Tuesday, December 31, 2019

We remember Rick Nelson (1940-1985)

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Rick Nelson died in a plane crash in Texas in 1985.   He was flying to Dallas for a concert.

He recorded many songs, from "Traveling man" to "Hello Mary Lou" to "Young emotions".    My favorite is "Fools rush in", a tune from the 1940's that Nelson brought back in 1963.    

You can get his music HERE.

We remember Roberto Clemente (1934-72)

Roberto Clemente was killed in a plane crash many years ago:
"On December 31, 1972, an airplane chartered by the professional baseball player Roberto Clemente to bring food and other relief supplies to survivors of a recent earthquake in Nicaragua crashes shortly after takeoff from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Five people were killed in the crash, including Clemente, whose body was never recovered."
Like most of you, I was shocked to hear the news.       

Clemente hit .317 and got # 3,000 on his last at-bat of the 1972 season.   He was the MVP of the 1971 World Series and hit .318 in the postseason.

December 31, 1972: The day we lost Roberto Clemente

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It was a stunner, especially for those of us old remember to remember the news flash.   

As I recall, I heard the news early the next morning.    It was truly shocking because we had also heard about the horrible earthquake in Nicaragua.    Clemente was carrying some supplies to Nicaragua when his plane was lost:

1967 Dallas vs Green Bay: A great game known as The Ice Bowl

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1944: "Frenchman's Creek" a.k.a. the lady and her pirate?

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Thanks to TCM, we got to catch "Frenchman's Creek", a 1944 romance between a beautiful lady and a pirate.    I had seen this movie a couple of times before.   

You pick something new every time.    

What can we better than that?  The story of an aristocratic English woman who falls in love with a French pirate.     The cast is Joan Fontaine (the pretty lady), Arturo de Córdova, Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway, and Nigel Bruce. 

It was based on a book but I have not read it.   

What's the best part?   No political correctness!   No preaching about global warming, identity politics, colonialism or the EPA claiming that cannons are causing environmental damage.

And Joan Fontaine looks stunningly beautiful in those dresses!

We remember General George Marshall (1880-1959)

We remember George Marshall, who was born on this day in Uniontown, PA, in 1880.    

This is his story:   

Marshall's father owned a prosperous coal business in Pennsylvania, but the boy, deciding to become a soldier, enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute from which he was graduated in 1901 as senior first captain of the Corps of Cadets. After serving in posts in the Philippines and the United States, Marshall was graduated with honors from the Infantry-Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth in 1907 and from the Army Staff College in 1908. The young officer distinguished himself in a variety of posts in the next nine years, earning an appointment to the General Staff in World War I and sailing to France with the First Division. He achieved fame and promotion for his staff work in the battles of Cantigny, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne. After acting as aide-de-camp to General Pershing from 1919 to 1924, Marshall served in China from 1924 to 1927, and then successively as instructor in the Army War College in 1927, as assistant commandant of the Infantry School from 1927 to 1932, as commander of the Eighth Infantry in 1933, as senior instructor to the Illinois National Guard from 1933 to 1936, and as commander, with the rank of brigadier general, of the Fifth Infantry Brigade from 1936 to 1938. In July, 1938, Marshall accepted a post with the General Staff in Washington, D. C., and in September, 1939, was named chief of staff, with the rank of general, by President Roosevelt. He became general of the army in 1944, the year in which Congress created that five-star rank.
In his position as chief of staff, Marshall urged military readiness prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, later became responsible for the building, supplying, and, in part, the deploying of over eight million soldiers. From 1941 he was a member of the policy committee that supervised the atomic studies engaged in by American and British scientists. The war over, Marshall resigned in November, 1945.
But Marshall could not resign from public service; his military career ended, he took up a diplomatic career. He had been associated with diplomatic events while chief of staff, for he participated in the conference on the Atlantic Charter (1941-1942), and in those at Casablanca (1943), Quebec (1943), Cairo-Teheran (1943), Yalta (1945), Potsdam (1945), and in many others of lesser import. In late 1945 and in 1946, he represented President Truman on a special mission to China, then torn by civil war; in January, 1947, he accepted the Cabinet position of secretary of state, holding it for two years. In the spring of 1947 he outlined in a speech at Harvard University the plan of economic aid which history has named the «Marshall Plan».
Looking back, The Marshall Plan was one of the greatest decisions of the 20th century. It probably saved Western Europe. (Postwar Challenges)

It gave France, Germany, Italy, and others a chance to rebuild their cities and industries.

