Ingrid Andress was the musical guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Monday night. She spoke with James about her Grammy nominations and how she'd like to collaborate with Megan Thee Stallion, she also performed her new single 'Lady Like'...
Maren Morris was the musical guest on Monday night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She sang "Better Than We Found It", watch the performance below...
Millie asked if we could remember her favorite from years ago, Keith Whitley. Of course. Millie says it still makes her tear up thinking about his - in the end, tragic story. You're not alone. Seldom has a country star evoked as much emotion as he did in his short life and early death. Keith Whitley died at 34 of an alcohol overdose. But his gift to us beyond the music, was being the blueprint for a new kind of country star.
You May Not Know - This Was His Song Before Any Other Version
Whitley was seemingly right on time when he hit the charts in 1985. He was a traditionalist when the movement was in the embryonic stage as we were leaving Urban Cowboy behind. Whitley's background was deep country and bluegrass, and he grew up playing music in his native Kentucky with Ricky Skaggs, as both of them were discovered by Ralph Stanley of Bluegrass fame. They both joined Stanley's band at a very young age. Skaggs went on to his incredibly successful solo career, breaking through in 1980, and Whitley would follow a few years later.
Another Number One
Whitley was handsome, he was young, he had this big warm voice that was perfect for gut wrenching, deeply emotive, country songs that found the exact center of your heart. He excited new fans with his newfound star power, and older fans loved him as he reminded them of the stars of their youth. He blasted upon the scene with great songs like, Miami My Amy, Homecoming '63, and Hard Livin'. It didn't take long for fans to fall in love with him, or country singer Lorrie Morgan who did as well, and the two were married in 1986. Whitley was poised for a huge, long run with so many great songs, it seemed we couldn't get them on the air fast enough.
One Of The Best Country Songs Of All Time
In 1988, the Don't Close Your Eyes album came out and his career was shoved into high gear, as it is one of the best country albums of the past 40 years. It was the zenith of his young career with 3 big number ones, When You Say Nothing At All, (Written by Paul Overstreet, one of the best wongwriters of that era) I'm No Stranger To The Rain (Grammy Nominated and CMA Winner Song Of The Year 1989) and Don't Close Your Eyes, (Written by Bob McDill, one of the greatest Country songwriters ever, writing 31 #1 songs) which was named the #1 Country Song of 1988.
He was rising to the top at a break neck pace. Keep in mind, this is before Garth, Clint, Tim, Shania, Alan and Brooks And Dunn. This was the infancy of the neotraditionalists along with George, Dwight and Randy. They were changing the direction of country music, and setting the stage nicely for the new giants that were on the way. Then on May 9, 1989 as he was getting ready to play a round of golf, Whitley was found unresponsive at his home, and died shortly after. Keith Whitley's alcohol demons had proven to be too much.
In all my years in Country Music and Country Radio, it is still one of the saddest days I can remember. I was doing the morning show at KLIK in Jefferson City, Missouri and our listeners were devastated, as was the Nashville community. Listeners called for days, that became weeks, wanting to hear his music. The sheer sadness was something that doesn't happen that often. This young man died, leaving a young wife, and a young child with the world at his feet seemingly. And just like that, he was gone.
After His Passing - Very Popular Song
Many songs would be released after his death, it seemed like he was still with us. There was very good chart success, and he had a real presence in the format and on the radio. There were solo songs, and a duet with Earl Thomas Conley, as well as compilation and tribute albums. His voice lived on long after his passing. But the format lost a real rising star, someone that was pointing us in a new and exciting direction. He was a big part of what happened in the early 1990's even though he never saw them. He influenced many, and had tons of fans. And the amount of YouTube Views of his music are huge.
Duet With Earl Thomas Conley
From my seat from behind the mic, I said on the air many times long before he died that I'm No Stranger To The Rain is one of the best country songs of all time and I stand by that 32 years later. It was written by a tremendous songwriter named Sonny Curtis (Who also wrote the iconic theme song for the Mary Tyler Moore Show). The song became autobiographical for Whitley and you know that when you hear it. It was Whitley at his absolute best, and that album, as much as any album, set the stage for the avalanche of new stars that came in 1989 and ran through the 1990's. And even though he was not there to see it, he along with George Strait, Randy Travis, and Dwight Yoakam had a whole lot to do with the onslaught of great music and artists that followed. His fans believed every word and note he sang, and that's where he lived.
Keith Whitley - If you don't know him, get to know him. We miss him still.
