Category Archives: coffee
“Spinning Wheel” is the title of a popular song from 1969 by the band Blood, Sweat & Tears. The song was written by the band’s Canadian lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas and appears on their self-titled album.
Released as a single in 1969, “Spinning Wheel” peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July of that year, remaining in the runner-up position for three weeks. In August of that year, the song topped the Billboard easy listening chart for two weeks. It was also a crossover hit, reaching #45 on the US R&B chart.
“Spinning Wheel” was nominated for three Grammy Awards at the 1970 ceremony, winning in the category Best Instrumental Arrangement. The arranger for the song was the band’s saxophonist, Fred Lipsius. It was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year; the album won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
Clayton-Thomas was quoted as describing the song as being “written in an age when psychedelic imagery was all over lyrics…it was my way of saying, ‘Don’t get too caught up, because everything comes full circle’.”
The song ends with the 1815 Austrian tune “O Du Lieber Augustin” (“The More We Get Together” or “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”) and drummer Bobby Colomby’s comment: “That wasn’t too good”, followed by laughter from the rest of the group. According to producer James William Guercio this section was added in at the last minute after the end of the master tape was recorded over accidentally by an engineer at the studio. Most of this section and the trumpet solo were edited out for the single version. The eight-bar piano solo which precedes the trumpet solo on the album version is overlapped with guitar on the single version before the last verse.
Among artists who have covered “Spinning Wheel” are Shirley Bassey, who included the song on her 1970 album Something, and Nancy Wilson, who covered it in the Hawaii Five-O episode “Trouble in Mind,” which originally aired September 23, 1970. In 1970 Marianne Mendt released a version of the tune in Austria, as “A g’scheckert’s Hutschpferd” and Barbara Eden performed a live version  that aired in the U.S. Jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith recorded an extended instrumental version for his 1970 Blue Note album Drives. James Brown scored a minor hit in 1971 with an instrumental version of the song, reaching #90 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Canadian a cappella music group, Cadence also covered this song. In 1970 P.P. Arnold recorded a version produced by Barry Gibb but it was not released. An instrumental rendition of this song was used as a cue on the first Wheel of Fortune pilot titled Shopper’s Bazaar.
image credit: Robert Romanowicz
A team from Lithuania have set a new world record by preparing a cup of coffee in a air balloon flying at more than 20,000 feet (6.3km) high.
Nidas Kiuberis, Grazvydas Vilcinskas and Vytautas Samarinas had to don protective clothing and oxygen masks before reaching the impressive height.
Once there – with a temperature of around -20C – they used a special Aeropress coffee maker to push hot water through the filter and produce a quality cup of coffee.
Coffee expert Kiuberis then took off his oxygen mask and quickly tasted it before putting the mask back on. He said the brew was “as tasty as on earth” not better “as tasty” — so worth flying to 20,000ft then?
Speaking of the flight Kiuberis, co-owner of coffeehouse chain Coffee Inn, said: “Such coffee record would not have been possible without professional help.
“We were being prepared for it weeks before: from experimental flights, special diets to oxygen therapy lasting several hours before the final flight.
“I must admit even if I knew that we are fully prepared, all the time during the flight I was really excited. Still, it is the first and the only time I was making and drinking coffee flying at 60 km/h speed at inhuman height.”
Thompson Twins were a British music group that formed in April 1977 and disbanded in May 1993. Initially a new wave group, they switched to a more mainstream pop sound and achieved considerable popularity in the mid-1980s, scoring a string of hits in the United Kingdom, the United States, and around the globe.
The band was named after the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in Hergé’s comic strip The Adventures of Tintin. At various stages, the band had up to seven members though their best known incarnation was as a trio between 1982–86. They became a prominent act in the Second British Invasion, and in 1985, the band performed at Live Aid where they were joined onstage by Madonna.
An Ethiopian Legend
The Arabian Peninsula
Coffee Comes to Europe
The New World
“Coffee – the favorite drink of the civilized world.” – Thomas Jefferson