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.

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.

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.

Moon Bears in Laos

Moon bears are being killed in Laos for use in Chinese & Vietnamese medicinal tonics & may soon be wiped out. I visited a Free the Bears rescue center in Laos that’s trying to stop the poaching. Betty & I helped feed the bears & watched them get excited about being spritzed with bear perfume.  We also met Champa, a bear who is the 1st ever recipient of a brain surgery in Laos.

Northern Lights Over Norway

El Sol, not satisfied with just doing his day job of bringing sunshine into our lives also adds light to our nights with colorful auroras over the northern and southern latitudes. This year the solar charged show is especially dramatic. Here are some picturess I took of the aurora borealis over Norway on New Year’s Day.

Antarctic Thanksgiving Bird

Thanksgiving in the USA, a time to talk turkey, but in Antarctica it’s the time to talk penguins which we do this weekend on my radio show National Geographic Weekend. We also talk about camping for five days while hanging off the side of a cliff on the frozen continent. Here’s some video of the penguins doing their thing backed by a little music from my friends, “Open Hands”