Tag Archives: Vicki Lawrence

A Musical Story About Georgia

11 Jun

My wife had to go to Atlanta for business, so we drove down for an overnight stay. On the way back, I started thinking about songs with Georgia in their titles. This post is the result of the string of ideas that my mind put together. As you can tell, strange things run through my brain when I am driving.

Ray Charles called Jim Croce and said, “I’ve got Georgia on My Mind.” Jim replied, “Let’s start Walkin’ Back to Georgia.” As they walked down the road, Gladys Knight and the Pips passed on their way to the station. She yelled out of the window, “We’re taking the Midnight Train to Georgia. You guys should come with us.”

Ray and Jim jumped into the car with Gladys and the Pips. Before boarding the train, Gladys got a text from Brook Benton saying that it was a Rainy Night in Georgia. Despite the news, they still wanted to go. However, things would get worse.

When they disembarked, the station was totally dark. People were scrambling. Then, they ran into Vicki Lawrence who told them the bad news. This was The Night That the Lights Went Out in Georgia. Nobody knew what happened. The lights just went out. It was almost supernatural.

Suddenly, a bell sounded throughout the station. Someone spoke through a megaphone. The voice sounded familiar.

Ladies and gentlemen, please do not be alarmed. We are working on the lights, and we have discovered the problem. The Devil Went Down to Georgia and blew out all of the transformers.

They looked up and saw Charlie Daniels assuring people that everything would be alright.

With nothing else to do, Ray, Jim, Gladys and the Pips sat on benches, and someone finally asked Ray an important question. Why did you want to come to Georgia? He simply answered that he wanted to meet up with Sweet Georgia Brown.

Hilton Head – Driving Down the Musical Highway

23 Oct

We got a late start on our trip to Hilton Head because I had a midday meeting. This meant that we would be driving through the late afternoon and into the night. On top of that, we had to hit five different interstates to get there.

Whenever I am on a long drive, my mind starts to entertain itself. This means that useless trivia moves from the back of my brain and dominates my mind. It is a good way to stay awake and a good way to go crazy. On this drive, music was the category of choice, and it all started as we made our way over Monteagle.

For those who do not know, Monteagle is a ridge that has to be crossed just north of Chattanooga. The grade is steep and trucks have a hard time making their way up one side and down the other. Each time I drive over Monteagle, I think about the opening song of Smokey and the Bandit and start singing it under my breath.

In case you do not remember the opening to one of the greatest movies in cinema history, the song recounts how the Bandit became famous in the truck driving world. I wrote an entire post about it, but, simply, it talks about how he lost control of his rig on Monteagle. With heroic driving skills, he was able to make it to the bottom.

(Brief Interlude: While writing that post, I looked up the lyrics of the song. All of the sites had him crossing something called Montvale. It is not Montvale. One of my life’s goals is to get those lyrics corrected and give Monteagle is rightful place in Smokey and the Bandit history.)

Of course, driving through Chattanooga brought to mind “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, but the route through north Georgia made my mind go musically dead. Atlanta played a big role in that. It does not matter what time you drive through Atlanta. The traffic is always bad, and your focus needs to be on the road. However, I still heard Ronnie Van Zant telling Billy Powell to “play it pretty for Atlanta.”

Eventually, we made our way to Macon and hit a desolate stretch of road toward Savannah. It was getting later. It was getting darker. That is when I saw a sign for Statesboro, Georgia, the subject of “Statesboro Blues” by the Allman Brothers. That meant that the next several miles were filled with an internal soundtrack of their tunes.

After several days in Hilton Head, which I will write about in the next post, we retraced our journey. This time, the excitement of a vacation was behind us, and we were making that long, tired drive toward home. That does not mean that the musical journey was over. As the miles passed, I tried to think of songs that have Georgia in their titles.Georgia

I ended up with the following.

“Sweet Georgia Brown” (I can see Curly Neal dribbling around Meadowlark Lemon.)

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie D. lives not too far down the road.)

“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (Yep, Vicki Lawrence can sing, too.)

“Midnight Train to Georgia” (The Pips make this song stand out.)

“Rainy Night in Georgia” (The Tony Joe White version is the best.)

“Georgia on My Mind” (It is hard to beat Ray Charles.)

