Tag Archives: John Lennon

Of Old Boxers and Old Movies

12 Dec

My friends and I have some weird text conversations. We talk about all sorts of things, but we mostly try to stump each other on trivia. We consider ourselves experts in all knowledge that will only lead to fortune on a game show. The other night we had one such conversation. Hopefully, you can tell that the conversations can go in any direction.

It went, with slight edits, as follows. to help guide you through this high level conversation, my friend’s comments are in bold.

85 years ago the old Southern Conference became the SEC. There were 13 original members. Did you know Sewanee was one of them?

I knew that.

So was Tulane.

Georgia Tech also. I believe they dropped out in 64… when did Sewanee get out?

1940

John Lennon was killed 37 years ago today.

That was yesterday.

Although, Archie Moore died on this day in 1998.

Correct. My bad. The Ole Mongoose was cornerman for Foreman when Ali stopped him in Zaire. Moore’s last fight was against a young Cassius Clay in 62.

He also played Jedediah in The Carpetbaggers, one of the all time great movies.

Yes, and was in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Sugar Ray Robinson was in a couple of Sinatra movies. Archie Moore also worked with James “Quick” Tillis, a Tulsa heavyweight who was a great boxer but not much heart. Tillis played in The Color Purple with Oprah. I flew in 81 to Chicago on a junket to see Tillis fight Mike “Hercules” Weaver for the WBA title. Tillis was named Sprint Tillis after the fight. He ran all night long. I saw better fights in the halls of high school.

Which boxer was in the Tony Rome movies?

Tillis’ daughter was an outstanding basketball player at Duke. Iciss Tillis.

I remember her.

Cassius Clay in 62 was in Requiem for a Heavyweight with Jackie Gleason and Anthony Quinn.

I didn’t know that.

Rocky Graziano was in Tony Rome.

I thought somebody else was in those movies.

Sugar Ray Robinson was in The Detective with Sinatra. LaMotta had a bit part in Graziano’s bio played by Paul Newman…

Sinatra got Joe Louis a job as a greeter at Caesar’s Palace.

Max Schmeling paid for his funeral.

 

 

 

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Dates and Jams

3 Sep

My friend over at Serendipity created a great post, and I, like any good blogger, am going to copy it. She found a site called Birthday Jams that will tell you what was at the top of the charts on the day that you were born.

On my day of birth, The Supremes had “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” hanging out in the Number One spot. However, it gets better. In the United Kingdom, Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra hit big with the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I knew I liked that movie for some reason.

As I fiddled with the site, I started to wonder about what people were jamming to when big events happened. For example, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 20, 1969. Do you know what song was tops in the land on that day? “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon became the first president to resign from office. As he flew off in his helicopter, somebody was listening to “Feel Like Makin’ Love” by Roberta Flack. Nixon also posed in one of the greatest photographs of all time with Elvis Presley.Elvis Nixon

A few years later, the nation was saddened by the death of Elvis, who had a ton of Number One hits. On August 16, 1977, the day he passed away, “Best of My Love” by The Emotions was playing on radios everywhere.

Elvis’ career began when he walked into Sun Studios. He struggled for a while but finally got into a groove on July 5, 1954 when he recorded “That’s All Right.” The nation did not know what was about to hit them. All they knew was that Kitty Kallen had a huge hit with “Little Things Mean a Lot.”

Obviously, December 7, 1941 is a huge date in American history. The Japanese attacked the island of Oahu and our base at Pearl Harbor. The nation was about to enter a war that had been raging for a couple of years. It was also the day that people were listening to “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller.

On December 15, 1944, Miller’s plane disappeared somewhere over the English Channel. On that day, Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots hit with “I’m Making Believe.”

On September 10 1993, a television show debuted that asked us to believe. As The X-Files started its rise to popularity, “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey hit the peak of the charts.

Of course, that was a few years after Larry Hagman first dreamed of Jeannie. That show went on the air on September 18, 1965, which was the same time that The Beatles did not need any “Help!”

Of course, The Beatles would break up and go on to solo careers. Tragically, John Lennon’s life was cut short on December 8, 1980. On that day, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers was sitting at Number One.

Rogers used his popularity to transition into movies. None of them were very good, but Six Pack was one of the worst. It hit the screens on July 16, 1982. Listening to “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League had to be better than watching that film.

