REO Speedwagon - May 26, 2014

The American Treasure Tour blog tries to offer as much variety in our daily entrees as possible. Or at least that's what we like to think.  Sometimes, we find ourselves discussing vinyl records in the Music Room for a few weeks on end - it's easy since there are so many of them on display and we get caught in the zone.  Last week, we talked about 70s favorites Styx and Kansas, and so here we are again with more 70s rock.  And REO Speedwagon.  

Formed in the late-1960s at the University of Illinois in Champaign, their name was the inspiration of history student Neal Doughty, who honored Ransom E. Olds and his Speed Wagon flatbed truck of the first half of the twentieth century.  Between 1971 and 2010, the band has released sixteen studio albums, including 1980's Hi Infidelity, easily their most popular, and the biggest-selling record of 1981.  The song "Keep On Loving You" is still played regularly on many adult-oriented radio stations, but to get the real experience, check out your local concert listings.  You may have a chance to see REO Speedwagon live in your hometown!

QUESTION:  What other popular song is also on Hi Infidelity?

a)  "Take It On the Run"

b)  "Can't Fight This Feeling"

c)  "The Unidentified Flying Tuna Trot"

d)  "Keep the Fire Burnin'"

Answer Below


A presidency was saved on this day in 1868.  Andrew Johnson had an impossible task: follow in the footsteps of martyred Abraham Lincoln.  There was no way he would be possible, although he made few efforts to be liked.  His political enemies impeached him on the pretense that he violated the Constitution with his actions, and he came within one vote of being forced out of office.  Were it not for the vote of Edwin Ross on May 26th, he would have been ousted.  For better or worse, he remained the 17th President of the United States until U.S. Grant replaced him in 1869.

On this day in 1941, the City of Philadelphia received a gift that would preserve for posterity the home of Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole, better remembered as Betsy Ross. Although there is no concrete evidence that the seamstress was the first to create what would become the flag of the United States of America, her story of life at this pivotal time in our collective history is worth learning.  The preservation of her house ensures that the story of a woman making ends meet during the Colonial and Early Federalist eras will be remembered.


Born on this day in 1886 (maybe, even he didn't really know for sure), Al Jolson spent the first five years of his life in Lithuania, then a part of the Russian Empire.  Jolson was a lover of music, and an extremely popular singer in a number of plays and movies.  His most famous film was, of course, 1927's The Jazz Singer, most famous as being the first film to ever incorporate sound in it, effectively making silent films (and the photoplayer) obsolete.  Accredited with introducing many Americans to the music of African-American artists, Jolson was the most-popular musician of the 1930s, and the first star to entertain American troops overseas during both World War II and the war in Korea.

Harold J. Smith was born on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Ontario, Canada, the son of a Mohawk tribal chief, on this day in 1912.  He traveled North America as a star athlete on a Native lacrosse team, and was touring through Los Angeles when a talent scout picked him up and introduced him to the movies, convincing him to go by his nickname - Jay Silverheels. He was most famously cast as Tonto in the popular television series The Lone Ranger between 1949 and 1957, as well as a series of popular movies, cast alongside Clayton Moore as the Ranger.

QUOTE:  You ain't heard nothin', yet, folks! - Al Jolson

Answer:  a)  "Take It On the Run."  And yes, the songs listed are all REO Speedwagon tracks.