Dick Van Dyke – Eight Decades of Entertaining

Dick Van Dyke in a scene from Sgt. Bilko television series in 1957.

Dick Van Dyke was born as Richard Wayne Van Dyke on December 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri. Van Dyke had considered becoming a minister at one time, but decided to become an entertainer, after appearing on stage in a high school play.

His first job was as a disc jockey on a local radio station in Danville, Illinois. He later traveled across the country as part of a comedy act, till he was hired by WDSU TV in New Orleans as an entertainer. That job led to a job with the CBS network on their morning program. He anchored the program, which also featured Walter Cronkite as his newsman.

Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera in Bye Bye Birdie.

His big break came when he appeared in the Broadway play Bye Bye Birdie playing the part of Albert Peterson and won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor.

Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke.

Then in 1961 he was hired to portray Rob Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show which ran from 1961 to 1966 and 158 episodes were filmed. The show was on the brink of cancellation, before it caught on with television viewers. Then five years later he starred in the New Dick Van Dyke Show which ran for 72 episodes from 1971-1974.

It was about this time, that Van Dyke publicly announced he had been an alcoholic for 25 years.

1988 would see Van Dyke appear in his third show, with his name in the title, when he appeared in the Van Dyke Show, that only lasted for 10 episodes.

Dick Van Dyke portraying Doctor Mark Sloan on Diagnosis:Murder

His next starring role in a television series was when he portrayed Dr. Mark Sloan, in Diagnosis Murder. It would run for 180 episodes, which was even more episodes, than the original Dick Van Dyke Show had run.

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

He was best-known for his movies Bye Birdie (1963), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964) and Mary Poppins (1968). He has appeared in three of the Night of the Museum movies.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb movie, in which Van Dyke appears was recently completed this year and another movie Life is Boring is in post-production at the time of this writing. He also appeared in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which was released in October of 2014 by the Walt Disney Pictures.

Van Dyke is now in his eighth decade of entertaining.

Dick Van Dyke and Arlene Silver don’t seem to be concerned about their 46 year age difference.

Dick Van Dyke was married to Marjorie Willett from 1948-1984, then lived with Michelle Triola from 1976 till her death in 2009. Van Dyke reportedly paid Triola $600,000, which was the amount she had sued actor Lee Marvin for in a palimony suit, but the court ruled against her. That ended Van Dyke’s marriage to Marjorie Willett, when she learned about his payment to Triola. Van Dyke has been married to Arlene Silver for the last two years. She is 46 years younger than Van Dyke and is about 44 years old now, while he will be 89 in December.

Imdb.com has some very interesting trivia about Dick Van Dyke. These are just a few of them since there 106 in all.

Van Dyke turned down a chance to host Price is Right. If he had taken the job he may never have become an actor, when considering, that game show host for the most part stay game show hosts.

He and his first wife Margie were so poor after their wedding, that they lived in their car for a while.

Was a heavy smoker for 50 years before quitting. He used to smoke 60 cigarettes a day.

Was 36 when he appeared in his first movie.

Received a lemon cake at Christmas for 16 years from actor Charles Bronson.

Producer Sheldon Leonard gave Van Dyke the lead role, in the Dick Van Dyke Show, after seeing him in stage production of Bye Bye Birdie.

For more trivia and quotes from Van Dyke:


Off the Beaten Path Music Websites: Passions of Patchy

Passions of Patchy may be off the beaten path, compared to mega music sites like Pandora and Spotify, but that in no way means the content is not as good. There may not be as much musical content as the afore named sites, but this is not just a musical site.

Before you even scroll down to the music icons, there is a CLICKS icon for links, which take you to some very interesting sites, including a link to make your own license plate, then emailing it to someone, that is just one of many links.

The CHUCKLES icon provides a plethora of jokes like this:

I am not offended by all the blonde jokes, because I am not dumb and I am not blonde – Dolly Parton

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. – Erica Jong

Six year old Del says the best way to have someone to fall in love with you is to tell them you own a bunch of candy stores.

The section is broken down to 27 categories. Caution: It is addictive and time-consuming, once you start reading the jokes.

TOUCH SOMEONE -This  is the first of the music sections and includes Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings and the REM classic Everybody Hurts. Rock Around the Clock seems to be out-of-place on this page, but it really doesn’t matter when you can hear Johnny Mathis sing his standard Misty.

The bottom row of icons is where you find most of the music on the page in jukebox format with list of songs to choose from.

BLUES IN MY EYE JUKE JOINT – This page consists of three jukeboxes consisting of songs like I’ve Been Loving You Too Long sung by the late and great Etta James which reminds us again of how great of a singer she was. The jukebox also includes current singers like Susan Tedeschi, singing  It Hurt So Bad.  Jonny Lang has his clothes in his matchbox and is heard singing Matchbox, a driving blues number that really jumps. There is an option at the bottom of each jukebox to play all the songs in jukebox. A lot of the songs may not be recognizable, due to them being sung and played by some of the blues pioneers of the past.

LOST IN THE 50’S AND DOO-WOP – Having grown up during this era, this is my favorite music on the entire website. The Lost in the 50’s page has six jukeboxes, filled with the songs, that baby boomers like me grew up with.

Some of favorites from the jukeboxes:

I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Locomotion – Little Eva

Harbor Lights – The Platters

Shotgun – Jr. Walker and the All-Stars

Hurt – Timi Yuro…..one of the most emotion packed songs ever.

Lost in the 50’s…..this song takes me back to the 50’s, like no other song can do.

You next will find the DOO WOP jukebox on the bottom row of the Lost in the 50’s page. When you go to the Doo Wop page, there will be three speakers holding the doo wop music including songs like:

Blue Velvet – Clovers….This is nothing like the Bobby Vinton version as it gets the full doo wop treatment.

A Thousand Miles Away – Heartbeats….Doo wop music at its best.

Earth Angel – Penguins….A classic doo wop song that will live on forever, as long as there is music.

In The Still of the Night – Five Satins….This song was so well-known that it was included, as part of Ronnie Milsap’s song Lost in the 50’s.

SATIN SMOOTHIES –  Is   next as you return to the home page where you find two jukeboxes, where you can find the songs my parents grew up with, plus some we remember as teenagers. These songs were the chart-toppers, before Bill Haley and the Comets and Elvis Presley changed music forever in the middle 50’s.

These are just a few of those songs:

Old Cape Cod – Patti Page….You will be very fortunate, if you can find a song like this being recorded today.

Unforgettable – Nat King Cole….This has to be the best of Nat King Cole’s hits that has become a standard.

In The Mood – Glenn Miller Orchestra…. When you think of the big band era, this is one of the first songs, that come to mind and it sad we lost Glenn Miller during the war.

Lazy River – Mills Brothers….This was one of the premier groups of this era, who epitomized the music of the era.

SUNRISE GOSPEL – This page has only one jukeboxes but will bring back memories, to those of us who grew up in church in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, plus some more recent songs. The artists are not listed, but that sounds a lot like Dolly Parton on Farther Along.

Some of my favorites from this page:

Beyond the Sunset….song written by a blind person after a group of people were viewing a sunset together and thus the title of the song, since the blind writer said they looked beyond the sunset. The reading that goes with this song makes it even more special.

Family Bible….Willie Nelson wrote this song, but sold the rights to it for only $50 to Claude Gray, the country music singer.

Precious Memories….sang this at funeral once for a lady who attended our church. What a great thought to think of the precious memories, even though the loved one is gone.

TWO STEPPIN’ JUKE BOX – Last but not least, Patchy’s Passion includes three jukeboxes for country music fans.

The list includes:

Don’t Rock the Jukebox – Alan Jackson….This song really rocks out and tells the story of a man, who is too sad over his breakup with his girlfriend and doesn’t want to hear the Rolling Stones  on the jukebox, but wants to hear George Jones instead.

He Stopped Loving Her Today – George Jones….This song has been chosen as the best country music song ever, on many lists of Top 100 songs.

Sweet Dreams – Patsy Cline…. also recorded  by Tommy McLain of Pineville, Louisiana, who attended my high school in the 60’s. His recording of Sweet Dreams outsold Don Gibson, the writer  of the song and the immortal Patsy Cline. His version went to No.15 on the Billboard chart.

For the Good Times – Ray Price….Has it really been 42 years since Ray Price recorded this country classic? It is true and also it is true that Ray Price is still actively singing at the age of 86. The 2010’s started his eighth decade of being active in country music.

Passions of Patchy was created on March 17, 2000, which she dedicated to her mom Candy, who was dying of cancer. This page tells  about the last months of her mother’s life. If this doesn’t make your eyes tear up, then it may be time to have your pulse checked:


You could spend hours at this website listening to the music and going to some of the links at the website.

Most of all though it is all about the music.

To go back in time to hear some of the music from the past that we never became tired of:


Schofield Barracks Hawaii: Home From June 1963-January 1966

The Tropic Lightning patch represents the 25th Infantry Division and I wore that patch proudly from June of 1963 to May of 1966, when honorably discharged from the Army.

I had re-enlisted in the regular Army in May of 1963, after having served six months of active duty with the Army Reserve. Left Alexandria, Louisiana on a bus in October of 1962, headed for Leesville, Louisiana and eventually the final destination of Fort Polk, Louisiana.

One of the other recruits on the bus made a big mistake right off, after arriving at Fort Polk. He found out that yelling nutbrain at a sergeant, from a second story window was not acceptable behavior. That sergeant let him know in no uncertain terms, that that kind of behavior would not be tolerated from a soldier in the United States Army.

We went from the brutal October heat of Fort Polk, to  freezing temperatures, while on bivouac in December during basic training. Without giving the gruesome details of basic training, will move ahead to finishing basic and going home for Christmas.

After Christmas I boarded a Missouri Pacific train in Alexandria, Louisiana for Indianapolis, Indiana and the ultimate destination of Fort Benjamin Harrison, where the Adjustant General’s School was located.

When the train rolled into St. Louis, it was snowing and snow covered the ground. It was amazing to see snow for a 18 year-old kid who seldom saw snow in Louisiana. Later on the train arrived in Indianapolis and I took a taxi to the base. The ground was covered with several inches of snow, when I arrived.

Learned that winter how brutal Indiana winters could be and even had a case of frostbite, while walking to a movie on base one night. School went well and graduated in April of 1963.

After returning home and attending a few Army Reserve meetings, decided I would rather serve a full three-year enlistment, rather than go to Army Reserve meetings for several years.

So in May of 1963 I re-enlisted for three years. I requested to be stationed in Germany or Hawaii and received orders for Hawaii. Boarded a plane for San Francisco and was helicoptered to the Oakland Army Terminal, where I would stay about eight days.

Finally we boarded a MATS plane for Hawaii and if I remember correctly it took nine hours to make the flight to Hawaii. We headed to Schofield Barracks, after leaving the plane and wish I could remember my first impression after arriving there, but that was 49 years ago and can’t recall now.

