1973

Flashback Friday: Joplin Tornado 2011

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Joplin Tornado Image One
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com

Nine years ago, today, an EF5, multi-vortex tornado slammed into Joplin, Missouri. It formed at 5:34 pm CDT and dissipated at 6:12pm CDT. I remember this one, vividly. I had just moved back to North Carolina from Texas and was, literally, still unpacking. I was shocked at the devastation. ~Vic

[This] was part of a larger, late May tornado outbreak and reached a maximum width of nearly one mile […] during its path through the southern part of the city. This particular tornado was unusual in that it intensified in strength and grew larger in size at a very fast rate. The tornado tracked eastward across the city and, then, continued eastward across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County and Newton County. It was the third tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971.

Joplin Tornado Image Two
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com

[The] tornado killed 158 people (with an additional eight indirect deaths), injured some 1,150 others and caused damages amounting to a total of $2.8 billion. It was the deadliest tornado to strike the United States since the 1947 Glazier–Higgins–Woodward tornadoes, and the seventh-deadliest overall. Along with the Tri-State Tornado and the 1896 St. Louis–East St. Louis tornado, it ranks as one of Missouri’s and America’s deadliest tornadoes […]. It was the first F5/EF5 tornado in Missouri since May 20, 1957 [and] was only the second F5/EF5 tornado in Missouri history dating back to 1950.

It also ranks as the costliest single tornado in U.S. history.

Additional Reading & Sources:
May Tornadoes Struck Joplin Twice in the 1970s (Joplin Globe)
Joplin Tornado (National Weather Service)
F5 & EF5 Tornadoes of the US (NOAA)
Tornado Damaged Joplin From Above (The Atlantic)
Joplin Tornado (Tornado Facts Site)
2011 Joplin Tornado (Wikipedia)

Mike Bettes Has A Hard Time

Tune Tuesday: Gladys Knight & The Pips 1974

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Gladys Knight & The Pips Image One
Photo Credit: pilotonline.com

Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart was Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me by Gladys Knight & The Pips. Written by Jim Weatherly, a former quarterback for the University of Mississippi, is the same songwriter that penned what became known as Midnight Train to Georgia, a previous hit for Gladys & her Pips. The song was originally recorded in 1973 by country music artist Ray Price.

Gladys Knight & The Pips Image Two
Image Credit: 45cat.com

From Wikipedia:

Weatherly told Tom Roland in The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits that he wrote the song in 1971 and let his father-in-law first record it as a Christmas present for the latter’s wife. “I thought it was really strange that nobody’d written a song with that title — possibly somebody had but, I’d never heard it — so, I just sat down and let this stream of consciousness happen. I basically wrote it in a very short period of time, probably 30 minutes or an hour.”

Other artists to cover the song were Dean Martin, Steve Lawrence, Andy Williams, The Persuaders and, James Cleveland & The Charles Fold Singers.

The song made it to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics:
I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs
But fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky
Well, I guess you could say that it’s all because of you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Ooo, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Ah, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

Oh, there have been times when times were hard
But always somehow I made it, I made it through
‘Cause for every moment that I’ve spent hurting
There was a moment that I spent, ah, just loving you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Oh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Oh, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
I know, you’re the best thing, oh, that ever happened to me

National Vietnam War Veterans Day

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National Vietnam War Veterans Day Image One

I’ve posted for Veterans Day on November 11 and POW/MIA Recognition Day, the third Friday in September. Today is the national acknowledgement of the final pull-out of US troops in South Vietnam, ending our direct involvement.

From National Day Calendar:

[…] Veterans of this time period are gaining the respect that was not so freely given upon their return. Involving five U.S. presidents, crossing nearly two decades and 500,000 U.S.military personnel, it left an indelible mark on the American psyche. Returning Veterans did not always receive respectful welcomes upon their arrive on American soil. There were 58,000 killed, never to return. National Vietnam War Veterans Day recognizes the military service of these men and women who answered the call to service their country when she needed them. They didn’t make the decisions to go to war.

