Let’s Take A Moment Day 485

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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. Today’s song was released on July 9, 1968. It was written by the husband & wife songwriting team of Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson. They started writing for the label two years earlier and wrote several other songs recorded by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell including “Ain’t’ No Mountain High Enough”, “Your Precious Love” and “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”. Today’s pick was a Top Ten hit on the main chart & #1 on the R&B chart in 1968. It was also the last song the beautiful Terrell ever sang in public due to her illness & subsequent death in 1970.

Darling in you I found
Strength where I was torn down
Don’t know what’s in store but
Together we can open any door
“.

marvin-gaye-tammi-terrell

Tammi Terrell (L) and Marvin Gaye (R) circa 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: “You’re All I Need To Get By” (1968, written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson).

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 484

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Towards the end of 2017, I became completely absorbed in David E. Kelley’s HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies”. The soundtrack was fabulous and the actors were great. I was especially captivated by one of the younger actors in the show, Darby Camp. She played Reese’s youngest daughter-10 year old Chloe MacKenzie-and she was unbelievably impressive.  Her character’s intense love of great music reminded me so much of myself at that age!!!  I was her minus the ear buds. 

One of her favorite songs in the show introduced me to soul singer Leon Bridges who was born July 13, 1989 in Georgia as Todd Michael Bridges. His 2015 debut album, Coming Home, hit the Top Ten on the Billboard Album chart that year. It was nominated for the Best R&B Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. One listen to this man sing, one look at his sweet young face and it is easy to see why he has been hailed as “the second coming of Sam Cooke.”. I have been a fan ever since. Happy birthday, Leon Bridges. Here’s to 100 more.

Oh, I wanna come near and give you
Every part of me
But there is blood on my hands
And my lips aren’t clean
“.

album-artwork

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Leon Bridges: “River” (Live performance on “Saturday Night Live, December 5, 2015. Originally released June 2015, written by Joshua Block, Leon Bridges, Austin Jenkins and Chris Vivion).

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 483

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Sixteen years after they released their first record together, The Rolling Stones had the #1 album in America on July 15, 1978 with Some Girls. But over a decade earlier, on July 10, 1965, the band had the top hit in the country. It stayed in the #1 spot for four consecutive weeks and went on to become one of their signature songs.

The backstory is Keith Richards wrote this in his sleep. He actually does not remember waking up to write it down but when he got up in the morning, there it was scribbled on the pad on top of his bedside table. If there was any doubt that man was not suppose to have a legendary career in music, that one story alone ended the speculation.

It has been used in dozens of TV shows & movies with great effect. For me it was most memorable when it played as Don Draper walked out of the New York Athletic Cub into the blaring hot summer sun after he started swimming to keep his drinking in check during the season 4 episode 8 of “Mad Men”. When my favorite songs collide with my favorite shows, all is right in my world.

“When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me”.

Les Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones circa 1965 (L-R):  Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Charlie Watts.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown).  

The Rolling Stones: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965, written by Mick Jagger and 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 482

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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 1969 a series of concerts took place in New York City. Dubbed “The Harlem Cultural Festival” and held at what is now Marcus Garvey Park, it featured so many of my favorite performers from the Motown soul & gospel genres. These concerts were held over a six week period & most of the shows were recorded. But at the time there was no interest in buying them for a film Those involved did not know if that was because another music festival-Woodstock-was taking place that August or because black music was still considered secondary in the summer of 1969.

Whatever the reason, the tapes of the Harlem shows were left in a basement for 50 years until 2019. At that time they came to the attention of a producer who purchased them & turned them into a film that was released this year. Unbelievable, right? Another shocking aspect to this story? I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE CONCERTS OR THE MOVIE UNTIL LAST WEEK!!!

I uncovered the film about seven days ago when I went to Hulu for my weekly “Lost” re-watch. Instead I saw the ad for the movie, aptly titled “Summer Of Soul”. It premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in January and in theatres & on Hulu in June. My jaw dropped as I read the info about the film. It spotlights the performances of the incredible artists who were there interwoven with present day interviews with them and others involved in the festival itself.

