Sunday Open Thread | Praise and Worship

Christmas Candles 51What Child Is This?” is a popular Christmas carol written in 1865. At the age of twenty-nine, English writer William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression.[1][2] Yet out of his near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including “What Child is This?”, later set to the traditional English tuneGreensleeves“ and retitled as “What Child Is This?”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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62 Responses to Sunday Open Thread | Praise and Worship

  1. Yahtc says:

  2. rikyrah says:

    Christmas in Washington 2013-9

    Christmas in Washington 2013-8

  3. Liza says:

    Louisiana Artist Behind ‘Blue Dog’ Paintings Dies At 69
    by Eyder Peralta
    December 15, 2013 10:09 AM

    George Rodrigue, the artist who transformed the image of Louisiana’s loup-garou into a pop art icon, died on Saturday after a battle with cancer.

    Rodrigue took the legend of the Cajun werewolf and transformed it into instantly recognizable portraits of a quizzical blue dog framed by different landscapes.

    In a statement on his website, Rodrigue’s family said the artist’s intent was always “to paint Louisiana as he knew it by visually interpreting the landscape and the rich history of the Cajun people.”
    Rodrigue died in Houston. He was 69 years old.

    In a statement, Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Rodrigue was one of Louisiana’s “favorite sons.”
    “His work as an artist is iconic and uniquely Louisiana,” Jindal said. “George’s Blue Dog not only became symbolic of his work, but it became a symbol for Louisiana. This earned him the ability to paint the likes of world leaders including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.”

    Before his Blue Dog period, Rodrigue was a renowned folk artist. As his wife explained in a 2010 blog post, his reputation as a fine artist peaked when he released The Cajuns of George Rodrigue in 1976. Rodrigue had been painting Cajun landscapes marked by moss-covered oak trees.

    Rodrigue stumbled upon the Blue Dog in a way. He was commissioned for a painting inspired by Cajun ghost stories. As he told PBS, he remembered that as a child his mother would always warn him that if he wasn’t good, the loup-garou would come and get him.

    He explored that story and ended up representing the werewolf with the image of an old studio dog he had. That turned into the Blue Dog and he said at the beginning of that period, he heard many nay-sayers, telling him that such popular art would ruin his reputation.

    But Rodrigue said he really got to like the fight for a popular audience, where an artist has to paint something that “really attracts the attention.”

    As The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, after he exhibited the Blue Dog in Los Angeles in 1988, “it became a near-constant motif in the artist’s work.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    Christmas in Washington 2013-6

    Christmas in Washington 2013-5

    Christmas in Washington 2013-4

  5. rikyrah says:

    Christmas in Washington 2013-3

    Christmas in Washington 2013-2

    Christmas in Washington 2013-1

  6. Ametia says:

    Love Jones on BET again… today.

  7. Ametia says:

    Cowboys are threatening a TD…..TOUCHDOWN!!! 25-3 Cowboys!

  8. rikyrah says:

    And in the cool pic of the day:

    ice afro

  9. Ametia says:


  10. Ametia says:

    Congratulations, Vikings! 48-30 win over Philly Eagles. YEAH BABY!

    Next up Cowboys vs. Packers- *lookingforSG2*

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow Highlights AP Story Showing Red States Sabotaging the Uninsured
    By: Justin Baragona more from Justin Baragona
    Friday, December, 13th, 2013, 3:37 pm

    On The Rachel Maddow Show Thursday night, Rachel discussed an AP story that was published earlier in the day showing that the rate of participation in the online insurance marketplaces was much higher in Democratic leaning states that are running their own online exchanges and have expanded Medicaid compared to Republican controlled states that have refused both to run their own exchanges or accept additional Medicaid funds. Below is an excerpt from the AP story:


    To those who have been paying attention, this should come as absolutely no shock. From the get go, Republican governors and state legislatures have played ball and made sure to follow lockstep with GOP leaders in Washington by making it as difficult as possible for the uninsured in their states to get coverage through the ACA. By refusing to create their own exchanges, they forced the federal website to handle far more visitors than was initially expected. Meanwhile, by refusing to expand Medicaid, they have heartlessly allowed the working poor in their states to continue to go without health insurance when they could easily be covered through virtually no cost to the states.

