Let’s Take A Moment Day 196

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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 in 1968 The Beatles song, “Hey Jude”, hit the #1 spot in America where it stayed for nine consecutive weeks. Their success in this country began with their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964. Coincidentally, today marks the 119th birth anniversary of the host of that show. Edward Vincent Sullivan, who was born in Harlem, NY today in 1901, is undoubtedly best known for that Sunday night variety show which ran for an astonishing 23 years from 1948 until 1971. It remains the longest running variety show in US broadcast history.

Sullivan was raised in Port Chester, NY and began his career writing about sports for a local paper while he was still in high school. His career in print media continued after he graduated, first as a sports reporter then as that department’s editor for The Evening Graphic in 1927. Two years later he was given the slot as Broadway columnist to replace departing writer Walter Winchell. But then Sullivan moved to The New York Daily News which was a tabloid paper at the time. He wrote a column, “Little Old New York”, which was still focused on Broadway happenings but also included celebrity & local gossip. By 1933 he appeared in a film he wrote, “Mr. Broadway”, where he went to several NYC hotspots to meet various entertainers and celebrities. This led to his 1941 variety radio show, “Summer Silver Theater”, because throughout his years as a writer, Sullivan was also active as a producer and director in that medium & vaudeville shows. By 1948 Sullivan was hired by CBS to host “Toast Of The Town”, the weekly variety program that would go on to turn him into the legendary host he became.

In an interview about The Doors 1967 appearance on that show, Ray Manzarek said Sullivan “was like Barnum & Bailey. He presented the greatest show on television. You could see everybody……..you would always see a rock & roll band”. Well, it was not just that type of music you would see on that ground breaking program. Nearly every genre of musical artist appeared on the show: Motown, soul, R&B, country, Americana, jazz, standards, big band, swing, classical & anything else you can imagine. YouTube has a station devoted to hundreds of the Sullivan show performances, and not just the musical ones. You can see comediennes, skits, acrobatic acts and many others. There is even a clip from 1970 where Coretta Scott King introduces two of her husband’s taped speeches, “I Have A Dream” & his last public one in Memphis where he spoke about threats against him before he uttered these heartbreaking words: “Like anybody I would like to live a long life”. That is just one example of how diverse and progressive Sullivan’s show was.

It featured women entertainers when they were still considered homemakers only. It presented all types of music during the changing times of the turbulent 1960’s and people of all different races who were only looked at for their ability to entertain the audience and nothing more. That was all Sullivan, who never saw race or gender at a time when the world was focused on it. He only saw variety and shared it with the world. No wonder he was dubbed “The Starmaker”.

Initially I thought I would never be able to choose one performance from the Sullivan show to commemorate his birth anniversary given how many there are to pick from. But then I saw the clip of today’s song and suddenly the choice was clear. My parents loved The Bee Gees and I inherited that feeling for all their older music (read: their music BEFORE the infamous disco era). My mother’s favorite song of theirs was “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” but the group did not perform that one on the Sullivan show. So I chose one of the songs they did sing in 1968. It features Barry on vocals alone sans beard, Maurice on bass, Robin on piano and about a dozen string players. And since tomorrow, September 29, marks what would have been my mothers 81st birthday, I thought this beautiful song was a great way to honor her, too.

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away
“.

Ed and The Beatles 1964

Bee Gees

Top (L-R): Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Ed Sullivan, John Lennon & Paul McCartney from their appearance in February 1964. Bottom (L-R): Robin Gibb (piano), Vince Melouney (guitar), Colin Petersen (drums), Maurice Gibb (Bass) and center, Barry Gibb (vocals) at their March 1968 performance. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Bee Gees: “Words” (Performed live on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on March 17, 1968. Written by Barry, Maurice & Robin Gibb).

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 195

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

When I was growing up my mother had about ten 45’s that she played over and over. And that is not a complaint as those songs are still some of my all time favorites. One of them was “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson. We saw her sing it on one (or maybe several) of the variety shows between 1970 & 1971. I remember admiring her pretty long blonde hair and how much she smiled while singing her song. She was a country artist but the track became a massive crossover hit, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 chart.

