Tag Archives: sink the bismarck

Music on Mondays (10-9-17)—Cathy’s Clown is Downtown at the House of the Rising Sun

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My favorite songs list is coming along nicely. I think this list also might tell me what my favorite albums are. For example, four songs off of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel made the last. However, eight songs off of “Let It Be” by The Beatles made the list. I like both albums but after listening to them one right after the other, yeah, I like “Let It Be” more. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that I already know that The Beatles are my top group of all time….

One of my commenters last week said that he detected a theme, something about death and war. Hmmmm. It was the 1950s with an undeclared war called the “Korean Conflict,” as opposed to World War I, World War II, Civil War, Revolutionary War, Vietnam War, War of 1812. But out of the five songs last week, only two had anything to do with war. Nonetheless, considering that the United States and its immediate predecessor, thirteen colonies, have been in existence for 241 years and at war for 224 of those 241 years, it shouldn’t be any surprise that there are some good war songs and anti-war songs.

Today’s post will be the last time that I group several years together, 1960-1964. My music collecting started in 1965, and my favorites list definitely shows that. So without further ado, let’s start 1960-1964 with, uh, two war songs:

“Ballad of the Alamo” by Marty Robbins, 1960—My youngest uncle who introduced me to Gogi Grant on last week’s list also introduced me to Marty Robbins via his “More Greatest Hits” album of 1961. I can tell you that Marty definitely is my favorite country singer.

“Sink The Bismarck” by Johnny Horton, 1960—Johnny made last week’s list with “The Battle Of New Orleans.” I might have to see if there is something in Johnny’s background that made him sing about specific incidents in war or if he just had a general interest like me.

“Cathy’s Clown” by The Everly Brothers, 1960—The Everly Brothers will have quite a few songs on my favorites list. This probably is my favorite of theirs. I have been singing this since I first heard it many decades ago.

“Downtown” by Petula Clark, 1964—We didn’t have country music in northern Utah where I lived from 1961-1965 so I didn’t hear this song, or anything by Petula, until I went to live with my wise old grandmother in deep South Texas in December 1965. Another one from my youngest uncle.

“House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals, 1964—I first heard this song on KLOL FM out of Corpus Christ, Texas, in March 1973. Some friends and I were driving from Kingsville to Alice to buy booze for our senior prom. The drinking age was 18 but Kingsville and Kleberg Country were dry, so it was a 20-mile drive to get real booze. I was 18, so I had the privilege of buying a lot of booze for friends. The rights of passage and the price of admission to the In Crowd.

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Music on Mondays — Happy Memorial Day!

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have always loved history, especially war history, and on this date in 1941, the British Navy sunk the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Bismarck was launched at Hamburg, Germany, on February 14, 1939. At 823 feet long, Adolf Hitler believed that the start-of-the-art battleship would mark the rebirth of the German Navy. The British Navy heavily patrolled ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, though, and only German submarines were able to move freely in the Atlantic Ocean.

In May of 1941, Hilter gave the order for the Bismarck to break the British patrols and get out into the Atlantic Ocean where it might wreak havoc. Britain sent much of the British Home Fleet in pursuit, and the British battle cruiser Hood and the battleship Prince of Wales found the Bismarck near Iceland. A fierce battle ensued but ultimately the Hood exploded and sank, taking 1418 of its 1421 crewmen to a watery grave.

Although the Bismarck escaped, it was leaking fuel and fled to occupied France. On May 26, British aircraft sighted it and crippled it. The next day, three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off, sending it to join the Hood below the waves.

Thank you, Veterans!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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