When I was young and courtin’.
Toni-Lee, a BU undergrad, age 19, was coming into Polcari’s for dinner.
I was 20, a BU undergrad.
We had met at a BU event and it was a classic love at first sight.
After that first meet, a day never passed when we didn’t see each other.
I was a waiter at Polcari’s and her coming in was the only way we would see each other on this day.
I checked with Johnny Polcari, my boss, and it was fine with him.
I knew it would be.
I was excited.
Everyone was laughing at my nervousness.
No one here had ever met her.
They didn’t expect much from me.
Then she came in.
They were surprised that a girl so pretty…
They knew she was smart.
Italian girls didn’t go to college.
At this time few Italian boys did either.
Anyway, I wrote a poem and clipped it to her menu.
Here it is.
William S, take a seat.
More than escarole and polpettine,
More than broth and tortellini,
More than spaghetti and anchov,
That’s how much you I love.
She liked it.
Johnny Polcari, paying her dinner bill, felt he had the right to see it.
He took the poem and read it to the staff.
They liked it.
It was a nice evening, full of nice people and nice thoughts.
The world is rosier when we’re in love.
Sunday, December 9, 2018
My 241st consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 37* with a feels-like of 32* and sun.
Dinner is Turkey Soup, Spaghetti and a Meatball, and Roast Squab. MmmMM!
Question of the Day:
What was the Million Dollar Quartet?
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor.
Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience.
Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was a pioneer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues.
In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley's classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage him for more than two decades.
Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number one hit in the United States.
With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll.
His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, made him enormously popular—and controversial.
Johnny Cash (born J. R. Cash, February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author.
He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide.
Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk and gospel.
This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.
Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, which is characterized by train-sound guitar rhythms, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark, all-black stage wardrobe, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black."
He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," followed by his signature song "Folsom Prison Blues".
Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career.
His other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black".
He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their wedding); and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter", "Orange Blossom Special", and "Rock Island Line".
During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden.
Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer.
He has been described as "rock & roll's first great wild man."
A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis.
"Crazy Arms" sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" that shot Lewis to fame worldwide.
He followed this with "Great Balls of Fire", "Breathless" and "High School Confidential".
However, Lewis's rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin.
He had minimal success in the charts following the scandal, and his popularity quickly eroded.
His live performance fees plummeted from $10,000 per night to $250.
In the meantime he was determined to gain back some of his popularity.
In the early 1960s, he did not have much chart success, with few exceptions, such as a remake of Ray Charles's "What'd I Say".
His live performances at this time were increasingly wild and energetic.
His 1964 live album Live at the Star Club, Hamburg is regarded by music journalists and fans as one of the wildest and greatest live rock albums ever.
In 1968, Lewis made a transition into country music and had hits with songs such as “Another Place, Another Time".
This reignited his career, and throughout the late 1960s and 1970s he regularly topped the country-western charts; throughout his seven-decade career, Lewis has had 30 songs reach the top 10 on the "Billboard Country and Western Chart".
His No. 1 country hits included "To Make Love Sweeter for You", "There Must Be More to Love Than This", "Would You Take Another Chance on Me", and "Me and Bobby McGee".
Lewis's successes continued throughout the decade and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" and Mack Vickery's "Rockin' My Life Away".
In the 21st century Lewis continues to tour around the world and still releases new albums.
His album Last Man Standing is his best selling to date, with over a million copies sold worldwide.
This was followed by Mean Old Man, which has received some of the best sales of Lewis's career.
Lewis has a dozen gold records in both rock and country.
He won several Grammy awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and his pioneering ontribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
He was also a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
In 1989, his life was chronicled in the movie Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid.
In 2003, Rolling Stone listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology number 242 on their list of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
In 2004, they ranked him number 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Lewis is the last surviving member of Sun Records' Million Dollar Quartet and the Class of '55 album, which also included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley.
Carl Lee Perkins (April 9, 1932 – January 19, 1998) was an American singer-songwriter who recorded most notably at the Sun Studio, in Memphis, beginning in 1954.
His best-known song is "Blue Suede Shoes".
According to Charlie Daniels, "Carl Perkins' songs personified the rockabilly era, and Carl Perkins' sound personifies the rockabilly sound more so than anybody involved in it, because he never changed."
Perkins's songs were recorded by artists (and friends) as influential as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Johnny Cash, which further established his place in the history of popular music.
Paul McCartney claimed that "if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles."
Called "the King of Rockabilly", he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He also received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
Short Takes: City Life
Near my apartment.
Several photos taken just by turning left or right.
How lucky are we who live amidst such attractive surroundings.
The place is the space between Rowes Wharf and Harbor Towers.
Short Takes: City Life
Another side of city life.
Answer to Question:
What was the Million Dollar Quartet?
"Million Dollar Quartet" is a recording of an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash made on December 4, 1956, at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
An article about the session was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar under the title "Million Dollar Quartet".
The recording was first released in Europe in 1981 as The Million Dollar Quartet with 17 tracks.
A few years later more tracks were discovered and released as The Complete Million Dollar Session.
In 1990, the recordings were released in the United States as Elvis Presley - The Million Dollar Quartet. This session is considered a seminal moment in rock and roll.
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 record some new material, including a revamped version of an old blues song, "Matchbox".
Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, who wanted to try to fatten this sparse rockabilly instrumentation, had brought in his latest acquisition, Jerry Lee Lewis, still unknown outside Memphis, to play piano (at the time, a Wurlitzer Spinet) on the Perkins session.
Lewis' first Sun single would be released a few days later.
Sometime in the early afternoon, 21-year-old Elvis Presley, a former Sun artist now with RCA Victor, arrived to pay a casual visit accompanied by a girlfriend, Marilyn Evans.
After chatting with Phillips in the control room, Presley listened to the playback of Perkins’ session, which he pronounced to be good.
Then he went into the studio and sometime later, the jam session began.
At some point during the session, Sun artist Johnny Cash, who had recently enjoyed a few hit records on the country charts, arrived as well.
(Cash wrote in his autobiography Cash that he had been first to arrive at the Sun Studio that day, wanting to listen in on the Perkins recording session.)
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.
After running through a number of songs, Elvis and girlfriend Evans slipped out as Jerry Lee pounded away on the piano.
Cash wrote in Cash that "no one wanted to follow Jerry Lee, not even Elvis."
Whatever Elvis' feelings may or may not have been in regard to "following" Lewis, Presley was clearly the "star" of the impromptu jam session, which consisted largely of snippets of gospel songs that the four artists had all grown up singing.
The recordings show Elvis, the most nationally and internationally famous of the four at the time, to be the focal point of what was a casual, spur-of-the-moment gathering of four artists who would each go on to contribute greatly to the seismic shift in popular music in the late 1950s.
During the session, Phillips called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar.
Bob Johnson, the newspaper’s entertainment editor, came over to the studios with UPI representative Leo Sora with photographer George Pierce.
Johnson wrote an article about the session, which appeared the following day in the Press-Scimitar under the headline "Million Dollar Quartet".
The article contained the now-famous photograph of Presley seated at the piano surrounded by Lewis, Perkins and Cash (the uncropped version of the photo also includes Evans, shown seated atop the piano).
Good morning on this Sunday, December 9, Christmas now 16 days away.
Today we talked about young love and poetry. We read wikipedia and pasted intros to Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. We looked at some photos of the city and finally we talked about the Million Dollar Quartet, that moment of brilliance caught and bottled on tape.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.