Saturday, July 31, 2010
(The leopards attempt at changing spots)
When Iran, under Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized Iran's oil production in March of 1951, it put a crimp in the relations between Iran and Britain, who had enjoyed massive profits from drilling operations going back to 1909 and who, by 1950 had come to rely (as did the U.S.) on Middle East oil for 70% of its consumption (even back then). After a hotly contested dispute, which brought in the League of Nations to re-negotiate in 1933, Iran got slightly more of a percentage and by 1946 had negotiated to get 30% profits to Britain's 70%.
After Mossadegh took over and nationalized Iran's oil production, Britain quickly attempted to negotiate a 50/50 split, but Mossadegh would have none of it. The dispute between Britain and Iran went on for two years. So on August 22, 1953, with the help of our very own CIA the Mossadegh government was overthrown and The Shah was reinstated. Shortly after, Britain and Iran were negotiating oil.
And shortly after, The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company became British Petroleum. And the rest, as they say, is history.
This clip comes from a CBS newscast of August 21, 1951 when the negotiations had broken down.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
(Madam Walker Collection, Ind. Historical Society Library)
In celebration of Black History Month, The Indianapolis StarLibrary assembled this set of pages drawn from our coverage over the years.
Black Hoosier Firsts
The Underground Railroad
The town of Westfield, Ind., was founded by three Quaker families who had moved to Indiana from Virginia and North Carolina to escape the Southern economy that was built on slave labor. Their fledgling little town grew and soon became a regular station on the Underground Railroad.
Other stations have been identified in Merrillville and Fountain City.
(Conner Prairie Photo)
Mapping the trail of freedom
The Indiana Freedom Trails project will map as many known "stations" along the routes as possible and enter them into a database
The Roberts Settlement
In their day-to-day life and farming experience, the people of Roberts Settlement were unexceptional. What was exceptional was that they had economic opportunities unavailable to other African-Americans. They were free citizens, and the time was the 1800s.
The Indianapolis Recorder
Founded by George P. Stewart, a Vincennes High School graduate who studied printing in his brother Clarence's tiny shop, it grew from a small advertising publication known as the Directory to a full-sized newspaper.
The Recorder was a champion of equality, addressing issues such as public accommodations. It also spoke out against retailers who benefited from black patronage but wouldn't advertise in black newspapers.
Its alumni include William Raspberry, who began his career at The Recorder in the 1950s and later became a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post.
in the Civil War
More than 1,500 black Hoosiers fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. About 250 of them are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, where they are remembered in an annual ceremony.
The Great Migration
Between 1910 and 1970, an estimated 6.5 million African-Americans left the South in search of freedom and opportunity in the North.
In a three-part series published in October, 2000, staff writer Abe Aamidor and staff photographer Mike Fender told the stories of a few of the thousands of migrants who came to Indianapolis during that time.
Heads are bowed in a tiny storefront when a brick suddenly crashes through a window, showering the congregation with glass. Fear-stricken worshipers seek cover.
Black churchesThe church has always played a major role in the African-American community, where it served social, political and cultural needs as well as religious ones. Ministers often also served as local civil rights leaders.
Thomas Shipp, Abram Smith, both 19, and 16-year-old James Cameron were being held on charges stemming from the slaying of Claude Deeter, 23, and the assault on Mary Ball, 19, of Marion.
Authorities said Deeter and Ball were in a car parked along a Marion road the night of Aug. 6 when three blacks drove up "in a dilapidated touring car," Deeter was shot four times and died the next day.
Shipp, Smith and Cameron were arrested at their homes the next morning.
When news of Deeter's death spread, a mob organized in Fairmount stormed the jail, beating down doors with sledgehammers and forcing their way into the suspects' cell.
Riot squads from nearby cities poured into Marion along with National Guardsmen from Kentucky, armed with machine guns and tear gas.
Shipp, Smith and Cameron were severely beaten and then dragged to the jail's courtyard. Smith "probably was dead before he was hanged," according to a Page One story inThe Indianapolis Star.
Ball's father "attempted to divert the mob by pleading with them not to carry out their plan," The Star reported.
Shipp and Smith had been hanged from the same tree when the woman's uncle shouted Cameron probably was innocent and should not meet the same fate.
As Cameron was taken back to his cell, mob members said Shipp's and Smith's bodies would hang until noon the next day "as a warning to other Negroes."
Cameron later served four years in prison after a jury convicted him of being an accessory to manslaughter. Reference materials used for this column do not state whether anyone was charged in the beatings and hangings.
Crispus Attucks High School 1927-1986
It was founded because of racism - a segregated high school to keep black students separate. But despite that intention, Crispus Attucks High School became a source of pride.
Named for a black man who was killed when he led an attack on British soldiers during a tax protest in the streets of Boston in March 1770, the school is remembered by some mainly for its championship basketball teams of the 1950s.
But those who attended Attucks in its heyday recall a demanding and talented faculty - many with advanced college degrees - that pushed students to be their best.
