Friday, September 13, 2013

Music Friday: Elvis Presley Covers Ray Charles’ ‘Unintended’ Hit, ‘What’d I Say,’ in ‘Viva Las Vegas’

Welcome to Music Friday when we feature toe-tapping tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we bring you Elvis Presley's cover of Ray Charles' classic 1959  song, “What’d I Say.” Presley famously performed the song in a sizzling dance number with co-star Ann-Margret for the 1964 hit movie, Viva Las Vegas.


Fans of the film will remember the show-stopping scene where Presley and Ann-Margret — both wearing yellow — kick up their heels and shimmy their hips while Presley sings, “See the girl with the diamond ring, she knows how to shake that thing. All right, hey, hey.”

Although “What’d I Say” is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential songs in rock and roll history, Charles never intended to write it. He and his orchestra improvised it in 1958 when they had completed their play list and still had time remaining in their show. “What’d I Say” would include elements of rhythm and blues and boogie-woogie in a fun call-and-response repartee with his audience and the band.

The improvised song was so well received that Charles decided to record it in 1959. “What’d I Say” would become Charles’ first gold record, and for the rest of his career, the talented singer/songwriter/musician would close every concert with the song.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked “What’d I Say” #10 on the list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Check out Presley and Ann-Margret in the memorable dance scene from Viva Las Vegas. The choreography is vintage 1964, and awesome. The lyrics to “What’d I Say” are below if you’d like to sing along.

“What’d I Say"
Written by Ray Charles. Performed by Elvis Presley.

Hey mama, don't you treat me wrong
Come and love your daddy all night long
All right, hey, hey, all right now

See the girl with the diamond ring
She knows how to shake that thing
All right, hey, hey, Mmm, all right now

Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ohh

Make me feel so good, make me feel so good right now
Make me feel so good, make me feel so good right now
Make me feel so good, make me feel so good

Mmm, see the girl with the red dress on
She can do the dog all night long
All right, hmm what'd I say, tell me what'd I say

Tell me what'd I say, tell me what'd I say right now
Tell me what'd I say, tell me what'd I say right now
Tell me what'd I say, tell me what'd I say

Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ohh
It's all right, It's all right right now
Baby, it's all right, Baby, it's all right right now
Baby, it's all right, Oh yeah!

Baby shake that thing, baby shake that thing right now
Baby shake that thing, baby shake that thing right now
Baby shake that thing, well I feel all right

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Golden Treasure Unearthed Near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Called a ‘Breathtaking, Once-in-a-Lifetime Discovery’

Archaeologists working at the foot of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount — a holy site for three world religions — unearthed a 1,400-year-old trove of jewelry and gold coins that’s being described as "a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime discovery."


Lead archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem showed off her team’s most impressive find during a press conference on Monday. It was a four-inch-wide gold medallion etched with images of a seven-branched candelabrum (menorah), a ram’s horn (shofar) and a Torah scroll. Despite being buried for 14 centuries, the piece was in pristine condition.


“The menorah medallion is most likely an ornament for a Torah scroll,” Dr. Mazar and her colleagues explained. “It was buried in a small depression in the floor, along with a smaller gold medallion, two pendants, a gold coil and a silver clasp, all of which are believed to be Torah scroll ornamentations.”


Mazar's team also revealed Byzantine-era gold and silver jewelry, as well as 36 gold coins depicting the images of emperors ranging across a 250-year span from Constantine II to Mauricius.

The trove was discovered in the ruins of a Byzantine public structure located in the Ophel region of the dig just 50 yards from the southern wall of the Temple Mount. The discoveries, which date back to the year 600, are now being dubbed the “Ophel Treasure.”


“I have never found so much gold in my life! I was frozen. It was unexpected,” Dr. Mazar told the Times of Israel.

Mazar and her team suspect that the treasures were buried and abandoned by their Jewish owners during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614.

“It would appear that the most likely explanation is that the Ophel cache was earmarked as a contribution toward the building of a new synagogue, at a location that is near the Temple Mount,” Mazar said. “What is certain is that their mission, whatever it was, was unsuccessful. The treasure was abandoned, and its owners could never return to collect it.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jilted Kris Humphries Puts Kim Kardashian’s Colossal 20-Carat Engagement Ring on the Auction Block

The colossal 20-carat diamond engagement ring that came to symbolize the ill-fated 2011 romance between jilted NBA star Kris Humphries and TV reality star Kim Kardashian will be hitting the auction block at Christie’s “Bright and Beautiful” event in New York on October 15.


Humphries won the ring this spring as part of a divorce settlement stemming from the couple’s contentious 72-day marriage. Although the auction house says the ring is the “property of a gentleman” and doesn’t list Humphries as the owner, the Christie’s ring bears an uncanny resemblance to the Kardashian ring. They are virtually identical in terms of total weight, dimensions and design.


At the time of her engagement to Humphries in the spring of 2011, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star told People magazine that her ring featured a 16.5-carat emerald-cut center diamond flanked by a pair of trapezoid-cut side stones weighing 2 carats each for a total of 20.5 carats.  "[Designer Lorraine Schwartz] always listened to what I would want and the shapes I love," Kardashian told People. "I had said I loved an emerald cut."

A Christie’s press release described its ring as an "impressive rectangular-cut, I-color diamond ring of 16.21 carats, by Lorraine Schwartz." The center stone is flanked by two 1.80-carat trapezoid-cut diamonds for a total of 19.81 carats.

The only major disparity between the Kardashian ring and the Christie’s ring is the reported value. A Kardashian family “insider” told the tabloids in 2011 that Humphries “got a great deal” when he paid $2 million for the designer ring. Christie’s puts the estimated value of the anonymous owner’s ring at only $300,000 to $500,000, with a portion of the proceeds going to an unnamed charity.

Some are now speculating that the Kardashian publicity machine may have floated an exaggerated $2 million price tag to support the reality show’s story line. In 2012, Kardashian began a relationship with rapper Kanye West and gave birth to their daughter North West in June of 2013.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mischievous Pet Cockerel Swallows Diamond Stud Earring; Owner May Not Get It Back for Eight Years

Confusing a diamond stud earring for a tasty snack, a mischievous six-month-old pet cockerel named Sarah (despite being a male) pecked off the flashy bauble from his owner’s earlobe and swallowed it down. Now it looks as if bird lover Claire Lennon might have to wait eight years to get it back.


Lennon, a resident of Berkshire in the U.K., told the Daily Mirror that the pet bird was happily perched on her shoulder when she suddenly felt a sharp pain. The bird had pulled out the earring and in an instant it was gone.

X-rays confirmed that the earring was lodged in the cockerel’s gizzard and unlikely to pass via natural methods, according to the family’s veterinarian. The diamond stud is now a permanent part of Sarah’s anatomy because the owner will not consider life-threatening surgery on the family pet.


"The vet said he could operate to recover the earring,” Lennon told the Daily Mirror, “but that might kill Sarah, which would devastate our six-year-old daughter Mia. She adores Sarah.”


The final option is waiting for nature to take its course. Sarah is likely to live for eight years, so Lennon and her family are going to patiently wait for the bird to naturally die of old age.

By then, the veterinarian said, the white gold setting is likely to be ground down by the digestive powers of bird’s gizzard, while the diamond — the world’s hardest material — will remain intact.

The consumed diamond stud is one of a pair that Lennon received from her partner, Adam. It’s valued at about $500, making Sarah one of the most valuable cockerels in Britain.

"We're keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't get caught, carried off and eaten by a fox, or the diamond will be gone forever,” Lennon said.

The male bird was named Sarah because as a chick the family assumed he was a she. When they eventually learned he was a cockerel they decided to keep the name. It kind of reminds us of the famous Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue.”

Monday, September 09, 2013

Scarlett Johansson Confirms Engagement to Frenchman Romain Dauriac After Photographers Spot Dazzling Art Deco-Style Ring

Scarlett Johansson’s secret engagement to Frenchman Romain Dauriac is a secret no longer. Eagle-eyed photographers spotted a vintage Art Deco-style diamond ring on her left hand while she walked the red carpet at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival last week and the actress was forced to come clean.


The glamorous 28-year-old, who was in Venice to promote her new film, Under the Skin, confirmed through a spokesperson that the dazzling three-stone ring she wore at the event was, in fact, an engagement ring. Johansson accepted a marriage proposal from Dauriac, a 31-year-old French journalist, about a month ago.


The unique Art Deco design is unlike anything we’ve seen recently from Hollywood’s elite. Johansson’s ring features a large round center diamond flanked by two slightly smaller round diamonds in a rectangular white-metal setting that’s likely platinum. The center stone seems to sit slightly higher than the others and the setting glitters with neat rows of tiny accent diamonds.


The actress reportedly had attempted to keep the engagement ring out of sight during her red carpet walk, spinning the band so the diamonds faced away from the cameras. Of the dozens of photographers working the Venice film festival, only a few were able to see the ring clearly.

The engagement news surprised some fans because Johansson recently claimed that she was indifferent about marriage. In January, she told Elle UK, “I never think about marriage… It's really not important to me. It has no relevance to me right now. I'm in a nice relationship, I'm working a lot… To me, being in a functioning relationship doesn't mean you have to be married.”

Apparently she had a change of heart.

Johansson was previously married to actor Ryan Reynolds. In May 2008, Reynolds proposed to her with a traditional round diamond set on a very simple yellow gold band. The couple divorced in 2011.