DAILY DIRT: Looking back, Don McLean got robbed in 1972

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Daily Dirt for Thursday, June 9, 2022

“So bye-bye, Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry” … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 307 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Want to feel really old? Consider that 1972 was 50 years ago.

Yes, the year that the average price for a gallon gas was 55 cents and a pair of Wrangler jeans cost $12. It was also the same year that a brand new Ford Pinto cost $2,078 and a frisbee was 94 cents. It was also 50 years ago the following songs were the 10 most popular in the country:

  • 1. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” by Roberta Flack: She built an entire career around this one song.
  • 2. “Alone Again (Naturally),” by Gilbert O’Sullivan: He was kind of an unsung (no pun intended) star from this period. My favorite O’Sullivan hit was “Get Down”. Hard to believe he is now 75 years old.
  • 3. “American Pie,” by Don McLean: This should have been No. 1. Don McLean got robbed. Big time. McLean still makes as much as $500,000 a year in royalties off this song.
  • 4. “Without You,” by Harry Nilsson: He later performed simply as “Nilsson”.
  • 5. “The Candy Man,” by Sammy Davis Jr.: I absolutely detested this song.
  • 6. “I Gotcha,” by Joe Tex: This one, too.
  • 7. “Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers: Concerning Withers, I enjoyed the 1980 “Just The Two Of Us” release with Grover Washington Jr. much more than this.
  • 8. “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked Me,” by Mac Davis: Remember when Davis, who died in late 2020 at age 78, teamed with Nick Nolte in the 1979 “North Dallas Forty” film?
  • 9. “Brand New Key,” by Melanie: My favorite female singer of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • 10. “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast,” by Wayne Newton: Remember Newton’s famous appearance on “The Lucy Show” in 1965?

Songs that should have been in the top 10: No. 11. “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, No. 12, “Brandy,” by Looking Glass, No. 14. Nice To Be With You” by Gallery, No. 17. “Heart of Gold,” by Neil Young.

2. Some medal-worthy items you may have never known about a couple of your favorite TV/movie stars, plus another item that you might be able to use some day in a trivia contest:

Gold medal: Mickey Dolenz, the last remaining member of the Monkees, actually got his start in TV in the NBC series “Circus Boy” (1956-57), a show about a traveling circus performing on the frontier in the late 19th century. At the time, Dolenz went by Mickey Braddock. A decade later he was Mickey Dolenz and working as a drummer for The Monkees.

Silver medal: Movie megastar Harrison Ford made two appearances on both “The Virginian” and “Gunsmoke” western series before striking it big on the silver screen.

Bronze medal: The 1958-59 TV season saw an incredible 31 westerns in the weekly program lineups for CBS, NBC and ABC. Thirty-one!

3. Let’s wish some happy birthdays:

Courtney Cox of “Friends” fame will be 58 in June 15. Remember when she appeared in Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 “Dancing in the Dark” video?

Former Beatle Paul McCartney turns 80 on June 18. Sir Paul looks just as fit and ready to perform today as he did in the early-to-mid 1960s.

Country singer and co-host of “The Voice,” Blake Shelton, will be 46 on June 18. Is he now for famous for his role on “The Voice” or as a singer?

The late Waylon Jennings would have been 85 on 15. The country star died at age 64 in 2002. 

The late Gene Barry would have been 103 on June 14. He portrayed Bat Masterson on television. Barry died at age 90 in 2009.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Steve used to love those Waylon and Willie (Nelson) duets.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He has never sat on a candlestick and he is no Jack Flash.

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