I reckon this exercise needs to eventually come to an end, and that will happen with one more date.

I am not going to release the date of my wife’s birth, but that event turned out to be important in my life. In other words, it needs to be recognized. One way to do that is to tell you that Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” was the big hit of the day. By the way, her name is not Rosie.

Through the 1970s and Beyond

27 Mar

The other day, I saw something on Twitter that required further research. After a little Googling, I discovered that this information has made the Internet rounds and has been written about a bunch. However, that is not going to stop me from putting my spin on it.

Anyway, it goes like this.

In February 1970, Circus magazine pictured a bunch of people on its covered and asked if they would survive the following decade.Ty0ZdBT47

It was a morbid idea for a cover, but it has led to an interesting question. How many of them made it?

The following list is in the order of their appearance.

Johnny Cash survived the 1970s and lived until 2003. Luckily, I was able to meet him when we ran into each other in a bookstore.

Pete Townshend is still living and is about to go on another tour. I saw The Who on their last tour but left the arena disappointed.

Jim Morrison passed away in 1971 and is buried in a Parisian cemetery.

Paul McCartney is alive and recording. In fact, he just did a thing with Kanye West and Rihanna.

Grace Slick is very much alive but probably not as slick.

Bob Dylan is still around and will soon be performing in Nashville. I just read that the Country Music Hall of Fame is opening a new exhibit about him and Johnny Cash.

Janis Joplin passed away a few months after the issue hit the stands.

John Lennon made it through the 1970s but was gunned down in 1980.

Jimi Hendrix also died a few months after this issue first came out.

Johnny Winter survived the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2014.

Alvin Lee died one year earlier in 2013.

Ray Davies is still alive and doing his thing.

John Mayall is also still with us.

Mick Jagger just announced a stadium tour for The Rolling Stones. They will be returning to Nashville.

Elvis Presley died at Graceland in 1977. Luckily, my parents took me to one of his concerts a few years before that.

George Harrison was the second Beatle to leave us. He passed away in 2001.

Ringo Starr is still playing drums and getting help from his friends.

Charlie Watts is also still around. I wonder if he will be doing that stadium tour.

Jimmy Page is definitely alive. I read that his girlfriend is the same age he was when he appeared on that cover.

David Crosby is also in the news. A few days ago, he ran over a jogger.

What does all that mean?

It means that Circus put out a dumb cover and a dumb article.

It also means that most of these rockers, despite their crazy lifestyles, made it out of the 1970s. Of the 20 that were listed, 11 of them are still alive 45 years later. Out of the 9 who have passed away, 4 lived into the 21st Century.

Four of them passed away in the 1970s. Three of those due to drug use, and the fourth, Jim Morrison, remains a mystery.

However, I have a few questions. Who thought up this article? Did any of those featured read it? Did they get made or laugh at it?

I guess someone could ask those who are still on this earth.

Forever Young

8 Jan

The date in the circle to the left is an important date in music history. On January 8, 1935, Elvis Presley was born in a shotgun house in Tupelo, Mississippi. I have written about Elvis before, so I won’t repeat myself. However, it struck me that he would be 77 years old if he had made it through the perils of fame and fortune. His health declined in the last few years, but, in the eyes of many, Elvis will be forever young. He is an icon frozen is time.

Other famous people hold the same position in culture and history. They died young and remain their youthful selves in the minds of the people who remember them. Thinking about Elvis, I began to wonder how old some of those people would be today.

Elvis Presley died at the age of 42. He would be 78 if he was still alive.

Elvis Presley's last concert.

Elvis Presley’s last concert.

Marilyn Monroe died at the age of 36. She would be 86 if she was still alive.

Marilyn Monroe's last movie.

Marilyn Monroe’s last movie.

James Dean died at the age of 24. He would be 81 if he was still alive.

James Dean's last movie.

James Dean’s last movie.

Jimi Hendrix died at the age of 27. He would be 70 if he was still alive.

Jimi Hendrix's last concert.

Jimi Hendrix’s last concert.

Martin Luther King, Jr. died at the age of 39. He would be 83 if he was still alive.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last speech.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last speech.

John Lennon died at the age of 40. He would be 72 if he was still alive.

John Lennon's last performance.

John Lennon’s last performance.

I wonder how the world would have been different if they had made it to old age. We will never know. Instead, they will remain forever young.