25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 4

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas-4

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song was featured on my countdown in 2018. I love the story that goes with it about how I discovered the singer so I decided to repost it for those of you who are new to my blog. I hope you enjoy it.

I love soap operas.  Love them.  Notice that I wrote in the present tense, despite the fact that I do not watch them anymore because nearly all my favorite ones were cancelled.  I watched General Hospital for decades but they lost me over the years, especially when Tony Geary (the iconic Luke Spencer) retired.  However, I must admit I find myself tuning into “The Bold & The Beautiful” if I remember it is on since Thorsten Kaye-All My Children’s beautifully delicious Zac Slater-is on it.  I still like the genre for the most part.  Some of the tried & true story lines like- who’s the real daddy of the baby despite what the first blood test results are because we all know so & so switched the DNA samples -should be retired.  But I digress.

I started watching soaps with my mom when I was little, then when I was home sick from school or on summer vacation and later on when I could record them on my VCR.  Then I would marathon all five episodes on the weekend.  For today’s crowd, marathon was the original term for binge-watching.  I really believe I invented that.  But again, I digress.

My favorite soap of all time is Another World.  I adored that show.  Adored it.  It was cancelled nearly 20 years ago, and I still miss my friends from Bay City.  Every.  Single.  Day.  AW had some of the best (and most underrated) actors & writers in the business, and depicted true solid enduring friendships and love stories in a way that was both believable and touching.

I learned some captivating poetry when a few characters recited some of the best ones (“A Drinking Song” by William Butler Yates and “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by E.E. Cummings are just two the soap introduced me to).  One character-the extraordinary Charles Keating’s Carl Hutchins-in particular even quoted King Lear, among other Shakespeare plays.  And I discovered an absolutely astounding singer thanks to AW, too.

AW

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

In October 1995 a beloved character named Ryan Harrison was killed off.  He was the proverbial good guy-nice, romantic, worked as a cop, was adored by his fiancé, loved by his family, etc.  The scenes of him saying goodbye to the great love of his life were hard enough, but watching the various characters getting the news of his passing was unbearable.  It was done at the end of the episode in a montage of scenes.  But there was no dialogue.  Just music.  And singing.  One voice.  One song.  And it was exquisite.

It was written for a Broadway play, but it fit the scene like a glove.  I had never heard it before but from the first note I was enthralled.  And then I was sobbing, not only because of Ryan’s death, or the other actor’s mesmerizing performances, but because the lyrics  told such a beautiful heartbreaking story.  I was so overwhelmed by emotion I actually stood up and applauded the actors, the singer and the genius who brought them both together.  Whoever the person was in charge of the music on AW deserved an award-or perhaps even the Nobel Peace prize-for bringing us such a stunning moment.

I do not know who that person was, but the song was “Once Upon A Dream” from the Broadway hit “Jekyll & Hyde”.  It was written by composer Frank Wildhorn and sung by his then wife, actress/singer Linda Eder.  To this day, I cannot hear that song without wanting to cry my eyes out.  And I can recognize Eder’s undeniably elegant & unbelievably beautiful voice the second I hear it.

Linda Eder

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

That is why when I heard today’s Christmas song I knew it was her.  She was a guest vocalist on a 1998 classical album by harpist Jung Kwak.  The music is gorgeous to match Eder’s voice and the lyrics exude wishes for the holiday season and always without being overly sentimental:

Let there be peace, let there be love
Listen to the silence, listen for the song”.

Jung

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jung Kwak featuring Linda Eder: “The Gift” (1998, credit(s) unknown).

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!!!

Let’s Take A Moment Day 41

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?

music heart

(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.

I started watching “General Hospital” when I was in high school.  I used to hear my orchestra teacher discussing the story lines with some of the other students and was intrigued enough to watch it myself.  It was around the start of the whole Luke & Laura (Tony Geary & Genie Francis) era.  Needless to say I became a fan as well and fell in LOVE with Lucas Lorenzo Spencer.  Not long after their epic wedding in 1981, both actors decided to leave the soap, with Francis exiting first followed by Geary in 1983.  But unlike Laura, Luke was not going to be presumed dead.  So the writers gave him a great farewell episode in which he had the chance to say goodbye to his onscreen family and by extension, the fans.

