Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Whodunit?... with Nick and Audrey Spitz!

This is how you make an entrance, baby!

Hi there, folks! Think we look like Jennifer Aniston
and Adam Sandler? Yeah, we get that a lot.

Actually, we're Nick and Audrey Spitz, stars of
the hit Netflix original movie Murder Mystery.

As you can see, we're having a blast playing detective, examining
clues and trying to figure out who did the dastardly deed -
Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard or Mrs. Peacock.

While we try to solve our case we'd like to bust your brain with a friendly game
of Whodunit. Here's how it works. We'll give you the titles of 7 hit records
along with some additional clues. See if you can tell us Whodunit -
who is the artist, group or band that recorded the song?

If you're ready to play, let's put the pedal to the metal and find out if
you've got what it takes to be a first class dick.  No offense intended.
Would it have been better if I used the term gumshoe?


The song "Turn Around, Look At Me"
was first recorded in 1961 by country
crooner Glen Campbell. Covers were
released by the Lettermen and by the
Bee Gees, but the most successful
version of all was released in 1968
by the Pittsburgh vocal group also
known for doing "You're The One,"
"Five O'Clock World" and a cover
of the Bobby Helms hit of the
50s, "My Special Angel."



In 1979 this English power pop/new wave singer, songwriter and musician
scored a hit with "Cruel To Be Kind," a single that made a run at the
top 10 on the record charts on both sides of the pond.



Originally released August 26, 1964, on the B side of "Ride The Wild Surf,"
the song "The Anaheim, Azusa And Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review
And Timing Association," one of the longest titles in pop chart history,
climbed halfway up the Cash Box chart.



In March of 1982, "Pac-Man Fever," a novelty single about the classic
video game Pac-Man, peaked in the top 10 and went on to sell
2.5 million copies. It is ranked number 98 on VH1's list of
The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.



Named after a tropical cocktail, this 80s girl trio from Holland broke through
on an international scale in 1985 when two of their disco soul singles,
"Body And Soul" and "History," made the top 10 on the UK chart.
The latter also reached the top 3 on the U.S. Dance chart.



This actor and comedian was a frequent host on Saturday Night Live
and joined the regular cast in the mid 80s. His most famous recurring
sketch was a parody of an Argentine-American actor Fernando Lamas
whose catchphrase was "You look... mahvelous!" In 1985 the comic
released the single "You Look Marvelous" along with a music video
in which he does a spot-on imitation of Lamas. The record was a
minor hit in the U.S. and reached the top 20 in Canada.



For decades he played the role of Danny Romalotti, Cricket's soul mate
on the hit soap opera The Young and the Restless. He was rock star on
the program and he was also a rocker in real life. In 1989 he topped
the U.S. chart with a cover of "Rock On," originally recorded
in 1973 by English singer David Essex.




In 1968, the stalker song "Turn Around, Look At Me" was a top 10 hit
on Billboard and a top 5 hit on Cash Box for the Pittsburgh vocal group


"Turn Around, Look At Me" - The Vogues
(July/Aug. 1968, highest chart pos. #4 Cash Box/#7 Hot 100)


In the fall of 1979, the power pop single "Cruel To Be Kind"
was a hit in the U.S. and the UK for English recording artist


"Cruel to Be Kind" Nick Lowe
(Sept./Oct. 1979, highest chart pos. #12 Hot 100 & Cash Box)


In 1964, "The Anaheim, Azusa And Cucamonga Sewing Circle,
Book Review And Timing Association," a song with one of the longest
titles in chart history, was a B side minor hit for the surf rock duo


"The Anaheim, Azusa And Cucamonga Sewing Circle,
Book Review And Timing Association" - Jan And Dean
(Oct. 1964, highest chart pos. #50 Cash Box/#77 Hot 100)


"Pac-Man Fever," a novelty number that cashed-in on the video game
craze of the early 80s, reached the top 10 for the one-hit-wonder duo


"Pac-Man Fever" - Buckner & Garcia
(Feb./Mar. 1982, highest chart pos. #7 Cash Box/#9 Hot 100)


