Monthly Archives: May 2013

Idina Menzel 5.30.13 Thought of the Day

“I’ve been singing since I was born. It’s something I do everywhere I go. In the shower, walking down the street. I don’t need any impetus to do it. I just sing” — Idina Menzel

English: Singer/actress Idina Menzel outside t...
English: Singer/actress Idina Menzel outside the Today Show studios following an appearance and performance promoting the release of her debut Warner Bros album “I Stand.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Idina Kim Menzel  was born in Queens, New York City, New York, in  1971. She is 42 years old.

She is one of two girls born to Helene and Stuart Mentzel. She grew up in New Jersey and Syosset, New York. She attended the Tisch School of the Arts and earned her Bachelors of fine Arts from New York University.  A singer since childhood Menzel began to perform professionally at weddings and bar mitzvahs as a teenager.

She had her first Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes of fame as Maureen Johnson in RENT in 1996. She originated the role in New York Theatre Workshop and moved with the show to Broadway. Menzel later played Maureen in the 2005 movie version of the play. She earned a Tony nomination the role.

Here’s Take Me or Leave Me...

Menzel had a string of smaller, but successful gigs both on and off Broadway  (including: Tha Vagina Monologues, Aida, The Wild party, Summer of ‘42, and a Hair encore concert) but she really defied gravity with her second big role as Elphaba in Wicked.

The show, based on the Gregory Maguire novel, hit the Great White Way in 2003. She won the 2004 Tony for her role as the green witch.

Her post Wicked stage resume includes See What I Wana See, Chess and Nero. Next year she will return to Broadway to open in Tom Kit and Brian Yorkey’s musuical If/Then.

In 2008 Menzel released I Stand on Warner Bros. Records. The album is a …

powerful collection of exquisite new songs written by the Tony Award winning actress/singer/songwriter…filled with pop tunes and heartfelt ballads—intimate yet universal stories of life, its challenges, relationships and of course – the subject of love. [Idena Menzel.com ]

Here’s Brave from I Stand:

She tours domestically and internationally to promote both her original work from the album and her Broadway work.

Most recently Menzel has appeared on television’s Glee’s.

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Farm Fresh Challenge: Turnip and Ham Salad

Turnip and Ham Salad

Turnip and Ham Salad

Do you know CHOPPED? It’s a TV series on the Food Network where professional chefs are presented with a basket of mystery ingredients and given a brief amount of time to come up with amazing dishes. The dishes are judged by a distinguished panel of chefs and the winner, after three grueling rounds, gets $10,000. I’ve always liked that show because it reminds me of dinner time at my house. Only… my basket is the refrigerator,  my judges are my family, and my reward is their gratitude.

It is summer here in Maryland and that means our family enjoys a weekly box from a local farm. We are part of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and every week we pick up our very own mystery box from the farmer. We get a share of eggs and a variety of vegetables from the farm. And, although we get a reminder email every week that lists what will be in the box — they even give us some serving suggestions –I always open the box with a bit of Chopped inspired glee. For me it is Chopped, Parkton Style.

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

[ritaLOVEStoWRITE and Chopped Parkton Styles is NOT associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network. My apologies to Tim Allen.]

With that in mind I’ve decided to dedicate one blog a week to a recipe based on something I cooked from the box. Today is the first installment. — Turnip and Ham Salad.

I was doubly inspired this week because fellow blogger 124 Park posted a beautiful recipe for Blue Cheese & Bacon Potato Salad. [Click Here to see 124 Park’s yummy recipe.]

In the CSA box I had:

  • romaine lettuce

IMG_5117

  • bunch turnips

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  • bunch carrots

IMG_5113

  • eggs

IMG_5118

  • radishes

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Other Ingredients:

  • shallots
    IMG_5111
  • chives (fresh from the garden)
    IMG_5122
  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
    IMG_5120
  • dijon mustard
  • honey
    IMG_5128
  • lemon peel
    IMG_5094
  • ham
    IMG_5131
  • cheese (I used grated Italian Blend)

Directions:

1. Chop the romane and set aside.

2. Remove the greens from the turnips and radishes and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Scrape the carrots, cut off the tops and ends and cut into 1/4″ chunks. Put the turnips, radish and carrots into a large pot with salted water and boil until tender. About 10 minutes. Drain and run veggies under cold water to stop them from cooking further.

