Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nativity Scene


I actually shot that a year ago, but thought this Nativity Scene may be a good start for a photo blog. 

Ich habe mir gedacht, dass dies ein gutes Bild sein koennte um meinen Photo-Blog zu starten, obwohl ich dieses Bild vor einem Jahr schoss. 

Nativity Scene


I actually shot that a year ago, but thought this Nativity Scene may be a good start for a photo blog. And yeah I used this pic this year in a blog. 

Ich habe mir gedacht, dass dies ein gutes Bild sein koennte um meinen Photo-Blog zu starten, obwohl ich dieses Bild vor einem Jahr schoss. Aber es diente mir dieses Jahr in einem Blog. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Saenger Chadd Thomas' Todesursache unklar


Nach verschiedenen Presseberichten von Austin Medien, so unter anderem des Austin American Statesman und der Fernsehstation KVUE, wird die Todesursache des Rockabilly Saengers Chadd Thomas vom Travis County Gerichtsmediziner nun als "unklar" bezeichnet. 

Thomas' Leiche wurde am 11. Juli dieses Jahres (2011) unweit seines Hauses entdeckt und war urspruenglich als Mord klassifiziert worden. Bereits drei Tage nach seinem Tod, meldete die lokale Fernsehstation KXAN, dass der charismatische Saenger in drei Auseinandersetzungen verwicklet war. 


Nach den heutigen Meldungen, kam der Gerichtsmediziner zum Schluss, dass die Todesursache wegen der drei Auseinandersetzungen nicht mit Genauigkeit festgestellt werden koenne. Die drei Vorfaelle schliessen neben zwei Taetlichkeiten, auch ein unbeabsichtiges Anfahren eines Autos, dass von einer Bekannten von Thomas gefahren wurde, ein. 

Laut den Meldungen gehe die Untersuchung allerdings weiter und schliesse die Moeglichkeit fuer andere Strafanzeigen, wie Koepferverletzung nicht aus. 

Chadd Thomas' Death Not a Homocide


According to the Austin American Statesman and KVUE, the death of Austin rockabilly musician Chadd Thomas was reclassified by the Travis County Medical Examiner as "undetermined."

Thomas' body was discovered on July 11th, 2011 off South Congress Avenue and was originally ruled a homicide through blunt forced trauma. But already three days after his death, local TV station KXAN reported that the charismatic singer has been involved in at least three separate incidents on the day of his death. 


The Medical Examiner was, according to several sources "unable to determine which of these incidents would've cause Thomas' death." The incidents include being accidentally hit by a car, driven by someone Chadd knew, a second altercation at a party and probably a third one where his body was later found. 

"The investigation continues", and "the change in classification does not exclude the possibility of other criminal charges (like aggravated assault) being filed." 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wynonna Judd and Cactus Moser engaged


Wynonna Judd and Cactus Moser got engaged on December, 24th (2011), according to Nashville PR Agency "Webster & Associates." Wynonna, daugher of the famous mother-daughter duos, The Judds and Highway 101 drummer Scott "Cactus" Moser are presently touring together as Wynonna and The Big Noise. 

I don't know how, Wynonna told mother Naomi, that she is engaged again. Maybe she used the lyrics of the Kenny O'Dell ("Behind Closed Doors") penned and first Judds nummer one hit "Mama He's Crazy."


Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn) and Don Cook are the writers of "Who's Lonely Now," the last nummer-one hit (12/30/89 - yep this week 22 years ago) for the quartett Highway 101 before lead singer Paulette Carlson quit the band and was replaced by Nikki Nelson. Cactus is pounding the felts in this video.



Big Noise, the new band behind Wynonna had it's debut on November, 27 of this year at Lindsley Bar & Grill in Nashville. Some amateur clips of this rockin' show can be found on youtube.
Cactus' son Wyatt also could celebrate a debut when I was allowed to sit in with the band.

Wynonna Judd & Cactus Moser verlobt


Wynonna Judd und Cactus Moser haben sich am 24. Dezember verlobt, dies teilte die Nashville PR-Agentur "Webster & Associates" mit. Wynonna, Tochter des bekannten Mutter-Tochter Duos The Judds und Highway 101 Schlagzeuger Scott "Cactus" Moser sind im Moment gemeinsam als Wynonna und The Big Noise auf Tournee. 

Ich weiss nicht, wie Wynonna, Mutter Naomi mitteilte, dass sie nun wieder verlobt ist, vielleicht zitierte sie den ersten Nummer-Eins Hit der Judds, das von Kenny O'Dell ("Behind Closed Doors") geschriebene "Mama He's Crazy".


Das von Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn) und Don Cook verfasste "Who's Lonely Now" war diese Woche vor 22 Jahren (12/30/89) der letzte Nummer-Eins Erfolg fuer das Quartett Highway 101. Ein Jahr spaeter verliess Lead-Saengerin Paulette Carlson die Band und wurde durch Nikki Nelson ersetzt.



Big Noise, die neue Begleit-Band fuer Wynonna wurde am 27. November 2011 in Lindsley Bar & Grill in Nashville vorgestellt. Einige Amateur-Clips der recht rockigen Show finden sich auf youtube.
Mit von der Partie war auch Cactus' Sohn Wyatt, der dort sein Debut gab.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Honky Tonk Christmas


Well - Christmas and Honky Tonkin' normally just don't go hand in hand, sin and salvation just don't mix, it's like water and oil. But the tradition is deep-rooted, and many a Honky Tonk singer, recorded gospel and/or Christmas albums as well. It almost has a catholic feel to it; go confess your sins, mumble some prayers, do some rosaries and you may be forgiven.
Whatever - Michael ONeill posted a great little ditty on my facebook page called "Beer Can Christmas Tree (visit this site for a free download)." What a great idea and concept, and as you can see above it takes quite some work to achieve the task of building (emptying) an aluminum pyramid aka "Beer Can Christmas Tree."
Well Michael allowed me in writing to share his song (with collaboration by Jimmy Baldwin) with y'all.


Well Honky Tonks are normally closed on Christmas Day as the majority of patrons stuff themselves with a 3500 calorie meal containing an amino acid called L-tryptophan and enough booze, wine and beer which puts them to immediate sleep and out of reach of any beer serving joint. The ones which are open may also attract the loners who want to share just one too many tears in their beers. Hank Williams recorded a song with that name in the early 50s but decided to not release it. Son Hank Jr. used  electronic merging technology and it seems as he would be playing with dad. That video was released in 1989 and was awarded the Video of the Year by the Country Music Association (CMA), it's Californian counterpart the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and they were able to "share" a Grammy as "Best Country Vocal Collaboration."



Well there is not much of a loner crowd in one of Austin's fav Honky Tonks on Christmas night. For years one of Austin's favorite Honky Tonkers, Dale Watson invites the "aamasses on Christmas into the Continental Club to celebrate, you guessed it a "Honky Tonk Christmas." Well my international readers in Europe should visit his tour page, in early 2012, he has shows coming up in Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, The Netherlands and France.


And now please eschcuse me, I gottttaaa wourk on miy Beer Can Chrischmasch tree. Happy Holidays y'all.
Well I had to add one more, I used to play the heck out of that Mickey Gilley song, when I was a DJ at the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. Cheers everybody!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Early Bilie Jo Spears - pure Honky Tonk

You may have looked for an update for my blog "Honky Tonk Daily," well the daily part gotta a bit streched as I was writing two obits for Billie Jo Spears.

