Monday, October 7, 2019

Jack Blanchard's Column October 7, 2019 How I Invented The CheeseBurger


In the late 1950s, before I met Misty,
I was part of a teenage Pop vocal quartet called The Dawn Breakers.
We were on Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca.
Our biggest record was a song I wrote titled: "Boy with the Bebop Glasses".
The B-side was "The Things I Love".
As a result of the airplay,
an agent in Buffalo named Harry Ricci booked us on a Canadian tour,
up around the Northern Ontario mining country.
I remember two of the towns were Sudbury and Timmons.
They were the biggest places.
It's probably completely modern now,
but at that time it looked more like the nineteenth century.
It was an adventure.
Every town had a theater, and that's where we put on our show.
One was a long-closed movie house,
and for some reason the stage was unusable.
We had to do our show from the orchestra pit.
At rehearsal the first day I plugged in my guitar and amp
and got semi-electrocuted.
The orchestra pit was the lowest point in the building
and all the dampness gathered in that part of the cement floor.
Plugging in my guitar was like using a toaster in the bathtub.
Somebody brought a cardboard box
for me to stand on to break the ground.
It worked, and we went ahead with the rehearsal.
After the first song the theater manager walked up to me and said,
"Sounds great, Jack", and put his hand on my arm,
and we both got zapped.
We were a wholesome quartet, appealing to teens.
but for some reason the agent booked a stripper to open for us.
She went as far as topless and was all set for more
when a lot of cops stormed the stage,
wrapped her in a blanket and got her off stage.
We didn't see her after that, much to our disappointment.
At another theater, for the price of admission you got our show
and a Jerry Lewis movie.
There were no dressing rooms,
so they hung a light bulb behind the movie screen
and we changed there.
We could see the movie in reverse on the back of the screen.
We heard the crowd laugh at Jerry Lewis,
but whenever the screen dimmed down the laughter took on a different tone.
With the light bulb shining on us,
they could see us right through the screen running around in our underwear.
After the first matinee we went out to get something to eat
at a little diner around the corner.
I'd been on a cheeseburger kick for several months and that's all I wanted.
The waitress said, "I don't think we have that".
I asked if they had hamburgers. She nodded,
and I said, "Just melt some cheese on top of it."
She looked nervous and said she'd have to go ask the owner.
She came back and said, "He's afraid you won't like it."
I said, "I'll love it! Please! Just give it a try."
And I did love it, even though it was served on toast.
The owner, an elderly Chinese man,
came out from the kitchen to ask me if it was okay.
I told him it was the best I ever had.
After the evening show we headed for the same diner.
As we approached it we saw a large sign in the window.
The sign said this: "CHEESEBURGERS". 

Jack Blanchard

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
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Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists. 

© Jack Blanchard, 2019

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