Sunday, March 31, 2013

Legendary Producer Phil Ramone Passes |

Richard Griffiths, known to Harry Potter fans as Uncle Vernon, dead at 65

Richard Griffiths, known to Harry Potter fans as Uncle Vernon, dead at 65 | CTV News

Extra bit of trivia: Griffiths was one of the actors considered to replace Tom Baker, when he left Doctor Who. He was in King Ralph with SMSU/MSU alum John Goodman.


Not sure how readers will take this post. It may seem unusual discussing a religion on this blog, but I feel this is appropriate, because this is Easter Sunday. I feel it will fit in with my general theme on this blog, which is pop culture.

It is a painting we have all seen. As a matter of fact, The New York Times said it was probably the most recognized American paintings of the 20th Century. It has been seen on calenders, bookmarks, hand fans, notebooks and other things given away by funeral homes and churches. It has even been features on greeting cards, T-shirts, lamps, coins, stamps and, oddly enough, a toilet seat cover (Sold through a mail order company).  You probably didn't know it had a name nor did you know the name of the man who painted it, but in the back of your mind it was "That-picture-of-Jesus-you-always-see."

The painting is called The Head of Christ and it was painted by a commercial artist named Warner Sallman in 1940. Sallman originally created a charcoal version in the 1920s which he called Son of Man. He made the first oil version in 1935. He was asked to create another version in 1940, which attracted the attention of the owners of Gospel Trumpet Publishing. They were so impressed, they created a company just to sell Sallman's other paintings of Jesus Christ. The Head of Christ became popular immediately. Smaller versions were sent with American soldiers in World War II. Through this and his other paintings such as Christ At Heart's Door (A very symbolic painting showing Jesus in front of a house, knocking on a door without a knob or latch), Sallman created the modern image of Jesus Christ much the way artist Haddon Sundblom's Coca Cola ads created the modern image of Santa Claus. Sallman's Head of Christ portrait and Da Vinci's The Last Supper are two of the most famous paintings of Jesus Christ.

One theory on the popularity of Sallman's Head of Christ was that it looks like a yearbook photo or a personal portrait from a coin-operated photo booth. From the very beginning, there were critics who felt that Sallman's Jesus was not "manly" enough. One person called Sallman's Jesus "sissified." Later, some noticed that the painting looked like the Breck girl ads.  In the 60s, some conservatives began to despise Sallman's Jesus Christ, because of his shoulder length hair and beard was similar to that of many male members of the counter culture (After all, he is the Prince of Peace). Others have noted that Sallman's Jesus Christ is too white, middle American looking, especially noted is Sallman giving Jesus blue eyes.

As I mentioned before, I saw this picture for years, never giving its origins much thought until I viewed a TV documentary, narrated by Hal Holbrook, about the painting and Sallman a few years ago on TV. Unfortunately, I could not find it on You Tube, but I did find this old film short. It features Warner Sallman creating a charcoal in front of a church while a choir sings (Okay, there may have been some editing). There is also a little inspirational story here, similar to the Union Pacific/Jam Handy productions that turned up on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Look for Hope Summers, who played Aunt Bea's rival Clara on The Andy Griffith Show).     

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Liberace Sings "Easter Parade" To His Mother

I was looking for the clips from the 1962 "shockumentary" Mondo Cane of baby chicks being dipped in dye and run through a large oven for Easter gifts for little spoiled Baby Boomers. I was also looking for another clip from Mondo Cane that shows men in the Philippines on Easter week nailing themselves to crosses to carry and beating themselves with rocks in an attempt to experience the same suffering as Jesus Christ suffered. I could not find those clips separate from the whole film.

However, I found this great clip from the Liberace TV show of him singing "Easter Parade To his mother. I decided this was more family friendly (I can't believe I wrote that - I HATE THAT PHRASE!)


