Thursday, December 31, 2015

Rick Nelson's death 30 years ago

DALLAS, Dec. 31— Ricky Nelson, who gained childhood fame on his parents' radio and television programs and went on to became one of rock-and-roll's earliest teen-age idols, was killed today along with his fiancee and five other people when his DC-3 plane crashed in flames near De Kalb, Tex. 

The pilot and copilot survived the crash, but were critically burned, according to Michael L. Cox, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin. 

- Thomas C. Hayes
New York Times Obituary
Published January 1, 1986

Ricky Nelson was a 1950s and 60s pop star. Imagine (Justin) Bieber times 10. A generation of America watched him grow up on a primitive version of "reality TV." 

- Mark McCarter (, January 18, 2013

One remembers Ricky Nelson (born Eric Hilliard Nelson) as a child star on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and later as teen idol, but if he were alive today, he would be 75 years old. Sadly, he and six others died in a New Year's Eve plane crash on December 31, 1985.  Nelson, 45, and the other victims were en route to Dallas, Texas.

On December 26, 1985, Nelson and his Stone Canyon Band embarked on a three-stop tour in the southern United States, beginning with Orlando, Florida.  On December 28th, they arrived at their second stop in Guntersville, Alabama, where they played three shows at P.J.'s Alley, a converted tire store and warehouse, owned by DeKalb County, Alabama native Pat Upton. Upton wrote the song "More Today Than Yesterday" in 1969 when he was lead singer for the group Spiral Staircase.  A decade later, he began working with Rick Nelson as a background vocalist and performed on Nelson's album "Playing to Win."

In 1983, Pat opened his own bar, P.J.s Alley, in Guntersville.  Rick had come there to perform with his old friend.  Unfortunately, Rick's December 30th concert turned out to be the last one he would ever give. On December 31, 1985, he and his band departed from Guntersville on a flight to Dallas where they were scheduled to perform at a New Year's Eve concert at the Park Suite Hotel.  Pat Upton saw Rick that morning, and the two men were photographed before the doomed aircraft took off from Guntersville, Airport.

The last photo: Rick Nelson with Pat Upton 

Just after 5:00 p.m.,Central Standard Time (CST) the pilot of Nelson's plane old Air Traffic Control that he was experiencing difficulties and would have to turn course from the planned destination of Dallas. Minutes later, ATC was informed that there was smoke in the plane's cockpit. The DC-3 then disappeared from radar.

At about 5:14 p.m. CST, the Douglas DC-3-N711Y crash-landed in a farm pasture near De Kalb,Texas striking a wire and some trees.  The airplane had caught fire and was severely damaged. The pilot, Brad Rank, 34, and the co-pilot, Kenneth Ferguson, 40, although seriously burned, managed to escape through cockpit windows.


Rick Nelson and six other passengers, however, were not as fortunate. They all perished in the inferno.  The other victims were identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as Helen Blair, 27, Rick Nelson's fiancee, band members Bobby Neal, 38 (guitarist), Patrick Woodward, 35 (bassist), Rick Intveld, 22 (drummer), Andy Chapin, 30 (keyboardist), and sound technician/road manager Donald "Clark" Russell, 35.

Rick Nelson and fiancee Helen Blair

Keyboardist Andy Chapin 

Rick Nelson (left) with guitarist Bobby Neal

An Associated Press (AP) news story, published January 2, 1986, stated that the "DC-3 aircraft that crashed and killed Ricky Nelson and six other people had engine trouble before its last flight, and one member of the singer's band had talked of quitting because he did not trust the plane, friends and relatives said today."

Rick Nelson's plane was originally a 1944 Douglas C-47 Skytrain twin engine military transport.  The aircraft and was converted to a DC-3C in 1959.  It had been owned at one time by the wealthy, aristocratic DuPont family and was later in the possession of legendary rock and roll singer Jerry Lee Lewis.

On May 28, 1987, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board released the findings of an 18-month investigation into the air crash.  Federal investigators stated that they could not determine conclusively what caused the fire. They were able to establish, however, that the  probable source of the blaze was a malfunctioning cabin heater.

Investigators had earlier speculated that the "free-basing" of cocaine, which entails the heating of the narcotic with a flame, may have ignited the fire.  Although toxicology tests revealed traces of cocaine in the bodies of several of the passengers, including Rick Nelson, no evidence of drug use during the flight was found, nor was any drug-related paraphernalia discovered after the crash.

