Old News 2014 Just what it says...

Don't forget to visit Jack And Misty's Important Links!

(Go on... you know you want to...)

Our CD catalog:www.elvinsystems.com/jm/catalog.htm
CD BABY:www.cdbaby.com/cd/jackmisty

We interrupt this page for a special announcement...

Christmas Card created by our friend Gayle Noble.

Oh, and speaking of Christmas...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.


Starflakes were falling. The moonlight was dreamy.
The snow was all drifty, and tasted whip creamy
Toyland was singing on this Christmas Eve.
Santa's sleigh was all packed up and ready to leave.
"The big rush is over!", I heard an elf shout.
They gathered together as Santa came out.
The boss shook each hand as he passed through the group.
Mrs. Santa appeared with a thermos of soup.

"Ho ho", laughed the chief, as he thanked every one
"for your loyal support, and a job so well done."
He climbed to the cockpit. "Let's rock!" he cried.
The reindeer all giggled till they nearly died.
He tucked in the blanket along by his knees,
And took aim at the Milky Way over the trees.
There was shouting and waving and kisses goodbye.
He fastened his seatbelt and soared to the sky.

The crowd went inside to get out of the weather.
Time for the annual Elf Get-together.
All except one, who just slouched on a stump,
Crabby Bassnaster, the neighborhood grump.
"What is it, Crabby", asked toymaker Spiro?
"We do the work", he crabbed. "Santa's the hero."
"Merry Christmas, big deal", and "Humbug", he said.
"Just put it into my paycheck instead."

Back to the workshop he stumped with a grumble,
grumping back over his shoulder to mumble:
"Land, if there's one thing that I jes' cain't take,
it's singin' an' dancin', an' ice cream an' cake!"
Toyland was darkened, and spookily still.
Not a sound of a hammer, much less a drill.
Rumble and grumble, he slumped through the halls,
Even his shadow looked sad on the walls.

By the light on his workbench he fumed and he fussed,
brushing away at a small speck of dust.
"One more 'ho-ho' from jolly ol' Santa,
And I'm gonna pack an' go back to Atlanta.
Sweeping the floor in a circle of light,
He saw something shiny there, off to the right.
"A leftover present? How can that be?
How come these troubles all happen to me?"

Tied with a ribbon and stuck with a pearl,
the card was addressed:" To a good little girl".
"The name an' address are marked here inside,
so it looks like I'm in for a cold midnight ride."
He hitched up the sleigh for the unscheduled run.
"The work of a pore elf jes' ain't never done."

(Later that Christmas Eve...)

"Now, let me see, this looks like the house.
I hope I don't stir up no critter nor mouse."
Then from the roof, down the chimney he slid.
"They ain't makin' chimleys the way that they did."
There by the fire a little girl sat.
"Jes' what I need, a wide awake brat."
She said, "Are you Santa"? He seemed sort of scarey.
"Do bloodshot eyes twinkle? Is my nose a cherry?

No, I'm just a gopher, a regular jerk.
He gets the glory, an' we do the work."
"I love you", she melted. "You ARE kinda cute!"
His face turned as red as his little red suit.
"I just couldn't sleep. I was feeling so bad.
It's my first Christmas Eve away from my dad."
Suddenly sobbing and snurfing and sighing.
Could all of that racket be Bassnaster crying?

He gave her the gift, and he kissed her goodbye,
With almost a twinkle in one teary eye.
Up to the rooftop, and into the sleigh,
He cranked up the reindeer and roared them away.
"Back to the party! Les move this ol' crate!
I better not miss out on ice cream an' cake!"
And, I heard him shout, as he dropped 'er in gear,
"Merry Christmas, y'all, and a Happy New Year!"

Jack Blanchard.

© 2001, 2004, 2011, 2014 by Jack Blanchard.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

And because it wouldn't be Christmas around here without it...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Jack and Misty
(And jackandmisty.net!)

We now return you to the regular site...
Of possible interest to our friends in the music business:

At this time http://www.airplaydirect.com
is being temporarily blocked by Firefox and Google Chrome
as a security risk.
We hope this gets fixed soon.

We bypassed the warning and went to AirplayDirect anyway.
Then we did two anti-virus scans
and showed no viruses or malware from that page.

INTERNET EXPLORER is not blocking it.

Jack & Misty


This just in from Suzie Sterling over at wnbr.fm:

From Suzie Sterling: This week is a bit of a switch for us. Normally, we have interviews with at least
2 artists or songwriters. There's even been a time or two that we've had a third guest
on the show. This week, our only interview is with Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan.
We also did this interview live and in-person, rather than by phone. We had a wonderful time
hanging out with these two fabulous songwriters, singers, musicians and just all-round-
entertainers! They have some of THE BEST road stories out there, and we just didn't feel
like we could pick and choose which ones to share. The show airs this Saturday morning
at 11am edt/10am central on www.nbrn.fm
You really should join us...seriously.

Thanks for the heads-up, Suzie! Looking forward to it!

We interrupt our current website for an important message from Jack and Misty...

We have lost some mail
because the Post Office where we used to live
didn't forward it as they were supposed to.

Please send all mail to:
Jack Blanchard
PO Box 895444
Leesburg FL 34789

We don't want to miss any more mail from our friends.

Jack & Misty

We now return you to your regularly scheduled website. Thank you.

Who says there's no such thing as happy endings?

This is the home we will be moving to. We have it almost paid for so we can move in,
thanks to all our friends who have cared. It's really nice inside.

This will be the living room when we get our furniture in. The glass doors open onto
a screened in porch. The ceiling fan is just out of the picture at the top.

Misty's new kitchen!

The Kitchen from another angle. The photo is over colored. The cabinetry is actually white.

We'll be moving March 15th. Thank you all.

-- Jack and Misty.


Gayle Noble of Koko'sUniverse.com has put up a website
with a whole flock of our funny animal songs.
She calls it BlazingSquirrel.com.
please click the squirrel button above.

We interrupt this website for a special announcement!

Misty and I are now taking CD orders personally over the telephone. 407 330 1611.
You will get our answering machine, but as soon as we hear you start to leave a message
we will pick up, if we're not at Walmart. :)
If we miss your call, we'll call you back.

Jack & Misty.


blogtalkradio.com presents
The Josie Show Special Edition 9 with Jack and Misty.
A one hour interview hosted by CMA member/recording artist Josie Passantino.
If you missed it live, you can catch (and even download) the replay: http://t.co/ZGJ1IS3YXE

Our new promo picture. Nice, huh?
A Blatant Promtion: The NEW Album... Download the new album now for $9.99 from CDBaby. All proceeds go to a needy couple :)
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan: One More Song Together

And now, here's our very own Soundclick™ player to while away the days of catching up
with over 100 Jack and Misty songs and productions (and one essay):

Neat, huh?

And now... the news...
December 29th, 2014... Hard to believe it's just three more days and counting, and we'll be barging into 2015. Which, I think, gives us just enough time for at least one more column this year from our fearless leader...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
NOTHING IS OVER LIKE CHRISTMAS. Nothing is over like Christmas. Months of anticipation, and then it's gone. Try to hold on to it and it slides away like this morning's dream. It's hard to work up the spirit here in Florida, but we give it a shot every year. Misty decorates a tree, and puts Christmas stuff all over the place. We listen to Christmas music with the air conditioning on and with palm trees lurking in the yard. I get sentimental about Christmas, probably because I had real Christmasy holidays years ago, with folks who are no longer with us, and my childish subconscious thinks it will happen again. I toss up futile prayers for snow here in the subtropics, but this is the time of year when we get a cheap imitation of autumn. A couple of trees around here get a touch of red, and I go look at them. Television doesn't help, with reports of all night sales, talking heads urging us to be good consumers, stranded travelers sleeping in airports, and carolers singing "Happy Honda Days". The people who tell us that it's a pagan holiday, just because it's near the winter solstice, may not realize what an intrusion that is upon our enjoyment. We can each bring our own thoughts to the season, and make it our personal non-pagan celebration. It's in the spirit of the beholder. I think I'll write a letter to Santa, and ask him for one more snowfall in Buffalo, where the night is silent, the homes are warm, and Christmas is strong in the air. Copyright © December 29, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
December 16th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
OLD SONGS AT CHRISTMAS. Some of my friends don't like Christmas music. I love it. I can understand how Christmas songs seem corny to some people, but they have melody, harmony, and words, which is more than a lot of today's popular music. Anyway, I love Christmas music for completely different reasons. This is the most emotional season of the year, and those songs bring back powerful memories, both happy and unhappy, but packed with emotion. The ghosts of past Christmases often blur my vision in December. My family was a partying bunch... each holiday an excuse for all the relatives to get together and have a special time. Even my grandparents would dress in outrageous costumes on Halloween, and on July 4th's we would drive the neighbors nuts with fireworks. New Years Eve meant champagne and "blind robins". .. and on and on. Later in my life I experienced some very rough Christmases, some even tragic, and also some wonderful times with Misty and the small family we had left. Every experience at this time of year is magnified and extreme in my memory. Hearing the old songs at Christmas makes me happily sad. They evoke feelings I don't even understand, and yet it's my favorite time of the year. My steady guy cracks right down the middle, and my sentimental guy takes over. "It's a Wonderful Life" was on TV the other night. We watched something else because we've seen it so many times. The show we were watching ended early and Jimmy Stewart was still on, so we decided to see the last hour of it. We both sat there like idiots with lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes when George Bailey got his life back. Christmas makes me weak, I guess. A good kind of weakness. Copyright © December 16, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
December 2nd, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
CHRISTMAS IS A TIME... Christmas is a time of sad happiness. It gets more and more commercial, but if the stores were closed wouldn't it take away some of the fun? Bar rooms are lined with the lonely, clinging to each other... like family. Bartenders are parent images. Displaced Yankees dream of gently falling snow that never turns to slush, and wandering Romeos often come home, at least temporarily. Telephone wires hum with long distance calls between people who care about each other more in December, which is better than not caring at all. After-shave lotion is unwrapped with oohs and ahs, toys are getting ready to be broken, and puppies inhabit stockings. Trees are always the most beautiful ever if you just turn the bare side to the wall, and eggs flow like nog. Roaring hearths and good fellowship are for the very lucky, but some will settle for a bag of groceries. For certain people, this will be the first Christmas, for others... the last. "Merry Christmas" will be said in shacks, castles, prisons, airplanes, battlefronts, and churches. No matter what we say is wrong with it, Christmas is a time when many people are a little nicer... and that's something. Copyright © December 2, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
November 26th, 2014... Hi, gang. YFNW™ Jerry, here. Just a brief note from all of us here at The Best Nest In The West, wishing all of you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. And now, here's a winter's reminisce from our fearless leader, Jack.

