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"On this Day in American History"



Comment... Read more about Mr. Charles here...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Charles

The phone call that Ray Charles placed to Atlantic Records in 1959 went something like this: “I’m playing a song out here on the road, and I don’t know what it is—it’s just a song I made up, but the people are just going wild every time we play it, and I think we ought to record it.” The song Ray Charles was referring to was “What’d I Say,” which went on to become one of the greatest rhythm-and-blues records ever made. Composed spontaneously out of sheer showbiz necessity, “What’d I Say” was laid down on tape on this day in 1959, at the Atlantic Records studios in New York City. The necessity that drove Ray Charles to invent “What’d I Say” was simple: the need to fill time. Ten or 12 minutes before the end of a contractually required four-hour performance at a dance in Pittsburgh one night, Charles and his band ran completely out of songs to play. “So I began noodling—just a little riff that floated into my head,” Charles explained many years later. “One thing led to another and I found myself singing and wanting the girls to repeat after me….Then I could feel the whole room bouncing and shaking and carrying on something fierce.” What was it about “What’d I Say” that so captivated the audience at the Pittsburgh dance that night and the rest of humanity ever since then? Charles always thought it was the sound of his Wurlitzer electric piano, a very unfamiliar instrument at the time. Others would say it was the call-and-response in the song’s bridge—all unnnhs and ooohs and other sounds not typically found on the average pop record of 1959. Whatever it was, it worked well enough to become Charles’ closing number from that night in Pittsburgh until his final show. “You start ‘em off, you get ‘em just first tapping their feet. Next thing they got their hands goin’, and next thing they got their mouth open and they’re yelling, and they’re singin’ and they’re screamin’. It’s a great feeling when you got your audience involved with you.” “What’d I Say” was a sure-fire hit with live audiences and with record-buyers. It was a #1 R&B hit for Ray Charles in 1959 and a #6 pop hit as well—his first bona fide crossover hit, but certainly not his last.
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"On this Day in American History"



Comment .... More on the famous Brian Wilson.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Wilson

From the very beginning, the Beach Boys had a sound that was unmistakably their own, but without resident genius Brian Wilson pushing them into deeper waters with his songwriting and production talents, songs like “Surfin’ Safari” and “Surfin’ U.S.A.” might have been their greatest legacy. While the rest of the band toured during their mid-60s heyday, Wilson lost himself in the recording studio, creating the music for an album—Pet Sounds—that is widely regarded as one of the all-time best, and a single—”Good Vibrations”—on which he lavished more time, attention and money than had ever been spent previously on a single recording. Brian Wilson rolled tape on take one of “Good Vibrations” on February 17, 1966. Six months, four studios and $50,000 later, he finally completed his three-minute-and-thirty-nine-second symphony, pieced together from more than 90 hours of tape recorded during literally hundreds of sessions. Brian Wilson began “Good Vibrations” that February night in 1966 with the intention of including it on Pet Sounds. Harmonica player Tommy Morgan recalled how those sessions would work: “You’d sit with a music stand with a blank piece of paper, waiting for Brian to give you your notes. He knew exactly what he wanted. He had every note in his head.” The problem was that Wilson had an awful lot of those notes in his head—notes for different keyboards, different strings, different percussion instruments and, most famously, notes for the most “different” instrument ever to appear on a pop record: the otherworldly electric theremin, an early electronic instrument previously heard only in movies like It Came From Outer Space. Emulating and ultimately outdoing his idol Phil Spector, Brian was building “Good Vibrations” into a massive wall of sound, and the further he went with it, the more it became clear that his vision for the record was too great to rush. Pet Sounds was released without “Good Vibrations,” which Wilson returned to in earnest several months after his initial sessions. When the rest of his fellow Beach Boys finally heard the track that Brian Wilson had been working on in seclusion for more than half a year, they were extremely enthusiastic, and “Good Vibrations” went on to become their third #1 hit single. It also turned out to be the last Beach Boys recording that Brian Wilson would fully participate in for years to come, as drugs, depression and mental illness derailed his career in the late-1960s.

