Old News 2010
For those of you who came in a bit late...


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.


December 27, 2010...
Note from Jerry: Do not read this until January 1st!

(I'm kidding, folks. You can read it if you want to...)

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
ANNUAL NEW YEARS THOUGHTS. I can't believe it's 2011. Last year I couldn't believe it was 2010. The new and old years are often represented by a baby and a very old man, both wearing diapers. The New Years "Toast" comes from the ancient tradition of casting virgins into a volcano to welcome the new year. The ritual lost popularity due to a growing lack of virgins. I can't afford a new year. I may have to look for a good used one. Way back in the year 2002… 2002 spelled backwards was 2002. Spelled sideways, it was 0022, pronounced: "Oh! Oh! Tutu!", an ancient warning that a ballet dancer was approaching. You celebrate a new year. I look at it funny until it proves itself. You say potato, I say ptui. "Ptui" is a Greek letter that never gained popularity, due to the failure of Irving Berlin's song "The Sweetheart of Sigma Ptui". I seldom make resolutions, but last year I gave up hope for Lent. OUR ANNUAL NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS. Never stop for a cop who talks with a hand puppet. Try not to kill people who offer constructive criticism. Never approach a chicken with a crazy look. Never try to explain our career to a wino. Never yodel at a funeral. Never hit a chiropractor without a reason. Never wear helmets while skateboarding. Always wear helmets during sex. Never tango. Never carry a rose in our teeth. Never carry a rose in any body cavity. Never turn our turn signal off. Never take Viagra before a business meeting. Never buy a pacemaker from a guy in a pickup truck. Never glue sequins to a squirrel,‭ ‬except as eveningwear. Always smile and wave to drivers who give us the finger. Never have a hole in your pocket while it is being picked. Never yell‭ "‬Freeze‭!" ‬in a biker bar. Never wear a tutu in a biker bar. Never sing‭ "‬Granada‭" ‬to an imaginary herring. Never play hip-hop dance music for nudists. And... We wish you all a Happy New Year. Jack & Misty Copyright © December 27, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Browse through our full JACK BLANCHARD & MISTY MORGAN CD CATALOG here:


Then... Click here for quick easy ordering:

Hey, gang! If you want to get Jack and Misty's new CD "TRAVELING MUSIC" from our new friends at CD Baby,
either as CD or downloadable mp3's, click here!
Ain't technology grand? Jerry.
And now, here's our very own Soundclick™ player to while away the days of catching up
with 26 Jack and Misty songs (and one essay): Neat, huh?

December 25th/26th, 2010...

Hey, folks. Hoping you've been having a Merry Christmas!
While I'm planning my year-end sweeping-up-the-website,
here's some thoughts on the holiday from Jack...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
CHRISTMAS PAST. 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 front yard. I get very sentimental about Christmas, probably because I had real Christmasy holidays years ago, with folks who are no longer with us, and my childlike subconscious thinks it will happen again sometime. I toss up futile prayers for snow here in the subtropics, but this is the time of year when we just get a cheap imitation of early autumn. A couple of trees around here have 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. I think we can each bring our own spirituality and memories to the season, and make it our personal non-pagan celebration. It's in the spirit of the beholder. Christmas Eve and Day at my sister Val's house is a fleeting taste of "old Christmas" that saves the day, with turkey, eggnog, and all the trimmings. I think I'll write a letter to Santa, and ask him for one more snowy Christmas in Buffalo, where the night is silent, the homes are warm, and the feeling is strong in the air. Copyright © December 25, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at The Best Nest In The West! Your friendly neighborhood webmeister, Jerry.
December 19th, 2010...
By the time you read this it will not be current, but I'm writing at the kitchen table on Christmas morning. It's a little chilly and the steam is swirling up from my coffee cup. Carolers are singing softly and there are church bells. I haven't opened the curtains yet but judging by the grayish light seeping through, it's a winter day. I haven't heard any snow shovels, but it's still a little early. I think I'll plug in the tree lights. Even through the closed curtains snow is visible in the corners of the windows. Holly and candles add color to the room and the silhouette of a Christmas wreath can be seen at the front window. As little as a couple of inches of overnight snowfall can blow into deep white drifts, so I feel around under the bed for my high top boots. The ones with the knife pocket. And I'd better get out my blue flannel shirt. The checkered one. That always feels good and warm on a winter's morning when the snow is squeaky cold. We'd better hurry. We're due at Alan and Vivian's house for Christmas dinner. Funny, I can't seem to find my high-tops, or the flannel shirt, or even my sheepskin mittens and earmuffs. Grandma probably put them away somewhere. I'll ask her. No, that's right, I can't ask her. She's not here. She's been gone for some years now. Sometimes, especially on Christmas, I forget that. I wonder what ever happened to those old winter clothes of mine. Seems like I had 'em just the other day. Or was it 30 years ago? Got to go now, we're late for dinner. Let's not forget to turn off the tree lights and the air conditioner. And, oh yes, the stereo Christmas tape. As I step out the door, Christmas presents under each arm, the white glare makes my eyes water. It could be snow. It really could! But I feel the Key West coral rock under my feet as I step down from our motor home and I hear the waves slapping against the shore a few feet to my left. I wonder if they're having snow up home. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Jack & Misty Please click here to see the picture: http://tinyurl.com/349pdqn Copyright © 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

December 15th, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
EMAIL FEVER. I'm sorry I haven't written much lately, but I have a good excuse...the dog ate my columns. But I’ve been looking through my recent emails again, and I found some stuff I thought wasn’t bad. Where I can remember who was on the other end of the correspondence, I’ve noted their names. To Arkansas Red: “Yep. That's Herschel Wigginton, the skinny guy. He was the group leader of The Nashville Edition and sang bass. Great voice. I produced the first session they sang on in Nashville, at Starday in the early 60s. We liked Herschel a lot, but later he started having a party in recording sessions. On one session he had two 45 records stuck to his head, his ears through the holes. We were recording a song called “I'll Go Home With You”, and you can hear Herschel singing “I'll Go Home Witchoo”. We didn't care about the “witchoo” but the label gave us a hassle about it. We loved that group.” To Ron Wiggins, author of humorous books and newspaper columns: “You’re right, Ron, World War Two had great songs and good-lookin' dames. Hubba hubba! That's the ticket! Goodbye Mama, I'm off to Yokohama for my country, my flag, and youse. Perry Como was hep. Where'd I put my zoot suit and Mister B collar? Good night, ya big lug. Signed: Jack the Riffer.” “I once sent a famous guitarist home just before the recording session started. He had driven all the way to Muscle Shoals, Alabama from Nashville. I’m still a little embarrassed about it, but I heard him warming up, and I knew it wasn't the Hawaiian sound we needed that evening. From the control room I heard whispering: ‘He’s sending Paul Franklin home!' I played the steel myself that night. One track was released as a single on United Artists, and another made it to an Australian album on Omni Records. My old Rickenbacher steel was swarming all over them. Great sounding instrument. Huge magnet on the pickup. When I carried it through the kitchen we'd get stuck to the refrigerator.” “Ever since my childhood I've kept track of musicians, stars and sidemen, like the other guys followed athletes.” “The only remaining members of my childhood family are my cousin Donna in Tennessee, and my younger sister Val. Val lives in Orlando, about a 40 minute drive, and we see each other at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those two days are very important to me.” “Misty is my full time family. After all these years we still have lots to talk about, and we make each other laugh a lot. Our occasional arguments last only minutes.” “I forget more things now. I think it's because I know more things now.” About an important event in our life I wrote: “I guess we didn't realize how memorable it would be while it was going on. We were on the road for so many years we rarely knew where we were.” To Jan Dyer, writer of hit songs: “Being songwriters, maybe we see things as miracles. We've been in trouble most of our lives, but something unexpected always saves us just in the nick of time.” “I wrote a song titled "Only a Fool", and recorded it in 1960 under the name "Jackie Blanchard & the Rockin' Impalas". My voice was higher then. I sounded like Tommy Sands on diet pills.” “We were nervous about our trip to the Hall of Fame Induction Gala. Do we get a rehearsal with the band? Do we have to send music charts ahead? You don't have to answer these questions. They're rhetorical. In fact, my whole life may be rhetorical.” On recently seeing my childhood home: “As neat and spiffy as the house is now, some of the character is missing.” To Jim Warne, lead singer with The Dawn Breakers on Coral Records: “For the Dawn Breakers I scribbled the arrangements in musical notes on staff paper, and then sang each part to you guys, one at a time. You had good ears and learned the parts quickly. I don't know what ever happened to all my written arrangements.” To my cousin Donna: “Yes, I do remember the attic, the wind-up Victrola, the old thick records, and a guy in a high vaudeville voice singing ‘It's Just a Lotta Baloney’." From Jim Carlton, jazz guitarist and writer of guitar books: “Talked about you tonight at dinner. Had a nice visit with Jim Stafford and Ronnie Prophet. Ronnie's living in Florida now. I replied: “I hope I was discussed last night in a complimentary mode. I like complimentary modes.” “I tried to concentrate and imprint every tree in my memory. I don't know when or if I'll get to see the autumn colors again.” “The world may be screwed up, but I'm glad to be in it.” Copyright © December 15, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
December 15th, 2010...
The Christmas Town. It was the day before Christmas. We were road tired, and traveling westward through Illinois or Iowa... on our way to another show somewhere. We tried to cheer each other up, and said we'd celebrate our Christmas at a later date. The countryside looked like a Christmas card through the windshield of our motor home. Fine dusty snow was starting to whirl around. and the Interstate Highway was just about deserted. It began snowing harder. We needed a place to pull in for the night, but we hadn't seen anything open for miles. We started to get worried. It was getting dark, and the wind was blowing the snow into drifts. We pulled off at the next exit, but there was no sign of life except for an old barn. There was a wooden sign over the door, and Christmas lights were on inside. It turned out to be a little store with a few groceries, and some antiques for sale in the back. The owner took us to a little room where they kept boots and snow shovels. That's where we plugged in our electric line. Misty made a good deal... one night, two dollars. We dragged our small artificial Christmas tree out of the trunk and she had it trimmed and lit in about ten minutes. We'd been on a long hard tour and we didn't have any presents for each other, so we looked around at the antiques and things in the store. We picked out a few gifts, but we didn't have any way to gift wrap them. Two or three at a time, people from the town came into the store, stomping the snow off their shoes and saying "Merry Christmas" to each other. They were smiling and friendly and offered to take our gifts back to their homes and wrap them for us. When they came back a while later, our presents looked beautiful. They brought along some cookies and eggnog, and we had a little party with these unusual strangers. We wanted to cancel all our future bookings and live here. In the morning we woke up to snow covered cornfields and a sparkling forest of winter trees. An old rusty plow and a wagon were half buried in the snow outside our window... It was a perfect Christmas. We don't even know the name of the town or which state it's in. And we haven't been able to find it on any map. We just think of it as our Christmas Town. Maybe it's in the twilight zone. (To see the picture, click here: http://tinyurl.com/28hshwj) Merry Christmas from Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan © 2010.

