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Ladybugs band originated on ‘Petticoat Junction'

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Q: I recall that a group of young girls called the Ladybugs performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" a little after the Beatles came to the United States. I don't remember the month or year. My husband says if such a group existed, they did not perform on Sullivan's show. Two dinners are on the line. Who is right? - J.M.J., Wilmington, Calif.

A: You are. On Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." On March 22, the Ladybugs made their debut. The Ladybugs originated on the classic TV sitcom "Petticoat Junction" when Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) created a female rock group to make money off the Beatlemania phenomenon. He organized the band with his three on-air nieces (Jeannine Riley, Pat Woodell and Linda Kaye Henning) and the daughter of Sheriff Ragdale, played by Sheila James, formerly Zelda Gilroy on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," and better known in recent years as California state senator, feminist and activist Sheila James Kuehl. Enjoy the dinner.

Q: Many of my shop-by-mail catalogs are promoting Swarovski cut crystal-glass items. What is Swarovski? - B.W., e-mail

A: Swarovski is a luxury brand name for crystal glass. Founded in 1895, the company is named after co-founder Daniel Swarovski (1862-1956), an expert glass cutter. Today, the Wattens, Austria, firm employs 26,000 people and has a presence in 120 countries. Swarovski has inspired creative trends in jewelry, fashion, accessories, lighting and interior design.

Q: Whatever happened to Joan Benoit? She ran in the 1984 Olympics for the United States. - R.B., e-mail

A: Not only did Benoit compete in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, she won the gold medal in the first women's marathon. After the Olympics, she continued to run and continued her winning ways. She has written books, operated running clinic, and coached women's cross-country; she also is a motivational speaker. Benoit and husband Scott Samuelson have two children, daughter Abby and son Anders.



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