Let’s Take A Moment Day 188

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 in 1969 the only album by the rock band, Blind Faith, hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart a mere six weeks after it was released. The exemplary songs & music had a lot to do with that success, of course. But so did the fact that they were the first known “supergroup” as three of the four members had recently left their other successful bands (Ginger Baker & Eric Clapton from Cream & Steve Winwood from Traffic. Bassist Rich Grech would join Traffic with Winwood when they reformed in 1970).

The band came together when Clapton started jamming with Winwood at his house in early 1969. According to Clapton’s 2007 autobiography, Baker found out they were playing together and showed up one day to join them. Clapton admitted he was not initially happy with Baker’s arrival given how his temper came between him & Jack Bruce during their time together in Cream. But the new band developed with songs by Winwood & Clapton, a cover of a Buddy Holly tune (“Well All Right”) and Grech coming on board as the group’s bassist.

Clapton further asserted that despite the group recording an album together and eventually playing several shows, his heart was not in it to take control of the band and help give it direction, despite the others looking towards him to do so. He even refused to sing lead vocals on any songs, letting Winwood handle that task alone as the other two members did not sing. Clapton cited an ongoing problem he had throughout his life where as soon as he was in one place he longed to be in another. At that point in time he had become enamoured with the music of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends who were opening for the supergroup on the road. Clapton sat in with them on several occasions, even co-writing and recording songs with them. It was through that collaboration that Clapton would meet his three future band members of Derek & The Dominos. So as much as I wish Blind Faith stayed together past 1969, if they had, we would not have the “Layla” record. And what a tragedy that would have been.

Clapton and Winwood have played together many times over the years at various shows performing a few of Blind Faith’s songs including “Can’t Find My Way Home” and today’s pick. Clapton said he wrote it when he finally bought a place of his own in 1968, after five years of living in hotels and at other people’s homes. He had also started turning towards Christianity which led to his reference of spirituality. I love Winwood’s vocal on this track, but it is Clapton’s guitar playing, especially his solo, that puts it over the top for me.

I have finally found a place to live
Just like I never could before
And I know I don’t have much to give
But soon I’ll open any door
“.

"Blind Faith" Portrait

Blind Faith circa 1969 L-R:  Steve Winwood, Ric Grech, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  Photo by Bob Seidemann. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blind Faith:  “Presence Of The Lord” (1969, written by Eric Clapton).

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 175

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?

Bruce 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.

Today is the birth anniversary of Charles Hardin Holley, better known to us as Buddy Holly.  Born 84 years ago today in Lubbock, Texas, he grew up during the Depression playing the guitar with the rest of his musical family.  Another artist from the south who found his roots in country, gospel and R&B music, he was part of a bluegrass/country/rockabilly duo in high school with Bob Montgomery simply called “Buddy and Bob” (Montgomery wrote “Misty Blue” recorded by several artists including Dorothy Moore who turned it into a #3 hit in 1976).

The duo opened for Elvis Presley several times in 1955 and eventually Holly changed the direction of his sound to rock & roll.  He was discovered and signed by Decca Records soon after and the rest is musical history.  His style influenced everyone from The Beatles to Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton to The Hollies who, according to founding member Graham Nash, were named as a tribute to Holly,

There is no denying that his effect is far reaching and as influential as they come.  His sound helped define the foundation of rock & roll and his legacy continues to radiate in music today, more than 60 years after his death.  Happy birthday, Buddy Holly.

A-well rave on, it’s a crazy feelin’ and
I know, it’s got me reelin’
I’m so glad, that you’re revealin’
Your love for me“.

Holly
Buddy Holly circa 1956.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Buddy Holly:  “Rave On” ( 1958, written by Norman Petty, Bill Tightman and Joseph “Sonny” West).

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 165

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?

Bruce 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.

When I was growing up my dad used to listen to a doo wop show on the radio which introduced me to the voices of that genre.  One of my favorites belongs to Dion DiMucci.  Originally he was the lead singer of Dion & The Belmonts in the 1950’s who gave us songs like “I Wonder Why”, “A Teenager In Love” and “Where or When”.  They appeared on the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour that proved to be the final appearances for Buddy Holly, Richie Valens & The Big Bopper, J.P. Richardson.  DiMucci was offered a seat on the plane that killed the three artists but declined due to the cost of the ticket, which was $36.

By 1960 he wanted to record more rock & roll oriented songs, so he parted ways with The Belmonts to start a solo career.  His hits included “Donna The Prima Donna”, “The Wanderer”, and “Runaround Sue”.  With music changing in the late 1960’s, DiMucci reinvented himself with the release of the introspective, “Abraham, Martin & John”.  DiMucci, who hails from my old stomping grounds of The Bronx, NY has also influenced one of my great musical loves, Bruce Springsteen.  He has had DiMucci on stage with him several times for collaborations on both of their songs and in 1992, DiMucci recorded a remarkable acapella version of Springsteen’s “Should I Fall Behind”.  Earlier this year DiMucci released a new album, “Blues With Friends” featuring Springsteen, his wife Patti Scialfa, fellow E Street bandmate Steven Van Zandt and several other artists.  I love when my musical worlds come together.

I heard this song on the radio last weekend and it brought back a thousand memories.  DiMucci recorded it in 1963 with The Del-Satins providing backup vocals.  It is not as popular as the other tunes written by the legendary songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller (“Kansas City”, “Hound Dog”, “Searchin'”), but it is one of my top picks from their fabulous catalog.  And my absolute favorite Dion song.

Well, my buddy come to see me to give me a tip, tip, tip
I said now listen here friend, I tell ya I’m hip, hip, hip
Why don’t ya mind your own business, close your lip, lip, lip
I know when my girl’s gimme me the slip, slip, slip“.

