Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sync A Song, Uncle Lloyd

Long before there was Ashlee Simpson or Milli Vanilli, there was Action Thaxton, King of the Lip Sync.

There was no hit record that was immune to Uncle LL's "special" treatment. From Roger William's Summer Wind to Dylan's lonnnng, commercial-interrupted Desolation Row, he could take the most serious song, unravel its melodic threads and re-weave it into a hilarious musical quilt (I was gonna say "Afghan," but that's too controversial these days. So I plead quilty).

One of his most popular was a fully-costumed sync of Jay and The American's hit, Cara Mia. Outfitted in complete operatic regalia (helmet with long horns and tunic, two items borrowed from the Warner Bros. lot after Elmer Fudd's Looney Tunes™ opera scene with Bugs Bunny), he mouthed Jay Black's vocals perfectly -- even the lonnnnnng, high note that Jay hit in the last full verse.

After that "performance", you can say what you will: Whether it's with Raynor, Black or the new "Jay (Reneike), Uncle LL will still be the soul behind "Cara Mia".

NOW ... FOR THOSE WHO ASKED ALREADY (and we've been on just a coupla days now):

We've got a few new Mouskiteers from Rock-Talk and Facebook, and they wanted to see a vid of the Head Cheese in action. Therefore, from a 1966 episode, I present to you:

'Nuff said?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Advice From The Chief ...

I was recently asked to re-post this by some avid LT fans ... and I'm more than happy to do it:

It's a play on the old Henny Youngman joke from years ago, but, in a way, the wordplay isn't that far off ...

Y'see, Lloyd was a big believer in people-potential ... and was particularly proud of the baby-boomer generation. The teens who danced their frugs and watusis on his show were of the very same class that brought equal rights, more understanding and even stopped a terrible war (and don't hand me that line that a government did it; it was the overwhelming voice of the youth ...).

Now here it is, decades later. Those kids have turned from solo acts to parents to grandparents. They're tax-payin', bill-juggling, hardworkin' sons-of-a-gun who are trying to make a decent life for themselves and their families ...

and they still have a voice!!

Unfortunately, it seems the suits in Washington (and all the way down to the local yokels) think that, now, we're too old to complain about the newest war, latest scandal or biggest deficit. They certainly don't think we can do anything about it anymore. In their ways of thinking, we ought to just sit back, enjoy our Geritol and re-runs of "The Andy Griffith Show" (btw, love that program!).

But there's one guy who never, ever let this "age" nonsense get in the way of this thing called "life". He was active on so many levels, and had such influence (I think the kids today call it "stroke") that, over a year after his passing, he's still touching lives and hearts around the known world. If your name begins or ends with a consonant or vowel, you know who I'm talkin' about:

It's all in how you see us. I mean, look at Uncle Lloyd in those two pics. Yes, they're 40 years apart. Sure, he got a little grayer. But, man, look at his face ... it exuded life ... joy ... hope!! You just knew that Lloyd Thaxton was still the same optimistic, witty and creative person that inhabited the set of his show way back then.
In other words, he still "had it" (whatever "it" was, he definitely had it in spades ...).

And so do many of us! Just because there's some crazy new number that each year tacks onto our age doesn't mean we've got to give up the spunk and spark that we had back when we were young.
And we know how to handle a lot of the "Stuff" that goes on in our country right now. We know the game, because we've been there, played that . We have ideas that work ...

So the Washington bureaucrats (notice the last three letters of the word?? Might as well take out the "c" from it, 'cause many of those rats can't "c", right?? That leaves "bureaurats". And what would you do if you found rats in your bureau drawers?? Uh-huh ...) better take notice: If they wanna get some good insight on how to handle the troubles this old world is facing, just let them ASK US!

I'm reminded of what Uncle LL said in one of his blog posts:

"You baby boomers were the greatest. Yet no body seems to want your advice on what is wrong with the world today. But, you can be thankful that you were there and done that. No one can take that away. You can be proud that you ran a good ship. Hopefully, the young people of the world will wake up and be true to their age, as much as you are being true to yours. You are still the greatest."

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mouse In The House!!

Before we really get into this post, I want to share an email I received a number of clicks ago:

One of the faithful campers on my Beyond The Rock blog is also a faithful Thaxtonian! James D. wrote: "I have read about Mr. Thaxton on your blog and am greatful (sic) that his club is back. I watched him when I was a teen-ager and he was like the guys on Whose Line? mixed with Craig (Ferguson) and the Beatles all in one. He had it all together. I want to join the cellebration (sic) of his life by joining the mouse team."

Hey ... who'd argue with that? Welcome aboard, James -- and be sure to tell all your friends, okay??

We'll be back in a minute -- but, first, a word from our sponsor:

Do you worry about unwelcome hackers, slackers and trackers following you when you enter the Mouse House?? Use the secret application that'll stop these creeping, crawling vermin right in their tracks! Introducing the amazing MOUSER'S DOWSER -- now with Secret Ingredient "X":
(ahem!) Now ... let's move on:
This amazing invention will stop intruders on a dime* ... so you can enjoy your visit with that "safe and secure" feeling.
(The Clique will extend credit to anyone who does not have a dime readily available. The cat pictured is for promotional purposes only. All cats are welcome in the House as long as they are 'hep' ...)

Awhile back on NBC Nightly News, there was a segment showing President Obama in his campaign days. He sounded for all the world like a high-strung evangelist when he urged voters to call, visit or "knock on doors" to get the message out.

Well, I thought it'd be a boss idea to include here. Since we have room for everyone who wants to wear the Sacred Mouse Ears, and if we, the faithful Mousies, can do some internet "door-knocking", we can increase this merry little bunch of cheese-munchers and, as LL said, "Spread the word -- not that other 'Stuff'!"
Ya with me, Mouskiteers?? Let's DO it then ... in honor of The Chief!
I'll order more cheese ...

stay tuned ...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Thaxton Effect (reprint by request) 2

In January, 2003, a neat little book hit the market. From a distance (without glasses), looked like just another self-help novel, wrapped in a cheery red-on-white cover.

Then, as you got closer, you saw the authors' names at the bottom -- and just knew that this wasn't going to be just any book. It had ... Lloyd Thaxton as a co-writer!
I'd already gotten a copy of Stuff Happens (full name: "Stuff Happens [and then you fix it!"] 9 Reality Rules to Steer Your Life Back in the Right Direction" See, they still had some blank space on the cover ...) and within a few months it was already worn out. Not only did I read it from cover to cover but took notes, shared it with friends, then got on the interweb and told others about it!
Anyway, it was so worn-out that Uncle Lloyd sent me a brand new, autographed copy -- and now its pages are getting dog-eared (nothing against dogs, by the way. If they're reading this, they'll understand ...).
It's a mix of some great inspiration and ideas and that inimitable Thaxton style of writing (he always wrote like he talked-- in such a casual, upbeat, positive style, as if the reader/listener were his closest friend). My favorite sections? To Change Your Life (Change Your Mind) and Choose: The Power to Choose Comes From Within immediately come to mind ...
Now, if I were to count the number of people he and John (Alston, co-writer) helped through this book, we'd be here for the next year or two, at least. I toldja the man really knew how to make a positive impact.

Lloyd Thaxton, the blogger, was no different from LT the teen host, producer or writer. He was personable, alive with ideas, witty, and completely, 100% authentic (a quality rarely seen in personal pages these days).
Now, if you have a blog or site, you'll know there's a page editor called a WYSIWYG, meaning What You See Is What You Get. In other words, "the real deal".
That was Lloyd. What we "saw" on our monitor screen was the actual, bonafide man himself. No additives, no artificial color or flavor. And each of his posts were actually riveting. Not only was the man an excellent word-weaver, but each entry was so interesting that we couldn't wait to see what he'd write next!
He was a true friend to all his readers (again, the impact!), and told me once that, if one had a problem, loss or worry, he felt it. He'd even make a point to personally email some of them, as well. Talk about an authentic heart ... Uncle Lloyd had it ...

Soon, the Chief decided to make even more of his growing blog ("growing". As in "leaps and (no)bound(arie)s") by introducing a unique and fun webside kaffeklatsche we eventually called The Mouse Clique (in honor, I worked up that little logo you saw at the top of this segment).
Here's what Lloyd said in an email from April 2, 2006:

"I want to keep the dialogue going. Though there are already
4,567,532,936,001 bloggers on the web. I've decided to make it
4,567,532,936,002 by starting up my own exclusive group. Based on 'The
Frank Sinatra-Dean Martin-Sammy Davis Jr, RAT PACK' of the 60s, I've
named my little ensemble 'The Lloyd Thaxton MOUSE PACK'"

