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!!!

Grammy Thoughts With A Valentine

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy Monday!!!

Did any of you watch the 59th Annual Grammy Awards last night?  When I heard Justin Bieber was somehow nominated for Album of the Year (I know, WTH???) I debated a boycott of the show again like I did last year (read more about that here), but in the end I wanted to see a few of the performers (and Bieber cry and/or throw a tantrum when he lost) so I decided to watch it.  Besides, it is a great way to catch up on the new music worth hearing that I might have missed throughout the year.

59th_grammy_awards_oep1

Here are my thoughts from the show.  I will start with the bad:

The politics.

I look forward to all the big awards show every year.  I love to watch what dresses the women will be wearing, how humble the acceptance speeches might be, the host, the presenters, the bad jokes-all of it.  But so far both the Golden Globes & the SAG Awards have turned into personal political platforms.  This is not something new.  For example, in 1973 Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor Oscar for “The Godfather” in  protest of the film industry’s treatment of American Indians.  But given the immaturity and over-inflated egos of many of today’s Top 40 singers, I knew last night would be worse.

 

tim-faith-grammy-2

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill looking as great as ever at last night’s Grammy Awards

(original source unknown). 

 

To be clear, I believe and support the First Amendment with all my heart.  However, after such a long ugly race for the White House, all the protesting which sometimes turns violent (like on Inauguration Day) or laughable by people attending dressed as a sex organ, the ongoing disrespect for the office and the refusal of the people who supported the losing side to accept that it is over, I am exhausted by all of it.  I watch the awards shows to escape into the grown up equivalent of the land of make believe (Hollywood) so I am not interested in hearing personal political opinions during these presentations.  We are in the age of social media.  Take to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or whatever source you enjoy and rant till your heart is content.  Let me and the rest of the audience enjoy our mini-escape into your world for one night.

The Newly Self Appointed Fertility Goddess (or the artist formerly known as Beyonce).

Talk about a completely ego driven performance-this was the worst I have seen.  Between her mother introducing the number, to the bizarre images and pre-recorded sounds and narrative, to the camera constantly cutting to her smiling husband to her daughter running around her, it was an absurd mess.  And shame on the powers that be at the Grammys for giving her nine full minutes to showcase that spectacle while cutting off people’s acceptance speeches.

Double dipping.

bruno-mars

Bruno Mars saluting Prince at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards (original source unknown)

 

I love Adele and was so happy to watch her perform the show’s opening number.  But since she was slated to perform the George Michael tribute, wasn’t there someone else who could have opened the show?  (And this has nothing to do with her do-over.  Mistakes happen and it proves her singing is real, not lip synced).  The same with the Prince tribute.  Was Bruno Mars the only person who wanted to participate, other than The Time?  It just can’t be.  And he had performed a song less than an hour earlier.  The Grammys did the same thing last year with Lady Gaga as the only person to salute David Bowie.  There is a wide range of musicians out there.  Tom Petty won the Music Cares Person of the Year Award and Sly Stone (of Sly & the Family Stone) won a Lifetime Achievement Award.  A performance by either one would have been welcome.  Let all the voices in music be heard.

The Bee Gees Salute.

I grew up listening to “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” because it was one of my mother’s favorite songs.  To this day I know all the words and cannot help but sing along with it when it comes on the 70’s music channel.  The Bee Gees made some great  music before they went disco with “Saturday Night Fever”.  Yet every time there is a salute to their songs, it is usually focused on that record, much to my chagrin.  Add to that the salute was done by a bunch of previous Disney stars took it from bad to worse.  I am a Springsteen fan.  That is the music equivalent of being a Harvard graduate.  Disco is the music equivalent of getting a GED.  Does that visual make you feel my pain???

The Rap segment.

It was rap.  No further explanation needed.

Now for the good:

James Corden.

james-corden

James Corden in his underwear after the guys from Twenty One Pilots (below) accepted their award that way (original sources unknown)..

21-pilots

 

This man is hilarious.  And after seeing the skit with his parents, it is clear where he got it from.  From his opening show rap, to the impromptu “Carpool Karaoke” (led by the great Neil Diamond, who should have had a full performance slot on the show), to Corden appearing in his underwear to mirror the guys from Twenty One Pilots to dressing up to act like a presenter, he was great for the entire show.  I must remember to DVR his show more often.

 

David Bowie.

bowie-the-independent

Courtesy of The Independent (original source unknown)

 

The rock star won 5 posthumous awards for “Blackstar”:  Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Recording Package & Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.  Well done, Major Tom.  Wish you were able to accept them in person.

 

The Beatles.

ron-hoard

Ron Howard, Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney (original source unknown).

 

Best Music Film was awarded to Ron Hoard for his labor of love, “The Beatles:  Eight Days A Week–The Touring Years”.  I still have not seen it but it is next on my list.  Don’t judge-Springsteen’s autobiography took up a lot of my time last year  🙂

 

Sturgill Simpson.

sturgill_simpson_photo_2016

Original source unknown 

 

His album “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” (love that title) won Best Country Album and it was well deserved.  He performed one of the songs from it, “All Around You” with the Dap- Kings and it was one of my favorite moments of the night.

 

Maren Morris.

maren-morris

Courtesy of Billboard 

 

Wow, this girl is incredible.  Her voice, her lyrics, her stage presence-she has it all.  Her nominations included Best Country Album (for “Hero”), Best Country Song (for “My Church“, a song I should have written) and Best Country Solo Performance for the same tune which she won over the likes of Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Miranda Lanbert. Last night she performed a different song from the record – “Once” – with Alicia Keys and it was sensational.  A few online stories that I read about Morris said she was turned down by both American Idol and The Voice.  I do not watch reality shows because I do not think there is anything real about them, and this just proves my point.  I think this girl has a huge career in front of her.

Adele.

adele-grammy-press-room-2017-grammys-billboard-1548

Courtesy of Billboard.com (original source unknown)

 

Fantastic as always, even with the do-over.  Five well deserved Grammys.

But I thought her fawning over Beyonce was way too much.  If Adele did not want to go up against Beyonce, she could have taken her album out of the running.  I am so sick of hearing about how white the Grammys are every time a black person loses to a white one.   Where was the white uproar when Kanye West hijacked the stage at the 2009 VMA’s and embarrassed the hell out of Taylor Swift because he did not think she deserved to win?  Or when 50 Cent walked across the Grammy stage in 2004 cursing because he did not win Best New Artist?

This year another rapper, Frank Ocean, not only boycotted the show but refused to put his two albums in the running for any nominations (as if they would automatically be nominated) because he thought Kendrick Lamar’s album deserved to win the Best Album Award last year over Taylor Swift’s.  This bad sportsmanship and sense of entitlement is beyond rude.  I don’t know about anyone else,  but I am really tired of hearing about the race card.  Why is that more important than the gender card?  I am a woman living in a country where a black man became president before a woman ever became vice-president. Women still earn less than men do at the same jobs.  As far as I am concerned, the gender issue needs to finally be addressed.

This post was about the Grammys, right?  🙂

I do not own the rights to anything.  All opinions are my own.

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, here is one of my favorite love songs ever (set to an adorable little video).  Enjoy!!!

Bruce Springsteen:  Should I Fall Behind.

love

(original source unknown)

 

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

 

 

 

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.

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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!!!