Follow by Email

What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wednesday Bible Study: When in doubt...

And we enter the New Testament with a fun verse from Jesus's baptism!

Mat 3:16  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 
Mat 3:17  and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." 

And yes, I stuck verse 17 in for a reason, as we will see in a bit.  But first off, let's establish our cast of characters.  Obviously, we have Jesus and John the Baptist, along with big cameos by God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  But this wasn't everybody, because look at the preceding verses...

Mat 3:5  Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 
Mat 3:6  and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 
Mat 3:7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 

So this wasn't any private ordeal, and that factors in also in a bit.  Now that I have set my stage here, let's look for the importance of the verse.

First thing we see is, "He IMMEDIATELY WENT UP from the water."  Why is this important?  First of all, to establish that the following didn't happen after Jesus grabbed a towel and a dry tunic and got off by Himself- the crowd WAS there for what happened.  Secondarily, the commentators conclude, this was to let those who believe in non-immersion baptism that Jesus just didn't go out ankle deep for John to sprinkle a handful of water on Him and say good enough.  I don't buy that as critical.  While I do believe Jesus was immersed, and that "policy" should be to follow His example, the idea that it is critical I think is disproved in many places.  For example, in Africa many places replace water baptism with sand, because the rivers aren't safe.  The thief on the Cross never got baptized... and on and on.  Let's get back to more important matters.

Next thing on the list is the phrase, "He saw the heavens opened..."  he WHO?  Jesus?  Not so much a miracle for Him.  Most of the commentators believe that the "he" was John (though no doubt Jesus did see it as well), and I think 3:17 proves that.  "THIS is my beloved Son", not "YOU are my beloved Son".  And because I think this is the MOST important part of this... I'm going to move on for a minute.

Then, "the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him".  Luke describes Him as "bodily descending";  This was no flame of fire as was seen at Pentecost.  And I think the reason for that is the symbolism.  Perhaps a deeper symbolism than I want to get into here about the Nature of the Spirit.  To the commentators it is symbolized by Noah's dove, who came back to deliver the olive branch symbolizing peace- and this was symbolic of Christ being the means by which peace would come between Man and God.  They also mention the way a dove would "hover before alighting"- which brought to  my mind in Genesis 1:2, "and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters."  Which gives me even more confidence that the Spirit is revealed as Wisdom in Proverbs 8:

Pro 8:23  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 
Pro 8:24  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 
Pro 8:25  Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 
Pro 8:26  before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. 
Pro 8:27  When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 
Pro 8:28  when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, 
Pro 8:29  when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 
Pro 8:30  then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, 
Pro 8:31  rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. 

But enough bunny trails.  On to the meat.

Now, I am going to give a caveat to what I said earlier- while Matthew records the Voice saying, "This...", Mark and Luke both record, "You...".  I wasn't there, and I wasn't privy to the vision.  Neither were the masses, because nobody is quoted as saying, what was that, as they were in John 12 in a later incident:

Joh 12:28  Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 
Joh 12:29  The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 
Joh 12:30  Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 

But I am going with the "This" for right now, and here's why:  This was John's assurance that he was NOT led astray, that Jesus was indeed the Christ.  Not because it proved anything to John, but because of what it teaches us.

Think with me:  Once John was imprisoned by Herod, he had a crisis of faith.

Luk 7:20  And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" 

So, even after seeing this tremendous vision, and hearing the Voice itself, John doubted in a time of trial.  Why would he do that?  Answer these next two questions, and I will give you the answer to this one.

John came in the "spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17).  And remember what happened after Elijah's great victory in the Lord on Mt Carmel?  That's right, he was handed a severe trial, and he faced doubt.  He brought down fire from God.  Why would he then doubt?

The Israelites got their baptism by passing through the Red Sea.  They got manna from heaven, they were led by a Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night.  From where they were camped waiting for Moses, they could see the fire and hear the rumbling on Mt Sinai.  Why did THEY doubt?

Answer:  They and we are HUMAN.  And as humans, we tend to doubt under stress, even if we have ironclad proof before them and us.

That's why God didn't say He was "Well pleased with both of you".  Even though Jesus said, 

Luk 7:26  What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 
Luk 7:27  This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.' 
Luk 7:28  I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." 

