Thank you to all who have Served Our Country!
Visionaries of the Rock & Roll World
by Amy Lignor
In Cleveland sits a museum completely devoted to the celebration and preservation of rock & roll music. From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s amazing educational programs to their extensive Library & Archives, this organization makes sure that all those who have inspired and entertained the world continued to be remembered.
And now, with six new artists—as well as one individual being recognized with an Award for Musical Excellence—the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is presenting the “Class of 2017.”
Inductee: Joan Baez. If there was a poster child for “charisma” this woman would be it. Her powerful voice continues to give strength to the world, and her words have never gone out of style. “We Shall Overcome,” (1963) was one of many platforms she gave to people who wanted to get their voices heard. She championed civil rights, human rights and stood up against discrimination of any type, as her music career crossed over with ease from folk music to mainstream. Being in the business for over 50 years now, with over 30 albums to her name, Baez still performs all over the world, encouraging one and all to stand up for their beliefs.
Inductee: ELO. The classic rock and roll sound of the Electric Light Orchestra – more popularly known as ELO – remains a mainstay on all classic rock radio stations. Beginning in Birmingham, England in 1970, their first single, “10538 Overture,” was an ode to the Beatles. Little did they know then, however, that their name would also become synonymous with ‘greatness.’ Commercial success was reached by ELO when their fourth album, Eldorado, scored them their first U.S. top 10 single “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” and went on to become their very first gold album. The Beatles were not the only band the U.K. produced that America is still extremely grateful for – ELO is most definitely another.
Inductee: Journey. The amazing sound of Journey sums up rock and roll at its very best. Formed in 1973, the band did well when first starting off by blending jazz with rock. But it was in 1977, when they found Steve Perry, that Journey became a household name. With Perry, they refined their path, releasing one of the biggest hit records of all time – Escape – in 1981. Perry had the voice of a balladeer which caused him to go out and earn a successful solo career until making his way back to Journey in 1995.
Inductee: Pearl Jam. Alternative rock and roll enthusiasts are still screaming at the top of their lungs for this group that puts on the most unpredictable live concerts that any band has ever created. Pearl Jam began in Seattle, Washington, and was well-known only in Seattle’s underground community. In 1991, when they released their debut album, Ten, Pearl Jam went from unknowns to a commercial success, conquering the world. Explosive voices, they mixed everything from heavy metal to hardcore punk to classic rock – blending it all together to create a sound no one had ever heard before. And they are still doing it today!
Inductee: Tupac Shakur. Everyone knows the story. Some are fans; some are not. But whether you liked him on a personal level or not, Tupac’s lyrics made him the perfect anti-hero. Race relations, rap, and the treatment of young black men in America were among a few of the complex subjects that he would touch upon in order to break down the walls of hip-hop and create what some feel is an art form. Using his voice to preach activism and express a broad range of emotions that went from rage to love, his first solo album, 2Pacalypse Now, generated acclaim and brought about controversy. In a career that lasted only five years, Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide, while he became a star on-screen. The impact he and his words had on people continues to this day.
Inductee: Yes. Talk about endurance. This is one band that still understands exactly how to change with the times. If you look back at their long career, Yes has been able to put out records that span hard rock, progressive rock, contemporary and more. The band created epics. Remember “Close to the Edge?” “The Gates of Delirium?” Their sound continues to fill stadiums in the 21st-century. It is amazing to hear Jon Anderson use his perfect alto tenor voice to hit the highest of high notes almost forty-five years after forming the band. Yes is one group that may just make it another fifty years.
And the Award for Musical Excellence goes to…Nile Rodgers. From NYC, it was in 1977 that he formed the band called CHIC, bringing a funk/disco sound to the dance floors across America. By producing Sister Sledge’s superhit, “We are Family,” Nile rose to the top of the charts as a producer and helped to create albums for everyone from Diana Ross to Madonna. Producing film scores, releasing solo albums – this is one man who has yet to even slow down and take a breath.
So there you have it. The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017. And, once again, voters have chosen the ‘best of the best’ to become part of music’s unforgettable history.
The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World
by Amy Lignor
Oh, yes…there are many, many places to travel in order to ring in that New Year in style. Some people have already stated that they see 2017 becoming one of the ‘best of the best’ years the world has ever seen – from technology to business to education to even “going greener” – heck, green has even been chosen as the top color of 2017. But where should you make the memories that last when it comes to ushering in what may just be the best year seen in a long, long time? Well…here are some fantastic locales to pick from which, over time, have shown they are unbeatable when it comes to you and your family having a whole lot of fun!
Valparaíso, Chile offers the largest, most ornate New Year’s Eve show Latin America provides. From a fireworks show that’s launched from 17 different areas along the coast to a party that lasts until the sun rises on that first day of 2017. More than a million travelers make their way to these shores for a beach party that literally has no match.
For those who like skiing or the beauty of the white snow to be their background for New Year’s Eve, Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, throws a citywide celebration. The party is more than memorable, with community bonfires set in order to symbolize the destruction of the troubles that the previous year brought along, while a myriad of fireworks light up the sky. Hotels and restaurants offer a fantastic view of the city; there you can spend a New Year’s Eve party with a huge celebratory crowd before perhaps heading to the hot springs for a warm and welcoming bath.
If you are into the lush beauty of the California wine country, both Napa and Sonoma Valleys are the locations to travel to if you are interested in a quieter, more romantic New Year’s Eve. Many of the large hotels and wineries put on their unique wine-fueled parties in cellars and wine caves. And from candlelit dinners to masquerade balls, the Valleys host them all.
One of the most special and enthusiastic places to spend New Year’s is in Edinburgh. The Scottish put on their Hogmanay celebration lasting four days. Concerts, a huge street party, and a torchlight parade is available to one and all visitors. You will also learn the Scottish way of “first-footing,” where the first guest brings gifts for the rest to celebrate the New Year.
To be the very first to ring in 2017, head to Sydney, Australia. Hosting one of the most humongous parties every year, Sydney puts on a Technicolor waterfront show and televises it to billions around the globe. Lasting all day and all night, families also can enjoy air and water shows as well as the Harbour of Light Parade, which is a real stunner with more than 50 illuminated boats and other vessels to be thrilled by.
Closer to home, the City of Lights, the City that Never Sleeps, Sin City, whatever you choose to call it, is a place not to be missed. What happens there (on New Year’s Eve, anyway), does not stay there. Las Vegas puts on the ultimate party with so many shows, events, concerts, and casino bashes that it would be impossible to take them all in. The unique “Downtown Countdown” is also held at the Fremont Street Experience, and from atop some of the most famous bars/hotels in the world, you can see fireworks shot off up and down the Strip.
You have London, Cape Town, Canada…there are cities out there that put on some of the most amazing and memorable New Year’s Eve events that you can possibly think of. So what is the best one? No matter what list you read or who you talk to, The Big Apple still reigns as being the one that everyone tunes into just in case they can’t be there live and in person. But if you have a choice and can ring in 2017 outside the home, New York City and that famous “ball drop” is truly at the heart of all Americans.
But no matter how you and your family choose to celebrate, just remember to have a happy, safe, healthy New Year, and look forward to 2017!
Source: Baret News
It’s Not Your “Grandma’s” Pumpkin Anymore
by Amy Lignor
As times move forward, technology expands. However, so does the imagination. No, I’m not talking about a new cell phone or animatronic device that creates pumpkins; I’m talking about some seriously cool ways to carve pumpkins that are popping up all over the internet. Unique, awesome, colorful – people across the U.S. have used their imaginations during the 21st century to create some of the most stunning pumpkins you will definitely want to place on your holiday table, or outside on the doorstep, so those tick-o’-treaters coming to your door will be downright amazed.