One of the things I do remember about Schofield Barracks were the quads, in which the soldiers were housed. The doors were left open at night, so each cot had a mosquito net to prevent mosquitoes, from ruining a night of sleep. James Jones was stationed at Schofield Barracks and when his book From Here To Eternity became a movie, scenes were filmed at Quad C of Schofield Barracks.

This photo of a quad where the soldiers stayed reminds me of the quad, where I lived for about two and-a-half years at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Conroy Bowl an outdoor area holds many memories for me 49 years later, after seeing the Beach Boys in my first concert there. Saw the Christmas show with Hollywood entertainers, such as Julie Newmar and Stefanie Powers. It was a bittersweet experience though, hearing them sing Christmas songs while knowing I would be in Hawaii that Christmas.

I can remember they held a Battle of the Bands at Conroy Bowl and band after band played Louie, Louie by the Kingsmen. I was sick of that song by the end of the night.

Another highlight was Sue Thompson, known for Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry and Big Daddy’s Alabamy Bound shaking my hand, while singing the classic ballad You Belong To Me. A reminder of how long ago this was hit me, when I saw that she will be 86 on July 19.

It would be 16 months after arriving, before I would make my first trip home to Louisiana in October of 1964.

One of my favorite concerts at Conroy Bowl was when the Beach Boys entertained there, at the height of their popularity in the 60’s. Johnny Cash also appeared there, but seemed to be slurring his words, while singing and may have been still under the influence of drugs at this time in his life.

Several years before my arrival in Hawaii, Elvis Presley appeared in concert there in his last concert appearance for many years, before being drafted. It was over ten years before he would appear in concert again, after completing the filming of over 30 movies.

This website owned by Scotty Moore, who was with Elvis in the early days, shows many photos of Elvis at the Conroy Bowl. The website also tells how General John Schofield, who was a Union General in the Civil War foresaw the need, for the use of the Hawaiian Islands as a base to protect American interests. That was in 1872 which was 69 years before Pearl Harbor was attacked.


Visiting the Arizona Memorial was one of the most memorable events while serving in at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and will never forget reading the names of those who had died on the Arizona. Oil was still coming up from the Arizona in 1963.
A night-time view of Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head seen in the background.
Spent many a weekend day at Waianae beach looking across the ocean and knowing California was on the other side while listening to songs like Surfer Girl.

I heard a lot of Hawaiian music during my time in Hawaii and these are some of the songs I remember best:

Beyond the Reef, one of my favorite Hawaiian songs being played on a lap steel guitar.

Hawaiian girls dancing to My Little Grass Shack

Mele Kalikamaka is Hawaii’s way to say Merry Christmas to you.

Hawaii is usually thought of as a tropical paradise, but I found out different, when sent to the Big Island (Hilo) on temporary duty. I was assigned to a post office at the Pohakuloa Training Area that was at a high elevation. We could see snow capped mountains from the post office.

Snow can be seen atop the Mauna Kea Mountain on the Island of Hilo.

All good things come to an end and my paid vacation to the tropical paradise of Hawaii came to a screeching halt when we received word, that our postal unit was being sent to Vietnam.

This photo was taken the same day that we boarded the USNS General Walker to Vietnam on a voyage which would take 14 days traveling 500 miles a day, before we disembarked in Vietnam.

I didn’t know the above photo even existed until today and was shocked to see it was a photo, of the 25th Infantry Division troops boarding the USNS General Walker, the same day that we boarded it.

Once the ship was on the way to Vietnam, I couldn’t help but wonder how many aboard that ship would never make it back home alive. We had too much time to think on the long ride to Vietnam, about what fate held for us once we left the ship in Vietnam.

We left one tropical paradise behind to go to another tropical paradise, that was a country 7,000 miles from Hawaii, in a country which offered only danger from a ruthless enemy, as we disembarked from the ship. I can remember how it took awhile to get used to being on land again, after two weeks of drifting across the ocean.

I can remember the stifling heat of Vietnam and how I drank several Coca-Colas to keep from being dehydrated, almost immediately after leaving the ship.

Memories of Hawaii

Hawaii was a distant memory, but 49 years later I think of the Hawaiian sunsets, the Hawaiian music and the musicians using their steel guitars to play songs like Beyond the Reef  and My Little Grass Shack.

I can remember going to the service club and being entertained by various entertainers including the cowboy star of many westerns Jimmy Wakely.

I can remember like yesterday the beautiful sunsets on Waikiki Beach….the Service Club personnel taking on tourist excursions around the island seeing various attractions, that we may not have seen otherwise….the pecan twirls out of the vending machine at the service club….seeing the concerts at Conroy Bowl….the palm trees on the grounds of Schofield Barracks….working at the USARHAW post office and seeing the pro basketball player Terry Dischinger of Purdue and Detroit Pistons fame, who was working in the chemical department….working with the Hawaiians at the post office and how they freaked out when the temperature dipped to 59 degrees one day and showed up for work wearing jackets….remembering the day that JFK was assassinated, that I was substitute company mail clerk that day and listening to the news flash on the radio. I was the first to tell the company commander the news….also remember just missing seeing Lee Harvey Oswald shot by Jack Ruby on the television in the day room.

I also remember watching Shindig on my portable television seeing the musical greats of that era….spending Thanksgiving with Sgt. William Brannon and his family and wondering all these years, what happened to him after he left the Army….telling short-timers who had only a few days left, that I was going to be out soon myself….in 1,096 days….seeing the buildings at one of the airbases still showing damage from being hit during Pearl Harbor….meeting General Frederick Weyand, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division,  who was not happy with the direction of the war in Vietnam when he made this statement:

General Weyand, then commander of III Corps in Vietnam, was the unidentified high-ranking officer, who told Apple and Fromson (reporting the same story for CBS) that “I’ve destroyed a single division three times . . . I’ve chased main-force units all over the country and the impact was zilch. 

I had often thought the war was not being fought conventionally. In past wars our military had swept across countries, instead of seeming to be going around in circles in Vietnam. However, that is just my opinion and others with more knowledge may be able to address that situation with more clarity.

Sorry from straying from the Hawaiian theme, but the encounter with General Weyand reminded me of the Vietnam situation.

I may never return to Hawaii again, because of the extremely high cost of being a tourist there, but it may be better that way, so I can remember it the way it was as those two years and eight months there were one of the happiest times of my life.  I almost felt guilty being paid there, since it was such easy duty.

Hawaii….Thanks for the memories.

Classic Television: Shindig

Sept. 16, 1964, January 8, 1966

Shindig was a show featuring many of the best known singers of that era, that was first televised on the ABC television network on September 16, 1964. The Beatles had started the British invasion, in February of 1964 and the show featured many British singers.

The show featured regular singers like Bobby Sherman, Jackie DeShannon and Donna Loren and Teri Garr was one of the dancers and went to be a movie actress.

Guest hosts on the show were a strange mix of Boris Karloff, Mickey Rooney, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ed Wynn, Hugh O’Brian, Jackie Leonard and others, who were not known for their musical talent.

This video features Herman’s Hermits singing I’m Into Something Good. The harmony from the background singers reminds me of the Beach Boys sound. The next song is Doo Wah Diddy sang by the Manfred Mann. Gerry and the Pacemakers close out the video with Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying, their signature hit.


The Isley Brothers sing Shout in this video, that also features the Shindig dancers.


Bobby Sherman singing the Frankie Ford hit Sea Cruise.


Jackie DeShannon sings her hit song What the World Needs Now, which peaked at No.7 in 1965.


Donna Loren singing Shakin’ All Over which also features the Shindig dancers.


Bobby Vinton singing his classic Mr. Lonely.


The Supremes singing Stop in the Name of Love.


The Beach Boys singing Do You Wanna Dance.


Patty Duke singing Say Something Funny, the only time I have ever seen her sing.


The Temptations featuring David Ruffin sing My Girl.


Shindig may have ended 46 years ago, but we can still enjoy the videos of the singers from those shows, that lets us go back in time. I had a little portable TV while in the Army in Hawaii and was able to see some of the Shindig shows. Ironically the show went off the air, about the same time that I was boarding a troop ship for Vietnam.

It is just my opinion but the music of today doesn’t come close to the music of the middle 1960’s.

Frankie Lymon

Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers sing their first and most successful hit Why Do Fools Fall in Love on the Frankie Laine show in 1956.

The Premiers, the original name used before they became The Teenagers were working on a song Why Do Birds Seem So Gay, when Frankie Lymon one of the members of the group decided to change the name, of the song to Why Do Fools Fall in Love. The song became their first single and peaked at No.6 on the pop charts, but was No.1 on the R&B charts.

The group then became known as Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. The group broke up the next year, as Lymon became a solo act. Lymon caused Alan Freed’s Big Beat television show to be canceled, when he was dancing with a white girl during a performance, which didn’t set well with television stations in the south.

His records didn’t sell as well as his voice changed and he picked up a heroin habit at the age of 13. Lymon lost his record contract with Roulette in 1961. Then he was married for the first time in 1964, but his only child died two days after her birth. To compound matters, he had married his wife, while she was still married to her husband.

He then married Zola Taylor of The Platters, but the marriage didn’t last long due to his drug habit. He then married his third wife in a three and-a-half year period in June of 1967.

Lymon had not taken heroin for three years, before having a big promotion scheduled to help his career. However, he went back to heroin, to celebrate what he thought was going to be a return to fame. However the celebration didn’t last long, as he died of a heroin overdose on February 28, 1968 at his grandmother’s house.

His legal problems followed him even in death, as all three lives tried to gain access to his estate. Part of the problem was that Lymon had never got around to divorcing his first two wives. His third wife Emira Eagle was finally awarded the right to Lymon’s estate. Lymon had never received a penny for co-writing Why Do Fools Fall in Love, but Emira Eagle did begin to receive royalties from the song.

The following tribute shows his grave and tells about his influence on Motown music at Find A Grave website.


X-Factor Finalists: Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik


Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik will vie to become the first winner of X-Factor in its inaugural season. The three singers will compete this week with the winner being announced on Thursday, Dec. 22.

The best singer remaining in the running, for the coveted $5 million recording contract, in my estimation is Melanie Amaro. My personal favorite is Chris Rene, since he has overcome many obstacles, to be competing to be the winner of the X-Factor. Going from being a garbage collector with a serious drug problem, to the brink of winning a $5 million recording contract, makes me want to root for him.

However, I expect to see either Josh Krajcik or Amaro take the top prize on Thursday night, on finale night. Krajcik has a powerful voice, but his mentor Nicole Scherzinger did nothing to change his stage persona or his appearance during the season. Rene changed his look during the season, due to L.A. Reid’s advice or did it on his own. Either way I think it increased his appeal. He commands the stage and seems to be enjoying entertaining the audience. Rene is by far the best entertainer, remaining in the running to win X-Factor.

