Let’s Take A Moment Day 392

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

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

I do not consider myself a full fledged “Fanilow” since I only like a handful of his songs and let’s face it, he recorded a heck of a lot more than a few tunes in his day. But I am not a hater, either, nor can I forget that in the early 1970’s Barry Manilow was the pianist & musical director for The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler.

But I do remember the first track I ever heard by him. I completely swooned over the lyrics, especially the line “You kissed me & stopped me from shaking”. He performed it during his first US television appearance in March 1975 on the show he wrote the theme for, “American Bandstand”. It was the first #1 hit of his career, hitting the top spot for one week on January 18, 1975. All these years later, I still find it enchanting.

I’m standing on the edge of time
I’ve walked away when love was mine
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing
The tears are in my mind and nothing is rhyming
“.

Manilow 1

Manilow 2

Top (L-R_: Barry Manilow and Bette Midler circa 1973. Bottom (L-R): Manilow and Midler circa 2003. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Barry Manilow: “Mandy” (1974, written by Richard Kerr and Scott English).

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 213

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.

Today in 1958 Jackie Wilson recorded one of his signature songs. It was another tune co-written by future Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr who also co-wrote “Reet Petite”, “To Be Loved” & “We Have Love” for Wilson the year before. The proceeds earned from these songs helped Gordy start Tamla Records in 1959 which became the iconic Motown label in April 1960. The success of today’s tune also helped establish Wilson as one of the premier R&B singers not only the 1950’s & 1960’s but of all time.

He was born Jack Leroy Wilson Jr. in Detroit, Michigan in 1934. He began singing in church when he was a child which led to him joining a gospel group in his teens. He learned to box during a couple of stints in detention for bad behavior and competed in the local boxing circuit before he quit to marry at 17 because he was going to become a father. He joined several groups (including one with his cousin, future Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs) until Wilson signed a solo record deal with Decca Records subsidiary label, Brunswick, in 1957. “Reet Petite” was his first release which helped launch his career through its moderate success. Between his four octave tenor range and his dynamic dance moves on stage, Wilson earned the nickname “Mr. Excitement” and enjoyed over a decade of success throughout his career.

Unfortunately the rest of his story is not as happy. Wilson was besieged with problems in his personal life including getting shot by a girlfriend, several arrests and legal issues, financial losses & IRS liens due to an embezzling manager as well as multiple children from in & out of his two marriages. He also lost a son, Jackie Jr in 1970 when the 16 year old was shot to death. That sent Wilson into a depressive state which included drug use. In 1975 he suffered a heart attack onstage which left him in a semi-comatose state. He remained in a nursing home until his death from pneumonia in 1984. Wilson left a legacy on music, fans and the performers he influenced especially Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, and Michael Jackson among many others. My mother was a big fan of his & she and my dad were lucky enough to see Wilson perform around 1960 at the acclaimed Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Swoon.

Just give me another chance for our romance
Come on and tell me that one day you’ll return
‘Cause, every day that you’ve been gone away
You know my heart does nothing but burn, crying
“.

Wilson and Elvis

Elvis Presley (L) with Jackie Wilson (R) circa 1959. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jackie Wilson: “Lonely Teardrops” (As performed on “American Bandstand” in March 1959. Originally released in 1958, written by Berry Gordy Jr, Gwen Gordy & Roquel “Billy” Davis as “Tyran Carlo”).

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

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 16

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 16

Adorable shadow box DIY Christmas craft found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

From the first time I heard “Mandy”, I was in entranced by this singer.  Then came “Weekend in New England”, “Trying To Get The Feeling Again”, “Could It Be Magic”, and a slew of others.  He also wrote the “American Bandstand” theme for Dick Clark.  He was the premier voice of pop music throughout the 70’s & 80’s.  Some call liking his music as a guilty pleasure, but I don’t.  I am a Fanilow and proud of it.  His take on this Christmas classic is fun, festive and has an old school swing sound.  It’s the grown-up version of the song we all sang as kids.  And I just adore it.

Barry manilow

Barry Manilow:  “Jingle Bells” (1990).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!