Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on March 17, 2018

WSB radio is 96 years old. On March 15, 1922, The Atlanta Journal received a telegram authorizing it to broadcast weather bulletins. The telegram instructed the station to use the call letters WSB. (Later, a station in Nashville was named WSM.) While the letters were later said to stand for Welcome South Brother (as well as World Series Baseball, and We’re So Boring), they appear to have been randomly assigned at first.

WSB is a 50,000 watt, clear channel station. At night, it can be heard for hundreds of miles around. It’s transmission tower is on LaVista Road, across the street from Northlake Mall. In the seventies, you could hear broadcasts on pay phones in the area.

WSB was owned by the Atlanta Journal, and had it’s first studio in their building downtown. The radio station moved to the Biltmore Hotel when it opened in 1926. In 1926, WSB joined the NBC radio network. (Station logs show a broadcast of the inaugural NBC broadcast in November, 1926.) In 1939, the Journal, and WSB, were sold to James Middleton Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises. In 1950, Mr. Cox bought the Atlanta Constitution.

The thirties and forties were the glory days for radio. In the fifties, television started to move in. WSB-TV started to broadcast on Channel 2. A studio known as “White Columns on Peachtree” was built in 1955, and was the home WSB, radio and TV.

When PG was old enough to listen, WSB had a format which is no longer in use. It played “middle of the road” music, and had lots of news broadcasting. As FM radio began to dominate music broadcasting, (including WSB FM), the venerable AM station evolved (devolved) into a news-talk format. This is what you hear today.

HT to Peach Pundit. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library” and WSB.











Lose The Ability To Remember

Posted in History, Library of Congress, The English Language, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 15, 2018

PG heard a nifty quote once. “When we begin to write, we will lost the ability to remember.” It was credited to Homer, the Greek poet. The only problem is, PG could never find a source.

Katherine Mangu-Ward is a lady writer. She appeared on a podcast recently, and talked about the symbiotic relationship between conservative trolling, and liberal smugness. PG stumbled onto her twitter account, @kmanguward, and found this: 370 BC: Is Writing Making Us Stupid?

Plato, Phaedrus was the link attached to the tweet. Here is what it said: “Now the king of all Egypt at that time was the god Thamus, who lived in the great city of the upper region, which the Greeks call the Egyptian Thebes, and they call the god himself Ammon. To him came Theuth to show his inventions, saying that they ought to be imparted to the other Egyptians. But Thamus asked what use there was in each, and as Theuth enumerated their uses, expressed praise or blame, according as he approved or disapproved. The story goes that Thamus said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat; but when they came to the letters, “This invention, O king,” said Theuth, “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories; for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.”

But Thamus replied, “Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.”

Don’t be afraid of a block of text. We will break this down in a minute. The text is from Phaedrus, by Plato. As the ierrant wikipedia says, “The Phaedrus (/ˈfiːdrəs/; Ancient Greek: Φαῖδρος, lit. ‘Phaidros’), written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato’s protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BC…” According to this timeline, 370 B.C. is 3200 years after man started to write, and 400 years after the invention of the Greek alphabet. So much for Homer’s word of caution.

We don’t know how widespread writing was in Plato’s time. Presumably, many of the old tales were transmitted by word of mouth, from one generation to the next. This involves memory. “For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory.”

There is one more quote worth musing over. Since the invention of the first mediums, new methods have been denounced by traditionalists. Today, we live in an era of constant change. This feature will appear in a blog… state of the art in 2004, and considered obsolete in 2018. Every new medium is greeted with hand wringing over the bad effects it will have on society. Some of these misgivings have been proven false. This *text* goes into more detail about this.

Homer may, or may not, have existed. Since this was 2800 years ago, we may never know. The stories of “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” may have been told from one generation, to the next. Maybe Homer really did say that, and was merely afraid of competition.

