“Auld Lang Syne” by Robbie Burns.

robert_burnsThe most commonly sung song for English-speakers on New Year’s eve, “Auld Lang Syne” is an old Scottish song that was first published by the poet Robert Burns in the 1796 edition of the book, Scots Musical Museum.
Burns transcribed it (and made some refinements to the lyrics) after he heard it sung by an old man from the Ayrshire area of Scotland, Burns’s homeland.
It is often remarked that “Auld Lang Syne” is one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to. “Auld Lang Syne” literally translates as “old long since” and means “times gone by.”
The song asks whether old friends and times will be forgotten and promises to remember people of the past with fondness, “For auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet.
“The lesser known verses continue this theme, lamenting how friends who once used to “run about the braes,/ And pou’d the gowans fine” (run about the hills and pulled up the daisies) and “paidl’d in the burn/Frae morning sun till dine” (paddled in the stream from morning to dusk) have become divided by time and distance—”seas between us braid hae roar’d” (broad seas have roared between us).
Yet there is always time for old friends to get together—if not in person then in memory—and “tak a right guid-willie waught” (a good-will drink).


But it was bandleader Guy Lombardo, and not Robert Burns, who popularized the song and turned it into a New Year’s tradition. Lombardo first heard “Auld Lang Syne” in his hometown of London, Ontario, where it was sung by Scottish immigrants.
When he and his brothers formed the famous dance band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, the song became one of their standards. Lombardo played the song at midnight at a New Year’s eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, and a tradition was born.
Source: New Year’s Traditions

“I saw the Beatles in 1964.”


Yes, 18 June 1964 was the date my two sisters and I caught the bus from Matraville to Rushcutters Bay, Sydney town, to see The Beatles – “see” being the operative word, because they were very hard to hear above the incessant screaming – mostly from the girls, of course.
The supporting acts – Johnny Devlin, Johnny Chester, The Phantoms, Alan Field and Sounds Incorporated (an instrumental band) warmed up the Sydney Stadium crowd to mixed reactions – but at least you could hear them.
That all changed when The Beatles were introduced!
My sisters were either side of me, one screaming for Paul, the other for George. The Beatles played 12 songs – their time on stage was around 35 minutes.
The Sydney Stadium (known as the Old Tin Shed) was built in 1908 and used predominantly as a boxing venue.
It had tiered wooden seats and was hot as hell. It was occasionally used for music concerts.
Reports stated Frank Sinatra hated performing there and Bob Dylan almost passed out in the oppressive heat.
It had a revolving stage, where it would move around about halfway before rotating back, giving most fans a reasonable look at the artist.
The photo below is from the 18 June concert. Part of the meagre PA system is visible next to John – a far cry from the huge PAs pumping out megawatts these days by artists.
415. . . but we came away from the concert saying how fab The Beatles were, but deep down we knew we had barely heard them.
At least we can say “we were there”!
The official program is now a collector’s item and can fetch some decent money in mint condition.
Yes, I still have mine, but I wish I had also kept the tickets. art-353-668950294-300x0
The Beatles’ music, to me, is still just as fresh today as it was back then – is still played frequently on the radio – and still recorded by many artists around the world.
I challenge anybody to name an artist of today whose music they think will still be popular and played regularly 50 years from now. Come on, name one – there is no solo artist or group to touch the talent or popularity of The Beatles – there never has been and, probably, there never will be.

One thing’s for sure – I know I won’t be around in 50 years time to hear any of today’s artists’ or groups’ music which may be played on the radio – or whatever the listening apparatus will be then!
Stolen Biro

“Employees Playtime”.

Sometime during the 1960s the Old Guv staff would all go down to the Railways Institute for our “Employees Playtime.”

Anyone could get up on the stage and dance, sing or play a musical instrument.img_0093-scaled500For example, Paul Ernest Raby, born 3 July, 1939, in The Motherland and nicknamed “Wing Nut” or “The Rabbi” would sing his signature tune, “I Talk to the Trees.”

Mabel Brooke would pound away on the piano and Eric Swann minus burning cigarette would play a tune on his Harmonica.5251025070_362cd639d1_zPhoto: The Railways Institute Brass Band, early 1960’s.
But, the highlight was a Cross dresser named Ricky LeRoy who would dress up in female gear and mime the song “Wolverton Mountain.”
The winner was a “pretty boy” from the front office (I can’t remember his name) who would play guitar and sing Folk Songs.
He had appeared on Channel 9’s “Adelaide Tonight” a few times.
He was always a class above all the others.
I can remember only going to a couple of these Concerts before they pulled the plug on them.



Paul Robeson, Singer and Activist.

Emperor Jones.jpg filmicPaul Robeson, the son of William Drew Robeson, a former slave, was born in Princeton, New Jersey on 9th April, 1898.
Paul’s mother, Maria Louisa Bustin, came from a family that had been involved in the campaign for African-American Civil Rights.
William Drew Robeson was pastor of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church for over twenty years.
He lost his post in 1901 after complaints were made about his “speeches against social injustice”. Three years later Paul’s mother died when a coal from the stove fell on her long-skirted dress and was fatally burned.
Paul’s father did not find another post until 1910 when he became pastor of the St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church in the town of Somerville, New Jersey. Paul was a good student but was expected to do part-time work to help the family finances.
At twelve Paul worked as a kitchen boy and later was employed in local brickyards and shipyards.
In 1915 Robeson won a four-year scholarship to Rutgers University. Blessed with a great voice, Robeson was a member of the university’s debating team and won the oratorical prize four years in succession.
He also earned extra money my singing in local clubs.
Robeson, was a large man (six feet tall and 190 pounds) and excelled in virtually every sport he played (baseball, basketball, athletics, tennis).
In 1917 Robeson became the first student from Rutgers University to be chosen as a member of the All-American football team. However, in some games Robeson was dropped because the opponents refused to play against teams that included black players.
In 1920 Robeson joined the Amateur Players, a group of Afro-American students who wanted to produce plays on racial issues. Robeson was given the lead in Simon the Cyrenian, the story of the black man who was Jesus’s cross-bearer.
He was a great success in the part and as a result was offered the leading role in the play Taboo. The critics disliked the play but Robeson got good reviews for his performance.
In 1921 Robeson married Eslanda Goode, a histological chemist at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York.
They were soon parted when Robeson went to England to appear in the London production of Taboo, whereas Goode took up her post as the first African American analytical chemist at Columbia Medical Centre.
Continue on reading via Paul Robeson.

Jimi and Elvis, the Early Days.

Private James Hendrix of the 101st Airborne, playing guitar at Fort Campbell Kentucky in 1962.

Image: Earliest known photo of Elvis Presley, with parents Gladys and Vernon in 1938:

Source: Design you Trust

Source: A Completely Fascinating Collection Of Historical Photos

“The Beatles” in Comic Strips.

the-beatles-in-comic-strips-4-20120904-1659017235Published by Marco De Angelis 20 January 2014
A COLLECTION OF COMIC BOOK APPEARANCES: Is a book featuring a collection of some two hundred cartoon strips dedicated to the Beatles, many of which are extremely rare and now inaccessible.
Many years after their break up, the Beatles still remain the biggest phenomenon of music and mass culture in the world of entertainmentthe-beatles-in-comic-strips-9-20120904-2080226087
The book for the first time investigates and documents the interest that cartoonists, publishers, and enthusiasts have shown in their special relationship with the universe of comic strips:a rich and variegated relationship with thousands of publications, in every part of the world, and a production that continues to the present day.
In some stories the Beatles are the protagonists, in others they make cameo appearances, while others feature their lyrics transformed into comic strips.
Thanks to juxtapoz