Chamblee54

Rudolph

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on December 15, 2019


Someone posted a bit of revisionism about a holiday classic. As he sees it, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is about racism.

In a bit of yuletime synchronicity, the urban mythbusters at Snopes posted a piece about Rudolph the same day. It seems as though the Rudolph story was originally written for the Montgomery Ward Stores. The idea was to print a Christmas booklet to give to customers. A staff writer named Robert L. May was picked for the job.

Originally, there were concerns about the red nose, and the connection to heavy drinking. At the time, the original meaning of “merry christmas” had been forgotten. Merry meant intoxicated, and a merry christmas was a drunken one. The booklet was released. It was a big hit with shoppers.

Mr. May had a brother in law named Johnny Marks, who was musically gifted. Mr. Marks wrote the song, and somehow or another Gene Autry came to sing it. A story (which PG heard once, but cannot find a source for) had Mr. Autry doing a recording session. The session went very smoothly, and the sides scheduled to be recorded were finished early. There was a half hour of studio time paid for. Someone produced copies of “Rudolph”, gave them to the musicians, and the recording was knocked out. It became a very big hit.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has become a beloved standard, without the troubling religious implications of many holiday songs. It is the second biggest selling record of all time. The only song to sell more is “White Christmas”.

The story above is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There is an appearance by Gerald Rudolph Ford, and his women. Betty was a merry soul.

Judy Roasting On An Open Fire

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on December 12, 2019

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SFFILK (Not his real name) passes along a story about Mel Tormé. It seems like Mr.Tormé was eating a leisurely breakfast at a food court in Los Angeles, and a quartet appeared singing Christmas songs. They wound up performing “The Christmas Song” for co- author Tormé … and the singers had no idea who he was. It is a good story, better told in the link. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

According to the inerrant Wikipedia, Mr. Tormé collaborated with Robert Wells, until they had a falling out. One afternoon, on the hottest day of July in 1945, Mr.Tormé went to visit Mr.Wells, and saw the first four lines of “The Christmas Song” (including “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”). The lines were on a note pad, and the two agreed to beat the heat of summer by completing the song. Supposedly, Mr. Tormé did not like the song very much. After three divorces, he probably didn’t see many of the royalties.

Mel Tormé was the music director of the ill fated “Judy Garland Show” in the early sixties. He wrote a book about it… The Other Side of the Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol . The story is that Miss Garland would get blasted, call Mr.Tormé in the middle of the night, and pour out her troubles. (This review is much less sympathetic towards Mr. Tormé.) While the show did not last longer, there are some great youtube clips left over.

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Turn Turn Turn

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on November 12, 2019

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The word Ecclesiastes has a poetic tingle. It’s place in the Old Testament is between the poetry of Proverbs, and the enticements of the Song of Soloman. Richard Brautigan counted the punctuation marks in Ecclesiastes, and found no errors. Ecclesiastes 3 was even the lyrics for a top forty song.

Turn Turn Turn is taken almost verbatim from the book of Ecclesiastes. Pete Seeger wrote a melody, and added a line. “There is a time for peace, I swear its not too late”. TTT became a hit for the Byrds in 1965, as the escalation of the Vietnam war was in full bloom.

TTT is about the dualities of life, and how there is a place for all these things. When PG was collecting rocks from destroyed houses, it was a time to gather stones together. TTT can serve as a companion to the vibrations of day to day living.

Pete Seeger died January 27, 2014. PG first heard of him when he was on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It was during Vietnam, and Mr. Seeger did a song…”Waist deep in the big muddy”… about how “The big fool said to push on, push on”. The CBS censors did not allow this the first time he appeared. Many thought he was talking about Lyndon Johnson.

“Pete Bowers” was a stage name for a young Pete Seeger. This was to avoid making trouble for his father. The band he played in, the Weavers, popularized a gullah spiritual, “Kumbaya”. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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Arlo Guthrie

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on November 3, 2019

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This is a rerun post, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The original post was half about Arlo Guthrie, and half about Ralph Reed. Today, only the part about Arlo Guthrie will be shown. If you absolutely must read about Ralph Reed, you can follow the link above, or read Lisa Baron And Ralph Reed TMI.

The entertainment today is about Arlo Guthrie . Thanksgiving is intimately connected to Mr. Guthrie. Unlike the turkey, Mr. Guthrie has gone on to have a flourishing career. He probably will not come down with Huntington’s Disease, which killed his father Woody Guthrie.

