Roadshow movies once provided musical magic

Roadshow movies once provided musical magicUnfortunately, nothing lasts forever Roadshow movies were once a thing, particularly in the 1960s. And certain characteristics defined the genre. You could reserve seats in advance; tickets were pricier than the norm; and the films were longer than usual, thus facilitating an intermission that mimicked the live theatrical experience. While it didn’t quite have live…

Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright

Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is brightBing Crosby’s Silent Night is one of the best-selling records of all time Silent Night, probably the most famous Christmas carol of all, will be over 200 years old this Christmas Eve. It was first performed at the parish church in the Austrian village of Oberndorf during midnight mass on Dec. 24, 1818. And, fittingly,…

Could Chapel Hart change the face of country music?

The trio received a golden buzzer from all four judges and the host, only the second time in America’s Got Talent's history it has happened

Could Chapel Hart change the face of country music?While I don’t watch America’s Got Talent, the occasional video clip has caught my eye on social media. One that went viral on the recently-completed Season 17 involving Chapel Hart, a country music vocal group, has led to a national audience, unexpected stardom and a bright future. Chapel Hart, consisting of sisters Danica and Devynn…

The past is a foreign country. Just ask Keith Richards

The changes in attitudes over the past half-century are little short of astounding

The past is a foreign country. Just ask Keith RichardsIt was 55 years ago this summer that English journalist William Rees-Mogg penned a widely read editorial for London’s Sunday Times. Borrowing from the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope, Rees-Mogg’s piece was titled Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel? In it, Rees-Mogg took issue with the severity of the legal treatment meted out in consequence…

Student aspires to take principles of ethical leadership back to Afghanistan

After escaping from Afghanistan, Aftikhar Mominzada feels an obligation to create opportunities for others

Student aspires to take principles of ethical leadership back to AfghanistanIt was the worst case of bad timing. Aftikhar Mominzada was elated after graduating from the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, India, in the spring of 2021. When he started the academy’s international baccalaureate program in middle school, it was the opportunity of a lifetime, freeing him from the parochial religious education he was likely to receive…

Black History Month gains meaning when black communities reclaim it

The month must move beyond symbolic gesture to include action, says U of A scholar

Black History Month gains meaning when black communities reclaim itAs a graduate student at Western University more than 20 years ago, Michael A. Bucknor was asked for his thoughts on Black History Month by a student journalist. His response was deliberately equivocal: “I am more than black and less than black.” The resulting profile in Western’s Gazette stirred controversy, with some wondering if Bucknor was claiming…

What Elvis Costello got right in Oliver’s Army

Neocolonialism and huge military budgets are prevalent. So is the myth that militarism means order

What Elvis Costello got right in Oliver’s ArmyIn our age of cancel culture, it seems odd to see an artist cancelling himself. New-wave icon Elvis Costello recently asked radio stations not to play one of the most popular original hits of his storied career, Oliver’s Army. He added that he will no longer perform the song publicly. The song contains the n-word,…

Blue Christmas: How Elvis turned it into a seasonal classic

How something quite ordinary can be transformed by a specific performance

In late 1965, coming to Canada from Ireland had its revelations. My Dublin hometown may have been more architecturally distinguished, but it couldn’t match Toronto’s relative abundance of decently paying jobs. There were also things like diners – which I’d only seen in American movies – and the language esoterica pertaining to “double-double” coffees. Top…

O Tannenbaum symbolizes the entire celebration of Christmas

The Christmas tree is a universal symbol that delivers a message of endurance and light during the dark winter months

The traditional German song O Tannenbaum is often translated as O Christmas Tree. This translation is only partly accurate, however. The English version is quite different from the German: the essence of the German song is far more universal. One of the beauties of learning languages is discovering what words and poetry mean to those…
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