Music Monday: October 11, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

October 9 marked the 81st birth anniversary for John Lennon. Today’s song, which featured Ringo Starr on drums and Billy Preston on piano, always reduces me to tears but I also think it was one of the best of Lennon’s solo years. Sending “limitless undying love” across the universe to this beautiful soul who gave us all so much and only wanted love & peace in return.

I was the Dreamweaver
But now I’m reborn
I was the walrus
But now I’m John
And so dear friends
You’ll just have to carry on
The dream is over
“.

John Lennon

John Lennon circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Lennon: “God” (1970, written by John Lennon).

Stay well.

Music Monday: October 4, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

During quarantine I discovered a fantastic series on Hulu. “Luther” was originally a Starz show that ran from 2010-2019. It featured the unbelievably sexy Idris Elba in the title role as a cop struggling with all the darkness of his job & the ballast it brought to his personal life. Set in the UK, it was clear early on that music was one of the stars of this incredibly well written & well produced series.

Someone bts was clearly a Slowhand fan as one episode featured a character who lived above a vacuum store named “Clapton’s” while another featured a woman named after one of his most famous tunes, “Layla”.

Other songs & artists were featured as well including jazz queen Nina Simone’s great cover of The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, Robert Plant with “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down”, Roxy Music with “Love Is The Drug”, Dusty Springfield with “I Only Want To Be With You”, Alabama Shakes with “Boys & Girls” and the fabulous track that closed out Season 3.

It is by American duo The Black Keys comprised of vocalist & guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. Featured on their 2010 album, Brothers, it was originally a Top 20 hit in 1968 for soul singer Jerry Butler who co-wrote it with future Philadelphia Soul legends, Gamble & Huff.

The cover version may have been released more than forty years after the original but The Black Keys gave it such an old school feel I was sure it was some obscure R&B Top 40 hit from the 1970’s that managed to elude me. It is just that evocative, rich & incredibly soulful. Any artist that can do that to a song is one I am happy to add to my playlist.

Do you see these tears in my eyes
There’s no use in lyin’, ’cause I really cried
You think you are gonna take me
And put me on the shelf
I’d rather die than see you
With somebody else”.

Black Keys

Drummer Patrick Carney (L) and vocalist & guitarist Dan Auerbach (R) of The Black Keys. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Black Keys: “Never Gonna Give You Up” (2010, written by Jerry Butler, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff).

Stay well.

Music Monday: September 27, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

September 29 will mark my mother’s 82nd birth anniversary. Both of my parents loved music, but since I spent more time with my mother during my early years while my dad was at work it was her influence that molded how I would listen to music for the rest of my life.

For one thing, I definitely share her high tolerance for repetition. If she liked a song, she would listen to it over and over again until she switched it out for the next 45 in her collection. There were about a dozen singles she was crazy about, and until this day I can still recall every single word of each one, no matter how much times passes in between hearing them. I still consider most of them some my favorites as well. Their hold on me is eternal.

I remember being in the car with her when one of those songs came on the radio. Even though we had arrived home & had that record there, my mother purposely drove around the block a couple of times so we could hear the entire song. Then the deejay announced he wanted to listen to the tune one more time so he played it again. My mother was thrilled & drove us around the block a few more times while we sang along with the track a second time. It is one of my most treasured memories.

Screenshot July 2011

My mother, Theresa, December 1968.

Second, she had great taste in music for the most part (we will just ignore her dark period as a fan of The Fifth Dimension. At least I discovered Burt Bacharach & Hal David through them). She loved Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson & Motown, to name a few. If not for her buying a four album K-Tel compilation set of The Motor City’s greatest hits I cannot even imagine if I would have known who The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Miracles or Stevie Wonder were.

Every year as we got close to Halloween she would pull out her “Monster Mash” single and we would dance around while I tried on my costume to make sure it was perfect for the big day. Then we would put the decorations up to bring a more festive vibe to our home. Only Christmas had more preparation to it with tons of holiday music to match. I ache for those days.

It is always so hard for me to choose one song in her memory because there were just so many she loved. But I am able to narrow the list down with the help of Bruce Springsteen. As a fan of Elvis & Wilson himself, I have been at several of The Boss’s shows where he covered their songs as encores. Each time I could not help but think how perfect it was that my great musical love was singings songs by my mother’s great musical loves. And even though she was not there with me physically, I just knew she was loving those moments as much as I was. Music is very much a part of the circle of life.

