Let’s Take A Moment Day 138

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.

I WANT MY MTV!!!

It was 39 years ago today that this channel premiered and music was never the same again.  A station dedicated to letting the world see the music (and the people behind it) as well as hear it was revolutionary.  The rotation began with maybe 10 videos but that did not prevent me from watching it non-stop for hours at a time.  Music videos changed the game for fans and the industry alike.  But unlike streaming that has caused artists to lose control of their own copyrighted material in addition to their earnings, MTV was a money mother lode for anyone willing to climb on board the novel concept.

At first it was newer artists that appeared frequently on the channel, but eventually everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  Some ran with the concept-Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & The News, Billy Squier, Michael Jackson-to name a few.  Soon even my heroes were embracing the genre.  Remember a pre-“Friends” Courtney Cox’s fancy footwork with Bruce Springsteen in the “Dancing In The Dark” video?  Or watching Eric Clapton’s beautiful hands play fiery solos on his Strat while singing “Pretending” in the pouring rain?  Or an elegantly dressed Marvin Gaye extolling the benefits of “Sexual Healing”?  Videos from other 1970’s artists followed including Elton John, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and a host of others who welcomed and embraced the new MTV audience.

Vintage clips of great musical moments were featured like the Beatles first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, performances from the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival and the 1969 Woodstock concerts as well as the live broadcast of 1985’s “Live Aid” show from both America & the U.K.  Suddenly our living rooms were front row seats to the best music had to offer.  And thanks to directors from the TV & movie industries getting in on the trend (“Dressed To Kill” director Brian De Palma was the man behind Springsteen’s first clip), by the end of the decade and into the 1990’s videos became an art form.  The “Unplugged” series introduced us to the more intimate side of live performances.  Other music stations including VH1, BET and FUSE followed, but none compared to the original and its level of cool.

If there is one song that defined the early years of the MTV phenomenon, it is today’s.  While the references to homosexuals are outdated & considered offensive in this era of acceptance, and the once ground breaking channel is merely a reality show based venue in these days of YouTube and Instagram stories, this song still has the power to instantly transport those of us who were there at the beginning to the excitement of the new medium.  And to the poor choice some people made to wear sweatbands in their videos.

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothing and your chicks for free“.

The MTV moon man logo circa 1981 (R) and John Illsley (bass guitarist)  and Mark Knopfler (lead guitarist) of Dire Straits circa 1985.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dire Straits:  “Money For Nothing” (1985, written by Mark Knopfler and Sting a/k/a Gordon Sumner).

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 130

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.

If I had to pick a secondary soundtrack to my teenage years, Steely Dan would be at the top of that list.  I enjoyed their music a lot, but they always seemed to be in my peripheral view rather than my focus.  I am not sure why, perhaps because I was in sensory overload with my primary focus on Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Elton & Bernie, Motown/soul music and The Beatles.  But there was no mistaking Steely Dan’s musical talent and knack for songwriting.

The band was founded in 1972 by Walter Becker (backing vocals & guitars) and Donald Fagen (lead vocals & keyboards).  Their 1972 debut album, “Can’t Buy A Thrill”, produced three of their most well known songs, “Do It Again”, “Reelin’ In The Years” and today’s song, which unlike most of the band’s tunes, did not feature Fagen on lead vocal but rather David Palmer who was in the group from 1972-1973.  Other hits from the group include “My Old School”, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (their highest charting song which hit #4 in 1974), “Aja”, “Peg”, “Deacon Blues”, “Josie” and “Hey Nineteen”.  By 1974 after the release of their third album, “Pretzel Logic” Fagen & Becker decided to stop touring and continue exclusively as a studio band until 1981 when they took a 20 year hiatus from recording.

Over the years a few well known musicians were in the band including two future Doobie Brothers, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter & Michael McDonald.  Guest musicians included Marc Knopfler of Dire Straits, Steve Porcaro of Toto, Larry Carlton & Rick Derringer on guitar, David Sanborn on saxophone and Jim Gordon on drums.  Becker passed away in 2017, leaving Fagen as the sole surviving core member.  But what a legacy of music both men gave us.

Steely Dan’s 1972 debut album and core members Walter Becker (L) and Donald Fagen (R).  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Steely Dan:  “Dirty Work” (1972, written by Donald Fagan and Walter Becker).

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 112

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.

