Month: June 2006

Let Me Call You Sweetheart….

A true ‘oldie but goodie’ for sure but “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” has always been a favorite tune of mine. But then I have always been a bit partial to waltzes I guess. One term used to describe music from the late 1800s into the early to mid 1900s is “Parlor Music” and in those days and times that is where music was mostly listened to and enjoyed. Whether by a piano and sheet music, radio, or even the Victrola if you could afford one – getting music into the home was on the move in the early 1900s. And one of the more famous pieces of music from those times which is our subject matter, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”, is posted below as arranged and played by me under the psuendonymn name as always of The Electric Key Orchesta….\r\n\r\n

“Let Me Call You Sweetheart” – The Electric Key Orchestra

As always, I like to research the history of the songs that I choose to arrange and play and I also enjoy sharing some of the historical facts of those selections. The history of individual songs has always intrigued and interested me. And so it is with this particular piece of music.

Let Me Call You Sweetheart Sheet MusicSheet Music Cover

The Peerless Quartet, which was one of the greatest vocal groups of its time, recorded this song and in November of 1911 the song went to Number 1 on the Pop Charts and remained there for 7 weeks. At the time of the songs release the group was comprised of Frank Stanley (bass); Henry Burr (second tenor and leader of the group); Arthur Collins (baritone); and Albert Cambell ( first tenor). The quartet had some ‘100’ singles that hit the charts of those days and with the majority charting in the top ten. They were eventually made members of the “Vocal Group Hall of Fame” in 2003. As a group the Peerless Quartet is rated as the ninth top group in an era spanning from 1809 to 1954. And as phenomenal as that accomplishment is – most folks will have never heard of them. And to me, if you are a lover of popular music and don’t know that – you are missing out on a historical treasure. But then….that is just one opinion of, I’m sure, of a number of varying ones on the subject.

The Peerless QuartetPeerless Quartet

This particular song was also released by tenor Arthur Clough about that same time who frequently appeared in vaudeville and musical comedies and his version peaked on the Pop Charts at Number 2 for a couple of weeks.

Still no Ivory-Billed Woodpecker….

Supposedly extensive searches by various entities has still not produced any evidence to backup the original claim and evidence that the Ivory-Billed may have re-established itself here in Eastern Arkansas after presumed extinction.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Painting

A new incentive now surfaces as an anonymous contributor has given the Nature Conservancy a donation of $10,000 dollars to be used as a reward for hard evidence that the woodpecker indeed does exist. The Nature Conservancy in conjunction with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commision has just announced the new incentive. More to follow?…….Well, we can only hope so! 🙂

Memories of an old friend….

I have been thinking a lot about old cars lately. A fellow blogger recently posted a photo of their car at a car rally where they were attending a sports car rally and those good old days came bubbling to the surface like a surfacing submarine on a mission. Especially the sports car part but that is a story for another day.

The old friend I refer to in the title of my post is that ‘first’ car. We all probably had one. I am still fortunate enough to still have a very old photo of mine, believe it or not. Not the greatest of photos but better than nothing, considering the subject matter. Yep, twas a 1949 Dodge that had belonged to an aunt and uncle. The year was 1960 so guess that made the car around eleven years old. Remember us paying $125 (mom and dad helped out a bit) for the car. My best friend at the time nicknamed my car “chigger” because he said the color of it reminded him of a “chigger”. Not sure I ever got that correlation but hey – everybody likes a nickname. Huge car by today’s standards – almost like driving a tank but I loved it.

My 1949 Dodge

And check out the ever-famous “Moon” wheel covers. Quite the rage in their day although they were perhaps intended for a bit more flashy car. But hey, I was nineteen and working on being a Kool Kat!

How ‘bout you? Can you remember your first car? I really don’t know how anyone could forget such a momentous occasion. 🙂

Everybody’s Got An Opinion….

