Jay Leno Was Good, Johnny Carson GREAT -with Rickles, Dangerfield, Liberace, Sinatra


Jay Leno Was Good, Johnny


Carson GREAT -with


Rickles, Dangerfield, Liberace, Sinatra





(above) One of many classic Carson episodes with the great comedian Don Rickles surprising Sinatra during the middle of an interview (1976). Compare this to the guests and stuff we see today on late night talk shows…



As Jay Leno leaves the Tonight Show (for the second and probably final time) we can’t help think back to Leno’s predecessor, Johnny Carson, who made ‘TV late night talk shows’ what they are today. Leno was certainly the best out their today – reflected in his top ratings – yet as one talk show coast said today ‘he or none of them can hold a candle to Johnny.’





Of all the guests on Carson, we liked Rodney ‘ No Respect ‘ Dangerfield probably best, for not only his monologue but for the time after when Carson and Rodney would kibitz and Carson just set it up for Dangerfield to go on and on with more great stuff. They both had it down. Miss them much.




Speaking about dress, there aren’t guests like LIBERACE any more – not only for his flamboyant-yet-tasteful style and great music! Sad for the young folks who missed out on people like Liberace, Buddy Hacket, Rodney Dangerfield – and Johnny Carson… but there’s always video like these…This was Liberace’s last appearance on Johnny Carson.




Johnny had an ongoing bit on the show of teasing band leader Don Severinson for his wild outfits (which called for teasing).





The Great Buddy Hackett with Johnny… Hackett ‘slips’ on a word that’s bleeped.



Pick One:

Like/Share this if you think Johnny Carson was the best late night talk host




 Jay Leno Was Good, Johnny Carson GREAT -with Rickles, Dangerfield, Liberace, Sinatra


Say whay you will about Carson’s private life –  of which you have to consider his less than stellar upbringing – Carson was the ‘perfect’ host of a TV show known to ‘make’ stars off a single visit. ( Just yesterday in our facebook page we noted David Brenner, one of many whose career took off after a single appearance on the Tonight Show.) Carson got the most out of his guests since they seemed to genuinely like each other. Plus, Carson wasn’t a bad interviewer either.  Unlike some of his predecessors on the talk show circuit, Carson was a gentleman – on air, anyway – without the ‘in your face’ bits. Simple quality  jokes got laughs, whether it was Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Hope, George Burns – or Carson himself, a comedian in his own right (magician, too).  The Carson show was well diversified with actors, newsmakers and singers:  it was Bette Midler who gave Johnny his final goodbye  back in the mid-90s  when he retired at age 69.

Here are just a few favorite guests  and show bits  from the show .  For an in depth look at the man, there’s a new book out by his lawyer of 18 years, Henry Bushkin. (Take it with a grain of salt, since Bushkin and Carson split acrimoniously but from reviews it appears to put across much of the real Real Johnny Carson) Johnny Carson book
**** 4 stars

121 of 135 people found the following review helpful
Bad Johnny or very funny good Johnny?
By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Amazon Vine Review ( What’s this? )
Henry Bushkin was a new lawyer, just starting out when he fell into the job of being Johnny Carson’s lawyer.

He became his friend, his confidant, professional advisor and more. He has a high regard for Johnny despite a multitude of incidents and actions that would have made many leave. He does admit he was attracted to the money and the power and the nearness to fame. He consistently describes Johnny as the most talented and powerful man in show business and gives him credit for formulating the late night show style with desk and announcing guests – despite the fact that Jack Parr did it years before.

Buskin’s stories and life with Johnny are both fun and awful. Carson was, if nothing else volatile and admitted he could not love, which he blamed on his mother.
For all of Buskin’s help and strategizing and solving many of Johnny’s problems, much of the book is about Bushkin too – he was intertwined with Carson for so many years. He finds much of what Carson does funny and even acceptable…peeing in a wine bucket at a Friar’s roast and his serial womanizing. There are blunt observations on Johnny’s drinking and his love life. We are also informed of the power and importance of Johnny Carson the star, with all his amazing influence and prestige and huge ego. Carson’s cursing; bad sportsmanship on the tennis courts, his arrogance and nastiness is all described. Yet amazingly Bushkin still appreciates him, even with the tantrums and the inexplicable firings in this book.

We learn much about Johnny Carson and much about Henry Bushkin. Despite the fact much of Carson’s behavior and actions leave a bad taste one can still see his talent and why so many still adore and admire the man in this easy to read and compelling book.

***** 5 stars
165 of 187 people found the following review helpful
I hate lawyers, but I love this book!!!
By Richardson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Amazon Vine Review ( What’s this? )
And I loved Johnny Carson. Perhaps like any aging baby boomer, or anyone from most any generation , we think what we had was the best. When it comes to late night TV hacks, er hosts, I think they all fall far below Johnny Carson. The documentary that came out a bit back Johnny Carson: King of Late Night [HD] was terrific and only increased my appetite for more. Sadly there aren’t any really good books about the King of Late night that I could find. One author , Bill Zehme , that they interview on the documentary has allegedly written a book that has been delayed for years and I hear could be the basis for a movie, but it is odd that the “biographer” on the excellent documentary has yet to publish same? I do find it interesting that for a guy as huge as Johnny was the dearth of literary material about his life and years at the top of the entertainment industry is remarkable and only ads to the enigma that continues to be Johnny Carson.


