Episode 17: Rob Us, Cheat Us, Kill Us - Just Get it Over With
Updated: Aug 25
On the 17th episode of "Designing Women", Charlene trusts the wrong person again -- this time a hot shot Nashville producer promising to make her the next country music star. Anthony gets caught up in a love triangle gone wrong -- and we all meet Charlene’s next of kin...all 27 of them. Don’t miss out on this week’s ‘Extra Sugar’ where Nikki teaches all of us a little something about country music.
Also, here we go with the references again:
Come on, let’s get into it!
Salina: Hey, Nikki.
Nikki: Hey, Salina.
Salina: Are you ready to kick off Designing Women episode 17?
Nikki: I think so.
Salina: Okay, so this one, before we totally jump in, is called Nashville Bound, and we actually get to meet spoiler alert Charlene's family for the first time.
Nikki: It's been a long time coming.
Salina: It has been.
Salina: And we know she comes from Popular Bluff, Missouri, and so she comes from the Ozarks.
Salina: We also know that we've gotten some Hillbilly references early on from Suzanne, and we actually even covered that in an episode four.
Salina: Episode four, extra sugar.
Salina: And we talked about hillbillies, rednecks and hicks.
Salina: And so what I wanted to share that is kind of coming full circle here is randomly, I ran across this documentary this week.
Salina: It's called hillbilly.
Salina: It came out in 2019.
Salina: And I'm just going to share the description of it real quickly because it covers a lot of ground, and I feel like I'm going to mess this up.
Salina: Okay, so it seeks to expand understanding of appalachia appalachia potato potato.
Salina: Tracing the evolution of the Hillbilly stereotype in the media and culture by connecting it to corporate exploitation of the region's natural resources.
Nikki: Oh, Lord, that's a lot of ground.
Salina: That's a lot of ground.
Salina: And actually, one of the things that struck me is that they talk about Deliverance, they talk about Loretta Lynn, Coal miner's Daughter, which are things that we covered in that extra sugar.
Salina: And actually they threw in a lot of other media and cultural representations.
Salina: And it just really struck a chord with me because it definitely I don't know, they were hitting on a lot of the same notes that we were, why there's such a misunderstanding of Southerners in general, but definitely people from, you know, the mountains, why there continues to be so much understanding.
Salina: And it really puts a fine point on it.
Salina: There's a lot more to it than that.
Salina: But I just want to say for you, for listeners at home, anyone, if you have Hulu, I'm sure it's available through other means, but it is definitely available on Hulu.
Salina: Check that out again.
Salina: 2019 is when it came out.
Salina: Ashley Jackson is definitely one of the people who was involved.
Salina: If you need a little bit more information there.
Salina: And then the name of it is Hillbilly.
Nikki: All right.
Salina: So I just wanted to share that.
Salina: And then beyond that little connection to the episode, do we want to get bound for Nashville or the Sugar bakers, maybe?
Nikki: We'll get Nashville Bound as the episode title is.
Nikki: So this week's episode description is a chance.
Nikki: Meeting with a hotshot promoter at a party convinces Charlene that she will be the next big Nashville star.
Nikki: This one, aired on March 16, 1987, was written by LBT.
Nikki: And news to me.
Nikki: Directed by Harry Thomason, LBT's husband.
Salina: I noticed that, too.
Salina: So this is the first episode that he's directed.
Salina: And then I also just noted when I was looking through his filmography.
Salina: Well, this wasn't part of his filmography, but he's from Arkansas.
Salina: And all this time, I don't know.
Salina: I think I know at some point, obviously, they lived in Arkansas.
Salina: It's very well known, if you know who they are and read about them, that they're friends with the Clintons.
Salina: So all these times that we've gotten, like, the Razorback references right, right.
Salina: I've been thinking LBT hat tip, but really he was born and raised there, I believe, so it's really a hat tip to him.
Salina: Him and them.
Nikki: Him, them.
Salina: There you go.
Salina: A couple of tidbits of show trivia as well.
Salina: So, Charlene, there's going to be a part in the episode where she introduces her family.
Salina: She does not actually introduce Carlene, who will later be featured on the show, so oh, a nail biter.
Nikki: I know.
Nikki: I think that's a big point of contention among long standing Designing Women fans.
Salina: It does feel like something you should.
Nikki: Get right, but well, they had eleven kids.
Salina: Twelve kids.
Salina: Eleven, I think.
Nikki: Eleven people.
Nikki: They had six people to choose from.
Nikki: Couldn't they have picked one?
Salina: You would think.
Salina: The other thing that was a trivia point that I found was that slimy promoter, that piece of poop that we're going to meet in this episode.
Salina: He is actually going to come back in a later season and play a completely different character.
Nikki: That's random.
Salina: So put your glasses on, Salina.
Salina: Let's see if we can spot them.
Nikki: All right.
Salina: Why don't I go ahead and take us into this sucker?
Nikki: Let's do it.
Salina: All right.
Salina: So Charlene the nuts and bolts of the situation is that she's getting swept up in a scam in this episode.
Salina: So that's one thing that's going on.
Salina: Also, Anthony is going to find himself in a peculiar love triangle.
Salina: We'll get into it in the cold open.
Salina: We get these two big tent poles.
Salina: First, Charlene's whole family is coming into town and for some kind of Baptist convention.
Salina: It's her parents.
Salina: Oh, it's ten siblings.
Nikki: So there are eleven of them.
Salina: Look, people.
Salina: It's a lot of people.
Salina: That's what we're trying to too many.
Salina: Their spouses, their children.
Salina: Suzanne refers to it as a hillbilly holiday.
Salina: I just assume it's sing songy.
Salina: I can't remember.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: It's enough people that they've rented a so it's a lot of people.
Salina: That's how you know.
Salina: You know what I'm saying?
Salina: Although the way I pack, I could use a bus.
Salina: The second big thing, though, is that Charlene was at a party last night.
Salina: She sang I mean, not last night, but last night in 1987, she sang karaoke.
Salina: She gets approached by this guy.
Salina: He's a big record producer in Nashville.
Salina: His name's Galen King.
Salina: And he's going to make her a.
Nikki: Big recording star, allegedly.
Salina: That's right.
Salina: And let's just go ahead and stop here because I don't understand, you know, you love Charlene.
Salina: I love Charlene.
Salina: Lady is not learning the lessons.
Nikki: She's not.
Nikki: She's really not.
Nikki: She had a whole New Year's resolution about this.
Nikki: She had the Shadow situation, which she was right about, but it was a lesson moment.
Nikki: She had just it's lesson after lesson.
Salina: And I think what's going to come into play is that maybe the people around her are getting a little tired of that.
Nikki: If you're referring to Julia, then yes, you're right.
Salina: So I can tell by that note of aggravation in your voice that you might have some opinions.
Salina: And you know what?
Salina: I'm into it, and I can't wait to hear it.
Salina: But before we do, let's talk about that peculiar love, right?
Salina: So Anthony comes in after dropping off a sectional sofa at Felicia Mack's house.
Salina: Now, Felicia Mack in this episode is actually married to Wendell Mack, and he's a defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons.
Salina: You know, tiny people like defensive tackles.
Salina: He's about my size.
Salina: I'm tiny in height.
Salina: Anyways, Felicia invited Anthony M for lunch.
Nikki: That sounds nice, doesn't it?
Salina: I mean, that's just Southern hospitality.
Salina: Sure, we've talked about that.
Salina: Know, you invite people in for lunch and you do that naked, right?
Nikki: All the time.
Nikki: That's the most polite thing to do.
Salina: Get you doing that and not skipping a beat.
Salina: So obviously that was not normal, though, right?
Salina: So she was making some advances at basically, I think he drops to his knees and he begs her, please don't do this, because Wendell is one big scary dude.
Salina: Bingo card.
Salina: We're working on it, guys.
Salina: We're working on it.
Salina: Now tell us what you're thinking about Julia.
Nikki: Well, Julia goes into this little diatribe about Anthony's situation.
Nikki: And I don't know what it is about you and Charlene that you get yourself into these pickles.
Nikki: And I gotta say, first time we've watched this, julia's had some moments.
Nikki: So she's really rubbed me the wrong way, this one.
Nikki: Just chill out, Julia.
Nikki: Go ahead, take several seats.
Nikki: Chill out.
Nikki: It's gonna be fine.
Nikki: Don't be such a jerk to your friends.
Nikki: Because Anthony is describing a situation he did not ask for.
Nikki: This woman answers the door naked, and he's just trying to do his job.
Nikki: Charlene's story here is a little bit different, but it's not always different.
Nikki: The thing that happened with Shadow, she was right.
Nikki: They described some other situations.
Nikki: Car accidents, lightning strikes.
Nikki: Those are all considered to be bad luck a lot of times.
Nikki: Sometimes you can prevent a car accident.
Nikki: We don't know if she was driving defensively.
Nikki: Who knows?
Nikki: But a lot of that stuff happens to a person, not because of a person.
Nikki: And Julia's just kind of being a jerk by saying that this is something they brought on themselves.
Salina: She does.
Salina: She says, What I don't understand is why these things are always happening to you and do I definitely think that she was a little rough around the edges.
Salina: Julia herself is a little rough around the edges.
Salina: And I think that that comes in handy in a lot of situations because she does fiercely stand up for the people that she loves.
Salina: But also, I think this kind of personality, it can be really hard on people.
Salina: And I think that's what's happening here.
Salina: And I especially feel bad for Anthony because a lot of the things that he shared is just like some really racist crap happening.
Nikki: Yeah, that's a really good point.
Salina: So that's kind of but so Julia goes on to say, though, she says that this Nashville thing is going to be a disaster and everybody's going to be in an uproar for days.
Salina: Now, she's not wrong.
Nikki: She's not wrong.
Salina: But again, it's about understanding your audience.
Salina: It's about delivery of message.
Salina: I've heard it's about tone, and I.
