There are many funny signs online. These are a few of them I have found on internet:
Frank Spencer Sutton was born October 23, 1923 in Clarksville, Tennessee. He is best known for his portrayal of Sgt. Carter on Gomer Pyle.
His father was a linotype operator for the Nashville Tennessean and died, when his son Frank was 14 years old.
Sutton tried to join the Marines, but was turned down for failing to pass the physical, because one arm was bent too far back at the elbow.
However, he was able to join the Army and participated in 14 assault landings, including those at Leyte, Luzon and Corregidor during World War II.
After the war he returned to work as an announcer on a Nashville radio station. However, that didn’t go so well, when his boss turned on the radio and heard silence, since Sutton had fallen asleep. That ended his radio career, but it helped launch his acting career, since he went to Columbia University and graduated cum laude in Dramatic Arts.
First Television Job
Sutton’s first television acting job was on Captain Video and His Video Rangers in 1949.
He appeared in his first movie The Glenn Miller Story in 1954, but it was an uncredited role. He had another uncredited role in 1955 in the movie Marty.
His next major role was in Town Without Pity in 1961, in which he portrayed Sgt. Chuck Snyder
First Big Break With Gomer Pyle USMC
Frank Sutton had acted in many movies and television shows from 1949-1964, but his big break came, when he was cast as Sgt. Vince Carter on Gomer Pyle USMC. He portrayed a tough guy sergeant, who encounters a green recruit in Gomer Pyle, who was portrayed by Jim Nabors. It was a classic match of a tough Marines sergeant, who was frustrated by a gentle Gomer time after time.
Both Sutton and Nabors were perfectly cast in their roles as Sgt. Carter and Gomer Pyle. Sgt. Carter is the sergeant, that most of us who served in the military encountered at some point, during our tour of duty, so was easy to identify with. We can all remember recruits like Gomer who didn’t have a clue, about what military life was all about. However, we also know that a recruit like Gomer would not have lasted through boot camp in real life.
Gomer infuriated Sgt. Carter by his actions, but Gomer never retaliated in kind. Gomer was a prime example of a soft answer turning away the wrath of Sgt. Carter.
The show was on television from 1964-1969. Sutton and Pyle both appeared in all 150 episodes of the show.
CBS originally rejected the show, since they were afraid the military theme would not go over well with their female viewers. However, when Danny Thomas the producer threatened to take the show to NBC, which caused CBS to rethink their decision and carry the show on the CBS network after all.
The show apparently used real Marines in some of the scenes, since Jim Nabors didn’t like watching the opening scene of the introduction to the show, which showed the Marines marching, since several of those soldiers had been killed in Vietnam later.
Gomer Pyle was never higher than private first class during the five-year run of the show.
Nabors decided to leave Gomer Pyle after five seasons, to star in the Jim Nabors Hour, which ran for 1969-1971. Sutton would appear on only 3 of the 51 episodes of the show.
The television of career for Sutton was over for the most part, after Gomer Pyle left the air. He appeared in five segments of Love American Style from 1970-1973. He acted in two TV movies Ernie, Madge and Artie (1973) and Hurricane (1974).
The role of Sgt. Carter not only made him a star, but it also ended his acting career, since he was too closely identified with the Sgt. Carter character.
Frank Sutton died of a heart attack at the age of 50, in Shreveport, Louisiana on June 28,1974 while rehearsing for a dinner theater production. Sutton had went from television stardom, to acting on the dinner theater circuit, which showed how fast his fame flamed out after being Sgt. Carter.
Sadly, Gomer Pyle is one of the more difficult shows to find in reruns today. Even when it was being shown in reruns it was being shown in the early morning hours like around 4:30 in the morning.
It was one of my favorite television shows ever and would like to be able to see those shows again, if they are ever shown again.
I was going through the on-screen programming guide, when I ran across a show called The Carbonaro Effect. I was curious about the show, so I recorded one episode. I liked it so much have been recording every episode I can find.
The show can be seen at 10 PM ET and 9 PM CT on truTV.
The Carbonaro Effect is a fun show to watch, as the victims of the tricks try to figure out what just happened. Michael Carbonaro the magician/host of the show is perfectly cast, as his easygoing way with the victims of his magic tricks leads some of them to believe his off the wall reasons for the magic occurring.
