Thursday, August 24, 2017

Heaven Is Laughing Today


JERRY LEWIS.  

The mere mention of his name brings thoughts of slapstick pratfalls, silly high-pitched voices and even (as in the case of The Nutty Professor) buckteeth and horn-rimmed glasses.  For others, memories of his act with Dean Martin come to mind.
And, for millions of others, the selfless and compassionate work he did for children - "Jerry's Kids" - through the Muscular Dystrophy Association is solemnly remembered with a smile.  In fact, the mention of "MDA Telethon" immediately conjures up a cartoon graphic of Jerry and his trademark comedic smile.

It comes to no one's surprise that he and Uncle Lloyd were friends.  In fact, some thought that LL and JL could've made a great comedy team.  Lloyd told me once that he considered Jerry as an inspiration, and was definitely impressed with his passion for helping children - just as much as he was Lewis' spontaneous humor and outlook on life.

A few years before he left us, Lloyd sent me footage that he hoped to use in a DVD release about him and The Lloyd Thaxton Show.  As I watched, it was all too obvious that a couple of sketches had been heavily influenced by Jerry.  Wish I could show them to you here, but copyright laws won't let me (some of you remember I tried years ago.  No hard feelings here, of course ...).

In fact, some of you might recall when Uncle Lloyd co-starred in a film called The Patsy.  His director?  Who do ya think?: The star himself, Jerry Lewis:


Today, both Lloyd and Jerry are entertaining the angels.  Occasionally, Jerry might see a little child who lost her battle with MD and flies over to hug her and make her smile.  Both he and Uncle LL are sorely missed - and they'll both keep their positions at the Top of the Charts for years to come!!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pausing For Station Identification ...

Ahhh, the old days ...

We'd be watching Uncle Miltie fumble through a hilarious sketch on Texaco Star Theater when, during what we now call "commercial breaks", the announcer would proclaim "We now pause for station identification. (cue station logo, or just the letters "NBC" in gray, shadowed block letters) This is the NBC Television Network.
It always looked a little eerie to me (I was just a youngster at the time. No, really!).

Well, we all have what's called "identifiers" on this thing we call the "internet" -- and, sometimes, our own "station identification" is ripped off by "hackers".
Hackers. It's a word that previously meant "chain smokers" or "cats who have continuous trouble coughing hairballs up!"

And, as luck would have it, I drew the losing numbers in the hacker lottery a few years ago -- and proceeded to have not only my Facebook® page pilfered, but my bank accounts (both business and private) put into the red!

I know it's not uncommon for this stuff to happen these days, but, of course, I had the same reaction as everybody else: Why'd they have to choose ME? followed with the self-pitiful I thought everything was secure!

But then I remembered what Uncle Lloyd told me, years ago: If you build something great and somebody else tears it apart, rebuild!! They only took what you made -- they didn't take the blueprint for it! That's in your head! So rebuild!!!

Of course, when you do that, you want to be sure and make it bulletproof this time:

Change passwords (make 'em harder for anybody to figure out; but be sure to remember them yourself!).
Use your "private browsing" function when browsing, working or especially when buying online.
If you do buy something, be sure it's over a SSL (secure socket layer. You'll know it's that when you see an "https" at the beginning of the web address).
Don't give out any personal information to anyone who doesn't already know you (friends, family, etc.). And ...
NeverneverneverEVER EVER give your social security numbers over the web!

Now, I'm gonna rebuild everything, and it's all gonna be tougher than my cuzzin Ruby's cooking (not that she was bad, but she was the only woman I knew who could burn water ...).
If you need help in making your sites, etc., more secure, check out some great reads at Cybercrime.com. You'll also find some great links there that can help you even further!

Soooooo, time for me to get busy. But ... stay tuned!

Friday, August 4, 2017

When Things Get Squirrelly

THINGS GET A LITTLE SQUIRRELLY in this world, and our schedules often reflect it.
Lemme 'splain:

Y'see, besides running the Mouse House (ie, this blog), I also publish an online newspaper, work as music publicist, am preparing to launch a new set of podcasts, and am proud proprietorial pet parent to a pair of pampered pooches and precocious puddy-tats.

Between and betwixt that, keeping my house livable as I prepare to move (pets, MH, business and all) to a new abode and, on occasion, eating and sleeping, I've been a little busy lately.

Yep, it's been a little "squirrelly" over here (not to besmirch the honorable name of the actual near-rodents.  They've worked hard to keep their little reputations clean ...).  But, at least once a week, we can get together here for new and improved! kaffeklatsches (fancy furr'n word for "get-togethers-over-coffee").  So stay tuned ...

Now ... let's get on with the news and stuff:

DANCE CRAZE TURNS 21:  Yep, it's now old enough to stand on its own (and, to many of us, should, since we don't do it anymore!!).

It was August 3, 1996 when, according to Neilsen Soundscan, "Macarena" was on top of the pop charts (do you remember dancing it when you were younger?). It was a little cheesy. Everybody who ever danced it knows that!

