Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Very Special Birthday

CUE REPORTER: And on this day in history, in the year 1927, a child was born in Toledo, Ohio, who would change the face of teen television and influence millions of others, forever.
LLOYD EUGENE THAXTON was an humble man who also liked to draw funny faces on his fingers, wear outlandish Mexican hats while talking about some unseen person by the name of "Jose", dress as an opera singer while singing to a young, apparently off-screen, lady named "Cara", and, in a move that is scientifically impossible, actually transform himself into a teenager simply by absorbing the attitude of those whom he hosted on his famed weekday program, "The Lloyd Thaxton Show".

Okay, maybe that's a little far-fetched ... or is it??

Whilst we're celebrating the life of our mentor, friend and favorite "Uncle", let me share an email that came from a UK friend (no, not that "Kentucky" university; I mean the other UK) who remembered Uncle Lloyd's birthday and simply asked, "Can you imagine a teenaged world there if Lloyd Thaxton hadn't been born?"

A shiver went down my spine as the unimaginable played through what's left of my mind: scripted, formulaic programs, filled with bored kids with Vitalis®-slicked hair and stiff movements (as if they're afraid to rouse the anger of the producers); bands that would only go as high as #25 on the Billboard charts because they wouldn't have the exposure that'd put them on (or over) the top.
Later, there'd be thousands of people who'd be angered because they bought second-hand products, believing all the hype but not having anyone to "test" them (I'm speaking about "Fight Back! with David Horowitz" here, which LL produced).

There are many other scary thoughts in this bizarre "It's A Wonderful Life" style vignette -- so I'll stop with that part of it.

We all must remember that, whilst Lloyd made all of us happy -- made us feel as though we belonged ... we counted ...
he made some VSPs (very special people) the happiest of all:
his family ...
and, above all else, the woman whom he truly adored more than life itself:
the lovely Barbara.

In other words, thanks to LL, for years we could echo the paraphrased words of that other guy you see in the top photo: "(We) Got You (We Feel Good)"!

So, on this, what would've been his 83rd birthday (wait! What's this about would've been? Though Uncle Lloyd isn't with us in person now, he's left part of himself in each of our hearts -- an indelible loveprint that says, "Hey, everything's gonna get even better if ya just keep believin'! So stay tuned ... and rock if ya got 'em!"), all Mousers around the world are reminiscing and smiling while we say:


Stay tuned ...

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday, Lloyd!...Wherever you are now...part of you is still the hearts of those lives you touched with your television magic...Including this DJ who grabbed a dream and carried it all the way to radio by the time i was 14...I don't think i would have known what i wanted to be as soon as i did without the exposure to Lloyd and his contagious and irreverent sense of fun.