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 style, 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 424

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 has one of the most recognizable opening guitar riffs in music history. And it was written & played by my great musical love, Eric Clapton, when he was in the band, Cream. But it was the group’s bassist, Jack Bruce, who wrote the majority of their music while the lyrics were written by poet & lyricist Pete Brown. Bruce, born 78 years ago on May 14, 1943 in Scotland, came from a musical family. When he was a teenager he attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (n/k/a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) on a scholarship to study musical composition & the cello.

By the mid 1960’s he met both Clapton & percussionist Ginger Baker and the three men formed Cream in 1966. Because all three came from other successful groups (Baker from The Graham Bond Organisation where he met Bruce who was in John Mayhall & The Bluesbreakers where he met Clapton who was in The Yardbirds), Cream was hailed as the first supergroup. They released four albums in the less than four years they were together, but their music changed live performances & improvisational jam sessions forever. It was also where Clapton developed his voice under the mentorship of Bruce.

The band broke up in 1969 as Clapton wanted to go in a different more streamlined form of music but also because the incessant fighting between Bruce & Baker got to be too much. They reunited in 1993 for their Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony & again in 2005 for seven shows-four at The Royal Albert Hall in England & three at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Bruce passed away in 2014 due to liver disease despite receiving a transplant about a decade earlier. Baker died in 2019, but both men remain musical legends for their time in Cream & their other contributions to rock history.

I’m with you my love
The light’s shining through on you
Yes, I’m with you my love
It’s the morning and just we two
“.

Cream 1967

Cream

Top: Cream circa 1968 (L-R): Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton. Bottom: Cream circa 1993: Clapton, Baker and Bruce. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Cream: “Sunshine Of Your Love” (1967, written by Pete Brown, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton).

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 421

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.

In April 1967 four musicians formed the band Traffic: Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood & Chris Wood. They only stayed together for two years but reformed in 1970. A year later Mason quit & the band folded for good by the end of that decade. Two of the four members are celebrating birthdays this week. Mason, born May 10, 1946 in England, turned 75 yesterday. Fellow Englishman Winwood, born May 12, 1948 turns 73 tomorrow.

He continues to tour and play with an array of musicians live including his daughter, Lilly. Mason also plays shows around the world & supports a variety of charities & music education programs. He also co-owns an electric guitar company. Today’s song, from Traffic’s debut album, spotlights Winwood’s intense vocal style & Mason’s rhythmic turn as the bass guitarist. It is my favorite track on the record.

You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don’t be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn’t have known you all these years
“.

TRAFFIC-early-foto-traffic

Traffic circa 1968 (L-R): Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, Dave Mason and Steve Winwood (front). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Traffic: “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (1967, written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood).

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 387

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. In July 1964 The Four Tops released today’s song which became their first Top 20 hit. It featured the quartet’s signature sound & harmonies enhanced by the label’s female session singers, The Andantes-Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps. Of course the track also featured the music of The Funk Brothers with a nice assist from The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Twenty-one years later in July 1985, The Tops performed at Live Aid in Philadelphia, followed by Eric Clapton. In his autobiography he admitted he was nervous to perform after them because they were legends. That is some serious & well deserved respect.

“Some say it’s a sign of weakness
For a man to beg
Then weak I’d rather be
If it means having you to keep”.

Four-Tops

The Four Tops circa 1967 (L-R): Renaldo Benson, Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir and Lawrence Payton. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Four Tops: “Baby I Need Your Loving” (1964, 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 386

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.

The year 1967 is best remembered for the “Summer of Love” when San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district became the focus of the peace & love counterculture of that decade. In music, the year was also the peak of the psychedelic rock era which was not really a sound I identified with. But as with most genres of music, there are exceptions to every rule.

Today’s song was always mesmerizing to me but I considered it to be a rock song more than anything else. It seemed to come in and out of my life quickly when I would catch the end of it on the radio. Then I would make a mental note to add it to my music collection, but somehow the thought would escape me until I heard it again.

Finally the magic of a great period television series that punctuated many of its episodes with the music of the era brought me back to this fabulous track by one of the greatest cover bands of the 1960’s. AMC’s “Mad Men” reintroduced me to so many forgotten musical gems I am forever in its debt. I am deep in the throws of my yearly binge of the show and I just got to season 7. The power & intensity of today’s song closed out the first episode perfectly.

Set me free why don’t you babe
Get out my life why don’t you babe
‘Cause you don’t really love me
You just keep me hangin’ on
“.

vanilla fudge

Vanilla Fudge circa 1967 (L-R): Mark Stein (keyboards & vocals), Carmine Appice (drummer & vocals), Vince Martell (guitar & vocals) and Tim Bogert (bass & vocals). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Vanilla Fudge: “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (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.