Standing on a chair to reach the microphone, the ten-year-old kid was as nervous as a chicken surrounded by dumplings. After all, it was his first time in front of an audience, and the folks at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show looked like one pretty tough audience (nobody had told him to imagine them naked).
It was all his fifth-grade teacher’s fault; she was the one who had pushed him into this appearance after hearing him sing Red Foley’s “Old Shep” one morning during prayers. The kid was praying now, praying he wouldn’t pee the pants of his spiffy little cowboy outfit. He did make it all the way through “Old Shep” that October 3 in 1945. And he came in fifth place in the competition, winning five dollars and a free pass to all the fair rides.
A few months later, for his eleventh birthday, his parents gave him a guitar. He had wanted a rifle (you’ll shoot your eye out, kid).
But he did apply himself to learning the guitar with the help of his uncle Vester and the pastor at the family’s church. Then when he was twelve, his mentor arranged an on-air performance for him. This one didn’t go so well; this time he was “scared Shepless.” and unable to sing. Fortunately, he was able to overcome his fear and sing the following week. And he went on to have a decent career singing. As an adult, he returned to “Old Shep” and pretty much conquered it. It went something like this:
Born October 3, 1879, Warner Oland was the first actor to play a werewolf (Werewolf in London, 1935). Although he was Swedish, he was known primarily for playing Asian characters — Charlie Chan in 16 films and Fu Manchu (shown here).
Inspirational Quote for 10/3/16