Sunday, January 8, 2012


440 International Those Were the Days
8th day of 2012 358 remaining
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Elvis PresleyThe world welcomed a baby who was destined to truly shake it up! It was on this day in 1935 that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born: Elvis Aron Presley (he later changed the spelling of his middle name to Aaron). There is hardly a soul alive who hasn’t heard the name or the voice or seen the swiveling hips of the teen-age idol of millions! From Tupelo, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee with stops in Hollywood and Las Vegas; Elvis gave those who grew up with him, the musical memories of a lifetime. Their parents were brought kicking and screaming into a new generation of music; and their children now sing and dance to music performed by those the ‘King’ inspired.From That’s All Right, Mama and Mystery Train, recorded for Sam Phillips in 1954, to Suspicious Minds, his last #1 hit under the control of Colonel Parker; Elvis Presley was an unequaled phenomenon. He became more than a singer to most of America; a symbol of changes in lifestyles, society and culture.
Today, those of us who were there can still sing Heartbreak Hotel; the words to I Want You, I Need You, I Love You will never escape us; Love Me Tender will forever tear at our heartstrings; while Don’t Be Cruel turns us all into karaoke stars; and, of course, Hound Dog conjures up a vivid image of the sensuous eyes and trembling lips of a young Elvis.
For those who had the good fortune to see Elvis, in person, in Las Vegas and at other venues; and for those who have visited Graceland; to an entire generation, the King still lives in music and memories.
Relive those moments. Get out your Elvis records, tapes, cassettes, CDs and play some real rock ’n’ roll. Play All Shook Up and watch a new generation twist their hips to his music.
Long live the King!

If you like TWtD you will love TWtD Deluxe.

January 8
1853 - A bronze statue of Andrew Jackson on a horse was unveiled in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. The statue was the work of Clark Mills.1856 - Borax (hydrated sodium borate) was discovered by Dr. John Veatch near Red Bluff, California. It became a multiuse product that was popularized during the era of TV’s Death Valley Days. Remember 20 Mule Team Borax?
1889 - The tabulating machine was patented this day by Dr. Herman Hollerith. Wonder what Dr. Hollerith would think of Excel?
1901 - The first tournament sanctioned by the American Bowling Congress was held in Chicago, Illinois.
1906 - Arthur Rubinstein made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The concert received only a few favorable reviews.
1925 - Russian composer, Igor Stravinskyappeared in his first American concert, as he conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of his own compositions.
1940 - Vincent Lopez and his orchestra recorded the third version of Lopez’ theme song titled Nola. This version, recorded in Hollywood on Bluebird Records, is recognized as his best rendition of the classic song.
1952 - Marie Wilson came to TV as My Friend Irma. The show, popular for years on radio, lasted two seasons on television.
1955 - After 130 home basketball wins, Georgia Tech defeated Kentucky 59-58. It was the first Kentucky loss at home since January 2, 1943.
1957 - In an article appearing in Look magazine, Jackie Robinson announced his retirement from baseball.
1958 - Bobby Fischer won the United States Chess Championship for the first time. Interesting note: Fischer was all of 14 years of age.
1960 - The NCAA met in New York and voted against reviving the unlimited substitution rule for college football.
1961 - Robert Goulet made his national TV debut this night on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS.
1966 - The Beatles LP, Rubber Soul, began a 6-week reign at the top of the album chart. This was the seventh Beatles LP to reach the #1 position since February 1964. Rubber Soul stayed on the charts for 56 weeks. The other #1 albums for the Fab Four to that date were: Meet the BeatlesThe Beatles Second AlbumA Hard Day’s NightBeatles ’65Beatles VI and Help!.
1969 - Looking through his crystal ball, Joseph DeLouise announced on radio and TV and in newspapers that Ho Chi Minh would soon die. Ho Chi Minh died that year.
1973 - Carly Simon received a gold record for the single, You’re So Vain.
1975 - Ella Grasso became the governor of Connecticut. She was the first woman to become a governor of a state without a husband preceding her in the governor’s chair.
1984 - The Washington Redskins defeated San Francisco 24-21 after the 49ers staged a comeback with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With this victory for the NFC Championship, Washington earned its trip to Super Bowl XVIII.
1987 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over the 2000 mark for the first time ever.
1992 - From the Please Don’t Try This At Your Next State Dinner Department: U.S. President George Bush (I) fell suddenly ill at a state dinner in Japan. The Prez became pale, slumped in his chair and promptly vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister. What must have made this even more enjoyable for Mr. Bush is the fact that all of this was recorded on video tape for future generations to, er, digest.
1999 - The top two executives of Salt Lake City’s Olympic organizing committee resigned amid investigations into how far city boosters stooped to win the 2002 Winter Games. Investigators found boosters gave IOC members cash payments up to $70,000 and expensive gifts; and paid educational, travel, housing and medical costs of IOC members and their families. The possibility that prostitutes were hired for IOC members was also under investigation.

