It was a shock to me to find out today, that J. Fred Muggs is still alive and living in Florida at the age of 61. His girlfriend, Phoebe B. Beebe is also still alive and they are living happily together.
The addition of J. Fred Muggs to the Today show may have saved the long running show from cancellation as he attracted advertisers to the show.
The Russian newspaper Izvestia had this to say about Mr. Muggs:
In the 1950s, the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, described J. Fred Muggs, as “a symbol of the American way of life”, and said, “Muggs is necessary in order that the average American should not look into reports on rising taxes, and decreasing pay, but rather laugh at the funny mug of a chimpanzee.
Life began for J. Fred Muggs on March 14, 1952 in French Cameroon and is now 61 years old. Age is unknown of his domestic partner Phoebe B. Beebe.
Dave Garroway the host of the Today show grew jealous of Muggs and reportedly spiked his orange juice with benzedrine to make him misbehave.
J. Fred Muggs was the subject of a Little Golden Book. The book is currently being sold on eBay for $24.99.
J. Fred Muggs fingerpainted this cover of Mad Magazine.
There are currently 74 items about J. Fred Muggs for sale on eBay, including a photo of him with President Harry Truman, apparently after Truman left office and was visiting the Today show.
J. Fred Muggs shown catching up on the latest news.
This is a photo of J. Fred Muggs asking President Eisenhower for an increase in the minimum wage for monkeys.
J. Fred Muggs debating whether to dive from highest diving board or to play it safe.
This is a photo of J. Fred Muggs making his valedictorian speech for the 1977 class of Monkey Business University, which educates monkeys for a career in the corporate world.
Thousands of Dukes of Hazzard fans descended on Livingston, Louisiana on Saturday August 17, 2013, as the town of 1,876 welcomed Dukes of Hazzard fans to the Henderson Auction Barn.
Most of the fans seemed to have one purpose in mind and that was to have the Dukes of Hazzard stars sign their Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia. My son-in-law and me waited in line for almost three hours to talk to Catherine Bach, who portrayed Daisy Duke on the television series. He had her autograph a DVD of two Dukes of Hazzard movies and she also autographed his General Lee car.
She was extremely gracious to her fans and I was particularly impressed when she stopped the main line to talk to a group, that apparently was from a nursing home. You could tell from the smiles on their faces, that she made their day by taking time to talk with them and to sign autographs.
Catherine Bach may be 59, but she appeared to be a lot younger to me at least. She was born Catherine Bachman on March 1, 1954 in Warren, Ohio.
She has two movies in post production in Book of Fire and Claire’s Cambodia and should be released in the coming months.
Young and Restless fans may recognize her as Anita Lawson and she appears from time to time in the series, with her last appearance being in the August 9 episode.
The Monk detective series also featured her in the “Monk Meets His Dad” episode on November 17, 2006, when she played the part of Sara Jo.
Her second husband Peter Lopez committed suicide on April 30, 2010, about four months before what would have been their 20th wedding anniversary. Their two daughters helped her at the product table and they are Sophia 17 and Laura, who will be 15 in October.
My son-in-law George was next in line, when Mountain Man decided to take a lunch break. George kidded him about it would take a long time, since he was so slow on Duck Dynasty. Mountain Man returned about 45 minutes later and George got his autograph.
I only waited in the line to talk to Catherine Bach, since it was very uncomfortable with the line not moving, till she showed up and then there was another long wait, before actually talking to her.
George waited in one line after another, while I watched the stage show. George said the reunion was planned much better, than the reunion in 2012.
My personal highlights were being able to talk to Catherine Bach and to see the Mountain Man from a distance. Have no idea why he was named Mountain Man, with the highest point in Louisiana being 563 feet, which is only 8 feet taller than the Washington Monument.
It was a brutally hot day, but cold drinks were being sold for $2, which is reasonable for an event like this.
Going to the reunion sparked my interest in Dukes of Hazzard and watched two shows, after arriving back at my daughter’s house.
The Little Couple returns to the TLC television network tonight at 10 PM ET. Bill Klein and his wife Jen Arnold had tried having a child, but after many setbacks decided to try having a surrogate mother deliver a child. When the surrogate mother miscarried they decided to adopt.
Their search for a child to adopt resulted in them adopting a Chinese boy, that they named William. He has dwarfism like his new parents, so he will be raised by understanding parents, that know firsthand what William will be facing in his life.
Tonight’s episode of the reality show reportedly will show them bringing William back to the United States, after picking him up in China.
After a long 28 hour flight from China the Little Couple finally return to United States with their son William, as they return to Houston.
