Category Archives: Music

Speaking of KENM, 1450 on your radio dial circa 1955

This is Monet George talking to you from KENM, Portales, New Mexico.  The peanut  basin of the nation.  And we’ve got a little song here for you today.

The theme song for the station was “My Adobe Hacienda.”

Lord how I hated that song.  They played it at every opportunity.

But they also loved, “Dear Hearts and Gentle People,” which didn’t exactly describe the local population except in fantasy.

Helped them feel better about themselves than they had any business doing.

“Doing What Comes Naturally” actually fit them better and, believe it or not, they liked that one, too.

I suppose “Buttons and Bows” would have resonated with any but the most stalwart souls in Portales, New Mexico, circa 1950-60, and it sure as hell got plenty of play.

Those were the days of “Knock knock” jokes, and the favorite joke around there was, “Knockknock.”  “Who’s there?”  “Kilroy”  “Kilroy who?”  “Kill Roy Rogers!  I’m Gene Autry’s fan!”

KENM was a Gene Autry Fan.

WWII vintage folks ruled the world then.  If it hadn’t been for “Tennessee Waltz”, Bonaparte’s Retreat” and “Fraulein” I expect KENM would have had long silences trying to figure out what to play.

Old Jules

You could jitterbug to it! A weird footnote in music history

This song really pissed a lot of people off in 1958.  The local station, KENM, Portales, New Mexico  [1450 on your radio dial] refused to play it for a while. 

But KENM went off the air at 9PM and most of us first heard it on KOMA, Oklahoma City, same as all the other kids from Texas to North Dakota.  You could pick it up once the local stations shut down.  The leading edge to what was happening.  The 1958 facsimile of the Internet for youth in the Central and Southwestern US.

Rock and Roll was still trying to define itself, trying to separate itself from Rhythm and Blues, and Bop.  Adults were fairly certain it was the work of the devil, same a the Bop.  [I've written here somewhere how much trouble I got into doing the 'Dirty Bop' without even knowing I was doing it.]  It wasn’t even clear yet that Rock and Roll would be the name that stuck to it. 

So when Pat Boone mixed Rock and Roll with religion he was stepping on a lot of sober, somber toes.

But thanks to KOMA, we heard it anyway.  A kid name Chito Smith stood up on a bench in the locker room after PE class and started singing it, all of us with towels wrapped around us jumping around, snapping our fingers, defying authority, singing, “Wellawellawellawella, everybody’s gonna get religion and glory.”

KENM eventually bent enough to play it.  They were already playing such songs as “Wings of a Dove,” by Hawkshaw Hawkins, and “Sinner Man,” by Brook Benton, anyway, and I suppose they figured those might neutralize the devilish side of every body having a wonderful time up there.

Old Jules

Humpty Dumptytime

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming around.  I’m hoping you’re all getting your ducks in a row to put whatever lousy issues you’ve got to rest, come midnight.  Beginning one minute afterward we’ve all got to start the serious business of trying to live with all that behind us.  The Coincidence Coordinators have a lot in store for each of us and they don’t want any of it getting bogged down in tanglefootedness left over from yesteryear.

Some of you probably remember that bottle of Jack Daniels Black Label,

Juggling the Possibilities.

 I wrote about it November 17, 2011,

“I finished off most of this bottle of Jack Daniels on December 31, 1999, while I was sitting around listening on the short wave radio to Y2K not happening, first in New Zealand, then Australia, then places further west until it got to me, where it happened well enough to make up for those other places it didn’t.

“But as you can see, there was some left in the bottle when Y2K got to me.  I resolved to hold it back until something else happened.  I’ve had it sitting over there on the microwave collecting dust for several years, threatening to celebrate various New Year and Thanksgivings and I-don’t-know-whatalls.  I’d had it in the back of my mind lately I’d do my 70th birthday with it, then slid the clock backward and thought maybe my 69th here in a few days.”

Fact is, that bottle qualifies as an open container.  I can’t travel with it in the RV.  So this evening I’m going to put on some good music and sip that Jack Daniels to death celebrating all the Humpty Dumpties in my 2012.

The Great Speckled Bird: Respecting our Betters

The Great Speckled Bird went off maybe in July to wherever chickens go when they die, and later in the year I Humpty Dumptied my contracts with the hens and other roosters.  [Sip anticipated] 

I terminated my contract with Shiva The Cow Cat.  [Sip anticipated]

There’s this:

Roof and Chimney Leaks — White Trash Repairs

But we didn’t reach a consensus, the felines etc. on the matter of roof repairs and leaks.  Shiva the cow-cat argues, “What the hell!  Here’s a perfect spot for both those indoor cats in a thunderstorm.  What’s the big deal?  If they don’t like it throw them outdoors with Tabby and me.

