The Statler Brothers 1979 record The Originals has a prominent spot on the wall in the American Treasure Tour's Music Room. It took almost no time for the ATT blog team to determine that we had to dedicate some space to talking about this gospel and country music band.
They started playing together in the early Sixties, calling themselves the Kingsmen. When another band with the same name hit the big time with the song "Louie Louie," they changed theirs. Brothers Don and Harold Reid, as well as the rest of the other band members, agreed on the Statler Brothers, inspired by a brand of tissue paper provided in a hotel where they stayed. We can be grateful it was not Kleenex brand! They also performed often Johnny Cash's back-up band Johnny Cash, despite their own popularity. They remain one of the most critically-popular bands in country music history, despite their retirement in 2002.
Here's a tough question for you. The Statler Brothers received the prestigious Country Music Association Award for Vocal Group of the Year for eight years out of nine, between 1972 and 1980. Who beat them out for the honor in 1978?
a) Charlie Daniels Band
b) The Oak Ridge Boys
d) The Judds
e) Highway 101
Hopefully, everyone who follows the American Treasure Tour blog is familiar enough with the ATT to know that we are located in Oaks, Pennsylvania. We are located 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia and, arguably more significantly, 77 miles from Hershey, PA - the town that chocolate made! Chocolate manufacture requires laborers, just like any business, and Milton Hershey strove to create a positive environment for his employees. On this day in 1907, he founded Hersheypark specifically as a recreational destination for his staff to go during their off-hours. We can be grateful it has since been opened to the public. With over sixty rides and attractions covering an area of 110 acres, Hersheypark should definitely be considered a destination for anyone coming to Eastern Pennsylvania. Only after you visit the ATT, of course!
The Woolworth Company is now a part of history, but it was in business for 78 years, and a model that many department stores copied. An American powerhouse, they wanted their corporate headquarters to be a declaration of their success. They built what would be the tallest building in the world in New York City. On the evening of April 24th, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson in Washington, DC flipped the switch that turned on the lights at 233 Broadway. It maintained its record until the Chrysler Building was constructed seventeen years later, and remains one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States - a nation where bigger truly is considered better.
Born in 1914, orphaned by 1925 and a high school dropout at fifteen, William Castle became one of the most celebrated producers and promoters of what was called B-Movies. These were low-budget films, often the less-publicized of two films presented as a double feature. Castle made it his life's goal to "scare the pants off America" with such films as 1959's House On Haunted Hill. During viewing, a skeleton would come out at the audience towards the end of the film. For The Tingler, some theaters had their seats wired with electrical currents to give jolts at strategic times during the action. Castle was involved with dozens of scary movies, the vast majority of them on budget and profit makers. Likely the most successful film he was ever involved with was as a producer - 1968's Rosemary's Baby.
Actor Shirley MacLaine becomes an octogenarian today. Born in 1934 and named after yesterday's birthday celebrity Shirley Temple, Shirley MacLean Beaty is from Richmond, Virginia, as is her younger brother Warren Beatty. MacLaine enrolled in ballet classes at the age of three, and has remained in the performing arts ever since, making her film debut in the Alfred Hitchcock dark comedy The Trouble With Harry in 1955. Since then, she has been in many popular films, including 1960's The Apartment, Terms of Endearment in 1983, for which she won an Academy Award, Defending Your Life (1991) and for a few seasons in the popular British program Downton Abbey extending to just last year. An outspoken believer in reincarnation, UFO encounters and New Age spirituality, MacLaine has received both praise and criticism for her convictions. Regardless, we hope she's around for years to come!
An expert is a man who tells you a simple thing in a confused way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your own fault. - William Castle
Answer: The Oak Ridge Boys. The Statler Brothers received the award nine times, all tolled, during their career. The most of any band ever.