Saturday, September 29, 2007

Richard Erdoes magazine illustration, 1957

I came across this full-page illustration in a '57 issue of LIFE Magazine, acompanying an article about the innovations and possibilities of recording tape.

I was struck by artist Richard Erdoes familiar and charming style, as well as the happy and only slightly off-target prescience of the images...

(click on image to ENLARGE on a new page)

"Present and future uses of tape ranges from simple home recordings (top strip) to complex operation of push-button households (bottom)."

In casting about for further examples of Erdoes' work, I was pleased and not at all surprised to discover that there has been at least a small bit of further discussion online: (click on links)

Some images from the 1954 book Jokes, Jokes, Jokes appeared a couple of months back at
Mike Lynch's site (Found via Drawn!), which in turn yielded a link to some 1960's color book illustrations posted at flickr by Eric Sturdevant.

What can be gleaned about Erdoes' from these links is that he supplied many illustrations to LIFE in the fifties, and by the sixties produced artwork for several children's books.

Is there anyone reading this who can share further info about this artist, or point us all to further examples of his work? If so, please drop a line or leave a comment on this post. Much obliged!

ADDENDUM, 4/6/08: Thanks to Sami (see comments) for sharing the discovery of an Erdoes LP cover.

It's the 1953 'studio cast' recording of Rodgers & Hart's 'The Boys From Syracuse'.

Googling about I found a clearer image of the album art.
Agreed, Sami, very Flora-esque!

ADDENDUM, 5/3/10: Thanks to Ariel S. Winter (see comments) for providing a link to his
Flickr sets, including plenty of Erdoes illos!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 09/28/07

A few randoms and sundries with a quickness whilst I'm on the fly back here in my old bay area stamping grounds...

- My Guest-DJ shift at KALX yesterday morning was a complete BLAST!

A treat to hang with Sex 14s, great to get that rush of the 'seat-of-the-pants, non-definitive radio' experience that I've not had in a while. Several nice calls and follow-up emails from well-wishers, a few pop-ins from old radio pals... A true lovefest.

Elsewhere - -

- Be sure to bookmark the enormous and stunning bad music etc mp3 archive at April Winchell's website.

("The only bad music is boring music" - Barrett 'Dr. Demento' Hansen)

(Thanks to Laura In The Living Room for the link!)

- During a visit to Green Apple Books the other day I was lucky enough to find a copy of Taschen's new 'Tiki Modern' book to leaf through.

I'd read about it at Eye of the Goof, but it was my first chance to see it in person. Absolutely lovely! A feast of eye-candy. Yum yum!

- 'Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding' - - a new DVD from Stax. Haven't seen it yet, but you better believe I'll be checking it out.

Spotted it the other day. Loaded with performance clips, it looks like a dream come true. Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reminder - - My guest DJ slot on KALX

- - Just a reminder: - -

THURSDAY 9/27/07
9am - NOON (Pacific Time)
'The In Crowd' (that's me) guest DJ slot
on KALX 90.7 FM in Berkeley
( ), live on the air with Sex 14s.

As if another visit back to the bay area from whence I came isn't excitement enough for me, tomorrow morning,
THURSDAY the 27th,
I'll be on the air sitting in with my dear friend
Sex 14s, spinning tunes during his morning timeslot on KALX.

Last time I did this was back in January, and Sex was gracious enough to turn his show over to me for the duration. It was just WAY too much fun.

(KALX ad image by DJ Craig Baxter.) ➤

I hope you'll listen in, if you have the opportunity.
It's been a while since I've had the live radio experience I love so much. Could be I'll suck, which I'm sure would also be entertaining...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little more Village Music reminiscing

As the end-of-the-month closing date for my old home-town collector's record shop grows closer, I searched around and found just a few more links to additional bits and pieces pertaining to Village Music...

(You can also follow this link to my previous post on the subject. It includes some news links that'll give you a little more background info.)

- 'Goodbye Village Music', a little video tour/tribute posted at

- Below, check out some hand-held over-the-shoulder footage of Elvis Costello from an intimate in-store performance at Village Music on 5/3/07, posted at YouTube.

As a reaction to record-shopping there, he sings 'One's too many, a hundred's not enough'...

- Follow this link for some more performance clips from that same Costello in-store appearance.

- - And here's an older item, going back to 2001, it's a segment from a local TV news magazine.

Beyond showing the store, the focus is on it's uncertain future in the face of soaring rents and a changing music industry - - the same old story, just a few years earlier.