Nikki: Think you can be right and not be an ahole.
Salina: And she just need to just soften.
Nikki: It up a little.
Salina: Yes, soften it up.
Salina: I did also note she uses her fold it in five corners and stick it where the sun don't shine lines.
Salina: She said that to Reese before.
Nikki: Yeah, and I tried to look into this one.
Nikki: I put it in my unknown references and tried to look into it, and it refers to a conversation that Norman Mailer had with another person.
Nikki: And I will tell you the reason I didn't end up including it in my references is, one, it was super above my head.
Nikki: I'm not smart enough to understand.
Nikki: It is like a 1960s reference to a talk show, like a political current events talk show.
Nikki: And they got into a heated discussion, he and this other person, and the other person said to Norman Mailer, why don't you just fold it in four corners and stick it where the moon don't shine?
Nikki: I think is what he said.
Nikki: And I just didn't really understand why they said it.
Nikki: And then as I was typing up my notes, I was like, I don't think anybody else like, it's not relevant to designing women.
Nikki: It's not even really that interesting.
Nikki: So I left it out here.
Nikki: I am telling you about it.
Salina: Well, I think that's interesting, though, because it is such a specific line to hear twice.
Nikki: It is.
Salina: I mean, that's why I notated it.
Salina: I notated it.
Salina: So I just seem like, why in the world?
Salina: So I think at least knowing that this comes from some other kind of pop culture reference and very much so, I think tells us that.
Salina: I'm not trying to call Julia old because she's not in the grand scheme of things, but we are seeing someone who's a little bit older than the other ladies in the office.
Salina: And I think that sometimes her references are a little older than other people in the office.
Salina: If it makes you feel better, if this reference went over your head, the reason I know who Norman Mailer is is because of gilmore Girls.
Salina: So if that makes you feel better.
Nikki: I think maybe that's why I knew of him.
Nikki: And then that's the extent of what I was honestly, I just got a little bored looking into it and trying to piece it together.
Nikki: I'm just going to be real honest.
Salina: So in addition to that wonderful line that we get again, julia turns around.
Salina: She's begging them, in her most dramatic know it's Julia, to please not answer the door when trouble comes and knocking.
Salina: And then, because it's Designing Women, there's a knock at the door.
Salina: And here's Wendell Mack.
Salina: He ain't happy.
Salina: But in a shocking turn of events, I was a little thrown by this.
Salina: It's not because his wife was throwing herself at Anthony.
Salina: It's not because of anything that you would normally think.
Salina: It was like.
Salina: I just assumed that he was going to be in there saying something like, felicia said that Anthony was trying to make a move on her.
Salina: And basically he's insulted because Anthony turned Felicia down.
Nikki: Yeah, man, they got an agreement.
Nikki: Yeah, they've got an agreement.
Nikki: He lives his life, she lives hers, and he just wants her satisfied.
Salina: This is the most progressive thing I've heard on the show so far.
Nikki: Not that girl from the last episode, Propositioning.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: For whatever reason, I was like, I mean, it doesn't work for me, but I don't know, I'm like I like it.
Salina: It was a twist that I wasn't expecting.
Salina: So he tells Anthony that he better put a smile on her face and leave her satisfied.
Nikki: Put a smile on her face.
Nikki: I cannot get the way he says that out of my head.
Salina: He was a tad aggressive, but maybe not as aggressive as Julia.
Salina: Also, in true Designing Women fashion, like two ships passing in the night, Wendell's leaving and this Galen character is coming in through the door.
Salina: Julia gives us her thoughts in a not very blunt way.
Salina: Just kidding.
Salina: In the most blunt way.
Salina: She says, yes, Mr.
Salina: King, we've been expecting you.
Salina: Unfortunately, we're very busy, so I'd appreciate if you just go ahead and do whatever you're going to do, like cheat us, rob us, kill us, just get it over with, you know?
Salina: He's such a scumbag.
Salina: I'm all right with this.
Salina: Turn your aggression on him.
Salina: Oh, yeah, that's cool.
Salina: Although if this was a real shot, she would have really just screwed things up for that's.
Salina: But he actually is a scam artist, so it all works out.
Salina: So he's name dropping like crazy.
Salina: He's talking about Wayne Jennings and all of this.
Salina: Which brings me around to this point.
Salina: Please stick around, everyone, for Nikki's extra sugar.
Salina: She is going to be telling us a little bit about all of the name drops in this episode because Waylon Jennings is the first of several and not even really the first.
Salina: Well, the first name drop, but not our first reference to country music.
Salina: And we're going to learn a thing or two, hopefully.
Salina: Oh, if you're in charge, we're going to learn a thing or two.
Salina: So get ready.
Salina: But anyway, so he knows waylon.
Salina: We're all very you know, Charlene is really, I think, trying to bring everybody like, this is legit.
Nikki: No, it's for real.
Salina: So she starts having this open conversation that she should probably be having with him privately, and he's like, yeah, it's going to cost a couple of mean I'm not going to lie to you.
Nikki: This is the first she's apparently hearing of that.
Salina: It's okay, though, because it's going to get her a couple of songs.
Salina: At some local clubs.
Salina: There's going to be talent scouts there.
Salina: And then also a no frills demo tape.
Salina: He's going to get a cut again.
Salina: He's not lying to her.
Nikki: That's all true.
Salina: And you just see, like, the eyeballs darting back and know but Charlene is bought in missing lines alert.
Salina: He was supposed to sing a few bars of some songs, and I'm just going to say, good cut, LBT.
Salina: Good cut.
Nikki: I think we should give Hulu credit for the good cut.
Nikki: They're the ones that are cutting it.
Nikki: Or network TV.
Nikki: We're not sure.
Salina: Yeah, that's right.
Salina: We only have she included it in the hints.
Salina: He sang, we missed it.
Salina: That's our gift.
Salina: We're not sad about the I read it and my eyes were rolling back in my know.
Salina: He calls himself a star maker if he doesn't make it happen for her.
Salina: May he be struck by lightning.
Salina: And basically, Mary Jo ends the scene to say you could get your wish.
Salina: Her dog was struck by lightning.
Nikki: So this next part of the show is all about the girls continuing to worry about Charlene.
Nikki: Charlene shares why this matters to her so much and her family comes to town.
Nikki: Anything else you would add?
Nikki: Big picture.
Salina: No, I think that's the summary.
Nikki: All right, we're done.
Nikki: Just kidding.
Nikki: So when the scene opens, some of the women are sitting around kind of worrying about Charlene, and Mary Jo in particular brings up the National Enquirer and the women who are on the COVID of that magazine who find out they're pregnant by having a baby.
Nikki: And I just point this out because this actually happened to a family member of mine.
Nikki: Oh, has this never happened to one of your family members?
Salina: No, I think I'm in the grocery store line along with Mary Jo on that one.
Nikki: So my cousin's wife, as legend has it, this happened to her.
Nikki: She did not find out until, like, nine months into the pregnancy when she thought she had, like, I'll make something up gallstones or something.
Nikki: She's actually pregnant and had a baby.
Salina: How old is the kid?
Salina: I I always talk to you.
Salina: The one thing.
Salina: The one thing.
Salina: Did you not say legend, Salina legend.
Nikki: They do still have the child.
Nikki: She is a teenager now and they only have one child.
Nikki: So do with that what you will.
Nikki: But I just wanted to point that out because that really does happen to people.
Nikki: But her whole point had nothing to do with my family.
Nikki: Her whole point, as much as I would love to believe her whole point had to do with the fact that Charlene is just that person this stuff happens to, which is sort of counter to what Julia was saying in the opening scene.
Nikki: This is Mary Jo acknowledging, like, god, Charlene just has a bad run of luck.
Nikki: Weird things happen to her.
Nikki: So Suzanne then asks Anthony's opinion.
Nikki: He's come into the room and because he's an expert in con men, I mean, he's been to prison, so she wants to know, how legit do you think this guy is?
Nikki: And I think it's fair to say he doesn't think he's legit.
Nikki: No, he gives a very obscure reference.
Salina: So obscure.
Salina: But it's fair to say that what he means is this guy's totally full of crap.
Nikki: There you go.
Nikki: And I think we'll probably if it's not on your list, it's definitely on mine to talk about that reference.
Salina: Also, he's got his own problems because he's headed back to Felicia, so he doesn't have time for Charlene's problems.
Nikki: He has no time for this.
Nikki: He's got to go back to Felicia's and hope she doesn't open the door naked.
Nikki: So while he's leaving to go back to Felicia's, galen and Charlene come in.
Nikki: They flounce in.
Nikki: I'm going to put it out there.
Nikki: They're flouncing in.
Nikki: They've had a very good day.
Nikki: Anthony tells Charlene how good she looks because she's got a new pair of Tony Llama boots and she is very excited about them.
Nikki: Galen gets them on discount, so if the other ladies are interested they are not.
Nikki: They could get a pair.
Nikki: I think what comes out of he gets ready to leave.
Nikki: Galen is really only there to serve as, like a reminder of Galen.
Salina: I think it's that, but I think part of him leaving is I think he realizes he's not a crowd pleaser.
Nikki: He's reading a room.
Nikki: Do you think he cares?
Salina: I don't know he cares, but I think he thinks the long because they're a little swifter and not as trustworthy.
Salina: I think that he probably knows that they're ready to tear him apart and tear holes in his story.
Nikki: I think that's a good point.
Nikki: Very astute, Salina.
Nikki: He leaves, but not before revealing that Charlene has bought him a gift, a tie clip.
Nikki: I mean, she didn't buy him a car, she bought him a tie clip.
Nikki: But the other ladies are like, dude, don't buy this guy gifts.
Salina: They see the money going.
Salina: I think it's all red flags for them.
Salina: And I guess maybe part of it is if he's courting her, why is she courting him?
Salina: Right I mean, I get it.
Salina: She's nice.
Salina: And she does say he's got to look snazzy, right?
