Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii. It was nice visiting friends and familiar sights on Maui and now exploring and experiencing another beautiful rain forest to take a pause at.
The blog is again updated this week. Lots more articles linked that usual as it has been awhile since I was able to organize another mailing while traveling.
My flicker photos have been updated although I haven't been able to organize folders and facebook imports. But I'm sure you will find some nice ones to look at here.
Oct 23-24 Amsterdam
Stichting OPEN is proud to organize the first conference on
psychedelic research hosted by a Dutch university.
Recreational Marijuana Ordinance Proposed For Humboldt County
Feinstein Opposes Measure To Legalize Pot
Senate Votes to Double Fines, Jail Time for Pot Brownies
Herhold: End the prohibition of marijuana
Has the Most Common Marijuana Test Resulted in
Tens of Thousands of Wrongful Convictions?
Medical Marijuana Now Legal in DC
'Decriminalise personal drug use', suggests chairman of the Bar Council
Watch: What a Legal Pot Economy Would Look Like
The "Wal-Marting" of weed
Oakland pot-growing plan worries small bud tenders
Will California Legalize Pot?
California Endures Another Summer of Outdoor
Marijuana Raids [FEATURE]
Paul Armentano: Science is clear; why aren't we paying attention?
DVD What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?
Cannabinoids Kill Cancer and Our Government Has Known for 36 Years
Newly discovered mechanism controls levels and efficacy of a
marijuana-like substance in the brain
Mexico Drug War Update
Military on MDMA
Cancer and hallucinogens: a long, strange trip
REVIEW: "ORANGE SUNSHINE: THE BROTHERHOOD
OF ETERNAL LOVE"
Hofmann's Elixir: LSD and the New Eleusis
The Pharmacology of LSD: A critical review
Terence on DMT: An Entheological Analysis of McKenna’s
Experiences in the Tryptamine Mirror of the Self
Vine of the Soul -Encounters with Ayahuasca film
3 parts National Geo Documentary on Daime
Psychedelic Horizons videos
Logical Unsanity Books and Miscellaneous Phantasmagoria
Top Shelf Clearance
The Rainbow Hostel in Costa Rica
Wave of Love-video
The Light Party
Greely 2010 Enhancing Brains: What are we afraid of?
Maintainers of the status quo, be afraid, be very afraid
Archaeologists find new structure at Stonehenge
The Hospitality Club -another couch surfing free stay option
Symeon Nostrakis psychedelic spiritual art work
Symeon Nostrakis -black light wizard
My friend in Hawaii Karla designs and makes her own beautiful jewelry.
Have a look
Lady Gaga: Pop Star for a Country and an Empire in Decline
Pete Seeger Live - New Protest Song About BP Oil Spill in
Gulf Coast on Banjo w James Maddock Guitar
Michael Meacher: humans only have 200-300 years left on earth
Maude Barlow: Running out of Water
Cleaning Dalian harbor
Is there any hope for our over fished oceans?
Take action for the Endangered Southern Cassowary in
Jane Goodall: A Journey Through the Jungle
Progress in cleaning up toxins in Ecuador and more news
Bill McKibben, A Wilted Senate on a Heating Planet
Last chance! Help save Utah's Red Rock country from drilling
Belgian Undertakers Want to Dissolve & Flush Dead Into Sewers
Boomers Take Up the Plow and Open Small Farms
Bizarre Wind-Powered Car Travels Downwind Faster than Wind
World's First Flight Powered by 100% Algae Biofuels Completed
Is a 500-Year Human Life Span Just Around the Corner?
FORGOTTEN for Over 80 Years -
Could this be the New Vitamin D?
Is this the Biggest Medical Breakthrough Since
the Discovery of Antibiotics?
Is This the Least Expensive Way to Prevent Illness
Without Supplements or Drugs?
Studies Prove that These Drugs Make Your
Brain Stop Working…
Experts: Health Hazards in Gulf Warrant Evacuations
Methane in Gulf 'astonishingly high'-US scientist
Are Chemtrails a Major Cause of Infertility?
