Whenever I Call You (My Other) Friend

Yes, this is about Kenny Loggins.

Did I mention I have OTHER Kenny Loggins articles on this site?

Kenny Loggins (And Michael McDonald)…on PBS!

Kenny Loggins and David Foster Brag, Then Perform “Forever”

And the Only Way to Start Your Set at a David Foster Concert? Heart to Heart!

I started to write this in the middle of listening to a triple threat of Kenny Loggins songs – “Playing with the Boys,” “Heart to Heart” (my personal favorite Kenny Loggins song), and the song that serves as this article’s title (ok, this is a play on the song’s title), which was the song that set off the whole triple threat. And this article.

Who says you can’t find inspiration in the strangest of places? Though if you ask me, iHeart Radio is a perfectly fine place to draw inspiration from!

“Whenever I Call You ‘Friend'” is a single from Loggins’ 1978 album Nightwatch. The single was releasd in July 1978, and reached #5 in the fall of that same year. It was co-penned by Loggins and singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, and was inspired by their chance meetings in various places and pairings at televised awards shows. They managed to keep running into each other, and Loggins asked Manchester to write a song with him.

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And so they did. The result of that collaboration (and a salute to their chance meetings) was Whenever I Call You “Friend.”

But they never actually sang it together.

No really, they wrote it, but they apparently never had a chance meeting to record it together.

The actual story behind why this never happened all comes down to record labels – Loggins was signed to Columbia Records (still is), and Manchester was signed to Arista Records. So if they wanted to collaborate, their labels would never have allowed it to happen.

So Loggins found a “friend” who could record with him – Fleetwood Mac’s own, Stevie Nicks.


This is their version.

Uploaded by Sue581000

Oh, and he did this version with his band. And it doesn’t sound bromance-like at all.

Uploaded by KennyLogginsVEVO

Meanwhile, Melissa Manchester recorded a separate version with Arnold McCuller.

Uploaded by MrPurser

I don’t know, this version just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it is the Kenny Loggins bias, but I really like the version everyone seems more familiar. Manchester chose not to include it on her 2012 retrospective, Playlist, citing that she doesn’t feel like her version is satisfactory as compared to Loggins’ version. However, her version was more critically acclaimed, with AllMusic saying Manchester’s version is a far more “elegant and supple song.”

Which version is forever doing it for you?

You’ve never seen such a beautiful site, until you’ve seen Allison’s blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and call her “friend” on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. 

Go on, give her a reason to carry on…with her writing!


Horror Sounds Of The Night

There is no finer example of irony when you go out to the garage to pull out your Halloween decorations, and you’re too afraid to bring them in the house because they’re covered in spiderwebs. Being arachnophobic, I’m not bothered by the webs; it’s what could possibly lurk in those poorly-sealed boxes that worries me. So… looks like Halloween is gonna be served on the lighter side this year. Thankfully, I don’t always have to dig through boxes to create a spooky atmosphere. I took the liberty of uploading all those old Halloween-themed records and cassettes to my computer years ago, and have amassed a pretty impressive collection of sound effects, songs, stories and even old radio dramas.

One stands out above the rest and remains a perennial favorite though; the Horror Sounds of the Night by Topstone Industries.

I remember my dad buying this for me at a local costume shop back in 1986. The store was called Bonnie’s and was the kinda place that was open all year-round, but when October hit, it was THE place to shop for Halloween. It went from being a quiet little craft store to being as packed as a NY subway on a Monday morning! Everything could be found in there! It was usually where my parents went to get my costume, or costume accessories. It was also a great place for cheap decorations and toys. Since I already had my fair share of rubber skeletons, bats and Beistle die-cut outs, I found myself looking for something different to add to my collection. That’s when I found this cassette tape hanging off the rack. It instantly grabbed my attention because at the time, I didn’t have anything like it. Also, it was only $2, so there was no haggling with my dad to get it! As a Halloween-obsessed 10-year old, this cassette was a favorite from the moment I brought it home. It has been the soundtrack every October, 30 years running. I would play this in my room with all the lights out, a Jack-O-Lantern lit up and a green glow stick nearby. Even now, it provides an excellent ambiance for making Halloween crafts, sorting candy, decorating, etc. On Halloween, before we went out trick-or-treating, my parents would let me push the stereo speakers up to the front windows and turn up the volume. (Back then, stereo speakers were so big, they actually could fill up a living room window!)