The Marshall Plan was started in 1949 when Sec. of State Marshall gave this speech:
"Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." (The Marshall Plan - George C. Marshall, Harvard University (June 5, 1947)

A chat with Matt Baldoni about his career and the Australian Bee Gees

We remember Paul Casanova (1941-2017)

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We learned in August 2017 about the death of Paul Casanova, who played for the Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) and the Atlanta Braves.
Paulino Casanova Ortiz was born on December 31, 1941, in Perico, Matanzas.    He also played for Almendares in the Cuban winter league.
Casanova broke with Washington in 1965 and ended with Atlanta in 1974.
In 1967, Casanova made the American League All Star team as a member of the aforementioned Senators.   It was his best year in the majors, as reported on SABR:
Casanova set career highs in games played (141), plate appearances (551), and RBIs (53) in 1967. One particularly memorable game started on the evening of June 12. In Washington, the Senators and the Chicago White Sox played a 22-inning marathon. Casanova caught the whole thing, receiving 268 pitches.
As he recalled in 2012, “The reason the game went so long was because of my defense” – he wiped out a number of runners. He went 1-for-9, missing a chance to end it in the 20th inning when he hit into a third-to-home-to-first double play with the bases loaded – but his one hit was the game-winner at 2:44 A.M.”
22 innings behind the plate plus the winning hit in the 22nd frame?   That’s really something!
I met him in the 1970s and he was a very nice friendly person.   We chatted politics, baseball, and music, his other great passion.
RIP Paul Casanova.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

We remember John Denver (1943-1997)

John Denver was born on this day in 1943.   He died in a plane crash in 1997:
"Denver was piloting the two-seat light plane along the California coast when the engine failed shortly after 5 p.m., plunging him into ocean waters just past Monterrey Bay."
In the 1970s, Denver dominated the pop charts with songs like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Annie's song".     

Great songwriter and singer!  He was born on this day in 1943.    His songs are HERE.

1966: Eddie Matthews traded from the Braves to the Astros in the offseason

Eddie Matthews' long association with the Braves ended on this day in 1966.  

He is the only man who played for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.   Aaron joined the team in Milwaukee.   Spahn was traded the year before the Braves moved to Atlanta for the 1966 season.

His greatest years came in Milwaukee where he hit over 450 HR.   

He led the league in 1953 and 1959 and was a huge part of the Milwaukee team that won the NL pennant in 1957 and 1958.   

The Braves tied LA for the NL pennant in 1959 but lost a playoff.

Overall, Matthews finished with 512 HR and 1,453 RBI.

Matthews and Aaron were teammates from 1954 to their last year together in Atlanta.  Along the way, they were an awesome power duo in the middle of the Braves' lineup.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy # 82 Paul Stookey of Peter Paul & Mary

We wish a very happy birthday to Paul Stookey of the legendary folk group, Peter, Paul & Mary:
"In 1961, Stookey was the emcee, comedian and occasional singer at Gaslight, a club in Greenwich Village. One night, he was approached by Albert Grossman, a manager, who asked him if he was interested in joining a new folk trio. He initially said that he wasn't, but afterMary Travers and Peter Yarrow went to his apartment and the three sang together, Peter, Paul and Mary was born."
And the rest is history:

Happy # 84 Sandy Koufax

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We say happy happy birthday to the great Sandy Koufax.

Some of us are old enough to remember Sandy Koufax.  I saw him on TV and specially rushing home from school to watch Koufax break my heart and shut out the Twins in game 7 of the '65 series.

Thanks to the new technology, we've had a chance to revisit many Koufax games that we don't remember or never got to watch.   Frankly, I have never seen a more dominating performance than Koufax's shutout of the NY Yankees in the '63 series.  It rivals Bob Gibson's 17 K's against the Tigers in the '68 series. (I remember running home to watch that Gibson classic too!)

Are we getting older or what?   Believe it or not, Sandy Koufax made his pitching debut many years ago when he pitched two innings of relief in the Dodgers' 8-2 loss to the Braves on June 24, 1955.

Koufax retired after the '66 season at age 31 with 165 wins, 40 shuouts and a 2.76 ERA.   

Koufax had the most dominant 6 seasons in modern history.  From '61 to '66, Koufax went 129-47, with 1,713 strikeouts, 35 shutouts and a 2.19 ERA.

His principles did not allow him to pitch on Jewish Holy days. He did not pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series due to Yom Kippur.

Well done Sandy Koufax. You were great! Thanks for the memories. I forgive you for breaking my heart one afternoon in October 1965!

