Let’s Take A Moment Day 468

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.

In 1973 while John Lennon & Yoko Ono were living in NYC, their marriage hit a rough spot. They separated for 18 months & he relocated across the country to California. Ono often referred to that time as Lennon’s “lost weekend”. But despite the state of his marriage, Lennon was incredibly busy making music during those months. He recorded two solo albums-1974’s Walls And Bridges and 1975’s Rock & Roll. He also worked with Elton John on his cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” & Lennon’s song, “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” (Day 246). He & Ono reconnected backstage at John’s concert in November 1974, but Lennon was not done making great music.

He collaborated with David Bowie on a cover of “Across The Universe” and today’s song. Lennon co-wrote the track, played guitar & did the backing vocals as well. It was released on June 28, 1975 and by September of that year it hit the top spot in the country for two different weeks. It was Bowie’s first #1 hit in the United States.

In October 1975 Lennon turned 35 and became a father for the second time. The following year, he received his green card after years of fighting with the U.S. government for it. He finally became a permanent resident of NYC, where Bowie had moved to the year before. They remained friends until Lennon’s death in 1980.

Fame what you like is in the limo
Fame what you get is no tomorrow
Fame what you need you have to borrow
Fame”.

Bowie Lennon

L-R: David Bowie, Yoko Ono & John Lennon backstage at the Grammys in 1975. Photo by @kwamebphoto. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

David Bowie (featuring John Lennon): “Fame” (1975, written by Carlos Alomar, David Bowie and John Lennon).

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 435

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.

Congratulations to Carole King who is finally being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as a performer in the Class of 2021. She has only been waiting over two decades for this well deserved honor. To reiterate the rules of the HOF, an artist is eligible 25 years after their debut album is released. King’s first album, Writer, came out 51 years ago in May 1970 (Tapestry just celebrated its 50th anniversary as it was released February 1971). So King was eligible for The HOF in 1995. And what a prestigious class that was: The Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Al Green, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, et al.

King was inducted in 1990 as a songwriter with her ex-husband, Gerry Goffin. But even if she did not get in as a performer with her first record, Tapestry should have made her a slam dunk for the Class of 1996. Then she would have been inducted with The Shirelles who turned her & Goffin’s song, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” into a #1 hit in 1961. David Bowie and Gladys Knight & The Pips were also part of that year’s honored group.

Now King will be inducted alongside another fabulous female artist, Tina Turner, which is great. But their class includes two rappers and a 1980’s bubble gum pop girl band. UGH!!! BUBBLE GUM POP In the same institution as King, Turner, Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, etc. Ugh again. My heart.

So to celebrate King’s insanely long overdue honor and to commemorate the anniversary of her free concert in NYC’s Central Park on May 25, 1973, today’s song is from her 1971 masterpiece. Tapestry is probably the greatest record ever made by a female artist. All hail Carole King!!!

Sometimes I wonder
If I’m ever gonna make it
Home again it’s so far
And out of sight
“.

Carole King

Carole King, LA 1983. Photo by Jim Shea (Courtesy of caroleking.com). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Carole King: “Home Again” (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 400

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.

Today we remember R&B singer Luther Vandross who was born 70 years ago today on April 20, 1951 in New York City. When he was a teenager he was inspired to become a singer after seeing Dionne Warwick in concert. In 1967 he lost four Amateur Night competitions at The Apollo Theatre but came in second place twice with his first vocal band, Shades Of Jade.

By the 1970’s Vandross was doing backup vocals for the likes of David Bowie, Bette Midler, Chaka Khan, Carly Simon & Donna Summer, amongst others. By 1981 he was signed to Epic Records and released his debut album, “Never Too Much”, the same year. He wrote all the songs except for one cover track & also produced the record himself. For the next 20 years he was one of the biggest voices in music.

He died too young at age 54 in 2005 after suffering a stroke in 2003. But his legacy still resonates through songs like “Dance With My Father”, the wedding favorite “Here And Now” and a glorious cover of a Burt Bacharach-Hal David tune that Vandross made all his own.

A room is a still a room
Even when there’s nothing there but gloom
But a room is not a house and a house is not a home
When the two of us are far apart
And one of us has a broken heart
“.

Luther

The 1981 debut album by Luther Vandross, Never Too Much. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Luther Vandross: “A House Is Not a Home” (1981, 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 307

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?

Shakespeare music

(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.

Before today’s song, I want to wish the happiest of birthdays to a most spectacular “Golden Girl”, Betty White. This legend of radio, TV & film turns 99 today & has been entertaining the world for 82 years. I was lucky enough to meet her in May 2011 when she came to Barnes & Noble in Lake Grove, NY to sign copies of her book, “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)“.

