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Monday, October 29, 2012

ASCAP Golden Note Award

image from totalmusicawards.com

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) presents a Golden Note Award to, as the website says “songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones.” The awards are given in various categories. 2012 recipients include Bob McDill at the country awards (10/29/12), Pharrell Williams at the rhythm & soul awards (6/29/12), and Trent Reznor at the pop music awards (4/18/12).

Frustratingly, ASCAP does not seem to have a complete list of all the past recipients of the award. As pieced together from various sources, here are the known recipients from 1982 to 2012:

  • Omar Alfanno (2009)
  • Garth Brooks (2002)
  • Lindsey Buckingham (2011)
  • Alf Clausen (2011)
  • Sean “Puff Daddy/ P. Diddy” Combs (1998)
  • Jermaine Dupri (2005)
  • Jose Feliciano (1998)
  • Justin Hayward (2000)
  • Alan Jackson (2002)
  • Jay-Z (2004)
  • Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (1993)
  • Elton John (1987)
  • Quincy Jones (1982)
  • Alicia Keys (2009)
  • LL Cool J (2006)
  • Jeff Lynne (2009)
  • Victor Manuelle (2008)
  • Mary Mary (2011)
  • Dennis McCarthy (2010)
  • Bob McDill (2012)
  • Reba McEntire (2008)
  • George Michael (1988)
  • Steve Miller (2008)
  • New Edition (2008)
  • Tom Petty (1996)
  • Jorge Luis Piloto (2010)
  • Andre Previn (1987)
  • Trent Reznor (2012)
  • Lionel Richie (2008)
  • Kenny Rogers (2007)
  • Joan Sebastian (2007)
  • Michael W. Smith (1999)
  • Mark Snow (2005)
  • J.D. Souther (2009)
  • Don Williams (2011)
  • Pharrell Williams (2012)

Pharrell Williams with his Golden Note Award,
image from amalgamationmag.com


Resources:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame

image from talentondisplay.com

The website offers little explanation of the Hall, including when it began or if it is even still operational, but acknowledges is neither has a building nor gives actual tangible awards to inductees. Categories include artists, songs, session players, writers, publishers, sidemen, background vocals, producers, and humor. Inductees in the “artists” category are listed below.


A

  • Roy Acuff
  • Alabama
  • Rex Allen, Sr.
  • Rex Allen, Jr.
  • Tommy Allsup
  • Jimmie Ammons
  • Bill Anderson
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Eddy Arnold
  • Ernie Ashworth
  • Asleep at the Wheel
  • Chet Atkins
  • Bobby Austin
  • Gene Autry

B

  • Moe Bandy
  • Bobby Bare
  • Jack Barlow
  • Joe Berry
  • Eddie Bond
  • Johnny Bond
  • Owen Bradley
  • Jim Ed Brown
  • Jimmy Bryant
  • Jimmy Buffett
  • Pearl & Carl Butler
  • Johnny Bush

C

  • Archie Campbell
  • Glen Campbell
  • Bill Carlisle
  • Carter Family
  • Anita Carter
  • June Carter
  • Maybelle Carter
  • Wilf Carter
  • Johnny Cash
  • Tommy Cash
  • Guy Clark
  • Roy Clark
  • Jack Clement
  • Vassar Clements
  • Patsy Cline
  • Jerry Clower
  • Hank Cochran
  • David Allen Coe
  • Tommy Collins
  • Jessi Colter
  • John Conlee
  • Earl Thomas Conley
  • Spade Cooley
  • Wilma Lee Cooper
  • Carolina Cotton
  • Floyd Cramer
  • Billy Crash Craddock

D

  • Vernon Dalhart
  • Lacy J. Dalton
  • Jose Daniel
  • Charlie Daniels
  • Mac Davis
  • Skeeter Davis
  • Delmore Brothers
  • Jimmy Dean
  • Kathy Dee
  • Iris Dement
  • John Denver
  • Al Dexter
  • Little Jimmy Dickens
  • Col. Buster Doss
  • Pete Drake
  • Roy Drusky
  • Dave Dudley

