Let’s Take A Moment Day 391

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?

May 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 April 11, 1970 The Beatles hit the #1 spot in the country for the first of two weeks with “Let It Be” (the song, featured here on Day 26). The album of the same name would hit #1 for four weeks later that year beginning in June. Ironically it knocked Paul McCartney’s solo album, McCartney. out of the top position where it sat for three consecutive weeks.

But I think that is only fair since he officially announced The Beatles had broken up just one day before their song topped the charts, shattering the hearts of fans around the world forever. Six years after they landed in America to make history on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, they changed the course of music once again when they disbanded. I refer to it as the other day the music died.

Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on

Across the universe”.

Let it be pic

The Beatles in a still from their 1970 rocumentary movie “Let It Be”: (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Across The Universe” (1970, 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 390

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?

May 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 April 10, 1970 the self titled album by Elton John was released. It was his first for North American audiences and his second in the UK. Some of its tracks included “Take Me To The Pilot”, “Border Song” and his first hit record which went on to become one of his most beloved & enduring songs. It is also unbelievably beautiful, especially the lyrics and the string & harp arrangements.

The birth of that record is a spotlight in the movie of John’s life, 2019’s “Rocketman”. When John participated in “Carpool Karaoke“, he told host James Corden that today’s tune was the one that made John believe he & lyricist Bernie Taupin had taken a huge step forward in their songwriting partnership. I also believe that was the understatement of the decade.

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses, well they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind
While I wrote this song
“.

Bernie and Elton 1975

bernie elton 2020

Top (L-R): Bernie Taupin and Elton John circa 1975 with a few of the gold records they earned over the years. Bottom (L-R): Taupin and John in 2020 at the Golden Globe Awards celebrating their win for Best Original Song for the 2019 film “Rocketman”. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Elton John: “Your Song” (1970, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

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 389

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?

May 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.

Many of my musical heroes predate the video channels era. Even though they embraced that new medium, performances from their earlier years were either lost or locked in some television history vault gathering dust. Then YouTube showed up and slowly over the years video clips from those early days were suddenly at hand, mostly from TV shows from eras gone by. Many of these finds were absolute gifts of gold, but one was pure platinum.

Derek & The Dominos appeared on “The Johnny Cash Show” in November 1970 & the episode aired two months later. The band was together for less than a year so the chance to see them anywhere during that time was rare enough. But the chance to see Eric Clapton between The Cream years & his solo career was just priceless. The band performed “It’s Too Late”, a 1950’s blues song they covered for their only album & it was fabulous. But it was about to get even better.

After their performance Cash came out to thank the band for their appearance. He then invited his friend & fellow Sun Records legend, Carl Perkins, to play one of his songs with them. Then he, Cash, Clapton & the rest of The Dominos played today’s track and it was nothing short of astounding. Swoon.

In September 1985 Clapton performed the song with Perkins again along with Ringo Starr during an all star concert celebrating Perkins’ career. Starr sang several of Perkins’ songs during The Beatles early days including “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” & “Honey Don’t”. Perkins, who was born 89 years ago on April 9, 1932 in Tennessee, was a huge influence on The Fab Four, especially Starr & George Harrison.

The 1985 concert ended with a rousing performance of Perkins most famous tune, “Blue Suede Shoes”. But for me, today’s song holds the top spot in my heart thanks to this one time only performance from 50 years ago. In the words of my sweet beautiful friend, Toni: “Long live the 1970’s”.

“I’m an old poor boy
And I’m a long way from home
I won’t ever be happy
Everything I do is wrong
“.

cash show 2

Perkins and co

Top (L-R): Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash, November 1970. Bottom (L-R): Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Carl Perkins and George Harrison in 1985. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Derek & The Dominos: “Matchbox” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1957, written by Carl Perkins).

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 388

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?

May 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.

A rite of passage for children is their affinity for bubble gum pop music. Every generation has it but if your calling is music like mine was, even during those frivolous years good songs will break through and stay with you for a lifetime. I have written extensively over the last year about the ones that broke through to me. Today’s song is part of that group & can transport back to some of the best days of my childhood in one note. I will love Todd Rundgren forever for this song & the memories I have connected to it.

Think of me
You know that I’d be with you if I could
I’ll come around to see you once in a while
Or if I ever need a reason to smile”.

Rundgren-Todd 1974

Todd Rundgren circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Todd Rundgren: “Hello It’s Me” (1972, written by Todd Rundgren).

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 387

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?

May 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. In July 1964 The Four Tops released today’s song which became their first Top 20 hit. It featured the quartet’s signature sound & harmonies enhanced by the label’s female session singers, The Andantes-Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps. Of course the track also featured the music of The Funk Brothers with a nice assist from The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Twenty-one years later in July 1985, The Tops performed at Live Aid in Philadelphia, followed by Eric Clapton. In his autobiography he admitted he was nervous to perform after them because they were legends. That is some serious & well deserved respect.

“Some say it’s a sign of weakness
For a man to beg
Then weak I’d rather be
If it means having you to keep”.

