Category Archives: 19 Somethin’

19 Somethin’ – Farrah Fawcett

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here are the next lines in the song:

it was 1970 somethin’
in the world that I grew up in
Farah Fawcett hairdo days

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) starred in Charlie’s Angels for only 1 season (1976-1977), but what an impact she made on pop culture! She became an international sex symbol, and her hair style was emulated by millions of young women in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978, she developed her own brand of hair care products, marketed by Fabergé, for which she appeared in a series of commercials and print ads.

Fawcett was married to Lee Majors, star of TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy, from 1973 to 1982, although the couple separated in 1979. Then from 1982 to 1997, Fawcett was involved with actor Ryan O’Neal.

Farrah Fawcett made her mark on the ’80s by starring in the television movie The Burning Bed, from which she earned an Emmy nomination. She played a battered woman, and the movie was the first to provide an 800 number that offered help for people in that situation – in this case, victims of domestic abuse.
Over the years, she starred in several other movies.

In 2006, Farrah was diagnosed with anal cancer. She went through chemo and surgery, and on her 60th birthday, it was reported that she was cancer-free. However, four months later a malignant polyp was found where she had been treated for the initial cancer. She then went through all kinds of alternative treatments. But, on May 7, 2009, she was reported as critically ill. A two-hour documentary Farrah’s Story, which was filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC on May 15, 2009. The documentary was watched by nearly nine million people, and Fawcett earned her fourth Emmy nomination posthumously on July 16, 2009, as producer of Farrah’s Story. Fawcett died at approximately 9:28 a.m., PDT on June 25, 2009, in the intensive care unit of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. And as we all know, this was overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson later that day.

Charlie’s Angels co star Kate Jackson said “I will miss Farrah every day. She was a selfless person who loved her family and friends with all her heart, and what a big heart it was. Farrah showed immense courage and grace throughout her illness and was an inspiration to those around her. When I think of Farrah I will remember her kindness, her cutting dry wit and, of course, her beautiful smile.”

“Today when you think of Farrah remember her smiling, because that is exactly how she wanted to be remembered.”

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19 Somethin’ – Elvis

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

well I was a kid when Elvis died
and my mama cried

August 16, 1977. That was the day the King of Rock & Roll died. Elvis Presley was suppose to fly out of Memphis that night to begin a tour. But his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, found him on his bathroom floor. There were multiple attempts to revive him, but he was officially pronounced dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

Here are some news broadcasts reporting his death:

Thousands of people gathered outside Graceland to view the open casket. Presley’s funeral was held at Graceland, on Thursday, August 18. Approximately 80,000 people lined the processional route to Forest Hill Cemetery, where Presley was buried next to his mother. Of course, there was a wacko that tried to steal his body, so Elvis and his mother were reburied in Graceland’s Meditation Garden on October 2. Graceland was opened to the public in 1982. It is the second most-visited home in the United States, after the White House.

We have seen our share of tragic deaths in the past year – Corey Haim, Gary Coleman, and of course Michael Jackson.
Elvis’ death may be the earliest memory of a celebrity dying before their time should have been up.

Does anybody remember the day that Elvis died, and how were you affected?

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19 Somethin’ – Evel Knievel

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

and a couple of Evel Knievel scars on my right arm

Evel Knievel was a famous stuntman and daredevil. He was kind of like the David Blaine of the ’70s. Except that it is way more fun watching somebody wipe out on a motorcycle than it is to watch somebody not move from one place for hours and hours.

Evel was born October 17, 1938, and his real name was Robert Craig Knievel.
Evel Knievel was most famous for his motorcycle stunts. There had been motorcycle stunt people who jumped over animals and pools of water. Knievel wanted to stand out, so started jumping cars. He began adding more and more cars to his jumps when he would return to the same venue to get people to come out and see him again. On June 19, 1966 in Missoula, Montana, he attempted to jump twelve cars and a cargo van. He did not get enough speed off of the ramp, so his back wheel hit the top of the van while his front wheel hit the top of the landing ramp. Knievel ended up with a severely broken arm and several broken ribs. Instead of ruining him, the crash made him famous.

He had some very successful jumps, and some more crashes.

While in Las Vegas, to watch Dick Tiger successfully defend his WBA and WBC light heavyweight titles at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 17, 1967, Knievel first saw the fountains at Caesars Palace and decided to jump them.
Knievel tried to get ABC to air the event live on Wide World of Sports. ABC declined, but said that if Knievel had the jump filmed and it was as spectacular as he said it would be, they would consider using it later.

Knievel used his own money to have actor/director John Derek produce a film of the Caesars’ jump. To keep costs low, Derek used his then-wife Linda Evans as one of the camera operators. It was Evans who filmed Knievel’s famous landing. It was an incredible crash, and here it is:

After his crash and recovery Knievel was more famous than ever. ABC-TV bought the rights to the film of the jump paying far more than they originally would have had they televised the original jump live.
Another one of Knievel’s jumps was over the Snake River Canyon on September 8, 1974.

