Let’s Take A Moment Day 117

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.

For as much as the Beatles influenced a generation, The Beatles themselves were inspired by their idols.  Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Little Richard and Elvis had a huge impact on the Fab Four.  So did Buddy Holly.  Even the name of The Beatles came from John Lennon thinking naming a band after an insect was the way to go following Holly’s lead in calling his band The Crickets.

Holly is long remembered for his all too brief but eternal contribution to the early days of rock & roll with songs like “That’ll Be The Day”, “Oh Boy”, “Rave On”, “It’s So Easy To Fall In Love” and others.  But in reality his death had as much of an impact on the world as his life did since he died so young and with two other singers, one even younger than Holly’s 22  years.  I often read articles where people speculate how different music might be today if Holly were alive.  But that is just a waste of time.  Holly fulfilled his destiny or he would be here.  It’s just that simple.  He was only meant to be here for the time we had him and not a minute more.  We may hate it, but that was the plan all along.  But what a legacy we have to enjoy from his brief tenure as rock & roll’s prince.

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Buddy Holly circa 1958.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Buddy Holly & The Crickets:  “Not Fade Away” (1957, written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty).

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 102

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.

If you ask most people who the greatest band of all time is. many will tell you The Beatles.  However, the question as to who comes in second would spark a debate by fans and music scholars alike since there are so many to consider.  But not for me.  Only one answer is clear.  It is The Funk Brothers.

They were a group of blues and jazz musicians who became the house band at the Motown label for 14 years, from 1959 until 1972.  Look at those dates again carefully because what they reveal is every song recorded for the label in the 1960’s had The Funk Brothers on it.  That is every song by Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Marvelettes, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Martha & The Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Junior Walker & The All Stars and every other act on the label during that time.  That is an absolutely staggering accomplishment.

The Funk Brothers story was told in the 2002 documentary, “Standing In The Shadows Of Motown”.  During the opening credits it is revealed they played on more number one hit records than Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys combined.   Even the word genius does not seem to adequately describe that achievement.  And the only reason why their streak ended is because Berry Gordy moved the label’s base of operation from Detroit to Los Angeles without including the band in the relocation.  And prior to that they were never given the proper recognition they deserved during Motown’s heyday.

The film identified 13 men as Funk Brothers.  Remember the Apostles were 13 when they were with Jesus.  Coincidence or the second coming?  You decide.  Outside of the Motown label they played on The Contours “Do You Love Me”, Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” and on the song “Boom Boom” by one of the greatest blues singers to ever pick up a guitar, John Lee Hooker.

Of course, the songwriters and performers were needed to deliver the sound created by The Funk Brothers, but without their incredibly talented and intense consistent playing the songs would have never soared like they did.  For example, today’s song was written by the same two men who wrote Gaye’s smash “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and I find it nothing short of hypnotic.  There is a lead guitar riff played quickly and sporadically throughout the song that just reaches inside me and leaves me gasping for air despite it being all around me.  It is just that intense.

A couple of my musical heroes list Motown/Funk Brothers songs as ones they cannot live without.  For Eric Clapton it is “I Was Made To Love Her” by Stevie Wonder.  For Bruce Springsteen it is two (because he is just that cool):  “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye & “Baby I Need Your Lovin'” by The Four Tops.  Covers of Motor City songs were made by The Beatles (“You Really Got A Hold On Me”) Rod Stewart (“I Know I’m Losing You”), The Rolling Stones (“Going To A Go-Go”) and countless others.  Motown’s influence, lead by the music of The Funk Brothers, is so far reaching it would be nearly impossible to comprehend.  But without it, the landscape of music would be devoid of soul.  I may bow at other altars of music, but I am brought to my knees in the church of the Brothers Funk.  Can I get an amen?

Stevie Wonder in the Motown studio with some of The Funk Brothers circa 1967 and the movie poster for 2002’s “Standing In The Shadows Of Motown” (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Marvin Gaye featuring the music of The Funk Brothers:  “That’s The Way Love Is” ( 1969, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong).

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

Stay well.

“Who Could Take A Nothing Day & Suddenly Make It All Seem Worthwhile…..”

I am heartsick today.  As I shared on Facebook earlier today, Mary Tyler Moore was my first female TV idol. I still want to be her when I grow up. I adored her & her spunk, even though I hate spunk just like Mr. Grant did. The world has a little less love all around today with her passing.

Mary Tyler Moore -- SLUG: old mary PHOTO DATE: NA SCAN DATE: 1/31/00 CREDIT: Viacom

Mary Tyler Moore’s spunky counterpart, Mary Richards (original source known)

Whether she was acting on stage (“Whose Life Is It, Anyway”,  “Noises Off”), opposite Elvis Presley (“Change of Habit”) , Donald Sutherland (“Ordinary People”), Ted Danson (“Just Between Friends”) or the incredible casts of two ground-breaking shows (“The Dick Van Dyke Show” & “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”), Moore shined with her superior acting skills & her impeccable comedic timing.  Despite being the star and producer of her own show, she never let her ego dictate her decisions.  She was smart enough & secure enough in her own talents to surround herself with the best actors, writers and directors in the industry.

And her show’s theme song?  I love music, and a lot of TV shows had (and have) great theme songs.  Hers was one of the first ones that I adored and sang along with.  It also celebrated the character and the star of the show perfectly.

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Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards-and that lovely, happy smile (original source unknown).

