Friday, May 15, 2020

Music Friday: Thompson Square Duo Shares Love Story in 'Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you chart-topping songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country music duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square fall in love, get engaged and tie the knot in their semi-autobiographical 2010 hit, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not."

As the song begins, Keifer and Shawna are talking about "everything under the moon" on the roof of her mom's house. He's remembers the intoxicating smell of honeysuckle and her perfume. He also recalls how he was totally panicked — way too shy to make the first move.

Lucky for him, Shawna looks him straight in the eye and asks, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?" Later in the song, Keifer realizes that he wants the relationship to last forever, so he buys a ring and asks for her hand in marriage.

Keifer and Shawna share this key verse: "So I took a chance / Bought a wedding band and I got down on one knee / And you smiled and said to me / Are you gonna kiss me or not? / Are we gonna do this or what? / I think you know I love you a lot / I think we've got a real good shot / Are you gonna kiss me or not?"

Written by Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" sold more than two million copies and zoomed to #1 on both the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart and the Billboard Canada Country chart. It was the second single released from Thompson Square's self-titled debut album.

The song also earned Grammy nominations for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Song.

Even though Keifer and Shawna didn't write the song, its theme very closely mirrored their own love story.

"The first time we heard it, we fell in love with it," Keifer told The Boot. "We knew we had to record it. It was semi-autobiographical. We just gravitated towards it. We were definitely blessed to get a hold of it."

"We got real lucky with Thompson Square," Collins admitted to The Boot. "They're husband and wife, and it was kind of their story — how they fell in love, even though I don't know if it was exactly up on the roof! When we wrote it, I thought it was a good song. But when I heard their record, the way they cut it, I thought, 'Man! This could be a hit!'"

Born in Miami, OK, Keifer Thompson met his future wife, a native of Chatom, AL, at a singing competition in Nashville, TN. Together, they have produced three albums and placed 10 singles on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts.

Please check out the video of Thompson Square's live performance from the Bing Lounge in 2013. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not"
Written by David Lee Murphy & Jim Collins. Performed by Thompson Square.

We were sittin' up there on your momma's roof
Talkin' 'bout everything under the moon
With the smell of honeysuckle and your perfume
All I could think about was my next move

Oh, but you were so shy, so was I
Maybe that's why it was so hard to believe
When you smiled and said to me

Are you gonna kiss me or not?
Are we gonna do this or what?
I think you know I like you a lot
But you're 'bout to miss your shot
Are you gonna kiss me or what?

It was the best dang kiss that I ever had
Except for that long one after that
And I knew if I wanted this thing to last
Sooner or later I'd have to ask for your hand

So I took a chance
Bought a wedding band and I got down on one knee
And you smiled and said to me

Are you gonna kiss me or not?
Are we gonna do this or what?
I think you know I love you a lot
I think we've got a real good shot
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

So, we planned it all out for the middle of June
From the wedding cake to the honeymoon
And your momma cried
When you walked down the aisle

When the preacher man said, "Say I do"
I did and you did too, then I lifted that veil
And saw your pretty smile and I said
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

Are we gonna do this or what?
Look at all the love that we got
It ain't never gonna stop
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

Yeah baby, I love you a lot
I really think we've got a shot
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

Credits: Screen captures via

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

John Krasinski and Cast of 'The Office' Rejoice at Fans' Virtual Wedding

In a video that was posted Sunday and has already topped 8.8 million views, The Office star John Krasinski officiated the Zoom marriage ceremony of Maryland superfans, whose proposal mimicked a scene from the popular TV show. As a surprise bonus, Krasinski invited the cast of The Office to dance at their virtual wedding.

For the past seven weeks, Krasinski has brightened the lives of home-bound viewers with his YouTube series "Some Good News." During the second half of Sunday's episode, Krasinski introduced Susan and John, whose marriage proposal was "oddly familiar."

The Office fans will remember how Krasinski's character, Jim, asked Pam (Jenna Fischer) to marry him in the rain at a gas station convenience store. John's proposal to Susan matched the TV version almost exactly.

"So I knew the proposal needed to be something really special, but also really something unique," John said. "'The Office' has been something that has connected the two of us for a very, very long time so it just felt right."

Susan explained, "Then he got down on one knee and he said, 'Just like Jim, I can't wait any longer.'"

As huge fans of the popular workplace comedy, John and Susan tweeted an invitation for Krasinski to attend their virtual wedding. Krasinski took the sweet gesture one step further.

The actor got ordained via an online ministry, which allowed him to officiate the couple's virtual marriage ceremony.

Said Krasinski, "Susan and John, because you elegantly ripped off our proposal, I think it’s only fitting that you rip off the wedding too.”

At that point, Krasinski introduced a number of key players who were queued up to be revealed during the Zoom call. The actor introduced the couples' parents, some close friends, and Fischer, who played Kraskinski's love interest on the show. Kraskinski volunteered to be the best man and nominated Fischer to be the matron of honor.

After country star Zac Brown performed a special song, the couple recited their vows and Krasinski pronounced them husband and wife.

But that's not it.

To top off the virtual ceremony, Krasinski invited the cast of The Office to recreate the wedding scene from Jim and Pam's wedding in Season 6. Among the stars showing off their dance moves were Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, Angela Kinsey, Ellie Kemper, Kate Flannery, Brian Baumgartner, Ed Helms, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Rainn Wilson and Creed Bratton.

Krasinski said that this was likely the first and only wedding that would take place on "Some Good News."

"Because, let's be honest," he said. "How does it get better than that? It doesn't!"

Check out Sunday's episode of "Some Good News," which has a been trending as high as #2 on YouTube. The virtual wedding segment starts at the 7:20 mark. Also included below are the engagement and wedding scenes from The Office.

Some Good News

Jim Proposes to Pam

The Office Wedding Dance

Credits: Screen captures via

Monday, May 11, 2020

423-Carat 'Logan Sapphire' Is the Next Stop on Our Virtual Gem Gallery Tour

Our multi-part virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection continues today with a closeup look at the 422.99-carat “Logan Sapphire." It's not only the heaviest mounted gem in the storied collection, but also boasts a provenance that links one of America’s most prominent families with Indian royalty.

Set in a silver-and-gold brooch and framed by 20 round brilliant diamonds weighing approximately 16 carats, the cushion-shaped Logan Sapphire was cut from a crystal mined in Sri Lanka in the mid-1800s.

Normally, the more than six million annual visitors to the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals in Washington, DC, would find the magnificent sapphire in the gallery called "Precious Gems 2."

But, with all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, we offer our third virtual tour of the hall. Next stop: the Logan Sapphire.

-- First, click on this link... The resulting page will be a gallery called "Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 1."

-- Next, simply touch the double-right-arrow once to navigate to the gallery called "Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 2."

When you arrive, the left of the screen will be filled with a topaz exhibit. Lining the walls to the right of the gallery are jewelry showcases that include the "Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace," the "Bismarck Sapphire Necklace" and the "Logan Sapphire."

-- Click and drag the screen one-quarter turn to see the sapphire exhibits.

(Touch the plus sign to zoom in. Touch the "X" to close the map to get a better view of the jewelry and gemstones. You may restore the map by clicking the "Second" floor navigation on the top-right of the screen.)

The sapphire brooch had been given to Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim as a Christmas/anniversary gift in 1952 by her then-husband Col. M. Robert Guggenheim. The Guggenheims had amassed one of the world’s largest fortunes through their mining and smelting businesses, and later became equally famous for their philanthropy.

Rebecca donated the magnificent gem to the Smithsonian in 1960 but kept it in her possession until 1971. Col. M. Robert Guggenheim passed away in 1959 and Rebecca remarried three years later, becoming Mrs. John A. Logan. This is where the Logan Sapphire gets its name. The gem went on display in Washington, D.C., in June of 1971.

Robert Guggenheim reportedly purchased the gem from Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon (1881-1961), the third Baronet of Bombay. The Sassoon family had acquired the gem from a maharajah in India.

After studying the gem in 1997, the Gemological Institute of America concluded that the Logan Sapphire's impressive color — a vibrant medium-blue color with slight violet overtones — was completely natural. It has never been heated or treated in any way.

A wall panel between the sapphire and ruby exhibits describes how both gems are members of the corundum family.

"Colorless in its pure state, corundum rarely has sufficient clarity or richness of color to be a gemstone," the panel explains. "When it does, the difference between a ruby and a sapphire is just a tiny bit of impurity. Rubies are, by definition, red. The color results from light interacting with a few atoms of chromium trapped as the crystals grew. Ruby is the July birthstone. Sapphires are corundum crystals in all colors but red. Best known are the blue varieties, tinted by iron and titanium impurities. Sapphire is the September birthstone."

Credits: Logan Sapphire photo by Chip Clark/Smithsonian. Virtual tour screen captures via