Kenny Loggins Talks About His Colloboration With Michael Jackson

Sources: Ultimate Classic Rock – By Jeff  Giles| Edited By – All Things Michael

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In a recent interview, singer Kenny Loggins shares memories of his the “Keep The Fire” album released 35 years ago.  He also shared a story about his musical collaboration with Michael Jackson for the single, “Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong” and how he wishes that he had used Michael’s talents for a better song.

“I’ve been a natural collaborator most of my career. Certainly starting with Jimmy Messina, and as I became more and more comfortable and confident in a collaboration scenario, I started doing it more and more,” he points out. “When it really started opening up for me was collaborating initially with David Foster on a lot of ‘Celebrate Me Home’ and then with Mike McDonald once we met with ‘What a Fool Believes.’ But then I started collaborating a lot, that’s when Richard Page came along, and Stephen Bishop, and other artists I started writing with … I started out writing everything alone, and then gradually I started collaborating — what I discovered was that I got other perspectives that I never would have gotten.”

At this point, Loggins also had enough stature to attract a number of high-profile guests, including sax player Michael Brecker, Little Feat guitarist Fred Tackett, and — adding background vocals to the song ‘Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong’ — none other than Michael Jackson

“I was at a benefit that Michael was at, and I asked him if he would like to sing on the record. He said yeah — I think he had just finished ‘Off the Wall’ and I just got lucky. He was available, he wanted to do it, he was a fan,” recalls Loggins. “Had I really thought it through, I should have probably recorded something up-tempo with him. I kick myself and think that was a waste of his talent. Great tune and everything, but just not the right tune for Michael Jackson to be singing on.”

Still, Loggins did manage to get some genuine Jackson on the track. “He was a total sweetheart and was willing to go in any direction. I remember at one point I said, ‘Put more of your ‘thing’ on it, it feels a little too stiff.’ And he said, ‘You mean you want it stinky?’ ‘Yeah! I want it stinky.’ So he put more juice on it.”

Loggins would slacken his pace over the next decade, completing an album every three years instead of maintaining the annual release schedule he’d maintained since the first Loggins & Messina LP, but his solo career only got bigger during the ’80s — partly as a result of the extensive soundtrack work he did for hit films like ‘Caddyshack,’ ‘Footloose’ and ‘Top Gun,’ all of which afforded him major hit singles that continue to be a big part of his image today.

It all had to have been a blur for the guy at the center of it all, which is probably why he sounded somewhat bemused by the prospect of ‘Keep the Fire’ celebrating a milestone anniversary. Asked for his thoughts looking back on the album now, he can only say, “I can’t believe it’s been 35 years.”

 

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Elizabeth Taylor And Michael Jackson at Her Final Wedding: Never Before Seen Photos

Sources: People – By K.C. BAKER | All Thing Michael

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It was the eighth – and final – trip she would ever make down the aisle.

And now, for the first time, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has released photos of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky’s lavish 1991 wedding at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch exclusively to PEOPLE.

This inside look commemorates PEOPLE’s Oct. 21, 1991, cover story on the biggest and most media-saturated wedding in Hollywood history. (Remember, this was in the days before weddings like George and Amal Clooney’s and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s.)

In the photos, the blushing, bronzed bride is dressed in a pale yellow $25,000 Valentino gown (a gift from the designer). She is seen with her groom – her seventh (she married Richard Burton twice) – and with her close friend, Jackson, who hosted the wedding for 160 high profile guests on his 2,700-acre Santa Ynez Valley, California, estate.

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As about a dozen helicopters hovered overhead, a brazen paparazzo even parachuted into the ceremony, landing 20 feet from the shocked bride and groom. (Despite the fact that the wedding was guarded by a former Israeli army officer and a 100-man security force.)

Taylor, then 59, is seen in the photographs sharing a laugh with an upbeat Jackson, and standing with her new hubby, then 39, under the gardenia-draped gazebo where they became husband and wife.

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While Taylor’s ex-husband Eddie Fisher predicted that her marriage to Fortensky “should last [because it's] the first time Liz has married a regular guy,” it wasn’t to be. The couple divorced five years later.

Taylor died on March 23, 2011, of congestive heart failure at 79. Jackson died on June 25, 2009. Forensky, now 62, still lives in California and says he remained close friends with his ex-wife after they split, reportedly speaking for hours by phone a few times a month.

“I have wonderful memories of my time with Elizabeth and I will treasure her memory forever,” he said in a rare 2011 interview after her death.

