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Stories Behind The Music -- Whiskey A Go Go - 09/30/08 10:45 AM
In the 1960's one craze that caught on was Go Go dancing. Do you remember Goldie Hawn on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In? She was a ding bat and danced wildly in her skimpy bikini. If you don't remember that, don't feel bad because I remember it well enough for both of us. Click on her photo to vist her latest project.
Go Go dancing initially began in 1964 at the Peppermint Lounge in NYC. It consisted of young ladies standing on the tables and, usually, twisting to the music. Carol Doda, a famous stripper in San Francisco gave the craze some, shall (8 comments)
Stories Behind The Music -- Ida Red Met Maybellene - 09/29/08 08:56 AM
Chuck Berry immortalized "Maybellene". Berry, no question about it, was on the ground floor of rock n' roll music when it became popular. He was one of the true innovators of the sound. While people know the song, not many people know that Chuck Berry's first big hit, Maybellene, was strongly influenced by a country song that had it's roots in 1939. There was this country fiddle tune called "Ida Red". Bluegrass bands still perform it today. The lyrics change, depending on the vocalist, but the refrain should be the same -- "Ida Red, Ida Red, I'm a plum fool about Ida Red." The (8 comments)
Crazy Electrical Issues - 09/28/08 01:21 PM
Many of the concerns home inspectors see are routine. We see them over and over again. You almost know, pulling up to a house and glancing at it, what some of the problems will be. Every once in awhile there is a problem within a problem. The main problem is obvious, but the secondary problem might be even more dangerous. In the home below, obviously the wiring was in need of an upgrade. It was a 100 year old home with knob and tube wiring in place and fuses. That was the main problem. The issue below was even a more (19 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Vanilla Frosting on the Cake - 09/28/08 09:01 AM
In the late 1950's rock n' roll music had been discovered. While it was not mainstream yet, it was bubbling under the boiling point and gaining momentum among the white teenagers. The movie Black Board Jungle had been released, featuring Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets, but the best artists were almost all African Americans. The industry word for this style, prior to coining the term R&B, was "race" music. If one wishes to remain objective and factual, this was the case: The parents of white teens were not enthralled with the idea of their kids being (16 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Fighting Soldiers From the Sky, Fearless Men Who Jump and Die - 09/27/08 08:50 AM
This is a little known story of an American tragedy. In 1966 the Vietnam war was raging and the country was undecided as to how it felt about the war. There were protests going on against it, mainly at colleges, but a large number of Americans supported the war and felt that those protesting it were un-American. In retrospect, this era might have been the start of the divisions we see in the country that have gotten worse over the years. Now it seems like half the country hates the policies of the other half and a few undecideds make the decisions (19 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Ricky Don't Lose That Girl! - 09/26/08 09:19 AM
At the mid-20th century Ozzie and Harriet and their family represented the All-American ideal. They were the perfect family. The TV series, which was adapted from a successful radio show, was the creation of Ozzie Nelson. Ozzie was a very intelligent man, a workaholic and a former band leader. He was a mover and shaker in the entertainment field, not at all the calm, mellow dad he played on this classic show of early television.
