October 1, 2020

We’re sad to report the deaths of two major music stars of the 1970s on Tuesday, both at age 78. No cause of death was announced for pop singer Helen Reddy, but she suffered from Addison’s disease and was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.

During her heyday, Reddy had her own variety show, appeared on countless other TV shows, acted in movies such as Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” and on Broadway and London’s West End, and 15 top 40 Billboard singles, including six top 10’s and three #1 hits. They include “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Delta Dawn,” “You and Me Against the World,” “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” and “Angie Baby.”

Her biggest hit, though, and the one that cemented her forever as a feminist icon, was 1972’s “I Am Woman,” for which she wrote the lyrics and Ray Burton wrote the music. It went to #1 and won her the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal. She said it was inspired by the strong women in her family who survived the Depression, world wars and abusive, alcoholic husbands, and by the sexism she’d had to battle in show business. (Ironically, some feminists were upset over the line, “But I’m still an embryo,” since they didn’t want to associate the women’s lib movement with a pregnancy – or maybe they didn’t want to associate an embryo with a human being.)

Ironically, the massive success of “I Am Woman” helped end Reddy’s career. When she learned it was mentioned in a friend’s daughter’s history book, she decided she’d made her mark and could never outdo it, so she retired in 2002 to her native Australia. Aside from a few occasional live performances, she mostly devoted herself to her family and a new career as a clinical hypnotherapist. Ironically, just this month, a new movie about her life debuted. It’s called “I Am Woman.”

Also on Tuesday, pop/country singer/songwriter/actor Mac Davis passed away in Nashville after heart surgery. Davis recorded a number of hits, including “Stop and Smell the Roses,” “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” and “It’s Hard to Be Humble.” He also wrote many hits for other artists, including Kenny Rogers’ “Something’s Burning,” Gallery’s “I Believe In Music,” the Elvis classics “In The Ghetto,” “Memories” and “A Little Less Conversation,” and even co-wrote the recent Bruno Mars hit, “Young Girls.”

Like Reddy, Davis also hosted his own NBC variety series and acted in movies (“North Dallas Forty,” “The Sting II”) and on stage (“The Will Rogers Follies.”) He was so versatile, he is both a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

* * * *

A personal post-debate note…

Last night, to cure my post-debate headache, I put on Amazon Prime to watch “The Andy Griffith Show.” By sheer dumb luck (the same force that kept my wife Laura from dying when she caught swine flu under Obama/Biden), the next episode up in my rotation was “Politics Begins at Home” (Season 7, Ep. 8.)

In it, Aunt Bea decides to run for city council, not knowing that Andy has already endorsed county clerk Howard Sprague for the seat. She accuses Andy of being a sexist and doesn’t believe his pleas that he just thinks Howard is better qualified for the position. After making his life miserable for a while, she goes to a debate with Howard. When people ask about issues of local importance, like whether to build a new bridge or sewer system, she has the same answer:

If the people want a bridge (or sewer system or whatever), then they shall have a bridge! The people’s will shall always be supreme and lead us through the dark night of politics (or something like that.) Naturally, it gets a lot of applause.

Then Howard keeps explaining, with facts and figures, why those projects would be wastes of taxpayer money and how the same thing could be accomplished much cheaper.

Eventually, Aunt Bea stands up and urges everyone to vote for Howard because he’s obviously the most qualified and she doesn’t know why anyone would vote for her.

If only last night’s debate had gone like that, with Uncle Joe in the role of Aunt Bea.

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Comments 1-4 of 4

  • Kathy Gibbons

    10/06/2020 11:30 AM

    Trust me.......aunt Bea would be a heck of alot better than Sleepy Uncle joe.
    She would not need a teleprompter and need a wire up her sleeve.
    Aunt Bea would have no reason to cheat at events like this debate.

  • Mona Kramer

    10/02/2020 05:42 AM

    The government must never shut the country down again. I live in Florida and our Governor has opened up the state and said no matter what happens, the state will not shut down again. Hope others follow suit.

  • Paul T Criss

    10/01/2020 03:25 PM

    You are great! I love the way you think and make excellent application of good-thinking.


  • Bryan Dumas

    10/01/2020 01:11 PM

    Maybe if “Howard” had stuck to facts and figures we could have seen that response, at least from some that are thinking of supporting Aunt Bea.