This is one of the most heartwarming shows on television today. It is so opposite of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, one of the worst shows on television. It is difficult to believe that the two shows are even being shown on the same network.
Bill Klein and Jen Arnold have not found life easy, but they have shown, that they can overcome the sorrow of never having their own child by normal means.
There is a possibility that William will have a little sister, before this set of episodes ends, since they have requested a daughter from the adoption agency, that they are dealing with.
Like most reality shows The Little Couple is not 100 percent realistic, since it would be chaos if cameras just followed them long enough to get 22 minutes of material for an episode and then used that film. However, it is much more closer to being real than some reality shows, which are so fake that it is evident.
It is less than 12 hours till the show returns on TLC. Let the countdown begin.
The Little Couple will be showing their 100th episode tonight. The show premiered on May 26, 2009.
Some historians say southern gospel music was founded in the 1870’s but 1910 is when the first southern gospel quartet was formed.
However, the first southern gospel song The Old Time Religion was published in 1873. Charles Davis Tillman is credited with bringing the song to white southerners, when he heard African-Americans sing it in a tent meeting in South Carolina.
The song is still being sung 140 years later in churches and in gospel singing concerts. The song was used in the movie Sergeant York in 1941. Life’s Railway to Heaven is another song brought to southern gospel fans by Tillman. The Carter Family, Chuck Wagon Gang and Oak Ridge Boys were just some of the groups and soloists who sang the song.
Poor Wayfaring Stranger was even older than the other songs mentioned, since it was found in a 1858 songbook. It has been sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Cash and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, not to mention too many other groups and soloists to mention.
Singing schools such as the Stamps-Baxter School of Music taught quartet singers to sing their part properly and how to blend in with a group, when the whole quartet sang at once.
Southern gospel music could be heard at singing conventions, which featured more difficult songs like I’m Winging My Way Back Home and Heavenly Parade. I can personally vouch for how difficult I’m Winging My Way Back Home can be to sing, since I have tried to sing it in choirs and have not had much success. When done right though it is true southern gospel music at its best.
The Cathedral quartet first became known as part of the Rex Humbard ministry.
The Blackwood Brothers Quartet was formed in 1934 and still is singing today 79 years later. Tragedy struck the quartet in 1954 when a plane crash killed baritone R.W. Blackwood and bass singer Bill Lyles. Cecil Blackwood replaced his older brother R.W. as baritone and J.D. Sumner replaced Lyles as the bass singer.
I have seen the Blackwood Brothers sing in the Alexandria, Louisiana area a few times, but never saw them with J.D. Sumner singing bass, since Ken Turner was singing the bass part. James Blackwood singing lead made up for that though, with his great delivery of the songs we grew up with. My mother lived in the Hiawatha, Kansas area in the 1970’s and was able to see the Blackwood Brothers sing there many times.
J.D. left and joined the Stamps Quartet, which toured with Elvis Presley throughout the United States. I saw them sing backup for Elvis in 1977, shortly before Elvis died, in a concert in March of 1977 and when Elvis wasn’t feeling well he had one of the quartet singers sing a song, while he sat down and gathered enough strength to continue the concert.
I can remember when a local southern gospel radio station in Pineville, Louisiana held a concert every year in the Rapides Parish Coliseum, in Alexandria, Louisiana. I heard that a heckler one time was giving Howard Goodman of the Happy Goodman Family a rough time, but if I remember right Howard got the best of it.
My favorite gospel quartet is the Dove Brothers Quartet which was founded in 1998.
We traveled 200 miles to see them in Texarkana, Texas and will never forget them singing When I Move ToHallelujah Square and the classic Get Away Jordan which had been recorded many years earlier by the Statesman Quartet.
I was able to talk to all the members of their quartet at their product table and would travel many times to see them in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and they finally appeared in my hometown of Pineville, Louisiana.
Only McCray Dove, Eric Dove and Burman Porter are singing in the current configuration of the group.
The following video is of the Dove Brothers Quartet singing Get Away Jordan, at the National Quartet Convention in 1999 at Louisville, Kentucky. We need more singing like this today.
Most southern gospel fans like to hear the tenor or bass being featured on songs. I like the traditional southern gospel songs like He Touched Me, Mansion on the Hilltop, I Never Shall Forget That Day, The Old Country Church, Without Him, Farther Along, The King is Coming, The Lighthouse and O What a Savior.
Bill Gaither has done a lot to make southern gospel music more popular, since he brought the well-known names of the past back to the forefront, through his homecoming videos. We have at least 10 of his videos and enjoy watching the greats of the past singing on stage in unison.