Nowadays, sound effect CDs are a dime a dozen, but none have ever had the same effect on me. That’s mostly nostalgia talking, but I truly have listened to dozens of these things over the years. Even after discovering recently that a lot of these sounds were “borrowed” from older LPs (60s and 70s era stuff that was probably all public domain by then) I still believe this is the best compilation. I’ve always found this particular recording to be genuinely spooky, fun and not ruined with cheesy narration or pop songs vaguely related to Halloween. (Which is what was more common throughout the late 80s and 90s.) Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE songs like Monster Mash, Ghostbusters and Thriller, but those are songs you play at Halloween parties/dances, NOT what should be included on CDs that are clearly advertised as “Spooky/Scary Sounds”!


Although, as much as I love this tape, it’s not perfect. Right around the 6 minute mark, you start hearing a woman screaming. Not unusual for a Halloween recording, but it goes on for over a minute and a half, which is a long time if you’re blaring this out of a living room window. It’s not only genuinely unpleasant to the ears, but it quickly starts to blur the lines of reality and fiction. Shortly after the incessant screaming stops, a man’s moaning begins. It’s obviously supposed to be a ghost, but it gets a little too…ummm….adult-themed in nature. As if this particular ghost is having WAY more pleasure scaring people than he really should be. Sure, I get it….we all have fetishes, in life and in death (I assume), too….but let’s just try to keep that to their own category of sounds effect tapes. (Maybe sell them behind beaded curtains in dimly-lit shops on the other side of the tracks….?) Honestly, I just hated always having to rush to the tape player to turn down the volume when these parts came on.

Now, thanks to the beauty of modern technology, I was finally able to edit those unpleasant parts out. I’ve uploaded both the original AND edited versions to Youtube. The first link here is the original recording. The second is the shorter, edited version. (Each one has a link to the other, as well.) Both are in high-quality, LOUD, audio presentation for your listening pleasure. I also took the liberty of adding some carefully-selected, spooky images to the edited version. Now turn off the lights, crack that glow stick, light up a Jack-O-Lantern, sit back and enjoy.

[Via] Anthony Foust

[Via] Anthony Foust


“My Date With A Duke”

As I have said in other blog entries, returning to the United States in 1979 after spending three years in Germany was like stepping out of a time machine and leaving 1916 to appear in 2016.

In the United States, video games were new, fast-food restaurants were everywhere and there was more than ONE channel on the television.

My first full day back in the states was a Friday. How in the world could I remember that fact more than 36 years later? Simple…My cousins sat me down that evening to watch The Dukes of Hazzard on CBS.

I was very reluctant at first to take a seat in front of the television with them that night. I knew that being a “duke” involved the British monarchy, and that was the last thing I wanted to do after spending the last three years confined to Central Europe.

And then, with the twang of an electric guitar lick, it began. I spent the next 60 minutes asking my cousins all sorts of questions about the show – and getting few answers during the commercial breaks.

[Via] BygHoss
I tried to catch the previous episodes during the re-run season, and remained a faithful follower of the show through the remainder of the Dukes’ seven seasons on television – even during the infamous “Coy and Vance” period. It was a show like no other before it, and although many have tried to recapture the “lightning in a bottle” the show produced, nothing has come close since then.

Now, let’s fast-forward to the mid-1990s.

I was selling Internet service at Rivergate Mall in a northern suburb of Nashville, Tenn., in 1996. My job involved selling dial-up and ISDN Internet connections to people wandering through the mall on their way to purchase an Orange Julius smoothie.


The Internet of 1996 had only recently been expanded thanks to the World Wide Web, and more people were anxious to try it out. So, to help feed their need, we sold a floppy disk with setup programs to install our dial-up service onto the beige boxes in Grandma’s kitchen across the country.

Internet In A Mall will probably be the topic of a future Retroist Blog offering, but I included it here because it was the catalyst to this entire story.

Two of my first Internet customers were a woman named Jett Williams and her husband, Keith Adkinson. After purchasing our service, they offered to pay for my time if I could drive out to their home and install their software. With nothing on my calendar, and the prospect of newly-acquired pizza money in my pocket, I agreed.

When I arrived at their country home, I quickly realized things were not as they appeared. It turns out that Jett is the daughter of country music legend Hank Williams, and half-sister to Bocephus himself, Hank Williams Jr. She has an amazing story, and I’d recommend checking out the Wikipedia listing about her to learn more.

