Sunday Stealing: League

a scar

This week’s Sunday Stealing is called League because it was stolen, once again, from the  League of Extraordinary Penpals.

1. My favorite sources for delicious recipes

I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook. The one downside is that it calls for certain-sized cans or boxes, but shrinkflation has altered them. For instance, a lasagna recipe suggests 32-ounce cans of sauce, but now they come in 28 ounces.

2. If I had to repeat a day over & over, how I’d want it to go

It would involve writing, doing genealogy, reading, watching JEOPARDY, and going to choir.

3. Who or what has saved my life

Possibly this blog. It has allowed me to clarify my thoughts. But also the community of bloggers because writing this merely for my improvement would be boring.

4. Something I can never seem to start or finish

Cleaning my office, which would be evident if you saw it.

5. How my taste in food has changed over the years

As a kid, I hated almost all vegetables. I actually like broccoli and several others now. But I now despise most canned vegetables. I tried canned spinach a few years ago, which I would eat as a kid, probably hypnotized by Popeye, and I found it VILE.  Give me fresh or if necessary, frozen. 

6. The last time I cried

I was undoubtedly listening to music. But they weren’t sad tears; they were happy tears. Maybe it was As by Stevie Wonder.

7. The best parts of human nature

I think most people want to help if they can.

8. Concepts and ideas that bend my mind

I’ve been watching a lot about Artificial Intelligence and how it can be used for good.  Or not. This 60 Minutes piece speaks to this.

9. What I’m most likely to ask for help with
Something technological
10. The story behind one of my scars

When I was three years old, I fell down the stairs between my grandparents’ place and ours. There is a scar below my lower lip where facial hair refuses to grow.

11. I’ve never said this out loud…

And I probably won’t write it down here, either.

12. Times I’ve been the leader/the one people count on

Black History Month at my church for at least a decade, being the one in my Bible group to make sure we have the Zoom link. I was in charge of the mail order, balancing the checkbook, and making the bank deposit when I worked at FantaCo, a comic book store, in the 1980s. Undoubtedly other things.


13. Whenever I see these people, my heart lights up

The choir people

14. With my financial needs met, here’s how I’d spend my time

Travel, doing genealogy.

15. The people I talk to when I want the truth
My OLD friends, most of whom I have written about in this blog over the past nine months.

April rambling: Carol Burnett turns 90

Finnish happiness

The Doomsday Clock at 90 Seconds to Midnight

Why fascism? Why now?

“U.S.A. Number One!” in Mass Shooting Murders

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a Florida-based “think tank,” is a driving force behind the campaign to roll back child labor protections in state legislatures.

Banned in the USA: State Laws Supercharge Book Suppression in Schools and Book bans in US public schools increase by 28% in six months, Pen report finds

Oklahoma’s Top Prosecutor Doesn’t Want to Execute a Likely Innocent Man, but a court is forcing him to do it anyway.

‘Kids Can’t Read,’ and the Education Establishment Faces a Revolt

“School choice” is the latest front in Christian nationalists’ battle to undermine the separation of church and state.

Impact of Weather Emergencies on Child Development

Missing Medicaid Data on Race/Ethnicity May Bias Health Research

Farmworkers: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

The Discord Leaker Was a Narcissist, Not an Ideologue. Comparisons between Jack Teixeira and self-declared whistleblowers are misplaced.

Retirement and Its Impact on Labor Supply

Reflections on driving across America

India’s population will pass China’s soon if it hasn’t already

What’s the Finnish secret to happiness?

The DeSantis Endorsement-ghazi Blame Game

Blame Rupert Murdock and Fox for Iraq, Brexit, Trump, and The Big Lie

Tucker Carlson is Out at Fox News; Don Lemon Terminated by CNN

Jordan Klepper and the most memorable moment from his “Man on the Street” interviews of MAGA types

djt Quit SAG-AFTRA Two Years Ago — But Still Collects 6-Figure Pension

How Technology Is Making it Possible to Build the Largest Dataset in History About the United States and the People Who Live There

Not to mention…

How to Research Charities 101

An April anniversary

Small Change: Let’s Put Pennies and Nickels to Rest

Sugar Pill Nation: Even when we know they’re “fake,” placebos can tame our emotional distress.

How to Get Energy Without Caffeine

Harry Belafonte, Singer, Actor, Producer, and Activist, Dies at 96. I wrote about him just before he turned 90 and linked it to what I wrote when he turned 85. 

Edward Koren, the cartoonist who drew his shaggier alter-ego, dies at 87. His cartoons were an unmistakable fixture in the New Yorker and other magazines for more than 60 years

Len Goodman, Former Dancing With the Stars Judge, Dies at 78. I used to watch DWTS with my wife begrudgingly.

Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna, Dies at 89. Goodbye, Possums.

“My Imperative Was To Get My Family Through This”: Catching up with Stephen R. Bissette

The Comics Journal interview of Chuck Rozanski/Bettie Pages, President – Mile High Comics, Inc.

James Gunn’s Guardians: How Chris Pratt and His Marvel Castmates Rescued Their Director’s Career

Mary Calvi on young Theodore Roosevelt’s love

Carol Burnett at 90, Like Her Comedy, Is Still Timeless

Nielsen Regains Accreditation for National TV Ratings. I didn’t know they had lost it.

Netflix to Shutter Legacy DVD Business

Abbott Elementary’s Long-suffering Servants

Oscars: Film Academy and ABC Announce Date for 2024 Ceremony, related events

The Honest Government Ads– as profane as they are informative

Now I Know: Why “It’s Time to Change Your Password” May Be a Bad Idea and All Your BS is… Vegan and Why Soda Cans in Hawaii Look So Weird and The Birds Who Fly First Class and This Restaurant Doesn’t Exist


Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff, played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello) and his sister Isati (piano)

A tribute to composer Henry Mancini. Former colleagues, including John Williams and Quincy Jones, recreate the Peter Gunn theme.

Isle of the Dead by Rachmaninoff

Coverville 1437: The 60th Anniversary of Please Please Me and 1438: Cover Stories for Pharrell Williams, The Eels and Vangelis and 1439: Midnight Oil Cover Story and 40th Anniversary of Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and 1440: Fun on Two Wheels

Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony

Poet and Peasant by Franz von Suppe!

Rachamaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor.

Bridge Over Troubled Water -Julien Neel

Opus 9, No. 2 in E-flat Major by Chopin, played by Sergei Rachmaninoff

The Ed Sullivan Show…March 30, 1969: the cast of Hair performs “The Age of Aquarius” and “Let the Sunshine In.”

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Six Romances, op. 38 by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Cheese and Onions

All You Need Is Cash

This post was birthed by one blog post, one discussion about cheese and onions, and one television show.

The blog post is by Arthur. He wrote about three songs that went to #1 in 1983. He notes, “The idea for these posts is loosely based on a series of posts Roger Green did as artists turned 70.” Knowingly or not, it also parallels me noting the #1 hits in various years ending in 3 in 2023; I’ll tackle 1983 in September.

Arthur picked three songs. Maneater by Hall and Oates he likes more than I. I much prefer the previous three #1s by the duo, Kiss On My List, Private Eyes, and I Can’t Go For That.

On the other hand, we find the lyrics of Africa by Toto insipid. Yet I like the song, especially when done by others. Here are  42 covers of the piece.

Arthur discusses the stupid copyright claim launched against Men at Work’s Down Under. As luck would have it, I discussed this back in 2010. I wrote that I didn’t think the “swipe” of the song Kookaburra “was substantial enough to be a copyright violation.” Now, Led Zeppelin, for instance, did some heavy lifting of songs, mainly from blues artists, most of whom were black.

The Rutles

My wife prepared some pizza using a prepackaged thin crust with tomato sauce, cheese, and onions. I said, “Cheese and Onions, just like the Rutles song.” She didn’t know what I was talking about.

Back in 1978, in the Saturday Night Live timeslot, there was a faux documentary of a fake rock band called All You Need Is Cash.

As IMDb noted, the film “follows their career from their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg’s infamous Rat-Keller to their amazing worldwide success. A parody of Beatlemania and the many serious documentaries made about the Beatles.” The Wikipedia page details the Rutles phenomenon.

There was a soundtrack of 14 songs which I bought on vinyl. I loved it. And I didn’t think they violated copyright on the LP collection. For instance, Cheese and Onions was a mashup of Across the Universe, Sexy Sadie, Mind Games, Across the Universe, and A Day In The Life, complete with the antithesis of the latter’s extended ending.

I particularly enjoyed Love Life. While rooted in All You Need Is Love, I thought it was different enough, with the reprise of Hold My Hand replacing She Loves You.

Get Up and Go, in the movie, not on the LP, but present on the 20-song CD John Lennon said was too much on the nose compared with Get Back, and I totally agree.

Nevertheless, despite having received Lennon’s and Harrison’s blessing for the project… Neil Innes “was forced by ATV Music to credit some of the songs to Lennon–McCartney–Innes.”

This is…

A recent Final JEOPARDY category was the 20th CENTURY EPONYMS. The clue: A 1940 headline about this included “failure,” “liability when it came to offense,” & “stout hearts no match for tanks.”

Much of the JEOPARDY fandom thought this was impossible. For one thing, many didn’t know what an eponym was. I’ve learned that since I used to read record reviews and saw an artist’s “eponymous first album.”