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"On this Day in American History"



Comment... Having been a bike rider for years I am somewhat familiar with risky behavior.. I still have a sore shoulder from a fall that will never go away.. As a rabid Olympic fan I sometimes wonder if that crash is worth it.. I've seen the worst of them.. Mr. Johnson died in 2016. He was 55..... Read the story....

On February 16, 1984, Bill Johnson becomes the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing, a sport long dominated by European athletes. Johnson quickly became a national hero, though his fame was short-lived, and he never again competed in the Olympics. William Dean Johnson was born March 30, 1960, and grew up in a working-class family in Oregon. He was frequently in trouble as a child and was once was arrested for stealing a car. In January 1984, the little-known Johnson, then 23, became the first American man to win a World Cup downhill race, at Wengen, Switzerland, and he boldly predicted he would take home a gold medal the following month at the Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. To the amazement of the skiing world, the prediction came true on February 16, 1984, when he finished the men’s downhill with a time 1:45:59 and beat Switzerland’s Peter Muller, a favorite to win the race, by .27 seconds. Johnson won two more World Cup races that season. However, his newfound fame seemed to go to his head and his brash, cocky personality alienated many in the ski community. Additionally, Johnson lived a lavish, hard-partying lifestyle and stopped winning races. In 1988, he was left off the U.S. ski team for the Olympic Games in Calgary. At age 40, Johnson attempted to stage a comeback and qualify for the U.S. ski team for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. However, in March 2001, he suffered a devastating crash at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Big Mountain Resort near Whitefish, Montana. The crash put him in a coma for several weeks and left him with brain damage.
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"On this Day in American History"



Comment ... Ah, the controversial death penalty.. Cruel and unusual punishment.. Lawyers have been tossing this back and forth for years... Some leaders in Connecticut want to bring it back now.. The Governor here not to long ago stopped it, however in a country run by Lawyers for Lawyers what do you expect... New Laws are being made that circumvent existing laws to fit the crimes of the politicians, the rich and famous or anybody that fits certain profiles. Its going to be and still is a long battle.. I have a feeling that its all about the money and not about what is right and wrong...

On this day in 1933 Giuseppe Zangara shoots Anton Cermak, the mayor of Chicago, in Miami, Florida. Zangara’s shots missed President-elect Franklin Roosevelt, who was with Cermak at the time. Cermak was seriously wounded and died on March 6. Immediately after Mayor Cermak died from the gunshot wounds, Zangara was indicted and arraigned for murder. He pled guilty and died in the electric chair on March 20, only two weeks after Cermak died. Today such a swift outcome would be practically unheard of, particularly where the death penalty is concerned. Changes began in the 1950s. In the most notable case, Caryl Chessman spent almost 12 years on California’s death row before going to the gas chamber in 1960 for kidnapping. His appeals kept him alive while he wrote three published books and caught the attention of Hollywood and the international community, who lobbied publicly on his behalf. The Chessman battle did more than any other case to politicize the death penalty; some credit it with bringing Ronald Reagan (who fiercely opposed commuting Chessman’s sentence) to office as California’s governor. Chessman was one of the last Americans to be executed for committing a crime other than murder. Such cases have become commonplace in modern times. Jerry Joe Bird met his demise through a lethal injection in Texas in 1991, after 17 years on death row. In 1999, two inmates who had been on death row for 20 years appealed to the Supreme Court that the long delay itself was cruel and unusual punishment. The Court declined to hear their appeal, ruling that the prisoners had caused the delay themselves.
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"On this Day in American History"



Comment .... So many things have happened on St. Valentines day its hard to pick just one. Man's evilness to humanity on a day that means love seems to over shadow all the good things.. So because I've heard this story many times I feel I should go with this one...

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families. To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270. Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.” For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death. In truth, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February.” One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa. Legends vary on how the martyr’s name became connected with romance. The date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day. Gradually, February 14 became a date for exchanging love messages, poems and simple gifts such as flowers.
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