There were conflicting reports as to whether the plane had caught fire before it crashed. Witnesses claimed it appeared to be already on fire, but Jim Burnett, then-Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, stated that although the aircraft was filled with smoke, it had landed before becoming engulfed in flames.

The NTSB criticized pilot Brad Rank for failing to adhere to the in-flight check-list.  He apparently did not not follow procedures such as opening fresh air vents and advising the passengers to use the supplemental oxygen.  He also neglected to use the hand-held fire extinguisher in the cockpit. According to the board, if these measures, had been taken, "they would would have enhanced the potential for survival of the passengers."


*  Television was the vehicle by which Rick Nelson set forth his music career.  On March 26, 1957, 16-year old Ricky recorded the Fats Domino hit "I'm Walkin'."  He performed the song on an episode of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (Season 5, Episode 28) that originally aired April 10, 1957.  The episode is entitled "Ricky, the Drummer."

Ricky Nelson performing "I'm Walkin'" on his parents' TV show

* According to People magazine (January 30, 1986 article by  Kent Demaret), Helen Blair was a native of New Jersey and a "onetime animal trainer."  She became a model and aspiring actress who met Rick Nelson in 1982 after his performance at the Palomino Club in Los Angeles, California. Rick had bought a diamond engagement ring for her "two Christmases ago."

According Philip Bashe, author of Teenage Ido, Travelin' Man: The Complete Biography of Rick Nelson, 1992, Rick met Helen, a part-time model and exotic animal trainer, in Las Vegas in 1980. She soon became his road companion and later moved in with him.

Although the Texas Department of Public Safety listed Helen Blair's age as 27 at the time of the plane crash, some sources give her age as 29.

*  Keyboardist Andy Chapin was previously a member of The Association and Steppenwolf. Wikipedia lists his birth date as February 7, 1951, which would have made him 34 years old at the time of his death.

* Rick Nelson's burial site is located at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.  He was born May 8, 1940.  Below is a photo of his grave.

- Joanne

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Micky Dolenz: From child star to The Monkees

Yes folks, the young boy in the photo above is Micky Dolenz of the Monkees.  From 1956 until 1958, Mickey starred in a television series called Circus Boy.  It is not widely known that Dolenz was a child star because, back then, he was billed as Mickey Braddock.

George Michael "Micky" Dolenz, Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California on March 8, 1945.  His father, George Dolenz, and his mother, Janelle Johnson, were both actors. After World War II, George Dolenz (1908-1963) became a leading man in Hollywood and was under contract with RKO Pictures, which was then under the control of Howard Hughes. The elder Dolenz also portrayed Edmond Dantes, the title character in the 1956 British television series, The Count of Monte Cristo.

George Dolenz
Young Micky began his own show business career in 1956 when he was cast in the lead role of Circus Boy, a children's adventure program.  The show explored circus life at the turn of the 20th century and Micky portrayed Corky, a 12-year-old orphan who had been adopted by members of a travelling circus owned by Big Tim Champion (Robert Lowery).

The series was based on Corky's life among lively circus performers as they travelled from town to town.  Corky had his own baby elephant, Bimbo, for whom he served as water boy.

Micky playing the guitar on the set of Circus Boy

Micky developed an interest in music at a young age.  His earliest musical instrument was the guitar. It was his father who got him interested in the Spanish guitar and then he eventually became impressed by folk music (Bob Dylan and the Kingston Trio were his influences).  Later he started to enjoy rock and roll and joined bands, playing covers.

He sang on a episode of Circus Boy, which was likely his  first vocal performance on television. About ten years later, he hummed the same Circus Boy song in an episode of The Monkees entitled "Monkees at the Circus." (Season 1, Episode 22, Air Date: February 13, 1967).

Circus Boy lasted for two years.  After the series ended, Micky pursued his education, appearing only intermittently on network television shows.  In 1962, he graduated from Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Glen, Los Angeles, California.  After high school, he studied architecture at Valley College in the San Fernando Valley and at the Los Angeles Technical Institute.  He also played guitar and sang with two separate groups, Mickey and the One Nighters and the Missing Links.