US War Crimes: Cancer Rate in Fallujah Worse than Hiroshima
Is Weed Killer in Drinking Water Dangerous? Govt.
Is Letting the Chemical Industry Come Up with the Answer
EU 'clears the way to fast-track GM crops'
Want raw milk? Lease a farm—and hire a lawyer
Beware: 'Gluten-Free' Foods are Often Contaminated
6 Things to Try If You Want Sex More Than Your Partner Does
Why Are We Often Terrified of Our Own Sexuality?
In States Where "Gun Ed" Is Prevalent, Comprehensive
Sex Ed Is Nowhere to Be Found
The EU is now recognized as a state under international law
Israel Has Crept Into the EU Without Anyone Noticing
By Robert Fisk
I'm not comparing Israel and Hamas. Israel is the country that justifiably
slaughtered more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza 19 months ago - more
than 300 of them children - while the vicious, blood-sucking and terrorist
Hamas killed 13 Israelis (three of them soldiers who actually shot each
other by mistake).
Julia Gillard, the new warlord of Oz
America's Undeclared War on Pakistan
Clinton's Paradoxistan: Too Good to Be True
BEDOUINS RESIDENT IN NEGEV SINCE BEFORE FOUNDATION
OF ISRAEL SEE HOMES DESTROYED BY IDF
Africa Readies 2,000 Additional Troops for War-Torn Somalia
US and Colombia Plan to Attack Venezuela
Russian Court Bans Access to YouTube Entirely
One of the best news sources,
Issues and Alibis
"You Need to Know What's Really Going On":
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange on the Fight for the Truth
Researchers Confirm Subsea Gulf Oil Plumes
Are From BP Well
BP Hires Prison Labor to Clean Up Spill While
Coastal Residents Struggle
Strippers, Booze and Race Riots: BP’s Cleanup Workers
Run Amok in Grand Isle
New Oil Leak Reported as Barge Crashes Into
Oil Well in Gulf of Mexico
BP Executive Turned Alyeska Pipeline Into "Deeply Distressed" Company
BP Disaster: Russia’s Take
Russia, Afghanistan and Star Wars.
The Lunatic's Manual
By Bob Herbert
The way to fight a war is to mobilize the country - not just the
combat troops - behind an integrated wartime effort. To do that,
leaders have to persuade the public that the war is worth fighting,
worth paying for.
Despite WikiLeaks Revelations, Congress Votes for War Funding
Wikileaks: US Attack Killed 300 Civilians In Afghanistan: Report
By David Leigh
Locals told Reuters that up to 300 civilians - as well as a number of Taliban -
were killed in the air strike after they had been rounded up to watch a
Taliban-organised public hanging of two suspected spies.
Afghanistan War Logs:
Massive Leak of Secret Files Exposes Truth of Occupation
By Nick Davies and David Leigh
Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops · Covert unit hunts leaders
for 'kill or capture' · Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato · Read the
Guardian's full war logs investigation
How US Marines Sanitised Record of Bloodbath
By Declan Walsh
War logs show how marines gave cleaned up accounts of incident
in which they killed 19 civilians.
So please tell me again: What's the war about?
How Many Iraqis Did We "Liberate" From Life on Earth?
WikiLeaks Reveals the Enemy ... and It's Us
"What Was My Father's Crime?"
Afghan Man Tells Story of His 92-year-old Father's Killing
by U.S. Special Forces.
Feces, Urine, Blood and Smoke
Secret files: US drones hunt and kill Taliban targets by
remote control from Nevada base
Fidel Castro Ruz: There's Still Hope for the World
US, NATO Allies Prepare New Invasion Of Somalia
New Book from the Late Howard Zinn on the Threat of
Nuclear Weapons: "The Bomb"
Militarization of Central America and the Caribbean:
The U.S. Military Moves Into Costa Rica
From Freedom Fighter to Terrorist
By Jacob G. Hornberger
The same Gul who was viewed by U.S. officials as a "pro-Western
and moderate" freedom fighter is now viewed by the U.S. government
as a "murderous terrorist agent."