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A WINTER'S NIGHT ON INTERSTATE NINETY. It had been a sunny winter day, about 34 degrees in the Dakotas. Snow from the night before had partially melted, wetting the road surface of Interstate Ninety. It was late afternoon and we were behind a tractor-trailer. Then the sun dropped below the horizon and the temperature fell, turning the asphalt into a glassy ice-skating rink. All traffic on the road lost traction, and slowed to three miles per hour, trying to maintain control. The roadway was crowned and vehicles were sliding slowly off the shoulder into the deep ditch and settling on their side, where the passengers could freeze to death during the night. Somehow I kept our motor home on the road, but I could feel the pull toward the ditch. Then the eighteen-wheeler ahead of us began to turn, like a slow-motion ballet, until the truck driver was looking directly at me from his windshield, about ten feet away. Then the big rig coasted sleepily off the shoulder and settled into the snowy ravine, facing backward. I was amazingly alert at that point, hands tightly on the wheel and foot carefully off the brake. Misty shouted, "There's an exit and a KOA sign! Try to get off!" I said, "Okay, but all the campgrounds are closed up here in the winter." She said, "At least we'll be off this nightmare." With some careful sliding around and correcting, I managed the exit ramp and found the RV park. I couldn't believe it! They were open! I have never found another northern campground open this time of year, because the water freezes up. We went inside the lighted building, and they told us that they had ice-breakers on their water lines on each site. The ice-breaker looked like a pump handle. You lift it up and force it down and it cracks the underground ice, and the water comes out. We hooked up our water and electricity, and Misty had a good idea. She wrapped an electric blanket around our water hose and plugged it in, and it kept the hose from freezing up during the night. We could see the flashing lights out on the Interstate, where rescue vehicles were getting people out of their cars and trucks, and taking them to shelter, some to the heated KOA building, where they were given hot drinks and food. There was not enough traction to pull the vehicles out of the ditch, so they were saving the people, and would get the cars and trucks the next day, if the ice melted. Misty and I had food and everything we needed in the motor home, but we went inside to be with the rescued people, and talk about the ordeal we'd just been through. The television news reported that hundreds of travelers were being rescued from their stranded vehicles. Inside the campground building it was like an impromptu winter party, with strangers in the fellowship of being unexpectedly alive. Copyright © November 26, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
November 19th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
AUTUMN IS FOR WRITING SONGS. Autumn is my favorite time of year… a season of moods. The first chill after summer has worn out its welcome... That’s when I start to feel the holidays coming on. Not that we do any big celebrating these days… But it’s the remembering of celebrations past, and those who were with us during good times. The empty places at our table. I write more songs during the remnants of the year… when emotions are nearer to the surface, the past is just over our shoulder, and old voices whisper in our ear. Here’s one of those songs... WHEN THE BLUES COME IN FROM THE RAIN. When the river's runnin' gray, On a dark and cloudy day, And the winds that bring October Make the weeds and reeds and cattails sway... Thinking my life over, I see your face again When the Blues Come In From the Rain When the leaves are coming down On the sidewalks wet and brown And the cars all have their lights on As they make their way back home from town Time may fade your picture, But it sure don't dull the pain When the Blues Come In From the Rain Don't get me wrong, I'm not sayin' I'm to blame Just the same, I've got an empty feeling inside Sometimes I'd like to break right down and call your name But all that I've got left now is my pride When the Blues Come In From the Rain And your face appears, The tears are only raindrops on my window pane Still, if I could live life over, I'd go back the way we came When the Blues Come In From the Rain * * * Listen to the song here: https://soundcloud.com/jackandmisty/when-the-blues-come-in-from Copyright © 2005, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author. "When The Blues Come In From The Rain": Words and music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
November 11th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
WILLIE WAS A GOOD OLD NONCONFORMIST. The moment you accept the proposition that success is impossible, it becomes impossible. Success in creative areas is more difficult to achieve than it was twenty years ago, but not impossible. Here, I think, are some of the reasons... THE MARKET. As time passes, the market gains more control of our lives. It has always been a factor, but more so now. Misty Morgan and I had to find backers to invest in our career, the rough equivalent of $50,000 of today’s dollars. We did this by creating something marketable, and waving it in their faces. MORE GOOD ARTISTS. If you have ten people, one of them may be a genius at something. If you have a million people, you jump the creative people up to 100,000. If you have billions... well, you get the point. You also get more idiots, but that’s another article. TRAINING. In school and beyond today’s young minds are steered away from real creativity. The artist or inventor is by nature an outsider and is usually valued for his "differentness". Today they want a “team player”... a corporate person. BUSINESS. There was more to Ray Stevens’ song “Mr. Businessman” than we realized. Businessmen don’t get emotionally involved in art unless it looks like a potential profit. All forms of art have suffered. If you’re reading a book you’re not buying anything. "People spend more on crap than on good stuff, so let's give them more crap." By “businessmen” I also mean women. (Being politically correct all the time is a pain.) PROPAGANDA. The guys on top don’t want you to make it. They spread discouraging propaganda like this: “It’s impossible now. If only you’d been here in the old days. Blah. Blah. Blah. Go away and stop threatening us.” I know the music business has been screwed up by Mr. Businessman, and today’s aspiring artists face a much harder challenge, but it’s not impossible to have a career. To those still striving: Don’t give up hope. Boxcar Willie bypassed the entire radio and record industry, and made himself a legend through creative TV ads. He didn’t need major labels, or even hit records. He found a new way. Willie was a good old nonconformist. Copyright © November 11, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
November 3rd, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A COLUMN TO MAKE YOU SMILE, #7. AN OBITUARY. The doctors did everything they could to treat him, administering all the latest breakthrough drugs. He died this morning of side effects. I think they should put a "NO HOPPING" sign on the White House fence. No matter what you say somebody will take it too seriously. HEALTH TIP #1... I get my iron (ferrous) oxide from licking recording tape. HEALTH TIP #2... I only eat animals that are vegetarians. People who deny global warming are taking all the fun out of the end of the world. HALLOWEEN SONG... If I knew you were comin' I'd have baked a cat. Their eyes met and they ran toward each other in slow motion! They whirled in each other's arms! He cracked his funnybone on the back of a chair, but he didn't let on. I just asked Misty what we're having for supper. She said, "The kind of food that you throw at each other." SPIRIT MESSAGE FROM THE OTHER SIDE... "Would you take Mickey Rooney Back?" I'm a Democrat but I voted for two Republican presidents. I had a lot of money at the time and I didn't want the needy to get any of it. I'm more angelic now. BUFFALO REVISITED... My old stomping ground is nicer than I left it. Like somebody cleaned up after me. Lab tests have shown that if you put a bunch of mice in a box and let them multiply without enlarging the box, they start to look at each other funny. There are more crazy mice and they start attacking others. Some of the crazy ones form groups. That's what's happening now with humans. THANKSGIVING FACTS... In England they celebrate that the Pilgrims left. Copyright © November 3, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
October 27th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
RECORDING IN THE 1960'S. In the 60's we mixed almost everything down to stereo and to mono. The mono was specifically for 45 radio singles. We ran two tape recorders at once... one mono and one multi-track. The mono was for AM radio play, and was considered the more important mix. The original master tapes sounded beautiful and rich...hi-fi. When they were mastered for AM radio, which was mono, they were much lower quality. Here's why: First the singles were reduced to midrange, where the human hearing is most efficient... like the CB radio frequencies. This gave them what we called "apparent loudness". Then they were run through compressors and limiters, clipping off a lot of the sound, in order to make your record sound louder on the air. This became a rat race, because everybody was doing it, so the integrity of the original music was lost... flattened and pounded and cookie-cut into lo-fi commercial radio singles. The LP albums were usually stereo and much better in sound quality. Recording back then, when we started, was not so primitive. We sang into Telefunken condenser mikes, we had 3 or 4 track wide tape running then at 15 inches per second. We had several kinds of reverb...including elaborate echo chambers. These were highly engineered, shellacked rooms, with a speaker at one end, and a movable condenser mike on a track. No two flat surfaces were parallel to each other. This was to prevent standing waves, and let the echo keep repeating. They sounded as good or better than today's digital echo/verbs, but a lot of conservative producers were afraid of them. So... people made fine masters, released crappy singles, and the public accepted the system because they were trained to. Now people think that was the way music sounded back then. It was better than that. Copyright © October 27, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
October 18th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
ABOUT TODAY'S COUNTRY MUSIC AND AWARDS. Misty and I are "Lifetime" CMA members, so artists who are up for awards send us free CD's to get our votes. We just listened to two stars, a male and a female. Her music is "bubble gum", directed at 12 year old girls. He is a good singer, but his recordings are produced to death. No feeling of real humans in a studio. His arrangements are tricky and full of hooks, but the lyrics have no depth. They are today's "Sh-boom Sh-boom". These are super stars. not beginners. If their heart and dreams were in there you could hear it. They are making junk for a demographic that likes junk. If I'm ever a 12 year old girl I might vote, but I doubt it. Copyright © October 18, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
October 15th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
THE CONTRASTS. I was rereading a very complimentary review of one of our records. The reviewer said this: "It's one of the best songs Jack has written in his long career as a songwriter." I read the write-up about a dozen times due apparently to a self-esteem problem. Then I started to think "What's wrong? I should be happier than this." Digging through my cluttered ego, I think I found the problem. It was the phrase "his long career". That's it? That was the career? Somehow I've always thought of myself as an up-and-comer, expecting to break into a career at any moment. I didn't know I was actually having one... a long one. I guess any musician who gets through life without resorting to a day job, can call it a career. How could I have had this alleged long career when I still feel 27 years old inside? It must be insecurity when I take a compliment as an obituary. Peggy Lee sang a famous song titled "Is That All There Is?". I know the song is good, but I always avoided listening to it. When it comes on, I mentally cover my ears and sing Jingle Bells, fake a coughing fit, or just leave the room. Some songs cut too close to the truths we don't want to hear. I write sad songs about life and death, so who am I to talk? But if I'm in the later chapters of a long career, where's my mansion? My big bank account? Misty and I were never Nashville insiders, and we never got paid for most of our efforts, but for some reason we still love our work, and will never retire. We're waiting for some excitement... a tour... the Big Break. Retirement to me is like endless recess. We have too much left to do. We'd like to move to Cortland, New York. It's beautiful country, they have a Country Music Hall of Fame, and there's an apple named after the town. So why not? Or maybe Tennessee or California, Australia or Buffalo. Somewhere to see new or old things. Have an adventure. I know Misty and I have been doing this for a lot of years, and yet it seems like one year. We've had unbelievable fun, and some real hell along the way. The bad times made the good times taste better. It's the contrasts. Copyright © October 15, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
October 10th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
IN THE HOSPITAL THIS WEEK. Well, I'm home from the hospital today today. My problem was internal bleeding. I lost several pints of blood. Anyway, they fixed it, at least for now. Everybody that worked at the hospital was just like family, without the arguments. They took me in an ambulance Monday night and threw me out today. During all that time I ate practically nothing and slept about an hour and a half each day. Misty took great care of me, as always. The food was great but I had no appetite and couldn't eat it. They checked me from head to toe with a colonoscopy and many other tests. They found and fixed a couple of things. No cancer or anything deadly. Seriously, I was worried about cancer. It was a very rough four days, hooked up to wires, tubes, and a five pound heart monitor. The best part was being under general anesthetic for an hour. Endless tests and treatments in all hours of the day and night. And I've hated wearing gowns ever since the prom. They say that every once in a while my heart does a little dance step for about five seconds. I think it's just going from the chorus to the bridge. Three cardiologists told me that my occasional irregular heartbeat was nothing to worry about... that almost everybody has it. So why did they give me a prescription for it? Three nurses were actually arguing about which one would give me the suppository. To keep the peace, I did it myself. Today I got home and found over a thousand emails on my mail page, and hundreds of comments and "likes" on Facebook. I can't thank each of you individually, but I'm saying this now to all of you: Thank you so much for caring! You've brightened a dark week. Jack Blanchard Copyright © 10/10/2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
Hi. We'd like to welcome MUSIC CHARTS MAGAZINE to the fine publications that run my column. Check it out: http://www.musicchartsmagazine.com/jack-blanchards-column- the-music-business-used-to-be-more-fun/ Jack Blanchard
October 2nd, 2014... Of possible interest...

