Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Thursday, July 26, 2007



Because everyone seemed to have a lot of fun (and success) with my last test, identifying artists I had on the Lloyd Thaxton Record Shop, let's bite the LP and take another shot at it.


Doing a television show five days a week, fifty two weeks a year with a guest artist each day eats through a lot of artists. Close to 2000 during the eight years the show was on. You sometimes run out of instantly recognizable people. There are just so many Beach Boys, James Browns and Sonny and Chers. But though they are not always recognizable, they are all great artists just the same.


Here's the new test: See how many of the nine guest shown below you can name. They all appeared on the LT Show, but many of you might not have recognize them until I announced their names. Go for it.

While I'm here, let me add a couple more questions to the mix. (1) Who is the person and where was he in the picture above biting the LP, and (2) Who was the famous singer on my mind when I titled this posting "Loose Lips Syncs Ships." All you Mouse Cliquers will remember this slogan as a dire warning during World War II.

Here we go. "NAME THAT PERSON!"



Ray Bolger was a great American entertainer of stage and screen, best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow (and the farmworker "Hunk") who was Dorothy's favorite in the 1939 film classic, The Wizard of Oz.

One of the most successful American singers of the twentieth century. Often billed as America's Number One Song Stylist, his other nicknames include Mr. Rhythm, Old Leather Lungs, and Old Man Jazz. His hits included "That's My Desire", "That Lucky Old Sun," "Mule Train", "Cry of the Wild Goose", "Jezebel," "High Noon", "I Believe", "Hey Joe!", "The Kid's Last Fight", "Cool Water", "Moonlight Gambler", "Love is a Golden Ring", "Rawhide", and "Lord, You Gave Me a Mountain". His career as an entertainer spanned approximately 75 years, from 1930 (when he sang in between sets with a marathon dance company) to 2005 (when he sang That's My Desire in a PBS special).

Was a jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Like Red Norvo, he was one of the first real jazz vibraphone players. "Hamp" ranks among the great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker and Quincy Jones.

Were a popular music vocal trio best known for their 1964 hit "Bread and Butter" on Hickory Records. The group's members were Larry Henley (born 30 June 1941, in Arp, Texas, Texas); and the brothers Dean (born 17 March 1939, in Hahira, Georgia) and Mark Mathis (born 9 February 1942, in Hahira). They were guests on the LT Show many times.


Solomon burke is a soul and country music pioneer and member of the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1964 he wrote and recorded "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love," Burke's most prominent bid for an enduring soul standard. Almost immediately covered by The Rolling Stones the same year, other well-known versions include one by Wilson Pickett and another, a decade and a half later, in the 1980 film by The Blues Brothers. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. He was nice enough to let me try on his King clothes.

Johnny Crawford received an Emmy Nomination at the age of 13 for his role in the western television series, "The Rifleman.Signed by Del-Fi Records in 1961, Johnny had five hits in the 1960s: Cindy's Birthday, Rumors, Your Nose Is Gonna Grow, Proud, and Patti Ann. During that period Del-Fi released five Johnny Crawford albums. My daughter Jennifer (shown in the center) was a big fan.

Round Robin was one of my favorite guests on the show. He presented some of the best dance music of the 60s. I sponsored two albums with Round Robin, "Lloyd Thaxton Presents The Land of 1000 Dances" and "Lloyd Thaxton presents Greatest Dance Hits Slauson Style."

An American singer and entertainer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wayne performed over 30,000 solo shows in Las Vegas over a period of over 40 years, earning him the nickname Mr. Las Vegas. His best known songs include the kitschy "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" (1972), "Years" (1980) [3], and his signature song, "Danke Schoen" (1963) which he introduced on the LT Show.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet was a jazz quartet, founded in 1951 by Dave Brubeck; featuring Paul Desmond on saxophone, and Brubeck on piano. They took up a long residency at San Francisco's Blackhawk nightclub and gained great popularity touring college campuses, releasing a series of albums with such titles as Jazz at Oberlin, Jazz Goes to College, and Jazz Goes to Junior College. My favorite? Take Five.

Well, there it is. How did you do? I got a lot of close answers. Many people emailed their answers directly to me, but only one person got all the answers.

That person is Lane Quigley. Lane is a prominent attorney in LA and host of The Memory Lane Show on RockitRadio (CLICK HERE). I have to tell you this. Lane is also my partner in producing the Lloyd Thaxton DVD. He did not have any pre-look at this blog. He is just some kind of genius when it comes to the music and the artists of the 60s. And, that, Mouse Cliquers, is why Lane Quigley and I became friends and partners. He knows more about the 60s than I do.

