THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 89

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 89

…The boys could not keep their eyes off the King Ranch linkup with Colony Mission Control, watching the slow visual crawl of the New Mayflower on its way past the moon…

One-Sided Conversations Typography by cheeriosbdr529 on

—Meanwhile, outside the Greater Houston Metroplex, reaction to the Mars bound Image result for metroplex mapNew Mayflower is every bit the equal to Galveston, perhaps having the edge with the mission’s two biggest rooters Deke and Gus McKinney there at King Ranch. The pre-launch drama will not be left out this time, leaving it for it in the hands of local news.

Braden King does not relax until the New Mayflower reaches escape velocity and clears the ionosphere. Then and only then does he join the boys who have exploded their bedtime to bits. Wild horses could not have kept them from watching their parents’ rescue mission move downrange and Braden has learned his lesson about withholding the truth.

“I wish we had a molecular particle transporter,” Gus muses, “and then I could beam Mom & Dad in time for Wednesday.”

He speaks about the big birthday bash that surrogate parent Braden King has had planned for weeks, to treat the McKinney boys who were born within five winter days of each other, one year apart.

Space Academy

“CalTech has been doing some amazing experimentation in that area Gus. One of my friends at the Space Academy has a dad who has successfully scrambled basic molecules and reassembled them.” Leave it to Deke to know so much about the project. “In fact, they say by the end of the 2035 they will be transporting a lab rat to a remote location.”

cats rats hats bats spats by_tomikari

“That sound cruel to me… what if the rat goes in and comes out a cat.”

“I think he would be happy.”

“Or worse yet, get lost on the way,” Gus being an advocate for all creatures large and small. “They don’t get a vote.”

“If we didn’t use animals for research, the planet would have been overrun by flesh-eating epidemics back in 2018.”

“You were 3, how would you know Deke?”

“He is right,” if Braden says so, it is therefore gospel, “if I remember it spread out of  Africa and never made it across the Atlantic.

Black and White Pattern with Wavy Lines.

“You know I’ve been thinking, maybe it would be a good idea to invite Uncle Roy to the party,” no not blood uncle.  “He could use a day or two in the bunkhouse to wind down.”

“Well, duh Mr. King!” Braden speaks for the boys who are transfixed.

super-kidsThe boys could not keep their eyes off the King Ranch linkup with Colony Mission Control, watching the slow visual crawl of the New Mayflower on its way past the moon. It will be tough keeping the rescue from dominating their every thought.

“Well double-duh Braden, I didn’t see his name on the list?” King mentions.

“It wouldn’t be a party without Crip, Mr. King.” He mocks.

“Oh yes, that is an excellent suggestion, we like it when he rides old Hellraiser the bull.” Braden has conducted the conversation for the 3 of them.

Black and White Pattern with Wavy Lines.


“That’s it boys, I think it is time to hit your bunks. Haven’t you heard that a watched spaceship never moves?”

He gets no argument.

“Come on Gus, we cannot stay wake for four months. And Mr. King, Uncle Roy would never ride Hellraiser, he smarter than that.” The brothers are aware of Braden’s needs, “And you deserve to have time with adults of your own age, you know like 64!”

Right now he feels all of 80. —


When I’m 64 by nickel8 on

Episode 89

page 110

The Beatles – Chart Toppers for Teeny Boppers

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The Beatles Snag the Top 5 Spots

on the Billboard Hot 100


On April 4, 1964, the Beatles, also known as “the Fab Four” or “the Mop Tops,” dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart with songs in each of the top 5 positions!   This incredible display of rock music domination is a feat that had never matched before or even since for that matter.   Defying all precedence, the band also had an additional 7 hits in lower positions on the chart for a total of 12 top 100 hits at one time!  Not even Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll himself, ever achieved this.

The facts listed above should give an indication to everyone too young to remember “Beatlemania” what it was all about.

In the few short years the Beatles were active in the U.S. market (1964-1970), they managed to sell more records than any other band in history and to win 10 Grammys along the way.  With 20 #1 hits, they remain atop the record industry.  Strangely, initially Capitol Records had inexplicably refused to market them and hindered U.S. release of their European hits for over a year!

Overall, world-wide sales of Beatles recordings number nearly or perhaps even over 1 billion.  Numerous organizations have declared them the greatest band of all time, and their music is still heard today with greater frequency than that of any of their contemporaries.  Even as individual artists, John, Paul, George and Ringo went on to considerable success.
Oh, and the 5 records that topped the charts?  They were, in descending order, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.”

Needless to say, you can find the Beatles safely inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, right where they belong.

