If you have been watching Ken Burns excellent documentary about Muhammad Ali on PBS, you can only wonder how Muhammad Ali’s views on everything would be taken today. Ali was always unabashedly honest expressing his opinions. Ali said and did things that always created controversy. Continue reading →
A Once Exciting Annual Contest Has Become Pathetically Bad
Photo below: 1968 All-Star Game Hank Aaron Swipes 2nd Base In A Competitive Game
National League’s Hank Aaron (44) steals second base in sixth inning. Rod Carew takes throw with umpire Mel Steiner on top of play in All-Star game. July 9, 1968 Photo :George Honeycutt Houston Chronicle
While reluctantly watching this year’s baseball All-Star Game there was a pre-game tribute to Hank Aaron who passed away January 22, 2021. This may have been the high point of the evening as the Fox broadcast and the game itself was lacking in any drama or competitiveness.
Where’s The Drama?
The All-Star Game has become a love-fest between the players and interleague play has ruined what was once a fierce rivalry between the American and National Leagues. In the 1950 All-Star Game in Chicago, Ted Williams fractured his left elbow making a leaping, off-the-wall catch on a Ralph Kiner smash in the 1st inning. Williams remained in the game, and put the American League ahead, 3 – 2, in the fifth inning with an RBI single. Ted Williams said he was never the same after fracturing his elbow. Williams, like many players went all out playing in the All-Star Game, which is an exhibition game with no meaning in the standings. The AL and NL teams used to badly want to beat the opposition in the annual showdown.
Five 1980s Rock Videos Where The Band Is Not The Star
Whitesnake definitely owes a large portion of their late 1980s popularity to Tawny Kitaen, the actress model who suddenly passed away on May 7, 2021 at the age of 59. Tawny Kitaen was the real star in the videos for Here I Go Again; Still of The Night and Is This Love. Kitaen later married lead singer David Coverdale. The constant playing of these videos on MTV no doubt greatly contributed to helping the band eventually sell 15 million copies (8 million plus in the United States) of the 1987 eponymously titled Whitesnake album. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the previous seven Whitesnake albums sold a total of less than two million units combined before Tawny Kitaen’s addition to Whitesnake’s arsenal of sales tactics.
Not that Tawny Kitaen started a trend, but bands have always known that a good song can be made into a VERY popular song by featuring sexy women in their videos.
Here are five cases where the band is not the primary focus of the video, but a very attractive woman is.
Ric Ocasek -Something To Grab For (1982)
Ric Ocasek of The Cars released seven solo albums over his career which had modest sales. His first solo LP 1982’s Beatitude was the most successful, hitting number 28 on the Billboard charts. Starring in Something To Grab For is future 1983 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Marianne Gravatte (b. 1959). Gravatte, a stunningly beautiful woman, was also featured in Ratt’s Lay It Down.
Johnny Carson Looks At Press Photos With Bob Uecker, Going Over Bob’s Legendary Baseball Career
In the mid-90s actor Leslie Nielsen was doing publicity for a comedic book “Bad Golf My Way.” The radio stations who set up interviews with Nielsen expected the star of “Airplane” and “Police Squad / The Naked Gun” to be as witty as the man who was in those movies.
While Leslie Nielsen had a sense of humor he was not a funny man. The public seems to forget that writers write those funny lines for actors to say.
Nielsen did his best, doing four hours of back to back interviews with FM stations across the country. But the radio hosts mostly got a reality check. Just because you’re a comedic actor does not translate into being a funny guest.
On the other hand Bob Uecker was a professional baseball catcher for six seasons in the 1960s who had a career .200 batting average. While Uecker was by his own estimate not a particularly good ballplayer, he was very funny. Uecker parlayed his natural sense of humor into a fifty year career as a baseball announcer and talk show guest, and he is still going strong, The 87-year-old Uecker remains the radio voice of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Here is Uecker’s seventh appearance on The Tonight Show, September 23, 1971.
What makes this clip rare is that for the first 10 years that Carson hosted The Tonight Show from New York, almost every tape was subsequently erased. Continue reading →
Washington Capitals Tom Wilson’s Vicious Hit On Bruins Brandon Carlo Draws A Light Punishment
A Simple Solution On How The NHL Should Determine Future Suspensions
Capitals Tom Wilson (43) about to slam Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo’s (25) head into the plexiglass. March 5, 2021
It’s not like a ton of people watch hockey or care about it. But for those who do love the game they like it to be played clean. Yes there are occasional fights, but generally the game requires a substantial skill set and most of the time dirty play is absent from hockey.
