Retro Pop Culture Interviews and Musings
While “The Shootist” was iconic actor John Wayne’s final film in 1976, many fans may not realize that the Duke had another project that he wanted to make before he succumbed to stomach cancer three years later. It was entitled “Beau John” and would have been a complete departure for the actor. Based on an…

Henry Darrow is captured in character as Manolito Montoya of ‘The High Chaparral’, his best known acting role, 1968; you can read my in-depth interview with Darrow by clicking on the photo, It is entitled “Totally Immersed in the World of Henry Darrow: The ‘High Chaparral’ Actor Speaks”.

We coverthe amusing tale of a punk kid who refused to follow a stern nun’s warning in Catholic school. Soon thereafter, a return to American with an apprenticeship at the Pasadena Playhouse put the wheels in motion for a valuable lesson regarding overacting for the “Spanish Barrymore”. You’ll never guess who the famous comedienne in his graduating class was.
The scoop behind the fortuitous moment when producer David Dortort attended an evening theater performance and gave Darrow his big break nearly 10 years after graduating from the Pasadena Playhouse, his parents’ reaction to their son’s newfound celebrity, and what happened when the Delgados visited Universal Studios during the height of High Chaparral mania will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat.
Darrow doesn’t shy away from admitting what it was like to appear in the first western sporting topless Indian maidens, Revenge of the Virgins, written by the terrible but somehow endearing cult B-movie director Ed Wood. 

Henry Darrow is captured in character as Manolito Montoya of ‘The High Chaparral’, his best known acting role, 1968; you can read my in-depth interview with Darrow by clicking on the photo, It is entitled Totally Immersed in the World of Henry Darrow: The ‘High Chaparral’ Actor Speaks”.

We coverthe amusing tale of a punk kid who refused to follow a stern nun’s warning in Catholic school. Soon thereafter, a return to American with an apprenticeship at the Pasadena Playhouse put the wheels in motion for a valuable lesson regarding overacting for the “Spanish Barrymore”. You’ll never guess who the famous comedienne in his graduating class was.

The scoop behind the fortuitous moment when producer David Dortort attended an evening theater performance and gave Darrow his big break nearly 10 years after graduating from the Pasadena Playhouse, his parents’ reaction to their son’s newfound celebrity, and what happened when the Delgados visited Universal Studios during the height of High Chaparral mania will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat.

Darrow doesn’t shy away from admitting what it was like to appear in the first western sporting topless Indian maidens, Revenge of the Virgins, written by the terrible but somehow endearing cult B-movie director Ed Wood. 


Just wanted to say that you're absolutely amazing :) Thanks for all that you do in Ricky's memory <3

You’re very kind. I so appreciate you saying that. Oftentimes I think I was simply born too late. Many of the artists whom I admire are no longer among the living. I bet Rick would have made an amazing interview once I proved to him that I was on the level. Again, your encouragement makes my evening shine way brighter.

Rick Nelson - True Love Ways [Memphis Sessions mix]

Rick Nelson covers Buddy Holly with admirable results on “True Love Ways”, recorded on November 8, 1978, with producer Larry Rogers in Memphis

Rick Nelson returns to his rockabilly roots on My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It, captured onstage in February 1983 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL, (near Chicago), featuring the Jordanaires and The Blasters’ Gene Taylor on piano; the complete concert was released on a hard-to-find VHS in the late ’80s


Definitely recommended&#8230;my December book selection
Today journalist Sheree Homer graciously agreed to a wide-ranging interview about a subject very close to her heart – singer Rick Nelson. In a bit of coincidence that Nelson would certainly have appreciated, Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer was published by McFarland on the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing on August 16, 2012. 
Based on 16 customer reviews thus far on Amazon, Rock &#8216;N&#8217; Roll Pioneer has a rare 5-star rating. It is the first book in 20 years to critically examine Nelson&#8217;s entertaining life, esteemed career, and crucial impact on pop culture. The well-received but sadly out-of-print Teenage Idol, Travelin&#8217; Man [1992], written by Philip Bashe, was the last project spotlighting the &#8220;Garden Party&#8221; songwriter.
Homer describes the book as a &#8220;biography told by Rick’s musicians, producers, friends, and family members. I don&#8217;t talk after the introduction but instead let others tell his story. After all, they were there with him. The original title was Rick Nelson: Musical Memories of a Hollywood Heartthrob, but McFarland felt Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer was a better choice.”
Indeed, over 50 exclusive interviews with nearly all the major players still living who worked with or counted the artist as a good friend is one of the project&#8217;s selling points. A major coup for the author was securing Kristin Nelson&#8217;s involvement. The former wife and mother of the singer&#8217;s four children has kept a low profile and generally refuses to speak about her life with the troubadour.

