25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 11

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

shiny brites

Vintage Shiny Brite ornaments found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s singer over the summer, and a part of me died that day, too.  I still have not stopped crying.  My world lost a great deal of its light.  Life will never sound the same without her in it.

She was without a doubt the greatest female singer this world has ever known.  In 1958 when she was 16, she met singer Sam Cooke, who died 54 years ago today at the age of 33.  He wanted her to sign with his label, RCA Records.  However, her father-a minister who was her first manager-eventually had her sign with Columbia Records.  She and Cooke remained friends and fans of each other’s work, and she recorded several of his songs after his death, most notably “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1967) and “You Send Me” (1968),  She referred to him as “a prince of a man”.

From the second I heard she died, all I could think of was how even more beautiful Heaven sounded now that she and Cooke could sing together.  I cannot even imagine what a breathtaking sound that was.  The true definition of Heaven itself.

Yes, I believe in Heaven.  And I believe one day I will be there myself.  And after I have thanked God in person for everything he gave me, and hugged and kissed all my family and friends that passed before me, I want to be front and center to hear this woman sing with Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, Jackie Wilson, Luciano Pavorotti and anyone else she chooses.  Maybe Jim Morrison???  And then I will bow to her, which is the appropriate action to take when meeting a Queen.

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Aretha Franklin:  “Angels We Have Heard On High” (2008).

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!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 10

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

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Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

Today’s song is tied to a few artists we already featured in this year’s countdown.  I included it as a bonus song on Day 1 of the countdown because Bruce Springsteen covered it in 1987, but the first recording of this song dates back 40 years earlier when Charles Brown (singer of the song on Day 7) sang it as a singer and pianist with Johnny Moore’s Trailblazers.  Moore wrote it with songwriter Lou Baxter and it went to #3 on Billboard’s R&B Jukebox in 1947.  Several other artists have covered it over the years as well, but the one recorded in by the greatest soul singer of all time ranks at the top of my list.  And since this man was taken from us way too soon (51 years ago today at the age of 26), I must include his other Christmas cover because one can never have enough of this phenomenal singer’s voice.  Or this song, which this man makes all his own in this simply sublime version.

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Otis Redding circa 1967 (original source unknown).  

Otis Redding:  “Merry Christmas Baby“.

Otis Redding:  “White Christmas“.

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!!!

Back In The Game

Well, it is finally here.  No, not spring, which finally did make it to New England.  I am referring to thrifting season-it has finally begun!!!  However the sale is labeled-estate sale, garage sale or tag sale-now is the time we will see them nearly every weekend, rather than sporadically.  And I cannot wait to start digging!!!

I have gone to a couple over the last few weeks, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know I hit it out of the park at my first one by snagging this little beauty:

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I also found this gorgeous piece which I was swooning over but could not afford it (and it was way over priced), but man, was I in LOVE!!!

Antique cabinet

 

 

 

 

I also saw my dream pick up truck, the one I picture myself driving around town on Saturday mornings to local garage sales with a bulldog riding shotgun when I finally have my dream house (and dream bulldog) in the country.

Pick up truck

 

 

 

 

 

Even if I do not stop at every sale, I just love driving down the street and seeing views like this:

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There is something so exciting yet very comforting about these sales.  The suspense of what I might find underscored with the comfort of knowing I have the chance to find a treasure, a diamond in the rough, a DIY project or a combination of all three.

Switching gears to one of my other vices, did you guys hear there is another great old show getting a comeback?  It’s “Murphy Brown” and I cannot wait!!!  I will really miss Robert Pastorelli and his character “Eldin”, but the chance to see Candace Bergen and Grant Shaud (“Miles”) interact again has me on the edge of my seat.

Murphy Brown

The original “Murphy Brown” cast from its first run (original source unknown).

And are you guys enjoying the new “Roseanne” episodes as much as I am???  It is really hitting its pace again and delving into the character’s pasts to make us understand why they are where they are in the present.  Great acting, great writing, great story-lines…..I am completely loving the show.

My other current fave show, “Superstore”, continues to entertain me as well.  The mix of these characters is one I have not seen before and each new guest character (Pastor Craig and Isaac are two standouts featured in the hilarious “Amnesty” episode) instantly becomes my favorite!!!  I just really hope we have not seen the last of Linda Porter, since her character, Myrtle, was fired despite how adorable she is.  Fingers crossed we see her again!!!  And please, God, let me find a friend like Dina!!!!  Everyone needs a Dina in their life!!!

