To the Host:
What prompted you to change the show's theme song from "Hello, Love" to "Tishomingo Blues" when you "came back" for version 2.0 in 1990?
Overland Park, KS
It was just that old restless urge to do something different. The show was starting back up in New York, with a big band, and "Hello, Love" is a country song, so I made a list of other possibilities, and it came down to "Tishomingo" and Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA" which I liked but our music director Rob Fisher questioned whether I really wanted to sing "Well O well I feel so good today, we just touched down on an international runway, jet-propelled back to the USA" every Saturday night and he also mentioned the potential copyright problems. "Tishomingo" is public domain and Chuck Berry is not and a person might want to opt for the simpler, less complicated route, so I wrote words for the middle section of "Tishomingo" -- "Hear that old piano from down the avenue -- I smell the roses, I look around for you" -- and I've been singing it to that sweet old someone coming through the door for almost 25 years now.
To the Host:
Hello there -- we're elderly parents of an only child who will be heading up to a big state university in the fall to study pre-med. I know you went to a b.s.u. also, so I was wondering if you had any words of wisdom for her. I'm a bit nervous about sending her off to such a big school. She wasn't interested in St. Olaf, Concordia or Gustavus.
Your daughter has an ambitious goal in sight and that's a terrific advantage. At a big school, she'll fall in with others of her ilk, young women aiming for a career in medicine, most of them highly motivated and bright and curious, and she won't be held back by the sluggish and inept as she was in high school. And she won't be as encumbered by social life as she might be at a small college. In her pre-med crowd, focused on the sciences, social life and academic life tend to merge. It certainly did for me eons ago hanging out with the literary crowd at the University of Minnesota. My advice to her is to hit the ground running. Make a reading program this summer to get in shape and come to campus determined to dig in and do the work and not coast. She can coast later, if she needs to, but it's important to sprint at the start. So don't go to college with a big flat-screen TV and a case of beer. Embrace the monastic life. Have a great freshman year, followed by a great sophomore year. There will come a time when exhaustion overtakes you and you need to let up for a while. You can weather those times if you've already established credibility. It's all about self-confidence. So be brave and be excellent.
To the Host:
Is your P.I. Guy Noir based on any one person or just the 1940s movie stereotype?
Yorba Linda, CA
Guy was my first real dramatic role on the show, closely followed by Lefty the cowboy songwriter, and he was based on a vague memory of old detective movies I saw when I was a babysitter back in the Fifties, which was my only chance to see TV, my parents being opposed to it on grounds of immorality. So I only got glimpses of those stereotypes, the guy in the porkpie hat who talked out of the corner of his mouth and was able to deck somebody with a poke in the snoot when he needed to. In Guy's first season, the episodes were strictly formulaic. Guy's friend Pete, played by Walter Bobbie, came to the Acme Building and the two men got into an argument over some trivial issue and shot each other and died long lingering articulate deaths. The next week they did the same thing. This was when Walter, who I'd seen star in Guys And Dolls on Broadway, was temporarily out of work, before he directed Chicago and became rich and famous. Guy went on to meet his sweetie, Sugar, and his bartender pal Jimmy at the Five Spot, and open his charge account at Danny's Deli where they are always out of whatever Guy tries to order. Guy has not solved many crimes but he has located some lost pets and given some good advice and he has had his heart broken by dozens of tall beautiful women.