Elton John began releasing records in 1968.  Despite having several number one songs in America throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s, he did not have a solo number one record in the U.K. until June 23, 1990 when today’s song hit the top spot there (oddly enough in America this song only reached number 18).  A week later, John appeared at the outdoor concert in Knebworth, England to perform that song (along with “Sad Songs Say So Much”).  There were several artists appearing at the show that day, but when John sang it was alongside Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and one of my great musical loves, Eric Clapton.  He and John have been friends for years and in 1992 they recorded “Runaway Train” together for the soundtrack of Lethal Weapon 3.

During John’s song at Knebworth, there is some playful joking going on between him & Clapton, and at the 2:55 mark of of the video, he succeeds at making John laugh.  And judging by the enormous grin on Clapton’s face he could not have been more pleased with himself.  It was one of those rare wonderful surprise moments that happen so unexpectedly in life, and luckily the cameras were rolling so fans like me could enjoy it 30 years later.  This is one of my all time favorite John songs, made soooo much better by this jocular interaction between two old friends.  I also cannot help but swoon big time over how beautiful Clapton looked (his very best, in my opinion) which was only heightened by his gorgeous pink Versace suit.  And luckily it did not clash with John’s bleach blond hair  🙂

Elton Eric

Elton John & Eric Clapton at Knebworth June 30, 1990.  Courtesy:  Getty Images.

Elton John (with Eric Clapton & Mark Knopfler):  “Sacrifice” (June 30, 1990 at The Knebworth Concert, Knebworth England.  Written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin).

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 88

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.

I have always been interested in finding out what kind of music inspired and influenced the artists I listen to.  Bruce Springsteen led me to Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.  The Beatles led me to Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins.  Otis Redding led me to Sam Cooke and gospel music.  And Eric Clapton led me to many of the blues greats like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, with the latter becoming a favorite of mine.

He has collaborated with so many singers I love including Clapton (on the 2000 release “Riding With The King”), Elton John (on the song “Rock the House”) and Van Morrison (on the song “Early In The Morning”).  King also recorded a song with U2 (“When Love Comes to Town”).  But when I listen to him, my go to is his 1969 album, “Completely Well” because it has today’s classic on it.  He recorded another version of this song with Clapton for 2005’s “B.B. King & Friends: 80” with a fabulous string arrangement that is now my second favorite.  But nothing beats the original.

BB King     (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

B.B. King:  “The Thrill Is Gone” (1969, written by Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins).

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 51

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.

Today marks what should have been my dad’s 81st birthday.  One of the great tragedies of my life is that he died too young at 72.  Another is that he thought that Bruce Springsteen was the voice behind the songs from the “Eddie & the Cruisers” movie (wrong, it was John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band).  So everytime “On The Dark Side” came on the radio, my dad would tell me how much he liked Bruce.  Ugh.  I fell in love with Mr. Springsteen when I was 12 years old, needless to say while I was living in my father’s house.  Before I left for college six years later I must have played the “Born To Run” album 29 million times, give or take.  Yet, my dad still believed John Cafferty sounded like my hero.  No offense to him, but come on now!!!  Cafferty is no Springsteen.  Who is?

Aside from his failure to comprehend the genius of The Boss, my dad and I shared a great love of music.  Every week we listened to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 Countdown together.  When Casey would break for a commercial before he revealed the song in the top spot, my dad would always ask me to tell him what the number one song was.  He knew I knew and most weeks I did.  Music came easy to me.  All I needed was one listen to a song and I remembered the lyrics, the artist who performed it and the singer’s voice.  And I usually knew great artists from the first time I heard them sing.  One artist I instantly fell in love with was Elton John.  However, my dad did not feel the same way at first.  For some reason he did not hear the music, only saw the outlandish costumes John wore on stage that were all over the news and in the paper.  My dad felt John was distracting the audience with his appearance to cover up the fact that he had no talent.  So I only listened to those records in the privacy of my own room to keep the peace in my house.

Then one day while he was helping his best friend with a house project my dad heard two songs he fell madly in love with.  When he got home, he had a look on his face like I imagine I had on mine the first time I heard “Jungleland”.  He asked me if I had the albums with “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” and today’s song on them.  Of course I did.  After all, I knew great music when I heard it.  I was thrilled my dad finally got John, too.  He just needed to hear the music without seeing it.  A few years later my dad and I went to see John in concert at Madison Square Garden.  I think it was my dad’s way of thanking me for not saying I told you so.  And also to hear today’s song live.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you.  And I hope Clarence Clemons finally taught you the difference between Bruce Springsteen and that other guy.