Because even the greatest can doubt.  In fact, it would seem it's a precondition for greatness.  But any of us can restore that faith.  In their hard times, both Elijah and John got answers- because they ASKED.  That's what I think is most important on this one.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pleasant valley Monday

So, as much as I'd like to go on about how stupid a certain political party thinks I am to believe a BS story they pulled out of their butts and how much that party will never ever ever never get a vote from me again even if the other parties were running Sadaam Hussein, Idi Amin, and Slobodon Milosevic (come to think of it, that might be their slate), I'll just walk away and show you some pictures.  Last Tuesday it was cool enough to actually take Scrappy a nice walk, and here are some of the results:

Scooter the bird...

And off we go!

...and into the wild...

There is still some floral color...

I actually got a pose without begging...

And here we have the legendary Condiment Packet Tree...

"Yeah... now I remember why we don't go down this way that often..."

These flowers we full of butterflies just going nuts...

First surprise:  Somebody has been watering and feeding somebody up here... second surprise, Mr Water Obsessed walked right past it.

Then I thought I might add for the FB deprived my annoncement of GREAT news...

"Golden Monkey- real beer for real Americans- Back at Kroger!"

Not long afterwards, my lovely niece sent congratulations, along with pointing out, "You need a haircut."   My response...

"Yeah?  Which one?"

And Sunday, FB sent me a pic of my progeny going for a bike ride...

I asked, "He looks pissed.  You fall down much?"

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Message: wrappings

This week I heard a sermon on Lazarus and his "resurrection" (and there is a good reason why I put that in quotes, bear with) that mentioned the things that his rising from the dead and Jesus' own had in parallel.  But the thing that struck me, where the preacher didn't go, was the big difference in the two.

And that is the wrappings...

Joh 20:3  Peter, therefore, went forth, and the other disciple, and they were coming to the tomb, 
Joh 20:4  and the two were running together, and the other disciple did run forward more quickly than Peter, and came first to the tomb, 
Joh 20:5  and having stooped down, seeth the linen clothes lying, yet, indeed, he entered not. 
Joh 20:6  Simon Peter, therefore, cometh, following him, and he entered into the tomb, and beholdeth the linen clothes lying, 
Joh 20:7  and the napkin that was upon his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but apart, having been folded up, in one place; 

Joh 11:43  And these things saying, with a loud voice he cried out, `Lazarus, come forth;' 
Joh 11:44  and he who died came forth, being bound feet and hands with grave-clothes, and his visage with a napkin was bound about; Jesus saith to them, `Loose him, and suffer to go.'

You see?  Lazarus was still bound by his grave clothes;  Jesus had PASSED RIGHT THROUGH His.  Why the difference?  Because of the TYPE of resurrection.

Jesus died and was immediately given His new body, because, that day of His death, He WAS in paradise.  The new body could be seen and disappear at will, pass through grave clothes, be recognized and unrecognizable to mortal eyes- and yet, be touched, be held, take in food and drink.  This is the body we are promised when we die the literal death.  But we also have a figurative death, and this is what Lazarus' "resurrection" teaches us.

You see, Jesus raised Lazarus knowing he would eventually die in this body again.  And this is US in a microcosm.  Before we know Jesus, we are dead in the tomb of our sins, wrapped in the bindings of mortality and our fallen nature.  Jesus called Lazarus to RENEWED life- but he was still in the same old body.  He was SAVED from the death of sin, but still WRAPPED in that mortal flesh AND the sin that it entails.  This is us.  We are dead in sin.  Christ comes, calls us from the tomb.  We live a new life- BUT we are still wrapped in the mortal flesh, still wrapped in sin.

Before I "wrap" this up, I want to tie it to another part of Scripture.  Another Minister brought up this text in 1 Corinthians:

1Co 10:1  And I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 
1Co 10:2  and all to Moses were baptized in the cloud, and in the sea; 
1Co 10:3  and all the same spiritual food did eat, 
1Co 10:4  and all the same spiritual drink did drink, for they were drinking of a spiritual rock following them, and the rock was the Christ; 
1Co 10:5  but in the most of them God was not well pleased, for they were strewn in the wilderness,

1Co 10:6  and those things became types of us, for our not passionately desiring evil things, as also these did desire. 

The parallels here:  God through Moses had brought Israel "out of the tomb" of Egypt and into a new life, baptized into it through the cloud and the crossing of the Sea.  But they were STILL wrapped in their sin.  All of the ways that God was faithful to them, and yet for such a vast majority of them, their dealing with the "wrappings" were to grumble and complain, and never was the first instinct to trust God.  And because of that attitude, that "new life" met a sad end for all of them- they never saw the land of promise.  God well named the nation- do you remember what Israel means?

