Showing posts with label 1963. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1963. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tonight's vintage vinyl listening

It's always 1963 somewhere.

Tonight, that would be here in the 3 Chords & the Truth studio here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska. For I am the king of all I survey in used-record stores and the Goodwill.

And to tell you the truth, a lot of these vintage LPs, assuming they haven't been abused by teenagers -- and this is one I'm pretty sure wouldn't have been -- sound spectacular. Better than many, many brand-new ones hipsters are paying upwards of 20 bucks for these days.

The moral you can take away from that is this: Sometimes, it is better to be old and cheap than young and hip. Sayeth your Mighty Favog.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A speech ungiven in a language unlearned

Here's some of the beginning and then the conclusion of the speech John F. Kennedy never lived long enough to give at the Dallas Trade Mart that horrible day in November 1963.

It was written in a language little understood and, sadly, no longer spoken in the United States:
This link between leadership and learning is not only essential at the community level. It is even more indispensable in world affairs. Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country's security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America's leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason -- or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.

There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternative, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

But today other voices are heard in the land -- voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to the sixties, doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness. At a time when the national debt is steadily being reduced in terms of its burden on our economy, they see that debt as the single greatest threat to our security. At a time when we are steadily reducing the number of Federal employees serving every thousand citizens, they fear those supposed hordes of civil servants far more than the actual hordes of opposing armies.

We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will "talk sense to the American people." But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense.
Finally, it should be clear by now that a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an America which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live. And only an America which is growing and prospering economically can sustain the worldwide defenses of freedom, while demonstrating to all concerned the opportunities of our system and society.

It is clear, therefore, that we are strengthening our security as well as our economy by our recent record increases in national income and output -- by surging ahead of most of Western Europe in the rate of business expansion and the margin of corporate profits, by maintaining a more stable level of prices than almost any of our overseas competitors, and by cutting personal and corporate income taxes by some $11 billion, as I have proposed, to assure this Nation of the longest and strongest expansion in our peacetime economic history.

This Nation's total output -which 3 years ago was at the $500 billion mark -- will soon pass $600 billion, for a record rise of over $100 billion in 3 years. For the first time in history we have 70 million men and women at work. For the first time in history average factory earnings have exceeded $100 a week. For the first time in history corporation profits after taxes -- which have risen 43 percent in less than 3 years -- have an annual level of $27.4 billion.

My friends and fellow citizens: I cite these facts and figures to make it clear that America today is stronger than ever before. Our adversaries have not abandoned their ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed. But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom.

The strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions -- it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations -- it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes.

We, in this country, in this generation, are -- by destiny rather than by choice -- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: "except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain."

5 Decades & the Truth

A funny thing happened on the way to this week's episode of 3 Chords & the Truth.

About half past noon this afternoon, I turned on the CBS News web stream of its coverage from Nov. 22, 1963 -- that day. Uncut, real time, starting at the moment of the first bulletin that shots had been fired at the president's motorcade in Dallas.

Within an hour -- live on TV -- America was forever changed. Over the next three days, television news grew up, making up how to cover the unthinkable, live and non-stop . . . as it covered the unthinkable, live and non-stop.

It did so, by today's technical standards, primitively and without formatic bells or whistles. Television also did so powerfully and occasionally artistically -- and without a surfeit of hairspray.

OF COURSE, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a powerful blow to a country -- to a people. The death of our young president and the images of his grief-stricken widow -- as well as television's reflection of our own grief -- hardly could fail to affect. Powerfully.

Let me put it this way. When President Kennedy fell victim to Lee Harvey Oswald's deadly aim, I was four months shy of my third birthday. I have memories of that day.

The sense of overwhelming sadness and loss endure after five decades. It comes storming out of the mists of time, as raw and fresh as yesterday. And it wasn't just the loss of what was; it was the loss of what might have been.
Too, maybe it was the loss of what might not have been. We are a greatly changed people from what we were Nov. 21, 1963. In some ways, that is a good thing. In more ways, I fear, that has been a bad thing.

We are a more cynical people since that day.

Great tragedy, should you survive it, can make you stronger. The aphorism to that effect did not come from nowhere.