“You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” . In todays culture, the display of apparent wisdom is more impressive than actual knowledge. These things too shall pass away. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Billie Holiday Stories

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Race by chamblee54 on February 24, 2018

How ‘Strange Fruit’ Killed Billie Holiday turned up in a facebook feed yesterday. The article states that Harry Jacob Anslinger “the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics,” ordered Billie Holiday to quit performing “Strange Fruit.” When the chanteuse declined, Mr. Anslinger had her arrested for heroin possession. Later, Mr. Anslinger was allegedly responsible for busting Miss Holiday on her deathbed.

The Hunting of Billie Holiday was the source given for the claim about Mr. Anslinger and “Strange Fruit.” The Politico article does not say that Mr. Anslinger ordered Miss Holiday to quit singing “Strange Fruit.” It does say that Louis McKay, one of the many no-good men in Miss Holiday’s life, narked her out. The bust was in 1947, after she had been performing “Strange Fruit” for several years.

Politico had one comment that set off the bs detector. “One day, Harry Anslinger was told that there were also white women, just as famous as Billie, who had drug problems—but he responded to them rather differently. He called Judy Garland, another heroin addict, in to see him.” Frances Gumm was well known for having substance abuse issues. The heroin business was news to a lot of people.

Johann Hari was the author of the politico article. At the time, he was promoting a book, Chasing the Scream, about the war on drugs. Johann Hari has a spotted reputation. “The author used to be the Independent’s star columnist, a prolific polemicist and darling of the left, until his career imploded in disgrace when it emerged in 2011 that many of his articles contained quotes apparently said to him but in fact lifted from his interviewees’ books, or from previous interviews by other journalists.”

The final bust, as Miss Holiday lay dying in the hospital, is part of the legend. A google search does not show what agency was responsible. Harry Anslinger may have been involved, and it may have been someone else. By this time, Elanora Fagan was in bad, bad shape. Years of drinking, and hard drugs, had worn her out. While the hospital bust may have hastened her demise, it is a bit of a stretch to say the Harry Anslinger killed Billie Holiday, because she sang “Strange Fruit.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Frank Ancona

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 22, 2018









The body of kkk big dog Frank Ancona was found in a Missouri river the other day. People who like to say rude things about the klan celebrated the news. It is safe to say that few of these people had heard of Mr. Ancona before his demise. This is a repost. Some of the links are not dependable.
PG saw the headline, and remembered a story from last year. Mr. Ancona was quoted in that story. He was trash talking another klan organization. He said the klan is a secret society that shuns publicity. Mr. Ancona has a knack for getting attention, which may be a reason he was killed.

The murder might be the result of a marital dispute. Mr. Ancona’s wife, and step son, are in trouble. Malissa Ancona had a legally unwise chat with a tv reporter, Exclusive: Malissa Ancona, Wife of murdered KKK leader, speaks only to News 4. A twitter account, @malissa72, is still up. The picture shows Mrs. Ancona kissing Mr. Ancona.

Prosecutor: KKK leader may have been killed because he wanted divorce. The St. Lous Post-Dispatch has been on top of the story. This report has an interesting passage: “Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate organizations, said that Ancona’s group was “not very significant at all. This was one of the smallest groups out there.” Potok said the members received a lot of attention because they frequently handed out leaflets. He said he would be surprised if there were 40 members spread out among chapters in Potosi, Hayden, Idaho and Pennsylvania.

Ancona had been in a dispute with other Klan leaders, Potok said, who accused Ancona of being secretly Jewish and Malissa Ancona of being a Wiccan. Both were untrue, Potok believes, but the accusations are typical of the Klan world today, which consists of 29 different named organizations, “each one claiming to be the one true Klan and denigrating the others.”

People who like to be seen denouncing racism love to hate the kkk. Nothing you say about the bedsheet boys is out of bounds. The truth is that the kkk has as much influence as the bad guys in professional wrestling. The kkk is a fashion challenged version of the westboro baptist church. You have to wonder why people get so much enjoyment from trash talking the klan. Maybe this is a distraction for their own unresolved racial conflicts.

