Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fred Sanford for President

"What if Fred Sanford ran for President and won?"

Lamont would be vice-president. The White House would be called Sanford Arms.

Pres. Sanford: "Looky here. This is the White Room." [Slams door]
Pres. Sanford: "Green Room." [Slams door]
Pres. Sanford: "Red Room." [Slams door]
Pres. Sanford: "Bathroom."
V.P. Lamont: "HEY!"
Pres. Sanford: "Excuse me." [Slams door]

Instead of "Hail To The Chief," we'd get to hear the Sanford & Son theme song at every public appearance. The official slogan would be

"The truth shall set you free, HALLELUJAH!"

Aunt Esther would visit the white house, er Sanford Arms, often...

Pres. Sanford: "Who's there?"
Aunt Esther: "It's Esther!"
Pres. Sanford: "Esther who?"
Aunt Esther: "You know Esther who! Open this door fool!"
Pres. Sanford: "I can't open the door!"
Aunt Esther: "Why not?"
Pres. Sanford: "You too ugly!"
Aunt Esther: "Who you calling ugly, sucker?"
Pres. Sanford: "I'm calling you ugly. I could push your face in some dough and make gorilla cookies."
Aunt Esther: "Watch it, sucka!"

President Sandford on pork barrell spending:
"We could have a little pork and beans now and a little zucchini later, or a little zucchini now and a little pork and beans later, or if you like the pork and beans, you can have them and I'll take the zucchini, or I can take the pork and beans and you the zucchini so what will it be? Zucchini or pork and beans?"
V.P. Lamont: "The oven don't work."

Instead of the Secret Service, President Sanford and his V.P. son would be protected by officers Smitty and Hoppy. Grady Wilson, uncle Woody and Bubba would be the official Presidential advisers.

Camp David would be located at El Segundo!

"Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Fred Sanford."
President Sanford: That's S-A-N-F-O-R-D period!"

If a congressman or senator did not agree with President Sanford on issues, he would politely say, "How would you like one across yo lip?"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mareen Duvall, The Immigrant

Mareen DuVal was a French Protestant, a Huguenot, who fled his homeland, Nantes, France, sometime around 1650 to escape religious persecution from the Catholics and the French Crown. After a stay in England, he arrived in Maryland on August 28, 1650. There, he became quite prosperous. His estates in Davidsonville, Maryland and La Val were as luxurious and courtly as any of the manors of the English gentry.

Before his death in 1694, Duvall had purchased sizeable tracts of land, including  Catton, later known as Belair, as well as owning Middle Plantation in Davidsonville, Maryland. Combined, he owned several thousand acres in Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties.

"No more striking figure in colonial history is found than the personal achievements of this fleeing immigrant. He came as one of the one hundred and fifty adventurers, brought over by Colonel William Burgess. He settled in Anne Arundel County and became one of the most successful merchants and planters of that section." - J.D. Warfield wrote in The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland.

Mareen Duvall is the ancestor of Barack Obama, Harry Truman, Dick Cheney, Supreme Court Justice Gabriel Duvall, Duchess Bessie Windsor, actor Robert Duvall, Confederate spy Betty Duvall and businessman Warren Buffett.

He is also my 9th great-grandfather and here is my line:

Mareen Mars Duvall, I (1630-1694)
Mareen Duvall, II (1680-1741)
Mareen Duvall, III (1702-1761)
Lewis Duvall, Sr. (1745-1808)
Lewis Duvall, Jr. (1789-1865)
Permelia Duvall Frogge (1810-1840)
Nancy Frogge Koger (1834-1891)
Thomas M. Koger (1855-1915)
Nannie Koger Boles (1890-1970)
Elmer Boles (1918-2002)
Glenda Boles Speck (1939 - )
Randy Speck (1959 - )

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Eulogy for a Bluegrass Legend

WSM and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs officiated the funeral service of bluegrass legend Don Parmley at Hicks-Vaughn Funeral Home in Monticello Tuesday night.

Parmley, who was born in Wayne County in 1933, died July 31st at the age of 83. His group, Bluegrass Cardinals, was an early influence in the world of bluegrass music. Stubbs said the standard of excellence set by that group was second to none.

"The Bluegrass Cardinals rose very quickly to become a very, very important product of their time, the late 1970's and all through the 80's. Their standard of excellence on record and in person was second to none. There was a lot of complexity within the Bluegrass Cardinals music, made in 3-chord songs they were doing, but it was that complexity within that simplicity that made that music so great with all those intricacies."

Stubbs said Bluegrass Cardinals deserve to be in the IBMA Hall of Fame. At a time when that organization was still in its infancy, Bluegrass Cardinals were already going strong, making great records and enjoying a huge and loyal following.

