Udo Jurgens and “Walk Away”

Udo_Jürgens_-_Der_Soloabend_2010_(10)

Udo Jürgens, born Udo Jürgen Bockelmann (September 30, 1934 –December 21, 2014) was an Austrian-Swiss composer and singer of popular music whose career spanned over fifty years; he won the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 for Austria, composed close to 1,000 songs, and sold over 100 million records.  Jürgens was born on September 30, 1934, at Klagenfurt in the Federal State of Austria (now the Republic of Austria).  In 1950, he won a composer contest organized by Austria’s public broadcasting channel ORF with the song “Je t’aime.” In 1952 Udo Bolan, as he was called then, formed the Udo Bolan Quartet In Klagenfurt, Austria, appearing regularly at the Café Obelisk in Klagenfurt with Englishman Johnny Richards on drums, Klaus Behmel on guitar, and Bruno Geiger on Bass. The quartet played regularly at various dance and jazz venues and also broadcast on Radio Alpenland and the British Forces Radio network produced by Mike Fior.  Jurgens wrote the 1961 worldwide hit “Reach for the Stars”, sung by Shirley Bassey.

In 1964, Jurgens represented Austria for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 with the song “Warum nur, warum?”, finishing sixth. The UK participant, Matt Monro, was impressed with the melody and covered the song (with English lyrics by his manager Don Black) as “Walk Away,” which reached number four in the UK Singles Chart and number 23 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Jürgens’ song “Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen” came fourth in 1965’s contest, and on his third try he won the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 in Luxembourg with “Merci, Chérie”, which became an English-language hit for Vince Hill, another cover by Monro, and one of Jürgens’ most recognized compositions. Jürgens’ version alone sold over one million copies, and he was awarded a gold disc by Deutsche Vogue in 1966.  In the following years, he wrote the songs, like “Griechischer Wein”, “Aber bitte mit Sahne”, “Mit 66 Jahren”, and — one of his biggest successes — “Buenos Días, Argentina”, which he performed together with the Germany national football team in 1978.

In 1977, Jurgens invited The Supremes to appear as guests on his televised and recorded gala concert. The Supremes (Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Green), who were on a brief farewell tour of Europe at the time, performed two of their own hits, “You Are The Heart of Me” and “You’re My Driving Whee,l” as well as a duet with Jürgens’ “Walk Away” in English.  In 1979, he released a disco album entitled Udo ’80. It produced a hit song “Ich weiß was ich will.”  This song was also released as a 12 inch disco single in an extended remix for discothèques. In 2007 he obtained Swiss citizenship.  On  December 2, 2007, the jukebox musical Ich war noch niemals in New York (I’ve never been to New York) opened in Hamburg’s Operettenhaus. It weaves songs by Jürgens into a familial storyline, similar to the treatment of ABBA songs in Mamma Mia!, the musical it succeeded at the venue.

On December 21, 2014, Jürgens died of acute heart failure in Münsterlingen, Switzerland, at the age of 80. With Austria’s success at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, the first since Jürgens’ success in 1966, Jürgens expressed his interest in performing in the interval of the next contest. With his death, the organisers of the 2015 contest in Vienna paid tribute to him with a tribute day on May 20 and a tribute act at the beginning of the Grand Final.  Jurgens is credited with broadening German-language pop music beyond the traditional postwar “Schlager” (hit song) in the 1950s by infusing it with a modern pop appeal and French chanson style. His compositions and arrangements attracted fans of all ages. Until his death, he continued to fill venues in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  Since 2015, Udo Jürgens holds the worldwide-record as the artist with the longest presence in the charts ever – more than 57 years from his first entry 1958 till 2015.

My collection includes the following work by Udo Jurgens:

Walk Away (Warum nur, Warem; 1964).

Belfast School, Belfast, OH

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Belfast School
State Route 73
Belfast, Ohio

Belfast is an unincorporated community in Highland County, in the U.S. state of Ohio. The seat of Jackson Township, it was founded in 1834, and named after Belfast, in Ireland. The post office was first established under the name Bell in 1845, but the name was changed to Belfast in 1910, and the post office closed in 1944.  The Belfast school, built in 1923, originally housed all twelve grades.  My grandmother taught there for many years, from around 1960 until her retirement in 1972.  After Jackson Township voted to join the Bright Local School District, the school was eventually closed. It now sits abandoned and is currently for sale.

Am I Qualified To Teach My Own?

Am I Qualified To Teach My Own?
by Gary Grammar in The Link, Volume 4 Issue 2

A number of years ago, July 2, 1998 in fact, a story out of Massachusetts was carried by the Associated Press describing the failure of 56% of the aspiring teachers of that state in the reading and writing portion of the teacher exam.

