Mount Rushmore of Game Show Hosts

By | Feb 27, 2014

With the passing of Jim Lange (August 15, 1932 – February 25, 2014) best known as the host of “The Dating Game” in the late 60′s and early 70′s, it made me start to think who are some of the greatest game show hosts of the past 60 years. Some one on the radio this morning asked their partner for the Mount Rushmore of hosts, so I decided to come up with my own. These top 4 are listed in no particular order.

Bill Cullen:
Bill Cullen may be best remembered as the guy with the thick glasses, but he had a great comical wit that people love to see, even on bad shows.

Bob Baker:
“The Price is Right” need I say more.

Dennis James:
One of the first to host a game show in the 50s. He was even considered to be the host of “The Price is Right” that was given to Bob Barker and did host a night time version of it.

Dick Clark:
A producer and host.

Those left off, but are part of the top 10 would include Monty Hall, Jim Lange, Alex Trebek, Allen Ludden, Bob Eubanks, and Garry Moore.

One State Remains in Favor of a Constitutional Amendment to Not Allow Abolishment of Slavery

By | Jan 31, 2014

In the waning days of the 36th Congress and just before the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1861, congress passed a proposed Constitution Amendment, which would have prevented the United States from abolishing slavery.

“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

The southern States were too busy in seceding from the union to pass the amendment. Once they seceded they technically were no longer part of the Union and their approval wouldn’t have counted anyway.

Two states, Maryland and Ohio, who didn’t secede did pass the amendment.

Ohio rescinded their approval in 1864, but on the books Maryland is still registered to have approved it. This even with Maryland abolishing slavery in their 1864 Constitution.

Now 150 years later, Maryland, also known as the “Free State”, has a proposal going through their legislature to formerly have their approval rescinded.

A Day for Adolf

By | Jan 30, 2014

It’s not unusual for a day of the year to become a focal point in one’s life. For some it’s their birthday or another day the person decides is their Lucky Day. Others it’s a date where something always seems to happen. For Adolf Hitler that day could have been January 30th.

It was on January 30, 1933 that Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany taking the reigns of the 14 year old Germanic democratic republic. Hitler had spent his entire political career denouncing the republic and now he was the German leader. Within weeks Hitler would be the absolute dictator of Germany.

During his fourth anniversary speech on January 30, 1937 he delivered 8 points on ways to bring pacification of Europe. Among those points were for “individual countries should possess stable political and economic conditions”, “The vital interests of the different nations must be frankly recognized.” and “The German Reich will watch over its security and honor with its strong Army.”

Two years later in his 1939 speech detailed that Europe had a “Jewish Problem” and that Germany was going to solve that problem with “… the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!”.

And it was on this day in 1945 that Hitler gave his final speech on the 12th anniversary of him coming to power. It was broadcast like many of his speeches to the general public on radio.

When you think back on your life, has one day of the year become a focal point in your life such as January 30th became one for Hitler. Not everyone has an anniversary such as his, but most of us do have an anniversary that means something to us.

Didn’t Know … Wrote That

By | Dec 30, 2013

Over the years there have been many popular songs. Ones that once you hear who wrote them it comes as quite a surprise. In 1971 James Taylor had his only Billboard Number one with “You’ve Got a Friend”. Being that Taylor wrote many songs, some think that it is one of his compositions. That’s not the case. It was written by his good friend Carole King. She wrote both the words and the music, one of her first with her having sole songwriting credit.

Carole King along with a number of different lyricist, many with her first husband Gerry Goffin wrote quite a few popular hits of the 1960s including, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” recorded by The Shirelles, “Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence and Donny Osmond, and “(You Make Me feel (Like a Natural Woman)” by Aretha Frankin. But did you know that they also wrote The Monkees song “Pleasant Valley Sunday”.

The Monkees weren’t know as song writers, but they did write a few of their songs. MiKe Neismith wrote a few. But one of his most popular songs was recorded by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies, “Different Drum”.

Shel Silverstein may be best know for the cartoons he drew for Playboy Magazine in the 1960′s and 70s or maybe even for his children’s books, but he also wrote a number of popular songs. The most famous is probably Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” as well as two of Dr Hook’s songs “Cover of the Rolling Stone” and “Sylvia’s Mother”.

Since the music credit for the Bangles’ song “Manic Monday” list Christopher as the writer, not many people are aware that it was actually written by Prince.

JP Richardson, also known as the Big Bopper, was killed along with Buddy Holly and Richie Valens on February 3, 1959. A few weeks after his death, his friend George Jones recorded a song written by him. It was George Jones first county Number 1 song, one of his most popular, as well as one of the great County songs. JP Richardson, the Big Bopper, wrote “White Lightning”.

A Christmas Carol Not Sung

By | Dec 19, 2013

A Christmas Carol by English novelist Charles Dickens was first published on December 19, 1843. It had illustrations by John Leech.

The story is divided into Staves and not chapters. A stave, which is similar to a stanza, is found in music as a recurring pattern of meter and rhyme. Dickens felt this added humor as it relates to the title.

When Scrooge is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his old partner and friend Jacob Marley, Marley’s ghost informs “Expect the first tomorrow, when the bell tolls one. … Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The Third, upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has cease to vibrate.” In the end the three spirits visited him on one night.

