Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stories Behind the Music

Today in Music History: April 17

With every song comes a story. It may be the song itself, the songwriter or a song's performance. Each story conveys emotions capable of bringing on jubilation to tearing your heart out. Music is life. Music is what feelings sound like.

1970, While performing at the White House at the invitation of President Richard Nixon, Johnny Cash was asked to perform 'Okie From Muskogee'. Cash declined because it was not his song, but had been a hit for Merle Haggard. Instead, Cash selected other songs, including 'The Ballad of Ira Hayes' (about a brave Native American World War II veteran who was mistreated upon his return to Arizona), and his own compositions, 'What Is Truth' and 'Man in Black'.

 1970, Santana began sessions for what would be their breakthrough album Abraxas at Wally Heider Recording Studio, San Francisco, California. When released in September of this year, Abraxas peaked at #1 on the US chart. Carlos Santana learned to play the guitar when he was 8 years old. His father was a professional violinist.

 1971, All four Beatles had solo singles in the UK charts, Paul McCartney with 'Another Day', John Lennon, 'Power To The People', George Harrison, 'My Sweet Lord' and Ringo Starr, 'It Don't Come Easy'. The Beatles are talked about as one of the best bands of all times but surprisingly none of The Beatles could even read music! They did know chords and where middle C was on a piano. In a 1980 interview with Playboy, John Lennon said, "I think Paul and Ringo stand up with any of the rock musicians. Not technically great — none of us are technical musicians. None of us could read music. None of us can write it. But as pure musicians, as inspired humans to make the noise, they are as good as anybody."

The Beatles are talked about as one of the best bands of all times but surprisingly none of The Beatles could even read music!
Read more at http://www.omgfacts.com/lists/318/17-Shocking-Facts-About-The-Beatles/8#DCzZFQ9HGkX3CL5S.99

 1971, Three Dog Night started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Joy To The World'. The group's second US No.1; a No.24 hit in the UK. The group didn't think much of this song when they recorded it, tacking it on to the album because they needed one more song to complete it. The song ended up being a massive hit staying 6 weeks at #1 on the US charts. Three Dog Night got their band name from an old Australian Aborigine saying they heard. If it was cold at night, you slept with your dogs for warmth. The next day you might tell a friend, "Man, it was a three dog night last night." This led a lot of people to believe that the group was Australian, but they were based in California.

 1973, Pink Floyd's album 'The Dark Side of the Moon' went gold in the US. The LP went on to stay in the US chart for more than ten years and became the longest charting rock record of all time. Enough copies have been sold that 1 in 12 people in the ENTIRE WORLD own the record. Despite their enormous record-breaking chart success with 'The Dark Side of the Moon', they’ve only topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart ONCE, with 'Another Brick In The Wall Pt. II,' hitting #1 in 1979.

 1982, Vangelis was at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Chariots Of Fire', he later also won an Oscar for the album for best original score. With so much talent, one would think Vangelis could read and write music. Not really. He did finally enroll at a special arts academy, and when the professors asked him to play something, he said that he pretended to read the music and play from memory. He didn't fool the profs one bit, but like a true Aries, he didn't care.

 1991, Nirvana appeared at the OK Hotel in Seattle, where they played a new song, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', live for the first time. Other local bands, such as Mudhoney, Tad, Mother Love Bone, and Soundgarden all appeared at the club, which has now been turned into a residential property. One night, Kurt Cobain got into an argument with Kathleen Hanna (from Bikini Kill). When he woke up the next morning, he found that Tobi had written "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the wall of his hotel room. Tobi was actually referring to the deodorant brand that she wore (Teen Spirit). Unaware of the deodorant, Kurt loved the term so much that he decided to name his Pixies-influenced song, Smells Like Teen Spirit, after the phrase. While he probably had to pay a fine for the vandalism on the hotel's wall, we're pretty sure the song more than paid for the damages.

 1993, David Bowie went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Black Tie White Noise' his eighth UK No.1 LP. Bowie has always been quite visionary, extremely theatrical with his music and the way it is presented to the audience. This was most evident in the late 1960's. He studied mime to portray his music in a different way to many of the 60's clone bands. He believed the future of music would be a combination of acting and video. This would appeal to a greater audience. Hello MTV!

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...    

Classic Raw Horsepower

This Day in History: April 17, 1964

Cars from the 1960s are not considered just cars...they are classics! From the moment they rolled off the assembly line, they made their mark in automobile history: Mustang. GTO. Camaro. Charger. Barracuda. The list goes on. Cruising in an American made 60s classic car was, and still is, an irresistible thrill!

Today, focus is on the Ford Mustang, which was first shown to the public at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It was a smash hit! No wonder in 1964, Motor Trend's Car of the Year award went to the entire Ford lineup, recognizing its combination of design, engineering excellence, and performance.