December 14th, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
A SONG FOR TODAY. Listen to the song here: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=8188646 Second Tuesday in December, icy rain is fallin' down. I took the bus out to the city line, and then I watched it turn around. Now as I walk down past the junkyard, by the closed-up drive-in show I realize that really leavin' is the only way I'll ever go. It was the seventh of September, nineteen hundred sixty nine... 95 degrees and risin', we crossed the Pennsylvania line. We paid a judge our last ten dollars to bless us with his legal seal. I guess that puttin' love on paper doesn't always make it real. Second Tuesday in December, icy rain is comin' down. All the snow that's left from Monday lies gray and frozen on the ground It's hard to understand this feeling that a part of me is gone. Second Tuesday in December... looks like winter's comin' on. Copyright © December 14, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. "SECOND TUESDAY IN DECEMBER": Words and music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Hair makes the difference. Jack at 15 years old.
December 13th, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
YULE REVISITED. A Christmas column. A long time ago Misty and I took a holiday season job in a Miami department store in a poor neighborhood. She was the photographer who snapped and sold the pictures of the children on Santa's lap. I was Santa. The Santa suit and the whiskers were hot, but it was an unforgettable experience. Little poor kids would tell their dreams, dreams which I knew could not come true for them, at least this year. They had faith in Santa and even a "maybe" from me made their eyes sparkle, but somehow, I felt guilty. One little boy asked me "How come Santa Claus is white?". I told him I hoped he wouldn't hold that against me, and he assured me he wouldn't. There were always a few raggedy strays wandering around the toy department, giggling and touching all the magical things that would soon belong to someone else. Some of them laughed and pointed at me, but never came too close. Others showed off to their pals by climbing right up on my lap, like they weren't scared at all. One little girl, dressed in filthy rags, was too small to climb up on my knee, so I lifted her up. She weighed nothing. I wondered if she was old enough to talk, as she just smiled at me, wide-eyed. Obviously, she was alone and uncared for. I asked her where her mommy and daddy were and she said, "Drunk". Then she confessed her true love for me. I asked her what she really wanted most for Christmas, and she lisped, "New shoes". She wasn't wearing any this winter. "Merry Christmas! Ho -Ho -Ho", I choked, as she climbed down to be replaced by the next in line. When business tapered off a little later, I searched the whole store for the little girl, to buy her a pair of new shoes. I was too late. she had disappeared, and I never saw her again, except in my mind every Christmas. Christmas is a time of sad happiness. We can purify ourselves by condemning those who commercialize it, but if the stores were closed it would take away much of the fun. Bar rooms are lined with the lonely, clinging to each other. Bartenders are Parent Images. Displaced Yankees dream of gently falling snow that never turns to slush, and wandering Romeos often return temporarily to the family fold. Telephone wires hum with long distance calls between people who care about each other 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 extremely fortunate, 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 13, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
NOSTALGIA. I get nostalgic at this time of year, and looking through stacks of pictures I found this one of me when I was 14 or 15, and a freshman at Lafayette High School, Buffalo, New York. Nice haircut. Jack.
December 6th, 2010... 'Tis the season to be silly. You don't believe me? Ask Jack. He'll tell you. Go on, Jack... tell them...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
RANDOM SILLY THOUGHTS. It's the holiday season and every time I try to think about writing a serious column I doze off. So today I'm just doing random silly thoughts... some true, and some almost true. I hear that Misty and I are up for a CMA award... "Oldest Duet of the Year". (Rim shot, please.) There's a picture of some great-grandchildren, allegedly ours, on Facebook. People have commented that we don't look old enough. Well, that's partly right. Misty isn't. The great-grandkids are mostly a result of my own youthful enthusiasm. We look younger and feel younger than we are, maybe due to preservatives in the food. I think I stay young by clenching. An email just came in saying this: "Did you see that Willie got busted again for pot? That's like saying, "Jack and Misty's songs start with a major seventh". It happened once and it will probably happen again." We've been outed! I thought the opening Major 7th in our songs was our little secret. I'm not old inside, except maybe for my liver, which is not from age but more from a couple of blurry decades. I'm not old, but I remember watching President Roosevelt, Jack Benny, and Regis Philbin on the radio. A wise man once told me "You are only as old as you feel." There were two other wise men named Moe and Curly. I'm not old just because today I yelled "You kids get off my lawn!". It was the neighbors across the street, they are in their forties, and they were on their own lawn. They gave me the finger and I thought they were saluting the flag, so I stood up. I had an idea for a blues song. It starts out "Woke up this morning..." That's as far as I got when the phone rang, so I had to go answer the door. I emailed a photo of Misty to a friend. She was playing the piano in the picture and there were some papers on the bench. My friend wrote back "Why does Misty like to sit on sheet music?" I replied "That's the way she reads." A customer once asked Misty if she could play "Autumn Leaves". She said: "I can play it with my brain tied behind my back." I also used to play that song, using a lot of flowery downward runs to illustrate dead stuff falling off trees. I find that not only coincidental, but dental in every way. Yesterday I suggested that we take a nice drive, and maybe stop and get a hot dog. Misty said "A hot dog? Where would we get a hot dog? And how old would it be if we got one?" She then reported to me that hot dog stands went out forty or fifty years ago, along with intelligence and prosperity. I remember a drive-in in Miami where the carhops in mini-skirts and boots came right out to your car to get abused. There was a biker named Bunky who rode in every night on an old Indian. He couldn't afford a motorcycle. We almost always do a ragtime piano duet in our shows. The audiences seem to like them even better than the actual music. You should see the tangled web of wires under my computer desk. I went down there once to plug something in and I'm never going back. I think there's something living in it. Tonight we had a healthy supper... a can each of Foster's beer, two Nathan's hot dogs with relish and honey mustard, and apple pie with a scoop of ice cream. Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like kosher food. This is the dumbest column I've ever written. Warning: I am armed and extremely jolly. Copyright © December 5, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
December 4th, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
THE SECOND CHORD. Some songwriters start with the words, and then set the words to music. Others write the melody first, or the bass line, or the chords, or all at once. Sometimes it's a phrase that sounds like a title, or it might be a whole story that calls out for rhyme and tune. I'll take a song idea no matter where it comes from. For me it seems to change every time. I guess I can't be tied to one method. The day I grabbed my guitar and sat down to write this one, the idea I had was more about the music than the words. I was thinking about how important the second chord is in a song. It often sets up the feeling for the rest of the piece. The second chord can take your song down unexpected paths, with surprising twists and turns. Starting with an opening C chord, I tried every chord up and down neck, and found that they had all been second chords in other songs that I'd heard... all except one... the G flat seventh. (For Nashville studio musicians that's the b5 chord.) Then I tried to make the chords flow smoothly... to make the complicated progression feel natural, and wrote a simple, bluesy lyric, and called it "Lonesome Song", because of the strange feeling it has. I'm not usually this methodical, but sometimes I am. When we were recording the song in Nashville... Columbia Studio B, I overheard a girl in the backup vocal group whisper this: "When it comes back to the 5 chord, it doesn't sound like a 5 chord anymore." The leader of the Nashville Edition, Herschel Wigginton, said "Shhh." Misty and I made the arrangement basic country, to keep it traditional while sneaking in a new chord. The band included Lloyd Green, Billy Sanford, Bobby Thompson, Charlie McCoy, Hargus Robbins, Buddy Spicher, Bob Moore, and Larrie London. As far as we know, the record has never been a single, and didn't appear at all until our first Australian Omni Records CD in 2005. As a result of that album, the song was used in a major TV commercial for a couple of years. Please click this link to listen to the song: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=8627752 Here are the lyrics to LONESOME SONG: "I wish they wouldn't sing that lonesome song. When the music's over, the lonesome lingers on. Thought I got over you. Guess I was wrong. I wish they wouldn't sing that Lonesome Song. "I wish they wouldn't play those lonesome strings I just can't keep away the memories it brings. Thought I'd forgotten you. It's been so long. I wish they wouldn't sing that Lonesome Song. "I wish they wouldn't sing those lonesome words That's the saddest story I ever heard. I like the music, don't get me wrong. I just wish they wouldn't sing that Lonesome Song. Yeah, I wish they wouldn't sing that Lonesome Song." And for the musicians, here are the chords: // C / C / Gb7 / Gb7 / Bm / Bm / G7 / G7 / / C / F7 / C-Bb7 / A7 / Dm7 / Fm-G7 / C / C // Copyright © December 4, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. "LONESOME SONG": Words and music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
December 2nd, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
THE MISSING LINKS. For the past ten years I've written nearly a thousand columns about life in general, music, fiction, our hard times and good times, famous and infamous friends, the music business, funny stuff, and about our songs and how they came to be. Many of the essays I've sent to you contained links to listen to the songs I referred to in the stories. All you had to do was click the link or copy it into your browser and you got the music. We post most of our songs on Soundclick, a wonderful website that helps us itinerant musicians to get our music out. They made big changes about a year ago, and yours truly, being anti-change by nature, kept right on working on their old page. So, now most of he music links I sent to you have stopped functioning, as nearly have I. After many hours of cursing and giving the finger to my computer I think I've got it... I have to try to find every column and change every link to the new one. Jeez! I plan to have that done Congress style... by the year 2050. Until then you are cordially invited to our Soundclick Music Page where will find 52 of the songs that have been missing in action. Just click this link, or type it into your browser to listen to the songs. Our treat. http://tinyurl.com/2ulqr6t Copyright © December 2, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
November 29, 2010... A note to our friends... Our trio played a Les Paul & Mary Ford song live on stage in Key West in 1962. We found a recording of it on a battered old acetate disc. We posted it on SoundClick yesterday, and emailed it to a few friends. The response has been amazing... hundreds of plays the first day. On this ancient scratchy cut Misty is singing "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise". Our guitarist Doug Tarrant was playing his original Les Paul model, with an Eccofonic, the first echo device ever marketed for live performance. SoundClick was getting too much traffic on that one song, and error pages were coming up, so we added a few old photos, and put it up on YouTube. Here's the video link: http://tinyurl.com/24l35np It's not a new release, and not for sale. We just wanted to share it with you. Jack & Misty
November 28, 2010... And we're back! Jack and Misty have reached into the dark recesses of their Audio Auditorium™* and pulled out a near-forgotten item from the early '60's that proves once and for all that everything new is indeed old again. (*Okay, it's really a... but why spoil the surprise?)

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
OUR LIVE LES PAUL TRIBUTE FROM 1962. Last night Misty and I enjoyed a wonderful musical show on PBS. It was Jeff Beck's Tribute to Les Paul, with Irish singer Imelda May and her band. They were great. We were watching bits of it again today on Youtube, and then we looked at each other and said this: "Didn't we do that about forty-five years ago?" I searched through our old recordings and found something special... a scratched up acetate disc from our distant past. Our trio was playing at the Downtowner Bar in Key West FL around 1962, 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 Frank Linale's studio to have him transfer it to an acetate disc to play on our hi-fi at home. For you younger readers: A "hi-fi" was the Ipod of the day, only carved out of rock. 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 forty plus. The third musician in our trio was master guitarist Doug Tarrant. We played a lot of kinds of music, including rock & roll, jazz, standards, and current hits. Misty and I hadn't 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. That year were singing into a little crystal mike, like a CB radio microphone, because that's all we could afford. We bought it for about $15 at a radio store. Even so it sounded pretty good... like an old fashioned dial telephone. Doug was playing his original Les Paul model guitar, and getting the latest techno sound with an Echoplex, probably the first tape echo device ever marketed for live performance. We were 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 music history... a minute of our life almost forgotten. Click the link here to listen: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=9929819 (You might have to click it 2 or 3 times. We don't know why.) If you are reading this in a newspaper, try this: http://tinyurl.com/23crvae Copyright © November 28, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the author.
November 9, 2010... While you're busy ogling our new "award-winning Jack" banner, here's a couple of new columns from self-same Jack. Take it away, self-same Jack...

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AN OLD SONG IS NEW AGAIN. One of the big car makers is advertising a "new" feature... a "Start" button right there on the dashboard. This miracle was standard on cars of the 1930's and '40's. We see clothing styles that are imitations of earlier times. They call it "Retro". They remake old movies that were great as they were. Sometimes they're better, sometimes worse. Misty and I have recorded our own original songs, with a few exceptions. These outside songs were usually previous hits in the Pop field and we rearranged them for Country. "You've Got Your Troubles I've Got Mine" was a pop hit by The Fortunes. We did a country arrangement on it, even replacing the chords to the bridge, to make it fit our style. We released it on Mercury Records and it became a country hit. We also recorded Joe South's "Don't it Make You Want to Go Home", and one really old song, "Heartaches". This song was a big hit for The Ted Weems Orchestra in the 1940's. The original whistling was done by Elmo Tanner. I did the whistling on the version we did for United Artists. Misty played the synth strings and Clavinet, and I played the Hawaiian lap steel guitar. Click a link to listen to the song: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7577024&q=hi DIAL-UPS: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7577024&q=lo We recorded it in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, just to try something new... something other than Nashville... for a change of pace, and maybe a fresh feeling. We recorded back in Nashville after that, but we we're glad we had the experience. Copyright © November 9, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
THEATER CRAFT. I received a note from a friend we know and love. It was meant to be encouraging, as all her emails are, and she reminded me that God is more concerned with our inner person than the outer person that we show the public. I thanked her, and wrote my answer something like this: "I agree with your outlook, ******, except for the field of entertainment. "The public attention span is short, and you have to get their attention with an attractive (to them) image. Politicians have to speak in sound bites. "People correspond in Tweets of 150 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 catch their attention with something good 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 endeavor 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 a professional entertainer or actor 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. Love, Jack" Copyright © November 9, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. As always, more to come...
November 7, 2010... Hi to friends, family, and fans. Check out the new slide show of our 3,000 mile motor trip to The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and other places. Click the link below: http://s952.photobucket.com/albums/ae7/m_morgan/ 3000%20Mile%20Motor%20Tour%202010/?albumview=slideshow It was so much fun we have to share it with you.. Love, Jack & Misty
November 6, 2010... THE RETURNING. When we neared Western New York, the bushes, trees, and other growing things had a familiar look. A good look. The air smelled and felt different from all the other places I've been. The attitude, energy, and accent of the people in Buffalo were invigorating. The look of the place, even with the changes, made me feel more alive. I mentioned this to Misty. She felt it too. The streets, the houses, and even the sky were all part of it. There is something about the place. We seemed to belong there. Then I realized...It just felt "right". It felt like home. Jack Blanchard, 2010. Here's a beautiful video we'd like you to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT11IdWPvfc Love to all. Jack & Misty
November 5, 2010... Hi. Here are more pictures from our 3,000 mile motor tour, October, 2010. New pictures added. Hi. http://s952.photobucket.com/albums/ae7/m_morgan/3000%20Mile%20Motor%20Tour%202010/ Misty looks great. Why don't I? Jack
October 28, 2010... And now, an urgent message from Jack and Misty: If the Teaparty wins, America loses. We urge you to watch this. Jack & Misty http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39880604#39880604 A few more words from the webmeister: After seeing this, all I could say was, "Wow. That's all, just... wow." Talk about nailing it! Ordinarily, this site is about music (well, all right... Jack and Misty music, if you want to be specific ;D). But this is too important to ignore. I urge you to watch this all the way through. Then, come Tuesday, whatever your affiliation, to vote. Just not for any of these clowns. Thanks. Jerry.
And now that you're good and frightened, we think you're ready for... THIS!