    What is really remarkable here is that a VAST majority of the 1.2 million that have been able to obtain coverage in the first two months of the ACA’s rollout come from a small percentage of the states in this country. Below is a chart that Rachel used on her show Thursday night showing that wide disparity between blue and red states:

    What is truly remarkable is just how hard certain states are fighting to prevent their citizens from obtaining health insurance for purely ideological reasons. Missouri, for instance, has made it illegal for the state to actually create an online marketplace, when they quietly put a confusingly worded initiative on the ballot during last year’s Presidential elections. Texas, which has the the nation’s largest population of uninsured residents, has actively pushed against the ACA from the outset, led by outgoing Governor, and laughably bad 2012 Presidential candidate, Rick Perry. In the hugely populated state, only about 14,000 have signed up for an insurance plan through the end of November and less than 17,000 have been deemed eligible for Medicaid.

    The one huge point that needs to be hammered home again and again and again is that that millions and millions or Americans would already be signed up for insurance or be covered by Medicaid if Republicans would have just accepted the law instead of trying to sabotage it at every turn. The fact that 1.2 million got coverage by the end of last month is miraculous when you consider the roadblocks that were laid in place. The sad fact is that if you currently live in a state that is mostly controlled by Democrats, it is quite easy to get covered. If you are in a state controlled by Republicans, it is much more difficult for you to get coverage for no other reason than the people governing your state, as well as the majority of citizens occupying it, just plain hate the President.

  12. rikyrah says:


    Christmas at the White House 2013


    8PM EST

  13. rikyrah says:

    December 14, 2013 3:33 PM
    President Obama and Paul Krugman are right: economic inequality is a “defining issue of our time”
    By Kathleen Geier

    Actually, I would argue, as President Obama did last week, that economic inequality is the defining issue of our time. But in a blog post today, Krugman characterized it as “a defining challenge,”, and I don’t want to put words in his mouth.

    In his post, Krugman makes four important points:

    1) First, he says, the “sheer quantitative” impact of economic inequality has been extremely powerful. He notes that according to research by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, since 2000, “the income of the bottom 90 is about 8 percent lower than it would have been if inequality had remained stable.”

    2) Second, the economic downturn has been caused, in part, by economic inequality. He argues that:

    high saving by the 1 percent, with demand sustained only by rapidly rising debt further down the scale — and with this borrowing itself partly driven by inequality, which leads to expenditure cascades and so on.

    3) Third, there’s the political economy argument. Economic inequality has increased “the political power of the 1 percent.” This, Krugman observes, led to policy failures before and after the economic crisis — the deregulation and financialization of the economy, pre-, and austerity economics, post.

    4) Finally, he points out that the causes of skyrocketing economic inequality are still somewhat mysterious. And since, he argues, we don’t fully understand what policies are needed to reverse the trend, “it makes very good sense for progressives to focus much of their energy on the issue.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Film legend and Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O’Toole dies at the age of 81
    By Peter Lloyd

    13:05 EST, 15 December 2013

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Right’s Obsession With Obama the Flirt
    We’re not saying it’s racist, but…
    —By David Corn
    | Thu Dec. 12, 2013 1:16 PM GMT

    It is often hard to connect actions to racism—and sometimes it is hard not to. When conservative activists and leaders excitedly contend that the first black American elected president was secretly born overseas and, consequently, is a pretender to the office, it certainly is difficult to ignore racism as a possible contributing motive. (These same people are in no uproar about Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada.) And when President Barack Obama is repeatedly branded a sexed-up flirt, despite the evidence he is a stand-up family guy, a similar query is unavoidable: Is race a factor?