Dion DiMucci circa 1960 (L) and today (R).  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dion:  “Drip Drop” (1963, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

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 117

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 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.

For as much as the Beatles influenced a generation, The Beatles themselves were inspired by their idols.  Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Little Richard and Elvis had a huge impact on the Fab Four.  So did Buddy Holly.  Even the name of The Beatles came from John Lennon thinking naming a band after an insect was the way to go following Holly’s lead in calling his band The Crickets.

Holly is long remembered for his all too brief but eternal contribution to the early days of rock & roll with songs like “That’ll Be The Day”, “Oh Boy”, “Rave On”, “It’s So Easy To Fall In Love” and others.  But in reality his death had as much of an impact on the world as his life did since he died so young and with two other singers, one even younger than Holly’s 22  years.  I often read articles where people speculate how different music might be today if Holly were alive.  But that is just a waste of time.  Holly fulfilled his destiny or he would be here.  It’s just that simple.  He was only meant to be here for the time we had him and not a minute more.  We may hate it, but that was the plan all along.  But what a legacy we have to enjoy from his brief tenure as rock & roll’s prince.

B Holly

Buddy Holly circa 1958.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Buddy Holly & The Crickets:  “Not Fade Away” (1957, written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty).

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

Stay well.

Remembering The Day The Music Died 60 Years Later

buddy-holly-jp-richardson-big-bopper-ritchie-valens

Holly, Richardson & Valens (original source unknown).

On February 3, 1959 the world lost three rising stars in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa: Charles Hardin Holley, known as Buddy Holly, who was 22, Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr., known as The Big Bopper, who was 28 & Richard Steven Valenzuela, known as Ritchie Valens, who was 17. Don McLean referred to this tremendous loss as “the day the music died” in his 1971 iconic anthem, “American Pie”, because in many ways, music and the world were never quite the same after this tragedy. The date signifies a loss of innocence and in its place a cruel lesson about good people dying young and without warning, despite how bright their future looked.

In addition to their musical legacies, the singers left behind family.  For Holly it was his parents, three older siblings, a niece named Cindy Lou (whom he started to write a song for which eventually became “Peggy Sue”) and his wife, Maria Elena Santiago Holly.  She is still alive and owns the rights to all of Holly’s music and intellectual property.  She was pregnant when he died but suffered a miscarriage following news of the crash.  She co-founded the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation in 2010 with Peter Bradley.

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly circa 1950’s (original source unknown).

For Richardson it was his wife, five year old daughter and son who was born two months after the crash.  All three have passed away.

The_Big_Bopper

The Big Bopper circa 1950’s (original source unknown).

Valens was survived by his mother, four siblings, a sister in law, nephew and high school girlfriend Donna Ludwig, whom he paid tribute to in his song of the same name.  It became a Billboard Top 100 number two hit after Valens’ death.

Ritchie Valens
 Ritchie Valens circa 1957  (original source unknown).

Today I am sharing some songs to honor these men and today’s somber anniversary.

For Buddy Holly “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” (1958) & a clip of him and the Crickets performing “Rave On” (1958).

For the Big Bopper:  “Chantilly Lace” (1958) as performed on “American Bandstand”.

For Ritchie Valens:  His most well known song & my favorite “La Bamba” (1958) and a great clip of him performing “Ooh My Head” (1958) from the movie, “Go, Johnny, Go”, which was released four months after the crash.

And, of course, Don McLean’s “American Pie” (1971).

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

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #12…..And A Sad Anniversary

Before we get to today’s countdown song, let’s take a minute to observe the 56th anniversary of the day the music died. On February 3 1959, a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa claimed the lives of musicians Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson a/k/a the Big Bopper and Richie Valens.  Holly was 22, Richardson was 28 and Valens was just 17 years old.  They were all part of a three week long American city tour called the Winter Dance Party.

What a lot of people do not know is that country music legend Waylon Jennings, who was a member of Holly’s new band after he parted ways with the Crickets, was supposed to be on the flight but gave up his seat to Richardson because he had the flu.

If you saw the movie based on Valens’ life story, “La Bamba”, you know that Valens won his seat in a coin toss from another of Holly’s band members.  One more member of the tour, Dion Dimucci (of Dion & the Belmonts), decided he could not afford the ticket for the flight so he passed on a seat.

The crash was so devastating to the music industry and fans alike it was dubbed “the day the music died” then and in Don McClean’s song “American Pie” which was released over a decade after the crash.  Ironically, the song was number one in 1972 on the anniversary of the crash.

The musical influence of Holly and Valens never waned, and both were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and 2001, respectively.  As of 2015, J.P. Richardson has not been elected to the HOF.

For countdown song #12, we visit one of my favorite periods of music ever-the Motown era.  So many of my favorite singers have come from the Motown years:  Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin, Stevie Wonder and Levi Stubbs.  In fact, it is Mr. Stubbs’ group-the  Four Tops-that sang my #12 favorite love song.  “I Believe in You & Me“, written by David Wolfert and Sandy Linzer, was released in 1982.

It is unequivocally one of the highlights of Stubbs’ career, showcasing not only the range of his voice but its passion as well.  His delivery is clear, smooth and so heartfelt it saves the borderline syrupy sentiment of some of the lyrics to ones that are just moving and hopeful.  Even the esteemed Whitney Houston could not deliver her 1996 cover of this song any where close to the beauty of Stubbs’ original.  We lost his voice in 2008, and music in general has never quite sounded the same to me since.

The lyrics refer to love as a miracle, and the older I get and the more I realize how hard true love is to find, I believe romantic love may really be a wonder after all.

Enjoy!!!