Goodnight everyone, and have a CELEBRATE AMERICA weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.


Conflict between the colonies and England was already a year old when the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Lee’s words were the impetus for the drafting of a formal Declaration of Independence, although the resolution was not followed up on immediately.

On July 1, 1776, the Continental Congress reconvened, and on the following day, the Lee Resolution for independence was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies, New York not voting.  The process of revision continued through all of July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4, when the Declaration was officially adopted. Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two — Pennsylvania and South Carolina — voted No, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock’s signed his name “with a great flourish” so England’s “King George can read that without spectacles!”
An honor guard stands next to the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. Photo: CNN

This week, it’s all about patriotic music to get you in the mood for the big birthday.

We begin with “The Liberty Fanfare,” composed in 1986 by John Williams to commemorate the rededication and 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. There’s an opening celebratory presentation,  before a rousing conclusion.

The Colorado Symphony performs.

Now another John Williams composition. It’s from the classic World War II motion picture, “Midway” in 1976. Listen to a powerful and riveting march from an album that’s perfect to celebrate Independence Day.

America is simply the greatest nation in the entire world.

At the EPCOT theme park in Walt Disney World, a 30-minute show featuring Audio-Animatronics, film and music bring America’s past to life at the American Adventure Pavilion.

Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain are the tour guides in a theater with elegant Corinthian-style chandeliers, archways and columns. The audience sees key historical events on a 72-foot screen like the landing of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, industrialization and the Great Depression.

And there’s inspirational music, too.

America, spread your golden wings
Sail on freedom’s wind, across the sky.
Great bird, with your golden dreams
flying high, flying high.

Restless one in a world of change,
keeping dreams aloft in the rain.
Spirit free, soaring through the clouds
of time, of time.

America, you must keep dreaming now
Dreaming the promised vow of your pioneers
America, keep on flying now.
Keep your spirit free.
Facing new frontiers.

Restless one in a world of change,
Keeping dreams aloft in the rain,
Spirit free, soaring through the clouds,
Of time, of time,

Spirit free, you must keep flying now,
Reaching to touch the sky, towards the winds of change,
Oh restless one, search for brighter day,
Soaring through stormy skies, with you’re head held high,

America, spread your golden wings
Sail on freedom’s wind across the sky.
Great bird with your golden dreams,
Flying high, flying high,
Flying high, flying high!

Next, you probably recognize this theme but may not know the title.

The tune “Colonel Bogey” was made famous in the British film “Bridge on the River Kwai.”

It was written by the bandmaster FJ Ricketts, who often wrote march tunes under the name of Kenneth Alford.  Ricketts was the son of a Cockney coal merchant in Shadwell, in London’s East End, and when his parents died he was put into the army as a boy soldier and sent out to India.

When it became quite evident Ricketts possessed musical talent he was sent to the Army School of Music at Kneller Hall, Twickenham, and soon became bandmaster for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

The story goes that he wrote “Colonel Bogey” after playing golf with the colonel of his regiment at Fort St George in Scotland. Instead of shouting “Fore!”, his commanding officer would loudly whistle two notes to those playing ahead. Ricketts added more notes for the final tune. The title is a humorous reference to his colonel’s inability to score par on the golf course.

“Colonel Bogey” has been adopted by former POWs of the Japanese as a theme song.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend and 4th of July.

Mickey Newbury was considered one of the best and most influential songwriters of his time, the late 60’s and early 70’s. 1968 was a monumental year as Newbury garnered three number one songs and a number five on four different musical charts:

1) Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) on the Pop/Rock chart by the First Edition (#5)

2) Sweet Memories on the Easy Listening chart  by Andy Williams (#1)

3) Time is a Thief on the R&B chart by Solomon Burke (#1)

4) Here Comes the Rain Baby on the Country chart by Eddy Arnold (#1)

No one’s done it ever since. A possibly even bigger feat, though, was still ahead.

From an essay on Newbury’s own website:

Imagine merging Civil War era songs of the North, South and African-American slaves into one unified movement. On a starry evening in May of 1970 while appearing on stage at the Bitter End West, Newbury did just that. The impromptu arrangement just came together on that magical night and in one moment of brilliant inspiration.

We get more details from Australian blogger Geoffrey McDonnell who writes about that night backstage at the Bitter End West in Los Angeles.

It was a time of frequent newspaper headlines about whites in newly integrated Southern schools insisting on Dixie as the school fight song, and blacks protesting because to them it was an anthem of white supremacy.

