Jack Lord : From Stoney Burke to Hawaii Five-O

Jack Lord 1920-1998

Jack Lord was born John Joseph Patrick Ryan on December 30,1920 in Brooklyn, New York according to the rememberingjacklord.com website. Jack attended John Adams High School in Queens.

It didn’t take Jack long to understand what hard work meant, since his father sent him on freighters, during the summer, which traveled all over the world. He had the unique distinction of playing on the varsity football team, and being an accomplished artist, while attending high school.

After graduating from high school Jack played on the New York University football team as a tackle. He and his older brother Bill opened the Village Academy of Art in Greenwich Village, and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited two of his paintings.

These two paragraphs from his biography at rememberingjacklord.com tell of his first marriage and being torpedoed by German U-boats during World War II:

In 1942, Jack married Ann Cicely Willard. Jack described it as a youthful romance and said they married following a whirlwind courtship. The marriage was not a good one, for the couple were young, and Jack was working away from home. They had a child, John Ryan, Jr., who died at the age of 13 following a brief illness. 

During World War II, Jack served with the U. S. Maritime Service aboard Liberty ships.  It was not an easy assignment, for the German U-boats were always on patrol. The ship on which Jack was serving was torpedoed. With the fantail, rudder, and after-stern were destroyed, and the ship began to sink. There being no time to send an SOS, the captain ordered the crew to abandon ship. The ship sank in seven minutes, and Jack drifted in a life boat for sixteen hours before being rescued.

He was visiting his brother Bill in Woodstock, New York, when he saw a house that interested him. After meeting the owner Marie L. De Narde they were married later on January 17, 1949.

Changed His Name To Jack Lord

Jack found out there was already an actor, in the actor’s union with the name Jack Ryan, so changed his name to Jack Lord, but only for acting purposes, as he didn’t change his legal name. He picked the name Lord from his family tree.

His first acting job was in the movie Project X in 1949, which was followed by Cry Murder in 1950.

Jack Lord as Stoney Burke 1962-1963

1957 would see him appear in Have Gun – Will Travel and Gunsmoke. He would alternate between television and the movies, for the next few years, until he was given the starring role of Stoney Burke on the Stoney Burke television series from 1962-1963. He portrayed a rodeo cowboy on the show.

Jack would freelance between television and movies for the next five years, before landing the job that would make him a household name.

 

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O

I am now watching Hawaii Five-O on Netflix and have almost finished Season 9. I like the way that Jack as Steve McGarrett takes charge and gives almost impossible orders, like Chin Ho and Danno. He tells them to do things, like check every surfboard shop on Oahu, and get the name of everyone, that has bought a surfboard in the last 10 years. Well, maybe not that drastic, but if you watch the show you will notice him giving out orders.

Jack Lord has a presence on the screen, that tells everyone, that he is the one to see, if anyone wants something done the right way.

There are two Hawaii Five-O shows out there now, with CBS running a newer version currently, but the 1968-1980 series is the one I watch, since I left Hawaii in 1966 and can identify, with some of the locations shown and/or mentioned during an episode.

Jack Lord and his wife Marie

Jack Lord made his only appearance, after the end of Hawaii Five-O in M Station: Hawaii a television movie in 1980. He never acted again in the years, which led to his death, on January 21, 1988 in Honolulu,Hawaii at the age of 77.

He lived the last 30 years of his life in Hawaii with his wife and liked to walk on Kahala Beach, where he had his ashes scattered after his death.

After he and his wife died they left $40 million to many charities in Hawaii, which are detailed in the following article:

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jan/22/ln/FP601220358.html

Jack was considered for the part of Captain Kirk in Star Trek 1966, but was turned down, since he wanted to be co-producer and own a percentage of the series, so William Shatner had to be thrilled, that Lord turned down the role.

I have noticed that it is difficult to find a photo online of Jack Lord in later life.

This website tells about Jack’s interaction with the other actors:

  • Lord was infamous for being imperious and hard to work with. However, fellow?Hawaii Five-Operformers Kam Fong, Zulu, Harry Endo, and Jimmy Borges have credited him as professional, generous, and normally soft-spoken. Many cast members considered him a friend and a mentor. Jack Lord was 6’2″ and liked to appear as the tallest actor on-screen – he often wore elevating footwear when appearing with Richard Denning, Al Harrington, and tall guest stars.

Other trivia from this same article:

http://www.jack-lord.info/about-jack-lord-hawaiifive-0/176-jack-lord-trivia.html

 

 

 

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American Idol Draws 4 Million Less Viewers

American Idol returns for its 14th season in 2015 with judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez

and Harry Connick, Jr., with Ryan Seacrest who has hosted the show since its inception.

American Idol started its 14th season, by drawing 4 million fewer viewers, than they attracted for the first show of Season 13. That was a decline of 25 percent from the Season 13 premiere. The show reached its peak in Season 6, when they attracted 37.44 million viewers for the premiere that year in 2007.

The premiere this year attracted 26 million fewer viewers, than watched the show in 2007.

Randy Jackson, who was a mentor during Season 13 won’t be seen in Season 14, unless it is in a guest appearance, since he is no longer employed by the show.

There should be no Coca-Cola cups at the judge’s table in Season 14, since Coca-Cola no longer is a sponsor.

The Voice Providing Competition

The Voice on NBC has attracted more viewers recently, than American Idol, but The Voice has had less success in launching careers of their winning contestants.

Season 8 of The Voice premieres on February 23, 2015, so the two shows will be on different nights.

I have watched American Idol since Season 2, so will probably go down with American Idol ship, when it sinks out of sight in the next year or two. I like the chairs turning around gimmick on The Voice, but not a fan of the battle rounds competition. Not to say it isn’t a good show….it is just my loyalty to American Idol  supersedes that of The Voice.

Aftermath for American Idol Winners

American Idol has had some winners like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, that have sold millions of albums, but then they have their share of singers like Phillip Phillips who made second albums, that didn’t sell nearly as well as their first album, as shown in this Billboard.com review of his sales for his second album:

Phillip Phillips, Behind the Light

First-Week Sales: 42,000

Previous Album’s First Week: The World From the Wrong Side of the Moon, 169,000

Year-to-Date Sales: 123,000

Why It Looks Bad: The American Idol champ’s debut was buoyed by a hit single, “Home,” something his second has yet to produce. And more than a regular artist, people expect a sophomore slump from an Idol champ — so his low first-week tally wasn’t a good look.

Counterpoint: Like 50’s album, the year-to-date total sales for Behind the Lightaren’t terrible. In fact, with the holidays approaching, sales for Phillips’ second are higher than they’ve been in weeks, suggesting there’s life in the album yet.

Scotty McCreery is now 21, after winning Season 10 four years ago. His album and single sales have done well, with him his first album Clear Day going platinum and his second album Christmas With Scotty McCreery earning a gold album certification.

Caleb Johnson Season 13 Winner

Caleb Johnson, who won Season 13 has seen his singing career get off to a very slow start, as indicated by this entry about his first album at Wikipedia:

Chart performance

The album debuted on Billboard 200 at No. 24 with 11,000 copies sold in its debut week, giving him the distinction of having the lowest first week sales and inaugural chart position of any American Idol winner.[8]Johnson also has the distinction of being the first American Idol winner to have their Idol coronation song, “As Long as You Love Me,” fail to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

On the other hand Kelly Clarkson has released six albums and all six have gone platinum and have peaked at either #1, #2 or #3 on the album charts. She has recorded four #1 hits.

Carrie Underwood has recorded 12 #1 hits on the country charts.

It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 10 years, since Carrie Underwood won Season 4 of American Idol in 2005. All four of her albums have gone platinum. It is hard to believe, that she hasn’t recorded an album since 2012, so we should see another Carrie Underwood album released, in the not too distant future. Her 12 #1 hits is the most recorded by any of the American Idol winners.

Results Show Shortened To Half Hour

The Fox network will be shortening the Thursday night results show of American Idol, to half an hour in Season 14. It will be a welcome relief, to American Idol fans, who were tiring of all the filler used in the results show in past seasons. Ryan Seacrest won’t have so much time to stretch out the drama, of who will be going home that night.

Ryan Seacrest has promised that Season 14 will have great talent, but American Idol fans will believe that, when they see and hear the shows.

I personally believe this is the best set of judges since the debut of the show. It will be nice to not hear “Yo dog” and “In it to win it” in Season 14, even though we didn’t hear it in Season 13 either. It is a huge improvement over the train wreck of a judging panel, when Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey took their battle public and overshadowed the contestants, by their constant bickering.

The back stories for  the contestants are what make American Idol so great in my book. Like the blind man, who sang a Spanish song for Jennifer Lopez on last week’s show. He may not be the next American Idol, but he will be one of the highlights of Season 14 for me.

So far this season the focus has been more on the talented singers, and less on the singers who have no talent. We know the judges just see a small percent of the singers, since they have others, that weed out the less than prime-time ready singers.

The Voice may have passed American Idol in the ratings, but American Idol will be the show I watch, till it fades out for the last time.

By this time next year we should know if Season 14 has produced another Caleb Johnson or another Carrie Underwood, or a singer somewhere in the middle of the two singers.

70 Years of Christmas Memories

 

This article could have been titled 62 Years of Christmas Memories, since my first memory of Christmas would be of 1952 Christmas, when we lived close to Louisiana College in PIneville,, Louisiana. My first memory is of the Christmas stockings that were not hung by the chimney with care, since we had no chimney, but they still were hung with care. I will never forget my mom staying up all night, to wrap presents and hang the stockings.

One of my favorite memories was going to S.H. Kress store in Alexandria and trying to make my money stretch enough to buy presents for everyone in the family, which consisted of mom, dad, two brothers and one sister at the time. It was fun wrapping the presents, even though my wrapping skills were rudimentary at best.

Another memory is the Christmas tree lighted up with lights. We bought our trees from the Lion’s Club, where they were sold in front of Huey P. Long Hospital on Main Street.

It was exciting to ride on the Boy’s Scouts float in the Christmas parade, when I was with the Pineville Boys Scouts.

 

I will never forget the miniature church that would be displayed every Christmas in downtown Alexandria. It was misplaced for a few years, but the last I knew it is back on display again .

City Hall lighted up for Christmas in the 1950’s.

This photo was taken from the 2013 Christmas parade in Pineville. I can remember some brutally cold nights, on the night of the Christmas parade over the years. I haven’t been to a Pineville Christmas parade for at least seven years now, but time can’t erase the memories of the ones I have seen.

The Alexandria water tower lighted up for Christmas has been another Christmas tradition for many years. It was easy to find since it could be seen from a distance.

 

Policemen Injured in Christmas Parade Accident

One Alexandria Christmas parade in 70’s had an accident, which I personally witnessed. A reserve sheriff’s deputy was talking to my mom, then said he had to get back to work. A couple of minutes later that same deputy directed a car on a side street onto the street where the parade was almost starting . However, a Alexandria policemen, on a motorcycle on the parade route was hit by the car. The policeman flew up in the air and landed on the car. He was seriously hurt and if I remember right the accident happened before the start of the parade. I will never forget the policeman going airborne, before landing on the car.

 

Annual Christmas Party at Louisiana College

It was a highlight for me every Christmas when the faculty of Louisiana College and their families would have their annual Christmas party.

 

Christmas Eve Services At Pineville Park Baptist Church

I miss the Christmas Eve services at Pineville Park Baptist Church on Christmas Eve. The lighted candles, the music and the words spoken by the pastor made it a special night, that I always looked forward to each year.

 

Christmas Lights in Pineville

It wasn’t Christmas in Pineville, until  the Christmas lights were put up during the Christmas season.

 

Family Altar On Christmas Morning

We always had our family altar, before we opened Christmas presents. My mom would read the devotional that day, from the Home Life magazine.

 

Christmas Bonuses

We would receive our Christmas bonus at the Alexandria Town Talk, for many years till Gannett bought the Town Talk and put a screeching halt to that nonsense. I was working for the Monroe Morning World in Monroe, Louisiana from 1974-1976 and will never forget the $10 Christmas bonus. It really wasn’t a $10 bonus, though since they took tax out of the $10, so the check was for $9 and a few cents left over.

 

Christmas With 8 Degree Weather

I will never forget one Christmas, when it was 8 degrees. The car wouldn’t start, when I tried to start it later that day, so I could go to work. I ended up walking the two miles, to the Town Talk and freezing in the cold wind.

 

Christmas In Hawaii

I spent three Christmases in Hawaii, while stationed at Schofield Barracks,  in 1963, 1964 and 1965, before being sent to Vietnam. I went to a USO show, that had performers singing I’ll Be Home For Christmas. It wasn’t a great song selection, since I didn’t want to be reminded, that I wouldn’t be going home that Christmas.

 

One of my favorite Christmas albums

 

Christmas Music

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the great Christmas music. O Holy Night is one of my favorite Christmas songs, with O Little Town of Bethlehem a close second.

My favorite secular Christmas songs are songs like The Christmas Song,  White Christmas, Blue Christmas, Please Come Home For Christmas and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. 

 

Bob Hope and Connie Stevens appearing in Bob Hope Christmas Show in 1970.

Andy Williams on Christmas Show

Christmas Specials On Television

The Bob Hope Christmas specials were another favorite part of Christmas. I was impressed that he missed many Christmases at home, to entertain American troops around the world. I also enjoyed the Andy Williams Christmas specials each year.

 

Old Time Radio Christmas Programs

I collect old-time radio shows and some of my favorite shows are the Christmas episodes, of shows like Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny and the Great Gildersleeve. One of my all time favorites is A Daddy for Christmas, which was heard on Family Theater.

This is the funniest show I have ever heard on old-time radio. It is the first Fred Allen radio show ever broadcast from 1932 and is now 82 years old. Best part is when a speaker gives a pep talk to the employees of the Mammoth Department Store. Fast forward through the music at the first to get to show. It can be heard on You Tube. You can be glad you weren’t around in 1932, because the music is terrible, but just fast forward through it, especially the lady that is making a futile attempt at singing. It is sad they didn’t have the technology in 1932,  to rid the show of all the horrific singing.

Funniest Christmas Show Ever

The Jack Benny Christmas program is hilarious, and the dialogue between Jack Benny and Mel Blanc shown in photo is priceless. The show is funny from start to finish.

Best Christmas Movie

It’s A Wonderful Life is the best of all the Christmas movies, but that is only my opinion and my opinion with three dollars will buy a gallon of gas, so it is not really worth that much. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are the most recognizable stars in the movie, but Frank Faylen, who portrayed the father of Dobie Gillis, in the show of the same name was a cab driver in the movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV Classics Hard to Find Today

 

Highway Patrol was one of many classic television shows, that are either hard to find or not on television today. The plots of the show were simple, which is unlike some shows today, that take awhile before you even figure out who the bad guy is.

Broderick Crawford 1911-1986

Broderick Crawford was perfectly cast as Chief Dan Mathews in Highway Patrol. Chief Mathews portrayed a no-nonsense cop, who was famous for saying 10-4 on is police phone. The problem today is that it is seldom seen on television today or if it is, then it is relegated to an early morning slot like 4AM. The show to me was better than a lot of detective shows being seen today. The show was on television from 1955-1959.

                                                                                                                    Bob Denver, Tuesday Weld and Dwayne Hickman in a scene from Dobie Gillis.

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963) was one of my favorite shows to watch. It doesn’t seem possible, but Dwayne Hickman who portrayed Dobie is now 80 years old. 51 years have passed, since it was last seen on network television. Actors who appeared on the show and went on to greater fame included Bob Denver, Tuesday Weld, Warren Beatty and William Schallert. Frank Faylen who played Dobie’s father appeared in the Christmas classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life as a cab driver. This is another show that as far as I know can only be found in the early morning hours.

 Life of Riley 1953-1958

William Bendix on The Life of Riley was one of my favorite shows to watch. The show had already been on television a year, before we even bought our first TV set in 1954. Loved watching Bendix portraying Chester A. Riley, who was the polar opposite of Ward Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver and Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best who portrayed next to perfect fathers on television. Riley on the other hand was a stumbling, bumbling oaf, that while he had good intentions had a proclivity for being put in the worst possible predicaments. Riley was known for saying “What a revoltin’ development this is”. Sadly, as far as I know this show cannot be found anywhere,  on television today 56 years after the last show was aired.

Gomer Pyle 1964-1969

Anyone that has served in the military has encountered someone who reminded them of  Gomer Pyle at some point in their career. Jim Nabors, who left the Andy Griffith Show to portray the same character, that he had portrayed in the city of Mayberry, North Carolina. The casting director could have taken years, to cast the role of Sergeant Vince Carter, but they got it right the first time, by hiring Frank Sutton for the role. Sadly Sutton died 40 years ago in Shreveport, Louisiana when he was acting in a dinner theater.  Gomer Pyle used to also be shown in the early morning hours, but the last I knew it is not being shown on television today.

Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray and Lauren Chapin

Father Knows Best 1954-1960

Father Knows Best is the first show I think of when thinking of a typical American family. They had their share of problems, but they were solved by the time the show ended 30 minutes later.  I was in the Veteran’s Hospital in Houston and the Antenna TV channel had Father Knows Best and it was fun to watch the show, and helped take my mind of the cancer surgery I had recently, even if only momentarily. This is only channel that I know of, that shows this show 54 years after the last show aired on network television.