Krajcik looks as unkempt as he did during the auditions and has made no attempt to clean up his look. Who would want to buy an album of his with his look, unless he changes it this week? It is sad to see a singer with such a great voice, look like he bought his clothes at a Goodwill store, with scraggly looking hair, that looks like it hasn’t encountered a brush or comb in months. I apologize to his fans for my criticism, but am only pointing this out, to say that a singer’s appearance is crucial to their success.

I look for Steve Jones to announce Amaro, as the winner on Thursday night. I still can’t believe that Simon Cowell chose four other female singers ahead of her.

Speaking of Jones, there are rumors that he will not return for the second season. He is opposite of Ryan Seacrest who seems to run a tighter ship, without all the drama. Jones has several times asked questions to singers or judges, that were emotionally distraught and refused to talk to him.

Jones seems to be obviously reading from a cue card, during X-Factor. I can’t see X-Factor bringing him back and will find a host, who is less annoying.

Shocking Eliminations

The most shocking elimination this season was when Rachel Crow was sent home, due to Scherzinger not being able to make a choice between Marcus Canty and Crow. The judges are paid to judge and her refusal to judge, resulted in Crow going home, since it was her only chance, to remain on the show.

Drew seemed to be a lock for the final three along with Crow, but Cowell’s insistence on her singing in a chair, for an entire song resulted in her being voted off the show.

The animosity between Cowell and Reid speeded up Drew’s departure from the show.

Summary of first season as of today: My personal opinion is that X-Factor went overboard, on the big production numbers. I can’t remember this many big production numbers, on American Idol. Their focus was more on the singers and not the staging of the songs.

X-Factor did well in the ratings, but didn’t come close to approaching the ratings numbers for American Idol. I look for American Idol to continue draw more than 20 million viewers in its 2012 season. Cowell had predicted 20 million viewers for X-Factor, but was 9 to 10 million off most of the season.

Jones, the host was a major distraction during the inaugural season. Know he was being hurried by producers, but then those same producers slowed down the show, by the dead air when announcing who was staying on the show.

X-Factor did alright for a first season, but it seems like they could have come up, with a better final three, than that competing on Thursday night for the big prize.

The fighting between the mentors, took the focus off the singers and onto the judges. Cowell and Reed were particularly disrespectful to the singers, in the other mentor’s tutelage.

One of the singers will have a $5 million recording contract, after the show on Thursday night. Amaro to me, has the best chance of becoming a recording star.

X Factor USA: Final 12 Chosen While Judges Spar With Each Other

The X Factor USA Episode 2: Melanie Amaro
Melanie Amaro, who was given a second chance by Simon Cowell advances to final 12 last night on the U.S. version of X-Factor on FOX.


Simon Cowell made a colossal mistake, by sending Melanie Amaro home, during the week the singers sang, at the homes of the judges. How he could send Melanie home, before Tiah Tolliver and Simone Battle was puzzling to say the least, especially considering that Simone had not forgotten a few words from her song at boot camp, but the entire song.

To his credit, Simon did reconsider and went to Florida to tell Melanie, that she was back in the competition. Melanie in my opinion, was the best singer among the 17 acts that sang last night.

By the time the show was over last night, Simon had sent Tiah Tolliver and Simone Battle home. Drew Ryniewicz who will also be in the final three girls, will be known as Drew for the rest of the season. Rachel Crow sang well and was her usual cute self, insuring her inclusion in the top three girls.


Phillip Lomax was sent home, leaving Brian “Astro” Bradley, Chris Rene and Marcus Canty, as the three remaining boys in the competition. Personally, I liked Phillip singing Frank Sinatra music, but L.A. Reid seemed to be more interested, in singers that sing more current  music. Astro did an excellent job in his rap song and he and Marcus Canty were clearly the best boys singers last night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris Rene in danger of going home next week.

L.A. Reid must not be a country music fan, as he sent home Skyelor Anderson and Tim Cifers after the auditions at the home of L.A. Reid. Lomax was my favorite singer coming into last night’s show, since he sings the music from my generation. L.A. clearly favors rap over the other music genres.


Paula Abdul made the right choice by sending the Brewer Boys home. The Stereo Hoggz should have an excellent chance, of being in the final four this season. Their version of Try a Little Tenderness, showed their versatily.

The two groups that were thrown together InTENsity and Lakoda Rayne will return the next week with The Stereo Hoggz. The two new groups sang well, but not sure if they can outlast, the more polished, Stereo Hoggz which have what it takes, to go a long way this season.

The Brewer Boys wouldn’t have won on the final show, so it was just as well, that they were sent home. Paula did an excellent job with the choreography.


It was no surprise that Dexter Haygood was sent home during last night’s show. Nicole Scherzinger really liked Dexter but she knew he was not in the class of  Josh Krajcik, who really needs a name change bad, possible shortening his name to Josh. Le Roy Bell and Stacy Francis are a combined 102 years old, but still were better than Dexter. Matter of fact, it seemed like Dexter was sort of confused,  after being told he was going home.

Josh is the best bet, to be the last over 30’s singer remaining later in the season. He may not be the best looking of the three remaining singers, but his voice really stands out from the others.


The biggest difference between American Idol and X-Factor, were the production numbers during many of the songs. The music was too loud in some of the songs, overwhelming the singers, during some points in the songs. After all it is a singing competition, not a competition to vote on best production numbers.

Another difference was the quibbling between the judges, on songs chosen by the other judges, assuming the songs were picked by the judges. L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell seemed to have their own personal vendetta going on between each other. It  may have been genuine disagreement, but can’t help wonder, if the producers were trying, to create drama, to spark interest in the show.

At one point Simon called Nicole and Paula Squiddley and Diddley, while on another occasion Simon praised Paula for her work with the groups.

There was very little quibbling between the judges on American Idol and wonder how viewers perceive the bickering among judges on U.S. version of  X-Factor.


My favorites to be the best in their category this season are:

Boys: Marcus Canty

Girls: Melanie Amaro

Groups: The Stereo Hoggz

Over 30’s: Josh Kravitz

This is probably too early to make a list, but wouldn’t be surprised if these singers are the final four for the season. Kravitz probably will need a makeover, before the season is over. He has the voice to win, but he doesn’t look like a winner.

Rachel Crow’s cuteness, might take her a long way, but she is no match, for the powerful voice of Melanie Amaro.


X-Factor attracted ten percent more viewers than last week, in the first live show on Fox last night. 11.8 million viewers watched the show, which placed the show in fourth place for the night.  The show still had stiff competition from CBS which drew 19 million viewers for NCIS and 15.9 million viewers for NCIS LA.

Dancing With the Stars was the third most watched show last night with 13.8 million viewers.

X-Factor should do better in coming weeks, as there should be no more scheduling shifts, due to the World Series, which probably affected the ratings.

I think even Simon Cowell realizes that X-Factor will not come close, to drawing more viewers than American Idol, but he would like to see the numbers improve from where they are now.

Prohibition: Died At the Age of 13 in 1933

The pledge signed by many children and adults to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages.


Frances Willard died on February 17, 1898, which was 22 years before the 18th amendment, also known as the Volstead Act went into effect in 1920.

She had a firsthand knowledge of the effects of alcohol, when her brother became an alcoholic in the 1860’s. Willard would be one of the founders of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1874 and then became the president of the worldwide WCTU in 1888.

While concentrating mostly on her fight against the use of alcohol, Willard also became active in the fight against the international drug trading.

Her life came to an end at the age of 58 due to being an influenza victim. However, she had laid the groundwork for both the 18th amendment, which would prohibit the use of alcohol in the United States and the 19th Amendment which also was known as the Women’s Suffrage amendment.

Prohibition Becomes Law

Congress passed the Volstead Act (18th Amendment) on October 28, 1919, over-riding the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. 36 of the 50 states had ratified the 18th Amendment and went into effect on January 17, 1920.

While prohibition was a good idea, it was almost impossible to enforce with 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasies, in New York City in 1925. A speakeasy could be closed in one location, then would pop up in another location, within days of last place being closed.

The amendment was not only not being obeyed, but the U.S. government lost millions of dollars in tax revenue, while the bootleggers were keeping all the money for themselves and the speakeasy owners and patrons also avoided paying any tax.

Al Capone's power was at its heights during Prohibition with him drawing $60 million in alcohol sales in 1927 and bribing politicians with his profits to keep his machine going.

Organized crime saw that Prohibition would be a huge moneymaker for them and would deliver the alcohol and take payments, upon delivery of that alcohol, unless other arrangements had been made, prior to the delivery.

Gangsters like Al Capone saw a chance to take their cut from the illicit alcohol sales. Capone raked in $60 million in alcohol sales in 1927.

Prohibition Turns Citizens Into Criminals

The same citizens that patronize legal bars, now flocked to speakeasies to drink their alcohol, which turned them into criminals. The magnitude of lawbreakers was too much for law enforcement to contend with. Women started drinking in larger numbers, than ever before.

These speakeasy patrons from the Prohibition era don't look too concerned about being raided by law enforcement officials.

We have seen videos of the Roaring 20’s, showing women dancing the Charleston and other dance of that era. Problem is that almost all of those women were violating the 18th amendment, but in the PBS series Prohibition, by Ken Burns, these women didn’t seem to be worried about being caught by law enforcement agencies.

Why Prohibition Didn’t Work

The main reason is that Americans who wanted to drink, found ways to purchase alcohol, whether it be from an individual selling from their home, from a speakeasy where alcohol was readily available and some resorted to making their own alcohol through the moonshining process.

Moonshine stills being destroyed by law enforcement officials.

The failure to prevent organized crime, from becoming involved in sale of bootleg alcohol, may have been one of the major reasons, that bootlegging operations were so successful, despite the bootleggers, sometimes only being neighbors supplying moonshine to their neighbors in rural America.

Joseph Kennedy, the father of President John F. Kennedy and the patriarch of the Kennedy family, has been rumored for years to have gotten rich in the bootlegging industry. Frank Costello of the Mafia even testified that Joseph and him had been partners in the bootlegging industry. However, no concrete evidence of Kennedy being involved in bootlegging, has never been made public.

Law enforcement officials could only pick and choose which speakeasies to close and what moonshine stills to destroy, but the problem was that there were thousands of criminals, violating the 18th amendment and there was not enough jails and prisons, to house all the violators.

Prohibition ended when it was evident that there were millions of Americans, who were going willing to risk, although not a serious risk in most cases, going to jail, rather than stop drinking.

75 Bible References Regarding Drinking

The 75 Bible references from the Signal Press in Evanston, Illinois clearly show that God’s laws prohibit drinking. Here are just a few of them from the tract:

1) Genesis 9:20-26 – Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.

3) Leviticus 10:9-11 – God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.

6) Deuteronomy 29:5-6 – God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness.

10) 1 Samuel 25:32-38 – Nabal died after a drunken spree.

11) 2 Samuel 11:13 – By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.

12) 2 Samuel 13:28-29 – Amnon was drunk when he was killed.

13) 1 Kings 16:8-10 – The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated

14) 1 Kings 20:12-21 – Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.