Great tragedy, however, is just as likely to break you, too. That is a proven fact. Fifty years ago, I think, we were broken -- at least partly. I am 52, and I have lived my life watching the wheels come off a society. Not uniformly, but enough.

I've unfortunately done my part to make that so, Lord knows.

THAT'S WHAT is washing over my mind and through my soul as I find myself unable to pull myself away from CBS-TV, circa 1963. When Walter Cronkite once again -- through the time machine of videotape -- read the flash from Dallas confirming the death of the 35th president of the United States, I reflexively crossed myself.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In retrospect, that's not a bad reaction, even half a century hence. In that spirit, this sad anniversary isn't the time for jazz, rock 'n' roll or even blues in the night. That's what happened today on the way to the Big Show -- there won't be one. It just didn't feel right.

Stay tuned for a few days for a pre-Thanksgiving edition of 3 Chords & the Truth.

God bless us, every one.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

'Tell them about the dream, Martin'

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Also participating was New Orleans’ Mahalia Jackson, who played a key role in later inspiring King at the podium. 

With input from advisers, King’s speech had been composed the night before at Washington’s Willard Hotel. As King delivered the prepared text — the original copy of which belongs to former college basketball coach George Raveling, who was at King’s side during the speech — Jackson prompted King to veer into an unscripted passage she might’ve heard him deliver in earlier appearances. 

“He was just reading, and she just shouted to him, ‘Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream,’” said Clarence Jones, an attorney and adviser to King who had contributed to King’s text. “I was standing about 50 feet behind him, to the right and to the rear, and I watched him — this is all happening in real time — just take the text of his speech and move it to the left side of the lectern, grab the lectern and look out. 

“One of the world’s greatest gospel singers shouting out to one of he world’s greatest Baptist preachers. She may have ignored the fact that there were almost 300,000 other people there, and she just shouted out to Martin, ‘Tell them about the dream.’ Anybody else who would yell at him, he probably would’ve ignored it. He didn’t ignore Mahalia Jackson. 

“I said to somebody standing next to me, ‘These people don’t know it, but they’re about ready to go to church.’” The words “I have a dream” do not appear in the text Raveling owns.

AND THAT'S the way it was, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1963 . . . 50 years ago today.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

This used to be news

This weekend before America's birthday, how about we take a minute to reflect on the way things used to be -- and how far we've come in less than half a century?

This story ran in the Aug. 19, 1963 edition of Broadcasting magazine, recounting a bold advertising move made by Lever Brothers. That bold move? Integrated advertising.

In August 1963, when your 51-year-old correspondent was a 2½-year-old child, it was a risky thing for TV commercial for Wisk detergent to feature an African-American Little Leaguer.

We used to call blacks "Negroes" or "colored" then, and that's when we were being polite. And Lever Brothers, the makers of Wisk and other household products, felt the need to send "letters to its six advertising agencies informing them of its decision to 'take affirmative action' in the representation of minority races on TV."

In 1963, color television was still a big deal, too. In 1963, that Wisk ad absolutely represented being more of "your all-color station" than many areas of these United States had bargained for.

Food for thought.
Happy Independence Day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meanwhile, on Dallas TV

WFAA television in Dallas. Nov. 22, 1963.

A day in November in 1963

It's a big day in Dallas-Fort Worth this late November day in 1963. The president, vice president and first lady are in town.

WBAP radio is providing complete coverage of the presidential visit. An exciting day in the history of any city, to be sure!

North Texans will long remember this Nov. 22, I'll bet.

Friday, November 13, 2009

3 Chords & the Truth: Six to the three

This week on 3 Chords & the Truth (among other aural goodness). . . .

Well, hang on. Let me quote the Four Seasons here:

Oh, what a night!
Late December back in '63,
What a very special time for me,
As I remember what a night,
Oh what a night!
You know, I didn't even know her name. . . .

WELL . . . all right, then. Enough of that.

How about that 3 Chords & the Truth, eh? Good stuff, am I right? We present only the finest in musical entertainment on the Big Show.

YEP, a chunk of this week's show is devoted to the one to the nine to the six to the three -- 1963.

You know, stuff like this:


LEST WE GET carried away completely here, maybe it's time to apply the brakes to all this:

SO, WE'LL just leave you with this simple thought. Here goes.

3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Drat. Five years too soon with that one.