Bill “Amazen” Bazen

Bill “Amazen” Bazen is Movin’ On’s most dedicated fan. His head and his Facebook page are so chock-full of Movin’ On facts we named him Official Movin’ On Historian. Though Bill loved receiving the honor, he certainly didn’t need it to motivate him. Bill has been a fan since the original run of Movin’ On on NBC between 1974-1976. Bill has wonderful memories of watching the show with his truck driving father. Bill has an impressive collection of Movin’ On memorabilia and an unbelievable recollection of every episode. Bill reaches out to other fans, actors, and crew. He pulls information out of them and shares it with his followers. Lately Bill has been tracking down Movin’ On shooting locations using Google maps. Here, Bill’s own words describe the hard work, dedication, and determination Amazen Bazen applies to Movin’ On.

Episode…..”The Good Life” – After much digging [pardon the pun] I have finally located Harry Larimer’s oil well. I received info from a Boise, Idaho resident that worked with the Movin’ On crew in ’74 that the well was in Mountain Home, Idaho. This town is about 39 miles from Boise. With that info in hand I started my search but could not pinpoint the exact location. After one week of searching with google street view and finding nothing I decided to come at the problem in a different way. I searched Facebook and found a Mountain Home, Idaho group. Once I was accepted as a member I posted, asking if anyone knew the oil well’s location. Last night I got a hit! A local resident told me her father worked at the well while filming was underway. She gave me the address and it checked out. After almost 2 1/2 years of searching for Movin’ On filming locations, I have just about finished this project. This oil well location was one of only a handful left to find. This location is off of Old Oregon Trail Road. The sign at the road entrance reads, County Landfill. A building can be seen just down this road on the left. Harry’s oil well was behind that building. I have a satellite view here [the oil well is 50 miles from Hillcrest Country Club where the costume party was filmed.

To see all of Bill’s location maps go to his Facebook page.

On behalf of Barry Weitz and myself, I want to thank Bill for his tireless efforts on behalf of Movin’ On. But knowing Bill, he would say that it is no effort at all. That it is a labor of love.  Movin’ On loves you too, Amazen Bazen. Keep on Doing it like Pruitt!

Meet The Man Who Saved Movin’ On

Movin' On original negative

Inside this pizza can lives an episode of Movin’ On original negative

According to Television Obscurities, a website dedicated to “Keeping Obscure TV From Fading Away Forever”, I, Mark Rathaus, am the man who saved Movin’ On! Thank you, Robert, you got it right and make me sound like a hero too.

Read “Meet The Man Who Saved Movin’ On“, the very complimentary article about how I rescued Movin’ On.

Television Obscurities is a great website and it’s obvious that Robert puts a lot of time and effort into it. There’s a vast amount of content there, with all kinds of references to TV shows that you have forgotten. But I promise, you will happily remember them thanks to Robert. I urge all fans of vintage television, not only Movin’ On fans, to visit Television Obscurities often.

Meet The Man Who Saved Movin’ On

Merle Haggard Nails It

Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard and I spoke a few times after the In Tandem screening. We went over the lyrics and his thoughts about the pulsating sounds for the Movin’ On theme song. I had represented many musicians and singers prior to coming to Los Angeles in my early days at the William Morris Agency and I was very comfortable having these kinds of conversations with him. But after all was said and done, creating the song was in Merle’s hands, and I awaited the “first draft” of the song eagerly.

Well, when we received the tape, I played it for the entire creative team: producers, writers, editors, and our office staff. Without fail, everyone was knocked out with Merle’s work. We laid it into the film and watched it on the big screen in the same room where Merle had seen In Tandem. It was a goose-bump moment. The song worked perfectly with the picture. Were absolutely thrilled. Merle had nailed it…. and so did we!!!!

Judge for yourself. You can hear the theme song while watching the credit sequence at the beginning of every episode at proclassictv.com.

— Barry Weitz

More On Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard in Sonny Pruitt's semi

Merle Haggard in Sonny Pruitt’s semi

Merle Haggard and his guys came down from Bakersfield, CA to meet with me at the Movin’ On offices at the MGM Studios. We had put together a screening room…. with big, lush, soft cushioned sofas and a great sound system so Merle could sit comfortably and “absorb” our pilot, In Tandem. Our editors, appropriately, had refreshments sent in and Merle and his crew indulged in the libations set before them.

As I recall, it was early afternoon and we planned to take Merle to lunch at the MGM commissary once the screening had concluded. I sat beside Merle in that dimly lit screening room before the movie began and wondered if Merle would find In Tandem exciting enough to write and perform the title song. Our Head of Production, Bill Snyder, chatted it up with Merle while I sat quietly by…. hoping for a good reaction. I know I was nervous because I don’t normally sit quietly by. I remember thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t have caught so many bass!!!” But what the hell, it’s about the film after all. Either In Tandem speaks to Merle or it doesn’t.

Well, In Tandem did speak to him! Merle and his guys laughed at all the right places and were absorbed in the drama of the movie. They were with it! My secretary quietly came in…. while the film was rolling. She whispered in my ear that I had a call from Larry White, the Head of Production for NBC-TV…. and could I take the call? Well, it’s not smart to refuse a network head’s phone call. I told my secretary to put the call through. The phone was on a small table between Merle and my seats. Also on the table was an intercom to call the projection booth and controls for the lights. I fumbled a little trying my best to not to break Merle’s concentration. I certainly didn’t want to turn on the lights!

I managed to pick up the telephone and talked to Larry in a hushed voice about my plans for the series. When I told him that Merle Haggard was sitting next to me watching the pilot as we spoke, Larry said, “Merle Haggard, No Way!! Do you really think he would do the title song”?

“Yeah, I think he will, but I’ll let you know later, when he’s done watching the pilot.”

“Damn Barry, that would be great if you could get him.”

When the lights came up, Merle and crew applauded enthusiastically and Merle announced without hesitation, “I’m in.”

I was thrilled!

We went to lunch at the MGM commissary as planned. Keep in mind; the MGM commissary was the place…. all the stars that were working on the lot would dine there.  We had made a reservation for the big table at the back of the vast room and when we entered the Maître d’ immediately recognized Merle, as did many others. Many actors, directors, producers came up to him to shake Merle’s hand and acknowledge his enormous talents. A sprinkling of spontaneous applause broke out and Merle was a tad embarrassed…. but was gracious to all that wanted autographs and a handshake.

As you know, Merle did write and record our title song. That song helped put Movin’ On in the world of an iconic truckin’ show…. a world we will always share with Merle…. an icon of the Country and Western world. It was an experience I will never forget. Thanks, Hag…. R.I.P.

–Barry Weitz

Big Rig Tees to roll out Movin’ On apparel at Mid-American Trucking Show

Big Rig Tees ad for Movin' On merchandise on sale at Mid-Atlantic Trucking ShowThe Mid-American Trucking Show

MATS, is the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world. The show attracts over 1,000 exhibitors from around the world and 70,000 visitors to Louisville, KY for the three-day party from March 31 – April 2. Big Rig Tees will be selling several styles of Movin’ On shirts and hats from their own booth #60224.

Truckers Care

Everything I have heard about MATS sounds great. I’m not a trucker. I’ve never been involved in their world. But since reviving Movin’ On, I have been paying close attention. Through the Movin’ On Facebook page I have met some wonderful people. They are either truckers or family of truckers and they form a very close-knit community. They care about each other and they go out of their way to help one another, not unlike Sonny and Will. They also care deeply, about all things truck related.

Truckers are powerful fans

I know they’re passionate because I see their love for Movin’ On, a forty-year old television show. At first it amazed me, but after watching the episodes more closely, I do understand. The shows stars, Claude Akins and Frank Converse really captured the spirit of truckers. And of course there is the un-credited third star, a big green Kenworth. But the truth is that outside of their own community, truckers get very little recognition. Us four-wheelers don’t think about the good that truckers do every day. We don’t see the risks and hard work and service to our country. That’s why they stick together and when a TV show or movie represents them in a positive way, they take it into their hearts and hold it tight forever.

Pride in truckers and in Movin’ On

I’m very happy that I can give something back that pleases truckers. That’s how I feel about the work I’ve done restoring Movin’ On and getting it out in the world to be seen again. I’m proud to wear Movin’ On tee shirts and hats and I hope the fans appreciate them as much as I appreciate all the truckers.

Big Rig Tees makes a great partner

I wish I could be at MATS handing out the shirts myself but I feel good about our partners at Big Rig Tees. They have been serving the trucking community for years. I’m still new to the game. But hey, maybe I’ll see you there in 2017.

Listen to Barry and Mark on The Jay Thomas Show

Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas Show logoYou asked for it and here it is! We spoke to Jay Thomas on his SIRIUSXM radio show on Monday March 14 and we had a blast. Barry was in great form, bantering with Jay. I especially get a kick out of the two of them improvising Jay’s audition for a part in the hoped for Movin’ On reboot as either a dispatcher, truck owner, or angry restaurant owner. I, on the other hand am not yet comfortable as a celebrity and could have been better. But I wanted it to be Barry’s moment, so I’m very happy with the way it went.

Big thanks to Jay and Cristina!

We are on the Jay Thomas Show

JayThomaspic jts_logo_blue3 trace13Barry and I will be on the Jay Thomas Show on Monday, March 14th. The show airs live on SIRIUSXM channel 94 at 5pm ET. If you are a subscriber to SIRIUSXM, please tune in. Jay Thomas is a well known actor and radio host and his show is a lot of fun. Barry and I will be talkin’ Movin’ On, of course, but I’m sure Jay will have no trouble getting great stories out of Barry that span his full show biz career.

— Mark