25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 3

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

tree

(original source unknown)

Several musical genres define the 1960’s:  Rock & Roll, Motown, The Beatles, The British Invasion, the San Francisco sound and the Wall of Sound-a technique which layered music tracks for a song to give the music a deeper sound.  Introduced to the world courtesy of songwriter and producer Phil Spector, the sound would become synonymous with his premier girl groups like the Teddy Bears, the Crystals and the Ronettes whose song “Be My Baby” stands as a definitive example of the unique sound Spector created.

He worked with men too, most notably the Righteous Brothers on “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling“, the Walker Brothers on “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and the Beatles (he was responsible for finishing the “Let It Be” album after the group broke up).  He also co-produced four of John Lennon’s solo albums & three of George Harrison’s, as well as several of their singles.  Bruce Springsteen channeled the Wall of Sound sound on his epic “Born To Run” album while his bandmate/best friend Steven Van Zandt regularly features Spector produced records on his “Underground Garage” radio show.

Spector album

(original source unknown)

In 1963 Spector released an album of holiday songs which were given the Wall of Sound treatment.  Entitled “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector” , it featured primarily all women, two of whom are my favorite female singers of all time:  Darlene Love & Ronnie Spector.  So to avoid making a difficult choice, I am including a song from each to share with you today.  Enjoy!!!

Darlene Love:  “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)“.

Darlene Love

Darlene Love circa 1963 (original source unknown)

The Ronettes “Sleigh Ride“.

Ronettes

The Ronettes circa 1963 (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!!!

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 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you at the start of this new week?

How was your weekend?  Did you host, attend or avoid a Superbowl party yesterday?  If you missed the game, let me summarize:  Party.  Chips.  Salsa.  Snack foods.  Expensive new commercials.  Congratulations, Broncos 🙂  Better luck next year, Panthers 😦

Super_Bowl_50_logo

Or maybe you acknowledged the 52nd anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America, specifically New York.  And tomorrow, February 9, marks the same number of years since they first made their historic debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show“.  The link contains the entire show, commercials included (I especially loved seeing the now vintage packaging for Pillsbury Flour & All Detergent!!!).  What a treat for those of us not around then to have seen history in the making that night!!!  To say it changed music, let alone the world FOREVER, is almost an understatement.  All hail John, Paul, George & Ringo!!!  We are eternally in love and indebted 🙂

Trivia:  The Beatles performed five songs that night.  What was the first one they sang?  No cheating!!!  LOL

Beatles at JFK

     Source:  Topics.nytimes.com
Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Source:  Cbsnews.com

Speaking of the Beatles, and with Valentine’s Day a week away, I have been listening a lot to my favorite love song ever:  Something***.   Second place:  Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley***.

Saturday I was again lost with no estate sales in my area, so I did the next best thing: looked for treasures on Etsy, Ebay and Craigslist.  Saw many things I loved, but most were out of my budget range.   Sigh.

But I did see this really cute idea on Country Living’s website.  I cannot wait to try this.  What a great way to use vintage or even newer tins by just adding magnets:

country living

Source:  CountryLiving.com/A Pretty Cool Life

Thought about Valentine’s Day.  Forget flowers or jewelry-this is what I want:

Puppy heart

Source:  Pinterest (Original source unknown).

Or maybe just this:

English_Bulldog_Confine_Your_Pup

Source:  Englishbulldog.name

Or this:

romeo-the-pug-puppies-daily-puppy-pug-dogs-puppy

Source:  Rotifresh.com

Watched “The Time Traveler’s Wife“*** for the 9,237th time.  The scene where he sees his mother on the train makes me sob.  Each.  And.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Sigh.

So, how was your weekend?

I do not own the rights to any of the music or videos 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 🙂

Have a lovely week!!!

Oh, and “All My Loving” was the first song the Beatles performed on “Ed Sullivan” 🙂

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

 

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!!!

“We All Shine On” for John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Hello, Vixens.  Did you read about the large people peace sign Yoko Ono organized in Central Park earlier this week?  It was done in honor of John Lennon’s 75th birthday, which we celebrate today.

Central Park Peace Sign PIX 11

                                                                      Photo courtesy of PIX-11.

That gesture reminded all of us how Lennon lived his life, using his celebrity and music not to push a clothing line or cologne spray, but to ask the world to consider peace over war.  Light over dark.  Love over hate.  It is easy to see the roots of his masterpiece “Imagine” in that thinking.

john_lennon_peace_sign

                                                                  Photo author unknown.

