I love supporting local businesses, and of course I play my share of golf. This week, I want to feature a locally and family owned golf course I have been playing my who life. Royal Crest in Columbia Station, pretty much at the Strongsville city line. If you know where SouthPark Mall is, it's just maybe 3 miles or so west of it on the same road, RT. 82.
I root for these guys every year. Golf is a business where big companies or cities, the MetroParks own the many of the courses, and it is great to see a family operations thrive. RC has been there since the 1960's and is still a fun place to play. A course that is good for all skill levels too. If you want to play a moderate length course it's good, or if you are a front line player, you can play the tips and have a go at it from almost 7,200 yards!
The course is honest, it is right in front of you, flat for the most part, with large greens that are always in great shape. No sand, some water, and a stretch holes where hitting is straight is a must. Plus this is designed well, where good scoring can be achieved simply by good play. To me, it is a short game course as the greens are large, so getting on the green isn't a par guarantee. You can have some long putts here.
Mix in a quaint barn clubhouse and about the nicest staff you can imagine, along with a nice craft beer selection and reasonable rates and deals, RC is great place to play. Outings too if you have a group that is looking for a place to have your outing.
These are very nice people that are worth supporting. Make a Royal Crest run soon. I have my entire life.
Let's all check our calendars and see exactly what year it is. It is 2021, and yes, that is Clay Walker back on the charts. One of the real hit makers from the 1990's and early 2000's is back and that is great to see.
He's 51 now, looks great and sounds just as you remember him. Walker is one of those guys that had a great run on the charts with a long line of hits, and a bunch of number ones. I was a fan, as were we all. What is interesting is that I feel there will be for the foreseeable future a taste for 90's country. So many of today's country fans became country fans in that incredible decade and have stayed with us. Walker was one of the driving forces in it, and it's really good see him back, as he takes us back.
Remember The First Time You Heard His First Hit? - 1993
This song is just as you remember him, and Walker simply is Walker and not trying to be something reinvented, or trying some new thing because stars half his age are having success with something. This is a nice song, suited right for him. It's been a decade and it's good to see this new song and video. Just as What's It To You was, this song is traditional, very tidy, and does not wear out it welcome.
Grab a coffee, and let's take a listen to Clay Walker's new song!
About Half – Of us feel good about returning to a movie theater (Cinemasafe)
#1 - Godzilla / Kong Top Grossing movie since pandemic began (Godzilla vs. Kong - $13.8 Million) this week
Mortal Kombat - Release Date is now April 23 (Story)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 - Is in the works (Story) Original 2002
Top Gun: Maverick - Has been postponed from July to November due to the pandemic (Story)
Channing Tatum - Is turning Magic Mike into a dance competition show for HBO Max. (Story)
Ellen DeGeneres – Has hit an all-time ratings low with just 800,000 viewers, lost almost half its viewers this season ''Live with Kelly and Ryan'' is averaging 1.8 million
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane - Crystal Gayle (link)
This past weekend, the Beautiful Windy and I masked up and went down to take a little day trip to Columbus. We had heard of this place called the North Market and how cool it was, and it was.
This is a combination of Cleveland's West Side Market and the worlds most delicious food court. Yes, you can buy meat and things to take home, but we had interest in eating the incredible food that you can eat right there. Many of these places are totally authentic and some have been visited by Guy Fieri on this Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives show. (We love that show BTW)
We ate at a Polish stand that had incredible huge cheese balls, with a spicy stew to dip it in. We also sampled sensational brisket from the Barrel And Boar. I could have eaten that all day long. We had Tibetan food, and ate some truly amazing real ice cream that was so good, we almost went back for seconds.
Places like this are really fun. We ate like the scene in Crazy Rich Asians movie when they eat in the street from all those terrific places. Felt the same. We have found a few places like this over the past few years and I can't wait to get back there.
If you find yourself in Columbus, stop in here. Simply great!
Jennifer saw last weeks article and asked if I could feature Crystal Gayle (Brenda Gail Webb) this week. Of course! She recorded for many years had a truly great career. I wish history was kinder to talented people of this era.
She, as you may know is Loretta Lynn's sister, and did follow her sisters footsteps to a degree, as yes, she was a country singer. But Gayle's style, arrangements and about everything else was very different. Her voice was different, her fashion, and her floor length hair which became her pop culture trademark was certainly different. Her success was different too. Without question, she had a great career, but one thing she did have in common professionally with Loretta was each had a ton of hits, wrapped around a gigantic signature song. Loretta's Coal Miners Daughter, and Gayle's, Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.
