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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

More Dollar$ than ¢ense

Today in Music History: November 27, 2005

The state of life is a matter of dollar$ and ¢ents. What we wear, what we eat, where and how we live all carry a price tag. For some that price tag is low, others in the middle and there are those at the high end. The key is how those dollar$ and ¢ents are handled. It is important to recognize the ¢ents should not be treated too lightly. There is always that moment when someone is short necessary ¢hange.

This day in music history, November 27, 2005, marks an occasion that definitely warrants a close look at ¢ents in the sense of spending wisely. The event showcases headline performers Aerosmith and 50 Cent among others.  
The two performers took to the stage at New York City's Rainbow Room in the early morning hours of this day along with Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Stevie Nicks.

 The case at hand is not so much on the musicians but the party who paid for the performance and the reason. At a cost of $2 million for a 45-min performance, that must have been some kind of party!  
The event marked the ‘bar mitzvah’ coming-of-age celebration for the 13-yr old daughter of a multimillionaire, which featured her favorite acts.
Bottom Line: Not sure what kind of example was being set for the young teenager, especially taking into account where the money came from and the devastating results for the child and the family.
The father who spent $10 million celebrating his daughter's coming-of-age was defense contractor David H. Brooks, CEO of DHB Industries, a Long Island company that manufactured body armor for the United States military. Two years after the lavish event, Brooks was served with a 71-page federal indictment featuring charges of insider trading, tax evasion and raiding his company's coffers for personal gain—including for the $10 million he used to pay for his daughter's lavish bar mitzvah. 
 David Brooks - before

David Brooks - after
  He was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in swindling 
$200 million from his company and its investors.

Did this man have more dollar$ than ¢ense? Um-m-m-m? Looks like he lacked the dollar$ of his own and definitely lacked good judgement and no common ¢ense! Just greed! Not the first nor last of his kind...
Are we as a nation growing deaf to reason?

The Black Barry Manilow

Today in Music History: November 27, 1982

In the music industry are singers, songwriters and singer-songwriters with the latter being those of multiple talent. Songwriters not only express human emotion in written lyrical form but also break the silence by expressing those lyrics in musical form. The words, the melody, the harmony all come together in just the right rhythmical beat. Sometimes the songs along with their music belong to the singer-songwriter while often times, the songs are written for others to perform solo, as a duet or as a group.

Welcome to the spotlight the singer-songwriter dubbed "the black Barry Manilow" for mainstream appeal, easygoing sound and sentimental lyrics. Childhood nickname, "Skeet."

Lionel Brockman Richie: Music icon. International superstar. To his credit lies a discography of albums and singles second to none and a part of the fabric clothing American pop music

Lionel Richie and Irving Berlin are the only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having #1 records for nine consecutive years. Richie's story is truly the American dream rich in family heritage.
Lionel was born in Tuskegee Alabama.  He lived in a small, isolated, predominantly African American community in the original home of Booker T. Washington.  His family home is situated directly on the campus of what is now Tuskegee University and was previously The Tuskegee Institute, home the of the Tuskegee Airmen. Lionel’s grandmother, Adelaide Foster, a classical pianist, lived to be 102.  His father, Lionel Richie Sr., was a military man, strict, regimented but also sincere towards his wife and children.  Lionel’s mother, Adelaide Richie, was an English teacher.  Lionel, to this day, values proper grammar because his mother always enforced its use. [Source: Lionel Richie]
In 1968, Lionel Richie formed the eclectic R&B/soul group The Commodores along with several other freshmen at the Tuskegee Institute. In the early 80s, Lionel Richie began to achieve success outside The Commodores. He penned the song 'Lady' for country singer Kenny Rogers, a soulful ballad that topped the charts for six weeks. Then, he teamed up with Diana Ross on the theme song for the movie Endless Love. The song 'Endless Love' became the biggest hit for Diana Ross holding the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks in the fall of 1981. The song also earned Lionel Richie an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. These successes would inspire Richie to break from The Commodores completely in 1982 to pursue a solo career.

 1982 Lionel Richie was No.1 in the US with 'Truly'. Richie achieved a No.1 each year from 78-86 as a writer, 'Three Times A Lady', 'Still', 'Lady' (Kenny Rodgers), 'Endless Love' (Diana Ross), 'All Night Long', 'Hello', 'Say You Say Me' and as co-writer of 'We Are The World'.

Lionel has built a life out of doing precisely what people presumed he could not do.  “Growing up if you told me to go left, I would go right,” laughs Lionel.  “If you brought me into a room and said there’s one door that I absolutely cannot open, that’s the door I’m going to open.”  And just like the legends he admires, from Sinatra to Santana, Lionel knows what it’s like to hear a door close as well.  He’s survived the roller coaster ride of the music business by refusing to let others define him.  The Lionel Richie story has always been about making that leap of faith with no net. [Source: Lionel Richie]
More on this day...

1962 The Beatles recorded their first BBC radio session at the BBC Paris studio on Regent Street in London. They played 'Twist and Shout', 'Love Me Do' and 'P.S. I Love You', the tracks were aired on the BBC Light Program 'Talent Spot.'
1967 The 16-date UK package tour with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice, The Outer Limits, The Eire Apparent and Amen Corner traveled to Belfast to appear for two shows at the Whitla Hall, Queens College. It was Jimi's 25th birthday and before the shows the guitarist was given a birthday cake by the promoters This was to be the only concert that The Jimi Hendrix Experience ever played in Ireland.
1981 The British Phonographic industry placed advertisements in the press claiming that 'home taping was wiping out music'. The Boomtown Rats, 10cc, Elton John and Cliff Richard all backed the campaign. 
1997 A disturbed rock fan brought the funeral of Michael Hutchence to a standstill when he tried to launch himself from a 20 ft high balcony with a cord around his neck. He was removed by police and taken away to a psychiatric unit. 
2006 Sir Cliff Richard lost a battle to extend the number of years that musicians could receive royalties for their records. Richard wanted copyright to last 95 years, rather than the present 50 years, but an independent review recommend the terms would not change. Sir Cliff's earliest big hit ‘Move It’, recorded in 1958 would start to come out of copyright in 2008.

