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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
In this June 1967 photo, The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon, appear at EMI Studios in London shortly after the release of their psychedelic landmark, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. The LP stands as just one of many musical astonishments of 1967 that shaped what we listen to now. (AP Photo)

In this June 1967 photo, The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon, appear at EMI Studios in London shortly after the release of their psychedelic landmark, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. The LP stands as just one of many musical astonishments of 1967 that shaped what we listen to now. (AP Photo)

It was 53 years ago June 1 when Beatles released ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album

By THE HISTORY CHANNEL

Bob Dylan’s instant reaction to the recently completed album Paul McCartney brought by his London hotel room for a quick listen in the spring of 1967 may not sound like the most thoughtful analysis ever offered, but it still hit the nail on the head. “Oh I get it,” Dylan said to Paul on hearing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time, “you don’t want to be cute anymore.”

In time, the Beatles’ eighth studio album would come to be regarded by many as the greatest in the history of rock and roll, and oceans of ink would be spilt in praising and analyzing its revolutionary qualities. But what Bob Dylan picked up on immediately was its meaning to the Beatles themselves, who turned a critical corner in their career with the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on this day in 1967.

Writing in The Times of London in 1967, the critic Kenneth Tynan called the release of Sgt. Pepper “a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization,” but 30 years later, Paul McCartney called it a decisive moment of a more personal nature. “We were not boys, we were men,” is how he summed up the Beatles’ mindset as they gave up live performance and set about defining themselves purely as a studio band. “All that boy [stuff ], all that screaming, we didn’t want any more,” McCartney said. “There was now more to it.” With Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles announced their intention to be seen “as artists rather than just performers.”

Sgt. Pepper is often cited as the first “concept album,” and as the inspiration for other great pop stars of the 60s, from the Stones and the Beach Boys to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, to reach for new heights of creativity. For the Beatles themselves, 1967 marked not just a new creative peak, but also the beginning of a three-year period in which the group recorded and released an astonishing five original studio albums, including two—1968’s The Beatles (a.k.a. “The White Album”) and 1969’s Abbey Road— that occupy the 10th and 14th spots, respectively, on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Greatest Albums of All Time. Also in the top 15 on that list are Rubber Soul (1965) at #5, Revolver (1966) at #3 and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at #1.


Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY MAY 30, 1940

The death of Clarence Wayland Watson, aged 76, former United States Senator from West Virginia, distinguished citizen, and pioneer coal operator which occurred a few days ago, came as a severe shock to Letcher County and the surrounding country in general. Mr. Watson had been located in Cincinnati as president of the Elkhorn Coal Corporation the last few years.

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The American Red Cross is asking for $10,000,000 to aid the war-stricken families of Europe. Never before since man collected his family in domiciles has devastation wrecked so many homes as are now torn, plundered and devastated in Europe, Poland, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France and Denmark.

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The Wallace Bros. shows will open a week’s engagement here on June 3. There are seven major rides and eight outstanding shows to amuse the public, and three sensational free acts on the midway every night.

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“Strange Cargo” starring Clark Gable will play this week at the Bentley Theatre in Neon. Also scheduled are “Main St. Lawyer” with Anita Louise and Edward Ellis and Preston Foster and Andy Devine in “Geronimo”.

THURSDAY JUNE 1, 1950

Word reached Whitesburg that Emery L. Frazier, one of Whitesburg’s favorite sons, suffered a blackout May 25 as he left the Senate, he being the Chief Clerk. Mr. Frazier has held for years a responsible position in Washington.

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The Old Regular Baptist Church has broken the ground and graded off a beautiful spot on the Hemphill Beaver Rap road at the upper end of Hemphill for the erection of a new church. Mr. Alfred Adams and Willis Tolliver will assist in the building and supervising of the work.

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On May 28, Whitesburg Post No 5829, Veterans of Foreign Wars held appropriate memorial services honoring the War Dead. The Veterans of World War II participating marched to the Ceremonies, where a Ceremony of Memorial was held. Following the Initial Ceremony, miniature U.S. Flags were placed on all graves of Veterans and Taps was blown.

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Franklin D.R. Elkins, age 17, son of Hibbert and Virgie Elkins of Jenkins, has enlisted in the Regular Army for a two year period in the grade of Recruit. He will receive fourteen weeks of basic training at the Third Armored Division, Fort Knox, Ky.

THURSDAY JUNE 2, 1960

John William Craighton Collins, who was famed in the late 1930s as the “boy mayor” of Whitesburg, was the recent guest at Blackey of his father, John D.W. Collins, and Aunt Lida. Bill Collins was a senior at Whitesburg High School in 1936 when, as a lark, his classmates proposed him as a candidate for mayor. They entered him in the race and he won the nomination before he became 21 years of age on August 29. Bill’s opponent in the November election was the principal of Whitesburg High School, Prof. H.H. Harris. Bill won and Whitesburg was publicized nationwide for its “boy mayor.”

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Renovation of the Letcher County Public Library’s new quarters will start next week and volunteers are being sought to help in the move. The library is moving from its present location behind the county jail to the old passenger waiting room in the L&N depot. Members of the library board met to try to plan for renovation of the new quarters. They estimate at least $1,500 will be needed to finance the work.

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Army Pvt. Charlie E. Wilcox, son of Mrs. Bertha Wilcox of Whitesburg, recently completed the communications center operator course at The Southeastern Signal School, Fort Gordon, Ga. Pvt. Wilcox is a 1957 graduate of Whitesburg High School.

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The nomination of Randall C. Day, Jr., to be Whitesburg postmaster was sent to the Senate for conformation Tuesday by President Eisenhower. Sam Collins, Jr., has been acting postmaster since the retirement 14 months ago of William F. Gibson. The job pays $5,385 a year.

