Let’s Take A Moment Day 430

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.

The Marshall Tucker Band released today’s song as the first single from their 1973 self-titled debut album. It failed to chart. But when they re-released it in 1977 it peaked at #75. Despite two poor showings on the charts two different times, today’s song went on to become a classic rock radio staple that still endures. And it remains one of only a handful of tracks featuring a flute arrangement, proving once again that bands that truly rocked used whatever instrument they needed to make a song go from good to great.

I’m gonna buy a ticket, now
As far as I can
Ain’t never coming back
Ride me a southbound
All the way to Georgia, now
Till the train, it run out of track
“.

MTB 1973

The Marshall Tucker Band circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Marshall Tucker Band: “Can’t You See” (1973, written by Toy Caldwell).

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 429

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.

My parents were married 59 years ago on May 19, 1962. Today’s song is dedicated to them.

I wanna sing you a love song
I wanna rock you in my arms all night long
I wanna get to know you
I wanna show you the peaceful feelin’ of my home
“.

Loggins and Messina

Kenny Loggins (L) and Jim Messina (R) circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Loggins & Messina: “A Love Song” (1973, written by Dona Lyn (D.L.) George and Kenny Loggins).

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 375

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.

Yesterday marked another birthday for one of music’s elite, this one belonging to one of the earliest & greatest loves in my musical world. Reginald Kenneth Dwight, n/k/a Sir Elton John, was born 74 years ago on March 25,1947 in England. He acquired his stage name by combining the names of two musicians from his first band, Bluesology, Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.

Today’s song was a #2 hit in the US in 1973. It was the one that started it all for me & Elton. It was the second 45 I ever bought in my life and I cherish it to this day. It is why I fell in love with his voice, his sound and the words by his exquisitely gifted friend & lyricist, Bernie Taupin. The last time I heard it performed live was when Elton made his record setting 60th appearance at Madison Square Garden-on March 25, 2007-which was also his 60th birthday. It remains one of my favorite songs ever, not just by those two incredible songwriters, but of all time. Elton John’s voice is one of the best parts of my life.

They say Spain is pretty though I’ve never been
And Daniel says it’s the best place that he’s ever seen
He should know, he’s been there enough
Oh I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much”.

Elton

Elton John circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Daniel” (1973, 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 374

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.

Nearly eight decades ago, the world received a queen. Aretha Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, TN. From her humble beginnings singing gospel in her father’s church at age 10 to conquering the world as The Queen Of Soul, from the 1960’s through infinity, Franklin was an absolute wonder in a world where there were so few.

It is hard to believe that when she started singing secular music at age 18, with Columbia Records she did not achieve instant success. It was not until she moved to Atlantic Records in 1967 that her career flourished. Today’s song was a top 20 hit in 1973 and is one of my absolute favorite Aretha tracks of all time. Happy birthday to The Queen Of Soul.

“I know there must be someone somewhere for me
Oh I lived too long without the love of someone
There’s no misery ooooooh oooh like the misery
I feel in me gotta find me an angel in my life
“.

Aretha

The Queen Of Soul circa 1968. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Angel” (1973, written by Carolyn Franklin and Sonny Sanders).

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 364

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.

Today we celebrate another birthday from the musical calendar, this one belonging to the man who helped define the sound of funk in the late 1960’s & early 1970’s. Sylvester Stewart, a/k/a Sly Stone, front man for the group Sly & The Family Stone, was born 78 years ago on March 15, 1943. in Texas. He got his start in gospel music performing at church with his siblings & future band mates, Freddie, Rose & Vaetta,

But Sly was the prodigy, mastering several instruments including the guitar & keyboards by the age of 11. He played in a few bands in high school and after graduating he worked as a radio disc jockey in California. He met Cynthia Robinson through a band in 1966 & she helped him form Sly & The Family Stone soon after. By 1967 they had their first hit, “Dance To The Music” and they were on their way.

