Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunrise, Sunset

This is an HDTV video from NHK on the Earth rising and setting. Taken from the moon explorer Kaguya, the animated pictures are the first HD images of the Earth from about 380,000 km away.

In 1967, Louis Armstrong was paid only $250 to sing this song, which defined him more than his mainstream jazz tracks. It didn't make a dent, initially in the US, but it became Number 1 in the UK in 1968. This does not only show the maturities in the musical tastes of the two but an old (66 years old then) Black man singing an optimistic soulful song may have not struck the heartstrings of the Americans. A million copies of the original version were sold to date. Other artists who covered "WAWW" were The Flaming Lips, Shane MacGowan & Nick Cave, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on Hawaiian ukulele, Nora Aunor (a version that haunted me to this day), Victoria Williams, Eva Cassidy, Joey Ramone weeks before his death, Tony Bennett and k. d. lang, B.B. King, Sarah Brightman, Rod Stewart & Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Katie Melua for Red Cross. God bless Kenny G, Buble and Celine for trying to cover it but the world is already wonderful without them.

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