Tuesday Open Thread | Steely Dan Week

Peg

Steely-Dan-Cant-Buy-A-Thrill

Do It Again

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Monday Open Thread | Steely Dan Week

Happy Monday, Everyone. This week’s featured Artists, Steely Dan.

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WIKI:  Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band whose music also blends elements of funk, R&B, and pop.Founded by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1972, the band enjoyed great critical and commercial success in the late 1970s and early 1980s before breaking up in 1981. Rolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”. Steely Dan reunited in 1993 and has toured steadily ever since.

Recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, Steely Dan’s music is characterized by complex jazz-influenced structures and harmonies. Becker and Fagen are whimsical, often sarcastic lyricists, having written “cerebral, wry and eccentric” songs about drugs, love affairs, gambling, and crime.The pair is also known for their near-obsessive perfectionism in the recording studio: Over the year they took to record Gaucho (1980), an album of just seven songs, Becker and Fagen hired at least 42 studio musicians and 11 engineers.

Steely Dan toured from 1972 to 1974 before retiring from live performances, becoming a studio-only band. After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult following remained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993 Steely Dan has released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001.

In a VH1 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Steely Dan were listed at #82.

Hey Nineteen

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The Royal Scam

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#MemorialDay was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865

Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers 2On this date in 1865, former Black slaves started Memorial Day in America.

This occurred in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. Together with teachers and missionaries, Black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony that year which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers.

The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 Black school children newly enrolled in Freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, Black ministers, and White northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to be placed on the burial field. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the “First Decoration Day” in the North.

First Memorial Day May 1st 1865

David W. Blight described the day: “This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”

Thousands of black Charlestonians, most former slaves, remained in the city and conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war. The largest of these events, and unknown until some extraordinary luck in my recent research, took place on May 1, 1865. During the final year of the war, the Confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some twenty-eight black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

Union Soldiers cemetery, "Martyrs of the Race course," Charleston, S.C A pencil drawing and a grainy photo in the Library of Congress are all that is left of the cemetery where 257 Union soldiers were buried after the Civil War on what had been a race course in Charleston, South Carolina.

Union Soldiers cemetery, “Martyrs of the Race course,” Charleston, S.C
A pencil drawing and a grainy photo in the Library of Congress are all that is left of the cemetery where 257 Union soldiers were buried after the Civil War on what had been a race course in Charleston, South Carolina.

Then, black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. The symbolic power of the low-country planter aristocracy’s horse track (where they had displayed their wealth, leisure, and influence) was not lost on the freedpeople. A New York Tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.”

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At 9 a.m. on May 1, the procession stepped off led by three thousand black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body.” The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses. Then came black men marching in cadence, followed by contingents of Union infantry and other black and white citizens. As many as possible gathering in the cemetery enclosure; a childrens’ choir sang “We’ll Rally around the Flag,” the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and several spirituals before several black ministers read from scripture. No record survives of which biblical passages rung out in the warm spring air, but the spirit of Leviticus 25 was surely present at those burial rites: “for it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you… in the year of this jubilee he shall return every man unto his own possession.”

Following the solemn dedication the crowd dispersed into the infield and did what many of us do on Memorial Day: they enjoyed picnics, listened to speeches, and watched soldiers drill. Among the full brigade of Union infantry participating was the famous 54th Massachusetts and the 34th and 104th U.S. Colored Troops, who performed a special double-columned march around the gravesite. The war was over, and Decoration Day had been founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration. The war, they had boldly announced, had been all about the triumph of their emancipation over a slaveholders’ republic, and not about state rights, defense of home, nor merely soldiers’ valor and sacrifice.

Posted in African Americans, Celebrations, Current Events, History, Honor, Memorial, Open Thread | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Sunday Open Thread

I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

 

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Saturday Open Thread

I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

Published on May 28, 2016
In this week’s address, President Obama solemnly reflected on the meaning of Memorial Day and recognized the sacrifices made by the American warriors who never made it back home.

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Friday Open Thread |Just Because I Love Them: Aretha Franklin

We conclude this week with Ms. Aretha Franklin.

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Video | First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers 2016 Santa Fe Indian High School Commencement Address

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the 2016 Santa Fe Indian High School Commencement Address.

Watch the entire ceremony below

Watch it live here

First lady Michelle Obama concluded her remarks at the Santa Fe Indian School graduation just before 3 p.m. To view Obama’s remarks, rewind the video player to 2:01:30. A video archive of her remarks will be posted Friday evening.

Will update with video when available.

Posted in Culture, Current Events, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, FLOTUS, Michelle Obama | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments