Music Monday: January 23, 2023

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

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

One of the newest members of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame celebrated birthday #77 last week. Dolly Parton was born January 19, 1946 in Sevier County, Tennessee. She joined fellow country superstars Hank Williams and Johnny Cash who were also recognized for their contributions to music history without being defined by one genre.

The Rock Hall’s introduction of Parton-“In a career spanning six decades, she has recorded more than 50 studio albums and, by her own estimation, written nearly 3,000 songs”-limit her talents to musician, singer and songwriter. Those are certainly impressive roots but only the first part of her story. She is so much more than just three things. She is a wife (who has spent many years honoring her husband’s wish for privacy), an actress (9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias are my favorites), an author, a businesswoman, a humantitarian (her Imagination Library is such an incredible mission) plus she has her own resort & theme park, Dollywood. She seems to grow in popularity every day, hitting three billion worldwide streams in 2021, according to her website. That is a massive reach but not surprising for a woman who has written some incredible songs, including today’s.

It was released nearly 50 years ago in October 1973, yet it is still one of the defining songs of Parton’s career. And it shows us all that a throw down is not always the way to go when confronting someone trying to hurt you. Maybe, just maybe, an honest conversation reminding them that even if they can cause you pain, perhaps they will choose not to.

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do
Jolene”.

Dolly Parton circa 2019. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dolly Parton: “Jolene” (1973, written by Dolly Parton).

Stay safe & well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 13

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 13 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Country Queen Loretta Lynn recorded today’s song twice. The first time was in 1966 for the album, “Country Christmas” & then again in 2016 for “White Christmas Blue“. The latter record was prodiced by Lynn’s daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash (son of Johnny & June Carter Cash).

Lynn re-recorded six of the tracks from the first album for the second one, including today’s song. Each is wonderful and done in Lynn’s signature style. Both are included here for your enjoyment. I am partial to the 1966 version but am adding both to my playlist because why not? It’s Loretta Lynn.

And when those blue
Snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue

Memories start calling
“.

Loretts

Loretta Lynn circa 2021. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Loretta Lynn: “Blue Christmas” (2016, written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson).

Loretta Lynn: “Blue Christmas” (1966, written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Music Monday: November 7, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The last surviving architect of the music we call rock & roll passed away last month. Jerry Lee Lewis died at age 87 on October 28, 2022 at his home in Nesbit, Mississippi. Incredibly big sigh.

He and his fellow innovators appeared at a time when music needed a new sound and they did not disappoint. That new genre exploded on the scene in the 1950’s and made the world take notice. And not too many of us ever looked back.

Lewis was part musician, part stage performer, part wild man and part rebel all wrapped into one volatile package. He would switch between a boogie-woogie player to a piano thumping wild man so many times during one song it was like watching two performers at once.

Rest in peace to the musician nicknamed “The Killer”, the original & true piano man, someone who lived as fiercely as he played, who helped make Sun Records the legend it became, who was one fourth of its Million Dollar Quartet and gave us all another reason to call music the answer to whatever ails us.

Come over baby whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on
Yes, I said come over baby baby you can’t go wrong
We ain’t fakin’
Whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on
“.

Jerry Lee Lewis

million dollar quartet B

Top: Jerry Lee Lewis circa 1965. Bottom: Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet (L-R): Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley (seated), Carl Perkins and Lewis in the studio circa 1956. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: Sept 12, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Before we get to our song, let me pay tribute to four women who are quite dear to me. On September 14, 1985 my Girls, the world’s Girls, “The Golden Girls” debuted on NBC. And they have not left the airwaves in the last 37 years, living on in syndication & fans’ hearts all around the world. I love them for more reasons than I can ever count, but especially for how current they were on music. They made references to Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Prince, to name a few. Just one more reason why they were four of the coolest bad-ass chicks on the planet. Long live The Golden Girls! And a ginormous thank you to show creator Susan Harris & all the people behind the cameras who brought the show to life.

golden 1

The Golden Girls on their couch (L-R): Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

For as happy as the above anniversary makes me, it also reminds me that when I was watching that show the first time around, most of my life was still ahead of me. That is not the case now. And it forces me to take pause and reflect. Not only on what I have to be grateful for but also for those I have lost. And that makes me feel very sad.

Add to that the 21st anniversary of 9/11 yesterday, the fact that Great Britain is now in a mourning period for a Queen they celebrated for 50 years but more importantly, a family lost a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother, plus the world continues to fight a pandemic after two & a half very long years. The passage of time just keeps reminding me not all changes are happy ones. Many transitions were and continue to be difficult.

Sometimes I just need to face that. So for today, I am going to let myself feel down. And hope tomorrow this weight will feel a little lighter. As always music is the way I cope, whatever mood I am in. Today, that mood is blue. Whatever color day you are having (Blanche Devereaux referred to some of her off days as “magenta”), I hope you enjoy today’s song. I do not know when or where I first heard it but I love it. Especially on days when the colors win.

