Let’s Take A Moment Day 361

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.

Today we celebrate birthday #73 for James Vernon Taylor born March 12, 1948 in Massachusetts. A true American treasure, he has been entertaining audiences since his debut album was released in 1968. He recorded it in England as one of the first acts signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records label. One of the album’s songs, “Something In The Way She Moves” served as the inspiration (and first line) to George Harrison’s masterpiece, “Something”.

Taylor has made a career performing his own songs (“Carolina On MY Mind”, “Fire & Rain”, today’s song) as well as those from other artists (Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend”, Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” & Sam Cooke & Herb Alpert’s “Wonderful World”). But whatever Taylor sings, he makes it his own with his signature soothing vocal & simple elegant musical arrangements. For over 50 years, he has been a permanent part of the landscape of American music. Happy birthday, Sweet Baby James.

Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Though the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go
“.

JT

James Taylor’s 1970 album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Taylor: “Sweet Baby James” (1970, written by James Taylor).

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 155

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.

One of the things I really love about Carole King ‘s “Tapestry” album is how she used woodwind instruments on a few of her songs.  There is the beautiful flute solo at the end of “So Far Away” and the gorgeous sax solos on “It’s Too Late” & “Way Over Yonder”.  The man behind those performances was Curtis Amy, who was primarily known as a saxophone player.  You may not recognize his name but you most likely heard his work.  If you are a fan of The Doors, you heard his solo on “Touch Me“, especially towards the end of the song.  He also worked as the musical director for Ray Charles’ orchestra and played on songs by Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Rawls, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, amongst others.  Amy also released nine of his own albums in the 1960’s.  His wife, Merry Clayton, is a singer & actress.  She sang backing vocals on “Tapestry” (most notably on “Way Over Yonder”) but her voice is best known from being featured in “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones.  She also had a major role in the movie, “Maid To Order” as Audrey James, the head housekeeper.

King co-wrote today’s song as a tribute to Amy’s sound.  As someone who loves woodwinds in music of any kind, I feel very blessed to have been introduced to his talent.  And today’s song earned King a nomination for Best Female Pop Performance at 1975’s Grammy Awards.  She lost to “I Honestly Love You” by Olivia Newton John.  I honestly cannot believe that.

When the jazzman’s testifyin’ a faithless man believes
He can sing you into paradise or bring you to your knees
It’s a gospel kind of feelin’, a touch of Georgia slide,
A song of pure revival and a style that’s sanctified“.

carole king

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Carole King:  “Jazzman” (1974, written by Carole King, music and David Palmer, lyrics).

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 133

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.

In 1962 trumpeter, songwriter, vocalist and bandleader Herb Alpert founded A&M Records with his business partner, Jerry Moss.  The name of the label came from the first letter of both men’s last names.  It took six years for the record company to have its first number one record when today’s song by Alpert hit the top spot in June 1968 for four straight weeks.  It was also his first number one song and the first for the songwriters, Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  After that the record company and all three men were off for a fabulous ride.  By 1972 the label was one of the most successful in the world.

It was sold in 1999, but during its 37 year run it was home to diverse artists such as Billy Preston, The Carpenters, Peter Frampton, Procol Harum, Cat Stevens (n/k/a Yusuf), Quincy Jones, Carole King, Barry White and a host of others.  But Alpert remains my favorite of them all thanks to his 1965 album, “Whipped Cream & Other Delights”, and today’s song thanks to his soft easy vocal and the absolutely lovely lyrics by Hal David.

My hands are shakin’ don’t let my heart keep breaking ’cause
I need your love, I want your love
Say you’re in love, in love with this guy
If not I’ll just die“.

Herb Alpert circa 1965 (R) and that year’s album cover for “Whipped Cream & Other Delights.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Herb Alpert:  “This Guy’s In Love With You” (1968, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David).

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 125

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.

Today’s song has been covered by a myriad of artists including Robert Plant, The Four Tops, Bob Seger, Johnny Cash (as a duet with his wife, June Carter Cash) and Leon Russell, and all of them are great versions.  But my favorite one was recorded by Walden Robert Cassotto, better known by his stage name, Bobby Darin.  It was a top ten hit for him in 1966.  If you are not too familiar with Darin, it is very easy to write him off as a novelty act because of his first hit song, “Splish Splash”.  But make no mistake, he was an excellent musician playing guitar, piano and drums.  He also wrote and recorded songs in all different types of musical genres including pop, rock & roll, jazz, swing, country & folk.

That is how he took us from “Dream Lover”, “Mack The Knife” and “Beyond The Sea” in the 1950’s to today’s song and “Simple Song of Freedom” in the 1960’s.  He began his career as a songwriter at The Brill Building in NYC, the same place where Carole King & Gerry Goffin started.  It was there that Darin met & was signed by record executive Ahmet Ertegun, who discovered people like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton (when he was in the band, Cream), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Led Zeppelin.  I think Darin’s vocal has a haunting sadness in it that just resonates throughout today’s song.  And with superb lyrics by songwriter Tim Hardin and a beautiful arrangement, this tune just had everything it needed to be something both remarkable & unexpected all at once.

