February 7 – Eubie Blake, Pinocchio, Crawdaddy, Still Crazy

1887

Birthday of ragtime and jazz pianist, composer and life-long smoker Eubie Blake.

Eubie (James Hubert) lived 96 years; his compositions include Charleston Rag , Memories of You , and I’m Just Wild About Harry

If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

1940

Premiere of Disney’s second animated feature Pinocchio.

Its soundtrack — including When You Wish Upon A Star (written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline) — wins two Oscars that year… making it the first animated film to win in a competitive category. (The song was covered by Gene Simmons in 1978!)

It’s based on children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, a deep and inspired fairy tale and allegory. A puppet becomes a real boy after learning from a series of adventures to be ‘brave, truthful, and unselfish’. May such fortune shine on us all.

It also is an allegory of contemporary society, a look at the contrast between respectability and free instinct in a very severe, formal time.

Italian author Carlo Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini) published it serially beginning in 1881; he died in 1890 never knowing how famous it would become. At least fourteen English-language films are based on the story.

See also: List of Disney film soundtracks(*)

1966

Paul Williams

Paul Williams debuts fanzine Crawdaddy!.

‘The first U.S. magazine of rock music criticism’ — at first 10 mimeographed pages — is published in Greenwich Village … a year and a half before Rolling Stone(R.I.P.)

When I started it people said, how could you possibly write about rock ‘n’ roll? You know, there’s nothing to write about–ridiculous! And so we were into having people take the music seriously.

After leaving Crawdaddy in 1968, Williams writes more than 25 books; from 1982 to 1992 he runs the Philip K. Dick Society, publishing 30 newsletters.

 ( Williams site ▷Williams interview ▹

1975

Nonpareil US singer/songwriter Paul Simon … one of the great pop songsters of the latter 20th century … gets his first solo US#1 (UK#23) with 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

Other top-40 hits from 1976 Grammy-winning album Still Crazy After All These Years (US#1,UK#6) include the title track, My Little Town (US#9) and Gone At Last (US#23).

In 2006, Time magazine called Simon one of the 100 ‘people who shape our world.’
( Website ) ( Simon & Garfunkle site )

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