Celebrities & Politicians

My bad…. David Muir is a bust!

David Muir 2Back in June of 2014 after complaining about the majority of evening news anchors featured on the three big networks of NBC, ABC and CBS, I published a post, Good News… Pun intended by the way!, elated over the change in news anchors just made by ABC. They had assigned David Muir to takeover the position of evening news anchor from Diane Sawyer and I couldn’t have been happier. Mr. Muir had been doing the weekend evening news for ABC and was doing a fantastic job.

Unfortunately, the old adage “be careful what you wish for” jumped up and bit me in the ass to put it bluntly. In the end the change ended up not only screwing up the ABC Nightly News for sure but Muir’s weekend news replacement really screwed up the ABC Weekend Evening News.

Almost from the git-go Muir began starting out every evening newscast with, “Tonight breaking news as we come on the air….” or “Breaking news tonight starting off our broadcast….”. He invariably starts off every newscast with ‘breaking news”…. did I mention “EVERY”! And it’s never really breaking news. It is normally news that happened earlier in the day but to grab attention he has to hype it up. As happy as I was to see him get the job, I almost immediately stopped watching him. He never did pull that crap when he had the weekend news.

Cecilia Vega and Tom Llamas 2And to make matters worse, at least for me, his replacement on the weekend news, Tom Llamas apparently liked the hyping hook so much he started using it on his broadcasts. So now, all their evening newscasts suck as far as I’m concerned. Cecilia Vargas often does one of the weekend evening newscasts and she’s great. They need to replace Muir with her.

There are a couple of our local television weather forecasters here in the Central Arkansas area that have honed their skills when it comes to hyping the weather and 90% of the time the hype is nothing more that an intentional ruse to get people to tune into their weather-casts.

Why it is all these people want to be the bearers of doomsday news beats me… but they love it. This society and our country have enough bad news to bear without these assholes going around trying to create yet more stress and anxiety which is exactly what they are doing.

Well, I can’t say that I now feel better after my little rant because nothing will certainly change because of it, but…. Ooops, you know what? I think I do feel a little better! 🙂

In Remembrance – Glenn Frey

The Eagles - In The Beginning

Glenn Frey - 1I was shocked this past evening to hear of the passing of Glenn Frey. It seemed I had just checked the latest news a couple of hours ago and had seen nothing regarding his passing. What a storied career he lived, he and his partner Don Henley putting together the California rock group which we would all come to know as “The Eagles”.

Glenn Frey & Don HenleyThe combined compilation of Eagle’s music is just absolutely amazing in my opinion and the majority of credit for it all goes directly to Glenn Frey and Don Henley for the most part. I’ve noted with the release of the news regarding Glenn’s death that most are associating the song “Hotel California” as their chosen musical reference when writing of Frey’s passing. Don Felder actually created the roots of that song while Frey and Henley are credited with writing the lyrics to the iconic song.

As far as I am concerned it is not the Eagle’s song that one would choose to specifically associate with Glenn Frey and his association with this prolific group of musicians and singers. That song in my opinion is the iconic song that normally the group opened their shows with that did indeed feature Glenn Frey. It goes something like this….

Thank you Glenn for all you contributed to our generation along with a number of iconic songs that will forever remain as a part of that legacy. May you rest in peace….

In Remembrance – Alan Rickman

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I was quite saddened to learn of the death of Alan Rickman yesterday. He was such a favorite actor of mine and his demeanor, his rhythm and diction of speech and his acting will truly be missed by me.

Article Lead - narrow65815265138cafimage.related.articleLeadNarrow.353x0.136ndt.png1423434063847.jpg-300x0I remember first seeing him in the film “Die Hard” but at the time I wasn’t particularly drawn to him for any reason. But then I saw him in the film “Quigley Down Under” in the early nineties and that’s when I really began to appreciate him as an actor with great persona. I wasn’t a huge “Harry Potter” fan but it was in part his role as Professor Severus Snape that kept me somewhat interested in the series of films. But when I saw him in the film “Sense and Sensibility” he was amazing and no doubt in his element.

Thank you Mr. Rickman for touching my life through your life’s work, you will be truly missed and may you forever rest in peace…

Do you remember where you were when…. ?

Do you remember where you were when…?

That, of course, is an all too familiar question that seems to have established its prominent roots surrounding the events of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963 and then notably again with events surrounding the World Trade Center’s attack of September 11, 2001.

The FugitiveBut in the late 1960’s there was a televised event that for many millions across the United States evoked that same question as time distanced itself from the event. There were several notable televisions shows airing during those years. Just to name a few, there was The Andy Griffith Show; Bonanza; The Flintstones; The Twilight Zone; The Beverly Hillbillies; Gunsmoke and The Ed Sullivan Show. But none of those shows would come close to competing for the intense drama that captivated the television viewing audiences as “The Fugitive”. And “The Fugitive” was so intensely popular and iconic in the day that it too was able to invoke the proverbial question of where were you when you watched the final episode? And to that end I submit my own personal account of the events leading up to the watching of that final episode in my life….

