Monday, December 27, 2010

1932: Radio Music Hall opens in New York City

Image result for radio music hall images

Have you ever been to Radio Music Hall in New York City?  

It opened on this day in 1932.   

Since then, over 300 million people have watched shows, movies, concerts and other events.   

One of the great landmarks of New York City.    

It was the brainchild of John D Rockfeller, Jr.   

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

1972: Immaculate reception and Franco Harris

The AFL and NFL merged in 1970.   The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns moved to the AFC.     

The first big game of the new post-merger era took place on this day in 1972:     


On December 23, 1972, in a controversial play that is known as the “Immaculate Reception,” rookie running back Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers grabs a deflected pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw to score a touchdown, winning the game for the Steelers 13-7 over the Oakland Raiders.

The historic play took place during the semifinal playoff game of the American Football Conference (AFC), in Pittsburgh. Ken Stabler of the Raiders scored a touchdown with 73 seconds left in the game, putting Oakland up 7-6. Things looked dark for the Steelers, a struggling franchise that had finished 31 of the previous 39 seasons with a losing record. Bradshaw’s pass, launched from the Steelers’ 40-yard-line, was intended for halfback Frenchy Fuqua. 

When the Raiders safety Jack Tatum collided with Fuqua at Oakland’s 35-yard-line, the ball bounced backwards in a huge arc for a total of seven yards, where Harris scooped it up before it hit the ground and ran 42 yards into the end zone."

The victory put the Steelers in the football map.   They won 4 Super Bowls in the 1970's and became one of the greatest teams in NFL history. 

It all started with a crazy play in an AFC playoff game.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.




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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 1970: Elvis meets President Nixon



Who would have believed this?   On this day in 1970, Elvis Presley paid a visit to President Nixon in the White House.    

As we know now, Elvis was offering his status as a celebrity to help on the war on drugs.    

Elvis had made a huge comeback and his songs were on the charts again.   

Nothing happened but there are some great pictures of the meeting.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

1957: Elvis gets drafted!

Elvis Presley was riding very high but he got a draft notice in the US mail on this day in 1957.     

Elvis ended up in Germany for a couple of years but no one missed him on the radio because of all of the material that RCA had recorded.   

He met a young Priscilla in Germany, the woman that he married in 1967.   He came home in 1960 and enjoyed some big hits like "It's now or never" and lots of others.

Best of all, he didn't complain about doing his duty and gained a lot of respect for that.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We remember Glenn Miller who disappeared on this day in 1944


On this in 1944,  Glenn Miller was lost over The English Channel:

".....Captain Miller in question was the trombonist and bandleader Glenn Miller, the biggest star on the American pop-music scene in the years immediately preceding World War II and a man who set aside his brilliant career right at its peak in 1942 to serve his country as leader of the USAAF dance band. 

It was in that capacity that Captain Glenn Miller boarded a single-engine aircraft at an airfield outside of London on December 15, 1944—an aircraft that would go missing over the English Channel en route to France for a congratulatory performance for American troops that had recently helped to liberate Paris. "

What a great loss.  They made a good movie of his life a bit later.  His music lives on and every generation picks it up, specially when they get into dancing:




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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1977: Another anniversary of Saturday Night Fever


The movie "Saturday Night Fever" hit the theaters this week in 1977.  The rest is history:
"Millions of Americans did, however, make it through the film that made a movie star out of 23-year-old John Travolta and propelled the already famous Mr. Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, to a level of superstardom rarely achieved before or since.

The film, of course, was Saturday Night Fever, a pop-cultural juggernaut that had its world premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles on this day in 1977.
Like many, I watched the movie and found the soundtrack fantastic.  I wasn't that crazy about the movie story but that's OK.  I watched the movie a couple of years ago and my original analysis is the same same:  good music, silly story!

There were four new songs from the movie.  The best was "How deep is your love", a great love ballad.  The others were "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever" and "More than a woman".   




