Music Monday: September 26, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Last week we crossed over into my favorite season. And what is not to love about fall? The crisp air especially in the evening when it is ripe with the aroma of wood burning fireplaces, the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, harvest festivals, not one but two holidays revolving around food (yes, I consider Halloween candy a food), pumpkins, gourds and jack-o-lanterns (oh my), the coziness of sweaters & warm blankets and we get an extra hour of sleep. Who is not on board with that? And what better way to celebrate a new season than with music?

fall pinterest image

(Pinterest image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song dates back to 1946 when it was written for the French film, Les Portes de la nuit (Gates Of The Night). Not long after American lyricist extrairdinaire Johnny Mercer wrote an English version of the track. Since then over a thousand renditions of this song have been recorded-some with vocals, some just instrumentals. Many of them are very well done but the interpretation I always found exceptional was by one of America’s greatest entertainers, Nat King Cole. His polished serene yet evocative vocals convey the loss of both love & one of the season’s most beautiful gifts in a truly sublime performance. He may be universally remembered best for his interpretation of Mel Torme’s classic, “The Christmas Song”, but Cole shines in all the other seasons too, including my favorite one of all.

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
“.

Nat circa 1955

Nat King Cole circa 1955. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Nat King Cole: “Autumn Leaves” (1955, music by Joseph Kosma, English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, French lyrics by Jacques Prévert).

Stay safe and well.

Happy birthday, Bossman!

Today we wish the man known as “The Boss” the happiest of birthdays.

Bruce 1973A

Bruce Springsteen circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Born September 23, 1949, Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen has been an integral part of the American music canvas for nearly 50 years. In the last one alone he has announced a new tour, sold his song catalog for an astonishing but incredibly well deserved 500 million dollars, released a film featuring his perfomances at the 1979 “No Nukes” concerts and was featured in a book based on his 2021 podcast with former president Barack Obama, Renegades: Born in the USA. He also became a grandfather. And that is just one 12 month stretch in Springsteen’s extraordinary life & career.

I am thankful every day for this man, his art, his poetry, his music, his heart, his soul and his mind. It has been an extraordinary privledge and experience to be part of his audience all these years, to be part of his narrative and to cheer for him at a show. He has won almost every award and honor there is yet he continues to give us everything he has during his marathon concerts. As Bono so eloquently put it when he inducted Springsteen into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, “He’s not the Boss-he works for us!”

Happy birthday, Bruce. Thanks for every note and every word. Cent’anni.

Now promise me baby you won’t let them find us
Hold me in your arms, let’s let our love blind us
Cover me, shut the door and cover me
I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me
“.

img_1326

Bruce Springsteen performing at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA on 09/14/2016 (yes, I was there!!!). (Image courtesy of me!)

Bruce Springsteen: “Cover Me” (1980, written by Bruce Springsteen).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: September 19, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

September 9 marked the 81st birth anniversary for The King Of Soul. Otis Ray Redding Jr. was born in 1941 in Dawson, Georgia and lived in that state for his entire all too brief life. Like many soul and R&B artists, he started his career singing in church when he was a child. By the age of 17 he had already won numerous local talent shows and became a member of Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers.

In 1962 Redding drove Jenkins to Stax Records in Memphis to record a few songs. His session ended early so Redding was given that time to record some of his own tracks by none other than Jim Stewart, one of the owners of Stax. The rest of the story involves five incredibly short but unbelievably powerful years that would account for Redding’s entire career. And what an outstanding one it was.

If you are not already a fan, I suggest you find any of his performances from the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival on YouTube and watch them. I promise it will bot only change your mind, but your life as well. The energy, the passion, the soul, the presence, the unmitigated joy this man experienced on a stage was unmatched. That is why he remains a legend in every sense of the word.

Today’s song holds the number two spot on my top ten list of favorite songs of all time. The album of the same name was released in February 1968, a mere two & a half months after his death. But it changed music forever, as did Redding himself.

Look like nothin’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same”.

Otis circa 1965

Otis Redding circa 1965. (Image courtesy of otisredding.com. Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” (1968, written by Steve Cropper and Otis Redding).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: Sept 12, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Before we get to our song, let me pay tribute to four women who are quite dear to me. On September 14, 1985 my Girls, the world’s Girls, “The Golden Girls” debuted on NBC. And they have not left the airwaves in the last 37 years, living on in syndication & fans’ hearts all around the world. I love them for more reasons than I can ever count, but especially for how current they were on music. They made references to Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Prince, to name a few. Just one more reason why they were four of the coolest bad-ass chicks on the planet. Long live The Golden Girls! And a ginormous thank you to show creator Susan Harris & all the people behind the cameras who brought the show to life.

golden 1

The Golden Girls on their couch (L-R): Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

For as happy as the above anniversary makes me, it also reminds me that when I was watching that show the first time around, most of my life was still ahead of me. That is not the case now. And it forces me to take pause and reflect. Not only on what I have to be grateful for but also for those I have lost. And that makes me feel very sad.

Add to that the 21st anniversary of 9/11 yesterday, the fact that Great Britain is now in a mourning period for a Queen they celebrated for 50 years but more importantly, a family lost a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother, plus the world continues to fight a pandemic after two & a half very long years. The passage of time just keeps reminding me not all changes are happy ones. Many transitions were and continue to be difficult.

Sometimes I just need to face that. So for today, I am going to let myself feel down. And hope tomorrow this weight will feel a little lighter. As always music is the way I cope, whatever mood I am in. Today, that mood is blue. Whatever color day you are having (Blanche Devereaux referred to some of her off days as “magenta”), I hope you enjoy today’s song. I do not know when or where I first heard it but I love it. Especially on days when the colors win.

You know my heart keeps tellin’ me
You’re not a kid at thirty-three
You play around you lose your wife
You play too long you lose your life
“.

Good_Time_Charlie's_Got_the_Blues_-_Danny_O'Keefe

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Danny O’Keefe: “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” (1972, written by Danny O’Keefe).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: September 5, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today we observe Labor Day in the United States. Whether you work the hours referenced in today’s song or any other schedule, whether you do it in a store, an office, on the road, outside or from home, whether you are considered white collar, blue collar or no collar, you are a laborer. A person that makes this country run. Every. Single. Day. We are, as John Lennon sang, working class heroes. May this day of rest-if you are able to observe it-be one of leisure, peace or whatever down time means to you.

Tumble outta bed and
I stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition and
Yawn & stretch & try to come to life
“.

Labor

Dolly movie

Top: Telephone operators at the turn of the 20th century. Bottom: Dolly Parton on the phone in the 1980 movie, “9 to 5”. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dolly Parton: “9 to 5” (1980, written by Dolly Parton).

Stay safe and well.