Let’s Take A Moment Day 422

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.

The May music birthdays continue and today’s is a big one. One of the world’s greatest composers, Burt Bacharach, turns 92 years young today. Born May 12, 1929 in Missouri, he & lyricist Hal David have written some of the 20th century’s most popular songs including “This Guy’s In Love With You” (Day 133), “Walk On By” (Day 29), “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” and “Close To You”, amongst others. In the 1980’s Bacharach co-wrote a few songs with his then wife, Carole Bayer Sager including “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” & “That’s What Friends Are For”.

When the 1990’s came around another Bacharach fan, musician Elvis Costello, co-wrote a song with him for the 1996 movie, “Grace Of My Heart”. Two years later, the two musicians released an album together, Painted From Memory, which included their version of today’s song. Costello’s vocal is impressive and there is no mistaking the signature Bacharach touch featuring a fabulous trumpet & string arrangement. Living in a world with a talent like Bacharach is an absolute privilege. Happy birthday & continued love, health & happiness to this master musician.

Since I lost the power to pretend
That there could ever be a happy ending
That song is sung out
This bell is rung out
“.

Burt and Elvis

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello circa 1996. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello: “God Give Me Strength” (1998, written by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello).

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 233

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 quote 2

(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.

There were several words in the English language that scared me while I was growing up. The top two were “new wave”. They taught me that MTV was a double edged sword. Suddenly there were videos featuring that genre that were just not my thing at all. I did not get the sound of it, the feel of it or the look of it. But like most things, there were a couple of exceptions to those feelings including The Cars (Day 183), Blondie (Day 116), The Talking Heads and Squeeze. But while there were several songs from the first three artists I enjoyed, the last band had only one song I loved and that is today’s pick.

The rest of the songs I heard by Squeeze had the elements I was not fond of at all. But I did appreciate the talent of the band beginning with the nucleus of guitarists and songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, who is celebrating his 66th birthday today. The song I adore features lead vocals led by Paul Carrack (the voice behind Ace and Mike & The Mechanics along with his solo records) with Tilbrook featured in the second verse with some help from one of the record’s producers, Elvis Costello. But with Carrack at the helm the song takes on a more R&B feel which is what usually pulls my soul in. The lyrics by Difford tell an interesting story of someone flirting with infidelity while the music by Tilbrook has a unique mesmerizing pull to it. The track never made it to the top 40 of the US charts but was featured prominently on FM radio and the performance video received heavy rotation in MTV’s early days. I think it is an absolutely spectacular record and it remains one of my all time favorite songs to this day.

I bought a novel, some perfume, a fortune all for you
But it’s not my conscience that hates to be untrue
I asked of my reflection, tell me, what is there to do?

squeeze carack

Squeeze 2018

Top: Squeeze circa 1981 (L-R): John Bentley (bass), Chris Difford (rhythm guitar, songwriter & backing vocals), Gilson Lavis (drums), Glenn Tilbrook (lead guitar, songwriter & vocals) & Paul Carrack (keyboards and vocals). Bottom (L-R): Tilbrook & Difford circa 2018. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)
Squeeze: Tempted(1981, written by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook).

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 166

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?

Bruce 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.

Today in 1964 Roy Orbison, nicknamed The Caruso Of Rock, released today’s track.  It would go on to become his signature song.  It hit #1 for three weeks in the fall of that year and it is a true rock & roll classic.  If you need to be reminded of this man’s genius and how effortless he made his music look, I suggest you watch “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” from 1988 to see him perform with several of his fans including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello. k.d. lang and J.D. Souther.  It is a great concert.

Many artists have covered this song.  Some not so good, some not so bad.  One of the best I think is by Chris Isaak who recorded his cover for the album, “Beyond The Sun”.  But nothing beats the original.  Mercy!

I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night, but wait
What do I see?
Is she walkin’ back to me?

Roy

Roy Orbison photographed on April 13, 1967.  John Hercock/Central Press/Getty Images.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Roy Orbison:  “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1964, written by Bill Dees and Roy Orbison).

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 158

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?

Bruce 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.

In the fall of 1991, I saw a fabulous movie that celebrated one of my favorite genres of music:  The Commitments.  It is a story of a hastily put together soul music band in Dublin, Ireland as an easy get rich & famous scheme by music lover/band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte, played by Robert Arkins.  The lead singer of the group was played by Andrew Strong, who was only 17 when the movie was being filmed.  What a voice.  The movie was directed by Alan Parker, who died last month at the age of 76 (Some of his other films include “Fame”, Midnight Express” and “Pink Floyd:  The Wall”).

The most well known member of the cast is probably guitarist, vocalist & songwriter Glen Hansard.  He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2008 with musician, vocalist & songwriter Marketa Irglova for the achingly beautiful song, “Falling Slowly“, from the 2007 movie, “Once”.  Later Hansard appeared on the show “Parenthood” when he used The Luncheonette recording studio where Adam & Crosby worked (Wow, I really miss that show.  Sigh.).

I knew all the songs The Commitments performed except one.  But it was beautiful with a fantastic horn arrangement and I immediately became obsessed.  So I bought the soundtrack CD and set out to learn everything I could about it.  Since this was 1991 that meant going to that year’s internet, the public library.  The songwriters, Dan Penn and Chip Moman, also wrote Aretha Franklin’s hit, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” together, and individually they wrote songs for other artists as well.

The first singer to record the song was James Carr, who was rejected by Stax Records but eventually was signed to a small Memphis, TN label, Goldwax Records, in 1964.  They believed he could be their Otis Redding.  He was a great singer, but to me, he sounded more like Percy Sledge.  But Goldwax shut down in 1969 after only five years in business, so Carr tried recording at a couple of other labels.  However, he suffered from bipolar disease and it frequently affected his ability to perform live, so his career languished throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s.  He did enjoy a career resurgence in 1991 after he released a new album when Goldwax was revived.  Carr performed at local musical festivals for the next couple of years before releasing another album in 1994.  But soon after he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died from the disease in 2001 at the very young age of 58.

He did, however, leave us his fantastic recording of today’s song.  It was eventually covered by Sledge himself and other superstars like Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Gregg Allman, Elvis Costello and the group, The Flying Burrito Brothers.  How I never heard this song before the movie is a complete mystery to me, but I am unbelievably thankful for finding it and its original incredible singer.

At the dark end of the street
That’s where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don’t belong
Living in darkness to hide our wrong
You and me, at the dark end of the street“.

James Carr
   (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Carr:  “The Dark End of the Street” (1967, written by Dan Penn and Chip Moman).

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

Stay well.