Awakenings: America & Beyond
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For Presidents Day, Three Presidents Who Could Have Shined

For Presidents Day, Three Presidents Who Could Have Shined | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
A Presidents’ Day toast to three commanders in chief whose time ran out too soon.

Via Kenneth Weene
Sharla Shults's insight:

Most important is making sure our youth know the facts behind President's Day!

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Kenneth Weene's curator insight, February 18, 2013 9:44 AM

Great piece for us history buffs.

Awakenings: America & Beyond
Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, Enrich the Future
Curated by Sharla Shults
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Awakenings: Say it for America

Awakenings: Say it for America | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:

freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."

—Winston Churchill (1874–1965)

 
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Marilyn Armstrong's curator insight, January 15, 2013 8:49 AM

 

Poetry, quotation ... America as she could be and ought to be.

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Awakenings: #1 Hits, One Hit Wonder & a Legend Remembered

Awakenings: #1 Hits, One Hit Wonder & a Legend Remembered | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Music of the day, any day can mesmerize, energize and synergize. It can be the slowest of songs, the fastest of songs and anything in between. It is you, it is me, it is us. It is the laughter, the smiles, the tears all the while reaching the depths of the soul. Accompanying the songs are the memories, remembering the best of times, the worst of times and everything in between. It is happiness. It is sadness. It is life.

Today in Music History: June 30
Sharla Shults's insight:
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...
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Awakenings: Soda or Float...what's the diff?

Awakenings: Soda or Float...what's the diff? | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
When was the last time you had an old-fashioned ice cream soda? Its classic recipe is soda water, flavored syrup and vanilla ice cream. When you explore different recipes of flavorable ice cream sodas some are classified as sodas, while others are recognized as floats. You will even find an ice cream soda float! What's the difference? Some resources post ice cream floats made with various sodas. Another states ice cream soda...the ice cream is put in the glass first, then soda is poured over which could be any flavor soda (root beer, cream, orange, etc), whereas the ice cream float...the glass is (nearly) filled with soda first and a scoop of ice cream is floated on top. Whichever you prefer, just enjoy!

June 30 is another celebration of...

National Ice Cream Soda Day!
Sharla Shults's insight:
There is some conflict as to date on this one. One website recognizes its celebration on June 20, while another today June 30, and yet another reflects July 20. Goes to show you even the Internet can mess up the facts. After all, it is generated by human hands!
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Awakenings: Waffle, Waffle, Waffle!

Awakenings: Waffle, Waffle, Waffle! | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"June 29, believe it or not, is...Waffle Iron Day!

Ah-h-h-h, the waffle iron, probably at one time the most used and now possibly among the least used kitchen appliances you own. Why the change? The invention of the toaster eventually led to pre-made toaster waffles. Then, of course, came the microwave, the ultimate time saver. Yet, if you grew up with the aroma of homemade waffles at seemingly the crack of dawn, you probably still have a waffle iron. Is it packed away? Time to get it out! Let 'waffle, waffle, waffle' be the call of the day as you alert your own kids its time for breakfast, lunch or even breakfast supper!

Sharla Shults's insight:
Celebration is not always just about the food. Sometimes it is the utensils or gadgets necessary to prepare the foods. These go beyond just the iron kettle and the cast iron skillet. Kitchen utensils have a unique history all their own with culinary gizmos, gadgets and gear from the easily recognizable to the virtually "what in the world do I do with this?"
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Awakenings: Let the top down, let's cruise!

Awakenings: Let the top down, let's cruise! | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Today's History Lesson...not just any automobile

What is it about sports cars that is so-o-o-o fascinating? Um-m-m-m...they have sleek body curves, an elegant exterior, fully loaded interior, technology beyond compare and they are totally exciting! Let the top down, let's cruise!

Sports cars resemble a fine wine that just gets better with age. Today's spectacular model is the epitome of that statement.

