Let’s Take A Moment Day 426

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 blog 2021

(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.

Today’s song hit the #1 spot on the chart today in 1964 where it would stay for two consecutive weeks. It is by the beautiful elegant Queen Of Motown, Mary Wells. She was born May 13, 1943 in Michigan and started singing in her church choir. She auditioned for Berry Gordy in 1960 when he was 17 years old.

He had her work with Smokey Robinson who wrote many of her hits, including her first three released in 1962: “The One Who Really Loves You”, “You Beat Me To The Punch” & “Two Lovers”. But 1964 was the biggest year of her career thanks to today’s song, her duet album with Marvin Gaye entitled Together & her role as the first Motown performer to play in the United Kingdom when she was invited to open for The Beatles on that leg of their tour.

But Wells became displeased with the way Motown operated and despite alleged attempts by Gordy to renegotiate the deal she signed when she was 17, Wells was released from her contract per her request. However, that arrangement meant she could not receive any royalties from her former label.

She had some minor success after leaving Motown but decided to retire in 1974 to raise her four children. But she suffered from many afflictions including depression. a suicide attempt and drug use. In 1990 she was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer which led to her death at age 49 in 1992. Her old collaborator Smokey Robinson delivered the eulogy for the woman most fans remember as The First Lady Of Motown.

As a matter of opinion I think he’s tops
My opinion is he’s the cream of the crop
As a matter of taste to be exact
He’s my ideal as a matter of fact
“.

Mary_Wells_1965

Mary Wells circa 1965. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Mary Wells: “My Guy” (1964, written by William “Smokey” Robinson 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 407

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.

I owe you all another apology for skipping over another song I was sure I featured already. I think the oversight was because I shared the story of today’s band-Badfinger-on Day 63 when I chose Harry Nilsson’s version of their song, “Without You”. To recap that post, this was a band that saw the highest of highs & the lowest of lows.

The highs? They were the first group to be signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records label in 1968. Paul McCartney wrote & produced their first hit record (“Come and Get It”) while George Harrison produced today’s song and played slide guitar on it as well. Nilsson’s hit & today’s track were written by Badfinger’s frontman & lead guitarist, Pete Ham, who remained close with Harrison even after The Beatles broke up. The two musicians played together on Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album & his benefit concerts for Bangladesh in NYC in 1971.

The lows? Not one but two members of this incredible band died by suicide: Ham died three days before his 28th birthday in 1975, leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend and a stepson. His bandmate & co-writer of “Without You” Tom Evans, died in 1983 after fighting with another bandmate-Joey Molland-over the royalties of that song, which hit #1 for four straight weeks in 1972. Evans was survived by his wife and son. The band’s trouble with money began after their manager stole all their earnings and left them in financial ruin.

In the end, it was too much for Ham, who was born April 27, 1947 in Wales. We can blame the money issues & perhaps the subsequent legal fallout to the suicides, but a lack of mental stability also contributed to the choices both Ham & Evans made. They convinced themselves that what they lost was far more important than what they created.  That is only part of the damage depression can do.

Today’s song is heartbreakingly beautiful & I felt that way before I ever knew the band’s tragic story. It is a song of lost love & betrayal told in a succinct eloquent way. It is highlighted by Harrison’s stunning slide guitar arrangement, Leon Russell’s piano performance and Ham’s sophisticated vocal. His music is often credited as the start of the power pop ballad sound. Whatever category his music falls into, I am just thankful every day that this man & his talent are part of the musical universe.

I remember holding you
While you sleep
Every day I feel the tears
That you weep
“.

Harrison and Ham

Badfinger

Top: George Harrison and Pete Ham in the recording studio circa 1971. Bottom: Badfinger circa 1971 (L-R): Bassist Tom Evans, guitarist Pete Han, drummer Mike Gibbins and guitarist Joey Molland. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Badfinger: “Day After Day” (1971, written by Pete Ham).

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 391

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.

