Johnny Cash started a massive ring of fire on June 27th of 1965. It was in California’s Los Padres National Forest.
According to Cash’s FBI file acquired via the Freedom of Information Act, the music icon said his camper shot sparks out of its faulty exhaust system after getting stuck along the side of the road. Cash tried to gun the engine and accidentally lit the forest ablaze.
Cash’s nephew, Damon Fielder, was on the fishing trip with Cash when the fire started. According to his story, Uncle John was just drunk and allowed their campfire to get out of control. The blaze burned 508 acres of forest, spread across three mountains, and 49 of the area’s 53 California condors disappeared.
After feigning illness to avoid a court date, the “Ring of Fire” singer eventually paid a fine of $82,001 in damages.
🔹Throughout his career, Cash would often perform in prisons and recorded two live albums during those performances — Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison in 1968 and Johnny Cash at San Quentin in 1969.
🔹Cash was actually arrested seven times total for charges including reckless driving, drug use and public drunkenness, though he never spent more than a few nights in jail.
🔹One of his arrests was for picking flowers in Starkville, Mississippi, when he drunkenly took flowers from someone’s yard at 2 a.m. At the Starkville jail, he kicked the door so hard he broke his toe and later recorded a song about the experience.
🔹In 1981, Cash was attacked by his pet ostrich, Waldo. The big bird left him with five broken ribs and internal bleeding. The attack happened on the grounds of the exotic animal park Cash had established behind the House of Cash offices in Tennessee.
🔹In his book Cash: The Autobiograph, the musician wrote that Waldo was “not happy” to see him one day and that he swiped at the animal with a stick to show him who was boss.
“I missed,” Cash wrote. “He wasn’t there. He was in the air, and a split second later he was on his way down again, with that big toe of his, larger than my size-thirteen shoe, extended toward my stomach. He made contact — I’m sure there was never any question he wouldn’t — and frankly, I got off lightly. All he did was break my two lower ribs and rip my stomach open down to my belt, If the belt hadn’t been good and strong, with a solid belt buckle, he’d have spilled my guts exactly the way he meant to. As it was, he knocked me over onto my back and I broke three more ribs on a rock — but I had sense enough to keep swinging the stick, so he didn’t get to finish me. I scored a good hit on one of his legs, and he ran off.”
In the history of music, Johnny Cash definitely is one of the best-known names in the industry.
Barbara Eden will make her first-ever appearance at Elvis Week 2022 on August 15 at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee as a special guest at Conversations on Elvis. In memory of the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing, she will share some of her favorite memories of co-starring alongside Elvis in the 1960 film “Flaming Star.”
Throughout her illustrious career, Barbara Eden has starred in over 25 feature films, five network TV series, and 19 top-rated network made-for-television movies. Her iconic “I Dream of Jeannie” NBC Television series, launched in 1965, became an instant hit.
In addition, Barbara is a New York Times bestselling author with her memoir, Jeannie Out of the Bottle. She most recently released her debut children’s book, Barbara And The Djinn.
Barbara also guest starred on Nickelodeon’s #1 animated Pre-School series Shimmer & Shine lending her voice, for the first time, as Empress Caliana. Barbara keeps busy acting, making personal appearances, touring, participating in numerous charity events and home life, all of which are a part of her regular agenda.
Paul Le Mat, 76, the Golden Globe winning actor famous for his roles in American Graffitti, Aloha Bobby and Rose, Melvin and Howard and other memorable movies of the 1970s-1990s, has fallen on hard times. Hundreds of fans around the world are helping.
“If you are a fan of American Graffiti you will want to help this actor,” a GoFundMe account set up for the 76-year-old Vietnam War Veteran states. “PaulLeMat played the award winning character ‘Milner,’ and his quiet retirement is being threatened with eviction.”
“For the last 20 years, Paul has been ill & quietly living in a rented condo in the San Fernando Valley. However, the owner must now sell immediately, and contrary to social media stats, Paul is struggling financially and he only has a few weeks to vacate. He needs our help financially.”
“This is a difficult time for everyone and like Paul, no baby-boomers, Veterans nor actors are exempt from the pandemic’s plight,” the fund manager, CR Cochrane, wrote. “Due to Paul’s illness, he has not been able to perform in an arena he loves so much.”
“We all remember being drawn into American Graffiti’s iconic cast, including the mysterious lure of “Milner’s” dark eyes as he summons Harrison Ford’s character and then leaves him in the dust; or perhaps you remember Paul’s innate camaraderie with Jason Robards in “Melvin and Howard”.”
“Paul fondly remembers those days and says he would work forever if he could, but the reality is: he cannot, and he needs our help. Let’s ensure that Paul is not left homeless & on the streets. Let’s give him the dignity he deserves, by donating what you can, and sharing his plight with friends and family. Thank you CR Cochrane (former Social Worker).”
Marc Sorger, who immediately donated $800 as soon as he heard, responded, “It goes without saying that you’ve inspired millions of people throughout your career. Even more importantly though, you’ve inspired people with your kindness as a good man. This world needs a lot more kindness right now. I’m paying it forward for all you’ve done and saying thank you sir, your kind heart has not gone unnoticed. ♥”
“Like so many kids growing up in the 70s Paul LeMat as John Milner was the coolest of the cool,” said Christopher Tiernan. “As I watched his other film roles I learned what a spectacular actor he is. In the age of social media I’ve been able to follow him and learn what a kind and gracious person he is. He is appreciative and responsive to his fans and quite obviously leads the life of meaning and purpose consistent with a strong faith. I’m glad to do a teeny part to help him out and wish I could contribute more.”
“It’s not much, but I hope it helps.” commented Tina Curtis. “I’ve loved your work since I was a kid. Much love from Minnesota!”
“Nobody should be homeless and Paul should be safe,” wrote donater Mark Seek.