The Beatles – Chart Toppers for Teeny Boppers

Hear it Here – WIF Iconic TV Music

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10 Iconic TV

Music Performances


On that musical note

On November 28, 1967, the Number 1 song in the United States was “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees, a made-for-television rock band with its own zany television show.

Certainly a Number 1 song is a big deal, and television gave us much iconic music and many iconic musical performances.  Here 10 such instances are listed, some famous, some less famous.  Share with us some of your favorites.

Behind the camera

10. Rhythm Heritage, “Theme from S.W.A.T.,” 1976.

Upon reaching Number 1 on the U.S. music charts in February of 1976, the “Theme from S.W.A.T.” became the first television theme song to hit that lofty height.  Three months later it was followed by the theme song from the television show Welcome Back Kotter.  Other television theme songs to have hit Number one include the theme song from Miami Vice in 1985 and “How do you Talk to an Angel” sung by Jamie Walters in 1992 from the series The HeightsCracked History trivia:  The “Miama Vice Theme” was the last instrumental to hit Number 1 until  “The Harlem Shake” in 2013.

9. The Doors, “Light My Fire,” 1967.

Ordered by host Ed Sullivan to change the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” to something less offensive, such as “Girl we couldn’t get much better,” The Doors initially agreed but once live, Jim Morrison defiantly sang the original lyrics.  An enraged representative said The Doors would never be allowed to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show ever again, but they reportedly did not care as they already had their moment on the national stage.

8. Petula Clark and Harry Belafonte, “On the Path to Glory,” 1968.

While hosting a television special for NBC, Clark sang her own composition “On the Path to Glory” as a duet with Harry Belafonte.  During the performance she held the black Caribbean singer’s arm.  At that time in America, it was taboo for a white woman to have such close contact with a black man, and the show’s sponsor, the car maker Chrysler, insisted the song be re-taped.  Clark refused, and the show was aired with the original arm-holding rendition of the anti-war song, thus crossing a line and reaching a milestone in the history of civil rights in the U.S..

7. Sinead O’Connor, “Fight the real enemy!” 1992.

While performing Bob Marley’s song “War” a capella on Saturday Night Live, the bald songstress tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul as she looked into the camera and boldly sang the word “evil.”  She then urged others to “Fight the real enemy” as she threw the pieces at the camera.   The shocked live audience remained silent, and NBC received thousands of phone calls denouncing the performance.  A week later, musical guest Madonna also appeared on SNL and parodied O’Connor by doing the same to a photo of Joey Buttafuoco.  Numerous parodies ensued, and some celebrities showed their disapproval by tearing up photos of O’Connor.

6. Roseanne Barr, National Anthem, 1990.

Continuing in the tradition established by Jose Felciano (see below) of adding one’s own touch to the National Anthem, Barr shocked and disgusted America by deliberately singing it off key in a parody-like performance and grabbing her crotch and spitting (supposedly emulating baseball players known for “adjusting” their nether regions and for chewing tobacco) during a nationally televised baseball game between the Padres and the Reds.  Even President George H.W. Bush publicly expressed his disdain for her rendition.  Barr said she was trying to bring “humor” to her performance.  Well, what did they expect?  She is a comedienne!

5. Jose Feliciano, National Anthem at the Opening Game of the 1968 World Series

This blind Puerto Rican singer shocked and angered much of the country by singing a very different, jazzed up version of “The Star Spangled Banner” during the opening ceremonies of the 1968 World Series in Detroit.  A recording of his rendition of the National Anthem reached Number 50 on the Hot 100.  His was the first of the “interpretive” versions of the song sung at the beginning of U.S. sporting events, and people have been complaining about the non-standard versions ever since.  Feliciano later expressed his pride at having begun the trend of “personalizing” the National Anthem.

4. The Beatles, The Ed Sullivan Show, 1964.

Having arrived in the United States with tremendous hoopla only 2 days earlier, the Beatles were watched on The Ed Sullivan Show by over 73 million Americans, and just like that, the British had reconquered America.  With Beatlemania, the floodgates for what became known as “The British Invasion” were opened, and fortunately for Americans, that meant an almost endless supply of good rock and roll music to be enjoyed for years and years to come.