In 1985, "History," a club single that made the top 40 on the U.S. R&B chart
and was a top 3 hit on the Dance survey, was recorded by the Dutch
girl group named after a cocktail. They called themselves


"History" - Mai Tai
(July 1985, highest chart pos. #109 Bubbling Under,
#37 R&B/#3 U.S. Dance, #8 UK)


The comic actor who impersonated Latin playboy Fernando Lamas
in SNL sketches and on the music video "You Look Marvelous" is


"You Look Marvelous" - Billy Crystal
(Aug./Sept. 1985, highest chart pos. #58 Hot 100/#60 Cash Box)


Rock star Danny Romalotti, Cricket Blair's long time love interest on Y&R,
had a chart-topping single for realsies in 1989 with "Rock On." His name is


"Rock On" Michael Damian
(May, June 1989, highest chart pos. #1 Hot 100 & Cash Box)

Okay let's find out how well you did on the quiz.

Use the scoring system below to determine
your music detective I.Q.


Holy moly, if you correctly named all 7 artists, you're a super sleuth!
You will be inducted into the Music Detective Hall of Fame
and the Whodunit Record Book.


BOOM! No shame whatsoever. I spy a budding private eye. You put the
Mike Hammer down. Charlie Chan - U Da Man. Way to go, Columbo!


Nice try, Sherlock! You're a middling, mediocre Magnum, P.I.
Looks like Popeye Doyle could use a little oil. You're no
Dick Tracy and you sure as hell aren't Cagney & Lacey!


What the hay, at least you gave it your best shot (and failed).
Nancy Drew sure ain't you! Philip Trent got up and went.
Adrian Monk got no spunk. Inspector Clouseau's
got a long way to go!


No! Not good! Bad! Face it. You're a defective detective!
Boston Blackie? Not exactly! Bulldog Drummond's got fleas!
Philip Marlowe set the bar low!


TIMBER! You flunked the course! Sam Spade fell asleep in the shade.
Holy dumbed-down Barney Fife, Batman! Peter Gunn ain't got none.
Nero Wolfe's been outfoxed. Kojak? NO, Jack!

Shhhhhh! We need you to keep this on the down low because we're still
working our Murder Mystery, but you'll be happy to know that we'll be
back soon to play another exciting game of Whodunit? Stick around! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Can We Be Ernest With Each Other, Vern?

Howdy, Vern!
This here's your old buddy,
Ernest P. Worrell.

Hey, I got one for ya, Vern.
Ever hear the one about
 the farmer's daughter
 and the octopus?

Know somethin' Vern, life's full of
tough decisions, like which drink'll
do the trick when you wanna wet
your whistle. If you said PBR, then
you're my kinda guy and I'll save
you a stool down at Kenny's.
If you said sparklin' water...
you ain't from around here.

But when it comes to pickin' a sodie pop to sip on a summer day when I'm hangin' on a ladder in the blazin' hot sun watchin' you shingle your roof... it's old Yeller for me.

That's right, Vern. Meller Yeller sure does hit the spot.
 It quenches your thirst and brings out the
flavor of your chewin' tobacca.

Guess what, Vern? While I'm busy sippin and  supervisin',
I thought you and me could listen to a stack of grade A
rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll records. Sound like a plan?

Okay, Vern, the first platter's on the turntable so get ready
to tap your toes and whistle while you work, good buddy!


At the top of my play list is a cool cat you know as P.J. Proby, but here's somethin'
you might not know. Way back when he was just startin' out, P.J. made records
usin' the name Jett Powers. By the way, Vern, this Houston boy is also an
actor. He played Elvis the Pelvis and Roy Orbison in musical theater.
Now let's have a listen to the second Jett Powers single released
in the fall of 1959, a song written by Maybelle Jackson.
It's a doozie of a disc called "Loud Perfume."

"Loud Perfume" - Jett Powers
(Sept. 1959, uncharted)


Born in ole Virginnie, Rockabilly musician Dennis Herrold was livin' in Dallas
in the late 50s when he landed a recording contract and waxed four songs
written by his friend Dub Dickerson. Dub's the dude who, along with
Herrold's wife, wrote Ricky Nelson's big hit "Stood Up." Of the
four songs Dennis Herrold laid down in a single recording
session in the fall of '57, only two hit the street - issued
back-to-back on the same 45. Here's the rockin' A side
of that Dennis Herrold platter-- "Hip Hip Baby!"

