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Monday, November 24, 2014

In Memory of my Mother, Lois K. Jackson

        Here is the obituary for the passing of my mother.  I will continue to be sporadically on line for next few weeks.

Lois Jackson, 85, died Friday morning November 21, 2014 after an extended illness.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Lee Jackson who passed in 1990 and her companion of 15 years George Lechelt who passed in 2012.
Lois leaves five children:  Robert Lee and his wife Betty with their children Dan, Ada (spouse Tom Zdanowicz), Diana (Jeff Bowen), Emilee, and Angelina; Joy and husband Jim Melchionda; Joni (whose late husand was Jack Katon) and daughter Jamie (Barry Habel) ; Jay and his wife Hallie with their daughter Cynthia (Sean Baxter);  and Jeff.   Six great-grandchildren include Marley, Hallie Jane, Lillee, Grace, Celeste, and Madisynn.
Born and raised in Morgantown, WV, Lois was the daughter of Paul and Lessie Trevillian.   She attended West Virginia University where she met Bob Jackson, her husband of 40 years.  They moved to Maryville in 1966.
Lois was a dancer whose specialty was acrobatic and tap.  After having met Bob who was a popular basketball player at WVU and a juggler, the two married and  put together an acclaimed juggling act that eventually included their five children.  They performed throughout the United States for four decades.
Ever the congenial hostess, Lois welcomed visitors into her home and was much beloved by her many friends as well as friends of her children.
Funeral arrangements are with McCammon-Ammons-Click.   Friends are welcome to join the family at a graveside service at Grandview Cemetery on Tuesday November 25, 2014 at 3 PM.

Friday, November 21, 2014

BOTB Results: Watertown

      I'll be keeping today's post brief as I am still dealing with my mother's illness.   As indicated on my previous post, I'll be blogging sporadically until further notice.

  Battle of the Bands results:

       In my latest round of Battle of the Bands I offered Frank Sinatra's version of "What's Now Is Now" against the version of the same song as done by the group Cake.   The song comes from Sinatra's little known album Watertown.

       As I had indicated in my posts in regard to the BOTB, I have a longstanding appreciation of Sinatra as an artist and Watertown is among my all time favorite albums.  I think Sinatra does a tremendous job with my song choice.  For these reasons you might expect my preferred version to be the one by Sinatra.  However upon hearing Cake's version I was impacted by how much they demonstrated the rock nature of this song.   They pull it off with a convincing sincerity.   I especially like the guitar work in their presentation.   Simple, steady, and altogether pleasing to my ears.

        I was surprised to find that I was not alone in my preference for the Cake version.  Sinatra still squeaked by with a win.,

Final tally:

Cake      14

Sinatra   15

Thanks to all for your votes.  Next Battle of the Bands post will appear December 1st.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blogging Break Due to Family Emergency

        I will be away from my blogs  for an indefinite period of time due to a family emergency.  More details to come later.  Your prayers and positive thoughts would be appreciated especially for my mother and all of our family.

        My Battle of the Bands results post will hopefully appear this Friday November 21st as planned.

         If you've not yet done so I hope you will consider visiting the Battle of the Bands post and vote on the song version you like best.   I'd love to get at least another 10 or preferably more votes added into what is there already--it would certainly pick me up in a down time.

        Posting on Tossing It Out as well as my other blogs might temporarily stop, although there is always that possibility that if I find time I could post sporadically.   I will have my Battle of the Bands posts scheduled for December however and any other already scheduled posts will appear.    

        There's a good chance that I will have some idle time during which I hope to continue to visit your blogs and leave comments.  However, if I'm a bit scarce I hope you will understand.

        Thanks for understanding.  I hope to be back on regular schedule within a couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Battle of the Bands: What's Now Is Now

          What's now is Battle of the Bands, the blogging event helmed by our friends at Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th and since the 15th comes on a Saturday this November I am posting special on this day.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action  So now is the time to start:

Frank Sinatra "What's Now Is Now" (1970)

         With a singing/acting/entertainment career that lasted for 60 years, Frank Sinatra is not an artist who can be discredited for his accomplishments.  Whether you like him or not, the fact remains that a lot of people did like him and he stayed on or near the top of the heap throughout his lengthy career.  Those who do like Sinatra undoubtedly have their favorite phases of his career and can cite albums that stand out among the others.

         I'm particularly fond of the work he did during the 50's with Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May.   Those were the albums from my parents' collection that I listened to back in junior high thus honing my appreciation for Sinatra's song stylizing.

          My all time favorite Sinatra album is one of his least known.  Watertown (1970) is a concept album with songs composed by the team of Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons and Jake Holmes, who was also the writer of the Led Zeppelin classic "Dazed and Confused".   The song cycle tells the story of a small town husband and father whose wife leaves the family.  The songs describe the heartbreak, sense of loss, memories, and hopefulness the man goes through as he deals with the loss of his wife.  For me these are some of Sinatra's best performances and taken as a whole the album is a powerful piece of work.   The album was critically acclaimed but essentially tanked with the public.

           On my memoir blog Wrote By Rote I have more to say about this album and the memories that I connect with it.  I hope you'll click on that link to read my story about Watertown, but first here's one of my favorite songs from the album:

Cake "What's Now Is Now"  (2011)

        My first encounter with the band Cake was in the latter 1990's when I overheard my daughter playing her copy of their second album Fashion Nugget (1996).   I began listening closely to the album and eventually borrowed it to listen more.  The band has a unique sound that uses a trumpet to great advantage.  The band displays an eclecticism that appeals to my musical tastes, performing catchy tunes with intelligent delivery.

        I was previously unaware of the album Showroom of Compassion on which their cover of the Sinatra tune appears.   In fact, I was surprised to see that any of the tunes from Watertown had been covered by any other artists since the album seemed to be in the dustbin of musical history.  Now that I know that more than one of the cuts from Watertown have been covered, I will undoubtedly be using some of them in later Battles.  After all, it's one of my favorite albums and I want those who don't know about it to be persuaded to listen to more of it.   You can find Sinatra's complete version of Watertown on YouTube.

       But I digress--first let's listen to Cake's version of "What's Now Is Now":

  Now What?  Let's Vote!

         These are two great versions of one great song--at least I think so and I hope you've enjoyed hearing them both.   But surely you prefer one over the other.   I'll tell you my preference on my post of Friday November 21st.  I'll also be announcing the winning version on that day.   Please vote for your favorite in the comment section and let us know why you prefer that one.   After you vote here, make sure to visit the links listed below for other possible Battles.


 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands




           Are you familiar with Sinatra's Watertown album?    Do you like Cake (I mean the group not the food)?   What about cake (the food)?    Can you think of a relatively obscure song that you like that you were surprised to hear covered by another artist?