Good News in History, January 10

25 years ago today, King Hussein of Jordan arrived in Israel’s largest city for his first public visit. The king, who is also a pilot, flew a helicopter to Tel Aviv for the ceremony honoring the successful negotiators of the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace talks. King Hussein-jordon-rabin-israel-peace_Government_Press_Office_(GPO)_-_PM_Yizhak_Rabin_and_Jordan's_King_Hussein_greet_each_other

Thousands of Israelis turned out to give Hussein an enthusiastic welcome, waving Jordanian flags and signs written in Arabic. The peace talks were controversial for both Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres, but went a long way toward establishing peace between the two Middle Eastern countries. The negotiations were also spurred through personal diplomacy from U.S. President Clinton. (1996)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Thomas Paine published the immensely popular Common Sense pamphlet urging American colonists toward independence (1776)
  • League of Nations held its first meeting and ratified the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I (1920)
  • The first UN General Assembly opened with 51 nations (1946)
  • Edward Brooke (R-MA) took his seat as the first black elected to the US Senate by popular vote (1967)
  • The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations after 117 years (1984)
2017 photo by Raph_PH, CC license

Happy 73rd Birthday to Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, whose vocals, keyboards, and songwriting talents have, for decades, merged the intricacies of jazz with his perfect pop sensibility. Steely Dan’s 2000 LP Two Against Nature won a Grammy for Album Of The Year, and Fagen’s solo album Nightfly became a cult classic. From the hit single, Reeling In The Years, to the smooth and complex sounds of Aja (and the LSD anthem Kid Charlemagne), the Passaic, New Jersey musician deserves two-thumbs-up for his brilliant body of work.

As an author, Mr. Fagen penned the book, Eminent Hipsters, writing about the cultural figures that shaped his artistic sensibility, and offering a look at his college days and a hilarious account of life on the road. Already known for his literate song lyrics and elaborate arrangements, Fagen proves himself am equally sophisticated author. (1948)

2014 photo by Joe Bielawa, CC-BY-2.0 license

Happy Birthday to the raspy-voiced British singer–songwriter Rod Stewart who turns 76 today. His fame goes all the way back to his first hit, Maggie May, with its striking mandolin sound, steeped in warmth. The long list of hit songs that followed earned ‘Rod the Mod’ the #59 spot on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of all time—and made him one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with sales of over 120 million records worldwide.

Stewart toured North American in 2019—and in 2020 had planned to continue his residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to promote his latest studio album, You’re In My Heart: Rod Stewart With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The LP is a retrospective of revamped versions of his classic songs, that use original vocal tracks atop new symphonic arrangements.

He’s got plans for another album that would contain country tunes, folk music, and “older stuff” that helped shape him growing up. WATCH Ronnie Wood join him on stage (his old bandmate from The Faces) for two of his big hits… See more songs from the fine concert series below, on YouTube. (1945)

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