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:
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 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 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.
I had forgotten just how good of a show, that Adam 12 was but it only took watching one episode to remind me.
Season 13 of American Idol should be devoid of the drama last year, between dueling divas Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
Keith Urban will be the only returning judge from Season 12. Jennifer Lopez returns after taking a year off, while Harry Connick becomes the 11th judge, since the show debuted in 2002.
The producers apparently didn’t want a repeat of the hostility, between the two lady judges Minaj and Carey, so Lopez will be the sole female on the judging panel in 2014.
It was easy to tell during Season 12, that the feud between Minaj and Carey was a major distraction and took the focus off the contestants.
The Season 13 lineup of judges tells me, that the contestants will be the main focus this season. I won’t miss the snarky comments of Ms.Minaj. She was by far the rudest judge to ever appear on the judging panel. She turned out to be a female version of Simon Cowell and even a shade ruder, than the master of put downs.
I have found Jennifer Lopez, to be a compassionate judge and isn’t inclined to make catty remarks, about the singers like Nicki Minaj did in Season 12.
Keith Urban also refrained from making his criticisms too harsh, while judging the contestants.
Harry Connick Jr. will probably be my favorite judge, since he sings the music from the 40’s and 50’s that I grew up and probably won’t harp on music needing to be more contemporary, since he sings a lot of the American standards that ruled the music world, before Bill Haley and the Comets and Elvis Presley hit the music scene in the 50’s.
Randy Jackson To Mentor in 2014
Hopefully, we have heard the last of Randy Jackson’s catch phrases like “In it to win it”, “Dude that was not good for me”, “I’m sorry dawg, that didn’t work for me”, “I loved every minute of it, you were the bomb” and “I don’t know dawg, it sounded a little pitchy for me”.
Jackson has replaced last year’s mentor-critic Jimmy Iovine, so it will be interesting to see how Jackson handles his new role in the show.
Ryan Seacrest returns for Season 13 and has been the host since the show debuted in 2002 with Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman sharing the hosting duties in Season 1.
American Idol’s ratings peaked in 2003, when 38 million viewers watched the Season 2 finale. Only 14 million watched the Season 12 finale. A loss of 24 million viewers has to be a concern for the producers.
The Voice drew over 15 million viewers to their finale in Season 4, surpassing American Idol for the first time and viewership has increased each year. I lose interest in The Voice, once the blind auditions are over, but sometimes will watch the live shows. Battle rounds and knockout rounds sound too much like a boxing competition, instead of a singing competition, so I skip those rounds altogether.
The winners of The Voice have been Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery. None of them have really done much, to advance their careers since winning.
X-Factor has not been a factor in the singing completion genre, with only 9 million viewers watching the Season 2 finale.
The first two winners of X-Factor, Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens have not made much of an impact, on the music world that I am aware of.
American Idol Still No.1
American Idol is still No.1 in my book. The show will never regain the notoriety it had, with other singing completion shows proliferating today, but for me it has kept my interest since watching Season 2 and I have been hooked on it ever since.
As far as I know it is the only singing competition show, to have winners sell millions of records and those winners become household names. I remember when Simon Cowell told Carrie Underwood on the show, that she would sell millions of records and his prediction was right on the mark.
The Voice and X-Factor Competing Again
The X-Factor has already started Season 3 and The Voice will be soon starting Season 5. I would be shocked if X-Factor were to fare better in the ratings, than The Voice since the fans of the The Voice seem to be very loyal.
We don’t receive Fox on our satellite, so we have to switch off the satellite to antenna to watch X-Factor and American Idol. Worst thing is that we have to watch every last commercial since we can’t record, either of those shows so we wind up not watching X-Factor, but will watch American Idol, because it seems like the only singing competition show, that is actually producing singers who make it in the music world.
Some historians say southern gospel music was founded in the 1870’s but 1910 is when the first southern gospel quartet was formed.