“I loved Paul Le Mat in American Graffiti and More American Graffiti and bought and read all his books,” said Della Patton. “Now he needs help, and I want to help him.”
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Facts About the Elvis Presley Song That Changed the Direction of MusicForever
The phenomenal blues-rock n’ roll song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stroller. It contains 12 bars and was originally recorded on August 13, 1952, by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in Los Angeles. Late in the following February, the song was released by Peacock Records.
Houndog may have been her only hit record, but sales of Thornton’s version reached more than 500,000 copies. In the R&B music charts, it stayed number one for 7 weeks. One of the first ever “crossovers'” it also remained on top of the Country & Western and pop charts.
It took a while, but Hound Dog, in February 2013, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for playing an important role in the development of Rock and Roll music.
Due to the popularity of the song, Hound Dog has been recorded over 250 times. Elvis Presley had the most famous version. He recorded it in July 1956. In the list of 500 Greatest Songs of All time in Rolling Stone magazine, it in #19.
The sales of Presley’s Hound Dog surpassed a historical 10 million copies and marked the beginning of the rock and roll revolution. Many music historians and writers considered as the most commercial song of Presley during his life.
Hound Dog has appeared in movie soundtracks including Nowhere Boy, Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Hounddog, Lilo & Stitch, Forrest Gump, Grease and A Few Good Men.
Prior to Presley recording it, Hound Dog had been covered in 10 different versions including records by Freddy Bell, Billy Starr, Tomy Duncan, and Eddie Hazelwood.
Hours before he was found dead, Bob Saget released this last selfie:
When Saget arrived back in front of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, he handed his rental car keys over and posed for a selfie with valet worker Orlando Nunez, 21.
Orange County, Florida police investigators don’t believe the late comedian’s head injuries were caused by slipping in the shower of his $800 a night hotel room that night.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2022 photos from a forensic investigation at Saget’s Ritz-Carlton suite #962 were released. Police were looking for evidence of a blow from a hard surface or corner that would have likely broken the skin and left a more distinctive injury.
Although no such tissue or matter was found, the final police report suggests Saget, 65, died from a strike on the head on the floor, bed headboard or some other hard surface in the early hours of January 9.
“Our purpose was to locate specific places or items in the room that could have caused the trauma found on autopsy,” the final investigation report stated. “The countertops, tables, nightstands, and other hard furniture in the room all had sharply defined edges and corners and were thought to be unlikely due to the fact that they would have lacerated the skin.”
Saget’s night stand showing his iPhone, iPad, glasses, AirPods, Chapstick and more are shown.
Only one cup appears to have been used in the barely touched mini-bar.
Saget had driven himself back from a stand-up performance two hours away in Jacksonville before handing over the keys to his Chevrolet Impala and walking into the Ritz-Carlton at 2:13am.
“The counters in the bathroom and the shower stall were ruled out for the same reason,” the investigation report continued. “Most of the chairs and couches were thickly upholstered and were too soft to have caused the type and extent of injury Mr. Saget suffered. As mentioned earlier, most of the suite was carpeted. The headboard of the bed was lightly padded and set slightly out from the wall.”
Shower inside Bob Saget’s Florida hotel suite is pictured in crime scene photos taken immediately after his death.
The door to room 962 was latched from the inside and there was no sign of struggle, nothing was damaged and no trace of blood on his sheets or bedding, the report indicated.
“These are listed here as possible mechanisms of injury, but nothing was located in the room that allows for a definitive conclusion,” the report said.
Police saw, via CCTV security camera, Saget walking “purposely across the lobby” before entering his room at 2:17am. When he failed to check out later that day security entered his suite at 3:53pm and found Saget slumped dead in his bed with swelling and small bruises in the corner of his left eye.
The internal door to the adjoining room, 961, was found unlocked but staff established that nobody had been inside it while Saget was there.
The hotel parking valet said he “didn’t see any injuries, he didn’t seem hurt, he wasn’t slurring his words – he was exactly as I remembered while watching him on the TV as a child. I was in awe.’
Nunez and Saget chatted warmly for several minutes about the pandemic, their families and their home state of California before they huddled for a photo on his cell phone.
“He said he’d just driven back from Jacksonville but he didn’t seem tired at all, it was like he had just stepped off stage,” Nunez recalled.
“We talked about Covid and he made a joke about how there are so many strains now they are giving them sorority names,” he continued. “If anything I was very cautious about the picture as I wanted to be polite and respectful. But he said get in here, c’mon.”
“I’ve met a few celebrities who barely say a word but Bob was the most genuine, approachable guy. When I heard what had happened the next day I was devastated.”
Saget’s death stunned his fans and concerned his distraught wife Kelly Rizzo who indicated her husband was the happiest he had ever been and was in great health.
Experts also ruled out drugs or alcohol as the cause, attributing the beloved funnyman’s death to ‘blunt force injuries to the head’ including various abrasions to the scalp and fractures to the base of the skull.
Saget was on the road for his ‘I Don’t Do Negative Comedy Tour’ tour when he died.
“Not all serial killers are alike,” my father, Walter Dennis, a homicide detective on the San Antonio Police Department, told me. “There are many different types of serial killers, because behavior reflects personality, and not all serial killers kill the same, act the same, or are the same.”
Dad was good about teaching me such things and it helped immensely when years later I became a private investigator. Sometimes, if he was on duty, he would come check on me while I was performing surveillance for a case.
“Dad, what homicide cases bother you the most?” I asked one slow stormy night while we were listening to the police radio in his car.
“Besides children, I’d say serial killers bother me most,” he replied. “That Dating Game Killer was intriguing. Never could figure how they let him be on that show as a contestant.”
Dad was talking about Rodney Alcala, who was born as Rodrigo Jacques Alcala-Buquor in San Antonio on August 23, 1943. He moved to Mexico with his family when he was about 8 years old. His father abandoned them while they were in Mexico. Alcala, his siblings and mother later relocated to Los Angeles.