E

  • Stoney Edwards
  • Ralph Emory
  • Dale Evans
  • Everly Brothers

F

  • Donna Fargo
  • Narvel Felts
  • Freddy Fender
  • Flatt & Scruggs
  • Red Foley
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Whitey "Duke of Paducah" Ford
  • Forester Sisters
  • Mary Ford
  • Four Guys
  • Di Anne Foxx
  • Janie Frickie
  • Lefty Frizzell

G

  • Larry Galtin & the Gatlin Brothers
  • Crystal Gayle
  • Geezinslaws
  • Don Gibson
  • Kenny Gill
  • Mickey Gilley
  • Johnny Gimble
  • Glen Glenn
  • Vern Gosdin
  • Claude Gray
  • Jack Greene
  • Lee Greenwood

H

  • Merle Haggard
  • Tom T. Hall
  • George Hamilton IV
  • Emmy Lou Harris
  • Freddie Hart
  • John Hartford
  • Willie Harris
  • Don Helms
  • Hazel Dickens
  • Harlan Howard
  • Jan Howard
  • Lou Hobbs
  • Homer & Jethro
  • Johnny Horton
  • Ferlin Husky

I-J

  • Alan Jackson
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • Wanda Jackson
  • Sonny James
  • Norma Jean
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Jim & Jesse
  • Lost John
  • George Jones
  • Grandpa Jones
  • Jordanaires
  • Bill Jorgenson

K

  • Kendalls
  • Doug Kershaw
  • Hal Ketchum
  • Pee Wee King
  • Kris Kristofferson

L

  • Brenda Lee
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Light Crust Doughboys
  • George Lindsey
  • Hank Locklin
  • Lonzo & Oscar
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Charlie Louvin
  • Louvin Brothers
  • Lulu Belle & Scotty
  • Bob Luman

M

  • Uncle Dave Macon
  • Rose Maddox
  • Fred & Maddox Brothers
  • Barbara Mandrell
  • Grady Martin
  • Hack Martin
  • Troy Martin
  • David Mayfield
  • Leon McAuliffe
  • O.B. McClinton
  • C.W. McCall
  • Joe Manuel
  • Del McCoury
  • Mel McDaniel
  • McGee Brothers
  • Ron McMunn
  • Roger Miller
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Bill Monroe
  • Patsy Montana
  • Bob Moore
  • George Morgan
  • Col. Robert Morris
  • Moon Mullican
  • Anne Murray

N

  • Ken Nelson
  • Willie Nelson
  • Jimmy C. Newman
  • Juice Newton
  • Roy Nichols
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

O

  • Oak Ridge Boys
  • Molly O'Day
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Osborne Brothers
  • Bashful Brother Oswald
  • Paul Overstreet
  • Buck Owens
  • Vernon Oxford

P-Q

  • Johnny Paycheck
  • Billy Parker
  • Dolly Parton
  • Minnie Pearl
  • Joe Penny
  • Carl Perkins
  • Webb Pierce
  • Bill Phillips
  • Stu Phillips
  • Ray Pillow
  • Elvis Presley
  • Ray Price
  • Charley Pride
  • Jeanne Pruett

R

  • Eddie Rabbitt
  • Boots Randolph
  • Eddy Raven
  • Collin Raye
  • Jerry Reed
  • Del Reeves
  • Jim Reeves
  • Donn Reynolds
  • Charlie Rich
  • Jeannie C. Riley
  • Tex Ritter
  • Hargus "Pig" Robbins
  • Marty Robbins
  • Kenny Roberts
  • Texas Jim Robertson
  • Harold Rogers
  • Jimmie Rodgers
  • Johnny Rodriquez
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Roy Rogers
  • Fred Rose
  • Johnny Russell

