This video animation by Joshua Held of The Drifters' version of "White Christmas" has been making the rounds on the Net for several years now, but I never get tired of it. In my opinion, The Drifters' arrangement is the best version of this classic ever recorded.
The Drifters recorded their version in 1954, shortly after tenor Clyde McPhatter left The Dominoes and joined the group. McPhatter sang lead on most of the Drifters' recordings, but for "White Christmas" bass singer Bill Pinkney took the lead.
It was an inspired move. Pinkney's resonant bass does wonderful things with Irving Berlin's lyrics that Bing Crosby couldn't touch. And Clyde McPhatter adds his soaring tenor in a brief solo.
The backup vocals are provided by Jimmy Oliver, Gerhart Thrasher and Andrew Thrasher.
It would be 20 years before another effort was made to regulate the labor of children. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 included restrictions on child labor that withstood a legal challenge in 1941.
This Christmas drawing makes a statement about child labor nearly a century ago. The drawing is from the December 1916 issue of Harper's magazine. The artist's name is Calvert, but I could not dig up his or her full name.
Note the guy's tie. The 1940s were a classic era for men's ties. Hand-painted silk neckties were the style, and flamboyance was the norm. This guy's tie, with its geometric design, was the height of fashion for the day.
The photo was shot by Cornell Capa for Life magazine.
Click on the picture to enlarge it and get a better look at the lights.
A shantyman is a sailor who leads the crew in sing-alongs. The word is derived from the French word "chanter," which means "to sing."
There's no info about where Silk shot this photo. I'm guessing maybe New England. What is clear, however, is that the captain and his crew or family are decorating his small craft for Christmas.
Some kids are really scared of Jolly Old Saint Nicolas. For starters, he’s a lot bigger than a little kid. And after all, “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good.”
Yikes. And if that’s not enough to induce some deep-seated adult neuroses, there's also the fact that you can’t keep him out of your house.
Frank Scherschel shot this photo for Life magazine in 1946. It looks like this Santa had a public relations problem to deal with -- a little kid who did not like being picked up by a big hairy guy who knew his every thought and action and could come into his house at will.
How did he handle it? Check back tomorrow.
Here's a followup to yesterday's photo of the Santa seminar at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. This Santa is taking the seminar's final exam. Looks like he's working on an essay question.
The photo was made by Martha Holmes for Life magazine in 1948.
I'll be posting old Christmas photos as I come across them on the Web during the next few days.
An El Niño is a weather phenomenon produced by unusually warm waters off the northwest coast of South America. The event causes prevailing upper level winds – known as the jet stream – to shift southward over the Atlantic. The winds disrupt hurricane formation.
But meteorologists think next summer could be more active than this year because the El Niño effect probably is going to dissipate before next spring. And while the El Niño kept the lid on the Atlantic season, it was a major factor in a very active hurricane season in the Pacific. The central and eastern Pacific saw 20 named storms, including powerful Hurricane Rick, the second-most-powerful hurricane on record for the Pacific.
Meteorologists at Colorado State University also noted a few other characteristics of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, including:
• A late-starting season. Tropical Storm Ana – the season’s first named storm – did not form until August 15. That’s the latest that the first storm formed since 1992. That year’s first storm was memorable, however, because it was Hurricane Andrew.
• The nine named storms that occurred during 2009 are the fewest since 1997 when eight named storms formed.
• There were 27.25 days during which a named storm was active. That’s the lowest number since 1991, when only 24.25 named storm days were recorded.
• Three hurricanes occurred in 2009 - the fewest hurricanes since 1997 when there were also three hurricanes.
• There were only 11.25 days during which a hurricane was active, the fewest hurricane days since 2002 when 10.75 hurricane days were reported.
• Only two major hurricanes formed during the 2009 hurricane season. The last time that fewer than two major hurricanes occurred in a season was in 1997 when only one major hurricane (Erika) formed.
• No Category 5 hurricanes developed in the Atlantic in 2009. This is the second consecutive year with no Category 5 hurricanes. The last time that two or more years occurred in a row with no Category 5 hurricanes was 1999-2002.
• No named storms formed in June or July. The last time that no storm activity occurred in June or July was 2004 (Alex formed that year on August 1). This is the 18th year of the past 66 years with no storm formations in June or July.