Air Supply - April 10, 2014

The primary purpose of the American Treasure Tour blog, besides addressing all of the wonderful things the American Treasure Tour has to offer that need to be seen and experienced, is to enlighten and inform.  The illustrious group of researchers who compile this daily source of valuable information strives to inspire you, as well as to connect you with our collection.  Create a collection connection, as it were.  Today, we hope to offer insight into another album on our Music Room wall, and one of the most significant cultural imports this country has ever received from down under:  the Australian band Air Supply.

Way back in 1975, two men met while performing in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.  Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock had a gift with soft rock, and they began to write and record songs together immediately. Over the years, they would hire studio musicians or enlist band members, but Air Supply was always about Russell and Hitchcock.  They released four albums, none of which did exceptionally well, before Rod Stewart invited them to open for him during an Australian concert tour.  Then, he brought them to the States.  In 1980, they released their album Lost in Love, and their melodic songs of love and loss were played on practically every radio station in the country, including one of their biggest hits, "All Out of Love." They have sold more than 100 million albums in over four decades, and are still going strong.  Their seventeenth studio album, Mumbo Jumbo, was released in 2010.

QUESTION:

Which member of the famous Australian band Bee Gees produced and performed on Air Supply's third album, 1979's Life Support?

a)  Andy Gibb

b)  Barry Gibb

c)  Maurice Gibb

d)  Robin Gibb

e)  Michael Jackson

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

There are so many anniversaries - big and small - that occur on any given day that our blog writers often find themselves in serious turmoil trying to decide what deserves a special call out. Today, we will focus on two "firsts."  The first first is from 1866.  Inspired by the example of English humanitarians, New York City native Henry Bergh established the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - the first humane society in all of North America.  Up to this point, no advocacy groups existed in the country to serve in the best interest of animals of any kind. Bergh's first focus was on the cruelty of cockfighting, but he and his Society quickly began addressing other challenges to humane treatment of animals from the tiniest pet to the toughest warhorse.  Thank you Mr. Bergh!

Our second first - one maybe more novel but not nearly as important as our first first - celebrates the premier of the first color 3-D movie ever produced in the United States: the 1953 classic House of Wax starred Vincent Price, Carolyn Jones (of The Addams Family fame) and a very young Charles Bronson, credited as Charles Buchinsky. It proved to be a massive success, and revitalized Vincent Price's career as well as the inspiration for many other 3-D films before the fad waned only a few years later.  3-D would not become popular again until the 1980s, and is currently enjoying its third major resurrection now.  We would include the plot of House of Wax in the blog, but feel it is in your best interest to watch the film yourself.  Just be careful not to watch alone - it could prove very scary!

BIRTHDAYS:

We just talked about his involvement in securing a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty for New York Harbor yesterday, so it is only fitting that we celebrate the birth today (in 1847) of Joseph Pulitzer.  Born in an isolated Hungarian town, he enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War as a way to get his way to Boston paid by military recruiters.  After the war, life was rough going.  He lived in abject poverty and was often homeless as he read voraciously and taught himself English.  Then, he wrote an article about an unfortunate incident when he was scammed out of what little money he had.  The article was published, his skills as a reporter recognized, and Pulitzer's newspaper career began. By the 1880s he had become a rich man and the owner of multiple newspapers, including the New York World.  He and William Randolph Hearst competed bitterly for readership, often inspiring controversy over their techniques.  Pulitzer became a newspaper man through and through, though, and his name has since become associated with the Pulitzer Prize, given to excellence in journalism.

Eight days ago, we honored the birth of Jack Webb, Dragnet's Joe Friday. Today, we would be remiss if we did not celebrate his 1960s tv-partner Bill Gannon, played by Harry Morgan. Morgan, born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit, Michigan, 1915, had already been an accomplished film actor before taking on Dragnet, starring in such films as The Ox-Bow Incident, High Noon, and Inherit the Wind before his three year run as Friday's partner began in 1967.  Of course, he is mostly remembered for his portrayal of character Sherman Potter during his eight years (1975 to 1983) with the popular sitcom M*A*S*H, and it's not quite so popular spin-off AfterM*A*S*H.  A veteran of over 100 movies and some very popular television shows, Harry Morgan died in 2011 at the age of 93.

QUOTE:

The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations. - Joseph Pulitzer

Answer:  b)  Barry Gibb.  Actually, the Bee Gees only consisted of Barry, Maurice and Robin. Andy had a solo career that ended with his untimely death at age 30 in 1988.  Michael Jackson was a member of the Jackson 5, and went on to a distinguished solo career that ended with his untimely death at age 50 in 2009.  Maurice died in 2003 at the age of 53 and Robin died in 2012 at the age of 62.  Which means Barry is the only one left.  May he stay with us for many more years to come!