Music Monday: January 17, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Temptations’ David Ruffin was born January 18, 1941 in Mississippi. He had one of the best voices in Motown, right on par with Levi Stubbs and Marvin Gaye who was a huge fan of Ruffin’s as well. His group member Eddie Kendricks did a great job on his falsetto led songs. But to me, the achingly impassioned vocal Ruffin delivered on each of his tracks got me. Every. Single. Time. And the strings on this song elevate it to a level of perfection that just makes me swoon.

Girl, I can’t believe my ears
Are you really telling my goodbye?
See, you’ve taken away my reason for livin’
And you won’t even tell me why
“.

Temps

The Temptations circa 1965 (L-R): David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Otis Williams and Eddie Kendricks. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Temptations: “I Could Never Love Another (After Lovin’ You)” (1968, written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong and Rodger Penzabene).

Stay well.

Music Monday: January 10, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

A new video for today’s song premiered last month. When the track was originally released in November 1970, it hit the #1 spot in the country by the end of that year where it stayed for four consecutive weeks. The groundbreaking album that song was on became #1 in America on January 2, 1971. All Things Must Pass was George Harrison’s masterpiece and proved he was so much more than The Quiet Beatle. Over 50 years later we are still celebrating the brilliance of this album and its first hit.

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you, Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord
“.

All_Things_Must_Pass_BW

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

George Harrison: “My Sweet Lord” (1970, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: January 3, 2022

Hi, everyone. Happy New Year! Welcome to the first edition of Music Monday for 2022.

Music Monday

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

My clean slate began with a grievous wound: the death of a dear cherished friend, Betty White. I am so happy she is home but utterly heartbroken that she left. And only three weeks before her 100th birthday.

What is there left to say about a queen, an artist, an animal advocate, a badass broad who took bites out of life where the rest of us barely nibbled? Nothing I can think of but this: I know she had a big, beautiful, incredible, rich, long life but my God, what are we going to do without her? Rest in love & peace you sweet wonderful funny friend to all.

Betty edited

Copyright 2011 by Michele Antonio.

In season four of “The Golden Girls”, “the happiest most fulfilling day” for White’s character, Rose Nylund, was when she received permission to start an unauthorized chapter of The Elvis Presley Hunk-A-Hunk-A-Burning-Love Fan Club. How fitting since today’s song is by The King himself.

His life & legacy is another one where there is not much I or anyone else can add to. January 8 will mark the 87th birth anniversary of The King, Elvis Aaron Presley. He was and remains one of the true inventors of rock & roll in this & every other lifetime. He is music royalty & of course, one of the greatest artists of all time. Today’s song is in my Top Five of his recordings and it always will be. Hail to The King.

Oh, let our love survive
I’ll dry the tears from your eyes
Let’s don’t let a good thing die
When honey you know I’ve never lied to you
“.

Elvis

The King circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Suspicious Minds” (1969, written by Mark James).

Stay well.

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

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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!!!