Mannix 1967-1975

Mannix was one of my favorite detective shows on television. Mike Connors who portrayed Mannix is now 89 years old. He made his last television appearance on Two and a Half Men in 2007. I remember the show, as a show that could hold your interest. Gail Fisher portrayed his secretary Peggy Fair and was the only one on the show besides Connors, that appeared in at least 100 episodes.Fisher died 14 years ago tomorrow (December 2). This show is not seen on television today as far as I know.

George Maharis and Martin Milner in Route 66 1960-1964

I recently saw an episode of Route 66 on a streaming service and it reminded me, that I had not seen an episode of the show in the last 50 years, since it left network television 50 years ago. The episode as described at imdb.com:

S1, Ep30
16 Jun. 1961

Incident on a Bridge

Tod and Buz, in Cleveland, Ohio working as laborers on a “three-week job at a gravel yard”, stay at their Russian supervisor’s home. He has a mute daughter who has a miserable life. When a fellow Russian, whom the community has ostracized, shows his love for her tragedy follows. The two ill-fated people meet an uncertain end. Nehemiah Persoff portrays the father of the mute daughter, who is portrayed by Lois Smith. Classic television fans will notice Allan Melvin, who was later Sam the butcher on Brady Bunch and also appeared on episodes of Andy Griffith and Sgt. Bilko shows.
Jack Webb 1920-1982
Dragnet 1951-1959
I never was too enthused about the newer 1967 version of Dragnet, after having seen the original  black and white version from 1951-1959. I like color television, but still don’t mind watching black and white shows, since they let you concentrate more on the show, than the color scenery shown on a color program.
Jack Webb and Ben Alexander shown in scene from Dragnet.
I have always liked the photo of Joe Friday’s partner Frank Smith in the middle of the above photo. He seems to be falling asleep on the job and is grabbing some shuteye, while Friday does all the work and questioning. Dragnet to me was television at its best. These shows are rarely if ever seen today, since the cable networks seem to opt for the color version, with Harry Morgan of M*A*S*H fame portraying Officer Bill Gannon. I am not saying the later version was not a good show, but after you have seen the best, then you don’t care as much about later version.
Note – Anyone that knows where any of these shows can be seen today are welcome, to post that information to the comments section…Thank you. 

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:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001813/bio?ref_=nm_dyk_qt_sm#quotes

Harry Morgan: From December Bride To M*A*SH

Fichier:Harry Morgan Spring Byington December Bride 1958.JPG
Harry Morgan dancing with Spring Byington in an episode of December Bride.

 

Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg on April 10,1915 in Detroit, Michigan. He would later change his last name to Morgan and using Henry as his first name. There was another Henry Morgan at the time heard on radio and seen on television, so he changed his first name back to Harry.

He was a little man, that stood only 5 foot six inches. He made his first appearance in the movies in To the Shores of Tripoli in 1942 at the age of 27.

His first regular television role was in December Bride, in which he was seen in 155 episodes from 1954-1959. He portrayed Pete Porter in the series, who lived next to neighbor Lily Ruskin (portrayed by Spring Byington). His wife was never seen, but was referred to often.

Harry Morgan and Cara Williams in Pete and Gladys

 

He was seen in a spinoff from December Bride with the wife, that was never seen on December Bride. The new show was named Pete and Gladys and he portrayed his Pete Porter character from December Bride and Cara Williams was seen as Gladys Porter. The show ran from 1960-1962, with Morgan being 47 when the show ended. 72 episodes of the show were seen, before it was taken off the air.

His father Henry Bratsberg was a native of Norway while his mother Hannah was a native of Sweden.

Harry Morgan and Jack Webb in a scene from Dragnet.

Morgan would appear as a free-lance actor in movies and television, till when he acted with Jack Webb in Dragnet, as he portrayed Officer Bill Gannon, who was the partner of Jack Webb’s character Joe Friday. He portrayed Officer Bill Gannon as early as 1953 in the original black and white version of Dragnet. He also appeared as Officer Bill Gannon in the color version of Dragnet in 1966. He appeared in 99 episodes.

He would then appear in many different television shows and movies, including eight appearances in the television show Hec Ramsey and four episodes of Gunsmoke.

Morgan joined the cast of M*A*S*H in 1974 in its fourth season and portrayed Colonel Sherman T. Potter in 180 episodes. He also acted in the short-lived series After Mash that was seen from 1983-1984. He also portrayed Colonel Potter in this series in 29 episodes.

He then acted in movies, TV movies and various television series, until he retired in 1999 after 47 years of acting.

Harry Morgan in his later years.

 

Harry Morgan died in his sleep on December 7, 2011, in Los Angeles, California.

He died two and a half years ago, but his memory will live on for years, who have been fans of his work on December Bride, Pete and Gladys, Dragnet and M*A*S*H.

 

 

 

 

 

Mickey Rooney Dies After 92 Years In Show Business

 


Mickey Rooney 1920-2014

Mickey Rooney has died at the age of 93 in his North Hollywood home with his family present, at the time of his death.

He was born Ninian Joseph Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brookyln, New York City, New York. He died on April 6, 2014 in North Hollywood, California.

Rooney was only 17 months when he made his first appearance on stage, with the vaudeville act of his father and mother in 1922. His death ends what probably is the longest career of any entertainer.

His first movie appearance was in the 1926 movie short Not To Be Trusted  the last year of the  silent movies , before talking movies started in 1927. Rooney who would only grow to be 5 foot two inches high never let his height slow him down. on his road to stardom.

His next role was as Mickey McGuire in a series of movie shorts, in which he appeared from 1927-1934.

Then he began to appear in the Andy Hardy movies in 1937, with his appearance in You’re Only Young Once. That would be followed by 13 more Andy Hardy movies, with the last one Love Laughs At Andy Hardy being released in 1944.

26 years after his first movie appearance Rooney would appear on television, for the first time on Celanese Theater in the Saturday’s Children episode.

Later in 1954 Rooney would star in the Mickey Rooney Show in all 33 episodes. He alternated in movie and television. He made his last appearance in a TV movie the Empire State Building Murders in 2008. He was appearing in Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde movie at the time of his death. He had two other movies in pre-production also, so was very busy at his advanced age.

Mickey Rooney was married eight times, with the first marriage being to Ava Gardner in 1942. He married his last wife Jan Chamberlin, in 1978 and they were still married 36 years later at the time of his death. Wikipedia lists his marriages below:

Children 9
Parents Joseph Yule,
Nellie W. (née Carter)
Awards Juvenile Academy Award, Academy Honorary Award, Emmy, 2 Golden Globes
Website
mickeyrooney.com

It is amazing that Rooney has been in show business from 1922 till 2014. He has appeared in movies, in ten consecutive decades.

Just some of the trivia about Rooney at imdb.com:

His parents divorced in 1923 when he was 3 years old.

Was considered for role of Archie Bunker on All In The Family.

He was married longer to his last wife Jan Chamberlin longer, than his other seven wives combined.

Only silent movie actor to still be acting in the 21st century.

During World War II he served 22 months in the U.S. Army, five of them with the Third Army of Gen. George S. Patton. Rooney attained the rank of Sergeant, and won a Bronze Star, among other decorations.

Rooney did not have any kind words for Ernest Borgnine: [on his feud with Ernest Borgnine] All the Oscars in the world can’t buy him dignity, class and talent. I don’t know why he is famous and why he is a star. Talk about a lucky jerk

 

America lost another icon yesterday who has entertained in vaudeville, stage, movies and television. He has left behind a rich legacy of work since his first film in 1926.

Turner Classic Movie cable network is probably at work right now, with a tribute to Mickey Rooney, who epitomizes the golden days of Hollywood. TCM showed many Esther Williams movies, after she passed away and I am positive they will pay tribute to Mickey Rooney by showing many of his Andy Hardy movies and other movies he starred in.

This New York Times obituary gives even more details of the life of Mickey Rooney:

 

 

Dan Blocker: Teacher, Korean War Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient, Actor and Restaurant Franchise Owner

Dan Blocker 1928-1972

 

Dan Blocker may have passed away 42 years ago, but his memory is still alive for viewers of Bonanza, which is still being shown 55 years, after the first episode was shown on NBC in 1959.

Blocker was born as Bobby Don Davis Blocker on December 10, 1928 in De Kalb, Texas. Reports say that Blocker was the heaviest baby, ever born in Bowie County at 14 pounds. Blocker would attend college at Hardin-Simmons and Sul Ross State Teacher’s College. He also played on the football team for both institutions. He graduated from Hardin-Simmons with a degree in English, then earned his master’s degree at Sul Ross in dramatic arts.

Bad things happened whenever Hoss made this face.

He reportedly lifted a car off a man, after a jack had fallen and pinned the man. Blocker served during the Korean War as an infantry sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart for combat wounds.

Blocker taught and acted, while being a history teacher at Sonora High School in Sonora, Texas from 1953-1958. He did appear on Broadway and made his first television appearance Sheriff of Cochise in 1957. He was extremely busy from then till he was chosen as a cast member for Bonanza. The following website will show all of his acting roles on television and in the movies. He appeared in 415 episodes of Bonanza, with only Lorne Greene and Michael Landon appearing in more episodes, with 430 and 426 episodes respectively.

Bonanza was on NBC for 14 years from 1959-1973.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0088779/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

Then he received his big break, when he took his family to California, with plans to earn his Ph.D from UCLA. However, he was spotted in a phone booth, in western garb and was spotted by an agent. He then received the role of Hoss on Bonanza and that was the end of his plans for a Ph.D.

I learned just last week than Dan Blocker had started the Bonanza Steak House business in 1963.

Blocker ballooned to 365 pounds at one point and it is no surprise after seeing what he ate at one breakfast:

Dan Blocker Breakfast

Dozen eggs

Two loaves of bread

Two quarts of milk

So it was no wonder, that Blocker had a serious weight problem.

Dan Blocker was buried at Woodmen Cemetery in De Kalb, Texas.

 

Life came to an end for Dan Blocker on May 13, 1972 in Los Angeles, California. He died of a pulmonary embolism after gall bladder surgery. Dan Blocker was 43 at the time of his death.

Lorne Greene sat with Dan’s wife Dolphia in the Blocker home, after his death and Greene couldn’t stop crying. – The Show Must Go On: How the Deaths of Lead Actors Have Affected Television …by Douglas Snauffer

Summary: Most of us will remember Dan Blocker as Hoss on Bonanza, but he was also an educator, a war veteran who received Purple Heart, for wounds in Korean War. He also started the Bonanza Steak House franchise, that grew to be very successful.

Most of all from all indications Dan Blocker was a good person, who was only trying to earn a living to support his family. Dan Blocker the person may not still be alive 42 years after his death, but his memory will live on for years and years, due to Bonanza being shown to new generations, in the years to come.

 

 

 

 

Shirley Temple Black Dies At 85

 

 

Shirley Temple 1928-2014

 

America has lost another of our greatest entertainers in Shirley Temple Black, who died Monday night, February 11, in her home near San Francisco at the age of 85. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Alden Black, who died in 2005. They had been married 55 years at the time of his death.

It has been said that Shirley Temple was the most famous child actor in the history of the movies. Very few would want to argue that point.

She was born Shirley Jane Temple, on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California.

A young Shirley Temple early in her career.

Her first two appearances on-screen was in two shorts in 1932 and her first credited role in a movie was for Red Haired Alibi released in 1932. She appeared in several more shorts and uncredited roles in movies and her scenes in Mandalay in 1934 were deleted. However, before the end of 1934 she would appear in seven more movies in credited roles. Little Miss Marker and Bright Eyes were just two of those movies released in 1934.

Temple was also heard on old-time radio in 42 programs.

1935 would see four more Shirley Temple movies released including The Little Colonel and Curly Top. She had appeared in 20 movies by the time she was 7 years old.

By the time 1940 was over Temple had appeared in 34 movies and she was only 12 years old. She then started appearing as a teenager in movies later in the 40’s, including Kiss and Tell and  Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer.

Shirley Temple seen in a scene with Cary Grant from Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer.

Surprisingly she made her last movie in 1949 at the age of 21, when she appeared in a Kiss For Corliss Archer.

Nine years would pass before she would appear in her own television series Shirley Temple Storybook from 1958-1961. She would make her second and last television appearance on Red Skelton Show in 1963.

By the time of her death last night she hadn’t made a movie in 65 years and hadn’t appeared on television in 51 years.

 

IMDB.com lists some interesting trivia about Shirley Temple:

She was 5 foot 2.

1935-1938 were the years of her peak popularity. She was box office champion during those years, topping more famous adult actors and actresses like Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.

By 1939 her popularity had declined.

She married actor John Agar at the age of 17 and the marriage lasted from 1945-1950. They were divorced on December 7, 1950.

Shirley Temple Black shown with her husband Charles Alden Black.

Nine days later she would marry Charles Alden Black, to whom she remained married to, for 55 years until his death in 2005 from bone marrow disease at the age of 86.

Ironically her new husband had never seen any of her movies.

She may have been Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, but 20th Century Fox refused to lend her to MGM to make the movie.

Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine were both named after Shirley Temple.

Would serve as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.

Was on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Her new contract from 20th Century Fox in 1936 paid her $50,000 per film.

A cocktail named after her became known as the Shirley Temple cocktail. It consisted of Ginger Ale or 7-Up, Grenadine and orange juice topped with a Maraschino cherry and a slice of lemon. Temple said she didn’t like the drink.

Gary Cooper asked for Shirley Temple’s autograph, when he met her in 1934.

She made an attempt at political office: In 1967 she ran against Paul McCloskey in the Republican primary for California’s 11th Congressional District. McCloskey won with 52,878 votes to her 34,521. One of the newspaper headlines read: “McCloskey Torpedoes Good Ship Lollypop”.

Some of her other political appointment jobs:

U.S. Chief of Protocol

      U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
      Delegate to the United Nations
She acted in the movies while the country was in a depression and has this to say about that:
I class myself with Rin Tin Tin. People in the Depression wanted something to cheer them up, and they fell in love with a dog and a little girl.
Shirley Temple brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people during her 17 year movie career and she went on to serve our country as an ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and as a delegate to the United Nations.
Her acting career may have ended over 50 years ago, but her movies will live on in the hearts, of those who have seen them and will continue to see them, as they are handed down from generation to generation.
I suspect a lot of DVD and VCR players will be playing Shirley Temple movies today and tonight, as we remember the little girl in the movies, who cheered up a country deep in depression so many years ago.
RIP Shirley Temple

For those who want to see a list of all the Shirley Temple movies:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000073/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

 

 

 

 

1968: Columbo and Hawaii Five-O – Detectives With Different Modus Operandi

Peter Falk as Columbo

 

Peter Falk as Frank Columbo usually investigated crimes alone. He drove a beat up looking Peugeot and arrived at crime scenes looking, as if he had just got out of bed and had slept in his overcoat. Columbo had bad hair days every day, since there was never a hair in place.

I have seen a lot of Columbo episodes, but can’t recall him ever pulling a gun on anyone. He makes a general nuisance of himself, while investigating crimes and the prime suspects usually either hate him with a passion, or enjoy trying to outsmart Columbo.

The criminals seem to have committed the perfect crime, but Columbo doesn’t take long to unravel the perfect crime. He uncovers some key piece of evidence or fact, that causes the prime suspect to be on edge, especially when they sense that Columbo is close to solving the crime.

Columbo made an art of exiting a room, only to re-enter the room for one more question. Columbo is a very low-key detective and often mentions that Mrs. Columbo likes the criminal, if she has read a book or seen the prime suspect on television. However, I have yet to see Mrs. Columbo in any episode.

Lieutenant Columbo is not your average detective. He just keeps plugging away until he solves the crime and returns to question the prime suspect repeatedly, which usually infuriates the suspect.

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett

 

Jack Lord who portrays Steve McGarrett is the polar opposite of Columbo. He wears suits that look like they just came off the rack, from the best men’s clothes designers in Hawaii. He is never seen smoking like Columbo and has been known to pull a gun on a criminal if needed.

McGarrett unlike Columbo has a few assistants, while Columbo worked almost alone exclusively. McGarrett is a decisive detective, that wants things done yesterday. He also has to answer to the governor, which Columbo never had to worry about.

Another difference between the two detectives is that McGarrett is captured by the criminals, like the episode in which Wo Fat the master criminal places McGarrett underwater. Today’s episode showed McGarrett and others in his office being the target of a bomb. The bad guy sneaks into the hospital and fires several shots into what he thought was Garrett. However, he is captured by Danny Williams and McGarrett is shown in a closet, after having seeing the criminal pump lead into him a few minutes earlier.

Lord liked Hawaii so much, that he lived there for the rest of his life and suffered with Alzheimer’s disease, before his death.

 

Summary:

Columbo and Hawaii Five-O may have used different modus operandi, but the results at the end of the show were the same, with the culprits headed to prison. Columbo looked disheveled, while McGarrett looked like he walked out of a catalog for men’s clothes. Columbo had a comedy flair to it, while Hawaii Five-O was a no-nonsense no hold barred detective show.

Hawaii Five-O was a fast paced show, while Columbo took his time solving crimes and seemed to be in no hurry to solve the crime.

Both shows started being shown on television 46 years ago, but they are both as much fun, to watch all these years later, as they were when they were first seen.

One thing both shows had in common was they were both entertaining and captured the interest of the viewer from the first scene to the last scene.

 

Classic Television: Hawaii Five-O 1968-1980

Some shows were never meant to be brought back, in later years and Hawaii Five-O is one of those shows. The original Hawaii Five-O show debuted on September 26, 1968.

