Let’s Take A Moment Day 410

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.

On April 27, 1932 the man I had a standing date with every Sunday for most of my teenage years was born. Kemal Amin Kasem, known professionally as Casey Kasem, was born 89 years ago in Michigan. Not only was he the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo and NBC announcements but he was also the DJ who hosted the weekly radio countdown program, American Top 40 (AT 40) for nearly three decades. And at the risk of sounding like a heathen, for years that show was more important to me than church. Music had become my faith my religion, my truth & my light. And Kasem led the way there each & every week.

His career in radio started when he became a sports announcer in high school. He continued on various radio programs when he was in college and for Armed Forces Radio while he was stationed in Korea during his time in the U.S. Army. Once he returned home he became a DJ for a station in Flint, Michigan. He bounced around several stations & states throughout the 1960’s and even took on small acting parts both on & off radio which led to his Scooby-Doo gig in 1969.

AT 40 started July 4, 1970. Kasem created the show with three other men as a means to boost Top 40 radio which was in decline then due to the emergence of album oriented rock (AOR) radio. Classic rock became my preferred choice of music by the time I was 12, but staying up to date with current songs & artists was important to me, too. Kasem offered behind the music information to listeners along with the chart progression of each song. Week after week, it was just Kasem & the records-no special guests or interviews needed. The music said everything that needed to be said. And in the rare moments that it didn’t, Kasem filled in the blanks.

Occasionally a song from outside the Top 40 was played, mostly in the form of the long distance dedication. For that Kasem would read a letter from a listener who would request a song for someone they were thinking of. I must admit I was not a fan of that part of the show. The message & the tunes were either too sappy or too maudlin for me. Plus they took precious time away from the real music on the chart. But when they were over, Kasem would recite one of his most famous lines: “And now, on with the countdown”.

The show ran until 1988 at which time Kasem signed a multi-million dollar deal to host a new show, Casey’s Top 40. Shadoe Stevens took over AT 40 which was cancelled in 1995. Kasem still owned the rights to the show’s name and revived it in 1998. He stayed until 2003 when Ryan Seacrest took over. It continues today, although the way sales are calculated now is as different as the industry is in this era of downloads & streaming services. But for me, nothing beat buying a new 45 record & finding out if I helped that song move up on the charts.

So in honor of Kasem & what he created, today I chose a song from the year the countdown started, 1970. I have already featured seven #1 songs from that year so I found one that hit the #2 spot to highlight. It is by the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) which was another group I enjoyed a lot, yet were on my periphery.

Their fifth album, Cosmo’s Factory, was released July 8, 1970 & included several of CCR’s well known songs: “Looking Out My Back Door”, “Run Through The Jungle”, “Up Around The Bend”, their cover of Marvin Gaye’s hit “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “Travelin’ Band” and its B side which is today’s song. And thanks to a local radio station which recently started playing classic AT 40 episodes every Sunday night, I still get to keep my weekly date with Kasem. He changed radio forever in the 1970’s & 1980’s & kept us all “reaching for the stars”.

Heard the singers playin’
How we cheered for more
The crowd had rushed together
Tryin’ to keep warm
“. .

Casey

CCR

Top: Casey Kasem at the mic circa 1970. Bottom: CCR’s 1970 album. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Who’ll Stop The Rain” (1970. written by John Fogerty).

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 408

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.

Today in 1969 the band we would all come to know & love simply as “Chicago” released their first album. Chicago Transit Authority, the group’s self-titled debut record, introduced the world to what they described as a “rock & roll band with horns” on April 28, 1969. Their seven man sound became synonymous with the 1970’s and, thanks to a total of three lead singers taking turns at the mic, each song had its own unique style.

The album’s first three singles “Questions 67 & 68”, “Beginnings” and today’s track did not have any chart success upon initial release. But all three became Top 40 hits over the next two years when they were reissued, including today’s pick which was a Top Ten hit in 1970.

And I was walking down the street one day
Being pushed and shoved by people
Trying to beat the clock
Oh no I just don’t know
“.

CTA

The 1969 self-titled debut album by Chicago Transit Authority. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Chicago Transit Authority: “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is” (1969, written by Robert Lamm).

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 397

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.

Today marks the 105th birth anniversary of my beloved grandmother, Ida. It closely coincides with birthday #86 for legendary artist Loretta Lynn, who I discovered thanks to my grandmother’s love of country music. Lynn was born April 14, 1935 in Kentucky. The day before her 35th birthday, on April 13, 1970, she broke through the Grand Ole Opry’s glass ceiling when she became the first woman to earn a gold album with Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind). By October of the same year, she released yet another career defining album, Coal Miner’s Daughter. The title song was the story of her life which she turned into an autobiography in 1976 and then a movie in 1980.