IMG_5125

3. Hard boil the eggs.

4. While the veggies and eggs are cooking …  whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallots, chives, chive flowers, dijon mustard, honey and lemon peel in a large bowl.

5. Cut the ham into 1/2″ cubes. Toss them into the pot you used for the veggies and cook until done. (The ham I used was pre-cooked, so it just needed to be heated through).

6. Toss the veggies, ham and eggs with the oil, vinegar mustard dressing.

7. Plate over romaine and top with a tablespoon of grated cheese.

Turnip and Ham Salad

Enjoy!

This was a big hit with my family, and I will definitely be hitting this recipe again.

Special thanks to 124 Park, Chopped and the Food Network.


Xin QiJi 5.28.13 Thought of the Day

Precious hairpin, broken, halved
At the Peach-Leaf Ferry where
We parted; darkening mist and willow shroud the place.
I dread to climb the tower-top stair;
Nine days out of ten wind raves, rain torrents race:
It breaks my heart to see the scarlet petals scatter one by one.
All this with nobody to care
Above it – who is there
Will bid the oriole’s singing cease?
Xin QiJi

[Image courtesy: OnePlaceTravel.com]

[Image courtesy: OnePieceTravel.com]

Xin QiJi was born on this day in Licheng (now Jinan) in the Shandong Province  of China in  1140. Today is the 873rd anniversary of his birth.

He was born to an age of conflict. Northern China was occupied by a nomadic “horde” from north-east China called the Jin or Jurchen.

In his childhood his grandfather told him about the time when the Han Chinese ruled the north and told him to be an honorable man and seek revenge against the barbarian for the nation. It was then when he developed his patriotic feelings. [Cultural China.com]

At 22 he began his military career with a group of fifty men under his command. He fought along side Geng Jing with his 10,000 strong army. After some success in 1161 Xin QiJi convinced Geng Jing to …

 …Join forces with the Southern Song army in order to fight the Jurchen more effectively. … but just as Xin finished a meeting with the Southern Song Emperor… Xin learned that Geng Jing had been assassinated by their former friend-turned-traitor, Zhang Anguo (张安国). With merely fifty men, Xin fought his way through the Jurchen camp and captured Zhang Anguo. Xin then led his men safely back across the border and had Zhang Anguo decapitated by the emperor. [Ibid]

His bravery, military prowless, and loyality to Geng Jing, his men and the Emperor “gained him a place in the Southern Song court.” [Ibid]

He was frustrated by the courts appeasement policy toward the invaders, and kept from a position of influence by being given “a series of minor posts” [Ibid] in the court.

[Image courtesy: ibid]

[Image courtesy: Cultural China.com]

Although he was an effective ruler on the district level (where he improved the irrigation system, helped poverty-struck peasants and maintained  well trained troops) it is through the  poetry that he began to write when he moved to the South that is known for today.

Xin Qiji’s Song poems are “powerful and sonorous , embracing the world and history”. As a patriotic lyricist , he sang of the sorrows and joys of the time , and the indignation and hope of the nation , pushing the Song poems up a new peak . [Ibid]

When young, I knew not the taste of sorrow,
But loved to mount the high towers;
I loved to mount the hight towers
To compose a new song,urging myself to talk about sorrow.
Now that I have known all the taste of sorrow,
I would like to talk about it, but refrain;
I would like to talk about it, but refrain,

And say merely: “It is chilly; what a fine autumn!” [Ibid]

-Xin QiJi

[Image courtesy: Cultural China.com]

[Image courtesy: Cultural China.com]


Muffin Monday Dried Plum, Date, Citrus Muffins

Ahhh the perks of writing a muffin blog! pianogirl88, one of my followers, recently was kind enough to give me a cookbook called A Reader’s Cookbook by Judith Choate. Today’s recipe was inspired by the Cranberry Nut Bread recipe found in the book. As usual, I changed things up considerably. No longer do the muffins have cranberries or nuts.

IMG_5107

Dried Plum, Date, Citrus Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried chopped Dates
  • 1 cup of water
    IMG_0119
  • 1/2 cup chopped Died Plums
    IMG_5085
  • 2 cups of Flour
    IMG_5086
  • 1 cup of regular Sugar
    IMG_5087
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
    IMG_4910
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
    IMG_5090
  • 1 egg
    Egg
  • 3/4 cup Orange Juice
    IMG_5093

Directions:

1. Combine the chopped Dates and the hot water and let sit for 5 minutes.

IMG_5083

2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Combine the Flour, Sugar, Baking Power, Baking Soda, Salt, Lemon Peel in a large bowl.

4. Add the melted butter to the dry mixture and combine until you have a crumbly mixture.

5. Combine the Egg and the Orange Juice in a liquid measuring cup (stir until Egg is well broken and incorporated into the Orange Juice.)

6. Add Wet  to the dry and mix until smooth.

7. Add the chopped dry plums.

8. DRAIN the dates and add to the batter.

IMG_5097

9. Prep muffin cups by spraying lightly with cooking spray.

10. Fill muffin cups , distributing eveningly.

These are my awesome new silicone muffin cups.

These are my awesome new silicone muffin cups.

11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Test with the toothpick test.

12. Cool for 5 minutes before releasing from muffin cups and enjoying.

IMG_5102

Recipe tasters agree, these muffins are a hit. Maggie S. liked “the kick of sweetness the dried plums brought to the muffin”, while Andrew S. commented that “The muffin had a great consistency–soft and crumbly without entering the realm of the glorified cupcakes that are common these days, and always maintaining structural integrity.  The plums were gooey even after the muffin had cooled down, and it had an excellent level of sweetness overall…”


Helena Bonham Carter 5.26.13 Thought of the Day

“I should get a few ribs taken out, because I’ll be in a corset for the rest of my life.” —Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter at the press conference o...

Helena Bonham Carter at the press conference of “Toast”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Helena Bonham Carter was born on this day in London, England in 1966. She is 47 years old.

She is youngest of three children born to Elena and Raymond Bonham Carter. Her mother is a psychotherapist, her father was a banker. She went to South Hampstead High School  and Westminster School.  Although not formally trained as an actress Bonham Carter had plenty of gumption and talent. When she won second place in a national poetry writing competition she used the money she won to put her head shot in a casting directory. She started to get commercials and made a few television dramas.

Her first feature film was in 1985 with A Room with a View in which she played Lucy Honeychurch. The following year she nabbed the title role as Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane. Period drama seemed in her blood and she was quickly dubbed the “Corset Queen” for her roles like:

  • Ophelia in Hamlet,
  • Caroline Abbott in Where Angels Fear to Tread,
  • Helen Schiegel in Howards End,
  • Elizabeth in Frankenstein,
  • Olivia in Twelfth Night and
  • Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove.

But she could bring the drama (nd occasionally  a darkly comic sensibility) to more modern roles too, as she did in Fight Club, Live from Baghdad, and Terminator Salvation.

After 2001, when she played Ari, a sympathetic ape in Planet of the Apes, she seemed to take on a new type of typecasting and this beautiful actress was suddenly thrust into the role of the haggard witch…which is what she played in Big Fish and the Harry Potter. She also did  creepy variations on that genre with her roles as:

  • Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd,
  • Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables
  • Miss Havisham in Great Expectations and
  • the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.

Then she did a perfectly lovely, warm and very funny turn as the Queen Mom in the wonderful The King’s Speech. She earned an Academy Award nomination for the role.

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter filming T...

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter filming The King’s Speech at Queen Street Mill Textile Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upcoming for films for Bonham Carter include:

  • The Lone Ranger
  • The Young and Prodigious Spivet and
  • Burton & Taylor (She plays Taylor to Dominic West’s Burton for the BBC biopic that promises to out act the Lifetime / Lindsay Lohan movie on the famous pair, Liz and Dick.)

Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean:Eddard “Ned” Stark

Alas today is the final Saturday in a month full of Sean Bean. Sorry ladies.

Click here to read about his work as Odysseus, Boromir, and as Ian Howe.

Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHO: Eddark Stark

Bran’s father sat solemnly on his horse, long brown hair stirring in the wind. His closely trimmed beard was shot with white, making him look older than his thirty-five years. He had a grim cast to his grey eyes this day, and he seemed not at all the man who would sit before the fire in the evening and talk softly of the age of heroes and the children of the forest. He had taken off Father’s face, Bran thought and donned the face of Lord Stark of Winterfell. [A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, Bantam Books, New York, New York]

Dust slipcase and title page of George R.r. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

Dust slipcase and title page of George R.r. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

FROM: Game of Thrones

BY: George R. R. Martin

RELEASED: The book was released in 1996. The HBO mini series premiered in 2011

Game of Thrones (soundtrack)

Game of Thrones (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PROS: Ned Stark is a stand up guy. He loves his family deeply and would do anything for them. He’s a strong leader and has a highly defined set of morals. He is honorable and honest. He is a loyal friend. “Stoic, duty-bound and honorable, Ned Stark embodied the values of the north.” [HBO Game of Thrones viewer’s Guide]

Direwolf illustration from the book. Teh Direwolf is the symbol for House Stark.

Direwolf illustration from the book. Teh Direwolf is the symbol for House Stark.

CONS: He is too much of a stickler for the rules to get along in the political cest pool of Kings Landing. He is cold and unbending to those who don’t know him. He holds a grudge.

QUOTE: “Winter is coming

MOST SHINING MOMENT: Forced with the choice between honor and truth (and death) or saving his daughters and lying (thus condemning himself to a life in the Night Watch) he goes breaks his very moral code for the sake of the girls. Oh, that every one in Kings Landing were as honorable.

Direwolf illustration from the HBO miniseries

Direwolf illustration from the HBO miniseries

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Lord Stark is both the strongest and most gullible character in the book. He’s an incredible role model for his family, but sadly, not every one is playing by his rules. So I guess Ned’s least shining moments happen when he assumes that other characters will act as nobly as he has acted toward them. Most notably when he tells Cersie that he knows none of her children are legitimate.

So his most shining moment and least shining moment result in the same thing… when asked what madness lead him to tell the queen that he’d unearthed the truth about Prince Joffrey’s birth, honorable Ned Stark replies “The madness of mercy. That she might save her children.” Oh, Ned, will you never learn?

End paper from A Game of Thrones showing a map of the North. The Starks live in Winterfell which is about center on the map.

End paper from A Game of Thrones showing a map of the North. The Starks live in Winterfell which is about center on the map.

This may just be Sean Bean’s most noble role to date. And he wears every minute of stress and responsiblity of leadership  on his weathered face. The range of interactions from how he treats his family to how he deals with the small council is a joy to watch. I  have other problems with the production (as usual with HBO there’s too much graphic…well everything) but I have no problem with the honorable Ned Stark… or the man who plays him.


“The Handels” A Saga

Again this week I’m doing a bit of creative writing with the help of Viewfromtheside’s writing prompt blog. This week’s prompt was “Handles.” I took it in a kind of odd direction. I hope you lie it…

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel Deutsch: Ge...

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel Deutsch: Georg Friedrich Händel (1733) Español: Georg Friedrich Händel en 1733 Français : Georg Friedrich Haendel en 1733 Nederlands: Georg Friedrich Händel Polski: G. F. Händel w 1733 roku Русский: Георг Фридрих Гендель (1733) Svenska: Georg Friedrich Händel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[Communiqué #2)

25 April, 2012

Dear Sirs,

I thank you for your very kind inquiry and your interest in my family. It is certainly gratifying to know that after so many years the Handel name has not been lost to the dusty pages of history.

I find your proposal intriguing to say the least. A major motion picture biography on my esteemed uncle would certainly prove both educational and entertaining for your audience. And, as you say, it would have a top rate sound track “built in”.