September 25th, 2014... On this date ten years ago, Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan were inducted into the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. (Thanks and a tip of the ol' Hatlo Hat to Robb Bledsoe for sharing that piece of J&M history!)

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
THE MUSIC ROW MURDER. I was contacted by NBC Television News. The reporter told me they were working on a story about Nashville, and they had learned that Misty and I had been friends with Chuck Dixon. Could I tell them about Chuck, or give any insights? She said nothing about the so-called Music Row Murder trial. I thought about it and sent this reply by email: "Is this about the Cash Box scandal? She wrote back, saying "Yes, it is". I responded again with this: "We were friends with Chuck Dixon for the last three or four years of his life. He was very kind to us, and went out of his way to encourage and help us. We have nothing to tell you. We feel that his family has gone through enough." The headlines came out that the trial has started. "Prosecution: Researcher killed on Music Row for trying to reform crooked business." "Kevin Hughes was gunned down outside a Music Row recording studio March 9, 1989." Chuck Dixon was mentioned in the story in a negative way. I got a similar phone call from ABC News. I told them the same thing. "Sorry. All we know about Chuck Dixon is good stuff. You may have to talk to somebody else." One thing I forgot to mention: My daughter Michele was the receptionist at Cashbox at that time. The day before the shooting somebody warned her not to come to work the next day. Copyright © 2003, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
September 10th, 2014... Thirteen years ago tomorrow...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
*AMERICA, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001.* We're all zombies here today. We somehow find our way to the grocery store or post office like sleepwalkers. We stare blankly at the television in disbelief. We've been getting messages of sympathy from friends around the world. Thank you. We're glad you're there, and we're glad you care. This is obviously a dark time for the American people. Our thoughts are with the victims and the people who love them. The airports are all closed. Folks who ordinarily rant and rave if their flight is delayed, seem to be taking it without protest, quietly seeking another way to get home. Too quietly. Like zombies. We worry about friends up north. We'll try to call tomorrow. Today is not a good time to overload the phone lines. In some different way, all of us are victims. At our house things are not normal. We are in a state of confusion, disbelief, sadness, and anger. Maybe we're in shock. I try to make my wife smile with the occasional light remark, but her regular smile is not working today. All our projects, so important yesterday, seem trivial. They're on the back burner for now. It's inspiring to see how people in New York and Washington risked their own lives to help each other. I'm proud of Americans tonight, and it's been a while since I've felt that way. Firefighters, police, and emergency workers are heroes. We saw Republicans and Democrats singing a spontaneous God Bless America...together. Touching. I hope they remember the feeling. It's the way it should be. Misty said she saw the young workers bagging groceries at the supermarket almost in tears. We, even as Democrats, are discussing hopefully that President George W. Bush might have the potential to be a Harry Truman. Right now we need somebody to "give 'em hell". This is not a day for political differences. We hope he kicks the terrorists' butts. The maniacs that committed these atrocities represent to me what evil is. I'm glad I'm not president. I'd probably bomb all the suspects and ask questions later. I know that's wrong, but we're mad as hell over here. At least I am. We've seen the pictures on TV all day, over and over, but the reality is still hard to grasp. We'll watch them over and over again... even after the television is turned off. Our country is strong. Our people are tough.I almost forgot that. We'll get through this, and even be stronger. In time things will be more like normal, but never quite the same. I never thought of myself as a super patriot, but tomorrow I think I'll go out and buy a flag. Jack Blanchard Copyright © September 11, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.
September 7th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
(This piece was written a couple of years ago and many readers responded with positive comments, so here it is again.) FRAMES. A famous photographer was set up on a scenic overlook to shoot the beautiful sunset. A stranger walked up beside him and gazed silently at the gorgeous sky. After a couple of minutes the stranger said this: "It's almost like a painting." The photographer said: "Yes. Nature's catching up." Life is a picture without a frame. There's too much to see to really appreciate it. We see life best when it comes in little sections cleverly framed so we know what to focus on. It's easier for us to see the tree than the forest. In olden days it was the fashion for hikers on nature walks to carry wooden picture frames. When they came upon a beautiful vista, they would look at it through the frames, blocking out the not so pretty things, and adjusting the frame to see only the best parts, in artistic balance...like a painting. Frames are interesting. On television they make a picture shorter from top to bottom and we think we're seeing a panorama. Hair styles are designed to frame the face. When we "frame" somebody for a crime, we focus suspicion upon them. Stories and songs frame parts of life for us to understand... showing us life with order and meaning, and not showing us the ugly or boring parts. People in story and song seldom sleep or go to the bathroom, because they are not important to the plot. Every line is written to add to the continuity, and take the action to a satisfying ending. Real life doesn't have many good endings. It usually peaks somewhere around the middle, and then just wanders off, but the authors are smart enough to stop at a high point. Stories give us life we can understand...in a frame. Bite size. I don't mean to say life can't be fun, inspiring, tragic, hilarious, noble, evil, and interesting in every way. It is, and I love it. But it's often more interesting when we look back on it. Our memory is selective. It forgets the boring parts. Artists, composers, and writers help us to find meaning, or the illusion of meaning, in a world that appears pretty random to the naked eye. I do this kind of thing for a living. It's my life's work, and I'm glad I didn't listen to the well-meaning people who advised me to give up this nonsense, and get a real job. Music, literature, poetry, and art help us to to get a frame around this life we find ourselves in. Jack Blanchard Copyright © 2012, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
September 4th, 2014... ...Or as we call it up here, "The Start of Glorious Football Season! YAY!!™" I admit, I've never been that big of a fan, but it's funny how one Super Bowl win by your home state team is all it takes to convert you. :) Will my beloved Seahawks do it again this year? We shall see. And speaking of tough old birds (sorry... couldn't resist!), here's Jack...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
WE OPENED WITH BETHLEHEM STEEL. Life is a little nuts. You never know what it's up to. After knocking around every bar in the Miami area, from luxury hotels to creepy back street dumps, Misty and I lucked into a pretty good job at El Bolero Steak House. El Bolero was a Coral Gables supper club, and our band played dance music for the classy clientèle... me in black mohair suit and silver tie, and Misty in evening gowns. Larry King, some movie actors, and big time politicians were regulars. Richard Nixon came in and played the piano. It was that kind of a joint. We stayed there about three years, which beat our previous record of three weeks. But, we were going nowhere, careerwise. I wrote and directed the music for a short movie about the Everglades. As a result, artists started asking me to produce for them. I commuted to Nashville for two or three years as a producer for other artists, before Misty and I ever got to record. We still needed a big change, and soon, so we decided to take a chance. We worked out a new image for ourselves, which was the exact opposite of the old suit and gown. I stopped getting haircuts, got some radical sunglasses, bought a bunch of wild clothes, and a pair of English riding boots which I wore outside the tight pants. I looked a like a hippie Captain America. Misty went with micro-mini skirts and boots which got us tossed out of a couple of snooty restaurants. She changed her name from Maryanne to Misty, and I wrote some new songs for duets. The first one was "Bethlehem Steel", a composite of the Buffalo factories where I'd worked. We booked a gig at the Gold Coast Lounge in Key West. and thought everybody would laugh at the way we looked, but they didn't. They ate it up. I sang in my new rough voice, which is now the only one I have, and we opened with "Bethlehem Steel". The crowd, mostly sailors, went wild, and the place became packed every night. This was a huge surprise to us. We were doing almost all original songs, country with a touch of rock and blues, which was a new thing in those days. Misty sang her strange harmony and everything seemed to be working. In just a couple of weeks we were offered a recording contract, and went to make our first Jack and Misty recording in Nashville. Our first single release "Bethlehem Steel", got a "Pick" in Billboard, and went about half way up the chart. There were two more singles, and then "Tennessee Birdwalk". Things moved fast after that. I wonder if my old Captain America suit still fits? You can listen to the song here... BETHLEHEM STEEL: https://soundcloud.com/jackandmisty/bethlehem-steel-jack-blanchard Copyright © September 3, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
August 27th, 2014... Hi again, folks, YFNW™ Jerry here. You ever labor under the false impression sometimes that the music business is for the birds? Well, let Chairman Jack set you straight about that once and for all. (There's NOTHING false about that impression!) It's a little something he likes to call, "Murphy's Law In The Music Business", and it goes like this...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
MURPHY'S LAW IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS. Our first Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan duet recording recorded in Nashville, was in 1967. It included four original songs: "No Sign of Love", "Midnight Greyhound", "Lonely Bell", and the main song "Bethlehem Steel". We produced the session ourselves. Our plan was to shop it around to labels, or release it on our own little indie, Zodiac Records. Tape cassettes were not around then, so everybody got their demos made on acetate discs, aluminum discs shaped like 78 RPM singles, with a black plastic lacquer finish that would wear out after a limited number of plays. We were in a studio watching a guy make us a demo of our songs. I asked him if thought "Bethlehem Steel" would get country airplay. He was very enthusiastic about my lead vocal: "Yes! Nobody up here has a voice like that!" What he didn't know was that I had the flu during the recording session, and was never able to get that sound again. In January, 1969... "Big Black Bird" was released as a Country record, but Billboard gave it a Top 10 Pick in the Pop field. We were on the Pick list with Aretha Franklin and other pop artists. Our small label didn't have pop distribution, so they made a deal with Mercury to distribute it. They took so long to close the deal that the record lost its momentum, and defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. I also heard that when our label, Wayside Records, sent the master to Mercury Records, they inserted gaps in the music to prevent anybody from stealing it before negotiations were complete. When Mercury was ready to distribute it, they checked the master and found the gaps. They had to call Wayside and have the real master sent. There was no internet then, so it was snail mail. Another delay. But later, this turned out to be a sort of a good thing. "Bethlehem Steel" got good airplay and chart action for a first record, but was not a big hit. The next release on Wayside/ Mercury was "Poor Jody", and then another, which I can't remember. Mercury was ready to drop us. There was one release left. They wanted to put out "Tennessee Bird Walk", and we objected. We were afraid of getting type cast as a novelty act. (By the way, it was written as "Tennessee Birdwalk", but on the label it was printed as "Tennessee Bird Walk", so it's been "Bird Walk" ever since. We still write it the original way. We've always been stubborn.) Looking back, if "Big Black Bird" had not gotten everybody excited, Birdwalk would not have been released on a major label. We got a phone call one day. The voice on the other end said this: "You'd better get ready to travel. We're selling 50,000 a day, and just getting started!" It was being promoted and distributed by Mercury Records. The indie label, Wayside Records, could not have handled it, so "Big Black Bird" actually paved the way for "Tennessee Birdwalk", our #1 Country record. Copyright © August 17, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
August 18th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
AROUND OUR HOUSE. Misty brought in a rose she grew in the yard. It's beautiful, but it has no smell. She calls it her Monsanto Rose. I said, "'Monsanto Rose' sounds like a song." We've been watching the news and I've come to this conclusion: If you shoot first and ask questions later you won't get many answers. I had a little problem today and tried to figure it out. Like a riddle, it became an obsession and I spent an hour on it. I took a break and explained it to Misty, and she said this: "Soften up on the goofy stuff." I'm for the little guy. Although I have wealthy friends, I wouldn't do anything to hurt them. I think rich people do OK without my support. I'm not running the world, so who cares what I think? I'm always surprised when somebody does. There are only about a dozen basic dramatic situations in all of literature. The rest are variations on these... Saying the same things in different ways. Here are a couple of pictures you might find interesting... THE GRAND OLD OPRY SET LIST posted backstage at The Ryman Auditorium, April 4th, 1970. Click here: http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae7/m_morgan/ Pictures%20in%20Progress/OPRYSETLIST2_zps8f34138e.jpg 1964. ANOTHER LIFE:. When this picture was taken we had no idea we'd be on major labels. We were playing lounges all over the map for just enough money to get to the next gig. Click here: http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae7/m_morgan/LEXINGTONC_zps7d523565.png There's a voice in my head. It's mine. I don't know if it's normal, narrating everything that's going on, but I'm used to it. I'm glad nobody else can hear it. It's like like peeing in the pool with an innocent smile on your face. Copyright © August 16, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
August 8th, 2014... Hi, all. I swear, I don't know what it is about these triple-digit temperatures we've been getting around these parts lately, but they do tend to make a fellow sluggish and tired. Which can be inconvenient, especially if you're managing The Best Nest in the West™ (aka, this website). However, I've got a half-gallon of iced coffee, the temps are down to a cool 70s-ish, and I've got a website to update, so no more chatter. Let's get to it. Here's the latest...
Looking good... ;)
And now... the most recent missive from Our Fearless Leader!

