Andy Griffith Trivia!

When I think of Andy Griffith, I think of his classic The Andy Griffith Show.  Mr. Griffith played Andy Taylor, the Sheriff of Mayberry, a small town in the south.  Griffith was joined by a perfect cast in a top-rated show that spawned two spin-off series (Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and Mayberry, R.F.D.) and ran for eight years (finishing at #1 in it’s last season).

But Andy Griffith was much more than Andy Taylor.  Andy Griffith made comedy records, sang and played on county and gospel albums, appeared on Broadway, starred in feature films, television movies as well as other tv series.

MeTV has 12 surprising things we learned about Andy Griffith.  A lot of these facts were new to me.  Here are my thoughts on three of them…

His favorite snack was peanut butter and mayonnaise on crackers.
(I grew up eating peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches.  Not many folks I know have ever tried one and the thought usually grosses them out.  I’ll bet Andy would have given a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich a go.  I’d also wager that the crackers he ate were Ritz and after taking a bite he’d say, “Goooood cracker.  Good cracker.”  Most of you probably aren’t old enough to remember his commercials for Ritz crackers where he’d say that after taking a bite of one. – Craig)

He regretted ending The Andy Griffith Show after eight seasons.
(I’ll bet he did.  The Andy Griffith Show was always in the top ten for each season it was on.  It was also one of only three tv series to quit while in the number one spot.  – Craig)

He made $25,000 a week in clubs while The Andy Griffith Show was on break.
(That translates to about $185,000 a week in 2020.  Wow.  Andy was making bank! – Craig)

Click over and check out 12 surprising things we learned about Andy Griffith.

“The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom” Poster and Trailer!

I really don’t care for the poster and the trailer makes Howard Bloom look like an eccentric kook, but I think I’d really enjoy the movie.  Check out the trailer and see what you think.

Howard Bloom spent much of the 1970s and 80s as the publicist for iconic musicians like Michael Jackson, Prince, Joan Jett, Run-DMC, and Aerosmith. When a rare disease left him housebound for 15 years, Bloom reinvented himself as an author, publishing several books on evolutionary psychology and humanity’s role in the cosmos. Now in his 70s, the eccentric philosopher readies an unfathomably long masterwork that will unify all of his unorthodox theories, and makes plans for his legacy.

“Suzi Q” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Today we have the poster and trailer to Suzi Q.  I wonder how many folks here know who Suzi Quatro is?

I’m the right age to know, but all I really remember is that Suzi Quatro had a hit song (Stumblin’ In) in 1978 and appeared on Happy Days (as Leather Tuscadero), I think after it had “jumped the shark”.   From the looks of the trailer, there’s a lot I have to learn.

Jackie “The Great One” Gleason Trivia!

When I was a little kid for most of the country The Jackie Gleason Show was must-see tv.  As I got a little older I discovered, in reruns, The Honeymooners.  Then in high school Jackie hit big again with his classic role as Sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit.

Gleason was also great dramatic actor (see The Hustler and Requiem for a Heavyweight if you don’t believe me) but comedy was where Gleason spent the majority of his career.  Gleason was a true talent making it big on stage, television, radio and movies.

If you don’t know much about the man known as The Great One, check out 18 Fascinating Facts about Jackie Gleason presented by the fine folks at MeTV.  Here are three of my favorite facts and my thoughts on each…

When you see him pat his stomach on The Honeymooners, it’s because he forgot a line.  Well, perhaps it wasn’t 100% photographic. The sitcom was filmed live, so there were no do-overs.

(If you’ve never seen The Honeymooners you owe it to yourself to check it out. Classic comedy! – Craig)

His debut album still holds the record for most consecutive weeks in the Billboard top ten — a whopping 153.  Gleason was a massive music star. In a way, he was a forerunner of ambient pioneer Brian Eno, in that he wished to craft records of what he called “musical wallpaper.” His easy listening instruments, especially Lonesome Echo, remain cult favorites. His first album, 1952’s Music for Lovers Only, spent a mind-boggling three years near the top ten. To put that in perspective, Thriller only managed 78.

(Who’d a thunk it? – Craig)

He believed in aliens.  Gleason studied the paranormal and UFOs. It is rumored that President Nixon shared secret information about UFOs with the Hollywood star.

(Gleason told people that then President Nixon actually showed him a captured alien ship and alien corpse! – Craig)

Stephan Franck’s PALOMINO: A Neo Noir Graphic Novel

Stephan Franck is back with a new Kickstarter called PALOMINO.  Franc describes it as a Neo Noir Graphic Novel Set In LA’s Country Music Clubs.

The year is 1981. The American Century is running on fumes, but the end isn’t anywhere in sight.

At the center of PALOMINO is a unique father-daughter relationship. Eddie Lang’s an ex-cop turned working musician with big dreams, but dreams don’t pay the rent. So Eddie reluctantly works as a private investigator to provide for his teenage daughter, Lisette.

Eddie and Lisette share an unbreakable bond and a dry sense of humor. But they’re stuck.

They’re haunted by a terrible loss and an unsolved crime that looms large over their lives. They’re running out of time to fix their family.

And just as things seem at a stalemate, a new murder case upends their lives.

If this sounds like something you’d like check out Stephen Franc’s Palomino Kickstarter.  I’m in.

The Monkees Trivia!

MeTV posted 10 Things You Might Not Know About The Monkees.  Here are three of my favorite facts and my comments on each…

Only Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz appear in every episode of the TV show.

(Interesting.  Don’t you think these days, shows would just shoot scenes earlier to avoid having a star miss appearing in an episode? – Craig)

Micky and Michael both auditioned to play the Fonz on ‘Happy Days.’

(Mickey as the Fonz would have been more slapstick and silliness. Michael had the height to be intimidating and it would have been a different kind of cool.  Ayyyy! – Craig)

‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.’ is one of the first albums to feature a Moog synthesizer.

(I used to own that album! – Craig)

Mark Evanier’s Xmas Story (Starring Mel Torme)

It’s become a tradition around this time of year for Mark Evanier to post what he calls My Xmas Story.

ME has been blogging for nearly 20 years, with over 25,000 posts and  My Xmas Story is his site’s most popular.  As you’ve probably guessed, it features the gent in the photo above.  For our younger readers, that gent is Mel Torme.  I invite each of  you (young and old) to click over to Evanier’s post and enjoy.

“Careless Sister” – Great Song Parody Tribute to “Halloween” & “Careless Whisper”

Song parodies don’t get better than Careless Sister.  Congrats to…

Filmed and edited by The Merkins. Written by Matt Helmick. Song production by Nate Vaill.

Starring Jake Barcus of Taco Truck
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnIh…

Vocals by Aaron James @aaronjames216 on all social media platforms.

Special thanks to Jayden Frost of Freedom.
https://www.facebook.com/freedomgeorg…

RIP – Stephen Verona

Stephen Verona died on Saturday after a year and a half long battle with lung cancer.  Readers of this site probably know Verona best as the Producer, Co-Writer and Director of Lords of Flatbush, but Verona was much more than that.

Verona got his start creating commercials.  He met and became friends with John Lennon which led to Verona getting to animate the Beatles song I Feel Fine.  Next came a music short with Barbara Streisand.  He went on to work with Natalie Cole, Chicago, Simon & Garfunkel and many others.

Verona was a screenwriter, an award-winning  director of feature films, television episodes and specials, an  an award-winning painter and photographer.  A renaissance man, indeed.

The Hollywood Reporter posted that “When Stallone learned that Verona was ill, he sent him an email saying that his career would not have been the same without him.”  The same could be said for many other celebrities.

Had Stephen Verona only been known as the talent behind Lords of Flatbush, it would have been worth noting here, but I hope fans know he was so much more.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stephen Verona’s family, friends and fans.

McKay’s Used Books and Collectibles Stores!

Today my wife and I are going to do something we really enjoy.  Any guesses?

No, not that.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Try again?

Good guess, but HeroesCon doesn’t start until Friday.  Give up?  Ok, I’ll tell you.

Today we’re going to go to two McKay’s Used Book Stores.  We’ll be swinging by the Greensboro and Winston-Salem locations.  Later this week we’ll go to the Knoxville location.  Yeah, we’re used book store junkies, but especially McKay’s Used Book Store junkies.

McKay Used Books was founded in 1974. The idea was that it would be a…

…book store that would contain a wide variety of books that an individual could obtain cheaply, keep as long as they wanted to, and return for credit on other books in the future… Since that time, the brand split ownership and McKay’s was born in Tennessee. In 1985, the first Tennessee location opened in Knoxville. Since then, two more TN locations have been added: McKay’s Chattanooga opened in 1990, and McKay’s Nashville opened in 2007…  During this time, the original idea of a bookstore has expanded to include music, movies, electronics, games, musical instruments, collectibles, and more!

We love McKay’s not only because of the wide variety of books, music, movies and other things that they carry, but because we can trade in similar items we no longer want for either cash or store credit.  (Give us store credit, please!).  Plus McKay’s prices are reasonable and they always have sales.  (Where you will usually find my wife.)  I love finding books I need for my collection and discovering new authors thanks to McKays.  The only thing that would make McKay’s Used Book Stores better is if they had a central Florida location.

RIP – Leon Redbone

Leon Redbone, the singer-songwriter known for his sense of humor and songs performed in the musical styles of the 1920’s has died at the age of 69.

Redbone’s website announced his passing with the following…

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th, 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127.  He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat. He’s interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett, and Jelly Roll have been up to in his absence, and has plans for a rousing sing along number with Sári Barabás. An eternity of pouring through texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome repose, perhaps followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long overdue discussions with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites. To his fans, friends, and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you…. and good evening everybody.’”

I first became aware of Leon Redbone from his performance on Saturday Night Live.  I loved that he was so willing to do his own thing in a style no one else (at least to my knowledge) was doing.  Redbone went on to create albums, provide songs for movies and do voice work for movies and television.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.