vanmorrisonGeorge Ivan ‘Van’ Morrison is one of those artists who’s been around practically as long as I’ve been listening to music.

The Northern Irish singer/songwriter has released over three dozen albums. I have his second solo album, Astral Weeks, and his 2012 album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, but only about a half dozen in between, so there are definite gaps in my Van awareness.

Incidentally, Legacy Recordings has just acquired most of his catalog, and Rhino Remasters, Expands His “Astral Weeks,” “His Band and the Street Choir”.

I dare say if I listened to the entirety of his oeuvre, I’d likely find 25 more songs, but these are the ones that struck a chord with me today. And while the top 7 are probably my favorites, the order is fairly arbitrary.

25. When That Evening Sun Goes Down, from Tupelo Honey (1971) -TH
24. Cleaning Windows, from Beautiful Vision (1982) Read the rest of this entry »

librarian.mug

How a ’50s-Era New York Knife Law Landed Thousands in Jail.

Jeff Sharlet interviews Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King.

No matter how sincerely we think we get it, we don’t really get it. “A personal epiphany about race and gender, to my fellow white males.” And Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).

Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny. “Win or lose, Trump’s campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid.”

About Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Account. Am I the only person who had never HEARD of Ashley Madison until this summer? Read the rest of this entry »

Tyrone_Davis_oct_1970As I have alluded to in the past, there are lots of different popular music charts put out by Billboard magazine, and other music publications. For instance, some songs might be a hit on the the charts geared towards black music, but do far less well on the pop charts, or occasionally better.

The black charts were known as race records, rhythm and blues, soul, et al, since they were begun in 1942. It’s currently Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

Tyrone Davis (ne Tyrone Fettson, May 4, 1938 – February 9, 2005) was a successful soul singer for over four decades. He had THREE #1 soul singles, and 43 in the top 100, whereas he had 15 top 100 pop hits, none reaching #1.

His obituary in the Guardian reads: “Tyrone Davis, who has died aged 66, was an American soul singer whose voice, between low tenor and baritone, had a blues tinge. He commanded a large, loyal black following, but was denied a mass audience.”

BTW, this phenomenon is hardly specific to Davis. James Brown, e.g., had 17 soul #1s, and over 110 top 100 soul tunes. He had zero #1 pop tunes and about 95 top 100 pop hits.

Of Tyrone Davis’ soul #1s, Turning Point (1976) didn’t even chart on the pop charts. Can I Change My Mind went to #5.

Turn Back the Hands of Time, which was based on the relationship problems of co-writer Jack Daniels (no relation to the drink) got to #3 in 1970.

Listen to Turn Back the Hands of Time.


Emmett Till disappeared 60 years ago today; his mutilated body was found three days later. His mother allowed photos to be taken of his open casket, and the horrifying pictures helped galvanize the Civil Rights movement, including the “I Have a Dream” speech eight years, to the day, later.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I want to know why it is Read the rest of this entry »

votingI came across this website via Facebook, VoteForBernie.org. It does not appear to be authorized by the Bernie Sanders for President campaign. But it had some useful information.

Among other things, it notes whether one had to be a registered Democrat in one’s state in order to vote for Sanders (or Hillary Clinton, or whomever) in next year’s primary/caucus season. And it would likewise apply to Republicans’ ability to vote for their candidates.

Some states allow for Open Primaries. Read the rest of this entry »

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