This weekend saw the sad passing of an amazing actor, James Garner. The son of an Oklahoma carpet layer, he was only 5 when his mom passed away, and he and his two brothers were split up to live with relatives for about a year until his dad remarried. His stepmother was one of those that the term ‘wicked stepmother’ was all about – she was horrid to the boys and beat them whenever they got in trouble. Not a nice woman.
Thankfully that abuse didn’t squelch James Garner’s beautiful spirit – from what I’ve read, he was a kind and generous man. He dropped out of high school at 16 to join the Merchant Marines – wounded twice during the Korean War, he received two Purple Hearts.
When he lived in L.A. with his dad for a short time, he attended Hollywood High School – years later a friend from that school got him his first non-speaking role in the Broadway stage play “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1954)”.
Part of his work was to read lines to the lead actors and he began to learn the craft of acting. This play led to small television roles, television commercials and eventually a contract with Warner Brothers.
My mom was the one who got me into watching The Rockford Files – sure, it was in syndication, but who cares? Still a great show, and I developed a mini crush on the dashing James Garner.
He married his wife after they’d dated for a whole whopping 14 days – he’s been quoted as saying “We went to dinner every night for 14 nights. I was just absolutely nuts about her. I spent $77 on our honeymoon, and it about broke me.” They had one daughter together, plus a daughter from his wife’s previous marriage.
I love this picture of him with his young daughter, Greta:
His star is shining brightly in the heavens today. In his honor, I thought it would be fun to start this week’s Monday’s Music Moves Me freebie week with the theme song from The Rockford Files, written by Mike Post in 1975. R.I.P., James Garner.
Here’s The Rockford Files Theme for your enjoyment:
Next up is an artist with a follow-up song to his previous chart-topping song that rides a similarly quiet euphoria. It’s catchy and easy to appreciate from the very first listen. It’s a summer love story between the singer and his “sweet Georgia peach.”
“You gave me that look, you licked them lips / I said Hang on baby, better pull over for this / I don’t wanna get DWK, driving while kissing they’ll put you away” are the lyrics from the second verse, with the chorus:
“You hit me like fire, shot me like a bullet / Burned me up and down, no way to cool it / But every time you kiss me it’s like sunshine and whiskey”
The artist has a unique voice – he’s found success with songs that rely on familiar themes and feelings, so this should potentially help him establish himself as a newcomer to watch in 2014.
Give a listen to Frankie Ballard with “Sunshine & Whiskey”:
Next up is a signature track from this artist’s latest album. He’s a country-rocker whose fans learn quite a bit about this California-born newcomer during his song.
“I knew the first time should’ve been the last time / I ever let the whiskey touch my lips / ‘Cause the devil wears black and he goes by Jack / And he’s really good at helpin’ me forget”
His style is straightforward with no distractions, though that doesn’t mean it’s without sizzle or edge. This song, coupled with a high-profile opening slot on the Dierks Bently tour this summer should make him more of a household name by the end of this year.
Fun Fact: He already has enough material ready for a second album. Some of the songs his fans are just now hearing are two or three years old – he’s been known to slip some unreleased material into his sets if he needs to extend his live show.
Without further ado, here’s Jon Pardi with “What I Can’t Put Down”:
Next up the second single from a to-be-released album from two brothers that mix sunshine, easy love and rum with blues, rock and Nashville twang in this particular song. Their laid-back groove is why people will love this song, with its garage rock quality. This song has been named as one of Taste of Country’s Hot Summer Singles for 2014.
“Dippin’ our toes in the water / I don’t care if it gets any hotter / It’s you and me rememberin’ how to have fun”
I think it’s already a great summertime tune.
Give a listen to Brothers Osborne with “Rum”:
Fun Fact: T.J. and John were once in a band with their father called Deuce & a Quarter. I’m going to have to see if there are any videos of that.
Last, but certainly not least, is an artist who is an excellent country artist, but this separates him from the pack – and gives my good friend Joyce of Catch My Words a little break from the country she doesn’t particularly care for. You’re welcome, Joyce.
This artist happens to mainstream country’s hardest rocker taking a different approach by inviting Lzzy Hale of Halestorm to appear with him on the CMT Music Awards for a performance off his latest album track. He decided to go with this song rather than his current single or recent No. 1 hit, because he felt it was an opportunity to do something different. That’s what I like about him – not following the normal cattle call.
Country’s infatuation with other genres has accelerated in recent years, and this artist has been especially energetic at pushing the boundaries. His newest album shows him looking for the edge of what the majority of fans is willing to accept. And quite frankly, I like it.
I’ve never been a fan of ‘old’ country, with excessive twang and woe-is-me type songs – I like to dance to the beat of a different drum, and most ‘new’ country tends to be that way. This artist jokes that his country fans call him a ‘rock ambassador’.
Here’s Eric Church with “That’s Damn Rock & Roll”:
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday!
Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me:
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohorts, Callie from JAmericanSpice, Cathy from Cathy Kennedy’s Blog, and Naila Moon at Just the Stuff Ya Know, and our newest awesome member, give a warm welcome to Becca of Everyday Life.
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!