George Strait: All My Ex’s Live in Texas

George Strait singing his 1987 No.1 hit All My Ex’s Live in Texas.

An interesting note is that he was stationed at Schofield Barrracks, Hawaii as a member of the 25th Infantry Division in the 70’s where I was stationed during the 60’s.

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Gene Watson: Farewell Party

Gene Watson singing Farewell Party his No.5 hit from 1978. Watson hasn’t had a top 10 hit since 1988.  His last album A Taste of the Truth has been called the album of the decade by some country music experts. His music is particularly liked today in Ireland.

Alan Jackson singing his audio only version of Farewell Party.

Audie Murphy: World War II Hero

Audie Murphy was most decorated soldier of World War II.

 

Audie Murphy was born in Kingston, Texas on June 20, 1925. He had a troubled childhood having to drop out of school when in the fifth grade due to his father abandoning the family.

He earned a dollar a day for picking cotton and plowing the fields. One of his hunting companions said Murphy didn’t miss when he shot while hunting. His friend mentioned this fact to Murphy and he replied that his family doesn’t eat if he doesn’t kill animals.

Things would get even worse for Murphy when his mom died when he was only 15 in 1941. When Pearl Harbor was attacked Murphy attempted to enlist in the military but was rejected because he was only 16 at the time.

In 1942 his sister adjusted his birthdate to make him appear to be 18 and he was admitted into the Army after being rejected by the Marines and Army paratroopers for only being 5 foot 5.

He passed out during a drill at Camp Wolters, Texas and his commanding officer tried to transfer him to cooks and bakers school. Murphy would have none of that since he wanted to be a combat soldier so was sent to advanced infantry training  at Fort Meade, Maryland.

His first combat was during the invasion of Sicily when he killed two Italian officers on horseback which won him a promotion to corporal.

Murphy had to fight his way out of an ambush at Salerno when his unit was attacked by German soldiers. He was rewarded with a promotion to sergeant after the battle.

When his best friend was killed by a German soldier who was faking surrendering Murphy opened fire on the German machine gun crew which had killed his friend and killed all of them and then used their machine guns and grenades to destroy other German positions winning him the Distinguished Service Cross.

He showed his shooting skills at the Battle of Holtzweir when he only had 19 of 128 soldiers available for combat. He ordered the other eighteen soldiers to fall back while he begin gunning down the Germans and used a burning tank’s guns to mow down even more Germans.

Only then did he call his eighteen soldiers in the rear to rout the Germans out of their position as the Germans exited the area. His valor in this battle earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. Even more impressive was the fact that the temperature was minus 14 degree fahrenheit and 24 inches of snow was on the ground during this battle.

Murphy was then removed from the front lines and promoted to first lieutenant on February 22, 1945 about three months before the end of the war in the European theater. He received 33 U.S. medals and received every medal that was possible to win.

He was 5 foot 5 and 110 pounds when he enlisted but was 5 foot 7 and 140 pounds by the time he ended his three year enlistment.

Murphy alone was credited with knocking out six tanks and killing 240 soldiers. He was discharged from the Army on September 21, 1945.

Like most combat veterans Murphy experienced post traumatic stress from being in combat. He had to relive his wartime experiences as he acted in To Hell and Back which was highest grossing movie for Universal Studios till Jaws surpassed the $10 million box office total of the Murphy film.

Murphy appeared in 44 feature films during his 25 years in Hollywood. In addition to acting he was a country music songwriter writing the Jerry Wallace hit Shutters and Boards.

He developed a close friendship with Jimmy Hoffa and was working to have him released from prison. In fact he talked to Grady Partin who had testified against Hoffa to recant his testimony.

Murphy’s life would come to an end when the private plane he was in crashed into Brush Mountain close to Catawba, Virginia.

For more details and links about Audie Murphy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy



 

Ray Price and His Big Band Live:

Ray Price appearing with his Big Band live in 2009. Price will be 85 in January and is in his seventh decade as a country music singer. It has been 54 years since his first No.1 hit in Crazy Arms when it reached the top of the charts in 1956.