I can identify with the show, since I was stationed in Hawaii, at Schofield Barracks while serving in the United States Army, from June 1963 to January of 1966. Have watched the first three shows, of Season 1 on Netflix and they have reminded me of how much I enjoyed the show, which aired in parts of three different decades. Hawaii Five-O debuted about two years after I left Hawaii for Vietnam.

Jack Lord 1920-1998

Jack Lord was meant to be Detective Steve McGarrett and fit the part perfectly. His sidekick was James MacArthur who portrayed Dan Williams, on the show and McGarrett calls him Danno and most of us can remember the familiar phrase “Book him Danno”.

I may be prejudiced, but I think the new Hawaii Five-O show airing currently is not close, to being as good as the original show.

Richard Denning  starred on old-time radio as the husband of Lucille Ball’s character in My Favorite Husband and later co-starred on television in Mr. and Mrs. North.

Last week was the first time to see a Hawaii Five-O show in too many years to remember. It didn’t take long to recall why I liked the show so much, because the combination of the story and the Hawaiian scenery captured my interest.

I watched Season 1 Episode 3 Tiger by the Tail which guest starred Sal Mineo and Harold J. Stone. Mineo portrayed a singer who planned his own kidnapping, in order to draw attention and hopefully get more bookings for singing gigs. However, when his father offered to pay the kidnappers, whatever they wanted they made a change of plans. The two kidnappers asked for half a million dollars from his father and when it was evident that they were going to get the money they decided to kill Sal Mineo’s character. That plan didn’t go well, as McGarrett stopped one of the kidnappers from killing him. It was a good story from start to finish.

Today I watched the Season 7 Episode 20 Hawaii Five-O and the title of the episode was And the Horse Jumped Over the Moon, with Ed Flanders and Bruce Boxleitner as the guest stars. I watched it on ME-TV and it can be seen on weekdays at 12:00 PM ET.

The stars of Hawaii Five-O are dead now with Jack Lord dying first in 1998 at the age of 77. Kam Fong who played Chin Ho on the series died next in 2002 at the age of 84, then James MacArthur died in 2010 at the age of 72.

Jack Lord only acted one more time, after Hawaii Five-O ended its run, when he appeared in the TV movie M Station: Hawaii.

His only other starring role on television, was when he starred in Stoney Burke from 1962-1963.

Interesting trivia about Jack Lord from imdb.com:

He was being considered for the role of Captain Kirk on Star Trek, but the producer didn’t approve of him asking to be co-producer and take a percentage of the profits.

His estate donated $40 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Lord had Alzheimer’s disease for two years, before his death from congestive heart failure.

He died in Honolulu, Hawaii on Oahu and his ashes were scattered near his Kahala condominium.

Jack Lord always insisted on using as many Hawaiian actors, as possible and all scenes were shot at Hawaiian locations.

Netflix Junkie For Three Hours A Day

Our DISH satellite was suspended for nine months recently, so are spending only $5 a month on DISH to keep the account open. We get to watch mostly infomercials for the $5, so we signed up for Netflix, which is much less than DISH was before the suspension. In fact one On Demand movie on DISH costs almost as much as the $7.99 a month charge for unlimited watching on Netflix. Not that we planned on watching any On Demand movies.

However, we can only use Netflix from 2AM to 8AM, because that is only time our DISH internet service allows us, to watch videos or listen to any music. So I now wake up at 5AM and watch Netflix till 8AM. I have found myself drawn to some shows more often than others.

The two shows that really stand out for me are The Rockford Files and Columbo. I will list those two shows, plus others that I have made a habit of watching.

The Rockford Files

I have watched 25 episodes of The Rockford Files. Have already seen all of Season 1 and have watched the first episode of Season 2. Netflix has 123 shows available to watch of the show, which was first seen in 1974.

It amazes me how much punishment James Garner as Rockford sustains in the show. He reportedly did his own stunts for the show, so that makes me respect him even more. One of my favorite parts of the show is when the telephone answering machine can be heard, with the caller leaving a very funny message at the opening.

Another highlight for me is the interplay between Dennis Becker a policeman portrayed by Joe Santos and Rockford. Becker is not a happy camper, when Rockford asks for a favor like running down a license number for Rockford. The show for me is a perfect mix of drama and comedy. This show has a lot of chase scenes, where it is usually Rockford trying to shake the bad guys, who are tailing him and he often maneuvers his way through the traffic, to lose the bad guys.

Imdb.com readers rate The Rockford Files 8.0 on a scale of 10.

Columbo

There are 43 episodes available on Netflix and am already into Season 4 with episode 2 next to be seen, for a total 27 episodes seen. Columbo shared its time slot, with some other shows, so that is why there were only 7 or 8 shows made a season. The first episode aired in 1968 and by the time the show left the air in 2003 Peter Falk had gray hair.

Falk was perfectly cast as Columbo. The crime was shown at the first of the show, so this was no mystery. It was more a case of watching Columbo catch the criminals, who always seemed to think they had committed the perfect crime. Columbo may have looked a little scruffy in his rumpled raincoat, but he was a very intelligent detective, who picked up on any clue in short order. It was fun watching the criminals squirm, whenever Columbo came around and they sometimes became very agitated, because of Columbo popping up unannounced so often.

Columbo may have been portrayed as a buffoon, but when it came down to solving a crime he always got his man or woman, depending on who was the guilty culprit, in a particular episode.

Imdb.com readers gave Columbo a 8.1 rating.

Dragnet 1967

I had preferred watching the 50’s version of Dragnet, but the more I watched this later version the more I liked it. So far, have watched 11 episodes of Dragnet and have come, to appreciate the comedic exchanges between Sgt. Friday played by Jack Webb and Officer Bill Gannon, who is portrayed by Harry Morgan. Sometimes you will see a familiar face on this show, as Friday and Gannon make their investigation. Dragnet 67 pulls down a respectable 7.8 rating at imdb.com.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

This show is another one that draws me back to it, since all of the 16 episodes I have seen have been outstanding. It is rated 8.7 by the readers of imdb.com, which is the best rating I have seen so far. It is amusing to see Hitchcock open and close the shows. Be prepared for a surprise turn of events at the end of the episodes. Just when you think you have it figured out Hitchcock throws his viewers a curve.

Alfred Hitchcock has 74 episodes on Netflix and skips Season 1 and I have watched 16 episodes. The show is in black and white, but that only makes the show more realistic for me.

Adam 12

Some have called Adam 12 the most realistic cop show on television. I have seen nine episodes of the show, with 174 episodes available on Netflix. The first show aired in 1968.

The first episode shows Officer Malloy portrayed by Martin Milner showing rookie Reed played by Kent McCord the ropes and the proper way to do things. The ninth episode in Season 1 features a man who is very upset, because someone stole his front lawn.

Adam 12 receives a 7.3 from imdb.com readers.

Twilight Zone

Netflix has only 65 shows available of Twilight Zone which started in 1959 and is rated an amazing 8.9 at imdb.com. I have watched nine episodes so far. One of my favorite episodes is about a man, who is always being told that he can’t read books by his wife and his boss. When a nuclear catastrophe occurs he is the only man left on earth. He happens to find the ruins of a library and sorts out books in piles to read in different months. However, he breaks his glasses and is unable to read any of the books. This is one of the most popular television shows ever.

Magnum PI, McMillan and Wife

Am having problems being interested in either of these shows. Have nothing against Magnum PI, ….just no interest in it. McMillan and Wife is a good show, but not the kind of show I would want to invest an hour and a half into. Matt McMillan portrayed by Rock Hudson is not realistic as a police commissioner. Seems unrealistic to me, that the commissioner of police is fighting thugs in warehouses, while realistically a real life commissioner is not likely to leave his office, except for a news conference.

Have not watched enough of either show to even count.

Law and Order – Criminal Intent

This show starts with Season 6 on Netflix and it runs through Season 10, with 83 episodes available to watch. The episodes have kept my interest so far. Season 11 for some reason is not available on Netflix, even though the show ended its run in 2011. Law and Order – Criminal Intent received a 7.2 rating from imdb.com readers.

Leave It To Beaver

I remember watching Leave It To Beaver at my grandpa’s farm in Missouri in 1959, which was two years after the show debuted in 1957. Interesting sidenote about this show is that Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, who created Leave It To Beaver had been writers for the Amos N’ Andy show earlier in the 50’s.

This show is rated 7.6 by the readers at imdb.com. Netflix has 234 episodes of Leave It To Beaver available for watching. So far have only seen 15 shows, so still have 219 shows left to watch. This show to me is television comedy at its best. It was smart of the producers to make Eddie Haskell a regular in the series after being a guest star. Ken Osmond, who played Eddie later became a Los Angeles policeman and was shot in the line of duty. Jerry Mathers who played the Beaver and Wally Dow and Osmond found little work in movies and television after the show left the air in 1963. It has been 21 years since Osmond has appeared in any production that didn’t have a connection to Leave It To Beaver.

Documentaries

I have watched part or all of several documentaries. Since there are multiple parts to some documentaries have watched a little at a time. Watched Hitler’s Children about children related to Nazi war criminals, who were in Hitler’s inner circle. One relative was shown as he visited Auschwitz many years after the holocaust. He was moved to tears, when a survivor of Auschwitz came up to him and shook hands with him telling him, that he didn’t blame the son for what his father did.

One of my favorites to watch was the 30-30 documentary from ESPN that told the story behind Michael Jordan playing minor league baseball in 1994, because he dad who had been murdered had wanted him to play baseball.

The Ken Burns documentary about World War II is particularly interesting, since I was only alive for the last two years of World War II. The episode I am watching now tells about soldiers from three American towns who joined the Army and about how the war affected the soldiers and those left at home. This is a seven part series, so will be watching this for a long time.

I also watched a documentary about Marilyn Monroe living in New York and another Ken Burns documentary about the history of jazz. Really enjoyed the part about pianist Art Tatum, who was almost blind, but was a piano virtuoso, who added a lot of notes to the basic melody.

Netflix Movies

Netflix also has movies, but I am interested mainly in the television shows and documentaries. I have heard that a lot of good movies never are shown on Netflix. One negative about Netflix is that a movie or television show may be available one day, but then gone the next day. That can be attributed to companies switching to other vendors, after fulfilling their contract with Netflix.

Know the Face, But Can’t Think of the Name – Burt Mustin

Burt Mustin 1884-1977

 

Burton Hill Mustin was born February 8, 1884 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He made his acting debut in 1951 at the age of 67. Most people would have retired by that age, but Mustin would appear in motion pictures and television till the age of 92. In fact Mustin had retired and had moved to Tucson, Arizona. He was discovered by director William Wyler, who saw Mustin appearing in a stage production of Detective Story and his career in movies and television had begun at an age, when most people his age were living off their Social Security checks.

He married in 1915 and they remained married till her death in 1969 and they had no children.

Mustin appeared in his first movie Detective Story in 1951 and would appear in his last role in Phyllis in 1976. He has 178 acting credits in his 25 years in movies and television. He first appeared on television, when he was seen in an episode of the Adventures of Kit Carson in 1951.

Burt Mustin shown portraying Gus the fireman on Leave It To Beaver from ago of 73-77.

 

Leave It To Beaver featured Mustin in 14 episodes in which he played Gus the fireman. He also appeared in 14 episodes of the Andy Griffith Show. Mustin played six parts on the show including Jud Fletcher, the Townsman, Jubal, Sam Benson, Mister Crowley and The Old Geezer.

He appeared on many other shows, but never made more than seven appearances on any of them. His movie career kept him busy, but his name was seldom in the credits, in many of his movies. He made his last movie appearance in Train Ride to Hollywood and he was 91 years old at the time.

Mustin was one of the more prolific character actors in show business, as he was seen several of the top television shows, while he was an actor.  He had the kind of face, that you could remember, but it is unlikely, that most moviegoers and television viewers knew what his real name was.

Life came to an end for Mustin on January 28, 1977 in Glendale, California. He was born 43 years before the first talking motion pictures were made, but lived another 50 years, after talking movies became commonplace.

Burt Mustin’s gravesite is located at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills, California.

 

 

 

Classic Television: Still Being Seen Many Years Later

One of the attractions of Netflix is that you can watch classic television shows on your tablet, computer and digital television.

Netflix includes classic television, among their many television shows of the past and present, being presented on their service. My favorite shows to watch on Netflix are Columbo, The Rockford Files, Adam 12, Leave It To Beaver, Twilight Zone, Andy Griffith and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The best aspect of watching the shows on Netflix is that you don’t have to watch any commercials.

Classic Television Networks

There are some classic television networks on cable television, but satellite providers don’t seem, to be interested in including the networks on their systems. TV Land which is seen on most satellite systems used to feature more classic television shows, than they do now, since they are starting to create their own programming on TV Land.

Antenna Classic Television Services

Last weekend we moved our antenna, to another position and picked up Me TV and Cozi TV, which both feature classic television shows.

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis – September 29, 1959 – June 5, 1963.

Me TV

Me TV has one of the best lineups of classic television shows I have seen. Me TV has been on the air since December 15, 2010 and shows some of the harder to find programs, that are featured on their network, like Dobie Gillis, The Untouchables, the original Hawaii Five O and Ironside, which to me are far better than the current versions seen on network television today.

Route 66 and My Three Sons fans will be glad to know they can still watch these shows today.

This is the complete list of classic television shows on Me TV today:

http://metvnetwork.com/programs.php

Robert Young, Elena Verdugo and James Brolin stars of Marcus Welby MD – September 23, 1969 – July 29, 1976

Cozi TV

Cozi TV features classic television shows like Charlie’s Angels, Lassie, Run For Your Life, Marcus Welby, MD and The Bionic Woman. Cozi TV was launched nationally on January 1, 2013.

This is a three-day listing of shows being shown on Cozi TV:

http://www.titantv.com/programming/channel.aspx/callsign/CoziTV/channel/12/major/12/minor/3/cid/14618/sid/90657/network/COZITV/pt/2/hd/1/lid/6c352f1f-8039-447d-90fc-aa6bade01186/date/20131125/

Burns and Allen Show
October 12, 1950 – September 22, 1958

Antenna TV

I still remember coming home from summer school and watching the Burns and Allen show, during the noon hour, on our local television station KALB -TV, which was located in Alexandria, Louisiana. The show starred the comedy team of George Allen and Gracie Allen. It was fun watching Gracie come up with such great lines, in the comedy scenes. It is great to know the shows can still be watched 63 years later in 2013. This may be one of the oldest shows still being seen today. Antenna TV was launched nationally on January 1, 2011.

To see a list of classic television shows on Antenna TV:

http://antennatv.tv/shows/

 

The Real McCoys – October 3, 1957 – June 23, 1963

Retro TV

Retro TV features show like The Real McCoys, which starred Walter Brennan, as the cantankerous Grandpa Amos McCoy and his grandson Luke who was portrayed, by Richard Crenna who had appeared as Walter Denton in the TV version of Our Miss Brooks.

Other shows featured on Retro TV include Circus Boy, which featured a young Mickey Dolenz, who would later gain fame as a member of the Monkees. Highway to Heaven, Soupy Sales, Mr. Magoo, Naked City and Route 66 also can be seen today on Retro TV. Retro TV was launched nationally in 2005.

Shows that can be seen on Retro TV:

http://www.myretrotv.com/shows.html

 

If you live sort of close to a bigger city, then you can probably pick up one or more of these channels on an outside antenna, or maybe even a stronger inside antenna.

Watching these shows from my childhood in the 50’s and 60’s brings back memories, of a  simpler time when you could watch television, without all the double entendres and violence found on network television today.  So if you are longing for the good old days of classic television, then a simple turn of your antenna may bring back the shows of your youth.

Classic Television: The Rockford Files

1974-1980

The Rockford Files was first seen on national network television on September 13, 1974 and the last show aired on January 10, 1980.

James Garner was born in Norman, Oklahoma on April 27, 1928 and is now 85 years old.

Garner had only been appearing in movies and on television, for only one year when he captured one of the lead roles in Maverick as Bret Maverick in 1957.

Maverick was shown for the last time in 1962 and his next starring role is in the television series Nichols, which ran from 1971-1972.

The Rockford Files began its run on NBC television in 1974 and Garner appeared in all 122 episodes of the show.

I hadn’t seen a Rockford Files episode for many years, until this last week when I watched some of the very first episodes of the show.

Garner was seen in some short-lived series like Bret Maverick, 18 episodes, Man of the People, 10 episodes, Chicago Hope, 4 episodes, God, the Devil and Bob, 13 episodes and First Monday, 13 episodes.

He would return in 45 episodes of 8 Simple Rules, which was 14 more episodes, than John Ritter had appeared in, before his untimely death. 8 Simple Rules ended its run on network television in 2006 and it was Garner’s last appearance on a regular television show, although his voice has been used for some short videos.

The last movie appearance for Garner was in 2006, when he appeared in The Ultimate Gift, which didn’t fare well at the box office making only $3.4 million in about 9 weeks of being shown in theaters.

Rockford Files was ranked  39th in the list of the 50 All-Time Greatest TV Shows by TV Guide in 2002.

The Museum of Broadcasting has an interesting article, which states that The Rockford Files was one of the best private eye shows of the 1970’s.

http://www.museum.tv/eotv/rockfordfile.htm

James Garner as seen on Maverick television series.