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A STORY FOR HALLOWEEN. (To listen to the dramatization by Jerry Pippin, click a link below.*) hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9813021&q=hi lo-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9813021&q=lo (*If the link doesn't work at first, please try again in a couple of minutes. Apparently there are too many people trying to listen at once. - Jack and Misty) "A NIGHT ON CEMETERY HILL." The rain blew down in sheets and rolled off the dead man's face like tears. His hat lay upside down several feet away, collecting rainwater and flapping in the wind. Rapid bolts of lightning reflected in his wide-open eyes, and flashed the tombstones on and off, leaving the chalky names and dates in deep black. The hammer was still in his hand. The game was over, and nobody won. It had been building for a long time, the argument, mostly around the bar at The Golden Pheasant. In a small town, a dispute can last for months or even years. Nobody's going anyplace. But even for people who know each other well, it can be hard to gauge how seriously and personally the other guy may be taking the heat. These things can get out of hand. After all it was just a discussion about religion, or spirituality, if you prefer. Andy, the bartender and owner, was an agnostic, so he was more like a referee, with nothing to prove. Four or five of the guys were steady churchgoers, and liked to gang up on the lone atheist, Henry Peckham, a farmer with a few acres north of town. Henry always held his own, calling them pie-in-the-sky guys, and things like that. He sneered at their Bible quotes. "What kind of proof is that? The ravings of ignorant primitives." He seemed to be the coolest head in the crowd. He could really get the churchies red in the face, and enjoyed doing it. Last Wednesday night the whole debate took an unforeseen and fatal turn. It was the wager that did it. Hugh Turley, church deacon and local John Deere dealer, had had it! He said, "Nobody dies an atheist. It's just a pose to pass the burden of proof to others. How about a little test?" If Henry was a true unbeliever, he would dare to go to the town graveyard on the next stormy night, and exactly at midnight, pound a wooden cross into the ground and shout: "There is no God!" The other fellows took it more as a joke, and the laughter is what pushed Henry Peckham over the line. He shouted: "GOOD!" According to the TV weatherman there was a storm due Saturday night. Arrangements were made, and it was too late to back down. * * * They watched Henry from the shelter of their trucks, as he walked up Cemetery Hill, his long raincoat billowing in the wind, the cross in his left hand, and the hammer in his right. The hard rain sounded like sleet against the truck cabs. Nobody was laughing. He stopped at the top of the rise, and in silhouette they saw him check his watch. It was moving up to midnight. He looked back once at the trucks and smiled. Then he got down on one knee, held the cross in place, and hit it squarely with the hammer several times, driving it solidly into the wet earth. He raised his head and shouted something they couldn't hear over the storm, but they knew what it was: "There is no God!" As the atheist got up to leave, there was violent thunder and lightning, and SOMETHING GRABBED HIM! He tried to run, but he couldn't move! They were in no hurry to run up there, just to have Henry sit up and laugh at them for their foolishness. They sat and waited him out. They could hold out longer in their vehicles than he could in the rain. Fifteen or twenty long minutes passed before they opened the truck doors and got out. The rain was letting up and wet moonlight was backlighting the clouds. Henry Peckham was obviously dead as hell. * * * "A heart attack", Doc Emerson said. "Odd. Henry had no history of heart trouble. He didn't know what grabbed him. It was just the cross he'd pounded through the hem of his coat. It literally scared him to death. What in God's name would an atheist be afraid of?" Copyright © October 28, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
October 25, 2010... Hi. We want to tell you a couple of things about our close friend Hal Willis, and let you hear his huge hit "Lumberjack" which sold 1.5 million copies back when that was a really big deal. Even after the heart attack and other serious medical problems. Hal flew to accept his induction into The Canada Country Music Hall of Fame, and stopped the show, getting a standing ovation after singing his signature song. Hal was born in Canada and only spoke French during his early years. He sang his first recordings phonetically in English until he learned the language. He is known as one of the greatest voices in country music, being able to switch easily from uptempo Country to Pop ballads. He is also a unique songwriter, as you will hear on "Lumberjack". Hal and his late wife Ginger have had their songs recorded by Patsy Cline and others. We visited Hal and Irma Young in Nashville a few weeks ago, and although he seems to have lost about a hundred pounds, he cooked and served us all an outstanding spaghetti dinner, and we had a good time. Click this link to hear the song: http://tinyurl.com/2cc66xj Click this link to see a picture of Hal at his induction to The Canada Country Music Hall of Fame: http://tinyurl.com/32qx4zg We love ya, Hal. Jack & Misty

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THINGS AIN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE. Yesterday I read a story written by a friend of mine. In the story a man goes back to the place of his childhood after forty-five years and finds the almost unrecognizable ruins of the family farmhouse... just some fallen chimney stones and a scattering of rubble. It was a good story with an ironic ending, but the thing that gave me a strange feeling was the time period. The man had last seen the homestead in 1965, and forty-five years had wiped it all away. I started looking at my life a little differently. Here's why: I still have clothes in my closet from 1965! Funny how my perspective on time gets bent as I get older. I recently returned to my own home town after many years. I expected change, but not what I got. Buffalo has been radically rearranged since I left, but some parts are exactly the same. The three or four mile stretch of my old stomping ground is nicer than I left it. Like somebody had cleaned up after me. The houses where Misty and I were children are roughly a hundred years old, but they look neat and shiny and none the worse for wear. The Buffalonians I know aren't in a hurry to tear down nice old buildings to make room for strip malls and car dealerships. They realize things of the past can have special value and character, and can keep life more real. I have before and after pictures of a house where I lived much of my childhood. Before looking at it, please remember that in those days we didn't have color. The world then was in shades of gray. And we had to make our own cameras out of rocks, mud, and licorice whips. Click here to see the pictures... http://tinyurl.com/2857qoh I'm going to close with a song: "Changin' Times". “I saw the old man down on Main Street. The crowds were passing him by. He set his old suitcase down, And brushed a tear from his eye. He shook his head at a world full of strangers, As far as he could see. Then he looked around at his old home town, And he turned and he said to me: "Changin' Times... Changin' Times. The wheels of life go spinning around, Oranges, lemons, and limes. They're selling all the good things in life For pennies, nickels, and dimes How're we gonna find our way, wind our way home, In these Changin' Times? “Ah, I can almost see my old friends Hi Shorty, hi Sally, hi Pete Mhm I can almost hear their voices echoin' down the street I better get goin' now I know it's wrong now Livin' in yesterday Bye Shorty, bye Sally, so long Pete I'd better be on my way. "Changin' Times... Changin' Times. The wheels of life go spinning around, Oranges, lemons, and limes. They're selling all the good things in life For pennies, nickels, and dimes How're we gonna find our way, wind our way home, In these Changin' Times?" Copyright © October 23, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. "Changin' Times": Words and music by Jack Blanchard © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
October 18, 2010...

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OUR 3,000 MILE ROAD ADVENTURE. We drove over 3,000 miles over three weeks. We had to take enough stuff for hot and cold weather, and something dressy to wear for our induction into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Misty and I, and our English traveling companion Moragh Carter, left Orlando in the big SUV and headed for Albany, Georgia to visit our friends Gary and Ann Graves. Albany is Ray Charles' home town, and they have a park in his name. There is a life size statue of Ray playing a grand piano, surrounded by a fountain and a patio of giant piano keys. His music comes from speakers all around. Next stop Nashville, to visit our close friends Hal Willis and Irma Young. Hal was recently inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. One of his hits was "The Lumberjack". I love that record. Autumn was in full color In Buffalo, our home town. We spent five nights there with a side trip to Niagara Falls, on a cool sunny day with the wind blowing spray from the falls. We explored our old neighborhoods with mixed emotions, noting how, in the midst of radical changes, some things were almost untouched by time. Thursday was the night of the Induction Gala at the Tralf Music Hall. We got through our two songs ok, and were welcomed by the crowd, and honored by the award. A video collage of our younger days was being shown on the wall, and I said over the mike "We're trying hard to look like our pictures". Long lost relatives and old cohorts showed up, and newer friends from the Internet. There was a party afterward where we played the piano, and Misty danced with her cousins to blues music . Saturday morning we left for Celina, Tennessee for a family reunion with our daughters Kathi and Michele, and all the kids. Tons of good food and hours of front porch picking. The Kentucky Headhunters had a song about "Dumas Walker's Place". That house is where the two-day party was. It's in our family now. Our final stop was Yulee, Florida, to visit Mike and Wanda Miller. Mike was our band leader a long time ago and is like a brother to us. Misty wheeled around town with four of us on a golf cart, and that night we went to the club where Mike and his band were playing. Mike is one of the best singers I've ever heard, and the world's best left handed lead guitarist. At least to me. Mike sits on a stool to play now, and wears a cap over his shaved head. He is a Viet Nam vet suffering from delayed effects of Agent Orange, and goes in this week for radiation and chemotherapy treatments. If anyone can beat this thing, Mike can. We arrived home Saturday, tired, but full of memories we'll smile about for years to come. It's the most fun we've ever had with our clothes on. I don't have my speakers and everything hooked up yet, but I've manage to post some pictures we'd like you to see. Here's the URL for the pictures: http://s952.photobucket.com/albums/ae7/m_morgan/3000%20Mile%20Motor%20Tour%202010/ Did I mention that October 7th, the night of our induction was also our wedding anniversary? Copyright © October 18, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
October 17, 2010... Jack and Misty are back! (And if you have to ask "From where?", you're either new here or you really haven't been paying attention...) Welcome back, both of you. We missed you. This is the part where I usually say we have a missive from Jack. Not this time. It's Jack and Misty's turn. They write: So, we put up pictures and video from our 3,000 motor tour to be inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, with stops in Albany GA, Nashville, Celina TN, and Yulee FL. It was the most fun we ever had with our clothes on. :) We've posted them on Photobucket, which is more reliable than Facebook. Click here to view the album. More to come. Jack and Misty. And, in the immortal words of our heroes: More to come...
September 28, 2010... Hi all. We'll be on the road leaving Tuesday Sept. 28th, and returning home on Sunday, October 17th. We'll be heading for Buffalo for the Hall of Fame Induction Gala, and stopping to visit friends and family on the way up and back. We'll try to check our email from the hotels and motels, so that shouldn't be a problem. We hope there are no hurricanes here while we're gone. See you when we get back. Love ya. Jack & Misty
September 23, 2010... To our Western New York friends... This will be my last email about this because we are leaving Florida Monday. We just want to be sure everybody knows that we will be inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, October 7th. The Induction Gala will be held at the Tralf Music Hall on Main Street. There will be a lot of top notch entertainment, and we're even going to do a couple of songs. There will also be a jam session after the gala couple of doors away, free to all who attend the gala. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and at the Tralf. We hope to meet you there. For more information call us at 407 330 1611. Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
September 8, 2010... Hey there. It's a bit late, I know, but here's the latest from Jack.

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HOW TO MAKE MISTAKES. I'm an expert on mistakes because I've made so many of them. When I remember one of them I want to bang myself on the head with a mallet, which would be a mistake. Having finally realized and learned from my errors you'd think I'd stop making them, but there are always new ones waiting to be committed, as am I. When photographs were passed around I only looked at the ones I was in. It took me a long time to realize that other people's lives are important to them. I got bored when the conversation drifted away from my life, but once I started listening to others I noticed that sometimes what they have to say is actually interesting. My habit now is to listen and make the occasional appropriate comment, but sometimes I get excited and cut them off in order to talk about me, and I see them glance at their watch. Apparently, to others, my life isn't the adventure I think it is. It's obvious to me now that I've lost friends and business deals making these social missteps, and I'm trying to become more angelic. If a person states a "fact" in the presence of other people and I know that he's wrong, should I correct him in front of the others? It would make me look smarter, wouldn't it? No. The person corrected would be embarrassed and so would the onlookers, and I would be the smarty-pants jerk. If these people were in a position to help me that opportunity is lost forever. >From personal experience: When having lunch with the head of a major record label, your music is not the most important thing at the table. The most important thing, if you want to further your career, is to get that executive to like you... maybe to even become friends. People help people they like and they like people who are interested in them. DJs play artists that they like. Bosses hire applicants they like over more experienced ones. So now, a little late, I try to shut up, smile, and listen. Like an alcoholic, I occasionally have a slip, but I hope I'm improving. When I was younger it seldom occurred to me that other people's lives are more interesting to them than mine, and I would have done better to let them talk about it. And I might possibly have learned something. Columns that I write are often about my life, but that's excusable because it's the the subject I know best, and getting it out there seems to interest readers and is therapy for me.. Besides, this is not a conversation. I'm just sitting here in the light of my desk lamp, sharing. Sometimes I get too enthusiastic about a project and want the world to know. Another excuse is that when I stop sending columns, emails, and posting blogs, our income shows a decline. That makes me nervous. One possible reason for promoting harder is this: As we grow old we feel we have to hurry because time is short and it's moving faster every day. When you die and if you can still hear folks talk, you might overhear something like this: "Yeah, we all liked him a lot and he was damn good at what he did. We're sure gonna miss him. Where do you want to go for lunch?" So, when I need to talk, thanks for listening. And I'm always ready to listen to you. Copyright © September 4, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. And unless I missed something, that's all from this end. See you next time. YFNW™, Jerry
August 21, 2010... (Yawn) Well, that was quite a prolonged nap, there. Time for some updating... 10 NEW PICTURES FROM AN OLD TRUNK. Click this link to view the pictures. http://s269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/jackandmisty/FROM%20AN%20OLD%20TRUNK/