This Day in History: June 28, 1953
Workers assemble first Corvette in Flint, Michigan
Sharla Shults's insight:
When first introduced in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette was mostly an experiment, one thrown together at that. The initial production was limited to 300 units total, that's right, TOTAL! That meant sales of the entirely new model was NOT a problem.
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Awakenings: ♫The Way We Listen♫

Awakenings: ♫The Way We Listen♫ | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"...whoever has spoken into the mouthpiece of the phonograph, and whose words are recorded by it, has the assurance that his speech may be reproduced audibly in his own tones long after he himself has turned to dust. The possibility is simply startling..." --Scientific American, November 17, 1877

We have come a long way in 138 years in the way we listen...especially to music. With digital technology abundantly prevalent in the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a world without the ability to produce sound recordings. Yet, we all know everything has a beginning...it must start somewhere, some time. In 1877, the first phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison. The phonograph was the first method of recording and playing back sound. This was Edison's first great invention, which gave him international fame. He toured the country with the phonograph and was even invited to the White House to demonstrate the invention to President Rutherfor B. Hayes in 1878.

Sharla Shults's insight:
The phonograph was great at the time but it was only good for a one time only playback and the sound quality was terrible. While Edison was pre-occupied with his electric light research, Bell founded a research laboratory where his cousin Chichester Bell and physicist Charles Sumner Tainter worked on improving the phonograph.
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Awakenings: Extend a hearty handshake!

Awakenings: Extend a hearty handshake! | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
June 27 is...
 Industrial Workers Of The World Day

Do you like the idea of a 40-hour work week? Would you want to go back to the days of employers being forced to offer paid benefits and vacations with no guarantee they will live up to promises made? Think about all the other stuff taken for granted because people in organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World put their lives on the line for the rights of the working man. These are the men and women to whom we offer today's celebration.
Sharla Shults's insight:
Today represents not only celebration, but also historical points of note. What is commonplace in the 21st century has not always been the case. With progress comes change but all too often it is a slow process and comes with a price. 
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Awakenings: ♫ Long live Rock 'n' Roll!♫

Awakenings: ♫ Long live Rock 'n' Roll!♫ | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Elements of rock 'n' roll date back to blues records in the 20s and country records of the 30s. It was not until the 50s when the name branded its place in music history. Its evolution is USA all the way combining African-American genres in the 40s and 50s, such as blues, boogie-woogie, jump blues, jazz and gospel.

Today in Music History: June 26, 1955
Sharla Shults's insight:
Spotlight on: Elvis Aaron Presley never wrote a published song, designed a stitch of clothing, sculpted a single hair style or invented one dance step; but the man forever known as "The King" certainly sang, modeled, coifed and hoofed his way to the pinnacle of fame and fortune the world over.
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Awakenings: Perfect is 'Parfait'

Awakenings: Perfect is 'Parfait' | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Grab a glass or perhaps even a Mason jar. This glass is not to be filled with a beverage but a foodie considered the perfect way to end the day. If all ingredients are not on hand, it's not too late for a quick grocery store run. After all, this is a prime example why some stores are called 'convenient'! You will need granola, nuts, yogurt or pudding, fresh fruits, and whipped cream. If you are not into granola, bits of cookies could be added for extra crunch. There is even a way to watch those calories. Cottage cheese can be substituted for the whipped cream or even your favorite flavored Jello. Whatever you choose, get ready to just layer it!

June 25 is...
National Strawberry Parfait Day
Sharla Shults's insight:
The French word for perfect is 'parfait', and when you add whole grains and fruit to yogurt to create a delicious breakfast or snack treat, you are perfecting yogurt’s already considerable health benefits. Typically, a yogurt parfait consists of layers of yogurt, grains such as granola or crushed graham crackers and fruit. Yogurt parfaits are healthy partially because they are so easy to make. When the fat and calories are low, it can be a healthful choice at fast-food restaurants and coffeehouses.
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Awakenings: Footsteps of History & Trail of Tears

Awakenings: Footsteps of History & Trail of Tears | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"Today's History Lesson...America's Footsteps

From one year to the next, historical events fill the calendar...from the past to the present into the future. Some are remembered on a annual basis, even to having their own day of celebration being designated as a special calendar event. Others are remembered only when reminded of their significance in America's poignant history. 

On this day, June 25, first reflect on historical footprints, tears follow...

It took war for America to win its independence in 1776; then, civil war almost tore a nation apart!"

Sharla Shults's insight:
Also on this day in history. . . June 25, 1876: Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana's Little Bighorn River. . . The Battle of Little Bighorn
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Awakenings: Pray-leen, Praw-line or Prah-lean

Awakenings: Pray-leen, Praw-line or Prah-lean | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
The word for today is "praline". No other spelling other than p-r-a-l-i-n-e. How you pronounce it is an entirely different and somewhat debatable subject matter. Pray-leen, praw-line or prah-lean? In the good ol' USA, the most acceptable pronunciation is "pray-leen". You know...just like something you do in church. Along the East Coast of Georgia, it's pronounced "praw-line" if you please. In Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, the tendency leans more toward the southern “prah-leen” because of the French cultural influence in the area. The candy's namesake after all is du Plessis-Praslin, a 17th century French nobleman. No matter how you pronounce it, praline candy makes for a mighty fine treat.

