Monday, July 21, 2008

Good Things Come in Threes -- A My Town Monday Post

I've talked about a few historically significant people to Amarillo and the Panhandle area. I've even talked about a couple of celebrities from the area. For this week's My Town Monday I'm going to go that route again and talk about a trio of well known Amarilloans. On the surface these three have little in common and lumping them together will see odd, but I'll present my convoluted common thread at the end.

John Rich was born in Amarillo on January 7, 1974. The same year as my wife. He also attended the same high school she did though he moved to Nashville before graduation. Rich is a very talented and prolific songwriter and singer. His greatest success as a vocal artist has been with Big Kenny in the duo Big & Rich. Currently you can see John as one of the judges on the NBC reality show Nashville Star. He also hosted the show Gone Country on CMT last year. He has also written songs for singers such as Jason Aldean (Amarillo Sky), Faith Hill, Gretchen Wilson, Aaron Tippin, Wynonna, and his former group Lonestar.

John also appears to be a shrewed businessman who has helped launch the career of others. Some do not care for his musical style and he has been labeled as not playing true country music. I for appreciate his rebellious and outlaw ways and Big & Rich do put on a heck of a live show. Yes, he's a bit flamboyant and over the top for the genre. Maybe those tendencies are what got him in trouble and led his bandmates in Lonestar to fire him, but I gotta ask, when was the last time they had a hit?

Carolyn Sue Jones was born in Amarillo on April 28, 1930. The actress of Comanche ancestry had a successful career and starred in movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Seven Year Itch, and King Creole opposite Elvis Presley. Though her hair was naturally blond she is best known and most recognizable from her television days where she wore a long black wig and portrayed Morticia Addams in the old television series The Addams family.

Sadly. Carolyn Jones died of colon cancer on August 3, 1983. She might have been the world's first gothic female personality and is reported to have been a direct descendant of Indian Chief Geronimo. Also for a time in the fifties, she was married to mega producer Aaron Spelling though in those days he was a struggling filmmaker himself.

Rounding out the trio of Amarillo celebs in Sandy Cheeks. Sadly I could not find an exact date for her birth but research did provide a year 1985. Okay unless you have kids you might not realize Sandy Cheeks is a fictional character on the cartoon series, Sponge Bob Square Pants. Sandy is a squirrel and in one episode said she was from Amarillo, Texas.

One of Sandy's regular sayings is "Don't you dare take the name of Texas in vain."

I couldn't agree more Sandy.

So other than a hometown what ties these three together. Isn't it obvious?

All you gotta do is listen to the lyrics of Big & Rich's hit Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy to know John Rich is a bit nutty. Carolyn Jones played the matriarch of the word's nuttiest family, this side of the one spawned by Joe Jackson, and Sandy cheek is a squirrel. They love nuts.

Seems like natural association to me.

For more My Town Monday Blog check below. I'll link as I become aware of other posts.

Patti Abbott - Stratford, Ontario

Karen Alaniz - Walla Walla, Washington

J.L. Krueger - Kabul, Afghanistan

Lyzzydee - Welwyn Garden City, England

Terrie Farley Moran (Women of Mystery) New York, New York

Barbara Martin - Toronto, Canada

PretZel - West Bend, Iowa

Barrie Summy - Ontario, California

Mary Nix - Olmsted Falls, Ohio

Britta Coleman - Is alive and well and back in Fort Worth, Texas

Debra - Peninsula, Ohio

SUV Mama - Portland, Oregon

Clair Dickson - Livingston County, Michigan


pattinase (abbott) said...

Mine's up.

Loved Carolyn Jones. She died too young.

Gregory Anderson said...

I once dated a woman from Amarillo and fully concur with your inference.


I'm one of them Texan's that's not fond of modern day country music..I like Ernest, Merle,Johnny,Waylon, Willie,Patsy, Hank,etc. but I absolutely loved Carolyn Jones...thought she was great in King Creole...I have never watched square bob sponge pants..or what ever his name is...I have been thru the panhandle and think it's starkness is what makes Texas ...Texas...

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

"and we're coming to your ci-ty." What? You say John Rich doesn't want me to sing with him while Big Kenny is on hiatus. Darn, I thought this was my big chance!

Carolyn Jones was a wonderful actress. I am sorry to hear she is gone.

I'm a grandmother so of course I know Sandy. Didn't know she's a friend of yours, though.

I'm doing the MTM over at Women of Mystery this week--the awe inspiring Empire State Building.

