Saturday, May 22, 2010

Famous Humans Named Buddy

I don't remember my "real" name--the one that would be on my birth certificate if I had a birth certificate. When folks started feeding me or just talking to me back in my wandering days, a lot of them called me "Buddy" and I just assumed they were right. Now it occurs to me that they might not have been. I could actually be a Jason or Frank or Ethan or Oliver or Wolfgang or a zillion other things. But I'm cool with Buddy as long as people don't sound angry when they say it.

Given that I'm Buddy for the foreseeable future, I naturally wonder who else might have that moniker. I imagine a lot of dogs must be named Buddy, since it seemed to spring from the lips of so many people I met. Several weeks ago I showed you this police video of a dog hero in Alaska named Buddy, so we know there's at least that one.

On our walk this morning I asked Mike if there were any famous humans named Buddy. He came up with several. The first one he mentioned was Buddy Holly, a singer-songwriter and pioneer rock-and-roller from the 1950s. M said that this particular Buddy was very famous even though he died quite young, and that he had a band called The Crickets. I thought, man, I used to love to eat me some crickets when I lived in the woods--and hello, I came close to dying young, too! Any reincarnation buffs out there? Cue the Twilight Zone music!

Here is a picture of the late, great Buddy Holly from the cover of one of his record albums:

Incidentally, I saw in Wikipedia that this Buddy's real name was Charles Hardin Holly, so heck, I could just as easily be a Charles, too. Or a Hardin, but I doubt it.

Let me say one more thing about Buddy Holly: If I ever need glasses, I want some like his.

Oh, yeah, baby--that's what I'm talking about! (Before we move on, here's a well-deserved shout-out to my Aunt Suzie, the Queen of Photoshop, for "lending" me those frames.)

The next Buddy that M told me about was Buddy Rich, a jazz drummer and bandleader whose first name was actually Bernard. Heeeeere's that Buddy:

Then there was Buddy Ebsen (Christian Rudolph Ebsen Jr. Hmm . . . Are you starting to get the idea that maybe nobody is originally named Buddy?) This one was a well-known movie actor and song-and-dance man. He was also a hillbilly on TV:

Something about him in that picture reminds me of M. Maybe it's the tendency not to overdress (except when M breaks out his kilt).

One of the biggest musical film roles Buddy Ebsen almost got but didn't was that of the tin woodman in The Wizard of Oz:

Now there's a look Mike ought to try. I can just see us clanking down Brandywine Road . . .

But I digress.

Next was Buddy Knox. At last--a real Buddy! Buddy Wayne Knox was an early rock-and-roller, much like Buddy Holly. But Knox lived longer and wasn't nearly as famous, which seems a reasonable trade-off. His band was called The Rhythm Orchids, and some of their big hits from the late 1950s were "Party Doll," "Hula Love," and "Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep." (M sang me some snippets of these. I must say they were pretty darn good!)

Then there's Buddy Guy (real name George), a blues singer and guitarist who M says does a pretty good cover of "Mustang Sally" though he prefers the version by Wilson Pickett.

Finally the one who struck the most resonant chord with me: Buddy Hackett (Leonard Hacker) was one of the world's greatest stand-up comics. How could you not want to be buddies with someone that owns a face like this?

Interesting that all of these humans named Buddy are known for their work in the entertainment business with some focus on music (even Buddy Hackett, who had a singing and dancing role in The Music Man). I mean, you never hear of an ambassador or heart surgeon or bullfighter or king called Buddy. When I pointed this out to M, he remembered another musical Buddy of sorts: his cousin, a country radio deejay named Buddy Baron. I asked M why he didn't mention him first, and he said, "Because I didn't make the connection. The last time I saw him, over 40 years ago, his name was John Brantley Mullino."

The name game is fascinating, is it not? As I said, I'm fine with being Buddy, especially now that I know I'm in such good company. But if I ever wanted to change it, maybe to run for king or something, I might go with Charles Hardin Bernard Christian Rudolph Wayne George John Brantley Leonard Hacker. That has a nice ring to it.


Jenny Buddy said...

And don't forget everyone's favorite sweet treat. . . . the Nutty Buddy.

Jenny Again said...

Er . . . I mean everyBUDDY's favorite sweet treat. Haha!

Anonymous said...

Hey Buddy!

You share a name with some fine celebrity canines as as well! I once met a sweet chocolate lab named Buddy ("Budweiser") Clinton who lived in the Whitehouse with Bill & family. Sadly, Buddy lost his life in an accident in 2002. Here's a link to a video on YT you might enjoy:


Grace said...

WOW, Buddy; there sure are a lot of you "Buddies" out there. Somehow it feels right for you to be called Buddy; so, if I were you, I'd just stick with it until you come up with something you like better.

Have a good day! Love, Grandma