Mr. Ed – A Horse is a Horse, unless..

42 years ago this past week, Mr. Ed died… the last Mr. Ed, that is. In his prime, TV’s talking horse was a household favorite.

(Randy West is a long time Hollywood Announcer and one of the nicest guys in LA. He’s our guest columnist, remembering one of the most famous horses on television.)

The original Mr. Ed of TV fame was actually a horse named Bamboo Harvester foaled in 1949 in El Monte, California. His parents were The Harvester (Sire), a Saddlebred owned by Edna and Jim Fagan; and Zetna, (Dam) who was sired by Antez, an Arabian imported from Poland. [per the Palomino Horse Association]. That’s the horse in each episode of the TV show.

There was a second Mr. Ed, a look-alike stand-in named Punkin on the set. He was only seen twice during the whole series, although he doubled for the star in some photos.

At the age of 19, original Mr. Ed, Bamboo Harvester developed kidney problems and arthritis. Very quietly, in 1968, he was put down, as in euthanized, as in put to sleep. The last remaining look-alike stand-in photo-double for Ed, died of natural causes on February 28, 1979.

Rocky Lane

Mr. Ed’s voice, Allan “Rocky” Lane, passed away from a bone marrow disorder on October 27, 1973. He was an American studio leading man and the star of many cowboy B-movies in the 1940s and 1950s. Lane appeared in more than 125 films and TV shows in a career lasting from 1929 to 1966. He is best known for his portrayal of Red Ryder.

Ed’s trainer, Les Hilton, was taken by pancreatic cancer in 1976.

The saddest of all, and the finale, was the passing of dear Alan Young, part of the 2016 scourge, on May 19, at the wonderfully caring facility, the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills. Alan was a kind, soft-spoken, generous and warm gentleman, with a career that included success in every branch of show business. TV Guide called him “the Charlie Chaplin of television” for his versatility and ubiquitous presence. For 3 decades he was the voice of Disney’s Scrooge McDuck, with an accent that was a nod to his birthplace, in North ShieldsNorthumberland, England, to Scottish parents. Young appeared in over 20 films, including a memorable role alongside Rod Taylor in the 1960 film The Time Machine. He passed away at 96.

From the Feed:

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Today In History:

1965, The movie “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Eleanor Parker, had its world premiere at the Rivoli Theater in New York City.

1968, Cat Stevens checked into a London nursing home after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. He later transferred to a hospital for three months, then spent a year recuperating. During this period he wrote nearly 40 songs, many of which appeared on his first albums.

1968, The Monkees released the single “Valleri.”

1968, Blue Cheer released the single “Summertime Blues.”

1969, The first of two prototype Concorde supersonic transport planes made its initial test flight in Toulouse, France.

1976, Walt Disney World in Florida welcomed its 50 millionth visitor. It is the most visited vacation resort in the world, according to Forbes magazine, with an attendance of 25 million annually.

1978, Charlie Chaplin‘s coffin was stolen from a Swiss cemetery, two months after his remains were laid to rest. The casket and body were found 11 weeks later and reburied in a theft-proof grave under six feet of concrete. Two men were convicted of stealing the remains and trying to extort £400,000 from the Chaplin family. Sir Charles’ 51-year-old widow, Lady Oona Chaplin, refused to pay the ransom saying, “Charlie would have thought it ridiculous.”

1983, Compact Disc recordings (CDs), developed by Phillips and Sony, were introduced in the United States. They previously had been available only in Japan.

And also:

