Thursday, August 23, 2012


Larry Dixon is the one in the middle.
Former KY3 personality Larry Dixon dies

I realize people outside the Springfield/Ozarks area will not see the point in this post, but I wanted to mention the passing of Larry Dixon. Larry was a pioneer broadcaster here in Springfield, MO. He was one of the first anchormen on KYTV, was co-owner of KBUG radio in Springfield in the 70s and early 80s, worked in publishing and advertising too. The good thing about Larry was he was a media person, who had a working knowledge of each medium's strengths and weaknesses. He was not an interloper from another business that hated the media and blamed the media for everything that was wrong, but felt he had a right to be apart of it to get some sort of revenge or satisfy something in his ego. I believe Larry was in media because he loved it and wanted to promote it, not promote himself.

The other good thing about Larry Dixon was he was always upbeat and optimistic. I linked to the story by KYTV's Steve Grant and in it Larry is described as "cheerful." That sums Larry up very well.

I wanted to repost a fun magazine ad from an 1980 Springfield magazine for KBUG, the radio station Larry co-owned. Larry may have came up with the idea for this ad, which was aimed at advertisers. It portrays a microcosm of the Springfield radio market in 1980. The news format came after their short-lived disco format. You have to give credit to Larry Dixon for taking chances.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I realize this post has nothing to do with retro pop culture, but I can't help it. It is one of those "everybody is doing it" type of things. A photo taken of American gymnast McKayla Maroney after she received a silver metal has taken the Internet by storm. McKayla obviously wanted a gold, but was given silver instead. She has a rather perturbed look on her face. While a few people are trying to make her out to be a "spoiled brat," most people are having fun with this picture and photo shop. Yes, McKayla is turning up everywhere and showing her disapproval at the new squeeze of some peoples exes, radio station morning shows and Romney & Ryan.

So I found some photos in my files and began putting McKayla in to show her disapproval. Sadly, I only have Corel Photo House on my computer, so they may look a little sloppy but it is the thought that counts.

Going to cry, baby, going to cry, baby!

Oh yeah, like you are a real athlete.

He is a square dork!

They make me sick!
This song sucks!
You're fed up! We're fed up with you!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Last June, I posted a countdown of my sixty favorite TV theme songs after KYTV's Ethan Forhetz picked his top ten favorite TV theme songs. In my original list, I weeded out songs that predated the TV shows debut.  This list is dedicated to those TV themes that predate the TV show. I also added classical music pieces that were used for TV themes. I didn't number these, but tried to put them in order of recognition.