Indeed my uncle had a long and interesting life, and although he was notoriously private in nature he had many friends. His travels though out the continent and his intimate connections with nobility will no doubt titillate your viewing audience.

Yes, I am sure we can come to a most beneficial agreement as to your researching our family archives and as my uncle’s executress I can guarantee your access to many of his personal effects.

I am most anxious for this project to proceed to the next level, but for the integrity of the Handel name I must insist on having some over sight on the script and production. I have no doubt that you will want this film to be as biographically accurate as possible, and, as this is my most sincere wish, I’m sure we will have a most fruitful enterprise.

Yours most sincerely,

Johanna Fridericia Floerken

Westminister, London

————————————————–

[Communiqué #3)

Date: 5.14.12

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

CC: Lester Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.

Johanna,

So glad to have you on board with our little project. I’ll have our legal department write-up a contract and if all goes well we’ll get some researchers over to your side of the pond next month.

Yours,

Laurie

PS This is going to be a great movie!

————————————————–

[Communiqué #53)

Date: 8.6.12

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

CC: Lester Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.

Johanna,

Some really exciting news on the project…

We’ve got our first star lined up. Are you sitting down? Daniel Craig has agreed to play George Frideric Handel! And Anthony Hopkins has agreed to play the King.

The latest draft is attached.

What’s your availability next week? I need to set up some time to scout for locations.

Yours,

Laurie

————————————————–

[Communiqué #78)

Date: 10.24.12

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

CC: Lester Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.

Johanna,

I think you are really going to love this… We’ve reworked the concept to be cable network friendly. We’re in negotiations with Showtime and HBO right now and are feeling really good about it. This way we can expand the script to a multi episode format. We are thinking 6 or 8 part miniseries. That’s wonderful, isn’t it?

Yours,

Laurie

————————————————–

[Communiqué #103)

Date: 11.30.12

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

CC: Lester Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.

Johanna,

And we have a network! Hello HALLMARK!

I think you’ll find that Hallmark does a wonderful job bringing a really human side out of every story. We didn’t want all the sex and violence that the HBO and Showtime folks were demanding anyway.  This is going to be great.

Yours,

Laurie

————————————————–

[Communiqué #158)

Date: 1.15.13

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

CC: Lester Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.

Johanna,

Well, every production has its ups and downs, and I’m afraid the change from major release to miniseries has meant a change in schedule that didn’t work for our line up of stars. Mr. Craig and Mr. Hopkins have had to step away from the project. But I am 100% positive we’ll find some one just as dynamic.

— Laurie

PS You can stop looking for possible locations too. We’ll be filming at the studio here in Hollywood. It’s a cost thing.

————————————————–

[Communiqué #78)

Date: 4.13.13

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

Johanna,

Well we found our Young Handel… None other than Mr. Justin Bieber. The Biebs is looking to expand his acting cred and “The Handels” is just the right project for him. He’s all about the music.

Things are really looking up.

–Laurie

PS Lester is no longer Exec Producer on the project. (Not like he was doing any of the work, right?)

————————————————–

[Communiqué #109)

Date: 4.22.13

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: Laurie Donlevi-Jones
Project Manager
“The Handels”
Hollywood, California, USA

Johanna,

I’m really excited about our the new stars we’ve lines up for the roles of adult Handel and the King… Eddy Murphy and Dick Van Dyke. I know the casting is a little edgy, but I think you’ll agree it is just perfect.

— Laurie

———————————————

[Communiqué #126)

Date: 5.23.13

To: Johanna Fridericia Floerken
Westminster, London, England

From: The Law Office of Ward, Huggins and Huggins

RE: “The Handels”

CC: Lester Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.; Laurie Donlevi-Jones, Amazing Productings, LLC.

Dear Mrs. Fridericia Floerken,

Please be advised that the project known as “The Handels” as been put on hiatus for an undetermined amount of time…

————————————————


Pieter Neefs the Younger 5.22.13 Thought of the Day

Interior of a Cathedral

Interior of a Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pieter Neefs, the Younger was born on this day in Antwerp, Belgium,  in 1620. Today is the  393rd anniversary of his birth.