Monday, March 25, 2013


In the early 80s in Los Angeles, there were two kinds of rock bands that were in abundance. One was the power pop band and the other was the glam/heavy metal band. Power pop bands were influenced by the 60s British Invasion and garage bands and wore matching suits with the fashionable skinny ties. The glam/metal bands were influenced by 70s glam and metal and dressed in a mix of spandex and leather, topped off with makeup and long hair. Bar owners began refering to the groups as either the "skinny tie" bands or "hair" bands.

Music listeners and even the press didn't use these terms until sometime in the late 90s, when 80s nostalgia started come into vogue. I will eventually create a "skinny tie" power pop playlist, but since I've been on a heavy metal kick for the past few playlist, lets look at the "hair" bands.

Many people have commented that the difference between hair bands and old school metal bands was the hair bands had huge followings among girls and young single women (Mothers, of course, hated these bands). Each band had its "power ballad" - a slow, mushy love song that made girls sigh (Truth is the British Invasion bands may have invented the power ballad. i.e: "Yesterday," "As Tears Go By," and "Because") and the fact that hair bands smiled and were more photogenic, which was important during the heyday of MTV.

Not all of this will be what you would call "Hair band" metal, some are 80s hits by bands left over from the 70s. Radio would later stop calling these groups "heavy metal" and call this "classic rock," to appeal to white Baby Boomer men going through a mid-life crisis. I have even included a few songs from the 70s that influenced the "hair" band sound. So, crank it loud to offend your mom.

"So Young, So Bad - Starz
"Action" - Sweet
"Cum On Feel The Noize" - Quiet Riot
"Round and Round" - Ratt
"You Give Love a Bad Name" - Bon Jovi
"Talk Dirty To Me" - Poison
"Kickstart My Heart" - Motley Crue
"Fantasy" - Aldo Nova
"Rock in America" - Night Ranger
"Dance The Night Away" - Van Halen
"Sweet Child O'Mine" - Guns N Roses
"Rock You Like a Hurricane" - The Scorpions
"Seventeen" - Winger
"18 & Life" - Skid Row
"New Girl Now" - Honeymoon Suite
"We're Not Gonna Take It" - Twisted Sister
"Up All Night" - Slaughter
"In My Dreams" - Dokken
"Shake Me" - Cinderella
"Poison" - Alice Cooper
"She's A Beauty" - The Tubes
"Legs" - ZZ Top
 "Saulsolito Summernight" - Diesel
"Take It On the Run" - REO Speedwagon
"Don't Stop Believing" - Journey
"Heaven's On Fire" - Kiss
"Livin After Midnight" - Judas Priest
"Love In an Elevator" - Aerosmith
"Sign of the Gypsy Queen" - April Wine
"Going Crazy" - David Lee Roth
"Summertime Girls" - Y & T
"Cherry Pie" - Warrant
"Edge of a Broken Heart - Vixen
"7 O'Clock" - London Quireboys
"Once Bitten, Twice Shy" - Great White
"I Love Rock and Roll" - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
"When The Heart Rules The Mind" - GTR
"Here I Go Again" - Whitesnake
"Two Steps Ahead" - Box of Frogs
"Wait" - White Lion
"Kiss Me Deadly" - Lita Ford
"Don't Treat Me Bad" - Firehouse
"Love Will Rock You" - Donnie Iris
"Rock & Roll Dreams Come Through" - Jim Steinman
"Back In Black" - AC/DC
"Since You've Been Gone" - Rainbow
"The Hero" - Queen
"The Final Countdown" - Europe
"Heaven Tonight" Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force
"To Be With You" - Mr. Big
"Hole Hearted" - Extreme
"Goodbye" - Enuff Z'Nuff
"The Stroke" - Billy Squire
"Lay It On The Line" - Triumph
"Silent Lucidity" - Queensryche
"Run To The Hills" - Iron Maiden
"Working For The Weekend" - Loverboy
"Burning For You" - Blue Oyster Cult
"Power" - Kansas
"Over The Mountain" - Ozzy Osbourne
"Too Much Time On My Hands" - Styx
"Twilight Zone" - Golden Earring
"Knocking At Your Back Door" - Deep Purple


Sunday, March 24, 2013


I've said it many times on this blog and the old blog, but it bares repeating. Somewhere in the last two decades, radio lost its ability to promote itself. Billboards and TV spots died out for awhile in the radio industry (or at least in this area). T-shirts and bumper stickers have gone the way of the dodo bird.

