Let’s Take A Moment Day 441

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?

Memorial Day

(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.

Admittedly I was not much of a fan of folk music in my teenage years. I had heard a few artists from that genre & knew it was not a sound I could ever embrace. But as my love of music grew I found another artist who embraced that sound-namely, Bob Dylan. Of course I found the beauty of his words & music remarkable & realized how far reaching his influence was, especially on my great musical love, Bruce Springsteen. But who was a great influence on Dylan? One of the biggest was Woody Guthrie.

Today the folk genre is more commonly known today as “roots music” or Americana which includes the early sounds not only of folk but blues, country, rhythm & blues and rock influences. Guthrie embodied all those sounds and made them his own.

Legend tells us he wrote today’s song as a somewhat snarky answer to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” which Guthrie was tired of hearing so often on the radio in the late 1930’s. He wrote some of the lyrics in 1940 but did not do anything with the tune until he revisited it in 1944. That is when he played it for a record company executive changing the course of Guthrie’s life from a Merchant Marine to a professional musician & artist.

The melody has been attributed to a song by The Carter Family (yes, Johnny Cash’s in-laws) but Guthrie’s tune used a different structure of the earlier one. The lyrics, however, are all his. And they are quite beautiful. I remember singing this song in my elementary school music class quite often. Each time I envisioned the scenes Guthrie wrote about and dreamt of the day I could see it all. But music, like the pages of a book, made me feel as if I already had. That is the power of great art.

On this Memorial Day 2021, we celebrate this great land of ours, the great freedoms we have here because of those who paid the highest price for us to have it. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
Saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me
“.

W Guthrie

Woody Guthrie circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Woody Guthrie: “This Land Is Your Land” (1944, written by Woody Guthrie).

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 440

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 30 image

(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 a reminder that freedom is for us all, no matter how different we are. From the lucky to the forsaken, from the broken to the beautiful, from the pacifist to the fighter. But what we share in common is our debt to those who sacrificed it all for the lives we are free to live.

Far between sundown’s finish and midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing


Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
And for each and every underdog soldier in the night
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.”

Bruce_Springsteen_1988

Bruce Springsteen circa 1988. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Chimes Of Freedom” (1988, written by Bob Dylan).

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 439

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 blog 2021

(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.

Crosby, Stills & Nash released their self-titled debut album on May 29, 1969. From the first time the three artists sang together at Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon home, they knew their was something uniquely special about their harmonies. With the release of this record, the world would hear their gift as well.

Each man had already found success in other bands: David Crosby with The Byrds, Stephen Stills with The Buffalo Springfield & Graham Nash from The Hollies. The trio started touring the summer after the first album came out. Their second gig was at Woodstock.

My favorite song from this album is Stills’ exquisite “Helplessly Hoping” (Day 293) with today’s song as the runner up. He wrote & sang this one as well, and both were about his broken heart after his girlfriend, folk singer Judy Collins, ended their relationship. I do not understand how she left a man with such heart, soul & talent, but without that experience we would not have his beautiful music. Or the unique ending of this tune which Stills sang in his mother’s native language of Spanish.

Que linda me la traiga Cuba
La reina de la Mar Caribe
Cielo sol no tiene sangreahi
Y que triste que no puedo vaya oh va, oh va
“.

Translation:

How pretty I’ll bring her to Cuba
The queen of the Caribbean Sea
I only want to visit her there
And how sad that I can’t oh go oh go”.

CSN

Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby on the cover of their 1969 debut album. They took the picture before they decided on their name which is why they are not sitting in the order of their group name. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (1969, written by Stephen Stills).

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 438

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 blog 2021

(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.

John Fogerty, who turns 76 years old today, was born May 28, 1945 in California. He is a songwriter & multi-instrumentalist who began his career as a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). He continued making music on his own after the group disbanded in 1972. He is also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1966 to 1968.

The title track of his 1985 album, Centerfield, is a staple at ballparks across the country. But I think he wrote some of his best songs when he was with CCR, including today’s track. It was a #2 record in 1969. Here’s to 100 more happy birthdays for John Fogerty.

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin
“.

CCR

John-Fogerty-GettyImages-1227492596

Top: Creedence Clearwater Revival circa 1968 (L-R): Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitar), Doug Clifford (drums), Stu Cook (bass) and John Fogerty (singer, songwriter & lead guitar). Bottom: John Fogerty circa 1995. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Bad Moon Rising” (1969, written by John Fogerty).

