Saturday, December 30, 2006

Post 550

"He may be mad, but there's method in his madness. There nearly always is method in madness. It's what drives men mad, being methodical."
G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Weekend Update

Only two days on the air this week. Once I get settled in the chair, I'll feel more comfortable and confident. That should start happening this week. Looking forward to a good new year.

This is Mizzou football. I have always followed Mizzou. What an incredible puke job the Tigers did yesterday in the whatever whatever bowl they were in. Up by two touchdowns against an overmatched Oregon State team, they lose on a two point conversion and a horrible coach's decision. How pathetic but how expected. They could have ended up wuith a final record of 9-4. 8-5 again. Great! Gary Pinkel has lost the last two games after signing a gazillion year extension on his contract. How Mizzou.

This is Rich Brooks. Rich Brooks was the first coach of the Rams when they skedaddled out of L.A. I always liked Rich but got the impression he was like the Jimmy Carter of coaches. What I mean by that is they are both really decent nice guys but not assholes enough to be a good, effective leader. He has done a nice job at Kentucky which won this year's Music City Bowl (in Nashville). I wish him well.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy 100th Dad

December 27, 1906 my father was born to Charles and Lucille (nee Webster) Raley. For their time, these guys seemed to do OK. Apparently there was a lot of love between his parents. They were together till a massive heart attack killed Charles in 1953. He was born and raised in a plantation atmosphere in rural Kentucky not far from where Abraham Lincoln grew up. My father was a man of few words and from what I gather, not at home much. He certainly wasn't around much for us kids, but he worked the same job day after day year after year at International Harvester in East Moline Il. He was a good man but didn't show much love. He paid his bills and always had food on the table every night. He died when I was 21 and him being fifty years older than me, we didn't see eye to eye much. That's OK, I still loved him.

My dad as a child, he's on the right, his older brother Charles is on the left and the gentleman in the middle is their "help".

My dad and his family. He got the "short" gene. thanks.

My dad, my brother and me. Have I thrown up yet?

My dad and mom. 1965. He was 20 years older than her. I used to win bets by saying that my grandmother was younger than my dad. My mother's mother was younger than my dad. A fact my grandfather could NOT live with til the day he died.
Yeah, that's me in the background.

I wonder what you'd say, how you'd feel and most importantly, what you'd think. Have I done OK? Are you proud of me? Vickie? Did I do the right thing? You have the answers now. How's Butch..Mom? What I wouldn't give for 30 seconds...

Monday, December 25, 2006

R. I. P. James Brown

The Godfather has moved on....
Legendary Singer James Brown Dies at 73
Dec 25 10:10 AM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer

James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a giant of R&B and an inspiration for rap, funk and disco, died early Christmas morning. He was 73.
Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music. Copsidas said the cause of death was uncertain. "We really don't know at this point what he died of," he said.
Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At least one generation idolized him, and sometimes openly copied him. His rapid- footed dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson among others. Songs such as David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss," George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" were clearly based on Brown's rhythms and vocal style.
"He was an innovator, he was an emancipator, he was an originator. Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown," entertainer Little Richard, a longtime friend of Brown's, told MSNBC. "A great treasure is gone."
If Brown's claim to the invention of soul can be challenged by fans of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, then his rights to the genres of rap, disco and funk are beyond question. He was to rhythm and dance music what Dylan was to lyrics: the unchallenged popular innovator.
"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told The Associated Press. "To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close."
His hit singles include such classics as "Out of Sight," "(Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Say It Loud _ I'm Black and I'm Proud," a landmark 1968 statement of racial pride.
"I clearly remember we were calling ourselves colored, and after the song, we were calling ourselves black," Brown said in a 2003 Associated Press interview. "The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song can change society."
He won a Grammy award for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as Grammys in 1965 for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (best R&B recording) and for "Living In America" in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance, male.) He was one of the initial artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.
He triumphed despite an often unhappy personal life. Brown, who lived in Beech Island, S.C., near the Georgia line, spent more than two years in prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police officer. After his release in 1991, Brown said he wanted to "try to straighten out" rock music.
From the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, "Please, Please, Please" in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of cross-country tours, concerts and new songs. He earned the nickname "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" and often tried to prove it to his fans, said Jay Ross, his lawyer of 15 years.
Brown would routinely lose two or three pounds each time he performed and kept his furious concert schedule in his later years even as he fought prostate cancer, Ross said.
"He'd always give it his all to give his fans the type of show they expected," he said.
With his tight pants, shimmering feet, eye makeup and outrageous hair, Brown set the stage for younger stars such as Michael Jackson and Prince.
In 1986, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And rap stars of recent years overwhelmingly have borrowed his lyrics with a digital technique called sampling.
Brown's work has been replayed by the Fat Boys, Ice-T, Public Enemy and a host of other rappers. "The music out there is only as good as my last record," Brown joked in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
"Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me," he told the AP in 2003.
Born in poverty in Barnwell, S.C., in 1933, he was abandoned as a 4- year-old to the care of relatives and friends and grew up on the streets of Augusta, Ga., in an "ill-repute area," as he once called it. There he learned to wheel and deal.
"I wanted to be somebody," Brown said.
By the eighth grade in 1949, Brown had served 3 1/2 years in Alto Reform School near Toccoa, Ga., for breaking into cars.
While there, he met Bobby Byrd, whose family took Brown into their home. Byrd also took Brown into his group, the Gospel Starlighters. Soon they changed their name to the Famous Flames and their style to hard R&B.
In January 1956, King Records of Cincinnati signed the group, and four months later "Please, Please, Please" was in the R&B Top Ten.
Pete Allman, a radio personality in Las Vegas who had been friends with Brown for 15 years, credited Brown with jump-starting his career and motivating him personally and professionally.
"He was a very positive person. There was no question he was the hardest working man in show business," Allman said. "I remember Mr. Brown as someone who always motivated me, got me reading the Bible."
While most of Brown's life was glitz and glitter _ he was the singing preacher in 1980's "The Blues Brothers" _ he was plagued with charges of abusing drugs and alcohol and of hitting his third wife, Adrienne.
In September 1988, Brown, high on PCP and carrying a shotgun, entered an insurance seminar next to his Augusta office. Police said he asked seminar participants if they were using his private restroom.
Police chased Brown for a half-hour from Augusta into South Carolina and back to Georgia. The chase ended when police shot out the tires of his truck.
Brown received a six-year prison sentence. He spent 15 months in a South Carolina prison and 10 months in a work release program before being paroled in February 1991. In 2003, the South Carolina parole board granted him a pardon for his crimes in that state.
Soon after his release, Brown was on stage again with an audience that included millions of cable television viewers nationwide who watched the three-hour, pay-per-view concert at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.
Adrienne Brown died in 1996 in Los Angeles at age 47. She took PCP and several prescription drugs while she had a bad heart and was weak from cosmetic surgery two days earlier, the coroner said.
More recently, he married his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, one of his backup singers. The couple had a son, James Jr.
Two years later, Brown spent a week in a private Columbia hospital, recovering from what his agent said was dependency on painkillers. Brown's attorney, Albert "Buddy" Dallas, said the singer was exhausted from six years of road shows.
Brown was performing to the end, and giving back to his community.
Three days before his death, he joined volunteers at his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, and he planned to perform on New Year's Eve at B.B. King Blues Club in New York.
"He was dramatic to the end _ dying on Christmas Day," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a friend of Brown's since 1955. "Almost a dramatic, poetic moment. He'll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My 50th Christmas

