Music Monday: March 20, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

One of the premier artists who defined a progressive sound in music celebrated eight decades on this planet last week. Sylvester Stewart a/k/a Sly Stone was born 80 years ago on March 15, 1943 in Denton, Texas. He is best known as the frontman, songwriter, producer & musician for Sly & The Family Stone. Their sound was a monumental fusion of funk, rock, soul, gospel & psychedelic music.

Stone formed the band when he was 24 years old in 1967. And in the middle of one of the most racially charged years of that decade, the group’s mere existence cut right through that tension & the looming gender divide by showcasing equality. As the The New York Times noted in 2015, the band “whose inclusion of black and white musicians of both sexes, and its hippie style, made it a living poster for the ideals of the counterculture”.

The group’s debut album, A Whole New Thing, came out in 1967. The title track from their next album, Dance to the Music, put them on the charts in 1968 with their first Top Ten hit. Over the next seven years Stone & his group would enjoy incredible success complete with three number one songs, numerous awards & accolades and sold out concerts. One of their incredible live performances is featured in the 2021 Oscar winning documentary, Summer Of Soul.

I think 80 years of life deserves to be marked with, at the very least, two songs. The first pick was released in 1968, it was the band’s first number #1 song (for four weeks in 1969) and in less than two & a half minutes, it defined equality for one and all. Talk about timeless.

I am no better and neither are you
We’re all the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me & then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
“.

Today’s second track is also celebrating a milestone. It was released 50 years ago and peaked at #12 in September 1973. Sadly, it was the last Top 20 hit for this man and his unbelievably talented group. But they went out with the proverbial bang as this song features one of the most fabulous base lines ever recorded.

And when you see me again
I hope that you have been
The kind of person that
You really are now
“.

Top: Sly Stone circa 1968. Bottom: The band circa 1968 (L-R): Rose Stone, Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Greg Errico, Jerry Martini (seated) and Cynthia Robinson (Bottom picture credit-Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. (Top image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Sly & The Family Stone: “Everyday People” (1968, written by Sly Stone).

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

Stay safe and well.

Advertisement

Music Monday: February 27, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Saturday marked the 80th birth anniversary for George Harrison. The Quiet Beatle was born born February 25, 1943 in the London city he & his fellow Beatles would make famous, Liverpool. He was the first from the group to have a solo #1 song (“My Sweet Lord” in December 1970-January 1971) and the first artist to host a benefit concert to raise money & bring awareness to a cause he believed in (The Concert For Bangladesh held on August 1, 1971). And as if his years with The Beatles and his solo work were not enough, in 1988 he became a Traveling Wilbury with four other musical superstars: Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

The year 2001 was already horrible due to 9/11, but unimaginably it became even worse two months later when we lost Harrison to cancer at age 58 on November 29, 2001. It was a terrible blow to music and to me personally as George was always my favorite Beatle. His song, “Something”, is my favorite by the band despite the preponderance of Lennon and McCartney tunes.

Today’s track is the one that started my own music collection. It was released 50 years ago in May 1973 and it was the first single-yes, a 45-I ever bought for myself. It was Harrison’s second #1 single, hitting the top spot for one week on June 30, 1973. It also dethroned Paul McCartney & Wings’s song, “My Love” from the #1 spot after four conseciutive weeks.

Happy birthday, George. You are missed. Every. Single. Day.

Give me hope
Help me cope with this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you with
Heart and soul
“.

Beatles Mag Mystery Tour era

George 1970

Traveling Wilburys

Top: The Beatles circa 1967 (L-R: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon). Middle: Harrison circa 1970. Bottom: The Traveling Wilburys circa 1988 (L-R: Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Harrison and Tom Petty). (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

George Harrison: “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” (1973, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: January 23, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

One of the newest members of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame celebrated birthday #77 last week. Dolly Parton was born January 19, 1946 in Sevier County, Tennessee. She joined fellow country superstars Hank Williams and Johnny Cash who were also recognized for their contributions to music history without being defined by one genre.

