Let’s Take A Moment Day 342

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’s song is a bonus Motown break in celebration of Smokey Robinson’s 81st birthday. Born February 19, 1940 in Detroit, MI, where he would become as important to the label as founder Berry Gordy was. Robinson did it all: sang, wrote songs, produced records, discovered talent & was part of The Miracles until he was singled out as the headliner. He had a successful solo career after he left the group in the early 1970’s because Robinson was a force all on his own. However, I do not think he ever sounded better than when he was with The Miracles. Happy birthday, Smokey & to fellow Miracle Robert Edward “Bobby” Rogers who shared the same birthday (February 19, 1940*March 3, 2013).

Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my sadness hid
Smiling in the crowd I try
But in my lonely room I cry
“.

Miracles

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles circa 1967 (L-R): Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Claudette Robinson, Ronnie White and Warren “Pete” Moore. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: “The Tears Of A Clown” (1967, written by Hank Cosby, William “Smokey” Robinson Jr, and Stevie Wonder).

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 335

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?

Hearts

(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.

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh

That is one of my favorite poems by William Butler Yates. And despite being entitled “A Drinking Song”, I think of it more as a poem about life and love.

As for all I shall know for truth at this point in my life: .

Love is the answer, as John Lennon so eloquently put it, And love, of any kind and in any form, is all you need.

Music is at the heart of love. Both heal & speak to the soul.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy
“.

Happy Hearts Club

The Beatles in 1967 (L-R): Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “All You Need Is Love” (1967, written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney).

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 333

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.

Stories about brothers as rivals go back to the days of Kane & Abel. That competitive existence has played out over and over in history since. And it does not just exist between blood brothers as it can happen with two men who are friends as well. But some brothers, despite their differences, do not become rivals but rather exist in a more harmonious entwined state because they admire each other’s talents. This is sometimes referred to as a bromance. One of the best examples of this is found in Greek mythology between Zeus’ sons, Apollo and Dionysus. Apollo, the god of the sun, was logical and prudent like most left brain people are. Dionysus, the god of wine & dance, was more creative and ruled by his emotions which today translates into right brain thinking.

Ray Manzarek of The Doors once said in a radio interview that he played Apollo to Jim Morrison’s Dionysus. Manzarek also referred to Morrison as his buddy, his pal, his friend and his soul mate. The man he created art with. I found it both heartbreaking and beautiful to listen to one man talk so eloquently about another man who he also referred to as his “brother”.

Manzarek was born 82 years ago on Feb 12, 1939. He met Morrison in California in the early 1960’s and by 1965 The Doors were a band. From 1967 to 1971 they conquered the music world & released six albums together before Morrison’s death on July 3, 1971. Manzarek died on May 20, 2013. After 42 years, the Apollo & Dionysus of the music world were finally reunited. The Morrison & Manzarek bromance continues.

I found an island in your arms
Country in your eyes
Arms that chain us
Eyes that lie”.

Doors

The Doors circa 1968 (L-R): Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger & Jim Morrison. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” (1967, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek,& Jim Morrison).

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 321

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?

Shakespeare music

(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 was originally released by Jefferson Airplane in 1967. I enjoyed that rendition, especially because it was written and sung by my favorite lead singer of the group, Marty Balin. In 1999 he released his greatest hits album with a new version of this song. Then around 2014 I heard a live performance of the updated track that absolutely slayed me. It was one of those songs I found so incredibly beautiful it hurt, a gorgeous acoustic arrangement with Balin’s entrancing reflective and gentle vocal. I was in complete awe. And I feel that way every time I hear it. At the end of today’s clip Balin referred to the track as “a heavy drug song” but I do not hear that at all. I hear an absolutely stunning piece of music. January 30 marked Balin’s 79th birth anniversary and as much as I love his work with Jefferson Starship especially “Miracles” (Day 99), it is today’s song that I am most grateful for.

You came to stay and live my way
Scatter my love like leaves in the wind
You always say you won’t go away
But I know what it always has been

Marty Balin

Marty Balin circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marty Balin: “Comin’ Back To Me” (1999, written by Marty Balin).

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 307

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?

Shakespeare music

(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.

Before today’s song, I want to wish the happiest of birthdays to a most spectacular “Golden Girl”, Betty White. This legend of radio, TV & film turns 99 today & has been entertaining the world for 82 years. I was lucky enough to meet her in May 2011 when she came to Barnes & Noble in Lake Grove, NY to sign copies of her book, “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)“.