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
“.

elvis-presley

Elvis Presley circa 1959. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (1961, written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss).

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

Stay well.

Happy birthday, Bossman!

Today Bruce Springsteen turns 72 years young. Born September 23, 1949 in Long Branch, NJ and raised in nearby Freehold, the world was introduced to this genius in the making courtesy of his first album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released in January 1973. The rest, as they say, is rock & roll history,

Boss 2

Bruce Springsteen poses on the Sunset Strip in front of a billboard for Born To Run in 1975. Photo by Terry O’Neill.

No one else’s music ever reached me the way his has. Since I discovered it when I was only 12 years old, I thought about him like my older brother who moved out before I was old enough to know him but he kept in touch by writing me these incredible poetic letters set to music. They were about life, heartbreak, betrayal, moments that “just don’t come”, mind-numbing thankless blue collar jobs that barely pay the bills and cashing in a few of your dreams when the promise of life skips over them, to name a few.

He also shared the happiness of the friends he met along the way including Crazy Janie & Her Mission Man, Mary who liked to dance when Roy Orbison songs played on the radio, Sandy on the boardwalk on the Fourth of July, the barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain, all the people out in the streets and, of course, The Big Man. My unbelievably gifted brother made quite a life for himself and took me along for the ride. And they remain some of the greatest times of my life.

So happy birthday, you beautiful deep prolific talented man. May you see 100 more. You will have my heart always. And thanks for sharing it all with me.

Bruce

Bruce Springsteen in 1975 from his Born To Run photo shoot by photographer Eric Meola.

Bruce Springsteen: “Drive All Night” (1980, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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

Stay well.

Music Monday: September 20, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Every Friday night one of my local radio stations hosts Friday Night Block Partys where they play four songs in a row by the same artist. Last weekend for the first time in a long time they featured Cheap Trick and I have to say, it was really good to hear “Dream Police” again.

I was a big fan of the group while I was growing up but I am sorry to say my interest waned over the years. It seemed as if every album contained re-worked versions of their old hits and I just lost interest. But when they released Silver in 2001 it came with a DVD and a friend of mine gave it to me to watch. It was great to see the band on stage together again and this time they included a few of their grown children on some songs. I really liked their 2006 release Rockford as well.

But then sadly they turned into The Eagles & started fighting when drummer Bun E. Carlos needed to pull back from a few tour dates for health reasons. Lawsuits ensued in 2012 and it was just sad. I have to say if a band is together 25+ years and then the fighting starts I just do not understand it. At that point life has happened to them all, they are not kids or newbie rock stars anymore so just agree to disagree and move on. I know it is easier said then done but I think after that many years together they can find a way to work things out on and off the stage.

So my interest waned again after that but I read they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame with Carlos in 2016. Today’s song is probably my favorite one that Cheap Trick ever recorded.

You didn’t know what
You were looking for
‘Till you heard the
Voices in your ear
“.

cheap-trick-promo

Cheap Trick circa 1979 (L-R): Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Peterson. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Cheap Trick: “Voices” (1979, written by Rick Nielsen).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 550

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

Well, ladies & gentlemen, we have come to the end of the long & winding road of songs. I think it is time to end this marathon of music. Schools have reopened, concerts & sporting events have resumed and several Broadway shows reopened earlier this week with more to follow. While masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future as we battle the Delta Variant, we are a lot closer to normal then where we were at the beginning of this year and certainly 12 months ago.

When I started this in Match 2020, I had no idea it would last this long. But then again I never lived through a pandemic before. When we first went into quarantine, I remember hearing a person on a news program say it was going to bring out the best in some of us and the worst in others. No doubt we have all seen both of those extremes but hopefully more good than bad. Thank you all for coming along with me for 550 songs, critiques, memories, reviews, stories, facts and fun (I hope). I will still feature a song on my blog every week on Music Mondays so be sure to join me for that. And now, time for our final song.

The Doobie Brothers hold a special place in my heart, not only for their music but because theirs was the first concert I ever attended. They performed today’s song that night. It was their first big hit, reaching #11 in November 1972. It is from their second album, Toulouse Street, released four months earlier. This song has been one of the mottos of my life since the first time I heard it. And it is the best piece of advice I would ever offer anyone. Stay safe & well, friends. And always listen to the music.

