The Games People Play – Highlights from the 4/15 Rock and Roll Revisited

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Statistics show that 8 out of 10 of us typically get tax refunds. Financial Planners remind us that we’re basically getting our own money back from a government that got to borrow it without interest. The goal is to figure out your liabilities to the point where you don’t have to pay but don’t get a lot back. The assumption is that you will have invested that money so it’s working for you and not for the feds.

27% of Americans will use their refunds to pay off debt. The percentages are evenly split for folks making a major purchase, putting the cash it into a non-retirement savings account or investing it in the market.

If you are part of the 1/5th of the US population who waited until the last minute to file, take the day off tomorrow and get some sleep!

Today in History:

1865 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln died of an assassin’s bullet fired the night before at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn in as chief executive.

1892 General Electric Company formed by merger of Thomas Edison’s General Electric Company with Thomson-Houston Electric Company, arranged by J. P. Morgan and incorporated in NY.

1912 RMS Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as the band plays on, with the loss of between 1,490 and 1,635 people.

1923 Insulin becomes generally available for diabetics.

1924 Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.1928 Alioto’s on Fisherman’s Wharf is founded.

1945 FDR buried in grounds of Hyde Park home.

1947 Operations begin at Radio Netherlands World radio.

1947 Major League Baseball’s color line was officially broken with the debut of Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn on opening day.

1955 Ray Kroc opens first McDonald’s Inc. fast food restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.

1986 President Ronald Reagan ordered airstrikes against the Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi in response to the bombing of a Berlin discotheque that killed two U.S. serviceman.

1990 Greta Garbo, the legendary film actor who starred in Anna Christie, Grand Hotel and Mata Hari, died. She was 84.

1992 Billionaire Leona Helmsley is sent to jail for tax evasion.

Happy Birthday To:
1917 Hans Conried – Ubiquitous Disney Voice (d. 1995)
1933 Elizabeth Montgomery – Bewitching (d. 1995)
1933 Roy Clark – Hee Haw(d. 2018)
1944 Dave Edmunds
1959 Emma Thompson
1959 Thomas F. Wilson  – Biff from Back to the Future
1982 Seth Rogen
1990 Emma Watson – That smart Hermione from Harry Potter

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


Joseph Alfred Souter got his first crack at the Top 40 in 1958 with “The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor” the Big Bopper’s follow up to a pair of novelty hits recorded by Sheb Wooley and David Seville. A rather inauspicious start for a guy who would pen some of the biggest records of the 60s and 70s as “Joe South”.

Broadcasting opened doors for the young composer, when South met and was encouraged by Bill Lowery, an Atlanta music publisher and radio personality. He began his recording career with the National Recording Corporation, where he served as staff guitarist along with Ray Stevens and Jerry Reed.

His cannon spans a wide array of styles. “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”  for Brook Benton (also covered by Elvis PresleyBryan Ferry, and Coldcut). Billy Joe Royal‘s songs “Down in the Boondocks“, “I Knew You When” and “Yo-Yo” (later a hit for the Osmonds), and the Deep Purple smash “Hush“. His biggest commercial hit happend in 1971 when he wrote  Lynn Anderson‘s I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden.

South was also a prolific side man. That’s his guitar on Aretha Franklin‘s “Chain of Fools”, Tommy Roe‘s “Sheila”, and he played electric guitar on Simon & Garfunkel‘s second album, Sounds of Silence. Although Al Gorgoni and/or Vinnie Bell are credited as the axe men on  the title track some say that’s Joe South’s artistry that turned a stiff into the smash that launched Simon and Gar into the stratosphere.

As a producer, South contributed to hits for  Sandy Posey, and Friend and Lover, including their #10 Billboard hit song “Reach Out of the Darkness.”

He only hit once as a solo act. 1969’s  “Games People Play” went top ten, earning a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Song and the Grammy for Song of the Year. The follow-up, “Birds of a Feather” didn’t go anywhere, but was later a hit for Paul Revere and the Raiders. He recorded two other soul-searchers, “Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home” (also covered eight months later by Brook Benton With The Dixie Flyers) and “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” (also covered by Elvis Presley in a Las Vegas era version, Bryan Ferry, and Coldcut).

So closely was Games People Play associated with South, that when the Spinners released their completely different Thom Bell single with the same name, lawyer’s requested and got a title change to “They Just Can’t Stop It (Those Games People Play)”.

Joe South was 72 when he passed away from heart failure at his home in Buford Georgia on September 5, 2012.