The Elders' View Of the Middle East
By Jimmy Carter
US accused of making insect spy robots By Tom Leonard in New York
Why World War II ended with Mushroom Clouds
65 years ago, August 6 and 9, 1945: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The Lies Of Hiroshima Are The Lies Of Today
Top Democrats Pressure White House on Afghan War as
WikiLeaks Reveals Bloody Realities
10 of the Most Crooked Candidates of 2010
Taxi to the Dark Side-video
In a interview with Ralph Nader, Judge Andrew Napolitano said
that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
should have been indicted for "torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrant."
Top 12 Racist Politicians of Modern History
Florida church sponsors 'International Burn A Koran Day':
How Disney Magic and the Corporate Media Shape
Youth Identity in the Digital Age
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O
Nicholas von Hoffman's New Memoir on the
Master Organizer Saul Alinsky
William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe DVD (2010)
Documentary About the Most Famous Leftist Lawyer
Shirley Sherrod Shows Presidential Courage Against
the Right Wing Thugs
Government Has Run Amok Since 9/11
By Sheldon Richman
Those who understand the exploitative nature of big government
suspected that the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks had little to
do with the security of the American people and much to do with
power and money.
Republican Awareness : Bankrupting America
FBI Releases 400-Page File on Howard Zinn
Why the U.S. Need Not Fear a Sovereign Debt Crisis:
Unlike Greece, It Is Actually Sovereign
The Aftermath Of The Global Housing Bubble Chokes
The World Banking System
The GOP Plot to Screw the Economy and the Middle Class
The Republican plan to wreck the economy and then
blame the Dems. Will it work?
Collapse in Living Standards in America: More
Poverty By Any Measure
1 Million American Households Likely to Lose Homes
to Foreclosure This Year
By Associated Press
Nearly 528,000 homes were taken over by lenders in the
first six months of the year. By comparison, lenders have
historically taken over about 100,000 homes a year.
Professors as Welfare Queens?
Crazy Economists Are Still Defending The Wall Street Bailout
As The Recession Gets Worse
Key Components Of America's Military Are Now
Dominated By A Chinese Monopoly
CNN Does Not Like Your Freedom On The Internet
EXPERT SUSPECTS BP ULTERIOR MOTIVE BEHIND OIL WELL CAP
BP Tries to Pass Off Hack Photoshop Images of Its
Capricorn One Crisis Center
Police Brutality in America
Church to Burn Copies of Koran to Mark 9/11
By staff writers
"We will burn Korans because we think it's time for Christians,
for churches, for politicians to stand up and say no; Islam and Sharia
law is not welcome in the U.S.
Man, son removed from flight for 9/11 video
Top Secret America
A hidden world, growing beyond control
The Ministry of Truth
Obama's War on the Internet
By Philip Giraldi
All records of each and every internet usage, to include credit information
and keystrokes that register everything that is written or sent, is accessible
to the government authorities on demand, not through the action of a court
or an independent authority.
Google goes to bed with CIA
Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn
The End of The Internet as We Know It
By Josh Silver
Since its beginnings, the Net was a level playing field that allowed
all content to move at the same speed, whether it's ABC News or
your uncle's video blog. That's all about to change, and the result
couldn't be more bleak for the future of the Internet, for television,
radio and independent voices.
AlterNet Investigation on Right-Wing Censorship of Digg Makes
Huge Waves on the Internet
Trends to Barbarism and Prospects for Socialism
By James Petras
Western societies and states are moving inexorably toward conditions
resembling barbarism; structural changes are reversing decades of social
welfare and subjecting labor, natural resources and the wealth of nations
to raw exploitation, pillage and plunder, driving living standards downward
and provoking unprecedented levels of discontent.