I first started watching her show when it followed the NBC incarnation of “Late Night With David Letterman”.  Her, Lou, Mur, Rhoda, Ted, Phyllis, Sue Ann & Georgette kept me company overnight (you can read more about that here).  She was the best friend every woman wanted to have.

Moore changed the landscape of TV for women everywhere as she was all the things to all women:  Fashion icon, comedienne, actress, friend, co-worker, confidant and more (no pun intended).  Behind the scenes she was co-owner of one of the biggest and most profitable production companies of all time, MTM Enterprises.  It not only produced her show but other ground breaking ones as well like “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “Phyllis”, “WKRP In Cincinnati” (swoon), “Lou Grant”, “The White Shadow”, “Hill Street Blues” (swoon x 2), “St Elsewhere” (swoon x 3) and many others.

 

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The cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 (left) and circa 1975 (r)

(original sources unknown).

She was also an animal activist, one of the first celebrities to publicly seek treatment for an addiction (she went to the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism), wrote books, brought so much awareness (and raised countless funds) for Type 1 Diabetes due to her own struggle with the disease along with her many other charitable endeavors.

Moore saw her share of heartaches (the deaths of her only son and her brother), but through whatever trial she was facing her smile, fighting spirit and love for life never waned.

mtm3 Country Living Magazine posted this on Instagram today (original source unknown). 

How will we make it on our own???   😦   Sigh

Tossing that beret in the air is how I will always remember her.  I hope she throws it to Ted when she sees him.

Rest in peace, sweet Mary.  Thank you for giving women everywhere a new road to call our own.

 

mtm-beret

That famous beret toss from the beginning of her iconic show (original source unknown).

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy Monday!!!  Did you enjoy your weekend?

Do you know how empty the stores are the weekend before Black Friday, not including the grocery stores?  I spent the weekend running errands and picking up supplies for my apartment and I was amazed at how quickly I was in and out of the stores.  I guess everyone is waiting for the Black Friday sales.

When I was at one of the home improvement stores on Saturday, I was overwhelmed by the variety of Christmas items they had not just for the outside of the home as expected, but for inside as well.  For example, how adorable is this nativity scene???

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Or these Nemo-themed ornaments?

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I buy myself one new ornament a year and yes, it is usually a Peanuts themed one.  Below is this year’s winner:

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This was adorable, too, but I do not need it & my wallet does not need the almost $100 price tag.  But it is cute nonetheless:

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I also loved these resin statues:

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And Elvis was in the house, too!!! (Well, in the home improvement store actually……)

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I am not a fur/leopard print person, but I did find it surprising on hats!!!

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And I am not a “Star Wars” person, but how adorable are these Yoda lights?!?!

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Or this giant Yoda and his friends???  Buddy the Elf is my favorite!!!

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Then when I was at the grocery store, I saw this adorable display:

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I spotted these too cute for words giant Woodstock & Charlie Brown greeters at CVS:

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Are you guys into the Black Friday sales?  I must admit after shopping flea markets, antiques stores, the outlets and online shopping, I have really lost my taste for the malls.  I will only do it in an emergency or if a friend asks me to help her choose a dress for a special occasion.  During my last few years in NY I wanted to go to the outlets at midnight on Black Friday, but somehow talked myself out of it when they released an estimate of expecting over five thousand shoppers.  Crazy, right?  And the only way I could get to the 5 am or 6 am sales was if I stayed up all night, and that was rather impossible after a meal of tryptophan packed turkey.  And later in the day I cringed when I drove by the stores and saw how packed they were.  Ugh.

I am, however, all about the day after Christmas sales.  Like most frugal minded people, I pick up next year’s cards, tree lights and other items needed for the following holiday season.  I do try to keep it simple and green because there is so much waste this time of year it makes me feel guilty about my carbon footprint.  And since my feet are a size 11, I have more than most to make up for   🙂

Also, if you are looking for a great read this holiday season or a fabulous gift for the music lover on your list, then you MUST pick up a copy of the greatest book ever written…………

At least this year……………………………………………………………………

Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born To Run”.  (BONUS:  The audio book comes out December 6 and it is narrated by The Boss himself!!!  Yes, please!!!)

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Despite pre-ordering my copy online, it took much longer to receive than I anticipated. Thank goodness for my local library!!!  This is a GREAT read, and I do not just say that as his most dedicated fan (Kathy Bates has forever prohibited anyone from using the phrase “biggest fan” LOL!!!)  I say it because it is true.  Springsteen’s talent for writing is not just limited to his songs.  His words are brutally honest, reflective,  happy, sad, true and unbelievably powerful.  They are also healing as he discusses his bout with depression.  It has generally been considered a woman’s disease by society so, therefore, not given the proper attention it deserves.  But when someone like The Boss comes forward and admits he has suffered from it, people listen.  And that is what mental illness needs:  a voice.

As someone who has suffered with depression most of my life, Springsteen’s admission of the disease validated every symptom I have ever had, from not being able to get myself out of bed for days at a time or not being able to function in general day to day activities.  I love Bruce Springsteen for a multitude of things, but for this most of all.  His being so forthright with this information takes away the stigma that still sadly exists about this disease and mental illness in general.  Mere words will never be adequate enough to thank this man for what he has done for the world of music, let alone me.  But it is all I have to give so, thank you Bruce, for everything.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

***(Nothing in this post is sponsored.  I am just sharing some of my favorite things with you.)