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 437

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 blog 2021

(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 a Motown break. Today’s song was a Top 20 hit in 1965 for The Miracles before they were rebranded with Smokey Robinson as the headliner. He co-wrote it with bandmate Pete More and it appeared on the album, Going To A Go Go. Ella Fitzgerald, Todd Rundgren & Linda Ronstadt all did excellent cover versions of this song, but as good as they are, only Smokey sings it like Smokey.

I’m just about at
The end of my rope
But I can’t stop trying
I can’t give up hope
“.

Smokey

The Miracles circa 1965 (L-R): Smokey Robinson, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Ronald White, Pete Moore and Bobby Rogers. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Miracles: “Ooo Baby Baby” (1965, written by Pete Moore and William “Smokey” Robinson 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 436

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 blog 2021

(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 is birthday #73 for Stephanie “Stevie” Lynn Nicks, born on May 26,1948 in Arizona. She started singing with her grandfather when she was a toddler and was in a folk band by high school. When she was a senior, she met Lindsey Buckingham & joined his band. Eventually the two recorded their own album, Buckingham Nicks, in 1973. A year later, Mick Fleetwood invited Buckingham to join the drummer’s group. Buckingham agreed on the condition he could bring his girlfriend & partner with him, so Nicks joined the band as well. Fleetwood Mac went on to great success and Nicks also enjoyed a successful solo career beginning with her 1981 album, Bella Donna.

Just before her 29th birthday on May 21, 1977 Rumours became the #1 album in the country. It was the second time that year the album was in that position. The first time was on April 2 for two straight weeks, then again from May 21-July 15 for eight straight weeks. But then in what could only be called an unexpected upset Barry Manilow Live took over the #1 spot for one week. After that Rumours went back to first place for 19 straight weeks from July 23 – December 2, until Linda Ronstadt’s Simple Dreams usurped the top position and stayed there for the rest of the year.

But Rumours was not finished ruling the chart just yet. It went back to the top spot for the first two weeks of 1978 but on January 21 a dark cloud appeared in the form of Saturday Night Fever which became the country’s top selling album for 24 straight weeks (January 21 – July 7). I always say 1978 was a great year for music. I must have blocked this out for obvious reasons. Disco was not my thing.

Today’s song is not from Rumours but it is probably Nicks’ most well known track. It was on the band’s 1975 self-titled album, the first featuring her & Buckingham, and just before the songs based on their inner band romances & breakups propelled Fleetwood Mac into the legendary group they became. Happy birthday, Stevie Nicks. Here’s to 100 more.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too
“.

Stevie Nicks

Fleetwood Mac

Top: Stevie Nicks circa 2019. Bottom: Fleetwood Mac circa 1977 (L-R): Lindsey Buckingham, Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie & John McVie. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Fleetwood Mac: “Landslide” (1975, written by Stevie Nicks).

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 435

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 blog 2021

(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.

Congratulations to Carole King who is finally being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as a performer in the Class of 2021. She has only been waiting over two decades for this well deserved honor. To reiterate the rules of the HOF, an artist is eligible 25 years after their debut album is released. King’s first album, Writer, came out 51 years ago in May 1970 (Tapestry just celebrated its 50th anniversary as it was released February 1971). So King was eligible for The HOF in 1995. And what a prestigious class that was: The Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Al Green, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, et al.

King was inducted in 1990 as a songwriter with her ex-husband, Gerry Goffin. But even if she did not get in as a performer with her first record, Tapestry should have made her a slam dunk for the Class of 1996. Then she would have been inducted with The Shirelles who turned her & Goffin’s song, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” into a #1 hit in 1961. David Bowie and Gladys Knight & The Pips were also part of that year’s honored group.

Now King will be inducted alongside another fabulous female artist, Tina Turner, which is great. But their class includes two rappers and a 1980’s bubble gum pop girl band. UGH!!! BUBBLE GUM POP In the same institution as King, Turner, Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, etc. Ugh again. My heart.

So to celebrate King’s insanely long overdue honor and to commemorate the anniversary of her free concert in NYC’s Central Park on May 25, 1973, today’s song is from her 1971 masterpiece. Tapestry is probably the greatest record ever made by a female artist. All hail Carole King!!!

Sometimes I wonder
If I’m ever gonna make it
Home again it’s so far
And out of sight
“.

Carole King

Carole King, LA 1983. Photo by Jim Shea (Courtesy of caroleking.com). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Carole King: “Home Again” (1971, written by Carole King).

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 434

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 blog 2021

(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 another milestone birthday. This one belongs to the man with the voice that defined the 1960’s. Bob Dylan celebrates his 80th birthday today and if there was one musician who defined the decade of change, it was him. Born May 24, 1941 in Minnesota, he was only 21 years old when he released his debut album nearly six decades ago in 1962. His folk songs became anthems for a generation.

