Box Office Results - Halloween Kills (50 Million)
New This Week - Dune / Rons Gone Wrong / Then Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
Hollywood Says – Movies for the forseeable future movies released to theaters will focus evenn more on young people content.
This Week - The new Batman trailer was out, introducing Robert Pattinson as Batman
Ozark season 4 - You'll be watching it on Netflix January 21st
Mel Gibson - Has signed on to star in the John Wick prequel series
Harrison Ford's - Indiana Jones 5 has been pushed back another year, to June 30th, 2023.
Netflix - Squid Games is NOW the most watched show – Highly violent game from Korea (out 3 weeks)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane (link)
Last week I wrote about 1986 and how it was central in our transition in the 1980's as we marched towards 1989. 1989 was of course the huge historical year in country that shifted the balance of musical power directly to us well into the 90's. BUT there was one more year that was the genesis of change to country, and that year was 1981. These three years gave us the success we have today.
1981 is not 1986 or 1989 commercially or economically for us. But musically, it was the match that lit the flame on the country music candle and gave us a glimpse of what "could be" if Nashville was open to it and if fans were for patient for it. It wasn't easy as there were newer artists and the older stars starting to duke it out, but seismic change seldom is easy. But in my view and in my memory, 1981 was absolutely necessary, and in the end exceedingly important.
Eddie Rabbitt - 1981 - Pop Country Legend
There were basically three sets of artists in country then as I remember it. There were the radio popular Urban Cowboy acts like Johnny Lee, Mickey Gilley, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, Ed Bruce, Eddie Rabbitt, Dolly, T.G. Shepard and others. They were recording good music that tended to be more poppy in nature and not as country as some would like, but it was the successful trend at the time. And in fairness, it got us noticed by many new fans, but was not overly loved by traditional fans. And all phases have a shelf life, just like Bro-Country did more recently.
Urban Cowboy Legend And Anthem - 1980
There were the very established icons too, Conway, Waylon, Willie, Tammy Wynette, Merle, George Jones, Loretta, Don Williams and many others. They were caught between their roots and giving in to the UC sound. They had tons of fans no doubt, but because of time they were not going to bring us a lot of new or younger fans that we wanted and needed. Many held on to their roots and that served them well. But as great as they were, there was a ceiling on where they could take us going forward.
The Great Conway - An Example Of The Icons Looking For A Niche - With The Osmonds - 1983
Then there was a new generation that was outside of the other two. They were younger, different, more marketable, and the brand of country they were recording was more country, but not completely void of the current style. Alabama, George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, Reba, Earl Thomas Conley, John Anderson, Hank Jr. and others. They were going to lay the initial groundwork for the rest of the decade. It was country, but had more thump, and all of these artists would become highly influential for the next wave, as they were brave enough to start it.
Alabama 1981 - They Helped Change A Lot Of Things
Alabama was enormously popular and showed us where we could go as they were everywhere. They sold millions of albums, tickets and dominated the charts. Strait was instantly loved for his deep country style musically and in his terrific image. He shot to the top of the popularity charts incredibly fast and stayed there for 30 years. Skaggs was very country and those wanting that deep, deep sound found him and loved him. Reba was new and different as she was apologetically country from Oklahoma and highly relatable and likable.
George Strait - 1981 Became An Instant Star With This Debut Song
ETC was a new sound with terrific songs and deep albums that many younger fans instantly loved as his sound was a bit more daring and bigger. Hank Jr., had been around a good long while, but The Pressure Is On album (his 33rd) in my view reinvented him and gave us a country anthem, Country Boy Can Survive, and set his career on a newer path for the rest of the decade that fans loved. His success was incredible with a ton of highly imaginative songs. And Anderson was just flat out the polar opposite to Urban Cowboy.
Ricky Skaggs - 1981 - Left No Doubt He Was Country - First Of His 10 #1's in 5 years
This was the class that became the basis and the influence to what was next. They did it even being highly limited by the era itself as there was no internet, not really any TV exposure except for Alabama, no YouTube, almost no videos, not much of anything to showcase these stars. Just the radio, heck in many areas no country music on FM radio, (just AM) and when fans found us, they found them. The stations I was working for were playing all three kinds of acts. There was some real contrasts in styles and sounds, we were inconsistent. And fans were hot and cold with the format and country in general. I felt that because we had no clear singular direction.
