Let’s Take A Moment Day 419

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?

mothers day

(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.

My mother loved Elvis Presley. And my paternal grandmother who was the strongest woman I ever knew, was brought to her knees every time she heard “In The Ghetto”. It was written by Mac Davis, another singer my mother enjoyed. So on this second Sunday of May, I offer this song for the two women who raised me. And because there is never a bad time to listen to The King as the other mother figure in my life-my dad-used to say.

Happy Mothers Day to all.

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine
Quiet thought come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
“.

Elvis

The King circa 1957. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Memories” (1968, written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange).

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 401

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 are going to ignore the fact that we have now passed Day 400 of the pandemic and instead focus on some early milestones in the life of The King, Elvis Presley. On April 21, 1956 “Heartbreak Hotel” became the #1 selling song in the country for eight consecutive weeks. A year later, today’s song hit the same spot for nine weeks, becoming his seventh #1 hit in the United States. Presley had four on the chart that year alone, which was the beginning of his royal reign.

Well please don’t ask me what’s on my mind
I’m a little mixed up but I feel fine
When I meet a girl that I love best
My heart beats so it scares me to death”.
.

Elvis

Elvis Presley circa 1957. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “All Shook Up” (1957, written by Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley).

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 311

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.

I have eight 45’s from my childhood that belonged to my mother. I keep them for sentimental reasons only as they were worn out years ago. She played them thousands of times when I was a kid and to this day I remember every note & every lyric of each song. Sometimes my myopic view about them makes me forget that these songs may not have the same meaning to others as they do to me.

When I was in college I had a smart funny hopelessly romantic friend who did not always make the best choices when it came to boyfriends. One guy in particular took her for granted and constantly told her he needed room to roam which she gladly afforded him. This made me crazy. But eventually all my pleadings to my friend to reconsider the relationship fell on dead ears. So I turned to music to make my case. One night when she came home from a date with the creep, I played today’s song. She did not appreciate my efforts and a fight ensued but I was happy I got my point across.

The next morning we called a truce so we could eat breakfast in peace. During the meal she asked me how I chose the song I played for her. I explained it was one of my mom’s favorites and we sang it together hundreds of times. My friend stared at me in disbelief and asked me how a mother would encourage her young daughter to sing along to lyrics like “Girl you’re a hot blooded woman child & its warm where you’re touching me”. I did not understand my friend’s inference or her “First 48” vibe so I reminded her the song was from the 1970’s which was an innocent time. She remembered it as the decade of swingers & key parties.

Then she put the record on and we both listened to each and every word like it was the first time we heard it & we both learned more than we bargained for. But it was worth it to watch my friend get her self respect back when she kicked the loser she was dating out of her life, even if I had to sacrifice one of my most cherished childhood memories to help her do that. But I still love today’s song & I think my friend & my mother would be OK with that. It was written by Mac Davis, the country singer-songwriter who wrote “In The Ghetto”, Memories”, “Don’t Cry Daddy” & “A Little Less Conversation” for Elvis Presley. But Davis kept today’s song for himself and took it to #1 for three weeks in the fall of 1972. We lost this extremely talented man last fall but today we remember him on his 79th birth anniversary.

Girl you’re a hot-blooded woman child
And it’s warm where you’re touching me
But I can tell by your trembling smile
You’re seeing way too much in me
“.

Mac Davis

Mac Davis circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Mac Davis: “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” (1972, written by Mac Davis).

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 298

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.

Today is the 86th birth anniversary for the man crowned “The King”. But this month two other key events took place in history that helped Elvis Presley earn that title. January 5, 1923 is the day Sun Records founder Sam Phillips was born in Alabama. And January 2, 1950 is the day he opened the Memphis Recording Service in TN which became Sun Studio two years later. Not only did Elvis start there, but so did Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, amongst others. Is it any wonder why Memphis is the country music capital?

If you want to pinpoint the moment rock & roll changed American culture forever, look no further than “The Milton Berle Show” broadcast on June 5, 1956. Elvis sang today’s song that night which he would not record until a month later. It was during this appearance that he stood behind a microphone for the first time without his guitar (supposedly at Berle’s suggestion) leaving The King’s gyrating hips and pelvic thrusts in full view. This caused a nationwide swoon of nearly every young girl who was watching him. But their parents were watching, too, and many of them were not happy about what they saw. The complaints flooded in which is why when Elvis went on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in September & October that year and for his third and final time on January 6, 1957, he was censored. But anyone who saw Berle’s show knew why the girls in Sullivan’s audience were screaming. Life & music as the country & the world knew it was over. Elvis was now in the building.