Four-Tops

The Four Tops circa 1967 (L-R): Renaldo Benson, Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir and Lawrence Payton. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Four Tops: “Baby I Need Your Loving” (1964, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland).

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 386

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?

May 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.

The year 1967 is best remembered for the “Summer of Love” when San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district became the focus of the peace & love counterculture of that decade. In music, the year was also the peak of the psychedelic rock era which was not really a sound I identified with. But as with most genres of music, there are exceptions to every rule.

Today’s song was always mesmerizing to me but I considered it to be a rock song more than anything else. It seemed to come in and out of my life quickly when I would catch the end of it on the radio. Then I would make a mental note to add it to my music collection, but somehow the thought would escape me until I heard it again.

Finally the magic of a great period television series that punctuated many of its episodes with the music of the era brought me back to this fabulous track by one of the greatest cover bands of the 1960’s. AMC’s “Mad Men” reintroduced me to so many forgotten musical gems I am forever in its debt. I am deep in the throws of my yearly binge of the show and I just got to season 7. The power & intensity of today’s song closed out the first episode perfectly.

Set me free why don’t you babe
Get out my life why don’t you babe
‘Cause you don’t really love me
You just keep me hangin’ on
“.

vanilla fudge

Vanilla Fudge circa 1967 (L-R): Mark Stein (keyboards & vocals), Carmine Appice (drummer & vocals), Vince Martell (guitar & vocals) and Tim Bogert (bass & vocals). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Vanilla Fudge: “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (1967, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland).

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 385

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?

May 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 April 5, 1988 the remarkable self-titled debut album from Tracy Chapman was released. It sold one million copies in less than a month & produced three singles: today’s song, “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution” and “Baby Can I Hold You”. Subsequent albums & singles would follow featuring her signature politically driven songs interspersed with her personal reflections on the world around her. But to me no other song has ever compared to the elegant beautiful yet heartbreaking track from the first album which introduced the world to this fantastic singer & songwriter.

I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans, I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving
“.

tracy chapman

Tracy Chapman circa 1996. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tracy Chapman: “Fast Car” (1988, written by Tracy Chapman).

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 384

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?

Easter

(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.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate. With this holiday arriving a little earlier this year than others, it is coinciding with other events that occurred around this date. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 53 years ago in 1968. Blues great Muddy Waters was born April 4, 1915 and was a huge influence on Eric Clapton. He shared his love of the blues with The Band, especially lead singer & keyboardist Richard Manuel, who was born on April 3, 1943.

Sadly he died by suicide in 1986 leaving Clapton devastated. He wrote today’s song in honor of Manuel the same year & included it on the album, August. But it took on even more power in 1996 when Clapton performed it live with legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti and The East London Gospel Choir. I think it is a beautiful way to officially end this season of Lent.

When my hands no longer play
My voice is still I fade away
Holy Mother then I’ll be
Lying in safe within your arms
“.

Clapton and Pavarotti

Eric Clapton (L) and Luciano Pavarotti in 1996. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Holy Mother” (1986, written by Stephen Bishop and Eric Clapton).

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 383

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?

May 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.

From the minute music became important to me, I was interested in the details. I would read the songwriting credits on the records, the liner notes of every album & magazine interviews with my musical heroes to discover who inspired them while they were growing up. As I got older I realized my heroes had contemporary favorites as well and occasionally they would collaborate with them on recordings or at live shows.

However, it was not until I was listening to Bruce Springsteen’s speech to induct Jackson Browne into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004 that I realized how much Springsteen, one of music’s most eloquent & revered poets, admired Browne’s song writing skills. Springsteen spoke extensively about the beauty, intensity & sadness of Browne’s lyrics and how one song even moved Springsteen to tears. He listed about half a dozen other songs as examples of Browne’s gift which Springsteen said were the ones he wished he had written. Then he quoted a couple of lines from today’s song which is my absolute favorite track by Browne of all time.

I’m gonna find myself a girl
Who can show me what laughter means
And we’ll fill in the missing colors
In each other’s paint-by-number dreams
“.

Bruce Jackson

J Browne

Top (L-R): Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Brown circa 1987. Bottom: Browne circa 2015. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Jackson Browne: “The Pretender” (1976, written by Jackson Browne).

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 382

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?

May 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.

In the late 1960’s a funk & soul band formed in North Carolina. By 1974 they were signed to Herb Alpert’s label, A & M Records. Three years later L.T.D. (Love Togetherness & Devotion) had a top ten record with today’s song. The lead vocalist was Jeffrey Osborne, who left the group in 1980 for a solo career. A few years later he had a hit with “On The Wings Of Love” & was part of the all star chorus for “We Are The World”. But I think his work with L.T.D. was his best.

When you put your arms around me
I feel so satisfied
I want to love you forever
I just can’t, I can’t decide
“.

LTD

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

L.T.D.: “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again” (1977, written by Len Ron Hanks and Zane Grey).

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

Stay well.