Reba 1981 - She Broke Through Big Time - Very Country
There was a tug of war going on, and I always felt that the new wave would emerge as the new way to go. And in the long run it did but it wasn't easy as change never is. It would be a few more years before Randy Travis in 1986 and others really solidified the new younger wave. The world changed too with more far more platforms for artists to get real exposure including the advent of country music videos and a more universal acceptance of country music in general. Then by the end of the decade a new course was set and we've never looked back.
Earl Thomas Conley -1981 Highly Influential Album And Song - First of 20 #1's
The Class Of 1981 was extraordinarily important in the eventual boom in country music. Their real gift was their terrific music and influence on the artists that were to come. Someone has to cut the path that others will eventually travel and that's what they did. Just as they walked down the road grated by Conway, Merle, Tammy, Loretta, Cash and Jones. They also were the class that found a whole new kind of listener and fan that viewed country differently than previous. That we weren't some twangy, stereotypical silly format, and that we were talented, marketable and ready for mainstream attention.
John Anderson - Extremely Influential To The Traditionalists On The Way
There was a streamlining of artists successes too. Many of the UC acts slowly faded as did the rest of those who hung their hat on the pop country rack as we moved to a more traditional country sound. Plus the clock picked up speed on many of the older acts that had dominated the radio for many years. This was the start of the movement, and as in any movement there are casualties and those who come out on top. Even though they may not have known it in at that moment, this group became the inspiration and influence for so many stars ahead.
Hank Jr. - 1981 - A Country Anthem Still - For A Couple Of Generations
Just as the amazing artists before them - were theirs. That's how country is and has always been, and more than likely - always will be.
Well it seems the Browns and the rest of us got a reality check this weekend. The Browns were completely humiliated in their own building 37-14 and it wasn't that close. There is trouble in Brownsland right now.
Yes, there are plenty of injuries and that sucks and hurts. There have been a bevy of bad referee calls the past couple weeks, but we are not alone there, as officiating in the NFL right now is unprofessional, amateurish, and eyebrow raising to say the least. Official's bloated egos still think they are there to help decide outcomes of games, but they are not. If that's what you want, suit up and play, but take off the zebra stripes. It's a league wide propblem, and the league won't do ANYTHING at all until it destroys a season like the Cowboys, Rams, Chiefs or Packers. Quite frankly, it's a joke.
But the Browns problems don't just lie there in the above. Their defense stinks in almost every regard. From the 4th quarter of the Charger game till halftime of Sunday's game, they gave up points I think on 9 straight drives. They gave up 26 in the 4th quarter alone of the Charger game and 49 in those three quarters mentioned. Whatever is the problem, they better get it fixed now or the season will be lost quickly. It's sad, and teams have NO FEAR of our defense. They don't punt against the Browns much, they just go for it on 4th down - and get it. They have no respect for the Browns. They can't stop anyone and they don't force turnovers. The opposing teams should leave the punter on the bus.
The offense can't close out games, or answer scoring drives against good teams when they need to. You would think scoring 42 and 29 in road games would be enough to win, but I guess not. And those are the teams they need to beat if we are going anywhere. And I'd trade OBJ so fast it would break land speed records. He can certainly catch the ball, but there is something very wrong with him on the field here. There is too much evidence now, we are better without him. He needs to go and let us return to life without him. And we need to get healthy.
Handsome devil Kevin Stefanski needs to adjust and grow up too. Start taking early game points when your team has earned them. Reward the offense, the team and the fans with field goals when they are there early. Save the 4th down nonsense for late in the game when you need to do it. Yesterday, it was THE major turning point in the game. It would have answered the Cardinals touchdown drive and restored some order. He blew it, and the momentum stayed with the Cardinals, who scored another TD and the game was in real jeopardy. All self-inflicted three weeks in a row. Wake up! Enough with the "smartest guy in the room stuff." Reward your team with points.
I love the Browns and the week 6 Browns I am sad to say, are not very good. I am starting to think that maybe we are just not as good as we think we are. Long season still, get healthy, play better, grow up and maybe things can be different like late last year.
Boy, do sports media people look silly. All the off season talk about how we may go 17-0 or 15-2, or some hideous prediction and who's gonna "possibly" beat us. One long running promo on the air said 17-0 was "in play." Its the NFl, undefeated is never really in play. I laughed at it then, and now. All this is contributing to the runaway hype this team is enduring, and that doesn't help a young team or coach either. Let's get a hold of ourselves. Even my far more realistic 12-5 take (then) is optimistic and looks in peril itself now and will fall by the way side.
