Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
FATS DOMINO (1928-2017):
The rhythm-and-blues artist whose music laid the basis for rock ‘n’ roll, singer and pianist Fats Domino, passed away on 24 October, 2017, aged 89. His death was of natural causes.
Some notes . . .
· Domino was borne Antoine Domino Jr was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of 8 children in a musical family. By age 10 he was performing as a singer and pianist and at age 14 he dropped out of school to pursue a musical career, taking odd jobs such as factory work and hauling ice to earn money.
· In 1946, Domino started playing piano for band leader Billy Diamond, who gave Domino the nickname "Fats."
· Domino's rare musical talents quickly made him a sensation, and by 1949 he was drawing substantial crowds on his own. According to Diamond: “I knew Fats from hanging out at a grocery store. He reminded me of Fats Waller and Fats Pichon. Those guys were big names and Antoine—that’s what everybody called him then—had just got married and gained weight. I started calling him ‘Fats’ and it stuck.”
· Fats’ talent meant that by 1949 he was drawing substantial crowds on his own. That’s same year he met collaborator Dave Bartholomew and signed to Imperial Records, where he stayed until 1963.
· Domino's first release was "The Fat Man" (1949), based on his nickname, a song co-written with Bartholomew. It became the first rock 'n' roll record to sell 1 million copies, peaking at No. 2 on the R&B charts.
· The two continued to release R&B hits and Top 100 records for years, with Domino's distinctive style of piano playing, accompanied by simple saxophone riffs, drum afterbeats and his mellow baritone voice.
· Domino’s 1955 song "Ain't It a Shame," reached No 10 on the pop charts. Pat Boone’s cover, named “Ain’t That a Shame”, went to No 1. Nonetheless it boosted his visibility and he later re-recorded the song under the altered name. Btw, it was the first song John Lennon learned to play on guitar.
· In 1956, Domino had five Top 40 hits, including “My Blue Heaven” and his cover of Glenn Miller's "Blueberry Hill," which hit No. 2 on the pop charts, Domino's top charting record ever. He cemented this popularity with appearances in two 1956 films, Shake, Rattle & Rock and The Girl Can't Help It, and his hit "The Big Beat" was featured on Dick Clark's television show American Bandstand in 1957. He had further hits in the decade with “Whole Lotta Loving" (1958), “I’m Ready" (1959) and “I Want to Walk You Home" (1959).
· Despite his enormous popularity among both white and black fans, when touring the country in the 1950s, Domino and his band often had to use segregated facilities, at times driving miles away from the venue.
· In 1962 Fats left Imperial records for ABC-Paramount Records, without Dave Bartholomew. He had given Imperial 37 different Top 40 hits. Musical tastes, however, had changed. The advent of the Beatles and the British Invasion took him off the top of the charts. According to John Lennon, however, “There wouldn’t have been a Beatles without Fats Domino.”
· Fats continued to tour for the next two decades but a health in 1995 whilst on tour in Europe saw him choose to remain in New Orleans with his wife and 8 children, and cut back on appearing. He occasionally performed at local concerts and at the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival from time to time.
· Domino chose to remain in his home with wife Rosemary, who was in poor health, when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. His home was flooded, he lost all his possessions and he and his family were rescued by the Coast Guard. To raise money for repairs to Domino's home, friends and rock stars recorded a charity tribute album, Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino. Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Elton John lent their support.
· Domino released an album, Alive and Kickin (a reference to the reports at the time that he had been killed in the hurricane), in 2006. A portion of the record sales went to New Orleans' Tipitina's Foundation, which helps local musicians in need.
· Not only had Fats Domino been one of the biggest stars of rock and roll in the 1950s, he was also one of the first R&B artists to gain popularity with white audiences. His biographer Rick Coleman has stated that Domino's records and tours with rock-and-roll shows in that decade, brought together black and white youths in a shared appreciation of his music, a factor in the breakdown of racial segregation in the United States.
· Elvis Presley stated in a 1957 interview: "A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that.”
· Paul McCartney has stated that “Lady Madonna” was written in emulation of Domino's style, which makes Domino’s cover in 1968, his last hit, all the more significant.
· Domino was present in the audience of 2,200 people at Elvis Presley's first concert at the Las Vegas Hilton on July 31, 1969. At a press conference after the show, when a journalist referred to Presley as "The King", Presley gestured toward Domino, who was taking in the scene. "No," Presley said, "that's the real king of rock and roll."
Fats Domino, 1962
Domino with Jerry Lee Lewis and James Brown
President George W. Bush shakes the hand of legendary Fats Domino. Domino is wearing a New Orleans brass band musician's cap on his head and a National Medal of Arts around his neck. The President presented the medal to Domino on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006, at the musician's home in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. The medal was a replacement medal for the one -- originally awarded by President Bill Clinton -- that was lost in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
GEORGE YOUNG (1946-2017):
Villawood Migrant Hostel - the Nissen huts were horribly cold in winter and hot in summer.
The Villawood Detention Centre is set alight during riots in 2011.
AC/DC's Angus Young and, right, the band's producer George Young in 2006 and, bottom right, in glasses in his days with The Easybeats.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Sue P sent me an email during the week in response to the item about the WW2 Japanese invasion threat propaganda poster banned in Queensland and Melbourne as being likely to damage public morale:
Sue commented ‘Not to forget the attacks on Darwin of course - also deemed "too scary" for public morale.’
Sue accompanied her email with the following image:
From Wikipedia at:
Attacks on Australia During WW2:
- Due to Australia's geographic position there were relatively few attacks on Australia during World War II. Axis surface raiders and submarines periodically attacked shipping in Australian waters from 1940 to early 1945 and Japanese aircraft bombed towns and airfields in Northern Australia on 97 occasions during 1942 and 1943.
- Six German surface raiders operated in Australian waters at different times between 1940 and 1943. These ships sank a small number of merchant ships and the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney. The German submarine U-862 also carried out attacks in Australian waters in late 1944 and early 1945.
- Japanese submarines operated in Australian waters from January 1942 until July 1944. Major submarine offensives were carried out against shipping off the Australian east coast from May to July 1942 and January to July 1943.
- On the evening of 31 May/morning of 1 June 1942, Sydney harbour came under direct attack from Japanese midget submarines. HMAS Kuttabul, a converted ferry being used as a troop sleeper, was hit and sunk. 22 sailors were killed, 19 Australians and 2 members of the Royal Navy.
- The only Japanese force to land in Australia during World War II was a reconnaissance party that landed in the Kimberley region of Western Australia on 19 January 1944 to investigate reports that the Allies were building large bases in the region. The party consisted of four Japanese officers on board a small fishing boat. It investigated the York Sound region for a day and a night before returning to Kupang in Timor on 20 January. Upon returning to Japan in February, the junior officer who commanded the party suggested using 200 Japanese prison inmates to launch a guerrilla campaign in Australia. Nothing came of this and the officer was posted to other duties.
- The first air raid on Australia occurred on 19 February 1942 when Darwin was attacked by 242 Japanese aircraft. Over two hundred people were killed in the raid. Occasional attacks on northern Australian towns and airfields continued until November 1943.
From the Australian Government website at:
During the Second World War, the Japanese flew 64 raids on Darwin and 33 raids on other targets in Northern Australia.
On 19 February 1942, 188 Japanese planes were launched against Darwin, whose harbour was full of Allied ships. It was the largest Japanese attack since Pearl Harbour, 7 December 1941, and followed a reconnaissance flight on 10 February 1942. On that day there were 27 Allied ships in the harbour and approximately 30 aircraft at the Darwin Civil and RAAF airfields.
The USS Houston convoy departed Darwin on 15 February 1942, followed by a Japanese flying boat which later engaged in an air strike. The USS Peary returned to Darwin on 19 February after an encounter with a possible Japanese submarine. On 19 February 1942 there were 46 ships packed into Darwin Harbour.
From the first raid on 19 February 1942 until the last on 12 November 1943, Australia and its allies lost about 900 people, 77 aircraft and several ships. Many military and civilian facilities were destroyed. The Japanese lost about 131 aircraft in total during the attacks.
At the time, there were many rumours alluding to the Australian Government's suppression of information about the bombings - it was thought that reports of casualties were intentionally diminished to maintain national morale.
Local sources estimated that between 900 and 1100 people were killed. For many years, government censorship limited coverage of the event to protect public morale in the southern states of Australia.