Vatican Decree: 'Female Ordination a Crime'
Big Pharma nanotechnology encodes pills with tracking data
that you swallow (UPDATE 1)
MEDIA PUSH FOR BRAIN-EATING VACCINES-
Dengue Fever Outbreak Leads Back to CIA & Army Experiments
Army’s Vaccine Plan: Inject Troops With Gas-Propelled,
Another Test Run For The Battle Of Armageddon? Space Based
Weapon Used On Oil Rig? A Connection Between The Gulf Crisis And 9/11?
Churchill 'banned UFO report to avoid mass panic'
WikiLeaks Posts Mysterious ‘Insurance’ File
Pentagon demands WikiLeaks 'hand over' all classified documents
De-classified Vietnam-era Transcripts Show Senators Knew
Gulf Of Tonkin Was A Staged False Flag Event
October Surprise Cover-up Unravels
US MARSHALS SERVICE ADMITS STORING 35,000 NAKED
BODY SCANS OF PEOPLE ENTERING US COURTHOUSES
QUOTES FOR THE WEEK:
What want these outlaws conquerors should have But History's purchased page to call them great?: Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, And all are slaves besides: William Cowper
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves": William Pitt,Earl of Chatham
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution": Thomas Jefferson
"Peoples of Egypt, you will be told that I have come to destroy your religion. Do not believe it! Reply that I have come to restore your rights!" Napoleon Bonaparte, 1798
"Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. Your wealth has been stripped of you by unjust men... The people of Baghdad shall flourish under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws." General F.S. Maude, commander of British forces in Iraq, 1917
"The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own": Aldous Huxley - English novelist and critic, 1894-1963
"Only the winners decide what were war crimes.": Gary Wills- Author
"One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself."-- Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
"Justice is as strictly due between neighbor nations as between neighbor citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang": Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan, 14 March 1785 (B 11:16-7)
"It has been for some time a generally received opinion, that a military man is not to inquire whether a war be just or unjust; he is to execute his orders. All princes who are disposed to become tyrants must probably approve of this opinion, and be willing to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one, since, on that principle, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and destroy, not only an unoffending neighbor nation, but even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey? A negro slave, in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob or murder a neighbor, or do any other immoral act, may refuse, and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal. The slavery then of a soldier is worse than that of a negro!" Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan, 14 March 1785 (B 11:18-9)
God grant, that not only the love of liberty, but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man, may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface, and say, "This is my country."Benjamin Franklin to David Hartley, 4 December 1789 (S 10:72)
"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." - Dwight Eisenhower - Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63
"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.
"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..." - Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380
"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. " - "The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages." - William Leahy, Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman - I Was There, pg. 441.
"As government regulations grow slowly, we become used to the harness. Habit is a powerful force, and we no longer feel as intensely as we once would have [the] constriction of our liberties that would have been utterly intolerable a mere half century ago." - -- Judge Robert Bork - (1927- ) Cricuit Judge for US Court of Appeals
"He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, And all are slaves besides." - -- William Cowper - (1731-1800) English poet, hymnodist
"Better to starve free than be a fat slave."-- Aesop - (c. 550 B.C.) legendary Greek fabulist
."They have a new gimmick every year. They're going to take one of their boys, black boys, and put him in the cabinet so he can walk around Washington with a cigar. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. And because his immediate personal problem will have been solved he will be the one to tell our people: 'Look how much progress we're making. I'm in Washington, D.C., I can have tea in the White House. I'm your spokesman, I'm your leader.' While our people are still living in Harlem in the slums. Still receiving the worst form of education.". . . . Malcolm X, Jan. 7, 1965 speech "The Prospects for Freedom", - Militant Labor Forum, in New York City
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." - -- Buddha -- [Gautama Siddharta] (563 - 483 BC), Hindu Prince
"Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence." - -- Buddha
"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed." -- Buddha
"To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson-that there are things in this world worth defending. To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors." President Ronald Reagan - March 21, 1983
"In Afghanistan, the freedom fighters are the key to peace. We support the Mujahidin. There can be no settlement unless all Soviet troops are removed and the Afghan people are allowed genuine self-determination.". President Ronald Reagan - Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union - January 25, 1988
"It's a mistake to think that poor people get the benefit from the welfare system. It's a total fraud. Most welfare go to the rich of this country: the military-industrial complex, the bankers, the foreign dictators, it's totally out of control." Ron Paul - (1935-) American physician, US Congressman
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." ~Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Why We Can't Wait, 1963
"This so-called ill treatment and torture in detention centers, stories of which were spread everywhere among the people, and later by the prisoners who were freed ... were not, as some assumed, inflicted methodically, but were excesses committed by individual prison guards, their deputies, and men who laid violent hands on the detainees.": Rudolf Hoess, the SS commandant at Auschwitz.
