Monday, July 4, 2011

Fire Works

Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places. Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with colored flames and sparks including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and silver. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations.
Fireworks were invented in China in the 7th century to scare away evil spirits, as a natural extension of one of the Four Great Inventions of ancient China, gunpowder. Such important events and festivities as Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival were and still are times when fireworks are guaranteed sights. China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world.
Fireworks are generally classified as to where they perform, either as a ground or aerial firework. In the latter case they may provide their own propulsion (skyrocket) or be shot into the air by a mortar (aerial shell).
The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube or casing filled with the combustible material, often pyrotechnic stars. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of sparkling shapes, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework, although the first skyrockets were used in war. Such rocket technology has also been used for the delivery of mail by rocket and is used as propulsion for most model rockets. The aerial shell is the backbone of today's commercial aerial display. A smaller version for consumer use is known as the festival ball in the United States.
Ground fireworks, although less popular than aerial ones, create a stunning exhibition. These types of fireworks can produce various shapes, ranging from simple rotating circles, stars and 3D globes.

History
The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound (鞭炮/鞭砲 biān pào) and to pray for happiness and prosperity. Chinese children grow up with folk stories about one-footed monsters who could be scared away by roasting bamboo for the purpose of producing a loud bang.
Eventually the art and science of firework making developed into an independent profession. In ancient China, pyrotechnicians (firework-masters) were respected for their knowledge and skill in mounting dazzling displays of light and sound. A record in 1264 states that the speed of the rocket-propelled 'ground-rat' firework frightened the Empress Dowager Gong Sheng during a feast held in her honor by her son Emperor Lizong of Song (r. 1224–1264). By the 14th century rocket propulsion was common in warfare, as evidenced by the Huolongjing compiled by Liu Ji (1311–1375) and Jiao Yu (fl. c. 1350–1412).
However, in China, fireworks for ceremonies and celebrations were mostly for royalties and the rich before the 14th century. It was only in the Ming Dynasty that any event for common people — a birth, a wedding, a business opening, or a New Year's Eve celebration — became a fitting occasion for fireworks and other noisemakers.
Amédée-François Frézier published a "Treatise on Fireworks" in 1706, covering the recreational and ceremonial uses of fireworks, rather than their military uses. The book became a standard text for fireworks makers.
Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 to celebrate the peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which had been declared the previous year.

safety
Improper use of fireworks may be dangerous, both to the person operating them (risks of burns and wounds) and to bystanders; in addition, they may start fires after landing on flammable material. For this reason, the use of fireworks is generally legally restricted. Display fireworks are restricted by law for use by professionals; consumer items, available to the public, are smaller versions containing limited amounts of explosive material to reduce potential danger. Fireworks may pose a problem for animals, both domestic and wild, who can be terrified by the noise, leading to them running away or hurting themselves on fences or in other ways in an attempt to escape.

Competitions

Main article: Fireworks competitions
Pyrotechnical competitions involving fireworks are held in many countries. One of the most prestigious fireworks competition is the Montreal Fireworks Festival, an annual competition held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Another magnificent competition is Le Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique held in the summer annually at the Bay of Cannes in Côte d'Azur, France. The World Pyro Olympics is an annual competition amongst the top fireworks companies in the world. It is held in Manila, Philippines. The event is one of the largest and most intense international fireworks competitions.
Fireworks world records

The current Guinness World Records as of 5 November 2007 are
Largest Catherine wheel
A self-propelled vertical firework wheel 25.95 m (85 ft) in diameter was designed by the Newick Bonfire Society Ltd and fired for at least one revolution on 30 October 1999 at the Village Green, Newick, East Sussex, UK. The Lily Fireworks Factory, Mqabba, Malta currently possess this record, burning a Catherine Wheel with a diameter of 32 metres, on June 18th, 2011.

Largest firework display
The record for the largest firework display consisted of 66,326 fireworks and was achieved by Macedo'S Pirotecnia Lda. in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, on 31 December 2006.

Longest firework waterfall
The world's longest firework waterfall was the 'Niagara Falls', which measured 3,125.79 m (10,255 ft 2.5 in) when ignited on 24 August 2003 at the Ariake Seas Fireworks Festival, Fukuoka, Japan.

Most firework rockets launched in 30 seconds
The record for the most firework rockets launched in 30 seconds is 56,405, in an attempt organized by Dr Roy Lowry (UK), executed by Fantastic Fireworks, at the 10th British Firework Championship in Plymouth, UK, on 16 August 2006.
Largest bonfire

The largest bonfire had an overall volume of 1,401.6 m³ (49,497 ft³). The bonfire was built by Colin Furze (UK) in Thistleton, Leicestershire, UK, and lit on 14 October 2006.

Tallest bonfire
The world's tallest bonfire tondo measured 37.5 m (123 ft) high, with a base of 8 m² (86 ft²) and an overall volume of 800 m³ (28,251 ft³). The event was organized by Kure Commemorative Centennial Events Committee, and lit on 9 February 2003 at Gohara-cho, Hiroshima, Japan, as part of a traditional ceremony to encourage good health and a generous harvest.

New explosives classes
The U.S. government now uses the United Nations explosives shipping classification system. This new system is based on hazard in shipping only, vs. the old USA system of both shipping and use hazards. The BATF and most states performed a direct substitution of Shipping Class 1.3 for Class B, and Shipping Class 1.4 for Class C. This allows some hazardous items that would have previously been classified as Class B and regulated to be classified as Shipping Class 1.4 due to some packaging method that confines any explosion to the package. Being Shipping Class 1.4, they can now be sold to the general public and are unregulated by the BATF.
A code number and suffix (such as 1.3G) is not enough to fully describe a material and how it is regulated, especially in Shipping Class 1.4G. It also must have a UN Number that exactly describes the material. For example, common consumer fireworks are UN0336, or Shipping Class 1.4G UN0336.
Here are some common fireworks classes:
Class 1.1G (Mass Explosion Possible:Pyrotechnics) UN0094 Flashpowder
Class 1.1G (Mass Explosion Possible:Pyrotechnics) UN0333 Fireworks (Salutes in bulk or in manufacture)
Class 1.2G (Projection but not mass explosion:Pyrotechnics) UN0334 Fireworks (Rarely used)
Class 1.3G (Fire, Minor Blast:Pyrotechnics) UN0335 Fireworks (Most Display Fireworks) Current federal law states that without appropriate ATF license/permit, the possession or sale of any display/professional fireworks is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Any ground salute device with over 50 milligrams of explosive composition
Torpedoes (except for railroad signaling use)
Multi-tube devices containing over 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition and without 1/2" space between each tube
Any multiple tube fountains with over 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition and without 1/2" space between each tube
Any reloadable aerial shells over 1.75" diameter
Display shells
Any single-shot or reloadable aerial shell/mine/comet/tube with over 60 grams of pyrotechnic composition
Any Roman candle or rocket with over 20 grams of pyrotechnic composition
Any aerial salute with over 130 milligrams of explosive composition
Class 1.4G (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package:Pyrotechnics) UN0336 Fireworks (Consumer or Common Fireworks) Most popular consumer fireworks sold in the US.
Reloadable aerial shells 1.75" or less sold in a box with not more than 12 shells and one launching tube
Single-shot aerial tubes
Bottle rockets
Skyrockets and missiles
Ground spinners, pinwheels and helicopters
Flares & fountains
Roman candles
Smoke and novelty items
Multi-shot aerial devices, or "cakes"
Firecracker packs (see this link for various brand/label images). Although some firecracker items may be called "M-80's", "M-1000's", "Cherry bombs" or "Silver Salutes" by the manufacturer, they must contain less than 50 milligrams of flash or other explosive powder in order to be legally sold to consumers in the United States.
Sparklers
Catherine wheel
black snakes and strobes
Mines
Class 1.4S (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package: Packed As To Not Hinder Nearby Firefighters) UN0336 Fireworks (Consumer or Common Fireworks)
Class 1.4G (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package:Pyrotechnics) UN0431 ARTICLES, PYROTECHNIC for technical purposes (Proximate Pyrotechnics)
Class 1.4S (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package: Packed As To Not Hinder Nearby Firefighters) UN0432 ARTICLES, PYROTECHNIC for technical purposes (Proximate Pyrotechnics)
Fireworks tubes are made by rolling thick paper tightly around a former, such as a dowel. They can be made by hand, most firework factories use machinery to manufacture tubes. Whenever tubes are used in fireworks, at least one end is always plugged with clay to keep both chemicals and burning gases from escaping through that end. The tooling is always made of non-sparking materials such as aluminium or brass. Experts at handling explosives, called pyrotechnicians, add chemicals for special effects.

Pyrotechnic compounds
Colors in fireworks are usually generated by pyrotechnic stars—usually just called stars—which produce intense light when ignited. Stars contain five basic types of ingredients.
A fuel which allows the star to burn
An oxidizer—a compound which produces (usually) oxygen to support the combustion of the fuel
Color-producing chemicals
A binder which holds the pellet together.
A chlorine donor which provides chlorine to strengthen the color of the flame. Sometimes the oxidizer can serve this purpose.
Some of the more common color-producing compounds are tabulated here. The color of a compound in a firework will be the same as its color in a flame test (shown at right). Not all compounds that produce a colored flame are appropriate for coloring fireworks, however. Ideal colorants will produce a pure, intense color when present in moderate concentration.

