Country Music Reincarnated

22 Apr

Rick:

I just found an interesting article on slate.com. They have created a Reincarnation Machine to determine who you were in past lives. All you have to do is type in your birthdate. However, it is not a new idea because I thought of it a long time ago. Instead of letting them have all of the glory, I have reblogged the post where this idea originated.

Originally posted on Surrounded By Imbeciles:

The Highwaymen came up on my iPod. That was an 80s country super group consisting of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. In the 80s, each of them were legends. Now, they are icons. When they first recorded together, there wasn’t a name for the group. Then, “The Highwayman“, one of their first songs, went to Number One.The Highwaymen

That was the song that came up on my iPod. I hadn’t heard it in a while, but the words were still familiar enough for me to remember. As the song played and I sang along, I began to think about its subject matter – reincarnation. Then, I realized that there was once another hit country song about a reincarnation-like theme. That was “El Paso City” by Marty Robbins. It went to Number One in the 70s.El Paso City

These were two songs by major artists that…

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It Happened at the Inaugural Ball

21 Apr

In 1986, Ned Ray McWherter was elected governor of Tennessee. That probably did not mean much to most of the state’s high school students, but it turned out to be a big deal for me.

My best friend’s family was good friends with Ned Ray, and he worked in hard on the campaign trail. When victory was obtained, my friend was ecstatic. He was also fired up because he was invited to the Inaugural Ball. In fact, I heard over and over and over about how he was going to the gala.

On top of that, he kept talking about the hot girl that he was taking. It is all I heard.

“I am going to the ball, and I am taking this hot girl.”

I was getting sick of it and could not handle it. One day, I told my dad how tired I was of hearing my friend brag about this big date to this big event.

A few days later, my dad came home with a surprise – two tickets to the Inaugural Ball. He told me to get a date and go. However, I could not tell my friend. My dad wanted me to show up at the celebration and surprise him.

I handled the plan perfectly. I got a date. We got dressed up and went to the ball. It was held in a bunch of ballrooms at the Opryland Hotel, which meant that we would have to search.Opryland Hotel

Finally, we saw my friend across one of the big rooms.

As we walked up, my friend was in a state of shock. He could not believe that I was there. After all of the bragging, we were in the same room and him and his date. However, I must admit that he was right about one thing. His date was hot.

That is one reason why I married her.

My iPod Has Issues – We Almost Went to New Orleans

20 Apr

This weekend, we were supposed to take a field trip to New Orleans. However, the forecast called for a bunch of rain and the threat of flooding. Being in a city that is below sea level with the potential of flooding did not appeal to any of the teachers. For that reason, the field trip was cancelled.

To make up for that, I decided to check the old iPod for songs connected to the city New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. Hopefully, there are enough to make a good list.New Orleans

“City of New Orleans” by Arlo Guthrie

“New Orleans Instrumental No. 1″ by R.E.M.

“The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton

“Saturday Night in Oak Grove, Louisiana” by Tony Joe White

“Lafayette Breakdown” by Cajun Playboys

“New Orleans Ladies” by Louisiana’s LeRoux

“High Sheriff of Calhoun Parrish” by Tony Joe White

“Basin Street Blues” by Louis Prima

“Walking to New Orleans” by Fats Domino

“The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals

“Sons and Daughters” by The Neville Brothers

“C’est La Vie” by Bob Seger

“Acadie A La Louisiane” by Bruce Daigrepont

“Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix

“Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean

“Baby Please Don’t Go” by Van Morrison

“Jesus Just Left Chicago (And He’s Bound for New Orleans)” by ZZ Top

“Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones

“Mr. Bojangles” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

“South Rampart Street Parade” by Al Hirt and His Band

 

The Yard Dog Award – The Destruction of Steve’s

17 Apr

I noticed a message about an intramural tournament on our campus marquee, and it brought to mind an intramural tournament during my college days. It also made me realize that the experience from long ago deserved the Yard Dog Award.Yard Dog

My roommates and I spent several late nights playing pickup basketball. That, of course, means a couple of things. First, we thought that we were decent basketball players. Second, we were too nerdy to find more fun late night activities.