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Music

Turkey Facts
Thanksgiving Day is one of the most popular holidays occurring at one of the most beautiful times of the year. It is a time of family gatherings filled with fun, food and fellowship when the air is filled with sweet aromas of somethin' good cookin' in the kitchen. That, of course, is AFTER all the peelin', choppin', dicin', stuffin', bakin', bastin' and slicin' is done preparing the 46 million turkeys that are eaten each Thanksgiving!

What takes hours upon hours, often days, of preparation will be consumed in a matter of minutes. The table conversation will last longer than eating the gourmet meal!

The day is special but all holidays are special! Each one presents itself in its own unique way but none are complete without music...emotional, wonderful kind of music! Prayerful songs, instrumentals, classical tunes...easy listening throughout the day, soft listening at dinnertime. OR jazz up the day with some peppy classics or enjoy the day with Charlie Brown!

Choose YOUR own kind of music for the last hours of food prep, on to the dinner table and throughout the afternoon...

When searching for Thanksgiving music, a few traditional songs always appear in the list.

Thanksgiving dinner that can't be beat...

One from childhood...

One of blessing...

One for giving thanks...

Even a couple that are funny...

Then, there are a few classics with turkey, bird, mashed potato, dinner, or Thanksgiving in the title or lyrics for your playlist...

There are numerous songs appropriate for Thanksgiving...some about being thankful, others about food, many about family and of course, those that are just 'right' for the festive mood of the day!

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

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Traditional Tom Turkey

Wild Turkey in Ottawa, Michigan
During the first Thanksgiving, Pilgrim's cooking methods and menus were crude as compared to what most of us have experienced in our lifetime. There were no electric or gas ovens. In fact, no electricity period. Colonial utensils and hardware consisted of frying pans, kettles, iron pots, wooden spoons, and a mortar and pestle. 

On the menu, as uncovered in Two Sides of Thanksgiving, one would more than likely NOT find turkey to be the main meat that filled the Pilgrim's bellies. Nor would fancy dressing or giblet gravy grace the table and any signs of sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie nowhere would be found!

A sneak peak into a Pilgrim kitchen might disclose the following...
Each house had a prominent fire pit and chimney, where the cooking was normally done by the women and girls. Several "recipe books" from the period exist, and provide some interesting insights into cooking at the time. Perhaps the most famous of these is Gervase Markham's The English Housewife, first published in 1615. A recipe for cooking a young turkey or chicken reads: 
http://mayflowerhistory.com/cookingIf you will boil chickens, young turkeys, peahens, or any house fowl daintily, you shall, after you have trimmed them, drawn them, trussed them, and washed them, fill their bellies as full of parsley as they can hold; then boil them with salt and water only till they be enough: then take a dish and put into it verjuice [the juice of sour crab-apples] and butter, and salt, and when the butter is melted, take the parsley out of the chicken's bellies, and mince it very small, and put it to the verjuice and butter, and stir it well together; then lay in the chickens, and trim the dish with sippets [fried or toasted slices of bread], and so serve it forth. [Source: MayflowerHistory.com]

Modern Day Preparation for Traditional Tom Turkey...

Cooking in a kitchen during colonial times...

...as compared to Julia Child in the kitchen!

Two Sides of Thanksgiving

This Day in History: November 26, 1941

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day! Did you know there are two sides to this holiday? One is celebration with a holiday feast often referred to as Turkey Day. The other is a celebration of gratitude known as thankfulness. 

Two Sides of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day: A Holiday Feast


A cornucopia of fruits, nuts, and veggies 
Turkey, trimmings, cakes, and pies 
More than anyone could possibly ask 
Instead of a treat, becomes our demise
Family and friends prepare favorite recipes
Bringing various homemade dishes to explore
Gluttons for punishment, a natural instinct
Lead us back for more and more

Thirst quenched and bellies stuffed to the gills
Rocking chair conversation not too deep
Is it the rocking motion or the turkey
That finally puts us all to sleep?

 Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Gratitude

A cornucopia of thoughtfulness and gratitude,
Thanks from the heart, as well as the lips,
More blessings than anyone could ask
Comes with all the trimmings this day equips 
Family and friends unite in fellowship
Granting praise for all the gifts of the year
A candle is lit and with prayerful hands
The true meaning of Thanksgiving is clear
This day forward may the message remain
Resolute during daily meetings
Thoughtfulness begets thankfulness
Within smiles of holiday greetings

History books are filled with accounts of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Within that history are some of the coolest nuggets of trivia surrounding this day that nudge at the heart and tickle the funny bone. For example, turkey may NOT have been the main meat that filled the Pilgrim's bellies at that first feast. Yet today very few tables will be void of Mr. Tom Turkey and all the trimmings. In fact, if it had been left up to Benjamin Franklin, the Turkey, not the Bald Eagle, would have been designated as our national bird.

As for the establishment of the modern holiday, we can thank President Franklin Roosevelt. On November 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed the bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Of course, Thanksgiving had already been celebrated since the 17th century but not without deviation and considerable controversy. Roosevelt admitted his mistake returning the holiday to November's fourth Thursday.

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