American Idol On Speed

Ryan Seacrest, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. return for American Idol Season 14

American Idol Season 14 has been on speed the last two nights, with the males singing on Wednesday night and the females on Thursday night. Fox network has reduced the show to an hour this season, and gone were the long-winded judges opinions and the hi and bye conversations, with Seacrest and the contestants helped speed the show along. I think Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. are doing an excellent job of judging, but they won’t be on screen much, with the shows being shortened. The shows were frenetically paced on both nights, with two singers singing, then a round of commercials, then repeating till the show was over.

The show had to squeeze 12 singers into about 40 minutes, so there was no time for a lot of needless filler, like we saw in previous seasons. There is a huge difference in having two hours to sing 12 songs, than to have them sung in only an hour. The result shows will only be 30 minutes this year, so once American Idol is down to the 12 or so contestants, American Idol will only be on television screens an hour and-a-half a week.

Ryan Secrest can no longer build up the drama on result nights for an hour, so will have to cut to the chase sooner. There will still be time for guest singers on results night, since a half hour show really only lasts about 22 minutes, after leaving time for commercials.

Mark Andrew takes us back to the 70’s with his version of The Weight.

The Band’s version from the The Last Waltz movie featuring Leverne Helm and the Staples Singers from the late 70’s.

The Voice Pulling Away From American Idol in Ratings

The Voice continues to attract more viewers, than American Idol, as the ratings showed 14.6 million viewers watched the second episode of The Voice Season 8. Meanwhile, American Idol only attracted 11.76 million, in their highest rated episode, American Idol Season 14 has not drawn more than 11 million viewers, to any episode since February 4.  The Voice ratings are almost 3 million ahead of American Idol, when comparing most watched episodes of the two shows.

American Idol may never regain the popularity it once had, since the show peaked on May 21, 2003 finale, with 38.06 million visitors tuned in. The 2014 season finale bottomed out at 10.53 million viewers. It is not a good sign, when a show loses 28 million viewers.

The purpose of American Idol and The Voice is to produce stars, who make it big in the music business, and The Voice still hasn’t done that.

American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery and Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips have both had platinum albums and platinum singles. However, Season 12 winner Candice Glover’s first and only album so far sold only 27,000 copies and her only single peaked at #93 on the US chart.

Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson’s debut album, which was released in August of 2014 has sold only 11,000 albums. It is ironic, that Chris Daughtry who came in fourth in Season 5 has had the most success in record sales, among the rock singers on the show.

Daughtry and his band’s debut album sold 7 million copies worldwide, and his second album went platinum, and third album went gold. His fourth album has not done as well with only 90,000 albums sold, after the album was released in November of 2013.

Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson and Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood have been by far the most successful singers, who have been produced by American Idol, with both of them going strong many years, after they appeared on American Idol.

The Voice may be winning in television ratings, but American Idol is the winner when it comes to producing stars, that make it and sustain careers in music.

American Idol may not be around much longer, if the ratings don’t improve, but then it may be around for years to come, since they may have a problem finding a show that can garner higher ratings, than American Idol has done for many years.

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One Hit Wonders of the 50’s and 60’s

The Silhouettes took their #1 hit Get A Job, to the top of the charts on February 24, 1958. The group received a Gold Record for the song, but never had another song to reach the charts.

The Purple People Eater reached #1 on June 9, 1958. Sheb Wooley turned down the song at first, since he didn’t want to be associated with that kind of song.

I said Mr Purple People Eater, what’s your line?
He said eating purple people, and it sure is fine
But that’s not the reason that I came to land
I wanna get a job in a rock ‘n roll band”

The Minnesota Vikings would later call their defense the Purple People Eaters. Sheb Wooley technically was not a one hit wonder, since he had a #1 country song in 1962 with That’s My Pa. He would go on to record some country songs under the name of Ben Colder and took his version of Almost Persuaded #2 to #6 on country charts.

