Most Boomers have heard of Sha Na Na and remember their successful late 70's TV show, but young visitors to the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts not only don't recognize the name, they don't associate the band with Woodstock. Hendrix, of course. Sha Na Na? Never heard of them.Not many had heard of the band made up of Columbia University undergrads before that famous August 1969 weekend in Bethel, NY either. And most weren't there to hear the band on Monday morning.Sha Na Na was there, though. They "opened" for Jimi Hendrix, an acquaintance and apparently the person who punched their ticket to Woodstock.
Sha Na Na John Jocko Marcellino
You can win some bar bets by asking who the youngest person to play at Woodstock was? Those who have an answer will often reply, "Santana's drummer, Michael Shrieve. Country Joe McDonald boost that belief dozens of times each day during the repeating movie in the entrance to the Main Gallery at Bethel Wood's Museum.McDonald is wrong. It's John Jocko Marcellino, Sha Na Na's drummer. Born May 12, 1950.
For five years after Woodstock, the band toured and then landed the aforementioned TV show. It had an eight-year run. In 1978 they appeared in Grease, the wildly popular film adaptation of the rock’n’roll revival musical.In addition to that movie, Marcellino has appeared in many others, including Rain Man. Check out his IMDB page.
Jocko continues to be in music and perform with his own band that departs from doo wop and believes in the blues. He released an album (“Funky Chicken” heard above) called Make It Simple.
May 12, 1898: Louisiana adopted a new constitution, which incorporated a "grandfather clause" into voting requirements. It stated that a person may only vote if their father or grandfather was eligible to vote on or before January 1, 1867, thereby disqualifying most African Americans. By 1910, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and Oklahoma had adopted similar "grandfather clauses." (BH, see “in September”; VR, see February 14, 1899)
Poor People’s Campaign
May 12, 1968: the Poor People's Campaign began with Ralph Abernathy, SCLC president, leading delegation of leaders representing poor whites, Blacks, Indians, and Spanish Americans to Capitol Hill for conferences with cabinet members and congressional leaders. (see May 16)
May 12, 1949: Berlin Airlift lifted. It was a clear success delivering more cargo than had previously been transported into the city by rail. An embarrassment to the Soviets who had refused to believe it could make a difference. The airlift’s success resulted in the split up of Berlin: (see June 8)
House Un-American Activities Committee protest
May 12, 1960: San Francisco City Hall was the scene of major protests against the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), with fire hoses used against protesters on the steps of city hall. Because of the number of protesters (3,500 at one point), the committee’s unreasonable actions (such as excluding anti-HUAC people from the hearing room), and police brutality against demonstrators, the event is probably the most famous anti-HUAC protest in the entire history of the committee. Uncooperative witnesses were removed from the hearing room, while people with special passes from the committee were allowed in. When a larger crowd of protesters assembled the following day, singing and chanting, a judge ordered the crowd dispersed. On the 14th of May, fire hoses were used against the protesters outside the courthouse, forcing some people to slide down the steps of the building.In response to the events that reflected badly on the committee, HUAC used newsreel footage of the demonstrations to produce a highly slanted film, Operation Abolition.
The ACLU of Northern California replied with its own film, Operation Correction, pointing out the distortions in the HUAC film. (see May 16)
President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba
May 12, 2002: former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a 5-day visit with Fidel Castro, becoming the first U.S. President, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution. (see Nov 21)
May 12, 1961: NYC Mayor Wagner announced that the city would permit folk singing, with instrumental accompaniment in Washington Square "on a controlled basis." (see May 14)
Bob Dylan. Ed Sullivan Show
May 12, 1963: the still unknown Dylan walked off the set of the “Ed Sullivan Show” (the country's highest-rated variety show) after network censors rejected "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," the song he planned on performing. The song was satirical talking-blues number skewering the ultra-conservative John Birch Society and its tendency to see covert members of an international Communist conspiracy behind every tree. Dylan had auditioned "John Birch" days earlier and had run through it for Ed Sullivan himself without any concern being raised. But during dress rehearsal on the day of the show, an executive from the CBS Standards and Practices department informed the show's producers that they could not allow Dylan to go forward singing "John Birch." (see May 17)
Future Woodstock Performers
May 12, 1967: the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, released in the UK. Jimi Hendrix age 24. (FWP, see, June; Hendrix, see May 21)
DRAFT CARD BURNING
May 12, 1964: twelve students in New York publicly burn their draft cards to protest the war. (Vietnam, see May 22; DCB, see May 5, 1965)
May 12, 1970: the Senate confirmed the nomination of Harry Blackmun to the Supreme Court by a vote of 94 - 0. (BC, see April 21, 1971; Blackmun, see December 24)
May 12 Peace Love Activism
May 12, 1981: after 59 days on hunger strike Francis Hughes (25), an Irish Republican Army prisoner in the Maze Prison, died. [Hughes' death led to a further surge in rioting in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland, particularly in Belfast and Derry. In Dublin a group of 2,000 people tried to break into the British Embassy. (see May 14)
Stop and Frisk Policy
May 12, 2009: the NYPD made a record number of Stop-and-Frisks. In the first three months of 2009, policy officers stopped and frisked a record number 171,000. (see Aug 14)
May 12, 2012: Police officers stopped people on New York City’s streets more than 200,000 times during the first three months of 2012, putting the Bloomberg administration on course to shatter a record set in 2011 for the highest annual tally of street stops. (see May 16)
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
May 12, 2010: BP released first public video of leak and others said the leak is significantly higher than what BP has been saying. One estimate says it could to be 20,000–100,000 barrels (840,000–4,200,000 US gallons a day. (see May 13)
Mississippi bans adoption
May 12, 2016: U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan ruled that Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples adopting children was unconstitutional, making gay adoption legal in all 50 states.Jordan issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, citing the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide last summer. The injunction blocks Mississippi from enforcing its 16-year-old anti-gay adoption law.The Supreme Court ruling “foreclosed litigation over laws interfering with the right to marry and rights and responsibilities intertwined with marriage,” Jordan wrote. “It also seems highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits — expressly including the right to adopt — would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit.” (see May 13)
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