Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blue Suede Shoes

Today in Music History: July 29, 1956

Many persons of the 60s, then and now, contribute 'Blue Suede Shoes' and its rebellious message with Elvis Presley. True indeed is an Elvis version but that is not the original nor was it ever a chart hit. Yet, in the public eye, Presley has been associated with cultural ownership of the ever classic song. 

Carl Perkins That's right, NOT Elvis Presley! 'Blue Suede Shoes' has been called the first true rock 'n' roll hit. It's fairly clear that the music dubbed rock 'n' roll incorporated elements rhythm & blues and country & western. As for 'Blue Suede Shoes', this was the first record to borrow from the three categories - blues, country and pop, then, become a hit on all three charts. That achievement is attributed to Carl Perkins'!

1956 On July 29, Carl Perkins was on the UK singles chart with his debut UK hit 'Blue Suede Shoes'. The song had already entered the local Memphis country charts on February 11 at No2. The following week it became No1, where it remained for three months. Billboard picked it as a "Country Best Buy." "Interestingly enough," Billboard added, "the disk has a large measure of appeal for pop and R&B customers." It starts to sell in huge quantities throughout the South.

Origin of the song 'Blue Suede Shoes'...
Carl Perkins actually wrote 'Blue Suede Shoes'. There are two versions how Perkins wrote the song. One version has Johnny Cash planting the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash, and Elvis Presley toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had heard a reference in the chow line to his military regulation air shoes as "blue suede shoes." This prompted Cash to suggest that Carl write a song about the shoes.
A second version places Perkins a few nights later playing in Jackson, Tennessee. When he sees a dancer in the crowd trying to keep his girlfriend away from his new blue suede shoes, it connects with the idea that Cash had given him. At three o'clock the following morning, Perkins awakens with the genesis of the song in his head. He goes downstairs and writes out the lyrics in pencil on an empty potato bag.
A Tidbit of 'Blue Suede Shoes' Trivia...

• Presley and Perkins faced off in the "Top 100"
The two records also had a race to the top of the Hot 100. Both entered Billboard’s top pop chart on March 3, 1956, with Heartbreak Hotel at #68 and Blue Suede Shoes at #83. The very next week, however, Perkins’s record leaped up to #23, five spots ahead of Presley. Both recordings reached the top 10 on March 31, when they tied for the #9 spot. Then, slowly, Heartbreak Hotel inched ahead, reaching #1 on May 5, while Blue Suede Shoes spent six weeks vacillating between #4 and #5. In the end, Elvis’s first RCA record spent seven weeks at #1. Carl Perkins’ first entry in the Top 100 was a smash hit as well. Blue Suede Shoes spent 21 weeks on the chart, nine of them in the top ten. Source: Elvis History Blog
"Presley gave Blue Suede Shoes the full rock ’n’ roll treatment, at a faster pace and with greater energy than Perkins’s rockabilly recording." 

Which do you prefer?

Related Articles:


Blue Suede Shoes …A Classic Cut For 2 Rockabilly Singers in ’56

Songs: Blue Suede Shoes


Royal Wedding, Whoops & Trivia

This Day in History: July 29, 1981

An estimated 750 million television viewers in 74 countries tune in on July 29, 1981 to witness the now-legendary royal wedding of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. An additional 600,000 lined the streets of London hoping to catch even a mere glimpse of the wedding couple. This was the spectacular extravaganza of the decade setting the bar for royal weddings to come with Princess Diana wearing a silk taffeta and lace gown by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her walk down the aisleattached to it, the now-infamous 25-foot-long train.

If you missed it...


Whoops! What endearing mistake did Lady Diana make during her wedding ceremony with Prince Charles? Lady Diana mixed up the order of Prince Charles' many names — Charles Philip Arthur George when reciting her vows. She called him Philip Charles Arthur George. Also of note, she did not say she'd "obey," her future husband.
Did the Royal Prince royally goof? The groom referred to "thy goods" rather than "my worldly goods".

Cake, cake, cake and more cake!

