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.
The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
Many men, however, continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”
During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day.
However, the Great Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.
In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.
We have a tradition around this time of dipping into my father’s record collection for some interesting selections I hope you’ll enjoy.
Back in the late 1960’s Tom Jones had a TV variety show. So did Engelbert Humperdinck.
Dad liked Tom Jones, but not as much as Engelbert. Dad said Jones, unlike Humperdinck, “screamed.”
Dad never bought a Tom Jones album, but he bought this one that featured a song he really loved.
My father served in the Army during WWII. He nearly had his legs blown off in Australia. Dad and the legs, though severely burned, survived.
Not surprisingly, given the era, Dad was a fan of the big bands.
In 1961 a cast of all-star studio musicians released an album of standards and classics.
They were sponsored by the Four Roses Distillers Co.
Listen to this jumpin’ swingin’ track that includes a surprise ending.
The above is Prince William Pitt Leleiohoku II, credited with writing the original melody for what would become the Hawaiian War Chant in the 1860’s. He must have been very young when he did. The prince died of rheumatic fever in 1877 at the age of 23.
I was blessed to have wonderful caring, supportive parents…who were also cool.
Mom was cool.
Dad was cool.
Dad had the album you’ll see below. Cool.
But Mom bought it for him. Even cooler.
Here’s a track that’s a bit raw, but fun!
Dolores Erickson is the model. She wore a bikini with the shoulder straps pushed down and hidden, and that’s mostly shaving cream she’s wearing. Real whipped cream would run and be too smelly under the hot lights used by the photographer. Erickson is wearing the real stuff on her head and on the index finger she touched to her lips.
Did I mention my dad was cool?
I will always think so, even if he and the family would gather around the TV on Saturday nights and watch the Lawrence Welk Show.
Welk’s orchestra and singers often did versions of contemporary recordings. Another album in my father’s collection…
Hard to imagine Welk and his champagne music makers doing Sonny and Cher.
Here are the original artists of one of those tunes on the above LP. The group is from Australia. The song is from a 1966 movie of the same name and was nominated for an Academy Award. The single made history when the group became the first Australians ever to reach the No.1 spot in the USA.
Lovely Judith Durham is the lead singer.
The TV performance is broadcast from Montreal’s Expo ’67.
After many, many years I’ve evolved, having learned that my father’s music wasn’t so bad after all.
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
Happy Father’s Day.
Dad had at least one album by Johnny Puleo and his Harmonica Gang. Born a dwarf, Puleo stood 4 feet 6 inches tall.
To simply post a track from one of Dad’s albums wouldn’t do the group justice. You have to see them in action.
Here they are with a comedic legend.