    The conservative New York Post this week has done extra duty to promote the idea that the president is a cad (and Michelle Obama is the resentful, jealous, and bossy wife). After photos emerged of Obama taking a selfie with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (with British PM David Cameron the third wheel) and the first lady looking displeased, the media was all abuzz, and Rupert Murdoch’s paper led the way with its front-page coverage pitched with this witty headline: “Flirting with Dane-ger.” The next day, Post columnist Andrea Peyser pushed the story—and the already widely spread meme—further. In an article headlined, “Flirty Obama Owes Us an Apology,” she ranted that Obama had “lost his morality, his dignity and his mind, using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.” She referred to the Danish leader as a “hellcat” and pegged the needle in sexualizing this story: “Thorning-Schmidt placed her hands dangerously close to Obama’s side. The president’s cackling head moved inches from the Danish tart’s and yards away from his wife’s. Obama then proceeded to absorb body heat from the Dane, which he won’t be feeling at home for a long time.” Meet Obama, the lustful and wild predator who cannot control his urges at a solemn occasion.

    Peyser was working with an idea—the president as sexy beast—not the facts. The day before her story appeared, Roberto Schmidt, the German Colombian news photographer who had snapped the shots that had ignited this nonscandal threw a bucket of cold water on the story Peyser and others were peddling:


    Why is it that Obama repeatedly draws this sort of attack? In 2009, the Drudge Report and Fox News played up a photo from the G8 summit that supposedly showed the president leering at a teenage girl’s rump. The Drudge headline: “Second Stimulus Package.” Fox Nation went with “Busted?” And the fact that the target of his roving eyes was 17 years old was played to much salacious effect. reported—presumably mistakenly—that the subject of Obama’s less-than-honorable attention was only 16 years old. The New York Post exclaimed, “The leader of the free world and his French counterpart were caught sneaking a peek at a the pink-satin-draped booty of a 17-year-old junior G-8 delegate just moments before the summit’s official group photo was snapped in Italy yesterday. Obama wasn’t the only head of state getting Yankee Doodle randy.” And Fox & Friends dug up another photo from the summit that appeared to show Obama staring at the rear end of a different woman.

    You know the rest of the story. When the full video of the event emerged, it was clear that Obama had not gazed with ill intent at the young woman. (The video, though, hardly cleared French President Nicholas Sarkozy.) But the point had been made: this guy cannot help himself.

    A year ago, the Daily Mail advanced this plot line with a report that Obama repeatedly flirted with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra while on a trip to Thailand. The article—”Obama gets flirty as he schmoozes with Thai prime minister”—was accompanied by several photos that appeared to show Obama and the “attractive” Shinawatra exchanging “playful glances.” (The perhaps sexist implication here—as with Peyser’s column—is that female heads of state melt into a puddle whenever O is near.)

    This sort of coverage might well happen to a good-looking white guy who was president. But remember when George W. Bush gave German Prime Minister Angela Merkel an impromptu back rub at a G8 meeting in 2006? The video went viral, and the episode launched a flood of jokes and spoofs. Yet, there wasn’t much talk of Bush being an impulsive flirter driven by sexual temptation. A Google search turned up no indication that Andrea Peyser rushed to her keyboard to pronounce Bush a moral failure and embarrassment to the nation. At least, Bill Clinton gave people a reason to wonder about his behavior. (During the 1992 campaign, cabaret singer Gennifer Flowers publicly claimed she had a 12-year affair with Clinton; years later, Clinton, in a deposition, countered that he had only one sexual dalliance with her.)

    What is it about Obama that causes conservative critics to question his legitimacy as a citizen and his ability to control his sex drive? (In something of a twist, right-wing agitator Jerome Corsi, a leader of the birthers, has in the last year been pushing a different Obama sex story: The president is secretly gay and once upon a time was actively part of Chicago’s wild gay bar and bathhouse scene.) It is not too far a stretch, when pondering all this, to recall how racists in the past depicted black men as licentious and a danger to women—that is, white women. Is a remnant of that in play when Obama is cast as a lecherous or flirtatious scalawag? There’s probably no definitive answer to be reached here. (Can you—do you want to—peer into the soul of Andrea Peyser?) But the question is real enough that it ought to give commentators and columnists (and their editors) pause before they again revive this Obama Unchained narrative.

