Howard Andrew Williams was an American singer. He recorded 43 albums in his career, of which 15 have been gold-certified and three platinum-certified, he was nominated for six Grammy Awards. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a television variety show, from 1962 to 1971, numerous TV specials; the Andy Williams Show won three Emmy awards. The Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri is named after the song for which he is best known—Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini's "Moon River", he sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including more than 10 million certified units in the United States. Williams was active in the music industry for 74 years. Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa, to Florence and Jay Emerson Williams, who worked in insurance and the post office. While living in Cheviot, Williams attended Western Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, he finished high school at University High School, in West Los Angeles, because of his family's move to California. Williams had three older brothers—Bob and Dick Williams.
His first performance was in a children's choir at the local Presbyterian church. He and his brothers formed the Williams Brothers quartet in late 1938, they performed on radio in the Midwest, first at WHO, in Des Moines, at WLS, in Chicago, WLW, in Cincinnati. Moving to Los Angeles in 1943, the Williams Brothers sang with Bing Crosby on his 1944 hit record "Swinging on a Star", they appeared in four musical films: Janie, Kansas City Kitty, Something in the Wind and Ladies' Man. A persistent myth is that as a teenager the future singing star dubbed the singing for Lauren Bacall in the 1944 feature film To Have and Have Not. According to authoritative sources, including Howard Hawks and Bacall herself, this was not true. Williams and some female singers were tested to dub for Bacall, because of fears that she lacked the necessary vocal skills, but those fears were overshadowed by the desire to have Bacall do her own singing despite her imperfect vocal talent. This myth is refuted in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide in the entry for this film.
The Williams Brothers were signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to appear in Anchors Aweigh and Ziegfeld Follies but, before they went before the cameras, the oldest brother, was drafted into military service and the group's contract was canceled. Kay Thompson, a former radio star, now head of the vocal department at MGM, had a nose for talent and hired the remaining three Williams brothers to sing in her large choir on many soundtracks for MGM films, including The Harvey Girls; when Bob completed his military service, Kay hired all four brothers to sing on the soundtrack to Good News. By Thompson was tired of working behind the scenes at MGM so, with the four Williams boys as her backup singers and dancers, she formed a nightclub act, Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers, they became an overnight sensation. Within a year, they were the highest paid nightclub act in the world, breaking records wherever they appeared. Williams revealed in his memoir, Moon River and Me, that he and Thompson became romantically involved while on tour, despite the age difference.
The act broke up in 1949 but reunited for another hugely successful tour from the fall of 1951 through the summer of 1953. After that, the four brothers went their separate ways. A complete itinerary of both tours is listed on the Kay Thompson biography website. Williams and Thompson, remained close and professionally, she mentored his emergence as a solo singing star. She coached him, wrote his arrangements, composed many songs that he recorded, including his 1958 Top 20 hit "Promise Me, Love" and "Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells" on his 1964 No. 1 The Andy Williams Christmas Album. Using her contacts in the business, Thompson helped Williams land his breakthrough television gig as a featured singer for two and a half years on Tonight Starring Steve Allen. Thompson got Williams his breakthrough recording contract with Cadence Records, whose owner, Archie Bleyer, had gotten early career breaks because of Kay and owed her a favor. Meanwhile, Williams sang backup on many of Thompson's recordings through the 1950s, including her Top 40 hit Eloise, based on her bestselling books about the mischievous little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
