Rowlf the Dog on The Jimmy Dean Show – Growing Up In The 60s

I loved this dog when I was a kid. I had to watch the Jimmy Dean Show to see Rowlf the Dog. I was obnoxious about it. Never knew he was an early Muppet creation. Sounded a bit Teutonic with that name didn’t he? Thank you Jim Henson. You were the best. Of course, Big Bad John became ingrained in my psyche and likely later influenced my bizarre style of songwriting.

~ Growing Up In Iowa In The 1960s ~

Country-Rock Hall Of Fame – Kris Kristofferson

An essential member of the Country-Rock Hall Of Fame is Kris Kristofferson who songwriting fueled artists as diverse as Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin in the late 60s and early 70s before becoming a star in his own right as both a singer-songwriter and actor. His role in Cisco Pike 1971 can be seen as the first and maybe quintessential film essay of the nascent Country-Outlaw movement.


The Essential 1970s Discography

1970 Kristofferson album review Legacy / Monument/Legacy
Me and Bobby McGee
1971 Me and Bobby McGee album review Monument Records
The Silver Tongued Devil and I
1971 The Silver Tongued Devil and I album review Monument Records
Border Lord
1972 Border Lord album review One Way Records
Jesus Was a Capricorn
1972 Jesus Was a Capricorn album review Monument Records
Full Moon 1973 Full Moon album review A&M
Spooky Lady's Sideshow
1974 Spooky Lady’s Sideshow album review One Way Records
1974 Breakaway album review Monument Records
Who's to Bless and Who's to Blame
1975 Who’s to Bless and Who’s to Blame album review One Way Records

Country-Rock Hall of Fame – Gram Parsons

Many would argue that Gram Parsons should be the first inductee into any Country-Rock Hall of Fame and they would not be wrong. Gram Parsons steered the Byrds to their Sweethearts Of The Rodeo album and The Rolling Stones toward Country stylings as well. He also co-founded The Flying Burrito Brothers and brought Emmy Lou Harris into the music business and influenced two generations of Country-Rockers. Hats off to Gram Parsons, a true legend who we lost far too soon.


Year Album Chart Positions[3]
US US Country
1968 Safe at Home (International Submarine Band)
Sweetheart of the Rodeo (The Byrds) 77
1969 The Gilded Palace of Sin (Flying Burrito Brothers) 164
1970 Burrito Deluxe (Flying Burrito Brothers)
1973 GP
1974 Grievous Angel 195
1976 Sleepless Nights (Gram Parsons & the Flying Burrito Brothers) 185
1979 Early Years (1963–1965)
1982 Live 1973 (Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels)
1987 Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud Loud Music (Flying Burrito Brothers)
1995 Cosmic American Music
2001 Another Side of This Life: The Lost Recordings of Gram Parsons
2001 Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology
2006 The Complete Reprise Sessions
2007 Gram Parsons Archives Vol.1: Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969
(Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers)

How To Become An Online Hollywood Screenwriter

Intriguing story from the BBC

Is Hollywood screenwriting success easier to find online?

Audiences don’t know somebody sits down and writes a picture. They think the actors make it up as they go along.”

That’s what the character Joe Gillis says in the classic American film noir, Sunset Boulevard. In the movie, Gillis works part-time as a struggling Hollywood screenwriter. He ends up floating dead in a swimming pool.

Perhaps he should have kept his day job.

The path to screenwriting success has always been hazardous. Every successful writer has a different story, though most would agree it takes a lot of hard work and a bit of luck.

But some experts and wannabe writers believe the internet has levelled the playing field. Read More at BBC News

Gravesend Manor – Ames Iowa’s Late Night Creature Feature Movie In The 1960s

The Mummy 1933 Starring Boris Karloff

Here’s something you’re never going to find mentioned anywhere, Ames Iowa’s Late Night Horror Movie Show from the mid 1960s, Gravesend Manor. The host was a bald headed wack job called Malcolm who had a mute named Claude for a sidekick. They were joined by a vampire named the Duke of Dezmodat at one point. Claude also had a girlfriend named Esmeralda. They worked for a mysterious fellow named The Master. Hmm, I wonder if it was L. Ron Hubbard… I’m pretty sure it aired on Saturday nights, though it could have been Fridays on Ames WOI Channel 5.

