if your favorite musical is: wicked, once, phantom of the opera, the book of mormon, cats, gypsy, a chorus line, into the woods, little shop of horrors, the king and i, shrek, matilda, my favorite year, the producers, crazy for you, pacific overtures, bonnie and clyde, bye bye birdie, 1776, beauty and the beast, newsies, les miserables, assassins, dreamgirls, rock of ages, hairspray, side show, ragtime, sweeney todd, show boat, the color purple, urinetown, company, carmen jones, the threepenny opera, american idiot, caroline or change, tommy, grey gardens, the drowsy chaperone, applause, jersey boys, kiss of the spider-woman, mamma mia, spamalot, beautiful: the carole king musical, the fantasticks, chess, rent, titanic, the wedding singer, merrily we roll along, kiss me kate, next to normal, pippin, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, camelot, a gentleman’s guide to love and murder, passing strange, aida, sunset boulevard, lady in the dark, xanadu, 110 in the shade, the producers, annie, falsettos, cabaret, if/then, brigadoon, pal joey, hedwig and the angry inch, parade, hello dolly, curtains, my fair lady, fun home, blood brothers, evita, how to succeed in business without really trying, damn yankees, billy elliott, an american in paris, the sound of music, the visit, floyd collins, the man of la mancha, gigi, jesus christ superstar, miss saigon, bloody bloody andrew jackson, fosse, dirty rotten scoundrels, singin in the rain, the best little whorehouse in texas, passion, once upon a mattress, 42nd street, south pacific, west side story, oklahoma, mame, grand hotel, the scottsboro boys, it shoulda been you, sweet charity, legally blonde, sunday in the park with george, sister act, finding neverland, joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat, big river, kinky boots, the lion king, porgy and bess, the full monty, wonderful town, hamilton, dames at sea, aladdin, funny girl, peter pan, nine, memphis, love never dies, contact, the 25th annual putnam county spelling bee, the cradle will rock, chicago, the light in the piazza, follies, on the town, la cage aux folles, the wild party, fiddler on the roof, in the heights, candide, the civil war, the last five years, a little night music, catch me if you can, anything goes, carousel, something rotten, she loves me, guys and dolls, on the twentieth century, oliver, the music man, grease, spring awakening, or avenue q you have a bad taste in theatre
All that’s left of The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
The Chicken Ranch was an illegal but tolerated brothel in the U.S. state of Texas that operated from 1905 until 1973. It was located in Fayette County about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) east of downtown La Grange. The business was established by Miss Jessie Williams, and was the basis for the 1978 Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the 1982 film adaptation, and the famed ZZ Top song, “La Grange”.
On this day in music history: November 28, 1992 - “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 11 weeks on December 5, 1992, and topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 5 weeks on December 19, 1992. Written by Dolly Parton, it is the biggest hit for the pop and R&B vocal superstar from Newark, NJ. Having established herself as a megastar in music, Whitney Houston sets her sights on the movies. She is hired to play the female lead opposite actor Kevin Costner (“Bull Durham”, “Field Of Dreams, "Dances With Wolves”) in “The Bodyguard”. Written by screenwriter and director Lawrence Kasdan (“The Big Chill”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Silverado”), the screenplay has been floating around in Hollywood for nearly fifteen years before it is finally made. When it comes time to record the soundtrack, Houston cuts “I Have Nothing”, “Run To You” and “Queen Of The Night”, three original songs penned for the film, a cover of Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” and the hymn “Jesus Loves Me”. Whitney is to also record of a cover of Jimmy Ruffin’s Motown classic “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”, but is scratched when it’s discovered that it had been recorded by Paul Young for the film “Fried Green Tomatoes”, released while “The Bodyguard” is still filming. Costner suggests that Whitney cover of country superstar Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. Parton writes the song in 1973 after splitting with her mentor Porter Wagoner. It tops the Billboard Country singles chart in June of 1974. Dolly records it again in 1982 for the film “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas”, taking it to the top of the country chart again. Producer David Foster re-arranges the song as an pop/R&B ballad, using Houston’s touring band led by musical director Rickey Minor to cut the basic track, with jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum as the featured soloist. When Arista Records hears the finished track, they like it, but feel that the forty five second long a cappella intro might hurt the songs’ chance for radio play. Their fears are unfounded when it is released on November 3, 1992, becoming an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #40 on November 14, 1992, it pole vaults to the top of the chart two weeks later, making the third highest jump to number one from outside the top ten in Billboard chart history from #12 to #1. It sells over four and a half million copies in the US alone, propels the soundtrack album to 18x Platinum status, with “The Bodyguard” soundtrack shattering the worldwide sales record held by “Saturday Night Fever”. “I Will Always Love You” also wins two Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record Of The Year in 1994. After Houston’s untimely passing in February of 2012, the words “The Voice” and the title of her biggest hit are written on her epitaph. “I Will Always Love You” is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
While my parents and sister were already fans of his movies like “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Deliverance,” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” my introduction to Burt Reynolds was as the voice of Charlie B. Barkin in “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”
Thanks for the memorable performances, Burt. We’ll miss you and that awesome laugh of yours. Here’s to never keeping a good dog down, and say hi to Itchy for us.