I’m sick and tired of all the age discrimination around here in favor of geriatric cats.” [Sip anticipated]

And of course, the Humpty Dumpty trees. [Sip anticipated]

Men's ThermoPlus Extreme Boot Liner

http://www.sorel.com/Men%27s-ThermoPlus-Extreme-Boot-Liner/NU1490,default,pd.html

I’ve used my Sorel boot liners several years as thermal house shoes when it’s cold, and they’ve begun to fray.  Looked up the price of replacing them and discovered it’s $45, so I went to work on the seams and edges with super glue.

No Humpty Dumpty for them.  But I’ll sip to them anyway if there’s any left.

As for Shiva, she’s doing well up there, happy.  Jeanne and I have a ritual of talking on the phone, speaker phone on on her end.  Shiva sits on her shoulder, purrs, slobbers, and rubs her face against the phone.

I’ll sip to a happy ending, a new adventure, and the three remaining felines with active contracts.

And wish things equally good for you.  [Final sip]

Old Jules

Dragging the Past Around Like a Cotton Sack

Until you forgives it, I reckons. 

The Coincidence Coordinators will rub our noses in the alternatives just for the hell of doing it.

I’d stopped into the Office Max store in Kerrville to pick up a cheap flash drive when I saw the little bastard.  He and what I figured must be a lady employ of his [now] were looking over the copying machines, taking notes, asking a clerk questions, frowning and muttering to one another.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, changed positions pretending to look at other merchandise on other counters to get a better view of him.  Shaking my head in disbelief.  He’d put on a bit of weight, hair’d gone gray, but it was Tony.  The very man I used to swear to myself if I ever caught him out somewhere I’d whip his ass until it thundered.

And here he was in Kerrville, Texas.

Shortly after I came into Grants, New Mexico, after I gave myself a Y2K, discovered I couldn’t find a job paying higher than minimum wage, I went to work for Tony.  He was managing the Rodeway Inn, needed a graveyard shift clerk.  I hired on.

During the interview he drifted to personal conversation.  “What kind of music do you like?”

“Old stuff, mostly.  Rock and Roll, pre-1980s CW.  Bluegrass.  Opera, classical.  I’ve got promiscuous tastes in music.”

“Any kind of music you especially don’t like?”

“Yeah.  I never cared for disco, and what passes for country music now drives me nuts.”

I had no idea.

After I’d trained for a week with one of the day shift clerks the place was all mine from 11:00 pm until 7:00 am.  The radio/stereo was locked in the office behind me, but I didn’t have access to it.  Tony’s apartment was back there, too, but the speakers to the radio were in the lobby.

11:00 pm every night I’d report to work, 11:10 pm every night, just so’s I’d know it was deliberate, the volume would go up almost so’s I couldn’t hear anything else allowing me to check in customers.  Modern all night country music station out of Albuquerque.

When they came down to check out early or to grab some breakfast the customers would often get nasty about it, ask me to turn down the racket.  All I could do was shrug.

I got this far writing the draft before I thought of the ‘Bypass Surgery’ post and song.  Thought it might tell some other tales about working in that motel, and about Tony.  But it turns out it might as well be this post played 78 rpm.

Spark and Tinder for the Next Country Music Wave

I suppose I ought to begin all over and tell you some other tales about old Tony, maybe sometime I will.  Because there are a lot of them, and many were codified in letters I wrote to Jeanne while I was working those long nights.  She’s pestered me plenty of times to post some of them here, though some weren’t about Tony. 

Good stories, though.  The night clerk at the other motel Tony managed across the street giving $25 bjs to the customers and Tony’s reaction when it got back to him.  How he got to banging the woman-prisoners from the State Women Prison who worked daytimes cleaning up, and how pissed he was when he discovered they were also screwing the customers.

How he’d rent the ‘suite’ room out a week at a time to the local crystal meth dealer, then spend his time up there rolling #100 bills, the motel register showing the room as vacant and closed for repairs.

But I ain’t going to waste my time telling you all that.  I’m just going to forgive old Tony for being among the lowest scum tyrants I’ve ever met this lifetime, then do my best to forget that entire episode of my life.

Actually, now I think about it, there are a couple that don’t involve Tony I might get around to telling.

Old Jules

Pardon Me, Roy, . . .

Roy Rogers had a new pair of boots made for him by the best bootmaker in California.  But it was raining when he got back to the ranch and they got muddy on the way to the porch, so he took them off and left them there on the steps.  Later, when he came out to clean them he found they’d been ripped to shreds by a bobcat. 