The video that goes with this text was the first time PG saw Arlo Guthrie. This was broadcast January 21, 1970. PG was an unhip fifteen year old, who had not heard Alice’s Restaurant, seen the movie, or been to Woodstock. He did see the Johnny Cash show this night, or at least the part where Arlo Guthrie did the motorcycle song.

To quote the digital facility PG is borrowing from:
” Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Woody (a folksinger) and Marjorie Mazia (a dancer; maiden name, Greenblatt) Guthrie; married Jacklyn Hyde, October 9, 1969; children: Abraham, Cathyalicia, Annie Hays, Sarah Lee.” Abraham and Sarah Lee play in Arlo’s touring band.
The Alice’s Restaurant Masacree is a part of Americana now. There are two bits of knowledge, that are as true as anything told to a Persian king. When trying to dispose of some garbage, and finding the city dump closed, Arlo found some litter by the roadside, and made a value judgment…One big pile of garbage is better than two little piles.

The second is about the draft, and the business of choosing people to fight our wars. There is a regulation today that says that Gays and Lesbians are not supposed to be soldiers and sailors. In the tale of the thanksgiving dinner, it was litterbugs. (There was also a draft, and a different war. Lots of Americans were coming home in boxes.) The bottom line: Mr. Guthrie is confused about not being considered moral enough to kill people, because he was a litterbug.

A few years into his career, Arlo Guthrie had a hit record called “City of New Orleans”. It was about a train, and said “Good Morning America”. “City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman, who is no longer with us. Mr. Goodman also wrote the perfect country and western song .

PG heard a story about Steve Goodman.
“The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this, but it is a good story.” ( A biographer of Mr. Goodman said said that the candidate was Edmund Muskie. He also says that David Allen Coe had nothing to do with the last verse of the perfect country and western song.)
As previously noted, this is a repost from a few years ago. In that time, the policy against gay people serving in the military has been dismantled. The Ralph Reeds of the world are more upset about the concept of gay marriage, than by gay people killing Muslims. Vietnam is a peaceful country, and is enjoying economic good times. The draft is something old fogies remember. The current fashion is to support war by demanding a tax cut.

Arlo Guthrie continues to make music. USA Today had a feature recently, Arlo Guthrie celebrates 50 years at ‘Alice’s Restaurant’. Arlo Davy Guthrie has a twitter account, @folkslinger, and a full head of white hair. His wife of 43 years, Jackie Guthrie, died Oct. 14, 2012. The Lenox Square theater was torn down to make way for a food court many years ago.

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The Revenge Of Puff

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Politics by chamblee54 on August 28, 2019









The national organization for marriage (NOM) wants to keep marriage as a man and woman type of thing. They have a right to say that, and to have rallies where they say that. This is America. You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how stupid it is.

What you are NOT entitled to is the unfettered use of copyrighted material. Someone heard a recording of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “This land is your land” at a NOM sponsored homonomo happening. They sent a letter to Peter Yarrow, who sent a cease and desist letter to NOM. It was co-signed by Paul Stookey. Mary Travers passed away last year.

Mr. Stookey wrote “The Wedding Song”, which is as common at weddings as inedible cake. The song…written years before same sex marriage became an issue…does talk about a woman and a man. It also says “Whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name, there is love”. With royalty revenue from that song, Mr. Stookey has a selfish interest in the institution of marriage remaining healthy. Or perhaps, an increase in those revenues from gay marriages.

As it turns out, author Woody Guthrie never renewed the copyright to TLIYL, and the song is public domain. However, the recorded version by PPM is copyrighted, and belongs to the artists. If they don’t like the way it is being used, they have every right to object.

Mr. Guthrie was not a Republican. He wrote TLIYL as a response to “G-d Bless America” a radio hit of the early forties. The original title was “G-d blessed America for me”. There are lines about private property, that are not included in the popular versions. Somehow, this song is considered a patriotic standard. Grammar school chorus class would not be the same without it.

This is a repost from 2010. In the past nine years, same sex marriage has become legal, and profitable. Pictures are from The Library of Congress, a branch of federal big government.


