Music Monday: August 15, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.

It was 57 years ago today that The Beatles made history in New York for the second time in two years. On August 15, 1965 the band played their now famous concert at Shea Stadium. It was the first time a musical group held a show in that type of venue in the United States. The Fab Four performed 12 songs-eight originals, four covers-during their 30 minute set in front of a sold out crowd of nearly 56,000 fans. Most of that crowd were young girls screaming so hysterically they drowned out the music, including today’s song.

I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to witness the kind of history The Beatles made on their first trip to America in February 1964, let alone the monumental concert nearly six decades ago. But I relived it vicariously through Sally Draper when she screamed & jumped for joy after her father, Don, told her he was taking her to the concert. That episode of “Mad Men” (S4 E10) aired 45 years after “The First Play At Shea”, but what a way to let those of us who missed Beatlemania experience a piece of that magic.

Thank you John, Paul, George & Ringo for EVERYTHING.

You tell lies
Thinking I can’t see
You can’t cry
‘Cause you’re laughing at me
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage in Shea Stadium in 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “I’m Down” (1965, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: April 18, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On April 18, 1970 today’s song hit the #1 spot in the country for the second week in a row. It is the title song from The Beatles last album which remains my favorite of theirs to this day. I was lucky enough to see the movie by the same name dozens of time one summer when it was on a loop on a movie channel. I was too young to realize The Fab Four were fighting but not to realize I was witnessing the greatest band of all time rehearsing some of their final songs in a studio together. And that rooftop scene needs no further accolades from me. The performance speaks for itself over five decades later.

I still have yet to see Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” documentary released nearly six months ago for a more in-depth take on that movie. That is not because I do not think it will be a great watch. I have no doubt it is stunning. It is about The Beatles, after all. I am procrastinating because I am worried it might take away some of the magic from my first look at that moment in time. It was such a turning point in my life to see the band that changed everything so up close & personal, sharing their process with the world. It left an indelible mark on my life & the direction of my musical choices every day since.

As the band’s final album was growing in popularity in the world, the news that The Beatles broke up the same month also altered the landscape of the universe. The phenomenal ride those four lads from Liverpool took us on had ended. That devastating news in early 1970 changed the world as much as their first appearance did on that glorious Sunday night just six years earlier on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964.

And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be
“.

Beatles

 

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Let It Be” (1970, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: March 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Last month singer/songwriter/pianist Gary Brooker died at the age of 76 in England. If you do not know his name, I am quite sure you knew his voice. He was the co-founder & lead singer of Procol Harum, so it is his glorious vocal that is front & center on their iconic 1967 hit. I have adored this song forever and it is featured in three of my favorite movies of all time: “The Big Chill”, “The Commitments” and “Pirate Radio” as the last song on the airwaves of “The Boat That Rocked”.

Brooker was also one of the composers of today’s phenomenal song, but he also played with several other artists, most notably for George Harrison (on 1971’s All Things Must Pass), Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman. Brooker also appeared in the 1996 film adaptation of “Evita”. But for me, nothing else he ever did would compare to his pensive melodic delivery of some of the greatest sing along lyrics ever written or recorded.

The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
“.

1967 Procol

with Ringo

Top: Gary Brooker (pictured front left) with Procol Harum in 1967. Bottom: (Pictured left) with Ringo Starr circa 1999. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967, written by Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher and Keith Reid).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 21, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

February 25th will mark the 79th birth anniversary of my favorite Beatle, George Harrison. Born in 1943 in Liverpool, England, he was the youngest of the group and quietly honed his skills as a songwriter and musician. By the time the band broke up in 1970, he was the first member to have a number one single when “My Sweet Lord” hit the top spot on the singles chart at the end of that year.

Harrison followed his spiritual conscience in both his music & his heart. That led to him organizing the first benefit show in 1971, “The Concert For Bangladesh”. After a successful solo career he became one fifth of the supergroup, “The Traveling Wilburys”, in 1988.