So in honor of the day The King was born, let’s go back to where his reign began, on Berle’s show in 1956. Part of this clip is the one Mrs. Gump & Forrest watched from a store window in the film. She may have thought he was “not for children’s eyes” but anyone who understands music knows Elvis could do no wrong. All hail The King! And thank you, Sam Phillips, for showing him the door to the throne.

Yeah, they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
And you ain’t no friend of mine
“.

Sam and Elvis

Sam Phillips (L) with Elvis Presley at Sun Records circa 1954. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Hound Dog” (Live performance on “The Milton Berle Show” broadcast on June 5, 1956. Song recorded July 1956. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

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 275

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?

Dec 16

(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.

On October 15, 1957 Elvis Presley released his first Christmas record, Elvis’ Christmas Album. It contained two covers pertaining to the colors of the season-“Blue Christmas” (first recorded in 1948 by country singer & actor Doye O’Dell) & “White Christmas” along with Gene Autry’s “Here Comes Santa Claus”, amongst other holiday songs. But it is the first track of the album-another homage to Santa Claus-they gets my heart going. Written by the legendary songwriting team of of Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller (the geniuses behind “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock” and a slew of others), it is a rocking, bluesy, fiery tune that features a great Fats Domino-like piano arrangement (played to the heavens by Elvis’ longtime band member Dudley Brooks), killer back-up vocals by The Jordanaires and a tempo so strong you can almost visualize The King’s hips vibrating in front of you. The song is just magic.

Two months later on December 16, the album hit the #1 spot in the country. Elvis put one more Christmas record out during his career (1971’s Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas followed by several posthumous holiday releases), but for me and a lot of other fans it is this album, which was at the top of the charts 63 years ago today, that all the other ones would have to measure up to. As of this date, it remains the best selling holiday album of all time. All hail The King.

Well, it’s Christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is on the ground
Well, you be a real good little girl
Santa Claus is back in town
“.

Elvis

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

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 274

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?

Christmas sled

(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 past weekend my great love Bruce Springsteen was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live”. He was nothing short of fabulous during his performances of two songs, “Ghosts” &”I’ll See You In My Dreams” from his new album, Letter To You. I must admit I was hoping he was going to do one of his two Christmas songs but alas, it was not to be. So I will share one today.

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” is his most famous holiday track and I adore it, of course. And as a Long Island girl who worships The Boss, I love that he recorded it while he was on tour for my favorite album, Born To Run, at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus on Dec. 12, 1975.

Bruce cw post

The concert poster for the Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band show at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus on Dec. 12, 1975. Credit: Joseph Kivak from an original picture by Eric Meola. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

But his other holiday tune is an R&B Christmas standard first recorded in 1947. It has been a favorite of mine since I heard Otis Redding’s 1967 version while I was discovering his music as a teenager. Springsteen’s cover was included on the 1987 compilation album, A Very Special Christmas, and I have been swooning over it ever since. And it is another gem recorded on Long Island as well. He recorded it at my home base, my teenage stomping grounds, the place I saw my first of many concerts & spent hours watching NY Islanders games at-The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY-on New Year’s Eve 1980. That is just too special for words.

Another symmetry that I love? He & Redding are two of my great musical loves, each recorded only two Christmas songs in their careers and they share one in common. Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley & B.B. King are a few of the other artists who have recorded their own bluesy renditions of this song and all three absolutely shine. But today’s rocking version by The Boss is all his own.

I feel real good tonight
And I got music on the radio
I feel just like I wanna kiss you
Underneath my mistletoe
“.

Bruce

The Big Man Clarence Clemons (L) and The Boss Bruce Springsteen (R) circa 1988. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Merry Christmas Baby” (1980, written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore).

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 240

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?

Veterans 1

(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.

Sending heartfelt prayers of gratitude, love, peace, health, safety and prosperity to those currently serving and to those who already honored our country. Home of the free because of you, the brave. Thank you all.

Today’s song is by Elvis Presley. In an Army uniform. Singing to a baby. You’re welcome.

It takes a big man to wear big boots
That’s your daddy’s claim to fame
They know your daddy big boots
Wherever soldiers are
“.

Elvis

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Big Boots” (1960, written by Sherman Edwards and Sid Wayne).

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 236

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.

Today in 1989 Eric Clapton released his 11th solo studio album, “Journeyman”. It was his first since completing rehab two tears earlier and continued the new chapter in his career which began with 1985’s “Behind The Sun” record, his first with producer Phil Collins. He also worked with Clapton on his next album, “August”, which contained his duet with Tina Turner, “Tearing Us Apart” along with the hit “It’s In The Way That You Use It” featured in the 1986 film “The Color Of Money”. Clapton followed that up with a re-recording of the song “After Midnight” for a 1987 Michelob commercial, capitalizing on his new found success on MTV.

