Happy Birthday U.S.M.C. – You’re 237!

The United States Marine Corps is 237 years old today! Ooh-RAH!!!

Presenting John Philip Sousa’s Semper Fidelis March, the official march of the U.S. Marine Corps.


It cannot be inherited,
Nor can it ever be purchased.
You and no one alive
Can buy it for any price.
It is impossible to rent,
And it cannot be lent.
You alone and our own
Have earned it
With your sweat, blood and lives.
You own it forever.
The title,
United States Marine

Semper Fidelis!

We salute you, and thank you for your service!


Songwriting Role Helps Free Voices

By John Anthony

English teacher and musician Evan Davies has combined his passion for music with his occupation by taking on the role of a songwriting mentor for prisoners

A Taranaki teacher with a passion for music is helping prisoners find their voice through songwriting.

In a Maori Television documentary New Plymouth Boys’ High School English teacher Evan Davies takes on a mentor role for prisoners learning how to express their emotions through songwriting.

The show, Songs from the Inside, features four New Zealand singer-songwriters, including Warren Maxwell and Anika Moa, working with prisoners by helping them write, sing and record their own songs. It was filmed in Rimutaka Prison and Arohata Prison.

Mr Davies, 38, ran a songwriting course at Spring Hill prison, in north Waikato, a few years ago.

Wellington production company Awa Films approached him to help prepare a 13-part series which goes to air on Maori Television.

Mr Davies first conducted the experiment at Spring Hill prison because he wanted to share his musical talent.

Songwriting helped prisoners overcome some of the difficulties they have expressing their feelings, he said.

“Once they decided to express themselves better you could see a weight lift off their shoulders,” Mr Davies said.

He said he was trying to free prisoners from years of pent-up anger and emotion.

The content of the prisoners’ songs ranged from apologies to loved ones to expressions of anger, he said.

“I think the prisoners have this incredible way to cut through the BS and be candid not because they want to provoke but because prison strips them to the bone.

“It takes a person to be broken to say something quite personal.”

The series would be shocking and challenging because it showed a side of prisoners few people ever saw, he said. “I think this film is going to shatter a lot of prejudices.”

Songwriters Demand Rush Limbaugh Stop Playing Their Songs On Show

UPI News Service

Several musicians, including English singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel, want U.S. right-wing talker Rush Limbaugh to stop playing their songs.

The Canadian band Rush and Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds also say they do not want to be associated with Limbaugh’s radio show, Rolling Stone reported Thursday. Limbaugh, no stranger to controversy, created a firestorm when he called a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and “prostitute” on the air.

Limbaugh has been playing the Thunderbirds “Tuff Enuff” for years, but Wilson said enough is enough.

“I don’t want people to think I’m affiliated in any way, shape or form with him,” Wilson said. “The message he promotes is something I’m totally against.”

David Iser, a lawyer who has represented musicians who wanted political campaigns to stop using their work, said blocking Limbaugh from using songs may not be legally possible. Premiere, which syndicates Limbaugh’s show, has performance licenses with the groups that represent musicians, allowing it to use any of their songs as long as fees are paid.

But Iser said the artists have a constitutional right to object to Limbaugh’s use of their work — and that might be enough to convince him to drop it.


By Artie Wayne

Lester Chambers, lead singer on, “THE TIME HAS COME TODAY” by the Chambers Brothers says, “If you feel moved by this outrage please share this with the world! Its TIME to tell the truth!!! HELP Me make this VIRAL so everyone pays attention to the Artist who bring joy to life… I’m about to be 72… IT’S TIME!!!”


I [Artie] am facing a similar situation with getting paid for the cuts of mine that Michael Jackson recorded. It’s hard to believe that Michael’s estate earned 350 million dollars since he passed away, while I earned less than $5000, from my songs on posthumously released albums that contain some of his biggest hits!

Lester is right, only about 1% of those of us who’ve been screwed can afford to sue, like Lester I’m one of the 99% who can’t, however I have an idea.

Lester’s post got an astonishing 7,264 LIKEs, 1,416 COMMENTS, and 5,888 SHARES on FACEBOOK in the last 48 hours, and could kick start the campaign to start some “CLASS ACTION AUDITS” going!

