Music Monday: January 9, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

It is only the second week of the new year and already we have a triple play. And the first milestone is closest to my heart because this artist holds mine in both of his hands. Fifty years ago on January 5, 1973 Bruce Springsteen released his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The nine tracks from this record is how the musical legacy for The Boss began and it was quite stunning. Several of the songs have become well loved classics including “Blinded By The Light” (which was a #1 hit for Manfred Man’s Earth Band in February 1977), “For You”, “Growin’ Up” and today’s song, my favorite cut from the record. Fifty years later, this man is getting ready to tour again since the pandemic shut everything down. But he spent that time making new music, co-writing a book and hosting a couple of podcasts, amongst other things. And he continues to be the constant in my life.

Kenny Loggins was born January 7, 1948 making this birthday #75. I fell in love with him as a solo performer before discovering his impressive work with Jim Messina (from Buffalo Springfield & Poco). Today’s song is from their first album, Sittin’ In, which was released in 1971. Loggins was also co-writer of The Doobie Brothers hit, “What A Fool Believes” in addition to a lot of movie music from films like Caddyshack, Footloose & Top Gun. And in my favorite episode of “Dharma & Greg”, Loggins not only performed “Danny’s Song” but flexed his comedic muscles when he participated in the hilarious quirky one-of-a-kind wedding between Abby & Larry.

Yesterday marked the 88th birth anniversary for the man the world crowned The King. Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Roughly two decades later, he changed the face of music, the landscape of pop culture, the word censorship in the television medium, the image of what a U.S soldier looked like and basically put the world on a whole new path. It was the one less traveled and it made all the difference. All hail The King.

Greetings 1

Greetings 2

Loggins_Messina_sittingin

Elvis

Top two pictures: The front and back covers, respectfully, of Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 debut album. Middle: Loggins & Messina’s 1971 debut album. Bottom: Elvis Presley from his 1968 televised comeback special. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Spirit In The Night” (1973, written by Bruce Springsteen).

Loggins & Messina: “House At Pooh Corner” (1971, written by Kenny Loggins).

Elvis Presley: “Love Me Tender” (1956, written by George R. Poulton, Vera Matson, Elvis Presley & (uncredited) Ken Darby).

Stay safe.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 21

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 21 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image from Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Today’s song is from Elvis’ Christmas Album, released 65 years ago in 1957.

In 2022 it remains the world’s best-selling holiday record with sales of 20 million dollars.

All hail The King.

(Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” (1957, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Music Monday: November 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to November and another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The last surviving architect of the music we call rock & roll passed away last month. Jerry Lee Lewis died at age 87 on October 28, 2022 at his home in Nesbit, Mississippi. Incredibly big sigh.

He and his fellow innovators appeared at a time when music needed a new sound and they did not disappoint. That new genre exploded on the scene in the 1950’s and made the world take notice. And not too many of us ever looked back.

Lewis was part musician, part stage performer, part wild man and part rebel all wrapped into one volatile package. He would switch between a boogie-woogie player to a piano thumping wild man so many times during one song it was like watching two performers at once.

Rest in peace to the musician nicknamed “The Killer”, the original & true piano man, someone who lived as fiercely as he played, who helped make Sun Records the legend it became, who was one fourth of its Million Dollar Quartet and gave us all another reason to call music the answer to whatever ails us.

Come over baby whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on
Yes, I said come over baby baby you can’t go wrong
We ain’t fakin’
Whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on
“.

Jerry Lee Lewis

million dollar quartet B

Top: Jerry Lee Lewis circa 1965. Bottom: Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet (L-R): Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley (seated), Carl Perkins and Lewis in the studio circa 1956. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jerry Lee Lewis: “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957, written by James Faye “Roy” Hall and Dave “Curlee” Williams).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: July 11, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

When I was six or seven, I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon watching a movie with my mother. It was the very first time I can remember seeing Elvis Presley on TV, not just on all his records in my mom’s collection. And what a difference seeing him dancing as well as singing, especially the moves he had in “Jailhouse Rock”.

