Let’s Take A Moment Day 323

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?

Feb 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.

I have always loved songs with horns in them and no one featured them quite the way the band Chicago did. From their debut album in 1969 through all the ones which followed in the 1970’s, their distinctive sound set them apart from the usual radio fare. That is until their first #1 hit in 1976, “If You Leave Me Now”. The softer more AM radio sound prompted the hit songwriter, bassist Peter Cetera, to push the band away from their FM oriented music.

One of the group members most disturbed by this change was co-founder & guitarist Terry Kath. He was called a better guitarist than Jimi Hendrix by Hendrix himself when Chicago opened for him at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in the late 1960’s. And Kath’s deep baritone voice, which was often compared to Ray Charles, was behind some of the band’s most recognizable songs including “Colour My World”, “I’m A Man”, “Wishing You Were Here” and today’s track. Kath wanted to stay true to the groups rock & jazz infused style rather than veer off into pop music.

Like many musicians of the decade, Kath struggled with drug & alcohol abuse. That combined with his love of firearms created the perfect storm of a tragic situation when Kath accidently shot himself to death on January 23, 1978. The loss obviously stunned the band who seriously contemplated a break up after the loss. They reconsidered and dedicated the song “Alive Again” to Kath later that year. Ironically though Kath’s death & a new producer led the band into the soft pop sounds they created in the 1980’s.

January 31 marked his 75th birth anniversary and like him I consider Chicago’s rock roots to be their best. Today’s song showcases both Kath’s vocal ability & musicianship skill perfectly and the horns are absolutely resplendent. He was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016 with the rest of the band where his only child, Michelle Kath Sinclair, accepted her father’s award. The same year she released the documentary, “The Terry Kath Experience” about his life, influence & legacy.

Living life is just a game so they say
All the games we used to play fade away
We may now enjoy the dreams we shared so long ago
“.

Chicago circa 1975

Terry Kath circa 1972

Top: The band Chicago circa 1975. Terry Kath is on the end far right. Bottom: Kath circa 1972. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Chicago: “Make Me Smile” (1970, written by James Pankow).

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

Stay well.

So Long, January!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How crazy is it that we arrived at the end of January so quickly?  What did you take away from the first month of the year?

I took in my new place surroundings and pondered my decorating scheme, which I have yet to act on LOL!!!  But I did get some great inspiration (thank you Kathleen at Faded Charm), explored some more local sights, got back into my groove of “estate saling” (although I have not had a chance to really dig for a treasure yet but I am hopeful it will happen soon!!!), figured out some shortcuts to a few of my regular places (work, grocery store, antiques stores) and decided I have to get out more despite all that I have to do at home.  So I got my library card, joined a church and a book club.  For our meeting next month, we are reading “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng.  Have any of you read this yet?

book

January also brought the first snowstorm of my CT residency.  To mark the occasion with more than just snow boots, I made home made chicken soup, which turned out pretty well for my first attempt at it.  I do not use salt at all due to its negative health benefits, so once I got the seasonings to a correct balance (pepper, oregano & basil), it was not bad if I do say so myself.  It was so hearty I did not even add noodles!!!

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But most of all for me, January was an unbelievably sad month for the music industry.  Losing an icon like David Bowie was an incredible blow, and we will not see a visionary artist like him again in our lifetime.  For a career to span as many decades as his and encompass as many musical genres as his did only underscores that point.  He left us with a parting gift, “Black Star“*** which is as classic and bold as we remember Bowie to be.

But in the end he was also a beloved man who was taken from his wife and family way too soon, and that is the worst part of the story.  Hopefully 2016 will be the year we finally see cancer obliterated from our world.

Bowie

Source:  YouTube (original source unknown)

Bowie’s loss was followed by those of Glenn Frey of the Eagles; R&B singers Otis Clay and Nicholas Caldwell, who was a member of the group, “The Whispers“; Rene Angelil, who brought us the voice of Celine DionPaul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame and one of his co-founders of Airplane, Signe Toly Anderson, who died on the same day.  What she and Kantner did in their band changed the landscape of music forever.  In the mid 1960’s, rock and roll bands were a boy’s only game:  The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Moody Blues, the list goes on and on.  But when Airplane was being formed, another co-founder Marty Balin along with Kantner, knew how important a female voice & presence was.  Anderson provided that until she left the band in 1966 to have a baby.  But the precedent was set and it was a vital turning point in rock and roll and music overall.  Think about who soon followed:  Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Carole King, Deborah Harry, et al.  Thank God for Balin’s & Kantner’s vision.

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Paul Kantner & Signe Toly Anderson, second and third from the left.  Source:  Tumbler (original source unknown).

And today marks what would have been the 70th birthday of Terry Kath, a founding member, guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for the band Chicago.  Kath was the unbelievably gorgeous voice behind classics such as “Colour My World” and “Make Me Smile“.  He was compared to Jimi Hendrix for his musical ability and to Ray Charles for his vocal style.  He died from an accidental gunshot infliction a week before his 32nd birthday in 1978.  He will be inducted posthumously into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Chicago at the induction ceremony in April.

Kath

Source:  premierguitar.com

But things are starting to turn around.  Reports are circulating that Paul Rodgers, who’s latest solo release*** includes fabulous covers of classic songs like “Walk On By” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”, and Bad Company are working on a new record together, which I PRAY is true!!!  What a band!!!  Swoon!!!  But best of all Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” tour is in full swing to promote “The Ties That Bind:  The River Collection“***.  All is right in my world when the Boss is on the road and headed my way (next month in Hartford!!!)  Double swoon!!!

I do not own the rights to any of the music I am sharing with you, but the starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support 🙂

So, how was your first month of the year?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!