January 31, 2015 05:28 UTC

Entertainment

Columbia Records Turns 125 With a New Book About Its Past

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Adele performs in February during the Brit Awards 2011 in LondonAdele performs in February during the Brit Awards 2011 in London
x
Adele performs in February during the Brit Awards 2011 in London
Adele performs in February during the Brit Awards 2011 in London

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Columbia Records Turns 125; 'Confessions'; Student Debaters

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
 
I’m June Simms.
 
On our show this week, we play some music from Columbia Records, which is celebrating its one-hundred twenty-fifth anniversary…
 
We also read some of your posts to our blog “Confessions of an English Learner.”…
 
But first, we report on the world of high school debate…
 
High School Debaters
 
Only a few days remain in the American election campaign. The recent presidential and vice-presidential debates were of special interest to high school debate teams.
 
Many debate teams compete locally and nationally for awards. The experience helps team members strengthen their skills in argumentation. It also makes them critics -- not only of the candidates, but of all the political talk they are hearing. Christopher Cruise has our story.
 
The high school debate team in the Texas community of Oakridge has won many awards.
 
Recently, some of its members argued for an extension of the federal ban on assault weapons. At the same time, other team members prepared to call for cancellation of the ban.
 
“This is a long-term ban, if you see before the ban…”
 
“So long will this ban have to go on? How long will we have to restrict people’s rights?”
 
Debaters make their presentation with evidence and reason, while questioning the arguments of their opponents.
 
“The biggest fallacy we can possibly talk about is the ‘slippery slope’ fallacy…”
 
Personal opinion has no place in debating. In competition, debaters must be able to argue either side of the question. This helps them understand both sides of any issue.
 
“So you’re saying that if we continue with what’s going on now, it’s going to cost more money?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“That, that’s good, but you have to give evidence.” (:10)
 
Deanne Christensen is the Oakridge High School Debate coach. She is in her eleventh year of helping young people learn how to argue effectively.
 
“And it’s great when they disagree with each other. It’s awesome to see them trying to defend their position.”
 
High school debaters can be very critical of candidate debates and political discussions among adults, in general. Debater Jonathon McClanahan thinks political partisanship can weaken civility.
 
“I don’t think we should have to hate the president to disagree with him – that’s why I honestly believe that with partisanship we need to be more respectful to each other. We need to have bi-partisan bills passed. We need to work together more.”
 
And debater Bryce Brady thinks high school debaters have a higher level of civility than many politicians.
 
“I definitely think politicians today could get a real lesson from a high school debate team.”
 
Deanne Christensen believes some of these award-winning debaters will be the leaders of tomorrow.
 
“They’re very smart and they want to see this country be successful because they are that future of our country.”
 
Your “Confessions”
 
We take a look now at some of the comments you shared with us on our blog, “Confessions of an English Learner.” Many of you provided advice about how you learned English. We welcome the helpful information. Thanks to everyone who has joined the discussion on the blog.
 
One web visitor described his difficulty with two English language words that sound similar but are very different in meaning. Moises wrote from his home in El Salvador. He described a mistake he made on his first visit to the United States.
Chicken soup for eating...Chicken soup for eating...
x
Chicken soup for eating...
Chicken soup for eating...

At the time, Moises was working on a cruise ship. It was his second day. He was organizing some of his belongings when a co-worker came into the room they were sharing. The co-worker asked, “Hey, my friend, do you want soap?” Moises wrote that he was surprised by the question and excited to use his English. He answered, “No thanks. I am not hungry.”
 
Well, everyone in the room started laughing and Moises did not understand the joke. He said his new friends then explained that “soap” is something you use to wash yourself. “Soup” is what you eat.
And soap for washing.And soap for washing.
x
And soap for washing.
And soap for washing.

Moises said this incident happened ten years ago. He added, “Do you imagine that I am an English teacher now?”
 
We also want to tell of a blog posting from Vietnam. Xuan Thanh wrote that she joined an English class two years ago to improve her skills in the language. Her teacher asked each student to write about something sad they had experienced. Xuan Thanh said that one of her classmates asked her how to write the name of a disease in English. She answered, “cancel.”
 
Later Xuan Thanh looked the word up and realized she had made a mistake. “Cancel” means to end or to stop something that is planned. The disease her classmate wanted to write about was “cancer.”
 
Thank you all again for the interesting posts. Please continue to share your English Learning experiences on our “Confessions” blog.
 
Columbia Records at 125
 
Columbia Records is turning one hundred twenty-five years old. Columbia is the oldest record label in the world. It became part of Sony Corporation in nineteen eighty-seven. 
 
On Tuesday, Columbia Records released a book about its history. Faith Lapidus has more about it and plays some of the music Columbia made famous.
 
The book is called “360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story.” It was written by historian Sean Wilentz. Most of his books have been political histories. He also has written about music and culture in magazines and newspapers for many years.
 
