Emerson, Lake & Palmer - February 13, 2014

Hello and happy 13th!  Hopefully, anyone affected by the snowstorm is home, reading their blogs and eating bonbons.  We are here today to discuss another album cover from the walls of the Music Room.  Today's subject is Emerson, Lake & Palmer - an English progressive rock supergroup who sold over forty million albums in the 1970s and has headlined major stadiums across the world during their concert tours.

Keith Emerson (keyboards) and Greg Lake (bass, guitar, and vocals) met and decided to make music together while they were in San Francisco.  They quickly began a search for a drummer, and found their man in Carl Palmer.  They experienced almost instant success with their Moog synthesizer-dominated sound.  Trilogy is the third studio album released by the band in three years, which came out in 1972 and included one of their most recognizable hits, the song "Hoedown" - an instrumental interpretation of an Aaron Copeland composition that proved exceptionally popular in their live shows.  Highly praised by their fans but condemned by their critics, ELP remains an iconic 70s band that occasionally reunite for concerts to this day. 

QUESTION:

Which band was Keith Emerson in prior to creating ELP?

a)  The Jimi Hendrix Experience

b)  The Nice

c)  King Crimson

d)  Atomic Rooster

e)  The Beatles

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

One of the most famous names of the post-Civil War era is that of Jesse James.  Born in 1847, he participated in the Civil War as part of the notorious Quantrill's Raiders (so legend says), and never really stopped fighting even after the Confederacy lost the war.  Rather, with his brother Frank and a gang that at times included the Cole Younger gang, James made a living robbing money from banks, trains and stagecoaches.  It was on this date in 1866 when Jesse walked into the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri, for what many believe to be his first bank robbery.  He came out with around $60,000 - almost $3.5 million in today's currency - at a time when banks were often uninsured.  The life savings of many resident farmers were lost that day, and the bank itself closed its doors because of the raid.  He was hardly a man of the people! Today, the building is preserved as a museum honoring the James Gang.

BIRTHDAYS:

Only yesterday, we celebrated the birthday of First Lady Louisa Adams, wife of our sixth president.  Not to be outdone by ourselves, we have conveniently arranged to have Bess Truman's birthday today!  Born in 1885 and the wife of the 33rd President of the United States, Elizabeth Wallace grew up in Independence, Missouri.  A young Harry Truman used every excuse he could think of to visit relatives who lived across the street from the Wallaces so he could court Bess.  It took years, but he eventually convinced her to marry him, which he considered the greatest achievement of his life.  When Truman unexpectedly gained the presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945, Bess became an unhappy First Lady.  She preferred peace and quiet to pomp and circumstance, but she stood by her man and waited until he completed his two terms in office so that they could retire to their home, in Independence.  She remains the longest-living former First Lady, having passed away after her 97th birthday.

Only six years younger than Bess, Grant Wood was born in Iowa, practically a neighbor to Bess, too!  Apprenticed at different times to a metal worker and a silversmith, Wood's passion was always art, and he loved to experiment with ink, charcoal, ceramics, lithography, found objects, and metal or wood.  Once he started expressing himself, he never stopped.  Despite his versatility, Wood's remembered mostly for one painting:  American Gothic, a 1930 piece on display at the Art Institute of Chicago that depicts a farm scene famously dominated by a grave-looking farmer and his spinster daughter.  Wood died during his fiftieth year of pancreatic cancer.

QUOTE:

I deplore any action which denies artistic talent an opportunity to express itself because of prejudice against race origin.  - Bess Truman

Answer:  b)  The Nice, with whom he gained enough fame that the names of Lake and Palmer were included in ELP to make clear that this was not Emerson's solo follow up.