Wynn's Weekend Watch - 20 Years Ago This Week #1
Box Office – The Marksman / The Croods
#1 Last Year This Date - Bad Boys For Life
All 5 seasons - Of The Muppet Show start streaming on Disney+ on February 19th! (Story)
NOPE - There will not be a Bridesmaids 2 (Story)
Godzilla VS. King Kong - The previews are out this week
A Julia Child - TV series is coming to HBO Max. (Story)
Top Two Westerns - Of all time #2 Unforgiven - 1992 and The Searchers - 1956 (List)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane (link)
Jen asked me if I have told Tracy Byrd's story yet as he was her favorite in the 1990's. Good time to do it. He was a star that had a very interesting story. Legend says he recorded a Hank Williams SR. song at a recording studio at a local mall in the early 90's, that led to a talent contest with a Nashville record label.
Byrd had a nice career through the 90's that had some gigantic success. From what I remember when he had a big hit - he had a BIG hit. But one thing is for sure, he found fans and a few of his songs became anthems for that particular year, and some for the entire decade. He was in that same group as Mark Chesnutt, Doug Stone, Joe Diffie, Clay Walker and others, that showed up during country's biggest decade, with the biggest stars ever hogging a lot of the spotlight. But much of his music would be big in any era.
Holdin' Heaven - First Number One!
Byrd was from Texas, and he was traditional country make no mistake. His first album had two misfires with the first two singles, then a song called Holdin' Heaven was released as the third single and it went #1, and that song took the album to gold status. It was a nice little song that was catchy and was easy to remember with a slick video that not only captured the era beautifully but helped define it. It set the stage for the next album that became a huge success. It also showcased how likable his voice was. Byrd had a great look, with a big Texas hat, and the trendy Country wear of the era. He looked like Texas, and fans ate it up.
Watermelon Crawl - Was a Gigantic Hit!
No Ordinary Man came out in 1994 and Byrd became an instant contender. The four singles off of it were big songs, with great charting and popular success. Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous, and The First Step were cool songs, but the other two were huge. Watermelon Crawl was a sensation. It was a big hit on the radio, it was in the dance halls, it had its own line dance, and it was played by every local band on earth, (still is) listeners LOVED it. It became one of those anthems of the decade. And so did the last single, Keeper Of The Stars. It was an enormous hit, and became a staple at weddings everywhere in the country. Funny, they didn't plan to have that be a single, but Byrd wanted it to be as it was popular at his live shows. It is still one of the most requested older songs at most stations. The album was multi-platinum and hugely popular.
Keeper Of The Stars - Biggest Wedding Song Of The 1990's
The next couple years were good to Byrd, great songs like Love Lessons, (which is song I l love) Heaven In My Womans Eyes, and the old Johnny Paycheck song, Don't Take Her She's All I Got were good radio songs. And those albums were successful and Byrd was now a regular on the charts. But the next album, I'm From The Country hit in 1997. The title song to me, is one of the signature songs of the 1990's. It only went to #3, but I can't think of a single artist that wouldn't have LOVED to have that song. But it ended up where it should have. That song was recorded as most of that album was already done, it changed the albums name, and direction. That song is as much of an anthem as any song of the late 1990's.
One Of The Anthems Of The Decade....
Byrd flew high for a few of more years with varying levels of success, There were record label changes, some more hits, greatest hit albums and other projects. But country was pivoting again in the early 2000's, as styles were changing musically and in image. But Byrd had a great run for a number of years. His voice was recognizable, as were a bunch of his songs. Some of his songs were absolutely influential to many young artists coming up. Funny, when we emcee concerts at Blossom, Country Fest, or The Q, and the music is playing well before the show, I hear Tracy Byrd music as much as any.
Love Lessons - A Great Country Love Song
As big of a star as he was, I wonder in another era, without Garth, Alan, Clint, Toby, George and Shania, how huge would some of these other stars be? We will never know, but I do know this. Throughout the 1990's, I'm sure there were times the giants of the era had song envy from Byrd. He recorded some songs everybody wished they had. He contended well, and gave us some monstrous songs of country's biggest decade. And that alone is proof, he left his own mark as much as anyone.
I have been sharing stories of my mom from time to time. She is 93 now, and in good physical condition, but her memory is really not good and getting worse all the time. She has great, qualified 24 hour care at her house now and we are thank thankful for that. I know many of you have gone through the same situation we are, that's the reason I share this.