Village Music mini-doc, 1.12.01

This was one of several occasions when Village managed or was granted a reprieve, but that's not the case this month.

It's just another end to just another era.

My memories of Village Music will be fond ones!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A brief intrusion from real life and limited time...

Hey there - -

All is well, but in the midst of the usual busyness plus preparations for getting out of town this week, I've just recently discovered I'm flying out this afternoon to attend a funeral.

My Aunt was the last of the older generation in my family.

No more parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles. Now my siblings and cousins and I are the older generation (anyone else could probably tell by looking at us), and the kids and nieces and nephews are all proving to be a great next wave.

My aunt lived a long life, much of it independent and very confident.

Her passing did not take long, and she was blessed with complete lucidity as she made her decisions to leave the hospital and return home with hospice care.

Most impressive, she stated clearly that not only was she ready to die, but she was excited to make the next step. Nervous, but looking forward.

Now she's at peace.

I'll doubtless be around, and I'll doubtless be posting more silly nonsense very soon. Thanks for your attention, and all your visits.

MEANWHILE, this might be a good opportunity to delve into my archives, or investigate any of the scads of links in that brown sidebar, or take a roam through the YouTube 'vlog' stuff I've gathered...

Later 'til soon,

'The In Crowd'

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 09/21/07

A few things whirling 'round my brain and flashing 'fore my eyes recently...

1. - - ANNOUNCEMENT!! - -

THURSDAY 9/27/07
9am - NOON (Pacific Time)
'The In Crowd' guest DJ slot on KALX 90.7 FM in Berkeley
( ), live on the air with Sex 14s.

As if another visit back to the bay area from whence I came isn't excitement enough for me, this upcoming
THURSDAY the 27th, barring incident, I'll be on the air sitting in with my dear friend Sex 14s, spinning tunes during his morning timeslot on KALX.
Last time I did this was back in January, and Sex was gracious enough to turn his show over to me for the duration. It was just WAY too much fun.

(KALX ad image by DJ Craig Baxter.) ➔

I hope you'll listen in, if you have the opportunity. It's been a while since I've had the live radio experience I love so much.
Could be I'll suck, which I'm sure would also be entertaining...

2. Speaking of Former-KALX-Deejays, one of my favorite programmers and favorite people during my tenure at KALX was Mo. ➔

It's been a long time now since she's spun at KALX, having returned to her SoCal stamping grounds.

But I was THRILLED just last night to have located her current internet radio show at !

Check it out, grab a listen some time.
It'll make *you* cheerful, too...

3. Some submissionses and correspondencies:

- I had another nice note from frequent visitor Joshua Turner a couple of weekends ago.

Previously he shared with us the unnerving images of 'The Yuk Yuk Clown Doll'. (click on the link if you're prepared to revisit them)

⬅ Now he's sent along pix of this well-loved vintage power drill... (click images to ENLARGE)

"My neighbor was having a yard sale and I picked up this gem. I don't have to much info except that it was made by the Independent Pneumatic Tool Company of Chicago Illinois. The "Flash Gordon" look of this is what interested me and I have never seen a tool so toy-like."

It's a beauty, and the tarnish and gunk give it sort of a 'steampunk' look, don't you think?

I'll admit though, that it took me a beat or two for its charms to work on me. It wasn't too long ago that I was still using my late father's old tools, (And some of HIS father's, too) that didn't look much more modern than this.

When the drill finally gave up, I was startled to find out all the new innovations there've been in power tool techology in recent decades.

'Cordless AND rechargeable? Adjustable torque? Doubles as a reversible screw driver? When did all this happen?!?'

- I was completely honored and amused to discover this new little 'graphic link button' thingie the other day, created by Percy Trout, using the LP cover image of Miyoshi Umeki ⬇ that I posted here a couple of weeks back, just after she'd passed away..

The link is floating amid other such links at his scintillating site 'The Percy Trout Hour'.

I visit there often. He was kind enough to say of my blog - "It's very informative... Plus... You like what I like!"

The feeling is entirely mutual, Percy. Thanks!

- Big Mike Geier, of Useless Playboys fame, recently dropped a line to say he'd seen the piece I'd posted back at the end of May about one of their old 45s.

He also provided a link to the well-remembered band's MySpace page. (click for link)

Thanks Big Mike!

4. "Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Subject: This is why I don't scuba dive!"

I received yet another 'kooky' little forward message this week from a cousin of mine.

Perhaps you have the same cousin?
You're on her list, so she sends jokes and photos of kitties and angels and good luck prayer chains and warnings about the latest government cover-up - - and that's all you ever hear from her?

