Let’s Take A Moment Day 501

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.

Tomorrow marks the 98th birth anniversary for a man who introduced us to some of the greatest artists in music history. Ahmet Ertegun, president and co-founder of Atlantic Records, was born on July 31, 1923 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was the man who launched the careers of John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Aretha Franklin, to name a few.

I cannot imagine my life or this world without the likes of Redding, Clapton or Franklin, let alone the rest of that group. But to choose a way to salute the man we remember today comes down to one word: genius. And no one comes closer to that word than Ray Charles. Thank you, Ahmet Ertegun, for bringing us some of the most profound music of the 20th century.

She saves her loving, just for me
Always loves me, so tenderly
I got a woman, way over town
She’s good to me, oh yeah
“.

Ray 1956

Ray 2002

Top (L-R): Ray Charles and Ahmet Ertegun circa 1956. Bottom (L-R): Charles and Ertegun circa 2002. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “I Got A Woman” (1954, written by Ray Charles and Renald Richard)

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 466

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.

Any song Otis Redding sang he made his own. But two songs he wrote were basically stolen away from him-in good ways, of course. He said as much about Aretha Franklin turning “Respect” into her signature tune, not to mention a #1 song for two weeks in June 1967. As for today’s song, he gave it to the co-writer-Arthur Conley-who turned it into a gold record in the same month.

It was originally called “Yeah Man” by Sam Cooke, but Conley & Redding re-wrote it together. The two Georgia natives met after Redding heard Conley’s 1964 song, “I’m a Lonely Stranger”. Redding signed Conley to his new label, Jotis Records, and in May 1967 today’s song went to the #2 spot in the country.

It paid tribute to many of the singers both Redding and Conley admired, and the latter even added a few lines about Redding as well. It is a great get-up-on-your-feet-and-move kind of song. And it was one of the great joys of my life to see Bruce Springsteen perform this live in concert. What can I say? The man’s got soul. And so does today’s song. Not to mention one heck of a horn arrangement.

Do you like good music
That sweet soul music
Just as long as it’s swingin’
Oh yeah oh yeah”.

Arthur and Otis

Left to right: Singers Ben E. King, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, Arthur Conley and Percy Sledge circa 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Arthur Conley: “Sweet Soul Music” (1967, written by Arthur Conley, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding).

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 442

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.

We have two Rolling Stones birthdays to begin this new month with. Guitarist, & songwriter Ron Wood, born June 1, 1947 in England, turns 74 today. June 2 marks the 80th birthday for drummer Charlie Watts, also born in England, in 1941.

The band released today’s song in the US on June 1, 1968, which happened to be Wood’s 21st birthday. But it would be seven years before he played his first show with the group that would later make him a member. Before that he was a member of The Jeff Beck Group where he met Rod Stewart.

The two men went on to form The Faces in 1969. Together they wrote one of my favorite songs of all time, 1971’s “Stay With Me” (Day 218). The same year, Wood played & contributed songs to Stewart’s 1971 breakthrough album, Every Picture Tells A Story. In 1975, Wood joined The Rolling Stones but remains friends with Stewart, whom he joined for his MTV Unplugged show in 1993.

Watts has been in The Stones since their formation in 1963. His grew up listening to jazz music & started playing the drums when he was 14. He also attended art school & worked as a graphic designer in addition to his work in the band, Blues Incorporated. Playing shows with them in and around the London club circuit is how he came to meet the members of The Stones.

Today’s song was a #3 hit for the band in 1969. In 1986, when it was covered by Aretha Franklin for the movie of the same name, it hit #21. Wood & song co-writer Keith Richards played guitar on her track & appeared in the video as well. Her version is, of course, spectacular because Franklin is The Queen. But it was The Stones version that was used in the movie “Pirate Radio” when Gavin Kavanagh returned to the airwaves, so that makes it my favorite version forever. Happy birthday Ron Wood and Charlie Watts. May you both see 100 more.

I was drowned I was washed up
And left for dead
I fell down to my feet
And I saw they bled
“.

Stones 1978

The-Rolling-Stones

Top: The Rolling Stones circa 1978 (L-R): Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Bill Wyman and Keith Richards. Bottom: The Stones circa 2008 (L-E): Watts, Richards, Jagger and Wood. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

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 412

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.

Back in 1910 a man named John Hammond was born in NYC. He worked at various music related jobs including critic, record producer and talent scout for Columbia Records. He was the one responsible for signing Aretha Franklin & Bob Dylan to the label in the early 1960’s. If that was all Hammond did in his life, what a contribution that was.

But then a decade later he met a guy named Bruce Springsteen & invited him to audition for the label as well. That took place on May 2, 1972. A fifteen minute meeting turned into a two hour session & the next day Springsteen recorded a fourteen song demo. Even after all that, it took five more weeks before the label signed him. But they did & Springsteen has spent his nearly five decade career with that record company which is now owned by Sony Music Entertainment.

His music has touched my heart a thousand different times in a thousand different ways. In the process, he became one of the greatest friends I have known in my life. His three to four hour live shows have been the highlight of every year I have been lucky enough to see him. And a few years ago he conquered Broadway with a stunning one-man show about the songs that shaped his career. All the roads of his career lead back to his meeting with John Hammond & that audition nearly 50 years ago today.

All my life I fought the fight
The fight that you can’t ever win
Every day it just gets harder to live
The dream you’re believing in
“.