In the 80s, radio promoting on TV was a big deal. Granted, there has been a mind set the last few years that TV is the competition and radio shouldn't be buying time with "the enemy." B-S!!! The truth is the media (TV, radio, print and Internet) should acts as one big family and help each other succeed, because the real enemies of the media will destroy all media, not just one form of media.

Back to TV commercials for radio stations. I recently discovered several commercials on You Tube for radio stations. These are great ads and all have one thing in common: Deborah Shelton. Shelton was Miss USA in 1970 and eventually competed in the Miss Universe pageant. She was in the Brian DePalma film Body Double and appeared on Dallas for three seasons, playing J.R. Ewing's mistress, Mandy Winger.

These ads were produced for KOY-AM in Phoenix, Arizona by legendary Top 40 consultant Chuck Blore. Interesting to see that in 1982, there were still pop music stations AM, even though that would soon be changing. This is a link to an ad for WIOG-FM in Bay City, Michigan (It is on after the Matlock promo). If I could ever launch my revamped adult contemporary format on a radio station, I would definitely have commercials like these.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

TV veteran Malachi Throne dies, aged 84

Malachi Throne is on the right
 TV veteran Malachi Throne dies, aged 84

'Are You Being Served?' actor Frank Thornton dies

Bobbie Smith, Voice of The Spinners, dies at 76

Article courtesy of the New York Times. Here is some footage of the Spinners performing "It's a Shame" on the PBS music series Soundstage in 1976.

'Deep Throat' Star Harry Reems Dead at 65

'Deep Throat' Star Harry Reems Dead at 65 (updated)

Here is an ad for one of Harry Reems movies from a 1977 Springfield News Leader and Press for the Studio Theater in Springfield, MO. I always like to remind Springfieldians of the Studio Theater, because it is sort of a sore spot.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Ozzy Osbourne once said that, in the Seventies, the press labeled any band with long hair and mustaches "heavy metal." So did some of the record labels. There was a Warner Special Products compilation called Heavy Metal. It featured great hits by Black Sabbath, James Gang, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, MC5 and Uriah Heep, as well as unusual choices such as Faces, Yes, The Doors, Grateful Dead and J. Geils Band. Along with those were bewildering choices for a heavy metal compilation such as War, Van Morrison, the Eagles, Dr. John and Delany and Bonnie. I'm surprised Bread wasn't on that LP.

As I mentioned last time, younger people may read this playlist and say, "That old timer doesn't know heavy metal." Actually some of my generation probably said the same about these songs.

REMEMBER: Crank these songs up to 11.