Taylor met Fortensky, a twice-divorced construction worker with rugged looks, in 1988 when they were both battling drug and alcohol dependencies at the famed Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

Inside the Big Day

At their much-anticipated wedding, the two couldn?t have been happier. As famous faces including Liza Minnelli, Eddie Murphy, Nancy Reagan (Taylor moved the wedding date to accommodate President Ronald Reagan, but he was still unable to attend), then-Twentieth Century Fox head Barry Diller and his date, designer Diane Von Furstenberg, Arsenio Hall, George Hamilton, Merv Griffin, Quincy Jones and Macaulay Culkin looked on, Taylor walked down the aisle, escorted by Jackson and her eldest son, Michael Wilding Jr., then 38.

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Fortensky’s best man was Taylor’s hairdresser, José Eber (shown in the picture). Taylor’s longtime friend Norma Heyman was matron of honor.

Hollywood self-help guru Marianne Williamson presided over the nondenominational ceremony (Taylor was Jewish; Fortensky is Protestant), with the couple exchanging vows and rings. Wearing her pavé diamond-encrusted wedding ring for the first time, Taylor placed a loving hand on her new husband’s cheek after their first kiss as man and wife.

“You could just look in their eyes and tell Liz was very happy,” Von Furstenberg said at the time.

Under the massive tent where the glamorous reception was held, the bride and groom toasted each other and their host – who reportedly paid for much of the estimated $1.5 million wedding – with mineral water.

“You’ve been so generous, it makes me want to cry,” Taylor told Jackson. “I’ll never forget it as long as I live.”

Jackson and his date, Brooke Shields, cut into the couple’s first dance as guests sipped Dom Perignon and chardonnay from a nearby winery and dined on platters of rolled salmon and five tiers of chocolate mousse cake.

At about 10:30 p.m., the newlyweds said their goodnights and retired to Jackson’s ranch house, where they spent several nights before a two-day tour to promote Taylor’s White Diamonds perfume, opting to honeymoon later. Syndicated newspaper columnist Liz Smith predicted that Taylor’s marriage to Fortensky “will be fun for her. Under the high gloss of her facade, she is really an ordinary woman who has led an extraordinary life.”

That life became even more extraordinary when Taylor began working tirelessly to battle HIV/AIDS, which became her legacy. Taylor used proceeds from her exclusive wedding pictures to start the ETAF in 1991, raising funds and awareness to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing assistance for those living with the virus.

“My grandmother’s deep love and concern for people led her to create The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which focuses on the immediate needs of HIV+ people, by supporting access to medicine and health care, healthy food, needle exchanges, and safe places to live and be cared for,” Taylor’s granddaughter, Laela Wilding, tells PEOPLE. “She is a champion for us all, and her determination and love is a shining inspiration that we should all support those in need, support each other, despite any differences we have in gender, race, class, or HIV status.”

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Disney’s Monster Hits – 80s Halloween Special Featuring The Music Of Michael Jackson, Rockwell, The Eurythmics And More

Sources: Decider | All Things Michael

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When asked to provide the one thing that terrified me as a child, my first thought was a weird memory of seeing a video in which the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” was paired with grainy old-timey cartoons featuring ghosts and goblins. (Naturally, I thought I had made this up, so I went with Arachnophobia.) It only took me a little bit of Internet researching, however, to realize that I was not being crazy.

In the early ’80s, as the MTV craze began to spread, the smart folks at Disney created D-TV, a series of music videos that were created by combining past pop songs with classic cartoons from the Disney vault. Most of these were broadcast in between shows on The Disney Channel, but NBC ran three holiday-themed D-TV specials in the last ’80s. One was, in fact, calledDTV Monster Hits, which I distinctly remember watching and, naturally, being scared as hell.

Airing October 1987 and hosted by the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (voiced with perfection by eternally creepy actor Jeffrey Jones), DTV Monster Hits featured a pretty stellar lineup. In addition to the Eurythmics, the compilation also included Halloween-y staples like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” and Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash,” as well as some surprisingly thematic jams like E.L.O.’s “Evil Woman” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” I also consider it the root of my lingering fear of the Heffalumps from Winnie the Pooh.

If you’re looking for some Halloween jams for the afternoon, you’re in luck. DTV Monster Hits is floating around online, and the full special can be streamed on YouTube below.

 

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Cape May County Zoo Is Home To Flamingos From Neverland

The Cape May County Zoo is home to 13 flamingos from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

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In 2007, the Cape May County Zoo received Chilean Flamingos from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The Flamingos can be found in the Flamingo Yard in the zoo. Flamingos at the Cape May County Zoo, summer outside in the Flamingo yard and winter inside the World of Birds Aviary. The Chilean Flamingos are the smallest flamingos in the yard. In all, 16 flamingos reside at the zoo with 13 of them being the Chileans.

