Mattel Electronic Football

If you were 10-15 years old in 1977-78 you probably remember this game.

My friend had this game and I basically took it over every time we were on the bus and the times he would come over because he liked the auto racing game. I ended up buying it from him.

It was released in June of 1977 as the second game released by Mattel (Auto Race was the first) and sold through Sears. After less than 100,000 were made, Sears determined that the games would not be big sellers, and most of the production for Football and Auto Race was stopped. Well, Sears was wrong and had to restart the production.

By mid-February 1978 the sales figures were up to 500,000.

Who would think that red dashes could be so much fun?

Here is a commercial for the football game.


70s Saturday Mornings – Big John, Little John

After taking a sip from a fountain of youth, John Martin changed from a 45-year-old school teacher to a 12-year-old. Because he only took a sip, the change was not permanent but the change was reoccurring and Martin had no control as to when the change would occur.

John’s secret was only know to his immediate family and to explain the appearance of the 12-year-old John, they claimed he was their nephew. Throughout the series, John tried to find a cure for his predicament, but he was unsuccessful in his attempts. (

The show also featured Joyce Bulifant who appeared on Matchgame many times. I’ve only met a handful of people who actually remember the show.

This Saturday morning series was only on for one season 1976. It only lasted for 13 episodes. I liked the fountain of youth stories (especially now!) and I really liked the show at 9 years old. It starred Herb Edelman as Big John and Robbie Rist as Little John. Robbie Rist was the infamous cousin Oliver in the Brady Bunch. Robbie looked like a miniature John Denver to me… and grew up to be a musician…and actor.

Robbie Rist                             John Denver


Below the Big John, Little John intro video… is a tv commercial from the same time that shows my favorite EVER peanut butter spread…Koogle…I loved the Banana flavor.


Koogle Peanut Butter spread…I wish they would bring it back…probably was the worst thing for you but it was so good. I loved the banana flavor.

Maria Muldaur – Midnight at the Oasis

It took years for me to appreciate this song but I do now. Her voice is incredible on it. Critics and other rock stars loved this song at the time. It peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #21 in the UK, and #2 in Canada in 1974.

AllMusic reviewer Matthew Greenwald describes the song as “so sensual and evocative that it was probably one of the most replayed records of the era and also may be responsible for the most pregnancies from a record during the mid-’70s”


From Songfacts.

A hit song can become a burden to a singer if she is sick of the song yet still expected to perform it night after night. So how does Muldaur feel about constantly performing this song? She told us: “I still do enjoy singing it. And you know why? Because number one, it was a very hip-ly written song. A lot of the jazz artists have covered it because it’s very well constructed. Imagine my plight if my big hit had been ‘Wild Thing‘ by the Troggs, a really dumb three-chord song. But it’s a song that’s so well constructed that an artist can improvise on it night after night. So that’s reason number one, it’s a cool song.

Reason number two is I love the look of the faces of the audience when the band strikes that number up, when the band goes into the intro of that number. Because apparently, from all the stories that have been told to me when I meet my fans after the show to sign my CD, that song was the soundtrack to many a love-and-lust affair, and if I had been

 writing down all the stories of what people tell me they were doing or were inspired to do because of that song, or as that song was playing, I could have written quite the little x-rated book. So when I start that song, people’s faces light up and I see very happy, maybe slightly x-rated memories flitting across their faces. And so that’s worth more than any Grammy nomination or award – to hear first hand from your fans, from hundreds and hundreds of fans, how a piece of music I didn’t even write, but that I selected and recorded and just put out there in the airwaves, just had such a happy impact on people’s lives. What a gift is that?”

Midnight at the Oasis

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Heaven’s holding a half-moon
Shining just for us
Let’s slip off to a sand dune, real soon
And kick up a little dust
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
Till the evening ends
You don’t have to answer
There’s no need to speak
I’ll be your belly dancer, prancer
And you can be my sheik

I know your Daddy’s a sultan
A nomad known to all
With fifty girls to attend him, they all send him
Jump at his beck and call
But you won’t need no harem, honey
When I’m by your side
And you won’t need no camel, no no
When I take you for a ride
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
Till the evening ends
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Got shadows painting our faces
And traces of romance in our heads


Magic 8 Ball

I was told as a kid that a Magic 8 Ball could predict the future. I bought it hook line and sinker…I was also told by my older sister (8 years older) that snakes bite the second person in a line while I was merrily leading the way hiking in the woods as a 5-year-old…so I caught on pretty quick after I stepped on a snake…didn’t get bit though…but I never let her forget it.