Youngest son Ricky, who grew up in front of North American television viewers, had a life that went beyond being the perfect son on the show. He (19 comments)
Move it A Little To The Right - 09/26/08 09:01 AM
I think the photo below might be the classic example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. Or it is a case of doing jobs in the wrong order -- guessing instead of knowing how things will turn out. As you probably know, when furnaces and water heaters are located in the path of a forward moving vehicle, they should have some means of protecting the appliances from the car. In my area, the norm is a metal pole, a bollard. At this home, the builder knew about the concept but put the bollard in the (8 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Hey Stan, Ever Heard the Wife Sing? - 09/25/08 12:15 PM
This story is the classic case of an unlikely singing career that began as a result of unusual circumstances. We will go back to 1963. Stan Getz, a famed jazz musician, was working on an album, which would be influenced by Brazilian rhythms. He was recording with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto who was a well-known Brazilian artist. The recording session was in New York City. The album would be called Getz/Gilberto. The producer wanted a hook to make it more popular with the U.S. audience so he decided that they should have a song with English lyrics. They wanted (2 comments)
Politics -- The Original Conspiracy Theory - 09/25/08 09:42 AM
I have been hearing so much about politics this year and, for some reason, the political talk tickled my memory gland and made me long for simpler times. I thought back to this novelty hit of 1966. If you have never heard it, I think that you will find it interesting. This is kind of a conspiracy theory song, or maybe the conspirator in it would have to be fate or the grim reaper himself. This recording, even almost 50 years after it was recorded, is compelling today. At least I can still listen to it as the coincidences unfold. It compares the lives, (4 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- The Little Boy Who Grew Up Too Fast - 09/24/08 07:20 AM
In the early days of rock n' roll, the core audience was kids. The artists they listened to and followed tended to be older. Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino were all in their 20's. Bill Haley had passed the 30 year mark. Enter Frankie Lymon. Lymon was a street-wise kid at the ripe old age of thirteen. In his thirteen years, Lymon had lived a hard life in Harlem. Histories of the young artist state that he hustled money for booze and drugs by working as a bagger at a grocery store. He also was purported to be a young pimp (15 comments)
Stories Behind The Music -- Goin' To Kansas City - 09/23/08 10:15 AM
The song writing team of Leiber and Stoller was responsible for some of the most popular songs of early rock n' roll, including Hound Dog as recorded by Elvis. They were two white guys who wrote songs that were popular with, and usually recorded by, African Americans. Originally, such music that appealed to the African Americans was referred to as "race" music. Eventually, and fortunately, the industry came up with a new term -- rhythm and blues. The first hit for Leiber and Stoller ended up being one of the all time classics of rock n' roll. The song was originally released in 1952, (7 comments)
Economically Disadvantaged Rodents - 09/22/08 11:41 AM
The economy, for the average rodent or hare, must be really depressed at this time. You might wonder how I know that. Well, ever since I hired Nutsy the squirrel as my home inspection assistant (much to the chagrin of Charles Buell who is too cheap to pay an employee in addition to his own inflated salary) I have been inundated with rodents seeking jobs in the field of home inspection. In fact, they are now crossing the US/Canadian border in efforts to present themselves and their resumes. Just last week, I took the photo below of the most recent applicant. (13 comments)
Stories Behind The Music -- Elvis and the Hound - 09/22/08 10:35 AM
This is the story of Elvis and why he selected the song "Hound Dog" to be one of his earliest recordings. A double-sided hit, with Don't Be Cruel on the flip side, it ended up being Presley's biggest hit ever. From 1955-1988, Billboard listed it as the top single of all time. The 1956 release was number one for 11 weeks and on the charts for 28 weeks. Elvis was not a song writer. He was from the era before the artists started writing their own material. Elvis, like Sinatra, was content to record songs written by others. Hound Dog was penned by the songwriting team (14 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- He Fought the Law - 09/21/08 10:05 AM
The history of rock n' roll is fraught with mysterious deaths. The best and the brightest die young and in unexpected ways. If there has been any common denominator, that caused so many to die, it would probably be a combination of drugs, plane crashes and car wrecks. Every once in awhile, there is a death that is so unusual that it leads to a shroud of mystery. The performer, featured in this blog, is in that category. For more than 40 years, there have been books and TV shows detailing his mysterious death. To this day his death is considered to be a (9 comments)
Caution -- Danger in the (Active) Rain! - 09/19/08 07:44 PM