Thompson served as a creative consultant and vocal arranger on Williams's three summer replacement network television series in 1957, 1958, 1959. In the summer of 1961, Thompson traveled with Williams and coached him throughout his starring role in a summer stock tour of the musical Pal Joey, their personal and professional relationship ended in 1962, when Williams met and married Claudine Longet, Thompson moved to Rome. Williams's solo career began in 1953, he recorded six sides for RCA Victor's label "X". After landing a spot as a regular on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954, Williams was signed to a recording contract with Cadence Records, a small label in New York, run by conductor Archie Bleyer. Williams's third single, "Canadian Sunset", reached No. 7 in the Top Ten in August 1956. "Butterfly" was No. 1 for two weeks on the UK Singles Chart in May 1957. More hit records followed, including "The Hawaiian Wedding Song", "Are You Sincere?", "The Village of St. Bernadette", "Lonely Street", "I Like Your Kind of Lov
Wynton Learson Marsalis is an American virtuoso trumpeter, composer and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has promoted classical and jazz music to young audiences. Marsalis has been awarded nine Grammy Awards and his Blood on the Fields was the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, he is the son of jazz musician Ellis Marsalis Jr. grandson of Ellis Marsalis Sr. and brother of Branford and Jason. Marsalis is the only musician to win a Grammy Award in jazz and classical during the same year. Marsalis was born in Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, though he grew up in Kenner, he is the second of six sons born to Delores Ferdinand and Ellis Marsalis Jr. a pianist and music teacher. He was named for jazz pianist Wynton Kelly. Branford Marsalis is his older brother and Jason Marsalis and Delfeayo Marsalis are younger. All three are jazz musicians. While sitting at a table with trumpeters Al Hirt, Miles Davis, Clark Terry, his father jokingly suggested that he might as well get Wynton a trumpet, too.
Hirt volunteered to give him one, so at the age of six Marsalis received his first trumpet. Although he owned a trumpet when he was six, he didn't practice much until he was 12, he attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He studied classical music at jazz at home with his father, he played in a marching band led by Danny Barker. He performed on trumpet publicly as the only black musician in the New Orleans Civic Orchestra. After winning a music contest at fourteen, he performed a trumpet concerto by Joseph Haydn with the New Orleans Philharmonic. Two years he performed Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major by Bach. At seventeen, he was the youngest musician admitted to Tanglewood Music Center. In 1979 he moved to New York City to attend Juilliard, he intended to pursue a career in classical music. In 1980 he toured Europe as a member of the Art Blakey big band, becoming a member of The Jazz Messengers and remaining with Blakey until 1982, he turned to jazz. He has said, he recorded for the first time with Blakey.
One year he went on tour with Herbie Hancock. After signing a contract with Columbia, he recorded his first solo album. In 1982 he established a quartet with his brother Branford, Kenny Kirkland, Charnett Moffett, Jeff "Tain" Watts; when Branford and Kenny Kirkland left three years to record and tour with Sting, Marsalis formed another quartet, this time with Marcus Roberts on piano, Robert Hurst on double bass, Watts on drums. After a while the band expanded to include Wessell Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, Herlin Riley, Reginald Veal, Todd Williams; when asked about influences on his playing style, he cites Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Harry Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance, Maurice Andre, Adolph Hofner. In 1987, Marsalis helped start the Classical Jazz summer concert series at Lincoln Center in New York City; the success of the series led to Jazz at Lincoln Center becoming a department at Lincoln Center to becoming an independent entity in 1996 with organizations such as the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera.
Marsalis became artistic director of the Center and the musical director of the band, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The orchestra performs at its home venue, Rose Hall, goes on tour, visits schools, appears on radio and television, produces albums through its label, Blue Engine Records. In 2011, Marsalis and rock guitarist Eric Clapton performed together in a Jazz at Lincoln Center concert; the concert was released as the album Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 1995, he hosted the educational program Marsalis on Music on public television, while during the same year National Public Radio broadcast his series Making the Music. Both programs won the highest award given in journalism. In December 2011, Marsalis was named cultural correspondent for CBS This Morning, he is a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board. He serves as director of the Juilliard Jazz Studies program. In 2015, Cornell University appointed him A. D. White Professor-at-Large. In 1983, at the age of 22, he became the only musician to win Grammy Awards in jazz and classical music during the same year.
