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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 217

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.

Today we celebrate the birthday of a brother. A Doobie Brother. Patrick Simmons was born 72 years ago today in 1948. He has been the only consistent member of the band since they first formed in California fifty years ago in 1970. He is a singer, songwriter & guitarist who wrote today’s song. It was the band’s first #1 record, hitting the top of the chart in March 1975. The song is from the band’s 1974 album which has one of the best titles for a record I ever heard, “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits”.

They performed today’s pick back in April in their “Live In Isolation” series and the ending chorus featured clips of fans singing along with them from home videos. It was a fabulous way to connect with their audience. So many of us are missing live music, one of the great casualties of this virus. But the Brothers made it happen. They hold a special place in my heart as theirs was the first concert I ever attended. I adore their music and remain completely in love with 1978’s “Minute By Minute” album to this day.

The Doobie Brothers are part of the Class of 2020 R&R HOF Inductees that did not get their official ceremony in May since it was cancelled because of the pandemic. But they should have been inducted decades ago. The band’s first album came out in 1971, making them eligible for the HOF in 1996. That is according to the Hall’s rule which makes an artist first eligible 25 years after the release of their debut album. Do the math, everyone. The Doobie Brothers have waited nearly twice that long.

The band’s page on the Hall’s website even acknowledges this (“They have been a mainstay in the rock & roll landscape for nearly five decades”) yet offers no apology nor explanation for the delay. But do not get me started on that place since John Coltrane, Bad Company, Warren Zevon, Pat Benatar, Jim Croce & Tina Turner (as a solo artist) are also still waiting to get in. But Abba was inducted 10 years ago. Completely ridiculous.

Simmons is being inducted with fellow Brothers Tom Johnston, John McFee, John Hartman, Michael Hossack (1946-2012), Tiran Porter, Keith Knudsen (1948-2005), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Michael McDonald, who rejoined the group last year (yay!!!). The live ceremony has been revamped to “an exclusive special” to air on HBO & HBO MAX on November 7. In any case it will be a nice belated birthday gift for Simmons.

Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floatin’
Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my name
Catfish are jumpin’, that paddle wheel thumpin’
Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same
“.

Doobies minute picture 1978

Top: The Doobie Brothers in 1978 (L-R, top to bottom): John Hartman, Patrick Simmons, Michael McDonald, Keith Knudsen, Jeff Skunk” Baxter & Tiran Porter. Bottom: The Brothers circa 2020: Simmons, Tom Johnston, John McFee & McDonald. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Doobie-Brothers-Clay-Patrick-McBride

The Doobie Brothers: “Black Water” (1974, written by Patrick Simmons).

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

Stay well.