Just about the time I start taking Active Rain for granted, oops did I really say that, I have some mind-boggling reminder of what a giant this web site really is. I was trained in journalism so, by reflex, I try to write carefully, stating facts and giving attribution or wiggle room for myself if I get into more risky territory. That said, I forget just how far these cyber tentacles extend here at this octopus called Active Rain. In the past, I have seen distressed comments or blogs from people in our Online community who posted in the Rain. Seems that they forgot (59 comments)
Stories Behind The Music -- The Tennessee Waltz and Patti Page - 09/18/08 09:14 PM
There are many versions of the famous Tennessee Waltz. There is the original song and there is even a popular version called the New Tennessee Waltz. Actually, the story of the first version pre-dates rock music but it was a very innovative recording that had a lot to do with what later became rock music. The song was written by a cowboy bandleader, Pee Wee King and Red Stewart, a singer in the band. King had a number of hits over the years in the country western market. He recorded the Tennessee Waltz in 1948. It was reworked in 1950 and then it (11 comments)
Washington State Home Inspector Licensing Full Board Meeting, October 9, Seattle - 09/18/08 12:08 AM
The second meeting of the full home inspector licensing board will be taking place on Thursday, October 9, from 1:30pm to 4:30 pm in Seattle. It will be at the Hilton/San Juan Room, 17620 International Blvd. This will be an open session and members of the public are encouraged to attend. The three sub-committees have been meeting on a regular basis so a number of questions, regarding implementation of home inspector licensing, are likely to be discussed in detail at this full board meeting. The agenda, as provided by the State Department of Licensing, is below. ORDER OF AGENDA
The next meeting of the licensing sub-committee will be taking place Wednesday, September 24 at 320 N. 85th Street in Seattle. The time will be from 9:30AM to 12:30PM. Inspectors and members of the public are invited to attend and, previously, these individuals had the opportunity to speak. Licensing sub-committee members are David Pioli, chair; Deb Wenneman; Steven Smith. The agenda includes finalizing some of the previous discussions. (2 comments)
Ethnicity and My New Employee - 09/16/08 06:57 PM
It's true what they say (by the way, who is they? -- I always figure it is Reader's Digest) that the world is becoming a smaller place the result of technology and individuals moving around. This has created some interesting situations, such as sushi and Japanese food at Safco Field, the result of Ichiro Suzuki playing for the Seattle Mariners. The Asian snacks and entrees showed up when Seattle got their first superstar from Japan. I began to understand today, how this same phenomenon has filtered down to smaller businesses, such as my own. As many of you know, a few weeks back I hired a new (27 comments)
Sometimes I Feel Like An Umpire - 09/16/08 11:11 AM
Everybody knows how unpopular umpires, or those who officiate sporting events, are with the fans. Every sports fan can tell you how so and so lost the World Series, the Superbowl or some event because of a stupid call by an official. I think that, more than any other inspection concern, the one that sellers and handymen want to argue with me about has to do with my calling for thermal expansion tanks at some hot water heaters. The concept while not exactly intuitive in people's minds is simple to grasp. Per most standard building codes, if the water supply system has a pressure reducing valve, to control (19 comments)
Music Nostalgia--Aftermath, 42 years later - 09/15/08 09:51 AM
Many of us at Active Rain are baby boomers. We lived the 1950's, 1960's. The culture of that era, and the music influenced us. In fact, here at Active Rain there are groups dedicated to pop culture as we remember it -- songs, American Bandstand, and the Beatles. here are probably others too, but those are the groups that I belong to. Over the years, many critics have put together lists of great albums -- the quintessential albums that oothers are compared to. As someone with a background in radio and journalism, I find the Internet blogging experience interesting. While I like (7 comments)
Controversy: Would Ya', Should Ya' Ask For The Money Back - 09/14/08 05:00 PM
While mulling over the Sunday newspaper today, my wife read to me an article from the serious part of the paper. Personally, I was too busy reading, and looking at photos of, Britney, Lindsay and Paris, to waste my time on the business section. Anyway, the wife had an interesting article which expanded my world perspective. It was a real estate column by one of the nationally syndicated writers. Someone had written in to him stating that they had purchased a home inspection. The inspector had found mold and other problems so they had walked from their deal. They had gotten the (40 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Singularly Unusual, The Beatles - 09/14/08 09:59 AM
Back in the 1960's, when rock n' roll was king, the record moguls were only too eager to get an album out on the market. If you are too young to remember, that was a 33 1/3. The singles were all 45 RPM, two sides to them, but one side was usually worthless and filler. Hence the hit side, that took effort, became the popular single that would be remembered. The L-P albums held several cuts to a side and sold for significantly more than a single -- those 45's sold for less than a buck. So the record companies would put out (4 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- The Sounds of Silence - 09/11/08 05:49 PM