Fast forward to March 1977. I was watching my two favorite cops, “Starsky & Hutch” in the episode, “Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road” (season two, episode 23) when who appeared but Anderson herself. She played a country singer (what else, right?) named Sue Ann Grainger who Hutch went to see at a local bar only to discover she was being stalked by a disgruntled former fan. S&H helped solve the case, of course, and to say thank you Grainger invited Hutch on stage to sing a song during her show to close out the episode. The tune he sang is today’s pick.

It was written by singer/songwriter Tom Jans who started his career singing with folk artist Joan Baez’s sister, Mimi Farina, around 1970 in California. She & Jans recorded an album in 1971 entitled, “Take Heart”. When it failed to chart the two singers parted ways the following year. Jans then moved to Nashville to write for a music publisher. His first song-today’s tune-was recorded by Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Presley and then by Jans himself for his own solo release in 1974. Unfortunately it did not have any success so Jans moved back to California. He recorded two more albums that did not sell so Jans moved to Europe. In 1983 he was in a serious motorcycle accident and died the following year allegedly from a drug overdose.

Today’s track has also been recorded by a few other artists including Etta James, Natalie Cole and Livingston Taylor. But to me, the best version is by Dobie Gray, whose gorgeous harmonies are reminiscent of his work on “Drift Away”. It only hit #61 on the charts in 1973 which I find absolutely criminal. This song is Jans’ beautiful legacy.

I’ve been too long in the wind, too long in the rain
Taking any comfort that I can
Looking back and longing for the freedom from my chains
Lying in your loving arms again
“.

tom_jans

Tom Jans circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dobie Gray 1973

Dobie Gray circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dobie Gray: “Loving Arms” (1973, written by Tom Jans).

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 194

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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 marks the 122nd birth anniversary of George Gershwin. He wrote some of the most beautiful standards out there, and Broadway musicals were never the same after his genius touch. My absolute favorite tune of his is “Someone To Watch Over Me” (see Day 42). But I love today’s song as well, which was first sung by Ginger Rogers in the 1930 stage musical, “Girl Crazy” and in the 1943 film version by Judy Garland.

Since then it has been covered by a number of artists including John Coltrane, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Elton John and Barry Manilow, amongst others. But when it comes to singing Gershwin tunes, I do not think anyone compares to Lady Ella.

I was a fool to fall, and get that way
Hi-ho, alas, and also lack-a-day
Although I can’t dismiss
The memory of his kiss
I guess he’s not for me
“.

Ella Marilyn

george gershwin

Top: Ella Fitzgerald & Marilyn Monroe circa 1955. Bottom: George Gershwin circa 1930. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “But Not For Me” ( 1959, written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin).

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 193

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

On this day 47 years ago-September 25, 1973-The Allman Brothers Band released today’s song from their “Brothers and Sisters” album. It was recorded during the last three months of 1972 while the band was still reeling from the death of guitarist Duane Allman from a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. Bassist Berry Oakley took the loss especially hard and was using drugs and alcohol to dull his pain. In what can only be classified as an unimaginable ironic coincidence, Oakley died November 11, 1972 in an accident similar to Allman’s not far from his crash site. But unlike Allman, Oakley walked away from the crash despite hitting his head after being thrown off his bike. He succumbed to his injuries three hours later and died from cerebral swelling due to a fractured skull. He was 24 years old, just like Allman, and was buried right next to him.

Because Oakley died during the making of this album, he only appears on two of the seven tracks: “Wasted Words” and today’s song, which was the band’s only top ten hit. So despite the upbeat tempo of this incredible song and Betts’ soaring guitar ending, it is a haunting reminder that many bands know heartache and loss, but The Allman Brothers Band lived through it twice in 13 months. They broke up & reformed several times between 1976 & 1989 and retired for good in 2014.