In 1964, Micky Dolenz made a guest appearance in the television high school drama Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus.  He played the role of Ed in an episode entitled "Born of Kings and Angels (Season 2, Episode 9, Air Date: December 1, 1964).  In 1965, Micky portrayed bad boy Kitch Brunner in the TV version of  Peyton Place.  His role was uncredited, but he was one of the teenage punks who beat up on the Norman Harrington character, played by Christopher Connelly.

Below are two photos of Micky on Peyton Place.

1965 was also the year that Micky Dolenz auditioned for a role in a new television series called The Monkees, about a fictional rock group.  He was still studying architectural design when he was selected, along with Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith, as was one of the four stars of the series.  He became the lead vocalist for the newly created band.

The Monkees debuted on September 12, 1966 and was well-received by audiences. Although Micky Dolenz had grown up playing the guitar, he was cast as the group's drummer and had to take drum lessons in order to feel confident enough to play the instrument on the show.  Micky played the drums left-footed and right-handed.  "Yeah, half-right, half-left," he told Bob Girouard in a 2011 interview with Modern Drummer magazine.  "The bottom half is left-handed and the top is right-handed.  I know it's bizarre: I play the kick with my left foot and the snare with my left hand."

Why did Micky adopt such an unconventional method of drumming?  He told Modern Drummer that when he was a child he had a leg disease called Perthes.  "My right leg was, and still is, weaker than my left.  So when I went to play conventional-style, it hurt."

Micky as the drummer for the Monkees

In 1966, not long after the premiere of The Monkees television series, the group had a smash hit with its debut single, "Last Train to Clarksville."  The song, written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, was recorded on July 25, 1966, with Micky Dolenz performing the lead vocals.  By November 5, 1966, it had topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The Monkees also recorded a Neil Diamond composition called "I'm a Believer," which featured Micky as the lead vocalist.  It reached the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending December 31, 1966 and remained there for seven weeks,

To a certain extent. Micky's taste of stardom as child actor prepared him for his fame as a member of the popular 1960s band.  In an interview on the MusicRadar website, he stated, ""Until we got on the road and started dong concerts, I had no idea how successful the show and the music were.  But I'd had a taste of it on a much lower level. I'd been a child star on a TV show.  I had a fan club, I had parades, and I had kids running after me for autographs.  It wasn't on the scale of the Monkees, of course."

Despite the initial popularity of The Monkees, the show only lasted two season and ended in 1968.


*  According to the website IMDb,com, Micky's Dolenz's naturally wavy hair was chemically straightened and dyed blond when he starred in Circus Boy.  During the first season of The Monkees in 1966, he would straighten his hair by brushing it while damp and by wearing a hair net.  By the show's second season, he allowed his hair to go natural and then had a permanent to achieve an "Afro" look.

*  In 1972, Micky was a guest-starred on such popular television series as My Three Sons, Adam-12 and Canon.  On the episode of My Three Sons, entitled "Barbara Lost" (Season 12, Episode 23, Air Date: April 6, 1972,  he plays John Simpson, a childhood friend of Chip Douglas (Stanley Livingston).who pays a visit.  Chip soon announces to his family that he intends to quit his studies so that he can become a wealthy rock star like Simpson.

Micky with Dawn Lyn (Dodie Harper Douglas) on My Three Sons

*  In 1973, Micky had a role in an episode of the legal drama Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law entitled "The Camerons Are a Special Clan" (Season 3, Episode 6, Air Date: October 24, 1973).

*  Micky Dolenz is the father of four daughters.  He has been married three times and divorced twice. In 1967, while on tour in the United Kingdom, he met a British model and television host named Samantha Juste.  They wed on July 12, 1968 at Micky's home in Laurel Canyon, California.  The couple had a daughter, Ami Dolenz, born January 8, 1969 in Burbank, California. Ami is a television and film actress and producer.

Micky with Samantha and daughter Ami

Micky and Samantha divorced in 1975.  Samantha died on February 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California after suffering a stroke.  She was 69 years old at the time of her death.

In 1977, Micky married Trina Dow, another British-born woman, and they had three daughters: Charlotte Janelle (born August 8, 1981), Emily Claire (born July 25, 1983) and Georgia Rose (born September 3, 1984).  The couple divorced in 1991 and Trina became a couples therapist under the name Trina Dolenz.

