Let’s Take A Moment Day 216

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’s song was written by singer Rick Nelson about his rather unhappy experience at an oldies show that took place in October 1971. He was on the bill along with superstars Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley & others. Ozzie & Harriet’s heartthrob son, who was 31 years old at the time & stopped going by “Ricky” since his 21st birthday in 1961, understandably “didn’t look the same” as the lyrics go. He began his set by performing two of his older hits which the crowd enjoyed. But their mood changed during his country cover of The Rolling Stones hit, “Honky Tonk Women”. Suddenly the audience started to boo, offending Nelson so much he walked off the stage and refused to return, not even for the all-star finale.

Eventually another story emerged that the crowd’s reaction was not directed at him but rather at police officers attempting to remove an over inebriated man from the arena. But the experience rattled Nelson so much he wrote about it in what became his last top ten hit ever in 1972. I grew up singing this with my mother because she adored it and played the single to death. I knew all the lyrics to the track but would not come to understand them until years later as they were basically written in code. For instance, two of The Beatles attended the show (as fans, not performers) so Nelson mentioned them with the lines “Yoko brought a Walrus” (about John Lennon and his wife Yoko) and “Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan’s shoes wearing his disguise” (about George Harrison, as Hughes was supposedly Harrison’s alias and he was rumored to be making an album of all Bob Dylan songs at that time).

As for himself, Nelson wrote, “I said hello to Mary Lou, she belongs to me” in reference to his 1961 hit song “Hello Mary Lou” which he performed that night. The next line, “But when I sang a song about a honky tonk, it was time to leave” referred to him ending his set due to the crowd’s sour reaction to his cover song. By the last verse, Nelson mentioned one of the show headliners but not by his name (Berry),, but rather by using references to his most famous song: “…out stepped Johnny B. Goode, playing guitar like a-ringin’ a bell and lookin’ like he should“. The final line, “But if memories were all I sang, I’d rather drive a truck” was supposedly a reference to Elvis Presley who did just that while he was trying to get a record deal and not receiving too much recognition for either vocation. The song was Nelson’s final hit record. He died in 1985 in a plane crash at the very young age of 45, nine years before his mother.

In the years before MTV, many music artists appeared on variety shows to promote their songs. If they could not attend due to scheduling conflicts or tour dates, they would pre-tape their performance to be shown in place of a live one. I was fortunate to find the clip of Nelson singing today’s song with his band that I saw as a kid. It brought back unbelievably poignant memories. Music & YouTube are the closest things to time travel we will probably ever see in our lifetimes. ūüôā

“But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself”.

Ozzie-Nelson-Harriet-Hilliard-David-Ricky-The

Rick 1

Top: The Nelsons circa 1955 (L-R): Ozzie, Harriet, Ricky & David. Bottom: Rick Nelson in 1972 in a still from today’s video. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rick Nelson: “Garden Party” (1972, written by Rick Nelson).

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 214

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.

Throughout her career Linda Ronstadt sang many songs originally recorded by other artists like Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou”, Chuck Berry’s “Back In The USA” and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby”, amongst others. But she also worked with unknown songwriters and helped establish their careers through her interpretations of their tunes. One of the composers she collaborated often with is Eric Kaz. He co-wrote several of her songs including “Love Has No Pride” (Day 15), “I Won’t Be Hangin Round”, “Sorrow Lives Here” & today’s track. His music has also been recorded by country superstars George Strait and Alison Krauss, former Eagle Randy Meisner and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few. Today’s song is the title track from Ronstadt’s 1989 album and I think it is one of her best.

Life isn’t easy
Love never lasts
You just carry on
And keep moving fast
“.

Eric Kaz

Linda

Top: Songwriter Eric Kaz. Bottom: Linda Ronstadt. Both pictures circa 1975. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Linda Ronstadt: “Cry Like A Rainstorm” (1989, written by Eric Kaz).

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 154

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.

Today in 1974 Eric Clapton’s “461 Ocean Boulevard” became the #1 album in the country and stayed there for four consecutive weeks (August 17-September 13).¬† By September 14 the record’s single, which is today’s feature, became the #1 song in the country for one week.¬† Surprisingly, this cover of Bob Marley’s original song is Clapton’s only #1 single and it does not contain one of his signature guitar solos.¬† But I love it & him regardless.¬† Let’s face it-he could stand on a stage clearing his throat while tuning his guitar and I’d swoon.¬† But luckily he does so much more than that.