-- more on Crispus Attucks --
But the street on which Madame C.J. Walker's hair care and cosmetics firm had blossomed into a million-dollar enterprise would become a battle zone.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Park Ave. and 39th.
At Hudson River terminus of Cortlandt St., motorized and horse-drawn vans transferred goods to and from barge-borne railcars.
Pike and Henry, Lower East Side, with Manhattan Bridge and a horse.
S. Klein On-The-Square, Union Sq. Contraposto.
Union Square with Turkish subway kiosk. Is that man using a cellphone??
Magnificent Manhattan spires from Willow and Poplar, Brooklyn. Cathedrals of Commerce.
Berenice Abbott photos, 1937
Avenue D and 10th St. Chain-drive truck.
Riverside Drive Viaduct. .
Oyster House, South Street, under Manhattan Bridge, with pile of oyster shells.
Father Duffy, Times Square. Andre Kertesz, 1937.
Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn (now DUMBO), Kertesz, 1937.
Henry Hudson Parkway at 72nd St.: fancy interchange. Fairchild Aerial Surveys, 1937.
Rockefeller Ctr., 1937. St. Thomas’ Church at left, site of Jackie O’s funeral. Fairchild.
Simply Add Boiling Water, 1937. Photo by Weegee.
The old Met(ropolitan Opera), Garment District, 1937. Weegee.
Still clean and gleaming, the Towers of Zenith, 1937.
Berenice Abbott, 1938
Duke Mansion, a tobacco tycoon’s, 1 E. 78th St. at Fifth Ave.
40th between 6th and 7th. Zoning generates the form.
Flam & Flam, Lawyers, 165 E. 121st St.
Wall Street from 60 Wall.
From 60 Wall Street.
Cathedral Parkway (110th Street).
Columbus Circle. Building with Coke sign another of Hearst’s skyscraper bases. Unlike the one Foster is currently completing, this one was torn down for the Gulf and Western Building, now re-imagined by Phillip Johnson as the Trump International Hotel.
Jefferson Market with the hulking, deco Women’s House of Detention behind (now demolished for a park). From the barred, open windows, the ladies would hurl obscenities at passersby.
504-506 Broome St. Ancient.
Union Square West. A hilarious jumble gets A+ for accidental design. These lots once held town houses. Their dainty footprints have been preserved, so the buildings have a delicate scale regardless of their height. One is a miniature skyscraper. Scale-obsessed NIMBYs take note: you need to object to a building’s footprint, not its height.
From Jersey, the classic skyline view.
Subway Portrait. Walker Evans, 1938.
Artists and Poets, Washington Sq., 1939
42nd Street Beauties, looking west, 1939.
Clipper, 1939. Europe in 29 hours.
DC-4 Over Midtown, 1939. Hood’s Daily News Building lower right.
Fish market meets railroad under Roebling’s bridge, 1939.
RAY CHARLES: LOOKING BACK
As his 80th birthday approaches, a look at the life and legacy of the late Ray Charles.
"I just do what I do." That's what Ray Charles told Billboard in June 2002 when asked to assess his role in music history. Of course, Charles' self-effacing response belies a groundbreaking career and a legacy that endures today, as fans look toward celebrating what would have been the legendary artist's 80th birthday Sept. 23. Looking back at Charles' storied career, what comes to mind is the phrase "musical genius." In Charles' case, that's no hype.
In 1954, the artist's melding of gospel and blues yielded the pioneering hit "I've Got a Woman"-and forged an indelible imprint on R&B, rock and pop. His earthy, soulful voice graced a steady stream of classics after "Woman," including "Drown in My Own Tears," "What'd I Say," "Hit the Road Jack," "Unchain My Heart," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Georgia on My Mind."
Video below: Ray Charles performs "Hit The Road Jack" in São Paulo, Brazil on September 22, 1963.
Video below: Ray Charles performs "Then I'll Be Home" in Montreux, Switzerland on July 19, 1997.
Just as at home on the Hammond B-3 organ as he was on the piano, he also landed at the top of Billboard's R&B, pop, country and jazz charts-and even the dance chart, collaborating with childhood friend Quincy Jones and Chaka Khan on "I'll Be Good to You."
His final recording, 2004's "Genius Loves Company," made history when it won eight Grammy Awards, including album and record of the year for his pairing with Norah Jones on "Here We Go Again."
But what many may not know is that the inimitable Charles was also a genius when it came to the business side of music. In the early '60s he negotiated a rare feat after leaving Atlantic Records to sign with ABC-Paramount: ownership of his own master recordings. He also established his own labels. Tangerine (his favorite fruit) came first, which later evolved into CrossOver Records.
A songwriter who penned nearly 200 songs, Charles also operated his own publishing companies, Tangerine Music and Racer Music. For these entities, Charles and longtime manager Joe Adams designed and built the RPM International office and studios on Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Ray Charles Memorial Library will open in the building this fall.
