Music Monday: December 27, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the last edition of Music Monday for the year.

Music Monday

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Before we get to the final song of 2021, I want to thank all of you for joining me, especially this year. We are still dealing with so much, so to have this outlet available to come to for a much needed break from all that has been a tremendous relief. I enjoy sharing my love of music & my thoughts and stories with you. There is more to come in 2022 so please stay tuned. And I wish us all love, peace, health, happiness & more in 2022. Now for the finale.

Unless you slept through the last two weeks, then you know the big news in the music industry & the universe as a whole was Bruce Springsteen’s 500 million dollar deal. That is the price Sony Music paid for his entire catalog, i.e. every song he has ever written.

In 2014 Forbes Magazine estimated Springsteen’s salary at $81 million dollars per year thanks to his sold out marathon shows. His net worth before the sale of his catalog was estimated to be $650 million dollars. With his current deal, that gives him an amassed wealth of over a billion dollars. That is staggering but unbelievably well deserved for the man we call The Boss.

His first album was released 49 years ago in January 1973. For at least half that amount of time he has performed his three hour plus concerts all around the world. He learned to work hard from his blue collar upbringing. That work ethic combined with his talent for poetry, storytelling, showmanship & music helped him complete the holy trifecta of music after Elvis Presley & Bob Dylan.

Bruce by Terry O'Neil 1975

Bruce Springsteen in Los Angeles in 1975. Photo by Terry O’Neil.

As thrilled as I am that Bruce has earned this type of wealth for his words & music, a part of me never thought I would hear his music used in ads. He was just that protective of his work. But we all know that will be part of what Sony will do to earn back the cost & profit on this deal. However, given the long & continuing relationship Springsteen has with his record company (Sony is the parent company of Columbia Records) and their reverence for his breathtaking talent, I am hopeful the songs will be sourced in a refined manner.

Of course, this deal will also make the Boss’s music more available for shows & movies, too. In the few times I have heard them that way (“Copland” is my favorite since it features several songs from The River, including my top pick, “Drive All Night”) it has been an unbelievable & quite unexpected treat. Bruce continues to be the gift that just keeps giving in my life.

In honor of Springsteen’s mammoth deal, I am using this last Music Monday of 2021 to feature the most exquisite piece of music I have ever heard. From the first moment I listened to this track as a 12 year old girl, I have ached from the beauty of it. Bruce Springsteen is my heart and this song is how that happened.

The midnight gang’s assembled
And picked a rendezvous for the night
They’ll meet ‘neath that giant Exxon sign
That brings this fair city light
“.

BTR collage

A collage of pictures from the 1975 “Born To Run” photo shoot. All images by Eric Meola.

Bruce Springsteen: “Jungleland” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 25

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 25

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. May you find comfort in the peace, joy & meaning of the season.

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
“.

dolly

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dolly Parton: “Joy To The World” (1990, Traditional).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 24

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 24

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The first volume of A Very Special Christmas came out in 1987. The proceeds went to the Special Olympics but it also introduced the world to obscure performances of holiday songs by some of music’s most notable performers. Thanks to the third volume in the series released in 1997, I discovered today’s track. It felt like 1988 all over again, which was the first time I heard the singer’s beautiful delicate contralto voice on her deeply moving debut single, “Fast Car”. Her take on today’s song is just as poignant and evocative, perfect for this Christmas Eve day. .

A thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn’
“.

Tracy

Tracy Chapman circa 2010. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tracy Chapman: “O Holy Night” (1997, written by Adolphe Charles Adam and John Sullivan Dwight).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 23

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

silver bells

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I try to present a variety of songs & artists every year on this countdown to make it as fun and diverse as possible. However, I do struggle each December to pick just one song by Elvis Presley. He recorded so many holiday tunes and each one was absolutely glorious. This year was a little easier because this track was one of the first seasonal songs I heard on the radio this year. As soon as I did I realized it was the feature for 2021. All hail The King, especially at Christmas time.

City sidewalks busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a
Feeling of Christmas”.

Elvis

Santa meets Elvis circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Silver Bells” (1971, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 22

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 22

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song is one of the defining songs of the Christmas season. No matter how many other renditions there are of this tune, none can compare to this man’s most popular interpretation recorded in 1961. What would this holiday even look like without Nat King Cole?

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you
“.

NatKingCole

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Nat King Cole: “The Christmas Song” (1961, written by Mel Torme and Robert Wells).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 21

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 21

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This year the iconic Tony Bennett announced his retirement at age 95 after a 70 year career. To say this news left an enormous hole in the hearts & minds of his fans, not to mention the music industry, is an understatement. Despite his age the magic of his glorious melodic expressive voice never waned. That fact rings true in today’s song which he recorded in 2008.

When Frank Sinatra called Bennett “the best singer in the business”, it put him at a place of honor that no one else could ever compare with. But even without The Chairman Of The Board’s declaration, one listen to any performance by Bennett proves his skill, talent & worth. We owe an incredible debt to him for what he gave us over the years not only in music but in artistry, humanity, history, pop culture and grace. Thank you for everything, Anthony Dominick Benedetto.

It’s that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear seems to say
Merry Christmas
“.

Tony

Tony Bennett circa 2010. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tony Bennett: “The Christmas Waltz” (2008, written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 20

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 20

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blues musician & singer Charles Brown had the distinction of being part of two original Christmas songs during his career. In 1947 he played piano & sang the lead vocal on “Merry Christmas Baby” when he was a member of Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers. Moore wrote the song with Lou Baxter and later it was covered by many other performers including Chuck Berry in 1958, Otis Redding circa 1965 and Bruce Springsteen in 1986 (featured here on Day 6).

Brown co-wrote today’s song with Gene Redd in 1960 which was also the same year Brown released it as a single. It is sometimes referred to as “Bells Will Be Ringing” and has been covered by several artists over the last sixty years. But I think the soulfulness of the original beats any other rendition that came after it.

Won’t you tell me you’ll never more roam
Christmas and New Year’s will find you home
There’ll be no more sorrow no grief and pain
‘Cause I’ll be happy happy once again
“.

Charles Brown

Charles Brown circa 1955. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Charles Brown: “Please Come Home for Christmas” (1960, written by Charles Brown and Gene Redd).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 19

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 19

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song has all the elements of a great performance. It is a classic holiday tune done in a beautiful arrangement led by a powerful, ethereal, melodic voice. One could even say it is fit for a queen. That is appropriate since the singer is one. All hail Aretha.

Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem
“.

aretha

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (2008, written by Felix Mendelssohn and Charles Wesley).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 18

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 18

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I try to find a-new-to-me Christmas song every year to add to my playlist. I found this one six years ago after hearing the soundtrack to the 2015 film, “Love The Coopers”. I still have not seen the movie but I listen to a lot of the music featured in it including this tune by one of the most interesting duos music ever brought together, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Snow falling right on time
Another church bell chimes
And we’re only hours away
From the light of Christmas Day
“.

Plant

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in 2021. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: “The Light Of Christmas Day” (2015, written by Charles Duncan).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 17

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 17

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song makes my list every year.

It is by Ray Charles.

End of story.

Sleigh bells ring are you listening?
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight we’re happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland
“.

ray

Ray Charles circa 2004. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “Winter Wonderland” (1985, written by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!