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
ONE FINE DAY IN MILLVILLE. Millville, Pennsylvania has never been the same since my wife ran through the firehouse in that shocking condition. We had just come from one of our better bookings at a large Midwestern fair, and we were looking for the next town on our contract: We bought three different maps looking for Millville. Two of them showed no Millvilles, and the third showed two of them several hundred miles apart. When we finally saw a sign pointing to our Millville we were skidding around in the sea of mud. that led to the town. We learned that we were to play at the Annual Firemen's Picnic. At the picnic grounds, a gentleman showed us to our stage… a pile of logs with plywood laid on top. The spotlight was a bulb hung on a pole. There was no tent or cover of any kind, and the sky threatened rain. We agreed to do the show only on the condition that someone stand by with tarps to throw over our instruments in case of a storm. Everyone seemed surprised when we asked where our dressing rooms were. They opened up the firehouse for us, about a mile down the road, and said we could use the back room. It was hot and humid and we had to leave the doors and windows open to survive. This meant dressing in the dark because the sun was already dimming. That didn't keep the mosquitoes from finding us. There were hot dog stands, games, a merry-go-round, and a few other amusements on the lawn, and a bunch of people were having fun. A crowd gathered around the makeshift stage as a metallic loudspeaker barked about "show time". An elderly dwarf who called himself "Shorty " jumped up and down in front of the bandstand, ordering the audience to "Shut up" and "Stand back, there!" He had no official capacity but nobody knew that He kept it up throughout our show. You could look into Shorty’s eyes and see that nobody was driving. The audience made up for the rest of the day and after the first show they gathered for autographs. We sold completely out of records and pictures. We were eating a chili dog when I felt a drop of rain. I looked up and got a bucketful! We ran to the stage and tried to get all of the equipment under the canvas. The rain never let up and we had to load everything into our trailer in the rain. The firemen tried to help and everyone was running into everyone else. We were all soaking wet and in ankle-deep mud, It was like a Three Stooges mud wrestling movie. The second show was canceled. Misty was wearing a brand new dress which she was trying to protect with a small plastic umbrella. To her embarrassment the dress began to shrink fast. The long ruffled sleeves were creeping up past her elbows. The mini skirt was now getting X rated! She held the umbrella with one hand and tugged at her hemline with the other. She wanted me to stand in front of her, because the crowd was gathering for a new kind of show. We made a mad dash for our car, not looking back. Meanwhile, back at the firehouse, the troops had gathered and were already drinking beer, playing cards, and counting the day's take. I went in and explained the situation and all present agreed to turn their backs as Misty ran the length of the meeting hall to the back room where she had her other clothes. Firemen are real gentlemen. Later, when they offered us a beer we accepted. We stood in the doorway by the big fire engine, looked out into the dark, and waited for the rain to stop. Copyright © August 7, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
Well, that's it from here. Hoping it's cooled down wherever you are. Your Friendly Neighborhood Webmeister™, Jerry.
July 23rd, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A STRING OF COINCIDENCES. Who and where we are today is the result of coincidences. I happened to go to a grammar school that stressed English and writing essays. Luckily, it was just around the corner from our house. Fortunately, my family and Misty's family were musically inclined. My dad brought great records home to expose me to the good stuff. They bought me a Gibson guitar when my hands were still too small to hold down the strings. I never learned to play it, but I liked to hold it and listen to music. Misty's mother played the piano and sang in the Ella FitzGerald style. She wanted to be a professional singer, but it never came to be. Misty learned her first music at home. So, we both got our musical start by the accident of birth. I never played an instrument till I was about fourteen. Then, unexpectedly, my father got too sick to work and we had to move in with my grandparents. They happened to have a piano. I got hooked on the piano and sat on that bench many hours a day, teaching myself to play boogie and blues. A few years later, Misty and I were playing small gigs around town... separately. We never met in all the time we lived in the Buffalo area, but we played some of the same places, with the same musicians. Both of us got married to other people, went from poor to broke, and headed desperately to Florida in old cars, selling the radio, the spare tire, and anything that was loose, just to buy gas. Maybe we passed each other on the road and didn't know it. Later I was playing piano at an Italian restaurant and lounge on US 1 in Hollywood, Florida. By chance, Misty was playing in a show lounge one block away. We were still strangers. Then one Monday night, my night off, on a whim I dropped in at my club to see if anybody I knew was there. Misty was talking to the owner about the piano job. He told her that he planned to keep me, but he bought her dinner. That's the night we got together for life. I'll skip over a number of lean years and the parts where we were homeless, on the street, and in deep trouble. Let's move on to the night the Grammy winning TV producer happened to come into a club where we were playing, and gave us this advice: "Develop an unusual style of music and singing, a style of dress that will attract attention, get some off-beat material, and create an image that will draw crowds. Nobody will walk across the street to see a good-looking musician, but they'll flock to see a good band that's a little freaky." He added: "Don't do it here in Miami where they know you. Go to a place where they don't know you, walk in as your new selves and they will think you were born that way. They'll accept you however you present yourselves." As luck would have it, we had some musician friends in Key West. They got us a booking at the Gold Coast lounge... a show bar. We were nervous because of our radical clothes and our new music style, and Misty had trouble answering to her new name... Misty. The crowd loved us and the place was packed every night. Within a couple of weeks two guys wandered in and signed us to a recording contract. They took us to Nashville for a four-song session at Woodland Studios. One of the songs happened to get a Pick in Billboard, and another got about halfway up the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That was a lot of years ago and, against the odds, we're still together, still in music, and still watching for the next coincidence. Copyright © July 23, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
July 22nd, 2014... And now, Jack has a shocking admission to make...

