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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 253

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?

kurt v

(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.

Today in 1973 Ringo Starr hit the #1 spot with his song, “Photograph”, which he co-wrote with his old Beatle buddy, George Harrison. And of all the times that Starr performed this song over the years, none was more poignant than when he sang it at The Concert For George, a celebration of Harrison’s life on November 29, 2002, exactly one year after his death from cancer.

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore
“.

Ringo

(L-R): Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr & George’s son, Dhani Harrison, on stage at The Concert For George at The Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ringo Starr: “Photograph” (Live performance from The Concert For George on November 29, 2002. Originally released in 1973, written by George Harrison and Richard Starkey a/k/a Ringo Starr).

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 239

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Thoreau quote 2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Day 203 commemorated the release date of Elton John’s opus, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. Well, on this day in 1973, the album hit #1 in America and held that spot for eight consecutive weeks. The year ended with his record in the top spot and, coincidently, so did 1974. That year came to a close with “Elton John’s Great Hits” in the #1 album spot.

The title track of “Brick Road” was released before the album and peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 chart. But even if it was never a hit, I would still consider it one of John’s best songs of all time. It was always one of the high points at every concert of his I ever attended. And it was featured in one of the most riveting scenes from John’s 2019 biopic, “Rocketman”.

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing the blues
“.

Elton circa 1977

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

Elton John: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (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 203

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Forty seven years ago today-October 5, 1973-Elton John released “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. It contained the original version of “Candle In The Wind”, “Bennie & the Jets” (see Day 51), “Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting”, the title track and today’s song. This was the second album I ever bought by John & his sent-from-heaven collaborator, Bernie Taupin (the first was their “Greatest Hits” record from 1974) and I love every track. I spent nearly two years listening to nothing but their albums & my Motown collection before I discovered my other great musical loves (Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, The Beatles), so John & Taupin’s music holds a very special place in my heart. I adore the entire “Brick Road” record, but I was enchanted by today’s track from the first time I heard it, and all these years later that has not changed.

Harmony and me
We’re pretty good company
Looking for an island
In our boat upon the sea
“.

EJ

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Harmony” (1973, written by Elton John & 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 193

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

On this day 47 years ago-September 25, 1973-The Allman Brothers Band released today’s song from their “Brothers and Sisters” album. It was recorded during the last three months of 1972 while the band was still reeling from the death of guitarist Duane Allman from a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. Bassist Berry Oakley took the loss especially hard and was using drugs and alcohol to dull his pain. In what can only be classified as an unimaginable ironic coincidence, Oakley died November 11, 1972 in an accident similar to Allman’s not far from his crash site. But unlike Allman, Oakley walked away from the crash despite hitting his head after being thrown off his bike. He succumbed to his injuries three hours later and died from cerebral swelling due to a fractured skull. He was 24 years old, just like Allman, and was buried right next to him.

Because Oakley died during the making of this album, he only appears on two of the seven tracks: “Wasted Words” and today’s song, which was the band’s only top ten hit. So despite the upbeat tempo of this incredible song and Betts’ soaring guitar ending, it is a haunting reminder that many bands know heartache and loss, but The Allman Brothers Band lived through it twice in 13 months. They broke up & reformed several times between 1976 & 1989 and retired for good in 2014.

Two more original band members died within months of each other in 2017. First, drummer Butch Trucks committed suicide in January, allegedly from depression related to financial problems. Then vocalist, keyboard player & songwriter Gregg Allman died in May from liver cancer. Both men were 69 years old. The two surviving original members continue to make music. Dickey Betts (vocalist, guitarist & songwriter) has been a solo artist since he left the band in 2000 and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drummer) leads his own group, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band. Fifty-one years after the six founding members formed their group, The Allman Brothers Band remains a legendary part of the classic rock music world. And one of my all time favorite bands.

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man
“.

allman-brothers

The Allman Brothers Band circa 1971 (L-R): Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, Berry Oakley & Butch Trucks. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Allman Brothers Band: “Ramblin’ Man” (1973, written by Dickey Betts).

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 139

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?

Charlie Brown No Music No Life

(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.

When Art Garfunkel was putting together his first solo album, 1973’s “Angel Clare”, he recorded music by acclaimed songwriters such as Van Morrison, Randy Newman and Paul Williams.  But when it came to choosing the first single, he picked today’s song, which was one of two tracks written by one of my all time favorite songwriters ever, Jimmy Webb.  He, of course, is the genius behind “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” & “Wichita Lineman” (Day 69) (both made into hit songs by Glen Campbell in 1967 & 1968, respectively), “The Worst That Could Happen” (a hit for Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge in 1968) and other gems.  “Lineman” is my favorite tune of his, but I think today’s song is one of the best love songs I have ever heard.

Garfunkel’s rendering was a top ten hit in 1973 and it was featured prominently on the show “Nip/Tuck” during season two’s Ava Moore storyline.  Webb did his own version of this song as a duet with Linda Ronstadt on 2010’s “Just Across The River” with only an acoustic guitar added to their voices and it is absolutely lovely.  Former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald and his wife, Amy Holland, recorded their own version as part of a soundtrack to the ABC soap opera, “One Life To Live” in 1994 and it is spectacular.  But Garfunkel’s vocal performance and the gorgeous arrangement make this version my absolute favorite.

But the ending always comes at last
Endings always come too fast
They come too fast
But they pass too slow
I love you and that’s all I know.”

Art Garfunkel’s 1973 debut album (L) & Jimmy Webb’s 2010 record (R) both contain versions of today’s songs.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Art Garfunkel:  “All I Know” (1973, written by Jimmy Webb).

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

Stay well.