I love so much of Harrison’s music, but I have always felt that today’s pick is his most beautiful composition. He was inspired to write it after hearing James Taylor’s song, “Something In The Way She Moves”. Harrison borrowed the first line & the rest is history. Even Frank Sinatra, who supposedly was not a fan of the Beatles, called today’s track “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969. He also recorded his own version in 1970. But even The Chairman Of The Board’s rendition comes second to the original for me.

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how
“.

George

George Harrison circa 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Something” (1969, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On February 7. 1964 The Beatles arrived in America for the very first time. Two days later they made their historic appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. After their first song that night, as I have written before, the world changed into a brand new color called John, Paul, George & Ringo. The rest of the hues, along with music, life & Sunday nights from that point on, would never be the same ever again. And for this I and the 73 million viewers who tuned in that night are eternally grateful. Today’s song is from The Fab Four’s first movie, released five months after that landmark evening.

It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been workin’ like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night
I should be sleepin’ like a log
“.

Feb 7

The Beatles arriving in New York during their first trip to America on February 7, 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: January 10, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

A new video for today’s song premiered last month. When the track was originally released in November 1970, it hit the #1 spot in the country by the end of that year where it stayed for four consecutive weeks. The groundbreaking album that song was on became #1 in America on January 2, 1971. All Things Must Pass was George Harrison’s masterpiece and proved he was so much more than The Quiet Beatle. Over 50 years later we are still celebrating the brilliance of this album and its first hit.

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you, Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord
“.

All_Things_Must_Pass_BW

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

George Harrison: “My Sweet Lord” (1970, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 525

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.

This weekend we lost a pioneer in two musical genres. Isaac Donald “Don” Everly died August 21 at the age of 84. Born February 1, 1937 in Kentucky he and his younger brother, Phil (January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014), were a trailblazing duo in both country music & the birth of the rock & roll era who used harmonizing vocals to create their signature sound. Don sang lead and Phil provided the harmony.

The two men started singing with their parents on their father’s radio show on KMA in Iowa in the 1940’s as The Everly Family. They moved to TN in the early 1950’s where the brothers pursued music full time once Don graduated from high school in 1955. They were soon discovered by guitarist Chet Atkins who helped introduce them to Acuff Rose publishers & the songwriting team of Boudleaux Bryant.

They wrote the brothers’ first hits in 1957, “Bye Bye Love” (a cross over hit on both the country & rock & roll charts) & “Wake Up Little Susie”. The duo was also the first to record the Boudleaux Bryant song “Love Hurts” in 1960 before it became a hit for Roy Orbison a year later. The boys did write some of their own songs including “Cathy’s Clown” (1960, written by Don) & “When Will I be Loved” (1960, written by Phil).

The brothers success led to their 1960 contract with Warner Brothers Records for one million dollars. At that time it was an unprecedented amount of money for a rock & roll act and would keep the boys with the label for ten years. But the unrelenting work schedule took its toll on the duo. So did contract disputes, sibling rivalry, drug use and more which led their official break up in 1973. They did reunite a decade later but their relationship remained strained.

Some of the biggest names in music were fans of The Everly Brothers. In his 1976 Wings song “Let ‘Em In”, Paul McCartney mentioned the duo by their first names (“…Martin Luther, Phil and Don”). George Harrison recorded a demo of today’s song that was included on his 2012 posthumous album, Early Takes: Volume. His friend & Traveling Wilbury bandmate Bob Dylan covered today’s song for his 1970 album, Self-Portrait. Both Everly Brothers sang on the track “Graceland” by another of their admirers, Paul Simon. In 1986 they were a part of the inaugural class inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame by Neil Young.

Today’s song was based on a French recording of “Je t’appartiens” from 1955. It was a Top Ten hit for the brothers in 1959. As much fun as their faster songs are, I think it is the ballads that show off their vocal harmonies best. Rest in peace, Don Everly.

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love
What would life be
“.

Don and Phil

Don (L) and Phil Everly circa 1957. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Everly Brothers: “Let It Be Me” (1959, written by Gilbert Bécaud (music), Manny Curtis (English lyrics) and Pierre Delanoë (French lyrics).

