Meeting People Of Note
George Harold Fulks/ January 16, 2011/Sunday
As my oldest daughter and her husband travel into the Gulf of Mexico toward Mexico,
I'm serving as their sitter for two chow-chows. Quite pleased to be here alone, I suspect that I may
harbor primal memories of some disaster occurring during the past as a crewman or
passenger on some ship long ago. This time alone away from abuse is something I highly
relish. As for the dogs, they miss their masters. Before the Daughter and Son-in-law return from their cruise, I'll miss them too.
My Einstein Machine transports me back nearly fifty years to November, 1964. While serving in The United States Army as a singer with a military entertainment group, fifteen of us were to fly from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles. From the airport, we'd be transported
to Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California. The Army, Navy, and Air Force were
to supply musical background for a documentary with the NORAD Band.
My voice was not well trained, but during auditions, I had one thing going for me.
I could sight read music. Half the members of our thirty-five member chorus couldn't.
NORAD Band arrangers were excellent. They had composed a brand new score. Members of
the choral group were required to sight read what had been composed. I, George Harold
Fulks was chosen. Away we flew"!!
Singer Brenda Lee
Brenda Lee, Georgia's music singing sweetheart, was also recording that day. She was
a sweet, humble, and gentle girl. Watching, listening, and enjoying her songs on radio,
records, and television, my mother, father, and I had listened to her music and dreamed. Brenda Lee had been one of our favorites. Near the Okefenokee Swamp and later Western
Kentucky and into Illinois- Brenda's music followed me everywhere. (As for my own ambitions, I'd dreamed of earning a livelihood as a trumpet player. Competition from thousands of others sharing that dream forbid it. Many trumpet players were better trained, more talented and determined. What kind of living would one make as a trumpeter?)
Another chorus member and I caught an elevator on our way to an upper story at The
Capitol Recording Studio. Famous people such as Brenda Lee don't bite, scratch, hiss,
or spit. They just enter the elevator and act just as other people. Ron and I were shocked and lacked confidence to act in a friendly manner. "Here I am with somebody
famous," I thought: "What should I do'?
Actor John Lemon
For The NORAD Band and Chorus, our recording session required that we continue
into well past darkness during that day at The Capitol Recording Studio. In casual
attire came Actor John Lemon. John was an accomplished jazz pianist. Accompanied by
a trumpeter and string bass, we were able to hear and observe his group as John played
without music. His virtuosity at piano was truly impressive.
Meeting John Lemon was especially pleasurable for me. His performance in the movie
entitled Days Of Wine And Roses required great talent as an actor. Never had I observed a more outstanding acting ability. John was really into the part he played.
Those folks lived in the proximity of Hollywood and Los Angeles. Several of us visited the area in Hollywood where many of Hollywood's stars are immortalized. Those truly caught our fantasies. Workers need to be entertained for reason that we experience stress resulting from our different occupations and daily conflicts.
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Never dreaming I'd be standing face-to-face and shaking hands with Ern was not a thing I'd expected to occur. Our choral group was booked to appear on television with
Ern on his Thanksgiving Day program. That was during either 1963 or 64. Ernie Ford
himself was someone natural and easy-going. Making us all feel right at home there in in his studio, we taped the television show in advance and faked our way through the real
broadcast time. There were no errors for our television audience to view in that manner. I never once realized as a TV viewer that such a thing as that was done.
Ernie Ford's recording of "Sixteen Tons" was a song my mother, father, and I heard
several times daily by radio. In a sense that song was a tribute to all working people of the Earth. Many of us could identify with its message. "Sixteen Tons" is a fantastic song, and Ern was a man worthy of note. I'll always remember him and our
appearance on his television show. (My father and mother both watched and listened to us from their Western Kentucky home.)type/ videos: "My Old Kentucky Home" and hear The University Of Kentucky Band playing a moving rendition of that song
Today, January 17, 2011, Pete and Kristal are spending a day at leisure in a Mexican resort city. As I write with computer, their two chow-chows lie peacefully
beside me. They're physic; often gazing out a sliding doorway toward that Mexican
port city. Those on the cruise ship will be departing for Costa Rico tomorrow. Happy that I'm here protected from abuse.
We were at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood. Our choral group had been invited to entertain at Armed Forces Day during 1964. While there, we met Jayne Mansfield, Miss California, and several famous directors working in the movie industry. Getting an autograph from Jayne Mansfield, she was a lovely and impressive guest; someone we had admired as we had viewed the movies she had filmed.
Johnny Carson and "The Tonight Show"/NBC
Always an early riser- early to bed kind of person, I feel that it was the
quiet and solitude of The Great Okefenokee Swamp and rural Western Kentucky that made
me want to turn-in by 10:00 P.M. Nevertheless our choral group was booked to sing on
Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show", and it was past my bedtime. Someone must read to me The Three Bears, or I never get to sleep. And a beautiful blond must hold my hand while she's reading it. There we were; bug-eyed and frightened by all those
lights and noises and by the sophisticated set-up. The elevator leading to that area
was scary. Personally, I felt a strong impulse to run away, but I didn't.
Then Ed McMahan stepped out andd shouted: "And here's Johnny!" Unbelievably, at that precise instance, the soldier standing directly in front me farted. It was not
a whiff-in-poof; but suggestive of one that might have been made by a camel or moose.
"Somebody farted!" I yelled, "and I know who it was!"