Friday, April 24, 2015

Irma Thomas

Anyone Who Knows What Love Is Will Understand.

Irma Thomas was a long forgotten memory from the early sixties radio. It's her song "While The City Sleeps" from her first 1964 Imperial label  album "Wish Someone Would Care" that I remember. "While The City Sleeps" doesn't appear to have been released as a single or a B-side. How did I hear this cut? Radio didn't play album cuts as a rule until Beatlemania.
Irma Thomas' recording career started at the time of Beatlemania and the first wave of the British Invasion. The sounds on rock n' roll radio was being torn apart and R&B and "Oldies" radio sparated itself along with the already separated Black Radio stations like WDAS and WHAT in Philadelphia.
I was way into the Beatles but I still loved the Chiffons, Crystals, Elvis and other music's under the sun. "While The City Sleeps" has a 60's stylized rhythm and beat with a great vocal for a haunting finish. I remember hearing the hanting end of the song one other time and I never heard the song again. It became a really cool song by someone who's name I didn't know.
I now realize that I was also familiar with Irma's rendition of "I Count The Tears" but didn't know her name or any association to "While The City Sleeps."

It was a time where success could easily elude the dynamic vocals of a new-comer for the next big thing. R&B and the "Girl Group" phenomenon was quickly becoming "Last Years Girl." A new act such as Irma in the older genre found more regional success while the larger markets went in a new direction. Her previous gems from smaller record labels went unknown to the larger market.

The market was different back then. Today most everything is marketed everywhere through the same modes of media so most everyone can access it. Back then there was regional markets for the sounds of music that somehow had to spread itself to the mass market. 
Mass media radio exploded and soon isolated radio markets such as race, culture, and multi-language broadcast radio became more isolated in the mass culture.
It was fate that I found Irma singing "While The City Sleeps" on another blog called "Dusty Seven's." It's a visual treat of yester-year and the sounds of the time.
This sent me on a quest to find as many recordings by Irma Thomas to listen too. It also gave me insight of a women who never stopped doing what she loved to do the most, to sing. Her recording career was not stellar but it was always respectable. In 2007 Irma won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for "After The Rain", her first Grammy in a career spanning over fifty years.
This is her biggest hit record from 1964, "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is."

Today Irma is known as "The Soul Queen of New Orleans." She continues to pack in the crowds performing the sounds of jazz, blues and gospel when ever she performs live.
Here's some well written history on Irma Thomas and at Wikipedia.
Irma Thomas Official Web Site.

This is my Irma Thomas mix from all the recordings I could find. It's still a good collection of a women and her amazing career in music. I hope you like this effort Irma.

01. Anyone Who Knows What Love Is
02. Break Away
03. Don't Mess With My Man
04. Wish Someone Would Care
05. Girl Needs Boy
06. I Count The Tears
07. I Need Your Love So Bad
08. It's Raining
09. While The City Sleeps
10.  It's To Soon To Know
11. I Need You So
12. Straight From The Heart
13. Time Is On My Side
14. *It's To Soon To Know_demo   

as told by roman blazic

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fishtown: The 29th Day of Spring 2015

Soon Spring will be in full bloom.

Atonement Church

Artist Brian Cote
Here's an article on Brian's Art.
I love the colors

all photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved
thank-you for all who joined in

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Spelling Mistakes. It's British.

April Fools

After his second wife passed away, Percy Rawlinson seemed to spend more and more time with his alsatian owl.
His friends told him "You should get out more, Percy, or you'll wind up looking like a dog, ha ha."
He was later arrested near a lampost.
At his trial some months later he surprised everyone by mistaking a policeman for a postman and tearing his trousers off with his bare teeth.
In his defence he told the court "It's hard to tell the difference when they take their hats off."

Mrs Betty Pench was playing the trombone when she heard a knock on the door.
"I wonder who that is at eleven o'clock in the morning" she thought, but cautiously opened the door and instead of the turbanned ruffian she had expected, she found a very nice young man.
"Mrs. Pench, you've won the car contest, would you like a triumph spitfire or 3000 in cash?" He smiled.
Mrs. Pench took the money. "What will you do with it all? Not that it's any of my business," he giggled.
"I think I'll become an alcoholic," said Betty.

