Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By Request/ Charlie Brown's JukeBox Discography

1. I Can’t Stop Loving You / Ray Charles     
2. Georgia on My Mind / Ray Charles
3. Detroit City / Bobby Bare
4. Wolverton Mountain / Claude King
5. Only Make Believe / Conway Twitty
6. Young Love / Sonny James
7. Last Date / Floyd Cramer
8. He’ll Have to Go / Jim Reevess
9. Stranger On the Shore / Acker Bilk
10. Born to Lose / Ray Charles
11. Still / Bill Anderson
12. Moody River / Johnny Burnette
13. Abilene / George Hamilton IV
14. Liberty Valance / George Pitney
15. El Paso / Marty Robbins
16. Your Cheating Heart / Ray Charles
17. Crazy Arms / Ray Price
18. Oh Lonesome Me / Don Gibson
19. Faded Love / Bob Wills
20. I Can’t Help It / Hank Williams
21. Cold, Cold Heart / Hank Williams
22. I’m So Lonesome… / Hank Williams
23. I’m Sorry / Brenda Lee
24. Hello Walls / Faron Young
25. Crazy / Patsy Cline
26. I Fall to Pieces / Patsy Cline
27. Sweet Dreams / Patsy Cline
28. She’s Got You / Patsy Cline
29. Funny, How Time Slips Away /
Willie Nelson
30. Only Love Can Break a Heart / Gene Pitney
31. All Alone Am I / Brenda Lee
32. Sixteen Tons / Tennessee Ernie Ford
33. Strange / Patsy Cline
34. Stronger Than Me / Patsy Cline
35. Think It Over / Patsy Cline
36. Together Again / Ray Charles
37. Your Cheating Heart / Ray Charles
38. You Don’t Know Me / Ray Charles
39. Tip of My Fingers / Bill Anderson
40. The Night Life / Willie Nelson
41. King of the Road / Roger Miller
42. Dang Me / Roger Miller
43. Dixie Fried / Carl Perkins
44. Memphis / Carl Perkins
45. Memphis / Chuck Berry
46. I’ve Been Everywhere / Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys
47. Take Me Back to Tulsa /  Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys
48. In the Summertime / Roger Miller
49. Engine, Engine No. 9 / Roger Miller
50. Chug-A-Lug / Roger Miller
51. Honky Tonking / Mel Tillis
52. That Little Ole Winemaker Me / Mel Tillis
53. Honky Tonk Blues / Hank Williams
54. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights / Freddie Fender
55. Before You Stopped Loving Me / Asleep at the Wheel
56. All Alone Am I / Brenda Lee
57. Wichita Lineman / Glenn Campbell
58. 500 Miles / Bobby Bare
59. A White Sport Coat / Sonny James
60. Only Love Can Break A Heart / Gene Pitney
61. Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young / Faron Young
62. One Dying and a Burying / Roger Miller
63. San Antonio Rose / Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys
64. Kansas City Star / Roger Miller
65. Do-Wacka-Do / Roger Miller
66. Make the World Go Away / Eddie Arnold
67. She Thinks I Still Care / George Jones
68. Cattle Call / Eddie Arnold
69. Alley Cat / Brent Fabric
70. Ghost Riders in the Sky / Vaughn Monroe
71. Together Again / Buck Owens
72. The Mule, Old Rivers and Me / Walter Brennan
73. I Really Don’t Want to Know / Eddie Arnold
74. North to Alaska / Johnny Horton
75. If You’ve Got the Money… Lefty Frizzell
76. Raunchy / Bill Justis
77. The Battle of New Orleans / Johnny Horton

Ron Boyd and some friends wanted me to post the discography of Charlie Brown's JukeBox and because I've done it so many times and then, like a goofus, I trash it... for one reason or another. So, for all those who care here's a quick solution to the problem. I hope this suffices!    

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Once again, the Weather Channel predicts the end of the world.

Yes, it is tornado time in the south when the cold westerlies slam into the warm, humid, air streaming north from the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the time, it is the heart of the midwest, that bears the brunt of Mother Nature. But the Weather Channel takes it to new heights. Chicken Little has nothing on these "professionals."

I know it sounds funny because most people like Southern California weather. I lived there for thirty years and never got use to the "perfect" weather. There are between my son, my wife and I, many reasons for having left LA, but one of my many reasons was that it never rained enough. I missed the drama of a coming storm, the details of which I will leave for another blog at another time. It far outweighs anything silly hollywood can concoct, but unfortunately, hollywood lives at the Weather Channel.

When I moved back to the bayou, I was impressed, at first, by their timing. It is cool to track a coming storm on the radar... it kinda adds to the drama. But one too many times I took them at heart and really "battened down the hatches" for nothing. Gusting winds 25 to 59 mph, golf ball size hail, heavy rain, two to three inches with localized flooding and lightning. Don't stand next to the windows, turn off all electrical appliances, except the television, including computers and their peripherals, phones, cellphones, battery operated devices! Uh oh, this is the big one!...........................................

