Comedian, Silent Film and Charlie Chaplin (1889.04.16)

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The British comedian, writer, and director who was unforgettable for his clever portrayal of man’s tragic-comic struggles with fate, Charlie Chaplin was born on this date in 1889.  The birthday of Charlie Chaplin is a chance to celebrate his work’s joyful inspiration on Crosscurrents, 4/16 at 8 am.  http://www.krnn.org

THE KID 1921
The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.
     Chaplin’s first full-length feature is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.
MODERN TIMES 1936
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.
     This comedic masterpiece finds the iconic Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) employed at a state-of-the-art factory where the inescapable machinery completely overwhelms him, and where various mishaps keep getting him sent to prison. In between his various jail stints, he meets and befriends an orphan girl (Paulette Goddard). Both together and apart, they try to contend with the difficulties of modern life, with the Tramp working as a waiter and eventually a performer.
CITY LIGHTS 1931
With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.
     A hapless but resilient tramp (Charlie Chaplin) falls in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) on the tough city streets. Upon learning that she and her grandmother are to be evicted from their home, the tramp undertakes a series of attempts to provide them with the money they need, all of which end in humiliating failure. But after a drunken millionaire (Harry Myers) lavishly rewards him for saving his life, the tramp can change the flower girl’s life forever.
THE GOLD RUSH 1925
A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.
     In this classic silent comedy, the Little Tramp (Charles Chaplin) heads north to join in the Klondike gold rush. Trapped in a small cabin by a blizzard, the Tramp is forced to share close quarters with a successful prospector (Mack Swain) and a fugitive (Tom Murray). Eventually able to leave the cabin, he falls for a lovely barmaid (Georgia Hale), trying valiantly to win her affections. When the prospector needs help locating his claim, it appears the Tramp’s fortunes may change.
THE IMMIGRANT 1917
Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.
     The Immigrant was selected for preservation by the Library of Congressas being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.[1]
A DOGS LIFE 1917
The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.
     Charlie rescues a stray from other dogs, and together they meet Edna after finding a wallet full of cash.
THE CIRCUS 1928
The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.
     Wrongfully accused of criminal acts, a tramp (Charlie Chaplin) unwittingly ducks into a big top, where his bumbling attempts to avoid pursuing police officers earn the laughter and applause of the circus-goers. Impressed, the ringmaster (Allan Garcia) decides to employ the tramp as an entertainer. In between getting trapped in a lion’s cage and partaking in clumsy high wire escapades, he falls for a beautiful show rider (Merna Kennedy), who unfortunately has eyes for a daring tightrope acrobat.

 

Southside Johnny (1948.12.04)

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SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY ON CROSSCURRENTS, 12/4:  A singer and songwriter who leads his band “The Asbury Jukes” from the New Jersey shore, “Southside” Johnny Lyons was born on this date in 1948.  You are invited to celebrate the birthday of Southside Johnny with some quintessential “New Jersey sound” musicians on Crosscurrents, 12/4 at 8 am.

Berry Gordy Jr. (1929.11.28)

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BERRY GORDY Jr. ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/27:  Record entrepreneur, music producer, and founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy was born in Detroit on the 28th of November 1929.  Gavin and Wyatt are in the Motown recording studio for an audition.  We explore some of the rare gems in the Motown archives in advance of Berry Gordy’s birthday on Crosscurrents, 11/27 at 8 aMotown was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr., who was once a professional boxer before the U.S. Army draft for the Korean War.

Facts and Trivia:

  1. Gordy borrowed $800 dollars from his father in 1959 to start Motown. He then released Marv Johnson’s song, “Come to Me.”

  2. Motown’s founder, Berry Gordy, is a producer and songwriter. His first group and first million-selling act was The Miracles.

  3. Gordy wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs for Motown’s music catalog, consisting of approximately 15,000 songs.

  4. Motown was the first record label to run its own “charm school” to teach artists how to perform.

  5. The backing band on almost all of the Motown recordings are a group of highly dedicated and tight-knit group of musicians called The Funk Brothers. The surviving members received The Grammy Legend Award in 2004 and were induced into The Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2007.

  6. Between 1961 and 1971, Motown produced 110 US top 10 hits.

  7. “Motown” derives its name from “Motor City”, the nickname for Detroit where the label was founded. At the time the biggest car factory, Ford was based here. Berry Gordy Jr, the label’s founder once worked for Ford.

Awards and accolades

Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Gordy was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1998.

Gordy received the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Pioneer Award on June 13, 2013. He is the first living individual to receive the honor.[8]

In 2016, Gordy received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama for “helping to create a trailblazing new sound in American music. As a record producer and songwriter, he helped build Motown, launching the music careers of countless legendary artists. His unique sound helped shape our Nation’s story.”

L. Frank Baum (1856.05.15)

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FRANK BAUM ON CROSSCURRENTS, 5/15:  The Land Of Oz was created by its author, L. Frank Baum who was born on the date in 1856. You are invited to join us as we are “off to see the wizard” heading down the “yellow brick road”  to Crosscurrents, 5/15 at 8 am.

Playlist may include songs by The Tinmen;  The Big Little Lions;  The Scarecrows;  Dorothy;  and The Red Shoes.

ROSE BIRD ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/2

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ROSE BIRD ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/2:  Becoming the first woman to serve as chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird born on this date in 1936, led a progressive majority of the court strengthening environmental laws, consumer protections, and individual rights.  Gavin and Wyatt stand before the bar with Justice Bird on the bench.  You can become a “friend of the court” by joining John as he pleads his case for a Justice Bird birthday tribute on Crosscurrents, 11/2 at 8 a.m.