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Monday, February 2, 2015

BECOMING MY MOM - a cranky re-run

This cranky re-run is from February 2012

It was 1956; Elvis was going to be on the Ed Sullivan Show. My brothers and I had seen Elvis on “The Steve Allen Show” weeks before.  He had several top records playing all over the radio.  The “Ed Sullivan Show” was big time.  Everyone watched Ed on Sunday night.  Elvis appearing on the “Ed Sullivan Show” was excitedly anticipated by everyone; everyone except my mom.

Mom had never heard of Elvis.  On the night Elvis was to appear on Ed’s show she was baffled by the palpable electricity in the air at the Ed Sullivan Studio.  Finally Ed made the big introduction,
 “Ladies and gentlemen, right here on this stage (what other stage Ed?) We have a young man who is generating a lot of excitement with his unique singing; ladies and gentlemen…..ELVIS PRESLEY!!!"

Elvis appeared, the teenage girls, who somehow took over the entire audience, squealed and the show began.  Elvis strummed the guitar and gyrated as only Elvis could as he belted out “Hound dog.”

“Oh honestly, that’s awful” my mom exclaimed with utter disdain, “Who is that?”

“Mom, it’s Elvis, everyone has heard of Elvis, he is the hottest thing around!”

“Well I think he is just dreadful!”

Dreadful might have been the worst thing mom cold say about anyone or anything.

“And the way he is wiggling up there, Shame on Him!”

Mom saved the shame-on thing for only the most dreadful people.

With that, mom turned off the TV!  She turned off ELVIS!! Dad didn’t flinch.  “That is just awful,” he chimed in.  My brothers and I said nothing.  This latest sensation for whom we had waited all week to watch on the “Ed Sullivan Show” was apparently just dreadful.  How could we argue to watch when mom had just declared “Shame” on him?

The next time Elvis appeared on Ed’s show mom relented. We could watch, but she would not enjoy the act.  Ed made sure the TV only showed Elvis from the waist up, this might have tempered mom’s disgust, but she could never get over the squealing teens. 

“Honestly…that’s just awful!”

Several years after Elvis, and after several other “Latest Sensations” like Fabian and Rickey Nelson, mom seemed somewhat numb to the teen idols and the teen squealing. 

Then came Ed’s introduction, “Ladies and gentlemen…THE BEATLES!!”

Let the teen squealing begin, let the mom commentary follow.

“Honestly, who are these people?  Are they girls?  Their hair is awful!”

“Mom, they are The Beetles!  They are only the hottest thing since Elvis.  They have four songs in the top ten!”

“Well I think they are dreadful!”

Mom was so out of touch with pop culture it was embarrassing.  I had no idea how she could be so out of it.

Play the tape of months and then years ripping off the calendar to 2012.

Mrs. Cranky forced me to watch “The Grammies.”  Singer after singer came out and performed and my response to each was the same:

“Honestly, that is just dreadful!  Who are they?….Who is that?….Is that supposed to be singing?....Who is Minnie Montage?....Why is she doing that exorcist stuff?....That is just dreadful….SHAME ON HER!!!

OH CRAP!!  I am turning into my mother!   


  1. There's a big difference, Cranky. Those Grammy people ARE truly dreadful. (OMG...I'm turning into your mother, too. :)

  2. Ha.. well yeah, it happens to the best of us. I remember my mother's opinion of The Beatles was "Well the music does have a good beat. And as long as their hair is clean..."

  3. too funny! i'm so out of touch with most of today's artists. :)

  4. Me Too!! I could have written this post. I just find the talent far too...well you know...and wonder what has become of us.

  5. Ha! We all turn into our parents sooner or later. Fun post. I have a story about seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. That really affected so many of us.

  6. We are ALL our mothers!!

  7. Those tapes play in our heads whether we will or no -- and it's just dreadful! (If you do want to keep up with modern music, keep young people around the house who listen all day. You get used to it.)

  8. We all turn into our mother or father. It's the way of things. Great read.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

  9. You nailed it. My Mom kept trying to sell us on Pat Boone. Such a nice, clean cut young man with a lovely voice, she would say.
    Rap turned me into my Mom also. I don't watch those shows and probably miss some good stuff but to me it is just not worth sifting through the rubble.

  10. Too cute! I have to say I know nothing or next to nothing about current singers and performers. I'm sure I would say the same thing as your mom did those years ago!


  11. Imagine what mom would have said about Katy Perry and Missy Elliott? Probably, do me a favor Joe and put on "Jailhouse Rock."

  12. Your mom was ELVIS? That's what I thought, after reading the title and seeing that picture first thing.

  13. I go through great lengths not turning into my mother...but you can't fight nature. Dang.

    Elvis - while stationed in Germany - spent time at the army base where I worked. It was long before my time, though - I was just a tiny baby when he was in Germany.

  14. Another take on your story:

    As I shook my head when talking about the kids of today, a friend reminded me that we were naive, brazen, stubborn, disobedient, etc. too. "Oh, Yeah, right..." I said.
    Though, I still want to believe, "Not me! I was perfect."

  15. Yeah, I find myself being less and less embarrassed by becoming my father. I used to cringe when I said some of the same things he said to me, but as I get older I don't care.

    By the way, for some reason my Mom and Dad actually got me out of bed (I was a very early go-to-bedder at that age) to watch the Beatles. They seemed more fascinated by them than I was. I didn't really "get into" rock until harder stuff came along (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, etc.) and then I really got into it so much that I became a heavy metal musician.

  16. What a hoot! I fear I right there with you.

  17. I know just how you feel. I turned the sound off on Katy Perry at the Super Bowl!

  18. sooner or later, it happens to us all. You think it won't... you stay OK right through your thirties and a little onwards and you think you're going to make it... then at some point some absolutely dreadful music comes on and you say "Oh my word what IS that awful racket?!" But you're confused and unsure, because when your parents said it, they were wrong, but now... well, this time, this music really IS awful!

  19. Wait, you listened to Elvis? On purpose?

    Wow. just wow.