“…the Klan world today, which consists of 29 different named organizations, “each one claiming to be the one true Klan and denigrating the others.”” How did all these groups, that hate each other, get together for a national meeting? Do they call it the grand dragon con? Was this the meeting where they endorsed Donald Trump? That endorsement was reported by the Washington Post, and Rachel Maddow. Millions of Trump hating patriots accepted this news without a moment’s hesitation. The spell check suggestion for Maddow is Maddox.

If P.T. Barnum had ever said “There’s a sucker born every minute,” he would have been correct. The truth is, there is little evidence that he did. Here is a phony quote, about suckers, that is widely accepted as truth. There is a bit of synchronicity there. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









The Healey Building

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on February 20, 2018

A local blog recently had a feature about the Healey Building PG worked at 57 Forsyth Street for five years, between 1991 and 1995. This is a good excuse to write some text, and upload some pictures.

PG represented Redo Blue in an architect’s office on the fourteenth floor. His printroom was the third window from the north end, on the third floor from the top. There was a large window, on the west side overlooking Woodruff Park. A surprising amount of attention was captured by the gold dome of the State Capitol. At street level was Broad Street, home to a constantly changing array of merchants.

There were some sights coming in that window. On the coldest winter day in 1993, a music video was filmed on top of the Church’s Fried Chicken on Broad Street. On the week before the Super Bowl, The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, and Martin Mull, kicked field goals in the park. When PG left town that Friday, a large, inflated rendering of Izzy, the Olympic mascot, was resting in the park.

It was not completely happy times. In April of 1992, a jury in California delivered an unpopular verdict. The next day, April 30, the streets downtown erupted. People in Rosa’s Pizza got a broken window, to go with their calzones. The next day, a notions shop on the Forsyth Street side had a sign in the window, “Black owned business”.

William T. Healey opened his office building in 1914. There were sixteen stories, taking the entire block between Broad, Walton, Forsyth and Poplar Streets. The firm of Morgan and Dillon designed the building. The original plan was to have twin towers, with the rotunda, and arcade, in the middle. World War One, and the death of Mr. Healey, put a stop to those plans.

The tower stood on the edge of the Fairlie-Poplar district. In photos of downtown, the Healey building, and the Candler building, serve as easily recognized landmarks. For many years, many bus lines ended on Walton Street, at the south end of the building. Hundreds of people waited there to change buses.That custom ended with Marta trains.

The Healey Building has many features that are no longer seen. The terra cotta details are too fancy for today’s buildings. The stairwells had a garbage chute. You could go to the garbage hole on any floor, and throw your trash to a receptacle down below. The building does not have a loading dock. A freight elevator pops up from behind a steel plate on the Forsyth Street sidewalk. This takes deliveries into the sub basement, where they are transferred onto the freight elevator.

Since 2001, the building has been Healey Building Condos

Pictures today are from Wendy Darling, The Healey Building, “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”, and Chamblee54. This is a repost.

More Talk About Racism

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on February 17, 2018








It is a cliche among certain pundits that this is not “Post Racial America.” No one seems to know what PRA would look like. PRA might be less noisy, with fewer odors, than the current model. The opinion that we do not live in PRA seems unanimous. After PG heard the denial of PRA one too many times, he began to wonder something. Who said America is Post Racial?

Mr. Google has 119 million answers to the question “who said america is post racial?” The short answer is nobody. The closest thing on the front Google page is an NPR commentary from January 2008. This was the early stages of the BHO run for the White House. The commenter said that the election of a dark skinned POTUS might usher in a post racial era in America.

This piece will not have any fresh opinions about race relations in America. That subject has been worn out elsewhere. If someone finds it to their advantage to denounce “racism”, there will be an audience. The truth is, very few people have ever said that America is Post Racial.

This is a double repost, on the subject that people can’t get enough of. If you can’t say anything good, you can always talk about racism. Pictures for this gloomy Saturday morning are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
















Some times you see something, and realize that you are being pushed over a line. Today’s straw, landing on the camel’s back, was a meme. It has pictures of a statesman-like BHO, and a goat smiling BS. The text was white comic sans letters, on a black background. “Regarding those who call Obama an illegitimate president because his father was born in Kenya, Bernie Sanders replied: “No one asked me if I was a citizen or not, and my dad came from Poland. Gee, what’s the difference? Maybe the color of my skin.” The comment was from a Las Vegas town hall meeting. Some things that are said in Vegas need to stay in Vegas.

