Let’s Take A Moment Day 504

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 Aug 1, 1985 Tom Waits released one of his most innovative albums, Rain Dogs. And one of his biggest fans, Rolling Stone Keith Richards, played guitar on three songs & sang back-up on one. Today’s pick is one of the more well known tracks from the record.

Rod Stewart released his own fabulous version in 1989 and it reached the #3 spot on the chart the following year. If you were a fan of the show “How I Met Your Mother” you might remember this song in the finale done in a slower more somber tone by Everything But The Girl. But as a huge fan of Waits, I love his original take the best.

Outside another yellow moon
Has punched a hole in the night time mist
I climb through the window and down to the street
I’m shining like a new dime

Waits

The back cover of Tom Waits 1985 album, Rain Dogs. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits: “Downtown Train” (1985, written by Tom Waits).

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 396

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.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“. I loved everything about it-the era it took place in, the beautiful city it was set in and, of course, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. Her facial & verbal expressions, her wardrobe, her apartment…..it was all fabulousness defined.. And how many times have we all wanted to run away & start our lives over again some place new, but she actually did it! Yes, it caught up with her but still, she did it!!!

I also loved the sweet look on the face of her neighbor, Paul (George Peppard) as he watched Holly playing guitar & singing from his apartment window. The lyrics of that song were written by Johnny Mercer & the music was by premier film composer Enrico Nicola Mancini, known professionally as Henry Mancini. It earned him the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1962. Born on April 16, 1924 in Ohio, he also wrote the theme to several movies including “The Pink Panther” series. His arrangement of the “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” (a/k/a “A Time For Us”) spent two weeks at #1 in the summer of 1969. Mancini also wrote the themes to a number of television shows including “Peter Gunn”, “Newhart”, “Hotel” & Remington Steele”.

Some of my favorite artists have performed their own exceptional renditions of today’s song including Rod Stewart, Pete Yorn, and my great musical loves Elton John and Eric Clapton (with Jeff Beck). But as much as I love those, it is the movie version I come back to whenever I need to relive the beauty & the magic of the film all over again.

Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Waitin’ ’round the bend
“.

Breakfast-at-Tiffanys

George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn in a scene from 1961’s classic, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Audrey Hepburn: “Moon River” (1961, music written by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer).

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 310

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.

Time for another mid-week Motown break. I love so many of the singers from the Motown era, but there are two voices that literally stop me dead in my tracks from the very first note they sing. One is Marvin Gaye & the other is David Ruffin, who had one of the most powerful, angst-filled & remarkable baritone voices of any decade of music. Monday marked the 80th birth anniversary of the most identifiable lead singer behind The Temptations, one of the label’s most successful acts. Ruffin, who was born January 18, 1941 in Mississippi, brought some of the group’s biggest hits to life including “My Girl”, “I Could Never Love Another” (Day 44), “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (Day 114), “(I Know) I’m Losing You” “Since I Lost My Baby” (Day 226). He influenced singers like Rod Stewart and Daryl Hall to his own Motown contemporaries like Martha Reeves, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

Today’s song was his debut as a solo artist. It was originally intended for The Temptations to sing, but once Ruffin was dismissed from the group in 1968 he was able to take the song with him. This was because he was signed to the label as a solo performer as he joined the group after they were already signed to the label. The track showcases Ruffin’s range, intensity, torment and rawness all at once. It is a fabulous vocal and a great song which features something not common in most Motown songs-a superb piccolo flute arrangement.

I guess I loved you much too much.
How can I face tomorrow,
When yesterday is all I see?
I just don’t wanna face tomorrow, if you’re not sharing it with me.

David Ruffin

David Ruffin circa 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

David Ruffin: “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” (1969, written by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua, James Roach and Pam Sawyer).

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 301

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.

Time for another rock & roll birthday. Rod Stewart was born on January 10, 1945 in London, England making this birthday his 76th. His long and varied career started in the 1960’s as a member of a few bands including The Jeff Beck Group & The Faces before he completely focused exclusively on his solo career in the 1970’s. His first hit single “Maggie May” (see Day 242), a #1 hit for five weeks in the US in 1971, established his career and he never looked back. His music embraces soul, rock, dance, pop, Christmas and the big band genres.

I absolutely LOVE today’s song, I love the video for it, too & I love this time in Stewart’s career. This track is from his 1988 album, Out Of Order. which also featured “Forever Young”, “Lost In You” & Stewart’s cover of “Try A Little Tenderness”, a hit for Otis Redding in 1966. Stewart was well past the disco tunes, heavily immersed in his love for all things soul & doing great covers like his duet with Ronald Isley on “This Old Heart Of Mine” in 1989 followed by the Tom Waits beauty, “Downtown Train” later the same year. Rod Stewart is another voice that has followed me my whole life through a number of fantastic songs including today’s.

I don’t want you to come ’round here no more
I beg you for mercy
You don’t know how strong my weakness is
Or how much it hurts me
“.

Rod circa 2017

Rod Stewart circa 2017. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rod Stewart: “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” (1988, written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan).