Roy took his good dog Bullet, hopped on Trigger and went after that cat with a rifle.  In a while he rode back to the ranchhouse with a bobcat draped across his saddle.  Dale Evans came out on the porch, sang:

“Pardon me, Roy,

Is that the cat-that-chewja new shoes?” 

To the tune of the song below.

 

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:   Plan for Life?

Old Jules, what’s your plan for life?

One Toke Over the Line Sweet Jesus

 

Hi readers.  Some of you evidently come to this blog for the humor, but my brand of humor frequently falls flat for a lot of other readers.  So for those of you unable to appreciate my dry, subtle, sometimes off-target attempts at humor I offer perhaps the funniest scene ever to appear on television.

Note the squeeze-box player attempting to keep a straight face while introducing the song.  Afterward, the followup by famous wit Lawrence Welk caps the entire performance as he expresses his appreciation for “modern gospel music” performances by young people.

Unlike so many young performers of the time, these already had perfect teeth.

 

Meanwhile, the songwriters, Brewer and Shipley, were awarded a position on President Nixon’s ‘Enemy List’ and enjoyed honorable mention by Vice President Spiro Agnew before he went down in flames.

Old Jules

The Forbidden Door

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this fine day. 

I know a lot of you are submerged in issues of who wants to be king and whatnot, and I appreciate you tearing yourself away from reading all that to come over here to read this, which isn’t.

But I’ll ask a favor of you insofar as what you contribute here commenting.  The blog’s a fortress against the intrusion of party politics.  I prefer not to delete any comment by readers here, but it is not and will not be a place for inserting cheers for people who want to be king.  It also won’t be used to assassinate the characters of politicos, except in bipartisan, general terms.  

Meanwhile.  We’ve been blessed here with three days in a row of cold and wet.  I was premature a few days ago telling you it was time to switch from felt to straw.  Likely you’ll want to chalk that up to me being no better at predicting the future and the weather than you are.

Switch back to felt and count yourself lucky you didn’t put them in mothballs yet if you didn’t.  If you’re like me you were probably folding up your Pendleton blankets and everything else the moths might feast on, wondering where you put those moth balls last year, when this last gasp of winter hit.

I’ve been spending the time when there were no embedded thunderstorms stalking the sky trying to narrow down what’s not happening.  I finally just decided to use TYC 6835 143 for the galactic center.  And Eltanin, in the constellation Draco, for the solar system vector.  Those, combined with what I’ve mentioned in recent, previous posts appear to take care of a lot of what’s needed to get a firm fix on what isn’t happening.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Is Hiding Emotions Ethical?

Old Jules, is it ethical to mask your true emotions in order to get along with others? Is being honest in a relationship always the best policy?

 

Old Lyrics From One of my Favorite Song Writers

Red Grain Truck Blues – Jerry Sires circa 1975-1980

The yellow corn sure looks good up ahead
inside the red grain truck.
It’s piled high to testify
that some farmer had a little luck.

I sure like to drive these country roads
even though they’re changing every day
but I always was kind of slow
and sometimes I just feel in the way.

In the city there’s people getting by
taking in each other’s dirty clothes.
Where the big cars and fine homes all come from
I guess nobody knows.

I wonder how long it can last
When the teeming billions watch and want theirs too.
it all has to come from the earth
and she’s about done all she can do.

You can almost hear her cry
You can almost hear her moan
as another garage door opener
is carved right from her bones,
but daddy needs a new golf cart
and mama needs a new suntan machine.
Oh Bobby wants a race car
and Sally wants a full sized movie screen.

You can almost hear her cry
You can almost hear her moan
when Singapore and Shanghai
want to refrigerate their homes.
Still, daddy needs a new golf cart
and mama needs a new suntan machine
Oh Bobby wants a race car
and Sally wants a full sized movie screen.

The yellow corn sure looks good up ahead
inside the red grain truck.

The yellow corn sure looks good up ahead
inside the red grain truck.

http://www.jerrysires.com/Jsb/entrance.html

 

Placitas – Impossible to Stay but Hard to Leave

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

That adobe was built sometime in the 1930s as a turkey barn, then later converted to a dairy barn until the 1950s.  The walls were 18 inches thick, the floor a couple of inches of poured concrete, flat roof that held several thousand gallons of water when snow accumulated on the roof and the canales intended to drain the melt became solid ice.