She was an absolute delight. I was in complete awe, told her meeting her was like meeting one of the Beatles which made her laugh. But when I told her she & the other three Golden Girls were like my surrogate mothers from their very first episode she smiled and squeezed my hand. It was one of the most cherished moments of my life. Keep rocking, Betty. You are loved, worshiped & revered. And an absolute riot!!!

Betty White

Betty White in May 2011 in Lake Grove, NY. (credit: Me!!!)

Music nightclubs have been around forever, but for the music I love, some of the best saw the 1960’s & 1970’s as the peak of their success. The Troubador in West Hollywood, CA introduced artists like Elton John, Tom Waits & James Taylor. The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA hosted Cream, The Grateful Dead & blues greats Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. At NYC’s Fillmore East Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Allman Brothers (who recorded their first live record there in 1971, At Fillmore East) appeared. Max’s Kansas City was a favorite hangout spot for John Lennon when he first moved to NYC, Deborah Harry was a waitress there and artists like The Velvet Underground & David Bowie performed there. Two other NYC clubs-The Bottom Line & CBGB’s hosted Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt & Van Morrison at the former and Patti Smith, Blondie, The Talking Heads and other punk/new wave artists at the latter.

Another West Hollywood club, The Whiskey-A-Go-Go, opened January 11, 1964 and quickly became one of the top music venues for up & coming artists. Two of my favorites-The Doors & Otis Redding-were featured there and it helped put them on their respective musical maps. For Redding especially this was a huge moment in his early career as it led to the recording of his live album, In Person at the Whisky a Go Go. It was recorded during his three shows in April 1966 but not released until October 1968, nearly a year after his death. A second release, Good to Me: Live at the Whisky a Go Go, Vol. 2, was released in 1993.

The shows at the club took place a year before Redding’s mainstream success thanks to his rousing performance at The Monterey Pop Festival in the summer of 1967. It included today’s song which was first recorded in 1932 but Redding’s version 34 years later took on a whole new style due in part to the producer, soul legend Isaac Hayes. Booker T & The M.G.’s played on the record & with Redding in person at the Monterey show. Redding’s complete five song set from the concert along with Jimi Hendrix’s performances were released on the 1970 album, Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Redding’s are included on a few of his posthumous releases plus you can also find the videos on YouTube. Today’s song was his last number of the night and it is nothing short of spectacular.

It’s not just sentimental no, no, no
She has her grief and care, yeah, yeah, yeah
But the soft words they are spoke so gentle, yeah
It makes it easier, easier to bear”.

Otis at Monterey

Otis Redding on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Alan Jackson (back) was the drummer that night with the band Booker T & The MG’s. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “Try A Little Tenderness” (Live performance at The Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967. Originally recorded in 1966. Written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Henry MacGregor “Harry” Woods).

I only own the rights to the Betty White picture, nothing else. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 305

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?

Shakespeare music

(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.

During The British Invasion of the 1960’s, The Rolling Stones were one of the biggest bands on the planet. But “The Ed Sullivan Show” was even more popular so the group agreed to be on the program on January 15, 1967. They wanted to perform today’s song which was their new single but Sullivan said no. He did not think the track was appropriate for his audience. But then an agreement was reached allowing the band to sing the new record if they changed the lyrics. Done. What the parties did not agree on, however, was how the singer would act while he performed. Mick Jagger rolled his eyes several times as he sang the new line making Sullivan furious. He banned The Stones from coming on his show again. But the host changed his mind and the group appeared on the program again in November 1969. Thank you Ed Sullivan for lifting the ban. Now it is time to correct the other wrong.

I feel so strong that I can’t disguise, oh my
But I just can’t apologize oh no
Don’t hang me up and don’t let me down
We could have fun just grooving around
“.

Mick 1967

Mick Jagger rolling his eyes on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Let’s Spend The Night Together” (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 294

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?

Shakespeare music

(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 this day in 1967 the world was introduced to the genius & the beauty of Jim Morrison courtesy of The Doors. On January 4, 1967 their self-titled debut album was released. It contained a few of the songs they would become famous for including “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, “The Crystal Ship”, “The End” & today’s track. The album also contained a cover of an old blues song written by Willie Dixon & Howlin’ Wolf, “Back Door Man”. The Doors’ love for this genre of music would play a significant role in their career, especially in their live performances.