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I WAS A COUNTRY SINGER FOR THE FBI. We once did a show in an old theater left over from the vaudeville days. I think it had rats. Maybe they were down-on-their-luck show rats. My book... "I Was a Country Singer for the FBI" FROM CNN.. "American blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter died Wednesday." We're so sorry to hear this. We liked his music and we liked him personally. Misty at I sat next to him at dinner all week at the CBS convention in San Francisco. He was very friendly to us, as opposed to the famous singer on our other side. THE FAMOUS SINGER ON OUR OTHER SIDE... BV was an arrogant, conceited, snooty, rude, obnoxious jerk, and a cat strangler. Nobody liked him except maybe his agent and his mother, and I'm not sure about them. I think I went too far with "cat strangler". Sorry. Motel 6 started as $6 per night. 8 Days Inn was $8 a night. Then came a law that they couldn't advertise prices on signs, so they did clever name changes. I miss those days... $8 a night and 50 cents off for everything you shoot that flies through the room. Misty says, "You're growing old with grace. And Grace is getting sick of it." I said, "I think that thunderstorm is gonna miss us." Misty said, "That's what it wants you to think." One guy in Nashville who we thought was a friend turned against us for some imaginary reason. Every night when I say my prayers, I close with this: "And by the way...screw Bob ..........". The old candlestick telephones had a separate receiver. They could place the receiver against the microphone, and feedback would deafen the person on the other end. You can't do that with the new phones, and they call that progress. Dead people vote in every election. I'll try to remember this if I'm ever in that condition. I had a dislocated shoulder, but later I located it. I never know what Misty will say... I said, "Castle's real name is Nathan Fillion." She said, "How thilly." I don't like weekends. It's like a coma where you watch TV. Copyright © July 22, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
July 11th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A NEW COLUMN TO MAKE YOU SMILE. On one of the all-star shows we did on the road... Kenny Price came on stage wearing bright purple bib overalls and said this to the audience: "I know. I look like a 500 pound grape." Dolly Parton was asked: "How long does it take to get your hair like that? She said: "I don't know. I'm never there when It's being done." When Dolly was asked if they were "real or fake", She replied, "Of course they are fake! You don't think fingernails just grow like this, do you ?" I saw a Charles Schwab commercial today. They want to manage my wealth. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha! I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something. On CNN they showed a soccer player make an impossible goal. The announcer said, "It's like they're threading a needle with their feet." Misty said, "I'd rather see that." In the past week I've been to five doctors' offices... Internist, pulmonary, X-ray office, and today a heart doctor. I aced every test. I'm perfectly healthy! Didn't need a stress test. So Misty and I went dining & dancing at MacDonald's. A few minutes ago, I was sitting in a Lazy-Boy chair after a walk. Misty was talking to me from over the kitchen bar, her red glasses on top of her head, and she was smiling. At that moment she looked to me exactly as she did in her twenties. A time quake. Misty just said this while watching the news, "They can now fire you if you're trisexual." I didn't ask any questions. Most of our neighbors have gone north for the summer. Even the cows across the fence seem to have left town. But it is beautiful here... everything you could want in a cemetery. Looking forward to the gang coming back. Too much serenity can drive you nuts. Paraphrasing Will Rogers... "The job of congress is to wait and see what the president wants so they know what to vote against." In my Facebook "Settings" it says, "Who can see your stuff?" Nobody, I hope. "A doctor tells a guy: 'I have bad news. You have Alzheimer's, and you have cancer.' Guy says, 'Thank God I don't have cancer.'" If you had a theme song that played every time you walked into a room what would it be? My song is "I Feel Pretty" SHOCKING STATISTICS... 49% of the people are below average! Almost time to floss the cat and go to bed. Copyright © July 11, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
July 3rd, 2014...

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DON'T SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER. HE'S HALF SHOT NOW. You can’t carry an acoustic piano to a gig. You have to play whatever monstrosity happens to be there. Sometimes they don’t even have one, and that’s where a lot of the trouble begins. A Miami combo I played in was managed by a man called Uncle Harve. Uncle Harve booked us to play on a flatbed truck on a beach 125 miles up the coast. The pay was low, but Harve talked about “exposure” and possible future bookings if we did well. Exposure is what you get when they don't want to give you money. After the long hot drive, and carrying equipment through the sand, someone noticed that there was no piano. Donell Austin, the lead singer, refused to work without a piano. Uncle Harve couldn’t see the logic in that, but he finally agreed to let us go into town and see if we could find a piano for rent. We found a big old upright and helped the store guy move it to the beach and up onto the flatbed. The temperature was 103 in the shade and no shade. We played all afternoon, tore down the equipment, and collapsed in the van for the long ride home. Everybody got paid but me. Uncle Harve said that my money went for the piano rental. Being young and stupid I didn’t kill him. I got so I could stand house pianos being out of tune, but when half the keys don’t play, and the ivory is missing from the other half, you tape your fingers to keep the blood off your band jacket. Copyright © July 2, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
June 19th, 2014...
READ TODAY'S ARTICLE ABOUT US IN CASHBOX CANADA. http://www.cashboxcanada.ca/5262/jack-and-misty-still-doing-tennessee-birdwalk
June 12th, 2014... Sorry for this item being late, folks. Your f.n.w. has been a bit under the weather again (including a stop off at the throne of The Great Porcelain Deity, Ralph... the less said, the better). So, a couple of days late, but here at last: another musing from Chairman Jack. Enjoy!

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
THE MUSIC BUSINESS USED TO BE MORE FUN. Misty and I often did shows with Jerry Reed, Roy Clark, Grandpa Jones, and Archie Campbell. One of those shows was a week long booking at Atlanta's Chastain Park Amphitheater, an outdoor venue. It was Boots Randolph's show, and he always treated the artists, musicians, and staff as honored guests, with long tables of food and drink backstage, and a party feeling that carried over to the audiences. Before the first show, Roy stepped out of his bus carrying a glass of unknown iced beverage. Misty said "How're ya doin', Roy?" Roy smiled and said "Gettin' well, honey." The drinks never caused any real problems, although a couple of times the emcee mistakenly tried to take acts off stage before they were done. They were innocent mistakes, and kinda funny. We were all friends. Like most amphitheaters, it was bowl shaped, and the bands were pretty much protected from the weather, but the act out at the front of the stage could get a little wet if it rained. This can be a thrill if you are hooked up to electrical equipment. We had just finished our show and were walking off, when Archie Campbell was heading out to do his act. I said "It's pretty windy out there, Arch." Archie ran his hand suavely over his hair and said this: "I don't have to worry. I bought the casual style." He was always funny... on or off stage. The crowds were huge and Saturday night was our closing show. We all met back at the hotel where Boots and his manager X. Cosse had us staying. They had the hotel dining room set up like a king's banquet... tons of food and anything you want to drink. It was a party for everybody in the show, including roadies and friends of friends. For the first hour everybody was there having a good time, except Jerry Reed, who was conspicuous in his absence. He bounced into the room at about 11:30, said quick hellos to the gang, grabbed a take out box, went through the food table like a lawnmower, and was gone with the wind and his doggy box of food. Jerry was on Fast Forward, and his whole appearance lasted about seven minutes. He had more energy than crazed squirrel. Misty went into his bus and got his autograph when we worked together at the Citrus Bowl. We loved Jerry Reed, and he was also my favorite guitar player. Then, later in the party, there was some excitement going on at the ballroom door when some medics rushed in with a stretcher. We wondered what was up. Roy Clark grinned, raised his glass, and said goodbye to everybody. Then he made himself comfortable on the stretcher, and was carried out to the ambulance and rushed to the airport. He was late and had a plane to catch. I've tried to reproduce the week's events exactly as they happened, down to the finest detail, but remember, I may have had a beer or two myself. The music business used to be more fun than it is now, and we miss all our old friends a lot, but we're so lucky to have been part of that wonderful era. Jack Blanchard. Copyright © 2011, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
June 5th, 2014...

