The Statler Brothers
Okay, I admit it -- I love the Statler Brothers. I've gone to very few concerts in my life, and one of those was the Statler Bros. It was also easily the farthest I've ever driven for a concert -- and for reasons I can't quite explain, it was spur of the moment. It was early evening -- probably in the mid-1990s -- and I happened to see a notice in the paper that they would be appearing that night...in Anaheim. The concert was at 8 PM, and it was probably about 7. Why I jumped in my car, I have no idea, but I did, and I'm glad. I made it with about five minutes to spare. The opening act was Brenda Lee, which made it an additional treat to see. (I was never a particularly big fan, but still I admired her place in pop music.) And the show was wonderful -- in addition to their music, they were wonderful performers, and a few years later got their own TV series on the Nashville Network that went on the air in 1991 and ran for seven years.
They were probably best known for the "list" songs, sort of novelty novels, of which "Flowers on the Wall" is easily the best known, and the song that put them on the map. But one of my favorites is one of the lesser-known of their list hits, called "The Movies". For years I even tried to get the attention of the Motion Picture Academy to have the Statlers on the Oscar broadcast to sing it. The song is just a joyfully affectionate love letter to movies, it would have brought the house down. But alas, it wasn't to be.
But here's the number anyway. Try to keep up with it and see how many movie references you get. This version comes from a performance on that aforementioned TV series. At that point, one of the long-time original members, Lew DeWitt, had to retire to do illness, and he was replaced by Jimmy Fortune, whose the youngest fellow in the video. The video quality isn't all that crisp, but the song doesn't need that...
By the way, two of the Statler Brothers were, in fact, brothers -- Harold Reid on the left (with the DEEP bass) and Don Reid, second from the right in the dark gray suit, probably the two most distinctive voices in the group..
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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