  16. rikyrah says:

    December 14, 2013 10:53 AM
    Will a New Jersey traffic congestion scandal doom Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions?
    By Kathleen Geier

    I’ve been watching with fascination a situation unfolding in my ancestral homeland of New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie has found himself embroiled in a growing controversy involving traffic congestion on the George Washington Bridge.

    Only in New Jersey, perhaps, could a story centering on traffic congestion become a source of sexy intrigue and scandal! But if you’ve ever commuted between Jersey and NYC, you’d realize immediately that this is serious stuff. The one thing New Jerseyans of all political stripes can agree on is that the closest simulacrum to hell on earth may well be to be stuck in backed up traffic on one of Jersey’s bridges or tunnels during rush hour.

    Today’s New York Times has a story about the scandal that fills in some of the details. For four days back in September, local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey were inexplicably closed. The Times reports that the lane closings “caused emergency vehicles to be delayed, commutes to stretch to four hours and children to be late to the first day of school. It cost the agency toll revenue and overtime pay.”

    It seems that the lane closings were ordered as a form of political payback, because the (Democratic) mayor of Fort Lee refused to endorse Christie’s re-election for governor. While it’s still not clear what exactly happened, investigations are being conducted in the state legislature and the Port Authority, and two of Christie’s closest aides have resigned. Christie made things worse for himself by calling New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to bitch him out about how the Port Authority was handling the investigation. According to one report, Christie complained that the Port Authority was “pushing too hard to uncover the truth.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza
    Posted: 12/14/2013 11:20 am

    Dear Judge,

    I know that Davontaye’s actions caused the deaths of four people. But please don’t give him life in prison. He suffers from Povertenza. You may not know about this condition but Povertenza is an illness that people from impoverished socioeconomic backgrounds have.

    Due to the inability to access quality education and employment, Davontaye’s development has been stifled. This leads to poor decision making and I would further argue that since his neighborhood sees so much death and destruction, that he may even suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in addition to Povertenza.

    Judge, it is clear that Davontaye can not be held responsible for his actions. He needs rehabilitation, not prison. Prison would only worsen his mental condition.




    On the flip side, there are millions of under-privileged youth across America, that have lived under the worst conditions imaginable. They’ve witnessed murders, endured hunger, and survived sexual abuse. However, upon committing a crime, they are handed down the harshest prison sentences imaginable. As I’ve pointed out before, many youth spend years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit because they didn’t have enough money to sway the justice system or get proper legal counsel. It’s a non-laughable joke.

    If “Affluenza” is real, then I posit that my newly coined “Povertenza” be considered. Instead of jumping to fill up prisons, let’s start putting youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in treatment facilities. This would be ideal, but it won’t happen because there is too much money to be made. This is one of the reasons why Judge Mark Ciavarella, Jr. was able to sell 5,000 children to prisons.

    Disgraced Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella, Jr. has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prisons to sentence juvenile offenders to maximum sentences for bribes and kickbacks which totaled millions of dollars. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

    In the private prison industry the more time an inmate spends in a facility, the more of a profit is reaped from the state. Ciavearella was a figurehead in a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit. -Examiner

    Most of the children he sentenced are likely to be from backgrounds that are far less privileged than anything Ethan Couch has experienced. His sentencing tells us a lot about the American justice system and how deeply embedded economic disparities are when it comes to accountability. Essentially, the poor are expected to be more accountable for their actions while the wealthy are viewed as inherently respectable (especially if they’re white). Being from what people view as a “good” family can go a long way. This opens the door for more opportunities and the right to be viewed as non-threatening even when your actions prove otherwise. This is exactly why racial and economic inequalities are an on-going battle.

    The next time someone tells you that there is no such thing as “White” privilege or elitism, ask them why Affluenza is a viable defense but Povertenza isn’t.

  18. rikyrah says:

    “Affluenza” Judge Gave 14-Year Old Black Boy 10 Years in Prison for a Far Lesser Crime
    Published On December 14, 2013 | By Big BOSS | News, The Barbershop

    Judge Jean Boyd has been in the media lately for letting 16-year old Ethan Couch off the hook after he killed four people. Couch was on a drunken joyride with his friends when he hit four people, causing them to lose their lives. He also paralyzed one of his friends.

    The judge said that Couch suffered from “Affluenza,” a condition in which his wealth and privilege kept him from understanding the consequences of his actions. The judge gave the boy no prison time and 10 years probation, sending him to a rehab facility for the rich.

    But the judge has a history that some are considering to be racist. There was a 14-year old boy that Boyd sent to prison for over a decade after he punched another child who fell, hit his head and died. So, even though he didn’t intend to kill anyone, this youth will now suffer for life after experiencing the torture, rape, isolation and abuse that occurs in the state prison system. This doesn’t count the fact that he will be labeled a felon for the rest of his life, devoid of job and educational opportunities.

    So, even though Boyd didn’t give the young man life in prison, she may as well have.

    • Liza says:

      Yeah, it was obvious that this judge is a problem and her entire record should be scrutinized. She should be removed.

  19. rikyrah says:

    North Carolina Shows Why the Voting Rights Act Is Still Needed
    Ari Berman on December 12, 2013 – 3:41 PM ET

    A federal judge in Winston-Salem today set the schedule for a trial challenging North Carolina’s sweeping new voter restrictions. There will be a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction in July 2014 and a full trial a year later, in July 2015.

    This gives the plaintiffs challenging the law, which includes the Department of Justice, the ACLU and the North Carolina NAACP, a chance to block the bill’s worst provisions before the 2014 election. Earlier this year, in July 2013, the North Carolina legislature passed the country’s worst voter suppression law, which included strict voter ID to cast a ballot, cuts to early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration, the repeal of public financing of judicial elections and many more harsh and unnecessary anti-voting measures.

    These restrictions will impact millions of voters in the state across all races and demographic groups: in 2012, for example, 2.5 million North Carolinians voted early, 152,000 used same-day voter registration, 138,000 voters lacked government-issued ID and 7,500 people cast an out-of-precinct provisional ballot. These four provisions alone will negatively affect nearly 3 million people who voted in 2012.

    Ironically, it took the North Carolina legislature less than a month to approve the law, but it will take a year before an initial hearing on it and two years before a full trial. That’s because in June 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which meant that previously covered states like North Carolina, with the worst history of voting discrimination, no longer had to clear their voting changes with the federal government.

    North Carolina passed its new restrictions a month after the SCOTUS decision, making the legislation as draconian as possible because it no longer needed federal approval. The state is crystal-clear evidence of why SCOTUS was wrong to gut the VRA and to treat voting discrimination as a thing of the past. It also shows why Section 2 of the VRA is no substitute for Section 5.

  20. rikyrah says:

    How U.S. Workers Rebuilt an Industry
    By Keith Naughton Dec 11, 2013 11:00 PM CT

    In June 2009, the last auto plant in Detroit was idle, mausoleum-quiet and a symbol of failure. Weeds had grown three-feet tall around Chrysler’s sprawling Jeep factory at the desolate crossroads of Jefferson and Conner as the company went dark during bankruptcy. Among the bills the near-dead automaker couldn’t afford to pay: lawn service.

    Yet on one Monday morning came the drone of lawn mowers and buzz of weed whackers — sounds of rebirth. Chrysler was emerging from Chapter 11 and something had to be done about the eyesore the plant had become. So before reopening this important factory, a small band of bosses and workers loaded their own mowers into their cars and trucks, drove them to the plant and began to clear a path for returning employees. “You know we’re bankrupt,” the plant manager, Richard Owusu, exhorted the group in his charming Ghana accent, “but let’s not look like we’re bankrupt.”

    Seventeen years earlier, when Chrysler opened its Jefferson North plant, prosperity was all anyone could see. The factory had been designed to produce a single model: the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Chrysler Corp., which a few years earlier acquired the Jeep line in its buyout of American Motors Corp., scrapped AMC’s plan to produce a rough-and-ready Jeep in the tradition of the World War II runabout. Instead, it designed a refined four-wheel-drive model with an opulent interior and a powerful V-8 engine. Chairman Lee Iacocca dubbed it the Grand Cherokee, following the nomenclature he’d used to name the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. And he indelicately boasted of the “ghetto factory” Chrysler built to manufacture it.

