Archive for September, 2010

Teenage Angst: Losing James Dean

September 30th, 2010 1 comment

As long as I am reminiscing about the past:

55 years ago today James Dean died in a dramatic car wreck east of Paso Robles, California.  He was 24 years old and I was almost 13. He was the sensitive, vulnerable, poignant, hurting part of  teenage life that many of us identified with, and were drawn to him.

His death stunned me, hurt me as deeply as if I had known him personally.  I don’t think there has ever been a public figure whose death touched me more.  The closest was JKF.  It took years for me to be able to see either of their pictures without feeling that ache of grief.

When I see his movies now I am still captivated by his acting skills, the way his whole body showed emotion, not just his face or words.  He was brilliant.  I wish he had lived a long life so we could have seen what else he had to offer, but that wasn’t to be.  His death was one of the traumatic moments of my young life.

Bill or Elvis?

September 30th, 2010 3 comments

When I was a teenager, and crazy about Elvis, we had a local boy named Bill Rice who also had a band.  I thought he was just trying to copy Elvis and wasn’t all that impressed.

I had no idea that he would go on to become the most award winning songwriter in ASCAP history.

One night around the court square for some event, I was talking with Bill and comparing him to Elvis.  He joked around and said, “I can sign an autograph just like Elvis.”

I gave him a piece of paper and he wrote Elvis’ name with a flourish.  We all had a good laugh.

A few years later I got Elvis’ real autograph  (put Elvis in the search box to read about it).  The thing is, I got the two mixed up and could never tell which one was Bill’s and which one was the real thing!

Over time I lost both.  Honestly, I never worried about losing the fake Elvis signature, but certainly wished I had not lost the real one.

Now I realize I should have had Bill sign his own name!

One thing I remember about Bill Rice, he had Elvis’ hair style and he was cute!   Some things a girl doesn’t forget, even after 50 years.

Bill Rice: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

September 30th, 2010 Comments off

Bill Rice

I have to admit that I had no idea that Bill Rice, a boy from my ‘neck of the woods’ had done so well.  Congratulations Bill!

Induction Year: 1994

Bill Rice was born in Datto, Ark., in April 1939 to Wid and Nova Rice. He learned his first guitar chords from his mother at the age of 14.  At 16 he formed his first band and played at the local dances.

His real break happened when Scotty Moore signed Bill, age 18, to a recording contract on Fernwood Records in Memphis. Bill started to write songs for his project and as a result landed his first major cut on Elvis Presley in April 1960. The cut was “Girl Next Door Went Awalking” on the “ELVIS IS BACK” album.

Bill became fast friends with Jerry Foster when they  worked the same circuit of clubs and theatres.  They became the award-winning songwriting team of “Foster & Rice” that spanned a 15-year career.

They both worked at a radio station – KTCB in Malden, Missouri – while continuing to play in nightclubs, honing on their songwriting skills as well as raising their families.

In the early ’60s Bill & Jerry recorded demos that were heard by Jack Clement, a freelance producer for RCA. He signed Bill & Jerry to a songwriting contract with famed publishers Bill Hall & Jack Clement, and the dream began.

A few of Bill’s favorites are: “I’ll Think of Something,” “Someone To Give My Love To,” “The Easy Part’s Over” and “Ain’t She Something Else.” Foster and Rice had 11 songs in the charts at one time. They were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

Bill is the most award-winning songwriter in the history of ASCAP with 73 awards to date. He was awarded ASCAP writer of the year six times and has been nominated for four Grammys over the years, including the solo-penned effort, “I Wonder Could I Live There Anymore,” recorded by Charley Pride. Bill also has been presented with three BMI awards.

Bill started another long-term songwriting partnership with then wife, Sharon Vaughn Rice, in 1979. They had many major cuts to their credit, including “Lonely Too Long” by Patty Loveless, and “I’m Not That Lonely Yet” by Reba McEntire. They were awarded the CMA Vocal Duo Event of the Year in 1992 for “Till A Tear Becomes A Rose” by Keith Whitley & Lorrie Morgan. Bill and Sharon ended their partnership in 1997.

Many well known artists from George Jones to Rascal Flatts have recorded his songs. Also, Bill has brought new songwriting talent to Nashville throughout the years. He contracted Rich Alves, Roger Murrah and Jim McBride, among others, to write for his own publishing companies.

Bill now lives in Florida and still works daily on his songwriting creations.

(slightly edited for space)

Songs of Foster and Rice

September 30th, 2010 Comments off

Jerry Foster and Bill Rice were one of the most successful song writing teams in country music. What started out as trading song ideas eventually grew into a prolific songwriting team. Jerry and Bill are the most awarded songwriting team in the history of ASCAP and hold the record for most awards received in one year. Their cache of awards include the following.

