Let’s Take A Moment Day 544

9 11

(Photo by Thomas E. Franklin 09/11/2001)

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Livin’ for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too

Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
“.

John Lennon, “Imagine”, 09/09/1971.

John_Lennon_Imagine_1971

John Lennon circa 1971 in his white room. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Lennon: “Imagine” (1971, written by John Lennon).

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 531

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 August 25, 1970 a young up and coming singer from England made his debut in America when he played his first show at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA. It was such a success that within 14 months he had released four studio albums including 1971’s Mad Men Across The Water. It was the first of many incredibly successful years in Elton John’s monumental career.

Levon sells cartoon balloons in town
His family business thrives
Jesus blows up balloons all day
Sits on the porch swing watching them fly
“.

elton and bernie

Left: Elton John (L) and Bernie Taupin (R) circa 1971. Right: Taupin (L) and John (R) circa 2016. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Levon” (1971, 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 522

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.

Robert Anthony Plant was born 73 years ago on August 20, 1948 in Staffordshire, England. His love for music, specifically blues music, developed early. By age 16 he started pursuing his dream of singing professionally and joined several bands trying to find the right one. In 1968 a guitarist looking for a lead vocalist heard Plant sing and that is how he and Jimmy Page joined forces.

They began writing songs together, formed Led Zeppelin along with John Paul Jones and John Bonham and released the band’s debut album on Atlantic Records in January 1969. Plant went on to an incredibly successful solo career after the band broke up in 1980. He is regarded to be one of the greatest singers of all time in rock music. Happy birthday, Robert Plant. Here’s to 100 more.

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook there’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
“.

Plant 1974

Plant 2004

Top: Robert Plant circa 1974. Bottom: Plant circa 2004. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Led Zeppelin: “Stairway To Heaven” (1971, written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant).

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 512

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.

I may hate the Bee Gees for all of eternity for their disco foray, but before those unfortunate years, they made some very good music together. And today’s track is the one that put them on the map here in America. It was released in May 1971 and by August 7th of that year, it had become the #1 song in the country. It stayed in that position for four consecutive weeks giving the group their first number one record in the United States. The harmony of the brothers’ voices, the slow gorgeous string & trumpet arrangements and the melancholy feel of a sad love song made this track unbelievably beautiful.

My mother was insanely in love with this tune. I do not believe there was a moment in my childhood that I did not hear this song at least ten times a day. It is the one song I most closely identify her with. Even when I hear the extraordinarily great cover by soul legend Al Green, my first thought is about my mother. I can still recall the look of pure joy on her face whenever she listened to this track. Those were some of best moments of my life. And for the same reasons this song breaks my heart every time I hear it as well. I guess that is the definition of bittersweet, as are the lyrics.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow
No one said a word about the sorrow
“.

Bee Gees circa 1970

The Bee Gees circa 1970 (L-R): Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Bee Gees: “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” (1971, written by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 503

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.

Forty years ago today TV became all about the music. MTV premiered on Aug 1, 1981 and suddenly our homes were the best seats in the house for great music. Of course, there were plenty of terrible songs with terrible videos to go around as well but by the end of the decade, the music video was mostly a masterful work of art.

One of my favorite things about MTV was the “Unplugged” series which made its debut in 1989. There is such an elegance to acoustic music & the powers that be at the video channel saw that and turned it into an award winning franchise. Many artists had huge live records courtesy of these shows, especially Eric Clapton. His 1992 album won 3 Grammy Awards and became the best selling album of his career.

Many of my other favorite artists participated in the series, too, including Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tony Bennett and Rod Stewart. His 1993 Unplugged…And Seated album produced several hits including today’s song. It was originally released 50 years ago on his 1971 album Every Picture Tells A Story. His old “Faces’ bandmate, Ron Wood, played on that album with him & was seated to Stewart’s right during the MTV performance. It was a great testament to both music & friendship all wrapped up into one fabulous show.

If I gave you time to change my mind
I’d find a way just to leave the past behind
Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe”.

Unplugged

Rod Stewart’s 1993 album, Unplugged…And Seated. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rod Stewart: “Reason To Believe” (recorded live during “Unplugged…And Seated, February 1993 & released May 1993. Originally recorded in 1971. Written by Tim Hardin).

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 502

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.

1971 was without a doubt the greatest year of Carole King’s career. Not only was her monumental album, Tapestry, a huge smash but so was the first single. The double sided hit of “I Feel The Earth Move” & “It’s Too Late” (Day 460) was in the #1 spot for five weeks that summer.

Two weeks after that triumph, another one of her songs recorded by one of her friends hit the top of the chart as well.. On July 31, 1971 James Taylor had the #1 record in the country for one week with today’s track. King’s original recording is on her groundbreaking album, but it became one of Taylor’s signature songs. And that all started 50 years ago today.

You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I’ll come running
To see you again
“.

King And Taylor

American singer-songwriters James Taylor and Carole King. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

James and Carole 2010

 Top (L-R): James Taylor and Carole King circa 1970. Bottom (L-R): Taylor and King in 2010. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Taylor: “You’ve Got A Friend” (1971, written by Carole King).

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 474

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.

Fifty years. Today marks 50 years since the beautiful talented sexy swaggering poet & front man of The Doors died at age 27. Jim Morrison left this world on July 3, 1971. His death devastated his band, the music industry and those who he reached with his words. They affect me in the same profound way Marvin Gaye’s voice does. Gaye has my soul, Springsteen has my heart, Morrison has my mind. And music is my life.