However, the first southern gospel song The Old Time Religion was published in 1873. Charles Davis Tillman is credited with bringing the song to white southerners, when he heard African-Americans sing it in a tent meeting in South Carolina.
The song is still being sung 140 years later in churches and in gospel singing concerts. The song was used in the movie Sergeant York in 1941. Life’s Railway to Heaven is another song brought to southern gospel fans by Tillman. The Carter Family, Chuck Wagon Gang and Oak Ridge Boys were just some of the groups and soloists who sang the song.
Poor Wayfaring Stranger was even older than the other songs mentioned, since it was found in a 1858 songbook. It has been sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Cash and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, not to mention too many other groups and soloists to mention.
Singing schools such as the Stamps-Baxter School of Music taught quartet singers to sing their part properly and how to blend in with a group, when the whole quartet sang at once.
Southern gospel music could be heard at singing conventions, which featured more difficult songs like I’m Winging My Way Back Home and Heavenly Parade. I can personally vouch for how difficult I’m Winging My Way Back Home can be to sing, since I have tried to sing it in choirs and have not had much success. When done right though it is true southern gospel music at its best.
The Cathedral quartet first became known as part of the Rex Humbard ministry.
The Blackwood Brothers Quartet was formed in 1934 and still is singing today 79 years later. Tragedy struck the quartet in 1954 when a plane crash killed baritone R.W. Blackwood and bass singer Bill Lyles. Cecil Blackwood replaced his older brother R.W. as baritone and J.D. Sumner replaced Lyles as the bass singer.
I have seen the Blackwood Brothers sing in the Alexandria, Louisiana area a few times, but never saw them with J.D. Sumner singing bass, since Ken Turner was singing the bass part. James Blackwood singing lead made up for that though, with his great delivery of the songs we grew up with. My mother lived in the Hiawatha, Kansas area in the 1970’s and was able to see the Blackwood Brothers sing there many times.
J.D. left and joined the Stamps Quartet, which toured with Elvis Presley throughout the United States. I saw them sing backup for Elvis in 1977, shortly before Elvis died, in a concert in March of 1977 and when Elvis wasn’t feeling well he had one of the quartet singers sing a song, while he sat down and gathered enough strength to continue the concert.
I can remember when a local southern gospel radio station in Pineville, Louisiana held a concert every year in the Rapides Parish Coliseum, in Alexandria, Louisiana. I heard that a heckler one time was giving Howard Goodman of the Happy Goodman Family a rough time, but if I remember right Howard got the best of it.
My favorite gospel quartet is the Dove Brothers Quartet which was founded in 1998.
We traveled 200 miles to see them in Texarkana, Texas and will never forget them singing When I Move ToHallelujah Square and the classic Get Away Jordan which had been recorded many years earlier by the Statesman Quartet.
I was able to talk to all the members of their quartet at their product table and would travel many times to see them in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and they finally appeared in my hometown of Pineville, Louisiana.
Only McCray Dove, Eric Dove and Burman Porter are singing in the current configuration of the group.
The following video is of the Dove Brothers Quartet singing Get Away Jordan, at the National Quartet Convention in 1999 at Louisville, Kentucky. We need more singing like this today.
Most southern gospel fans like to hear the tenor or bass being featured on songs. I like the traditional southern gospel songs like He Touched Me, Mansion on the Hilltop, I Never Shall Forget That Day, The Old Country Church, Without Him, Farther Along, The King is Coming, The Lighthouse and O What a Savior.
Bill Gaither has done a lot to make southern gospel music more popular, since he brought the well-known names of the past back to the forefront, through his homecoming videos. We have at least 10 of his videos and enjoy watching the greats of the past singing on stage in unison.
The Atlanta Homecoming video is one of my favorites of the series, but my favorite is the Ryman Gospel Reunion video. That video includes The Lighthouse, Unclouded Day, I Never Shall Forget That Day and too many others to list them all. Clips of all the songs on the video can be heard at Amazon.com:
Some of those who will be inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame on October 2, 2013 in Dollywood:
Thomas Dorsey, who wrote Take My Hand Precious Lord and Peace in the Valley. He died in 1993.
