Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Summer is winding down, at least for us. How much stuff can one squeeze into a single summer anyway? The boys have had Church camp, football camp, basketball camp, football practice, little league baseball and all the games and practices that go with that, plus we watched Spencer and Craig have soccer practice, if that means anything. J.D. made the all-star team, which extended the season about three weeks. The kids had a trip to the smokies, vacation bible school and I'm sure i'm leaving a dozen other things out. J.D. broke his hand at Church camp, which was in North Carolina. He's excited because, according to him,he won't have to do anything at school for about a month, and it won't be counted against him. He says his summer vacation has been extended thru Labor Day. He's elated. Boy, is he in for a rude awakening. The other day, Elijah was swimming and there was an accident that ended up with him gashing his tongue on both sides. It bled profusely. I wasn't with him when the accident occured. The way it was described to me over the phone, I thought he had almost bit it off. So, I met him at the hospital. To say he was suffering a tremendous pain would be an understatement. He wasn't a happy camper in ER. Finally, after an undue extended time of letting him lay there and suffer, they gave him a Lortab. Poor kid fought as long as he could. His lights finally went out about 40 minutes later and he slept 14 hours straight. I threatened to give each of the kids one of those per day. Actually, I should take one myself. School starts in two weeks. I'm really not complaining. I love my children and enjoy all of their activities
Friday, July 18, 2008
When I was growing up, dad was always bringing home extra copies of 45 r.p.m. records from the radio station. I loved them all, no matter what genre. I don't remember the first record I ever played on a turntable. I wish I could remember that. I remember playing records by the Beatles, Elton John, Jim Croce, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and others. I remember playing Spiders and Snakes by Jim Stafford and Ringo Starr's Your Sixeen over and over and over and over. I wore out two albums; Progressions by the Five Americans, a Texas-based rock band in the 1960s, and Psychotic Reaction by the 1960s California garage rock band, Count Five. I not only loved the music, I also loved dissecting the songs; how each song was structured and what instruments were being used. There was one instrument in particular that I would always listen for.
I remember that one day in the fall of 1970 when dad brought home a record by Jerry Corbetta and Sugarloaf. It changed my life. The song was Green Eyed Lady and the reason it changed my life was because of the organ solo that Corbetta played in the middle of the song. Dad was a master guitar player and he tried to teach me to play, but what I really wanted to do was play the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. It didn't help any that dad's friend, Cecil Pryor, played the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. I was almost 11-years-old when dad brought that record home to me. Earlier this summer, nearly 38 years later, I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Corbetta backstage at a concert by his Classic Rock All-Stars group, which consisted of Corbetta and Mike Pinera of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly, Dennis Noda of Cannibal and the Headhunters and the great Peter Rivera from Rare Earth. I heard they were going to be in the area and I arranged for a backstage pass. My one and only purpose for going, aside from getting to hear some great music, was to tell Jerry Corbetta that he changed my life. When the big moment came, I shook his hand and said, "Nice to meet you. You changed my life." He said, "Really?" And, then for some strange reason, my voice no longer worked. I got his autograph though. It was a big moment for me and it all began with that 45 r.p.m. record.
I recently wrote Jerry Corbetta, relating pretty much the same story as I have told here. Here is his reply:
Thanks for the nice email. I grew up in a house of music. we had a Piano and an organ. I would Listen to the Tv and play along with the music on tv. I loved music from the time I was 3 years old.
I was 6 years old when I saw Elvis on the television .Something clicked inside me . I asked my father to buy me a piano and get me piano lessons. He did . I often think about the time I saw Elvis,I think that he inspired me to be a musician .
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Due process and trial by jury were components of British law before and during the American Revolution. The corruption of those concepts by the British was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and then subsequently corrected in the US Constitution. Obviously, this issue was of great concern in the thirteen colonies during the Revolution. However, there are cases that seem to contradict those values that were fundamental to the Revolution. Such was the case in the accusation leveled at the “traitors” who were discovered missing on the morning of September 28, 1780 as their fellow Overmountain militiamen pursued the loyalist force under the command of Major Patrick Ferguson.
The “traitors” were James Crawford and Samuel Chambers. Crawford was born in the Shenandoah Valley around 1746. While bearing arms against another military force would be morally acceptable, James’ religious standards prohibited participating in non-military raiding, maliciously causing damage to civilian property and nearly regular loss of civilian lives. Also, the Proclamation of 1763 issued by King George, prohibited settlement west of the mountains. This put overmountain people in open rebellion, as were Crawford, Chambers, and their families. In early 1779, Crawford was accused of objecting to participate in raiding parties sent to the uplands east of the mountains to raid Tory farms.
Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis had invaded North Carolina and occupied Charlotte, ordering Major Ferguson to guard his left flank. A call to arms went out and the Overmountain Militia went in pursuit of him. Crawford and Chambers were members of that militia, but on the morning of September 28th, while camped in the gap between Roan and Yellow Mountains, they disappeared. The militia learned that Ferguson had left the area and accused the two men of warning him. The militia pursued Ferguson, who was waiting to crush them atop King’s Mountain. Early on October 7th, the militia began encircling the mountain. The plan was to apply intense fire from every side. And, that is what happened. By three o'clock that afternoon, the militia had surrounded the mountain and the shooting began. But, it ended within one hour as Ferguson was shot multiple times and killed.