Gen 32:27  Then the man asked, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. 
Gen 32:28  The man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel." 

Always wrestling with God, fighting Him at every turn.  So back to our story.  Did you note how Lazarus was to get out of his wrappings?

Jesus saith to them, `Loose him, and suffer to go.'

This will sound hypocritical of me, but it really isn't.  Because I hear the Word of God from many Men of God, I have Laurie and you all to help me with this-  YOU NEED OTHERS TO UNWRAP YOU.  You need to be where other believers have an effect on your life, and I certainly praise God for all of those who provide that for me!  And just like the cloth coiled around Lazarus, this isn't going to be a painless process.  Four days with these bands infused with aloes and ointments, you think that's not gonna leave a mark coming off?  I realized that this morning as the Pastor I listened to hit me right between the eyes with an attitude of mine- an attitude that he put in a column marked, "Things God hates."  And the closer to free you get, the more that peeling's gonna hurt.  But in the end you will be free- and when you die the NEXT death, you'll pass right through the wrappings, like Jesus did.

And if that example of pain in growth isn't enough, how about when I throw into the mix sacrifice.  Follow me on a brief speculation.  You have perhaps heard the Parable- or is it?- about the "other" Lazarus and the rich man, who both die but go to separate places.  Now, I have heard it pointed out that this may have actually happened, because in NO OTHER parable does Jesus give a name as He did this Lazarus.  Consider if this was the SAME Lazarus.  Then, after a mortal life of misery and pain, he achieves paradise- only to have Jesus call him away from it, to make a point to US.  Would you want to make THAT sacrifice?

Maybe you won't ever be asked to.  But just maybe you'll be asked something just as hard.  Would you be willing, if it meant getting these cursed wrappings off?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VILXIII50491458

Once again we have to dodge our way into September 14th, 1958, narrowly missing the first launch of the German Mohr rocket, designed by Ernst Mohr.  The 51/2 foot long rocket held 165 pounds of propellant that shot the cone ( or "dart") 31 miles up after a 2-second burn.

At 2,684.324 MPH, it was 46 1/3 times as fast as the Chevy with which Speedy Thompson won the NASCAR Richmond 200 that same day...

Faster than a speeding Chevy... although an average of not quite 58 MPH is hardly speeding...

Welcome to a brand new Time Machine episode, featuring Debbie Reynolds, Jack Keller (another composer) on the 6D, a new feature, and a run off in the Panel picks!  Boogity boogity boogity, let's go... er, listening!


Two debuts this week, and the first one has been eating its way slowly up the M10 shuffle for some time, and finally makes a second M10 hit for Leon Bridges...

Leon places his second hit at #10 this week.


Ladies and gentlemen, Debbie Reynolds!  It's a real honor to have you here!  I've had a crush on you since the first time I heard Tammy!

Why, thank you!  Did you like the movie?

I, uh, don't know if I've ever watched...

Oh... well, have you watched any of my other films?

Lemme bring up the list... um, I believe I've seen Divorce American Style...

That's it?

Um, I'm not a big movie guy... oh wait!  Charlotte's Web!  I loved that movie!

I was the voice of a SPIDER...

I watched your TV show...

Which I gave up because they were selling ads to cigarette makers...

Everybody did.  I can still sing a lot of the jingles-  "This is the L&M moment..."

I'd have rather you learned from the anti-smoking PSAs...

Actually, I remember most of them too.  "To get right to the heart of the matter, where there's smoke... there's danger of heart attack."  Actually, the one about the gunslinger "Johnny Smoke" used to scare hell from me.  Prolly kept me from being a future smoker...

Great!  I'm sorry if I was rough on you...

Not a thing.  So this week, we have a normal (or what passes for it) list, with 9 contestants from 22 stations.  Here's the list...

Thank you!  So you have here the "one vote wonders"... Marty Robbins hit #26 in May, but was #1 in Australia this week with Just Married.

Dion and those cute Belmonts were at #37 with No One Knows...

Doris Day was at #19 with Everybody Loves A Lover...

And Nelson Riddle with a version of Volare which did not chart nationally.

And that leaves five possible winners:

The Everlys with Bird Dog at #2...