Tim Riley, who is owner of and bass singer for Gold City Quartet.
“Little” Roy Lewis and Polly Lewis of the Lewis Family.
It is sad that southern gospel groups don’t travel as far south as Louisiana, as they used to but the big busses of these days owned by the groups make it cost prohibitive, because of the higher gasoline prices.
We may not hear southern gospel music as much as we once did, but we are glad to be members of Calvary Baptist Church in Merryville, Louisiana, which sometimes even sings from a southern gospel music hymnbook and southern gospel music is often sung for special music.
I was born in 1944 in West Lafayette, Indiana and moved to Pineville, Louisiana, before my 2nd birthday in 1946, so my dad could teach chemistry at Louisiana College.
My first memory of Pineville was starting the first grade at Pineville Elementary in 1950 and walking the mile to school. I did ride the bus in the second grade, until the day I didn’t get off, at my stop and wound up in Libuse, Louisiana, which was about a ten-mile walk back home. Needless to say I never rode a bus to school after that incident. The bus driver was Harold Price, who drove a school bus many years.
I remember being in the class of Mrs. Eva Price, if I recall her first name right. One of my best friends in first grade was Robert Cavanaugh, who would later run track for Pineville High School and LSU. Then later Dr. Cavanaugh would become the chancellor of LSU in Alexandria and was responsible for it becoming a four-year college.
One thing I remember about the first grade is the ten-cent lunches. The price has probably gone up to 15 cents some 63 years later.
The second grade through fourth grade years sort of ran together, with no standout memories from those years. I do remember my second grade teacher being Mrs. Frankie Reed, third grade teacher being Mrs. Clarice Ellis and fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Etta O’Neal.
My fifth grade teacher was Mrs.Mabel Powell and my main memory of that year was that I played my first Little League game the last day of school. I played for Bates Insurance Co. team that year and made a shoestring catch in that first game off of a ball hit by Luther Richardson. Think I was more surprised, than anyone else that I caught the ball.
Mrs. Scivique (sp) was my sixth grade teacher if I remember right, but can’t remember her first name. Grady Harper was my seventh grade teacher and I think Robert Cespiva was my eighth grade teacher, but not sure of that.
1957 was a year that stood out, since that was the year Hurricane Audrey hit the Pineville area that June. I can remember Jim Gaines of KALB radio giving the latest reports about the hurricane. One memory is that we had no power for three days and my dad went to Jimmie Hoyt’s to buy some dry ice.
1957 Trip To Maine
My most vivid memory of 1957 didn’t take place in Pineville, since my dad and my older brother took a trip to Maine that summer. The trip was an education in itself, as we stopped at tourist stops like Rock City and can remember the signs saying SEE ROCK CITY on the roofs of barns along the way. We also saw many Burma Shave signs on the trip.
Stopping at Mount Vernon was one of the highlights, while Washington, D.C. was the place that I remember best. We went inside the Capitol building and saw Congress in action, saw the U.S. Mint making bills and visited the National Archive building. We also visited the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Smithsonian Institution was particularly interesting, where we saw the Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling. The last place I remember seeing was the Library of Congress.
Having been an avid baseball fan it was a thrill to see a major league game in Connie Mack Stadium, which was my first game to ever see. Saw future Hall of Famers like Roberto Clemente and Richie Ashburn in the game that, plus another Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit a home run that landed on tin roof above us in left field bleachers.
We also went to the planetarium in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell.
New York City was a place I will never forget and have not been there in the last 56 years. The main thing I can remember is seeing drunks lying on sidewalk in the Bowery District. That is something a 12 year-old kid always remembers.