Here is a brief rundown of some of his known crimes and murders:
In Hollywood, California Alcala was a 25-year-old UCLA student when he lured 8-year-old Tali Shapiro into his car. At first Shapiro responded with “I don’t talk to strangers.”
Alcala said that he knew her parents. Later, Shapiro said that “I really didn’t want to get into the car but I was raised to respect my elders,” and so she got into the car. Alcala drove her to his apartment and proceeded to rape and beat her with an iron bar.
Fortunately, a motorist had seen Alcala pick Shapiro up, and after following them, had called the police. When police arrived, they found Shapiro “in a large puddle of blood and not breathing.” They began to search for Alcala in the apartment, but when one of the officers realized that Shapiro was still alive and struggling to breathe, all their focus turned onto her, and Alcala managed to escape. He moved to the East Coast.
He attended New York University from 1968 to 1971, working as a security guard to pay for his tuition.
Prior to his security guard work, Alcala found employment in the summer of 1969 as an arts counselor at a summer camp in Georges Mills, N.H. The director was so impressed with Alcala and how he “confidently demonstrated techniques of filmmaking and photography to the eager young campers,” that Alcala was invited to return the following year.
Alcala worked at Georges Mills again in the summer of 1970.
After graduating from NYU in June 1971, he returned for a third summer at Georges Mills after murdering 23-year-old Cornelia Michel Crilley. The case remained unsolved until 2011, when evidence linked Alcala to the murder.
In 1971 he was included on the FBI’s Most Wanted list when some girls at an arts camp recognized their counselor, who was using the name John Berger. They told the camp’s dean and Alcala was soon arrested, though he was able to plead to the lesser charge of child molestation and served just 34 months.
Note: It is often reported that Alcala studied film under Roman Polanski at NYU, but this highly unlikely since by 1968, Polanski had moved to Hollywood, Calif.
After spending three years behind bars, he soon spent another two years in prison for assaulting a 13-year-old girl. But authorities had regrettably allowed Alcala to travel to New York to “visit relatives.” Investigators now believe that within seven days of his arrival there, he killed a college student named Elaine Hover who was the daughter of a popular Hollywood nightclub owner and goddaughter of both Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.
By now a legally registered sex offender, Alcala was hired to be a typesetter for The Los Angeles Times in September 1977.
He brutally killed Ellen Hover from New York and Christine Thornton went missing during a road trip that year, her remains only discovered outside of Granger, Wyoming five years later by a rancher.
California police questioned Alcala in March 1978 as a potential suspect in the Hillside Strangler killings, another set of serial murders that occurred in California in the 1970s. Alcala was cleared of those crimes, and police did not realize they had actually spoken with a another serial killer.
Just four months later, on Wednesday, September 13, 1978, Jim Lange, the host of a popular television program, The Dating Game, introduced Alcala as “Bachelor Number One.” He was a contestant vying against two other men, all hidden behind a wall, for a date with bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw.
Lange described Contestant #1 as “a successful photographer, who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed.”
When asked by Cheryl Bradshaw to describe what kind of meal he’d be, Alcala replied, “I’m called ‘The Banana’ and I look really good… Peel me.”
Bradshaw selected the man who would be known as “The Dating Game Killer.”
After their segment was completed, the two went backstage until they were called out at the end of the program to blow a farewell kiss to the audience.
When Acala offered her a date playing tennis and visiting Magic Mountain that she’d “never forget”, Bradshaw felt creeped out.
“I started to feel ill,” she explained years later. “He was acting really creepy. I turned down his offer. I didn’t want to see him again.”
On June 20, 1979, 12-year-old Robin Samsoe disappeared from Huntington Beach, California on her way to ballet class. Her friends said that a stranger approached them on the beach and asked if they’d want to do a photoshoot. They declined and Samsoe left, borrowing a friend’s bike to hurriedly get to ballet. At some point between the beach and class, Samsoe disappeared. Nearly 12 days later, a park ranger found her animal-ravaged bones in a forested area near the Pasadena foothills of the Sierra Madre.
Upon questioning Samsoe’s friends, a police sketch artist drew up a composite and Alcala’s former parole officer recognized the face. Between the sketch, Alcala’s criminal past, and the discovery of Samsoe’s earrings in Alcala’s Seattle storage locker, police felt confident he was the beast they were looking for.
Soon, after his arrest, investigators discovered hundreds of photographs in a Seattle storage locker that was rented by Alcala. Some of these pictures were eventually helpful with identifying victims.
One of the killer’s means for luring victims was telling them he wanted to photograph them.
Huntington Police decided to release the photos they found at the Seattle rented storage unit in 1979 to the public. Hopefully this could help identify the people pictured in an effort to identify more victims. It worked in the case of Christine Thornton, whose sister, Kathy had never stopped looking for her. She identified her sister in one of the photographs Alcala had kept in Seattle storage.
Alcala was ultimately charged with the killing, but prosecutors declined to extradite him from death row in California to stand trial in Wyoming.
It took several years, but Rodney Alcala was finally convicted of killing Samsoe and four other women women — 18-year-old Jill Barcomb and 27-year-old Georgia Wixted, both in 1977; 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb in 1978; and 21-year-old Jill Parenteau in 1979. He was sentenced to death row in 2010.
Alcala repeatedly appealed his death sentences. During his third trial, he acted as his own defense attorney, he “laughed and talked throughout.” He began asking himself questions in a deep voice and referring to himself as ‘Mr. Alcala’ before answering in his natural tone.
Part of the case against him was a pair of gold earrings linked to Samsoe that had been found in his Seattle storage locker. Alcala played clips from The Dating Game that he said proved he was already wearing gold earrings in 1978.
During his sentencing, he decided to play “Alice’s Restaurant,” by Arlo Guthrie, for the courtroom, with the lyrics: “Eat dead, burnt bodies. I mean kill, kill, kill, kill!”