Now about "Loose Lips Syncs Ships." Lane got the fact that The Chocolate Watch Band recorded "Loose Lip Sync Ship" in their 1969 album "One Step Beyond" (I told you he was a genius). However, that was not the singer I was thinking of when I titled my post "Loose Lips Syncs Ships." I was thinking of Barry Manilow. Stay with me, this is kind of crazy. "Loose lips sink ships" was a World War II warning not to tell secrets about cargo that is being shipped to Europe by ship. Submarines were stalking these ships everyday.

For some reason when I thought of that slogan, it came out "Loose lips SYNC ships." Barry Manilow had a hit record titled "Ships." My imagination started to run wild. I invisioned Barry having throat trouble just before one of his Las Vegas shows. So he had to lip-sync his hit. The next morning the Las Vegas newpaper headline was, "LOOSE LIPS SYNCS SHIPS."

Is that weird or what?

Thanks to everybody to took the test. And thanks to Wikipedia for providing me with some fantastic background on my guests. What a great site to get instant information.

Want more tests?

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 23, 2007

H A I R S P R A Y ?

Sorry for being so negligent in keeping this blog up, but I have been working on the “My Name is Lloyd Thaxton – So What” DVD. Finding just the right material takes a lot of viewing time. The good news is that we’ve managed to put the rough cut together and are now in the music clearance phase of the project.

I've attached a picture (above) that illustrates one way a show is put together. The bits are put on 3x5 cards, pinned to a cork board, and are then switched around to create a well-rounded presentation. I’ve rubbed out some of the routines on the cards. Two reasons: (1) I want it to be a surprise (2) Some music might not clear and we will have to pull the song out. I’m biting my knuckles over this. I don’t want to have to cut ANYTHING.

For those who aren’t aware of music clearance, all the music that was licensed to use for the show 40 years ago, has to be licensed again for this “new media” (DVDs were not around in the 60s). We have to get two licensing permits for each song: one from the publisher (music rights) and one from the record company (sync rights). Both licensing fees have to be negotiated for each song. The biggest problem (besides the cost) is getting to the right people and getting answers back (Remember, over 40 years has gone by). There are over 26 complete songs on the DVD. This process takes a lot of time and effort, but we are gaining on it. The target date is still set for October 2007.

The good thing about this phase is that it has given us time to screen a 30 minute version for friends, relatives, and anyone else who will give us 30 minutes of their life. This gives us feed back to see if we are on the right track. One thing that thrills all of us is the reception we have been receiving from the 20-something group; People who were not around when the show aired. It’s very satisfying to know that they don't see it as something scraped up out of the past. It holds up. They laugh and applaud at all the right places. That means that all you wonderful Baby Boomers out there can show it to your own kids and proudly proclaim, "That's what I watched as a kid."

One interesting comment we get from the younger crowd is “Why is everybody lip-syncing? What is the point of that?” We explain that this was before the MTV revolution. There were no music videos in the 60s, so artist had to lip-sync their records on dance shows all across the country. James Brown once tabbed me, “The Godfather of Music Videos.” Meaning that the show did more than just have people dance to the music, or have recording artists lip-sync
their hits. The kids on the Lloyd Thaxton Show made the music visual by lip-syncing the hits themselves, or by being supplied instruments so they could actually "air-guitar” the music and make the music entertaining to WATCH; just what a music video tries to do. Most of the younger crowd who asked the lip-sync question didn’t realize that, even when MTV came on the scene, the artists on their music videos were, you got it, LIP-SYNCING.

There is ONE BIG DISAPPOINTMENT in the timing of all this. I can’t help but wish that the Lloyd Thaxton Show DVD was ready to go RIGHT NOW. I mean ... Look what just opened in theaters all across the country ...

Wouldn’t it have been fantastic if the MNILTSWDVD and HAIRSPRAY had been released on the same day? HAIRSPRAY is not only a smash hit with great reviews (Starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, and a fantastic cast of talented dancers and actors), it’s all about those fabulous dance shows of the 60s. That would have been a marketing dream. Damn!

Well, let’s face it, it's too late for that. However, here is how we can still make it work. All you Mouse Cliquers go see HAIRSPRAY, OK? In fact, see it several times. Then buy the HAIRSPRAY DVD when it comes out and view that several more times. That way you will all be ready and eager when THE REAL THING comes out in October.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 06, 2007


******EDITED BLOG******

All you Mouse Cliquers did well on my CELEBRITY IDENTIFICATION test. However, as expected, no one identified all eleven. I'm going to identify them under each picture. Please do not forget these talented people again. If you do choose to forget them, it will make me a little queezy about my own survival.

If you can't wait to find out, scroll down FAST.

This is me, Lloyd

When I was a kid my mother warned me that if I kept crossing my eyes, they would someday stick like that. I didn't believe her. I kept testing her theory. Much to my mother's relief, my eyes did not stick. However, they did get me my own TV show.