A generous sampling of black and white photos [about 50] are sprinkled throughout the 149 pages of text. Many are unpublished and come from Ms. Nelson&#8217;s personal archive or longtime collectors.
An additional 50 pages are devoted to several appendices, including single and album discographies as well as film, television and radio appearances for the &#8220;Poor Little Fool&#8221; balladeer. Scrupulous notes are provided for each chapter, along with a complete bibliography and index.
While noted for her admiration of Nelson&#8217;s blazing early rockabilly sides enhanced by James Burton&#8217;s Telecaster, [in fact she published her own music magazine, Rockabilly Revue, for several years], Homer perfectly captures each facet of the artist&#8217;s impressive career, including his calculated move into early &#8217;60s pop and seminal country rock recordings with the Stone Canyon Band.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Rock &#8216;N&#8217; Roll Pioneer is meticulously researched but presented in an easy-going, conversational style. Once you start reading, you can&#8217;t put it down. It is highly recommended.

Definitely recommended…my December book selection

Today journalist Sheree Homer graciously agreed to a wide-ranging interview about a subject very close to her heart – singer Rick Nelson. In a bit of coincidence that Nelson would certainly have appreciated, Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer was published by McFarland on the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing on August 16, 2012. 

Based on 16 customer reviews thus far on Amazon, Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer has a rare 5-star rating. It is the first book in 20 years to critically examine Nelson’s entertaining life, esteemed career, and crucial impact on pop culture. The well-received but sadly out-of-print Teenage Idol, Travelin’ Man [1992], written by Philip Bashe, was the last project spotlighting the “Garden Party” songwriter.

Homer describes the book as a “biography told by Rick’s musicians, producers, friends, and family members. I don’t talk after the introduction but instead let others tell his story. After all, they were there with him. The original title was Rick Nelson: Musical Memories of a Hollywood Heartthrob, but McFarland felt Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer was a better choice.”

Indeed, over 50 exclusive interviews with nearly all the major players still living who worked with or counted the artist as a good friend is one of the project’s selling points. A major coup for the author was securing Kristin Nelson’s involvement. The former wife and mother of the singer’s four children has kept a low profile and generally refuses to speak about her life with the troubadour.

A generous sampling of black and white photos [about 50] are sprinkled throughout the 149 pages of text. Many are unpublished and come from Ms. Nelson’s personal archive or longtime collectors.

An additional 50 pages are devoted to several appendices, including single and album discographies as well as film, television and radio appearances for the “Poor Little Fool” balladeer. Scrupulous notes are provided for each chapter, along with a complete bibliography and index.

While noted for her admiration of Nelson’s blazing early rockabilly sides enhanced by James Burton’s Telecaster, [in fact she published her own music magazine, Rockabilly Revue, for several years], Homer perfectly captures each facet of the artist’s impressive career, including his calculated move into early ’60s pop and seminal country rock recordings with the Stone Canyon Band.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer is meticulously researched but presented in an easy-going, conversational style. Once you start reading, you can’t put it down. It is highly recommended.


Rick Nelson: The single cover of There&#8217;s Nothing I Can Say b/w Lonely Corner, a No. 47 Pop, No. 18 Adult Contemporary hit, released on August 17, 1964; Courtesy of Decca Records / Universal Music Group

Rick Nelson: The single cover of There’s Nothing I Can Say b/w Lonely Corner, a No. 47 Pop, No. 18 Adult Contemporary hit, released on August 17, 1964; Courtesy of Decca Records / Universal Music Group


Rick Nelson: The August 8, 1960 single cover of I&#8217;m Not Afraid b/w Yes Sir, That&#8217;s My Baby; Split airplay caused the single to stall at No. 27 Pop for the former and No. 34 Pop for the latter; released on August 8, 1960 Credit: Courtesy of Imperial Records / EMI

An interview with Nelson&#8217;s biographer, Sheree Homer, was published on Nov. 30, 2012. It is entitled &#8220;Rick Nelson: Rock &#8216;N&#8217; Roll Pioneer: In Step With Biographer Sheree Homer&#8221;

Rick Nelson: The August 8, 1960 single cover of I’m Not Afraid b/w Yes Sir, That’s My Baby; Split airplay caused the single to stall at No. 27 Pop for the former and No. 34 Pop for the latter; released on August 8, 1960 Credit: Courtesy of Imperial Records / EMI


An interview with Nelson’s biographer, Sheree Homer, was published on Nov. 30, 2012. It is entitled “Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer: In Step With Biographer Sheree Homer”


Rick Nelson at the very beginning of his career, circa spring 1957, during the I&#8217;m Walkin / A Teenagers Romance era; he was about 17 years old here Credit: Courtesy of Kristin Nelson&#8217;s Personal Collection

Rick Nelson at the very beginning of his career, circa spring 1957, during the I’m Walkin / A Teenagers Romance era; he was about 17 years old here Credit: Courtesy of Kristin Nelson’s Personal Collection


Charles Bronson menaces an unsuspecting Michael Landon in his only guest appearance on Bonanza, the most popular series of the 1960s;

Charles Bronson makes his only guest appearance on Bonanza, the most popular series of the 1960s, in The Underdog, an episode broadcast on December 13, 1964, costarring Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Lorne Greene; it would take five more years before Bronson became a star in Europe

A face like an eroded cliff: Beyond the tough exterior of actor Charles Bronson (new article featuring stories from James Garner, Tony Curtis, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Elvis’ Memphis Mafia, and  much more)