Below is the video of the magic trick done with the bowling ball and basketball:
Some of my favorite tricks are when Michael is looking for a key in the trunk of a car and “accidentally” locks himself in the trunk. The man he was talking to when this happens tries, to figure out how to get him out of the trunk. Before he can get him out Michael comes out the front door of the hotel and says “I found the key”. The look on the face of the man, who was trying to help him get out is priceless, when Michael appears with the key.
Another favorite trick is when he thinks he has the winning ticket for a new car in a raffle. There is a security guard with a table in front of the car which is in front of a temporary garage. Michael gives him some identification, but then realizes he left his winning ticket at home, so tells security guard he will walk home to get his ticket.
After Michael leaves the security guard looks behind him where the car was parked and the car was gone. A few minutes later Michael drives up in the same car, that he was supposed to win, and tells the security guard that he found the winning ticket. The security guard is going crazy trying to figure out how Michael got the car, that he was supposed to be guarding. You have to see this magic trick to really comprehend how good of a trick that it was.
The following clip shows Michael knocking out passenger windows of cars and telling the owners, that all new cars today come with four windows. He tells them the first window is a dealer window and that all they have to do is break the dealer window and roll up the good windows. Some of the victims of this trick are not exactly happy campers to see him smash out their windows.
The Carbonaro Effect is totally different from most shows on television today. This article from Newsday says that the show has been renewed for another 13 weeks, before it was ever shown on television:
I don’t want to give away any more of the tricks, but will say that another favorite trick is when he pours a huge pitcher of a drink, into a small cup and the cup still isn’t full. The lady tells him, that he is messing with her cognitive development, after looking amazed, that so much drink was poured into such a small cup.
The allied invasion of France on June 6, 1944 was the beginning of the end of the Hitler regime.
Timeline of Events Leading to D-Day Invasion
1921 – Adolf Hitler named leader of Nazi Party in July of 1921 and took the title of the Fuhrer.
1924 – Nazi Party leaders, including Hitler were arrested for attempting to overthrow the Bavarian government. He was sent to prison for five years, but only served 10 months and was released. He wrote Mein Kampf, while he was in prison.
1929-1930 – The worldwide depression was beneficial to the Nazi’s as they began to gain popularity.
1933 – Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg on January 30. The Gestapo was formed on April 26, 1933. Nazi’s assumed complete power, after all the other political parties were banned.
1934 – President Hindenburg died on August 2 and Hitler took over as leader of the German government.
1939 – Germany invades and occupies Czechoslovakia in March of 1939. The German Army invades and occupies Poland in September of 1939.
1940 – Germany invades and occupies Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France during April and May of 1940. Germany had now invaded and occupied eight countries, from March 15, 1939 till May 10, 1940.
April 6, 1941 would see Yugoslavia and Greece be invaded and occupied by German troops. Hitler now had 10 countries under his umbrella of power.
June 22, 1941 was the date that 3 million German troops invaded Russia, in what would become one of Hitler’s biggest mistakes of the war.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel wasn’t there when the Allied invasion began, since he had went home for a family visit, since it was thought that the Allied invasion might not take place for another two weeks. Rommel was more humane than some German officers. He didn’t let his troops mistreat prisoners. Rommel participated in a conspiracy to remove Hitler from power, but he was opposed to the assassination plot. The plot to assassinate Hitler failed when the bomb exploded, but failed to kill Hitler. Some of those involved with the plot implicated Rommel, when they were being questioned about the plot to kill Hitler. Rommel was opposed to the assassination plot, because he feared it might make Hitler a martyr.
When Hitler learned that Rommel was involved with the other conspirators, then he gave Rommel the option of committing suicide, rather than be executed, since he had been such a war hero. Rommel committed suicide on October 14, 1944, which happened to be the same day I was born.
1942 – The German troops are defeated at El Alamein in North Africa on November 5, 1942.
1943 – The German 6th Army is defeated at Stalingrad on February 2, 1943.
1944 – The Allied invasion of Normandy begins on June 6, 1944. The tide was turning against the Germans as they had suffered two major defeats, with them losing the Battle of El Alamein in North Africa, and to the Russians at Stalingrad and now they had a massive invasion by Allied troops. All of this happened in about a year and a half.
