Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Potpourri No. 37

The Sound of Music

During the month of July, there is no music during Sunday Mass at the church I attend, St. Peter's in Council Bluffs. This is done to give the parish's music ministers an opportunity to take vacations.

While I did enjoy the somewhat shorter services last month, it was nice to have music back as part of Mass today. We are fortunate to have a gifted music minister who serves at 8:00 Mass exclusively.

Purple Heart Day

On August 7, 1782 General George Washington, as commander in chief of the Continental Army, created what he called the "Badge for Military Merit," using a design he came up with himself: a heart-shaped piece of purple silk, with the word "Merit" stitched across it with silver thread.

After the Revolutionary War ended, Washington's idea fell by the wayside for awhile.
It was brought back to life in 1932, now called "The Order of the Purple Heart."
The award is based on Washington's original design, and now includes a likeness of Washington himself and his coat of arms.

The honor is bestowed on those servicemen who have been wounded or killed during their time of service.

Ending Streaks

During their post-All Star break slump, my beloved Kansas City Royals haven't won a single series, mostly due to their inability to score runs. Going into yesterday's game at Kauffman Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Royals had scored three or fewer runs in nine consecutive games, a franchise record. They broke that streak last night with a 4-2 victory, breaking Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez's 10-game winning streak in the process.

Now 8-1, 2.97 ERA
Royals starter Danny Duffy continued to pitch like an ace, holding the Blue Jays to two runs on just five hits in his 6 2/3 innings.

RHP Peter Moylan retired all four batters he faced, striking out three of them, and All-Star Kelvin Herrera bounced back from Friday's disappointment with a 1-2-3 9th inning, earning his fourth save.


The key hit was provided by All-Star 1B Eric Hosmer, who went 2-for-3 including a two-run single that gave the Royals the lead for good in the 5th inning.

CF Paulo Orlando and 2B Raul Mondesi each contributed two hits, with Mondesi and SS Alcides Escobar getting the other two RBIs.

"So, are they going to win the series today, or what?"

Given the pitching match-up, I'm not optimistic, no...

Home Improvement

I won't know for sure
if my apartment complex has switched trash hauling companies until the next pickup, but the new dumpsters that we just got are my favorite color, which is nice...

"So long as they keep drawing ants, I don't really much care."

Duly noted...

It's Not What It Looks Like, Honest!

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Ever since musical theatre made its first foray on Broadway in the latter part of the 19th century, songs from those shows have been a source of popular music hits for a wide variety of singers and musicians. From time to time, a show tune grows popular enough that it becomes known as a "standard," and takes on a life of its own completely independent of the show for which it was originally written.

"I Can't Get Started" was written by Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936. In that production it was sung by Bob Hope, but the show closed after
a short run due to the illness of star Fanny Brice, and the song didn't have a chance to become widely known.

Trumpet player Bunny Berigan was a session musician in New York at that time, backing various vocalists on their recordings and also making some recording under his own name. One of his first was a 1936 recording of "I Can't Get Started" which went nowhere. After deciding to strike out on his own as a touring bandleader in 1937, Berigan made the song his orchestra's theme, and decided to record a new arrangement of it.

Original 1937 45 rpm EP
On August 7, 1937 Berigan recorded his second version of "I Can't Get Started." It was released as part of a four-song EP shortly thereafter by RCA Victor Records and sold well, soon becoming Berigan's signature song. The recording was selected for the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1975.

Thanks in part to the popularity
of this latter recording, the song did indeed became a standard, recorded by some of the biggest names in popular music.

My personal favorite version of the song was recorded by my jazz hero Maynard Ferguson for his 1974 album Chameleon.

Today's send-off is Berigan's 1937 recording of the jazz standard. Enjoy...

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