Josh Groban

Joshua Winslow "Josh" Groban (born February 27, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and record producer. His four solo albums have been certified at least multi-platinum, and in 2007, he was charted as the number one best selling artist in the United States with over 21 million records in this country.To date, he has sold over 27 million albums worldwide.
Groban originally studied acting but as his voice changed, it developed into a "significant instrument". The event that changed Groban's life was when his vocal coach, Seth Riggs, submitted a tape of Josh singing, "All I Ask of You", from The Phantom of the Opera, to Riggs' friend, renowned producer, composer and arranger David Foster. Foster called him to stand in for an ailing Andrea Bocelli to rehearse a duet, "The Prayer," with Celine Dion at the rehearsal for the Grammy Awards in 1998.Groban, being shy, reluctantly agreed. Rosie O'Donnell was so impressed that she immediately invited him to appear on her daytime talk show.He got another big break when Foster asked him to sing at the California Governor's Gray Davis' 1999 inauguration.His name and career soared with the public recognition he received, after being cast on Ally McBeal by the show's creator David E. Kelley, who asked him to perform "You're Still You" for the show's 2001 season finale.

arly life and education

Groban was born in Los Angeles to Lindy, a school teacher and full time mother,and Jack Groban, a businessman. His father is of Jewish background and a descendant of Russian and Polish immigrants.His mother is Norwegian American, the daughter of immigrants from the eastern Norwegian district of Toten.His parents joined the Episcopal Church after his father's conversion from Judaism to Christianity.Chris, his younger brother, shares the same birthday, four years later.
Groban debuted as a singer in the seventh grade. His music teacher chose him to sing a solo of "S'wonderful" at the school's Cabaret Night, where he sang alone on stage for the first time. At this time, he was more focused on theatrical arts.He transferred from a traditional school to Bridges Academy because, he explains, "I didn't feel that I was getting enough creative input. So I went to Bridges Academy to get my grades up to straight A's."[citation needed] There he was permitted to take regular classes from 9 AM to 1 PM, and attend theater classes in the afternoon.[citation needed] In the summers of 1997 and 1998, he also attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts Camp in Michigan, majoring in music theatre, and began taking vocal lessons. Groban went on to attend the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a theatre major and graduated in 1999. He was admitted to Carnegie Mellon University, intending to study drama, but he left four months into his first semester. Offered a recording contract, he decided to pursue his singing career.

Career

Early career
In late 1998, the 17-year-old Groban was introduced by his vocal coach to Grammy-winning producer/arranger David Foster and future manager Brian Avnet. At the time Groban had no recording experience and was preparing to begin studying at Carnegie Institute of Technology.Groban worked for David Foster as a rehearsal singer on a series of high-profile events, including the January 1999 inauguration of Gray Davis as Governor of California and the 1999 Grammy Awards where — as a stand-in for Andrea Bocelli — he rehearsed Foster's "The Prayer" with Céline Dion. According to manager Avnet, Groban was very nervous about standing in for Bocelli and had to be talked into it, but his performance prompted the show hostess, Rosie O'Donnell, to ask him to appear on her show the following week, which then led to an appearance on the Ally McBeal show. David E. Kelley, creator of the television series Ally McBeal, created a character, Malcolm Wyatt, for Groban in the season finale aired in May 2001. The character of Malcolm Wyatt was so popular, prompting 8,000 emails from viewers, that Groban was asked to return the next season to reprise his role and perform "To Where You Are." Avnet claims this sequence of events effectively got Groban's career off the ground.
Groban was offered a recording contract at Warner Bros. Records through Foster's 143 Records imprint. Avnet told HitQuarters that Warner initially proved resistant to the deal because, "They were afraid they wouldn’t be able to get a voice like that on radio."Explaining his reasons for signing the artist Foster said: "I love his natural ability in the pop and rock arena, but I love his sense of classics even more. He's a true musical force to be reckoned with." Under Foster's influence, Groban's first album focused more on classics such as "Gira Con Me Questa Notte" and "Alla Luce Del Sole."
Groban performed "There For Me" with Sarah Brightman on her 2000–01 La Luna World Tour, and was featured on her "La Luna" concert DVD. He recorded "For Always" with Lara Fabian on the movie soundtrack to A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001). Groban performed in many benefit shows, including: "The Andre Agassi Grand Slam Event For Children," singing alongside Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, and Robin Williams; "Muhammad Ali's Fight Night Foundation" which honored Michael J. Fox and others; "The Family Celebration" (2001), which was co-hosted by President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and David E. Kelley and his wife, Michelle Pfeiffer; and Michael Milken's CapCure event, which raises funds for cancer research.
The singer's self-titled debut album Josh Groban was released on November 20, 2001. Over the next year, it went from gold to double-platinum.
On February 24, 2002, Groban performed "The Prayer" with Charlotte Church at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and by November, he had his own PBS special, "Josh Groban In Concert" (2002). In December 2002, he performed "To Where You Are" and sang "The Prayer" in a duet with Sissel Kyrkjebø at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. He joined The Corrs, Ronan Keating, Sting, Lionel Richie, and others for a Christmas performance at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. In 2003, Groban performed at the David Foster concert for World Children's Day, singing "The Prayer" with Celine Dion and the finale song, "Aren't They All Our Children?" with artists including Yolanda Adams, Nick Carter, Enrique Iglesias, and Celine Dion.

Notable performancesOn April 14, 2007, Groban joined Idina Menzel for a PBS Soundstage taping. The next day, he held his own taping for the same PBS TV series at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall at Jazz in New York City.
In June 2007, Groban recorded a Christmas album in London with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Magdalen College Choir, which he discussed on the DVD from "The Making of Noël". It was released on October 9, 2007 and is titled Noël.The album has been highly successful in the US breaking numerous records for a Christmas album, as well as becoming the best selling album of 2007 in only its tenth week of release, at sales of 3.6 million.
On July 1, 2007, Groban performed with Sarah Brightman at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium; it was broadcast to over 500 million homes in 140 countries.
On August 23, 2007, Groban performed "You Raise Me Up" on Episode 14 of the talent show Last Choir Standing.
Groban was nominated for the 2008 Juno Award for International Album of the Year for Noël. In collaboration with French legend Charles Aznavour, he recorded Aznavour's signature song La Bohème as a duet in English and French. It is due to be released on Aznavour's next album, titled Duets.
On February 10, 2008, Groban performed at the 2008 Grammy Awards with Andrea Bocelli in a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti.
On May 12 and 13, 2008, Groban performed as Anatoly Sergievsky in "Chess in Concert" at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
On July 15, 2008, Groban performed "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at the 79th All-Star Game in New York City at Yankee Stadium.
On August 29, 2008, Groban appeared on the final episode of The Charlotte Church Show for a brief interview. The show ended as Groban performed "The Prayer" with host Charlotte Church.
On September 21, 2008, Groban performed a comical medley of well-known TV theme songs at the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
In December 2008, Groban appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He performed a duet with Only Men Aloud! at the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
On January 18, 2009, Groban performed as part of the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies, performing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" in duet with Heather Headley.
On January, 19. 2009, Groban performed with Herbie Hancock as part of Feeding America's Rally Against Hunger in Washington DC. The event was also attended by Martin Luther King III and actor Ben Affleck.
On January 20, 2009, Groban performed at the Warner Theatre - Heroes Red, White & Blue Inaugural Ball, Washington, DC
On March 28, 2009, Groban performed a duet of "Bridge over Troubled Water" with Jordin Sparks for the charity event Celebrity Fight Night.
In March 2009, Groban covered the hits of the late Casey Tatum and his brother on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.
On September 14, 2009, Groban appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and surprised an audience member.
Two days later he made the first of two appearances on Glee, playing himself. His second appearance was in the Season 1 finale Journey to Regionals.
Groban was featured in Nelly Furtado's song "Silencio", which was released on September 1, 2009. This song is from Nelly's first full length Spanish album Mi Plan.
At the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, he performed the Star Spangled Banner on Jan. 7, 2010 with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.
On November 30, 2010, Groban performed at the New York Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting.
On December 18, 2010, Groban performed at the Carols in the Domain in Sydney, Australia.
On December 21, 2010, Groban returned to BBC Two's Never Mind the Buzzcocks, this time as guest host and ending the show duetting with Michael Ball in a version of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.
On March 4, 2011, Groban filled in for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kelly, where he interviewed Heather Locklear and LaToya Jackson and performed "Higher Window" from his latest CD "Illuminations".
On April 15, 2011, Groban performed on The Late Late Show in Ireland, which is the longest running chat show in the world.

Vocal technique

Various music critics have described Groban's voice in different ways, with some referring to him as a tenor and others as a baritone. In performance, Groban's music goes as low as G2 (as in the song "To Where You Are") and extends up to at least B♭4(as heard in "You Raise Me Up" or "February Song"). This places his voice lower than the tenor range on the low end, and just short of Tenor C, and therefore above the baritone range, on the high end. There is currently no authoritative system of voice classification in non-classical music. The problem lies in the fact that classical terms are used to describe not merely various vocal ranges, but specific vocal timbres each unique to those respective ranges, and produced by the classical training techniques with which most popular singers are not intimately familiar and which are not universally employed by the few that are. In a 2002 New York Times article, Groban described himself as a "tenor in training".

Charity
Under the guidance of his mentor David Foster, Groban performed for many charity events that included VH1 Save the Music (2005), Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope (2005), Fifth Adopt-A-Annual Minefield concert (2005), 2nd Annual Grammy Jam (2005), Live 8 (2005), The Heart Foundation Gala (2005), and David Foster and Friends Charity Gala (2006). He also sang a solo on the recording of We Are The World 25 for Haiti (2010). Inspired by a visit with Nelson Mandela during a 2004 trip to South Africa, he established the Josh Groban Foundation to help children in need through education, healthcare and the arts. Mandela appointed Groban as an Official Ambassador for Mandela's Project 46664, a campaign to help raise Global awareness of HIV/AIDS in Africa. On April 25, 2007, Josh Groban performed with the African Children's Choir on American Idol's "Idol Gives Back" episode. Also on September 2, 2007, Groban donated $150,000 to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to fund music education.[44] On February 28, 2008, he appeared in One Night Live at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada with Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden and RyanDan in aid of the Sunnybrook Hospital Women and Babies Program. In honor of his 27th birthday, his fans set out to raise $27,000 in a project called "Raise 27". They ended up raising a total of $44,227 for the Josh Groban Foundation, to benefit the Noah's Ark children's orphanage called Siyawela in South Africa. Groban has since referred to this donation as "the best birthday present ever".For those who could afford the $1500 ticket, Josh Groban performed at the The Angel Ball on October 21, 2010. Proceeds went to the Gabrielles Angel Foundation for cancer research

Steve Martin

Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician and composer.
Martin was born in Waco, Texas, and raised in Southern California, where his early influences were working at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm and working magic and comedy acts at these and other smaller venues in the area. His ascent to fame picked up when he became a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In the 1970s, Martin performed his offbeat, absurdist comedy routines before packed houses on national tours. Since the 1980s, having branched away from stand-up comedy, he has become a successful actor, playwright, pianist, banjo player, and juggler, eventually earning Emmy, Grammy, and American Comedy awards.

Early life

Martin was born in Waco, Texas, the son of Mary Lee Martin and Glenn Vernon Martin, a real estate salesman and an aspiring actor.Martin was raised in Inglewood, California, and then later in Garden Grove, California, in a Baptist family. One of his earliest memories is of seeing his father, as an extra, serving drinks onstage at the Call Board Theatre on Melrose Place. During World War II, in England, Martin's father had appeared in a production of Our Town with Raymond Massey. Years later, he would write to Massey for help in Steve's fledgling career, but would receive no reply. Expressing his affection through gifts of cars, bikes, etc., Martin's father was stern, not emotionally open to his son.He was proud but critical, with Martin later recalling that in his teens his feelings for his father were mostly ones of hatred.Martin's first job was at Disneyland, selling guidebooks on weekends and full-time during the summer school break. That lasted for three years (1955–1958). During his free time he frequented the Main Street Magic shop, where tricks were demonstrated to potential customers.By 1960, he had mastered several of the tricks and illusions, and took a paying job there in August. There he perfected his talents for magic, juggling, and creating balloon animals, frequently performing for tips.In his authorized biography, close friend Morris Walker suggests that Martin could "be described most accurately as an agnostic he rarely went to church and was never involved in organized religion of his own volition".

Comedy
After high school graduation, Martin attended Santa Ana Junior College, taking classes in drama and English poetry. In his free time, he teamed up with friend and Garden Grove High School classmate Kathy Westmoreland to participate in comedies and other productions at the Bird Cage Theatre. He joined a comedy troupe at Knott's Berry Farm.Later, he met budding actress Stormie Sherk, and they developed comedy routines while becoming romantically involved. Stormie's influence caused Steve to apply to the California State University, Long Beach, for enrollment with a major in Philosophy. Stormie enrolled at UCLA, about an hour's drive north, and the distance eventually caused them to lead separate lives.
Being inspired by his philosophy classes, for a short while he considered becoming a professor instead of an actor-comedian. His time at college changed his life. "It changed what I believe and what I think about everything. I majored in philosophy. Something about non-sequiturs appealed to me. In philosophy, I started studying logic, and they were talking about cause and effect, and you start to realize, 'Hey, there is no cause and effect! There is no logic! There is no anything!' Then it gets real easy to write this stuff, because all you have to do is twist everything hard—you twist the punch line, you twist the non sequitur so hard away from the things that set it up".In an article in Smithsonian magazine he recalled, "In a college psychology class, I had read a treatise on comedy explaining that a laugh was formed when the storyteller created tension, then, with the punch line, released it. I didn't quite get this concept, nor do I still . What if there were no punch lines? What if there were no indicators? What if I created tension and never released it? What if I headed for a climax, but all I delivered was an anticlimax? What would the audience do with all that tension? Theoretically, it would have to come out sometime. But if I kept denying them the formality of a punch line, the audience would eventually pick their own place to laugh, essentially out of desperation. My first reviews came in. One said, 'This so-called "comedian" should be told that jokes are supposed to have punch lines.' Another said I represented 'the most serious booking error in the history of Los Angeles music.' "Martin periodically spoofed his philosophy studies in his 1970s stand-up act, comparing philosophy with studying geology. "If you're studying geology, which is all facts, as soon as you get out of school you forget it all, but philosophy you remember just enough to screw you up for the rest of your life."
In 1967, Martin transferred to UCLA and switched his major to theater. While attending college, he appeared in an episode of The Dating Game. Martin began working local clubs at night, to mixed notices, and at twenty-one he dropped out of college.

Career
Early career – stand-up
In 1967, his former girlfriend Nina Goldblatt, a dancer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, helped Martin land a writing job with the show by submitting his work to head writer Mason Williams. Williams initially paid Martin out of his own pocket. Along with the other writers for the show, Martin won an Emmy Award in 1969, aged 23.He also wrote for John Denver (a neighbor of his in Aspen, Colorado, at one point), The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Martin's first TV appearance was on The Steve Allen Show in 1969. He says: "[I] appeared on The Virginia Graham Show, circa 1970. I looked grotesque. I had a hairdo like a helmet, which I blow-dried to a puffy bouffant, for reasons I no longer understand. I wore a frock coat and a silk shirt, and my delivery was mannered, slow and self-aware. I had absolutely no authority. After reviewing the show, I was depressed for a week."During these years his roommates included comedian Gary Mule Deer and singer/guitarist Michael Johnson. Martin opened for groups such as The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Carpenters, and Toto. He appeared at San Francisco's The Boarding House, among other venues. He continued to write, earning an Emmy nomination for his work on Van Dyke and Company in 1976.
In the mid-1970s, Martin made frequent appearances as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.,and on The Gong Show, HBO's On Location and NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL). SNL's audience jumped by a million viewers when he made guest appearances, though despite a common misconception, he was never a cast member.Martin has guest-hosted Saturday Night Live 15 times, as of January 2009, tied in numbers of presentations with host Alec Baldwin. On the show, Martin popularized the air quotes gesture, which uses four fingers to make double quote marks in the air. While on the show Martin became close with several of the cast members, including Gilda Radner. On the day Radner died of ovarian cancer in 1989, Martin was hosting SNL and featured footage of himself and Radner together in a 1978 sketch.
His TV appearances in the 1970s led to the release of comedy albums that went platinum. The track "Excuse Me" on his first album, Let's Get Small, helped establish a national catch phrase.[4] His next album, A Wild and Crazy Guy (1978), was an even bigger success, reaching the No.2 spot on the US sales chart, selling over a million copies. "Just a wild and crazy guy" became another of Martin's known catch phrases.The album featured a character based on a series of Saturday Night Live sketches where Martin and Dan Aykroyd played "Georgi" and "Yortuk" the Festrunk Brothers, a couple of bumbling Czechoslovak would-be playboys. The album ends with the song "King Tut", sung and written by Martin and backed by the "Toot Uncommons", members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It was later released as a single, reaching No.17 on the US charts in 1978 and selling over a million copies.The song came out during the King Tut craze that accompanied the popular traveling exhibit of the Egyptian king's tomb artifacts. Both albums won Grammys for Best Comedy Recording in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Martin performed "King Tut" on the April 22, 1978 edition of SNL.
On his comedy albums, Martin's stand-up is self-referential and sometimes self-mocking. It mixes philosophical riffs with sudden spurts of "happy feet", banjo playing with balloon depictions of concepts like venereal disease, and the controversial kitten juggling (he is a master juggler). His style is off-kilter and ironic, and sometimes pokes fun at stand-up comedy traditions, such as Martin opening his act (from A Wild and Crazy Guy) by saying, "I think there's nothing better for a person to come up and do the same thing over and over for two weeks. This is what I enjoy, so I'm going to do the same thing over and over and over I'm going to do the same joke over and over in the same show, it'll be like a new thing." Or: "Hello, I'm Steve Martin, and I'll be out here in a minute." In one comedy routine, used on the Comedy Is Not Pretty! album, Martin claimed that his real name was "Gern Blanston". The riff took on a life of its own. There is a Gern Blanston website, and for a time a rock band took the moniker as their name.He stopped stand-up in 1981 to concentrate on movies and never went back.

Acting career – film
By the end of the 1970s, Martin had acquired the kind of following normally reserved for rock stars, with his tour appearances typically occurring at sold-out arenas filled with tens of thousands of screaming fans. But unknown to his audience, stand-up comedy was "just an accident" for him; his real goal was to get into film.