Over the years I saw most of his other movies and enjoyed them a lot. But it is the singer side of him that has remained my first love. In this era of YT and streaming services, I have seen many of his concerts as well. Those are truly the comprehensive EP experiences. The stage was his but his band & his audience were as much a part of his performance as his classic tunes. I never had the chance to see him live, but growing up with one of his biggest fans made me one, too. For that I am eternally grateful.

Love me tender
love me long
take me to your heart.
For it’s there that I belong
and we’ll never part
“.

Elvis Presley

The King himself, Elvis Presley, circa 1957. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Love Me Tender” (1956, written by Vera Matson, George R. Poulton and Elvis Presley).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: January 3, 2022

Hi, everyone. Happy New Year! Welcome to the first edition of Music Monday for 2022.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

My clean slate began with a grievous wound: the death of a dear cherished friend, Betty White. I am so happy she is home but utterly heartbroken that she left. And only three weeks before her 100th birthday.

What is there left to say about a queen, an artist, an animal advocate, a badass broad who took bites out of life where the rest of us barely nibbled? Nothing I can think of but this: I know she had a big, beautiful, incredible, rich, long life but my God, what are we going to do without her? Rest in love & peace you sweet wonderful funny friend to all.

Betty edited

Copyright 2011 by Michele Antonio.

In season four of “The Golden Girls”, “the happiest most fulfilling day” for White’s character, Rose Nylund, was when she received permission to start an unauthorized chapter of The Elvis Presley Hunk-A-Hunk-A-Burning-Love Fan Club. How fitting since today’s song is by The King himself.

His life & legacy is another one where there is not much I or anyone else can add to. January 8 will mark the 87th birth anniversary of The King, Elvis Aaron Presley. He was and remains one of the true inventors of rock & roll in this & every other lifetime. He is music royalty & of course, one of the greatest artists of all time. Today’s song is in my Top Five of his recordings and it always will be. Hail to The King.

Oh, let our love survive
I’ll dry the tears from your eyes
Let’s don’t let a good thing die
When honey you know I’ve never lied to you
“.

Elvis

The King circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Suspicious Minds” (1969, written by Mark James).

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 23

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

silver bells

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I try to present a variety of songs & artists every year on this countdown to make it as fun and diverse as possible. However, I do struggle each December to pick just one song by Elvis Presley. He recorded so many holiday tunes and each one was absolutely glorious. This year was a little easier because this track was one of the first seasonal songs I heard on the radio this year. As soon as I did I realized it was the feature for 2021. All hail The King, especially at Christmas time.

City sidewalks busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a
Feeling of Christmas”.

Elvis

Santa meets Elvis circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Silver Bells” (1971, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston).

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!!!

Music Monday: September 27, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

September 29 will mark my mother’s 82nd birth anniversary. Both of my parents loved music, but since I spent more time with my mother during my early years while my dad was at work it was her influence that molded how I would listen to music for the rest of my life.

For one thing, I definitely share her high tolerance for repetition. If she liked a song, she would listen to it over and over again until she switched it out for the next 45 in her collection. There were about a dozen singles she was crazy about, and until this day I can still recall every single word of each one, no matter how much times passes in between hearing them. I still consider most of them some my favorites as well. Their hold on me is eternal.

I remember being in the car with her when one of those songs came on the radio. Even though we had arrived home & had that record there, my mother purposely drove around the block a couple of times so we could hear the entire song. Then the deejay announced he wanted to listen to the tune one more time so he played it again. My mother was thrilled & drove us around the block a few more times while we sang along with the track a second time. It is one of my most treasured memories.

Screenshot July 2011

My mother, Theresa, December 1968.

Second, she had great taste in music for the most part (we will just ignore her dark period as a fan of The Fifth Dimension. At least I discovered Burt Bacharach & Hal David through them). She loved Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson & Motown, to name a few. If not for her buying a four album K-Tel compilation set of The Motor City’s greatest hits I cannot even imagine if I would have known who The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Miracles or Stevie Wonder were.

Every year as we got close to Halloween she would pull out her “Monster Mash” single and we would dance around while I tried on my costume to make sure it was perfect for the big day. Then we would put the decorations up to bring a more festive vibe to our home. Only Christmas had more preparation to it with tons of holiday music to match. I ache for those days.

