Jerry Reed and Burt Reynolds were both national treasures as far as I'm concerned. It looks like Midland would agree, and after ripping through a twanged-up version of Reed's "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and The Bandit on the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, a studio version of the cover was immediately released. Accompanying the YouTube stream (which you can check out below), the group issued the following statement: "Eastbound & Down is a balls to the wall, honky tonk, fast tempo tornado of a song that was a great challenge to master and to make some tweaks to make it our own...It’s now one of our favorite songs to perform live and we can only hope that The Guitar Man is smiling somewhere up above with approval." I do believe a tip of the cowboy hat is in order, now crank this one up!
When it comes to the blockbuster films of 1977, if you're like me, the one that comes to mind is an out-of-nowhere film from a galaxy far, far away. Indeed, it was May 25, 1977 when STAR WARS first hit theater screens, but just two days later came the release of the year's second-biggest grosser - and another movie very near and dear to me: Hal Needham's SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. This May, TCM Big Screen Classics and Fathom Events will bring SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT back to theaters, as it races into cinemas for a special two-night 40th Anniversary Event, May 21 & May 24!
Going through my emails here at Rock Father HQ this morning, I came across something interesting... and timely. With the 86th Academy Awards taking place tomorrow night, "Latte Artist" Michael Breach has worked the 2014 Best Picture Nominees into incredible (and tasty) works of coffee delight. Oddly enough, if you combine Joaquin Phoenix from HER with Matthew McConaughey in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, you'd get a pretty convincing Burt Reynolds from SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. Check out the coffee art below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...
The Hot Wheels situation here at Rock Father HQ just got serious. What started as some simple fun with cars between my octane-obsessed daughter and I has gone well beyond rekindled childhood fun for me, and is now hitting my retro-radar at full speed. While the little one and I have a ton of fun with Hot Wheels, nothing really triggered my own "have to have it!" reaction until now. Thanks to Mattel, the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment Assortment has hit the streets.
On the "Biography" page of PAUL WILLIAMS' website, it's pointed out that "he predicts that he'll be remembered for playing Little Enos Burdette in the SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT Trilogy." For a kid like me that was born in the 70s and raised in the 80s, I certainly do associate Williams with the role, but it was his work with THE MUPPETS that made him a huge part of my childhood. If you've ever seen EMMET OTTER'S JUGBAND CHRISTMAS or THE MUPPET MOVIE, then the music of Paul Williams has flowed through you. Now, as I share those works with my children, it flows through them as well. In PAUL WILLIAMS: STILL ALIVE (out on DVD February 5), filmmaker Stephen Kessler explores the mystery of Williams' lengthy career.