Sep 9, 2017

RhoDeo 1736 Grooves


Today's artist is an American singer, actress, dancer, activist and comedian, known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 recordings of "C'est si bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby", which were both US Top 10 hits. Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world"..In 1960, the Hollywood Walk of Fame honored her with a star, which can be found on 6656 Hollywood Boulevard. She starred in 1967 as Catwoman, in the third and final season of the television series Batman. In 1968, her career in America suffered after she made anti-war statements at a White House luncheon. Ten years later, she made a successful return to Broadway in the 1978 original production of the musical Timbuktu!, for which she received the first of her two Tony Award nominations.  ........ N'joy

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Kitt was born Eartha Mae Keith on a cotton plantation near the small town of North, in Orangeburg County, South Carolina on January 17, 1927. Her mother Annie Mae Keith was of Cherokee and African descent. Though it remains unconfirmed, it has been widely reported that her father was of German descent and that Kitt was conceived by rape. She had no knowledge of her father, except that his surname was Keith and that he was supposedly a son of the owner of the farm where she had been born. Newspaper obituaries state that her white father was "a poor cotton farmer". Kitt was raised by Annie Mae Keith, later changed to Annie Mae Riley, a black woman whom the girl believed to be her mother. When she was eight, Annie Mae went to live with a black man, but he refused to accept Kitt because of her relatively pale complexion, so the girl lived with another family until Riley's death. She was then sent to live in New York City with Mamie Keitt, where she attended the Metropolitan Vocational High School (later renamed the High School of Performing Arts).

Kitt began her career as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company in 1943 and remained a member of the troupe until 1948. A talented singer with a distinctive voice, she recorded the hits "Let's Do It", "Champagne Taste", "C'est si bon" (which Stan Freberg famously burlesqued), "Just an Old Fashioned Girl", "Monotonous", "Je cherche un homme", "Love for Sale", "I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch", "Kâtibim" (a Turkish melody), "Mink, Schmink", "Under the Bridges of Paris" and her most recognizable hit "Santa Baby", which was released in 1953. Kitt's unique style was enhanced as she became fluent in French during her years performing in Europe. She spoke four languages[which?] and sang in eleven, which she effortlessly demonstrated in many of the live recordings of her cabaret performances.

In 1950, Orson Welles gave Kitt her first starring role as Helen of Troy in his staging of Dr. Faustus. Two years later, she was cast in the revue New Faces of 1952, introducing "Monotonous" and "Bal, Petit Bal", two songs with which she is still identified. In 1954, 20th Century Fox distributed an independently-filmed version of the revue entitled New Faces, in which she performed "Monotonous", "Uska Dara", "C'est si bon", and "Santa Baby". Though it is often alleged that Welles and Kitt had an affair during her 1957 run in Shinbone Alley, Kitt categorically denied this in a June 2001 interview with George Wayne of Vanity Fair. "I never had sex with Orson Welles," Kitt told Vanity Fair: "It was a working situation and nothing else." Her other films in the 1950s included Mark of the Hawk (1957), St. Louis Blues (1958) and Anna Lucasta (1959). Throughout the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s, she recorded; worked in film, television, and nightclubs; and returned to the Broadway stage, in Mrs. Patterson (during the 1954–1955 season), Shinbone Alley (in 1957), and the short-lived Jolly's Progress (in 1959). In 1964, Kitt helped open the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California. In the late 1960s, Batman featured Kitt as Catwoman after Julie Newmar had left the show.

In 1968, during Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, Kitt encountered a substantial professional setback after she made anti-war statements during a White House luncheon. Kitt was asked by Lady Bird Johnson about the Vietnam War. She replied: "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot." Her remarks reportedly caused Mrs. Johnson to burst into tears and led to a derailment in Kitt's career. Publicly ostracized in the United States, she devoted her energies to performances in Europe and Asia. It is said that Kitt's career in the United States was ended following her comments about the Vietnam War, after which she was branded "a sadistic nymphomaniac" by the CIA.

