Deep Purple - May 6, 2014

As the American Treasure Tour blog continues to explore the collection of record albums displayed on the walls of our Music Room, one cannot help but notice just how downright strange the collection is.  Really.  It goes from favorites like Johnny Paycheck and Lawrence Welk to Fleetwood Mac, The Carpenters, and Englebert Humberdinck.  And really, that's only scratching the surface.  Today, we are going to spend a little time with the English heavy-metal rock band established in 1968 and still on stage, Deep Purple.

If you enjoy loud music, you will have a definite appreciation for Deep Purple.  In fact, they have what some might consider the dubious distinction in 1975 of having achieved the status of "the globe's loudest band" in Guinness Book of World Records for a concert they performed three years before at London's Ranibow Theatre.  The band's name was inspired by a song that lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's grandmother played when he was a child.  The band went through many line-up changes, as they recorded studio albums and performed in concert.  1972's Machine Head was their sixth album, and is considered one of their best and most influential.  It also includes what many regard as the best guitar-based songs ever recorded:  "Smoke on the Water."  

QUESTION:

Which of the following was NOT a Deep Purple album released in the 1970s?

a)  Deep Purple in Rock

b)  Fireball

c)  Concerto for Group and Orchestra

d)  Who Do We Think We Are

e)  Burn

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Things were not so great in 1937.  The Great Depression was going along with no end in sight.  Germany and Japan were both hungry to expand their territories into neighboring countries that were not so eager to share.  And then this happened.  A spark ignited the helium-filled Hindenburg zeppelin as it was docking in Lakehurst, New Jersey, at the Naval Air Station.  It went up in flames and was gone in a matter of minutes.  Worse still, the whole disaster was caught on film and sound, so that people around the world could see the tragedy unfold.  Of the 97 people aboard the airship, there were 35 fatalities, either because of the fire or because they jumped from extreme heights in the effort to escape.  The age of the airship effectively ended on this day in 1937.

Located in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point has fought hard to achieve the title of "Roller Coaster Capitol of the World."  Established as an amusement park in 1870, it is the second-oldest amusement park in the United States, which is not to suggest it is old or outdated.  In fact, they keep adding new rides.  In 1989, it opened the Magnum XL-200 roller coaster, it was ranked the tallest and the fastest hypercoaster in the world - the first coaster ever to reach 200 feet.  It has been rated one of the ten best coasters in the world every year since it opened, although it is no longer the tallest.  That is currently the Kingda Ka in Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, which peaks at 456 feet. Onward and upwards!

BIRTHDAYS:

Happy birthday, Orson Welles!  Born in 1915, George Orson Welles was a true innovator as a young man. He wrote, directed, produced and starred in theatrical productions and films that proved ahead of their time and innovative - including the highly controversial Citizen Kane, which came out in 1941 and is still regarded by many critics as one of the best movies of all time.  Welles' talent, intelligence and, to be honest, arrogance, proved a detriment to his career in the long run, though.  He often fought with the studios that controlled his films, and alienated important people who took control of his projects away from him.  By the end of his career, Welles was more famous for his appearances in television commercials than for his substantial body of work.  He died at 70 years old in 1985.

Welles shares his birthday with another well-known writer, director, producer and actor.  George Clooney was born today in 1961, this Lexington, Kentucky native grew up surrounded by performers.  His father Nick is a journalist, anchorman and television host, while his aunt Rosemary was a popular singer and actress, primarily in the 1950s.  George started his acting career when he was twenty three, starting out in sitcoms including The Facts of Life and Roseanne, before he was cast in the popular hospital drama ER, which made him a star.  He transitions successfully into film, and has become one of the biggest-selling stars of all time for hit films including the Ocean's Eleven trilogy, Up In the Air, Michael Clayton, Good Night and Good Luck, as well as many other films ranging from comedy (Intolerable Cruelty, O! Brother Where Art Thou), science fiction (Solaris), and most recently World War II (The Monuments Men). Keep up the good work, George, and happy birthday! 

QUOTE:  But I'm kind of comfortable with getting older, which is better than the other option, which is being dead.  So I'll take getting older. - George Clooney

Answer:  c)  Concerto for Group and Orchestra was released by Deep Purple in 1969.  It was close!  But no cigar.