June 29th, 2010

carole lombard 02
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More from Tribune Tower



Above is the Tribune Tower, a Chicago landmark. This skyscraper is home to the Chicago Tribune, a legendary newspaper more recently known for its dealings in bankruptcy court, including the sale of the Chicago Cubs. On the 20th floor was a photographic studio, where Carole Lombard sat for a pair of color portraits on Jan. 14, 1942. By the time they reached print, they would serve as memorials to her:



The Tribune even reproduced Lombard's autograph on the wall, a custom for film stars who posed there. (Note the Jan. 14, 1942 date she had added.)



A few days ago, we showed a publicity still of Lombard the newspaper had received only a few days after her death. Here's another photo from the Tribune files, but there's nothing particularly fateful about this one:



The back of the photo shows this photo ran in the issue of Feb. 26, 1934, with the caption, "Carole Lombard of the movies, in this picture, exemplifies the manner in which meticulous care of the hair enhances beauty."



(That "Chicago Tribune" logo on the back is a watermark and does not actually appear on the photo.)

As was the case with the earlier photo, bidding on this begins at $24.99 and no bids have been placed as of this writing; it will be available until 9:33 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. It's 7.1" x 8.99", and comes with a certificate of authenticity. If you're interested, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/250657802122?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3a5c5e878a.

As for the Tribune Tower, I have no idea whether the photographic studio on the 20th floor is still there, much less the wall with the autographs of Lombard and other stars.

Today marks the centenary of lyricist-composer Frank Loesser's birth. He wrote songs for "Guys And Dolls," "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" and "The Most Happy Fella" (the last a musical adaptation of "They Knew What They Wanted," the Sidney Howard play that later became a Lombard film). To honor him, here's a version of one of his songs, "On A Slow Boat To Chine," done by, of all people, Paul McCartney. Sir Paul has handled standards before -- think of "Till There Was You" or his version of Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" -- and it's fun to hear him try the tune (and to hear his comments about songs in his youth). Give it a listen:

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