We drove on to Beverly, Massachusetts, which was our next destination, since my Dad was there for the American Chemical Society convention there. I remember stopping at a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant with the famous orange roof and was impressed that they had 31 flavors of ice cream.
While in the area we were able to see the House of Seven Gables and Cape Cod.
The convention dealt with such topics as radiocarbon dating of trees and many other topics, that a 12 year-old would never comprehend.
Then we went on to Maine to see my Uncle John for the first time and I think the only time. It would be the only time to see my Maine relatives, since my cousin Jim would die in Vietnam in the 60’s, while piloting a helicopter and was shot down.
We stopped in Millville, New Jersey to pick up my Dad’s mom and while there saw my Grandpa Godfrey for the first and only time, while he was in the hospital. That reminds me of the times pranksters would call his grocery store and ask if he had Prince Albert in cans and then when he said yes, they would say then let him out.
The first and only stop on the way back home was Warsaw, Kentucky and Dad drove almost non-stop from there to Pineville, since school started the same day we got back home.
I don’t remember this but my mom told me I had gotten out of the A&P Grocery store at the age of three and walked down to the Murray Street Bridge. George Huffman a Pineville policeman, according to my mom said when he took me off the bridge that he was going to put me in jail, if it ever happened again. I probably didn’t even know what a jail was at that time, since we wouldn’t even have a television till six years later.
We didn’t have a television till I was about 9 years old and the only reason we got one was because, of my sister’s eye doctor prescribed it for her, so she could use both eyes and we had a polaroid screen on one side to make her use her “lazy” eye.
Being on Cactus Jack with Jack McCall hosting the show on KALB TV was one of my memories from this period and being in the Cub Scouts was another and I can remember riding in the Alexandria Christmas Parade one year.
George Huffman was part of another memory, when we thought our cat may have had rabies, so he tried to shoot at it with a shotgun under the house, but missed and the cat lived happily ever after.
My folks liked to go to Berwick’s Drug Store in downtown Pineville. The dilapidated building was not like Walgreen’s stores of today, but they must have had good prices on prescriptions.
Plane Crashes During Little League Game
One night we were playing a Little League game at Sandy Canyon, when I heard someone say “That plane’s going to crash” and we could see the plane heading downward and it landed near the Memorial Cemetery for veterans about a block from Main Street in downtown Pineville.
Pineville Elementary Burns Down
Pineville Elementary burned down shortly after I finished the eighth grade. This photo shows the firemen battling the blaze:
The story as it appeared in the Alexandria Daily Town Talk the next day:
Will never forget riding the mile from home to the fire that night. News traveled fast back then, even without any media coverage to speak of.
Fast Thinking Commercial Spokesman
Will never forget Larry McHale of KALB TV, who was ordinarily a newsman, but was advertising the virtues of a certain brand of cigarettes. Then in the middle of the commercial he starts coughing and thinking fast said “Just the thinking of those other brands makes me cough”.
Daredevil Over Red River
One memory that stands out is when a motorcyclist ran across the Red River on a some kind of contraption, that enabled him to ride a motorcycle. Anyone there that day is welcome to give their version of what happened that day.
College Drive Baptist Church Founded in 1947
Think we were living on Lawrence Boulevard, when College Drive Baptist Church was founded in 1947. It is now 66 years old and was located close to Louisiana College. I can remember J. Taylor Walworth as the founding pastor, when we joined in 1948. He is one of the few people in my life that never changed and looked the same shortly before his death many years later.
Can remember when Harvey McGraw was the education superintendent and a Sunday, which had 237 people present in Sunday School. It was a different time back then when fewer Louisiana College students had their own car, so they naturally walked to the church, which was closest to the college. As the years went by and more students had their own vehicles attendance started to fall. Students then could drive to the bigger churches in Alexandria and Pineville.
Starting Pineville High School in 1958
It was a huge change going from elementary school to high school and it took time to get used to moving from class to class all day at Pineville High. Went to summer school for three years, but graduated from Pineville High in September of 1962.