Windy and I visited her a few days ago, and had a nice time with her. My mom among other things was a college professor, an actress, and a darn good artist. She designed and built a huge room addition to her home years ago that was an art studio, (She did it at 75). She then designed another room addition that is now a suite in her home she when she was 78! She has done hundreds of paintings there, and painted furniture too. She has had her work on display at many area restaurants and coffee houses. She has sold a bunch, and has sold a lot of the painted furniture as well. She is remarkably talented, well she's been doing it for about 75 years.
We asked her if she could do a small painting project for us, make a small sign we had in mind for our home. She said she would and we were thrilled. But we found out later, that she just can't do it anymore, and that is a tough one to swallow. Her brain just can't do this incredible thing she was gifted with. She has not admitted it, but we know. There is a project that she was doing in her studio that has been stopped of restoring the old wooden front door from 1947 from her 168 year old home. And the small sign, the attempts, well, not good.
This Table Is In Our House - But she has far larger and more elaborate pieces than this!
I'm not so sure it bothers her, in fact I'm not so sure she remembers the great work she has done for decades. But we all do. All of us in our family and countless other friends and family have her work in our houses. Her work is in the Berea Historical Society, Baldwin Wallace University buildings, and the Lakewood Board of Education, where she attended school in the 1930's and 1940's. And even though it may seemingly not bother her, it's not easy to watch. Such talent.
She Was 91 When This Was Taken - She was still doing amazing artwork still
We all know how this will play out as we are all big boys and girls here. But it seemed no matter how old she was, or whatever was going on with her, she always had her art. We never thought she could forget the unforgettable. I'm just thankful we all have some in our homes to enjoy for generations to come.
I saw this and at first I could not believe it, then upon further review, I could. The average American would need a full sized dumpster to do their spring cleaning! Holy smokes!
Why is it we can't get rid of anything? It is a new rage that I can't understand. Then I walked around and I thought, you know that just might be right! But just in case you need some help with your winter cleaning, here's a link for you.
The Browns lost a tough game on Sunday and that's a shame. Great season, and a hard fought game. The Browns had a number of chances to win that game Sunday at Kansas City, but just couldn't get it done. The officiating DID NOT lose this game for the Browns. It was a great game, and a tough finish.
But every year in the NFL Post Season there is an instance that is so amplified it triggers an off season look. Instant replay goes back to a post season playoff game with Buffalo and New England many years ago. What a catch is -goes back to a Packers / Cowboys game a few years ago. (WE still don't really know what a catch is). And pass interference was screwed up so badly two years ago with the Rams / Saints, we may never know what really happened there. And now the fumble touch back rule will more thank likely be rethought.
When you fumble the ball out of the end zone as the Browns did on Sunday, you lose possession of the ball and the other team gets a 20 yard advantage. It is the MOST penalized play in football, and it's not even a penalty. Just saying, when two players get into a huge fight on the field, or the most violent personal fouls happen in the NFL, there is far less penalty than this play. Very strange rule. Name another play where the other team is awarded the ball for you making a big play.
How about this? Fumble touch back happens. You keep the ball and you take the ball back to the 20 yard line. That's still a 20 yard penalty on you, but you keep the ball. OR make it a spot foul, where the ball goes back to original line of scrimmage OR the spot of the fumble, and you keep the ball. Makes way more sense. The way it is now, the opposing team is rewarded the ball for playing bad defense.
I have not cared for this rule for many years and now it will reviewed by the league. But more than likely as most rule changes in the NFL, they will get it wrong. They seldom get it right with this stuff when most things are subjective. But this is not. This is pretty easy, if they simply look at it logically.
Today is a big day for Browns fans around here and all over the country. The Browns have advanced in the NFL Playoffs, and it's time to move on to the next level.
I am so glad we get the Chiefs today. I know they are the champs, and I know they are the darlings of the NFL. But what better way for the Browns to move on, and command the respect of everyone than to beat the Chiefs. This week, the Browns have taken a huge leap forward by not only eliminating Steelers, but possibly changing THAT franchise for the next few years. The Steelers have to reshape who they are now, that is clear. They know Browns are for real, and are here to stay. The days of the Steelers having a 14 or 12 game schedule (Browns and Bengals) are over.