Blue Oyster Cult - "Cities On Flame With Rock and Roll"
Van Halen - "Ain't Talkin Bout Love"
Humble Pie - "Stone Cold Fever"
AC/DC - "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
Bad Company - "Bad Company"
REO Speedwagon - "Ridin the Storm Out"
Bloodrock - "D.O.A"
Frigid Pink - "House of the Rising Sun"
Crabby Appleton - "Go Back"
Kiss - "Rock and Roll All Night"
Grand Funk Railroad - "We're an American Band"
Deep Purple - "Smoke On the Water"
New York Dolls - "Jet Boy"
Jethro Tull - "Aqualung"
Foreigner - "Dirty White Boy"
Rush - "Working Man"
Journey - "Any Way You Want It"
Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
Queen - "Stone Cold Crazy"
Aerosmith - "Walk This Way"
Led Zeppelin - "Black Dog"
Black Sabbath - "Iron Man"
The Who - "Long Live Rock"
Thin Lizzy - "The Boys Are Back in Town"
Blue Ash - "Dusty Old Fairgrounds"
Alice Cooper - "School's Out"
Dr. Feelgood - "Milk and Alcohol"
Judas Priest - "Rocka Rolla"
Flash - "Small Beginnings"
Ten Year After - "I'd Love To Change The World"
Heart - "Barracuda"
T. Rex - "20th Century Boy"
April Wine - "Oowatanite"
ZZ Top - "Tush"
Rainbow - "Long Live Rock and Roll"
Mott the Hoople - "Rock and Roll Queen"
Bachman Turner Overdrive - "Takin Care of Business"
Trooper - "Raise a Little Hell"
Styx - "Miss America"
Foghat - "Slow Ride"
Rare Earth - "I Just Want to Celebrate"
Pere Ubu - "Final Solution"
Golden Earing - "Radar Love"
Uriah Heep - "Look At Your Self"
James Gang - "Walk Away"
Head East - "Never Been Any Reason"

BONUS TRIVIA: The adult, sci-fi comic book Heavy Metal began in France as Metal Hurlant.


Thursday, March 14, 2013


I really wasn't trying to mess with your mind. There was a problem with the computer I was working on, so I didn't have a chance to post the names of the people in the photos. You got a chance to see the actor and actresses that have portrayed some of TV advertising's famous characters, as they looked when they are not in a TV commercial (or early in their career). I was attempting to put their catchphrase and real names with the photo when the computer "updated" twice during my work. So, I will list them here for you to look back and go "Oh yeah, now I know who that is!" Of course, some of these people were famous before their commercial gig and some got more jobs after.

First photo: Virginia Christine a.k.a Mrs. Olsen for Folgers Coffee
Second photo: Jan Miner a.k.a Madge the Manicurist for Palmolive
Third photo: Chuck McCann a.k.a The Medicine Cabinet Neighbor for Right Guard
Fourth photo: Mae Questel a.k.a Aunt Bluebelle for Scott Paper Towels (Voice and model for Betty Boop as well as the voice of Olive Oil)
Fifth photo: Jane Withers a.k.a Josephine the Plumber for Comet (She was a big child star in the 30's)
Sixth photo: Dick Wilson a.k.a Mr. Whipple for Charmin Bath Tissue
Seventh photo: Avery Schreiber a.k.a The Dorritos Guy for Dorritos
Eighth photo: Dena Dietrich a.k.a Mother Nature for Chiffon Margarine
Ninth photo: Nancy Walker a.k.a Rosie the Waitress for Bounty Paper Towels
Tenth photo: Iron Eyes Cody a.k.a The Crying Indian for Keep American Beautiful
Eleven photo: Andrew Olcott a.k.a Smiling Bob for Enzyte Male Enhancement
Twelfth photo: Don Collier a.k.a The Gum Fighter for Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum (Star of The Outlaws and High Chaparral)
Thirteen photo: David Lesiure a.k.a Joe Isuzu for Isuzu Motors
Fourteenth photo: Polly Rowles a.k.a Inspector 12 for Haines Underwear
Fifteenth photo: Stephanie Courtney a.k.a Flo the Checker for Progressive Insurance
Sixteenth photo: Johnathan (Lippee) Goldsmith a.k.a The Interesting Man in the World for Dos Equis Beer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


"It's Mountain Grown."
"You're soaking in it."
"Hello dear, Aunt Bluebelle here!"
"Comet gets out stains, when other cleansers can't."
"Ladies, please! Don't squeeze the Charmin!"


"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!"
"It's the quicker picker upper."
He doesn't speak, just cries.

He doesn't speaks, just smiles (Way too much)

"Big bubbles. No troubles."

"You have my word on it."

They don't say Haines until I say they say Haines!

"Welcome to Progressive dot com. How can I help you?"

"Stay thirsty, my friends."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ten Years After singer Alvin Lee has died at 68

Ten Years After singer Alvin Lee has died at 68

One of my all time favorite songs is "I'd Love To Change the World." 


