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‘My Home Town’: The unexpected union of DEVO and ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
05.12.2017
12:31 pm
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I was recently involved in a Facebook discussion of a stupid article that purported to rank “The 25 Worst Places to Live in America” or some suchlike crap. Conspicuously absent from the list were Gary, East St. Louis, and the entire deep south, but no fewer than SEVEN cities in Ohio took “honors.” As an Ohioan, I took a bit of umbrage—not TOO much since it was in the end just a clickbait article—but since a couple of those cities have experienced significant rebounds in recent years, the listicle seemed like it was based on outdated info, if it wasn’t all just an outright ass-pull. (A couple of the Ohio cities named really DO belong on such a list, I must say if I’m to be fair.)

On that thread, someone posted this WONDERFUL video of “The Akron-Canton Hometown Song,” a booster song recorded and vanity-pressed in 1962 at Cincinnati’s Rite Record Productions for Akron radio station WHLO 640AM. Credited to Terry Lee with backing vocals by the WHLO Hometowners, the one-sided record has no Discogs page, so it is now my mission to find a copy in the wild:
 

 
Is that not a delight? Between the word “Hometown” in the title and its goofy, totally guileless boosterism (“Akron, Canton, they’re sure okay!”) it made me wonder if it wasn’t an inspiration for “My Home Town”—not the droning Springsteen hit, but the song by DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh on the 1987 Ralph Records compilation Potatoes Volume 1. (There was never a Volume 2, though the 1989 CD reissue boasted an expanded track list.) It’s a parody of exactly the kind of optimistic civic pride expressed in the radio song, but with a cynical Rust Belt downer edge. The LP credits cite a 1976 composition date, going on to state that the song was re-recorded in 1986. I’ve been unable to find any evidence of an extant 1976 recording, but here’s the one that’s been around:
 

 
I love that song. I’ve had that album for almost as long as it’s been out, and I have belted that song out in the shower, changing the word “Akron” to “Cleveland,” which is my home town. The two cities are about 30 minutes away from one another, and their fortunes and declines have been pretty much parallel, so no other lyrical alterations are really necessary. Since Mothersbaugh is rather famously an Akronite, and he’d have been around 12 when that WHLO record came out, it didn’t seem unreasonable to wonder if he may have heard it on the radio? I mentioned my curiosity about that possible connection in the Facebook discussion and was rather swiftly corrected. THIS, I was advised, was a much more likely inspiration. Much, much, much, much, much more likely…
 
The mystery thickens, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.12.2017
12:31 pm
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Jack Nicholson on ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ twice
03.21.2014
11:08 am
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Before his roles in Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces propelled him to perma-fame, actor/writer/director Jack Nicholson performed in two bit parts on The Andy Griffith Show. His first appearance was in 1966, as the husband of a woman who forgot her baby outside the Mayberry Sheriff’s Office, to have it discovered and rescued by Opie. (It’s season 7, episode 10, if you want to watch the whole thing on Netflix.)
 

 
Maybe this is just values dissonance at work, but no amount of suspension of disbelief in the world can get me past the idea of a ranking law enforcement officer simply handing an abandoned baby over to a strange couple just on their say-so—not even in ‘60s small-town America, and least of all when the claim they’ve laid on the child is a explicit admission of horrifying negligence.

His second appearance was a meatier part in 1967, around the time he began making serious turns toward the weird, writing the script for Roger Corman’s bizarre attempt at counterculture pandering The Trip and appearing in the drugsploitation oddity Psych-Out. But in Andy Griffith’s season 8’s episode 7, Aunt Bee is called to serve as a juror and finds herself recast as Henry Fonda from 12 Angry Men. Nicholson plays the defendant. I suspect there’s loads of potential in this episode for a mashup with A Few Good Men.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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03.21.2014
11:08 am
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What Glenn Beck’s fans *really* think about ‘progressive POS’ Andy Griffith

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Wonkette’s Doctor Zoom posted something absolutely marvelous today that I wanted to call your attention to: The unhinged, hateful, and dumbly crass comments left on Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze, in “honor” of beloved, all-American actor Andy Griffith, a man who, in a sense, once symbolized how America liked to think of itself.