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   The cast of “Superstore” (Courtesy of NBC). 

Now, time for a song.  One of the new tags on Facebook is asking people to name the 10 albums that most influenced them.  This got me thinking about the ones I would name and why.  Of course, “Born To Run” & “Otis Blue” would top my list, but that still leaves eight other choices.  That brought me to remember my introduction to this man’s voice.

I was watching “The Last Waltz” for the first time, and I was mesmerized.  His voice, his lyrics, his interpretation of the song and the music-all perfection.  He is one of my favorites to this day, and whether it’s a ballad or a rocker, I love every second of his songs.  And for someone who grew up on radio and continues to listen to all of it today-local, national and satellite-these words bring back that feeling of hearing my favorite song being played.  It is a primal emotional response like no other.  Music & songs allow us to time travel,  taking us back to moments in our lives that we cherish or can’t forget for other reasons.  Either way, they make us feel…..”and then we can get down to what is really wrong”.

“Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light, then we can get down to what is really wrong.

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know its got soul.”

Van Morrison:  “Caravan” (studio version & “The Last Waltz” version).

I only own the rights to my own pictures, nothing else I featured in this post.  The rest are things I love and want to share with you you  🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

 

 

 

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 10

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

robin

(Original source unknown.)

I can remember the exact moment when I fell in love with this singer.  I was seven or eight years old, and I was in the back seat of my mom’s car while we were on our way home.  She always had the radio on but suddenly I heard a voice like nothing I had ever heard before.  Now in my young life, I had already heard a lot of great music courtesy of my parent’s records:  Elvis (my mom’s swoon-worthy crush when she was a teenager), Motown (my parents had a K-Tel four album compilation set) Doo-Wop & the Crooners (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, etc.).

But what I heard on the radio that day was not like anything I had heard before, and more importantly, it hit me in a place so deep inside I did not even know existed.  Being so young, I could not verbalize what I was feeling, but when the song was over I remember the DJ saying something about “soul music”.   I took that literally to mean “music that touches the soul” and figured that is what had just happened to me.  The song lasted less than three minutes long but in that time it changed my whole life.

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Otis Redding (original source unknown)

The song was “(Sittin’ On The) Dock On The Bay“by Otis Redding, who we lost 50 years ago today when he was just 26 years old.  His career was for only five short years, but his reach has endured the last fifty years because his voice changed the landscape of music as it was.  In the mid 1960’s music was changing and with the death of Sam Cooke (one of Redding’s heroes) in December 1964, soul music was getting lost in a sea that included the Beatles, the British Invasion, Motown, etc.  When Redding’s voice began to be heard through his records and live shows, there was no denying his immense talent.  No one before or since has sung with his gut-wrenching, achingly impassioned vocal.  It quickly & rightfully earned him the title of “King of Soul”.  Redding put Soul Music back on the map, and just as importantly, became the voice of Stax Records.

Incidentally. “Dock of the Bay” was co-written by legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, a member of Stax’s house band, Booker T & The M.G.’s.  “Crop”, as he is affectionately known, had the heartbreaking task of finishing the song after the death of his best friend.  Learn more about that and more about Redding’s career in this fantastic interview by CBS News correspondent & fellow music connoisseur, Anthony Mason.

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Otis Redding at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival-June 1967 (original source unknown)

Even more sad than his loss to the music industry, Redding left behind a young wife and three small children when he died.  All of them have worked incredibly hard to preserve his legacy.  Also, on December 15, Rhino Records is releasing “OTIS REDDING: THE DEFINITIVE STUDIO ALBUM COLLECTION”, a 7-LP set.  More proof that the world still cannot get enough of Otis Redding’s timeless talent.

There is not a song by Redding that I do not like, so I decided to share several of my favorites below.  After you listen to his two Christmas songs, indulge yourself by listening to the rest, including his phenomenal performance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival from June 1967.  If you have never seen it before, you cannot miss it.  He performed five songs in twenty minutes…..and STOLE the show.

Thank you, Otis Redding.  You are missed every day.