James Douglas Morrison was born December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida and died less than three decades later. But his years with The Doors revolutionized music & helped put the focus back on American bands after three years of The British Invasion. From 1967 to 1971-five unimaginably short years-The Doors conquered the world & left an indelible mark on it.

But I do not wonder “what if” after their story ended with Morrison’s death. I realized a long time ago that as much as I may hate it, some people were not meant to have long lives in this world. And he was one of them. But five decades later, his music, his words, his legacy & his presence are still so incredibly powerful. That is the stuff legends are made of. And to me, he was one in every sense of the word. And probably the best front man to ever swagger on to a stage. Jim Morrison was everything.

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows
Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light
“.

jim-morrison-6

The Doors

Top: Jim Morrison circa 1967. Bottom: The Doors circa 1964 (L-R): John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Morrison and Robby Krieger. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “L.A. Woman” (19XX, 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 460

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.

Fifty years ago today-June 19, 1971-the greatest album by a female artist hit the #1 spot in the country where it would stay for 15 consecutive weeks. Carole King’s exquisite opus, Tapestry, climbed to the top of the chart four months after its release in February 1971.

Today’s song has been a favorite of mine forever but it was only in the last year that I discovered King did not write the lyrics for this track. They were written by poet Toni Stern who also wrote the lyrics for another Tapestry song, “Where You Lead”. That tune went on to become the theme song for “The Gilmore Girls” TV show. Stern also co-wrote “Sweet Seasons” for King’s second 1971 album, Music.

This revelation does not take anything away from King’s brilliance, however. But I do love the girl power that helped make Tapestry the absolute diamond it remains to this day. And I am certain it always will be. It is just that remarkable.

There’ll be good times again for me and you
But we just can’t stay together, don’t you feel it, too
Still I’m glad for what we had and how I once loved you”.

Stern and King

Toni Stern Carole King

Top: Toni Stern (L) and Carole King circa 1982. Bottom: Stern and King circa 2020. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Carole King: “It’s Too Late” (1971, written by Carole King and Toni Stern).

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 448

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.

All the music released in 1971 is turning 50 this year. Along with powerhouse albums like Carole King’s Tapestry (released February 10, 1971 Day 331), Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On (released May 21, 1971 Day 431) and John Lennon’s Imagine (released September 9, 1971), Don McLean’s American Pie (Day 107) was released October 24, 1971. In addition to the exquisite title track, the record included the heartbreakingly beautiful “Crossroads” (Day 43) and today’s gorgeous track recorded earlier that year on June 7,

It is another example of McLean’s wonderful gift of intricate storytelling combined with a sparse yet undeniably elegant and stunning arrangement. He holds his audience captive hanging on every word, every note, every breath. His voice has a calm & soothing quality with a subtle use of range and power in just the right places.

As one artist telling the story of another, he holds the subject of the song in the highest regard. And the introduction of the strings in the last minute of the track brings even more elegance to an already opulent piece of music. Even without the story about “the day the music died”, Don McLean’s talent & place in music history is undeniable.

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget
“.

McLean 1971

Don McLean circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Don McLean: “Vincent” (1971, written by Don McLean).

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 431

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.

Fifty years ago today-May 21, 1971-Marvin Gaye released his masterpiece, What’s Going On. This album was an expression of the angst he was feeling between 1969 & 1970 due to the state of the world-the Vietnam War, the effect of pollution on the environment, racial injustice, poverty-and what was happening in his own world: the break-up of his first marriage, the death of his friend, Tammi Terrell, the trials his brother, Frankie, faced in service to our country & as a veteran returning home from the war to little support in how to rejoin society; Gaye’s inability to break free of the confines of his Motown contract to make the music he wanted to make, his strained relationship with label owner Berry Gordy and Gaye’s money troubles with the IRS due in part to his cocaine addiction.

He co-wrote all nine songs on the album & produced it as well, his first time in that role. Motown’s house band, The Funk Brothers, helped Gaye find the perfect sound for each song. Upon its release, it was hailed as a landmark album not only for the singer but for music as well. It was critically acclaimed as a concept record, a first for Motown, and was considered an important statement for black music, too. The album had three Top Ten hits: “What’s Going On” (Day 76) hit #2 on the main chart, #1 on the R&B chart, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” (Day 380) hit #4 on the main chart, #1 on the R&B chart and today’s song, which was the third single. It hit #9 on the main chart & was another #1 song on the R&B chart.

If Marvin Gaye only gave us his recording of “Grapevine” what a contribution that would have been all by itself. But the legacy of What’s Going On defines not only his talent but his heart, soul, intellect, empathy, strength & compassion for the world around him as well. His was one of the first voices I remember hearing and I have absolutely adored it ever since. The soulfulness, the passion, the intensity & the four octave range of his deep rich baritone to tenor voice, it is a truly beautiful & remarkable instrument. I miss him every single day. Happy anniversary to one of the greatest records ever made by one of the greatest artists who ever lived.

Hang-ups, let downs
Bad breaks, set backs
Natural fact is
Oh honey that I can’t pay my taxes
“.

Marvin 1971

Marvin Gaye circa 1970. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye: “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” (1971, written by Marvin Gaye and James Nyx Jr.).

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

Stay well.