Let’s Take A Moment Day 434

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 blog 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.

Today we celebrate another milestone birthday. This one belongs to the man with the voice that defined the 1960’s. Bob Dylan celebrates his 80th birthday today and if there was one musician who defined the decade of change, it was him. Born May 24, 1941 in Minnesota, he was only 21 years old when he released his debut album nearly six decades ago in 1962. His folk songs became anthems for a generation.

But just when people saw him as the Woody Guthrie of his generation, Dylan went electric with his music and gave us even more to think about. Along the way he influenced The Beatles especially his future Traveling Wilburys’ bandmate George Harrison, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Neil Young, Pete Townsend, all five members of his back-up group, The Band, and so many others.

Dylan’s accolades range from nearly every music award to every songwriter’s award to his Nobel Prize in Literature. With anthems like “Blowin’ In The Wind”, “Like A Rolling Stone” and today’s song, to his well known recordings including “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, “Positively 4th Street”, “I Shall Be Released”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “My Back Pages” and countless others, Bob Dylan is without a doubt one of the most important voices in cultural & musical history. Happy birthday to The Master Poet. Here’s to 100 more.

As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
“.

Dylan

Bob Dylan circa 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bob Dylan: “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (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 426

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 blog 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.

Today’s song hit the #1 spot on the chart today in 1964 where it would stay for two consecutive weeks. It is by the beautiful elegant Queen Of Motown, Mary Wells. She was born May 13, 1943 in Michigan and started singing in her church choir. She auditioned for Berry Gordy in 1960 when he was 17 years old.

He had her work with Smokey Robinson who wrote many of her hits, including her first three released in 1962: “The One Who Really Loves You”, “You Beat Me To The Punch” & “Two Lovers”. But 1964 was the biggest year of her career thanks to today’s song, her duet album with Marvin Gaye entitled Together & her role as the first Motown performer to play in the United Kingdom when she was invited to open for The Beatles on that leg of their tour.

But Wells became displeased with the way Motown operated and despite alleged attempts by Gordy to renegotiate the deal she signed when she was 17, Wells was released from her contract per her request. However, that arrangement meant she could not receive any royalties from her former label.

She had some minor success after leaving Motown but decided to retire in 1974 to raise her four children. But she suffered from many afflictions including depression. a suicide attempt and drug use. In 1990 she was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer which led to her death at age 49 in 1992. Her old collaborator Smokey Robinson delivered the eulogy for the woman most fans remember as The First Lady Of Motown.

As a matter of opinion I think he’s tops
My opinion is he’s the cream of the crop
As a matter of taste to be exact
He’s my ideal as a matter of fact
“.

Mary_Wells_1965

Mary Wells circa 1965. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Mary Wells: “My Guy” (1964, written by William “Smokey” Robinson Jr.).

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 394

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.

Time for another mid-week Motown break. There are a handful of songs that define The Motor City sound from the very first note. Today’s track is one of them.

I don’t need no money
Fortune or fame
I’ve got all the riches baby
One man can claim”.

Temptations 1965

The Temptations circa 1964 (L-R): Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks (center), David Ruffin and Otis Williams. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Temptations: “My Girl” (1964, written by William “Smokey” Robinson and Ronald 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 349

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.

The stories of bands throughout history seem to follow one of two paths: They fight with each other and when they fail to achieve success they break up. Or, they fight with each other, achieve great success and break up. In both instances they may reunite again after some time passed but not always. Rarely does a band stay together for too long and it is almost unheard of that one stays together for nearly six decades. That esteemed privilege belongs to The Rolling Stones.

Of course, there have been many changes to the band in those 60 years. Personnel changes, personal changes, musical direction changes, addiction issues, legal issues and so on. And the very first storm they weathered was the loss of the man who founded the band, Brian Jones.

He was born 79 years ago today on Feb 28, 1942 in England. Both of his parents played the piano and passed their love of music on to their son. Jones played in a few groups before placing an ad in 1962 for a blues band. Mick Jagger answered it & brought Keith Richards along for a rehearsal where he joined the group as well, forming the nucleus of the band Jones would name after the Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone”.

Their success began with today’s song, a cover of a Bobby Womack song which was the group’s first #1 hit in the UK in 1964. Despite the success of the record the group’s manager & producer encouraged the band to write their own songs like The Beatles were doing. Once the Jagger & Richards songwriting team started to see success, the group started moving away from the blues to more of a rock sound.

Thus began problems between Jones & the rest of the band, which when combined with his drug arrests, paternity issues, alleged mood swings and other issues led to him being fired from The Stones in June 1969. A month later, he was found dead in his swimming pool at the age of 27, drowned presumably as an involuntary result of substance abuse. A very sad ending for a man who gave us The Rolling Stones.

