Music Monday: October 10, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yesterday marked the 82nd birth anniversary for John Winston Ono Lennon. Born October 9, 1940 in Liverpool, England his short 40 years on this earth were marked by incredibly low lows (the death of his mother when he was 15, the death of his friend & bandmate Stuart Sutcliff who died from a brain anuerysm at age 21 in 1962, the death of The Beatles manager Brian Epstein from an overdose in 1967) and the highest of highs (his remarkable gift & talent helped him change music, culture and the world, he remains one of the top songwriters of all time, he found his great love, he had two sons).

Lennon used his celebrity for causes he believed in, most notably his quest to bring love and peace to the world being ravaged by war in the late 1960’s. He challenged the standards set by society in 1975 when he decided to put his carereer on hold to be a stay at home father & husband. And he knew when it was time to bring his musical talent back to the masses five years later.

Sending “limitless undying love” across the universe today and always to John Lennon.

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain
“.

Lennon

John Lennon circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Lennon: “Jealous Guy” (1971, written by John Lennon).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: September 5, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today we observe Labor Day in the United States. Whether you work the hours referenced in today’s song or any other schedule, whether you do it in a store, an office, on the road, outside or from home, whether you are considered white collar, blue collar or no collar, you are a laborer. A person that makes this country run. Every. Single. Day. We are, as John Lennon sang, working class heroes. May this day of rest-if you are able to observe it-be one of leisure, peace or whatever down time means to you.

Tumble outta bed and
I stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition and
Yawn & stretch & try to come to life
“.

Labor

Dolly movie

Top: Telephone operators at the turn of the 20th century. Bottom: Dolly Parton on the phone in the 1980 movie, “9 to 5”. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dolly Parton: “9 to 5” (1980, written by Dolly Parton).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: August 15, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.

It was 57 years ago today that The Beatles made history in New York for the second time in two years. On August 15, 1965 the band played their now famous concert at Shea Stadium. It was the first time a musical group held a show in that type of venue in the United States. The Fab Four performed 12 songs-eight originals, four covers-during their 30 minute set in front of a sold out crowd of nearly 56,000 fans. Most of that crowd were young girls screaming so hysterically they drowned out the music, including today’s song.

I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to witness the kind of history The Beatles made on their first trip to America in February 1964, let alone the monumental concert nearly six decades ago. But I relived it vicariously through Sally Draper when she screamed & jumped for joy after her father, Don, told her he was taking her to the concert. That episode of “Mad Men” (S4 E10) aired 45 years after “The First Play At Shea”, but what a way to let those of us who missed Beatlemania experience a piece of that magic.

Thank you John, Paul, George & Ringo for EVERYTHING.

You tell lies
Thinking I can’t see
You can’t cry
‘Cause you’re laughing at me
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage in Shea Stadium in 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “I’m Down” (1965, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: June 20, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Sir James Paul McCartney celebrated his 80th birthday over the weekend. Born June 18, 1942 in Liverpool, England, the man who would become one fourth of the band that changed music forever & one-half of one of the greatest songwriting teams ever has spent six decades making music. There is not much for me to add to a legacy like that.

Today’s song has been my #1 favorite of McCartney’s since I first heard it during one of my most beloved scenes from the “Let It Be” movie. But once I discovered the “naked” version of this song, it took the top spot on that list.

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
“.

Paul 1964

Paul and Linda

Paul M

Top: McCartney in his Beatles days circa 1964. Middle Paul & his first wife, Linda, in the 1970’s. McCartney (L) on stage in NJ last week with one of that state’s favorite sons, Bruce Springsteen (R). (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Beatles: “The Long & Winding Road” (1970 original, 2003 reissue, written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: April 18, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On April 18, 1970 today’s song hit the #1 spot in the country for the second week in a row. It is the title song from The Beatles last album which remains my favorite of theirs to this day. I was lucky enough to see the movie by the same name dozens of time one summer when it was on a loop on a movie channel. I was too young to realize The Fab Four were fighting but not to realize I was witnessing the greatest band of all time rehearsing some of their final songs in a studio together. And that rooftop scene needs no further accolades from me. The performance speaks for itself over five decades later.

I still have yet to see Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” documentary released nearly six months ago for a more in-depth take on that movie. That is not because I do not think it will be a great watch. I have no doubt it is stunning. It is about The Beatles, after all. I am procrastinating because I am worried it might take away some of the magic from my first look at that moment in time. It was such a turning point in my life to see the band that changed everything so up close & personal, sharing their process with the world. It left an indelible mark on my life & the direction of my musical choices every day since.

As the band’s final album was growing in popularity in the world, the news that The Beatles broke up the same month also altered the landscape of the universe. The phenomenal ride those four lads from Liverpool took us on had ended. That devastating news in early 1970 changed the world as much as their first appearance did on that glorious Sunday night just six years earlier on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964.

And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be
“.

Beatles

 

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Let It Be” (1970, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: April 4, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Saturday marked the 83rd birth anniversary for one of the great musical loves of my life. Marvin Gaye was born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. and became one of the most definitive soul voices in music history. Below is the tribute post I wrote for him on my blog from April 2, 2020.

