Saturday Single No. 509

So what do we know about September 10? Well, Wikipedia tells us it’s the 254th day of this Leap Year, and it’s slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Thursday or Saturday. (And in the handful of times we’ve done this type of post, that the first time I can recall Wikpedia noting that likelihood information. Interesting.)

Okay, so historically, what does Wikipedia tell us has happened on September 10?

The list leads off there by noting that in 506 A.D., the bishops of Visigothic Gaul met in the Council of Agde. Visigothic Gaul, as we all should know, was the southwestern area of what is now France, and it was ruled by the Visigoths – the western portions of the Germanic peoples known as Goths (and I don’t think they wore black lipstick and listened to Nine Inch Nails) – from the early 400s to 507. The Council of Agde – which took place on the island of Agde (or Agatha) on the Mediterranean coast east of the now-French city of Narbonne – set out forty-some rules for the naming and behavior of deacons, priests and bishops.

(I went into detail there for a couple of reasons: First, because the event was the first on the list offered by Wikipedia about September 10; second, because I’ve been through Narbonne; third, because it gave me a chance for a cheap joke about modern-day Goths and their music; and fourth, because I never pass up a chance to misspell “Mediterranean” and have spell-check correct me.)

Other events over the years that have taken place on September 10 include:

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, which took place in 1547 “on the banks of the River Esk near Musselburgh, Scotland. The last pitched battle between Scottish and English armies, it was part of the conflict known as the Rough Wooing, and is considered to be the first modern battle in the British Isles. It was a catastrophic defeat for Scotland, where it became known as Black Saturday.”

The election of John Smith as council president of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1608. This was the year after Smith was supposedly saved from death at the hands of the Powhatan Indians by Pocahontas, the daughter of the Powhatans’ chief. There remain some questions about the story’s truth, and Wikipedia goes into detail about the story and about the history of the discussion over the years. I’m a little interested, and I may go back to read further than I did this morning.

Elias Howe was granted a patent for the sewing machine in 1846. By inventing the machine, he saved most likely millions of mothers from the drudgery of hand-stitching their family’s clothing, which resulted in mid-Twentieth Century moms bringing home clothing patterns by Simplicity, Butterick and other companies, which then resulted in kids wearing to school home-made shirts made from odd and no doubt unique plaid fabrics. (It only happened once; during my first marriage, the Other Half offered me well-made shirts in very nice plaids, and I happily wore those until they either fell apart or I got too large.)

In 1919, Austria and the victorious Allies of World War I signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye recognizing the independence of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Less than a century later, two of those four nations have now split apart and the Poland that was recognized in that treaty was shifted to the west after World War II, losing territory in the east to the Soviet Union and being compensated by gaining territory from Germany in the west. And I imagine that if I looked into it, the borders of Hungary now are likely no longer the borders that were recognized in that 1919 treaty.

Speaking of the Soviet Union, it was on September 10, 1972, that the USSR’s Olympic men’s basketball team won the gold medal game against the United States by a score of 51 to 50. The Soviets were given three opportunities – two of them against the rules, from what I understand and remember – at the end of the game to score the winning basket. The United States team refused its silver medals, and I’ve read a couple of pieces over the years about the team and that decision; the medals, as I understand it, are in a bank vault in Switzerland, waiting to be claimed. I hope they never are.

And that last item brings me to a numerical hook for some tunes. We can look at the No. 50, No. 51 and No. 101 records from this week in 1972 for a single for today. And we have a nice set to choose from.

Sitting at No. 50 in the Billboard Hot 100 forty-four years ago today was Jackson Browne’s “Rock Me On The Water,” which would in succeeding weeks move up just two more spots to a peak at No. 48. Parked at No. 51 was Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues,” one of my favorite one-hit wonders, which would eventually move up to No. 9.

And sitting atop the Bubbling Under section at No. 101 was Al Green’s “Guilty,” a record that I’m not sure I’d heard until this morning. It was released on the Bell label, which to me means that it was recorded before Green’s huge success at Hi but released after he was a star. It only went to No. 69, and I can only assume that listeners might have liked Green’s voice but missed the classic production touches offered on Green’s hits by Hi’s Willie Mitchell. I miss them, too, so we’ll pass on “Guilty.”

As to the other two, I spent some time a while ago looking at the Jackson Browne record and various covers of the tune, but according to a search this morning, I’ve mentioned the O’Keefe record only twice in the course of some 1,800 posts, and as much as I like it, we’ve never listened to it here. My little tunehead pal Pop finds that unconscionable, and even Odd thinks it strange.

So here’s Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues,” today’s Saturday Single.

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