Done Too Soon.
We can all be excited that our Ohio State Buckeyes are going to play for a national title tonight. Only two college teams are still playing and we are one of them.
I, like you was not overly surprised they beat Clemson last week, but I think it would be hard to find someone that called for an OSU beat down of one of the "best" college programs in the nation. The Buckeyes simply played about the perfect football game. They were faster, stronger, quicker, had more urgency, and they wanted it more. In sports many times that can only come from one place - The heart.
To me, the Buckeyes had the look and resolve of a team that had enough. Enough of never beating Clemson, enough of Clemson Coach Dabo saying OSU was the 11th best college team in America. And I think they had enough of hearing that they didn't play enough games to be there. That was big talk from a coach that has built his entire program on beating up the 10 doormats or so in the ACC for the past few years. I understand what Dabo was saying, he just shouldn't have said it as it was bush league, uncalled for, and ill-advised. Clearly the Buckeyes were listening
It's one thing to think these things about another team or an upcoming opponent. It's another to actually verbalize it out loud or in the sports media on TV or Social Media. When you do - you make it real. Yes, real for minions and the fans who agree with you as you can all have a great screaming session about the injustices of a season where that is as much as the rule as the exception this year. BUT, you also make it very real for your target, and that's exactly what happened.
The Buckeyes had simply heard enough about the whole thing, so they did what teams of great mental toughness do. They went out and left no doubt. And if I was Alabama, I would keep my mouth closed about the entire thing. It's a mute point anyway. I mean it really is. Dabo flapping his yap was the gas the Buckeyes needed in their engine, and he filled the tank. The time for crying over this has long come and gone, now it's time to play football. And that was last week and that's tonight.
It's never a good idea to awaken a sleeping giant, and then tell him that he doesn't belong because you don't think he does, or more honestly - you wish he wasn't here. But he is, so lace 'em up tight and let's see what happens.
Because that kind of talk is simply that - talk. Let's play the game and let it decide who belongs or not.
Wynn's Weekend Watch - One Year Ago Today This Was #1 - GREAT MOVIE!
Box Office - #1 Croods / #2 News Of The World / #3 Monster Hunter
My Movie Review Of – Wonder Woman 1984 (Link)
#1 Netflix - Cobra Kai (Story)
Chris Pine - Will be in Wonder Women 3 (Story)
The Madelorian – The most pirated show of 2020 (Story)
“Cocomelon” - The most streamed show in 2020 on Netflix (Story)
Emma Stone - Is pregnant with her first child (Story)
A Movie Based - On the invention of the Rubik’s Cube is in the works. (Story)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane Keith Whitley (link)
Getting You – Ready for the Buckeyes Game! (Link)
Getting You – Ready for the Browns Game! (Link)
For all of us whether you've never seen it, or it's been a long time, we are getting ready to watch the Browns play in the post season. Yes, the NFL Post Season. By this time ususally, most of the Browns players have Florida tee times, and in some seasons, we've been eliminated from playoff possibilities by week 7.
But this year is different, and so are the Browns. They are different in every way. The Browns are in, and they didn't "back in." They earned their place and and now it seems they are taking the next step. True old saying, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Good words, and this is the first and single step. This week clearly has also given the Browns even more challenges - and that's a shame. But that's the world we live in right now.
One of the good truths about the Browns is this. They have actually been better for the past couple of years. But with the absolute wrong people at the helm, the Browns ended up face first in the ditch when they shouldn't have. But now that the "dudes" are long gone, and we have real football adult people at the controls, the Browns are winning, and looking good doing it. Every one of us deserves this, and we should enjoy this Sunday night.
I'm going to grow very weary this weekend of the networks playing clips of The Drive, The Fumble, and the 2002 Steelers playoff game when we blew at 20 point lead. I'm going to focus on who we are now. These are not the Cardiac Kids, or Kosar's Browns. (Both eras very good). But these Browns are different. Better? We will find out. The game itself is different now, far more wide open, lots of rule and officiating changes, and the league has become pass happy which is fine. But these Browns are still old school for the most part - and new school as well. That is the difference and what could really help them Sunday, and beyond.