After hooking up their Internet, they were pleased with the job, I was asked to create a website for her and some other tech stuff. I accepted, and they invited me to listen to Jett perform the next night at the famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville – located at the back door of the original home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Ryman Auditorium.

My boss, Dennis Thibodeaux, and I both went to the show together. We found a table in the back and proceeded to enjoy a couple adult beverages when a blonde female approached us and asked if she could sit in the empty seat at our table.

We graciously asked her to join us and introduced ourselves.

“Hello, my name is Stella. Stella Parton.”


My lower jaw fell open and I’m sure it was far from indiscreet.

“You mean like the Stella Parton from the Dukes of Hazzard television show?” I asked, while stumbling over every word.

“Darling, I want to hug your neck,” Stella said. “”It seems like everyone’s first sentence to me is to ask about my sister Dolly when I first meet them, but you’re one of the first to mention my own career..!”


Yes, friends…I was sipping an adult beverage in a Nashville honky-tonk with the beautiful sister of Dolly Parton, an actress who appeared on one of my favorite TV shows, and a well-known country entertainer.

It turns out that Stella and Jett were friends and she was at Tootsie’s to hear Ms. Williams perform. I didn’t waste the opportunity, and she happily answered questions from me between performances.

Stella appeared in Season 1, Episode 10 “Deputy Dukes” which aired April 13, 1979. She played Mary Beth Malone – a ruthless criminal who sees the error of her ways by the end of the episode.

I asked about Denver (Uncle Jessie) Pyle, and she said he was funny, smart and a delight to work with. She said the same about her scenes with James (Rosco) Best, Tom (Luke) Wopat and John (Bo) Schneider.

Our evening together ended with Jett’s rendition of her father’s hit song, “Your Cheating Heart” and Stella Parton gave me another big hug before we parted ways. She autographed the label from her beer and gave it to me before leaving.

Stella has made other television appearances through the years, and has received several awards during her singing career.

[Via] Brandstrans

But, I will always remember her for the hugs and kind words – just because I remembered her as my favorite Duke…


Eleven Minutes in Random Television Watching!

Several years back (actually, it was eight years ago), I was dating a guy who “gifted” me portions of his recorded videocassette collection. I had to give them back, but the purpose was for me to dub the material on the tapes to DVD-R discs. It sounds pointless that anyone would want to do this, but as a nostalgia hobbyist (even back then), the most mundane finds on a videocassette are fun.

I’d like to think I would have gotten more from his collection, had I not gone back to work after a winter layoff from my last job, and if we hadn’t broken up a few months after that. That second factor is the bigger reason I don’t have more than the massive collection I already have. The relationship may not have lasted, but the nostalgic gold goes on and on!

One of the tapes consisted of several May 1995 recordings of Home Improvement, a show I never particularly cared for, but what I found within the tape suited my nostalgic curiosity quite nicely. (Please don’t submit hate mail or declarations for that admission. I’ve just never been a big Tim Allen fan.)

My ex-boyfriend’s mother must have had VCR duty on one particular night, because she did something many parents did in the day (and something I’m equally guilty of having done once). In all honesty, she probably forgot she had the VCR recording, and there was a commercial on, because, this happened.

It all started off innocently enough. You’re taping a show, and a commercial comes on, but you forget you’re taping the show and decide to see what’s on another channel. Except you don’t stay on the channel, you decide “hey, what the heck? I’ll just keep clicking!”

So you do!

And then you wind up on the cable access channel…the one that shows real estate listings and plays a rockin’ 90s soundtrack. You feel like 1995 found you and embraced you like a friend.

Dionne Ferris. 1995 one-hit wonder for the win!

I’m not from the area where these houses are listed (but I’ve been through there), and I can tell you with 100% certainty that Washington Township is a nice place to live.


Then there are the real estate agents. It’s like they went to the JC Penney portrait studio and had their pictures taken on the same day.

I particularly love Tom Duffy. Jacket on, jacket slung over shoulder. No way this guy isn’t a total stud.

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Jack exudes confidence as he hits on your through the television screen.


And yes, you are seeing double!


Ex-boyfriend’s mom, proving not to be idle, begins clicking around again. She eventually made her way back to Home Improvement, but she’s not done yet. Oh no, not yet.

