WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN JANUARY 1948
 
 

Ballerina rules the Pop Charts for the entire month. With its blaring horn intro, plucked strings and lush backing behind the nasally deep baritone of Vaughan Monroe singing undeniably sappy lyrics it seems almost to be a parody of the sentiment it’s aiming for. Yet this represented the mainstream American taste in music as 1948 dawned, something pleasantly melodic and (overly) dramatic in its presentation.

It’s doubtful any of the audience for this at the time, or even the pop artists themselves who felt their positions were secure, were even aware of rock ‘n’ roll lurking in the alleys.

 
 
 

Sexual Behavior In The Human Male, a landmark study by researcher Alfred Kinsey is published. It may be purely coincidence that this groundbreaking look at the everyday primal urges in man comes at a time when music that will forever have that topic as a prominent undercurrent is breaking through, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that rock ‘n’ roll is the illegitimate offspring that resulted from the racy acts analyzed within.

This was scandalous stuff when released, with the publication seeming to legitimize and condone many behaviors which were considered taboo, though in truth it was merely an acknowledgement that such sexual proclivity wasn’t at all rare. The studies which included in-depth interviews with thousands of men about their sexual habits showed that sex before marriage, masturbation, homosexuality, sadomasochism among other stigmatized behaviors were far more “normal” amongst people in all walks of life than society had been led to believe.

The ensuing firestorm of publicity and controversy made Kinsey a household name while his research marked the first step in the sexual revolution which followed.
 
 
 
 
 


The first tape recorders are sold to the public ushering in the era of do-it-yourself sonic experimenting for everyone, from professional musicians to home technological tinkerers. This ability to hear yourself play, work out arrangements and improve your technique, as well as experiment with reel to reel overdubbing to create a fuller sound, has a profound effect on the rock movement whose artists were more home-schooled than professionally tutored to begin with and it wouldn’t be a surprise when many of them led the way with more complex productions in the years to come.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sipuel vs. Board Regents, University Of Oklahoma is heard by The United States Supreme Court which rules unanimously that The state must provide education for blacks equal to that of whites after Ada Sipuel had applied to the University Of Oklahoma law school in 1946 and was denied solely because of her race. The state of Oklahoma tried to get around this decision by creating a separate law school for black students consisting of only a few rooms in the statehouse building. She sued again and represented by Thurgood Marshall asserted the facilities weren’t equal and she won again, thereby being admitted to the University itself in 1949.

Despite her court victories she was forced to sit in classrooms with partitions separating her from the white students (probably so they couldn’t copy her answers to tests), though some students and teachers welcomed her and broke long-standing racial taboos in their efforts to include her in activities. After graduating in 1951 she practiced law and taught at Langston University, chairing the Department Of Social Sciences. She later earned her Masters degree from OU and eventually was named by the governor of the state in 1992 to serve on the University Of Oklahoma’s Board Of Regents.

Though the case ostensibly upheld the separate but equal provision regarding education, since she won on the basis the state had not, and ultimately could not, provide equal education while keeping it separate, it was nonetheless a decisive first step in the challenges that eventually took down legalized segregation.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit” – Gandhi

78 year old Mohandas Gandhi is assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who felt the Indian leader of peaceful protest was favoring the rights of Pakistan as India’s independence movement from Great Britain led to the country being divided into the Hindu oriented India and the Muslim oriented Pakistan.

Gandhi, a native Hindu Indian, had risen to worldwide prominence after obtaining his law degree in London and practiced law in South Africa, spearheading the Indian Civil Rights movement in that country against fierce opposition. Upon returning to his native country he led the battle for Indian independence from Great Britain by using non-violent tactics, fasting and organized social movements to bring attention to the issues, most famously with a 241 mile Salt March to protest the excessive tax on salt. He – and 60,000 fellow citizens – were jailed by England for participating but his fame and influence grew and the country’s political power subsequently began to manifest itself. Eventually, with the ability to maintain strict control on its empire weakening, Great Britain granted the country its independence in August, 1947.

Gandhi’s death elicited national mourning with two million people taking part in the five mile funeral procession. He had the honorific title of Mahatma bestowed upon him and is credited as being The Father Of India. His message of truth and non-violence became the role model for the peaceful protests of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi was named by Time magazine as the second most important figure worldwide in the 20th Century.

Truth stands, even if there is no public support. It is self-sustained” – Gandhi

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hot Rod Magazine is first published, giving legitimacy to the post-war pursuits of many returning G.I.’s whose mechanical know-how, often learned in the Army, as well as their thirst for speed, danger and excitement stemming from their battlefront experiences had found an outlet in drag races held on dry lakes, airport landing strips, or just on the street.

Though the illegal aspect of it was part of its initial appeal for many, there was also legitimate competitive urges being stoked, both as drivers and mechanics who for under a thousand dollars were modifying their engines and car bodies for maximum speed and its popularity flourished in Southern California despite police crack-downs on the activity.

In an effort to de-stigmatize the growing recreational “sport” Hot Red Magazine attempted to showcase its positive images, changing the perception of drag racing as a dangerous activity associated with crime and juvenile delinquency to something fully organized and responsible.

The magazine’s first editor, Wally Parks, would soon go on to form the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), which remains the official sanctioning body of the sport today.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Treasure Of The Sierra Madre premieres in theaters. The film will go on to win Oscars for Best Picture, Director (John Huston) and Walter Huston (John’s father) who won his only Oscar, for Best Supporting Actor, after three earlier nominations and is considered one of the greatest motion pictures in history.

The classic story of greed eating away the human soul centers on down on his luck prospector Humphrey Bogart who ventures into the mountains with two equal partners and strikes gold with suspicion, paranoia and violence following, along with perhaps the most famous line delivered in a film during the decade.

If you’re the police, where are your badges?“, Bogart’s Fred C. Dobbs asks.

Alfonso Bedoya’s bandit replies, “ Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!
 
 
 

The end of the line apparently came a bit unexpectedly for a Santa Fe diesel locomotive which, after disengaging from the passenger train it was hauling to Los Angeles’s Union Station, broke free and crashed through a retaining wall.

The 600,000 pound behemoth hung precariously over Aliso Street twenty feet below until a crane could safely return it from whence it came. Amazingly no one was hurt, nor was anyone cited for failure to stop at a red light.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
For those men who got a dozen ties for Christmas and nothing to wear them with, Arrow button down shirts range in price from $3.50 to $5.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The median family income in the United States for the upcoming year will be $3,120.
 
 
 
 
RECORDS REVIEWED FOR JANUARY, 1948:

AMOS MILBURN: Bye Bye Boogie
WYNONIE HARRIS: Wynonie’s Boogie
WYNONIE HARRIS: Rose, Get Your Clothes
THE RAVENS: Be I Bumblebee Or Not
ALBENNIE JONES: Give It Up Daddy Blues
ALBENNIE JONES: I Have A Way Of Lovin’
EARL BOSTIC: Hot Sauce! – Boss
ANNIE LAURIE: One Sweet Letter From You
WILD BILL MOORE: Swingin’ For Pappy
WILD BILL MOORE: Bubbles
PAUL GAYTEN: Hey Little Girl
THE TRENIER TWINS: Ooh, Look-A There Ain’t She Pretty
LITTLE WILLIE JACKSON: Jackson’s Boogie
JIMMY LIGGINS: Cadillac Boogie

 
 
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