Martin's first film was a short, The Absent-Minded Waiter (1977). The seven-minute-long film, also featuring Buck Henry and Teri Garr, was written by and starred Martin. The film was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Short Film, Live Action. He made his first feature film appearance in the musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, where he sang The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". In 1979, Martin co-wrote and starred in his first full-length movie, The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner. The movie was a huge success, grossing over $100 million on a budget of approximately $4 million.
Stanley Kubrick met with him to discuss the possibility of Martin starring in a screwball comedy version of Traumnovelle (Kubrick later changed his approach to the material, the result of which was 1999's Eyes Wide Shut). Martin was executive producer for Domestic Life, a prime-time television series starring friend Martin Mull, and a late-night series called Twilight Theater. It emboldened Martin to try his hand at his first serious film, Pennies from Heaven, a movie he was anxious to perform in because of his desire to avoid being typecast. To prepare for that film, Martin took acting lessons from director Herbert Ross, and spent months learning how to tap dance. The film was a financial failure; Martin's comment at the time was "I don't know what to blame, other than it's me and not a comedy."
Martin was in three more Reiner-directed comedies after The Jerk: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid in 1982, The Man with Two Brains in 1983 and All of Me in 1984, possibly his most critically acclaimed comic performance to date.In 1986, Martin joined fellow Saturday Night Live veterans Martin Short and Chevy Chase in ¡Three Amigos!, directed by John Landis, and written by Martin, Lorne Michaels, and singer-songwriter Randy Newman. It was originally entitled The Three Caballeros and Martin was to be teamed with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. In 1986, Martin was in the movie musical film version of the hit Off-Broadway play Little Shop of Horrors (based on a famous B-movie), playing the sadistic dentist, Orin Scrivello. The film was the first of three films teaming Martin with Rick Moranis. In 1987, Martin joined comedian John Candy in the John Hughes movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles. That same year, Roxanne, the film adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac which Martin co-wrote, won him a Writers Guild of America, East award. It also garnered recognition from Hollywood and the public that he was more than a comedian. In 1988, he performed in the Frank Oz remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels alongside Michael Caine.
Martin starred in the Ron Howard film Parenthood, with Moranis in 1989. He later met with Moranis to make the Mafia comedy My Blue Heaven in 1990. In 1991, Martin starred in and wrote L.A. Story, a romantic comedy, in which the female lead was played by his then-wife Victoria Tennant. Martin also appeared in Lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon, in which he played the tightly-wound Hollywood film producer, Davis, who was recovering from a traumatic robbery that left him injured, which was a more serious role for him. Martin also appeared in a remake of the comedy Father of the Bride in 1991 (followed by a sequel in 1995). He starred in the 1992 comedy HouseSitter, with Goldie Hawn and Dana Delany.
In David Mamet's 1997 thriller, The Spanish Prisoner, Martin played a darker role as a wealthy stranger who takes a suspicious interest in the work of a young businessman (Campbell Scott). He went on to star with Eddie Murphy in the 1999 comedy Bowfinger, which Martin also wrote. He appeared in a version of Waiting for Godot as Vladimir, with Robin Williams as Estragon and Bill Irwin as Lucky. In 1998, Martin guest starred with U2 in the 200th episode of The Simpsons titled "Trash of the Titans", providing the voice for sanitation commissioner Ray Patterson. In 1999, Martin and Hawn starred in a remake of the 1970 Neil Simon comedy, The Out-of-Towners. By 2003, Martin ranked 4th on the box office stars list, after starring in Bringing Down The House and Cheaper By The Dozen, each of which earned over $130 million at U.S. theaters. That same year, he also played the villainous Mr. Chairman in the animation/live action blend, "Looney Tunes: Back in Action".
Martin wrote and starred in Shopgirl (2005), based on his own novella (2000), and starred in Cheaper by the Dozen 2. He also starred in the box office hit The Pink Panther in 2006, standing in Peter Sellers's shoes as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, a role which he reprised in 2009's The Pink Panther 2. In Baby Mama (2008), he played the founder of a health food company, and in It's Complicated (2009), he played opposite Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. In 2009, an article in The Guardian listed Martin as one of the best actors never to receive an Oscar nomination.
He is set to appear with Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and JoBeth Williams in the birdwatching comedy The Big Year in 2011.

Hosting
Martin hosted Academy Awards solo in 2001 and 2003 and with Alec Baldwin in 2010.[31] In 2005, Martin co-hosted Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, marking the park's anniversary. Disney continued to run the show until March 2009, which now plays in the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Personal life
Martin was romantically involved with actress and singer Bernadette Peters, his costar in the films The Jerk and Pennies from Heaven, during the 1970s and early 1980s. He married actress Victoria Tennant on November 20, 1986, and the union lasted until 1994. On July 28, 2007, after three years together, Martin married Anne Stringfield, a writer and former staffer for The New Yorker magazine. Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey presided over the ceremony at Martin's Los Angeles home. Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live, was best man. Several of the guests, including close friends Tom Hanks, Eugene Levy, comedian Carl Reiner, and magician/actor Ricky Jay were not informed that a wedding ceremony would take place. Instead, they were told they were invited to a party, and were surprised by the nuptials.[
Investigators at Berlin's state criminal police office (LKA) think that Martin was one victim of a German art forgery scandal. In July 2004 Martin purchased what he believed to be a 1915 work by the German-Dutch painter Heinrich Campendonk, "Landschaft mit Pferden," or "Landscape With Horses," from a Paris gallery for what should have been a bargain price in the neighborhood of €700,000 (around $850,000 at the time). Before the purchase an expert authenticated the work and identified the painter's signature on a label attached to the back. Fifteen months later Martin put the painting up for sale, and auction house Christie's dispose of it in February 2006 to a Swiss businesswoman for €500,000 – a loss of €200,000. Police believe the fake Campendonk originated from an invented art collection devised by a group of German swindlers caught in 2010. Skillfully forged paintings from this group were sold to French galleries like the one where Martin bought the forgery.

Martina Mcbride

Martina McBride (born Martina Mariea Schiff on July 29, 1966, in Sharon, Kansas) is an American country music singer and songwriter. McBride has been called the "Céline Dion of Country Music" for her big-voiced ballads and soprano range.
McBride was signed to RCA Records in 1991 and made her debut the following year as a neo-traditionalist country singer with the single, "The Time Has Come."It was not until 1997, when she released her fourth album, Evolution, that she broke through into the country music industry with a new pop-styled crossover sound, similar to that of Faith Hill and Shania Twain. From that point on, McBride has had a string of major hit singles on the Billboard country chart and occasionally on the adult contemporary chart. Five of these singles went to No. 1 on the country chart between 1995 and 2001, and one peaked at No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart in 2003.
McBride has recorded a total of nine studio albums, one "greatest hits" compilation, one "live" album, a "Christmas" compilation, as well as two additional compilation albums. Seven of her studio albums and two of her compilations have received an RIAA certification of "Gold", or higher. Worldwide, she has sold over 18 million albums. In addition, Martina has won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" award four times (tied with Reba McEntire for the most wins) and the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" award three times.

Early life
McBride was born Martina Mariea Schiff in Sharon, Kansas, to Daryl and Jeanne (née Clark) Schiff on July 29, 1966. She has two brothers, Martin and Steve, who currently play in her concert band, and a sister, Gina.
She was raised in Sharon, Kansas, a small town with population of about 200. Her father, who was a farmer and cabinetry shop owner, exposed McBride to country music at a young age. Listening to country music helped her acquire a love for singing. After school, she would spend hours singing along to the records of such popular artists as Reba McEntire, Linda Ronstadt, Juice Newton, Jeanne Pruett, Connie Smith and Patsy Cline.Around the age of 8 or 9, McBride began singing with a band her father fronted, "The Schiffters." As Schiff grew older her role in the band progressively increased, from simply singing, to also playing keyboard with them. She enjoyed performing in her early years.
She began performing with a local rock band, The Penetrators, in Wichita instead.[4] Then, in 1987, Schiff gathered a group of musicians called Lotus and started looking for rehearsal space; she began renting space from a studio engineer named John McBride. In 1988, the two married.
After marrying, the couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1989 with the hope of beginning a career in country music. John McBride joined Garth Brooks's sound crew and later became his concert production manager. Martina occasionally joined her husband on the road and helped sell Garth Brooks souvenirs.In 1990, impressed by Martina's enthusiastic spirit, Brooks offered her the position of his opening act provided she could obtain a recording contract.During this time, while her husband was working with country artists Charlie Daniels and Ricky Van Shelton, he also helped produce her demo tape, which helped her gain a recording contract with RCA Nashville Records in 1991.

Music career
1992 – 1995: The Time Has Come and The Way That I Am
McBride released her debut studio album through the RCA Records label in 1992, titled The Time Has Come. This album's title track made number 23 on the country music charts, but the next two singles both failed to make top 40.Unlike her later country pop-influenced albums, The Time Has Come featured honky tonk and country folk influences.
The Way That I Am was the title of McBride's second album. Its first two singles both brought her into the country top ten: "My Baby Loves Me" peaked at number two, and "Life #9" at number six. The third single, "Independence Day", This song did not reach top 10 because many radio programmers objected to the song's subject of a mother fighting back against abuse by burning the family home to the ground."Independence Day" won Video of the Year and Song of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards.After it, the fourth and fifth singles from The Way That I Am were less successful: "Heart Trouble" peaked at number 21, and "Where I Used to Have a Heart" fell short of top 40.

1995 – 1997: Wild Angels
Released in 1995, Wild Angels accounted for another top five hit in "Safe in the Arms of Love", and her first number-one hit in the album's title track."Phones Are Ringin' All Over Town", "Swingin' Doors" and "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road" were less successful, reaching the lower regions of the top 40.

1997 – 1999: Evolution
In early 1997, after "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road" peaked, McBride released two duets. "Still Holding On", a duet with Clint Black which was the lead-off single to his album Nothin' but the Taillights, and "Valentine" with Jim Brickman which appeared on his album Picture This. After these two songs were released, she had her second number one on the country charts with "A Broken Wing", the lead-off to her album Evolution. This album went on to produce four more top ten hits at country radio: a re-release of "Valentine", "Happy Girl", "Wrong Again" (which also went to number one) and "Whatever You Say". Towards the end of 1998, the album was certified double platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling two million units. In addition, she also won the Country Music Association Awards' "Female Vocalist of the Year" award in 1999 and also performed for President Bill Clinton during the same time.
Also in 1998, McBride released a Christmas album titled White Christmas. Included on it was a rendition of "O Holy Night", which first charted in 1997 and continued to re-enter the charts until 2001.She also sang a guest vocal on Jason Sellers' mid-1998 single "This Small Divide".

