Tag Archives: Etta James

Post Wedding Post

7 Jul

A lot has changed since the last post. Namely, Necole and I got married. Everyone said that it was a great ceremony, but I keep thinking about how fast it went. The whole thing was over before I realized it. Here are a few highlights.

It rained. That never happens around here in July. Usually, it is bone dry. Rain is something that people usually wish for this time of year. We weren’t wishing for it because it was going to be an outdoor wedding. Despite this weather, it turned out great. We moved it inside and had the reception under a big tent. It was also cool. One of my friends said something about how he was glad that sweat wasn’t running down the…well, I’ll stop there.

People also seemed to enjoy our musical choices. There was no “Wedding March”, or whatever it is called when the bride comes down the aisle. We had some Etta James. There was also some Beyonce. I walked out to “Ecstasy of Gold” from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.Good Bad Ugly

An Ennio Morricone themed wedding can’t be beat.

I write all of that to say that the wedding went great even with the rain. It was a just a hurdle that had to be crossed, and we did it successfully. After the wedding, we went to The Hutton, one of Nashville’s fanciest hotels. It was good to be by ourselves for the evening.

It was there that we learned about the plane crash at the San Francisco Airport. It was a tragedy, and it was lucky that there were not as many deaths. Selfishly, we thought about the fact that we are supposed to fly into the San Francisco Airport tomorrow. If it is open, then it will feel weird to land at a place where a crash just happened.

Here I am experiencing my first day of marriage. I have lost the keys to my house. We are wondering if we will be able to fly to our honeymoon destination. It’s just another day in the life of an old married dude.

The next post will be the “Post Honeymoon Post” and, hopefully, will be about our adventures in Napa Valley.

Graduation Celebration

1 Jun

Last night, my nephew graduated from high school. Other than the fact that I felt old, it was a time for celebration for a great achievement. I won’t go on and on about his honors and accolades, but I felt the need to celebrate this in the blog world. With that in mind, I decided to find out what was happening in the world during the year he was born – 1994.

In the world of sports:

– the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII.

– no one won the World Series because a strike cancelled the season.

– George Foreman became boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion.

– Miguel Indurain won one of my favorite events, the Tour de France.

– Dale Earnhardt won the Winston Cup Championship.

On television:

– NBC debuted a couple of new shows called ER and Friends.

– The Game Show Network made its debut.

– O.J. Simpson got in a white Bronco and led police on a slow-speed chase.

Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its successful run.

At the movies:

The Lion King defeated Forrest Gump as the highest grossing film.

Forrest Gump got revenge by running away with the Academy Award for Best Film.

– Telly “Who loves ya, baby?” Savalas passed away.

– Cameron Diaz made her first film appearance in The Mask.

The literary world saw:

– Stephen King publish Insomnia.

– Kenzaburo Oe won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Musically:

– Bruce Springsteen had a hit with Streets of Philadelphia.

– Justin Bieber was born.

– Kurt Cobain died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

– Cream, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Etta James, the Doors and others were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On a more serious note:

– Hurricane Gordon killed over 1,000 people.

– USAir Flight 427 crashed into a hillside in Pennsylvania, leading to the longest accident investigation in aviation history.

– Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa.

– Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq.

– Yasser Arafat became president of the Palestinian Authority.

And, that’s the way it was. Congratulations to Weston on his graduation!

The State of Music – Part 5

24 Apr

“At Last” is a classic by Etta James, and it is also how I feel about coming to the end of this nationwide journey. I must say that it was a little tougher than I had anticipated. However, the last ten states are in the que and ready to go.

South Dakota – Not only did I find a song with South Dakota in the title, but I also found one with my favorite South Dakota town in the title. “Deadwood, South Dakota” by Nanci Griffith takes its inspiration from the old mining camp in the Black Hills. There is a lot of history about this town, but I will only mention one tidbit. This is where Wild Bill Hickok was killed while playing poker and holding Ace’s and 8’s, the Dead Man’s Hand.

Tennessee – My state. The state that inspired me to take up the mantle of discovering the music of the states. I still have no idea how many songs have Tennessee in their title. The combination of the music industry and the easy ability to rhyme something with the state’s name created myriad possibilities. I had a hard time choosing the right one, but finally settled on a song that was written about my hometown. Ron Sexsmith has never been here but still wrote a song called “Lebanon, Tennessee”.

Texas – Another state that finds itself chronicled in song, Texas has been source material for songwriters since it first claimed independence from Mexico. However, this time we are going with anything remotely Country & Western. We are going with Chris Rea, one of my favorite singers from the 1980s, and his recording of “Texas”.

Utah – Going in, I figured the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had a song about Utah. I was wrong. Nobody has a song about Utah except Marty Robbins. He loved songs about western places and recorded “The Red Hills of Utah”.

Vermont“Moonlight in Vermont” has been sung my numerous artists. During my search, I found versions by Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Percy Faith, Bobby Womack, Mel Torme…heck, the list goes on and one. With that type of popularity, credit must be given to the writers, John Blackburn and Karl Suessdorf. After listening to several renditions, “The State of Music” panel goes with the version recorded by – drumroll – Frank Sinatra.

Virginia – Of all the songs I discovered while completing this task, I am more proud of this one than any other. “East Virginia Blues” was recorded by the Carter Family. I’m not talking about the Carter Family with Mother Maybelle and her children, which included June Carter Cash. I am talking about the original group started by A.P. Carter. There is a great story there that predates anything that happened in Nashville.

Washington – It’s been mentioned a couple of times that to qualify a song does not have to be about a state. It only needs to have its name in the title. Washington lends itself to this because there is also a president and a famous city with the same name. A bunch of songs use Washington, but I went with one about the park in New York City that is named after the president. Not very stately, I reckon. “Washington Square” is an instrumental recorded by The Village Stompers.

West Virginia – “Country Roads Take Me Home” does not count. Not only is the state name not in the title, but John Denver spends the whole time describing the Virginia without a direction in front of it. I picked “West Virginia Underground” by Taylor Made.

Wisconsin – Finding a song for this state was a pain in the ass. Everywhere I turned there was state songs, fight songs and nothing remotely artistic. Finally, I came upon Bon Iver and the aptly names “Wisconsin”.

Wyoming – John Denver recorded a lot of songs about states without naming his songs after them. In the end, literally, I found one called “Song of Wyoming” about the wide open spaces and natural wonders of the West. Of course, he had a bunch of songs about the same topics. This one just happened to fit in the list.

50 states. 50 songs. 50 different artists (I think). I tried to vary the genres as much as possible, and, despite a little complaining, I actually liked the search. Also, I found some new stuff that I may listen to again. I hope you guys liked the list as much as I liked putting it together. If you want to catch up on the complete version, then check out parts – one, two, three and four.