Potus Takes Oath of Office
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Although Decca released it in both 1958 and again in 1959, it did not sell well until Lee became a popular star in 1960; that Christmas season, it hit #14 on the Billboard pop chart and turned into a perennial holiday favorite. It continued to sell well during the holiday season, hitting #5 on the Christmas chart as late as 1984. Brenda Lee’s recording still receives a great deal of airplay. Despite the song’s title, its instrumentation also fits the Country genre which Brenda Lee more fully embraced as her career evolved. Despite her mature-sounding voice, she recorded this song when she was only 14 years old. The recording featured Hank Garland’s ringing guitar. For decades, Brenda Lee’s recording was the only notable version of the song. Radio stations ranging from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary to Country Music to Oldies to even Adult Standards played this version.
Mark wrote the words in 1984 “when his pastor asked him to write the program for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. It was while he was working on the project that Mark considered what it would have been like to have been Jesus’ mother”. The music was written by Buddy Greene several years later. Michael English was the first recording artist to record and release ‘Mary did you know” on his debut album aptly titled “Michael English” which was released on January 1st, 1992.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside“ is a pop standard with words and music by Frank Loesser. The song is popularly associated with winter weather, and although it does not refer to any specific time or holiday, it is commonly played alongside Christmas carols and popular winter holiday music.
Loesser wrote the duet in 1944 and premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel housewarming party. Lynn considered it “their song,” and was furious when Loesser sold the song to MGM.
“Carol of the Bells” is a popular Americanized version of a Ukrainian Christmas carol. It is a choral work by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych as “Shchedryk“ and translated, or rather, adapted to English by Peter J Wilhousky who wrote and Americanized the lyrics. Leontovych’s composition was in turn, set to the words of an ancient Ukrainian carol performed during the celebration of the New Year.
The song is recognized by a four-note ostinato motif (see image to the right). It is a holiday favorite throughout the English-speaking world, having been arranged hundreds of times for different genres, styles of singing and settings. For example, it was been covered by artists and groups of many genres: classical, jazz, rock, and pop. It has also been featured in films, television shows, and parodies.
Nelson Mandela – a worldwide hero
Thank you, Madiba
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s rights activist, dies
Source: The Associated Press
Katharine Lackey, USA TODAY
William M. Welch, USA TODAY 4:54 p.m. EST December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela, whose successful struggle against South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and discrimination made him a global symbol for the cause of human rights and earned him the Nobel Prize, died Thursday. He was 95.
Mandela spent 27 years in South African prisons before his release in 1990. He negotiated with the nation’s white leaders toward establishing democracy and was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994, serving one term.
“He probably will be remembered both inside and outside South Africa as a political saint,” said Michael Parks, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for his coverage of Mandela and South Africa’s struggles.
“He had flaws that he had to overcome. He had a temper he had to deal with. He had to deal with what was going to be life imprisonment. Not all his decisions were great decisions, but what political leader’s are,” Parks said.
As a young man, Mandela worked as a lawyer and political activist to dismantle white minority rule under which blacks were denied political rights and basic freedoms. He began by emulating the non-violent methods of India’s Mahatma Gandhi. But a turn to violence as the leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress that included a bombing campaign against government targets led to his imprisonment for over a quarter-century.
A worldwide campaign against apartheid pressured the regime into releasing Mandela in 1990 at age 71. He vowed to seek peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s whites — but only if blacks received full rights as citizens.
“He probably will be remembered both inside and outside South Africa as a political saint.”
— Michael Parks, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times
Amid tense negotiations with the government and the threat of violence on all sides, Mandela emerged as a leader who guided South Africa to a new democratic government guaranteeing equal rights to all citizens. Four years later, Mandela became his nation’s first black president.
Mandela’s charisma, stoic optimism and conciliation toward adversaries and oppressors established him as one of the world’s most recognizable statesmen of the 20th century and a hero of South African democracy.
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy,” Mandela once said. “Then he becomes your partner.”
Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 along with South Africa’s president at the time, Frederik Willem de Klerk, for working together to dismantle apartheid.
Nelson Mandela’s Life Story
Nelson Mandela giving a speech in Court in 1964 stating that he is prepared to die as he was being sentenced to death.