Let’s Take A Moment Day 45

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Peanuts music

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

If I had to pinpoint how rock & roll music officially began, my timeline would be this:

1908:  The year American bandleader & swing/big band/R&B musician Louis Jordan is born.

1916:  The year American rockabilly songwriter Claude Demetrius is born.

1926:  The year American guitarist Charles Edward Anderson Berry is born.  The world would come to know him as Chuck Berry.  Soon he learns to “play a guitar just like a-ringin’ a bell and, oh my, that little country boy could play”.

1946:  Demetrius writes a song (co-written with Jordan’s wife, Fleecie Moore) called “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” which Jordan records and turns into an R&B hit the same year.

1958:  Berry writes and records his semi-autobiographical groundbreaking hit, “Johnny B. Goode”.  The song begins with a note for note replica of the introduction to Jordan’s 1946 song, written by Demetrius.  A new sound is born from combining music from the swing/big band/R&B/rockabilly genres and Berry is christened “The Father of Rock & Roll”.

Young impressionable youths like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and many others are entranced by what Berry does with a guitar.  Fast forward to 1963 & 1964 where The Beatles record Berry covers “Roll Over Beethoven” & “Rock & Roll Music ” and stop by America for that Sunday night show at the same theatre David Letterman was in and there you have it.

Yes, Elvis (who covered a few of Berry’s songs, including today’s), Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and many other early architects of this new sound were coming up around the same time as Berry.  However, his musicianship, his stage dance moves (most notably the “duck walk”) and his songwriting talent made him a triple threat and set him apart from the others.  Elvis will always be the King, but Berry was and remains The Master.

Today’s song also has the distinction of being part of NASA’s Voyager Space Mission as one of the pieces of music from Earth.  And honestly, can you imagine Marty McFly sliding across the floor to any other song in “Back To The Future” than this one?

Chuck-Berry-Johnny-B-Goode

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Chuck Berry:  “Johnny B. Goode” (1958, written by Chuck Berry).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 44

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Time for a mid-week Motown break.  Today’s song is by arguably the greatest group of singers (and dancers) to come out of the Motor City .  The Temptations, during the “Classic Five” era with original members Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and David Ruffin, were enormously successful from January 1964 until June 1968.  At that time, Ruffin was fired from the group due to what was reported to be drug use, unprofessional behavior and ego clashes.  The latter included wanting the group’s name changed to David Ruffin & The Temptations after most of the songs he sang lead on were hits (“My Girl”, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”, “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, to name a few) and because Motown had just renamed Diana Ross & The Supremes for the same reason.

Ultimately it was Ruffin’s drug use that cut short his singing career despite several chances at reviving it with a solo career in the 1970’s, collaborations with Hall & Oates (including 1985’s “Live At The Apollo”) and The Temptations induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.  But two years later at the age of 50, Ruffin died of an overdose.  He had one of the greatest voices to ever grace a record with a range, intensity and power of someone who had lived a thousand lifetimes.  He and his four other group members made history together, going from “The Hitless Temptations” to the top of the charts, creating some of the best loved records of all time.  There were several other lead singers for the group over the last 50 years, but none could compare to Ruffin.

the temptations
The Temptations circa 1964:  David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin & Eddie Kendricks
(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Temptations:  “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)” (1968, written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong and Rodger Penzabene).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 43

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

For most people “American Pie” is Don McLean’s best song.  There is no denying the power of that song, the imagery, the energy, the subject matter and everything else that makes it such a phenomenal piece of music.  I have loved it my whole life and that will not change anytime soon.  But if I had to choose my absolute favorite song from his catalog, it would undoubtedly be today’s pick.  I find it to be a gorgeous piece of music that showcases his beautiful story telling with a sublime piano arrangement.  I often think of this song as the musical equivalent of the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken”.  On those days when we think maybe there was a different path for us to take rather than the one we find ourselves on, perhaps we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

So there’s no need for turning back
‘Cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we’ll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.

Don McLean

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Don McLean:  “Crossroads” (1971, written by Dob McLean).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 42

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today’s song is my favorite Gershwin tune of all time.  Despite the dozens of people who have recorded it, Lady Ella’s version with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra remains the one I adore the most.  The lyricist of today’s song, Ira Gershwin, once said, “I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them”.  And that tells you all you need to know about this song.

Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
.

 

Ella

Ella Fitzgerald circa 1946 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Someone to Watch Over Me” (1959, written by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin in 1926).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 41

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

I started watching “General Hospital” when I was in high school.  I used to hear my orchestra teacher discussing the story lines with some of the other students and was intrigued enough to watch it myself.  It was around the start of the whole Luke & Laura (Tony Geary & Genie Francis) era.  Needless to say I became a fan as well and fell in LOVE with Lucas Lorenzo Spencer.  Not long after their epic wedding in 1981, both actors decided to leave the soap, with Francis exiting first followed by Geary in 1983.  But unlike Laura, Luke was not going to be presumed dead.  So the writers gave him a great farewell episode in which he had the chance to say goodbye to his onscreen family and by extension, the fans.

Each time he met with characters like Robert, Tiffany, Bobbi, Ruby and others, one song played in the background.  It was a simple poignant wonderful song of love that fit so well to each scene and seemed so appropriate for the fiery eclectic Luke character.  He started out as this outsider, a bit of a loner who suddenly found his great love but continued living his life with such force.  I was so happy the powers that be at GH used an existing song by a great artist rather than something their music department composed.  It seemed to give more emotion to the scenes and more weight to the character.  But then again when isn’t a James Taylor song a great choice for an emotional moment?

You can run but you cannot hide, this is widely known.
Tell me, what you plan to do with your
Foolish pride when you’re all by yourself, alone.
Once you tell somebody the way that you
Feel, you can feel it beginning to ease.”

Tony Geary circa 1981 and James Taylor circa 1976 (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

James Taylor:  “Shower The People” (1976, written by James Taylor).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

 

Let’s Take A Moment Day 40

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Most music critics and fans of Stevie Wonder will tell you the 1970’s was the best era of his career.  It is hard to top winning three Album of the Year Grammy Awards like he did in that decade for “Innervisions” (1973), “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” (1974) and “Songs In The Key Of Life” (1976).  I am a big fan of all his music, including those monumental years, but for me it is the songs from the 1960’s that I cannot get enough of.  Today’s song is at the top of that list.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder (center) circa 1967 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Stevie Wonder:  “I Was Made To Love Her” (1967, written by Stevie Wonder, Lula Mae Hardaway, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 39

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

If you combined blue eyed soul with great story telling and a whole lot of cool, the result would be Boz Scaggs.  His “Silk Degrees” album dominated the airwaves in 1976, giving us hits like “Lido Shuffle”, “We’re All Alone” and today’s song.  Over the next few years more hits followed including “Miss Sun”, “Look What You’ve Done to Me” and “Heart of Mine”.  So many of Scaggs’ songs feature his fantastic guitar playing, great lyrics, fabulous hooks and his incredible voice.  I can spend days listening to all of his music but my love affair with him began with his first hit, thanks to one of the best bass lines I ever heard.  It earned Scaggs & the song’s co-writer David Paich the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1977.

Boz

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Boz Scaggs:  “Lowdown” (1976, written by Boz Scaggs and David Paich).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.