At the award ceremonies the next year, he won again in both categories. After his first album came out in 1982, Marsalis won polls in DownBeat magazine for Musician of the Year, Best Trumpeter, Album of the Year. In 2017 he was one of the youngest members to be inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. In 1997, he became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. In a note to him, Zarin Mehta wrote, "I was not surprised at your winning the Pulitzer Prize for Blood on the Fields, it is a broad, beautifully painted canvas that inspires. It speaks to us all... I'm sure that, somewhere in the firmament, Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong and legions of others are smiling down on you."Wynton Marsalis has won the National Medal of Arts, the National Humanities Medal, been named an NEA Jazz Master. Seven million copies of his recordings have been sold worldwide, he has toured on every continent except Antarctica. He was given the Louis Armstrong Memorial Medal and the Algur H.
Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts. He was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement and was dubbed an Honorary Dreamer by the I Have a Dream Foundation; the New York Urban League awarded
John Schneider (screen actor)
John Richard Schneider is an American actor and country music singer. He is best known for his portrayal of Beauregard "Bo" Duke in the American television action/comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard, Jonathan Kent in the 2001–11 TV series Smallville, James "Jim" Cryer on the television series The Haves and the Have Nots, created by Tyler Perry. Alongside his acting career, Schneider has been a singer since the early 1980s, releasing nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as eighteen singles; this total includes "I've Been Around Enough to Know", "Country Girls", "What's a Memory Like You", "You're the Last Thing I Needed Tonight", all of which reached the top of the Billboard country singles charts. Schneider was born on April 8, 1960, in Mount Kisco, New York, the son of Shirley Conklin and John "Jack" Schneider III, a pilot who had served in the U. S. Air Force, his family included an older brother an artist living in southern New York. John's life as an entertainer began at the age of eight, when he put on magic shows for his peers and their families.
This once got him into trouble, when he had himself chained up and tossed into a swimming pool with the intention of re-creating Harry Houdini's legendary escape act. When he was 14, he and his mother moved to Atlanta, where his love for performing continued, he went to North Springs High School in Sandy Springs GA. At the age of 17, he won the role of Bo Duke, working alongside another newcomer Tom Wopat and veteran actor James Best. For his audition, he "borrowed a dilapidated pickup truck, put on a big ol' country accent and funky hat. I went in toting a beer. I don't know whether they believed it or not, but they liked it." Schneider learned to drive the iconic Dodge Charger in the show, but to the disappointment of many fans, he admitted he never jumped the car due to the dangerous nature of the stunt. At the height of the series' popularity, he became a recording artist and a face of merchandise. In 1982, a tangle of legal suits with the producers over the distribution of merchandising royalties sent Schneider and co-star Tom Wopat leaving the show for most of a season.
They returned to their roles in February 1983. The show was canceled after 7 seasons. Schneider directed the series finale, titled Opening Night at the Boar's Nest, airing on CBS, February 8, 1985. In 2001, he portrayed Jonathan Kent, the adoptive father of Clark Kent on Smallville, starring in 100 episodes before his character was killed off. Schneider directed some episodes of Smallville, including "Talisman"; some episodes contain references to Schneider's work in The Dukes of Hazzard, e.g. the season five episode "Exposed" is notable for reuniting Schneider with his former Dukes co-star Tom Wopat. Schneider guest starred for the latter half of season five appearing in the episodes "Void" and "Oracle". Schneider returned for the season 10 premiere of Smallville, reprising his role as Jonathan Kent in a recurring role. Schneider has appeared in many films and TV series, including five guest spots on Hee Haw and the miniseries 10.5. He had a recurring role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and made guest appearances on such shows as Diagnosis: Murder, Touched by an Angel, JAG and Walker, Texas Ranger.
In 2009, Schneider made an appearance on CSI in an episode titled "Kill Me If You Can". He appeared in the first season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, in which his real-life son Chasen Schneider had a recurring role. During the summer of 2008 and early 2009, John portrayed "Marshall Bowman", he declined to continue through the second season and his character was killed off. In 2010, Schneider appeared in the series Leverage as a corrupt music executive in the season three episode "The Studio Job", in several episodes of Desperate Housewives as a retired military man and father of Keith Watson, the love interest of Bree Van de Kamp. In 2011, he starred in the film Doonby, as a drifter who comes into a small town and makes it better. However, a menacing force stalks him. "It's It's a Wonderful Life without the wonderful part," Schneider explains. "'Reach down into the throat of It's a Wonderful Life, pull it inside out and make a movie out of it."He returned to the role of Bo Duke, alongside Tom Wopat as Luke Duke, in a 2014 commercial for Autotrader.com.