Kitt returned to New York City in a triumphant turn in the Broadway spectacle Timbuktu! (a version of the perennial Kismet, set in Africa) in 1978. In the musical, one song gives a "recipe" for mahoun, a preparation of cannabis, in which her sultry purring rendition of the refrain "constantly stirring with a long wooden spoon" was distinctive. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. In the late 1990s, she appeared as the Wicked Witch of the West in the North American national touring company of The Wizard of Oz. In 2000, Kitt again returned to Broadway in the short-lived run of Michael John LaChiusa's The Wild Party. Beginning in late 2000, Kitt starred as the Fairy Godmother in the U.S. national tour of Cinderella. In 2003, she replaced Chita Rivera in Nine. Kitt reprised her role as the Fairy Godmother at a special engagement of Cinderella, which took place at Lincoln Center during the holiday season of 2004.

In 1978, Kitt did the voice-over in a television commercial for the album Aja by the rock group Steely Dan. One of her more unusual roles was as Kaa in a 1994 BBC Radio adaptation of The Jungle Book. Kitt also lent her distinctive voice to Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove (for which she won her first Annie Award) and reprised her role in Kronk's New Groove and The Emperor's New School, for which she won two Emmy Awards and, in 2007–08, two more Annie Awards for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production. Kitt had voiced Vexus in My Life as a Teenage Robot.

In 1984, she returned to the music charts with a disco song titled "Where Is My Man", the first certified gold record of her career. "Where Is My Man" reached the Top 40 on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at No. 36; the song became a standard in discos and dance clubs of the time and made the Top 10 on the US Billboard dance chart, where it reached No. 7. The single was followed by the album I Love Men on the Record Shack label. Kitt found new audiences in nightclubs across the UK and the United States, including a whole new generation of gay male fans, and she responded by frequently giving benefit performances in support of HIV/AIDS organizations. Her 1989 follow-up hit "Cha-Cha Heels" (featuring Bronski Beat), which was originally intended to be recorded by Divine, received a positive response from UK dance clubs and reached No. 32 in the charts in that country.

Kitt appeared with Jimmy James and George Burns at a fundraiser in 1990 produced by Scott Sherman, agent from the Atlantic Entertainment Group. It was arranged that James would impersonate Kitt and then Kitt would walk out to take the microphone. This was met with a standing ovation. In 1991, Kitt returned to the screen in Ernest Scared Stupid as Old Lady Hackmore. In 1992, she had a supporting role as Lady Eloise in Boomerang. In 1995, Kitt appeared as herself in an episode of The Nanny, where she performed a song in French and flirted with Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy). In November 1996, she appeared in an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy!. In her later years, Kitt made annual appearances in the New York Manhattan cabaret scene at venues such as the Ballroom and the Café Carlyle. In April 2008, just months before her death, Eartha Kitt appeared at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The performance was recorded and is available on DVD "eartha kitt live at the cheltenham jazz festival". It includes "Alone" - an autobiographical reflection in song.

After romances with the cosmetics magnate Charles Revson and banking heir John Barry Ryan III, she
married John William McDonald, an associate of a real estate investment company, on June 6, 1960. They had one child, a daughter named Kitt McDonald, born on November 26, 1961. They divorced in 1965. A long-time Connecticut resident, Eartha Kitt lived in a converted barn on a sprawling farm in the Merryall section of New Milford for many years and was active in local charities and causes throughout Litchfield County. She later moved to Pound Ridge, New York, but returned in 2002 to the southern Fairfield County Connecticut town of Weston, in order to be near her daughter Kitt and family. Her daughter, Kitt, married Charles Lawrence Shapiro in 1987 and had two children: Jason Shapiro and Rachel Shapiro.

Eartha Kitt died from colon cancer on Christmas Day 2008, at her home in Weston, Connecticut.

