Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lightnin' Strikes

Previously:



There's no shortage of Texas music legends.  But some of them have flown under the radar despite the efforts of those who try to keep their music and their spirit alive.  Such efforts to preserve the memory of a lesser known musical icon have manifested in memorials in at least two different cities.  So today we're going to take a look at monuments dedicated to the late great blues musician Lightnin' Hopkins.


While Hopkins was born in Centerville and was widely known for playing in Houston, it's the town of Crockett that wanted to honor him with a statue.  It sits across from the Camp Street Cafe, a local live music venue, and was erected in 2002.


A more abstract monument can be found in Dallas along others honoring with fellow Texas music legends Buddy Holly, "Blind" Lemon Jefferson and others. It's a part of the "Texas Music Alley" in the Dallas Alley of the once great (but now kind of dried up) West End.

While the tributes are great, nothing honors a musician more than keeping their music alive so, before you go, sit back and have a listen to Hopkins belt out the "Katie Mae Blues":

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Many Roles of Mr. Peppermint

If you grew up on the DFW area during a certain time then you were no stranger to the red and white stripes of television personality Mr. Peppermint.  He hosted the kid's show Peppermint Place for decades and helped entertain and educate generations of kids.


The minty fresh TV personality was portrayed by Dallas native Jerry Haynes.  His TV persona was so strong and beloved that some started to think of him and Mr. Peppermint as one and the same.  But Haynes was a very talented and prolific actor and appeared in a number of TV and film projects.  Today we'll take a look at some of his work in some high profile projects.

Dallas - Season 4, Episode 6 "The Venezuelan Connection" (1980)


If you were a north Texas based actor in the late 70s to late 80s then odds are you had a run in with the Ewing clan on the popular series "Dallas."  Haynes (on the left) actually appeared in a handful of Dallas episodes as "Pat Powers" but I picked this episode because his scenes feature the Fort Worth Stockyards.


In this shot you can see Haynes (on the right, in the back shaking hands with Ray) and the gang in front of the Fort Worth Livestock Exchange.  The episode also has scenes that include the interior of the Exchange as well as the White Elephant Saloon

Places in the Heart (1984)


Haynes plays the role of Deputy Jack Driscoll in the award winning film (seen above with Sally Field).  A lot of the movie was shot on location in Waxahachie but since it's a period piece, it's difficult to track down specific locations...but I'm still in the process of trying.

Robocop (1987)


Most Dallas residents know that the classic scifi film was shot in Dallas (throughout the movie you can spot Reunion Tower in the background of "Future Detroit").  I mentioned before that Dallas City Hall is featured prominently.

Haynes appears in the film as "Dr. McNamara" (in the background above at the control panel, wearing a suit), creator of the ED-209 crime-fighting robot.  The ED-209 is a big part of the plot so you would think that this would be a big role for Haynes but it's a nonspeaking part in one scene.  But at least it's a good scene:


You can see Fountain Place out the window in the background before that guy meets his grisly death at the hand's of Dr. McNamara's killing machine.  Fun fact:  while the character only appears in the film briefly, McNamara lived on in the Robocop cartoon:


He seemed to go through some changes like giving himself robot arms (or whatever) but the worst change to the character was that he was not voiced by Haynes.  I guess he had moved on from the role.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman - Season 6, Episode 8 "A Time to Heal Part 2" (1997)


Some roles are easier than others.  In this two-part sweeps episode of Dr. Quinn Haynes plays a corpse.  You might think it's not worth mentioning but that show was a pretty big hit in its time.  And, hey, a gig's a gig, right?

I don't think there was ever an animated version of Dr. Quinn but if there were, I'd like to think they would have brought back this character too...maybe a zombified version...

Walker, Texas Ranger - Season 9, Episode 18 "Legends" (2001)


Like "Dallas" before it, "Walker, Texas Ranger" used a lot of North Texas actors.  In this episode Haynes plays Judge Abe Steigler who presides over the case of a mob boss.  Things don't go well for the honorable Judge after the trial:


And that's why you don't want t get involved with the mob.  Don't worry though, I'm sure the Rangers will avenge him. 

Haynes' IMDb page is filled with many other roles.  These are just a few of my favorites.  And, honestly, these have a lot more death and carnage than I expected from Mr. Peppermint.  So you never know when an old friend from the past will surprise you.