In addition to acting, John Schneider owns and operates the John Schneider Studios where he writes and produces independent films in Holden, Louisiana. John Schneider Studios has created an innovative infrastructure, designed to give independent filmmakers all the tools they need to create their stories and films in one location. During Schneider's Dukes of Hazzard days, he entered into music, it was in the early 80's that Schneider would sign with Scotti Brothers Label and release his debut full-length, Now or Never, which peaked at #8 on the US Country Billboard charts. From the album came "It's Now or Never," a remake of the Elvis Presley hit, which peaked at #4 on the US Country Billboard charts in 1981 and remains the top charting Elvis cover of all time in any genre to date. Continuing to release albums year after year, Schneider released Quiet Man and If You Believe and in 1984, signed with MCA Nashville. Through MCA Nashville, Schneider released Too Good to Stop Now which included his first #1 hits, "I've Been Around Enough to Know" and "Country Girls," peaking at #1 on the CAN Country music charts, cementing his way into the country music world.
The following year, Schneider unleashed Tryin' To Outrun the Wind, followed by A Memory Like You which debuted at #1 on the US Country Billboard charts, a first for Schneider. Off the albu
Shirley Mae Jones is an American singer and actress. In her six decades of show business, she has starred as wholesome characters in a number of well-known musical films, such as Oklahoma!, The Music Man. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a vengeful prostitute in Elmer Gantry, she played the lead role of Shirley Partridge, the widowed mother of five children, in the musical situation-comedy television series The Partridge Family, which co-starred her real-life stepson, David Cassidy, son of Jack Cassidy. Jones was born on March 31, 1934, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, to Methodist parents Marjorie, a homemaker, Paul Jones, owners of the Jones Brewing Company. Jones' paternal grandfather came from Wales, she was named for child star Shirley Temple. The family moved to the small nearby town of Smithton, Pennsylvania. Jones began singing at the age of six in the Methodist Church choir and took voice lessons from Ralph Lewando. Upon attending South Huntingdon High School in Ruffs Dale, she participated in school plays.
Jones won the Miss Pittsburgh contest in 1952. Her first audition was for an open biweekly casting call held by John Fearnley, casting director for Rodgers and Hammerstein and their various musicals. At the time, Jones had never heard of Hammerstein. Fearnley was so impressed, he ran across the street to fetch Richard Rodgers, rehearsing with an orchestra for an upcoming musical. Rodgers called Oscar Hammerstein at home; the two saw great potential in Jones. She became the only singer to be put under personal contract with the songwriters, they first cast her in a minor role in South Pacific. For her second Broadway show, Me and Juliet, she started as a chorus girl, an understudy for the lead role, earning rave reviews in Chicago. Jones impressed Rodgers and Hammerstein with her musically trained voice, she was cast as the female lead in the film adaptation of their hit musical Oklahoma! in 1955. Other film musicals followed, including Carousel, April Love, The Music Man, in which she was typecast as a wholesome, kind character.
However, she won a 1960 Academy Award for her performance in Elmer Gantry portraying a woman corrupted by the title character played by Burt Lancaster. Her character becomes a prostitute who encounters her seducer years and takes her revenge; the director, Richard Brooks, had fought against her being in the movie, but after seeing her first scene, told her she would win an Oscar for her performance. She was reunited with Ron Howard in The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Jones landed the role of a lady. In 1970, after turning down the role of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, a role that went to her best friend, Florence Henderson, Jones was the producers' first choice to audition for the lead role of Shirley Partridge in The Partridge Family, an ABC musical sitcom based loosely on the real-life musical family The Cowsills; the series focused on a young widowed mother whose five children form a pop rock group after the entire family painted its signature bus to travel. She was convinced that the combination of comedy would be a surefire hit.
