Friday, November 16, 2018

"Carrie" released 1976

Stephen King's first novel Carrie was made into a movie and released November 16, 1976. (It had a limited release on November 3.)  Sissy Spacek played Carrie White, a shy, unpopular high school student who is constantly bullied by her classmates.  When she has her first period, she panics but then realizes she has developed telekinesis. 

In an act of cruelty, two of her classmates conspire to humiliate her at the prom, but things don't go quite as well as they planned.

Spacek received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and Piper Laurie, who played her mother, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.  Carrie is one of very few horror films to be nominated for more than one Academy Award nomination.  It was named one of the best movies of the year and grossed over $33.8M.  It is ranked as No. 46 of the American Film Institute's list of 100 Greatest Cinema Thrills.  The climax at the prom is ranked as 8th on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

The Pointer Sisters release "Only Sisters Can Do That" 1993

The Pointer Sisters released their 15th and final studio album Only Sisters Can Do That November 16, 1993.  Ruth's daughter Issa joined her mother and two aunts, June and Anita, singing on two of the tracks and eventually replaced June in the group's line-up. 

Don't Walk Away was one of the singles from the album.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"Earthquake" released 1974

Universal Pictures released its blockbuster disaster movie Earthquake November 15, 1974.  After the success of Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972), a slew of disaster pics were released in 1974 including The Towering Inferno and Airport 1975Earthquake was the third grossing film of the year, with The Towering Inferno being the top-selling film.

The movie has an all-star cast that includes Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Victoria Principal, Ava Gardner and Lorne Greene.  It won an Academy Award for Best Sound and one for Special Achievements in Visual Effects.

John Williams received a Golden Globe nomination for his original score.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Happy birthday, Styx rocker James Young!

James Young, born November 14, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, is guitarist and vocalist for the super rock group Styx.  He also wrote and co-wrote songs for the band, including Snowblind, one of his biggest hits where he sings lead with Tommy Shaw.  It comes from my favorite Styx album, Paradise Theatre.

Right now, he is the only original band member left and has appeared on all Styx's albums. 

"Georgia On My Mind" by Ray Charles reaches #1 1960

Written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell in 1930, Georgia On My Mind was first recorded the same year by Carmichael.  In 1931, Frankie Trumbauer reached the Top Ten with his recording, the first hit for the song.

But it wasn't until Ray Charles (born in Albany, Georgia) recorded it and released it in 1960 on his The Genius Hits the Road album that Georgia On My Mind reached #1, November 14, 1960.  In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named Ray Charles' version of Georgia on My Mind as the 44th Greatest Song of All Time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Happy birthday, cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky!

Sergey Ryazansky, born November 13, 1974 in Moscow, Russia, has made two trips to the International Space Station. 

His first trip to the ISS was aboard Soyuz TMA-10M in September 2013 has part of  Expeditions 37 and 38.  He conducted 3 EVAs during his stay before returning to Earth in March 2014 after spending over 166 days in space.

His second trip was aboard Soyuz MS-05 in July 2017 as part of Expeditions 52 and 53.  He made one more EVA during his stay during which he deployed 5 nano-satellites.  He returned to Earth after over 168 days in December 2017.

His grandfather Mikhail Ryazansky was involved in the Sputnik program.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Remembering Stan Lee (1922-2018)

Stan Lee, one of the creative forces behind Marvel Comics, has passed away at 95.  He worked with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko to create such immortal characters such as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.