Newbury was annoyed because he saw nothing in the song itself that should make it the exclusive property of one-time segregationists, and on a whim he announced that he would sing it that night just to prove a point. The Bitter End’s manager, Paul Colby, was alarmed at the prospect — at first laughing nervously on the off-chance that Newbury was joking. But when he realized that the star of the evening was absolutely serious, he began explaining with rapid-fire urgency that Dixie was not exactly the type of song that a bunch of radicalized young Californians had turned out to hear.

No matter. Newbury was undeterred, and when he got onstage he ran through part of his normal set, and then with a gentle strum of his guitar, he began to sing the words, ”Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton.” But instead of belting them out in the rebel-yell style that everybody was accustomed to, he plucked the notes slowly on his old guitar, and his voice took on a rich, haunting quality that called up a different set of images — visions not of a mean-spirited South, but of a poignant South, a land caught in the grips of tragedy and suffering for 150 years.

There was power in the transformation, and it grew even stronger as Newbury shifted in midnote to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and then to an antebellum gospel song called All My Trials. Before the impromptu trilogy was completed, it had become one of the most supercharged events in the history of the Bitter End West.

“An American Trilogy” has been called “an indelible, essential work of the American songbook,” and “a great slice of Americana” that “bonds minority, Southern and Northern issues into a common lament.”

Brian Hinton wrote it has become “the ultimate example of Americana. It somehow evokes the birth of modern America.”

Newbury died in 2002. He was 62.

A remarkable 530 different artists or groups have recorded “An American Trilogy,” but none more famous than Elvis who made it a staple of his live concerts. Elvis’ rendition is stirring and emotional to say the least and his fans know it very well.

“If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” was released in 2015.

From the website sonymusic:

As an exciting revisit of Elvis’ work, ‘If I Can Dream’ was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with acclaimed producers Don Reedman and Nick Patrick. The 14-track album features Elvis’ most dramatic original performances augmented with lush new arrangements by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus a duet with Michael Buble and appearances by Il Volo and Duane Eddy.

“This would be a dream come true for Elvis,” Priscilla Presley says of the project. “He would have loved to play with such a prestigious symphony orchestra. The music… the force that you feel with his voice and the orchestra is exactly what he would have done.” Don Reedman also commented, “Abbey Road Studios and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are as good as it gets and Elvis deserves as good as it gets.”

The producer of this homemade video took video clips of the King and matched them to the American Trilogy track. Normally this technique doesn’t work all that well but this is exceptional.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Duane Eddy was brought in to add his signature sound.

The force. It’s there. Prepare to be blown away.


Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: The Summer of Love – “You better find somebody to love”

Throughout this summer, a look back 50 years at the Summer of Love in 1967.

“On our first U.S. tour we were in cities where all the kids came in prom gowns and tuxedos. Then we came back to Iowa a year later and they were having nude mud love-ins and everybody had their faces painted.”
Paul Kantner, guitarist, vocalist and founding member of the Jefferson Airplane

Kantner and Marty Balin met in 1965 at a San Francisco nightclub called the Drinking Gourd and decided to start a folk-rock band. They were discovered by Bill Graham, who managed and promoted the group. When he opened his legendary Fillmore Auditorium, the Jefferson Airplane was the first headliner.

But it wasn’t until original lead singer Signe Anderson was replaced by Grace Slick that the group became successful beginning with” White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love” in 1967.

Jefferson Airplane, at the Human Be-In; Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14, 1967. Photo: Henry Diltz / Morrison Hotel Gallery

The group played at the historic Monterey Pop Festival on June 17, 1967.

One week earlier they performed at what is considered America’s first rock festival, The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on June 10 and 11, 1967 at the 4,000-seat Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre high on the south face of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. Here they are onstage.

Photo: Henry Diltz

And a week before that Jefferson Airplane appeared before a nationwide audience on American Bandstand. The LA Times wrote earlier this year the program “captured the stark contrast between the button-up charm of Clark and the freaks onstage.”

From 1969 to 1975, Paul Kantner and Grace Slick were in a relationship, which resulted in the birth of their daughter China.

In 1974, the name of their group was changed to Jefferson Starship. The group would split in 1985, with Slick remaining in the newly-renamed Starship.

Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. The Hall of Fame website wrote, “Their heady psychedelia, combustible group dynamic and adventuresome live shows made them one of the defining bands of the era.”

Kantner died in January 2016 of multiple organ failure and septic shock after suffering a heart attack. He was 74.

Grace Slick now paints.

Health Care developments & the 1 key step for tax reform

This Week in Washington: Bringing you the Business of DC
The Takeaway
In Session
In Session

Programming Note: The Takeaway is taking the 4th off next week, and we’ll be back in business when Congress gets back in town the following week.

