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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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

#1 Hits, One Hit Wonder & a Legend Remembered

Note: If the music videos are not visible, go to updated post on June 30, 2016. Put the title in the search box.

Today in Music History: June 30

Music of the day, any day can mesmerize, energize and synergize. It can be the slowest of songs, the fastest of songs and anything in between. It is you, it is me, it is us. Accompanying the songs are the memories, remembering the best of times, the worst of times and everything in between.

1962 Mike Sarne and Wendy Richard were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Come Outside'. Richard went on to become a famous TV actress.
Songfacts: The novelty song "Come Outside" topped the UK singles chart for Mike Sarne in 1962; written by producer/composer Charles Blackwell, released on Parlophone and backed by "Fountain Of Love", it knocked Elvis off the #1 spot and stayed in the charts for a respectable nineteen weeks. The song is a duet of sorts between Sarne and a then youthful Wendy Richard, who didn't sing but played the would-be girlfriend/conquest who Sarne kept asking her to come outside to see the lovely moon (among other things). Richard's replies including "What for?" were delivered in a broad Cockney accent by the Middlesbrough-born actress who trained at the same academy as Noël Coward.
1973 George Harrison knocked Paul McCartney from the top of the US singles chart with 'Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth'. His second US No.1, a No.8 hit in the UK was the opening track on his 1973 album Living in the Material World.
Songfacts:  Harrison (from his autobiography I Me Mine): "Sometimes you open your mouth and you don't know what you are going to say, and whatever comes out is the starting point. If that happens and you are lucky, it can usually be turned into a song. This song is a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it."
 1973 Slade were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Skweeze Me Pleeze Me', the group's fifth UK No.1 and second single to enter the chart at No.1.

Tidbits of Music Trivia...
1977 Marvel Comics launched a comic book based on the rock group KISS.
Claim:   Blood from KISS band members was mixed with the red ink used to print the first KISS comic book. Check this out at snopes.com...fr-e-e-e-eaky!

1978 United Artists released The Buzzcocks single 'Love You More'. At 1 minute 29 seconds, it was the second shortest single ever released. Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs 1960 hit 'Stay' was the shortest hit at one minute 28 seconds.
1979 One hit wonder Anita Ward started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Ring My Bell', also a UK No.1.
They say every living person on the planet is here for a reason — and if your reason just happens to be adding your name to that much discussed list of one-hit wonders, then so be it. I just had a look on Wikipedia and have to say their description is a little harsh: "A one-hit wonder is a person or act known mainly for only a single success." Well, I can think of worse ways to earn a living.
And like everything in life, some one-hit wonders are better than others. In this modern age, we don’t even notice one-hit wonders; we don’t really pay close attention to the charts anymore. What’s at No.1 this week? Anybody know? 

Back to Today in Music History:

1979 Tubeway Army started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Are 'Friends' Electric'. The song by Gary Numan was the first electronic/synthesizer-based record to become a hit in the post-punk era. 
1990 New Kids On The Block started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Step By Step'. The group's third US No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK. Their album 'Step By Step' also went to No.1 on the UK album chart today.
2001 Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Lady Marmalade'. A hit for LaBelle in 1975; then it was at No 1 in 1998 for All Saints. This version was from the Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge.
Remembering a Legend...
2001 American guitarist and producer Chet Atkins died in Nashville aged 77. Recorded over 100 albums during his career, produced records for Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves and Waylon Jennings. Was a major influence on George Harrison and Mark Knopfler.
With more than 35 million copies of his 75-plus original releases sold, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Chet Atkins was one of the most successful guitarists in history; as a country music producer, he was largely responsible for the pop-oriented "Nashville Sound" of the '60s. Read MORE...

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

Tomorrow is Another Day

This Day in History: June 30, 1936

MITCHELL, Margaret. Gone with the Wind.
New York: Macmillan, 1936.
Only a few days ago, history focused on June 27, 1939 when one of the most famous scenes in movie history is filmed. This scene contained a curse word, 'damn', which miraculously, considering the times, passed the firm censors. It was only three years earlier almost to the day when the story that inspired the film is published...finally.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected by 38 publishers before making it to the printing presses. The book won Mitchell the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937. Even with such acclamation it has been dubbed offensive and vulgar by some even to the point of being banned. The scandalous language with bold characterizations met disapproval yet went on to become a bestselling literary classic.

