Let’s Take A Moment Day 69

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?

Peanuts music

(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 love the show “Newsradio”.  It is hard for me not to love a show with Phil Hartman in the cast.  In one of my favorite episodes Matthew (Andy Dick’s character) bets Joe (Joe Rogan’s character) that the next song that comes on the radio will be a “really good song”.  When it starts to play, Matthew tries to act like he loves the tune but after Joe stares him down, Matthew states “You win.  It sucks!”  Then the camera cuts to Dave’s (Dave Foley character) office who hears the same song playing and states “I love that song”.  Well, I am with Dave.  I think it is one of Glen Campbell’s best performances to a mesmerizing production & arrangement by Al De Lory.  I also think it is one of Jimmy Webb’s finest compositions thanks to one of the most stunning lines I have ever heard:

And I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time

Swoon.

Jimmy Webb & Glen Campbell circa 1990’s (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Glen Campbell:  “Wichita Lineman” (1968, written by Jimmy Webb).

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 29

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 heard someone say once that if you get through the pain, and you put the past behind you, there are good things ahead.  Sometimes profound things.  And that happened to me.  I finally made peace with my past and while I do not usually share things like this, I feel like if I can help one person then it will be worth it.

Growing up I heard things no one should ever hear, but especially not an impressionable child.  And it did not just happen once, but over and over again.  It go so bad that by the age of 7 I even threatened to run away.  But nothing changed.  My parents continued to subject me to an unspeakable horror.  And by unspeakable horror I mean the sounds of the Fifth Dimension.

The pain was real.  I tried therapy a few times but it took years before I found the help I needed, and that was with a support group at the VA.  They saw combat but once they heard my story, they knew my hell was almost as real as theirs.  And since even seeing the name of my nemesis in front of me is giving me flashbacks, going forward I will only refer to them as F.D.

I hated the F.D.  HA-TED them.  I know hating is wrong, but so was nearly every note this group ever sang.  I believe part of the issue was all the members were always singing together in what was supposed to be five part harmony.  It was not.  And at that time I was listening to “The Partridge Family” & “The Brady Bunch”  who sang in six part harmony and I was fine with it, so go figure.  I remember hearing someone on the radio refer to the F.D. as an R&B group.  That was like saying Pat Boone sang rock & roll!!!  My parents were not hippies by any stretch of the imagination, but no self respecting hippie would ever have been caught dead listening to this group despite “The Age of Aquarius” slant anyway.

One morning when I woke up to the sound of that terrible song for the 927,623rd time (and trust me when I tell you I was rounding down), I got out of bed and walked into the living room where my mother was singing her heart out to what had become the bane of my existence.  I told her point blank that if the moon went into the seventh house one more time I was leaving.  Instead of taking me in her arms and giving me the rightful apology I was owed (and maybe a puppy for good measure). she seemed shocked and surprised that I knew the lyrics.  I was about 7 years old so I do not remember exactly what I said to her, but I believe it went something like, “Are you kidding me?  How could I NOT know the words?  You have played this song 927,623 times!!!”  (Side note:  In an odd way keeping count kept me somewhat sane as it gave me something to focus on other than those awful songs.  In therapy I discovered that is how members of POW camps learn to survive-by controlling what they can).

The lyrics were part of the problem.  They made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.  The main songwriter the F.D. worked with was Laura Nyro.  I came to understand that she was considered ahead of her time but I just did not get her at all.  Still don’t.  For instance, in “Stoned Soul Picnic” (whatever the heck that is), the opening line is “Surry down to a stoned soul picnic“.  Surry???  Was that even a real word?  Or was it a combination of the words “so hurry”?  And if so, how much time was actually saved by leaving out two letters?  Then in “Sweet Blindness” (an oxymoron if ever there was one), one verse is “come on baby do a slow float, you’re a good lookin’ riverboat and aint that sweet-eyed blindness good to me“.  What the hell???

Then in another one of Nyro’s songs, “Wedding Bell Blues”, we have the lead singer begging a guy in the group named Bill to marry her.  Where in God’s name was her self respect?  And what the heck was that recording session like?  I was embarrassed for her and I was only 7!!!  Even a song (“Up, Up & Away”) written by one of my favorite writers ever-the American treasure that is Jimmy Webb-made me cringe, but again I put the blame 100% on the group.  After all, Webb gave us great songs made famous by the likes of Glen Campbell (“Wichita Lineman” & “By The Time I Get To Phoenix”), Art Garfunkel (“All I Know”),  Linda Ronstadt (“Easy For You To Say”) and so many others.

