27 Dec 2001, 17:02 UTC
Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Bob Doughty. On our program today, we:
play some music by Tony Bennett ...
answer a question about college football bowl games ...
and report about another holiday celebrated at this time of year.
One day after Christmas in Nineteen-Sixty-Six, a small group ofAfrican-Americans in Los Angeles, California began a seven-daycelebration. The celebration was not religious. Its purpose was tohonor black culture, especially the importance of the family. BobCohen tells us more about it.
The celebration is called Kwanzaa. The word is Swahili. It means"first fruits of the harvest." Today, millions of African-Americanscelebrate Kwanzaa during the month of December. Families in Canada,Britain, France and Africa also celebrate it. The main celebrationis held for seven days after Christmas, from December twenty-sixththrough January first.
Kwanzaa does not replace Christmas. Most people who celebrateKwanzaa also celebrate Christmas.
Kwanzaa is a time for black families to discuss seven goals tolive by all year. They are unity, personal independence, jointresponsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity andfaith.
p>On each day of Kwanzaa, family members gather to light a black,red or green candle in a special candleholder. Each day, the familydiscusses one of the goals. People may also get together for a partyor enjoy a holiday meal. They may play African music like this songfrom Zaire. It is performed here by Tabu Ley Rochereau. It is called"Madina."
Maulana Karenga (mau-oo-LAWN-uh kuh-RENG-guh) is a collegeprofessor who developed Kwanzaa. He says the holiday's goal of unityincludes unity in the family, the local community, the nation andthe African community throughout the world. He also says thatcelebrating Kwanzaa will not cure the social problems of blackpeople. But he says that honoring the goals of Kwanzaa will makepeople more creative and more productive citizens.
College Bowl Games
Our VOA listener question this week comes from the Philippines.Ronald San Juan asks about the college football bowl games that areplayed this time of year.
Bowl games are championship games that college football teamsplay after the end of the normal season. The first bowl game wasplayed in Nineteen-Oh-Two in Los Angeles, California. It was linkedto the Tournament of Roses Parade. The game became so popular thatthe Tournament of Roses Association built a larger football stadiumin the nearby city of Pasadena. A local newspaper reporter calledthe stadium the "Rose Bowl." The first game was played there inNineteen-Twenty-Three.
Ten years later, Miami, Florida started a festival on New Year'sDay that included a college football game. Officials named the gamethe Orange Bowl and the celebration became the Orange Bowl Festival.In Nineteen-Thirty-Five, the Sugar Bowl game started in New Orleans,Louisiana. Many other such games were played in theNineteen-Thirties to earn money for aid organizations.
Since the Nineteen-Fifties, the chance to earn money fromtelevision broadcasts has created other bowl games. In the last tento fifteen years, large companies have supported the bowl games. Thecompany's name is included in the name of the game. For example, wenow have the FedEx Orange Bowl, and the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
For many years, the football teams competing in these bowl gameswere the champions of groups of colleges called conferences. Forexample, the teams competing in the Rose Bowl game were the bestteam from the "Big Ten" conference and the "Pacific Eight"conference.
However, in the Nineteen-Nineties, football fans demanded thatthe top bowl games be played to decide a national college footballchampionship. So bowl officials created the Bowl ChampionshipSeries. Now, college football experts and computers decide whichteams have the best records and which teams should play in whichbowl games.
This year, twenty-five different bowl games are being played inDecember and January. The Rose Bowl will decide the NationalChampionship when the University of Miami plays the University ofNebraska on January third.
Tony Bennett's New Album
American singer Tony Bennett is seventy-five years old. He isstill trying new things. Steve Ember tells us about his latest albumwhich honors blues music.Graphic Image
The record is called "Playin' With My Friends: Tony Bennett Getsthe Blues". Tony Bennett says he was very pleased and excited aboutthe musicians who agreed to make the record with him. They includeSheryl Crow, B. B. King and Diana Krall. Another is Ray Charles.Here the two men sing "Evenin'." Ray Charles also plays the piano.
((CUT 1 - EVENIN'))
Tony Bennett says he wanted to make this album because bluessongs are different from what people think he usually sings.However, he says his very first recording was a traditional bluessong. Bonnie Raitt also has a history as a blues musician. Here theyperform " I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues."
((CUT 2- I GOTTA RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES))
The great band leader Count Basie had always wanted Tony Bennettto record a song with Kay Starr. The two singers honor that wish on"Playin' with My Friends." We leave you now with Tony Bennett andKay Starr singing Count Basie's song "Blue and Sentimental."
((CUT 3 - BLUE AND SENTIMENTAL))
This is Bob Doughty . I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC-VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
Remember to write us with your questions about American life. Wewill try to answer them on future programs. Listeners whosequestions are chosen will receive a Random House Webster's CollegeDictionary.
Send your questions to American Mosaic, Special English, Voice ofAmerica, Washington, D.C. two-zero-two-three-seven, USA. Or use acomputer to e-mail your question to "Mosaic at V-O-A news dot com".Please include your name and postal address. This AMERICAN MOSAICprogram was written by Nancy Steinbach and Caty Weaver. Our studioengineer was Tom Verba. And our producer was Paul Thompson.