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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 347

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?

Feb 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 is the 89th birth anniversary for The Man In Black, Johnny Cash, He was born February 26, 1932 in Arkansas. He grew up listening to gospel music, learned to play guitar before he was a teenager & formed his first band while he was in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950’s. Today’s song was released in May 1956, over a year before his first album came out in October 1957.

His work is some of the best ever recorded in country music history and he lived an early life strife with tragedy, addiction & hard times, including a divorce from his first wife & mother to his four daughters. But love turned his life around when he married his fellow singer, longtime friend and eventual love interest June Carter in 1968. Their son was born two years later and the couple continued working together for the next three decades.

Cash was always very vocal of how Carter’s love changed him, although he still fought his addiction with several stints in rehab during their marriage. But despite the tough outlaw image he earned over the years, he never shied away from admitting how much love & happiness he found with his wife. They were married 35 years before Carter died in 2003. Cash followed her four months later. They remain one of the greatest love stories in music history, country or otherwise.

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you
Because you’re mine, I walk the line
“.

Johnny and June circa 1968

Johnny Cash with the love of his life, June Carter Cash, circa 1968. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash: “I Walk The Line” (1956, written by Johnny Cash).

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 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 198

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

On this day in 1982 Bruce Springsteen released his acoustic masterpiece, “Nebraska”. He recorded it by himself in the studio at his home on a 4-track tape machine. While the overall feel of the songs and the characters they feature appeared dark and pensive, somehow through the stark reality of the music there was a sense of hope that just maybe there was redemption for some of the people Springsteen wrote about. He basically confirmed this in the album’s last track, “Reason To Believe” when he sang: “Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe”.

The record received vast acclaim from critics and fans alike, especially country giant Johnny Cash. He covered two tracks from it, “Highway Patrolman” and today’s featured song. He & Springsteen had a mutual admiration for each other, and in 1999 he performed “Give My Love To Rose” in the television special, “An All Star Tribute to Johnny Cash”. The Man In Black recorded songs by dozens of artists throughout his career, but today’s tune has the dark elements his songs often carried while the title fit him like a glove. It does not get much better than Johnny Cash singing, but when he performed a Springsteen song, he was damn near perfect.

Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don’t stop
Johnny’s waving his gun around and threatening to blow his top
When an off-duty cop snuck up on him from behind
Out in front of the Club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99
“.

Cash

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash: “Johnny 99” ( 1983, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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 125

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 music quote

(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 has been covered by a myriad of artists including Robert Plant, The Four Tops, Bob Seger, Johnny Cash (as a duet with his wife, June Carter Cash) and Leon Russell, and all of them are great versions.  But my favorite one was recorded by Walden Robert Cassotto, better known by his stage name, Bobby Darin.  It was a top ten hit for him in 1966.  If you are not too familiar with Darin, it is very easy to write him off as a novelty act because of his first hit song, “Splish Splash”.  But make no mistake, he was an excellent musician playing guitar, piano and drums.  He also wrote and recorded songs in all different types of musical genres including pop, rock & roll, jazz, swing, country & folk.

That is how he took us from “Dream Lover”, “Mack The Knife” and “Beyond The Sea” in the 1950’s to today’s song and “Simple Song of Freedom” in the 1960’s.  He began his career as a songwriter at The Brill Building in NYC, the same place where Carole King & Gerry Goffin started.  It was there that Darin met & was signed by record executive Ahmet Ertegun, who discovered people like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton (when he was in the band, Cream), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Led Zeppelin.  I think Darin’s vocal has a haunting sadness in it that just resonates throughout today’s song.  And with superb lyrics by songwriter Tim Hardin and a beautiful arrangement, this tune just had everything it needed to be something both remarkable & unexpected all at once.

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love for sorrow
I’ve given you my onlyness
Come give your tomorrow.”

Bobby-Darin-The-Direction-Albums-

Bobby Darin circa 1969.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bobby Darin:  “If I Were A Carpenter” (1966, written by Tim Hardin).

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 32

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 marks the 104th birth anniversary of my beloved grandmother Ida, or as I affectionately called her, Idie.  I think about her and miss her everyday, but even more so since we have been dealing with this pandemic.  She would not have handled the self-quarantine well at all.  She barely went two days in a row without going to bingo so not being allowed to play it for all this time would have undoubtedly put her in a straight jacket by now.  But still, I wish she was still here, for all the obvious reasons.  And so I could have seen the look on her face when she found out that my dream of spending my time listening to music and watching TV all day long not only came true, but is government mandated!!!  Ha!!!  Take that, Idie!!!  LOL.

While I was growing up, we always had music on in the house and usually it was from my records.  Idie learned to like many of the songs I played including “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac and “Factory” by Bruce Springsteen.  But one hour a day, usually while we were cooking together, she made me turn off my albums so she could listen to the local country music radio station.  And that is how I discovered legends like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Don Williams, Merle Haggard and the singer of today’s song, Johnny Cash.

He was usually referred to by his nickname “the man in black” but since I first heard him on the radio, that did not really tell me anything other than his preferred garment color.  But his voice and his songs told me all I needed to know about him.  Yes, he was one of the greatest musical talents to ever exist but he was also my first introduction to a true crossover artist.

He sang everything from country songs to religious hymns, to Americana music (like “The Battle Hymn of The Republic”) to covers of  songs by rock artists like Bob Dylan (“It Ain’t Me Babe”), The Rolling Stones (“No Expectations”) and The Band (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”).  He was also on TV and not just as a musical guest.  He appeared in an episode of  “Little House On The Prairie” as a bad guy turned good guy after meeting the pious people of Walnut Grove.  And he was mentioned in a few “Golden Girls” episodes.  My favorite one is a quip by Dorothy after she & Sophia walk in the house wearing dark clothes and Rose is, as usual, confused.

Rose:  “Why are you both wearing black?  Did you just come from a funeral?

Dorothy:  “No, Rose.  We were singing back up for Johnny Cash”.

He continued to make incredible music for the rest of his life, on his own and as a member of the supergroup, The Highwaymen.  He also covered more rock songs by Neil Young (“Heart of Gold”), Nine Inch Nails (“Hurt) and U2 (“One”).  And he continued to act, most notably on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” with the great love of his life, June, by his side.  I grew up believing there wasn’t anything Cash could not sing or do.  He proved me right.  I am so thankful I discovered his music, all because my grandmother brought country songs into my world.  Thank you, Idie.  And happy birthday.  xoxox

Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues" 7 inch Album Cover

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash:  “Folsom Prison Blues” (1955, written by Johnny Cash).

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 15

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 has been covered by a variety of artists such as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Young & Rod Stewart.  But my absolute favorite one is by the woman who defined the cool rock chick persona in the 1970’s with her unmistakable powerful gorgeous passionate voice.  But her talent and love of singing was too big to be confined to one genre.  In her 45 year career she has sold over 100 million records which included country, mexican, big band, broadway and pop songs.  She has also collaborated with many artists, most notably with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris on the country “Trio” albums and Aaron Neville on hits like “Don’t Know Much”, “All My Life” and “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby”.  Her contribution to music is immeasurable and despite her retirement from performing in 2011 she remains one of the greatest female singers of all time.

Linda

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Linda Ronstadt:  “Love Has No Pride” (1973, written by Eric Kaz & Libby Titus).

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

Stay well.