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 259

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?

kurt v

(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 have written on several occasions how 1978 was a monumental year in music for me & the industry in general. Well, when the universe gives you something it takes something else away. And the thing it took away from me was my peaceful relationship with my grandmother-for a while, anyway.

For two years she enjoyed listening to my records with me. She may have not remembered the artists names correctly (she called Bad Company “the not so nice visitors”) but I knew what she meant so we were good. Until the first time I played “Slowhand” by my great love Eric Clapton, that is. It started with side one track one, “Cocaine”, and went downhill from there. She asked me what kind of person would write a song about drugs. I thought I was helping by telling her that he was only singing about them, that he did not write the tune. That led her to wonder out loud, “Was he too high to write it, perhaps?” I moved the needle to track two which was “Wonderful Tonight” so that stopped her scolding. But when track three came on, she became irritated again. She ordered me to turn the album off because she thought “Lay Down Sally” was too suggestive for a girl my age. Then she asked where Bruce was (as in Springsteen) and told me to put his music on so she could eat dinner in peace.

A few weeks later I was listening to a Neil Young album I borrowed. All I can tell you is that when “Down By The River” came on, my grandmother decided I must have started taking drugs because how else could I listen to a man brag about shooting someone. My punishment was twofold-I was banned from bringing any new records home for the foreseeable future AND I had to sit through her music shows. That way, she told me, I would hear songs that did not resort to questionable subject matter for shock value. Since she liked country music that meant episodes of “Hee-Haw” & “The Barbara Mandrell Show”. The first one was tough-not because of the music as much as what passed for humor. Mandrell’s music, while not really a favorite of mine, was tolerable. So imagine my grandmother’s horror & dismay when Mandrell premiered her new song, a tale of a woman unapologetic about her love for a married man. Music had beat my grandmother at her censorship game. And I must say, it was not a bad song. But the original was so much better.

It was a big record for singer Luther Ingram in 1972, hitting the #3 spot on the Hot 100 chart & the #1 spot on the R&B chart that year. He was born on this day in 1937 in Jackson, TN and thanks to his deep soulful voice, he had a record deal by the time he was 18. However, he did not see any success until he was signed to a small independent label, Koko Records, in the late 1960’s. They were associated with Stax Records at that time and by 1971, Ingram had co-written the hit song, “Respect Yourself” for that label’s group, The Staple Singers. Three songwriters from Stax wrote the song that Ingram became best known for and despite covers by Mandrell, Rod Stewart, Isaac Hayes David Ruffin and others, it is Ingram’s version that I find most inspired & soulful.

And am I wrong to hunger
for the gentleness of your touch
knowing I got somebody else at home
who needs me just as much
“.

Luther Ingram

Luther Ingram circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Luther Ingram: “(If Loving You Is Wrong) ] I Don’t Want to Be Right” (1972, written by Homer Banks, Carl Hampton and Raymond Jackson).

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 242

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?

kurt v

(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.

About a year ago I added another song to my daily play list. It was a song I fell in love with as a child but all of a sudden there was a new version of it to adore. It was done by the original artist, Rod Stewart, who began showing us another side of his diverse range & talent in 2002 with the first of his five “Great American Songbook” albums. I really enjoy those songs but what he created last year is just spectacular.

He chose several of his classic songs with the original vocals and combined them with new arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I know this is not the first time a rock artist has done this, but there is something extra special about Stewart’s record. I think it is the contrast of his impassioned raspy voice against the elegance of the music that I find absolutely stunning. He also re-recorded two songs in the studio with the orchestra and one is today’s track. I still love the original version but I think this rendition is beautiful beyond words.

I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school
Or steal my daddy’s cue and make a living out of playing pool
Or find myself a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand
Oh, Maggie, I wished I’d never seen your face
“.

Rod

Rod Stewart in the studio with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rod Stewart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: “Maggie May” (2019, written by Martin Quittenton and Rod Stewart).

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 235

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.

In October 1967 Cat Stevens released his second studio album, “New Masters” featuring today’s tune. Nearly 40 years later in October 2005 Stevens, n/k/a Yusuf Islam, garnered the song of the year honor for this track at the ASCAP Awards in London where he also received the songwriter of the year award. A number of artists have covered today’s song, including Rod Stewart’s supreme interpretation from 1976. Yet there is something about Islam’s original that just speaks to me, even to this day. From the soft acoustic intro, to his tender beautiful interpretation of his heartbreaking lyrics to the change in tempo where the song pulls you completely in to the singer’s pain, it is just a fabulous track.

I still want you by my side
Just to help me dry the tears that I’ve cried
‘Cause I’m sure gonna give you a try
And if you want, I’ll try to love again
“.

Cat

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yusuf/Cat Stevens: “The First Cut Is The Deepest” (1967, written by Cat Stevens).

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 218

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.

