Let’s Take A Moment Day 400

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 we remember R&B singer Luther Vandross who was born 70 years ago today on April 20, 1951 in New York City. When he was a teenager he was inspired to become a singer after seeing Dionne Warwick in concert. In 1967 he lost four Amateur Night competitions at The Apollo Theatre but came in second place twice with his first vocal band, Shades Of Jade.

By the 1970’s Vandross was doing backup vocals for the likes of David Bowie, Bette Midler, Chaka Khan, Carly Simon & Donna Summer, amongst others. By 1981 he was signed to Epic Records and released his debut album, “Never Too Much”, the same year. He wrote all the songs except for one cover track & also produced the record himself. For the next 20 years he was one of the biggest voices in music.

He died too young at age 54 in 2005 after suffering a stroke in 2003. But his legacy still resonates through songs like “Dance With My Father”, the wedding favorite “Here And Now” and a glorious cover of a Burt Bacharach-Hal David tune that Vandross made all his own.

A room is a still a room
Even when there’s nothing there but gloom
But a room is not a house and a house is not a home
When the two of us are far apart
And one of us has a broken heart
“.

Luther

The 1981 debut album by Luther Vandross, Never Too Much. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Luther Vandross: “A House Is Not a Home” (1981, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David).

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 399

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

The Copacabana has been one of NYC’s premier nightclubs since it opened in 1940. It has existed in many different locations throughout the city, but the desire to headline there was always the same, especially for musical artists in the 1960’s. Sam Cooke’s 1964 show was released in a live album the same year. A record of Marvin Gaye’s 1966 performance was supposed to be issued that year but because he & Motown president Berry Gordy could not agree on how the record was to be produced, the project was abandoned until 2005 when it was finally released.

Both Gaye and Cooke’s appearances at the club were done in part to follow in the footsteps of one of their favorite singers, Jackie Wilson. He made his debut there on April 19, 1962. The performance was recorded & released the same year on the album, Jackie Wilson At The Copa. He performed today’s song that night as well as on “The Ed Sullivan Show” earlier that year. It was the follow-up single to 1958’s “Lonely Teardrops” (Day 213) and was a Top 20 hit in 1959. Wilson, with his four octave tenor voice & smooth dance moves, earned the nickname “Mr. Excitement”. One watch of today’s video clip is all you need to understand why.

The way you make me feel like I belong
The way you make me right when I am wrong
The way you sacrifice just for me
Just how lucky can a poor man be”

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson circa 1960. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jackie Wilson: “That’s Why (I Love You So)” (Live performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on January 21, 1962. Originally recorded in 1959, written by Tyran Carlo and Berry Gordy Jr.)

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 398

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

After years of being in groundbreaking bands like The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic & Blind Faith, multi-instrumentalist & songwriter Steve Winwood officially became a solo artist in 1977 with the release of his self titled debut album. However, it was the follow up record released in 1980 that made people notice.

He co-wrote every song on the album, sang the lead & backing vocals on each one & played all of the instruments himself. It contained his first solo hit, “While You See A Chance”, which was a Top Ten record in 1981. I really like that song but it was the title track which I became completely enamored with.

I play the piano
No more running honey
This time to the sky I’ll sing
If clouds don’t hear me
“.

Winwood

Steve Winwood circa 1987. Image found online.  (Original source unknown.)

Steve Winwood: “Arc Of A Diver” (1980, written by Vivian Stanshall and Steve Winwood).

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 397

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 105th birth anniversary of my beloved grandmother, Ida. It closely coincides with birthday #86 for legendary artist Loretta Lynn, who I discovered thanks to my grandmother’s love of country music. Lynn was born April 14, 1935 in Kentucky. The day before her 35th birthday, on April 13, 1970, she broke through the Grand Ole Opry’s glass ceiling when she became the first woman to earn a gold album with Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind). By October of the same year, she released yet another career defining album, Coal Miner’s Daughter. The title song was the story of her life which she turned into an autobiography in 1976 and then a movie in 1980.

My grandmother taught me many lessons about life while I was growing up intertwined with stories of her childhood living in New York City. And being a one dimensional tween at the time, that is how I saw her life-as a child and as my grandmother, giving no thought whatsoever about all the years she lived in between. But then one day we were watching one of the daytime talk shows where Lynn was discussing her book. She talked about how young she was when she got married, how naïve she was and how lonely she would get waiting for her husband to come home from work before she had her children to take care of.

A big reason why my grandmother liked Lynn was because she related to her early story as my grandmother was a young bride once, too (she got married when she was 18), even if I could not picture it at the time. Here were two women born twenty years apart in two different worlds who shared a similar background told in a song. The power of music will never cease to amaze me. Happy birthday, Loretta Lynn & happy heavenly birthday to my dear Idie.

Well a lot of things have changed since a way back then
And it’s so good to be back home again
Not much left but the floor, nothing lives here anymore
Except the memory of a coal miner’s daughter
“.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Loretta Lynn: “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1970, written by Loretta Lynn).

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 396

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“. I loved everything about it-the era it took place in, the beautiful city it was set in and, of course, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. Her facial & verbal expressions, her wardrobe, her apartment…..it was all fabulousness defined.. And how many times have we all wanted to run away & start our lives over again some place new, but she actually did it! Yes, it caught up with her but still, she did it!!!