You know my heart keeps tellin’ me
You’re not a kid at thirty-three
You play around you lose your wife
You play too long you lose your life
“.

Good_Time_Charlie's_Got_the_Blues_-_Danny_O'Keefe

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Danny O’Keefe: “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” (1972, written by Danny O’Keefe).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: February 28, 2022

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

Music Monday

 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

As we say goodbye to February 2022, let’s focus on the milestone birthdays celebrated this month for two of music’s most incredible talents. Singer/songwriter extraordinaire Carole King turned 80 on February 9 (born in 1942) and blue-eyed soul Doobie Brother Michael McDonald turned 70th on February 12 (born in 1952). Plus, February 26th marked the 90th birth anniversary for The Man In Black, Johnny Cash (born in 1932). It is impossible for me to pick just one of these icons to spotlight today, so I am going to do things a little differently this week and feature one track from each. You’re welcome.

Cash circa 1965

Johnny Cash circa 1965. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

All three artists hold special places in my heart & mind. The first concert I ever attended was The Doobie Brothers. I liked them before McDonald joined them, but with him their sound evolved into rock & soul fusion which I absolutely adored. King is the genius behind the best album by a female artist, not to mention the composer of so many hits I have lost track. Cash was one of my first introductions to classic country music courtesy of my grandmother’s love of the genre. These are some of the greatest moments in my varied & extensive musical history. And I am thankful for this soundtrack in my life single day.

King circa 1990.

Carole King circa 1990. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

For McDonald I was going to choose my favorite from his early Doobie Brother years-“It Keeps You Running“-but then I remembered the title track from his 1990 album which still makes me swoon more than 30 years later. I chose a song from King’s 1971 opus because those were the best of her career in my world. As for Cash, he could sing anything. And he did. But one of his signature songs is always my pick to start a listening party by him because they bring back some of the fondest memories of my life. But any track from any one of these icons would obviously be welcome. Their talent & music speaks for itself. Enjoy.

Mcdonald circa 2000

Michael McDonald circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash: “Ring Of Fire” (1963, written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore).

Carole King: “Tapestry” (1971, written by Carole King).

Michael McDonald: “Take It To Heart” (1990, written by Michael McDonald and Diane Warren).

Stay safe & well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 546

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

As I have shared before, my grandmother is the one who introduced me to country music, How do you thank someone for bringing Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton & others into your life? And that was only one of the many invaluable gifts my grandmother gave me. Today marks 20 years since she died. I miss her every moment of every day. And since September 17 marks the 98th birth anniversary of Hank Williams, I thought today’s song was a great way to remember them both.

When tears come down like fallin’ rain
You’ll toss around and call my name
You’ll walk the floor the way I do
Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you
“.

Idie's wedding picture

Hank

Top: My grandmother (with my grandfather) on their wedding day in April 1934 Hank Williams circa 1950. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Hank Williams: “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (1952, 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 524

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 Day 389 I shared a clip of Derek & The Dominos on “The Johnny Cash Show” which aired in January 1971. It was filmed two months earlier and featured the host & his guests singing a completely sublime version of “Matchbox” together with the song’s writer, Carl Perkins. But before that glorious moment, the group performed today’s pick from their only album released in November 1970. The studio sessions for that record, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs began 51 years ago on August 22, 1970.

Eric Clapton first met the other Dominos-pianist & singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon-in 1969. They were part of the band for the American duo Delaney & Bonnie who toured with Blind Faith that year. After the break-up of his group Clapton continued playing with the duo & their band which was rebilled as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Even George Harrison joined then for a few shows. But in the spring of 1970 Delaney started firing members of the group who demanded raises including the future Dominos. .

They reunited with Clapton during the studio sessions for Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. After that Clapton & Whitlock began serious talks about forming a band and recruited Radle & Gordon as the rhythm section. The group flew to Florida to work with engineer Tom Dowd who Clapton knew from his time in Cream. Dowd took the band to see The Allman Brothers in concert, leading to Clapton’s meeting with Duane Allman. He ended up working with the group in the studio & played on all but three of the tracks on the Layla album. It was released three months later and it is one of my favorite records of all time.

And I wonder does she know
When she left me it hurt me so
I need your love baby please don’t make me wait
Tell me it’s not too late
“.

eric & bobby

Gordon and Radle

Top: Bobby Whitlock on piano and Eric Clapton on guitar during Derek & The Dominos appearance on “The Johnny Cash Show” in January 1971. Bottom: The rhythm section of the band: drummer Jim Gordon and bassist Carl Radle. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Derek & The Dominos: “It’s Too Late” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1970, written by Chuck Willis).

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 463

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?

June 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.