No one denies that white people and black people often do not get along. Few deny that there is systemic inequality. The connection of “birther” speculation to systemic inequality is tough to see. Of course, the definition of racism is elastic, and can fit whatever situation the observer wants to critique.

Are we helping the cause of racial tranquility by making comments like that? Yes, it is foolish for “birthers” to whine about a birth certificate. But entertaining followers in a town hall debate does not mean you are going to be able to govern. Maybe BS should focus on his economic fantasies, and quit scoring cheap shots about racism.

The Color Of My Skin was originally published in February, 2016, when BS was taken seriously. As we all know, HDRC eventually got the Democratic nomination, only to lose to DJT in November.

Mr. Trump was one of the original “birthers,” or people disputing the Hawaiian birth of BHO. In the general election campaign, Democrats liked to say that DJT was a racist, with birtherism frequently given as an example. The many other unappealing parts of DJT, like crookedness and mental instability, were brushed aside, in the mad rush to scream racist. Some even went so far as to say that anyone voting for DJT was a racist. When the electoral votes were counted, DJT won.









Jesus Gets A New Nickname

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music, Poem, Religion by chamblee54 on February 14, 2018







There is a video making the rounds now. The title involves Jesus, and a certain racial slur, delicately known as the N word. The video is embedded above. You can feel the magic for yourself.

Here is a story about the song, with the edgy language bleeped. “One pastor is trying to spread the word of God with an edgy rap song. The rapping pastor and his wife claim they have “Christian swag” while tossing around the n-word. … The video of the rapping pastor was recently uploaded to YouTube but it’s not clear when it was filmed. It was taken at a church in Iowa which closed in 2004.” Another helpful interneter has the lyrics.

In case you didn’t know, Pastor Jim Colerick, and Mrs Mary-Sue Colerick, are melanin deficient. They are, as Bette Midler once said about Karen Carpenter, so white they are invisible. It is not considered good manners for Caucasians to use this word, with or without salvation.

There is another angle to this equation. Many Jesus worshipers see not using cusswords as a sign of righteousness. As a result, many Jesus worshipers use the words G-d, and Jesus Christ, as tools of their anger. This violates the third commandment. Now, this use of a sacred name, as profanity, is being extended to using a sacred name as a racial slur. Someone is always ready to manipulate language to serve an agenda.

When you call a book “the word of G-d”, you give certain words too much power. When you designate the lazy way of saying black as a super duper naughty word, you give those six letters way too much power. Now, we see the convergence of these two taboos. Let the party begin.

This is a repost. Pictures of Pastor and Mrs. Colerick are taken from the video. The other images are from The Library of Congress. Jack Delano was the photographer in December 1942.







Mardi Gras

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on February 13, 2018










It is fat tuesday again. For someone who lived most of his life in Georgia, it is just another day.

In 1990, PG went to carnival. He rented sleeping bag space in a house on Marigny Street, just outside the quarter. It was like nothing he had ever seen.

This was 14 months after PG quit drinking. If he had life to do over, he would have gone to Mardi Gras first. He did feel good about going through that much drinking without being tempted to participate.

By the end of the Rex Parade, PG was getting tired of the whole shebang, Mob scenes of drunks, in costume, can get old. PG has not been back.

Two years later, the Grateful Dead was playing at the Omni, and the camp followers were in the parking lot. PG would go on his lunch hour and observe. A young lady walked by, and PG said Happy Mardi Gras. She gave him a string of beads.

Five years after that, PG had a boss from New Orleans. He looked like the Grinch who stole Christmas. He also hated Mardi Gras. PG did not know this, and greeted him Tuesday morning with a cheerful Happy Mardi Gras. If looks could kill, PG would have dropped dead. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.