  21. rikyrah says:

    On Medicaid, Shame, and Not Being Silent
    by Anonymous
    December 13, 2013 – 10:30 am

    When the Obamacare exchanges became open for enrollment this fall, I eagerly went online to check out my options for affordable health care in my state. It was exciting to know that I could potentially afford health insurance. I considered how my life would be affected: doctors’ visits, blood tests, checkups, an eye exam, a teeth cleaning—all the things I’ve longed for as an uninsured adult.

    After wading through a sea of questions about my income and expenses to determine my eligibility, I discovered what I had not considered a possibility:

    I qualify for Medicaid.

    Wow. Am I that poor? For so long I made just enough money to not qualify for Medicaid. Now, I do qualify.

    While I was relieved to know I wouldn’t need to pay out-of-pocket each month for health care, I felt uncomfortable. I had originally intended to write about my experiences navigating Obamacare, how I’m weighing the options or different health-care plans in my state. But how was I going to write about that now? I couldn’t possibly share my experiences navigating Medicaid in public.

    My initial thoughts and feelings were rooted in shame. I didn’t want people to know my income is so low that I qualify for Medicaid. I still don’t. that’s why this piece is being published anonymously: I can’t bear the thought of my name being tied to this story. But I am writing this piece, because it needs to be written. Shame has bought my anonymity, but it hasn’t bought my silence.

    Shame is a tool. It keeps people immobilized, silent, and afraid. It keeps people in closets, in hiding, invisible.

    Shame is discreet. Using EBT cards only when you go to the grocery store alone because you don’t wanted be outed about receiving food stamps. Using cash when you’re food shopping with friends or acquaintances who don’t know how you usually pay for your groceries. Being vague about what you do for a living because you’re on unemployment insurance while you pursue your dreams. Writing anonymous articles about navigating Medicaid because you don’t want the public to know you’re on a publicly subsidized program.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Affordable Care Act really does work

    I am one of the few people who has good things to say about Obamacare. You probably only hear from those who complain. My daughter has applied on the Internet for health insurance. She had no problem whatsoever linking to the site. Everything worked like a dream.

    My daughter is self-employed in a small business. She has been paying more than $2,800 every other month for her health insurance. Her entire yearly salary pays for the cost of her current insurance.

    She received a letter from her insurance company telling her that under Obamacare, this very same policy — without any change — will cost her $625 per month. This is less than half the price of what she is currently paying, which has been highway robbery.

    Please, don’t let politics get in your way. Take the time to research the site. You won’t be sorry. There is something there for everyone, just look for it. The site is working here in South Florida.,0,1501635.story

  23. Liza says:

    My favorite singer of all time, Johnny Moore, was born on this day in 1934 in Selma, Alabama. He passed away on December 30, 1999 in London. This is his obituary:

    Obituary: Johnny Moore
    Pierre Perrone Wednesday 06 January 1999

    JOHNNY MOORE was the stalwart vocalist with the American soul group the Drifters.

    Over the course of a 45-year career, the ensemble had many line-up changes but, though he never attained the fame of the founder Clyde McPhatter or the lead singer Ben E. King, Moore was one of the few regulars. Indeed, he was the frontman when the Drifters hit a purple patch with eight British Top 10 hits in the mid-Seventies.

    Originally formed in 1953 around the ex-Dominoes Clyde McPhatter and masterminded by George Treadwell as manager (then married to Sarah Vaughan), the Drifters were signed by the shrewd Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records – already the home of the Coasters, Ray Charles, Joe Turner and LaVern Baker.

    Having established themselves on the R&B scene with “Money Honey”, “Such a Night” and “Honey Love”, they stalled when their lead vocalist was drafted into the army in 1954 and his replacement David Baughan didn’t work out. Bringing in Johnny Moore to take over proved a masterstroke.

