Monday, January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since 1986, every third Monday in January is dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. In 1994, Congress named MLK Jr. Day as a national day of service in honor of his objectives. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?" Although you may get the day off of school or work, MLK Day can be seen as "a day on, not a day off."
If you are looking for a way to be part of the soultion and do for others, or want to observe the great man with a parade or concert, please see our list below of events in the Los Angeles area and in the Bay Area.
Los Angeles Area:
Lancaster: Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day on Jan. 19
The year 2013 marks the sixth anniversary of Lancaster's annual Day of Service event in honor of Dr. King.
Santa Monica: Soka Gakkai International Auditorium Presentation on Jan. 19
Hosted by the Santa Monica College, the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration is free of charge to attend. It is billed as a "multiethnic interfaith program" that features readings, presentations, music and community news.
525 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica
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Remembering jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. (born in Buffalo, NY) - December 12, 1943 - December 17, 1999.
On this day in music history: December 17, 1955 - Musician Carl Perkins will write the rockabilly classic "Blue Suede Shoes." The song is inspired by a story told to Perkins by his friend and Sun Records labelmate Johnny Cash. Cash tells him about a black airman referring to his military regulation shoes as "blue suede shoes." Not long after that, Perkins is playing a dance and from the bandstand he'll see a couple dancing and he'll hear the man say "uh-uh, don't step on my suedes!" After the show, he will begin writing the song on his guitar laying down the chord progression when the lyrics start coming to him. With no other paper around, Perkins will begin scrawling the words down on a brown paper potato sack. Two days later, on December 19th, Perkins and his band will record the song at Sun Studios in Memphis. It will be released on January 1, 1956. Initially radio stations begin playing the singles' flipside, "Honey Don't." DJ Bill Randle at WERE in Cleveland will flip the record and begin featuring "Blue Suede Shoes" on his nightly radio show. By the end of January, the record is a hit in the Cleveland area and begins to spread to other cities. Within another month the single is a national hit, simultaneously climbing the pop, country, and rhythm & blues charts. Tragedy will strike on March 22, 1956 for Perkins when, while traveling to New York City to make a television appearance on the Perry Como Show, he and his band are involved in a serious car accident. The singer and his brother sustain serious injuries. Fortunately this incident does not stop the record's momentum. "Blue Suede Shoes" will spend three weeks at #1 on the Country & Western chart, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart and #2 on the Rhythm & Blues chart, selling over a million copies. Carl Perkins recording of "Blue Suede Shoes" will be inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1986.
Harry Houdini vs. Laurie Anderson
My actual heroes in this world are few and disparate. From Harry Houdini to Laurie Anderson, from John Lennon to Mrs. Mary Eales, they reflect people who may inspire and impact me with their art, their political activism, their bold-faced chutzpah, or any combination thereof.
But perhaps no one embodies all these traits to such heightened super-awesomeness for me than the great Paul Robeson.
Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1898. His father was an escaped slave-turned-church minister; his mother was from a Quaker family, and died tragically when Paul was six, which isn’t funny at all, so don’t laugh.
Paul received a full academic scholarship to attend Rutgers University, which I hear is a pretty good school, though I’ve never been there myself because I’m allergic to schools. Seriously. If I even step foot on a campus I start itching, sweating, and my head comes completely off and falls to the ground and rolls away.