Eagles Object To Frank Ocean’s Sample of “Hotel California”

By Bobby Herb

R&B singer Frank Ocean has encountered legal trouble over his song “American Wedding” off of his debut 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, ULTRA, which utilizes the entire master recording of the Eagles’ 1977 hit “Hotel California” as its backing track.

Photo Courtesy of GoldMine MagOcean posted on his personal blog yesterday, “Don henley(’s label—Rhino) is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California…” and went on to explain that he doesn’t have any plans to stop using the song and is considering performing it at Coachella in April.

In response to Ocean’s blog post, Eagles’ spokesperson, Larry Solters, released an official statement today:

“Frank Ocean did not merely ‘sample’ a portion of the Eagles’ Hotel California; he took the whole master track, plus the song’s existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own. This is not creative, let alone “intimidating.” It’s illegal. For the record, Don Henley has not threatened or instituted any legal action against Frank Ocean, although the Eagles are now considering whether they should. Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to Warner Music Group as it is the entity that currently owns the master recording and made the contact with Frank Ocean’s representatives concerning his infringement of the master recording.”

Under current copyright law, all forms of sampling without official permission from the copyright owner is illegal – regardless of whether or not any profits are made off of the song that utilizes the sample.


American Songwriter

Monkees Hits See 3,000% Spotify Surge After Davy Jones Death

By Lewis Corner

The Monkees experienced a surge on Spotify following the death of member Davy Jones earlier this week.

The music streaming service saw a 3,000% increase in Monkees hits being played between February 28-29, immediately following the confirmation of the singer’s death.

Meanwhile, bandmate Peter Tork has revealed that the band “were looking forward to more tours” before Jones’s passing.

Michael Nesmith took to his official Facebook page to thank fans for their condolences and admitted that he has “fond memories” of Jones.

Micky Dolenz said that the star was like a “brother” to him and he was in “total shock” when his wife told him the news.


When Black Friday Comes

Black Friday has evolved in the United States to mean an early morning of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.  It is not a recent pastime, as some people think; it has been associated with the fourth Friday in November for at least 40 years.  There was always a myth that this pseudo-holiday has been the busiest shopping day of the year, and that it gets all the retail stores back on a profitable track.  This is both false and true.  It has only increased in popularity in the last couple of years, probably with state of the economy in the last half of the decade.  Canadians can probably sympathize with the annual event, since their Boxing Day has recently evolved into a day of shopping as well.  Now, I love a good deal as good as the next guy, but this Black Friday stuff has never excited me.  In fact, the notion of camping out in line for anything — be it concert tickets, Xboxes, iPads, or whatever — is tough to do.  If you do this dance each year, then God bless you.  Having said all that, I will most likely be getting up at 4 a.m. and driving my wife to Walmart and J.C. Penney.  Not to buy stuff, but to get her Mickey Mouse snow globe that they use for bait!

Now, every time this day comes around, I start to hear a track playing in my head and then sing it out loud.  “When Bla-ack Fri-day comes…I’ll stand down by the door…” Of course, I’m singing the Steely Dan tune “Black Friday” which is the first cut off of their 1975 album, Katy Lied.  Great tune, but what “Friday” could Donald Fagen be singing about?  I know he wasn’t referring to the upcoming door-buster at Sears.  So what other Black Friday’s are there?  Plenty!  And the list includes a veritable cornucopia of subjects (See what I did there, I crowbarred in a Thanksgiving reference!)  Just for your edification, I included, in chronological order, over twenty examples of what Black Friday has meant.  And if you are a Steely Dan listener, try to guess which one is described in their song.