In her own words, Margaret Mitchell wrote...
If Gone With the Wind has a theme it is that of survival. What makes some people come through catastrophes and others, apparently just as able, strong, and brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive; others don't. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those that go under? I only know that survivors used to call that quality 'gumption.' So I wrote about people who had gumption and people who didn't."
NOTE:  There are many "first" types of books out there but ... a true, true first edition of "Gone With the Wind" was published in May of 1936 by The Macmillan Company. Many people are not aware that only 10,000 copies of the true first were printed. 
A Lesson Learned...

To all writers who have, or possibly will, receive rejections, take a lesson from some of the greatest writers of all time. Publishers sometimes just get it wrong...miss the point, thus, lose out all the way around. A rejection should not mean giving up but instead moving on. Just as Scarlett O'Hara faced a life without Rhett Butler, tomorrow is another day!

In other words, Give Up Giving Up!

Countdown: 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1

In 2013, Awakenings featured a countdown to the 4th of July. Each day featured special tributes to America in recognition and honor of her independence: July 4, 1776. With yet another year having passed, it is again time for celebration. Let us not forget those who have fought or are fighting for our nation; they are the epitome of the human spirit called freedom!

Let's begin this year's Countdown:
2 - Remember Our Troops
1 - Happy Independence Day 

Stand by it!  

Having faced acceptance, as well as controversy, this is still the official motto of the United States of America. The phrase appears to have originated in "The Star-Spangled Banner", written during the War of 1812: And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
The patriotic song God Bless America has become an iconic symbol of the United States of America originally written in 1918 by Irving Berlin while he was serving the US Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York. In 1938, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Irving Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show.

Listen to the original FIRST broadcast radio performance of
"God Bless America" sung by Kate Smith.

America was founded on hope, faith and courage


A strong-willed people from very diverse backgrounds crossed treacherous waters, enduring hardships unimaginable to us today. Hope, faith, and courage remained resolute even in the face of serendipitous challenges. 

Hope for an improved life
Led ships to set sail for America
Why did they leave their homes, 
Those ancestors of our generation?


Great fortunes some would seek
While others simply settled for freedom
All were hard-working folks
Laborers with varied education


Some traveled as prisoners
Many were indentured servants
Each hoped for a better life
Built on faith’s determination 


Faith the Christian cornerstone
Inspired stabilization of belief
Preparing for the unexpected
Confirmed a watchful eye of conviction


Enormous challenges emerged
Within an era of self-belief
All answered their call to duty
When courage was commonplace 


Courage to overcome
Took strength larger than life
An innate part of who they were
Hearts and minds did embrace


Thousands of years of descendants
Left their mark for generations to come
Enduring sickness and hardships
With perseverance and innovation

Tiny_Star Tiny_StarTiny_Star

Each has a name, a family
And they are still all together
So who do they proclaim to be?
Our ancestors—Our foundation

 ©2013 Awakenings

Patriotic Berry Trifle

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Music of Yesterdays

Today in Music History: June 29

How interesting to learn something new about the music of yesterdays...the songs, the artists, the times. So often we listen to the songs but don't take note of what's behind the melody. Each song has a story, each recording artist a biography, each musical era a sign of the changing times. Yesterday's gone but not the memories! From nostalgic times to modern times, emotions are preserved in music while alterations in rhythm often produce variances from the simplest to the most complex.


1961 'Runaway' was a No.1 Billboard Hot 100 song made famous by Charles Weedon Westovery, professionally known as Del Shannon, in 1961. The song was written by Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook, and became a major international hit making the No.1 spot on the UK singles chart on this particular day in '61. It is No.472 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time from 2010.