Micky and Trina with Davy Jones at their wedding in 1977

On September 20, 2002, Micky married his current wife, Donna Quinter, in a small, private outdoor ceremony that took place in Calabasas, California.

Micky and Donna Quinter

* Micky's younger sister, Coco Dolenz is a singer.  She was born as Gemma Marie Dolenz on April 5, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.  As a child, Coco appeared in 1957 episodes of Circus Boy.

Micky and sister Coco in childhood days

*  In 1993, Micky Dolenz published an autobiography entitled I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music and Madness

- Joanne

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Y&R Report (December 19, 2015): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

I'm not too impressed with these chintzy, makeshift weddings they've been having on The Young and the Restless recently. Sharon and Dylan are the latest couple to tie the knot in this haphazard fashion. They just cobbled the ceremony together.  It was bizarre to see clueless police chief Paul Williams officiating the nuptials in a Santa outfit.  Add him to the growing list of characters on the show who have been ordained online.  Remember how Kyle married Nick and Sage?  Is this some kind of a trend or is Y&R trying to save money by not having to pay another actor to play a minister or a justice of the peace?  I wonder . . .  No, the show's producers wouldn't be such penny pinchers, would they?

Mariah seems to be more astute than many of the other characters.  While Dylan, Sharon and Nick all seem to think the evil Dr. Anderson has been so helpful, Mariah remains skeptical and suspicious. She is smart enough to sense that something is not right with the wicked therapist. 

What in tarnation is wrong with Sage and Nick?  Why can't either of them recognize "Sully" as Christian?  They have both looked directly at the child and they still aren't aware of his real identity. That's hard to believe, even for a soap.  Nick didn't even react when Faith asked if he thought Sully resembled Dylan or Sharon more.  It just didn't register with him.  

Billy Abbott's life has certainly taken a downward spiral of late.  Victoria won't given him another chance and Victor is making his life miserable.  Even his own brother, Jack, has kicked him out of his job at Jabot.  Nothing has been going right for him, although he hasn't exactly displayed the best judgement in the world.  He just keeps messing things up. However, in Billy's defence, I must say he was right on the money when he pointed out that Victoria always forgives Victor for his many transgressions, so why can't she give him another chance?  When it comes to daddy, Victoria operates on a double standard. She should be reminded that for all his faults and poor choices, Billy has not done nearly as many terrible things as Victor.  Yet, Victor is sitting on top of the world this Christmas, while Billy Boy is about to hit rock bottom.  

Billy Abbott's woes are occurring just as another actor, Jason Thompson,  is about to take over the role from Burgess Jenkins.  It will be fascinating to see how Thompson portrays Billy and how he will make his own mark on the character.  Note to Canadian fans: Jason Thompson was born in St. Albert, Alberta.  Yes, he's one of us.  He's a Canuck.

There's no other way to say it.  Jack Abbott wimped out.  I'm so disappointed.  I was really hoping he'd reveal the truth about Victor at that press conference.  As I've written many times before, the Black Knight's dastardly deeds really need to be exposed.  I should have known better, though, than to expect Victor Newman to get his comeuppance.  The writers will always make him come out the winner.  Just look at him now.  The Abbott family had to pay him a half a billion dollars and he is strutting around as happy as a lark.  He's even having a great old time taunting Jack.  The Great Victor Newman is probably going to get credit from the FBI for helping to bring down the shady Santori family.  

What's happened to the Esther storyline?  She's supposed to be working at Dylan's coffeehouse, but viewers haven't seen her for quite a while.  What's going on?  Why don't the writers get her involved in a storyline before viewers forget about her new life away from the Chancellor mansion?  To start something and then leave it hanging for a long time is just shoddy writing.  

What about Jill?  She's barely onscreen anymore.  It looks as though the writers can't come up with a decent storyline for her.  Lauren hasn't been around much lately either.

I could be wrong, but I sensed a spark between Ashley Abbott and Dr. Simon Neville. Perhaps a romance between the two is in the works, especially now that they'll be working together on medical research.  Also, I think Neville is gong to help Ashley with her neurological condition.   I'd like to see them get together, but then what about Abby and Dr. Stitch? If Ashley becomes involved with Neville, it would mean smooth sailing for her daughter and Rayburn.  However, we all know there have to be complications for soap couples. It comes with the territory.