1999 – 2003: Emotion and Greatest Hits
Her fifth studio album, Emotion, was released in 1999. Its lead single, "I Love You," reached number one on the Billboard country charts in 1999, and also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary chart. The song's follow-ups, "Love's the Only House" and "There You Are", both made top ten at country radio, and "It's My Time" peaked at number eleven.
In 2001, she released her first compilation, Greatest Hits. This album has been certified 3× Platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is her highest-selling album.It included most of her major hits to that point, and the album track "Strangers" from the album The Way That I Am, which she put on the album because she felt that it should have been a single.[11] The album also included four new songs, all of which made top ten on the country music charts between 2001 and 2003: "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues", "Blessed (Martina McBride song)" (her fifth number one), "Where Would You Be" and "Concrete Angel". In between the latter two, she also sang a guest vocal on Andy Griggs' 2002 single "Practice Life".
2003 – 2005: Martina
In 2003, McBride released her sixth studio album, Martina, which celebrated womanhood.The first single, "This One's for the Girls," went to number three on the country charts and became her only number-one hit on the Adult Contemporary charts. It also included backing vocals from Faith Hill, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and McBride's daughters, Delaney and Emma.Follow-up single "In My Daughter's Eyes" was also a top five hit at both country and adult contemporary. "How Far" and "God's Will" from the same album both made top 20 at country radio, as did her guest appearance on Jimmy Buffett's single "Trip Around the Sun".
In 2004 McBride won the CMA's Female Vocalist award for the fourth time, following the wins in 2003, 2002 & 1999, which tied her for the most wins in that category with Reba McEntire.

Million Dollar Quartet

"Million Dollar Quartet" is the name given to recordings made on Tuesday December 4, 1956 in the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The recordings were of an impromptu jam session among Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. It was arguably the first supergroup.

Recording session
The jam session seems to have happened by pure chance. Perkins, who by this time had already met success with "Blue Suede Shoes", had come into the studios that day, accompanied by his brothers Clayton and Jay and by drummer W.S. Holland, their aim being to cut some new material, including a revamped version of an old blues song, "Matchbox". Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, who wished to try to fatten this sparse rockabilly instrumentation, had brought in his latest acquisition, singer and piano man extraordinaire Jerry Lee Lewis, still unknown outside Memphis, to play piano on the Perkins session.
Sometime in the early afternoon, Elvis Presley, a former Sun artist himself but now at RCA, dropped in to pay a casual visit accompanied by a girlfriend, Marilyn Evans.[1] He was, at the time, the biggest name in show business, having hit the top of the singles charts five times, and topping the album charts twice in the preceding 12-month period. Less than four months earlier, he had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, pulling an unheard-of 83% of the television audience, which was estimated at 55 million, the largest in history up to that time.
After chatting with Philips in the control room, Presley listened to the playback of Perkins’ session, which he pronounced to be good. Then he went out into the studio and some time later the jam session began. At some point during the session, Sun artist Johnny Cash, who had recently enjoyed a few hits on the country charts, popped in. (Cash wrote in his autobiography Cash that it was he who was first to arrive at Sun Studio that day.) Cowboy Jack Clement was engineering that day and remembers saying to himself "I think I'd be remiss not to record this" and so he did and the rest is history. As Jerry Lee pounded away on the piano, Elvis and girlfriend Evans slipped out at some point. Cash claims in Cash that "no one wanted to follow Jerry Lee, not even Elvis."
As the session continued, Phillips spotted an opportunity for some publicity and called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Bob Johnson, the newspaper’s entertainment editor, came over to the studios accompanied by a UPI representative named Leo Soroca and a photographer.
The following day, an article, written by Johnson about the session, was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar under the title "Million Dollar Quartet". The article contained the now-famous photograph of Presley seated at the piano surrounded by Lewis, Perkins and Cash. (The original, uncropped version of the photo also includes Evans, shown seated atop the piano.

Releases
In 1969, Shelby Singleton bought Sun Records. He began a long search of the Sun catalogue, browsing through more than 10,000 hours of tape.
At the same time, Singleton licensed much, if not all, of the Sun catalogue to the English Charly label for reissue in Europe. As a result of Singleton’s and Charly's search of the Sun catalogue, a portion of the session came to light. This was issued in Europe 1981] as "Charly/Sun" LP #1006 The Million Dollar Quartet, and it contained seventeen tracks, almost all of which were gospel/spiritual music.
Several years later, additional material was discovered. This resulted in the release of the 1987 "Charly/Sun" 2 LP set #CDX 20 The Complete Million Dollar Session, together with their simultaneous issue in CD format in Europe. In 1990, they were replicated by RCA for US distribution as a CD and LP, titled, Elvis Presley - The Million Dollar Quartet (RCA CD # 2023-2-R), the sleeve notes of which were written by Colin Escott of Showtime Music, Toronto.
A 2006 50th anniversary issue of the session was released on RCA, containing approximately twelve minutes of previously unavailable material and placing the titles in the original recorded sequence. The source of the recording was a copy of the session owned by Elvis Presley.
According to Ernst Jorgensen, an authority on Elvis who consults for BMG, the published material contains about 95 percent of the master recordings. "We found three reels", he says, "You could always argue that there were more. But in the first you can hear Elvis arriving and in the last you can hear him leaving. I doubt that there are more."[citation needed]
The released albums contain 46 musical tracks, most of which are incomplete and are interspersed with chatter between the participants. They are not pristine, well rehearsed studio recordings, which were meant for commercial release, but rather the sound of a group of friends, who are gathered together to play old favorites and share the pleasure of making music together. Bob Johnson described it as "an old fashioned barrel-house session with barber shop harmonies resulting."

Songs
Country music and country gospel loom large in the choice of songs. The songs of such country and Western legends as Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow and Gene Autry are among those featured. Lewis played most of the piano and Presley took nearly all of the lead vocals. The other participants easily follow Presley’s lead with what seems a close familiarity with his choice of songs. Critics have remarked on the irony of his choices as rock & roll was branded as satanic music at the time.
Carl Perkins took the lead on only "Keeper Of The Key" and seemed content to play guitar and supply harmony vocals. He had, however, been singing all afternoon. Clayton Perkins and Jay Perkins and drummer W. S. Holland can be heard on the earliest titles. The rhythm guitar on the earlier songs was played by Charles Underwood, who was a writer for Phillips’s publishing companies. Presley also brought with him another aspiring singer, Cliff Gleaves, who might be participating on some of the ensemble parts.
Jerry Lee Lewis can be heard more frequently, often singing in duet with Presley and at the end of the session, when Presley got up to leave, he swiftly took over the piano and whipped off five piano ravers in rapid succession, including a rousing "Crazy Arms" (his debut Sun single) and a soulful make-over of Gene Autry's You're the Only Star in My Blue Heaven.
Colin Escott has reported that according to Charles Underwood, Presley and Phillips went into the control room while Lewis was playing and Presley commented to Bob Johnson that "[Lewis] could go. I think he has a great future ahead of him. He had a different style and the way he plays piano and gets inside me."[citation needed]
More importantly, however, Johnny Cash’s voice does not seem to appear on any of the released tracks. Colin Escott reports that according to Bob Johnson, Cash joined Presley, Perkins and Lewis on Blueberry Hill and Isle Of Golden Dreams. This was confirmed by Carl Perkins in a 1972 interview, when he stated that "we did things like Blueberry Hill, Island Of Golden Dreams, I Won't Have To Cross The Jordan Alone, The Old Rugged Cross, Peace in the Valley, Tutti Frutti, and Big Boss Man."Peace in the Valley" is the only released track and none of the others ever seems to have been found. Johnny Cash's autobiography, Cash, states that he sings on the tracks but he sings in a higher pitch than usually to blend better with Elvis's vocal. Furthermore he writes that he stood far from the microphone.
The point at which Johnny Cash arrived at the studio is a matter of discussion. Some sources,report that Cash was already at the studios, when Presley arrived. Perkins said that Cash had stopped into the studios to "get some money".
Cash, in the book Cash: The Autobiography commented, "I was there - I was the first to arrive and the last to leave, contrary to what has been written - but I was just there to watch Carl record, which he did until mid-afternoon, when Elvis came in with his girlfriend. At that point the session stopped and we all started laughing and cutting up together. Then Elvis sat down at the piano, and we started singing gospel songs we all knew, then some Bill Monroe songs. Elvis wanted to hear songs Bill had written besides Blue Moon of Kentucky, and I knew the whole repertoire. So, again contrary to what some people have written, my voice is on the tape. It's not obvious, because I was farthest away from the mic and I was singing a lot higher than I usually did in order to stay in key with Elvis, but I guarantee you, I'm there."[5]
Some reports, however, including one in a very detailed account in Peter Guralnick's book, Last Train To Memphis - The Rise of Elvis Presley, suggest that Cash stayed for only a short time and then left, possibly to do some Christmas shopping. Colin Escott also reports that Cash was brought in only late in the session, after Sam Phillips had decided to call the Memphis Press Scimitar.
The fact that Cash may not have been present throughout the whole session seems to be confirmed by two pieces of “chatter” caught on the tapes. In the first, another Sun artist, Smokey Joe Baugh, came by and his gravelly voice can be heard after "I Shall Not Be Moved", saying "You oughta get up a quartet." In the second, a female voice, not Marilyn Evans, can be heard asking if "This Rover Boys Trio can sing 'Farther Along'?" Evans, however, can later be heard requesting the song "End of the Road."[6] On the other hand, Elvis is plainly heard mentioning Cash by name on the track "As We Travel Along The Jericho Road", at the 0:07 mark, although the form of the reference leaves it ambiguous as to whether Cash was on premises at that point. Elvis can also be heard saying goodbye to someone named Johnny during the "Elvis Says Goodbye" track that closes the 50th anniversary release.
Country music was not the only choice of the participants; they performed Home!_Sweet_Home!, a sentimental ballad as an energetic rockabilly clip. They can also be heard turning their attention to the hit parade of the day. Presley led the session with "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind," an R & B song popularized by the Five Keys. Meanwhile, Lewis sings one line of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" which leads into Lewis and Presley experimenting with snippets of Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man." Elvis can also be heard singing a snippet of Little Richard's "Rip It Up" (with a ribald change in the lyric) and Pat Boone's hit of the day, "Don’t Forbid Me" which Elvis on the tape claims was first offered to him but the demo "sat around my house" without being played.
In addition, Presley previewed material that he was considering for up-coming RCA sessions in January and February 1957. He sang "Is It So Strange," "Peace In The Valley," and "That’s When Your Heartaches Begin," which he acknowledges on the tape as having been one of the songs he recorded for Sun during his demo session a couple of years earlier, and which he would record again for RCA a month later. In the case of "Is It So Strange", he comments, "Ol' Faron Young wrote this song sent to me to record."
The title which most critics seem to highlight is Presley’s rendition of "Don't Be Cruel," one of his major hits of 1956 (see 1956 in music). This is not Presley singing Presley, but his imitation of Jackie Wilson, then the lead singer with Billy Ward’s Dominoes, imitating him. It appears as though the Presley entourage spent a few days in Las Vegas (most likely during Presley's short-lived tenure earlier in the year at the Frontier Hotel) and went to watch Jackie Wilson, who had obviously built an impersonation of Presley into his act.
Presley describes Jackie Wilson tearing up Las Vegas audiences with a house-on-fire rendition of "Don't Be Cruel". He goes on to say that, "He tried so hard until he got much better, boy, much better than that record of mine.... I went back four nights straight and heard that guy do that," he says, imitating Wilson's bluesy smolder and big finish.
"He sung the hell out of the song," Elvis can be heard saying with admiration, adding with a laugh, "I was on the table lookin' at him, 'Get 'im off, get 'im off!'" Obviously on a roll, Presley, then ripped into a slower, sassier version of "Paralyzed," a song recorded for his second album and also released on an extended play 45. He was backed up by Perkins and his trio.
According to the Rolling Stone review of the album, "'The Complete Million Dollar Session' provides a rare post-Sun glimpse of Elvis Presley momentarily free of the golden shackles of stardom and the manipulative grasp of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. His singing, especially on the gospel numbers, is natural and relaxed, minus some of the trademark mannerisms of his official RCA releases."
Colin Escott has said, "They mixed and matched their disparate styles – and their innate musicality ensured that what emerged had the rarest of all musical qualities: originality.
Some 30 years later, Perkins, Lewis, Cash and Roy Orbison, a Sun recording artist in 1956, went back into the Sun Studios to record a session of their own Class of '55.

