The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Annals of Crime #60

Original Caption:

Birmingham -- Mike Fox and Orville Clevenger appear in custody, after they were picked up along with four other men involved in the on-stage attack on Negro entertainer Nat 'King' Cole before a packed audience. Police interrupted the attack, which they said was an apparent attempt to abduct Cole. The singer was treated and reappeared before the all-white audience, which applauded for nearly 15 minutes when he came back. Birmingham Police Commissioner Robert Lindberg said he deplored the attack and added that "We are determined to tolerate no outbreak of violence of any nature." After his performance for the 3,000 all-white audience Cole played and sang for an all-negro audience. Cole is a native of Montgomery. (1956)


Campaspe said...

Oh wow, that is fascinating, actually seeing the faces of these yahoos. I grew up in Birmingham and this incident had repercussions for years afterward--many rock, soul or jazz acts avoided playing Birmingham for a long time, even after concerts were desegregated. It took the Police in the 1980s to play some concerts and prove that things had changed for the better.

BlizzB said...

Look at them ignorant stupid faces. But stupidity is widely spread among all kinds of skin colors. Nat 'King' Cole was a hero when he decided coming back on stage after the incident. And chapeau to the audience and the supportive applause!