Let’s Take A Moment Day 471

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?

June 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 a mid-week Motown break. Last month marked the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s landmark album What’s Going On (Day 431), which showcased his intelligent socially conscious mind. Two years later, he released another record that revealed an additional side of this brilliant multi-dimensional artist: his romantic sensual side. Today’s song, the album’s title track, was released June 15, 1973. By September of that year, it was a #1 song for two non-consecutive weeks. It became his most successful record with the Motown label.

It turned Gaye into a sex symbol, as did another track from the album, “Distant Lover”. He continued in that role nine years later on his 1982 release, Midnight Love. That record’s first single, “Sexual Healing” was a massive hit & earned him the only two Grammy Awards of his career. It was also the last studio album he ever made.

His life was short and his death was a Shakespearean tragedy. But his years in music were epic as he defined the sound of Motown for an entire generation. Many great singers came out of The Motor City, but to me Marvin Gaye was The Monarch of that label. Nobody grabbed my soul the way he did & continues to do. My heart aches every day over his loss.

We’re all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we’ve got to be here
Let’s live I love you
“.

the-rake-marvin-gaye-04

Marvin Gaye circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye: “Let’s Get It On” (1973, written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend).

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 470

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?

June 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.

Most people like or at least know a lot of music from what their parents listened to. I am no different. Mine introduced me to a lot and the majority of it I still listen to today. But one of the genres my dad really liked was one I never got into. Every Sunday night when we were driving home from visiting family, he would put on WCBS-FM 101.1 to listen to “Don K. Reed’s Doo-Wop Shop”. I admired the talent & harmony of the vocal groups but that was about it. The music just did not reach me.

However, what I did enjoy each week were the songs the station played prior to Reed’s show. Because it was an oldies channel, I would hear anyone from Chuck Berry to Little Richard to Buddy Holly or even The Beatles’ early hits. But every now and then I would hear today’s song & I just melted. It was such a sad slow tale of a guy who left a happy situation for a new love interest.

The affair basically destroyed him as the new woman left him soon after they got together. The singer sounded so despondent yet very different from the voices I normally heard on that station. It just got to me. The song was originally a big band standard in 1945. But nearly 20 years later, it hit the #4 spot in the country at the end of 1963. It was the biggest hit singer Lenny Welch ever had. And I think it is wonderful.

You love me
Then you snub me
But what can I do
I’m still in love with you
“.

lenny-welch-feature

Lenny Welch circa 1962. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Lenny Welch: “Since I Fell For You” (1963, written by Buddy Johnson).

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 469

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?

June 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 have been lucky enough to see Ringo Starr twice in my life. The last time was at Jones Beach (Wantagh, NY) about a decade ago. One of the musicians in his “All Starr Band” that night was Todd Rundgren, who was born June 22, 1948 in Pennsylvania.

He started out playing in bands when he was 17 but his real success came as a solo artist & producer in the 1970’s. His hits include “Hello, It’s Me” (Day 388), “I Saw The Light” & today’s song. He has also made a name for himself as a producer of albums such as We’re An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad, War Babies by Hall & Oates and Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf,

Rundgren will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame’s Class Of 2021 later this year. Several artists have covered today’s track, but his original version still resonates with me.

It’s a strange sad affair
Sometimes seems like we just don’t care
Don’t waste time feeling hurt
We’ve been through hell together
“.

SONY DSC

Todd Rundgren on stage in Ringo Starr’s “All Starr Band” at Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY on June 22, 2012.  (Credit:  Me.) 

Todd Rundgren: “Can We Still Be Friends” (1978, written by Todd Rundgren).

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 468

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?

June 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.

In 1973 while John Lennon & Yoko Ono were living in NYC, their marriage hit a rough spot. They separated for 18 months & he relocated across the country to California. Ono often referred to that time as Lennon’s “lost weekend”. But despite the state of his marriage, Lennon was incredibly busy making music during those months. He recorded two solo albums-1974’s Walls And Bridges and 1975’s Rock & Roll. He also worked with Elton John on his cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” & Lennon’s song, “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” (Day 246). He & Ono reconnected backstage at John’s concert in November 1974, but Lennon was not done making great music.

