Saturday, May 27, 2017

Musical Interlude: I'm No Angel (1987)

Gregg Allman spun himself off from the Allman Brothers Band in 1987 with the release of "I'm No Angel", the first release from the Gregg Allman Band. If the basic core sound seems familiar, producer Rodney Mills had also been working with one of the bands influenced by the Allmans, :38 Special, around that same time.

One commentator on YouTube cracked that there wasn't enough whiskey at the bar to offset Allman's failed marriage to fellow superstar Cher. Oh, I don't know.

Dedicated in memory of Allman, who has passed away at 69.

What Might've Been: The New Bill Cosby Show (1972)

Ya know, it turns out that Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids may've been part of a package deal to bring series creator Bill Cosby to CBS, after his first two series had aired on NBC.

Cosby left the original Electric Company after 1 season, though some of his skits would apparently be re-used over the final five seasons, to begin work not only on Fat Albert, which was his most successful and longest running series (13 seasons), but a variety show.

The New Bill Cosby Show, however, ran for just 1 season, due to the fact that it aired on the wrong night. Its primary opposition in the fall was Monday Night Football, but, of course, that only lasted three months out of the year, so whatever else ABC put up in the interim, coupled with movies on NBC, resulted in Cosby's second shortest series. The shortest? Another variety series, Cos, which lasted two months on ABC in 1976.

Cosby retained musical director Quincy Jones from his 1969-71 NBC sitcom, and Lola Falana pulled off the feat of performing a dance routine and her announcer duties at the same time, as you'll see in this sample clip:

Falana accompanied Cosby for Cos 4 years later, and that would be Cosby's last attempt at fronting a variety show.

No rating.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Forgotten TV: The Hero (1966)

With Get Smart in its 2nd season, producer Leonard Stern sought to expand Talent Associates' comedy roster. As we already know, Run, Buddy, Run was a decided flop for CBS. Stern's next entry for NBC was, too.

What Stern sought to do with The Hero was illustrate how different the real world was from show business. Sam Garret (Richard Mulligan) was the star of a Gunsmoke-like Western, Jed Clayton---US Marshal, but at home, he was a bumbling klutz.

And that's where the show fell apart. Viewers were already accustomed to a bumbling klutz on another network, namely ABC's F-Troop (Ken Berry as Capt. Wilton Parmenter), and both characters, you can say, could owe their existence to Peter Sellers' Inspector Cleuseau in "The Pink Panther", which made the art of slapstick pratfalls trendy again. The show-within-a-show concept, though, was different.

Unfortunately, as I've been told, The Hero barely aired in the home district, if at all, as then-NBC affiliate WRGB opted for other programming in order to pick up some advertising revenues for themselves. As a result, The Hero barely got past Christmas.

Gilmore Box provides the intro:

No rating, obviously.

Sports this 'n' that

The Yankees postponed their Thursday matinee vs. Kansas City a full five hours before game time due to inclement weather. The Mets, who were also home, should've taken the hint.

Instead, the injury-cursed Mets dropped their 2nd straight to San Diego, as the team was determined to get the game in, such that Thursday's scheduled starter, Jacob deGrom, was held back to tonight at Pittsburgh because of the same threat of rain that forced the Yankees to postpone their game until September 25. The enigmatic Rafael Montero, who's never had the same kind of success with the big club that he's had in the minors, went just three innings due to a high pitch count (nearly 90 pitches, half of them in the first inning alone), giving up three runs and took the loss. The way announcers Gary Cohen & Ron Darling were discussing Montero, neither believes Montero will be long for the team once Seth Lugo and Steven Matz return from the DL. The Mets have gone 3-10 in their last 13 games, which doesn't bode well in the long term.
They say half a loaf of bread is better than none at all.

They also say you don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

Unfortunately, those homilies don't apply to the financially challenged hometown paper.

Reading reporter Nick Topping's account of Wednesday's Albany Academy-Saratoga Central Catholic Class B title game in Thursday's Record, I could see that, due to deadlines, Topping didn't have time to conduct interviews with players & coaches on both teams. Topping only talked to SCC coach Alphonse "Phonsey" Lambert. Yes, that's right. The losing coach.


I went online and re-read the account of Saturday's LaSalle-Niskayuna game. Again, only the losing team was profiled, not the winners.

That is not good journalism, especially not the way I was taught in high school nearly 40 years ago. Now, I get that Topping was rushing to get the story in, and despite the fact that readers have complained often over the last few years about the early deadlines getting in the way of timely reporting, the core principles of reporting the news have been cast aside. It wouldn't hurt to take a few extra minutes to get both sides of the story, and let the deadline go, thus allowing a more detailed account to appear a day later. Readers such as ye scribe have reminded the editors via Pulse of the People and/or Sound Off frequently that not everyone has internet access, but if this is the editors' idea of meeting us halfway, contrary to what the Partridge Family sang nearly 50 years ago, in this case, it's not better than no way.
Thursday's rain also affected the Class AA baseball title game, which was postponed to tomorrow afternoon, giving Shenendehowa and Niskayuna two extra days of rest. In all probability, Nisky's Nick Insognia, who twirled a 1-hitter vs. LaSalle, will be right back on the hill for the Silver Warriors.

And that leads me to one more rant.

New York's Section II Baseball Committee schedules the 5 sectional title games (AA-D) across a 3 day period, failing to recognize that the 4 pm (ET) games will be sparsely attended, as Albany Academy vs. SCC was on Wednesday, due to parents and alumni being at work, although some parents will take vacation days. It would make more sense, and minimalize the potential for rainouts, if they scheduled the games across a 5-day period, one game per night, to ensure everyone has a chance to come to the game after work and/or school. Section II's basketball committee has similar scheduling issues during sectional play at Hudson Valley Community College (where Bruno Stadium is located), although in that case, it's mostly not giving the paying customers enough time to leave when their team's game is finished before fans of the teams in the next game are filing in.

Now, last Saturday's Class AA double bill didn't exactly fill up Bruno Stadium the way it usually is during Valleycats games, but the nightcap was delayed 25 minutes to give LaSalle & Nisky more time to prepare while fans were in transition in and out of the stadium. That's exactly what they should be doing during the basketball tournament. I don't know who's on the committee, but I picture in my mind that they've probably been on the committee seemingly forever. Kind of like the Supreme Court, or the Seven Dwarves, take your pick. There's still room for change, guys.
Finally, condolences to the family of Seattle Seahawks Hall of Fame DL Cortez Kennedy, who passed away earlier this week. A seemingly perennial Pro Bowl selection, Kennedy's only regret perhaps was retiring before the team won its first Super Bowl.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What Might've Been: South of Sunset (1993)

In the history of television, there've been a small handful of shows that have been one-&-done. That is, only one episode aired before the network pulled the plug. Jackie Gleason had to publicly apologize for You're In The Picture on an empty set the next week. George Schlatter's Turn-On, which ABC asked for in the wake of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, was an even bigger bomb. CBS had the teen comedy, Co-Ed Fever, which tried to mine the audience that had so enjoyed "National Lampoon's Animal House", but was DOA.

And, then, there is South of Sunset.

At a time when CBS had the rights to the World Series, the network believed that Eagles vocalist-guitarist Glenn Frey, whose majority of acting experience was a recurring gig on Miami Vice a few years earlier, was enough of a draw to front his own show. Ehhhh, no.

Despite all the hype, South of Sunset was one-&-done. The network wasn't willing to take a chance that the show could improve, despite the fact that the pilot was pre-empted in much of the west coast due to breaking news the night of the broadcast. It wasn't until years later, when VH-1 ran five episodes of the series, as part of a salute to the Eagles, that anyone got to see the rest of the finished product. By that time, comedian Aries Spears had moved on to a gig on MadTV, for which he's better known. Maria Pitillo (ex-Ryan's Hope) would later appear in the remake of "Godzilla" that nearly ruined that franchise, and a few other films.

Here's the intro. I believe that's also Frey singing the theme song.

No rating.

Celebrity Rock: "Laura Ingalls" sings & dances (American Bandstand, 1978)

Of course, I'm referring to Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura on Little House on the Prairie. Imagine the surprise finding this next video.

Melissa appeared on American Bandstand to perform a cover of "If My Friends Could See Me Now", which disco singer Linda Clifford had recorded earlier in 1978. Melissa's version never made it onto vinyl, nor did it get any kind of radio airplay at all.

This also appears on my other blog, Saturday Morning Archives.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgotten TV: Suspicion (1957)

With his self-titled anthology series entering its 3rd season, film legend Alfred Hitchcock tried to complement it with a 2nd anthology on NBC. Suspicion, however, lasted just 1 season. Hitchcock was the executive producer, and directed a handful of episodes, including the opener, "Four O'Clock", with E. G. Marshall and Richard Long.

Actor Dennis O'Keefe was meant to be the host, but was gone after just 2 weeks. When the network recycled the show for summer reruns, Walter Abel took over as host. O'Keefe's appearance appears to have been edited off the above print.

No rating.