And here is a great book that you should read:

Happy # 77 Michael Nesmith

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We remember Michael Nesmith who was born in Houston on this day in 1942.  Most of us remember Nesmith because he was one of The Monkees, the rock group that recorded several hits in the late 1960's.  

Nesmith wrote some of the group's hits, as well as "A different drum" recorded by The Stone Poneys.  After The Monkees, Nesmith had a few solo hits in the 1970's.

Tags: Happy # 76 Michael Nesmith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

A word about Davy Jones, 1945-2012

We remember Davy Jones who was born in the UK on this day in 1945.

We heard in March 2012 that Davy Jones passed away in Florida

Davy Jones was one of The Monkees, the pop group that had a bunch of hits for a couple of years in the late 1960's. 

Davy was the girls' favorite.  I remember that my sister had Davy Jones posters on her wall.  She was a huge fan of the group's music and their weekly TV series.

The Monkees sold millions of records.   They were actually a pretty good group and I liked many of their songs, too.  However, their success faded as the TV show went off the air.

Davy was the lead vocalist on "Daydream Believer", a # 1 song in December 1967. 

He also sang lead on "A little bit me, a little bit you", another chart topper from March '67 and the second Neil Diamond tune recorded by the group.  (The other was "I'm a believer")

We remember Irene Sendler (1910-2008)

We live in a crazy world.   

It's nice to remember those who did something unusual, especially someone who saved the lives of others.

Irena Sendler died in Poland in 2008. She was 96. Her story is amazing:
"When Germany invaded Poland in the fall of 1939, Sendler was just shy of her 30th birthday.

"The whole of Poland was drowning in blood, but the Jewish nation was suffering the most, with the Jewish children the most vulnerable," she recalled. Sendler and a group of friends in the Warsaw municipality's social welfare department started producing false documents to provide Jews in the ghetto with monetary assistance that the Germans had cut off."
Like so many others, Mrs. Sendler stood up to evil. She risked her life so that others could live.

Mrs. Sendler leaves a great legacy of heroism and dedication to mankind. 

The "John Adams" mini-series is worth every minute!

As a naturalized US citizen, I've always had a passion for everything about US history.

I think that the US is the greatest nation in history.

It has done more good for mankind than anyone else.

Its sons have liberated millions.

It's economy has brought more prosperity to more people than anything else.

Last, but not least, I don't have patience for those who take cheap shots at the US.

This great nation opened its arms to our family.   It gave us a chance at a new life. 

It has given me so much.  Therefore, I don't stand quietly when people take "cheap shots" at the US.

Let me recommend the new "John Adams" series on HBO. It aired recently and I watched all 7 hours this weekend.

The main character is John Adams, our first VP and second president.

The series covers the Declaration of Independence (a great segment), his trip to Europe, his service as VP, President and the retirement years when he reconciles with Thomas Jefferson.

You can not understand John Adams without understanding his amazing wife, Abigail.

During their long and very happy marriage, Abigail and John wrote an amazing number of letters. The "letters" have given historians so much background about the events and passion of that period. They tell the story of a man and a woman living in the early days of a new nation.

Here is a historical gem:  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two of the key players for independence.  They died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, or the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Watch it. You will love every minute of this great series.

2006: Saddam executed in Iraq

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Saddam Hussein, the deposed dictator of Iraq, did not make it to the New Year: Saddam was executed on this day in 2006.   He argued with the guards before the execution, according to some news reports.

In my book, Saddam should have been removed in '98.  This is when he expelled the UN inspectors. Saddam gave the world the middle finger and made a mockery out of the UN, the cease-fire and the rule of law. On top of that, he was shooting at US/UK planes enforcing the UN resolutions and paying $25,000 to the families of terrorists blowing up Israelis.

Why did Saddam do all of this?  Because he knew that President Clinton would not take him out.  

The story finally ended on this day in 2006.

P.S. I thought that President Bush made a very good case for removing Hussein:

"Sandlot" is a fantastic movie

Want to watch a great movie?   Try "Sandlot", the story about the boys and their sandlot team.

Once upon a time in Los Angeles, there was a sandlot baseball team.   They used to play ball every day, a story that most men my age will understand.

During one of their games, a boy hit the ball over the fence and it landed next to "the beast" or a big dog that scared the heck out of them.

What was the big deal?   The ball was signed by Babe Ruth and they were using it without dad's permission.

Well, I've given you enough of the story.   Watch it because it is fantastic.

You can get the movie here!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

We remember Ray Thomas (1941-2018)

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We just heard that Ray Thomas, one of the founding members of The Moody Blues, passed away in 2018.   He was 76.   