CSI - “Who Are You” The Who
CSI:Miami - “Won’t Get Fooled Again” The Who
CSI:New York - “Baba O’Reily” The Who
The Golden Girls - “Thank You for Being a Friend” Andrew Gold (Performed by a female singer on TV)
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - “Journey to the Sorcerer” The Eagles (Instrumental)
Absolutely Fabulous - “Wheels On Fire” Brian Auger & Trinity with Julie Driscoll (written by Bob Dylan)
The Wonder Years - “With a Little Help From My Friends” Joe Cocker (Originally by the Beatles)
Married With Children - “Love and Marriage” Frank Sinatra
That 70s Show - “In The Streets” Big Star (Performed by the cast on TV)
The Drew Carey Show - “Cleveland Rocks” Ian Hunter (TV version performed by Presidents of the United States)
Dawson’s Creek - “I Don’t Want To Wait” Paula Cole
The Young Ones - “The Young Ones” Cliff Richard (Performed by the cast - Don't make fun of Cliff)
Crime Story - “Runaway” Del Shannon
Get a Life - “Stand” REM
Joan of Arcadia - “One of Us” Joan Osbourne
Life Goes On - “Ob-da-Di, Ob-La-Da” The Beatles (Performed by the cast on TV)
Party of Five - “Closer To Free” The Bo Deans
Tour of Duty - “Paint It Black” The Rolling Stones
China Beach - “Reflections” The Supremes
Weeds - “Little Boxes” Malvina Reynolds
Bosom Buddies - “My Life” Billy Joel
The Insiders - “Just a Job To Do” Genesis
Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (80s series) - “Harlem Nocturne” Randy Brooks Band (Biggest hit version by The Viscounts)
The Match Game (60s version) - “Swinging Safari” Billy Vaughn
Red Skelton Show - “Holiday for Strings” David Rose Orchestra
Ernie Kovacs Show - “Oriental Blues” Tony DeSimone Trio
Benny Hill Show - “Yakety Sax” Boots Randolph
Captain Kangaroo - “Puffin Billy” Melody Light Orchestra
American Bandstand - “Bandstand Boogie” Les Elgart Orchestra (Used until 1969)
Happy Days (1st Season) - “Rock Around the Clock” Bill Haley & the Comets
Cops - “Bad Boys” Inner Circle
The Young and the Restless - “Cotten’s Dream” Perry Botkin Jr. & Barry DeVorzon (From the 1971 movie Bless the Beast and The Children - renamed “Nadia’s Theme” after it was used by ABC to accompany footage of Nadia Comaneci in the 1976 Olympics on Wide World of Sports).
The Avengers - “The Shake” Laurie Johnson (A failed instrumental, Johnson used it as the theme when he took over the scoring of the show during the Emma Peel era)
Make Room For Daddy - “Danny Boy (Londonderry Air)” (Jazzy Instrumental of Irish ballad)
Designing Women - “Georgia On My Mind” Hoggy Charmical (Instrumental version performed by Doc Severinsen)

From the Classics:
The Lone Ranger - “William Tell Overture” Gioachino Rossini
Alfred Hitchcock Presents - “Funeral March of the Marionettes” Charles Gounod
Masterpiece Theater -  "Rondeau" from “Symphonies and Fanfares for the King’s Supper” Jean-Joseph Mouret
Firing Line - “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Third Movement, Allegro assai” J.S. Bach
Captain Video - “The Flying Dutchman” Richard Wagner
Wings - "Sonata No. 20 in A Major, D. 959, IV. Rondo. Allegretto." Franz Shubert
Monty Python’s Flying Circus - “Liberty Bell March” John Phillip Sousa

Friday, August 3, 2012


I will say upfront that my biggest pet peeves with people talking about pop culture is when they claim an older song, musical group, movie or TV show is ten times better than a current song, musical group, movie or TV show. Many times, it is for no reason other than to advance some "return to the good old days/take America back" political agenda. Often what they are comparing is apples to oranges, like this asinine Facebook poster comparing the Andy Griffith Show to Jersey Shore that all my doofus classmates from junior high and high school keep posting (I really need to get some new friends).

With that said, I am going to do to compare a recent TV show with one from the 1960s. Of course, if you remember my focus is never some preachy, self-righteous blather that will win me support form little old ladies, stay-at-home moms or Mike Huckabee. As with the 21 Jump Street/Mod Squad comparison, I'm going to tell you why the older show was cooler. I also do this with a show that has a fan base that is made up of the type of people I love to make mad. I am about make plenty of people mad, especially in the Ozarks, when I say that The Man from U.N.C.L.E is a cooler show that 24.

First off, let me say that U.N.C.L.E agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) were much more efficient at their job than CTU agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). Between September 22, 1964 to January 15, 1968, Solo and Kuryakin foiled plans of the evil terrorist organization Thrush and other criminals in 99 instances, or as they called them "Affairs."  In eight years (November 6, 2001 - May 24, 2010), Jack Bauer only foiled nine terrorist plots. That is 90 plots less that Solo and Kuryakin took care of in three and a half years.

The writers of The Man from U.N.C.L.E came up with great titles for the episodes, such as: "The Brain Killer Affair," "The Sort of Do-It-Yourself Dreadful Affair," "The J Is For Judas Affair," "The Test Tube Killer Affair" and "The Deadly Smorgasbord Affair." 24 episodes have titles like: "9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.," "Day 2: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.," "Day 3: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.," and "Day 4: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m." That is just the first four seasons. Not creative and not very exciting, if you asked me.