"It has been for some time a generally received opinion, that a military man is not to inquire whether a war be just or unjust; he is to execute his orders. All princes who are disposed to become tyrants must probably approve of this opinion, and be willing to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one, since, on that principle, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and destroy, not only an unoffending neighbor nation, but even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey? A negro slave, in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob or murder a neighbor, or do any other immoral act, may refuse, and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal. The slavery then of a soldier is worse than that of a negro!" Benjamin Franklinto Benjamin Vaughan, 14 March 1785 (B 11:18-9)
PUNMASTER MUSIC NEWS-SELECTED ARTICLES:
Stones To Keep Rolling?
The rumored 2011-’12 Rolling Stones tour might not be the band’s last.
An anonymous tipster told London’s Sun that The Rolling Stones are planning to bow out in style next year and are talking to Live Nation about a potential stadium tour.
Drummer Charlie Watts, the oldest Stone, will turn 70 during the tour and bandmates Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger – all in their mid-60s – agreed the milestone would make for a good departure from live touring.
“The band realize that age is creeping up on them,” the source said. “They want to bow out on top of their game, and not short-change their fans.”
However, when Entertainment Weekly did its fact-checking, the magazine got a different answer from the Stones’ representative: It is “not true” that the Rolling Stones are retiring.
Last September, Australia’s Undercover magazine reported Watts had quit the band, according to an anonymous source. Watts was allegedly persuaded by Keith Richards to do the Bigger Bang tour, but that was the end of his commitment to the band. Reps for the Stones quickly rejected the report.
The Rolling Stones have long been associated with promoter Michael Cohl, Live Nation’s chairman until 2008. Cohl is producing the Broadway musical “Spider-Man, Turn Off The Dark,” scored by U2’s Bono and The Edge.
There was no official statement regarding the Sun story Monday morning.
Roger Waters Talks Up Pink Floyd Reunion
by Paul Cashmere
After the surprise performance of Roger Waters and David Gilmour on stage for a charity performance this week, expect another reunion soon.
Roger Waters has posted on Facebook that a Gilmour reunion will happen during one of more of his The Wall shows, due to start in Canada on September 15.
Waters post reads:
So here's what happened. Last year, 'The Hoping Foundation' a charity that supports Palestinian refugee kids, (www.hopingfoundation.org) put on a fund raiser at Ronnie Scott's Club in London, the idea of which was to raise money by auctioning karaoke performances by various celebrities. David was there as a supporter and was moved to perform an impromptu rendition of George Gershwin's 'Summertime?' which he performed aided and abetted by supermodel Kate Moss.
In the wake of that evening, someone, I think it was David himself, came up with this 'Wouldn't it be funny', idea. What if he (David that is) were to sing the old Teddy Bears song 'To Know Him Is To Love Him' with me (Roger that is), what with us having been so famously at each other's throats for years and years. Get it!!!! Anyway he E-mailed me with this suggestion and I loved it, so then it was just a question of juggling dates and deciding to do 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Comfortably Numb' to round out our little set. Or so I thought, until he sent me a number of very musical and eloquent demos of how we could do the song in two-part harmony. I listened with a sinking heart, knowing that David, with his superior vocal skills, could sing either part standing on his head, whilst I would have to search for a different key and then struggle through hours and hours of routining a performance that lay way outside my vocal comfort zone. To my eternal shame I bottled out and told Dave I would happily do 'Wish You Were Here' and 'C. Numb', but that 'To Know him is to Love him' was beyond me.
