To everyone who participated in the Worst Song Top 10 challenge. The fact that so many songs were repeat mentions shows we all aren't crazy!
To the booming voice of Ron Canova. And the rest of him!
GOODNIGHT, MR. PRESIDENT
In 1980, I campaigned for Ted Kennedy. I saw President Carter, in my opinion, had no chance of winning. As for the Republicans, I couldn't believe they had nominated Ronald Reagan, a one time life long Democrat! I ended up voting for John Anderson. I must admit that at the age of 20, my knowledge and understanding of politics was not what it was now. Looking back, I see now that Reagan was the only possible choice to lead our nation through what was destined to be a pivotal time. He was like the country's own kindly grandfather but underneath lay the courage to be firm and non-swerving when the situation merited it. I'm not going to list the various ups and downs of his presidency. Nolan did a fine job in his piece. It is a cruel twist of irony that the man referred to as "The Great Communicator" would spend the final years of his life battling a disease that would take away his greatest gift. But his legacy will remain. And for that we are all a little richer.
TELL ME WHAT'D I SAY
It is with genuine sadness that I report the passing of Ray Charles. Mr. Charles passed away today at the age of 73 from severe liver disease. Born Ray Charles Robinson September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia, his family moved to Florida when Charles was still a baby. Blinded at age 7 (glaucoma is suspected but Charles said he was never diagnosed with any medical problems) and orphaned at 15, Charles pursued his love of music, learning how to read and write music in Braille. Not only was he a skilled piano player, he also played the trumpet, clarinet, alto sax and organ. Making music his full time occupation, Charles dropped his last name in deference to boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and formed a band to back up singer Ruth Brown. It was during this time that he became friends with a young fan, teaching him how to read music and sharing his ideas. The fan was Quincy Jones. In his career, Charles won 12 Grammy awards, including an unprecedented three in a row for Rhythm and Blues record of the year ("Hit the Road, Jack," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Busted") Among his best known songs are "Georgia On My Mind" and a rousing version of "America the Beautiful." In the 80's he dabbled in acting in 'The Blues Brothers" and was a spokesman for Pepsi on television. I have one story that pretty much sums up Ray Charles' status in the music world. While gathering prior to recording "We Are the World," Quincy Jones would introduce the different performers. He introduced Charles to Billy Joel, who was obviously moved. Recounting his meeting, Joel told Life magazine, "That's like the Statue of Liberty walking in." Divorced twice and single since 1952, Charles is survived by 12 children, 20 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Just a quick reminder that the first batch of shows from "SCTV" was released this week. On the air a year after Saturday Night Live debuted, the comedy about the workings of a low-budget television station boasts one of the most impressive casts in TV comedy history, including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas and Andrea Martin. Plus, Martin Short in later years. If you've never seen the show, this set is a must. If you have...well, the same thing applies.
MEET THE BEATLES - PART 20
June 9, 1964 - The boys play 2 shows at the 1700 seat Princess Theater in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Without manager Brian Epstein's knowledge, the local promoter jacked up the ticket prices so high that neither show sold out. Tickets sold HK $75, roughly the entire week wages for the average Hong Kong man.
Well, all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.