Monday, April 11, 2011

LEBANON 1958

US_Marines_Beirut_1958---re.jpgU.S. Marines in Beirut, 1958 - sooner or later . . . .

DOWNLOADS: 95
WMV
PLAYS: 73
Embed

With talk today about creating a"No-Fly Zone" over Libya in response to the continuing crisis over Gadaffi, I keep wondering how wise a move of that sort is. Historically, there has always been some sort of physical involvement with European or American forces in the region whenever a crisis looms. One of the gratifying aspects to the current situations in Tunisia and Egypt is that we purposely kept a hands-off approach to the crisis, allowing that thing called "the right of self-determination" to take hold. And even though our intentions may be pure and humanitarian, we still have a long enough history in the region to remind those on the streets that our efforts in the past have not always been the most pure and forthright. We have often arrived, but with strings attached. Many years ago it was the result of the Cold War that U.S. aid to those regions came flooding in because it was feared the Soviet Union would jump in as well. But now we have the opportunity to do things differently for the first time perhaps ever.
Case in point about our past involvements in the Middle East; here is a broadcast from the CBS Radio series Radio Beat which centers around the crisis in 1958 concerning Lebanon. At the center of the controversy was pro-Western Lebanese President Camille Chamoun who, at the time of this broadcast (June 26th, 1958) was trying to maintain an air of normalcy about the growing rebellion in his country.
Howard K. Smith (CBS News): “Mister President, some aspects of the conflict are mystifying to the American public, I would like to ask you what exactly was the original cause of the trouble in Lebanon?”
President Camille Chamoun (Pres. Of Lebanon): “Well, it is simply the desire of the United Arab Republic to dominate the policy of this country.”
Smith: “Well, it is said that the original cause was a decision by you to try to be elected for a second term as President, is there any truth in that?
Chamoun: “The election or re-election of the President in any country is simply a domestic affair. It happened in the past, that Lebanon has elected many Presidents, it has re-elected one President, and nothing happened of that kind between government and opposition. The fact that there is an armed rebellion today and that these armed rebellions has been assisted with financial support, military equipment, volunteers and terrorists coming from Egypt and Syria, is the proof that the domestic issue was only a pretext for the United Arab Republic to start this problem with the ultimate aim of dominating the policy of Lebanon.”
Less than a week later, Chamoun made an urgent plea to the U.S. for military aid and we sent in the Marines. The rebellion was quashed and Chamoun remained in power for at least another month when it was politely yet firmly suggested by our State Department that Chamoun step down in order that another hand-picked candidate assume the Presidency.
Granted, this was right in the middle of the Cold War and it was a popularity contest between Washington and Moscow, but these superpower interventions (no matter which ideological side of the fence) in the domestic affairs of a country are not without their paybacks. And as we've seen in the case of Iran, can blow up in our faces. And we react with surprise and dismay when we really have no reason to - we brought it all on ourselves.
When we take on the role of World's Policeman or dabble in Nation Building we set ourselves up to accept the blame for everything that goes wrong with the domestic inner-workings of a nation - the fault and all the blame rests on us because we insisted on buying into it. The current situation that's brewing in Iraq is a case in point. We've been painted over and over in the region of the Middle East because we insist in meddling in affairs that don't belong to us.
And Lebanon in 1958 was certainly no different. Hopefully Libya in 2011 will be. Just sayin'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

FEMME FATALE

imgTag

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.


Rare & Unseen Ray Charles Photos | Charles on the Charts

80th Birthday Year Events | Charles Charity


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."


Rare & Unseen Ray Charles Photos | Charles on the Charts

80th Birthday Year Events | Charles Charity

WHACKO JACKO - AN ODYSSEY

Digital art selected for the Daily Inspiration #528

Followers

About Me

My photo

I HATE CRACKHEAD VAMPIRE MOMMIES THAT FORGET TO LEAVE JUNIOR SOME BLOOD IN THE FRIDGE FOR BREAKFAST.
NOW I GOTSTA GO AND SUCK SOME BLOOD OUT OF MISS TANDY THE MATH TEACHER 
SHE'S GONNA END UP GIVING ME AN "F" IN CARDASSIAN GEOMETRY
 I HATE MY LIFE