State Football Champions in 1960
The highlight of my high school years was when the Pineville High Rebels won the state football championship in 1960. Coach Jimmy Keeth and assistant Coach Vernon Beall led the team to a year, that the coaches and players will never forget. I think Coach Gene Millet was also a coach that year, but not positive. There has not been another championship football team from Pineville High School in the last 53 years making that year even more special.
Said Goodbye to Pineville in October of 1962
I joined the United States Army Reserve in 1962 and went to Fort Polk, Louisiana for basic training. Finished basic shortly before Christmas, then about two weeks later boarded a train at the Missouri Pacific station for Indianapolis,Indiana and headed for the brutal Indian winter, with snow on the ground in Indianapolis, when I arrived in January of 1963.
Returned home again from the Adjutant General School in Indianapolis in April of 1963. It didn’t take long to get tired of going to Army Reserve meetings, so joined the Regular Army for a three year enlistment in May of 1963 and would only come home in October of 1964 and 1965, before being honorably discharged in May of 1966 after a tour of duty in Hawaii and Vietnam.
Town Talk Employment
It was later in 1966, when I would be employed by the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, not having any idea that I would be working there for 36 years with two years working for the Monroe Morning World from 1974-1976 leaving Town Talk for an $8 a week raise, but Monroe paper had me working so much overtime, that I earned $5,000 more than I had earned with Town Talk the year before. Elvis Presley, indirectly helped me get the job in Monroe. We were in Monroe to see Elvis Presley and happened to drive by the newspaper and I wound up mailing in a job application, which was accepted.
More Memories of Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s
I remember we didn’t worry about how hot it was, because we didn’t know what air conditioning was and didn’t have one till the late 60’s. We only had one television station the first few years, before Alpine Cable came to town.
We would go out Highway 28 on our bicycles, since there was not much traffic. Nowadays it would be foolish to try to ride a bike on that same road today.
I can remember the Star Theater on Main Street catching on fire and Chief Crazy Horse and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were on the marquee that day.
Think it was still in the 60’s when Louisiana College ended their football program, due to lack of attendance at the games. I can remember the names of some players from back then like Clayton and Harry Bullard, Bill Mount, David Corley, Harry Ingalls, Frank Mobley, Gene Southern, Jim Jossick and Moose Munyan and of course Hamburger Harrison.
I remember George Huffman and Gus Perry from the Pineville Police Department and for some reason those are the only names I can recall.
Will never forget T.C. Brister who owned a sporting goods store letting me pay $6 for a $6.50 Nokona baseball glove, because that was all the money I had with me.
Can remember going to the display window of Jimmy Walker’s Appliance to watch television at night. I can remember visiting neighbors who had a television, which only got a New Orleans station and the picture was mostly snow, but a better picture would appear from time to time.
Trips to A&W Root Beer stand in Alexandria were a special treat. Those frosty mugs filled with root beer always hit the spot.
It is good to know that the same Martin Library we used to go to in the 50’s and 60’s is still operating many years later.
Remember well walking to Jack’s to buy the Sporting News baseball newspaper for a quarter on way home from high school.
Can remember the KALB radio record hops with the Big Bopper appearing a year or two before his death in a plane crash,which also killed Buddy Holly in Iowa.
Who can forget Mr. Pendergrast walking down the street with his top hat? There were rumors that he was rich, but not sure if he was or not. He sure didn’t live like a rich man.
Hope this article revives memories of what it was like growing up in Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s.
The Donna Reed Show first appeared on ABC television network, on September 24, 1958 and would air its last show on March 19,1966.
The Donna Reed Show hasn’t received the recognition it deserved over the years. I have not heard of it being shown on the schedule of any television network. It was one of the better known situation comedies, at the time but with time has faded into oblivion, for the most part since its last show 47 years ago.