I'm not here saying that the Browns are going to win the Superbowl this year, because the NFL can be a stair step deal. Seems teams get better, they make the playoffs, they lose. The next year they win a playoff game, and then get eliminated. The next year, they go father, and so on. And even though history can show that's the way it generally goes, there's no rule that says it has to be that way. Not many teams come out of nowhere and win it all - in any sport. But what if these Browns are a bit different? We as fans should not be wary of the Chiefs. We should respect them, and prepare for them, and then go out and beat them. There is no rule that says we can't.
When it comes to the Browns, I am not of the mindset of, "I'm happy to be here," or "Whatever happens today, it's been a great season," or "I support my team win or lose." To me, that's preparing for a loss, and I'm not there. I say we've earned our place, we've been invited to the party, and it's time to stop knocking at the door, and now it's time to kick it down. The best part of the NFL Playoffs is that it's not a best of series. It's one and done. Play well for a few games and you can win it all. And that plays to the Browns favor, as they are playing good ball right now. If they play like who they are, there is no reason they can't dispense of the Chiefs and move on.
I know, the clowns at ESPN and all the other sports channels already have the Chiefs repeating, three-peating, and Mahomes is already the greatest player of all time. But as great of a young player as he is, and will be if he stays injury free, the Browns are on fire from within. He's not entitled to a title, and neither are we. We gotta go get it. This is the time of year that the heart can really play a part. It isn't about how much you want it. Everyone wants it, no matter what team you're talking about, that's a given.
It's how much you want - to be who you are. To do the right things to win a game like this. To be smart, be disciplined, be physical, to play with no big mistakes, and to play free and easy. And from what I see, I don't think the Browns care one bit who they play this week, or next week.
And to me that is the way you move on. Not thinking about next Sunday, this Sunday, but knowing that next Sunday you'll be doing the same thing again.
GO BROWNS - Be who you are - and win from within!
Wynn's Weekend Watch - 2 Years Ago Today #1 At The Box Office
Box Office - Croods / News Of The World / Monster Hunter
New This Week - Liam Neeson - The Marksman
Netflix - Is releasing a new movie every week this year. (Story)
Netflix Red Notice - Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Preview for all below)
Netflix - Don’t Look Up - Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence
Netflix - The Harder They Fall - Starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Zazie Beetz
Netflix - Thunder Force - Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, and Melissa Leo.
Stranger Things Season 4 - Comes out on August 21st! (Story)
Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte - Are set to star in a Sex & the City revival on HBO Max called And Just Like That. (Samantha is not a part of the story) (Story)
Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem - May be starring in a new Lucy and Desi new biopic. (Story)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane (link)
Johnny C. asked me whatever happened to country band Highway 101. They had a very short, but very successful run. Being honest, it had been a while since I thought of them, and it was fun to look back. I was a big fan.
This Was An Iconic Pic Of Them
They were founded in 1986, and at the center of it was a very unique and talented singer named Paulette Carlson from Northfield, Minnesota. As a group they were a highly skilled 4 piece band of terrific studio musicians and vocalists (Which means basically, the best) that had a bunch of hits in a very short time, including a few number ones. Fantastic song choices, a slick sound, and a dynamite lead singer (Carlson) with a very distinct voice that really cut through and told you absolutely you were hearing Highway 101. Tough to do then, as country bands were coming out quickly, following the great lead of Alabama. Her voice wasn't perfect, but it was beyond perfect for them. She instantly became a star, and the entire format was taken with her performances on their songs.
Their Debut Single Was A Big Part Of Their Success
They, as much as any act I can remember really benefited from their debut single, The Bed You Made For Me. It raced up to number 4 on the charts, (should have been a #1) but new fans LOVED that song (and her) as it really spoke to a ton of people as a gritty, strong and honest cheatin' song. It was a perfect decision, as the song was endearing to listeners with the stinging subject matter, while others loved the jaggedness of their sound and the decision not to make it a sad ballad, but a song of strength. That single cut through both as a written song, as well as ushering in a new sound that was fresh and exceedingly different. Their debut album Highway 101 was terrific with three more hits, Whiskey, If You Were A Woman, Somewhere Tonight, and Cry, Cry, Cry all big songs and all a part of having them win the CMA for Vocal Group Of The Year 1988.