Sadly Stone’s erratic behavior, his & other members drug use & failure to show up at performances led to the group’s demise in 1975. Many members went on to modest solo careers, including innovative bassist Larry Graham who had a hit in 1980 with “One In A Million You”. Several members of the group also worked with other artists as well. But none of them could recreate the lightening in a bottle that was The Family Stone, led by the master of funk himself. Happy birthday Sly Stone.

Got to get in straight,
How could I ever be late,
When you’re my woman taking up my time
“.

Sly

Sly Stone circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Sly & The Family Stone: “If You Want Me to Stay” (1973, written by Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart).

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 350

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.

On March 1, 1973 Closing Time, the debut album by Tom Waits, was released. It was not a big seller but it was well received by critics. More importantly, it introduced the world to this poetic expressive storyteller. I would not discover this brilliant man until Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 cover of “Jersey Girl” so I had the pleasure of discovering the first album & over half a dozen others all at once. I have been a Waits fan ever since and today’s song from that first album is just one reason why.

Well, the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair
Well, if you sit down with this old clown, I’ll take that frown and break it
Before the evening’s gone away, I think that we can make it
“.

Waits Closing Time

Tom Waits’ 1973 debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits: “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” (1973, written by Tom Waits).

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 326

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.

In 2007 I was deeply obsessed with the TV show “Lost”. In a particularly fun episode during season 3 (#10, “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”), Hurley discovered (with Vincent’s help) an old vehicle lying on its side buried in a remote part of the jungle. When he & a couple of the other guys flipped it on to its wheels, it was easy to see it was a circa 1970’s VW van, similar to the one Kevin Costner drove in “Field Of Dreams”. Hurley was convinced he could get the van started with some help. So he climbed into the driver’s seat, Charlie rode shotgun and Sawyer & Jin gave the vehicle a push. Miraculously it shifted into first gear much to the delight of all four men. And when the van started, an 8-track in the dash radio started playing today’s song. If there was any doubt as to what decade the vehicle was left behind in, that perfect bit of nostalgia was the only clue you needed.

The show took it one step further by playing a gorgeous symphonic version of that track as the men returned to camp. The song was by the band Three Dog Night who were all over the radio in the 1970’s with songs like “Joy To The World”, “One”, “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song” & “Black & White”, to name a few. I cannot say they were one of my favorite groups, but their songs were different enough to pique my interest. What made their sound unique were the three lead singers: Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron & Cory Wells. The one song by them that I adore was sung by Wells, who was born 80 years ago today on February 5, 1941. And when it started playing in that van during that “Lost” episode, it was a fabulous salute to a great decade & a great song.

Wash away my sorrow
Wash away my shame
With the rain in Shambala
“.

Lost van scene

3 dog night

Top: A few snapshots from the “Lost” episode with the van: Charlie & Hurley (top), The four men driving around in the van (middle) & Sawyer & Jin running towards the working van. Bottom (L-R): Chuck Negron, Danny Hutton and Cory Wells of Three Dog Night circa 1972. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Three Dog Night: “Shambala” (1973, written by Daniel Moore).

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 316

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 in 1973 Elton John’s sixth studio album, Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player, was released. It contained his first US #1 record “Crocodile Rock” and the heartbreaking tale of “Daniel”, which is the first record I ever bought of John’s. I played that 45 for hours at a time and did not come close to tiring of it. But one day I did get curious about the B side so I gave that a listen. And it was one of the best discoveries of my young life to that point.

I found a beautiful moving song that instantly became my new favorite by John and his magnificent lyricist, Bernie Taupin. It dates back to 1968 when it was released as a single in the UK by another artist. It is on John’s 1969 UK debut album, Empty Sky, which did not get released in the US until 1975. That version features a different arrangement with John playing a harpsichord and an organ. Today’s rendition features him on the piano & was slated to be included on the LP released 48 years ago today. Somehow it did not make the final cut. It finally appeared on John’s 1992 Rare Masters release.

If you have followed John as long as I have you know he was one of the first artists to lead the fight for AIDS research which continues to this day with his AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party started in 1993. But back in 1984 when a 13 year old boy from Indiana named Ryan White was one of the first children diagnosed with the disease after a blood transfusion, John reached out to him & became his friend. When White died from the illness in 1990, John performed today’s pick at the funeral.