Little Richard

Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beatand contributed significantly to the development of soul music.The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame web site entry on Penniman states that:
He claims to be "the architect of rock and roll", and history would seem to bear out Little Richard’s boast. More than any other performer – save, perhaps, Elvis Presley, Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona. On record, he made spine-tingling rock and roll. His frantically charged piano playing and raspy, shouted vocals on such classics as "Tutti Frutti", "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly" defined the dynamic sound of rock and roll.
Penniman began performing on stage and on the road in 1945, when he was in his early teens.He began his recording career on October 16, 1951 by imitating the gospel-influenced style of late-1940s jump blues artist Billy Wright, who was a friend of his that set him up with the opportunity to record. His early fifties recordings, however, did not achieve remarkable commercial success. However, in 1955, under the guidance of Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Penniman began recording in a style he had been performing onstage for years,featuring varied rhythm (derived from everything from drum beats he would hear in his voice to the sounds of trains he would hear thundering by him as a child), a heavy backbeat, funky saxophone grooves, over-the-top gospel-style singing, moans, screams, and other emotive inflections, accompanied by a combination of boogie-woogie and rhythm and blues music.This new music, which included an original injection of funk into the rock and roll beat,inspired many of the greatest recording artists of the twentieth century, including James Brown, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding,Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix,Michael Jackson, and generations of other rhythm & blues, rock, and soul music artists.
On October 12, 1957, while at the height of stardom, Penniman abruptly quit rock and roll music and became a born-again Christian.He had charted seventeen original hits in less than three years.In January 1958, he enrolled in and attended Bible college to become a preacher and evangelist and began recording and performing only gospel music for a number of years. He then moved back and forth from rock and roll to the ministry, until he was able to reconcile the two roles in later life.
Penniman was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and one of only four of those artists (along with Ray Charles, James Brown, and Fats Domino) to also receive the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003, Penniman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.In 2007, his 1955 original hit "Tutti Frutti" was voted Number 1 by an eclectic panel of renowned recording artists on Mojo's The Top 100 Records That Changed The World, hailing the recording as "the sound of the birth of rock and roll."In 2010, The United States of America's Library of Congress National Recording Registry added the groundbreaking recording to its registry, claiming that the hit, with its original “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom!” a cappella introduction, announced a new era in music.


Biography
Early life and early career: 1932-1951
Richard Wayne Penniman was born in Macon, Georgia, the third of 12 children born to Charlie "Bud" Penniman, Sr. (10 April 1910 – 12 January 1952), a bootlegger and his wife Leva Mae (née Stewart). He grew up in a religious family in which singing was an integral part of their lives; they performed in local churches as The Penniman Singers, and entered contests with other singing families. His family called him "War Hawk" because of his loud, screaming singing voice. His grandfather, Walter Penniman, was a preacher, and his father's family were members of the Foundation Templar African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Macon. His maternal grandmother was a member of Macon's Holiness Temple Baptist Church. Penniman attended the New Hope Baptist Church in Macon, where his mother was a member. Penniman's favorites were the Pentecostal churches because of the music and the fun he would have doing the holy dance and speaking in tongues with members of the congregation. When he was 10, he became a faith healer, singing gospel songs and touching people, who would testify that they felt better afterwards. Inspired by Brother Joe May, a singing evangelist known as "The Thunderbolt of the West", Penniman wanted to become a preacher.
Almost all of Penniman's dramatic phrasing and swift vocal turns are derived from black gospel artists of the 1930s and '40s. He said Sister Rosetta Tharpe was his favorite singer when he was a child. She had invited him to sing a song with her onstage at the Macon City Auditorium in 1945, after hearing him sing before the concert. The crowd cheered, and she paid him more money than he had ever seen after the show.He was also influenced by Marion Williams, from whom he got the trademark "whoooo" in his vocal, Mahalia Jackson and Brother Joe May.[28] He was influenced in appearance (hair, clothing, shoes, makeup, etc.) and sound by late 1940s gospel-style, jump blues shouter Billy Wright, a friend of his who was known as the "Prince of the Blues".Wright set Penniman up with DJ Zenas Sears, who scored the newcomer his first recording contract in 1951.One of Penniman's main influences in piano-playing was Esquerita (Eskew Reeder, Jr.), who showed him how to play high notes without compromising bass. Penniman met Esquerita when he traveled through Macon with a preacher named Sister Rosa.
Penniman lived in a black neighborhood; he had some contact with whites but, due to racial segregation, he could not cross the line where the whites lived.While in high school, Penniman played alto saxophone in the marching band. He began losing interest in school and began performing in a variety of travelling shows in his mid-teens.

Early recordings: 1951-1955
In October 1951, Penniman began recording jump blues records for RCA Camden. His father was shot to death while he was performing at a club on January 12, 1952.In October 1953, he began recording with Peacock Records.Records were released each year during 1951–54, but none were significant hits.
Following two recording sessions with Peacock in 1953,Penniman, dissatisfied with his solo career, began to form a new R&B road band that he called "The Upsetters." The band began with New Orleans drummer Charles "Chuck" Connors and two saxophonists, including Wilbert "Lee Diamond" Smith.By 1955, the band was joined by saxophonists Clifford "Gene" Burks and Grady Gaines, who became its leader, along with Olsie "Baysee" Robinson on bass, and Nathaniel "Buster" Douglas on guitar.
At Lloyd Price's suggestion, Penniman recorded a demo for gospel/R&B label Specialty Records on February 9, 1955.Specialty's owner, Art Rupe, loaned him money to buy out his contract from Peacock Records and placed his career in the hands of Specialty's A&R man Robert "Bumps" Blackwell.
Rupe and Blackwell originally pictured Penniman as a commercial rival to Ray Charles, who was experiencing success with Atlantic Records by taking gospel songs and developing them in a bluesy setting with a beat.Penniman told Rupe he liked Fats Domino's sound, so Rupe and Blackwell booked Cosimo Matassa's J & M Recording Studio in New Orleans,and hired studio musicians who had worked with Domino (including Earl Palmer on drums and Lee Allen on sax) rather than members of Penniman's road band on many of the mid-1950s Specialty tracks.
Following some recordings that did not satisfy Blackwell, they took a break. Penniman began pounding out a boogie woogie rhythm on piano and hollering out impromptu recital of "Tutti Frutti", a song he had written and had been performing on stage for years. Blackwell was so impressed with the sound that he had Penniman record the song. However, in order to make it commercially acceptable, Penniman's lyrics were rewritten. Blackwell recognized that the lyrics, with their “minstrel modes and homosexuality humor” needed to be cleaned up.For example “Tutti Frutti, good booty",[44] were replaced with “Tutti Frutti, aw-rooty”. The song featured the a cappella intro "A-wop-bop-a-loo-lop-a-lop-bam-boom!", which Penniman first belted out years before onstage based on a drum beat he heard in his voice, that had also been altered slightly to make it commercially acceptable.The recording was released on Specialty in October 1955.

