April 03, 2017

An important note and thank you to the readers of this blog

Dear readers and friends,

It is with much sadness that we must let you know that the author of this blog, Rosie, passed away a few days ago, 3 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Rosie bravely underwent the recommended  chemotherapy and radiation treatment, as well as some adjunct alternative therapies, alas this type of tumour is rarely survived.

Rosie was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, and will be lovingly remembered by many friends and relatives.

We thank you for your readership, it has meant a great deal to Rosie - she loved doing this blog - and hope we can continue this blog in a special way, in Rosie's memory.

Thank you,
George, 4 April 2017


January 05, 2017

Oldest Known Member Of Southern B.C. Killer Whale Pod Believed Dead


                                         Hamilton Spectator

                                                                     
 

                                                              
VANCOUVER — The death of a whale considered the oldest in the West Coast's southern resident population could particularly affect one animal who may have lost yet another adoptive mother, a wildlife biologist says. 


Brad Hanson of the Seattle-based Northwest Fisheries Science Center said an orca dubbed J2 and also known as Granny has not been spotted since mid-October and is believed to have died. 


He said that while some estimates put Granny's age at over 100, researchers determined through a biopsy sample nearly two years ago that she was between her mid-60s and early 80s. 


She was considered a matriarch of the J-pod, which is one of three family groups of southern resident killer whales.

J-pod now has about 24 members, including L87, who joined the clan about two years ago, Hanson said. 


"L87 is actually an L-pod member but he lost his mom a number of years ago and he gravitated over to K-pod and hung out with an older female there until she passed," Hanson said Tuesday from Seattle. "Ironically, he went to J-pod so it'll be interesting to see what L87 does now because these adult males are used to staying with their mother their entire life." 


Hanson said male whales sometimes die soon after their mother's death and that females tend to outlive them by up to three decades.

The movement of the entire J-pod will be of interest to scientists because Granny was seen as leading the group since the 1970s, he said. 


"These animals are so long-lived relative to a lot of other wildlife populations that it's an unprecedented situation. And I expect that we may learn some new things about how killer whale societies adjust to these changes." 


At least two other females in the J-pod, including J16 and J19, were also born in the 1970s and could take on the matriarch role, Hanson said, adding J14 died last summer and that the number of older female whales is dwindling. 


"We believe these older females are the keepers of corporate knowledge, if you will, so where (the pod) goes and when they go there, somebody has to make that initial decision." 


Hanson said the J-pod spends most of its time in the northern Strait of Georgia or the western part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and don't trek very far south to the Washington coast, unlike the K and L pods, which also venture as far as California. 


The Center for Whale Research in Washington state said in a statement on its website that it does not know what killed Granny and that she was the eldest within the three family pods of endangered southern resident whales. 


The centre said the total number of southern resident whales has fallen to 78. 


The loss of Granny comes less than a month after J34, an 18-year-old male member of J-pod, was found washed up on a Sechelt beach after apparently being hit by something, and the October death of J28, a female with a one-year-old calf. 


Southern resident killer whales, which almost exclusively eat salmon, were listed as endangered in 2005.


The Canadian Press
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January 01, 2017

Patsy Cline’s I Fall to Pieces: The Tragic Tale Of A Country Idol


                                                                      




Sadly not unique. A very talented singer who unfortunately was but one of the few who had to struggle like this.
 
The postwar country music scene was a frontier land of drunks, swindlers and scammers.
There were thousands of venues and as many bands and singers entertaining Americans before televisions flickered in every home. These were mostly poor people, and the entertainers and their audiences would travel hundreds of kilometres for a show. 

The performers were a tight- knit community working in a brutal trade of gruelling tours and thieving promoters. It was a cash business and they were sometimes robbed. It was common for performers to carry a gun — like Buddy Holly, whose .22 pistol was found near his plane’s crash site. The Holly crash also claimed the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Driving to gigs could be equally perilous: country singers Johnny Horton and Betty Jack Davis were both killed travelling between shows.

This was the world over which Patsy Cline briefly ruled with a short run of beautifully produced country crossover hits driven by her pure contralto. Pioneering a movement later dubbed “countrypolitan”, Cline led a revival of sorts as more traditional music was sidelined by the rock ’n’ roll phenomenon.

Virginia Patterson Hensley was named after the state in which she was born in 1932. Her parents were working poor and after her father left home she dropped out of school for a series of menial jobs before asking the local disc jockey if she could sing on his show. It went well and the soon-to-be-renamed Patsy started performing around the state and coming to the attention of rising country star Jimmy Dean. About the same time she married Gerald Cline.

Like many stars of the era, and lacking confidence, Patsy Cline signed a hopelessly restrictive contract and found she could record only material also published by her record company. After a series of honky-tonk duds, she chanced on a Kay Starr reject — Walkin’ After Midnight. It took off, reaching No 12 in January 1957 on what by the end of the year would be renamed Billboard’s Hot 100.

But it was a false dawn, and Cline remained shackled by her contract until 1960. Signing with Decca, she quickly relaunched her career with the glorious ballad I Fall to Pieces, one of the most distinctive hits of the era. It went to No 1 on the country charts and glanced Billboard’s top 10.

But as I Fall to Pieces made its way to the top, Cline did just that: on June 14, 1960 she was almost killed in a head-on car crash in Nashville. Cline was in hospital for a month and shaken by the near-death experience that left scarring on her forehead but, on crutches, she returned to touring almost immediately.

She soon scored another hit with one of Willie Nelson’s first compositions, Crazy, and became the first female country star to headline her own shows. She had a full book of them when, on January 25, 1963, disc jockey Cactus Jack Call, an old friend, was killed in a Missouri car crash, setting off an extraordinary series of events.

On March 2, Cline played a concert with Tex Ritter and Jerry Lee Lewis. She and others on the bill agreed to perform at a fundraiser in Kansas City the following day to help out Call’s widow. Cline gave three performances, finally appearing in a white chiffon gown and singing I Fall to Pieces.

With the airport fogged in, they stayed the night, but her manager and pilot, the recently licensed Randy Hughes, who had less than 50 hours’ flying experience, decided to take off into the poor weather the next day. “Don’t worry about me,” Cline told her friend Dottie West, who was driving back. “When it’s my time to go, it’s my time.”

Unable to read the instruments in the heavy weather, Hughes lost control and the plane went down outside Camden, Tennessee. Cline and Hughes were killed alongside Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

One of the first on the scene the next morning was singer Roger Miller, a friend of all on board. He found the Piper Cherokee crashed nose down and everyone dead. “Oh my god, there they were. It was ghastly,” he said years later.

After the bodies were removed, local looters stole personal effects from the scattered wreckage, including the chiffon dress and Cline’s concert payment.

Cline was 30 and left a son and daughter by her second marriage, to Charles Dick, who died last year aged 81.

Not long after setting out from his home in Tennessee to attend Cline’s funeral, her old friend and label mate from those days on the road, singer-guitarist Jack Anglin, rounded a bend at high speed, lost control of his car and was killed instantly.

Below: Dwight Yoakam
Long White Cadillac

Allegedly about  Hank Williams.
                                                         
 

The Blasters song by Mister Yoakam, a tribute the father of Country Music, Hank Williams
Enjoy and please visit http://www.dwightyoakam.com/
Live version by the Blasters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb2xyj...
                                                                   
By Alan Howe



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Happy Birthday, Julie Andrews! 

Happy Birthday Dame Angela Lansbury!

Happy Birthday Grace Kelly!