Nikki: You want your rep to look good and put off a good vibe for you.
Nikki: But Suzanne, I think, is the one who ultimately asks, what's your obsession with, like, where did this come from?
Nikki: The same way I felt I don't know if you felt this way.
Nikki: We've never really talked about her wanting to sing country music.
Salina: I think that's one of the things that was a little befuddling to me about this entire episode is it's like, from this episode's vantage point, it feels like this may be the only thing that Charlene has ever cared about.
Salina: And watching the rest of the series up to this point, I don't think we've ever even heard her mention music.
Salina: There was a Loretta Lynn connection.
Salina: Like, we might be related.
Salina: But it wasn't like and that's so perfect because I've always wanted to sing.
Nikki: Because every Saturday night I'm working the clubs, trying to get a job exactly right.
Nikki: So they ask, like, what's the deal here?
Nikki: And she reveals kind of a sad little story.
Nikki: She mentions that her dad says that Charlene's, like her mom.
Nikki: They're both sort of dreamers.
Nikki: They have stars in their eyes.
Nikki: It sounds like maybe her mom had a little bit of a dream of being a singer.
Nikki: She would escape from Poplar Bluff and go to Nashville and go stand outside the Grand Old Opry on Saturday mornings when she just needed to get away from the family.
Nikki: Really wish I'd looked up that drive time.
Nikki: I'm curious how long that is, because that sounds like a nice little piece to get away from your family.
Salina: Well, we'll figure it out.
Salina: Maybe we'll know by the end of the episode.
Nikki: But so it was important to her mom.
Nikki: And then she tells this story about her and her brother going with her dad to the bank at one point, and her dad's looking for a loan, and they're sitting there waiting for this highfalutin bank man to decide their fate, whether he's going to give them money or not.
Nikki: And she's looking at the hole in her brother's shoes.
Nikki: The man ultimately tells them no, and she thinks to herself that she wants to make her dad proud.
Nikki: She never wants him to have to sit there holding his hat in his hands, looking down at holy shoes again.
Salina: Yeah, it wasn't necessarily the best connector point for me to the rest of the plotline, but I really did like this story.
Salina: I don't know, there was something that was sad but also kind of beautiful about it, because I think it really painted a very vivid picture because I could picture her dad with his hat in his hand.
Salina: I could almost picture the silhouette of that and just how I don't want to say, like, broken, but how upsetting that must be for you, or how overwhelming her family must have felt you got a mom that's like 511 kids, ten kids, whatever it is.
Salina: I'm driving a long way away about.
Nikki: 4 hours on Saturday morning.
Salina: Is that what it is?
Nikki: It is.
Salina: Are you sneak googling over there?
Salina: So I think, yeah, that is an overwhelming point with that many kids, that many mouths to feed.
Salina: And for whatever reason, if she feels that kind of responsibility over her family, I think she's painting a really good picture there.
Salina: But I don't know, I think it's the timing where we're getting this information and the fact that it does feel a little haphazard that it's all coming now.
Salina: All that said, now we know they've told us.
Nikki: So that's why she cares so much now.
Nikki: So I think the women are sort of like, all right, fine.
Nikki: You throw out your family.
Nikki: You throw out making your dad proud.
Salina: Also, you probably do have to be a millionaire to take care of eleven people.
Nikki: Yeah, that's true.
Salina: Plus parents.
Salina: There's 27 people all in total.
Salina: It's a lot of people.
Nikki: So, anyway, the next part is the Fraser reunion, is what I call it.
Nikki: It's when all 26 people I'm going with your number now.
Nikki: All 26 people show up at Sugar Bakers.
Salina: Well, I said 27.
Salina: You just killed off Tommy Ray.
Nikki: So this scene is my notes on this scene are largely just a bunch of observations.
Nikki: And then the quote from where Charlene introduces her family take us through.
Nikki: So my first observation, which may not be fair, but it feels weird to me that Mary Jo is Charlene's best friend and she's never met the Fraziers before.
Nikki: I stand by that.
Nikki: I just think that's just OD.
Nikki: They say they feel like they've known her.
Salina: Yeah, it definitely is for me.
Salina: But my best friends I've known since I was staying in their that I can I definitely see where you're coming from.
Nikki: Suzanne gets called out for calling them hillbillies.
Salina: I loved it.
Salina: That was like Redemption City for me.
Nikki: Charlene's dad says, oh, nice to meet you.
Nikki: You're the one that calls us hillbillies.
Nikki: And Suzanne does not know what to do.
Salina: I love that.
Salina: It was so matter of fact.
Nikki: So Charlene says, like, don't worry about it.
Nikki: He's been called a lot or no, he says, don't worry about it.
Nikki: I've been called a lot worse.
Nikki: And Anthony says, so have I.
Nikki: Which is the nice entry point to Anthony.
Nikki: And Anthony becomes relevant because he adopts Charlene's family a little bit later in the scene.
Nikki: So Charlene introduces her family.
Nikki: It is a lot of people.
Nikki: And I'll just say Jean Smart nailed the introductions of everyone perfectly.
Nikki: But then she makes her apologies.
Nikki: She has to leave.
Nikki: She's got to go to the club.
Nikki: So then as she's leaving, Wendell Mack.
Salina: Is back because it's Designing Women.
Nikki: He's mad again.
Nikki: And he's just really angry because Anthony.
Salina: Just continues to not sleep with his wife.
Salina: When is Anthony going to get the hint?
Salina: It has not been subtle.
Nikki: I know.
Nikki: Well, Wendell Mack told him right to his face.
Nikki: And Anthony, just in this amazing twist without missing a beat, says, like, are you completely uncouth or what?
Nikki: You're doing this right here in front of my family.
Nikki: And Wendell Mack's looking around the room and thinking, something's not adding up here.
Nikki: And Anthony proves that it's not a joke.
Nikki: He's very serious.
Nikki: This is his family.
Nikki: He sets up a whole backstory about how he ended up with the Fraziers.
Nikki: And then he proceeds to nail the introductions.
Nikki: He says.
Nikki: These are my sisters Marlene, Harleen and Darlene.
Nikki: This is Darlene's husband Joe and their kids joe Jr.
Nikki: Becky and dawn.
Nikki: This is Harleen's husband Dennis and their kids Mindy and Danny and Jess and Edward Lee.
Nikki: And these are my brothers.
Nikki: Frank dwayne, odell, Robert, Virgil and Billy Hugh.
Nikki: This is Frank's wife Elma, who's expecting, and this is Dwayne's wife, Emily, who's expecting, and their kids Margaret Ann and Dwayne Jr.
Nikki: This is Robert's wife Cynthia and their kids Buford, Brenda and Bobby Ray.
Nikki: And I think you've met Harold Thomas.
Salina: So amazing.
Salina: Just nailed the same it, like, perfectly mirrored Charlene's.
Salina: So it was like he just, like, absorbed exactly.
Salina: Just absorbed everything that she did.
Salina: He did the same sing songy, I mean, because it was so cute the way she did it in the first place anyway.
Salina: And then for him to just absolutely mirror that was awesome.
Salina: And then I think we find out a little bit about who Charlene's parents are here, because the other flip side of that is after he does that introduction, he's, like, basically, in a very wholesome way, says to Wendell, so if you want to stay around for a cup of punch, we can probably do that.
Salina: And then he was like, Well, Mom, dad, is that okay?
Salina: And then in an instant, they're like, well, son, that's up to that tell.
Salina: I think Charlene would have totally played along had she been there.
Salina: And I think that just kind of shows the kind parents that she came from, because this is obviously somebody that matters to Charlene.
Salina: Charlene matters to them.
Salina: And I think people see Anthony's Light also.
Salina: Either that or he's an evil mastermind.
Salina: It's unclear now that he was able to do that that fast.
Salina: And if somebody was able to remember 250 names the way he did just then, I'm on their side.
Nikki: I'm not messing around with that person.
Nikki: That's creepy.
Salina: So they may be hillbillies, but they.
Nikki: Know what they're and that's that's really it.
Nikki: Julia's very impressed with what just happened.
Nikki: Anthony kind of explains that he's been in situations like this before, and he's had to ski down Bandini Mountain a time or two himself, just like he said that Galen died.
Salina: That's right.
Salina: And I actually do have one note here that.
Salina: I realized.
Salina: So when we did that extra sugar and we talked about Charlene's parents and we had that whole conversation about disparaging terms for him, first of all, I called him Norvell, her dad.
Salina: We were like, not norvell silly.
Salina: Norvell nope, nope, nope.
Salina: It's like, I guess, like reddenbacher.
Salina: Okay, so this is why the scripts are so helpful.
Salina: These Southern accents.
Salina: People I just can't understand, but they call them bud.
Salina: So this is all very Southern, too.
Salina: You got yeah.
Salina: And then her mom's name, they call her Dot.
Salina: In episode four here, they introduce her as I own.
Salina: Yeah, I don't know.
Salina: That's why they call her Dot.
Nikki: I love Dot.
Nikki: I think that's a delightful name.
Salina: I do, too.
Nikki: Can you just start calling me Dot?
Salina: If you really want me to?
Salina: You can call me Todd.
Salina: It's just the backwards of Dot.
Nikki: Oh, no, I'm calling you Sally.
Salina: That girl we're going to call this last act Nikki.
Salina: Meet me in the club.
Salina: It's going down.
Nikki: That's a good name.
Salina: So some people may not know what that is.
Salina: So if you don't know what Meet me in the club, it's Going Down is, I highly recommend that you Google that and have a little taste of mid.
Salina: Two thousand s okay.
Salina: So in this scene, though, it opens up on Charlene.
Salina: All kidding aside, it's very sad.
Salina: She's by herself in the club.
Nikki: Sad, dingy club.
Salina: And as any 35 or 36 year old can tell you, you do not want to see the club when you don't have a few drinks in you.
Nikki: The lights are on.
Salina: Yeah, nobody ever wants to see the lights on in a club.