Anyway, some of the regular players thought it would be a good idea to form a team and enter the intramural basketball league. Robert, one of my roommates, and I did not think it was a good idea. We did not consider ourselves to be the next Michael Jordan and knew that the other guys, no matter how delusional they were about their own skills, were also not the next Michael Jordan’s.

The team was called Steve’s. I have no idea why it was called Steve’s. Apparently, somebody thought that would be funny. That should give you an idea of our sense of humor.

We agreed to show up for the first game with the understanding that we would only play in an emergency, like someone losing a leg. When we walked into the gym, Robert and I knew that we should have stayed home.

The opposing team consisted of Prop 48 guys. In other words, they had been recruited to our school to play basketball but had not qualified academically. Their pre-game warmup was a dunk contest, and we were practicing our set shots. Yep, the nerdy guys who played pickup basketball was going to play against a team of college players.

Heck, their coach even showed up wearing a suit. Our coach did not show up wearing a suit because we did not have a coach.

The game went as you would expect. I cannot remember the score, but it was definitely too many to not enough. It was, in eloquent terms, an ass kicking.

As the clock wound down, Robert and I were still sitting at the end of the bench. Then, a couple of our friends, who had survived this beating, convinced us to go into the game and let them off the hook.

We did the best we could. We played hard on defense. We actually got some rebounds. I even made a layup because the guy guarding me knew that it did not make any difference. Unfortunately, there was one guy on their team who had not come to that conclusion.

I had the ball and passed it to Robert at the top of the circle. There was no one around him, which meant that he had an open three-point shot. That is when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the players run at Robert from under the basket. He jumped and hovered like a helicopter. As Robert let the ball go, the guy hung in the air and waited. Then, he blocked it.

When I say he blocked it, I am not describing it properly. When he hit the ball, it sounded like a gun going off. When it hit the wall at the other end of the court, it sounded like a bomb going off. Oh yeah, the ball did not hit the ground in between. This guy blocked a three-point shot and it slammed into the wall at the other end of the court.

I cannot remember if Steve’s continued playing in the league because Robert and I never went back. We had taken part in one of the biggest blowouts in basketball history and were not about to repeat the experience.

With all of that being written, the Yard Dog Award goes to those who thought playing in the intramural basketball league was a good idea. An individual award goes to the person who thought Steve’s was a catchy name.

The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1987

14 Apr

Looking back, 1987 was a big year in the life of me. I started the year as a high school student and ended it as a college student. That is always one of life’s great transitions. However, the year was big for another reason.

That was the year I first met my wife. Of course, it was 26 years before we got married. One of these days, I will write that story.

On this day, I need to complete this soundtrack that I started. Honestly, I did not think it would take this long. Anyway, here are the Number One songs of 1987.1987

The Bangles and “Walk Like an Egyptian” remained in the Number One spot as the year began. However, they were soon replaced with “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott. Yeah, I do not remember him, either.

After a week, he was replaced by “At This Moment” by Billy Vera and the Beaters. A little research shows that this song was greatly helped by its inclusion on Family Ties, the sitcom that made Michael J. Fox famous.

Madonna, who was creating hits like crazy, entered the Number One position with “Open Your Heart”.

However, she could not hold off the onslaught that was Bon Jovi. “Livin’ on a Prayer” was the year’s first big hit and stayed at the top for four weeks.

They were replaced by another band that personified the 1980s, Huey Lewis and the News. For one week “Jacob’s Ladder” was on everyone’s radios.

That one week at the top gave way to “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau. Of course, that was a remake of the classic by Bill Withers.

Guess who comes next. You would be wrong if you said Jefferson Airplane. You would be wrong if you said Jefferson Starship. You would be right if you said Starship. They had a bunch of hits for a band who could not figure out what to call themselves. Anyway, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” made it to Number One.

Thankfully, they were dispatched by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” hit Number One and announced to the world that the other guy from Wham! was no longer around.

A memorable 1980s song came next. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” made girls swoon and made Cutting Crew famous.

A little band called U2 and a song called “With or Without You” stayed Number One for three weeks. Then, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kim Wilde went wild.

