Let’s Take A Moment Day 119

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.

This weekend the music world celebrated two milestones:  On July 12 Christine McVie turned 77 years young while July 11 marked the 45th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self titled album.

I cannot express how important that album, along with 1977’s smash, Rumours, was to me.  Aside from phenomenal music, to see two strong talented female songwriters in one band was inspiring.  At that time in my life I was lost in a sea of male singers (not a complaint, just a fact) or all male groups until I discovered the women of Fleetwood Mac, McVie and Stevie Nicks.

Between her enormous solo career & theatrical stage performances, Nicks had become a focal point of the group, appearing to outshine McVie.  But one listen to any of her songs, from “Over My Head”, “Don’t Stop”, “You Make Loving Fun” or her keyboard prowess on any number by the band it was clear McVie shone bright all on her own.  In fact, eight of the sixteen songs on the band’s 1988 Greatest Hits album are hers.  And her deep contralto voice makes it as easily recognizable as Nick’s.

She also enjoyed some solo success with 1984’s “Got A Hold On Me” but after the band’s induction into the Rock & Roll HOF in 1998 McVie decided to retire from the band after 28 years.  She did, however, continue to work in studio sessions for them.  By 2014 she rejoined the group where she remains today.  In 2017 she released an album with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham.  I love nearly all of Christine McVie’s songs but today’s is my favorite.

Baby, baby, hope you’re going to stay away
‘Cause I’m getting weaker, weaker, everyday
I guess I’m not as strong as I used to be
And if you use me again it’ll be the end of me.”

fleetwood_mac
Fleetwood Mac circa 1977 (L-R):  Mick Fleetwood (drums, John McVie (bass, seated) Christine McVie (piano/keyboards), Lindsey Buckingham ( guitar) & Stevie Nicks (vocals).  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Fleetwood Mac featuring Christine McVie:  “Say You Love Me” (1975, written by Christine McVie).

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 114

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.

Time for the first mid week Motown break for July.  And no better place to start than at the top.  Ladies & Gentleman, The Temptations.

The Temps

The Temptations (L-R):  David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin & Eddie Kendricks.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Temptations:  “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” ( 1966, written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland 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 113

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.

Happy 80th birthday, Ringo Starr!!!  Thank you for all the music and for sharing your kind heart with the world for over 50 years.  I will be thinking thoughts of peace and love at noon today to share your vision for a better universe for all of us to share.  Blessings & hugs to you.  Please continue to stay safe & well.

Concert alert:  “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show” with Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Sheila E., Gary Clark Jr., Ben Harper, the All-Star Band and others takes place at 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, July 7) on YouTube.

Ringo

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles featuring Ringo Starr:  “With A Little Help With My Friends” (1967, written by John Lennon & 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 112

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.

Elton John began releasing records in 1968.  Despite having several number one songs in America throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s, he did not have a solo number one record in the U.K. until June 23, 1990 when today’s song hit the top spot there (oddly enough in America this song only reached number 18).  A week later, John appeared at the outdoor concert in Knebworth, England to perform that song (along with “Sad Songs Say So Much”).  There were several artists appearing at the show that day, but when John sang it was alongside Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and one of my great musical loves, Eric Clapton.  He and John have been friends for years and in 1992 they recorded “Runaway Train” together for the soundtrack of Lethal Weapon 3.

During John’s song at Knebworth, there is some playful joking going on between him & Clapton, and at the 2:55 mark of of the video, he succeeds at making John laugh.  And judging by the enormous grin on Clapton’s face he could not have been more pleased with himself.  It was one of those rare wonderful surprise moments that happen so unexpectedly in life, and luckily the cameras were rolling so fans like me could enjoy it 30 years later.  This is one of my all time favorite John songs, made soooo much better by this jocular interaction between two old friends.  I also cannot help but swoon big time over how beautiful Clapton looked (his very best, in my opinion) which was only heightened by his gorgeous pink Versace suit.  And luckily it did not clash with John’s bleach blond hair  🙂

Elton Eric

Elton John & Eric Clapton at Knebworth June 30, 1990.  Courtesy:  Getty Images.

Elton John (with Eric Clapton & Mark Knopfler):  “Sacrifice” (June 30, 1990 at The Knebworth Concert, Knebworth England.  Written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin).