The Week Ahead for Health Care

Last Thursday, Senate Republicans released a discussion draft of legislation to tackle the growing Obamacare disaster, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Here’s what’s next: This week, the Senate continues to work through differences to secure passage of the health care legislation.

Tuesday afternoon, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that any votes would take place after the July 4th recess.

🚌 Field Trip: GOP Senators headed up to the White House Tuesday afternoon to powwow with President Trump about a path forward for passing the health care legislation.

What you need to know: Through all of this, we are encouraging the Senate to move forward and ultimately pass this legislation.

🚨 The U.S. Chamber is Key Voting the Better Care Reconciliation Act, because this legislation is vital to restoring choice, flexibility, and innovation to America’s health care markets and growth to our economy. Read the full key vote letter and then encourage your Senator to keep their seat at the table and work towards getting the Better Care legislation passed.


By acting, the Senate would take the important steps to:

  • Promote real and sustained economic growth by repealing burdensome Obamacare mandates and taxes.
  • Inject greater flexibility and choice for insurance options, especially for individuals and small businesses.
  • Stabilize the imploding Obamacare markets that are hurting families and businesses across the map.

Read more about how the Better Care Act will work to improve America’s health care system and fuel economic growth:

📞 Invitation: Join us to hear from HHS Secretary Tom Price for a live health care update on Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT. Lines are limited, so please sign-up here and we’ll follow-up as space is available.

Important reminder from David Drucker over at the DC Examiner: “Every big bill that passes has a moment(s) where it looks dead. It’s almost a requirement.”

The Takeaway: There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs on the road to successfully passing real health care reform. Republicans need 50 votes from their 52 member majority to get the legislation over the finish line.

Unlocking Tax Reform

The One Step to Get Closer to Tax Reform. This summer, there’s one clear action Congress can take to show they’re serious about taking up and passing tax reform this year.

Pass the 2018 Budget Resolution.

The details: By passing the budget this summer with something called “reconciliation instructions” for tax reform, legislation tackling tax reform only needs a simple majority to pass the Senate and avoids a filibuster.

Ask your elected officials to pass the 2018 Budget and move us closer to real and lasting tax reform this year.


Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence have voiced their commitment to passing comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform, and it’s important to remind the rank-and-file Members of Congress that we’re counting on them.


The Takeaway: No other reforms rise to the importance of pro-growth, comprehensive tax reform.

Comprehensive tax reform can transform America’s underperforming economy into a high performance growth engine, creating jobs, raising wages, and strengthening the global competitiveness of America’s workers and businesses.

The True Spirit of Enterprise

We Mean Business. Linda McMahon, the Small Business Administrator, joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a conversation on Monday about revitalizing the spirit of entrepreneurship in America. Worth a Watch:


The Court Rests. The Supreme Court ended their spring term on Monday, handing down a number of decisions as they take a break until October. While it was rumored Justice Kennedy was considering announcing his retirement, he’s staying on.

Bring the Energy. As Axios reports, the White House is marking energy week to wrap up June, with the Administration highlighting recent deals to export more U.S. natural gas to places like Poland and India. Read what else is on the docket.

Here at the U.S. Chamber, we just celebrated 10 years of fighting for American energy with the Institute for 21st Century EnergySecretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke joined the occasion, highlighting the Trump administration’s continued fight against the entrenched barriers to energy production.


File in the “We Warned Them” Department. Seattle, WA, recently passed legislation to increase their minimum wage to an eventual $15 an hour, and it’s now at $13.

But according to a new study, minimum wage workers are already getting $1,500 a year less due to the minimum wage ordinance! Read more in the Washington Post:

“The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, […] On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.” 

Welcome, Modi. President Trump welcomed India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House on Monday.

In case you missed it, Prime Minister Modi share his thoughts in the WSJ on the U.S.-India relationship, seeing both countries as “engines of growth and innovation” and a “convergence of interests and values.”

Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Today’s highly interesting read (06/30/17): Tuning Out the Fake News Media

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Today’s read comes from Michael Reagan. Here’s a brief excerpt.

I’m waiting for the fakers at CNN, MSNBC or the New York Times to do a hard-hitting investigation exposing how the president ties his shoes wrong every morning.

It sure would be nice if there were a place to go where you could just get honest news and analysis, not fake news and opinion.

But what paper can you read, or what station can you watch, where you can trust what you are told?

The entire column, and it’s a dandy, is here.

The next step to passing tax reform

Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Securing real tax reform is within reach in 2017, but Congress must take the first step this summer.