Kitt was active in numerous social causes in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1966, she established the Kittsville Youth Foundation, a chartered and non-profit organization for underprivileged youths in the Watts area of Los Angeles. She was also involved with a group of youths in the area of Anacostia in Washington, D.C., who called themselves "Rebels with a Cause." Kitt supported the groups' efforts to clean up streets and establish recreation areas in an effort to keep them out of trouble by testifying with them before the House
General Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Education and Labor. In her testimony, in May 1967, Kitt stated that the Rebels' "achievements and accomplishments should certainly make the adult 'do-gooders' realize that these young men and women have performed in 1 short year - with limited finances - that which was not achieved by the same people who might object to turning over some of the duties of planning, rehabilitation, and prevention of juvenile delinquents and juvenile delinquency to those who understand it and are living it". She added that "the Rebels could act as a model for all urban areas throughout the United States with similar problems". "Rebels with a Cause" subsequently received the needed funding.

Kitt was also a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, thus her criticism of the Vietnam War and its connection to poverty and racial unrest in 1968 can be seen as part of a larger commitment to peace activism. Like many politically active public figures of her time, Kitt was under surveillance by the CIA, beginning in 1956. After the New York Times discovered the CIA file on Kitt in 1975, she granted the paper permission to print portions of the report, stating: "I have nothing to be afraid of and I have nothing to hide."

Kitt later became a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and publicly supported same-sex marriage, which she considered a civil right. She had been quoted as saying: "I support it [gay marriage] because we're asking for the same thing. If I have a partner and something happens to me, I want that partner to enjoy the benefits of what we have reaped together. It's a civil-rights thing, isn't it?" Kitt famously appeared at many LGBT fundraisers, including a mega event in Baltimore, Maryland, with George Burns and Jimmy James. Scott Sherman, an agent at Atlantic Entertainment Group, stated: "Eartha Kitt is fantastic... appears at so many LGBT events in support of civil rights."

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Like its predecessor, RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt, Eartha Kitt's second album, That Bad Eartha, also released in 1953, became a Top Five hit in a year when the curiosity about this exotic creature seemed to be limitless. Although she was actually from South Carolina by way of Harlem, Kitt came across as an international chanteuse, which spending a few years in Paris, among other places, will do for you. Her recording of "C'est Si Bon (It's So Good)," included here, had reached the Top Ten in August, preceded by a minor chart entry in "Uska Dara -- A Turkish Tale" and followed by another, "I Want to Be Evil." Both were also included. In addition to French and Turkish, Kitt sang in Spanish and Swahili, which was more than enough to justify her image as a classy import. Another part of that image was her somewhat predatory sex appeal, which was explored fully in "I Want to Be Evil" and two Cole Porter favorites, "Let's Do It" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." Of course, there was sleight-of-hand going on there, too, but Kitt didn't suffer from having a wholly contrived persona, because she let her listeners in on the joke. It wasn't accidental that the title of the album had quotes around it. And in the same way, her relatively limited vocal range didn't matter because she acted her way through her performances as if they were short plays. The only problem, in fact, was that Kitt defined herself so well she was ultimately one-dimensional. It was not surprising when the hits dried up within a year, since she came across on records as a novelty act; but she had developed an act she could keep playing for the rest of her life. And that's exactly what she did.

Eartha Kitt enjoyed the success of a novelty act in 1953, as the South Carolina-born, black-skinned, French-style chanteuse fascinated nightclub patrons, leading to a hit single with "C'est Si Bon" and two successful LPs. By the end of the year, she was virtually parodying herself on her biggest hit, "Santa Baby," and thereafter record buyers figured they'd gotten the joke. Kitt struggled to sell any records in 1954, and by the time RCA packaged some of her failed single tracks with other recordings for her third album, Down to Eartha, in 1955, her days as a significant recording artist were over. That was not to say, however, that she wasn't making interesting recordings. RCA had tried to give her something of an upbeat, almost R&B appeal on the 1954 single "(If I Love Ya, Then I Need Ya) I Wantcha Around," penned by novelty songwriter Bob Merrill, and a 1955 45, "My Heart's Delight." More characteristic of this transplanted Parisian were "Do You Remember," "Apres Moi," "Mambo de Paree," and "Hey Jacque." "The Heel," meanwhile, was an up-tempo chanson of a kind that would make a success of the musical revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris a decade hence. Among the tracks that hadn't appeared before, "Looking for a Boy" was a coyly rendered Gershwin tune; "I've Got That Lovin' Bug Itch" was another pop song that sounded made for the hit parade; "Oh John! (Please Don't Kill Me)" was a macabre number from the pen of future Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb; "Strangers in the Starlight" was a sedate tango with a mature theme; and "The Day the Circus Left Town" was a tricky art song. Kitt negotiated the material well, but the album as a whole was a catchall rather than a clear statement.