The show made recording stars of Shelley Fabares who sang the million selling “Johnny Angel” and Paul Petersen who sang “She Can’t Find Her Keys”.
Donna Reed tired of making the shows, so the show ended after 275 episodes in 1966. She appeared as Miss Ellie in 24 episodes of Dallas from 1984-1985 and died on January 14, 1986 in Beverly Hills, California from pancreatic cancer.
Carl Betz went on to star in Judd For The Defense from 1967-1969 and appeared on television and in the movies through 1977, before dying of cancer on January 18, 1978 in Los Angeles, California.
Paul Petersen has been very active in television and movies, since the Donna Reed Show ended and he appeared in eight episodes of Matt Houston in different roles. He is currently filming the movie Executive Ranks.
Petersen is well-known for his work with former child stars, who had problems adapting to life after stardom. The death of Rusty Hamer of Make Room For Daddy fame. Hamer committed suicide 10 miles from where I am writing this, when he shot himself in Deridder, Louisiana at the age of 42.
It was all the motivation that Petersen needed to strive to help child stars, who couldn’t cope in the real world.
Petersen will be 68 in September.
Shelley Fabares is now 69 and acted in three Elvis Presley movies, Girl Happy in 1965, Spinout in 1966 and Clambake in 1967.
She was the co-star of the Brian Keith Show and appeared in all 47 episodes from 1972-1974. Fabares also appeared in 27 episodes of One Day At A Time from 1978-1984.
Her most successful role after the Donna Reed Show was her run on Coach from 1989-1997, when she portrayed Christine Armstrong in all 199 episodes.
The last movie Fabares appeared in was Playing To Win: A Moment of Truth a 1998 TV movie and she has done voice work mostly and has not been active in the last seven years.
Crazyabouttv.com lists all 275 episodes in the series:
The Celebrity Net Worth website lists 80 year-old Petula Clark as being worth $10 million. Clark has now been singing for 74 years. When I think of Petula Clark I think of her hit song Downtown.
Fabian Forte known only as Fabian by most rock and roll fans was 70 last February and although he may not have a lot of hit songs he made his mark in the movies, appearing in a total of 45 movies and TV shows from 1959-1996. Celebrity Net Worth lists Fabian’s net worth at $25 million.
Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. may be only 16, but he is already worth $100 million.. He may or may not have access to that money now, but his financial security is insured, if he doesn’t go through his money too fast.
The net worth of Connie Francis is listed at $25 million despite the fact that she only had three No.1 hits in her 70 year career. The 74-year-old Francis had her first No.1 hit in My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own in 1960. Her next No. 1 hit was released in 1961 when Together was No.1 on adult contemporary chart and her last No. 1 hit was Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You which reached No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1962. Francis has not even released an album since 1969. One of her best known songs was Who’s Sorry Now, but it peaked at No.4 for her first Top 10 hit in 1957.
Her biggest regret was not marrying Bobby Darin, after her dad chased Darin out of a building at gunpoint. He then said Darin was out of their lives, when the news of his marriage was broadcast on the radio. Francis said she wished their car had been filled with water, while driving in the Lincoln Tunnel and hoping her father would both be killed.
The 74 year-old Gordon Lightfoot is listed as being worth $30 million. Lightfoot has been singing since 1956 at the age of 18. Bob Dylan said Lightfoot was one of his favorite songwriters. He wrote Early Morning Rain, which was covered by many well-known singers including Elvis Presley.
His first No.1 song was If You Could Read My Mind, which reached No.1 in Canada in 1970. His other No. 1 hits on Canadian pop charts were Sundown in 1974 and The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald in 1976. Lightfoot had nine songs reach No.1 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary charts. Sundown was the only Lightfoot song to reach No.1 on the U.S. pop charts, but he placed four songs on the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts.
He released his last album All Live on Rhino Records in 2012. It includes most of his most well-known hits in this list from Wikipedia:
It doesn’t seem like this December will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Roy Orbison. Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas on April 23, 1936 and died in Madison, Tennessee on December 6, 1988 at the age of 52.