I bugged my mom till she got me the mysterious Magic 8 Ball. I was amazed at this toy…well it wasn’t a toy to me. I thought this was great. So being 5-6 years old I thought I would put it to use… Oh, Magic 8 Ball should I color in the encyclopedias with my crayons? I shook it up and waited for the triangle to give me the answer… “signs point to yes”…those signs must have pointed in a different direction than my Mom… she wasn’t a fan of the Magic 8 ball after that.

Abe Bookman invented the Magic 8 Ball, a fortune-telling toy currently manufactured by Mattel.

During World War II Alfred Carter in Cincinnati had created a tube-like fortune-telling toy. To help him he got his brother in law to help…that would be Abe Bookman. they created a 7” tube device with glass on both ends with a pair of floating dice with responses. It was sold as the “Syco-Seer: The Miracle Home Fortune Teller.” Their company was called Alabe Crafts.

The original Magic 8 Ball was tubular and went by the name Syco-Seer. The Magic 8 Ball above. The Syco-Seer metal cylindar above. The Syco-Slate Pocekt Fortune-Teller at right.

Carter died in 1948 and Bookman revised it into a crystal ball but it still didn’t sell really well. Then the Brunswick Billiards company commisioned Bookman to make them one for them shaped like an 8 ball as a promotional giveaway.

After the giveaway was finished Bookman kept producing them shaped like an 8 ball.

The Magic 8 Ball that we have known since then has contained a 20-sided polygon inside a hollow plastic ball, floating in a liquid-filled, 3-inch diameter tube. The liquid largely consists of dark blue ink and alcohol. The predictions, yes, no, or non-committal, appear on each triangular face of the polygon.

Bookman marketed it as a conversation piece, a paperweight and then a toy.

Ideal Toys bought Alabe Crafts in 1971. Next, Tyco Toys bought the ball in ’87. Mattel owns it today and sells one million units a year.

Here are the magical statements of the Magic 8 Ball

  • As I see it, yes
  • Ask again later
  • Better not tell you now
  • Cannot predict now
  • Concentrate and ask again
  • Don’t count on it
  • It is certain
  • It is decidedly so
  • Most likely
  • My reply is no
  • My sources say no
  • Outlook good
  • Outlook not so good
  • Reply hazy, try again
  • Signs point to yes
  • Very doubtful
  • Without a doubt
  • Yes
  • Yes, definitely
  • You may rely on it.


Van Morrison – Wild Night

I first heard this song in the eighties when I bought the Tupelo Honey album. This song and the title track caught my attention immediately. This song is very radio friendly. It was released in 1971 and peaked at #28 in the Billboard 100.

John Mellencamp also released a version in 1994 and the song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100. John did a good job but this is my go-to version.

From Songfacts.

It’s one of his few songs with mass appeal, and proof that he could write a terrific Pop song whenever he desired. Morrison, however, generally shied away from couplets like “Come on out and dance, come on out, make romance” in favor of more esoteric offerings, which earned him a devoted following and critical praise from those willing to conquer his catalog.

Ted Templeman, who would later produce another Van (Halen), produced the Tupelo Honey album with Morrison. Musicians to perform on this track include Ronnie Montrose on electric guitar, John McFee on pedal steel guitar, Jack Schroer on saxophone and Luis Gasca on trumpet.

 Wild Night
As you brush your shoes
Stand before the mirror
And you comb your hair
Grab your coat and hat
And you walk, wet streets
Tryin’ to remember
All the wild night breezes
In your mem’ry ever

And ev’rything looks so complete
When you’re walkin’ out on the street
And the wind catches your feet
Sends you flyin’, cryin’

Wild night is calling, alright
Wild night is calling

And all the girls walk by
Dressed up for each other
And the boys do the boogie-woogie
On the corner of the street

And the people, passin’ by
Stare in wild wonder
And the inside juke-box
Roars out just like thunder

And ev’rything looks so complete
When you walk out on the street
And the wind catches your feet
And sends you flyin’, cryin’

Wild night is calling

Wild night is calling, alright

The wild night is calling
The wild night is calling

Come on out and dance
Whoa, come on out and make romance
Yes, indeed

Come on out and dance
Come on out, make romance

[Instrumental & horn solo]

The wild night is calling, alright
The wild night is calling

Come on out an dance
Yeah, come on out ‘n make romance

Come on out and dance, alright
Come on out, n’ make romance.


