Let’s Take A Moment Day 425

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?

May blog 2021

(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.

Ritchie Valens was just 17 years old when he died with Buddy Holly & J.P. Richardson a/k/a The Big Bopper” on “The Day The Music Died” in February 1959. So it is hard to believe this year marked Valens’ 80th birth anniversary. He was born Richard Steven Valenzuela on May 13, 1941 in California. By high school he utilized his self taught musical skills to play for his classmates & eventually joined a local band,

However, it was his solo reputation that caught the attention of Bob Keane, the owner of a small record label. He signed Valens in May 1958 & started his career with today’s song followed by “Donna” and “La Bamba” (Day 324). Less than a year later, Valens died in the infamous plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. His legacy as one of rock & roll’s early pioneers stands more than 60 years later.

I love you so, dear
And I’ll never let you go
Come on, baby, so
Oh pretty baby, I-I love you so
“.

Valens

Ritchie Valens circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ritchie Valens: “Come On Let’s Go” (1958, written by Ritchie Valens).

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 324

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?

Feb 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.

February is short but incredibly rich with music history. But the month that gave us the arrival of The Beatles in the U.S. is the same month that five years earlier produced one of the worst tragedies in American music. On February 3, 1959 a plane crash in Iowa ended the lives of Buddy Holly, 21; Jiles Perry (J.P.) Richardson, a/k/a “The Big Bopper”, 28 and Ritchie Valens, 17. The cause of the crash remains undetermined to this day and also killed the pilot, Roger Peterson.

After six decades, countless documentaries, movies, books and plays celebrating the lives of each musician’s contribution to music & their enduring legacy, there is nothing I can add here that will offer a different insight to these talented three men. And in some ways no one has since Don McLean’s 1971 masterpiece, “American Pie” where he immortalized the devastating event as “The Day the Music Died”. For a refresher on the lives of two of the three artists I recommend two bio-pics: 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story” & 1987’s “La Bamba”. Or just YouTube the music & historical footage. It is worth it to see all three men as they should be remembered when often times it is how they died which remains most notable.

There are many songs to choose from to mark this sad anniversary. This year I chose one by the youngest singer on the plane, Valens. His career was still so new he only released singles while he was alive. The first one was “Come On, Let’s Go”, then “Donna” (about his high school girlfriend) and then today’s song. I still find it astounding that in 1958 when rock & roll was still very much in its infancy, a reworked Mexican folk song about a dance sung in Spanish by a relatively unknown teenage performer became a hit. We can never underestimate the power of music.

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan
Soy capitan, soy capitan
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba, bamba
“.

Translation:

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor, I’m a captain
I’m a captain, I’m a captain
Bamba, bamba
bamba, bamba
 bamba, bamba, bamba
“.

Feb 3 1959

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Ritchie Valens: “La Bamba” (1958, written by Ritchie Valens based on a traditional Mexican folk song).

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 302

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.

Every decade seems to have an immensely talented artist who is on the way to having a notable career in music until a plane crash ends his life. In the 1950’s we had the three singers who died together-Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper” J. P. Richardson & Ritchie Valens. In the 1960’s it was Otis Redding. And in the 1970’s it was Jim Croce.

He was born 78 years ago on Jan 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He released five studio albums between 1966 and 1973 which included one with his wife, Ingrid. They were married in 1966, the same year he released his first album made with his own money. His musical career began in earnest when he was a student at Villanova University. He started playing in bands, performing in coffee houses & university parties. After he was married he served in the Army National Guard & continued to work on his music. He was also working various odd jobs to earn money to support his family, which by 1971 included his son, Adrian James (A.J.). A year later Croce signed a record deal with ABC Records.

His third album, “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”, was released in April 1972, It featured four hits: “Time In A Bottle”, “Photographs and Memories”, the title track & today’s pick which I absolutely adore. It is one of those songs that brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. I am no stranger to sad love songs but one where a guy loses his girl to his “best old ex-friend” is especially heartbreaking in a simple yet elegant way. And despite the fact that this song is almost 50 years old & the profession Croce sings about no longer exists, it does not seem dated to me at all. It just feels like a beautiful sadness.

Croce died at the age of 30 in a plane crash on September 20, 1973. The five other passengers onboard were his guitarist Maury Muehleisen, 24, comedian George Stevens, 36, who was the opening act at Croce’s shows; his road manager Dennis Rast, 30; Croce’s booking agent Kenneth D. Cortose, 28, and the pilot. Croce’s son A..J. became a singer-songwriter himself & often performs his father’s songs in concert.

Operator, oh, could you help me place this call?
‘Cause I can’ t read the number that you just gave me
There’s something in my eyes, you know it happens every time
I think about a love that I thought would save me
“.

croce

Maury Muehleisen (L) and Jim Croce (R) circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jim Croce: “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)” (1972, written by Jim Croce).

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

Stay well.