Bobby Bones raises almost $6 million for St. Jude

Austin DJ Bobby Bones and his band The Raging Idiots were joined by some of country music’s biggest stars Monday night at the Ryman Auditorium to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Photo: (l to r) Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; St. Jude patients Ian and Kenlie; iHeartMedia radio personality Bobby Bones and Grammy Award-winning country music artist Garth Brooks on stage for $2 million check presentation. (PRNewsFoto/St. Jude Children's Research Ho)
Photo: (l to r) Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; St. Jude patients Ian and Kenlie; iHeartMedia radio personality Bobby Bones and Grammy Award-winning country music artist Garth Brooks on stage for $2 million check presentation. (PRNewsFoto/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

The Band Perry, Garth Brooks, Brothers Osborne, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts, Craig Campbell, Lindsay Ell and Caitlyn Smith performed a full night of tunes at the second annual “Raging Idiots Million Dollar Show,” celebrating the past charitable efforts towards St. Jude.

The night ended, however, with another $2 million raised for the hospital after Garth Brooks walked out on the stage to present a $2 million check.

“What I love is this paycheck isn’t going to you, and I know that’s what you love about it, too,” Brooks told Bones, according to The Tennessean.

The first “Raging Idiots Million Dollar Show” was in 2015, put on to celebrate $1 million in donations raised for the hospital. Over the past three years, Bones and iHeart Radio have raised roughly $3.8 million for the hospital. Brooks’ donation Monday night brought the total so far to about $6 million.

Bones, who still lives in Austin part-time after moving out to Nashville in 2013, said in The Tennessean that before he moved to Music City, he thought St. Jude was just “a hospital in Memphis.”

But then he visited the facility.

“I went into this place and I saw all these kids who weren’t sad,” he said. “It’s in Memphis because it’s in the middle of the country and they bring people from all over the country in. If you have a cancer they’re working on, you’re in for free. Once I understood it was more than brick and mortar in Memphis, but a hospital in the middle of the country … for the world, then I really understood and wanted to learn more about it,” he said in The Tennessean.

Bones was also recently featured in a Forbes article that calls him “the most powerful man in country music,” pointing to his charity work and his ability to get airplay for unknown artists as evidence of his clout.

That feature, which touches on some of the same themes explored in Bones’ memoir, also yielded some new interesting quotes from the country DJ:

  • On his interviewing skills: “I’m the best interviewer in the whole [radio] format. Except for Howard Stern, I’d put myself against anybody.”
  • On his work ethic: “Basically, I prepare for it and then just freak out until I’m successful. I fail at things all the time. I’m always being told no. I just get back up and try again.”
  • On his self-awareness of his own insecurities: “I think a lot of what I do are just obvious cries for help. I’m not good at being vulnerable [in intimate settings], but oddly I can do it when I’m in public.”

116 years ago today, Spindletop changed course of Texas history

The Spindletop oil field quickly became crowded after the Lucas gusher in 1901. Photo from Library of Congress.
The Spindletop oil field quickly became crowded after the Lucas gusher in 1901. Photo from Library of Congress.

The men had spent three months south of Beaumont, drilling on a hill formed by an underground salt dome.

It was the end of 1900 and the Texas oil industry was in its infancy. There were wells in Corsicana and outside Nacogdoches, but the amounts of oil they were bringing in were relatively small (as little as 25 barrels a day) compared to what was found in the East.

Then on Jan. 10, 1901, just as the men had passed a depth of 1,020 feet, everything changed. What would be called the Lucas gusher shot up 150 feet in the air spilled out 100,000 barrels of oil a day — more, according to history.com, than the rest of America’s oil wells combined.

The Texas oil boom was born, re-setting the course of the Lone Star state and the world.

The Spindletop oil field. Photo from the Library of Congress.
The Spindletop oil field. Photo from the Library of Congress.

