Goodnight everyone, and have a really super weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

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This week’s theme: A musical tribute to the locations of this year’s Super Bowl teams. We found some good material. Let’s get started.

Back in the day when you wanted someone to compose and/or arrange the theme music for a TV show you picked up the phone and called Henry Mancini. After leaving the Army this legend got his entry into the music industry with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Not a bad start.

Mancini would go on to record more than 90 albums, and put his stamp on numerous television programs.

Actor Karl Malden reluctantly signed on to star with a very young Michael Douglas in the gritty crime drama “The Streets of San Francisco” playing Lt. Mike Stone. The show ran for five seasons in the 1970’s, during which Malden earned four consecutive Emmy nominations.

Mancini, with Artie Kane on the electric piano solo…

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My wife Jennifer mentioned this sounded a lot like the type of stuff used for NFL Films music.

There were 119 episodes of the SOS. Douglas left the show at the beginning of the final season after he had produced “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and his film career took over. Malden and Douglas had a very positive working relationship. Both expressed high respect for one another.

Mancini was  nominated for seventy-two Grammy Awards and won twenty.

Malden died in 2009. He was 97.

Michael Douglas has been in show biz for more than 50 years.

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Ah, Kansas City. Legendary big band leader Count Basie wasn’t born there but got his musical start there.

Before his launch to stardom a young Basie did chores at a theater in New Jersey.  A projectionist taught him to rewind the reels, switch between projectors, and operate the spotlight for the vaudeville shows. When the theater’s house pianist didn’t show for work, Basie suggested he take his spot. The theater said no. So he waited for the film to start, snuck into the orchestra pit, and played piano along with the film anyway. The theater invited him back to play again that night.

After moving to New York City Basie toured as a pianist on the major vaudeville circuits. In 1927, a canceled tour left Basie stranded in Kansas City. He remained there and played in several bands in the area, eventually forming his own orchestra that recorded and performed a string of hits that featured the Kansas City sound. Here’s a brief clip of what it sounded like.

In 1961 Basie recorded the album “Kansas City Suite” that included “Vine Street Rumble,” done here by the Wynton Marsalis Big Band in concert at Lincoln Center. Located in a historic district, the intersection of 18th and Vine is internationally recognized as one of the cradles of American jazz.

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During his sixty-plus year career, Basie made significant historical contributions, establishing jazz as a serious art form played not just in clubs but in theaters and concert halls. Basie won nine Grammy Awards, two at the very first awards ceremony in 1959.

This next group has been around for 52 years and is considered one of the best horn bands to ever play. They’re from Oakland. Not San Francisco, but close enough. After all, the 49ers play their home games in Santa Clara.

During this group’s heyday in the 1970’s they’d usually reserve an album track for an instrumental, like this 1975 release with Chester Thompson on the organ solo.

No photo description available.Last week Tower of Power released a track from their forthcoming 27th album, due out in March.

That’s it for this week’s installment.


Sleep well.

Have a super weekend.

Let’s see. We’ve had two California musical selections and one about KC. We need to fix that.

Here’s an all-star finale with Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Sting, Eric Clapton, Carl Perkins, Mark Knopfler and Elton John at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1997. “Music for Montserrat” was a benefit concert for the reconstruction of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat. The island had been devastated by hurricane Hugo in 1989. Then in 1997 the Soufrière Hills Volcano erupted and took the lives of twenty people. The ensuing concert was organized by Beatles producer George Martin who owned a house and studio at Montserrat. The show’s final number was reportedly unrehearsed.

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That’s Carl Perkins (“Blue Suede Shoes”) above in what would be his final live concert appearance. He died just a few months later.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: A hanging

Bob Shane, the last surviving original member of the folk group the Kingston Trio, died last Sunday at a hospice in Phoenix, Ariz. at age 85. The other original members were Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard.

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Bob Shane, left
Bob Shane, center

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Shane was the lead singer on the million-selling ballad “Tom Dooley,” among other hits. “Tom Dooley” reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts, won a Grammy for best country and western song (no folk category existed at the time) and helped launch the folk revival, with other artists including Joan Baez; Peter, Paul and Mary; and, eventually, Bob Dylan.

