Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Patti and Patty

Patti Smith, left

Patty Smyth, right

Listen to "FREE MONEY" by Patti Smith

Listen to "GOODBYE TO YOU" by Patty Smyth


Some time ago, I found myself walking along the beach. As I looked out over the ocean, sunlight sparkled on the gently rolling swells. At one point in my view, the beach, the ocean and the sky seemed to merge into one. There is something compelling about the ocean, and I was a lone water-gazer upon this beach. Mountains have a certain grandeur and likewise canyons and forests. I have seen them all. But the ocean is special, and I always feel the need to venture as close as I can without getting wet. But at some certain point in time, I am always constrained to remove my shoes and socks and place my feet into the swirling waters. It is a holy baptism of life.

On this particular day, as I walked further down the beach, I saw a young boy who looked to be about five or six years old. He had dug a deep hole in the sand just above the water line and was going back and forth with a paper cup, dipping water from the ocean and pouring it into the hole. I watched him for some time and finally asked him what he was doing. He replied that he was going to empty the whole ocean into the hole. Since the water disappeared down the hole each time he poured, he assumed that it would only be a matter of time until his task was accomplished.

When I was a young boy, I looked out into the night sky and marveled at the beauty of the stars. I began to learn about the stars and the planets, and I soon took to the task of counting the number of stars that I could see. I would lie on my back on the beach and divide the heavens into sections, counting each one carefully and adding them up. Twenty, forty, eighty...one hundred! When I was older, my father bought me a small telescope and I soon realized that there were many more stars than I thought. I learned in school that there were almost 2500 stars that could be seen with the naked eye on a clear night. I soon realized that some of the points of light were not stars at all, but huge galaxies, filled with countless numbers of additional stars. Even today, with our most powerful telescopes, the farther we look, and the better we see, the numbers of stars and galaxies keeps ever increasing. Needless to say, I have given up trying to count the stars in the sky and just as surely, that little boy will someday realize that he has a better chance of getting the whole ocean into that little hole than he does of ever understanding the mysteries of the universe.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Friday Top Ten: Doo Wop

Doo-wop is a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music popular in the mid-1950s to the early 1960s in America. The term was coined by a DJ, Gus Gossert, in the 1970s referring to (mostly) white Rock & Roll groups of the late 50s and early 60s. It became the fashion in the 1990s to keep expanding the definition backward to take in Rhythm & Blues groups from the mid-1950s and then further back to include groups from the early 1950s and even the 1940s. There is absolutely no consensus of opinion as to what constitutes a Doo-Wop song, and many, many aficionados of R&B music dislike the term intensely.

Find out about Doo Wop HERE:

I used to have many hundreds of 45 r.p.m. records but they were in very poor condition, having been played repeatedly on cheap "phonographs". Here are ten of my all time favorites. Just click on the link to hear the song:

Bad Boy - The Jive Bombers

The Fool - Sanford Clark

You Cheated - The Shields

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley

Pledge Of Love - Ken Copeland

Pledging My Love - Johnny Ace

Oh Julie - The Crescendos

Little Darling - The Gladiolas

Roses Are Blooming - Joe Therrien Jr. & the Rockets

Roses Are Blooming - The Silvatones

Chi-Wa-Wa - The Silvatones

OK, 11 of my favorites!