S

  • Jeannie Seely
  • Billy Joe Shaver
  • Jerry Shea
  • Jean Shepard
  • T.G. Sheppard
  • Billy Sherrill
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Cal Smith
  • Carl Smith
  • Connie Smith
  • Margo Smith
  • Sammi Smith
  • Warren Smith
  • Hank Snow
  • Red Sovine
  • Joe Stampley
  • Stanley Brothers
  • Statler Brothers
  • Ray Stevens
  • Wynn Stewart
  • Cliffie Stone
  • George Strait
  • Marty Stuart

T-U-V

  • Hank Thompson
  • Mel Tillis
  • Floyd Tillman
  • Tompall & The Glaser Brothers
  • Randy Travis
  • Merle Travis
  • Conway Twitty
  • Ernest Tubb
  • Justin Tubb
  • Tanya Tucker

W

  • Porter Wagoner
  • Jimy Walkey
  • Billy Walker
  • Cindy Walker
  • Doc Watson
  • Gene Watson
  • Jerry Jeff Walker
  • Freddy Weller
  • Kitty Wells
  • Dottie West
  • Karen/Onie Wheeler
  • Slim Whitman
  • Wilburn Brothers
  • Don Williams
  • Hank Williams Sr.
  • Leona Williams
  • Bob Wills
  • Mac Wiseman
  • Sheb Wooley
  • Tammy Wynette

X-Y-Z

  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Faron Young
  • Eddie Zack

Resources:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

James Brown is recorded live at the Apollo: October 24, 1962

image from emiliogrossi.com


Recorded: 24 October 1962
Released: January 1963
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) * Introduction by Fats Gonder – Opening Fanfare / I’ll Go Crazy (2/22/60, #73 US, #15 RB) / Try Me (11/10/58, #48 US, #1 RB) / Instrumental Bridge / Think (5/2/60, #33 US, #7 RB) / Instrumental Bridge / Lost Someone / Instrumental Bridge/ Lost Someone (12/18/61, #48 US, #2 RB) / Medley (Please, Please, Please (4/7/56, #95 US, #5 RB) / You’ve Got the Power (5/2/60, #86 US, #14 RB) / I Found Someone / Why Do You Do Me Like You Do) / Night Train (4/14/62, #35 US, #5 RB)

* Chart peaks are for studio versions.

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 2 US, -- UK

Rating:


Review: “There is no more exciting document of live performance in the history of R&B.” AZ James Brown is now widely acclaimed as “The Godfather of Soul,” but at the time of this album’s release, he was “still widely unknown outside the African-American community.” JD On top of that, his studio albums failed to do “justice to his dynamic performance style.” NRR Brown asked his record label to record one of his shows. When they refused, he bankrolled the project himself, TL knowing “his live performances contained electricity unable to be reproduced in the studio.” RV

“By the end of these thirty-two minutes, no one will doubt that James really was the hardest working man in show business (and this without even seeing him dance!).” AMG The setting was Harlem’s Apollo Theater, “the ultimate shrine of black American music.” AZ “The Apollo audience, hysterical with adulation, plays as big a part in Live at the Apollo as Brown himself.” AZ

“Brown puts on a flawless show of dynamism that lost nothing in the transfer to vinyl.” TL The band “is in stellar form, tight as a fist (especially the horn section) and supporting their leader with both strength and subtlety,” AMG moving “like a single organism, with the horns ‘answering’ Brown’s guttural moans and bone-rattling wails, the bass and the rhythm guitar prompting an impossible-to resist swaying of the hips, and the tight snare drum hits on two and four sweeping us up, hypnotizing us, and virtually reprogramming our heartbeats in time with Brown’s.” JD Through it all, though, “Brown is truly the star of this show.” AMGLive at the Apollo left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was a live performer without peer, and that his talent could communicate just as strongly on tape as in person.” AMG