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STUFF I WROTE ON FACEBOOK. I was just browsing through some of the weird things I've written on Facebook. They were mostly scribbled out on the spur of the moment, but they are kinda funny, and I thought you might need a laugh. Editors, feel free to censor as you see fit. I understand. Jack
I got sucked into a political argument today with two jerks who let talk radio do all their thinking. That was five hours ago and I'm still ticked off, but I'm proud that I didn't hurt anybody. Must think happy thoughts. Must think happy thoughts. Must eat brains.
Did you know this? Laboratory research has shown that if you put too many mice in a small box for a long time, they start to look at each other funny.
Colonoscopies: Before they had fiber optic cameras, and all the high tech equipment, they used to send a midget up there with a sketch pad.
Today I got an ad for pet insurance. Do you know what that will lead to? People will be murdering their pets for the money!
We're going to Buffalo in October. Only one thing I'm afraid of: Drive-by accordion solos.
Every few minutes our band members shake the saliva from their instruments. And they play guitars.
Misty likes The Dollar Store. She wishes they had lay-away.
With all our technology, we still can’t strangle idiots over the phone.
It's getting hot in Florida. I'm gonna put on my short-sleeved pants and my open-toed cowboy boots.
The court was silent. The judge f**ted. He said "One more outburst like that and I'll clear the courtroom."
I feel kinda guilty for yelling at a Walmart cashier today. I said "WHERE'S MY 'HAVE A NICE DAY'? YOU GAVE ONE TO THE JERK AHEAD OF ME." She said "Have a nice day." I said "I have other plans."
I don't want to achieve immortality through my music. I want to achieve immortality by not dying.
When I was first on Facebook, I wrote that I wondered what dogs think about during sex, and cited the faraway look in their eyes. A lady immediately commented: "How do I get off this list?! What kind of pervert watches dogs' faces during sex?" Biggest laugh I've had here yet! LOL!
When I was a kid and Winter came, we all cuddled up to my sister. She had a fever.
Somebody asked me "What did you do today?" I said "Is it over already?!" Then I offered weakly "I had soup."
It's too quiet out there. We used to fight like normal children... People were getting each other’s goat... especially mine. Nobody wants my goat anymore. Everybody’s so sweet! It’s sick! I liked it when we were at each other’s throats. Like a family.
I don't have any zombie friends, mainly because of their lack of social skills. You can't carry on a good conversation with somebody who's trying to eat your brain. They have a one track mind.
My brain is so packed with wisdom that just writing this eases the pressure. Copyright © August 17, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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THE BOOGIE MAN. My first instrument was a ukulele. I played it and sang "Little Brown Jug" in front of my fourth grade class in my little high voice, and they clapped politely. That's how classes acted then, kids. I was ok on the uke, so a while later my dad bought me a Gibson guitar. I missed my ukulele with the four gut strings. They were easy for a kid my age to hold down. The steel strings on the guitar were painful. The Mel Bay book went in my comic book drawer, and the guitar stood in the corner... like a planter. I still listened to loud records until it killed the neighborhood real estate value, but I played no instrument for a number of years. Though I was an honor student in grammar school, I hated high school, and skipped a lot of classes. I was sneaking around the halls one day when I heard music coming from the auditorium. I looked in the door and saw a bunch of kids gathered around the piano, and somebody playing what sounded like Jimmy Durante music. (You younger folks can look up Jimmy Durante on Google.) The player was a guy a year or two ahead of me named Johnny Molay. I not only liked the music, but I liked all the girls it attracted. I thought "Hmmm." I spent my whole Summer vacation at my grandparents' upright piano. I taught myself the Durante style, but boogie piano took over. There were some old boogie-woogie piano records around the house... Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, Pinetop Smith, Freddy Slack, and other pioneers in this form of jazz. It was the beginnings of Rock & Roll. First I practiced the intricate left hand patterns, so that I wouldn't have to think about it. Then I learned the right hand licks and put them together. I started playing saloon piano when I was about sixteen... the only boogie piano guy in the area. The room would get rockin' and I might play one song for a half hour non-stop. I got a lot of attention, especially from the girls. I like attention. Isn't that why we go into the music business? It can't be the financial security. Last weekend Misty and I were listening to boogie piano players on YouTube... some of the old timers, and some of the new ones. The new boogie players seem to be mostly European. They copied the old records and then expanded on them... added their own touch. Here is one artist I recommend that you go see. His name is Johan Blohm and you can enjoy him here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9b3ZZywQvg&feature=related. My only recorded piano boogie sounds a little weak after Johan Blohm, but what the heck. Listen to mine here: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9526317&q=hi DIAL-UPS: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9526317&q=lo So, you see, I wasn't born in Country Music, but I got here as fast as I could. Copyright © August 16, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Another milestone. My damn autograph on sale on Ebay for $19.95! I would make them all they want for $5 each. Jack Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/2c5q3gq
And I believe we're all caught up. (Where does the time go when you're not paying attention?) Till next time, be good to yourselves at least once a day. YFNW™, Jerry.
August 10, 2010...

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OUR BIG NIGHT WITH JIMMY DEAN. In 1970 we had three hits and were constantly on the road doing shows and tv and radio guest appearances. We worked with enough famous people to fill six pages of name dropping. We were stars but we were also fans. Misty got autographs from most of the big names we worked with. Before we had records going, Groucho Marx sent me an autographed picture, saying "Keep trying, Jack". I was a big fan of his, and had sent him a humorous little book I'd written. I think he was wheelchair bound at the time, and I was Alabammy bound. I know that's cruel but Groucho would have liked it. Back to our story... Our very first job after hearing that we had a number one record was a disaster in some ways, but a little funnier looking back at it. Most acts that do shows get there with their band hours ahead to set up all the equipment and tune up. Maybe run through a song or two to get out the kinks from the road. (Kink of the Road?) Our first tour booking was to be guests of Jimmy Dean for five consecutive nights in Salt Lake City. Just Jimmy and us. When we got there with our band members and all the equipment, including a full size organ, we were tired but excited. We hadn't had time yet to buy a bus or motor home, and the five of us were traveling cross-country in a Ford station wagon with a U-haul trailer full of our stuff. Jimmy Dean was friendly and funny. We liked him right away. He sent a big bouquet of flowers to Misty in our dressing room, and being a fan, she got an autographed picture from him. Click here to see the picture: http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/jackandmisty/JIMMYDEANPIC.jpg So far so good, right? Not for long. When we went to set up our equipment, we were confused to find that the stage was round, and rotated while you were on it. Jimmy Dean's manager was there. I call him Bob Hitler. I asked him what part of the stage we were supposed to set up on, and he said "You can't set up before the show. Jimmy uses the whole stage." I asked if we could work from the orchestra pit below the stage edge and was told that it would be occupied by an orchestra. I explained that we need about an hour to set up and get a sound check. He said that we would have to cut that time down to a couple of minutes, run on stage after our introduction, and set up in front of the crowd before we started our act. It was too late to go 3,000 miles back home, and if I killed him I might get caught. Showtime. We watched Jimmy Dean from the backstage passageway entrance and he was terrific. He had the audience in stitches with his jokes, and the music was beautiful with the 18 piece band, with strings. Then he gave us a nice buildup and we ran on. Well, we didn't exactly run because we were all carrying amps, microphones, stands, wires, drums, instruments, and then we went back for the two ton organ. For the next five or ten years we were crawling around on the floor plugging things in. The silence got pretty uncomfortable for us and the crowd... a packed house. I felt like a stripper who couldn't get her clothes off. When we got our mikes working, I tried to think of something to say while our guys finished the setup. I said "Isn't Jimmy Dean Great?" It was a bad idea. According to Bob Hitler later, I had committed the cardinal sin of show business. "You should NEVER say a word to the audience before at least two songs!." He actually said the exclamation point. Anyway, the crowd loved us.they gave us a standing ovation at the end, which was only slightly marred us trying to find our way off that rotating stage. To add to the fun... Misty played left-foot bass on the organ and worked with one boot off. While we were wandering around like ants, trying to find where to get off, she was limping with one boot on and the other in her hand. We did mostly our own songs, closing with Tennessee Birdwalk, told the people stories and brought them into the music. Our musicians on lead guitar, sax, and drums were the best. I just played rhythm twelve-string, and did most of the talking. We had a fine, if unusual show. We'd been at it a long time, paying our dues. Bob Hitler told our manager and agent that we needed experience, and they booked us running all over the map for a whole year... cheap. Nobody seemed to understand that a band has to set up before the show, unless they are all playing kazoos. Copyright © August 10, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
August 4, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
HERE TODAY AND GONE TOMORROW. I probably think too much about life, death, God, and the universe, but as a songwriter that's sorta my job. I should be concentrating more on the here and now. In the here and now I write stories and songs, some of them silly to make you smile, and others are more serious... about life. Mickey Newbury wrote a song that I envy. It's such a beautiful idea. I wish I'd written it. It's called "No Signs of Age", and he's singing about someone he loves but hasn't seen in many years, and he he says "It's nice to see you again", and remarks about how he has crows feet and age lines in his face, but that she shows no signs of age... in his memory. It struck home with me because, in my memory, old friends and loves will always look the way they did then. With no signs of age. I'm now older than I ever thought I would be, but I don't feel old. I even still think of myself as that young guy, though others will undoubtedly see me as changed some. Life to me is like a movie that I don't quite understand. The scenes are all out of order, and so many main characters I love die without regard for the plot. I remember my life in small snapshots, and in no particular order. I have to ask Misty where we were in a certain year. She's my historian. Life in its unedited form doesn't seem to be very good theater. It needs writers to make it a story. That's why we're always so happy. (Sarcasm alarm!) But, as I said, another part of my job is to cheer up your day. I'll try to get back to that next time. Meanwhile, here's a song I wrote about life. Click a link below to listen: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9487447&q=hi DIAL-UPS: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9487447&q=lo HERE TODAY AND GONE TOMORROW. A child is born... in tribulation. He needs a friend...for consolation. He finds a love...in celebration, Lord, 'cause you know how hard it is to be alone. Here Today...and Gone Tomorrow; A little joy...a little sorrow; Not ours to keep...but just to borrow, Lord. Here Today...and Gone Tomorrow. Silver hair...an old wool sweater With trembling hands...he writes a letter: "Dear old friend, I hope you're feeling better now, 'cause you're all that I have left since she's gone." Here Today...and Gone Tomorrow. A little joy...a little sorrow. Not ours to keep...but just to borrow, Lord. Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Copyright © August 4, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission. "Here Today And Gone Tomorrow": Lyrics and Music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.
August 1, 2010...
A Mercury Records ad from a 1970 Billboard magazine. Our thanks to Moragh Carter for sending it.*

(* - The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed a different name yesterday. YFNW™ credited the contribution to Doug Davis when it should have been Moragh. Apologies for the earlier incorrect credit [and thanks to Jack and Misty for pointing it out!] - Jerry

A RINKY-TINK PIANO DUET BY JACK & MISTY. BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9469839&q=hi DIAL-UP: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9469839&q=lo