Bruce and John

Bruce Springsteen (L) and John Hammond (R) circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “The Promise” (1999, 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 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 331

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.

When I remember the albums that changed my life while I was growing up, Born To Run, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, Elton John’s Greatest Hits & Let It Be are amongst the first ones I recall. But before I heard any of them, I was in love with another one that I did not even know existed. I only knew I was in love with songs like “I Feel The Earth Move” and “It’s Too Late” and the woman behind them when I was only a little kid. It was not until I heard today’s song that I finally sought out the album all three songs were a part of. It was Tapestry by Carole King, released 50 years ago today, Feb 10, 1971. It was not only transformative in teaching me about great music, it also taught me how talented one person-a woman-could be. She wrote & performed her own songs, arranged them and played her own accompaniment as well.

King, who was born Carol Joan Klein in NYC 79 years ago on February 9, 1942, started playing piano as a child. She learned from her mother who played as well. King met her songwriting partner & future husband, Gerry Goffin, when they were both students at Queens Community College and were married in 1959 when King was 17. Soon they became songwriters at the Brill Building & after the success of 1960’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” they were on their way. Ten years later King recorded her landmark album, released before she turned 30 years old. And by 1977, it had spent a record breaking 302 weeks on the Billboard albums chart.

I adore several female artists and each has her own gifts. Aretha Franklin is the undisputable Queen of Soul, Linda Ronstadt’s voice has an undeniable power & range all its own and Joni Mitchell is an eloquent poet & story teller. But King has an unbelievable gift and uniqueness that separates her from a group even that distinguished. And the songs from her 1971 album are absolutely invaluable to music. Happy birthday, Carole King. And happy anniversary to the beautiful Tapestry.

“Traveling around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothing else to do but close my mind
I sure hope the road don’t come to own me
There’s so many dreams I’ve yet to find
“.

Tapestry

Carole King’s iconic 1971 album, Tapestry. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Carole King: “So Far Away” (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 283

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?

Dec 24

(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.

It goes without saying that Aretha Franklin could sing anything, yet she waited over 45 years in to her career to release an album of seasonal music with 2008’s “This Christmas Aretha”. The record included several spiritual tracks that were reflective of Franklin’s gospel roots. Between her incomparable voice, her interpretation of the lyrics and the absolutely gorgeous arrangements, the entire album is simply stunning. But since today is Christmas Eve, I think this song is the best choice to celebrate this glorious day of the year.

‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
“.

Aretha

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Silent Night” (2008, written by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr).

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 249

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 marks the 74th birth anniversary of one of the greatest guitar players to ever pick up that instrument, Duane Allman. Born on November 20, 1946 in Nashville, TN to a United States Army lieutenant & his wife, Duane founded the band that would bear his family’s name when he was 22. According to his website it was his younger brother, Gregg, who taught Duane to play the guitar. Gregg received one as a Christmas gift the same year Duane got a motorbike. He learned to ride, Gregg started to play after learning the basic chords from a neighbor. After Duane totaled his bike, he became interested in what Gregg was doing. Duane learned as well then sold the wrecked bike to buy his own guitar around the age of 14. The brothers decided to pursue a career in music after seeing B.B. King in concert when they were teenagers. In 1957 the family was living in Florida and by 1961 the brothers were playing together at local dances in the Daytona Beach area.

After a brief stint in a band “Hour Glass” in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s, Duane returned to Florida. It was around this time he met drummer Butch Trucks and fellow guitarist Dickey Betts to form the hub of what would become The Allman Brothers Band, once Duane called Gregg back to Florida as well to join the group. Their self titled debut album was released in 1969. That year Duane also did sesion work for Aretha Franklin (on her cover of The Band’s “The Weight“), King Curtis (on his cover of “Games People Play“) and Wilson Pickett (on his cover of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude“). It was that record that first introduced Eric Clapton to Duane’s work and eventually the two met backstage at an ABB concert in Miami during the summer of 1970. It lead to his best known collaboration, with Clapton’s band, Derek & The Dominos, while they were recording their masterpiece, “Layla &Other Assorted Love Songs”. Duane appears on 11 of the album’s 14 tracks and he & Clapton bonded for life. In his 2007 autobiography, he referred to Duane as “the musical brother I’d never had but wished I did”.

Six years ago his daughter Galadrielle Allman (who was 2 when she lost her father), wrote a book about him based on countless interviews she conducted from family, fiends, bandmates and other musicians who worked with the guitar icon entitled “Please Be With Me: A Song For My Father, Duane Allman”. It’s not that I am not interested in his life because I am. But a part of me already knows all I need to: that his playing was fierce ferocious and forever, that his band was one of the greatest to ever take a stage & together they made some of the most incredible music of any generation.

My friends tell me, that I’ve been such a fool.
But I had to stand by and take it baby, all for lovin’ you.
Drown myself in sorrow as I look at what you’ve done.
But nothing seemed to change, the bad times stayed the same,
And I can’t run”.

Duane

Galadrielle Allman In Conversation With Jim Fusilli And Special Guest Gregg Allman

Top: Duane Allman in the studio circa 1968, Bottom (L-R): Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman with her uncle, Gregg Allman at her book signing in NYC, March 2014. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Allman Brothers: “Whipping Post” (1969, written by Gregg Allman).

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

Stay well.