Music Monday: July 25, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

July is filled with several high profile musical birthdays. In fact, there are so many I broke them up into two separate posts to do the artists justice. Last week we focused on the women. This week it is all about the men.

First up is the man who made a triumphant return to music in 2006 after a self-imposed career sabbatical that lasted way too long. Yusuf Islam, commonly known as Yusuf f/k/a Cat Stevens, turned 74 this month. He was born July 21, 1948 in Marylebone, London, England and was one of the most prominent voices of the early 1970’s. He is best know for the hits “Peace Train”, “Wild World”, “Morning Has Broken”, “Father & Son” along with the stunning soundtrack to the 1971 black (yet incredibly endearing) comedy, “Harold & Maude”.

Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens n/k/a Yusuf pictured in the early 1970’s. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The man with the voice behind one of the greatest songs ever recorded was born July 26, 1940 in Simonton, Texas. Dobie Gray started singing gospel music as a child in church. By 1964 he had his first hit with “The In Crowd“. But he is best known for one of today’s songs, a Top Ten hit from 1973, which has become a classic rock anthem. The same year he did a beautiful cover of the Tom Jans classic, “Loving Arms“. Gray’s career spanned several genres of music including soul, R&B, pop & country. Sadly, he died in 2011 at the age of 71.


Dobie Gray circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

One of the most famous, charismatic & influential front men of all time is turning 79 years young tomorrow. Sir Michael Philip Jagger was born July 26, 1943 in Dartford, Kent, England. He & The Rolling Stones, are celebrating their 60th year together with only Jagger & his song writing partner & guitarist Keith Richards as the band’s last two original members after the death of drummer Charlie Watts nearly one year ago. The group went on tour last year in the late drummer’s honor and are a lock as one of the world’s greatest bands in music history.


Mick Jagger circa 1978. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yusuf f/k/a Cat Stevens: “Trouble” (1970, written by Cat Stevens).

Dobie Gray: “Drift Away” (1973, written by Mentor Williams).

The Rolling Stones: “Let’s Spend The Night Together” (1967, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

Stay safe and well.


Let’s Take A Moment Day 195

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.

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 1973

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.

Stay well.