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Born on this day: November 5, 1941 - Singer, songwriter, and actor Art Garfunkel (born Arthur Ira Garfunkel in Forest Hills, NY). Happy 71st Birthday Art!!
Born on this day: November 5, 1947 - Peter Noone (born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, UK), lead vocalist of Herman's Hermits. Happy 65th Birthday, Peter!!
Born on this day: November 5, 1957 - Mike Score (born Michael Score in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK), lead vocalist and keyboardist of A Flock of Seagulls. Happy 55th Birthday, Mike!!
On this day in music history: November 5, 1956 - The Nat King Cole Show makes its debut on the NBC television network. It will make history as the first nationally aired program to be hosted by an African American performer. The show will begin initially as a 15 minute program, which is then expanded to a half hour in July 1957. The show will feature many high profile guests (and personal friends of Cole's) including Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Harry Belafonte, Mel TormÃ©, and Eartha Kitt. These performers appeared on the show working for either industry scale or for no pay at all. During its run, the program will lack major product sponsorship with many potential sponsors fearing they will offend certain viewers not wanting to see black performers on television. In spite of generating constantly high ratings, the show will be canceled after only 13 months due to high operating costs.
One of the most rewarding and confounding things about being an Earthling who loves music is watching my tastes change with time, or better said, watching them grow – I don’t think there’s very much music I once loved I no longer do. My first favorite acts (at age 3) were The Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, and The Chipmunks, and I still adore them all today.
More surprising to me is how much I’ve come to cherish music I would have once loathed. 2010 became the year I “discovered” easy listening, both light music (which can be found in Amoeba Music's classical section) and lounge music (which can be found in the coincidentally-named Lounge section).
I’ll be honest: there was a moment when Señor Danger and I silently tried to work out a plan where we could sneak the painting out under my jacket or something, but my jacket isn’t 35 feet wide, so we opted to just stand there and marvel at it a bit.
The exhibit is fantastic, and anyone who can should check it out. I realize that most people don’t live in Los Angeles, but still, make an effort. As an added incentive, anyone who travels to the LACMA from more than 100 miles away gets a free Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army revolver autographed by Mary Pickford!*
I know what you’re thinking: How can it be that it’s Black History Month again, already? It seems to come up faster with each passing year. No sooner do I finish cleaning up all the gift wrap and decorations from 2009’s BHM festivities when – BAM! – time to break ‘em out again for 2010.
But I am excited! I love draping my house in the traditional BHM crushed-velvet flour sacks, heated bear skins, and twinkling, sapphire, mailboxes. We gather together around the hot oil printing press and sing BHM carols, get tipsy on Pancake-Sausage Nog, and remind each other, with love in our hearts, not to forget to turn off the air conditioner before leaving the house. Oh, joy! Oh sweet, unmitigated joy!
Of all these rituals, my favorite is the singing of the carols. I thought I’d share some of them with you, and invite you to sing along with me! Just click on a song below and belt one out. If you’re at work, or reading this on your iPhone while standing in the check-out line at Trader Joe’s, or simultaneously looking at Internet porn (way to multi-task!) – no matter! Sing all the louder! Let everyone know: You’re Black and You’re Proud!
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