ABC Sports was unwilling to pay the price Knievel wanted for the Snake River Canyon jump, so he ended up hiring Bob Arum’s company, Top Rank Productions, to put the event on closed circuit television and broadcast to movie theaters. Then WWF Promoters Don E. Branker and Vince McMahon, Sr., were later said to be silent promoters of this event. Knievel hired an aeronautical engineer to build him a rocket-powered cycle that he could use to jump across the Snake River, to be called the X-1 Skycycle.
As soon as he took of, the parachute deployed. The cycle actually made it across the length of the canyon, but the wind brought it back to the side where he started from. He only landed a few feet from the water. If he had landed in the water, he would have drowned due to a jumpsuit/harness malfunction which kept him strapped in the vehicle. Knievel survived the jump with only minor injuries.

Here is an interesting video about the event:

He had many other major jumps after that event, and he was world famous. There were even Evel Knievel toys:

Evel Knievel died in Clearwater, Florida, on November 30, 2007, aged 69. He had been suffering from diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for many years.

His son Robbie Knievel has followed in his father’s shoes as a motorcycle daredevil.

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19 Somethin’ – Baseball Cards


The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

had a shoebox full of baseball cards

Before I had money to buy music, I had my parents’ money to buy baseball cards. I also had football cards, and The Empire Strikes Back cards. But, since baseball is my favorite sport, I had more than a shoebox ful of baseball cards. Remember how the gum would come in the package? You could break your teeth trying to chew it. And a lot of times, the gum would stick to the back of the last card, and the card would rip a little bit.

Here are a sample of the Topps cards from the ’80s:

1980

Carl Yastrzemski
1981

Tim Raines
1982

Nolan Ryan
1983

Wade Boggs
1984
Mike Schmidt
1985

Dwight Gooden
1986

Don Mattingly
1987

Mark McGuire
1988

Kirby Puckett
1989
Randy Johnson

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19 Somethin’ – Roger Staubach

250px-staubach_cowboys_qbThe 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

well, I was Roger Staubach in my back yard

Roger Staubach (born February 5, 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a legendary Hall of Fame former quarterback who played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 until 1979.

Staubach was also a college superstar when he played for Navy. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1963, and was the last player from a military academy to win the award. He was drafted by the Cowboys in 1964, but due to his military commitment, did not begin playing until 1969 as a 27-year-old rookie. After graduating from the Naval Academy, Staubach could have requested an assignment in the States but he chose to volunteer for a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam where he served as a supply officer for the United States Navy until 1967.

In 1969, Staubach joined the Cowboys.
In 1971, the Cowboys made their first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl V. Staubach had split time with Craig Morton at Quarterback, and Morton played in the Super Bowl. The Balitomre Colts won the game 16-13.

On January 16, 1972, Staubach led the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl victory, in Super Bowl VI, over the Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys won 24–3, and Staubach was the MVP.

In a 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings, Staubach had one of his most famous moments. With seconds on the clock and the Cowboys trailing 14–10, Staubach launched a 50-yard bomb to wide receiver Drew Pearson, who caught the pass and strode into the end zone for a 17–14 victory. After the game, Staubach quipped he prayed a “Hail Mary” before throwing the pass. Ever since then, any long pass to the end zone at the end of a game has been called a “Hail Mary”.

Staubach had one more Super Bowl victory – Super Bowl XII. The Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos 27-10.

Staubach was in two other Super Bowls in which the Cowboys lost to Terry Bradshaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers – Super Bowl X in 1976 by a score of 21-17, and Super Bowl XIII in 1979 by a score of 35-31.

Staubach retired from football in March 1980, as the then highest rated passer of all time at 83.4, and was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1999, he was ranked number 29 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the second-ranked Cowboy behind Bob Lilly.

Roger Staubach has spent most of his football retirement as a successful businessman.

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19 Somethin’ – Stretch Armstrong

maxresdefaultThe 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

and I’ve seen the stuff they put inside Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong was gel-filled action figure by Kenner, and first appeared in 1976. You could stretch out his arms and legs, and then they would go back into place.
And then in 1978, an arch enemy came out – Stretch Monster. It was a green reptilian monster. Here is the commercial:

Now, Stretch Armstrong is making a comeback. Taylor Lautner will be starring in a 3D Stretch Armstrong movie that is scheduled to be released in March 2012. Here is a news report on it:

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19 Somethin’ – Pac Man

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the first article, you can get caught up here. Here is the next line in the song:

Had the Pac Man pattern memorized

Before home video games, you used to have to go to the arcade to play video games. And it would cost a quarter a game. So, in order to spend less money, and more time on the game, you learned the patterns to the games pretty quickly. Most, if not all, video games had a pattern. And you either spent a lot of quarters learning them, or you watched your friends spend a lot of their quarters on the game, and learn the patterns that way.