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Uniquely this bird is a filter feeder like the baleen whales. They take up water into their hooked beak and expel the water trapping shrimp and other invertebrates with comb-like structures in its bill called Lamellae. They often stand on one leg and will shift back and forth one up and one down to rest.

All Flamingos are carnivores and eat invertebrates such as shrimp. At the Cape May County Zoo, Flamingos are served a special food just for the flamingos.

Some Facts:

It is true that without their special diet they would lose their pink color.

Did you know that what appears to be the flamingo’s knees are actually its ankles.

They often stand on one leg and will shift back and forth one up and one down to rest.

Their life expectancy is up to 50 Yrs in the wild and up to 40 Yrs in captivity.

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Sources: Cape May County Government | Cape May County Herald| Edited By – All Things Michael

Will.i.am Tells Xposé About Irish Visit With Michael Jackson

Sources: TV3.ie | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Xposé’s Lisa Cannon flew to Paris last week to interview Will.i.am at the unveiling of the special edition Lexus, which airs on tonight’s show at 6pm.

The Black Eyed Peas frontman and judge on The Voice UK told Lisa about a special visit to Ireland to record with Michael Jackson describing it as a beautiful place.

He said that Michael also thought it was amazing in Ireland because he loved the green, the hills and the trees.

“The ambience, the environment, the set up there at the cottage and in the studios, it was just amazing. And then the music was great.”

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To catch the full interview, tune in to Xposé from 6pm tonight (Wednesday 1st October) on TV3.

Xposé airs weekdays from 6pm – 7pm on TV3.

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Memory Lane: See Movie Trailer For “The Wiz”

Sources: Urban Daily | Edited By – All Things Michael

Relive Michael’s heartwarming and delightful role as the Scarecrow in this memorable classic!

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“The Wiz” brought Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, and others together for a re-telling of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” set in a bedazzled New York City. Though it was a critical and box office bust upon its initial release and marked the end of the then rising African-American presence in mainstream film following blaxploitation, “The Wiz” has acquired a cult following over the years with catchy songs, beautiful production design, and memorable turns from Ross as Dorothy, Jackson as the Scarecrow, and Pryor as the titular Wiz.

Michael Jackson’s performance as the Scarecrow was one of the only positively reviewed elements of the film, with critics noting that Jackson possessed “genuine acting talent” and “provided the only genuinely memorable moments.” Speaking of the results of the film, Jackson stated: “I don’t think it could have been any better, I really don’t.”

In 1980, Jackson also stated that his time working on The Wiz was “my greatest experience so far . . . I’ll never forget that.

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Steven Ivory On Living Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’

Sources: EurWeb – By Blue Olive| All Things Michael

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“You’re not gonna believe it—Michael’s got a little platform that he dances on, right there in the studio.    He’s doing all kind of moves while he’s recording his vocals!”

That was the first thing photographer Bobby Holland, my roommate at the time, told me when he returned to our mid-city Los Angeles apartment one evening in 1978 after spending some time at Allen Zentz Recording, a nondescript  studio in Hollywood, where Michael Jackson was recording the Epic/CBS solo album with producer Quincy Jones that would become the iconic Off The Wall.

Holland was hired by our friend Ed Eckstein, who then ran Quincy Jones Productions, to shoot casual, not-posed photos of Jackson and Jones working in the recording studio, for publicity purposes.

You read correctly—publicity. Back then, Michael and Quincy, while accomplished and famous, weren’t cultural icons. In fact, both were at stations in their careers where they had something to prove. Entering his twenties,  Michael wanted to create an album that reflected who he’d become musically.

Quincy, while renown as a bandleader, award-winning arranger, producer, composer and soundtrack scorer, was looking to solidify  his reputation as a mainstream producer.  Yes, he’d produced his first hit single  in 1963 with Lesley Gore’s pop classic, “It’s My Party” and in the ‘70s produced hits by Aretha Franklin, the Brothers Johnson, Rufus & Chaka Khan, as well as his own albums. But in the ’70s he wanted to be seen as a certified hit maker.

Executives at CBS Records (which later became Sony) respected Quincy—everyone respected Quincy–but didn’t see him as the man to produce Michael Jackson.  Not that they viewed Michael as invaluable; at that time, he was just another artist.