The Rock Hall’s introduction of Parton-“In a career spanning six decades, she has recorded more than 50 studio albums and, by her own estimation, written nearly 3,000 songs”-limit her talents to musician, singer and songwriter. Those are certainly impressive roots but only the first part of her story. She is so much more than just three things. She is a wife (who has spent many years honoring her husband’s wish for privacy), an actress (9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias are my favorites), an author, a businesswoman, a humantitarian (her Imagination Library is such an incredible mission) plus she has her own resort & theme park, Dollywood. She seems to grow in popularity every day, hitting three billion worldwide streams in 2021, according to her website. That is a massive reach but not surprising for a woman who has written some incredible songs, including today’s.

It was released nearly 50 years ago in October 1973, yet it is still one of the defining songs of Parton’s career. And it shows us all that a throw down is not always the way to go when confronting someone trying to hurt you. Maybe, just maybe, an honest conversation reminding them that even if they can cause you pain, perhaps they will choose not to.

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do
Jolene”.

Dolly Parton circa 2019. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dolly Parton: “Jolene” (1973, written by Dolly Parton).

Stay safe & well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 1

Happy December, everybody!!!

December

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

We have officially arrived at the Christmas season so what better way to celebrate this festive time of year than with a daily countdown of great holiday songs to usher in the big day. All are welcome even if you are not a fan of this genre or you do not observe the holiday. Great music of any kind should be enjoyed by all.

We begin with an iconic artist who held his final U.S. concert last month at Dodger Stadium in California. It was also livestreamed so anyone who wanted to could watch the show that closed the American leg of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. From the first time I heard “Daniel” I was completely enamoured with Sir Elton Hercules John and his impossibly prolific, eloquent & poignant lyricist, Bernie Taupin. It was one of the first records I ever bought for myself and John’s 1974 “Greatest Hits” compilation was the first album I ever owned. I have loved, adored and worshiped him for my entire life.

He has been a vital part of music and culture from day one. His artistry, his philanthropy, his 1997 Princess Diana tribute song, his foray into songs for film & Broadway and his own 2019 biopic, “Rocketman”, confirmed his legendary status while continuing his reign as one of the greatest artists of all time.

Even though my reverence for John knows no bounds, I have not been able to bring myself to watch his last concert yet. As happy as I am for him that he has found such happiness and contentment in his personal life with his husband and two sons, the idea of never attending another one of his shows just crushes my heart. It is a chapter I just do not want to close. But John deserves every blessing in life for his mere existence in this world for all the sublime music he has bestowed upon the world for over 50 years. His melodies & Taupin’s lyrics are love, light, hope & joy defined.

EJ 1975

ej 1975 B

EJ 2022

ej 2022 B

Top: Two images from Elton John’s 1975 concert at Dodger Stadium. Bottom: John’s last show in America at the same stadium in November 2022. The last photo shows John on stage the night of the show when he was joined on stage by his two sons and husband, David Furnish. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Step Into Christmas” (1973,written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Music Monday: August 29, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Happy almost 77th birthday to Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE. Born August 31, 1945 in Northern Ireland. he started performing and singing as a teenager, inspired by his father’s country, gospel & blues records. By 1964 Morrison formed the band Them who saw success with songs like “Gloria” and “Here Comes The Night”. In 1967 Van The Man went solo with his fusion of rock, blues and jazz music. That inspired and incredible sound combined with his voice & poetry gave way to songs like no others, especially on albums like Astral Weeks (1968), Moondance (1970) and Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972), just to name a few.

His fame and influence range from The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, The Band, U2, John Mellencamp, The Counting Crows, David Gray, Ray Lamontagne and so many others. After over six decades of performing, Morrison is still making new music. Earlier this year he released What’s It Gonna Take?, his 43rd studio album.

The hard part for me when listening to his music is choosing which record to start with, mainly because I will usually stay with that album for days or possibly weeks at a time. It is nearly impossible to absorb every nuance of Morrison’s voice in ten sittings, let alone one. Even all these years after first discovering this man’s music, it still surprises me with something I missed before. Today’s song, the title track from his 1973 album, falls into that category every time I hear it. It may not be as popular as some of his other songs, but for me it is one of the best vocals of his acclaimed career.

Put your money where your mouth is
Then we can get something going
In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime
And leave one or two cards showing
“.

