Let’s Take A Moment Day 448

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.

All the music released in 1971 is turning 50 this year. Along with powerhouse albums like Carole King’s Tapestry (released February 10, 1971 Day 331), Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On (released May 21, 1971 Day 431) and John Lennon’s Imagine (released September 9, 1971), Don McLean’s American Pie (Day 107) was released October 24, 1971. In addition to the exquisite title track, the record included the heartbreakingly beautiful “Crossroads” (Day 43) and today’s gorgeous track recorded earlier that year on June 7,

It is another example of McLean’s wonderful gift of intricate storytelling combined with a sparse yet undeniably elegant and stunning arrangement. He holds his audience captive hanging on every word, every note, every breath. His voice has a calm & soothing quality with a subtle use of range and power in just the right places.

As one artist telling the story of another, he holds the subject of the song in the highest regard. And the introduction of the strings in the last minute of the track brings even more elegance to an already opulent piece of music. Even without the story about “the day the music died”, Don McLean’s talent & place in music history is undeniable.

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget
“.

McLean 1971

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

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

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 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 324

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.

February is short but incredibly rich with music history. But the month that gave us the arrival of The Beatles in the U.S. is the same month that five years earlier produced one of the worst tragedies in American music. On February 3, 1959 a plane crash in Iowa ended the lives of Buddy Holly, 21; Jiles Perry (J.P.) Richardson, a/k/a “The Big Bopper”, 28 and Ritchie Valens, 17. The cause of the crash remains undetermined to this day and also killed the pilot, Roger Peterson.

After six decades, countless documentaries, movies, books and plays celebrating the lives of each musician’s contribution to music & their enduring legacy, there is nothing I can add here that will offer a different insight to these talented three men. And in some ways no one has since Don McLean’s 1971 masterpiece, “American Pie” where he immortalized the devastating event as “The Day the Music Died”. For a refresher on the lives of two of the three artists I recommend two bio-pics: 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story” & 1987’s “La Bamba”. Or just YouTube the music & historical footage. It is worth it to see all three men as they should be remembered when often times it is how they died which remains most notable.

There are many songs to choose from to mark this sad anniversary. This year I chose one by the youngest singer on the plane, Valens. His career was still so new he only released singles while he was alive. The first one was “Come On, Let’s Go”, then “Donna” (about his high school girlfriend) and then today’s song. I still find it astounding that in 1958 when rock & roll was still very much in its infancy, a reworked Mexican folk song about a dance sung in Spanish by a relatively unknown teenage performer became a hit. We can never underestimate the power of music.

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan
Soy capitan, soy capitan
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba, bamba
“.

Translation:

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor, I’m a captain
I’m a captain, I’m a captain
Bamba, bamba
bamba, bamba
 bamba, bamba, bamba
“.

Feb 3 1959

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Ritchie Valens: “La Bamba” (1958, written by Ritchie Valens based on a traditional Mexican folk song).

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 313

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.

This month marked the 50th anniversary of Pearl, Janis Joplin’s final album released three months after her death in October 1970. This month also marked her 78th birth anniversary. Joplin, who was born January 19, 1943 in TX, was the second of three artists to die at the age of 27 of a heroin overdose in a one year period. Jimi Hendrix died first in September 1970, then Joplin & then Jim Morrison in July 1971 (No autopsy was ever performed on Morrison so that is the suspected cause of his death). For many who lived through the 1960’s, these three deaths marked the end of what that decade represented: peace, love, the surge of American music after the British Invasion years & the break-up of The Beatles.

For a woman to be in that arc when many of her female counterparts were pursuing folk sounds & singer/songwriter status, Joplin was in a class all by herself. She had just fully established herself as a solo performer after her lead singer role in Big Brother & The Holding Company rock band. While I was never a big fan of most of the music I heard from her-it was a little too raw and explosive for my taste-there is no denying her sound was all her own with its blues/jazz/rock interpretations.

