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The Spin I’m In: He Had Elegance

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Charles Nelson Reilly
The Spin I'm In
@ YouTube
 
A lot of people just know Charles Nelson Reilly from Match Game or as a staple on other 1970’s TV: The Tonight Show, Lidsville, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, etc. I always thought that he was really funny with the glasses, and the ascot, and the laugh. I especially loved when playing a character he would get so intense with mania that you could practically see spit fly from his lisp.

Until I saw his one man biographical play Save It For The Stage: The Life of Reilly I had no idea what an actor’s actor he was: winner of a Tony Award for acting, nominated for a Tony for directing, and a passionate acting teacher. But the stories that really blew my mind were about his upbringing and the obstacles that he had to overcome.

As luck would have it, I had some friends who decided to make a film out of the play and they asked if I would contribute to the score. Life can be so weird…that I would be professionally “involved” with Charles Nelson Reilly. It sounds like something surreal and almost too good to be true.

The play and the film discuss more of his move to TV from Broadway but deals little with his persona as TV icon. Upon his arrival to Hollywood, it is said, he got off the plane to 70 degrees weather and said, “How long has this been going on?” He stayed ever since.

CNR- RIP

 

The Spin I'm In: He Had Elegance 

     

Song

Artist

     

Elegance

Charles Nelson Reilly
(Hello Dolly! Original Broadway cast)

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This Is Where I Belong

Frank Black

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Spanish Flea

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

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You'll Lose a Good Thing

Barbara Lynn

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Hymn for a Sunday Evening (Ed Sullivan)

Bye Bye Birdie! (Original Broadway Cast)

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Hello Dolly!

Carol Channing

(Hello Dolly! Original Broadway Cast)

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This Is Where I Belong

The Kinks

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Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks is a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her first solo record, Transmiticate, has been released nationwide and a US tour is booked for Spring and Summer 2008. Donita is also the co-founder and front person of the rock band L7 who have released six studio albums.

Her original scores can be heard in the upcoming feature film The Life of Reilly starring Charles Nelson Reilly and in online projects for Activision and Microsoft. In 1991 Sparks and L7 formed Rock For Choice with the Feminist Majority Foundation staging numerous concerts benefiting pro-choice organizations.
Donita has been a contributing writer at Firedoglake since July 2006 with her music column The Spin I’m In.

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