Reactions were palpable and universal.

Reactions were palpable and universal.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio News + Bulletins – November 22, 1963

51 years ago today, on November 22, 1963, Dallas Texas became the center of a strange universe. President Kennedy was assassinated on his way to the Dallas Trade Mart to deliver an address at a Civic and Business leaders luncheon.

The rest, as they say, is history.

It started off as a typical day – nothing unusual or special. But it ended as something completely different, and one which everyone who was around at the time will tell exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news.

As a reminder of that day, and how anonymous it initially started out, here is a news report given an hour before the shooting, a special news report birthday salute to former vice-President John Nance Garner who was celebrating a birthday on November 22nd, some network music and then the initial bulletins.

And then the shock set in.

Here are the moments leading up and the initial moments of that event in Dallas on November 22, 1963 via NBC Radio.

Damien Rice - elegant eloquence.

Damien Rice – elegant eloquence.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Damien Rice – live in Carré, Amsterdam – October 27, 2014 – VPRO/3VOOR12

Singer-songwriter Damien Rice tonight. In concert from Amsterdam, recorded this past October by the venerable VPRO in The Netherlands.

Embarking on a solo career which landed his debut album, O with a UK Shortlist Music Prize in 2002, the Irish multi-instrumentalist/producer has gone from success to success these past 12 years. With the release of his third solo album, My Favorite Faded Fantasy, released on October 31st, Rice has been on tour promoting it. Already proclaimed by the London Evening Standard as one of the albums of the year, Rice continues to gather a strong audience with his engaging blend of taut, searching lyrics and distinctive musical lines.

If you haven’t caught him yet, here’s a great opportunity to get acquainted.

Goes well with Friday, heading into the weekend.


President Warren G. Harding - pushing for arms limitation, even in 1921.

President Warren G. Harding – pushing for arms limitation, even in 1921.


. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – President Warren G. Harding Address to International Conference for Limitation of Armaments – Nov. 12, 1921 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Almost 100 years ago. Three years after the “War to End All Wars” concluded, talk of a limitation of arms as a means of preventing future wars was underway. Like the League of Nations that became an outgrowth of the War, the need for some lasting peace became a crucial imperative, one that the world, even in 1921 couldn’t ignore.

Well . . .almost 100 years later, it’s still being talked about, negotiated, pledged, promised, signed-on-the-dotted-line over – and still it hasn’t happened.

But in 1921, when the Conference opened on November 12th of that year, all was hopeful and optimistic a start could be made and a lasting peace could prevail. With as much death and destruction as the world endured during World War 1, you’d think such a proposal would be met with open arms, that even discussing Arms limitation would be a foregone conclusion. But even in 1921 memories were fading; war’s selective amnesia had spread throughout the room. The plan seemed adventuresome, and implementing it would be another thing. It was at least an attempt.

Here is that address by President Warren G. Harding as it was given on November 12, 1921 (and later recorded on May 24, 1922).

The Peace conference, as it looked on November 21, 1921.

The Peace conference, as it looked on November 21, 1921.

And even Pakistan was getting into the act.

And even Pakistan was getting into the act.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio News + Bulletin – November 21, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

As the drama at the American Embassy in Tehran continued, flare ups were being reported in other places. A bulletin on this November 21st in 1979 reported Iranian students had stormed the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. At the time there was no word on casualties, but hints there were some. The Pakistani Army was mildly detached from the situation; sending helicopters flying over the burning Embassy, but not landing and not offering help to the employees under siege.

Meanwhile, in Tehran it was another day of burning effigies, Death-To-America chants and threats. The Ayatollah indicated the Embassy officials would be put on trial as spies unless the Shah was returned. President Carter flew back to the White House from Camp David and issued a statement saying they were actively pursuing all avenues of peaceful settlement in the crisis, but wasn’t ruling out a possible Military solution. The Pentagon announced it was beefing up its Naval presence in the Indian Ocean near Iran with the aircraft carrier Kittyhawk summoned to the area to join other ships.

Another day of tension, diplomacy and finger waving as presented by CBS Radio News for November 21, 1979.

The Mispers - latest inductees to the Class of 2014.

The Mispers – latest inductees to the Class of 2014.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – The Mispers – live at London Calling2 – November 1, 2014 – VPRO/3VOOR12

The latest installment of New Faces For 2014 comes in the form of The Mispers, a London-based Indie/Alternative band who take their name from Police lingo meaning Missing Persons. Clever, no?

Not that far removed in execution from Arcade Fire, The Mispers have been getting a lot of good press of late, and there are high hopes this band could be heavily on the radar for the coming year. They have a new single coming out on November 23rd.

As a sample of what they’re listening to and enjoying overseas these days, here is an 11 minute excerpt from their appearance at this year’s London Calling2 Festival (the Autumn/Winter one), recorded by VPRO and aired live on 3VOOR12 and 3FM on November 1st.

A Facebook page (where you can download tracks), a Soundcloud page (where you can hear their Dark Bits ep) as well as their official website, you can get a pretty good idea of what The Mispers are all about. And of course, you can show some love by plunking down a few bucks for any number of goodies they are offering.

They can use the props and support – and you can use some good music. Good trade-off, as far as I can see.

Over to you.

Before getting bitten by the Directing bug, a Comedy duo with Elaine May.

Before getting bitten by the Directing bug, a Comedy duo with Elaine May.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Nichols & May on The Kraft Music Hall – March 1, 1961 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

If you’ve been around a while, chances are you remember when Mike Nichols was part of the comedy team Nichols & May. It preceded what became a career synonymous with Theatre and Film. But before then, it was a nightclub act, several albums and a huge following as one of the new and brilliant comedy teams of the 1950s and early 60s.

They did a lot of appearances on radio and TV. One of those I’m running tonight as tribute to Nichols and his gift of comedy with the equally gift Elaine May. This one comes via The Kraft Music Hall, hosted by singer Perry Como and also featuring guest artist Janet Blair.

This is one of the comedy skits they frequently did during their tenure as stand-up comics: Apartment Hunting.

A reminder of just how versatile and gifted Mike Nichols was.

Here is that segment from The Kraft Music Hall of March 1, 1961.

Mike Nichols - Undeniable force - unimaginable loss.

Mike Nichols – Undeniable force – unimaginable loss.

. . .or click on the link here for Audio Player – NPR – Talk Of The Nation – July 4, 2012 – NPR

Hearing the news today of the passing of one of the giants of Film and Theatre, the loss of Mike Nichols moves emotion beyond words. To say that he was an influence on countless actors, directors and writers is undeniable. That his work, from his stint in Comedy as half of Nichols & May to his groundbreaking work in The Graduate and well beyond goes without saying.

We’ve lost one of the great ones. His vision and style will be difficult, if not impossible to replace. But then, you could never replace a Mike Nichols – nor would you want to. His was a unique talent, a distinct voice. And now it lives on in his body of work – and for that, we’re fortunate because his talent was timeless. The voice and point of view will be fresh decades from now. His observations and interpretations of the human spirit, of human values, of human crises and joys are forever.

As a reminder of Mike Nichols and his indelible mark on our culture, I ran across this 2012 interview conducted by Neal Conan of NPR for the Talk Of The Nation series on July 4th 2012.

He will be sorely missed – and we are so grateful we had him when we did.

Rest In Peace – Mike Nichols

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