This one was actually pretty good. Maybe you've already seen it.
It's a cool picture and makes a good story, regardless of whether or not it's the truth, and it comes with that typical odd 'forward' writing style and punctuation...

"Family on holiday in Australia for a week and a half when husband, wife and
their 15 year old son decided to go scuba diving.

"His son wanted a pic of his mum and dad in all their gear so got the
underwater camera on the go. When it came to taking the pic the dad realized
that the son look like he was panicking as he took it and gave the 'OK' hand
sign to see if he was alright.

"The son took the pic and swam to the surface and back to the boat as quick
as he could so the mum and dad followed to see if he was OK. When they got
back to him he was scrambling onto the boat and absolutely sh1tting himself.

"When the parents asked why he said 'there was a shark behind you' and the
dad thought he was joking but the skipper of the boat said it was true and
that they wouldn't believe him if he told them what it was. As soon as they
got back to the hotel they put the pic onto the laptop and this is what they saw..."

*** (click here for photo!) ***

Personally, my favorite part is that the shark looks as though he's posing for the photo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Richard Decker Philadephia Bulletin print ad, 1949

(click on image to ENLARGE)

Richard Decker's single-panel cartoons ran in several American magazines over the course of many years, but he will best be remembered for his affiliation with The New Yorker.

His work first appeared there in 1931, and he maintained a prescence in The New Yorker every year following, until 1969.

Decker was one of the quintessential New Yorker elite cartoonists of the era, along with Robert Day, George Price, Helen Hokinson, Whitney Darrow, and Peter Arno, not to mention some of the more familiar names.

In addition to his regular panels, an ongoing feature that ran for a time in The New Yorker was Decker's full-page advertisements for The Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper.

The premise was always the same; One individual witnesses something spectacular, while everone else is engrossed in the newspaper, the caption always stating 'In Philadelphia nearly everybody reads The Bulletin'.

To differentiate the ad from one of their regular cartoons, The New Yorker would run the disclaiming '(Advertisement)' at the bottom of the page.

See also:

Available for viewing at Google Book Search is text from
'Imagining Philadelphia: Travelers' Views of the City from 1800 to the Present', By Philip Stevick.

If you'll follow the link and 'turn' to page 130, at the beginning of Chapter 9, 'Dreaming Philadelphia', there is a discussion of Decker's Philadelphia Bulletin advertisements that ran in The New Yorker.
The passages provide some background, a critique, and a further example of the ads.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Roger Miller - selections from 'Roger and Out' (1964)

Roger Miller.

Perhaps I've heard people say - - "Roger Miller... Who's that again?"

- - but it's often followed by "Oh! The 'King Of The Road', 'Dang Me', 'Chug-A-Lug' dude?!? Oh sure - - Love that guy!"

Something I'm sure I've never heard anyone say is: "Roger Miller? Ecch - - I hate his music."

Singer/Songwriter/Musician Roger Miller (1936 - 1992) rocketed to fame in 1964 following the release of his first LP for Mercury Records' 'Smash' imprint, though he'd already spent several reasonably successful years in the music business.

He grew up playing and singing, and began working at it as a career after leaving the army in 1957.
After a couple of coolly-received ventures as a recording artist he worked as a touring musician for several prominent Country & Western artists.

In 1958 he began to have better luck as a Nashville songwriter, supplying hit songs to Ray Price,
Faron Young, Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb, and George Jones.

By 1961 he felt ready to pursue being a recording artist again. Following a brief and fruitless stint at Decca, he moved to RCA records where he had a bit more luck with a couple of small hits, but he couldn't repeat that success at RCA.

After leaving the label, he moved to Hollywood around '63, began focusing more on writing novelty songs rather than 'straight' Country, and cultivated a slightly laid-back and lackadaisical performance persona.

Several appearances on network TV followed, which led directly to his recording contract with the Smash Record label.

The songs 'Dang Me' and
'Chug-A-Lug' off of that first Smash album 'Roger and Out' each quickly became big hits.

In response to record sales as that was happening, the label quickly reissued the LP with a different cover, changing the design to more prominently feature 'Dang Me'.

Then they soon did it *again* to also include 'Chug-A-Lug', eventually transitioning out the 'Roger and Out' title completely to re-title the record as 'Dang Me'.

(Click on the three cover images to ENLARGE)

The tracks I've included here from the album are just the ones that are currently out of print.

