Iona’s Beach: the singing beach on Minnesota’s North Shore

Minnesota, or the Land of 10,000 Lakes, boasts a lot of beaches to choose from, with their pictoresque rocky shores and beautiful sandy dunes alike await visitors every summer. Each offers its own beauty, but there is one beach in particular that is truly unique. It is Iona’s beach, unlike any other in the world as, instead of silky, golden sand, it is covered in smooth pink rocks that, if you know when to listen, sing. The beach sings its signature song as the waves come in and disturb the…

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February 3, 1959: the day the music died

Don McLean is a refined American singer-songwriter born in 1945, who has never been a star of the first magnitude of the Star System but has always had the esteem of affectionate and lovers of quality music. He is known for the 1972 No. 1 hit “American Pie”, a rather long composition with an obscure and complex text, which seems to narrate the history of Rock and Roll in such a way that many have found all sorts of historical, political and even religious references in it. In the chorus,…

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2i’s: the birthplace of British Rock ‘n’ Roll

The BBC’s first pop music show, Six-Five Special, was broadcast on this day, November 16 1957, from the tiny 2i’s Coffee Bar in London, know as the birthplace of British rock ’n’ roll. Six-Five Special was so called because it went out at 6.5pm (6:05pm) on Saturday nights and was created to replace the one-hour so-called “Toddlers’ Truce” on that day. Under the Truce restrictions, no television programmes were allowed to be broadcast on any day of the week between the hours of 6pm to 7pm so that young children…

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Hellhound on my trail: the lost guitar of Robert Johnson

Most people have heard the story, in one form or another, of the legendary Delta Blues guitar player who went by the name of Robert Johnson. According to the legend, on a dark October night sometime in the late 1920’s, he traveled to the intersection of Highway 8 and Highway 1 in Rosedale, Mississippi and struck a deal with the Devil himself. As story goes, when Johnson arrived at the crossroads the Devil was sitting on a log by the side of the road, accompanied by a hairless dog, described…

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Vicars’ Close: the oldest residential street in Europe that also features an optical illusion.

Vicars’ Close, in Wells, Somerset, England, is claimed to be the oldest purely residential street with original buildings still intact in Europe. The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England, were built during the mid 14th century, while the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known…

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What remains of Rosemary Farm and its lively past~

Some forty miles from New York, there is a place called Rosemary Farm (or Roland Conklin Estate), a Long Island estate of several hundred acres where beautiful things have been happening somewhere in history. There were hills and lakes and woods and sea to begin with, and on the place Mr. Roland Ray Conklin found a little preRevolutionary farm house, clinging to the highway. Born in Illinois, he operated one of the largest realty firms in Kansas City and moved the business to New York in 1893. In 1907 just…

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Fingal’s Cave, the “Cave of Melody” in Scotland

Usually you not hear, in the same sentence, names like Queen Victoria, Matthew Barney, Jules Verne, and Pink Floyd but, strangely enough, there is a place that they all share. We are on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as Fingal’s Cave, it bears a history and geology unlike any other cave in the world. At 22 meters tall and 82 meters deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars that make…

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Dustyesky: the leading genuine fake Russian choir in Southern Hemisphere

The little Australian village of Mullumbimby is one of the last places on Earth you would expect to find a men’s choir singing their hearts out about the Motherland and the Red Army in Russian like they knew the language….but that’s what makes Dustyesky so special. Mullumbimby is a small, subtropical town near Byron Bay in Australia’s northern New South Wales, and it was mostly known for its timber industry. However, thanks to the success of the 28 men making up hit choir Dustyesky it’s also become known for its…

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Festival Club: Ibiza’s first club

We are in Ibiza. The island wasn’t always the party hotspot it is today. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that it became a tourist destination, with hotels, restaurants and clubs popping up everywhere. In 1969, construction began on this once-lively club. Such a restricted location meant that the owners of the venue were required to build an access road in order to reach the structure, which officially opened its doors in 1972. In any case, back in the early 1970s, tourists were satisfied with being transported around the island…

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#April 13, 1742: Handel’s “Messiah” premieres in Dublin

