Let’s Take A Moment Day 523

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?

Aug 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.

Before “Saturday Night Live” premiered in the fall of 1975, there was another 90 minute entertainment program that kept people up past the 11PM news on the weekend. The musical performance television show “The Midnight Special” premiered on August 19, 1972. Six months later it started its run as a regular weekly series which would last until May 1981. It was supposed to air immediately after Friday night’s broadcast of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson“. But for some unknown reason on the east coast where I lived it did not begin until an hour later.

During its nine year run, The Special brought us live stage performances from an array of the biggest musical artists of the decade with a different host each week (except for 1975 when the powers that be made the misguided decision to appoint Helen Reddy as the permanent host for one year). Despite that unfortunate turn, The Special was must see TV for music fans around the country.

It was the brain child of producer Burt Sugarman and even led to another series several months later, “Don’Kirschner’s Rock Concert”. But The Special was the first late night show to present the occasional stand up comedian along with musical guests from the top of the charts in rock, pop, soul, R&B, country, folk and more. And since the show aired on NBC, they hired one of their most popular radio station disc jockeys-Wolfman Jack-to serve as the show’s announcer (in between pedaling a product for one of the sponsors, Clearasil).

Every week when I would see the commercials for the upcoming show, I imagined how great it would be to watch it once I was old enough. But that happened sooner than expected the week Paul Anka was announced as the guest host. My mother really wanted to see him and she asked me to stay up with her to keep her company. I was beyond thrilled. But as the night went on, it did not turn out to be the bonding experience I imagined. Our entire conversation leading up to the show went like this:

My Mom: “I am so tired! Why is it called The Midnight Special when it does not come on until 1:30 in the morning?”

Me: “I can’t believe I get to stay up passed 1:30 in the morning to watch The Midnight Special! I am not even tired!”

I may not remember all the songs Anka & the other guests sang during the show but I do remember I became part of a very special club on that early Saturday morning. Decades later before YouTube was a phenomenon, I saw an infomercial for a DVD package with highlights from The Special. One of the clips in the ad was by the group behind today’s song. It was a Top Five hit in 1974 & they performed it on the show the same year. I always liked this track but really fell in love with it a few years ago after it was used in one of the best holiday commercials I ever saw. I love that The Midnight Special is part of my story & this record’s history as well.

“Hail (Hail) nothin’ the matter with your head
Baby find it come on and find it
Hail, with it, baby cause you’re fine
And you’re mine and you look so divine
“.

midnight

wolfman

Top: The show’s logo in the early years. Bottom: Wolfman Jack was the announcer & a frequent guest host for the musical show. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Redbone: “Come and Get Your Love” (Live performance on “The Midnight Special”, 1974, Originally released January 1974, written by Lolly Vegas).

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 522

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?

Aug 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.

Robert Anthony Plant was born 73 years ago on August 20, 1948 in Staffordshire, England. His love for music, specifically blues music, developed early. By age 16 he started pursuing his dream of singing professionally and joined several bands trying to find the right one. In 1968 a guitarist looking for a lead vocalist heard Plant sing and that is how he and Jimmy Page joined forces.

They began writing songs together, formed Led Zeppelin along with John Paul Jones and John Bonham and released the band’s debut album on Atlantic Records in January 1969. Plant went on to an incredibly successful solo career after the band broke up in 1980. He is regarded to be one of the greatest singers of all time in rock music. Happy birthday, Robert Plant. Here’s to 100 more.

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook there’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
“.

Plant 1974

Plant 2004

Top: Robert Plant circa 1974. Bottom: Plant circa 2004. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Led Zeppelin: “Stairway To Heaven” (1971, written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant).

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 521

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?

Aug 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 August 10, 1968, Cream’s third album, Wheels Of Fire, hit the #1 spot in America. Twenty nine years earlier, the universe was introduced to the band’s drummer, Ginger Baker. Born Peter Edward Baker in England on August 19, 1939 he received his nickname courtesy of his red hair.