Clapton’s musical odyssey includes playing with The Rolling Stones (with them as a group and with Keith Richards and Ron Wood individually), Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, David Sanborn, The Band, Duane Allman (most notably on the “Layla” song and album), Freddie King, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Wynton Marsalis, Stephen Stills, Howlin’ Wolf, Dave Mason, Solomon Burke, Leon Russell, The Who (Clapton was The Preacher in the film, “Tommy”), Jeff Beck, Billy Preston, brothers Jimmy Vaughan & Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Roger Waters, J.J. Cale, Robert Cray, Derek Trucks, Mark Knopfler, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Doyle Bramhall, Daryl Hall and The Beatles, both as a group and with each member on solo projects.¬† Clapton was also a member of The Yardbirds, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek & The Dominos.¬† That is one staggering resume.¬† But even without that history behind him, I think he is one of the preeminent musicians of our time, especially live.¬† And one of my great musical loves.

EC 1

  Eric Clapton circa 1990.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton:¬† “I Shot The Sheriff”¬† (1974, written by Bob Marley).

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 132

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 marks the 77th birthday for one of the greatest frontmen to ever strut across a stage, Mick Jagger.  He and The Rolling Stones have been making music together since 1962.  It all started when Jagger met fellow bandmate & co-songwriter, Keith Richards, and both men realized they had similar musical tastes, citing blues legend Muddy Waters & rock & roll master Chuck Berry as inspirations.  The name of their band even came from a Waters song.

There is not much left to say about a band that has been around nearly 60 years.¬† They have played with all their heroes, released 25 albums here in the states (23 in the U.K.), had countless hit songs and continue to tour as recently as 2019.¬† I love so many of their songs but really love the covers they have done of their favorite blues numbers.¬† When the Stones closed out the American leg of the Steel Wheels Tour in December 1989, the show was broadcast via a pay per view concert from NJ that featured guest stars like Axl Rose & Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’Roses, blues legend John Lee Hooker & Eric Clapton, who joined the Stones on stage for today’s song.¬† He absolutely slayed it with two unbelievably sublime guitar solos (and did so while looking breathtakingly gorgeous), with the second one featuring a call and response exchange with Jagger and his harmonica.¬† As The Stones song goes, it’s only rock & roll, but I like it.

Processed with MOLDIV

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones (R) congratulates Eric Clapton (L) on a job well done after the guitarist played two scathing solos for the band in Atlantic City, NJ December 1989.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones featuring Eric Clapton:¬† “Little Red Rooster” (recorded live in Atlantic City, NJ in December 1989.¬† Originally released in 1964, written by Willie Dixon).

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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 45

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.

If I had to pinpoint how rock & roll music officially began, my timeline would be this:

1908:  The year American bandleader & swing/big band/R&B musician Louis Jordan is born.

1916:  The year American rockabilly songwriter Claude Demetrius is born.

1926:¬† The year American guitarist Charles Edward Anderson Berry is born.¬† The world would come to know him as Chuck Berry.¬† Soon he learns to “play a guitar just like a-ringin’ a bell and, oh my, that little country boy could play”.

1946:¬† Demetrius writes a song (co-written with Jordan’s wife, Fleecie Moore) called “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” which Jordan records and turns into an R&B hit the same year.

1958:¬† Berry writes and records his semi-autobiographical groundbreaking hit, “Johnny B. Goode”.¬† The song begins with a note for note replica of the introduction to Jordan’s 1946 song, written by Demetrius.¬† A new sound is born from combining music from the swing/big band/R&B/rockabilly genres and Berry is christened “The Father of Rock & Roll”.

Young impressionable youths like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and many others are entranced by what Berry does with a guitar.¬† Fast forward to 1963 & 1964 where The Beatles record Berry covers “Roll Over Beethoven” & “Rock & Roll Music ” and stop by America for that Sunday night show at the same theatre David Letterman was in and there you have it.

Yes, Elvis (who covered a few of Berry’s songs, including today’s), Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and many other early architects of this new sound were coming up around the same time as Berry.¬† However, his musicianship, his stage dance moves (most notably the “duck walk”) and his songwriting talent made him a triple threat and set him apart from the others.¬† Elvis will always be the King, but Berry was and remains The Master.