How could something so incredible like a concert series of this magnitude get shelved for five decades? I am a native New Yorker, not to mention a profound fan of music, yet I lived all these years without even knowing this festival took place??? I cannot help but hang my head in extreme shame.

The film marks the directorial debut of Questlove, the co-frontman & drummer of Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” band, The Roots. In addition to being a musician and songwriter, Questlove has also made a name for himself as a producer, music journalist, author, disc jockey and now film director.

Discovering that an event like this took place but was never a matter of record matches my shock & amazement from the first time I saw “Hidden Figures”. To discover how important women-black women, especially-were assisting the U.S. Space Program & that was left out of the history books we read as kids is astounding. How many young girls might have had different dreams if they knew intelligent groundbreaking women were busting through glass ceilings half a century before? And how many aspiring musicians would have been inspired by this concert series?

But there is so much more to enjoy about this movie than the music. It is a time capsule to revisit the past. A look back at what are now vintage images of the culture at that time, the fashion, the style, the city store fronts and the people is simply hypnotic. The same goes for the clips of archived vintage footage from national news programs regarding the current events of the day like the Vietnam War & the Apollo landing which occurred the same summer. Those were interspersed with local stories about the heroin epidemic, the poverty level & the downward spiral of Harlem in general.

We also get a look at the city’s mayor at the time-John V. Lindsay-as well as a 27 year old minister, Reverend Jesse Jackson, who lead the crowd in a spiritual moment while he gave them his first hand account of watching Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King get shot. Undeniably powerful stuff.

My favorite moments include a newly solo David Ruffin singing “My Girl” sans The Temptations & hitting those high notes in such a remarkable effortless way; Stevie Wonder exhibiting his numerous talents from behind a microphone, a keyboard and a drum set; Sly Stone, the original poster boy for diversity not only as a black performer with white band members but with female ones as well. And they were not just back-up singers, either. They both sang & played instruments like the keyboards & the trumpet. The Family Stone performed three songs “Sing A Simple Song”, “Everyday People” & “Higher” which played as the credits began to roll.

Then there was Nina Simone captivating the audience with her powerful voice as she slammed the piano keys throughout her fierce performance. Gladys Knight & The Pips were on fire as were the gospel numbers, especially The Edwin Hawkins Singers rousing performance of “Oh Happy Day”. One of the women interviewed in the present who attended the show as a teenager summed it up best when she said: “Those artists crossed genres. They were trying to reunite people with music”. I have never been without music but I am just thrilled to be united with this movie. It is that good.

Another group that performed on what was called the festival’s “gospel day” was The Staple Singers. They were a family group comprised of Roebuck “Pops” Staples & his children: son Pervis & daughters Cleotha, Yvonne & Mavis, who turned 82 years young yesterday In addition to singing with her family, Mavis also sang a gospel song with Mahalia Jackson on “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” after Jackson’s stirring speech about and in honor of Rev. King’s favorite church song. It was nothing short of sublime.

In the present interview as the clip of the two women played, Mavis revealed that she still considers that moment her biggest honor and the experience “the time of my life”. She was born July 10, 1939 in Illinois. She & her family moved from gospel to secular music in the mid 1960’s. In 1968 they were signed to Stax Records. By June 1972, they had the #1 song in the country for one week with today’s track. It may be her birthday but it is her audience that receives a gift every time she sings.

Happy birthday, Mavis & here’s to 100 more. And a ginormous thank you to everyone who put this festival together, all the artists who performed there & the people who gave us the movie showcasing it all. It is an astounding treasure.

I know a place
Ain’t nobody cryin’
Ain’t nobody worried
Ain’t no smilin’ faces
“.

Soul picture

Mavis and Mahalia

Top: The movie poster for 2021’s “Summer Of Soul”. Bottom: Mavis Staples (L) and Mahalia Jackson (R) in a still from the film. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Staples Singers: “I’ll Take You There” (1972, written by Al Bell).