By coincidence:

August 3, 1986: According to  mysons' Fridgescan, "Macaroni" was on top of the food charts (do you remember eating it when you were younger?). It was a lot cheesy. Everybody who ever ate it knows that!

Actually, the full name of the song was "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" and was performed by an act called Los Del Rio (the stage moniker of two middle-aged guys named Antonia Romero and Rafael Ruiz).  It was written to honor the Flamenco dancer Diana Patricia and ... wellll, the chorus' lyrics were a little suggestive (probably why it was sung in Spanish?):

“Give joy to your body, Macarena, for your body is for giving joy and good things.”  

By the way:  She was originally called Magdalena in the song (hey ... there were already songs with "Diana" in the title, remember?) but the dudes changed it to the name of a neighborhood in Seville, For those who don't know, Seville is a province in Spain.  It's to the right of Brooklyn ...

And, no, I never personally tried the dance.  It's too easy for me to make a fool of myself without its help ...

More coming up this weekend, so stay tuned, campers ....






Friday, July 21, 2017

AUSSIE SINGER PLAYS TO THE RHYTHM OF FANS' HEARTS


There's a young country performer - new to many of us in America - that is definitely chart-bound here! He's got it all: charisma, stage presence, great pipes, dynamite songs -
 and, yes, girls, he's single! 
While y'all know me as (mostly) rock-n-roll, I dig a lot of country-rock, too; and this guy just knocked my size 10 Rockport Westerns (yeah. I know.  Smallish feet. But big heart, though ...) off when I first heard him!
You're bound to become a quick fan once you hear his music (which, by the way, you oughtta be hearing on CMT, GAC or RADIO regularly soon!).

Here's part of an article about him:

Steve Eales (Driftin' On) is one of Australia's leading Country Rock artists. - one whose energetic performances are already beginning to make an impact in both the United States and England.
As both performer and songwriter, Steve has led the way with some of his nation’s  harder hitting music and grittier rural stories. And he comes complete with all the charm of an authentic country boy. 

He's collected a huge swag of awards during his years as lead vocalist and songwriter including:

•2001 Song of the Year at the Victorian CMA 
•2004 2x Golden Guitar nominations for Country Band as well as Best New Talent of the year for Tooraweenah Cowgirl and It’s My Town
• 2004 Male Vocalist of the Year for Tooraweenah Cowgirl
• 2004 Album of the Year Award for Wild One
• 2008 Tamworth People's Choice Awards for The Battler
• 2008 Album of the Year award Vic CMA
• 2008 Vocalist of the Year Award Vic CMA
• 2010 APRA Country Song of the Year Award
• 2010 Fifteen-time World Championship Performer Awards in LA

He’s already played festivals and major venues, both in Australia and the United States, such as:

• Rod Laver Arena
• SydneyMeyer Music Bowl
• Gympie Muster
• Tamworth Town Hall
• TREC (Tamworth)
• Adelaide Festival Theatre
• Boyup Brook Festival WA
• Deni Ute Muster
• Grand Ole Opry TN USA

Now, I had the chance to interview Steve recently, and you'll get that interview in our next post (Saturday.  This puppy's gonna bark more often after this post).  But, for now, here's Steve doing his hit, Driftin' On.  Enjoy:



If you wanna know more about this awesome superstar, just click onto his website (behind that link you just saw).  You're really in for a great country treat!

Stay tuned ...



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Memories Are Made Of This ...

Think you dread going back to work tomorrow?? Think about these guys ... and be thankful ...

Now ... where were we?? AHHHH, yes ...

Y'know, it seems that, as we get older and wiser, we're more apt to hark back to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when things were groovy, innocent and cool (Ah, I remember them well: I was a wild, crazy kid with tremendous sex appeal and a head full of lavish hair.)

ANYWAY ... SEE IF YOU REMEMBER ANY OF THESE GEMS:

This little dude showed up almost every Sunday night with the rrrrrreally-big-shhhhhhhewwwman himself, Ed Sullivan.
I understand he's still around, but, having been passed over for the role of "Mr. Jingles" in The Green Mile, he's a bit despondent these days.
Hey ... got an idea here, Mousers. LET'S DRAFT HIM AS OUR MASCOT!! I mean, this is the Mouse House, right??

Think of the clout it'd give us! Topo Gigio  was an icon (okay, he was a mouse. But stretch it a little, okay?), and everyone who camembert him would come. It'll do us gouda, I think ...

These flash bulbs (remember the old blunderbuss of a camera that used them?) were never fully appreciated until you'd step on one in your bare feet! And, just after the shot, you'd hear a little "sizzle", followed by a loud cussword when you tried to take 'em out (they were blazing hot!!).

