Sadly, we lost the great George Jones this week.  A big loss for those of us who love country music.  As some of you know, I was born in Nashville.  Back in the day, my aunts often took me to the Grand Ole Opry, and I remember meeting Mr. Jones backstage.  He was always very polite, and as I recall, always willing to give some squirt an autograph.  Did you know that his big song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” was recently voted “the greatest country song of all time?”  Interestingly, Jones did not like the song at first, and he almost refused to record the darn thing.  He thought it was too long, too sad, and too depressing!  (Much like my writing career!)

Personally, I thought it was a great song, but not as good as the one and only country song that I wrote.  (“I’ll Never Get Over You Until You Get Out From Under Him.”)  My little tune was recorded by The Inbred Brothers, and even though it didn’t get much airplay outside of Arkansas, it was nominated for a Granny.  (Similar to the Grammy Award, but given to a senior citizen.)  What a treat it was to see my name in Billboard.  (Actually, my name was ON a billboard, but that’s a long story, and I was falsely accused.)

NOW FOR SOME LITERARY NEWS…..    Aberdeen Bay Press has received permission from my publicist (Invisible Irving Flakowitz) to feature my photograph on their worldwide webpage!  Sooo…. if you are so inclined, or even horizontal, you can log onto their website and view photographs of me signing books in England and France!  In all seriousness, this is very cool, and I appreciate the publicity.

Speaking of publicity….. I would like to publicly thank Mr. Ken Evans, a distinguished gentleman and world-class poker player, for purchasing 10 copies of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE last week!  (They do make wonderful gifts.)  I’ve noticed that a handful of Austin celebrities are also reading the book…..  i.e., Judge Susan Marquess, Rich Walker, Leigh Ann Woodward, Barbara Talbott, Donna Simon, Christine Nickles, Paula Johnston, and Lee Bomblatus.  (Some of these folks ain’t from Austin, per se, but who’s counting?)  They are here in spirit!  Thanks gang!

While we are on the subject of publicity…..  My friend, Diane Fanning, who just happens to be an incredibly talented writer, is celebrating the publication of her 20th book!  Quite an accomplishment.  Congratulations, Diane!  My other friend (I have two) Larry Brill, is off and running with his first book, and from what I hear, it is destined to become a huge success.  (It’s called “Live@Five”)

I would like to remind my faithful blog followers that Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  (Each year I send my own mom a card of congratulations for having me.)  I’m not sure how my mom feels about that.  (She likes to say “If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong!)  Still, I would remind you that we’re supposed to respect our elders, even though, as time marches on, it’s getting harder and harder to find one!

By the way, speaking of finding things, you might want to order a copy of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE this week.  There are only a few copies left from the first printing, and the second printing, which will begin this week, will take some time to complete.  (Your mom will be very disappointed if she gets candy or flowers again!)  I sent my own mom two copies (I charged her full price, but I paid for half of the shipping) and I’m sure she was touched by my generosity.  Where there’s a will…. I want to be in it!

Well, folks, take care and have a safe and happy week.  The spring book tour begins this Saturday, so the next time that you hear from me I will be in Tupelo, MIssissippi!  (Where the heck did I put those blue suede shoes??)  Elvis loves you, baby!

Doc Yanoff



As most of you know, these are the lyrics to “You gotta have Heart,” a wonderful tune from the Broadway show, DAMN YANKEES.  (I myself have often been called this name!)  Nonetheless, the song was written by Richard Adler, who I had the pleasure of meeting when I was a fledging playwright in New York City.  (After a few tough years, I became a “fleeting” playwright!)  The great Mr. Adler (who passed away in 2012) also composed tunes for The Pajama Game.  So…. I think the above melody is rather appropriate for tomorrow’s holiday, and on “that note” I shall now wish all of my blog followers an early (but sincere) HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

I know I’m a little quick on the draw (so was Rembrandt) but I will be VERY busy tomorrow and probably too exhausted to write a clever blog.  As you can imagine, a man in my position (usually horizontal) receives thousands of cards and letters from female women of the opposite sex on Valentine’s Day.  (All right, maybe not thousands.)  However, due to my undeniable charm and modesty, the ladies are quite fond of me and insist on sending me chocolates and flowers.  (Occasionally, chocolate flowers, too.)  No doubt I will be on the phone (speaking to old flames) most of the day, so I will take this opportunity to share some thoughts with thee……

Did you know that more than 1 billion Valentine’s Day greeting cards are sent out each year?  (Most are sent to some mystery writer in Austin.)  Hey, I’m a real card.

Women purchase 85 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards.  (Oddly enough, 85% of the ones I receive are also from women.)   Don’t ask about the others.  None of your business.

Valentine’s Day is named in honor of St. Valentine, a Roman martyr.  (Anyone who dates a lot is definitely a martyr in my book!)  The old boy died in prison, but before he left earth, he left the jailer’s daughter a sweet note….. which he signed, “From Your Valentine.”  (True story)   Thus began a wonderful tradition, and a way for the Hallmark Card Company to make a very tidy profit.  Had St. Valentine been Jewish (well, it’s possible) there would be no holiday.  Jewish people cannot be kept in jail.  (They eat “locks!”)  Oy vay, what an old joke!

Finally, just in case you ever get on the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”……….  here is some final worthless trivia………. Cupid (the dude with the bow and arrow) is often associated with Valentine’s Day because he was the son of Venus.  (The Roman goddess of love and beauty.)  Hence, the modern expression that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus.”    I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I do not like the fact that we are named after a candy bar.  (Ever if we are sweet and gooey from time to time!)

Actually, there was another “Mars.”  (The Roman god of war.)  His festival was held in March, which as you can see, was sort of named after him.  Since Valentine’s Day is celebrated in February (except in Arkansas, which only recognizes ten of the months) we see that once again, women have dominated the calendar and always come first.  Ah well, such is life.  (Just for the record, but do NOT share this with any chick, January in named after Janus (a guy god) in Roman mythology.  So we are numero uno again!

I just realized that we are discussing “misters” and “myths.”    (How funny.)

Well, students, that’s about enough of this stuff for one day.  I do hope that each and every one of you finds love tomorrow.  (or the day after.)  I would advise all of my faithful blog followers to remember the lyrics of another great song……….   “If you can’t be with the one you love, and there are no witnesses or security cameras, love the one you’re with.”  ***

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!     Love to all,  Doc Yanoff


*** “Love The One You’re With”    (Music by Stephen Stills.  Lyrics by Bill Clinton.)