Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maurice White, RIP -- February 6, 2016

We're losing too many great musicians.  Maurice White, lead singer of Earth, Wind and Fire, has passed away.  Earth, Wind and Fire's music was played at all school dances.  My wife and I have many happy memories.  We are grateful to Maurice White and his bandmates for them.

Friday, February 5, 2016

News of the Week February 5, 1916 -- February 5, 2016

The 05-February-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"War scenes taken near Cettinje, Montenegro, from which city King Nicholas fled recently.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  Montenegro was on the Allied side.  Austria-Hungary occupied the country on 14-January-1916.  King Nicholas went into exile, never to return.

"Denver's new postoffice (sic), just completed by the government.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  Now known as the Byron White Post Office, the building opened in January, 1916 after six years of construction. 

"Scenes of the recent riot at Youngstown, Ohio. Copyright, 1916, Mutual Weekly."  We saw this last year.  Steelworkers at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company went on strike because of intolerable working conditions and starvation wages.  The workers made $500 a year while the company paid a 12 percent dividend.

"Uncle Sam's latest dreadnaught, the oil burning U. S. S. 'Oklahoma,' on trial trip.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  USS Oklamoma (BB-37) was commissioned in 1916.  On 07-December-1941, she sank during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. 

"Winners of the Denver, Colo., dog show display no love for each other.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  I can't find much about the history of the Denver Dog Show, but it appears to be going on today. 

"A view of the havoc wrought by the great storm near San Francisco.  Copyright, 1916, Mutual Weekly."  This time of year we often get great storms around San Francisco. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Race Records -- February 3, 2016

Talking Machine World, March, 1928

Okeh made many records aimed at minority groups.  These were often referred to as "race records."  Jazz and blues artists Louis Armstrong and Victoria Spivey made many records for the company.  Okeh also produced dance records and operatic records.

Texas Alexander was a guitar playing blues singer.

I can't find much about Blue Belle.  Her original name was Bessie Mae Smith.  She may have recorded using a number of names.  Here is Blind Blake's version of "Boa Constrictor Blues."

I can't find much about Mark Fisher either.  Here is organist Jesse Crawford's version of "Baby Feet Go Pitter Patter." 

Seger Ellis played the piano and sang.  His style is an acquired taste.  I haven't acquired it. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day 2016 -- February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone.  This groundhog does not look very happy.  For some reason he reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Peacherine Rag -- February 1, 2016

Scott Joplin, "The King of Ragtime Writers," published "Peacherine Rag" in 1901.  At the time, I think "Peacherine" was slang for a pretty girl.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Catholic Schools Week, 2016 -- January 31, 2016

Today is the start of Catholic Schools Week.

I'm grateful that my parents put me in Catholic schools for 12 years.  I'm also grateful to my teachers. 

Good Shepherd in Pacifica gave our daughter a great education and continues to do the same for many other children. They are having an open house today from 11am to 2pm.  The school is worth considering if you live in or near Pacifica:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gelett Burgess 150 -- January 30, 2016

Happy 150th birthday to San Francisco writer, poet and prankster Gelett Burgess.  He was born in Boston on 30-January-1866.  His most famous composition was "The Purple Cow":

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one!

He and his friends dumped a pro-prohibition statue into the bay.  He published a literary magazine, The Lark.  He wrote "The Ballad of the Hyde Street Grip." Read it or listen to it on my cable car site: