Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Terrific Tuesday

Funk legend Rick James joined forces with Teena Marie for Fire and Desire and the duo had a big, big hit with this sultry song. The performance is just classic. James and Teena Marie, the Ivory Queen of Soul, seemed like a match made in pop heaven as they climbed the charts together.

From Rick’s 1981 album Street Songs, Fire and Desire was a superior recording. Never had Rick James sounded more soulful or more at home with the material he was working on than he did with this one. And Teena’s contributions to the track are superb. This pair should have cut more songs together. Like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, they seemed to belong together.

Contemplating that both of these music icons are now gone is simply foreign. For their fans, they have left behind a rich legacy of hits that people will be listening to for years to come. Fire and Desire is the cream of the crop, and Rick and Teena were the top of their genre.

This Day in History: December 28

1065 - Westminster Abbey was consecrated under Edward the Confessor.

1694 - Queen Mary II of England died after five years of joint rule with her husband, King William III.

1732 - "The Pennsylvania Gazette," owned by Benjamin Franklin, ran an ad for the first issue of "Poor Richard’s Almanack."

1832 - John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Jackson.

1836 - Mexico's independence was recognized by Spain.

1846 - Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

1869 - William E. Semple, of Mt. Vernon, OH, patented an acceptable chewing gum.

1877 - John Stevens applied for a patent for his flour-rolling mill, which boosted production by 70%.

1879 - In Dundee, Scotland the central portion of the Tay Bridge collapsed as a train was passing over it. 75 people were killed.

1897 - "Cyrano de Bergerac," the play by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris, France.

1902 - The first professional indoor football game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Syracuse defeated the Philadelphia Nationals 6-0.

1908 - An earthquake killed over 75,000 at Messina in Sicily.

1912 - The first municipally-owned street cars were used on the streets of San Francisco, CA.

1917 - The New York Evening Mail published a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken on the history of bathtubs in America.

1926 - The highest recorded cricket innings score of 1,107 runs was hit by Victoria, against New South Wales, in Melbourne.

1937 - The Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland when a new constitution established the country as a sovereign state under the name of Eire.

1942 - R.O. Sullivan crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the 100th time.

1945 - The U.S. Congress officially recognized the "Pledge of Allegiance."

1950 - The Peak District became Britain's first designated National Park.

1956 - After five years on television, the last "Ding Dong School" was aired on NBC-TV.

1964 - Initial filming of the movie "Dr. Zhivago" began on location near Madrid, Spain. The movies total running time is 197 minutes.

1973 - The Chamber of Commerce of Akron, OH, terminated its association with the All-American Soap Box Derby. It was stated that the race had become "a victim of cheating and fraud."

1973 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn published "Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison system.

1981 - Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, VA.

1982 - Nevell Johnson Jr. was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade. The event set off three days of race related disturbances that left another man dead.

1987 - The bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, AR. Simmons had gone on a shooting spree in Russellville that claimed two other lives.

1989 - Alexander Dubcek, who had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1970, was elected speaker of the Czech parliament.

1991 - Nine people died in a rush to get into a basketball game at City College in New York.

1995 - Pressure from German prosecutors investigating pornography forced CompuServe to set a precedent by blocking access to sex-oriented newsgroups on the Internet for its customers.

2000 - U.S. District Court Judge Matsch held a hearing to ensure that confessed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh understood that he was dropping his appeals. McVeigh said that he wanted an execution date, set but wanted to reserve the right to seek presidential clemency.

2000 - Shannen Doherty was arrested for driving under the influence.

Tuesday's Flashback

With the untimely death of Teena Marie on December 26, fans around the globe were shocked and plunged into immediate mourning. Like most of them, I was stunned to hear that she had passed away at the young age of 54. It didn’t seem real. Teena Marie, the Ivory Queen of Soul, was gone.

One of the few white artists to hit big on Motown Records, Teena recorded a string of hits in the 80’s, the biggest of which was Lovergirl. The song was viral on radio and people instantly fell in love with this enchanting songbird. She inspired a generation of female rockers with her feisty style and spunky, funky wardrobe. She was an original.

In a clip from Solid Gold in 1985, the year she burst onto the pop scene in such a big way, Teena showed why she had bolted to stardom. She was electric, she was sensational, she was the whole package. Rest in peace, Teena. We sure do love you.

Thought for Today

“You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself.” -- Diana Ross