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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 71

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.

Sam Cooke was not just a soul singer.  He was also an early activist in the civil rights movement and fought against segregation, especially at musical venues.  Perhaps his boldest statement in his quest for equality came in one of his most important songs written in early 1964.  He was inspired to write it after he, his wife and his band were refused rooms at a hotel in Louisiana and his subsequent arrest for disturbing the peace after Cooke demanded an answer from a manager as to why his reservations were not being honored.

His own version is powerful with a great production behind it, but still done mostly in Cooke’s hallmark polished sound.  It was just the natural state of his beautiful voice.  When Otis Redding recorded it in 1965, in his trademark achingly impassioned voice, it gave the song and its message even more meaning.  It was my favorite version until September 2, 1995.  On that day Al Green sang it at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concert.  He did not just sing it, he sang the hell out of it and gave 10,000% of himself while doing so.  The band behind him-Booker T & The MG’s along with guitarist G.E. Smith and friends-did not miss a beat while clearly enjoying the performance as much as the crowd did.  Despite Green’s appearance coming fairly early on in the show, he brought the house down.  But what else should we expect when The Reverend takes his rightful place at the pulpit?

Al Green

Al Green at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concert in 1995 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Al Green:  “A Change Is Gonna Come” (As performed live at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concert in Cleveland, Ohio in 1995.  Written by Sam Cooke).

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

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 23

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 23

Courtesy of bhg.com.

Today’s song was written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich & Phil Spector.  It did not have chart success in either the year it was originally released-1963-or the one where it was reissued-1964.  But it did have Cher on backing vocals (along with west coast girl group The Blossoms) and Sonny Bono on percussion (as part of the group, The Wrecking Crew).

Dedicated to all our service men and women who cannot be home with their loved ones and families this year.  Praying you all make it back safely for Christmas 2019.

Darleme love

Darlene Love:  “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (1963 studio version).

***** Since it is not Christmas to me until I see her perform this on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, here is the video from her last appearance on  2014.  With all due respect to the immensely talented Rockettes, that night the “Christmas Spectacular” was in The Ed Sullivan Theater and not Radio City Musical Hall.

*****And since I am feeling nostalgic, here is the clip from her first appearance on Dave’s show (1986).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 14

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 14

Vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

I do not recall hearing this song prior to this season.  This year my 24/7 Christmas music station of choice plays this tune several times a day and I must admit I like the fun festive energy of it.  Every time I hear it I picture myself at an elegant holiday party dancing with my guy the way Steve Martin & Lily Tomlin did at the end of “All of Me” (I love that movie!!!).

This is not my type of music at all, and the husband & wife singers of this song are not my taste at all.  In fact, I consider them more Las Vegas entertainers who sing, which is a completely different genre in and of itself.  And not one I enjoy.  But Christmas is the time for miracles, and me liking this song has to be put in that category.  Plus they were good friends of Frank Sinatra so that has to count for something.   🙂

steve edyie

Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme:  “That Holiday Feeling” (1964).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!