Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Archive for the month “April, 2013”


George Jones died today.  If your notion of country music only goes back 10 years or so, this post might not be for you.

As people started to react to the news, I noticed there was some surprise at how old George was.  He was 81 but he lived the hell out of those 81 years.

Here is George from 1962:

How cool was that?  Straight forward.  Just a man and his guitar and that incredible voice.  I am an old school country music fan.  That video is such a wonderful example of how country music was delivered on tv back then.

Between that video and this next one, George Jones had a fairly eventful life. All of it was affected by his  drinking. He was called “No Show” because of the gigs he missed due to his dedication to the bottle.

There is a funny/sad story of the day his second wife hid all the keys to their vehicles so George could not drive to the liquor store.  Undeterred, he drove his riding mower into town.

All that living like a country song was hard on him and the people around him, both personally and professionally. As he did battle with his demons and his popularity began to suffer, a song was brought to his attention. He hated the song.  It was too morbid. It took forever to get a decent take of it.

Trust me though on this.  There was not a jukebox worth  its salt that didn’t have this song on it.

This was released just before  the Urban Cowboy craze took hold.  Bars made room for mechanical bulls. Guys who had no business wearing cowboy hats were wearing them everywhere. There was a surge in the popularity of country music thanks to the movie.

Maybe it takes a lifetime of hard living to deliver a performance like this one:

That song cemented George Jones as a legend in country music.

He was in the middle of a tour when his health failed him.

I didn’t mention his marriage to Tammy Wynette.  She was a country music superstar and her song “Stand By Your Man” is known by all. Three notes in, you know what is coming. George and Tammy had a daughter, Georgette.  She is a singer and made a video with her Dad from a song she wrote.

I think this is a nice way to end this post.

RIP Possum






Friday Potpourri Vol. 20

Roger Ebert died Thursday.

He made movie reviewing interesting along with his friend and colleague, Gene Siskel.  They had a long running tv show until Gene’s death several years ago.

They had a real passion for movies. As is evidenced by this clip:

My only complaint about Roger and his reviews was that you couldn’t really read one before you saw the movie.  He almost always gave away too much.

His last piece for the Chicago Sun-Times was two days ago.  It was filled with future plans.  I won’t quote from it here.  If you see it linked to on the internet, you should take a moment and read it.

In other news, I watched Lawrence O’Donnell’s show on MSNBC Thursday night.  He was touting the fact that Martin Short was going to be on.  I love Martin Short.  He is wildly funny. Quick and clever.  I thought this would be great.

Turned out there was a slight problem, Lawrence didn’t know how to get out of the way and let Martin do his stuff.

The last segment was supposed to be Martin Short talking about the late night talk show shuffle.

Instead, Lawrence spent most of it showing clips of Leno and Fallon.

I was outraged and took my complaint to Twitter where I said the following, “I like how Lawrence showed Martin Short  clips of other people attempting humor. He would show Rembrandt Bob Ross videos.”

Followed by this tweet,”Watch Rembrandt! See, he puts a tree wherever he wants.  Oops, we ran out of time to watch you paint.”

I shouldn’t be surprised  that an NBC station wouldn’t recognize the potential for comedy.

One last thing. I was looking at the obituaries as we old folks do, when a name popped up from my childhood.

My first babysitter passed away this week.  Sue lived next door to us with her family. I guess she was in high school when she babysat for us. The obit listed her age as 66 so she was ten years older than me.

She was always good with us. Always smiling.

I don’t remember seeing her after we moved away from there. So it was interesting to see that she had raised six kids of her own.  She had ten grandchildren. Worked at General Electric for 32 years. 66 is just too young to go.  You invest all that time in raising a family, there should be time to sit back and enjoy it.

She probably wouldn’t be amused that the people who wrote her obit spelled her maiden name three different ways. Or maybe, she would.

Anyway, you kids keep breathing. I can’t afford to lose any of you.


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