Otis Redding:  “White Christmas

Otis Redding:  “Merry Christmas Baby

Otis Redding:  “Try A Little Tenderness

Otic Redding:  “You Left The Water Running

Otis Redding:  “A Change Is Gonna Come

Otis Redding:  “These Arms of Mine

Otis Redding:  “My Lover’s Prayer

Otis Redding:  “You Don’t Miss Your Water

Otis Redding and Carla Thomas:  “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby“***

***(It was hard to beat Sam & Dave’s original passion infused version, but between Redding’s voice & the phenomenal horns added to the fact that this was a male-female duet, this cover is as close to perfection as possible.  Redding & Thomas did several duets together, but this is by far my favorite followed closely by “Tramp“.)

Otis Redding:  Full Monterey International Pop Music Festival Performance (1967)

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

 

 

 

Christmas Song Countdown #20

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

robin

Courtesy:  Country Living Magazine

Today’s pick was one of my mother’s favorite Christmas carols.  If I close my eyes tight enough I can practically see myself as a young girl standing next to her in church singing this song with her.

The version I chose is by a singer who has one of the most beautiful-and most powerful-voices I have ever heard.  She is tied with Reba McEntire for the most nominations (17) in any vocalist category from the Country Music Association .  While she has a lengthy repertoire of original music (including my favorite “A Broken Wing“), she has also covered such classics as Van Morrison’s “Wild Night“, Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night“.

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Kris Kristofferson (Original source unknown)

 

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR A MOMENT TO SWOON OVER KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon!!! .

(Thank you.  I needed that).

I like that despite the strength of her voice, she does not over-sing every single note of every song she sings.  She adds the punch when needed but sings softly as well.  Her performance of this song is a perfect example of her impeccable balance.

Martina McBride:  O Come All Ye Faithful.

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

country-living

Courtesy:  Country Living Magazine

Christmas Song Countdown #19

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

durango-co-christmas

Durango, Colorado  Courtesy:  TopValueReviews.net (original source unknown)

 

The singer with today’s song is another phenomenal soul and R&B singer.  Like the others in the countdown, he got his start singing in church. That early training laid the foundation for the passionate delivery on almost every song he sang.

He recorded some music at Stax records and worked with the house band-also known as Booker T. and the MG’s-and Isaac Hayes, who would go on to win an Oscar for “Shaft”.  This singer also wrote his own music, putting him on the same level as contemporaries Sam Cooke and Otis Redding; but, he is also known for a fantastic cover of the Beatles song, “Hey Jude“, which features a pre-Allman Brothers Band guitarist named Duane Allman.

 

wilson-duane Wilson Pickett and Duane Allman circa 1968 (original source unknown)

 

This singer recorded several Christmas songs, but this one is my favorite.

Wilson Pickett:  Jingle Bells

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

small-town-christmas

Courtesy:  Cape Night Photography 

Christmas Song Countdown #11

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

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Vintage Christmas Scene (original source unknown)

 

If a line was drawn in history as to three biggest voices to put soul music on the map,  it would read like this:  Sam Cooke, Otis Redding (featured in yesterday’s post) & the singer with today’s song.

Side note:  It is not James Brown.  While he was without question “The Godfather of Soul”, he was also credited with being one of the inventors of funk music.  Hence, he was on a completely different path than the other three singers. In his own league, as the saying goes.

But, as usual, I digress.

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Vintage Christmas Card (original source unknown)

 

Today’s singer carried the torch after Redding’s death, and never put it down.  While Motown & Philly Soul were more than respectable outlets for great music, today’s singer cruised past both with the same achingly impassioned vocal delivery that made Redding a legend, but giving it a more polished sound, much like Cooke.  The combination was electric.  That is how his sound rose above everything else in the 1970’s.

When I saw him in concert, he ran into the audience and I was lucky enough to get a great big bear hug from him.  Unfortunately, it took place at a time when cameras were still banned from concerts, so I do not have a picture of the momentous occasion.  But I relived it every time I saw him take the roof off of the Ed Sullivan Theater when he made his yearly visit to “The Late Show With David Letterman” (another reason why I miss that brilliant show!!!)

Al Green:  Winter Wonderland.

I chose Green’s song specifically for today because on this date in 1964, Sam Cooke died at the age of  33.  Through the time machine that is YouTube, I came across this holiday greeting he made in 1963.  I am not sure why he recorded it.  Perhaps it was done as a radio station promotion or for his record label.  All I know is it is a gift, so Christmas came early for me.  Listen to it here.

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Sam Cooke (original source unknown)

 

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!