Let’s Take A Moment Day 183

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

September 8 marked the 73rd birth anniversary of The Car’s co-founder, singer & bassist, Benjamin Orr. And while I do not normally like to acknowledge the date we lose an artist as I prefer to focus on their life & music, because today marks one year since fellow co-founder, lead singer & rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek died, I decided a tribute to both was in order.

They met while each was playing music in different bands in the 1960’s in Cleveland after Ocasek dropped out of college. Orr eventually joined his band and soon the two men became a duo. They spent the next several years playing wherever they could until Ocasek moved to Massachusetts with his second wife around 1971. The next year he joined a folk duo, convinced Orr to join them to form the band, Milk Wood (after the Dylan Thomas play, “Under The Milkwood”). They released one record together in 1973 on Paramount Records, “How’s The Weather?” The album did not sell and the trio broke up. But Ocasek and Orr worked together on several projects, meeting the other three members of The Cars along the way: Greg Hawkes on keyboards, David Robinson on drums and Elliot Easton on lead guitar. Together they burst on to the music scene with their debut eponymous album in 1978

I enjoyed their sound enough to pay attention when their songs came on the radio, even though I was not a fan of new wave or synth-rock, as they became known for. The one song in particular that I could not get enough of was “Good Times Roll”. It had such a seductive opening guitar riff aided by a fabulous drum beat.and a funky synthesiser line. It remained my favorite song of the group’s until today’s song came out six years later.

Written by Ocasek but sung by Orr, I have swooned over this tune since my first listen to it. His vocal is subtle yet strong, direct yet in a private language only the person he is singing to would understand. And since 1984 was prime MTV territory, a very unique and somewhat heartbreaking video came out to accompany the song. It was directed by actor Timothy Hutton, featured a somber looking Orr, an 18 year old model named Paulina Porizkova and introduced her to her future husband, Ocasek.

The band broke up by the end of the 1980’s. Orr died of cancer in 2000. Ocasek’s song “Silver” from his 2005 album, “Nexterday”, is in honor of Orr. In 2018 the remaining band members reunited to perform at their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Ocasek died a year later. The Cars made many memorable songs and videos together, but this one will be my favorite forever.

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home
Tonight

The_Cars

The Cars in 1984. L–R: Benjamin Orr, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson, Ric Ocasek, and Elliot Easton. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Cars: “Drive” ( 1984, written by Ric Ocasek).

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 182

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

Before we get to the music, let me offer a quick shout out to my girls-Dorothy, Rose, Blanche & Sophia. “The Golden Girls” pilot aired 35 years ago today on NBC and its four leading ladies made growing older look fun, feisty and fabulous. They also became my surrogate mothers who gave me sage advice about life, love, loss & laughter. I will adore them for all of eternity.

the-golden-girls

The cast of “The Golden Girls: Top (L-R): Rue McClanahan as Blanche, Bea Arthur as Dorothy. Bottom (L-R): Estelle Getty as Sophia & Betty White as Rose. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today is also the birth anniversary for guitarist Paul Kossoff who was born 70 years ago today in England. If you think you do not know who he was, I have three words for you: “All Right Now”. Yes, he was the guitarist for the band, Free, who had a massive hit in 1970 with that iconic song. And one listen to that track, led by Paul Rodgers’ electrifying vocals and Kossoff’s unbelievably fiery & intense riffs, it was clear even upon its release that this song would achieve legendary status. Rounding out the group was the astonishing rhythm section featuring Andy Fraser on bass and Simon Kirke on drums. If there was ever a tune to qualify as a perfect song, it would be this one. I have been absolutely fanatical about this track from the first time I heard it 100 years ago, and that obsession continues to this day. And probably always will. I just cannot hear it enough.

Kossoff’s musical training started at age nine when he began classical guitar lessons. But at age 15 he saw a live performance by Eric Clapton with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers so Kossoff changed his musical direction to a more blues/rock inspired sound. By 1968 he met the other band members to form Free. They broke up temporarily in 1971 but reformed a year later, only to disband permanently in 1973. Kossoff struggled with depression & drug addiction which was only exacerbated by the break-up of the band. He died in 1976 at age 25 from a pulmonary embolism. But his staggering performance stands out on one of the greatest rock anthems of all time.

There she stood in the street
Smiling from her head to her feet
I said hey, what is this
Now baby, maybe she’s in need of a kiss
“.

Paul Kossoff

free

Top: Paul Kossoff circa 1974. Bottom: Free circa 1970 (L-R): Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers, Kossoff & Simon Kirke. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Free: “All Right Now” ( 1970, written by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers).

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 181

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

Today marks another rock & roll birthday, this one belonging to one of the most unique and powerful voices ever heard. As the lead singer of Blood, Sweat & Tears for four years, David Clayton-Thomas helped define the band’s sound, which in turn led to their massive success in the early 1970’s. Born 79 years ago in England but raised in Canada, he became the lead singer for the band in 1968. Their first album together contained the hits “God Bless The Child”, “And When I Die”, Spinning Wheel” (which he wrote) and today’s song. I absolutely adore the horns on this track, especially the trumpet arrangement. It is just spectacular. Clayton-Thomas left the band in 1972 to pursue a solo career and continued to make music that was heavily influenced by blues, jazz and R&B. But it was his time with BS&T that turned him into one of the most celebrated voices of the 20th century.