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Carol Fairchild Brown of Whitesburg, who is Miss Kentucky, will compete for the title of Miss Dixie at Daytona Beach, Fla. The winner will be crowned July 2 by her predecessor.

THURSDAY MAY 28, 1970

The Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold Memorial Day services at cemeteries throughout Letcher County on May 31. The services will begin at 8 a.m. at the Pendleton Cemetery on Pert Creek and will finish at the courthouse in Whitesburg at 4:50 p.m.

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Letcher Fiscal Court again voiced opposition to the proposed Kingdom Come Dam, but left the way open for consideration of other possible dam sites. D.B. Barker, chairman of the Opposition Committee to the Kingdom Come Dam, told the court there has been a revival of support for a dam, especially among Hazard residents. Barker said the dam would have taken about a fourth of the county’s tax base, and the homes of 9,000 county residents.

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Letcher Fiscal Court deferred until next month a decision on whether to approve The Mountain Eagle as publisher of legal notices in the county. The court asked Mountain Eagle publisher Tom Gish and Charles Whitaker, publisher of the Community Press, to furnish affidavits showing how their papers comply with the legal publications statute. The court last month voted to designate the Community Press as the proper place to publish legal notices after Whitaker appeared at a court meeting and challenged The Mountain Eagle’s use on the grounds it is printed outside Kentucky. At the time the Community Press also was printed outside Letcher County but has resumed printing at Cromona since Gish called the court’s attention to the out-of-county publication.

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Marine Lance Corporal William L. McElroy, son of Mr. and Mrs. James McElroy of Millstone, is now serving with the First Battalion, First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, in Vietnam.

THURSDAY MAY 29, 1980

Kentucky’s first presidential primary Tuesday produced the same voter turnout in Letcher County as in nearly all sections of the state — light. Only 1,749 of some 9,000 people eligible to vote in the county took part in the presidential preference race. Jimmy Carter got the nod for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, drawing only 674 votes. For the Republican nomination, former California Governor Ronald Reagan received 367 votes.

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The grand opening of the new First Security Bank branch in Fleming-Neon will take place Friday, combined with the bank’s observance of Founder’s Day. The First Security Bank began in 1947 as the Bank of Neon. It started with $100,000 in assets and within 10 days had assets totaling $225,000. Today its assets are $28,000,000. The bank was renamed First Security when it moved its main offices to Whitesburg in the 1960s.

. Letcher County schools ranked 69th in Kentucky in the amount of average salary earned by teachers during the current school year. Letcher County teachers earned an average of $13,995. The state average was $14,420, with Jefferson County the highest at $17,059 and Science Hill the lowest at $11,493. Jenkins schools ranked 82nd with average salaries of $13,888,

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Steve Martin stars in “The Jerk”, playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

WEDNESDAY MAY 30, 1990

Dozens of workers have been laid off this month at coal mining operations in Letcher County. The largest layoff came at Blue Diamond Mining Co.’s Scotia operation, where 80 men were furloughed. Miners at South East Coal Co. have also been affected by layoffs. Low production and a depressed market were named as reasons for the layoffs.

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Letcher County could use money from housing state and federal prisoners to pay off the loans needed to build a new jail, Whitesburg architect Bill Richardson told the Letcher Fiscal Court. Richardson presented a feasibility study on a new jail to the court last week, calling for a 75-bed jail to replace the 49-bed jail.

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The number of traffic accidents was high, but the number of driving arrests was low around the Memorial Day holiday in Letcher County. Six accidents occurred during the last half of the week, before the holiday officially began. Sheriff Steve Banks said drunk driving arrests were light over the weekend. He said his department made only two arrests for driving under the influence and one for alcohol intoxication.

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Tracy Ison, a rising senior at Whitesburg High School, was selected to this summer’s Kentucky Junior All-Stars girls’ basketball team. The team will leave June 1 for a visit to Germany and Holland for games June 2-10. It will return on June 11.

WEDNESDAY MAY 24, 2000

Golden Oak Mining L.P. has filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming the action on a poor coal market and an employee walkout last fall. The company filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition May 16 in Lexington. Golden Oak is a limited partnership owned by William B. Sturgill and his family, by a subsidiary of Bank One, and by Madison Dearborn Partners. A company spokesman said the bankruptcy filing will not affect other companies owned by the Sturgills.

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Members of the Letcher County Board of Education have asked Superintendent William Kinzer to take a second look at job cuts made during the last month. Kinzer sent notifications in April to 29 classified employees telling them that their contracts would not be renewed for next year. Most were bus drivers, bus monitors and instructional assistants who also held other positions with the school district. Kinzer said the reductions were made because of overtime.

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Adam Adams and Vicente Lopez will represent Whitesburg High School in the Kentucky Boys’ State Tennis Tournament. Adams and Lopez, a foreign exchange student from Mexico, advanced to the state tournament when they defeated Middlesboro High School to capture the Region 10 doubles championship.

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“The Flintstones” will play this weekend at the Jeremiah Drive-In Theatre.

WEDNESDAY MAY 26, 2010

Letcher County Public Schools Supt. Anna Craft told the Letcher County Board of Education at its meeting that construction on a new vocational and technical school at Ermine could begin as soon as July.

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Customers of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District with accounts more than 60 days past due will receive letters informing them they have five days to pay their account or face being disconnected. Officials said they cannot go on with what is estimated to be an average of $10,000 per month in delinquent accounts.

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Burdine Postmaster Teresa Kelly said faulty wiring in an outlet has been ruled as the cause of a Friday night fire which caused damage to the inside of the post office.

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After taking a week off while six starters were away on their senior trip, the Jenkins Lady Cavs returned to the softball diamond to win three straight games and finish the regular season with a 28-5 record.

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