Don't get me started on my opinion of ANY of Miller's Smash and Mercury catalog being out of print...

...Roger Miller?!?
Oh sure - - LOVE that guy!

From Roger Miller's 'Roger and Out' LP,
(Smash Records, 1964)

Listen to:

The Moon Is High
Private John Q
Feel Of Me
Got 2 Aga-in
I Ain't Comin' Home Tonight
That's Why I Love You Like I Do
Squares Make The World Go Round

(click for audio)

See also:
The Official Roger Miller Website

See also also: Follow these YouTube links for some TV (and one film) appearances...

- From 1966, looking a bit incongruous before an audience of screaming teens in the theatrically-released 'Big TNT Show', performing 'England Swings'.

- With Dean Martin sometime around that same period, (give or take) performing 'Got 2 Aga-in'.

- With Johnny Cash in 1969, horsing around with improvisation before settling into 'King of the Road'.

- Performing 'Dang Me' in 1981 on a country music edition of 'Solid Gold'.

Monday, September 17, 2007

(link:) Jesus is way cool

Maybe apparel like this has been around for a while.
I NEVER saw any of it until I moved away from California.
(Maybe I just wasn't moving in the right circles)

I've been doing an ongoing head-spinning double-take every time I pass the dual kiosks at the local shopping mall that sell these t-shirts (and many other similar designs).

I'm guessing that other folks besides me have not yet encountered them.

If such shirts are a ubiquitous sight wherever you're living, please forgive me while I stare in
slack-jawed fascination...

(Click on images to ENLARGE on a new page.)

All of these designs and a multitude of others available on shirts, hats, hoodies, and toddler tees can be found at the Divine Apparel website (and other "authorized Kerusso dealer" websites), and likely in thousands of identical shopping malls all across America.

See also: The Passion of the Tchotchke, one of several eye-popping galleries at Going Jesus.
(Home of the 'WTFWJD?' T-shirt, and also where you will undoubtedly manage to see photos of
My Amazing Godson.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tex Williams - Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! - '68

Country singer Tex Williams was born in Illinois in 1917.

He was among the performers who helped popularize Western Swing music, moving a rural and acoustic sound into more
dance band-oriented 'countrypolitan' territory.

Following a move to California in 1942, he did a stint with
Spade Cooley's band.
His affiliation with Cooley ended in 1946, after signing a contract as a solo artist with Capitol Records.

By far his biggest career hit record came in 1947 with
'Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)', a hugely popular song that pointed out the folly of tobacco smoking.
The song was largely written by Merle Travis with Williams in mind, as a way to showcase his distinctive 'talking blues' style of vocals.

Tex Williams would continue on as a succesful performer for many years, though never again reaching the height attained from that one record.

I found this later version of the song on one of many curious mixtapes I have in an old pile of cassettes.

Williams had released the song on a 45 in 1968, updating it into an about-face, countering the previous version's anti-smoking stance.

Go figure.

Tex williams passed away in 1985, after a battle with lung cancer.
His daughter was quoted as saying, "He tried to quit, but he couldn't", adding that he'd managed to drop from two packs of cigarettes a day to about one before he died.

Listen to: Tex Williams - Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! - '68
Boone label 45 (1968)

(click for audio)

See also: (click for links)
- Tex Williams' bio page at AllMusic

- A late 1950's TV performance from Tex Ritter's 'Ranch Party', over at YouTube. Wiiliams gives further example of his 'talking blues' delivery on 'That's What I Like About The West'.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Love for a Lava lamp, and the box it came in, too.

Even as a kid, I had an eye for beauty and sophistication.

When I began to notice the decorative Lava lamps appearing in shop window displays and such back in the latter half of the 1960's, I remember hoping that one day I'd be cool enough to own one.

That my parents didn't recognize the allure led me to believe I was on the right track, but I agreed with them that I wasn't yet ready for a Lava lamp.

I'd wait till I was a grown-up.
I could put it in the swingin' bachelor pad I'd surely have - -
- - near the beaded curtain, the Zenith *color* TV with the big
'Space Command' remote control, and the shelf where I'd keep my 'Hai Karate' aftershave.

In the next few years, my resolve was only strengthened when I'd be 'over to play' at some friend's house, and see that they were lucky enough to have a Lava lamp in their own home.

"Cool!!" I'd say, "Turn it on, let's check it out!"

"Naah..." was invariably the response. "It's boring. And besides, it takes, like, forever for the gunk inside to heat up and start doing stuff."