Eartha Kitt - That Bad Eartha + Down To Eartha    (flac  208mb)

01 I Want To Be Evil 3:30
02 C'est Si Bon (It's So Good) 2:56
03 Angelitos Negros 3:24
04 Avril Au Portugal (The Whispering Serenade) 2:51
05 Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) 3:02
06 My Heart Belongs To Daddy 3:00
07 Uska Dara (A Turkish Tale) 3:06
08 African Lullaby 2:52
09 Mountain High, Valley Low 2:34
10 Lilac Wine 3:42
11 Under The Bridges Of Paris 2:41
12 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 3:02
Down To Eartha - 1955
13 I Wantcha Round 2:30
14 Do You Remember? 3:32
15 Looking For A Boy 3:00
16 I've Got That Lovin' Bug Itch 2:23
17 Oh, John! (Please Don't Kiss Me) 2:46
18 Strangers In The Starlight 2:23
19 The Day That The Circus Left Town 3:16
20 Après Moi 2:45
21 The Heel 2:45
22 Mambo De Paree 2:52
23 My Heart's Delight 2:16
24 Hey Jacque 2:37
Bonus Tracks
25 Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore 2:49
26 Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell (Who's Got De Ding Dong?) 2:45

Eartha Kitt - That Bad Eartha + Down To Eartha  (ogg   126mb)

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Eartha Kitt's third album, Down to Eartha, missed the charts in 1955, but RCA Victor Records tried again in 1956 with Thursday's Child, a typical collection that found the exotic arch-seductress crooning in multiple languages and multiple musical styles. Among the more notable selections were an English-language vocal version of the recent Nelson Riddle instrumental hit "Lisbon Antigua (In Old Lisbon)" and a rendition of "Lazy Afternoon" from the recent Broadway musical The Golden Apple. Inevitably, there were a couple of novelties to exploit Kitt's promiscuous gold-digger image, as she wooed millionaires and their money in "Just an Old-Fashioned Girl" and "If I Can't Take It with Me When I Go." There may not have been enough Americans still intrigued by Kitt to make Thursday's Child a domestic hit, but RCA may have been figuring that world-wide sales justified the effort; certainly, there seemed to be a songs for South American and European exploitation here, as well as North America. More important for the singer herself, the album provided a repertoire that would help make her an equally welcome nightclub entertainer in New York, Paris, West Berlin, and Rio de Janeiro.

Eartha Kitt co-starred with Nat King Cole in the film St. Louis Blues, a screen biography of W.C. Handy, which opened in April 1958, and her label, RCA Victor Records, took the occasion to have her record an album of Handy blues songs and spirituals. This was a departure from her usual practice of performing exotic and sophisticated material in various languages, but she handled the assignment well. On most of the tracks, she was paired with a Dixieland jazz band, Shorty Rogers & His Giants, which consisted of Rogers and John Best on trumpets; Moe Schneider on trombone; Matty Matlock on clarinet; Stan Wrightsman on piano; Al Hendrickson on guitar; Morty Corb on bass; Nick Fatool on drums; and Milt Holland on conga, with a male vocal quartet chiming in on some songs. There were also two spirituals, "Steal Away" and "Hist the Window, Noah," on which Kitt was accompanied by the Jester Hairston Choir. Blues and spirituals were not her forte, really, but she did her best, clearly relishing her one chance to throw in a little French (or Creole, anyway, as the lyrics say) with the Cajun-tinged "Chantez les Bas (Sing 'Em Low)." Of course, Handy's version of the blues has a lot of Tin Pan Alley in it, which helped give Kitt something to work with. Rogers and the band were thoroughly familiar with the tunes and provided excellent backing. They didn't make Kitt a jazz singer, either, but she was a professional, and the result was a pleasing interpretation of Handy's music.