Influence
Penniman's influence on the development of a variety of major musical genres in the twentieth century and many of those genres most significant artists was immense.[139] James Brown, who called Penniman his idol,stated that he was the first to put the funk in the rock and roll beat via his mid-1950s road band.Otis Redding, who entered the music business because of Penniman, indicated that Penniman contributed significantly to the development of soul music.ichie Unterberger of allmusic.com stated that "Little Richard merged the fire of gospel with New Orleans R&B, pounding the piano and wailing with gleeful abandon. While numerous other R&B greats of the early '50s had been moving in a similar direction, none of them matched the sheer electricity of Richard's vocals. With his bullet-speed deliveries, ecstatic trills, and the overjoyed force of personality in his singing, he was crucial in upping the voltage from high-powered R&B into the similar, yet different, guise of rock & roll. Although he was only a hitmaker for a couple of years or so, his influence upon both the soul and British Invasion stars of the 1960s was vast, and his early hits remain core classics of the rock repertoire.
Penniman has been recognized for his outstanding musical contributions by many other high-profile artists. In November 1988, Ray Charles introduced him at the Legends of Rock n Roll concert in Rome, as "a man that started a kind of music that set the pace for a lot of what's happening today."Bo Diddley stated that "Little Richard was a one-of-a-kind show business genius. He influenced so many people in the business."Paul McCartney said that he idolized Penniman when he was in school and always wanted to sing like him,and Mick Jagger called Penniman "the originator" and "my first idol."Bob Dylan performed Little Richard songs on piano as a schoolboy in his first band and declared in his high school yearbook in 1959 that his ambition was "to join Little Richard",and in 1966, Jimi Hendrix, who recorded and performed with Penniman from 1964 to 1965." and began to emulate him in appearance (mustache, clothing, etc.) during that time,was quoted as saying, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice." Cliff Richard, George Harrison,Keith Richards,Bob Seger,[ John Fogerty,David Bowie,Elton John,Freddie Mercury, Rod Stewart,and AC/DC band members Bon Scott, angus Young, and Brian Johnson are among the many other top-selling recording artists of the twentieth century who indicated that Penniman was a primary rock 'n' roll influence. In 1979, as he began to develop his solo career, Michael Jackson was quoted as saying that Penniman was a huge influence on him.

Awards and honors
In 1956, Cashbox awarded Penniman the Cashbox Triple Crown Award for his second hit single "Long Tall Sally".
In 1984, "Little Richard" Penniman was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
In 1986, Penniman was one of the first group of recording artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1990, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1993, he then received an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
In 1994, he was the fourth recording artist (the others being Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown) to be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
In 1995, he received two Keys to the City of Providence, Rhode Island; one was awarded spontaneously, on stage, by Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
In 1997, he received the American Music Award of Merit.
On May 14, 2002, Little Richard was honored as one of the first three BMI Icons at the 50th annual BMI Pop Awards. He was presented the award along with BMI affiliates Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.
In 2002, he received the NAACP Image Award - Hall of Fame Award for having "distinguished himself as not only an unparalleled musical genius, but also as a unique and innovative performing artist—fusing pure vocal talent with exhilarating showmanship."
In 2003, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #8 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame, at the same time as Ella Fitzgerald (who was one of the first winners of 'Amateur Night at the Apollo' in 1934) and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
In 2007, his 1955 original hit "Tutti Frutti" topped Mojo's The Top 100 Records That Changed The World.
In 2008, Penniman was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame.
In 2009, he was formally inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
In 2009, he was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
In 2010, The Library Of Congress National Recording Registry added Penniman's original 1955 hit “Tutti Frutti” to its registry, claiming that the hit announced a new era in music: “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom!”[23]
In September 2010, Little Richard was named GQ's Man of the Year (Legend).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

teachers facing problems across several states of US due to budget as well as the new bill which wants to take away their collective bargaining power

Several US states are pushing for bill which may affect teachers & take away their collective bargaining powers.

wisconsin is seeing huge scale protests yet the lawmakers are trying to push the bill somehow.

jay carney white house press secretary is saying president is showing support for teachers but i feel why things are not being worked out to resolve in support of the teachers & still solve the budget issues.

Budget gaps need to be solved but not at the compromise of teachers & their future

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Winn Dixie




Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: WINN) is an American supermarket chain based in Jacksonville, Florida. Winn-Dixie has ranked number 24 in the 2010 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2009 fiscal year estimated sales of $7.3 billion by Supermarket News.and was ranked the 43rd largest retailer in the United States based on 2006 revenues by Stores Magazine. Winn-Dixie currently operates 514 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. The company has existed under its present name since 1955 and can date its roots back to 1925.



Prior to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005, Winn-Dixie was listed in the S&P 500 and had been traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "WIN" since February 18, 1952. The company is currently traded under the symbol "WINN" on the NASDAQ. The bankruptcy also left the chain with fewer stores than it had in the late 1960s.

They are known for their private label Chek brand soft drinks, which are produced in over 20 different flavors plus diet and caffeine-free varieties—one of the widest assortments. They have also been known as "The Beef People". In its advertising and print media Winn-Dixie now uses the brand promises of "Fresh Checked Every Day" in its Jacksonville DMA, "Getting Better All The Time" in its locations in Central Florida, "El Sabor De Tu Pais", or "The Flavor Of Your Country", in its Miami area stores, and "Local Flavor Since 1956" in its Louisiana area stores.

History
Beginnings

Winn-Dixie was founded and built up by William Milton Davis and his sons Artemus Darius Davis, James Elsworth Davis, Milton Austin Davis and Tine Wayne Davis. William Davis started in business in Burley, Idaho, where he bought a general store in 1914 that he later renamed Davis Mercantile. As was common then, he sold most goods on credit. The advent of cash-only grocery stores in the 1920s hurt Davis's business, as the new stores offered lower prices and larger selections.

In 1925, William Davis borrowed $10,000 from his father and moved to Miami, Florida, where he purchased the Rockmoor Grocery. In 1927, the company was renamed Table Supply, and four more stores were opened. In 1931, the Davis family bought the Lively Stores chain for $10,000, to create a chain of thirty-three Table Supply stores across Florida from Miami to Tampa. William Milton Davis died in 1934, leaving his four sons in charge of the company.

In 1939, the Davis brothers bought fifty-one percent of Winn-Lovett, a chain of seventy-three stores. In 1944, the brothers adopted Winn-Lovett as the company name and moved the company headquarters to Jacksonville. Winn-Lovett purchased the Steiden Stores chain of thirty-one stores in Kentucky in 1945, and Margaret Ann Stores, with forty-six stores in Florida, in 1949. In 1952, Winn-Lovett became the first industrial corporation based in Florida to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.



Acquisitions

Winn-Lovett continued to grow by acquiring other chains, including Penney Stores in Mississippi, and Ballentine Stores and Eden Stores, both in South Carolina, all in 1955. Also in 1955, Winn-Lovett bought the 117-store Dixie Home chain, and changed its name to Winn-Dixie. In 1956, Winn-Dixie bought Ketner-Milner Stores in North Carolina, Hill Stores in Louisiana and Mississippi, and King Stores in Georgia. In 1967, Winn-Dixie bought the City Markets chain in The Bahamas.[4] The last purchase of a chain was in 1995, with the purchase of the Cincinnati-based Thriftway Food Drug.

Involvements

Although Winn-Dixie Stores has been a publicly owned corporation since 1952, the Davis family has always maintained control of the corporation. As of February 2005, when the company entered bankruptcy, the heirs of William Milton Davis still held about thirty-five percent of Winn-Dixie stock.

The Davis brothers also became involved in Florida state politics, supporting conservative causes. It is reported that their financial support helped George Smathers beat incumbent U.S. Senator Claude Pepper in 1950. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Donald Regan is reported to have said of his financial guru, James E. Davis: "When J.E. calls, I listen." It is reported that after reading Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery, James E. Davis began a program of Winn-Dixie supporting historically Black colleges and universities.

In the 90's Winn Dixie gave a generous contribution to the Boy Scouts of America of the Central Florida Council, resulting in the renaming of Camp La-No Che as the "Winn-Dixie Scout Reservation".

Winn-Dixie is involved in their hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., including being considered the official supermarket of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars. Some Jacksonville-area stores give away Jaguars tickets during the NFL season.

Financial difficulties
In 2003, when the chain had over 1000 stores, the company's stock was the worst-performing of the S&P 500. In April 2004, Winn-Dixie announced the closure of 156 stores, including all 111 stores located in the Midwest. Included were over twenty stores that had operated under the Thriftway name in and around Cincinnati, Ohio; they had been purchased by Winn-Dixie in 1995. The company had been hit hard by competition, especially from Publix and Wal-Mart. Another 40 stores in the Atlanta area were converted to their Save Rite Grocery Warehouse brand, as an alternative to store closure. Also, the stores in North Carolina and South Carolina closed.



Bankruptcy
On February 22, 2005, Winn-Dixie filed for bankruptcy. On June 21, it announced the sale or closure of 326 stores, resulting in the loss of over 22,000 jobs. Winn-Dixie closed all its stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Once the restructuring had completed, Winn-Dixie was to operate in the Bahamas, and in four of the Deep South states, operating throughout Florida, the southeastern half of Louisiana, the southeast corner of Mississippi, most of Alabama, and the southwest and coastal corners of Georgia.





On February 28, 2006, it was announced that thirty-five more stores were to be sold or closed within the coming months, with the Central and South Florida areas being the most affected. On March 31, 2006, it was announced that the chain would sell its twelve Bahamian locations, which had been operated by a wholly owned subsidiary, W-D, Limited, under the names City Market and Winn-Dixie.