1872: Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park.
1893: In St. Louis, electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gave the first public demonstration of radio.
1928: Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra, featuring vocalist Bing Crosby and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, recorded ‘Ol’ Man River.’ By spring, this up-tempo version was #1 on the pop music chart. Upon his return to the U.S. in late spring of 1928, after months of appearing in the London stage production of ‘Show Boat,’ Paul Robeson recorded ‘Ol’ Man River’ with the Whiteman orchestra and it peaked at #7 that summer. Robeson sang the most famous rendition of the song in the classic 1936 film version of ‘Show Boat.’
1932: The 22-month-old son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne was kidnapped. The child’s body was found in May.
1941: Nashville’s W47NV, the world’s first commercial FM radio station, began broadcasting. The station, renamed WSM-FM, operated for about 10 years until the owners realized that its commercial potential was lacking since few area households had FM radio receivers. In 1951 they returned the license to the FCC.
1941: According to a report in Downbeat magazine, Glenn Miller‘s latest radio contract with his sponsor, Chesterfield Cigarettes, was worth almost $5,000 per week.
1941: The sitcom ‘Duffy’s Tavern,’ starring Ed Gardner, debuted on CBS Radio. It moved to the NBC Blue Network in 1942, then to NBC in 1944. The series continued until the end of December 1951.
1949: World Heavyweight Boxing champion Joe Louis, who was nicknamed the ‘Brown Bomber,’ announced his retirement. Because of enormous tax debts to the Internal Revenue Service, he returned to the ring to fight Ezzard Charles in September 1950 and Rocky Marciano in October 1951, losing both fights, by decision and a knockout, respectively.
1951: Sam Phillips launched Sun Records by releasing ‘Drivin’ Slow’ by 16-year-old saxophonist Johnny London.
1956: Imperial Records released the album ‘Rock and Rollin’ With Fats Domino.’
1957: At RCA’s McGavock Street studios in Nashville, the Everly Brothers recorded ‘Bye Bye Love,’ a teenage love song written by 37-year-old Boudleaux Bryant and his 31-year-old wife, Felice. Thirty other artists had rejected the song.
1958: At London’s Trocadero Club, Buddy Holly and the Crickets began their only British tour, during which they played two sets per night on 25 dates.
1958: Johnny Mathis released the album ‘Johnny’s Greatest Hits.’
1961: U.S. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.
1963: Gerry & the Pacemakers released their first British single, ‘How Do You Do It.’
1964: At EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles recorded ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You,’ with George Harrison taking the lead vocal.
1965: Petula Clark‘s single ‘Downtown’ was certified Gold.
1966: Singer/guitarist Gene Clark announced his exit from the Byrds, upset by the band’s decision to use Roger McGuinn as lead vocalist on all the group’s singles. Clark also had a fear of flying which made touring difficult.
1967: At EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles began recording ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.’ In later interviews, John Lennon said that he had not sung it very well, and expressed disappointment with the arrangement, complaining that inadequate time was taken to fully develop his initial idea for the song.
1968: Country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter married. They had one child and remained together until her death in May 2003. He died four months later.
1969: In Miami, Doors frontman Jim Morrison was arrested on stage for allegedly exposing himself to the audience during the band’s show at the Coconut Grove Auditorium. The singer was later tried, convicted and sentenced to eight months of hard labor, a sentence his lawyers were still appealing when Morrison died in 1971. Though no doubt drunk, disinterested, and verbally taunting the audience, it is now generally believed that Morrison was innocent of the major charge.
1969: Mickey Mantle, who played his entire 18-year major league baseball career with the New York Yankees, announced his retirement. He later became a restaurateur and television commentator.
1970: The Beatles made their final appearance on CBS-TV’s ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ by way of video tape clips of their new songs ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Two Of Us.’ Dionne Warwick, Peggy Lee, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, and Duke Ellington & His Orchestra also performed on the show.
1972: John Lennon was granted an extension on his American work visa. Lennon then began recording the album ‘Sometime in New York City.’
1972: At the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Mac Davis began recording ‘Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me.’ The track was completed two days later.
1973: Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, sold all of the singer’s back catalog recordings to RCA for a lump sum of $5.4 million, forgoing all future royalties. Parker also landed another seven-year, 14-album deal with RCA for $3.5 million, and renegotiated his management contract with Elvis that gave them a 50-50 split on new royalties.
1973: Pink Floyd released their eighth studio album, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’
1973: The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opened with a presentation of ‘Deuce Coupe Ballet,’ a show based on the music of the Beach Boys.
1974: Seven people were indicted for obstructing justice in connection with the Watergate break-in.
1977: After several years of estrangement, Bob Dylan’s wife Sara, who had been the subject of his songs ‘Lay Lady Lay’ and ‘Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,’ among others, filed for divorce. The divorce was granted in June and she was given custody of their five children and possession of their million-dollar home.
1977: Manfred Mann‘s Earth Band’s ‘Blinded By The Light’ was certified Gold.
1977: Bank of America changed the name of its credit card from BankAmericard to VISA.
1980: Singer Patti Smith married MC5 guitarist Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. They had two children and remained together until his death in 1994.
1980: Wilhelmina Cooper, one of the original supermodels and founder of the Wilhelmina modeling agency, died of lung cancer at the age of 40.
1984: Cyndi Lauper made her U.S. TV debut on NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’
1984: Actor (The Addams Family) Jackie Coogan died of heart failure at age 69.
1985: A Beatles song was heard in a U.S. television commercial for the first time as Lincoln-Mercury used their song, ‘Help!’
1988: Joe Besser, one of the latter-day Three Stooges, died of heart failure at the age of 80.
1989: In Louisville, Kentucky, R.E.M. started the U.S. leg of their Green World Tour.
1989: Bruce Springsteen and actress Julianne Philips divorced after four years of marriage.
1989: The Traveling Wilburys‘ self-titled album was certified Double Platinum.
1990: At the Miami Arena in Florida, Janet Jackson played the first night of her 120-date Rhythm Nation 1814 world tour.
1991: Oliver Stone‘s ‘The Doors,’ with Val Kilmer playing the role of Jim Morrison and also starring Meg Ryan and Kyle MacLachlan, opened in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters.
1991: Edward Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera, died at 81.
1994: Nirvana played their final concert at the Terminal Einz, a small airport hangar with a capacity of 3,000 people, in Munich, Germany. When the power went off during the show, they began an acoustic set that included a version of the Cars’ ‘My Best Friend’s Girl.’
1995: Yahoo!, the multinational Internet operation founded in 1994, was incorporated.
1998: ‘Titanic‘ became the first motion picture to gross more than $1 billion worldwide. The film’s worldwide total box office gross teventually reached $2.18 billion
2013: Actress (One Day at a Time) Bonnie Franklin, one of the stars of the original Broadway production of ‘Applause,’ died of complications from pancreatic cancer, six months after being diagnosed with the disease, at 69.
2013: R&B singer (The Birds And The Bees) Jewel Akens died of complications from back surgery at the age of 79.