It was a fun show and it introduced my older brother and me to the classic horror films of the 1930s and 1940s. Grave’s End Manor was where I first saw Universal’s classic Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula and the Mummy starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. in all their permutations and sequels. I also remember a traumatizing European cheapie called Burn Witch Burn in which the witch has a mask with iron spikes on the inside driven into her face. That one gave me nightmares and wasn’t much fun at all.

Two episodes featuring the local casts’ in-between the movie shenanigans stick in my mind even after nearly fifty years. The first was the one where the Duke of Dezmodat came to rent a room at Grave’s End Manor. The Master had instructed Malcolm only to rent to someone ‘normal’, so they were appalled that a vampire had arrived on their doorstep. Another episode my eight year old self found especially amusing was when The Master and his friends had arrived for a feast, which of course Malcolm had botched so as the night ended they laid Malcolm on the table and were clamoring for ‘Malcolm meat’. The productions values were of course wonderfully cheesy. I came across this wonderful video clip of Gravesend Manor on YouTube.

~ Growing Up In Iowa In The 1960s ~

The Classic Country Western Blog ~ The first things I remember

The first thing I remember is my Dad bringing home a dog. I was two years old. I know this from pictures of the puppy and me with the date stamped in the margin. The dog was a white Pekinese-Spitz mix with long frizzy hair and a toothy grin and enough energy for two dogs. Someone in the family, probably my Dad, named him Corky. I loved that dog.

The Family Dog
Corky – The Family Dog

We lived in a silver trailer house in a park near the Cedar River in Charles City, Iowa. My grandparents lived just a few blocks up the street and all of my aunts, uncle and cousins lived within a twenty minute drive of us. My Dad worked as an auto mechanic and my Mom stayed at home and took care of my brother and me.

I grew up on the classic Rock, Pop and Country of the 1960s and 1970s. My parents loved music. They had a stereo as big as a sofa. It was in a hard wood cabinet and looked kind of like the fancy dresser your grandmother brought over on a steamer from the Old World.

My Dad would play Sinatra on it, my brother, ten years older than me, the Beatles and my Mom, Country Music. I can identify most Rock and Country songs and the singer of the era in an instant, placing them not only in the year they were a hit, but also the season, spring, summer, or winter. As a kid, my parents took me to see Johnny Cash and Buck Owens in concert in Des Moines. Now that was a musical education.

In the 70s my brother and I played in bar bands. Though we thought of ourselves as Rock and Rollers, much of our repertoire, out of necessity was Country Western. I have to admit that Classic of the 60s and 70s has always been my first choice, but in recent years I’ve come to love Classic Country as well. This blog is loving nostalgia, an ode to a musical era that exists now only in our memories, and on YouTube. Thank God for YouTube.

There are not a lot of blogs that talk about Classic Country Music. This is going to be one of them.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Country-Rock Hall Of Fame – The Everly Brothers

Our ninth selection to the Country-Rock Hall Of Fame is The Everly Brothers. With Don and Phil Everly’s background in traditional Country and as early founders of Rock and Roll, The Everly Brothers were a natural in the nascent Country-Rock music that swept southern California in the late 1960s. Their Roots album from 1968 is one of the earliest classics of Country-Rock. Much of their music from this era went unreleased until recent years. Luckily it can now be found in the box set collection Chained To A Memory.


Country-Rock Hall Of Hall – Rick Nelson

Rick Nelson was both incredibly talented and difficult to categorize as a performer. A natural, laconic actor who grew up in front of the camera, he became a Rock and Roll founder and brought the outlaw music into America’s living rooms every week and made it seem safe for the kids. After turning out a string of classic Rock hits, Rick turned to Country-Rock in the mid and late 1960s and numbered Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles and Jackson Browne among those who were influenced by him. Rick is a natural selection to the Country-Rock Hall Of Fame’s original ten inductees. His song Garden Party is a classic of the genre. We hope someday to see him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well. Here’s a rare clip of  Rick and the Stone Canyon Band performing live in 1969. We miss you Rick.


Official Website

In Flanders Fields – A Song By Infinitely More – The Great War

Continuing our remembrance of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, In Flanders Fields – a song by Infinitely More.

Gerald Flemming (of Infinitely More) wrote this beautiful music to the classic words of In Flanders Fields.
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Gerald Flemming – guitar, vocals, songwriter
Allison Lynn – vocals

Check out their website and music