Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Do You Want Crying" by Katrina and the Waves

Birthday wishes go out today to Katrina Leskanich, front woman for the Anglo-American band Katrina and the Waves, who would have been a one-hit wonder for their 1985 monster hit Walking on Sunshine were it not for this, the band's second single; in fact, Katrina and the Waves were still making music a dozen years later when they won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997 with Love Shine a Light, in support of which they appeared an unprecedented four weeks in a row on Top of the Pops. *
share on: facebook

Pop History Moment: "The Great Gatsby" Is Published

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece of the Jazz Age - The Great Gatsby - was first published on this day in 1925 by Scribner's; its iconic cover was designed by Francis Cugat prior to publication, and was said to have influenced the finished novel. The novel takes place during the summer of 1922, and concerns the dissipation of a group of new money swells at the outset of Prohibition.

A flop upon its initial release, it has morphed into a classic with the passage of the years.

The most famous adaptation of The Great Gatsby for film was made by Jack Clayton in 1974, and starred Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow as the object of his affection Daisy Buchanan, and Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway; previously made in 1949 and subsequently remade for television in 2000 (starring Mira Sorvino as Daisy), a silent version made in 1926 has long been considered lost.

share on: facebook

"Murder On The Dancefloor" by Sophie Ellis Bextor

Birthday wishes go out today to the UK's Nu-Disco phenom Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who is herself the offspring of a show business marriage; her father, Robin Bextor, is an award-winning director - most notably with The Earl of Wessex's ill-fated Ardent Productions - while her mother, Janet Ellis, is a sometime actress and former presenter on kids' TV stalwart Blue Peter.

Murder on the Dancefloor originally appeared on Ellis-Bextor's 2001 album Read My Lips; as a follow up to her hugely popular cover version of Take Me Home (originally recorded in 1974, by Cher) Murder on the Dancefloor certainly did its job... It remains her biggest hit to date.
share on: facebook

POPnews - April 10th

[Due to the efforts of Julius Sterling Morton, as many as a million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day; curiosity has me wondering how many of them might still be standing. Certainly this one no longer is...]

1606 - The Charter of the Virginia Company of London was given by England's King James I with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.

1815 - Following several centuries of dormancy Mount Tambora, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, began to erupt - a period of eruption that would last more than three months.

1821 - Following that year's Easter Sunday Mass Constantinople's Patriarch Gregory V was removed from the Patriarchal Cathedral by the Turks and hanged from the main gate of the Patriarchate, following which his body was thrown into the Bosphorus; the corpse was later recovered by Greek sailors, and is today interred in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens.

1856 - The Theta Chi Fraternity was founded, at Vermont's Norwich University.

1864 - Austrian Archduke Maximilian was elected Emperor of Mexico; his reign was unpopular both in Mexico and the rest of the world right from the start, and would struggle to last three years - after which time he was summarily executed.

1866 - The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was founded in New York City by Henry Bergh.

1874 - The first Arbor Day was celebrated, in Nebraska City; a holiday designed to honour trees, its importance - like them - ought to be growing with each passing year. Yet with up to a quarter of urban tree cover at risk due to real estate development, and an ongoing soil erosion issue which threatens ground water levels in both rural and urban settings, promising an increase in drought - and let's not forget the wholesale destruction of rain forests in South America (due to cutting) and North America (due to the mountain pine beetle)! - each successive Arbor Day promises to be a hotter, drier, nastier one than any of those that came before.

1912 - The 'unsinkable' RMS Titanic left port in Southampton on her first and only voyage.

1919 - Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata was ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Morelos.

1941 - Europe's Axis Powers established the Independent State of Croatia from occupied Yugoslavia, with Ante Pavelić's Ustase fascist insurgents in power.

1944 - Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler escaped from Birkenau dressed in Dutch clothing; once safely across the Polish-Slovakian border they dictated a 32-page dossier - now known as the Vrba-Wetzler Report and published by Dr Oscar Krasniansky - which became the first-ever first-hand account of the goings-on inside a Nazi death camp.

1953 - Warner Bros premiered House of Wax - the first 3-D film to be accompanied by sterephonic sound; the film starred Vincent Price and Carolyn Jones (the future Morticia Addams).

1959 - Japan's Crown Prince Akihito, future Emperor of Japan, wed commoner Michiko Shōda at a solemn Shinto ceremony in Tokyo - despite the objection of Empress Kōjun, and other conservatives in the Imperial Household.

1963 - 129 people died when the submarine USS Thresher sank at sea off Cape Cod.

1968 - The TEV Wahine - a ferry connecting Lyttelton to Wellington across Cook Strait in New Zealand - foundered on Barrett Reef and capsized at Steeple Rock near the entrance to Wellington Harbour; of the 610 passengers and 123 crew on board, 53 people lost their lives.

1970 - Paul McCartney announced the break up of The Beatles, a week before the release of his debut solo album McCartney.

1972 - 20 days after he was kidnapped in Buenos Aires, Paraguayan businessman Oberdan Sallustro was executed by communist guerrillas from the Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo.

1991 - The Italian ferry Moby Prince collided with an oil tanker in dense fog off Livorno, killing 140.

1998 - The Belfast Agreement was signed.

share on: facebook