A Christmas Carol has been adapted for nearly every form of entertainment including theatre, opera, film, radio and television. The first film version was made in 1901 called Scrooge. In 1908 Thomas Edison also produced a film version of the story.

In the 1930s Lionel Barrymore did a radio production playing Scrooge. It was so popular that plans were made for him to do a film version. However, before it could be filmed he was confined to a wheelchair with crippling arthritis and the role was played by Reginald Owen.

One of the most acclaimed film version of A Christmas Carol starred Alastair Sim as Ebeneser Scrooge. The English produced film was released with the title Scrooge in England and A Christmas Carol in the United States. It however did not attain its stature until the 1970′s when it turned up each year on US TV. Prior to this the most popular version of the filmed story in the US was the 1938 version with Reginald Owen.

“Billy Jack” Dies

By | Dec 17, 2013

Just discovered that actor Tom Laughlin died on December 12, 2013 from complications from pneumonia at the age of 82. Tom Laughlin, born on August 10, 1931, is best know for the series of Billy Jack movies of the 1970s.

The character Billy Jack, a half-Indian Vietnam War veteran who shuns society, was first introduced in the 1967 film Born Losers.

This was followed in 1971 with the most popular of series Billy Jack. From this movie came the song One Tin Soldier by Coven

The Trial of Billy Jack came out in 1974.

The last of the series Billy Jack Goes to Washington in 1976.

After the Billy Jack movies Laughlin went into politics, including running for the Democratic nomination for President in 1992 and as a republican in 2004. In both cases the parties considered him a fringe candidate and gave him little support.

Combined Goal

By | Dec 15, 2013

A picture may paint a thousand words, but what it really does is capture a moment in time. Telling it’s own story.

2013 Combined Goal-8197

Since a each picture tells a story I’ll let the photograph tell its story.

More photographs by Steven (SG) Atkinson cane be seen at or on Flickr.

Two Geminis Become One

By | Dec 12, 2013

On its third attempt Gemini Mission 6A, with Command Pilot Walter M. (Wally) Schirra and Pilot Thomas (Tom) P. Stafford launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 15, 1965.

On its fourth orbit Gemini 6A meet Gemini 7, with Command Pilot Frank F. Borman II and Pilot James A. Lowell Jr., which was already in orbit. Gemini 7 had launched on December 4, 1965 and was already 11 days into their 14 day mission.

Gemini 6A was actually suppose to have been launched before Gemini 7. Gemini 6′s mission was to meet and dock with a vessel in space. It was originally suppose to have docked with an Agena Target Vehicle. The target vessel failed 6 minute into its mission and Gemini 6 mission was aborted.

Had it not been for the quick thinking of Wally Schirra on December 12, the rescheduled launch date, Gemini 6 may never had launched. On launch the engines briefly fired, but stopped cause the mission to be aborted. Mission rules was for the astronauts to eject, but since Schirra and Stafford not feeling any upwards motion they elected not to eject. With the work of many engineers it was decided to try to launch on the 15th.

Before sleep time the two capsule moved to a distance of 10 miles apart. The next day Gemini 6A splashed down 16 kilometers from their target point. They were the first to have a truly accurate reentry.

On December 18 Gemini 7 splashed down even closer to their target point being only 11.8 Kilometers away.

An Airplane Death

By | Dec 10, 2013

43 year old Mexican Singer Jenni Rivera lost her life when the plane she was flying in crashed into the mountains in Northern Mexico, on December 9, 2012. We have lost many performers due to plane mishaps.

On December 10, 1967, Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays were on the way to Madison, Wiscons when their plane crashed in Lake Monona. Ben Cauley, one of The Bar-Kays was the accident’s only survivor. Those killed that day were Redding and his manager and Bar-Kays Jimmy King, Ronnie Caldwell, Phalon Jones, and Carl Cunningham.

February 3, 1959 is known as the day the music died. It was on that day that Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) along with pilot Roger Peterson died when the plane they were in crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly had chartered the plane for his band, to get to the next concert venue faster than by bus. His band included Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup. Jennings exchanged his seat with Richardson, who was feeling sick with the flu and Valens asked Tommy Allsup for his seat on the plane. Allsup and Valens decided to toss a coin to decide who would go.

Jim Croce career was on the rise when on September 20, 1973 the plane he was in crashed upon takeoff from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. It was also the day that his single “I Got a Name” was released.

On October 20, 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd’s chartered Convair CV-300 ran out of fuel near the end of their flight to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though the pilots attempted an emergency landing on a small airstrip, the plane crashed in a forest in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant, the band’s front man, Steve Gaines who had just recently joined the band as one of its guitarist, and backup Cassie Gaines, who was also Steve Gaines sister, were killed on impact. Assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were also killed on impact. The other band members (Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Artimus Pyle, and Leslie Hawkins) tour manager, Ron Eckerman and road crew suffered serious injuries.

You may not remember or have heard of Bill Chase. He was a Jazz trumpeter who in the early 1970s formed the rock group that took his name, Chase. Chase infused Rock and Jazz and had a popular hit song “Get it On” in 1971. In all the group recorded three albums. “Chase” released in 1971, “Ennea” in 1972 and in 1973 “Pure Music”. Perhaps you would have heard of Bill Chase had he not died in a plane crash on August 9, 1974 in Jackson Minnesota.

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