Amoeblog

New Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Posted by Whitmore, September 23, 2009 03:51pm | Post a Comment

Twelve nominees
were announced this morning for induction onto the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland, Ohio. Among this year's possible entrants are first time nominees KISS, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, the Hollies, LL Cool J and Jimmy Cliff; they join returning candidates ABBA, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Stooges and Donna Summer.

Five of the 12
nominees will be chosen for induction from ballots cast by more than 500 music industry voters. An announcement of the inductees is expected sometime in January. The annual event will take place March 15, 2010 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City and a huge celebration is expected for this, the Hall's 25th Annual Induction Ceremony.
 
Coming this Oct. 29-30 at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Hall of Fame is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an astounding concert and lineup, which includes Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Friends, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Metallica and U2. More artists are expected to be named for this two night shindig. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is also releasing a nine-DVD boxed set, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live, and the publication of a book, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years.

Elephant Appreciation Day

Posted by Whitmore, September 22, 2009 07:40pm | Post a Comment

Here we are again, celebrating yet another odd and perhaps, on the surface, ridiculous holiday that most people don't even know exists. September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day. I know it sounds like an internet hoax but it's a real holiday, more or less.

Back in 1996, September 22 was declared Elephant Appreciation Day by Mission Media, a graphics and publishing firm who got the day included in Chase's Calendar of Events, making the holiday, I guess, official. Mission Media says elephants deserve a day of their own because they are the largest land mammal of our era and are undeservedly threatened with extinction. Sounds good to me, I’m just a bit surprised they didn’t pick a more endangered species like the Alabama Cave Shrimp, the Camiguin Forest Mouse or the Ethiopian Banana Frog. How about the Asian Small-clawed Otter Appreciation Day?
 
So of course one of the first questions posed to me when I mentioned this over breakfast, “how do you celebrate Elephant Appreciation Day?” Take a trip to the zoo, look at the elephants? Drink Carlsberg Elephant malt liquor? Plan ahead and take an African safari on Elephant Appreciation Day? What can children do to celebrate? For the most part, I haven’t a clue.
 
But for the kids, I suggest baking a cake in the shape of an elephant, or if you parents are short on time make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut out to look like an elephant. Maybe have the kids draw or paint elephant pictures and look up interesting elephant facts. Did you know, for example, elephants can live for up to 70 years? They walk about 4 mph but can run for short distances up to about 30 mph. Elephants are able to swim for long distances. They spend about 16 hours a day eating, consuming almost 500 pounds of food per day. Elephant's eyes are small and their eyesight is poor but they have the largest brains in the animal kingdom. One more thing, adult African elephants, the ones with the big ears, weigh about 15,400 pounds, whereas the Adult Indian elephants, small ears, weigh a mere 11,000 pounds.

Guiding Light 1937 – 2009

Posted by Whitmore, September 21, 2009 08:45pm | Post a Comment

The longest-running drama in US broadcast history, Guiding Light, has wrapped it up after 15,762 episodes and an incredible 72-year run. This past Friday, September 18th CBS aired the final episode. Because of its high production costs and falling ratings, it was decided last April to pull the plug. Though there was a huge outcry over the decision, viewership over the last year was still down to about 40 percent of the audience it captured a decade ago. CBS plans to replace the soap opera on October 5 with yet another, newer version of Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Wayne Brady. That sounds like a winning idea!
 
According to what I heard by the water cooler this afternoon, the daytime Soap icon went out big and tearful, with most of the characters gathering for the perfect picnic on the perfect day. Meanwhile back in the town of Springfield, in front of the old light house, the incessantly on-again-off-again romance between Reva and Josh met Fate one more time, one last time, where finally, once again, they reconfirmed their love for each other. This time -- it was best of times, music filled the air tenderly as a beautifully slow moving, gauzy camera shot gazed over the lovers driving off into the sunset in Josh's pick-up truck, no doubt destined for bliss and wedding bells and living happily ever after in the foggy Neverland of cancellation.
 
Some fans complained the ending was rushed. Other fans are still in denial, thinking this must be an elaborate and misplaced April Fools joke, a publicity stunt. Some are saying CBS is crazy, out of their minds, that CBS and their collective heads are up their collective asses, and though it’s great Reva and Josh are finally together again, what about Jeffery, nobody mentioned Jeffrey, what happened, is he still alive, where’s Jeffrey?
 
Nonetheless, millions of devout fans are having to bid adieu to those wonderfully dysfunctional Spaulding and the Lewis families and the seemingly infinite number of marriages, scandals, divorces, affairs, remarriages, re-divorces, the missing, the found, the dead, the back-from-the-dead, little white lies, big bad lies, secrets, shames, gossip, cheats and scoundrels, lusty scoundrels and cheats, the innocent, love gone bad, gone mad, temptations, taboos, mind boggling miracles and mind bending seductions, steamy and sexy story lines heating up kitchen tables and kaffeeklatsches across this star spangled land of ours where old and young hearts skip beats in odd polyrhythmic patterns.
 
