PBS is playing all of the classic hits

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

About this time each year and during the fall season, public broadcasting TV stations air their fundraising programs featuring all genres of music and entertainment.

Right now, you can tune in to these stations and nostalgically trek back to the 1950s.

Their “Magic Moments” brought back songs and instrumentals from early 1950 to 1959. Popular hits, as well as treasured Country and Western songs, were exactly those we used on WATM back then. Our announcers, Tom and Ernestine Miniard, Sam Ford, Jimmy Cruise, Mike Roberts, Dan Locke, Sam Hill and I spun those hits from daylight to dark.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Some of the songs PBS played on TV this week were, “O Mien Pa Pa,” by Eddie Fisher and “The Wayward Wind,” by Gogi Grant. Even Eddie Arnold’s “Cattle Call” and Red Foley’s “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” fit right in with the popular songs of the era.

So many songs and artists were featured. There were songs and music like “Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page, “Slowpoke” by Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys, “Harbor Lights” by Guy Lombardo, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” by Lauree London,  “Love Letters In The Sand” by Pat Boone, “Tammy”, by Debbie Reynolds, “Bye Bye Love”, by the Everly Brothers, “Memories Are Made Of This” by Dean Martin, “Rags To Riches” by Tony Bennett, “Moonglow” from Picnic, by Morris Stoloff, “Little Darlin” by the Diamonds, “Blueberry Hill” by fats Domino and Louis Armstrong, “The Rock and Roll Waltz” by Kay Starr, “Band of Gold” by Don Cherry, “It’s Only Make believe” by Conway Twitty, “Sugartime” by the McGuire Sisters, “Standing On The Corner” by the Four Lads, “The Shifting Whispering Sands” by The Billy Vaughn Orchestra and Rusty Draper, “O lonesome Me” by Don Gibson and “Young Love” by Sonny James (from Hackleberg, who, incidentally, passed away a couple of years ago).

This particular “Magic Moments” program was actually aired about 2006 and captured over one hundred arrangements. However, with the advent of Smart TV you can now watch excerpts on your computer and send it to your TV with the right kind of hookup.

The Dixie Echoes, featured at a Gospel concert at Brooks Memorial Baptist Church, exemplified music from the 1950s era. In fact, this quartet possessed some of the most outstanding arrangements and close four-part harmony I have ever heard. I learn also that they are in demand all across the USA. Hailing from Pensacola, their concerts are staged 200 days a year from the Gulf Coast to New England states.

It seems more and more groups like this, as well as upstart small orchestras, are finding success rendering the Big Band sounds. Young folks in particular find it fascinating to listen to the musical selections their parents and grandparents were exposed to.

You can Google it on your computer with, “Young Folks and the Big Bands” to get an idea how this is sweeping the nation. Even the newer movies are featuring music from these by-gone days.

How many of you can name the theme songs used by various Big Band orchestras?  How about David Rose Orchestra on the Red Skelton Show? It was “Holiday for Strings.” Some others were “Moonlight Serenade”, by Glenn Miller and “Snowfall,” by Claude Thornhill. Other popular themes back in those days were, “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” by Tommy Dorsey and “Woodchoppers Ball,” by Woody Herman. I bet you can name many, many more too.

Folks you want to be real careful these days on calls coming in on your phones. Scam calls, as they are called, want you to call back just to register your phone number. I am told that once you make the call, it kicks off a meter that ticks continuously, running up unbelievable phone charges. Offhand, I do not know the website that can alert you to these scams, but you can Google it with, “Beware of Scam Phone Calls,” and find the poison phone numbers to avoid.

Now let us take a look at some news from 1970.

James Gulley was recognized for outstanding scholastic achievements during commencement exercises at Faulkner State College and James Norris took top sales honors at Alabama Power Co. for record sales that year.

Four local students, Clint Smith, David Chapman, Mark Mckissack and Jim Johnson were chosen to attend “Boys State” at the state convention in Birmingham.

Have you found yourself sneezing and having watery eyes these past few days? Well, I read that pollen has made an early entrance and is the cause of these symptoms. That source of information pointed out the last time pollen came this early was 50 years ago. I understand the pollen comes from early blooming plants and trees. But I have detected some pine pollen, which, in my opinion, is one of the worst kinds. The pollen can be seen outdoors and inside the home as well.

Next week, we will have more news from days gone by.