Occasionally their reason would be that it didn't work right anymore, from that one time when it got left on for a week. "See? It's all messed up and cloudy..."

'That settles it', I'd say to myself. 'These fools are taking their Lava lamps for granted. They don't get it, and they can't even take proper care of it.'

'I'll have one some day, and treasure it and care for it like the exquisite showpiece it is.'

I never quite forgot about it, but as the '70's wore on, there were certainly other distractions.

By the end of the decade, Lava lamps were 'out'. They were relics.
That didn't bother me, but as I began to think that maybe I was finally ready, I noticed that it seemed you couldn't find them anywhere.
Such is life, or so I thought...

Cut to the early '80's. I'm fresh out of high school, working, I'm making my own money.

For some reason I find myself one day in a tiny, cramped neighborhood hardware store in the Richmond district of San Francisco.
Honestly, I can't remember what brought me in or what I was looking for.

What I did find on a dusty shelf was an old Lava lamp, still in the carton, looking just like I remembered as a kid.

My time had finally arrived.

According to Oozing Goo, The Lava Lamps Syndicate website, what I'd found was an original Century model 102 (Red lava, yellowish liquid, gold base). Nothing exotic, but rather the classic standard, in production beginning in 1963.

As it turned out, my Lava lamp purchase seemed to occur about five minutes before they began to make a comeback as a kitschy 'retro' item. ('Remember those '70's?')
The comeback also meant that lots of new designs and colors and 'knockoffs' were appearing, which made me all the happier that I wound up with the exact style I'd remembered so fondly.

My Lava lamp has been proudly on display ever since.
(No Zenith, no 'Hai Karate', no beaded curtain - - yet.)

It operates every day, on a timer, thank you very much, for about six hours or so (no overheating), and is still going strong, 20+ years later.

Comes on around the dinner hour, is in full swing by mid-evening, clicks off when it's about time for bed. Perfect.
It makes me feel cool, even if I'm still not quite yet a grown-up.

Came across its carton the other day. (Of course I still have it. Why wouldn't I? What better to store it in if I should move?)

(click on images to ENLARGE)

The graphic design on the box is pretty special.

I love the exotic 'Arabic' font.

- - And yes, the motion inside the lamp does indeed soothe, intrigue, fascinate and entertain.

Of course, the best has to be the practical images showing common uses for the lamp...

(see detail below)

- Executives know that it adds a bit of style to the decor of a busy office.
Very 'feng shui'.

- The perfect device to pacify a client in the dentist's chair. Bring on the root canal!

- The lonely days seem to fly by now that Grandma has her lamp to keep her company.

- And what better to put young lovers in the mood than basking in the wet glow of the undulating goo?

But seriously - - Regarding these original Lava lamps, this is an instance where time, fashion and circumstance never swayed my opinion. It was cool when I first spotted one close to forty years ago, and it's cool now.

Fashions come and go - - and then come back again, but elegance and beauty never go out of style.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Singing Nun - Dominique 1982

Grab a hankie.

Here it is - - the saddest 45 single ever created.

Not merely because it's a disco remake of the 1963 song hit 'Dominique', but because of where it fits in the tragic story of its creator, Jeanine Deckers, a.k.a. Soeur Sourire
('Sister Smile'), best
remembered as The Singing Nun.

Often bordering close to the territory of urban myth, and with a bountiful variety of slight misinformation readily available, her story goes something like this...

Born in Brussels in 1933, by the age of 20 Jeanine Deckers worked as a high school art teacher. Within the next few years she studied art, played guitar, and broke off an engagement to be married.

In 1959 she became a Dominican nun and entered the Fichermont Convent in Waterloo, Belgium, taking the name Sister Luc Gabriel.

She entertained locals and her fellow Sisters playing guitar and singing songs she'd written.

After composing 'Dominique', she was encouraged by her co-sisters to record the song.
She reluctantly agreed, and payed for the sessions so she could give out copies of the record as gifts.

The recording fell under the notice of executives at Phillips Records who in 1962 signed her to a recording contract and concocted the name Soeur Sourire ('Sister Smile').
Sister Luc Gabriel reluctantly agreed to the name, and turned all her profits from the record over to her convent.

By 1963 the record had become a huge hit in the USA and elsewhere.

Uncomfortable with fame, she reluctantly gave concerts and agreed to tape a performance for a 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

In 1966, 'The Singing Nun', a movie about her starring Debbie Reynolds was released.
Sister Luc Gabriel dismissed the film as 'fiction'.
By this time she had stopped performing, to concentrate more fully on a devotional life.