Jim Rockford was portrayed by James Garner and his father “Rocky” Rockford was played by Noah Beery, Jr. who had already been acting in movies and television for 54 years, when The  Rockford Files debuted on the NBC television network.

Noah Beery, Jr. who portrayed “Rocky” on the Rockford Files.

It is fun watching Jim Rockford tell his clients he demands $200 a day for his detective services, but then taking less in some cases.

The best thing about The Rockford Files is that it commands your attention, from start to finish and the casting director does an excellent job of casting the roles.

Anyone who receives Netflix can watch this series, at their leisure and most private eye fans won’t be disappointed, after giving the show a test spin, if they have never seen it before.

Classic Television – Adam 12

Kent McCord as Officer Jim Reed and Martin Milner as Officer Pete Malloy on Adam 12.

Saw my first Adam 12 show in many years yesterday and it reminded me, of how much I enjoyed watching the shows.

The first episode of the Adam 12 aired on September 21, 1967 and the last show was telecast on May 20, 1975.

I saw the Season 1 Episode 1 show yesterday and Officer Malloy was going to retire, after working the shift and was none too happy, about having to work with a rookie on his last day. However, by the end of the shift Officer Malloy had a change of heart and decided to stay on with the force, to keep Officer Reed killing himself.

Jack Webb and Ozzie Nelson directed two of the episodes in the series, while Harry Morgan and David Nelson directed one show each.

The show features many familiar actors, such as singer Trini Lopez, American Bandstand host Dick Clark, Donna Douglas of Beverly Hillbillies fame and too many others to list them all, so will just link to the complete cast list for the entire run of the show:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062539/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

The show ran for seven seasons and 174 episodes were filmed.

One goof in the show was that the dispatcher at the police station tells them to report to investigate a crime, so they drive off with no address given.

Martin Milner

 

Martin Milner was born December 28, 1931 in Detroit Michigan. He made his first movie appearance at the age of 16 in Life With Father in 1947.

Milner appeared in six episodes of Dragnet from 1952-1955. He appeared in four episodes of Life of Riley from 1953-1957.

His big break came when he was hired to play Tod Stiles in all 116 episodes of Route 66 from 1960-1964. Four years later he was chosen for the role of Officer Pete Malloy in Adam 12 and appeared in every episode from 1967-1975.

He never acted in another movie, but did a lot of free-lance work in television, with his final appearance being in 1997 in an episode of Diagnosis Murder. Milner will be 82 next month.

Kent McCord

 

Kent McCord was born as Kent Franklin McWhirter on September 26, 1942 in Los Angeles, California. He met Ricky Nelson at a football game and their friendship resulted in him getting a part in the Ozzie and Harriet television series. He appeared in 40 episodes of Ozzie and Harriet, partly due to the fact that he was a bodyguard for Ricky Nelson.

His big break came in 1967, when he was chosen to co-star in Adam 12 with Martin Milner.

McCord’s movie career did not start off too well with eight uncredited roles to start his career, including four Elvis Presley movies.

All eight movies were filmed in 1964 and 1965. He was still going by the name Kent McWhirter, when he appeared in the Ozzie and Harriet show.

He had changed his last name to McCord by the time he appeared in eight episodes of Dragnet 67′ in 1967 and 1968.

His career in television and movies ended in 2005, after he made his last appearance in a TV movie Tides of War.

McCord is currently 71 years old.

Kent McCord seen four years ago at the age of 67.

 

Martin Milner seen three years ago at the age of 79.

I had forgotten just how good of a show, that Adam 12 was but it only took watching one episode to remind me.

The Fonz Will Be 68 This Week

Henry Winkler shown in his most famous role as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on Happy Days which aired on television from 1974-1984.

 

Henry Winkler was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York on October 30, 1945 and will be celebrating his 68th birthday tomorrow.

His parents who were Jewish emigrated from Germany in 1939, escaping from the Nazi regime. His childhood was not an easy one for Winkler, since his parents were critical of his difficulties in school. His father spoke 11 languages, so had little patience with a son struggling with his studies. Winkler said he was punished for his learning problems in school.

Winkler graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 1970, with a Master of Fine Arts Degree. It would be four years later, before he landed some television roles and also appeared in 30 commercials.

He appeared in an episode of Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and Rhoda in 1974. He also appeared in two movies released in 1974, which were Crazy Joe and Lords of Flatbush.

His big break came later that year, when he was cast as Fonzie in Happy Days. Winkler was cast as a high school dropout, even though he was 29 years old at the time. In retrospect looking back it seems strange that a 29-year-old man would be hanging around with teenagers in high school.

My own experiences in high school told me that the popular kids in high school like Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham did not hang out with someone like Fonzie, who was from the other side of the tracks.

Still, the show caught on with viewers and Fonzie was treated like family by the Cunninghams. One of my favorite scenes was when Fonzie and the guys were on a camping trip and the birds and animals in the woods were making an awful racket and Fonzie said “cool it” or something to that effect and the woods became so quiet you couldn’t hear a sound.

Fonzie was also adept at making balky coke machines work, by hitting them a certain way and the cold drink would come out. ABC television network at first was reluctant to let Fonzie be shown in the early episodes, in fear that he would be known as a hoodlum. His character became so popular, that he was being featured more often in the episodes.

Ratings shot up for the show after Fonzie became a central character in the show. The best thing about Winkler is that he never let his popularity go to his head and was kind to his fans.

Winkler was married in 1978 to Stacy Weitzman and they have now been married for 35 years.

He is the cousin of actor/comedian/writer Richard Belzer and you can see the resemblance in their facial features.

An interesting bit of trivia is that he rode the same motorcycle in Happy Days, that Steve McQueen rode in the Great Escape film.

Even though Fonzie was seen with a motorcycle on Happy Days he never rode one on the show and in fact fell off the motorcycle, when he attempted to ride it off camera.

Winkler also authored 12 novels and they were about his struggles with dyslexia as a child, which he didn’t learn he had till he became an adult.

He portrayed Fonzie in five different series, including Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, The Fonz and Happy Days Gang and Joanie Loves Chachi.

Winkler doesn’t have any kind words about actor Tom Hanks. He was fired from the movie and said he got along better with Hooch in the movie Turner and Hooch, than he did with Hanks.

His production company Winkler-Rich Productions produced the television show MacGyver. He did act in the movie Waterboy playing a high school football coach in the Adam Sandler movie.

 

A more recent photo of Henry Winkler.

Winkler is currently appearing in the comedy-drama Royal Pains on the USA Network. He is also filming a new television series Hank Zipzer, which should be seen on the small screen in 2014, with Winkler being the lead actor in the series.

By the time Happy Days left the air in 1984 Winkler was 39 years old and still playing a high school dropout of a much younger age.

It is good to know that Winkler went from an unhappy childhood, because of learning problems, to receiving a bachelors, masters and doctors degree.

Happy 68th birthday Fonzie!!!

 

 

Classic Television – Columbo

A young Peter Falk shown with Katherine Justice in the first episode of Columbo.

 

My wife and me watched the very first episode of Columbo named Prescription Murder this morning. Peter Falk was 41 at the time in 1968. It would be three years later in 1971, before it became a regular series. By the time the last episode was filmed in 2003 Falk was 76 years old.

Gene Barry guest starred in the first show as a doctor, who conspired with his girlfriend to murder his wife. He thought he had pulled off the perfect crime, but Columbo’s dogged persistence in finding out that Barry’s character Dr. Ray Flemming was the killer paid off.

The first episode was shown in 1968 as a pilot episode. Then another pilot episode was shown in March of 1971, before Columbo became a regular series in September of 1971.

Only 68 episodes were shown of Columbo in its 35 year history. Columbo was never a weekly show, which may have worked in its favor, since it was a special event anytime an episode was shown.

A much older Peter Falk in the last episode of Columbo shown in 2003.

Bing Crosby was originally chosen to play the part of Columbo, but he said filming would interfere with his playing golf, so he turned it down. It was a good thing he turned it down, since Falk was perfect for the role.

Columbo was strictly known by his last name and his first name Frank was never spoken in the 35 year history of the show.

My favorite catch phrase from Columbo was his famous “Just one more thing” line he would say, when questioning a witness or suspect.

There is a long list of well-known actors and actresses who guest starred in Columbo. Some of those names are William Shatner, Ray Milland, Leslie Nielsen, Janet Leigh, Faye Dunaway, Vincent Price and Valerie Harper.

Wikipedia lists all the episodes of Columbo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Columbo_episodes#Season_1

The Little Couple Returns Tonight

Jen Arnold, William and Bill Klein star on The Little Couple starting a new season tonight on the TLC television network.

The Little Couple returns to the TLC television network tonight at 10 PM ET. Bill Klein and his wife Jen Arnold had tried having a child, but after many setbacks decided to try having a surrogate mother deliver a child. When the surrogate mother miscarried they decided to adopt.

Their search for a child to adopt resulted in them adopting a Chinese boy, that they named William. He has dwarfism like his new parents, so he will be raised by understanding parents, that know firsthand what William will be facing in his life.

Tonight’s episode of the reality show reportedly will show them bringing William back to the United States, after picking him up in China.

After a long 28 hour flight from China the Little Couple finally return to United States with their son William, as they return to Houston.

This is one of the most heartwarming shows on television today. It is so opposite of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, one of the worst shows on television. It is difficult to believe that the two shows are even being shown on the same network.

Bill Klein and Jen Arnold have not found life easy, but they have shown, that they can overcome the sorrow of never having their own child by normal means.

There is a possibility that William will have a little sister, before this set of episodes ends, since they have requested a daughter from the adoption agency, that they are dealing with.

Like most reality shows The Little Couple is not 100 percent realistic, since it would be chaos if cameras just followed them long enough to get 22 minutes of material for an episode and then used that film. However, it is much more closer to being real than some reality shows, which are so fake that it is evident.

It is less than 12 hours till the show returns on TLC. Let the countdown begin.

The Little Couple will be showing their 100th episode tonight. The show premiered on May 26, 2009.

Classic Television: The Untouchables 1959-1963

Robert Stack as Eliot Ness 1919-2003

The Untouchables first appeared on television in 1959 on the ABC television network and aired its last show in 1963. The show was set in the 1930’s during the prohibition era. Robert Stack portrayed investigator Eliot Ness, who was a real life investigator in Chicago during the 30’s.

The real Eliot Ness 1903-1957

 

Eliot Ness faced off with some of the best known criminals of the Prohibition era in Chicago and Robert Stack did an excellent job of portraying the lawman on The Untouchables television series.

The show was produced by Desilu Productions and Desi Arnaz was one of the executive producers of the show. The Untouchables ended its run on television 50 years ago, but is not seen on television today, that I am aware of. It was one of the most violent shows on television during its run. It also drew criticism from the Italian community, who thought the show was portraying Italians in a negative light. Frank Sinatra was one of those, who was highly critical of the show.

Arnaz came close to being killed by a hitman, which is mentioned in this paragraph from imdb.com:

 

According to testimony from Jimmy ‘The Weasel’ Fratianno, a Mafia boss turned FBI informant, the Chicago family of the Mafia ordered the assassination of the show’s producer Desi Arnaz because they didn’t like, (a) the fact that the success of the show was focusing attention on the Mafia, and (b) the show’s portrayal of Italians. Fratianno said that two hitmen hid themselves near Arnaz’s house one night waiting for him to show up, but he never did. Shortly afterwards the assassination order was rescinded when it was realized that Arnaz’s murder would cause the Mafia more trouble than it was worth.   

The role of Eliot Ness was turned down by movie actors Van Johnson and Van Heflin. Cliff Robertson, Fred MacMurray (My Three Sons) and Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O) tried out for the part.

Walter Winchell narrated the show for $25,000 in the 119 episodes, which totaled $2,975,000 million over the life of the series.

Bruce Gordon 1916-2011

Bruce Gordon appeared as gangster Frank Nitti in 28 episodes of the series. Other well known actors who appeared in other episodes included Robert Redford, Frank Sutton, better known as Sgt. Carter on the Gomer Pyle television series, Edward Asner of Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant fame, Telly Savalas who would later star in Kojak and Peter Falk later to be seen in Columbo.

YouTube has some full episodes available for viewing. However viewers should be warned that some scenes are extremely violent and that these shows are not recommended for children.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=YouTube+The+Untouchables+Full+Episodes&qpvt=YouTube+The+Untouchables+Full+Episodes&FORM=VDRE

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Television: Perry Mason

Raymond Burr 1917-1993

Raymond Burr was primarily known for Perry Mason and Ironside television series. The Canadian actor originally tried out for the job of Hamilton Burger, who was the district attorney for Los Angeles, but ended up playing the lead role of Perry Mason.

Burr had portrayed a criminal in the Alfred Hitchcock class Rear Window in 1954, as he was the mysterious neighbor that Jimmy Stewart’s character watched from his wheelchair by the window of his apartment.

The radio version was broadcast from 1948-1955. Radiogoldindex.com lists 246 episodes in the radio version. Perry Mason became a television series two years later in 1957 and it was on television till 1966. It was interesting how the stories developed, then the show would end in a courtroom, as Mason would almost always win his cases.

Some interesting Perry Mason trivia from imdb.com:

When Burr was unable to act because of illness actors like Mike Connors, Bette Davis and Hugh O’Brian would replace him.

Only one episode was filmed in color, with the rest being filmed in black and white.

Erle Stanley Gardner, the author of the Perry Mason series appeared in the final episode as a judge.

1957 Ford Skyliner

 

Mason drove a 1957 Ford Skyliner during the first season. He also drove GM cars during the first season driving a Cadillac, when he wasn’t driving the Skyliner. Some of the other characters also switched from Ford to GM cars, in different episodes.

All 271 episodes were titled “The Case of………, depending on the title of that episode.

Juries were seldom used in the episodes, so most of the courtroom scenes were from preliminary hearings, in order to save hiring 12 extras as jurors.

This morning I watched the episode named “The Case of the Melancholy Marksman” on the Hallmark Movie Channel and it was like old times watching Perry Mason in action.

It reminded me of television at its best, as I got caught up in the story and it kept my interest till the final courtroom scene was over.

Burr would go on to star on Ironside from 1967-1975, then in 1985 would appear as Mason in Perry Mason TV movies till 1993, the same year he died.

Perry Mason can be seen at various times on the Hallmark Movie Channel.

 

Lizard Lick Towing’s Ron and Amy Shirley Worth Combined $5 Million

Ron and Amy Shirley who star in Lizard Lick Towing reality show on TruTV.

Ron and Amy Shirley know that each renewal of Lizard Lick Towing means they can deposit huge amounts of money in their bank account.

They are both worth a total of $5 million, with Celebrity Net Worth showing they both have net worths of $2.5 million each.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/business-executives/ron-shirley-net-worth/

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/business-executives/amy-shirley-net-worth/

One of the articles says that the Shirleys recreate some of the their encounters, when repossessing cars, so that tells me they are using actors in the wild scenes seen on the show. I don’t mind that the show is fake, as long as the producers don’t try to fool the fans, into thinking that the action scenes are real.

Bobby Brantley in his cool shades.

Bobby Brantley once stated that some of the scenes were staged. The last I knew Bobby Brantley was married to his fourth wife Anita, so it surprised me that the show had a storyline, that showed Bobby dating a local girl on the show, which infuriated Amy, since Amy had a long and bad history with the girl. Anyone that knows if Bobby is still married is welcome to comment.

It doesn’t really matter to me that it is fake, since it is an entertaining show. I have seen scenes where Ron and Bobby have been shot at during a repossession. A person being shot at in real life would have called the police, but even with all the fights at repossession sites and in the office police are seldom called.

They are inviting trouble in the office leaving stuff that can be thrown around. That office lobby should not have anything that is not nailed down, since if it is not then it will be destroyed.

Ron and Amy Shirley may not be earning Kardashian type money, for their reality show but most of us wouldn’t mind having $5 million in our bank accounts

It is another reason that Ron and Amy are probably on pins and needles, till they get their renewal notices for the next season.

Wikipedia says that Ron and Amy were going to be in Wife Swap. Just thinking about them being on the show makes me laugh. However it didn’t pan out, but it may have turned out for the best as Lizard Lick Towing was first seen on All Worked Up, before TruTV offered a deal to Ron and Amy, to have their own show and they hopped on the money train that would make them both millionaires.

I assume there will be new shows, if it is renewed next summer or fall.

The main thing is that Lizard Lick Towing is a fun show to watch, whether it is fake or not.

 

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Undercover Boss of O’Neil Clothing Offered Weed, Checkers Boss Closes Store On the Spot

Jesus, an employee at O’Neill makes a bad impression on Undercover Boss Toby Bost of O’Neill Clothing by telling him he knows where to get some good weed and asks the boss if he ever thought about opening a pot dispensary.

Toby Bost the CEO of O’Neills Clothing was shocked when he encountered an employee named Jesus in one of his stores. Jesus didn’t win any points by saying the clothes were clothes a five-year old would wear. He won even fewer points by telling his boss, who was disguised as Frederick that he knew where to score some weed. Jesus even went so far as to ask Frederick if he ever thought about opening a pot dispensary. He also revealed he took drugs before going to work to make it through the workday. Bost said in a film snippet that he was worried that Jesus might offer other employees or customers some weed. Surprisingly he didn’t fire him on the spot, but I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had.

Toby Bost left, is shown by employee Jorge how to make a T-shirt at the print shop.

