Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beavers brother wears many creative hats

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Dear Ken: How old is Tony Dow, who played Wally on “Leave It to Beaver”? Does he still act?

Hard to believe, but the actor turns 64 on April 13. His last acting credit was in 1999, but he has led a creative career in other ways, such as director, supervisor of special effects, carpenter, painter and sculptor.

Dow has two sons, one of whom is a firefighter. His mom, Muriel Montrose Dow, was one of Hollywood’s first stuntwomen and served as Clara Bow's double and as a Mack Sennett bathing beauty.

Dear Ken: Who wrote the song “Rainy Night in Georgia” and what singer had the biggest hit with the tune?

“Lord, I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world.”

The song never sounded better than when coming through the pipes of  Brook Benton, who hit No. 4 on the pop charts with the soulful ballad in 1970. The South Carolina native had more than four dozen chart songs in the rock ’n’ roll, rhythm & blues and pop categories. He died too young at age 56 in 1988.

That incredible song was composed by swamp rocker Tony Joe White, who had a top-10 hit himself in 1969 with the song “Poke Salad Annie.”

Dear Ken: Has actress Drew Barrymore ever been married?

Yes. Twice. She and L.A. bar owner Jeremy Thomas were mates for about a month in 1994.

And she and actor Tom Green were wife and husband for less than six months in 2001.

Dear Ken: How many children did John Wayne have and how many times was he married?

Wayne was married thrice. His wives’ names were Josephine, Esperanza and Pilar.He had seven children: Michael, Patrick, Toni, Melinda, Aissa, Ethan and Marisa. 

Dear Ken: I remember a film or TV movie that was shot outside of Lebanon, Tenn., near Highway 109 and an 18-wheeler ran through a building that was the original Cracker Barrel Restaurant. What was the title and who was in it?

That 1986 film release was titled “What Comes Around” and starred Jerry Reed, Bo Hopkins, Barry Corbin and Arte Johnson.

The truck ran through a temporary structure tacked on to the right side of the old restaurant. 

If you have a trivia question about actors, singers, movies, TV shows or pop culture, e-mail your query to Ken Beck via where you can also find classic films and TV shows on DVD or visit Sherlock’s Book Emporium in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Ask Ken Beck

Journalist Ken Beck, a longtime resident of Wilson  County, has recently become a contributing writer for Main Street Media and its local newspaper, "The Wilson Post."

Earlier this year Beck concluded a 31-year career with "The Tennessean" where he edited the Nashville paper’s “Sunday Showcase” entertainment magazine for 25 years. Besides interviewing stars of film and television, Beck wrote Tennessee travel and feature stories and a popular Q&A entertainment column.

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