Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street.
But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.
When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."
Initially, he says he was scared about what sobriety would do to his personality and his creativity.
Cats! We can't get enough of their cute, fuzzy faces and fickle personalities. Neither can musicians, apparently. In this game, Jonathan Coulton delivers some musical clues to songs that have cats in their title, or were performed by musical acts with a feline name. One song is even performed entirely in "meow."
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Yes, we're talking about the quirky Icelandic singer Björk, but you don't need to know anything about her. Jonathan Coulton delivers clues to words, phrases, and proper names into which you must cleverly insert "Björk." For example, a small dog that was bred to catch rats is a "Björkshire terrier." Life is just more fun when you put a Björk in it.