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1799: President Washington died in Mt Vernon


Image result for george washington images


George Washington, our first president, died on this day in 1799.   

Washington was living in Mt Vernon, his retirement home after leaving the White House in 1797.   

Without question, He was the most important and consequential American of that period. 

He will always be remembered as the indispensable American or the one who made the country possible.   


This is why we refer to him as first in peace, first in war and first in the hearts of his countrymen:




------------------------------
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

1951: Joe DiMaggio retired from baseball



The great Joe DiMaggio officially ended his baseball career on this day in 1951.   

He began with the Yankees in 1936 when he was 21.   We remember him for the 56-game hitting streak and a .325 career batting average.  He also played in 10 World Series, including 4 in a row (1936-39) and won the MVP 3 times. (1939, 1941 & 1947).

Was he the best?   Let's say that he was one of the best!    

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

December 8, 1980: Howard Cosell announced that Lennon was dead on ABC Monday Night Football



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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

We remember Pearl Harbor 1941


Like so many others, my father learned of the attack on the radio.   He was 15 and probably did not know where the island was.   However, he quickly figured out that things would get very complicated and very soon.   

We remember the 3,000 who were killed that day and the brave ones who went to war after:



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Monday, December 06, 2010

Dec 6, 1969: # 1 song in the US....Steam "Na na hey hey kiss him goodbye"


"Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na

Hey Hey Hey Goodbye

He'll never love you The way that i love you

Cause if he did, no no He wouldn't make you cry

He must be fooling baby For you my love

My love

So will you kiss him I wanna see you kiss him

I'm gonna see you kiss him, Goodbye

Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey 

Goodbye

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na

Hey Hey Hey Goodbye
He's never near you To comfort and cheer you
When all those sad tears are Falling baby from your eyes
He must be fooling baby Fooling my love
Its alright love I wanna see you kiss him
I'm gonna see you kiss him, goodbye
Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye
Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey
Goodbye 
I really love you girl I really need you
I need to have you near me everyday
You know that's true girl I really need you girl
I cant let you be with him When its not right......."




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1966: "Rubber Soul" gets better with age!





"Rubber Soul" was released on this day in 1965.    

I've owned the vinyl mono, vinyl stereo, 8-track, cassette and now the CD.   It is one of my all time favorite LPs.   I can still listen to it and enjoy each and everyone of the songs.

The US version is different than the one released in the UK.   I learned this when I purchased the CD a few years ago.  Where was "I've just seen a face"?  "Nowhere Man" on "Rubber soul"?.

It is one of the best pop LP's ever, as Rolling Stone reminded us:
Happy 50th birthday to Rubber Soul, the album where the Beatles became the Beatles. It was the most out-there music they'd ever made, but also their warmest, friendliest and most emotionally direct. As soon as it dropped in December 1965, Rubber Soul cut the story of pop music in half — we're all living in the future this album invented.
Great LP and music!





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FDR on the day before Pearl Harbor 1941


We will soon celebrate another anniversary of Pearl Harbor.   I found this note very interesting.    This is from the day before the Japanese bombed the US:   
On this day, President Roosevelt—convinced on the basis of intelligence reports that the Japanese fleet is headed for Thailand, not the United States—telegrams Emperor Hirohito with the request that “for the sake of humanity,” the emperor intervene “to prevent further death and destruction in the world.”The Royal Australian Air Force had sighted Japanese escorts, cruisers, and destroyers on patrol near the Malayan coast, south of Cape Cambodia. 
An Aussie pilot managed to radio that it looked as if the Japanese warships were headed for Thailand—just before he was shot down by the Japanese.  
This is a remarkable note.   In other words, we suspected that the Japanese fleet was moving to Thailand.   We learned the next day that it had been moving to Hawaii all along.



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Saturday, December 04, 2010

1976: The Brooks Robinson 17 year Gold Glove Era ended


Some of us had a chance to watch Brooks Robinson play third base for the Orioles.   