Some weeks passed with David cajoling me from time to time, telling me how easy it would be, but I clung resolutely to my fear of failure until one day he made one final entreaty. I quote "If you do 'To Know Him Is To Love Him' for The Hoping Foundation Gig, I'll come and do 'C. Numb' on one of your Wall shows". Well! You could have knocked me down with a feather. How fucking cool! I was blown away. How could I refuse such an offer. I couldn't, there was no way. Generosity trumped fear. And so explaining that I would probably be shite, but if he didn't mind I didn't, I agreed and the rest is history. We did it, and it was fucking great. End of story. Or possibly beginning.
PS. Just heard from David, he will decide in due course which gig he wants to do, it will be a surprise!
AN AC/DC LIVE ALBUM
AC/DC plan to put out a live album soon. Singer Brian Johnson revealed the news last week on BBC Radio, saying that the band will “probably bring a live album out” in the near future. You can listen to the entire interview now atBBC.co.uk.
NEW HENDRIX DVD NARRATED BY SLASH
This September marks the 40th anniversary of the passing of Jimi Hendrix and to commemorate the occasion, a new DVD about the legendary guitarist’s music is coming out. It’s called Classic Artists: Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero and features iconic images, rare archival footage and interviews with the likes of Dave Mason, Paul Rodgers, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and many others. Slash narrates the film and you can pre-order it on August 17th. The disc hits shelves and can be downloaded on September 14th. Learn more at Image-Entertainment.com.
NEW YORK (AP) - Mitch Miller, the goateed orchestra leader who asked Americans to "Sing Along With Mitch" on television and records, has died at age 99.
His daughter, Margaret Miller Reuther, said Monday that Miller died Saturday in Lenox Hill Hospital after a short illness.
Miller was a key record executive at Columbia Records in the pre-rock 'n' roll era, making hits with singers Rosemary Clooney, Patti Page, Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett.
"Sing Along With Mitch" started as a series of records, then became a popular NBC show starting in early 1961. Miller's stiff-armed conducting style and signature goatee became famous.
As a producer and arranger, Miller had misses along with his hits, famously striking out on projects with Frank Sinatra and a young Aretha Franklin.
The TV show ranked in the top 20 for the 1961-62 season, and soon children everywhere were parodying Miller's stiff-armed conducting. An all-male chorus sang old standards, joined by a few female singers, most prominently Leslie Uggams. Viewers were invited to join in with lyrics superimposed on the screen and followed with a bouncing ball.
"He is an odd-looking man," New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson wrote in 1962. "His sharp beard, twinkling eyes, wrinkled forehead and mechanical beat make him look like a little puppet as he peers hopefully into the camera. By now most of us are more familiar with his tonsils than with those of our families."
Atkinson went on to say that as a musician, Miller was "first rate," praising "the clean tone of the singing, the clarity of the lyrics, the aptness of the tempos, the variety and the occasional delicacy of the instrumental accompaniment."
An accomplished oboist, Miller played in a number of orchestras early in his career, including one put together in 1934 by George Gershwin. "Gershwin was an unassuming guy," Miller told The New York Times in 1989. "I never heard him raise his voice."
Miller began in the recording business with Mercury Records in the late '40s, first on the classical side, later with popular music. He then went over to Columbia Records as head of its popular records division.
Among the stars whose hits he worked on were Clooney, Page, Bennett, Frankie Laine and Jo Stafford. His decision to have Mathis switch from jazz to lushly romantic ballads launched the singer as a superstar.