Elton

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John:  “Bennie And The Jets” (1973, written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin).

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 5

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.

This Broadway’s got
It’s got a lot of songs to sing
If I knew the tunes I might join in
I’ll go my way alone
Grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown, in New York City.

Sending some extra love to New York today. The state, the city, the island, the heart. You got this.

Elton John

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Day 5:  Elton John: “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” (1972, written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin).

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

Stay well.

10 Songs To Celebrate Or Condemn Valentine’s Day With – Your Choice

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I would share a few of my favorite love songs.  No surprise there.  But this year, to change things up a bit, I thought I would also share some songs for those who are not fans of this holiday.  Let’s call those the anti-love songs, if you will.  After all, everyone deserves to be happy and to listen to great music, right???

Valentine

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

Let’s start with the songs that celebrate the grand emotion.  Here are five of my favorites:

1. The Beatles:  “Something” (1969, written by George Harrison in 1969).

The Beatles changed the world and Lennon-McCartney songs were the nucleus of that success.  But this song written by George Harrison is the best love song the group ever made.  Period.

***Bonus:  Bruce Springsteen performed a gorgeous acoustic version of this song in 2001 days after George Harrison’s death.  A kind wonderful soul who was lucky enough to attend that show posted the audio portion of it on YouTube.  It is too beautiful not to share.

2. Elvis Presley:  “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (1961, written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore & George David Weiss circa 1961).

It’s Elvis, singing a beautiful love song.  What more could I possibly add???

3. Bruce Springsteen:  “Drive All Night” (1980, written by Bruce Springsteen circa 1977).

I swear I’ll drive all night again just to buy you some shoes
And to taste your tender charms
And I just want to sleep tonight again in your arms
Oh yeah, oh yeah.”

This song may be number 82 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time”, but it is in my top five.  I sa-woon every single time I hear this unbelievably beautiful soul filled song full of pure unadulterated love and passion.  A classic and one of the highlights of his 2016 “The River” revisited tour.

4. Blood Sweat & Tears:  “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” (1969, written by Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson & Berry Gordy in 1967).

David Clayton Thomas has one of the best voices to come out of any era, and one of the most underrated ones as well.  I have no clue why that is.  But between his powerhouse vocals to the booming brass accompaniment, this song is one for the ages.

5. Loggins & Messins:  “A Love Song” (1973, written by Kenny Loggins & Dona Lyn George in 1973).

A sweet pure simple song about love and sharing what;s really important (“I want to rock you in my arms all night long…….I want to show you the peaceful feeling of my home“).

Now, here are five of my favorite anti-love songs:

Anti val

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

1. The J. Geils Band:  “Love Stinks

The title and the use of gas masks in the video say it all.  And so does Adam Sandler’s anger ridden performance of this song in “The Wedding Singer“.  

2. Elton John:  “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” (1975, written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin in 1974).

A man attempts suicide to avoid marriage.  What else is there to add???

3. Fleetwood Mac:  “Go Your Own Way” (1976, written by Lindsey Buckingham in 1976).  The first single off the now classic “Rumors” album and the one that details Buckingham’s anger toward his ex-girlfriend Stevie Nicks by announcing to the whole world on a record and in every concert performance what she wanted instead of him (“‘Packing up, Shacking up is all you want to do“).   Ouch.

4. Amy Winehouse:  “Back To Black” (2007, written by Amy Winehouse & Mark Ronson in 2006).

Break ups are hard enough, but when your ex leaves you for his ex, it cuts especially deep.

5. Nazareth:  “Love Hurts” (1974, written by Boudleaux Bryant circa 1960).

The Everly Brothers may have recorded this song first, but Nazareth turned it into a top ten hit, with Dan McCafferty’s vocal making you ache with every note.

Love hurts
Love scars
Love wounds and mars
Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain.”

What are some of your favorite love or anti-love songs?

I do not own the rights to anything in this post.  I am just sharing what I love with you.

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Thrifted Finds Friday

Hi, everybody.  I am happy to report I had another successful estate sale experience this week.  I found this beautiful silver salt & pepper set for $6.00.

silver s & p 1

I have not cleaned the pair yet because I wanted to share them as they were found.  I love the details on both the top and bottom of each shaker.  And I love how the tops resemble finials.

silver s & p 3

silver s & p 4

There is no label on the bottom so I do not know who the manufacturer is, but I just adore this little pair.  I love the signs of gentle wear.  They tell you this set was well loved and well used.  How pretty will they look on a table of vintage mismatched china?

silver s & p 2

Have any of you been thrfting lately?  I would love to see your finds.  Please share them with me in the comments or tag me on Facebook or Instagram.