No heat, rotten iron pipes for plumbing, and a back wall ready to collapse next snowfall.  The vigas holding up the roof, cracked timbers sagging with the weight of 75 winters.  Roof leaking into the adobe walls, eroding them beneath the vigas enough to cause me to arrange the couch I slept on in such a way there’d be something between me and it if the whole thing collapsed.

The rent was so high I couldn’t afford to pay it, eat, feed the cats and pay the utilities, even with the intermittent jobs I could pick up.  So they’d cut off the utilities every few months until I could raise the money to have them turned back on.

Maybe the best place I’ve ever lived.  Certainly the hardest.

That last winter living there I was shovelling snow off the roof, slipped and fell into the snow on the ground below and lay there unconscious some undetermined time before I awakened and struggled indoors.  Stove up something awful the rest of the winter.

But the cats loved the place and so did I, even as I watched the walls dissolve and the crack between the back room wall and ceiling widen.  The near-certainty the house wouldn’t last another winter gradually had me wondering whether I could find a bridge to live under without giving up the felines.

Gale had been suggesting for several years that I move here and live in this cabin on his place.  Another winter in Placitas, the cat necessities, and the vice grips of no-obvious-alternatives gradually persuaded me.

Gale and his brother drove up from Texas with a trailer, packed me up and hauled me, the cats, and all my worldly goods down here in one fell swoop.  A person can count himself lucky if he can have one friend in a lifetime like Gale’s been to me.

For several years here it’s been easy to not think about what comes next, to just savor being here and the absolute luxury of not being in the joy of Placitas, the adobe, the proximity of some bridge to live underneath.  We seemed a lot younger, that short time ago, Gale and me.  The cats, too, for that matter.

But aging comes more quickly these days and it’s creeped into the picture until it fills it.  The Coincidence Coordinators are nagging at me with increasing urgency and insistence to look for the next bridge not to live under. 

So far I believe I’ve been the luckiest man ever to walk the face of this planet, possibly among the happiest.  I’ve discovered I’m nowhere near as tough as I once thought myself to be and Placitas taught me I’m also not the pioneer my ancestors were.  I wouldn’t change a minute of those years after I gave myself a Y2K, but I sincerely won’t regret not doing it again if I don’t have to.

But maybe now I’ve toughened up enough to make the next step as much a blessing as this one’s been.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Marriage Before Sex?

Old Jules, why is it important to get married for having sex?

 

Picking Your Own Hills Worth Dying For

“Hey!  Congratulations man!  You picked a hill worth dying for and just got your leg shot off instead of dying.  Cool!”

“I didn’t pick it man.  I don’t know who picked it.  Maybe the General.  Maybe the Colonel.  Maybe the other side.  I din’t do any picking.  Nobody asked me anything.”

“Wow.  You got your leg shot off and didn’t even make your own choice about whether it was worth the effort?”

“Higher than my paygrade.  Not my job to figure out whether hopping around on a stump of a leg the rest of my life or spilling my guts across the landscape is worth why they think I should do it.  It’s up to the big brains to decide that.  The Generals, and Colonels and Lieutenants.  The people who see the bigger picture.  I’m not into long-term thinking.”

“Sheeze man.  Tough gig.”

Bloody Valverde.  Measured in percentage of casualties among those participating, the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Texas Mounted Volunteers were on that mesa, coming down to cross the Rio Grande just below the left end.

Federals and New Mexico Volunteers were below and across the river trying to keep them from doing it.

You can’t get over there anymore without breaking some laws.  The railroad police will arrest you for trespass if they catch you trying to cross the RR bridge.  Last I heard, Ted Turner owns the ranch the mesa is on.  He has riders out there who’ll haul you off for trespass if the RR police don’t get you.

A few cows graze up there and Ted Turner can’t have people up there bothering them by poking around among the pockmarked hideyholes and artillery placements.  A lot of men on both sides died so Ted Turner could keep the right to keep you off his holdings and bothering his cows.

If you sighted across the top of that monument across the end of the mesa and drew a tight bead you’d be looking at a mushroom cloud about 50 miles away when they fired off the first atomic bomb in 1945.

But by 1945 the government and scientists all finally realized the place wasn’t worth anyone getting excited about, getting legs shot off or dying for.  By that time they knew it wasn’t worth anything except for blowing up with an atomic bomb.   You can’t go over there, either, for what that’s worth.

Pretty big hunk of granite for such a little event.  But nobody much winds around those desert roads to look at it.

I used to have a pretty nice cannon ball that came off that battlefield.  Wonder what ever became of it.  Hope I didn’t scare any of Ted’s cows or stir up any future atomic bomb attacks on the place by the US Government.

Old Jules