Black Fridays:

1688 — Imprisonment of the Seven Bishops on the eve of the Glorious Revolution (June 8)

1869 — Fisk/Gould Scandal, a financial crisis in the United States (September 24)

1881 — Eyemouth Disaster in which 189 fishermen were killed (October 14)

1887 — Haymarket Affair, four Chicago anarchists were hanged, without evidence, for the deaths of seven police officers during a labor meeting (November 11)

1910 — Failed campaign of the Women’s Social and Political Union the Conciliation Bill outside the British House of Commons (November 18)

1919 — Battle of George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, a riot stemming from industrial unrest (January 31)

1921 — Announcement of British transport union leaders not to call for strike action against wage reductions for miners (April 15)

1939 — Devastating bushfires killed 71 people in Victoria, Australia (January 13)

1942 — Air attack on Dartmouth, Devon (September 18)

1944 — A disastrous attack by The Black Watch of Canada (a/k/a Royal Highland Regiment) near Woensdrecht during the Battle of the Scheldt (October 13)

1945 — Air battle over Sunnfjord, Norway (February 8)

1945 — A Confederation of Studio Unions (CSU) strike resulting in a riot at the Warner Bros. studios was called “Hollywood Black Friday” (October 5)

1950 — Red River Flood, which burst several dikes flooding much of Winnipeg, Manitoba (May 5)

1959 — Cancellation of Avro Arrow which resulted in massive layoffs in the Canadian Aerospace industry (February 20)

1960 — San Francisco City protest and riot against the House Un-American Activities Committee (May 13)

1963 — John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas (November 22)

1977 — Game 3 of the NLCS in Major League Baseball, in which the Philadelphia Phillies lost a two-run lead to the Los Angeles Dodgers with two outs in the ninth inning and no runners on base (October 7)

1978 — Slaughter of protesters in Iran (September 8)

1985 — Barrie Tornado, United States – Canadian tornado outbreak (May 31)

1987 — Edmonton Tornado, Alberta, Canada (July 31)

2004 — A crackdown in Malé, Maldives on peaceful demonstraters (August 13)

2005 — Tribal students killed in Meghalaya, India (September 30)

According to Walter Becker, the song attempts to see the 1869 Fisk/Gould Scandal through the eyes of one of the speculators.  Like many of their tunes, this one takes a slight left turn but doesn’t get lost in the trip.  Some people have picked apart the logic in the character in the song flying down to Muswellbrook, Australia, of all the locales in the world.  Whatever.  I just like jamming to the album, and I don’t take the lofty lyrics so seriously like some of my friends did.

I can’t believe this song is 35 years old!


Words & Music by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker

When Black Friday comes
I’ll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I’ll collect everything I’m owed
And before my friends find out
I’ll be on the road
When Black Friday falls you know it’s got to be
Don’t let it fall on me

When Black Friday comes
I’ll fly down to Muswellbrook
Gonna strike all the big red words
From my little black book
Gonna do just what I please
Gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do but feed
All the kangaroos
When Black Friday comes I’ll be on that hill
You know I will

When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it ’til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop’s gonna sanctify me
And if he don’t come across
I’m gonna let it roll
When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna stake my claim
I’ll guess I’ll change my name



Well, the day is finally here!  I hope you have a wonderful and joyous time as you hopefully spend this time with your family.  Here is the third and final proclamation for your edification.

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.  In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth
and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect
continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who
are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I  recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

(Many thanks to Maurice Smith for resources)



Happy Thanksgiving (1789)

Thanksgiving Eve is today.  Please watch that heavy traffic in the evening, and drive safely as you head home to enjoy (hopefully) a four day weekend!  Please enjoy this second proclamation in the trilogy!

George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Shortly after the Thanksgiving Proclamation was written, it was lost for 130 years.  The original document was written in long hand by William Jackson, secretary to the President, and was then signed by George Washington.  It was probably misplaced or mixed in with some private papers when the United States capitol moved from New York to Washington, D.C.  The original manuscript wasn’t placed in the National Archives until 1921 when Dr. J. C. Fitzpatrick, assistant chief of the manuscripts division of the Library of Congress, found the proclamation at an auction sale being held at an art gallery in New York City.  Dr Fitzpatrick purchased the document for $300.00 for the Library of Congress, which is where it resides to this day.  It was the first official presidential proclamation issued in the United States.  [Thank you to Maurice Smith]



Time for my annual devotion in honor of Thanksgiving week.

For the next few days, I just wanted to share three official Thanksgiving proclamations, and certainly the best.  They are treasured pieces of our American history, so invite you to take a moment to give thanks for our great country.  And then go forth and eat!!!

1676 Thanksgiving Proclamation

“The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God’s Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.”

More tomorrow!