Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Six pick.
Moving into 1986… My first introduction to R.E.M. wasn’t the radio or MTV. It was an odd video channel on Cablevision in the early 80s in my NC hometown (my mom only had basic cable…no MTV). I’ve talked at great length with Max (Powerpop Blogger) about this obscure video channel. I remember two VJs, one named “Dr. John” (not the musician) that wore blue scrubs and one named “Carrot Top” (not the comedian), that, of course, was a red-headed dude. I have no idea where this channel broadcast from but, it was a seriously stripped down operation. It was just rotating VJs, sitting at a desk, talking into a camera…and playing music videos. The first video I recall seeing was Radio Free Europe, the Murmur version, not the Hib-Tone single (I later found out). I was immediately hooked but, totally missed who the band was. (Interestingly, the Hib-Tone version was recorded at Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, NC and the Murmur version was recorded at Reflection Studios in Charlotte, NC.) Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school and I see some of So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) on MTV. I had no idea that this was the same band. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, when Driver 8 came out (another one I like), that a buddy of mine told me who R.E.M. was…a college band out of the University of Georgia (Bulldogs). Every piece of music of theirs that I was lucky enough to catch, I loved. Finally, in 1987, The One I Love broke thru to #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and they seemed to be everywhere. Their highest charting hit was Losing My Religion, getting to #4 in 1991. Out of their entire catalog, which is gi-hugic, Fall On Me wound up being my favorite, with my introductory piece, Radio Free Europe, coming in second. I wish I had seen them live.
Bit of odd trivia…five strange degrees of separation. R.E.M. had a manager by the name of Jefferson Holt. He was with them until 1996 when they got rid of him for sexual harassment. Jefferson Holt is from Chapel Hill and his mother is named Bertha “B” Holt. She was an NC State Rep. from 1975 to 1994, representing my home county (and another one). She was quite the pioneer, advocating for the ERA and married rape victims (which is ironic as hell considering her son’s behavior). My paternal grandmother was in Democratic politics in the 60s, 70s & 80s, running for local office, herself (and on first-names basis with several governors). She campaigned heavily for her favorites and “Bee” Holt was one of them. I met Bee Holt several times as a kid and remember all of her “Bee” 🐝 paraphernalia all over my grandmother’s house.
I guess this makes me closer to R.E.M. than Kevin Bacon! 😉 😊 ~Vic
Released 0n August 11, 1986, it was the third track from the album Lifes Rich Pageant. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #96 the weekend of October 4, peaking at #94 on October 11 before finally disappearing from the chart on October 25. It did better on the Album Rock Tracks, making it to #5 for one week on September 6.
“Of the genuinely new songs, Peter Buck’s basic music track for Fall On Me dated back to July of 1985, when Stipe had written a lyric about acid rain [but], the song had been virtually re-written, melody and lyrics, by the time it came to be recorded. Stipe, who declared in 1991 that “…this may be my favourite song in the R.E.M. catalogue…”, has described the final version as “…pretty much a song about oppression.” Trainspotters might like to know that the counter-melody used in the second verse is actually the song’s original tune.
Johnny Black (2004)
Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.
His Favorite Song
In September of 2017, I paid a visit to a place I had not seen since I was about six years old…the Land of Oz. I remember bits and pieces of the trip. My parents took me in 1972 and two of my strongest memories are of riding on the balloon ride (a converted ski-lift) in a blinding mountain rainstorm and the wet ride in a bus, with no windows, down the mountain, leaving. For years, I wondered what had become of that park.
Originally opening on June 15, 1970, it was a grand place to visit and managed to stay open for a decade, even after a fire in 1975, before falling into disrepair and abandonment. Many things were stolen, vandalized or left to nature.
Appalachian State University had a cultural museum, at one time, that showcased saved pieces from the park including the yellow bricks, some munchkin houses, costumes, parts of the witch’s castle and other assorted props. All artifacts were eventually returned to the park.
In 1991, the park was included in a celebration for Independence Day for Beech Mountain. Watauga High School students dressed in costume. Emerald Mountain, Inc., purchased the property in 1994 and a slow restoration began. An “Autumn at Oz” was started as a reunion for former employees and became a yearly event. By 2010, the park drew 8,000 people.
Land of Oz (Official Website)
A Forum Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files
We have all seen the increasing number of newspaper articles where the scientists and climatologists, who were the main protagonists of “man-made” global warming, withdrawing their research and claiming that governments misquoted them. The outcome being that there is now a great deal of doubt over whether the world is warming up, man-made, or not. Most of the arguments have been used to back up the Oscar winning film by Al Gore called An Inconvenient Truth. This film is now part of UK school curriculums for children over the age of eleven. In 2007, a concerned parent began a court case against the British Government claiming that this film, and its supporting material taught in schools, was full of false claims. The court case eventually ended up in the High Court and was adjudged to be tantamount to propaganda as the claims made could not be substantiated by government scientists. The judges ruled on a number of points and declared that, if the film was shown in schools without “balancing” material being taught alongside it, the teacher could also be breaking the law, as teaching propaganda is not legal (section 406 of the Education Act 1996).