Here are three quick facts about Spindletop …

  1. The Texas oil fields gave birth to companies such as Gulf Oil (later Chevron), Texaco and Humble Oil (later Exxon). These companies helped pry the oil business from the monopoly held by John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Co.
  2. The practice of using mud to pump out what was displaced by the drilling was invented at Spindletop — necessitated by the fine sand they were drilling through. The practice is still in use today.
  3. The population of Beaumont jumped from 10,000 to 50,000 in just a few months after the oil strike and Spindletop become the epicenter of wild speculation. The Texas State Historical Association tells of “one man who had been trying to sell his tract there for $150 for three years sold his land for $20,000; the buyer promptly sold to another investor within fifteen minutes for $50,000.”

Add ‘Target Marathon’ to your Texas travel list this year

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“Target Marathon” in 2016. (Photo contributed by Eric Webb)

The famous “Prada Marfa” art installation has attracted tourists to West Texas for years but it’s not the only fake box shop to see in the Texas desert.

Austin American-Statesman social media editor Eric Webb visited "Target Marathon" on a trip to West Texas in 2016. He cautioned that there was a beehive inside the room when he visited. (Photo contributed by Eric Webb)
Austin American-Statesman social media editor Eric Webb visited “Target Marathon” on a trip to West Texas in 2016. He cautioned that there was a beehive inside the room when he visited. (Photo contributed by Eric Webb)

An abandoned building received a makeover more than a year ago when the Target bullseye and name were installed on its exterior.

Located halfway between Alpine and Marathon along U.S. Highway 90, the building sits alongside a railroad track running through a valley flanked by mountains.

The “Target Marathon” makes for a quirky photo-op stop if you’re heading to Big Bend National Park.

An image of the building recently circulated on social media via the “Texas Humor” accounts.

One user commented with her own photo and warned others about nearby snakes at the site.

Here’s a closer look at the building.

Sadly, if you’re looking for an actual Target store, prepare for a long drive. The closest location is more than two hours northeast in Odessa.

Alamo Drafthouse vs. Apple? If iPhone function rumors are true, maybe so

What do you love more: your iPhone or Alamo Drafthouse? The time to choose might be nigh.

According to several news outlets, rumors began to swirl at the end of last year that a new “theatre mode” is coming to iOS 10.3, complete with a popcorn-shaped icon in the device’s control center. I know, I know. The idea of using your phone in a theatre at all, special mode or not, is anathema to any concientious Austin moviegoer.

A gathering of Star Wars fans for a "lightsaber" vigil to honor the late actress and writer Carrie Fisher at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
A gathering of Star Wars fans for a “lightsaber” vigil to honor the late actress and writer Carrie Fisher at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Apple has had a patent on such technology since 2012, according to the website Apple Insider. An excerpt of the patent’s abstract on that website mentions a wireless device capability “useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a movie theater).”

As you can guess, one local cinema institution is having none of that.

Alamo Drafthouse is renowned for its strict “no talking, no texting” policy, which promises swift theater ejection for anyone bold enough to whip out their phone during a screening. It’s so ingrained in the theater chain’s identity that their pre-show PSAs, which are often star-studded, have become as much a part of the experience as the movie itself.

On Wednesday, Alamo Drafthouse tweeted “That’s weird. Our phones already have theater mode….” along with a screenshot of an iPhone’s shutdown screen.

On Thursday, Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League issued a statement, which the theater tweeted, too.

READ: Fans flock to Alamo Drafthouse in force to mourn hero, Carrie Fisher

“I see nothing but rumors swirling around this alleged functionality, so I can only say the following at this point: if this enhancement turns out to be a means to make it easier to text in cinemas, I may have to book a ticket to Cupertino and pack my can of whoop-ass,” League said in the statement. “I have confidence, however, that a fellow Tim would not make such a mistake.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook might want to think twice before crossing a man who once got former Texas Gov. Ann Richards to throw a man out of a theater for talking. It was in one of those PSAs, sure, but the point still stands. Remember: Drafthouse doesn’t play around with texting, even if you leave them a voicemail about it.