Coat Of Many Colors

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 21, 2019








PG saw a story, and thought about the song, “Coat of many colors”. The b side was by Porter Wagoner, “Coat of many sequins”. COMC is about a woman who is too poor to buy her little girl a coat at the store, so she makes a quilt. The other kids make fun of her, but little Dolly knows that the coat is really made of love.
The song talks about a story in the Bible. PG had heard about the story, but didn’t remember the details. He must have been daydreaming in Sunday School when that story was taught. With the help of google, Genesis 37 appears, as if by magic. Pass the popcorn.

2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age:
and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Ok, hold on for a minute. Israel had at least two wives. The Biblical definition of marriage must be between a man and two women.
The story gets a bit weird here. Joseph has this dream, where he becomes the boss hog brother. The other brothers decide something needs to be done, that Joseph needs to die. Reuben tries to help Joseph, and has a plan to save him. Joseph is stripped of the coat of many colors, and placed in a pit, with no water. Before Reuben can sneak Joseph out of the pit, a camel caravan comes by. Twenty pieces of silver change hands, and Joseph is sold into slavery. The brothers decide to pull a cover up, and make it look like Joseph was dead. Reuben made another sandwich.

31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said,
This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him;
Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted;
and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

This feature was originally posted in 2012. The pictures, from The Library of Congress, are 7 years older. Dolly Parton is 7 years younger.







Two Stories

Posted in Georgia History, Music by chamblee54 on August 18, 2019








Today’s production is two stories from 2008. PG walked down New Peachtree Road. This is Atlanta, where there are a couple of hundred roads named Peachtree. No one seems to mind that most of the peach farms are south of Macon. The peaches grow a lot better there. They fuzz comes in heavier, and the pits are pittier. One time Dagwood Bumstead asked why peaches have fuzz. Blondie said, if they has arms they could shave. PG was walking down the road in the rain, with a freight train going down the tracks. This is forty percent of the ingredients for the perfect country and western song.

When PG was younger and drunker, there was a place on Clairmont Road called the Watering Hole. He would go there, drink beer, play pool, and have a good old time. As was the custom in such facilities, there was a jukebox. The patrons put money in the box and played the songs that they wanted to hear. A favorite was “you never even called me by my name” There is a little spoken part, where David Allan Coe talks about the perfect country and western song. This song must talk about rain, Momma, trains, trucks, prison, and gettin’ drunk.

New Peachtree Road has this gravel yard where the eighteen wheelers come and go. There was a big rig backing into place when PG walked by, and he may have heard the truck bump into a trailer. PG walked in the rain, between the train, and a big rig going bump against the trailer. The problem was, Mommas gone, PG doesn’t get drunk, and prison is way too much work. So much for the perfect country and western song.

The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd.

PG told the Steve Goodman story another time. There was a comment.

Great to see your blog post that invokes Arlo Guthrie’s version of Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.” Goodman often doesn’t get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, “Steve Goodman: Facing the Music.” The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of “City of New Orleans,” and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,080 interviewees.

The book also delves deeply into “You Never Even Call Me by My Name.” John Prine and David Allan Coe were key interviewees, and the book debunks the notion, promulgated by Coe, that Coe had anything to do with triggering the famous last verse of the song.

Finally, the Humphrey story actually stems from Goodman campaigning for Sen. Edmund Muskie in Florida in early 1972.

You can find out more at my Internet site . Amazingly, the book’s first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography. If you’re not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. ‘Nuff said!








Back to empathy for a minute. The word always takes PG back to an auditorium in Clarkston GA in 1971. PG was in his first quarter at Dekalb College. Today,the institution is known as Georgia Perimeter College. One of the selling points of college has always been the outside speakers that were brought to campus. This day, the subject was abortion.

A note on set and setting is appropriate. In 1971, New York state had legalized the abortion procedure. Roe vs. Wade was in the pipeline that would lead to the Supreme Court. That ruling would not be issued for another fifteen months. In the meantime, abortion was illegal in 49 states, including Georgia. The debate about abortions was not as politicized as today. The nomenclature of choice and life had not entered the vocabulary.

The Vietnam war was still being fought, although with fewer Americans in combat. The withdrawal of US forces took most of the steam out of the anti war movement. The modern spectacle of a person supporting a war, while claiming to be pro life, did not happen.

PG walked into the auditorium and found a seat. The lady began her presentation. After a few minutes of talk… she said something about a woman who was artificially inseminated with masturbated semen. The house lights were dimmed. A black and white film, of an abortion, was shown. It was noted when the fetus went into the vacuum cleaner attachment. The house lights were brought back up. They should have remained dim, as the woman was not kind on the eyes.