3. Early Elvis TV Appearances, 1956.

After his first appearance on The Milton Berle Show on April 3, Elvis was back for an encore performance on June 5, this time to a wider audience and singing Hound Dog while incorporating slow, suggestive gyrations that shocked and outraged the prudes of the nation.  Presley then continued his run of blockbuster television appearances with a performance on The Steve Allen Show on July 1 when he sangHound Dog to a bored looking Basset Hound.  Ed Sullivan, the host of the most popular show on television at the time, had vehemently decried Elvis as unfit for television.  When, however, Elvis’ appearance on the Steve Allen Show beat The Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings, Sullivan relented and contracted Elvis for 3 guest appearances on his own show The first performance, which took place on September 9, 1956, was watched by a then record 60 million people, over 82% of the U.S. television audience.

2. The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” 1981.

This song by The Buggles is the  answer to the often asked trivia question “What was the first music video played on MTV?”  More than just interesting trivia, “Video Killed the Radio Star”  was Number 1 in the UK in 1979  and reached Number 6 in the US in 1980 and remains popular to this very day.  The TV cable station VH1 named it Number 40 in its list of Top 100 One Hit Wonders.

1. Elvis Presley, Aloha From Hawaii, 1973.

Broadcast around the world over satellite, Elvis’ Aloha From Hawaii was watched live by a billion people all over the globe.  The show cost a record $2.5 million to produce and was worth every penny.  Elvis had gotten into good physical and singing shape for the performance which was the first of its kind to be aired live via satellite.  Singing both his old hits and covers of popular classics, this was the King at his best, a truly memorable experience.  Even the soundtrack album was a huge hit, and became the last album by Elvis to reach Number 1.

You Heard it Here

– WIF Iconic TV Music

John Lennon’s Murder – Fab 4 minus 1

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From TopTenz

From TopTenz

The Shocking Murder of John Lennon


A Brief History

Why do so many men of peace die violently at the hands of deranged people?  John Lennon, the former Beatle and one of the most famous musicians of the 1960’s and 1970’s was mercilessly gunned down on December 8, 1980, shot in the back on a New York sidewalk, thus joining the ranks of peace lovers who were not allowed to be left in peace, men such as Abraham Lincoln, “Mahatma” Gandhi, Martin L. King jr., and Robert F. Kennedy.

Digging Deeper

Digging deeper, we find Lennon, only 40 years old when murdered, writer and co-writer of so many great Beatles hits as well as so many of his solo songs, many of which dealt with peaceful themes such as “Imagine”, “Give Peace a Chance”, and “All You Need is Love” walking with his wife, Yoko Ono, back to his New York City apartment at about 10:50 pm on December 8, 1980, having been dropped off by his limousine some distance from the Dakota (the building the Lennon’s lived in) instead of in the safety of the courtyard.

The assassin, Mark David Chapman, a 25 year old from Hawaii, had been waiting around outside the Dakota apparently to ambush Lennon, which is exactly what he did.  When Lennon had passed Chapman, without so much as a word (discounted rumors to the contrary) fired a .38 special revolver 5 times at Lennon’s back, hitting the doomed singer 4 times.  Lennon staggered to the doorman for help, but of course with 4 slugs in his back there was not much that anyone could do to save him.  The doorman disarmed Chapman, who promptly removed his coat and sat down, awaiting the police.  The concierge assisted the doorman, but was unable to accomplish any useful first aid.

Lennon was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and reportedly was still breathing on arrival, but was not breathing and had no heartbeat when the doctor first saw him.  Frantic efforts to revive Lennon were made, even to the point of cutting open his chest and manually pumping his heart.  It was to no avail, and John Lennon died of massive blood loss due to the bullet wounds, leaving a grieving Yoko Ono, son Sean, son Julian (from previous marriage), and a world mourning the shocking loss of a beloved symbol of the 1960’s peace movement.

Lennon was cremated and his ashes scattered by Yoko in New York’s Central Park where a memorial to Lennon was later made.  There was no funeral ceremony per his wishes, although people in New York (and around the world) gathered in throngs to sing his songs and mourn his passing.

Chapman had traveled from Hawaii in October of 1980 with Lennon’s murder in mind, but for some reason did not complete his evil plan at that time.  On the tragic day, several hours before the assassination, Chapman incredibly had Lennon autograph a record album!  Although Chapman appears to most normal people as some sort of mentally unbalanced person, the law is not quite so casual. Despite advice from his lawyer to try an insanity defense, Chapman instead pled guilty and was sentenced to life, with parole possible after 20 years. So far, he has been turned down for parole every 2 years.  Nobody really knows why Chapman killed Lennon, but one reason Chapman gave was Lennon’s observation that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.”  Chapman also claimed to be offended by the apparent hypocrisy of Lennon’s public opinions about materialism and the fact that Lennon was quite rich.  Imagine if this great talent had another 20 or 40 years to bless us with more of his genius.  We miss him.

Fab 4 minus 1