June 24...
National Pralines Day
Sharla Shults's insight:
Take a really close look at the image above...a closer look! At first glance you might think you are seeing a chunk of praline candy but it actually more closely resembles a hunk of pecan brittle. Let your eyes scan down pass the glazed pecans on top and focus solely on the bottom upon which the sugary goodness rests. Have you guessed it? Not sure? Go to Awakenings...
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Awakenings: "In the pink"...

Awakenings: "In the pink"... | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"In the pink"...an expression that has been around for centuries. The general usage of the phrase has shifted somewhat since its inception. Most contribute its meaning to feeling good or in the best of health. That, however, is not how it got its start.

The earliest citations of 'in the pink' are from the 16th century and, at that time, the meaning was 'the very pinnacle of something', but not necessarily limited to health. The earliest example that I can find of pink being used with that meaning is from 1597 Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, 1597...
Source: Phrase Dictionary

So, what does this tidbit of information have to do with what's happenin' on this day?

June 23rd is...National Pink Day

Sharla Shults's insight:
National Pink Day is a pinnacle of a day where everything should be basking in pink splendor! It's especially a day for the ladies, as pink is usually a girl's color, but guys don't have to feel left out. Tough guys wear pink! Did you know 'pink for girls' and 'blue for boys' is NOT how color gender started? In fact, it was just the opposite...
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Awakenings: 'Lightning' Dessert

Awakenings: 'Lightning' Dessert | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
If already the thought of a chocolate éclair is making you crave this mouth-watering delicate pastry, read on for delightful, delicious, decadent recipes that take you beyond just four bites of pâte à choux and crème pâtissière. Um-m-m-m? Sounds a bit Frenchy. That's because the éclair is a French pastry. Knowing the 'make-up' of the éclair with its gleaming glaze, crispy exterior, hollow soft interior and sweet cream center provides easy translation for those who are not fluent in French: light pastry dough filled with thick, creamy custard.

Do you dare indulge in an éclair?
Pastry light as air, cream filling added flair
Naked and bare it does not stay
with chocolate glaze its mainstay

June 22 is...
National Chocolate Éclair Day
Sharla Shults's insight:
Éclair is the French word for 'lightning'. It is believed that the pastry received its name because it glistens when coated with confectioner's glaze. Not much is known about the origin of the éclair, but it is generally accepted that it originated in France around the turn of the nineteenth century.
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Awakenings: Countdown: 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1

Awakenings: Countdown: 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"With yet another year having passed, it is again time for celebration of America's independence. Let us not forget those who have fought or are fighting for our nation; they are the epitome of the human spitit called freedom! Salute to America in recognition and honor of her independence: July 4, 1776.

Let's begin this year's Countdown:
5 - In God We Trust
4 - Star-Spangled Banner
3 - Pledge of Allegiance
2 - Remember Our Troops
1 - Happy Independence Day

In God We Trust:
Stand by it!"

Sharla Shults's insight:
Having faced acceptance, as well as controversy, this is still the official motto of the United States of America. The phrase appears to have originated in "The Star-Spangled Banner", written during the War of 1812: And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
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Awakenings: Tomorrow is Another Day

Awakenings: Tomorrow is Another Day | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Today's History Lesson...the movies 

Only a few days ago, Today's History Lesson focused on June 27, 1939 when one of the most famous scenes in movie history was filmed. This scene contained a curse word, 'damn', which miraculously, considering the times, passed the firm censors. It was only three years earlier almost to the day when the story that inspired the film is published...finally.

This Day in History: June 30, 1936
Sharla Shults's insight:
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected by 38 publishers before making it to the printing presses. The book won Mitchell the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937.
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Awakenings: ♫Music of Yesterdays♫

Awakenings: ♫Music of Yesterdays♫ | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
It is always so interesting to learn something new about the music of yesterdays...the songs, the artists, the times. So often we listen to the songs but don't take note of what's behind the melody. Each song has a story, each recording artist a biography, each musical era a sign of the changing times. Many of the songs and recording artists started abroad with hits that spanned the mighty oceans. Others became 'top dog' in their countries of origin but never made it big in the US. Yesterday's gone but not the memories! From nostalgic times to modern times, emotions are preserved in music while alterations in rhythm often produce variances from the simplest to the most complex.