On April 11, 1970 The Beatles hit the #1 spot in the country for the first of two weeks with “Let It Be” (the song, featured here on Day 26). The album of the same name would hit #1 for four weeks later that year beginning in June. Ironically it knocked Paul McCartney’s solo album, McCartney. out of the top position where it sat for three consecutive weeks.

But I think that is only fair since he officially announced The Beatles had broken up just one day before their song topped the charts, shattering the hearts of fans around the world forever. Six years after they landed in America to make history on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, they changed the course of music once again when they disbanded. I refer to it as the other day the music died.

Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on

Across the universe”.

Let it be pic

The Beatles in a still from their 1970 rocumentary movie “Let It Be”: (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Across The Universe” (1970, written by John Lennon and 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 389

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.

Many of my musical heroes predate the video channels era. Even though they embraced that new medium, performances from their earlier years were either lost or locked in some television history vault gathering dust. Then YouTube showed up and slowly over the years video clips from those early days were suddenly at hand, mostly from TV shows from eras gone by. Many of these finds were absolute gifts of gold, but one was pure platinum.

Derek & The Dominos appeared on “The Johnny Cash Show” in November 1970 & the episode aired two months later. The band was together for less than a year so the chance to see them anywhere during that time was rare enough. But the chance to see Eric Clapton between The Cream years & his solo career was just priceless. The band performed “It’s Too Late”, a 1950’s blues song they covered for their only album & it was fabulous. But it was about to get even better.

After their performance Cash came out to thank the band for their appearance. He then invited his friend & fellow Sun Records legend, Carl Perkins, to play one of his songs with them. Then he, Cash, Clapton & the rest of The Dominos played today’s track and it was nothing short of astounding. Swoon.

In September 1985 Clapton performed the song with Perkins again along with Ringo Starr during an all star concert celebrating Perkins’ career. Starr sang several of Perkins’ songs during The Beatles early days including “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” & “Honey Don’t”. Perkins, who was born 89 years ago on April 9, 1932 in Tennessee, was a huge influence on The Fab Four, especially Starr & George Harrison.

The 1985 concert ended with a rousing performance of Perkins most famous tune, “Blue Suede Shoes”. But for me, today’s song holds the top spot in my heart thanks to this one time only performance from 50 years ago. In the words of my sweet beautiful friend, Toni: “Long live the 1970’s”.

“I’m an old poor boy
And I’m a long way from home
I won’t ever be happy
Everything I do is wrong
“.

cash show 2

Perkins and co

Top (L-R): Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash, November 1970. Bottom (L-R): Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Carl Perkins and George Harrison in 1985. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Derek & The Dominos: “Matchbox” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1957, written by Carl Perkins).

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 378

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?

March 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.

Baroque rock had a relatively short window of popularity, lasting only for about 10 years between the mid 1960’s to the early 1970’s. The sound defined rock music with specific orchestral sounds separate from the sole use of strings. Of course it was The Beatles who were thought to start this trend, most notably with the song, “In My Life” .

But in 1966 the genre was specifically attributed to the English group, The Left Banke. The broader sound of their music included the harpsichord in addition to specific brass, woodwind & string arrangements. The group displayed the sound beautifully with their 1966 hit “Walk Away Renee” (Day 143) and today’s song as well.

I called her yesterday, it should have been tomorrow
I could not keep this joy that was inside,
I beg for her to tell me if she really loved me,
Some where a mountain is moving
Afraid it’s moving without me
“.

Left Banke

The Left Banke circa 1965. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Left Banke: “Pretty Ballerina” (1966, written by Michael Brown).

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 361

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?

March 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.

Today we celebrate birthday #73 for James Vernon Taylor born March 12, 1948 in Massachusetts. A true American treasure, he has been entertaining audiences since his debut album was released in 1968. He recorded it in England as one of the first acts signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records label. One of the album’s songs, “Something In The Way She Moves” served as the inspiration (and first line) to George Harrison’s masterpiece, “Something”.