Lynyrd Skynyrd – 41 Years Ago

It’s been 41 years since Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. The band had just released the album “Street Survivors” and it was probably their best well-rounded album. With new guitarist Steve Gaines, they were primed for commercial success but on October 20, 1977, they lost singer-songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and road manager Dean Kilpatrick. The plane crash also claimed the lives of pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray Jr.

A year earlier Steve Gaines joined the band and he was pushing them in directions they never had gone. Listening to “Street Survivors” you can hear his influence with songs I Never Dreamed and I Know A Little. Steve was a  super talented guitarist, songwriter, and singer and I have to wonder where his career would have gone.

On this tour, they were headlining and moving up in status after years of touring as mostly an opening band.

Below is a good Rolling Stone article on the crash. The song below that is “I Never Dreamed,” a song heavily influenced by Gaines.

Image result for lynyrd skynyrd 1977

Image result for lynyrd skynyrd 1977

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Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose

Jack White of the White Stripes is a huge fan of Loretta Lynn. The White Stripes dedicated their 2001 album, ”White Blood Cells,” to her and invited her to share a bill with them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

Jack White produced her album “Van Lear Rose” and he asked Loretta to write all 13 songs for the album. The title refers to the Van Lear Coalmines from her youth. White said he would have been happy just to play tambourine on the album as long as he got to work with her.

Country radio ignored it but the album reached #2 on the country charts and #24 in the Billboard 200. The album is great and this is the song that I liked best.

From Wiki 

The album was released to glowing reviews and near universal acclaim. It received a rating of 97 at, the joint-second highest score and the highest for a female to date

Personal Story about Loretta Lynn

I barely remember it but I actually had breakfast with Loretta Lynn. I was only 8 years old. My mom knew someone who knew her… we were at her Ranch that was just open to the public. She saw us and pointed and said “come in here” and we sat at the table and ate with her. She was very nice. She kept asking if I needed anything and if I was having a good time. Honestly its a blur to me now but I do remember that part…very classy and nice lady.

Van Lear Rose

One of my fondest memories
Was sittin’ on my daddy’s knee
Listenin’ to the stories that he told 
He’d pull out that old photograph
Like a treasured memory from the past 
And say child
This here’s the Van Lear RoseOh how it would bring a smile 
When he talked about her big blue eyes
And how her beauty ran down to her soul
She’d walk across the coal miner’s yard 
Them miner’s would yell loud and hard 
and they’d dream of who would hold
The Van Lear Rose[Chorus:]
She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Now the Van Lear Rose could’ve had her pick
And all the fellers figured rich
Until this poor boy caught her eye
His buddies would all laugh and say
Your dreamin’ boy she’ll never look your way
You’ll never ever hold the Van Lear Rose


Then one night in mid July
Underneath that ol’ blue Kentucky sky
Well, that poor boy won that beauty’s heart
Then my daddy would look at my mommy and smile
As he brushed the hair back from my eyes and he’d say
Your mama
She’s the Van Lear Rose


Right under their nose
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Nena – 99 Luftballons

This song was all over the place in 1984. Both the English and German versions were played and I liked the German version better…I thought it just flowed better than the English version. When I heard “Captain Kirk” I knew I liked it.

The German version went to #2 in the Billboard 100. The English version went to #1 in the UK and #1 in Canada.

From Songfacts.

This was released in Germany, where Nena was from. Their record company had no intention of releasing it in America until a disc jockey at radio station KROQ in Los Angeles found a copy and started playing it. They recorded an English version (the original words are in German, and yes, “Captain Kirk” in German is still “Captain Kirk”) with the title translated as “99 Red Balloons” and released it in the US, where it was a big hit.