I also loved the sweet look on the face of her neighbor, Paul (George Peppard) as he watched Holly playing guitar & singing from his apartment window. The lyrics of that song were written by Johnny Mercer & the music was by premier film composer Enrico Nicola Mancini, known professionally as Henry Mancini. It earned him the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1962. Born on April 16, 1924 in Ohio, he also wrote the theme to several movies including “The Pink Panther” series. His arrangement of the “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” (a/k/a “A Time For Us”) spent two weeks at #1 in the summer of 1969. Mancini also wrote the themes to a number of television shows including “Peter Gunn”, “Newhart”, “Hotel” & Remington Steele”.

Some of my favorite artists have performed their own exceptional renditions of today’s song including Rod Stewart, Pete Yorn, and my great musical loves Elton John and Eric Clapton (with Jeff Beck). But as much as I love those, it is the movie version I come back to whenever I need to relive the beauty & the magic of the film all over again.

Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Waitin’ ’round the bend
“.

Breakfast-at-Tiffanys

George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn in a scene from 1961’s classic, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Audrey Hepburn: “Moon River” (1961, music written by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer).

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 395

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 by American R&B singer, Al Wilson. Despite his soulful voice, he did not fall into any of the genres of his era. He was not a part of Motown, Stax or the Philly sound. In the mid to late 1960’s he was signed to the Soul City label founded by singer Johnny Rivers.

He sold the company in 1970 to Bell Records, which was the label that released “The Partridge Family” records & employed future Arista Records president, Clive Davis. Wilson had Top 40 records in both the 1960’s & the 1970’s but he is best known for today’s song, which hit the #1 spot for one week on January 19, 1974.

These are the hands that can’t help reaching for you
If you’re anywhere in sight
And these are the lips that can’t help calling your name
In the middle of the night”.

Al Wilson

Al Wilson circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Al Wilson: “Show and Tell” (1973, written by Jerry Fuller).

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 394

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 another mid-week Motown break. There are a handful of songs that define The Motor City sound from the very first note. Today’s track is one of them.

I don’t need no money
Fortune or fame
I’ve got all the riches baby
One man can claim”.

Temptations 1965

The Temptations circa 1964 (L-R): Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks (center), David Ruffin and Otis Williams. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Temptations: “My Girl” (1964, written by William “Smokey” Robinson and Ronald White).

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 393

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 we celebrate the 75th birthday for The Reverend himself, Al Green. Born April 13, 1946 in Arkansas., he is another in a long line of singers who started out in a group with siblings-in his case, his brothers. But after a fight with his father Green was forced out of his family home as a teen. In high school he formed a vocal group and by 1969 he caught the attention of record producer Willie Mitchell. He signed Green to his label and by the early 1970’s Green was on the map as one of the finest R&B singers in the industry.

His wild living lifestyle of that decade gave way to a religious enlightenment, leading to his ministry in 1976 and his gospel recordings during most of the 1980’s. But he returned to secular music through a duet with Annie Lenox on “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” for the 1988 movie, “Scrooged”. Green went on to become one of the premier soul singers in history and a beloved legend of music. He is also one of my all time favorites, due in large part to today’s song. Happy birthday, Al Green.

Love is…
Walking together
Talking together
Singing together
Praying together
“.

Al Green

Al Green circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Al Green: “Love & Happiness” (1972, written by Al Green and Mabon Hodges).

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 392

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 do not consider myself a full fledged “Fanilow” since I only like a handful of his songs and let’s face it, he recorded a heck of a lot more than a few tunes in his day. But I am not a hater, either, nor can I forget that in the early 1970’s Barry Manilow was the pianist & musical director for The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler.

But I do remember the first track I ever heard by him. I completely swooned over the lyrics, especially the line “You kissed me & stopped me from shaking”. He performed it during his first US television appearance in March 1975 on the show he wrote the theme for, “American Bandstand”. It was the first #1 hit of his career, hitting the top spot for one week on January 18, 1975. All these years later, I still find it enchanting.

I’m standing on the edge of time
I’ve walked away when love was mine
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing
The tears are in my mind and nothing is rhyming
“.

Manilow 1

Manilow 2

Top (L-R_: Barry Manilow and Bette Midler circa 1973. Bottom (L-R): Manilow and Midler circa 2003. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Barry Manilow: “Mandy” (1974, written by Richard Kerr and Scott English).

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 391

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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 April 11, 1970 The Beatles hit the #1 spot in the country for the first of two weeks with “Let It Be” (the song, featured here on Day 26). The album of the same name would hit #1 for four weeks later that year beginning in June. Ironically it knocked Paul McCartney’s solo album, McCartney. out of the top position where it sat for three consecutive weeks.

But I think that is only fair since he officially announced The Beatles had broken up just one day before their song topped the charts, shattering the hearts of fans around the world forever. Six years after they landed in America to make history on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, they changed the course of music once again when they disbanded. I refer to it as the other day the music died.

Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on

Across the universe”.

Let it be pic

The Beatles in a still from their 1970 rocumentary movie “Let It Be”: (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Across The Universe” (1970, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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

Stay well.