Sunday, 26 August 2012

Armstrong - Songs About The Moon

Armstrong & Songs About The Moon

Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has died at age 82
Armstrong, who had heart surgery in early August, died Saturday in Cincinnati at 82, said NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs. The cause was complications from cardiovascular procedures, his family announced.
Neil Armstrong
NASA-Associated Press

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century's scientific expeditions.
His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast when he radioed back to NASA his famous statement:
 "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Yes the whole world watched those black and white TV images. Neil’s step was witnessed by a global audience on television or radio that some estimate at a staggering 600 million people – the largest ever for a single event and an amazing one-fifth of the world's population at the time.
Armstrong  was accompanied on that epic journey by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the pilot of the lunar landing module with the call sign Eagle, and Michael Collins, pilot of the command module with the call sign Columbia.
Neil Armstrong

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were to spend nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.
The moonwalk marked America's victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, a 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world. In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of a heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called "a tender moment" and left a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in exploring space.
"It was special and memorable, but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do," Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer this year.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA's forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program.
"I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer," he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. Armstrong's modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.

  • Armstrong cut his teeth as an astronaut in March 1966 as commander of the Gemini 8
  • The crew of Apollo 11 were not chosen for the mission because they were in any way special among the elite group of test pilots who comprised the corps of American astronauts: it was simply their turn on the flight roster. If an earlier plan had succeeded, the crew of Apollo 10 would have made the first moon walk in May 1969, but because of delays in the development of the lunar module that mission became a full dress rehearsal for a lunar landing, all bar a touchdown.
  • Armstrong is survived by his second wife, Carol, and two sons from his first marriage, which ended in divorce.
  • Neil Alden Armstrong, astronaut, born 5 August 1930; died 25 August 2012
  • Nobody born after 1935 has walked on the moon. Nobody since the nineteen thirties. The children of eight decades since have still not made it back there, or reached further to touch the red dust of Mars.
  • Neil Armstrong's death means that the first man on the Moon will never meet the first man on Mars. 
Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong.
Neil was among the greatest of American heroes–not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable–that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.
"Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.
 (President Barack Obama )

"On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own.
(NASA Administrator Charles Bolden)

British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore said: 'As the first man on the Moon, he broke all records. I knew him well. 'He was a man who had all the courage in the world.

Reba McEntire: My thoughts and prayers go out to the Neil Armstrong family. He was a super guy. 82 years old. Thanks for all you did for us, Neil!!!

Ashley Judd: How poetic that in the month of #NeilArmstrong passing, there will be a BlueMoon.

And rapper Snoop Dogg, who collaborated with Mr Aldrin on single Rocket Experience commemorating the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing, tweeted: 'RIP to my Unk Neil Armstrong! Stay high.'

Ryan Seacrest: “Thanks Neil Armstrong for bringing the moon into our living rooms & curiosity into our minds. One giant loss for mankind.”

Richard Branson: “RIP Neil Armstrong. My first inspiration to try to make space travel possible for all. A hero for anyone who looks to the stars & dreams.”

McFly guitarist Tom Fletcher: “Everyone should go outside and take a look at the moon tonight and give a thought to Neil Armstrong.”

SOURCES – AP, PR Newswire

Songs About The Moon

1) John Stewart  “Armstrong”

In 1969 when Astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon the late American singer-songwriter John Stewart (September 5, 1939 – January 19, 2008) wrote a song about it. 
John Stewart

The 1969 single released by Capitol Records peaked at #74 on The Billboard Hot 100
After recording a pair of records each for Capitol and Warner Bros., John Stewart moved over to RCA. “Armstrong” appeared as Track 7 on his 1973 album CANNONS IN THE RAIN (Sony Music Entertainment Inc.)
Texan Singer-Songwriter Nanci Griffith also covered "Armstrong" on her 2001 album CLOCK WITHOUT HANDS .  In the credits Nanci writes: "To John Stewart, no one writes a better song than you do. Thanks for teaching me how to take them for a walk"

Listen:  John Stewart - 'Armstrong' (1969) Audio  >>  YouTube  
The rivers are getting dirty
The wind is getting bad
War and hate are killing off
The only earth we have
But the world all stopped to watch it
On that July afternoon
To watch a man named Armstrong
Walk upon the moon
To watch a man named Armstrong
Walk upon the moon

The track is available for download on: Amazon UK  - - UK iTunes - US iTunes

About - John Stewart is known for his contributions to the American folk music movement of the 1960s while with The Kingston Trio (1961–1967). He became a member when founding member Dave Guard left.
Stewart's later and most significant success was as a songwriter. He penned "Daydream Believer" , The Monkees' #1 hit (#5 UK) which Canadian country singer Anne Murray included it on her 1979 album, I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.
Several of his songs were recorded by a number of popular acts, including Nanci Griffith ("Sweet Dreams Will Come"), Rosanne Cash ("Runaway Train", "Dance with the Tiger"), Joan Baez ("Strange Rivers").  

