Category Archives: Remembering Old Times

Grand Funk Railroad rocked out the early 1970s–and again today

Grand Funk Railroad was a constant and carefree fixture on AM radio during the early 1970s.  I remember high school parties where their albums boomed in the background.  We couldn’t keep from dancing.

Their name was a play on the “Grand Trunk Western Railroad” that rumbled through their hometown of Owosso, Michigan.

Grand Funk had great songs with a funky beat, but it was Mark Farner’s voice that defined them.

In 1971, Grand Funk sold out Shea Stadium in 72 hours–faster than the Beatles had.

Grand Funk hit some bumps in the mid-1970s, and broke up.   Mark Farner began his own solo career.

In 1996, three of the original band members reformed with new musicians and a new lead singer, Max Carl of .38 Special, and a new guitarist, Bruce Kulich of Kiss.

Here’s how the lineup looks today –gf today

They are currently touring!

The new Grand Funk will be coming to the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima on September 30 of this year.

Sounds like a fun way to end the summer!

Click here for more information.

Here is Grand Funk in 2013, led by Max Carl.  He kicked off “We’re an American Band” by calling out, “God bless America!”

Madeleine LeBeau’s Real Life Casablanca Story

Madeleing LeBeau died in May.  At ninety-two, she was the last surviving member of the cast of the 1942 film Casablanca.

LeBeau played Rick’s spurned girlfriend, Yvonne.  She was just nineteen years old at the time.

LeBeau will always be remembered for Yvonne’s stirring response to the French national anthem, and her cry of “Vive la France” at the end of the song.   For the time being, Rick had been pushed out of her mind.

What isn’t widely known is that Madeleine LeBeau’s tears in that scene were real.

LeBeau had just lived through a real life escape from the Nazis.  She and her husband, actor Marcel Dalio, had fled Paris just hours before the invasion.  They were both Jews.

Dalio’s face had been used in Nazi posters to identify Jewish-looking features.

Dalio was also in the cast of Casablanca.  He played Emil the croupier in Rick’s illegal casino.  (Colorized version) –

French Jews are frightened again, seventy-five years later.  As are Bulgarians, and much of Europe.

At times like these, we need to reflect on the character Yvonne’s passionate singing of her national anthem.

We need to remember why Madeleine’s tears were real.

Flipper – Original 1964-1967 TV Series

By Melissa Genson

How cool would it have been to have a dad like Porter Ricks, to live at Coral Key Park, Florida–and best of all, to have a smart dolphin like Flipper as a pet?

The Family Channel showed Flipper reruns when our daughter Katy was little, around the late 1980s to early 1990s.  We would tape it and watch it with Steve in the evenings, after he got home from work.  It really was a great family show.  The original series had eighty-eight episodes, running from 1964-1967.

The best part about old shows like Flipper was that they made kids feel like the world was a safe place, and that the grown-ups were in charge.  No matter what troubles befell Sandy, Bud, and Flipper, they would always know that their dad would save the day. Continue reading Flipper – Original 1964-1967 TV Series

Ya-hoo! Remember “Ol’ Hillbilly” Mountain Dew?

Mountain Dew in the 1960s

mt dew ad 1I wasn’t allowed to have many soft drinks or sweets when I was a kid.  So when I had the chance, I would get a Mountain Dew and linger over it’s syrupy bite.

I pointedly ignored my older sisters remarks about Mountain Dew’s color, and what they thought it resembled.  It was the perfect complement a Moon Pie or a Nutty Buddy ice cream cone.

Back then, few parents would have thought that a light colored soft drink would be so loaded with caffeine.  It was training wheels for future Red Bull and Starbucks addicts.

Mountain Dew’s early years

Mountain Dew’s original formula was invented in the 1940s in Marion, Virginia.  It was first marketed in Johnson City and Knoxville, Tennessee in 1948. Continue reading Ya-hoo! Remember “Ol’ Hillbilly” Mountain Dew?