I believe in these Browns. They are certainly not the best team in the league, but they're good. And the way they are assembled, they could be tough to deal with well beyond this year. AND they are very well coached. The only game they lost this year before the game began was week one at Baltimore. First game from a new head coach to be expected. But this team is ready to play every week now. And they will need to be Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Can they beat the Steelers in a playoff game? Yes. As where other Browns teams of the past 20 years could not. If the Browns show up - and be who they are - they can win this game and move on as the balance of power is slowly shifting in our division. But will they? This would be the biggest win in a generation. The Steelers have had many great moments in recent history and know how to win these kind of games. And being honest and fair, they are THE BEST franchise in all of professional sports. Their 45 year run of being really good is nothing short of incredible.
As for the Browns - their moment was finally arrived. What they do with their moment - well, we will find out Sunday night inn Prime Time!
Well there certainly haven't been many occasions to write a movie review lately, but with the deal reached with HBO Max and other streaming services, some blockbusters are now getting to us, and will continue through 2021. WW84 came out Christmas Day.
I loved everything there was to love about the original in this series. I still think it's the best Superhero movie ever made. I am not huge fan of the genre, but I have seen and reviewed them all, and the original was simply different. For me, it was just a good movie, not a good comic book movie. It was set in an historic event, with a terrific look, a nice back story, with great characters and wonderful character development. The writing was incredible on the first movie. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were perfectly cast, and their chemistry was palpable to us. The story, although fiction, set in WWI was genius, and the toys, bells and whistles of the special effects were sensational. It was a movie where the star of the movie - was the movie! I wish this had the same feel, even remotely.
WW84 is set in 1984, and without going into huge detail about the story lines, I will say the big problem here is that this simply feels like just another run of the mill Superhero movie, where the first one did not. This is way, way too long and drawn out especially at the end. The story is very ho-hummy, but there are some fun characters introduced here, like Kristen Wiig's, who is a villain of sorts, and her transformation and journey to that place is fun and interesting. But her slick performance can't save this.
This lacks the passion of the original. It lacks the slow burn between Diana (Gadot) and Steve (Pine). This lacks really smart movie making that director Patty Jenkins was so insanely skilled at on the original. It also lacks an historical event that was smart, paramount and different, as this simply chronicles an era, and does not capture the real essence of that era. It is also too far of a jump for me from 1918 to 1984. There is plenty of action of course as I'm sure test audiences of Superhero fans begged for more, and they get it. But as far as standard movie goers are concerned, that just makes it another CGI fest, and not a better movie. Like singing, louder is not better - better - is better.
This does not capture the charm, fun or smarts of the original in any way. Gadot and Pine are fine together, but that's not what we want. We want great, but they are handcuffed by a script that was laden with far too much loud action, and not enough compelling or thought provoking story telling that we cared about and was the star of the first. All of what's wrong here, is in the script. This movie also is void of a powerful signature scene. In the original when Diana emerges from the war torn trenches and challenges the Germans in No Mans Land, is as great of a scene in these kind of movies you can have. None of that here.
This Is A Great Example Of What WW84 Lacks - This Scene And Others Propelled The Original To GREAT Heights!
Is this a bad movie? No. It's just not in the same breath as the first, and that's a shame. I caught it on HBO Max and you can too, and that's a fair way to see it.
Wonder Woman 84 I wanted great again. We got, just OK.
This week K.T. Olsin passed away and for many, they may not know exactly who she was. Her short run was a long time ago, but extremely successful. Not knowing exactly who she was though as an artist, is nothing really new for her. She was really tough to categorize. She was an original - and she was exceptionally talented, and I played them all with pride, because you knew you were playing something very different and original.
80's Ladies - Monster Song!
K.T. Oslin rose to fame at the age of 45. Completely unheard of, and I can't think of another who has done it. She blasted on the scene with a vengeance. The album 80's Ladies to me is a classic, and won about everything you could win. The single of the same name was a big hit and won a Grammy, and about everything else. Songs like Do Ya followed and I'll Always Come Back, which I think is a gem, also big songs. She was honored by about every organization there was, and won everything and did it all at a very interesting time.
Do Ya - Sultry Performance - So Distinct
You see, K.T. Oslin was nowhere near a traditionalist, and that movement was newly underway as that time. In 1987 -1990 when her run took place, we were going in a very different direction. Oslin didn't sound country, she was a stylist that seemed to live through her songs, and got through her songs rather than soaringly sing them. She was bluesy, she was sultry, she was way different than anything else we were playing and she stood out. She was all grown up, you could feel her life when she sang. She was terrific!