Or he was “a progressive piece of shit,” whichever you prefer…

Take a gander, in the above image, I skipped the first comment, but these were the ones that followed. I could have dipped in anywhere and gotten similar results. Here are some of the ones Doctor Zoom cherry-picked at Wonkette:

Progressive POS. Have fun burning in Hell for eternity. — Red Meat

Good people don’t promote laws that will directly lead to the death of millions, hope someday I get to spit on his grave. — Swampy

So long Andy [smiley emoticon] You are a total sell out to this great nation. You are a communist piece of garbage and you will not be missed. — Truthbeliever2

Sadly, my first thought when I saw the headline was “if he’d passed away at age 82 I would have missed him so much more” … Now, I only feel angry the old shill didn‘t live another year or two so he’d have to face a “death panel” before kicking it. The old bastrd died too soon to reap what he helped sow. I feel cheated that we’ll never get to hear him lament his decision to be a wh0re for the socialist DNC. — Wool-Free Vision

Another dead Democrat…today’s shaping up to be a better day than expected. — teddrunk

America’s sheriff? Maybe he was Maryberry’s, but Arpaio is America’s sheriff!!!! — catholicextremist

The guy that was the spokes person for Obamacare dies 1 week after it is upheld, 1 and counting. — Love The Kids

I had hoped that he would live long enough to be denied the healthcare that he helped shove down America’s throat. — Posterchild

So how did that Maobamacare you were pimping a couple of years ago work out for ya? Gee did the death panels keep you waiting too long? — Sweetrae

Doctor Zoom also found some more goofball reichwing “zingers” aimed at Griffith at Free Republic and Brietbart’s Big Government.

The best quote of all, though, was this gem:

Ever see a lib blog after one of ours dies? Ever seen the unbridled filth and hatred in which they roll around like pigs? I for one am sick and tired of playing nice with commies. We will never win if we continue to allow them to play by different rules.

IF ANDY GRIFFITH, DEAD, IS THIS CONTROVERSIAL TO THESE ASSHATS, SERIOUSLY ASK YOURSELF: HOW MUCH LONGER CAN THE MIDDLE HOLD???

Below, evil communist pinko—and probably SECRETL KENYAN socialist dogfucker—Andy Griffith “betraying the country” in a 2010 ad promoting healthcare reform:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.04.2012
01:43 pm
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Andy Griffith: The sheriff and the shit-kicking rabble-rouser, R.I.P.
07.04.2012
03:36 am
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Andy Griffith will mostly be remembered for his weekly TV series where many of us who were growing up in the 1960s found refuge from the harsh realities of a decade in turmoil. Mayberry was a safe haven from the Vietnam war footage we watched on the Six O’Clock News and the yammering of parents whose tongues were attracting lies like flypaper, the result of licking too many S&H Green Stamps and the asshole of unquestioned authority.

Griffith’s show was hopelessly square but it served its function as a kind of cathode-ray Valium, a chill-out tent for the young and restless, a detour into normalcy for budding freaks suffering from the weight of our personal suburban apocalypse. We cooled our heels in Mayberry until we could get the fuck out of there, leaving the hopelessly clueless Opie, hapless Barney Fife and brain-addled Floyd The Barber eating our hippie dust. We’d stay in touch with Aunt Bee for dope money.

Yes, Andy was the dad we all wanted, a hayseed Buddhist with a southern drawl, dressed in Peace Officer drag, tending a drunk tank that had the serene vibe of a Zen monastery. But there was another side of Andy Griffith, the actor, that presented itself in the darkly prophetic character of Lonesome Rhodes (dig that Kerouacian name) in Elia Kazan’s A Face In The Crowd. Rhodes was a bum and a loser hurled into the role of evangelical huckster and pop star - a deviant Johnny Cash hopped up on some kind of fucked-up moonshine pumped out of backwoods stills, yielding a devil’s brew of fallacious firewater, jugged and labelled with the mugs of L. Ron Hubbard, Mitt Romney and Scott Walker. 

Kazan’s film foresees a future, much like the one we have today, in which heroes are villains and shit-kicking rabble-rousers like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh rule the media roost as a clueless populace feeds at the trough of religion, political propaganda and celebrity worship with the blind allegiance of dumbstruck teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.

Here are two clips from A Face In The Crowd in which we encounter the shadow side of the patriarch of Mayberry.
 

 
The rest after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.04.2012
03:36 am
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