Saturday, December 30, 2023




12/30/63 – President Johnson authorizes a picture of John F. Kennedy to appear on the US half-dollar coin

Also on 12/30, the television game show “Let’s Make A Deal” premiers on NBC


Friday, December 29, 2023

December 29th, 1963


12/29/63 – The Chicago Bears defeat the New York Giants by a score of 14-10 to win the NFL Championship game.

(Hey, cut me some slack ...
We don't get to celebrate like this very often!!!)

Back to 2023 for a moment ...  (by way of 1968) ...

[check it out ... Tommy even gets name-checked in the lyrics!]

It was on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour that we first saw the film clips for “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” …

It was the hippest show on television at the time.

I can remember SO many great moments ...

Musical – they had the biggest names in rock appearing on their program; 

Hysterical comedy bits thanks to their own way with a song, which rarely ever got completed without at least one interruption by Tommy; 

And even their throw-backs to the great days of variety television, where they often featured guests that our PARENTS enjoyed more than we did!!!)

How about Pat Paulsen’s run for the Presidency.  (“If nominated, I will not run … if elected, I will not serve.”)

The “Honey House” …

A drum kit overloaded with explosives that permanently damaged Pete Townshend’s hearing (and even drove bits of shrapnel into Keith Moon) …

Grace Slick performing in black face with Jefferson Airplane …

Bobbie Gentry singing her massive #1 Hit “Ode To Billie Joe” to a family of cut-outs …

Mason Williams, the program’s head COMEDY writer, showing off an entirely different side of his incredible talent by performing the beautiful “Classical Gas,” a Top Ten Hit in 1968 …

Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, The Buckinghams, Buffalo Springfield, Cream, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Simon and Garfunkel … and so many more … 

In addition to Mason Williams, their writing staff also consisted of a very young, wild and crazy guy named Steve Martin (with brown hair!), Bob Einstein (he was Officer Judy before he was Super Dave!), the previously mentioned Pat Paulsen, Rob Reiner (enjoying his first big break in television), Don Novello (the future Father Guido Sarducci), Leigh French, Jim Stafford, Lorenzo Music, David Steinberg and more … Tommy Smothers himself was intimately involved with virtually EVERYTHING that went on the air … and was quite outspoken about what they were trying to achieve.  Several of these writers also appeared in skits or did solo performances … it was a “community” show in every sense of the word.

I’m not sure CBS ever really believed in the show … they stuck it on the air opposite the television juggernaut “Bonanza” … but then, as word of mouth got ‘round, we saw it starting to regularly beating The Cartwrights on Sunday Nights.  Constant battles with the censors led to conflicts and then cancellation.  The conflict only pushed the writers to come up new ways to slip in material that sailed over their collective heads (in the hippest way possible, so that WE still got the joke, even though the censors had no idea what they were talking about some of the time.)

Despite DECADES now of anticipation, The Best of Season One never came out video … maybe now it finally will.  (For some insane reason that I’ll never understand, the series was released in BACKWARDS order … I bought Seasons Three and Two immediately, as soon as they were released … but have been waiting for Season One ever since!)

I owned every single one of their albums … and some of these routines are permanently etched in my mind.  A lifelong regret is that I never got to see them perform live.  (I was just too young at the time and, looking back, I’m kinda surprised I “got them” as well as I did.)  We loved ya, Tommy.  (kk)

Tom was not only the loving older brother that everyone would want in their life, he was a one-of-a-kind creative partner.  I am forever grateful to have spent a lifetime together with him, on and off stage, for over 60 years. Our relationship was like a good marriage – the longer we were together, the more we loved and respected one another. We were truly blessed.  

-- Dick Smothers

Hello Kent,

I so enjoyed your tribute to Tom Smothers and the Smothers Brothers. I felt very sad when I heard that Tom had died. I loved the three videos you chose. I, too, grew up with The Smothers Brothers. They were so unique and so funny. It was also nice to see Mama Cass, Johnny Carson, and Ed McMahon. The added bonus of getting to listen to Rewound Radio was a nice touch. 

Thanks for the memories. I don't feel as sad now.



It really hurts to read the death announcements in the blog, but it feels so good to read the tributes. I have Smothers Brothers records and absolutely adored both of them. They were representative of the friends I hung around with in high school and college. Humor is one of the best ways of dealing with reality, and bringing facts to light in ways people will hear. Always in my heart Tommy.



Also from Shelley …


I saw that Arlo Guthrie posted this …


I heard this morning, that my friend, Tommy Smothers left this world. I had spoken with him on the phone a couple of weeks ago. He called me out of the blue. We caught up on things. He sounded good, just like his normal self. It's funny, but I can still hear his voice.

I did The Smothers Brothers TV show in 1970. That's quite a long time ago - Over 50 years. They were pushing the envelope, at least as far as what you could do or say on TV. Mild by today's standards, but back then it was radical. For example, they invited Pete Seeger on their show. Naturally, they were cancelled. I had fun with those guys! Never forgot.




With the passing of Tommy Smothers, the only record (single) they made that made our local top 40 radio survey was JENNY BROWN in 1963 on Mercury Records.


It was the only Top 100 chart hit they had, period.  “Jenny Brown” went to #82 in Music Vendor, #84 in Billboard and fell short at #105 in Cash Box.  A couple of years later, they “bubbled under” again for two weeks (peaking at #146 this time) with “The Toy Song,” which I actually HAD as a 45.  (And with a picture sleeve to boot!)  God only knows how long THAT record has been missing from my collection!  (I used to play the B-Side, too … “Little Sacka Sugar!”  kk

Whew ... some sheet today - I'll be reading for hours - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, it’s been building up inside of me for oh, I don’t know how long!!!

Happy New Year to you as well … let’s make it a great one!  (kk)