But to produce Michael they preferred someone like Maurice White–founder/producer of the label’s biggest black band, Earth, Wind & Fire–who’d also had success producing Deniece Williams, keyboardist Ramsey Lewis and the Emotions.

Even the Jacksons had ideas about who  should produce Michael’s  solo album.  They felt they should do it, and  told Michael as much in front of me one afternoon in September 1977.

Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Randy and I were  sitting on a leather sectional in the den of the family’s original ranch style Encino home on Hayvenhurst (before Michael had it demolished and built the new mock tudor mansion) while  a Sanyo Ghetto Blaster on the coffee table  blared instrumental tracks–no lead or background vocals yet–from Destiny, the first album, save the track “Blame It On The Boogie,” that they’d been allowed to write and produce themselves.

Michael was sitting on a wooden chair across from us, making the occasional rhythmic movement to the music.  It was something to behold–Michael Jackson dancing in his seat–but I did so through my peripheral vision, for fear that if I simply looked, he’d become self-conscious and stop.

“We been waiting to produce our own stuff for a long time, man,” Jackie  proudly said,  when the cassette ended. “After this album, Michael’s doing a solo record.  He’s  talking to different people, but he’s thinking about keeping it in the family and letting us produce HIS album, too.   Right Mike?”

Michael looked away, as if he didn’t really hear it, his silence speaking volumes.

In any case, it was through Holland, Eckstein and Quincy Jones himself that I was unwittingly afforded a front row seat to the creation of what arguably ended up the most important album of Michael Jackson’s solo career. When Bobby returned to our apartment that evening from the studio, I grilled him for details.

“Well, he was laidback and quiet about everything but the music,” Bobby said of Michael, while reaching into the fridge for a beer. “Quincy did have him laughing at some of that shit he says—you know how Quincy is, always telling stories—but it was when the music started that Mike turned into a tiger.   While  singing,  he’d actually be doing a lot of the shit he does on stage,  like a mini-concert.  It was a trip.”

Some days there wouldn’t be enough light in the room for Bobby to take photos–when Michael was behind the mic singing, the singer insisted the studio be dark. “The only lights in the room,” said Bobby, “were on the recording console and the light on the music stand with the lyrics on a piece of paper in front of Michael.”

It was a no-frills operation. No limos, no elaborate security detail, no chef-catered gourmet meals. Quincy doesn’t drive, so at about noon he would arrive at the studio driven by a man behind the wheel of Quincy’s car, “a regular ol’ Buick.”

A Buick, Bobby? You sure?

“Hey, my daddy was a Buick man. I know a Buick when I see it. It was a Buick.”

According to Bobby, Quincy carried a briefcase that, when Quincy opened it, contained music charts and…a bottle of hot sauce. They’d order lunch and dinner from menus of places nearby, but Q had to have his own hot sauce.

Michael would arrive shortly afterward, someone driving him, too. “Not Bill Bray, though (the longtime Jackson family security man),” said Bobby. “Some other guy.”

One day Michael showed up dressed like actor Charlie Chaplin. “From head to toe,” Bobby said. “Make-up; the whole nine.  And he worked like that.  Nobody made a big deal of it.  Imagine  Charlie Chaplin jammin’ to ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.’”

Some days, there’d be musicians, but often it would be just Michael, Quincy, Quincy’s longtime engineer Bruce Swedien and, as Bobby told me one evening after returning from the studio, “this white guy named Rod Temperton.”

I’d heard of him.  A lanky, quiet chap from England who was a member of Heatwave, the monstrous interracial R&B band wearing out the top acts they opened for on the road and burning up the charts with hits like “Boogie Nights,” “The Groove Line” and the ballad, “Always and Forever.”

Temperton was a phenom—a square-looking white boy who looked as if he should have been selling insurance policies–with a simply ridiculous command of R&B grooves and a penchant for lyrics that somehow always included  “hot” and “street.”

One afternoon, maybe a year before he started working with Temperton, I was hanging out at Quincy Jones’ office on the A&M Records lot with   Eckstein, when Quincy, sitting behind his desk, turned serious and, asked, “Ivory, what do you think of Rod Temperton? Would the songs he writes for Heatwave translate to other artists in general?” Quincy Jones is asking my musical opinion.

“Hmmmm,” I said, thoughtfully. “I don’t know, Q. Those songs work well with that band, but…I just don’t know.”

Quincy looked at me and shook his head, as if to say, ”You’re probably right.” Obviously,  the man was indulging me. Even as he asked the question, he’d already locked up Temperton in a contract.

