Let’s Take A Moment Day 298

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.

Today is the 86th birth anniversary for the man crowned “The King”. But this month two other key events took place in history that helped Elvis Presley earn that title. January 5, 1923 is the day Sun Records founder Sam Phillips was born in Alabama. And January 2, 1950 is the day he opened the Memphis Recording Service in TN which became Sun Studio two years later. Not only did Elvis start there, but so did Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, amongst others. Is it any wonder why Memphis is the country music capital?

If you want to pinpoint the moment rock & roll changed American culture forever, look no further than “The Milton Berle Show” broadcast on June 5, 1956. Elvis sang today’s song that night which he would not record until a month later. It was during this appearance that he stood behind a microphone for the first time without his guitar (supposedly at Berle’s suggestion) leaving The King’s gyrating hips and pelvic thrusts in full view. This caused a nationwide swoon of nearly every young girl who was watching him. But their parents were watching, too, and many of them were not happy about what they saw. The complaints flooded in which is why when Elvis went on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in September & October that year and for his third and final time on January 6, 1957, he was censored. But anyone who saw Berle’s show knew why the girls in Sullivan’s audience were screaming. Life & music as the country & the world knew it was over. Elvis was now in the building.

So in honor of the day The King was born, let’s go back to where his reign began, on Berle’s show in 1956. Part of this clip is the one Mrs. Gump & Forrest watched from a store window in the film. She may have thought he was “not for children’s eyes” but anyone who understands music knows Elvis could do no wrong. All hail The King! And thank you, Sam Phillips, for showing him the door to the throne.

Yeah, they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
And you ain’t no friend of mine
“.

Sam and Elvis

Sam Phillips (L) with Elvis Presley at Sun Records circa 1954. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Hound Dog” (Live performance on “The Milton Berle Show” broadcast on June 5, 1956. Song recorded July 1956. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

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 228

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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.

There is another birthday in music upon us and this one belongs to U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Born October 31, 1961 in Dublin, Ireland he began playing drums at age 9 in marching bands. According to the band’s website, Mullen put an ad up at his school in 1976 seeking musicians to form a band that brought him together with his three bandmates. They put out an EP in 1979 and were signed to Island Records a year later. U2’s 1980 debut album gave them their first hit, “I Will Follow”. But it was their 1983 album, “War” that led to worldwide success. Nearly 40 years later, they are considered one of the most successful bands of all time.

I like a great deal of U2’s music and one album I particularly enjoy is 1988’s “Rattle & Hum”. They recorded a lot of it in Memphis at the legendary studios of Sun Records. That was where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and others began their recording careers. One of the song’s U2 worked on there was a collaboration with blues legend B.B. King. Despite how high he raised the bar on this track, U2 was not far behind. The raw intense lyrics from Bono & the music from the rest of U2 helped them keep up with power of The King Of The Blues, resulting in one heck of record.

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
As the music played I saw my life turn around
That was the day before love came to town
“.

U2 BB King

U2 with B.B. King in 1988 (L-R): Larry Mullen Jr., Bono, B.B. King, Adam Clayton & The Edge. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2 (in honor of Larry Mullen Jr.’s birthday) featuring B.B. King: “When Love Comes To Town” (1988, written by U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr.).

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 190

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?

Fall

(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 first official day of autumn. Welcome, you beautiful new season!!! There are a number of songs that celebrate the glory of fall. The most well known one is probably the jazz standard written by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer, “Autumn Leaves”. It has been recorded by hundreds of artists including Nat King Cole (1955), Frank Sinatra (1957), Miles Davis (1963), Chet Baker (1974), Jerry Lee Lewis (1980), Eric Clapton (2010) and Bob Dylan (2015).

However, on Day 168 I wrote about how Van Morrison has written several of my favorite fall tunes. He was a native of Belfast, Ireland until he moved to New York in the late 1960’s with his band, Them. He settled in Cambridge, MA after marrying his first wife who was an American citizen. Morrison was so enthralled by the colors of autumn in New England it led to him writing the many songs I love about this glorious time of year. My top choice is today’s pick. It is an exquisite evocative serenade to this most sublime season.

I saw you standing with the wind and the rain in your face
And you were thinking ’bout the wisdom of the leaves and their grace
When the leaves come falling down
In September when the leaves, come falling down
“.

van morrison

Van Morrison circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison: “When The Leaves Come Falling Down” (1999, written by Van Morrison).

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 45

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.

If I had to pinpoint how rock & roll music officially began, my timeline would be this:

1908:  The year American bandleader & swing/big band/R&B musician Louis Jordan is born.

1916:  The year American rockabilly songwriter Claude Demetrius is born.

1926:  The year American guitarist Charles Edward Anderson Berry is born.  The world would come to know him as Chuck Berry.  Soon he learns to “play a guitar just like a-ringin’ a bell and, oh my, that little country boy could play”.

1946:  Demetrius writes a song (co-written with Jordan’s wife, Fleecie Moore) called “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” which Jordan records and turns into an R&B hit the same year.

1958:  Berry writes and records his semi-autobiographical groundbreaking hit, “Johnny B. Goode”.  The song begins with a note for note replica of the introduction to Jordan’s 1946 song, written by Demetrius.  A new sound is born from combining music from the swing/big band/R&B/rockabilly genres and Berry is christened “The Father of Rock & Roll”.

Young impressionable youths like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and many others are entranced by what Berry does with a guitar.  Fast forward to 1963 & 1964 where The Beatles record Berry covers “Roll Over Beethoven” & “Rock & Roll Music ” and stop by America for that Sunday night show at the same theatre David Letterman was in and there you have it.

Yes, Elvis (who covered a few of Berry’s songs, including today’s), Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and many other early architects of this new sound were coming up around the same time as Berry.  However, his musicianship, his stage dance moves (most notably the “duck walk”) and his songwriting talent made him a triple threat and set him apart from the others.  Elvis will always be the King, but Berry was and remains The Master.

Today’s song also has the distinction of being part of NASA’s Voyager Space Mission as one of the pieces of music from Earth.  And honestly, can you imagine Marty McFly sliding across the floor to any other song in “Back To The Future” than this one?

Chuck-Berry-Johnny-B-Goode

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Chuck Berry:  “Johnny B. Goode” (1958, written by Chuck Berry).

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 12

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.

Today’s song comes from the musical genius nicknamed “The Killer” thanks to his wildly energetic stage performances.  He is regarded as one of the architects of rock & roll and helped make Sun Records the mega success it became.  He was also part of the label’s Million Dollar Quartet along with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins.  His extraordinary talent and piano playing style brought him almost immediate success, but it was with this song that he became a worldwide sensation.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis circa 1955 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Jerry Lee Lewis:  “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957, written by Dave “Curlee” Williams and James Faye “Roy” Hall).

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

Stay well.