1968 The Small Faces started a six week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake', a concept album with a round cover designed to look like a tobacco tin. The album featured the hit 'Lazy Sunday'.  The band is remembered as one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s. With memorable hit songs such as "Itchycoo Park", "Lazy Sunday", "All or Nothing", "Tin Soldier", and their concept album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, they later evolved into one of the UK's most successful psychedelic acts before disbanding in 1969.
 1991 Jason Donovan had his third UK No.1 single with 'Any Dream Will Do' a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for the 1968 musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This song was in the show right from the beginning, but Tim Rice didn't realize its potential. Donovan was playing the lead role in a new London production of the musical.
 1994 Oasis made their debut on BBC TV's 'Top Of The Pops' performing their new single 'Shakermaker'. The song bears a strong resemblance to the 1971 New Seekers song 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing', which was featured in a famous Coke commercial where children gather on a hilltop to sing. Noel Gallagher cited "irony" as his defense and after losing, joked, "Now we all drink Pepsi."

2003  Singer Beyoncé started a five week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Dangerously In Love', also a US No.1. Beyoncé rose to fame as the lead singer of Destiny's Child. She released her first solo album a year before the group disbanded. In addition to her music career, she has appeared in several movies, including Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Pink Panther and Dreamgirls.


 2008 Ne-Yo was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Closer' the American R&B artists second No.1. Ne-Yo explained the inspiration behind this track to The Boston Globe September 18, 2008: "I knew I wanted to do something that was very much U.K.-inspired, very much along the lines of house, trance, techno, but I knew I couldn't do a straight-up house record or a straight-up techno record. I had to do something that had elements of it but still had elements of R&B, which is my base, and that's exactly what that track was. (Stargate) played the track, and it was exactly where I wanted to go, anyway. I think that's why we work. We're getting to the point where we finish each other's sentences musically."

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

Waffle, Waffle, Waffle!

In the last post, I told you there was more to celebrate today so here it is!

June 29 is...believe it or not,

Ah-h-h-h, the waffle iron, probably at one time the most used and now possibly the least used kitchen appliance you own. Why the change? If you have kids, it is the call of the day for breakfast. If not, it could be one of your own favs you simply never outgrew. The flip side of the coin could be just the opposite or weight watching has kept you away from the waffle menu item.

A Bit of Waffle Iron History...
Waffle Irons were first found in an area of Northwestern Europe known as the Low Countries around the 14th century, which includes Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as other places. Originally they were made to be used over an open flame, and were thus constructed on the end of two long, typically wooden, handles with a clamshell system at one end, which would be held over a fire to bake.
The use of waffle irons goes back to more than just the renown simple breakfast food. Gouda in the Netherlands is the home of a delicious cookie type treat known as a ‘stroopwafel’. Developed by Gerard Kamphuisen, this sweet syrup filled confection became quite popular, leading to a boom where up to 100 stroopwafel makers were to be found in the city. The stroopwafel has since become quite popular around the world.
One of the most popular uses of waffles came about seemingly by accident, allegedly created by George Bang in 1904. He had run out of bowls to give out with his Banner Creamery Ice Cream, and started giving out rolled up waffles to use instead. It’s alleged because there are other origin stories as well, including a Belgium gent from Ghent, who moved to Norfolk, Virginia, and decided that a rolled up Waffle was the perfect place to put a scoop of ice-cream!
While waffle irons are made for waffles - multi-waffle irons that make more than one at a time, round ones, Belgian waffle-makers with their deep squares and thick waffles begging to be topped with strawberries and cream - they are NOT just for the delicious breakfast staple, waffles, any more! Waffle Iron Day is a GREAT opportunity to experiment with different options. Get creative!

Chocolate Chip Mickey & Minnie Waffles
Don't own a waffle iron? This is the day to add a new gadget to your kitchen repertoire. There are shapes available from Mickey Mouse to the state of Texas. And, you don't have to limit it's use to breakfast either. Make an entire menu from waffles, spanning breakfast to dinner and everything in between. Ever tried baking a pizza (or even thought about it for that matter) in a waffle iron?

Why not go for Carrot Cake Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls in a Waffle Iron, Waffle Iron Hash Browns, Waffle Iron Ham & Cheese Panini, Crisp-Chewy Waffle Iron Brownies, Waffle Iron Eggs, etc. Check 'em out HERE!

Have you ever tried to make anything besides WAFFLES in your WAFFLE IRON?
 Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!


 If you missed the earlier celebration, click HERE!