17) Proverbs 4:17 – Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.

18) Proverbs 20:1 – Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.

20) Proverbs 23:21 – Drunkenness causes poverty.

21) Proverbs 23:29-30 – Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.

22) Proverbs 23:31 – God instructs not to look at intoxicating drinks.

23) Proverbs 23:32 – Alcoholic drinks bite like a serpent, sting like an adder.

24) Proverbs 23:33 – Alcohol causes the drinker to have strange and adulterous thoughts, produces wilfulness, and prevents reformation.

There are too many to list them all, but the entire list can be found at:





American Idol: Aftermath and Latest News Updates

Scotty McCreery shown backstage on finale night after being voted the Season 10 American Idol on Wednesday, May 25.

It has been two days since Scotty McCreery was named the American Idol for Season 10. The last confetti has probably been swept up and thrown in the dumpsters by now.

Life will never be the same for Scotty McCreery, as he embarks on a country music recording career. I have already read online that some record executives don’t think he can sustain a long-term career in country music. However, in my opinion it way too early to prognosticate on how long his career will last.

Other singers like Tanya Tucker and LeAnn Rimes started even younger than Scotty and are still performing so I think the record executives need to back off and see what happens.

When I think of Scotty, it brings to mind Jordan Dorsey telling Scotty he didn’t want him in his group during Hollywood week. He may not have been good enough for his little group, but he was good enough for American to vote for him as their American Idol.

Scotty showed his character during the Jacee Badeaux episode, when Jacee was unceremoniously tossed out of the group Scotty was in during Hollywood week with Jun Gamboa being the instigator. Scotty later said they had not done Jacee right and wish he had done more to keep it from happening and broke down talking about it.


Scotty and the 10 American Idol contestants who didn’t win probably will be allowed to go home for a while, then they will start rehearsing for the American Idol tour this summer. Latest word is that they will travel across the country appearing  in 49 concerts.

Last year the tour was cut short, probably due to the talent not being as good as it will be this year. I can’t see that happening this year with so many talented singers.

It is sad that the high ticket prices will keep a lot of American Idol fans from seeing the show. It will cost a family of four $376 to sit in the $94 nosebleed seats in Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas.

The singers will make $1,000 for each concert during the tour, but that will only be a fraction of the profits being made. They will earn part of the profits from any merchandise sold at the concerts.


Nigel Lythgoe said in a tweet that Lee DeWyze refused to give Scotty McCreery the American Idol trophy. DeWyze said he did refuse, but was only asked moments before it was time to award the trophy. Someone made an oversight to not have asked DeWyze sooner.

Instead in the midst of the chaos, after Scotty had been revealed to be the next American Idol, Lythgoe asked DeWyze but he refused because he didn’t want to intrude on the special moment for Scotty.


Like most American Idol fans, I thought the loss of Simon Cowell would cripple the ratings of American Idol. Then I wondered if hiring Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez might be a mistake. I was wrong on both counts since the ratings for the Wednesday night rose by 21 percent over the 2010 finale.

29.3 million viewers watched the show which had some of the biggest stars in the music business. The list of singers appearing on the show would be astounded if shown on a television screen as part of the credits.

American Idol decided to go back to the three judge format, which was a smart move in my opinion. I really didn’t know what to expect with Tyler and Lopez on the judge’s panel with a returning Randy Jackson.

Both of the new judges, when critical of a singer’s performance never were mean to the contestants, but gave more constructive criticism, staying away from the nasty barbs Cowell was famous for. Randy was the closest thing to Simon this season, but then upon reflection, he wasn’t really that close.


Lauren Alaina revealed on the Tonight Show that she had tried to appear on America’s Got Talent, but was turned down.

Piers Morgan, one of the judges said it was a scandal that she didn’t make it and stated that she never had appeared in front of the judges.

The following article tells more about her appearance and includes two videos of her appearance:



Scotty McCreery will be $250,000 richer after winning American Idol, while runner-up Lauren Alaina won $87,500. Lauren’s money would double if she records an album.

For the complete article:


Other American Idol News

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Scotty McCreery will be visiting Disney World in Hollywood on Monday and will participate in a 10:00 AM parade….Limelife has revealed that Carrie Underwood gives her phone number to the final two contestants. Wonder if Lauren will be giving her a call?

Pia Toscano who was voted off the show early in Season 10 has been working on her new album and some songs have already been recorded but no release date has been announced since it is a work in progress….Haley Reinhart is currently negotiating on a record deal, but no details have been announced…Ashton Jones and Naimi Adedapo both have plans of recording albums according to bet.com, signaling a chance of as many as 10 of the Season 10 singers having albums in the stores by this time next year.

American Idol: James Durbin Goes Home: Who is Next American Idol?:Poll – May 19

It had been looking all of Season 10 that James Durbin would be in the final two, but instead two of the three remaining contestants will be on stage that night.

When Lauren Alaina Suddeth was told that she was safe first, my first thought was would it be Haley Reinhart or Scotty McCreery going home, but instead it was James. It wasn’t that long ago when five straight girls were sent home with the boys having a 6-2 advantage. Now the tide has turned as there are now two girls and Scotty.

Television viewers could tell that James was very concerned when he found out that he or Scotty would be going home.

No rocker has ever won American Idol, but James looked like he might be the first rocker to be an American Idol. James may not sell albums as well as Chris Daughtry, but should sell better than last year’s American Idol Lee DeWyze.

I expected Haley to be sent home tonight after the negative comments from Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez last night. Who knows?…Haley may have even been the highest vote-getter since the voting results are never released.

American Idol fans will never forget how James rocked the house week after week, and as far as I know never received a negative comment. Being a front-runner is not always good though as voters may vote more for someone in danger rather than vote for someone they think won’t need their vote.


Lauren has gotten stronger each week, as she has hit her stride at the perfect time in the season. She may be getting more votes for her popularity, more than for her singing, but she is singing very well now and could very well be standing with Haley or Scotty at the finale.


Haley looked like she may have been going home tonight after she was criticized by Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. I was afraid she was going to be thought of as a complainer by the voters after she didn’t accept the statements that Jackson and Lopez made about her singing. On the other hand she may have gotten a lot of votes from voters who thought Jackson and Lopez ganged up on her undeservedly.


Scotty is another singer who has sang better and better as the competition goes on. If Lauren is around at the finals, Scotty will have to split the country vote with Lauren. However, if either of them goes home next week, the one remaining should garner almost all of the country votes.


It will be interesting to try to figure out who will get the James Durbin votes. Since none of the remaining singers are rockers, the rock voters may not even vote the rest of the way.


Today’s poll question asks which of the remaining three contestants will be the American Idol.

Who Goes Home Next on American Idol?

This is the first week that there is no clearcut answer to the question of who will go home next week. Casey Abrams went home a week early in my book, but did gain some extra weeks after being saved by the judges earlier this season.

It was almost a foregone conclusion that Jacob Lusk would be going home last night. On my little poll 74 votes said that Jacob would go home out of 94 votes cast.

Next week we could see Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina Suddeth go home depending on how the competition goes next Wednesday night. Unless Haley Reinhart or James Durbin stumble badly on Wednesday night, we may be headed to a Haley and James Final Two.

James is in the only contestant to not have been in the bottom two or bottom three this season. Haley seems to have really turned her chances in her favor after being in the bottom three earlier in the season.

I am not sure if Lauren can handle the pressure coming up in the last three weeks of the show, if she is still there at the end. She will be watched closely by the mentors and judges to see if she backs off high notes, like she did last Wednesday night. As I have stated before, whoever goes home first between Scotty and Lauren will leave their votes to the other for the most part.They are both young and both are from the south, so either one of them should pick up a lot of votes, once the other leaves, unless they both wind up in the Final Two.

Right now, like Randy said James is the one that is most likely to win American Idol. It is unclear who will get the votes of Jacob Lusk, since none of the remaining singers sing his kind of music.

Personally, I am still rooting for Scotty and Haley, but Scotty could be gone when the votes are counted from the next results show.

The only total surprise would be for James to be voted off the show, but think his followers are very loyal, since he is the only contestant singing heavy metal music.

Now is the time for the singers to not let the mentors, Jimmy Iovine and Lady Gaga pick their songs. Otherwise they may lose because they didn’t go with their gut feeling, as to which song to sing.

The poll question asks which of the final four is most likely to go home on Thursday night.

Vote as often as allowed.

Poll:Who Will Go Home This Week On American Idol?

After next Thursday’s night results show, there will be only four contestants left in Season 10 of American Idol.

Assuming the show will have a bottom three this week, Haley Reinhart, Jacob Lusk and Scotty McCreery should be there this week.

Lauren Alaina Suddeth surprised me when she was safe and Scotty was in the bottom three last Thursday. I think Lauren is a very good singer, but have a feeling she was safe last week, due more to her popularity than her singing ability. She has never been in the bottom three and James Durbin is only other contestant to not have been in the bottom three this season.

Unless we are in for a shocking elimination on Thursday, I see Jacob Lusk or Haley leaving the show. Scotty may have showed he slipped a little last week in the voting, but I look for his fans to vote in large numbers next week to insure he stays on the show.

There is no way of knowing, but it will be interesting to guess on who will get Casey’s votes next week.

Since American Idol isn’t releasing the vote totals, we can’t be sure that Lauren Alaina Suddeth or James Durbin haven’t been the leading vote-getters since the show started.

James has knocked it “out of the box” (Randy’s catchphrase) every week and should be safe on Thursday. Jacob keeps hanging in there, despite being in the bottom three.

The poll question asks who will be going home this week:

Pia Toscano To Be Paid $100,000 For Private Party Next Weekend

Pia Toscano to sing at a private party for $100,000.

The ninth best singer on American Idol Pia Toscano, may not be the next American Idol, but is keeping busy since being voted off the show.

She has appeared on many talk shows, sang on Dancing With the Stars and next weekend will sing at a private party in Los Angeles.

Toscano was offered $50,000 to sing a few songs at the party, but when she turned it down, the party organizers upped the offer to $100,000 which she accepted. It is surprising that she turned down $50,000, but she probably has an agent who probably thought that she is too hot right now to work for a $50,000 payday.
She will probably actually lose money when the American Idol tour starts, since she could make a lot more singing as a solo artist, instead of having to split the money with the other 10 contestants this summer.

The tour should draw a lot of fans this summer, since there are so many talented singers who will be traveling across America during the tour.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Pia Toscano is the most successful singer from Season 10.  She may release an album before the next American Idol does.

She is almost certainly the first American Idol contestant to earn $100,000 for one performance, before finale night.

How Former American Idols Are Selling at Amazon.com

We may see several American Idols from Season 10 making albums. That doesn’t mean those albums will sell well as this list of former American Idols and their current ranking among all music sales at Amazon.com shows:

Lee DeWyze – Live it Up – November, 2010 – 857th in sales

Crystal Bowersox – Farmer’s Daughter – December 2010 – 32nd in sales

Kimberly Caldwell – No Regret – April 2011 – 625th in sales

Danny Gokey: Danny Gokey: My Best Days – March 2010 – 2.216th in sales

Allison Areheta – Allison Areheta: Just Like You – December 2009 – 9,369th in sales

Jason Castro – Jason Castro – April 2010 – 4,641st in sales

Kris Allen – Kris Allen – November 2009 – 6,358th in sales

Constantine Maroulis – Constantine – August 2007 – 48,975th in sales

Adam Lambert – Adam Lambert: Glam Nation Live –  March 2011 – 130th in sales

David Cook – David Cook – November 2008 – 1,115th in sales

Melinda Doolittle – Coming Back to You – February 2009 – 7,938th in sales

Brooke White – High Hopes and Heartbreak – July 2009 – 20,620th in sales

Katherine McPhee – Unbroken – January 2010 – 18,743rd in sales

Chris Daughtry – Leave This Town – July 2009 – 1.094th in sales

Paris Bennett – Princess P – May 2007 – 95,703rd in sales

Taylor Hicks – Taylor Hicks – 2006 (no month shown) – 324,392nd in sales

Ruben Studdard – Soulful – December 2003 – 99,525th in sales

Blake Lewis – Heartbreak on Vinyl – October 2009 – 90,540th in sales

David Archuleta – The Other Side of Down – October 2010 – 7,791st in sales

Carrie Underwood – Some Hearts – November 2005 – 468th in sales (which is amazing considering it was released about 5 1/2 years ago.)

Kellie Pickler – Kellie Pickler – September 2008 – 14,943rd in sales

Kelly Clarkson – All I Ever Wanted – March 2009 – 1,842nd in sales

There were too many American Idols to include them all in the list. This list shows being the American Idol doesn’t always translate into album sales as Taylor Hicks has found out. He may have sold the least albums of any American Idol, but I look for Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze to also have trouble selling their albums.

So when Ryan Seacrest announces the winner of Season 10 next month, don’t feel too bad for the runner-up as they may outsell the winner.

Is Ryan Seacrest Creating Too Much Drama On Results Nights?

I may be in the minority, but I think Ryan Seacrest and the producers are having too much fun playing with the emotions of the  contestants when giving the results of the voting on Thursday nights.

When he kept sending contestants back to the couch, without letting them know their results, it only was to create more drama for the eventual revelation that Casey Abrams was the one going home.

It may be entertaining for Seacrest and the viewers, but it has to be torture for the contestants to have their emotions played with.

Personally, I think that the results should be given at the end of the show. Instead the results are broken up into portions, in between commercials and then finally the one being sent home is told after a song by a guest singer or a commercial.

These contestants have been on a emotional roller coaster, since the final 13 was revealed. They don’t deserve to have to wait so long to learn their fate.

But that isn’t dramatic enough for Seacrest and the producers, who want to squeeze that last drop of blood from the contestant being sent home.

Then the one being sent home is forced to sing a song before leaving the show. I have seen some of these singers fighting tears, while trying to sing their way, through what has to be an overwhelming emotional experience.

My main objection to all the drama, when announcing the results, is that these contestants have worked very hard for several weeks and don’t deserve to have their emotions toyed with, while Seacrest plays his game of wait and see who goes home.

Today’s poll asks the opinion of readers on whether the results shows are too dramatic.

Casey Sent Home on American Idol: Who Will Be The Next American Idol Poll

It is safe to say that very few American Idol fans expected to see Casey Abrams sent home.  But that is exactly what happened on Thursday’s show. I can’t believe it had anything to do with his growling as mentor Jimmy Iovine said.

Casey may have just lost the voters by singing songs from so many genres, that fans couldn’t tell what kind of singer he will be.

Right off, it  was a huge surprise to see Haley Reinhart sent back to safety. James Durbin may be the frontrunner in the votes as he and Lauren are only contestants to not have been in the bottom three. Tonight’s voting results tell me James has to be the favorite now with Casey gone and Scotty McCreery in the bottom three.

Scotty singing a non-country song may have hurt his vote tally, even though he sang well. His fans probably wanted to hear the bass voice, so when he sang in more of a tenor voice he may have lost some of his young fans.

Jacob is still living in the bottom three, so could be going home next week. It looks like Haley gained a lot of votes since last week for her to be safe.

Casey may be gone but we will be hearing from him later this year or early next year when he releases his first album. It is ironic that after sounding so good last night, he is voted off the next night.

James Durbin should be the next American Idol, but rockers haven’t done well on finale night. Bo Bice lost to Carrie Underwood in Season Four and Adam Lambert lost to Kris Allen in Season Eight.

Chris Daughtry finished fourth in Season Five but he and Clay Aiken are the only American Idol contestants who lost, yet have had No. 1 hits in the Billboard 200.

Time will tell if James can become the first rocker to become American Idol. The voting has shown that the voters are voting more for favorites, rather than for the most talented.

There is no way Pia Toscano was the ninth best singer on American Idol this season. It is strange she is No.9 this season but already has sang on Dancing With the Stars.

Nobody can tell me that Lauren, Haley and Jacob are better singers than Casey but the voters have spoken.

The poll question now is who has the best chance to win American Idol on May 25.


Stefano Langone Sent Home on American Idol: Poll Asks Who Will Be American Idol in Season 10

Stefano Langone, who has lived in the bottom three for most of Season 10, finally was sent home by American Idol voters.

It was no surprise since that in two separate polls at this website, Stefano received no votes in either poll out of 180 votes cast. Stefano had almost as many lives as some cats by being the seventh contestant to leave, after being a wild card to make the final 13.

In my opinion for what it is worth, Jacob Lusk or Haley Reinhart will be sent home next week. Jacob may have been given the benefit of the doubt, after having problems with the musical tracks on Wednesday night, making it appear he messed up at the start of his song. Someone should have apologized to Jacob, if it was the fault of someone else on Wednesday night.

Haley Reinhart was sent to safety immediately after being told she was in the bottom three. It is a mystery why she is in the bottom three so often. Meanwhile, Lauren Alaina Suddeth, James Durbin and Scotty McCreery have never been in the bottom three.

Casey Abrams was actually sent home earlier this season, but remained after the judges used their save to keep him on the show.

James Durbin has given some mind blowing performances, which has kept him out of the bottom three, while Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina Suddeth seem to be coasting along on their popularity, although Scotty has been relatively free of criticism from the judges till Wednesday night. 

Scotty is the more talented of the two in my estimation, but Lauren seems to be as popular as Scotty, to not have been in the bottom three this season.

Still, Lauren may wind up in the bottom three on Thursday night, unless she gets the best of the night praise from the judges.

If Lauren leaves before Scotty, it should be a huge boost for Scotty in the voting since they would no longer be splitting the votes from country music fans.

Casey has seen a resurgence in votes, so may be in it to the end now. The judges like that he performs music of many genres and is constantly taking risks.

American Idol’s Worst Show Wednesday Night April 20

Having been born in the 1940’s I had heard of only Swingin’ sung by Scotty McCreery  on performance night of American Idol last night. I like Scotty but I agree with the judges, that he could have sang a more difficult song. I didn’t agree with Jennifer Lopez, that he could have sang something other than country. As long as there is a country song on the songlist he needs to stick with country. I still think Scotty is the top vote-getter but the judges may have made a dent in his popularity last night.

To me this was the worst show this season, since I couldn’t tell if a song was being sung well or not, since most of the songs were songs I had never heard of.

Jacob Lusk may be going home after the confusion at the start of his song. It may not have been his fault, but the perception is that he missed the starting place of the song. There are some rumors on the internet, that American Idol purposely messed him up. Jacob said he heard drums at the start, which threw off his timing.

Casey Abrams sang a song that was sort of weird to me, but not knowing the song, can’t criticize it too much. Kissing Jennifer Lopez at the end of the song is what will be remembered more than his song.

Haley Reinhart received praise from the judges after singing her song, which seemed to no better or worse than her singing last week, which was criticized by the judges. I am rooting for Haley to win, but pleasing the judges won’t be easy for Haley in the coming weeks.

Stefano Langone may have avoided being sent home after the ringing endorsment of his singing, from the judges. Still have a feeling, he will be in the bottom two, and will look surprised again when a better singer is sent home. On the other hand, the numbers game may have finally caught up with Stefano, so he could be the one going home.

James Durbin seems to avoid criticism by the judges, since he seems to rise to the occasion every week and delivers every week.

Lauren Alaina Suddeth has a very strong fan base, has never been in the bottom three, plus is receiving more praise from the judges in the last couple of weeks.

Right now, I think Lauren Elaina, Scotty, James and Casey will be in the final four. I look for Stefano, Haley and Jacob to be sent home starting this week, but not necessarily in that order.

It still amazes me how the shows can last so long, with only seven contestants remaining. With each song lasting about two minutes, that is only fourteen minutes of the contestants singing, with the rest filler and commercials.

Tonight’s results show could surprise us with another Pia type surprise, but maybe someone who deserves to go home will go home this week.

Hopefully, the theme next week will include songs most of the viewers have heard of. They should know that very few viewers, 50 and over would know a song from the 2000’s.

American Idol News – April 19 : Springsteen to Mentor Contestants

Paul McDonald the last American Idol to be voted off the reality show last week, has been chosen to provide the music for the Peter Facinelli film, Loosies.

Facinelli, who acted with McDonald’s girlfriend  Nikki Reed in the Twilight films, is excited about using the music of McDonald’s band, The Grand Magnolias.


Former American Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi’s new book A Helluva High Note to be released April 26, tells of her being sexually abused as a young girl and later as an adult.


Bruce Springsteen will be mentoring the American Idol contestants this week, as they sing songs from the 21st century. There will probably be several songs, most of us older people have never heard this week, since American music scene today has little or no music for senior citizens.


For the Crystal Bowersox fans out there, this article brings you up to date on what she is doing and shows her preparing to make the first pitch for a Toledo Mud Hens game.


Last Wednesday’s performance show for American Idol and Thursday’s results show led the Top 25 shows, in ratings last week.

Over one million fewer fans watched the results show on Thursday night. Dancing With the Stars was third on the performance night, but the results show was 11th in the ratings.


Kimberly Caldwell from Season 2 of American Idol has finally released her first album Without Regret eight  years later. She finished seventh that season, but has hosted several television shows since then.







Who Will Be the Next American Idol? : April 15 Poll

Now that Paul McDonald has been sent home, the poll for this week has seven contestants remaining. Last week’s poll asked who was the best singer among the remaining contestants?

This week the poll is broadened to include singing ability, popularity and stage presence. The question this week is much simpler asking Who Will Be the Season 10 American Idol?

Voters are welcome to vote as often as WordPress allows:

Stefano Langone, Haley Reinhart, Hang On For Another Week

Stefano Langone has more lives than most cats after being in the final two again, then sent back to safety.

It is clear to Idol fans that Stefano won’t be the next American Idol. However, it seems like he is in bottom three week after week and is now in the Final Seven contestants remaining.

