Fleetwood Mac - May 5, 2014

As you have likely realized by now, we here at the American Treasure Tour blog do what we can to be topical in our daily posts.  Oh, sure, we talk about silent films, historical events and personalities, and performers who have enjoyed careers lasting for up to seven decades.  But we also want to be relevant.  That's why we are going to address a critically and popularly admired band that formed originally in 1967, has had its ups and downs since then, and will be going on tour together this Summer for the first time in years.  We refer, of course, to Fleetwood Mac.

When guitarist Peter Green formed the band, he named it after drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, the rhythm section for their former band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. When they split off from Mayall, the original Fleetwood Mac was a blues-rock band.  They did well until Green bowed out due to ill health, and the band slowly evolved into the pop band regarded as a supergroup, including Fleetweed, John and Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham.  Their 1977 album Rumors became one of the best-selling records of all time, having sold over 45 million copies to date.  The behind-the-scenes dramas within Fleetwood Mac could make for a good soap opera, and it seemed like they would never get back together again.  Maybe they have healed, or maybe they needed the cash, but Fleetwood Mac is back together.  Catch them while you can!

QUESTION:

Which of the following songs is not included in Rumors?

a)  "Dreams"

b)  "Go Your Own Way"

c)  "Gold Dust Woman"

d)  "Gypsy"

e)  "Don't Stop"

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Call it human nature, but people compete for everything:  largest zucchini, smallest dog, tallest skyscraper and shortest giraffe.  Today, we offer you the "first" peacetime train robbery int he United States.  It happened on May 5, 1865 in North Bend, Ohio (the small town on the Ohio River where future president Benjamin Harrison was born in 1833, and where his grandfather, former president William Henry Harrison is laid to rest).  Some do not consider this the "first" because it happened so soon after the end of the Civil War and was led by former guerrilla fighters, but others say it is legitimate.  You can decide for yourself.  One notable aside is that the robbers, who got away with over $30,000 (a nice sum in 1865) were never caught or punished for their crime.  There is definitely something to be said for being first!

Important anniversaries happen all the time, July 4th being the most important as a celebration of the Declaration of Independence.  Today, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo for Mexico, honors another important event in 1934:  the release of the very first ever Three Stooges short film. Called Woman Haters, it tells the story of Jackie, Tom and Jim (played respectively by Curly, Moe and Larry), three men fall in love with the same woman, played by the attractive Canadian actor Marhorie White.  The Stooges went on to make close to two hundred short films for Columbia Pictures, but this was the very first.  And we do like our firsts!  (Please note that, on the poster for the film, Curly is credited as "Jerry" Howard.)

BIRTHDAYS:

Today, we celebrate the birth of an amazing woman.  Elizabeth Jane Cochrane was born in 1864, in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Raised with a strong appreciation for hard work and moral right, Cochrane wrote a letter to the editor of her local newspaper that criticized an article condemning women and so impressed him that he hired her immediately.  Cochrane wrote under the name of Nellie Bly, inspired by a popular Stephen Foster poem, and became an early pioneer in the art of investigative journalism.  She most famously convinced doctors that she was insane and got herself checked into the Bellevue Hospital in New York City, where she secretly reported on the horrible treatment of the inmates.  Through her work, she compelled improvements for the unfortunate inmates, and put a number of doctors to shame.  She also traveled around the world in 72 days, beating out Jules Vernes' 80-day record, and later became president of the Iron Clad Manufacturing Company, before returning to journalism during World War 1.  She died in 1922 at the age of 57. 

Nellie Bly was writing about World War 1 when our other birthday celebrant was born.  Tyrone Power, Jr., born in 1914, was the son of two accomplished stage performers.  After his father died of a heart attack in his arms when he was fifteen, Power pursued his own career in acting. The young Power made an impression on Hollywood with his good looks and his athletic skills, and was cast as the lead in his first major film, Lloyd's of London, in 1936.  For the next seven years, he starred in hit after hit in numerous different genres of film, but most famously as a swashbuckler in films like The Mark of Zorro.  Then, World War II interrupted.  He served with distinction in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater before resuming his career.  He died unexpectedly of a heart attack while filming what would be his last film, Solomon and Sheba.  He was only 44 years old.

QUOTE:

It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world. - Nellie Bly

Answer:  d)  "Gypsy."  This song is on the 1982 album Mirage