) the earlier B-side "Sleep Safe and Warm." This means the only Barnaby-era tracks skipped altogether are the two "While You're Sleeping" pieces (which are essentially instrumental)," "With Wings" (which has a botched ending) and "Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye." I'm also told the album actually will be named after this site (!), which is a fairly remarkable development. (Addendum: "Peace Will Come According to Plan" was also dropped from the CD version, eventually.)
March 5: There's sad news for Longet fans on the Web. The streaming audio on the Interstellar Cafe site has been removed, following cease-and-desist notices from the RIAA and BMI. I've deleted this site's links to the page, accordingly. My condolences, Otis....
The February issue of Mojo magazine has an article on the WB series "Gilmore Girls." Centered on the show's hip penchant for namedropping offbeat artists and albums, the article praises the show's musical range, noting that it cites both "The Damned and Claudine Longet." The spread also has a shot of the show's two main characters sitting dejected on a bed, with a joke caption reading "No more Claudine Longet, please!" Check pages 22 and 23.
January 29: Claudine Longet turned 60 years old, today. Muhammad Ali actually earned a primetime network special for his 60th birthday celebration...the media attention paid to Longet's big day was somewhat less pronounced.
January 15, 2002: I have been contacted by the Madrid-based label Munster Records for input on a new Longet anthology disc. The included material will be only from the Barnaby years (i.e., We've Only Just Begun, Let's Spend the Night Together and Sugar Me). I've actually been commissioned to write the liner notes, so stay tuned.
December 11: "The Party" is released on DVD today. Find further details at Amazon or the All Movie Guide. Also, Tricatel Records releases a new André Popp compilation CD, which includes Longet's version of "Love Is Blue."
September 20: The Claudine Longet Audio Archives have moved again.
September 4: Franklin Castle Recordings releases 25 Demos, a new compilation of Margo Guryan demos. Ten of these songs are also found on the Take a Picture reissue (see October 17, 2000 news). The disc includes both "Think of Rain" and "I Don't Intend to Spend Christmas Without You," the two Guryan songs which were later recorded by Claudine.
August 28: I was contacted by an editor from the Netscape Open Directory Project, who says he has designated this page as a Cool Site. Here is where "Cuddle Up With Claudine" is highlighted.
August 23: I interviewed Margo Guryan (by phone) for a short magazine piece related to her new CD reissues. Here are her brief comments about Claudine.
July 24: A various-artists compilation called The Mad Mad World of Soundtracks Volume 2 has been released in Germany. It includes the hard-to-find "Nothing to Lose."
July 20: The Claudine Longet Audio Archives have moved to a slightly different location. It's no longer an exclusive Longet page, and contains Real Audio clips for several other artists as well.
[IMPORTANT] The A & E channel's hour-long "City Confidential" episode about the Longet/Sabich story and its impact on Aspen finally aired (see the March 14th and January 7th entries, below). The program was shown twice, first at 10 pm EST and again four hours later. Here's the text of a New York Post review, which someone forwarded to Usenet.
I had mixed feelings, myself. Firstly, narrator Paul Winfield (a veteran actor who's best known for socially conscious, '70s-era projects like "Sounder," "Roots: The Next Generation" and "King") had a distasteful, leering quality to his delivery which sounded like a perverse cross between Orson Welles and Vincent Price. This immediately gave the program a sensationalistic, tabloid feel. Add an overlong, repetitive preamble about Aspen's leisure-class population which was mostly an excuse for the show's writers to earn their paychecks, and things were already looking bleak. Once the narration was through recycling endless images of Aspen's idle-rich lifestyle (not to mention some convenient plugs for local restaurants), the real story began. Fifteen minutes into the episode.
Last year's "E! True Hollywood Story" account of this tale reduced Longet's singing career to one sentence, but "City Confidential" went even further: Her singing wasn't mentioned at all. This oversight was particularly noticeable, since insets of the Claudine, The Look of Love and Love Is Blue album sleeves were used for photo material.
If you missed this program, you can buy a tape of it here.
May 24: The WB network celebrated Bob Dylan's 60th birthday by rebroadcasting the notorious "Gilmore Girls" episode which plugs "Clow-DEEN Lon-JAY." See the January 18th entry, below. Also, check this fun page, which discusses the show's aggressive use of music.