I promised a heavy metal playlist and I deliver. Even though I made a disco playlist last time, my heart will always be with heavy metal. I was a huge fan of the "hair bands" of the 80s, as were many people in my age group. However, I was a hardcore headbanger and wanted to learn the history of heavy metal. I wanted to go back to the beginning of the genre and experience it to the fullest.

So let us go back to the prehistoric days of heavy metal as it evolved into one the greatest rock and roll genres ever. Turn on your black lights and lava lamps, stare at you posters on Barnabas Collins and Raquel Welch, read some Lovecraft and Vonnegut and contemplate taking down Tricky Dicky while you listen to these early metal tracks.

NOTE TO YOUNGER READERS: The definition of what qualifies as heavy metal has changed over the years. These songs were a one time considered heavy metal by rock music journalist and historians.  Don't try to argue with me on this.

"Wild Thing" - The Troggs
"I Can Only Give You Everything" - Them
"Shapes of Things" - The Yardbirds
"Come See Me" - The Pretty Things
"All of the Day, All of the Night" - The Kinks
"Talk Talk" - The Music Machine
"I Had Too Much To Dream" Electric Prunes
"We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" - The Blues Magoos
"Pushing Too Hard" - The Seeds
"Summertime Blues" - The Blue Cheer
"Fire" - Jimi Hendrix Experience
"My Fire Department Needs a Fireman" - The Shadows of Night
"You Keep Me Hanging On" - Vanilla Fudge
"Beacon From Mars" - Kaleidoscope
"White Room" - Cream
"I Can See For Miles" - The Who
"Pride of Man" - Quicksilver Messenger Service
"Oz Lee Eaves Drops" - The Other Half
"Beck's Bolero" - Jeff Beck Group
"No Fun" - The Stooges
"Kick Out the James" - MC5
"Man of the World" - Fleetwood Mac
"Dark Eyed Woman" - Spirit
"Evil Woman (Don't Play No Games)" - Black Sabbath
"In A Gadda Da Vida" - Iron Butterfly
"Born To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf
"How Many More Times" - Led Zeppelin
"Hush" - Deep Purple
"Into The Sun" - Grand Funk Railroad
"Song for Jeffrey" - Jethro Tull
"Did You See Her Eyes" - Illusion
"Funk 49" - James Gang
"Prodigal Son" - The Amboy Dukes
"No Time" - The Guess Who
"I Heard Her Call My Name" - The Velvet Underground
"I'm Going Home" - Ten Years After
"Nightmare" - Elias Hulk
"Gypsy Part 1" - Gypsy
"Back To The River" - The Damnation of the Adam Blessing
"I Don't Need No Doctor" - Humble Pie

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day at a Time' star, dies

Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day at a Time' star, dies

While I have the utmost respect for Ms. Franklin as an actress and director, I never really cared for the TV show, One Day At a Time. Not sure why.

This probably explains why I liked the episode of Family Guy, where Brian is watching a scientist talking about the biological difference between dogs and humans on Nova on PBS. The scientist says that his research shows that dogs can out live humans. Before he can reveal this, PBS interrupts Nova for a One Day At a Time Marathon. 


I've been searching for photos of generic disco compilations for these Ipod playlist post, but (pardon the pun) this cover not only is a great cover but (pardon the pun again) has the perfect title for this playlist.

Disco's popularity caused some well established mainstream performers to try their hand at disco. Most of these not only were great records by the artist, but some of the best hits of the disco era. On the other hand, these artist made enemies with some hardcore disco haters (Rod Stewart took the most flak of these artist). Some of these may not have intended to be disco records per say, they just were embraced by the disco crowd and the club DJs.

For the most part, people have forgiven these artist for going disco.