July 30, 2010... From Washington D.C. about us and BMHOF: http://dcathome.com/dct/62/id/502619/mid/1801/ -Tennessee-Bird-Walk--Singers-Getting-Hometown-Honor.aspx
July 27, 2010... Friends, check this out from today's Buffalo News. http://www.buffalonews.com/entertainment/article82358.ece If you are in the area, we hope to see you there. :) Jack & Misty
July 18, 2010... From our Scrapbook. In 1977 we moved from Epic/Columbia Records to UA. Here's a picture of us signing with United Artists from an old Cashbox Magazine we found under the bed.
Hi to all our friends. Our friend of many years Mike Miller is having health problems from Agent Orange that he got serving his country in Viet Nam. We met Mike when he became our band leader in the late 1970's, and he has become our true brother. He's a big strong guy and we know he can beat this thing, bur we're praying for him anyway, just to help out. We have posted his wonderful video of "The Out-of-Work Workingman's Bar", and would like to have you see it. We love it! We know you will. The link is here: http://youtu.be/afcVxxT0ldI Thanks. Jack & Misty
July 15, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
MY CHICKEN FETISH. What's the deal with me and birds? Besides "Tennessee Bird Walk", I've written "Legendary Chickenfairy", "If Eggs had Legs", "Big Black Bird", and birds show up in some of my other songs. I have no idea. I guess I think birds are fascinating, being either funny, as in crossing the road, or strange, as in Poe's Raven. And they have such expressive eyes. Like little buttons. The most recent bird song I've coughed up is "Dance of the Living-Dead Chickens". I just sat down at the old electric piano and sang it into a cassette recorder, in the back room of our motorhome. It was just a demo, but somehow it found it's way onto several CD albums. One of them is a various artists album on a Brooklyn New York label. The album title is "Halloween of Bloody Nightmares", and the reviews place it in odd genres such as "Hardcore", "Country Psych" and "Techno Psych". I don't know what any of that means. It's become sort of a cult hit. A cult I'm not sure I would willingly volunteer for. I admit I think the song is funny, and the response to it is also funny. You can listen to it here: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8984128&q=hi DIAL-UPS: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8984128&q=lo And for you classic poetry lovers, here are the words: "DANCE OF THE LIVING-DEAD CHICKENS." The chicken that looked like Hitler; Looked just like him, but littler. Down at the henhouse they hated his guts. He didn't know why. It was drivin' him nuts. They called him the Chickenstein Monster. He hung around down by the dumpster. The Hunchduck and the Hitler found romance. He looked into her eyes and began to dance. Down at the hen house jealousy reigned. The hens began to notice that they all looked the same. Being ordinary was bringing them down. They started making weird faces and dragged their feet around. Farmer Bob came out in the noonday heat, saw the chickens makin' faces, and draggin' their feet. His brain went out to lunch, and his body changed form, and the Dance Of the Living Dead Chickens was born. He combed his hair to one side, grew a little mustache, scrunched his back up in a hump and let one foot drag. He crossed one eye, and let his tongue hang out. The neighbors gathered 'round and they all began to shout... Comb your hair to one side, get a little mustache, Scrunch up in a hump and let one foot drag. Everybody's learnin' it's fun to be weird. The Dance of the Living-dead Chickens is here. (Repeat last line until somebody buys the record.) Copyright © 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. "Dance Of The Living Dead Chickens": Words and music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. Again, reprinted by permission.
July 11, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
THINKING ABOUT OUR HOME TOWN. We're heading home to Buffalo for a visit in October, after almost 30 years. I'm excited about it and can't stop thinking stuff like this... When I left Buffalo, they had just started building the beltway. The next time I got back, the beltway was worn out. I never got to enjoy it in its prime, and it never got to enjoy me in my prime. We played street hockey on roller skates with a ball from a miniature pool table as a puck. It was a thrill when it hit your shins, and kept us amazingly alert. When I was a kid, the scary guys were from Amherst St.. A bully named Red Webster knocked me around until about the eighth grade, when I beat him up at our sandlot baseball field. We seemed to be buddies after that, but I still picked on him occasionally. There was a rag man. This old guy was all over town. He rode one of the last horse drawn wagons, and had a big faded parasol mounted up there to keep the sun off. I don't know the origin of his accent, but to us kids, it sounded like he was calling out "EDDag". We knew it was supposed to be "Rags", but that didn't stop us from shouting back: "EDDag". My grandfather was an engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad. He wore a business suit and carried a briefcase to work. In the case he carried his engineer's overalls, shirt, cap, and lunch. My grandparents wanted the neighbors to think he was a businessman. They were into keeping up appearances. I played one of my first piano gigs at The Anchor Bar where they invented Buffalo Wings. It's no Jonas Salk story, but it's the best I can do. We had good teachers. I believe we learned by eighth grade the equivalent of what is now considered to be a college education. One of my father's deals involved him owning a gas station. It had the largest underground capacity for gasoline in New York State, and a pipeline to the station from a private railroad siding. I was just a kid when my dad owned that station at Elmwood and Hertel, but I remember that his attendants dressed like motorcycle cops... boots, britches, and all. A young guy called Nicky worked there and was cleaning the grease pit with gasoline and a squeegee, against policy. He struck a light bulb with the squeegee and blew the roof off the garage. My father ran into the fire and saved him, but Nicky never looked the same after being burned all over. Also employed there were twin brothers, Joe and Matty Kapsiak. Joe was the personality kid of the two, and Matty was quiet and serious. Joe was killed in combat. After that it felt strange every time I looked at Matty. My father fired one employee for being drunk on the job, after many warnings. The guy had mob connections and thugs started coming to our house threatening to do bad things to us if he wasn't rehired. My dad went right downtown to their hangout and had it out with the head Mafioso. The drunk did not get his job back. My vocal quartet, The Dawn Breakers, recorded a radio commercial for Everybody's Daily, a Polish newspaper. We recorded it in the Churchill Tabernacle because of the good echo, and sang it first in English, and then in Polish. I don't speak Polish. The Dawn Breakers had a hit record in the Northeast on Coral Records. I had listened to morning radio personality Clint Buehlman all my life, and he hurt my feelings by knocking our record on the air. Jeez! The popular DJ "Hound Dog" wouldn't play it because our manager gave it to another DJ first... Herb Knight at WKBW. You can listen to one of the Dawn Breakers' songs here: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7689965&q=hi DIAL UPS: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7689965&q=lo I remember a particular winter night in Buffalo... A teenage girlfriend and I were walking slowly around Soldiers Place, the snow was swirling past the old-fashioned streetlights like in those glass winter scene globes you shake. It was a romantic moment even though the relationship later melted away. Misty lived in the same town all that time. She belonged to a younger group, so maybe it's best we never met at that time. We finally bumped into each other in Florida, and we've been bumping into each other ever since. My favorite time in Buffalo is mid-September through December. It will be nice to visit our roots, and try to put some of these old memory snapshots together. Copyright © July 11, 2010, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
July 7, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
I LOVE TRAIN SONGS. One of the first things we did when we moved into our new place was this... We hung the painting of the Sunset Train in a place of honor. It's not an original painting... just a print... but it has been in our life since Misty and I started out together, and it's become a member of the family. We first bought the big picture in a discount store and had it in our first house. Some time later we lost it when we stored some things with a "friend" while we were on tour. She would not give it back. I had written a story and a song about that picture, and I put the story in my column. One day a great big package arrived containing a painting of The Sunset Train. It came from an anonymous benefactor. We have no idea who sent it, but we are grateful. The song was among our very first Nashville recordings, and the only copy we had was an old 45 in terrible condition. I cleaned it up the best I could, and it found a place on our 2000 CD "Life and Death" on Omni Records... a major Australian label. Listen to it here: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9364089&q=hi DIAL-UP: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9364089&q=lo The words to “THE SUNSET TRAIN.” (Intro recitation): "Since his wife passed away, the old man spent a lot of time with memory things. He'd sit by the hour, and stare at the old picture of The Sunset Train, and talk to her like she was still right there by his side." (1st verse. She sings): I remember the day you gave that picture to me. You hung it on the wall and called me to come and see. Our little apartment had windows looking out on an alley, But the picture on the wall was like a window to a beautiful valley. (Chorus. Both sing): The picture on the wall Seemed like a windowpane, with the steam risin' high in the sky above a lonesome plain. We could almost hear the old locomotive strain, And the red caboose was followin' The Sunset Train (2nd verse. He sings): Years of love went by and now you're gone. I don't want to face another lonesome dawn. When the mail and the papers start piling up in the hall, The neighbors'll come in, And find the picture still on the wall. (Chorus. Both sing): And the picture on the wall will seem like a windowpane, With the steam risin' high in the sky above a lonesome plain, And they'll almost hear the old locomotive strain, (He sings): But I'll be gone, and so will The Sunset Train. (Both sing): We'll be gone, and so will The Sunset Train. We'll be gone, and so will The Sunset Train. Copyright © July 6, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. "The Sunset Train": Words and music by Jack Blanchard. © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved.
July 5, 2010... First things first (albeit a day late): Happy 234th Birthday, America! (The country, not the group.) Back to all things musical, now... Jack and Misty have a brand-new Facebook page. You can visit it at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-Blanchard-and-Misty-Morgan/54551589449?ref=pdd. (It sure beats the heck out of Farmville... but then, what wouldn't?) From our "We thought you ought to know" department, the shipping and handling of all Jack and Misty CDs has now been raised 50 cents. Check the order form elsewhere on this site. Finally, to answer the question, "Where have I been this last month?"... Basically, your friendly neighborhood webmeister has recently been saddled with an unforeseen health problem. (A blood clot in one of my lungs, actually.) And then my internet access went out for over a week. While this has sidelined me to a certain infuriating extent, I'm happy to report that both I and the internet are now officially back. Not quite 100%, but we're back! Thanks to those who've kept up the prayers on my behalf - they've been greatly appreciated. More to come soon! YFNW™, Jerry.
June 13, 2010...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
A JOURNALIST ASKS US SOME QUESTIONS. These clips from an interview contain some insight into the lives of musicians... at least two of them. Q: Why did you leave Buffalo for Ohio? A: Misty left with her former husband, to get work. They were there for a couple of years. She worked as a pianist in a bar owned by Doris Day's parents. I lived in Ohio with my father's relatives when I was a child. I later moved from Buffalo directly to Miami and began playing piano all around south Florida. Q: When did you leave and did you go right to Florida? A: Misty and her ex went directly from Cincinnati to Miami. In Ohio their car was hit by an old millionaire's limo, and he had a lot of clout in town. Misty and her ex were being sued and were about to lose their trailer home. We both moved to Miami somewhere in the 1960's. Q: Exactly how did you guys meet in Hollywood Florida? A: We were aware of each other because we both played piano in Hollywood FL, and our names and pictures were often in the paper. I went to a club where she had her band, and checked her out. I made a date with her, and she stood me up. Her friends told her I was a mafia guy, which wasn't true. I just worked in a lot of mob owned clubs. A few months later we were both playing piano bars in downtown Hollywood, on US #1, about a block apart. I dropped into my club on my night off to see how they were doing, and Misty was talking to my boss about getting my job. We began seeing a lot of each other after that. Misty and I finally formed our own band and played a lot on the road. We were married in the 1960's in Kingsland Georgia, on the way to a gig in South Carolina.. one of our favorite Carolinas.. Q: Why did you start all those personal record labels? A: The labels had different names because we had different partners (backers) in each. The best way to get a major label career back then was to release something on your own label, prove it locally, and then make a deal with a bigger label. Q: How many releases do you recall having on them? A: We probable had 15 or 20 releases by us and other artists on our Darn, Zodiac, and Marianna labels. Mostly by us. Misty was Jacqueline Hyde and Maryanne Male. I had The Jack Blanchard Group. At that time I also wrote and directed the music for a government documentary film titled "A Million Acre Playground", and we released "Gemini" by the Jack Blanchard Group. It was getting strong play on the Miami Pop stations. Then the Ventures covered it note-for-note and released it on Dolton, a subsidiary of Liberty Records. They called and wanted 100% of the publishing on the song. I was so angry about the cover, that I refused to give it to them. They then flipped the record and promoted the other side, which was "La Bamba", a big hit. They later recut "Gemini" on a couple of their albums. Each one sounded worse, and they have never paid us. Q: What was your first country recording? A: "Bethlehem Steel", our first duet, was initially on our Darn Records label. "Bethlehem Steel" and three other songs were on an EP (Extended Play), which had 4 songs on a 45rpm record. EP's were often used to shop recordings to labels in those days. These four songs were from our first Nashville recording session. All our recordings before that were recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami. "Bethlehem Steel" started getting local airplay in Florida, and a DJ named Lee ("Hoss") Moss called Wayside Records, a New England country label that was starting to get known. They signed us. (Thank you, Lee Moss.) Our second Wayside single "Big Black Bird" got a "Top 10 Pick" in Billboard... Pop, not Country! They didn't know what we were. It started to get heavy airplay, and Wayside was afraid it would get too big for them, so they made a distribution deal with Mercury/Smash Records. They argued so long about the deal that the single had to be released again. By that time it had already lost its momentum and newness. Stuff happens. Q: What did your families think/care when you left? A: My family had already moved to Coral Gables FL. I was left alone in Buffalo. I got married (to somebody else), worked in factories, played piano nights and weekends, and started The Dawn Breakers, a Pop vocal quartet. The Dawn Breakers were signed by Coral Records. Misty left home to get away from an unhappy situation. Since those days we have performed concerts/shows in 49 states. We were once on the road for 8 years straight. Strangely, we have never played Buffalo together. Before we had hits, we were once booked into a fancy restaurant in Buffalo, and when we got there they had another band. We settled for dinner. Copyright © June 13, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. June 9, 2010... We just got a nice phone call telling us we've been inducted into The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. It's a special honor. We hope to be there for the October ceremony. Jack & Misty
June 2, 2010...
File this one under "Nostalgia", folks... We found this in an old Billboard magazine: Highlights of 'Opry' Celebration and ASCAP Awards, 1971. We are all holding our award plaques. There is only one mini-skirt in the picture.

May 21, 2010... We interrupt the proceedings for this Very Important Announcement!
For Sunday, May 23, 2010 By: The Associated Press 16/05/2010 7:08 PM Celebrity Birthdays Actress Betty Garrett is 91. Bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman is 85. Actor Nigel Davenport is 82. Actress Barbara Barrie is 79. Actress Joan Collins is 77. Actor Charles Kimbrough is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer General Johnson (Chairmen of the Board) is 67. Actress Lauren Chapin is 65. Country singer Misty Morgan is 65. Country singer Judy Rodman is 59. Singer Luka Bloom is 55. Actor-comedian Drew Carey is 52. Country singer Shelly West is 52. Actor Linden Ashby is 50. Actress-model Karen Duffy is 49. Rock musician Phil Selway (Radiohead) is 43. Actress Laurel Holloman is 42. Rock musician Matt Flynn (Maroon 5) is 40. Singer Lorenzo is 38. Country singer Brian McComas is 38. Singer Maxwell is 37. Singer Jewel is 36. Actor Lane Garrison is 30. Actor Adam Wylie is 26. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISTY!!! From all of us at the best nest in the west! Misty now.

May 16, 2010... Hey there, folks. Well, now that we've finished the last of Jack's Birthday Cake for this year (darn big cake, wasn't it?), and assuming we didn't miss Misty's birthday yet, it's time for our favorite scribe (and I don't mean me) to offer his latest scribblings (I wonder if that's where that word comes from... oh well...) Hit it, Jack!

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
DON'T IT LOOK LIKE GEORGIA Some of my songs are becoming period pieces... stories written about earlier times. My younger years were spent in industrial cities, when black clouds rising from factory smokestacks was a good thing. It meant America was hard at work making steel, and thousands of other important things the world needed. It meant prosperity and progress. We didn't know we were harming the environment. Today we harm the planet in new ways... Plastics that never go away, for instance. There is an island of garbage bigger than Texas floating in the ocean... mostly plastic garbage. Modern pollution. A number of my songs are set in the Industrial Age... "Bethlehem Steel", about the steel worker going home to Tennessee. Junkyards, factories, closed-up drive-in shows, and boots that are wet and dirty find their way into my lyrics, because I lived and worked in those places. I have never written a song about the internet or the Ipod. It's probably too late to change me now. "Don't it Look Like Georgia" is one I wrote about a guy from the South working in a Chicago factory. At sundown he looks at the skyline and thinks of Atlanta, and the friends back home. Brad Wolfe, Mike Miller, Tom Carlile, and others have recorded it, but I'm putting the Brad Wolfe version here because it will be an indie single for him in the near future. I produced this in Nashville back when the story was still current. Listen to it here: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9152768&q=hi DIAL-UP: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9152768&q=lo The lyrics: Don't It Look Like Georgia When the evening sun goes down? I can close my eyes and smell those Georgia pines. And it seems just like Atlanta when the streetlights all come on, And the breeze is blowin' warm In the summertime. I ain't done a lot for Chicago; Just livin' from day to day, And I don't know how long I can stay here In this town. Got me down. Well, it don't bother me in the morning, Or the long gray afternoon, But, Don't It Look Like Georgia When the evening sun goes down! Don't It Look Like Georgia When the evening sun goes down! I can close my eyes and visualize The friends in my home town. This big old lonesome city Is just workin' too hard to be pretty, But, Don't it Look Like Georgia When the evening sun goes down! Copyright © May 16, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission. "Don't It Look Like Georgia": words and music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). All rights reserved. From the sweltering great northwest, that's it for now. More to come later... YFNW™, Jerry.
May 7, 2010...
I can't believe they put me on the list every year. How come I'm not rich? Jack

Celebrity birthdays for week of May 2-8
May 8: Comedian Don Rickles is 84. Singer Toni Tennille is 70. Country singer Jack
Blanchard is 68. Singer Gary Glitter is 66. Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads
and of Tom Tom Club is 59. Singer Philip Bailey is 59. Country musician Billy
Burnette is 57. Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 57. Actor Stephen Furst
("St. Elsewhere," ''Animal House") is 56. Actor David Keith is 56. Actress Melissa
Gilbert is 46. Drummer Dave Rowntree of Blur is 46. Drummer Del Gray of Little Texas
is 42. Singer Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) is 38. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 35.
Actress Julia Whelan ("Once and Again") is 25. 

© 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

Not a clue, Jack. Not a clue. But anyway...
From all of us at jackandmisty.com.

April 30/May 1, 2010...
Yes, folks, you've read the blurb on our welcome page correctly. As of May 1st, Tennessee Birdwalk (the website, aka jackandmisty.com, otherwise known as "The best nest in the west") is now officially TEN YEARS OLD!!! (Sorry for shouting, by the way.) And what better way to celebrate than... oh, I don't know... howabout... a bird story from Jack?

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
A LITTLE ANIMAL STORY. Occasionally something happens that no words can explain. This story may be true. I heard about the incident from my father many years ago. The two high school seniors, Betsy and Bob, had a summer job in a veterinary hospital in Buffalo. It was sort of an apprenticeship or internship. They weren't allowed to do surgery on the animals, or any serious procedures. They did things like clipping nails, bathing animals, and other non-serious jobs. The office was only open until noon on Saturdays, and the doctor didn't come in that day. Betsy and Bob were level-headed kids, and could could be trusted to handle the small stuff. Things were going smoothly for the first hour or so. Things changed. A sweet elderly couple brought in their beloved old parrot Ernie to have his beak trimmed... a common periodic necessity. Bob and Betsy took the parrot in back and tried to lay it on its back on the table. The parrot was unusually nervous and they were afraid to trim its beak while it was flapping its wings and struggling. A slip of the clippers could hurt the patient. So to be safe they gave Ernie some ether to put him out for a few minutes. Ether is what they had for anesthetic in those days. He was now lying still enough to be worked on. As careful as they were, they trimmed the beak a little bit short, and it started bleeding slightly. To stop the bleeding, they touched the beak with a hot cauterizing iron, forgetting that they had given Ernie ether, and the bird blew up. I know it's a sad story, especially for Ernie, but I've often wondered what Betsy and Bob said to the old couple waiting out there for their parrot. Copyright © April 27, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. Have yourself a piece of anniversary cake on us, folks, and I'll see you all on Monday.
April 26, 2010...
Hi again, folks. Just another friendly reminder (as if we ever needed one) that Saturday will be here soon, and you know what that means around here... ANNIVERSARY TIME! Yes, May 1, 2000 was when I first launched the original version of Birdwalk (Hardly seems likely, does it?), and like everything else, we've undergone more than a few changes in the last (nearly) ten years. In case I forget to do it then, right now I'd like to thank all of you folks for sticking around this long, as well as Jack and Misty (don't worry, they know why), Peter Berlin (same reason), and my assistant webmeister and brother Lee (he doesn't know why. Let's not tell him.) (Just kidding.) As well as all the friends and fans we've picked up along the way and who, like any persistent hitchhiker, refused to get out of the car. We couldn't have done it without you. Really. So, if I don't see you on the weekend, a little self-congratulatory "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!" to us, and here's to another (we hope) ten years (at least) of the best nest in the west. Okay. That's done, now back to business. And you know what that means... another new column from our fearless leader...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
TWO FINE DAYS IN THE BUREAUCRACY. Life is getting weirder. Last week I went to renew my driver's license. For some reason they now require the following: Your birth certificate; Your old driver's license; Two proofs of residence; Your Social Security card; A marriage license, whether or not you've ever been married; Medical records with your name and birth date; A pint of blood; And two other proofs that you actually exist. Misty went with me to renew hers. Our birthdays are close together. She had to prove that her last name was now Blanchard. This is true: An 84 year old friend of mine was recently required to provide an affidavit swearing that he and his elderly wife were actually married, and not living in sin. It was to prove that her last name was legally the same as his. It must have something to do with Homeland Security. We're all under suspicion. Anyway... They noticed that my driver's license and Social Security card both say "Jack Blanchard", but my birth certificate says "John Blanchard". This made me a suspect and they wouldn't renew my license. They told me to go to the Social Security office 40 miles away through city traffic, and get them to change my S.S. card to "John". Misty was sent on a similar mission. The next day was 85 degrees in the shade here in Florida, and about double that in our car because the A/C freon was low. We drove an hour each way and waited on the steel bench for two hours. We couldn't share our anger with any of the crowd, because they were just as mad as we were about this new license mess. Misty got a friendly clerk and zipped right through. The woman asked her "Are you really Misty Morgan?". She was a fan. I got a sleepy-eyed clerk who had her young son with her, ready to go home. We weren't happy to see each other. She looked at her computer, which was out of my line of sight, and said this: "We have you as 'Jack' for your whole life." I said I'd never used any other name, and that nobody had ever questioned it. She asked if I could name any companies I'd worked for. I named about six Buffalo factories where I'd labored away my youth. She studied the computer screen and said nothing. At this point she knew who I was, but wouldn't admit it. I had two large manila envelopes packed with what I thought were important papers. She shoved them back at me and said, "You need two pieces of ID that say "John". I said "I know. That's why they sent me here... to have you change my S.S. card to "John", and then I'll have to live as John for life." She said "You will have to change all your legal things to John... titles to your home and vehicles, your credit, your will, your bills, and everything else." "I can't wait", I said. She was getting tired of me. She told me it would be easier to legally change my first name to "Jack". I've been Jack all my life and didn't know I was committing a crime. I stomped out the door like everybody else had been doing. But, on second thought, her idea wasn't all bad. So yesterday I called our lawyer and made an appointment for Monday. I said this: "Hi. This is Jack. I need to change my name to Jack." Copyright © April 24, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
April 23, 2010...
Just think, folks, in about another week, we'll be hitting 10 YEARS on the internet! Let's see... 10 years ago... that would be... 30 years from 1970... which was, as Jack will tell you, quite a year, indeed. (Go on, Jack... tell them...)

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
1970 was a very good year. Misty Morgan and I had our first three hits in 1970. The first song that comes to mind is "Tennessee Bird Walk". I wrote it as "Tennessee Birdwalk". They changed it to three words on the label and we're stuck with that title. I don't care. It's been good to us. The second one, you may remember, was "Humphrey the Camel". The Beanie Baby doll company made and marketed a doll named Humphrey the Camel. As usual in the music business, we never got paid, and never even mentioned. That damn doll is worth more than I am, as a collectors' item. Of course I'm not old enough to be a collectors' item. Our third hit that year was a song I didn't write, but we liked it and wanted to record it. The title is "You've Got Your Troubles (I've Got Mine)". I found it in a stack of old 45's and posted it for you to hear again. We hope it brings back some memories. To listen, click a link below: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9055203&q=hi DIAL-UP: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=9055203&q=lo Copyright © April 23, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. Boy, time sure flies! YFNW™, Jerry.

April 17, 2010...
We're inviting all our friends to
47,371 music plays so far!

New playlist, videos, pictures, blogs, etc..

Please join us at http://myspace.com/jackandmisty

(Note from YFNW™: Check it out! It's the only place you can find their
NEW RECORDING of the Brook Benton/Dinah Washington classic,
"You've Got What It Takes" (and they do a bang-up job with it!)
(Do people even SAY that anymore?)

(UPDATE: Well, okay, let's make that "the first place you can find it"
(since it's now on our welcome page!) But drop by and have a look anyway!)

This just in from Jack...


Misty got her first computer, a laptop,
and she's just learning to use it.

She needs to get some emails,
so please email her.
She'll be very happy to hear from you.

She may be a little slow in responding.
She types 30 words an hour. :)

Her email address is:


April 11, 2010...

We're celebrating an anniversary.
This week in 1970 we were #1 with Tennessee Bird Walk.
Our Birdwalk video has been viewed by 78,550 people.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-OrVQaqkg0

Thanks, everybody! :)
Jack & Misty

April 3, 2010...


If eggs had legs
And long hair to their knees
They'd run through the flowers
And shinny up trees.
Then they tiptoe to the city.
Better lock all the locks.
They'll drink up our wine
And take our dirty socks.

If Eggs Had Legs 
They'd steal our football shoes 
You can see 'em kickin' chickens 
On the six o'clock news

Well they don't give a (quack!).
They got nothin' to lose.
They're on the way to Tennessee,
That's why I got the blues.

If Eggs Had Legs
And long hair to their knees,
You could hear 'em bite their toenails
Up in the trees.
Drinkin' our wine,
Gettin' stoned as an ox,
Staggerin' around
In our dirty socks.

Little hairy legs
In socks and football shoes 
You can see 'em kickin' chickens
On the six o'clock news

Well they don't give a (quack!)
They got nothin' to lose
They're on the way to Tennessee
That's why I got the blues.

Listen to it here:
BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8968346&q=hi
DIAL UP: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8968346&q=lo

March 31, 2010... DONEL AUSTIN. I've been writing about when I played with Donel Austin & the Rockin' Impallas in Miami. We had an hour radio show with our band every night from the King 'o Hearts Club. We've been through a lot together and we are still close friends with Donel after all these years. Our friend has been pretty sick and is staying in a rest home in Tennessee, at least for now. We'd like you to hear him sing. Donel is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. His records are rare collectors' items now. In the club he rocked out songs like Stagger Lee and Twenty-four Hours a Day, but we've selected a heartfelt blues ballad for you to hear. I produced this in Nashville. Click a link to listen. DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS BY Donel Austin. BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8954441&q=hi DIAL-UP: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8954441&q=lo Misty and I hope you enjoy it. Jack Blanchard

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
MOON OVER MIAMI. A million years ago I was playing in a rhythm and blues band at the King o' Hearts Club on NW 7th Avenue in Miami, where Sam and Dave got their start. The band was called "Donel Austin and the Rockin' Impallas". I later made a record with them under the name “Jackie Blanchard and the Rockin' Impallas”. I won't say the guy that owned the place was a mobster. I won't say it because he might kill me. Let's just call him Johnny. He had the mandatory smaller brother Pauly. We had a great band... Donel Austin, rhythm guitar and lead vocalist, Doug Tarrant, lead guitar, and Frank Kennedy on drums. I played piano, organ, and left hand bass. The club was like an airplane hangar. We faced the long oval shaped bar. Donel would often jump from the bandstand and walk the top of the bar while belting out “Twenty-four Hours a Day” or “Stagger Lee”. The giant concrete dance floor was behind the bandstand and held hundreds of dancers. I worked behind the piano at the back of the stage, with a six foot drop to my death if I stepped back. This will be important later. The club took ID photos of everybody who came in the door. There were over a dozen bouncers armed with blackjacks. At least a couple of the bouncers were nuts and couldn't wait to beat somebody up. There was a lot of bloodshed, but the music was good. If you were looking for the rest room and happened to wander toward Johnny's office, crazy Dobermans would bounce off the inside of his door, wanting you for lunch. Johnny said they only attacked when annoyed. You could annoy them by just existing. We had a live radio show every night from the club, and Pauly was the emcee. One night Pauly and Donel started arguing while we were on the air. It turned into a fistfight, and they began wrestling around the stage, knocking things over. My big old piano was balanced on top of whiskey cases, so I could play standing up, and when Donel and Pauly lurched my way they tipped the piano off the cases. I was straining every muscle to hold up the piano with my bare hands, and looking at the six foot drop to the cement behind me. This is what Pauly yelled at me: "Keep playing, kid! We're on the air!" We sounded like a black band and black people would hear us on the radio and come to the club. They were not admitted. It was back in the dark ages. I hated it, but I really needed the gig. We got a higher paying job at The Club Seventeen, but Johnny sent his bouncers to walk through the new club, intimidating the customers and us. We finally went back to work at the King o' Hearts, under duress. A few years later Johnny did some prison time. When he got out he was elected Mayor of Sunrise, Florida. Donel and I wrote some songs together, and you can find his recordings at The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. This all happened before Misty and I ever sang together. Jack Blanchard Copyright © 2005, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.
March 27, 2010... Hey, folks. Almost a third down, and two-thirds left to go till this year's over and done with. And another month or so to go till we hit May. Think of it. Jack and Misty's birthday month, and (this year only!) our tenth anniversary! And they said it'd never last. Speaking of history and the like, Jack has some observations of his own (he always does!). Here they are...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
FOOTNOTES FOR COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY. I was asked to write something about Mega Records for liner notes on a 2009 Henson Cargill CD album. We were on Mega for a couple of years and so was Henson. Just for history's sake, here's what I sent in: "It's amazing how little we remember about Mega Records. Here's what we do recall. "Mega was famous for "Help Me Make it through the Night", by Sammi Smith. The President was Brad McCuen, a well known jazz producer. The vice president was Bruce Davidson. They were wonderful people, maybe too nice for the music business. "Mega had a groundbreaking ceremony at a vacant lot across from the United Artists Tower in Nashville, and a billboard was erected that showed the elaborate building that was to be built, but never was. The unbuilt building was used as the Mega logo on all product and stationery. "Legendary Memphis producer and studio owner Larry Rogers was a house producer, but he acted as engineer for our sessions, because we were self-produced. Larry engineered "Somewhere in Virginia in the Rain", and was the only one who immediately saw its potential as a country record. We liked it, but thought it had too many chords for the country audience. Jim Malloy also produced at Mega. Most of the Mega recording sessions were either done at Mercury or Columbia studios. "The only Mega artist that we knew personally was Sammi Smith. We met Brian Collins and Pat McKinney, and some others. We don't remember meeting Henson Cargill, but I wish we did recall because we like his style a lot, but it was a busy time. "Mega Records headquarters was in the SESAC Building on Music Row, just across the parking lot from Columbia/Epic. When Mega went unexpectedly out of business, the masters were taken over by various parties, including us. "We came to Mega from Mercury Records, and we left Mega for Epic, and then UA. Mega was the best label we've ever dealt with. They gave us complete artistic control which carried over to other labels afterward." ******************************************************************** I get some email from aspiring recording artists, asking things about the music business and our experiences in it. Here's my reply to one asking for a "short version" of our career so far. "Hi Scotty. "In high school I taught myself piano to impress the girls, and then started getting some cheap gigs. I got hooked on being a musician/entertainer/songwriter and all my efforts from there on were to make that happen. "I formed a vocal group in Western New York, and we got a regional hit on a major label. Then I was really hooked. "I met Misty when we were both playing piano in the Miami area. She had her own group and I was playing in a Rhythm & Blues band. Then we formed a group together and worked a lot, but we weren't getting anywhere. "I wrote produced an instrumental recording called "Gemini", with 5 musicians, including Misty Morgan, in a local Miami studio for under $500. It was becoming a hit when it was covered by The Ventures, which killed our record, but after that local singers were asking me to produce records for them. They paid me a small fee and expenses to Nashville, and that gave me a foot in the door up there. I had never been in country music before. "An Emmy-winning TV producer came in the Miami club where we played, and we got to know him. He told us we didn't have a recording deal or a hit because we weren't salable. He told us to develop a recognizable style, image, and original material, and to go to another town and try it out. He said that no matter how outlandish we thought we looked and sounded, they would accept it in a strange town, but not at home. "We did it, and got a gig in Key West to try it out. The place packed up every night, and in about three weeks we had backers and a recording deal. We couldn't believe it. That's it in a very small nutshell." Copyright © March 26, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author. Well, that's all for now. More to come later. Jerry.
March 1, 2010... Wow, can you believe the year is only 1/6 over already? Where does the time go, already? (And I'm sure Jack's written a song or column about that subject already...) Speaking of Jack, columns and songs already, here 'tis...