The obits are done: in English and in German, so lets feature that Texas girl in this Honky Tonk blog as well. Her early stuff on Capitol Reocrds, was a pure delight for the traditional country fan, a lot of steel guitar and/or dobro, simple arrangements, just pure boot-scootin' on sawdust - what a bliss.

Some of the stuff, which didn't make my obit (mein Nachruf) is featured here.







There are also some gems on United Artist, like the sassy little ditty "Never Did Like Whiskey." Even though it sounds like eons apart from her earlier recordings her voice dominates over the Countrypolitan arrangement, label boss Larry Butler put behind her recordings. If you want to read the full obit I wrote visit the link above.

Nachruf fuer Billie Jo Spears

Im Alter von 74 Jahren verstarb am Mittwoch Morgen (14.12.2011) die Country-Musik Sängerin, Billie Jo Spears im Alter von 74 Jahren in der Nähe von Houston an den Folgen von Krebs.


Billie Jos Karriere kann in drei Phasen eingeteilt werden: eine erste, in der ihr vorwiegend eine Rolle als Honky Tonk Sängerin zugeordnet wurde, eine zweite in der sie von modernern "städtischen" Countryklängen begleitet, ihren grössten und einzigen Nummer-Eins-Hit "Blanket On The Ground" feiern konnte, und musikalisch bishin zu einer Neuaufnahme des Gloria Gaynor Hits" I Will Survive" expandierte. Die dritte Phase war meist als nostalgischer Pop-Country Akt, in Europa und in Branson, Missouri, wo sie ihre alten Hits und berühmte Cover Songs zum Besten gab.


Die frühen Jahre


In seinem Email zum Tode von Spears, schrieb Doug Davis von Country Music Classics, "sie war die Tochter eines Lastwagenfahrers. Ihre Mutter war Schweisserin in den Werften und eine Gitarristin in der Western Swing Band, "Light Crust Doughboys".
Geboren wurdes sie als Billie Jean Spears in Beaumont (Texas) am 14. Januar 1937. Dreizehnjährig begann sie professionell zu singen und war Teil eines Festivals im Keel Auditorium in Houston. Mit der Hilfe des berühmten Liederschreiber und Talentsuchers Jack Rhodes ("Satisfied Mind"), landete sie in der legendären "Louisiana Hayride" Radio-Show in Shreveport und erlangte dadurch einen Vertrag mit der Plattenfirma Abbott Records (für die auch Johnny Horton und Jim Reeves aufnahmen). Eine erste Single (geschrieben von Rhodes) "Too Old For Toys Too Young For Boys" wurde unter dem Namen Billie Jean Moore 1953 veröffentlicht. Nach Colin Larkin in der Encyclopedia of Popular Music, verdiente sie mit dieser ersten Aufnahme 4'200 Dollar.
Rhodes und Steel-Gitarrist Pete Drake überzeugten sie nach Nashville zu ziehen, wo sie mit United Artist Records 1964 einen Vertrag unterschrieb, aber keine ihrer Songs gelang der Einzug in die Hitparade. Als ihr Produzent, Kelso Herston zu Capitol Records wechselte, folgte sie ihm und sie begann erste, kleinere Hits zu verbuchen und endlich gelang es ihr mit dem von Gene Crysler verfassten Lied "Mr. Walker It's All Over" in die Top-Ten (#4) der Country Hitparade vorzustossen.



Ihren ersten Top-Ten Erfolg über eine emanzipierten Sekretärin, die kündigt und ihrem Boss sexuelle Belästigung vorwirft, folgte sie mit der Dallas Frazier Komposition "Stepchild" (#43), über ein missbrauchtes Stiefkind, das schlussendlich den Stiefvater umbringt. Andere Lieder, die Probleme anprangerten, waren "Pittsburg General" (erneut aus der Feder von Crysler), in dem sie das Los einer Krankenschwester besingt, und das von Walter Woodward verfasste "Marty Gray" über eine Schwangerschaft eines Teenagers.









Obwohl einige der Songs eher anomal waren, wie das von Doris Hamilton / Ann C. Kiker verfasste "Get Behind Me Satan And Push" waren die musikalischen Arrangements durchaus traditionell. Country Music: The Rough Guide meinte, dass Billie Jo's kecke Stimme an Loretta Lynns Stil erinnern würde. Aber Spears war nicht die einzige, die so schubladisiert wurde, hört Euch etwa Jeannie C. Rileys Hit "Harper Valley P.T.A." oder etliche andere Songs von Sängerinnen der späten 60er Jahre an.
1976 in einem Interview mit Jack Hurst für seine Kolumne, wurde Billie Jo Spears wie folgt zitiert: "All diese anomalen Songs machten mir Angst, ich wollte nicht in eine gewisse Rolle gezwängt werden." Zu dieser Zeit war es für eine Sängerin immer noch schwer sich in der dominanten Männerwelt zu behaupten. "Die Leute waren sich gewohnt Loretta oder Tammy Wynette mit ihren Balladen anzuhören. Aber wir anderen, auch wenn die Aufnahmen noch so gut waren, stiessen auf taube Ohren, die Leute wollten nur Loretta und Tammy."
Hier ist ein Beispiel einer Ballade, die es verdient gehabt hätte, zum Hit zu werden, das von Jack Rhodes verfasste "Home Loving Man" aus Billie Jo Spears erstem Album "The Voice Of Billie Jo Spears."



1970 war sie Teil des "Capitol Country Caravans" (Künstler von der gleichen Plattenfirma auf Tournee) und tourte zum ersten Mal durch Europa. Und obwohl sie immer noch Songs in der Hitparade hatte, begann ihr erster Ruhm zu verblassen. Zudem musste sie zweimal wegen Stimmbandproblemen operiert werden, um Knötchen und Polypen zu entfernen.


Die Hit-Jahre


1975 wechselte Herston zurück zu United Artist und nahm sie, nachdem sie sich vollständig erholt hatte, unter Vertrag. Kurz darauf wurde er allerdings vom Produzenten und Plattenboss Larry Butler ersetzt. Dieser wechselte Spears' Material und verordnete einen mehr städtischen (Countrypolitan or Nashville) Sound. Butler war mit dieser Mischung auch mit Dottie West, Crystal Gayle, Jean Sheperd und Kenny Rogers erfolgreich.


Eine erste vom Pop-Sänger Bobby Goldsboro verfasste Single "See The Funny Little Clown", brachte sie in die Charts zurück.  Ein Jahr spaeter konnte Billie Jo, mit dem von Roger Bowling geschriebenen "Blanket On The Ground"  - trotz ihrer ursprünglichen Weigerung den Song aufzunehmen - ihren ersten und einzigen Nummer-Eins Erfolg feiern. Der Erfolg schwappte auch über den Atlantik und gab ihr gar ihren ersten Top-Ten Hit (#6) in der britischen Hitparade. (Die hier gezeigte Live-Version wurde 1979 in der Wembley Arena ausserhalb von London aufgezeichnet.)



