Music Monday: November 28, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I hope you all had a wonderful extended holiday weekend of eating, shopping, resting or all three. Before we get to today’s songs (yes, plural as we have another triple play) let me remind you that the Christmas Music Coundtdown begins on December 1. For each of the 25 Days of Christmas, I will feature a different holiday song. I would love to hear some of your favorite music choices for this festive season so please share them with me in the comments below.

Today we are celebrating three milestones with three songs. The first is about one of my childhood heroes. Charles M. Schulz, the absolute genius who gave us Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, was born 100 years ago on November 26, 1922. Nothing in my life was ever the same after my first glimpse of the characters Schulz created. Meeting that brilliant, warm, quirky, kind, wise, friendly, talented, and irascible group introduced me to some of the best friends I ever had.

Their holiday specials, books and the comic strip, the merchandise & the movies remain as much a part of my life now as they ever did. And it is all thanks to the man known as “Sparky” to his friends. Part of the appeal of his gang was how relatable and human they were-they had real feelings, real hopes, real wants, real needs and real fears. They were children but not childish. And they loved to have fun which translated into lots of music and dancing to grown up songs. How do you thank one man for so much?

CB and Sparky

thumbnail_SPARKY TOON CLEANED UP WORD ADDED ETC 10 30 22 COLOR.j

Top:  Charles M. Schulz with one of his most famous friends, Charlie Brown, circa 1960 ((Image found online.  Original source unknown.)Bottom:  Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Steve Benson made this image for The Press Democrat’s special section “Celebrating Charles Schulz.” This appeared in print and online on Nov. 24, 2022. (Steve Benson)

Twenty years later one of the most iconic films of all time was introduced to the world when Casablanca  premiered on November 26, 1942. Eight decades later, Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman’s tale of love and loss during World War II remains one of the most beloved movies of all time with a theme song no one can ever forget.

Casablanca

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a scene from “Casablanca:. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

That same year one of the greatest musicians to ever set an instrument on fire-both figuratively and literally-came into the world. James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was born  November 27, 1942 in Seattle, WA. A singer, songwriter and performer best remembered as one of the prenier guitarists in rock music made a name for himself with original songs but also with one of a kind covers of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and our National Anthem.

According to his website, Hendrix was a member of the “Screaming Eagles” paratroop division during his serivce to the U.S. Army in the early 1960’s. By the middle of that decade, he was playing with Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little Richard before forming his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. The rest is rock music history. Despite his death over 50 years ago, Hendrix is still unsurpassed in his esteem & tenure as one of the greatest of the greats.

Jimi

Jimi Hendrix circa 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Linus And Lucy” (1964, written by Vince Guaraldi).

Frank Sinatra: “As Time Goes By” (1962, remastered in 1999, written by Herman Hupfeld).

Jimi Hendrix: “Little Wing” (1967, written by Jimi Hendrix).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: November 21, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

If you have ever wondered when exactly Al Green became the R&B legend he is, it was 1972. The Forrest City, Arkansas native released not one but two of his best albums that year: Let’s Stay Together debuted in January and I’m Still in Love with You came out in October.

Both records gave us some great original music but also introduced us to the songs Green admired with his unique and incredible covers. The first album featured an unbelievably soulful rendition of “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” initially recorded by The Bee Gees while the October release had a Kris Kristofferson track (“For The Good Times”) and a Roy Orbison classic (“Oh, Pretty Woman”).

If you hear a touch of a Stax beat happening on these albums, that is because Green’s drummer was Al Jackson Jr., a founding member of that label’s house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Green took the music around him, his gospel roots, his influences like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke and turned it all into a gorgeous hybrid of soul, R&B, pop and southern sass.

Today’s song is a favorite of mine thanks to a standout vocal by Green, the electric harmony of his backup singers, the incredibly sharp & powerful horns and a seductive rhythm that is impossible not to move along with. It is just one of the many blessings from the man we now call The Reverend.

Love is walkin’ together
Talkin’ together
Singin’ together
Prayin’ together
“.

Al Together

Al Still

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Al Green: “Love and Happiness” (1972, written by Al Green and Mabon Hodges).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: November 14, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Novenber 12 marked birthday #77 for Neil Young, Both an acoustic master & a rocker at heart, this Canadian native has been making music for over five decades as a solo artist and in classic rock bands, The Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

His lyrics make me feel as if I speak and understand another language. Whether it is his perspective on life, love, death and everything else we see or encounter in this world, Young’s vision is all his own but makes it ours as well. His stories are raw, beautiful and heartbreaking in one aching succinct eloquent tale after another. But they are his to tell and ours to celebrate.

Happy birthday, Neil Young.

Ten silver saxes
A bass with a bow
The drummer relaxes
And waits between shows
“.

Neil Young circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Young: “Cinnamon Girl” (1969. written by Neil Young).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: November 7, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The last surviving architect of the music we call rock & roll passed away last month. Jerry Lee Lewis died at age 87 on October 28, 2022 at his home in Nesbit, Mississippi. Incredibly big sigh.

He and his fellow innovators appeared at a time when music needed a new sound and they did not disappoint. That new genre exploded on the scene in the 1950’s and made the world take notice. And not too many of us ever looked back.

Lewis was part musician, part stage performer, part wild man and part rebel all wrapped into one volatile package. He would switch between a boogie-woogie player to a piano thumping wild man so many times during one song it was like watching two performers at once.

Rest in peace to the musician nicknamed “The Killer”, the original & true piano man, someone who lived as fiercely as he played, who helped make Sun Records the legend it became, who was one fourth of its Million Dollar Quartet and gave us all another reason to call music the answer to whatever ails us.

Come over baby whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on
Yes, I said come over baby baby you can’t go wrong
We ain’t fakin’
Whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on
“.

Jerry Lee Lewis

million dollar quartet B

Top: Jerry Lee Lewis circa 1965. Bottom: Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet (L-R): Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley (seated), Carl Perkins and Lewis in the studio circa 1956. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jerry Lee Lewis: “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957, written by James Faye “Roy” Hall and Dave “Curlee” Williams).

Stay safe and well.