Ylvis, “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)”

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The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) (Parlophone/EMI Norway, 2013)

The Fox was an EDM (electronic dance music) novelty song and viral video by Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis. It was originally produced as part of the new season of their TV show I kveld med YLVIS (Tonight With Ylvis). It was uploaded to YouTube as a teaser but instead went viral. The Fox peaked at the top of the Norwegian (and South Korean) music chart and #6 for three weeks in the U.S. Ylvis quickly stated that there were no plans to release an album containing the song nor would there be a sequel.

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Bernie Babcock

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Bernie Babcock (April 28, 1868 – June 14, 1962)

Now this lady’s biography should demonstrate why we need how to learn to persevere. Born Julia Burnelle Smade Babcock, she was widowed at age 29 with five children to support. So she turned to writing. Three years later, in 1900, her first book, the Pro-Prohibition, The Daughter of the Republican was published and sold over 100,000 copies in six months. She was the society page editor of the Arkansas Democrat and later owned and edited the Arkansas Sketch Book. She wrote Mammy, a drama read at Chautauqua and on lyceum circuits. She authored Yesterday and To-Day in Arkansas (1917), The Coming of the King (1921), The Soul of Ann Rutledge, Abraham Lincoln’s Romance (1919) and The Soul of Abraham Lincoln (1923).

For her novels she was paid $300 to $500 each. Despite her writing success, she wrote in May 1927, “no money in sight to pay bills due June One…Well — there’s nothing to do but keep trying. Who wants an easy job anyway.” The Great Depression did indeed find her almost penniless. Also in 1927, she founded the Arkansas Museum of Natural History and Antiquities, financed by donations from her friends, in Little Rock as a response to H. L. Menceken’s derision of Arkansas. She worked as a folklore editor for the Federal Writers’ Project. In 1953, she retired to a home on Petit Jean Mountain but continued to write and publish a volume of poetry, The Marble Woman (1959) at age 91. She died at home on June 14, 1962 and was found by a neighbor with a manuscript still in her hand. Babcock was 94 years old.

“Vanna Speaks”

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Vanna Speaks (Warner Books, 1987)

Vanna White is one of America’s best known and best loved TV celebrities, now in her 30th decade of being the “letter turner” on the popular American game show, Wheel of Fortune. In 1987, she wrote down her inspiring story and included much advice on how to beautiful in mind, spirit and body. Most readers have called the pointless and boring, one common theme of their review seems to ask, “Why did I read this?” Sales were given a boost thanks to the October 31, 1987 episode of NBC sitcom The Golden Girls “Letter to Gorbachev” in which Dorothy recommended White’s autobiography to Stan’s cousin Madga to read. Adult magazine Playboy put White on the cover using photos she had taken during the early days of her career in Hollywood. They had published these photos without her permission (of course). So it’s quite possible that Vanna Speaks was intended as White’s defense of her character than as a literary masterpiece.

Black Cow Bars

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Black Cow Bars (Holloway, 1920s)

Holloway was a candy manufacturer that produced the Slo Poke and Black Cow candy bars. Slo Poke bars were a chewy caramel candy bar. Black Cow bars were the same chewy caramel bar covered in chocolate. If you remember these very chewy bars, http://www.oldtimecandy.com sells them. They do have a disclaimer that they are now very different from the original bar. You can also purchase Slo Pokes from the same website.

“The Dukes of Hazzard”

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The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS, 1979-1985)

