Day of Yore, May 29

I imagine it would have trended on Twitter.

Today in 1453, the Roman Empire came to a close with the Fall of Constantinople. It had been a nearly 1,500 year run, so the good ole U-S-of A only has a ways to go for longevity. Most country singers think we’re already the GOAT, but Skip Bayless thinks we need a few more titles. Several Greek intellectuals fled the city before it fell, moving to Italy, beginning the Renaissance era. No big deal or anything, its just that the Middle Ages had come to a close.


The Middle Ages were resurrected in grand fashion today in 1984, when 45-year old Tina Turner released, “Private Dancer.” It was one of the most amazing comebacks in the history music. Imagine if Natalie Merchant became one of the biggest stars in the world this summer. That’s kind of what it was like. The third single off the album was, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and it was on after that. “Better Be Good To Me,” “Private Dancer,” and “I Can’t Stand the Rain” followed. The title track was written by Mark Knopfler, and if you listen to it, you can hear him all over it. For Turner it was a third act (most entertainers never get a second) that put her on top of the mountain, and re-wrote her entire history.


Tonight in 1913 an opera opened in Paris, Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” and it nearly incited a riot in the theatre. It wasn’t so much the material, but the intersection of the stuffy and rich (the normal opera crowd) and the punk rockers of the day, the new bohemia in Paris. Imagine absinthe and Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman at the after party.


Today in 1954 Alfred Hitchcock released, “Dial M For Murder.” The AFI ranked it the ninth best mystery ever. A retired English tennis star finds out his wife is cheating on him with an American, and tries to have him killed and his wife framed for it. He doesn’t pull it off. What’s Boris Becker up to these days?


Jeff Buckley was found dead today in 1997, having drowned at the age of 30. This is not a bad legacy.


Um, ironically? Today in 2007 a New Jersey group named the Gaslight Anthem released their debut record, Sink or Swim.” It got very little attention from critics at large, but those who heard it loved it. wrote, “the type of record that most young bands wish they could create to launch their musical career.” It’s fantastic. I swear I was like the 10th person to watch that linked video on Youtube (some link from a link from a link that said there was a great new band) and I was hooked by the time they hit the chorus.


Birthday wishes to the deceased: Bob Hope and John F. Kennedy. And to the living: Noel Gallagher is 46 and Daniel Tosh is 38.

Gallagher’s Top 10:

  1. Don’t Go Away
  2. Little By Little
  3. Wonderwall
  4. Champagne Supernova
  5. Rockin’ Chair
  6. Little by Little
  7. Don’t Look Back in Anger
  8. Live Forever
  9. All Around the World
  10. D’You Know What I Mean?

— Bill Hubbell



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