Eartha Kitt - Thursday's Child + St. Louis Blues    (flac 335mb)

01 Santa Baby 3:25
Thursday's Child - 1957
02 Fascinating Man 2:24
03 Mademoiselle Kitt 2:29
04 Oggere 3:19
05 No Importa Si Menti 2:48
06 Lisbon Antigua (In Old Lisbon) 2:12
07 Just An Old-Fashioned Girl 2:52
08 Le Danseur De Charleston 2:33
09 Lazy Afternoon 2:20
10 Jonny 2:51
11 If I Can't Take It With Me (When I Go) 2:29
12 Thursday's Child 3:58
13 Lullaby Of Birdland 2:52
St. Louis Blues - 1958
14 St. Louis Blues 2:44
15 Beale Street Blues 3:11
16 Chantez Les Bas (Sing 'Em Low) 2:51
17 Hesitating Blues 3:27
18 Steal Away 2:35
19 Careless Love 3:13
20 Atlanta Blues (Make Me One Pallet On Your Floor) 2:39
21 Long Gone 3:44
22 Hist The Window, Noah 1:57
23 Yellow Dog Blues 2:23
24 Friendless Blues 2:48
25 The Memphis Blues 3:25
Bonus Tracks
26 Put More Wood On The Fire 2:00
27 This Year's Santa Baby 3:16

Eartha Kitt - Thursday's Child + St. Louis Blues  (ogg  151mb )

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In an age of manufactured vocals and an overuse of the word "Diva" for whoever sells the most records, has the biggest ego and smallest outfit, it is refreshing to appreciate classic dance music from a true legend who was the epitome of strength, sensuality, and class. Eartha's lyrics are clever, humorous, and vampish throughout this entire album. This music is catchy, fun, and campy! "Tonite" and "La Grande Vie" are my favorites because the lyrics and Eartha's delivery in both songs constitute a true diva's anthem. Eartha Kitt was unique and an original. There will never be another who can bring her feline flavor to words and song. With the delivery of only two words or just that signature purr, you know it's Eartha! The two dance mixes of "Where is My Man" are a nice bonus. This album is a must have for dance music lovers who appreciate creative sexy vocals with personality woven through music that keeps you moving. Viva La Kitt!

Eartha Kitt - Where Is My Man   (flac 484mb)

01 Where Is My Man 6:10
02 This Is My Life 5:37
03 I Don't Care 6:08
04 I Love Men 7:01
05 Arabian Song 6:41
06 Sugar Daddy 6:33
07 Tonite 5:03
08 La Grande Vie 5:35
09 Cha Cha Heels (with Bronski Beat) 6:41
10 My Discarded Men (with Bronski Beat)  3:42
11 Where Is My Man (Megamix) 9:46
12 Where Is My Man (94 Mix) 6:40

. Eartha Kitt - Where Is My Man  (ogg  191mb)

