The first "adult" song I ever heard as a child and fell in love with is called "Tammy."
It was 1957, I was 4 years old, and my mom had it playing on the radio all the time.
(The number 1 song was so popular it played non-stop for a year)
It is the song which made me love more sophisticated music.
The song is one of the most beautiful tunes ever written.

"Tammy" is the main theme from the movie "Tammy And The Bachelor" starring
Debbie Reynolds. I never saw the movie until tonight.

The story about a girl who lives on the backwoods river of Louisiana with her
 grandfather and falls in love with a sophisticated man is representative of
what Hollywood used to be in another place and time.
A timeless romantic comedy-drama.

Debbie Reynolds always will be young. Walter Brennan always will be old.
A whole generation of moviegoers only know an old Leslie Nielsen from
his 80's and 90's comedy spoofs, but would be surprised to see him as
a young leading man.

I did not know that the DVD version had been completely restored to its
Cinemascope and Technicolor origins. On a giant modern TV, it was like
seeing it at the theater for the first time.

The film from Universal has one incredible situation.
The "town plaza" set which was used first in a 1985 version
and then a reworked 1955 version for "Back to the Future"
is in a scene in this film.

However, because this film is set in 1957, you get to see the
"town plaza" as it actually looked back then with corresponding
shops, cars, people and clothing.

The song "Tammy" continues to enchant after all these years.

Jay Livingston and his partner Ray Evans were also responsible
for a number of other film song classics including
''Que SerĂ¡, SerĂ¡," "Mona Lisa," "Silver Bells" and oddly enough--the theme somg
for "Mr Ed."

JFK - The Day That Changed America

JFK - It Was 50 Years Ago Today. Here's How I Found Out.

I remember everything in detail.

It was a wonderful Friday in innocent "Leave it to Beaver" America.

What you have to understand is that the early years of the 1960's were nothing
but an extension of the 1950's. "The 60's" don't start until 1966.

I was living in the most northern part of Chicago, Illinois and attending
Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in Rogers Park.

The K-8 school was made up of kids who now in 6th grade, had known
each other since Kindergarden.

Back then, all kids from first to eighth grade could walk home for lunch.
These were very safe times.

I specifically remember not being hungry that day and stayed outside
running around for the lunch hour. At 12:55, same as Dallas time,
we went upstairs to sit down.

Something was not right.

I must first explain that teachers until "The 60's" happened were all the
same throughout America. They never smiled. They never laughed.
They were never sad. They all had poker faces not revealing any
emotions. This is how they presented themselves.

The teacher, a woman in her 50's or 60's, Mrs. Wall, just sat
at her desk--and she was clearly bothered about something.

This was not normal. Teachers never showed emotions.

When the bell rang at 1:00, it got even more bizarre.

She just sat there staring at her desk and did nothing.
This woman always started class exactly on time.

A minute later, a teacher who we would have in 7th grade,
opened the classroom door and tears were streaming down her face.
This was shocking. We had never even seen a teacher sad before.

This teacher nodded her head up and down--sending a cryptic
message to our teacher, closed the door and left.

At this time, the girls in the class, sensing something was very
wrong--began to cry. Within a minute, every girl in class was
crying without knowing why.
The boys just looked around in confusion and puzzlement.

This school was poor. They didn't even have an intercom system.

A minute later, a student brought a note to our teacher.

She said, "The principal wants you to all come to the auditorium
immediately and 'bring your things'."

"Bring Your Things?"

This meant we were going home. We just came back from
lunch and we were going home. Something was very wrong.

As all the students 1st through 8th grade filled the auditorium,
the principal, Mrs. Caird, a stern, cranky woman in her 60's, looked at all of us
in a serious manner and said:

"President Kennedy has been killed. I want you to go all home
right now."

In "Leave It To Beaver" America, elementary students who
were not expected home at that time had no concerns.

Dad would be at work. But mom, June Cleaver, would be at home
preparing dinner or taking care of younger children. At the most
she would be at the supermarket and would be right back.

Could you imagine the lawsuits today if an entire elementary school
of children were sent home today without notice?

When we got home, the story was the same for all kids.

Moms were in tears as they were tuned in to Walter Cronkite on CBS.

That night, for the first time ever, a giant cartoon took up the entire
page of the major Chicago newspaper. And it was quite shocking.
The famous Bill Mauldin cartoon was of Abraham Lincoln bent over
and crying.

We didn't quite understand the significance of all this at 10 years old.
We just knew that there was no TV for three days except for
coverage of the events in Washington.

America was changed forever.

The country would be very sad for months.

It would take something just in the right place and the right time
to turn that around and fill-in that void.

This would happen on February 9, 1964 on a Sunday night on CBS.