Well, she used to run around with every man in town
She spent all my money, playing her high class game
She put me out, it was a pity how I cried
Tables turn and now her turn to cry
“.

Stones 1964

The Rolling Stones circa 1964 (L-R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “It’s All Over Now” (1964. written by Bobby Womack & Shirley Womack).

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 262

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?

snowman 2

(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.

Three days into December brings us to the first holiday song of the year, especially since today is the 56th anniversary of a seasonal staple. On December 3, 1964 CBS debuted the animated TV special, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, and it became a cherished & permanent part of the Christmas season to this day.

I grew up watching it like the majority of the population. But I saw this perennial favorite in a completely different light when I watched it with my dorm mates my freshman year of college. The other girls & I were talking about it during dinner at our hall cafeteria and asked our male counterparts to join us. That invitation led to screams of laughter at the idea that they would ever spend an evening watching a story about a reindeer with a shiny nose. But five minutes after the show started, the guys appeared. The other girls surmised that it was because they missed us. I wish it was that simple. The guys were a perfect audience until Rudolph met Clarice. Then their true purpose for being there emerged.

They made up their own dialogue so Clarice sounded like a cheap hooker (i.e., “Hey baby, let me make something else light up for you”, “Do you want to see what part of me gets red, too?”) while Rudolph outlined explicit ideas of what type of reindeer games he really wanted to play with the pretty doe (I will spare you those details & leave you to use your own imagination). I guess I should have been appalled that the guys turned a show about a treasured Christmas icon into a Penthouse letter. However, I must admit it was hilarious. Of course, after that night, this TV special never looked quite the same to me again. But I still watch it every holiday season and love all the music in it, especially today’s song.

Oh, ho the mistletoe
Hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me
“.

Rudolph and Clarice

The not so innocent couple, Rudolph (L) and Clarice )R). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Burl Ives: “Holly Jolly Christmas” (1964, written by Johnny Marks).

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 224

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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.

One of the bands MTV reintroduced me to was The Kinks. I found Ray Davies antics in the videos to be quite entertaining while watching him as the main attraction in “Come Dancing” and “Predictable”. That prompted me to buy their 1981 album, “Give The People What They Want” with more great tunes like “Destroyer” and “Better Things” to enjoy. Forgetting that they started in the 1960’s I decided to go back and review their catalog of hits.

I was shocked to find out how many classic rock staples were theirs: “You Really Got Me”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, “Lola”, “A Well Respected Man” and “Stop Your Sobbing”. It was quite an education for me to discover that despite The Kinks being in my peripheral view, I had been enjoying their music all along thanks to FM radio. Today’s track, released October 23, 1964 in the UK, features a heavy power chord riff, a captivating rhythm line & Davies’ unique phrasing of the lyrics. That makes it my absolute favorite Kinks tune ever, even if Ray Davies won a UK lawsuit against The Doors for using this as the basis for their song, “Hello, I Love You”. I think Jim, Ray, Robbie & John made their mark with the rest of their staggering music, don’t you? 🙂

I believe that you and me last forever
Oh yeah, all day and nighttime yours, leave me never
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl, I want to be with you all of the time
“.

The Kinks 1964

ray davies

Top: The Kinks circa 1964 (L-R): Pete Quaife (bass), Dave Davies (lead guitar), Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar & songwriter) and Mick Avory (drums & percussion). Bottom: Ray Davies in 2017 after he was knighted by Prince Charles. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Kinks: “All Day And All Of The Night” (1964, written by Ray Davies).  

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 211

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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.

Four years ago today Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first time for an American citizen in 23 years. It put him in the same company with other great writers like Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and William Faulkner, amongst others. Dylan received this prodigious & well deserved honor “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

His road to this esteemed prize began in 1962 when he released his self titled debut album. Comparisons to one of his major influences, Woody Guthrie, were almost immediate. Dylan also drew inspiration from the blues, country music & rock & roll while he was growing up. He started playing guitar while he was in high school in Minnesota and his band covered songs by Elvis Presley & Little Richard. As much as Dylan enjoyed rock & roll music, he wanted his own music to show life in a more honest realistic way.

In 1960 he dropped out of college and soon relocated to New York City. It was there that he began performing but also where he would meet the man he called “the true voice of the American spirit”, Guthrie himself. Dylan started playing around Greenwich Village, getting great reviews for his work and playing on records by other folk singers like Carolyn Hester. It was through that collaboration that he met producer John Hammond who signed Dylan to Columbia Records. By 1962 he released his first record & legally changed his name from Robert Allen Zimmerman to Bob Dylan.

His debut album contained only two original songs but his sophomore release, “The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dylan” contained all his own material and the first of his many masterpieces, “Blowin’ In The Wind”. The record also included “I Shall Be Released”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”. His third album from 1964, “The Times They Are a-Changin'” cemented Dylan’s genius & his voice as the one to articulate the social issues of the era.