Next viral dance challenge inspired by Texas singer Demi Lovato

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, Demi Lovato poses for photographers backstage during the Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball in Washington D.C. Robert Rodriguez had been waiting for a chance to work with Lovato since she auditioned for a role in his 2003 movie “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.” The El Rey Network creator and executive producer of its TV series “From Dusk Till Dawn,” spoke to reporters Thursday, July 30, 2015, as part of a TV Critics annual summer press tour. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Demi Lovato poses for photographers backstage during the Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball in Washington D.C. Dec. 15, 2014 (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

People may be looking to turn over a new leaf in the new year, but one trend surviving 2016 is internet dance “challenges.”

The first one to make its way around social media is called the Demi Lovato challenge, which originated from a song by a YouTube user named Kandi Reign. The chorus repeats the line “I feel like Demi Lovato.” With more than 15,000 subscribers and over half a million video views on her account, Kandi Reign’s new challenge started going viral.

These challenges often have a brief lifespan and the Dallas native is all for it.

https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/816153937782767616

Demi’s sister rounded up a crew to do the challenge too.

https://twitter.com/MadDeLaGarza/status/816143129845714944

Check out some of the best videos from the #DemiLovatoChallenge, including a compilation, below.

The inspiration behind a ‘Lonesome’ black cowboy died in Austin 88 years ago today

When former slave Bose Ikard died of the flu at Austin’s Seton Infirmary on this date in 1929, his body was shipped back to his home in Weatherford for burial.

Bose Ikard
Bose Ikard

A brief newspaper obituary just identified him as “one of the old-time negroes of Weatherford” and said his age was suspected to be between 85 and 90 years.

And that’s all anyone would have ever heard of Bose Ikard … except for one thing: He was an old-time friend of iconic Texas cattle rancher Charles Goodnight. And, as described in the book “Black Cowboys of Texas,” when Goodnight found out about his old friend’s death, he decided Ikard needed a proper monument.

By June of 1929, the Weatherford newspaper had published a new obituary for their now-famous departed citizen. In it, the printed the words Goodnight had inscribed into granite marker for Ikard:

“Bose Ikard served with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanches, splendid behavior.”

Sounds familiar, right?

In Larry McMurtry’s book “Lonesome Dove,” here are the words Captain Woodrow Call etches into the grave marker for black cowboy Josh Deets:

Josh Deets
Served with me 30 years, Fought in 21 Engagements with the Comanche and Kiowa. Cheerful in all weathers. Never shirked a task. Splendid behavior.

Yes, just as Charles Goodnight and his partner Oliver Loving were used as models for Call and Augustus McCrae in McMurtry’s Western masterpiece, Ikard was an inspiration for trusted employee Deets.

Though Ikard spent a fraction of the time with Goodnight that his fictional counterpart spent with his employer, it didn’t take long for Goodnight to consider Ikard a trustworthy friend and particularly able worker. Like Deets at the beginning of the novel, Ikard was trusted to carry large sums of cash for Goodnight while on the cattle trail.

A free man after the Civil War ended, Ikard first rode for Loving, then Goodnight from 1866 through 1869. Afterward he became a farmer in Parker County, living near Weatherford for the next 50 years.

His friend Goodnight never forgot him, visiting occasionally, bringing gifts of money.

Willie Nelson reveals what pal Snoop Dogg got him for Christmas

What does a successful, weed-loving rapper get his similarly successful, weed-loving country singer friend for Christmas? Not your average holiday sweater, obviously, but a weed sweater.

for 12-16-16: Willie Nelson celebrates the end of 2016 with a three-night stand at ACL Live.  Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN Willie Nelson plays the Samsung Stage at ACL Fest weekend on Sunday October 9, 2016.  Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Willie Nelson plays the Samsung Stage at ACL Fest weekend on Sunday October 9, 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Willie Nelson took to Facebook yesterday to thank his good friend Snoop Dogg for his new sweater, which has a less novel mantra, “Smoke weed everyday” printed across the front.

Although Nelson and Snoop Dogg’s friendship seems pretty exclusive (there weren’t any tagalongs on that impromptu trip to KFC), you can feel at least laterally included by purchasing the same sweater off Snoop Dogg’s “Get Deez” site here.

Or watching their collaborative “My Medicine” video here.

READ: Would Willie Nelson smoke weed with Donald Trump? Now we know