Created during the Depression, The Guiding Light debuted January 25, 1937 as a 15-minute program on NBC radio. It was the original soap opera; being owned by Procter & Gamble, most advertisements spotlighted P&G’s line of products like Ivory, Tide, Mr. Clean, Cascade, Zest and Crest toothpaste. The Guiding Light first moved to the CBS radio in 1947 and later premiered on the same television network on June 30, 1952. No American Television show has come this close to spanning the entire history of the medium.
 
So as we fade to black, stay tuned for the award winning drama The Edge of Night, next over most of these CBS stations. This program was recorded.”



Remembering Steve Goodman

Posted by Whitmore, September 20, 2009 06:42pm | Post a Comment
Steve Goodman
I’m not from Chicago, but I like Chicago, and though I’m a true blue, life long LA Dodgers fan, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Chicago Cubs: Wrigley Field, Hippo Vaughn, Three-Finger Mordecai Brown (who really only had three fingers on his right hand, but two them sported World Series rings), Riggs Stephenson, Ron Santo, ‘Mr. Cubs’ Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Milt Pappas, Ryne Sandberg, Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray and on and on ... these have been some tough years for Cubs fans. It's been one hundred and one years and counting since their last World Series victory.

Anyway, today, September 20th, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of one of the biggest Cubs fans ever to cheer amid the hallowed ivy covered walls of Wrigley Field, singer-songwriter Steve Goodman. Born and raised in Chicago, he never had much success as a solo recording artist, though his albums constantly received critical acclaim; he found far greater accolades as a songwriter. Some folks say he wrote the greatest Country and Western song ever recorded, and it says so right there in the song. “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” was the biggest hit record David Allan Coe ever had and the lyrics mention everything a proper and perfect Country/Western song should ever need or want: mama, jail, dead dogs, trains, trucks and drunkenness. Goodman also wrote the greatest friggin’ song about the railroads, “City Of New Orleans,” which became the biggest charting hit of Arlo Guthrie’s career. In the early 1970’s Goodman saw Guthrie in a bar and asked if he could play him a song. Guthrie agreed only on condition that Goodman first buy him a beer. The song would become something of an American standard, covered by many others including Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, John Denver, Jerry Reed, Hank Snow, Willie Nelson and even David Hasselhoff. Goodman also wrote some great songs about his own home town, “A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request;” “Go, Cubs, Go;” “The Lincoln Park Pirates,” a tribute to the notorious Lincoln Towing Company; and “Daley's Gone,” about Mayor Richard J. Daley, undisputed king of Chicago’s backroom politics, the last of the big city bosses, whose power didn’t create disorder, but was there to preserve disorder.

About the time Goodman's career really began taking off, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Still he managed to write and perform and fight cancer; he had a tongue-in-cheek nickname for the disease, “Cool Hand Leuk.” On September 20, 1984, Goodman died at University of Washington Hospital in Seattle. He was 36 years old. Eleven days later, the Chicago Cubs played their first play-off game since 1945 at Wrigley Field.
 
During the 2007 season, the Chicago Cubs began playing Goodman's recording, "Go, Cubs, Go," after each home game win. When the Cubs made it to the playoffs, interest in the song and in Goodman surged, resulting in October 5, 2007 being declared by Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn as Steve Goodman Day across Lincoln's Great State.





International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Posted by Whitmore, September 19, 2009 06:30pm | Post a Comment
Avast me mateys! By the powers this day be, a good day to pour ye self a tall, deep grog, get loaded to the gunwales, raise the Jolly Roger and scare the livn’ bejesus out of them landlubbin’ scurvy dogs, argh! Aye! On the account, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, no son of a biscuit eater goin’ to put up with them lily-livered scallywags, or them sprogs! Aye, I might toss a wee bit wi' a wannion on them scurvy asses, toss em into Davy Jones' Locker. Tell the tale me heartys! Slight no black spot on me troubled soul! Us gentlemen o' fortune need more than doubloons and booty before sailin’ into Fiddlers Green ... aye the sweet trade! Ahoy, ye need a furner to sail thar, wenchs ands the gates of Hades starboard to grabs at ye gods own swaggy golden pieces o’ eight! Yo ho ho ho!
 
Shiver me timbers, I think I was momentarily possessed by the ghost of some long dead privateer, or more likely a B-movie screen writer from the 1930’s!
 
Every September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The day was created back in 1995 by John Baur, AKA ol' Chumbucket and Mark Summers, AKA Cap'n Slappy as an inside joke. But the holiday didn’t achieve any real media attention until 2002 when Miami Herald syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of "distinguished commentary," Dave Barry, wrote about it. Today there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 “Talk Like a Pirate” videos on YouTube, and millions of websites dedicated in one way or another to Talk Like a Pirate Day. According to Summers, he chose this particular date because it would be easy for him to remember; it’s his ex-wife's birthday. Aargh! I hoist a tankard to ya and spit in yer eye, ye ol’ stinkin’ blaggards!

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