Monday, June 2, 2014

Observations — 1958, Cuba, Common Market and Kerouac

The Everly Brothers

The European “Common Market” was established. Nikita Khrushchev became premier of Soviet Union. Charles de Gaulle was made premier of France. Explorer I was sent into orbit. Elvis Presley was inducted into U.S. Army. First transatlantic jet went from London to New York.  Cuban revolutionary forces captured Havana. Later. Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba. Mobster Johnny Stompanado — aka “Handsome Harry” — was stabbed to death by movie star Lana Turner’s daughter. Alaska became the 59th state. Alvin Alley created the American Dance Theatre. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward won Academy Awards and married each other in 1958.  American Van Cliburn won major Moscow piano competition. Jockey Eddie Arcaro recorded his 4,000th win.  The Brooklyn Dodgers became the L.A. Dodgers. Oscar Robertson scored 56 points in one game. The other team scored 54. “Studio One” aired its last show.  The World of Suzie Wong and Flower Drum Song both premiered on Broadway The Nobel Prize for Literature went to Boris Pasternak. A Death in the Family by James Agee was published posthumously and won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. The Mystery Writers of America’s top award, the Edgar, was given to Ed Lacy for Room To Swing. That year, we also read Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, Exodus by Leon Uris, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Housebreaker of Shady Hill by John Cheever, and two by Jack KerouacThe Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums. We listened to “Volare” by Domenico Modungo, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” by the Everly Brothers, “Don’t” by Elvis Presley,  “Witch Doctor” by David Seville, “Patricia” by Perez Prado, “Sail Along Silvery Moon” by Billy Vaughn, “Catch A Falling Star” by Perry Como, “Tequila” by the Champs, “All In The Game” by Tommy Edwards, and “Return To Me” by Dean Martin. Among the movies we liked were Vertigo, Touch of Evil, Gigi, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Auntie Mame, Bell, Book, and Candle, South Pacific, Indiscreet, Thunder Road, The Young Lions, Damn Yankees, and Some Came Running. Death came to Tyrone Power, Ronald Colman, Michael Todd, Robert Donat, Mel Ott, PopePius XII, two of the three Warner brothers, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. First breaths came to Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna.  Others sharing a 1958 birth were Sharon Stone, Joan Jett, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tim Burton, Ellen Degeneres, Gary Oldman, Alec  Baldwin, Andy Gibb, and Tim Robbins. If you were around, what were you doing during this year of the earth dog? 

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