If Michael and Quincy had something to prove with this production, without a prior collaborative success breathing down their backs, they also had the luxury of making an earnest record. Unlike later Jackson releases, Off The Wall featured no gimmicks—no rock songs meticulously designed to appeal to a demographic that wouldn’t normally listen to Jackson’s music; no star musician cameos recruited purely for show.

Rufus (as in Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan) basically served as the production’s studio band.   Before Rufus’ Quincy-produced Masterjam album and Off The Wall,    Rufus’ new drummer, John “JR” Robinson, hastily recruited by the band while in the midst of a tour, had never even played on a major recording session.

Singer Patti Austin was a superb duet partner for Michael during “It’s The Falling In Love,” but if that song had appeared on Thriller, chances are a bigger name would have been hired for marquee value.

During the album’s production, some evenings Eckstein would come by our apartment with a cassette of rough tracks from a week’s worth of sessions and we’d light up a joint and listen.   I was taken aback. Temperton’s mighty “Burn This Disco Out” was my immediate favorite. It was a big, aggressive, glossy groove that, vocally, Michael ate alive.

It was intriguing  to hear things to which the world wouldn’t be privy—like Michael’s voice cracking during the Stevie Wonder song, “I can’t help it,” as he struggled to move into an even higher falsetto register than he was already in during his ad-libs at the end of the song. Who knew Mike was anything but perfect?

When Off The Wall was released in August of 1979, Bobby and I might have been as excited as Michael. All the insight we’d gleaned into its production  made its success feel personal.   It was an immediate smash, ultimately selling some   six million copies. (Since its release the album has sold some 20 million copies globally.)

Despite its triumph,  that the album only won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for its first single, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” so upset Michael  that after the ceremony, Quincy said Michael was limoed home, where he  “cried himself to sleep.”

Reportedly, Michael told CBS Records CEO Walter Yetnikoff that he felt Off The Wall should have won Record Of The Year. Meanwhile, Yetnikoff  was said to have told label execs that while Off The Wall’s sales were a welcome windfall, Michael’s insistence that his follow-up album would be even bigger was but an artist’s fantasy.

Of course, we all know how that worked out.

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Coming soon: Steven Ivory’s Tuberose Press e-book, “Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Michael Jackson.” Ivory, veteran journalist, essayist and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet. Respond to him via STEVRIVORY@AOL.COM

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Also read: Today In Michael Jackson History – May 16: Motown 25 Airs Michael’s Coronation On TV – By Steve Ivory

http://vallieegirl67.com/2014/05/16/today-in-michael-jackson-history-may-16-motown-25-airs-michaels-coronation-on-tv/

Flashback: Bart Simpson Does ‘The Bartman’ With Help From Michael Jackson

Sources: Rollingstone – By Andy Greene | All Things Michael

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By the fall of 1990 Simpsons mania had swept the country, even though the show had been on the air for less than a year. Bart was the breakout star and merchandise featuring the slingshot-wielding delinquent flooded stores, though schools across the country banned his “Underachiever and Proud of It” shirt. Needless to say, that did little but elevate Bart to near God-like status among schoolchildren. This was such a cool cartoon character that you literally couldn’t walk into school with him on your shirt.

Bravely forging ahead with no apparent fear of overexposure, the people behind The Simpsons decided it was time for the cartoon family to starting churning out pop hits. This may sound a little crazy these days, but this was just after Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract,” featuring a duet with MC Skat Kat, exploded onto MTV. If an animated cat could have a hit, why not Bart Simpson?

The Simpsons Sing The Blues was rushed into production at the end of the first season of the show. It hit shelves just in time for Christmas, and almost immediately, “Do The Bartman” began receiving airplay. Rumors swirled that the track was ghost-written by Michael Jackson, a huge Simpsons fan, but the show’s producers denied it. It wasn’t until many years later that Matt Groening fessed up that Jackson did indeed co-write the song. He just had to keep his mouth shut because he was contractually forbidden from writing for an outside label.

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The video features Bart hijacking a school recital with a New Jack Swing song about his own hijinks. The kid was such a rebel he put mothballs into his mother’s beef stew. The song was followed up with “Deep, Deep Trouble.” It was another Bart-centered tune, though this time it focused on the consequences for his behavior. The album was a huge smash, peaking at number 3 on the Hot 100. It was in a lot of Christmas stockings that year.

Somehow, the show survived this early onslaught of merchandise, and it quickly moved its focus from Bart to Homer. FXX is airing all 522 episodes in a row over the next 12 days. They probably won’t show the “Do The Bartman” video, so check it out right here.

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