Phicklephilly Reaches 100,000 Visitors!

Well, we’ve reached another milestone here at Phicklephilly! We finally achieved 100,000 visitors!

 

When I started writing this blog 4 years ago, I never thought I’d reach these kind of numbers! Thank you to everyone who’ve taken the time to visit, read, like, comment and follow Phicklephilly. 100,000 visitors has translated into 168,000 page views so far. I hope to get to 200,000 by years end!

I’ve tried over the years to bring you the best, fun, and informative content I can. A lot has happened during 2020! Despite the obvious challenges we face in the world right now, I’ve taken this time to let my creativity flourish.

In the Spring, I released the book, Crazy Dating Stories. I compiled as many insane dates from hell from my life that I could remember. The book’s done well. Apparently people like to read about insane dating stories.

Summer brought the publication of my first work of fiction, Angel with a Broken Wing. That’s been a great seller and I’m so happy it’s done as well as it has. I have another work of fiction I’m currently working on entitled, Below the Wheel. It’s a hard boiled detective story that takes place in Camden, New Jersey. A couple of young private investigators get caught up in a serial murder case. I hope to publish that in early 2021.

100,000 Visitors!! Thank You!! | The Swiss Rock

I’m happy to announce the anticipated release of the sequel to Phicklephilly next week! The long awaited, Phicklephilly 2 will drop on the 14th! This book picks up where the first book left off. I was now fully ensconced in an exclusive relationship with my girlfriend Cherie, and how that all went along over two years. Michelle makes a few appearances, and there are some surprises along the way. (Some good… others, not so good.) I had a good time, but I really learned a lot about myself being in that relationship, and writing that book.

I can’t promise anything, but there is a possibility that the long awaited, Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon, may be dropping soon as well. I’m just working through some contractual things and issues in pre-production on that book. It’s a wild story that starts out with some interesting funny stories, but slowly transforms into a series of intense encounters with some of the female clients. I never expected any of that to happen, but life is what it is, and why not do it all with a great tan! If I get a green light on that project I may have that out sooner than later!

I’m hoping to publish a book that compiles stories from my young life in 2021 as well. Two of my sisters think it’s a good idea for a book, so I think it would be fun to write.

I have also been in talks with a long time friend and comedian of mine, about writing a comedy called, The Last Video Store. So there’s a lot going on here at Phicklephilly studios!

Thanks again to everyone who visited the sight! I will continue to bring you interesting and engaging content everyday!

Onward and upward!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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Tales of Rock – Sam Cooke

Samuel Cook[2] (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964),[2] known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.

Influential as both a singer and composer,[3] he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.[4][5][6] AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was “the inventor of soul music”, and possessed “an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed”.[7]

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously. Major hits like “You Send Me“, “A Change Is Gonna Come“, “Cupid“, “Chain Gang“, “Wonderful World“, “Another Saturday Night“, and “Twistin’ the Night Away” are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.[8]

On December 11, 1964, at the age of 33, Cooke was shot and killed by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. After an inquest, the courts ruled Cooke’s death to be a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been called into question by Cooke’s family.

Random Facts:

Sam Cooke sand Almost in Your Arms in the 1958 Cary Grant (Real name: Archibald Leach!) Sophia Loren film, Houseboat.

The Flamingos’ 1960 rocker Nobody Loves Me Like You Do was comosed by Sam Cooke. Many years later Steve Miller did a great cover of that song as well as another great Cooke song, You Send Me.

Sam Cooke was portrayed by Paul Mooney in the 1978 movie The Buddy Holly Story, which made Gary Busey a star and Oscar winner.

I love this song.

 

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Phicklephilly Special Report: Men in California Oversaw a Romance Scam that Targeted Women Worldwide, Feds say

In March 2016, a man claiming to be a US Army captain stationed in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals.

 

Within weeks, their relationship grew into an internet romance with the man sending daily emails in English that she translated via Google. The man who called himself Terry Garcia asked for money — lots of it — from the woman identified as FK in federal court documents. Over 10 months, she sent him a total of $200,000 that she borrowed from friends, her ex-husband and other relatives to make her love interest happy.
But in reality, Garcia did not exist. It was all an international online scam ran by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area with the help of associates in their home country and other nations, federal officials say.
And Thursday, US prosecutors charged 80 people — mostly Nigerians — in the widespread conspiracy that defrauded at least $6 million from businesses and vulnerable elderly women.
Of those, 17 people have been arrested in the US so far and federal investigators are trying to track down the rest in Nigeria and other nations.
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history,” US Attorney Nick Hanna said.

A plan to smuggle diamonds

The whirlwind online romance between FK and Garcia was all conducted on a Yahoo email address with no phone calls. Garcia told FK he wasn’t allowed to use a phone in Syria, according to federal authorities.
Demands for money started after he told her he’d found a bag of diamonds in Syria and needed her help to smuggle it out of the war-torn nation. He said he was injured and could not do it himself — and introduced her to associates he said would help facilitate the transfer, court documents allege. One said he was a Red Cross diplomat who could get the diamonds shipped to FK, court documents show.
Shortly after, another man who claimed to work for a shipping company asked FK for money to ensure the package was not inspected at customs, the complaint alleges. Requests for additional money kept coming, with the fraudsters citing different reasons each time on why the package was stuck at customs.
“FK estimates that she made 35 to 40 payments over the 10 months that she had a relationship with Garcia. During that time, the fraudster(s) emailed her as many as 10 to 15 times each day, and Garcia was asking her to make the payments, so she kept paying to accounts in Turkey, the UK and the US,” the federal criminal complaint says.
The loss of money has left FK angry and depressed, authorities said. “She began crying when discussing the way that these losses have affected her,” the criminal complaint says.