Two more original band members died within months of each other in 2017. First, drummer Butch Trucks committed suicide in January, allegedly from depression related to financial problems. Then vocalist, keyboard player & songwriter Gregg Allman died in May from liver cancer. Both men were 69 years old. The two surviving original members continue to make music. Dickey Betts (vocalist, guitarist & songwriter) has been a solo artist since he left the band in 2000 and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drummer) leads his own group, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band. Fifty-one years after the six founding members formed their group, The Allman Brothers Band remains a legendary part of the classic rock music world. And one of my all time favorite bands.

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man
“.

allman-brothers

The Allman Brothers Band circa 1971 (L-R): Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, Berry Oakley & Butch Trucks. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Allman Brothers Band: “Ramblin’ Man” (1973, written by Dickey Betts).

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 192

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

September 23 marked the 90th birth anniversary of the man known as The Genius, Ray Charles. He gave us so much spectacular music throughout his career, and there is nothing I can write about him that has not already been said. He was one of the greats, an absolute legend, a phenomenal performer and an American treasure. And one of the best singers to take another person’s song and make it his own.

One of my favorite examples of this gift is a song he included on his 1993 album, “My World” It was written by another piano man, Leon Russell. He was another multi-talented performer who had a voice similar to that of Gregg Allman and hit those keys like Charles. Russell spent nearly 60 years playing & singing with some of the best known artists of the 20th century like Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Ike & Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Joe Cocker and so many others.

He wrote hit songs like “This Masquerade”, “Lady Blue”, “Tightrope”, “Hummingbird”, “Delta Lady” & today’s track. It was covered by The Carpenters, Donny Hathaway, Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and, of course, Charles. His version won him his third Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1994 and brought out the heart of this song unlike anyone before or after, including Russell. But they are his words that Charles brought to life so beautifully.

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singin’ my song for you
“.

ray charles

Ray Charles circa 1968. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Russell

Leon Russell in 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “A Song For You” (1993, written by Leon Russell).

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 191

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?

Bruce quote

(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 is one of those days I am most thankful for. It was 71 years ago today that Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen came into the world and began his ascent to become The Boss. His poetry, music, intellect, soul & heart changed the world as a whole but my existence especially as I was someone who needed a place to reclaim my hope and faith. He gave it back to me and more with every note he sang and every word he wrote. And he continues doing that today. His latest album, “Letter To You” will be released on October 23.

During his VH-1 “Storytellers” performance, Springsteen said his “Born To Run” album was an invitation to his audience to join him on his pilgrimage.  If that was true then his follow up, “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, was about letting us see even more of the truth behind the songs and life itself.  This album did not contain a block party feel good song like “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”.  Instead it had the competition of Adam & Cain, the mind numbing soul robbing existence of factory life, people living with something that they just cannot face until they “cut it loose or let it drag ’em down”, fearing the moment you finally get something you need because then “they send someone to try and take it away” and our hero in Candy’s Room instead of at the screen door watching Mary dance across the porch.  By the end of the first verse of today’s song when Springsteen asserts himself with the line,  “Pretty soon, little girl, I’m gonna take charge” all I could think was I am ready.  And swoon. 

And he does just that in today’s song by showing us how to take control of the uncontrollable moments in our lives.  It is my favorite from the album and another life lesson about how buying into what everyone tells you is the meaning of happiness is never going to work for you if you hear a voice inside you telling you there has to be more.  You just have to be brave enough to close your eyes and jump into the unknown for that proverbial leap of faith.  With Bruce, nothing seems unattainable.  He has proven that with all he has accomplished in his 50 year career. And with the sage words below I try to remember and live by everyday.  Happy birthday, Bossman.  May you see 100 more.  And thank you for everything.            

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
“.

Bruce Springsteen in 1978 photographed by Frank Stefanko. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “The Promised Land” (1978, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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 190

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?

