Friday, October 27, 2006

What else happened in 1950?

In the news…

*Jan. 17 – The Great Brinks Robbery. 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car in Boston.
*Jan. 31 – President Truman orders the development of the hydrogen bomb in response to the detonation of the Soviet Union’s first atomic bomb in 1949.
*Feb. 4 – Ingrid Bergman’s affair with married film director Roberto Rossellini sparks a huge scandal in the USA.
*Mar. 8 – The first Volkswagen Microbus rolls off the assembly line in Wolfsburg, Germany.
*Jun. 25 – The beginning of the Korean War.
*Sep. 3 – Beetle Bailey comic strip begins.
*Oct. 1 – Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is first published in seven newspapers.
*Oct. 7 – The Chinese invasion of Tibet begins.

Famous Births…

*Jan. 9 – David Johansen, lead singer of The New York Dolls
*Jan. 17 – Andy Kaufman, brilliant comedian
*Feb. 10 – Mark Spitz, Olympic gold medal winning swimmer
*Feb. 13 – Peter Gabriel, rock star
*Feb. 18 – John Hughes, director of Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club
*Feb. 20 – Walter Becker, guitarist for Steely Dan
*Feb. 25 – Neil Jordan, director of The Crying Game
*Mar. 2 – Karen Carpenter, singer and drummer for The Carpenters
*Mar. 4 – Billy Gibbons, singer and guitarist for ZZ Top
*Apr. 28 – Jay Leno, Tonight Show host
*May 12 – Gabriel Byrne, great actor, check out The Usual Suspects and Miller’s Crossing
*May 13 – Stevie Wonder, R&B legend
*May 18 – Mark Mothersbaugh, Devo!!!
*Jun. 6 – John Byrne, comic book artist and writer
*Aug. 14 – Bob Backlund, famous wrestler
*Sep. 7 – Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge Simpson
*Sep. 21 – Bill Murray, SNL alumni and one of the funniest and coolest guys ever
*Sep. 28 – John Sayles, brilliant indie director, check out Lone Star
*Oct. 1 – Randy Quaid, really good actor
*Oct. 20 – Tom Petty, rock star
*Nov. 22 – Tina Weymouth, bass player of The Talking Heads
*Nov. 22 – Steven Van Zandt, guitarist for the E Street Band and “Silvio Dante” on The Sopranos
*Dec. 28 – Alex Chilton, singer for The Box Tops and Big Star

Famous Deaths…

*Jan. 21 – George Orwell, legendary author, check out 1984 and Animal Farm
*Mar. 19 – Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan
*Apr. 3 – Kurt Weill, composer of great German cabaret
*Nov. 2 – George Bernard Shaw, great writer and philosopher

In the world of movies…

The Top Grossing Films of 1950

5. Cheaper by the Dozen
4. King Solomon’s Mines
3. Battleground
2. Samson and Delilah
1. Cinderella

Oscar winners of 1950

Best Picture – All About Eve
Best Actor – Jose Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Best Actress – Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday)

Other films released in 1950

The Asphalt Jungle
Father of the Bride
The Men
Rio Grande
Sunset Boulevard

In the world of television…

Shows premiering in 1950

What’s My Line
Your Show Of Shows
Your Hit Parade
Andy Pandy
Truth or Consequences
The Jack Benny Show
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show

In the world of books…

Great Books published in 1950

The Town and the City – Jack Kerouac
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Kon-Tiki – Thor Heyerdahl
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury

In the world of sports…

*World Series – The New York Yankees win 4 games to 0 over the Philadelphia Phillies.
*Boxing – Ezzard Charles retains his World Heavyweight Championship with a 15 round unanimous decision over Joe Louis in New York City.
*NFL Championship – The Cleveland Browns win 30-28 over the Los Angeles Rams.
*College Football champions – Oklahoma Sooners
*World Cup – 1950 World Cup held in Brazil. Uruguay wins the cup after defeating Brazil.
*Stanley Cup – The Detroit Red Wings win 4 games to 3 over the New York Rangers.

Best Songs of 1950

1. Why Don’t You Love Me – Hank Williams

Why Don’t You Love Me was the only song from the year 1950 to make my list. It was a number one hit for Hank. The song is a terrific little ditty about a guy who has apparently lost his girl’s affections. Once again, Hank tells a story in a Southern style as only he can.

More commentary on the pre-1950 list

5. Take Me Back To Tulsa – Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (1941)

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys basically invented the genre called Western Swing. This is good stuff. Tommy Duncan provided fine vocals that were backed up by Bob’s constant calls sprinkled throughout the songs. I think it may be Bob Wills’ running commentary throughout each of their songs that makes me like this band so much. This particular song is the earliest one to make my list, but it is just so infectious that I had to include it. I drove through Oklahoma once, but I’ve never been to Tulsa.

4. Rollin’ Stone – Muddy Waters (1948)

Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ Stone, also known as Catfish Blues, became his signature tune in 1948. This is the song whose title eventually inspired the names of a very successful rock band from England and a highly regarded magazine. To my ears, the song exemplifies Chicago Electric Blues. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the song as number 459 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

3. Move It On Over – Hank Williams (1947)

Move It On Over was Hank’s first major country hit, making it to number 4 on the country charts in 1947. I’ve always enjoyed Hank’s more light-hearted numbers and this story of a man sent out to sleep in the doghouse has always struck me funny. Being from Alabama myself, I’ve always liked the thick ‘Bama drawl that comes out in Hank’s voice.

2. Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer) – Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (1947)

Well now this song is just awesome. When you hear it, you can’t help but bop along with it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the ultimate country dance song.

1. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams (1949)

This is a beautiful song, both lyrically and musically. It made it to number one on the country charts in 1949 and Rolling Stone listed it as number 111 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Hank, himself, reportedly considered it his favorite of the songs he had recorded.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Best Songs previous to 1950

5. Take Me Back To Tulsa – Bob Wills And The Texas Playboys (1941)

4. Rollin’ Stone – Muddy Waters (1948)

3. Move It On Over – Hank Williams (1947)

2. Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer) – Bob Wills And The Texas Playboys (1947)

1. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams (1949)

Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oct. 24th Update

First of all, if you'll look over to the right, you'll see that I got us a message board. So please make use of the message board to comment on the lists once they start showing up.

I'm working as much as I can on preparing the lists for posting, but I'm also searching for a new job at the same time.

Here's my employment story. I have a degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting. I worked in television back in Alabama for a few years after I finished college. I even directed a live morning talk show for a year. Unfortunately, when I moved to Seattle ten years ago, I discovered that it was basically impossible to get a broadcasting job in this city if you don't know the right people.

I got a temp job at doing accounts-payable. Next thing you know, I've been there for five years. I finally got fed up and quit and then I got another temp job in accounts-payable. This time it was for a company called online I expected to be there for a few months, but I was there for two years. I've wasted seven full years of my life doing work that makes me miserable. That's just no way to live. What is the point of continuing one's life if the work that they do is meaningless and un-fulfilling. So, I quit my job and I'm going to go back to school. In the meantime, I need to find some kind of a decent job while I'm going to school. So this is taking up some of my list-making time.

I'm also very concerned about the upcoming elections, and I'm paying a lot of attention to the polls that come out every day. I hope and pray that the Democrats are able to take back the majorities in the House and Senate, but I'm terrified the Republicans will find a way to steal yet another election.

So, I'm gonna get the first little list of pre-1950's songs up in the next couple of days and get this blog properly started.

Thanks for your interest.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The story behind the first big list

Several months ago, my friend Mark suggested that I produce a list of the 100 greatest songs of all time. Well, as I always do, I went a little bit overboard.

I started putting together a list of all the songs that I considered worthy of inclusion in a list of the all-time greatest songs. I wound up with several thousand possible entries.

So, I figured that the only way to properly do this was to divide the songs into their respective years, put together the annual lists, combine those into overall decade lists and then combine the decade lists into the final all-time list.

I figured I would start with 1950, although a handful of pre-1950 songs did creep their way in. I also decided to leave out jazz. I love jazz, but I felt that comparing jazz with rock was an apples-and-oranges type situation and wouldn't work very well. The list is predominantly rock with some instances of country, reggae, and rap included.

I'll start soon with the pre-50's lists and I'll include links to videos on You Tube whenever possible.

Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.

My name is Leo and I am a listmaker.

For a long time now, I've been posting my lists to various e-mail groups. I've been very discouraged by the lack of feedback that I get, so I've decided that the best way to get more comments, opinions, and general feedback would be to start posting my lists to a blog.

So this is the beginning of Leo's list blog. I hope I can get lots of readers and lots of feedback. I welcome all opinions both positive and negative and I look forward to hearing what people think of my opinions.

I'll try and update my blog as often as I can with as much interesting stuff as I can produce and I hope people will enjoy it and keep coming back.

Thank you for your interest.