Jim Croce was possibly one of the first singer-songwriters that I knew in my youth. I’ve mentioned before on the site that while growing up, music wasn’t present in my household. It wasn’t forbidden of course, we just didn’t listen to the radio or LP’s much. However when driving the radio was on and I found myself a young fan of Croce’s folk singing. Particularly his humorous songs like 1972’s You Don’t Mess Around with Jim and of course Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.
Released on the 1973 album Life and Times. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown rocketed Croce to the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100. A mere three months after it’s release as a matter of fact. Furthermore Billboard would go on and rank it the second most popular song for 1973.
Sadly Jim Croce and five others on a Beechcraft E18S were killed during a crash on September 20, 1973.Minutes after take off as they were headed to a concert at Austin College. Indeed, a single day before his moving I Got a Name was released. I was just an infant when Croce tragically died but I can recall how sad I was years later when my Father told me of his fate. Thankfully Croce left us an amazing amount of great music. As well as keeping in public consciousness thanks to films and television shows using his work. Like the second season of Stranger Things for example!
Now then, while I was a fan of Croce’s music thanks to the car radio. I somehow was oblivious to the fact that there was an animated music video for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. A segment it turns out that aired on an episode of the Sonny and Cher show.
Friends, it really is a nice little animated short. I should add that upon watching it for the first time. Which was just last week. I found the animation style to be very similar to that of the Friz Freleng studios of the Pink Panther fame. Turns out that the animator for this was John David Wilson, his studio Fine Arts Films was responsible for the short. Wilson by the way worked on 1952’s Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan. As well as working on such television shows as Mr. Magoo, the Carol Burnett Show, and Peter Pan and the Pirates to name a few.
Now then, you’ve learned a little about Jim Croce and John David Wilson. So enjoy this animated music video for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown!
Originally released in 1978, The Pink Panther’s A Pink Christmas is not your average Christmas tail … er, tale. Throughout most of the 30 minute special, the Pink Panther is starving and in search of food. He’s so hungry in fact that at one point he makes his own wanted poster and tries to have himself arrested just so he can have a warm meal!
Along with A Pink Christmas, two other Pink Panther made for TV movies (1980’s Olym-Pinks and 1981’s Pink at First Sight) are also included on the DVD which was released in 2007. Although I found a copy locally for $9.99, Amazon.com has it even cheaper than that.
I’m a fan of slightly off-the-beaten-path holiday specials, and this one certainly fits the bill.
I love the Internet. If someone hadn’t recently decided to sell the Panthermobile from this TV show, I wouldn’t have come across this retro intro. Then my inner child wouldn’t be hopping up and down, arms flailing about, calling everybody to come sit down, cuz the show’s about to start.
The Pink Panther Show, as titled, aired on NBC Saturday mornings from 1969 to 1970. Though the show was renamed multiple times, it continued until 1978. I’ve watched it for most of those years, but this particular intro, from when I was 2-3 years old (fully-memorized from repetitive viewing), had been forgotten and stashed in the back of my head, in a place where old jingles and lost toon characters await a moment of recall. Seeing these familiar images again today, with its live-action animals and animated Pink Panther exploits, zooms me back to my introductory years of watching the cool cat worldlessly glide through abstract backdrops, face off peacefully against The Man (apparently modeled after creator Friz Freleng) and groove to the jazzy sounds of Henry Manicini.
Oh and I vaguely recall getting the idea I would be driving my dad’s car before I was ten, after seeing that kid zip towards Grauman’s Chinese Theater in that snazzy race car. Thankfully, I promptly forgot about it when the titles of the show changed.
It might sound odd, but I come from a big caramel family. Everyone in my family just seems to be born with a natural inkling for the stuff. Usually that meant the occasional processed candy bar or decent quality caramel from the mall. The our local supermarket started carrying these Kraft caramels. I would pester my Mom to buy them and should would relent and dole them out slowly, but I thought unbeknownst to her I knew where she hid them and would sneak a couple every once in a while. I found out much later that she knew I was sneaking them, but she was so impressed that I would only eat one, every time I did a sneak run, that she let me do it. Guess she figured kids needed to rebel and that sneaking caramel was a pretty benign form of rebellion. Mothers.
Here is an ad with the Pink Panther selling Caramels and other candies from Kraft. Like these things need someone to sell them. They sell themselves.