In spite of the old saying, not everyone has to learn to crawl before they walk. In fact if you’re a newborn elephant you’re expected to hit the ground running or at least staggering fast enough to keep up with the herd. Here’s some video I shot in #Botswana of a baby elephant, just a few hours old, as he put on a show, stumbling around, falling in hole and basically giving a physical definition to the term cute. #SelindaExplorers #GreatPlainsConservation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.