Van_Morrison_Website_Profile

Van Morrison circa 2010. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison: “Hard Nose the Highway” (1973, written by Van Morrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: May 2, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to May & this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

May 6th marks my Dad’s 83rd birth anniversary. Both of my parents loved music & filled my childhood with some of the best. But as I got older my father did not always agree or understand the singer’s I fell in love with. In fact, he was not a fan of today’s artist until he heard “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” & today’s track. Then my father was a fan for life. And he was sitting right next to me the first time I heard today’s song live. I am so grateful for that experience & cherish that memory. Music is yet another powerful tie that binds our past, present & beyond.

Army picture

Elton 1975

Top: My father, Phil, in his army photo circa 1957. Bottom: Elton John at Dodger Stadium, 1975.

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Elton John: “Bennie & The Jets” (1973, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: November 22, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

This is a short week for many of us thanks to the upcoming holiday. If it is not for you, maybe today’s track will lift your spirits anyway. If you are a fan of the show, “Lost”, then this song is probably stuck in your head with images of Hurley, Charlie, Sawyer, Jin & Vincent enjoying an unexpected van ride in the middle of a not-so-deserted island. It was a great scene with a great tune to underscore the whole feel good vibe. So enjoy the song & have a great week, everybody. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Lost van scene

Three Dog Night 1972

First picture: Our gang from “Lost”: Top image: Charlie & Hurley (Dominic Monaghan and Jorge Garcia). Center image: The ride. Bottom image: Jin, Vincent the Dog & Sawyer (Daniel Dae Kim and Josh Holloway). Second picture: Three Dog Night circa 1972. Cory Wells, pictured center in front row, was the lead singer for today’s song. He shared lead vocal duties with Danny Hutton (front row, left) and Chuck Negron (front row, right). Back row L-R: Joe Schermie, Floyd Sneed, Michael Allsup and Jimmy Greenspoon. 

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 543

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?

blog Sept 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today’s song is one of the best parts of Bruce Springsteen’s live shows. It is from his second album, The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle. It was released in the same year his debut came out on January 5, 1973. Both records were critical favorites but neither sold well commercially until after the success of Springsteen’s paragon album, 1975’s Born To Run.

The first time I saw him live he changed the lyrics to today’s track. It was a little tongue in cheek moment to reflect the craziness of his soaring popularity after the ginormous hit of 1984’s Born In The USA.

The original lyric went like this:

Well tell him this is his last chance
To get his daughter in a fine romance
Because the record company Rosie
Just gave me a big advance
“.

The concert version went like this:

Well tell your parents
That I’m really clean
Because I’m on the cover
Of People Magazine”
.

And if that were not a great moment to witness at my first Bruce show all by itself, that beautiful man took it one step further. He put his head in a bucket of water and sprayed all of us lucky enough to be standing in front of the stage. I had been formally baptized into the religion known as The Boss. Can I get an amen?

Bruce 1973A

Bruce Springsteen circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” (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 471

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

June 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Time for a mid-week Motown break. Last month marked the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s landmark album What’s Going On (Day 431), which showcased his intelligent socially conscious mind. Two years later, he released another record that revealed an additional side of this brilliant multi-dimensional artist: his romantic sensual side. Today’s song, the album’s title track, was released June 15, 1973. By September of that year, it was a #1 song for two non-consecutive weeks. It became his most successful record with the Motown label.

It turned Gaye into a sex symbol, as did another track from the album, “Distant Lover”. He continued in that role nine years later on his 1982 release, Midnight Love. That record’s first single, “Sexual Healing” was a massive hit & earned him the only two Grammy Awards of his career. It was also the last studio album he ever made.

His life was short and his death was a Shakespearean tragedy. But his years in music were epic as he defined the sound of Motown for an entire generation. Many great singers came out of The Motor City, but to me Marvin Gaye was The Monarch of that label. Nobody grabbed my soul the way he did & continues to do. My heart aches every day over his loss.

We’re all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we’ve got to be here
Let’s live I love you
“.

the-rake-marvin-gaye-04

Marvin Gaye circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye: “Let’s Get It On” (1973, written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend).

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 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.