Jim Nabors, whose name is synonymous with the genial bumpkin Gomer Pyle, whom he played on TV, has died. He was 87.
His husband, Stan Cadwallader, told the Associated Press that Nabors died on Thursday at their home in Hawaii.
He brought the words “golly” and “shazam” into the vernacular as the naive, well-intentioned Pyle, a regular character on “The Andy Griffith Show” that was later the focus of spinoff “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” Pyle was a loving caricature of a Southern rube, completely out of step with the ’60s and all the more lovable for it. The series ran for four seasons, and Nabors’ 20% cut of the syndication revenue for the popular series made him financially secure thereafter and able to pursue broader interests as a singer and comic raconteur.
Later attempts at a variety show did not last long, however, either on network TV or in firstrun syndication, though Nabors was a popular headliner on the Vegas-Reno nightclub circuit.
Nabors was discovered singing at the Horn cabaret in Santa Monica by writer-comedian Bill Dana, who booked Nabors for occasional stints on “The Steve Allen Show.”
In the early ’60s, he began to appear regularly on “The Andy Griffith Show” as the ingenuous gas station attendant Gomer Pyle, which led to his own CBS series, produced by Griffith, about Pyle’s misadventures after joining the Marines, about which the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Nabors conveys a particular mood of attractive awkwardness, and naivete, a contagious quality of special poignancy rooted in laughter.”
The program shot into the top 10 in the Nielsen ratings, where it stayed for its entire four seasons.
During that time, Nabors starred in a number of variety specials for CBS including “Friends and Nabors,” which attracted an audience of 33.9 million, and guested on shows for Danny Thomas and the Smothers Brothers. He entertained onstage in Vegas, Reno and Tahoe, and his first album, “Jim Nabors Sings,” sold a million copies. By 1967 he was earning $500,000 annually.
Although it was too late to ever completely dissociate himself from Gomer Pyle, Nabors decided to end the series in 1969, while it was still rated in the top five. He hosted variety program “The Jim Nabors Hour” for two seasons on CBS and, in the late ’70s, tried it again in syndication, though “The Jim Nabors Show” was more of a combination comedy/talk program.
During this period he toured almost year round, reaping the benefits of his natural baritone voice, his disarming Southern-boy personality and his high name recognition from television. For a time he lived in Honolulu near his close friend Carol Burnett and starred in “The Jim Nabors Polynesian Extravaganza” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for two years.
Film roles were few, mostly cameo and supporting appearances in three Burt Reynolds vehicles, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “Stroker Ace” and “Cannonball Run II.”
Nabors recorded more than two dozen albums. At least four were certified gold by the RIAA, the most recent of which was “Jim Nabors Christmas Album” in 1990.
James Thurston Nabors was born in Sylacauga, Ala. Chronic asthma resulted in a childhood of forced seclusion, and after graduation from the U. of Alabama, he lived for a time in New York, working as a typist at the United Nations. The recurring asthma problems forced him to return home, where he worked as an assistant film editor for a television station in Chattanooga, Tenn., and also sang occasionally on the station’s daytime shows.
After moving to Los Angeles, he continued to work as an editor and entertained for free in the evenings — performing operatic arias interspersed with monologues — until his discovery and subsequent work in television.
Nabors converted to Catholicism in the mid-’60s.
He married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, in Washington in 2013 a month after gay marriage became legal in that state.
In addition to Cadwallader, he is survived by two sisters, Freddie and Ruth.
*I learned several things that I didn’t know about Jim Nabors, may he RIP. He did well for an asthmatic boy from Talladega county, Alabama.