Today’s song also has the distinction of being part of NASA’s Voyager Space Mission as one of the pieces of music from Earth.¬† And honestly, can you imagine Marty McFly sliding across the floor to any other song in “Back To The Future” than this one?

Chuck-Berry-Johnny-B-Goode

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Chuck Berry:¬† “Johnny B. Goode” (1958, written by Chuck Berry).

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 Songs: Day 1

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.

Now that Turkey Day is behind us and since December begins today, it’s time for me to share some of my favorite Christmas tunes with you.

December

But before we dive in, there is some other music I am loving right now that you might like also.¬† Some of the songs are new, some are old and some are in between.¬† I have been discovering new to me music through shows like “Psych” (sooooo looking forward to the¬† movie on December 7), “Criminal Minds”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and, of course, “This Is Us” (In this week’s episode alone, it featured the naked version of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and Cat Stevens “Where Do The Children Play“.¬† Swoon x 2!!!).

I also really love the soundtrack to “Big Little Lies”.¬† Yes Reese, Nicole, Shailene & Laura were great, but the actress who played Reese’s youngest daughter-Darby Camp- was unbelievably impressive.¬† And her character’s intense love of great music -that was me at that age!!!¬† I was Chloe Mackenzie minus the ear buds.¬† My favorite song from that series?¬†¬†Leon Bridges:¬† “River

Here are some of my other top picks of late:

Kelly Clarkson’s version of “Love On The Brain” (The original is good, too, with Rihanna¬† sounding very old school R&B-soul-like).

Gillian Welch:¬† “I Made A Lover’s Prayer “.

Andrew Bird:¬† “Three White Horses“.

Foy Vance “Guiding Light” and “Gabriel & The Vagabond“.

Rufus Wainwright:¬† “Vibrate” (Just his voice as he plays the piano with one hand.¬† Beautiful.).

Rufus_Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright (original source unknown)

I think I have been even more consumed by my love of music these days because it has been such a¬†sad year for the industry with the losses of Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Tom Petty,¬† Chris Cornell, Glen Campbell (he put Jimmy Webb’s songs on the map), David Cassidy (what girl did not l-o-v-e Keith Partridge) and the man with the first song on our countdown.

He was one of the early musical pioneers who helped create rock & roll by linking it to his jazz meets rhythm & blues background.¬† The only other Fifties-era rocker that sold more records than he was Elvis Presley.¬† But coming in second with 65 million records sold was no small feat.¬† According to his bio on the¬†Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s website, he “scored more hit records than¬†Chuck Berry,¬†Little Richard¬†and¬†Buddy Holly¬†put together”.¬† That is part of the reason why he was inducted into the HOF with the rest of the inaugural inductees in 1986.

Unfortunately, the change in the direction of music as a result of the one-two punch of the Beatles arrival in America in 1964 followed by the British Invasion brought this man’s incredible career to a screeching halt.¬† But even more depressing, we said a final goodbye to Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. on October 24 when he passed away at the age of 89.

VARIOUS

Fats Domino (Courtesy of Barry Peake/Rex/Shutterstock-original source unknown)

One of his musical heroes was Charles Brown who wrote and released the original version of this song in 1960.  But no one does it like the Fat Man.

Fats Domino:¬† “Please Come Home For Christmas“.

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

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

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

 

 

 

 

“Oh My, But That Little Country Boy Could Play…”

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry circa 1955 (original source unknown).

 

This is, indeed, a tremendous loss. As one of the architects of rock and roll, Chuck Berry’s contribution to music, for those who play it, listen to it and love it, will always be immense. The guitar riff that opens “Johnny B. Goode” is perfection defined. ¬†Nearly 20 years after its release, it was included on Voyager 1’s Golden Record. ¬†And in 1985, it took us all “Back To The Future“.

 

Chuck and Bruce

Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry performing together at the Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Sept. 1995 (Courtesy Mike Duncan/AP).

 

When the Beatles came to America on February 7, 1964 and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” two days later, it changed the world. ¬†When the Beatles performed their first concert in the United States later that same year – in Washington, DC – their opening song was “Roll Over Beethoven” because Chuck Berry changed their world.

Thank you for everything, Chuck. We miss you already.