Let’s Take A Moment Day 186

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.

September 17th marked the 97th birth anniversary of country’s first and arguably greatest star, Hank Williams. Born in Alabama in 1923, Hiram “Hank” Williams began playing guitar around age 14. By 1938 he was already playing in a band, “Drifting Cowboys”. In 1946 he recorded for Sterling Records which led to a contract with MGM Records and his first hit, “Move It On Over”. When he moved to Nashville in 1949 he was on his way to achieving his legendary status with songs like “Hey Good Lookin'”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You”) and today’s track.

Williams, who was born with the disease spina bifida occulta, suffered intense back pain because of this condition. It led to an early reliance on alcohol to help cope with it but eventually he formed a dependency on it that began to interfere with his personal life as well as his musical career. His alcoholism became so bad he was fired from The Grand Ole Opry in August 1952. He died en route to a show on January 1, 1953 at age 29. But with the songs he wrote and recorded his legacy as a musical powerhouse was already sealed.

He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation Award in 2010 “for his craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life”. Williams influenced everyone from Elvis Presley to Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones to countless country artists. His songs have been covered by Al Green, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Norah Jones, Jeff Buckley and an array of other artists in many different genres. He remains one of the top legends in music nearly seven decades after his death. He was just that great.

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I’m so lonesome I could cry
“.

H Williams 1

Hank Williams circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Hank Williams: “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (1949, written by Hank Williams).

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 161

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?

Bruce 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.

On this day in 1994 Jeff Buckley released his stunning debut album, “Grace”.  His voice had a depth and spirit beyond his young age of 27, thanks in part to his distinct four octave tenor range.  He began his career as a studio guitarist and performed in clubs singing songs by other artists before focusing on his own material.  He wrote or co-wrote seven of the ten songs on “Grace”, using three songs by other artists to complete his track listing.  I love all three, especially “Lilac Wine”, but his version of today’s song, a Leonard Cohen classic, is just beautiful.

I loved it from the first time I heard it, but really swooned over it after it was used at the end of an episode of “Without A Trace” (season 1, episode 23).  FBI agent Jack Malone, played by Anthony LaPaglia, is sitting in a chair thinking about his day dealing with a gunmen who had lost all hope due to the death of his wife on 9/11.  Malone is staring at a picture of the World Trade Center hung up in his bedroom.  Suddenly his eyes move across the wall to a nearby window where you see the exact same view as what was in the picture but now without the Twin Towers.  It was one of the most heart wrenching scenes of any TV show I have ever seen.  And Buckley’s voice singing today’s song only added to that  feeling.

His birth father, Tim Buckley, was a fairly successful folk singer (he appeared on an episode of The Monkees) who later incorporated other musical genres in to his work.  Tim died in 1975 at age 28 from a drug overdose.  But of all the cautionary tales learned from rock & roll, his son’s death from drowning at age 30 is just one more to shake your head at and wonder why.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah“.

L-R:  Jeff Buckley circa 1994 & Leonard Cohen circa 2010.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Jeff Buckley:  “Hallelujah” (1994, written by Leonard Cohen).

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

Stay well.