In an attempt to counteract some of the sports trivia over the summer (no offense, Tim!), I've decided to add some broadway musical trivia for those of us who couldn't answer a sports question to save our lives. So here's my first question....
What 1957 broadway musical included lyrics (but not score) by Stephen Sondheim?
Today is the 13th anniversary of the day when James Paul McCartney became Sir James Paul McCartney. Can lawyers also be knighted? Although there are strict rules of eligibility, it seems that someone on this side of the pond has found a way to bestow this designation on barristers of the American variety. So, my question of the day is, which law professors should be nominated for knighthood?
The new megastar charity song and video debuted yesterday.
Still a decent tune after all these years. Still a good reason to give to the cause.
I just wish I knew who the hell about two-thirds of these people are. I suppose I'll ask my daughters.
The video sent me searching for the original. Here it is:
(OK, OK. Say what you want about Kim Carnes and Steve Perry. At least they didn't need Auto-tune.)
And then of course there was the British version:
How many can you name without cheating? Is that the Spandau Ballet dude after the pairing of Sting and Simon Le Bon? And what a boys' club Britpop was! Bananarama couldn't even edge their way to a microphone.
Amazing Grace is one of the most beloved hymns of the Christian faith. John Newton, slave trader turned abolitionist, penned the powerful words -- which were sung for the first time on this date in history in connection with a sermon Newton delivered in Olney, England, on New Year's Day in 1773.
The song has been recorded by a diverse group of artists, including Aretha Franklin, Destiny's Child, Il Divo, Janis Joplin, Rod Stewart, Randy Travis, and the Vienna Boys Choir. It's also one of the selections on Susan Boyle's bestselling CD.
For more on the connection between this date in history and Newton's immortal classic, see here (NPR) and here (reflections by Chuck Colson).
Pictured: Amazing Grace: The Story of America's Most Beloved Song, by Steve Turner (with a foreward by Judy Collins).
If you are from a certain time and place and cultural background (read: "mine"), Tom Lehrer looms large in your childhood memories. I've just happened across some outstanding videos of Lehrer performing his big hits before an audience in Norway (?!) in 1967. Here are a couple of favorites. You'll see links to the others on the youtube pages. Enjoy.
While channel surfing in recent days, I stumbled across a concert on the local PBS station. The concert, recorded live in New York, featured Straight No Chaser, an a capella group of ten men. Can't say I'd heard of the group. Maybe you haven't either. (The group's web site is here.)
I loved the concert. You might, too. The men perform a variety of songs, including some holiday favorites. The concert lasts about an hour (closer to 90 minutes, when you add in the "pledge drive" segments). Check out the TV listings in your area (the PBS link is here).
And if you need a teaser, check out the group's version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" on YouTube. Here's a link. Enjoy! (Be prepared for surprises at the 1:25 and 2:18 marks!!)
Maybe when she told us of Xanadu, that "everlasting world" where "a million ... lights ... danc[e]," "dream[s] ... c[o]me through a million years," and people appear as "shooting stars," she knew whereof she sang.
The other song is Old Crow Medicine Show's "Big Time in the Jungle." I like it for two reasons. First, it's about one of my favorite places on this planet: Eutaw, Alabama (the county seat of Greene County). Why is this such a favorite place? A couple of reasons. In part because it's a place that time has forgotten. If you want to see what an antebellum Alabama town looked like, get yourself to Eutaw. Several streets are filled with houses that have been preserved. So you can see what the world those distant inhabited looked like. And of course there's a cemetery there, too. I've spent a lot of hours walking through it, reading tombstones and admiring their art. I also love Eutaw because of the records that are contained in the county probate office. That's a story that Stephen Davis and I will be telling in great detail shortly.
By 2008, I found that running a solo blog was more than I
could handle.Stories that I wanted to
blog about were becoming increasingly hard to find, and the blogosphere had
become too much of a heartbreaking world for me.So I pretty much abandoned the project over
But I’ve continued to read a few blawgs, especially this
one, and, well, I have again found myself tempted.Dan and the rest of the loungers were gracious enough to invite me to
hang out.This is some fantastic place
they’re running, so I decided to give it a go.
There’s an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal about the popularity of jazz in Japan, particularly in Tokyo. I don’t know why this surprises me, as I’ve heard (pun intended) that Tokyo is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Also, there are some great jazz musicians who hail from Japan, including Keiko Matsui, and the wonderful group, Hiroshima. Speaking of jazz, I once worked with a colleague who had a small, hidden radio in his office, and jazz was always softly playing in the background, even when he left for the day. For some odd reason, the sound never seemed intrusive; instead, it was just…nice. Does music belong in the office? Can we, do we, whistle while we work in academia? If so, to what?