But in all that darkness, one ember of light emerged.  The sound of a slow tempo song, sung by one voice with four backing vocals instead of the five group members singing at once, done in a beautiful arrangement.  The lyrics were different than their other songs, although I must admit I did not fully understand them at the time.  Example:  “one less egg to fry” made no sense to me.  After all, I was seven so I didn’t cook plus my mom either poached or scrambled my eggs.  And “one less man to pick up after”?  Was my dad leaving, I wondered.  And if so, where was he going???  But still, I found the song glorious.  And that was my introduction to two of the best songwriters this country-heck, this world-ever gave us:  Burt Bacharach & Hal David.  They saved me.

Years later I heard today’s song, written by this prolific duo, and I absolutely swooned.  The singer is not one of my favorites but her work with this extraordinary writing team was a powerful force in the 1960’s.  Her voice is so soft and pretty, and delivers a great vocal to a gorgeous arrangement.  It is the best of what a sad love song should be:  succinct, poignant, evocative and leaving you begging for one more note.  I love so many Bacharach & David compositions (“Anyone Who Had A Heart”, “This Guy’s In Love With You”, “A House Is Not A Home” “The Look Of Love” to name a few) but this one I adore.

Burt Hal

Hal David, Dionne Warwick & Burt Bacharach circa 1964  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dionne Warwick:  “Walk On By” (1964, written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David).

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 Songs: Day 1

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.

Now that Turkey Day is behind us and since December begins today, it’s time for me to share some of my favorite Christmas tunes with you.

December

But before we dive in, there is some other music I am loving right now that you might like also.  Some of the songs are new, some are old and some are in between.  I have been discovering new to me music through shows like “Psych” (sooooo looking forward to the  movie on December 7), “Criminal Minds”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and, of course, “This Is Us” (In this week’s episode alone, it featured the naked version of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and Cat Stevens “Where Do The Children Play“.  Swoon x 2!!!).

I also really love the soundtrack to “Big Little Lies”.  Yes Reese, Nicole, Shailene & Laura were great, but the actress who played Reese’s youngest daughter-Darby Camp- was unbelievably impressive.  And her character’s intense love of great music -that was me at that age!!!  I was Chloe Mackenzie minus the ear buds.  My favorite song from that series?  Leon Bridges:  “River

Here are some of my other top picks of late:

Kelly Clarkson’s version of “Love On The Brain” (The original is good, too, with Rihanna  sounding very old school R&B-soul-like).

Gillian Welch:  “I Made A Lover’s Prayer “.

Andrew Bird:  “Three White Horses“.

Foy Vance “Guiding Light” and “Gabriel & The Vagabond“.

Rufus Wainwright:  “Vibrate” (Just his voice as he plays the piano with one hand.  Beautiful.).

Rufus_Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright (original source unknown)

I think I have been even more consumed by my love of music these days because it has been such a sad year for the industry with the losses of Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Tom Petty,  Chris Cornell, Glen Campbell (he put Jimmy Webb’s songs on the map), David Cassidy (what girl did not l-o-v-e Keith Partridge) and the man with the first song on our countdown.

He was one of the early musical pioneers who helped create rock & roll by linking it to his jazz meets rhythm & blues background.  The only other Fifties-era rocker that sold more records than he was Elvis Presley.  But coming in second with 65 million records sold was no small feat.  According to his bio on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s website, he “scored more hit records than Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly put together”.  That is part of the reason why he was inducted into the HOF with the rest of the inaugural inductees in 1986.

Unfortunately, the change in the direction of music as a result of the one-two punch of the Beatles arrival in America in 1964 followed by the British Invasion brought this man’s incredible career to a screeching halt.  But even more depressing, we said a final goodbye to Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. on October 24 when he passed away at the age of 89.

VARIOUS

Fats Domino (Courtesy of Barry Peake/Rex/Shutterstock-original source unknown)

One of his musical heroes was Charles Brown who wrote and released the original version of this song in 1960.  But no one does it like the Fat Man.

Fats Domino:  “Please Come Home For Christmas“.

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!!!