• 1969: BMI ~ The Easy Part’s Over
• 1970: ASCAP ~ Heaven Every Day
• 1971: ASCAP ~ Dixie Belle.
• 1972: Ten ASCAP Writer Awards
• 1974: Eleven ASCAP Writer Awards
• Grammy nomination for “Here Comes the Hurt Again”

Foster & Rice Song Catalog:
• Ain’t She Something Else (Eddie Raven:1974), Conway Twitty:1985)
• Heaven Every Day (Mel Tillis: No. 1969)
• Here Comes the Hurt Again (Mickey Gilley: 1977)
• I’ll Think of Something (Hank Williams, Jr., 1973), Mark Chesnutt (1991)
• Let’s Put It Back Together Again” (Jerry Lee Lewis)
• Rosie Cries A Lot (Ferlin Husky)
• Someone To Give My Love To (Johnny Paycheck: 1972), Tracy Byrd (1992)
• Something About You I Love (Johnny Paycheck)
• Song And Dance Man” (Johnny Paycheck
• Take Time to Love Her (Nat Stuckey: 1972)
• The Back Side of Dallas (Jeannie C. Riley)
• The Day the World Stood Still (Charley Pride: 1967)
• The Easy Part’s Over (Charley Pride: 1968)
• Think About It Darlin’ (Jerry Lee Lewis: 1971)
• Thirty Nine And Holding (Jerry Lee Lewis)
• When You Say Love (Bob Luman: 1972)
• Would You Take Another Chance On Me (Jerry Lee Lewis: 1971)
• When Your Good Love Was Mine (Narvel Felts: 1974)

Rodney Dangerfield

September 30th, 2010 Comments off

With me, nothing goes right. My psychiatrist said my wife and I should have sex every night. Now, we’ll never see each other!”


September 30th, 2010 Comments off

My Aunt in Kansas wrote that a friend of hers was moving to Los Angeles, and she “just knew I would love her”.  Oh oh.   She told her friend, whose name was Ann, the same thing about me.  When we met we were both shocked to find that my aunt was right. What are the odds?

We were like two long lost friends, sisters; we had many mutual interests, particularly art.  She was a wonderful, professional artist. Her warm, ingratiating personality was mixed with a sweet southern accent. Ann felt like family, like my Arkansas home.

Unfortunately her time spent in Southern California was very short, and before I knew it, she had moved.  I hardly got to know her, but I still miss the friendship I believe we could have enjoyed, had she remained in the area.

Remembering With the Statler Bros.

September 30th, 2010 Comments off

Since I have been running some of the Burma Shave Signs, you might enjoy this video of the Statler Bros. singing about the past as the signs go by.

Thanks to Bob for sending me the link.  I told him I was too young to remember these things, but of course he knew I lied!

A Ticklish Subject

September 30th, 2010 Comments off

Are you ticklish?  Ever wonder why?
Scientists suggest that being ticklish is our defense against creepy crawlies like spiders and bugs, a physiological response alerting us to a specific type of threat. That is why vulnerable parts of our bodies — feet, chest, and armpits, are among the most ticklish.

While there is no question that being ticklish is neurological, scientists contend that it is also learned. One theory sees ticklishness as a personality-based response to perceived attack. Antsy folks may laugh uncontrollably at the lightest touch, or even without being touched at all, while folks made of sterner stuff won’t budge during more aggressive tickle attacks.

If you close your eyes and try to remain calm while you are tickled, you can decrease panic, reduce giggles, and dull sensation. And, no matter how hard you try, it is nearly impossible to tickle yourself.

Tickling satisfies our human need to touch. Robert R. Provine, a professor of neuroscience and author of Quest for Laughter, sees the tickle as a form of communication between friends, family, and lovers, playing a key role in the evolution of social and sexual behavior. He points to chimps tickling each other during play, parents tickling little kids, and lovers tickling each other affectionately.

“If you think the social component is not important,” Provine says, “Try tickling a stranger.”

Dodger Greats Remembered

September 29th, 2010 Comments off

Our Dodgers have had one of those years that you don’t brag about. But we still love our Dodgers.  They will be back!

On a recent tour of Dodger Stadium, that I have already written about, we walked through the halls decorated with pictures of Dodgers past and present.  I took a picture of the guys in the era that I remember best.  They were the team  during the time Tim was a little guy.  As a three year old he loved to watch the games on TV.

Bill was into car racing, and I watched some tennis, but neither of us was into baseball. So where did this love of the game come from?  I don’t know except when I was pregnant  I watched a lot of baseball because that seemed to be all that was on TV.   By the time for the World Series, I was caught up in the outcome and watched in the hospital before and after he was born.

The Quilty Kids next door taught him the rules of the game and taught him to play.  Tim’s interest in the game has never waned.  Although I am not as active or devoted  a fan as he and Elva, I certainly support our team.  I am not, however, as emotionally committed to them as I was to the team pictured here.

Cey, Russell, Baker, Lopes, Garvey . . . they were the Dodgers who helped establish my first real connection with this  big, sprawling city of millions of people.

Until I became a true fan watching this great team, I was just visiting here.  Once I identified with the Boys in Blue, and they became MY team, then I belonged.  Thanks Dodgers.

Yeah, they’ll be back!

(To read more about the Dodger Tour, enter Dodger Fans in the search box.)

Burma Shave

September 29th, 2010 Comments off







Burma Shave

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