May 13: TVLand showed the old episode of "The Flip Wilson Show" which included a Claudine Longet appearance. And I didn't find out, until it was too late! However, a fan wrote me, and said this syndicated version (edited from an hour down to a half-hour) deleted her appearance. Tsk tsk.
April 26: The "E! True Hollywood Story" episode about Longet/Sabich reruns tonight at 9 pm EST. It also shows tomorrow, at 10 am and 4 pm EST. See the June 11, 2000 news below, for further description.
April: This month's issue of Record Collectors' Magazine (the Japanese version) includes a lengthy profile of the late Nick DeCaro, Claudine's one-time producer/arranger. The story is translated and posted here. Writer Bill Reed contacted me (see Mail page), and adds that he's also planning an entire book about DeCaro.
March 20: Black Box Recorder's The Facts of Life is finally released in the States today, several months after its U.K. issue. This is the best "Claudine-esque" album in ages, and I heartily recommend it to Longet fans whose tastes stretch to contemporary, vanguard sounds.
March 15: The "E! True Hollywood Story" episode about Longet/Sabich reruns tonight at 9 pm EST. It also shows tomorrow, at 10 am and 4 pm EST. See the June 11, 2000 news below, for further description.
March 14: More on the upcoming "City Confidential" episode about the Longet/Sabich story and its impact on Aspen (see January 7, below). A producer from the series tells me the episode is finished, and that it probably will air sometime in May or June. He cautions that Longet's career is barely mentioned (no surprise, there), and adds that the show was difficult to make because many of the townspeople still know Claudine and were reluctant to speak.
January 23: The media blitz continues? The January issue of Biography magazine includes David Goldman's story on Claudine Longet, listed under the tasteful heading "Shocking, Lurid, and True!" Title: "The Singer, the Skier, and the Shot Heard 'Round the Slopes." I had planned to buy the issue, but ended up just browsing it on the rack. The story is only a page long, and is essentially a factual, straightforward account of the Spider Sabich controversy. Naturally, there are no interview quotes. Longet's musical career only earns a sentence or two -- something about "whispery versions of Donovan and Beatles songs." This site isn't directly referenced, but the final paragraph mentions that "several fans have launched Claudine Web sites in the last few years." Several? I count just three: this one, The Claudine Longet Audio Archives and the French site (the latter, never updated). Whatever.
January 18: Television gives another surprising boost to Claudine Longet's visibility. I don't know how many Longet fans watch "Gilmore Girls" on the WB network, but it certainly gets my vote for the best new show of the season. That's reason enough for me to watch, but tonight's episode featured a wholly unexpected bonus.
In the first scene after the opening credits, 16-year-old Rory Gilmore and her friend Lane flip through a stack of CDs which Lane just bought. Rory starts reading names from some of the (surprisingly hip) albums: Blondie, Kraftwerk, Young Marble Giants, Yoko Ono.... Then she pulls out a familiar-looking disc and says, "OK, I must listen to anyone named 'Clow-DEEN Lon-JAY.'" She puts the CD in the player, and Longet's version of "God Only Knows" starts playing. Wow!
Even more amazing, the song keeps playing for over two minutes (an eternity by television standards) as the girls plot an upcoming double-date, and mom Lorelei interrupts to whine about her night-school homework and hint the music is too loud. Rory turns it down, slightly. A minute later, Lorelei returns to say the music is now too soft. Rory inches the volume back up. A moment later, Lorelei whirls around and asks "Who the hell is that, anyway?" "Clow-DEEN Lon-JAY," enunciates Rory. "The chick who shot the skier?" gasps Lorelei. Rory, puzzled: "Um...sure, why not?" Lorelei: "Wow. Renaissance woman!"
Miraculous that Claudine Longet would turn up in such an improbable, high-profile context, eh?
(The same scene also referenced Grandaddy, while the remaining soundtrack added songs by XTC and Sam Phillips -- someone connected with this show obviously has sharp taste in music.)
The entire episode is recapped in detail at the derisive, often funny MightyBigTV website. Much to my surprise, the writer even included a parenthetical link to this site. Links within the MightyBigTV summaries aren't common. Furthermore, you can find a verbatim transcript of the episode, here. Sheesh, such completism!
January 7, 2001: I have been notified that the A & E program "City Confidential" may be planning an episode based around the Longet/Sabich saga and its local effect on Aspen. Oho! More on this story, as it develops.