Friday, February 22, 2008

an Okie contest

Well I never been to heaven
But I been to Oklahoma
Well they tell me I was born there
But I really don't remember
In Oklahoma, not Arizona
What does it matter
What does it matter

Almost everybody knows "Never Been to Spain" as recorded by Three Dog Night. I'd be willing to bet not many know the man who wrote it.

An Oklahoma native, he was born in Duncan and grew up in Comanche. He attended Oklahoma State University on a football scholarship, and served in the navy before he began performing folk music in California coffeeshops. He had a few hits of his own, but most of his songs were made famous by others. He was covered by people as varied as the Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, John Denver, Steppenwolf, Ringo Starr, Linda, Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, Brownsville Station, and Elvis Presley. "Joy to the World", perhaps the most famous song he wrote, was covered by Three Dog Night and spent something like six weeks at number one sometime in the early 1970s. His music has been heard in several movies, including Easy Rider, The Big Chill, and Forrest Gump.

He came to songwriting naturally; his mother wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" for Elvis. They are the only mother and son to each have written a number one record. His mother taught him much of what he knew about songwriting and insisted he learn classical piano as a child. She was a fixture in the Nashville music scene and the aunt of a former governor of our great state.

The singer-songwriter was also an actor on the large screen as well as the small. He appeared in The Black Stallion, Gremlins, and Disorganized Crime on the silver screen, among others. We grew up watching him in guest spots on such varied shows as Bonanza, WKRP in Cinncinnati, Dukes of Hazzard, Growing Pains, and Diff'rent Strokes.

When he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, his grandson quoted him as calling Oklahoma "the cultural capital of the world".

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. First, name this famous Okie. I've given you many clues, it shouldn't be hard.

  2. Second, name two other songs about Oklahoma that DO NOT have the words 'Oklahoma' or 'Okie' in the title.

  3. Third, name the character who famously sang "Joy to the World" in an episode of a popular television series of the 1990s. A hint: the network was Fox.

  4. Last, but not least, name two actors born in the Sooner State. And please, one of them cannot be Chuck Norris.
  • Bonus Question on a slight tangent: tell me the origin of the phrase "three dog night" for which the band was named. (Peter, this one's for you.)
Correct answers, of course, will be used for scoring. Extra points for the bonus question, how quickly answers are submitted, creativity and humor.

You are hereby prohibited from entering if you share my state of residence. Do your best not to call or write your sibling in Oklahoma to ask for answers. (That would definitely be cheating, Laurie.) The winner will receive something from me that is uniquely Oklahoma. Enter by sending an e-mail to the address on my profile no later than Wednesday at midnight, CST.

Good luck, ya'll.

The picture above is the sun setting over the countryside of Central Oklahoma.


Kim said...

The very cold night thing is the meaning of the idiom. I think the origin of the idiom I was looking for is in your second paragraph.

Peter, you just ruined my bonus question!

willowtree said...

What?!? You said it was mine, and I quote..."Bonus Question on a slight tangent: tell me the origin of the phrase "three dog night" for which the band was named. (Peter, this one's for you.)"

Babaloo said...

Oh gosh, this one is definitely too hard for me. I don't even know half the TV shows mentioned. I'm looking forward to the answers, though!

Jen said...

Well, damn. Number one is easy (I loved the episode of WKRP), number two is tough, and for number three, I can name you a handful of country singers who are Okies off the top of my head, but I'll have to think about the actors. Hmmmm.

laurie said...

so far, off the top of my head, i only know the Peter bonus question. (and that's without being up at 1 a.m. to read his deleted answer.)

i'm going to have a have cup of coffee and do some thinking....

thefoodsnob said...

Ok, I'm a lame Northerner and know nothing except cattle (and it was in Thelma and Louise?)


Kim said...

Ah, WT, I said it was FOR you; I added it after reading your comment on Laurie's contest. Just wanted to make you feel included! Sorry if I confused you.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I don't know any of the answers but I do know "I'm Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee."

Elizabethd said...

Toooooo complicated, says she who only knows the song...'Ohhhklahoma'.

laurie said...

if you guys don't know the Red Dirt Rangers--especially their cover of Prince's "1999"--you just haven't lived.

the rotten correspondent said...

Okay, this I can do.

I knew the bonus answer too, even though I didn't read peter's either.

Here I go...

Faye said...

Oh Lordy Kaycie! I have neither the hat nor cattle to compete in this Okie quiz except for the bonus question which I have just a lame answer.

P.S. if Laurie wins anything above honorable mention for the Okie quiz, I'll be asking for an ethics investigation since YOU have done quite well on the occasional three dog blog competition. . .giggle, giggle.

Learn me about Okies!

ped crossing said...

I would love to play, but alas the end of the trimester is nearing and my pile of grading resembles the leaning tower of pisa.

The Green Stone Woman said...

Kaycie, there is an award for you over at my place.

Kim said...

Hmmm. I thought this was pretty easy. Obviously, I am a terrible judge of difficulty.

Of course, I know all the answers, so it would seem easy to me, huh?

Cait O'Connor said...

Well this will be hard for me living in Wales (some of it not all). I love a challenge though especially where music is the subject.

Pamela said...

bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha.
This just showed up on my google reader