Beatles Lie Over The Ocean

Beatles Lie Over The Ocean

Beatles Lie Over the Ocean
Photo by Gerd Mingram.
        It was June 22, 1961 and The Beatles [John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best] continued their stay in Hamburg, Germany. The trip had been more successful than their first and they would leave in July with no arrests or deportations [Beatles deported] .

        Tony Sheridan was a British musician who also found work in Hamburg. It was there that he and the Beatles met, sometimes shared a bill, and sometimes played together.

        Bert Kaempfert, an orchestra leader and Polydor agent, asked The Beatles to back Sheridan on some recordings.
        The recording took place over three days, the first two at Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Hamburg. It was not a regular recording studio, but because of the venue's acoustics, a place Polydor had occasionally used for recording. The final day's recording (June 24) was done in Studio Rahlstedt, a professional studio. On that day they recorded "Ain't She Sweet," "Nobody's Child," and "Take Out Some Insurance On Me, Baby."

Beatles Lie Over The Ocean

        The Beatles [the The Beat Boys for these sessions] and Sheridan recorded four songs over two consecutive days: "My Bonnie," "The Saints," "Why," and "Cry For A Shadow." "Shadow" was an instrumental; Sheridan did lead vocals on the others. 

        Sheridan sometimes played lead guitar, John Lennon rhythm, George Harrison the other lead, Paul McCartney bass, and Pete Best drums. 

        The first song they recorded was "My Bonnie." It started slowly, but soon went into an upbeat version. According to the Beatles Bible site, "The Beatles were given 300 marks for the sessions."  [Beatles Bible site]

Beatles Lie Over the Ocean

        "My Bonnie" was released in October 1961 and reached #5 on the German charts.

        20 years later, on June 22, 1981, Mark David Chapman pleaded guilty to the murder of John Lennon on what he said were instructions from God. 

Beatles Lie Over The Ocean, Beatles Lie Over The OceanBeatles Lie Over The OceanBeatles Lie Over The OceanBeatles Lie Over The OceanBeatles Lie Over The Ocean


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Cuyahoga River Burns Again

Cuyahoga River Burns Again

June 22, 1969
Randy Newman, “Burn On”
Cuyahoga River Burns Again
A fire tug fights flames on the Cuyahoga River near downtown Cleveland, Ohio, where oil and other industrial wastes caught fire June 25, 1952. (AP Photo)

Cuyahoga River Burns Again

Now, the Lord can make you tumble,

The Lord can make you turn,

The Lord can make you overflow,

But the Lord can't make you burn.

--Randy Newman


             On June 22, 1969, the oil-sodden floating debris on the Cuyahoga River  near Cleveland, Ohio ignited (perhaps by sparks from a passing train) and burned with flames reported up to five stories high. 


             This was simply the latest of several Cuyahoga River fires during the century. Although fire-fighters extinguished this blaze in a half-hour or so, it caused $50,000 in damage. The Cleveland, Ohio river (and nearly every other urban industrial river in the USA) had been an open sewer for industrial waste, through the times when factory production and easy release of raw sewage was more important than  their environmental impact.
             Time magazine covered the story. Since Time didn't have a picture of the June 22 fire, it used a picture from June 25, 1952. In its article, Time noted that, " The Potomac left Washington 'stinking from the 240 million gallons of wastes that are flushed into it daily' while “Omaha’s meatpackers fill the Missouri River with animal grease balls as big as oranges.”  [Time magazine article]

             1962's Silent Spring by Rachel Carson had lighted a fuse and it seemed this Cuyahoga River fire, however small and common, had tipped the balance of popular opinion. 

             Like many other activist issues of the 60s, environmentalism had come to the fore.  In exactly 10 months, on April 22, 1970, Americans observed the first Earth Day. An estimated 20 million people nationwide attended events.  Senator Gaylord Nelson promoted Earth Day, calling upon students to fight for environmental causes and oppose environmental degradation with the same energy that they displayed in opposing the Vietnam War. 
             Later that year, on November 20, the Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase-out.

             On December 2, 1970,  the Environmental Protection Agency began operating under director William Ruckelshaus.

             On October 18, 1972, the Clean Water Act went into effect.
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