Jones realized, that: The problem with Partridge—though it was great for me and gave me an opportunity to stay home and raise my kids—when my agents came to me and presented it to me, they said if you do a series and it becomes a hit show, you will be that character for the rest of your life and your film career will go into the toilet, what happened. But I have no regrets. During its first season, it was screened in over 70 countries. Within months and her co-stars were pop culture television icons, her real-life 20-year-old stepson David Cassidy, an unknown actor at the time, played Shirley Partridge's eldest son Keith and became a teen idol. The show spawned a number of albums and singles by The Partridge Family, performed by David Cassidy and Shirley Jones; that same year, "I Think I Love You" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart, making Jones the second person, after Frank Sinatra, the first woman to win an acting Oscar and have a number-one hit on that chart, an achievement only matched by Cher and Barbra Streisand.
The Partridge Family won a NARM award for the best-selling single of the year in 1970 for their hit "I Think I Love You". In 1971, The Partridge Family was nominated for a Grammy under the Best New Artist category. By 1974, it was one of six series to be canceled that year to make room for new shows. Shirley Jones's friendship with David Cassidy's family began in the mid-to-late 1950s, when David was just six, after he learned about his father's divorce from his mother Evelyn Ward. Upon David's first meeting with Shirley before co-starring with her on The Partridge Family, he said, "The day he tells me that they're divorced, he tells me,'We're remarried, let me introduce you to my new wife.' He was thrilled when her first film, Oklahoma!, had come out. She's a warm, sweet, good human being, she couldn't have thawed it for me—the coldness and the ice—any more than she did." Shirley was shocked to hear her real-lif
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
Natalie Maria Cole was an American singer, voice actress and actress. Cole was the daughter of American jazz pianist Nat King Cole, she rose to success in the mid-1970s as an R&B singer with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", "Our Love". She returned as a pop singer on the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she sang traditional pop by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and won her seven Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. On December 31, 2015, Cole died at the age of 65 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, due to congestive heart failure. Natalie Cole was born at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, to American singer and jazz pianist Nat King Cole and former Duke Ellington Orchestra singer Maria Hawkins Ellington, raised in the affluent Hancock Park district of Los Angeles. Regarding her childhood, Cole referred to her family as "the black Kennedys" and was exposed to many great singers of jazz and blues.
At the age of 6, Natalie sang on her father's Christmas album: The Magic of Christmas and started performing at age 11. Cole grew up with an older adopted sister, Carole "Cookie" Cole, adopted brother Nat "Kelly" Cole, younger twin sisters Timolin and Casey. Through her mother, Cole was a grandniece of educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown, her paternal uncle Freddy Cole is a pianist with numerous albums and awards. Cole enrolled in Northfield School for Girls, an elite New England preparatory school before her father died of lung cancer in February 1965. Soon afterwards she began having a difficult relationship with her mother, she enrolled in the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She transferred to University of Southern California where she pledged the Upsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, she transferred back to the University of Massachusetts, where she majored in Child Psychology and minored in German, graduating in 1972. Cole grew up listening to a variety of music that included Janis Joplin.
After graduation in 1972 she began singing at small clubs with Black Magic. Clubs welcomed her because she was Nat King Cole's daughter, only to be disappointed when she began singing cover versions of R&B and rock songs. With the assistance of Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancey, a songwriting and producing duo, she recorded some songs in a studio in Chicago, owned by Curtis Mayfield, her demo tapes led to a contract with Capitol, resulting in the release of Cole's debut album, which included songs that reminded listeners of Aretha Franklin. Franklin contended that songs such as "This Will Be", "I Can't Say No", others were offered to her while she was recording the album You but she had turned them down. Released in 1975, the album became an instant success thanks to "This Will Be", which became a top ten hit and won her a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. A second single, "Inseparable" became a hit. Both songs reached number-one on the R&B chart. Cole won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards for her accomplishments, making her the first African-American artist to attain that feat.