It has always been my way to not completely trust the claims of others. When I was producing "Fight Back! with David Horowitz" on NBC, we were always putting commercial claims to the test. These tests and the results were mainly the reason for the shows success. Unless you are a high school student, people love tests.

That brings me to the test I was conducting in my last Blog. I wanted to see if I just MENTIONED the name of Paris Hilton, how many people would automatically find my blog by just googling her name. I did this even though I was advised it was a stupid test. They were right. I didn't get one result.

Paris Hilton has 75,000,000 mentions on Google. Combined with the fact that Paris is also one of the most beautiful and famous cities in the world, and Hilton is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, AND one of their hotels is called THE PARIS HILTON, it is easy to see why my test got lost in this crowded mass. It would be an interesting test to find out if any of her fans ever made it a goal to stay at the Paris Hilton.


Are you ready for another test?


The Lloyd Thaxton Record Shop ran five days a week (sometimes seven) for three years on KCOP in Los Angeles. It was the forerunner to The Lloyd Thaxton Show and we did close to a thousand one hour programs. They were all live, never taped and are lost forever. That is except for eleven photos I found in a trunk in my garage (I have no idea who took these picture or why more were not taken).

I would like to share them with you to see how many of these celebrities you are able to recognize . At the time, the late 50s and early 60s, they represented some very influential people in music and entertainment. THIS IS A TEST!

I'm going to display the pictures to find out how many you can identify. Some are quite easy. Others are not. Have fun.

A legend. A great satirist of popular music. A writer/producer of off-the-wall commercials. A famous cartoon voice. My favorite recording of his: “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”

Married to actor Charles Laughton. Made many movies but is best remembered for her role as the monster's wife in Bride of Frankenstein (1935). She was a great guest. Told all kinds of funny intimate stories about Charles Laughton.

#1 jazz pianist in the 50s. Wrote the song "Misty" (lyrics added by Johnny Burke). Misty was a pop hit for five different artists between 1959 and 1975. In 1971 Garner re-recorded "Misty" for the Clint Eastwood directorial debut, "Play Misty For Me." One of my all-time favorite guests. Besides being on The Record Shop, his live jazz performances wowed the kids on "The Lloyd Thaxton Show."

Maureen's first love was always singing. In 1960 she starred on Broadway in the musical "Christine" and released two successful recordings, Love Letters from Maureen O'Hara and Maureen O'Hara Sings her Favorite Irish Songs. Once named one of the world's most beautiful women, O'Hara's beautiful face and thick red hair blowing in the wind as she waves from a gate in the John Ford's Academy Award winning film "How Green Was My Valley" will remain one of the most iconic images ever preserved on film. I think I was in love with her.

In 1955 he recorded the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard magazine's popular music charts: "Autumn Leaves." While many other records of this song have been made since it was composed in 1945 by the composer Joseph Kosma, Roger Williams' version is easily the best known and most played. In 1966 he had another Top Ten hit with the song "Born Free" from the motion picture soundtrack of the same name. Also became a favorite guest on the LTS. He even gave me a practice piano keyboard so I could better learn to finger-sync his records.

Known for his suave manner, Barry starred on television in Our Miss Brooks, Bat Masterson, The Name of the Game, and Burke's Law (for which he won a golden globe). Take it from me, he did have a suave manner.

BILL DANA (on the left)
In the NBC sitcom The Bill Dana Show (1963-65), a spin-off of "The Danny Thomas Show," his José Jiménez character became a bumbling bellhop at a posh New York hotel. His snooty, irritable boss was played by Jonathan Harris. The cast also included Don Adams as a hopelessly inept house detective (an early incarnation of what was to become his "Maxwell Smart" character on Get Smart). Bill produced the ABC "Milton Berle Show" in the 60s and booked me as a guest.

BARNEY KESSEL (on the right)
GREAT JAZZ GUITARIST OF THE 50s and 60s and a famous studio musician who played on 100s of top recorded hits.

Star of 35 Films, 8 Hit records and married to Cyd Charisse (what a life). Tony is 95 years old today and still performing (That's because he's married to Cyd Charisse).

He is Jerry Lewis

Composed music for over 200 TV and feature films as diverse as True Grit, Walk on the Wild side, My Left Foot, Animal House and To Till A Mocking Bird. He was nominated 10 times for an Oscar and won for “Thoroughly Modern Millie." Another frequent guest. I loved movie score composers. Made for great behind the scene stories.

Composed the music for 100s of movies, like The High and the Mighty (1954), Giant (1956), Friendly Persuasion (1956), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Rio Bravo (1959), The Alamo (1960), The Guns of Navarone (1961), Town Without Pity (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), The War Wagon (1967), and many more. A real Hollywood character. I was fortunate to be one of his table guest when he won the Golden Globe for "The Guns of Navarone."

Hope you all enjoyed the test. I'll try to think up some more.

Stay tuned