Music Monday: October 3, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to October and another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yesterday marked birthday number 77 for the man who gave us one of the greatest musical anthems of all time. Don McLean, the singer & songwriter behind the 1971 smash, “American Pie”, was born October 2, 1945 in New Rochelle, New York. He developed a love for music early in his life and by his teenage years he was learning to play guitar while finding his voice. After the enormous success of his biggest hit, McLean earned his indelible place in music history. Today he is performing on his 50th anniversary tour and paying tribute to Veterans along the way (see his website for more details).

I am a big fan of so much of his music. from songs he has written himself (“And I Love You So”, “Castles In The Air” and “Vincent”) to the incredible covers he has done (“Crying” and “Since I Fell For You”). But it is today’s song, also from the “American Pie” album released 51 years ago this month, that is my absolute favorite. It may not have the pagentry or imagery of his most recognized track, but it is yet another moving tale told through McLean’s gift for introspective poetry. I list it in the “it-is-so-beautiful-it-hurts” category because my heart just aches every time I hear it. But in such an undeniably good way.

From the gentle piano arranmgement to the pensive yet ultimately hopeful lyrics to the understated but moving vocal performance, McLean delivers a tale of finding out he ended up exactly where he was supposed to be all along, despite how many wrong turns he thought he made. And we are all so incredibly lucky that his road met ours and took us on the path that included such an immense talent as his. Happy birthday, Don McLean.

“But I’m all tied up on the inside
No one knows quite what I’ve got
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be I’m not anymore”.

You know I’ve heard about people like me
But I never made the connection
They walk one road to set them free
And find they’ve gone the wrong direction
“.

Don McLean circa 1971

Don McLean circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Don McLean: “Crossroads” (1971, written by Don McLean).

Stay safe and well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 403

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.

On this day 85 years ago “The Caruso Of Rock” Roy Orbison was born. Another legend from the Sun Records label, he was born April 23, 1936 in Texas. Between his extraordinary solo career & his tenure as a Traveling Wilbury, Orbison’s career spanned four decades from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.

Popular covers of his songs were done by Linda Ronstadt (1977’s “Blue Bayou”), Don McLean (1978’s “Crying”) and Van Halen (1982’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”) but only Orbison could deliver his songs in his famed operatic style. Today’s song was the follow up to his 1961 hit, “Crying” (Day 22) and continued his chart success of that decade. The world will never see another Roy Orbison.

I love you and
I’m dreaming of you
That won’t do dream baby
Help me stop my dreaming
“.

roy and bruce

Roy Orbison and Bruce Springsteen in 1988’s “A Black & White Night”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Roy Orbison: “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)” (Live performance from “Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night” filmed September 1987, broadcast on January 3, 1988 on Cinemax. Originally released in 1962, written by Cindy Walker).

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 22

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?

music heart

(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 Bruce Springsteen was inducting today’s singer into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987, he said, “I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now, everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison.”  If there was ever one voice so completely recognizable from the very first note he sang, it was Orbison’s.  It sounded almost operatic with his smooth and rich delivery, earning him the nickname “the Caruso of Rock”.  Even when he was singing with the likes of Bob Dylan, George Harrison and the other Traveling Wilburys in the late 1980’s, Orbison’s sound took center stage.  Springsteen has covered today’s song many times as an encore in his own concerts, and Orbison re-recorded it himself as a duet with k.d. lang in 1987.  It was very nicely done, but I prefer the original recording from 1961.

Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison circa 1964 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Roy Orbison:  “Crying” (1961, written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson).

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 9

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

day 10

Vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s artist, Roy Orbison, 30 years ago this month.  He started his career in the late 1950’s at Sun Records but eventually moved to Monument Records in the 1960’s where he met Willie Nelson, who wrote today’s song.  The 1980’s saw Orbison in a  career resurgence thanks to his part in the super group, Traveling Wilburys.  Bruce Springsteen is a huge fan of his, even immortalized Orbison in “Thunder Road”  (“…as the radio plays…Roy Orbison singing for the lonely…”) and inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.  Springsteen and several other musicians took part in HBO’s “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” which was filmed a year before Orbison’s death.

He began his career singing emotional ballads in an almost operatic style underscored by his wide vocal range.  Many of his songs were about lost love (“Crying”) or losing love (“Running Scared”) or just admiring someone probably out of his league (“Oh Pretty Woman”).  Even his one contribution to holiday music is sad, but the chance to hear his fabulous unique voice anytime of year is worth it.

VARIOUS

Roy Orbison circa 1960 (original source unknown). 

Roy Orbison:  “Pretty Paper“(1963).

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!!!