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 481

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Woody Guthrie gave us more than just some of the best folk/roots music in the history of the genre. He also gave us his son, Arlo Guthrie, who was born 74 years ago on July 10, 1947 in Coney Island, New York. Like his father, Arlo was known for protest music, including his spoken word 18 minute satire song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”. It was from his 1967 debut album of the same name & released when he was 20 years old. That was the same year his father died from Huntington’s Disease. The song has become an underground classic.

But Arlo’s most well known track is from his fourth album, 1972’s Hobo’s Lullaby, named for one of the folk songs his father made famous. Arlo’s cover of today’s tune became a Top 20 hit. I used to hear it a lot when I was a kid as I lay in bed in the morning not wanting to escape the cocoon of my cozy blankets.

My mother would have the radio on and I would listen to the lyrics and wonder what it was like to ride the rails rolling “past houses, farms and fields”. And when it came on in the car, I would close my eyes and pretend I was on a train on my way to some beautiful place I had yet to discover. Whether it is by car, bike, bus or train, songs about the road are pure magic. And Arlo Guthrie gave us a great one. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Woody’s son.

And the sons of Pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father’s magic carpets made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep
Are rockin’ to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel
“.

Arlo

Arlo Guthrie: “City Of New Orleans” (1972, written by Steve Goodman).

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 480

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Years before Bruce Springsteen broke into the Top Twenty with one of his own tunes (“Hungry Heart” was a #5 hit in 1980/1981) other artists had successful covers with his songs: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version of “Blinded By The Light” (Day 340) hit #1 in February 1977, Patti Smith’s version of “Because The Night” (Day 67) reached the Top 20 in 1978, the same year The Pointer Sisters released today’s song. It became a #2 hit in February 1979.

Springsteen originally recorded it during the sessions for his 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town album, but the song was ultimately left off the final cut. He released it in 1987 as a single. He also included a live version in his boxed set Live 1975–85 as well as an updated track in his 2010 The Promise collection. Of course nothing will ever beat his original recordings in my book. But The Pointer Sisters did The Boss proud with their sensational cover.

Well Romeo and Juliet
Samson and Delilah
Baby you can bet
A love they couldn’t deny
“.

bruce

Pointer

Top: Bruce Springsteen’s 45′ cover for “Fire”. Bottom: The Pointer Sisters 1978 album, Energy. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Pointer Sisters: “Fire” (1978, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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 479

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

One of the many things that made The Allman Brothers Band such a unique group was the fact that they had two drummers. One of them is celebrating a birthday today. Jai “Jaimoe” Johanny Johanson was born Johnny Lee Johnson 77 years ago on July 8, 1944 in Mississippi.

Before his role as a founding member of The ABB, he was part of soul superstars Otis Redding and Sam & Dave’s touring bands. Once Johanson became Duane Allman’s first recruit for his new group in February 1969, Johanson’s fate in one of the most innovative talented blues inspired bands in rock history was sealed. He & guitarist Dickey Betts-are the last surviving members of that fabulous group.

He and Allman shared lead guitar duties in the band, another facet that differentiated the ABB from other bands. Betts wrote today’s song which is from their 1972 album, “Eat A Peach”. It is one of the last to feature Allman before his death in 1971. In a 2017 article listing the 20 greatest ABB’s songs, Billboard magazine wrote the following about today’s track:

One of the last songs recorded by Duane Allman before his death, the Betts-delivered vocals are saccharine-sweet without being overly-sappy, while the twin guitar solos by Allman and Betts showcase just how effortlessly in tune and precise the two could be. There may not have ever been a better pairing of two lead guitarists in their prime in rock history than Allman and Betts, and “Blue Sky” is among their greatest showpieces. That Duane died before their Eat a Peach album was released is still one of rock’s saddest tales“. So true. Sigh.

Happy birthday, Jai “Jaimoe” Johanny Johanson May you continue to make great music for 100 more years.

