Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Founder of the Dance Revolution

Today in Music History: November 22, 1975

So often any one of us may be familiar with a band but really don't know the name or the face behind the music. The same is true of individual recording artists. If you were asked whether you like the music of Reginald Kenneth Dwight would you have to stop and think for a moment? Would the reaction be the same if the name Elton John was substituted? What about Chris Gaines? Ever heard of him? Of course you have...he's Garth Brooks' alto ego. Today's spotlight is on a band of world renown but possibly only if the band's name was presented upfront.

 The Leader


Harry Wayne Casey founder of the dance revolution

Back in the day there was no one 'badder' than Harry Wayne Casey. He was leader of a 70s supergroup whose music is still going strong today with songs being covered multiple times by numerous artists. One of Casey's greatest influences was the organ music he heard when he attended church with his family. His mother and sister sang on commercials so he was naturally enveloped with music. As with any upcoming recording artist, a rhythm and personal style had to be established. Harry Wayne Casey's music was the kind of music that got people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. But, it was not Casey alone. The birth of his band not only brought legendary music to the world but also influenced an entire generation.

The Band
Whose music has been featured at EVERY major sporting event in the world including the Super Bowl, World Series, Conference Championships, The NBA, Collegiate Bowl Games National Championship Games, the NASCAR racing Circuit and Championships, The World Cup, The Indianapolis 500, The Kentucky Derby, EVERY Holiday Parade include the famous Macys Thanksgiving Day parade, and the Tournament of Roses Parade, Political Party Conventions, Presidential Campaigns and nearly EVERY wedding, confirmation, and bar mitzvah in the world? 
Whose music has been featured on more than 200 motion picture film soundtracks?
He has been called the "Founder of the Dance Revolution." Source: kcsb.com
 Do you know Harry Wayne Casey? He is founder and leader of  
KC and The Sunshine Band.

 1975 KC and the Sunshine Band started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'That's The Way (I Like It)', the group's second US No.1 of the year, it made No.4 in the UK. The song had already gone to No.1 in R&B in October of the same year.
Songfacts: This was originally recorded in a more risqué manner by KC & The Sunshine Band before lead singer Harry Wayne Casey toned down the "uh-huhs," making them sound like cries of jubilation. As for the "controversial" lyrics, Finch tells us: "We had to tone down the words a little bit, it used to be called 'What You Want.' And I was like, 'No, KC. That's not commercial enough, people aren't gonna figure out what you're saying.' Back then you had to watch what you say. Not like today. People come on the radio and cuss and say all kinds of s--t, but back then, you had to watch yo' mouth. You can be suggestive in a poetic way. It can mean whatever to whoever the listener is, and it doesn't really tie it down to any one thing or gender. So I figured that the more open you keep it, and unresolved, the more people you draw in."

A Bit of Music Trivia...

  • 1957 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel appeared as Tom and Jerry on ABC-TV's American Bandstand. Close friends through childhood, the first time they appeared on stage together was in a school play, Alice in Wonderland (Simon as the White Rabbit, Garfunkel as the Cheshire Cat). They later began performing together in their junior year as Tom and Jerry, with Simon as Jerry Landis and Garfunkel as Tom Graph.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Three Shots Fired

This Day in History: November 22, 1963

There are many events that altered the course of history. Had they not occurred the world as we know it today might possibly be quite different. There will always be rumors of war, war and assassinations. Freedom is not free but comes at a high price...  
"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission."
 35th President of the United States
Do you recognize the face? You should whether you lived the era of the 60s or studied about its monumental events in a history class. This was the decade that changed a nation. November 22 encompasses a day filled with overwhelming sadness for America. As we embrace the past, one of the most shocking events in our nation's history occurred on his day in 1963.
Embrace the Past. . .
Even though cooler temperatures had been predicted, clear skies and a warm sunny day engulfed Dallas, TX on that memorable day. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy exhibited their usual charm in preparation for the President to speak at a luncheon with civic and business leaders at the Trade Mart. 
But, that speech was never to be given. . .

"His assassination on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, sent shockwaves around the world and turned the all-too-human Kennedy into a larger-than-life heroic figure. To this day, historians continue to rank him among the best-loved presidents in American history." [Source: History.com]
Three Shots Fired

Assassination was not new to America
but definitely unforeseen and astonishing.
What was intended to be a push for reelection
ended in a cataclysm that led the American nation
in a totally new direction.

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A mass of zealous people
Overran the streets, standing blade to blade
Waiting for even a glimpse
Of the thirty-fifth President’s motorcade

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Then, shots rang out in Dealey Plaza!
From whence did they come?
The Texas Book Depository?
“Grassy knoll” said some

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This tragic event of ’63
Took the life of a young president
Leaving an undying memory
An iconic figure unduly spent

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Was it a conspiracy
Or the lone gunman accused?
What major discrepancies
Left people beguiled? bemused?

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Those of us who lived that era
Still remember the dire words that aired
From CBS News’ Walter Cronkite
“In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired…

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Engulfed in numbing disbelief
Eyes filled with tears, limbs became numb
A nation’s people cried in shock
“What has been done? What has been done?”

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What happened next became history
John F. Kennedy was dead
Now it’s been fifty years
With much truth still left unsaid 

“Change is the law of life.
And those who look only to the past or the present
are certain to miss the future.”
—John F. Kennedy

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults
Remember the words of President John F. Kennedy:

 Empower the Present. . .
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."
John F. Kennedy

Enrich the Future. . .

