(Pictured: England’s North Yorkshire Moors National Park at sunrise. The picture is probably going to be the best part of this post, which is another collection of fragments from my draft pile.)
A bit of trivia from American Top 40:
Casey answered a listener question about the group with the largest number of members to hit the Top 40 in the rock era. His answer was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with 375 members, whose “Battle Hymn of the Republic” hit #13 in 1959. He didn’t go beyond the rock era, but I will. In 1925, Columbia released a recording of “Adeste Fideles” backed with a traditional British song called “John Peel” under the name Associated Glee Clubs of America. According to Joel Whitburn, it was also the first electric recording to become a significant hit. Electric recording, in which microphones and amplifiers replaced the old process of cutting soundwaves directly into some physical medium via a recording horn, greatly improved fidelity and brought an end to the Pioneer Era of Recording. Greatly improved fidelity was required for the recording; the Associated Glee Clubs of America had 850 members, and the 4,000 members of the audience at the performance where the recording was made joined in the singing for a total of over 4,800 voices.
Not every post idea about a 70s icon turns into anything:
How come, in a media landscape that continually plunders its past for material even when it’s a terrible idea to do so, nobody has tried to reboot Match Game? By “nobody,” I mean “nobody in the United States,” because there is/was apparently a Match Game reboot on Canadian TV. You’d think that Game Show Network, at the very least, would have revisited the concept. Yet apart from the ill-fated Match Game/Hollywood Squares show in the late 90s, it’s never been tried. Perhaps it’s because Match Game outside the 1970s would not, could not, be Match Game at all. From the garish orange shag-carpeted set to the synth-and-wah-wah-heavy theme music to its particular sort of TV celebrity on the panel, Match Game was as much a product of its era as any show ever made.
After a Sunday morning on the couch with an old movie:
Despite its reputation as one of the premiere chick flicks of all time, the 1939 Laurence Olivier/Merle Oberon Wuthering Heights is one I like a lot, the story of Catherine and Heathcliff and their doomed love, set among the Yorkshire moors, a love that survives beyond the grave. And although I joke about the syrupy music and how old movie heroines always get more beautiful while dying, the ending remains profoundly moving every time I see it. But it’s an earlier scene that sticks with me.
Catherine: Heathcliff, make the world stop right here. Make everything stop and stand still and never move again. Make the moors never change, and you and I never change.
Heathcliff: The moors and I will never change. Don’t you, Cathy.
Catherine: I can’t. I can’t. No matter what I ever do or say, Heathcliff, this is me, now, standing on this hill with you. This is me forever.
“No matter what I ever do or say, this is me, now . . . This is me forever.” From the planet Tralfamadore, the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut nods in agreement.
And finally, a single sentence that pleases me, from a post I wrote but you’re not going to see:
One of those cherished old songs instantly gutted me like some sorry fish, and I couldn’t get the radio off fast enough.