Apollo “predates the brittle but powerful funk grooves which would later make Brown the most sampled man in show business and focuses on his earlier and (relatively) more conventional hits, the building blocks of his pioneering sound are all here in high-octane live versions.” AMG

“Deftly swinging from up-tempo grooves to romantic ballads (albeit delivered with Brown’s typically abundant enthusiasm),” JD Apollo “captures the sound of Brown baring his soul with an almost unbearable intensity, which drives the audience into a manic chorus of shouts and screams.” AMG

Try Me

“The album seems like one continuous medley – Brown follows hit after hit with staggering verve.” RV “The set contains only six full songs, and most of those clock in at under two minutes. The entire performance is linked by instrumental bridges as the band builds up to the big medley – a six-minute merger of bits and pieces…then hurtles through the frantic farewell of Night Train.” JD

“Some listeners have suggested that the length of the recording and the effect of alternating the pounding, up-tempo grooves with the seductive slow jams evokes an expert session of lovemaking…One thing is for sure: The tone of the banter between Brown and the audience (especially the women) is positively orgasmic at times, as during the languorous, drawn-out version of Lost Someone.” JD “The song builds with intensity until the bottom drops, a…move that sends the audience into hysterics.” RV and “is one of the most heart-stopping moments in soul.” AZ

“Only a few thousand copies of the original were pressed, but demand became so great (it ultimately sold well over a million) that DJs played the album in its entirety.” TL It ended up on the Billboard charts for more than a year, peaking at #2 and becoming “a watershed album, both for James Brown and for the burgeoning soul music movement.” AMG It has also gone “down in history as one of the best live albums ever made.” JD

I Don’t Mind


Resources and Related Links:


Award(s):



Monday, October 22, 2012

Led Zeppelin released its second album: October 22, 1969

image from 3news.co.nz


Release date: 22 October 1969
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Whole Lotta Love (11/22/69, #4 US, #21 UK, sales: 0.5 m) / What Is and What Should Never Be / The Lemon Song / Thank You (12/17/94 *, #8 AR) / Heartbreaker / Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman) (3/14/70, #65 US) / Ramble On / Moby Dick / Bring It on Home

* live version by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, -- UK, 24.5 world

Peak: 17 US, 11 UK

Rating:


Review: This is “macho metal the way it was meant to sound.” VB When Led Zeppelin burst onto the scene in 1969, their “hard-edged” TM debut “suggested much of the preceding activity in British blues-rock had been child’s play.” TM With demand high for more product, the group their second album in the midst of their first American tours. The resulting Led Zeppelin II “doesn’t have the eclecticism of the group’s debut, it’s arguably more influential.” AMG It “provided the blueprint for all the heavy metal bands that followed it” AMG by foreshadowing “the basic guitar attack of heavy metal.” TM

With little opportunity to write new material, the group tapped into the blues tradition of “borrowing” and “recast lyrics and melodic ideas from old blues standards” TM they performed in concert. AMG The Lemon Song reinterpreted Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” while “the crunching Whole Lotta LoveDBW was a reworking of Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love/Woman You Need Love.” The tune, often associated with Muddy Waters, drew lawsuits settled out of court which gave Dixon co-writing credit on subsequent pressings. TM

Whole Lotta Love

There was, however, no denying Led Zep’s talent for recrafting blues songs “into a startlingly visceral, grab-you-by-the-throat sound that changed rock forever.” TM They may not have written the songs, but they came “to fully own them.” TM They simplified the riffs, pumped up the volume, and added extended instrumental solos for a sound which is “heavy and hard, brutal and direct.” AMG They “radically revamp the outlines of the music until it speaks with a bold, sometimes brutal fury.” TM “Robert Plant’s irony-free wail, John Bonham’s power drumming, and Jimmy Page’s squeaking, squawking, screaming guitar riffs casued a nation of hippie-dippie longhairs to put down their flowers and grab their crotches.” VB