You’ve seen them on commercials; you use them every day on your computers and cellphones; and NOW you can make your pumpkins look just like them. Introducing, the Emoji Carved Pumpkins. Oh yes…they wink, they smirk, you can even make their eyes into little hearts and allow that candle inside the pumpkin to beam your love for the holiday all over town. (Check out the Bespoke Bride video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fnku-nkgwk. It is super-cute!)
You will fall in love with this one when you see it. It also, unfortunately, will make you want to run to burger King ASAP. Fight that sudden craving, but run right out and get yourself a pumpkin in order to add this decoration to the house. Called the Original Hamburger Pumpkin, this is nothing short of delicious-looking. (http://theoriginalhamburger.com/2012/10/25/diy-hamburger-pumpkin/)
While doing this research, the Diorama Carved Pumpkin appeared on the “best of the best” list. You can use real pumpkins or even plastic pumpkins and props. Either way, these are some of the coolest pumpkin ideas you’ll ever see. And if you choose to go with plastic, just think…you’ll be able to store them and re-use them year after ‘scary’ year. (Check them out at: http://www.eatknitanddiy.com/2013/10/diy-halloween-diorama/)
Now THIS one is not only chic, but it also comes in handy. Just think about opening that door to the witch or the warlock standing outside and handing out your candy from the Candy Jar Carved Pumpkin. This one is pure style, folks. (http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/10/pumpkin-carving-ideas.html)
Something beautiful on the scariest of all evenings? Easy to do when you decide to carve this Starry Night Pumpkin. Vintage, classic – all you need are some carving skills and you will be taking and posting pics of this one all night long. (http://homeologymodernvintage.com/starry-night-pumpkin-luminary/)
Head to the beloved and famous Hallmark, because the company that always has the perfect card for every occasion also has some of the perfect ideas for pumpkin carving. The very best idea discovered during all this research is Hallmark’s Carriage Pumpkin. Using paint, glitter, candy, as well as a big pumpkin so that Cinderella is comfortable while she heads to the ball, your kids will be enthralled with this one. Another on their list of ideas comes in the form of a “Gruesome Twosome.” This is a mummy bride and groom that with some cute little props, you can create a couple who stays together until they…well, rot. All I can say about these unique pumpkins is: “All Hail, Hallmark!” Cards are not the only things these people do really, really well. (http://ideas.hallmark.com/articles/halloween-ideas/pumpkin-carving-ideas/)
Want a creepy forest to decorate the lawn? Then sit down and carve the Scary Forest Pumpkin from HGTV. If you’re really a master chef and own those carving skills, make it even more elite with a few forest creatures running through the scene. (http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/pumpkin-carving-ideas-pictures?s=2&%3fsoc=pinterest)
And if you don’t happen to own carving skills, like me, who can barely cut a straight line, there is a pumpkin project for you that both you and your kids would absolutely love to add to your Halloween decorations. “How to Make Black Cat Pumpkins” at www.hgtv.com/…/handmade/how-to-make-black-cat-pumpkins gives you complete information and directions on how to create kitty cats without having to carve a single thing. The perfect arts and crafts project, all you need is some black exterior paint, markers, glue, construction paper – all the little things that you already most likely have sitting around the house. All you need is the pumpkin!
We all know without pumpkins, Halloween just isn’t Halloween. So head to these sites (or research more, because there are a whole bunch of ideas out there) and light up the night. You’ll have those eerie ghosts and goblins cracking a smile at the enchanted spectacle you make!
Source: Baret News
HELP HAITI TODAY
And Pack Gifts Now for Haitian Kids’ This Christmas
The New York Times headline nails it: Hurricane Matthew Makes Old Problems Worse for Haiti. In Les Cayes, one of Haiti’s hardest hit areas, the 17-year Project Hope – “Pwoje Espwa” – also is hard hit.
