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February 2011 Archives

Bill Frisell's Tribute to Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant

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COLUMBUS. Ohio--- Mid-century Los Angeles hipsters Jimmy Bryant and Wesley "Speedy" West recorded the instrumental "West of Samoa" in 1955. The track is a intergalatic mash-up of Hawaiian steel, exotica bird chirps and country-jazz guitar.
This America was about endless possibility.
You go as far as the road takes you.

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West was a steel guitarist flash who was delivered from the Ozarks, specifically the country mecca of Springfield, Mo. Bryant was the oldest of 12 kids from a sharecropper's family in Southern Georgia.
They met in the country-western honky tonks of L.A.'s skid row........

Mesa's Baseball Mecca

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MESA THEN

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MESA NOW

MESA, Az.---Every winter when I settle into Mesa for a few days the growth of the Sonoran Desert city blows my mind.
The spring training home of the Chicago Cubs has 467,000 residents; more than Miami, Fla. or St. Louis, Mo.
When the Cubs new $84 million baseball complex opens in late 2013 in Mesa, it pretty much will be a year-round facility used for organizational meetings, draft day events and long rehabs for Aramis Ramirez.
The complex will be near the Riverview Mall at the intersection of freeways 101 and 202. More than 200,000 cars a day drive through this juncture.
"It's the geographic center of the valley," Mesa Mayor Scott Smith told me a couple weeks ago........

Marie's Rip Tide: A Chicago treasure

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Marie Wuczynski, one in a million (Sun-Times photo)


Marie Wuczynski had a favorite number on the jukebox of the venerable Marie's Rip Tide, 1745 W. Armitage.
She inherited the song when she bought the Bucktown bar in 1961. Mrs. Wuczynski died Monday of congestive heart failure in her home above the bar. She was 88.

Mrs. Wuczynski would often go to sleep after listening to number 120 on the juke. That song was "Melody of Love," with 1940s era WGN all-night radio personality Franklyn MacCormack reading a poem with the Wayne King Orchestra playing a waltz. In his profound baritone MacCormack said:

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.

RECORD ROW


Chicago's Record Row In addition to being a resource for archived stories, this is a place to share anecdotes about Chicago's Record Row, to network about Record Row developments and an opportunity for locals and tourists to comment on their experiences along Record Row.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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