Royal Wedding Cake
(Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
Diana and Charles inaugurated the balcony kiss at Buckingham Palace, where not just one cake would do for the reception ...try 27 wedding cakes! While most were donated by royal watchers, the Royal Wedding Cake was prepared by Chief Petty Officer chef David Avery, senior instructor of the Royal Naval Cookery School. Topping out at more than five feet high, the cake was adorned with both the Prince and his family's royal coat of arms, the couple's first initials and a spray of roses, lilies of the valley and orchids. In the photo at left, Chef Avery is putting the finishing touches to the five tier royal wedding cake. A slice of the cake given to Moyra Smith, who worked for the Queen Mother at Clarence House, sold at auction for $1,830. 

Cinderella perhaps!

Do you know what special conveyance carried Princess Diana to St. Paul's Cathedral for her wedding? Relating to Cinderella is a give-away for the answer to this trivia question. Princess Diana arrived at St. Paul's in the horse-drawn "glass coach" escorted by five mounted military police officers. The carriage was too small to comfortably seat Diana's father and Diana in her dress, especially with the 25-foot train. Diana's wedding dress was a puff ball meringue wedding dress, with huge puffed sleeves and a frilly neckline. The dress was decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls.

While this was the wedding of the decade, it was not the marriage of a lifetime. The couple divorced in August 1996 with the Princess continuing to live at Kensington Palace and carrying out public work. Tragically, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. On 9 April 2005, the Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles.

Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, Great Britain
July 1, 1961 - August 31, 1997

Race in Space Begins

This Day in History: July 29, 1958

"An Act to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes." 

NASA was established as a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space. On July 29, 1958, its creation was secured with the signing of the National Aeronautics and Space Act by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. NASA's establishment further equipped the United States for leadership in the space age. 

The establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (The Birth of NASA) solidified the United States' commitment to winning the "race in space" against the Soviets. NASA's involvement occurred in response to the Soviet Union's October 4, 1957 launch of its satellite, Sputnik I, the first satellite to orbit the earth bringing about the dawning of the space age. Its launching became known as the "Sputnik crisis", which prompted attention of the United States to turn toward its own fledgling space efforts. The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

NASA thus became synonymous with the space race. It was the driving force that brought to reality what was once only envisioned in a sci-fi movie. What makes NASA even more intriguing are the events that followed within the next 56 years: Some ecstatic, others traumatic. 


A Walk on the Moon

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States should set a goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Eight years and billions of dollars later, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle and onto the moon's surface on July 20, 1969.

The great space race was over.

Left to right: Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin 


Travel into Space

The astronaut program at its inception consisted of male candidates, that is in the United States. Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova traveled into space aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. As the US program expanded, so did its candidacy. Almost twenty years to the day after the first woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride, a mission specialist, joined the Challenger shuttle mission on June 18, 1983 becoming the first American woman to complete the same feat.

Sally Ride communicates with ground controllers
from the flight deck of Space Shuttle Challenger
during her first mission in space, STS-7.
(Photo by NASA)

NASA Remembers Three Space Tragedies

With any successful program lies the possibility of tragedy. NASA has not escaped such horrific events. The end of January marks a somber time for NASA with the anniversary of three major tragedies int he history of U.S. spaceflight, each of which left a nation stunned but did not kill the spirit of exploration. Despite the risks, astronauts continue to risk their lives...in the name of adventure, exploration, and discovery.

Jan. 27, 1967

Jan. 28, 1986
Feb. 1, 2003


We've come a long way since the birth of NASA in 1958 and who knows what is yet to come. . . Look below at what is happening today and take a peak at the Launch Schedule of what lies ahead!
Date: July 29, 2014 -- 7:47 p.m. Eastern
Mission: Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 (ATV-5)
Description: The European Space Agency’s fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5), named “Georges LemaĆ®tre” in honor of the Belgian astronomer and physicist, will launch from Kourou in French Guiana to deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station.

The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy
of the United States that activities in space should be devoted 
to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Music & Such

Today in Music History: July 28

Music brings with it Moments, Memories, Pain & Happiness with Stories Behind the Music often being just as enjoyable as the tunes themselves. There are 'Copycats' & Fun Facts that keep everything interesting creating the desire for more, more, more. Such is on this day in music history with familiar songs of yesteryear and a bit trivia that just may not be in your memory bank.