"It's only a matter of time, I feel like, before the International Bluegrass Music Association recognizes the Bluegrass Cardinals with an induction into its hall of fame. What Don and David Parmley did and their vision and the music that they made was extraordinary. It's timeless music, and as Bill Monroe said, "A record is forever. Those things will outlive us all."

For 9 of the 11 years it was on the air, Don Parmley played all of the banjo parts on the Beverly Hillbillies TV show, with the exception of the theme song. Because of his behind the scenes work, Stubbs said it is untelling how many banjos were sold or how many people were inspired to play banjo by a face they never got to see.

Stubbs said Don Parmley's life was one that was filled with friendship, compassion, love for his family and friends, hard work, a lot of good times, lots of humor, busses and lots and lots of great music.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Don Parmley, Billy Strange - Bluegrass and Folk Blues...Five String Banjo with 12 String Guitar

"Don Parmley, Billy Strange - Bluegrass and Folk Blues...Five String Banjo with 12 String Guitar" (GNP Cescendo, 1964).

Side A
This Land Is Your Land
Flint Hill Special
Arkansas Traveler
Gotta Travel On
400 Miles
Ruben's Train

Side B
My Old Kentucky Home
Red Wing
Greenback Dollar
Cripple Creek
Ballad Of Jed Clampett

Don Parmley, five string banjo
Billy Strange, twelve string guitar
Chris Hillman, mandolin
Vern Gosdin, guitar
LeRoy McNees, dobro
Rex Gosdin, bass
Hal Blaine, drums

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Remembering Gentleman Jim Reeves

Country music's Jim Reeves was killed in an airplane crash on July 31, 1964.

August 4, 1964
Panola Watchman, Carthage, Texas)


"The body of Travis (Jim) Reeves returned to Panola County Tuesday afternoon just before dusk, to be buried in a site that will become a memorial. The site is a two-acre plot located one-half miles east of Carthage on the south side of U.S. Highway 79 near the Liberty Chapel Baptist Church.Double funeral services were held for the well-known country music singer from Panola County and his companion, Dean Manuel at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Nashville, Tennessee.The two men were found dead in the wreckage of a private single engine plane 10 miles south of Nashville. Manuel was Reeves’ piano player and road manager and they were returning to their homes in Nashville from a business trip to Batesville, Arkansas.In an interview with Ray Baker, manager for Reeves, he told the Watchman of the accident as near as possible. The plane in which they were flying was rented from a Nashville airport and piloted by Reeves. He frequently flew on business trips and was a good pilot, related Baker. Less than ten minutes from their destination, Reeves radioed to the airport that they were flying in an extremely heavy thunder and rainstorm. The airport control tower later checked with Reeves—asking if he had passed through the storm. The answer was negative. Further attempts were made to contact the Reeves flight by radio—and all proved negative.The plane was reported down at 5 p.m. Friday, July 31. The light aircraft crashed in a wooded area about 100 feet behind a house just off U.S. Highway 31. A Tennessee highway patrolman reported that residents of the house were away at the time of the crash.More than 700 volunteer searchers, Civil Defense workers and police combed a 20-square-mile area for two days. Many of the searchers were Reeves’ friends and associates in the country music business. They included guitarist Chet Atkins and singer Eddy Arnold, Stonewall Jackson and Ernest Tubb.Marty Robins, a close friend of Reeves and also an entertainer, lived within a short distance of where the plane crashed and heard the roar of an airplane engine Friday evening and then a loud thud…as if it had plunged into the ground. When he heard of the accident and searching operations, he notified authorities of what he heard and informed them the direction in which he thought the wreckage might be located.The wreckage was located at 1 p.m. Sunday and the engine of the plane was partly buried and it was reported by Tennessee highway patrolmen that it looked as if someone had gone out and dumped some debris and trash. Reeves’ body was identified from a driver’s license taken from the wreckage.The governor of Tennessee, Frank Clements was a personal friend of Jim Reeves and provided a four-engine U.S. Air Force Strato-Cruiser plane from the National Guard to transport his body, family and associates from Nashville to Shreveport. Hawthorn Funeral Home ambulance transferred the body from Shreveport to Carthage Tuesday evening.Baker said that Reeves had experienced a phenomenal growth in popularity in the United States and Europe during the past ten years. Several polls had recently been taken in England, Holland and other European countries that placed Jim Reeves as the number one favorite singer of country music. The big friendly smile and rich baritone voice of Jim Reeves will be a memory in the hearts of several million people for a long time. Panola County will always cherish his memory as one of her finest gentlemen."