His childhood in England, his life as a Beatle, his marriage to Yoko Ono, his solo career and his years in his beloved adopted home of NYC shaped the life he shared with us in song.  He was intelligent (“Across The Universe“), rebellious (“Revolution“), introspective (“In My Life“), romantic (“Jealous Guy“), a rocker (“Whatever Gets You Through The Night“), a proud father (“Beautiful Boy“).  And so very much more.

beatles-bruce-mcbroom                                                                                    Photo by Bruce McBroom

He reminded us “we all shine on” in “Instant Karma“, that “love is the answer” in “Mind Games” & “All You Need Is Love” and took us on imaginative colorful road trips during “I’m Only Sleeping“, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day In The Life“.   But by far the best vision he gave us was one in which we all lived as one in “Imagine”.

Happy birthday, John Lennon.  You are loved.  And missed.

John Lennon

                                                                         Photo by Bob Gruen.

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

Happy 75th Birthday, Ringo Starr!!!

Beatles drummer Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, turns 75 years young today.

SONY DSC

Copyright 2012 by Michele Antonio

His career in music started over 50 years ago when he replaced Pete Best as the drummer of the band that was about to become known world wide as “The Fab Four”.  Starr was the lead singer on several Beatles’ songs including “With A Little Help From My Friends“, “Yellow Submarine” and “Octopus’s Garden“.

After the Beatles reign as the greatest band on earth ended (yes I wrote that!!!), Starr had several solo hits including “It Don’t Come Easy“, “Photograph” (co-written with George Harrison) and “You’re Sixteen“.  The latter two hit number one on the charts in November 1973 & January 1974, respectively.

The younger generation may also know him as “Mr. Conductor” on the “Shining Time Station” PBS series & as the narrator from the first two seasons of “Thomas and Friends”.

Earlier this year Starr was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo performer, having already been inducted as a member of the Beatles in 1988.  During the last 25 years he has been touring with his “All Starr Band” featuring a revolving group of musicians.

I was lucky enough to see him live twice at the theatre on Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY.  The first time was during the early 1990’s and the second was in 2012.  The pictures featured in this post are from the second show where I was 10 feet from one of the Beatles!!!

SONY DSC

Copyright 2012 by Michele Antonio

Thankfully, Ringo is still making music which you can listen to (while wishing him a happy birthday) here.

How do we thank a Beatle for EVERYTHING he has given us?  Music was never the same from the time we met him and the other lads from Liverpool via “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964.  A mere “thank you” seems inadequate.  I, for one, am eternally grateful!!!

Happy birthday, Ringo!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #1

The #1 song on the countdown was called “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969 by none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.  It also has the distinct honor of being the most covered Beatles song second only to “Yesterday”.  The top song on my list is…drum roll please…”Something” by the Beatles.

Inspired by James Taylor’s 1968 song “Something In The Way She Moves” and written by George Harrison for his first wife, Pattie Boyd, the song was the masterpiece of his career as a Beatle.  It was released on the album “Abbey Road” and issued with “Come Together” as a double single which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1969.

That was the Beatles 18th chart topper, putting them one song ahead of Elvis Presley’s previous record of 17.  A video of the Beatles and their wives set to the song was also released that year to promote it and the album amid rumors that a break up of the Fab Four was imminent.

Harrison’s lyrics expressed  both his love for his wife while acknowledging the uncertainty that is the future:

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Legends including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Elton John & Willie Nelson have covered “Something” either on record or live in concert.  Sadly Harrison’s marriage to Boyd did not grow, as she eventually left him for his best friend, Eric Clapton.  But that’s another song (“Layla” to be exact).

After the Beatles broke up, Harrison went on to have a successful solo career and hosted one of the first benefit concerts ever-1971’s Concert for Bangladesh.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 by Mick Jagger and Harrison was inducted as a solo artist in 2004 by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who were members of Harrison’s other band-the Traveling Wilburys .

As if the attacks of 9/11/01 were not devastating enough to the world that year, two months after those tragedies we lost George Harrison to cancer, which left only two of the four Beatles around to carry on the legacy of one of the greatest bands of all time.  Sigh 😦

There you have it, Vixens-my picks for the top 14 love songs.  Hope I included some of your favorites or helped you discover some new ones.

***BONUS:  One of my favorite songs is named “Valentine” and it is by E Street guitarist Nils Lofgren, with a little help from the Boss himself.

***BONUS TWO:  If you have never seen the Golden Girls episode entitled “Valentine’s Day“, take about 20 minutes out now to watch it.  I love all their episodes, but this one is in their top 10.

Enjoy!!!