My grandmother taught me many lessons about life while I was growing up intertwined with stories of her childhood living in New York City. And being a one dimensional tween at the time, that is how I saw her life-as a child and as my grandmother, giving no thought whatsoever about all the years she lived in between. But then one day we were watching one of the daytime talk shows where Lynn was discussing her book. She talked about how young she was when she got married, how naïve she was and how lonely she would get waiting for her husband to come home from work before she had her children to take care of.

A big reason why my grandmother liked Lynn was because she related to her early story as my grandmother was a young bride once, too (she got married when she was 18), even if I could not picture it at the time. Here were two women born twenty years apart in two different worlds who shared a similar background told in a song. The power of music will never cease to amaze me. Happy birthday, Loretta Lynn & happy heavenly birthday to my dear Idie.

Well a lot of things have changed since a way back then
And it’s so good to be back home again
Not much left but the floor, nothing lives here anymore
Except the memory of a coal miner’s daughter
“.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Loretta Lynn: “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1970, written by Loretta Lynn).

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 391

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.

On April 11, 1970 The Beatles hit the #1 spot in the country for the first of two weeks with “Let It Be” (the song, featured here on Day 26). The album of the same name would hit #1 for four weeks later that year beginning in June. Ironically it knocked Paul McCartney’s solo album, McCartney. out of the top position where it sat for three consecutive weeks.

But I think that is only fair since he officially announced The Beatles had broken up just one day before their song topped the charts, shattering the hearts of fans around the world forever. Six years after they landed in America to make history on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, they changed the course of music once again when they disbanded. I refer to it as the other day the music died.

Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on

Across the universe”.

Let it be pic

The Beatles in a still from their 1970 rocumentary movie “Let It Be”: (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Across The Universe” (1970, written by John Lennon and 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 390

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.

On April 10, 1970 the self titled album by Elton John was released. It was his first for North American audiences and his second in the UK. Some of its tracks included “Take Me To The Pilot”, “Border Song” and his first hit record which went on to become one of his most beloved & enduring songs. It is also unbelievably beautiful, especially the lyrics and the string & harp arrangements.

The birth of that record is a spotlight in the movie of John’s life, 2019’s “Rocketman”. When John participated in “Carpool Karaoke“, he told host James Corden that today’s tune was the one that made John believe he & lyricist Bernie Taupin had taken a huge step forward in their songwriting partnership. I also believe that was the understatement of the decade.

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses, well they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind
While I wrote this song
“.

Bernie and Elton 1975

bernie elton 2020

Top (L-R): Bernie Taupin and Elton John circa 1975 with a few of the gold records they earned over the years. Bottom (L-R): Taupin and John in 2020 at the Golden Globe Awards celebrating their win for Best Original Song for the 2019 film “Rocketman”. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Elton John: “Your Song” (1970, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

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 389

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.

Many of my musical heroes predate the video channels era. Even though they embraced that new medium, performances from their earlier years were either lost or locked in some television history vault gathering dust. Then YouTube showed up and slowly over the years video clips from those early days were suddenly at hand, mostly from TV shows from eras gone by. Many of these finds were absolute gifts of gold, but one was pure platinum.

Derek & The Dominos appeared on “The Johnny Cash Show” in November 1970 & the episode aired two months later. The band was together for less than a year so the chance to see them anywhere during that time was rare enough. But the chance to see Eric Clapton between The Cream years & his solo career was just priceless. The band performed “It’s Too Late”, a 1950’s blues song they covered for their only album & it was fabulous. But it was about to get even better.

After their performance Cash came out to thank the band for their appearance. He then invited his friend & fellow Sun Records legend, Carl Perkins, to play one of his songs with them. Then he, Cash, Clapton & the rest of The Dominos played today’s track and it was nothing short of astounding. Swoon.

In September 1985 Clapton performed the song with Perkins again along with Ringo Starr during an all star concert celebrating Perkins’ career. Starr sang several of Perkins’ songs during The Beatles early days including “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” & “Honey Don’t”. Perkins, who was born 89 years ago on April 9, 1932 in Tennessee, was a huge influence on The Fab Four, especially Starr & George Harrison.

The 1985 concert ended with a rousing performance of Perkins most famous tune, “Blue Suede Shoes”. But for me, today’s song holds the top spot in my heart thanks to this one time only performance from 50 years ago. In the words of my sweet beautiful friend, Toni: “Long live the 1970’s”.

“I’m an old poor boy
And I’m a long way from home
I won’t ever be happy
Everything I do is wrong
“.

cash show 2

Perkins and co

Top (L-R): Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash, November 1970. Bottom (L-R): Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Carl Perkins and George Harrison in 1985. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Derek & The Dominos: “Matchbox” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1957, written by Carl Perkins).

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 354

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?

March 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.

Many people do not understand my obsession with the film :”Harold & Maude”. They see a movie about two odd souls who enjoy going to random funerals. I see a hilariously quirky yet poignant story. The characters are different, the kind of people who feel as if they are on the outside ;looking in. I completely relate to that.

The film also has a great soundtrack courtesy of one of the 1970’s most cherished and remarkable singer-songwriters. Today’s tune is just one brilliant example featured in the film. He wrote it when he was about 21 and fighting tuberculosis, which he was told was going to end his life. That started a spiritual awakening in him that helped him fight his way back, to health. This song is one of many he wrote during that time. I worship this track-the vocal, the music, the lyrics. I believe it is one of his absolute best.

Trouble
Oh trouble, move away
I have seen your face
And it’s too much for me today”.

Harold and Maude

Cat S

Top: Maude (Ruth Gordon) and Harold (Bud Cort) at one of their daily funerals from the 1971 cult classic film. Bottom: Cat Stevens n/k/a Yusuf circa 1970. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Cat Stevens (n/k/a) Yusuf: “Trouble” (1970, 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 345

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.

On February 24, 1998 a a ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace where Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. It may only be a title but it is one of the highest ones an individual may earn in Great Britain. It is bestowed upon people known for extraordinary public service. The fact that musical artists are recognized in this category speaks volumes for how the U.K. values the arts. And John has been outstanding in that regard for over fifty years. My love for this man and his astonishing lyricist Bernie Taupin knows no bounds. I think today’s track is one of the most beautiful songs from their extraordinary catalog.

Did you paint your smile on when I said I knew
That my reason for living was for loving you
We’re related in feeling, but you’re high above
You’re pure and you’re gentle, with the grace of a dove
“.

Elton and Bernie

Bernie and Elton

Top: Bernie Taupin (L) and Elton John (R), circa 1970. Bottom: Taupin (L) and John circa 2019. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Elton John: “I Need You To Turn To” (1970, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

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 323

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.

I have always loved songs with horns in them and no one featured them quite the way the band Chicago did. From their debut album in 1969 through all the ones which followed in the 1970’s, their distinctive sound set them apart from the usual radio fare. That is until their first #1 hit in 1976, “If You Leave Me Now”. The softer more AM radio sound prompted the hit songwriter, bassist Peter Cetera, to push the band away from their FM oriented music.

One of the group members most disturbed by this change was co-founder & guitarist Terry Kath. He was called a better guitarist than Jimi Hendrix by Hendrix himself when Chicago opened for him at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in the late 1960’s. And Kath’s deep baritone voice, which was often compared to Ray Charles, was behind some of the band’s most recognizable songs including “Colour My World”, “I’m A Man”, “Wishing You Were Here” and today’s track. Kath wanted to stay true to the groups rock & jazz infused style rather than veer off into pop music.

Like many musicians of the decade, Kath struggled with drug & alcohol abuse. That combined with his love of firearms created the perfect storm of a tragic situation when Kath accidently shot himself to death on January 23, 1978. The loss obviously stunned the band who seriously contemplated a break up after the loss. They reconsidered and dedicated the song “Alive Again” to Kath later that year. Ironically though Kath’s death & a new producer led the band into the soft pop sounds they created in the 1980’s.

January 31 marked his 75th birth anniversary and like him I consider Chicago’s rock roots to be their best. Today’s song showcases both Kath’s vocal ability & musicianship skill perfectly and the horns are absolutely resplendent. He was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016 with the rest of the band where his only child, Michelle Kath Sinclair, accepted her father’s award. The same year she released the documentary, “The Terry Kath Experience” about his life, influence & legacy.

Living life is just a game so they say
All the games we used to play fade away
We may now enjoy the dreams we shared so long ago
“.

Chicago circa 1975

Terry Kath circa 1972

Top: The band Chicago circa 1975. Terry Kath is on the end far right. Bottom: Kath circa 1972. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Chicago: “Make Me Smile” (1970, written by James Pankow).

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 292

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 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.

It was 50 years ago today that George Harrison had the #1 album on the US chart with his first release after the breakup of The Fab Four. All Things Must Pass hit the top spot on January 2, 1971 and stayed in that position for seven consecutive weeks. It was poetic justice for him to achieve this honor as a solo artist after years of his songwriting contributions being limited on The Beatles’ records. I adore the entire album but I especially love his vocal on today’s song which is a Bob Dylan cover.

Aside from what this album did for Harrison, it was career changing for his friend & fellow guitar master, Eric Clapton, as well. It was during the recording sessions for this album that led to the formation of Derek & The Dominos. Say it with me: Layla. Without that band, that song does not exist. Harrison’s chart topping album was a gift that just kept giving.

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn’t hear a robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue, if not for you
“.

All_Things_Must_Pass_BW

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

George Harrison: “If Not For You” (1970, 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.