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love for sorrow
I’ve given you my onlyness
Come give your tomorrow.”

Bobby-Darin-The-Direction-Albums-

Bobby Darin circa 1969.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bobby Darin:  “If I Were A Carpenter” (1966, written by Tim Hardin).

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 48

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?

Peanuts music

(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.

Frank Sinatra said many things about many people in his lifetime.  My favorite was this:  “Ray Charles is the only true genius in show business.”.  Now legally as a fellow Italian I am prohibited from disagreeing with anything The Chairman of the Board ever said,  but one listen to any song Charles sang and you know Sinatra was right.  If you saw the movie, “Ray” then you saw how he was one with the piano and how that gift led to some of the most stunning music the world has ever heard.  His rendition of “America The Beautiful” has become one of the country’s most treasured recordings and a wonderful patriotic moment for us whenever it is played.  All I can add is Ray Charles is life.

And this…

As someone who adores TV almost as much as music, I love it when both worlds collide.  Charles appeared on three of my favorite shows:  St. Elsewhere (where he played a patient who sang Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” to Geraldine Fitzgerald’s character), “Moonlighting” (where he played himself and sang “Hit The Road, Dave” to Bruce Willis’ character) & “Wings” (where he played himself but refused to sing to the ex-girlfriend of Steven Weber’s character when he asked Charles to).

Ray 2    (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles:  “You Don’t Know Me” (1962, written by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker in 1955),

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

Stay well.

So Long, January!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How crazy is it that we arrived at the end of January so quickly?  What did you take away from the first month of the year?

I took in my new place surroundings and pondered my decorating scheme, which I have yet to act on LOL!!!  But I did get some great inspiration (thank you Kathleen at Faded Charm), explored some more local sights, got back into my groove of “estate saling” (although I have not had a chance to really dig for a treasure yet but I am hopeful it will happen soon!!!), figured out some shortcuts to a few of my regular places (work, grocery store, antiques stores) and decided I have to get out more despite all that I have to do at home.  So I got my library card, joined a church and a book club.  For our meeting next month, we are reading “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng.  Have any of you read this yet?

book

January also brought the first snowstorm of my CT residency.  To mark the occasion with more than just snow boots, I made home made chicken soup, which turned out pretty well for my first attempt at it.  I do not use salt at all due to its negative health benefits, so once I got the seasonings to a correct balance (pepper, oregano & basil), it was not bad if I do say so myself.  It was so hearty I did not even add noodles!!!

IMG_0512[1]

But most of all for me, January was an unbelievably sad month for the music industry.  Losing an icon like David Bowie was an incredible blow, and we will not see a visionary artist like him again in our lifetime.  For a career to span as many decades as his and encompass as many musical genres as his did only underscores that point.  He left us with a parting gift, “Black Star“*** which is as classic and bold as we remember Bowie to be.

But in the end he was also a beloved man who was taken from his wife and family way too soon, and that is the worst part of the story.  Hopefully 2016 will be the year we finally see cancer obliterated from our world.

Bowie

Source:  YouTube (original source unknown)

Bowie’s loss was followed by those of Glenn Frey of the Eagles; R&B singers Otis Clay and Nicholas Caldwell, who was a member of the group, “The Whispers“; Rene Angelil, who brought us the voice of Celine DionPaul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame and one of his co-founders of Airplane, Signe Toly Anderson, who died on the same day.  What she and Kantner did in their band changed the landscape of music forever.  In the mid 1960’s, rock and roll bands were a boy’s only game:  The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Moody Blues, the list goes on and on.  But when Airplane was being formed, another co-founder Marty Balin along with Kantner, knew how important a female voice & presence was.  Anderson provided that until she left the band in 1966 to have a baby.  But the precedent was set and it was a vital turning point in rock and roll and music overall.  Think about who soon followed:  Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Carole King, Deborah Harry, et al.  Thank God for Balin’s & Kantner’s vision.

tumblr_n7slgg18Eq1rcge25o1_500[1]

Paul Kantner & Signe Toly Anderson, second and third from the left.  Source:  Tumbler (original source unknown).

And today marks what would have been the 70th birthday of Terry Kath, a founding member, guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for the band Chicago.  Kath was the unbelievably gorgeous voice behind classics such as “Colour My World” and “Make Me Smile“.  He was compared to Jimi Hendrix for his musical ability and to Ray Charles for his vocal style.  He died from an accidental gunshot infliction a week before his 32nd birthday in 1978.  He will be inducted posthumously into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Chicago at the induction ceremony in April.

Kath

Source:  premierguitar.com

But things are starting to turn around.  Reports are circulating that Paul Rodgers, who’s latest solo release*** includes fabulous covers of classic songs like “Walk On By” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”, and Bad Company are working on a new record together, which I PRAY is true!!!  What a band!!!  Swoon!!!  But best of all Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” tour is in full swing to promote “The Ties That Bind:  The River Collection“***.  All is right in my world when the Boss is on the road and headed my way (next month in Hartford!!!)  Double swoon!!!

I do not own the rights to any of the music I am sharing with you, but the starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support 🙂

So, how was your first month of the year?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!