Salina: No, it's a bad place.
Salina: So she looks sad.
Salina: She looks broken.
Salina: I mean, we don't have to paint the picture here.
Salina: I mean, this whole time we talk about she's with a scammer, and now she's been scammed, now her family's in town.
Nikki: But how beautiful would it have been if she hadn't really been scammed?
Nikki: How cool would this episode have been if Charlene had been right?
Salina: I think I would have been so mad oh, really?
Salina: That I probably would have walked away from the show.
Nikki: Oh, well, good choice then, LBT.
Salina: I only say that because we put all reality to the side over and over and over again.
Salina: If this guy, how slimy he's been, how ridiculous he's been, have wound up being, like, a real deal thing, I just don't think I could have even handled it.
Salina: Okay, but it's depressing to see her sitting there.
Salina: She's got her whole family there.
Salina: It sounds like her family doesn't come into town a lot.
Salina: So on top of all of this, and I don't mean this in a mean way, but the sob story that we've gotten earlier, we know how much weight she feels on her shoulders.
Salina: For all of these reasons, I think she's at a pretty low point.
Salina: And when her family comes in, she just breaks down and she admits to her dad she's been had.
Salina: I did not mean to make that rhyme.
Salina: Oh, that was ridiculous.
Salina: And she tells him she spent several thousand dollars in the process.
Salina: I think he's pretty upset because nobody wants to see their baby hurt.
Salina: We also get insight from the parents.
Salina: Charlene, this is not just something that the ladies at Sugar Bakers have had to deal with.
Nikki: It's a lifelong pattern.
Salina: They've had dinner with more Jehovah's Witnesses and Avon salespeople than anyone in you know, just as Charlene is kind of throwing in the towel, I think she's finally about to say she is never going to trust anyone again for this week.
Salina: Yeah, but in Designing Women canon is that we have to have someone walk through the door.
Salina: It is a little surprising, I think.
Salina: I don't think I expected to see this part coming.
Salina: No, it's Galen.
Salina: He's back.
Salina: And he's felt guilty.
Nikki: As he should.
Salina: He should definitely feel guilty.
Salina: I think in an OD twist here, whether you believe it or not here's, what we learn is that no one has ever wholesale believed his line of absolute bullcrap before.
Salina: Like Charlene did.
Salina: He's driving away.
Salina: I just had a thought.
Salina: That is an awful lot of work for what winds up being like, what, $1,500?
Salina: Oh, they spent a lot of money shopping.
Nikki: That's true.
Nikki: That's true.
Salina: It's not exactly like the big get that's going to get him far.
Nikki: That's true.
Salina: What is even happening anyways?
Salina: So he feels bad.
Salina: He's coming back to make amends.
Salina: And besides the fact that he's giving back the money, minus what they've already spent, he's telling her, like, here you go, this is for you.
Salina: And of course, this is after Anthony.
Salina: Anthony is, like, really dug into being a part of this family.
Nikki: Well, wouldn't you be after they took his side in the last scene?
Salina: I'm like, I want to be Anthony's family.
Salina: But him and the rest of her brothers, do.
Salina: They need to take him out back, rough him up a little bit?
Salina: First of all, I think we should have probably gone through on that a little bit.
Salina: Just knocked him around a little bit.
Salina: I don't know.
Nikki: Not to he had it coming.
Salina: He did.
Salina: And then all this, he tries to scam her one more time, man.
Salina: And finally, though, she tells him to kick rocks.
Salina: And we kind of play this out in a nice way, because finally, with a group of 30, the manager decides to come out.
Nikki: What are you all doing here?
Salina: I've been hearing this noise for ten minutes.
Salina: And Julia does a sweet thing and she pays him so that Charlene can sing to her family and her friends.
Salina: And that's really where the show ends.
Salina: I'll just say that this definitely showed to me that Charlene does have a theater background.
Salina: This is not country music.
Salina: No, I didn't know this song.
Salina: Did you love it, Nikki?
Nikki: Fun fact, I hate when they put songs in sitcoms.
Nikki: It's so ill placed.
Nikki: And I really do not like Broadway.
Nikki: I know that it's a lot of special training.
Nikki: I know that those people have talent, but it feels very overdone to me because you have to have that stage training to get your voice to project in a certain way, and you've got to have the drama behind it.
Nikki: It feels very dramatized and not real to me, so it doesn't work for me.
Nikki: So this whole scene was very windsy to me.
Salina: So what you're telling me is you don't want me to sing us off?
Nikki: I would prefer if you didn't.
Nikki: But other people like Broadway singers.
Salina: That's so nice of you to call me a Broadway singer.
Salina: Well, I think that pretty much just takes us out of this show.
Salina: Then we get it.
Salina: It's a done deal.
Salina: So let me ask you then, if you don't want me to sing, how about we rate this sucker?
Nikki: Let's do it.
Salina: All right.
Salina: Do you have a rating scale?
Nikki: You go first.
Salina: I did something out of something.
Salina: No frills demo tapes.
Nikki: Oh, that's good.
Salina: It was hard to pick a good one for this one.
Salina: What did you have?
Nikki: I'm going to go with yours.
Salina: So no frills demo tapes it is.
Salina: I gave it a 3.5 out of five.
Nikki: That's generous.
Salina: It was.
Salina: And the whole thing is really based on two things.
Salina: While I did not entirely buy into her story this late in the game for why she feels so beholden to this dream, I did like the story and I did like this idea of wanting to make your family proud.
Salina: I think that's something that drives many people.
Salina: It's something that has certainly driven me over the years.
Salina: Not every time, but sometimes.
Salina: And then Anthony, man, they finally gave him something good to do and he did it.
Nikki: Man, that was so impressive.
Salina: Give him more.
Salina: Yeah, give him more.
Salina: Let's just focus it all on him.
Salina: Other than that, it was a little pandering to the Southern things.
Salina: I'm going to do a total, like, where's the Southern things now?
Salina: It's all southern things.
Salina: It was just like a lot of name dropping.
Salina: Again, stick around because Nikki's going to talk about some of those name drops in our extra sugar.
Salina: It is guaranteed to be a good time, and that's pretty much where I'm landing on.
Nikki: It generous.
Nikki: I'm going a full point lower, but I will do 2.5 instead of two.
Nikki: The singing, man.
Nikki: The singing at the end was just enough to sing me off.
Nikki: I was just very ready to turn that off.
Nikki: I love charlene.
Nikki: I love a charlene storyline.
Nikki: I think it's unfortunate that every storyline has to be this sort of thing.
Nikki: Not necessarily bad luck.
Nikki: It really does have to be her buying into something that we can all see from a mile away is not a great idea.
Nikki: I just hate that.
Nikki: I just feel like it gets a little old.
Salina: Let's take a break from that.
Salina: You know what I'm saying?
Nikki: So we're on episode 17 and we've had probably, what, five episodes like that?
Nikki: Maybe four.
Nikki: It feels like a lot.
Nikki: It just feels like a lot.
Nikki: I just feel a little annoyed by that.
Nikki: So not my favorite episode.
Nikki: I feel like I keep saying that lately and I want to change my tune.
Nikki: I love the show overall, and it does have these amazingly bright spots.
Nikki: Like, I remember the first time watching it, I thought, Jean Smart just nailed it.
Nikki: I just thought, oh, she's so good at that.
Nikki: Introducing the family and then Mishak Taylor, not like a minute and a half later coming behind her and doing it with the emphasis exactly the same, the tone exactly the same.
Nikki: That's just brilliant.
Nikki: That's just brilliant.
Nikki: The writing was brilliant.
Nikki: To make that happen, to pull that together.
Nikki: So there were some bright spots.
Nikki: Some things I really liked, suzanne wasn't really focused on in this episode, but she was so cute in the beginning when Galen compared to Vivian Lee.
Nikki: And she said, I get that all the time.
Nikki: Just like, her voice is so cute.
Nikki: So there were parts I really liked, but overall, it's kind of a silly storyline.
Salina: So we're men down the path, but we'll get there.
Salina: I have a feeling that the next episode might be good.
Salina: I know you don't like the combination category.
Nikki: It's not that I don't like it.
Nikki: I don't get it.
Salina: It's just confusing.
Nikki: It's confusing to me.
Salina: Because sometimes things are like, it's something that reminds me of the 80s, but it's also Southern.
Salina: Or it's something I had to look up and then I realized it's Southern.
Salina: Okay, I'm combining them together.
Salina: But I told you I was going to take those out, so I left this one in.
Nikki: Okay, perfect.
Salina: I think it was based on sheer exhaustion is what I'm going to blame it on.
Salina: But what I had in this combination category was the Bandini Mountain commercial that's mentioned.
Salina: This is like that obscure reference that you were talking about that Anthony made.
Salina: I just had no idea what this was.
Salina: We'll link to one of the commercials so you guys can see it for yourself.
Salina: If you've never seen someone ski down fertilizer or cow poop.
Salina: That's what it is, guys.
Salina: It's cow poop.
Salina: It's a mountain of poop.
Salina: That's why we were saying he was saying that.
Salina: Galen is full of crap.
Salina: And this thing is like 100 foot tall mound at the headquarters of this bandini fertilizer company in Commerce, California.
Salina: So quick question.
Salina: Does it stink there?
Salina: Is that your question?
Nikki: I assume my question was going to be do you think they periodically adjust it or is it the same fertilizer that was there I mean, maybe they have to add to it because it degrades over time.
Salina: I have no idea.
Nikki: Is it the same mountain it was in 1984 whenever the commercial was made?
Salina: Is it still there?
Nikki: Oh, you read that.
Salina: That's true.
Salina: I did read it in the present tense.
Salina: And I apologize for doing that because I don't know.
Nikki: Oh, okay.
Salina: Maybe it's there, maybe it's not.
Salina: Oh, wouldn't that just be thrilling if we took this show on the road to see if we could stand on top of a poop mountain?
Salina: Let's just go to Nashville.