“Marching Through Georgia” (I only know this one because it was mentioned in a John Wayne movie.)

“Walkin’ Back to Georgia” (One of Jim Croce’s lesser known songs.)

Before I knew it, we were back at Monteagle, but it was not before I thought of something else. Does anyone remember a television show called Carter Country?

 

 

 

Bane, Beyonce and Buffalo Wild Wings

6 Feb

Everyone knows that the Super Bowl turned into the NFL version of Vicki Lawrence’s 1972 hit “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia“. The biggest sporting event that the United States has to offer came to a screeching halt, and officials of all sorts began to scramble all over themselves. Well, Twitter didn’t come to a halt, and those in the Twitterverse began to scramble to come up with the wittiest comments.

Like millions, I scanned my Twitter feed during this dark time and, like millions, noticed that I was reading the same stuff over and over. Twitter people come up with some very imaginative and funny lines, but they can also become copycats. I noticed that a few themes began to emerge. The first person who tweeted this things were being original and funny. The next billion or so were a little late to the “Super Bowl of the Dark Ages” party.

Bane was everywhere. Or was it Baine. No, it could have been Bain. For a one syllable named villain, there sure were a lot of spelling versions. He was an obvious reference for the interrupted game. It the movie, he blows up the field during a kickoff return for a touchdown. In real life, the lights went out after a kickoff return for a touchdown. I understand the reference and found it clever the first time. But, I didn’t find it clever the 10,000th time.

SPELL MY NAME!!!

SPELL MY NAME!!!

Beyonce was also all over Twitter. Of course, she was all over Twitter before the lights went out. All of the tweets were about her pulling all of the power out of the stadium or about her booty bumping into the generator. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if either one of those were the actual cause.

We bow to you, Mrs Carter.

We bow to you, Mrs Carter.

I thought the references to Buffalo Wild Wings were the most ingenious. For those who don’t know, the restaurant chain has a long running advertising campaign where patrons delay sporting events to stay in the bar longer. If I was the CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, then I would have a new commercial out a fast as possible.

Yes, it was us.

Yes, it was us.

Those were funny, even though they got stale after a while. Another trend I did not find funny at all. Several tweets went out that mentioned how it was rich people who were trapped in the Super Dome this time. Obviously, this was a reference to people being trapped in the Super Dome during Hurricane Katrina. Also obviously, it was coming from people with a more liberal view of politics. I know this because there were some other tweets about it being the fault of the GOP.

Making fun of the GOP is fine, but I felt that the tweets took light of the situation during Katrina rather than making an overt political statement. It’s strange that those who consider themselves the most enlightened are sometimes the cruelest when attacking those who disagree with them. Folks on the extreme left and right will think this crazy, but I think they have more in common than they realize. Close-mindedness and refusing to understand the other view come to mind.

Ok, I didn’t mean to get on a political soapbox when I am actually on a Twitter soapbox. Now, back on track.

I’m not good at being funny on Twitter because I have an affliction. I think of clever stuff after the moment has passed. With that being said, here are some not clever things that I thought about after it was all over.

Andrew Jackson saved New Orleans once. He should have gone down there and saved it again. I know. History humor is not that humorous. Still, it took a Tennessee person to save New Orleans from the British, so I figure he could save it from Bane or Beyonce or Buffalo Wild Wings.

Hell, they already put up a statue of him down there.

Hell, they already put up a statue of him down there.

As an aside, it seems to always take a Tennessee person to get something done. Jackson saved New Orleans. Sam Houston brought in Texas. James K. Polk grabbed California. Cordell Hull created the United Nations. Tina Turner was Beyonce before there was a Beyonce.

I also thought of Marie Laveau, the witch queen of New Orleans. Redbone sang a song about her, but there is something better. If you knock on her grave three times, then she may grant you a wish. I knocked, but I didn’t get the wish. I figure she turned out the lights because the Super Bowl interrupted Mardi Gras.

Knock three times.

Knock three times.

However, I had another idea that was most fitting. The lights went out to honor Don Meredith, quarterback and Monday Night Football personality. Watch the video to understand why.

Turn out the lgihts. The party's over.

Turn out the lights. The party’s over.

That’s about it for my Super Bowl Twitter analysis.