You touched my very soul
You always showed me that
Loving you was where it’s at
You made me so very happy
“.

david 2

David Clayton-Thomas circa 1975. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blood, Sweat & Tears: “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” ( 1968, written by Berry Gordy, Jr., Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway and Frank Wilson).

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 180

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

Six months have now passed since the pandemic came into our lives. I will refrain from using the terms that have become our new language and just say as difficult as this time has been, I am thankful for this outlet because it has given me back the magic of music. Listening to songs and artists I somehow lost track of or denied myself the joy of because I felt obligated to put others first in enabling ways or because of work or domestic monotony or anything else “I was supposed to do”. Well this time has taught me I come first-finally-and I will no longer deny that nor will I apologize for it. In the middle of a pandemic, I found me. How can I not be grateful for that? So, to quote Casey Kasem, on with the music. And a virtual road trip to clear out the cobwebs.

The voices I have heard in music have affected me in different ways. Some were subtle, some were intense and some were massive. Today’s singers fall into the last category. The first time I heard The Band, I fell in love with not one but three distinct beautiful voices-the ones belonging to Rick Danko, Levon Helm & Richard Manuel. Danko’s vocal on “Long Black Veil“, Helm’s vocal on “The Weight” (see day 60) and Manuel’s vocal on “I Shall Be Released“, with each of the other singers providing harmony on those songs, is some of the most remarkable music I have ever heard. After the original group broke up in 1976, the three singers along with fellow bandmate, multi-instrumentalist Garth Hudson, reformed as a band in 1983. And despite the heartbreaking loss of Manuel in 1986 to suicide after an ongoing battle with drug & alcohol addiction, the other three members carried on.

Every time I heard their music or saw one of the singers, I felt at home. I remember sitting in a movie theatre watching “The Big Chill” and doing an internal cartwheel as soon as I heard the acoustic guitar intro to “The Weight” during the breakfast scene where every one gets their running shoes. Or when I was in the same theatre watching “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and seeing Levon Helm on the big screen as Loretta Lynn’s father, Ted Webb. Or whenever I needed to see “The Last Waltz” just one more time.

Danko died of heart failure in 1999 which is when this stunning group ended their career for good. Helm kept acting, performing and making music on his own, right up until he died in 2012 from cancer. With all three of these beautiful voices gone now, there is a place inside my soul that just yearns for them. Their contribution to music in general and my world specifically, is immeasurable, despite the efforts of others to downplay or forget their roles in one of the most extraordinary bands to ever make music.

Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
“.

The Band 1969

The Band: “Atlantic City” (1993, 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 179

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?

Bruce quote

(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.

At The Concert For NYC in October 2001, several acts stood out as highlights of the show. For me, one of the best performances was by David Bowie, who made NYC his part-time adopted home after his marriage to model Iman in 1992. Bowie expressed his gratitude to everyone in attendance, told them all it was “an absolute privilege to play for you tonight”. and gave a special shout out to his local neighborhood ladder company. Then he sang this song for the crowd. Today that same song goes out to all the heroes.

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
“.

Bowie

09-11-01-Raising-the-flag-oil-painting

David Bowie at The Concert For NYC, October 2001 (top) and the raising of a flag on Ground ero on 09/12/2001. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

David Bowie: “Heroes” ( 1977, written by David Bowie and Brian Eno).

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 178

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?

Bruce quote

(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.

Today in 1966 The Beatles record, “Revolver” hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It was the second of their more ground breaking records and the follow up to the first one, 1965’s “Rubber Soul”. “Revolver” was released on August 5 of that year and contains classic tunes like “Eleanor Rigby”, “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “Yellow Submarine”. It also has two of their more beautiful gems, “Here, There & Everywhere” and “For No One”. But over the last decade, today’s pick has become the track I love most of all. It features John Lennon on lead vocal, mesmerizing guitar work by George Harrison and some of the most evocative lyrics associated with sleep I have ever heard. This may be redundant but that does not make it any less true: Nobody but nobody made music like The Fab Four.

Everybody seems to think I’m lazy
I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy
Running everywhere at such a speed
‘Til they find there’s no need (there’s no need)“.

Revolver

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “I’m Only Sleeping” (1966, written by John Lennon & 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 177

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?

Bruce quote

(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.

Today is another music birth anniversary.  This one belongs to the greatest soul singer who ever held a microphone (in my opinion), Otis Redding.  He was born 79 years ago in Dawson, GA but raised in nearby Macon.  He started singing in his church choir when he was a child.  By 1956 he was out of school helping to support his family.  He entered a local talent show 15 times and won the $5 prize every time.  Eventually he joined two vocal groups, first The Upsetters (who backed Little Richard) and then The Pinetoppers (who backed blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins).

