December 2013

The Magical Christmas Time Machine

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute 

We’ve all taken a ride on the Musical Time Machine. Y’know, there you are minding your business, secure in your world when of a sudden, a song comes on the radio or blasts out of a passing car and at once you’re a thousand miles from nowhere, in another time and place.

Especially at this most sentimental of seasons, the MTM factor is in full effect and not even the most Scrooge-like of souls can count on total immunity.

Wagah is the only legit land crossing between India and Pakistan. As you’d expect it’s a 24/7 brainfreeze of light, sound and colour. Kinda like a bomb going off in a confetti factory next door to a fireworks store, making the Big Apple seem moderately agitated in comparison. To pile on the panic, Christmas coincides with a couple of Hindi festivals in the area and the cross-border movements of the two contries' Christian populations.

I had been in-country about a month and a half at this point and had just come from looking for a couple of ‘lost’ temples in an area with zero English spoken. As a chatter of numerous languages washed over me, I had the overwhelming desire to hear English, any English. I joined the most cheerful bus line-up I’d ever seen, with folks telling jokes and singing in every language but English. I figured it was a lost cause, especially since the only foreigners within yelling range had yelled back in something that may have been Dutch. Or possibly Russian.

Ray Price For The Good Times

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Submitted by Don Graham

Ray Price, one of country music's most popular and influential singers who had more than 100 hits and was one of the last living connections to Hank Williams, has died. He was 87. Price died Monday December 16, 2013 at his ranch outside Mount Pleasant, Texas, said Billy Mack Jr., who was acting as a family spokesman. Price was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and it had recently spread to his liver, intestines and lungs, according East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. He stopped aggressive treatments and left the hospital last Thursday to receive hospice care at home. At the time, his wife, Janie Price, relayed what she called her husband's "final message" to his fans: "I love my fans and have devoted my life to reaching out to them. I appreciate their support all these years, and I hope I haven't let them down. I am at peace. I love Jesus. I'm going to be just fine. Don't worry about me. I'll see you again one day."

Some of his well-known recordings include "Release Me", "Crazy Arms", "Heartaches by the Number", "For the Good Times", "Night Life", and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me". He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

Irene Carroll Shares Success Stories of 2013

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

American Fashion Designers, the late Bill Blass and Cher’s wardrobe wizard, Bob Mackie, were the integral force for Toronto based, Irene Carroll to form her own company.  Encompassing 15 years of marketing and cross promotion expertise in the corporate, entertainment and lifestyle sectors, i see / Irene Carroll Et Associates Public and Media Relations emerged in 2001.

High profile campaigns were immediately executed including international media and “out-of-the-box” strategies for The Bay, Zellers, Canadian Olympic Athletes, and Authors. One Canadian Musician, paid close attention and in 2003 Irene launched Juno nominated, Amy Sky and her 4th CD, “WITH THIS KISS A Romance Collection”, with Estée Lauder, making Sky the only Canadian musician, to ever be financially supported by an international prestige cosmetics company for her Canadian tour.  While SARS took its toll on most live performances that year, mini concerts were held at Estée Lauder counters in Sears’ stores nationwide with some boasting sales increases of 1700%.  This bold campaign garnered over $22 million in editorial media coverage and provided new areas of CD distribution, increased sales for the artist and different sources of media.

Christmas Memories and Music

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Submitted by Don Graham

When you are a child, Christmas is one of those magical times. It’s a double miracle event. The miracle of the birth of baby Jesus and the miracle of Santa Claus. The miracle of the birth of Christ is obvious but we need to remember that in a child’s eyes Santa IS a miracle as well! Once we stop believing in ‘the man in the red suit’ things change and we start getting a different perspective on the meaning and values of Christmas. The older we get the more we realize the importance of friends, loved ones and family and the memories that are created during the season.

Music plays a huge part in our remembrances and Christmas is one of the most fertile grounds for those memories.

My first musical memory was as a very small child getting a booklet containing  a picture story “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, complete with beautifully drawn pictures and a square, tear off recording, 78 RPMs, of the song of the same name. I would listen to it endlessly while following the lyrics printed in the book.  I wore it out after the second year.

Christmas – Enjoy Living It

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Submitted by Mark Smith

This past week got me thinking; Saturday I watched a family, Grandma included, jump out of their car to run back down the street to get some food boxes being handed out to the needy. They obviously did not require it, this was game for them with the father yelling, “go go go” while he parked the car in a bike lane.A few moments later I was following a young woman who made a point of dramatically “running” back to give some change to every “needy” person she passed on the street, insuring people saw her doing it. Then passing a bell ringer I interrupted a man who was about to put $20 in the bucket.

There were better places to donate if you want to.What?  The Media Relations Director for the SA stated that homosexuals “deserve to die”, they are a Christian organization, as a former alter boy and a gay man I find that offensive.