The Atlanta Homecoming video is one of my favorites of the series, but my favorite is the Ryman Gospel Reunion video. That video includes The Lighthouse, Unclouded Day, I Never Shall Forget That Day and too many others to list them all. Clips of all the songs on the video can be heard at Amazon.com:
Some of those who will be inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame on October 2, 2013 in Dollywood:
Thomas Dorsey, who wrote Take My Hand Precious Lord and Peace in the Valley. He died in 1993.
Tim Riley, who is owner of and bass singer for Gold City Quartet.
“Little” Roy Lewis and Polly Lewis of the Lewis Family.
It is sad that southern gospel groups don’t travel as far south as Louisiana, as they used to but the big busses of these days owned by the groups make it cost prohibitive, because of the higher gasoline prices.
We may not hear southern gospel music as much as we once did, but we are glad to be members of Calvary Baptist Church in Merryville, Louisiana, which sometimes even sings from a southern gospel music hymnbook and southern gospel music is often sung for special music.
I was born in 1944 in West Lafayette, Indiana and moved to Pineville, Louisiana, before my 2nd birthday in 1946, so my dad could teach chemistry at Louisiana College.
My first memory of Pineville was starting the first grade at Pineville Elementary in 1950 and walking the mile to school. I did ride the bus in the second grade, until the day I didn’t get off, at my stop and wound up in Libuse, Louisiana, which was about a ten-mile walk back home. Needless to say I never rode a bus to school after that incident. The bus driver was Harold Price, who drove a school bus many years.
I remember being in the class of Mrs. Eva Price, if I recall her first name right. One of my best friends in first grade was Robert Cavanaugh, who would later run track for Pineville High School and LSU. Then later Dr. Cavanaugh would become the chancellor of LSU in Alexandria and was responsible for it becoming a four-year college.
One thing I remember about the first grade is the ten-cent lunches. The price has probably gone up to 15 cents some 63 years later.
The second grade through fourth grade years sort of ran together, with no standout memories from those years. I do remember my second grade teacher being Mrs. Frankie Reed, third grade teacher being Mrs. Clarice Ellis and fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Etta O’Neal.
My fifth grade teacher was Mrs.Mabel Powell and my main memory of that year was that I played my first Little League game the last day of school. I played for Bates Insurance Co. team that year and made a shoestring catch in that first game off of a ball hit by Luther Richardson. Think I was more surprised, than anyone else that I caught the ball.
Mrs. Scivique (sp) was my sixth grade teacher if I remember right, but can’t remember her first name. Grady Harper was my seventh grade teacher and I think Robert Cespiva was my eighth grade teacher, but not sure of that.
1957 was a year that stood out, since that was the year Hurricane Audrey hit the Pineville area that June. I can remember Jim Gaines of KALB radio giving the latest reports about the hurricane. One memory is that we had no power for three days and my dad went to Jimmie Hoyt’s to buy some dry ice.
1957 Trip To Maine
My most vivid memory of 1957 didn’t take place in Pineville, since my dad and my older brother took a trip to Maine that summer. The trip was an education in itself, as we stopped at tourist stops like Rock City and can remember the signs saying SEE ROCK CITY on the roofs of barns along the way. We also saw many Burma Shave signs on the trip.
Stopping at Mount Vernon was one of the highlights, while Washington, D.C. was the place that I remember best. We went inside the Capitol building and saw Congress in action, saw the U.S. Mint making bills and visited the National Archive building. We also visited the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Smithsonian Institution was particularly interesting, where we saw the Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling. The last place I remember seeing was the Library of Congress.
Having been an avid baseball fan it was a thrill to see a major league game in Connie Mack Stadium, which was my first game to ever see. Saw future Hall of Famers like Roberto Clemente and Richie Ashburn in the game that, plus another Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit a home run that landed on tin roof above us in left field bleachers.
We also went to the planetarium in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell.
New York City was a place I will never forget and have not been there in the last 56 years. The main thing I can remember is seeing drunks lying on sidewalk in the Bowery District. That is something a 12 year-old kid always remembers.
We drove on to Beverly, Massachusetts, which was our next destination, since my Dad was there for the American Chemical Society convention there. I remember stopping at a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant with the famous orange roof and was impressed that they had 31 flavors of ice cream.
While in the area we were able to see the House of Seven Gables and Cape Cod.
The convention dealt with such topics as radiocarbon dating of trees and many other topics, that a 12 year-old would never comprehend.