I watched him at the end of his career, 1972-76.    Before that, I remember him on TV, from "The Game of the Week" to the All Star Game to 4 World Series appearances.

On this day in 1976, the Brooks Robinson Gold Glove era came to end.  

Aurelio Rodriguez won the AL Gold Glove.    Rodriguez was an outstanding defensive third baseman with Detroit.    He deserved the award.   

It ended Robinson's streak, 1959-75.    

Brooks was a part time player in 1976 so it was time to give the award to someone else.   He retired next year in 1977 and replaced by Doug DeCinces.

Brooks Robinson was synonymous with third base!   He was also a clutch hitter, i.e. 2,848 hits and 1,357 RBI.    He was the AL MVP in 1964 and World Series MVP in 1970. 

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.
      

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Friday, December 03, 2010

1818: Illinois joined the Union as the 21st state


On this day in 1818, Illinois joined the union as # 21 on the way to 50.     It is today the home of the Cubs and Chicago.



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1839: Young Abraham Lincoln became a lawyer


We know him as The Great Emancipator, perhaps the greatest president and the man who delivered The Gettysburg Address in the middle of the Civil War.   Before any of that, he was a young lawyer in Illinois:


"On this day in 1839, future President Abraham Lincoln advances to another stage in his legal career when he is admitted to practice law in the U.S. Circuit Court. 
It was during his years practicing law that Lincoln honed his now famous oratorical skills."

Lincoln was elected to the US House later and then president in 1860.





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Thursday, December 02, 2010

1961: The day that Fidel Castro said: “Yo soy un Marxista Leninista”!



 Related image


We recall that day in 1961 that Fidel Castro made it official:      
""I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life."
He went on to state that, "Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class."
He also noted that communism would be the dominant force in Cuban politics:
"There cannot be three or four movements.""
And that was it!
It happened about 7 months after The Bay of Pigs and confirmed that Castro would rule Cuba as a dictator.  It ended any hopes of a multiparty election or restoration of the freedoms that the regime had eliminated by executive decree.
I should add that people were thrown in jail or executed in 1959-61 for calling Castro "un comunista".
None of those people were ever released after Castro confirmed that he was "un communista".




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1823: The Monroe Doctrine


It started as a message to Congress.    It became one of the most important foreign policy doctrines in US history.   We know it as The Monroe Doctrine:
"Monroe’s declaration, which was drafted by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams–who would succeed Monroe as president in 1824–was aimed at preventing attempts by other nations to colonize territory on the North and South American continents that had not yet been claimed by Europeans. Although the U.S. population was at the time concentrated east of the Mississippi River, expansion into the western half of the continent was foremost in the minds of many American politicians, including Monroe and his predecessor Thomas Jefferson. Monroe and Adams were also concerned that the British, French and Russians would attempt to annex regions once held by the Spanish (such as the Southwest, Central and South America and the Northern Pacific)–places over which the U.S. itself hoped to extend control."
America for Americans was the message.    Naturally, it had its critics and supporters.   On balance, it worked well and kept European powers out of America.






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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

1990: They started digging "The Chunnel"

It's incredible but true.   You can get on a fast speed train and go under The English Channel.   Here is the story:
After workers drilled that final hole on December 1, 1990, they exchanged French and British flags and toasted each other with champagne. Final construction took four more years, and the Channel Tunnel finally opened for passenger service on May 6, 1994, with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and France’s President Francois Mitterrand on hand in Calais for the inaugural run. 
Still sounds incredible many years later!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy birthday, Sir Winston Churchill


Today, we say Happy Birthday to Sir Winston Churchill:
"He was born on November 30th, 1874. We remember him as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Churchill was one of the most important leaders in modern British and world history."



George Harrison died on this day in 2001


We remember that George Harrison died of cancer on a November day like this in 2001.  His death was not a shock because we knew that he had been deteriorating for months.

