The 60s Official Site Blog

Dedicated to the memory and history of the 60s from a personal and historical point of view.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Whatever Happened to "Merry Christmas?"

As of this entry there are just 27 more days until Christmas. In case I forget to tell all of my readers I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.

I know most of you are aware how the word Christmas is being taken out of our celebration. In many schools it is called a winter holiday break instead of Christmas vacation. I remember when attending school in the 1960s that the word "Christmas" was not taboo. We had Christmas programs in school assemblies where Christmas religious songs were sung and the meaning of Christmas was explained and celebrated. So easy to understand. This country was founded under Christian ideology. The Pilgrims came here to escape religion persecution and to worship as they saw fit. As I look back I don't ever recall my school ever pushing a religion on anybody. We celebrated the Christmas season as we saw fit. After all, the Christian faith is the majority in this country then and now. I don't expect a Christian celebration in a country I was visiting or even living whose religion population is not Christian.

I remember also Nativity scenes displayed throughout the town and on city government and state government property. Nobody complained then. What has changed? Atheists are coming out of the closet to file lawsuits that it impedes on what they claim "their civil rights." What about the Christian majority civil rights? If we as a Christian majority don't speak up all we know as being sacred and dear to us will be stripped away. There are towns in these United States that are trying to ban Nativity scenes. They have even tried to ban them on private property but have failed on this thus far.

Two years ago Walmart did not allow the employees to wish you a "Merry Christmas" fearing they would offend somebody. You received "Happy Holiday" as a greeting. A large outcry and boycott of Walmart began and last year, "Merry Christmas" was once again permitted. This year, although the breakdown has been corrected, occurred at Lowe's. In there catalog they listed "Christmas Trees" as "Family Trees." Hearing the outcry and fearing a boycott and their customers shopping at Home Depot redid that page and changed "Family Trees" to "Christmas Trees."

I don't understand what merchants are scared of. Christians are the majority and spend most of the money. Why worry? Persons who have chosen to live here must adjust to our customs not we to them. If I lived in a Muslim country, for example, I wouldn't expect them to adjust to my customs. Can you imagine if you asked them to do that?

I have Jewish friends who celebrate Christmas in their own way. Believe me their children know why the school really takes a vacation at Christmas time. It's not because it is winter and time for a break. It is a tradition that has been around since my parents went to school.

Why can't we get back to the old tradional Christmases of the past. Keeping "Christ" in Christmas makes sense to me. Without Him there wouldn't being any Christmas. For those that don't believe in Christ then don't celebrate our holiday or complain about the celebration of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Check out and listen to the top Baby Boomer Christmas Songs

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Monday, November 05, 2007

The Rock ' N Roll Hall of Fame Is Becoming a Farce

The Rock' N Roll Hall of Fame began with the induction of its first class January 23, 1986 which included legends Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley. A great class of inductees!!!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983. However, it had no home. The search committee considered several cities, including Memphis (home of Sun Studios and Stax Records), Cincinnati (home of King Records), New York, and Cleveland. Cleveland lobbied hard to be chosen, citing the facts that one-time Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed is widely credited with promoting the new genre (and the term) of "rock and roll", and that Cleveland was the location of the first rock and roll concert. Civic leaders in Cleveland pledged $65 million in public money to fund the construction. A petition drive was signed by 600,000 fans favoring Cleveland over Memphis, and a USA Today poll which Cleveland won by 100,000 votes. The hall of fame board voted to build the museum in Cleveland.

At the beginning the Hall of Fame began with great intentions but now especially after the 2007 vote and inductions it is clear that influence from Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine has undermined the concept of the Rock 'N Roll Hall of fame by overriding the vote and allowing Grandmaster Flash to enter the Hall of Fame just because the hall doesn't have a rapper inducted. Since when does Rap music fall in the same category as rock ' n roll? The induction of Grandmaster Flash insults the integrity of current members. The Dave Clark Five made the cut by making the top five vote but these results were overridden by Jann Wenner so the Dave Clark Five did not get inducted this year and allowing Grandmaster Flash to be inducted.

Currently, groups or individuals are qualified for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Nominees should have demonstrable influence and significance within the history of rock and roll. Four categories are recognized: Performers, Non-Performers, Early Influences. The sad part is that the original intent of the Hall of fame is being ignored. Now groups are being inducted 15 years after their first record and many acts who are better and more deserving are ignored because of personal taste of Jann Wenner and writers who don't even have a clue about the history of rock 'n roll .

The Dave Clark Five are now scheduled to once again to be voted on by the committee in 2008. There has plenty of foul play calling involved but perhaps the Dave Clark Five will finally arrive in the Hall of Fame where they deserve to be. As far as Jann Wenner, who started Rolling Stone Magazine in 1967, he needs to let the unbiased voting occur and his personal tastes be set aside or the now tarnished Hall of Fame voting will not matter at all.

Continued Criticism of The Hall of Fame

The main criticism is that the nomination process is controlled by a few individuals, such as founder Jann Wenner, former foundation director Suzan Evans, and writer Dave Marsh, reflecting their tastes rather than the views of the rock world as a whole. A former member of the nominations board once said:

"At one point Suzan Evans lamented the choices being made because there weren't enough big names that would sell tickets to the dinner. That was quickly remedied by dropping one of the doo-wop groups being considered in favor of a 'name' artist ... I saw how certain pioneering artists of the 50s and early 60s were shunned because there needed to be more name power on the list, resulting in 70s superstars getting in before the people who made it possible for them. Some of those pioneers still aren't in today — but Queen is." Money Money Money As everything else in today's society money drives the train not integrity. The honesty and legitimacy of the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame is at stake. I thought it was a great idea when it started but now I am not so sure.

Petitions with tens of thousands of signatures were also being ignored and some groups that were signed with certain labels or companies or were affiliated with various committee members have even been put up for nomination with no discussion at all. So perhaps money is being passed under the table? I don't know about that but this is destroying the Hall of Fame.

Another criticism is that too many artists are inducted, allowing for several lesser acts to make it in. In fifteen years, 97 different artists have been inducted. A minimum of 50% of the vote is needed to be inducted, although the final percentages are not announced and a certain number of inductees (5 in 2007) is set before the ballots are shipped. This constitutes fraud especially to those who pays the large fee to visit the Hall of Fame.

I think Jann Wenner and his cronies should let history tell them who gets in, not their own personal tastes and their monetary intentions.

Any comments? Feel free to leave them.

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