Then we went on to Maine to see my Uncle John for the first time and I think the only time. It would be the only time to see my Maine relatives, since my cousin Jim would die in Vietnam in the 60’s, while piloting a helicopter and was shot down.
We stopped in Millville, New Jersey to pick up my Dad’s mom and while there saw my Grandpa Godfrey for the first and only time, while he was in the hospital. That reminds me of the times pranksters would call his grocery store and ask if he had Prince Albert in cans and then when he said yes, they would say then let him out.
The first and only stop on the way back home was Warsaw, Kentucky and Dad drove almost non-stop from there to Pineville, since school started the same day we got back home.
I don’t remember this but my mom told me I had gotten out of the A&P Grocery store at the age of three and walked down to the Murray Street Bridge. George Huffman a Pineville policeman, according to my mom said when he took me off the bridge that he was going to put me in jail, if it ever happened again. I probably didn’t even know what a jail was at that time, since we wouldn’t even have a television till six years later.
We didn’t have a television till I was about 9 years old and the only reason we got one was because, of my sister’s eye doctor prescribed it for her, so she could use both eyes and we had a polaroid screen on one side to make her use her “lazy” eye.
Being on Cactus Jack with Jack McCall hosting the show on KALB TV was one of my memories from this period and being in the Cub Scouts was another and I can remember riding in the Alexandria Christmas Parade one year.
George Huffman was part of another memory, when we thought our cat may have had rabies, so he tried to shoot at it with a shotgun under the house, but missed and the cat lived happily ever after.
My folks liked to go to Berwick’s Drug Store in downtown Pineville. The dilapidated building was not like Walgreen’s stores of today, but they must have had good prices on prescriptions.
Plane Crashes During Little League Game
One night we were playing a Little League game at Sandy Canyon, when I heard someone say “That plane’s going to crash” and we could see the plane heading downward and it landed near the Memorial Cemetery for veterans about a block from Main Street in downtown Pineville.
Pineville Elementary Burns Down
Pineville Elementary burned down shortly after I finished the eighth grade. This photo shows the firemen battling the blaze:
The story as it appeared in the Alexandria Daily Town Talk the next day:
Will never forget riding the mile from home to the fire that night. News traveled fast back then, even without any media coverage to speak of.
Fast Thinking Commercial Spokesman
Will never forget Larry McHale of KALB TV, who was ordinarily a newsman, but was advertising the virtues of a certain brand of cigarettes. Then in the middle of the commercial he starts coughing and thinking fast said “Just the thinking of those other brands makes me cough”.
Daredevil Over Red River
One memory that stands out is when a motorcyclist ran across the Red River on a some kind of contraption, that enabled him to ride a motorcycle. Anyone there that day is welcome to give their version of what happened that day.
College Drive Baptist Church Founded in 1947
Think we were living on Lawrence Boulevard, when College Drive Baptist Church was founded in 1947. It is now 66 years old and was located close to Louisiana College. I can remember J. Taylor Walworth as the founding pastor, when we joined in 1948. He is one of the few people in my life that never changed and looked the same shortly before his death many years later.
Can remember when Harvey McGraw was the education superintendent and a Sunday, which had 237 people present in Sunday School. It was a different time back then when fewer Louisiana College students had their own car, so they naturally walked to the church, which was closest to the college. As the years went by and more students had their own vehicles attendance started to fall. Students then could drive to the bigger churches in Alexandria and Pineville.
Starting Pineville High School in 1958
It was a huge change going from elementary school to high school and it took time to get used to moving from class to class all day at Pineville High. Went to summer school for three years, but graduated from Pineville High in September of 1962.
State Football Champions in 1960
The highlight of my high school years was when the Pineville High Rebels won the state football championship in 1960. Coach Jimmy Keeth and assistant Coach Vernon Beall led the team to a year, that the coaches and players will never forget. I think Coach Gene Millet was also a coach that year, but not positive. There has not been another championship football team from Pineville High School in the last 53 years making that year even more special.
Said Goodbye to Pineville in October of 1962
I joined the United States Army Reserve in 1962 and went to Fort Polk, Louisiana for basic training. Finished basic shortly before Christmas, then about two weeks later boarded a train at the Missouri Pacific station for Indianapolis,Indiana and headed for the brutal Indian winter, with snow on the ground in Indianapolis, when I arrived in January of 1963.
Returned home again from the Adjutant General School in Indianapolis in April of 1963. It didn’t take long to get tired of going to Army Reserve meetings, so joined the Regular Army for a three year enlistment in May of 1963 and would only come home in October of 1964 and 1965, before being honorably discharged in May of 1966 after a tour of duty in Hawaii and Vietnam.