Here is the full article about Pac-man that was posted on May 25, 2010 in case you missed it:

Pac-Man, the most successful coin-operated video game in history, was released in Japan on May 22,1980. Pac-Man is an icon of ’80s pop culture. Not only did it boost the popularity of video games, it generated spin-off games, merchandise, a television show, and even a cereal!

When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders and Asteroids.

Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., (along with Pong and Dragon’s Lair).

The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning ‘chomp.’ But in America, arcade operators were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, ‘Pac’ was suggested as an alternate name.

To play the game, you would insert your quarter, then use the joystick to move Pac-Man through a maze and eat dots, and avoid the four ghosts – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the monsters. The monsters turn deep blue, reverse direction, and usually move more slowly. When a monster is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the monster box where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue monsters flash white before they become dangerous again How many of you would become greedy and try to get all the ghosts? But then just when you try to get one of the last ghosts, they would flash white, and they would get you before you could get them.

In addition to dots and power pellets, bonus items, usually referred to as fruits (though not all items are fruit) appear near the center of the maze. These items score extra bonus points when eaten. The items change and bonus values increase throughout the game. Also, a series of intermissions play after certain levels toward the beginning of the game, showing a humorous set of interactions (the first being after level 2) between Pac-Man and Blinky.

In 1982, Pac-Man was released for Atari. For people how had Intellivision instead of Atari, you had to settle for Lock & Chase.

Pac-Man spawned numerous sequels, the most significant of which is Ms. Pac-Man, released in the United States in 1981. The game features several changes from the original Pac-Man, including faster gameplay, more mazes, new intermissions, and moving bonus items. Some consider Ms. Pac-Man to be superior to the original, and even the best in the entire series.

In 1982, Milton Bradley released a board game based on Pac-Man.
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An animated TV series was produced by Hanna–Barbera and aired on ABC from 1982 to 1984:

The song “Pac-Man Fever,” by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop chart in early 1982:

And you know you’ve made it when “Weird Al” Yankovic does a parody song about you. Here is “Weird Al”‘s Pac-Man song, done to the music of The Beatles’ “Taxman”:

If it wasn’t for Pac-Man (the game, not those songs!), there may never have been a Mario, Lara Croft, or Call of Duty video games.

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19 Somethin’

1200px-star_wars_logo-svgIn 2002, country music singer Mark Wills released a song called 19 Somethin’. It was written by David Lee and Chris DuBois, and it is basically a “We Didn’t Start the Fire” type of song that makes pop culture references from our generation (late ’70s early ’80s). It spent six weeks at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in early 2003, and was the #2 country song of the Decade on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart.

This song happened to come up on my iPod this week. I have somewhere around 7,000 songs on my iPod, so I had forgotten about this one.

So, in this series, I will write about each line of the song. At the end of this article, you can watch the video of the song.

As you can tell from the logo, you can see what the first line is about:

I Saw Star Wars at least eight times

To say that this movie had an impact on my life, (and on most kid’s lives) when this was released, would be an understatement. I’m not going to bother going through a summary of the movie.

This was the first movie that I can remember seeing in the theater. And at this point, I have seen this a tad more than eight times. I haven’t listened to most of the songs I love as many times as I have seen Star Wars.

To this day, if I hear the 20th Century Fox theme, and it is not followed by the Lucasfilm Ltd logo, then:

then I am very disappointed!

Star Wars changed movie making as it changed special effects forever. It also spawned off many space/science fiction movies, such as Battlestar Galactica, The Black Hole, and it got the Star Trek franchise going again.

It also changed the toy industry. I don’t think there were small action figures before this. I had a big G.I. Joe figure, and a Six Million Dollar Man figure (where you could look through a spot in the back of his head, and see out his eye for bionic vision, and you could roll the skin on his arm back to see the bionics there).
But now there were small action figures of everybody in the movie – even the characters that were in the movie for 2 seconds (R5-D4 or Hammerhead anyone?). And of course there were figures of the main characters:

I think I had almost all of them from the original movie. And there were the ships. There was the X-Wing fighter where you push down on R2-D2’s head, and the wings opened up:

And then there were the sequels. Some (including me) would even argue that the second movie – The Empire Strikes Back – was the best of the franchise.

And then the prequels were released from 1999-2004. A lot of people from my generation complained about them, but I liked them a lot. And it introduced a brand new generation to the movies we loved. And now there is the Clone Wars series on the Cartoon Network. So now there is an even newer generation being introduced to Star Wars.
And weren’t we curious about the Clone Wars ever since Obi-Wan mentioned them quickly in the original movie?

There have also been Star Wars books, comic books and video games. Basically, Star Wars will live forever. And most of us have been there from the very beginning.

Now, enjoy the song 19 Somethin’ by Mark Wills:

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