New York Times Writer “Does Not … Care Very Much”
In What Do You Mean, Giving Me That?, a thoughtful, quirky piece about holiday gift-giving published December 23, 2007 in the New York Times, author Guy Trebay introduces the subject by describing his own experience as a five year old recipient of the gift of a record player and a selection of records:
“With the exception of one, the titles of those records have vanished from recollection. The remembered record was called “Cold Nose, Warm Heart,” and it was a song about a dog. A Google search suggests that the dog in this particular song was probably Lassie, but the writer does not remember or care very much about that.” [Emphasis added]
The Heck of a Guy Blog – Caring and Sharing Since 2006
Well, thank goodness, someone remembers and, yes, cares about the facts.
And, thank goodness, when the New York Times falls short, the Heck of a Guy Blog is on hand to pick up the slack.
As it turns out, “Cold Nose, Warm Heart” was also the first record I ever owned. The opening lyrics, as I recall them, went something like this:
My dog is the dog for me.
He’s one dog that you gotta see.
He’s exactly as a dog should be,
He’s got a cold nose and a warm heart.
If my “Cold Nose, Warm Heart” is the same song as Mr.Trebay’s “Cold Nose, Warm Heart,” I believe one will find that it was a track from “Songs of Rin Tin Tin,” a set of three 7-inch, mono, 45 rpm, vinyl records on the Golden Records (EP 745) label performed by the Sandpipers.1 The track listing follows: I Wish I Had a Dog Like Rin Tin Tin; A Dog’s Best Friend; Cold Nose, Warm Heart; Rinny, Rusty and Rip; 101st Cavalry Gallop; Rough Around the Edges.
Now, aren’t you more at peace and centered with the identity of the warm-hearted, cold-nosed canine ascertained? Doesn’t the universe seem less threatening and capricious now that justice has been done and Rin Tin Tin, whose fame was largely eclipsed by Lassie’s popularity, has been rightfully accorded his place in America’s Songbook? Isn’t it empowering to be back in sync with the universe as a result of the story’s ambiguity having been dissolved in the solvent of truth? And, isn’t it comforting to discover that the common man in search of information doesn’t have to rely exclusively on the whims of the New York Times to decide what is and isn’t important to know?
Rather than gloating, however, DrHGuy, Editor of The Heck of a Guy Blog, quietly and sagely noted,
Heck, to be fair about it, The New York Times had done most of the work on this story already. We’re all in the publishing gig together – we are just happy we could help out our New York colleagues. And they have nothing to be ashamed of; with some experience and perhaps some additional fiscal resources, they could have a bright future.
Heck of a Guy Bonus: The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
While the character of Rin Tin Tin appeared in a batch of movies dating back to 1922 and between 1930 and 1955 was heard in three different radio series,2 my experience with Rin Tin Tin3 was as the titular hero of the ABC television show, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin from 1954-1959.4
According to TV.com,
The first episode of this canine crime fighter series commenced when the U.S. Cavalry came upon a wagon train that had been attacked by Apache Indians. The only survivors were a young boy named Rusty and his German shepherd he called Rin Tin Tin. The Cavalry took the boy and his dog to Fort Apache in Arizona, where Lt. Ripley “Rip” Masters made Rusty a Corporal so he could stay on at the fort.
The mainstays of The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin in front of
what appears to be an urban outreach office of Fort Apache
I had remembered much the same premise, but on putting my version in print, it seemed a tad implausible, leading me to defer to the TV.com quotation. Apparently, US Army Lieutenants in the late 19th century had the authority to promote 10 year old boys to Corporals, which qualified them to live on their own in forts in hostile territory.
- The group who sang “Cold Nose, Warm Heart” were the same Sandpipers who sang the “Mighty Mouse Theme Song” but were not the Sandpipers who sang “Guantanamera” [↩]
- Wikipedia – Rin Tin Tin [↩]
- As with most canine actors in starring roles, Rin Tin Tin had several uncredited doubles. Rin Tin Tin, Jr. appeared in several short films in the 1930s, including the 12-part serial, The Adventures of Rex and Rinty. Rin Tin Tin III starred alongside a young Robert Blake in 1947′s The Return of Rin Tin Tin. The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin featured Rin Tin Tin IV as the lead dog, although much of the work actually was performed by Rin Tin Tin II and several other dogs. From Wikipedia – Rin Tin Tin [↩]
- From Wikipedia – The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, which also reports that “Reruns of the show ran on daytime television and on Saturdays on CBS from October of 1959 until September of 1964. A new set of reruns was shown in 1976, and continued well into the mid-1980s. The original black and white prints were tinted light brown. “ [↩]