A little later, he figured, out of respect for Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter and Joey, he'd rename our little confab "The Mouse Clique" instead. Besides, what do you do but click a mouse, right? (provided it's the computer type. Otherwise, it can get messy ...)
And many came, from near and far, to hear the words of the wise one. Then they'd stop by the Clique and enjoy themselves ...
Today, it's an honor to continue the Mouse Clique in Uncle Lloyd's memory. As Cliquers begin to return to the fold (and tell others about the blog! From social groups and email addresses to MySpace to Twitter and Facebook, send out the invites, mousers!), we can keep Lloyd's words, thoughts and persona alive for many clicks (not "-ques". That's ours!) to come!
A special thanks to the lovely Barbara Thaxton and my main man Gary Belich for their help and inspiration in getting TMC online.
Lloyd Thaxton was more than a friend, more than a writer, more than a producer or TV host.
Thaxton ... was a man who had more positive IMPACT than we ever imagined! And the world's all the better for it ...

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Thaxton Effect (reprint by request)

Recently, a reader messaged me on Facebook® and said he'd heard me talk about Lloyd Thaxton. Well, since he's only in this thirties and Uncle Lloyd was my mentor and best friend until he passed, I thought I'd bring a couple of articles out of the archives for his, and others', enjoyment. RIP, Chief ... we all still miss you!:

Awwww ... who wouldn't just love to have that little, streetwise kid come stay with you?
Of course, it was just Uncle Lloyd, dressed to the nines (okay ... to the threes, then) and on calloused knees, cutting up as always.
And it was that type of zaniness, combined with the most awesome emceeing in teen showdom, that won everybody -- from studio to TV and radio audiences -- over.

Recently, I did a little snoopin ... er, researching around and found something that doesn't really surprise any of us long-time fans and friends (but it might to some of the newbies who read this): Lloyd Thaxton has had a tremendous impact on our society -- then and now!!

Okay, the Show was one -- and, if you wanna know how impactive, let me share a comment received by Mouskiteer David just today:
"I found Lloyd again just a little more than a year before he left us...There was so much more i wanted to know...I was just a little kid 6-8 years old when i watched his show...Seeing the fun he had changed me...I wanted to be like him...And years later...When i was in high school...Lloyd Thaxton was still on my mind...Pictures in my high school yearbook of a skit done in the high school gym testify to the influence of someone i should have been much too young to really remember...I wanted to be fearlessly fun...Not afraid to let it all hang out...And the essence of Lloyd Thaxton brought that out in me...

For a long time i wondered where he had gone...Then the internet gave me a chance to briefly interact with the man who made me wanna be a DJ...I'll never forget him."

The bold type was mine, mousers -- but the words and soul of that note was strictly David's.

Here's an article from Met News. It just brings it home a little more ...

That "fearless fun" took TV to new limits with the 200 segments he produced for the Today Show from 1985 to 2008 (check out his IMDb profile for more on his accomplishments) and Fight Back! with David Horowitz, a consumer-oriented show that included legendary wrestler Prof. Toru Tanaka testing Timex watches!

So many of us made our shopping choices and learned a lot thanks to LL's superb productions -- and we're still applying them today! It made us a bit more consumer-conscious ..

But Lloyd wasn't done yet:

He turned millions of kids on to reading the teen magazines, rather than just watching the tube! His Tiger Beat!® magazine kept everyone up-to-date on the teen idols of the day, and was chock-full of interviews, insider stuff and, of course, those dreamy pics!
I believe the first part of that pic was the Chief's second issue. The other half of the photo is of Tiger Beat! today. Between us, mousers, it's not even close to Lloyd's quality writeup! Mostly, you've just got glossy pages full of photos and a few words scattered throughout. Definitely not the original's style ...

Now, I haven't begun to touch on one book that Lloyd, along with his friend and colleague John Alston, put together. I'll get to that in the next post (strangely enough, called "Pt. 2"!). But it was/is that book that changed/is changing thought patterns and improving lives around the world! So ...

stay tuned.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's A Family Affair ...

People, you've heard me talk about 'em here ... you've heard him as core member of Paul Revere and the Raiders ... you've heard his WIFE on radio and "Where The Action Is" ... their new band has members of OTHER well-known groups in it ...
Now ... add their lovely, harmonizing daughters to the mix and what have you GOT??

"Now, LLLLadiesss an' CHENTlemennnn ... RRRRRRIGHT here, on are ... VERRRRRY SHHHHTAGE (like my Sullivan impression?? Oh .. okay. I'll stop ...) ..."