The then-governor referred to the failed test-takers as idiots and the state head of education suggested lowering the standards for prospective teachers. (Somewhat like intellectual limbo dancing: “How low can you go?”) The teachers’ unions considered all of this to be music to their ears, while much of the state legislature fumed along with the governor.

Most of the reason for the hubbub was that this exam was not particularly difficult. The “56 Percenters” missed spelling words a nine-year-old is expected to know, could not write in complete sentences and failed to correctly define a noun or verb. No matter how sympathetic one might want to be, this really is inexcusable! These college grads are supposed to become teachers, having completed the degree portion of the certification process; the remainder should be a cakewalk, intellectually.

Read More

http://www.homeschoolnewslink.com/homeschool/articles/vol4iss2/grammar_v4i2.shtml

Scott Joplin and “The Entertainer”

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Scott Joplin (c. 1867/68 – April 1, 1917) was an American composer and pianist, who achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the “King of Ragtime Writers.”  It is often claimed that Joplin was born in Texarkana, Texas, on November 24, 1868. Some have responded that the location is easily dispensed with because Texarkana was not established until 1873.  However, based on a letter discovered by musicologist John Tennison in 2015 in the December 19, 1856, edition of the Times-Picayune, it is clear that Texarkana was established as a place-name by no later than 1856. Consequently, it appears possible that Joplin, born twelve years later, could have been born in Texarkana. Despite evidence to support such a conclusion, it is now generally believed that Joplin was born in Linden, Texas, either in late 1867 or early 1868, into a musical family of railway laborers.  He was the second of six children (the others being Monroe, Robert, William, Myrtle, and Ossie) born to Giles Joplin, an ex-slave from North Carolina, and Florence Givens, a freeborn African-American woman from Kentucky.

In any event, the Joplins subsequently moved to Texarkana where Giles worked as a laborer for the railroad and Florence was a cleaner. Joplin’s father had played the violin for plantation parties in North Carolina, and his mother sang and played the banjo.   Joplin was given a rudimentary musical education by his family and from the age of seven, he was allowed to play the piano while his mother cleaned.  Young Joplin was serious and ambitious, studying music and playing the piano after school.  He received most of his music education from Julius Weiss, a German-born music professor who had immigrated to Texas in the late 1860s and was employed as music tutor to a prominent local business family.   Weiss tutored the 11-year-old Joplin until the boy was 16, during which time Weiss introduced him to folk and classical music, including opera. At the age of 16, Joplin performed in a vocal quartet with three other boys in and around Texarkana, also playing piano. In addition he taught guitar and mandolin.

In the late 1880s, having performed at various local events as a teenager, Joplin chose to give up work as a laborer with the railroad and left Texarkana to become a traveling musician.  Little is known about his movements at this time, although he is recorded in Texarkana in July, 1891, as a member of the Texarkana Minstrels in a performance that happened to be raising money for a monument to Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy.  He soon discovered, however, that there were few opportunities for black pianists.  Joplin played pre-ragtime ‘jig-piano’ in various areas throughout the mid-South, and some claim he was in Sedalia and St. Louis during this time.  In 1893 Joplin was in Chicago for the World’s Fair. While in Chicago, he formed his first band playing cornet and began arranging music for the group to perform.

In 1894 Joplin arrived in Sedalia, Missouri. At first, Joplin stayed with the family of Arthur Marshall, at the time a 13-year-old boy but later one of Joplin’s students and a rag-time composer in his own right. There is no record of Joplin having a permanent residence in the town until 1904, as Joplin was making a living as a touring musician.  There is little precise evidence known about Joplin’s activities at this time, although he performed as a solo musician at dances and at the major black clubs in Sedalia, the Black 400 club, and the Maple Leaf Club. He performed in the Queen City Cornet Band, and his own six-piece dance orchestra. A tour with his own singing group, the Texas Medley Quartet, gave him his first opportunity to publish his own compositions and it is known that he went to Syracuse, New York and Texas. Two businessmen from New York published Joplin’s first two works, the songs “Please Say You Will”, and “A Picture of her Face” in 1895.

Joplin’s visit to Temple, Texas enabled him to have three pieces published there in 1896, including the “Great Crush Collision March”, which commemorated a planned train crash on the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad on September 15 that he may have witnessed.  While in Sedalia he was teaching piano to students who included future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Brun Campbell, and Scott Hayden.  In turn, Joplin enrolled at the George R. Smith College, where he apparently studied advanced harmony and composition. The College records were destroyed in a fire in 1925.  In 1899, Joplin married Belle, the sister-in-law of collaborator Scott Hayden. Although there were hundreds of rags in print by the time the “Maple Leaf Rag” was published, Joplin was not far behind. His first published rag, “Original Rags”, had been completed in 1897, the same year as the first ragtime work in print, the “Mississippi Rag” by William Krell. The “Maple Leaf Rag” was likely to have been known in Sedalia before its publication in 1899.  The “Maple Leaf Rag” served as a model for the hundreds of rags to come from future composers, especially in the development of classic ragtime.  After the publication of the “Maple Leaf Rag”, Joplin was soon being described as “King of rag time writers” on the covers of his own works, such as “The Easy Winners” and “Elite Syncopations”.