During the battle, Crawford and Chambers were discovered on King’s Mountain. They were restrained and scheduled for execution. Seven days after the Battle, the infamous trials for treason occurred. Thirty-six men, including Crawford, were convicted of bearing arms against the State of North Carolina. However, since both Britain and the State of North Carolina recognized that the Overmountain Militia did not have the power to appoint and conduct a civilian court, militia commanders stopped the proceedings, but only after nine of the so-called 'worst' offenders were hanged. James Crawford's life had been spared. Even though he had been pardoned, after returning to Watauga he faced action in civil court and was ordered to sell his property and leave the area. He died some 40 years later in Alabama.
Why did I write this story you ask? Because James Crawford's oldest son, Joseph, oversaw the building of Clear Fork Baptist Church's first meeting house at Stockton Valley (now Albany). But, that's another story for a another time.
* Taken from Patriots and Tyrants by Kevan Crawford, PhD
Monday, July 14, 2008
When I was with the group, Hy-Tyde, in the early and mid 90's, we performed with a lot of major acts, including Hank Jr.'s Legendary Bama Band several times. One night, the bands keyboardist, Billy Earhart (Amazing Rhythm Aces), brought Hank, Jr.'s Korg M1 to the gig. It was the newest and hottest synthesizer on the market. Billy E. was kind enough to let me play it during our performance that night and it was love at first SOUND! As quickly as I could get there, I drove to Far Out Music in Jeffersonville, Indiana and bought one for my very own. I still have it today, almost 15 years later. The Korg M1 was the world's first widely-known music workstation and is the best-selling digital keyboard of all time.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thomas Edison began developing a disc phonograph player and discs after cylinders peaked in popularity in 1905. His aim was to produce a superior-sounding disc that would outperform rivals RCA and Columbia. Edison's phonograph and discs were designed to be an entire system, incompatible with other discs or disc players. The phonographs and discs were touted as being acoustically better than RCA and Columbia. Edison claimed that his records could be played 1,000 times without wear.
Here is a photograph of my 1918 Edison Disc Phonograph. Design of this H-19 Hepplewhite model began at the end of World War I. It was unveiled at a trade show in Detroit in March of 1919. The initial price was $155, but the price gradually rose to $167.50. Models were made until 1922 and unsold H19 models were still available as late as 1927.
My phonograph was originally purchased at Drennen Piano Company in Orlando, Florida between 1919 and 1927. One day, as I was cleaning it, I discovered a shelf underneath the turntable, and on that shelf I found a small white half-filled jar of Edison Grease. Laying beside the jar was a black brush with the piano company's name and address printed on it. The Edison logo was also on the brush, along with the slogan, "The Phonograph With A Soul."
My Diamond disc collection titles list is long and probably boring to most, but the discs I have were recorded between 1912 and 1923, and the artists are American Symphony Orchestra, Andre Benoist, Anna Case, Betsy Lane Shepherd, Billy Murray, Calvary Choir, Charles Hart, Chester Gaylord, Collins And Harlan, Edna White, Elizabeth Spencer, Elliot Shaw, Ernest L. Stevens Trio, Ford Hawaiians, Fred Bacon, Fred East, Fred Hager, Fred Van Eps, Frederick Wheeler, George Wilton Ballard, Harvey WIlson, Helen Clark, Jaudas' Society Orchestra, John Young, Lewis James, Lyric Male Quartet, Maggie Teyte, Metropolitan Quartet, Mixed Quartet, Orpheus Male Chorus, Rae Eleanor Ball, S.W. Smith, U.S.N. And Bugle Squad, Sibyl Sanderson Fagan, Thomas Chalmers, Vasa Prihoda, Venetian Instrumental Quartet, Vernon Archibald, Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra and Walter Van Brunt. They were among the very first recording artists ever.
Click here to go to my Edison Speaking Phonograph Company MySpace page
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
In the latter part of July, Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby issued a proclamation calling for 2,000 mounted riflemen to meet him at Newport within thirty days. The soldiers would march to Lake Erie to assist General William H. Harrison in a fight with British troops and their Indian allies, including the great Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh. On August 31st, Company 53, led by William Wood of Stockton Valley, reached Newport, and the company's 47 men, including 36 rank and file, 11 commissioned officers and nine rifles, prepared for battle.
On the appointed day, 4,000 men, double the number Governor Shelby had asked for, assembled at Newport. With the Governor leading the way, the Kentuckians crossed the Ohio River at Cincinnati, and headed for Lake Erie. On October 5, 1813, General Harrison and his forces crossed over into Canada where they fought and won the decisive Battle of the Thames. It is said William Wood was present when Richard M. Johnson killed Tecumseh.
The soldiers of Stockton Valley returned to their settlement on November 13th. They had left their home and families to defend their country, and had returned as heroes.
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