Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Monday, December 20, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Best known and most successful in the UK, The Three Degrees had a one hit wonder in the US in 1974 with When Will I See You Again. The song was a real soft rock gem that fit perfectly into the scene of its day. With beautiful harmonies, a look and a style patterned undeniably after The Supremes, and a big following for their biggest hit, the group continued in the spotlight throughout the 1970’s, only making one more major chart appearance, the Soul Train theme, recorded with MFSB, called TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia.)

Many ladies have graced The Three Degrees’ line up over the last forty years. Originally formed in the 60’s, they underwent personnel comings and goings before they broke big in the mainstream. The trio has continued to evolve with new singers replacing old ones, and some original members returning all along as well. Still, they remain popular in England and When Will I See You Again remains a radio favorite in the US too.

A song you can’t seem to get out of your head, When Will I See You Again is a feel good tune that people can sing along to. No matter who comprises The Three Degrees at any given time, as soon as they begin singing this song audiences immediately take notice. It’s always in style.

This Day in History: December 20

1606 - The "Susan Constant," "Godspeed" and "Discovery" set sail from London. Their landing at Jamestown, VA, was the start of the first permanent English settlement in America.

1699 - Peter the Great ordered that the Russian New Year be changed from September 1 to January 1.

1790 - The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, RI.

1803 - The United States Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million. The transfer was completed with formal ceremonies in New Orleans.

1820 - The state of Missouri enacted legislation to tax bachelors between the ages of 21-50 for being unmarried. The tax was $1 a year.

1860 - South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union.

1864 - Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, GA as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."

1879 - Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, NJ.

1880 - New York's Broadway became known as the "Great White Way" when it was lighted by electricity.

1892 - Alexander T. Brown and George Stillman patented the pneumatic tire.

1928 - Mail delivery by dog sled began in Lewiston, ME.

1933 - The film "Flying Down to Rio" was first shown in New York.

1938 - Vladimir Kosma Zworykin patented the iconoscope television system.

1946 - The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its "official" world premiere. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in the film.

1946 - In Indochina (Vietnam), full-scale guerrilla warfare between Vietnam partisans and French troops began.

1954 - Buick Motor Company signed Jackie Gleason to one of the largest contracts ever entered into with an entertainer. Gleason agreed to produce 78 half-hour shows over a two-year period for $6,142,500.

1962 - A world indoor pole-vault record was set by Don Meyers when he cleared 16 feet, 11/4 inches.

1963 - The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964.

1968 - Author John Steinbeck died at the age of 66.

1973 - The Spanish premier Carrero Blanco was assassinated in Madrid.

1987 - More than 3,000 people were killed when the Dona Paz, a Philippine passenger ship, collided with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island, setting off a double explosion.

1989 - General Noriega, Panama's former dictator, was overthrown by a United States invasion force invited by the new civilian government. The project was known as Operation Just Cause.

1991 - Ante Markovic resigned as federal Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.

1991 - Oliver Stone's "JFK" opened in the U.S.

1994 - Marcelino Corniel, a homeless man, was shot and mortally wounded by White House security officers. He had brandished a knife near the executive mansion.

1994 - Ivan Lendl retired after a 17-year tennis career.

1995 - An American Airlines Boeing 757 en route to Cali, Colombia, crashed into a mountain, killing all but four of the 163 people aboard.

1996 - Doctors reported that a Cypriot woman who had taken fertility drugs was carrying about 11 embryos.

1998 - In Houston, TX, a 27-year-old woman gave birth to the only known living set of octuplets.

1999 - The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.

1999 - Sovereignty over the colony of Macao was transferred from Portugal to China.

2001 - The U.S. Congress passed a $20 billion package to finance the war against terrorism taking place in Afghanistan.

2001 - Argentina's President Fernando De la Rua resigned after two years in power.

2001 - The first British peacekeepers arrived in Afghanistan to help the nation heal after decades of war.

Monday's Flashback

Guyana born Eddy Grant began making music in England in the 1960’s, where he became a well known entertainer, years before he burst onto the US pop scene with his million selling hit Electric Avenue. Tinged with a reggae feel, a beat you just can’t get away from, and lyrics that resonate in the mind like a spinning frisbee, Electric Avenue is one those 80’s songs that retains a huge following because of its timeless appeal.

Rising to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983, Electric Avenue made Grant a sensation in the US. He went on tour, appeared on countless television shows, and wrote songs for other singers, as well as scoring a minor hit two years later with the theme from Romancing The Stone. He was never able to repeat the mega success of Electric Avenue but the song keeps him in demand to this day.

The video is a lot of fun to watch. A real sparkler on MTV in its heyday, Electric Avenue continues to draw new fans with each passing year. Eddy Grant is still performing and he tours all along as well, mainly in the UK, but anytime Electric Avenue comes on the radio people start tapping their toes, moving their bodies, and smiling like mad. Some songs are just meant to hang around forever.

Thought for Today

Man is a universe within himself.” -- Bob Marley