Who was Larry Kings worst guest ever? Has he ever mentioned it?

Demond Wilson

Demond Wilson

From Diana G – Hello Mr. Pop. What a fantastic site. I’m finding the search engine now works great. Did you do some tweaking?

Also, Larry King, who never seems to have a bad guest. My question: who was his worst ever? Has he ever mentioned it?

Mr. Pop History – My apologies. Up until recently, the search on this site stunk. It was bad. One of the problems is the size of Mrpophistory. It’s probably the largest accessible (privately-owned and produced) content website in the world – now at 13,000 pages.  What I mean by accessible is that, you can get anywhere on this site without a fee or as much as a password.

Now, part 2 of your question… Larry King once said his absolute low-point came back in the 1970’s, with his overnight national radio show. The guest was actor Demond Wilson, who many remember as the son in “Sanford and Son.” According to Larry King – during that live interview – Wilson answered questions with either a yes or no. He refused to elaborate when King wanted to know. At one point,  Wilson blurted out – “When Am I Going To Get Paid?” And lastly, he refused to take telephone calls. It must have been a nightmare for King.

You state the Whopper came out from Burger King in 1970. From what I knew, that couldn’t be accurate



From Fred W – First off, I regularly visit your website, and enjoy it immensely- I adore pop culture trivia, and you are definitely an authority.

You state the Whopper came out from Burger King in 1970. From what I knew, that couldn’t be accurate- I was personally eating them before then. Not too long ago, Burger King did a commercial about the Whopper- where the original Whopper (a father figure) berating the Whopper Jr. (the son) for selling himself for a dollar- and the son coming up with an old ad where the Whopper was selling for 37 cents!

In checking Wikipedia- it indicates that the Whopper came out in 1957 (as did I) and sold for 37 cents!

So, the Whopper was far earlier to the market than the Big Mac, and although I do like the Big Mac, the Whopper is far superior.

Just my two cents

Mr. Pop History – 
Fred – Thanks so much for the kind words. Really appreciate it!

I’m sticking to the February 1970 date for the national BK Whopper introduction. On Wiki, someone copied the info on Burger King’s website, which says, something called a Whopper came out – in 1957.

One of the problems with this kind of information is – that very little can be verified from the 1957 info. It probably wasn’t much of a burger and was available on a limited basis. IOW – it wasn’t anything special.  In fact, most people don’t remember a BK Whopper before 1970. That’s just a fact. In 1969 – Whopper commercials were introduced, but on a regional basis. The most important point – there was no trademark on “Whopper” until 1968. Hmmm…

I do know when the McDonald’s Big Mac was introduced nationally in 1968, BK took out a trademark for the Whopper. This was September of 1968. Burger King knew that – whatever they had – they weren’t doing it right.

It clearly needed a big burger to compete with the Big Mac nationally.  Had they’d been serious, “the Whopper” would have been given the credit earlier – but – McDonald’s gets the credit for rolling out a big burger nationally – first.

And, you can bet BK was testing a version that was much different what was being offered.

I’m looking for a White Rock soda commercial that used the Seekers’ “Georgy Girl” as the melody.

White Rock Soda

White Rock Soda

From Melinda H – Hello Mr. Pop. I hope you can help. I’m looking for a White Rock soda commercial that used the Seekers’ “Georgy Girl” as the melody. I still remember the words – “Hey there White Rock Girl… bubbly, exciting White Rock Girl…”

Mr. Pop History – It’s a great one. Listen to this commercial. It’s so darn catchy. I remember this before the song became a hit. Just as the movie “Georgy Girl” came out in 1966, this commercial began. When the song became a hit. I remember thinking – “Georgy Girl? – this is the White Rock commercial?” So, in this instance, the commercial was using the movie theme, not the hit song. This commercial is perfect – and timed impeccably – right up to 60 seconds with no fill.

You’re the girl whose always zingee… swingee and spark-e-ling.” Gotta love it! It’s sooo 1960’s when it seemed – everything was “swinging.”