Nikki: But this we'd have to go to California for.
Salina: That's why we're going to go to.
Nikki: I could take a California trip.
Salina: You go stand on top of poop if we could do some other things in California.
Nikki: That is correct.
Salina: So we're just saying, bandini, if you're still in business, we'll come sit on your poop mound.
Salina: My other combination reference, because first I wasn't exactly sure who they were, and then I realized it was like a Southern thing and also an 80s thing.
Salina: So we're hitting all the tip marks.
Salina: Jimmy Swaggert.
Nikki: Oh, right.
Salina: He's a pentecostal televangelist.
Salina: He had a little prostitute scandal bubble up in the following year after this reference was made.
Salina: Okay, so I don't think that Nikki is laughing at Mr.
Salina: Jimmy Swaggart, and I don't even think that she's laughing at the fact that he had a little scandal.
Salina: I think she might be laughing at the fact that I called it a little prostitute.
Nikki: And I just think that's where you're going to end and then you keep.
Salina: Going, well, oopsie, just like a little prostitute scandal.
Nikki: Sorry, Jimmy.
Salina: It was a rough year.
Salina: So 80s things.
Nikki: What, you got chain letters and Avon ladies.
Salina: Okay, yeah, the chain letters thing threw me.
Nikki: It was a little weird.
Nikki: I'm not sure what was happening there.
Nikki: I don't know if he was going to cut her into a scam or if there was a way he was going to send I don't know.
Salina: Maybe he just wanted to send her a chain letter.
Salina: So many options on the table.
Salina: I only have one thing, which was this space shuttle keychain because he said he's on the list to go up on a rocket.
Salina: So I just figured, was there a list?
Salina: And maybe I was getting the wool pulled over my eyes.
Salina: But in 84, President Reagan really did sign some commercial space launch act and it mandated NASA to encourage private spaceflight.
Salina: Maybe there is some basis in truth.
Salina: Anyways, I don't know.
Salina: He's a piece of crap.
Nikki: He's making stuff up left and right.
Salina: This promoter is just not my favorite Southern things.
Nikki: The Atlanta Falcons, our local hometown football team and the word naked.
Salina: That's it.
Salina: I think you're going to start saying it like that.
Salina: It's the sign of a good time.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: All right, so they mentioned at the top.
Salina: That the reason her family is actually coming into town.
Salina: It actually wasn't even to see her.
Salina: It was for some Baptist convention.
Salina: And I'll just say there really is a Southern Baptist convention.
Salina: That is actually what their organization is called.
Salina: It has to do with their structure.
Salina: But also there literally is an annual meeting for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Salina: And it's held in different spots this year, coincidentally.
Nikki: How strange.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: It's like just it keeps popping up in the universe like it's meant to be.
Salina: I mean, I don't know about the convention, but like this podcast is what I'm trying to say.
Salina: Our stars are aligning.
Salina: It's very exciting.
Salina: You're going to run through a lot of country music stuff, so I'm going to not touch that one.
Salina: But we did get a mention of moonshine.
Salina: The term bubbas, referring to Charlene's brothers.
Salina: Just saying, I've known a lot of Bubbas.
Nikki: Same here.
Salina: And then I'm like, does that make sense for someone who's not from the south?
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: It's just a nickname, guys.
Nikki: It's just a nickname.
Nikki: And it's this random nickname that we applied to all kinds of other names.
Nikki: There's probably no consistency in.
Nikki: I've known a Mike who is called Bubba.
Nikki: I think his name was Mike.
Nikki: Paul, Bubba.
Nikki: All kinds.
Salina: That Bubba.
Salina: They're always like really popular, though, I feel like Bubba's.
Nikki: How could they not be Bubba's?
Nikki: Just kind of a I don't know, lovable name.
Salina: Maybe you're setting your kid up for success there.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: Vivian Lee.
Salina: So we got that mention.
Salina: She is actually British, but she plays one of the most iconic Southern characters ever in Gone with the Wind.
Salina: And then also we get a Stuckey's mention.
Salina: Didn't know what that I mean, I do know, but I don't know.
Salina: So this is a rest stop.
Salina: They were at one point in time all over the US.
Salina: There's much less fewer of them now, but it just has kitschy, souvenirs and they're Southern candies.
Salina: That's what I'm familiar with seeing.
Salina: I literally picture them in a wicker basket at like small convenience stores where I'm going and I'm looking and deciding whether I want to pee in my pants or in what I can only assume is a bathroom that bad things have happened in.
Nikki: So next time that happens to you, could you get a Stucky's candy bar and try it and report back?
Salina: I totally will because I have not actually had a pecan log.
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Salina: Even the name doesn't sound good.
Salina: This is no offense to you.
Salina: He said something about the log.
Salina: Also, I want to be very clear, it is not Stuckies.
Salina: I'm going in when I'm questioning peeing in my pants versus the bathroom.
Salina: This is where I tend to see the candies.
Nikki: They sell the packaged branded.
Salina: That's correct.
Salina: So Stucky's is actually known for very clean restaurants.
Salina: Their website told me references that we had to look up.
Salina: What would you look up?
Nikki: The JCS.
Nikki: So early in the episode, charlene says something about her brother Robert and her performing for the JCS.
Nikki: The first time I watched it, I just assumed it was maybe like a local family and I was like, gosh darn it, I'm going to have to look this up and make sure.
Nikki: So it's actually an organization called the United States junior chamber.
Nikki: It's a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 40.
Salina: I did look this one up, too.
Salina: The reason I know is because I feel like you and I might have the exact same thing from wikipedia.
Salina: I tried to look at their website, but I needed a little something more condensed.
Salina: There was like missions and values.
Salina: You sound great.
Salina: I'm just saying I needed something short.
Salina: And so the other thing that's kind of cool there in terms of like I just think LBT trying to really make it sound like she's from Missouri.
Salina: Charlene, is that's where the JCS are located is in Missouri?
Salina: There's also a lot of famous JCS and several former presidents.
Salina: Did you see that on the wiki?
Nikki: I did.
Salina: Was Bill Clinton one?
Salina: He was Larry Bird.
Salina: Not a president.
Salina: He's a president in my heart.
Salina: President of basketball.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: Bill Gates.
Nikki: I watched space jam recently and Larry bird's in it.
Nikki: I was like, I'm sorry, bill Gates, too.
Salina: Welcome to the space jam.
Nikki: Do your dance.
Salina: Bad news for the JCS.
Salina: There was a serial killer.
Salina: Oh, no.
Salina: John Wayne gacy the clown one.
Salina: Oh, my gosh.
Nikki: Maybe I did know that.
Nikki: I ended up down a bad rabbit.
Salina: Hole on that makes that's nothing against the JC.
Salina: So I just want to say I couldn't help but type that one up because he's like one of the most famous serial killers.
Nikki: Google it or don't, because it is pretty terrifying.
Salina: Yeah, I know a lot about serial killers.
Salina: It's not important.
Salina: Everyone has a fascination.
Salina: Maybe one of us wanted to be a profiler.
Nikki: Oh, yeah, that would be a cool job.
Salina: It's interesting is all I'm saying.
Nikki: I can't believe I missed that because I only recently learned about him.
Salina: Well, don't google it before bedtime.
Nikki: Well, that's what happened to me.
Nikki: Oh, I didn't sleep for like 2 hours.
Salina: Oh, boy.
Salina: So a lot about the JCS there.
Salina: They're a strong organization.
Salina: Not trying to say anything about them again.
Nikki: The rest of them are kind of boring on my list.
Nikki: Not boring.
Nikki: I mean, I'm sure they're interesting people, but after John Wayne gacy, it's hard.
Salina: To come back from that.
Nikki: Jean Claude killy is an alpine ski racer.
Nikki: He's the one that Anthony says skied down bandini mountain or is the version of whatever.
Nikki: You know what I mean?
Salina: There was an association.
Nikki: There you go, barbara Mandrell christmas special.
Nikki: I'm going to talk a little bit about barbara Mandrell, not so much about the Christmas special, but I'll talk about her in extra Sugar and the Fuller Brush.
Nikki: Man men.
Nikki: I don't know if you're looking at me with a face that tells me you've never heard of this.
Nikki: This was in the list of people that Charlene trusted as a kid, the Fuller Brushman.
Nikki: So I looked it up.
Nikki: This was actually a door to door salesman who sold, like, brushes.
Nikki: And I think they expanded beyond brushes and combs at one point to do, like, personal hygiene.
Nikki: But I just thought it was so strange to have a salesperson come to your house and try to sell you a hairbrush.
Salina: That does sound really strange, but when you say that my grandfather's brush that I'm picturing in my head because I think he had the whole one.
Salina: Like, the whole one the same one the whole time I been alive.
Salina: And it's like one of those bristly ones that I'm like, how do you even brush your hair with that?
Salina: I feel like it may have come from this.
Salina: Dorch door salesperson.
Nikki: I'm going to need you to do a little digging.
Nikki: I need to know.
Nikki: This blew my mind.
Nikki: My grandmother bought a vacuum cleaner from a door to door salesman one time.
Salina: It used to be a big thing.
Nikki: That's so wild to me because if someone comes to my door now, I get really angry and I'm like, what do you want from me?
Nikki: Why are you at my door?
Salina: That is the truth right there.
Salina: I'm like, please, no one ever come to my door.
Nikki: Not to sell me something, for sure.
Salina: There's a sign at the front of our neighborhood that says they don't, like, don't do that.
Salina: I know.
Salina: So that makes it especially like the only other thing I had on mine is one that you're just going to be like Salina, but is the Tony Llama boots.
Nikki: Tony llama.
Salina: You can see I'm a fan, like.
Nikki: A really important designer of boots.
Salina: Because I read on their website that they are the most recognized Western boot brand.
Salina: I'm not much of a boot wearing gal.
Salina: So as we go into Extra Sugar, you're going to have to teach me all about it.