Emergence From Bankruptcy and The Present
On June 29, 2006, Winn-Dixie announced that it had filed a plan of reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The company emerged from Chapter 11 protection on November 21, 2006 in a much stronger financial position. Their bankruptcy case is being handled in the Jacksonville area by Steve Busey and Cyndi Jackson of the law firm, Smith, Hulsey, & Busey, and by the New York firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.


Upon emerging from bankruptcy in 2006 Winn-Dixie made great strides toward success, which included a steadfast effort to modernize its existing store base while focusing on new locations for the future. A timeline listed below describes key events.
2006:
November 21-Winn-Dixie officially emerges from Chapter 11 protection with $725 million in exit financing as a new company and with a new Board of Directors.
November 22-New shares of Winn-Dixie stock begin to trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange on a “when-issued” basis under the ticker symbol WINNV.
December 21-Winn-Dixie completes its initial distribution of common stock and the new shares begin to trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol WINN.

2007:
June 22-Winn-Dixie announces the appointment of Dan Portnoy as Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer.
September 26-Store #1439 reopens in New Orleans almost 25 months to the day it was severely damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is the first grocery store to reopen east of the Industrial Canal in a section of New Orleans known as East Orleans.
September 27-Peter Lynch rings the opening bell of the NASDAQ Stock Exchange from inside the rebuilt Store 1439 in New Orleans, La. With him is Mayor Ray Nagin and a host of local and state officials.
November 7-Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. holds its first annual shareholders meeting since the company reorganized and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.




2008:
July 9-Peter Lynch and Mayor John Peyton celebrate the grand opening of remodeled store #37 in downtown Jacksonville.
August 15-Winn-Dixie and Kellogg dedicated its 10th house for Habitat for Humanity in Atlantic Beach in Jacksonville.
September 19-Less than 18 months after announcing a major remodel initiative for all of its stores, Winn-Dixie Stores completed its 100th store remodel in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.
October 24-Mary Kellmanson, formerly of Wegmans, joins Winn-Dixie as Vice President of Marketing.
October 31-The eighth annual Winn-Dixie Foundation Charity Classic Golf Tournament, an annual fundraising event for the not-for-profit Winn-Dixie Foundation, raised $1.5 million for local charities in five states.

2009:
January 7-New prototype SaveRite store #2601 re-opens in Jacksonville.
May 13-Winn-Dixie breaks ground on first new store since emerging from bankruptcy located in Covington, Louisiana.
July 15-Winn-Dixie celebrates the completion of the Jacksonville DMA remodels with 51 locations becoming "Fresh Checked Every Day".

2010:
February 3-Winn-Dixie opened its first brand new store since reorganization in Covington, LA.
This location also earned the EPA's GreenChill certification.
June 9-Winn-Dixie opens its new "prototype" store in Margate, FL.

July 27-Winn-Dixie announced a reorganization that will result in 30 non-renovated, underperforming stores being closed, roughly 120 corporate and support positions being eliminated, and operating regions being consolidated from four to three. Of the 30 stores to be closed, 24 are located in Florida, 2 each in Georgia and Mississippi, and 1 each in Alabama and Louisiana. The store closures and layoffs are slated for completion by September 22, 2010.
September 22-All 30 non-remodeled, underperforming locations are closed.
September 30-Winn-Dixie celebrates the completion of a multimillion-dollar expansion and remodel in Mobile, Alabama as the third "transformational" store is debuted.
November 01-Winn-Dixie leverages its heritage as "The Beef People" and improves upon this by introducing their "Neighborhood Butcher" program in all stores.
December 01 -Winn-Dixie works to reach customers through digital marketing programs by starting a YouTube channel showcasing its "Neighborhood Butcher" program.
December 07 - MyWebGrocer chosen by Winn-Dixie to connect with its customers through online and mobile media channel. An initial way to create a more interactive and digital shopping experience is through the new Winn-Dixie App!

Brands

Winn-Dixie has run over 60 private label brands over the years. In 2003 the company cut the number down to a three tier system of brands: the "Prestige" brand for upscale private label products, "Winn-Dixie" for its mainstream items, and "Thrifty Maid" for its value items. In 2007, all three brands received redesigned packaging with plans to replace the "Prestige" brand with "Winn & Lovett".. In 2010, Winn-Dixie replaced it's value-centered brand Thrifty Maid with "ValuTime". [23]. The brands of "ValuTime", for the budget-minded shopper, "Winn-Dixie, which is designed to be as good as or better than national brands, and "Winn and Lovett", the premium, top-tier label, are the current private labels the organization uses store-wide. Winn-Dixie carries a store brand line of organic and natural foods. [24]. These brands are on numerous products in almost all departments. Other category-specific brands include "Chek" for the store-brand sodas and "Kuddles" for the store-brand baby-related items.

The manufacturer code portion of the UPC remains 21140 for the "Winn-Dixie" and "Winn and Lovett" labels.

Stores Open on Christmas 2010.....!!


If you are wondering for what stores are open on Christmas 2010, hardly any? Many active shoppers now are looking for lists of stores open during Christmas Day 2009. And yet, some stores already confirmed that they are closed on the said Holiday Seasons.



Apparently, some reports are saying that Walmart is open on Christmas 2010, but sad to say, Walmart already confirmed in their sites that their stores will be closed during Christmas Day 2010 and will be opened again as early in the morning of December 26, 2010.

Here are the list of establishments and stores that might be opened during Christmas Day 2010. Please read your guide below:

Grocery Stores – These also vary by location. Here you will find batteries, foods, candy, perhaps a small selection of electronics, flowers, baked goods, etc.. (you’ve been there before, you know the selection.)

Gas Stations – I sincerely hope you do not plan on buying a gift at a gas station, BUT, with the pain at the pump Americans are experiencing, some gas stations will sell gift cards. Easy way out but it will certainly make a gift that will be used.

Convenience Stores – Some CVS/Walgreens are open on Christmas for limited hours, check your local store’s website for details. Here you can buy batteries, cards, candy, and small electronics.

Meanwhile, some favourite stores for lifestyle are open during Christmas Day, these includes branches of Starbucks, so this might be a good news for all the coffee lovers out there. And yet, Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds confirmed that they are closed on Christmas. And since this is holiday, people might think that these closed stores will be opened again on the following day.


And lastly, most movie houses and theatres are open and most of the families now have their tradition to go to the theatre and catch a movie on Christmas Day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Norad Santa Tracker

NORAD Tracks Santa is an annual Christmas-themed entertainment program produced under the auspices of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Every year on Christmas Eve, "NORAD Tracks Santa" purports to follow Santa Claus as he leaves the North Pole and delivers presents to children around the world. The program starts on December 1 with a "Countdown Village" website.

The program is in the tradition of the September 1897 editorial "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" in the New York Sun.

History and overview
According to NORAD's official web page on the NORAD Tracks Santa program, the service began on December 24, 1955. A Sears department store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper. The advertisement told children that they could telephone Santa Claus and included a number for them to call. However, the telephone number printed was incorrect and calls instead came through to Colorado Spring's Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Colonel Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children that called in a "current location" for Santa Claus. A tradition began which continued when the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) replaced CONAD in 1958.

NORAD relies on volunteers to make the program possible. Many volunteers are employees at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base. Each volunteer handles about forty telephone calls per hour, and the team typically handles more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 telephone calls from more than two hundred countries and territories. Most of these contacts happen during the twenty-five hours from 2 a.m. on December 24 until 3 a.m. MST on December 25. Google Analytics has been in use since December 2007 to analyze traffic at the NORAD Tracks Santa website. As a result of this analysis information, the program can project and scale volunteer staffing, telephone equipment, and computer equipment needs for Christmas Eve.

By December 25, 2009, the NORAD Tracks Santa program had 27,440 twitter followers and the Facebook page had more than 410,700 fans.

Website and other media
he NORAD Tracks Santa program has always made use of a variety of media. From the 1950s to 1996, these were the telephone hotline, newspapers, radio, phonograph records and television. Many television newscasts in North America feature NORAD Tracks Santa as part of their weather updates on Christmas Eve.

From 1997 to the present, the program has had a highly publicized internet presence. As mobile media and social media have become popular and widespread as methods of direct communication, these newer media have also been embraced by the program. The layout of the NORAD Tracks Santa website and its webpages have changed from 1997 to the present due to changes in internet technologies, and changes in partners and sponsors for a particular year.

From mid-January until November 30, when one arrives at the NORAD Tracks Santa website, one is greeted with a message to come back on 1 December to "track Santa with NORAD". During December one finds a NORAD Tracks Santa website with all the features available.

On Christmas Eve, the NORAD Tracks Santa website videos page is generally updated each hour, when it is midnight in a different time zone. The "Santa Cam" videos show CGI images of Santa Claus flying over famous landmarks. Each video is accompanied by a voice-over, typically done by NORAD personnel, giving a few facts about the city or country depicted. Celebrity voice-overs have also been used over the years. For the London "Santa Cam" video, English television personality and celebrity Jonathan Ross did the voice-over for 2005 to 2007 and the former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr narrated the same video in 2003 and 2004. In 2002, Aaron Carter provided the voice-over for three videos.

The locations and landmarks depicted in some of the "Santa Cam" videos have changed over the years. In 2009, twenty-nine "Santa Cam" videos were posted on the website. In previous years, twenty-four to twenty-six videos had been posted.

Sponsorship and publicity
NORAD Tracks Santa relies on corporate sponsorship, and is not financed by American and Canadian taxpayers.

U.S. military units that have provided publicity for the program include the Northeast Air Defense Sector of the New York Air National Guard and the U.S. Naval Reserve Navy Information Bureau (NIB) 1118 at Fort Carson, Colorado. Other U.S. federal agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have also publicized the service, as have the Canadian Forces.