Let’s Take A Moment Day 229

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

There’s only one song for today. kids. And that is what we should all strive to be on Halloween-kids. So eat lots of candy, watch “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (I have it on DVD so you did not ruin my day after all, Apple TV!!!) and then sing & dance it up to today’s song. No need for scary antics, either. This year has done that for us already. Happy Halloween, everybody!!!

The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group The Crypt-Kicker Five
“.

Peanuts trick or treat

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bobby “Boris” Pickett: “Monster Mash” (1962, written by Leonard Capizzi and Bobby Pickett).

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 228

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

There is another birthday in music upon us and this one belongs to U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Born October 31, 1961 in Dublin, Ireland he began playing drums at age 9 in marching bands. According to the band’s website, Mullen put an ad up at his school in 1976 seeking musicians to form a band that brought him together with his three bandmates. They put out an EP in 1979 and were signed to Island Records a year later. U2’s 1980 debut album gave them their first hit, “I Will Follow”. But it was their 1983 album, “War” that led to worldwide success. Nearly 40 years later, they are considered one of the most successful bands of all time.

I like a great deal of U2’s music and one album I particularly enjoy is 1988’s “Rattle & Hum”. They recorded a lot of it in Memphis at the legendary studios of Sun Records. That was where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and others began their recording careers. One of the song’s U2 worked on there was a collaboration with blues legend B.B. King. Despite how high he raised the bar on this track, U2 was not far behind. The raw intense lyrics from Bono & the music from the rest of U2 helped them keep up with power of The King Of The Blues, resulting in one heck of record.

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
As the music played I saw my life turn around
That was the day before love came to town
“.

U2 BB King

U2 with B.B. King in 1988 (L-R): Larry Mullen Jr., Bono, B.B. King, Adam Clayton & The Edge. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2 (in honor of Larry Mullen Jr.’s birthday) featuring B.B. King: “When Love Comes To Town” (1988, written by U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr.).

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 227

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

When I was a teenager and I would visit my cousins, they usually had music playing while they watched whatever sports game was on. They were huge Paul McCartney fans so for a while the album I heard the most was “Wings Over America”. As a Beatles fan myself of course I enjoyed it. But I must admit the one song I loved the best from that record was not by McCartney but rather the group’s lead guitarist, Denny Laine, who turns 76 today.

Born Brian Frederick Hines in England on this day in 1944, Laine started playing guitar very young, joined his first band at age 12 & took on the stage name he became known by. In 1964 he left his group and helped found the band that would become The Moody Blues. In November of that year they released their first single which is today’s song. It was first recorded earlier the same year by American singer Bessie Banks. By 1965 The Moody Blues version hit #1 in the UK and #10 in the US. When the band failed to capitalize on the success of that hit record Laine quit in October 1966 and was replaced by Justin Hayward.

For the next five years Laine played in a couple of other bands and made some music as a solo artist. In 1971 he, McCartney & his wife, Linda, formed Wings with the three of them staying as the consistent members until the group broke up in 1981. Laine put out two solo records during his time with Wings and continued with his own career when the band broke up. Rumour has it that Laine forced the band’s end when McCartney announced he no longer wished to tour out of fear for his safety after John Lennon’s death. But for ten years, Laine performed this song on tour with Wings and Paul & Linda McCartney were his back-up singers. Not a bad gig.

I don’t want you to tell me just what you intend to do now
‘Cause how many times do I have to tell you darlin’, darlin’
I’m still in love, still in love with you now
“.

Moody Blues 1964

Wings 2

Top: The Moody Blues circa 1964 (L-R): Clint Warwick, Graeme Edge, Denny Laine, Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas. Bottom: Wings circa 1978 (L-R): Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney & Laine. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Denny Laine with Paul McCartney & Wings: “Go Now” (recorded live for the 1976 album, “Wings Over America”. Based on the 1964 version by The Moody Blues. Written by Larry Banks and Milton Bennett).

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 226

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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 a long overdue mid-week Motown break. Today’s song has been covered as a gorgeous ballad by both Luther Vandross (in 1982) and Michael McDonald (in 2003). The uptempo 1965 original by The Temptations features music not only by The Funk Brothers but by The Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well. It was co-written by Smokey Robinson, features the incomparable David Ruffin on lead vocal with an assist from bass singer Melvin Franklin & those luscious backing harmonies. It’s another of The Temps exquisite lost love songs that only Ruffin could tell. The addition of the orchestra only amplifies the power and heartbreak of each note he sings. I think if the heart made noise when it was crying, it would sound exactly like Ruffin’s trademark pleading vocal.

