Music Monday: June 13, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Before The Motor City had Motown it had Mr. Excitement. Jack Leroy Wilson Jr. a/k/a Jackie Wilson was born June 9, 1934 in Detroit, MI. He started singing in his church as a child, then as a member of a few singing groups before releasing his first solo single, “Reet Petite”, in 1957. That was the first in a string of hits he would have throughout the rest of that decade & the next.

My mother was a big fan of Wilson’s and she & my dad went to see this incredible talent at The Apollo Theatre in the early 1960’s. By 1967 Wilson had another hit record with today’s song. Outside of his music career he had a tumultuous and sometimes tragic life. I wish his story had a better ending than it did. But one listen to anything from his catalog proves this man had an opportunity to live his dream. That is no small feat.

I’m so glad, I’ve finally found you
Yes that one in a million girl
And with my loving arms around you, honey
I can stand up and face the world
“.

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson circa 1961. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jackie Wilson: “(You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher” (1967, written by Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner, and Carl Smith).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: March 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Last month singer/songwriter/pianist Gary Brooker died at the age of 76 in England. If you do not know his name, I am quite sure you knew his voice. He was the co-founder & lead singer of Procol Harum, so it is his glorious vocal that is front & center on their iconic 1967 hit. I have adored this song forever and it is featured in three of my favorite movies of all time: “The Big Chill”, “The Commitments” and “Pirate Radio” as the last song on the airwaves of “The Boat That Rocked”.

Brooker was also one of the composers of today’s phenomenal song, but he also played with several other artists, most notably for George Harrison (on 1971’s All Things Must Pass), Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman. Brooker also appeared in the 1996 film adaptation of “Evita”. But for me, nothing else he ever did would compare to his pensive melodic delivery of some of the greatest sing along lyrics ever written or recorded.

The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
“.

1967 Procol

with Ringo

Top: Gary Brooker (pictured front left) with Procol Harum in 1967. Bottom: (Pictured left) with Ringo Starr circa 1999. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967, written by Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher and Keith Reid).

Stay safe & well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 10

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 10

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

We may not have a lot of music from Otis Redding because he died entirely too young but the songs he did give us are absolutely astonishing. That includes his cover of today’s holiday classic which he recorded in his signature soulful style. What a gift this man was to music.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white
“.

Otis

Otis Redding in June 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “White Christmas” (1967, written by Irving Berlin).

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 2021: Day 1

Happy December, everybody!!!

December

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

We have officially arrived at the Christmas season so what better way to celebrate this festive time of year than with a daily countdown of great holiday songs to usher in the big day. All are welcome even if you are not a fan of this type of music or you do not celebrate the holiday, Great music of any kind is meant to be enjoyed by all.

If today’s song does not immediately make you think of Will Ferrell in yellow tights, then you have not watched his 2003 movie, “Elf”, nearly enough times. This song is playing as he & his newly discovered little brother are jumping on beds at Gimbels Department Store. The moment simultaneously introduced a whole new generation to the magic of Stevie Wonder. Both Darlene Love and Michael McDonald do fantastic versions of this tune, but who can really compare to the eighth Wonder of the world?

I feel like runnin’ wild
As anxious as a little child
To greet you ‘neath the mistletoe
Kiss you once and then some more
“.

S Wonder

Elf soda

Top: Stevie Wonder circa 1975. Bottom (L-R): Daniel Tay (Michael) and Will Ferrell (Buddy) as everyone’s favorite elf downing a two liter bottle of Coke in one eighth of a second. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Stevie Wonder: “What Christmas Means To Me” (1967, written by Anna Gaye, George Gordy and Allen Story).

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!!!

Let’s Take A Moment Day 528

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.

On Day 442 we celebrated Charlie Watts 80th birthday, which was June 2. Today we say goodbye to the legendary Rolling Stones drummer who died on August 24. Aside from this being a tremendous loss for his family, the band and for music, it is truly the end of an era. The group that spent nearly 60 years together-with the core members playing together for 31 years until Bill Wyman retired in 1993-remained intact as one of the most influential & driving forces in music history.

From the moment he became The Stones permanent drummer in February 1963, Watts kept the beat-strong, steady, constant & true-while his bandmates played more flamboyant roles. And despite being in one of the most successful groups of all time, Watts led a relatively simple life compared to the others. Married since 1964 to Shirley Ann Shepherd, the two became parents in 1968 to their daughter & eventually grandparents to her daughter. A bout with throat cancer in 2004 sidelined the group who did not resume recording until Watts was ready.

Between his quiet demeanor & sophisticated attire, he almost appeared out of step with the rest of the band. But if not for his rhythm, presence and innovative style, The Rolling Stones sound would not have been what it was. They hit the #1 spot on the US charts for one week on March 4, 1967 with today’s song. Fifty four years later, it seems a fitting tribute to the man we lost on Tuesday. Rest in peace, Charles Robert Watts.

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you
“.