Taylor has made a career performing his own songs (“Carolina On MY Mind”, “Fire & Rain”, today’s song) as well as those from other artists (Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend”, Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” & Sam Cooke & Herb Alpert’s “Wonderful World”). But whatever Taylor sings, he makes it his own with his signature soothing vocal & simple elegant musical arrangements. For over 50 years, he has been a permanent part of the landscape of American music. Happy birthday, Sweet Baby James.

Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Though the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go
“.

JT

James Taylor’s 1970 album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Taylor: “Sweet Baby James” (1970, written by James Taylor).

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 351

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?

March 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.

The Carpenters have the distinction of being one of the greatest duos of all time thanks to the talents of siblings Richard and Karen Carpenter. Their sound was distinctive thanks to Richard’s knack for song writing, his ear for pop melodies punctuated by layered arrangements that highlighted the absolute beauty of his sister’s voice. Karen was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, CT. Her family relocated to Downey, CA in 1963 to help Richard, a musician from childhood, pursue a career in music.

Karen went through a few instruments before deciding on the drums, making her one of the first female percussionists to rise to prominence. By 1965 they were playing as a jazz trio with an upright bass player. After he departed the siblings continued together. In 1969 they signed to A&M Records after label co-founder Herb Alpert heard their demo. Karen was 19 years old and it was her vocal tracks that would help make the duo achieve the international success that followed.

It began with a cover of The Beatles song, “Ticket To Ride” followed by the song that launched their career, “Close To You”, written by the iconic songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It went to #1 for four consecutive weeks in the summer of 1970. After that a slew of hits followed, including today’s song, which was a #2 hit in 1971.

Alpert was the one who convinced the duo to record their first #1 song. In a 2011 interview he gave to “CBS Sunday Morning” he spoke about Karen, who died in 1983 from complications related to an eating disorder. He said, “She never realized how great she was. She never really accepted the fact that she really had it”. Alpert also got choked up thinking of her, because even though nearly 30 years had passed since Karen’s death, he still found her loss incomprehensible. I think that pretty much sums up how all her fans feel.

What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
“.

Carpenters-Horizon-Cover

Karen and Richard Carpenter circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Carpenters: “Rainy Days & Mondays” (1971, written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams).

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 346

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.

On February 26, 1966 Rubber Soul became The Beatles seventh #1 album in the US. It gave us classics like “In My Life”, “Michelle” & “Girl”, to name a few. But today’s song, which was written by George Harrison, is my favorite from that record. He was born 78 years ago today in Liverpool, England. Happy birthday to my favorite Beatle.

Carve your number on my wall and
Maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
“.

Rubber Soul 1965

The Beatles in 1965 during the photo shoot for Rubber Soul (L-R): George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “If I Needed Someone” (1965, written by George Harrison).

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 335

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?

Hearts

(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.

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh

That is one of my favorite poems by William Butler Yates. And despite being entitled “A Drinking Song”, I think of it more as a poem about life and love.

As for all I shall know for truth at this point in my life: .

Love is the answer, as John Lennon so eloquently put it, And love, of any kind and in any form, is all you need.

Music is at the heart of love. Both heal & speak to the soul.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy
“.

Happy Hearts Club

The Beatles in 1967 (L-R): Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “All You Need Is Love” (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 330

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.

Once upon a time on a Sunday night 57 years ago-February 9, 1964-The Beatles were announced as first time guests on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to perform a total of five songs. Today’s pick was the first one they played at approximately 8:12PM. A minute later the world changed into a brand new color called John, Paul, George & Ringo. The rest of the hues, along with music, life & Sunday nights from that point on would never be the same ever again. And for this I and the 73 million viewers who tuned in that night are eternally grateful. The end.

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing the lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I’m away, I’ll write home everyday
And I’ll send all my loving to you
“.

Beatles-ed-sullivan

The Fab Four on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “All My Loving” (1963, written by John Lennon and 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.