In August 1962, after driving Jenkins to Stax Records in Mississippi, Redding met label owner Jim Stewart.  He gave Redding a chance to sing during some remaining studio time.  The song he recorded was “These Arms Of Mine”.  It became a hit and sent Redding on the path to his destiny as one of the most phenomenal performers in music history.  Since his death in 1967, his widow, Zelma (co-writer of “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”), his daughter, Karla Redding- Andrews and his two sons, Dexter and Otis III (both music producers & songwriters) continue his legacy through The Otis Redding Foundation.  In addition to that, the website lists its mission statement as follows:  “To empower, enrich,and motivate all young people through programs involving music, writing and instrumentation”.

Today’s song was the B side to “Just One More Day” in 1965 but became more popular than the A side.  If you are a fan of The Blue Brothers, you will recognize today’s song as their introduction music, although in that capacity it is at a faster tempo.  But still fabulous, of course.

The link to the song is a performance video.  If you have never watched Redding sing, I strongly encourage you to view this and not just listen to the audio.  It is two minutes and ten seconds long and worth every single second.  To see his energy, his stage presence, his smile, his vibrance, his sheer utter joy of performing is just too grand not to see.  His voice was one of a kind and so was the way he absolutely owned any stage he was on.  As much as the people in the audience enjoyed watching him, no one had a better time during his shows than Redding himself.  And that was another gift he gave us.

I can’t ever turn you loose now
If I do, I’m gonna lose my life
I can’t turn you loose to nobody
‘Cause I love you baby, yes I do now“.

Otis

  Otis Redding circa 1965.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding:  “I Can’t Turn You Loose” ( 1965, written by Otis Redding).

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 176

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?

Bruce quote

(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.

Today marks the 88th birth anniversary of country legend, Patsy Cline.  Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, VA in 1932, she started singing professionally at age 15 to support her family after her father left them.  He was an amateur singer who passed on his talent to her from an early age.  Cline got her stage surname from her first husband, Gerald Cline (married 1953, divorced 1957) while her first name was a variation on her middle one.  She became a regular on a regional TV show in 1954 which led to her first recording contract with 4 Star Records.  After six years with them and no success, she signed with Decca Records where her career blossomed.  Before a plane crash ended her life at age 30 on March 5, 1963, she had two children, a girl & a boy.  Her daughter,  Julie Symadore Fudge, runs a museum in Nashville dedicated to her mother.  It features many of Cline’s stage clothes which she designed and were hand made by her mother, Hilda Hensley.

Cline recorded today’s song for her 1961 album, “Showcase”.  She recorded it with The Jordanaires, who were the backing vocal group for Elvis Presley.  This record has several of her best known songs including “Walking After Midnight”, “Crazy”, “San Antonio Rose” and the track featured today.

According to The Country Music Hall Of Fame, Cline is the most popular female country singer in recording history.  She is also listed as the first solo female artist inducted into that hallowed group.  One listen to her deep beautiful unique voice and you know why both of those facts exist.

I fall to pieces
Each time someone speaks your name 
I fall to pieces
Time only adds to the flame“.

patsy

Patsy Cline circa 1962.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Patsy Cline:  “I Fall To Pieces” ( 1961, written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard).

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 175

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?

Bruce quote

(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.

Today is the birth anniversary of Charles Hardin Holley, better known to us as Buddy Holly.  Born 84 years ago today in Lubbock, Texas, he grew up during the Depression playing the guitar with the rest of his musical family.  Another artist from the south who found his roots in country, gospel and R&B music, he was part of a bluegrass/country/rockabilly duo in high school with Bob Montgomery simply called “Buddy and Bob” (Montgomery wrote “Misty Blue” recorded by several artists including Dorothy Moore who turned it into a #3 hit in 1976).

The duo opened for Elvis Presley several times in 1955 and eventually Holly changed the direction of his sound to rock & roll.  He was discovered and signed by Decca Records soon after and the rest is musical history.  His style influenced everyone from The Beatles to Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton to The Hollies who, according to founding member Graham Nash, were named as a tribute to Holly,

There is no denying that his effect is far reaching and as influential as they come.  His sound helped define the foundation of rock & roll and his legacy continues to radiate in music today, more than 60 years after his death.  Happy birthday, Buddy Holly.

A-well rave on, it’s a crazy feelin’ and
I know, it’s got me reelin’
I’m so glad, that you’re revealin’
Your love for me“.

Holly
Buddy Holly circa 1956.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Buddy Holly:  “Rave On” ( 1958, written by Norman Petty, Bill Tightman and Joseph “Sonny” West).

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 174

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?

Bruce quote

(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.

Early in the morning factory whistle blows
Man rises from bed and puts on his clothes
Man takes his lunch, walks out in the morning light
It’s the working, the working, just the working life“.

Happy Labor Day to all of us in the working life, whatever that entails & wherever we do it.

Labor

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen:  “Factory” (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.