In den nächsten acht Jahren erreichte sie die Top-40 der Country-Hitparade 19 mal und war eine der beständigsten Country Künstlerinnen der späten 70er Jahre. Mit "What I've Got In Mind" (Kenny O'Dell) und "Misty Blue" erreichte Billie Jo die Top-5; letzterer war von Bob Montgomery ursprünglich für Brenda Lee komponiert worden, sie lehnte ab, Wilma Burgess hatte einen ersten Hit (#4/66) damit. "If You Want Me" (#8/77) war Billie Jos letzter Top-10 Hit. Und obwohl die Arrangements nun mehr pop-orientiert waren, behielt sie ihre vom Texas Twang geprägte, schmollende Stimme und gewann 1976 den Most Promising Female Vocalist Preis (vielversprechendste Saengerin) von der Acadamy of Country Music (ACM).



Einige der anderen Songs, die sie für UA aufnahm und mit denen sie in der Hitparade landete, waren "Stay Away From The Apple Tree (#20/75)", "Silver Wings And Golden Rings (#20/75)", "Sing Me An Old Fashioned Song" (erschien nur in der britischen Hitparade),  "Too Much Is Not Enough (#18/77)", "Lonely Hearts Club (#18/77)", "'57 Chevrolet (#16/78)" und gar eine Neuaufnahme des Gloria Gaynor Klassikers "I Will Survive (#21/79)."
Mit Del Reeves nahm sie 1976 auch ein Duett-Album "By Request" auf, die einzige Single "On The Rebound" (wr. by Larry Atwood/Charlie Craig) aus diesem Album, erreichte Platz #29 in der Hitparade.



Dank ihrer starken, kecken Stimme und ihrem resoluten Auftreten, nahm Spears kaum Material auf, das die Frau in der Opferrolle sah.  Sie stand mit beiden Füssen auf dem Boden, wenn sie Lieder, wie "Never Did Like Whiskey (#18/76)" "I'm Not Easy (#11/77)", "I've Got To Go (#17/78)", "Standing Tall (#15/79)" und eine Neuaufname des Tammy Wynette Hits "Your Good Girl Is Gonna Be Bad (Glenn Sutton/Billy Sherrill)" aufnahm.



In späteren Jahren


"Your Good Girl's Gonna Be Bad" war Spears letzter Top-20 Hit im Jahre 1981, danach trennte sie sich von United Artist. Zuweilen spielte sie für kleinere, unabhängige Plattenfirmen, einige davon gar in Grossbritannien und Irland, Alben ein. Intensiv begann sie auch in Europa zu touren, war mehrmals beim, von Mervyn Conn geschaffenen "International Festivals of Country Music" zu Gast. Über die 23jährige Laufgeschichte und dank der Expansion des Festivals ins damals noch kommunistische Polen, in die skandinavischen Laender Schweden und Finnland, sowie nach Deutschland und in die Schweiz, wurde sie zu einem bewunderten Star. Dass sie oft sehr umgänglich war, sich mit ihren Fans traf, um Schnappschüsse zu machen oder Autogramme zu geben, machte sie zu einem Publikumsfavoriten in Europa. .
Einige ihrer europäischen Alben wurden gar am Fernsehen massen-vermarktet und die Alben bei Firmen wie Prism Leisure, EMI Gold, K-Tel oder Platinum waren oft Kompilationen ihrer eigenen Hits sowie Neueinspielungen von Hits anderer Künstler wie Buffy Sainte-Marie, James Taylor, Peggy Lee, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton und Lynn Anderson, um nur einige zu nennen.
Fast sämtliche Live-Videos in diesem Blog stammen aus Europa, wo es Billie Jo Spears gelang, eine anhängliche Fan-Gemeinde aufrecht zu erhalten. In den 90er Jahren wurde sie vom britischen Magazin Country Music People gar als "Queen Mother of Country Music" (Königinmutter) bezeichnet.
Die beiden folgenden Clips mit Aufnahmen einiger ihrer früheren Hits stammen aus TV Shows in Grossbritannien und Irland - "What I've Got In Mind" und "'57 Chevrolet." Den letzten Clip nahm sie vor zwei Jahren auf.






Erneut war sie, mit der irischen Country Sängerin Philomena Begley, auch dieses Jahr in Grossbritannien unterwegs. Fuer nächsten Mai (2012) war ebenfalls eine  Tournee unter dem Begriff "Ladies of Country" in mehrere Staedte geplant. Mit von der Partie sollte auch Jeannie C. Riley ("Harper Valley P.T.A."), die irische Country Sängerin Sandy Kelly und die englische Steel-Gitarristin Sarah Jory sein.
Eine Übersicht zu den Plattenaufnahmen von Billie Jo Spears findet man in dieser Diskographie. Spears war fünfmal verheiratet. Angaben zur Beerdigung, sind beim Verfasssen dieses Artikels noch nicht vorhanden.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Country Singer Billie Jo Spears has died

Yesterday morning (12/14/11), country singer Billie Jo Spears passed away at her home in Vidor, northeast of Houston at the age of 74. The cause of her death was cancer.

Billie Jo's career can pretty much summed up into three phases, a frist one where she was typecast as a Honky Tonk singer, a second one where she sang behind "Countrypolitan" arrangements, having her biggest and only number one hit "Blanket On The Ground" and reaching as far out as doing a cover of the Gloria Gaynor hit "I Will Survive" and a third one abroad and in Branson as a nostalgic pop-country act, mostly singing her hits and other famous cover songs.

The early years

According to Doug Davis' (countrymusicclassics.com) email, "she was the daughter of a truck driver father. Her mother was a welder in the shipyards, as well as a guitarist in the Light Crust Doughboys western-swing band."
Born as Billie Jean Spears in Beaumont on January 14, 1937, she began singing professionally when she was only 13 years old, being part of an all-star country concert at Houston's Keel Auditorium. With the help of famous songwriter and talent-scout Jack Rhodes ("Satisfied Mind"), she began performing at the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH in Shreveport and was able to secure a recording contract with Abbott Records (onetime home of Johnny Horton and Jim Reeves). A first single (penned by Rhodes) "Too Old For Toys Too Young For Boys" was released under the name Billie Jean Moore in 1953. According to Colin Larkin in the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, that recording earned her $4,200.
Rhodes and steel guitarist Pete Drake convinced her to move to Nashville, where she signed with United Artist Records in 1964, but none of her singles charted. After following her producer Kelso Herston to Capitol Records she started to have minor hits and finally cracked the top-10 (#4) of the country charts with 1969's, the Gene Crysler penned "Mr. Walker It's All Over."


She followed her first top-10 hit about an emancipated secretary with the Dallas Frazier composition "Stepchild" (#43), about an abuse victim. Other issue songs were "Pittsburg General" (again penned by Crysler), where she sings about working as a nurse, and the Walter Woodward composition "Marty Gray" about a teenage pregnancy.






Even though several where novelty songs, like the Doris Hamilton / Ann C. Kiker penned ditty "Get Behind Me Satan And Push," the arrangements were still mostly traditional. According to Country Music: The Rough Guide, Billie Jo's sassy vocals evoke Loretta's singing style. Spears wouldn't be the only one, who was pigeonholed like that, listen to Jeannie C. Riley's hit "Harper Valley P.T.A.," or any other female country singer in the late 60's.
In a 1976 interview with Jack Hurst for his syndicated column, Billie Jo Spears is quoted "All those novelty songs scared me. I didn't want to be typecast" It was still difficult for a female artist to establish herself. "People were only used to Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette singing and selling ballads. A lot of the rest of us recorded them, and sometimes they were great records, but people weren't used to anybody singing them except Loretta and Tammy."
Here's an example, of what could have been a hit, the Jack Rhodes composition "Home Loving Man" of her debut album.