Tommy Edwards with It's All In The Game at #4...

The Elegants with Little Star at #3...

Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu, also known of course as Volare, by Domenico Modugno, at #1...

...and Robin Luke with Susie Darlin' at #10.  And you get to pick which two TIED for the most #1 votes!

That's right, Debbie!  We had a tie with 5 votes each for two of these hits, and your first job is to pick which two!


Something new that got my curiosity after last week's discussion with the Platters was how the label competition went back then.  So, from here in, every week I will go to MusicVF's top 100 for each year, check out the labels and see who did best.

This year, 1958, 46 different labels were represented among MVFs top 100, and I decided to see by both number of hits and chart positions who did the best!  Now single record labels would do best in a average place contest, so I limited my mathematics to those who got at least 4 records placed.  Now, Capitol had the most records place with 9, but they didn't get started till #18, and their average was brought down by hitting the #100 song too.  Which left the race for best between the three companies that tallied 7 hits- Cadence, MGM, and RCA.   RCA also kinda shot themselves in having their votes split between RCA and RCA Victor, which would have netted them a combined 10.  But when I averaged out the positions, the winner at 29.42 was... MGM!  Their seven records were:

The year's top song, and Panel contestant, It's All In The Game;
Conway Twitty's It's Only Make Believe;
Connie Francis with Who's Sorry Now;
Sheb Wooley's The Purple People Eater;
Connie Francis again with My Happiness;
and again with Stupid Cupid;
and finally the legendary (and obscure) Marvin Rainwater and Whole Lotta Woman.


Our other debut makes #3 for this young lady, her second from this year's lp Rebound- Eleanor Friedberger coming in at #9:


So speaking of labels, I found a bit of a controversy involving the 6D song.  You see, it lead me to composer Jack Keller, who has a ton of stuff to his credit, most of which was with lyrics from Howard Greenfield.  In fact, here's the shortlist of his hits:

Connie Francis had Everybody's Somebody's Fool (#1), My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own (#1), and Breaking In A Broken Heart (#7);

Bobby Vee's Run To Him (#2);

The Chordettes and Just Between You And Me (#8);

Bobby Sherman's Easy Come Easy Go (#9);

And a little ditty by Jimmy Clanton called Venus In Blue Jeans, which really started me on the whole trip- and yet, when I pulled MVF's list of the biggest Jack Keller credits, Jimmy Clanton was not there- but the English cover by Mark Wynter was!  So after fighting with a broken link, I found that, while Wynter's version was credited to Greenfield/Keller, Clanton's original was credited to Greenfield and Neil Sedaka!  So back I went to wiki, where the article clearly states that it was a Greenfield/Keller comp.  And the PICTURE of the record on wiki just as clearly shows...

...Greenfield and SEDAKA!?!  I have no clue what the real deal with this was all about, but it all came from Clanton having the 6D victim at #4- Just A Dream, which Clanton wrote himself- or possibly with help from his manager, Cosimo Matassa, no one knows for sure there, either...


Ready to see if you are still in the game?  If you picked the Elegants, Robin Luke, or Tommy Edwards, go sit down.  If you took Bird Dog or Nel blu di..., oh heck, Volare, go to the final round!


Stat Pack:

With Cashbox still down at research time, I had to go to Billboard, which this week in 1958 was only 7 weeks along on their official Hot 100.  That gives us a #58 in '58 of Bobby Darrin's Splish Splash, which was on the way down after... well, seven weeks that we know of...

And they don't have the Bubbling under where I can get it, so #100 was the Four Lads with Enchanted Island- which would eventually sail to #29.

I knew 20 of our 100- and 11 of the UK 30,  not including the #1 When by the Kalin Twins- though Panel run-offers Volare (#10) and Bird Dog (#16) made their list.

And our big mover, which I almost forgot because I didn't write it very big, was Tony Bennett's Firefly with a 44-notch move TO #44.

BTW, I just checked and Cashbox has risen from the dead yet again, and will hopefully still be up when I get to making next week's post...


And the rest of this week's M10:

Cullen Omori's A Real You and Elvis Costello's Unwanted Number flip places to 8 and 7, respectively.

Dorothy slips just one to 6 with Ain't Our Time To Die.

For the second time in 3 weeks, the #10 moves up to #5- this time, it's the Jayhawks and Come Cryin' To Me.