He collaborated with David Bowie on a cover of “Across The Universe” and today’s song. Lennon co-wrote the track, played guitar & did the backing vocals as well. It was released on June 28, 1975 and by September of that year it hit the top spot in the country for two different weeks. It was Bowie’s first #1 hit in the United States.

In October 1975 Lennon turned 35 and became a father for the second time. The following year, he received his green card after years of fighting with the U.S. government for it. He finally became a permanent resident of NYC, where Bowie had moved to the year before. They remained friends until Lennon’s death in 1980.

Fame what you like is in the limo
Fame what you get is no tomorrow
Fame what you need you have to borrow
Fame”.

Bowie Lennon

L-R: David Bowie, Yoko Ono & John Lennon backstage at the Grammys in 1975. Photo by @kwamebphoto. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

David Bowie (featuring John Lennon): “Fame” (1975, written by Carlos Alomar, David Bowie and John Lennon).

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 467

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?

June 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 am a huge fan of anything weird and quirky, warm and funny, strange and cool. That is precisely why I fell head over heels in love with Showtime’s “The Chris Isaak Show” which ran from 2001-2004. I was already a fan of his music & his simply adorable dimpled face. And I always enjoyed seeing him on the late night talk show circuit because he was always so funny & entertaining. But he raised the bar even higher on his own show.

Isaak was born June 26, 1956 in California. He formed his first band after he graduated from college. In 1985 he signed a deal with Warner Brothers Records & released his critically acclaimed debut album, Silvertone. Today’s song is from his breakthrough album, Heart Shaped World, released June 13, 1989. It has been featured in countless movies & TV shows, but if you are a “Friends” fan, you will remember it playing the night of Ross & Rachel’s first official date. Before they were on a break.

Isaak has done some acting as well, including a guest spot on “Friends” and in the movies “Silence Of The Lambs”, “From The Earth To The Moon” and “That Thing You Do”, amongst others. Happy birthday, Chris Isaak. May you see 100 more.

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you
Strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I’d love somebody like you
And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you
“.

Chris Isaak1990

Chris Isaak circa 1990. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Chris Isaak: “Wicked Game” (1989, written by Chris Isaak).

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 466

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?

June 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.

Any song Otis Redding sang he made his own. But two songs he wrote were basically stolen away from him-in good ways, of course. He said as much about Aretha Franklin turning “Respect” into her signature tune, not to mention a #1 song for two weeks in June 1967. As for today’s song, he gave it to the co-writer-Arthur Conley-who turned it into a gold record in the same month.

It was originally called “Yeah Man” by Sam Cooke, but Conley & Redding re-wrote it together. The two Georgia natives met after Redding heard Conley’s 1964 song, “I’m a Lonely Stranger”. Redding signed Conley to his new label, Jotis Records, and in May 1967 today’s song went to the #2 spot in the country.

It paid tribute to many of the singers both Redding and Conley admired, and the latter even added a few lines about Redding as well. It is a great get-up-on-your-feet-and-move kind of song. And it was one of the great joys of my life to see Bruce Springsteen perform this live in concert. What can I say? The man’s got soul. And so does today’s song. Not to mention one heck of a horn arrangement.

Do you like good music
That sweet soul music
Just as long as it’s swingin’
Oh yeah oh yeah”.

Arthur and Otis

Left to right: Singers Ben E. King, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, Arthur Conley and Percy Sledge circa 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Arthur Conley: “Sweet Soul Music” (1967, written by Arthur Conley, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding).

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 465

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?

June 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.