Teen Angel was a #1 song for Mark Dinning on February 8, 1960. His sister Jean and her husband Red Surrey wrote the song. Mark was stage name, since he was named Max Edward Dinning by his parents. The song is about a girl, who is pulled safely from a car, about to be hit by a train, but goes running back and is killed, by the oncoming train. These are some of the saddest lyrics ever written in a song.

That fateful night, the car was stalled
Upon the railroad tracks
I pulled you out and we were safe
But you went running back

Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And am I still your own true love?

What was it you were looking for
That took your life that night?
They said they found my high school ring
Clutched in your fingers tight

Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And am I still your own true love?

Just sweet sixteen and now you’re gone
They’ve taken you away
I’ll never kiss your lips again
They buried you today

Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And am I still your own true love?

Teen Angel
Teen Angel
Answer me, please

Mark Dinning never recorded another hit song and died 29 years ago, at the age of 52, and died of a heart attack in Jefferson City, Missouri.
 
Ringo was a strange song, since Lorne Greene never sang a word of the song. The lyrics are one word with Ringo being sung over and over by a chorus. Meanwhile, Lorne Greene told a story about a legendary gunfighter. It went to #1 on the pop charts on December 5, 1964 and easy listening charts, but peaked at #21 on the country charts. There is no way, that Ringo would be a #1 hit on the pop charts today.
Judy in Disguise With Glasses sung by John Fred and his Playboys went to the top of the pop charts, on January 20,1968, The title name is a play on words of the song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. 
John Fred was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 8, 1941 and died on April 14, 2005 at the age of 63 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He died of complications after receiving a kidney transplant.
Jeanie C. Riley recorded the Tom T. Hall song Harper Valley PTA, and took it to #1 on both the Hot 100 chart and Hot Country Singles chart. She was the first woman, to ever accomplish that feat. It wouldn’t happen again, till Dolly Parton did the same with 9 To 5 thirteen years later in 1981.
Tom T. Hall offered the song first to Skeeter Davis, but she declined his offer. Plantation Record label had to rush the release of the record, since Billie Joe Spears and Margie Singleton had also recorded it. Riley released her version first and the rest was history.
She never had another #1 song in either pop or country, but did have these Top 10 Country Songs:
1968 – The Girl Most Likely #6
1968 – There Never Was A Time #5
1969 – Country Girl #7
1971 – Oh Singer #4
1971 – Good Enough to Be Your Wife #7

Pharmacist Robert Courtney: Got Rich While Cancer Patients Suffered and Died

Robert Courtney At Work

Pharmacist Robert Courtney diluted chemotherapy drugs.

Many criminals have been featured on American Greed, since the first show was telecast in 2007, but pharmacist Robert Courtney took greed to a whole new level.

Courtney diluted chemotherapy drugs, so he could make even more money, by selling them to doctors in watered down form. The American Greed narrator last night said that Courtney would buy chemotherapy drugs in powder form, for $500 for the medicine,  and would then sell the drugs to doctors for $1,000. However, by diluting the drugs he was able to sell the doctors three diluted preparations for $3,000, which gave him a profit of $2,500, after he had originally spent $500 to buy the drugs.

The cancer patients were wondering why they weren’t having many side effects, from their chemotherapy medicine. It was because they were only receiving a third or even less, of their chemotherapy medicine. One man who didn’t experience the normal hair loss, after his chemotherapy sessions later would find out, that his cancer was spreading, to other parts of his body, because he hadn’t been given enough chemotherapy medicine.

Georgia Hayes, who was a victim of the watered down chemotherapy medicine sued Robert Courtney, because of his unethical behavior. She received a $2.2 billion judgement, but it is unlikely, that she actually received any money. However, she evidently never saw any money from the judgement. Her daughter appeared at the trial and said she wanted her mom to be there, when she graduated and was married, but her mom died before any of that happened.