It began with a vision...
A car that would seat four people, have bucket seats, a floor mounted shifter, be no more than 180 inches long, weigh less than 2500 pounds, and sell for less than $2500.00. ~1961, Lee Iacocca
It evolved into...

1962 Mustang Prototype

1963 Mustang Prototype

The First Production Mustang to Roll Off The Assembly Line
The Ford Mustang was heavily advertised during the latter part of it's development. On April 16, 1964, the day before it's release, Ford ran simultaneous commercials at 9:30 pm on all three major television networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS. The following day, April 17, 1964, people "attacked" the Ford showrooms. Everyone was in a frenzy to be one of the first to own the Mustang. Ford sold over 22,000 Mustangs the first day. By the end of the year, Ford had sold 263,434. By the end of the Mustang's first anniversary, April 17, 1965, Ford had sold 418,812 Mustangs. The Mustang had made a name for itself, and it was here to stay!!!
Source: History of the Ford Mustang
And stay it did!

2015 Ford Mustang

The Mustang is one of Ford’s classic and most well-known vehicles. This iconic car has been the target of the arts and music for decades and has appeared in hundreds of movies.


Related Articles:

Cars in the 1960s

Of Half a Dozen Pony Cars of the 1960s, Only Ford Mustang Remains

How did the Ford Mustang get its name?

How the Mustang Became a Legend


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Man Named Bat

This Day in History: April 16, 1881

Image Credit:
His name was Bat. Bat Masterson. BAT? Why would anyone name a child Bat?  

This kind of 'bat' did not hibernate in a cave nor reduce competition by limiting hunting to the night. He did in a sense search for prey and frequented places that offered means for satisfying his thirst. He did NOT feed on blood so rule out vampire! His habitat varied from town to town but not to be confused with a roost.

So, apparently the photo at the left is NOT Bat Masterson! BUT, it did surely get your attention. That little fellow is a Giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus and not the one of historical note on this day.
Bat Masterson in 1879
Image Credit:

Meet William Barclay "Bat" Masterson, baptized as Bartholomew Masterson, who was a prominent lawman, gunfighter, gambler, saloon keeper and sports writer of the American West. He was a good friend and associate of the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp and definitely known as a ladies man.

Examining Masterson's full name brings to light his parents did not name him "Bat" after all. It was simply a shortened version of a really long name! Of course, that is one possibility. Another stems from a gunshot wound that left Masterson with a limp, thus the necessity for a cane used later for adornment and a weapon (a "bat'). 
"It was as a hunter, he won his name of "Bat," which descended to him as it were from Baptiste Brown, or "Old Bat," whose fame as a mighty Nimrod was flung all across, from the Missouri River to the Spanish Peaks, and filled with admiration, that generation of plainsmen which immediately preceded Mr. Masterson upon the Western stage."
Source: Old West Legends
Masterson did not begin his career as the famed lawman he became. In 1873, he worked as a buffalo hunter and Indian scout in Dodge City, KS. Over the next decade, he mainly made his living as a saloon keeper and gambler but also worked intermittently as the Ford County sheriff (1877-79) and a deputy U.S. marshal (1879).

At this point, the question has probably become "What happened on this day in history in regards to Bat Masterson?"

Being a lawman and gunfighter offered upon occasion possibilities of gunfights. On this day, April 16, 1881, famous western lawman and gunfighter Bat Masterson fights the last gun battle of his life on the streets of Dodge City. The reason behind the gunfight: Bat's younger brother Jim got into trouble in Dodge City and cried for help.
Bat arrived in Dodge City at 11:50 am on April 16, 1881. Stepping off the train, he spotted the two men who were bothering his brother and started yelling at them. Within minutes, there were five people shooting at each other. When they paused to reload, the mayor and the new Sheriff of Dodge City appeared brandishing shotguns and put an end to the action. One of the troublemakers was wounded and they took him to the doctor's office. Bat paid a small fine for his participation in the shoot-out and then boarded the evening train out of town headed west. He was 27 years old and had just had his last gunfight.
He literally "got the hell outta Dodge", as they say. Masterson subsequently moved to New York where he became a newspaperman. He is remembered today as a fierce Old West gunfighter. While it has been said he killed some two dozen men, Masterson himself said his exploits as lawman were not as violent as many pulp writers claimed.

Teeny Tidbit of Trivia

While in New York City, Masterson wrote a series of sketches about his adventures which were published in the magazine, Human Life (c. 1907–1908). It was during this time that Masterson sold his famous sixgun—"the gun that tamed the West"—because he "needed the money." Some reports state Masterson bought old guns at pawnshops, carved notches into the handles and sold them at inflated prices. 

Each time he claimed the gun was the one he used during his career as a lawman.

The legend lives on...

Bat Masterson has been the 'star' of TV and motion pictures. The TV series features reruns on a fairly regular basis on Western channels. Just one question stands out in my mind...What happened to the mustache?

Related Articles:

Bartholomew "Bat" Masterson

Bat Masterson

Bat Masterson Biography

Welcome to the Wild West

Old West Legends

Country or Pop?