Others thought one would have studied European history to get it. I remember the answer from high school world history.

Soul music or rhythm and blues?

Harlem Hit Parade

I was asked to describe the difference between soul music and rhythm and blues. Paraphrasing Potter Stewart, I know it when I hear it. But I indeed could not define it.

The site Music Fans indicates: “R&B (rhythm and blues) was a term popularized by the music charts coining as a way of describing Black-oriented radio hits without specifically referencing race. Over the course of the 80 years, the term has been in use, it has described many very different types of music. Its primary use has always been the contemporary music popular among black Americans.

“Starting in the 80s, hip-hop became the dominant musical genre in the Black American community, leading R&B to be redefined as the contemporary black music that was NOT hip-hop. In the 90s, that sound was heavily influenced by ‘neo-soul,’ a revival of the soul sound, but with modern influences.”

Conversely, Masterclass suggests that “various genres of popular Black-pioneered music—gospel, blues, R&B, and forms of jazz—are often grouped together in a category known as soul music.”

So is soul a subset of rhythm and blues or vice versa? I dunno.  Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley (1967) from Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, a collection I recommend.

By the book

I have the book edited by the late, great Joel Whitburn called Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles. It notes the synopsis of Billboard’s R&B Singles Charts. From 1942 to 1945, it was the Harlem Hit Parade. 1945 introduced the term Race Records with multiple charts for Juke Box and Best Sellers; this was also true for pop songs.

By 1949, the term was Rhythm & Blues. From 1952 to 1956, it used no designation at all, but it was understood. By 1956, R&B was the nomenclature, with multiple charts ending on 13 October 1958.

From 11/30/63 to 1/23/65, there was no Billboard chart in this category. It is thought that the magazine believed the R&B and pop charts were too similar.

I perused another Joel Whitburn book, Across the Charts: The 1960s. The Supremes dominated both the Billboard pop charts and the Cash Box R&B charts, which he used instead of Billboard.

But the Beatles never had a soul hit in the sixties. And some of the black artists of 1964, such as Solomon Burke, Jerry Butler, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and even the Temptations, had songs that did considerably better on the R&B charts than the pop charts.

When Billboard returned to precisely charting the category, they used Rhythm and Blues or R&B from 1965 to August 1969, when they chose Soul. In June 1982, it became Black, then in October 1900, R&B again. Finally, in December 1999, the category was R&B/Hip-Hop.

We want the funk

The conversation was initiated when I played the album Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock this month. I described how musically eclectic Hancock was and noted the funk elements of, e.g., Chameleon.

So what’s funk? I think, “Can’t you feel that bottom?” But okay, a definition: “a style of popular dance music of African American origin, based on elements of blues and soul and having a strong rhythm that typically accentuates the first beat in the bar.”

And rock and roll was built on country music and R&B. This is why I organize my music by artist, not the category. I won’t even get into jazz…

Lydia the Tattooed Lady

Marx Brothers

Kelly from the Buffalo area wrote:

I hope her birthday was wonderful. Here’s an “Ask Me Anything” question: When she was a kid, did you ever make her listen to “Lydia the Tattooed Lady”?

Of course, her birthday was terrific. She has such wonderful parents.

Before I answer that, I should remind you of a post from ten years ago about naming the child.

No name in the top 10 in the Social Security list of most popular names for the most recent year available.

No naming after any family member, living or dead. I want her to have her own identity. 

No unisex names: Terry, Madison, Lynn, e.g., This comes directly from the fact that my father AND my sister were both named Leslie. 

It had to have two or more syllables, to balance off the shortness of Green.

It should have a recognizable spelling.

No names beginning and ending with A.

Lots of rules

That post was based on a post I wrote in my first month of blogging in May 2005.

“So, Lydia, it was, named in part after a woman in Acts who was rich even to put up the apostle Paul and his cohorts. Only later, a friend pointed out that the church I attended as a child, Trinity A.M.E. Zion, was on the corner of Lydia and Oak and that I walked down Lydia Street every day on my way to school. Obviously, I knew this to be factually true, but never crossed my consciousness.”

Then I wrote: “The only downside to her name has been those streams of choruses from Marx Brothers’ fans of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” a song that had TOTALLY slipped my mind.

“So, even with RULES, tattoos happen. But so do encyclo-pidias.”

When she was days old, my friend Walter observed that song, and I groaned. All my rules and planning, yet that song slipped by me. It’s not that I would have necessarily changed the name, but the information would have factored into the thought process.

To the actual question I asked my daughter since I couldn’t remember. She said that I told her about it. I might have even shown her a video clip, probably in 2013, since someone’s comment prompted that post.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial