Tag Archives: Larry Hagman

Dates and Jams

3 Sep

My friend over at Serendipity created a great post, and I, like any good blogger, am going to copy it. She found a site called Birthday Jams that will tell you what was at the top of the charts on the day that you were born.

On my day of birth, The Supremes had “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” hanging out in the Number One spot. However, it gets better. In the United Kingdom, Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra hit big with the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I knew I liked that movie for some reason.

As I fiddled with the site, I started to wonder about what people were jamming to when big events happened. For example, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 20, 1969. Do you know what song was tops in the land on that day? “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon became the first president to resign from office. As he flew off in his helicopter, somebody was listening to “Feel Like Makin’ Love” by Roberta Flack. Nixon also posed in one of the greatest photographs of all time with Elvis Presley.Elvis Nixon

A few years later, the nation was saddened by the death of Elvis, who had a ton of Number One hits. On August 16, 1977, the day he passed away, “Best of My Love” by The Emotions was playing on radios everywhere.

Elvis’ career began when he walked into Sun Studios. He struggled for a while but finally got into a groove on July 5, 1954 when he recorded “That’s All Right.” The nation did not know what was about to hit them. All they knew was that Kitty Kallen had a huge hit with “Little Things Mean a Lot.”

Obviously, December 7, 1941 is a huge date in American history. The Japanese attacked the island of Oahu and our base at Pearl Harbor. The nation was about to enter a war that had been raging for a couple of years. It was also the day that people were listening to “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller.

On December 15, 1944, Miller’s plane disappeared somewhere over the English Channel. On that day, Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots hit with “I’m Making Believe.”

On September 10 1993, a television show debuted that asked us to believe. As The X-Files started its rise to popularity, “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey hit the peak of the charts.

Of course, that was a few years after Larry Hagman first dreamed of Jeannie. That show went on the air on September 18, 1965, which was the same time that The Beatles did not need any “Help!”

Of course, The Beatles would break up and go on to solo careers. Tragically, John Lennon’s life was cut short on December 8, 1980. On that day, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers was sitting at Number One.

Rogers used his popularity to transition into movies. None of them were very good, but Six Pack was one of the worst. It hit the screens on July 16, 1982. Listening to “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League had to be better than watching that film.

I reckon this exercise needs to eventually come to an end, and that will happen with one more date.

I am not going to release the date of my wife’s birth, but that event turned out to be important in my life. In other words, it needs to be recognized. One way to do that is to tell you that Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” was the big hit of the day. By the way, her name is not Rosie.

Childhood Memories – Dallas

27 Nov

The death of Larry Hagman brought to mind another television related childhood memory. My family, like many others, was totally addicted to Dallas and the ongoing saga of the Ewing clan.

The family that preys together stays together.

The family consisted of characters that defined a city, a network and a decade. Of course, Hagman was the star as J.R. Ewing, oldest and most devious son. He went after oil and women with the same furor.

However, Jock, the patriarch played by Jim Davis, truly led the family. I always thought that the show lost something when Davis passed away. I also felt bad because Davis had spent a career as a character actor before finally gaining a starring role.

When Jock died, Miss Ellie took over as leader of the family. Barbara Bel Geddes, a veteran actress, played her as a motherly figure with a streak of toughness. She was the real owner of Southfork Ranch.

Patrick Duffy played Bobby, the other son who worked in the oil business. He was not a ruthless or as smart as J.R., but he was a Ewing and could do what needed to be done.

Pamela, played by Victoria Principal, was Bobby’s wife. The first episode showed why this was such a big deal. Bobby eloped and came home with the daughter of Digger Barnes, Jock’s archenemy, and the sister of Cliff Barnes, J.R.’s archenemy.

Speaking of wives, Sue Ellen, played by Linda Gray, was the former beauty queen and long-suffering spouse of J.R. He chased women, and she responded by getting drunk. However, Sue Ellen fought back by having a few affairs of her own.

Lucy, played by Charlene Tilton, was another Ewing at Southfork. She was the daughter of Gary Ewing, the son who couldn’t stand the oil business and escaped to Knots Landing. As a growing boy, she was my favorite character.

Steve Kanaly played Ray Krebbs, Jock’s favorite ranch hand. He started out as an evil character but transformed into a good guy. The series began with him in the hayloft with Lucy, but later it is discovered that he was her uncle.

I remember all of those characters well, but a few other things stand out in my childhood memory. One was the opening credits with the classic Dallas theme. It interspersed scenes from the city of Dallas with the characters, and I couldn’t wait until they showed the field of my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. When my dad took me to a game in Texas Stadium, part of me thought I would see J.R. at the game.

I also remember “Who Shot J.R.?”, the original cliffhanger. Everybody spent the summer wondering who shot him. What stands out to me? I figured it out. It was Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen’s sister. Want some real trivia? Kristin was played by Mary Crosby, the daughter of Bing Crosby.

So, there is my ode to Dallas. Rest in Peace, Larry Hagman. You brought us some great memories. If J.R. could have bought Jeannie from Tony Nelson, then there’s no telling what he could have accomplished.