If I’m feelin’ good to you
And you’re feelin’ good to me
There ain’t nothin’ we can’t do or say
Feelin’ good, feeling fine
Oh baby let the music play
“.

Doobies

The Doobie Brothers 1972 album, Toulouse Street. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doobie Brothers: “Listen To The Music” (1972, written by Tom Johnston).

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 549

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

Several musical variety shows debuted in the 1960’s. One of the best was also one of the most short-lived. Shindig! premiered on September 16, 1964 on the ABC Network in America. It was cancelled 18 months later but during its short run the show featured an impressive array of artists including Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, several Motown artists and The Beatles (in an installment filmed in England), to name a few.

The first episode that aired 57 years ago featured soul and R&B master Sam Cooke. He sang three songs that night, two by himself & one with The Everly Brothers who were also guests. One of the songs Cooke sang was written by Bob Dylan. Cooke also performed it at his Copacabana show in June 1964 & it became part of the album, Sam Cooke at the Copa, released a month after his appearance on this show.

This year marked Cooke’s 90th birth anniversary. To watch his vibrancy & utter joy in performing in this clip can only be described as bittersweet. The fact that he would be gone less than three months later is so heartbreaking I cannot even find the words to express it properly. The video may not be the best quality but who cares? It is Sam Cooke & he was too beautiful for words.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
“.

Sam

Sam Cooke circa 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Sam Cooke: “Blowin’ In The Wind” (Live performance from ABC’s Shindig! which was broadcast on September 16, 1964. Written by Bob Dylan).

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 548

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

Earlier this week marked the 77th birth anniversary for Barry Eugene Carter, who went on to slay the world with his bass baritone voice under the stage name of Barry White. “The Walrus Of Love”, as he was affectionately nicknamed, was born September 12, 1944 in Texas but was raised in California.

He released today’s song as a single in the fall of 1974. By January 1975 it was the #2 hit in the country. And of equal importance, White performed this track during Season Two Episode 18 of “Ally McBeal” for John Cage’s 35th birthday. The entire cast joined him & White onstage to dance to this spectacular song. It was one of those surprising, quirky, adorable, warm & delightful moments we received courtesy of David E. Kelley’s appreciation for great music.

You’re my sun, my moon, my guiding star
My kind of wonderful, that’s what you are
I know there’s only, only one like you
There’s no way, they could have made two
“.

Barry

John Cage (Peter MacNicol) (L) dances around Barry White( R) during an episode of “Ally McBeal” from April 1999. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Barry White: “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” (1874, written by Peter Radcliffe, Tony Sepe and Barry White).

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 547

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

First things first: A shout out to my four favorite ladies in TV land-Dorothy, Rose, Blanche & Sophia-who were introduced to the world as “The Golden Girls” 36 years ago today on September 14, 1985. How I love these women & how I love this show (yes, present tense on both counts). They are a part of me & always will be. Thank you, Ladies, for comedic platinum.

GG

The Golden Girls circa 1986 (L-R): Estelle Getty (Sophia/Ma), Betty White (Rose), Rue McClanahan (Blanche) and Bea Arthur (center, Dorothy). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Now to the music. In September 1967 The Doors released their second album, Strange Days. Today’s song was the first single and became a Top 20 hit that year for the group. When they appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” for their one & only performance on September 17, 1967, today’s track was the first of two songs they performed. And watching Jim Morrison swagger up to that microphone is one of the reasons why he is one of the greatest frontmen of all time. That stage was his and he made sure everyone knew it. Sa-woon.

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down
“.

Doors

The Doors circa 1967 (L-R): John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “People Are Strange” (Live performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” September 17, 1967. Written by Robby Krieger and Jim Morrison).

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 546

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

As I have shared before, my grandmother is the one who introduced me to country music, How do you thank someone for bringing Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton & others into your life? And that was only one of the many invaluable gifts my grandmother gave me. Today marks 20 years since she died. I miss her every moment of every day. And since September 17 marks the 98th birth anniversary of Hank Williams, I thought today’s song was a great way to remember them both.

When tears come down like fallin’ rain
You’ll toss around and call my name
You’ll walk the floor the way I do
Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you
“.

Idie's wedding picture

Hank

Top: My grandmother (with my grandfather) on their wedding day in April 1934 Hank Williams circa 1950. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Hank Williams: “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (1952, written by Hank Williams).

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

Stay well.