And from there, everybody holds their spots!  ELO stays in 4th with Buildings Have Eyes, Beach House at 3 with Equal Mind, Vanessa Carleton at #2 with Lonely Girls, and a second week at the top for...

...Blackberry Smoke and One Horse Town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel run-off winner, with a run-off score of 4-2...

...Domenico Modugno with Volare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you next week, Lord willing, with 1959!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday Bible Study: the line and the door

So the next 3:16 is in the last book of the Old Testament- Malachi.  And I want to get to the point of our verse a little differently- by looking at the WHOLE book- albeit in a shortened form.

Malachi is one of my favorite places to be, for a few reasons.  One of them, and the crux of our story today, is the interplay between God and who He is directing the prophecy to- namely (from 1:6) "the priests who despise my name".  He gives them a statement, and they defend themselves with self-righteous "in what way?" statement- which, to their shame, God answers.  And every so often, He lets them know the consequence of the crime they have committed.

First, He starts out with "I love you."  To which they amazingly and absurdly give their first, "in what way?".  He explains to them on no uncertain terms- at the formation of this people, He had a choice of the twin sons of Isaac, and He chose their father Jacob, rejecting Esau.  That alone was evidence of the Love He would show them.  But they basically have rejected God and His love, and He delivers the consequence:  "You can build up, but I will tear down."  This will end up being a future prophecy, as the story leads us to believe that this was written in Nehemiah's day, and the sacrifice was being held at the Second Temple, before Nehemiah had to return from Persia to weed out the corruption in the priesthood that Malachi is addressing.

The second involves a pair of accusations from God.  First is, "If I am a High God, where is My Honor? Where is My reverence?"  This is where he names the priests who despise Him, and they ask their "in what way have we despised You?".  He points out that their offerings are defiled.  In a great way, the quality of the offering represents the Quality of God, which is why it needs to be unspoiled first fruits.  How do you feel about your tithe now?  More on that later, but in the meantime, THEY get the message and reply, "in what way have we defiled YOU?"  Not that they made God defiled, but by their worthless sacrifices, they have shown their low esteem of God.

God then explains what they are truly saying in their actions:  That the Table (altar) of the Lord is "contemptible", that it doesn't matter what they bring (aka what they think of God), and that the entire thing is "a weariness to them" (1:13).  And here, God returns with the greatest insult to them He could give:  That if they were going to treat Him thusly, He was going to give His Word to the GENTILES- and they would worship Him far more diligently!  Which, of course, is the same conclusion that both Jesus and Paul made.

The third accusation He doesn't allow them a response- He merely tells them, "If you won't glorify My Name, I will (and this is my literal from the Hebrew used) rebuke your offspring and cover your faces with the excrement from your sacrificial animals."  Wow.

The next wave begins with what God calls His second accusation- that despite their sins, and their lack of respect, love, or even effort, they "cover the altar with tears" every time things go bad.  But not only is God refusing to hear them, He is going to refuse the sacrifice as well.  Okay, people, here's where it gets real.  They ask Him, "for what reason are you refusing?" and His reply is, Because you divorce the wife of your youth, and I HATE DIVORCE."

Ironic, then that one of the reforms Nehemiah will institute is that the people have to put away their foreign wives...

Then He returns one of their sins against them- They have wearied Him.  When they ask why, He gives a response that He could give again today:

Mal 2:17  You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, "How have we wearied him?" By saying, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them." Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?" 

At this point He lists the fourth and final consequence- The terrible judgment that will come upon them when Messiah comes.

Mal 3:2  But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 
Mal 3:3  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. 

His next accusation:  He has over and over commanded them to return to Him, and they have refused.  Their reply, typically, is, "in what way should we return?" Meaning in their self-righteousness, they don't think they have left- that just being a Jew is righteousness enough.  God accuses them of robbing Him.  Not only had they put up worthless sacrifice, they had neglected the tithe.  And God, rather than judging them here, explains on the benefits they are missing out on by NOT tithing- which I can attest to.  "Try me on it," God asks them.

Finally, God accuses them of being not only neglectful, but disrespectful- "You say harsh words to me".  Of course, they say, "What harsh things?", to which God replies,

Mal 3:14  You have said, 'It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 
Mal 3:15  And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.'" 

Wow, money again- there is no profit to us.  And that is where God has had enough of them, and turns to the true believers, in OUR verse at last- and what a beautiful way to send us into the New Testament:

Mal 3:16  Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. 