Gloomy Sunday

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on February 11, 2018







Billie Holiday had a hit with Gloomy Sunday in 1941. The legend is that people would listen to the song, and kill themselves. As a result, the song was banned from the radio. Or was it?
Gloomy Sunday was written in 1933 by Rezső Seress. Additional lyrics were later written by László Jávor. It became known as the “Hungarian Suicide Song”, and was reportedly banned in Hungary. An English translation (which is said to not do justice to the original Hungarian) was rendered.

Gloomy Sunday has a melancholy sound, even as an instrumental. The story is about a person…it is not gender specific…who decides to join a loved one who has died. A third verse was added, to the english version, where the singer says it was all a dream.

Gloomy Sunday became popular in the United States. And the suicide stories started to spread, along with rumors that the song had been banned from the radio. (It was indeed banned by the BBC.) There are indications that these rumors were part of a publicity campaign.

The urban legend busters snopes. calls the story “undetermined”. Legends like this get a life of their own. A grieving person hearing this song on a dreary Sunday is not going to be uplifted. One thing is known for sure…the original composer did take his own life. Rezső Seress jumped off a tall building in Budapest in 1968. The legend is he had never had another hit song after writing “Gloomy Sunday”. This repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.







Tallulah Bankhead And Billie Holiday

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 17, 2018






Tallulah Bankhead was born January 31, 1902 in Huntsville AL. She had a year-older sister, Eugenia. Their mother died February 23, 1902. Legend has it her last words were
“Take care of baby Eugenia. Tallulah can take care of herself.”
The father of the actress was Will Bankhead
. He was a prominent politician, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington. Mr. Bankhead was on the short list of Vice Presidential candidates for Franklin Roosevelt, but was passed over. The Bankhead national forest and the Bankhead Highway are both named for Will Bankhead.
Tallulah Bankhead was an actress, radio show hostess, and personality. She went to London in the early twenties and became a stage sensation. Returning home, she became a Broadway star with “The Little Foxes.” She made movies, but saved her best public performances for the stage.

Miss Bankhead was known for being sexually active, with both men and women. Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammie in Gone With The Wind, was rumored to be one of her “friends”. Her introduction to Chico Marx went like this
“Miss Bankhead.” “Mr. Marx.” “You know, I really want to fuck you.”. “And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy.”
One legend has Miss Bankhead at a dinner party with Dorothy Parker and Montgomery Clift. As might have been expected, the cocktail hour went on most of the evening. At one point, Mister Clift had his head in Miss Parker’s lap. “oh you sweet man, it’s too bad that you’re a cocksucker. He is a cocksucker, isn’t he?” Miss Bankhead replied “I don’t know, he never sucked my cock.”

Her most famous movie role was in “Lifeboat”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her co stars complained that she was not wearing panties under her dress. Mr. Hitchcock posed the question, is this a matter for wardrobe or for hairdressing?

In the fading days of radio, Tallulah was the host of “The Big Show”. She became known for her deep voice, and for saying “Dah-ling”. More than one guest got big laughs by calling her Mister Bankhead. After “The Big Show” ended, Miss Bankhead remained active on stage and television. She died December 12, 1968.

Miss Bankhead was a staunch Democrat, as is fitting for the political family she was raised in. During the McCarthy era, an actress friend of hers was accused of being a communist. Miss Bankhead made a statement of support for the actress on the radio, and then asked her, are you a communist? The actress said that her daddy was a republican, and so she guessed that was what she was. Miss Bankhead was horrified.
“A republican! That’s worse than being a goddamn communist.”






One of Miss Bankhead’s more explosive friendships was with Billie Holliday. “The truth of the matter is that the evidence strongly suggests they probably first met in the early 1930’s during Bankhead’s Harlem rent party and nightclub-slumming days, well before Holiday ever became famous. What is known is that by 1948 they were bosom buddies. A year earlier, Holiday entered the Alderson Federal Reformatory for Women to serve her famous “one day and a year” sentence after being found guilty on dope charges. Four months after her release in 1948, Holiday was appearing at New York’s Strand Theater with Count Basie on the first leg of a cross-country tour. At the same time, Tallulah Bankhead was nearby on Broadway starring in her hit play, Private Lives. Bankhead caused quite a commotion every night thundering late down the ailse during Billie’s show to sit in her special seat to stare in amazement at the gifted & stunningly beautiful Lady Day. Because Holiday’s license to perform in nightclubs where liquor was being served had been revoked (and not renewed) she was forced to earn her living in gruelling tours on the road. For months after the Strand performance, Bankhead traveled with her whenever she could. Also on the tour was dancer/comedian James “Stump Daddy” Cross – nicknamed after his wooden leg, who joined the two famous ladies to make a treacherous threesome.”

“…it appears that during the late 1940s she and Holiday were also lovers. Perhaps they had been all along. Holiday later told William Dufty, who ghostwrote her autobiography, that when Tallulah visited backstage at the Strand Theatre, the thrill she took in exhibitionistic sex made her insist on keeping Holiday’s dressing room door open. Holiday later claimed that Tallulah’s brazen show of affection almost cost her her job at the Strand.”

Before long, Miss Holiday got busted again. Apparently, Miss Bankhead made a phone call to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, asking for leniency. There is a remarkable thank you – you’re welcome correspondence between Miss Bankhead and Mr. Hoover. “As my Negro Mammy used to say ‘When you pray, you pray to God don’t you……I had only met Billie Holiday twice in my life….and feel the most profound compassion for her…she is essentially a child at heart whose troubles have made her psychologically unable to cope with the world in which she finds herself…poor thing, you know I did everything within the law to lighten her burden”. “A giddy and twitterpated Hoover wrote back , “Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I trust that you will no hesitate to call on me at any time you think I might be of assistance to you.”

At some point, the two became less intimate. Miss Bankhead had her own legal headaches, and put some distance between her and Miss Holiday. (Eleanora Fagan was the birth name of the chanteuse. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was the real name of the thespian.) When “Lady Sings the Blues” was being prepared, Miss Bankhead got an advance copy, and was horrified by what she saw. A fierce note was sent to the book’s publisher, and scenes were edited out. Miss Holiday was outraged. The letter that resulted is a poison pen classic. “My maid who was with me at the Strand isn’t dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together!”

The first part of this story is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “Members of the Atlanta Woman’s Club, during a luncheon for retiring president W.F. Milton, in the AWC banquet hall, in Atlanta, Georgia, March 5, 1937.” Picture of Billie Holiday from The Library of Congress.





The Number One Hit When I Was Born

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on January 16, 2018

This post went up for the first time on May 28, 2008. The meme of looking up the number one hit on your date of birth is making the rounds again. It is a good excuse for something to post on a slow day. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

There is a man known as XWinger. He sells Celtic music, promotes DimSum groups, and has a blog.

Once at his place I saw a link to a site that tells you what the Number One song was on that day. The arbiter of number oneness is Billboard Magazine.

The List goes back to 1892. On January 1, 1892, the #1 hit was “Drill, Ye Terriers, Drill” by George J. Gaskin. I imagine that before a certain date this would refer to sheet music, or maybe player piano thingies. Other big hits from the Gay Nineties include “The Fatal Wedding” (1894, George J. Gaskin), “Little Alabama Coon” (1895. Len Spencer) and ” A Hot Time in the Old Town”(1897, Dan Quinn).

When my daddy was born in 1916, the top hit was “M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word that Means So Much to Me) by Henry Burr. When my mother was born in 1922, the top of the billboard charts was “Stumbling” by Paul Whiteman.

In October 1929, the stock market crashed to “Am I Blue” by Ethel Waters. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the big song was “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller. Mr. Miller joined the Army after the start of the War, and toured with a band to entertain troops. On December 15, 1944, his plane disappeared in France. The number one hit that day was “I’m Making Believe” by the Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald. The Ink Spots played at the Domino Lounge downtown when I was a kid. I heard people say, “the Ink Spots have been around for a while”.