Critics praised one of his books, “Bob Dylan in America,” which was published in twenty ten. Bob Dylan is also a major part of the new book “360 Sound.” He recorded his first album, “Bob Dylan,” with Columbia in nineteen sixty-two. His thirty-fifth album, “Tempest,” was released in September of this year.
 
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” was a hit from his nineteen sixty-three record “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.”
 
In nineteen forty-nine, Columbia Records released one of the first albums based on a musical play. “South Pacific” was a big hit on New York’s Broadway. Richard Rodgers wrote the music. Oscar Hammerstein wrote the words.
 
One of Columbia’s earliest stars was Bessie Smith.
 
Billy Joel was a successful artist for Columbia later. In nineteen seventy-seven, the record label released one of his biggest albums, “The Stranger.” Four of the songs were hit singles, including this one “Only the Good Die Young.”
 
Right now Adele is one of the major artists with Colombia Records. We leave you with her current hit, the theme from the new James Bond movie “Skyfall.”
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Didi from: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
11/22/2012 9:28 AM
Thank you for helping me to improve my English !


by: Pimtip from: Hatyai,Songkla,Thailand
11/08/2012 10:38 AM
Right now I'm practicing English. My friends in Thailand have introduced this site to me.

Thank you VOA.
PIMTIP


by: NGUYEN QUANG VIET from: Viet Nam
11/03/2012 10:24 PM
That's a grate article, each section in it is very interesting. Especially i like the experience in learning English, it's very helpful for me and for every body who want to learn English so well also. I have been trying my best in order to improve my English communication Skills. So highly appreciated if you show me some methods to practice and make my dream become true!!! Thanks so much!


by: Boonthip from: Hatyai ,Songkhla ,Thailan
11/03/2012 5:16 AM
Always VOA Special English is good and great for leaning English .
Good for all .
Thank you VOA .
God bless VOA.
Boonthip

Learn with The News

  • Patriots Football

    Audio The Epidemic of Cheating in Sports

    Throughout time, cheating in sports has caused debate and dispute. Athletes often do whatever it takes to win in competition. Some take drugs that are meant to improve their performance, such as steroids. These might make them run faster or hit a baseball harder. More

  • freedom house vid

    Video Freedom House: Democratic Ideals Threatened Around the World

    The rights group Freedom House has reported a general decline in political and civil rights around the world last year. The group said its measure of international freedom has dropped in each of the past nine years. It added that democratic ideals are now under the greatest threat in 25 years More

  • Dagmar Lieblova

    Video Woman Survives Nazi Death Camp by Mistake

    Dagmar Lieblova was 14 years old when she arrived at the Auschwitz death camp in 1943. Everyone in her family was with her. All of them but Dagmar were to die at Auschwitz. But she was able to leave the camp after several months because of a mistake. That mistake saved her life. More

  • People from the al-Kaseasbeh tribe and other tribes take part in a demonstration outside of Jordan's cabinet in Amman calling for the release of Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by Islamic State group militants, Jan. 27, 2015.

    Audio Deadline Passes in Jordan-Islamic State Prisoner Exchange Deal

    Jordan wants proof that pilot is still alive. Also in the news, a gas explosion near a maternity hospital in Mexico kills at least seven; Benjamin Netanyahu blames Iran for fighting along Israel-Lebanon border; and the World Health Organization's focus on fighting Ebola shifts to ending outbreak. More

  • Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

    Can animals be artistic? Some experts think so. Painting and music are part of efforts to keep animals happy at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Zookeepers there believe that animals need enrichment just like people do. Their unique pieces of art are popular items. More

Featured Stories

  • AFC Championship Football

    Superbowl Sunday: The Patriots, the Seahawks and Katy Perry, Too

    The National Football League championship game is hugely popular with sports fans and television advertisers. Tens of millions of people watch the game for the competitive play and for the funny commercials broadcast throughout. Many also enjoy the halftime show. This year Katy Perry will entertain. More

  • NYC subway art

    Video New York's 'Underground Museum' Pleases Passersby

    For the past thirty years, artists have been asked to create works of art for New York’s huge subway and train system. The works often relate to city life or to the neighborhood of a station. Some people call it New York’s “underground art museum," with over 250 pieces of original artwork. More

  • agridrone

    Video French Farmers Are Using Drones to Examine Their Crops

    It used to be mostly the military that used small, unpiloted aircraft, called “drones.” The little planes were very costly. But as they have dropped in price more people have begun to use them. Rescue workers and farmers are among the new users. The drones save money and time. More

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

  • Obama

    Audio Has Obama Set the Message for the 2016 Campaign?

    “I have no more campaigns to run … I know because I won both of them.” Mr. Obama cannot run for president again – U.S. presidents may serve only two terms. But some observers say his most recent State of the Union message on the middle class sounded like a campaign speech. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs