The Statler Brothers – “Flowers On The Wall” (1965)

The Statler Brothers are an American country music group founded in 1955 in Staunton, Virginia. Originally, performing gospel music at local churches, the group billed themselves as “The Four Stars” and later as “The Kingsmen”. In 1963, when the song “Louie, Louie” by the garage rock band also called The Kingsmen became famous, the group elected to bill themselves as The Statler Brothers. Despite the newest name, just two of its four members are brothers, and none of them are named “Statler”. The band, in fact, named themselves after a brand of facial tissue (they have joked that they could have turned out to be the Kleenex Brothers. Don Reid sings lead and is the younger brother of Harold Reid, who sings bass. The other members are baritone Phil Balsley and tenor Jimmy Fortune, who replaced original Statler Lew DeWitt in the early 1980s due to the latter’s ill health. DeWitt died on August 15, 1990 of heart and kidney disease, complications of Crohn’s disease. The band’s style is closely linked to its gospel roots. Harold Reid said of the group’s style “We took gospel harmonies and put them over in country music”. The group remained closely tied to their roots in gospel music, with a majority of their records containing at least one gospel song. They produced several albums containing only gospel music, and recorded a tribute song to the Blackwood Brothers, who influenced their music. The Statler Brothers started their career at a performance at Lynhurst Methodist Church
Video Rating: 4 / 5

CIA Covert Action in Iran, Vietnam, Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and Guatemala: Documentary Film (1965) DVD: A covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation. It is normally sponsored by taxes from the government. Under United States law, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the sole US Government agency legally allowed to carry out Covert Action. The CIA’s authority to conduct Covert Action comes from the National Security Act of 1947. President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 titled in 1984. This order defined covert action as “special activities”, both political and military, that the US Government could legally deny. The CIA was also designated as the sole authority under the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act and in Title 50 of the United States Code Section 413(e). The CIA must have a “Presidential Finding” issued by the President of the United States in order to conduct these activities under the Hughes-Ryan amendment to the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act. These findings are then monitored by the oversight committees in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. As a result of this framework, the CIA “receives more oversight from the Congress than any other agency in the federal government.” The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Thursday, July 22nd, 1965

Thursday, July 22nd, 1965
Virginia Western
Image by Jon Person
… the voice is very old. It struggles at times, but limited only by the body… the mind behind it is strong and vivid, anchored in the satisfaction of a long, meaningful life. You recognize the voice as your own. Another time, another you?

This is a railroad that runs through a beautiful and ageless land, a railroad that carries no passengers, no mail, and very little freight. It is a railroad loved by everyone who knows it, and to a fortunate few it offers an ever-changing spectacle of scenery.

In the early 1890s it was the Abingdon Coal and Iron Company Railroad and that was its beginning. Then, in 1900, it became the Virginia-Carolina Railroad and its tracks ran 16 miles into Damascus. It slowly grew into the mountains, following the booming lumber industry, and in 1918 it became a part of the Norfolk and Western system, and its name was changed to the Abingdon Branch, although people still called it the Virginia Creeper. Seven trains a day wound into the hills. People like myself depended upon the railroad for mail, for news, for goods, for transportation.

But the depression came and lumber industry faltered. Freight business dropped. The automobile became the method of transportation.