Mara McCaffray joins the cast of Y&R as Natalie

Mara McCaffrary is coming to Genoa City in the recurring role of Natalie, a computer whiz. Natalie is the Swiss hacker that Kevin met in Geneva and with whom he has become quite chummy. Although Mariah's been trying to hide her true feelings, she seems quite jealous of Kevin's new friend.  She had better be prepared to face stiff competition for Kevin's affections from the mysterious Swiss Miss.

Mara McCaffray is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her film credits include Ordinary Wilderness,(2012) and Got No Fetish (2015).  She will make her Y&R debut on Friday, January 15, 2016 (CBS) and Thursday, January 14, 2016 (Global TV in Canada).

Alyvia Alyn Lind (Faith Newman) is making a name for herself

Alyvia Alyn Lind and Dolly Parton

Did you catch Alyvia Alyn Lind's performance in the role of Dolly Parton as a child?  She portrayed the legendary country singer in a December 10th holiday special entitled Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors.  The eight-year-old did a great job, even with the Tennessee twang that was required for the part.  If you missed this Yuletide treat, you still have another chance to watch it.  NBC will rebroadcast the special on Christmas Eve.

Young Alyvia also sang "Silent Night" in a recent episode of the Y&R.


On Sunday December 6th, I attended OpportuniTeas with Kate Linder and Friends From The Young and the Restless at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.  The following Y&R stars appeared at this event in support of the March of Dimes:  Kate Linder (Esther) Valentine, Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), Camryn Grimes (Mariah Copeland), Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman) and Robert Adamson (Noah Newman).  High Tea was served and then there was a Question & Answer session.  This was followed by an auction of Y&R memorabilia, including clothes worn by characters on the show.  At the end, the stars signed autographs.

Camryn Grimes agreed to auction off the well known picture that Cassie supposedly drew of her family, the one that was always shown at Nick and Sharon's place on the Newman ranch.  Camryn actually drew the picture herself when she was child.  In case your wondering, a replica was made to use on the show.  Camyn, who has a good sense of humour, quipped that it's the only piece of art she's done that would ever sell.  When I spoke o her during the autograph session, she told me that this was her first visit to Toronto and Canada.

According to Camryn, Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher) always makes her laugh and the two are constantly joking on the set.  Oh yes, she likes cats and she does powerlifting,

Camryn Grimes (Mariah Copeland)

During the Q&A, Robert Adamson (Noah) was asked to mention something about himself that people find surprising.  He said that most people are surprised to learn that he's "not that young." He's thirty years old and has a baby daughter (born June 12, 2014) with his former fiancĂ©e, Linsey Godfrey, who plays Caroline Spencer Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Robert Adamson (Noah Newman)

Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman) has been married for two years and she was asked how her husband reacts to her love scenes with Dr. Stitch.  She said he doesn't like watching the scenes, but realizes it's part of the business she's in.

Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman)

Melissa Ordway and Yours Truly

Unfortunately, during the Q&A, none of the stars revealed any scoops. Sometimes, they don't even know what's going to happen themselves.  Still, I wish I had some nice, juicy scoop for you.  Oh well!  Sorry. 

Some final notes about the Y&R Tea:  Camryn Grimes brought some authentic coffee cups from the set of Crimson Lights   I purchased one and had it autographed.  All the Y&R actors in attendance deserve credit for giving their time and energy to a worthy cause, in particular Kate Linder (Esther) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin).  They conducted the auction.


Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson)

Simon Neville (Michael E. Knight)

Is Dr. Simon Neville a good match for Ashley?

Yes, I think they make a great match. They suit each other.
No, I don't think they suit each other.
I prefer Ashley with Dr. Stitch.
It's a possibilty. I need to seem them together more.
I don't know.
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 2, 2016.  I'm looking forward to watching all the Christmas and New Year's episodes on Y&R.  See you in 2016!

A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to readers of TV Banter's Y&R Report.  All the best in 2016.

- Joanne

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Charlie Brown Christmas Quiz


Fifty years ago today, on the CBS network, A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut on December 9, 1965.  How well do you know this timeless Yuletide classic? Test your knowledge of this beloved animated special by completing the 10- question quiz below.  Best of luck!


1.  What Christmas song was written for A Charlie Brown Christmas?

A.  "Holly Jolly Christmas"

B.  "Welcome Christmas"

C.  "Christmas Time is Here"

D.  "Silver Bells"

E.  "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

2  When an unhappy Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas, who recommends that he direct a Christmas play?