Songs Get No Bigger Than This
She was a backup singer in Loretta's band, but soon landed her own recording contract in the mid 1970's and began her run. Her style was a more pop-country, and at first there was limited success. But in 1977 when she recorded Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, things changed forever. It was an international #1 hit song that not only changed her career, but helped country become noticed by a whole new audience that never sampled us before. The song was originally written for a British singer to record, but never made it across the pond until Gayle recorded it. Can you imagine anyone else singing that song? Me either.
This Was A Big Song As Well - Same Era
The success that followed was big, and there were plenty of country hits and many crossover hits too. Gayle was one of the most successful crossover artists we have ever had. That was the trend at the time, and she was the right person in the right place at the right time. She not only had her own songs, she recorded a gigantic duet with Eddie Rabbitt, You And I, which became a big wedding song nationally for a few years. Her run from the late 1970's till the late 1980's was very successful. She was a star.
This Duet Was The Equivalent Of "Amazed " Many Years Later
The thing I really loved about her was, she was a great singer with an angelic voice. Her voice was not stereotypical country, it was mass appeal. She was one of those great singers from that era that could just flat out sing. Ala - Barbara Mandrell, Janie Fricke, and others. And the type of songs she could sing were endless. She had great success on the country and pop charts, but like many when country shifted more traditional, hers and many others chart run were casualties. But I can listen to her sing Don't It Make My Browns Eyes Blue another thousand times.
This Was A Real Big Song - Late Night AM Radio Song
She and her sister each recorded one of the most important songs in our history. Coal Miners Daughter was from a different time and era of course and was highly influential, but no less important. And Gayle's DIMMBEB, is one of the most important songs ever in country in terms of a more modern era, by attracting new fans on the eve of Urban Cowboy. Her version of it is country music sacred ground. Not many families can say that.
One Of My Favorite Gayle Songs - Big Hit Country And Pop
Crystal Gayle had a great career, and was a big star. She won awards, A Grammy, and sold millions of albums. She also was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2016 (what took so long?). And in a recording session in 1977 with a song that is 2:32 - helped propel country to a new level, one we are still enjoying today. And she still has floor length hair.
Country music has evolved into many different phases over the years and that's fine. There is something for everyone, and at times that is one of our biggest strengths when things are going well.
But no matter how much things change, evolve or transition musically, there's always room and a market for a good ol' beer drinking song. Good reminder - you don't water the leaves, you water the roots. And that's exactly what this written song is - The roots.
This is newcomer Jameson Rodgers and he gets an assist from the incredible Luke Combs. Great new song!
Grab a beer.....er, a coffee and take a listen!
The beautiful Windy and I live near a new park that is really worth checking out! It's in the Kent / Streetsboro area on Ravenna Road. Trail Lake Park is worth discovering. It's brand new, in fact there is still work going on there!
There's A Beautiful Launch
Trail Lake Park is a wonderful new area with an extra wide gigantic walking trail around a beautiful lake. It was quiet and very nice. We took Juneau The Husky there Easter Sunday after our feast so she could get a good walk in along with us. Juneau hadn't been feeling herself for a few days, and we thought a long walk may help - and it did. In fact, it seemed to be a turning point for her. That made us happy.
Juneau Loved Her Long Quiet Walk There
Both man and beast had a great time, and I'm glad we all discovered a new place together we can go together and enjoy a nice quiet walk through nature.
We'll Be Back
Cinemasafe - Great site to see what to expect at the movie theaters (Link)
#1 -Godzilla / Kong $32.2 Million Biggest opening in a year! (Story)
Godzilla / Kong - Set all time HBO Max viewing record (Story)
Mortal Kombat - Pushed back a week (story)
American Pie – Five? Looks Possible-.... (Story) The Original was 1999! How???
Daniel Craig – Knives Out sequels – YES He's getting 100 Million (Story)
Gladiator 2 - Rumor is that Chris Hemsworth will play Maximus' son (Story)
GREAT - A Peeps Movie is in the works. (Story)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane (link)
This weeks article is different than most. Next week, we'll get back to featuring a great artist. This week we will mention three, and what they did that really propelled Country at a pivotal time. There were three big songs, released by three great women over about an 18 month span or so that introduced country to millions of new people. They were big country hits, and crossed over and showed many non fans, that country was not some twangy, stereotypical form of music that wasn't worth a listen.
There is no order here, just three songs from three amazing women and where they led us.
Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again
This came out in 1977, fed into 1978, and was a very big song that not only had a great run on the country and pop charts, but really accelerated Dolly into the brightest spotlight in the mainstream. The album was the same name, and changed her career. Yes, this song is very pop sounding, but Dolly had a nice foothold within the format already as this song was wing-spreading for her and the format. In fact, she recorded a ton of albums before this one, in an era when albums came out way faster than today. The followup song, Two Doors Down was a big hit too, and Dolly was soon known by everyone in America. We loved Dolly, this album and this song, it changed everything for her. A couple years later she was a movie star and a singing star. The album is legendary.
Crystal Gayle - Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Again, 1977 into 1978. The size of this song is hard to explain properly. It was a worldwide hit, and it was one of the ten most played, and performed songs of the 20th century. Grammy winner. The title alone tells you it's country. This is a fantastic example of the perfect song reaching the perfect artist. This song was everywhere, and everyone knew it, and you still know this song. It was a big country and pop hit, and what this song really did was subliminally show people that they liked traditional country. Everything about this song is traditional, even though it is a bit bluesy, from the Floyd Cramer influenced piano style, (Played by the legendary Hargas "Pig" Robbins) the gentle beat, and Gayle's angelic vocal performance. It's easy to listen to, its message is timeless, and it's one of the most important 2:32 in country music history. She instantly became a star as a result of this gigantic song. BTW - Her eyes were already blue as you can clearly see.
Barbara Mandrell - If Lovin' You Is Wrong (I Don't Wanna Be Right)
1978 - This not only was a major hit song on both charts, it made people want to know who was singing it. This song is timeless and delivered by the perfect singer. It was arranged poppy as this had been a hit in 1972 in other formats, but the story of the song is country. Mandrell became an instant star, and soon a pop culture icon. New fans and old really liked her, and this song propelled her to unimaginable heights. She was not stereotypical "country" in her sound or image, and fans loved her and followed her to the country charts where she had a great run. Shortly thereafter she was a TV star, and a performing legend, where she and Dolly were among the first women to headline major concert tours.
Those three songs did us a whole lot of good in that era, as they bled into Urban Cowboy. UC gave rise to many new pop country stars, men and women, and a movement that lasted with varying levels of success until the mid 1980's, when the Neo-traditionalists came to town and changed our direction again. But these three very important songs opened a closed door and equally closed minds. They were disarming, showing many that their stereotypical notions of who were to a degree were incorrect. And they also helped change our direction. These songs really paved the way.
Then in 1980, after the stage had been set, this happened - Reba McEntire - Up To Heaven
When Up To Heaven broke through, it was the first hit song for a young singer named Reba McEntire, as she took the first step towards to becoming the dominant woman of the decade. She then would become as influential as any performer of her era. Her popularity, though different today, is still a part of our pop culture, along with Dolly. These four women inspired a whole new era of country singers and stars and helped make us mainstream.
Thanks for reading, and listening!
Today the Tribe opens thier home season after a weekend series at Detroit. And about 4:10 this afternoon the first pitch will be thrown to the Kansas City Royals batter, Whit Merrifield. I've had it with Whit Merrifield already!
We play the Royals 19 times during the season and we see a lot of the same players year after year. This guy, first of all is great! I wish he played for us, but he doesn't - but he kills us! He's always up to bat! How is it Whit Merrifield hits in every inning? Seems like he does. What is the algorithm he uses? How it is Whit Merrifield is always up with the bases loaded, or when the game is on the line? Or when there's two outs in the 9th and we need an out? Why is Whit Merrifield always hitting when the wind is blowing out, or when all of our great pitchers are out of the game?
We're up by 4 in the 9th, here comes Whit with 2 outs and two strikes and he hits a grand slam to tie the game! We have a 1 run lead with two outs and we make an error to extend the inning. Who's always up next? Whit Merrifield! The guy drives me nuts! Then he makes the big defensive play that saves the game as we are making a comeback. How does he play every position? Seems like he does. Dude's everywhere!
In his first two games this season he is 5-9 with 4 runs scored, driven in 6, and has two home runs! So he can play. Through those games, he has driven in more runs than the Tribe has scored.
Look, I'm sure he's a very nice guy, probably comes from a good family, but he's like an itch that we are always scratching as Tribe fans. The Tribe had the same problem with Eddie Rosario from the Twins, and now he plays for us - thank GOD! So we should get Merrifield next! And why does it seem we play the Royals 132 times a season? Whit Merrifield!
Watch the Tribe and Royals games this year and tell me I'm wrong, the guy is always there, always a problem. But here we are a number of hours away from the first pitch of the home schedule and I've already had it with Whit Merrifield!
Go Whit.....er I mean GO Tribe! See??