Well.. when I was offered the early read of this book I jumped at the opportunity, not because it was a book about Carson but I recognized the author’s name , Henry Bushkin. You can’t have watched the Tonight Show and not remembered Johnny talking about his lawyer “Bombastic Bushkin”…. so I was thinking just maybe a real book by a real insider. I should also add at this point that I’m not looking for “dirt” on Johnny, just something, anything , beyond the stage of the Tonight Show.


This was easily the quickest 300 pages I’ve ever turned, one sitting, and I’m sad it wasn’t longer. Bushkin does dish some serious dirt at times but he doesn’t do it in a mean spirited way. I like the fact that it is obvious Buskin is a writer to the extent he has a serious inside story to tell but he’s not in love with his own prose. By that I mean he covers a substantial amount of ground and quite a bit of salacious material in a sort of matter of fact way instead of ratcheting up the drama as one would expect by a “writer first” author. There isn’t much speculation in this book either, Bushkin keeps on point and delivers the material he has first hand knowledge of and for the most part was a participant in!


I hope potential purchasers of the book will not mind I didn’t give away any of the inside scoop or scandalous revelations (even though they are never presented in such a way I’m sure many will be fodder for tabloid news). I don’t want to spoil the read for anyone curious enough to purchase this excellent book. Bushkin was around for 18 years , and was his wingman and one of his closest confidants during the height of his power and popularity. You will be taken behind the curtain for scenes from divorce, the pitting of NBC against ABC , dealing with Caesers Palace in Las Vegas, as well as his own failed production company and many scenes from many Hollywood dinners. This is a terrific book without a page of filler, it reads like a greatest hits recording from highlight to highlight. I literally defy a reader to open the book to any page and not find something fascinating. Provocative it is, but it is just one persons version of the truthful history so I kept that in mind while reading and particularly when reading about the acrimonious ending to this longtime relationship. To that extent I believe it is the best available book on this subject and even were Johnny to have written his own story I can’t see him going below the surface …in many ways I think Carson would be the happiest to know that no books about him were written and that his “on air” life be the only one any of us know.


Has reading this book allowed me to form a new portrait of Johnny Carson? It certainly didn’t surprise me with what I’d previously read and after viewing that excellent documentary. When he perceived a failure of loyalty Johnny seems to exhibit what Desi Arnaz called “the Cuban way” …I don’t hate you , you just cease to exist. Being on the fringes of the entertainment industry here in Southern California I also suspect I’m a bit more jaded to much of this. The star machinations ,the ego stroking that is needed/required , the paranoia of those at the top. I would not have expected to read anything on Johnny Carson that pretended that he was a Jed Clampett type of displaced country boy being isolated in the big city. As Joan Rivers said “Johnny was a killer” , he was also from a young age skilled at sleight of hand , and like any true magician he wasn’t one to give away his secrets. Bushkin has at least let us into the tent for part of the show.


Jay Leno Was Good, Johnny Carson GREAT -with Rickles, Dangerfield, Liberace, Sinatra


OLD STORE HOMEPAGE GOOD 'Old Fashioned Store, Honest Goods & Old Favorites' - www_goodolddaysstore_com







People will argue whether Brenda Lee or Connie Francis is the Top Selling Female singer of the 50s and 60s.  We know one thing.. she’s no worse than Number 2.

Born Brenda Mae Tarpley, her career has been going strong since 1947. By the time she was fifteen, Lee was born on December 11, 1944, in Atlanta Georgia, Brenda Lee‘s recordings have been compared to the legendary Judy Garland and had fans all over the world. Along the way, she has received awards and accolades from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences MORE (THANKS TO BIOGRAPHY, A NICE ALTERNATIVE TO WIKAEPEDIA )


Brenda Lee was one of the 1960s’ most popular artists. Best known for her “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” her career has spanned over five decades.   Lee had the good fortune to meet and record with the great Nashville producer, Owen Bradley, who had also worked with Patsy cline.  The clear, full stereo sound that resulted was like no other.Listen to one of her many hits  on Decca Records, from ‘I’m Sorry’to  ‘Jump The Broomstick,’which was a big hit in England but not in the US.


Youo’ll probably be hearing enough of ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree ‘over the holidays so we thought we’d go wtih this beautiful cover of Skeeter Davis’s ‘End of the World.’

