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.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!

Today in Music History: September 14

A musician often finds himself or herself in roles other than playing a musical instrument or variety of instruments. Nor are their voices only for vocalizing in harmony for the chart topper melodious tunes. This latter is especially noted in animated films or cartoons. The characters speak, even the animals, but what about the voices? Robotic, digitized voices are unnatural. Our cartoon and furry friends of television and movies need voices unique to their character. In addition, there are opportunities where a musician turns actor or actress. This may require the speaking voice, as well as the singing voice. In other words, in the life of a musician, versatility rocks 'n' rolls. Such is the case for today's spotlight who also left the music business for five years to go into ministry.

Richard Wayne Penniman The first name is more than likely somewhat familiar but there are various performers with that same given name. However, only one goes by the stage name Little Richard. Why Little? "Little Richard" was his childhood nickname, and even though he was not a little adult (almost 6 feet tall), he kept the name. His family listened to singers like Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald. Richard couldn't find any music he liked, so he created it.

Little Richard...
♥~voiced the "Special Edna" episode during the 14th season of "The Simpsons"
♥~sang the title song with Phillip Bailey to the movie "Twins" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. Bailey was a member of the band Earth Wind and Fire.
♥~performed at the President Clinton's inauguration
♥~appeared in several early rock films, such as Don't Knock the Rock (1956), The Girl Can't Help It (1957) and Mister Rock ‘n’ Roll (1957).
♥~featured in Down and Out in Beverly Hills and had roles in Last Action Hero, The Naked Truth and The Trumpet of the Swan.
♥~shared the spotlight with The Beatles and toured with The Rolling Stones.
With his blood-pumping piano playing and suggestive lyrics, Little Richard, along with the likes of Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, established rock as a real musical form and inspired others, most notably the Beatles, to make a go of it.
1955 Little Richard entered a New Orleans recording studio to begin two days of recording. Things were not going well and during a break, Richard and his producer; Bumps Blackwell went to the Dew Drop Inn for lunch. Richard started playing the piano in the bar like crazy, singing a loud and lewd version of ‘Tutti Frutti'. With only fifteen minutes left in the session, Richard recorded the song and coined the phrase, ‘a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom'.
A Bit of 'Tutti Frutti' Trivia...
Little Richard did not invent the name "Tutti Frutti," it was a popular flavor of ice cream. The phrase is Italian for "All Fruits," and the ice cream had little bits of candied fruit mixed in. In 1938, the Jazz duo Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart, who recorded as Slim And Slam, released a popular song called "Tutti Frutti," which was about the ice cream. Little Richard's was a completely different song.[Songfacts.com]
In 1957, Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard) left the music business to pursue a life as a minister. In 1962, concert promoter Don Arden convinced Penniman to tour Europe after telling him his records were still selling well there. Penniman struggled when he returned to secular music in the 1960s. Read MORE about his return and comeback...

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

The 'Mad' Hatter

If you remember the fictional comic strip character The Mad Hatter, you recall he was a supervillian and enemy of Batman. He is modeled after the Hatter from Lewis Carroll's novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland having a fetish for hats of all shapes and sizes. You might be pondering what does this have to do with what's happenin'? Looks like hats are definitely in the picture so let's see what is up for grabs.

September 15 is...

National Felt Hat Day & Make a Hat Day

Wearing hats is not as commonplace today as in the past. There was a time when the wearing of a hat displayed a manner of distinction, especially among the men. Then, there are those whose hat matches that person's character, real and imaginary. These hats are often made of felt. 
Hatters began to flourish in Nuremburg, Germany as early as 1369. In 1453, the French had adopted head covering generally. In Colonial days, the hatters of England complained of the competition among the American colonies. Ever since that time America has been very proficient in hat-making although soft felt hats were not worn in America until 1850. Until the early 20s all of the operations were performed by hand. With the evolution of machinery came the ability to mass produce hats at a much faster rate than could be accomplished by hand. However, it is still believed the hand process makes a better hat.
Keep in mind this day is two-fold: Felt Hat Day & Make Your Own Hat Day. There are, of course, some craziness in this world when it comes to the designing and wearing of hats. Did you know a turban can be made out of leggins? Well, you know now and how! Just click the image and scroll down to the video.

Idiosyncatic Fashionistas
 Play with Your Clothes: Ladies, Start Your Turbans!

If you are not into wearing or making a hat on this day, perhaps you will simply get some enjoyment from some famous people. Here are a few of the 'mad' hatters who would not dare be caught without wearing their signature hats. Click each image to read more on their stories.

 Ronald Reagan Cowboy Hat
The primary component of the Stetson hat is felt, 
which is fashioned from a variety of fur,
preferably beaver, rabbit, and wild hare.
 Jackie Kennedy Pillbox Hat
There is hardly any hat more iconic than that of
former America's First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Abraham Lincoln Top Hat
Does the hat that links us to his final hours define the president?
OR Does the president define the hat?

Check out a few more recent Men in Hats. Some of the guys are really quite handsomely hatted! Not in the baseball caps either :-) Click the image...

Johnny Depp was declared Hat Person of the Year  
by The Headwear Association in 2011.

Related Article:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Sandwich & Dessert

Sundays are for relaxing...that includes little or no time in the kitchen. Right? Less cooking means less clean-up. Less clean-up provides moments to relax or time to enjoy something fun. What vision comes to your mind as the quick, non-demanding lunch? It can be eating out but also something put together fairly easy at home.

September 14 is...


What is so great about the hoagie is that it is a built-to-order sandwich with generous portions of meat and cheese. In addition, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, peppers - the works, whatever you have on hand - provide accompaniment along with a drisseling of seasoned oil & vinegar dressing. A variety of breads are available but the Italian roll (bun) is the standard choice. Recorded history denotes Philadelphia as the place of origin for the true Italian hoagie, which was declared the "Official Sandwich of Philadelphia" in 1992. The Italian version combines various meats - Italian ham, prosciutto, salami - and provolone cheese.

There are various stories as to how the Hoagie got its name.
The most widely accepted story centers on an area of Philadelphia known as Hog Island, which was home to a shipyard during World War I (1914-1918). The Italian immigrants working there would bring giant sandwiches made with cold cuts, spices, oil, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers for their lunches. These workers were nicknamed “hoggies.” Over the years, the name was attached to the sandwiches, but under a different spelling.
This is not the first day designated for the big, tasty sandwich known as the Hoagie. National Hoagie Day was celebrated on May 5, which is a yearly celebration. Of course, a hoagie is good on any day!



"Too few people understand a really good sandwich." ~ James Beard

After the hoagie, it is time for dessert. Of course, this little 'sweetie' can be enjoyed any time of the day, morning, noon, night or any hour in between!
September 14 is...

A doughnut, thick cake or light yeast raised, doesn’t have to have a hole. Culinary speaking, it just needs to be fried dough that’s sweet. In some parts of the world, doughnuts are twisted like ropes, or braided like plaits or shaped like biscuits. This day's celebration focuses on those that are filled with a creamy specialty, such as whipped cream or something more exotic like whipped ganache, pastry cream or buttercream frosting. Flavoring the cream is purely taste generated with options that are endless. 

A Bit of Doughnut History...
Doughnuts were introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s by Dutch settlers that were known for their pastries. The first doughnut with a hole in the middle is said to be a creation of American Hansen Gregory. Thankfully, someone after Hansen made the brilliant decision to save the holes for mouth-watering goodness of their own. Then, came the brilliant idea of the delicious cream filling! These were so well-liked that the Boston Creme Doughnut, perhaps one of the most popular cream-filled doughnuts, became the official doughnut of Massachusetts in 2003.
Celebrate National Cream Filled Doughnut Day with a stop at your local bakery for a box of fresh cream filled donuts! OR you just may want to make some of your own. Nothing any better than homemade!



Is your mouth watering yet?