 

Bost then meets the polar opposite of Jesus at the print shop. Jorge loves his job and is patient with Frederick as he shows him to make T-shirts. However, Jorge has a sad back story as he talks to Frederick on a break. He asks Frederick if his children are healthy, then tells about his child having a rare disease and telling about how the child is being fed by a tube.

Won’t go into details about the other employees he encounters, since these were the two most interesting employees to me.

Jesus, Jorge and the other employees featured on the program are sent to meet with someone about how Frederick did on the job. They are really there to meet Toby Bost the CEO of O’Neill Clothing, who reveals his true identity to them. It was not a fun meeting for Jesus, as Bost tells him how disappointed he was in his behavior at the store and mentioned that about the weed and pot dispensary. Jesus asks if he is fired, but Bost says he is not fired but will have to undergo a training program to learn how to treat customers and fellow workers with respect. Jesus thanks Bost for the second chance and at the end of the show it is mentioned that he may even stop smoking.

The meeting with Jorge went much better as Bost thanked him for his company loyalty and then offered a large sum of money to help with the medical expenses of Jorge’s sick child. This is when the show really connects with the audience, when you see someone who did their job the right way be rewarded.

 

 

Rick Silva CEO of Checkers and Rallys fast food restaurants appeared as Alex Garcia, who had a pharmacy go out of business in Philadlelphia. trying to find work in the fast food business.

Rick Silva the CEO of Checkers and Rallys  fast food restaurants went undercover as Alex Garcia in an episode of Undercover Boss. He learned that almost none of the staff had been trained for their jobs. He took particular interest in a worker named Todd who worked hard, but was constantly being hounded by the general manager. Todd needed the job to help support his mom and was trying to go to culinary school to be a chef.

The behavior of the general manager upset Alex enough to talk to him in the parking lot, about how he treated his employees. The general manager named Stevens said he had to yell at them, for them to pay any attention to him. Alex finds out during the conversation that Stevens was thrust into the general manager’s position after completing only three weeks of the six weeks training course. He reveals to Stevens that he is the CEO of Checkers, so he lost his secret identity as Alex to correct the situation.

Alex then apologized to Stevens for not providing more training before he was promoted to the general manager position. Alex tells Stevens that he is closing down the store immediately. He then reassures the employees that they still have their jobs and apologizes to them for not making sure they had been trained properly. He then tells the employees that he is going to have several general managers in the store next day, to train the employees and to get the restaurant back on track.

When Todd goes to meet the boss after Alex has returned to being Rick Silva again he is not shocked since he already knew Alex was really Rick the CEO. Silva tells Todd how much he appreciated him as a worker then tells him he is giving him $15,000 to go to culinary school and to help his mother.

 

These two episodes of Undercover Boss made me realize how good this show is. It shows how CEO’s don’t have a clue, as to what is happening at their stores and how inept they are at doing the work of the employees. It also shows how CEO’s can be compassionate, when they learn about their employees struggling to pay their bills.

This show is reality television at its best. There is more real emotion in the last 15 or 20 minutes of this show, when the CEO’s reveal themselves and help their workers financially, than most reality shows have in an hour.

This article tells more about the Checkers episode and has photos of the show:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104085/Rallys-Checkers-CEO-Rick-Silva-shuts-restaurant-Undercover-Boss-episode.html

 

 

Jodi Arias: What A Tangled Web We Weave…….

A smiling Jodi Arias is pictured in her mug shot.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17. Scottish author & novelist  (1771 – 1832)  

Jodi Arias apparently never heard of Sir Walter Scott’s famous quotation above, because she has woven such a web of lies and deceit, that not even she can remember them all. Few criminals are smug enough to be shown smiling in their mug shots, but it is par for the course for Arias, who left a trail of lies behind after murdering Travis Alexander.

The salacious audio recordings of her and her ex-boyfriend talking about sex are a prime example of how the media has changed and how cable news networks are getting away, with foisting this stuff on the American public. The major networks would have been heavily fined for presenting the lurid details of their sexual encounters in such graphic terms.

The defense and prosecutor even played some of the same recordings, in their prosecution of and defense of Arias.

Arias Claiming Self Defense

It is ludicrous that Arias is trying to save herself from going to death row, by using the self-defense claim. It seems preposterous that she would claim self-defense, when Alexander was shot and stabbed 27 times. If it was self-defense then why would she stab him 27 times? Rage had a lot more to do with his death, than self-defense since stabbing him that many times shows that Arias  was not content with him being almost positively dead. She could have fled the house sooner if it was really self-defense, since Alexander was not in any shape to endanger her life.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez battled  with Arias for many days, while she was on the stand. She showed time and time again, that she was not capable of answering a simple yes or no question. She often pointed out any mistakes Martinez made. Martinez would ask a question and Arias would go off on a tangent that had nothing to do with his question. So he had to repeatedly ask the same questions over and over again. I doubt Martinez has ever encountered a more reluctant witness than Arias.

Martinez went into details of how Arias had lied to the detectives and showed the 48 Hours interview, which clearly showed her making up lies as she went along.

The defense allowing  Arias to testify was a formula for disaster and Thursday we saw just how a big mistake it was for her to testify. Once Martinez started questioning Arias about the day of the murder we saw her smirk disappear, because she was now being cornered into admitting more, than she wanted to admit on the stand.

Were Tears Fake?

We will never know if her tears yesterday were real or only more of her act. I think she sent herself to death row yesterday by her testimony. Martinez pointed out how well she was remembering other events on the day of the murder, but her mind was in a complete fog, when it came to remembering murdering Alexander.

Martinez mentioned earlier while questioning Aria that she had attempted to commit suicide, but couldn’t stand he pain of cutting her wrist, so Martinez asked her “If you thought that nick was painful, then imagine what pain Alexander had felt when she plunged a knife into his heart. That question rid the smirk off the face of Arias.

The key point about her mind being in a fog to me is that how can anyone stab someone 27 times and not even remember it? Her mind was not in a fog and she knew exactly what she was doing.

It was a mistake on the part of the defense to let Arias testify and she may have signed her own death warrant yesterday, with her testimony of being in a fog that day, while Martinez pointed out many discrepancies in her testimony, that showed that she was not even close to being in a fog.

My concern is that she may have been on the stand so long, that a juror may have begun to feel sorry for her and that is the only hope for Arias now to have a hung jury. I would be in complete shock if a not guilty verdict is rendered, but not so surprised to have a hung jury. Let us hope that doesn’t happen, because I don’t know if the nation would want to go through this trial for a second time.

Tried to Cover Her Tracks

Arias tried to cover her tracks by leaving voice mails, texts and email, addressed to Alexander while knowing good and well she had already killed him.

The communications pictured her as a concerned friend, who wanted to see how he had been doing and acting as if she knew nothing about his death.

There reportedly will be no trial today and court will re-convene on Monday.

We can only hope for a rapid end to this trial. Arias has to know that she should have taken the advice of Sir Walter Scott, instead of weaving a web of lies and deceit that could lead to her execution. The following poll asks the question, that if you were a juror, with your knowledge of the trial as of today, which verdict you would render…Guilty or not guilty.

Joe Schmo: Full Bounty Hunter Fake Reality Show Is Really Fake

Only one person in this photo knows this is a fake reality show. That person is Chase Rogan, who is standing to the right of the man in jacket at forefront.

It is becoming more and more evident that all reality shows are fake, to create the maximum drama from any situation. The Joe Schmo Show has a cast of characters, who know the show is fake, but Chase Rogan, who is the  Joe Schmo this season doesn’t have a clue, that he is being duped by the entire cast.

There was a close call when a girl who was supposed to be deaf answered, when Chase asked her question, which could have brought the show crashing down to earth. Then another time another girl on the show said she graduated from college at 14 and graduated from med school at 18, which sent up red flags to Chase.

The premise of the show is that the winner at the end of the season will  become a bounty hunter and win $100,000. Chase is the perfect foil for the show, as he  seems to fall for the prank hook line and sinker.

Chase has to wonder why he keeps winning immunity challenges and wears the immunity jacket to the eviction ceremonies. Of course, he is in no danger of actually being voted off the show, since they have no show without him in it. The worst case scenario would be for Chase to overhear something that tells him he is being set up.

The show creates awkward situations for Chase, like when one of the characters reveals to him that he is gay. Then two girls come up to Chase telling him that they are both crazy about the gay guy. Chase then tries to hint that the gay guy is not really interested in girls, without telling them that he knows the secret, since he promised to keep it secret.

One challenge is when Chase is asked to drive the van to a house with bounty jumpers inside. Jake Montrose who is pretending to own the bounty hunter company gives Chase a walkie-talkie, then enters the house alone. Ralph then calls Chase and Chase jumps out of the truck and over the porch and runs into the house. Jake hands him a gun to hold on the lady inside the house, while Jake runs to capture the other bounty jumper.

We have watched the first four episodes with six episodes remaining. We can only assume that the show will last all ten weeks, since it was filmed in July, but anything can happen.

Hope Chase doesn’t do like one of the past winners of the show and be very angry at being duped.

The best thing about this show is that you know that this show is 100 percent fake and doesn’t try to hide it. I know I may be in the minority, but I actually like this show.

The show can be seen on Tuesdays at 10 PM Eastern Time, which is 9PM Central Time on the Spike Network.

To read more about the show and see the funny video clips:

http://www.spike.com/shows/the-joe-schmo-show

Michael J. Pollard: Face You Never Forget

Michael J. Pollard may not be a household name, but anyone that ever saw him in a film or television show instantly will recognize his face.

He always reminded me of a kid that had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and his face said that he knew no excuse to extricate himself from the situation.

Pollard was born Michael John Pollack Jr. in Passaic New Jersey on May 30, 1939.  He has been acting since 1959 and is still active 53 years later in 2012.

He was married to Beth Howland, who television fans will remember her playing Vera on the Alice situation comedy. They were married from 1961-1969.

Since Pollard was only 5′ 6″ he had to play youthful roles into his 20’s.

One of the most hilarious shows I have seen him in is the April 30,1962 episode of Andy Griffith, when he played Barney Fife’s cousin Virgil who could do nothing right. He was 22 when this episode was filmed.

For more information on that episode:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0512464/

Fate intervened when he was cast as Jerome Krebs the weird cousin of Maynard G. Krebs on the Dobie Gillis Show, portrayed by Bob Denver, when Denver was going to be drafted in the Army. However, Denver soon returned when he was classified 4-F, which resulted in the dismissal of Pollard from the series.

Once again fate handed Pollard more bad news, when after starring as Hugo Peabody in the Broadway version of Bye Bye Birdie the role was given to Bobby Rydell, when the role was changed to require a singer.

Pollard played a 14-year-old despite being 27 in a Star Trek episode, when he played Jahn in the “Miri” episode.

He played C.J. Moss in the Bonnie and Clyde film in 1967 and would receive an Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Three years later he starred in Little Fauss and Big Halsey with Robert Redford. Another memorable role was when he played the homeless man who thought Bill Murray was Richard Burton in the 1988 film Scrooged.

Michael J. Pollard Picture

This more recent photo of Pollard shows he is the same Michael J. Pollard, just a little older. He is still very busy at 73 having released Sunburnt Angels in 2011, completed The Woods this year and is filming The Next Cassavetes presently.

Even though Pollard is not that well-known, actor Michael J. Fox inserted the J in the middle of his name out of respect to Michael J. Pollard.

He made his first television appearance in 1959 appearing in the DuPont Show of the Month in the “Human Comedy” episode. He made his film debut the same year in It Happened To Jane but was uncredited.

This list compiled by the Internet Movie Database shows that Pollard has been a prolific actor for many years and his resume will bring back memories of the television shows we grew up with and a few of the movies we remember seeing him in.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0689488/

Pollard will probably always be known as the man, who has a familiar face but very few will be able to remember his name.

Big Brother 14: Latest News Inside The House

DON’T READ IF YOU WANT TO WAIT FOR SHOWS TO AIR ON CBS!! THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT WILL BE SEEN ON UPCOMING SHOWS!!

Kara Monaco

Kara Monaco a former Playboy playmate has found out that game strategy trumps fame in the Big Brother house, as she and Frank Eudy, son of wrestler Sid Vicious find themselves on the block. The one who put them on the block is HOH Willie Hantz, the brother of former Survivor contestant Russell Hantz.

It looked like on the Sunday show that Willie and Frank had formed an alliance and agreed to not put each other up, but when the nomination ceremony was held Willie went back on his word and nominated Frank.

Even the HOH is subject this season to second guessing from the other players and the coach of their team. Willie apparently wanting to keep on the good side of his coach and fellow alliance members chose to put Frank up for eviction, even though he was going against his own inclination to not nominate Frank.

This could mean problems for Willie down the road, especially if Frank wins an HOH competition. The problem this year is that the coaches are constantly suggesting to HOH’s, that they need to make certain moves.

Mike Boogie and Dan Gheesling were shown on Sunday’s show making an alliance and Janelle Pierzina and Britney Haynes were also seen teaming up against the Mike and Boogie. However since then Britney has made some disparaging remarks about Janelle, saying that Janelle has never cried in the Big Brother house and she has a kid. There will be some fireworks if Janelle learns of this development and will make it more difficult to work together as the game goes on. When one coach trashes the other, that is supposedly in an alliance with the other coach, then we can expect confrontations between the two of them.

http://dogdave.com/bb.html is the best source for Big Brother news between the CBS shows. There are several links to pages that give details, of what is going on between shows and on the shows. The top of the page for today at least shows photos, of all the team members of the four teams.

One of my favorites is http://www.mortystv.com/big_brother.shtml which gives detailed descriptions of what is done and said during the day at the Big Brother House.  Near the top of the page is a box giving basic information, like who has been nominated and who has won the Power of Veto and if the Power of Veto was used. For instance Shane Meaney, the house flipper won the veto and chose not to use it.

There are people who watch the live feeds and report what house guest are saying and doing. For instance Janelle said she didn’t want to be a house guest again, because of having to leave her baby, but agreed to be on the show, knowing she had a 25 percent chance of winning the $100,000 prize for coach of the winning house guest. Britney checked contract with Big Brother and they have the right to change the show at any time, which means the coaches could be forced back into game, willingly or not.

Mike Boogie is being his usual obnoxious self, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take the $100,000 prize.  It will be interesting to see how much influence the coaches will have over the house guests as the season goes on.

Ian Terry of New Orleans, Louisiana is making a bad name for engineering students, with his bizarre behavior in the house and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him be one of the first to leave the show. He seems to be from a different planet, than the other house guests. It surprised me that Mike would grant him safety, but will assume Mike knows what he is doing.

One of my favorites is http://www.mortystv.com/big_brother.shtml which gives detailed descriptions of what is done and said during the day at the Big Brother House.  Near the top of the page is a box giving basic information, like who has been nominated and who has won the Power of Veto and if the Power of Veto was used. For instance Shane Meaney, the house flipper won the veto and chose not to use it.

Janelle may not be smiling if she learns that her alliance teammate Britney is trashing her to other house guests.

Mike Boogie turned 42 in the Big Brother house yesterday and it reminded me of the number of older house guests this year. Nine of the 12 house guests, not counting coaches are 26 or older with Ian 21, Danielle 23 and Wil 24 being the only house guests under the age of 26.

Joe Arvin the cook is 41, the oldest of the non-coach house guests. He plans to use his cooking skills to stay in the house longer. He is not just any cook since he founded  SmashMouth Burgers and Pizza in Schererville, Indiana.

It will be interesting to see as the season unfolds, just how much influence the coaches will exert over the house guests. This game is hard enough to play, without a coach constantly giving the house guests advice.

There have been reports that the coaches will enter the game, but some of the coaches may not be happy with that development, since so far all they have had to do is dress up like a horse and nominate a have-not from their team and for Dan to choose who to send home on the premiere show. If the coaches enter the game everything changes and reduces chance of other house guests of winning the money. Assume if the coaches enter the game they will get the $100,000 promised them plus the $500,000 grand prize if they win the game.

I don’t think the coach that wins should not have had to nominate a have-not from their team. What is the point of winning, when you know one of your team members will be nominated as a have-not?

Janelle is saying she is not happy with Willie to Wil and Ashley saying “I am seeing a lot of red flags with Willie”.

If Kara is evicted on Thursday night, then Dan will only have Danielle left on his team.

James Dean: Still Remembered 57 Years After His Death

James Dean
1931- 1955

James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in Marion Indiana. His father moved the family to California, but he sent James to live with an aunt and uncle in Indiana, when his mother died.

Dean appeared in five movies from 1951-1952, but they were all uncredited appearances. Meanwhile, he was appearing in many television series and in live theater television productions.

He also appeared in live drama productions on television, including I’m A Fool which was shown on GE Theater. The production also starred Natalie Wood, when it was shown on November 14, 1954.

ImAFoolgeTheater

East of Eden

Dean’s next movie East of Eden would be released in April of 1955.  Dean who appearing in his first starring role as Cal Trask would be nominated, for Best Actor Award for his role. He was nominated posthumously, becoming the first actor ever nominated after his death.

James Dean and Julie Harris in a scene from East of Eden:

James Dean refused to attend the premiere of East of Eden, which almost caused him, to lose his lead role in Rebel Without a Cause. Dean beat out Paul Newman for the role of Cal Trask, when they both were in the same scene, during the screen test.

East of Eden was the only one of Dean’s best known movies to be released before his death.

Rebel Without a Cause

Later in 1955, Dean and Wood would be paired again in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. This movie made a huge impression on me, when I saw it on television. I can still remember the planetarium scene in the movie.