D-Day – June 6, 1944 – All times are military time:
0015 – 17,000 paratroopers land behind enemy lines prior to the invasion.
0309 – German radar sights Allied invasion fleet.
0700 – Allied troops in the first landings at Omaha Beach are pinned down.
0800 – Allied troops climb the bluffs at Omaha Beach.
1000 – The Allied troops have now ascended to the top of the bluff of Omaha Beach.
1330 – American troops advance inland after landing on the beach.
1400 – Hitler conducts first meeting about the invasion. Seven hours had passed, before Hitler became involved with the machinations of the German war machine, in their attempt to stem the American advances.
0000 Midnight – 9 Allied divisions have now landed in France.
The landing of Allied forces signaled the eventual end of the Hitler regime. It still would be another 10 months, before Hitler would commit suicide in his bunker, rather than be captured by American or Russian troops in Berlin.
Celebrities Involved in D-Day Invasion
Baseball player Yogi Berra was aboard a Navy rocket ship, at Normandy shooting rockets at the enemy, to soften the enemy strongholds on shore. He never actually set foot on the beach, but he still played a significant part in the events of that day.
Author J. D. Salinger carried the first six chapters of The Catcher in the Rye with him, when he was part of the invasion force.
Actor Alex Guinness piloted a landing craft carrying British troops to the beach.
Actor James Doohan, who would later portray Scotty on the Star Trek television series was shot several times that day and lost a finger.
End of the Third Reich
The 11 year reign of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich ended on April 30, 1945.
Hitler made a crucial mistake by bombing London and attempting to invade and occupy Russia. Sending three million troops still wasn’t enough to defeat Russia. 4.3 million Germans died during the Eastern front, while 10.6 million Russians died in the fighting.
Invading Russia was the most colossal mistake of the Hitler regime. He could have used the 4.3 million Germans who died in Russia to defend Germany, against American and British troops. However, when he invaded Russia he enabled Russia and America to combine forces, which made it a lot easier to capture Berlin and bring the end of the reign of terror by Adolf Hitler. Russia probably would have stayed out of the war, if Germany had not invaded Russia.
Hitler was far from being a military genius and erred by not letting his generals have complete control in the war.
When Hitler sent the troops to invade Russia he thought the war in Russia would be over before winter. Instead, the fighting went into winter and the German troops were not prepared for the winter weather, since they had not been allowed to bring winter clothing with them.
We will never know the exact number of those killed during World War II, since there were so many Jews being executed during the war.
Hitler’s dream of Germany becoming a world power came to a sudden end, when he shot and killed himself in his bunker on April 30, 1945. Instead he left his country in ruins, from the Allied bombing attacks and it may never recover from the devastation of World War II.
Germans and citizens all over the world need to never forget the devastation, of the World War II European theater fighting, which only happened because Adolf Hitler wanted to rule the world. It could have been a different war if Russian and Great Britain had stayed out of the war, if they hadn’t been attacked by Hitler.
Hitler may have pretended to care about Germany, but all he really cared about was Adolf Hitler.
Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg on April 10,1915 in Detroit, Michigan. He would later change his last name to Morgan and using Henry as his first name. There was another Henry Morgan at the time heard on radio and seen on television, so he changed his first name back to Harry.
He was a little man, that stood only 5 foot six inches. He made his first appearance in the movies in To the Shores of Tripoli in 1942 at the age of 27.
His first regular television role was in December Bride, in which he was seen in 155 episodes from 1954-1959. He portrayed Pete Porter in the series, who lived next to neighbor Lily Ruskin (portrayed by Spring Byington). His wife was never seen, but was referred to often.
He was seen in a spinoff from December Bride with the wife, that was never seen on December Bride. The new show was named Pete and Gladys and he portrayed his Pete Porter character from December Bride and Cara Williams was seen as Gladys Porter. The show ran from 1960-1962, with Morgan being 47 when the show ended. 72 episodes of the show were seen, before it was taken off the air.
His father Henry Bratsberg was a native of Norway while his mother Hannah was a native of Sweden.
Morgan would appear as a free-lance actor in movies and television, till when he acted with Jack Webb in Dragnet, as he portrayed Officer Bill Gannon, who was the partner of Jack Webb’s character Joe Friday. He portrayed Officer Bill Gannon as early as 1953 in the original black and white version of Dragnet. He also appeared as Officer Bill Gannon in the color version of Dragnet in 1966. He appeared in 99 episodes.