After the Joplins moved to St. Louis in early 1900, they had a baby daughter who died only a few months after birth.  About this time, Joplin collaborated with Scott Hayden in the composition of four rags.  It was in St. Louis that Joplin produced some of his best-known works, including “The Entertainer,” “March Majestic,” and the short theatrical work “The Ragtime Dance.”  During this time, Joplin created an opera company of 30 people and produced his first opera A Guest of Honor for a national tour. It is believed that the score for A Guest of Honor was lost and perhaps destroyed because of non-payment of the company’s boarding house bill.  In 1907, Joplin moved to New York City, which he believed was the best place to find a producer for a new opera.  In 1911, unable to find a publisher, Joplin undertook the financial burden of publishing Treemonisha himself in piano-vocal format. In 1915, as a last-ditch effort to see it performed, he invited a small audience to hear it at a rehearsal hall in Harlem. Poorly staged and with only Joplin on piano accompaniment, it was a miserable failure to a public not ready for black musical forms—so different from the European grand opera of that time.

Joplin suffered a breakdown. He was bankrupt, discouraged, and worn out.   In 1914, Joplin self-published his “Magnetic Rag” as the Scott Joplin Music Company, which he had formed the previous December.  Also he plunged feverishly into the task of orchestrating his opera, day and night, with his friend Sam Patterson standing by to copy out the parts, page by page, as each page of the full score was completed.  By 1916, Joplin was suffering from tertiary syphilis and a resulting descent into insanity.  In January 1917, he was admitted to Manhattan State Hospital, a mental institution. He died there on April 1, 1917, of syphilitic dementia at the age of 49. During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first, and most popular pieces, the “Maple Leaf Rag,” became ragtime’s first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag. Joplin’s death is widely considered to mark the end of ragtime as a mainstream music format, and in the next several years it evolved with other styles into stride, jazz, and eventually big band swing. His music was rediscovered and returned to popularity in the early 1970s with the release of a million-selling album recorded by Joshua Rifkin. This was followed by the Academy Award–winning 1973 movie The Sting that featured several of his compositions including “The Entertainer.” The opera Treemonisha was finally produced in full to wide acclaim in 1972. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

The following work by Scott Joplin is contained in my collection:

The Entertainer (1902).

Trevor Jones and “The Last of the Mohicans”

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Trevor Alfred Charles Jones (born March 23, 1949) is a South African orchestral film score composer who, although not especially well known outside the film world, has composed music for numerous films that has been critically acclaimed for both its depth and emotion.  At the age of six, Jones, who was born in South Africa on March 23, 1949, had already decided to become a film composer. In 1967 he attended the Royal Academy of Music in London with a scholarship and afterwards worked for five years for the BBC on reviews of radio and television music. In 1974 Jones attended the University of York from which he graduated with a master’s degree in Film and Media Music. At the National Film and Television School Jones studied for three years on general film-making and film and sound techniques. During this time he wrote the music for twenty-two student projects. In 1981 Jones wrote the score for the Academy Award-winning short movie The Dollar Bottom and for the short Black Angel.

Jones was soon after brought to the attention of John Boorman, who was in the midst of making his Arthurian epic, Excalibur (1981). Although mostly tracked with classical music by Richard Wagner and Carl Orff, Boorman also needed original dramatic cues (as well as period music) for certain scenes. Given Excalibur’s modest budget, a “name” composer was out of the question, so Boorman commissioned the up-and-coming young Jones.  Excalibur brought Jones to the attention of Jim Henson, who was making The Dark Crystal (1982), and looking for a composer who was young and eager to work in the experimental, free-wheeling way which Henson preferred. The resultant score is an expansive, multi-faceted work, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, augmented by inventive use of Fairlight and Synclavier synthesizers, as well as period instruments like crumhorn, recorder, and the unusual double-flageolet, which Jones came across by chance in a music store.

Jones followed Excalibur with scores for the horror films The Appointment (1981) and The Sender (1982), and the pirate adventure Nate and Hayes (1983). In 1985 Jones composed one of his best scores, for the acclaimed television production The Last Place on Earth.  Jones reunited with Henson for the 1986 fantasy musical Labyrinth. David Bowie wrote and performed the vocal tracks for this movie, including the hit “Underground”, while Jones provided the dramatic score.  Reflecting that his complex, symphonic score for The Dark Crystal garnered little notice, Jones began to re-think his entire approach to dramatic scoring. Around the mid-80s, Jones’ work became more electronic-based (much like fellow film composer Maurice Jarre), eschewing identifiable themes in favor of mood-enhancing synth chords and minimalist patterns. While he did write a somber, chamber orchestra score in 1988 for Dominick and Eugene (which featured classical guitarist John Williams), scores like Angel Heart (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988) and Sea of Love (1989) are more typical of Jones’ output during this period.

