8 blueberries in popular culture

Star News Online
8 blueberries in popular culture
Published: Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 12:30 a.m.


Since the N.C. Blueberry Festival ripens today and Saturday in Burgaw, let’s consider how this little fruit has embedded itself in our culture.

1. “Blueberry Hill“: The famous song (“I found my thrill … “) was originally recorded by cowboy star Gene Autry in 1954, but its most famous rendition was Fats Domino’s 1954 rock ’n’ roll hit. In the ABC series “Happy Days” (1974-1984), young Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) often broke into a rendition of “Blueberry Hill” when he thought he was about to get lucky.

2. “Live on Blueberry Hill”: The 1970 concert is one of the most famous bootleg recordings of the rock group Led Zeppelin. On stage, the group breaks into a version of — you guessed it — “Blueberry Hill.”

3. Boo-Berry: General Mills introduced the first blueberry-flavored cereal in 1973 as a cohort to Franken-Berry and Count Chocula. As far as we can tell, no blueberries were harmed, or even used, in the making of this product.

4. In Roald Dahl’s novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and in the two movie versions starring Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp, Violet Beauregarde is a greedy, gum-chewing brat who gets hers by being turned into a giant blueberry. We think she gets better, maybe, so long as the juicing room wasn’t too hard on her.

5. Bette Midler sang “Blueberry Pie” (“so very necessary”) on “Sesame Street.” The song was later included on the show’s “In Harmony” LP.

6. Norah Jones, Jude Law and Natalie Portman starred in Hong Kong director Kar Wai Wong’s 2007 film “My Blueberry Nights,” about a heartbroken woman’s odyssey across America. Blueberry pie is involved.

7. One of the settings for the video game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” is the town of Blueberry, in which buildings glow with a bizarre blue light. The “Epsilon Cult” is somehow involved in this “Blueberry Mystery.”

8. One of the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake’s best friends is Blueberry Muffin. She works at Blueberry Books.

Ben Steelman

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