This first clip from Rebel Without a Cause shows James Dean and Natalie Wood:

Romantic scene with James and Natalie:

Natalie Wood is the starter for a chicken race between James Dean and the villain:

James Dean is remembered for his role in Rebel Without a Cause, but Natalie Wood would be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Judy, while Sal Mineo would be nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Plato.

Some interesting trivia about the movie: Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) had submitted a script considered for the movie, but was rejected. Jayne Mansfield and Debbie Reynolds were both considered for the Natalie Wood role of Judy.

The three stars of the movie all met tragic deaths, with James Dean dying in a car accident, Natalie Wood dying in a drowning accident, which is still being investigated by the Los Angeles police and Sal Mineo who was stabbed to death. The policeman (Edward Platt) who knocks down Dean in the police station scene, would take his own life in later years. Platt is best remembered for his role as Control Chief on Get Smart television series.

Giant

James Dean would be nominated for Best Leading Actor Oscar posthumously, for his role as Jett Rink in Giant, while Rock Hudson also was nominated for Best Leading Actor. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, but only director George Stevens won an Oscar for Best Director.

James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor seen in a scene from Giant.

James telling Rock Hudson’s character and the others that he just struck oil:

Nick Adams provided the voice for Dean in some lines, due to Dean dying before production ended. Hudson had been given a choice, between Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor and chose Taylor.

Giant was the highest grossing movie for Warner Bros.  until Superman was released. Sal Mineo who had appeared in Rebel Without a Cause was also cast in Giant.

Death

Dean was forbidden to race during the filming of Giant. He had been a successful car racer at the Palm Springs Road Races and had won some races and had placed in the top two in some other races.

He was eager to impress actor Alex Guinness with his new car, a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder and showed the famous actor his car. Guinness was not impressed and made this prophetic statement and told Dean  “If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.” Dean was dead seven days later after having been hit in a head-on collision.

This is all that remained of James Dean’s Porsche after the September 30, 1955 accident that ended his life at the age of 24.

September 30, 1955 started off as a normal day for Dean, as he planned to put his Porsche on a trailer on way to racetrack, but his mechanic Walter Wutherich thought it would be better for Dean to drive it to Salinas, California, so he could get used to being in the driver’s seat. Dean was stopped at 3:30 PM PDT for speeding, since he had been driving 65 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.

It was at approximately 5:45 PDT that Dean noticed a 1950 Ford Custom coupe coming toward him at a high rate of speed. He tried to maneuver his Porsche to avoid a direct hit, when the driver Donald Turnupseed crossed the middle line, causing him to hit Dean’s car head-on.

Dean was pronounced dead on arrival at Pablo Robles Memorial Hospital, which was 28 miles from the crash scene. Surprisingly Turnupseed only suffered facial bruises and a bloodied nose from the accident. He was well enough to walk and hitch-hike on his way to Tulare, California.

Legacy

James Dean’s death at the age of 24 raised a lot of questions. Would he have went on to become one of the greatest actors in Hollywood history? We will never know the answer to that question.

What we do know is that is that from 1951-1955 he left behind memories of him being on Broadway, on television and in the movies. His most memorable movies were released in 1955 and 1956, when Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant were released.

Many actors never are nominated for an Academy Award in their entire career, yet Dean was nominated twice for two of the three movies he appeared in over a two-year span.

Rebel Without a Cause best exemplified for me the James Dean I remember, as a troubled youth in that movie, that couldn’t find happiness in a troubled world.

What Old Time Radio Means To Me

I was born in 1944 and lived the first 18 years of my life, during the old time radio era, which ended on September 30,1962, when the last two dramatic shows, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Suspense were broadcast for the last time.

There are no recollections in my mind, of our family gathering around the radio, like the family pictured above, but I still can recall hearing some of the programs. I can remember hearing Dragnet, Bob Hope, Arthur Godfrey and the Breakfast Club with Don McNeill. I can also recall my mother listening to the soap operas of that era, as she listened to Just Plain Bill, Stella Dallas, Lorenzo Jones, Pepper Young’s Family and One Man’s Family.

1960 would see the last five soap operas leave the radio airwaves, including Ma Perkins and Young Doctor Malone.

Arthur Godfrey was the most popular talk show host during the old time radio era.

Arthur Godfrey Time and Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club were the two best-known early morning shows and  were often heard in our house in the mornings, though they must have been on at the same time at some point.  The last Breakfast Club was broadcast in 1968, while the last Arthur Godfrey Time was broadcast in 1972.

There was something about Arthur Godfrey, that made him seem like a family friend and he could sell anything, since he came across as being someone you could trust.

Interest in Old Time Radio Rekindled In 90’s

My interest in old time radio became rekindled in the 90’s, when my mother let me listen to a set of old time radio shows. I bought a few tapes of my own, but didn’t really start collecting old time radio shows, till I found that I could buy MP3 CD’s of old time radio shows on eBay for nominal prices.

That is when I became serious about collecting old time radio shows. Previously cassettes and regular compact discs could hold very few shows, but the MP3 compact discs made it possible to record fifty half-hour shows onto one MP3 CD. I also bought the shows at MP3 CD sellers online, who were selling the shows for bargain prices. For instance, I was able to buy over 800 Jack Benny shows for only $12. To buy that many shows on a cassette or regular compact disc would have cost hundreds of dollars, before the advent of MP3 CD’s.

One key to buying old time radio shows is to always go to lowest price plus shipping, when searching for shows on eBay. For instance 441 shows of  Boston Blackie and The Shadow on a DVD can be bid on for only 99 cents and this price includes shipping. The price could still go up, but probably not that much, since there are only three days left in the bidding, on this particular DVD.  DVD’s hold even more shows and enable a collector, to build a large collection even faster.

I also bought a lot of shows from otrcat.com, which offers a complete sample show to listen to, of almost every show available at the website. The site also has excellent descriptions of each show, so you will know the history of that show before buying it.

The front page of the website has a New Additions feature, that sells shows that have added previously unheard episodes or obscure shows, not usually sold online by any dealer.

http://www.otrcat.com/index.php

Record Keeping, Playing MP3 CD’s

I have a filing system with my collection, with about 175 MP3 CD’s inside one large folder, which holds over 17,000 shows. I keep a notebook folder with loose leaf paper, with a sheet of paper for each show. I write the name of the show, the name of the episode and when it was listened to. That prevents me from listening to the same show more than once, unless I like the show enough to listen to it more often.

At first I listened to the episodes on a portable MP3 CD player, but later switched to a MP3 player, which plays the shows after the digital  files for the shows have been uploaded into the MP3 player. Once they are in the MP3 player, the names of each episode is shown in a list on the MP3 player. After listening to the show, the show can be deleted from the MP3 player, to avoid having to go through so many shows to find one particular episode.

When I select a MP3 CD to listen to I insert the CD into the CD drive on the computer. It then shows up in the Windows Explorer files and I send the shows I want to my MP3 player, which has been connected to the tower. I can manually highlight the shows I want transfered to MP3 player and after writing the information for each episode of that show into the notebook, then manually drag the episodes of that show, into the MP3 player. In my case I use the Sony Content Transfer folder as the ultimate destination on the desktop, which is really the MP3 player.

I have a list of all my shows and how many episodes and how many CD’s and hours there are of each episode.

For example, there are 869 Jack Benny Shows in my collection on 9 MP3 CD’s which total 433 hours of Jack Benny shows.

My Favorite Old Time Radio Shows

My favorite old time radio show is This Is Your FBI, which tells true stories of FBI cases of that era and especially features stories of soldiers, who have returned from war who have been swindled out of their money, by con men who conspire to take their money.

The shows feature both the criminals making their plans and squabbling among themselves and the FBI agents working to capture the criminals. The shows are easy to listen to and keep your attention, since the shows are so well-written.

 

Boston Blackie is one of my favorites, because I enjoy the interplay between Blackie and Inspector Faraday. The inspector immediately suspects that Blackie committed whatever crime is being committed, because of Blackie’s criminal history as a safe cracker. However, the inspector is always proven wrong by the end of the story.

 Night Watch was a precursor to COPS, with the main difference, that it is an old time radio show from the 1950’s that uses a reporter in the police car to record every word spoken during a night on patrol.

The show will touch the listeners emotionally, as it touched me. One of the episodes is about a lady who leaves her kids in the car, while she goes into a bar. The older child is trying to watch out for the younger child.

Another emotional part of the shows is when parents are told, that their child is in trouble for breaking a law. This show is one of the more riveting shows of old time radio but it wasn’t on the air long, so all we can do is enjoy the shows, as the policemen question the victims and criminals to get to the truth of whatever situation is being heard. This is true reality radio at its best.

  The Great Gildersleeve is my favorite comedy of old time radio days. Harold Peary’s portrayal of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve is right on the money. His character was first heard on Fibber McGee and Molly, but he later had his own show with him, as the water commissioner of Summerfield, less than two years after his first appearance on Fibber McGee and Molly.

  Gildersleeve’s home consisted of his nephew Leroy and his niece Marjorie and the cook named Birdie. Gildersleeve comes off as a bombastic oaf, who likes to be in charge of whatever is going on at the time. He also has an eye for the girls and is intent at Christmas time to maneuver the girls, to where they will be standing under the mistletoe.

  I never tire of hearing the same Christmas shows, since they represent so well, what Christmas was like in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It is funny hearing Gildersleeve worrying about how much someone is spending on his Christmas present. He is determined to spend not one penny more than what someone spends on him

Richard LeGrand who portrays the local druggist Richard Peavey is one of my favorite characters on the show. The mild-mannered Peavey is an excellent contrast, with the more in-your-face Gildersleeve. His drugstore is an oasis away from the turbulent Gildersleeve home, which always seems to be in chaos.

Judge Hooker played by Earle Ross and Gildersleeve have a tempestuous relationship, that keeps them from being on good terms most of the time. He is also the opposite of Mr. Peavey and I can’t recall the two of them interacting much on the show.

The show to me seemed to lose its spark, when Harold Peary left the show. I have nothing against Willard Waterman, who was in a lose-lose situation trying to replace Peary, but nobody could really replace Peary.

I have only listened to 38 of the over 500 shows in the series.

CBS Radio Workshop was one of the most innovative shows during the old time radio era. I liked Program #6 The Voice of the City in which life on New York streets was recorded. I also enjoyed Evening on Broadway and it probably better depicted the sounds, of people talking to each other on a busy sidewalk.

The Enormous Radio program in the series of shows on the CBS Radio Workshop was about a radio that picked up the conversations of neighbors, instead of regular radio programs.

Ex-Urbanites was a dramatic presentation of how city-dwellers moving to the suburbs, found out that the suburbs were not as great, as they expected and the travel especially became a burden.

There are too many excellent programs to mention them all, but this first link will take you to where you can read about the CBS Radio Workshop and the second to a website, where you can actually listen to the shows.

http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/DigitalDeliToo/dd2jb-CBS-Radio-Workshop.html

http://archive.org/details/CBSRadioWorkshop

Those who want to only listen to the shows and are not interested in buying them for themselves, there are many websites, that make it possible to hear hundreds and in some cases thousands of shows for free.

Archive.org is one of the best sites online to listen to free old time radio shows.

http://archive.org/search.php?query=old%20time%20radio

OTR.net has over 12,000 free old time radio shows to listen to, including 442 Fibber McGee and Molly shows, 610 Jack Benny shows, 468 Great Gildersleeve shows and 406 Gunsmoke shows.

http://otr.net/

Radiolovers.com does not come close to the content of the above two websites and you will notice many of your favorite shows, that are missing from the list of shows. However there are some lesser-known shows that are on the list, that may not be found elsewhere on the internet.

http://radiolovers.com/

Oldradioworld.com has a lot of the same shows found on the other websites, but still a good resource.

http://www.oldradioworld.com/

Oldtimeradiofans.com has some soap operas that aren’t mentioned in some of the other websites.

 http://www.oldtimeradiofans.com/

The following website is the best resource for old time radio information, since it lists most of the shows, that were ever broadcast on old time radio. The site may not be all-inclusive, but it is the closet thing out there. There are lists of  old time radio programs and who was heard in each show and a list of actors that tells how many shows and lists the shows they were heard in.

http://radiogoldindex.com/

This website has a wealth of information about old time radio.

http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/DigitalDeliToo/dd2home.html

This link within the above site takes you to a list of program logs that can be found. This list doesn’t include some of the better-known shows.

http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/DigitalDeliToo/dd2-jukebox-main.html

This is what the Mel Blanc Show page looks like:

http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/DigitalDeliToo/dd2jb-Mel-Blanc-Show.html

To my knowledge there is no other website that has this many old time radio photos and ads. Someone could literally spend hours at this website.

The home page for the above sites has even more links to more old time radio information, plus has a lot of information about other nostalgic topics.

http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/

What old time radio means to me can be found in the old time radio shows, that remind me of a simpler time, when families ate dinner together at home and not at a crowded restaurant, except on special occasions.

What old time radio means to me…..

 Listening to Gildersleeve arguing with Judge Hooker or Fibber McGee over the price of a Christmas present.

 Listening to Kingfish trying to pull a fast one on the gullible Andrew H. Brown on Amos and Andy.

Listening to Joe Friday questioning a witness or criminal on Dragnet.

Listening to Mrs. Brooks the teacher talk in the car, as her student Walter Denton drives her to school. How many students drive their teachers to school today?

Listening to the criminals on This Is Your Life plan their next crime.

Listening to the sounds of Broadway on CBS Radio Workshop.

Listening to a live big band radio remote, when big band era was thriving.

Listening to the incessant doorbell ringing on Fibber McGee and Molly.

Listening to the contents of the closet crashing to the floor on Fibber McGee and Molly.

Listening to Boston Blackie and Inspector Faraday make sarcastic remarks toward each other.

Listening to Richard Diamond serenade his girlfriend Helen, after solving the crime for that show.

Listening to the Bickersons bickering with each other endlessly on The Bickersons.

Listening to Chester A. Riley act like a nincompoop in front of family and friends on Life of Riley.

Listening to the great organ music on Nick Carter.

Listening to Groucho Marx ask the same question over and over to a You Bet Your Life contestant.

Listening to Johnny Dollar itemizing his expenses out loud on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

Listening to the great sound on Gunsmoke…probably the best sounding old time radio show.

Ernest Borgnine Dies at 95

Ernest Borgnine 1917-2012

Ernest Borgnine has died in Los Angeles at the age of 95 due to renal failure. He was born as Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His wife of 39 years Tovah survived him. Borgnine served in the U.S. Navy from 1935-1945. His mom talked him into pursuing an acting career and he appeared as a male nurse in Harvey on Broadway in 1951.

Ernest Borgnine as seen in a scene in From Here To Eternity.

Two years later Borgnine appeared in the movie From Here To Eternity in 1953 as Sgt. Fatso Judson. Borgnine had appeared in three movies in 1951, including China Corsair, The Whistle At Eaton Falls and The Mob.

He also made his television debut in 1951 in Captain Video and His Video Rangers. He appeared in many television programs including two episodes of Waterfront  in 1954.

Burt Lancaster introduces this trailer for the movie Marty that won Ernest Borgnine an
Academy Award.

Borgnine’s twelfth movie Marty would win him a Best Actor Oscar defeating much better known actors in James Cagney, James Dean, Frank Sinatra and Spencer Tracy.  Marty was only one of six movies that Borgnine would make in 1955.

1956-1961 would be busy years for Borgnine as the free-lanced in television, while making movies on the side. Then he won the starring role in the television series McHale’s Navy. The show would run from 1962-1966 and the show’s popularity caused his marriage to Broadway star Ethel Merman to last only 32 days, since she couldn’t handle seeing him receive the adulation of the fans. She devoted a chapter of her life story, to her marriage to Borgnine which consisted of one blank page.

After McHale’s Navy ended he appeared in an episode of three different television shows, then acted in 12 consecutive movies before appearing in a TV movie The Trackers.

Ernest Borgnine describes his experiences filming Poseidon Adventure.

Borgnine appeared in the blockbuster Poseidon Adventure in 1972. Airwolf would be his next television series that lasted more than a few episodes, with Borgnine appearing in 55 episodes from 1984-1986.

He mostly acted in movies till he appeared in Single Guy which ran from 1995-1997.

One constant of Borgnine’s career was that he made a lot of movies from his first one in 1951 to his last one The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez, which was completed this year and is in post-production. His movie career spanned 61 years from his first movie to his last one.

This list of his movie and television appearances shows just how a prolific an actor, that Ernest Borgnine was:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000308/

One thing about Ernest Borgnine that most fans don’t know is that he was the first center square in the history of the  Hollywood Squares television program.

Other interesting facts about Ernest Borgnine:

He is only actor to appear in all four Dirty Dozen movies.

Lives in same home that he bought in 1965, living there till his death 47 years later.

Earned only $5,000 for his role in Marty, which won him the Academy Award.

His wife Tovah who survived him was 25 years younger than Borgnine.

Just a few quotes from Ernest Borgnine at imdb.com

[on his marriage to Ethel Merman]: Biggest mistake of my life. I thought I was marrying Rosemary Clooney.

[on why he wanted to star in “McHale’s Navy” (1962)]: Theater business was disappearing and so were night clubs, which I don’t like to play anyway because they keep me up too late. There were TV guest shots, but how many times can you play Ed Sullivan? My biggest pay was from industrial shows, but they don’t come along too often.