It is always so hard for me to choose one song in her memory because there were just so many she loved. But I am able to narrow the list down with the help of Bruce Springsteen. As a fan of Elvis & Wilson himself, I have been at several of The Boss’s shows where he covered their songs as encores. Each time I could not help but think how perfect it was that my great musical love was singings songs by my mother’s great musical loves. And even though she was not there with me physically, I just knew she was loving those moments as much as I was. Music is very much a part of the circle of life.

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
“.

elvis-presley

Elvis Presley circa 1959. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 530

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?

Aug 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.

The 1950’s saw an emergence of big records by black artists like Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Bo Didley, B.B. King The Platters and The Drifters. However, another big performer of that era, Fats Domino, is credited with having the first R&B song to break through to the Pop chart when today’s track hit #10 on August 27, 1955. It eventually hit the top spot on the R&B chart for several weeks, his first of three top sellers that year.

Despite that accomplishment, the song was given to a white artist to sing for mainstream release the same year. It was a sad and unfortunate practice that was commonplace for that time in history where black music was treated with such irreverence, not to mention insulting to the original artist to lose that control over his own work. What made this atrocity even worse was that many times the white cover became a top seller, as was the case with Domino’s track. Less than a month after his version peaked on the Pop chart, the re-worked rendition recorded by Pat Boone reached #1 for two weeks.

Luckily the story did not end there. Domino went on to have a very successful career with a multitude of hit songs throughout the 50’s & 60’s including “Walking To New Orleans”, “I Want To Walk You Home” and “The Fat Man”. The latter track is often called the first rock & roll single and the genre’s first million seller by many music historians. Even The King himself, Elvis Presley, cited Domino as a major influence early in his career.

I do not think “Happy Days” would have been the same show if Richie Cunningham sang another song other than Domino’s “Blueberry Hill” on his way out on a date. And John Lennon said today’s song was one of his favorites and recorded his own version for his 1975 album, “Rock ‘n’ Roll“. Covering a song in tribute to an artist is one thing but giving it to another singer to make famous is another. Luckily the universe corrected itself from those & other iniquities against talented performers in the past. For most music lovers including myself, Domino’s original rendition of today’s song will always be the premier recording.

You broke my heart
When you said we’ll part
Ain’t that a shame
My tears fell like rain
“.

Fats

Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino Jr. circa 1955. (Image found on Fats Domino Official. Original source unknown.)

Fats Domino: “Ain’t That A Shame” (1955, written by Dave Bartholomew and Antoine Domino Jr.).

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 529

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?

Aug 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 August 21, 1961 country legend Patsy Cline recorded her signature song. Written by fellow country superstar Willie Nelson, her version became a crossover hit, reaching #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart that year & #2 on its Country chart in 1962.

The accompanying vocals, provided by Elvis Presley’s backing quartet, The Jordanaires, not only complimented Cline’s voice but helped elevate it as well. But even without the four men, she brought a range, depth, beauty & heartache to this song that no one has matched in the 50 years since she made it her own.

I knew
You’d love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You’d leave me for somebody new
“.

Cline

Patsy Cline circa 1961. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Patsy Cline: “Crazy” (1961, written by Willie Nelson).

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 477

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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 July 5, 1954 a 19 year old Elvis Presley entered Sun Records Studio in Memphis, TN for his very first professional session to record today’s song. Three days later a DJ at the city’s WHBQ radio station played the track for the first time leading to a flood of calls to its switchboard. The King had entered the building.

Three years later, after a move to RCA Records & several #1 hits under his belt, he hit the top spot in the country again with “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” where it stayed for seven weeks. He also appeared in his second movie, “Loving You”. Elvis then owned the building.

“I’m leaving town baby
I’m leaving town for sure
Well, then you won’t be bothered with
Me hanging around your door
“.

Elvis

The 45′ sleeve for Elvis Presley’s 1954 debut single. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “That’s All Right” (1954, written by Arthur Crudup).

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

Stay well.