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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Goodnight everyone, and have a sweeeeeeet weekend!!

Nostalgia


It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, sweet, sweet music.

Fellas, here’s your last warning. Tomorrow, Saturday is Sweetest Day.

Many skeptics and non-romantic fuddie duddies believe Sweetest Day was created by Hallmark during a corporate meeting of big wig’s in the 80’s.

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sweetest Day originated in the birth place of rock and roll, Cleveland, Ohio in 1922.

Herbert Birch Kingston had an idea. He wanted to somehow spread joy into the lives of orphans and shut-ins and those society had basically forgotten or turned its back on. Enlisting the help of friends, they passed out gifts to the underprivileged.

To mark the very first Sweetest Day, movie star Ann Pennington presented 2,200 Cleveland newspaper boys with boxes of candy to express gratitude for their work. Another movie star at the time, Theda Bara, gave out 10,000 boxes of candy to people in Cleveland hospitals and also gave candy to all who came to watch her film in a local theater.

A few years ago while filling in for Mark Belling on WISN the Friday before Sweetest day, I did what turned out to be, in my view, a hilariously entertaining segment about Sweetest Day.

 

There were the curmudgeons who angrily huffed and puffed they wouldn’t spend an extra dime for their spouses or significant other’s on Sweetest Day. Many others couldn’t say enough about how special the day was.

I’ll never forget the woman who called in who was dead serious who said she and her husband exchanged firearms on the third Saturday of October.

Kinda gets you choked up, doesn’t it?

To start us off on our weekly Goodnight feature in honor of Sweetest Day, I’ve chosen one song that captures every single bit of sweetness.

Let’s go back top the summer of 1972.

The year before, Gene Wilder starred in a movie as the eccentric owner of a candy factory who comes up with a plot to find an honest, loving child to take over his work. Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse wrote the music score for the film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The very first song in the film was, “Candy Man,” sung horribly by Aubrey Woods. Newley, rightfully so, hated Woods’ version, and offered to play the role himself if the film’s producers didn’t re-shoot that part of the movie.  They said no. Newley said fine, this will never become a hit.

Mike Curb, president of MGM Records, recording an instrumental version of the song and decided to have Sammy Davis Jr. provide the lyrics. Problem was that Sammy didn’t like the song. But, thank goodness, he recorded the future #1 anyway.

He rarely performed it live. Here’s one of those rare occasions, in Germany, by request of an audience member.






Growing up, I recall one of my neighbors, a very nice dad saying that when Sammy came on TV, he made it clear to the rest of the family they were to clam up.

“Sammy’s on.”

Long before “Candy Man,” another sweet song was a huge hit made popular on radio and TV, and quite possibly the most famous album cover didn’t hurt, either.

Remember The Dating Game.

There would be those ridiculous, but sometimes drop dead funny Q and A’s between hot young gal looking for a blind date (and great prizes)  and her hidden choice of three bachelors?

When it came time to make her choice and the host was describing the lucky guy, a familiar piece of music always played.

Everyone in America knew the theme, but few knew the title, until it came out on Herb Alpert’s, “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” LP.

It fits so well on Sweetest Day, don’t you think? Blind dates. Romance. Flirtation. Fascination.

Hit it, Herb!
 




"Tell her you care each time you speak.
Make it her birthday each day of the week.
Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things,
roses and lollipops and lolipops and roses.

One day she`ll smile, next day she`ll cry,
minute to minute you`ll never know why.
Coax her, pet her, better yet, get her
roses and lollipops and lolipops and roses.

We try acting grown up, but as a rule,
we`re all lit-tle children fresh from school.
So carry her books. That`s how it starts.
Fourteen or forty they`re kids in their hearts.
Keep them handy, flowers and candy,
roses and lollipops and lolipops and roses."







The album spent 141 weeks in the Top 40 - 61 of those in the Top 10. Gee, I wonder why?








The striking woman on the cover, Dolores Erickson, isn't from Ipanema or Rio or Miami. Try Seattle

A re-mix of the album called "Whiped Cream and Other Delights: Re-whipped" was released in March 2006.

There was the front....











And the front and back....











But it just wasn’t the same.

And speaking of roses, here's a public service announcement from the romantic fools at THIS JUST IN. Guys, if you're planning on buying roses for your sweetest, here's what the colors of the bouquets mean. 

Do the right thing, gentlemen, and it's like getting your oil changed. You should be good for another 6 months.


Let’s get contemporary, shall we. At least, the following will be a more recent recording, though it is a remake.

In 1975, the Ohio Players recorded their smash album, “Honey.” Known for their provocative album covers, this one was no different….



“Honey” packed an urban legend that still creates a buzz today.

It was rumored that during the recording of one of the LP's top tracks, "Love Rollercoaster," a woman was stabbed to death, with her screams audible in the background.

Not true.

Here's a remake of one of the album's best tracks, "Sweet Sticky Thing" done by Swiss-born keyboardist and composer Alex Bugnon in 1993.



 






That's it for this evening.

Goodnight.

Sleep tight.

Have a sweeeeeeeeeeet weekend.

My view on Sweetest Day.....it's real. Don't scoff at it. Rekindle the romance. We're about to enter many months of cold, cruel, ugly weather. Don't let the embers die. Celebrate the sweetness, however you choose.

We close with sappy sentimental stuff because, that's the way it should be.

In 1980, The Carpenters made their last TV special. It, of course featured the incomparable, angelic, one of a kind, never to be duplicated voice of Karen Carpenter shown here singing some classics, with help on one from  John Davidson.

Happy Sweetest Day, everybody and if you're not feeling quite right this weekend, remember:

You're not sick. You're just in love.


 


 

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