Tag Archives: birthday

Smokey Robinson is 75

SmokeyUsually, when a musical artist reached the age of 70, I would indicate my favorite songs that they recorded. For some reason, though, five years ago, I listed some of my favorite songs WRITTEN by Smokey Robinson. And his legendary songwriting, and producing, IS worthy of note, and absolutely VITAL to the success of Motown Records.

A bit of Motown trivia: I Heard It Through the Grapevine, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, was first recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles [LISTEN], but Berry Gordy rejected it, and Marvin Gaye’s version as well. He allowed Gladys Knight and the Pips to release it, and they had a #2 hit. Then, the other versions were released, with Marvin having a massive hit.

I haven’t heard it yet, but the artist released a new album, “Smokey & Friends” on August 19, 2014 on Verve Records, a duets collection “with Contemporary and Classic Artists such as Elton John, James Taylor, Mary J. Blige, Aloe Blacc, Jessie J, Miguel, CeeLo, Ledisi and more. It was his highest-charting album in 33 years.

The “problem” with putting together this list Continue reading Smokey Robinson is 75

Don't Sleep Through the Revolution, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK-speakingAs I am wont to do, for this anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday, I want to recommend another less well-known, but important, speech, the 1966 Ware Lecture: Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution. Delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Hollywood, Florida, May 18, 1966.

Here’s just an excerpt:

One of the great misfortunes of history is that all too many individuals and institutions find themselves in a great period of change and yet fail to achieve the new attitudes and outlooks that the new situation demands. There is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution.

And there can be no gainsaying of the fact that a social revolution is taking place in our world today. Continue reading Don't Sleep Through the Revolution, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Irwin Corey is 100

IrwinCoreyLP Professor Irwin Corey, as I noted five years ago, is an in-law of an in-law of mine, who I’ve met on a few occasions. My maternal grandmother Gert, whose brother Ernie had married Charlotte, whose sister Fran had married Irwin, was SO excited when Irwin would show up on the talk shows hosted by Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and others. Not sure she understood what he was saying, and I’m fairly positive I didn’t always. But her attraction to this tenuous connection to celebrity was very strong. So we’d always watch when we read in the TV Guide, “Irwin’s going to be on!”

And I guess I’ve become my grandmother, keeping track of Irwin sightings:
Continue reading Irwin Corey is 100

#1 songs on my birthday, 1953-1963

PlattersSince I had decided that I would repurpose some of my 2014 posts for Round 15 of ABC Wednesday, I needed another weekly exercise. My friend Dan Van Riper sent me this list of all the #1 songs since August 4, 1958, which was Ricky Nelson’s Poor Little Fool, signifying the debut of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Prior to that (and indeed for a couple months after that), there were multiple charts, including what was playing on the juke boxes and what the radio disc jockeys were spinning.

That fact explains why, as I decided to post the number #1 song for my birthday, and the song before and after, you’ll occasionally find multiple tunes. Obviously, since I was born before 1958, I had to augment the website with something called… let me check the spelling there… Continue reading #1 songs on my birthday, 1953-1963

The techno learning curve

100_0210I know I go kicking and screaming over learning new technologies. But, sometimes, my (somewhat younger) wife is as old-fashioned as I am. Possibly more so.

I am on Twitter and Facebook, albeit grudgingly; she is not, though she plans to start with the latter. She is one of the few people I know who still has an AOL account; actually, I do too, but I seldom use it.

She’s still using her bank register to check for charitable contributions at the end of the year. Continue reading The techno learning curve