1954 The first press interview with 19-year-old Elvis Presley was published in the 'Memphis Press- Scimitar'. The interview was a follow-up to 18 July 1953 when Elvis walked into the Memphis Recording Service to make a record against a small payment. He wanted to hear how he sounded on tape, and gave the record to his mother as a late birthday present. Almost a year later the owner of a small starting label working in the Memphis Recording Studio, Sun Records, called Elvis and wanted him to come to the studio and try recording for him accompanied by Bill Black (bass) and Scotty Moore (guitar) the result of these first recordings was in July 1954 a record That's All Right/Blue Moon Of Kentucky
1956 Gene Vincent made his first appearance on national TV in the US on The Perry Como Show. Vincent had released ‘Woman Love’ the previous month, but it was the B-side, ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’, that eventually made the top 10. The song had been purchased from a fellow hospital patient when Vincent was recovering from leg injuries. A demo of the song made its way to Capitol Records as part of an Elvis sound-alike contest and a re-recorded version gave Vincent a hit.
1960 Roy Orbison entered the UK chart with 'Only The Lonely', which went on to give Roy his first of 3 UK chart toppers. As an operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, and is seen as a seminal event in the evolution of Rock and Roll. Released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in May, 1960, 'Only The Lonely' went to No. 2 on the United States. The song was turned down by The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, so Orbison decided to record the song himself.
More on Roy Orbison: ...funny to think that various budding English rock musicians were in awe of Orbison, and before they became famous would buy his singles, listening, learning and attempting to copy his singing and writing skills. On such group was The Beatles, who at this time were playing the endless sets in Liverpool, England and Hamburg, Germany, but would later meet their hero, tour with him and George Harrison would end up working alongside Roy Orbison in The Traveling Wilburys where Roy was known as 'Lefty Wilbury' and Harrison 'Nelson Wilbury'.

1966 Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards song 'Out Of Time'.

A Tidbit of Music Trivia...
1969 Police in Moscow reported that thousands of public phone booths had been vandalised after thieves were stealing parts of the phones to convert their acoustic guitars to electric. A feature in a Russian youth magazine had shown details on how to do this.

1979 'I Don't Like Mondays' gave The Boomtown Rats their second UK No.1 single. Bob Geldof wrote the song after reading a report on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children playing in a school playground across the street from her home in San Diego, California. She killed two adults and injured eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime, and her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays, this livens up the day."
 1990 Elton John started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Sleeping With The Past', his fifth No.1 album.

A Tidbit of Music Trivia...

1992 Rapper Ice T announced that Warner Brothers Records would pull the controversial song 'Cop Killer' from all future copies of his "Body Count" album. The song had been the target of protests by law enforcement groups who said it encouraged the killing of police. Ice T said he would give away recordings of 'Cop Killer' at his concerts. In an ironic twist, he would later join the cast of the NBC police drama, Law and Order.

2000 Five and Queen were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'We Will Rock You', the classic Queen song was only a B-side in 1977 and this new version featured boy band Five and Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times... 

Declaration of War!

This Day in History: July 28, 1914

Today marks 100 years since the fuse of The Great War, World War I (WWI), the first world war was lit. It carried with it hopes of it being "the war to end all wars," while in actuality, the concluding peace treaty set the stage for World War II. The events of an extremely bloody war fought mostly by soldiers in trenches resulted in an estimated 10 million military deaths and another 20 million wounded. 

What prompted such massive death and tumultuous destruction?
The spark that started World War I was the assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The assassination occurred on June 28, 1914 while Ferdinand was visiting the city of Sarajevo in the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
When Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, this effectively begins the First World War. Events from that day lead to Winston Churchill being proven right in a comment written to his wife, "My darling one and beautiful, everything tends towards catastrophe and collapse!"
On August 1, after its demands for Russia to halt mobilization met with defiance, Germany declared war on Russia. Russia's ally, France, ordered its own general mobilization that same day, and on August 3, France and Germany declared war on each other. The German army's planned invasion of neutral Belgium, announced on August 4, prompted Britain to declare war on Germany. Thus, in the summer of 1914, the major powers in the Western world—with the exception of the United States and Italy, both of which declared their neutrality, at least for the time being—flung themselves headlong into the First World War.


It was supposed to be the war to end war.

For over four years World War I raged on,
leaving in its wake a toll of death and destruction
such as the world had never seen.

These are the images of that time,
an eternal testament to all those whose lives were lost or
forever altered by The Great War.