What has to happen is this. Get healthy, hang on and somehow get to about 5-5 and then make a run if you can, that's sort of what the Bucs did last year. Play better, prepare better, and coach better. Understand you are better than this, but we are not elite yet. Take points when they are given to you, understand you are good enough to compete every week, then do so. And start beating the good teams, because right now we can't - and don't
Less analytics, more common sense, and accept that bad breaks and bad calls are going be a part of any NFL game and recover from it. And start this week by not squatting on the 50 yard line and laying a big, stinky, gassy, sulphuric egg on Thursday Night Football and BEAT the Bronco's to go to 4-3. Then some order will be restored.
Other Browns Articles I've Written
When I walk my Husky Juneau every morning very early, we are always very aware that skunks could be out. The idea of getting "skunked" is always on my mind as that is a nightmare.
But skunks aren't the only things that stink and when there's a bad stink afoot, sometimes we need to know how to de-stink something
So here we go!
Box Office Results - James Bond: No Time To Die (56 Million)
New This Week - Halloween Kills (Also On Peacock) / The Last Duel
A Movie - About Walt Disney and his journey to build the California theme park Disneyland is in the works, Disney Plus. (Story)
Monday – There could be 60,000 workers walk off the job in Hollywood if a new contract isn't agreed on (Story)
Netflix - Squid Games is NOW the most watched show – Highly violent game from Korea (out 3 weeks)
Netflix - Has renewed You, for a fourth season ahead of Friday's debut of Season 3. (Story)
Mark Harmon - Is leaving NCIS after portraying Gibbs for 18 seasons. (Story)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane (link)
A few weeks ago I posted an article talking about one of the biggest years in country music history, 1989. That was the year of Garth, Alan, Clint, and Travis Tritt bursting onto the scene and shoving country into the highest gear ever. But there are two other years that led up to that point and were maybe more pivotal. This week, we will look at one of them, welcome to 1986.
1986 - One Of The Most Influential Songs And Albums We've Ever Had
I have been in country radio for 41 consecutive years and I have always maintained 1986 deserves a whole lot more credit than it gets. It was incredibly important, transitional and had to happen before we would have a boom like 1989. You may have heard recently that this is the 35th anniversary of Randy Travis' debut album, Storms Of Life, and how it changed the direction of our beloved format. It did, but it wasn't alone. But it was the bolt that held the new movement together. 1986 began a seismic shift.
1986 - This Song And Artist Helped Change The Landscape
In the early to mid 80's we were wrestling in country. There was good music, but much of it was not connecting directly with the core country fans. For many we were too pop, and not daring enough to be real country. So, many of our fans tolerated it, but didn't love it. The pop country crowd was growing weary with the pop country movement that had worn out its welcome and grown stale. Enter four pivotal people - Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam, Keith Whitley, and Holly Dunn. They accelerated a new and daring sound - real country - that the core fans had been waiting for. They joined George Strait, Hank Jr., The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, Reba, and Alabama as artists that were starting to build to a new day.
1986 - This Song Peaked At #7 - But Was A Very Influential Song
Randy Travis debut album was new, fresh and his warm voice was a throw back to a degree, but not old sounding and fans loved every song on that project. Yoakam was new and exciting, especially on stage, very avant gard and fans loved him. Whitley had been around for a couple years, but 1986 he broke through, and vocally reminded fans of Travis at times, and fans flocked to his emotive songs. And Dunn, such a powerful and emotional voice melted us all with Daddy's Hands and the powerful songs that followed for her.
1986 - Keith Whitley - Fans Loved Him For His Run Which Was Way Too Short
These four were new, young, different, and they were country. Travis had been told by every record label in Nashville he was "too country." Yoakam the same and even more. Imagine that, new artists that were too country. That shows you how far we had strayed from our roots. I will never downplay the talent of the established artists from that era, they were all great, and recorded some great music. But overall, it was just not resonating with the core fans and was not growing our music to new and especially younger fans. The pop country fans had moved on, as we all thought they would. If you want something to grow, you don't water the leaves, you water the roots. We learned that.
1986 - Tanya Tucker Returned To Greatness And Gave Us A Big Lift
Mainly Travis and Yoakam opened the ears of our fans that had been waiting for a more traditional sound, and kicked down the door for new fans to pour through. They changed the minds of the record companies and allowed traditionalists like Patty Loveless, and vocal stylists like KT Oslin to show up in 1987, then country folk singers like Suzy Bogguss in 1988 and a battalion of others. It began an avalanche that went on for a number of years and led country to its greatest success ever, as you well know the 1990's were something real special.
1986 -George Strait Released This Huge Song
1986 was a very important time for us. We needed hero's but as I remember it, we didn't really know we did. We had been in a groove that was successful to a degree, and it's possible that many of us in the biz and at the stations didn't really know how big we could get, because we could only imagine. Alabama showed us earlier in the decade how big they could be with insane success and exposure. We wished we had more acts that popular and why not, they were everywhere. Strait was incredibly popular with deep country fans, as was Skaggs, and Reba was coming on strong. The Judd's were traditional but had wide appeal in addition to the core country fans, sort of like Alabama did. And the incredibly resurgent Tanya Tucker found herself back near the top of the charts and that was a big deal for us as she helped connect the past and the future. She too was a pivotal artist for us that year.
1986 - Another Huge Travis Song
But when the new traditionalists showed up, they brought everyone with them, and we, in a few years soared to heights that were previously unthinkable. And then the kicked down door from 1986 allowed 1989 and the 1990's to happen. The flood was on, Garth, Alan, Clint, Travis, Tracy Byrd and Lawrence, Tim McGraw, Brooks And Dunn, Vince Gill, Billy Ray Cyrus and dozens more both men and women. Dunn and Loveless led a charge of incredible women singers that rocked the 1990's to historic levels bringing us Shania, Pam Tillis, Terri Clark, Faith, Martina, Trisha, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Jo Dee Messina, Kathy Mattea, Lorrie Morgan and tons more. It started with 1986 we were selling albums and tickets like never before, it was incredible.
Holly Dunn - Her Emotive Style Was Very Influential Going Forward - 1988
And country "bands" became a thing too with Shenandoah, Blackhawk, The Desert Rose Band, Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad, Southern Pacific, Lonestar, Diamond Rio and others. We were suddenly young, cool and rolling. Sadly, there were many casualties as well. Many artists that had staked their entire claim on pop country were now on the way out, and many older established artists, even the really big ones were now off the charts for good. It was an extraordinary change.
1986 - Hugely Popular Song Started A Movement
As great as 1989 was and will always be historic, it was 1986 that did a whole lot of the heavy lifting to make it all possible. We should remember and thank those incredible new artists that dared to be country again.
We owe them always -Thank YOU!
I want to share this with you as many have reached out and sent very kind words to me the past couple of weeks...
My mom Barbara passed away September 25 at about 1045 AM. She was one week short of being 94, so I'll give her that, she was 94. She led a very interesting life in many regards and a very regular one in others. But what is undeniable, is she lived through interesting times. She lived an enviable 91 years of almost perfect health. We should all be so lucky and we are all thankful for that.
She was born the year Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic Ocean solo, and died the year billionaires are going into space as a hobby. She lived through the Depression, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Kennedy, Watergate, Y2K, computers, and smart phones. She was 19 the last time the Indians won the World Series, 37 when the Browns last won a title, and 87 when the Cav's won their first championship. She traveled overseas, and saw the entirety of our country, but lived in the same state her whole life. She went to Lakewood High School, Ohio Wesleyan, and ended up working for Marietta College right out of college.
About 22 Or So
Think about this, in 1950, she drove around rural Ohio alone on dusty roads visiting people's homes trying to recruit young women to go to college at Marietta, her first job. Pretty gutsy in 1950. (BTW she drove a car till she was 90). She was dedicated to higher education and was around it her entire life. She eventually taught at Tri-C, and then 30 years at Baldwin-Wallace where she taught speech until she retired at 73. She additionally taught night and weekend college for decades and was hired by many big Cleveland companies to teach their CEO's how to communicate with other CEO's and employees.
She was an actor for many years, well known in Cleveland starring in musicals and plays. She was dedicated to the theater as well. The arts, that's where she lived. She took an acting job downtown Cleveland one fall for a month, and used the money to buy us our first color TV when we were kids. She taught students how to sing at our house in the summer. She taught people how to act, and not be afraid of the stage. Plus, the smash Broadway musical Godspell, some of it was written under the cherry tree in her side yard in Berea by one of her students named John Micheal Tebelek a Berea High grad and a B-W grad. He wrote it for his thesis at Carnegie Melon, but he spent much time here locally. There were always theater people at the house when I was young. In the summer, about every day - and night.
She was an artist, and her painting of furniture and wall paintings will live on forever as she was very generous with her incredible work. Many people have her work in their houses and some businesses in the area. She taught people how to paint as she was blessed with insane talent. She always downplayed her talent, but she was great at it. We recently found a painting she did for her college senior project that hung in the Cleveland Museum Of Art (certified) in 1950. It had been in her dark basement for about 50 years, and she never said a word about it. In fairness, she was great at a lot of things that most of us are not.
