Friday, August 30, 2019

Music Friday: Wedding Ring Compels Frankie Valli to Sing, 'Bye, Bye, Baby'

Welcome to a Music Friday when we bring you classic hits with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons singing the original 1965 version of “Bye, Bye, Baby,” a tune that includes a very important line about a wedding ring.

In this song, Valli tells his love interest that she's the one girl in town that he would want to marry — except for the fact that he's not "free." In the last verse, we learn that he's already married. Yikes.

The last verse goes like this: “Should have told her that I can’t linger. There’s a wedding ring on my finger. She’s got me but I’m not free. Bye bye baby, baby goodbye / Bye baby, baby bye bye.”

Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, the keyboardist for The Four Seasons, “Bye, Bye, Baby” topped out at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Ten years later, the Bay City Rollers released their version, which charted in 11 countries, Including a #1 spot in the UK. It was Britain's top-selling single of 1975.

Trivia: "Bye, Bye, Baby" is played twice during the 2003 film Love Actually — once by Daniel (Liam Neeson) at his wife's funeral, and again by the DJ (Junior Simpson) at the wedding reception of Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

Born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, N.J., Valli became the frontman for The Four Seasons in 1960. Amazingly, Valli is still touring at the age of 85. He will be appearing in Hawaii, Minnesota and Illinois in September.

With an estimated 100 million records sold, The Four Seasons is one of the best-selling musical acts of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

We hope you enjoy the audio clip of Valli and The Four Seasons performing “Bye, Bye, Baby.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)” Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. Performed by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

If you hate me after what I say
Can’t put it off any longer
I just gotta tell you anyway

Bye bye baby, baby goodbye
Bye baby, baby bye bye
Bye bye baby, don’t make me cry
Bye baby, baby bye bye

You’re the one girl in town I’d marry
Girl, I’d marry you now if I were free
I wish it could be

I could love you but why begin it
Cause there ain’t any future in it
She’s got me and I’m not free so


Yes I never will know you better
Wish I knew you before I met her
Gee, how good it would be for me

Should have told her that I can’t linger
There’s a wedding ring on my finger
She’s got me and I’m not free so


Credit: Photo by East Ham Bull [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Take 2: Jordan Rodgers Re-Proposes to 'Bachelorette' JoJo Fletcher With 5-Carat Ring

In 2016, with more than eight million fans watching, Jordan Rodgers proposed to JoJo Fletcher during the Season 12 finale of The Bachelorette. Now, three years later, Fletcher is sporting a brand new 5-carat oval diamond engagement ring after Rodgers decided to get down on one knee all over again.

Rodgers turned to Instagram on Sunday to explain his motivation behind the second proposal.

Accompanying a silly-faced Instagram selfie of him and his fiancée, Rodgers wrote, “I love @joelle_fletcher with all my heart!! I always wanted to re-propose, with no cameras, no producers, no drama… just us. Our first engagement was so real, and meant so much to us both, but as we start to actually plan our wedding for next year I wanted to do it all over again, OUR WAY!”

On her Instagram, Fletcher posted a similar photo and wrote, "Three years ago we got engaged in a way that some, if not all, would say is crazy and totally unconventional, and they were right. It was. But it was also very real. We took a leap of faith that day and hoped/prayed things would work out how we wanted them to. Times were not always easy, but we stuck by each other and worked every day towards our relationship.”

As most fans of The Bachelorette know, the male contestants get to choose from a curated selection of five rings provided by the show. This time around, Rodgers got to design a ring that matched Fletcher's personality.

When viewed from the top, Fletcher's new ring seems to be floating above her finger, secured in a six-prong setting on a delicate 14-karat yellow gold band. However, a hidden halo of white diamonds is revealed when the ring is viewed from the side.

"The show brought us together and set us up for a truly amazing proposal the first time around," Fletcher wrote to Rodgers in a continuation of her original Instagram post, "but this time was all YOU. And that means everything and more to me. I can't wait to marry you!"

The couple has a busy year ahead as they plan a wedding and produce new episodes of their CNBC series called Cash Pad. The show follows Rodgers and Fletcher as they transform ordinary properties into lucrative vacation rentals.

Credits: Images via Instagram/joelle_fletcher; Instagram/JRodgers11.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Google Celebrates 80th Anniv. of 'The Wizard of Oz' With Ruby Slipper Surprise

Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of the release of "The Wizard of Oz," and to celebrate the occasion, Google unveiled a special animated search results page complete with dream-sequence rotating screens, clicking ruby slippers and a flying farmhouse.

Those who Googled the term "The Wizard of Oz" saw a results page that, at first glance, looked pretty standard. It including the movie title, the year/category/runtime of the production, related images and an illustration of a pair of ruby slippers.

Google had tweeted on Friday, "We're off to search the wizard, the wonderful 'Wizard of Oz.'" That phrase, combined with the flashing pink starbursts above the ruby slippers on the search results page, hinted that Google had something special up its sleeve.

By touching the ruby slippers on the search results page, users were treated to an animation that began with the slippers clicking three times and an audio clip of Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) saying, "There's no place like home." (Fans of the movie will remember that Dorothy clicked her heels three times when she wished to return to Kansas during her fanciful visit to Oz.)

Google then programmed users' screens to spin five rotations counter-clockwise as if a dream sequence was taking place. When the screen came to rest, all the text and graphics were in black and white.

In the 1939 film, the story begins in black and white and then transitions to brilliant Technicolor after Dorothy and her dog Toto are transported by a tornado to the magical Land of Oz.

Google users then noticed that the position on the results page once occupied by the sparkling ruby red slippers was replaced with a spinning grey tornado.

When they touched the tornado, the animation started again, with Dorothy's farmhouse emerging from the tornado and zooming out of frame. Garland was heard yelling, "Aunty Em!" as the screen rotated five times clockwise and returned to its normal color presentation.

Google added this search page surprise to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the still-beloved movie classic, whose lovable characters, such as the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) and the Tin Man (Jack Haley) won the hearts of viewers worldwide. Google did not announce how long the special search results page would remain active, but you can try it today.

Regular readers of this blog know that the iconic slippers worn by Garland in the 1939 film returned to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., in October 2018 after an 18-month hiatus and rejuvenating facelift.

Since they were first exhibited in 1979, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers had been a top attraction, but environmental factors, such as light and moisture, had taken their toll.

So, exactly two years ago, conservationists at the National Museum of American History launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate the funds to provide Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers with conservation treatment and a new display case. Within 30 days, the campaign exceeded its $300,000 goal with support from more than 6,000 donors.

The Ruby Slippers are now on view in a state-of-the-art display, along with a prop wand used by Billie Burke in her role as Glinda the Good Witch. The wand is on special loan to the museum through November 2019.

Despite their name, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers are not adorned with rubies. In fact, the bugle beads that prop designers used to simulate rubies proved to be too heavy. The solution was to replace most of the bugle beads with sequins, 2,300 on each slipper. The butterfly-shaped bow on the front of each shoe features red bugle beads outlined in red glass rhinestones in silver settings.

Credits: Google's illustration of ruby slippers via Twitter; Search results screen captures via Google; The Wizard of Oz movie scene by CBS Television Network [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Ruby slippers by Richard Strauss, Smithsonian.