The closing part of her presentation was a song she wrote. She sang acapella. The song was written out of empathy with the not-to-be-born baby. The song was titled ” My mother My grave”. PG left the auditorium, and went to world history class.








Richards

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on August 2, 2019

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A comment at a recent post mentioned “Jenning’s Rose Room, a classic poor white juke and dance hall … where Trader Joes now sits.” PG had been in that building when it was called Richards. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

There is no telling what the original use of the building at 931 Monroe Drive was. It was across the street from Grady Stadium, and adjacent to Piedmont Park. The railroad tracks that became the beltline ran behind it. The parking lot was primitive, with a marquee sign built at some point. (PG drove by that sign several nights and saw that Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing.)

There was another nightclub building on the hill behind JRR. One night, PG went to see a jazz band there, accompanied by someone who lived in a nearby house. After seeing the band, PG was led to a horse stable behind the bar. The horses were not well maintained … you could see the ribs sticking out. There is a story of a goat getting loose from the stable, and being chased out of the jazz bar during happy hour.

Jennings Rose Room was before PG’s time. There is a story that some men had lunch there, and made a bet. The idea was to hit a golf ball from the JRR parking lot, and putt it into a hole at Piedmont Park. A biscuit was used as a tee. The first shot went across the street, onto the field at the stadium. Eventually, the ball was hit across Tenth Street, onto a green, and into the cup.

At some point, Jennings Rose Room closed. A gay club called Chuck’s Rathskeller was opened in that location. A rock and roll club or two did business there. Then Richards opened.

The first time PG was in the house was after a Johnny Winter concert at the Fox. There were rumors of visiting musicians dropping by Richards to play after their shows. Mr. Winter was only onstage for a couple of minutes after PG got there.

The most memorable trip to Richards was during the summer of 1973. The headliner was Rory Gallagher, who was ok but not spectacular. The opening act was Sopwith Camel, one of the forgotten bands of the seventies. They performed a novelty hit, “Hello Hello”. Someone in the audience liked it, and paid them to do it again. The band wound up doing “Hello Hello” five times, and said that was the most money they made in a long time.

Average White Band was making the rounds that fall, and had a show at Richards. A lot of the audience was black, and they hit the dance floor in unison when “Pick up the Pieces” was played. Fellow Scotsman Alex Harvey was in town, and joined AWB to sing “I heard it through the grapevine”.

Muddy Waters played at Richards one night. The band did most of the playing, with Mr. Waters tossing in a few licks on bottleneck guitar. He might have sang a couple of times.

About this time, Iggy Pop played a few shows at Richards. One night, someone snuck up on him, and gave him a hug. It was Elton John, wearing a gorilla suit.

PG saw three more shows (that he can remember) at Richards. Richie Havens was worth the two dollar admission. Soft Machine played in the winter of 1974. Larry Coryell played a show that summer, with the Mike Greene Band opening. PG got to talk to Mike Greene that night. The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (who do the Grammy Awards) had a President named C. Michael Greene at one time. PG thinks this is the person he talked to that night.

Two friends of PG went, as their first date, to see Spirit at Richards. They were married a few years later. Towards the end of 1974, Richards was running out of steam. They advertised a New Years Eve show starring B.B. King, and sold high priced tickets. When the crowd showed up for the show, they found the doors locked. Richards had closed.

The next tenant for 931 Monroe Drive was going to be Cabaret After Dark, a gay club. There was a fire the night before the grand opening. The building was never used again. Eventually, a shopping center was built on the site.
UPDATE: Here is an article, from the Great Speckled Bird, about Richards. The 010975 edition of the Bird had an article about Richards closing. This is a repost.

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The B-52s

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 23, 2019








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There used to be a chinese restaurant, on the Atlanta Highway, called Hunan House. One night, a few people shared a flaming volcano, and formed a band. The b52s played their first show at a valentines day party in 1977. They were named for a bouffant hairstyle.

The b52’s were Ricky Wilson, his sister Cindy, Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider III, and Keith Strickland. The Wilsons and Mr. Strickland were from Athens. Miss Pierson and Mr. Schneider were from New Jersey. Planet Claire was the ancestral home.