Piece by piece:  The people who love God separated from all this, came together, and prayed.

The Lord heard them, and in the next verse promises to protect them from the coming judgment of the self-righteous.


I listened the morning I typed this to a teaching by Ann Graham Lotz.  She pointed out how the original High Priest- a symbol of the coming Christ- wore the Ephod before God.  The ephod contained 12 different gemstones- one for each tribe- worn over his heart.  "How wonderful to know," she said, "That Jesus sits on the throne, and wears OUR names over His Heart."

I can see why this book got the assignment of coming last.  It is God's line in the sand to Israel- and the opening door to the Gentiles.  Which side of the line will you choose?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Warning: Offensive

You may have noticed I don't bring up politics anymore- or at least not much.  Not because I don't have opinions- you've heard 'em.  Not because I've "lost some friends" over politics- though I have, and it's on them, not me. 

But it isn't worth it anymore.  It's not entertaining, it's not informative, and it is far, far from constructive.  Today, I see Congressional eyesore Kamala Harris is going on yet another rant about how Trump should be impeached.  Have you ever noticed that out of ALL the Presidents who have had people yelling for impeachment, the only one who even came that close to getting turned out was the only one that did something to deserve it?  I mean, other than having policies the other guys don't like (See Andrew Johnson, Barack Obama) or got caught doing stuff others got away with in office (see Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy, Warren Harding).  And of course, if one semi-senile radical says it, then all the other ones go right along with it.  When was the last time we got one with an ounce of sense to tell the others to act adult?  It does happen, but you barely hear about it.

And it isn't one sided.  I would like a buck (slang for DOLLAR) for every time I hit "hide post" on a low class dig at John McCain at or near his death.  (You'll note that just one week ago, I had some fun with McCain, but only because the cameraman shoulda had him standing a little more in profile so he didn't LOOK like he was peeing.)  Getting a bit tired of Hillary-in-prison-orange too, BTW.  AND the former-FLOTUS-was-a-man crap.   And while I get that about 90% of the stupid stuff our current POTUS says is just to distract idiots from what he's actually accomplishing, It would sure be nice if he didn't give vultures like Bob Woodward and the world-famous "anonymous official" so much ammunition.

So let's take a teenage not-so-victim of a massacre and turn him into something he's not- either a living symbol for people who don't get that neither side really wants to get rid of guns because they are a valuable tool in divide-and-conquer, or a whelp of the Anti-Christ (so said by many who wouldn't know a false prophet from a car salesman).  Or let's start a mass movement involving insulting half the population to make a point you could have made better by setting up a charitable foundation to help bridge the hate and prejudice- but then, if you did that, your lack of skills at football would have left you to sink into obscurity.  Or how about nailing a real weasel like Harvey Weinstein, beginning a movement to root out all the similar weasels- and then trying to lie your way out after it is learned you were the very same kind of weasel-ette.

Or how about telling everyone who succeeded in a previous administration, "you didn't build that," but when the next administration starts succeeding, saying, "I did that."

A FB friend who has inspired me in many things- not of them yet illegal- posted this today, and it inspired this post of mine...

I’ve decided to wrestle back a perfectly acceptable word from the English language. A word which has been co-opted by the LGBTQ community. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “queer,” meaning “strange” or “odd.”
Wish me luck!

I agree with him, here.  Not about "wrestling back", but about the whole stupid thing about, you can't use x-word.  So a man gets fired for using the word "niggardly" in a sentence correctly.  Or I have to have PSAs warning me not to use the word "gay" as an insult.  I'll make you a deal- I'll cease using gay as "that (insert TV show/sport rule/shoe style) is so gay when YOU stop using it for "homosexual".  Until then, I just don't care.  I still remember Howard Cosell getting in hot water one Monday Night.  He was admiring the squirting-away ability of diminutive wide receiver Charlie Brown of the Redskins, and said with an inflection of pure amusement, "The little monkey".  99% of people knew there wasn't a bad intent anywhere in the comment- but after the next commercial, he had to apologize because some moron with nothing better to do complained it was a "racial slur".

Did you see what I did there?  "squirting-away", "Redskins", "moron".  I used those terms basically to demonstrate how many ways the Jackbooted Language Thugs (Oooh, there's another one) make life miserable by sitting in mama's basement (AND another) and picking apart every word that anyone says.  Like my friend, I am sick of it.  It is a queer thing to have to fight over language and I intend to gayly ignore it all.

So, did I offend anyone?


Friday, September 7, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VILXII5039757

Today, we land in September 7th, 1957- and the night that the world first met the NBC Peacock.

This still pic debuted on the show Your Hit Parade, where a cast of singers, which at this point included recent Panel contestant Giselle McKenzie, re-created the top seven songs of the week.  Now me, I remember better the animated version that debuted on the western Laramie a few years later.  I also remember this much later, "trimmed down" version:

so trimmed down, in fact, that I remember Jay Leno making the joke that "henceforth, it will be known as the NBC Capon..."


And with a "Ba-dum-DUM!" we open this week's Time Machine, which will have a couple new M10 debuts as we ACTUALLY hit the list's 4th year;  A guest shot from the Platters, and the greatest hits of Kal Mann (who?)!  So shake a tail feather and let's get at things!


Say hello to Karen Groteberg!  No, she's not a member of the Platters, but she IS the lady in the Jayhawks, and I bring her up because she sings lead on their latest M10 hit, debuting at #10....


And now, welcome Herb Reed and Zola Taylor of the Platters!

Um, I'm not interrupting anything, am I?

Z:  Oh, good heavens, no!  

H:  Nah, just part of the act, my friend...

S'okay, I was just teasing.  So you were with the band from the beginning, and built a hall of fame career with songs like My Prayer.

Z:  Actually, Buck Ram brought me in a bit later.

H: Buck is the one that got us in with Mercury Records, and he's the one that made them release our songs on their regular label instead of their purple label for colored acts.

It still amazes me that anyone was stupid enough to believe that records should be segregated.

H:  Well, it was a lot like what you been tellin' us about your time.  People scared a what they say, that they might offend someone.  A lotta hate...

Z: It's just a wonder that they didn't have pink labels for the ladies...

Not to mention that musicians in general were a group often taken advantage of.

H:  Don' I know it!  Now, the way you all got things set up, singers are just in it for the money after a while.  Groups like us had to LOVE what we did...

Very true.  Okay, so this week is just like the last couple.  With only a handful of charts, I gave points for the chart positions of any of the songs that hit #1 8 of them in all on 11 stations.  And the chart positions are from Billboard this week, since as of last Friday the Cashbox archive has been down yet again.  So have at it you two!

H: Ladies first, Z.

Z:  Thanks, Herb.  Our first tune is Paul Anka's Diana, which is #2 on Billboard.

H:  I got Jimmie Rodgers an' Honeycomb, it's the #9 song.

Z: Buddy Knox rocks on Hula Love, which was all the way down at #49, but with a bullet!

H:  Heh, I like that, 'Knox rocks!'  Johnny Mathis is at #21 with It's Not For Me To Say.

Z: That there's a MAN, ladies!  At a REAL low #92 on it's way up to a peak of #52, we have Ron Goodwin, with one of the versions of Swingin' Sweethearts floating around out there...

H: Debby Reynolds is up next, at the top this week with Tammy...

Now there's a WOMAN, guys!

Z:  Hee hee!  Next up is Buddy Holly and the Crickets and That'll Be The Day at #5.

H: An' the last contestant is the Killer hisself, Jerry Lee Lewis an' Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On at #4.

Thanks guys!  So gang, here's your deal.  Three songs had 2 #1 votes apiece, but only TWO of 'em got in the top three point-wise.  So you try for which two of them will battle for the top, and I'll let you know if you're still in the game in a bit!.


Okay, I gotta see our guests off, 'cause I got some spoilers ahead.  In the meantime, listen to the new debut at #8 from the new lp  Look Now from Elvis Costello and the Imposters...


So I saw a story about later days for Ms. Taylor that was so crazy, I just had to share!  From wiki...

(Frankie) Lymon's troubles extended to others after his death. After R&B singer Diana Ross returned "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" to the Top Ten in 1981, a major controversy concerning Lymon's estate ensued. Zola Taylor, Elizabeth Waters and Emira Eagle each approached Morris Levy, the music impresario who retained possession of Lymon's copyrights and his royalties, claiming to be Lymon's rightful widow; Lymon had neglected to divorce any of them. The complex issue resulted in lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, and in 1986 the first of several court cases concerning the ownership of Lymon's estate began.