George was a teenager when he met Paul & John in Liverpool.  Later, they formed the band that ended up as The Beatles.  

It's hard to believe that it was so many years ago.   Where did the time go?

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


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Nov 30, 1874: Winston Churchill was born!


We remember today one of the great men of the 20th century:


"Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is born at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England."   (History)

Churchill was the man at the right time for the UK in World War II.   




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1874: Winston Churchill was born

churchill

We love “leadership” and great leaders to run our countries.   Today, we remember Winston Churchill, one of the giants of the 20th century who was born on this day in 1874:

“Churchill came from a prestigious family with a long history of military service and joined the British Fourth Hussars upon his father’s death in 1895. During the next five years, he enjoyed an illustrious military career, serving in India, the Sudan, and South Africa, and distinguishing himself several times in battle. In 1899, he resigned his commission to concentrate on his literary and political career and in 1900 was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP from Oldham. In 1904, he joined the Liberals, serving in a number of important posts before being appointed Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, where he worked to bring the British navy to a readiness for the war he foresaw.
In 1915, in the second year of World War I, Churchill was held responsible for the disastrous Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns, and he was excluded from the war coalition government. He resigned and volunteered to command an infantry battalion in France. However, in 1917, he returned to politics as a cabinet member in the Liberal government of Lloyd George. From 1919 to 1921, he was secretary of state for war and in 1924 returned to the Conservative Party, where two years later he played a leading role in the defeat of the General Strike of 1926.
Out of office from 1929 to 1939, Churchill issued unheeded warnings of the threat of German and Japanese aggression.
After the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Churchill was called back to his post as First Lord of the Admiralty and eight months later replaced the ineffectual Neville Chamberlain as prime minister of a new coalition government. In the first year of his administration, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany, but Churchill promised his country and the world that the British people would “never surrender.” He rallied the British people to a resolute resistance and expertly orchestrated Franklin D. Rooseveltand Joseph Stalin into an alliance that eventually crushed the Axis.
In July 1945, 10 weeks after Germany’s defeat, his Conservative government suffered an electoral loss against Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, and Churchill resigned as prime minister. He became leader of the opposition and in 1951 was again elected prime minister.
Two years later, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his six-volume historical study of World War II and for his political speeches.
In 1955, he retired as prime minister but remained in Parliament until 1964, the year before his death.”
There are several lessons from Churchill’s life:
1) Failure is a part of life.  Mr Churchill failed but never gave up;
2) “Call out evil”, as he did over and over again when he spoke about Hitler in the 1930’s; and,
3) Take time for your hobbies, from writing to painting.  
Winston Churchill was a giant of a man.  I hope that the young people are reading about his life and how he used words:







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Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2001: We learned that George Harrison died after a long illness




We remember George Harrison today.  Of course, George died of cancer on a November day like this in 2001.  His death was not a shock because we knew that he had been deteriorating for months.

George usually wrote and sang one song in every Beatles' album.  However, he really excelled in Abbey Road with "Something" and "Here comes the sun".

George was a teenager when he met Paul & John in Liverpool.  Later, they formed the band that ended up as The Beatles.  

George played lead guitar and did some background vocals as well.  He was referred to as the "quiet Beatle" because he was always playing behind John and Paul.  

It's easy to be "quiet" when you are playing behind the "songwriting" machine of Lennon-McCartney!  Nevertheless, his wonderful guitar is heard in everyone of The Beatles's hits, from "Ticket to Ride" to "Day Tripper" to "Come Together".

George was always there but we just didn't notice him that much!


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We remember Rep. Henry Hyde (1924-2007)


Image result for henry hyde images

We remember former Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, who died on this day in 2007.

He was one of my favorite members of Congress.

Most people remember Rep. Hyde because of the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Yet, I recall his work against abortion and wonderful command of the English language.

We miss Rep. Hyde!






We remember Louisa May Alcott (1832-88)


Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1832.    