 "I Was Made For Loving You" Kiss
“Heart of Glass” Blondie
“(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman” The Kinks
“Copacabana” Barry Manilow
 “Alive Again” Chicago
“Here Comes the Night” Beach Boys
“Do You Think I’m Sexy” Rod Stewart
“Mama Can't Buy Your Love” Elton John (You could also count "Philadelphia Freedom" as disco too)
"Miss You" Rolling Stones
"Young Americans" David Bowie
"December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" Four Seasons
"Another One Bites the Dust" Queen
"Goodnight Tonight" Paul McCartney
"Shakedown Street" Grateful Dead
"Clones" Alice Cooper
"All Over The World" Electric Light Orchestra (From the movie, Xanadu)
"Volarie" Al Martino
"Don't Stop The Music" Bay City Rollers
"Right Behind The Rain" Brenda Lee (I heard an interview with Brenda Lee where she mentioned making a disco record that she felt was a mistake. This song, from 1980, is the closest thing to disco by Brenda Lee that I could find. If you know of a better example tell me.)



Before I hear any snide remarks about me posting a disco Ipod playlist, let me explain something. I realize it is considered "uncool" for a guy my age to like disco. Some idiots will tell you that a man who likes disco is "gay." Truth is, I used to think the same way when I was younger.

What changed my opinion of disco? A few years back, a radio station here in Springfield was bought out by another company. As a stunt, for the first week or two, they ran nothing but disco hits. I would listen and found there were many of these songs brought back pleasant memories of my childhood. The radio station eventually unveiled there format would be "classic rock without the loud heavy metal" (This slogan was part of a bad trend at the time, which someone in the radio industry once said was like "making love without all that unsanitary kissing"). They "vowed never to play disco again." They have have lived up to that, although they tweaked the format a few years back and added Aerosmith, Ozzy, Deep Purple and AC/DC to there playlist.

After that, I became nostalgic for the disco music that filled the airwaves during my elementary school years. Besides I can enjoy disco where as I CANNOT STAND COUNTRY MUSIC!!!

I have broken this into two list, one for standard disco and the other for those artist that we thought would "never stoop so low as to make a disco record" and wound up making some of the best disco songs ever.

A message to guys of my age: Don't worry, I'm planing a "heavy metal/hair band" playlist filled with testosterone, adrenaline and alcohol.

"Staying Alive" Bee Gees
"Hot Stuff" Donna Summer
“Fifth of Beethoven” Walter Murphy
“I Will Survive” Gloria Gaynor
“Dancing Queen” ABBA
“Last Dance” Donna Summer
“I’m On Fire” 5000 Volts
“Making It” David Naughton
“Ladies Night” Kool & the Gang
“Pop Muizk” M
“Voulez Vous” ABBA
“You Sexy Thing” Hot Chocolate
“(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty” K.C. & the Sunshine Band
"Funkytown" Lipps, Inc.
"TSOP (Sound of Philadelphia)" M.F.S.B
"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" McFadden & Whitehead
"Upside Down" Diana Ross
“That's The Way (I Like)” K.C. & the Sunshine Band
“Y.M.C.A” Village People
“Kiss In The Dark” Pink Lady
“Cupid/I’ve Loved You For a Long Time” The Spinners
“Disco Inferno” The Trammps
“Love Is In The Air” John Paul Jones
“Heaven Knows" Donna Summer
“Fly Robin Fly” Silver Connection
“La Freak” Chic
"Don't Let Go" Issac Hayes
"Bad Girls" Donna Summer
"Take Your Time (Do It Right)" S.O.S. Band
"You Should Be Dancing" Bee Gees
"All Night Thing" The Invisible Man's Band
“Rock The Boat” Hues Corporation
"I Love The Nightlife" Alicia Bridges
“The Hustle” Van McCoy
"Livin It Up (Friday Night)" Bell & James
"If I Can't Have You" Yvonne Ulliman
"Dancing Machine" The Jackson 5
"Soul Dracula" Hot Blood
"Night Fever" Bee Gees
"Boogie Nights" Heatwave  
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