Thursday, June 01, 2017

It's Only Make-Believe

So I'm watching CNN and I think, what if there was a parody character called "Kellyanne Conway Twitty"??? And of course, I am not the first to think of this... I'm not sure who was, but Seth MacFarlane, for one, beat me to the punch.

Ah, Seth MacFarlane... I have mixed feelings about him... he is drop-dead gorgeous and insanely talented, but his sense of humor is no smarter than a fifth-grader.  A precocious fifth-grader, but... anyway, great minds think alike, eh??? ;D

Seth either loves or loves to rag on ol' Conway.  Like all Southern white kids in the 70s, I was exposed to regular doses of Conway Twitty.  We watched all those GREAT country music TV shows every Saturday afternoon (as my Granny used to say about watching Andy Griffith) BECAUSE WE HAD TO.  Now, I really love to wax nostalgic about the old country shows and seriously, they played a YUGE part in making me the music lover I am today.  The TV alternatives were limited.  Today's youngsters can not begin to imagine three or four channels. Even the "big three" have local networks!

I don't remember just three channels. I don't remember a time before PBS. I'm not sure when public TV came to Nashville, but I do remember seeing "Sesame Street" mentioned on another show, before I had discovered the Muppets.  That was the first time I ever saw that my mom tried to hide things from me.  She did not want me to start watching "Sesame Street" because she foresaw exactly what happened. She knew I'd get hooked. She didn't want to have to watch silly puppets!

If she were here, I would ask her if she really thought Gilligan was any better.

But back to Conway Twitty.  I DID discover him when I was young, like age four, but that's when he looked like this (from "Hee Haw," by the way, and also used by Seth MacFarlane on "Family Guy"):

If I'd discovered him when he looked like he did in this next clip, I probably would have thought he was hot, like my aunt Peggy and a lot of other women who were young in the 1960s and 70s did. OMG. When Conway died on June 5, 1993, Peggy and one of her friends stayed up late, drinking adult beverages, crying and listening to his music, probably on vinyl... possibly on cassette... maybe, but probably not, on 8-track... and maybe on a CD... not everyone had a player then but they were gaining popularity.  I understood that SHE liked him and I could understand, kind of, because I figured she was about 50 and he was probably about 50 and he sang all those sexy songs and had kind of a cool voice, but I didn't think he was HOT.  But in this clip below, he was kind of cute, and that song is freakin' amazing:

Here is another phenomenal clip of the same song... I did not know this show existed.  As performances go, it's not the best Conway ever did (although it might explain why he didn't dance much once color TV footage began), but it's a piece of broadcasting history for Dick Clark's intro alone. Conway looked very uncomfortable and staged, and had to be lip-synching (I just don't think there was any other way back then) but wow! What a lucky break for an Arkansas boy to share a TV audience with Fabian!

It's only make-believe... just like he's making believe he is singing...  I have a real-life, not make-believe, Conway Twitty story.  When I was 12, I ran into him - I mean, I literally ran.into.him - in a bowling alley in Hendersonville, TN.  He was polite, maybe a little annoyed, but polite.  Later I saw him playing in the 11th Frame Lounge, adjoining the bowling alley, just through the door.  I didn't go in.  That would've been a riot. I was there with my church youth group.  He didn't look it in black-and-white, but he was in his mid-20s by the time he made it to Dick Clark's Beech-Nut Show.  That makes me feel better.  I think it's kind of creepy for an old woman to think such a young man would be attractive!  But my daughter will be 25 this summer - NEXT MONTH! - so I guess that's why Conway looks like a kid in those video clips.

I have always had a great sense of imagination. I'm glad that it has grown up along with me, but I am really sorry that I haven't written everything I've dreamt up over the years.  I created characters based on people I knew but mostly based on "what if" scenarios I dreamed up about them.  I have a lot of these stories but now, I don't have nearly enough time to write about them. I'm trying, though. I'm busy in my "real job" but I have a lot more time than I let myself believe.  I like writing non-fiction as well as fiction.. or maybe I should say, real life as much as make-believe.  I'm blessed to have great memories and imagination for both.

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