Oh, determination is fading fast
Inspiration is a thing of the past
Can’t see how my hope’s gonna last
Good things are bad and what’s happy is sad
“.

Temps 2

The Temptations circa 1965. Standing (L-R): Paul Williams. Eddie Kendricks and Melvin Franklin, Seated (L-R): Otis Williams & David Ruffin. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Temptations: “Since I Lost My Baby” (1965, written by Warren (Pete) Moore and William “Smokey” Robinson Jr.).

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 225

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

Tonight is the two hour season five premiere of “This Is Us”. I must tell you that as great as that show is, the level of drama was scaring me enough to reconsider watching it going forward. But that was before COVID and the rest of the ballast 2020 has thrust upon the world. Now I think bring it on. Problems from a fictional family will be a welcome relief.

But a two hour show means I will be crying for about 120 minutes. In that case, I need to start the day on a happy funky soulful note. There is no one better at that than The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown. And if there is a song on the planet with a better brass sound & arrangement, I have no idea what it is.

When I hold you in my arms
I know that I can do no wrong
And when I hold you in my arms
My love won’t do you no harm
“.

James Brown circa 1974

James Brown circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Brown: “I Got You” (1965, written by James Brown).

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 224

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

One of the bands MTV reintroduced me to was The Kinks. I found Ray Davies antics in the videos to be quite entertaining while watching him as the main attraction in “Come Dancing” and “Predictable”. That prompted me to buy their 1981 album, “Give The People What They Want” with more great tunes like “Destroyer” and “Better Things” to enjoy. Forgetting that they started in the 1960’s I decided to go back and review their catalog of hits.

I was shocked to find out how many classic rock staples were theirs: “You Really Got Me”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, “Lola”, “A Well Respected Man” and “Stop Your Sobbing”. It was quite an education for me to discover that despite The Kinks being in my peripheral view, I had been enjoying their music all along thanks to FM radio. Today’s track, released October 23, 1964 in the UK, features a heavy power chord riff, a captivating rhythm line & Davies’ unique phrasing of the lyrics. That makes it my absolute favorite Kinks tune ever, even if Ray Davies won a UK lawsuit against The Doors for using this as the basis for their song, “Hello, I Love You”. I think Jim, Ray, Robbie & John made their mark with the rest of their staggering music, don’t you? 🙂

I believe that you and me last forever
Oh yeah, all day and nighttime yours, leave me never
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl, I want to be with you all of the time
“.

The Kinks 1964

ray davies

Top: The Kinks circa 1964 (L-R): Pete Quaife (bass), Dave Davies (lead guitar), Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar & songwriter) and Mick Avory (drums & percussion). Bottom: Ray Davies in 2017 after he was knighted by Prince Charles. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Kinks: “All Day And All Of The Night” (1964, written by Ray Davies).  

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 223

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

There are songs from my childhood that have followed me my entire life. I may have lost track of them occasionally along the way but then they always find me and usually at the most unexpected times. I remember watching the 2003 movie, “Stuck On You” (Greg Kinnear was a RIOT!!!) and hearing the melody of today’s song. Immediately my memory started humming along with it and suddenly I was singing the chorus. The supreme version in the movie was by the sorely underrated musician Pete Yorn. The original was by Albert Hammond. (His son, Albert Hammond Jr., is the guitarist for The Strokes).

Today’s track may be what Hammond is best known for as a singer & songwriter but he also co-wrote other big hits including “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies (1974), “When I Need You” by Leo Sayer (1977), “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias (1984), “One Moment In Time” by Whitney Houston (1988) and over a dozen others. Hammond is also credited as a co-writer for the song “Creep” by Radiohead (1992) because the band admitted they based that song on “The Air That I Breathe”. But no matter how many other tunes Hammond has helped create, it is today’s song, released October 21, 1972, that I will cherish forever. Swoon.

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it
Had offers but didn’t know which one to take
Please don’t tell ’em how you found me
Don’t tell ’em how you found me
Gimme a break, give me a break”.