A,  Lucy

B,  Linus

C,  Peppermint Patty

D.  Schroeder

E.  Violet

3.  What part does Linus play in the Christmas play?

A.  Linus plays an angel in the Christmas play.

B.  He plays Joseph.

C.  He plays one of the Three Wise Men.

D.  He plays a shepherd.

E.  Linus doesn't take part in the Christmas play.

4.  Lucy Van Pelt doesn't want a lot of "stupid toys" for Christmas.  What does she want instead?

A.  Lucy wants a puppy, preferably a poodle.

B.  She wants real estate.

C.  She wants Schroeder to compose a special song just for her and to play it on his piano.

D.  She wants to visit Paris.

E.  None of the above.

5.  Which Peanuts character builds a snowman as Charlie Brown looks on?

A.  Linus

B.  Snoopy

C.  Schroeder

D.  Peppermint Patty

E.  Pigpen

6.  Why happens when Charlie Brown checks his mailbox?

A.  He finds an anonymous Christmas card.

B.  He finds a message from the Little Red-Headed Girl.

C.  His mailbox is empty and he hasn't received any Christmas cards.

D.  He is disappointed because there is just a pile of junk mail and nothing else.

E.   None of the above.

7.  When Charlie Brown decides that the Christmas play needs a tree to create a proper mood, what kind of Christmas tree does Lucy instruct him to get?

A.  The largest tree he can find.

B.  A big shiny, aluminum tree.

C.  A real tree, not too big and not too small.

D.  A tree that looks strong and majestic.

E.  A tree that stands out from all the others.

8.  Who gives Lucy a kiss?

A.  Schroeder

B.  Pigpen

C.  Charlie Brown

D.  Snoopy

E,  Nobody

9.  When Charlie Brown asks in despair if anyone really knows what Christmas is all about, what biblical verse does Linus, standing alone on stage, recite?

A.  "And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in manger . . ."  from the Gospel of Luke.

B.  The annunciation to the shepherds from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 2, Verses 4 to 16.

C.  He doesn't recite a biblical verse.

D.  The story of the visit of the Three Wise Men from the Gospel of Matthew.

E.  The annunciation to the shepherds from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 2 to 14.

10.  At the end of the show, what traditional Christmas carol does the Peanuts gang sing?

A.  "The First Noel"

B.  "Joy to the World"

C.  "Hark! The Harold Angels Sing"

D.  "Angels We Have Heard on High"

E.  "Silent Night"

11.  When A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on CBS at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on December 9, 1966, which regular series did it preempt?

A. The Munsters

B.  The Berverly Hillbillies

C.  Batman

D.  Petticoat Junction

E.  The Andy Griffith Show


1.  C

"Christmas Time is Here" was written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guarldi for A Charlie Brown Christmas,  Here are the lyrics.

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favourite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year. . .

2.  A

Depressed about the commercialization of Christmas, Charlie Brown visits Lucy's psychiatric booth. She advises him to direct a Christmas play and he agrees.

3.  C

Linus plays a shepherd in the Christmas play.  Much to her delight, Charlie Brown's sister, Sally, is assigned to portray the shepherd's wife.

4.  B

Lucy wants real estate for Christmas.

5.  E

Charlie Brown's unfailingly filthy classmate, Pigpen, builds a very dirty snowman as Charlie watches.

6.  C

When Charlie Brown checks his mailbox, it is empty and he hasn't received any Christmas cards.  He then sarcastically thanks Violent for her Christmas card.

7.  B.

Lucy dispatches Charlie Brown to find a "big, shiny aluminum tree."  Instead, he and Linus return with a forlorn sapling, the only authentic tree they can find.

8.  D.

During rehearsal for the Christmas play, Snoopy, Charlie Brown's intrepid cocker spaniel, plants a kiss on her.  Lucy is horrified and repulsed.  She screams that she has dog germs.  "Get hot water! Get some disinfectant.  Get some iodine, she shouts."

9.  E

Linus recites the annunciation to the shepherds from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 2 to 14" He then declares "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

10.  C

The entire Peanuts gang sings the hymn "Hark! The Harold Angels Sing" at the end of the program.

11.  A

A Charlie Brown Christmas pre-empted The Mussters.