She was an absolute delight. I was in complete awe, told her meeting her was like meeting one of the Beatles which made her laugh. But when I told her she & the other three Golden Girls were like my surrogate mothers from their very first episode she smiled and squeezed my hand. It was one of the most cherished moments of my life. Keep rocking, Betty. You are loved, worshiped & revered. And an absolute riot!!!

Betty White

Betty White in May 2011 in Lake Grove, NY. (credit: Me!!!)

Music nightclubs have been around forever, but for the music I love, some of the best saw the 1960’s & 1970’s as the peak of their success. The Troubador in West Hollywood, CA introduced artists like Elton John, Tom Waits & James Taylor. The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA hosted Cream, The Grateful Dead & blues greats Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. At NYC’s Fillmore East Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Allman Brothers (who recorded their first live record there in 1971, At Fillmore East) appeared. Max’s Kansas City was a favorite hangout spot for John Lennon when he first moved to NYC, Deborah Harry was a waitress there and artists like The Velvet Underground & David Bowie performed there. Two other NYC clubs-The Bottom Line & CBGB’s hosted Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt & Van Morrison at the former and Patti Smith, Blondie, The Talking Heads and other punk/new wave artists at the latter.

Another West Hollywood club, The Whiskey-A-Go-Go, opened January 11, 1964 and quickly became one of the top music venues for up & coming artists. Two of my favorites-The Doors & Otis Redding-were featured there and it helped put them on their respective musical maps. For Redding especially this was a huge moment in his early career as it led to the recording of his live album, In Person at the Whisky a Go Go. It was recorded during his three shows in April 1966 but not released until October 1968, nearly a year after his death. A second release, Good to Me: Live at the Whisky a Go Go, Vol. 2, was released in 1993.

The shows at the club took place a year before Redding’s mainstream success thanks to his rousing performance at The Monterey Pop Festival in the summer of 1967. It included today’s song which was first recorded in 1932 but Redding’s version 34 years later took on a whole new style due in part to the producer, soul legend Isaac Hayes. Booker T & The M.G.’s played on the record & with Redding in person at the Monterey show. Redding’s complete five song set from the concert along with Jimi Hendrix’s performances were released on the 1970 album, Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Redding’s are included on a few of his posthumous releases plus you can also find the videos on YouTube. Today’s song was his last number of the night and it is nothing short of spectacular.

It’s not just sentimental no, no, no
She has her grief and care, yeah, yeah, yeah
But the soft words they are spoke so gentle, yeah
It makes it easier, easier to bear”.

Otis at Monterey

Otis Redding on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Alan Jackson (back) was the drummer that night with the band Booker T & The MG’s. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “Try A Little Tenderness” (Live performance at The Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967. Originally recorded in 1966. Written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Henry MacGregor “Harry” Woods).

I only own the rights to the Betty White picture, nothing else. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 299

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?

Shakespeare music

(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.

Yesterday marked the 74th birth anniversary for a man who reinvented himself too many times to count throughout his extensive career. David Bowie, who was born David Jones in London on January 8, 1947, changed his name when he was 18 so as not to be confused with Davy Jones from The Monkees. Bowie’s nearly 50 year career took us from his debut album in 1967, to his time as a glam rocker via his alter ego Ziggy Stardust in the 1970’s, to “Let’s Dance” in the 1980’s to “Strangers When We Meet” in the 1990’s to “Slow Burn” in the 2000’s to his final album Blackstar in 2016. In between he took to acting on the Broadway stage (as Joseph Merrick in “The Elephant Man” from 1980-1981) and in films (in 1976’s “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, to The Goblin King in 1986’s “Labyrinth” and as Pontius Pilate in 1988’s “The Last Temptation Of Christ”, amongst others). In 1974 he relocated to the US, eventually making New York City his home. He became part of the city’s night life scene as a frequent patron of “Studio 54” and other high profile clubs. He also became a style icon by changing his look a number of times throughout his life.

Tomorrow, January 10, will mark five years since we lost this iconic superstar. Not too many performing artists who started out in the 1960’s went on to have the rich & diverse career Bowie enjoyed, which is another testament to his wealth of talent. So is today’s track which became one of his signature songs.

Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do
“.

Bowie circa 2010

David Bowie circa 2005. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

David Bowie: “Space Oddity” (1969, written by David Bowie).

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 284

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?

Peace On Earth

(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.

Merry Christmas to all. I usually reserve “Joy To The World” for today, and despite the fact that it is indeed a joyous holiday, for this year I thought a song about peace would serve us all better. For our minds & bodies, for our hearts and spirits, for our country & our world, may “peace on earth, good will towards men” begin on this Christmas Day and await us all in the new year.