Living Loving Maid

The album ranged from “heavy rock songs…like Living Loving MaidJA to “lighter, folk-tinged tunes, such as What Is and What Should Never Be…[which would] anticipate the mystical airs Zeppelin would pursue later, most successfully with the epic ‘Stairway to Heaven.’” TM Thank You and Ramble On also “sport light, acoustic touches.” AMG The latter features “nice melody and some terrific bass playing from Jones.” DBW

Living Loving Maid


Resources and Related Links:


Award(s):


The Beach Boys charted with "Good Vibrations": October 22, 1966

image from wikia.com

At the time of its release, “Good Vibrations” was the most expensive single ever released BR1 with one claim putting the total recording cost as high as a million dollars. JA The song was pieced together from hundreds of recording sessions NPR and more than seventy hours of tape CR generated in four studios over seventh months time. RS500

The song is the “crowning achievement” RS500 for Brian Wilson, who has been called “rock and roll’s finest composer ever.” WI While still a Beach Boy in name, Wilson stayed home while the rest of the group toured. This freed him to go wild in the studio, most notably in using a theremin, which is a keyboard instrument best known for its use in soundtracks to horror films. HL While the end result employed the vocal talents of the other Beach Boys, none of them actually played on the song. KL

As for the term “good vibrations,” Wilson told Rolling Stone that his mother had explained how dogs barked at some people, but not at others, “‘that a dog would pick up vibrations from some people that you can’t see, but you can feel. And the same thing happened with people.’” BR1

Wilson was convinced of the song’s good vibe, saying it would be better than the Righteous Brothers‘ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” RS500 Beach Boy Bruce Johnston was a little more nervous, saying, “’we’re either going to have the biggest hit in the world – or the Beach Boys’ career is over.’” HL It turned out the public appreciated the song‘s vibe as well; it met with instant success, selling 400,000 in four days SJ and becoming the group’s first million-seller TB-83 and third #1.


Resources and Related Links:
  • the DMDB page for “Good Vibrations”
  • The Beach Boys’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • BR1 Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Page 215. New York, NY: Billboard Books. (2003).
  • CR Toby Creswell. (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Page 779. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY.
  • HL Michael Heatley and Spencer Leigh. (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. Page 24. London, England: Blandford Books.
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Rememberd Songs (1899-1999). Page 66. Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • KL Jon Kutner/Spencer Leigh, 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. Page 127. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. (2005).
  • NPR National Public Radio web site (1999). “The Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century” (1999)
  • RS500 Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” (12/04).
  • TB Thunder Bay Press. (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Page 83. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA.
  • SJ Bob Shannon/John Javna. (1986). Behind the Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. Page 193. New York, NY; Warner Brothers, Inc.
  • WI Paul Williams, Rock and Roll: The Best 100 Singles. Page 105. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. (1993).

Awards:


Friday, October 19, 2012

Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition performed for first time: October 19, 1923


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Modest Mussorgsky composed “Pictures at an Exhibition” in June 1874 as a piano suite However, Maurice Ravel redid it for orchestra, premiering its first performance on October 19, 1923. Proving that any good work can be reinterpreted multiple ways, the piece resurfaced as “one of the seminal documents of the progressive rock era” BE when Emerson, Lake, & Palmer put their stamp on it.

Mussorgsky’s original work was inspired by a memorial retrospective of some 400 drawings and watercolors by Viktor Hartmann. Hartmann was a St. Petersburg artist, architect, and stage designer, who was friends with Mussorgsky.