"Hip Hip Baby" - Dennis Herrold
(Dec. 1957/Jan. 1958, uncharted)


Hey Vern, ever been to the Whisky A Go-Go? I ain't talkin' 'bout the rotgut
you drink at Kenny's that makes you run to the little boys' room. I mean
 the nightclub in Hollywood where my buddy Johnny Rivers performs.
Here's a nifty number Johnny recorded live at the Whisky, a go-go
style cover of "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," a song written
and waxed by Chuck Berry in 1956. Heeeeer's Johnny!

"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" - Johnny Rivers
(from 1964 album Johnny Rivers At The Whisky À Go-Go)


Next we have those those singin', guitar pickin' brothers, Phil and Don,
the Everlys. These boys are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as
the Country Music Hall of Fame. They influenced everybody from the
Beatles on down with their country style rock 'n' roll. Here are the
Everly Brothers performing their first big hit, "Bye Bye Love,"
a 1957 single that wound up on Rolling Stone's list
of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"Bye Bye Love" - The Everly Brothers
(July 1957, highest chart pos. #2 Hot 100,
#1 Cash Box/#1 Country)


Now here's my boy Ricky Nelson with a song from his third
studio album Ricky Sings Again. In this scene from his family's
television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,
Ricky rocks the house with "You Tear Me Up."

"You Tear Me Up" - Ricky Nelson
(from Jan. 1959 album Ricky Sings Again)


Eddie Cochran was an innovative and influential rock 'n' roll singer and guitar
player who wrote his own songs. In September '59 the future Rock and Roll
Hall of Famer brushed the top 20 in Britain with "Somethin' Else." Eddie
and his brother Bob penned the song along with Eddie's girlfriend,
songwriter Sharon Sheeley. When she was only eighteen, Sharon
wrote Ricky Nelson's first #1 charting smash "Poor Little Fool,"
making her the youngest woman to write a chart-topping
U.S. hit. Here now is Eddie C. delighting the teens on
Dick Clark's Beech-Nut Show with "Somethin' Else!"

"Somethin' Else" - Eddie Cochran
(Sept. 1959, highest chart pos. #58 Hot 100/#22 UK,
perf. on Dick Clark's Beech-Nut Show)


Now let's wrap up the show with an Arkansas fella, a good old boy
by the name of Narvel Felts, known to fans as "Narvel the Marvel."
In the late 50s, Narvel rocked-a-billygoat with the best of 'em,
but couldn't get a hit. Narvel's luck changed in the 70s when
he found fame as a country artist. Let's trace Narvel's
rockabilly roots all the way back to 1957 and listen
to a single he released that year, "Cry, Baby, Cry."

"Cry, Baby, Cry" - Narvel Felts
(Sept. 1957, uncharted)

Hey, guess what, Vern...

I need to skedaddle for now... but stay put.
I'll be back real soon with another batch of tunes
for your high school hop and your heartland hoedown.

Till then don't take any wooden nickels
and don't do anything I wouldn't do.

Know what I mean, Vern?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

John Ettline - Every Dell Rat's Dad

It's Father's Day...

time to honor


"Every Dell Rat's Dad."

John didn't have kids of his own but, as every Dell rat knows, he would have made
a great father.  John was like a dad to us all. Again this year I am proud to present
that classic Father's Day scene from The Donna Reed Show as Dell rats old and
new salute a great man and genuine father figure, Mr. John Ettline.



Sunday, June 9, 2019

V - A - C - A - T - I - O - N !


That's right, dear friend. I'm on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.
Mrs. Shady and I are relaxing at a remote oasis called
Global Warming, Antarctica, close to the South Pole.
The video above shows you the view from our little
grass shack. The water is a delightful 83 degrees!

Tempted as I am to stay here forever and ever, I hope to
return to blogging one week from today. See you then!