HMAS Sydney, lost on 19 November 1941 when involved in a mutually destructive engagement with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, resulting in the death of all 645 aboard. 318 of the Kormoran’s complement of 390 survived.
June 1, 1942. A Japanese midget submarine is raised from the bed of Sydney Harbour. The night before the picture was taken, the submarine's two crew members were part of a raid on shipping in Sydney Harbour.
HMAS Kuttabul following the Japanese attack
One of the Japanese midget submarines that attacked Sydney, on display in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Oil tanks on fire after a Darwin bombing, 1942
The SS Barossa burns after being bombed by the Japanese.
A house is destroyed after being hit by a Japanese bomb during an attack on Darwin in 1942.
Lady Sarah Ashley, caught up in the first bombing of Darwin.
Nahh, in the words of Dr Evil, I can't back that up. It's Nicole Kidman during the Darwin bombing scene in the 2008 flick Australia.
Spoiler ahead . . .
Happy ending. Awwww.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Friday again and time for some funnies. A bit of a mixed bag today . . .
First of all, a hello and get well wish for my father in law, Noel, who has just had a knee replacement. Noel is aged 90 and has featured in these pages previously as an inspiring senior cit.
These are for you, Noel . . .
Some jokes about money . . .
Caution: risqué content included.
A man goes into a bar and seats himself on a stool. The bartender looks at him and says, "What'll it be buddy?"
The man says, "Set me up with seven whiskey shots and make them doubles." The bartender does this and watches the man slug one down, then the next, then the next, and so on until all seven are gone almost as quickly as they were served.
Staring in disbelief, the bartender asks why he's doing all this drinking. "You'd drink them this fast too if you had what I have." The bartender hastily asks, "What do you have pal?"
The man quickly replies, "I have a dollar."
A bright, young, fresh-out-of-school auditor just joined the IRS, excited to begin tracking down high-powered tax evaders.
Anxious for his first high-powered audit, he was a bit dismayed when his assignment was to audit a Rabbi.
Looking over the books and taxes were pretty straight forward, and the Rabbi was clearly very frugal, so he thought he'd make his day interesting by having a little fun with the Rabbi.
"Rabbi," he said, "I noticed that you buy a lot of candles."
"Yes," answered the Rabbi.
"Well, Rabbi, what do you do with the candle drippings?" he asked.
"A good question," noted the Rabbi. "We actually save them up and when we have enough, we send them back to the candle maker. And every now and then, they send us a free box of candles."
"Oh," replied the auditor somewhat disappointed that his unusual question actually had a practical answer, so he thought he'd go on, in his obnoxious way...
"Rabbi, what about all these matzo purchases? What do you do with the crumbs from the matzo?"
"Ah, yes," replied the Rabbi calmly, "we actually collect up all the crumbs from the matzo and when we have enough, we send them in a box back to the manufacturer and every now and then, they send a box of matzo balls."
"Oh," replied the auditor, thinking hard now how to fluster the Rabbi. "Well, Rabbi," he went on, "what do you do with all the foreskins from the circumcisions?"
"Yes, here too, we do not waste," answered the Rabbi. "What we do is save up all the foreskins, and when we have enough we actually send them to the I.R.S."
"The I.R.S.?," questioned the auditor in disbelief.
"Ahh, yes," replied the Rabbi, " the I.R.S. " ...and about once a year, they send us a complete prick.”
A lady walks into a fancy jewellery store. She browses around, spots a beautiful diamond bracelet and walks over to inspect it. As she bends over to look more closely she inadvertently breaks wind. Very embarrassed, she looks around nervously to see if anyone has noticed her little accident and prays that a sales person doesn't pop up right now. As she turns around, her worst nightmare materializes in the form of a salesman standing right behind her. Cool as a cucumber and displaying complete professionalism, the salesman greets the lady with, "Good day, Madam How may we help you today?" Very uncomfortably, but hoping that the salesman may not have been there at the time of her little "accident!" she asks, "Sir, what is the price of this lovely bracelet?" He answers, "Madam, if you farted just looking at it, you're going to shit when I tell you the price."
Last week at trivia, one of the questions was “Where was the last oil fire put out by the famed Red Adair?”
Locals may recall that in 1968 Red Adair extinguished an oil well fire in Bass Strait (for those wondering where that is, it is the body that separates Tasmania from Australia (yes, I know that Tasmania is part of Australia but it pisses off the Tasmanians to hear that and my brother lives there).