In 1954, this reporter was born. The number one hit that day was “Wanted” by Perry Como. Two years later, my brother was born to the sounds of “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley.

One way to track the hits through the years is to pick a date and follow it. It should be noted that Billboard is the essence of “commercial”. On my tenth birthday, the big sound was “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong. On the verge of the summer of Love, the big hit was “Something Stupid” by Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra. At no time did the Beatles have a number one hit on my birthday. This attitude improved in 1969 with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by the Fifth Dimension.

The seventies continued the commercial tradition with “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night. This was in 1971, the year they played a big show at Atlanta Stadium. The disco monster raised its glittering hand with “Night Fever”, by the Bee Gees in 1978.

As the eighties rolled in, I got a job and apartment, and music became less familiar. The first big May hit of the eighties was “Call Me” by Blondie. It was from a movie starring Richard Gere. The movie did not feature gerbils. The decade was not a total loss, as 1983 featured “Beat It” by Michael Jackson.

Moving into the nineties and oughts, my old fogey decrepitude is near total. Or is that the wasteland of pop music? By this time top 40 is all but extinct, am radio given over to all talk stations, and fm music so spread out that no one style of music is dominant. The number one hit on my birthday, one recent year, is “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis.

Of course, the leaders of our country don’t always listen. On May 28, 1915, the biggest song was “I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier” by the Peerless Quartet. And, on May 28, 1964, the number one hit was “Love Me Do” by the Beatles.

What Is Dirty About Louie Louie?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 12, 2018









The sixties were a great time to be a kid. As long as you were too young for a Vietnam Vacation, there were kicks to be had.

One of the more enduring legends was the dirty lyrics to “Louie Louie”. Recorded by an obscure band called the Kingsmen, the song was a massive hit in 1963 (It never was Number One). When WQXI put out lists of the greatest songs of all time, “Louie Louie” was at the top of the list. This is despite, or because of, the raucous sound. The song was recorded in one take, when the band thought they were playing a rehearsal. The vocals are difficult to make sense of, and rumored to be obscene. No one was ever quite sure why. With the garbled sound on the record, the listener could hear almost anything they wanted to.

The Governor of Indiana, Matthew Welsh, banned radio stations from playing the song in that state. On February 7, 1964, Attorney General Robert Kennedy got a letter from an outraged parent about the lyrics to “Louie Louie”. An F.B.I. investigation followed. After thirty months of investigation, the Bureau concluded that they could not make sense of the lyrics.

PG had a neighbor named Carol. A tomboy who could whip most of the boys, she had a pet skunk named Napoleon. Carol claimed to have heard a band at Lenox Square play “Louie Louie”. “He said the words real slow so you could understand them. I can’t repeat what he said, but it was dirty”.

Louie, Louie Oh no, me gotta go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, said, ah
Louie, Louie Oh, baby, me gotta go
A fine little girl she waits for me Me
catch a ship for cross the sea.
Me sail that ship all alone Me never think how I make it home.
Ah, Louie, Louie No, no, no, no, me gotta go.
Oh, no. Said, Louie, Louie Oh, baby, said we gotta go.
Three nights and days I sail the sea Think of girl, oh, constantly.
Ah, on that ship I dream she there
I smell the rose, ah, in her hair.
Ah, Louie, Louie Oh, no, sayin’ we gotta go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
but, ah, Louie, Louie Oh, baby, said, we gotta go.
[Yelled] Okay, let’s give it to ‘em right now! [instrumental]
Me see Jamaica, ah, moon above.
It won’t be long, me see me love.
Take her in my arms again, I got her; I’ll never leave again.
Ah, Louie, Louie Oh, no, sayin’ me gotta go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
But, ah, Louie, Louie Oh, baby, said, ah, we gotta go.
I said we gotta go now, Let’s get on outta here.
[Yelled] Let’s go.

Transcribed by David Spector Sept. 2000 Public Domain. If anyone reading this can explain what was so dirty about this song, please leave a comment. Thank you Wikipedia for your help in assembling this. This is a repost. Pictures by The Library of Congress