Very Big Song - Well Written And Perfectly Performed
Many people, including me and those I worked with at that time felt that Carlson's voice was very reminiscent of Pop Icon, Stevie Nicks. Although it was not a perfect match, it had the same tone and timber of Nicks. A few notes lower than most and really edgy. That made Nicks a star years earlier and it was going to make Carlson a star as well. That kind of uniqueness is darn rare. H101 followed up their first album with their second album 101(2). (Do You Love Me), Just Say Yes went number 1, and three more singles all going top 10. They were really flying high, and seemed ready to settle in and dominate for years to come. But it was not to be.
I Loved This Song - Big Hit - They Were Rolling
The next album, Paint The Town was a success, but not like the first two, and then the group was dealt a serious blow. Carlson left the band to go solo in 1990. There have been many speculative reasons why, but none of that matters today and Highway 101 was forever changed. She was replaced by Nikki Nelson. And to no fault of Nelson's, they never really recovered. Carlson's presence and uniqueness was the total centerpiece of their large success, and fans knew it. The music that followed was fine but different, it just wasn't the same to fans and success slowed way down. Fans wanted to hear Carlson sing their hits. Nelson was put in a very, very tough place.
What A GREAT Song!
Observation - Carlson's solo career didn't blossom on the charts, and Highway 101 struggled. In all my decades of being in this format I have never really seen a successful solo career from a lead singer who left a successful band. It has been tried dozens of times and after a song or two it doesn't work out. Fans don't like it when members leave, and many times the magic is lost with the band left behind. And that's what happened to Highway 101. There were many other personnel changes to the band, (including Carlson returning years later) and that went on for many years, but it was never the same.
Early Success - What A Sound
For a few years though Highway 101 was as hot as any country band that came out in a long time. They had a sound, they were young, and they had an energy about them that fans liked. They also had a lot of people cheering for them, me included. I loved their definite, and original sound and the fact they were different. They were apart from, Shenandoah, The Desert Rose Band, Southern Pacific, Confederate Railroad and others. There was a very talented woman out front that gave them a different heartbeat in terms of sound and equally as important the subject matter to sing about. She was different from every other woman on the radio then, and I think one of the best vocalists we've had in many years. What a marriage. That voice, singing country music. It was perfect.
There was a time, be it way too short Highway 101 was the real deal.
Hey, as far as I'm concerned we can have National Pizza Week every week, but since someone brilliant set aside this week in January as the official week, let's talk pie!
My friend and partner, Sarah Kay asked me this morning off the air, where some of my favorite pizza was, and I went with Blasiole's in Streetsboro. It is simply delicious! Being honest, I have not tried every pizza place in the greater metro area, (has anyone??) but I have had a bunch, and there's, to me is delicious. I think that's the fun part of the pizza discussion. To me, great pizza places are the ones that are regional and have their loyal fan bases. It's fun to talk about your favorite place and compare notes with your friends and co-workers. That's how you learn about new places you haven't tried yet!
And there is no wrong answer. Pizza is a subjective thing, and we all have our certain likes and tastes. Even the big boys have their fans, and that's fine too. I simply like pizza. And during this strange time we have been living through, pizza places have done pretty well. Pizza can be delivered hot and fresh - they seem to have that down. Pizza is delicious, and it's one of the few things on earth we can all still agree on, it is a great unifier!
Blasiole's Pizza And Eatery on Rt. 43 in Streetsboro is fantastic. They serve a GREAT pizza and they some other amazing food as well. But for the sake of this writing, and this week, we focus on pizza. I moved to Streetsboro over a year ago, and I told Windy, I gotta find a great pizza joint, as I view it as an essential service, and she suggested Blasiole's. And that was good advice. We all seem to gravitate towards the place in our own hoods, and that's the way it should be.
No matter who yours is, please support your local, or national pizza place or joint this week, and every week. Where we get it from, can be a spirited discussion, and that's fine too.
Grab a slice!
Since we are all eating up a storm these days with the colder weather and after all, it is comfort food season you may be looking for some new recipes. I love a good sandwich, and even though Grilled Cheeses are amazing sometimes, at least for me they are a bit too much work for a simple sandwich. After all, I just want have a simple snack, and a sammy is quick and easy.
Greatest Grilled Cheese Recipe??
• White bread. Sea salt butter on outside. Shredded cheddar. Shredded mozzarella. Shredded asiago. Thin slice of Swiss. Soft cooked bacon. Smoked sea salt.
• Toast the bread in a toaster. Slice up some cheddar and put it right on the toast. Splash some Worcestershire sauce over the top, and put it under the grill until the cheese is browned.