17 arrested and dozens on the run

The scams were not just limited to romance, Hanna said. They included business schemes where fraudsters hack escrow company email systems, impersonate employees and direct payments that funnel money back to themselves.
“In some cases, the victims thought they were communicating with US servicemen stationed overseas, when in fact, they were emailing with con men,” Hanna said. “Some of the victims in this case lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in this way.”
Of the 80 people charged, federal authorities arrested 14 people mostly in Los Angeles, the local US Attorney’s Office said Thursday. At least three other defendants were already in custody. The remaining suspects live in other countries, mainly in Nigeria, and investigators said they’ll work with the respective governments to extradite them.

How the scam worked

Investigators detailed an intricate scam traced to two key suspects who oversaw the fraudulent transfer of at least $6 million and the attempted theft of an additional $40 million.
Once co-conspirators based in Nigeria, the United States and other countries persuaded victims to send money under false pretenses, the two Nigerian men who lived in Southern California coordinated the receipt of funds, the indictment says.
The two men provided bank and money-service accounts that received funds obtained from victims and also ran the extensive money-laundering network, the complaint alleges.
The two men were arrested Thursday. All defendants will face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft. Some also will face fraud and money laundering charges.
Paul Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles warned people to be careful as romance scams escalate nationwide. The Federal Trade Commission has said scams that prey on vulnerable people cost Americans more money than any other fraud reported to the agency last year. More than 21,000 people were conned into sending $143 million in such schemes in 2018 alone, it reported.
“Billions of dollars are lost annually, and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims,” Delacourt said.

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Real-life Philly Horror Stories: 4 Tales of True Crime from a Former City Medical Examiner

Real-life Philly horror stories: 4 tales of true crime from a former city medical examiner

 

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Tales of Rock: Alice Cooper – Discovery

Most drunken purchases are best forgotten.

But not this one.

The rock star Alice Cooper was so caught up in “a swirl of drugs and drinking” that he apparently forgot he owned a silkscreen of an electric chair by his friend Andy Warhol that could now be worth several million dollars.

The forgotten work has spent the best part of the last forty years in a storage locker, and was only rediscovered four years ago when Alice’s mother found it ‘rolled up in a tube’ in the locker.

The work has never been stretched on a frame.

According to a report in the Guardian by the British writer Edward Helmore, Cooper’s then-girlfriend organized the purchase of the work, a red Little Electric Chair silkscreen, from Warhol’s Death and Disaster series, for $2,500 in the early ’70s.

However, amidst the chaos of his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, Cooper forgot all about the purchase, and was shortly afterwards admitted to a psychiatric hospital, according to his manager, the legendary Shep Gordon.

Gordon told the Guardian that Cooper and Warhol became friends in New York in the ’70s.

“It was back in ‘72 and Alice had moved to New York with his girlfriend Cindy Lang,” Gordon told the Guardian. “Andy was kind of a groupie, and so was Alice. They loved famous people. So they started a relationship, and they loved to hang out.”

At the time, Cooper had a stage routine that involved him feigning electrocution in an electric chair.

After learning that Warhol had produced images of the electric chair – the work is based on a press photograph from 13 January 1953 of the death chamber at Sing Sing prison, where Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for passing atomic secrets to the Russians—Lang, who passed away in January at the age of 67—had the idea to approach the artist’s studio and purchase one of the 1964 canvases.

“As I recall,” Gordon told the Guardian, “Cindy came to me for $2,500 for the painting. At the time Alice is making two albums a year and touring the rest of the time. It was a rock’n’roll time, none of us thought about anything. He ends up going into an insane asylum for his drinking and then leaves New York for LA.

“Alice says he remembers having a conversation with Warhol about the picture. He thinks the conversation was real, but he couldn’t put his hand on a Bible and say that it was.”

After a chance meeting with a Los Angeles art dealer, Ruth Bloom, Gordon was reminded of the work, which measures 22 x 28in, and Alice’s mother found it rolled up in a tube in storage.

Upon learning that the top price paid for a Little Electric Chair was $11.6m, at Christie’s in November 2015 for a green version dated 1964, Cooper said he didn’t want anything of such value in his house—and put it back into storage.

Richard Polsky, a Warhol expert believes the canvas dates to 1964 or 1965.

“I’m 100%,” Polsky told the Guardian. “It looks right, and the story just makes too much sense. It’s hard to appreciate how little Warhol’s art was worth at the time. Twenty-five hundred was the going rate at the time. Why would Andy give him a fake?

“He had plenty of electric chairs. They were not an easy sell. They weren’t decorative in the conventional sense. It’s a brutal image.”

Gordon added: “At the time no one thought it had any real value. Andy Warhol was not ‘Andy Warhol’ back then. And it was all a swirl of drugs and drinking. But you should have seen Alice’s face when Richard Polsky’s estimate came in. His jaw dropped and he looked at me.

“‘Are you serious? I own that!’”

 

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