Here it is – The White Rock soda radio commercial – first aired in the summer of 1966 and ran through the summer of 1968. To me, the beer, cigarette and the soda people had the best jingles. Pick any one – most were good to great!

These types of commercials helped make top-40 radio so much fun. You listened and really, really enjoyed them.

Here’s that commercial – still sounds great!

The 70′s spawned the Citizen Band radio craze. Can you give me a little more detail?

From Tony C - The 70′s spawned the Citizen Band radio craze. Can you give me a little more detail?

MrPopHistory – Citizen Band or CB radio had been around since the late 40′s. Through the late 60′s, it was primarily used by businesses to communicate between a base and mobile units. Somehow, hobbyists picked-up on the service. It was just plain easier to get a CB license. You just filled out an application and mailed-in your fee to the FCC. In 1971, that fee was $20. Unlike Ham radio, there were no technical exams to take.

Courier Royale

Courier Royale

With more baby boomers getting walkie-talkies – these same channels were shared with Citizen’s Band. It was cool to all-of-a-sudden, go from a one-channel walkie talkie with 1/10th of a watt to a 23-channel CB radio with 5 watts. Put up a ground plane or Astro Plane antenna and boy, could you really get out. All of a sudden, non-tech types were talking tech – antennas with 3db gain or an SWR of 1.1 -language once confined to ham radio aficionados. This all took place in the early 70′s.

Lafayette Comstat

Lafayette Comstat

Some of the more popular CB-makes were Lafayette, Courier and Cobra. Some of these home-base CB radios were works of art. My favorite is the Courier Royale – a 23-channel tube rig. It just looks great and boy, did it perform. I also loved the simple design of the Lafayette Comstat 25B – in beautiful midnight black. Turn it on and the S-meter (signal strength meter) lit-up in several colors.

The big thing was signal strength. You basically looked at the rig’s S-meter while you were talking or receiving. CB’ers loved hearing – “you’re hitting me with a 10″ or “your pinning the needle.” A (3) on the S-meter was lousy. A (1) meant you were in the noise. You prided yourself on how good your transmission was or how “you were getting out.” You just hated your friend, who was on a hill and higher than you. He could “get out better.”

CB handles could get creative. You never used your full name: either a first name or one of these handles, as long as you didn’t copy someone else. “Yea Pink Panther this is the Bull Shipper.”

Around 1974, truckers (all-of-a-sudden) become well-known for their CB radios. Country music radio stations began playing songs with CB mentions. Who could forget Cledus Maggard and the Citizen’s Band. “Convoy” by C.W. McCall was the biggest of these records. Truckers and CB radios became synonymous in television shows as well. CB-trucker lingo was “in.” “10-4 good buddy,” “There’s a bear on my tail.”

With all of this popularity came more interference. It seemed that the 23-channel CB needed extending. Obliging, the FCC gave its citizens 17 more channels and by the late 70′s, the 23 channel CB radios gave way to 40 channels.

Sometimes it wasn’t all “good buddy.” I recall a story in Dallas where two CB’ers kept interfering and stepping on each other while they transmitted. They dared each other to meet. They did and when it was over, both were shot and one died.

Whatever happened to the actor who portrayed “ET?”

Pat Bilon

Pat Bilon

From Pat M – Whatever happened to the actor who portrayed “ET?”

Mr. Pop History - Actor Pat Bilon passed away in late January 1983:

Dies – Pat Bilon (35) – the 2’10″ midget who portrayed ‘ET’ in the movie. Bilon also appeared in “Under The Rainbow” with Chevy Chase. From Steven Spielberg “Pat Bilon was much more than just E.T.’s biggest helper. He was our good friend and we will miss him with all of our hearts.

What group sang ring, ring telephone ring, Was it Cimerron or something like that?


Cymarron 45rpm Single

What group sang ring, ring telephone ring (somebody said baby what ya doing). Was it Cimerron or something like that? It was a 70′s hit. Leo Kolte also covered this song.