The jury found Alcala guilty of first-degree murder and he received the death penalty. However, the California Supreme court overturned this verdict due to the jury being prejudiced, they felt, by learning of Alcala’s past sex crimes. It took six years to put him back on trial.
Alcala was convicted by New York courts of the brutal murders of two more women, Cornelia Crilley in 1971 and Ellen Jane Hover in 1977. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in 2013.
Alcala’s execution in California had been postponed indefinitely due to a moratorium on the death penalty instituted by the state in 2019.
Alcala, 77, died of natural causes at 1:43 a.m. Saturday July 23, 2021 at a hospital in the community near Corcoran State Prison, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.
While Alcala was convicted of seven murders, he is believed to have killed anywhere from 50 to 140 women according to the Star Tribune and The East Bay Times. At least one more of those has been identified.
His “signatures” were beating, biting, raping, and strangling (often choking victims until the point of unconsciousness), then once they came to, he’d start the process over again.
When the Huntington Beach Police Department released the cache of photos taken by Alcala in 2010, there intent has been to identify the individuals in them to determine whether they may have been victimized by him.
Some people were alive and came forward. The photos aided in identifying Christine Thornton as one of Alcala’s victims.
By 1940, the Three Stooges were at their peak when they starred in the comedy short You Nazty Spy! It was a hilarious hit piece as Moe, Larry and Curly openly lampooned Adolph Hitler.
The Nazi dictator was so outraged by the short that he officially listed Moe Howard, Jerry “Curly” Howard and Larry Fine as “favored casualties” on his personal “death list.”
The Three Stooges began as part of a vaudeville troupe known as “Ted Healy and His Stooges” in 1922. Howard brothers Moe and Shemp, along with violinist Larry were the original cast.
When the Stooges were offered a studio contract by 20th Century Fox in 1930, it was without troupe leader Healy. Healy took offense to this and saw to it that Fox withdrew the offer, claiming that the Stooges were his employees and couldn’t leave him.
With Ted Healy exerting full control over the Stooges in these early years, the trio found its professional life to be difficult. Healy was harsh and irritating. Although he had made Moe the trio’s business manager, for Shemp the fun was gone. Shemp left the Stooges to make comedy films in Brooklyn.
Curly, Moe’s younger brother, was recruited to replace Shemp. In reality, Curly was a quiet man who kept a low profile in public and preferred the company of dogs to people. He only acted as he did on screen when he was with the other Stooges and preferred to keep a low profile.
Healy’s tyranny grew and was becoming more unbearable to be around as he began drinking heavily. A huge rift grew between him and the Stooges until 1937.
On the night his son was born, the quick tempered Healy drove to Sunset Strip to celebrate. He died mysteriously that evening, allegedly of a heart attack at age 41. Bruising on his face, coupled with reports of him starting a fight soon surfaced and coupled with his aggressive nature keep the idea of him being killed lingering to this day.
The Stooges were soon signed by Columbia Pictures with a heavy requirement to produce at least eight short films in a period of 40 weeks. Their hard work paid off and they became immensely popular with audiences who lapped up the trio’s hilarious antics. However, the trio were purposely being kept in the dark about their fame by Columbia president Harry Cohn, who saw them as a cheap commodity with enormous market potential.
Cohn kept an open option placed in their contracts so that every year they would have to re-sign. This tactic caused the Stooges to believe they were unpopular with audiences, and thus Cohn could fire them at will.
On top of Cohn’s open contract, the Stooges were not paid as much as their box-office draw suggested. When they first signed the contract with Columbia, they earned $1,000 a week. This was good money in the 1930s, equivalent to over $16,000 in 2022. They quickly realized that they were being treated as one single performer, which meant they had to split that $1,000 between them.
It wasn’t until 1934, that the Three Stooges became Oscar nominees for their film Men in Black, which was a spoof of the Clark Gable/Myrna Loy film Men in White (1934). This was the the Stooges only nomination ever, but two good things came about:
🔹It brought heightened respect and absolutely shut their critics up at the time.
🔹Their earning, divided by three, grew to $7500 per week (2022 value is over $121,500 each week).
The Stooges were recognized for their hilariously dangerous stunts in their films. Usually these were faked for the camera, but sometimes they weren’t. In a scene when a character acted as a human dartboard, Larry got a fountain pen lodged in the back of his head. In another gag Curly had to get stitches in his forehead, and within hours he was back on set wearing a wig that covered the bruising.
While filming Three Little Pigskins (1934), the Stooges drew a line in the sand. They were supposed to be stampeded by a group of professional football players, but they stood their ground and refused. Stunt doubles were called for the scene and they ended up getting seriously injured, suffering cracked ribs and broken bones.
A common skit seen in The Three Stooges films was a manic Curly running around in circles. In later scripts this was written in on purpose because audiences thought it was hilarious. But it actually began as complete improvisation for whenever Curly forgot his lines.
The Stooges used many physical idiosyncrasies for the sake of comedy. But one of these was not faked; it was caused by a childhood accident.
Curly’s limp was a hilarious antic of his character’s appeal and he worked to make it more comical in their Shorts and Live acts. The limp was actually natural, a result of having shot himself in the ankle when he was cleaning a rifle as a child.
Jerome “Jerry” Horowitz originally shaved his head to secure the part of Curly after his older brother Moe told him a studio executive didn’t believe he looked like a person that could make people laugh. He actually had a thick mop of hair and a handlebar mustache, but shaved it all off. Although successfully funny, the shaved head embarrassed him because he felt women didn’t find him attractive. He would take to wearing hats often to cover up his bald head. This anxiety led him to drink and eat excessively when touring, and by the mid 1940s his weight was causing him serious health problems.