Walk along the river, sweet lullaby, it just keeps on flowing
They don’t worry ’bout where it’s goin’, no, no
Don’t fly, mister blue bird, I’m just walking down the road
Early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know
“.

the-allman-brothers-1969-a-billboard-1548-compressed

(L-R) Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Gregg Allman, Jai Johanny Johanson, Berry Oakley and Butch Trucks sit on some railroad tracks on May 5, 1969 outside of Macon, Ga. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Allman Brothers Band: “Blue Sky” (1972, written by Dickey Betts).

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 478

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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 July 6, 1964 The Beatles first movie, “A Hard Day’s Night” made its premiere in London. A year later on July 29, 1965, their second movie “Help” was released. But neither of those movies or the band itself would exist if it were not for the event that took place on July 7, 1940. For it was on that day that Ringo Starr (real name Richard Starkey) was born.

Of course, the other three Beatles were needed as well. But Starr was the oldest; therefore, his birth put it all in motion, despite being the last member to join the band. Every year on his birthday for many years now, Starr issues the following statement on his social media platforms:

I’m inviting everyone who wants to join the peace and love celebration for my birthday at noon your time wherever you are, 7-7-21 – you can post it, you can say it, you can even think it – but it would be really cool if you go “Peace and Love” at noon on my birthday – so let’s spread peace and love on my birthday – c’mon everybody!”

So if you are a fan of his-or a fan of peace & love-or both, then why not join him on this request? If nothing else, it will take you out of whatever situation you are in at that time, clear your mind and bring you good energy. And while you are thinking those happy thoughts, join me for a little underwater ride. Here’s to 100 more very happy birthdays to you, Ringo!!! Peace & love forever times infinity plus eternity!!!

“In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines”.

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr circa 2014. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles (in honor of Ringo Starr’s birthday): “Yellow Submarine” (1966, 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 477

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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 July 5, 1954 a 19 year old Elvis Presley entered Sun Records Studio in Memphis, TN for his very first professional session to record today’s song. Three days later a DJ at the city’s WHBQ radio station played the track for the first time leading to a flood of calls to its switchboard. The King had entered the building.

Three years later, after a move to RCA Records & several #1 hits under his belt, he hit the top spot in the country again with “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” where it stayed for seven weeks. He also appeared in his second movie, “Loving You”. Elvis then owned the building.

“I’m leaving town baby
I’m leaving town for sure
Well, then you won’t be bothered with
Me hanging around your door
“.

Elvis

The 45′ sleeve for Elvis Presley’s 1954 debut single. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “That’s All Right” (1954, written by Arthur Crudup).

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 476

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

If the only thing you know about Marc Cohn is that he wrote & sang today’s song, that is enough. What a gift this track is. Forget the fact that it a fabulous tune and that he sings the heck out of it. It is a wonderful musical history lesson on the “land of the Delta blues”.

There is a reference to the self-appointed “Father of The Blues”, W.C. Handy (he wrote “Saint Louis Blues” amongst other notables songs) who was one of the first musicians to use folk music as the basis for his blues compositions. There are also nods to one of the city’s most famous roads known for its music-Beale Street-along with its most famous resident, Elvis Presley.

Cohn also mentioned his stop at the city’s Hollywood Cafe (“Now Muriel plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood”), one of the city’s best loved musical genres (gospel), soul singer Al Green’s church & a famous Carl Perkins song recorded at Sun Records Studio (“Put on my blue suede shoes…..”). Cohn visited the city in the 1980’s and turned the experience into a Top 20 hit in 1991.

Cohn was born July 5, 1959 in Ohio, making today birthday #62. I saw him at Jones Beach several years ago when he was touring as Stevie Nicks’ special guest. It was probably twenty years after today’s song was released and he sounded as great as he did on the record. He is wonderful live performer & a very talented musician. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Marc Cohn.

They’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
“.

Marc

Marc Cohn circa 1991. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marc Cohn: “Walking In Memphis” (1991, written by Marc Cohn).

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

Stay well.