One of my problems with 24 is the main character, Jack Bauer. He is a very unpleasant character, who seems to be either yelling at people, shooting people or torturing people.  On the other hand, Napoleon Solo is a cool as an ice cube. He remains calm and keeps that sly smirk on his face while being tied up or shot at.

Some of this may have to do with the fact that unlike 24, Man from U.N.C.L.E episodes are loaded with beautiful women. Really Solo and Kuryakin have the same dynamic as Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Kuryakin gets beat up while Solo flirts with women. U.N.C.L.E headquarters is mainly staffed by attractive women that Solo flirts with during working hours. You might say Napoleon Solo is closer to Don Draper than Jack Bauer. Let's face it, did Nancy Sinatra, Cher, Joan Collins, Carol Lynley, Tura Satana, Mary Anne Moberly, Jill Ireland, or Sharon Tate ever appear on 24 (Okay, okay, Jill Ireland and Sharon Tate had a good excuse for not being on 24, but you get my point)?

Part of the concept of Man from U.N.C.L.E was for Solo and Kuryakin to take an average person with them on their "affairs." It could be a child, housewife, teacher, doctor, waitress or the villain's ex-wife. Jack Bauer is such a snob he doesn't take anyone with him.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E was perfect for kids to pretend at playtime, because it featured the Bondonian "_____ disguised as _______." After all Solo and Kuryakin had communicators that looked like ink pens, guns in briefcases that shot "sleep darts" (which sounded like a toy gun), umbrellas with daggers, cameras in tie clips and other gadgets that looked like common items. Bauer uses a regular cell phone, regular desktop computers and regular gun. Parents don't let their kids play with a cell phone or gun, but a kid might pretend that dad's tape measure is really a cell phone or the attachment to mom's vacuum cleaner is really a ray gun. Another thing that Solo and Kuryakin has over Bauer is that they got their faces on a lunch box (an drawn by Jack Davis of Mad magazine).

The last thing I will mention that makes The Man from U.N.C.L.E cooler than 24 is the music. You might not think about it, but incidental music and a score can make or break a movie or TV show. Theme music of 24 is a somber symphonic dirge that sounds like it was leftover from a commercial for the Marine Corp. The Man from U.N.C.L.E score doesn't have depressing strings, it has what all good spy music of the 60s had stripper horns, wailing saxophones, heavy bass guitar, bongo drums and vibraphone. The underscore was usually the main theme as a jazzy bossa nova. I really believe I would find me more attractive if I had vibraphone, bass guitar and bongo drum music everywhere I went like Napoleon Solo. That music just makes Solo look cooler.

Of course, Jack Bauer doesn't have cool music with him. HE HAS THAT STUPID AND ANNOYING CLOCK THAT GOES "eeek-eeek-eeek-eeek" ALL THROUGH THE SHOW! On the other hand, I was watching a clip from 24 with the theme music in it. A military plane lands and soldiers escort Jack Bauer out in handcuffs (?) with the theme music swelling, as if to say "Here is that cranky, depressing guy that people think is so great to watch on TV. He is back to torture people and scream at them."

"Open Channel D" was the phrase most often heard on the Man From UNCLE, next to "We can't let this device fall into the wrong hands." On 24, the most heard phrase is "Damn It!"   

Supposedly, there will be a 24 movie. I watched about five episodes of the show as research for this post. It is five hours of my life I won't get back. On the other hand, I bought the complete Man from U.N.C.L.E on DVD when it came out in 2008. I have watched several of the shows over and over. If you aren't aware, Kuryakin is now employed with NCIS under the name Ducky Mallard. Solo does commercials for various law firms around the country (Here is Springfield, MO it is Tolbert, Beadle and Musgrave). Maybe I should call them and have them sue the Fox Network for inflecting 24 on us. You might say Jack Bauer tortures the people watching him too.
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