Vicki Lawrence, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”

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The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia Vicki Lawrence (Bell, 1972)

Written by Bobby Russell, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia is a Southern Gothic song sung by actress Vicki Lawrence. Off the album of the same name, the single peaked at #1 in the U.S. Country singer Reba McEntire covered the song in 1991 for her album, For My broken Heart. Comedy group The Credibility Gap recorded a parody song, The Night that The Lights Stayed on in Pittsburgh.

Mary Kay Ash

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Mary Kay Ash (May 12, 1918 – November 22, 2001)

Business leader and entrepreneur Mary Kathlyn Wagner was born in Texas. In 1939, she worked as a salesperson for Stanley Home Products, hosting parties encouraging people to buy household products. In 1952, she was hired away to World Gifts. She was there for a decade when she quit in protest after a man she had trained was promoted above her. At 45, she decided to create her own business. She started Mary Kay Cosmetics with an initial investment of $5000 in 1963. With her son, they started with a small store in Dallas with nine salespeople. Today there are more than 1.6 million salespeople. They turned a profit in the first year of business and by the end of their second year had sold almost a $1 million. From the start Ash strove to succeed using incentive programs and not having sales territories.

In 2000, Mary Kay was named the most outstanding woman in business in the 20th century by Lifetime Television. She died on November 22, 2001 in Dallas.

“To the Beach!”

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To the Beach! (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005)

In this children’s book, a family decides to head to the beach. Unfortunately on their way, they realize they forgot certain items. In fact, the family spends most of the day having to go back home to search for unpacked items. Does the family ever make it to the beach?

To the Beach! was written by American author Linda Ashman and illustrated by American illustrator Nadine Bernard Westcott.

Hula Burger

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Hula Burger (McDonald’s, 1960s)

Meant for Catholics that don’t eat meat on Fridays, the Hula Burger replaced their meat patty with a grilled pineapple slice. However, since the Filet-o-Fish was more popular, the Hula Burger was quickly discontinued.

“7 Vidas”

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7 Vidas (Telecinco, 2000s)

7 Vidas was a Spanish television sitcom that aired from January 17, 1999 to April 16, 2006. 7 Vidas (7 Lives) was originally inspired by the American sitcom Friends. At the beginning of its run, 7 Vidas wasn’t a ratings winner, but over time the show gained a following to become one of the most popular Spanish TV series of all time. 7 Vidas tells the story of a group of friends living in Madrid. The only cast member to appear in all 15 seasons (but not all 204 episodes) was Amparo Baro, who played Sole. Actress Paz Vega appeared on 7 Vidas as Laura early on in the series’ run. 7 Vidas was well known for poking fun at current events, politicians and celebrities over the years. The show often contained many risque jokes. It also had many cameo appearances, from the likes of singer Shakira, politician Santiago Carrillo and footballer Samuel Eto’o. In 2005, 7 Vidas got a spin-off show, Adia.

Immature with Kel Mitchell, “Watch Me Do My Thang”

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Watch Me Do My Thang Immature with Kel Mitchell (RCA, 1996)

While the band Immature were not one hit wonders, this song with comedy actor Kel Mitchell was. Watch Me Do My Thang was included on the soundtrack for the Nickelodeon kids’ sketch comedy show All That in 1996. Immature also have a second single on the album, We Got It. Watch Me Do My Thang peaked at #32 in the U.S.

“The Vanishing”

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The Vanishing (2oth Century Fox, 1993)

The Vanishing is an American remake of the 1988 Franco-Dutch film of the same name. Both movies were directed by George Sluizer. The American psychological thriller starred Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis and Sandra Bullock.

A man and woman (Sutherland and Bullock) are on vacation when she disappears from a gas station. Three years later a man (Bridges) shows up and says he’s responsible for her disappearance and that he will show him what happened to his missing girlfriend. His new girlfriend (Travis) must come to his rescue to save him before he ends up sharing the same fate.

Produced for $23 million, the American Vanishing brought in just over $14.5 million.

“What’d I Say”

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What’d I Say (Atlantic, 1959)

What’d I Say was R&B singer Ray Charles’ fifth studio album. It contained his first Top 10 hit, What’d I Say Parts 1 & 2 that was also Charles’ first Gold record.

The song itself was accidental. Charles was performing at a concert and they still had 12 minutes left to fill, so they started playing. Audiences (they performed the “song” a few nights in a row) actually dug it and What’d I say became a real song. What’d I Say peaked at #6. At the time of its release, it was Atlantic Records’ best-selling song.

Jack-in-the-Box

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Jack-in-the-Box

Jack in the Boxes have been around since the 16th century. They were modeled after Punch (sans Judy). The design is simple, a clown sits inside a box. You turn the crank and after some music, Jack pops out of the top of the box. A wonderful introduction to the world of cause and effect and to the concept of anticipation. Jack in the Boxes were first made of wood, then printed cardboard until finally lithographed tin. The clown were made of papier-mache, bisque, celluloid and now plastic.

Jack in the Boxes were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005.

Doctor Spock

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Doctor Spock (1940s and 1950s)

In 1946, pediatrician Benjamin Spock released a book, Baby and Child Care. In it, he claimed that parents knew more than they thought they did about how to raise a child. His advice was to relax. Americans took to it like a bee to honey. Within 10 years, his book was the second best-selling book in the U.S. (Sorry, Spock, nobody can outsell the Bible.)