Nothing! Nothing close to the Nostradomus's Armageddon they were predicting! Geez, and here we go again tonight! Hide your women and children!

Friday, April 23, 2010

No gaps in our conversation... incredible!

So, we hadn't spoken in twelve years, and after the initial LinkedIn and Facebook pleasantries, we got on the phone to talk some trash, catching up on who is where, what is what and why come? I believe we spoke about forty-five minutes or so. We talked about the internet, Google, web design, growing old, and not wanting to hang up our rock'n roll shoes. We used to send each other cassette tapes of songs that we pertinent to our world at the time. Other than the fact that he liked Frank Sinatra, I felt Ron gave good tape. I still own and play his. That's right. I like tapes, but suffice it to say I have many albums in as many "formats" as you can imagine. 45's, albums, 8-track, cassettes, cd's, dvd's, iTunes, ipods, earpods, nosepods, throatpods... you name it, I've probably got it five times over.

But, I kinda lost my enthusiasm when Katrina flooded my mom's home with eight feet of water and she lost everything including all her photo albums and momentos. After that, collecting anything just seemed stupid!

A week later, Ron sent me an email saying he was sending me two cd's of current music and mentioned that he read somewhere that it was a sign of great friendship when there are no gaps in a conversation. You know, no idle or awkward moments where two people run out of things to say and struggle to avoid the embarrassment! How could there be any lulls in our conversation? Besides not seeing each other for so many years, we are both blessed with the "gift of gab".

My Country Music Education... Charlie Brown's Jukebox.

A few years after I made the original Charley Brown's Jukebox,  I had a few "fans" ask me to do a
"CBJ" 2. Technically, there are some songs in number 2 that I had acquired since the first tape or just couldn't fit on the original discography, so it didn't harm the "concept" of the original tape. The "juke box" now has 79 country tunes in it, which would amount to three cassette tapes. 

Charley Brown's Jukebox was about living in the home of jazz and R&B and being exposed to country music only through this bar that I visited as a twelve and thirteen year old kid ordering lunch for my dad and his two  other "employees". The food was always good, but the service was slow, so I got to hear lots of tunes.

As you remember,  programming the tape was a pain. It was the research and juxtaposition of songs in a mini concept that was so much fun. The physical act of placing it on tape was tedious and too much like what I do for a living. Many of those songs were of the "crying in your beer type". After all,  Charlie Brown's bar was barroom that was dark, moody and kinda smelly with lots of patrons leaning over their beer as they confide with the bartender, who very well could have been Charlie Brown, himself. To a teenager, the smell of red beans and rice or poor boys and stale beer, the sad songs, mostly in minor keys, and the sights of people, who became a fixture there everyday, made those songs all the more intriguing and added a little something to it that many people today just don't think much about. Ron, it's guys like you that understand and appreciate those times so well, that make life so rich... thanks!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Air Force artists document Reserve fighter group in Alaska...

Well yes, Steven Walker and I had a ball. Neither of us have ever been to Alaska. Our Air Force guide, Major Lisa Reaver was great and showed us all around Elmendorf, AFB and Anchorage. Eventually, Steve and I are gonna post our pics though many of them will be aircraft or airmen working on the base. One evening, after we put in a good days work, Lisa took us to meet some of her friends at a place called Humpy's in downtown Anchorage, where they play this trivia game amongst the restaurant customers. Ten rounds of 8 or more trivia questions between about twenty different teams ( tables ). The game, the food (lots of salmon) the microbreweries and the Air Force camaraderie were all there to make a great "end of the day" party.

The weather wasn't bad for Alaska. It snowed just about every day and it was naturally cold especially on the flight line and tarmac. BRRRRR!

David Bedard, the writer (in the picture is just right of me!) who interviewed us for an article he was writing about our mission, always wanted to be an artist or illustrator, so Steven and I got to answer a lot questions about the biz of commercial art. He was an excellent interviewer and really did his research before interviewing us. It's a shame that he could not expatiate further in the paper on what it is like being an artist, but the story was written to, naturally, highlight their mission. Now, I've kinda called myself out and am really gonna have to give the 477th squadron of the Air Reserve a nice painting.

You can read his article about our mission in the "Last Frontier"at: http://www.jber.army.mil/aw/2010/100416/Story8.htm 

On the last day of our stay, Lisa somehow found out that I still make model aircraft ( we spent some time in the interview talking with David about our influences and naturally I mentioned Jack Leynnwood ) so as a going away present the commander of the squadron presented us with a F-22 Raptor kit to take home. Whoa!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Are you drawing me? Yes, but you moved!