Project Hope is a local partner of Cross Catholic Outreach, a 125-acre village and home to more than 300 orphaned and vulnerable children. (Photos show hurricane damage.)
If you’re eager to help, Project Hope is one direct channel. Longer term, Cross Catholic’s Christmas gift outreach, Box of Joy, is preparing now the nationwide collection of toys, hygiene and school supplies for Haitian kids who otherwise will have nothing.
Send immediate aid: crosscatholic.org/haitirelief
Brighten this Christmas for Haitian kids, pack a Box of Joy: crosscatholic.org/boxofjoy
Through Cross Catholic Outreach’s Box of Joy program, you can ensure these children are not deprived of Christmas blessings this year. By packing a Christmas gift …
These hastily shot photos show effects of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, at Pwoje Espwa–a 125-acre village and home to some 300 orphaned and vulnerable children.
The boys’ village is entirely destroyed. More than 200 children have moved to live in a school building.
Source: Baret News
THIS OCTOBER, COBBLESTONE™ MAGAZINE COMMEMORATES CULTURAL ICON
ALEXANDER HAMILTON WITH THE “RAP INTO HISTORY” CHALLENGE
Taking a Page from the Broadway Smash Hamilton: An American Musical, Cobblestone Invites Kids of All Ages to Submit an Original Rap about Their Favorite Person in U.S. History in This Challenge Judged by Showbiz Luminaries
Thanks to a musical biography with irresistible hip hop music and snappy lyrics, Alexander Hamilton is a Broadway star — two centuries after his death. The hottest musical in the country has spawned a best-selling cast soundtrack, a national tour and even #Hamilkids, a passionate group of young fans who’ve overtaken social media. This October, Cobblestone, the award-winning magazine for aspiring historians, focuses on the “ten dollar Founding Father.” To celebrate this exciting new issue, the editors are wondering which other U.S. historical leaders might inspire future Broadway songwriters. So,
Cobblestone is proud to launch the “Rap Into History” Challenge.
Aimed at kids ages 9-14, the Cobblestone magazine “Rap Into History” Challenge invites junior historians and music lovers alike to drop some cool rhymes about a person in U.S history who intrigues, excites, or challenges them. The entrants’ original songs will be judged by a panel of accomplished Broadway producers including six-time Tony® Award winner Frederick Zollo (Once), two-time Tony® Award winner Jim Kierstead (Waitress, Kinky Boots), founder of Broadway for All, Osh Ghanimah, filmmaker Leah Natasha Thomas, producer of 3 ½ Minutes, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards and COBBLESTONE™ editor Meg Cholian. The winning raps will be featured online on the “Rap Into History” mini-site, as well as in the pages of COBBLESTONE™ magazine, perhaps discovering the next Lin Manuel Miranda. Cobblestone readers may now upload their audio or video entries on the “Rap Into History” mini-site at http://www.rapintohistory.c
Along with the challenge entry form, the “Rap Into History” mini-site includes bonus Hamilton content: “Hamilton On Stage” by Kathiann M. Kowalski, which features an interview with Miguel Cervantes, who has been part of the Broadway cast and is now starring as Hamilton in the Chicago production; and, “COBBLESTONE™ Goes to Broadway” in which Kathiann recounts her exciting and inspiring experiences seeing the show in person.
The October issue of Cobblestone is devoted to Hamilton, a Revolutionary War veteran who argued passionately for the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and helped shape the country’s financial system as its first secretary of the Treasury. Inside its pages, readers will learn of Hamilton’s early years in the article “Young Ambition”, his wartime heroics in “Military Glory” and, in the most tragic chapter of his life, young historians will learn of Hamilton’s demise in “An Infamous Duel”.
In conjunction with the “Rap Into History” Challenge, Cobblestone will also be offering a limited-time one-year subscription rate of $21.95 (normally $33.95) Aside from the special rate, which covers 9 ad-free issues per year, new subscribers will also receive the Alexander Hamilton issue for free. Subscription information is available here.