So, what is the real truth about Global Warming?
The climate has always changed in accordance with the amount of energy we receive from the Sun. For example, in Roman times, Britain’s climate was an average of about three degrees warmer than currently and the Romans were able to grow grape vines along Hadrian’s Wall. Since then, the average temperature has risen and fallen several times, sometimes warmer than now, sometimes cooler than now. Between 1000 and 1350, the average global temperatures were about one degree warmer than currently and, is known as the Medieval Warm Period. However, in about 1400, the average temperature began to drop to about one and a half degrees below current levels and, a Mini Ice Age began. This was the reason why the Thames froze over in London and the fashion for winter fayres began. The last winter fayre took place in 1815 (PDF has typos) as the temperature began to rise and the Thames no longer froze. Average global temperatures have been rising ever since.
This date of 1815 has been used as the basis of the argument that global warming is man-made as this date also coincides with a growing use of fossil fuels. If the global temperatures are rising because of the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels then, it should continue to rise as we produced more and more carbon dioxide. However, in 1995 global temperatures stopped rising and have generally dropped ever since (official figures from the Meteorological Office). This period of cooling also coincides with a reduction of the Sun’s activities (called a Maunder Minimum) which is still continuing and hence, the slow drop in temperatures. This is why all of the scientists are back-tracking on their claims. [T]here is no evidence to support them.
So where did the claims for man-made global warming arise?
The first evidence of it being a deliberate attempt to mislead us was uncovered by researcher and presenter Ian R. Crane in a document written by the Club of Rome. This document is called The First Global Revolution and was written in 1991. This document outlined a plan where if humanity was made to believe that fossil fuels were responsible for global warming, a “carbon tax” could be levied which would be used to finance “The New World Order”. This is the same New World Order that every head of government, worldwide, has proclaimed for the last twenty years. In other words, carbon based man-made global warming is a deliberate hoax. This deliberate hoax is confirmed by the hundreds of emails released from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.
I can hear you all whispering “conspiracy theory” behind the back of your hands and giggling about what I’ve said here. Except, the High Court ruling, together with the release of the emails, means that this is not a conspiracy “theory” but, a conspiracy “proof”.
Always “feel” for the truth of a claim before you believe it.
But, we are likely to see temperatures rising again in the near future as the Maunder Minimum comes to an end, estimated in 2011/2012 and the Sun increases its energy output. Other changes are also to come as the Earth’s axis continues to shift to vertical (see The Universal Soul). This shift of axis has recently been confirmed by the Inuit peoples of Canada by their long-term observations of celestial constellations. The Inuit noticed that the constellations are in a different position leading them to conclude that the Earth’s axis is moving towards the vertical.
This observation by the Inuit is also backed up by the observations of hundreds of amateur astronomers. The axis shift also accounts for the Magnetic Pole shift. The Magnetic Pole isn’t actually shifting. That is staying in the same place. It is the relationship between the Pole and land masses that is changing as the Earth’s axis changes. In other words, the Pole is staying put but, it is the Earth that is moving. This axis change will also bring about climate change but, it is more likely to bring about a stable climate than storms and floods.
However, this does not mean that we should abandon our obligations to the planet and to the environment. The strategies adopted by many people, who took their responsibility for responsible use of fossil fuels seriously, needs to continue. Don’t forget that every tree cut down is a tree lost and, all coal, gas and oil used depletes the Earth’s resources, as well as adding to pollution. [S]o, we all need to continue to be aware of the impact of our actions.
Make your footprints as small as possible…carbon or otherwise
© 2011 Chris Thomas
Sixty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on Billboard (pre-hot 100 era) was Oh! My Pa-Pa (O Mein Papa) performed by Eddie Fisher. A lamentation, sung by a young woman grieving the loss of her clown-father, the song was written by Swiss composer Paul Burkhard in 1939 for the musical Der schwarze Hecht (The Black Pike). Reproduced and re-issued in 1950 as Das Feuerwerk (The Firework), the musical was made into a German film, Fireworks, in 1954 starring Lilli Palmer.
Trumpeter Eddie Calvert had a #1 with an instrumental version of the song in the UK at the very same time Fisher’s version was the #1 in the US.
On March 8, 1967, television audiences were treated to a version of the song by Jim Nabors, in character as Gomer Pyle, in the Season 3 episode (#85) “Sing a Song of Papa”. On October 24, 1991, Krusty the Clown sang the song as O mein Papa on The Simpsons in the Season 3 episode Like Father, Like Clown, a twist on the young woman’s sorrow over her father.
This song has been covered by many other artists, including The Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Ray Anthony (last surviving member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra), The Bobbettes, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Björk (as “Pabbi minn”).