That was followed by Atlantic Starr with “Always” and Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with “Head to Toe”.

That is when Whitney Houston returned to the top with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”. That is when the Wilson sisters, otherwise known as Heart, told everyone that they were “Alone”.

Who took their place? Axel Foley. Well, that is not totally accurate. “Shakedown” by Bob Seger was spotlighted in Beverly Hills Cop II. Of course, that movie starred Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley.

After one week, the power of U2 surged to the top. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” were their second Number One of the year.

Then, Madonna had another Number One with “Who’s That Girl”. It looks like a trend was developing among the 1980s superstars. They kept making their way to the top. I guess that is why they are superstars.

Another remake, “La Bamba”, made it to Number One for Los Lobos. The Ritchie Valens song returned with a movie that reminded everyone who he was and what happened to him.

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson returned to Number One with “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”. However, he had help. It was a duet with Siedah Garrett.

Whitney Houston had a big year that continued with “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”.

Then, we get to a real band. Whitesnake was one of my favorites. Hair Metal. How can you beat that? Anyway, “Here I Go Again” broke through all of the pop and brought some guitars to the scene. I saw them while they were touring for this album. It was an awesome experience. I guess I could write about it at some point.

For some reason, they were replaced by “Lost in Emotion” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Obviously, the general public had no taste.

Michael Jackson came back with “Bad”. However he was not bad enough to hold off a singer who could have only made it in the 1980s. Tiffany remade “I Think We’re Alone Now”, which was more famously recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells. I have to admit that I had a big crush on Tiffany. Of course, I did not care about her singing.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Another old song by Tommy James and the Shondells hit Number One. I wonder if anyone noticed. This time, it was “Mony Mony” as sung by Billy Idol.

The lovebird duet by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes came next. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life) was featured in Dirty Dancing. In 1987, every girl wanted to travel back to the 1960s and vacation in the Catskills. It was sickening.

Belinda Carlisle hit big with “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”. However, the end of the year ended with George Michael completely burying what was left of Wham! “Faith” announced him established him as a hit-making solo artist.

There you have it. The years of 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 were my time in high school, and the songs in these posts were the Number One hits of my formative years. I still like some of them, but, thankfully, my musical taste was not completely destroyed.

 

 

 

 

The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1986

12 Apr

The summer of 1986 felt different from those that came before. It was between my junior and senior years of high school, and I sensed that one part of my life was going away and making room for a new one. If other people get that feeling, then I guess it would come the summer after graduation. However, the transition would then be complete.

The summer of 1986 was my last as a high schooler. I did the same things. Only, it felt like I was doing them for the last time under mantle of teenager with no responsibilities.

With all that begin written, what was the soundtrack of 1986?1986

January hit the calendar, and “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie was still at the top. It would be followed by twenty-nine other songs. That, dear readers, is a lot of turnover.

For four weeks, Dionne and Friends dominated with “That’s What Friends Are For”. Obviously, Dionne was Dionne Warwick. Friends included Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

Dionne was knocked from the top of the charts by her cousin, Whitney Houston, who sang “How Will I Know”.

Next, “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister claimed Number One and stayed there for a couple of weeks.

Jefferson Airplane, er, Jefferson Starship, er, Starship hit the summit with “Sara”. They did not stay there long. It could be that no one ever figured out who recorded the song.

That opened the door for “These Dreams” by Heart. However, the could not hold off the juggernaut that dominated pop culture in March and April. “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco zoomed the trop and had people asking, “Who is this Amadeus dude?”

Prince and the Revolution were able to conquer the one hit wonder with “Kiss”, a song that is not about Gene Simmons and the gang.

“Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer had an awesome video that was supposedly inspired by Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”.

The next Number One was supposedly inspired by T.S. Eliot. I must admit that “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys was one of my favorites.

“Went End Girls” could not stand up to the vocal force that was Whitney Houston. She had her second Number One of the year with “Greatest Love of All”.

“Greatest Love of All” could not stand up to the all around force that was Madonna. She hit the top with “Live to Tell”.

