Monday, January 13, 2014

Jan Brady and the Horse with no name welcome The Year of The Horse

Props to middle sister Jan Brady, A Horse with No Name... Bell, Book & Candle & Beyond... Sister Golden Hair

Sister Golden Hair by America was written by Gerry Beckley. It went to Number One on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and appears on their fifth album, Hearts June 14, 1975. 

-- December 13 is the National Day of the Horse in the US. As 2014 is the Year of the Horse, let's really celebrate this majestic animal. --

The band originally consisted of members Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek.

Sister Golden Hair was the band's second US number one song.

First was A Horse with No Name, released on January 31, 1972 and a hit on the US singles chart in 1972.
  • Their songs mysteriously connect to Jan Brady and The Brady Bunch
  • There's a connection to the upcoming Year of the Horse, starting January 31st
  • And how about a recurring horse prop that we've seen in different films and TV shows
  • Were there two Jans or do I have lying eyes?
  • Who are some celebrities born in the Year of the Horse?
The band originally consisted of members Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek.

Sister Golden Hair was the band's second US Number One.

First was A Horse with No Name, released on January 31, 1972 and a hit on the US singles chart in 1972. 

The 2014 Chinese New Year begins January 31st. This year it's the Year of the Horse. Past years of the Horse include 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918 and 1906.

Lucky colors for those born in the Year of the Horse are said to be brown, yellow, purple. You should avoid the colors blue, white and gold.

"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

In Will the real Jan Brady Please Stand Up, middle sister Jan buys a dark wig to try and differentiate herself from her older and younger sisters on The Brady Bunch. The show ran 1969 to 1974.

Jan doesn't get a football in the nose. She doesn't go blank and freeze on a television show. She does have one of those sort of mind blowing evil twin moments at a teenage slumber party, something that only she and maybe other divas like Bette Davis might understand.  

The outcome is less than stellar. At least George Glass wasn't there to see it happen.

Sometimes Jan ends up behind everyone else when photos are taken.
Group family photo at the beach
Ann B Davis as Alice Nelson. Robert Reed as Mike Brady. Florence Henderson as Carol Brady. Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady. Eve Plumb is Jan Brady. Susan Olson as Cindy Brady. Most of The Brady Bunch.

Many fans may notice props that regularly show up in different films and TV shows. In Bell, Book and Candle, a horse statue appears in James Stewart's office by the door. The 1958 film also starred Kim Novak.

Elizabeth Montgomery, wigging out
in Bewitched as cousin Serena
Standing on Stairs w/Furries Photo
Rumor had it that the same horse prop was seen in the home of Bette Davis' character in the 1946 film Deception. 

While she did have a horse statue, it was a in little different pose. There are other horse statues and sculptures in films. Now we notice them all the time.

This same horse statue shows up in various McMann & Tate offices on Bewitched (1964-1972), under the stairs in The Brady Bunch home.

When Peter and Greg were playing ball in the house and they broke a vase, where was that vase? 

It had been on the shelf beside that horse. Hmmmm. Makes a fan-type person stop and think.

Later, the horse statue is used as an important part of the story in the 1996 movie A Very Brady Sequel.

There is apparently no proof that the same horse statue appears each time. Spot the horse or Spot the prop is just fun to play.

Bewitched creator Sol Saks revealed in his book, The Craft of Comedy Writing that he drew from Bell, Book and Candle and other sources such as folktales when creating his series.

Is there a cosmic connection between these songs and the Brady family? The mention of being in the middle?

What would Jan and her sisters have thought of all of this?

Excerpt from Sister Golden Hair Lyrics:

Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain't ready for the altar but I do agree there's times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Well, I keep on thinkin' 'bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can't live without you; can't you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Let Jan Brady be a lesson
to all actors out there.
Take a character role,
and make her unforgettable.

Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don't mind sayin', I just can't make it.... 

Great gift for this year and for fans:
Tang Horse Statue 10" Tall (see above) This Chinese Tang Horse is made from a mid weight polyresin and has an antiqued finish
Resembles the famous television and movie prop Classic Chinese Tang Horse
5 Star Customer Ratings 

Excerpt from customer comment: 
"This is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a horsey gift for a friend, and found this. It was perfect since they not only have horses, but a daughter adopted from China. It is a resin composite, but looks like bronze or wood."

Joan Blondell and friend
Photograph Master Print High Quality

Some favorite celebrities born in The Year of the Horse:
This list includes actors, writers and singers

"Famous horses include Rembrandt, Davy Crockett and Teddy Roosevelt"

1894: Jack Benny, Walter Brennan, Ben Hecht,  Bessie Smith, Fred Allen, Jean Renoir,  E. E. Cummings

1906: Joan Blondell, Lou Costello, Gale Gordon, Mary Astor, Thelma Todd, Bea Benaderet, Lon Chaney, Jr., Bea Benaderet, Josephine Baker, Billy Wilder, George Sanders, Oscar Levant and Louise Brooks and Benita Hume

1918: Art Carney, Pearl Bailey, Sebastian Cabot

1930: Joanne Woodward, Anne Francis, Ray Charles, Carolyn Jones, John Astin, Dick Sargent, James Coco, Buzz Aldrin

1942: Paul McCartney, Michael Nesmith,
Madeline Kahn, Garrison Keillor (Archie Leach changed his name to Cary Grant)

1954: Ron Howard, Annie Lennox, Sandra Cisneros and yes, Barry Williams a.k.a. Greg Brady, a.k.a. Johnny Bravo
born September 30, 1954. These fine folks will turn 60 this year.

There's the fascinating case of Rowan Atkinson, born January 6, 1955. If my calculations are correct, and heaven knows my calculations are usually not correct... Because he was born so early in the year, Rowan Atkinson was born in the Year of the Horse! What a cunning man, Mr. Atkinson. Another celebrity born on the cusp is actor James Dean, with a birthday of February 8, 1931. The Year of the Horse ended mid-February 1931. The Year of the Ram began later. I believe Dean was born in the Year of the Horse as well.

1966: Helena Bonham Carter, Janet Jackson 

1978: Katherine Parkinson

The Brady Bunch Variety Hour 1976-77 reunited the family, all except Eve Plumb
They welcomed Geri Reischl who called herself "Fake Jan."
Geri has a good sense of humor

Stars as diverse as Tina Turner and Vincent Price appeared on the show.

There's actually a book, Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour about the reincarnation of the family as a variety show. Was it an If it ain't broke don't fix it situation? A Your brain on pastels moment? You be the judge.

-- Thanks to Wikipedia and

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