Today in Music History: June 29
Sharla Shults's insight:
Many songs have been covered numerous times by multiple artists but there is nothing more nostalgic than listening to the original!
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Awakenings: Buttercrunch, Toffee, or Buttercrunch Toffee?

Awakenings: Buttercrunch, Toffee, or Buttercrunch Toffee? | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Do you know the difference between buttercrunch and toffee? What about buttercrunch toffee? Are they one and the same perhaps? Like most anything it is all a matter of perception or even the source with which you base your decision. Anyway you look at it or what ever you choose to call it, it is delicious. For today, the focus is on the crunchy, buttery, caramelized candy since...

June 29 is...

Almond Buttercrunch Day
Sharla Shults's insight:
Almond buttercrunch was particularly popular back in the days of World War II. It's ease of shipment made it the perfect 'taste of home' to wrap up and send overseas in care packages. Brown & Haley started the tradition of wrapping the candy in their signature gold wrappers and storing them in tins to help keep them delicious and ready to consume on arrival.
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Awakenings: Soaking in Citrus & Spice

Awakenings: Soaking in Citrus & Spice | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
May be late in the date for the daily celebration but better than not at all. If you keep record, mental or written, add it to next year's calendar. Soaking in citrus and spice, this celebration is one of South Florida's favorite dishes to slurp down. It is quite popular and even sold out of the back of trucks.

June 28 is...
National Ceviche Day
(Of course, you can always have it on any day if it is of your liking.)
Sharla Shults's insight:
Sometimes people come up with the most unique ideas. Many taste better with simple additions for presentation that turn out absolutely yummy!, while others are only dressed for appeal without regard to taste, yuk!. It will be your judgement call as to whether the 'presentation' categorizes the Ceviche as yummy or yuk.
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Awakenings: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!

Awakenings: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn! | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Today's History Lesson...the movies

Ah-h-h-h! Where would we be without the movies...a favorite pastime indeed that allows each of us to live out one fantasy at a time. The actors, actresses, scenes, music, excitement and unforgettable movie lines remain vividly ingrained in the scrapbook of the mind.

Today in History: June 27, 1939
Sharla Shults's insight:
On this day in 1939, one of the most famous scenes in movie history is filmed...
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Awakenings: Shout-outs for the Orange Blossom

Awakenings: Shout-outs for the Orange Blossom | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"What is the first image that comes to mind when you hear someone mention orange blossom? There are actually two main “orange blossoms.” One is the most often thing that comes to mind – the flowers of the orange tree. The second one, and less well known or obvious, is a mixed drink. Of course, it doesn't stop with just two. If you live in Florida, you are very familiar with the Orange Blossom being Florida's state flower. There is also the light, golden aromatic orange blossom honey and then, there is Johnny Cash! Whatever the image, get ready to celebrate... #NationalOrangeBlossomDay!

June 27 is...
National Orange Blossom Day"

Sharla Shults's insight:
The delicate orange blossom is well known not only for its sweet as sunshine fresh fruit but also for its intoxicating fragrance. Because of the pollinating bees, we all get to enjoy that unique honey with a faintly orange flavor. Yum! The blossom is also used as a additive to tea, incense, cosmetics, perfumes and in decorative floral arrangements.
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Awakenings: Oh-so Rich & Creamy Smooth

Awakenings: Oh-so Rich & Creamy Smooth | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

The Word of the Day: CHOCOLATE! We have already celebrated a bunch of chocolate days but it is a known fact that one cannot have enough chocolate!

June 26 is...

National Chocolate Pudding Day

Did you know that dessert puddings can be traced all the way back to the 17th century? During that time, a “pudding” was actually a very moist, dense cake (similar to a modern-day bread pudding or plum pudding). The word "pudding" itself can be a generic term for "dessert".

Sharla Shults's insight:
To celebrate National Chocolate Pudding Day, make your own homemade chocolate pudding to share with family and friends! OR really surprise everyone with a... DIRT CAKE!
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Awakenings: ♫Chords of Emotion...Happiness, Tears & Memories♫

Awakenings: ♫Chords of Emotion...Happiness, Tears & Memories♫ | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
The love of music falls within one specific genre or perhaps many different genres. We are selective according to moods that begin at dawn as we face the music that lies ahead within the day and end with those that perhaps offer calmness or tranquility at twilight. Music strikes many chords of emotion, wielding both happiness and tears but most often brings out the memories stored in the scrapbook of our minds, then, pauses for the right moment to turn the page for a new memory.

Today in Music History: June 25
Sharla Shults's insight:
Enjoy the memories or add a new one... Then, revisit Tragedy on the Music Scene... A Legend Remembered: 2009 - Michael Jackson died at the age of 50, after suffering heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills.
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Awakenings: Color TV & Catfish

Awakenings: Color TV & Catfish | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"June 25 is...National Color TV Day


There is an innovation most of us take for granted in the 21st century: Television. From the time of its first introduction, it was a tremendous hit! Radios were already prominent in the home, now to put an image with the audio...well, unbelievable at the time but factual!

June 25 is also...National Catfish Day


Think back to all the fish stories you have heard, the ones where the common line is "I caught one thi-i-i-is BIG!" Of course, you must hold onto the vision of the person relating the fish tale doing so with outstretched arms as far as he (or she) can reach. We are thinking here more on the line of lake fishing, instead of deep-sea fishing where one of the fish species most fun to catch is the catfish. In the United States, National Catfish Day is a national observance each year on June 25 celebrating “the value of farm-raised catfish”."

Sharla Shults's insight:
Awakenings posts a dual celebration so be sure to scroll & read all the way through. Otherwise you might miss the foodie fun associated with the second celebration of the day.
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Awakenings: Women of the Wild West

Awakenings: Women of the Wild West | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

"Today's History Lesson...a look into the Women of the American West


"These women of the Wild West shot down the view that life as a female pioneer was about cooking, sewing, cleaning and caring for children." ~Women of the Wild West

When we study or reflect back on historical events, we do not necessarily examine only what happened on that particular day. Everywhere in the history books at some point in time lies a piece of someone's story. In the stories of the wild, wild West lie many phenomenal women...the nonconforming women, those who were mavericks, loners, adventurers, eccentrics with a will to stand on their own and stronger will to survive. It took guts for women to traverse cross country often leaving behind an aristocratic Eastern life of high society settling for a much different way of life in the Western Frontier. At the heart of their adventure was always a true love!"

Sharla Shults's insight:
For more to their story, check out the links @awakenings!
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Awakenings: ♫The 12 Year Old Genius♫

Awakenings: ♫The 12 Year Old Genius♫ | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it

Some of our most awesome bands and musicians began their musical career at early ages. Many accompany their talented parents and/or siblings or have proteges that guide them along the way. Today's spotlight shines on a child prodigy blinded as a result of receiving too much oxygen in the incubator as a premature baby. Raised in inner-city Detroit, he was a skilled musician by the age of 8 years old. His first instrument was a harmonica given to him by his uncle, he would later be given a set of toy drums. Have you seen him play the drums? Amazing, absolutely amazing! Then, he mastered the piano! He was just 11 years old when he was discovered by Ronnie White of the Motown band the Miracles.

Welcome into the Spotlight...

"Little" Stevie Wonder

Sharla Shults's insight:
Born Steveland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, he was newly name "Little Stevie Wonder" in 1962. Stevie Wonder's early gift for music shone first with a church choir in Detroit, Michigan, where he and his family had settled when he was 4 years old. As mentioned in the beginning, he amazed everyone with a bevy of instruments, including the harmonica, drums, and piano, all of which he taught himself before age 10.
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Awakenings: Trippin' on Music

Awakenings: Trippin' on Music | Awakenings: America & Beyond | Scoop.it
Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, the adage prevalent in the 60s and 70s continues well into the 21st century. The drugs still seem to monopolize the scene with the sex and rock 'n' roll tagging right along.

Musicians face many obstacles and circumstances that demand immediate decisions along with fame, fortune and success: pressure, money and a freestyle life allow access to all manner of chemical substances. The history of popular music is chock full of stories of musicians and singers making questionable decisions in pursuit of misadventure and addiction, and, in some cases, losing everything as a result, leaving cautionary tales in their wake.


Today in Music History: June 21
Sharla Shults's insight:
Agree or disagree? Rock 'n' Roll is the devil's music? Definitely the feeling of most parents in the 50s and 60s. Yet, it laid the foundation for many genres of music yet to come!
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