Nena’s guitarist, Carlo Karges, got the idea for the song after watching balloons being released at a Rolling Stones concert in West Berlin. He wrote the lyrics and Nena’s keyboard player Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen wrote the music.

Below are both versions

99 Luftballoons

Do you have some time to myself
then I sing a song for you
99 balloons
on their way to the horizon

you might think g’rad me
Then I sing a song for you
99 balloons
And this does not come from something like

99 balloons
on their way to the horizon was
thought to be for space-based UFOs So
a General

‘Ne squadron sent an
alert after that if that were the case.
There were
only 99 air balloons

99 jet aviators
Everyone was a great warrior considered
themselves Captain Kirk
Es gave a big fireworks

The neighbors have not gathered
And you felt the same turned on
It shot on the horizon
On 99 Balloons

99 Minister of War
Match and jerry Can
for the clever people
Witterten already fat loot

Riefen, war and power
man, who would have thought
That it comes once
Because of 99 Balloons

Because 99 Balloons
99 balloons

99 years of war left
no room for victors
war minister’s no more
And no jet planes

Today I pull my laps
See the world in ruins
Have found a balloon
think of you and let him fly

Ninety-Nine Red Balloons

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we’ve got
Set them free at the break of dawn
‘Til one by one they were gone
Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message: “something’s out there!”
Floating in the summer sky
Ninety-nine red balloons go by

Ninety-nine red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it’s red alert
There’s something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
Where ninety-nine red balloons go by

Ninety-nine Decision Street
Ninety-nine ministers meet
To worry, worry, super scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we’ve waited for
This is it, boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As ninety-nine red balloons go by

Ninety-nine knights of the air
Ride super high-tech jet fighters
Everyone’s a Super Hero
Everyone’s a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
Ninety-nine red balloons go by

As ninety-nine red balloons go by

Ninety-nine dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It’s all over and I’m standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you, and let it go

Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson

Alan Wilson is a forgotten figure who was a gifted musician. He died in 1970 under strange circumstances outdoors in a sleeping bag near his band’s lead singer’s (Bob Hite) house. He was dead at the age of 27. Jimi Hendrix would die in a couple of weeks and Janis Joplin would follow a month later…all of them were age 27.

Alan grew up in Boston, Massachusetts where he became a music major at Boston University. He was a frequent player at the Cambridge coffeehouse folk-blues circuit. Alan ended up a blues scholar. He had a massive collection of old blues records and was a walking encyclopedia of the blues. Wilson’s nickname, “Blind Owl,” was bestowed upon him by friend John Fahey during a road trip in 1965 from Boston to Los Angeles and was a reference to the extra-thick lenses Wilson wore.

Alan moved to Los Angeles and met Bob “The Bear” Hite and in 1965 started Canned Heat. The group decided to take their name from “Canned Heat Blues,” an obscure 1928 track by bluesman Tommy Johnson that described the drug high achieved through drinking the household product Sterno.

In 1967, after appearing at the Monterey Pop Festival, Canned Heat signed to Liberty Records. They made a self-titled album that year and it peaked at #76 on the Billboard Charts. In 1968 they released “Boogie with Canned Heat” which made it to number 16. They followed that album with “Living the Blues”(#18) and in 1969 released album Hallelujah(#37).

Their appearance at Woodstock raised their stock higher. They had two hit singles both sung by Alan Wilson, Going Up Country (1968 ) and  On The Road Again (1969). Alan wasn’t the lead singer of Canned Heat but he sang the two best-known singles by them. They were both written by him and based off old blues songs. His unusual voice came from him trying to mimic the voice of old blues singers.

He was very intelligent, awkward, suffered from depression and was not a prototypical rock star. Alan was a serious environmentalist trying to save the Redwood trees. He would sleep outside often to be alone with nature. Alan Wilson was a superb slide guitar and harmonica player. John Lee Hooker said that Wilson was “the greatest harmonica player who ever lived.”

He was a big fan of Eddie James House, Jr. who was was better known as “Son House,” the great blues artist who had retired. He not only retired but was an alcoholic and had not played guitar in years and could not remember his old songs and slide parts from the 20s and 30s. Son House is said to have tutored Robert Johnson. John Hammond asked Alan Wilson to teach the 63-year-old Son House how to play like Son House again. Wilson knew his old records and licks and taught them to Son House who relearned them. House was later signed to a contract.