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
CHAPEL HILL. Songs can cover a variety of subjects from comedy or love to spooky. I write the occasional spooky one. For background: There was a disease in the 14th Century that would make the patient seem dead. When England ran out of burial space, they dug up old graves, removed the bones and stored them elsewhere, to make room for new customers. They found scratch marks from people who had been trying to get out. People had been buried while they were still alive. To avoid more of those little goof-ups they tied a string to the wrists of the deceased, and ran it up through the ground to a bell. If the person woke up and moved, the bell would ring. Somebody got the job of sitting up all night in the graveyard in case a guest rang for room service. Hence the phrases “Saved by the bell” and “Dead ringer” and “Graveyard shift”. Am I cheering you up so far? More recently, people who have been dead for minutes on the operating table, say they were aware of everything that was going on while they were flatlined. I’ve always kinda wondered if there was a period of consciousness in the minutes after death. I never asked anybody because I enjoy being thought of as relatively sane. I wrote a song called “Chapel Hill”. In it, the guy who was just buried is doing the singing. He knows what’s going on and isn’t too happy about it. I don’t think he has that bellringing disease. I think he’s just dead, but awake. Don’t ask me. I just write them. Chapel Hill is from our CD album “Life & Death (and Almost Everything Else)”. Click here to listen: BROADBAND: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8825013&q=hi DIAL-UPS: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=8825013&q=lo Here are the lyrics: Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill. In the silver mist, in the midnight chill. Oh, the moon is rising and the night is still. Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill. They placed the flowers on me on Chapel Hill. I'm gonna be so lonely on Chapel Hill. I wanna live in the sunshine, and feel the autumn chill. Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill. (Chorus) Can't you hear me, Mama? Can't you hear me cry? Don't walk away, Papa. Don't say goodbye. Don't you know I love you, and I always will? Don't leave me alone tonight on Chapel Hill. Oh, I feel so afraid on Chapel Hill, As the voices fade from Chapel Hill. And now the service is over, and everything's still. And I'm all alone on Chapel Hill. Copyright © March 1, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. "Chapel Hill": Lyrics and music by Jack Blanchard. Copyright © Jack Blanchard Songs (BMI). Reprinted by permission of the author. Counting the days 'til the 15th, when YFNW turns another year older (I'm thinking the year is 1492), have a happy, folks. Jerry.
February 21, 2010... Well, how's it all cookin', there? (I'm trying out new shopworn intros. You know... to replace the old shopworn intros...) That said, let's take a little journey into the Twilight Zone with Jack. Ready?