Red died in 2004 aged 89. In his more than 50 years as a firefighter he extinguished nearly 3000 oil well fires. Among them were 119 fires in Kuwaiti oil fields at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, the infamous "Devil's Cigarette Lighter" in Algeria in 1962 whose 240-metre flames were seen from space by astronaut John Glenn, the 1979 blowout of Mexico's Ixtoc-1 well in the Bay of Campeche and the 1988 Piper Alpha platform disaster in the North Sea that killed 167 men.
Red Adair, 1991
The trivia question prompted recollections of some Red Adair jokes, one from rival team member John and one from me. They are set out below.
By the way, the answer to the trivia question was: Kuwait.
This is a revised version of John’s joke which, in its original form, was politically incorrect and in any event was an audio joke which required a speech impeded voice . . .
Firefighter Red Adair walked into an Aberdonian pub after two weeks spent putting out a fire in a North Sea oil well. He ordered a pint of heavy and found a table. The man sitting next to him immediately noticed that this rugged-looking elderly fellow was indeed an American and said: "I've been to the States myself, you know. I went there last year."
"Oh really..." our oil rig hero said in a rather tired voice.
"Aye, I spent a month in California. One night I went to a concert with a famous country singer called Benny Rogers, and..."
"Surely you must mean KENNY Rogers," Red said, looking at the ceiling.
"Aye, that's right. Anyway, he sang a duet with a bonnie lass called Polly Darton."
"It's DOLLY PARTON, not Polly Darton." Red was not in the friendliest of moods now.
The Scot realized that he was making a fool of himself and tried a change of topic:
"Haven't I seen you on TV? You're quite famous, aren't you?"
This made old Red cheer up:
"Indeed you have. I'm Red Adair!" he said with a grin.
"Red Adair?! The REAL Red Adair? So, are you still married to Ginger Rogers?"
Here is my Red Adair joke . . .
When Saddam Hussein set the Kuwaiti oil wells on fire when facing defeat in the Iraq war, the Kuwaiti oil sheiks sought to recruit legendary Texas firefighter Red Adair to put out the fires. Red Adair was the world’s best known extinguisher of oil well fires, even having had a movie made about him (John Wayne played him, of course).
When Red was first approached by a representative for the sheiks he replied that he was too busy, that he had more work than he could handle as it was but that his Irish cousin, Green Adair, might be able to deal with it.
The sheik telephoned Green and asked “Hello, is that Green Adair ….. ?”
“Yess, sorr, dat’s roight, tis me Green Adair at yer service …” said the voice at the end of the line.
“Mr Adair, that terrible man Saddam Hussein has set fire to our oil wells. Can you come and help us?”
The Irishman thought for a second and replied “Oh, I don’t know sorr, we’re awful busy at der moment . . .”
“We will pay you ten million pounds per oil well, Mr Adair” responded the sheik.
“Me an’ de lads‘ll be over in der mornin’ sorr …..” replied Green.
The next day at first light, a military jumbo circled the raging fires and then proceeded to land a short distance from the largest blaze. The cargo doors opened and a battered dark blue truck came hurtling down the ramp and sped right into the middle of the flaming inferno. As it came to a halt all of the doors opened and twenty Irish navvies in jackets and boots jumped out and started to furiously stamp up and down on the flames and beat the flames with their jackets.
Eventually the fire was extinguished. With BBC cameras filming and people patting Green on the back, Green was approached by the sheik who said to him “That was magnificent, remarkable. Tell me what you want and it is yours, ask anything.”
“Well.” replied Green, “der first ting, we’ll get der brakes on dat fockin’ trock fixed.”
An old man goes to the barbershop for a shave. He tells the barber, “My cheeks are so sunken in that I can’t get a good shave, can you help me out?” The barber gives him a ball from a cup and says, “Put this in your mouth against your cheeks to puff ’em out, and I can give you a good shave.” So he does. After the shave, the old man said, “Gee, that’s a good shave, I haven’t had one like this in years! By the way, what would have happened if I had swallowed that ball?” The barber replied, “Oh, that’s okay! You can bring it back in two days like everyone else does!”
Two cannibals are eating a clown when one says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”
I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn’t find any.
What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.