This Song Is A Work Of Art
She is also a GREAT example of the importance of the written song. Her songwriting was incredible years before she was a recording star. She wrote for The Judds, Dottie West, and for a great singer named Gail Davies who recorded a fantastic Oslin song, Round The Clock Lovin', (1982) a song K.T. told me once backstage she wished she saved for herself, (she at last did record it) but it was 5 years before she hit it big. Funny thing about her, the same thing that made her popular, is the same thing many didn't care for.
This Song Was A Big Country Hit For Gail Davies in 1982 - K.T. Written - It's So K.T.
(BTW -Gail Davies is worth a Google Search, she was GREAT!)
K.T. Oslin was not "country". She just wasn't. And still isn't, in the traditional sense. But she found a following, and found common ground on the country charts. What she was, was GOOD! And Country fans know good when they hear it. She had her detractors but when she started walking off with every award possible, the disagreements stopped. Her run was basically over by about 1991, but what a run! She found a sound so unique, you had to listen. And that's darn rare.
Her Biggest Charted Song! 2 Weeks #1 - Stick With It - It Happens
She had major heart surgery in 1995. She then was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2016 and had been in a facility for it until her death this week. She was 78. She broke down tons of walls with her age, image, songs, style and pure genius songwriting talent. I always had a ton of respect for her, hanging around all those years and finally making it big, and I do mean BIG when most artists are starting to wrap it up.
K.T. Oslin - very safe to assume there will NEVER be another. She beat the odds in all ways possible.
This Christmas Memory is short and sweet for me. I can't go through a Christmas morning without remembering that Christmas Day, was the last day my dad was ever home when I was a kid. And I am so glad we could make it happen.
I was 16, my brother 21, and we went and picked up my dad from Southwest General Hospital. We got him in the car and brought him home for the day. His future was a forgone conclusion as cancer was well advanced, and had been for a few months, but we got him home. I'll be honest, I don't remember much about that whole day, other than the fact he was home with us, such as he was. And I think that was good enough for us.
After a few hours, we drove him back, and I think he was ready to go back, as he needed care that we were not capable of handling. A couple weeks later, he moved to a nursing home. A few weeks after that he forgot where he was, and a few weeks after that he forgot who I was. Then he passed at 53. Too young. Yeah I miss him, but it's been so long ago, I can't imagine my life with him. He was a good guy.
But, I am always thankful for that last visit to the house. The one my mom still lives in, the one on a 2 acre wooded lot. The one they bought in 1959 and agonized over how they would afford a $147 a month mortgage. He was home one last time, and that is a Christmas memory I will never, ever forget.
I've been writing this week about Christmas Memories, and I have to tell you about Hazel Marie. Hazel Marie was married to my moms father. We called him Grandpa Doc, as he was a Doctor, and Hazel Marie worked in his home office where he treated local people in Lakewood. My actual grandmother, Stella died before I was born. So I only knew Hazel Marie.
I guess we liked Hazel, although this woman was absent from any kind of real decorum or good taste. If something was totally free, or exceedingly cheap, she was all about it. She laughed way too loud, was a terrible driver and made her living by playing the harp at funerals. She wore tons of fake fur, and knitted 23 hours a day. Plus, she had one of those short, plastic white Christmas trees that spun with a light that also spun and had three different colors on it. She was an interesting soul for sure.
But what really solidified in our memories was Hazel Marie's feeble attempt at Christmas gift giving. Making it clear, they had money, she was just - well - cheap! One year she crocheted two hangers together in various colors and gave them to us as gifts. (They were sturdy, I gotta admit). One year for all the girls, (including the 50 year olds) colorful, adhesive contact paper wrapped around paper clips as necklaces and bracelets. But the grand finale was the following.
One year Hazel Marie crocheted all of the boys, (including the 50 year olds) colorful jockstraps! Why? No one on this planet will never really know. Probably saw it in some rouge knitting magazine in 1972 and went with it. Few bucks for yarn and she was good to go. I was young, maybe ten, and I didn't get it for a lot of reasons. Now, I'm way older, I still don't get it for every reason. But we all took them and thanked her for her effort.
As silly as all of that was and is, we have laughed about it for decades after. All of her tacky gifts that were designed with us, and her inheritance clearly in mind. Every family has a Hazel Marie in some regard. She outlived Doc and I'm sure enjoyed the fruits of his labor for the time she had left. We still laugh about her and those silly Christmases that were so long ago.
BTW - I still have the hanger, it's in Baldwin-Wallace Colors, so it must have been my moms as she was teaching there then. But the jockstrap?