Looks like the voters listened to Jennifer Lopez and decided to finally send a guy home in Paul McDonald. His unique voice may help him sign a record deal, but then his main claim to fame right now, is that he sounds like Rod Stewart.

He was a class act last night after being voted off American Idol. It will be interesting what kind of a singer, record producers will produce knowing that Paul sounds so much like Rod Stewart. To my knowledge, no singer has made a career by sounding exactly like an established singer.

I felt like Haley Reinhart deserved to stay, so was happy to see the voters finally voted a guy off the show. Personally, I didn’t think Haley should have been singled out by the judges for criticism of her song on Wednesday night. To me, she sang as well as she had in previous weeks, when the judges were so full of praise for her.

The numbers game might see the exit of Stefano next week. I have read online that James Durbin, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina Suddeth have not been in the bottom three this season. However, some people have told me that they think Lauren has been in the bottom three, so that is debatable.

This is only a guess so take it for what it is worth, but I think Scotty and Lauren have been at the top or near the top of the vote getters this entire season.

Still there are five more eliminations coming up, before only the final two remain on finale night.

Casey Abrams has avoided the bottom three since being voted off, showing he has rebounded. I thought he made a terrible mistake singing a 64 year old song Nature Boy that few voters have ever heard of, but the standing ovation from the judges showed how much they liked it.

Lauren Alaina Suddeth is very likable and sings well. The judges have mostly kind things to say about her, so that should help her in the voting.

Jacob Lusk may be the best singer left in the final seven, but he isn’t nearly as popular as James, Scotty and Alaina.

Stefano has stepped up the last couple of weeks to sing very well, but he doesn’t have the popularity to get very much further in the competition. I look for him to go home next week unless he “blows it out of the box” as Randy Jackson says.

James may be good, but can’t see him being successful as Chris Daughtry with a recording career. Still, he is a force to be reckoned with and should be one of the last ones to leave American Idol if he is not voted the American Idol.

Haley is my favorite of the contestants, but the judges don’t seem to be on her side. If Jennifer Lopez hadn’t made her plea for voters, to vote for the girls Haley may have left the show last night. I still like her growling voice and it may buy her some more time on the show.

Scotty is destined to be a successful country artist, but doesn’t need to try to sound like Josh Turner with his deep bass voice. Scotty also has the likability factor working in his favor, along with his deep voice. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him be voted the next American Idol.

News flash: TMZ has posted an article saying that Jacob Lusk was arrested after being given his golden ticket to Hollywood. He had boarded a train without paying, then failed to appear in court for the hearing. When he ignored the court hearing a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was arrested at a traffic stop, then sentenced to three days in jail. However the sentence included two years of probation. He begged the judge to remove the probation since he couldn’t sing on American Idol while being on probation.


Poll: Who Will Go Home On American Idol?

Based on the comments by the judges, Haley Reinhart should be the most concerned among the eight remaining singers on American Idol.

The three judges totally trashed her singing and if Haley goes home it will be because of the comments by the judges.  It is like they want Lauren Alaina Suddeth to be only female singer remaining.

Casey Abrams version of the 64 year old song Nature Boy may be great for a lounge act, but can’t see anyone going out and buying an album with that song in it.

My personal opinion is that Haley, Paul and Stefano will be in the bottom three but wouldn’t be surprised to see Jacob in the final three, because of Paul receiving the votes of legions of Twilight fans.

The poll question asks to check the singer most likely to go home on Thursday night based on their performance and the judge’s reaction to their performance on Wednesday night:

Skewered Voting on American Idol

Female voters may be so caught up in voting for the boys in Season 10, that they don’t realize they have sent five straight girls home. If this is true, they have skewered the vote in favor of the boy contestants.

Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina Suddeth can’t be feeling too comfortable knowing that five girls in a row have been voted off American Idol.

Ashton Jones, Karen Rodriguez, Thia Meghia, Naimi Adedapo and Pia Toscano are gone after the first five week of the competition.

My poll after Pia Toscano left the show last week, shows that after 112 votes that Stefano Langone and Paul McDonald since Langone received no votes and McDonald only one vote from the 112 votes cast. This poll is an extremely small sample but it doesn’t look good for either McDonald or Langone. McDonald should receive the Twilight vote though which could keep him out of the bottom three.

These are the latest votes in the survey as of 10:09 CDT:

Total Votes: 112
I have a feeling if American Idol would reveal the votes this season that Scotty McCreery is leading the other contestants in total votes.
My poll shows James Durbin ahead with 26 votes, with Scotty, Lauren Alaina and Haley in a three way tie for second with 20 votes each.
My prediction for bottom three tomorrow are: Stefano Langone, Paul McDonald and  Casey Abrams or Jacob Lusk.
With Pia Toscano leaving last week Haley and Lauren Alaina may be safe, but who knows after last week’s vote what will happen.
One thing for sure is that American Idol became a popularity contest last week with Pia leaving. When the most technically gifted singer is the ninth best in the voting, it tells me talent means nothing to voters.
Pia may have made a mistake singing a lesser known song, when she had many more songs to choose from. However, in the end it came down to who was the most popular.
My prediction as of today for the Season 10 American Idol is Scotty McCreery. That can change in a heartbeat though, with a bad song choice, a safe song choice, biting criticism from the judges, having some theme weeks that make it difficult for him to sing country songs.
I look for Scotty to pick up votes if Lauren Alaina leaves the show before him, since he would not have to split the country vote with her fans.
Casey Abrams, a very talented singer/musician only had 7 votes out of 128 cast which tells me he is not that popular with the voters.
The competition has reached the point where one bad performance could mean the end for a contestant. After this week there will only be four singers not in the bottom three next week.
Let us hope the streak of sending five straight girls home is over. If not, we could see the last girl sent home next week.

Paula Abdul in Photo With Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald

Haley Reinhart, Paula Abdul and Paul McDonald. McDonald said Paula hooked them up with some Bubblicious bubble gum.

Pia Toscano in Group During Hollywood Week

Pia Toscano, Alessandro Guercio and Brielle Von Hugel singing Grenade during Hollywood Week.

After watching this video again, it is even sadder to know that Pia Toscano was voted off of American Idol last week.

Doris Day: Celebrates 89th Birthday

Doris Day celebrated her 89th birthday earlier this week.

Doris Mary Ann Von Kapplehoff was born on April 3, 1922. She is better known to her fans as Doris Day.

She hasn’t been seen on television except as a guest or in the movies since the Doris Day Show ended in 1973. For the last 38 years she has lived a low profile life.

When her third husband, Martin Melcher died in 1968, she claimed to not know he had planned a television series the Doris Day Show before his death.

She did the series and it was successful, which was the last time she appeared on television in a regular series of her own.

Her fear of flying probably was a huge factor in retiring, since she probably wouldn’t have consented to fly to movie or television locations.

She never liked anyone swearing around her and once required anyone that swore to place a quarter in the “swear box’ during a recording session.

Day surprisingly believes a couple should live together before being married as she stated in her 1975 autobiography:

[In her 1975 autobiography] You don’t really know a person until you live with him, not just sleep with him. Sex is not enough to sustain marriage. I have the unfortunate reputation of being Miss Goody Two-shoes, America’s Virgin, and all that, so I’m afraid it’s going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together. The young people have it right. What a tragedy it is for a couple to get married, have a child, and in the process discover they are not suited for one another! If I had lived with Al Jorden for a few weeks, God knows I would never have married him. Nor would I have married George Weidler. But I was too young and too inexperienced to understand any of this. Now my heart was busted and I had lost my way.

She didn’t think much of Elizabeth Taylor’s penchant for wearing expensive jewelry saying it could have been better used:

[about Elizabeth Taylor‘s diamonds] When I see Liz Taylor with those Harry Winston boulders hanging from her neck I get nauseated. Not figuratively, but nauseated! All I can think of are how many dog shelters those diamonds could buy.

Mobbed: New Fox Series Renewed For Eight Episodes

The new Fox series Mobbed drew 10.8 million viewers last night, after 22 million watched its lead in American Idol.

In the debut episode a man wants to surprise his wife, by getting married with a mob of people being there to dance to the song Everlasting Love.

One selling point for this show, is that the show builds suspense as it goes, so shouldn’t lose any viewers in the second half.

The original plan was to have 100 in the mob but by the time of the event, over 1,000 people were part of the mob.

There was one ingredient to the event that could have backfired. When they decided to create some jealousy by having a girl pretend to be the man’s girfriend, it upset the man’s girlfriend.

However all is well that ends well when she is told everything will be alright and next thing you know the security guard starts singing and the event goes off as planned.

Won’t give any more details in case someone wants to see the entire 43 minute video at Fox.com. Just look for full episodes.

Howie Mandel did a great job of coordinating the event. It will be interesting to see if they can come up with another show as good as the one last night.

Naimi Apparently Being Shunned By Other Idol Females

Naimi Adedapo seems to be on the outs with the female contestants on American Idol.

Naimi Adedapo isn’t feeling the love of the other female contestants on American Idol. According to eonline.com the other contestants more or less ignored her on Thursday night’s show.

The other four girls Thia Megia, Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart and Pia Toscano may not have meant to, but it sure appeared  they didn’t include Naimi in their group.

While the other girls were congratulating Haley on being safe, Naimi was sitting on the edge of the couch.

However, Naimi was trying to encourage Casey Abrams during the show. There is no romantic connection since she is married, but she seems to get along better, with Casey than the girls.

Eonline.com gives even more details on the Naimi situation and other American Idol notes.


Frank Sinatra: Nice And Easy – How Little It Matters

The great Frank Sinatra singing one of his up tempo songs Nice and Easy.

This is Frank Sinatra at his best singing one of his signature songs. The next video features Sinatra singing one of his lesser known songs but one of my favorites, How Little It Matters.

Sinatra singing a shortened version of  How Little We Know.

Neither of the songs included in this post were huge hits with How Little We Know reaching No.30 on the Billboard charts in 1956 while Nice and Easy topped out at No. 60 in 1960.

That doesn’t really matter to me since both songs are two of my favorite Sinatra songs. He recorded his first song in 1939 and was still singing into the 1990’s.

The following list names every song recorded by Sinatra and which year it was recorded:


Hammertime Flash Mob

Watch what happens when a group of dancers start dancing unexpectedly in a Sunset Boulevard store in Los Angeles.

Mickey Rooney Testifies in Washington

Mickey Rooney testified before Congress about senior abuse and his passionate testimony told of how he personally has been abused himself.

From the news reports I have read, there has been no mention of him naming his son-in-law Chris Aber as the one who abused him but Aber is under a restraining order preventing him from being in close proximity to Rooney.

Aber’s attorney John O’Meara has stated that these charges of abuse are untrue. However he is saying that more than likely on his talks with Aber who isn’t going to say he abused Rooney. Therefore, O’Meara’s statement can be taken with a grain of salt.

