In the late summer of every leap year, I find myself in sports heaven. For two straight weeks in late July and early August, I wake up, turn on NBC and sit like a zombie in front of the boob-tube until the station’s double-digit hours of Olympic coverage is done for the day.
I love every aspect of the Olympic experience, from the pomp and circumstance of the competition’s opening ceremonies (this year, over 14,000 athletes from 204 participating teams walked the 400-meter track) to the spectacle of the closing ceremonies.
I love the competition’s preliminary rounds, semi-finals and finals, NBC’s interviews with athletes immediately following their events and the station’s heartwarming stories of athletes’ paths to the glory.
I love that there have been break-through experiences at this year’s Olympics. Gymnast “Gabby” Douglas (now a household name) became the first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics.
And I love the fact that Gabby (an Afro-American) was coached in this year’s Olympics by Liang Chow (a Chinese) and was a member of the United States National Gymnastics team, coordinated by Marta Karoli (a Russian). It doesn’t get any more “American” than that!
Yes, I love everything about the summer Olympic games. This past two weeks, I’ve simply been in heaven.
This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the 1980s-’90s rocker who earned a No. 1 hit with his 1985 song “Heaven?”
This Canadian singer/songwriter/ guitarist was the lead singer for the group Sweeney Todd, before embarking on his solo career in 1982.
The following year, each of his three releases, “Straight From the Heart,” “Cuts Like A Knife” and “This Time” each peaked in Billboard’s Top 25.
In addition to his hit “Heaven,” this popular artist placed three other songs atop the Billboard pop chart — “All For Love” (accompanied by Rod Stewart and Sting), “Have Your Really Ever Loved A Woman” (from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”) and the 1991 song of the year “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” (from the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”).
Is this “Heaven-ly” artist: A) George Michael; B) Bryan Adams; C) Robert Palmer; or D) Michael Jackson?
Be the sixth caller with the correct answer this week and you’ll win a CD of this artist’s greatest hits.
Last week’s Music Trivia Question
This past week’s trivia question asked if you could name the singer/songwriter/guitarist who earned a number one hit on both the pop and country Billboard charts with his 1981 hit “I Love a Rainy Right?”
The choices were: A) Glen Campbell; B) Kenny Rogers; Eddie Rabbitt; or D) Ron Hitchcock?
The correct answer was Eddie Rabbitt. Also a crossover artist, Glen Campbell, scored No. 1 hits on both the pop and country charts with his “Rhinestone Cowboy” (1975) and “Southern Nights” (1977) as did Kenny Rogers with his 1980 blockbuster, “Lady.” Ron Hitchcock, who rumor has it is quite a singer in his own right, is Payson’s new superintendent of schools.
Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Elmer Kreutzer, of Payson, who won a best of Eddie Rabbitt CD.
Born and raised in Libertyville, Ill., Elmer has the distinction of being in the same 1942 high school class as Marlon Brando.
“I remember Marlon being told by our drama teacher that he didn’t have what it takes to make it as an actor. So Marlon quit school during our junior year, moved away to attend acting school and it turned out he really proved our drama teacher wrong,” said Elmer.
After high school, Elmer spent a three-year tour of duty with the Marines, helping the Allies during World War II in Guam and Iwo Jima.
Post war, while working for the War Department (later to become the Defense Department), Elmer met his lovely bride, Christina, in Nuremberg, Germany. The couple has been married for 59 years and have two children. They have lived in Payson for the past 25 years.
In his retirement years, Elmer enjoys walking, collecting coins and stamps and “anything I can do to stay fit.”
His music preference is traditional Country-Western, with Tammy Wynette, Bill Anderson and George Jones among his favorite artists.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482