Each time he met with characters like Robert, Tiffany, Bobbi, Ruby and others, one song played in the background.  It was a simple poignant wonderful song of love that fit so well to each scene and seemed so appropriate for the fiery eclectic Luke character.  He started out as this outsider, a bit of a loner who suddenly found his great love but continued living his life with such force.  I was so happy the powers that be at GH used an existing song by a great artist rather than something their music department composed.  It seemed to give more emotion to the scenes and more weight to the character.  But then again when isn’t a James Taylor song a great choice for an emotional moment?

You can run but you cannot hide, this is widely known.
Tell me, what you plan to do with your
Foolish pride when you’re all by yourself, alone.
Once you tell somebody the way that you
Feel, you can feel it beginning to ease.”

Tony Geary circa 1981 and James Taylor circa 1976 (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

James Taylor:  “Shower The People” (1976, written by James Taylor).

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

Stay well.

 

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 15

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Here is a vintage Christmas bell to ring now that the big day is officially 10 days away.

day 15

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I have written before about how much I loved soap operas (you can read more about that here).  One of the soaps I loved was General Hospital.  Who was not infatuated with the whole Luke & Laura phenomenon?  But in many GH fans opinions, that show’s real hey day was the 1990’s.  The writing, the acting, the story lines were not only sublime but reality based as well.  This was in complete contrast to the previous decade where one major story line was about stopping a mad man with a weather machine trying to dominate the world.

Instead, the 90’s brought us stories dealing with organ donation, breast cancer, AIDS and living with an HIV positive diagnosis, adoption and family dysfunction in addition to a slew of new super couples and so much more.  It was truly must see TV.  While GH is still on the air, I lost interest over the years especially once Tony Geary (who played Luke) retired.  I love him sooo much and if you watch this clip from 6:45 -7:00 you will see why.  Long live Lucas Lorenzo Spencer!!!  But I digress.

Someone sent me a current video of GH they thought I’d like (I didn’t), but that little taste sent me to YouTube where I have been lost in a GH vortex ever since.  And I stumbled upon one of the best moments from the aforementioned great decade of the show.  Luke Spencer opened a blues club and today’s singer performed the first show there.  Who better to sing in that venue than “The King of the Blues” himself?

It was a huge moment for soaps, not to mention music.  For a genre considered by many to be a step down from “real” acting, not to mention their classification as “chick shows” because the majority of viewers were women, an appearance by a famous man who was a musical legend gave the show and the genre some solid respect.  He & his band put everything they had into their performance as well, just as if they were playing in front of a paying crowd in a concert arena.  There was nothing phoned in about it.  The only thing negative about it is that it did not last long enough.  There were actors with story lines to get to, as this was a soap, after all.  But music and soaps had gone hand in hand for years, and thanks to Riley B. King, they came together onscreen for two days in February 1995.  You can see the whole performance here.

BB King

B.B. King:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (2001, written by Charles Brown & Gene Redd in 1960).

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!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 16

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas_village_streetview_640

(Original source unknown.)

Tall, dark, handsome & sexy are a few ways to describe this artist.  Unbelievably talented is another.  He paints, sculpts, writes, arranges, produces & performs great music for himself & other artists.  He also plays one mean trumpet.  He co-wrote “Wonderful World” which was initially made famous by Sam Cooke, sang one of my all time favorite Burt Bacharach songs ever (“This Guy’s In Love With You“) which hit #1 in 1968 and was the A of A&M Records which signed the The Carpenters in 1969.

This man had several hits in the 1960’s with his band, the Tijuana Brass (“A Taste Of Honey“, “Whipped Cream” and “Spanish Flea“, which is also known as “The Bachelor’s Theme” from The Dating Game).  On his own he hit #1 again in 1979 with “Rise” (also known to “General Hospital” fans as the song that was playing in Luke’s disco when he raped Laura) and #5 in 1987 with “Diamonds“, with one of his A&M singers, Janet Jackson, on vocals.

He has won all the awards, done all the shows and continues to make great music.  This year he treated us to two releases:  “Music Volume 1” came out in July with some really great new music as well as a lovely cover of the Beatles’ “Michelle” and an absolutely beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Imagine

“A Christmas Wish” came out in the fall, and all of the songs are wonderful.  But I really like this one since it was originally recorded in 1970 by his old friends, The Carpenters.  I think it shows this man’s heart, loyalty and love of a good song.

kc1971alpert

Richard & Karen Carpenter with Herb Alpert circa 1971 (original source unknown)

Herb Alpert:  “Merry Christmas, Darling

The Carpenters:  “Merry Christmas, Darling” (original 1970)

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!