ChickenAloneI ran across this on the web and thought it quite humorous. Of course it may have been around for a while but if your like me and haven’t read it somewhere, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Why did the chicken really cross the road?

Dr. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on ‘THIS” side of the road before it goes after the problem on the “OTHER SIDE” of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his “CURRENT” problems before adding “NEW” problems.

OPRAH: Well I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road…

ANDERSON COOPER – CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can’t you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the “other side.” That’s why they call it the “other side.” Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like “the other side.” That chicken should not be crossing the road. It’s as plain and simple as that!

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2005, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra…#@&&^( C \\ …. reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken? Now I’m going to say it one more time, and I want you to listen very closely. I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT CHICKEN!!!!

AL GORE: I invented the chicken!

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Congratulations to the “Jersey Boys”….

The Jersey Boys

You have just got to love it when the music of your era steps up once again to take the spotlight. I can still remember first hearing the Four Seasons. A style at the time which was a bit new, yet still captured those street corner doo-wop harmonies that my generation loved. It was really enjoyable to see the “Jersey Boys” do so well last night.

At the annual Tony Awards last night the Best Musical award went to “Jersey Boys”, the musical tale of how four guys from the wrong side of the tracks rose to show business fame as The Four Seasons. That show also earned Tony’s for two of its performers: John Lloyd Young won as Best Actor in a Musical in the role of Frankie Valli, and Christian Hoff won the Best Featured Actor in a Musical award for his portrayal of Tommy DeVito. Jersey Boys was also honored for its lighting design (Howell Binkley).

The original members of the group during there most popular period (1961 – 1965) and portrayed in the musical are; Frankie Valli; Tommy DeVito; Bob Gaudio; Nick Massi (died of cancer in 2000). The three remaining members of the Four Seasons attended last night’s festivities and are pictured below:

Tommy DeVIto-Frankie Valli-Bob GaudioLeft to Right – Tommy DeVito, Franke Valli & Bob Gaudio

Looks like I will be listening to Frankie and the boys as today’s music selection. Just happen to have there 25th Anniversary Collection – so let’s crank it up! Listen to musical excerpts from the stage production “here”.

Mike’s Birding & Digiscoping….

Although I have been frequenting Mike’s website/blog for a period of time now, I wanted to take the opportunity today to specifically bring it to the attention of my visitors. Especially if you enjoy excellent photography and more specifically, outstanding bird photography. The sharpness and depth of field qualities of his photos are far above average, especially given the fleeting nature of his primary subjects.

Yellow Warbler - Mike’s Digiscoping(Dendroica petechia) – © 2006 Michael McDowell\r\n(CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE)

I ran across Mike’s blog by pure chance some weeks back and was immediately attracted to his photography work. But….I was completely unfamiliar with the particular technique that Mike used to capture his subjects. The technique I refer to is known as “Digiscoping”. In a nutshell, Digiscoping is a method of bird photography that involves taking telephoto images with a digital camera and spotting scope. And what made it even more impressive to me is that his results equaled, if not surpassing in many cases, photographs taken with equipment costing four or even five times more. I will leave it to the interest of my reader to read more at Mike’s blog about the techniques and equipment involved. The fact that the camera being used in the equipment setup is digital and relatively inexpensive continues to blow my mind. Here is a link to a diagram of his equipment setup for those of you interested.

Dickcissel - Mike’s Digiscoping(Spiza americana) – © 2006 Michael McDowell\r\n(CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE)

I have included a couple of Mike’s photos in my post here but these don’t even scratch the surface with regard to some of his work. Whether he can be accused of being a perfectionist or not I can not say, but his work can only lead me in that direction. Here is a link to Mike’s gallery page. And Mike is also an advocate for the environmental protection and well-being of the birds he photographs. I think that admirable as well.