He had a record on the US Hot 100 charts for 31 consecutive years from 1969 to 2000 and even though today’s track is not included in that staggering statistic, I think it is one of the most beautiful songs of his career. I cannot imagine a day of my life without the music of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.

For this dark and lonely room
Projects a shadow cast in gloom
And my eyes are mirrors
Of the world outside
“.

Taupin and John 1968

Bernie Taupin (L) and Elton John (R) circa 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Skyline Pigeon” (1968, 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 308

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?

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.

4951d9fdd4e4d3c05a376ab06815412c

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Many admirers of civil rights activist & Baptist minister Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., campaigned for years to make his birthday a federal holiday. King, who was born January 15, 1929 and led the fight for racial equality through nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work & leadership by example.

One of the people who worked for King’s recognition was Stevie Wonder. He wrote a song in 1980 about King’s birthday to help get the word out about the proposed holiday. When it finally happened in 1986, Wonder celebrated by hosting a concert in Washington, D.C. That city’s National Mall became home to a memorial dedicated to King in 2011. His words proved to be as valuable as his actions as their power continues to influence generations more than 50 years after his death. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars”. Today we remember Dr. King born 92 years ago with a song from one of his biggest supporters.

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi
Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong, moving in the right direction
Living just enough, just enough for the city
“.

Stevie

Stevie Wonder circa 1986 after King’s birthday was declared a federal holiday. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Stevie Wonder: “Living For The City” (1973, written by 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 295

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.

In the 2015 CNN mini-series, “The 1970’s”, the eighth episode explored the music of that decade. What they got wrong? I do not recall any mention of Eric Clapton at all. What they got right? The meaning of Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Born To Run”. The show called it “an anthem to save your soul”. Amen. But the first step to that phenomenal record was his debut album introduced to the world 48 years ago today.

Greetings From Asbury Park NJ was released on January 5, 1973. This record would change my world forever, even though I did not know it at the time. It was the way a 23 year old Springsteen, who lived one state over from me, was introduced to the music scene. And when our worlds collided once I discovered his 1975 masterpiece album, Born To Run (BTR), it did not take me long to backtrack and discover the record that started it all. The original version of “Blinded By The Light” is on it (three years before Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version was a hit in 1976) along with “Growing Up” featured in Adam Sandler’s 1999 movie “Big Daddy”, amongst others. But the song that spoke the loudest to me is today’s pick. It is a well told story of Bruce and a few of the colorful characters in his world. I think of it as the bluesy jazzy prequel to his rock opera “Backstreets” from BTR except while that song does not have a sax part in it at all, today’s track features The Big Man from beginning to end. (Speaking of Clarence Clemons, January 11th will mark his 79th birth anniversary. We miss you, Big Man!!!) .

Springsteen may not know me but he has been one of my closest friends for most of my life. Along the way he has introduced me to his family, his heroes, the members of The E Street Band & all the characters in his songs. And despite how life changing BTR has been in my life, the group from today’s song is the one I feel the closest to. Wild Billy, Killer Joe, G-Man, Crazy Janey, her mission man & Hazy Davy dancing “all night to a soul fairy band”…..who wouldn’t want to hang out with a group like that? I think of them as a cross between grown up versions of The Peanuts characters & a bunch of people living on their own version of The Island Of Misfit Toys. But instead of Charlie Brown’s teacher’s incoherent voice, we have Bruce telling us stories in an eloquent fascinating way with his guitar in tow. And I have the seat next to his every time. It stands as the original and best virtual hangout ever. 

Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley trading hands
‘Long came Wild Billy with his friend G-Man all duded up for Saturday night
Well, Billy slammed on his coaster brakes and said, “Anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake?
It’s about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight, I got a bottle of rose so let’s try it
We’ll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe and I’ll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go”.

Greetings from Asbury Park

Bruce circa 1973

Top: Bruce Springsteen’s debut album. Bottom: Springsteen circa 1973. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Spirit In The Night” (1973, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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

Stay well.