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Showing posts from April, 2017

Jack Barlow - I Love Country Music

"I Love Country Music" by Jack Barlow (Dial Records/4012), written by Jack Barlow, Darrell Speck (my father) and Charlie Stewart, and produced by Buddy Killen, was on the Cash Box Country Top 50 chart for nine weeks in 1965, beginning the week of Aug. 21st and ending the week of Oct. 16th. It peaked at #21 the week of Sept. 25th.
The song was a take off of the Tareyton cigarette commercials, which featured men and/or women models sporting a black eye and delivering the line "I'd rather fight than switch."


#50 the week of Aug. 21, 1965 #44 the week of Aug. 28, 1965 #34 the week of Sept. 4, 1965 #27 the week of Sept. 11, 1965 #22 the week of Sept. 18, 1965 #21 the week of Sept. 25, 1965 #25 the week of Oct. 2, 1965 #31 the week of Oct. 9, 1965 #36 the week of Oct. 16, 1965
Barlow sang the song on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on November 8, 1965.

Side B is "Number One In The Nation," written by Barlow and Speck.

Earl Pierce Was An Icon

What is the measure of a man? Kindness? Love? Understanding? Cooperation? Commitment? Integrity? Is it what he has accomplished with the opportunities given? After all, its been said that a man is the captain of his own ship.

Actor Sidney Poitier wrote the measure of a man is in how he provided for his children. This story is about a man that many of us knew and admired. Through my early teenage years and into early adulthood, we all watched Earl Pierce provide for his wife and children; how he held down three jobs through most of those years. His mornings began with his school bus route. Us Speck kids (my niece, Johnna, included) only had one bus driver our entire school life, and that was Earl the Pearl, as we affectionately called him.

After his morning route, he drove a taxi up until it was time to take the school children back home. After a short break at home, he would leave his family and go to work overnight at Harvey Qualls' gas station, where Advance Auto is n…

Miracles and Wonders

"Miracles"

In 2009, my son, J.D., came back from an outing with his nana with a pair of steel-toed boots. I wondered aloud why and he simply said he had always wanted a pair. "Well, I suppose that's a good enough reason," I said. And then, the very next morning, the real reason showed up.

I dropped the boys off at school and after J.D. had exited the car from the backseat, I slowly began to pull away from the curb. I had no sooner began to do that when suddenly the back door opened. I applied the brake and before telling me that he had forgotten his baseball practice gear, J.D. very calmly said, "Pull up!" When I asked why, he said - again very calmly - "Pull up Dad, the tire's on my foot!" I panicked, of course, but he just laughed and said, "It's okay, I wore my steel-toed boots this morning!" 

J.D.'s size 12 foot could have easily been broken or crushed had it not been for those steel-toed boots he just brought …

Alvin C. York Was a Hero

Friday marked the 100th anniversary (April 6, 1917) of the day the United States joined its allies to fight in the war to end all wars.

Alvin York of Pall Mall, one of the biggest heroes of World War I, registered for the draft two months later.

York was a pacifist who asked to become a conscientious objector. The National Archives kept his draft registration form. The 12th line on the form asked: "Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)" was the question on line 12 of the draft registration form?

The 29-year-old, a devoted churchgoer, responded: "Yes. Don't want to fight."

But, five months later, he was drafted, refusing to sign the documents that would have released him from military service. He wrote in his diary that both his company and battalion commanders persuaded him to fight, citing several Biblical passages about morality in war.

He ended up serving with his unit in the St. Mihiel offensive in northeastern France in September 191…

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …