Tag Archives: Ricky Nelson

My iPod Has Issues – Too Early For Bed

16 Jun

The summer class that I am teaching is halfway finished.

The meetings I had today did not last long.

The dinner we had at the local pizzeria was quite good.

Everyone else is in bed, but I cannot go to bed before 10 pm. Going to bed before 10 pm means I have reached a time in life that I am not ready to admit. When I was a kid, I would beg my parents to let me stay up until the local news was over. I usually made it through Johnny Carson’s monologue or through the beginning of a John Wayne movie on the late show. Nope, I will not go to bed earlier than that.

Instead, I will delve into the mind of my psychotic iPod and see what is going on.

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Search for Vulcan” by Leroy Holmes

“Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle

“Carolyn” by Merle Haggard

“Stereotomy” by The Alan Parsons Project

“Ebo Walker” by The Dillards

“Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone

“She’s Got You” by Loretta Lynn

“Got My Mojo Working” by Muddy Waters

“Memphis Exorcism” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

“Garden Party” by Ricky Nelson

“6 Underground” by Sneaker Pimps

“Free Ride” by Edgar Winter

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin

“Lazy River” by Pete Fountain

“Hallelujah I Love Her So” by Ray Charles

“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys

“More Than You Know” by Mel Torme

“O Death” by Ralph Stanley

“Down Together” by The Refreshments

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The John Russell Effect

27 Dec

The other day, I visited my parents and found my dad watching the Western Channel. He always watches that channel, and I am usually familiar with whatever is on. After all, me and my brother were raised watching old Westerns. However, I had never seen what he was watching this time.

It was a television show called Cheyenne that stars Clint Walker. Some of you Western aficionados probably know it. As I watched it, my mind focused on the actor playing the bad guy. With his features and his voice, I knew that I had seen him, and I had a feeling where. Despite my dad jumping on me for looking at my phone, I did a quick search.

The actor in question was John Russell, and I knew him from Rio Bravo. In that movie, he plays Nathan Burdette, the local land baron who goes up against John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan. Obviously, he loses in the end.john-russell

That discovery was not surprising. However, it was surprising to learn that John Russell was in another of my favorite movies, The Outlaw Josey Wales. In that one, he makes a brief appearance as Bloody Bill Anderson.

Wait, there is more. He also plays the bad guy in Pale Rider and appeared in Honky Tonk Man, which was partially filmed in Nashville. Of course, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider and Honky Tonk Man have something in common other than John Russell. They also star Clint Eastwood. Apparently, they were buddies.

I thought that I had seen John Russell in one movie. As it turns out, he has shown up in several places. Heck, he just got shot on my television screen as I typed this. The mysterious stranger got him in Pale Rider before disappearing into the distance. Coincidence? I am not so sure. It could be the John Russell Effect.

My iPod Has Issues – Western Writer’s Block

9 Jul

There is a post that needs to be written, but I cannot wrap my mind around the thing. It is on an interesting topic that is right in my wheelhouse. Except, I cannot get it started. The right words will not come to me.

Anyway, I have promised myself that I will not write a post of substance until this one is done. That is why I am writing a post of no substance. Hopefully, putting words on the screen will unblock my mind and get this thing rolling.

Cranking up the iPod might help. This list has a theme that is close to the topic in my mind. You never know. The music might jar something loose.Gunsmoke

“My Rifle, My Pony and Me” by Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

“Jesse James” by Jim Greer and the Mac-O-Chee Valley Singers

“The Way That You Wander” by John Rubenstein and Tim McIntire

“Slow Movin’ Outlaws” by Waylon Jennings

“Ballad Of Davy Crockett” by Fess Parker

“Arriving In Deadwood” by Michael Brook

“Song Of The Wagonmaster” by Sons of the Pioneers

“El Dorado” by George Alexander and the Mellomen

“Silverado” by The Marshall Tucker Band

“Great White Buffalo” by Ted Nugent

“Kaw-Liga” by Hank Williams

“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

“Desperado” by The Eagles

“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers

“Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” by Johnny Cash

“A Man With True Grit” by Glen Campbell

“Old Turkey Buzzard” by Jose Feliciano

“The Legend Of Judge Roy Bean” by Nevada Slim

“Amarillo By Morning” by George Strait

My iPod Has Issues – Grammy Edition

27 Jan

The Grammy Awards are on and taking my focus away from the blog. Between Twitter and the television, I am being inundated with information. Lorde has black fingers. Daft Punk has cool headgear. According to my wife, Keith Urban has a messed up haircut. Katy Perry tried to emulate the witchy aura of Stevie Nicks. All I can say is that she is no Stevie Nicks.Stevie Nicks

With my mind cluttered with the world of music, I may as well go ahead and add more music to it. That means putting the iPod on shuffle and teeing it up. I don’t know how many of these people won a Grammy, but being included on the playlist should make up for any previous snubs.