Town Talk Employment
It was later in 1966, when I would be employed by the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, not having any idea that I would be working there for 36 years with two years working for the Monroe Morning World from 1974-1976 leaving Town Talk for an $8 a week raise, but Monroe paper had me working so much overtime, that I earned $5,000 more than I had earned with Town Talk the year before. Elvis Presley, indirectly helped me get the job in Monroe. We were in Monroe to see Elvis Presley and happened to drive by the newspaper and I wound up mailing in a job application, which was accepted.
More Memories of Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s
I remember we didn’t worry about how hot it was, because we didn’t know what air conditioning was and didn’t have one till the late 60’s. We only had one television station the first few years, before Alpine Cable came to town.
We would go out Highway 28 on our bicycles, since there was not much traffic. Nowadays it would be foolish to try to ride a bike on that same road today.
I can remember the Star Theater on Main Street catching on fire and Chief Crazy Horse and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were on the marquee that day.
Think it was still in the 60’s when Louisiana College ended their football program, due to lack of attendance at the games. I can remember the names of some players from back then like Clayton and Harry Bullard, Bill Mount, David Corley, Harry Ingalls, Frank Mobley, Gene Southern, Jim Jossick and Moose Munyan and of course Hamburger Harrison.
I remember George Huffman and Gus Perry from the Pineville Police Department and for some reason those are the only names I can recall.
Will never forget T.C. Brister who owned a sporting goods store letting me pay $6 for a $6.50 Nokona baseball glove, because that was all the money I had with me.
Can remember going to the display window of Jimmy Walker’s Appliance to watch television at night. I can remember visiting neighbors who had a television, which only got a New Orleans station and the picture was mostly snow, but a better picture would appear from time to time.
Trips to A&W Root Beer stand in Alexandria were a special treat. Those frosty mugs filled with root beer always hit the spot.
It is good to know that the same Martin Library we used to go to in the 50’s and 60’s is still operating many years later.
Remember well walking to Jack’s to buy the Sporting News baseball newspaper for a quarter on way home from high school.
Can remember the KALB radio record hops with the Big Bopper appearing a year or two before his death in a plane crash,which also killed Buddy Holly in Iowa.
Who can forget Mr. Pendergrast walking down the street with his top hat? There were rumors that he was rich, but not sure if he was or not. He sure didn’t live like a rich man.
Hope this article revives memories of what it was like growing up in Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s.
The Untouchables first appeared on television in 1959 on the ABC television network and aired its last show in 1963. The show was set in the 1930’s during the prohibition era. Robert Stack portrayed investigator Eliot Ness, who was a real life investigator in Chicago during the 30’s.
Eliot Ness faced off with some of the best known criminals of the Prohibition era in Chicago and Robert Stack did an excellent job of portraying the lawman on The Untouchables television series.
The show was produced by Desilu Productions and Desi Arnaz was one of the executive producers of the show. The Untouchables ended its run on television 50 years ago, but is not seen on television today, that I am aware of. It was one of the most violent shows on television during its run. It also drew criticism from the Italian community, who thought the show was portraying Italians in a negative light. Frank Sinatra was one of those, who was highly critical of the show.
Arnaz came close to being killed by a hitman, which is mentioned in this paragraph from imdb.com:
According to testimony from Jimmy ‘The Weasel’ Fratianno, a Mafia boss turned FBI informant, the Chicago family of the Mafia ordered the assassination of the show’s producer Desi Arnaz because they didn’t like, (a) the fact that the success of the show was focusing attention on the Mafia, and (b) the show’s portrayal of Italians. Fratianno said that two hitmen hid themselves near Arnaz’s house one night waiting for him to show up, but he never did. Shortly afterwards the assassination order was rescinded when it was realized that Arnaz’s murder would cause the Mafia more trouble than it was worth.
The role of Eliot Ness was turned down by movie actors Van Johnson and Van Heflin. Cliff Robertson, Fred MacMurray (My Three Sons) and Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O) tried out for the part.
Walter Winchell narrated the show for $25,000 in the 119 episodes, which totaled $2,975,000 million over the life of the series.
Bruce Gordon appeared as gangster Frank Nitti in 28 episodes of the series. Other well known actors who appeared in other episodes included Robert Redford, Frank Sutton, better known as Sgt. Carter on the Gomer Pyle television series, Edward Asner of Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant fame, Telly Savalas who would later star in Kojak and Peter Falk later to be seen in Columbo.
YouTube has some full episodes available for viewing. However viewers should be warned that some scenes are extremely violent and that these shows are not recommended for children.