In October of 1969 Rod Stewart joined a revamped version of The Small Faces when they became known simply as The Faces. The move united him with the band’s new guitarist & songwriter, Ron Wood, who met Stewart in 1964 then played with him in The Jeff Beck Group from 1967-1969. Stewart also had a solo record deal at the time which garnered him worldwide success in 1971 with the release of “Every Picture Tells A Story”. Wood worked with him on that record as well, with both men co-writing that album’s title track. The two also wrote today’s song together. They stayed with The Faces until 1975 when Wood left to join The Rolling Stones & Stewart continued his solo career. The rest of the group officially disbanded the same year as well. Both Wood & Stewart enjoy long successful careers which continue today.

For as hard rocking as today’s track is, it surprisingly came across unbelievably well in a rousing acoustic format when Stewart performed it on his 1993 MTV Unplugged show joined by Wood, who not only played guitar, but contributed backing vocals as well. I love nearly everything Stewart has ever done, but find the combination of his vocal & Wood’s slide guitar completely exhilarating on today’s track. It is a great classic rock tune that sounds as fresh today as it did when it was a top 20 hit in 1972.

So in the morning please don’t say you love me
‘Cause you know I’ll only kick you out the door
Yeah I’ll pay your cab fare home you can even use my best cologne
Just don’t be here in the morning when I wake up
“.

The Faces 1969

Rod Ron unplugged

Top: The Faces circa 1969 (L-R, top to bottom): Ronnie Lane (bass), Kenny Jones (drums), Ian McLagan (piano & keyboards), Rod Stewart (vocals) & Ron Wood (guitar). Bottom: Wood (L) and Stewart (R) at his 1993 MTV Unplugged show. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Faces: “Stay With Me” (1971, written by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood).

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 138

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?

Charlie Brown No Music No Life

(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 WANT MY MTV!!!

It was 39 years ago today that this channel premiered and music was never the same again.  A station dedicated to letting the world see the music (and the people behind it) as well as hear it was revolutionary.  The rotation began with maybe 10 videos but that did not prevent me from watching it non-stop for hours at a time.  Music videos changed the game for fans and the industry alike.  But unlike streaming that has caused artists to lose control of their own copyrighted material in addition to their earnings, MTV was a money mother lode for anyone willing to climb on board the novel concept.

At first it was newer artists that appeared frequently on the channel, but eventually everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  Some ran with the concept-Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & The News, Billy Squier, Michael Jackson-to name a few.  Soon even my heroes were embracing the genre.  Remember a pre-“Friends” Courtney Cox’s fancy footwork with Bruce Springsteen in the “Dancing In The Dark” video?  Or watching Eric Clapton’s beautiful hands play fiery solos on his Strat while singing “Pretending” in the pouring rain?  Or an elegantly dressed Marvin Gaye extolling the benefits of “Sexual Healing”?  Videos from other 1970’s artists followed including Elton John, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and a host of others who welcomed and embraced the new MTV audience.

Vintage clips of great musical moments were featured like the Beatles first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, performances from the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival and the 1969 Woodstock concerts as well as the live broadcast of 1985’s “Live Aid” show from both America & the U.K.  Suddenly our living rooms were front row seats to the best music had to offer.  And thanks to directors from the TV & movie industries getting in on the trend (“Dressed To Kill” director Brian De Palma was the man behind Springsteen’s first clip), by the end of the decade and into the 1990’s videos became an art form.  The “Unplugged” series introduced us to the more intimate side of live performances.  Other music stations including VH1, BET and FUSE followed, but none compared to the original and its level of cool.

If there is one song that defined the early years of the MTV phenomenon, it is today’s.  While the references to homosexuals are outdated & considered offensive in this era of acceptance, and the once ground breaking channel is merely a reality show based venue in these days of YouTube and Instagram stories, this song still has the power to instantly transport those of us who were there at the beginning to the excitement of the new medium.  And to the poor choice some people made to wear sweatbands in their videos.

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothing and your chicks for free“.

The MTV moon man logo circa 1981 (R) and John Illsley (bass guitarist)  and Mark Knopfler (lead guitarist) of Dire Straits circa 1985.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dire Straits:  “Money For Nothing” (1985, written by Mark Knopfler and Sting a/k/a Gordon Sumner).

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 128

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 a mid-week Motown break.  Although The Isley Brothers tenure at the label was brief (from 1965-1968) it did produce today’s hit.  Rod Stewart covered this tune twice, once in 1975 and then again in 1989 as a duet with lead singer Ronald Isley.  The year before the brothers came to the label, future guitar legend Jimi Hendrix played in their band but left when the brothers failed to have any chart success during his year with them.  They were just inducted into the The Songwriters Hall of Fame in the class of 2020 and in 1992 they were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.  They have had over a dozen songs on the Billboard charts since 1959 when the tune they wrote, “Shout”, was released.  That is probably their most well known song (who can forget it in the toga party scene in the movie “Animal House”) but today’s pick is my favorite.

Always with half a kiss
You remind me of what I miss
Though I try to control myself
Like a fool I start grinnin’ ’cause my head starts spinnin‘”

jimi isley bros
Jimi Hendrix, O’Kelly Isley Jr. & Rudolph Isley & Ronald Isley circa 1964.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

 

The Isley Brothers:  “This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)” (1966, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland and Sylvia Moy).

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

Stay well.