When my mama was moving from Morrow Ave. to Park Ave. back in Pineville (this was just after daddy passed away), we were packing up some boxes from the top shelf of her closet, and these fell out!
S&H Green Stamps were the coupons of the day! Saving those up could buy a 1966 Cadillac (not really. Just wanted to see if you're still with me here). Actually, it'd open a whole new world of merchandise (read: salt and pepper shakers and the occasional toaster) to your mailbox!

HONORABLE(?) MENTIONS

And who could ever forget those little Clacker Balls? The trick was to move 'em back and forth until they started knocking against each other, making a terrible racket in the process.  Sort of like your own personal protest movement.

Of course, sometimes a clacker would break off and clobber someone in the vicinity of the clackee (how do ya think I got the nickname knot-head back in 1965?).

Then there was the "story" game.  You knowwww: one person would make up a crazy story but leave words out of it.  Then, without reading them the story, they'd ask somebody to give them a noun or adjective to fill in the blanks?  The resulting "story" would be far-fetched and often hilarious!
Today, that technique is called "Newsbreak" on CNN, I think ...

Stay tuned ...

Monday, June 19, 2017

GRRRAND (okay, pretty good ...) RE-OPENING!!

Hey ...
welcome back to the Mouse House! Sure, I've been away for awhile, but there are some pretty cool reasons.

FIRST, A QUICK UPDATE: Since our last confab, I've opened the new RockRelic Music™, where I promote some of the best new acts on the planet annnnnd scout for new, undiscovered talent in the rock, country, Americana (or any mix thereof!) genres.

Now ... that being said, lemme introduce ya to one of the gang.

Hailing from Liverpool, England - and fronted by Keith Xander, a young guitarist that some have called "England's answer to Stevie Ray Vaughn" - are Xander and The Peace Pirates. Already in-demand all over the British Isles (and points east), they also have a unique backstory.

Y'see, Keith (lead guitar and singer) was born without a right arm, so he plays his axe with a hook! But the licks that he makes on that six-string machine is nothing less than awesome!

Now, over the next posts, you'll meet more of the roster, including Australian country music superstar Steve Eales, amazing Americana belter Robert Vincent and one of the very best undiscovered voices in rock, period: A Liverpudlian chap named Gary Brown!
But, for now here's Xander and the Peace Pirates with the official vid of their hit, THIS CITY:



These. as well as the other mic heroes you'll be enjoying, really deserve the breaks and exposure that today's Top Acts already are digging! And your fanship can definitely help! So come back early-and-often, and be sure to make some noize in our "comment" section, okay? (I'll be watching ....)

Natch, I'm also gonna continue spotlighting the Master Mouser himself - the dude who actually started this Clique about ten years ago or better: the late legend himself, Lloyd Thaxton!

So stay tuned, at least once a week, for more. Til then, I'll see ya on the flip side!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Day The Beatles (Almost) Reunited!

APRIL 24, 1976 - Forty-one years ago from the date of this here blogpost, the greatest band that ever hit the airwaves, stadiums and our earpans were presented with an offer they couldn't refuse:

Play a three-song set on NBC's new Saturday Night Live ... for three thousand dollars!!

The Beatles were offered, on the live TV show, the certified check from NBC by SNL producer Lorne Michaels himself.

As he held up the check for a camera shot, he said,

“Now, we’ve heard and read a lot about personality and legal conflicts that might prevent you guys from reuniting. That’s something which is none of my business. That’s a personal problem. You guys will have to handle that. But it’s also been said that no one has yet to come up with enough money to satisfy you. Well, if it’s money you want, there’s no problem here. The National Broadcasting Company has authorized me to offer you this check to be on our show. A certified check for $3,000.”

Sure, it was played up for comedy - but it got the attention of two guys who were visiting each other that night and had tuned in:
Paul McCartney and John Lennon!
Michaels continued:

“All you have to do is sing three Beatles songs: ‘She Loves You,’ yeah, yeah, yeah — that’s $1,000 right there. You know the words. It’ll be easy. Like I said, this is made out to ‘The Beatles.’ You divide it anyway you want. If you want to give Ringo less, that’s up to you. I’d rather not get involved.”

Well, both Lennon and McCartney decided, just for the heck of it, to take them up on their offer. According to Paul:

“John said, ‘We should go down, just you and me. There’s only two of us so we’ll take half the money.’ And for a second. But it would have been work, and we were having a night off, so we elected not to go. It was a nice idea – we nearly did it.”

Since they ultimately backed away from it, on May 22 Michaels sweetened the deal:

"John, Paul, George and Ringo, we are now prepared to up the original offer to $3,200!”

But there's more!!  In a tongue-in-cheek attempt to sway the lads, they were offered free lodging as well! Famed SNL announcer Don Pardo then described the amenities at the Cross Town Motor Inn with the same verve as he did on The Price Is Right: “round-the-clock elevator service,” water glasses that have been “sanitized for their convenience,” “48-hour dry cleaning” and free room-to-room calls.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to tempt The Fab Four to reunite. Wonder what it would've been like if they'd taken him up on the offer?

Imagine ...