It gave Son House a career again and he kept playing till he retired again in 1974 after being rediscovered by a new generation. You can hear them both together on the Son House album John the Revelator: The 1970 London Sessions.

Alan died on September 3, 1970. No one knows if it was a suicide or an accidental overdose of Seconal.

Canned Heat continues to this day but they were never as successful after Alan passed away.

For a complete look at Alan Wilson go here to
it’s a great site. Below is an essay he wrote in 1970 about the Redwoods.

“Grim Harvest”

“The redwoods of California are the tallest living things on earth, nearly the oldest, and among the most beautiful to boot. They dominated the woods of the northern hemi-sphere in the time of the dinosaurs, a time when no mammal, flower, or blade of grass had yet appeared on earth. The Ice Age nearly exterminated them – of the once vast redwood forest only a remnant was spared by the immense glaciers which covered most of Europe, Asia, and North America in the not-too-distant evolutionary past.

Walking through this forest is an experience unique on earth. Here the sun’s rays are intercepted three hundred feet and more above the ground and are broken into tiny shimmering beams which descend among the towering pillars to play, at length, on the forest floor. Fern and wildflower bathe in the soft glow of a thousand muted spotlights which flicker on and off as the trees’ upper boughs sway majestically in a gentle wind.

2.000.000 acres of virgin redwood forest greeted the white man’s civilization as he completed his sweep of North America. In the last 100 years 1,800,000 acres of these have been logged, and of the remaining 200,000 only 75,000 are presently safe from devastation in state and national parks. At a time when these parks campsites must be reserved months in advance, the remaining 125,000 acres are being “harvested” (as the lumber-men put it), for uses which other trees could fulfill.

At the current rate of “harvest,” these remaining acres will be cleared within the next ten years.”

– Alan C. Wilson, 1970

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Dolly Parton – Jolene

This great artist has crossed genres and is loved by many for her singing, songwriting, acting, honesty, and just being Dolly. The song peaked at #60 on Billboard’s 100, #1 on the Hot Country Song Chart and #84 in Canada in 1974.

I’ve talked to people who have met her and know her. I hear the same stories on how nice and generous she is with her time. In the Country Charts Dolly has had 25 NO. 1 HITS 54 TOP 10 HITS 107 SONGS IN THE CHARTS

From Songfacts.

Dolly Parton has disclosed in several interviews that the song was also inspired by a red-headed bank clerk who flirted with her husband Carl Dean around the time they were newly married. Recalling the origins of her hit tune during her performance at Glastonbury 2014, she said: 

“Now, some of you may or may not know that that song was loosely based on a little bit of truth. I wrote that years ago when my husband was spending a little more time with Jolene than I thought he should be.

I put a stop to that. I got rid of that redhead woman in a hurry.

I want you folks to know, though, that something good can come from anything. Had it not been for that woman I would never have written ‘Jolene’ and I wouldn’t have made all that money, so thank you, Jolene.”

Some of the many artists who have covered this: The White Stripes, Reba McEntire, Olivia Newton-John and 10,000 Maniacs

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I’m begging of you: please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don’t take him just because you can

Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

He talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I’m begging of you: please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don’t take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He’s the only one for me, Jolene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I’m begging of you: please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don’t take him even though you can

Jolene, Jolene


Pet Rocks 1975

Why can’t I think of something like this? Gary Dahl did and became a millionaire. The pet came in a box with holes…of course, so the Rock could breathe and a nest. They were $3.95 each and each box contained “One Genuine Pedigreed” Pet Rock…A 32-page manual was included on how to take care of your special pet.

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More than a million people bought Pet Rocks as Christmas gifts in 1975. Gary Dahl, of Los Gatos, California, had the idea while joking with friends about his easy-to-care-for pet, a rock.

This pet ate nothing and didn’t bark or chew the furniture. Pet Rocks were sold with a funny manual that included tips on how to handle an excited rock and how to teach it tricks. By 1976, Gary Dahl was a millionaire and Pet Rocks were the nation’s favorite pet.