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 524

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 Day 389 I shared a clip of Derek & The Dominos on “The Johnny Cash Show” which aired in January 1971. It was filmed two months earlier and featured the host & his guests singing a completely sublime version of “Matchbox” together with the song’s writer, Carl Perkins. But before that glorious moment, the group performed today’s pick from their only album released in November 1970. The studio sessions for that record, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs began 51 years ago on August 22, 1970.

Eric Clapton first met the other Dominos-pianist & singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon-in 1969. They were part of the band for the American duo Delaney & Bonnie who toured with Blind Faith that year. After the break-up of his group Clapton continued playing with the duo & their band which was rebilled as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Even George Harrison joined then for a few shows. But in the spring of 1970 Delaney started firing members of the group who demanded raises including the future Dominos. .

They reunited with Clapton during the studio sessions for Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. After that Clapton & Whitlock began serious talks about forming a band and recruited Radle & Gordon as the rhythm section. The group flew to Florida to work with engineer Tom Dowd who Clapton knew from his time in Cream. Dowd took the band to see The Allman Brothers in concert, leading to Clapton’s meeting with Duane Allman. He ended up working with the group in the studio & played on all but three of the tracks on the Layla album. It was released three months later and it is one of my favorite records of all time.

And I wonder does she know
When she left me it hurt me so
I need your love baby please don’t make me wait
Tell me it’s not too late
“.

eric & bobby

Gordon and Radle

Top: Bobby Whitlock on piano and Eric Clapton on guitar during Derek & The Dominos appearance on “The Johnny Cash Show” in January 1971. Bottom: The rhythm section of the band: drummer Jim Gordon and bassist Carl Radle. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Derek & The Dominos: “It’s Too Late” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1970, written by Chuck Willis).

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 517

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 this day last year (Day 152), we celebrated the 55th anniversary of The Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert which took place August 15, 1965. That means today marks 56 years since that momentous occasion. So we will celebrate again.

The clips from the show are rarely up on YouTube because of copyright laws (BBC Television owns the film rights to the concert they released a year later). So even though today’s song was on the set list that night over five decades ago, the video I chose is of the group performing it in their movie, “Help“.

It was released four days before their historic concert and a year after their first big screen smash, “A Hard Day’s Night“. What a bland uninspired and sad color this world would be without John, Paul, George & Ringo in it, Thank you for everything, boys, especially the first play at Shea.

She said that living with me
Is bringing her down yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Ticket To Ride” (1965, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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 511

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.

Less than a year after the release of George Harrison’s 1970 masterpiece, All Things Must Pass, he became the first artist to organize & perform at a charity concert (in relatable terms it was like a miniature version of Live Aid), On August 1, 1971, The Concert For Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

Harrison had become good friends with musician Ravi Shankar after The Beatles first trip to India in the mid 1960’s. The Quiet Beatle became fascinated and enveloped not just by the music & the culture of that country but the spiritual mysticism of it as well. So when Shankar told Harrison about the suffering of the refugees from the Bangladesh Liberation War, he wanted to help.

There were actually two concerts held that day-an afternoon show as well as an evening performance. Many of Harrison’s friends joined him to aid the cause including Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Billy Preston & Bob Dylan. John Lennon & Paul McCartney were invited, and there were rumors Lennon agreed to play, but ultimately neither he nor McCartney appeared.

Harrison performed today’s song with Starr on drums, Clapton on guitar & Russell on piano & vocals. It is one of my favorites from All Things but there is something incredibly special about the live version. Harrison’s voice is strong with a slight grit to it, yet powerful & it blended incredibly well with Russell’s. Both are highlighted by the group of soul singers who were part of the show as well. It is one fabulous performance.

Watch out now
Take care, beware the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night
Beware of sadness
“.

rehearsal

(L-R): George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Leon Russell at rehearsals for The Concert For Bangladesh, 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

George Harrison with Leon Russell: “Beware Of Darkness” (Recorded live at The Concert For Bangladesh on August I, 1971. Originally released in 1970. Written by George Harrison).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.7

Stay well.