Pete-Yorn

Albert Hammond

Top: Pete Yorn circa 2000. Bottom: Albert Hammond circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Albert Hammond: “It Never Rains In Southern California” (1972, written by Albert Hammond & Mike Hazelwood).

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 222

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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 this day in 1936 The Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman was born in London, England. In 1973 he received a #1 record to celebrate his 37th birthday when today’s song hit the top of the US charts for one week. I wonder what he will get to commemorate his 84th?

After 31 years with the Stones, he left the band in 1993 to raise three children with his third wife. He started his own band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, and wrote scores for television and movies. He also pursued other hobbies like photography & archeology. He is featured in the 2019 documentary, “The Quiet One” that I have yet to see but I am guessing that a film on any member of the Stones is bound to be interesting.

Today’s track is another gorgeous Stones ballad that I completely adore like “Wild Horses” (Day 103). But unlike the guitar driven medley of that song, today’s pick is led by a sublime piano performance by the band’s frequent session player, Nicky Hopkins, and an unbelievably gorgeous string arrangement. Hopkins played with other bands throughout his career including The Who, The Kinks and The Rumour, amongst others. But I think he did his best work with Wyman’s old band.

Remember all those nights we cried
All the dreams were held so close
Seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear
“.

Stones

The Rolling Stones In Concert, O2, London, Britain - 29 Nov 2012

Top: The Rolling Stones circa 1967 (L-R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman & Brian Jones. Bottom: Richards at a 2012 Stones concert where Wyman joined the band on stage. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Angie” (1973, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards).

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 221

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

I have shared before how great 1978 was for music. One of my favorite albums that year was from Neil Young. It brought his back-up singer, Nicolette Larson, center stage on only her second record with him. They performed the duet, “Motorcycle Mama” together, she sang harmony vocals on seven other tracks and recorded one of the songs-“Lotta Love” (Day 164)-as the lead single for her debut album, “Nicolette”. released the same year. But Young’s record also took him back to his acoustic roots as his prior release, “American Stars ‘n Bars”, featured a more electric sound. I love anything he does, but I am completely enamoured by Young’s more stripped down style. The title track of the album is my absolute favorite thanks to his voice, the fabulous lyrics, the fiddle & string arrangements which gives the song a palpable heartland feel & Larson’s gorgeous harmony vocal. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this album was released 42 years ago this month. Rip Van Winkle has nothing on me.

You and I, we were captured
We took our souls and we flew away
We were right, we were giving
That’s how we kept what we gave away
“.

Nicolette

Neil Young

Top: Nicolette Larson’s 1978 debut album, “Nicolette”. Bottom: Young’s 1978 release, “Comes A Time”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Young: “Comes A Time” (1978, written by Neil Young).

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 220

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

I need to correct a terrible oversight. It has taken me until Day 220 to feature today’s song. I could have sworn I chose this song in one of my initial posts since I love it so much but especially after finding out the singer passed away earlier this year on March 30. I posted a tribute on Instagram but was under the impression I already included it here. I did not. My sincerest apologies for making you wait over seven months for this piece of magic.

The first time I heard this song I was seven years old. My mother had just picked me up from school & brought me to the “beauty parlor” (as hair salons were called in those days) with her as she & her mom were getting their hair done. I was standing next to her telling her about my day when this song came on. I was immediately entranced by the hauntingly beautiful music & the dark sadness of the singer’s voice. I was completely lost in the enjoyment of this track as the singer sang “I know, I know, I know, I know, I know” when my grandmother started yelling about how annoying the song was & wondering if the record was skipping. It jolted me out of my reverie and I looked at her in disbelief. How could a song that was literally music to my ears hurt hers so? Why did she not get how simply gorgeous it was? I guess that was my first introduction to the proverbial generation gap. I never forgot that moment or that song. I think it is outstanding.

It is from Bill Withers 1971 debut album, “Just As I Am”. It was released when he was 33 years old working at an aircraft company in California. It includes two fabulous covers-The Beatles “Let It Be” & Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talking”. But it is today’s nearly perfect track that made people take notice of his talent. What a difference a two minute song made to his life and ours.

Wonder this time where she’s gone
Wonder if she’s gone to stay
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away
“.

Bill Withers 1971

Bill Withers circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bill Withers: “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1971, written by Bill Withers).

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

Stay well.