Showing posts with label lari white. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lari white. Show all posts

Friday, January 26, 2018

1993 (and Lari White)

In 1993 my career was finally on track. I'd dwelled in the bowels of part-time work since approximately 1979 -- retail, standing in high heels for approximately four hours a night; hospital work for which I wore a uniform of polyester white slacks and polyester cobalt blue tunics that needed to be washed and ironed on a board propped in the middle of my living room every other day, since I only possessed two pairs of each; before pinning on my white plastic name tag and heading off for an evening of clipboards and lab slips. Honestly, that hospital job was my all-time favorite, but it was a dead end. It wasn't like I was going to advance to a position as an M.D.

By 1990, I'd landed an insurance job, of which I had absolutely zero knowledge. Luckily for me, one of the people they'd chosen for the thirty-seven open positions dropped out, and I guess I was first runner-up. My only claim to fame was "medical terminology" knowledge. I guess that was good enough.

All thirty-seven of us rookies attended claims processing class in a cavernous room stocked with rows of CRT's, on the third floor of a downtown office building that had rooms for rent. Our trainers had flown in from Philadelphia, and they disdained us and weren't shy about sharing that view. We were rubes, after all -- rural western plains folk; simpletons.

The flock of us inhabited that windowless room for six long weeks. At one point in the midst of training, our overseers announced that three of us had been appointed as supervisors, but it wasn't too late -- we remaining castoffs could still apply to be assistant supervisors. I went for it -- what the heck -- what were they going to do, fire me for trying? I flamed out. So I was back to learning how to process routine eye exams, holding my arm in the air fruitlessly, hoping to get a simple question answered, and generally failing to accomplish that.

At ten o'clock and twelve, all of us would filter down the elevator to the concrete planters outdoors and smoke cigarettes. Those who were non-partakers would mill about until it was time to go back. My most vivid memory of those weeks was that I got to park in a winding, escalating parking garage, which sure as hell beat slopping through snow from the hospital exit through a frigid, wind-whipping January squall in order to rev my car's motor for ten minutes before it was sizzling enough to drive home.

Once our brand-spankin' new building was completed, we moved out of that stuffy room and  a couple of miles north, and by 1991 I'd finally landed that vaunted assistant supervisor position I was convinced I wanted. I think there must have been some sort of expansion -- no, I'm sure that was it -- and new supervisors were needed. As an "assistant", I had a leg up, so, yes, I for once and all got to be in charge.

Being in charge is just as awesome as one imagines it to be. I was born to be in charge. I was a benevolent leader, which did not sit well with The Big Cheese Woman, and she at one point threatened to fire me for having the utter nerve to bring donuts for my staff on a required Saturday overtime shift. But I (alas) outlasted her and in fact exacted my revenge by helping to get her fired. She was an evil, evil woman, and I relished watching her walk out the door of US Healthcare for the very last time with her two brown paper grocery bags of belongings. Karma was delectable.

Once The Evil Bitch was gone, life became sublime. Our staff had by then tripled and we had girls and women poring out of every hallway crevice. I had convinced our Pennsylvania overseers to promote two deserving women to the post of supervisor -- one had been my assistant. I believed then, and still do, that one should be promoted based on merit and not according to "who we like or don't like". That same bullshit that permeates every corner of corporate life.

Bumpkins that we were, all of us; young, old, and middle-aged; loved country music. And it was the nineties, when country music was exciting and relevatory. Artists like Tracy Lawrence, Carlene Carter, Clint Black, and Suzy Boguss pored out of our FM radios and our TV screens via CMT.

I remember my local DJ calling Lari White "LAW-ree White". Maybe that's how she preferred to be addressed. So when I purchased her album, "Lead Me Not", I always said (inside my head), LAW-ree White.

She was good -- we forget, maybe because her flame flared so quickly -- but we really shouldn't forget.

This is the song that will always be "Lari White" to me:

Hearing Lari White reminds me of sultry summer nights. Saffron street lights in the black night. Girls I used to know; Peg and Laurel and Lynette and Tracy.

And limousines in the night.

RIP, Lari White. You shouldn't have left us this soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Blast From The Past - Top Country Hits Of 1994

1994 was an interesting year for country music. By 1994, country music was starting to teeter on the brink. The brink between good music and pap (or a word that rhymes with "pap").

I was still very much into country music at that time, but the warning signs were starting to appear.

Nevertheless, there were some great songs that year.

Here's one that I loved to torment my kids with. I really, really like this song, but when he gets to the "Ad-MIT" part, I used to turn the volume up really high on the radio. My kids hated country music, and this, to them, was the ultimate in corn. I happen to think it's great.

"Thinkin' Problem" is my favorite song from 1994. Cool video, too.


Speaking of cool videos, here's another of my faves. This group, unfortunately, was sort of a one-hit wonder. Speaking of wonder, I wonder whatever happened to:


What an entertaining video! Excellent!

Say what you will about Garth Brooks, but he respects his fans. He always strived to keep ticket prices low, and he's not stingy about sharing his videos on YouTube, the way some paranoid artists are.