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In 1996, taxi patrons in New York were greeted with a tape of Eartha Kitt's famous "R"-rolling cat growl: "Wrrrrrrrrow. Cats have nine lives, but you have only one. So buckle up." This was a reference to the source of her fame for the under-50 crowd: her stint as Catwoman on the '60s Batman TV series. But her abilities as a tantalizing, talented seductress stretch further back to her early '50s singing career, wearing tight-for-then voluptuous gowns instead of a catsuit. Both Kitt and her records predated rock & roll, but her 1953-1955 success was a hint that bad girl behavior would become prevalent. Never mind Phil Spector's later girl groups; Kitt could sully a polite orchestral backing with her sex kitten purring on hilariously libidinous numbers such as the number 22 hit "I Want to Be Evil," the number four hit "Santa Baby," "Mink Schmink," and her standard "C'est Si Bon," another Top Ten hit. Hearing her saucy tongue wrap around the words is amusing, but Kitt makes it sound so exotic, dangerous, and impetuous, you want to take her on. If this was torch singing, she was going to burn down the clubs she headlined. If she had been more R&B and more gimmicky, she could have been the female Screamin' Jay Hawkins. You can hear it in every syllable, the attitude and raucous delivery that made her a song stylist more than a pop singer, allowing her to survive the coming barrage of guitars and drums that would initially bury her career. She could always prosper in her other haunts of stage and screen, and in her nightclub act. But a collection of the best of her old LPs, RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt and The Bad Eartha is no "bad" idea. Tangle with her if you dare.

Eartha Kitt - Purr-Fect     (flac 218mb)

01 Just An Old Fashioned Girl 2:51
02 Je Cherche Un Homme (I Want A Man) 2:49
03 I Want To Be Evil 3:29
04 Mink, Schmink 3:02
05 Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) 3:04
06 C'Est Si Bon 2:57
07 Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore 2:50
08 Monotonous 3:44
09 My Heart Belongs To Daddy 3:00
10 Under The Bridges Of Paris 2:40
11 I Wantcha Around 2:29
12 Lilac Wine 3:42
13 Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell (Who's Got The Ding Dong?) 2:45
14 Thursday's Child 3:38
15 Angelitos Negros 3:25
16 Lovin' Spree 2:54
17 Toujour Gai 2:08
18 Uska Dara ( A Turkish Tale) 3:06
19 Proceed With Caution 2:27
20 The Blues 3:33
21 The Heel 2:45
22 Santa Baby 3:23

. Eartha Kitt - Purr-Fect  (ogg  113mb)

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At age 79, Eartha Kitt remains a remarkably vibrant performer, by the evidence of Live from the Cafe Carlyle, recorded at the tony Eastside Manhattan nightclub. Although she refers to her age, even jumping the gun by half-a-year and calling herself 80, Kitt betrays little evidence of it in a typical set full of witty and romantic songs, some of them rendered masterfully in different languages. "Come-On-A My House," a novelty hit for Rosemary Clooney when Kitt was just starting out in the early '50s, somehow comes out in Japanese, which actually seems to improve it. There's plenty of romance and not a little sex, at least by innuendo, as Kitt evokes such predecessors and departed contemporaries as Edith Piaf, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra. The small audience is audibly appreciative, but sometimes a little behind the performer's rapid-fire wit and taste for provocation. Even when she acknowledges her age with such closing songs as "September Song" and "It Was a Very Good Year," she does so only to affirm that she's still alive and capable; it's still a very good year, she proclaims. She has made a number of live albums, and in a sense, this is just another one. But when your reviews are good enough to reprint as liner notes (as happens here in notices from The New York Times, Variety, and others), a show clearly is worth preserving for posterity, and Live from the Cafe Carlyle is at once a late triumph, a reconfirmation of Kitt's ongoing abilities, and a master class in the art of nightclub performing.

Eartha Kitt ‎- Live From The Café Carlyle   (flac 295mb)

01 Sell Me 2:49
02 An Englishman Needs Time 3:54
03 Come-On-A My House 2:25
04 Hate/Love New York 4:43
05 Ain't Misbehavin' 3:04
06 Uska Dara 3:29
07 Waray Waray 2:34
08 La Vie En Rose 1:42
09 Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup 4:26
10 What Is This Thing Called Love 1:56
11 How Insensitive 2:10
12 All My Life 3:28
13 I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm 2:35
14 C'est Si Bon 6:10
15 September Song 2:05
16 It Was A Very Good Year 3:28
17 Here's To Life 3:33

.  Eartha Kitt ‎- Live From The Café Carlyle  (ogg  97mb)

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