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?
(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.
When I was growing up my mother had about ten 45’s that she played over and over. And that is not a complaint as those songs are still some of my all time favorites. One of them was “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson. We saw her sing it on one (or maybe several) of the variety shows between 1970 & 1971. I remember admiring her pretty long blonde hair and how much she smiled while singing her song. She was a country artist but the track became a massive crossover hit, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 chart.
Fast forward to March 1977. I was watching my two favorite cops, “Starsky & Hutch” in the episode, “Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road” (season two, episode 23) when who appeared but Anderson herself. She played a country singer (what else, right?) named Sue Ann Grainger who Hutch went to see at a local bar only to discover she was being stalked by a disgruntled former fan. S&H helped solve the case, of course, and to say thank you Grainger invited Hutch on stage to sing a song during her show to close out the episode. The tune he sang is today’s pick.
It was written by singer/songwriter Tom Jans who started his career singing with folk artist Joan Baez’s sister, Mimi Farina, around 1970 in California. She & Jans recorded an album in 1971 entitled, “Take Heart”. When it failed to chart the two singers parted ways the following year. Jans then moved to Nashville to write for a music publisher. His first song-today’s tune-was recorded by Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Presley and then by Jans himself for his own solo release in 1974. Unfortunately it did not have any success so Jans moved back to California. He recorded two more albums that did not sell so Jans moved to Europe. In 1983 he was in a serious motorcycle accident and died the following year allegedly from a drug overdose.
Today’s track has also been recorded by a few other artists including Etta James, Natalie Cole and Livingston Taylor. But to me, the best version is by Dobie Gray, whose gorgeous harmonies are reminiscent of his work on “Drift Away”. It only hit #61 on the charts in 1973 which I find absolutely criminal. This song is Jans’ beautiful legacy.
“I’ve been too long in the wind, too long in the rain
Taking any comfort that I can
Looking back and longing for the freedom from my chains
Lying in your loving arms again“.
Tom Jans circa 1973. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
Dobie Gray circa 1973. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
Dobie Gray: “Loving Arms” (1973, written by Tom Jans).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.