Nikki: I'll do the best I can.
Salina: Any other references, anything in that category?
Nikki: That's it for me.
Salina: Me too.
Salina: And guess what that means we're on to episode 18.
Salina: That one's going to be oh, Susanna.
Salina: So super excited to talk about that.
Salina: Next time one of us may have gotten excited and gone ahead and watched, it's not important.
Salina: Everybody, we would love for you to follow along with us and engage Instagram, Facebook.
Salina: You can find us at sweet teantv.
Salina: Or if you want to send us complaints, angry, just tirades about something that we've messed up or done wrong, don't send that somewhere else.
Salina: Send all your compliments to Sweet TV.
Salina: How do you do this?
Salina: And that's where we dump all the extra crap that we couldn't get through.
Nikki: All the extra bandini.
Nikki: You can find it on our website.
Salina: I like that.
Salina: And so with that, you know how this guys is going to end, we're going to see you around the bend by.
Nikki: It'S time, folks.
Nikki: It's time for this week's extra sugar.
Nikki: I'm calling this segment name dropping and bebopping into country music.
Salina: That sounds like a honky tonk good time.
Salina: I've toyed with the name a little bit.
Nikki: I thought I would workshop a couple of other options.
Nikki: That's the only one I really came up with, so hopefully it works for you, Salina.
Salina: Love it.
Nikki: And if it doesn't, keep it to yourself.
Salina: Got it.
Nikki: So what I wanted to do this week is I wanted to talk about every country music name drop in episode 17 and then learn a little bit about how they got their starts in country music.
Nikki: Because this episode was all about how unrealistic it is that Charlene could have been heard by one producer in one party, one performance, and that was going to make her a star.
Salina: Now, is that something I needed to keep up with as we go?
Nikki: I think that would be a good idea.
Nikki: I think it would be a good idea.
Salina: I've got my fake check marks out and I'm ready to roll.
Nikki: So let me ask you before we start, do you remember any of the name drops in this episode?
Salina: Oh, they were dropping.
Salina: They were dropping all over the place.
Salina: I think that was one thing that we talked about a little bit earlier, was just the fact that there was a little country pandering almost in this episode.
Salina: But that's okay because now we get to have this really cool conversation.
Salina: Waylon, Jennings.
Salina: I definitely remember Loretta, Lynn and Dolly.
Nikki: Dolly, man.
Nikki: It's just not a conversation about country music without Dolly.
Salina: That's right.
Nikki: So I do have those on my list and I have a couple extras that I think you'll find interesting.
Nikki: So the first one I wanted to mention is Tammy Wynette.
Nikki: She was not name dropped in this episode, but her song was her song stand by your man, which is the song that Charlene sang at the dinner party that got Galen's attention.
Nikki: So Tammy Wynette wrote and recorded that song in 1968.
Nikki: Tammy Wynette, who passed in 1998, is considered the first lady of country music.
Nikki: In the 1960s and 70s, she charted 20 number one Billboard country chart hits.
Nikki: 20 in two decades.
Salina: That's a lot.
Nikki: That's a lot.
Nikki: But before she became famous, wynette worked as a waitress, a receptionist and a bar maid.
Nikki: And she also worked in a shoe factory.
Nikki: I don't know if it was a Tony Llama boot factory.
Nikki: It was a shoe factory.
Nikki: In 1963, she attended beauty college in Tupelo, Mississippi, where she learned to be a hairdresser.
Nikki: Fun fact, she continued to renew her cosmetology license every year for the rest of her life, just in case she ever had to go back to a daily job.
Salina: Now, see, that's the kind of work ethic that I really appreciate.
Nikki: Yeah, that's crazy, right?
Nikki: And so she also, just interestingly, has a daughter who is also a performer and she's a nurse, I think it is.
Nikki: She also continues to renew her license just in case.
Nikki: It's nice to have a fallback.
Nikki: So in terms of how she got her start in country music, so it was while she was working as a hairdresser in midfield, Alabama, in 1965, that she sang on the Country Boy Eddie TV show in Birmingham.
Nikki: So she would get up and sing from six to 08:00 a.m.
Nikki: And then go to work as a hairdresser.
Salina: The thing about that that really strikes me is like, what a different time period that was live singing on the radio, on TV.
Salina: Oh, it's right.
Nikki: On a morning show.
Salina: Want to make everything the radio.
Nikki: I know, I keep doing that too.
Salina: She's just like an ambitious lady.
Nikki: And I think at this time she was also a single mom, so I think that's worth throwing in as well.
Nikki: But so she did that for a while and then headed to Nashville for a record deal and she got a lot of no's, I want to say somewhere in the range of like, maybe even a dozen no's before she finally got a yes and signed with Epic Records in about 1965.
Salina: So not an overnight sensation, that's what I would say.
Salina: But goes on to be I'm sorry, did you say the First Lady?
Salina: The Queen?
Nikki: The first lady of country music.
Nikki: Maybe the queen.
Nikki: I don't know.
Salina: We can call her the Queen.
Salina: I think that might be somebody else.
Nikki: I would call it Dolly.
Nikki: So the next name drop we got was Waylon Jennings.
Nikki: So Galen says he throws a big bash for old Waylon every year at the Al EDCO Club.
Nikki: For the rest of us, waylon is known as one of the founders of outlaw country.
Nikki: Between 1966 and 1995, prepare Yourself, 54 of his albums charted on Billboard's top country albums, with eleven reaching number one.
Nikki: Could you imagine making 54 albums, much less having them be successful?
Salina: I'm going to be really honest with you, I can't imagine making 54 of anything except I guess we should probably be eyeballing 54.
Salina: Yes, 54 podcast episodes.
Nikki: So Jennings started to play the guitar at the age of eight and first performed at age twelve on the radio, after which he formed his first band, the Texas Longhorns.
Nikki: He left high school at age 16, determined to become a musician, and worked as a performer and DJ on several radio stations throughout Arizona in 1958.
Nikki: This is wild to me.
Nikki: In 1958.
Nikki: Buddy Holly.
Nikki: Was like a pioneer in rock music, and rockabilly music arranged Jennings first recording session.
Nikki: I guess their paths crossed at some point, and so he arranged for him to record and then hired him on to play bass for Buddy Holly.
Nikki: Jennings actually, in a crazy twist of life, gave up his seat on the flight where Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens were.
Nikki: The flight that crashed and killed the three of those.
Nikki: Are you familiar with that flight?
Salina: Well, I'm sitting over here just thinking about that is probably on every monumental top ten music moments, right?
Salina: I mean, we have a famous song that is still, I think, even probably little kids know today, which is American Pie, that is just like a milestone of milestones of milestones and what a right, right.
Nikki: It is a huge event.
Nikki: It's actually in that song American Pie, and just in popular culture is known as the Day the Music Died.
Nikki: So Waylon Jennings, amazingly, was supposed to be on that flight, gave up his seat because someone else was sick and he wanted to share and let him fly.
Nikki: Unfortunately, Waylon made a comment as they were leaving.
Nikki: It was a joke.
Nikki: He made it as a joke to a friend and said, I hope your plane crashes.
Nikki: Then it did.
Nikki: I only bring that up to say after the plane crash, he was pretty scarred and he kind of gave up.
Salina: I'm covered in chills.
Nikki: Well, he sort of gave up and he moved back to Arizona, and it took him a while.
Nikki: He had to work as a radio DJ again for a while before he was willing to try music again.
Nikki: So he headed to Nashville in the mid sixty s and was signed to a label.
Nikki: So weirdly, if you've ever heard any of Waylon Jennings music, or if you've listened to anything I've said about him being a country artist, he was originally signed as a pop folk singer and failed miserably.
Nikki: That career did not work out well.
Nikki: So he was signed to another label and they kind of rebranded him as a country artist there.
Nikki: He was very successful and at the very beginning of his career, for the first few years of his career, he released multiple albums a year.
Nikki: Fun fact, he was living with Johnny Cash during this time and they used a lot of amphetamines.
Nikki: So he was very sped up and very into his work, which I think helps explain some of his productivity in.
Salina: Like I obviously I know the name and I know like, I know that Waylon Jennings is someone that my grandfather really admired and also someone that my uncle really admired.
Salina: The only thing I really know about Waylon Jennings is that he did a highly unusual amount of drugs and the kind that would put every rock band you've ever thought did a lot of drugs to shame.
Salina: So I think I even read that at one point he was doing up to like $1,500 a day worth of cocaine.
Salina: It's crazy.
Nikki: So this is not dishonouring his memory.
Nikki: This is widely known.
Nikki: He was open about it.
Salina: Well, I think part of it, too is who knows how long he carried around the day the music died?
Salina: That probably factored into it.
Salina: Then you think about the lifestyle.
Salina: The lifestyle in the music world is nuts.
Salina: Says the person who's not part of.
Nikki: The music world as we understand it.
Salina: So I think it's just those things coupled together, that's not a judgment.
Salina: That's something that happens to people in life.
Salina: Now, that amount might be unusual, but having an addiction is not unusual and it's certainly not something that we'll ever.
Nikki: Be judging on this show.
Nikki: Oh, definitely not.
Nikki: So there is a lot more about every single one of these people I'm talking about.
Nikki: I feel like this is a good point to stop and say he was one in particular.
Nikki: Like you said, a name I know music, I know I don't know much about him.
Nikki: And so I ended up down 14 rabbit holes on all these people.
Nikki: And I really want to stay focused on how they got discovered because that's the tie to this episode.
Nikki: But if you are interested, definitely dig into each one of these people.
Nikki: Their stories are amazing in almost every instance because these are 1987 references we're talking about today.
Nikki: These are really old references.
Nikki: And these people were from a different era.
Nikki: Their life was even in a different era.
Nikki: So even some of the things I'm learning about them, it's fascinating.
Nikki: There was a Rolling Stone article about Waylon Jennings after he died that really digs into how he got his start, what his life was like, what his career was like.