Happenin's on September 14...
♥~ 1741 - George Frederick Handel completed his Messiah. It took the composer just 23 days to complete the timeless musical treasure which is still very popular during the Christmas holiday season
♥~ 1814 - Frances Scott Key, an attorney in Washington, DC, was aboard a warship that was bombarding Fort McHenry (an outpost protecting the city of Baltimore, MD). Keywrote some famous words to express his feelings. Those words became The Star-Spangled Banner, which officially became the U.S. national anthem by an act of Congress in 1931. National Anthem Day is celebrated on March 3rd of each year.
♥~ 1965 - F-Troop premiered on ABC-TV. The nutty post-Civil War sitcom ran through Aug 31, 1967.
♥~ 1972-  The Walton’s aired for the first time on CBS-TV.  Families tuned in every Thursday night to get a TV view of the life happenings of the Walton family. The Depression years (and later) story, narrated by its creator, Earl Hamner, Jr., was seen through the eyes of the oldest of 7 children, John Boy, portrayed by Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas. Can we all remember how the show ended? Good night, John Boy”, “Good night, Jim-Bob”, “Good night, Elizabeth” ….
♥~ 1978 - The first show of the TV series Mork & Mindy, starring the irrepressible Robin Williams as Mork and actress Pam Dawber as Mindy, aired on ABC-TV. Mork had made an earlier (February, 1978) appearance, landing on earth during an episode of Happy Days. Na nu, na nu.
♥~ 1991 - San Antonio police arrested a 76-year-old man in an anti-prostitution sweep. From jail he called his 102-year-old mother for help. He said he couldn’t call his wife—she’d kill him.

Lose Yourself in the Music

Today in Music History: September 13, 2014

Not only are the songs of the decades memorable but so are the stories behind the music. The best are usually presented in the form of trivia. Bizarre? Sometimes. Hilarious? Often! While most times the trivia follows the music of the day, today the trivia will kick off the music with more to follow. Get ready! Lose yourself in the music; smile and laugh at the trivia.

1958 Cliff Richard made his British TV debut on Jack good's 'Oh Boy', performing 'Move It'. Before he was allowed to appear on the show, Richard was ordered to remove his sideburns. Wonder what would have happened if Elvis had taken the stage? See another hit by Richard on Burning Bones to Broken Hearts, August 25.

1960 A campaign was started in the UK to ban the American hit 'Tell Laura I Love Her' by Ray Peterson. The song was being denounced in the press as likely to inspire a teen-age "glorious death cult." The story told of a lovesick youngster who drives in a stock car race to win the hand of his sweetheart. He crashes and just before dying, groans out the words of the title.

1964 On their 4th British tour date, two dozen rugby players were hired as 'a human crash barrier' at a Rolling Stones gig at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. The 'human chain' disappeared under a wave of 5,000 fans as the Stones took to the stage.
On to the music (with a little more trivia thrown in the mix)...

1965 The Paul McCartney song 'Yesterday' was released as a Beatles single in the US. The final recording was so different from other works by The Beatles that the band members vetoed the release of the song as a single in the United Kingdom. (However, it was issued as a single there in 1976.) Check out the trivia at Yesterday with Sunshine, March 11, 2014.
1980 Kelly Marie was at No.1 in the UK with the single 'Feels Like I'm In Love'. Ray Dorset from Mungo Jerry wrote the song.

1985 'We Are The World' won Best Group Video and the Viewer's Choice at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Don Henley's 'The Boys Of Summer' video won four trophies, including Best Video. Bruce Springsteen's 'I'm On Fire' gets the nod for Best Male Video and Tina Turner won Best Female Video for 'What's Love Got To Do With It'.

1986 Berlin went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Giorgio Moroder written and produced 'Take My Breath Away'. On the B side, The Righteous Brothers 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', both songs were featured in the film 'Top Gun'. 
1986 The Communards were at No.1 on the UK with the singles chart with 'Don't Leave Me This Way', which had been a hit for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in 1975 and later a hit for Thelma Houston
 1987 Michael Jackson started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Bad', his follow up to the 'Thriller' album It stayed at No.1 on the US chart for six weeks.
1991 Geffen Records threw a party to launch Nirvana's single 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. The band ended up being thrown out of their own party after starting a food fight.

1997 Mariah Carey started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Honey', her 12th US No.1 and third single to debut at No.1. It was a No.3 hit in the UK.  
1997  The Verve scored their first and only UK No.1 single with 'The Drugs Don't Work', taken from their third album, Urban Hymns. The track became the band's most successful single in the United Kingdom.
1998 Lauryn Hill started a five week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'.
2000 Elton John threw a tantrum when he was set to appear at a sell-out show at the Estoril Casino near Lisbon. Elton was unhappy after the members of the audience were slow in leaving a VIP dinner before the concert, Elton left the building and flew home on his private jet without playing a note.

2009  Vera Lynn went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn'. At the age of 92 it made her the oldest living artist to achieve this feat with an album. The previous oldest living artist to top the charts was Bob Dylan, who at 67 saw his album 'Together Through Life' become number one in the UK earlier this year.


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