Rocky deserves to be celebrated first because of how it’s always made people feel: capable and empowered. Then there’s the fact that it’s also a cultural landmark. Rocky gave us the fanfare, the song, and the proper use of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s front steps.” — I, of the Tiger author Eric Lichtenfeld

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Rocky, the award-winning and franchise-inspiring boxing classic starring Sylvester Stallone as the titular character.

Directed by John G. Avildsen (The Karate Kid, Lean on Me) and produced by Irwin Winkler & Robert Chartoff (Raging Bull, The Right Stuff), Rocky showcased memorable performances by Carl Weathers as opponent Apollo Creed, Talia Shire as love interest Adrian, Burgess Meredith as trainer Mickey, and Burt Young as friend and Adrian’s brother Paulie. Nominated for ten Academy Awards (and winning three including Best Picture), the film made a star out of Stallone, featured Bill Conti’s rousing music, turned millions of moviegoers on to boxing, and created a newfound purpose for the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. [Read on here...]

Seriously, is there anything more gloriously American than the singing cowboy?  A white hat-wearing, square-jawed male specimen equipped with a sharp aim, a stout heart and a dramatic tenor, the performance of which would cause even a tone deaf villain to tip his hat?

We seem to have the singing cowboy on our minds here in Oklahoma – Roy and Dale were actually married in Davis, and Ol’ Gene has an entire town that bears his moniker – the only such in America named for a movie star. 

But today it is not of the first team we speak – no, our long legged guitar pickin’ men also enjoyed “B” picture status and played for teams bearing names such as Monogram.  We speak today of Oklahoma born Jimmy Wakely, whose cinematic exploits have recently been released in wonderful box sets from Warner Archive.

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