Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 - 1849
Fun Facts About Edgar Allan Poe
- Poe was born in Boston, MA
- His father David Poe was bred as a lawyer, but deeply offended his family by marrying an actress of English birth, Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins, neé Arnold, and by himself going on the stage. In 1811 he and his wife died, leaving three children — William, Edgar, and a daughter Rosalie — wholly destitute.
- Edgar was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco merchant of Scottish extraction, seemingly at the request of his wife, who was childless.
- Poe attended the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1826…until he had to drop out due to lack of money. It seems that Poe had a gambling problem, and his foster father got tired of bailing him out.
- Broke, Poe lied about his age and joined the army. He served two years…and then got himself dismissed by court martial.
- His life immediately after he left West Point is very obscure, but in 1833 he was living at Baltimore with his paternal aunt, Mrs. Clemm, who was throughout life his protector, and, in so far as extreme poverty permitted, his support.
- In 1827 Poe had published his first volume of poetry, Tamerlane and other Poems, at Boston. He did not publish under his name, but as “A Bostonian.” In 1831 he published a volume of Poems under his name at New York.
- In 1833 he won a prize of $100 offered for the best story by the Baltimore Saturday Visitor. He would have won the prize for the best poem if the judges had not thought it wrong to give both rewards to one competitor.
- The story, MS. found in a Bottle, is one of the most mediocre of his tales, but his success gave him an introduction to editors and publishers, who were attracted by his striking personal appearance and his fine manners, and were also touched by his manifest poverty.
- His famous poem “The Raven” was published first in 1845, and soon became extraordinarily popular; but Poe only got $10 or $15 for it (the exact amount is often debated.)
- Poe’s short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin shaped the modern mystery story so much that Arthur Conan Doyle compared Sherlock Holmes to Dupin, and the Mystery Writers of America give an award named the Edgar—after Poe, of course.
- Among his masterpieces are the short stories The Pit and the Pendulum, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Gold Bug.
- In 1835 he married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, a beautiful girl of fourteen years of age. A false statement as to her age was made at the time of the marriage. She died after a long decline in 1847.
- Poe made two attempts to marry women of fortune — Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Shelton. The first of these engagements was broken off. The second was terminated by his death.
- Poe died of tuberculosis on October 7th, 1849 in Baltimore, MD
- Poe’s bizarre life didn’t stop just because he died in 1849. He was buried in an unmarked grave, and when gossip finally led to a stone being ordered, it was destroyed in a train accident.
- Ever since 1949, someone has left a bottle of cognac and some roses on Poe’s grave. Who is leaving these things? And why?
- Edgar Allen Poe is one of the featured images on the cover of the 1967 Beatles’ album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
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Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, 1941
Fun Facts About Bob Dylan
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Early Beatles circa 1962
Fun Facts About the Beatles’ “Love Me Do”
Paul McCartney (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: September 4th and 11th, 1962 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Musicians: Paul McCartney: lead vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
John Lennon: harmonica, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (Gibson J160E)
George Harrison: acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Ringo Starr: drums (version 1), tambourine (version 2)
Alan White: drums (version 2)
First released: October 5th, 1962 (UK: Parlophone 45-R 4949) version 1; April 27th, 1964 (US: Tollie 9008) version 2
Available on: Past Masters, Volume 1, (Parlophone CDP 90043-2)version 1 Please Please Me, (UK: Parlophone CDP7 46435-2; US: Capitol CLJ 46435) version 2
Highest chart position: 17 (UK: December 27, 1962), 1 (1 week) (US: May 30, 1964)
Live versions: February 20, 1963, for BBC radio’s Parade Of The Pops.
BBC versions: Eight (for the BBC radio programs Here We Go, Talent Spot, Saturday Club, Side By Side, Pop Go The Beatles, and Easy Beat.
- An attempt at a straight blues that dates all the way back to the Quarrymen days of 1958.
- Originally, the song was sung as a Everly Brothers-style duet, with John taking the solo “Love Me Do” at the end of each verse. However, John decided to add harmonica to the song at some point, having been directly inspired by Bruce Channel’s recent hit “Hey Baby.” Since he couldn’t play the harmonica riff and sing the last line of verse at the time, producer George Martin ordered Paul to do it instead, on the spot. You can hear the nervousness in his shaky spotlight.
- There are two versions of this song. Version 1 features Ringo on drums and was recorded first. When the Beatles reconvened to cut the song again on September 11, 1962, however, producer George Martin, still unsure of the new kid Ringo’s ability, substituted session drummer Alan White. This “version 2,” on which Ringo merely plays a tambourine, remains the best-known (and, frankly, better quality) version: it was released as a single in the US, as opposed to the original single in the UK, which was taken from version 1 (although subsequent UK pressings used version 2). Version 2 was also kept off the Please Please Me album in favor of 1, although Martin claims this was probably not done on purpose.
- Although this was never a favorite among most Beatles fans, John and Paul have both stood by the song in interviews.
- This song was actually recorded first on June 6, 1962 during the group’s first audition with EMI. At that time, Pete Best was still the drummer. This version, thought lost for years, turned up in George Martin’s home and can no be found on the CDAnthology 1 (Apple 34445).
- George Martin originally wanted the band’s first single to be an outside composition called “How Do You Do It,” but although the band recorded it, they eventually won the right to release this instead. Gerry and the Pacemakers later had a hit with a cover of “How Do You Do It” modeled very closely after the Beatles’ version.
- Rumor has been spread for years that this, the Beatles’ first UK single, only made it onto the charts because manager Brian Epstein personally purchased 10,000 copies of it. No evidence of this has ever been found, however, and John Lennon, for one, has publicly branded the rumor as false.
- This song was reissued as a single in the UK in 1984, and this time climbed to #4.