We remember her book "Little women", a best selling story about the March sisters from 1869.      She followed up that successful publication with "Little Men" (1871).    

In the 20th century, her book was turned into a very popular movie in 1949 and later in 1994.



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George Harrison died in 2001



Image result for george harrison images

Time flies and we remember that George Harrison died many years ago on this day in 2001.  He died of cancer.

George was the lead guitarist for The Beatles.  He joined John's first group along with Paul.  They eventually added Ringo before they recorded "Love me do" in 1962.

Enjoy "Something" and "Here comes the sun", two of his best songs from "Abbey Road".    



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George Harrison 1943-2001



We remember that George Harrison died of cancer on a November day like this in 2001.  His death was not a shock because we knew that he had been deteriorating for months.

George was a teenager when he met Paul & John in Liverpool.  Later, they formed the band that ended up as The Beatles.  

George played lead guitar and did some background vocals as well.  He was referred to as the "quiet Beatle" because he was always playing behind John and Paul.  

It's easy to be "quiet" when you are playing behind the "songwriting" machine of Lennon-McCartney!  Nevertheless, his wonderful guitar is heard in everyone of The Beatles's hits, from "Ticket to Ride" to "Day Tripper" to "Come Together".

George was always there but we just didn't notice him that much!

He did compose and sang "Something", a # 1 song and the only time that one of George's compositions was selected as the A-side of a Beatles' single.  

It's hard to believe that died that years ago.   Where did the time go?



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1963: Ernesto Lecuona died and left us a legacy of great songs


Ernesto Lecuona, the greatest Cuban composer of the 20th century, died on this day in 1963.  His story is one of music and more music:
"Ernesto Lecuona was born in Guanabacoa, Cuba, across the bay from Havana, on August 6, 1895, but for an unexplained reason he actually observed his birthday as August 7, 1896. 
His musical talent was already discernible at age three. Following initial piano studies with his sister, Ernestina, he continued at the Conservatorio Peyrellade with Antonio Saaverda and the famed Joaquin Nin. 
At 17 he graduated from the National Conservatory of Havana with a gold medal in performance. 
He had become a prodigious pianist indeed and his talents were soon on view for the first time outside Cuba when he appeared at Aeolian Hall, New York City in 1916. 
While his ties to his native Cuba were always strong, this initial performance in New York paved the way for an increasing presence in the United States, both as concert pianist and as composer, which eventually led to his permanent move to Florida in 1960, following the rise to power of the Communist leader, Fidel Castro in 1959. 
Lecuona produced a veritable torrent of music during his 70 years, including a number of major pop songs, such as the well-remembered, "Malaguena" the bright and rhythmic, "Siboney," with which one can almost hear the clicking accompaniment of castanets "Always in My Heart" and "Andalucia," better remembered for its Americanized version, “The Breeze and I," which became in the late '30s a popular recording hit by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
While we honor the late Ernesto Lecuona for his wonderful collection of memorable and tuneful songs, his talents in music-making were literally all over the map. 
In addition to more than 400 songs, he also created 176 piano pieces, 53 theater works (zarzuelas, operettas, theatrical revues and an opera), 31 orchestral scores, 6 pieces for piano and orchestra, 3 violin works, a trio, 5 ballets, 11 film scores and many incidental arrangements.
Lecuona's work stretched considerably beyond the printed score sheet. He was the co-founder of the Havana Symphony Orchestra, the Lecuona Cuban Boys Band and La Orquesta de la Habana. 
During the '30s and '40s, he was hired to create a number of motion picture scores for MGM, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and his score for the 1942 Warner Bros. film Always in My Heart was nominated for an Academy Award. 
At one time he also served as honorary cultural attaché to the Cuban embassy in Washington. He also gave successful performances in Carnegie Hall.
Lecuona, who had moved permanently to Tampa, Florida in 1960, died three years later of a heart attack while on a trip to Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. 
He is buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY."
He died many years ago today and left us a wonderful musical legacy.  







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