We lost two big names this week.
Charlie Watts died. He was the Rolling Stones' drummer for 60 years. Think about that for a moment. 60 years! If that wasn't enough, Watts was married for nearly 60 years. That is unheard of in the rock world. It's unheard of in the mainstream world.
Yes, I played rock on the radio during my college days, but I'm not going to pretend to be an expert. A Stones song, or two, or three was always part of my radio shift.
A compilation album, Hot Rocks, got me through many a depressing Christmas season. I would pull the cassette out of a drawer every November. Those songs were a yearly diversion from personal problems, generally bad Christmas music, and general holiday malaise.
When you think of the Stones, of course, Mick Jagger comes to mind. However, you cannot forget about the talented contributions of Charlie Watts.
Charlie Watts was 80 years old.
Retired NBC News correspondent Lloyd Dobyns also died this week. 85.
Once upon a time, "Saturday Night Live" ran for three weekends a month. The fourth weekend was occupied by a news magazine show, anchored by Dobyns, called "Weekend." Dobyns was clever, maybe a little too clever, if you catch my drift. Some sentences were longer and a little more complicated than they should have been. Anyway, it was good television. NBC, who for years couldn't develop a decent magazine show, made "Weekend" weekly and moved it to prime time. Linda Ellerbee co-anchored. Good television. Bad ratings. It was moved around the schedule and eventually cancelled.
Dobyns and Ellerbee went on to co-anchor "NBC News Overnight" at 1:30 am. Perfect show for the time slot. Newsy but quirky. Dobyns stayed for several months before getting another news magazine, called "Monitor." "Overnight" ran for a year and a half before NBC cancelled it.
Here comes the soap box. The late night/early morning hours are a great time for the broadcast and cable networks to experiment and innovate. They all tried something at one time or another. CBS had a really good news and interview program for a while. Gone. Replaced by a repeat of the evening news. NBC had a nice news wheel show for a few years. Gone. Replaced by a repeat of one of the "Today" hours. CNN, FOX and MSNBC all air repeats of prime time. Boo! Only ABC is still in the game.
Lloyd Dobyns was never a major star, in spite of major talent, and that's unfortunate. Take a moment today and do a You Tube search. It will not be a waste of time.