Where can we find the great actors we had yesteryear, guys like Spencer Tracy and Gary Cooper and Edward G. Robinson? You know, I was talking to Lee Marvin the other day and we agreed that we were the last of a breed. We’re the last who had the opportunity of working with these fine actors. I feel very humble. It makes me feel that I’ve got to try that bit harder.

Ernest Borgnine may have only won one Academy Award, but that doesn’t mean none of his other movies haven’t entertained theater goers, who saw his movies for the last 61 years and enjoyed watching McHale’s Navy on television.

His New York Times obituary tells more about the life of Ernest Borgnine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/movies/ernest-borgnine-tough-but-tender-actor-is-dead-at-95.html

Andy Griffith Before and After Andy Griffith Show

The late Andy Griffith in a scene from No Time For Sergeants.

 

The first time I heard of Andy Griffith was when he appeared in the movie No Time For Sergeants. He played Will Stockdale a mountain boy, who is drafted into the U.S. Army. He had already played the part in the Broadway play by the same name three years, before the 1958 movie was released.

The funniest scene of the movie to me was when he was named PLO (Permanent Latrine Orderly). He rigged the toilet seats to stand up all at once, which shocked the inspecting officer to say the least. However, this scene of him being tested by a corporal for manual dexterity may be even funnier. Don Knotts plays the corporal, who is utterly frustrated by the way Andy’s character Will Stockdale puts the two links together. Don Knotts appears at about the 1:15 mark.

I hadn’t even known Andy Griffith had appeared in A Face in the Crowd in 1957, in a dramatic role unlike the Andy Griffith I had known in No Time For Sergeants and on the Andy Griffith show.

Andy received top billing in the movie portraying an Arkansas hobo Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes who becomes rich overnight. This is a scene from A Face In The Crowd:

Made Television Debut On U.S. Steel Hour

Andy had made his television debut on the U.S. Steel Hour when he played Will Stockdale on television. He played the role on Broadway, on television and in the movies, which probably has not been done very often, by any actor in the same role.

He also made the movie Onionhead in 1958, so it was a very busy year for him.

Danny Thomas Show Role As Sheriff

Andy got a big break when he appeared on a Danny Thomas episode in 1960, where Danny is given a ticket, by a small-town sheriff.  Andy is perplexed when he finds out that Andy is not only the sheriff, but also the justice of the peace.

The Danny Thomas episode led to the formation of the Andy Griffith show which was shown that same year, on the CBS television network.  249 episodes later the Andy Griffith show would complete its run.

He appeared on Mayberry RFD for two years, then had two series fail in short order, when Headmaster lasted 13 episodes in 1970, followed by the New Andy Griffith show which lasted only 10 episodes. He didn’t return to another series until 1979 when Salvage One only last 19 episodes. He had appeared in three series since leaving Mayberry RFD, but only 42 shows were made of those three series combined.

Seven years later Andy tried again for a hit series and he struck gold with Matlock which ran from 1986-1995. He appeared in various television series and movies till he made his last acting appearance in Play the Game in 2009 at the age of 83.

Andy non only was an actor, but recorded gospel songs. This is Andy singing How Great Thou Art:

I looked at Andy Griffith and saw a role model, for the right way to live life.

My wife and daughter surprised me in 2006, when we went to Mt. Airy, N.C. to see Andy’s boyhood home. I didn’t know we were going to stay there that night and it was the surprise of my life, when I found out we were actually spending the night there. Hampton Inn rents out the home to tourists and it was something I will never forget. I even played baseball with my grandson in Andy’s backyard.

The late Andy Griffith’s boyhood home in Mt. Airy, NC.

Andy had also made some comedy records early in his career. I had the record that has him giving his impression of seeing his first football game. He said in his monologue that 5 or 6 convicts were running up and down the field blowing whistles.  The game was played in a cow pasture and Andy concludes saying that the object of the game must be to keep from being knocked down or stepping in something.

The only remaining actors still alive from Andy Griffith are Jim “Gomer Pyle” Nabors and Betty “Thelma Lou” Lynn.

I was 15 when the first Andy Griffith show was televised in 1960 and was 23 when the last show aired, so have been watching Andy Griffith during the first eight original years and in 44 years of re-runs.

Andy, Thanks for the memories and RIP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Griffith Dies At 86 On Roanoke Island, North Carolina

Andy Griffith 1926-2012

Andy Griffith died this morning at his home on Roanoke Island, North Carolina at the age of 86.

Death has taken another star of the Andy Griffith Show. George Lindsey who portrayed Goober on the show had passed away on May 6.

Andy Griffith’s character Andy Taylor was one of the most beloved characters on television. The show revolved around him and he saw early in the show’s run, that it would be better to play the straight man for off the wall characters like Barney Fife played by Don Knotts, Gomer Pyle who was portrayed by Jim Nabors, Otis Campbell being portrayed by Hal Smith and the aforementioned George Lindsey as Goober.

Life Lessons Taught

Andy taught his son Opie Taylor well, trying to bring him up without a mother in the home. Many shows dwelt on Andy telling Opie, how to deal with life’s problems the right way.

Whatever problem Opie may have been experiencing Andy always had the right solution , to any problem that might arise. This video from the show in which Opie killed a bird with a slingshot is an excellent example of  how Andy taught his son to do the right thing.

 

The interplay between Andy and Barney Fife was a huge part, of the success of the show. Don Knotts suggested that the show needed a deputy and that move guaranteed the success of the show. Andy asks Barney about the Emancipation Proclamation, which shows how Andy could rile up Barney.

 

When Don Knotts left the show after five years, Andy proved he could still draw the fans. as the show’s ratings stayed strong, after the departure of Knotts.

 

I can remember watching Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in No Time For Sergeants movie, many years ago and we watched the movie three times in a row, since that was allowed in the 50’s.

We have lost an American icon in Andy Griffith, one day before the July 4th holiday. Andy Griffith represented everything, that is great about America. He leaves a rich legacy behind of television shows and movies, in which he appeared.

Andy Griffith will be missed.

 

The New York Times obituary for Andy Griffith:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/arts/television/andy-griffith-actor-dies-at-86.html?pagewanted=all

 

Jackie Gleason: From Pool Hustler To Smokey and the Bandit

Jackie Gleason was best known for portraying Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners but also appeared on the big screen from 1941-1986.

Jackie Gleason grew up in Brooklyn, New York and didn’t have much of a childhood, with his father abandoning the family, when Gleason was eight years old. His mother died when he was 16. His brother Clemence had died when he was three, so Jackie was an only child during most of his childhood.

Behind the counter it's Jackie Gleason
Jackie Gleason as he appeared in Larceny Inc. movie in 1942 at the age of 26.

Gleason’s first foray into the movies lasted only two years, but he appeared in nine movies in those two years, including Orchestra Wives and Larceny, Inc. Then he performed in nightclubs and appeared in some Broadway plays till he received his first television starring role in Life of Riley, portraying the title character. He was not really suited well for the role and it was cancelled, but revived when William Bendix, the voice of Riley on radio became the star of the show.

Jackie Gleason Orchestra Formed

Jackie Gleason saw there was a place for romantic music and formed the Jackie Gleason Orchestra. I have read that there was never an actual traveling Jackie Gleason Orchestra but this article proves that assumption is incorrect, since this review of a performance with Gleason proves they did travel to different venues. Music showed there was a serious side to Jackie Gleason. I was surprised to read that Gleason actually was conducting the orchestra. Bobby Hackett is the one playing the trumpet solos on most, if not all of his albums.

http://www.bigbandsandbignames.com/gleason.html

Music For Lovers, the debut album for the orchestra was a tremendous hit and showed their was a market for romantic music:

Gleason’s first album, Music for Lovers Only, still holds the record for the album staying the longest in the Billboard Top Ten Charts (153 weeks), and his first ten albums all sold over one million copies.[19]

I have his Best of Jackie Gleason and His Orchestra album and it includes these songs:

http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1015597/a/Best+of+Jackie+Gleason.htm

The now defunct Dumont Television network hired Gleason as summer host of Cavalcade of Stars. He handled the hosting duties so well, that he was named permanent host. He introduced his Ralph Kramden character during the series and the sketches would evolve into The Honeymooners in 1955.

Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows in a scene from The Honeymooners television series 1955-1956.

There is no doubt that The Honeymooners television series is what made Jackie Gleason a household word. The show centered around his character Ralph Kramden and the show was clearly focused on whatever hare-brained scheme, that he was planning at the time.

The Jackie Gleason Show was telecast from 1952-1957 and then revived again to run from 1966-1970. In between he also hosted the Jackie Gleason: American Scene Magazine from 1962-1966.

You’re In The Picture Bombs

Jackie Gleason did have one colossal failure, when he was the host of a new game show named You’re In The Picture in 1961. This article details the failure of the show the first week and how Gleason came back the second week with a new format:

http://www.tvparty.com/picture.html

1961 would see Gleason also have one of his biggest triumphs on the big screen in The Hustler. He played Minnesota Fats the pool hustler and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor but did not win. It was an awesome achievement, considering that he hadn’t appeared in a movie, since appearing in Desert Hawk in 1950.

He is seen with Paul Newman in this pool room scene from The Hustler:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TC3kqFUmqQ

The next year Gleason would return in Gigot, in which he played a mute and would be nominated for a Golden Globes Award as best actor. Gleason wrote the screenplay, starred and wrote the music for Gigot. Gleason was the only recognizable name in the entire cast of this movie.  He is seen in this clip from Gigot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la5tyq9gblk

Gleason also appeared in Requiem For A Heavyweight in 1962. He acted well in the movie, but failed to garner any nominations or awards, for his performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54kM1mY86Mc

He appeared in Papa’s Delicate Condition and Soldier in the Rain in 1963 and wouldn’t appear in another movie, till he appeared in Skidoo in 1968. It is strange that he appeared in so many successful movies, than stopped his movie career for the next five years. He could be that filming his American Scene Magazine television show and appearing in movies was too much for him.

Next he appeared in How To Commit Marriage and Don’t Drink The Water in 1969, then took an eight year hiatus from making movies till 1977.  He appeared in Mr. Billion and Smokey and the Bandit in 1977.  I was going to include some clips of Gleason portraying Sheriff Buford T. Justice, but the dialogue was filled with so much bad language, that I decided not to use it, in case some kids were to watch it. He would go on to appear in Part II and Part III of the Smokey and the Bandit movies in 1980 and 1983.

Gleason also appeared in The Toy in 1982 and The Sting II in 1983, before appearing Nothing In Common in 1986, which would be his last movie. His movie career spanned 45 years from 1941-1986.

It is ironic that Gleason only won a Tony Award in his long career for Take Me Along, while never winning a Emmy, Grammy or Academy Award.

Jackie Gleason died of cancer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 24, 1987 at the age of 71. Gleason left his mark on Broadway, in the movies, on television and music. He truly was an entertainer of the first magnitude.

His obituary from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/25/obituaries/jackie-gleason-dies-of-cancer-comedian-and-actor-was-71.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

A road sign with his famous catch phrase:

The burial place of Jackie Gleason in Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Miami, Florida.
Jackie Gleason kept his sense of humor in death with his famous catchphrase.

The First 48: Realistic Portrait of Homicide Investigations

The First 48 is one of the most realistic reality shows on television. The homicide detectives on the show race against the clock, to solve cases in the first 48 hours, after the crime has been committed.

It makes sense to act swiftly, before the suspect or suspects can find a hiding place from the homicide detectives or leave town. Another reason is that the perpetrators of the crime if there are more than one suspect are likely, to concoct a story so that if questioned by the detectives their stories will be the same.

Complaints About Predominantly Black Suspects

There has been some criticism of the show, for showing cases with mostly black criminals as the suspects. They probably could do a better job on that score, since the show has many more cases with black suspects.

Once the filming begins the show is not going to stop filming, because they find out a suspect is black.

One Suspect Fan of Show

One suspect in a show I watched yesterday looked into the camera and said he was a fan of the show and then said “Hello America”.

You would think a criminal that watches the show would ask for a lawyer from the start of the interrogation, since the detectives are able to obtain confessions if given the chance.

Suspects Forget About Miranda Rights

It is almost like the suspects have forgotten their Miranda rights which say:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.

However, suspect after suspect will forget about the Miranda rights and forget the part about anything they say could be used against them. Instead they freely give information about a crime

The detectives are smart to not even mention attorneys during the interrogation. You can tell on the show that when a suspect asks for an attorney, that the detectives hate to see a suspect ask for an attorney.

If they are not allowed to ask any more questions, then the suspect is more or less useless to them, because the suspect’s attorney will  tell them to not talk to anyone about the case. They then have to try to find other evidence or witnesses, if the case is not strong enough to take to court.

One suspect on a recent show tired of being yelled at by the detectives and told them he is through and that they can yell at his lawyer.

Pit One Suspect Against Another

Sometimes the homicide detectives on the  will pit one suspect against another, by telling the suspect they are interviewing, that the other suspect or suspects have already told them the truth and that the suspect will find it is to their benefit to tell the truth.

On one show a suspect was being interviewed and says he only knocked on the door of the crime scene house. Later on it was revealed he was the shooter, while he portrayed himself  as an innocent bystander, when first interviewed.

More Than One Crime Scene

Most of the shows have more than one crime being investigated, but some shows do only have one crime investigated. Some of the same detectives will be seen on many shows.

The shows are centered on metropolitan areas like Cincinnati, Memphis, Miami, Houston and other large cities.

Summary 

The First 48 to me is a realistic look at how a homicide investigation is conducted. It shows how leads and tips that are called in, are followed up.

A witness in a homicide case told the detectives where the marijuana was thrown out off an interstate. Traffic was stopped on that side of the interstate, till they could search for the marijuana, but eventually the detectives called off the search.

Then when that witness is questioned again, he reveals that the marijuana was thrown in a garbage can in the neighborhood, where the crime was committed, so the interstate was closed down for nothing and the witness wound up being a suspect and was charged with murder.

Some people may think the show reveals too much about how homicide detectives solve cases and question suspects. A criminal watching the show may learn what not to do, by watching the detectives question suspects. The detectives tell the suspects to tell the truth, but if they do tell the truth they are only incriminating themselves and helping the detectives solve the case.

Anyone watching this show should be forewarned, that it can be very habit-forming, because these are real cases, that are shown from the crime scene till they are charged with murder in most shows.


Jack Webb: From Dragnet to Adam 12 to Emergency

Jack Webb 1920-1982

Jack Webb was born on April 2, 1920 in Santa Monica, California. He died at the age of 62 on December 23, 1982 in West Hollywood California.

His father left home before Webb was born and he never knew his dad. He joined the Army Air Force but asked for a hardship discharge after not making the grade in flight training.

Acted in Old Time Radio

Webb starred in an ABC radio comedy the Jack Webb Show in 1946. He then starred in several detective themed old-time radio shows. Pat Novak For Hire, Johnny Modero, Pier 23 and Jeff Regan, Investigator which were his best known radio programs prior to Dragnet.

His big break came when Dragnet was first broadcast on radio in 1949, then would run till 1954. Webb portrayed Sgt. Joe Friday as a no-nonsense detective, who didn’t mince words.  The television version of Dragnet began televising in 1952 with Ben Alexander cast as Detective Frank Smith, concurrently with the radio version till 1954, when the radio series ended. The televised version would remain on the air till 1959. There was a radio or television version of Dragnet  being heard or seen for ten continuous years.

Webb loved jazz and starred in Pete Kelly’s Blues which on radio for less than two months, but would be the predecessor to the film version, of Pete Kelly’s Blues released in 1955. Then Pete Kelly’s Blues was also shown on television in 1959, but only 13 episodes were aired, before it was cancelled.

Dragnet also had a presence in radio, television and movies and it was successful in all three forms of media. A new television version of the original Dragnet named Dragnet 1967 ran till 1970 with Harry Morgan portraying Officer Bill Gannon.

Jack Webb grew up with severe asthma yet was a heavy smoker as can be seen by this advertisement mentioning that he smoked two packs a day. Smoking two packs a day today would cost roughly $180 a month.

Webb became so involved in production, that he wasn’t seen on the television screen often. He created Adam 12 which ran from 1968-1975 and  Ohara, U.S. Treasury which was shown from 1971-1972.

Julie London and Bobby Troup on Emergency
Julie London former wife of Jack Webb and her husband Bobby Troup on Emergency television program that aired on NBC.

Jack Webb showed he had no animosity toward his former wife Julie London, by hiring her and her husband to appear in his Emergency television program.  They appeared in but two of the 133 episodes that were aired.

Webb was married to Julie London from 1947-1953. He then married Dorothy Towne from 1955-1957, Jackie Loughery from 1958-1964. He widowed his last wife who he was married to from 1980-1982.

Jack Webb was working on a third television version of Dragnet with Kent McCord from Adam 12 lined up to be his partner, but died of a heart attack at 62.

Chief Daryl Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department retired Badge 714 after his death and Mayor Tom Bradley ordered all flags to flown at half-mast in his honor. He would be buried with a replica Badge 714.

Jack Webb’s tombstone is typical of Webb. There is no huge ornamental tombstone, but a plain tombstone, with his name and his life span.