Painting From the Art Museum - 1950
In My Home Office This Ships Box
She married my dad Robert in 1952 after 4 months of dating. Their first date was golf, after meeting at the Jack And Jill Dude Ranch in Michigan (It's still there). They were married until 1978 when my dad passed away of cancer at 53, she was 50, I was 16. She never remarried as she said my dad was a "tough act to follow." My dad told her she would probably have to sell the house after he died, but she never did. In fact, she lived there until May of this year. They bought it in 1959 and wondered how they could afford a $147 a month mortgage for the old house on 3 acres.
She eventually designed and built three large additions on that house after she was 70, as we learned very late in her life, she really wanted to be an architect. A closed in porch, an art studio, and a second suite she called a library, but later became her living area. The original house was built in 1853. (that's right) and she loved that place. We kept her in there as long as we could, where she lived in, and beautifully maintained the old farmhouse alone for 43 years, truly an incredible feat.
When She Married My Dad
The Train Station Box In Our Living Room Now
Actor, artist, educator. That is what she was. And sadly the last few months she couldn't remember that she did any of it, or where she did it. I'm not sure she remembered me, Windy, or my siblings at the end. But that really doesn't make any difference today. She left herself behind in her art, and in the minds of thousands of students and professionals with important skills that have benefited them their whole life. You see, people like her are always looking forward to the next generation of educators and we need people like that.
My mom taught people her whole life how to do things that were hard to do. Sing, act, paint, and speak effectively in front of others. She taught people how to do things that most people aren't good at and to me, that is her legacy. The willingness to show others how to do things - that came so easy for her.
She could be difficult, opinionated, stubborn and she wasn't perfect by any means. Who among us is? But with all she did - and all she saw - she was pretty cool.
She was about 90 at a Tribe game with my sister in-law Erin. So glad they went that day!
For some reason, someone decided to do an article on the best way to store kitchen towels. I have no idea why. And for some other reason someone actually took the time to develop a methodology to store kitchen towels.
Here's to having too much time on your hands.
Knock yourself out!
Tough loss for the Browns this week, or was it? It was a game that should have been won.
I love the Browns and I am committed to expect more from them than seasons past. OK, before we move on, I saw the pass interference play like you did. It was ridiculous and the league needs to hold these lousy officials and calls accountable. But they won't, and don't. It's a league wide problem of deciding games with their egos and it happens every week on a few NFL fields. And can we stop with all the Facebook stuff like, "They must be paid by the Chargers" or "How much they paying you, ref?" That's childish and excuse laden. Because even with that play, the Browns have themselves to blame for the loss. Period.
The two losses this season could haven easily been wins, as was last years playoff game with the Chiefs. One common denominator. The Browns don't know how to close out games. Not yet, and it needs to be fixed ASAP, or it's gonna get in their heads if it's not already. And looking at this honestly they are even having a tough time closing out lesser opponents as well.
Sunday, even after that horrible call and the gift of a shanked extra point, the Browns had a chance to close things out. The games best running game and a QB that doesn't turn the ball over is the perfect recipe for that, and they didn't get it done. It's as simple as that. That's when you have to run the ball down their throat and drain the clock. That's what great teams do, and what we're built for. On days the defense struggles, the offense has to pick them up and get it done. And Visa versa. Please stop with the excuses of refs and all that kind of silly talk and look within.
There are plenty of games up the line where this will happen again, and they will be in a position to win late and they need to do it or the season will be a disappointment. Do you want to win 8 games or 12 games? The Browns are a very good team, but that's not good enough. They need to play great when it matters . Again, that is nothing new for the Browns who have specialized in the 59 minute game for decades, giving things up very late. And in Los Angeles against a good team that you need to beat would have been a great time to change it. I'm not down on the Browns at all. But if we want to get to the top, as they are built for, we must be demanding of them, and they of themselves.
Injuries, bad refs, bad breaks, great QB's, and away games are all a part of the NFL, and that can't be hidden behind. You play the guys you have, the teams your scheduled, where they are scheduled, and the league officiates them. That is every teams reality.
Because 1 team will do all the things that we need to do, and they will be on top. The rest of us will wait for next year. Close teams out, finish the game! Finish the way you start and all will be OK.
Other Browns Articles
Box Office Results - Addams Family 2
New This Week - New James Bond – No Time To Die
HBO Max – The Saints Of Newark - is a major hit!
Next Week - Dune (Also HBO Max) / Ron's Gone Wrong (animated)
Netflix - Squid Games is NOW the most watched show – Highly violent game from Korea (3 weeks) (Story)