Jones’ return to large-orchestra scoring came with 1990s Arachnophobia, and he provided a light-hearted Georges Delerue-flavoured score for Blame it on the Bellboy in 1992.  Jones’ most popular success came later in 1992 with his score for The Last of the Mohicans, and his soaring, passionate music belies the difficulties which afflicted its creation. Director Michael Mann initially asked Jones to provide an electronic score for the film, but late in the game, it was decided an orchestral score would be more appropriate for this historic epic. Jones hurried to re-fashion the score for orchestra in the limited time left, while the constant re-cutting of the film meant music cues sometimes had to be rewritten several times to keep-up with the new timings. Finally, with the release date looming, composer Randy Edelman was called-in to score some minor scenes which Jones did not have time to do. Jones and Edelman received co-credit on the film (thus making this very popular and acclaimed score ineligible for Oscar consideration). Although all were displeased with the circumstances, Jones was not fired from the film despite reports to the contrary.

Jones became active in television in the 90s, with orchestral scores for several Hallmark productions, including Gulliver’s Travels, Merlin, and Cleopatra. He also provided a fun, jazzy, 30s-style score for Richard III (1995), which features a swing-band setting of Christopher Marlowe’s The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. In 1997 Jones worked for the first time with acclaimed director Ridley Scott, providing an electronic/orchestral/rock-flavoured soundtrack for G.I. Jane (1997).

My collection includes the following work by Trevor Jones:

The Last of the Mohicans (1992): Main Title.

Buford School, Buford, OH

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Buford School
State Route 138
Buford, Ohio
Buford is a town in central Clay Township, Highland County, Ohio. Although it is unincorporated, it once had a post office. It lies at the intersection of State Routes 134, 138, and 321. Buford was platted in 1834, and named after the maiden name of the wife of a first settler. After Clay Township voted to join with Lynchburg schools to form the Lynchburg-Clay School District, the Buford Elementary-High School, originally built in 1890, was closed in 2001 and is now the Buford Community Center.

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Stan Jones and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”

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Stanley Davis “Stan” Jones (June 5, 1914 – December 13, 1963) was an American songwriter and actor, primarily writing Western music, who is best remembered for writing the legendary “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” which has been called the #1 Western song ever written.  Jones was born in Douglas, Arizona, o  June 5, 1914. and grew up on a ranch. When his father died, his mother moved the family to Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, competing in rodeos to make money. However, he dropped out in 1934 to join the United States Navy. After his discharge, he worked at many jobs, including as a miner, a fire fighter, and a park ranger.

In his free time Jones wrote songs, and eventually more than 100 were recorded. His most famous, “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky,” was written in 1948 when he worked for the National Park Service in Death Valley, California. Assigned as technical advisor to the filming of The Walking Hills, he became friends with director John Ford, who opened his way into Hollywood.  Jones wrote almost entirely Western music. He composed songs for several Western movies by Ford and others producers, including The Searchers and Rio Grande. He also played small parts in several westerns.

In 1955 Jones began writing for Disney Studios. He was co-writer of the theme song for the television series Cheyenne, and in 1956 was hired to play Deputy Harry Olson in the syndicated television series Sheriff of Cochise (1956–1958), which starred John Bromfield as law enforcement officer Frank Morgan. After its first season, Sheriff of Cochise was renamed by Desilu Studios owner Desi Arnaz, Sr., as U.S. Marshal. Jones wrote again for John Ford’s Civil War film The Horse Soldiers, in which he made an uncredited appearance as Ulysses S. Grant. The following year, he returned to working for Disney Studios.  One major role for him was in playing the part of Wilson W. Brown, a Union soldier and locomotive engineer who was a member of the Andrews Raid depicted in Disney’s film The Great Locomotive Chase.

In his final film, Ten Who Dared, Jones appeared as Seneca Howland, a member of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition. He also is credited for song writing for this film.  Three of his songs, “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky,” the theme from “The Searchers,” and “Cowpoke” were chosen by members of the Western Writers of America as being among the Top 100 Western songs of all time.  He died from cancer in Los Angeles, CA, on December 13, 1963, at the age of 49. His remains were buried at Julia Page Memorial Park in his hometown, Douglas, Arizona.  In 1997, he was posthumously inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame.

The following work by Stan Jones is contained in my collection:

Riders in the Sky (1948).