This article written by Ben Alexander, gives us a better idea of  what the real Jack Webb was like. This paragraph tells me all I need to know about Jack Webb. I am inserting it here for those who may not have time to read the article:

Look at Victor Rodman. He had been disabled in an accident, and one of Jack’s joys about creating “Noah’s Ark” was the chance it gave him to employ Victor in a role that didn’t require walking around. Jack was thrilled with “Noah’s Ark” because it gave Victor a chance to prove what a fine actor he is. And a big reason Jack is eager to revive the show is that Victor will be working again.

http://www.badge714.com/

The Internet Movie Database biography includes some interesting trivia about Jack Webb:

Was buried with full honors befitting a LAPD detective, including a 17-gun salute.

Had just over 6,000 jazz albums in his private collection.

At the height of “Dragnet’s” popularity, people would actually call the LAPD wanting to speak to Webb’s character, Sgt. Joe Friday. The Department eventually came up with a stock answer to the large volume of calls: “Sorry, it’s Joe’s day off.”

Was a huge baseball fan, and chose badge number 714 for Sgt. Friday because it was the number of home runs Babe Ruth hit.

 

Jack Webb has created a lot of shows since Dragnet, but will always remember him, telling us what department he was working out of in the police department.

The color version of Dragnet was good, but there was something special, about the black and white version of  the 50’s. Those shows seemed to be more simple.  Who can ever forget the show, about the boy who got a rifle for Christmas and accidentally shoots his friend? This is the three-part The Big .22 Rifle For Christmas episode. Part 3 is very emotional as the father talks to his dead son, telling him what he would have received for Christmas. Then to make it even more emotional, the father of the boy killed,then gives the presents for his son,  to the boy who shot his son.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMbWZZVHYZQ

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl_-TNDVb7I&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–94KuSo5oM&feature=related

 

 

 

Big Brother 13: Rachel Reilly Wins Big Brother 13, Did CBS Manipulate the Game?

Rachel Reilly shown celebrating with her boyfriend Brendon Villegas after being told she had won the Big Brother 13 reality show on the CBS network.

Rachel Reilly won Big Brother 13 in a year of surprises on the CBS reality show.

Her boyfriend Brendon Villegas, Jeff Schroeder, Jordan Lloyd and Shelly Moore cast their votes for her making Rachel a 4-3 winner with Adam Poch, Danielle Donato and Kalia Booker voting for the losing Porsche Briggs.

Rachel had won the final HOH by answering questions about the house guests in the juror house and won the questions competition over Porsche.

The turning point in the game to me was when Porsche opened Pandora’s Box and won $5,000 for herself and $5,000 for Kalia. However, by her accepting the money she unleashed the duo twist in the veto competition that week.

With Rachel and Jordan on the block, Rachel won the veto and removed herself and Jordan off the block and set in motion, for Rachel to win $500,000 last night.

Did CBS Manipulate the Game in Favor of Rachel?

Viewers of the show will wonder if the CBS producers, manipulated the game so Rachel and Jordan remain in the game longer. If Rachel had left the house that week, the ratings for the show probably would have plummeted. Rachel provided most of the drama this year, so without drama the ratings would have almost certainly dropped. Instead Big Brother 13 had some of the highest ratings in the history of the show.

Then when Rachel found Pandora’s Box during her last reign of being HOH, the prizes were good and bad, but nothing to affect the game. Rachel was stuck with the egotistical maniac Jessie Godderz, the professional wrestler while she watched Adam and the other house guests spending time with Tori Spelling. Later she watched as they went shopping for clothes outside the Big Brother house.

My question is why didn’t Rachel have an equally bad punishment, as Porsche for opening Pandora’s Box. Sure having to spend time with Jessie was punishment in itself, but nothing like the punishment Porsche received when both of her nominated house guests were allowed to be removed from the block by the duo twist, when Rachel won the veto.

Game Winnings

This may or may not be the correct total of winnings on Big Brother 13 but since it is $600,000 exactly it may correct:

Rachel Reilly –     $500,000

Porsche Briggs –    $55,000

Jeff Schroeder –     $40,000

Kalia Booker –            $5,000

Total                          $600,000

Key to Rachel Winning Big Brother 13

The key to Rachel winning was that after Brendon left the last time, that Rachel played more of a social game. She abandoned her earlier strategy, of infuriating the other house guests with her catty remarks.

Rachel fought overwhelming odds by winning HOH”s and Veto competitions, when she needed them to stay alive in the game. It may be that when Brendon left the house, that it forced her to play a different kind of game.

Porsche Briggs Wins $50,000 in Finale

Porsche Briggs won $50,000 on Big Brother 13 finale.

Porsche Briggs won second prize money of $50,000 last night to go with the $5,000 she received from Pandora’s Box for a total of $55,000 in winnings during Big Brother 13.

For most of the season Porsche was the anonymous house guest, but then later in the game, came into her own and was a fierce competitor. She finished second in many competitions, then started winning competitions near the end of the game.

Big Brother 13 Summary: Big Brother 13 started out with eight new house guests, then the duo twist was introduced and Jeff Schroeder, Jordan Lloyd, Evel Dick Donato, Danielle Donato, Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly entered the house.  Evel Dick let the house after only six days for some mysterious reason which was never revealed. It may have been just as well, since he had gall bladder surgery in the last few days, so may not have been able to finish the season anyway.

Rachel and Brendon started the game with a chip on their shoulders, playing the game way too personally. I particularly recall Cassi and Kalia trying to have a civil conversation with Brendon and he turned the whole conversation around, acting very hostile toward both of them. The worst thing is that Kalia was wanting to know if she was still included in their alliance, but by the time the conversation was over, Brendon was calling her a liar. So he lost an alliance member, by his failure to communicate with Kalia on a normal level.

Shelly and Adam seemed to be with the veterans, but then when it suited them they would switch to the other side. Danielle’s alliance with Dominic was one of the bigger mistakes of the game. All she succeeded in was causing Dominic to go home.

Kalia, instead of going along with Danielle during Kalia’s first HOH, decided to show she was her own woman and nominated Lawon, who was not a threat to anyone. Lawon was the worst player this year and a terrible competitor, but Shelly was an even worse competitor. She played further into the game, but still never won the first competition.

When Jeff left, Rachel and Jordan were left to fend for themselves, since Brendon had been nominated and evicted for the second time. Shelly was caught in a lie by Jordan and Rachel and that spelled the end for Shelly, even though she wasn’t evicted for another couple of weeks.

As stated earlier, Porsche put her alliance in jeopardy by taking the $5,000 in Pandora’s box. That is the point at which Rachel and Jordan got an extra week in the house, when it looked like either Rachel or Jordan was going home that week.

Adam talked a good game, but didn’t win anything on his own, till very late in the game. Even at the end he was talking about having to win a competition, then he would lose the competition. Men did not do well in the endurance competitions, as Danielle and Rachel won the endurance competitions.

Rachel deserved to win, even though CBS gave her some assistance with the Pandora’s Box coming into play. That wasn’t her fault since she played the cards she was dealt with and turned it into $500,000. Rachel and Brendon should now have the money for their big wedding and the money should help with Brendon’s studies as he tries for his Ph.D.

The house guests for the most part will disappear back into society, like they usually do after their season is over, with most of them never heard from again.

Two months from now, it will be difficult to even find anything about what they are doing by doing a Google search.

ONLY 9 MONTHS AND 20 DAYS TILL BIG BROTHER 14 STARTS NEXT JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Brother 13: HOH Part 2 Winner Revealed: Spoilers Alert!!!!!!!!!!!

SPOILERS ALERT!!!!

SPOILERS ALERT!!!!

SPOILERS ALERT!!!!

SPOILERS ALERT!!!!

HOH PART 2 WINNER REVEALED

DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW 

THE RESULTS TILL THE WEDNESDAY FINALE

Big Brother 13 started July 7 and the season will end Wednesday night after a season in which veterans of past Big Brother seasons competed against eight newbies.

Porsche Briggs of the newbies side will battle veteran Rachel Reilly to see which one will win the final HOH of the season. Rachel had won Part 1 of the HOH, while Porsche defeated Adam Poch in Part 2, setting up Wednesday’s battle.

Rachel and Porsche apparently plan to take each other to the final two, as of today at least, but that could change.

It seems to me that a smarter game move for Rachel or Porsche would be to take Adam to the final two. It would almost insure them of winning the $500,000 since Adam has not done much, in the way of winning competitions till lately.

On the other hand Porsche and Rachel, have been better overall competitors, with Rachel winning three HOH’s and Porsche trying to win most of her competitions, since she finished second so often.

This is all still conjecture, since it depends on who wins Part 3 and what their decision will be on Wednesday night. If Porsche or Rachel think it through, they may realize taking Adam to final two, would be the smart thing to do financially.

There is only 2 days and 12 hours from this minute on Monday morning, till the last show will be televised.

If there was any doubt that the producers manipulated the show this season, it was removed when Porsche couldn’t resist taking the $5,000 for herself from Pandora’s Box. CBS knew it would be too tempting for Porsche to pass up the chance to win the money. They also knew by unleashing the duo twist again, that it would keep two of their biggest drawing cards on the show, in Rachel and Jordan. Rachel true to form won the veto and saved her or Jordan from going home that week.

Then when Rachel opens Pandora’ s Box, Tori Spelling and Jessie Godderz were unleashed on the house, which didn’t affect the game at all. Will never forget Rachel watching the other house guests talking to Tori and shopping for free clothes, while Jessie is trying to distract her by posing and giving her products with his name on them.

This has to be one of the most successful shows ever, in the ratings and we undoubtedly will see CBS producers manipulate the show even more in the future to keep the high ratings.

Big Brother 13: Spoiler Updates Since Wednesday’s Show

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!

DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHO WAS NOMINATED FOR EVICTION BY ADAM

OR WHO WON THE POV LAST NIGHT AFTER THE SHOW

Porsche Briggs and Rachel Reilly are the strongest competitors remaining in the Big Brother 13 house and may face each other and another contestant in the HOH endurance tonight.

And then there were four….With Kalia being evicted out of the Big Brother 13 house, that left Adam, Rachel, Porsche and Jordan as the final four.

Adam won HOH before the show ended last night. Adam nominated Porsche and Jordan for eviction. It is not clear when the POV ceremony will be, but Porsche is expected to take herself off the block and Adam would be forced to replace her with Rachel going on the block.

Porsche shown ironing what may be her eviction dress for tonight's show she is expecting to be evicted tonight.

Porsche will be the only voter and she is leaning toward evicting Jordan, since she won two years ago. I can understand her reasoning, but is it smart to keep a strong competitor like Rachel in the game, who is likely going to be her toughest competitor in the endurance portion of HOH tonight.

She may make a $50,000 or $500,000 mistake by keeping Rachel in the game. She might beat Rachel if they are in the final two, but she has no guarantee of reaching the final two, so evicting Jordan who is not much of a competitor could keep her out of the money. So what if Jordan has won before….that is not a good reason to make a stupid game move of her own.

I doubt Jordan and Adam would offer much competition for Porsche in the endurance HOH, but with Rachel who is the most athletic, of any of the  three remaining contestants,  if Jordan is convicted Porsche may regret sending Jordan home, if she does.

Jury House Confrontation

Last night we saw that Jeff has not forgiven or forgotten Shelly’s part in his eviction. It used to be that the jury house was sort of oasis, in which the contestants could forget the game, but looks like that has changed this season.

You would think that with no chance of winning the game, that those in the jury house would just cool it and enjoy the swimming pool and other amenities available at the jury house.

Pandora’s Box Just A Producer’s Tool

It was never more evident that Pandora’s box is nothing more than a producer’s tool to manipulate the game when punishment inflicted on the house resulted in Rachel and Jordan staying in the game. They knew Porsche would take the money, so they switched back to the couples format for one week, to give Rachel and Jordan a chance to stay in the game.

Next thing you knew Rachel won the POV and stayed in the game. The producers didn’t want Rachel leaving the show that soon, so they took matters into their own hands. If Rachel had left then, the house would likely be a house with no drama. Fans don’t tune into the show to see no drama, because that means lower ratings, so CBS stepped in and solved that problem.

However, when Rachel opened Pandora’s Box the house didn’t receive a punishment, but instead got to talk to Tori Spelling and go on a shopping spree for clothes. Rachel got the punishment having to put up with the repugnant Jessie Godderz, who has appeared in Big Brother four times.

He has appeared twice as a contestant and twice as a Pandora’s Box booby prize. It would only be fair to unleash something detrimental to Rachel’s game, like they did to Porsche and her alliance.

I can’t recall another Big Brother season, in which CBS manipulated the show, to the extent they have this season. They have found out if they manipulate the show, that higher ratings result.

Six Days Remain Till Finale

Only six days remain till the jury decides which of the remaining two contestants wins the $500,000. If Jordan is evicted tonight, Rachel, Porsche and Adam will battle for the final two spot. Two of them will be in the money this season while the other only takes memories out of the Big Brother house, but no cash.

Jeff and Jordan should be reunited tomorrow at the jury house if she is the one evicted.

We will find out tonight what the HOH endurance contest will be this season. It could be a long night in the endurance contest or it could be over in a hurry like they have recently.

Tune in CBS at 8:00 PM for tonight’s show. President Obama’s speech should not affect the starting time of Big Brother.

 

 

 

 

 

Big Brother 13: Keith Evicted, Jordan Wins HOH

Jordan Lloyd is the new HOH after Keith Henderson was the first house guest to be evicted during the Big Brother 13 season.

Keith Henderson may have made one of the biggest blunders in Big Brother history by throwing the Veto competition while he was on the block. His partner Porsche Briggs also threw the competition, almost certainly making it the first time both members up for conviction threw a competition, that if they had won would have extended their stay on the show. Julie Chen called out Keith on why he would try to throw the competition and he replied that he thought he had the votes. He should have known that you never assume anything on Big Brother.

 
Surprisingly two of the rookie players voted to evict Keith, even though he was a newbie. Kalia Booker and Shelly Moore were the two that voted to evict Keith.
 
 
Two Rookies Flipped Votes
 
The veteran players had to be ecstatic to know that two of the rookies voted against their own player. The rookies now hold a 7-5 edge in the competition, but will have two of their players on the block, meaning only five of them will be able to vote. Only four veterans can vote, with Jordan not being allowed to vote as HOH.
 
After next week’s eviction the rookies will only have a 6-5 edge. The loss of Evil Dick Donato really hurt the veterans. If he had stayed both the rookies and veterans would have six players remaining in the game after next week’s eviction.
 
Julie Chen surprised Daniele Donato by asking why she didn’t say “I love you” to her dad when she had the chance. However, while  voting in the diary room Daniele said she did love her father, but she probably wouldn’t have said it,  if not for Julie bringing up the subject.
 
 
Brendon Tells Rachel to Tone Down Behavior
 
Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly battled again last night after Rachel told Cassi Colvin that she liked Porsche. Brendon told Rachel she is making them a target by her behavior. Rachel seems to have a penchant for stirring up trouble, instead of concentrating on game play. Brendon will have his hands full, trying to rein in Rachel’s aggressive behavior, or she may be the first veteran player to be evicted.
 
Jordan more than likely will put up Dominic Briones and Adam Poch for nomination. Both of them may be told by the veterans that they will be safe, then one or the other will be evicted, depending on the outcome of the Veto competition. Latest plans by the veterans if Dominic and Adam win the Veto competition is to put up Shelly and Cassi in their place.
 
However, with Big Brother things can change in a hurry and the next eviction is six days away. The rookies know that two of their own voted to keep Porsche instead of Keith and have been trying to figure out who those voters were.
 
Cassi and Dominic think they have figured out that Kalia and Adam were the ones that flipped their votes. Cassi would be shocked if she knew her partner Shelly was one of the two that flipped their votes.
 
 
Loss of Evil Dick Could Affect CBS Ratings
 
Big Brother 13 may see a ratings dip with the departure of Evil Dick Donato. Rachel is now the only real villain this season, so far at least. If she goes home early in the season, the show will be left with a house full of people who get along well. That scenario is the worst nightmare for CBS. Adam seems to be the only loose cannon on the rookies side, but may not last long in this season.
 
Jeff and Jordan should draw a lot of fans as long as they remain in the game, but the rookies so far, have no villain to speak of. Instead the rookies are positioning themselves to be able to join forces with the veterans or remain with the rookies. The rookies alliance crumbled last night with the two flipped votes.
 
The game could turn into a rout for the veterans, which would not help ratings in the least. Drama is what attracts viewers and there could be very little drama if Rachel, Jeff and Jordan were to leave early in the game.
 
Jeff More Involved in Gameplay This Season
 
Jeff Schroeder is more involved in the game than he was in Big Brother 11, when he and Jordan were almost like bystanders, for a good part of that season. Jordan is a lot smarter than she is putting on and like Jeff has learned from being on Big Brother 11.
 
It  impressed me when Brendon almost lost it and wanted to hit someone when Evil Dick left the show, then Jeff showing himself to be the veteran he is said to not give up hope and to keep winning HOH week after week. The flipping of two votes and Jordan winning the HOH, should tell Brendon that the veterans are in this to win it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Evil Dick Leaves Big Brother 13 House

CBS made a shocking announcement on Friday, that Evil Dick Donato has left the Big Brother house due to a personal matter. The other house guests had to be happy, to know he was gone.

His departure came only one day after the premiere of Big Brother 13 last night. The combination of having two of the most volatile house guests returning to the show in Evil Dick and Rachel Reilly would have probably sparked the ratings. With Evil Dick gone, Rachel may not be able to draw viewers like Evil Dick.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/07/08/big-brother-dick-donato/

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