At the age of 15 he started playing drums. After his work with Blues Incorporated and The Graham Bond Organization (both of which included his future Cream bandmate Jack Bruce), Baker was hailed as “rock’s first superstar drummer” for his fusion of jazz, world & African rhythms along with his unconventional use of two bass drums in his set instead of one.

He & Bruce formed Cream with guitarist Eric Clapton in 1966. Four studio albums in four years highlighted by concert after concert of improvised gold, the men made history together as the world’s first supergroup. Today’s song is from their 1966 debut album, Fresh Cream. More than 50 years later, it still lives up to its name.

Feel when I dance with you
We move like the sea
You, you’re all I want to know
“.

Ginger

Cream 2

Top: Ginger Baker circa 1968 behind his customized two bass drum set. Bottom: Cream circa 1968 (L-R): Eric Clapton, Baker and Jack Bruce. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Cream: “I Feel Free” (1966, written by Peter Brown and Jack Bruce).

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 520

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?

Aug 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. Label founder Berry Gordy borrowed $800 from his family in 1958 to start his record company. Tamla Records began operating on January 12, 1959 and led to a few sister labels including Motown Records. A year later that merged with Tamla to form Motown Record Corporation.

After an incredibly successful nearly 30 year run Gordy sold his company to MCA Records and the investment firm Boston Ventures (BV) in 1988 for $61 million dollars. Not a bad return on an $800 loan. But five years later, on August 3, 1993, BV sold the label to Polygram for a whopping $325 million dollars. What a difference five years made.

Your love is fading I can feel your love fading
Girl, it’s fading away from me
‘Cause your touch your touch has grown cold
As if someone else controls your very soul
“.

The-Temptations_(1964_publicity_photo_by_Kriegsmann)

The Temptations circa 1964 (clockwise from top): David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Temptations: “(I Know) I’m Losing You” (1966, written by Cornelius Grant, Edward Holland Jr and Norman Whitfield).

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 519

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?

Aug 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.

Last week a movie based on the life of The Queen Of Soul was released. “Respect” starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin opened on August 13. Several online sites indicate Hudson was handpicked for the role by Franklin herself. Supposedly she was very involved in the making of the film until her death three years ago. I am a fan of Hudson’s but even her incredible voice is no match for The Queen’s. But I am excited to see the film nonetheless. Today’s song is one of the very best moments we have from the legend herself. All hail The Queen.

Every chain
Has got a weak link
I might be weak, child
But I’ll give you strength
“.

Aretha_Franklin_1968

Hudson

Top: Aretha Franklin circa 1968. Bottom: Hudson channeling The Queen herself in the 2021 movie, “Respect”. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Chain Of Fools” (1967, written by Don Covay).

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 518

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?

Aug 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.

Yesterday we remembered a happy musical event. Today marks one of the most somber days to anyone who understands the power of this man’s talent. On August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died at his home in Graceland. I have often written that I do not like to dwell on the days we lose our musical heroes but the loss of The King cannot help but be an exception. His death 44 years ago changed the trajectory of the world much like his censored performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” did twenty years earlier.

On the 25th anniversary of his death, RCA Records released Elvis 30 #1 Hits on August 16 2002. It included a bonus track-a remix of his 1968 song “A Little Less Conversation”-which gave The King another #1 record in several countries including the U.K. Today’s song is the first one on that album because it was his first #1 record ever. And once he got to the top, Elvis Presley never left that throne. All hail The King.

Although it’s always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken-hearted lovers
To cry there in the gloom
“.

Elvis

Elvis Aaron Presley circa 1956. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956, written by Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden and Elvis Presley).

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 517

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?

Aug 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 this day last year (Day 152), we celebrated the 55th anniversary of The Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert which took place August 15, 1965. That means today marks 56 years since that momentous occasion. So we will celebrate again.

The clips from the show are rarely up on YouTube because of copyright laws (BBC Television owns the film rights to the concert they released a year later). So even though today’s song was on the set list that night over five decades ago, the video I chose is of the group performing it in their movie, “Help“.