There are many accounts of the story of Tom Dooley. According to the North Carolina Visitor Center, Dooley was a young confederate soldier who returned to his home in Wilkes County, North Carolina after the Civil War. Before the war broke out Dooley was well-known as a ladies man. Two of them were Laura Foster and her cousin Ann Foster. He was infatuated with both, and both were infatuated with him. Dooley spent time together with each.

When the war was over Ann married James Milton. That left a clear path for Laura and Tom. But Laura had many suitors like schoolteacher Bob Grayson who wanted Laura for his wife.

Tom had made plans with Laura to run away and get married. One night she took what clothes she could carry on horseback and left home for her rendezvous with Tom. The 18-year old Laura disappeared. A search party that included Bob Grayson came up empty and folks assumed she ran off with Tom.

More searches. Three weeks later Laura’s horse was discovered. Searchers found the spot where the horse had been tied to a tree. They spread out, started digging, and found Laura’s body, her legs broken and a stab wound in her breast. Laura’s bag of clothing was also found.

Eventually Tom, accused by Grayson, was arrested and bound over for trial. Though he maintained his innocence and also his silence throughout, Tom was convicted and faced execution. When the rope was placed around his neck he was asked if he had any last words to say.

Just before the trap door dropped Tom said, “Gentlemen, do you see this hand? Do you see it tremble? Do you see it shake? I never hurt a hair on the girl’s head.”

From Milton Berle’s TV show…

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From 2018

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Tom Dooley painted by the late Edith Ferguson Carter


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Laura Foster painted by the late Edith Ferguson Carter

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This drawing is by the late Edith Ferguson Carter and can be seen with her other works about this tragic story at the Tom Dooley Museum at Whippoorwill Academy and Village.

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Located approx. a mile away from the village is Tom Dooley’s grave. Sadly, souvenir hunters have chipped away a good deal of the stone

John Foster West wrote a book about Tom Dooley. West told NPR in 2000 the museum is popular with young children.

“We turn the lights out, and we tell all the ghostly stories that happened up on the Tom Dooley Road. Like the old Tom Dooley house, you know, the doors would creak and chains rattling, because Tom Dooley’s blood was on the floor. I think they brought his body home from Statesville after he’d been hung. His body swelled and burst, and blood ran on the floor. And they were never able to get that blood up off the floor ever again.”

Today’s highly interesting read (01/30/20): Missiles on the highway;0.0128xw,0.0114xh&resize=900:*

This motorist driving in Rye, New Hampshire this past December was stopped by the local police and instructed to wipe the snow off his car. Then he was given a $310 ticket.

We’ve all seen them. Cars caked with ice and snow spraying off onto the road and other vehicles. From today’s read in Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts:

an “ice missile” incident, in which sheets or blocks of snow and ice fly off roofs or windshields of cars and trucks, endangering those in vehicles behind them. Ice missiles can distract drivers and cause them to swerve into other cars. And they can crack windshields, and sometimes cause injuries — even deaths.

States are clamping down, but not everyone is onboard. Those opposed? Truckers.

Read more here.

This is good news

No chance to increase Milwaukee County sales tax in April.

The details.

Tax and spenders throughout the county are in mourning.

Here in Franklin my mayor Steve Olson wasn’t necessarily in support of a tax increase, but he did want to see the referendum go on a ballot. That’s bizarre thinking. Usually when folks suggest letting the voters decide it means deep down inside they want the increase.

And don’t forget this.

Today’s highly interesting read (01/29/20): ‘OK, Boomer.’ Really?! — Here’s what needs to be said to the younger generations

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This is good. Really good.

Michael Levin is an author who runs, a national book ghostwriting firm. Here’s our obligatory tease from his column.

Some young whippersnapper had the clever idea to turn the “OK Google” command into the snide hashtag “OK, Boomer,” as if to say to folks like me: “Sit down and shut up, old man. Your time has passed.”

That got me madder than Joe Biden being asked about his son Hunter’s qualifications to earn big bucks from Ukrainian natural gas company, or Bernie Sanders being asked to explain how “Medicare-for-all” won’t bankrupt our government.

Somehow that “OK, Boomer” thing put me over the edge.

I’m mad as hell at the younger generations. If you’re part of this group, I want to tell you why you’ve screwed up a perfectly great world, and just what you need to do next.

And you can find out what more Levin has to say here.