Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Terrific Tuesday

Elvis Presley’s rendition of Blue Christmas is one of the most well known holiday songs. Elvis sang this one for years, always to raves from his audience, and it is one of his best known live performances. Most popular singers do at least one yuletide album but few have the success that Elvis had with this one.

His smooth voice was perfectly suited to the lyrics of Blue Christmas and Elvis always seemed to really enjoy singing it. Radio always plays this one to death around the holidays. It’s just one of those classic moments that is repeated over and over because it is that good. Elvis always could deliver a song better than most anybody else of his day, and with Blue Christmas he really came through, again and again.

Seeing Elvis do this song live is a must. From a 1965 special, this video is a look at what made Elvis so famous for so long. His untimely death in 1977 put an end to the man but not to the music and certainly not to the legend. As this clip shows, Elvis is timeless.

This Day in History: December 21

1620 - The "Mayflower", and its passengers, pilgrims from England, landed at Plymouth Rock, MA.

1849 - The first ice-skating club in America was formed in Philadelphia, PA.

1879 - Ibsen's "A Doll's House" was first performed in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a revised happy ending.

1898 - Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium.

1909 - McKinley and Washington schools of Berkeley, CA, became the first authorized, junior-high schools in the U.S.

1913 - The "New York World" Sunday edition included a crossword puzzle as an added feature of the "Fun" supplement. It was the first crossword puzzle to be published.

1914 - Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first six-reel, feature-length comedy. The film was entitled "Tillie’s Punctured Romance".

1925 - Eisenstein's film "Battleship Potemkin" was first shown in Moscow.

1937 - Walt Disney debuted the first, full-length, animated feature in Hollywood, CA. The movie was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Disney movies, music and books

1944 - Horse racing was banned in the United States until after the end of World War II.

1945 - U.S. Gen. George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.

1948 - The state of Eire (formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.

1951 - Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from major league baseball.

1958 - Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.

1968 - Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon. The craft landed safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27.

1971 - The U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as secretary-general.

1978 - Police in Des Plaines, IL, arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of killing.

1981 - Cincinnati defeated Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes. The game was the longest collegiate basketball game in the history of NCAA Division I competition.

1988 - 270 people were killed when Pan Am Boeing 747 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, due to a terrorist attack.

1990 - In a German television interview, Saddam Hussein declared that he would not withdraw from Kuwait by the UN deadline.

1991 - Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1995 - The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.

1996 - After two years of denials, U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.

1998 - Israel's parliament voted overwhelmingly for early elections. It was the signal to the demise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line government.

1998 - A Chinese court sentenced two dissidents to long prison terms for attempting to organize an opposition party. A third man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on December 22, 1998.

1998 - The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.

2001 - The Islamic militant group Hamas released a statement that said it was suspending suicide bombings and mortar attacks in Israel.

2002 - Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that he maintained he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.

Tuesday's Flashback

The biggest hit of Chaka Khan’s solo career, I Feel For You was also one of the biggest hits of 1983. The song hit a nerve with listeners, becoming a radio favorite, and making dance clubs jump like mad. Its groove just won’t stop as it still rocks fans over twenty-five years later.

Chaka Khan first rose to prominence as the lead singer of Rufus in the 70’s. With hits like Tell Me Something Good, Chaka already had a devoted fan base by the time she hit the charts in such a big way with I Feel For You. She also wrote and recorded songs like I’m Every Woman, that would later become one of Whitney Houston’s biggest hits. Chaka is a powerhouse unto herself.

I still love this song and whenever it plays I feel like I’m sixteen all over again. I just can’t get tired of it, and thankfully neither can millions of others out there. Reaching #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, it went gold and the video spun like silk all across television. It still looks and sounds as good as ever. People just can’t be still when this one plays.

Thought for Today

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” -- Charles Dickens