Courtney was active in the Assembly of God Church in Kansas City and was a deacon and sang in the choir.

The diluted drugs were making Courtney a rich man and he had assets of $18.7 million. Investigators asked him why he did it, and he said he had promised the church $1 million, for a building project, but that made no sense, since he had 18 times that amount in his assets at the time.

These are the horrifying statistics from his criminal activity:

98,000 diluted prescriptions

4,200 patients

72 different drugs were diluted

Courtney pled guilty to 20 counts of tampering and adulterating chemical therapy drugs.He was sentenced to 30 years in 2002 and will be released in 2032 at the age of 80 years old.

The sentence didn’t fit the crime, since no telling how many patients died, who were given less than the required amount of chemotherapy medicine.

There was very little remorse coming from Courtney, except when he mentioned one patient by name saying that was the only one, that really hurt him, since the guy was a nice guy.

Courtney was so absorbed in building his bank account, that he forgot or didn’t care about the patients, that were taking longer to recover from their chemotherapy, because he had diluted their drugs.

The FBI agents who investigated the criminal activity of Courtney were sometimes moved to tears, after talking to patients, who thought they were getting the required amount of chemotherapy medicine in their IV bags.

He should have been sentenced to life, since so many of the patients he affected died because of his negligence.

American Greed features criminals mostly who took the money of investors, but Courtney wasn’t taking the money of investors, but was risking the health of cancer patients, who had pinned their hopes of recovery, on their chemotherapy medicine, for his own financial gain.

Bernard Ebbers: Billionaire to Prison Inmate

Bernard Ebbers in prison till the age of 87 at the least.

Bernard “Bernie” Ebbers was the first Bernie, to be imprisoned for investor fraud. Ebbers first formed LDDS, which was a discount telephone company in 1993. Two years later he changed the name of the company, to WorldCom in 1995. By then WorldCom owned 60 telecommunications companies, and in 1997 would merge with MCI for $37 billion.

Ebbers was born Bernard John Ebbers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on August 27, 1941 and is now 73 years old.

He operated a chain of motels in Mississippi and was known to have cleaned rooms himself, to save on housekeeping expenses.

The ultimate corporate shopaholic, Ebbers bought an obscure telephone carrier in the 1980s and went on a 17-year acquisition binge that turned it into the world’s largest telecom company. Alas, his passion for deal­making didn’t translate into the savvy necessary for running the complex business. When telecom stocks went south in 2000, the company’s massive debt was exposed. Ebbers tried to disguise it through fraudulent accounting. In 2005, three years after WorldCom filed for bankruptcy, he was convicted of overseeing $11 billion worth of accounting fraud. He’s now serving a 25-year prison term.

THE STAT: When Ebbers resigned, in 2002, WorldCom stock had fallen to $1.79 from a peak of $64.50 in 1999. (from CNBC.com)

The WorldCom debacle hit me personally, since I had an Army friend lose his job, because of the WorldCom collapse, since he worked for WorldCom. It devastated him and I don’t know if he will ever recover, from the loss of his job.

At one point Ebbers was earning $37 million a year, between his salary and other financial considerations. However, that didn’t stop him from ending free coffee for WorldCom workers, as coffee machines that charged 35 cents a cup took the place of the free coffee.

Home for Bernie Ebbers through 2028

Ebbers resigned from WorldCom on April 30,2002. He was later convicted of conspiracy, securities fraud, and false regulatory findings in 2005. He wouldn’t be sentenced till 2006, after the appeals process had been exhausted. He drove himself, to the Oakdale, Louisiana Federal Prison and reported for his incarceration.

This is what a typical day in prison is like for Ebbers:

A typical day would start at 6 a.m. with work starting 1 and a half hours later.

Work usually ends at 3:35 p.m.

At 4 p.m. comes “count time” when each inmate, unless he is assigned to the food service area, must be by their bunk, Truman said.

Mail call follows count time which is then followed by dinner, served in staggered shifts.