Fall

(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 marks the first official day of autumn. Welcome, you beautiful new season!!! There are a number of songs that celebrate the glory of fall. The most well known one is probably the jazz standard written by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer, “Autumn Leaves”. It has been recorded by hundreds of artists including Nat King Cole (1955), Frank Sinatra (1957), Miles Davis (1963), Chet Baker (1974), Jerry Lee Lewis (1980), Eric Clapton (2010) and Bob Dylan (2015).

However, on Day 168 I wrote about how Van Morrison has written several of my favorite fall tunes. He was a native of Belfast, Ireland until he moved to New York in the late 1960’s with his band, Them. He settled in Cambridge, MA after marrying his first wife who was an American citizen. Morrison was so enthralled by the colors of autumn in New England it led to him writing the many songs I love about this glorious time of year. My top choice is today’s pick. It is an exquisite evocative serenade to this most sublime season.

I saw you standing with the wind and the rain in your face
And you were thinking ’bout the wisdom of the leaves and their grace
When the leaves come falling down
In September when the leaves, come falling down
“.

van morrison

Van Morrison circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison: “When The Leaves Come Falling Down” (1999, written by Van Morrison).

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 189

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

Sometimes when I read comments under the videos I watch on YT I find myself swooning over a few of them. For example, on a Tom Waits video someone wrote, “(He) writes songs about wounded people with just a few drops of dream left.” That is one of my favorite descriptions of his music and probably one of the most accurate assessments of the people he writes about. I know he is an acquired taste for some, but I fell in love with his voice the first time I heard “Tom Traubert’s Blues” (see Day 92) which is on his 1976 album, “Small Change”. That record was released today in that year and even though it was his fourth studio album, Waits was just beginning to show us the depth of his story telling skills, his prowess for writing unique and gripping lyrics and the vast group of characters who take center stage in his songs.

Another album of his that I love is 1974’s “The Heart Of Saturday Night”. The songs on this record show a more tender and reflective side to this immensely talented artist, especially today’s track in which he is the focus. The way he tells his story of regret is absolutely exquisite, as is the beautiful string arrangement. To me his songs are like books I cannot put down, or when I must, I dream for the moment I can get back to the world he has created. Despite how eccentric his characters may seem, the thing they all have in common is just wanting to be noticed for who they are since perhaps the different aspects of their lives has made them somehow less noticeable. Or worse, invisible.

Those are the souls Waits zeros in on and shares with his audience. The ne’er-do-wells, the alcoholics, the hookers, the broken-hearted, the sad sacks, the angry types, the ones wondering where their lives went, the ones haunted by their choices or the ones just broken by life. Waits is their voice. And to me they are all people I want to get to know because, as the saying goes, there but for the grace of God. Waits extends a hand to each of them. And that in and of itself gives us all hope.

I never saw the mornin’ ’til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine ’til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

I never saw the white line ’til I was leavin’ you behind
I never knew I needed you until I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke “I love you” ’til I cursed you in vain
I never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane

I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off of your breast
I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal it, steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face

I never saw the mornin’ ’til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine ’til you turned out your love light babe
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song
“.

Tom Waits

Tom Waits circa 1976. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits: “San Diego Serenade” (1974, written by Tom Waits).

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 188

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

On this day in 1969 the only album by the rock band, Blind Faith, hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart a mere six weeks after it was released. The exemplary songs & music had a lot to do with that success, of course. But so did the fact that they were the first known “supergroup” as three of the four members had recently left their other successful bands (Ginger Baker & Eric Clapton from Cream & Steve Winwood from Traffic. Bassist Rich Grech would join Traffic with Winwood when they reformed in 1970).

The band came together when Clapton started jamming with Winwood at his house in early 1969. According to Clapton’s 2007 autobiography, Baker found out they were playing together and showed up one day to join them. Clapton admitted he was not initially happy with Baker’s arrival given how his temper came between him & Jack Bruce during their time together in Cream. But the new band developed with songs by Winwood & Clapton, a cover of a Buddy Holly tune (“Well All Right”) and Grech coming on board as the group’s bassist.

