GET WELL SOON
Very sad to learn that former Monkee Peter Tork has been diagnosed with a very rare form of tongue cancer. Please join me in wishing him a positive prognosis.
Fans of the band Spinal Tap will get a chance to see their heroes this summer when the band begins a six week, thirty city accoustic tour to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the film "This Is Spinal Tap." The band, composed of comedians Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer, hit St Petersburg May 8th.
In digging through some old material, I found that Rolling Stone magazine had recently named the 100 greatest singers in the rock and roll era. The top 10:
1. Aretha Franklin
2. Ray Charles
3. Elvis Presley
4. Sam Cooke
5. John Lennon
6. Marvin Gaye
7. Bob Dylan
8. Otis Redding
9. Stevie Wonder
10. James Brown
A very concise, though debateable, list. Others voted by a panel of writers and musicians:
11. Paul McCartney
15. Robert Plant
16. Mick Jagger
18. Freddie Mercury
25. Michael Jackson
48. Buddy Holly
61. Roger Daltry
76. Steve Perry
86. Art Garfunkle
94. Karen Carpenter
99. Steven Tyler
Favorites of mine not listed include Bob Seger, Paul Simon, Paul Rogers and John Cougar Mellencamp. And no Billy Corgan? I know someone who's not going to be happy.
In the summer of 1974 I was staying with my aunt Mildred in Avon Lake, Ohio when, one afternoon, I heard a distinctive voice on the radio. "Hello Americans, I'm Paul Harvey. Stand by for news." For the next three decades, Paul Harvey's News and Commentary became an important part of my life. I would catch his evening "Rest of the Story" as often as possible as a young man. As an adult, I made sure I caught both his noon broadcast as well. When I was stationed in Germany while in the Army, his reassuring voice was often the last thing I heard each night, his program broadcast as I went to bed each evening. I can honestly say that I probably listened to him every day for more then 20 years straight, only stopping when his show was dropped by the station in Kansas City. Mr. Harvey died over the weekend at the age of 90. One of his trademarks was announcing each day's "champion lovers," couples that had been married for a long time. Knowing that I probably won't be around to celebrate 50 years with my lovely Juanita, I had planned to submit our first anniversary to Mr. Harvey's program in the hopes he would recognize us. Sadly, that won't be possible now. He was a true pioneer of his craft and he will be missed.
Alan Landers, who graced many a magazine page in advertisements for Winston cigarettes, died while undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Claiming he was required to smoke on the sets for the advertisements, Landers later attempted to sue the tobacco industry over his illness.
Horton Foote, playwright and screenwriter, was found dead in his Connecticut apartment this week. He was 92. No cause of death has yet been given. The Texas native dreamed of being an actor as a young man but, finding that he enjoyed telling stories, turned to writing. In fact, he was working on a fall production for Hartford Stage when he died. He won Academy Awards for his screenplays of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Tender Mercies" and a Pulitzer Prize for the novel "The Young Man From Atlanta."
And, on a personal note, I'm saddened to report the passing of Mr. Gary Downs. Gary was the promotions and marketing director for Dickinson Theatres in Kansas City when I joined the company in 1996. Gary passed away this week of an apparent heart attack at the age of 68. He was very instrumental in many of my succesful promotions as a theatre manager and, when he left the company in 1999, it was my honor to succeed him in his position.
ON THE ROAD
Off to Boston this weekend to help chronicle my best friends' first steps to world wide domination...at least on the music charts!
MY FAVORITE FILMS, PART II. THE YEAR WAS 1977...
Saturday Night Fever|
Starring: John Travolta and Karen Lynn Gorney
Directed by: John Badham
DUE TO TRAVEL, THIS FILM WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED NEXT WEEK, ALONG WITH "THE GOODBYE GIRL." SORRY FOR THE DELAY.
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.