We Didnt Start The Fire

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We Didnt Start The Fire

  1. 1. “ We Didn’t Start the Fire” the story behind Billy Joel’s number one hit
  2. 2. Billy Joel <ul><li>Billy Joel was born William Martin Joel on 9 May 1949. The song “We Didn’t Start the Fire” also starts with references starting in 1949. </li></ul><ul><li>Coming from a musical family, Joel began piano lessons at age four, building the foundations for a long and successful musical career. His solo career began in the 70’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Joel saw moderate success with his first album, Cold Spring Harbor , in 1971, and has his first major hit with Piano Man in 1973. </li></ul><ul><li>Joel never graduated from high school, but hold honorary degrees from multiple institutions. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Billy Joel’s Musical Career <ul><li>In total, Joel has released 27 albums, both studio recorded and recorded live at his concerts, 14 of which went Platinum in the United States, and 1 of which went Gold, between the years of 1971 and 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>51 of Billy Joel’s songs have become hit singles, reaching a spot within the Top 100 on either the United States or United Kingdom’s charts. </li></ul><ul><li>Joel’s music reached such notable heights that 24 of his songs were featured in a hit Broadway musical, Movin’ Out which opened in 2002. </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ We Didn’t Start the Fire” - The Song <ul><li>The song was released on 9 December, 1989 on the album Storm Front . </li></ul><ul><li>It hit #1 on the US Pop chart, #5 on the US AC and #7 in the UK. </li></ul><ul><li>Reportedly, the lyrics were written before the melody, which may account for the inconsistency of the music from most of Joel’s other hits. </li></ul><ul><li>Supposedly, the song was written after John Lennon’s son, Sean, complained to Joel that he was growing up in “troubled times.” </li></ul><ul><li>Joel has also been quoted as saying that he would’ve been a history teacher if he had not made it in music. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Basics, at a glance: <ul><li>Timeline covered within the song: 1949 - 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of references, total: 120 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of references, people: 55 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of references, places: 21 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of references, inventions: 11 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of references, events: 18 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of references, pop culture: 14 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>*This includes songs, books, movies, etc., but no people or events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PLEASE NOTE: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These numbers do not include some items and include some items more than once. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. An introduction to the people, places, events, and inventions referenced in “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (by time segments)
  7. 7. 1949 - 1950 <ul><li>Harry Truman: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Harry Truman is inaugurated as president, serving an elected term after becoming president in 1945. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doris Day: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doris Day stars in the film It’s a Great Feeling , which launches her career. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Red China: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communists take power in China, and it is deemed “Red” China </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Johnnie Ray: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Johnnie Ray’s song Cry hits number one, catapulting his career forward. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>South Pacific: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific opens on Broadway on 7 April. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Walter Winchell: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Walter Winchell was a gossip reporter and journalist who had a newspaper column and radio show. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joe Dimaggio: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joe Dimaggio is at the height of his baseball career with the New York Yankees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joe McCarthy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joe McCarthy gives his “Lincoln Day” speech and starts his anti-communist work. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Richard Nixon: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Nixon, a member of the California House of Representatives, is elected to the United States Senate. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Studebaker: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Studebaker hit the height of its popularity with its torpedo design. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Television: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Black and white television is introduced, and a new form of advertising - commercials - begin to be utilized. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>North Korea/South Korea: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>North Korea invades South Korea, the two of which have been split because of World War II, marking the beginning of the Korean War. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marilyn Monroe: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marilyn Monroe releases five movies and attempts suicide. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 1951 - 1952 <ul><li>Rosenbergs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrested for espionage and selling secrets to the Soviets, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted on 29 March. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>H-Bomb: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The United States military is in the process of creating the first Hydrogen bomb. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sugar Ray: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The boxer Sugar Ray Robinson takes the Middleweight title. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Panmunjom: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Korean town of Panmunjom is the site of UN negotiations to end the Korean War. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brando: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marlon Brando receives an Academy Award nomination for A Streetcar Named Desire . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The King and I: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical opens on 29 March. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Catcher in the Rye: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>J.D. Salinger’s popular novel of teen angst is published.. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eisenhower: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected to be president by a staggering majority.. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vaccine: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jonas Salk develops a vaccine for the disease polio that was an epidemic among children and others in the United States. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>England’s got a new queen: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>King George VI of England dies, leaving Elizabeth II to ascend to the throne as queen on 6 February. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marciano: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The boxer Rocky Marciano takes the heavyweight title and remains undefeated. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liberace: </li></ul><ul><li>Liberace has a popular television show that involves him playing the piano. </li></ul><ul><li>Santayana, goodbye: </li></ul><ul><li>George Santayana, a philosopher and writer. dies on 26 September. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 1953 - 1956 <ul><li>Stalin: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Communist USSR, dies in March. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Malenkov: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Malenkov succeeds Stalin in Communist Russia. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nasser: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gamal Abdel Nasser starts on his way to becoming the second President of Egypt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prokofiev: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sergei Sergeevich Prokofiev, the classical composer, dies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rockefeller: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Winthrop Rockefeller moves to Arkansas, where he will become Governor, and is a new item due to his “playboy” lifestyle. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Campanella: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roy Campanella, an African American baseball player, is named the National League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) title for the second time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communist Bloc: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The USSR forms the Communist bloc with all of the satellite nations it has under its control. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roy Cohn: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roy Cohn aids Joe McCarthy in his hearings on Communism infiltration of the United States government. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Juan Peron: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Juan Peron is at the height of his power in Argentina. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Toscanini: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The classical conductor Arturo Toscanini dies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dacron: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dacron, a plastic product related to polyester, hits the market. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dien Bien Phu Falls: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The nation of Vietnam is created when the French lose the city of Dien Bien Phu in their holdings in Indo-China. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rock Around the Clock: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Considered the first “rock-and-roll” song, Bill Haley and the Comets release the song “Rock Around the Clock.” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 1953 - 1956, cont. <ul><li>Einstein: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Albert Einstein, physicist, scientific theorist, and all around genius, dies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>James Dean: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actor James Dean, of Rebel Without a Cause fame, dies on 30 September in a car crash. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brooklyn’s Got a Winning Team: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series of baseball for the first and only time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Davy Crockett: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disney has television success with the show Davy Crockett , starring Fess Parker as the legendary frontier hero . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Peter Pan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A television version of the musical Peter Pan is broadcast in color, starring Mary Martin as Peter, on 7 March . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Elvis Presley: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elvis Presley launches his music career on 21 November when he signs with RCA records. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disneyland: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Walt Disney’s theme park, Disneyland, opens in Anaheim, California on 17 July. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bardot: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brigitte Bardot stars in And God Created Woman . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Budapest: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Budapest is the site of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, which is an anti-communist move. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alabama: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Montgomery Alabama, Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Khrushchev: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nikita Khrushchev takes power in the Soviet Union. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Princess Grace: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier II of Monaco and gains the title of “Princess”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Peyton Place: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grace Metalious publishes her novel, Peyton Place . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trouble in the Suez: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, instigating the Suez Crisis in Egypt, in which Britain, France and Israel send troops into Egypt. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 1957 - 1958 <ul><li>Little Rock: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President Eisenhower orders the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to protect nine black students whom Governor Faubus was attempting to deny entry to a public Little Rock high school, Little Rock Central High School. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pasternak: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Boris Pasternak publishes Doctor Zhivago . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mickey Mantle: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New York Yankee’s baseball player, Mickey Mantle is an All Star for the sixth time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kerouac: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jack Kerouac publishes On the Road . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sputnik: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sputnik, the Soviet artifical satellite, is launched on 4 October . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Zhou Enlai: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zhou Enlai is Premier of the People’s Repulic of China. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Bridge on the River Kwai: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A film of the book of the same title is released and nominated for seven Academy Awards. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lebanon: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The United States military aids the government of Lebanon with riots taking place in the country. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Charles de Gaulle: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Following the Algerian Crisis, Charles de Gaulle is elected as president of the Fifth Republic of France. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>California baseball: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants move to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, and are the first major league baseball teams in the west (past Kansas City). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Starkweather Homicides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Fugate, murder eleven people and are arrested in Wyoming. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Children of Thalidomide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thalidomide, a prescription drug intended to reduce morning sickness in pregnant women, causes infants to be born with underdeveloped arms, and the drug is taken off the market. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 1959 - 1960 <ul><li>Buddy Holly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A plane crash on 3 February kills Buddy Holly, an innovative musician. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ben-Hur: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ben-Hur , starring Charlton Heston, wins eleven Academy Awards. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Space Monkey: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Jupiter AM-18 brings monkies Able and Miss Baker back safely, making them the first living beings to return alive from a space trip. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mafia: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mafia bosses meet in New York, gaining the attentions of the FBI . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hula Hoops: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The hula hoop, a toy, reaches sales of 100 million . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Castro: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fidel Castro, a communist, takes power in Cuba after overthrowing Batista. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Edsel is a no-go: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ford Edsel is discontinued due to lack of sales. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U-2: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The U-2 Crisis of 1960 is set into action when a U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Syngman Rhee: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revolutionaries force Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, to resign. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Payola: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio DJs, like Allen Freed, are convicted of “payola,” or selling airtime for bribes and, therefore, tampering with record charts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kennedy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John F. Kennedy is narrowly elected President. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chubby Checker: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chubby Checker releases the song “The Twist” and popularizes the dance of the same name. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Psycho: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho is released on 16 June. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Belgians in the Congo: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On 30 June, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is officially recognized as independent of Belgium. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 1961 - 1963 <ul><li>Hemingway: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author Ernest Hemingway commits suicide on 2 July. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eichmann: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adolf Eichmann, a former Nazi, is captured in Argentina and tried for war crimes and executed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stranger in a Strange Land: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robert A. Heinlein publishes his novel, Stranger in a Strange Land . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dylan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan signs a record contract with Columbia Records . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Berlin: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Berlin Wall is constructed between East and West Berlin . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bay of Pigs Invasion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The United States attempts to overthrow Fidel Castro by invading the Bay of Pigs, but the operationfails. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lawrence of Arabia: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The film Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole sweeps the Academy Award. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>British Beatlemania: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ringo Starr joins the Beatles as they sign with EMI Parlophone and produced many #1 hits. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ole Miss: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Marshals assist James Meredith, the first black student at Ole Miss with forced integration. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John Glenn: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John Glenn is the first American to orbit the Earth, in the Friendship 7 spacecraft. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liston beats Patterson: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Boxer Sonny Liston defeats Floyd Patterson, the former Heavyweight champion. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pope Paul: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pope Paul VI succeeds Pope John. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Malcolm X: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Malcolm X is censured by the Nation of Islam for comments regarding the Kennedy assassination. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>British Politician Sex: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Profumo affair, a sex scandal, forces Britain’s Secretary of War, John Profumo, to resign . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>JFK, blown away (what else do I have to say?) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John F Kennedy is assassinated on 22 November. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 1965 - 1989 <ul><li>Birth Control: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Birth Control pill is legalized and Griswold v. Connecticut challenges limitation on contraceptives for women. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ho Chi Minh: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ho Chi Minh is the leader of communist North Vietnam. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Richard Nixon back again: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Nixon is elected President in 1968. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moon Shot: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The United States lands men on the moon in Apollo 11 on 20 July. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Woodstock: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The three day music festival, Woodstock, is held 15 August - 18 August 1969. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Watergate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President breaks into the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel to steal documents. Nixon resigns as a result. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Punk Rock: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ramones spark the punk rock music scene at CBGB’s in New York City. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Begin: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, negotiates the Camp David Accords. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reagan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ronald Reagan runs for President in 1976 and loses, but will later be elected in 1980. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Palestine: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Arab League accepts the Palestine Liberation Organization as a member. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Terror on the airline: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Palestinian terrorists hijack Air France Flight 139 and Uganda is hit by Operation Entebbe. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ayatollahs in Iran: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Shah in Iran is overthrown and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from exile and takes power. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Russians in Afghanistan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan in 1979, where war will wage for ten years. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 1965 - 1989, cont. <ul><li>Wheel of Fortune: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The television game show, in which contestants play a word game while spinning a wheel for cash prizes, becomes the highest rated syndicated show </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sally Ride: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, is a member of the 1983 Space Shuttle team. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Heavy metal, suicide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Musical groups Judas Priest, Metallica, and Ozzy Osboure were accused of backmasking Satanic subliminal messages into their albums by the Parents Music Resource Center, and lawsuits were filed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foreign Debts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rising trade deficits causes US debt to rise, especially with Japan. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Homeless Vets: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Vietnam war veterans are homeless. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AIDS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Auto-Immune disease, HIV/AIDS is first detected and spreads through the United States. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crack: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The new form of cocaine known as crack is developed and becomes a popular form of the drug because it is cheaper than pure cocaine. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bernie Goetz: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On a New York City subway, Bernie Goetz shot four black youth for reportedly demanding five dollars from him, and is charged with attempted murder, but is only convicted with possesion of an illegal firearm. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hypodermics on the shore: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Illegally dumped hypodermic needles and other medical waste washes up on New Jersey beaches. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>China’s under martial law: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In response to the Tiananmen Square Protests, China declares martial law on 20 May 1989.. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rock and Roller Cola Wars (I can’t take it anymore): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cola companies Coca-Cola and Pepsi both run feuding television commercial ad campaigns featuring musical stars, in attempts to appeal to youth. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. We didn’t start the fire, It was always burning, Since the world’s been turning. We didn’t start the fire, But when we are gone, It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on…

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