The year was 1788

The words were not original. The tune was an old folk song. Scotland’s famed young poet used them and added to them to write one of today’s most sung songs on New Year’s Eve around the world, Auld Lang Syne. The “my Jo” in the song is his wife, Jean Armour. They met when she…

The year was 1949

That was the year Jacob Rodney Cohen, 28, gave up his dream and became an aluminum siding salesman. He had been writing jokes for other comics for years. Calling himself Jack Roy, he struggled for nine years to make it as a stand-up comic, even including a stint as a singing waiter (he got fired!)…

The year was 1888

In 1871, Berthe Ringer, 22, was so impressed with her fiancé Karl’s business that she invested her own money and became a partner. A year later, when she married Karl, she lost her status – a wife could not legally own or invest in a business in Germany. Still, Berthe worked side-by-side with Karl for…

The year was 1929

The Great Depression?  Prohibition?  Nothing bad touched Joe Kennedy; he just kept making money.  Attracted by the glamour of Hollywood and the gorgeous women, Joe decided to get into the movie business.  He wined and dined the hottest of them all, Gloria Swanson.  One of his presents to her was an opulent movie set dressing…

The year was 1963

Jack Ely, lead singer, was not in a good mood – sick with a cold and tired from a late night gig. The studio mike was hung from a high ceiling. The band thought they were doing a run through, but the studio said it was good enough. One take. That’s all The Kingsmen, a…