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Valerie Wellington

“Cindy” by Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan

“Ballad of the Alamo” by Marty Robbins

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith

“Workin’ for MCA” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“I Threw It All Away” by Bob Dylan

“I See You Baby” by Groove Armada

“Highway to Hell” by AC/DC

“Rhiannon” by Stevie Nicks

“Pearl Necklace” by ZZ Top

“Immune” by Godsmack

“Don’t Bring Me Down” by The Animals

“Montana” by Sons of the Pioneers

“The Theme to Route 66” by Nelson Riddle

“Ecstasy of Gold” bu Ennio Morricone

“Oh, What a Night” by The Dells

“Save My Soul” by Blues Saraceno

“The Day Begins” by The Moody Blues

“I Don’t Trust Nobody” by George Thorogood

“Still…You Turn Me On” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

I would like to see all of them on stage at the Grammy Awards.

The Westerns of Dean Martin

11 Jun

I have been reading about the Rat Pack and the exploits of its members – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Together, they were legendary. However, I have been thinking about their individual careers.

Obviously, Frank Sinatra is one of the most famous performers of all time.

Sammy Davis, Jr. also had a great career.

Peter Lawford is probably best known as a Kennedy in-law.

I’m not sure what else Joey Bishop did.

Dean Martin, though, is my favorite. He sang great songs and made great movies. Some of the best movies were Westerns. For a cool crooner, Martin was pretty handy on a horse and with a gun.

In my mind, his best Western was Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan. Here’s a trivia question. How many people in Rio Bravo had records that reached Number 1? The movie is about a sheriff who has arrested the brother of a wealthy rancher. He and his deputies have to fight to keep him in jail and to stay alive. Martin plays Dude, a deputy who doubles as the town drunk.Dude

Another great thing, Rio Bravo was filmed at Old Tucson Studios, one of my favorite places to visit.

5 Card Stud is another good one. Martin plays Van Morgan, a gambler who has to solve a series of murders before he becomes the next victim.5 Card Stud

Everyone who is killed was playing in the same card game. It also stars Robert Mitchum and Inger Stevens but suffers from what I call the “law of diminishing suspects”. There are so few suspects that solving the mystery is too easy.

Bandolero! pairs Martin with James Stewart as brothers who have taken different paths but find themselves in trouble together.Bandolero

Along the way, they take Raquel Welch hostage.

My least favorite Dean Martin Western is The Sons of Katie Elder. It stars John Wayne and has the makings of a great story, but the “sons” are mismatched. The youngest “son” is way too young to play the part. I hate to say that a Western starring John Wayne and Dean Martin is bad, so I will say that it’s not very good.

Martin is the gambling brother, Tom Elder, and he follows older brother John in trying to figure out who killed their father. One of the best scenes has Martin playing a “fake eye” trick in a bar.The Sons of Katie Elder

Dean Martin made other Westerns, but these are the ones I have seen. Honestly, I don’t think I could make it through the comedy ones with Frank Sinatra.

Grading the Day

24 Apr

I just finished grading a big stack of assignments, and my eyes are a bit blurry. I can’t figure out why we teachers give assignments at the end of the semester. It just means that we put a lot of work on ourselves. At some point, I will realize that assigning something at the beginning of the semester is fine.

Most of the papers are graded, but my brain hasn’t fully recovered. I’m not even sure why I am typing. It just feels like something that I should be doing. Does that mean I am a blogoholic?

I guess so because I am typing up a post without really knowing what the post is supposed to be about. Words are just appearing on the screen. I wonder what’s going to appear next.

I woke up this morning after hitting the snooze button a couple of times. My iPhone is my alarm, and it is set on “De Guello“, a song from the movie Rio Bravo that stars John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson.Rio Bravo

I got ready for work and headed that direction. I am not a morning person, but I insist on having classes a 8 o’clock. I have no idea why. This morning I talked about Herbert Hoover and how his administration got steamrolled by the Great Depression.Herbert Hoover

A lot of people blamed him, but it happened a few months after he took office. That’s not enough time to cause all of that.

I had some office hours before getting a hot dog for lunch. I let my afternoon class go after a few minutes of discussion. The semester is coming to an end, but my lectures are coming to an end quicker. After more office hours, I picked up Necole’s daughter from school because she had an appointment with a doctor.

Eventually, I made it home to get ready for an awards ceremony back on campus. I got the award for Most Outstanding Faculty Member. It is an honor to receive this award because it is voted on by the students. One of the other history professors also got a service award, so that was great, too. Basically, history holds a monopoly over the faculty awards this year.Monopoly Man II

Once the ceremony was over, I visited my parents to show them my plaque. I also talked to Necole and found out that they had to get antibiotics.

After all of that, I started grading but did it a little differently. Usually, I grade in silence. This time, I graded with the television on. Throughout the grading process, I listened to a PBS documentary about the Dust Bowl. Not surprisingly, the narrator talked about how it was Herbert Hoover’s fault. I also listened to a 30 for 30 about the 1983 NFL draft.

Now, I am blogging about all of it. Interesting isn’t it?