Halloween isn't Halloween without vampires and the most famous of all vampires is of course, Count Dracula. There have been several films about this blood-sucking character over the years and he's been played by a variety of actors including Christopher Lee, John Carradine, Gary Oldman, Leslie Nielsen, and George Hamilton. At the top of the heap, though is Hungarian-American actor Bela Lugosi. He starred in the 1931 Universal Studios adaption of "Dracula" and would appear in four additional films in that role, including the 1954 horror-comedy, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." Throughout the 30's and 40's he took on other roles in various horror films as his name became synonymous with the genre.
Bela Lugosi died of a heart attack at the age of 73 in August of 1956 and was buried in one of his Dracula costumes. Today is his birthday. He would have been 136-years-old if he was still alive, which we all know is quite young in vampire years!
Fast-forward to 1979 (some 23-years after his death) and we find English post-punk band Bauhaus. Their song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" was recorded live-in-studio in one take and would become the band's first single. It is considered by some to be the first gothic-rock song. Over the years I have played the song (in all of its 9+ minutes of glory) many many times on college radio station, WKKL (West Barnstable, MA.) The phone would ring-off-the-hook with requests for it in October as Halloween approached.
Nobody has called me this year asking for the song, but I present it today as we say Happy Birthday to Bela Lugosi (who is still very much dead) on the 31-Days of Halloween playlist. Happy Listening! - Kristen
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