The media's billing of Cole as the "new Aretha Franklin" started a rivalry between the two singers. The feud boiled over at the 1976 Grammy Awards when Cole beat Franklin in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category, a category which Franklin had won eight times before losing to Cole. Becoming an instant star, Cole responded to critics who predicted a sophomore slump with Natalie, released in 1976; the album, like Inseparable, became a gold success thanks to the funk-influenced cut "Sophisticated Lady" and the jazz-influenced "Mr. Melody". Cole released her first platinum record with her third release, Unpredictable thanks to the number-one R&B hit, "I've Got Love on My Mind". An album track, the album's closer, "I'm Catching Hell", nonetheless became a popular Cole song during live concert shows. In 1977, Cole issued her fourth release and second platinum album, which included another signature Cole hit, "Our Love". Cole was the first female artist to have two platinum albums in one year.
To capitalize on her fame, Cole starred on her own TV special, which attracted such celebrities as Earth, Wind & Fire, appeared on the TV special, "Sinatra and Friends." In 1978, Cole released her first live album, Natalie Live! In early 1979, the singer was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; that same year, she released two more albums, I Love You So and the Peabo Bryson duet album, We're the Best of Friends. Both albums reached gold status in the U. S. reflecting her continuing popularity. Following the release of her eighth album, 1980's Don't Look Back, Cole's career began to take a detour. While Cole scored an adult contemporary hit with the soft rock ballad "Someone That I Used to Love" off the album, the album itself failed to go gold. In 1981, Cole's personal problems, including battles with drug addiction, began to attract public notice, her career suffered as a result. In 1983, following the release of her album I'm Ready, released on Epic, Cole entered a rehab facility in Connecticut and stayed there for a period of six months.
Following her release, she signed with the Atco imprint Modern Records and released Dangerous, which started a slow resurgence for Cole in terms of record sales and chart success. In 1987, she changed to EMI-Manhattan Records and released the album Everlasting, which returned her to the t
Christmas is an annual festival, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it; the traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies. When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who further disseminated the information.
Although the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, the church in the early fourth century fixed the date as December 25. This corresponds to the date of the solstice on the Roman calendar. Most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, adopted universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which corresponds to a January date in the Gregorian calendar. For Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas; the celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, pulling Christmas crackers and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, wreaths and holly.
In addition, several related and interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses; the economic impact of Christmas has grown over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. "Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass". The word is recorded as Crīstesmæsse in 1038 and Cristes-messe in 1131. Crīst is from Greek Khrīstos, a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ, "Messiah", meaning "anointed"; the form Christenmas was historically used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal. Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found in print, based on the initial letter chi in Greek Khrīstos, "Christ", though numerous style guides discourage its use.
In addition to "Christmas", the holiday has been known by various other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as "midwinter", or, more as Nātiuiteð. "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās. In Old English, Gēola referred to the period corresponding to December and January, equated with Christian Christmas. "Noel" entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself from the Latin nātālis meaning "birth". The gospels of Luke and Matthew describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary. In Luke and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, Jesus is born there and laid in a manger. Angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, shepherds came to adore him. Matthew adds that the magi follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews. King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and returns to Nazareth.
The nativity stories recounted in Matthew and Luke prompted early Christian writers to suggest various dates for the anniversary. Although no date is indicated in the gospels, early Christians connected Jesus to the Sun through the use of such phrases as "Sun of righteousness." The Romans marked the winter solstice on December 25. The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome on December 25, 336. Christmas played a role in the Arian controversy of the fourth century. After this controversy was played out, the prominence of the holiday declined; the feast regained prominence after 800. Associating it with drunkenness and other misbehavior, the Puritans banned Christmas during the Reformation, it remained disreputable. In the early 19th century, Christmas was reconceived by Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, other authors as a holiday emphasizing family, kind-heartedness, gift-giving, Santa Claus. Christmas does not appear on th