Now for a song.

The Oscars are coming up this Sunday and I am so excited to see Elton John perform and hopefully win.  It will be soooooo well deserved for both he and his longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin.  They are nominated for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”.  Earlier this month the duo won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and I was shocked to discover that was the first award they won together in 52 years.  How is that?????

“Rocketman” movie poster and Bernie Taupin & Elton John at last month’s Golden Globe Awards (original sources unknown).

I have been a fan of both forever and worship the music they have made together.  Some of my absolute favorites are the lesser known gems like “Skyline Pigeon“, “I Need You To Turn To” and today’s pick.  It was released in 1971 and was written as the title track to a movie that featured another beauty, “Seasons“.  I am celebrating another birthday this month and like so many of us getting older, I still do not know where my youth went.  I am reminded of it often, though, by seeing many of my high school friends on Facebook.

One of them recently posted that she was on her way to visit our old neighborhood on Long Island with her teenage daughter in tow.  In one moment I wondered how she could even have a child that age when we were just there a second ago.  The next a memory of she and I standing in the hallway of our high school came flooding back like a tsunami and I remember those years like they happened yesterday.  But other days they seem like a movie I am watching about someone else’s world, probably because I am.  Who I was then has not been around for a very long time.  Life happens to all of us, but I am glad to share those memories with people who recall them as fondly as I do, despite what we may have thought at the time.

“It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly”  

Elton friends

Elton John:  “Friends” (1970, written by Bernie Taupin and Elton John).

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 13

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

day 13

Project found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Today’s song was written by soul singer/songwriter Donny Hathaway (credited as Donny Pitts) & Nadine McKinnor in 1970.  It did not see chart success until two years later and has since become a holiday radio staple, especially when a film with the same name was released in 2007.

The version I chose is by a woman who has established herself as one of today’s great soul/R&B/hip hop superstars.  She has an incredible vocal range with a lot of power behind it and has recorded with megastars like Elton John, U2 & Andrea Bocelli.  She has also branched out into acting where she also excels, getting Oscar & Golden Globe nominations for her performance in 2017’s Mudbound.

Mary J

Mary J. Blige:  “This Christmas” (2013).

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!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #8 & Goodbye To An American Hero

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Today’s song is a no-brainer.   It honors the man who died 36 years ago.  He taught us to peacefully question what we thought was wrong with the world, to imagine it as one, that all we need is love and that being a stay at home dad is a valid life choice, even when he became one in 1975,  Of course he did so much more, but that is what we remember the most.

Oh, and he was one of the Beatles   🙂

john-lennon

Original source unknown

Side note:  Did you know there is a park dedicated to John Lennon in Havana, Cuba?  It features a bronze statute of him sitting on a bench.  I cannot decide if it is creepy or cool.

Thoughts?

Oh, and the glasses are removable.

And we have a winner:  creepy it is.

Read more about the park and the glasses here.

john-lennon-figure Courtesy:  CNN

His Christmas song has become a holiday classic, and there are so many great versions of it by so many diverse artists I really could not decide which one you would like to hear.

So, today you have a choice.

Which version of “Happy Xmas War Is Over” would you like to listen to?

John Lennon’s original version;

Or Celine Dion’s;

celine-dion

Original source unknown

Or Darius Rucker’s;

Or Christina Perri’s

Or The Three Tenors‘;

3-tenors

Courtesy of kinoarena

Or Sleeping At Last’s;

Or Sarah McLachlan’s;

sarah-mclachlan

Courtesy:  sarahmclachlan.com

Or Neil Diamond’s.

Also today,  we lost another famous John.  A true hero to our country & in many respects the entire world:  John Herschel Glenn Jr.  Our first man to orbit the earth, he was a pioneer who made the dream of outer space a reality that inspired children everywhere to believe that they, too, could one day follow in his footsteps.

He quit college after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of that attack) to join the military and stayed for over two decades.  He served in World War II and Korea, then became a US Senator from Ohio.  He died at the age of 95, a good long life for a man who had so much to give and inspire us with.

Thank you for being one of America’s greatest men.

Rest in peace, Colonel Glenn.

This one is for you.

Elton John’s Rocket Man.

john-glenn

Courtesy:  Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!