Westboro church founder Fred Phelps has died. Fred Phelps -- the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals -- has died. [more inside]
59 marvelous photographs taken between 1903 and 1920 by Frédéric Boissonnas (1858-1946), a franco-Swiss photographer who loved Greece. This is him being hauled up to the Meteora monastery in a net. Boissonnas was also a mountaineer and was the first to scale Mt. Olympus successfully in 1913. During the first 30 years of the 20th century he became the most influential photographer in Greece, between the two World Wars. Traveling extensively, landscapes, everyday people and life in Greece were photographed in detail for the first time. [more inside]
Yesterday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 97, the Scottsboro Boys Act allowing for posthumous pardons. Bentley has said he wanted to close a chapter of state history. The Scottsboro case led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision against excluding Blacks from juries. [more inside]
"One of the deep, dark secrets of America's past has finally come to light. Starting in the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of American children were warehoused in institutions by state governments." An early part of the American experiment with Eugenics, the Walter E. Fernald State School inspired scores of similar institutions across the country, and more recently, one of the definitive histories of the era. [more inside]
The erstwhile Sir Fred "The Shred" Goodwin, former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland has been stripped of the knighthood awarded to him in 2004 for "services to banking". The move has been met with predictable glee by the popular press, but has been criticised by business and political figures as well as some newspaper comment. Goodwin joins the somewhat dubious club of those who have been stripped of UK honours, including notables such as Mugabe, Mussolini and Ceauesescu amongst other less famous but equally tawdry figures.
I'm willing to bet that even a lot of you who say "I don't like drum solos" will, well... like this one.
The All Time Top 100
Stars Credited Actors at the Box Office at the-numbers.com has an interesting #1: Frank Welker, who did voice work in 95 feature films since 1980 totaling over 6-BILLION-dollars gross in the U.S. and 12-BILLION worldwide. Over a third of these roles were "Special Vocal Effects" or "Additional Voices" or such. But, hey, a hit's a hit and a credit's a credit. [more inside]
Step Across the Border (previously, link now broken) "as long as I was playing in a band I didn't have to actually go out there and talk to girls and dance, I could just be on stage and watch everybody else doing it". The critically acclaimed music documentary on Fred Frith, written and directed by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel (amazon link). It is also available in 8 parts, on youtube. [more inside]
"Fred is not a real kid, thank God: Fred Figglehorn is a character, a six year-old kid with an alcoholic stepmother and a father in jail."* Created in 2008 and portrayed by Nebraska teenager Lucas Cruikshank, Fred's YouTube videos "have racked up nearly 530 million views in aggregate." On September 17th. 'Fred: the Movie' hits Nickelodeon. [more inside]
As if there haven't been enough celebrity deaths, now the sad news that the great impressionist - comedian Fred Travalena has passed away at his Encino, CA home at age 66. Examples of some of his work are here from a Merv Griffin Show, and a later one from a live performance.
Polly wants a Prozac. Fred the Parrot tries to bite his neck off after his owner dies, vets prescribe bird-friendly anti-depressants.
Fred Kaplan gives President Obama suggestions on foreign policy repair.
When the Rolling tones recorded an old blues tune called You Gotta Move on Sticky Fingers back in 1971, it was another instance of a tune by an old black man, known only to blues aficionados, suddenly becoming part of the consciousness of a gazillion people who probably never would've heard it otherwise. But let's pay a little visit to the man who originally wrote and recorded the song, Mississippi Fred McDowell, shall we? Here's a jumping version of Shake 'em On Down, his haunting Going Down to the River, the gospel blues of When I Lay My Burden Down, Highway 61, My Babe (you'll note the similarity to "This Train"), Louise, and his version of the American folk/blues standard John Henry. And don't miss the beautiful 1969 documentary featuring McDowell at Internet Archive, Blues Maker, which features some superlative acoustic performances, and footage of the people and environment of the Mississippi delta country.
"Brett Meisner has helped to put the 'rock' back into 'rock and roll' forever!" said Kurt Loder in 2003. Given Meisner's impact as a music critic and rock 'n' roll badboy, this is something of an understatement...
National Fred Davis Registry - Do you know Fred Davis? How about Fred Davis? They're both on the registry, along with a whole bunch of other Freds.