Music Monday: October 3, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yesterday marked birthday number 77 for the man who gave us one of the greatest musical anthems of all time. Don McLean, the singer & songwriter behind the 1971 smash, “American Pie”, was born October 2, 1945 in New Rochelle, New York. He developed a love for music early in his life and by his teenage years he was learning to play guitar while finding his voice. After the enormous success of his biggest hit, McLean earned his indelible place in music history. Today he is performing on his 50th anniversary tour and paying tribute to Veterans along the way (see his website for more details).

I am a big fan of so much of his music. from songs he has written himself (“And I Love You So”, “Castles In The Air” and “Vincent”) to the incredible covers he has done (“Crying” and “Since I Fell For You”). But it is today’s song, also from the “American Pie” album released 51 years ago this month, that is my absolute favorite. It may not have the pagentry or imagery of his most recognized track, but it is yet another moving tale told through McLean’s gift for introspective poetry. I list it in the “it-is-so-beautiful-it-hurts” category because my heart just aches every time I hear it. But in such an undeniably good way.

From the gentle piano arranmgement to the pensive yet ultimately hopeful lyrics to the understated but moving vocal performance, McLean delivers a tale of finding out he ended up exactly where he was supposed to be all along, despite how many wrong turns he thought he made. And we are all so incredibly lucky that his road met ours and took us on the path that included such an immense talent as his. Happy birthday, Don McLean.

“But I’m all tied up on the inside
No one knows quite what I’ve got
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be I’m not anymore”.

You know I’ve heard about people like me
But I never made the connection
They walk one road to set them free
And find they’ve gone the wrong direction

Don McLean circa 1971

Don McLean circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Don McLean: “Crossroads” (1971, written by Don McLean).

Stay safe and well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 470

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.

Most people like or at least know a lot of music from what their parents listened to. I am no different. Mine introduced me to a lot and the majority of it I still listen to today. But one of the genres my dad really liked was one I never got into. Every Sunday night when we were driving home from visiting family, he would put on WCBS-FM 101.1 to listen to “Don K. Reed’s Doo-Wop Shop”. I admired the talent & harmony of the vocal groups but that was about it. The music just did not reach me.

However, what I did enjoy each week were the songs the station played prior to Reed’s show. Because it was an oldies channel, I would hear anyone from Chuck Berry to Little Richard to Buddy Holly or even The Beatles’ early hits. But every now and then I would hear today’s song & I just melted. It was such a sad slow tale of a guy who left a happy situation for a new love interest.

The affair basically destroyed him as the new woman left him soon after they got together. The singer sounded so despondent yet very different from the voices I normally heard on that station. It just got to me. The song was originally a big band standard in 1945. But nearly 20 years later, it hit the #4 spot in the country at the end of 1963. It was the biggest hit singer Lenny Welch ever had. And I think it is wonderful.

You love me
Then you snub me
But what can I do
I’m still in love with you


Lenny Welch circa 1962. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Lenny Welch: “Since I Fell For You” (1963, written by Buddy Johnson).

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

Stay well.