As much as I worship one of the writers of today’s song-Kris Kristofferson-I must admit today’s version is my favorite. It hit the top spot in the country for two weeks in March 1971. And there are many reports that she is who Don McLean referenced in his hit “American Pie” in the lines: “I met a girl who sang the blues/And I asked her for some happy news/But she just smiled and turned away”. However, I could not find any confirmation of this in my online research. But it makes a great story, as do the lyrics of today’s song.

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
I was playin’ soft while Bobby sang the blues
Windshield wipers slappin’ time
I was holdin’ Bobby’s hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew
“.

Janis Pearl

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Janis Joplin: “Me & Bobby McGee” (1971, written by Fred Foster and Kris Kristofferson).

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 107

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?

Kerouac

(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.

July 1.  We are officially at the halfway point of a year that will not stop shocking us.  Music continues to feed my soul and give me comfort, strength and a safe place to escape to when it is all too much to take in.  And what better piece of music to continue with than an anthem that suggests music as the way to save us all?

Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me 
How to dance real slow?”

Don McLean

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

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 43

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.

For most people “American Pie” is Don McLean’s best song.  There is no denying the power of that track, the imagery, the energy, the subject matter and everything else that makes it such a phenomenal piece of music.  I have loved it my whole life and that will not change anytime soon.  But if I had to choose my absolute favorite song from his catalog, it would undoubtedly be today’s pick.

I find it to be a gorgeous piece of music that showcases his beautiful story telling with a sublime piano arrangement.  I often think of this song as the musical equivalent of the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken”.  On those days when we think maybe there was a different path for us to take rather than the one we find ourselves on, perhaps we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

So there’s no need for turning back
‘Cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we’ll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.

Don McLean

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

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

Stay well.

Remembering The Day The Music Died 60 Years Later

buddy-holly-jp-richardson-big-bopper-ritchie-valens

Holly, Richardson & Valens (original source unknown).

On February 3, 1959 the world lost three rising stars in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa: Charles Hardin Holley, known as Buddy Holly, who was 22, Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr., known as The Big Bopper, who was 28 & Richard Steven Valenzuela, known as Ritchie Valens, who was 17. Don McLean referred to this tremendous loss as “the day the music died” in his 1971 iconic anthem, “American Pie”, because in many ways, music and the world were never quite the same after this tragedy. The date signifies a loss of innocence and in its place a cruel lesson about good people dying young and without warning, despite how bright their future looked.

In addition to their musical legacies, the singers left behind family.  For Holly it was his parents, three older siblings, a niece named Cindy Lou (whom he started to write a song for which eventually became “Peggy Sue”) and his wife, Maria Elena Santiago Holly.  She is still alive and owns the rights to all of Holly’s music and intellectual property.  She was pregnant when he died but suffered a miscarriage following news of the crash.  She co-founded the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation in 2010 with Peter Bradley.

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly circa 1950’s (original source unknown).

For Richardson it was his wife, five year old daughter and son who was born two months after the crash.  All three have passed away.

The_Big_Bopper

The Big Bopper circa 1950’s (original source unknown).

Valens was survived by his mother, four siblings, a sister in law, nephew and high school girlfriend Donna Ludwig, whom he paid tribute to in his song of the same name.  It became a Billboard Top 100 number two hit after Valens’ death.

Ritchie Valens
 Ritchie Valens circa 1957  (original source unknown).

Today I am sharing some songs to honor these men and today’s somber anniversary.

For Buddy Holly “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” (1958) & a clip of him and the Crickets performing “Rave On” (1958).

For the Big Bopper:  “Chantilly Lace” (1958) as performed on “American Bandstand”.

For Ritchie Valens:  His most well known song & my favorite “La Bamba” (1958) and a great clip of him performing “Ooh My Head” (1958) from the movie, “Go, Johnny, Go”, which was released four months after the crash.

And, of course, Don McLean’s “American Pie” (1971).

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

Until next time, happy listening!!!