He would then appear in many different television shows and movies, including eight appearances in the television show Hec Ramsey and four episodes of Gunsmoke.
Morgan joined the cast of M*A*S*H in 1974 in its fourth season and portrayed Colonel Sherman T. Potter in 180 episodes. He also acted in the short-lived series After Mash that was seen from 1983-1984. He also portrayed Colonel Potter in this series in 29 episodes.
He then acted in movies, TV movies and various television series, until he retired in 1999 after 47 years of acting.
Harry Morgan died in his sleep on December 7, 2011, in Los Angeles, California.
He died two and a half years ago, but his memory will live on for years, who have been fans of his work on December Bride, Pete and Gladys, Dragnet and M*A*S*H.
George Strait was born on May 18, 1952, in Poteet, Texas and recently celebrated his 62nd birthday.
Strait may not be mentioned nearly as much as country singers like Hank Williams, George Jones, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard, but he leads them all in #1 hits. Hank Williams had 11 #1 hits, if you include posthumous #1’s in Your Cheatin’ Heart and Kawliga.
George Jones had 14 #1 hits, but five of those were duets with female country singers. Conway Twitty had 40 #1 hits, while Merle Haggard had 38 #1 hits.
However, George Strait has outdone them all, when it comes to #1 singles with 60 songs reaching the top of the charts.
Only Elvis Presley and the Beatles have had more gold and platinum albums, than Strait. He won his first Entertainer of the Year Award in 1989 from the Country Music Association and won it again, as recently as 2013 showing his popularity has not waned since he recorded his first album in 1981, which was 33 years ago.
Just found out today, that George Strait was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii during the Vietnam War and may have been in the same unit I was, since he was a finance clerk and the finance clerks I knew were in our 25th Administration Company as part of the 25th Infantry Division.
George Strait married his wife Norma Voss on February 23, 1972. They have now been married for 42 years.
George Strait has collaborated with his son George Jr. on some of his songwriting projects.
Jenifer Strait and her dad
Tragedy struck the Straits when their daughter Jenifer was killed in an automobile accident on June 25, 1986 in San Marcos, Texas. She was 13 years old.
This 72 song collection of George Strait music is the only George Strait music in my collection. It was released in 1995 and yet is now obsolete, since he has recorded another 19 years of music since then. However, it has all his early hits like Amarillo By Morning, Unwound, Cowboy Rides Away, All My Ex’s Live in Texas, You’re Something Special To Me, The Fireman and too many others to name them all.
George Strait and Alan Jackson singing Murder on Music Row
A lot of the names of songs in the box set may not be instantly recognizable, but that doesn’t matter, since any song George Strait sings is something special. 112 Amazon reviewers gave the box set 5 stars and only one gave it 1 star. You will want these songs on your MP3 player as soon as possible. Amazon is currently selling the box set new for $29.88, but can be bought used for as little as $8.79 for the 4 CD box set.
His first hit song was Unwound which climbed to #6 on the country music charts. His first #1 song was Fool Hearted Memory in 1982. 1983 would see Strait release two more #1 songs in A Fire I Can’t Put Out and You Look So Good in Love.
George Strait singing Cowboy Rides Away on December 31, 1986 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Strait went from one #1 song in 1982 to two #1 songs in 1983, then had four #1 songs in 1984, with Right or Wrong, Let’s Fall To Pieces Together and Does Fort Worth Cross Your Mind all going to #1. The Chair would be his only #1 song in 1985, but 1986 would start a streak of 11 consecutive #1 singles starting with Nobody In His Right Mind Would Have Left Her and ending with Ace in the Hole in 1989.
George Strait closing out his New Year’s Eve concert with Marina Del Ray and Unwound. A woman comes out of the audience and runs on stage and hugs Strait at the 5:08 mark in the video.
River of Love was his last #1 song in 2008. That is a 26 year stretch from his first # 1 song till the last one.
George Strait is in the last days of his Cowboy Rides Away farewell tour which ends June 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas.
George Strait is the best role model ever for a country music singer in my book.
Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937 in Oildale, California. Merle’s parents James Francis and Flossie Mae Haggard had moved from Oklahoma three years earlier, when their barn burned during the Great Depression in 1934.
The album pictured above is one of the first Merle Haggard albums in my LP record collection.
Haggard lived out a lot of the songs he wrote and sang. He was a very prolific writer and wrote most of his major hits alone, but did collaborate on a few like Okie From Muskogee.
He grew up in a refrigerated box car, that had been converted into a house and was raised there, after being born in Kern General Hospital in Bakersfield, California according to his biography.
Left Home At Eleven
It was a jolt for Haggard when his father died, when he was only nine years old. Two years later he left home. His mother sent him to live with his great-uncle and great-aunt in Modesto, California.
He said that he really was 21 and in prison, but the part about life without parole was only used to fill out the line.
Haggard was not the kind to stay in one place long and talked two girls into hopping a freight train, that was headed to Los Angeles. They only had $5 so he bought what food he could to feed himself and the two girls.
Then they left the train and he stole a car by hot wiring it. Only problem was that the car traveled only five miles, before running out of gas, so they had to start walking. However, they were soon picked up by policeman in a squad car and Haggard refused to give his name, but the girls gave their names.
Ironically, when all three returned home they were kept from attending school, for three days by their parents.
Merle and some of his friends attempted a burglary of a Bakersfield bar in 1957 and he was meted out a sentence from six months to 15 years. At first he was a real troublemaker in prison, by being very uncooperative. This landed him in solitary for his 21st birthday. His time in solitary gave him the time he needed to get his act together and afterward he was a model prisoner. He was paroled at the age of 23 and then began his road to being a country music star. Governor Ronald Reagan would later give Haggard a full pardon.
A more recent photo of Merle Haggard.
Merle Haggard’s Music
His first Top 10 song would be (My Friends Are Going to Be (Strangers) in 1964, which went to #10 and is one of my favorite Merle Haggard songs. His first #1 hit was I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” in 1966. That would begin a string of 38 #1 hits from 1966-1987.
Even the great George Jones only had 14 #1 hits, so Haggard having 24 more songs reach the #1 spot tells me, that Haggard was even more popular than I had thought.
Surprisingly Swinging Doors, one of his biggest hits only climbed to #5 on the country music charts.
Branded Man would be his second #1 hit in 1967. He had too many #1 hits in his career, to mention all of them individually, but some of my personal favorites were Sing Me Back Home, Mama Tried, Mama’s Hungry Eyes, Workin’ Man Blues, Okie From Muskogee, Fightin’ Side of Me, If We Make It Through December, Big City (a song I never get tired of) and his last #1 hit Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Star.
His discography can be seen at this web page and when you scroll down to his list of singles, then you can see how successful he was during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in particular.
His personal life was not an easy one with four marriages, that lasted from 1956-1991. His second wife was country singer Bonnie Owens ex-wife of Buck Owens and she was a maid of honor, when he married his third wife. Haggard married another country Leona Williams in 1978 and they were divorced in 1983. He married Theresa Ann Lane on September 11, 1993 and they are still married 21 years later.
Haggard started smoking marijuana at the age of 41 and admitted buying $2,000 worth of cocaine in 1983. Part of his lung was removed in November of 2008, after he was discovered to have lung cancer.
Entered Country Music Hall of Fame
Twenty eight years after his first #1 hit I’m A Lonesome Fugitive Merle Haggard would be admitted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. The following link takes readers to his page at the Country Music Hall of Fame website:
Summary – Merle Haggard wrote a lot of songs, that had to do with his life experiences, probably more than any other country singer, since Hank Williams did in the 40’s and 50’s. Like Williams he wrote a lot of his music by himself. He wrote songs about what life was like for transplanted Oklahomans, that moved to California and songs about how it was to be hungry. He wrote songs about his time in prison and how it was difficult to be a part of society again, after being released and his songs about patriotism, Okie From Muskogee and Fightin’ Side of Me and songs like Big City and Workin’ Man Blues that told the plight of people working for a living. He is now recording for an obscure record label Epitaph, but it doesn’t mean we have heard the last of Merle Haggard. He showed us all that being in prison isn’t always a bad thing, as he said he was one of those that prison helped and he is a testament, of how someone can change and be successful, even after being in prison.