Today marks the 85th birthday for one of the greatest artists this country ever produced. Kris Kristofferson is a poet, a songwriter, an actor, a singer, an entertainer, a Rhodes Scholar & a veteran. He was born June 22,1936 in Texas and except for having to watch him die in the 1976 version of “A Star Is Born”, I have loved-actually, adored-everything he has ever done. And don’t even get me started on those unbelievably gorgeous eyes, the hair, the beard and every part of his swagger that made him one of the most beautiful men I ever laid eyes on. Sa-woooooon.

Today’s song is from his 1970 debut album, Kristofferson. It contained three of his biggest hits: “Me & Bobby McGee” (Day 313), “Help Me Make It Though The Night” (Day 49), and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”. Fellow superstars Al Green, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn & The King himself Elvis Presley covered this track over the last five decades and they are all unbelievably good, of course. But there is something about Kristofferson’s own versions of his songs that highlight his exceptionally talented soul.

Happy birthday, Kris Kristofferson. May you celebrate 100 more. And thank you for every word you have ever written.

Let’s just be glad
We had some time to spend together
There’s no need to watch the bridges
That were burning
“.

Kris

Kris Kristofferson’s 1970 debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Kris Kristofferson: “For The Good Times” (1970, written by Kris Kristofferson).

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 441

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?

Memorial Day

(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.

Admittedly I was not much of a fan of folk music in my teenage years. I had heard a few artists from that genre & knew it was not a sound I could ever embrace. But as my love of music grew I found another artist who embraced that sound-namely, Bob Dylan. Of course I found the beauty of his words & music remarkable & realized how far reaching his influence was, especially on my great musical love, Bruce Springsteen. But who was a great influence on Dylan? One of the biggest was Woody Guthrie.

Today the folk genre is more commonly known today as “roots music” or Americana which includes the early sounds not only of folk but blues, country, rhythm & blues and rock influences. Guthrie embodied all those sounds and made them his own.

Legend tells us he wrote today’s song as a somewhat snarky answer to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” which Guthrie was tired of hearing so often on the radio in the late 1930’s. He wrote some of the lyrics in 1940 but did not do anything with the tune until he revisited it in 1944. That is when he played it for a record company executive changing the course of Guthrie’s life from a Merchant Marine to a professional musician & artist.

The melody has been attributed to a song by The Carter Family (yes, Johnny Cash’s in-laws) but Guthrie’s tune used a different structure of the earlier one. The lyrics, however, are all his. And they are quite beautiful. I remember singing this song in my elementary school music class quite often. Each time I envisioned the scenes Guthrie wrote about and dreamt of the day I could see it all. But music, like the pages of a book, made me feel as if I already had. That is the power of great art.

On this Memorial Day 2021, we celebrate this great land of ours, the great freedoms we have here because of those who paid the highest price for us to have it. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
Saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me
“.

W Guthrie

Woody Guthrie circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Woody Guthrie: “This Land Is Your Land” (1944, written by Woody Guthrie).

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 389

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?

May 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.

Many of my musical heroes predate the video channels era. Even though they embraced that new medium, performances from their earlier years were either lost or locked in some television history vault gathering dust. Then YouTube showed up and slowly over the years video clips from those early days were suddenly at hand, mostly from TV shows from eras gone by. Many of these finds were absolute gifts of gold, but one was pure platinum.

Derek & The Dominos appeared on “The Johnny Cash Show” in November 1970 & the episode aired two months later. The band was together for less than a year so the chance to see them anywhere during that time was rare enough. But the chance to see Eric Clapton between The Cream years & his solo career was just priceless. The band performed “It’s Too Late”, a 1950’s blues song they covered for their only album & it was fabulous. But it was about to get even better.

After their performance Cash came out to thank the band for their appearance. He then invited his friend & fellow Sun Records legend, Carl Perkins, to play one of his songs with them. Then he, Cash, Clapton & the rest of The Dominos played today’s track and it was nothing short of astounding. Swoon.

In September 1985 Clapton performed the song with Perkins again along with Ringo Starr during an all star concert celebrating Perkins’ career. Starr sang several of Perkins’ songs during The Beatles early days including “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” & “Honey Don’t”. Perkins, who was born 89 years ago on April 9, 1932 in Tennessee, was a huge influence on The Fab Four, especially Starr & George Harrison.

The 1985 concert ended with a rousing performance of Perkins most famous tune, “Blue Suede Shoes”. But for me, today’s song holds the top spot in my heart thanks to this one time only performance from 50 years ago. In the words of my sweet beautiful friend, Toni: “Long live the 1970’s”.

“I’m an old poor boy
And I’m a long way from home
I won’t ever be happy
Everything I do is wrong
“.

cash show 2

Perkins and co

Top (L-R): Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash, November 1970. Bottom (L-R): Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Carl Perkins and George Harrison in 1985. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Derek & The Dominos: “Matchbox” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show“, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1957, written by Carl Perkins).

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

Stay well.