Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Potpourri No. 31

True Innocence

Anne in 1940
On June 12, 1929 Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt, in what was then called the Weimar Republic. Her family soon moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

For her 13th birthday, Anne received an autograph book she had enthused over to her father in a shop just a few days before. Since it had a lock, Anne decided to use it to keep a diary instead. Not long afterward, she and her family were forced into hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. She wrote in her diary almost daily during her confinement. Her final entry was August 1, 1944, just three days before her discovery and arrest. Anne and her sister were sent to Bergen-Belsen, and Anne died there in early 1945, not long before the camp was liberated by Allied forces.

Acting script for stage version

Anne's diary had been saved by Miep Gies, one of the people who had sheltered the Frank family, and it was returned to Anne's father Otto (the only family member who survived) in July 1945. The book was published in its original Dutch in 1947, and became an international sensation after the publication of the English-language version in 1952. The Diary of a Young Girl remains one of the most widely-read accounts of that period of history ever written.

In 1955, a stage adaptation of Anne's story was published, and that too became widely popular. It remains one of the most popular and frequently-produced plays for amateur and scholastic theatre troupes to this day.

In one of the diary's most famous and quoted passages, Anne offers a bit of wisdom that seems especially relevant to the present day:
It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.


My beloved Kansas City Royals began a 10-game road trip on June 2, fresh off of a 6-0 homestand that propelled the team into first place in the Central Division and included sweeps against the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. Yesterday, in Game 9 of the road trip, they finally won a game, beating the White Sox 4-1 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Now 2-1, 2.93 ERA
Royals starter Danny Duffy pitched six strong innings, holding the White Sox scoreless on three hits while striking out a career-high 10.

Relievers Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera didn't allow a baserunner in the 7th and 8th innings, recording six outs on just 19 pitches between them. All-Star closer Wade Davis, pitching for the first time in 10 days (and in a non-save situation) wobbled a bit, allowing a run on two hits, but closed out the victory.

"Boom! Boom!"

The offensive star of the game was 3B Cheslor Cuthbert, who was 3-for-4 and hit solo home runs in the 3rd and 8th innings.

DH Kendry Morales added a solo home run in the 5th inning, and
RF Paulo Orlando had an RBI single in the 9th.

The Royals will try to win consecutive games for the first time this month this afternoon in the rubber game of the series. Then they'll return home to Kauffman Stadium, where they'll play 12 of their next 14 games.

"After a road trip like this one, I'm sure home looks more appealing than usual."

Of that I have no doubt...

Doomed to Fail

From the incisive pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Much of the music to which I was exposed as a young kid was music favored by my parents (who had a pretty sizeable record collection). Some of it was the music enjoyed by my older cousins, some of it was what I heard on local AM radio stations, and some of it was music I first heard watching TV shows like Shindig! and most especially American Bandstand.

In the early '60s surf music was all over the radio and TV. Artists like Dick Dale, Jan and Dean, and The Ventures produced some really memorable hits in those pre-Beatles years. Even my parents liked that music. In particular, The Beach Boys were pretty popular with my male cousins, and so I became a fan of theirs early on. They had had a few charting singles in 1961 and 1962, but early in 1963 they had their breakout hit with "Surfin' U.S.A." After that song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, expectations for a follow-up hit were high.

Original 1963 45 rpm single
On June 12, 1963 the band went into United Western Recorders studio and cut the first two tracks for its third album, Surfer Girl.
It was the group's first recording session with Brian Wilson as official producer.

The ballad they recorded that day, "Surfer Girl," was the first song Wilson had ever written. It was something of a risk for a group known for uptempo surf music, but it eventually reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

In those days, it was the band's practice to have a surf tune as the "A" side of every single, and a car song as the "B" side. The "B" side they recorded this particular day, "Little Deuce Coupe," became an iconic hit in its own right. It spent 11 weeks on the
Hot 100, peaking at No. 15, and became a staple of the band's live performances for
the rest of their career.

Today's send-off is the original 1963 recording paired with some evocative images, including pictures of Clarence Catallo's famous '32 Ford three-window coupe that appeared on the cover of the band's Little Deuce Coupe album released in October. Enjoy...

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