Don Knotts, R.I.P.

Someone asked about black and white vs. color movies recently, and one could make a case for each. But Don Knotts, who died yesterday, was the perfect character inside that TV set in the mostly black and white film Pleasantville.
Of course, he’s best known as Barney Fife on Andy Griffith Show, a five-time Emmy winner. The show suffered greatly after his departure. I watched religiously for the well-meaning, but inept deputy to mangle something that Sheriff Taylor would put aright. But Barney always had a good heart, right under the pocket where he usually kept that one bullet for his gun.

I even watched an episode of Matlock, just to see Andy and Don back at work.
He almost was enough to make me watch Three’s Company, but not quite.
Johnny B. notes the death of “Kolchak: the Night Stalker” star Darren McGavin.

John R. Cash

I appreciated Johnny Cash well enough when I was growing up. I watched his 1969-1971 TV show, mostly because he had great guests such as Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. I enjoyed his music on the radio, but didn’t buy any of his albums until Class of ’55, his 1986 collaboration with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins.

Then, someone gave me that first American Recording, produced by Rick Rubin, that came out in 1994. And I was hooked. I figured the second disc, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as his backup band, would be a big hit in 1996. It was well-received, but only got to #170 on the charts. By the time I bought the third album in 2000, which features Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat”, I had started picking up some of Johnny’s earlier work as well, Folsom Prison and San Quentin.

I was slackjawed when I saw the “Hurt” video from the fourth album, and cried when I saw it again after Johnny died in 2003.

Subsequently, I picked up the American Recordings box set. Fans of Johnny might want to pick up his daughter Rosanne’s new album, “Black Cadillac”. The video that comes with the disc, and which can also be found on her website really enhances the listening experience.

In my office, we refer to the man as “John R.”, because the title of this piece is the name in which the songs he wrote were copyrighted.

Never did see the movie “Walk the Line”, and I REALLY wanted to, but it’s available Tuesday on DVD.

Rock meme:
Artist/Band: Johnny Cash (b. 2/26/1932, d. 9/12/2003)
Are you male or female: Boy Named Sue; Man in Black
Describe yourself: I Walk the Line
How do some people feel about you: Come In Stranger
How do you feel about yourself: I Won’t Back Down
Describe what you want to be: Everybody Loves a Nut
Describe how you live: Against the Wind
Describe how you love: I Love You Because
Share a few words of wisdom: One Place at a Time
Today, some time after 5 pm EST, there will be 6.5 billion people on this planet, according to the Census population clock.

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