Elvis Death 5th Anniversary

 

Throwback Thursday Elvis anniversary special.  37 years ago on Aug. 16th the King of Rock ‘n Roll died at his home in Memphis, Tenn.  On the 5th anniversary of his death I filed this report for the Today Show talking about all the fans who showed up for a candlelight parade past his grave at Graceland.  Who would have guessed the fans would still come every August and in even greater numbers, but they were there again this year.

Icebucket Challenge Accepted

 

Betty had way too much fun helping me take the als icebucket challenge, but it’s for a good cause. An former NBC colleague, Kathy Riggins, issued the challenge so I had no choice but to accept.  But a suggestion for ALS, next time come up with a hot shower fund raiser. Certain parts of my anatomy, let’s call him Mr. Groundhog, determined the water was so cold he’s gone into hiding for the next 6 weeks.

Antelope Canyon: Cathedral in Nature

 

On approach, from only a few feet away, Antelope Canyon looks like nothing more than a narrow nasty gash in the red Navajo Sandstone near Page, Arizona.  But descend into this crack in the earth & you enter one of nature’s spectacular cathedrals.  Hiking in Upper & Lower Antelope in 2006 I shot some video that was sitting unviewed until I found it yesterday.  So I strung a few images together to show what time, & water, & erosion can sculpt. You can see why it’s one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world.

Couch Potatoes On The Trail

Couch Potatoes, the movie. Taylor & I find a couch by the trail in Colorado where we take a break & reward ourselves for 5 days of hiking and climbing two 14,000 ft. peaks, Mt Sherman & Mt. Sneffels. The views & the brews were great.  ID’s were checked and no kids were injured in the filming of this video

 

 

James Brown Self-Destructs

 

Throwback Thursday Godfather of Soul special. The new James Brown biopic, “Get On Up” reminded me of a story I once did about the legendary singer and the police chase that landed him in prison. The movie begins with that event, but here’s how it went down in the words of the people who were there. This story also features Bobby Byrd, who started the, “Famous Flames” with Brown, saying Brown never paid him for the songs he co-wrote.

The Place Where Melodies Live

 

John Fullbright on my radio show describes how the good feeling he gets when returning home inspired his song, “Going Home” And then he sings some of that song as well as saying he has no idea where to go to find good melodies, but if he did, he’d go there more often.

John Fullbright “Going Home”


Oklahoma musician John Fullbright’s first album obviously spoke to people when it was nominated for a Grammy, and his catchy melodies and relatable lyrics continue to impress on his just released second album called, “Songs.”  John stopped by my radio show, National Geographic Weekend, this week to talk music, & story telling, and to play a couple of his new songs.

This one’s called, “Going Home” and it invokes all the good feelings about home that come to mind whenever you’ve been traveling for a while.

 

Jeff Gordon Extreme Taxi Driver

Have you ever wanted to ride along with a NASCAR driver? Well Jeff Gordon gives 2 different people the opportunity, but on the streets, not a track, & he doesn’t tell them who he is or what’s about to happen. For one ride he pretends to be an ex-con taxi driver running from the cops and that prank has his unsuspecting fare kicking & screaming in the backseat.

In the other setup Gordon visits a car dealership and takes the car salesman on a test drive like he’s never before experienced.  Both events were filmed for Pepsi commercials with hidden cameras, but the victims had no idea they were part of an elaborate setup.

I interview Gordon this week on my radio show, National Geographic Weekend, and he describes how he got a little nervous when the guys started freaking out.  This video shows some of his stunt driving and part of the interview.  Gordon also talks about NASCAR racing and some of the shared characteristics between race drivers and explorers and adventurers which can be heard in the full interview on National Geographic Weekend.

CLimb Every Mountain

I once wrote an article called “Blame It On the Boy Scouts” to explain why I do some of the things I do at National Geographic.  When the BSA surprised me last week with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award I told them how the Scouts introduced me to my first mountain, or what passes for a mountain in West Texas.  A couple of years ago a trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro inspired me to revisit my Texas scouting roots. Here’s a video of that trip which I describe this week on my radio show National Geographic Weekend.

World’s Biggest Snake

Awkward family pet photos, I was surprised to find a photo of myself on this website. But I must admit the picture was strange enough to qualify even if the snake wasn’t my pet. I tell the story of me & the world’s largest snake, and how “Fluffy” came to be slithering across my body this week on my radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” The story & the snake are in this video.