The Fugitive - David Janssen as Richard Kimble - 1963It was late August of 1967 and I sat down in front of my television the night of the 22nd as many other millions of viewers would do that night to watch the final 2-part episode of “The Fugitive”. The first part was to air on Tuesday evening of the 22nd and the second or final half on Tuesday evening of the 29th. As that first half of the final episode concluded on that evening of the 22nd my mind fast-forwarded to my upcoming wedding which was to take place in just 4 days. No time to ponder the fate of Dr. Kimble or the one-armed man for the moment.

I was still in the Air Force at the time and was stationed at Warner-Robbins AFB, Georgia which was near Macon, Georgia. I was about to be married for my second time and my new wife and I were planning on driving to New Orleans for our honeymoon, brief as it was to be. We were married in the afternoon on the 26th and spent our first night at a hotel in Columbus, Georgia. We drove on to Biloxi, Mississippi the morning of the 27th where we spent some time and ended up staying overnight at a motel there. Then the next morning, the 28th, we headed to New Orleans arriving late morning and stayed that evening at a hotel in the French Quarter.

David_Janssen_Fugitive_1967Now having already mentioned it would be a brief honeymoon, when we got up early Tuesday morning the 29th we both were acutely aware that the major event unfolding that evening was to be the final conclusion to “The Fugitive”. It was an 8-hour drive straight through to Macon, Georgia where we had rented an apartment and where we had planned on watching that final episode. It would be close but we decided we were up to the challenge so we headed for home.

Some eight hours later we found ourselves pushing the deadline. We were close but depending on traffic we could end up being a little late. So as we approached Macon we decided to divert to my wife’s parent’s home which we could get to quicker than we could get to our apartment. So that’s what we did and we arrived within fifteen minutes or so of when the last episode was to air.

And so it was that within the next hour or so the fate of Dr. Kimble and the one-armed man would be revealed to us all and after some four years the fans of the fugitive could finally breathe a collective sigh of relief… it was over.

Oh, and finally just for the record, it is interesting to note for the record the subsequent data that goes some distance in documenting the popularity of that final episode…

“Part two of the finale was the most-watched television series episode up to that time. It was viewed by 25.70 million households

(45.9 percent of American households with a television set and a 72 percent share), meaning that more than 78 million people tuned in. That record was held until the November 21, 1980 episode of Dallas, (“Who Done It”), viewed by 41.47 million households

(53.3 percent of households and a 76 percent share), which was later surpassed by the series finale of M*A*S*H, (“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”), on February 28, 1983, viewed by 50.15 million households

(60.2 percent of households and a 77 percent share).”

Doc Martin Season 7 Premiere… but not for me!

Doc Martin & Little DogThis morning would have been ushering in a pretty special day for me had I not intentionally circumvented the event that would have made it so special. This evening on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is airing the premiere episode of the new Season 7 of Doc Martin, a favorite TV show of mine. But alas it won’t be a premiere for me because several weeks ago I ordered the then available DVD of Season 7 which I immortalized “here”.

I began watching one by one the eight episodes comprising the entire series watching the final episode, Episode 8, just this past week. So now here I sit on the eve of the premiere showing no signs of exuberance whatsoever for the night’s wonderful upcoming event.

Doc Martin & Louisa - MediumThe new season aired in the United Kingdom some months ago which was to be expected since it is an English production with mostly English actors. There all the chit-chat revolves around the question as to whether Season 7/Episode 8 will in fact usher in the end of the show. I, for one, hope so because as wonderful a production as it has been, it’s time to end the drama and let all the characters get on with their lives.

The final episode of this season left me with the sense that a future had been established for each and every character and to the old adage of “living happily ever after”, I will rest quite well each evening as I put my head to pillow believing it shall be so. Actually, now that I think about it, that seems to be pretty much how I approach every decision I have ever made in my life, believing the choice I make will lead to everlasting happiness or at least hoping so… 😕

When you don’t expect the unexpected…

Once in a great while we are completely blown away and wowed when certain things occur in our lives that were so completely and totally unexpected. Being a life-long lover of music I can easily recall two such instances in my lifetime musically speaking that easily dominate that category. In fact, there might be many other of my peers that might join me in those two particular revelations.

The first of those revelations began to emerge in the early fifties when the comedy duo of Martin & Lewis took on life and entered the lives of most Americans. Dean was the straight man and crooner with a delightful singing voice and his sidekick was none other than Jerry Lewis whose comedic antics and slapstick would seem to delight the world. Jerry’s voice on the other hand was high-pitched, loud, with an almost irritable tone that was perhaps reminiscent of fingernails scratching down a chalkboard.

(Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin)

It was in September or October of 1956 when the first of my two earth shattering events occurred when I heard for the first time a song recorded by Jerry Lewis and released for radio play. It was an old but very familiar song titled “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody” which had originally been a Number 1 hit for Al Jolson back in 1918. But I think it fair to say that when we heard Jerry Lewis belt out his version of this song, well it just completely blew the general population away. No one ever saw this coming from this particular comedian. The song gained such popularity that it rose to Number 10 on the Pop Music Charts in November of that same year – an instantaneous hit.

“Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To A Dixie Melody” – Jerry Lewis

It would be around a decade or so later when another such comedian would perhaps pull off an even more shocking musical entrance into our lives. What brought us to our proverbial knees would be a character known as Gomer Pyle who first played a gas station attendant on the very popular “Andy Griffith Show”. Jim Nabors was the name of the man behind the character and after two years on that show, he began starring in his own spin-off television series, “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.” which gained similar popularity.

Gomer-Pyle-02(Jim Nabors – “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.”)

It was during a guest appearance on “The Danny Kaye Show” in 1964 when the golden baritone voice of the bungling Gomer Pyle would literally shock a nation. Who would have thought such golden sounds could have ever emanated from such a clown. There was such approval of his musical talent that from 1969 to 1972 he hosted his own prime time variety show, “The Jim Nabors Show”.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Jim Nabors

Although Jim Nabors never had a song hit the Pop Charts he was nevertheless quite popular with the older generation and released dozens of albums over his career. Perhaps of all the songs he did put on those albums, it was probably the song “The Impossible Dream” which was usually associated with the man.

“The Impossible Dream” – Jim Nabors

And I have to say that to this day whenever I hear a Jim Nabors’ record it still doesn’t completely register that this voice is really coming from the man who was first known to us as Gomer Pyle!

Are Joe and Walter related….?

Obama & Biden

Perhaps you have seen the photo above which appeared here locally in our state newspaper this morning. This particular photo showing the President and Vice President in the White House Rose Garden where the President was expressing his thoughts and satisfaction regarding the ruling just handed down regarding the Affordable Health Care Act. There was just something about that photograph that grabbed my attention.

WalterWalter

Not that I have ever shared my thoughts on this matter but after seeing a photo in the newspaper this morning I feel I must. I just cannot help but wonder if Joe and Walter are not related. I think it must boil down to their facial expressions. Vice President Biden has a great smile, not doubt about it and that is usually how we see him… smiling. Walter on the other hand never smiles and is always wearing that same old grumpy face.

But when Joe, that’s what Sarah Palin calls him by the way, puts on his grumpy face something amazing happens. He looks just like Walter, Jeff Dunham’s popular puppet. I would say identical twins if I didn’t know better.

We may not always know why Joe is wearing his grumpy face but Walter on the other hand is not bashful at all when expressing his feelings. And by the way, my friend GabbyGeezer might want to pay particular attention to Walter’s advice in the video below regarding Lambeau Field. I’m just sayin’….

I thought it was stupid”! – Robert Redford’

I recently had an opportunity to re-watch a film which I had not seen in years. That film which was certainly quite well known was “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” which was released way back in 1969. Gosh, it just doesn’t seem like it was some forty-five years ago when I first watched that movie. And of course who can mention this particular film and not in the same breath mention the song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” which was sung and recorded by B.J. Thomas that same year. For most the film and the song are synonymous.

I was, however, to also learn during this particular airing of the film that all was not as it seemed back in the beginning with regard to the film and this particular song. There was much discussion as to whether the song fit the film in any regard. And as recently as April of 2012 during an interview at the London Film Festival one of the stars of the film, Robert Redford, noted that the music played a huge role in the film’s success but at the time they were filming he thought it was stupid to put that particular song in the film. Redford noted, “Suddenly there was a scene where the guy was singing “Raindrops Falling on My Head” and it wasn’t even raining. Well… how wrong was I?”

The song was released in October of 1969 to very mixed reviews. It wasn’t particularly a good fit with the hit songs on the charts at the time competing against number one songs at the time to the likes of “Can’t Get Next To You” by The Temptations; Sugar, Sugar by The Archies; Suspicious Minds by Elvis; Wedding Bell Blues by The Fifth Dimension; Leaving On A Jet Plane by Peter, Paul & Mary.

A separate version of the song was recorded specifically for the film which included a separate instrumental break when Paul Newman did a few bicycle stunts during the subject music sequence. The entire filmed sequence centered around two of the lead characters, Paul Newman and Katherine Ross, riding on a bicycle in one manner or another.

Despite the song’s initial slow rise in popularity, with the release of the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in December of 1969 “Raindrops Falling on My Head” shot up to Number One in January of 1970 and held that position for four weeks. It sold some 200,000 to 300,000 records a day and continued selling for about three years. Written by Hal David and Bert Bacharach, it won an Academy Award for both “Best Original Song” and for “Best Original Score”.

Below is a video clip of the scene in discussion….

As we now know of course, the song became almost iconic after it became a part of the film. And to this day I suspect it is hard for anyone who was old enough to remember the release of the film or the song to think of one without thinking of the other. And can’t you imagine just how bad Mr. Redford must feel about his prior misgivings! 🙂