With a geranium behind each ear and his face painted with gay cavalistic symbols, six foot eight seventeen stone police seargent Geoff Bull looked jolly convincing as he sweated and grunted through a vigorous triscutine at the Fraga Gogo Viachella.
His hot surge trousers flapped wildly over his enourmous plastic sandals as he jumped and jumped and gyrated towards a long-haired man.
"Uh, excuse me, ma'am, I have reason to believe you can turn me on."
He leered suggestively.
As if by magic dozens of truncheons appeared and they mercilessly thrashed him.
Poor Geoff, what a turnout for the books.

Much as he hated arguments or any kind of unpleasantness, Ron Shir thought things had gone too far when, returning from a weekend in Clapton, he found that his neighbour had trimmed the enourmous hedge dividing their gardens into the shape of a human leg.
Enraged and envious beyond belief, Ron seized his garden shears and clipped his white poodle Leo into a coffee table.
"That'll fix it," thought Ron, but he was wrong.
The following Wednesday his neighbour had his bushy waist-length hair cut and permed into a model of the Queen Elizabeth and went sailing.
Everywhere he went, people said "Hooray!"
Sometimes you just can't win.

The Bonzo Dog Band

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Mother Mary Blazic

December 14, 1916 - March 23, 2015

Zauvijek mladi

 The Maid of Honor
1936 20 years old
March 4, 1938 Reunion Vow Mary B. Kozul
Mary and Roman 1942
Mary's Wedding
March 4, 1943 The Horn Surgical Girls Reunion
July 7, 1944
Meeting in Pittsburgh
1947 Mary's first child Gregory.
Second child Christopher
Third child Roman Jr
Husband Roman L Blazic

She opened the door to the arts.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Four or five seconds.

I walk to the store to buy my food. The supermarket is about six or seven blocks from my house. I buy what items I need for the next few days. I also figure in how much I'll have to carry back home. It balances out.
Walking to the store includes crossing the streets at many intersections. It's just like me to start counting how many seconds it takes for me to cross a street. This gave keen notice that some streets are two lane while many others are three lanes wide.
It took me four and a half seconds to cross Norris Street, a three lane street, time after time. This held true for mostly all three lane streets. It even took less time crossing a two lane street, such as Belgrade, by no more than four seconds. The best point made is that it takes no more than five seconds to cross a street in Fishtown.
So how does four to five seconds feel to a driver at a stop sign? It must be powerful because of the way they take off once your clear of their path. You don't even have to make it to the next curb before that car is crossing the intersection. Some drivers stop half a car length inside the cross-walk path. That is, if someone actually whats to cross the street otherwise, they roll trough it and take off.
How about six seconds?
Four or maybe five seconds is all it takes.

pov by roman blazic_all rights reserved  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Just Remember


I found this book of photographs buried in a forgotten box in my basement. They were given to me at a flea market by an elderly lady. We had many friendly conversations of her reminiscence of the past. She told me stories about what it was like to be Black in America during 1930's through the 1960's.
She couldn't remember who's pictures these were. Memories get fuzzy that way over time. She would point to a few different pictures and say "that's her" but could not remember the ladies name.
"They all gone now." "Nobody wants these pictures." She told me that she tried to find someone who might of known her. "People come and go." "Seen a lot of that." "I kept the book for years."
It was as if she was letting go of the past and passing them on to me. She told me, "Take care of them." "I know you will." I kept my word that I would.
I saw her only one time after that and she gave another picture. I'll present that at another time. It was after a time that other vendors told me that they hadn't seen her in a long time.
"They call me Lizzy." "But that 'aint my name." "You can call be Lizzy." "That's alright." "I like your name."
Thank you Lizzy.
"Just Remember"
That's her bottom right picture

This is the lady up close.
Sweet dreams

as told by roman blazic_all rights reserved