Mr. Pop History - The song you are asking about is “Rings” by Cymarron – a top-20 hit in 1971. The group is from the South and this is their biggest record. A few years later, Lobo would cover “Rings,” substituting “Got James Taylor On the Stereo” with “Got The Allman Brothers On The Stereo.”

This cleverly written song about re-starting a relationship uses the word “ring” in different context. From telephone ring, doorbell ring into the “ring around the sun” and the ring around “your pretty finger” into “let the wedding bells ring.”

I like to call songs like these “gems.” Should have been a bigger hit. The problem with some of these terrific songs during the late 1960′s and into the 1970′s was that some of the bigger radio stations such as WABC, New York had unusually short play lists. If you listened to WABC or stations playing copycat, you would have never known this terrific song (or many others).

Legendary Memphis/Muscle Shoals record man Chips Moman produced “Rings”. Although he didn’t write “Rings,” Lead singer Rick Yancey wrote the flip side “Like Children.”

Below is a sample of Cymarron’s “Rings” from the original 45rpm single.

What ever happened to TV maven Kathleen Sullivan?

Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen Sullivan

From Doug M – Mr. Pop History – What ever happened to TV maven Kathleen Sullivan? She was on, well, just about everything in the 1980’s and 1990’s, then poof – she just disappeared. Did she pass away?

Mr. Pop History – No – Ms. Sullivan is alive and well I’m told, somewhere in Palm Springs. Her last media gig was as a newscaster for all-news KFWB radio Los Angeles. One day, she just up and quit and was never heard from again. Wild story. Her pictures are barely available on the Internet. Not even on IMDB. I found one in this site’s archives. Isn’t that face familiar?

How many music awards shows are there?

Radio Music Awards 2005

Radio Music Awards 2005

From Gayle J – Mr. Pop History -  How many music awards shows are there? Help?

Mr. Pop History – OK – here goes:
American Music Awards, Grammys, Latin Grammy Awards, Latin Billboard Grammy, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (induction), Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Dove Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, CMA Award, Teen Choice, Academy of Country Music Awards, Ozone Magazine awards, NAACP Music Awards and the newest – the Hip Hop Awards. To an extent – People’s Choice.   Those that have come and gone – Radio Music Awards, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Billboard Awards and the late great Soul Train Awards.

And – that’s just music!!!!

Deborah Norville Breastfeeding Scandal

Deborah Norville

Deborah Norville

From Katlin P. – I remember Deborah Norville as co-host of the Today Show and it didn’t last too long because of some jealousy issues with Jane Pauley. I remember her leaving shortly after a People Magazine cover showing her breast feeding. Was this in 1990?

Mr. Pop History - The story comes from March 25, 1991. And yes, Deborah would be gone from the Today Show before the end of the year. Here’s a glimpse:

“The latest People Magazine shows “Today Show” host Deborah Norville breast-feeding her infant son. Some TV critics have taken issue on the photo. Tom Shales of the Washington Post calls it ‘a gross exploitation of oneself and one’s child all in the name of career advancement.’ In a statement, Norville says ‘motherhood shouldn’t impinge on a woman’s ability to do her job.’”

Whatever Happened to Debbie Drake?

Debbie Drake

Debbie Drake

From Elizabeth D – My daughter and I were talking about how she grew up with me exercising in front of the TV with Debbie Drake. I SAID, “I WONDER WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER?”

I got on Google, and found your info. DO YOU KNOW WHERE, AND WHAT HAPPENED TO DEBBIE DRAKE?

I AM 75, HAVE A GREAT FIGURE AND TWO KIDS IN THEIR 50s…who work out daily and we all attribute it to DD because they grew up with that example. OF COURSE, I’m curious how she looks today.

Mr. Pop History - As posted earlier, Texas native Debbie Drake was the first female TV champion of fitness. Unlike Jack LaLanne, Debbie was also popular on records (to a certain extent) and books. Born in 1931 and as far as I know, she’s still active. Her last book was “Debbie Drake’s Secrets of Perfect Fiqure Development,” republished in 2000.