Here is the first part of the manual. I will not list the 32 pages of care…at the bottom is a very short old news report on this novelty item. Kids today don’t know what they are missing…they have iPhones….we had Pet Rocks…

Item 1.
Your new rock is a very sensitive pet
and maybe slightly traumatized from
all the handling and shipping required
in bringing the two of you together.
While you may look in on your new
pet from time to time, it is essential
that you leave your rock in its box for
a few days. It is advised that you set
the box in an area of your home
that is to become your PET ROCK’S
“special place”. Some PET ROCK
owners have found that the ticking of
an alarm clock placed near the box
has a soothing effect; especially at
It takes most PET ROCKS exactly
three days to acclimate themselves to
their new surroundings. After seventy-two
hours have passed you may remove
the rock from its box and begin
enjoying your new pet.

Gary Dahl and the Pet Rock

The Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone

This song is just about the coolest song ever. It peaked at #1 (of course) in the Billboard 100, #14 in the UK, and #12 in Canada in 1972. The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. This was the last big hit recorded in Motown’s famous Studio A, located in a two-story house in Detroit. Most of Motown’s studio work had moved to Los Angeles by then, but The Temptations still recorded in Detroit.

From Songfacts.

This was written by the Motown songwriters Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and produced by Whitfield. It was first recorded by The Undisputed Truth, but Whitfield also had The Temptations record it, with much greater success.

The story goes that lead singer Dennis Edwards hated the song and was incensed when he heard this line since his father died on that date and he thought Norman Whitfield put that in to goad him. This tale made for good drama but was considerably overblown. Edwards’ father actually died on October third, and he was anything but a rolling stone. The elder Edwards was a minister who gave his son a good upbringing. Whitfield chose the date simply because it fits well in the song; he had no idea when Edwards’ father had died.

Both sides of the single were Grammy awards. The A-side won for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus, and the B-side took the award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone
It was the third of September
That day I’ll always remember,
Yes, I will
‘Cause that was the day that my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin’ but bad things about him
Mama, I’m depending on you
To tell me the truth
Mama just hung her head and said, “Son,..

Papa was a rolling stone.
Wherever he laid his hat was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone.
Papa was a rolling stone, my son.
Wherever he laid his hat was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone.”

Hey, mama!
Is it true what they say that papa never worked a day in his life?
And, mama, some bad talk goin’ round town sayin’ that papa had three outside children and another wife,
And that ain’t right
Heard them talking papa doing some store front preachin’
Talked about saving souls and all the time leechin’
Dealing in debt and stealing in the name of the Lord
Mama just hung her head and said,

“Papa was a rolling stone, my son.
Wherever he laid his hat was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone.
Papa was a rolling stone.
Wherever he laid his hat was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone.”

Hey, mama,
I heard papa called himself a “Jack Of All Trades”
Tell me is that what sent papa to an early grave?
Folks say papa would beg, borrow, steal
To pay his bills
Hey, mama,
Folks say papa never was much on thinking
Spent most of his time chasing women and drinking
Mama, I’m depending on you
To tell me the truth
Mama looked up with a tear in her eye and said, “Son,..

Papa was a rolling stone (well, well…)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone
Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone.”

I said, “Papa was a rolling stone (yes, he was, my son)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone
My daddy was (papa was a rolling stone), yes, he was
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone.”

Canned Heat – Going Up Country

I wasn’t there but this song equals Woodstock to me. Every time I hear this song I think of a field full of hippies with bubbles. Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson wrote this song based on an old blues song called Bull Doze Blues. It peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100 in 1969.

From Songfacts.

Canned Heat’s band members were notoriously avid record collectors; this was derived from an old and obscure Blues song called “Bull Doze Blues” by Henry Thomas. The song caught on in the summer of 1969 and was very popular among Hippies who appreciated the nature theme.
This was written by Alan Wilson, who was Canned Heat’s vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter. Wilson committed suicide on September 3, 1970, becoming one of the first 27-year-old rock casualties, a group that would soon include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.