With majorities in Congress committed to pro-growth tax reform and a President who has clearly outlined principles to make our tax code more competitive, now is the time to act. 

But just talking about tax reform won’t get it passed into law. Just talking about tax reform won’t lower our rates, won’t make American businesses more competitive, and won’t simplify our tax code.

That’s why I wanted to highlight the next step Congress must take to get us to tax reform:

Pass the 2018 Budget Resolution this summer.

This simple act unlocks the path. By passing a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions for pro-growth tax reform, the Senate only needs a simple majority to pass fundamental tax reform later this year.

That’s why we here at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are urging Congressional leadership to act swiftly and pass this budget. We’re proud to be joined by the major voices for America’s job creators including the National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business, and the Business Roundtable.

Read our full letter here, and then add your voice by sending the message directly to you elected officials.

Congress isn’t going to take up and pass tax reform until they hear that it is the priority of you, the American taxpayer. Don’t let those efforts stall out this summer.

– Rob


Rob Engstrom
SVP and National Political Director
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

PS: 2017 is the year for tax reform, and passing a budget is the first step. Tell Congress to act. 

Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

I think the chairs SHOULD be taken and understood to be “free”. The saving of a spot is ridiculous.

The above comment was made on a Franklin social media site in reference to people putting out chairs to secure a spot for the Independence Day Parade here in Franklin.

Here’s another beauty:

Seriously though, Steve Olson, can’t we put a stop to this parade spot squatting? Seems to be worse every year.”

Steve Olson is our mayor.

The evil no good rotten Fischers placed their chairs today.

Chairgate 2017 is now officially underway.

Chairgate was one of my top Franklin news stories of 2016.


Today’s highly interesting read (06/29/17): Will the media learn from CNN’s mistakes? Prepare to be disappointed

CNN has screwed up mightily as of late, so bad that heads have rolled. The media malfunctions are a sad sign of the times.

The Hill opines:

When a negative “bombshell” is expected on an almost-daily basis, we’re no longer in the “measure three times, cut once” mentality of Woodward and Bernstein and Watergate reporting. Those men would work on stories for weeks and months before going to print, in an effort to make them bulletproof.

In 2017, there’s a rush to get these stories out without basic blocking and tackling that didn’t exist in the pre-Twitter, pre-online news era.

Read the entire piece here.

OMG, it’s time for another Franklin Civic Celebration

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Good grief.

Here it comes again.

Franklin’s degenerative four-day festival.

They call it a celebration. I call it an exhibition of all that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

Where do I possibly begin?

Let’s start with people, the absolute number of humans.

Folks all assembling, congregating in one single concentrated area. That’s just too much.

We don’t want these masses descending upon us. We’d prefer a nice city where no one visits and no one comes to see anything we’ve got going on here, whatever it is.  Let them go anywhere else, just not here.

When they venture to the celebration, they will do so in cars. That’s increased traffic. Let’s make this emphatically clear. We in Franklin don’t want any more traffic in our humble city limits. What would people think we are? Cudahy? Disgusting!

Who knows who or what will be motoring into Franklin. I shudder to think of the possibilities.

More traffic means more bright lights. Totally a problem when we’re trying to enjoy our quiet lives in our closed up homes after 8:00.

Not to mention the noise. The noise is enough to drive us out our minds. It’s like torture. Make it stop! Make it stop!

There’s loud music.

And I’m not talking jazz ensembles or string quartets. You know. Quality stuff.

LOUD music.

Talk about noise. Those damn helicopters!

Carnival rides. Are they even safe? Seriously. Totally beneath our Franklin.

They’re going to hand out ice cream after the parade. What the hell? They haven’t heard of childhood obesity?

And this goes on for four (4) days.

Culminated by that explosion of tax dollars into the air dissolving into nothing.

Fireworks…“an exercise in pomposity, aggression, triumphalism, and hubris. When fireworks blow up, the only things up-blowing are the fireworks themselves. There is no drama.”

My advice: Avoid this disruptive atrocity.

Stay at home.

Better yet. Leave town during the Civic Celebration. Better than hiding in your house and taking all those extra showers.

So much for warning the public

I’m posting around 7:50 Wednesday night.

I’m on the computer with MeTV and Andy Griffith in the background.

It’s been interrupted several times to say:

The National Weather Service in Sullivan has issued a  severe thunderstorm warning for…

And that’s where it totally broke off. Back to Andy and Opie.

Excuse me.




No sirens went off. What am I supposed to, dear Lord?

Maybe I should have bought that weather radio.