The Dukes of Hazzard was an American action-comedy series that aired on CBS from January 26, 1979 to February 8, 1985 (147 episodes) about the “Duke Boys,” cousins Bo and Luke Duke (John Schneider and Tom Wopat) who live in a rural part of the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia with their attractive cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach) and their wise old Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle), as they race around in their 1969 Dodge Charger stock car, named the General Lee. The Duke Boys have to evade crooked county Commissioner Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and his inept county sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best). The boys always manage to get caught in the middle of various escapades and incidents occurring in the area. The Dukes of Hazzard was on the air for seven seasons and inspired by the 1975 film Moonrunners, which was also created by Guy Waldron. The Dukes of Hazzard was consistently among the top-rated television series, which allowed huge profits from merchandising and the products included a huge array. This merchandise deal caused Schneider and Wopat to protest by not reporting to set at the beginning of season five. Bach also considered joining the protest but both men convinced her not to stating that if she left too that they could just cancel the show. Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer were hastily hired as Coy and Vance Duke, previously unmentioned nephews of Uncle Jesse. Bo and Luke were said to have been racing on the NASCAR circuit. Coy and Vance were slated to air for 10 episodes but had to go to 19. They were extremely unpopular and ratings sank. This forced Warner Brothers to negotiate a much more fair licensing agreement for all involved (Schneider, Wopat and Bach). Waldron later commented that the boys had been right that if Bach had joined in the process that The Dukes of Hazzard would indeed have been cancelled. Schneider and Wopat were able to return for the last four episodes of season five. With Bo and Luke’s return, Coy and Vance were written out of the very episode of their return and were never heard from again. In 1980, The Dukes of Hazzard‘s theme song — The Good Ol’ Boys by Waylon Jennings hit #1 on the American country chart and #21 on the Hot 100.

Dave Gardner, “White Silver Sands”

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White Silver Sands (OJ, 1957)

White Silver Sands was written by Charles “Red” Matthews in 1957 and partially authored by Gladys Reinhart. American comedian/drummer and singer Dave Gardner had a top 20 hit with White Silver Sands after an initial release from mostly ballad singer Don Rondo who took the song to #7. Gardner meanwhile had a bigger career on his hands due to his comedic routines between songs. He released 14 comedy albums as Brother Dave Gardner until a 1962 arrest for marijuana possession and changing public tastes and an unwillingness to update his style and finally tax evasion charges in the 1970s derailed his career. He mounted a comeback in the 1980s with performing and speaking engagements, mostly on college campuses. Gardner died September 22, 1983 of a massive heart attack on the film set of Chain Gang. He was 57 years old.

“Cool as Ice”

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Cool as Ice (Universal, 1991)

Cool as Ice was a 1991 American romantic musical comedy that starred — in his feature film debut — rapper Vanilla Ice. Ice was Johnny Van Owen, a motorcycle riding rapper who blows into town and meets Kathy (Kristen Minter) and falls for her. A sub plot is Kathy’s father (Michael Gross) is in witness protection and gets found by the corrupt police officers he escaped from years ago. (Was that to show Ice’s range?) Whatever. The film was horrendous and a huge flop. Produced for $6 million, it only brought in $1.2 million. Cool as Ice was nominated for 11 Razzie Awards and won Vanilla Ice the Worst New Star award. Minter was also nominated for the same award. Now for some trivia. Gwyneth Paltrow was originally offered the role but her father forbade her from accepting it, fearing it would hurt her career. How about one more piece of trivia? Cool as Ice was directed by David Kellogg (also responsible for the film Inspector Gadget and Michael Jackson’s music video for his song Jam among many others) who later disowned the film.

“Who Made Who”

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Who Made Who (Atlantic, 1986)

Who Made Who was a soundtrack album by the Australian band AC/DC for the 1986 film Maximum Overdrive. How did AC/DC get so lucky as to score an entire soundtrack album. Well Maximum Overdrive was written and directed by horror author Stephen King and they are King’s favorite band. The album spawned Who Made Who and You Shook Me All Night Long. It peaked at #4 in Australia, #33 in the U.S. and #11 in the UK. The single Who Made Who peaked at #7 in Norway and #9 in both Australia and Ireland. You Shook Me All Night Long (which originally appeared on their 1980 album Back in Black) hit #5 in France and #8 in Australia.

Swing Wing

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Swing Wing (Transogram Games, 1960s)

The Swing Wing was like a hula hoop — for your head. You twirled it around your head by moving your head and/or body in a back and forth motion. It didn’t take long for whiplash and serious injuries to occur and the toy quickly disappeared.

Pink

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Pink

Before the color pink was associated with anti-bullying and girliness, back in the 1950s, most men could be seen wearing pink at some point and it was perfectly acceptable. For a long time, men had to wear drab neutral colors (picture formal men’s wear and I’m sure you get it). Wanting a radical departure and some color into their lives, men wore pink shirts under the their drab grey suits. And pink caught on big. It went on to the bathroom walls and on the room’s accessories too. It went into women’s cosmetics and even on to your family pet — assuming you had a poodle. Who was the manliest man of all? Even Elvis “Think(ed) Pink.” He had a pink Cadillac.