Today’s Birthdays:

1904: Glenn Miller is born in Clarinda, Iowa. (d. 1944)
1910: David Niven, British actor (Casino Royale, The Pink Panther), born in London, England (d. 1983)
1910: Harry Caray, American Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster (Chicago Cubs), born in St Louis, Missouri (d. 1998)
1917: Dinah Shore, American singer (See the USA in a Chevrolet), actress and TV personality (Dinah Shore Show, Nabisco DS Championship), born in Winchester, Tennessee (d. 1994)
1926: Robert Clary [Widerman], French-American actor, published author, artist and lecturer (LeBeau-Hogan’s Heroes), born in Paris, France
1927: Harry Belafonte, Jamaican-American calypso singer, actor and activist (Banana Boat Song; Buck & the Preacher), born in Harlem, New York
1930: Raymond St Jacques, American actor, director and producer, who was the 1st African-American to hold a regular role in a western series (Simon Blake in “Rawhide”), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1990)
1935: Robert Conrad [Conrad R. Falk], American actor (Wild Wild West), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2020)
1944: Roger Daltrey of The Who is born in London.
1944: Mike D’Abo of Manfred Mann is born in Surrey, England.
1945: Dirk Benedict, American actor (A-Team, Battlestar Galactica), born in Helena, Montana
1946: Tony Ashton of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke is born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.
1947: Alan Thicke, Canadian actor, singer-songwriter (Thicke of the Night, Growing Pains), born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario (d. 2016)
1950: Pioneering music journalist Dave Marsh is born in Detroit.
1954: Ron Howard, Oklahoma, American actor and director (American Graffiti, Happy Days)
1954: Catherine Bach, Warren Oh, actress (Daisey Duke-The Dukes of Hazzard)
1994: Justin Bieber is born in London, Ontario, Canada.

Much More Music:

Friday on our minds.. Here are three tunes with Friday focused lyrics..

“Friday On My Mind” – Easybeats: A true one-hit wonder band, Brit expats formed The Easybeats in Sydney Australia in 1964. They were the first rock and roll act from Australia to score an international pop hit with the 1966 single “Friday on My Mind“. Like many groups of the era, the band broke up four years later but has had several reunions since.  (Video)

“Livin’ It Up Friday Night” – Bell & James: Both  Leroy Bell and Casey James had played in the band Special Blend before beginning to write songs together. Bell’s uncle Thom Bell helped them connect with Gamble & Huff as songwriters for Philadelphia International Records. They wrote tunes for Elton JohnMFSBThe O’JaysGladys Knight & the PipsFreda PaynePhyllis HymanThe Three Degrees, and others, before A&M Records took notice and signed them to a full album deal in 1978. (Video)

“Black Friday” – Steely Dan: Katy Lied was the fourth studio album from Steely Dan, released in 1975 by ABC Records. It went gold and peaked at No. 13 on the US charts. “Black Friday” topped out at No. 37. (Video)

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: It’s about that time once again for me to get on out of this place. I’ll be back with you Monday afternoon at 2pm. Until then, if it’s legal and it feels good , I want you to do it. Hang in there and have yourself a good one. And remember that no matter what anyone says or does, everything is gonna be ‘jam up’.” ~WVIC’s Jim St. John

One of the road: This week in 1966, the Mamas and the Papas released their debut LP, “If You Can Believe Your Ears.” With hit-making producer Lou Adler and producer-engineering legend Bones Howe at the controls, the former backup singers for Barry McGuire, produced three hit singles. When you dropped the needle on side one, cut one, Monday Monday was what you heard. This stereo version reveals the limitations Bones had to work with back in the days when multi-track recording had yet to fully emerge. The group’s vocals are in the left channel and the Wrecking Crew instrumentation is in the right, with Denny Doherty‘s lead vocals in the center. None of that mattered in a day when we all had AM radios. The power of the harmonies and John Phillips‘ sense for writing great music so mixed to create a sensation.

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit