Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lloyd's Best Message

This is a rewind that I'm honoured to publish.

For years, we of the Clique-and-beyond looked forward to getting home from work so we could get the latest thoughts from Uncle Lloyd and his blog. Whether we agreed 100% with him on everything or not (and disagreements were rarer than Vitalis™ in a headbanger's dressing room!), we loved every minute we "visited" with him.

Then, of course, we had the Good Book (I mean, Stuff Happens, of course). Between him and John Alston, we felt as though he really was our favorite uncle, showing us better ways to deal with life's challenges.

Yes, there were those of us who remember his segments on both The Today Show and Fight Back! In the latter, he gave us a lotta boss info on all kinds of goodies to make our Wal-Mart® shopping easier (if we'd had the store back then. As far as shopping there -- and with apologies to Clark Howard -- I still have to ask myself "Why??").

It goes without saying that his most memorable achievement to many boomers was The Lloyd Thaxton Show (now, why'd I say that?? Didn't I say it "goes without saying"?? Oh, NOW I remember ... we do have post-boomer mousers on board here). He brought the message of good times and rock-and-roll to our homes every weekday at 5 PM.

But the greatest message that Uncle Lloyd conveyed wasn't in his show, or in his book, or in his other shows.

It was found in the soul and heart that he shared with each and every one of us. When he had something bearing on his mind, or when he really felt great about something, when he was reminiscing -- or even when he was "up against the wall" with cancer -- he was still the epitome of hope, smiles, and an attitude that just grinned a big "Everything's gonna be all right. C'mon ... let's have some fun while we're here ..."

A cautious optimism? Confidence? A habit of being upbeat?? Let's face it: Uncle Lloyd just had a tremendous love of life and all that was in it! And, in his too-short time with us, he tried showing us, through his words and actions, that "Hey ... it isn't gonna BITE ya! ENJOY life!! It really ROCKS!!"

Chief, we're still learning ... but, then again, we had a great teacher ...

stay tuned ...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Box With The Prize Inside!

Okay, who amongst us doesn't remember this little delectable snack?

Why, for just a single quarter (well, when I was a little, snotty-nosed kid, anyway. The price might've been more or less when you were 25 ...), you could get the most scrumptious caramel popcorn with a few peanuts mixed in. But the real thrill was when, about halfway down in the box, we'd see a little wrapped toy of some kind!
(By the way, I understand the lady who bought this particular box had tried them before and only got a small, wooden whistle! So, this time, she got lucky. At first, she wooden whistle - but now, she tin whistle!)

Oh, those little wonderful toys would give us minutes of fun (until they broke and required the purchase of another box. Great marketing idea, guys ...). But there was something far greater than a toy that the Hinson boys got from those boxes:

Picture it: Pineville, 1965 (okay, so I liked mama Sophia in The Golden Girls.) As many of you already know, my daddy, Eola Hinson, was a wise man and could draw useful parables out of anything (read this article, which I wrote seven years ago in his memory). Well, this time was no different.

My brothers and I were sitting in the living room, watching Uncle LL's zany antics on The Lloyd Thaxton Show (his 'finger people' were doing a Four Tops song, as I recall) and chowing down on our individual boxes of Crackerjacks.  Every few minutes, we'd poke around in the boxes, hoping to feel the little wrapped toy hidden inside.
A commercial came on, and that was daddy's cue (unbeknownst to us, he'd been watching us from the kitchen.  The rascal ...).  He came into the room (1.5 minutes of commercial time left!) and said "Boys, you're rootin' in those boxes like hungry pigs!  If you're that hungry, I'll get Mama to ..."  I looked at the TV set (c'mon, dad ... just a minute left!) and said, "We're lookin' for the prize!"  He laughed and said, "Boys, if you look for somethin' that hard when you grow up, you're sure as shootin' gonna find it!"  As the show came back on, he walked back into the kitchen, but kept talking! ("DAAad, we wanna hear Lloyd THAXTON, not YOU! So HUSH!!!") "Yeah, you're gonna have to go through a lot of stuff just like you do them Crackerjacks - but, if you want somethin' bad enough, don't let it stop you from gettin' it!  Right, Irene?"
Mama just smiled and peeked around the doorsill, watchin' Steve, Dick and Chucky with his guitar in his lap, grinnin' and gobblin' as we watched the best teen show anywhere ...

And we owed it all to the Crackerjacks (waitaminnit! Not ... those ... Crackerjacks; that's Arthur Smith's old group, who played on Carolina Calling every morning on channel 3 for years! Who didn't remember "Guitar Boogie" Smith, Tommy Faile, "Skeeter" Haas, Uncle Ralph and Cuzzin Fudd [the 'Counselors of the Airways'] and Wayne's comic rendition of "Surfin' Bird"? But all that's another story ...)

Speakin' of stories, though ... remember what Daddy said, okay? We've been through a lot over the past few months here in the good old USofA alone. But, from Boston to Cleveland, Oklahoma to Arizona, we've learned that if we just hold on, dig a little deeper, and expect something good to come of it all and, like we did in front of that old Zenith, work as a team, we'll find something good coming out of this life!

Our hands may get a bit sticky, and there may be crumbs on the floor now and then, but the good will always outweigh the bad, right??

Stay tuned ...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lloyd Thaxton Never Mythed A Thing!

NOTE: Over the past few months, the Relic - head cheese taster of the infamous Mouse Clique - had been so swamped with other work that I let the TMC blog slide ... and slide ... and slide, until this little hole-in-the-wall started lookin' a little (dare I say it??) ratty (I did)!
So, yesterday I grabbed a broom, a solid bucket of non-Bieberized mop water (see my rock blog for that story), and started cleanin' and renovating. Then, because this blog was created to honour the little dude who made the Mouse House possible to begin with (no, not Topo-Gigio, though he's an honorary member of TMC), I'm relaunching it to reflect the style, wit and thoughts of our Fearless Leader, the Pied Piper of Rock and Roll, Aunt Barbara's forever-valentine and Mrs. Thaxton's little boy, LLYOD.
So come on in ... the door's open again: 

Yes, he was the original Pied Piper of Rock -- the dude who brought Ben E., Brummels and Byrds to our afternoon TV time. He made Sonny Cher, showed us his Knickerbockers and got Eddie to Flo with the Turtles. The week-daily teen show that took his name was a standard fix for every young person in the mid-Sixties.

He was Lloyd Thaxton ... a man whom we were honored to call "friend", "Uncle", or collect if necessary, until his passing in 2008. Though he was a DJ, emcee, producer, writer and five-time Emmy winner, he always had time for his fans.

In fact, he started this little "clique" so all he could mix with 'em all. And The Mouse Clique was his baby; the offspring of his blog.
Now, in his absence, the little guy has been adopted by The Rock Relic and the world-renowned Sir Gerald of Belichdom (known amongst modern scribes as Gary "NEXT!" Belich), who promised their Aunt Barbara they'd raise it right.

Now, what we're lookin' for is any-and-everybody who has memories of Uncle Lloyd and/or his show to give us a shout-out. Heck ... I'll even sweeten the pot a little: If you'd like to write a guest post dealing with him or the show, just let me or Cousin Gary know and we'll turn the reins over to you for a mile or so! Fair enough?? Then 'nuff said!!


Back in March of the 07, I had the opportunity to interview LL -- about his background, his start in showbiz and more nosiness -- and you'll find it right here . Believe me, it's well worth the read ...

Uncle Lloyd was also the man who popularized not just one finger (which many of us are apt to show sometimes) but all five digits as his "finger people". He'd dress 'em up, have them move as he directed and say what he told 'em to say (sorta like marriage, isn't it?).
One of his most popular routines was when he used them as part of his lip-syncing to Linda Laurie's Jose, He Say.

And then there was ... The DAWK!!