Probably most of you will remember the Simon and Garfunkel smash hit, their first hit -- The Sounds of Silence. Songs do not get much more classic than that and the vocal harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel are legendary today -- among the best harmonies ever recorded. Fact is, it was 1966 and Simon and Garfunkel came real close to being a big bust. The duo had recorded an album that had gone nowhere. The tracks from that album were somewhere in the Columbia recording studio --lucky for Simon and Garfunkel! One night Bob Dylan was running late for his appointed time, (5 comments)
Fee Fi Fo Fum - 09/11/08 05:41 PM
I smell the blood of vermin playing in my insulation. When insulation is down in a crawl space, it usually means any one, or more, of several possible causes. The problem might be related to metal rods, that often hold the insulation between joists, coming loose and falling down -- not too likely but sometimes. The problem could be related to repairs that were made by a workman, then the insulation was left hanging. The more likely causes, in my experience, would be different than those above. For example, I find that often the insulation is down because there was a plumbing (33 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Who Is Bernard Webb? - 09/09/08 09:31 AM
Once there was a famous Englishman. This man was having psychological problems with his being, his reality, his self confidence. He wanted to know -- Did people like, or love, him for what he offered, or did they only love him because of what he appeared to be -- his successful brand? What had he become? Was he a true artist or had the public entered into a phase of blind worship that made everything he did turn to gold -- even if it was pure junk? That question plagued and bothered this proud Englishman. The young man, for his own piece of mind, needed to find out if his popularity (8 comments)
Washington State Home Inspector Licensing Board, Changing Business Practices Sub-Committee - 09/08/08 10:08 PM
The State Department of Licensing has announced another sub-committee meeting, to take place on Wednesday, September 10th. This sub-committee is the one that focuses on Changing Business Practices, as home inspector licensing becomes a reality in the state. The meeting time is 1PM to 4PM at the Double Tree Inn, Seattle. The address is 18740 International Blvd. Members of this committee include Bruce Macintosh, Michael O' Handley and Stephen Cancler, all from the greater Seattle metro area. Issues on the agenda include -- Standards of practice; Professional conduct; Ethics; Written reports; Advertising standards and related business issues. Since space is limited, those members of (2 comments)
Washington State Home Inspector Licensing Board, education sub-committee - 09/08/08 09:49 PM
Okay, I know it is dry, but a number of inspectors have asked to have these messages circulated here on Active Rain. The next sub-committee meeting of the state home inspector licensing board will be taking place on Wednesday, September 10, at the Double Tree Inn, Seattle. The address is 18740 International Blvd. This will be the education sub-committee and they will be discussing some far-reaching and important issues. The home inspector examination Classroom instruction requirements Field training components Continuing education requirements Related business issues Committee members on this sub-committee include Bill Myers from Spokane, Stephen Cancler and Michael O' Handley (0 comments)
It Takes Equipment Too - 09/08/08 09:10 PM
While a home inspection is generally described, for purposes of the contract, as a "visual" inspection. The reality is that any inspector who hopes to achieve any level of sophistication during the inspection is going to have to have a certain number of tools for analysis of the systems in the home -- circuit testers, simple to more complex; moisture meters; perhaps carbon monoxide or gas sniffers, depending on the inspector and how far he or she wishes to go. One device that I find ever so handy, and I had been resistant to purchasing it in the first place, is (4 comments)
Pacific Northwest Music Legend -- Quincy Jones - 09/08/08 01:15 PM
Future jazz and music legend Quincy Jones and his family moved to Seattle when Quincy was a youngster, in the early 1930's. In Seattle, the young Quincy Jones became involved in the busy Seattle jazz music scene. Upon graduation from high school, he was accomplished enough as a trumpet player and a musician to receive a scholarship to a top music school in Boston. After that training, Jones moved to NYC to further his career. He spent time in France as well but, ultimately, Jones became noted as one of the most influential men in the music industry. He has been a solo (2 comments)
Count On This One - 09/08/08 09:16 AM
There is one defect that involves conducive conditions for rot and other wood destroying organisms that I can almost always count on finding. Even when a builder has, generally, done a good job of building a home, it seems that this detail is wrong. When a home has a garage, I would say I find this 80% or more of the time.