But just when people saw him as the Woody Guthrie of his generation, Dylan went electric with his music and gave us even more to think about. Along the way he influenced The Beatles especially his future Traveling Wilburys’ bandmate George Harrison, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Neil Young, Pete Townsend, all five members of his back-up group, The Band, and so many others.

Dylan’s accolades range from nearly every music award to every songwriter’s award to his Nobel Prize in Literature. With anthems like “Blowin’ In The Wind”, “Like A Rolling Stone” and today’s song, to his well known recordings including “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, “Positively 4th Street”, “I Shall Be Released”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “My Back Pages” and countless others, Bob Dylan is without a doubt one of the most important voices in cultural & musical history. Happy birthday to The Master Poet. Here’s to 100 more.

As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
“.

Dylan

Bob Dylan circa 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bob Dylan: “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (1964, written by Bob Dylan).

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 433

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 blog 2021

(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 one of the finest female big band singers of all time. Rosemary Clooney was born 93 years ago on May 23,1928 in Kentucky. She started performing with her sister, Betty, and in 1945 they won a radio contest that awarded them a singing spot on a Cincinnati radio station. A year later Rosemary was singing with The Tony Pastor Band. By 1951 she had her first hit, “Come On-A My House”, produced by Mitch Miller. More hits and acting parts followed including her role in “White Christmas” opposite Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye.

She spent many years fighting addiction & mental health issues until she was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1968. She fought her way back to the career she loved as a “…a sweet singer with a big band sensibility…” which is how she described herself in her second autobiography, 1999’s “Girl Singer: An Autobiography”.

A year after Clooney’s death in 2002, Bette Midler released a tribute album, Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook, produced by Barry Manilow. In 2005 Clooney’s daughter-in-law, Debby Boone, released her own salute with Reflections of Rosemary.

Today’s song is from the musical “The Pajama Game” & was a #1 song for Clooney in 1954. Sam Cooke did a glorious cover of this track in 1960 and it is probably my favorite male version of this tune. But Clooney’s is the absolute best there is. As was she.

Won’t you take this advice I hand you like a mother
Or are you not seeing things too clear
Are you too much in love to hear
Is it all going in one ear and out the other
“.

rosemary-clooney-1-d12-c12

Rosemary Clooney circa 1952. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rosemary Clooney: “Hey There” (1954, written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross).

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 432

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 blog 2021

(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.

In 1994 Elton John was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. In his acceptance speech, he admitted he was not very good with words.

“I had someone to write my words for me and without him, the journey would not have been possible. I kind of feel cheating standing up here accepting because without Bernie, there wouldn’t of been any Elton John at all. And I would like him to come up and I would like to give this to him”. At that point Bernie Taupin joined him on stage, the two friends embraced and Taupin said one word: “Music”.

Today that legendary lyricist & poet who co-wrote all those beautiful & spectacular songs with John celebrates his 71st birthday. He helped create the soundtrack to my life & millions of others as well. Together they are one of the greatest & most important songwriting teams of all time, right up there with Lennon & McCartney, Bacharach & David and Leiber & Stoller.

Taupin was born May 22, 1950 in England. He grew up on a farm and wanted to become a journalist given his love for writing. When he was 17 years old, he answered an ad placed by a record company executive who was looking for new talent. Elton John, known then by his given name of Reginald Dwight, responded to the same one. That is how the two men met & began working as a team. Taupin wrote the words and gave them to John who set them to music.

They have countless hits together but it took them 53 years to finally win any awards for their exquisite work. In 2020 they received both a Golden Globe & an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the movie based on John’s life, “Rocketman”.

Taupin became a US citizen in 1990. He has been married to his fourth wife since 2004. They have two daughters together and live in California. I fell in love with him & John the first time I heard “Daniel” (Day 375) and I am filled with an abundance of gratitude everyday for these two immensely gifted extraordinary men.

Today’s song was released 49 years ago on May 6, 1972. It was my favorite from the first album I ever bought, Elton John’s Greatest Hits. Happy birthday, Bernie Taupin. May you see 100 more. Thank you for your words & your heart.

And all this science
I don’t understand
It’s just my job
Five days a week
“.

Bernie and Elton 1975

Oscar

Top (L-R): Bernie Taupin and Elton John circa 1975 with a few of the gold records they earned over the years. Bottom: John and Taupin in 2020 after winning the Oscar for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the movie “Rocketman”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Rocket Man” (1972, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

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

Stay well.