One of the few successful sketches to come out of our trip to Alaska. There was a contingent of reserve servicemen on a weekend training session serving the native indian population in rural Alaska. They're training for when disasters strike like the recent earthquakes, the tsunami and hurricanes like Katrina. While they were waiting for the C-17's to load, our group was waiting for transportation back to 477th headquarters. After wasting thirty minutes, it dawned on me that this would be a great time to pull out the sketch pad. I spotted this female sergeant lugging a sixty pound pack looking for a place to "hurry up and wait". After ten minutes of me staring at her, she politely inquired,"Are you drawing me?" Minutes later, our van came to pick us up and as I quickly gathered my belongings and sketch pad, she came over and asked me, if, when I finished with the sketch, if I could email her a copy. Flattered, I replied, "Absolutely!"

This is the tightened version of the two field sketches!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The T-38 Talon...

Last, but not least, is this beautifully rendered trainer circling to land somewhere along the SoCal coast in the evening light.  I asked the owner of this print if he knew whether or not this was done in color. Can you imagine how nice that would have been. Just recently, I was on an Air Force trip to document an Air Reserve fighter squadron receiving the amazing F-22.  The guide and liason, Major Lisa Reaver, knew that I was a model maker and that I still enjoyed that hobby. As a going away present, she and the acting 477th commander presented me with a 1/72 scale model of the F-22 Raptor, a kit moulded outside the U.S. but sporting the classic "Revell" logo in the upper left corner of the boxtop. I can think of no better way of saying thanks and goodbye than that!

Another "Snark" illustration

 The illustrator that gave me this photo of Jack's work thought this was for a aerospace company, but I remember it in one of the many brochures advertising Revell's models. It is amazing to me how big that industry was back in the fifties and sixties. Note the basic and very large computer chip!

Snark missile...

I am not sure this is a Revell boxtop that Jack painted, but I have never seen this piece and I remember making this model when I was a kid in the early sixties! Maybe it was for the aerospace industry!

More about Jack Leynnwood...

 I was born in New Orleans the eldest son of six siblings. I came out the chute with a baseball glove in my hand though I was not as good as my father, who could have had a career if not for the war. I lived between two airfields, one civil and one military. It was a big influence on me. I learned to paint trying to make my model airplanes to look like they did on the boxtops. I went to high school on an athletic scholarship and met my wife to be there. As most kids of the sixties, I was in love with rock 'n roll and played guitar in a garage band for about 4 years. It was, and still is, my first love. I married my high school sweetheart in 1972, graduated from USL in advertising in "73 and starved in New Orleans as a freelance illustrator. 

Therese and I left home in 1974, to attend the Art Center College of Design, where I met one of heroes, Jack Leynnwood who made a name for himself painting model boxtops for Revell, Aurora and other model companies. Jack was a real renaissance man. He was a professional jazz musician, pilot, and WWII vet, fighting what he called "the Desert War"... in Arizona! He was a big influence on me and I took every class he taught. As a teacher, he demonstrated every day how to paint the things you needed to learn to paint in order to make a living in the crazy world of illustration. He was not against theory of art or the history of art and commercial art, and was willing to expound on those subjects, but in the cafeteria, at lunch or during breaks... not in class. Jack got me hooked up with an aerospace company for my first job out of Art Center. I worked there for three years while working on my freelance career. I left to concentrate on my freelance career as a storyboard illustrator, art director and designer. The four photos of Jack's art were given to me while I was employed at General Dynamics by a colleague who worked with Jack at Northrup! 

   In 2001, we decided to cash out of LA and move back to Louisiana. We now live in a small town north of New Orleans on a 5 acre ranch still serving the ad community not only in California, but nationwide. Please check my website and LinkedIn for further details on my client list. I worked on a variety of clients from entertainment and automotive, to consumer products and sports. You name it and I have probably done it! You can see my work at: graphicgumbo.com and the various links therein.

Thoughts about a friend and teacher...

    The main reason I stayed at Art Center...
Some former students from ACCD and I got into a discussion about teachers on Facebook when I mentioned how Jack helped get me a job at General Dynamics in Pomona one year out of school. There is so much to tell, I don't think there is enough room here to tell it. I own a Jack Leynnwood and though I never had the guts to ask him to sign it, you'd know immediately that it was his! Once, he conducted another class in between his daytime and evening class to correct one of my original paintings for an assignment. He asked me if I was interested in bringing back to class the model F6F I had built especially for the assignment and asked the ten or so students if they would like to return after his dinner break to see him "fix" my illustration. He said that if Ben doesn't mind me painting over the original as an added lesson, we can extend the class. 

As you might have guessed, everyone showed up one hour later to see Jack completely change my piece. When it was finished, ( it took all of about two hours, maybe less ) we all stood there agape! Jack profusely apologized for making so many adjustments. I can honestly say that for once in my life, I was totally speechless!  I had the painting framed as soon as I could afford to do so and the 12x12 painting hangs proudly in my living room wall. 

That is just one of many stories I can share with you about Jack. He was never afraid to expose his artistic flaws to anyone because he knew pulling out the paints and demonstrating was the best way to teach visual learners like us. More than likely, there weren't too many flaws to begin with. Jack was the best.

Copyright2014/Ben Bensen III