In closing, I would like to thank Mike for allowing me to post a couple of his photographs in this blog entry. I certainly wish him the best in all his interests and efforts in his photography work, environmental projects, and journalistic ventures as well and hope he keeps the photos coming for years to come. Do go and visit his blog and look through his blog’s archive. I think you will enjoy the visit and it will be time well spent.

http://birddigiscoper.blogspot.com/

http://www.birddigiscoper.com/avian.html

Topless Sherriff’s Deputy on the loose….

I am telling you folks the truth. You don’t know what you’re missing by not living here in Arkansas. First it was four murders in a twenty-four hour period a few days ago and now this! According to one of the latest news reports, we have a 38 year old female Sheriff’s Deputy walking around topless at one of our State Park campgrounds. Rather than finding it disgusting like most folks seem to be claiming, I have to admit I actually find it rather uplifting (no pun intended) and humorous.

In fact, I think I may feel some degree of empathy for the young lady. Given how open and promiscuous our society is today – how humiliating can that be to be asked to put your “top” back on? In New Orleans at “Mardi Gras” and at various “Spring Break” celebrations people are trying to get the young ladies to take the “top” off. And here we finally have a young lady, Sheriff’s Deputy to boot, who is willing to take a little initiative and ka-ching – she’s asked to put it her “top” back on. Not once, but several times. And to add insult to injury, she gets fired from her job.

Doesn’t anyone realize that this is the type thing that could put the fun back into getting a ticket? Sometimes I wonder, “Just what are people thinking?”

P.S. – And men……If you are coming to Arkansas to vacation with your family at any of our beautiful campgrounds don’t forget to bring some beads just in case!

NEWS UPDATE…..June 9, 2006 at 4:30 PM

They just updated the topless Sheriff’s Deputy news story by attaching a photo (Or is that a mug shot?) of the young lady.

Topless Deputy

She doesn’t seem to be so proud of them boobs now does she? This is one story I will have to stay abreast of for sure. Uh-oh….did I really say that? 😀

The Year was 1985….

Pet Photo 01I always liked photography but not until around the ripe old age of forty-two did I actually seriously take up the art initially as a hobby. Even got into the developing and processing of film and photographs. A couple of my close friends at the time raised ‘show-dogs’ and asked if I would be interested in taking some photographs of their dogs. Now if you know anything about the show-dog folks, they can get fanatical about photographs of their dogs. The photographs have to be just about perfect and must show the good aspects of their dog and definitely not show any of the dog’s faults. Professional show-dog photographers make the big bucks but then they have to know as much about their subjects as they do about their art.

Life of LuxuryLife of Luxury

Anyway, one thing led to another and I eventually got very involved with dog photography and then eventually just pet photography in general. Have taken pictures of goats, chickens, and even pigeons just to mention a few. Then in 1985 I actually quit my real job and set up shop as a pet photographer. I was able to scrape a bit of a living out of the dirt but eventually decided my real job was a lot easier so I went back to work doing what I was doing prior to my short-lived career in photography.

Only A Face A Mother Could LoveA Face Only A Mother Could Love

Thought I would share a few of those photographs here in this post and am certain as time goes along I will be sharing others along the way. But for the moment I hope you enjoy these… 🙂

LRPD Investigates 4th Murder in 24 Hours….

murder-chalk-outlineDon’t know how things are going in and around your hometown but as far as we go here…..

Well, according to news reports and the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) we have just had our fourth apparent homicide in 24 hours. Thirty-three so far this year. And just what do you and your hometown have to be proud of pray tell? Or is that “prey” tell?

Can’t wait for evening so I can go out and take a nice long walk. Of course, I may not ever return but hey – what the heck huh? Maybe I can be number thirty-four. Thought this short little poem might catch the essence of the moment….

Tonight I stepped out to take a walk.
Ended up having my form outlined in chalk.
Morning papers will say that I’m number thirty-four.
That’ll teach me to step my ass out the door

Oh well, feeling safe is really only a state-of-mind in the first place the way I see it. Instead of going for a walk I could have just stayed home and watched a bunch of other people get whacked on the TV.

Hope ya’ll come visit my hometown real soon