    Born in Selma, Alabama, in 1934, Moore moved to Cleveland when he was a teenager. After singing in the church choir, he made his name with the Hornets, a doo-wop and gospel group. When the Drifters came to town, the young Johnny introduced himself backstage, showed off his falsetto and was hired on the spot.

    He was first heard with the group on “Adorable”, a single recorded in September 1955 under the supervision of Nesuhi Ertegun (Ahmet’s brother) in Los Angeles. The song was a big hit and Atlantic soon released “Ruby Baby”, a Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller composition culled from the same session. Backing Moore at the time were Gerhard Trasher (tenor), his brother Andrew (baritone) and Bill Pinkney (bass).

    By the time the Drifters recorded “Fools Fall in Love” in New York the following year, Andrew Trasher and Pinkney had been replaced by “Carnation” Charlie Hughes (baritone) and Tommy Evans (bass). They lost momentum and were soon eclipsed by the discharged McPhatter as Moore was in turn was also drafted.

    By 1958, major surgery was needed and Treadwell, who owned the rights to the group’s name, sacked the entire line-up and hired the Crowns – whose lead singer was Charlie Thomas – to fulfil the Drifters’ contractual obligations; they also assumed their name. Ben E. King was only in the studio to teach them his “There Goes My Baby” when he was asked to take over from Thomas (who continued to sing with the group) by the engineer Jerry Wexler.

    Using soaring strings and a symphonic approach that prefigured the Spector wall of sound, Leiber and Stoller helped the Drifters cross over from the R&B market and hit No 2 on the pop charts. Following “Dance With Me”, “This Magic Moment” and “Save the Last Dance For Me” (a US No 1), Ben E. King argued with Treadwell over salaries and royalties and left for a solo career which started on a high. The immortal “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand By Me” (which Treadwell had turned down) looked like overshadowing the Drifters but, thanks to Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman’s “Sweets for My Sweet” (a British No 1 for the Searchers in 1963) and Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s sublime “Up on the Roof” the group came back in 1962.

    After the gospel-like “On Broadway”, the Drifters, now comprising Rudy Lewis, Charlie Thomas, Gene Pearson, Johnny Terry, Abdul Samad and the returning Johnny Moore – who had briefly attempted a solo career as Johnny Darrow – were due to record with the producers Bert Berns and Mike Leander in June 1964. When Lewis suddenly died of a heart attack on the day of the session, Moore stepped into the lead role once again and the Drifters cut the poignant “Under the Boardwalk”, which reached No 4 in America.

    Read more….

  24. rikyrah says:

    My $55,000 Migraine, Or Why Young Americans Should Enroll in Health Insurance
    by: Katherine Haenschen
    Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:00 PM CST

    It’s easy for young Americans to think “Hey, I don’t need health insurance — I’m healthy!”

    That’s missing the point: the reason to sign up is not only to stay healthy, but also to avoid financial ruin in the event that disaster strikes.

    And strike it may, as it did for me many years ago when I was a 23-year-old working as a hostess-with-the-mostess at a fancy seafood restaurant, saving up money to go back to school.

    I was hanging out in my apartment one night when my vision suddenly tunneled, and an unbearable pain exploded in the left side of my head. I couldn’t make a fist with my right hand. It was super scary. I called my Dad, who said “Go to the hospital right now.”

    More about my $55,000 headache and other expensive medical maladies that don’t have to ruin your life below the jump.

  25. rikyrah says:

    2013 Heisman Trophy speech video: Jameis Winston becomes youngest winner of award

    By Pete Volk @Pete_Volk on Dec 14 2013, 9:41p

    At 19 years old, Jameis Winston has become the youngest player ever to win the Heisman Trophy award, winning out over fellow finalists Johnny Manziel, Jordan Lynch, Andre Williams, Tre Mason and A.J. McCarron.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Folks, can we help out isonprize?

    There are community awards being given in Philly, and here are the groups she works with. Click through and vote for them:

    Please help us NOT lose to a SKATE PARK!!

    Parents United for Public Education (Non-Profit of the Year)

    & Eileen Duffey, RN (Do Gooder Award)

    Fierce advocates for public education!


  27. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  28. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    Go Tell It On The Mountain

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