* On October 1, 2015, the U.S. Postal Service issued a series of ten stamps dedicated to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

- Joanne

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Y&R Report (December 5, 2015): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

Poor Dylan has been duped yet again.  Will he ever be a father?  First, Avery miscarried the child she was having with him. Years later, Chelsea deceived him.and led him to believe that he was Connor'rs father, when the real dad was Adam.  Now he thinks that Christian/Sully is his biological son.  I've come to the conclusion that some things are as certain as death and taxes on Y&R, at least as far as the writers are concerned. Here is my list of certainties:

*  Dylan will never be a biological father.

*  Victor Newman will always win.

*  Nikki will always go back to Victor.

*  Nick will always go back to Sharon.

*  Victoria will always go back to Billy.

*  Ian Ward can escape from any prison.

What the heck is wrong with Lily?  She must be incredibly naive or incredibly foolish. How could she have trusted Joe Clark?  How could she have fallen for his phony charm?  Joe is so transparent. He's about as sincere as the smirk on his face.

Some online Y&R fans have pointed out that Sharon still doesn't know that Adam is alive.
She will learn the news eventually.  Remember that she has been in a psychiatric hospital under the care of the evil Dr. Anderson  She thinks she has given birth to a baby boy, who is really the child of her ex-husband Nick's current wife, Sage, and her own ex-husband, Adam.  Only on a soap!  At any rate, Sharon and Adam's relationship is dead and buried. That ship has sailed.

Let's discuss  the Dr. Anderson storyline further.  I have thought of some questions the writers don't want us to ask.  I know Dr. Anderson drugged Sharon up, but still . . . wouldn't Sharon know that she hadn't really given birth?  After all, she's had children before.  Also, at the christening, Sage looked directly at her own child and didn't recognize him.  How could a mother not recognize her child?

Dr. Anderson is starting to get quite involved in the lives of the Newman family.  She has oodles of nerve, that's for sure.  She even suggested that Sage would keep her distance from baby Sully/Christian.  Understandably, Nick was quite annoyed with that and called her "Dr. Know-It All." The bad doctor is certainly making herself known around Genoa.City. She's been socializing and has revealed that stated that her first name is "Sandy."

Sandy was the first name of the girl who was paralyzed in a diving accident at Nick Newman's pool party.  Yet, how can she be that Sandy?  Nick would have recognized her, unless she's had plastic surgery - Yikes, please no!  We've had enough of that on the show - and is she no longer paralyzed too?  It is obvious that the Newmans are the target of Dr. Anderson's vindictiveness.  Still, her identity remains a mystery.  She could be a relative of the injured Sandy, perhaps her sister.      

Dylan isn't exactly the sharpest knife in the draw.  He isn't the least suspicious of Dr. Anderson.  In fact, he thinks she's been a great help to Sharon.  Hello?  Earth to Dylan McAvoy!  Was this guy actually considering joining the Genoa City Police?  I guess he must have inherited his father's clueless genes.

That scoundrel Ian Ward was hauled off to prison again, but remember his parting words. He warned Victor and Phyllis that "This is not over yet, not by a long shot!"  I hope so.  I want to see more of him.  As a fictional character, he's very entertaining and amusing and he sure has a way with words. No prison seems to be able to hold him for long.

We've been even given more proof that, according to the Y&R writers, the Great Victor Newman is invincible.  Despite the massive fire, the Newman building is being quickly repaired.  Much to my dismay, that infernal portrait of Victor managed to survive.  That portrait is definitely a symbol of Victor's invincibility and power.  That's why Victoria proudly hung it back up in the office.


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name.  
My email address:

I received an email from Marilyn who is definitely not a fan of Sage:

Sage just doesn't fit with Nick.  Nick forgave her for lying about Adam and keeping secrets, but yet turns Sharon away for basically doing the same thing.  Sage does not belong with Nick.  They have no chemistry.  I think Sharon and Nick should reunite and stay together.  They have so much history and chemistry together that in my book, they are a super couple on daytime soaps.

Well, Marilyn, I think your wish will come true.  I don't think Nick and Sage will stay together once Nick discovers that Adam is Christian's father - and we all know that the truth will come out, don't we?  Secrets don't remain secrets on soaps (I can only think of one exception.  John Abbott went to his grave without the knowledge that he was not Ashley's biological father).