It would take two people to knock Madonna out of the box. Those two people were Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald with “On My Own”. A couple of years ago, we saw Michael McDonald in concert, and we were able to meet him before the show. You would have thought that my wife had seen the greatest person in the world. She just about freaked out.

“There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry” by Billy Ocean started a string of songs that could only hold on for a week. Next, there was “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red. Then, there was “Invisible Touch” by Genesis.

Ironically, Genesis lost the top spot to Peter Gabriel, who used to be a member of Genesis. Honestly, I think “Sledgehammer” made it to Number One because of its video.

Peter Cetera, who had also been a member of a famous band, broke the one week chain by having “Glory of Love” stay on top for two weeks. Unfortunately for Peter, Madonna was waiting in the wings with “Papa Don’t Preach”.

Then, there was the teenage prodigy turn grownup genius named Steve Winwood. “Higher Love” took him as high up the charts as he could go.

How in the world could a group called Bananarama replace somebody like Steve Winwood? Well, they did with “Venus”. They did not stay long before being knocked into outer space by “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.

Berlin fell to Huey Lewis and the News and “Stuck with You”. Of course, they were old news by the time Janet Jackson sang “When I Think of You”.

“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper was special song. In fact, it was special enough that it became the theme to our Senior Night an entire year after it left the charts. How up to date were our planners?

Boston sang about “Amanda”, and The Human League sang about “Human”. I think Amanda was a human. However, I am certain that Bon Jovi thought “You Give Love a Bad Name”.

Peter Cetera came back with “The Next Time I Fall”. This time he had a partner in Amy Grant. I wonder if she was singing about Vince Gill.

“The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range hit the top in December but did not stay for long.

The year of 1986 ended with everyone wanting to do like The Bangles and “Walk Like an Egyptian”. I did not want to walk like that, but I wanted to meet The Bangles girl with the big brown eyes.

Those were the top songs of 1986. Did you have any favorites from that year?

 

 

 

Movie Wisdom – Geoffrey Lewis Edition

9 Apr

Today, word came through my Twitter feed that Geoffrey Lewis passed away. He was one of those character actors who appeared in movies and a ton of television shows. I have seen him many times but never knew his name. I also did not know that he was the father of Juliette Lewis.

With his passing, I thought it would be appropriate to search for wisdom in his movies. For those who have not read one of the Movie Wisdom posts, there are a few rules. First, it must be a movie in which Geoffrey Lewis appeared. Second, it must be a movie that I have seen. Third, the wisdom can be spoken by any character in the film.

With that being said, I must admit that my favorite role of his was not in a movie. It was in a Magnum, P.I. episode called I Never Wanted to Go to France, Anyway.

Now, he is some of the wisdom of Geoffrey Lewis.Geoffrey

From High Plains Drifter

It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes ’em afraid.

From My Name Is Nobody

Folks that throw dirt on you aren’t always trying to hurt you, and folks that pull you out of a jam aren’t always trying to help you. But the main point is when you’re up to your nose in shit, keep your mouth shut.

If a man is a man, he needs someone to believe in.

The secret of a long life is you try not to shorten it.

Dying is not the worst thing that can happen to a man.

Two things go straight to a man’s heart, bullets and gold.

There was never any “good old days”.

From The Great Waldo Pepper

The biplane’s gone the way of the Dodo.

From Every Which Way But Loose

I’m not afraid of any man, but when it comes to sharing my feelings with a woman, my stomach turns to royal gelatin.

From Tom Horn

If you really knew how dirty and raggedy-assed the Old West was, you wouldn’t want any part of it.

From Bronco Billy

I think every kid in America ought to go to school… at least up to the eighth grade.

From Any Which Way You Can

A hand out is what you get from the government, a hand up is what you get from a friend.

From Fletch Lives

It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong.

From Tango and Cash

Too much television can hurt your eyes.

Crazy people aren’t afraid of anybody.

From The Man Without a Face

People spend too much time thinking of the past. Whatever else it is, it’s gone.

From Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

If you’re thirsty, a drink will cure it, if you’re not, a drink will prevent it. Prevention is better than a cure.

To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.

It’s better to be on the edge of a party.

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