I’m goin’ up the country, baby don’t you want to go?
I’m goin’ up the country, baby don’t you want to go?
I’m goin’ to some place, I’ve never been before
I’m goin’ I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine
I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time
I’m gonna leave this city, got to get away
I’m gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussin’ and fightin’ man, you know I sure can’t stay
So baby pack your leavin’ trunk
You know we’ve got to leave today
Just exactly where we’re goin’ I cannot say
But we might even leave the U.S.A.
It’s a brand new game, that I want to play
No use in your runnin’, or screamin’ and cryin’
‘Cause you got a home as long as I’ve got mine

Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune

I won this single at the county fair. From the title, I didn’t know what it was until  I played it. It was a hit single at the time. It’s a well-constructed song that never gets old to me. The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100 and #8 in Canada. It came off the great Jackrabbit Slim album.

Steve has had a nice career but I really thought he would have been more successful. He was one of the many who got stuck with the “New Bob Dylan” tag. He is a nice guy…he sat behind me at a Rolling Stone concert in Vanderbilt Stadium.

John Simon produced this song/album. His credits include The Band’s Music from Big Pink and Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills.

From Songfacts.

According to the Jackrabbit Slim album sleeve, the song was dedicated to the memory of the late Supreme, Florence Ballard, who died in 1976. However, Forbert actually wrote the song about a girl from his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, rather than the Supremes singer. The reference to Ballard was because, as Forbert explained, “that seemed like such bad news to me and such sad news. She wasn’t really taken care of by the music business, which is not a new story.”

When The Supremes started, Ballard was the strongest vocalist and their de facto leader. When Diana Ross became the focal point of the group, Ballard became frustrated and was eventually replaced by Cindy Birdsong. Plagued by addiction and bad relationships, her health deteriorated and she died in 1976 at age 32.

Romeo’s Tune

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything’s okay
Bring me southern kisses from your room
Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything’s alright
Let me smell the moon in your perfume

Oh, Gods and years will rise and fall
And there’s always something more
It’s lost in talk, I waste my time
And it’s all been said before
While further down behind the masquerade the tears are there
I don’t ask for all that much I just want someone to care
That’s right now

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything’s okay
Come on out beneath the shining sun

Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything’s alright
Sneak on out beneath the stars and run 

Oh yeah, oh yeah yeah, oh yeah

It’s king and queen and we must go down now beyond the chandelier
Where I won’t have to speak my mind and you won’t have to hear
Shreds of news and afterthoughts and complicated scenes
We’ll huddle down behind the light and fade like magazines

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything’s okay
Bring me southern kisses from your room

Hey hey, meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything’s alright
Let me smell the moon in your perfume

Oh now, meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything’s okay
Let me see you smiling back at me

Hey, meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything’s alright
Hold me tight and love and loving’s free

Whoa yeah

Tom Snyder – The Tomorrow Show

People seem to have really liked Tom Snyder or really disliked him. I’ve watched many of Tom’s interviews and he is quirky and quick to laugh (and laugh) at his own jokes but many of his interviews are remembered. The show lasted from 1973 to 1982. It was canceled to make room for David Letterman.

This was no Tonight Show. You didn’t see skits or monologues, you only saw Tom interviewing his guests and joking with his off-camera assistants. He wasn’t hip nor was he completely square. Someone called him at the time a hip square. It was just him and his guest on a dark set.

I liked Tom because he seemed real and genuine. He could laugh at himself and conducted some really good interviews. After this show ended he did a radio show out of Los Angeles, a few tv guest appearances and he guest hosted the David Letterman Show a few times.

David Letter quote

“Tom was the very thing that all broadcasters long to be — compelling,” “Whether he was interviewing politicians, authors, actors or musicians, Tom was always the real reason to watch. I’m honored to have known him as a colleague and a friend.”

One of the many SNL skits I liked was Dan Aykroyd imitating Tom Snyder…this is Aykroyd as Tom interviewing Mick Jagger.

Image result for dan aykroyd tom snyder impression

The John Lennon interview in 1975. This would be the last TV interview he gave. John is battling his immigration status and has his lawyer Leon Wildes with him to explain what is going on. John comes off open and honest in this interview.


The Saturday Night Live cast before the first show. This is a partial look at the interview.


This is one a good one. Tom has KISS as guests and I just love how a drunk Ace Frehley (The Trout Player) takes over the interview and infuriates Gene Simmons. You can see Gene’s eyes shooting daggers at Ace and Peter.