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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 476

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.

If the only thing you know about Marc Cohn is that he wrote & sang today’s song, that is enough. What a gift this track is. Forget the fact that it a fabulous tune and that he sings the heck out of it. It is a wonderful musical history lesson on the “land of the Delta blues”.

There is a reference to the self-appointed “Father of The Blues”, W.C. Handy (he wrote “Saint Louis Blues” amongst other notables songs) who was one of the first musicians to use folk music as the basis for his blues compositions. There are also nods to one of the city’s most famous roads known for its music-Beale Street-along with its most famous resident, Elvis Presley.

Cohn also mentioned his stop at the city’s Hollywood Cafe (“Now Muriel plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood”), one of the city’s best loved musical genres (gospel), soul singer Al Green’s church & a famous Carl Perkins song recorded at Sun Records Studio (“Put on my blue suede shoes…..”). Cohn visited the city in the 1980’s and turned the experience into a Top 20 hit in 1991.

Cohn was born July 5, 1959 in Ohio, making today birthday #62. I saw him at Jones Beach several years ago when he was touring as Stevie Nicks’ special guest. It was probably twenty years after today’s song was released and he sounded as great as he did on the record. He is wonderful live performer & a very talented musician. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Marc Cohn.

They’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
“.

Marc

Marc Cohn circa 1991. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marc Cohn: “Walking In Memphis” (1991, written by Marc Cohn).

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 463

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.

Today marks the 85th birthday for one of the greatest artists this country ever produced. Kris Kristofferson is a poet, a songwriter, an actor, a singer, an entertainer, a Rhodes Scholar & a veteran. He was born June 22,1936 in Texas and except for having to watch him die in the 1976 version of “A Star Is Born”, I have loved-actually, adored-everything he has ever done. And don’t even get me started on those unbelievably gorgeous eyes, the hair, the beard and every part of his swagger that made him one of the most beautiful men I ever laid eyes on. Sa-woooooon.

Today’s song is from his 1970 debut album, Kristofferson. It contained three of his biggest hits: “Me & Bobby McGee” (Day 313), “Help Me Make It Though The Night” (Day 49), and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”. Fellow superstars Al Green, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn & The King himself Elvis Presley covered this track over the last five decades and they are all unbelievably good, of course. But there is something about Kristofferson’s own versions of his songs that highlight his exceptionally talented soul.

Happy birthday, Kris Kristofferson. May you celebrate 100 more. And thank you for every word you have ever written.

Let’s just be glad
We had some time to spend together
There’s no need to watch the bridges
That were burning
“.

Kris

Kris Kristofferson’s 1970 debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Kris Kristofferson: “For The Good Times” (1970, written by 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 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.