Styx - May 22, 2014

Hello and good morning!  The American Treasure Tour blog writing committee here to discuss today's Tour-related record album.  We are staying in the Music Room and exploring the ample collection of vinyl displayed on the walls.  Today - it's classic 1970's and 1980's progressive rock band Styx.  Chicago-based brothers Chuck and John Panozza and childhood friend Dennis DeYoung started playing together in the early 60's, but only formed the band, named after the mythical river, in 1972.

By the late-70's, the band had a string of hit singles including "Lady" and "Come Sail Away."  By the 1978 release of their eighth studio album, Pieces of Eight, they enjoyed great success.  This album followed the triple-platinum The Grand Illusion with popular songs such as "Renegade."  It had a message, too.  As explained by DeYoung, it was about pursuing your dreams, and not making sacrifices for money and possessions.  A noble ambition!  Although the line-up for the band has changed dramatically over the years, Styx still assembles for concerts.

QUESTION:  In 1983, Styx made a concept album about a futuristic world where music was outlawed.  What was the hit song from this album called, about a half man-half machine?

a)  Sir Squeaks-a-lot

b)  Mr. Roboto

c)  Alfred Crankypants

d)  I, Robot

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

The only future president to ever be credited with making his own invention, Abraham Lincoln submitted his patent for a contraption designed to help lift boats off of shoals on this day in 1849.

There were only two major volcanic eruptions to happen in the contiguous 48 states during the 20th century.  The second one, remembered by many "old folks," happened on May 18th, 1980.  That was at Mount St. Helens in Southern Oregon.  The first one happened today in 1915.  Lassen Peak in Northern California was a majestic mountain peak - one of the highest in the state - until it blew its top.  The explosion could be seen for 150 miles, and proved devastating for the forests of the region for many decades.  Now, the area is preserved as a national park and is definitely worth a trip out there.  Now, almost one hundred years later, maybe it's ready to blow again....

BIRTHDAYS:

If you like music, specifically jazz music, and you have not heard of Sun Ra, you need to check him out.  The Birmingham, Alabama-born composer, bandleader and musician needs to be heard.  When he entered the world on this day in 1914, Herman Poole Blount was already an eccentric.  He grew up in the entertainment world.  A talented but quirky musician, he claimed he was from Saturn, and as far as his interpretation of jazz was, he may as well have been.  Officially, he passed away in 1993.  But maybe he is really floating off in outer space somewhere.

Phil Tucker is another May 22 baby, and another colorful character.  Born in 1927, Tucker was a filmmaker.  Of sorts.  Often compared to Ed Wood, Jr., Tucker's most famous, and most notorious, film was 1953's Robot Monster.  Shot with a shoestring budget in the California desert, the film tells the story of a ... well ... okay, so the bad guy is a gorilla with a homemade space helmet.  And, er, well.  Maybe you just better see it.  It is sure to inspire a reaction.  Tucker made twelve films during a career that spanned thirty years, all of about the same quality.

QUOTE: What I'm dealing with is so vast and great that it can't be called truth.  It is above the truth. - Sun Ra

Answer:  b)  Mr. Roboto