In 1970 she was part of the Capitol Country Caravan and toured for the first time in Europe,  though still charting minor hits, she started to fade away and then had to undergo vocal-cord surgery twice to remove nodules and polyps.


The Hit Years

In 1975, Herston moved back to United Artist and resigned her after she fully recovered from her vocal problems. He was quickly replaced by producer/label head Larry Butler who started using more "countrypolitan" sounds and compositions with Spears. Butler also did this and often used the same studio musicians with the careers of Dottie West, Crystal Gayle, Jean Shepard and Kenny Rogers.

A first single, written by Bobby Goldsboro established her back in the charts.  A year later Billie Jo Spears could celebrate her only number-one hit in the country charts, with the Roger Bowling written "Blanket On The Ground," even though she first refused to record it and had to be talked into it by Butler. The success of the song also crossed over the ocean and scored Spears a first top-10 (#6) in the UK charts. (Here in a live version from London's Wembley Arena in 1979.)


In the next eight years she would reach the country top-40 19 times being one of the most consistent female country singers of the late 70's. With both "What I've Got In Mind" (Kenny O'Dell) and "Misty Blue", the Bob Montgomery composition - orignally written for Brenda Lee, who refused it, then made into a hit (#4/66) by Wilma Burgess - Billie Jo reached the number-5 spot, "If You Want Me" (#8/77) was her last top-ten hit. Even though her arrangements were more pop-oriented, she kept her sulky, Texas twang and in 1976 won the Acadamy of Country Music (ACM), Most Promising Female Vocalist award.


Some other songs she recorded for UA and charted with, were "Stay Away From The Apple Tree (#20/75)," "Silver Wings (#20/75)," "Sing Me An Old Fashioned Song" (which charted only in the UK),  "Too Much Is Not Enough (#18/77)," "Lonely Hearts Club (#18/77)," "'57 Chevrolet (#16/78)" and even a remake of Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive (#21/79)."
In 1976 she also recorded a duet album with Del Reeves "By Request" with "On The Rebound" (wr. by Larry Atwood/Charlie Craig) being the only single that charted (#29).


Partly due to the spark and sass in her vocals, her feisty demeanor Spears songs rarely included female "victim" material. She stood her ground as a strong "fightin'" woman with "Never Did Like Whiskey (#18/76)," "I'm Not Easy (#11/77)," "I've Got To Go (#17/78)," "Standing Tall (#15/79)" upto a remake of Glenn Sutton/Billy Sherrill's penned Tammy Wynette hit "Your Good Girl Is Gonna Be Bad."


Later Years

After "Your Good Girl's Gonna Be Bad" was Spears last Top-20 in 1981, United Artist and Spears went separated ways. She occasionally recorded for independent labels, usually based in the UK or Ireland and began to extensively tour overseas, appearing several times at the International Festivals of Country Music, promoted by "music-man" Mervyn Conn. He even expanded the festival and therefore Billie Jo's career into at - that point still communist - Poland, into the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Finland, as well as into Germany and Switzerland. The fact that she was easily approachable and would meet with her fans, to take pictures or sign autographs, made her a public favorite all over Europe.
. Some of the albums were even mass-marketed through TV and labels like Prism Leisure, EMI Gold, K-Tel or Platinum were often a compilation of her own hits and cover songs, the latter as diverse as re-recordings of hits by Buffy Sainte-Marie, James Taylor, Peggy Lee, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton and Lynn Anderson, just to name a few.
As you may have seen, almost all of the live clips are from overseas, where Billie Jo was able to sustain an affectionate fan-base. In the 1990's British magazine Country Music People even tagged her as the "Queen Mother of Country Music."
The two following clips are two of her earlier hits from later TV shows in the UK and Ireland - "What I've Got In Mind" and "'57 Chevrolet." The latter one was recorded two years ago.  



Touring earlier this year in the UK, with Irish country singer Philomena Begley, Spears was up for another multi-city visit overseas, billed as the "Ladies of Country" together with Jeannie C. Riley ("Harper Valley P.T.A."), in May of next year. Irish country singer Sandy Kelly and English steel guitar prodigy Sarah Jory was planned for next May (2012). Here's a link to her US discography. Spears was married five times, funeral arrangements are pending.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Honky Tonk Moon

Yesterday's lunar eclipse triggered the title "Honky Tonk Moon" back into my memories.

And was I glad to find a live recording of this song, as far as I know, there was never a video released with it.
It was Randy Travis' seventh number #1 Hit in the "Billboard Hot Country Songs" chart and was on top of the charts on October 8, 1988. The song itself, written by Dennis O'Rourke (more about the writer after the video), was the opener from Randy's 3rd WB album "Old 8x10."

 

I actually saw and interviewed Travis two years earlier in Nuernberg, Germany, in December of 1986 while he was on a USO tour of American bases in Europe. There was finally a voice that brought the traditional country sound back.

As to the writer, Dennis O'Rourke; after sailing on freighters and tankers in the Far East as a Merchant Marine, living and performing in Ireland and getting a dual-citizenship, he moved back to the USA and started to perform full-time and recorded a first album. A DJ advised him to move to Nashville and after several years of pitching songs, Randy Travis decided to record "Honky Tonk Moon." Music copyright company BMI awarded him with two awards. Here is O'Rourke doing his own take on "Honky Tonk Moon" - recorded in October of 1993.



A second album followed in the mid-nineties, with fellow Irish entertainers, he wrote and edited "Clean Cabbage In The Bucket - And Other Tales From The Irish Music Trenches."
He still writes music and short-fiction, and had a song placed in the award-nominated documentary "Megamall" for which he wrote the opening song "Anywhere USA." According to his website, a new album is in the works.

I also found a Czech version of  "Honky Tonk Moon" by country-singer Radek Tomáše with his own lyrical adaption as "Kymácivý měsíc."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Neuer Honky Tonk Blog


In regelmaessig, unregelmaesiger Folge werde ich hier auch Blogs posten, die ich unter der Rubrik Honky Tonk (einen englisch-sprachigen Link, findet Ihr unten an der Seite) veroeffentliche.
Diese Blogs werden in erster Linie Links zu interessanten Videos aufzeigen, die im nahen oder entfernten mit dem Begriff "Honky Tonk" zu tun haben. In einem der naechsten Blogs werde ich sicherlich erklaeren, was ein "Honky Tonk" ist.


Um den Blog zu starten, habe ich bewusst, einer der Vaeter der Honky Tonk Musik, Hank Williams auserkoren, hier ist sein "Honky Tonkin'"



"Honky Tonkin'" war Williams zweiter groesserer Hit, erreicht Platz 14 im Jahre 1948. Auf dieser in Grossbritannien veroeffentlichten EP (Extended Play) befinden sich auch andere Juwelen, die Williams in seinen fruehen Jahren fuer Sterling eingespielt hat, so "Howlin' At The Moon", "I Ain't Got Nothin' But Time" und "You Better Keep It On Your Mind."