Today’s tune was the band’s first #1 song (their second was “Hello I Love You” in 1968). It was an edited version of the album’s nearly seven minute track that stayed at the top of the chart for three weeks in the summer of 1967. That September The Doors made their only appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to perform today’s pick which led to the host banning them for life after failing to follow the censor’s request to change a line of the song (See Day 145). But the band’s phenomenal success continued and soon they were featured on other variety shows on network television. Even as we approach the 50 year mark of Morrison’s death this July, the legacy he left behind in less than five years with The Doors continues in earnest. And Happy Birthday to Robby Krieger who turns 75 on January 8.

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher
“.

the-doors album

The Doors

Top: The Doors debut album from 1967. Bottom: The Doors 1967 publicity photo (L-R(: Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger & Ray Manzarek. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Doors: “Light My Fire” (1967, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison).

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 235

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.

In October 1967 Cat Stevens released his second studio album, “New Masters” featuring today’s tune. Nearly 40 years later in October 2005 Stevens, n/k/a Yusuf Islam, garnered the song of the year honor for this track at the ASCAP Awards in London where he also received the songwriter of the year award. A number of artists have covered today’s song, including Rod Stewart’s supreme interpretation from 1976. Yet there is something about Islam’s original that just speaks to me, even to this day. From the soft acoustic intro, to his tender beautiful interpretation of his heartbreaking lyrics to the change in tempo where the song pulls you completely in to the singer’s pain, it is just a fabulous track.

I still want you by my side
Just to help me dry the tears that I’ve cried
‘Cause I’m sure gonna give you a try
And if you want, I’ll try to love again
“.

Cat

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yusuf/Cat Stevens: “The First Cut Is The Deepest” (1967, written by Cat Stevens).

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 185

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.

For the birthday girl. May you have 100 more. Lots of love always.

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world
“.

louis armstrong

The Great Satchmo’ Louie Armstrong circa 1955. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Louis Armstrong: “What A Wonderful World” (1967, written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss).

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 158

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.

In the fall of 1991, I saw a fabulous movie that celebrated one of my favorite genres of music:  The Commitments.  It is a story of a hastily put together soul music band in Dublin, Ireland as an easy get rich & famous scheme by music lover/band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte, played by Robert Arkins.  The lead singer of the group was played by Andrew Strong, who was only 17 when the movie was being filmed.  What a voice.  The movie was directed by Alan Parker, who died last month at the age of 76 (Some of his other films include “Fame”, Midnight Express” and “Pink Floyd:  The Wall”).

The most well known member of the cast is probably guitarist, vocalist & songwriter Glen Hansard.  He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2008 with musician, vocalist & songwriter Marketa Irglova for the achingly beautiful song, “Falling Slowly“, from the 2007 movie, “Once”.  Later Hansard appeared on the show “Parenthood” when he used The Luncheonette recording studio where Adam & Crosby worked (Wow, I really miss that show.  Sigh.).

I knew all the songs The Commitments performed except one.  But it was beautiful with a fantastic horn arrangement and I immediately became obsessed.  So I bought the soundtrack CD and set out to learn everything I could about it.  Since this was 1991 that meant going to that year’s internet, the public library.  The songwriters, Dan Penn and Chip Moman, also wrote Aretha Franklin’s hit, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” together, and individually they wrote songs for other artists as well.

The first singer to record the song was James Carr, who was rejected by Stax Records but eventually was signed to a small Memphis, TN label, Goldwax Records, in 1964.  They believed he could be their Otis Redding.  He was a great singer, but to me, he sounded more like Percy Sledge.  But Goldwax shut down in 1969 after only five years in business, so Carr tried recording at a couple of other labels.  However, he suffered from bipolar disease and it frequently affected his ability to perform live, so his career languished throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s.  He did enjoy a career resurgence in 1991 after he released a new album when Goldwax was revived.  Carr performed at local musical festivals for the next couple of years before releasing another album in 1994.  But soon after he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died from the disease in 2001 at the very young age of 58.

He did, however, leave us his fantastic recording of today’s song.  It was eventually covered by Sledge himself and other superstars like Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Gregg Allman, Elvis Costello and the group, The Flying Burrito Brothers.  How I never heard this song before the movie is a complete mystery to me, but I am unbelievably thankful for finding it and its original incredible singer.

At the dark end of the street
That’s where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don’t belong
Living in darkness to hide our wrong
You and me, at the dark end of the street“.

James Carr
   (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Carr:  “The Dark End of the Street” (1967, written by Dan Penn and Chip Moman).

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

Stay well.