Let’s Take A Moment Day 281

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?

Dec 22

(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’s song has the distinction of being featured at the end of two Christmas classics: “It’s A Wonderful Life” & “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. And today’s singer’s rendition is one of the best out there. He may be known as the premier voice of the season for his iconic version of “The Christmas Song” , but nearly every holiday song Nat King Cole recorded in his lifetime is a treasure. He was one of the earliest entertainers who used his talents as a singer, songwriter & musician and turned it into a brand. His TV show was one of the first of its kind in entertainment and he was the first black artist to host his own series. His sound infused jazz & pop while his appeal as an artist helped him cross over into film & Broadway as well. All of that made him one of the most successful, original, charismatic artists of all time. And a staple every Christmas season.

Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
“.

Nat_King_Cole

Nat King Cole circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Nat King Cole: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (1960, based on a 1739 Christmas carol with various writers including Charles Wesley and George Whitefield).

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 280

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?

Dec 21

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

There is so much to love about the movie “Elf” from Will Farrell’s portrayal of Buddy, the man-child Santa’s helper of The North Pole, the supporting cast, the fact that most of it takes place in NYC and so on. But the music is a huge part of the story as well. I love that it is a grown-up soundtrack. That was also the approach “A Charlie Brown Christmas” took with its music when it introduced children to contemporary jazz through holiday songs. Many of the tracks were written specifically for the TV special (most notably “Christmas Time Is Here”, “Skating” & “Linus & Lucy”) while it ended with a traditional carol (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”).

Elf did not use any original tunes but it made up for it in the artists which were included in the film. It gave us powerhouses like Louis Prima (yes, “Pennies From Heaven” is not a Christmas song but it worked so well in the scene, plus how many contemporary soundtracks feature this incredibly talented man?), Stevie Wonder (“What Christmas Means To Me”), Jim Reeves (“Jingle Bells”) & The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, with today’s pick. Any movie that introduces a new generation to this woman is one everyone should see.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we
We’re snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be
Let’s take that road before us and sing a or two
Come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
“.

Ella

Lady Ella Fitzgerald circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “Sleigh Ride” (1960, written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish).

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 243

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.

Sixty years ago today “The Genius”, Ray Charles, had the #1 record in the country. It may have only held the top spot for one week but it went on to become one of his signature tunes. In 1979 it became the official song for the state of Georgia where he was born in 1930, the same year this track was written & originally released. Once he got his hands on a song, Charles made it his own.

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you
“.

Ray

Ray Charles at the Georgia State Capital in 1979 for the official ceremony naming his version of “Georgia On My Mind” as the official state song. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “Georgia On My Mind” (1960, music written by Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael & lyrics written by Stuart Gorrell).

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 240

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?

Veterans 1

(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.

Sending heartfelt prayers of gratitude, love, peace, health, safety and prosperity to those currently serving and to those who already honored our country. Home of the free because of you, the brave. Thank you all.

Today’s song is by Elvis Presley. In an Army uniform. Singing to a baby. You’re welcome.

It takes a big man to wear big boots
That’s your daddy’s claim to fame
They know your daddy big boots
Wherever soldiers are
“.

Elvis

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Big Boots” (1960, written by Sherman Edwards and Sid Wayne).

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 98

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?

Kerouac

(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.

My mother was a big fan of Jackie Wilson’s.  I knew most of his hits like “Lonely Teardrops”, “Reet Petite” and “Higher & Higher” from her 45’s, but since most of his albums were out of print by the time I started collecting records, I was not able to find them.  Over the years I have tried antiques stores, old record stores and online catalogs, but the one album of his I wanted more than any other, 1960’s “Jackie Sings The Blues” has eluded me for years.  But now thanks to streaming services and YouTube, I can listen to music I cannot find anywhere else.  Today’s song is my favorite cut from that album.

Jackie Wilson

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jackie Wilson:  “Nothing But The Blues” (1960, written by Lena Agree).

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

Stay well.