He took the world from his acoustic folk music to his electric guitar sound & introduced his back-up group, The Band, along the way. He influenced everyone from John Lennon to Joni Mitchell to Bruce Springsteen to Patti Smith to countless others. He has written some of the most iconic songs of the 1960’s & 1970’s and his profound words are what he is most revered and beloved for. The Nobel Prize is proof of what he has bestowed upon us all. To quote the many lines he is known for would take more than one blog post to list, so I will use one of my favorite verses from today’s song as an example of his immense talent. The phrase “national treasure” is overused sometimes, but if there is one person who defines the phrase perfectly, it is Bob Dylan.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now
“.

Dylan

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bob Dylan: “My Back Pages” (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 187

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 is the 80th birthday for a man who has one of the most recognizable bass baritone voices in music, Bill Medley. Born William Thomas Medley in California on September 19, 1940, he started singing in the choir of his Presbyterian church. He was influenced by his parent’s love of swing music as well as artists like Little Richard, Bobby Bland, B.B. King and Ray Charles. Medley met tenor Bobby Hatfield in the early 1960’s when they were in a group called The Paramours. Medley wrote a song that he decided to record just with Hatfield, 1962’s “Little Latin Lupe Lu” for a girl Medley briefly dated. The two men chose the name of their duo after a group of black Marines referred to the duo’s singing voices as “righteous”.

The two men soon began to garner local exposure on the west coast. By the summer of 1964 they opened for The Beatles on their first U.S. tour, made an appearance on the TV show, “Shindig” and then opened for The Rolling Stones American tour in the fall. But it was the duo’s encounter with famed produced Phil Spector at a concert that same year that would change both their careers and their lives. He made a deal with the duo’s label, Moonglow Records, to let him release music under his company, Philles Records. The first song is today’s pick and catapulted the duo to worldwide success. Other hits followed including “(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration” and two others with only Hatfield on vocals, “Unchained Melody” (which remarkably enough was a B-side to “Hung On You”) and “Ebb Tide”.

By 1966 the duo signed with a new label, Verve/MGM, leading Spector to file a lawsuit against the men that was eventually settled. By 1968 the duo broke up but reunited in 1974 and released the top ten hit “Rock & Roll Heaven”. The hits waned after that but the duo’s sound remained part of the mainstream, including Medley’s duet with Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from the movie, “Dirty Dancing” and the feature of their song, “Unchained Melody”, in the 1990 film, “Ghost”. Hatfield died in 2003 and Medley recruited singer Bucky Heard to sing the duos songs with him beginning in 2016.

Medley wrote his autobiography, “The Time Of My Life: A Righteous Brother’s Memoir” in 2014.. He said in an interview that today’s song is the most played record in the history of American radio which BMI confirmed in 1999. It is also the best example of Spector’s iconic “Wall Of Sound” production technique. For me, it is simply a gorgeous track with two of the best vocals ever recorded.

Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize little things I do
It makes me just feel like crying
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dyin’
“.

Righteous 1

ther ighteous brothers

Bobby Hatfield (L) and Bill Medley (R) as The Righteous Brothers circa 1964 (top) and in 2003 at their induction into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (bottom). ((Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Righteous Brothers: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin‘” (1964, written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector & Cynthia Weil).

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 166

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 1964 Roy Orbison, nicknamed The Caruso Of Rock, released today’s track.  It would go on to become his signature song.  It hit #1 for three weeks in the fall of that year and it is a true rock & roll classic.  If you need to be reminded of this man’s genius and how effortless he made his music look, I suggest you watch “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” from 1988 to see him perform with several of his fans including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello. k.d. lang and J.D. Souther.  It is a great concert.

Many artists have covered this song.  Some not so good, some not so bad.  One of the best I think is by Chris Isaak who recorded his cover for the album, “Beyond The Sun”.  But nothing beats the original.  Mercy!

I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night, but wait
What do I see?
Is she walkin’ back to me?

Roy

Roy Orbison photographed on April 13, 1967.  John Hercock/Central Press/Getty Images.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Roy Orbison:  “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1964, written by Bill Dees and Roy Orbison).

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 83

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.

Today marks the 103rd birth anniversary of Dino Paul Crocetti, known to his friends as Dean Martin.  And the world could always use a little more Dean, am I right?  Today’s song went to number one on August 15, 1964.  What song did it replace?  “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles, which held that spot for the first two weeks of that month.  I love The Beatles, but my Italian pride kind of loves this little fact  🙂

Happy birthday, Dino!!!

dean-martin-88

Dean Martin circa 1955.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dean Martin:  “Everybody Loves Somebody” (1964, written by Sam Coslow, Irving Taylor & Ken Lane).

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

Stay well.