It was edited for publication in 1886 by Rimsky-Korsakov. Over the next century, more than a dozen versions surfaced, “but none that challenge the finesse, subtlety, and cumulative impact of Maurice Ravel’s (1875-1937).” RD In 1913, Ravel, “France’s foremost living composer,” RD was commissioned to score what had been omitted from Rimsky-Korsakov’s version. BD He went on to lead “the world and American premieres (the latter with his Boston Symphony in 1926).” RD

Prog-rock group Emerson, Lake, & Palmer performed it live in 1971. The performance was released as an album and “made its way into the collections of millions of high-school kids who never heard of [Mussorgsky or Hartmann].” BE “It wasn’t the first treatment of a classical piece in this manner by any means…but it was the first to reach a mass audience or get heavy radio play (at least of excerpts), and introduced the notion of ‘classical rock’ to millions of listeners.” BE




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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Jackson 5 land fourth consecutive #1 with "I'll Be There": October 17, 1970


Michael Jackson was only 11 years old when The Jackson 5 hit #1 with “I Want You Back”, their chart debut. Less than a year later, “I’ll Be There” became the group’s fourth consecutive chart topper, making them the first black male group to achieve such a feat. WK It was the group’s biggest hit and the most successful Motown single from their 1959-72 Detroit era, WK but it would be the last time the Jackson brothers would collectively peak in the pole position, but Michael would go on to hit the top slot thirteen times as a solo act.

Motown chief Berry Gordy decided for a change of pace after three upbeat singles from The Jackson 5. Instead of relying on the stable of Motown songwriters known as “The Corporation”, he turned to Hal Davis, Willie Hutch, and Bob West for this ballad. In the song, a man declares eternal dedication to a former lover, saying that she can always come back to him. Michael and older brother Jermaine share the lead vocal, but this is really Michael’s showcase. “Rarely, if ever, had one so young sung with so much authority and grace,” AMG bringing “perfect aplomb…to material that ought to be both more romantic and more dramatic than he could possibly comprehend.” MA

Michael also demonstrates how well he was learning from his mentors at Motown. His mastery of phrasing and “the way he oohs his way out of the choruses” MA are taken from Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. MA “The harmonies rival those of the Temptations” AMG and he even ad-libs a line (“Just look over your shoulder, honey!”) in tribute to The Four Tops’ “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”.

More than twenty years later, Mariah Carey scored her own #1 version of the song on the pop charts. It was a last minute addition to her 1992 MTV Unplugged appearance, performed as a duet with R&B singer Trey Lorenz. WK Her version was even more successful than The Jackson 5’s original on the adult contemporary and UK charts where it went to #1 and #2 respectively.




Awards: Resources and Related Links:

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Haydn Quartet charted with "Sweet Adeline": October 15, 1904



As “the signature barbershop song,” DS “Sweet Adeline” may represent the sound of the first decade of the 20th century, WHC maybe even the first two decades, DS more than any other song. WHC The term wasn’t used until the 1920s, LW but the format of four-part male harmony with little or no musical accompaniment was introduced in the late 19th century. LW

The song began life in 1896 WK as an instrumental called “Down Home in New England.” The composer, Henry W. Armstrong, was a barbershop quartet enthusiast and tapped Richard Gerard to add lyrics, resulting in “You’re the Flower of My Heart Sweet, Rosalie.” RCG When they couldn’t find a publisher, they changed the title to “Sweet Adeline,” inspired by the “legendarily beautiful” LW opera singer Adelina Patti, although prima donna Adeline Gerard has also been cited as an inspiration. RCG

It was common for barbershop songs of the day to drift into “minstrel or vaudeville shtick,” DS but the Haydn Quartet, who scored their sixth #1 with “Sweet Adeline”, generally stuck to more straightforward harmony. DS The song was the biggest hit of 1904. WHC The Columbia Quartet and the duo of Albert Campbell & James F. Harrison also charted with versions that year, taking the song to #1 and #2 respectively. The Mills Brothers had a top 10 with it in 1939. The song also became identified with Boston Mayor John F. “Honey” Fitzgerald PM who used it as his campaign song in 1906.

“Sweet Adeline” established the foundation for vocal groups for decades to come. The Everly Brothers; The Beach Boys; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and even The Beatles’ penchant for “tight harmony singing” can all be traced back to the barbershop movement. LW




Awards:
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