Pieter  was one of five children born to Pieter Neefs the Elder and Maria Lauterbeens Neef.  Along with his brother, Ludovicus, he learned to paint from his father,  an established architectural painter. By 1640, when Pieter the Younger was 20 years old, he was working with his father and brother full-time, although he’d never gone through formal training or been registered at the guild hall.

Interior of a Church

Interior of a Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The subject of most of the Neefs paintings was the interiors of the great churches of Antwerp. The grand interiors of a church allowed the Neefs to explore both perspective and light in their detailed paintings.

Their most frequent subject was the interior of Antwerp Cathedral; the details of sculpture, altars and paintings vary in accuracy, and sometimes the subject seems to be very freely interpreted. The Neefs also liked to depict the effects of artificial illumination in crypt-like spaces (in the manner of Hendrick van Steenwijck the younger). [Sphinx Fine Art . com]

The artist worked together, often on the same subject, so it is sometimes difficult to tell where one Pieter’s work ends and the next Pieter’s work begins.

English: Interior of a Gothic Church

English: Interior of a Gothic Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Pieter Neefs the Younger’s work makes …

a more reserved impression; their colouring is smoother, and they are not as dark in the shadows, while their drawing is sharper. Solely working as architectural painters, they had the figures added to the finished works by colleagues. [Dorotheum.com]

He died some time after 1675.

Interior of a Gothic Church

Interior of a Gothic Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Bernie Taupin 5.22.13 Thought of the Day

English: Bernie Taupin attending the premiere ...

English: Bernie Taupin attending the premiere of The Union at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Don’t let the sun go down on me.” — Bernie Taupin

Bernard John Taupin was born on this day in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England in 1950. He is 63 years old.

Bernie was the middle son born to Robert and Daphne Taupin. His father was a farmer and stock man, his mother a nanny. He has an older brother, Tony. Little brother Christopher (aka Kit) came along 11 years after Bernie was born.

Bernie credits his mother and paternal grandfather for instilling him with an appreciation for literature, nature, history, music and poetry. Although Bernie didn’t have much interest in traditional education, he demonstrated an uncommon flair for writing.  [Bernie Taupin Biography]

At 15 he dropped out of school  and spent two years hopping from one dead-end job to the next in rural England. Then, in 1967, he saw an ad in New Musical Express. Liberty Records was looking for talent. He answered the ad. So did Reginald Kenneth Dwight (aka Elton John). The two joined forces to become one of the best song writing teams in the history of rock and roll.

Publicity photo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Publicity photo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With a musical partnership that has lasted longer than many marriages the John and Taupin have released 356 songs (more than “Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards combined” [Elton John.com]  According to John Taupin makes it easy…

…He’s a very cinematic writer. I get a piece of paper [from him] and it has as story on it. Then I sit down at the keyboard and hope and pray that something is going to come out. Because the story that he’s telling affects what I’m hearing. [Ibid]

Although Taupin wrote with other musicians (Alice Cooper, Melissa Manchester and Heart to name a few) it was the songs he forged with Elton John that became the sound track to a post Beatles generation.

Their first hit was  1970’s Your Song. 

[OK I’m going to stop writing for a while and just let you listen to some of the best of Bernie and Elton… feel free to sing along and play air guitar/piano or drums as you wish]

Here’s Tiny Dancer

and Benny and Jets 

and Yellow Brick Road

and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

and Philadelphia Freedom

and Sad Songs (Say So Much)

and Daniel

and Sun Go Down On Me

Bernie lives with his family on a working ranch in southern California where he breeds and trains cutting horses, hosts his own radio show, Bernie Taupin’s American Roots Radio, on Sirius/ XM Channel 30, and pursues a successful career as a painter. This year, “Beyond Words: An Exhibition Of Contemporary & Extraordinary Artworks By Famed Lyricist & Artist Bernie Taupin” has been touring select art galleries across America. [Elton John.com]


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