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Blues Brothers may return to television August 31, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Music, Television.

The Blues Brothers, the musical duo that Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi made famous on “Saturday Night Live” during the 1970s, may soon return to television as a prime-time series.

According to Variety, the screenplay for a pilot episode has been written. Aykroyd and Judy Belushi, John’s ex-wife, own the TV rights.

Script has the pair out of jail and Elwood, who was raised in an orphanage, looking for his real dad. Casting has yet to be determined.

Beatts, Belushi and Eric Gardner of Panacea Entertainment would exec produce. Aykroyd will participate in the project as the voice of Jake and Elwood’s parole officer.

Entertainment Weekly magazine reported:

Finally, “It would be Route 66 meets Glee, and it all goes to hell in a handbasket,” Beatts said. For people not around in the 1960s, Route 66 was a TV show about two young road-dogs cruising the country in a Corvette. The Glee reference reflects an intention to include a musical number in each episode. Unfortunately, both shows seem like something Belushi would raise an eyebrow over.

Also, the first “Blues Brothers” movie was shot all over the Chicago area, including a scene in front of the state prison in Joliet, Ill. The prison sat very near Route 66. And Joliet tourism officials have been playing up the Route 66 and Blues Brothers connection for years.

A lot of folks act skeptical about this TV revival of the Blues Brothers, but it seems wise to reserve judgment until we actually see an episode.

It also should be noted that “The Blues Brothers” movie initially was regarded as a flawed and bloated film. But it’s aged well, especially because of the musical numbers:

And not many people know this, but Aykroyd and Belushi were inspired to form the Blues Brothers primarily because of these two guys:

Bike MS event on Route 66 aims for $500,000 August 31, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bicycling, Events, Road trips.
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The annual Bike MS Oklahoma Ride cycling event next month on Route 66 is aiming to raise $500,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oklahoma chapter, reported the Edmond Sun.

The 26th annual Bike MS Oklahoma Ride is a statewide cycling event heading from Tulsa to Oklahoma City for fun along Route 66 with stops along the way at many of the historic landmarks.

Cyclists will ride about 150 miles during both days. Along the ride cyclists can find rest stops every 10-12 miles and support and gear vehicles will be available between stops. [...]

The ride begins at 7 a.m. Sept. 17 and at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 18.

Day One starts at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa and goes to Chandler, and Day Two starts in Chandler and ends in Oklahoma City at the state Capitol.

Here’s a report from last year’s event:

Bike MS is truly one of the great charity events in Oklahoma. And I’ve heard so many people like the trek on Route 66, they come back to do the Mother Road on another date just for their own enjoyment.

To register to volunteer or to sign up for bus transportation, go here or call 918-488-0882.

The father of “Route 66″ August 31, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.

A recording by Bobby Troup of a song he wrote in 1946 that has subsequently been recorded by hundreds — perhaps thousands — of acts over the decades.

Pale Blue Whale August 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Preservation.

Do not adjust your computer screen. No, the Blue Whale has not died, so you’re not seeing a ghost. And the Blue Whale hasn’t turned pale because he saw a giant harpoon.

But the Route 66 landmark in Catoosa, Okla., is undergoing an extensive repair and repaint job by Bill Haynes Co. of nearby Tulsa. The Blue Whale has turned white because the company has applied a primer coat before returning it to its normal color.

The Blue Whale, last repaired about 15 years ago, had developed cracks in its concrete. It became iffy whether the blue behemoth, which has graced Route 66 since 1970, would survive another winter of punishing ice and snow.

When I visited the Blue Whale on Tuesday evening, the mouth of the Blue Whale was barricaded to allow the primer coat to dry. Otherwise, the rest of the grounds remained accessible.

Blaine Davis, longtime caretaker of the Blue Whale and son of its creator Hugh Davis, said Bill Haynes Co. had offered to repair and repaint the roadside attraction for free. In return, the company would use the Blue Whale’s image in its advertising for a three-year period.

Haynes started its work at a good time — a summer-long drought has lowered the pond’s water level, allowing the company to paint more of the Blue Whale’s surface.

The company is expected to be finished by the end of the week.

The Bill Haynes Co. also recently repaired and repainted the iconic Golden Driller of Tulsa.

Haynes is using the UltraCoating system, which provides a lot of flexible protection from heat, cold and precipitation. Davis says the company expects the new coating to last 35 years.

The roof of the Blue Whale’s bathrooms is getting a new coat of paint as well.

UPDATE 9/6/2011: KOTV in Tulsa filed a report about the Blue Whale’s renovation. According to the report, the wooden deck will be refurbished next. And there’s this little item:

The Blue Whale will undergo a mini-makeover in late October when an elaborate lighting system will turn it pink in honor of breast cancer awareness and Blaine’s sister, who died of the disease in 2006.

UPDATE 9/26/2011: A story about the whale’s restoration by the Tulsa World.

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