We return to the "Wall of Vinyl" today. Or the "Record Wall." Or whatever you want to call it. In the American Treasure Tour's Music Room - the space dedicated to around two hundred mechanical music machines ranging from music boxes from the 19th century to orchestrions dating from the 1890s to the 1990s - our walls are covered in record albums. An eclectic collection to put it mildly, the genres represented range from the country musings of Johnny Paycheck and Crystal Gale to classic rockers The Who, male vocalist Englebert Humperdinck and instrumentalist Herb Alpert. Of course, we also have Sesame Street's own Bert, singing his greatest hits. Today, we are going to discuss another type of recording - the soundtrack album.
Oh sure, we talk about movies as often as we can get away with - it is virtually a requirement to be a movie fanatic to work at the American Treasure Tour - but how often do we get to discuss their soundtracks? Today's soundtrack is for the 1984 hit Eddie Murphy comedy Beverly Hills Cop. The film itself was the biggest hit of the year, earning $234 million and getting nominated for a number of awards, as well as inspiring a few sequels. The soundtrack made Harold Faltermeyer a household name (if only for a few weeks), and his hit song "Axel F" one of the most recognizable instrumentals of the decade. It also included a number of other hits by popular musicians, including Glenn Frey, Patti LaBelle, Pointer Sisters, and Shalamar. It reached number one on the Billboard charts and won the Grammy for Best Score.
What city does Axel Foley (played by Eddie Murphy) leave to find himself in Beverly Hills, California?
a) San Francisco, CA
b) New York City, NY
c) Chicago, IL
d) Dallas, TX
e) Detroit, MI
Just yesterday, we at the blog described how our birthdays tend to revolve around actors, politicians and inventors. We rarely invest time into the deaths of famous people because, you know, it can be depressing. Well, this day in 1882 must have been VERY depressing to the James family, because this was the day Jesse James was killed by "the coward" Robert Ford. By the time Ford visited the James home hoping to cash in on the reward on James' head, most of the gang that robbed banks and trains was either dead or in jail. Turns out James shouldn't have trusted Robert Ford, because he got a bullet in the head for it. And Ford never did receive much of the reward money, either. Instead, most of it went to law officers involved in the plot, while Ford ran from Missouri afraid for his life. Funny thing is, Jesse James was living in St. Joseph, Missouri under the alias Tom Howard when Ford killed him. At the time, even James' own kids didn't realize who their dad really was.
History is filled with sad happenings. Although some celebrated the death of Jesse James, others certainly mourned him. One thing that happened today, in the wake of the devastation and tragedy of World War II, was not so sad. In fact, it is something Americans should be proud of to this day: the signing into law the Marshall Plan by President Harry Truman. By 1948, countries around the world were still struggling after the war, and Secretary of State George Marshall paved the way to help sixteen of those countries regain control of their destinies. Granted, they also wanted to make sure the citizens of these countries voted down communism, but there can be no denial that the five billion dollars put aside for the Marshall Plan proved essential to restoring normalcy for countries still in ruins. Equally exciting, the Plan found the Republicans and the Democrats in the United States government actually working together to improve life. Difficult to imagine, but nice to know it can happen.
Sometimes, people are not who they present themselves to be. One such person was Espera Oscar de Corti. Born in southwestern Louisiana to immigrants from the Italian island of Sicily, Espera and his brothers moved first to Texas, then to California. They changed their last name to Cody and got into acting. Espera became the most famous of the three, playing the role of a Native American in movies, television shows and commercials from 1927 until 1989. Over the span of a sixty-plus-year career, Cody took on the persona of an Indian even in his private life, claiming Cherokee-Cree roots, becoming involved in Indian causes, and adopting two Indian children with his archaeologist wife. He acted under the name of "Iron Eyes" Cody, with one of his most prominent roles being that of the Medicine Man in 1970s A Man Called Horse, but also as the "crying chief" in the public service announcements of the early 70s sponsored by the Keep America Beautiful campaign. If you were around then, you might remember him as the Native American chief looking over litter-covered and over-used highways with a tear rolling down his cheek.
Now, how could April 3rd go by without acknowledging the birthday of one of our favorite actors: Doris Day? Turning 92 today, the blonde with the big smile started her career behind a microphone - singing with a big band in 1939. Between 1949 and 2011, Day has recorded twenty albums, while also working in film and television. Her movie career lasted only twenty years, but included some greats, such as Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), That Touch of Mink (1962), With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) - and that doesn't even include the incredibly popular romantic comedies she made with Rock Hudson! After that, she enjoyed success on the small screen for five years on The Doris Day Show. So, yes, she is a favorite. We would like to pretend we are unbiased, but it just isn't going to happen. Happy 92nd, Doris!
The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of it. - Doris Day
Answer: e) Detroit, MI