Charles also found time to manage the careers of other acts, including Billy Preston and '70s R&B group the Friends of Distinction. And way before it was de rigueur for artists to do, Charles set up what became a foundation to help needy children with hearing disabilities and later on support education.
He was an amazing human being," says Jones, 77, who became friends with Charles when both were scrappy teenagers in Seattle. "A true innovator who revolutionized music and the business of music," he adds. "Growing up, we only had the radio; no Michael Jackson, Diddy or Oprah. So it was hard to imagine today's entrepreneurial world. But that didn't stop us. We spent a lot of time talking and dreaming about things that brothers had never done before."
"He really was a genius," says singer Solomon Burke, a former Atlantic labelmate. "He did things the way he wanted."
Charles was born Ray Charles Robinson Sept. 23, 1930, in Albany, Ga. As many learned through actor Jamie Foxx's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 2004 film "Ray," Charles became blind by age 7 and orphaned at 15 while growing up in northwest Florida.
In eight years at a state school for the blind, the young Charles learned how to read and write music. Leaving Florida in 1947, he headed for Seattle ("Choosing the farthest place he could find from Florida," Jones says), where he notched his first hit two years later as a member of the Maxin Trio, "Confession Blues."
Even then, Charles was an enterprising individual. "He had his own apartment, record player, two pairs of pimp shoes, and here I am still living at home," Jones recalls with a laugh. "His mother trained him not to be blind: no cane, no dogs, no cup. His scuffed-up shoes... that was his guide and driving force. He was the most independent dude I ever saw in my life. Ray would get blind only when pretty girls came around."
Signing with Atlantic Records in 1952, Charles as a West Coast jazz and blues man recorded such songs as "It Should've Been Me" and label co-founder Ahmet Ertegun's composition, "Mess Around."
Then he connected in 1954 with "I've Got a Woman," which set off a chain reaction of more hits capitalizing on his bold gospel/blues fusion. But Charles was just getting started. In 1958, he performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, accompanied by a band that featured such jazz cats as saxophonists David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford. Further bucking convention, he recorded "The Genius of Ray Charles," a 1959 release offering standards on one side (including "Come Rain or Come Shine") and big band numbers on the other, featuring members of Count Basie's orchestra and several arrangements by Jones.
Video below: Charles' 1966 Coke commercial, "So Tired."
Leaving Atlantic for ABC-Paramount, a fearless Charles recorded the seminal "Genius + Soul = Jazz" album in 1961. A year later, his earlier dabbling in country music grew serious with the release of the million-selling "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music."
Complemented by lush strings and a harmony-rich choir, he scored with covers of Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" and Ted Daffan's "Born to Lose"-and spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
For a black man to do this in 1962 was unheard of," says Tony Gumina, president of the Ray Charles Marketing Group, which handles the late artist's licensing affairs. "He was trying to sell records to people who didn't want to drink from the same water fountain as him. But this was one of his greatest creative and business moves: to not be categorized musically and cross over. Though he never worried about it, he was resigned to the fact that he might lose some core fans. But he thought he'd gain far more in the process."
Gumina was operating his own promotion company working with state lotteries when he met Charles in 1999. The two teamed up on a series of commercials for various state lotteries and also introduced a line of Ray Charles slot machines also accessible to the blind.
"Everything he did had a business acumen to it," says Gumina, who cites Charles' liaison with manager Adams as a pivotal turning point. Originally hired to be Charles' stage announcer, former radio DJ Adams segued into overseeing production of the singer's shows, lighting and wardrobe.
Together the pair designed and built Charles' L.A. business base, RPM International (Recording, Publishing and Management) studio. When he began recording there in 1965, the label rented the studio from him, so he made money on his recordings before they were even released.
To save money on travel expenses, Charles purchased an airplane to ferry his band around to gigs. A smaller plane was also acquired so that Charles could wing in to, say, New York to record a couple of songs before flying back out in time for a show.
"He understood the entertainment business enough to know that you may not be popular forever," Gumina says, "and you need to maximize your product. At the same time, he had as much fun as any rock star but without the sad money stories. There was a time to work and a time to play, and he knew the difference. He didn't have a bunch of homes or a large entourage. That's why he was able to save $50 million before he died."
Calling Charles an "incredibly smart man," Concord president John Burk says he learned a lot from the ailing singer while he was recording his final studio album, "Genius Loves Company."
Video below: Ray Charles performs "It Ain't Easy Being Green" in Trentnton, NJ on Nov. 7, 2002.
Going through "some sticky deal points, he was amazing," Burk recalls. "He had the whole agreement in his head. Without referencing any material, he knew all the terms we proposed and had the deal done for the album in two discussions."
Creatively, Burk says Charles was an artist dedicated to delivering "a true performance from the heart. Part of his creative legacy was his approach to singing. He opened the door to vocal improvisations, changing how people perceived you could sing a song. Many singers today are influenced by him and they don't even know it."
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