Thomas was born on this day in 1941 and with the group when they recorded classics like "Nights in white satin" & "My lady".

We remember James Brown (1933-2006)

James Brown died in 2006, or many years ago this week.   I remember seeing 

"James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died Monday, his agent said. He was 73."
In the late 1960s, I was a big fan of James Brown. His legacy is a string of hits and songs!   You can get his collection HERE.

Rest in peace, James Brown. You left us a lot of good music.

The Orioles 1979-83, the best team in the AL

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We remember one of the best teams in recent AL history, the 1979-83 Orioles.    There were future Hall of Fame players on that squad:  Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray & Cal Ripken.   There were some great players, like Mark Belanger, Al Bumbry, and Ken Singleton.   The pitching staff included Scott McGregor, Dennis Martinez & Mike Flannagan.

They were a great team:

1878: Pro baseball starts in Cuba

On this day in 1878,  professional baseball started in Cuba.    

The first game was between Habana and Almendares, the two teams that would be great rivals until Castro dissolved the league after the 1960-61 season.    

The league had four teams in the 1950s:   Habana, Almendares, Marianao, and Cienfuegos.   

It was great and very passionate baseball.

Along the way, many major leaguers played winter ball in Cuba, from Willie Mays to Brooks Robinson.   

Havana was also a AAA franchise, the Havana Sugar Kings in the Cincinnati organization.    Havana played in The International League with other teams in Montreal and Toronto.

For more on Cuban baseball history, check out "The pride of Havana":

December 1957: Pat Boone's "April Love" was # 1

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In 1957, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone were the two most popular vocalists.   Elvis was the king of rock and Pat was the king of romantic tunes.    
On this day in 1957, it was Pat's turn to sit in the # 1 spot with "April Love".   He displaced Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock" from the top of the charts.

You can get it here!      It was based on a movie of the same name, although the song was more memorable than the film!

We remember Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017

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We remember  Mary Tyler Moore who was born on this day in 1936.   She died in 2017.

We remember her as the wonderful Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke" then Mary Richards in her own show and finally in the drama "Ordinary lives".

She was great and a big part of our lives:

Tags: Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Habana vs Almendares: A little “beisbol” in Cuba

We remember an important anniversary in Cuban baseball
"On December 29, 1878, the first game is played between two teams of the first professional baseball league in Cuba, later known as the Cuban League. Representing the city of Havana, the Habana club faced off against their greatest rivals, a club from the neighboring suburb of Almendares. Habana, coached by Esteban Bellán, the first Cuban to play professional baseball in the United States, won that inaugural game 21-20." 
The first game eventually turned into the very successful Almendares-Habana rivalry, the Cuban version of the Yankees-Red Sox story. Eventually, there was a winter league with teams like Marianao and Cienfuegos.  

It all started today in 1878!

Happy # 73 Marianne Faithful

Does time fly or what?   Marianne Faithful was born on this day in 1946.  

She was well known as Mick Jagger's girlfriend and recorded "As tears go by" when she was still a teenager.     Her songs are HERE.

In the 1970's, I lost track Marianne and she faced a lot of challenges with drugs and other personal problems.    Nevertheless, she was one of my favorites years ago.

Dec 29, 1845: Texas entered the Union

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Over time, Texas became the second largest economy in the US and a huge political factor as well.     

Years ago, James Michener wrote a good novel about Texas:

Saturday, December 28, 2019

1973: The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago was published many years ago today:

"Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "literary investigation" of the police-state system in the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956, is published in the original Russian in Paris. The book was the first of the three-volume work. The brutal and uncompromising description of political repression and terror was quickly translated into many languages and was published in the United States just a few months later."
It is a very difficult book to read but worth the effort.  The USSR died in 1992 but we can not forget what was done in the name of communism.

We remember "super glove man" Aurelio Rodríguez (1947-2000)

We remember Aurelio Rodriguez.   He was born in Mexico on this day in 1947  and died tragically in 2000.
Aurelio broke with the Angels in 1967.    He hit 19 HRS with 83 RBI in 1970.  
After that, he was better known for his incredible glove at third base.   He finally won the Gold Glove in 1976 after Brooks Robinson of the Orioles won 16 in a row.
Overall, he hit .237, 124 HR & 648 RBI in 2,017 games.   He was a great defensive third baseman and that's why he played such a long career with the Angels, Tigers & Yankees.  
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Friday, December 27, 2019

1932: Radio Music Hall opened in New York City

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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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