He had a less rewarding collaboration with Sinatra, whose recording of the novelty song "Mama Will Bark," featuring a barking dog, was considered the nadir of the singer's career. Still, Miller became known for his distinctive arrangements, such as the use of a harpsichord on Clooney's megahit version of "Come On-a My House." He used dubbing of vocal tracks back when that was considered exotic.
"To me, the art of singing a pop song has always been to sing it very quietly," Miller said in the book "Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music."
"The microphone and the amplifier made the popular song what it is - an intimate one-on-one experience through electronics. It's not like opera or classical singing. The whole idea is to take a very small thing and make it big."
Miller and a chorus had a No. 1 hit in 1955 with "The Yellow Rose of Texas," and that led to his sing-along records a few years later.
The years of Miller's biggest successes were also the early years of rock 'n' roll, and many fans saw his old-fashioned arrangements of standards and folk favorites as an antidote to the noisy stuff the teens adored. As an executive at Columbia, Miller would be widely ridiculed for trying to turn a young Aretha Franklin into a showbiz diva in the tradition of Sophie Tucker.
But Miller was not entirely unsympathetic to rock 'n' roll. In a 1955 essay in The New York Times magazine, he said the popularity of rhythm and blues, as he called it, with white teens was part of young people's "natural desire not to conform, a need to be rebellious."
He added: "There is a steady - and healthy - breaking down of color barriers in the United States; perhaps the rhythm-and-blues rage - I am only theorizing - is another expression of it."
"Miller has often been maligned as a maestro of 1950s schlock ... Yet Miller injected elements of rhythm and blues and country music, however diluted, into mainstream pop," Ken Emerson wrote in his book "Always Magic in the Air."
In the Martin Scorsese documentary on Bob Dylan, "No Direction Home," Miller acknowledged that he was dubious when famed producer John Hammond brought the nearly unknown Dylan to the staid Columbia label in the early '60s. "He was singing in, you know, this rough-edged voice," Miller said. "I will admit I didn't see the greatness of it." But he said he respected Hammond's track record in finding talent.
In recent years, Miller returned to his classical roots, appearing frequently as a guest conductor with symphony orchestras.
In 2000, he won a special Grammy Award for lifetime achievement.
Reuther said her father died of "just old age."
"He was absolutely himself up until the minute he got sick," she said. "He was truly blessed with a long and wonderful life."
Miller was born in 1911, in Rochester, N.Y., son of a Russian Jewish immigrant wrought-iron worker and a seamstress. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.
Reuther said there will be a memorial service for her father in the fall.
DETAILS ON NEIL YOUNG’S ARCHIVE VOL. 2
Fans waited almost a decade to get their hands on Neil Young’s Archive Vol. 1 when it came out in June of last year, but it looks like they won’t have to wait too long to buy the second installment of the Archive. A post on NeilYoung.com reveals what’s in Archive Vol. 2, which means a release could come soon. The set will feature, among other things, four unreleased albums that are now being built from original tapes. The second volume will focus on Neil’s music from the mid-‘70s to early-‘80s and promises to include even more unreleased material than the first set. No word on a release date yet. AC/DC’S BLACK ICE TOUR SECOND-HIGHEST GROSSING EVER
Since their Black Ice tour began in 2008, AC/DC have performed 168 shows to a total of almost 4.9-million fans, raking in about 441.6-million dollars. That amount makes the trek the second-highest grossing tour in history! According to Billboard, the only more successful jaunt was the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang tour from 2005 to 2007, which earned 558.3-million dollars from 147 shows.
• AC/DC’s Black Ice tour was the band’s first trek in eight years.
