Hey ‘Baby Boomers,’ let’s play a round of ‘20 Questions’

    It has occurred to me that Bob’n’Along has perhaps not devoted much space to the baby-boomer generation, of which I am a member. Most of my memory-challengers have dealt with north central West Virginia’s people, places and things. Regretfully, I’ve not spent much time quizzing the “40 somethings” and “50 somethings” about their interests in the good old days.
    So, periodically, I’ll break the skein of regional “trivia.” (I don’t really care much for that word, because it tends to belittle people, places and things by indicating that they’re only trivial matters.)
Today, I’ll ask 20 questions about the ’50s and ’60s. Popular music will be the topic. Some will be easy, others more difficult. I’ll provide the answers Sunday. Ready? Here we go ...

1. In 1964, there were two versions of “Red Roses for a Blue  Lady.” Wayne Newton sang one. Who sang the other?
2. In 1962, what well-known singer/songwriter had a tune on the charts, “It Might As Well Rain Until September”?
3. In mid-1958, The Platters recorded “Twilight Time.” What hit did they have at the end of  that year?
4. What well-known singer wrote “Hello, Mary Lou,” which was the “B” side of Rick Nelson’s “Travelin’ Man”?
5. By what name were Simon and Garfunkel known a few years before their 1965 hit “Sounds of Silence”?
6. In what city did Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” originate?
7. What was the name of The Beach Boys’ first hit record?
8. The Youngbloods in 1973 recorded a hit “Everybody Get Together.” Who originally recorded that song eight years earlier, although it was never a hit?
9. What hit song by The Doors did Ed Sullivan refuse them from singing on his show?
10. Who were the original six members of the ’60s California group, “The Association”?
11. Which Jacksonville, Fla.-based group sang such hits as “Stormy,” “Spooky” and “Traces of Love”?
12. Which Phil Specter “girl group” sang “Like Walking in the Rain” in 1965?
13. What folk artist wrote The Searchers’ 1965 song “What Have They Done to the Rain?”
14. In 1964, Peter and Gordon recorded “World Without Love.” What teen idol of the early ’60s had the same song on the charts at the same time?
15. What Bobby Vee song was recorded in 1962 between “Sharing You” and “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”?
16. What popular singer from Canonsburg, Pa. had a hit with the song “Round and Round” in 1957?
17. What was the name of the little boy in The Browns’ 1959 hit, “The Three Bells”?
18. Who had a novelty hit in 1958 with “The Witch Doctor” and later the same year with “The Chipmunk Song”?
19. What were The Monkees’ first two hit records?
20. Who sang “Ode to Billie Joe” in 1967?
    Remember, I’ll have the answers in Bob’n’Along Sunday. Enjoy your trip down Memory Lane. See how many you can get right!

    One more thought before closing. Heard a guy the other day trying to justify his sedentary lifestyle and why he had no need for calisthenics.
    Says he: “If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.”
Another column Friday.

We have much more to do to raise W.Va. kids out of poverty

We have a long way to go.
    A study released Tuesday by the West Virginia Kids Count Fund revealed that our state’s child poverty rate remains just about the highest in the nation, surpassed only by Louisiana and Mississippi.
    Even with all the effort the state has seemingly been putting forth to help low-income families and get individuals off welfare, the poverty rate rose 15 percent in the past five years. According to the study, 128,673 — that’s a whopping 30 percent — of the Mountain State’s children live in poverty.
    And don’t think for a second that “child poverty” simply means not getting the nicer things in life. As noted by Kenna Seal, president of the Kids Count Fund, poverty is directly related to poor health, depression and children who are not ready for school in the kindergarten years.
But finding a place to put the blame is a difficult proposition.
    We can point a finger at the lack of substantial income improvements for state workers. In addition, loss of industry was also cited by the study. It noted that the majority of the counties with high poverty levels were located in the central and southern parts of the state, where the departure of the coal industry has had a devastating impact.
    Whatever the exact cause, more needs to be done. More active participation by individuals and businesses in the Welfare-to-Work program is needed. And the study indicated that solutions to the problem may depend on education, the tax system and policy changes.
    Being ranked third in the nation for child poverty rates is yet another dubious distinction that West Virginia doesn’t need.

Today’s editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.

Robert C. Byrd:
How does your garden grow?

    Comparing himself to a gardener who has sown seeds for economic development along the Interstate 79 corridor, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd painted a bright picture for the region’s economy during a keynote address Saturday night for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner. Those in attendance couldn’t have agreed more.
    It was a time for Harrison County’s business and industrial leaders to pay tribute to the man who Washington insiders refer to as the “Pork Barrel King,’’ but to many West Virginians he is revered to as our economic savior.
    During his six-year term as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he proclaimed himself as “West Virginia’s billion-dollar industry,’’ directing more than $1 billion dollars in federal funds to the Mountain State in the form of new roads and grants in an effort to generate permanent job growth for the people of West Virginia.
    The chief beneficiary of Byrd’s efforts have been the I-79 corridor and Harrison County. Byrd pointed out the FBI fingerprinting facility now employs nearly 3,000 people, and he has continued to pump money into the site. The 1999 federal budget contained $13.9 million for the facility, and the 2000 budget includes $18 million, he said. And he hasn’t stopped there.
    Byrd’s visionary foresight included a regional airport anchored by a growing aerospace industry. He saw the future being driven by computer technology that would enable high-tech firms to invest in West Virginia at a much cheaper cost of doing business than in other places such as the Silicon Valley in California. Byrd continues to plot the growth of this garden.
“I tell you the possibilities for private industry spin-off and new sprouting and development along I-79 and in Harrison County are enormous,’’ Byrd said. “I have planted and prepared this soil well, and I will continue to water and fertilize whenever the possibility for new seedlings presents itself.’’
    “But as any good gardener will tell you, nothing will grow if planted in rocky, sterile soil,’’ he said. “My efforts have only been successful because the people of Harrison County are made of the right stuff to support a bumper crop of prosperity.’’ Byrd proves that not only is he a pretty good gardener, but an adept politician as well.
    The work force and the dynamic nature of the community “make this old tomato grower’s heart swell with pride,’’ Byrd said. Similar to the pride that swept over the crowd as Byrd spoke fondly of his beloved state and the people he serves.
    We are extremely fortunate to have a senator representing us who exhibits as much character and so much resolve in his beliefs of right and wrong. Robert C. Byrd speaks about God, family and hard work, because that is what his West Virginia roots have taught him. It’s what sets him apart from most of his peers in Washington. It’s what makes his garden grow. Thank God his garden is the I-79 Corridor.
 Andy Kniceley
Telegram editorial board member


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Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999