Happy Days Father Tom Bosley Dies at 83

Tom Bosley who is best known for his portrayal of Howard Cunningham the husband of Marion Cunningham and the father of Richie and Joanie Cunningham in Happy Days has died of lung cancer at the age of 83 but cause of death was heart failure.

Bosley appeared as the father of a typical family in the midwest during the 50’s. He and his wife let Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli live in their house at one point in the series creating many great comedy situations.

Happy Days was shown on the ABC television network from 1974-1984. It has been 36 years since the show made its debut on television.

The Father Dowling Mysteries featured Bosley as a Catholic priest which aired from 1987-1991.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 1927 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Television fans have lost two icons in Barbara Billingsley and Tom Bosley in less than a week. Once more we are reminded of how much we loved the shows filmed in the 50’s like Leave it to Beaver and Happy Days which was filmed in the 70’s but was about a typical family living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the 50’s.



Barbara Billingsley Mom on Leave it to Beaver Dies at 94

Barbara Billingsley who portrayed June Cleaver the mom on Leave It To Beaver has died at the age of 94.

Barbara Billingsley the beloved mother on Leave it to Beaver has died at the age of 94 in Long Beach, California.

I can still recall seeing my first Leave it to Beaver show back in the late 50’s and how I have never tired of the show over 50 years later.

Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best and Andy Griffith Show were the best shows when it came to parents dealing with different situations their kids would find themselves in.

Even though the emphasis was on humor there still were real life lessons being taught in those shows. I will never forget Ward and June Cleaver raising their kids the best way they knew how and loved them no matter what kind of predicament they might have gotten themselves into.

Hugh Beaumont who portrayed Ward Cleaver had died 28 years ago at the age of 73 while visiting a son in Munich, Germany.

Leave it to Beaver ended after six seasons with 234 episodes having been filmed during its run. One of the reasons it was canceled was due to Jerry Mathers retiring from acting to be a freshman in high school.

Tony Dow who is now 65 and played Beaver’s brother Wally on the series and Jerry Mathers is now 62. Barbara Billingsley, Dow and Mathers all appeared in the The New Leave it to Beaver television show from 1985-1989.

Although Mrs. Billingsley has died along with her TV husband Hugh Beaumont and the boys are much older we can still go back to the days when the first show was filmed in 1957 whenever it is shown in reruns.


Annette Funicello: From Mousketeer to Beach Blanket Bingo

Annette Funicello as she appeared as an original Mousketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club after being discovered by Walt Disney and would later star in movies with Frankie Avalon.

While looking at the birthdays next week saw where Joanie of Happy Days will be 50 next week and that Jeanie C. Riley of Harper Valley PTA fame will reach retirement age of 65 next week. Pam Dawber who portrayed Mindy on Mork and Mindy will be 60 next week.

The name that really jumped out at me though was Annette Funicello who will be 68 next week.

Annette was discovered by Walt Disney at a dance recital in Burbank, California and was chosen to be on the original Mousketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club which made its debut in 1955.

Annette Funicello singing her hit Tall Paul which topped out at No.7 on the record charts.

Annette and Frankie Avalon sing a medley of songs in this 1965 video.

Annette singing I’ll Never Change Him in Beach Blanket Bingo in 1965.

Annette announced in 1992 that she had multiple sclerosis. She had kept it a secret since 1985 but when some people think her inability to walk was caused by alcoholism she revealed her illness to the world.

In addition to combating her illness she lost her mother Virginia Funicello at the age 86 in 2007 and her father Joe Funicello at the age of 93 in 2009.

Her last featured movie appearance was Back to the Beach with Frankie Avalon in 1987. She did make a cameo appearance in Troop Beverly Hills in 1989 which was her last movie appearance.

Annette and Frankie Avalon appeared in a Full House episode in 1991.

Annette dancing on a Mickey Mouse Club episode demonstrating her ballet skills which caused her to be discovered by Walt Disney.

We may never see Annette again in a television show or on a movies due to her multiple sclerosis but we have memories in the videos and movies she left behind.

Happy 68th birthday Annette!!