A WEEK OF ZAPPA FESTIVITIES IN BALTIMORE
In September, fans of Frank Zappa will be heading to the singer’s hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. That’s because the musician will be cerebrated during a week of events, which will include a concert from his son, Dweezil Zappa. Also, on September 19th, a statue honoring Frank will be unveiled in a predominantly Greek neighborhood. Fans in Lithuania donated the statue. While, Zappa had never been to the country but his music is popular there. In fact, the statue is a replica of one erected in the Lithuanian capital. Learn more at BaltimoreSun.com
Becoming Elektra is an account of Elektra Records in the Jac Holzman years, from 1950 to 1973. It tells the story of Elektra's growth from a small independent folk label to a major, multi-faceted, hit making concern. Jac Holzman's role in founding and running the company is central to the story, and his capacity for lateral thinking - that led to innovations such as the first-ever sampler album, and a million-selling series of sound effects records - is a recurring theme. But the book is not just a story of one man's business success. It is also about the label's artists and the great music they produced, and other key people who gave the company its identity.
Becoming Elektra places the label in a broad context. A gripping narrative drawing in elements of musical and cultural history, and biographies of the main participants in the story, the book opens with a pivotal moment in Elektra's history, when Holzman discovered The Doors. It then goes back to the previously untold story of Elektra in the 50s, when the label brought folk music to a wide audience through artists such as Jean Ritchie, Josh White, Theodore Bikel and Bob Gibson.
Moving into the 60s the story takes in artists that have had an extraordinary resonance down the years including some, such as Tim Buckley, who are far more popular today than in their lifetime. His story is told, along with those of artists that read like an inventory of 60s and 70s musical innovation: The Doors, Love, Judy Collins, The Paul Butterfield Band (with Michael Bloomfield), Tom Paxton, Tim Buckley, Fred Neil, David Ackles, Phil Ochs, Bread, Queen, Mickey Newbury, The Incredible String Band, Carly Simon, The Stooges and The MC5.
Mick Houghton is a music publicist and journalist. Since 1979 he has looked after the Ramones, Talking Heads, Undertones, Echo & The Bunnymen, Julian Cope, Sonic Youth, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The KLF, Spiritualized, XTC, Bert Jansch and Richard Thompson, among many others. His writing has appeared in Let it Rock, Circus, Zigzag, Sounds, Time Out, Mojo and Uncut, and he wrote the book that formed part of the Grammy nominated Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra 1963-1973 CD box set. He first bought an Elektra LP in 1966
THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY - AUGUST 3
In 1966…The South African government banned the broadcast of Beatles songs after John Lennon’s remark that his group was more popular than Jesus.
In 1967…To promote Ravi Shankar’s Hollywood Bowl concert, George Harrison joined the sitar player at his news conference.
In 1968…The Newport Pop Festival kicked off. It featured performers like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Steppenwolf.
In 1968…“Hello, I Love You” became The Doors’ second and final number-one single.
In 1969…The Beach Boys’ Carl Wilson agreed to serve civilian duty instead of being drafted into the army, but when he arrived at Los Angeles County Hospital to do his bit, he taught music classes instead of acting as an institutional helper.
In 1971…Paul McCartney announced he was forming a new band called Wings.
In 1974…Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band opened for Canadian songbird Anne Murray in New York. It was the last gig Bruce played with drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter and keyboardist David Sancious.
In 1991…In Houston, Ted Nugent faced off against animal rights groups at a hunting show.
In 1997…Bob Dylan played his first concert since his heart scare in Lincoln, Nebraska, but he seemed tired and even performed some songs sitting down.
In 2002…Bob Dylan played The Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. It was the first time he played the event since 1965 when he was booed offstage for going electric.
In 2002…In East Troy, Wisconsin, the surviving members of The Grateful Dead played together as The Other Ones.
In 2004…Laci Van Zant, the father of the Van Zant Southern rock dynasty, died. He was 89. His son Ronnie founded Lynyrd Skynyrd, which Johnny Van Zant joined following his brother’s death in a plane crash. A third son, Donnie, played with 38 Special, and now Johnny and Donnie are playing together as Van Zant, a country duo.
In 2004…Traffic cancelled their reunion tour after drummer Jim Capaldi was diagnosed with a severe gastric ulcer.
In 2005…Melissa Etheridge announced she was cancer free, nine months after she was diagnosed with the disease.
Thanks to Mike Hart
Cab Calloway - Reefer Man