Den Original englischen Blog koennt Ihr hier finden:

Honky Tonkin - HTD001


In regelmaessig, unregelmaesiger Folge werde ich hier auch Blogs posten, die ich unter der Rubrik Honky Tonk (einen englisch-sprachigen Link, findet Ihr unten an der Seite) veroeffentliche.
Diese Blogs werden in erster Linie Links zu interessanten Videos aufzeigen, die im nahen oder entfernten mit dem Begriff "Honky Tonk" zu tun haben. In einem der naechsten Blogs werde ich sicherlich erklaeren, was ein "Honky Tonk" ist.


Um den Blog zu starten, habe ich bewusst, einer der Vaeter der Honky Tonk Musik, Hank Williams auserkoren, hier ist sein "Honky Tonkin'"



"Honky Tonkin'" war Williams zweiter groesserer Hit, erreicht Platz 14 im Jahre 1948. Auf dieser in Grossbritannien veroeffentlichten EP (Extended Play) befinden sich auch andere Juwelen, die Williams in seinen fruehen Jahren fuer Sterling eingespielt hat, so "Howlin' At The Moon", "I Ain't Got Nothin' But Time" und "You Better Keep It On Your Mind."

Den Original englischen Blog koennt Ihr hier finden:

Honky Tonkin'

This is a start of a regular, unregular or in better words, unregular, regular blog about all the aspects of Honky Tonks, it's music and it's patrons. In one of the future editions I will try to explain what a Honky Tonk is or what it has become over the years.

Just to start the blog, let's use Hank Williams' "Honky Tonkin'"



"Honky Tonkin'" was Williams second big hit, reaching #14 in 1948. Also on this British released EP are "Howlin' At The Moon," "I Ain't Got Nothin' But Time" and "You Better Keep It On Your Mind."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Pulp Fiction" in chronologischer Reihenfolge

"Crimewriter95" hat sich Quentin Tarantinos 1994 Film "Pulp Fiction" angenommen und den Film neu in chronologischer Reihenfolge geschnitten.



Beeilt Euch, es ist nicht klar, wie lange dieses Projekt auf youtube erhaeltlich sein wird.

Wie Jules so schoen sagte: "Der Pfad der Gerechten ist zu beiden Seiten mit Freveleien der Selbstsuechtigen und der Tyrannei boeser Maenner gesaeumt. Gesegnet sei der, der im Namen der Barmherzigkeit und des guten Willens die Schwachen durch das Tal der Dunkelheit fuehren. Denn er ist der wahre Hueter seines Bruders und der Retter der verlorenen Kinder. Ich will grosse Rachetaten an denen vollfuehren, die da versuchen, meine Brueder zu vergiften und zu vernichten, und mit Grimm werde ich sie strafen, dass sie erleben sollen, dass ich der Herr bin, wenn ich meine Rache an ihnen vollstreckt habe.

Der Film ist in der Originalsprache.

"Pulp Fiction" in chronological order

"Crimewriter95" took Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film "Pulp Fiction" and re-cut it into chronological order.



So you better hurry and watch it, before someone takes it down.

As Jules said: "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bluesgroesse Hubert Sumlin verstorben

Der Blues-Gitarrist Hubert Sumlin starb am Sonntagmorgen (12/4/2011) im St. Joseph's Spital in Wayne, New Jersey. Todesursache war - wie die Blues Foundation mitteilte -  Herzversagen. Sumlin war 80 Jahre alt, als er in seinem Schlaf verstarb.


Er galt als einer der einflussreichsten Gitarristen. 2003 rangierte ihn das Musikmagazin Rolling Stone als 65. der 100 wichtigsten Gitarrristen. Acht Jahre spaeter, wiederholte das Magazin die Rangliste, aber fragte diesmal auch Musiker nach ihrer Meinung, Sumlin landete auf Platz 43. Led Zeppelin Gruender Jimm Page wird im Artikel zitiert: "Ich liebe Hubert Sumlin. Er spielte immer das Richtige zur richtigen Zeit." Gemaess der Kurzbio der "Blues Foundation - dem internationalem Zuhause der Blues Musik", die Sumlin mehrmals auszeichnete und ihn 2008 in die Ruhmeshalle ("Blues Music Hall of Fame") aufnahm, meinte Jimi Hendrix "Mein Lieblings-Gitarristt ist Hubert Sumlin."

Er wurde in Greenwood, Mississippi (11/16/31) geboren, wuchs aber in Huges, Arkansas auf. Das Gitarrespielen hatte er sich selbstbegebracht, nachdem ihm seine Mutter eine Gitarre gekauft hatte, als er sechs Jahre alt war. Als er zehn war, fiel er durch ein Fenster auf die Buehne, auf der Howlin' Wolf am Spielen war, es war der Start einer langen Freundschaft. In der Schule befreundete er sich mit einem Harmonika-Spieler, James Cotton. Sie beschlossen eine Band zu gruenden, fuegten einen Pianospieler und einen Schlagzeuger hinzu, spielten in Juke Joints, beei einer lokalen Radiostation und wurden regional beruehmt.

Als Howlin' Wolf nach Chicago zog, fragte er Sumlin ihm zu folgen und der junge Gitarrist zog nach Norden. Es war nicht immer leicht und gemaess dem Interview in "Talkin' Blues" trennten sich Wolf und Sumlin mehrere Male; einmal begann Sumlin gar fuer Wolfs groessten Konkurrenten, Muddy Waters zu spielen. Im Interview erklaert er auch, wie ihm Muddy gezeigt hat, dass die Gitarre auch ohne "Pick" (Plektrum) gespielt werden kann.



Sumlin kehrte aber immer wieder zu Howlin' Wolf zurueck und spielte mit ihm fuer ueber 20 Jahre, bis die Blues Legende 1976 verstarb. Es ist Sumlins schnittige Gitarre - die im "Guitar World" Magazin als "zerissene, erschuetternde Ausbruecke von Noten, mit ploetzliche Stille und gewagten rhythmische Aussetzungen - die man in klassischen Songs wie "Wang Dang Doodle", "'Smokestack Lightning" oder "Killing Floor", die in den 50er und 60er Jahren von Howlin' Wolf eingespielt wurden, hoert.






Das von Willie Dixon verfasste "How Many More Years" in einer Live-Version aus dem Jahre 1966, war Wolfs groesster Hit im Jahre 1951. Waehrend Tourneen in Europa begann Sumlin auch eigene Aufnahmen zu machen. Ein erstes Album wurde in der ehemaligen DDR auf der volkseignenen Amiga Plattenfirma 1964 unter dem Titel "American Folk Blues" veroeffentlicht. Zwei Alben wurden fuer franzoesische Firmen eingespielt. Sumlin war auch bei der legendaeren "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" dabei, an der Wolf unter anderem mit Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart ein Album einspielte. Plattenboss Marshall Chess wollte urspruenglich nicht, dass Sumlin nach Europa fliegt, aber Clapton's Ultimatum, liess den Gitarristen teilnehmen.

Nach Wolfs Ableben, 1976, spielte Sumlin mit anderen Mitgliedern der Band als "The Wolf Pack" (Horde Woelfe), wurde aber in Chicago gemieden. Fuer eineinhalb Jahre, lebte Sumlin in Austin.