I saw Garth Brooks in concert, and while I wasn't one of his rabid fans, I must say, he put on a great show. He put his all into his performances. I went with my mom - the last concert she and I ever attended together. I have fond memories of that.

And here's a (really grainy, too dark) picture to prove it:

Bad picture aside, here is Garth Brooks:

I kept saying to people, when this single came out, somebody else recorded this song! Everyone looked at me like I was nuts (although that does tend to happen a lot), but I was right! New Grass Revival did this song first. Turns out, Garth reunited this band when he did the recording. Good job, Garth. Good job, Wayne (oops, I got my pop culture mixed up there for a second).

Well, you well know how I feel about Dwight Yoakam. I guess I rank him right up there with the very best that country has to offer.

And this video is no exception. I remember, he was on David Letterman's show, and David was making fun of what Dwight says at the end of this song. I guess it's, "Ahhhhh, SUKI". Whatever that means. Not that it matters. This is a song that'll get you dancing, believe me.


How about that??

This seems like an opportune time to note that, while George Strait had three hit singles in 1994, NONE OF THEM are available for embedding. Hmmm, did I mention "paranoid" earlier? Thanks, MCA. Because, you know, heaven forbid that we might want to WATCH a George Strait video, or add it to our blog.

This doesn't negate the high esteem in which I hold George. It's not his fault. It's the stupid record label. But, geez, c'mon.

For the record, George's hit songs from 1994 were, "Love Bug" (a remake of an old George Jones song ~ NOT a Buck Owens song, as the press wrongly noted), "I'd Like To Have That One Back", and my favorite, "The Big One".

And now Alan Jackson. No embeddable videos. MCA again. Alan had a hit single in 1994, "Livin' On Love". LUCKILY, I found the version that was created for the hearing-impaired. I guess MCA relented and decided that hearing-impaired people could embed this video. The corporate mind works in mysterious ways.


Not to leave out the females, but again, I'm having issues finding embeddable videos.

Luckily, I found this live performance by Patty Loveless of:


Patty is one of the best country singers of the modern age. I don't know what happened to her career of late. I guess she's been usurped by the new, plastic versions. They're the newest models in the showroom.


I like Sean Hannity as much as the next Republican, but I really hate that he uses this song as his theme song. Does he get what this song is about? It's not a patriotic song. I think he should actually listen to it. Then he'd be kind of embarrassed, I would think.

That aside, I was glad to find this version.

Now, for something a bit more mellow. Here's another artist who is grossly underrated:


Remember Collin Raye? He was really big in the nineties. Especially with that song, "In This Life". Don't you think that was, at one time, the number one wedding song? I always thought it would be a perfect funeral song. Not to be maudlin. But I love that song, and, I guess, if they played that at my funeral, I wouldn't complain (ha!)

But Collin had more than one good song, and this is a really good one. I always thought, whenever I heard this on the radio, that if I could write a song this good, I could die happy (oh, here we go with the "funeral" stuff again). But, honestly, this is a great song. I guess the writer was Tom Douglas. And I'll admit, I don't know anything about him. But, like I said, he wrote a great one.


Here's a group that I love. Diamond Rio. Marty Roe. What a singer.

I saw this group in concert, too. I saw them at a casino, in an intimate setting. I loved that show.

Before the show, my then-husband and I were having dinner in the dining room, and I noticed Gene Johnson, the mandolin player, trying to eat his dinner. People kept coming up to him, interrupting his meal. And he was really nice. I thought, geez, what a bummer. He can't even eat his steak. How can people be so rude? I was (am) a big admirer of Gene, but I would never, NEVER, go up to him while he's trying to eat his dinner, and bother him. But I guess that's just me.



This is another underrated singer/songwriter. Again, I can't help but wonder whatever happened to Lari White. She was big in the nineties. Rightfully so. I was a big Lari White fan. I had a couple of her CD's. I imagine she's writing now. Sorry, but I can't keep track of everybody.

Here's a good one! Remember the Mavericks? Oh, c'mon. Yes, you do!
Raul Malo? This guy had (has) quite the voice.

The name, "The Mavericks", has a sentimental meaning to me. Because my friend, Alice's band, originally was called The Mavericks, until somebody complained that the name was already in use, and they got one of those "cease and desist" orders, so Alice's band became "Rocky Top".

That's neither here nor there. Here are The Mavericks (Miami version) doing:


Here's another nineties kind of guy, Clay Walker. I had a friend back then who was a HUGE Clay Walker fan. And I liked him, too. Here's his big song from 1994:


We started out with my favorite song from 1994; "Thinkin' Problem". Well, here's my SECOND favorite. I love this song, and I couldn't tell you why. I just do.


I guess 1994 wasn't so bad after all. And I left out a bunch of stuff. Because I couldn't find videos. Joe Diffie. He was a big star in 1994. Vince Gill. It's not my fault that none of his stuff is available for embedding.

I still say, however, that 1994 was a watershed year in country music. It's sort of when the music died, and "something else on the horizon" took its place. Pity. I really miss it. Cuz it was REALLY GOOD while it lasted.