Unique Gift Ideas from Annie's Good Old Days Store




Frank-Sinatra-9484810-3-402Happy Frank Sinatra  Day today December 12 which would make Mr.Blue Eyes just two years short of 100.  Probably the most popular ‘American Songbook Singer’of all time,  the Sinatra story is well known, that of a hard-living singer, actor, playboy, Rat Packer and father of three talented artists in their own right who carried on with the best of them during the Big Band Era and into the ’90s.  Sinatra would have his own record company, Reprise, where he’d record with many of his friends. He bult the iconic Cal Neva Hotel in Lake Tahoe , with its round bar and secret passage ways, among other of his life’s adventures.   Here’s a mini – biography of Sinatra  and some of his favorite quotes/words to live by….

1. Life: One day at a time

“I’m not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I’m not looking for the secret to life…. I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.”

2. Luck and talent

“People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.”

3. Notes and lyrics

“Throughout my career, if I have done anything, I have paid attention to every note and every word I sing – if I respect the song. If I cannot project this to a listener, I fail.”






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Happy Birthday Deano! Dean Martin Party time…

birthday cake with elvis and shirley
Dean with the only lady Ratpacker, Shirley McLaine and the King of Rock and Roll back from an Army stint . The Party’s going on over @






pool table freinds

Don Rickles roast Frank sinatra on Dean’s show


Dean Martin

Singer / Actor

Born: 7 June 1917
Died: 25 December 1995
Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio
Best known as: Crooner, actor, and comedy partner to Jerry Lewis

Name at birth: Dino Crocetti

Between 1949 and 1956, Dean Martin made 16 films as the singing straight man to his comedy partner Jerry Lewis; the two were one of the hottest entertainment acts of the era. After their bitter (and much-publicized) breakup, Martin continued making movies, including both comedy and dramatic roles and the spoofy Matt Helm spy movies of the 1960s. A nightclub singer and solid member of Frank Sinatra‘s “rat pack,” Martin also had hit records, most notably “That’s Amore” and “Everybody Loves Somebody.” Martin’s easygoing attitude helped make him a hit on television, where he hosted a comedy and variety show from 1965-74.

Extra credit: Martin’s son Dean Paul (also known as Dino) was an actor, singer and sometime tennis pro; he died in a California Air National Guard plane crash in 1987. Editor’s note: Many close friends say that the loss of his son was effectively the end of Martin’s life,  even though he would live several more years, dining alone many nights  at the same la Famiglia restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Read more: Dean Martin Biography (Singer/Actor) | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/biography/var/deanmartin.html#ixzz2VaeoAe1W


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New Sinatra Tribute LP Has Real Roots – Davi Sings Sinatra

Heard on the Michael Savage radio program… When you hear Robert Davi sings Sinatra you’re not hearing some  flavor of the day try to sing the songs of someone before his time devoid of the feeling of the era. Robert Davi grew up during the 50s and 60s, heard Sinatra during his prime and even met and talked to the original! So, let’s say Davi has all the qualifications to do Sinatra justice.  In so doing, his new LP, just out, uses a full orchestra and was recorded in the same LA Capitol studios where Sinatra recorded many of his classic albums. Even the recording producer and engineer were from THE ERA, having worked with Sinatra and others during the day ..It was quite a moving / nostalgic interview with Davi on the Michael Savage show 10/21. Whatever you think of Savage’s politics, Savage lives and breathes the 50s/60s era including many great vignettes from the era plus  music you won’t hear on other talk shows.  He spends much of his time off politics, especially Rock and Roll Fridays… give a listen for a rare treat in this day and age.  Back to Davi, when I first heard a snipet of song on Savage’s show I thought it the real thing. Though Davi doesn’t claim to be a mimic, his sound is very close to the real thing.  Check out DaviSingsSinatra.com  or below.  PURCHASE DAVI SINGS SINATRA: http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-4242285-10676536


Best known for playing the villainous drug lord in the James Bond classic, “License to Kill,”   actor Robert Davi apparently also has a license to sing. Armed with a 30-piece orchestra, Davi is set to release his first album on October 24: “Davi Sings Sinatra — On The Road To Romance.” And like “Old Blue Eyes,” Davi chose to record his work at the famous Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, where Sinatra recorded much of his music. The album features all new arrangements by composer Nic. tenBroek and is produced by 14-time, Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone. Sinatra author, producer, and historian Charles Granata described Davi’s tribute to the “Chairman of the Board” as a “superb love letter to the man who defined 20th century popular music. It’s theatrical, heartfelt, and beautifully sung, while incorporating a swagger and style that evokes Sinatra.” Sinatra standards take him back to his Italian-American roots, Davi told Newsmax. “During my parents’ time, while our country faced many difficulties, this music helped it glow with promise and optimism,” he said. “It reminded them that our country was a place where dreams came true, and inspired people from all over the world to find for themselves the magic that was America — and Frank Sinatra’s voice was the soundtrack for their lives.” Backed by a 50-piece orchestra, Davi has been performing Continue reading “New Sinatra Tribute LP Has Real Roots – Davi Sings Sinatra”