Nikki: They talk about how he was supposed to be in We Are the World.
Nikki: He was part of that recording group, that superstar song from the walked away from it over a disagreement.
Nikki: So there's just a ton of interesting facts about all of these people.
Nikki: So I'm going to stay focused on how they got their start.
Salina: You know, I'm going to take you down 17 rabbit holes, so you better just well, I know.
Nikki: I'll go right with you.
Salina: Yeah, well, I think the other thing, too, is just remembering on that thing that we dump all our crap on will also be that's what I call website, that's all websites are right where people dump their crap.
Salina: Our crap is just gold and we'll link to some stuff so folks can do some extra digging.
Salina: If you were just razzlemathazzled by this.
Nikki: So the next one is actually when I say that I had to really scale back.
Nikki: This next one was tough for me.
Nikki: She's a real legend.
Salina: She is the queen of country, by the way.
Nikki: She is.
Salina: I thought so.
Nikki: Dolly Parton, the queen of country.
Nikki: And so Salina, we're from the south and we've probably both spent a lot of time in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Nikki: You've been to Dollyworld before?
Salina: Dolly World.
Salina: I love Dolly world.
Nikki: It's all dolly's world.
Salina: I have been to Pigeon Forge a number of times.
Salina: I've never been to Dollywood.
Nikki: Is that right?
Salina: That's why I wanted to propose at some point we keep this thing.
Nikki: So Dollywood is a theme park in and around Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that Dolly Parton started.
Nikki: Point being, I feel like we think we know everything about Dolly, so you're inclined to skip over some facts.
Nikki: But I think I don't know how much people know about her.
Nikki: So I'm going to start at the beginning and share a couple things along the way that a lot of people may not know about her.
Salina: Anybody that doesn't want to hear about Dolly is not a friend of mine.
Nikki: Oh, my gosh.
Nikki: No way.
Nikki: So she was another Galen name drop.
Nikki: In this episode, he listed her as one of the greats.
Nikki: He said when he heard Charlene, she reminded him of Dolly and all these other people.
Nikki: So Dolly Rebecca Parton was born in 1946 in a one room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Pittman Center, Tennessee.
Nikki: She is the fourth of twelve children.
Nikki: Charlene can relate.
Nikki: Because it's interesting.
Nikki: I'll just share that her mother's, eleven, pregnancies the 10th pregnancy, was twins in 20 years.
Nikki: Made her a mother of twelve by age 35.
Salina: It's crazy, right?
Nikki: I'm 35 and I have two kids.
Nikki: She had ten more kids than me.
Salina: I'm 35.
Salina: I don't even have a fish.
Salina: I'm 36.
Salina: I'm not trying to de age myself, honestly.
Nikki: So I don't know.
Nikki: Her mom might be the real hero here.
Nikki: At age ten, Dolly started performing professionally, appearing on local television and radio shows in Knoxville.
Nikki: I have a really cool video of her performing at 14.
Nikki: It's like one of those old timey cameras like that.
Nikki: You can see the grain of the film or whatever.
Salina: You can do that on Instagram now.
Nikki: That's true, right?
Nikki: There's no sound, but all you can see is her.
Nikki: And she's 14.
Nikki: She doesn't look 14.
Nikki: From what little bit you can see of her, it's Dolly.
Nikki: She's Dolly.
Nikki: She's got the big hair.
Nikki: She doesn't look 14.
Nikki: So she made her grand old Opry debut three years later, set on a career in music.
Nikki: She then moved to Nashville after finishing high school around this time.
Nikki: So about 1967, she made an appearance on the Porter Wagner Show.
Nikki: And for Dolly, really, the rest is history.
Nikki: The Porter Wagner show was her big break.
Nikki: I don't know that everybody knows what that is, right?
Salina: See, I know who he is because you're probably going to get to some tidbits that are relevant to this.
Salina: But yeah, I think Dolly has certainly eclipsed that big break.
Salina: I think the background is helpful.
Nikki: So Porter Wagner had a show on TV for years and I don't have the exact dates in front of me, but like 15 or 20 years, it was a really long time and it was like a country music variety show.
Nikki: And throughout the show's tenure, he had women who would join the show and sort of be like a duet partner for him.
Nikki: And so about 1967, Dolly became that partner for him.
Nikki: She filled that role.
Nikki: She was on the show for several, many years and they got really close.
Nikki: They performed a lot of duets together, they recorded together and at some point she decided to break away.
Nikki: And I tried to look into it.
Nikki: I don't know if you know more than this.
Nikki: I tried to look into kind of what caused that break.
Nikki: If it really was just sort of like an amicable, I'm moving on and I want to focus on my career, or if it was something less amicable, I'm not sure.
Salina: I don't think we'll ever really know.
Salina: None of us ever really know behind.
Salina: And even if there were articles, it feels like all that stuff becomes a lot of hearsay.
Salina: My understanding is that just from people in my life who are very interested in that aspect, I think there's a lot of myth that exists around that relationship.
Salina: People love to make things salacious, whether they are or not.
Nikki: Right, okay.
Salina: But I think that there was a rift in the beginning, more so on his side.
Salina: But it sounds know, obviously burnt bridges were mended.
Nikki: So obviously for two reasons.
Nikki: The song I will always love you that everyone credits to Whitney Houston and the Bodyguard soundtrack is actually a dolly song.
Salina: I feel like at least ten family members of mine went, trust me, we do not all attribute it.
Nikki: Not everyone fair.
Salina: Many people, a lot of people do.
Nikki: Many people, and especially people our age might not realize that that was actually originally a Dolly song.
Nikki: And actually it was originally written because of their professional break.
Nikki: She wrote that and when he died, she was one of a few people at his side, at his bedside.
Nikki: He died of lung cancer, I think, and she was there when he died.
Nikki: So there's so much about Dolly to say.
Nikki: She is a philanthropist.
Nikki: She is obviously still a very active musician.
Nikki: She's Miley Cyrus'godmother.
Salina: Just a reminder too, we will if you want to dig into Dolly more because there's tons of aspects to her life, dolly will make an appearance on the show.
Nikki: So I'm absolved other than to say if you're keeping track, Salina, dolly had a little bit of not a rocky road, but she just had a winding start in the country music industry.
Salina: So not anyone has fit this bill of just immediate stardom.
Nikki: That's accurate.
Nikki: So we're going to move on to Loretta Lynn.
Nikki: She's another name dropping Galen's list of the greats.
Nikki: She is 89 years old, still alive.
Nikki: Dolly also is alive, I should say.
Nikki: She was born in Butcher holler.
Salina: Butcher Holler, Kentucky.
Nikki: I think she had seven siblings.
Nikki: I'm not writing a thesis here, so I think she had a lot of siblings was the point.
Nikki: Her father was a coal miner and he died of black lung disease.
Nikki: So we've talked before about coal miner's daughter, so I won't really get into that.
Nikki: I do have one kind of fun fact.
Nikki: Through her maternal bloodline, she's first cousins with country singer Patty Loveless.
Nikki: And also a former Miss America.
Nikki: So Loretta got married when she was 14.
Nikki: She and her husband were married 50.
Salina: Years until he died, literally.
Salina: I know this because I love coal miner's daughter, but just even to hear those words, it is mind blowing.
Salina: I cannot imagine being married at 14.
Salina: And he was significantly older, right?
Nikki: Yes, I think so.
Salina: I think that he may have been like 26 or something when they got married.
Salina: So that is significant.
Nikki: They had a very rocky marriage.
Nikki: Again, something I'm not going to get into here.
Salina: That was his name.
Nikki: Their marriage was really rocky.
Nikki: But she stayed married to him and I think in various places called him like he was the greatest lover of her life and she couldn't imagine life without him.
Nikki: Regardless of all the things that went.
Salina: On, if there is one of very few things that I know about country music, everywhere there is a shining female star.
Salina: Especially in previous times.
Salina: There was also like, a woman who didn't have the best husband.
Salina: Patsy Klein is another example, actually.
Salina: Patsy Klein and Loretta Lynn.
Salina: I think they toured together.
Salina: They were.
Salina: So I think it's sad, and you don't ever want to hear about horrible things happening to people.
Salina: But I think those people's stories finally coming out and talking about some of the domestic abuse and stuff that happened in some of those relationships, I think that's really important because sometimes I think people in real life, they need to see that they're not alone and connect, I think, to even know that something bad is happening in their own life.
Salina: Right, dolly, bring it back up.
Salina: Sorry about that.
Nikki: Dolly has had a really productive marriage and is very happy with her husband.
Salina: It's not Dolly.
Nikki: So anyway, when they got married when she was 14, they moved to Washington.
Nikki: Could you imagine being a teenager, 14 and moving from Kentucky to Washington state with your new husband?
Nikki: Wild, right?
Nikki: Anyway, her husband bought her a $17 guitar and she taught herself how to play.
Salina: That's very impressive.
Nikki: She cut her first record in 1960 and moved to Nashville later in the 60s.
Nikki: In 1967, she had the first of 16 number one hits.
Salina: I thought you were going to say 16 children.
Nikki: Oh, no.
Nikki: And the first of 70 charted songs.
Nikki: I will say, though, two years after her twins Peggy and Patsy were born.
Nikki: Lynn became a grandmother at the age of 34.
Salina: It's too young, guys.
Salina: It's too young.
Salina: Oh, yeah, that's what I yes, that's very productive.
Salina: Excuse me.
Nikki: So I mentioned that she started recording in 1960.
Nikki: To back up just a little bit, she started actually playing in bars.
Nikki: So remember, she taught herself how to play guitar, started playing in bars in the formed her own band.
Nikki: She won a wristwatch in a televised talent contest in Tacoma, Washington.
Nikki: And her performance was seen by a Canadian producer who ended up establishing a record label.
Nikki: After he heard her sing, they went to Hollywood, and that's where she cut her first record and signed her first deal in 1960.
