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.
[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
I saw the Cardinal thru the Den window. It was perched on one of the torches. Just as I took the shot, he took off. I was pleasantly surprised to capture him diving relatively clearly. ~Vic
Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart was A Very Special Love Song by Charlie Rich. It was, also, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart, simultaneously. Written by Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson, it was released as a single in January 1974 from the album Very Special Love Songs. Inspiration for the song came from the soundtrack of the movie The Summer of ’42, composed by French pianist Michel LeGrand. Track listing #8, The Summer Knows, was the lyrics version of the movie’s main theme. Rich was quoted by Tom Roland of Billboard:
“I don’t think I stole from them [at] all but, that’s my favorite theme of all time. There’s not a similarity, and yet, you can understand what I was thinking about and where I was coming from.”
The song garnered a Best Country Song Grammy for songwriters Sherrill & Wilson. Rich won an AMA for Favorite Country Male Artist of 1975 (for 1974) and the album was nominated for Favorite Country Album. He also won a CMA for Entertainer of the Year (1974) and the album won Album of the Year (1974).
Babe, somewhere I know I’m gonna find it, babe
It’ll have my love behind it
And it will be a symphony of all you mean to me
A Very Special Love Song
And babe, if there’s a way you know I’m gonna say it babe
If there’s a melody I’ll play it
I’ll play it through especially for you and all the words are true
A Very Special Love Song
So don’t be surprised if you’re sittin’ alone and you hear it
‘Cause I’m goin’ to sing it to the whole big lonely world
So turn your radio way down low and get near it
And I’ll tell the world I love you, girl
Babe, if there’s an ounce of love I’m gonna give it to you
Babe, if there’s a breath of life I’m gonna live it every day for you
And all the whole night through, singin’ just for you