As much as I adore Neil Young’s acoustic side, I also enjoy his electric music as well. And none of his albums with that sound hit me harder than his highly regarded live album, Rust Never Sleeps, released on June 22, 1979. From the moment I heard today’s song on the radio, I was completely enthralled. It was the first song on side two of this unique album, with one side featuring his softer tunes & the other showcasing songs he rocked with his band, Crazy Horse.

Today’s track is a heartbreaking tale of a young man protecting his family from an approaching gun boat. Life, misfortune & circumstance relegated him to the role of protector years before he should have played that part. The song depicts the last moments of his life which of course is unbearably sad. But even with such a dark narrative Young’s words & music grabbed my heart & never let go. He is an extraordinary story teller, even when he’s singing one of the saddest songs I have ever heard.

Just think of me as one you never figured
Would fade away so young
With so much left undone
Remember me to my love I know I’ll miss her
“.

Rust

Neil Young’s 1979 album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Young: “Powderfinger” (1979, written by Neil Young).

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 464

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?

June 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.

When Ray Charles left Atlantic Records in 1959, he was given artistic freedom & the rights to all his songs at his new home with ABC Paramount. But that was not all that changed. Charles decided to explore other types of music after years of playing rhythm & blues. In April 1962 he released one of the best records of his career, Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music.

On June 23, 1962, it hit the #1 spot on the album chart in the U.S. for 14 consecutive weeks. It marked a milestone in Charles career, showing his diverse talent & vocal ability in a completely different genre of music. It also helped him gain more mainstream success, which in turn pushed the racial boundaries of music during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. There was nothing Ray Charles Robinson could not do.

They say that time
Heals a broken heart
But time has stood still
Since we’ve been apart
“.

Ray

Ray Charles’ 1962 landmark album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962, written by Don Gibson).

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 463

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?

June 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 85th birthday for one of the greatest artists this country ever produced. Kris Kristofferson is a poet, a songwriter, an actor, a singer, an entertainer, a Rhodes Scholar & a veteran. He was born June 22,1936 in Texas and except for having to watch him die in the 1976 version of “A Star Is Born”, I have loved-actually, adored-everything he has ever done. And don’t even get me started on those unbelievably gorgeous eyes, the hair, the beard and every part of his swagger that made him one of the most beautiful men I ever laid eyes on. Sa-woooooon.

Today’s song is from his 1970 debut album, Kristofferson. It contained three of his biggest hits: “Me & Bobby McGee” (Day 313), “Help Me Make It Though The Night” (Day 49), and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”. Fellow superstars Al Green, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn & The King himself Elvis Presley covered this track over the last five decades and they are all unbelievably good, of course. But there is something about Kristofferson’s own versions of his songs that highlight his exceptionally talented soul.

Happy birthday, Kris Kristofferson. May you celebrate 100 more. And thank you for every word you have ever written.

Let’s just be glad
We had some time to spend together
There’s no need to watch the bridges
That were burning
“.

Kris

Kris Kristofferson’s 1970 debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Kris Kristofferson: “For The Good Times” (1970, written by Kris Kristofferson).

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 462

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?

June 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.

In the 1970’s Eric Clapton’s long time back-up singer, Marcy Levy, co-wrote a few songs with him, including today’s pick. She can be heard on many of his hits like “Wonderful Tonight” (Day 86), “Promises” (Day 124), “I Shot The Sheriff” (Day 154) and “The Core”. Levy was born June 21, 1952 in Michigan. She worked with many other artists as well throughout her career until she decided to focus on her own music & band. Today she turns 69 years young. Happy birthday, Marcy. May you enjoy 100 more!

Sun ain’t nearly on the rise
We still got the moon and stars above
Underneath the velvet skies, love is all that matters
Won’t you stay with me? Don’t you ever leave
“.

Eric Marcy 1975

Eric Marcy 2018

Top: Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy circa 1975. Bottom: Clapton and Levy circa 2018. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Lay Down Sally” (1977, written by Eric Clapton, Marcy Levy and George Terry).

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

Stay well.