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WORLD WAR TWO: IN LIVING COLOR. I subscribe to a couple of history groups and I’ve seen some comments by younger people about World War Two. They go along this line: “People back then were suckers to let the government get away with rationing things.” “I would have been in a protest line.” ”Drafting people into the armed services... How awful!” They are appalled to hear that you couldn't get butter, or rubber tires, or nylon hosiery, etc., and that the buses had plywood stand/sit seats to carry more workers to defense plants. At first I thought they were idiots, and I’m still not sure, but I've come to accept this: People who weren't actually there during WW2 have no real 3-D concept of the time. I was just a kid, but I can tell you that you wouldn't have been in a protest line. They didn't have protest lines. WW 2 was not a police action or a "preemptive" strike as you've seen in your lifetime. It was a giant classic war between good and evil... like a video game, but with real torture and death. Maniacs were committing genocide and trying to take over the world. Our country and way of life were in real danger. It wasn't a matter for political discussion. The wartime mindset didn't allow for gray areas. You were a patriot or a traitor because your neighbors' kids were being slaughtered defending freedom. You could see the stars hanging in the windows of the families who had lost a son or daughter. Sometimes more than one star. I can understand how all this could sound corny to those who have never experienced anything remotely like it. It's like trying to describe your hair color to a blind man. He can learn the words, but he can't get the picture. People WANTED to do what they could for the war effort. they sacrificed because it was right, and they wanted the damn thing to be over. This kind of mass effort and spirit of unity is what has left a country where we can join protest lines, ride buses with cushioned seats and buy all the butter and gasoline we can afford. I've been against virtually every war since, so, I'm not a hawk. Just trying to tell it like it was. You had to be there. Copyright © June 4, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
May 25th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
MAKING THE MUSIC. Listening to our old records is like hearing yourself a thousand years younger. Our minds go back to the original recording sessions. We remember the genius of the Nashville A-team musicians, and how they would take our ideas and make them sound better than we had imagined. Lloyd Green, Billy Sanford, and Hargus Robbins recently said that our music was the most creative they’ve played, but it goes both ways. Our sessions were like parties. In fact, sometimes we hurried to get things done before the party got too wild. We liked to record late at night and with all the musicians and singers there at once. It got a feeling going that you can’t get with overdubbing. Feeling is more important to us than perfection. We always showed up prepared... with numbered chord charts, demo tapes, and lyric sheets. Our lyric sheets were color coded... red text for Misty, and blue for me. If there was overdubbing, it was usually Misty or me, laying down a keyboard or guitar track, that we couldn’t do while singing. Whenever we’d find a good engineer that was easy to work with we’d asked for him as often as possible. This is especially important to us because we always oversee and take part in the mixdown. When we first hit Nashville and they weren’t used to us, some engineers resented our suggestions, but after a while they became friends and allies. A lot of our most popular recordings were done in one take. We’d probably do a backup, but wind up using the original mix. We were lucky to be with record labels that gave us the freedom and the budget to make music our way. Copyright © May 25, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
May 22nd, 2014...
So we like to be punctual. :D HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISTY!!! And, needless to say, many more!

May 12th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A LETTER FROM WILL CAMPBELL. "Hey, Jack. "Actually, I didn't really want to go to Korea because I'm not as brave and manly as I look. But duty called, and I gladly went after my government threatened to jail me If I didn't. My motto was...'Join the army, meet interesting people, and kill them.' "There were three of us who went Into the army at the same time: me and the two MP's who were dragging me! I was so excited. "One of the first things I did in Korea was go for my physical checkup. They wanted to find out If I was healthy enough to get shot and killed. "My days in Korea were all about the same...Shoot somebody you didn't know... and they would shoot you In return, and say things like 'Go Home Yankee.' I would usually respond with 'Oh, Yeah...Make Me.' This would really make them mad. "The commanding officer told me that I was being returned to the states because none of the men liked my guitar playing or singing. "When I finally got home from Korea, I was totally ignored and dehumanized, and made to feel unnecessary, which I thoroughly enjoyed. "I leave you with this thought... Betsy Ross said to George Washington, 'So you don't care for red, white, and chartreuse?' Will Campbell" Copyright © May 12, 2014 by Jack Blanchard (and Will Campbell). All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of someone*. (* Thank you, Bob & Ray.)
April 30th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
YET ANOTHER COLUMN JUST TO CHEER YOU UP. If you're over 55 you have to move to move to Florida and drive with your turn signal on. It's the law. The tux I wore on TV is still around here someplace. Even if I could get into it I can't wear it in Florida without getting arrested for overdressing. Last night Misty told me about the time she tried to ride a horse. She said, "It wouldn't move! It just sat there!" I said, "SAT there?" We drove past an IHOP and Misty sang: "I Hop Alone, Because to tell you the truth I'm a rabbit. I don't mind. It's a habit. I Hop Alone." She's deep. Today I signed a political email petition to say I was for a certain guy. Then it said: "Thanks. Now chip in." I wrote: "Hey! If I had any money I'd belong to the other party!" The recorded lady on my friend's voice mail said, "If there's no more you may hang up." I'm glad she told me that. I could be sitting here all day. The cop held a gun on Thomas Edison and said, "Don't get any bright ideas." EARLY FAST FOOD BUSINESS FAILURE... "Porcupine On A Stick". My father eked out a meager living selling ekes and meagers. Celeb birthdays for May 8, 2014. By Associated Press. Comedian Don Rickles is 88. Singer Toni Tennille is 74. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 72. Singer Gary Glitter is 70. Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and of Tom Tom Club is 63. Country musician Billy Burnette is 61. Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 61. Actor David Keith is 60. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 50. Drummer Dave Rowntree of Blur is 50. Drummer Del Gray of Little Texas is 46. Singer Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) is 42. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 39. Actor Matt Davis (”The Vampire Diaries”) is 36. Actress Julia Whelan (”Once and Again”) is 30. So that's why I live in Florida and drive with my turn signal on. Copyright © April 30, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
April 29th, 2014...
OUR NEW BUSINESS CARDS. I blocked out the studio phone number. Email us if you would like it.
In other news... Well, it's a little early, but we'll say it anyway: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK!!! Celeb birthdays for the week of May 4-10. By Associated Press. May 8: Comedian Don Rickles is 88. Singer Toni Tennille is 74. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 72. Singer Gary Glitter is 70. Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and of Tom Tom Club is 63. Country musician Billy Burnette is 61. Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 61. Actor David Keith is 60. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 50. Drummer Dave Rowntree of Blur is 50. Drummer Del Gray of Little Texas is 46. Singer Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) is 42. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 39. Actor Matt Davis (”The Vampire Diaries”) is 36. Actress Julia Whelan (”Once and Again”) is 30.
April 23rd, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A TICKET IN THE RACE. I went to Nashville in the 1960's, trying to make it. The very first words I heard from the ones who were already making it were these: "The business has all changed. You can't make it now. You're too late. It used to be easy to get ahead in music but it's all different now." Three years after I was told those words, Misty and I were on top of the charts and winning awards. Those people weren't consciously trying to frighten me. I think they were just having trouble trying to make it work with the rules they had learned, but the rules are the first things to change. My point, when I finally get to it, is: Don't let 'em scare you. I think the people most afraid of change are those who have achieved a solid place to stand, and now the earth is shifting under them. Because they are afraid, they discourage those they see as competition. Reality is fluid. The scenery of life changes constantly. There is only one thing we can depend on, and that's the thing we fear most: Change. Relationships change, that's for sure. If we're lucky they change into something better. Different, but better. Nothing will ever be the way it used to be, and nobody knows how it's going to be so that pretty much levels the playing field. If anybody's got a shot, you do. The only catch is you have to be in there trying. You must be present to win. There are factors at work we can't control. Besides change, there's chaos and luck, all wild cards. If you are really good at what you do, work hard, and are lucky, you've got a chance. A chance has always been enough to keep me going. A ticket in the race. Copyright © April 22, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
April 19th, 2014...
Back at #1 in Google. :)

April 16th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
A LITTLE MIRACLE IN ASHFORD, ALABAMA. (I know I've sent you this true story before, but I wanted to hear it again.) When you're hitch-hiking cross country you usually wind up taking circuitous routes, and getting stranded in places you never knew existed, and meeting people who are surprised that you exist. We were once detained as suspected chain gang escapees, which is where this story will eventually arrive. You may be trying to go north, but find yourself heading east or west, and happy to get a ride, to get off the side of a long and often creepy road. When hitching you see the roads differently. You notice the gum wrappers, cracks, puddles, weeds and insects on the shoulders. You get to know them well, sometimes being there for many hours. A bend in the highway that cars disappear around in seconds, is a mystery to you. Maybe there's a town up there, or an old gas station where you might get water, or a lucky ride, or more endless miles of nothing, Hitch-hiking to a place a thousand miles from where you start can easily cover almost double the AAA route, moving laterally as often as forward. And you can plan on a number of extra days in the burning sun or cold rain. This isn't all bad. Looking back on it It's an adventure. At the time it seemed like punishment. Bob Egan and I were trying to get back to Buffalo from Florida, and got dropped off at nightfall in a tiny southern town, by a bakery truck driver going in for the night. The two-lane county road traffic amounted to a vehicle an hour, it was dark and getting chilly, we hadn't eaten, and were practically broke. We were in Ashford, Alabama, at the intersection of US84 (now called "Old US 84"), and the road going northward was the narrow County Road 55. There was a streetlight on the corner, so we stood under it, trying to look wholesome and non-threatening. Kids from the village came around to watch us stand there. We were the biggest thing going on in town. They were just a few feet from us, but we couldn't understand a single word they said. We were from another planet. After an hour or maybe three, a dump truck rumbled toward us from the wrong direction. Shovels were hanging on its sides and clanging. It stopped and large elderly man in a plaid shirt got out. He was the sheriff or maybe the chief constable. The big man was friendly, but said he had to take us in because we fitted the description of two chain gang escapees... two young Yankee fellas, one dark-haired and one blond. We tried to tell him how innocent and nice we were, but the report said that they were smooth talkers, and not to believe anything they said. We climbed up into the truck cab and he drove us about two blocks to the police station, where we sat and were given coffee and a sandwich, while the sheriff made some phone calls. The police station was on Main, which in my memory was an unpaved dirt street. After a while he said "We don't have a regular jail here, but we've got a place for you to stay until court in the morning." Then he drove us to a big wooden house of indeterminate color, and introduced us to a matronly lady who was the proprietor of this rooming house. She was as friendly as he was, but we were surely headed for life on the chain gang, and that took a little edge off the fun. We did get some needed sleep and some breakfast in the morning. The rugged old cop picked us up and said we had been cleared of all suspicions. He drove us to the county line. Like an idiot I said "Good luck catching those guys." He waved out the truck window and headed back to town. It only took a few decades for me to figure out what really happened. He knew we would be stuck all night on that corner. He could see that we were tired and probably hungry, and he made the phone call to the boarding house lady to put us up for the night. There were no escaped convicts. Just two youthful strangers who needed some help. I have a warm spot in my heart for Ashford, Alabama, and those good people. Copyright © April 15, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
April 2nd, 2014... First day of release yesterday, and already...
This is getting to be a habit... ;-)
March 26th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
THE NEW NEIGHBORHOOD. This morning we were awakened by our neighbor Nick inviting us to a fish fry at the community center. Being musicians, 11:30 is early for us, but we met a lot of nice people. Afterward we came home and had breakfast. Then at 2 PM our friends Bill & Suzie, a/k/a "Tall Timber Antique Medicine Show", came over. Bill was going to hook up the washing machine but we got the wrong part, so we get to do it again. We recorded an hour long interview for their radio show tonight. I'll let you know when it airs. There is a huge box of cowboy hats taking up space in the front bedroom. When I lean back in a chair the front of the hat tilts up. I like them anyway. All hat.... no cattle? No. The cattle are in the back bedroom. Yesterday Misty brought home a water filter called "Zero Water". I think it filters out the wet part. The new water filter must be working because we drank some and we're not sick, walking funny, or speaking like Porky Pig. Misty is so hyper when she has things to do like packing and moving. She goes at it like she's killing snakes. I'm gonna take my shirt off like Putin and sing Crimea River. The problem with communism is... people like to own stuff. "BORSCHT"... The sound of unexpected gas while dancing. This from Will Campbell... I ate some peanuts that were on the bar, when somebody said, "You look great!"" I said "Who said that?" The bartender said, "It's the peanuts. They're complimentary." For the record... There was a movie called "Porky's" about a bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Misty and I played there before the movie was made. Somebody accused me of having a temper! That drives me CRAZY!!! THEY BETTER KNOCK IT OFF OR GET A KNUCKLE SANDWICH!!! I hate people saying I have a temper. That's it! Music has stood in my way long enough! I'm going to clown college! Copyright © March 25, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
March 6th, 2014...
Throwback Thursday. August, 1971.

All I can say is: WOO-HOO!!!
And now, having said all that, it's time once again for words of wisdom or stuff from Chairman Jack. Or as he calls it, "Name Dropping"...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
NAME DROPPING... I met Arnold Palmer in the 1970s. I just saw him on TV. One of us has matured a bit. Misty welcomed George Jones and Tammy Wynette into our motor home while I was in the bathroom. Misty called out, "Oh, Jack,... George and Tammy are here." I had dinner with Joe DiMaggio, and Misty and I had a drink with Richard Nixon. They never called us after that. We feel so used! Herb Shriner once waved to us. I met Jo Ann Pflug in J.C. Penney's. We pretended we didn't see each other. (Go ahead. Google her.) Jackie Gleason and I debated spiritualism for 12 minutes on TV. I let him win. There's a video of it around here someplace. Maybe we'll find it when we move next week. LIFE GOES ON... We drove out to our new place today and took a bunch of things that we don't want to go in the moving van. Things that might break, and expensive clothes that we wore in the 1970s on national TV. We pretty much decided where everything will go in the living room. Misty is enjoying it. I am too, but I'm worn out from carrying boxes. The new neighbors seem to know who we are. It gets around. I hope our music isn't too loud for these folks. Misty walked around the place and came back with oranges. We have an orange tree. Funny, the more we drive this route the shorter it seems to get. Familiar roads are always shorter. Got the car fixed... $526.36. It should be good for another 100,000 miles. It was a water pump, a thermostat and gasket, a belt, fresh coolant, and a new battery. It's running like a top. I wish it would run like a car. ODDS AND ENDINGS... We were rehearsing a song and the key was too high. I tried to hit a high C and walked with my knees together for a week. I'm going to to get this tattoo on my lower back... "If you can read this you're too close." SIGNS... "FOR YOUR SAFETY... PLEASE DON'T FEED THE BAND." "WARNING! BEARS CAN RUN 35 MPH! FASTER IF THEY ARE IN A CAR." LAST WORD... I like chipmunks! Give me a good chipmunk and I'm all set. Copyright © March 6, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
March 3rd, 2014...
It's happened again! Second day out. :)

March 2nd, 2014... Hi. Misty and I are in the throes of moving to a home in another county, packing, sorting, and changing address, utilities, etc.. It's a madhouse here, and I may not have time to prepare columns for 2 or 3 weeks, so I've sent you a couple to carry through. Our email address will remain jackandmisty@gmail.com. Thanks for your patience. --Jack (and Misty)

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
FROM OUR DISTANT PAST. I searched through our old recordings and found something special... a scratched up acetate disc from our distant past. When Misty Morgan and I first played music together, we were playing at the Downtowner Bar in Key West FL, in the early 1960s, and somebody in the audience caught this minute of our music on a tape recorder, probably an old Webcor. When we got back to Miami we took the little reel of tape to a studio to have it put on an acetate disc to play on our hi-fi at home. For you younger readers: A "hi-fi" was the I-pod of the day, only made of rocks. If there was any writing on the disc label it has long been faded away, and the old recording has a lot of scratches and a skip in the middle. I haven't attempted to get the surface noise out. It keeps it real. Acetate discs don't usually last one year, much less over forty. The third musician in our trio was guitarist Doug Tarrant. We played a lot of kinds of music, including rock & roll, jazz, standards, and current hits. Misty and I hadn't even thought of singing duets on stage yet. The year that we first played at the Downtowner in Key West, Misty was playing an instrument that is now extinct and out of memory. The Lowrey Organo was an attachment that you hooked up to a piano, and turned it into an organ with left-hand bass. We rented them from other musicians until we could buy our own. We were singing into CB radio microphones, because that's all we could afford. Even so. it sounded okay... like an old fashioned telephone. Doug was playing his original Les Paul model guitar, and getting the latest techno sound with an Echofonic, probably the first tape echo device ever marketed for live performance. We were pretty hip for the Dark Ages. We loved the music of Les Paul and Mary Ford, and on this clip we are doing "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise". It's a bit of our musical past... a minute of our life almost forgotten. Terrible audio quality, but a great bit of our history Click this link for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE4mynAOVIk Jack Blanchard. © 2006, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
GEORGE. The first time you meet George and spend a few minutes with him, you come away with conflicting impressions. He's brilliant. He's almost got sincerity down pat. He talks big money, but he has scotch tape holding his glasses together, and has to push his car to start it. He knows a lot about everything. He has some good sounding ideas. He can create excitement and mistrust at the same time. and the oddest part is this: You kinda like him. His idea the day we met him was a chain of restaurants called "Misty and Jack's Family Picnic". We had the name value at that time, and had been looking around for a way to exploit it. Of course George had that all figured out ahead of time. He knew what buttons to push. The decor would have white trellises, with artificial climbing vines, picket fences, flowers, etc.. He told us the seats should just be comfortable enough, but not so comfortable that people would sit around all day taking up tables. He had invented a way to make pizza in a microwave and have it come out just like oven baked. Naturally I came up with my usual type of suggestions, like a chicken place called "Chicken In A Casket". We could serve them on their backs in black cardboard caskets with a red lining. We could have plastic toothpicks made in the shape of little white crosses, and stick them in the top of the chicken for decoration. Unlike most mental cases, George had a sense of humor. He got the jokes. He had us set up a dinner party at our house to meet a potential investor, who just by accident was a psychiatrist. A high profile local shrink. The psychiatrist was nuts, too. All through dinner he psychoanalyzed me in front of everybody. He told me everything he thought I did wrong in my life, and why. He ruined the party showing off his shrink ability at my expense. I kept my cool for the sake of everybody else, but as the guests were filing out the door, I said to him: "I bet you don't get invited back to many parties". He was shocked, and asked me why I would say something like that. I told him how he had behaved, and he said a real shrink thing to me. He said: "You handle your hostilities well". I felt like pulling his lower lip up over his head. George was one of those loud talkers. He'd be sitting with us at a restaurant table, conversing at a level that could reach everybody in the room. He was an actor playing to the back row. He used a lot of phrases like: My people... My people are loyal... We've leased the entire top floor for our offices, etc.. His office was a twenty year old Chevy. There was a recently divorced waitress working in our club, who talked a lot about marrying a rich guy. She was going to find one, you just watch. Goldie was money hungry a little more than most of us. She could hear George talking about his people and his big deals all the time. A month later they were married and moved into the most expensive penthouse in town. The marriage lasted about a month, until Goldie and the landlord realized that the rent check was going to bounce. George could discuss any subject like an expert. I'm sure his IQ was off the chart, but his IQ wasn't running the show. I wanted brochures: He knew the name of every fancy type font. He sent what he called a rough contract to me in Nashville. I took it to a friend, who was a law professor at Vanderbilt, who said the contract was excellent legal work. We didn't see George for a few years and then one night he was on the Channel 9 News. They interviewed him as a scientist who had invented a coffee substitute. I said to Misty, "I think that's Postum". Another year or two, and there he was, being interviewed on Channel 9 again. He was wearing a white lab coat, and was introduced as a local scientist who had discovered a particle smaller than an atom! They asked him how he had done it when nobody else could, and he said something so stupid I thought a hook would come out and pull him off. He said: "Nobody else was looking for anything that small." The reporter said, "That's amazing!" I ran into that psychiatrist a while later and asked if he knew what George was up to lately, and he said: "He's a pathological liar". Yeah, but we liked the liar better than the doctor. Jack Blanchard © 2003, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
February 25th, 2014... We went out and paid the balance on our new home today. Long drive with lots of traffic. We went in and looked around. Misty measured the windows for blinds. We checked the central air. It works. They handed us the keys and the remote to open the gate. The neighbors came over to welcome us. It's been a long day, but a good one. --Jack.
February 22nd, 2014...

LAST NIGHT (FEB. 21st, 2014) at Rockin' Rhonda's, Sanford Florida. Photo by our friend Karen Horne.

February 20th, 2014... Friends, please make a note of our email address: jackandmisty@gmail.com. Our old Bellsouth email address will be no good after we move. We can get gmail from anyplace. Thanks. Jack & Misty
February 15th, 2014...
Illustration by Karen Donley-Hayes © 2014 My old friend and member of our Dawn Breakers vocal group, Jim Warne, has a unique sense of humor, and writes good short stories. One of them is in the latest issue of Saturday Evening Post. Click here to read it: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2014/02/14/art-entertainment/fiction-boat-show.html (Illustration by Karen Donley-Hayes © 2014)

February 14th, 2014...