Nowadays, the performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah oratorio at Christmas time is a tradition almost as deeply entrenched as decorating trees and waiting for Santa. In churches and concert halls around the world, the most famous piece of sacred music in the English language is performed both full and abridged, with and without audience, but almost always and exclusively during the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. However, it was not originally intended as a piece of Christmas music. The Messiah received its world premiere on this…

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#March 3, 1875: Carmen, the opera that shocked Paris

Carmen, now one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the world, had its premiere on this day, March 3 1875, in Paris. However, its story of an army officer’s seduction (and betrayal) by a voluptuous and sensuous cigarette factory worker stunned its French audience and the first performance was greeted with astonished silence. Until this “vulgar” new opera came along and shook the public, the composer, Georges Bizet, had enjoyed moderate success, but nobody was prepared for the opera’s theme of erotic obsession, the sight of women…

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The true, complete, unaltered History of 1969’s Woodstock Music Festival – 50 years later

Exactly fifty years ago half a million hippies, beatniks, and long-hairs descended upon upstate New York for the Woodstock music festival, the music festival that changed the world. Max Yasgur, a small landowner from the state of New York, probably never imagined that he would host (at least) 400,000 people on his 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. But for three straight days his bucolic pastures became a hub for sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll during Woodstock. The Woodstock music festival is not only an icon of American…

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Just one note: history of the shortest concert ever!

The summer of 2007 was an exciting year for White Stripe fans in Canada: Jack White and Meg White of the former legendary rock duo The White Stripes and their entourage set across the country and vowed to play every Province and Territory. Something no other band or artist had done on one tour before! Along the way the White Stripes would show up at various and non announced places and play a quick set in a pub or in a studio like in Calgary or shoot off a canon…

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Ilkey Moor between a strange song, bronze age carving and alien sighting!

We are in England, and If you want go to visit Ilkey Moor, be sure to wear a hat. At least, that’s what an unofficial Yorkshire’s anthem will advise! This strange moor has a song written about it, Bronze Age carvings, and also an alien sighting! The place is featured in a song about the cyclical nature of death. In the song, titled On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, (which means: “on Ilkley Moor without a hat”), a man who spends his days courting a lover named Mary Jane is chided…

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Woodstock Artists Cemetery~

A few minutes’ walk from the Woodstock Village Green, a zone often filled with lively music and art, there is a piece of green on a hillside filled with music and art, but in a little different way…….. This is the Woodstock Artists Cemetery, and its name came not from the founding family, who didn’t establish the cemetery with artists in mind, but from local residents who saw the place as a snobbish affront, a cemetery for the summer elite who fancied themselves too highly to rest for eternity among…

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22# Silent Night and the Christmas truce.

This story is probably another chapter in the book of the countless Christmas legend, and another checkbox in our advent calendar! It was 1914 ,and soldiers on both sides of the battlefield somewhere in France were enduring a dark and frozen Christmas Eve night. During World War I, the Great War, eventually more than 10 million people died, and it is doubtless that the men of that Christmas Eve were contemplating much more beyond their longings for home and warmth and family. When soldiers on the German line placed candles…

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The strange story of “Gloomy Sunday”, the song that incite to suicide.

In Vienna, a teenage girl drowned herself while clutching a piece of sheet music. In Budapest, a shopkeeper killed himself and left a note with write the lyrics of the same song. In London, a woman died for an overdose of barbiturates while listening to a record of the song over and over. A girl from New York, who committed suicide by inhaling gas, left a note to play that song at her funeral. The song that connects all these deaths is the notorious “Gloomy Sunday”, nicknamed also the “Hungarian…

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Ex-Maskó, memories of a discotheque and testimony of who remember.

“A long time ago (it was 2005, NDR), here it was always party.” These are the words of D, a man who remembers well this disco, when it was open, until 2005/2006. Talking with him was like taking a dip in the past. A past that I can’t remember, in an this region that I know only recently. “A long time ago, here, you stopped outside the door and waited in line to get in! If it was hot, you was sweating. And if it was cold, you beated the…

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