Thirty years ago, today, It Ain’t Nothin’ by American country singer Keith Whitley debuted on the Billboard Hot Country chart, entering at #59. The second release from the album I Wonder Do You Think of Me, it was written by Tony Haselden and Keith was a co-producer. Released posthumously, it spent 17 weeks on the chart and became a #1 hit January 13, 1990, seven months after his death. It also reached #1 on Canada’s RPM Country chart February 3, 1990.
Lyrics (via LyricFind):
My boss is the boss’s son and that makes for a real long day.
When that day is finally done I’m facing 40 thousand cars on the interstate.
Feeling lower than a well diggers shoes
knee deep in a mess of blues.
But those blues just fade away
When I hear my baby say.
It ain’t nothin a little bit of love won’t fix
It ain’t nothin but a scratch, a little bit of love can’t stitch.
It ain’t nothin a little bit of love can’t heal.
Your love makes me feel.
No matter what hands me — it ain’t nothin, it ain’t nothin.
It was written all over her face she was about to climb the walls.
She said you gotta get me out of this place cause even
Cindarella got to go to the ball.
If you multiply hell times three that’s what this day has been like for me.
I said honey we’ll do the town.
Just don’t let it get you down.
It ain’t nothin, it ain’t nothin, it ain’t nothin, naugh it ain’t nothin, it ain’t nothin
Seventy-three years, ago, today, the long forgotten variety show Hour Glass debuted on NBC. It was the first hour-long musical/skit/comedy in television history. Co-hosts were Helen Parrish and Eddie Mayehoff. Edgar Bergen appeared on November 14 performing his ventriloquism, a rare thing for radio personalities. He later became host of the program.
Hour Glass was sponsored by Standard Brands, promoting Chase and Sanborn Coffee and, Tenderleaf Tea. The program included comedians, musicians, entertaining films (such as a film of dance in South America) and a long, live commercial for the sponsor’s products. Such famous names as Doodles Weaver, Bert Lahr, Dennis Day, Jerry Colonna, Peggy Lee and Joe Besser appeared on the program.
The Columbia History of American Television attributed the program’s short life to its cost, saying, “Standard Brands invested $200,000 in this series over its ten-month tenure at a time when that level of investment just couldn’t be supported and sustained, leading to the Hour Glass’s abbreviated run.” Another factor was that James Petrillo, president of the American Federation of Musicians, forbade musicians from performing on television without an agreement between the AFM and the networks, thus, limiting directors, and performers, to use of recorded music.
From the Television Academy Foundation:
It is historically important, however, in that it exemplified the issues faced by networks, sponsors and advertising agencies in television’s formative years. The program was produced by the J. Walter Thompson agency […]. The lines of responsibility were not completely defined in those early years and the nine-month run of Hour Glass was punctuated by frequent squabbling among the principals. Each show was assembled by seven Thompson employees working in two teams, each putting together a show over two weeks in a frenzy of production. It must have been the curiosity factor that prompted some stars to appear on the show because they certainly were not paid much money. Hour Glass had a talent budget of only $350 a week, hardly more than scale for a handful of performers. Still, Standard Brands put an estimated $200,000 into the program’s nine-month run, by far the largest amount ever devoted to a sponsored show at that time. In February 1947, Standard Brands canceled Hour Glass. They were pleased with the show’s performance in terms of beverage sales and its overall quality, yet, were leery about continuing to pour money into a program that did not reach a large number of households (it is unclear if the show was broadcast anywhere other than NBC’s interconnected stations in New York and Philadelphia). The strain between NBC and Thompson played a role as well. Still, Hour Glass did provide Thompson with a valuable blueprint for the agency’s celebrated and long-running production, Kraft Television Theatre.
More information from Eyes of a Generation