This from our friend Sandra Haveone. Thanks, Sandra.

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
VALENTINE'S DAY: FEBRUARY 14TH, 1991. We were playing in Jacksonville Florida, and Misty wanted to buy a red blouse for Valentine's Day. She was already wearing a nice red blouse, but I kept my mouth shut. We drove to a Pic 'n' Save store on Dunn Avenue. I dropped her off near the door and drove to the nearest parking slot. It was getting dark. As I was locking the car door I heard a woman scream. I had never heard Misty scream, but it sounded like it came from about the place where she ought to be... by the door. I started to run toward the building and saw a big guy running from the door area, from right to left across the front of the building. He was carrying a woman's purse, and didn't seem the type. He seemed to be going about 35 mph when he saw me running directly at him. He shouted: "NOOOOOOO!" We crashed head on and I knocked him across a bunch of shopping carts. I spun around, flew a few feet, and landed full weight on the point of my index finger, like some kind of acrobat, except the finger bent into an "L", and I did a neat landing on my face. People in the lot closed in, held the guy down and called the police, while I looked for my glasses and bled from a variety of places. He had been running toward the high chain link fence where he was to throw the purse to his brother, who was waiting on the other side. The brother disappeared. The cops told us that if he hadn't taken at least $400 they couldn't send him away, wink, wink. Funny, that's the exact amount we reported. Meanwhile, Misty, who was also hurt from being knocked to the ground by a blow to the ear, was helping me into the store to seek help. Something had gone wrong with my leg and I couldn't walk. Inside the store, the pharmacist said he couldn't help because it would be admitting liability. I'm leaning on Misty with broken glasses, an injured leg, a bent finger, and bleeding like a lawn sprinkler. I reached across the counter, grabbed the pencil out of his pocket, pushed him aside, took some tape from a shelf, and made a rough splint for my finger. The next day we went to a walk-in medical clinic where the doctor put a splint on my finger backward, holding it in the bent back position. When I realized it later I turned it around. I was on crutches for a couple of months and the crook went to jail. Since then I don't forget Valentines Day like I used to. Copyright © February 14, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
February 13th, 2014... On February 21st, a Friday night, our friend Tom Barnhill is throwing a benefit bash to help with the expenses that are coming up. It will be held at Rockin' Rhonda's in Sanford. Misty and I will be there. If you're in the neighborhood stop in if you're sober. :) -- Jack.
February 11th, 2014...

A Billboard review of our second album, 1972.

February 7th, 2014...

52,000 intelligent, good-looking readers.
CRAZY SHOW BIZ RULES. Remember Crazy Gugenheim on the Jackie Gleason Show? That was Frankie Fontaine. Not too many of us remember that he had the number one comedy show on radio, when television was young and not every home had a TV. Many folks stood in the cold and looked into store windows to watch Milton Berle. At that time Frankie Fontaine was king of the airwaves. Misty and I were on The Mike Douglas Show along with Gleason and Fontaine. In the first segment I was seated next to Frank, and we chatted during commercial breaks. He asked how the music business was going, and I said, "Okay, so far." He said, "Even when your right on top things can go wrong." He was a nice guy, obviously depressed. On the Gleason show Frankie Fontaine was limited to one bit, "Crazy Gugenheim", which was the one that made him famous. That character was originally called "John L. C. Silvoney" when The Frankie Fontaine Show was America's favorite. Frank did a lot of different character voices on his own show, the way Red Skelton did, but not on the Gleason Show. It was Jackie's show, and everybody on it was there to make the star look good. That's perfectly normal in show business. We knew a comedian named Danny Rogers who worked clubs and did some bit parts on TV and films. I saw him for a minute in a Jerry Lewis movie. Rogers told us that when he was on the Milton Berle Show playing in Las Vegas, he (Danny) made his entrance with "a hilarious six-way take". That's three times as funny as a double take. Uncle Milty immediately fired him. Rogers said, "Berle was right. It was his show." Bert Lahr, The Cowardly Lion, was upset after his stage show because some local emcee came on after Bert had finished. He said, "The last person on the stage, it's his show! He made it look like HIS show! I'm Bert Lahr!" This business has its rules. On the road Misty and I had a lead guitar player that was doing dumb pantomime humor behind us while we were singing. He thought he was funny. We didn't. We told him that if it happened again he was history. We worked for years to get up front, and we were paying him to back us up. Vegas also has strange rules... A musical act should come on, do two or three fast songs, and then stop to say a few very brief words. After that I think they're allowed to do a slow song and maybe talk a little more. Then two or three more songs, and get off. THEN you come back for an encore whether they applaud or not. The encore can be a ballad. I think I've got all this pretty close to right. Misty and I never paid much attention to the rules. Most recording artists do their biggest hit last. We did ours first. It worked for us. Back to Frank Fontaine... He had a large family, nine kids, I heard, and he worked hard all over the country, after television. He died at fifty-eight years old. One rainy day, we saw him lugging suitcases into a Ramada Inn, where the sign said he would be appearing. I said to Misty, "He was a huge star! Somebody should carry his damn bags!" Copyright © February 7, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
February 6th, 2014...

We were playing in Key West when two guys named George came in and signed us to a 4 song recording deal. Their names are on the label: Martin & Daniel. They paid for the session. Misty and I produced it.


February 2, 2014...
#1 on the APD Top 50! Already!!

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ENTERTAINMENT CRAFT. I received a note saying that God is more concerned with our inner person than the outer person that we show the public. I wrote back: "I have no argument against that except as applied to the field of entertainment. "The public attention span is short, and you have to grab their attention or they may never notice your work. "Politicians have to speak in sound bites. People correspond in Tweets of 140 characters or less. People channel surf hundreds of stations, and if they don't like the first minute or so, they flip to the next one. Only a small number of listeners will take in a one hour concerto. Three minute songs with hooks to grab their attention get the play. This is not new in show business. "God looks underneath, but busy people don't take the time, unless you hook them with something on the surface. If they don't like the first impression, they're on to the next act. "I've been in this line of work for many years. I have studied it carefully, and have learned from the best. The facade is a real part of the entertainer's self. It's show biz know-how. Theater craft. It is NOT a weakness, or something that needs to be overcome. "For entertainers or actors to present their best face to the audience is not a bad thing in any way. It's just a more entertaining side of our self. That's why God gave us sequins. "Somebody told a famous entertainer to just be himself. He asked "Which self?" "Some times, with good entertainers, the on-stage persona becomes the dominant side of the personality. "Actors and entertainers work on and present facets of themselves that will catch the public eye and ear. That's a good thing. "And there's the age discrimination... The older stars out there now made it when they were younger. There are few if any old faces on the Opry or on the CMA Awards anymore, and even Tom Selleck has a supporting role as the father in a TV series. Joan Rivers keeps getting face lifts. A lot of entertainers do, but Joan talks more about it. It's an attempt to stay in the game. You have to give them credit for trying. "If Misty and I hadn't done things to make ourselves interesting on the surface, the public would have never noticed us, or gotten to know our more serious side. "I'm sure God understands." Copyright © February 2, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
January 13th, 2014... This in from Misty Morgan (via her Facebook page): Just received a big check from Lei Isaacs in New York!! She was a writer for a newspaper out of Kingston, N.Y. She was there while we were doing a show, Dick Curless, Little Jimmie Dickin's, and Skeeter Davis. She did a great write up of us,which we still have.Love Ya,Lei.xxx
January 11th, 2014...

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A BELATED HAPPY NEW YEAR COLUMN. Happy New Year all you Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, rich, poor, and let's not leave out the fringe weirdos. Happy New Year I say, to all humans, dogs, cats, and miscellaneous living items. We made some new friends in 2013, and made up with some old ones. We mourn those who died, and celebrate those who were born. Misty and I are still together, and we have a chance at 2014. Buffalo is having a big time snow storm as I write this. I love it!  NO SCHOOL!!! I once rented a flat in Buffalo from a cop named Al Simpson. He was a tough guy but acted like a friend. I'd come home about 3 AM and parking was legal on my side of the street, but not on the other side because of snow plows. I'd wake up at noon and find my car plowed under with parking tickets on it. I mentioned it to my friend Al. He said "Yeah, I put 'em there." He could have just called me when they changed the "NO PARKING" signs. I really hated to hear that Buffalo's Elmwood Theater is gone. I spent more of my formative years there than with my family. That's where I learned that it's cool to smoke and drink, and to use my imagination. At twelve years old I wanted a white dinner jacket like Humphrey Bogart's. It's 43 degrees here in Central Florida today, and no long underwear. We have to keep dancing. I thought I saw a robin in the cold, but it was just a sparrow with a chapped chest. In my grandmother's last days I sat by her bed at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. We talked and joked a little. She always had a sense of humor. She said she wasn't afraid to die, but she just didn't want to. Like a young idiot I asked "Why?" She smiled and said this: "I'm afraid I might miss something." We played for a year at El Bolero Supper Club in Miami, about 1967. That's where we met Richard Nixon. There was a misprint in the newspaper one week and they advertised us as "The Baked Stuffed Jack Blanchard Trio". Our home will soon be bulldozed due to a land development deal. There was some fraud an shady dealings in it but we haven't found an attorney to take it on. We've been in a lot of tight spots in our life, but something always saves us in the nick of time. If the wrecking ball comes for our house, I hope Miley Cyrus isn't on it. The last night before we have to leave our home, we're going to sit by the fire and drink a toast. We don't have a fireplace. Copyright © January 11, 2014 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
January 8th, 2014...

Our friend, singer Sharon Lee Collins, has passed away. We will remember her as a sweetheart. L to R: Sharon Lee, Misty Morgan, Ann, Jack Blanchard.

January 2nd, 2014...

January 1st, 2014... HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! We're setting our calendar back 10 years. :) -- Jack and Misty.
That goes double for me. ;) -- YFNW™, Jerry. P.S.: As is the custom around here, all the news, columns, etc. from last year can now be found in the 2013 Old News page, which can be found here! Best wishes for a better 2014, Jerry.
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