August 6, 1964
Shreveport Times, Shreveport, LA)


"CARTHAGE, TEX -- Country music singer Jim Reeves was returned to the red hills of his permanent home yesterday and the velvet-voiced singer drew his last packed house as some of the greats and near greats of the hillbilly field wiped tears from their eyes. Silent hundreds filed past his casket in the Hawthorn Funeral Home of Carthage all morning prior to the 3 p.m. funeral services for the singer who was killed last Friday in an airplane crash near Nashville, Tenn.Burial was in a private cemetery near Carthage where the 39-year-old singer once roamed the red hills of East Texas. The grave and memorial site is located just off the highway between Carthage and Shreveport.Gentleman Jim’s friends from throughout Texas and the musical world were here for the services and burial of the farm boy who sang and strummed his way to the top of the nation’s country and popular record lists in 11 tuneful years.The 400-seat Central Baptist Church, extra rooms and hallways were filled for the services. Extra chairs were placed in the aisles and halls, and those who could not find seats stood in the rear of the auditorium or outside the building.The estimated audience of 800 was silent throughout the 20-minute service. No songs were sung and only two organ selections were played: “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”The casket was surrounded by huge floral wreaths, one shaped like a harp, another like a guitar, one like a baseball and several like a musical note.Another wreath made of orchid asters and orchid doty mums was placed behind the casket in memory of his 1942 graduation class at Carthage High School. A color photograph of the smooth-voiced singer rested at the head of the casket, which was covered with yellow carnations and bronze mums.Dr. V. L. McKee, pastor of the church, paid tribute to the sophisticated styled country singer, who picked up the nickname of “Gentleman Jim” as a boy.Dr. McKee said, “His good name did not begin with his fame. It began when he was a small boy growing up here in this community…. He was a gentleman as a boy and a gentleman as a man. That is about as fine a tribute that could be paid to any citizen.”His nickname followed him throughout his career because, “He always had a minute to stop and talk,” said Bill Deaton of San Antonio, who handled Reeves’ engagements in Texas.Deaton was among hundreds of Reeves’ business associates and relatives who attended the services.Reeves’ widow, whom he has been married to for 16 years was present along with his brothers and sisters. The Reeves had no children. Reeves’ mother of DeBerry was not able to attend because of illness.Also present was Dick O’Shoughnessy, one of the supporting stars in Jim’s hit movie, “Kimberly Jim” which was recently filmed in South Africa and scheduled to be released soon.Other musicians present were Dewey Groom of Dallas, Ed McLemore of the Big D Jamboree, Horace Logan, who was in charge of the Louisiana Hayride when Jim first rose to fame, Bobby Garrett, a former member of Reeves’ band, Ray Baker, his business manager, and Cindy Walker, who wrote many of Jim’s songs.Reeves’ popularity was not limited to the United States. His song, “I Love You Because,” currently ranked in the top five songs in Scandinavian countries and Ireland. His songs have made the top of the hit list for the past five years in South Africa, where he learned to sing to the people in their own language.Considered a standout as far as an individual is concerned to those close to him, Reeves and his wife were recently in San Antonio looking for a ranch to buy. He flew to San Antonio in the same plane in which he died only days later.


Legendary Banjo Player and Wayne County, Kentucky Native Don Parmley is Dead at 83.

Wayne County, Kentucky native Don Parmley, a lifelong banjo player and patriarch of the legendary Bluegrass Cardinals, has died. He was 83 years old.

Born in 1933, Parmley’s family left Wayne County and moved west to California when Don was a young boy. There, he developed a fascination with bluegrass music and Earl Scruggs' style of banjo playing. In the early 60's, Don was a founding member of The Hillmen, which included future icons Vern Gosdin and Chris Hillman, along with Vern's brother, Rex Gosdin.

The Hillmen became popular in southern California, appearing frequently on television. While Earl Scruggs played the banjo on The Beverly Hillbillies theme song, Don played all the other banjo music for show.

In 1965, Chris Hillman left The Hillmen to join The Byrds. Vern Gosdin went on to become a major country music star and his brother Rex became a successful songwriter. In 1974, Don formed The Bluegrass Cardinals with his son, David, who was only 15 years old at the time.

The Bluegrass Cardinals were together for 23 years, with many top artists joining him along the way, including the group's co-founder, Randy Graham, plus Larry Stephenson, Herschel Sizemore, Mike Hartgrove, Warren Blair and Don Rigsby. The group recorded a number of albums considered essential in the bluegrass canon. They are credited with being the first bluegrass band to record bluegrass gospel in a cappella. The Bluegrass Cardinals disbanded in 1997 when Don announced his retirement.

Don Parmley's lifetime contributions to bluegrass music are many and deserves to be officially recognized. A legion of fans and friends in the bluegrass community are left to mourn his loss.

This sign greets travelers as they enter Wayne Co., KY on Highway 90.