Fred had lived in Atlanta before he moved to Athens. He stayed in an apartment on Monroe Drive, across from S&M clutch and brake company. PG knew some of his neighbors, and once rested his feet on a rug, formerly owned by Fred Schneider.

Somebody had connections, and The b52’s were playing shows in New York before long. They released a 45 on db records, “Rock Lobster” and “52 girls”. The first of the girls mentioned…there are only 23 named…is Effie. There was a famous whorehouse in Athens named Effies.

One night, they played a show at the Big Dipper, on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The Big Dipper was a former Maryland Fried Chicken, and is now something else. After the show, either Kate or Cindy was in the parking lot, talking to a local character named Beulah. As was his way, Beulah was talking about Mick Jagger this, Mick Jagger that. Finally, Kate had enough. “Fuck Mick Jagger. One day Mick Jagger will come see me, me, me.”

The b52’s were a fun band. Ricky had an unusual style on guitar, and Kate played a farfisa organ. The girls always wore big hair wigs. Fred was somewhere up front singing.

On Labor Day, 1978, PG saw the b52’s in Piedmont Park. There was a third girl that day, Wendy, who wore an inflatable beach float, and danced. The only songs PG is sure they did were “Downtown” and “Rock Lobster”. A few months later, PG saw the b52’s at the Agora ballroom. The Brains opened.

Sometime in late 1979, the eponymous first album came out. It became a hit, with dance clubs all over playing “Planet Claire”, “Dance this mess around”, and “6060-842”. In the summer of 1980, PG talked with a former Athenian in a hostel in Cannon Beach, Oregon. He mentioned that Cindy was the only heterosexual in the band.

The years went by, and more albums were released. On October 12, 1985, Ricky Wilson died of AIDS. He is buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery, behind Sanford Stadium in Athens. He sold bus tickets at the Greyhound station in downtown Athens before he hit the bigtime.

The band continues to this day. At some point, “Love Shack” was released, and became a hit. It is probably the best known b52’s song today. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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Blue Tail Fly

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on July 20, 2019

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Q: What does “Jimmy crack corn” mean, and why does he not care?—Matt, Columbus, Ohio

PG was trolling stupidquestion.net when there was a convergence of stupidity. (The site does not exist in 2012.) All his life he had heard “Blue Tail Fly”, and been embarrassed. And there, in (pardon the expression) black and white, was someone who wondered the same thing.

It seems as though “Blue Tail Fly” started out as a minstrel song. For those who don’t know, minstrel shows were white people putting on black makeup, and imitating African Americans. Minstrel shows are not well thought of these days.

The story of BTF involves a man named Jimmy. A fly bit the pony the old massa was riding, the pony was offended, and threw the old massa off. He was hurt landing, and died. Jimmy still has to crack corn, but he doesn’t care, because old massa has gone away.

Dave Barry took a poll once to find out the stupidest song of all time. The overwhelming winner/loser was “MacArthur Park”. The combination of over the top show stopping, while singing about a cake left out in the rain, makes this ditty a duh classic.

In the spirit of corny convergence, the video is a karaoke version featuring Donna Summer. Miss Summer is a talented singer, who happened to connect with Giorgio Moroder. Lots of singers could have hit the big time by fronting those records. Donna Summer hit the jackpot.

For a proper post, there needs to be a third stupid song. This is not about stupid bands, singing about being D U M B. Even though they totally don’t belong, there is a video of the Ramones included. PG saw the Ramones at the Agora Ballroom in 1983. This was after their prime, and before a homeless man caught the Ballroom on fire.

We still need a third stupid song, and PG wants to get this posted with as little research as possible. Just like some writer was once given twenty minutes to write a song, and he decided to do the worst song he could think of. The result was “Wild Thing”. PG used to have a 45 of someone who sounded like Bobby Kennedy singing “Wild Thing”. This video (of the Troggs performing “Wild Thing”) has the late Casey Kasem, and Portuguese subtitles. Let the good times roll.

These four hundred and twenty hastily chosen words are a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This was downtown Atlanta in 1941.


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7 O’Clock News/Silent Night

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music, War by chamblee54 on July 8, 2019

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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was on the car stereo yesterday. PG thought about the first time he heard PSRT. It was 52 years ago, in a basement down the street. Then it was a monural record player, with kids playing songs over and over to write down the lyrics. It is a stretch to go from that, to a thumb drive on a car stereo. Almost as far as Art Garfunkel’s hair has gone … from luxurious blonde afro, to bald as an egg.

