Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Children's Song Robin in the Rain; WHO Wrote It? Was It a Scranton Native? I Need Your Help!

"Robin in the Rain" sung by Raffi
Written by Claire Senior Burke...
OR was it Brychan B. Powell of Scranton, PA?

A few days ago I received an email from a school board member in Toronto about the true authorship of the children's song titled Robin in the Rain, which became popular by singer Raffi. 99% of the websites and resources I've researched (including Popular Song Index, as well as the CD booklets of CDs in the Lackawanna County Children's Library that feature the song) credit the sole authorship of the song to Claire Senior Burke.

HOWEVER, my patron told me she found an obscure reference online credited to a book The ASCAP Biographical Dictionary: Composers, Authors and Publishers (Second Edition), edited by Daniel I. McNamara, published in 1952 (the complete book is available online by clicking here).

Page 393 of this book features an entry about Brychan B. Powell (born 8/24/1896), a native of Scranton, PA and member of the ASCAP who also served as managing editor of The Scranton Tribune and The Scrantonian from 1938 until at least the early 1950s. Powell's entry (image above) credits him as the author of the song Robin in the Rain.

Does anyone know the true songwriter of Robin in the Rain, or can anyone provide me with any additional information? If so, please email me by clicking here or leave a comment below.

Listen to Raffi's recording of Robin in the Rain below:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NCIS Los Angeles: Season 2, Episode 23: Imposters (May 10, 2011)

My colleague Martina Soden recently told me about a reference to Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania on last week's episode of CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles, titled Imposters (episode 23 of the show's second season).

After a Navy SEAL imposter is set ablaze, NCIS obtains new information regarding the whereabouts of the stolen Brachytherapy canister from a previous case that could be used to make a deadly bomb.

About 20 minutes into the episode, Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) are walking along the beach interviewing Starr (Kristen Hager), a waitress and possible suspect in the murder. When the discussion turns to aliases and changing identities, Starr tells Kensi and Marty the following:


A lot of people want a better life for themselves and dream of being someone they’re not. Starr sounds a little better than Sarah Ann Shulman from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania.

To watch the full episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, click here.

Much thanks to Martina Soden for this reference.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Office's Ed Helms Discusses His Experience at The Office Convention in Scranton in May 2011 Playboy

Scranton references can come from the most unlikely of places...even Playboy Magazine.

The May 2011 issue of Playboy (Karina Smirnoff cover) features a 20 Question interview with actor Ed Helms (Andy Bernard on The Office, and star of the upcoming The Hangover II) written by Eric Spitznagel (pp. 86-87; 116-119). Check out question 12 (page 188) below, in which Helms discusses one of his experiences at The Office Convention in Scranton in 2008:

A few years ago, you attended an Office convention in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where your fictional Dunder Mifflin paper company office is located. What are the hardcore fans really like?

They're pretty extreme, man. At that convention we were like The Beatles for a weekend. We had a police escort just to get around town, and everywhere we went there was a round of applause. At one point I was in a car with [Office co-star] Angela Kinsey in downtown Scranton, and we passed a model-train store. I asked the driver to stop so we could go in. And before we knew it, fans were starting to pour in. A cop eventually showed up and said, "Everyone out." And they shut down this store so Angela and I could walk around and look at model trains. That was just crazy to me. I thought that shit only happened to Justin Bieber.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Wilkes-Barre Native Douglas Carter Beane Recieves Tony Writing Nod for Broadway's Sister Act

We would like to wish a big congratulations and good luck to Wilkes-Barre native Douglas Carter Beane, who received a Tony nomination (his 3rd) this past Monday for Best Book of a Musical (shared with authors Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner) for the new Broadway musical Sister Act. Beane contributed additional text to the original book of the show, which originally debuted on London's West End in 2009.

Beane was previously nominated twice for Tony awards -- 2007's Best Play for The Little Dog Laughed and 2008's Best Book of a Musical for Xanadu.

The Tony Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 12th at 8 PM.

For a complete list of this year's Tony nominees, click here.

For a previous blog entry on Douglas Carter Beane, click here.