“Silent Night” – the origin and evolving words of the famous Christmas carol…

In 1818, during the annual Christmas Midnight Mass at the St. Nicholas Church at Oberndorf, Austria, the song we know as “Silent Night! Holy Night!” (or just “Silent Night”) was performed in public for the first time. Most sources say this happened on Christmas Eve, the night of December 24, 1818, though some say it … Read more

“Everybody loves a lover” (as Shakespeare never said)…

On July 21, 1958, a week after being released, Doris Day’s recording of the song “Everybody Loves a Lover” entered the Billboard Top 40. The 45 RPM single, issued by Columbia Records, eventually reached #6 on both the CashBox and Billboard charts. It was a last big charting hit in the US for Day and … Read more

The stirring words of Haile Selassie that Bob Marley used for the song “War”…

On October 4, 1963, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that includes a famous quotation you almost surely know if you’re a fan of the late, great Reggae musician Bob Marley. Selassie’s speech provided the basis for one of Marley’s most popular songs, titled “War.” It’s … Read more

The odd links between “Louie Louie” and Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe At Any Speed”…

It’s truly odd, but true: the renowned rock song “Louie Louie” and the history-making book about car safety by Ralph Nader, titled Unsafe At Any Speed, are connected by both a quote and by a date. “Louie Louie” was written in 1955 by the pioneering American R&B singer and songwriter Richard Berry (1935-1997). In a … Read more

April 2, 1865 – “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

On September 22, 1969, The Band released the great self-titled album that includes what became one of their most famous songs, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Like many songs by The Band, it was primarily written by lead guitarist Robbie Robertson, with creative contributions from the other Band members: Levon Helm, Rick Danko, … Read more

“Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…”

On August 8, 1966, Capitol Records released the Beatles album Revolver in the United States. (In the UK, the LP was released by Parlophone on August 5.) Revolver became an immediate chart-topper and is now widely considered to be one of the greatest albums in music history. It includes several especially famous and popular Beatle … Read more

“Elvis has left the building.”

Even people who aren’t Elvis Presley fans know the line “Elvis has left the building.”   Credit for popularizing this famous quote goes to Al Dvorin, a Chicago bandleader and booking agent hired by Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker in 1957 to help organize Elvis concerts and serve as an announcer at the shows. From … Read more

The story behind “Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer”

The idiomatic expression “on a wing and a prayer” is a now widely used to describe doing something under extremely difficult or disadvantageous circumstances and hoping that sheer luck, determination and/or God will allow its success. During World War II, when the phrase first became part of the English language, it had a literal application. It … Read more

10 famous quotes and phrases linked to the date January 10

1. and 2. “The die is cast.” and “cross the Rubicon” “The die is cast” was Julius Caesar’s famous remark on January 10, 49 B.C. as he led his troops across the Rubicon River to start a civil war for control of the Roman Empire. This event also led to the idiom “to cross the … Read more

Hope I die before I get old… then I can sleep when I’m dead…

   The date September 7 has an ironic link to two famous rock music quotes associated with the deaths of two of rock’s most legendary bad boys. On September 7, 1978, Keith Moon — the great, drum-kit-destroying drummer for the British band the Who — died of a drug overdose at age 31. One of … Read more