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can
“.

Bowie Crosby

David Bowie (L) and Bing Crosby (R) in 1977. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bing Crosby & David Bowie: “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” (Recorded live during “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” TV special in 1977. “The Little Drummer Boy” written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. “Peace On Earth” written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman and Alan Kohan in 1977).

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 250

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.

One of the things I have always enjoyed in music are the collaborations. Whether they take place on stage at the Grammy Awards or as a special guest appearance at a concert or on a record, I really look forward to hearing what two (or more) different artists will create. In 1981 there were several that I truly adored: James Taylor and J.D. Souther on “Her Town Too”, Gary U.S Bonds and Bruce Springsteen on “This Little Girl”, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and Nicks again with Don Henley on “Leather & Lace”.

The first two songs were Top 20 hits and both of Nicks’ records hit the Top Ten, so all four of those tracks were well received. But there was another musical partnership that year that barely made it into the Top 30 here in America. But on November 21, 1981 it hit the #1 spot on the UK chart. It was written and performed by two rock powerhouses-David Bowie and Queen-and between Bowie’s & Mercury’s vocals, the intensity of the band’s playing and the compelling thought-provoking lyrics, it was a one of a kind monstrous combination. Even the video was unique as it did not feature either artist. Instead, it was a collage of news clips from some of history’s toughest eras intertwined with scenes from black & white horror movies.

The song came together when Bowie joined Queen in the studio to record back-up vocals for a different song. Both artists were working on other tunes they could not finish. They put them together during an inspired jam session resulting in today’s magnificent track. I do not know why it was not a bigger hit here, but to me this song stands out as one of the best moments in musical history.

‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word,
And love dares you to care for the people on the
Edge of the night, and love dares you to
Change our way of caring about ourselves”.

bowie and queen

Queen circa 1985 (L-R): Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon & Roger Taylor. Far right: David Bowie circa 1972, (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Queen & David Bowie: “Under Pressure” (1981, written by David Bowie & Queen: John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury & Roger 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 116

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.

Between the 4th of July holiday and Ringo Starr’s 80th birthday, I missed another milestone celebration:  Debbie Harry’s 75th birthday on July 1.  Out of all the female “rock chicks” from the 1970’s/1980’s she was my absolute favorite.  I was not a real fan of punk or new wave music, but I really liked Blondie because Harry was just so cool.  As a principal songwriter & the front woman of a very popular band where she was the only female, living & hanging out in New York with people like David Bowie & Andy Warhol, being tough without losing any of her style or femininity and her incredible voice just made her a force to reckon with.  Women wanted to be like her, men wanted to date her and she wanted to sing.

She also started acting in the late 1980’s with roles in the TV show “Crime Story” and the film “Hairspray”.  Later on she appeared in two of my favorite films ever, “Cop Land” and “My Life Without Me”, the latter being a dramatic role which really showcased her talent.  Last year she wrote her autobiography entitled “Face It” which is a very good & surprisingly funny read.  She has had an incredible life and lived to tell about it, which in rock & roll is always a happy ending.

Blondie

Blondie in 1977. Left to right: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Jimmy Destri.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blondie:  “Dreaming” ( 1979, written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein).

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 9

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.

I keep reading how bored everyone is getting being at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Maybe if you change your view and add a little exercise you might feel better.  Dancing to a great song is a fabulous way to get your blood pumping again. And by great song I mean something from Motown. So go outside, breathe in the fresh air, keep yourself socially distant from your partner and have fun. And if you are by yourself even better-no inhibitions!!!

This song has been covered by bands as diverse as The Grateful Dead and Van Halen and as a duet by rock gods David Bowie and Mick Jagger, but I must admit the original is still my favorite.

dancing in the street

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Martha & the Vandellas:  “Dancing In The Street” (1964, written by Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson & Ivy Jo Hunter).

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 5

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

Christmas day 5

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I love duets.  Always have.  There is something so special about two voices coming together.  They can be from opposite ends of the spectrum, like in the case of Bing Crosby & David Bowie on “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”  or two women from two different eras like Linda Ronstadt and Bette Midler on “Sisters“ or male/female like today’s song pick.  He’s a crooner who sings with big band sounds and she is a country superstar who writes (or co-writes) most of her own songs.   The musical arrangement for this duet is based on the Drifters version (which was featured in “Home Alone”) but also features some powerful horns which puts it on a level all its own.  It’s hard to believe that an Irving Berlin song from 1941 which is one of the most recorded songs in history can still be given a different spin after all these years.

Buble

Michael Buble & Shania Twain:  “White Christmas“.

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!!!