Moe noticed it was becoming more difficult for his little brother to perform in their films. Curly’s career came to a screeching halt in 1946 when he suffered a stroke. He was able to appear briefly in one last Stooges film as a train passenger before suffering a second stroke and spending his final years in a wheelchair. Jerry “Curly” Howard was the first of the Stooges to die, at just 48.
Moe truly was the brains for The Three Stooges and their films were always popular with audiences. To Hollywood, they were seen as B-movie pictures in the industry. Because of this, they were often forced to cut corners and work on sets that had previously been used by other films.
It wasn’t merely sets that they borrowed, but also props and entire wardrobes left over from other productions.
Being the business manager of the team, Moe was also the most money conscious of the brothers. He felt responsible for making sure the small budgets on the films made good use of their limited resources and props. Though there were many pie-throwing scenes in the films, there were not actually that many pies available on set, so Moe felt it was important to always hit his target. He developed a way of throwing the pies; he could tell by the weight of the pie how far it could travel and how likely it was to hit some unlucky person in the face.
Moe’s head was one of the most instantly recognizable of the trio’s due to its bowl-cut style. Ironically, it was Moe who had curly hair as a child, as his mother had wanted a daughter and decided to grow her son’s hair out. A nasty dose of school bullying caused Moe to cut his hair by himself, and he kept the bowl cut for the rest of his life.
Larry Fine, the most musically inclined of the three, had unique violin-playing skills. This came about when he was very young. Larry’s father was a jewelry maker and used acid to etch his jewelry. Larry tried to drink the acid one day, and his father knocked it out of his hand. Some of the acid landed on Larry’s arm, corroding its skin and muscle. To help strengthen the damaged muscles in his son’s arm, his father sent him to violin lessons, which seemed to help restore some of the damage.
As a man, Larry absolutely loved dancing. He would dance at any opportunity and was often found at the Triangle Ballroom in Brooklyn. Often, he would be late for filming and rehearsal because he was overcoming the effects of his many nights out at dance halls. In his retirement, when he was confined to a wheelchair, he would attempt to dance even though he was mostly paralyzed.
After Curly’s first stroke, Samuel “Shemp” Horowitz rejoined the Stooges. For the films made in this era, Shemp found that directors and movie executives wanted him to play a similar role to the one played by Curly before he had left. Audiences had reacted to Curly the best, but Shemp didn’t want to mimic his brother’s style. When he did try, critics and audiences found his performance to be lackluster.
On November 22, 1955, Shemp was coming home after attending a boxing fight. He had told a joke and lit a cigar when he hunched over to Al Winston and burned his friend. He died of a heart attack. Having just completed four out of eight scheduled films, producer Jules White used stand-ins footage of them that was cut alongside pre-existing footage of Shemp to give the impression that he had completed these films.
In the years since, body doubles used to replicate an actor who has passed away has come to be known as a “fake Shemps.” Some examples include using Fake Shemps for Natalie Wood, Bela Lugosi, Bruce Lee and John Candy after their deaths during productions of Plan 9 From Outer Space, Brainstorm, The Game of Death, and Wagons East, respectively.
The 1950s were an usual time for the Stooges. On a personal level, Moe and Larry were dealing with the deaths of Curly Howard and Shemp Howard. However, professionally the act was experiencing a new rush of popularity thanks to their shorts airing on television. By 1959, all 190 Stooge shorts were airing regularly on television.
When Joe DeRita replaced the late Shemp in the mid-1950s, he wore his hair in a style similar to Shemp. Because of the awesome popularity of the group’s shorts on television, DeRita was asked first to buzz his hair, then totally shave his head in an attempt to resemble Curly Howard. He was dubbed “Curly-Joe.”
The Three Stooges remained active throughout the 1960s, appearing in full length feature films such as:
🔹Have Rocket Will Travel
🔹It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World
🔹The Outlaws Is Coming
🔹Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze
🔹The Three Stooges Meet Hercules
🔹Snow White and The Three Stooges
🔹The Three Stooges in Orbit
They filmed the pilot of a potential travelogue/comedy hybrid show known as Kook’s Tour. The series would’ve followed the “retired” Stooges to various real locations around the world. However, tragedy struck during production…
Their syndicated shorts continued on television, and they had a successful live tour. By the end of the decade, age had begun to catch up with them, making their traditional brand of slapstick stunts untenable.
They began filming a pilot program for television to be called Kook’s Tour in 1969. Before completion, Larry Fine suffered a massive stroke, paralyzing him. Fine would spend the next five years in a wheelchair. After several more strokes in late 1974, he died in January of 1975.
In 1974, the Stooges, with Moe, Curly-Joe, and the yet-to-debut Emil Sitka, were scheduled to star in the film Blazing Stewardesses. The casting was announced, and publicity photos were taken. Just prior to production, Moe Howard was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to disband the Stooges. He passed away in March of the following year.
Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983, The Three Stooges continue to live on in the numerous remakes, re-releases and animated adventures that have been released over time.
Some movies go down in history as such brilliant masterpieces that it seems as if they speak directly to you and turn the world as you know it upside down. The most powerful movies can accomplish this with just a couple of lines that you may never forget.
Kenny Rogers, 81, died of natural causes on March 20, 2020.
One of the best-selling artists of all time, Kenny Rogers encompassed many music genres with over 120 hit singles. In the U.S., he charted country, pop, and contemporary charts more than 200 separate weeks. Worldwide, he sold more than 112 million records over a span of seven decades.
The recipient of numerous awards, Rogers was honored with Grammys, American Music Association, Association of Country Music, and Country Music Association accolades. He was voted the “Favorite All-Time Singer of 1986.” In 2013, Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association.
Rogers evolved with the music of his times, beginning with a rockabilly group dubbed The Scholars, progressing through stints with The Bobby Doyle Three, The New Christy Minstrels, The First Edition, all before he became a solo artist with mega-hits like “Lucille,” “Lady,” “Love Lifted Me,” “Coward of the Country,” and “The Gambler.”