52,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
STAR POWER. He sang the closing bars of the song and the audience roared their appreciation. He could hear them rising from their seats for the standing ovation, but he couldn’t see beyond the stage lights. At first he had been elated at the enthusiasm coming from the darkness in front of him, but now he was beginning to wonder about it. He’d opened the show with his latest country record, and had done two songs since. Each had evoked whistles, shouts, and standing applause. At least it sounded like they were standing up. He looked back at his band for support, but there was just a sequin curtain behind him. Where were those idiots? And where was his backup music coming from? He hated canned music, especially since he was paying his musicians good money. He had always paid his band and road crew top dollar, because that entitled him to the power he deserved. After all, he was the star. If he wanted to get high and make out with one of their wives, why not? And who says he doesn’t have a perfect right to yell at them, on stage or off. A little humiliation in front of the crowd kept them in line. You had to be tough to handle a bunch of ignorant pickers on the road. He said into the mike: “Well, folks, they had a livestock inspection at the state line, and I guess I lost my whole band.” Laughter washed up from the dark like a tidal wave. He didn’t think the joke was THAT funny. Was somebody pulling a practical joke on him? Maybe his own damn wife put ‘em up to it. She was probably still mad over that little black eye he’d given her. My God! That was over a week ago! And she had deserved it for sassing him back. He was paying all the bills, and it was his damn show! They all better get used to it. What was the next song? They were causing him to lose his place in front of his fans. That was unforgivable. He’d make them pay later. He strummed a chord on his guitar, trying to think. The crowd went wild! What the hell? One chord brings the house down? He said, “What’s going on folks? Is this some kind of a trick?” Quiet now from the dark. Just a cough from somewhere way back. “Look, I’m a star with gold and platinum records all over my bathroom wall, which is bigger than your whole house! You yokels better not mess with me”. Quiet again, except for a child softly crying. A tall man in a dusty looking tux came out on stage, and said, “Isn’t this a great show, folks?” The applause was louder and wilder than ever. The strange emcee started to walk off. Bobby Lee grabbed his arm and said “What the hell is going on here, pal? And I expect the TRUTH!” The emcee turned and looked at him with eyes so deeply set that they were just shadows. He said, “It’s exactly what you’ve always wanted, Bobby.” Bobby Lee yelled “What do you mean ‘what I’VE always wanted’?” The shadow-eyed master of ceremonies said this: “All the power.” The crowd roared again... IF that was really a crowd out there. Copyright © February 21, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. That kind of tale always gets me... right in the chilblains. Anyway... be sure to check out more of Jack and Misty at myspace.com/jackandmisty, and we'll catch you all later. Have a happy, YFNW™, Jerry.
February 14, 2010... Happy Valentine's Day, everybody, and that goes for our favorite couple of music makers as well. (I had a great joke here, but legal tells me I'd better not use it!) And speaking of lovers of the finer things in life, here's a whole slew of preponderances from Chairman Jack...
TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. I'm just pulling out of a streak of depression, mostly due to lack of creative ideas, I think. I kept forcing myself to go to the piano or guitar and forcing myself to try to write a song. I felt guilty and useless when it didn't work. I'm supposed to be a writer. Isn't that who I am? Have I lost it? Is that all there is? I even took the recommended therapeutic walks, but it seemed like I was trying too hard to enjoy that... consciously looking at trees, sky, etc.. "Great sky. Nice tree. Is this working?" Again... forcing it. It was my businesslike right brain fully in charge and beating the hell out of me. A couple of mornings ago I got up and told Misty this: "I've had it! I'm going to stop torturing myself." I stayed away from the music room and just did whatever I felt like doing. I actually got happy! A night or two later I got an urge to play the keyboard, and did it without trying to produce a masterpiece. With no self-pressure and no guilt it was more like fun. A couple of ideas came to me out of the blue. I wrote them down for later. Today I feel fine. I may play a little music tonight. You never know what might happen when you're not trying to make it happen. Copyright © February 12, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
SOMETHING TO TICK OFF EVERYBODY. I don't believe in holding back true feelings. It forms gas. Here are a few of my opinions… something to tick off everybody: Each ethnic group has a distinctive style of annoying other ethnic groups. All Republicans/Democrats are either evil, dumb, or misled. (Check one or both.) I like cops to protect us, but I think a lot of them get into it for the power. If you think they did it just to serve, ask one to get you a cup of coffee. Show me a politician who has never done a dishonest thing, and I'll say that running for office was his first. In the 1920s they had Prohibition and crime flourished, people died or went blind from bad booze. Am I the only one who sees the parallel between Prohibition and the War on Drugs? Victimless crimes are not crimes. Nonviolent criminals should be let out early with a good talking to, making prison room for the violent ones. Each violent one should be told that all the other convicts are out to get him. Makers of prescription drugs should not be allowed to advertise to the public. The medical profession should be run by medical people, and even those should be under suspicion. I am prejudiced against the ultra-rich. They should each be forced to live in a trailer park for a year. In America cops should not just stop citizens, and then try and find out what they might be guilty of. Major label executives should be forced to listen to the stuff they sell, over and over. They just want to buy plastic for a dime and sell it for sixteen dollars. They don't really care what's on it. I love the internet. I hate the internet. I have actually seen UFOs. I still like PeeWee Herman. "Let the guy who is without sin pass the first stone." (A Misty Morgan Saying.) Copyright © February 11, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
ALL MUSICIANS KNOW THE POINCIANA BAR. A while back I sent out the lyrics to a song I wrote called "The Poinciana Bar", about a real bar where we played, in Key West, Florida. Then I heard from a lot of musicians who've been stuck in that same joint: Joe Sun, Al Scott, Randy Rich, and others. I've also heard from musicians around the world who have played in places just like it. Don Lummus wrote: "All you need to do is change the bar's name, and we've played there. I guess the Poinciana represents the universal "musicians' nightmare". Keep your stories coming, folks.Misery loves company. I'm pasting a copy of the lyrics below for those who may have missed it. THE POINCIANA BAR. The sign outside the bar says "COUNTRY MUIC". The 'S' fell off a long time ago. Pool, pinball, Space Invaders, Plays right along with our show The bartender's watching the game on TV, And the restrooms are starting to stink. The boss is away, and he's got our pay. And they wonder why pickers all drink! (Chorus:) Lord, take me far from the Poinciana Bar. I'll sing in church on Sundays and sell this damn guitar. I'm just drinking up my money, and I'll never be a star, Workin' at the Poinciana Bar. (And then, at closing time, the bartender relays this message): "The boss likes your music, don't ya know, And he really hates to have to let you go. Why, he thinks of you as friends. He may have you back again, But he's found another band for half the dough." (And then you recall your agent's words): "My percentage just went up, your percentage just went down. Inflation is rough on us all. If you don't get your money by Saturday night, Give my answering service a call." (Chorus:) Lord, take me far from the Poinciana Bar. I'll sing in church on Sundays and sell this damn guitar. I'm just drinking up my money, and I'll never be a star, Workin' at the Poinciana Bar Copyright © February 10, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. "The Poinciana Bar": Lyrics and music by Jack Blanchard © Jack Blanchard Songs. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
ABOUT MY ATHLETIC CAREER. I could never play basketball. The ball is too big, the baskets are too high and the other guys are too tall. They ought to have a league for shorter guys, with lower baskets and smaller balls. My neighborhood, growing up, was all sports. There was a grassy lot on the next block that was perfect for football and baseball. We were there most every day when school was out. Also our street had median islands down the middle, and they made good ovals for track. So, by the time I got to high school I was a pretty good athlete. It turned out that I was the only known freshman to ever make first string on the football team, because the practices started before the beginning of school in the fall. I knew some guys from high school, and they took me out to football practice the first day. I wasn't even enrolled in the school yet! I was about 5', 10", and weighed 183. The first day was "tryouts", and the coach had everybody race the length of the field, to see who could run. I was wearing loafers that had stretched out and kept falling off my feet. The only thing I could do was kick them off and run in my socks. I was worried because I never ran as well without shoes. There were about 60 guys racing the 100 yards, and I finished several yards ahead of the second fastest one. The coach noticed my lack of shoes and asked smartassedly if I was from Kentucky. He called me "Kentucky" for the whole first season, and made me quarterback for 2 years, until I left school. In baseball, they first put me in center field because of a strong throwing arm. Only one trouble: I couldn't throw a straight ball. I didn't even realize it until somebody hollered: "Hey! This jerk is throwing curves in from the field!." So they tried me as pitcher. I only had about three pitches: a curve, a drop, and a fast ball, but they kept me in that spot. In the winter we went to Delaware park every non-school hour to play hockey under the bridge. There were arches under there where the snow never fell. It kept the ice smooth as glass. There were three of these, each about the size of a regular hockey rink, but the walls were jagged rock. We didn't have hockey in school, but I later played a season of semi-pro hockey. We got uniforms and transportation, and we were the G.O.P. team, sponsored by the Republican Party. That's the closest I ever got to being a Republican. Now you know about my brief athletic career. My teammates are probably too senile to remember. If I'd waited any longer to write this I would be too. Copyright © February 9, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
KEY WESTERS. Laboratory research has shown that if you put too many mice in a small box for a long time, they start to look at each other funny. Key West is like that. The island is six miles long, 160 miles from the mainland, with only one way out. No wonder Key Westers are a little nuts. I like them that way. When we first saw Key West we thought they ought to tear it down and build a nice slum. We didn't know it was charm. It took us a few weeks to get to love it. The first time we went there we had a nine piece band in the main club on Duval Street. Instead of a salary, our band got a cut of the week's cash register take, and although business boomed, the tapes never showed enough to pay us a living wage. We found out later that most of the business was marked down in a secret book and never rung up. These are the things we're supposed to laugh at later. The Conchs claim to be the original Key Westers. They are of Cuban ancestry, take their name from the shelled sea creature doing business locally, and have a unique accent, sort of like New Orleans or New York City. We gathered some good memories in Key West. Here are a few: Wayne Childress, our baritone sax player carrying home his sax case every night filled with stolen bottles of beer, leaving his horn on the bandstand, until the drummer's dog chewed up his expensive mouthpiece. He never again got the same sound. Jack Gray, who owned the Downtowner Bar, saw smoke coming out of the second floor of a building, ran inside, up the stairs, and heroically threw all the furniture out the window, only to learn that the fire was next door. The Key West Police arrested a sailor and the Shore Patrol came to get him. The cops wouldn't give him up and a fight started, a real battle between the city and navy cops. The SPs got thrown in jail. Paul McLaughlin, a young sailor who played tenor sax, was playing at the Downtowner against orders from the navy. The Shore Patrol knew it, but couldn't seem to catch him. Jack Gray, the owner , wouldn't let the SPs inside so they would wait for him to come out after work. The reason they couldn't catch him is this: He would climb into one of the trash cans, the lid would be closed, and he would be carried out the back door with the garbage. When the Shore Patrol guys went away, he would climb out and sneak back onto the base. One day we noticed a portly gentleman weaving briskly through the afternoon crowd of Duval Street shoppers, saying, "Excuse me. Pardon me.", and naked as a jaybird. Tiny, the 300 pound lady saloon bouncer with a heart of gold. The practical jokes born out of boredom. One night our lead guitar player, Doug Tarrant, found a huge dead fish on the back seat of his new car. He did the only logical Key West thing: He wrapped it in a blanket, placed it in the alley by the Downtowner, and called the police, reporting a dead body. A few minutes later there were sirens and screaming brakes. The cops leaped from their car, ran into the alley, and pulled back the blanket. They looked sheepishly around to see if anybody was watching (We were,), leaped back into their cars and roared off. There were old fashioned funeral parades with slow marching blues bands. And, one more thing: Our laundry was on the corner of Margaret and Truman. Copyright © February 6, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Of all the musicians-on-the-road true stories I've written, this little bit of real-life slapstick is the most requested and most published. I'm sending it to you again now, because in these times, we all need a good dirty laugh at somebody else's expense. * * * HOW WE RUINED LUNCH HOUR IN DULUTH. We were not recording stars, and had no idea we would ever have hit records. We were just three Florida musicians, Misty, our guitar player Doug Tarrant, and me, who somehow wound up in the north country in December. One of our bookings was at the Black Bear Lounge in the Hotel Duluth. Our dog, Brubeck, accompanied us on the tour. He looked like a Jack Russell Terrier, but wasn't. People would remark about his good looks and ask what breed he was. I would say he was a miniature Armenian Shepherd. It was easier than trying to explain the bunch of strange characters in his ancestral woodpile. Brubeck would not eat dog food. He would eat cat food or a foul smelling liver and garlic concoction that Misty cooked up for him. He would also eat complete motel mattresses, medium sized linoleum floors, and my better clothes. We loved him! Misty felt a need to dress Brubeck up like a rich lady's poodle. He would be led through the lobby wearing a leopard print dog coat, a hat, and four yellow boots. At least one of the boots was always turned around with the toe facing grotesquely backwards. He would be shaking a rear leg trying to get rid of it. This gets worse. The hotel had a classy restaurant, which was below ground level. The sidewalk and snow covered grass were exactly at eye level with the lunch crowd inside. The place was packed with well-dressed business people enjoying their food, when Misty's legs appeared in the far right window, then the leash, and finally what looked like a dog in a pimp suit. The pimp dog went right up to the restaurant window and proceeded with what seemed to be a long overdue bowel movement. Misty, totally embarrassed at being the focus of every eye in the crowd, tried her best to look like she'd never seen this dog before in her life. It didn't work, and Brubeck went earnestly on and on. Then she made it a LOT worse by trying to drag him away while he was still going. The lunch hour business dropped off abruptly after that. Copyright © January 29, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Well, that's it for now, folks. Don't forget to visit J&M on myspace at myspace.com/jackandmisty, and we'll catch you on the flip side of President's Day. (Hey, that's tomorrow, isn't it?) Till then, have a happy! YFNW™, Jerry
January 28, 2010... Well, hey there, everybody. Here's Jack with some valuable advice that still holds true today...
DON'T GET TOO CREATIVE AT THE RAMADA INN. This is about entertainers in general... and mostly about music professionals. Most major stars have had something new to offer, but there is a level of show business where it is a liability. Nightclubs, hotels, RV resorts usually want cover acts. A cover band plays other people’s music and tries to sound like the hit recordings. The audience tries to pretend they are hearing the real thing. Nobody in the Big Time does that, but sometimes it’s the only way a local musician can earn a living. There's nothing wrong with it. Misty and I have always been warmly received by audiences at auditoriums, fairs, and other places where we were advertised and the people came to see US. In off times when we would take a booking where they just wanted “a band” or “a country show”, we had problems. We were told things like: “You’re not what they’re used to here.” Why did they ever change bands at all if they wanted them alike? We could never compete in that arena. These situations are worse for the musicians on the road, because the owners and the audience live there, while the agent sits home in his comfortable office, but the band has traveled hundreds of miles to get rejected in a strange town, with no friends around for moral or financial support. We have sometimes sung other people’s hit songs, but we changed them radically to fit our own style. True confession: We have just never been good at copying other artists. Sometimes we’ve wished we could, to prevent on-the-road nightmares. We have many wonderful memories of standing ovations, and some not so wonderful, of being fired without pay, a thousand miles from home, because we were “different”. If we could have been a “Tribute” act, basking in the glory of, say, Sonny and Cher, we’d have worked forever. But we probably wouldn’t have been successful recording artists, at least in the 1970’s, when everybody wanted something new and different. Lately, even record production has a narrowly defined sound that the major labels want on all of their product, and the radio programmers demand. Consequently, a lot of the music and artists sound alike and the audiences are conditioned to accept that. Style has become a liability. Conformity is in demand. This may be a symptom of what our society has become. Our many musician friends who do sound-alike music are working much more than we are, but that’s okay. Good for them. Faron Young once sat here at our breakfast table and said this about our music: “Three seconds into the record you know who it is.” Good for us. Copyright © January 28, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
January 18, 2010... Hi again. And while I'm waiting for the coffee to take effect, what better pick-me-up than a new column from Jack? (None I know of.) Hit it, o fearless leader...
CRICKETS AND TUMBLEWEED. If you go by the numbers you might consider me a Senior. Going by appearance and silliness, I'm more like a Junior Citizen being held back. I admit that I'm getting crows feet, but, somehow my shoes still fit. I often find myself thinking about life while facing the wall in a fetal position. What made me pick music as a life's work? For no apparent reason I was in a town called Machias, New York... and in a teen amateur contest in the high school auditorium. I'd never been there before and didn't know anybody. During the previous couple of years I had taught myself to play some boogie piano, and when I was called out I played an original song titled "Down the Middle". The crowd loved it! I knew I was going to win. Backstage, a tall kid came up to me and told me he was a drummer. I said I was thrilled for him. He said he was going to play a drum solo in the contest, and pleaded with me to back him up on piano. I hesitated, but finally gave in. I was proud of myself for being such a good person. After all, I was the sure winner anyway. Or was I? You're right. I played some boogie, and left blank spots for his solos, and made him look good. Without me he would have sounded like a bunch of pots and pans falling out of a closet. We were all lined up on stage while the emcee held his hand over our heads, one by one, and the crowd voted with their applause. They all knew the drummer because he went to school there, and they tore the house down for him. I got a burst of apathy, some cricket sounds, and a tumbleweed rolled by. That's when I decided to become a career musician. "Self", I said to myself, "this is the kind of public humiliation I really want!". Copyright © January 17, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. While we're waiting for more to come (as it inevitably will), here's a little reminder to hop on over to Jack and Misty's other official website over at myspace. Photos, columns, and who knows what else. Find it at http://www.myspace.com/jackandmisty. See you next time. Jerry.
January 17, 2010... Hey there, folks. Just a quick note from YFNW concerning one of our long-time links, PragueFrank's Country Music Discographies (from the Czech Republic... well, where else - Pittsburgh?) The site has now been completely redesigned. Check it out here to see the Jack and Misty page. Great job, Frank! More to come...
January 13, 2010... Hi again, folks. Jack has some more words of wisdom to share, and they're about one of his favorite subjects. Here they are...
HAVE YOU NOTICED? People don’t talk face-to-face so much anymore. They send simplistic text messages. They exchange emails, a medium so cold that it needs little cartoon faces to express emotion. We stare into various electronic screens… television, computer, cell phone, I-Pod, and whatever else is new. We sit nearly motionless and watch the motions on the screens… actors, athletes, game show contestants, reality show competitors, and computer animated figures that battle intergalactic foes, steal cars, kill cops, and generally duke it out. When our guys win a TV sports event, we take it as our personal victory, as if we'd done something special, when all we did was watch. They live. We watch. More than 20 minutes of every television hour are commercial, injecting fake needs, desires, and disease symptoms directly into our brains. Ask your doctor. The TV’s even talk to us in stores and malls. You can’t turn them off or tune them out. Big Brother. Traveling between our home screens and the store screens, we stick digital things into our ears to talk to people without actually having to be with them personally, or we carry around 5,000 of our favorite songs to ward off real life. Who has 5,000 favorite songs? Or even 500? Do these new music lovers know that an mp3 made at the standard bitrate of 128 is much lower in sound quality than a CD, lower in quality than a good vinyl LP on a high-end sound system, and way lower than analog studio wide tape? Digital music is all numbers. Think of the numbers as a flight of stairs, with a ball of music bouncing down in small hops. Analog music is more like a ramp, with the music ball rolling smoothly down. Listening to a piece on digital and then on analog, is like looking out a window, and then taking the screen off. Major labels don’t mail as much hard product to radio stations as they used to. It’s cheaper and faster to put MP3’s up on the internet, and have the radio people download them. With the public being hooked on plugging stuff into their heads, you’d think that music sales would skyrocket, but just the opposite is happening. CD sales are way down, and nobody’s making much on digital downloads, except the makers of I-Pods. Once a fan downloads a song he can share it around the world for free. Still the record companies keep selling $.99 digital downloads, killing their own CD album sales. They’re afraid to be left behind in case it ever starts to pay off. Today it seems to be about keeping up with the trends. To some of us it will always be about the music. Copyright © January 13, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. As always, more to come...
January 10, 2010... Well, we're well and truly into the new year now, and time for another column from our fearless leader. This time, Jack discusses a problem that seems to be happening more and more (although it hasn't happened around our neck of the concrete jungle... yet...). Namely, what to do when nature intrudes. Take it away, Jack...
IF A BEAR ATTACKS There is a black bear living in our back yard. I know he doesn't belong in our neighborhood because he isn't wearing a baseball cap, or white socks and sandals. MY RULES TO AVOID BEAR ATTACKS: If it’s bear mating season, wear armored shorts. If you don’t have armored shorts, ask him to buy you dinner first. Throw a jar of honey as far as you can. While he’s trying to get the cap off, run away. Yell for help. If a neighbor comes out, the bear may like him better. Don’t carry porridge in your pocket. Don’t walk around with a pic-a-nic basket. Be extra careful if he has a little bear behind. Carry either a 12 gauge shotgun or a rolled-up newspaper. Play grind-organ music and see if he can dance. If he does dance, let him lead. Don’t wear a fur coat. Don’t sleep in a dumpster. Wave your arms, scream uggabuggabugga, and run at him. He may think you’re nuts and give up. Copyright © January 9, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. Another Walt Disney True-Life Adventure. More to come...
January 1, 2010... From all of us at jackandmisty.com...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! (Yeah, I know... don't use capital letters. It looks like you're shouting...)(grin) Here's hoping for a better year for all of you from the gang at jackandmisty.com. Your Friendly Neighborhood Webmeister™, Jerry (P.S.: If you missed any of last year's news items, you can now find them on the 2009 page. Where they belong.)

Oh, before I forget... there's a certain website (http://www.letras.terra.com/jack-and-misty/) posting Jack and Misty's lyrics. We don't know where they got them from (prob'ly some other site, perhaps?) That's not the issue. The issue here with YFNW™ is, a) they printed 'em without permission (unlike here, naturally), and b) when I checked on 'em, my computer sent me an "unsafe site" warning. So, for the sake of your hard drives, DO NOT (and I can't emphasize this strongly enough)... repeat... DO NOT VISIT THAT SITE!!! There are other places you can get your Jack and Misty lyrics from. This site, for example (...ahem...). Thought you'd want to know. Jerry. (Yeah, I know the next question... "Isn't terra.com the parent company of Lycos/Tripod?" Come to think of it, it is. Just what you need for New Year's... irony.) And speaking of New Year's...
ANNUAL NEW YEARS THOUGHTS. The old and new years are often represented by a baby and an old man, both wearing diapers. Time clicks by...faster and faster, like a cheap watch. Misty and I make the same resolutions every year, and we will continue to do so until we actually live up to them.. OUR RESOLUTIONS... Never stop for a cop who talks with a hand puppet. Try not to kill people who offer constructive criticism. Never approach a chicken with a crazy look. Never try to explain our career to a wino. Never yodel at a funeral. Never hit a chiropractor without a reason. Never wear helmets while skateboarding. Always wear helmets during sex. Never tango. Never carry a rose in our teeth. Never carry a rose in any body cavity. Never turn our turn signal off. Never take Viagra before a business meeting. Never buy a pacemaker from a guy in a pickup truck. Never glue sequins to a squirrel, except as evening wear. Always smile and wave to drivers who give us the finger. Always lie about our age, weight, and height. Never take the car in for a free inspection. Always refer to younger people as "Junior Citizens". Never have a hole in your pocket while it is being picked. Never yell "Freeze!" in a biker bar. Never wear a tutu in a biker bar. Never sing "My Way" to an imaginary ferret. Never play hip-hop dance music for nudists. Never buy an extended warranty. Always call people by their first names, especially if they refer to themselves as Mister. Always play the music we do best... our own. * * * * * It was another year of contrasts... There were some laughs between the troubles. "Recession" does sound nicer than "depression". A lot of bad stuff is probably waiting for us in the new year, but we'll get through it if we work together, and not against each other. We made some new friends in 2009, and made up with some old ones. We mourn those who died, and we celebrate those who were born. Misty and I are still together, and we have a chance at 2010. Copyright © January 1, 2010 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
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