The package says "It Stands for Silent Protest" ... and that's really about as openly political as Lloyd was. But the dude really become popular amongst the viewers ...

By the way, it came in dawk ... er, dark hair as well as lovely, lush blonde (see the pic to your left? Uh-huh ...). We'll have more on this character as this revitaminized blog progresses..

Now, since this is the Big Return, we've got this baby all dressed up, shoes shined, hair combed and ready to go (well, mostly. We still need to work on the blogroll ...)! So here comes the fun part: Getting all the meeces and mouses to come over and visit the blog (cheese optional, though we do get a mite hungry!). Leave yer name and message (and camembert cheese; now, if you cant membert, just substitute a gouda cheddar. Thanx ...) in our comments section, okay??

Now, we can't leave without giving LL's signature sign-off (or something).  But, before we do, remember that you can catch either me or Cousin/brother/co-mouser/king-in-his-own-mind Gary on Facebook ... so go thou there now and friend us up, okay??
That being said ...

Stay tuned ...

Monday, July 1, 2013

What Are They Up To NOW??

I know ... you could be asking the same thing of me, since I've been gone since spring of 1975 (well, it seems that long ... but I'll tell ya more 'bout it in a few posts or the next one (whichever comes first). 'Til then, here's a post redux you might enjoy ...

Look ... let's face it: some entertainers make it, some don't ...

and, while Uncle Lloyd gave plenty of exposure to some of the day's top bands, it was no guarantee they'd make as big a splash as The Beatles, beards and boppers of that "British Invasion," Mrs. Miller, et al (dunno. who "Al" is, but those last four words sound like a grotesque headline!). In fact (and although they never made it to the guestlist of Thaxton's show), there's only one member of that band up there (known as Chameleon Church) who actually broke through the ranks and hit the proverbial jackpot! And it wasn't as a musician ...

It was the drummer -- a chap named Chevy Chase.

The point is (as the point was, as the point will be. Wait -- what was the point again?? Oh ... I remember now ...) that our generation influenced everything from great comedy (Chase) to great politics (okay, it's a stretch, but let's go with it for now ...) like former Reps. John Hall [guitarist, Orleans . Remember [You're] Still the One?) and the late Sonny Bono, to movie dudes like Billy Bob Thornton and Tommy Chong (of Cheech and ...). They all cut their public teeth on the music!! Remember when I mentioned how baby-boomers seem to be "snubbed" these days (readallabouddit here)?
Well, courtesy our gee-tar slingin', longhair generation, seems we're still making a noticeable impact on society! Whether it's in the music or in the Capitol rotunda, you just can't get away from us!
And you never will ... (maniacal laughter follows while, in background of our dark cave-of-a-laboratory, volatile chemicals bubble and steam in vials ... who knows what we have planned next??)

Here are some shots of bands that didn't quite make the national cut back in the day ... but ... there's ... someone ... we ... know ... in these groups. Can you figure it out??
First, there's Tico and The Triumphs. Together, these kids had a great act -- but Tico, himself, had a very unique, almost quiet style about him (he's the dude at the top).

Why, you could almost call it ... the sounds of silence! (awww, do I haveta spell out his real name for ya??)

The country-rock of a little band called CARP admittedly didn't thrill a lot of fans.
But their drummer (left rear in pic.[It means he's the one on the far left in the back. Actually, when he left the photo shoot, his rear left with him ....]) did okay for himself. Though a little(?) gonzo now, he would've gotten Buddy Holly's respect a few years ago (c'mon ... guess the acto ... er, guy ...)

Now, Mouskiteers, if ya don't get this one right, ya get the required 40 with a wet noodle!
Though both Bobby Taylor and his Vancouvers enjoyed limited success, can you imagine what coulda happened to the band if they'd gotten a gig on Uncle Lloyd's show?
Especially that ... that guitarist on the left (in the pic). I ... I can't ... quite make out the features, man! It's like my vision's kinda covered with a purple haze or something ...

Was that too subtle??

Stay tuned ....