Today in Music History: April 16, 1999

In the spotlight: Shania Twain

Shania Twain (born Eilleen Regina Edwards, August 28, 1965)
is a Canadian country pop singer-songwriter

1999 . . . Shania Twain became the first woman to be named as songwriter/artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Sometimes referred to as "The Queen of Country Pop" Shania is one of the most commercially successful artists of all time, having sold over 80 million albums and is ranked 10th best-selling artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era. She was also ranked 72nd on Billboard's "Artists of the decade" (2000–10).

For a kid who grew up singing in rundown bars, Shania Twain is the epitome of the expression "You've come a long way, baby!" She came from a poverty-stricken family and began singing at bars at the age of eight to try to make ends meet. Twain often earned twenty dollars between midnight and one in the morning performing for remaining customers after the bar had finished serving. 
Although she expressed a dislike for singing in those bars, Twain believes that this was her own kind of performing arts school on the road. She has said of the ordeal, "My deepest passion was music and it helped. There were moments when I thought 'I hate this'. I hated going into bars and being with drunks. But I loved the music and so I survived. Twain wrote her first songs at the age of ten, Is Love a Rose and Just Like the Storybooks which were fairy tales in rhyme. She states that the art of creating, of actually writing songs, "was very different from performing them and became progressively important".
Source: en.wikipedia.org
Shania Twain is an exception to the 'rule' and has therefore been the target of both acclaim and criticism. Twain's success is largely attributed to her deliberate crossover - from country star to pop sensation. She exploded onto the country music scene and won the hearts of America. Now, she is no longer singled out as a Nashville sound. Her music goes beyond Nashville as her fans cross the boundary from country to pop.

Shania Twain began as a country music artist. Does she still think of herself as country all the way or does she lean more toward being a pop star?
"I would definitely be considered a pop artist," says Shania. "My roots are country, that's for sure … As long as Dolly Parton always likes my music, then I think I'm safe."
Where is Shania Twain today? 

After staying out of the spotlight for almost a decade, Shania Twain has dominated Las Vegas this year. With hit after hit on both pop and country charts, she has now brought that magic to the massive stage of the Caesars Palace Colosseum. Twain's show comes with seven major costume changes and a lavish hotel suite she calls home.
Shania Twain has been a horse lover and owner for the longest time. She has always wanted to combine her music with horses in a spectacular production and it is finally happening! Shania Twain's new stage show in Las Vegas is all about horses! Watch the video HERE

Enjoy the music of Shania Twain!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Shania Twain

Read More: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Shania Twain | http://tasteofcountry.com/shania-twain-things/?trackback=tsmclip
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Breakfast? Brunch? Lunch? Anytime!


Today is NOT green eggs & ham but IS...

National Eggs Benedict Day

It’s National Eggs Benedict Day! Eggs Benedict is a breakfast dish made with two toasted English muffin halves topped with poached eggs, Canadian bacon or ham, and tangy Hollandaise sauce.

A Bit of History...

Many people claim that they invented Eggs Benedict. According to one story, in 1894 a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict went to the Waldorf Hotel to find a cure for his hangover. At the hotel restaurant he ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and Hollandaise. The restaurant chef Oscar Tschirky loved the dish so much that he added it to the menu and named it after Mr. Benedict.

Another account comes from a man named Edward P. Montgomery. In 1967 he wrote a letter to The New York Times Magazine claiming that he'd discovered the true inventor of Eggs Benedict. Montgomery’s note contained a recipe created by Commodore E.C. Benedict before his death in 1920. Montgomery received the recipe from his mother who was an acquaintance of the Commodore.

Regardless of where the recipe for Eggs Benedict originated, it is now considered a classic. Enjoy this delicious dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner today to celebrate National Eggs Benedict Day!

Many people have never tried Eggs Benedict. Maybe that is because of its 'elite' connotation since it was invented at the Waldorf hotel or maybe it is today's high price when purchased in a fine restaurant. On the other hand, some people enjoy Eggs Benedict on a regular basis. To them, it is as common as having a piece of cheesy toast! To those who have never tried Eggs Benedict, here is a little challenge: Take a quick survey. See how many of your friends can even tell you how its made, or what's in it. Or, simply ask them if they know what it takes to make Hollandaise sauce.

Origin of "National Eggs Benedict Day"
The creator, or the origin of this day has not been designated. It is known that Eggs Benedict was created in New York City over 100 years ago. While today's celebration is declared a "National" day, there are no congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.

Eat up! Finish off! Chow down! 
Just simply enjoy another day of food celebration!
Hot buttered English muffins, Canadian-style bacon, and poached eggs are topped with a heavenly drizzle of Hollandaise sauce. Wonderful for Easter, Mother's Day, or anytime you want to treat yourself to the best brunch in the world! Serve with roasted potatoes for mopping up the extra egg yolk and Hollandaise.