I can’t believe Rooney would go before Congress making up a story about his son-in-law. I am sure Rooney’s testimony will be backed up in a court of  law soon.


Mickey Rooney testifying before Congress as he tells how senior abuse left him with no control over his life.

After seeing his testimony it makes me feel terrible knowing that man who entertained us for about 70 years wasn’t enjoying his golden years because a family member allegedly has taken away control of his life leaving him a helpless 90 year old man.

He may have been Andy Hardy to us for many years back in the 30’s and 40’s but today he is a man reduced to nothingness because of senior abuse.

May God grant Mickey Rooney and others like him a peaceful life in the years remaining for them on earth. It is not asking much to be treated with respect and love because that is all Rooney and the other victims of abuse are asking for.

Jane Russell Dies at 89

Jane Russell has died at the age of 89 at home in Santa Maria, California of respiratory failure.

Jane Russell has died at the age of 89 with her family beside her in Santa Maria, California. The actress who was discovered by Howard Hughes when she was 19 and working in a doctor’s office. Hughes would cast her in The Outlaw in her first movie appearance.  She appeared in nineteen movies between 1943 and 1957. She would only appear in four more movies, with her last movie appearance coming in 1970 in Darker Than Amber. She was 49 the year her last movie was filmed.

Russell was born in Bemidji, Minnesota on June 21, 1921. Her family moved back to United States from Canada so she would be born a U.S. citizen.

She co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953. Then in 1955 she received top billing in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.

Television appearances were few and far between for Russell as she appeared in only seven television appearances with her last appearance being in a 1986. She hadn’t acted in movies or television in the last 25 years of her life.

Russell  would pursue a singing career that started in 1947 but she was more famous for her movie career. She did have a very listenable voice which was very soft. She was part of this singing group that included big band singer Connie Haines and actress Rhonda Fleming:

Jane Russell singing One For My Baby.

Allmusic.com has short  clips of many of her songs:


While going to church she became involved in singing with a group that included big band singer Connie Haines and would later include Rhonda Fleming another famous Hollywood actress.

Her first husband Bob Waterfield was a football player who won the Heisman Trophy and would later play quarterback in the NFL for the Cleveland Rams and Los Angeles Rams. He would be inducted later into the NFL Football Hall of Fame. Their marriage lasted twenty four years.

Roger Barrett an actor was her next husband but died only three months after their wedding. She next married John Peoples in 1974 and they would be married till his death in 1999.

Russell battled a drinking problem that got worse after his death but eventually conquered alcoholism and she had this to say about her reliance on God in the last paragraph of her New York Times obituary:

A higher power was always there, she wrote, “telling me that if I could just hold tough a little longer, I’d find myself around one more dark corner, see one more spot of light and have one more drop of pure joy in this journey called life.”

Freddie King: I’m Tore Down

Freddie King singing Tore Down in Dallas, Texas in 1966. King died ten years later at the age of 42. He died 35 years ago but his music lives on.

The Very Best of Freddy King album which I own and have recorded into my MP3 player.

Freddy King also went by the name of Freddie King explaining why some of his albums have him as Freddy and other as Freddie. The album above is one of my favorite albums and even though my new MP3 player has limited space I made sure to download the whole album into the player.

The album includes some instrumentals along with the tracks that have him singing. His instrmentals are so good that you don’t care that he isn’t singing on them.

You can listen to clips from all 25 songs on the album:


Freddie King at his best singing Have You Ever Loved a Woman with one of the best guitar riffs I have ever heard before he starts singing.


American Idol – X Factor : Different Attitudes

Simon Cowell will start his new show X Factor this fall on Fox.

American Idol seemed to be in line for a huge drop in the ratings after the departure of Simon Cowell last May. The ratings for the American Idol juggernaut have dropped but the show still is drawing more viewers than their competition by a large margin.

It was thought that Simon Cowell was the main attraction for viewers with his catty remarks about singers being karaoke, cruise ship singers and singers in a seedy hotel.

None of that kind of negativity remains with the current lineup of judges. With a few exceptions when Randy Jackson has made some scathing remarks about the contestants the show is mostly free of the cruel remarks that hurt not help an aspiring singer.

Jennifer Lopez showed her emotional side when she broke down after revealing to Chris Medina his road to being the American Idol had stopped in Las Vegas. I thought she had told him in a very kind way his dream of becoming the American Idol but she asked her fellow judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson if she had made her statement in the best way possible under the situation.

Medina was touched when he saw the replay on television of how she reacted after telling him the bad news. Some people have questioned his motives about having the story of his girlfriend told but I believe he only did it to try to help her since he had the chance and jumped at it as did the Fox network producers who featured the story and the judges had her meet them after Medina had sung at his audition.

That was only one example of a kinder American Idol this year. It isn’t fair to compare X Factor since it hasn’t even aired yet but with the presence of Simon Cowell viewers can expect the same vitriolic criticism he leveled at American Idol contestants but his fans expect to hear his pithy remarks to the contestants.

A major difference in the two shows is that while American Idol may award a recording contract to the winner the X Factor will reward a $5 million contract to the winner. It is possible a 12 year old could win that contract or someone more than 100 years old since the age limit is 12-whatever age shows up for the auditions as opposed to the 15-28 age limit for American Idol

Fox network will be a winner either way since they will carry both shows this year and both shows should be ratings behemoths that will enrich the Fox coffers by the end of they year.

The judges for X Factor are still not set the last I knew with Cowell the only one sure to be on the panel. Among names being rumored to have a chance to be judges are Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul having a chance if her CBS show Live to Dance does not return for another season leaving her free to join the judges on X Factor. I believe Cowell would like to have Paula at his side since their chemistry before Paula left American Idol was volatile at times but I think they really get along well for the most part.

Archive.org: Great Multimedia Website

Archive.org will keep a reader entertained for hours.

Archive.org is probably the best source for audio and video online this side of YouTube.  The home page for the website as I write this article has a link to an audio version of a Grateful Dead concert at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum at New Haven, Connecticut on May 11, 1981.

The concert is only one of 803,305 audio recordings at the website.  There are 2,214 old time radio related links to old time radio shows and magazines that were printed during the height of the popularity of old time radio.

One Roy Rogers episode has been downloaded 74,882 times showing that the website is available for downloading many of the old time radio shows we grew up with.

Old time radio fans will love looking at list after list of old time radio shows available for downloading including some of the more obscure shows which have very few episodes in existence.

The live music archive features 88,813 archives while the moving image archives total 451,934.

Avid readers will enjoy knowing that there are 2.694,639 texts including books and ebooks. The new Bookreader at the site includes Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin and is the example shown of how the Bookreader works.


There is an audio version of some books but the one I listened to was not of the best quality and seemed to be a computer generated voice which probably would be tiring to listen to for an entire book.

Most readers may not enjoy the voice and instead opt to read the books without sound. For those that like the audio they should enjoy the feature that highlights the portion of the book being read by the voice.

The Mega Reader iPhone app provides access to the 1.8 million free books at archive.org so they each iPhone user can have their own personal reader.

Each volume of the Warren Report investigation of the assassination of  President John F. Kennedy is available to read.

The site is an excellent source of reading material for educators and students who are looking for books that are no longer copyrighted.

One word of caution: it could take hours just to look at what is available at archive.org. This website may have the most content of any website online and is worth going to the website to see for yourself what is available.


Jackie Gleason Orchestra: Laura


The Jackie Gleason Orchestra playing Laura.

The same Jackie Gleason that portrayed Ralph Kramden on the Honeymooners had his own orchestra and his Music For Lovers Only album was on the Billboard charts for 153 weeks which was about about three weeks short of being on the charts for three years.

He couldn’t read or write music but he could play a song while a composer would write down the notes. There are conflicting reports on the internet about whether he actually played an instrument yet he is shown playing the bass many years ago in a band but then other reports said he never played an instrument.

Bobby Hackett who was a member of the Jackie Gleason Orchestra has this to say about Gleason’s musical knowledge in this paragraph from suite101.com.:

One might ask how somebody who does not know how to write music could compose it. The great trumpeter, Bobby Hackett, had this to say about Gleason’s musical ability. “Jackie knows a lot more about music than he is given credit for. I have seen him conduct a sixty-piece orchestra and detect one discordant note in the brass section. He would immediately stop the music and locate the wrong note. It always amazed the professional musicians how a guy who technically didn’t know one note from another could do that. And he was never wrong.”

Capitol Records only offered him a $1,000 contract for his first record album. Gleason had no part in conducting the orchestra. His first ten albums made over $10 million each showing there was a market for romantic music.

Gleason hired Bobby Hackett to play the trumpet and combined his trumpet players with forty mandolin players to get the sound he wanted. Easy listening is a perfect description of his music.

He would release 53 record albums from 1952-1971. Six of those albums held the No.1 position in the Billboard 200 chart.

His albums earned $120 million showing that Gleason was not only a successful actor in television and the movies but his love for easy listening music gave Americans some of the greatest music ever recorded.

Sadly orchestra music was on the way out by 1957 with the advent of rock and roll and the popularity of romantic music waned as the new rock and roll sound took over the record charts for the most part as Elvis Presley changed music as did the Beatles six years later in 1964.

The Jackie Gleason Orchestra playing Misty which a fine example of easy listening music at its best.

David Ruffin: Temptations 1964-1968

David Ruffin singing the lead on My Girl the first No.1 song for the Temptations which was written by Smokey Robinson but was recorded by the Temptations instead of his own group Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

David Ruffin singing  Walk Away From Love on American Bandstand after he had left the Temptations and was singing as a solo artist.

David Ruffin who is most famous for his rendition of My Girl while with the Temptations.

Ruffin was born on January 18, 1941 in Whynot, Mississippi and was a solo artist before joining the Temptations in 1964.

He was part of a family gospel group while growing up that opened for the one of the most well known gospel singers of that time Mahalia Jackson.

His meeting Gwen Fuqua who was the sister of music mogul Berry Gordy and he worked with Berry Gordy’s father in actually constructing the building that would be known as Motown.

On January 9, 1964 Ruffin recorded for the first time with the Temptations after they needed a tenor when founding member Elbridge “Al” Bryant was fired from the group.

He was a background singer for the group until Smokey Robinson wrote My Girl especially for Ruffin and after his success with that song he alternated with Eddie Hendricks singing lead vocals.

Ruffin invented the four headed microphone used by the Temptations which picked up the voices of the four Temptations who weren’t singing lead.

Then he would distance himself from the other Temptations when he and his girlfriend  would travel in a customized limousine. He also wanted to change the name of the group to David Ruffin and the Temptations which didn’t go over well with Otis Williams who was the one who put the group together in its most well known configuration of Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Otis Williams and the other lead singer Eddie Hendricks.

It was also during this period that he became addicted to cocaine.

The end for Ruffin came when he missed a show to see his new girlfriend sing. After being fired he would get up on the stage and sing some of the songs he had made famous which wasn’t well received by the Temptations on the stage.