The last song on that album was quite the statement. It starts off with Simon and Garfunkel, who are both Jewish, singing “Silent Night.” In the background is a newscast. The news is soft at first, and gets louder, and louder. What happened to the stories in that newscast?

“In Los Angeles today comedian Lenny Bruce died of what was believed to be an overdose of narcotics. Bruce was 42 years old.” This is the first item that can be clearly heard. It helps to establish the date of the broadcast… August 3, 1966. PG had never heard of Lenny Bruce. The comic has gone on to be an icon of American entertainment. Most of the people who feverishly admire Lenny have never read Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!! While he was a talented comedian, Lenny was also a serious heroin addict. He was not a nice person. PG later wrote The Trial Of Lenny Bruce. This post is about one of his obscenity trials.

“Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero. Cook County Sheriff Richard Ogleby asked King to call off the march and the police in Cicero said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held. King, now in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to return to Chicago Tuesday.”

It is hard to imagine in 2019, but Dr. King used to be referred to in present tense. Twenty months after this newscast, Dr. King was killed. “On 4 April 1967,” (exactly one year before he died) “Martin Luther King delivered his seminal speech at Riverside Church condemning the Vietnam War.” Opposition to a wretched war played a large part in his last year.

“In Washington the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American Activities continued its probe into anti-Vietnam war protests. Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans. Former Vice-President Richard Nixon says that unless there is a substantial increase in the present war effort in Viet nam, the U.S. should look forward to five more years of war. In a speech before the Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York Nixon also said opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.”

This is one of the saddest paragraphs ever. In 1968, Richard Nixon ran for President, again. All the players (except third party candidate George Wallace) were manipulating events in Vietnam to manufacture an “October Surprise.” Tricky Dick somehow won, and kept American forces in Vietnam until 1973 … six years after the seven o”clock news.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Steve Martin

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 27, 2019

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There is a form letter floating through the intercourse now. It is a letter that Steve Martin used to send to his fans. (The letter was recently immortalized at Letters of Note.)

He …that is Stephen Glenn “Steve” Martin (born August 14, 1945) … has moved up in correspondence with his adoring fans. Mr. Martin now gives out business cards, with the message “This card certifies that the holder had met Steve Martin and found him genuinely friendly”. What a wild and crazy guy!

This is becoming one of those really really modern days here. Listening to a djmix with a Lady Gaga song, drinking coffee out of a Mcdonalds plastic cup, and writing a tribute to Steve Martin. What a day! Oh, before we forget, there is the story about the drive in theater on I85 that was showing “Father of the Bride”. One day, the h fell off the marquee, and the title of the movie became “Fater of the Bride”. Good times.

The story of Steve Martin and PG began one night at the Great Southeast Music Hall. PG got tired of hearing how great the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was, and decided to see a show. The show started when some guy in a white suit came out with a banjo. John McEuen stood next to him, and kept falling into the microphone stand and saying “this guy cracks me up”.

Steve Martin, the white suit guy, said that he paid somebody five thousand dollars for a joke. He then took this arrow, with a coat hanger wire attached to it, with a shape for his head to fit in, and put it on. That got a laugh, but not worth five thousand dollars. There was another gag…”do you mind if i smoke, no do you mind if i fart”. That got a slightly bigger laugh.

In those days, you could not sell alcohol in public on sunday night in Georgia. To compensate, the Music Hall sold children’s tickets for the sunday night shows. Mr. Martin was not used to having children in the audience. “Hey kid I gotta joke for you. There were these two lesbians…”

The show went over well with the Nitty Gritty crowd. However, it is doubtful that anyone thought, this is the beloved entertainer of our generation.

Mr. Martin was not through for the night. At one point, the NGDB moved to the back of the stage, and a smarmy lounge lizard, in a white suit, came on stage. While the band played “The girl from Ipanema”, Mr. Martin sang about the girl with diarrhea.

This was one of the last shows that Steve Martin did as an opening act. (He did return to the Great Southeast Music Hall. Once, he did a week with Martin Mull, called the Steve Martin Mull Revue.) Within two years, he was a guest host on Saturday Night Live, and a certified wild and crazy guy. A couple of years later, he was famous again as “The Jerk”. Steve Martin had arrived.

This is a repost. The pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The animated dentures are from chattering teeth. The check is in the mail.

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