Let’s Take A Moment Day 518

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?

Aug 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Yesterday we remembered a happy musical event. Today marks one of the most somber days to anyone who understands the power of this man’s talent. On August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died at his home in Graceland. I have often written that I do not like to dwell on the days we lose our musical heroes but the loss of The King cannot help but be an exception. His death 44 years ago changed the trajectory of the world much like his censored performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” did twenty years earlier.

On the 25th anniversary of his death, RCA Records released Elvis 30 #1 Hits on August 16 2002. It included a bonus track-a remix of his 1968 song “A Little Less Conversation”-which gave The King another #1 record in several countries including the U.K. Today’s song is the first one on that album because it was his first #1 record ever. And once he got to the top, Elvis Presley never left that throne. All hail The King.

Although it’s always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken-hearted lovers
To cry there in the gloom
“.

Elvis

Elvis Aaron Presley circa 1956. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956, written by Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden and Elvis Presley).

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 507

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?

Aug 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Yesterday marked the 120th birth anniversary for the man affectionately known as “Satchmo”, Jazz band leader, trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong was born August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His 1967 rendition of “What A Wonderful World” (Day 185) has become a classic and many of his jazz recordings have been hailed as some of the most innovative of all time. But it was his collaborations with The First Lady Of Song herself, Ella Fitzgerald, that are my favorites. Today’s song, one of Irving Berlin’s best, is from their 1956 album, Ella and Louis.

Heaven I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
“.

Louie Ella

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong: “Cheek To Cheek” (1956, written by Irving Berlin).

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 405

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today marks the birth anniversary of a swing & jazz icon. Ella Fitzgerald was born 104 years ago on April 25, 1917 in Virginia. Whether you refer to her as Lady Ella, The First Lady of Song or The Queen Of Jazz, you know she had one of the finest most beautiful voices in all of history.

She collaborated with many musical powerhouses including Chuck Webb, Nelson Riddle, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington & Louie Armstrong, who she grew up listening to. The songs she performed from The Great American Songbook became hers and hers alone. But regardless of what she sang, Ella Fitzgerald was absolute perfection.

Lost my heart but what of it
He is cold I agree
He can laugh but I love it
Although the laugh’s on me
“.

Ella

Ella Fitzgerald circa 1952. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered” (1956, written by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rogers).

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 347

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?

Feb 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today is the 89th birth anniversary for The Man In Black, Johnny Cash, He was born February 26, 1932 in Arkansas. He grew up listening to gospel music, learned to play guitar before he was a teenager & formed his first band while he was in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950’s. Today’s song was released in May 1956, over a year before his first album came out in October 1957.

His work is some of the best ever recorded in country music history and he lived an early life strife with tragedy, addiction & hard times, including a divorce from his first wife & mother to his four daughters. But love turned his life around when he married his fellow singer, longtime friend and eventual love interest June Carter in 1968. Their son was born two years later and the couple continued working together for the next three decades.

Cash was always very vocal of how Carter’s love changed him, although he still fought his addiction with several stints in rehab during their marriage. But despite the tough outlaw image he earned over the years, he never shied away from admitting how much love & happiness he found with his wife. They were married 35 years before Carter died in 2003. Cash followed her four months later. They remain one of the greatest love stories in music history, country or otherwise.

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you
Because you’re mine, I walk the line
“.

Johnny and June circa 1968

Johnny Cash with the love of his life, June Carter Cash, circa 1968. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash: “I Walk The Line” (1956, written by Johnny Cash).

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 264

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?

kurt v

(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.

Eighty eight years ago today the world received a gift like no other when Richard Wayne Penniman, a/k/a Little Richard, a/k/a “The Innovator”, was born in Macon, Georgia on December 5, 1932. His talent broke barriers in the 1950’s when his exciting & ground breaking sound crossed over to reach audiences of all races. His music blended R&B, soul, funk and pop to form the highbred known as rock & roll. He also paved the way for his contemporaries to not only build on that foundation but to expand each of those musical genres in the decades to come.

Today’s song is the from the 1956 film of the same name. It is a fun watch (and currently free to see on YouTube) and it is introduced as a “story of music”. Richards sings two numbers (“Ready Teddy” & “She’s Got It”) and there are also fantastic performances by Fats Domino, Gene Vincent and others. It is also a wonderful opportunity to see two people who died much too young: early rock & roll pioneer Eddie Cochran (“Summertime Blues“, “C’mon Everybody“) & actress Jayne Mansfield. And here’s a little trivia for you: Singer & actress Julie London was also in this movie and sang her hit, “Cry Me A River”. She was married to Bobby Troup, a jazz pianist, singer, songwriter and actor. The couple starred in the 1970’s show, “Emergency” with London as Nurse Dixie McCall & Troup as Dr. Joe Early. He wrote today’s song.

If she walks by the men folks get engrossed
She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it
If she winks an eye the bread slice turn to toast
She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it
If she’s got a lot of what they call the most
She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it
“.

Little Richard

Little Richard circa 1996. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Little Richard: “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1956, written by Bobby Troup).

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 56

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?

Peanuts music

(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.

In one of my all time favorite movies, Diner, there is a great scene where a husband admonishes his wife for not following the correct procedure to listen to his records.  He worships music, she just likes to hear it.  How they ever got together is beyond me.

Wife:  “What are you getting so crazy about?  It’s just music.  It’s not that big a deal.”

Husband:  “It is!  Don’t you understand this is important to me!”

Later, he gives her a record and tells her to ask him a question.  “You never ask me what is on the flip side of a record.”

Wife:  “No, because I don’t give a shit.  Who cares about what’s on the flip side of a record!”

Husband:  “I do!  Every one of my records means something.  When I listen to my records, they take me back to certain points in my life.”  Amen.

The record in the middle of this exchange was “Good Golly Miss Molly” with “Hey Hey Hey Hey” on the flip side.  The artist?  Little Richard, who we lost over the weekend.  I am so very sad to say goodbye to this incomparable talent.  His outlandish and commanding stage performances, his high pitched “woos” and his boogie woogie style piano playing helped him become one of the first crossover black artists in the late 1950’s while laying the groundwork for soul and funk.  No wonder he was given three titles of honor:   The Innovator, The Originator and The Architect of Rock & Roll.

The Beatles were part of his earliest admirers and opened for his concerts when he was touring Europe in 1962.  The US leg of that same tour featured Sam Cooke as the opening act.  Billy Preston and Jimi Hendrix were both members of Little Richard’s bands in 1962 and 1964, respectively.  When John Lennon made his “Rock & Roll” record in 1975 it included two Little Richard covers:  “Slippin’ and Slidin'” and a medley of “Rip It Up/Ready Teddy”.  Little Steven Van Zandt added the “Little” to his name in honor of his musical hero.  The list of admirers is endless.  Little Richard was just that good.  Was.  Past tense.  Incredibly big sigh.

I have not shared a song by him yet because I was having trouble trying to pick only one.  I had it narrowed down to three but got stuck there.  But he needs to be honored so I am choosing the last song of his I listened to prior to his death.  Godspeed, Richard Wayne Penniman.  You were one of the greatest kind.

 

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Little Richard:  “Long Tall Sally” (1956, written by Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell and Richard Penniman).

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

Stay well.