Clapton further asserted that despite the group recording an album together and eventually playing several shows, his heart was not in it to take control of the band and help give it direction, despite the others looking towards him to do so. He even refused to sing lead vocals on any songs, letting Winwood handle that task alone as the other two members did not sing. Clapton cited an ongoing problem he had throughout his life where as soon as he was in one place he longed to be in another. At that point in time he had become enamoured with the music of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends who were opening for the supergroup on the road. Clapton sat in with them on several occasions, even co-writing and recording songs with them. It was through that collaboration that Clapton would meet his three future band members of Derek & The Dominos. So as much as I wish Blind Faith stayed together past 1969, if they had, we would not have the “Layla” record. And what a tragedy that would have been.

Clapton and Winwood have played together many times over the years at various shows performing a few of Blind Faith’s songs including “Can’t Find My Way Home” and today’s pick. Clapton said he wrote it when he finally bought a place of his own in 1968, after five years of living in hotels and at other people’s homes. He had also started turning towards Christianity which led to his reference of spirituality. I love Winwood’s vocal on this track, but it is Clapton’s guitar playing, especially his solo, that puts it over the top for me.

I have finally found a place to live
Just like I never could before
And I know I don’t have much to give
But soon I’ll open any door
“.

"Blind Faith" Portrait

Blind Faith circa 1969 L-R:  Steve Winwood, Ric Grech, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  Photo by Bob Seidemann. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blind Faith:  “Presence Of The Lord” (1969, written by Eric Clapton).

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 187

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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 is the 80th birthday for a man who has one of the most recognizable bass baritone voices in music, Bill Medley. Born William Thomas Medley in California on September 19, 1940, he started singing in the choir of his Presbyterian church. He was influenced by his parent’s love of swing music as well as artists like Little Richard, Bobby Bland, B.B. King and Ray Charles. Medley met tenor Bobby Hatfield in the early 1960’s when they were in a group called The Paramours. Medley wrote a song that he decided to record just with Hatfield, 1962’s “Little Latin Lupe Lu” for a girl Medley briefly dated. The two men chose the name of their duo after a group of black Marines referred to the duo’s singing voices as “righteous”.

The two men soon began to garner local exposure on the west coast. By the summer of 1964 they opened for The Beatles on their first U.S. tour, made an appearance on the TV show, “Shindig” and then opened for The Rolling Stones American tour in the fall. But it was the duo’s encounter with famed produced Phil Spector at a concert that same year that would change both their careers and their lives. He made a deal with the duo’s label, Moonglow Records, to let him release music under his company, Philles Records. The first song is today’s pick and catapulted the duo to worldwide success. Other hits followed including “(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration” and two others with only Hatfield on vocals, “Unchained Melody” (which remarkably enough was a B-side to “Hung On You”) and “Ebb Tide”.

By 1966 the duo signed with a new label, Verve/MGM, leading Spector to file a lawsuit against the men that was eventually settled. By 1968 the duo broke up but reunited in 1974 and released the top ten hit “Rock & Roll Heaven”. The hits waned after that but the duo’s sound remained part of the mainstream, including Medley’s duet with Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from the movie, “Dirty Dancing” and the feature of their song, “Unchained Melody”, in the 1990 film, “Ghost”. Hatfield died in 2003 and Medley recruited singer Bucky Heard to sing the duos songs with him beginning in 2016.

Medley wrote his autobiography, “The Time Of My Life: A Righteous Brother’s Memoir” in 2014.. He said in an interview that today’s song is the most played record in the history of American radio which BMI confirmed in 1999. It is also the best example of Spector’s iconic “Wall Of Sound” production technique. For me, it is simply a gorgeous track with two of the best vocals ever recorded.

Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize little things I do
It makes me just feel like crying
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dyin’
“.

Righteous 1

ther ighteous brothers

Bobby Hatfield (L) and Bill Medley (R) as The Righteous Brothers circa 1964 (top) and in 2003 at their induction into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (bottom). ((Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Righteous Brothers: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin‘” (1964, written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector & Cynthia Weil).

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