Erst 1987 begann er in den USA -  bei Black Top und Blind Pig, Alben unter seinem Namen zu veroeffentlichen.

Insgesamt wurde Hubert Sumlin viermal fuer einen Grammy nominiert: 1998 fuer "Tribute to Howlin' Wolf" zusammen mit Henry Gray, Calvin Jones, Sam Linden; 1999 fuer die CD "Legends" mit Pinetop Perkins und 2005 fuer sein eigenes Album "About Them Shoes" (mit Gasteinlagen von Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, James Cotton und Keith Richards). Noch im Maerz dieses Jahres erklaerte der Gitarrist gegenueber der New York Times, dass er immer noch begierg einen Grammy moechte.
Er gewann mehrere "Blues Music Awards" (ehemalige Handys), als bester Kuenstler, Instrumentalist, fuer das beste traditionelle Album und fuer seine Zusammenarbeit mit Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Live! In Chicago", das ebenfalls fuer einen Grammy nominiert war.
Nach der Veroeffentlichung von "About Them Shoes" musste Sumlin einen Teil seiner Lunge entfernen lassen, dies hinderte ihn jedoch nicht, Jahr fuer Jahr nahm er an Eric Claptons Crossroad Festival teil.

Beim Wolf Klassiker "Killing Floor" wird er hier von Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton und Robert Cray "unterstuetzt". Schaut Euch mal an, wie Clapton sich an den Links von Sumlin erfreut.



Am 6. October war Hubert ein Spezialgast beim Elvis Costello Konzert im Wellmont Theater in New Jersey, wie er dies zuvor in einer Twitter-Messages bekannt gab. Es war dies sein letzter oeffentlicher Auftritt, er spielte bei "Commit A Crime" "Hidden Charms" und "Killing Floor" mit Costello.



Ende Oktober haette Sumlin im Charleston Culture Center Theater mit den Nighthawks eine Show fuer das Radioprogramm "Mountain Stage" aufnehmen sollen. Er musste leider absagen und es war ihm auch versagt, an seiner 80. Geburtstagsfeier im Mexacali Life in Teaneck, New Jersey teilzunehmen.
Waehrend den letzten 12 Jahren wurde Hubert Sumlin von Toni Ann Mamary. gemanaget. Dank ihrer Initiative begann Sumlin seinen Status als einer der einflussreichsten Gitarristen zu kapitalisieren. Sie reichte ebenfalls eine Petition ein, dass er in die Rock and Roll Hall of Fame aufgenommen wird. Die Petition war unter anderem von Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt und Keith Richards unterschrieben. Hubert lebte mit seiner Managerin zusammen. Sie pflegte ihn waehrend seines Lungenkrebs und seiner Herzattacke. Fuer ihre Verdienste wird sie naechstes Jahr den "2012 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards" erhalten.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blues Guitarist - Hubert Sumlin - dead at 80

Update 3/1/2012On February, 24th several musicians hold a memorial concert in honor of Hubert Sumlin benefiting the Jazz Foundation of America at New York's "Apollo Theater" in Harlem. Today (3/1/2012), Keith Richards posted some pictures of the rehearsals and the benefit, called "Howlin' For Hubert" on his webpage. Some shots also feature now Austinite, James Cotton as seen in the picture below, shot by Jane Rose.

Original obit for Hubert Sumlin

Blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin passed away earlier today (12/4/2011) at St. Joseph's Hospital in Wayne, New Jersey. Cause of his death was - as the Blues Foundation reported - heart failure. Sumlin was 80 years old and died in his sleep.

He is considered as one of the most influential guitarists  of all time. In 2003 music magazine Rolling Stone ranked him on it's poll of 100 guitarists as number 65. Eight years later, they rehashed the story, but this time asked musicians to participate in the voting, Hubert Sumlin was ranked #43. Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page is quoted in the article: "I love Hubert Sumlin. He always played the right thing at the right time." According to the "Blues Foundation - The International Home of Blues Music," where Sumlin is a multiple Award winner and was inducted into the "Blues Music Hall of Fame" in 2008, Jimi Hendrix put it this way: "My favorite guitar player is Hubert Sumlin."


Hubert Sumlin and childhood friend James Cotton
He was born in Greenwood, Mississippi (11/16/31), but raised in Hughes, Arkansas. He taught himself to play guitar, after his mom bought him one, when he was six years old. At the age of ten, he literally stumbled into Howlin' Wolf after falling through a window onto the stage where Howlin' Wolf was playing. It was the start of a life-long friendship. At school, he ran into a young harp player, named James Cotton; together they decided to form a band, adding a piano player and a drummer. They played juke-joints, had a stint on local radio station and started to become a local draw.

When Howlin' Wolf moved to Chicago, he soon asked Sumlin to join him and the young guitarist moved north. Times weren't always easy, and according to the interview in "Talkin' Blues" Wolf and Sumlin split several times; at one point Sumlin even joined Wolf's biggest competitor Muddy Waters. In the interview, he also explains, how he started to play his guitar pick-less, just with his fingers.



But Sumlin always came back and would remain with Howlin' Wolf for over 20 years, until the blues legend's death in 1976. It's Sumlin's slashing guitar, described in magazine "Guitar World" as "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions" that you'll hear on classic Wolf songs like "Wang Dang Doodle," "Smokestack Lightning" and "Killing Floor" that were recorded during the 1950s and '60s.






The Willie Dixon penned "How Many More Years" live in 1966 was Howlin' Wolf's biggest hit from 1951. During tours overseas with Wolf, Hubert Sumlin started recording for foreign labels, the first being in the former German Democratic Republic, for the state-owned Amiga Records, which released "American Folk Blues" in 1964. Two albums were recorded for French labels. Sumlin was also part of the legendary "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" where Wolf recorded with Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart and others. Originally label boss, Marshall Chess didn't want Sumlin to fly to Euorpe, but it was Clapton's ultimatum, that made Sumlin part of the recordings.

After Wolf's death in 1976, Sumlin continued with several other members of the band as "The Wolf Pack" but was shunned for awhile in Chicago.
For a year and a half he lived in Austin.



It wasn't until 1987, when he started to release albums under his own name in the United States, for the Black Top and Blind Pig label.

Over the years Hubert Sumlin has been in nominated for four Grammys, in 1998 for "Tribute to Howlin' Wolf" together with Henry Gray, Calvin Jones, Sam Linden; in 1999 for the CD "Legends" with Pinetop Perkins and in 2005 for his own album "About Them Shoes" (which had contributions by Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, James Cotton and Keith Richards). Sumlin was still eager to win a Grammy one of these days, as he stated in an interview with the New York Times earlier this year. He did win several "Blues Music Awards" (used to be called the Handys), as best artist, instrumentalist, best traditional album and for the collaboration with Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Live! In Chicago" which was also nomintated for a Grammy.
After the release of "About Them Shoes," Sumlin had to go and remove part of his lung the same year. It wouldn't slow him down much year after year he would be part of Clapton's Crossroad Festival.

Here he joins Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton and Robert Cray for the Howlin' Wolf classic "Killing Floor" - just watch how much Clapton enjoys this little get together.



On October 6, Hubert sat in with Elvis Costello at the Wellmont Theater in New Jersey, as he announced earlier on his twitter account. It was his last public appearance, he played "Commit A Crime," "Hidden Charms" and "Killing Floors" with Costello.



In the end of October Sumlin was supposed to be playing at the Charleston Culture Center Theater with the Nighthawks and record for "Mountain Stage" a show for West Virginia Public Radio. Due to illness, he had to cancel and also was not able to attend a celebration of his 80th birthday at the Mexacali Life in Teaneck, New Jersey.
For the last 12 years Hubert Sumlin was managed by Toni Ann Mamary. Due to her efforts Sumlin began to capitalize on his stature as one of the most innovative guitarists in music. She has also entered a petition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame signed by Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Keith Richards to have him considered for induction as a sideman. Hubert actually lived with his manager, where she nursed him through the trauma of his lung cancer and his heart attack. She will be one of the recipients of the "2012 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards."

Friday, December 2, 2011

RIP Bill McKinney - The Mountain Man has died

He was known for playing crazy villains in several movies, including seven with Clint Eastwood. But Bill McKinney will always be remembered as the Georgia hillbilly who made Ned Beatty “squeal like a pig” in the John Boorman movie "Deliverance."

McKinney’s Facebook page announced his death with a note that he had suffered from esophageal cancer. Bill McKinney was 80 years old.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (9/12/31) he had a rather unsteady childhood, as he moved with his parents 12 times before joining the Navy when he was 19 during the Korean War. As he told Maxim (see below) he was once thrown into a creek in Georgia, just for being from Tennessee.

During his 4 year tenure in the Navy, part of it on a mine sweeper in Korean waters, he decided to become an actor, if he would survive the war. Supporting himself as an arborist, he attended acting school at the famous Pasadena Playhouse with class mate Dustin Hoffman. After a stint at another famous acting school, the Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio, he made his debut in the B-movie "She Freak" (1967). Staring in TV series like "The Monkees," "I Dream of Jeannie" or as Lobo in "Alias Smith and Jones" kept him busy, but it wasn't until 1972, where he got the attention as a horrendous villain, when he became the Mountain Man in "Deliverance."

      

Although only credited as the “Mountain Man,” the rape scene with it's legendary saying "Squeal like a pig" cemented the film and McKinney's legacy. Co-star Burt Reynolds later wrote in his autobiography that McKinney was a bit nuts, and probably would have raped Ned Beatty for real. McKinney denied that in his Maxim article, but it seems he did enjoy his infamous minutes of movie history; his official website even carried the web-address www.squeallikeapig.com - (Update 1/13/2013 - website doesn't exist anymore.).

Film critic Leonard Maltin described McKinney in his review of the movie "Deliverance" as, "one of the most terrifying film villains in history." And yes, even more than thirty years later, man magazine Maxim named the two mountain man (the other being Herbert "Cowboy" Coward) as the top movie villains of all time. "Maxim Goes to the Movies."

Other notable directors got interested in McKinney and he normally became the villain or the outlaw - often in westerns - like John Huston's "The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean," Sam Peckinpah's "Junior Bonner," or John Wayne's last film "The Shootist."
McKinney as Dallas in "Any Which Way You Can"

In 1974 he was cast as the "crazy driver" in Michael Cimino's "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" along side Clint Eastwood. The collaboration got him into Eastwood's stock company and McKinney  would star in seven Eastwood films, most notably as Lefty Lebow in "Bronco Billy" and as Captain "Red Legs" Terrill in "The Outlaw: Josey Wales" upto 1989 "Pink Cadillac" after which Eastwood closed the Malpaso Company.

 Terrill in "The Outlaw Josey Wales"



Other notable roles included the shadowy killer, simply credited as the Parallax Assassin in Alan J. Pakula's "The Parrallax View," a State Police Captain in Sylvester Stallone's Rambo in "First Blood," a train engineer in "Back To The Future III," the head coach in "Against All Odds" and as executioner Jack Van Hay in "The Green Mile."


McKinney could also seen in many TV shows, like "Starsky And Hutch," "B.J. And The Bear," "Bret Maverick," "The Yellow Rose," "The Fall Guy," "The A-Team," "Houston Knights," "Baywatch" and "Walker, Texas Ranger" just to name a few.
In the late '90s, McKinney also started singing (his self-released pop/country album "Love Songs From [sic] Antri" could be found and purchased on his website. (2013 - non existent anymore)
Aintry, Georgia was the fictional town, where the river trip in "Deliverance" ended; McKinney also had a great sense of humor, on his facebook page, he listed his personal interests as quote "river boat trips near Antry, Georgia, Meeting new folks from out of town, hunting (rifle, no crossbows please)"; he was killed by a bow shot by Burt Reynolds in "Deliverance." The Facebook note about his death also mentioned that he just completed a Dorito's commercial two weeks before his death, that he left behind "several ex-wives" and that he had a finished autobiography looking for publishers.

(Update 1/13/2013 - there are and were some broken links I tried to fix)

"Deliverance" Schauspieler Bill McKinney verstorben

"Deliverance" - Mountain Man Bill McKinney verstarb 80jaehrig.

Bekannt wurde er als irrer Boesewicht in mehreren Filmen, darunter sieben zusammen mit Clint Eastwood. Bill McKinney wird aber immer als Georgia "Hillbilly" aus dem John Boorman Film "Deliverance" in Erinnerung bleiben, in dem er Ned Beatty vergewaltigt und ihn "wie ne Sau quietschen" laesst.

McKinneys Facebook-Seite notierte, dass der Schauspieler an Speisroehrenkrebs verstorben ist. Er war 80 Jahre alt.
Geboren wurde er in Chattanooga, Tennessee (9/12/31). Eine unstete Jugendzeit, seine Eltern zogen 12mal um, bevor er sich 19jaehrig der Navy anschloss. Wie er dem Maennermagazin Maxim (siehe unten) erzaehlte, wurde er in Georgia als Kind misshandelt und von Rabauken in einen Bach geworfen, nur weil er eben aus Tennessee war.

Waehrend den vier Jahren in der Navy, 2 davon in koreanischen Gewaessern auf einem Minensuchboot, entschloss er sich Schauspieler zu werden, sollte er den Krieg ueberleben. Mit finanziellem Rueckhalt als Baumpfleger, besuchte er die beruehmte Pasadena Playhouse mit Dustin Hoffman. Nach einem Aufenthalt in einer anderen beruehmten Schauspielschule, Lee Strasbergs Actors Studio, debutierte er im B-Film "She Freak" (1967). Rollen in Fernsehserien wie  "The Monkees", "I Dream of Jeannie" oder als Lobo in "Alias Smith and Jones" hielten ihn emsig, aber es war nicht bis 1972, als er als abscheulicher Boesewicht, als Hinterwaeldler in "Deliverance" die Achtung auf sich zog.

      

Obwohl nur als “Mountain Man” aufgefuehrt, wurde die Vergewaltigungsszene und sein legendaerer Dialog "Squeal like a pig" (Quietsch wie ne Sau) zum Vermaechtnis des Films und seiner Karriere.  cemented the film and McKinney's legacy. In seiner Autobiographie schrieb "Deliverance" Hauptdarsteller Burt Reynolds, dass McKinney verrueckt sei, und vermutlich Ned Beatty wirklich haette vergewaltigen wollen. McKinney verneinte dies in seinem Maxim Artikel, aber es scheint, dass er die beruechtigten Minuten, die Filmgeschichte schrieben genossen hat. Seine offzielle Webseite traegt die Adresse www.squeallikeapig.com.

Filmkritiker Leonard Maltin beschrieb McKinney in seiner "Deliverance" Filmrezension als "einer der Schauer erregendsten Boesewichte aller Zeiten". Sogar 30 Jahre spaeter erkor das Maennermagazin Maxim in seiner Ausgabe "Maxim Goes to the Movies" die beiden Hinterwaeldler (der andere war Herbert "Cowboy" Coward) als die schlimmsten Boesewichte aller Zeiten.

Andere Filmdirektoren wurden auf McKinney aufmerksam und meist als Schurke oder Outlaw hatte er Rollen in John Hustons "The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean", in Sam Peckinpahs "Junior Bonner" oder in John Waynes letztem Film "The Shootist."
McKinney as Dallas in "Any Which Way You Can"

1974 wurde er als "verrueckter Fahrer" fuer Michael Ciminos "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" neben Clint Eastwood verpflichtet. Dank der Zusammenarbeit wurde McKinney Mitglied von Eastwoods Filmgesellschaft und belegte in sieben Eastwood Filmen Rollen. Darunter als Lefty Lebow in "Bronco Billy" and als Captain "Red Legs" Terrill in "The Outlaw: Josey Wales" bis ins Jahr 1989 und  "Pink Cadillac". Danach wandelte Eastwood seine Filmgesellschaft Malpaso in eine reine Produktionsgesellschaft um.

Terrill in "The Outlaw Josey Wales"



Weitere erwaehnenswerte Rollen waren der obskure Attentaeter in Alan J. Pakulas "The Parrallax View",  als State Police Captain in Sylvester Stallones Rambo in "First Blood", als Lokomotivfuehrer in "Back To The Future III", als Cheftrainer in "Against All Odds" und als Henker, Jack Van Hay, in "The Green Mile".



McKinney hatte auch Rollen in mehreren TV-Serien, so etwa "Starsky And Hutch", "B.J. And The Bear", "Bret Maverick", "The Yellow Rose", "The Fall Guy", "The A-Team", "Houston Knights", "Baywatch" und "Walker, Texas Ranger".

Ende der 90er Jahre begann McKinney eine Gesangskarriere (sein selbstveroeffentlichtes Album Pop/Country Album "Love Songs From Antri" kann hier bezogen werden.
Aintry, Georgia war das fiktive Kaff, in dem die Flussfahrt in "Deliverance" enden sollte. McKinney hatte auch einen teuflischen Humor, in der Rubrik "Teile Deine Interessen" auf seiner Faceboook-Seite steht "Flussfahrten in der Naehe von Antry, Georgia; treffe gerne Auswaertige; Jagen (Gewehr, bitte keinen Pfeil und Bogen)." [Im Film "Deliverance" erschoss ihn, Burt Reynolds mit einem Pfeil.] In der Notiz zu seinem Tod steht auch, dass er vor zwei Wochen noch eine Werbung fuer Dorito's  eingespielt hatte, dass er mehrere Ex-Frauen hinterlasse und dass eine fertige Autobiographie auf einen  Verleger wartet.

RIP Bill McKinney - The Mountain Man has died

He was known for playing crazy villains in several movies, including seven with Clint Eastwood. But Bill McKinney will always be remembered as the Georgia hillbilly who made Ned Beatty “squeal like a pig” in the John Boorman movie "Deliverance."

McKinney’s Facebook page announced his death with a note that he had suffered from esophageal cancer. Bill McKinney was 80 years old.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (9/12/31) he had a rather unsteady childhood, as he moved with his parents 12 times before joining the Navy when he was 19 during the Korean War. As he told Maxim (see below) he was once thrown into a creek in Georgia, just for being from Tennessee.

During his 4 year tenure in the Navy, part of it on a mine sweeper in Korean waters, he decided to become an actor, if he would survive the war. Supporting himself as an arborist, he attended acting school at the famous Pasadena Playhouse with class mate Dustin Hoffman. After a stint at another famous acting school, the Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio, he made his debut in the B-movie "She Freak" (1967). Staring in TV series like "The Monkees," "I Dream of Jeannie" or as Lobo in "Alias Smith and Jones" kept him busy, but it wasn't until 1972, where he got the attention as a horrendous villain, when he became the Mountain Man in "Deliverance."

      

Although only credited as the “Mountain Man,” the rape scene with it's legendary saying "Squeal like a pig" cemented the film and McKinney's legacy. Co-star Burt Reynolds later wrote in his autobiography that McKinney was a bit nuts, and probably would have raped Ned Beatty for real. McKinney denied that in his Maxim article, but it seems he did enjoy his infamous minutes of movie history; his official website even carried the web-address www.squeallikeapig.com - (Update 1/13/2013 - website doesn't exist anymore.).

Film critic Leonard Maltin described McKinney in his review of the movie "Deliverance" as, "one of the most terrifying film villains in history." And yes, even more than thirty years later, man magazine Maxim named the two mountain man (the other being Herbert "Cowboy" Coward) as the top movie villains of all time. "Maxim Goes to the Movies."



Other notable directors got interested in McKinney and he normally became the villain or the outlaw - often in westerns - like John Huston's "The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean," Sam Peckinpah's "Junior Bonner," or John Wayne's last film "The Shootist."
McKinney as Dallas in "Any Which Way You Can"

In 1974 he was cast as the "crazy driver" in Michael Cimino's "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" along side Clint Eastwood. The collaboration got him into Eastwood's stock company and McKinney  would star in seven Eastwood films, most notably as Lefty Lebow in "Bronco Billy" and as Captain "Red Legs" Terrill in "The Outlaw: Josey Wales" upto 1989 "Pink Cadillac" after which Eastwood closed the Malpaso Company.

 Terrill in "The Outlaw Josey Wales"



Other notable roles included the shadowy killer, simply credited as the Parallax Assassin in Alan J. Pakula's "The Parrallax View," a State Police Captain in Sylvester Stallone's Rambo in "First Blood," a train engineer in "Back To The Future III," the head coach in "Against All Odds" and as executioner Jack Van Hay in "The Green Mile."


McKinney could also seen in many TV shows, like "Starsky And Hutch," "B.J. And The Bear," "Bret Maverick," "The Yellow Rose," "The Fall Guy," "The A-Team," "Houston Knights," "Baywatch" and "Walker, Texas Ranger" just to name a few.
In the late '90s, McKinney also started singing (his self-released pop/country album "Love Songs From [sic] Antri" could be found and purchased on his website. (2013 - non existent anymore)
Aintry, Georgia was the fictional town, where the river trip in "Deliverance" ended; McKinney also had a great sense of humor, on his facebook page, he listed his personal interests as quote "river boat trips near Antry, Georgia, Meeting new folks from out of town, hunting (rifle, no crossbows please)"; he was killed by a bow shot by Burt Reynolds in "Deliverance." The Facebook note about his death also mentioned that he just completed a Dorito's commercial two weeks before his death, that he left behind "several ex-wives" and that he had a finished autobiography looking for publishers.

(Update 1/13/2013 - there are and were some broken links I tried to fix)