Category Archives: Thurgood Marshall

Thought of the Day 8.28.12 Shania Twain

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

–Shania Twain

Greatest Hits (Shania Twain album)

Greatest Hits (Shania Twain album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eilleen Regina Edwards was born on this day in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1965. She is 47 years old.

She is the eldest of five siblings and grew up about 500 miles north of Toronto with her mother Sharon and her adoptive father Jerry Twain.

According to the biography on her official web site she …

“grew up listening to Waylon, Willie, Dolly, Tammy, all of them…But we also listened to the Mamas and the Papas, The Carpenters, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. The many different styles of music I was exposed to as a child not only influenced my vocal style, but even more so, my writing style.” [ShaniaTwain.com]

Impressed by the girl’s singing, guitar playing and song writing skills, her mother became her defacto agent and  began to book the 8-year-old Twain at local venues and radio and TV spots. Twain says she would be awaken after midnight and taken to local clubs to sing with house bands — bar stopped selling alcohol at midnight.

The “b” side of Twain’s rural Canadian upbringing was summers spent on reforestation crews with her stepfather where she “learned to wield” a different kind of axe (and “handle a chain saw as well as any man.”)

An automobile accident took the lives of  both Sharon and Jerry Twain, and 21-year-old Eilleen took over raising her little brothers. She got a job at the Deerhurst Resort in Ontario which not only allowed her to pay the bills but also introduced her to musical theatre.

At 24 Twain recorded a demo of original music and changed her first name to Shania (Ojibway Indian for “I’m on my way” in honor of Jerry Twain’s Ojibway’s ancestry.) She signed on with Mercury Records and put out Shania Twain in 1993. The CD included the hits “Dance With The One That Brought You” and “What Made You Say That.”

She joined forces with rock producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange  (both professionally and personally — the two married  in 1993.) Her single Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under came out in 1995 and went to #11 on the  country charts. Woman In Me, her second album made “Twain the best-selling country female artist of all time. “ “Any Man of Mine,” “(If You’re Not In It for Love) I’m Outta Here!” “You Win My Love and “No One Needs to Know” all went to number 1, and the project won Country Album of the Year at the Grammies.

She released Come On Over in 1997 and listeners from pop and rock stations took her invitation seriously. She became a crossover artist with “You’re Still the One”  (which was #1 in Country and #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart) and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman.” The album sold over 11 million copies.

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In 2002 she continued in a more pop vain with the release of  UP.  In the music video  for the single I’m Gonna Getcha Good she leaves behind her trademark bare midriff and  jeans and opts for a futuristic Tron style leather get up as she takes a motorcycle ride through a dystopian landscape.

In 2011 she did a six part documentary on the OWN network and released her memoirs. To date she has sold over 75 million cds and has earned the moniker “The Queen of Country Pop.”


Thought of the Day 7.2.12

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1908. Today would have been his 104th birthday.

The grandson of a slave, Marshall knew first hand the long arm of a segregated society.  In 1930, after graduating cum laude from Lincoln University,  he applied to the University of Maryland Law School, but wasn’t accepted because of his race. Marshall went instead to Howard University Law School where he graduated magna cum laude. He later successfully sued UofM to admit Donald Murray to the Law school.

He moved to New York and became a special counsel for the NAACP. He helped draft  the constitutions for Ghana and Tanzania on the behest of the United Nations.

Marshall argued in numerous Supreme Court cases, most revolving around segregation. The landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas demolished legal “separate but equal” segregation in the United States.

In 1961 Marshall was appointed by President Kennedy  as a circuit judge.  In 1965 President Johnson appointed him Solicitor General, and in 1967 Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. He served on the Court until 1991.

He saw the Constitution as  living document , noting in 1987 on the bicentennial of the Constitution that:

“the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and major social transformations to attain the system of constitutional government and its respect for the freedoms and individual rights, we hold as fundamental today…Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.”

 

Thurgood Marshall, appointed by Kennedy to the...

Thurgood Marshall, appointed by Kennedy to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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