Friday, May 11, 2018

Music Friday: 'This Ring Is a Symbol of My Love,' Sings Ron Isley of The Isley Brothers

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you romantic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Ron Isley of The Isley Brothers sings about the symbolism of bridal jewelry in the group's release, "Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)."

Written by Brazilian composers Ivan Lins and Gilson Peranzzetta, "Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)" became a frequent request for wedding day playlists after a sweet rendition by The Isley Brothers appeared on their 1992 Tracks of Life album.

The song is essentially a groom's wedding vow — using jewelry references to describe his solemn pledge of love and devotion.

Isley sings, "I pledge all my love to you always / Don't you know this ring / This ring is a symbol of my love / Grant us blessings from above oh, oh / Who cherish all the magic of our days."

In the next verse, gold chains symbolize the couple's eternal bond... "Oh Lord, oh Lord, here I stand / Golden chains around our hearts / Vow to death we'll never part."

Often cited as the group that has enjoyed one of the "longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music," The Isley Brothers became the first band to score a Top 50 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in six consecutive decades.

Originally from Cincinnati, the group was established in 1954 as a gospel trio consisting of brothers O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ron Isley. Soon they landed a spot on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, where they won the competition and took home the grand prize — a watch. With their new-found fame, they began touring all over the eastern U.S., performing in a variety of churches.

The brothers moved to the New York City area in the late 1950s. In 1959, the brothers celebrated their first big hit, "Shout," a song that would become a cultural phenomenon nearly two decades later when it was performed by Otis Day and the Knights in the 1978 fraternity house film National Lampoon's Animal House.

The Isley Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and in 2010, Ron Isley received a "Legend Award" at the Soul Train Music Awards. The 76-year-old is still actively touring.

Trivia: A then-21-year-old Jimi Hendrix played on The Isley Brothers' stage shows in 1964.

Please check out the audio track of The Isley Brothers performing "Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)"
Written by Ivan Guimaraes Lins and Gilson Peranzzetta. Performed by The Isley Brothers.

Today is the day to say I do
Yes, I promise to be true

I pledge all my love to you always
Don't you know this ring
This ring is a symbol of my love
Grant us blessings from above oh, oh
Who cherish all the magic of our days

Oh Lord, oh Lord, here I stand
Golden chains around our hearts
Vow to death we'll never part
From this day as one we'll start our lives

Oh Lord, here I stand
With my heart out in my hand
Rich or poor, I am your man
I'm your lover and friend for life

So much love, so much love, girl
So much love, girl, la, la, la, la
Today, today, today is the day to say I do
Yes, I promise to be true

I pledge all my love to you always
Don't you know this ring
This ring is a symbol of my love
Grant us blessings from above oh, oh
Who cherish all the magic of our days

And I can hear them when they play
Our Brazilian wedding song

Credit: Screen capture via

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Rising Star Andrew Benintendi Assists Red Sox Fan With Surprise Marriage Proposal

Rising star Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox had a memorable day at the ballpark on Saturday. Not only did he go 3-for-5 with a triple and double in the Red Sox's 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers, but he also earned an assist with a very romantic pre-game marriage proposal.

During batting practice at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, a couple from Arkansas — dressed in his-and-her Red Sox regalia — was among a small group of devoted fans allowed on the field to meet the players. Little did the woman know that her boyfriend had plotted a special on-field proposal with the help of a former Arkansas Razorback.

Benintendi, who was born in Cincinnati and played college ball in Arkansas, went up to a woman in the meet-and-greet line and presented her with a baseball that he pulled from his back pocket. Written in bold marker across the ball were the phrases, "Turn Around" and "Will You Marry Me."

The stunned woman spun around to see her boyfriend on bended knee with an engagement ring box in his hand.

The man nervously fumbled with the ring and asked the woman to marry him. Major League Baseball cameras captured the special moment when she said "Yes" and he slipped the ring on her finger.

Under the caption, "It's hard not to be romantic about baseball," the Red Sox organization posted the proposal video to its Twitter page.

One clever fan commented, "Takes a brave man to have @asben16 give his lady a ball that says "Will you marry me?" I'd be like, well I barely know you but what the hell! You only live once!"

The 23-year-old Benintendi told NESN’s Guerin Austin that it was "pretty cool" to be part of the marriage proposal.

Benintendi was drafted by the Red Sox in 2015 and joined the major league team in August of 2016. In his first full year, Benintendi was the second-place finisher for the American League's Rookie of the Year.

Screen captures via Twitter/Red Sox.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Diamonds Rain on the Diamond as Slugger Yoenis Cespedes Snaps His Chain Legging Out a Double

A surreal scene played out in New York City last week as diamonds literally rained on the diamond at Citi Field. Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes snapped his diamond chain while legging out a bloop double in the first inning of Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Braves.

As Cespedes slid into second base, one of his necklaces seemed to get tangled with Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies, who jumped over Cespedes to receive the throw from the outfield.

After the play, SNY cameras captured the twinkling of more than two dozen diamonds scattered around second base.

While stretching after the play, Cespedes discovered that his thin, white metal chain had broken and that most of the diamonds from that chain were now on the infield dirt. He held up what remained of his busted chain, stared at it for a moment and then threw it to the ground in frustration.

Between innings, Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and second base umpire Bill Welke picked up the pieces of the necklace.

"Well, the cleanup is underway after Yoenis Cespedes's necklace exploded," SNY play-by-play man Gary Cohen said. "Asdrubal Cabrera, who has done everything for this team this year, is now doing the housekeeping, as well."

"They were around the base. I didn't want somebody to slide on them," Cabrera told the New York Daily News. "I just tried to get as many as I could. The umpire helped too."

After the game, 25 diamonds sat in a styrofoam Gatorade cup in the Cuban-born slugger's locker.

"I had that necklace for six years," Cespedes told the Daily News. "Oh, well."

Major League Baseball's Twitter feed, Cut4, called the incident "the most expensive double" of Cespedes's career.

According to the Washington Post, the “Official Baseball Rules” do not mention jewelry, and Major League Baseball does not otherwise restrict its usage. Players commonly wear chain necklaces or earrings for religious or stylistic reasons.

MLB’s Rule 1.11, which deals with uniforms, includes a clarification that states, “a pitcher’s person cannot include any unessential or distracting thing (including jewelry, adhesive tape, or a batting glove), especially on his arm, wrist, hand, or fingers.” MLB seems to maintain an unwritten policy, however, that jewelry on a pitcher is OK — unless the batter makes a specific complaint.

Cespedes is not the first Major Leaguer to have his chain explode during a game. Just last year, the black diamond chain of Houston pitcher Lance McCullers came apart during the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. During a replay review, McCullers dug through the dirt on the pitcher's mound to find the precious stones.

Credits: Screen captures via