Ruffin would go on to have a decent career as a solo artist but it paled in significance to his days with the Temptations.

He was found dead in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania crackhouse on June 1, 1991 due to an overdose. It has been claimed that a money belt with $40,000 was stolen from Ruffin after his death.

Ruffin had a tumultuous life that had seen him go from the heights of fame to a crackhouse in Philadelphia where his life ended.

Still we can enjoy his music both with the Temptations and as a solo artists today as his memory lives on.

The Temptations: Can’t Get Next to You

The Temptations singing Can’t Get Next to You after David Ruffin had left the group. Dennis Edwards sings lead but all five Temptations sing a verse in the song while dancing in a stop motion kind of dance in which they would dance then freeze in place at certain parts of the song.

The song went to No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1969. However fouryears after the release Paul Williams would commit suicide after health problems from sickle cell anemia, a drinking problem and bad financial investments that left Williams owing $80,000 in taxes.

Williams apparently ended his life on August 17, 1973 with a gunshot to the left side of his head. His family to this day questions whether it was suicide since he used his right hand to inflict the wound according to the coroner. He was 34 at the time of his death.

Eddie Hendricks who sang the high parts in this song would die at the age of 52 on October 5, 1992 of lung cancer. He sang lead on The Way You Do the Things You Do, Get Ready and Just My Imagination.

He left The Temptations when they had changed their music to a more psychedelic style while breaking away from the ballads they had sung in the past.

The Temptations were not the same group once David Ruffin who developed a cocaine habit, Paul Williams who had choreographed much of the dancing for the group left and then lost Eddie Hendricks.

The group has had many configurations over the years and Otis Williams is the only survivor of the group. To me the real Temptations ended in the 70’s after Ruffin and Hendricks left to pursue solo careers since they sang lead on so many of their hits.

The Temptations DVD featuring videos of their music from 1965-1972 with narration by Otis Williams shows them at the height of their popularity. I have played this video many times since it brings back those special days when the classic group was still singing.

Rock and Roll Graffiti 50’s and 60’s: Memories of an Era

I found a five VHS tapes version of this rock and roll reunion in which 37 singers got together to reminisce and sing the songs they made famous.


I went to a garage sale a few months ago and found a set of five VHS tapes that had been unopened for only $3. Since we were off the internet for over a week lately I watched the videos and enjoyed hearing 37 rock and roll stars of the 50’s and 60’s talk about their experiences and sing the great songs many of us grew up with over those two decades.

One of the singers told about singing to an audience in the south with a rope dividing the blacks and whites into two sections. They returned a year later and the rope was gone and the blacks and whites were sitting side by side and high fivin’ each other.

Carl Gardner the only surviving member of the Coasters told about a friend of his who saw two water fountains with one labeled color and one was designated as being white. There was a policeman guarding the water fountains to make sure that no blacks drank from the fountain for whites. Carl’s friend was fascinated about the two kinds of water fountains and said ” I’m going to try this white water first” and then tried the colored water and said “They both taste the same to me.” The policeman saw the humor in the situation and didn’t arrest him.

Dee Dee Sharp of  “Mashed Potato Time” fame was headed to the front door of a hotel or a restaurant and was 15 at the time. She was told blacks weren’t allowed in the establishment but Len Barry who recorded “1-2-3” took her inside and made sure she was accepted and Dee Dee Sharp who is now a Ph.D said she would always remember his act of kindness.

Jimmy Clanton told he got out of show business when Alice Cooper was wringing the necks of chickens on stage saying this had nothing to do with singing.

Some of the singers told about the Dick Clark tours that traveled across the United States on busses and that Dick Clark roughed it like they did and slept on a cot and didn’t get any special treatment and how much they respected him for being like them.

Joanie Sommers told of dating Elvis Presley and how she wished she could have been with Elvis alone since he had four of his people along for the date and decided she didn’t want to date him again if it meant they would have chaperones.

Dennis Yost of the Classics IV sang Stormy and it reminded me of the time the Classics IV sang at Louisiana College a Baptist institution in Pineville, Louisiana. When the students started dancing to the music the president of the college had the Classics IV leave the stage since dancing was not allowed at Baptist colleges in that era.

Jimmie Rodgers who was famous for Honeycomb and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine was there and had been through several brain surgeries after a 1967 encounter with the Los Angeles police in which he says he was beaten by the police while the police maintained he fell while intoxicated and had fallen on his head.

The City of Los Angeles did settle out of court for $200,000 but that didn’t begin to compensate him for the inability to perform as he had in the past appearing only sporadically in concerts after the injuries.

Ketty Lester who sang Love Letters at the reunion told about her singing career ending when she returned from a tour and her son wouldn’t come to her but instead went to the babysitter and decided then to stop singing and hadn’t sung in 30 years before the reunion. She also told of Michael Landon offering a role on Little House on the Prairie which she accepted.

Jerry Naylor of the Crickets said he replaced Buddy Holly after the fatal plane crash in 1959 but that nobody could really replace Holly. He also said the Beatles chose their name of Beatles because they were fans of the Crickets.

D.J. Fontana the drummer for Elvis Presley in the early days of Elvis tells how Elvis and the band and all their instruments traveled in a car from city to city and how Elvis since he needed the rest slept under the bass belonging to Bill Black of the band.

Jim Ed Brown and his sisters Bonnie and Maxine also appeared on the program and told about how their dad went to Brinkley, Arkansas to pick up Elvis after his car had broken down on tour. Bonnie told about dating Elvis until she found out he was seeing someone else on the side.

Jackie Wilson stories were told at the reunion with one singer telling  that someone was giving Jackie a rough time and Jackie told him that he had been a fighter long before becoming a singer and on another occasion he had punched out a policeman during a show but wasn’t arrested because Jackie’s fans wouldn’t have allowed him to arrest him.

James Brown was also mentioned with the singers telling how hard a worker he was and that his band would even rehearse after doing the night’s show. If someone in the band messed up he would give them a signal that they would let them know they were in for it when the show ended.

Frankie Ford sang the Ferlin Husky hit Gone which could have been omitted from the tape since it wasn’t really sang in a serious vein but more for laughs but made up for it when he launched into his signature song Sea Cruise showing why it was one of the rockingest rock and roll songs ever.

The British invasion was a topic of conversation about how they took over the record charts and how things weren’t the same for the singers at the reunion after the invasion since few American singers charted Top 10 hits during this time.

Gene Hughes of the Casinos sings Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye at the reunion. Hughes died five years later in 2004 in a car accident.

The great Jimmy Clanton singing his first big hit Just a Dream which he wrote after being jilted by a girl.

Ray Peterson singing The Wonder of You one of the best songs ever written in my book and Elvis Presley also had an excellent version of the song.

Joe Terry of Danny and the Juniors singing their classic hit At the Hop.

Mary Wilson of the Supremes singing Stop in the Name of Love.

Ketty Lester singing Love Letters which was the highlight of the reunion for me singing this song the way only she can sing it. Sad she didn’t sing for 30 years before this reunion.

There are even more songs from this reunion that can be found at YouTube listed under Rock and Roll Graffiti 1999 for anyone wanting to hear more of the music from the reunion.

Tapes of this program are extremely rare with Amazon selling a three tape set of this reunion for $99. The program may or may not have been a commercial success and to my knowledge no program like it has been filmed since 1999 but for those fortunate enough to see the entire series of tapings from this reunion will not only hear some of the great music from the 1950’s and 1960’s  but also hear first person accounts of what it was like to travel on bus tours across the United States, how theatres included rock and roll shows along with the price of a movie on the popcorn circuit and how some of these songs came to be written and how prejudice prevented black singers from staying in the same hotels they sang in.

They also tell about how impostors are pretending to be members of the Coasters and Drifters while not including original members of those groups.

Long live rock and roll!!

Ray Peterson as he appeared early in his career
Ray Peterson looked like this at the reunion looking much different from his rock and roll days but still sang The Wonder of You as well as ever.

Life in the 1940’s

A young Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower is shown in the above photo as the Louisiana Maneuvers involving 400,000 U.S. soldiers took place north of Pineville, Louisiana in 1941. Four years later Col. Eisenhower would be a general commanding the D-Day invasion as the U.S. would enter the European theater of World War II on June 6, 1944. Less than a year later the war would be over in Europe when Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945. Three months later on August 15,1945 the Japanese would surrender.

The war was just part of 1940’s history but affected the daily lives of those who stayed home during the war. In 1943 automobile production was halted so those materials could be used in the war effort.

American citizens experienced rationing of food supplies in 1943. Travel was limited in order to make tires last longer and drivers were told to not drive over 35 MPH to extend the life of tires.

Interesting Facts From the 40’s

The U.S. population was 122 million in the 1940’s and is as of this moment at over 311 million an increase of  189 million since the 1940’s.

The national debt in the 40’s was $43 billion but the national debt today stands at over $14 trillion. The minimum wage was 43 cents an hour and in 1966 when I started work at the Alexandria Town Talk in Alexandria, Louisiana the minimum wage was $1.40 an hour an increase of about a dollar an hour over what American workers were earning in minimum wage in the 40’s. The minimum wage today is $7.25

Many Had No Indoor Plumbing

Only 55 percent of  American homes had indoor plumbing in the 1940’s and outhouses were still being widely used.

The first commercial television stations went on the air in the 1940’s. The first digital computers weighed 30 tons.

Big Band Music Dominated

Big band music dominated the music scene during the 40’s as the bands traveled across the U.S. entertaining fans of big name bandleaders like Glenn Miller, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman.

The 1940’s would be the last decade in which old time radio ruled  the airwaves as television began to convert radio listeners into television viewers.

1945 would see the development of the first TV dinner. At the end of World War II there were only 5,000 television sets in existence. In 1951 that number would increase to 17 million sets being used.

Window Air Conditioners Gained Popularity

Only 74,000 window air conditioners were sold in 1948 and that number increased to 1.45 million by 1953.  We didn’t buy our first air conditioner till about 1967 so was 9 years old when we first bought a television and 23 when we bought our first air conditioner.

I don’t ever remember being hot though since that was all we knew and didn’t have anything to compare it with.

The following website has even more details about the 1940’s and the events and entertainment from that decade.


No Modern Electronics in the 40’s

Back in the 1940’s the cell phone,  MP3 players, HD televisions, DVD players, laptops, notepads and electronic readers were not yet in use leaving time for other activities. Life was simpler then with no ringtones being heard from a cell phone when a phone call or message was being sent.

The 40’s saw the birth of my oldest brother in 1941, my birth in 1944, the birth of a younger brother in 1947 and a younger sister in 1947.

No War at End of Decade

The decade ended without another major war but June of 1950 would see the start of the Korean War the war which has been more of a forgotten war except for the veterans of that war and their family members.

You seldom see any television documentaries about the Korean War while you can always find film from World War II and the Vietnam War on television programs.

The 1940’s ended 62 years ago but for those of us who lived during that decade it will be forever etched in our memories.

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