Orbison has left behind a rich musical legacy with his signature songs like Crying, Only the Lonely and Oh, Pretty Woman. He also was a songwriter writing songs like Claudette, which was recorded by the Everly Brothers.
1960 would bring his first Top 10 hit Only the Lonely which reached No.2 on the Billboard charts. Orbison would release his first No.1 hit in 1960, when he recorded Running Scared and then would also see Crying reach No.2 on the charts that same year.
His main hit in 1963 was Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) which topped out at No.4 on the Billboard charts. Blue Bayou, one of his better known songs only reached No.29 in the United States, but went to No.1 in Australia. Mean Woman Blues peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard charts that same year. In fact he only had two No.1 songs on pop charts in the United States, but had nine No. 1 hits in Australia.
Oh, Pretty Woman was his last No.1 hit in 1964, but he released It’s Over, which topped out at No.9 on pop charts, but claimed the No.1 spot on adult contemporary charts in 1964.
Orbison would not record another No.1 hit in the United States in the last 28 years of his singing career.
Opened For Beatles In United Kingdom
Duane Eddy was scheduled to appear in United Kingdom in 1963, but he was replaced by Roy Orbison. He opened for the Beatles and he performed without moving and yet the fans liked him so much that they asked for encores fourteen times. By this time the Beatles finally had to physically hold him back, so they could go on stage. The crowd was chanting “We want Roy” which was a surprise, since the fans came to see the Beatles that night.
Orbison didn’t even know who the Beatles were and asked what’s a beetle and John Lennon said “I am”. The Beatles and Orbison became good friends later as they admired Orbison for commanding a crowd, even though he hardly even moved.
Wife Has Affair With Contractor
Orbison’s wife Claudette had an affair with the contractor who built their Hendersonville, Tennessee home. Claudette did join him that fall on a tour to England. She gave Orbison the idea for his hit song Oh, Pretty Woman, when she told him that she was leaving for home. He asked her if she needed money and she said ” Pretty woman never needs money” and it was only 40 minutes later before the song Oh, Pretty Woman was finished.
The first of a string of tragedies began for Orbison during a 1965 tour in UK. He broke his foot in front of thousands of screaming fans and had to perform in a cast. He reconciled with his wife Claudette after the accident, but she would die the next year when she was hit by a semi-trailer while she and Orbison were riding home on separate motorcycles on June 6, 1966.
Tragedy struck Orbison again on September 16, 1968, when he learned his Hendersonville, Tennessee home had burned down and his two eldest sons had perished in the fire. Orbison had now lost his wife and two sons in 27 months time. He would marry Barbara Jakobs of Germany on March 25, 1969.
Orbison would have to have a triple heart bypass on January 18, 1978.
Career Revived in 1987
Roy Orbison started to revive his music career in 1987, after being pushed into the background by the British invasion. He joined the Traveling Wilburys, which played a major part in reviving his career. His stage name was Lefty Wilbury in honor of the late country music star Lefty Frizzell.
Death and Aftermath
Orbison would travel to Europe in November of 1988 and some observers noticed that he looked ill, but he continued to perform. He then returned to Hendersonville to rest, before embarking on another trip to London this time, to film two videos for the Traveling Wilburys.
However, the trip would never take place, because he would fly model airplanes with his son on December 6, 1988 and then visited his mother for dinner and died after dinner that night. Ironically his wife Barbara would die on the same date 23 years later on December 6, 2011 from pancreatic cancer.
Roy Orbison left a rich musical legacy behind for his fans. Only Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison have had two Top 5 albums at the same time. He will be forever remembered for singing while not moving, wearing his sunglasses and being dressed in black. His music is still being sung today as evidenced by Kree Harrison, an American Idol contestant sang Crying last Wednesday night, which reminded me of Orbison singing the original version which can be heard below.