HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!

HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!


However you may have arrived here, this is the old Not Not Silly Newsroom.

It's a long story -- hardly worth going into here -- but after this place was declared a Brownfield Site, we abandoned it for the NEW! IMPROVED!! Not Now Silly Newsroom.

Feel free to stay and read what you came here to read, but when it's time to leave go to the new place by clicking HERE.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Civil Rights Champion Born ► Throwback Thursday

Happy Birthday to Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, born on this day in 1913. On December 1, 1955, at the age of 42, Parks refused to give up her seat to a White person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, triggering the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It lasted just over a year and, finally, integrated the buses in that southern city.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a defining event in the country's history. There had been other attempts to integrate buses (which you can read about in the Wiki essay Events leading up to the bus boycott). However, this one attracted national attention and led to the Supreme Court ruling that the laws behind Montgomery and Alabama's bus segregation were unconstitutional.

According to the National Archives
Mrs. Parks was not the first person to be prosecuted for violating the segregation laws on the city buses in Montgomery. She was, however, a woman of unchallenged character who was held in high esteem by all those who knew her. At the time of her arrest, Mrs. Parks was active in the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving as secretary to E.D. Nixon, president of the Montgomery chapter. Her arrest became a rallying point around which the African American community organized a bus boycott in protest of the discrimination they had endured for years. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 26-year-old minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, emerged as a leader during the well-coordinated, peaceful boycott that lasted 381 days and captured the world's attention. It was during the boycott that Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., first achieved national fame as the public became acquainted with his powerful oratory.
Parks was not the quiet seamstress that history tends to remember. The WikiWackyWoo picks up the story:

At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality. She acted as a private citizen "tired of giving in". Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards. Her situation also opened doors.

Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she briefly found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American U.S. Representative. She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US.

After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and lived a largely private life in Detroit. In her final years, she suffered from dementia. Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman and third non-U.S. government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda

 

Detroit honoured this Civil Rights icon by renaming 12th Street, where the 1967 riot occurred, Rosa Parks Boulevard.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The 45 Is Introduced ► Monday Musical Appreciation

Hey Jude clocked in at 7:11, one of the longest singles to reach #1
It was 67 years ago today -- in 1949 -- that RCA Records introduced the 45, also known as The Single.  It was designed to replace the 78, which was made of shellac, as opposed to vinyl, and far less durable.

The 45 measured 7 inches and revolved at 45 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), hence the name. The 45 also improved upon the sound quality of the 78. It became important to the spread of Rock and Roll, mostly because it was within the budget of most teenagers during the '50 and '60s. Adults tended to buy albums instead.

According to History's Dumpster, the first 45 introduced to the public for sale was Eddy Arnold's "Texarcana Baby."


The History of The 45 RPM Record goes on to say:
The RCA 7" inch 45 RPM record was cute, VERY small, and RCA's very colourful vinyl (each genre of music had it's own colour of vinyl!) made it an instant hit with younger people. Popular releases were on standard black vinyl. Country releases were on green vinyl, Children's records were on yellow vinyl, Classical releases were on red vinyl, "Race" (or R&B and Gospel) records were on orange vinyl, Blue vinyl/blue label was used for semi-classical instrumental music and blue vinyl/black label for international recordings 
In the beginning the 45 could only hold just over 3 minutes of music. As the WikiWackyWoo tells us:
The 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance in half and spreading it over both sides of the vinyl, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side and that radio stations play the song in its entirety.[2] The subsequent success of "Like a Rolling Stone" played a big part in changing the music business convention that single-song recordings had to be under three minutes in length.
While we called the 45 a single, it would be a misnomer to believe that they were the only singles. Again, the Wiki knows all:
Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch (18 cm), 10-inch (25 cm), and 12-inch (30 cm) vinyl discs (usually playing at 45 rpm); 10-inch (25-cm) shellac discs (playing at 78 rpm); cassette, 8 and 12 cm (3- and 5-inch) CD singles and 7-inch (18 cm) plastic flexi discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on digital compact cassette, DVD, and LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc (5-inch/12 cm, 8-inch/20 cm, etc.).
The first single I ever bought with my own money was The Beach Boys' "I Get Around." It cost 49 cents at Kresge's, which was all the money I had left over after buying The Lovin' Spoonful's Greatest Hits.


The domination of the 45 continued until the album started to take over:
Perhaps the golden age of the single was on 45s in the 1950s to early 1960s in the early years of rock music.[3] Starting in the mid-sixties, albums became a greater focus and more important as artists created albums of uniformly high quality and coherent themes, a trend which reached its apex in the development of the concept album. Over the 1990s and early 2000s, the single generally received less and less attention in the United States as albums, which on compact disc had virtually identical production and distribution costs but could be sold at a higher price, became most retailers' primary method of selling music. Singles continued to be produced in the UK and Australia, surviving the transition from compact disc to digital download.
Now that vinyl is making a comeback, so are 45s. All hail the single!!!