Sunday, January 8, 2012

BACK THEN - JULY 19th

440 International Those Were the Days
Archives
July 19

Events
1909 - The first unassisted triple play in major-league baseball was made by Cleveland Indians shortstop Neal Ball in a game against Boston. “Yer out! Yer out! And you, sir, are out number three!”1914 - Boston began what was called its miracle drive as the Braves went from worst to first in the National League. They won the pennant and the World Series as well.
1926 - Walter Hagen scored a 132 for 36 holes of golf at the Eastern Open tournament. He set a world’s record low tourney score in the process.
1939 - Jack Teagarden and his orchestra recorded "Aunt Hagar’s Blues" for Columbia Records. Teagarden provided the vocal on the session recorded in Chicago, IL.
1942 - "The Seventh Symphony", by Shostakovich, was performed for the first time in the United States by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.
1946 - Marilyn Monroe acted in her first screen test. She passed it with flying colors and was signed to her first contract with Twentieth Century Fox Studios. The first of her 29 films was "Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!"
1948 - "Our Miss Brooks", starring Eve Arden and Gale Gordon, debuted on CBS radio. Arden played the role of Connie Brooks. The program stayed on radio until 1957, running simultaneously on TV from 1952 to 1956. Miss Brooks taught English at Madison High School. Her pal, the bashful, biology teacher Philip Boynton, was played by Robert Rockwell. The crusty, blustery principal of Madison High, Osgood Conklin, was none other than Gale Gordon. Supporting Eve Arden was Jane Morgan as Miss Brooks' landlady, Mrs. Davis. The main problem child in the classroom, the somewhat dimwitted Walter Denton was Richard Crenna.
1949 - Singer Harry Belafonte began recording for Capitol Records on this day. The first sessions included "They Didn’t Believe Me" and "Close Your Eyes". A short time later, Capitol said Belafonte wasn’t “commercial enough,” so he signed with RCA Victor (for a very productive and commercial career).
1951 - Famous thoroughbred race horse Citation retired from racing.
1960 - Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants became the first pitcher to get a one-hitter in his major-league debut. Marichal allowed just one hit (a double in the eighth inning) as the Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies.
1966 - Frank Sinatra married actress Mia Farrow this day. Sinatra, 50, married the 20-year-old actress and was photographed after the ceremony by 14 motion-picture cameras and 37 still cameras.
1980 - Billy Joel earned his first gold record with "It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me", which reached the top of the "Billboard" pop music chart. He would score additional million-sellers with "Just the Way You Are", "My Life", "Uptown Girl" (for girlfriend and later, wife and supermodel Christie Brinkley) and "We Didn’t Start the Fire". Joel reached the top only one other time, with "Tell Her About It" in 1983.
1984 - Geraldine Ferraro was nominated by the Democratic Party to become the first woman from a major political party to run for the office of U.S. Vice President. Ferraro, age 48, campaigned with presidential hopeful Walter ‘Fritz’ Mondale of Minnesota. Both lost in a landslide to the GOP ticket of Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
1985 - Two years after its initial release, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" grossed an additional $8.8 million in its first three days in rerelease. The film placed second in popularity that weekend to another Steven Spielberg film, "Back to the Future".
1987 - Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees tied the major-league record of Dale Long (set in 1956) by failing to get a home run after hitting round-trippers in eight consecutive games. Despite rumors as such, Mattingly was not taken behind the dugout and whipped by the team’s owner...
1989 - 181 out of 293 passengers and crew survived the crash of a United Airlines DC-10. The pilot of Flight 232, bound for Chicago, reported trouble to the Sioux City, Iowa airport half an hour before it slammed into the Sioux City runway. Prepared emergency personnel were credited with helping many to survive the fiery crash.
1990 - Baseball’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose was sentenced in Cincinnati to five months in prison and fined $50,000 for filing false income tax returns. Rose, who spent 25 years in the majors with 4256 hits, 1314 RBIs and a lifetime average of .303, was released from prison Jan 7, 1991.
1996 - The Centennial Olympics opened in Atlanta, Georgia. In the biggest Olympics staged in the 100-year history of the Games, 197 nations marched in the opening ceremonies. Montreal singer Celine Dion sang "The Power of the Dream," written by David Foster, Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds and Linda Thompson -- and commissioned for the Olympics. Former heavyweight champ and Atlanta native Evander Holyfield carried the Olympic torch into the stadium. Holyfield handed off to American swimmer Janet Evans Evans, who ran up the aisle with the torch and lighted the torch of heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali. (Evans also swam the 800m in the Olympics and was talking with a German TV crew when the infamous Olympic Centennial Park bomb exploded.)
1997 - Daniel Komen of Kenya broke the 8-minute barrier for the 2-mile run while setting a new world record of 7:58.61 at the Hechtel Night of Athletics in Hechtel, Belgium. Komen actually ran two sub-4-minute-miles in this race, running his first mile in 3:59.2, then turned in a second mile of 3:59.4.


Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - July 19
1834 - Edgar Degas (artist; Impressionist: noted for his paintings of dancers in motion; died Sep 27, 1917)1865 - Charles Mayo (surgeon: founded Mayo Clinic & Mayo Foundation with his brother; died May 26, 1939)
1896 - A.J. (Archibald Joseph) Cronin (author: The Citadel, Keys of the Kingdom; died on Jan 9, 1981)
1916 - Phil (Philip Joseph) Cavarretta (baseball: Chicago Cubs [World Series: 1935, 1938, 1945/all-star: 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1945], Chicago White Sox)
1921 - Rosalyn Yalow (medical investigator, Nobel Prize-winner for Physiology/Medicine [1977]: medical applications of radioactive isotopes: developed RIA)
1922 - George McGovern (U.S. Senator and 1972 presidential contender)
1923 - Alex Hannum (basketball: player: Syracuse Nationals; coach: only coach to win titles in both NBA [Philadelphia ’76ers] and ABA [Oakland Oaks]; died Jan 18, 2002)
1924 - Pat Hingle (actor: Batman, The Grifters, Splendor in the Grass, On the Waterfront, Norma Rae, Of Mice and Men; died Jan 3, 2009)
1925 - Sue Thompson (Eva McKee) (singer: Norman, Sad Movies [Make Me Cry])
1927 - Billy (William Frederick) Gardner (‘Shotgun’: baseball: NY Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, NY Yankees [World Series: 1961], Boston Red Sox; manager: California Angeles, Minnesota Twins)
1935 - Philip Agee (CIA agent; author: Inside the Company: CIA Diary)
1937 - George Hamilton IV (singer: A Rose and a Baby Ruth, Why Don’t They Understand, Abilene, The Teen Commandments [w/Paul Anka & Johnny Nash], She’s a Little Bit Country)
1938 - Richard Jordan (actor: Captains and the Kings, The Bunker, The Hunt for Red October, Dune, Logan’s Run, Rooster Cogburn; died Aug 30, 1993)
1940 - Dennis Cole (actor: The Young and the Restless, The Barbary Coast; died Nov 15, 2009)
1941 - Natalya Bessmertnova (prima ballerina: Bolshoi ballet; died Feb 19, 2008)
1941 - Vikki Carr (Florencia Bisenta deCasilla Martinez Cardona) (singer: It Must be Him, With Pen in Hand, The Lesson)
1945 - Craig Cameron (hockey: Minnesota North Stars, NY Islanders)
1946 - Alan Gorrie (musician: bass, singer: group: Average White Band: Pick Up the Pieces, Work to Do, Let’s Go Around Again; solo: LP: Sleepless Nights)
1946 - Ilie Nastase (tennis champion: French Open [1973], U.S. Open [1972])
1947 - Bernie Leadon (musician: guitar: group: The Eagles: Take It Easy, Best of My Love, One of these Nights)
1947 - Brian Harold May (musician: guitar: group: Queen: Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Another One Bites the Dust)
1952 - Allen Collins (musician: guitar: group: Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird, Sweet Home Alabama; died Jan 23, 1990 of respiratory failure due to a 1986 car crash which killed his girfriend and left him paralyzed)
1962 - Anthony Edwards (actor: ER, Northern Exposure, It Takes Two, The Client, Pet Sematary 2, Delta Heat, El Diablo, Summer Heat, Revenge of the Nerds series, Top Gun, Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
1965 - Clea Lewis (actress: Ellen, Flying Blind, The Rich Man’s Wife)



Chart Toppers - July 19 
1944
I’ll Be Seeing You - Bing Crosby
Long Ago and Far Away - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
Amor - Bing Crosby
Straighten Up and Fly Right - King Cole Trio

1952
I’m Yours - Eddie Fisher
Kiss of Fire - Georgia Gibbs
Walkin’ My Baby Back Home - Johnnie Ray
Are You Teasing Me - Carl Smith

1960
I’m Sorry - Brenda Lee
Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison
That’s All You Gotta Do - Brenda Lee
Please Help Me, I’m Falling - Hank Locklin

1968
This Guy’s in Love with You - Herb Alpert
The Horse - Cliff Nobles & Co.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones
D-I-V-O-R-C-E - Tammy Wynette

1976
Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band
Kiss and Say Goodbye - Manhattans
I’ll Be Good to You - The Brothers Johnson
Teddy Bear - Red Sovine

1984
When Doves Cry - Prince
Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
Eyes Without a Face - Billy Idol
I Don’t Want to Be a Memory - Exile

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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

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