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced legislation in 2017 to honor Vietnam Veterans with a day on the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam. President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Day Act on March 28, 2017, calling for U.S. flags to be flown on March 29 for those who served.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day Image Two
Photo Credit: history.com

From The History Channel:

[…] in January 1973, representatives of the United States, North and South Vietnam and, the Vietcong signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Its key provisions included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam, the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of prisoners of war and, the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means. The South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new elections were held and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further nor be reinforced.

Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops [left] South Vietnam as Hanoi [freed] the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam. […] before the last American troops departed on March 29, the communists violated the cease-fire and, by early 1974, full-scale war had resumed. At the end of 1974, South Vietnamese authorities reported that 80,000 of their soldiers and civilians had been killed in fighting during the year […].

On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces.

Addendum
I live with a Vietnam Seabee Veteran. He was in-country at Camp Haskins, Red Beach, Da Nang harbor during Khe Sanh, Tet and the Battle of Hue. Thankfully, he was not directly affected but, he was nearly blown out of a guard tower when the USMC Da Nang Air Base was attacked in January 1968. He keeps a wad of shrapnel and an empty grenade in the office as a reminder of what nearly got him. He’s told me stories of returning home and being flipped off by civilians. He was never spit on, like some stories I’ve heard but, he certainly wasn’t welcomed back. ~Vic

Tune Tuesday: Frankie Laine 1969

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Frankie Laine Image One
Photo Credit: toledoblade.com

Fifty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart was You Gave Me A Mountain by Frankie Laine. Written by singer-songwriter and NASCAR driver Marty Robbins, Laine’s version charted the highest of any performer, including Robbins.

From Wikipedia:

The lyrics to the song detail a series of challenges that the singer has endured in his life, including the death of his mother while giving birth to him, [being] deprived of the love of his father [described as] like time spent in prison “for something that I never done” and, the singer’s wife taking their child and leaving. He describes these setbacks as hills that he has scaled in the past but, then states that “this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain” […]

The original third line of Robbins’ song mentioned that he was “despised and disliked from my father” but, Laine requested that this line be changed to “deprived of the love of my father” when he recorded his version, since Laine’s father had died shortly before the recording took place.

Many other artists recorded the song including Johnny Bush, Don McLean, Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, Jim Nabors and Dean Martin. Elvis Presley included this song in the set for his Aloha From Hawaii concert in 1973.

This was the final Top 40 hit of Laine’s career.


 

Lyrics
Born in the heat of the desert
My mother died givin’ me life
Deprived of the love of a father
Blamed for the loss of his wife

You know, Lord, I’ve been in a prison
For something that I’ve never done
It’s been one hill after another
But I’ve climbed them all, one by one

But this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain
A mountain I may never climb
And is isn’t a hill any longer
You gave me a mountain this time

My woman tired of the hardships
Tired of the grief and the strife
So tired of workin’ for nothin’
Tired of bein’ my wife

She took my one ray of sunshine
She took my pride and my joy
She took my reason for livin’
She took my small baby boy

So this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain
A mountain I may never climb
And is isn’t a hill any longer
You gave me a mountain this time

30-Day Song Challenge: Day Seven

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song to drive to…

This is definitely a song to drive to. Back when I had my 5-speed manual, 1985 Toyota Celica Coupe and, then, my 5-speed manual, 1991 Eagle Talon with the racing stripe and dual, overhead cam (both cars coveted for street racing and drifting these days), this song always made me drive fast(er).

“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel…

It’s half past four and I’m shifting gears…”


 

Late add…

Forgot about this one.