It was released four days before their historic concert and a year after their first big screen smash, “A Hard Day’s Night“. What a bland uninspired and sad color this world would be without John, Paul, George & Ringo in it, Thank you for everything, boys, especially the first play at Shea.

She said that living with me
Is bringing her down yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Ticket To Ride” (1965, 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 516

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?

Aug 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 made its debut 30 years ago today. “The Commitments” opened in limited release on August 14, 1991. To see a film about a group of young singers and musicians coming together to celebrate the miracle that is the soul genre absolutely spoke to me. And one of the legendary singers the group admired? None other than the King Of Soul himself, Otis Redding.

The fact that he died in 1967 used to make me believe it was one of the worst years in music history. Ironically, it was probably one of the best. Why? Because it was the only one in which three of the greatest voices of all time were making music in the universe at the same time: Redding, Marvin Gaye & Jim Morrison. That year also had The Summer Of Love. I can’t call it complete paradise as there was a war going on at the time as well. But my God, was it close.

My life is such a weary thing
But in my ears, oh, this prayer just rang & rang
You keep wanting, waiting and wishing
When I know deep down that I’m not to blame
“.

Otis_Redding_low_res356

Otis Redding on stage during the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “My Lover’s Prayer” (1966, written by 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 515

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?

Aug 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 singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg, who was born 70 years ago on August 13, 1951 in IL, His father, the subject of his son’s 1981 song, “Leader Of The Band”, was the director of a local high school band. The younger Fogelberg taught himself guitar & piano, which led to his participation in his first band at the age of 14,

When he was in college he was performing on his own at small coffee houses. He was discovered in the early 1970’s and played in Nashville for a while to perfect his craft. His 1974 album, Souvenirs, was produced by future Eagle Joe Walsh, featured Gerry Buckley of America on acoustic guitar and Graham Nash, Randy Meisner and others on backing vocals.

Fogelberg’s 1982 song “Missing You” (Day 377) is my absolute favorite of his, with today’s coming in right behind it. In that glorious musical year that was 1978, he released Twin Sons Of Different Mothers, a collaboration with jazz flautist Tim Weisberg. This was a Top 30 hit for them and my favorite track from that album. And Fogelberg’s holiday inspired tune, “Same Old Lang Syne”, deserves a mention here as well as a poignant bridge between the post Christmas pre-New Year’s reflective pause.

The letters and calls got you climbing the walls
And everyone wants a favor
They beg to remind you
Of times left behind you
“.

Dan F

Dan Fogelberg circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg: “The Power Of Gold” (1978, written by Dan Fogelberg).

(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 514

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?

Aug 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 not sure if today’s song is considered PC or not anymore given the whole cancel culture climate we are in. I do not mean to offend if it is. I just hear it as a great track by one of my favorite bands. And in honor of Garth Hudson’s 84th birthday earlier this month I want to share it. He was born on August 2, 1937 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and he was the only member of that fabulous band who did not contribute vocals. He was too busy as a multi-instrumentalist to add that to his resume. He contributed keyboards, saxophone and accordion playing to the group which helped define their sound from day one.

Robbie Robertson may have been the principal songwriter for The Band, but he alone could not have given life to those songs in the phenomenal way the five men did as an ensemble. He & Hudson, who has been working as a solo artist for the last two decades, are the only living members left from this incredible group. I think it is so sad the other three have missed so much. But together they reached the likes of Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Elton John & many others who were completely inspired by what The Band created as a whole. That is one impressive fan base. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Garth Hudson.

Now I don’t mind chopping wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
You take what you need
And you leave the rest
“.

Garth 1971

The Band 1970

Top: Garth Hudson circa 1971. Bottom: The Band circa 1970 (L-R): Rick Danko, Hudson, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Band: “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (From the music documentary “The Last Waltz”, released April 26, 1978. Recorded live on November 25, 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Originally released in 1969, written by Robbie Robertson).

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

Stay well.