Highlights of the 1/31 Rock and Roll Revisited

Up Front: What makes something go viral? We’ve all been talking about how cold it is up north. Yesterday, my buddy, Fred Jacobs had enough. Some would consider his tweet NSFW, or Not Safe for Work. But it instantly generated a ton of positive engagement. Interestingly, his friends in other southern markets asked him things like, “Can you include us Texas A$$wipes, too?” Fred told me later that the ultimate irony was that he was sitting in a Florida coffee shop when he tweeted it. I was on my treadmill up the way in Jacksonville, laughing out loud.

What constitutes engaging content? Naturally the Twitter Business Unit has some advice. Mining other content (retweet with your own context added to it), using visual assets, hashtags and referencing other Twitter handles are all part of Social Media 101. Social Pilot adds some sauce to the goose by suggesting that you engage influencers and popular brands active on the platform, always including a call to action and sharing a weblink. They also touch on selective use of humor, which is at the center of Fred’s tweet. Best in class companies engage super connector firms like Izea to help them amplify their messaging.

All of these elements are valuable as you ponder whatever communication medium you use, from social to face to face. These days, everyone is under pressure. We’re working harder and seek relief from the craziness of the world around us. The fundamental cliche, “we buy from people we like” works, no matter what platform you’re using. Authenticity, self deprecation and gentle humor makes us come back for more. It’s why Gary Larson’s Far Side group on Facebook is so popular, years after he stopped drawing. We love seeing our favorite comics again and again. It’s also why Classic Rock radio continues to thrive, playing music that we first heard 40-50 years ago.

Social media has become a place where shocking words and pictures grab our eyeballs, just like the old “if it bleeds, it leads” maxim that is still the touchstone for local news. I think we crave content just like we crave relationships. We treasure brands and people that are familiar, fun and friendly. And once they get to know you, humorous tweets like Fred’s not only are welcome, but can also go “positively” viral.

Quick Takes:

Your personal data is the new credit score. New York got the green light this week to use your social media information to set insurance rates. And that data feed that’s coming out of your new car? It will tell your insurance company when you’re behaving badly. Via The New York Times.

More streaming content is coming to your favorite airline. Here are details on American Airlines new iTunes deal.

Jackie Robinson is on our birthday list today. One of the true world changers was born today in 1919. His impact is still being felt 47 years after his death. Via MLB.

Today’s TED Talk: It’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it that’s important.  (Video)

Today in History:

1865, Congress passes the 13th Amendment 121-24, abolishing slavery in America.

1948 The magnetic tape recorder developed by the Wireway company. Ampex’s version became an investment for singer Bing Crosby, who wanted to be able to pre-record and edit his radio shows for broadcast.

1955 RCA demonstrates 1st music synthesizer. Moog and ARP would quickly surpass David Sarnoff’s company and own the market.

1957, Decca Records announced that Bill Haley & His Comets, ‘Rock Around the Clock’ had sold over a million copies in the UK, mostly on 10 inch 78’s. The version of ‘Rock Around the Clock’ that was used in the movie “Blackboard Jungle” differs from the hit single version. The difference is in the two solo breaks.

1961, Ham the chimpanzee is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2.

1961 “The Misfits” premieres in NYC, final movie for Clark Gable & Marilyn Monroe. Gable died before the film was released.

1999 Seth MacFarlane‘s “Family Guy” first airs on Fox. Here’s some backstory on the show’s turbulent history.

2007, Jim Morrison was enlisted to help fight global warming more than 35 years after his death. ‘Woman in the Window’, a previously unreleased poem written and recorded by The Doors frontman shortly before he died in 1971 was being set to music and used to publicise the Global Cool campaign.

Happy Birthday to: Jackie Robinson, 1919 (d. 1971); Norman Mailer,, 1923 (d. 2007); Al De Lory (Producer/Artist), 1930 (d. 2012); Terry Kath (Chicago), 1946 (d. 1978); Harry Wayne Casey (KC & the Sunshine Band), 1951; Minnie Driver, 1970; Justin Timberlake, 1981.

Much More Music:

1970, The Jackson Five was at the top of the US singles chart with ‘I Want You Back’. The song was originally written for Gladys Knight & The Pips and was the first of four No.1’s for the group. It was also the first Motown record written and produced by The Corporation, a team comprising Berry GordyFreddie PerrenAlphonso Mizell, and Deke Richards. (Video)

1976, ABBA knocked Queen from the UK No.1 position on the UK singles chart with ‘Mamma Mia.’ It was written by Benny AnderssonBjörn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, with the lead vocals shared by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. (Can you pronounce any of those names?) Queen’s single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ had enjoyed a nine week run at the top of the charts, by coincidence, Queen’s single contains the famous “mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go” line. (Video)

1975 Barry Manilow‘s single “Mandy” goes gold. Originally titled “Brandy”, it was first recorded by written by co author, Scott English in 1971. Barry changed the title from “Brandy” to “Mandy” to avoid confusion with Looking Glass‘s “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)“. (Video)

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: “Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” ~Groucho Marx

We leave you with a “Middle of the Road Radio” favorite from birthday boy Al DeLory. He was the producer and arranger of a series of worldwide hits by Glen Campbell in the 1960s, including John Hartford‘s “Gentle on My Mind“, Jimmy Webb‘s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix“, “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston“. Al was also a member of the 1960s Wrecking Crew. Here’s his take on the “Theme from MASH”. Robert Altman‘s son wrote the lyrics that were heard in the film. Altman has said that his son made more money off of the song than he did off of the film. In 1970 we used to use this one to backtime into the news at the top of the hour.

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Hope you have a great day! See you at 6am tomorrow on Twitter.