January 8
1912 - José Ferrer (Cintron)
Academy Award-winning actor: Cyrano de Bergerac [1950]; Joan of ArcMoulin RougeThe Caine MutinyDeep in My HeartLawrence of ArabiaThe Greatest Story Ever ToldShip of FoolsDuneThe Evil That Men Do; Rosemary Clooney’s husband; died Jan 26, 1992
1923 - Larry Storch
comedian, actor: F TroopThe Larry Storch ShowThat Was the Week That WasSabrina, the Teenage WitchAirport 1975The Ghost BustersS.O.B.
1924 - Ron Moody
actor: Oliver!Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know ItNobody’s PerfectTales of the Gold Monkey IIA Kid in King Arthur’s Court
1926 - Soupy Sales (Milton Supman)
comedian, entertainer: Lunch with Soupy SalesThe Soupy Sales ShowSha Na Na; recording artist: The MouseSpy with a Pie; game show panelist: What’s My Line?; actor:Don’t Push, I’ll Charge When I’m Ready Birds Do It; died Oct 22, 2009
1927 - Wally (Walter) Hergesheimer
hockey: NHL: NY Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks
1928 - Sander Vanocur
newscaster: ABC News, NBC News; TV host: History Channel: Movies in Time
1930 - Doreen Wilbur
archery: Olympic Gold Medalist [Munich: 1972]
1933 - Charles Osgood
TV journalist, correspondent: Universe; CBS News: CBS News Sunday Morning; author
1934 - Gene (Eugene Lewis) ‘Augie’ Freese
baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates, SL Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1961], Houston Astros
1935 - Elvis (Aron) Presley
singer: That’s All Right, MamaMystery TrainAll Shook UpLove Me TenderSuspicious Minds; 90 top-20 hits; actor: Jailhouse RockG.I. BluesBlue Hawaii; over 30 films; died Aug 16, 1977; [see Long Live the King Day - above]
1937 - Shirley Bassey
singer: James Bond themes: GoldfingerDiamond’s Are Forever
1938 - Bob Eubanks
TV game show host: The Newlywed GameRhyme and ReasonCard SharksThe New Newlywed Game
1941 - Anthony Gourdine
singer: group: Little Anthony and The Imperials: Tears on My PillowHurt So Bad
1942 - Stephen Hawking
author: A Brief History of Time
1942 - Yvette Mimieux
actress: The Time MachineWhere the Boys AreToys in the AtticThree in the AtticThe Most Deadly GameSkyjackedThe Neptune FactorThe Black Hole,Circle of PowerPerry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception
1945 - Ron Ellis
hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs [1963-1975/1978-1981] : tied Frank Mahovlich with 23 goals a piece [1964-65]
1946 - Robbie Krieger
musician: guitar: The Doors: Light My Fire
1947 - David Bowie (Jones)
singer: Space OddityFameChangesZiggy StardustPeace on Earth-Little Drummer Boy [w/Bing Crosby]; actor: The Man Who Fell to EarthJust a Gigolo,The Last Temptation of Christ
1947 - Terry Sylvester
musician: Groups: Swinging Blue Jeans: Hippy Hippy Shake, Hollies: He Ain’t Heavy He’s My BrotherLong Cool Woman In A Black DressThe Air That I Breathe
1948 - Joe Reed
football: Detroit Lions QB
1949 - Wilbur (Leon) Howard
baseball: Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros
1966 - Maria Pitillo
actress: GodzillaWise GuysRyan’s HopeNatural Born KillersBetween Love & HonorAfter Sex

Chart Toppers
January 8
1944My Heart Tells Me - The Glen Gray Orchestra (vocal: Eugenie Baird)
Paper Doll - The Mills Brothers
People Will Say We’re in Love - Bing Crosby
Pistol Packin’ Mama - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
1952Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Undecided - The Ames Brothers
Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way - Carl Smith
1960Why - Frankie Avalon
Running Bear - Johnny Preston
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Freddie Cannon
El Paso - Marty Robbins
1968Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
For Loving You - Bill Anderson & Jan Howard
1976Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers
I Write the Songs - Barry Manilow
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) - Diana
Convoy - C.W. McCall
1984Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
Twist of Fate - Olivia Newton-John
You Look So Good in Love - George Strait

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end.

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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


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