Let’s Take A Moment Day 300

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.

Day 300. I never imagined when I started down this road it would last this long. But then again I never lived through a global pandemic before so I did not exactly have a point of reference. Or a clue as to how much life would really change as a result of it. But this has been anything but a chore so I will keep going.

When famed Beatles record producer Sir George Martin died in 2016, Paul McCartney is reported to have said, “If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George.” And if anyone had the right to bestow that title on someone, it was one of The Fab Four. Martin was born on January 3, 1926 in London, England. He was the man who signed The Beatles to EMI Records in 1962 and helped mold the band’s sound in the recording studio with his skills as an arranger & producer. He wore a few other hats throughout his career including musician, composer, engineer & conductor.

Martin’s influence was clear from the group’s first US album, Introducing… The Beatles, released 57 years ago today, January 10, 1964. A month later, they arrived in America for their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. If there ever was a moment that changed the course of music history in America, it was that Beatles’ Sunday night performance on February 9, 1964. Less than a year later-January 9, 1965-The Fab Four’s popularity showed no signs of slowing down when their album Beatles 65 soared from #98 to #1 in only one week.

The rest of The Beatles story is very well documented from their 1965 concert at Shea Stadium, their final concert a year later in Candlestick Park in San Francisco, their two movie features (“A Hard Day’s Night” & “Help”) to their groundbreaking albums including Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album & Abbey Road. Every album by the band with the exception of “Let It Be” was produced by Martin. The last one started with him in charge but then the project was put on hold for the band to record “Abbey Road“. They then returned to the Let It Be tapes to finish it but between all the fights amongst the band members including John Lennon’s departure at the beginning of 1970, the tapes were shelved. Eventually they were placed in the hands of Phil Spector who put his Wall Of Sound spin on them to give us the finished product in May 1970.

Martin continued his esteemed career in music after his seminal work with The Beatles. His more notable projects include his work on two James Bond soundtracks (“Goldfinger” in 1964 & “Live And Let Die” in 1973), producing several albums for the band America, collaborating with Pete Townsend on the musical arrangements for The Who’s 1993 Broadway production of “Tommy” & producing Elton John’s 1997 Princess Diana tribute recording of “Candle In The Wind”. Martin worked with his son, Giles Martin-also a composer, producer & multi-instrumentalist-on the arrangement of the music for the 2006 Cirque du Soleil show, “Love” based on The Fab Four’s music. The Beatles would not have been The Beatles without George Martin.

And anytime you feel the pain
Hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world
Upon your shoulders
“.

Martin and The Beatles

The Beatles in the Studio with producer George Martin circa 1967 (John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Martin (center) George Harrison and Paul McCartney. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Hey Jude” (Live performance from “Frost On Sunday” broadcast in the UK on September 8, 1968. Rebroadcast in the US on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” on October 6, 1968. Written by John Lennon & 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 249

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?

kurt v

(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.

Today marks the 74th birth anniversary of one of the greatest guitar players to ever pick up that instrument, Duane Allman. Born on November 20, 1946 in Nashville, TN to a United States Army lieutenant & his wife, Duane founded the band that would bear his family’s name when he was 22. According to his website it was his younger brother, Gregg, who taught Duane to play the guitar. Gregg received one as a Christmas gift the same year Duane got a motorbike. He learned to ride, Gregg started to play after learning the basic chords from a neighbor. After Duane totaled his bike, he became interested in what Gregg was doing. Duane learned as well then sold the wrecked bike to buy his own guitar around the age of 14. The brothers decided to pursue a career in music after seeing B.B. King in concert when they were teenagers. In 1957 the family was living in Florida and by 1961 the brothers were playing together at local dances in the Daytona Beach area.

After a brief stint in a band “Hour Glass” in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s, Duane returned to Florida. It was around this time he met drummer Butch Trucks and fellow guitarist Dickey Betts to form the hub of what would become The Allman Brothers Band, once Duane called Gregg back to Florida as well to join the group. Their self titled debut album was released in 1969. That year Duane also did sesion work for Aretha Franklin (on her cover of The Band’s “The Weight“), King Curtis (on his cover of “Games People Play“) and Wilson Pickett (on his cover of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude“). It was that record that first introduced Eric Clapton to Duane’s work and eventually the two met backstage at an ABB concert in Miami during the summer of 1970. It lead to his best known collaboration, with Clapton’s band, Derek & The Dominos, while they were recording their masterpiece, “Layla &Other Assorted Love Songs”. Duane appears on 11 of the album’s 14 tracks and he & Clapton bonded for life. In his 2007 autobiography, he referred to Duane as “the musical brother I’d never had but wished I did”.

Six years ago his daughter Galadrielle Allman (who was 2 when she lost her father), wrote a book about him based on countless interviews she conducted from family, fiends, bandmates and other musicians who worked with the guitar icon entitled “Please Be With Me: A Song For My Father, Duane Allman”. It’s not that I am not interested in his life because I am. But a part of me already knows all I need to: that his playing was fierce ferocious and forever, that his band was one of the greatest to ever take a stage & together they made some of the most incredible music of any generation.

My friends tell me, that I’ve been such a fool.
But I had to stand by and take it baby, all for lovin’ you.
Drown myself in sorrow as I look at what you’ve done.
But nothing seemed to change, the bad times stayed the same,
And I can’t run”.

Duane

Galadrielle Allman In Conversation With Jim Fusilli And Special Guest Gregg Allman

Top: Duane Allman in the studio circa 1968, Bottom (L-R): Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman with her uncle, Gregg Allman at her book signing in NYC, March 2014. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Allman Brothers: “Whipping Post” (1969, written by Gregg Allman).

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 196

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?

Jane Austen 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.

Today in 1968 The Beatles song, “Hey Jude”, hit the #1 spot in America where it stayed for nine consecutive weeks. Their success in this country began with their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964. Coincidentally, today marks the 119th birth anniversary of the host of that show. Edward Vincent Sullivan, who was born in Harlem, NY today in 1901, is undoubtedly best known for that Sunday night variety show which ran for an astonishing 23 years from 1948 until 1971. It remains the longest running variety show in US broadcast history.

Sullivan was raised in Port Chester, NY and began his career writing about sports for a local paper while he was still in high school. His career in print media continued after he graduated, first as a sports reporter then as that department’s editor for The Evening Graphic in 1927. Two years later he was given the slot as Broadway columnist to replace departing writer Walter Winchell. But then Sullivan moved to The New York Daily News which was a tabloid paper at the time. He wrote a column, “Little Old New York”, which was still focused on Broadway happenings but also included celebrity & local gossip. By 1933 he appeared in a film he wrote, “Mr. Broadway”, where he went to several NYC hotspots to meet various entertainers and celebrities. This led to his 1941 variety radio show, “Summer Silver Theater”, because throughout his years as a writer, Sullivan was also active as a producer and director in that medium & vaudeville shows. By 1948 Sullivan was hired by CBS to host “Toast Of The Town”, the weekly variety program that would go on to turn him into the legendary host he became.

In an interview about The Doors 1967 appearance on that show, Ray Manzarek said Sullivan “was like Barnum & Bailey. He presented the greatest show on television. You could see everybody……..you would always see a rock & roll band”. Well, it was not just that type of music you would see on that ground breaking program. Nearly every genre of musical artist appeared on the show: Motown, soul, R&B, country, Americana, jazz, standards, big band, swing, classical & anything else you can imagine. YouTube has a station devoted to hundreds of the Sullivan show performances, and not just the musical ones. You can see comediennes, skits, acrobatic acts and many others. There is even a clip from 1970 where Coretta Scott King introduces two of her husband’s taped speeches, “I Have A Dream” & his last public one in Memphis where he spoke about threats against him before he uttered these heartbreaking words: “Like anybody I would like to live a long life”. That is just one example of how diverse and progressive Sullivan’s show was.

It featured women entertainers when they were still considered homemakers only. It presented all types of music during the changing times of the turbulent 1960’s and people of all different races who were only looked at for their ability to captivate the audience and nothing more. That was all Sullivan, who never saw race or gender at a time when the world was focused on it. He only saw variety and shared it with the world. No wonder he was dubbed “The Starmaker”.

Initially I thought I would never be able to choose one performance from the Sullivan show to commemorate his birth anniversary given how many there are to pick from. But then I saw the clip of today’s song and suddenly the choice was clear. My parents loved The Bee Gees and I inherited that feeling for all their older music (read: their music BEFORE the infamous disco era). My mother’s favorite song of theirs was “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” but the group did not perform that one on the Sullivan show. So I chose one of the songs they did sing in 1968. It features Barry on vocals alone sans beard, Maurice on bass, Robin on piano and about a dozen string players. And since tomorrow, September 29, marks what would have been my mothers 81st birthday, I thought this beautiful song was a great way to honor her, too.

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away
“.

Ed and The Beatles 1964

Bee Gees

Top (L-R): Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Ed Sullivan, John Lennon & Paul McCartney from their appearance in February 1964. Bottom (L-R): Robin Gibb (piano), Vince Melouney (guitar), Colin Petersen (drums), Maurice Gibb (Bass) and center, Barry Gibb (vocals) at their March 1968 performance. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Bee Gees: “Words” (Performed live on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on March 17, 1968. Written by Barry, Maurice & Robin Gibb).

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

Stay well.

Christmas Song Countdown #19

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

durango-co-christmas

Durango, Colorado  Courtesy:  TopValueReviews.net (original source unknown)

 

The singer with today’s song is another phenomenal soul and R&B singer.  Like the others in the countdown, he got his start singing in church. That early training laid the foundation for the passionate delivery on almost every song he sang.

He recorded some music at Stax records and worked with the house band-also known as Booker T. and the MG’s-and Isaac Hayes, who would go on to win an Oscar for “Shaft”.  This singer also wrote his own music, putting him on the same level as contemporaries Sam Cooke and Otis Redding; but, he is also known for a fantastic cover of the Beatles song, “Hey Jude“, which features a pre-Allman Brothers Band guitarist named Duane Allman.

 

wilson-duane Wilson Pickett and Duane Allman circa 1968 (original source unknown)

 

This singer recorded several Christmas songs, but this one is my favorite.

Wilson Pickett:  Jingle Bells

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!!!

small-town-christmas

Courtesy:  Cape Night Photography