Although very religious, she began to find fault in the conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church, and especially their stance on birth control.
Also, in 1966 she had spoken out in agreement with John Lennon on his controversial remark about The Beatles then being "more popular than Jesus".

By this time she was receiving flak from her Mother Superior and the powers-that-be, and though the convent had started the ball rolling, they'd never been too comfortable with the attention brought by her musical career.

In 1967, she had left the convent, resumed her musical career, (most of her proceeds still going to the convent) and had moved in with a childhood friend, Annie Pécher.
Jeanine Deckers and Annie Pécher would remain companions from then on, though it is not 'officially' known if they were lovers.

Deckers had already subsided into relative obscurity when she released her second LP in 1967,
'I Am Not a Star in Heaven', now recording under the professional name of Luc Dominique.

It seems that one of the stipulations she'd signed off on upon leaving her convent may have been giving up the name of 'Soeur Sourire'.
In an act of further distancing, it appears that the convent demanded that official records of her affiliation with them be expunged.

That 1967 album included a song that stated "...Sister Smile is dead, God is the only star...", as well as a controversial song praising contraception; ‘La Pilule d’Or’
(..."Glory Be to God for the Golden Pill").
The album didn't sell well.

She had a variety of new, more militant anti-establishment and church-critical songs that she then took with her on a concert tour of the US and Canada.
The tour did not do well.

Her 1968 book of inspirational passages, 'Vivre Sa Verite' did not sell well.

In 1968, her musical career fairly well finished, Jeanine Deckers and Annie Pécher opened a school for autistic children.

It was around this same time that Deckers was hit with a tax bill for her proceeds from 'Dominique' and her first album.
The Belgian government claimed that she owed them somewhere in the neighborhood of US $50,000 -
US $80,000 in back taxes (the quoted amount varies).

Jeanine countered that all the profits went to the convent, thus making her exempt.
As no receipts or record could be produced, the Belgian tax authorities ruled that she was to be held responsible for the debt.
The ensuing court case, which Jeanine would eventually lose, continued until 1982.

Sometime during this period she developed problems with drug and alcohol addiction, in addition to bouts of severe depression and nervous breakdowns.

She did begin painting again, and to help raise money she started teaching art and giving guitar lessons while helping Annie to run the school.

By the early '80s, as expenses mounted, in a last-ditch attempt to raise money she was convinced to make a Singing Nun 'comeback' record, giving her hit 'Dominique' a modern spin.

The revival project included a promotional music video...

The 'comeback' 45 did not do well.

The court case was lost.
Expenses forced Annie to close the school for autistic children.
Jeanine soon was fired from her teaching job.

The two struggled along for a couple of more years, but on March 29, 1985 they each took an overdose of pills and alcohol at their apartment in Wavre, Belgium, as part of a suicide pact.

Jeanine and Annie are buried together.

"Am I a failure? I try to stay honest with myself. To look for the truth, and try to question everything in my life...
Ten years ago I would have said I was a loser.
Now I don't think in terms of losing or winning...
Life is a continuum. You're constantly on your way. One day I feel good, the next I feel bad. Altogether it's bearable.
Would I do it all over again? That's not a good question. You can't.
You can't do it all over again. Voila"

- - Jeanine Deckers

"Jeanine... is in constant depression and only lives for me. I live for her. That can't go on.

"We do suffer really too much... We have no more place in life, no ideal except God, but we can't eat that.

"We go to eternity in peace.
We trust God will forgive us.
He saw us both suffer and he won't let us down.

"It would please Jeanine not to die for the world.
She had a hard time on earth.
She deserves to live in the minds of people."

- - Annie Pécher, from Jeanine and Annie's suicide note, 1985

See also:

- Notes and audio accompanying a 'best of' album at CD Baby

- More info and many photographs at:
D.A. Chadwick's Soeur Sourire website

Listen to: The Singing Nun - Dominique (1982)
Scalp Records 45 (1982)
(click for audio)

Listen to: The Singing Nun - Dominique (electronique-nique-nique)
Scalp Records 45 (1982)
(click for audio)

ADDENDUM, 1.25.09: A comment to this post cites a recent addition to the Wikipedia entry for
Jeanine Deckers that makes for a poignant postscript:
"In a great irony, the very day of her suicide and unknown to her, the Belgian association that collects royalties for songwriters (SABAM) awarded her approximately $300,000 (571,658 Belgian francs)
- - more than enough to have paid off her debt and provide for her."

Freshly-stirred links