After that, inmates can typically walk in the recreation yard around the track or go to the chapel or the library, Truman said.

Depending on the institution, the day most likely finishes around 9 p.m. when inmates are required to be back in their bunks with lights out.

Ebbers will be required to wear a khaki uniform. An on-facility commissary allows inmates to buy personal items such as soap, toothpaste, or toothbrushes.

From money/cnn.com

Ebbers was convicted by a jury in March 2005 of nine counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and other crimes that led to the phone company’s July 2002 bankruptcy.

Ebbers transformed WorldCom into a telecommunications powerhouse through a string of takeovers. He was known as a grandfatherly CEO who preferred cowboy boots to suits, but he also has been described as an exacting, cost-obsessed boss.

WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy as MCI Inc., which was later acquired by Verizon Communications Inc (up $0.46 to $37.96, Charts). Ebbers agreed last year to forfeit almost all of his personal wealth in a settlement with WorldCom investors.

Mail can be sent to Ebbers at this address, which may not be the correct address after 2028. Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was housed, in the same facility until his release.

INMATE NAME & REGISTER NUMBER
FCI OAKDALE
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 5000
OAKDALE, LA  71463

Dick Haymes – Crooners of the Past

Dick Haymes 1918-1980

Dick Haymes was born on September 13, 1918  in Buenos Aires, Argentina as Richard Benjamin Haymes. He died on March 28, 1980 at the age of 61.

He was considered to be one of the best baritone singers of his era and also acted in numerous films. He first appeared in the movie Mutiny On The Bounty in 1935, as an uncredited actor. Nine years would pass, before he appeared in the movie Four Jills and a Jeep in 1944.

Dick Haymes is seen singing in this clip from State Fair.

Meanwhile, he had sung with the Harry James Orchestra starting in 1939.

Dick Haymes singing Laura, who makes me wish there were singers today, that are half as good as Haymes.

Dick Haymes singing with Helen Forrest the standard It Had to be You.

 Haymes was not successful at marriage having been married six times. His first marriage to Edith Harper was annulled, because she told him she was pregnant, when she was not pregnant. His second marriage to actress Joanne Dru lasted almost eight years.

His third marriage to Rita Hayworth last a little more than two years. He then married actress Fran Jeffries and that marriage lasted just slightly more than six years. However his last marriage to Wendy Smith lasted 14 years and only ended upon his death in 1980. They were married but separated when he died.

He also battled alcohol abuse problems and financial debt.

Haymes received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with one being award for recording and the other for his five years on radio.

His brother-in-law Peter Marshall was the sister of Joanne Dru, who was the second wife of Haymes.

This Is Always

This is Always is my only Dick Haymes music in my collection.

Track Listings

1. You Can’t Be True Dear – Dick Haymes
2. In Love In Vain – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
3. I Wish I Knew – Dick Haymes
4. You Make Me Feel So Young – Dick Haymes
5. Some Sunday Morning – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
6. What Do I Have To Do (To Make You Love Me) – Dick Haymes
7. All Through The Day – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
8. Do You Love Me – Dick Haymes
9. It’s You Or No One – Dick Haymes
10. Tomorrow Is Forever – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
11. A Little Imagination – Dick Haymes
12. This Is Always – Dick Haymes
13. Nature Boy – Dick Haymes
14. Together – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
15. As If I Didn’t Have Enough On My Mind – Dick Haymes
16. That’s For Me – Dick Haymes
17. It’s Magic – Dick Haymes
18. Love Letters – Dick Haymes
19. The More I See You – Dick Haymes
20. I’ll Buy That Dream – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
21. It Might As Well Be Spring – Dick Haymes
22. Oh What It Seemed To Be – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
23. Laura – Dick Haymes
24. Till The End Of Time – Dick Haymes
25. It Had To Be You – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest

Dick Haymes may have died 35 years, but he left a legacy of his music and movies for generations to come.