So how does an ordinary schmuck like myself obtain 100 interviews of some the most remembered celebrities from the Baby Boomer Generation ???? Well... read on.
When was the last time you were at a gathering of your peers and someone said “I love living in the past and that is what I am all about” ? Probably never because they would be embarrassed. They would be admitting that they have no life. Well...actually that is what I am all about and I am coming out of the closet as a born again “nostalgic junkie” and I am proud of it. The reason that they call the 50's and part of the 60's HAPPY DAYS is because they really were happy for many reasons. I have been in charge of all my high school reunions from Shaker Heights High School and could write a separate book on just the rationality of what those unique innocent years were all about. In short those marvelous years with the largest population demographics were more unified and stable. Yes, it was artificial but somehow it didn't matter. We all watched the same kiddie shows...We all knew the same top hit songs...We all hung out at the same places...We all bought only what was shown on TV...We all felt safe plying in a vacant yard...And we all had the same fear for some group our parents called the Russians. To bad nobody prepared us for what was really ahead for our generation.
All that innocence exploded soon after our President was assassinated by a nobody. And now we are beginning a down hill spiral as we approach our old age. No longer do the executives of today cater to us. Of course they are missing the boat as our 80 million strong population still buys products. Plus we still might be the generation that is running this economy. If investors made money in “Pez” dispensers in the 50's you can bet your bottom dollar investors will be making money investing in “Depends” undergarments now. Sales in this area have to be exploding. No pun intended. OK it was intended but you get the idea that we still hold on to the greatest part of the pie in the demographics graph. Maybe that is why there is a beginning trend in Retro TV stations popping up. I have a feeling we will all be doing the Temptation Walk after dinner in those great big dinning halls at our assistant living community centers.
I think it's time we revisit our past with the good memories of the celebrities we loved. And if we did not love them we still have fond memories when we hear their voices. Somehow they open the portal of our brain where the good old times still rock n roll. Maybe not all the memories are good but the old memories need to be looked at with a different set of eyes and compared to where we stand today ( if we can stand at all). This is why I got started with my idea of the following site:
My starting idea was to burst on to the scene with interviews of who I felt people like myself and others would want to hear. Why wasn't anyone else doing this on the net? I really didn't know diddly poop on how to do this or how to start. It was sort of something I fantasized about in the shower. Or I had a flashback thought while flipping the remote over 200 stations and saw an old show for a second with a familiar face. Are these people still alive? How could you contact them? How would I record them? If I found them what do I do next? How would I get people to listen?
I was born in 1947 and people my age have limited tech skills. This is the area where compared to others my age that I shine. I am way above average in this area...no brag...just fact Nobody my age is doing this because they they are limited to getting the whole thing done without computer skills. These are the abilities needed to produce and connect to the outside world. The old horse here knows the new tricks !!!
Soooooo I learned even a whole bunch more to accomplish a higher communication standard. I will not bore you with what I learned as that could be another book. ( I have a lot of books in my mind now but hardly read one in my youth because I would read the Cliff Notes). There is software for everything if you know how to find it and use it. After getting serious about this I bought recording equipment and a mixer and tried to understand how to integrate those two pieces with my computer. After trial and error and a lot of phone calling I finally was able to record an incoming phone conversation and convert that to a MP3 File. Now I lost about half of you. So I better get back on track with what my next crucial step was......Getting a celebrity on the phone to record.
HOW TO FIND CELEBRITIES TO INTERVIEW.
First I better put the cart before the horse. It makes sense to have an audience all set up. Well, I had over a 1000 people on my Facebook page. How did I get all of them? Did I know each and every one of them? Not exactly. This is where some of my photo shopping and movie making skills came into play. I had built up my friends list who enjoyed some of my antics like “Picture Of The Day”. I would take someone from our high school and show what they looked like today compared to their younger days. I would post them side by side. Then I would do an update on their bio. With about 600 in our graduating class and that same amount in the grades above and below I was able to gather many in my Facebook tent. There were other entertaining postings to follow. You can check out my You Tube channel and just type in TORCHY SMITH in the search area. I also use to interview the golf cart girls when I played golf. Which was often and still is often. Then I would edit the videos and called it “Golf Cart Girls Of America.” You can also check that out. Some of you will laugh your butt off to see how uneducated the youth of America seems to be on the basic history of our country. I was doing Watters World with these girls and had that idea even before Jessie Watters on Fox News. I, of course, placed those tidbit links on my Facebook Page to build my audience. I also did some funny photo shopping and my friends list became my fertile audience for my next step which was launching my Baby Boomer VIP Interviews. That is what I really wanted to do. Soooooo I spent money, time, and energy. Now all I needed was the balls to go ahead and reach out to find my first victim....I mean interviewee. I said to my self... “self, who could I find that Baby Boomers would recognize and yet someone not so famous that they flat out would hang up on me.
I did not want to ask Geraldo yet who I know personally. Maybe some one local as a test interview. So that is exactly what I did. I play golf with a popular sports announcer who is on radio and TV. His name is Les Levine and his tag line for his public is “More Sports and Les Levine”. He came to my house to do the interview. Before we started he asked me if I had a list of questions that I was going to ask him. I said “Of course I do... I am prepared”. He then told me that if I get to all the questions in the time allocated then it usually ends up to be a bad interview. That has kind of stuck in the back of my mind. By trial and error and with over my 100 interviews under my belt I have found out a lot about the style of the interviewee. Some give short nothing answers and others really know how to talk and flow their conversation. But now we are are getting into that area of I could write another another book on this subject (See I told you so). The interview with Les gave me some confidence. By the way....after I hired a PR firm I took a fast two hour course on media communications. Everyone in front of a microphone occasionally says Ahhhh...Ahhhh in between sentences with a ummmm thrown in there also. The trick is to cut that out to minimum. Stumbling over your own words shows you are not prepared or you are just nervous. Of course, the more you are talking to an audience the less you have Ahhhhhh as your opening word on each thought. After awhile my Public Relations firm had me on national radio talk shows talking about how Baby Boomers view the entertainment world back when compared to the new stars of today. My goal is to continue along those lines and become a “talking head” as you see on all the news channels. It would be my honor to become the “go to person” on the subject of Baby Boomers with regards to TV and Movie Stars.
Now that I had one known local interview of a local sports guy resulting in a posting to over 1000 people on Facebook what was my next logical move? Go national of course. I mean find someone who people my age would know from the past that I could dig up for an interview. This would have to be someone like a kid actor from our Happy Days. I don't mean the show Happy Days I mean the time period of Happy Days. Well I sure do have warm and fuzzy feelings for the Original Mouseketeers. So one of them would be my my first target in my thought procedure. And this is where my story really begins. But if you are skipping around this book right now and think you just want to read the start of each interview. Please don't. Read the whole segment on each as it will continue to surprise and entertain you. Your memories associated with that person or time period may jump out once again. However right now....I also command you to go back and read the start of this book on How I Got Started before you jump to the meat of this book. I am serious....go back and read the start now. If you already did read the start then please proceed. By the way, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, and I thank you for buying this book.