CW1

Stones

KR IG page

Top: Charlie Watts circa 1990. Middle: The Rolling Stones circa 2005 (L-R): Keith Richards, Watts, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood. Bottom: Richards’ poignant social media tribute to Watts. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Ruby Tuesday” (1967, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

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 519

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.

Last week a movie based on the life of The Queen Of Soul was released. “Respect” starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin opened on August 13. Several online sites indicate Hudson was handpicked for the role by Franklin herself. Supposedly she was very involved in the making of the film until her death three years ago. I am a fan of Hudson’s but even her incredible voice is no match for The Queen’s. But I am excited to see the film nonetheless. Today’s song is one of the very best moments we have from the legend herself. All hail The Queen.

Every chain
Has got a weak link
I might be weak, child
But I’ll give you strength
“.

Aretha_Franklin_1968

Hudson

Top: Aretha Franklin circa 1968. Bottom: Hudson channeling The Queen herself in the 2021 movie, “Respect”. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Chain Of Fools” (1967, written by Don Covay).

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 516

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.

One of my favorite movies of all time made its debut 30 years ago today. “The Commitments” opened in limited release on August 14, 1991. To see a film about a group of young singers and musicians coming together to celebrate the miracle that is the soul genre absolutely spoke to me. And one of the legendary singers the group admired? None other than the King Of Soul himself, Otis Redding.

The fact that he died in 1967 used to make me believe it was one of the worst years in music history. Ironically, it was probably one of the best. Why? Because it was the only one in which three of the greatest voices of all time were making music in the universe at the same time: Redding, Marvin Gaye & Jim Morrison. That year also had The Summer Of Love. I can’t call it complete paradise as there was a war going on at the time as well. But my God, was it close.

My life is such a weary thing
But in my ears, oh, this prayer just rang & rang
You keep wanting, waiting and wishing
When I know deep down that I’m not to blame
“.

Otis_Redding_low_res356

Otis Redding on stage during the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “My Lover’s Prayer” (1966, 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 486

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Happiest of birthdays to the incomparable Linda Ronstadt who turns 75 years young today. Born July 15, 1946 in Arizona and raised on a sprawling farm, she started her career as part of a folk trio best known for today’s song. It was a Top 20 hit for them in 1967/1968 and it was written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees three years earlier. She released her first solo album in 1969.

Ronstadt has sung nearly every genre of music in her career from pop to country to big band to Mexican to jazz and more. On her 34th birthday in 1980, she expanded her repertoire when she appeared in Joseph Papp’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance in Central Park in NYC. But I still love the song that started her career and introduced us all to her unbelievably fabulous voice. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for this legendary artist.

I ain’t sayin’ you ain’t pretty
All I’m saying is I’m not ready
For any person place or thing
To try and pull the reins in on me
“.

Stone Poney

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Stone Poneys: “Different Drum” (1967, written by Mike Nesmith).

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 466

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?

June 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.

Any song Otis Redding sang he made his own. But two songs he wrote were basically stolen away from him-in good ways, of course. He said as much about Aretha Franklin turning “Respect” into her signature tune, not to mention a #1 song for two weeks in June 1967. As for today’s song, he gave it to the co-writer-Arthur Conley-who turned it into a gold record in the same month.

It was originally called “Yeah Man” by Sam Cooke, but Conley & Redding re-wrote it together. The two Georgia natives met after Redding heard Conley’s 1964 song, “I’m a Lonely Stranger”. Redding signed Conley to his new label, Jotis Records, and in May 1967 today’s song went to the #2 spot in the country.

It paid tribute to many of the singers both Redding and Conley admired, and the latter even added a few lines about Redding as well. It is a great get-up-on-your-feet-and-move kind of song. And it was one of the great joys of my life to see Bruce Springsteen perform this live in concert. What can I say? The man’s got soul. And so does today’s song. Not to mention one heck of a horn arrangement.

Do you like good music
That sweet soul music
Just as long as it’s swingin’
Oh yeah oh yeah”.

Arthur and Otis

Left to right: Singers Ben E. King, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, Arthur Conley and Percy Sledge circa 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Arthur Conley: “Sweet Soul Music” (1967, written by Arthur Conley, Sam Cooke and 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 449

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?

June 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 Motown break. June 6th marked the 85th birth anniversary for one of the label’s greatest voices, Levi Stubbs. Born in 1936 in Detroit, Michigan, he was endowed with a powerful emotionally charged baritone voice which often times crossed over to the tenor range. It led the way for The Four Tops to become one of the most successful & beloved groups from the Motor City. And helped Stubbs become one of my favorite singers of all time.

All alone I’m destined to be
With misery my only company
It may come today it might come tomorrow
But it’s for sure I ain’t got nothing but sorrow
“.

Four Tops

The Four Tops circa 1965. Top (L_R): Abdul “Duke” Fakir and Lawrence Payton. Bottom (L-R): Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Levi Stubbs. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Four Tops: “Standing In The Shadows Of Love” (1967, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland).

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

Stay well.