Friday, December 02, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Christine McVie died this week. No cause of death as been given beyond "a brief illness." This is somewhat shocking, as she always struck me at the one who would outlive all the other members of Fleetwood Mac.

Growing up in rural Texas, we listened to both kinds of music--country *and* western. When I reached junior high and high school and realized most of my peers were listening to other kinds of music (what is pop? what is rock? what is R&B?) I kinda flailed for a while. But then one day in 1984 I was watching Showtime (we didn't get HBO) and back then they used to have a "Take 5" segment filling dead air between movies where they'd run music videos (we didn't get MTV then, either). And what came on by the video to McVie's second solo single, "Love Will Show Us How." I was immediately captivated by the exceptionally silly video, which poked a lot of fun at the cliches of all those other videos, most of which I'd never seen. But what stayed with me was the velvety texture of her voice. I've never really heard any other singer who sounded like her. That led me to our local record store (we did have record stores in those days) and I came away with her album on cassette. It was melodic. It was lyrically engaging. It shared much in common with McVie's Fleetwood Mac work, except that it didn't have that creative tension to take it to the next level. But still, solid music. From there, I discovered Fleetwood Mac (naturally), Billy Joel, Sheena Easton, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and my music obsession was born. But Christine McVie was my gateway drug, and for that I'll always be grateful.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Jane Wiedlin.

Now Playing: Fleetwood Mac Mirage
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Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Since I featured Belinda Carlisle here last week, it's only fitting that I follow up with her pixie-cut former bandmate, the effervescent Jane Weidlin. She had a fairly successful acting career after the Go-Go's broke up, so I suppose that's one reason she never put out much solo music. But when she did, it was fun stuff. Here's her first solo hit, the infectious and charming "Rush Hour."

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Belinda Carlisle.

Now Playing: Les Baxter Jungle Jazz
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Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

I saw Belinda Carlisle--former lead singer of the Go-Go's--perform in San Antonio last night. Her voice was in fine form and her moves were that of a 24-year-old, which belied her actual 64 years. It was a fun show, but just a few song in I was surprised to realize that she'd enojoyed far more hits as a solo artist than she ever did with the Go-Go's (yet she's still primarily thought of in relation to that group). This shouldn't have come as a surprise, since I remember the success of her solo career, but the brain gets set in its ways, does it not? So here's her first solo hit, "Mad About You," which came out the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. This video marks a strong break from her Go-Go's image. She's very femme, painfully cute and impossibly young. Yes, that's Duran Duran's Andy Taylor playing guitar, and for my tikiphile friends out there the album she's messing with is Yma Sumac! I mean, you couldn't get more obscure in 1986 if you tried. And I still think they should've used this as the theme song to Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt's sitcom of the same name.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Stan Getz.

Now Playing: The Go-Go's Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's
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Friday, November 04, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Stan Getz is, without a doubt, amongst my favorite jazz musicians of all time. I first encountered his work, naturally enough, through his bossa nova collaborations, but that quickly led me to his cool jazz work and boy oh boy, did I learn I absolutely love cool jazz. A brilliant performer from a young age, he was plagued all his life by addiction. Despite this persistent millstone, the man's tallent was damn near limitless. Here's the man performing "Windows" with the Stan Getz Quartet at Montreaux back in 1972.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Juice Newton.

Now Playing: Sammy Davis Jr. Seven Classic Albums
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Friday, October 28, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

In the early 1980s, Juice Newton absolutely dominated the airwaves. She had hit after hit, then all of the sudden she was gone. What happened to her? I'm not sure, but this video might offer a clue to her disappearance: "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me."

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets.

Now Playing: Various Artists Na Mele O Paniolo (Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy)
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Thursday, October 27, 2022

Chicken Ranch anniversary: Sheriff T.J. Flournoy (1902-1982)

On this date in 1982, Fayette County Sheriff T.J. "Jim" Flournoy died at the age of 80. Big Jim, as he was known, was the longest-serving sheriff in Fayette County history, had a two-year run as a Texas Ranger during World War II and several stints as a deputy in various jurisdictions. He shot to fame, of course, by defending the Chicken Ranch brothel when KTRK-TV newsman Marvin Zindler campaigned to shut it down. Zindler returned to La Grange on December 30, 1974 to do a follow-up story, and that's where he encountered Sheriff Flournoy. The altercation ended with the Sheriff stomping on Zindler's toupée in the middle of the street, and Zindler heading back to Houston with several cracked ribs. Lawsuits flew back and forth for years, before the two eventually settled out of court.

Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse is available from both Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. It's also available as an ebook in the following formats: Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.

Now Playing: Carmen Miranda Early Victor Singles
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Friday, October 21, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

I've been a Pink Floyd fan since my long-ago high school days. I missed the band's late 80s tour for Momentary Lapse of Reason but was fortunate enough to catch the Division Bell tour in 1994, which turned out to be the band's swan song. It was a technically magnificent show, but a bit impersonal (which is understandable, taking place in San Antonio's Alamodome). Now, several decades later, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason brought his Saucerful of Secrets group to Austin for a show in Bass Hall, focusing entirely on pre-Dark Side of the Moon material. I hope to do a full writeup in the near future, but let me just say here that it was magnificent. Fun, warm, personal and joyous. It was a marvelous show and amongst the many highlights was a fantastic rendition of "Fearless," which just so happens to be my favorite Pink Floyd song.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Le Trio Joubran.

Now Playing: Pink Floyd The Journey Suite
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