Rock the Day The Soul of R&B
June 30, 1956: Clyde McPhatter’s Treasure of Love hits #1 on the R&B chart and #16 on the pop chart. Founder of The Drifters, McPhatter is the most influential R&B singer of the 1950s and 1960s. He battles depression and addiciton, and we tragically lose him in 1972 when he is just 39 years old.
Good Sunday to you and welcome to July 4 Week. This time in this place typically is parched, dusty, a thousands shades of burnt brown. Not this year. Everywhere I look I see green. Something about today’s forecast puts me in mind of these songs.
Rock the Day Deep Pain / Beautiful Song
June 29, 1974: Canadian folk artist Gordon Lightfoot hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with Sundown. Some say it has something to do with his then-girlfriend Cathy Smith, linked to John Belushi’s 1982 drug death. Lightfoot will say that Smith is “the one woman in my life who most hurt me.” You either transform or transmit hurt. Seems to me singing is transforming, so good on you, Gordon:
Rock the Day RIP Bobby Womack
Junel 28, 2014: We have lost another genius.
Rock the Day Mama Soul
June 27, 1963: Hard to believe Mama Soul Doris Troy has been gone 10 years. On this day in 1963, she hits #10 on the charts with Just One Look:
Certain constants apply
no matter the alternate Star Trek reality. Kirk,
for instance, telegraphs his punches.
Have you noticed?
My mind will not be still when I mow the lawn.
Typically I run though the list of people in my life
Who deserve to have awful things happen to them.
Otherwise, I concoct alternate-reality Star Trek plotlines.
For instance: Spock, the cool calculator,
Not Kirk, the fiery hot reactor,
Cheats on the Kobayashi Maru Scenario at Starfleet Academy.
When Kirk confronts Spock, he makes to give the Vulcan
a good one across the lips. Unflinching, Spock
reaches out and pinches Kirk’s shoulder.
Kirk collapses to the deck. Closeup on Spock’s face and then the thing
With the eyebrow.
— Copyright © 2014 Steve Kline
In the summer of 1804, the Corps of Discovery — the Lewis and Clark Expedition — passed the region now occupied by Omaha and Council Bluffs. The name of the latter city, of course, derives from the fact that it was upon the bluffs depicted here that the expedition “held parley with the Otoe and Missouri.” I do not know Richard & Dolores Boorman, but I want to thank them for the gift they made to improve the Lewis & Clark Monument high above the two cities. I took an opportunity to visit the monument today, and here are a few of the photos that resulted. From top to bottom: The plaque honoring the Boormans with the rain-soaked Missouri River flood plain in the background. Three views of the original art deco concrete monument. Finally, a panoramic view of Interstate 29 with floodwater on both sides, the flood-swollen bend of the Missouri and, way off in the distance, the tiny Omaha skyline.
This text greets visitors as they walk around the right-hand side of the monument upon approach.
With back to the precipitous Missouri River overlook, a shot of the “inside” of the original monument.
Detail from one of the panels on the monument depicting Lewis & Clark’s meeting with the residents of the neighborhood during the summer of 1804.
Looking out across the flood-swollen Missouri River.
Rock the Day About a Dad and His Daughter
June 22, 1959: Memphis, Tennessee, is released. It is Chuck Berry’s poignant song about a divorced father trying to contact his 6-year-old daughter Marie by phone. The title is sometimes shortened to Memphis in the U.K. Berry’s original charts at #6 in the U.S. in 1963. Johnny Rivers’ cover hits #2 in 1964. Here’s Berry’s original, the Rivers cover, and Berry’s sequel, Little Marie:
Rock the Day Happy Birthday Ray Davies
June 21, 1944: Ray Davies is born at 6 Denmark Terrace, Fortis Green in Muswell Hill, North London, England. He is the seventh of eight children born to Fred and Annie Davies, including six older sisters and younger brother Dave Davies. For his 13th birthday, Ray gets a guitar. In 1963, Ray and Dave form The Kinks, destined to become one of the most influential groups of the British Invasion. The gritty guitar riffs and the Davies brothers’ vocal stylings create a template for early punk rockers. Their first single is a cover of Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally. Virtually no one notices. You Really Got Me, written by Ray, is their breakthrough single. The Kinks’ foray into psychedelia, the haunting See My Friends, predates The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) by six months. See My Friends is inspired by the untimely death in 1957 of the Davies’ older sister Rene. By the late ’60s, The Kinks are doing introspective social commentary, witness A Well Respected Man. The Kinks perform to this day. Cool.