Among the Sugar Pines: Ethan Johns

 

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.

The Crusaders: Today Show profile

 

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.

Behind the Green Door

 

In Rome yesterday I went to see Behind the Green Door.  No not the old Marilyn Chambers porn movie, but the green doors in the center of the Villa del Priorato di Malta.  A peephole in one door offers a unique view of the dome at St. Peter’s framed by the Villa’s secret gardens.  The grounds of the Priory atop Aventine Hill are home to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Since it was a long flight home I killed time by editing together a few pictures I took thru the peephole so you too can now see, “Behind the Green Door”, & not worry that someone will catch you looking.

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.