“You know, it’s been a long, long road…
Since I packed up and left on my own…”

Movie Monday: The Way We Were 1973

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The Way We Were Image One
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Ok, folks. I am shifting things a bit. What used to be Flick Friday is now Movie Monday! *applause*applause* All blogs change and evolve…and, we’re off…

Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was The Way We Were, a film described as a romantic drama. It’s drama alright. Directed by Sydney Pollack, it is a period piece based upon a novel by Arthur Laurents. He wrote about his college days at Cornell University and his experience with HCUA, which ultimately led to Hollywood Blacklisting. I’m not going to comment any further on the details as it is a little too close to the political nonsense of today.

That being said, Marvin Hamlisch won two Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

Wayback Wednesday: Great Hurricane 1780

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HMS Hector & HMS Bristol Image
HMS Hector & HMS Bristol in the 1780 Great Hurricane Photo Credit: ourplnt.com
Screen Capture Image
Stupidphone screen capture from The Weather Channel

As Hurricane Michael, a Cat 4 monster, slams the Florida Panhandle (making history, today), the Great Hurricane of 1780 is still the deadliest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, with a death toll between 22,000 and 27,000+. Also referred to as the Great Hurricane of the Antilles, the 1780 Disaster and the Huracan San Calixto, it was one of four major hurricanes in the 1780 Atlantic hurricane season, the worst hurricane season in recorded history.

On October 10, the San Calixto Hurricane (official name) struck the island of Barbados with, possibly, 200+ mph wind gusts, making it an extreme Cat 5. The winds were so violent and so deafening that, reportedly, “people could not hear their own voices”. It felled most every tree, stripped the bark off the few left standing and nearly destroyed every house on the island. The specifics of the hurricane’s track and exact strength are unknown as the Atlantic hurricane database starts in 1851 but, historical records from Puerto Rico, Jose’ Carlos Milas (Cuban Meteorologist), NOAA and hurricane research from The University of Rhode Island indicate that the storm moved on to St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and struck Guadeloupe. It turned towards Puerto Rico, hitting Isla de Mona and, later, the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic. The beast finally reached the Atlantic Ocean on October 15 after passing the Grand Turk Island. It passed Bermuda on October 18 and was last seen two days later off the coast of Cape Race in Newfoundland.

From Hurricane Science at The University of Rhode Island:

Coming in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, the 1780 hurricanes caused heavy losses to European fleets fighting for control of the New World’s Atlantic coast. A fleet of 40 French ships capsized off Martinique during the Great Hurricane, drowning approximately 4,000 soldiers. On St. Lucia, rough waves and a strong storm surge destroyed the British fleet of Admiral Rodney at Port Castries. Much of the British fleet was decimated by the three storms, and the English presence in the western North Atlantic was greatly reduced thereafter.

The worst losses, however, were suffered by Vice Admiral Peter Parker and Rear Admiral Joshua Rowley.

Other interesting October 10 history:

1582…..Due to the shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, today does not exist.

1845…..The Naval School (U.S. Naval Academy) opens.

1967…..The Outer Space Treaty goes into effect (yes, this is a thing).

1973…..Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon‘s first Vice President, resigns after pleading guilty to federal income tax evasion.

1985…..U.S. Navy F-14s intercept the Egyptian plane carrying the hijackers of the MS Achille Lauro and force it to land in Sicily. The hijackers are arrested.

Busy, busy day… ~Victoria

Throwback Thursday: Jim Croce 1973

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Jim Croce 1973 Youtube Image
Photo Credit: youtube.com

Forty-five years ago, today, James Joseph ‘Jim’ Croce, American folk rock singer-songwriter was killed when the Beechcraft E18S, that he and five others were aboard, crashed into a tree during take-off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The accident also claimed the lives of musician Maurice T. ‘Maury’ Muehleisen, comedian George Stevens, manager & booking agent Kenneth Cortese, road manager Dennis Rast and pilot Robert N. Elliott. Croce’s final concert was at Prather Coliseum.

He is buried at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania. His singer-songwriter wife, Ingrid Jacobson Croce maintains an historical site of their work. Their son, Adrian James ‘A. J.’ Croce is a singer-songwriter in his own right.

Croce’s Discography

His two number one singles…


 


 

Behind The Music