He teamed up with Dottie West and Dolly Parton for such hits as “Every Time Two Fools Collide,” “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight,” “What Are We Doin’ in Love,” “All I Ever Need Is You,” and “Islands in the Stream.”
Following are the top five all-time best lyrics from Kenny Rogers:
5. ‘DECORATED MY LIFE’
Like a rhyme with no reason in an unfinished song There was no harmony life meant nothin’ to me, until you cam along And you brought out the colors, what a gentle surprise Now I’m able to see all the things life can be shinin’ soft in your eyes
And you decorated my life, created a world where dreams are a part And you decorated my life by paintin’ your love all over my heart
4. ‘SHE BELIEVES IN ME’
And she believes in me, I’ll never know just what she sees in me I told her someday if she was my girl, I could change the world With my little songs, I was wrong But she has faith in me, and so I go on trying faithfully And who knows maybe on some special night, if my song is right I will find a way, while she waits… while she waits for me!
3. ‘COWARD OF THE COUNTRY’
“I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you done. I walk away from trouble when I can. Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek, and Papa, I sure hope you understand: Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.”
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille With four hungry children and a crop in the field. I’ve had some bad times, I’ve lived through some sad times, But this time the hurtin’ won’t heal. You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.
1 ‘THE GAMBLER’
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.
Three Music Historians Open the Blinds of Truth on How He United People of All Races
With Over 40 Historical Photos
Presley fans across the globe realize that knowing the truth about Elvis Presley and the subject of racism requires knowledge about his early childhood and an exploration of the facts of his life throughout his career.
The great American musical pioneers of the 1950s were precise in their adamant characterizations of Presley being a uniting force. They often described him as the person who did far more for bringing blacks and whites together than anyone culturally.
According to three of the finest music culture researchers around the world, they all agree that Presley was a catalyst and powerful (as an individual human being and a worldwide example) influencer from the beginning and still continues to be.
Some time ago, I reached out to three experts on the topic to set the record straight. Their cumulative research represents over 85 years of study, exploration and documentation in the field of culture, music history and Elvis Presley. These specialists are:
Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello
Craig Philo (CP) is a music researcher and historian from Sheppey, in Kent, U.K.
Jay Viviano (JP) is a pop culture historian with over 20 years of experience in research of icons of the 50’s and 60’s, with a strong concentration on Blues artists.
Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello (GPA): “Critics and the uninformed should put themselves “in the position the 7-year-old Elvis Presley found himself in, circa 1942. He was white, but living in an area of Tupelo, Mississippi, totally surrounded by African Americans.
With an unerring ear and a photographic memory, he totally absorbed everything he heard, LIVE, at the gospel churches attended by African Americans. Now, this was not Georgia, Florida, New York, or Illinois, let alone California, Washington State, but Mississippi, a state which was then the poorest of the then 49 states of the Union.”
Craig Philo (CP): “Sam Bell, a childhood black friend in Tupelo, feared for his friend when Elvis made his life changing journey to Memphis at the age of 13 with his beloved parents. You see, perhaps old Sam knew a thing or two about human behavior, knew how his friend’s open and honest approach to all he came in contact with, driven into him by his mother not to hurt another’s feelings would someday hurt him, how right he was!”
GPA: “Then, at age 13, with his parents, he moves to the second poorest, Tennessee, actually to Memphis, the crossroads of urban and city blues.
Forget about the ear and the memory as, by now, starting at age 16, we are talking about a human being who MUSICALLY loves and masters everything around him–namely R&B, the Blues, and Gospel of all denominations, plus European ballads, Country and Western, Opera, Neo-classical recordings, Pop, you name it, he masters it.
And to top it all, he is armed as well with the most eclectic and elastic voice in history. In 1954, it became the most important, which it remains to this day. And that is why BB King was so impressed when he first met him, a lad of 17. ‘He knew more blues and gospel songs than anyone I had ever met’ and years later added, ‘I understand why they call him the King.’ Nuff said, from the King of the Blues.”
Jay Viviano (JV): “Reverend Milton Perry was an early Civil Rights activist in the 1950s. He had Elvis’ back just like many other great legends did. He published an open letter to Black America in a 1957 magazine that stated, after spending time talking to not only white people, but Black people in the R&B and Blues community, as well as African Americans that knew him as a child in Tupelo.
‘I found that an overwhelming majority of people who know Elvis speak of this boy as a boy who practices humility and a love for racial harmony,’ Rev. Perry wrote. ‘I learned that he is not too proud or important to speak to anyone, and to spend time with his fans of whatever color, whenever or wherever they approached him.’”
GPA: “Elvis stealing from black music? Tell it to BB King, Otis Redding, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Cissy Houston, Darlene Love, Jim Brown, Mohammed Ali, Jesse Jackson, Al Green, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Sammy Davis Jr. Count Basie, even Public Enemy’s Chuck D, who reconsidered his 1989 views in Fight the Power, and he did so in 2002, as well as to hundreds of other notable African Americans I have on record saying that was NOT the case with Presley.”
JV: “BB King, bluesman Little Milton and Little Richard referred to Elvis as an ‘Integrator.’ And they both use the words ‘that guts it took for Elvis to do what he was doing’ in their own interviews.
Elvis ticked off mainstream racist white America when he came on the scene–especially the KKK and white Citizens Council members—by hanging out with black folks in public, speaking respectful of black artists and continually defending rock and roll, R&B and blues music to the point that young white American kids were paying attention and opening up their minds.
This drove their parents (meaning mainstream racist white America) to anger against Elvis. For his first two years on the scene he was public enemy number one. Little Richard in a later interview in his life praised Elvis passionately for his impact on young white America.”
CP: “In all my time on researching Elvis Aaron Presley I have never ever once come across any racial behavior or activity. Indeed the only stuff you will find was a slanderous lie that’s gathered mythical proportions through the years originally reported by Sepia magazine in April of 1957 and consequently torn to shreds by none other than the great Louie Robinson of Jet Magazine.”
GPA: “In fact Louis Robinson, the talented African American writer who Jet Magazine commissioned to go to LA and interview Presley on the MGM set of “Jailhouse Rock”, in 1957, to obtain his views on racist and other “copycat” remarks which appeared in SEPIA, a magazine geared towards the African American market in the US South. But unlike Jet and Ebony, it was owned by white anti-integrationist and based in Fort Worth, TX.
Robinson has just passed away. He unequivocally stated the rumors were false, so this mentioning of Presley as one who stole, or copied, from African Americans and coming from a prestigious magazine as Ebony tells me (that any writer who differs), well how can I put this, is ill informed.”
JV: “The truth though, which stands up to scrutiny, is that there simply was no other white man as famous as Elvis back in those days that took so many hits for proudly befriending the black community.
The ridiculous fact that people try to spread the opposite as ‘some sort of truth’ makes it paramount that this is handled aggressively.”
CP: “When actor Sidney Poitier and tennis great Arthur Ashe wanted to write books, they sought Mr. Robinson’s help.
‘Never in my life have I known a better man,’ Poitier said.
Yes, Robinson went and interviewed Elvis on the set of Jailhouse Rock. The fact Presley was never in Boston when the quote was reputedly made matters little to some. It was and remains a vicious lie concocted by a fearful white middle America as a weapon to try and cut down this brave and carefree spirited individual whose only crime was to record the music he loved and respected. And at all times in doing so paid reverence and respect to those black artists that he deemed did it better than he did. After all, there is no color in music!”
JV: “People need to get over their ignorance about American history. Elvis did himself NO favors back then by hanging out and letting himself be photographed with black folks. Racism was a common blatant practice of the day. It was these very things that made Elvis hated by many older white folks, yet respected by the black community.
Reverend Milton Perry concluded his statement by saying ‘Presley set an example of wholesome Brotherhood. I find something to admire in Presley and that is his attitude on the racial issue. And that it would be good if other people in the South in other parts of the nation emulated his attitude’.”
GPA: “Notice that, in the US, of all the early Blues, Country and Western, Gospel and R&B masters, the ones who sprang from them, namely Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Bill Haley, Little Richard and Ray Charles, let alone the ones who sprang from or appeared in the scene IMMEDIATELEY after them; namely Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent and say Eddie Cochran, the only one whose MUSICAL palette was totally complete was Elvis Presley.
Otherwise, how can one explain that the top singer in the world, on December 4, 1956, should start, the guitar now firmly in his arms, the so called Million Dollar Quartet session with an Agustin Lara song from 1941, the classic “Solamente una vez.” Only Elvis, in this case with (his mother) Gladys’ music taste’s help, was destined to rule.”
JV: “Interestingly, not only did Elvis have the same Blues background as many blues men had, but also their same Country and Western roots. As so many Blues artists did indeed, in many of their interviews, state they had strong Country and Western music influences as well.
Otis Blackwell had strong country and Western roots. Some in the Blues and R&B community accused him of being too country. That explains why he and Elvis were probably such a perfect fit right out of the gate for Elvis to end up doing a handful of his songs. I always thought these dynamics were interesting and things aren’t always cut and dry as people assume.”
CP: “Is it so farfetched or is it just simple logic that of the time in mid-50’s segregated America that it took a white kid to bust open the doors for all these truly great black artists?
Is it right that Presley gets lambasted and ridiculed by so many because he was that one?
People seem to forget the song that catapulted him to stardom in the south had on the backside of it ‘Blue moon of Kentucky’ steeped in Bluegrass/Country, until Presley spiced it up as he did with ‘That’s Alright,’ which is in no way a theft of any kind! Crudup is in there but so too are other influences. Presley was not a COPYCAT! A COOL CAT YES!”
JV: “I mean is there anybody that SERIOUSLY would say, if they could go back in time, they would tell Muhammad Ali, James Brown, BB King, Bobby blue Bland, Etta James, Sammy Davis Jr, Jackie Wilson and many others, they were wrong for proudly calling Elvis their friend and stating he was a help to black artists.
Many of them said it wasn’t until Elvis got other white kids across America listening to rock and roll that it was after that, their own records started to skyrocket in sales. And if we go back and look at the physical numbers and sales charts we see this is true.
Even modern activists that have been around since the 1960’s civil rights movement have admitted they were wrong about Elvis. Nikki Giovanni there for the movement since the 1960s is a perfect example: ‘I’m glad to find out I was wrong about Elvis.’
Dret Scott Keyes when becoming aware of the integrity Elvis had, always pointing out the black music influence on him, just as he did the country and western and white pop artists, ‘Elvis was honest.’ And they’re certainly not the only ones.
The R&B community acknowledge him and inducted him into the R&B Hall of Fame the same year along with Little Richard, Bobby Rush and other legends that had publicly praised Elvis.”
CP: “When a reporter referred to Elvis as the ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’ at the press conference following his 1969 Las Vegas opening, he rejected the title, as he always did, calling attention to the presence in the room of his friend Fats Domino, ‘one of my influences from way back.’ He often paid homage to Fats recognizing no one could sing those songs like he did.
From close friends to the many, many black entertainers that he adored or merely those that met him briefly, have come out and said PROUDLY he was my friend. To quote Muhammad Ali, ‘Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know.’ Sammy Davis Junior another also was quoted as saying “the only thing that’s matters, is that he was my friend.”
GPA: Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey was highlighted on a recent Black History Month television program and I the “mention of Mahalia Jackson and Elvis Presley having recorded the Reverend’s ‘Take my Hand Precious Lord.’ There was another song also penned by the Reverend which was, in fact, written for Mahalia in 1937 and which Presley sang live, on January 6, 1957, during his third appearance at the Ed Sullivan Show, at CBS.
The audience, estimated by Trendex, the precursor of Nielsen, at 50 million. As this may be the largest audience ever assembled on US television for a gospel song, ever, and that includes Obama’s swearing in which drew less than 50 million. It may be important to take note of what became of it.
Presley wanted to sing it, as he had promised his mother that he would do, but Ed Sullivan was initially against it. During rehearsals that same day, the decision to film Presley from the waist up only was taken by Sullivan, for other reasons, so eventually Sullivan eased on Presley’s request.
Elvis was allowed to sing it that night, immediately following Sullivan’s announcement that Presley wanted specifically for those watching to send their contributions towards the lessening of the plight of some 250,000 Hungarians fleeing the Soviet intervention of their country and which had taken place on both the 24th and 31st of October of 1956. Sullivan added that Presley wanted to dedicate the song to the Hungarians.
By the end of 1957, in the next 11 months, some $6 million were received as a result of Presley’s request. In 2010, the Mayor of Budapest honored Presley posthumously by making him a citizen of that city and naming a park facing the oldest and most beautiful bridge, the Margaret Bridge, after him.
The song’s delivery by Presley was so earnest, that it brightened the hearts of the 50 million watching, and they in turn, as I said, sent the equivalent of $49.5 million in 2016 dollars (SFR 26 million at the 1957 SFR 4.31 to the US$ exchange rate). So, the Reverend’s song brought a happy ending, via Elvis, as the refugees settled for life in both Vienna and London.”
JV: “Just one example is Elvis being the ONLY white artist that bothered to show up at charity events for black folks. Google ‘Elvis Goodwill Review Memphis.’ Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Bill Haley and many other white artists, were NOT doing these things. And many of the black artist from those days have pointed this out, while making it very clear, Elvis WAS.
People need to get over the NEED to inaccurately, continue to portray Presley as just some ‘cold-hearted cultural bandit.’ We need to quit believing the lies and rumors that keep getting passed on over the decades as “truth” and to start respecting the words of our legends who said otherwise.
To even try to disagree with these things or argue against it only makes those that do look bad, and it’s a disrespect to our great black legends that have praised and defended Elvis.
There were white guys back then that were cheap imitations, just jumping on the bandwagon, like Pat Boone, and others that are guilty of appropriation, but James Brown, BB King, and many others said Elvis was NOT the one. They pointed out Elvis came from extreme poverty and humble conditions and new and respected the music he was singing.
The R&B community has done the research themselves in recent years and found out Elvis was incorrectly labeled ‘a racist and cultural thief.’ They have done their part trying to publicly honor Elvis in many ways the last few years and help clear Elvis name of slanderous claims of him being a ‘racist thief.’
Many have paid attention to many of our great black legends from the past who have defended Elvis in their interviews and in their own autobiographies, basically stating how much credit EP always publicly gave to black artists in his interviews and how much help he was to the black community ….especially when we consider the KKK is documented to have hated Elvis.”
CP: “For far too long accusations of cultural thief, racist and white trash have been disgracefully hung around Presley’s neck like a blinding Vegas neon sign. The time has come once and for all for this crap to be debunked–blown to smithereens. You can label it anyway you like, but purely and simply, isn’t it time the real truth was told?
Now telling the truth, researching the truth is far different from listening to rumor. If you think by cupping your ear to listen with intent to nasty whispers and needless tittle tattle in trying to dirty a man’s name is without shame, then continue. The real shame here is that actually that man stood for so much that was right with the world. Still, if that is OK and of noteworthy behavior to you then stand up and be counted and look like the fool you are. Do some reading! In all seriousness it borders on stupidity and ignorance of biblical proportions.”
John Capen Adams [1812-1860] became so famous for his love of grizzly bears, he would go down in history simply as “Grizzly Adams.”
“Grizzly Adams,” in the 1970s, was the title of both a popular motion picture and NBC TV series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.”
On the television, Dan Haggerty played the role of Grizzly Adams” and established new Thursday night record-ratings for the network. Even so, today few people realize there was a real “Grizzly Adams” who migrated to the Sierra Nevada mountains to escape the confines of civilization after participating in the great California Gold Rush.
In 2018, Adventure Outdoors Magazine recognized Grizzly Adams as one of the three greatest American outdoorsmen of all time alongside Buffalo Bill Cody and Ernest Hemingway.
Adams challenged both conventional norms and untamed nature, first by turning his back on a greed-driven society born from the California Gold Rush, and then by blazing a trail into the wildest parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
There, he built a cabin home in the wilderness, made friends with nearby Native American tribes. Of special note, he found companions among some of nature’s untamed beasts, that especially featured his prized grizzly bears.
Although a California Mountain Man, he was actually born in Boston in 1812. As a young man he fled into the wilderness in search of adventure. To earn money he would trap all kinds of animals and sell them to zoos. It was here he learned to survive in the wilderness and get close to animals.
When he attempted to train a Bengal tiger in a local zoo, he was mauled almost to death. This did not deter him. When the California gold rush kicked off, Adams headed for California himself. Finding no luck as a gold miner, he took to the wilderness, living the life of a reclusive mountain man.
“And it was in the mountains that I successfully worked out for myself the great problem which other men have to work out, each in his own way, before they say that they live.”
– Grizzly Adams (1812-1860)
Grizzly Adams cared for the California grizzly bear, and studied their behavior. He learned to approach and even tame them. He even had a pet Grizzly bear who he stole from a bear den when it was just a pup. Called “Benjamin Franklin,” the bear saved Adams life on numerous occasions.
Another bear Adams named “Samson” was confirmed by the California State Historical Society to be the bear image on the state’s flag.
It was rendered from an 1855 painting done by famous Gold Rush artist, Charles Nahl, who came to know Grizzly Adams well in the 1850s.
With his familiarity, Grizzly Adams captured numerous bears over the years, selling them to zoos, circuses and private collectors. On occasion he would perform in the circus with them.