Throwback Thursday, the Donald. Trump’s recent domination of the headlines reminded me of a song parody we put together when I was hosting “The Real Story.” In the 90’s he was on the front page daily for cheating on his wife Ivana, dating actress Marla Maples, buying Marla a big diamond ring, going bankrupt, and even then hyping, “The Art of the Deal.” So we put it all in a song called “Diamonds for Donald” Marla was from Georgia to explain a reference in the song. And here it is now for your dining & dancing pleasure.
It started like so many relationships, nothing serious just having a little fun together, and then you wouldn’t leave. Despite my telling you that your embrace left me cold you repeatedly insisted on wrapping me in your icy grip. Our days together stretched into months & I feared I might never again feel the warmth I craved. But today, hope. The sun came out & you announced plans to leave town. Goodbye snow, & ice, & cold. No need to return, I have pictures and memories of our time together. I’ll post them here as a reminder not to miss you.
Andrae Crouch was one of the most gifted songwriters and performers I’ve every met. And in reporting on the music business for a few years at the Today Show I met a lot of musicians. We were also good friends for decades and often when a group of us would get together we’d challenge Andrae to write a song on the spot. Without fail he’d come through, with melody, lyrics, & usually a chorus that had a hook which would stick in your mind the rest of the night. Of course his best songs were the gospel tunes that made him famous and became embedded in hearts and hymnals. This video has 4 of those gospels songs beginning with the 1st one he ever wrote at the age of 14 and ends with one of the last songs he wrote. I filmed this as his house about 3 yrs. ago. He was in bad health, his throat raw, voice scratchy, but the genius of his talent was not diminished. I recorded this for my own memories, but after his death I thought I should share this intimate moment with Andrae.
Ethan Johns stopped by National Geographic to talk about his new album and sing a couple of the songs. This is one of the tunes, “Among the Sugar Pines”. The interview runs this weekend on my radio show National Geographic Weekend. Johns is also a recording engineer and music producer like his father Glyn Johns who working with many of the big acts of the 60’s & 70’s, artists like the Stones, the Beatles, Clapton, Zeppelin, The Who, The Eagles, Dylan, The Band and scores of others.
Joe Sample keyboard player with the Crusaders died yesterday in Houston. In 70’s & 80’s he was one of the most recorder keyboardists in music playing on hit records for lots of big name artists. I was lucky to get to spend some time listening to him in the studio in those days. Here’s a profile I did on his group the Crusaders for the Today Show many years ago. Just yesterday Bill Maxwell & I were talking about Joe & his great playing & how Bill was going to go visit him in Houston in a couple of weeks. You never know. A reminder when thinking about an old friend, give ‘em a call. RIP Joe. thank you for the great music.
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.
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.
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, 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
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.