Trying to determine who was indeed the lawful Mrs. Frankie Lymon was complicated by more issues. Waters was already married when she married Lymon; she had separated from her first husband, but their divorce was finalized in 1965, after she had married Lymon. Taylor claimed to have married Lymon in Mexico in 1965, but could produce no acceptable evidence of their union. Lymon's marriage to Eagle, on the other hand, was properly documented as having taken place at Beulah Grove Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia, in 1967; however, the singer was still apparently twice-married and never divorced when he married Eagle. The first decision was made in Waters' favor; Eagle appealed, and in 1989, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court reversed the original decision and awarded Lymon's estate to Eagle.

However, the details of the case brought about another issue: whether Morris Levy was deserving of the songwriting co-credit on "Why Do Fools Fall in Love". Although early single releases of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" credit Frankie Lymon, Herman Santiago and Jimmy Merchant as co-writers, later releases and cover versions were attributed to Lymon and George Goldner. When Goldner sold his music companies to Morris Levy in 1959, Levy's name began appearing as co-writer of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" in place of Goldner's. Lymon was never paid his songwriting royalties during his lifetime; one result of Emira Eagle's legal victory was that Lymon's estate would finally begin receiving monetary compensation from his hit song's success. In 1987, Herman Santiago and Jimmy Merchant, both by then poor, sued Morris Levy for their songwriting credits. In December 1992, the United States federal courts ruled that Santiago and Merchant were co-authors of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love". However, in 1996 the ruling was reversed by the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on the basis of the statute of limitations: copyright cases must be brought before a court within three years of the alleged civil violation, and Merchant and Santiago's lawsuit was not filed until 30 years later. Authorship of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" currently remains in the names of Frankie Lymon and Morris Levy.

And that's without going into all the lawsuits that Herb went through to get the Platters' name back!


Kal Mann wrote the 6D song- which, I hate to say it, was Elvis's Teddy Bear at  #3...

"Yeah, Ah'll just BET you hate to say it..."

Which got me looking into Mann, who with various partners wrote the lyrics to a TON of hit songs!  So I waddled on over to MusicVF, where I got the definitive list of the top songs of Kal's career, and doing just this top ten left a TON of good music off the list!  Anyway, here's the top ten songs penned by Kal Mann...

10- The Dovells, Bristol Stomp, which hit #2...

9- The Orlons, Don't Hang Up, #4...

8- Chubby Checker and DeeDee Sharp, Slow Twistin', #3...

7- The Orlons, The Wah-Watusi, #2...

6- DeeDee Sharp, Mashed Potato Time, #2...

5- Chubby, Limbo Rock, #2...

4- Bobby Rydell, Wild One, #2...

And the three #1s...

3- Charlie Gracie's version of Butterfly...

2- Andy Williams version of Butterfly...

and at #1...

That's right, Elvis and Teddy Bear, which is were the whole thing got started!


So if you guessed Jerry Lee, Debbie, or Jimmie Rodgers, you would have the three with 2 #1 votes... but only two of them landed in the top on points, with Jerry Lee trailing both Buddy Holly AND Paul Anka!  So pick from Tammy or Honeycomb, and see if you get a winner!


So we're still in the 'slim pickins' side of our stat pack.  I knew 15 of 40 in the US and 8 of 30 in the UK, including the British chart topper, which was Diana.  Outside of that, I can only give you the big mover, which was...

The lovely Jane Morgan and the Troubadours with Fascination, zooming up 31 spots to #32. 


The remaining M10:

Quiet Hollers hangs in there at #9 with Addicted.

Cullen Omori moves to #7 with A Real You.

The Jayhawks' other tune, Backwards Women, goes backwards from 3 to 6 in it's 9th week.  That is something only 26 other songs have done- 7.8% of the songs ever to hit the M10.  Only three have beaten that, and one was the Jayhawks with Quiet Corners!

Dorothy still says Ain't Our Time To Die, but it is time to fall from #2 to 5. 

And on that subject, last week's top dog, ELO's Buildings Have Eyes, drops to #4.

Beach House follows a familiar path, going up from 5 to 3 with Equal Mind.

Vanessa Carlton leaps 4 to #2 with Lonely Girls.  And we might be approaching a new Iron Ceiling with the new #1...

...Blackberry Smoke and One Horse Town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the winner of the Panel, with a 367-349 margin....

....Debbie Reynolds with Tammy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, Debbie and me and 1958!