"The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened."
John F. Kennedy


Friday, November 21, 2014

Feelin' Nutty

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't...but when do you NOT feel like a cashew? Eating cashews is like eating peanuts or potato chips. Eat one and the urge for more has just begun. Add to that desire the fact that cashews are among the world's healthiest foods. All this time you have been staying away for one reason or another, now you can set all that aside and look on the healthy side of the cashew. Feelin' nutty? Grab a bowlful of cashews and snack away or plan a menu item with cashews as a main ingredient!

November 22 is...

Cashew butter, cashew chicken, salad toppers and stir-fry ingredient, this delicately flavored nut is a favorite healthy snack that can be found in your local market year round.  Cashews are great for holiday parties, and now you can also amaze your friends with these fun facts. Enjoy!
http://lifeofthepartyalways.com/cashews-the-crazy-nut/Whether you like them plain, salted, roasted or coated in sugar, cashews are a delicious treat. The story behind the cashew is fascinating. Have you ever thought about how cashews grow and where they are mostly harvested. The image at the left shows the 'cashew apple'. The drupelets at the bottom of each apple are harvested and go through an intense process to produce the edible cashew which is housed inside.
The love of cashews does not stop with snacking. There are an abundance of recipes that are enhanced with the delicate flavor of the cashew. Perhaps you will discover one to surprise your friends and family. Here are a few starters...

 Roasted Cashew Butter (Recipe)


Cashew Chicken for Four (Recipe

 Tuna Cashew Casserole (Recipe)

 Chinese Chicken Cashew (Recipe)

 And for dessert...

Chocolate Cashew Pie (Recipe)


Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Next on the Calendar...Stay tuned!

Sunshine on a Gloomy Day

Today in Music History: November 21

A day filled with music is a day filled with sunshine. Even on gloomy winter days music can alter the scene altogether. In other words, music can make you happy when skies are grey! Grab a mug of hot cocoa, put a smile on your face as you step back in time with musical memories over six decades - from 1954 to 2004.

A toast to good memories & happy listening...

1954 American singer and actress Rosemary Clooney was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'This Ole House'. This song was also a No.1 for Shakin' Stevens in 1981. Her nephew, George Clooney was a pallbearer at her funeral in 2002.
1960 Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Stay', the shortest ever US No.1 single at one minute 37 seconds. A No.14 hit in the UK in 1961. 
1970 The Partridge Family started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Think I Love You'. The song was featured in the first episode of the Partridge Family TV series, made by the same company that made The Monkees.
1979 US country-rock act Dr Hook were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman', their only UK No.1.  
1981 Olivia Newton John started a ten week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with 'Physical', the singers fourth US No.1 went on to sell over 2 million copies, a became a No.7 hit in the UK. 
1981 Queen and David Bowie were at No.1 in the UK with 'Under Pressure'. They recorded the song together when both acts were working in a German recording studio. It was David Bowie's first released collaboration with another recording artist.
1983 Michael Jackson's 14-minute video for 'Thriller', was premiered in Los Angeles. Directed by John Landis and co-starring former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. The video was filmed at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, the zombie dance sequence at the junction of Union Pacific Avenue and South Calzona Street in East Los Angeles and the final house scene in the Angeleno Heights neighborhood at 1345 Carroll Avenue.
1987 Billy Idol knocked Tiffany from the No.1 single position on the US singles chart with his version of Tommy James 'Mony Mony'. Tiffany had been at No.1 with another Tommy James song ' I Think We're Alone Now'.
1992 Charles and Eddie were at No.1 in the UK singles chart with 'Would I Lie To You' the debut single by the pop-soul duo and their only chart topper.
1999 The Wamdue Project went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'King Of My Castle'. First released in 1998 when it made No.121 on the chart selling just 350 copies in the first week of release.
2004 Eminem was at No.1 on the US album chart with Encore, his third US No.1 album. Girls Aloud started a two week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Pretenders 'I'll Stand By You'. This was 2004's single for the Children In Need appeal with its proceeds going towards the charity. 

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Get up & get outside! Ready for a ride?

Within the 21st century has come more time spent indoors, thus, less time outdoors. Jobs demand longer hours with little time left for anything other than responsibilities once home. Then, unfortunately, what time is left may be spent in front of the television because by that time all energies have been expended. Therefore, a continuation of being indoors! How about a change in scenery?

November 22 is...

National Go For a Ride Day

How could you 'ride' this road? Automobile, bus, bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, skate board, truck, RV, or you could possibly simply walk it!
The idea is just to get outside...away from the confinement of walls. Get away from it all. Into the fresh air. Under the open skies. Away from the daily stress. Go For A Ride Day encourages you to get out into the world – hop on your bike, into your car, or simply get your walking boots out of storage and go on a hike. Don’t worry too much about where you’re going, just enjoy the ride. The only thing in front of you should be the open road, an open trail, open skies or open water. Yep, an airplane or boat ride would also suffice OR somewhere there is already plenty of snow...

Whereas somewhere else there is balmy weather...

OR you could ride off into the sunset in style...

However you decide to celebrate Go for a Ride Day, make sure it is a celebration of freedom and open spaces!

Next on the Calendar...Feelin' Nutty