Hockey is inherently a fast and sometimes violent game. On Friday, March 5, the Washington Capitals Tom Wilson hit Boston Bruins Brandon Carlo with a vicious slam to the head.
Upon review, this play was reckless. It appears not to be a heat of the moment hard check on Wilson’s part, but an intentional attempt to disable. From this play there could be long term implications for Carlo’s health and playing career. Wilson and his teammates believe that this was a “clean hit.”
Decide for yourself if this was clean or dirty:
Without leaving his feet Wilson angles his entire body up towards Carlo then piledrives Carlo’s head into the glass. Carlo grabs his head and then collapses. As one commenter on youtube wrote “It was an unnecessary, malicious, intentional, cowardly hit on an unaware player who was playing the puck.”Continue reading →
Greer Garson – Acting Talent Does Not Equate To Being A Good Talk Show Guest
Greer Garson (1904-1996) was a fine and talented actress. Anyone seeing her deeply moving performances in Goodbye Mr. Chips or Mrs. Miniver can attest to that.
Garson won the Academy Award for her portrayal as the title character in Mrs. Miniver. Six additional Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role affirm that her colleagues appreciated Garson’s acting skills.
But according to Craig Tennis, a former talent coordinator of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from 1968-1976, Greer Garson was not great when it came to spontaneity. Continue reading →
Jack Benny and Wife Mary Livingstone Dine At Ciro’s 1955
Jack Benny and his wife Mary, enjoy an evening at Ciro’s in Hollywood. Benny started his career in the entertainment world as a doorman at a theater in Waukegan, Illinois, his birthplace. The Benny’s have been married 28 years. photo: Inside Hollywood by Nat Dallinger for King Features Syndicate week of August 12, 1955
Barbara Stanwyck Thanks “Golden Boy” For Her Honorary Oscar 1982
In a six decade career Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990) received four Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a leading role. The films were Stella Dallas (1937); Ball of Fire (1941); Double Indemnity (1944) and Sorry, Wrong Number (1948). She did not win for any of these great performances in fine pictures.
Stanwyck and William Holden starred together in the 1939 film Golden Boy. It was Holden’s first starring role. And he was almost fired. But Barbara Stanwyck insisted Holden stay on the film. The two became lifelong friends.
At the April 3, 1978 Academy Awards presentation, William Holden and Barbara Stanwyck were reunited as co-presenters for the award for best sound.
This was the era before everyone handing out awards had every word scripted for them and was littered with politically correct, back-slapping fake accolades and bad jokes. What happened next was completely genuine, unrehearsed and quite touching as you will see by Stanwyck’s reaction.
Finally four years later on March 29, 1982, the Academy recognized Stanwyck with an honorary Oscar for “superlative creativity and unique contribution to the art of screen acting.”Continue reading →
Mongo’s (Alex Karras) Cut Scenes From Blazing Saddles
Blazing Saddles (1974) would never get made today. The genius humor of writers Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Alan Uger and Norman Steinberg is now politically incorrect. Yes, the movie is vulgar and over the top. But it remains undeniably one of the funniest movies ever made.
Some of the best scenes in Blazing Saddles belong to the half-wit behemoth Mongo, played by former NFL star Alex Karras.
Here are two of the scenes involving Mongo that were not in the final cut but were broadcast when eventually shown on television.
Metallica’s James Hetfield on stage with flying V guitar photo credit : unknown c. 1984
I’ve always wondered how rock bands feel when they’ve written what they believe to be a great song and later another band records it and has equal or greater success with the song. I guess it’s one thing if the original band is successful with the tune, makes money and has an appreciative fan base. The alternative of a band making music and toiling in relative obscurity with little to no exposure and then having another band come along and make a big hit out of your song does not sound appealing. The original writers receiving composing royalties may take some of the sting out of the situation.
When a heavy metal band covers a song and makes it their own, sometimes the original rock version languishes in obscurity. Years pass and more people are familiar with the cover version and think the cover version is better than the original. Whether that’s true or not is up to the listener.
7 Examples of Rock Songs Covered and Made Popular by Heavy Metal Bands.
We’ll start off with Peter Green and the extremely original British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac. This was before they became a huge pop hit machine after Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan left the band and Fleetwood Mac added Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. The song is the enigmatic Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) from 1970.
In 1979 Judas Priest put their indelible mark on Green Manalishi with dual guitars and Rob Halford’s soaring vocals. Just what is the Green Manalishi? Continue reading →