The vertical wood trim is touching, pressed down on, the flat concrete.. This is almost always found around the vehicle door. In fact, the wood should be trimmed to end about an inch or a bit more over the concrete. That (3 comments)
I remember those days well, having been in grade school with a bunch of screaming mimi girls. I think that, even though guys liked the rock music, the screaming, sobbing, near wetting one's pants with excitement, was mostly a female phenomenon -- you did not see many guys screaming and sobbing in the crowd. The British Invasion came in waves. The first wave consisted primarily of the bands I have selected below. They were very pop, female friendly, compared to some of the other rougher, tougher, bluesy (9 comments)
So Simple, But Necessary - 09/07/08 01:42 PM
This is so simple that I am almost embarrassed to write about it. But I am not that embarrassed, so I will put fingers to keyboard. Even quality builders often leave gaps, exposed areas, around wires and plumbing pipes that enter the home. This creates a couple problems: First, moisture can run into the holes and lead to problems inside the walls. Secondly, pests, such as carpenter ants, appreciate the easy entrance to the wood framing of the structure underneath the siding. The solution-- Simply caulk the area neatly and paint it. Sometimes there are holes of such a size that caulking (5 comments)
Pop Went South (Of The Border) - 09/07/08 11:20 AM
How many of you remember Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass? They were huge in the 1960's. One thing that made the band even more unusual, as hitmakers, was the fact that almost all of their tracks were instrumentals. Few pop hits, in that era, were instrumentals. Sure there were some, but not many. Alpert originally recorded his first hit "The Lonely Bull" in 1962 in his garage. He said he was inspired to write it after visiting Tijuana and seeing a bull fight. He incorporated live sound effects into it, but no record company would take a chance on the song so (4 comments)
Home Inspector Licensing Board Sub-Committee Meeting - 09/05/08 05:19 PM
I know this is dry, but a few inspectors have asked me to periodically update them, here at Active Rain, as to the happenings with the Washington State Home Inspector Licensing Board. The first meeting of the licensing sub-committee met yesterday, September 4, in Olympia at the Washington State Department of Licensing, Real Estate division. The agenda was quite basic and a number of ideas were put on the table. The sub-committee will, when it is all ironed out, make a recommendation to the board. Much of the work of the licensing sub-committee has to do with administration of home inspector (3 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- What Was The First Rock N' Roll Record? - 09/05/08 12:28 PM
In fact, I think it might be impossible to answer that question -- What was the first rock record? Historians and pundits have guesses, and arguments that support their positions, as to what record was the first rock n' roll song. I have my own opinion, as to logical choices, and they are reflected below in that I have edited some songs off the list. This is my short list. One reality is clear in my mind: Elvis was not the first rock n' roller and That's All Right Mama was not the first rock recording. Anyone who thinks otherwise is doing some wishful thinking. The (12 comments)
Stories Behind the Music -- Millie Small's Song Goes Big - 09/03/08 12:41 AM
I have enjoyed reggae music for several years now. Most people think of Jamaican music as first coming into the public eye in the late 1960's. Fact is, Jamaican music began to influence the pop world long before the late 1960's. Before reggae, there was "ska." Ska is noted for a distinctive "off beat" or "blue beat" as they call it. That syncopated beat is very Jamaican. Reggae varies from ska in that it is generally slower in tempo and the accent is on the third beat in each bar. Too technical for me! Either way, it is all Jamaican and, correct or not, (14 comments)
Buying a New Home Is Not Like Buying a New Refrigerator - 09/02/08 08:21 PM
I think one reason some buyers refuse to purchase a home inspection at a new house is because they hear the word "new." Think about that word -- "new." If you buy a new refrigerator, a new range, a new drill or a new car, you probably would not take it to a repair shop to have it checked out before using it.
There are a couple reasons for that. First off, most of those items will have an ongoing warranty for awhile at least. Also, these products have all gone through an established assembly line, manufacturing process -- as (11 comments)
School Daze: How Time Flies - 09/02/08 08:35 AM
Boy, how time flies. Last night the wife and I had to stop at a large department store, Fred Meyer, to buy paint for one of our rental houses. We were getting there late and we could not believe all the cars in the parking lot. The place was packed. When we got inside, we asked the checker what was going on. She said that it was last minute shoppers, from Bellingham and the county, getting ready for school today. That startled me. You might say I was in a school daze. No longer having a kid in school, I had lost track of (6 comments)
Biking Lummi Island - 09/01/08 11:14 PM
I have lived in Bellingham all of my life, born here. I have been over to Lummi Island a few times but yesterday was the first time that I have ever walked on the ferry and gone over just to bike. My wife is learning to speak Italian and her Italian group, including her teacher, headed over to Lummi Island for a biking adventure. To get there, you have to take the ferry. It is a tiny ferry, only takes a few cars at a time and the crossing time is maybe ten minutes -- fast. First the walkers get on, then (3 comments)
My Least Impressive, Most Impressive Moment - 09/01/08 09:36 AM
I had a funny experience, at least I thought it was funny. Especially among younger people, that means 30 somethings to me, many of them are into the old music of the 1960's. I guess they never really connected with the Backstreet Boys or that Spears girl. You find many of them listening to the Beatles, the Stones and the classics of early rock/blues. Often these people, taken with the period, ask me about having been in radio during those years. You know -- "Gee did you really get to play the Beatles when they were putting out new music." Anyone (12 comments)
Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals.
Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest.
Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.