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 111

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?

Kerouac

(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.

I can never get enough of my favorite version of today’s song.  Not only is it sung by one of my top musical heroes, but he also put so much of himself into his interpretation while being respectful of the fact that he was singing our country’s National Anthem.  The list of people who have performed this song is too numerous to list, but only a handful of people have made it truly memorable.  I think today’s is simply outstanding.  I thought I would share it to close out the holiday weekend on a high soulful note.

marvin NBA game
  Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All Star Game.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye:  “The Star Spangled Banner” (as performed on February 13, 1983 at the NBA All Star Game in California.  Written by Francis Scott Key (lyrics in 1914) and John Stafford Smith (music circa 1773).

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 110

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?

Kerouac

(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.

In October 2001, the country, especially New York, was still reeling from the tragedy of 9/11.  But baseball was back and at Game 2 of the World Series in Phoenix, AZ, our nation got a much needed boost in moral when Ray Charles came out to sing today’s song “to honor America”.  He was stunning as always, but so were all the signs of patriotism in the stands:  people holding their hands over their hearts, people waving American flags, people cheering each time Charles said the word “America”.  At our worst, we were at our best.  On this 4th of July 2020, may our country begin to find peace and patriotism again, and may we find comfort in the red, white and blue colors that unite us all.  Have a safe and blessed Independence Day, everyone.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Ray

         Ray Charles at Game 2 of the World Series in October 2001.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles:  “America The Beautiful” (2001, performed live at Game 2 of the World Series in Phoenix, AZ.  Written by Katharine Lee Bates).

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 109

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?

Kerouac

(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 is from my favorite Elvis Presley movie.  He made it in 1957, the year before he was drafted.  That year was also the last time he appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” censored for what was considered his use of “obscene” hip shakes.  After his incredible dance moves to today’s song in the movie, I am not surprised he never made it back to the Sullivan show.  Audiences saw all they needed to see in the film and just kept coming back for more.

Sad sack was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said, “hey, buddy, don’t you be no square
If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair.”

Elvis

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley:  “Jailhouse Rock” (1957, 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 108

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?

Kerouac

(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.

Percy Sledge’s songs personified what music critic Dave Marsh called “emotional classics for romantics of all ages”.  Sledge’s biggest hit has been around for over 50 years and despite excellent covers by fans like Gregg Allman, The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings and Bette Midler in the movie “The Rose”, it is the original that people still want to hear.

When a man loves a woman
He can do her no wrong
He can never want
Some other girl.

Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge circa 1966 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Percy Sledge:  “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1966, written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright).

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 105

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?

Kerouac

(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.

Blue eyed soul is a weakness of mine, but given my love for all things Motown that is certainly not surprising.  There are several singers who do it exceedingly well and today’s song showcases one of the best.  Daryl Hall & John Oates have had a phenomenal run as one of the most successful duos in music history, and part of that success is due to Hall’s soulful voice.  There are so many of their songs that showcase his incredible gift, but my favorite is the song that first introduced them to audiences back in 1975.

Hall and Oates

Daryl Hall (L) and John Oates (R) at the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Brooklyn, NY.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Hall & Oates:  “Sara Smile” ( 1975, written by Daryl Hall & John Oates).

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 104

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?

Kerouac

(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.

In September 1998 I watched the pilot episode of “Will & Grace”.  As much as I liked the two title characters, I fell head over heels in love with their friends, Jack & Karen, played by Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally.  Their chemistry was remarkable and their onscreen antics were like none I had ever seen before on network television.  For the eight years of the show’s original run, I followed Mullally on the talk show circuit where I discovered her beautiful singing voice.  She has put out a number of CD’s over the years and one included one of my favorite songs by Tom Waits (see Day 92).  I saw her perform it on “The Late Show With David Letterman” in 2002 and she was fabulous.  The last verse has some of the most beautiful lyrics I have ever heard:

“In a land there’s a town, and in that town there’s a house
And in that house there’s a woman
And in that woman there’s a heart I love
I’m gonna take it with me when I go.”

Megan

(Image courtesy of meganmullally.net.)

Megan Mullally:  “Take It With Me” (2002, written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan).

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

Stay well.