Here are some comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Many of the storylines are dragging right now.  I am even losing interest in the Chelsea/Adam great love affairs as there are so many negative possibilities that you know it will never be smooth sailing. Adam will be torn between his two sons and their mothers at some point.  

If Nick takes up with Sharon again, that will take the cake!

Yes, CC, I agree that many of the storylines are dragging a bit.  However, we've come to the end of the November sweeps.  There has to be a lull after all that intrigue and suspense with the explosion and fire at Newman Industries.  Christmas and New Year's are just around the corner.  The holidays are usually a very interesting and fun-filled time on the show.  This year, Traci Abbott will be home for the festive season and Abby and Dr. Stitch are getting ready for their wedding.

With regard to Chelsea and Adam's love affair, there can't be smooth sailing.  As Shakespeare wrote, "The course of true love never did run smooth." - especially on a soap.  There has to be conflict.  We can only enjoy the moments.  As you know, there's always a secret that will tear a couple apart.  In this case, Adam has not told Chelsea that he is baby Christian's father.  Once again, he is hiding something from her and that doesn't bode well for their relationship.

I'm afraid there's already trouble in paradise for Chelsea and Adam.  That trouble has arrived in the person of Sage.  Although Sage has closed herself off from Nick, she has made a connection with Adam.  Chelsea is already disturbed by their bond.

You probably don't want to hear this, CC, but I really think that Nick will take up with Sharon again. It certainly will "take the cake" and I can see it happening.  Nick is repeating the pattern of his father, The Great Victor Newman.  It's a Newman trait.  Victor has been married multiple times, but he always goes back to Nikki.  Through the years, Nikki and Victor have broken up and made up countless times.  It's going to be the same with Nick and Sharon.

Another regular contributor, Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario, says she is not impressed with the acting ability of the child who portrays little Connor Newman.  Actually, Fifi, Connor is currently being played by twins Gunner and Ryder Gadbois.  I'm not too impressed either.

Gunner and Ryder


BREAKING NEWS:  Jason Thompson is the new Billy Abbott!

Well fans, the rumours were true.  We have a new Billy Boy and he's Jason Thompson. Jason was a General Hospital fan favourite  I'm not too surprised that he'll be coming to Genoa City, When he left GH after ten years on the show, the writing was on the wall.

Jason will assume the role of Billy Abbott in January of 2016, replacing Burgess Jenkins, who announced last month that he'd decided to leave Y&R after 18 months as Billy.  The question now is whether Jason Thompson will be able to make the role his own, as Justin Hartley has done with the role of Adam.  Will Jason be good enough to make us get over the departure Billy Miller?  It's also extremely important that his onscreen chemistry with Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) is good.

General Hospital has recently scooped up a few Y&R stars.  This time we can chalk one up for The Young and the Restless.

Daniel Goddard (Cane) has emergency surgery on injured arm

Daniel Goddard, not unlike his character, Cane Ashby, has been having his struggles lately.  The Australian was rushed to emergency after a setback in his recovery from a broken elbow,  He sustained the injury back in September, while filming a fight scene with Cane's nemesis, Joe Clark, played by Scott Elrod.  Daniel tweeted that his body rejected that his body had rejected the metal in his elbow and that he had to get it removed as soon as possible.


Colin Atkinson:

No good deed goes unpunished, or so I've been told.  I've never done one.

Patty Williams to Ian Ward:

I'm scared of Victor Newman.  His dog tried to hurt my kitty cat.


Are you happy that Jason Thompson is going to be the new Billy Abbott?

Yes. I've seen him on General Hospital and I like him.
No. Nobody can replace Billy Miller in the part. I wish he'd come back.
It depends on whether he has good chemistry with Amelia Heinle (Victoria)
I'll have to wait and see. I don't know enough about him. I haven't seen him on General Hospital
Yes. The current Billy, Burgess Jenkins, doesn't suit the role
I don't know
Poll Maker


That's all for now.  Tomorrow I will be attending Kate Linder's charity event to raise money for the March of Dimes.  It is a high tea at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.  Y&R stars in attendance will be Kate Linder (Esther) Valentine, Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), Camryn Grimes (Maiah Copeland), Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman) and Robert Adamson (Noah Newman).  I'm looking forward to the event and I will report on it in the next edition of Y&R Report on Saturday, December 19, 2015.  

- Joanne