Fifty Christmasses. I swear I can remember all of them. When I was a very young man, my mother had a tradition of making anise candy. Of course both the red anise candy and green anise candy would be represented. Anise candy drives the rest of my family nuts but I cannot smell that scent without being magically transported back in my 13th Christmas, when we made 127 pounds of anise candy and it snowed about 13 inches the day before Christmas eve. School was letting out early anyway and we got a very special treat. It snowed and snowed and snowed. Being in a rural area, this was always a treat for me because we would get very innovative in our wintertime amusement. Like taking cardboard that we had saved up over the summer and using it (wax side down)as a handy dandy sled. You could end up across the road when conditions were right. It would be so quiet when it showed in the country. The silence would be deafening. My brother was in Vietnam and he was supposed to be coming home with his new son. This was in Ava, when we lived 4.34 miles from nowhere. The snow was piling up and I was sure the news was bad. He had to fly into Springfield and then by the Grace of God get 60 miles away in a driving snowstorm. My grandfather (God rest his profane soul) went to get him in a Chevy truck of dubious reliability. I could only 21 year old brother (just home from Vietnam and then this happens), his wife and son in the front seat of a basically one seat truck with my tobacco chewing grandfather cussin and spittin and bitchin all the time.
The night grew late and no sign. Finally right before it became Christmas day, the back door flew open and in walked my brother carrying his fresh, shiny new boy. Followed closely behind by my grandfather and by brothers wife. For some reason I gathered by the looks on the faces of the people who had just walked in the door, that it had been one long trip. My mother cried, I don't think my Dad did. He waited two weeks later when my brother had to fly back to Southeast Asia. That was the first time of only two times that I saw my Dad shed a tear.

...or like my 12th Christmas. We made 56 pounds of anise candy. The Apollo Ten crew was flying around the moon and sending back pictures that were unbelievable. The only problem was that we were 60 miles from the nearest TV tower. Thank goodness we were on a hill, but the reception was tolerable at best. I was a huge follower of the space program back then, from Mercury to Gemini to Apollo. I even did my science project in fifth grade by making a very cool, realistic model of the solar system. It was an award winner. We got to open one present on Christmas Eve and I happened to open my 4" reel to reel taperecorder. I can remember to this very day how stoked I was to be able to tape stuff off of the television (little did a know I was violating numerous FCC and Federal laws). Especially an event like this. I had a whole collection of junk I taped like Hendrix on Mike Douglas and other crap. Anyway, I digress.. They were reading from the book of Genesis and B.J. Thomas' "Hooked On A Feeling" was all over the AM radio. I got a hockey game for Christamas and my brother joined us from Germany. I would play hockey with my sister as different teams and then I would make standings and stats and post them in my bedroom. What an idiot! That year was the year the I went to a barbershop in Ava and got a haircut. Nothing out of the ordinary there but..the next thing I new, I was bald. Apparently, I had made my way into this establishment right after a Christmas party. Lucky me. My brother was in the Army, and my hair was shorter than his. Both of my parents, my brother and my grandmother and grandfather were alive and that makes it very bittersweet. It was a tough time growing up like that; it was a pretty lonely existence and I remember feeling very isolated and removed. And for a guy that just developed a horrible case of acne after having been blessed with glasses the summer before, I retreated into the comfort of "my room with the radio."

This is a good Christmas. My family is healthy and happy, most of my friends seem to be in good spirit, although I wish employment of some rewarding kind for the radio people out of work. There are some incredibly talented individuals not working and it sucks. I am blessed to be working and being able to be creative.

I am VERY thankful!

Merry Christmas.

Create Your Own Caption

Why I Moved South

Right Place, Right Time

Amazing sight in the South Pacific

August 2006, the yacht 'Maiken' is travelling in the south Pacific when they came across a weird sight...It was sand in the water, and floating ON TOP of the waves...

This is not a beach, it is volcanic stones floating on the water.

The trail left by the yacht.

And then this was spotted... ash and steam rising from the ocean...

And while they were watching..a new island formed

A plume of black ash...and life begins in the middle on the ocean. How cool.

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