2) David Pack  “Reachin' Up To The Moon” 

In January 2008 visiting Nashville executive producer Douglas Hutton approached the Nashville Songwriter's Association International regarding commissioning 30-40 writers for the THIS IS MY AMERICA 3-CD Box Set project and he realized that many of the writers he met shared his passion for American history and its stories chronologically spans more than 500 years of American history.Through this musical work it covers the entire spectrum as an educational historic record and timeline.
This Is My America

One of those to step forward for the trail-blazing Nashville based recording was L.A born David Pack, an Grammy Award Winning Artist, Producer & Music Director.
David wrote, produced, and performed two songs of the 54 new songs by top American songwriters.
Performers include Dolly Parton, Charlie Pride, and Kathy Mattea.
 The track “Reachin' Up To The Moon” (Track 5 on Disc 3) was choosen to represent the 1960's Space Exploration / John F. Kennedy timeline.

"As l looked at all the numerous choices for song topics, the idea struck me immediately that I simply "had" to try to combine a tribute to John F. Kennedy with a song that chronicled one of America's greatest achievements in my lifetime - the moon landing. After abandoning my first sketch because it was too complex and non-emotive, I landed on the idea of "What if the actual song was told from the perspective of the astronaut about to leave his family behind, not knowing if he'd ever see them again?" I found this to be the exact "emotional trigger" along with actual excerpts of JFK's speech to Congress, that made me "feel something" about the melody, write the lyrics, and sing it from this imagined point of view." (Written By: David Pack)

Listen to the track  HERE:

Writer David Pack © 2008 David Pack Music (BMI) (p) 2008 Tennessee Entertainment Corporation
David Pack: Background vocals/Acoustic/Electric Guitar/Synthesizer/Percussion
Paul Leim: Drums, Mike Brignardello: Bass, Pat Buchanan: Electric Guitar, Ilya Toshinsky: Acoustic/Banjo, Keyboards: Jimmy Nichols, Eric Darken; Percussion, Johathan Yudkin: Strings/Fiddle
Produced by David Pack, Recorded at Ronnie's Place Nashville, TN

The track is available for download on: Amazon UK  - - UK iTunes - US iTunes  
 3) Eric Brace “Tranquility Base”

"Tranquility Base" is a single that Last Train Home frontman Eric Brace recorded in 2009 in East Nashville, Tennessee. He got to thinking about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon back on July 20, 1969. In the 40 years since then, Armstrong has had little to say about the experience, and Eric found himself with some questions. The result is a beautiful and moving piano-driven waltz.

In July 2009 American Songwriter asked Eric about the story surrounding it:
How did “Tranquility Base” come about? It seems to be a topic you’ve given a lot of philosophical thought to.

I wrote it last fall [2008], and I really was just looking up at the moon one night and thought, ‘Wow. Someone walked around up there.’ And I remembered hearing about how Neil Armstrong hasn’t ever talked about his experience up there on a personal level. The few interviews he’s given have focused on the engineering aspects of the mission.
Eric Brace artwork

I know that if I had been the first person to walk on the moon, you wouldn’t be able to get me to shut up about it. I started reading a little bit about him, and he’s a really fascinating man. But except for conversations with his biographer a few years ago (where he again stuck to discussions of the engineering aspects of Apollo 11) he still hasn’t given any one-on-one interviews about the moonwalk. If I ever meet him, maybe I’ll sing this to him”.

The players were: Eric Brace, acoustic guitar, vocals; Fred Eltringham, drums; Eric Fritsch, slide guitar, B-3; Charlie Rauh, electric guitar; Michael Webb, piano, B-3. It was recorded at Eastwood Studios, East Nashville by Eric Fritsch, and mastered by Alex McCollough at Yes Master, also in Nashville

Watch the video  >>  YouTube   © Copyright - Eric Brace / Red Beet Records 

The track is available for download on: CD Baby - UK iTunes - US iTunes  

4) Gretchen Peters “Idlewild”  from the album Hello Cruel World

 Indeed, in many ways Armstrong's triumph was a much-needed feelgood counterpoint to the horrors of the Kennedy killing. The event, coming as it did at the end of the turbulent 1960s, functioned as a brief national antidote to the whole decade. This was a tumultuous period that had seen Kennedy slain, the civil rights movement triumph and then despair over the killing of Martin Luther King and the spreading blaze of race riots. The 1960s saw vast and unsettling social change, the beginnings of white flight and urban decline and the upheaval and national trauma of Vietnam.

But for that single moment staring heavenwards – as the world focused on the sheer derring-do and genius of American ingenuity – none of that really seemed to matter. America was a country that in eight short years had lived up to the command of its slain hero president and put a man on the moon. Staring up in the night sky at that silvery circle above would never be the same for anyone again.

Nashville singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters’ 'Idlewild', is a song which touches on both deeply personal and universal themes
She wrote: In the mid-1960s my little world and the much larger one around me were both coming apart at the seams. You don’t see the correlation until much later – years later – but it’s there, and from the distance of decades it takes on its own kind of symmetry. From that distance another thing becomes visible: how much things have changed, and how little. Families still fall apart, hate still spawns more hate, the names change but the troubles don’t.

Watch the video >>  YouTube  © 2010 Circus Girl Music (ASCAP) 
They’re in the front seat, he’s got the radio low
And the moon hangs over Idlewild as the planes touch down
He is talking but she’s not listening
She is thinking of her father, who died when she was young

We think we're walking on the moon but we are dancing in the dark. RIP Neil Armstrong  (Gretchen Peters)


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