We remember the bug we all caught from Ed Sullivan, the troubadour Tubb and Landry’s snub. And then we go downtown.
Ladies and Gentlemen … the Bugs!
February marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first live performance on American TV. Some 73 million people tuned in to “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964, as the Fab Four sang “All My Loving,” straining to be heard over the screaming teenage girls in the New York studio audience of about 700. (See “When I Saw Them Standing There,” this month’s Observations.)
But Walter Cronkite and the “CBS Evening News” liked to remind people that the Beatles’ real debut on American TV occurred December 10, 1963, during a news report about Beatlemania taking over the United Kingdom, according to cbsnews.com.
It turns out that Ed Sullivan saw that report, realized he had to get the Beatles on his show and called Cronkite right after the newscast.
“We were good friends, and Ed said, ‘Walter, Walter, tell me about those kids, tell me about those kids,’ ” said Cronkite, a student for two years at the University of Texas. “ ‘Those kids you just had on the air. What do you call them? The bugs or the beetles or something?’ ”
February 9 marks 100 years since Ernest Tubb, one of the original national stars of country-western music, was born on a cotton farm near Crisp, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.
As a teen, Tubb became a huge fan of Jimmie Rodgers, learning to play guitar, sing and yodel like his musical hero. Unlike Rodgers, who had an illustrious but short career, Tubb toured and performed for more than 40 years.
His biggest hit, “Walking the Floor Over You,” came in 1941. In 1943, he joined the Grand Ole Opry and became the first musician to use an electric guitar in the Opry.
Tubb also is remembered for hiring and guiding aspiring musicians including Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn. He died in 1984.
By the Numbers: 29
That’s how many years Tom Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys until he was fired 25 years ago. Landry was the only Cowboys head coach until Jerry Jones bought the team and, on February 25, 1989, fired him after a 3-13
season. Landry spent the rest of his life rooting for the NFC East-rival New York Giants, the team he played for, according to “The Last Cowboy: A Life of Tom Landry,” (Liveright Publishing, 2013). He died in 2000.
Seeing is Believing—And Relieving
Would you use a public restroom with see-through walls? In the middle of downtown? You can in the town square in Sulphur Springs, which boasts the only bathrooms in the U.S. with walls made of two-way mirrors.
Folks on the outside see their reflections in a giant mirrored box, but they can’t see in. Step inside and you can do your business in total privacy, watching people outside as they walk by—and press against the glass to check if they can see inside.
“It’s kind of a weird feeling,” says Mike Elliott, 61, a Farmers Electric Cooperative member and lifelong Sulphur Springs resident who recently used one of the bathrooms. “I looked up and a girl I went to school with was right there, walking by on the sidewalk. I was, like, ‘Whoa!’ ”
The town’s two glass bathrooms, built last year, finished third in national online voting to name America’s best restroom in a contest sponsored by Cintas, which provides restroom supplies. The winning bathroom is at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, where sinks are operated by foot pedal and bartenders serve drinks into the restroom on a back counter.
This is the second year in a row that a Texas bathroom received national acclaim. The 2012 best bathroom award went to Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels, described as impeccably clean with a jaw-dropping 83 stalls.