California Car Dealer and Bluegrass Advocate Cal Worthington Dead–age 92.

Cal WorthingtonWild and Crazy is a term that most likely belonged to Southern California car dealer Cal Worthington long before Steve Martin adopted it.  The original Wild and Crazy man, Cal Worthington passed away today at age 92.

Best known for his wacked-out television commercials, Worthington and his dog Spot, which was anything but a dog, did every promotional stunt known to mankind in attempts to gain attention and thereby sell cars.  And they succeeded for more than half a century.

Worthington who’s TV personality created a pop-culture legend died on Sunday, September 8th at his ranch home in Orland, California.

Early TV in Los Angeles, California featured shows like “Cal’s Corral” with Southern California car dealer Cal Worthington  who did a lot to further the California bluegrass music scene on the air.

Early bands featured on Cal’s show (and car commercials) were Don Parmely’s “Golden State Boys”, and a group known as “The Country Boys”, later to evolve into “The Kentucky Colonels”.

There are those who now claim that his commercial theme song and jingle were a bluegrass tune but in reality, he adopted a well known children’s song called, “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands”.

He was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show,” where Johnny Carson performed ad parodies. He appeared as himself in the 1973 Jack Lemmon film “Save the Tiger” and was the model for the car salesman played by Ted Danson in the 1993 film “Made in America.”

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