Today’s marks what would have been Marvin Gaye’s birthday.  He sang some of the greatest songs to come out of the Motor City including today’s pick.  It was his first career number one record, and for a while it was the best selling hit on the Motown label, spending seven weeks in the top spot.

I can still remember the first time I heard this song.  I was sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car and from the second it came on the radio, I felt something inside of me tremble.  Like a part of me I did not even know I had suddenly woke up and made its presence known.  It was strong, and steady and felt so familiar yet so new at the same time.  It was as if I suddenly had an internal voice that was singing all on its own without any help from my real voice. Years later I would hear the phrase “soul music” and I realized that is why they call it that-because it is music that hits you in the deepest place.  And that is what I felt in the car that day.

marvin-gaye-1964

Marvin Gaye circa 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Gaye had one of the greatest voices ever, not just in the soul genre.  He was also a talented musician playing piano, synthesizers and drums.  Despite being a solo artist he performed several duets during his career, most notably with Tammi Terrell.  He also wrote and/or co-wrote several hits for other artists including Martha & the Vandellas (“Dancing In The Street”), the Marvelettes (“Beechwood 4-5789″) and the Originals (“Baby, I’m For Real”).  He wrote many of his own songs as well, and as the turbulence of the 1960’s became too hard for him to ignore, he channeled his feelings into songs about the war (“What’s Going On”), social injustice (“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”) and the state of the environment (“Mercy Mercy Me”), amongst others.  

Gaye took some time off in the late 1970’s for personal reasons including his exit from the Motown label.  He signed with CBS Records and came back stronger than ever in 1982 with his album “Midnight Love” which included another number one hit, “Sexual Healing”.  That song earned him his first two Grammy Awards after over 20 years as a recording artist.  Also in 1983, he sang an incredibly soulful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the NBA All Star Game.  While he was in the middle of his enormous comeback tour, I was lucky enough to see him give a magnetic performance at Radio City Music Hall.  It was one of the greatest nights of my life.

So many singers have died tragically young either by drugs, plane crashes, car accidents or suicide.  But Gaye was the third of my musical heroes to be shot to death-first Sam Cooke (one of Gaye’s idols) in 1964 and then John Lennon in 1980.  In those two tragedies both men died by a stranger’s hand.  Gaye was killed by his own father on April 1, 1984. I have never fully recovered from the senselessness of that act.  I wonder almost daily what else this unbelievably talented man would have accomplished in his career.

People say believe half of what you see, son
And none of what you hear
But I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear
“.

Marvin

Gaye circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye: “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (1968, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On February 7. 1964 The Beatles arrived in America for the very first time. Two days later they made their historic appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. After their first song that night, as I have written before, the world changed into a brand new color called John, Paul, George & Ringo. The rest of the hues, along with music, life & Sunday nights from that point on, would never be the same ever again. And for this I and the 73 million viewers who tuned in that night are eternally grateful. Today’s song is from The Fab Four’s first movie, released five months after that landmark evening.

It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been workin’ like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night
I should be sleepin’ like a log
“.

Feb 7

The Beatles arriving in New York during their first trip to America on February 7, 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe and well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 8

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 8

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song was released 50 years ago on December 1, 1971. We lost the enigmatic singer behind it 41 years ago today. His death remains one of the saddest moments of my life. But this track along with the rest of his legendary catalog helps me & the rest of his fans across the universe remember how alive his spirit and his heart remain in our world. Merry Christmas, John.

So this is Christmas 
And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun
“.

John

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Lennon & Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (1971, written by John Lennon & Yoko Ono).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Music Monday: October 11, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

October 9 marked the 81st birth anniversary for John Lennon. Today’s song, which featured Ringo Starr on drums and Billy Preston on piano, always reduces me to tears but I also think it was one of the best of Lennon’s solo years. Sending “limitless undying love” across the universe to this beautiful soul who gave us all so much and only wanted love & peace in return.

I was the Dreamweaver
But now I’m reborn
I was the walrus
But now I’m John
And so dear friends
You’ll just have to carry on
The dream is over
“.

John Lennon

John Lennon circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Lennon: “God” (1970, written by John Lennon).

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 517

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?

Aug 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.

On this day last year (Day 152), we celebrated the 55th anniversary of The Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert which took place August 15, 1965. That means today marks 56 years since that momentous occasion. So we will celebrate again.

The clips from the show are rarely up on YouTube because of copyright laws (BBC Television owns the film rights to the concert they released a year later). So even though today’s song was on the set list that night over five decades ago, the video I chose is of the group performing it in their movie, “Help“.

It was released four days before their historic concert and a year after their first big screen smash, “A Hard Day’s Night“. What a bland uninspired and sad color this world would be without John, Paul, George & Ringo in it, Thank you for everything, boys, especially the first play at Shea.

She said that living with me
Is bringing her down yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Ticket To Ride” (1965, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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

Stay well.