QVC, some lady in love with mashed potatoes…


…NJN (a New Jersey local network connected to PBS), UPN, the WB, UPN again, some nature documentary (????), these people…


Whose eyes may actually look like this…

High School baseball, a Philadelphia Phillies game (shudder), random clicking, shoes on the Home Shopping Club 2 (yes, a second Home Shopping Club Channel, remember that?)…

Fifth position in heels, baby!

Fifth position in heels, baby!

…that really good Michael Douglas movie Falling Down (she turned it on during the climactic scene towards the end!), then an extended stop on The Preview Guide.


Remember those days? I swear, I used to LOVE this channel, which is like TV Guide for people who hate to read TV Guide and watch movie trailers and TV promos all day long. I myself loved TV Guide (I read it for the articles). National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (remember that?!), some guy ringing a bell, Court TV, basketball, hockey, and finally, Shirley MacLaine on Larry King Live round out this collection of channel surfing.


They wore their best for this interview. He in his suspenders, she in her…finest man’s evening wear. I don’t write this stuff, I just find it.

To be honest, Shirley MacLaine clip was longer than I let it run, but I am only looking to save your sanity. After all, you’re sitting through almost twelve minutes of an old ex-boyfriend’s mom changing channels.

But enough of me telling you about all of this, why not watch for yourself, and revel in the glory of 1990s television yourself?

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

Allison’s tape collection doesn’t jewels jewels as this, but still contains some interesting finds (as evidenced by previous articles). She displays many of these unusual jewels over at her blog, Allison’s Written Words. However, she loves saving the truly unusual for Retroist readers (you’re welcome). If you want, you can follow her blog on Facebook, and drop her a tweet @AllisonGeeksOut.

Thank you, Allison’s ex-boyfriend’s mom.

Also…if her boyfriend hadn’t stolen her heart already, he’d have some stiff competition from Tom and Jack.

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Mouth and MacNeal…And Their Trippy Music Video

European Howdy Doody puppets. Two people dressed like 1970s Muppets. A guy who looks like the human version of Sweetums from the Muppets. Children. Dancing. Two Muppet references in one paragraph.

I don’t smoke anything, but I’m convinced I had my one millionth contact high from what I just watched.

I was at my boyfriend’s the other night. We were on our laptops while watching TV, just chilling after a nice dinner out.

And then he wanted me to see this You Tube video.

Give him some credit, I’m usually the one digging these esoteric finds up.

What he showed me was the 1972 song/video “How Do You Do,” by Willem “Big Mouth” Duyn and Maggie McNeal (born Sjoukje van’t Spijker). I don’t need any further reason to believe the 1970’s weren’t the ultimate drug fest they prove to be in retrospect. I’ve seen the catalyst.

There is so much happening in this video, I don’t want to believe it is real.


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All ages allowed. No discrimination here!

European Howdy Doody…whom Mouth promptly dumps alcohol into the mouth of…

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Mouth and MacNeal feeding some woman lying on stools, as spectators…spectate and sing along.

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These people…

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And more crowds!!  These lovely people get up and start doing the dance of the Satanic Ritual…I mean, they’re jumping up and down, while cheerfully singing “Na-na-na-na-na-na! This is what I’m living for!”

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Didn’t anyone ever tell these kind people that groupthink is a dangerous, dangerous mentality?

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But who cares? This is what they’re living for!

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And the puppet has stolen her soul.

But this is what she’s living for!

If this is what passed as Europe’s highest form of entertainment in the 1970s, I’m beginning to understand the “Trololo” phenomenon/fascination/fetish/horror.

And if you really think I’m going to let you get away without seeing Exhibit Number 1…my boyfriend didn’t let me get away, and you’re not getting off easy.

Torture. This is what I’m living for!

Uploaded by fritz51177…because Fritz can!

This is what he’s living for!

Ok, I’ll stop!

Allison was swept up in the whole “Trololo” fascination of the early 2010s (thanks to Family Guy), and she has listened to it countless times. She even used to listen to it on Tuesday and refer to the day as “Trololo Tuesdays.” She didn’t even know this song (or group) existed until this past weekend. This is what she’s living for…you reading her other stuff over on Allison’s Written Words, following her blog on Facebook, and finding her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

So sing “na-na, na-na, na-na-na-na-na-na!” and revel in the glory of 1970s European Awesomeness. Which is like 1970s Awesomeness, but European!


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Living. Catch the enthusiasm!