As great as all that music was, “Journeyman” took his musical choices even further as it included covers of “Hard Times” by Ray Charles and “Hound Dog” by Leiber & Stoller. But rather than follow Elvis Presley’s 1956 interpretation, Clapton opted for a cover more in line with Big Mama Thornton’s original blues version of the song released in 1953. The album also had a cover of “Run So Far” by George Harrison (who also played guitar on the track) along with songs that featured backing vocals by Collins, Daryl Hall, Linda Womack (Sam Cooke’s daughter) and Chaka Khan.

“Journeyman” hit the top 10 in the UK and the top 20 in the US. Two songs went to #1 on the US Mainstream Rock Chart, “Bad Love” and today’s track, which received heavy play on MTV. It is not surprising because whoever came up with the video’s concept of drenching the very sexy & beautiful Clapton in water and then putting a guitar in his hands should have won every prize known to man. Swoon. Swoon. Swoon. Oh, and because it’s a really good song. too.

Satisfied but lost in love
Situations change
You’re never who you used to think you are
How strange
“.

E CLAPTON

Eric Clapton in 1990 at the Knebworth Concert. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Pretending” (1989, written by Jerry Lynn Williams).

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 228

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 is another birthday in music upon us and this one belongs to U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Born October 31, 1961 in Dublin, Ireland he began playing drums at age 9 in marching bands. According to the band’s website, Mullen put an ad up at his school in 1976 seeking musicians to form a band that brought him together with his three bandmates. They put out an EP in 1979 and were signed to Island Records a year later. U2’s 1980 debut album gave them their first hit, “I Will Follow”. But it was their 1983 album, “War” that led to worldwide success. Nearly 40 years later, they are considered one of the most successful bands of all time.

I like a great deal of U2’s music and one album I particularly enjoy is 1988’s “Rattle & Hum”. They recorded a lot of it in Memphis at the legendary studios of Sun Records. That was where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and others began their recording careers. One of the song’s U2 worked on there was a collaboration with blues legend B.B. King. Despite how high he raised the bar on this track, U2 was not far behind. The raw intense lyrics from Bono & the music from the rest of U2 helped them keep up with power of The King Of The Blues, resulting in one heck of record.

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
As the music played I saw my life turn around
That was the day before love came to town
“.

U2 BB King

U2 with B.B. King in 1988 (L-R): Larry Mullen Jr., Bono, B.B. King, Adam Clayton & The Edge. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2 (in honor of Larry Mullen Jr.’s birthday) featuring B.B. King: “When Love Comes To Town” (1988, written by U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen 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 213

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.

Today in 1958 Jackie Wilson recorded one of his signature songs. It was another tune co-written by future Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr who also co-wrote “Reet Petite”, “To Be Loved” & “We Have Love” for Wilson the year before. The proceeds earned from these songs helped Gordy start Tamla Records in 1959 which became the iconic Motown label in April 1960. The success of today’s tune also helped establish Wilson as one of the premier R&B singers not only the 1950’s & 1960’s but of all time.

He was born Jack Leroy Wilson Jr. in Detroit, Michigan in 1934. He began singing in church when he was a child which led to him joining a gospel group in his teens. He learned to box during a couple of stints in detention for bad behavior and competed in the local boxing circuit before he quit to marry at 17 because he was going to become a father. He joined several groups (including one with his cousin, future Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs) until Wilson signed a solo record deal with Decca Records subsidiary label, Brunswick, in 1957. “Reet Petite” was his first release which helped launch his career through its moderate success. Between his four octave tenor range and his dynamic dance moves on stage, Wilson earned the nickname “Mr. Excitement” and enjoyed over a decade of success throughout his career.

Unfortunately the rest of his story is not as happy. Wilson was besieged with problems in his personal life including getting shot by a girlfriend, several arrests and legal issues, financial losses & IRS liens due to an embezzling manager as well as multiple children from in & out of his two marriages. He also lost a son, Jackie Jr in 1970 when the 16 year old was shot to death. That sent Wilson into a depressive state which included drug use. In 1975 he suffered a heart attack onstage which left him in a semi-comatose state. He remained in a nursing home until his death from pneumonia in 1984. Wilson left a legacy on music, fans and the performers he influenced especially Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, and Michael Jackson among many others. My mother was a big fan of his & she and my dad were lucky enough to see Wilson perform around 1960 at the acclaimed Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Swoon.

Just give me another chance for our romance
Come on and tell me that one day you’ll return
‘Cause, every day that you’ve been gone away
You know my heart does nothing but burn, crying
“.

Wilson and Elvis

Elvis Presley (L) with Jackie Wilson (R) circa 1959. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jackie Wilson: “Lonely Teardrops” (As performed on “American Bandstand” in March 1959. Originally released in 1958, written by Berry Gordy Jr, Gwen Gordy & Roquel “Billy” Davis as “Tyran Carlo”).

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

Stay well.