Salina: I feel like just from Coal Miner's Daughter, too, I think we can definitely put this in the not an overnight sensation.
Salina: I mean, she really pounded the pavement to get her music out there.
Salina: She fought very hard to do that.
Nikki: I think that's right.
Nikki: And the other thing I think is so fascinating to say when we talk about how many successful songs she had in country music, she actually really pushed the boundaries in what was discussed in country music in terms of social issues.
Nikki: So she sang about birth control, she sang about repeated childbirth, double standards for men and women.
Nikki: She sang about being widowed by the draft during the Vietnam War.
Nikki: And a lot of times, because of all of these controversial things, country music radio stations wouldn't even play her music.
Salina: What is controversial about repeated births?
Nikki: Well, I may be tied to the pill.
Salina: Also because I think some of what I'm actually thinking is I can see that being I think I'm thinking about the times.
Nikki: And also didn't really you just didn't.
Salina: Have those conversations in public.
Salina: They didn't even say pregnant.
Nikki: You were expecting.
Nikki: So, anyway, I wanted to say that I think politically, the few times she's spoken about her politics, she sounds a little conservative in her political leanings, but the lyrics and the song choices are definitely a little liberal.
Nikki: Very liberal in terms of the social.
Salina: Aspect of things, especially for something I think that is oftentimes categorized as very conservative.
Nikki: That's correct.
Nikki: So the next one I wanted to talk about is Barbara Mandrell.
Nikki: So again, this was the name drop from that scene with Charlene's family when I think Mary Jo said, having that family over isn't a social event, it's a Barbara Mandrell Christmas special.
Nikki: So Barbara Mandrell is the oldest daughter of a musical family.
Nikki: She was reading music and playing the accordion when her sisters were infants.
Nikki: That would have put her at about seven years old.
Nikki: A seven year old with an accordion.
Salina: How cute.
Salina: That's cute.
Nikki: That's cute.
Nikki: Six years later.
Nikki: So she would have been about 13.
Nikki: She had become so adept at playing the steel guitar that her father took her to a music trade convention in Chicago.
Nikki: And while she was there, she caught the attention of record producers, session musicians and popular musicians.
Nikki: People really liked her.
Nikki: So in addition to the accordion and the steel guitar, she had also learned to play.
Nikki: So the pedal steel, but also the lap steel.
Nikki: And my voice is rising because I'm not super familiar with all these things.
Nikki: I'm more familiar with these the piano, the saxophone, the banjo and more.
Nikki: In fact, she played the pedal steel guitar for Patsy Klein, who once wrote to a friend that Mandrell was, quote, a 13 year old blonde doll who plays the steel guitar out of this world.
Nikki: What a show, woman.
Nikki: So Mandrell toured at the age of 13 with Klein, Johnny Cash and George Jones.
Salina: She was a very wide open eyed 13 year old.
Nikki: I guess she would have had to.
Salina: Have been, it seems, almost to think about because I put on one of those Christmas specials just to see what their family was like.
Salina: And I think they're definitely portrayed as.
Nikki: Like this wholesome, I imagine the osmonds.
Salina: I think that's country osmonds, maybe.
Salina: And so I'm just picturing them with these big partiers and also just think about being a parent like you're 13 year old.
Salina: That's a lot.
Nikki: That's a lot.
Nikki: So she moved to Nashville in the late sixty s.
Nikki: And within 48 hours of a nightclub appearance near the Grand Old Opry, she received offers from recording contracts from six record companies.
Nikki: After signing with Columbia in 1969, she had her first chart hit a remake of the Otis Redding classic I've Been Loving You Too Long to stop now.
Salina: Give me some Otis Redding.
Nikki: The last thing I'll say here about her again, because it's interesting, is that she retired from performing in 1997.
Nikki: She wanted to focus on her family, so she's walked away from her career.
Nikki: But the Grand Old Opry continues to list her as a standing member.
Nikki: She's only one of a few people who have been allowed to maintain their membership without either performing regularly or having a medical incapacitation.
Nikki: So they've made a special exception to let her remain as an Opry member.
Salina: Which I think is really something.
Salina: Since off mic, you and I have had a conversation about how that's probably the person that we were like the least familiar with.
Salina: In fact, I think when I've heard of her, it's usually about these Christmas specials.
Nikki: Yes, I think I've heard that reference before, but yeah, I did not know really anything about her before I started researching this.
Salina: And I don't feel like I knew maybe one of her songs.
Salina: I don't know if that made any sense.
Salina: So to be clear, I knew one song, I think, and the rest, and there's a lot of them, but I don't know any of them.
Salina: I mean, I know I'm not a country fan, but I still know stuff about music enough to right.
Nikki: And I think I've mentioned before, we did not listen to country music really when I was growing up.
Nikki: So if she retired by 97, there's really no reason I really would have known of her.
Nikki: But these other people you've just heard mentioned in, they're just legends.
Nikki: These are not country music legends as much as they are just musical legends.
Nikki: So the last thing I wanted to mention is not a person, but it is a name drop in this episode, and it is hugely influential in country music.
Nikki: It's the grand old opry.
Nikki: I just mentioned that Barbara Mandrell is still a member.
Nikki: And I just want to mention that because if you're not into country music, that reference might be lost on you.
Nikki: It might be something you've heard of or maybe you've never heard of it.
Nikki: And for me, I learned some things about the grand old Opry.
Nikki: I thought it was a musical venue.
Nikki: It is, but it also is America's longest running radio broadcast in history.
Nikki: It started as a weekly American country music stage concert in Nashville in 1920, 519 25.
Salina: And it didn't replace but it's not as old as the Ryman.
Salina: Which is like another not sure.
Salina: I'll look it up.
Salina: The reason I actually asked is because when I was in Nashville, we couldn't get into the Grand Old Opry.
Salina: I think you had to book super far in advance or something.
Salina: So we could only get into the Ryman.
Salina: And I don't mean to say only because I'm going to tell you, Nikki, again, as not a country fan, I can't imagine how it would feel in The Grand Old Opry, because in the Ryman I felt incredibly like it is almost like being in, like a cathedral in yeah, but on the country.
Nikki: So the Opry has been around a really long time.
Nikki: One of the things to know about it, and this is where Barbara Mandrell is relevant, is that regular performers at The Grand Old Opry can be inducted to the organization as a member.
Nikki: So when management decides it's ready to invite a new member, essentially they ask a current member to ask them on stage, live in front of people, to become a member.
Salina: It's a huge honor and a huge deal.
Nikki: That's right.
Nikki: It's the biggest deal.
Nikki: If you're in country music and you've made it when you've performed at the Opry is really the bottom line.
Nikki: So performers have to stick to a regular performing schedule.
Nikki: That's part and parcel to being a member.
Nikki: You have to agree to perform regularly.
Nikki: It's at least twelve shows a year, and it originally was 26 shows a year in the 1960s, and they've kind of inched down over time.
Nikki: Could you imagine 52 weeks in a year?
Nikki: 26 times you have to perform.
Salina: I mean, you think about, like, a touring star.
Salina: How is that even possible?
Nikki: And I think it's Saturday nights, so that's a big concert night if you're touring.
Nikki: Yeah, it's tough.
Salina: It does seem, though, like it's nice for keeping some really good talent local.
Nikki: Yes, I see the rationale for it.
Salina: So you always have a really good crop of talented people because if that's the place, you want the best people.
Nikki: There and could serve as a reason to bring people in so they can see new talent coming up.
Nikki: So you come to see Kenny Chesney and you get a performance by Taylor Swift.
Nikki: There's some strategy there.
Nikki: One other thing I'll just say in terms of membership is that duos and groups remain members until all the members in the group die.
Nikki: There are 66 living members in standing.
Nikki: And I want to say finally, this is just kind of like in interesting history news.
Nikki: The Grand Old Opry will straight kick you out if you run afoul of their rules.
Nikki: And this is relevant probably to Waylon Jennings, though he's not on my list.
Nikki: Hank Williams SR.
Nikki: Was banned after repeated drunkenness and unannounced absences from shows.
Nikki: Unfortunately, he died a few months later, I think largely due to his addiction.
Nikki: So that's really sad.
Nikki: Johnny Cash was also banned for three years after a drunken, violent episode.
Nikki: It's not funny.
Salina: It's the nervous laughter.
Nikki: Violence is we're going to go back to Jerry Lee Lewis because when he played at the Opry and we mentioned because Charlene has a deep love for Jerry Lee Lewis, we talked about him a long time ago, how he originally was kind of a rock and roll star and reinvigorated his career in country.
Nikki: Years later, when he finally played at the Opry, he used some really bad language.
Nikki: He used the MF word.
Nikki: He proceeded to play five times the length of a normal Opry set.
Nikki: And the crowd ate it up.
Nikki: They absolutely loved it.
Nikki: He was not kicked out, but I can imagine that the person managing that show that night was a little panicked.
Nikki: So all this to say, hopefully that taught you something about the Grand Old Opry and about country music in general.
Nikki: I think you were keeping tally.
Nikki: Was Julia right?
Salina: I think Julia is not to say there's no luck in becoming some kind of a star, but I think people are really working overtime to get these kinds of positions.
Salina: So this idea that you're just plucked from obscurity is very rare.
Nikki: I think.
Nikki: It's really rare.
Nikki: I think they spend a lot of years honing their craft, meeting new people, meeting different people.
Nikki: Some meetings don't work out for them.
Nikki: Some meetings work out really well.
Nikki: And so there's probably just a lot of yes, you have to say.
Nikki: So there we are.
Salina: Well, that's you.
Nikki: You're welcome.
Nikki: Thank you for letting me geek out on country music for a little while.
Salina: And I'm going to go do some extra digging.
Nikki: There's a lot.
Nikki: And like Salina said, we'll drop some in the show notes, but with our.
Salina: Crap for this week.
Nikki: That's it.
Nikki: That's all.
Nikki: Thank you for listening.
Nikki: This is this week's extra sugar.