The post will go up at eight minutes past midnight Eastern Standard time.

Yeah, I know, even I can't figure out how I come up with those weird post times.


holly said...

i wholeheartedly endorse the grouping of people into the "nut" category.

i now have to go get famous so i can be in same.

sybil law said...

So, are you saying the nut doesn't fall far from the tree? And does that make you nutty?!

Barbara Martin said...

Travis, you're nutty, too, so that makes four.

Loved Carolyn Jones in the Addams Family. Best show in its day.

My post is up.

J. L. Krueger said...

Carolyn Jones was one of the first older women I had a crush on as a kid. Though it was in her Morticia and wig days, I think she set the standard for me liking dark-haired women.

preTzel said...

I LOVE Sandy Cheeks. She's the bestest Texan Evah! Well, next to you Travis. :D

Btw, there is something over on my blog for you - stop by and pick it up. :D

Lana Gramlich said...

Very interesting! Morticia rocked. So you're giving prizes for MTM now? How cool of you! Hopefully one of these days I'll find some time to get back to it, myself.

TentCamper said...

I love Amaretto!!!!

Sandy is the bomb!! And it seems like Amarillo is quite the breeding ground!

Suzanne said...

Well, I'll say this about that, Carolyn rocks.

Thanks for the comment and support on my blog. I'll find my way. After the fire at Discovery Park I can't seem to, but know things will work out eventually.


preTzel said...

I finished mine Travis. This week I took the readers to see the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. :D

Barrie said...

What an interesting mixed bag!

My post is up: Ontario, CA


Joshua said...

Adams Family i think kicks the crap out of the Munsters

Nicole said...

Travis - My grandfather dated Carolyn Jones in high school! Kind of strange!

Melissa Amateis said...

I LOVE that you included Sandy the Squirrel!

angel, jr. said...

The Addams Family theme is now stuck in my head.

texlahoma said...

Interesting post, I learned a few things. I think you've started a good thing with My Town Monday. As I clicked on some of the links I realized you've got people writing about what they really know about. Anyway, keep up the good work.

Britta Coleman said...

Who knew that Morticia was from Amarillo? Great job on digging up the fun facts.

Sorry I've been away. My post is up today.

Anonymous said...

I love country music...

Thanks for the supportive comments on my blog. I've been awful about getting out and about but I'll try to be better. ;)

debra said...

My post is up, Travis. I'll be back later to read yours :-)

Mom In Scrubs said...

This is great! I never would have made the connection.

I'm not into country but I have to appreciate BNR's wacky approach. The first time I saw their CD cover, I thought it said, "Big 'O' Bitch." I never lived that one down at work...

I love Sandy...I like the one where she tries to hibernate and turns into a raving lunatic.

Morticia was great. I agree with Joshua: Muensters, who?

WordVixen said...

I love Sandy Cheeks! And I so remember that episode... I think it was my favorite.

Jess said...

LOL! I had no idea Carolyn Jones was from Amarillo. Rock on. As for John- I notice that critism is often directed by those that don't make any money to those that do. Obviously the guy is doing something right.

Add me to the list. It just took me all damn day to get it posted.

Clair D. said...

You're a riot, Travis.

My post for Livingston County is up, finally. =)

Anonymous said...

I didn't know those folks were from your town! I figure the whole human race is a bit on the nutty side.

Thanks for another informative week!


Rocketstar said...

I always thought Morticia was sexy.

Unknown said...

Hey you! What a fantastic post! I love JOHN RICH love that group! Anywoo I had fun learning about your home town! Thanks for stopping by...come by often! I love seeing your there friend!

DrillerAA said...

I'm not a huge fan of Big & Rich, but I think John is a very good judge on Nashville Star.

Melanie Miday-Stern said...

Sorry I haven't stopped by in a long time. Summer is busy w/ not having to work! LOL Anyway, loved your my town Monday today! I will be starting a new My Town Monday post next week about the lil town I am living in now. There are some really interesting things I have seen and observed since I moved. It will probably also include things from my county and the big city of Laurinburg, NC! ROFL

Have a great week!

Clare2e said...

I was SUCH a fan of Mortician and the Addams family in my childhood. I was always tickled by the grim absurdity and webby architecture. Explains a few things, doesn't it? I thought Carolyn Jones was so pretty, so elegant and self-possesed, even though she couldn't walk in that mermaid gown. Turns out she really was a Southern-ish lady. I should've guessed. Thanks, Travis! Any Addams family day is a good one.