Let’s Take A Moment Day 224

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.

One of the bands MTV reintroduced me to was The Kinks. I found Ray Davies antics in the videos to be quite entertaining while watching him as the main attraction in “Come Dancing” and “Predictable”. That prompted me to buy their 1981 album, “Give The People What They Want” with more great tunes like “Destroyer” and “Better Things” to enjoy. Forgetting that they started in the 1960’s I decided to go back and review their catalog of hits.

I was shocked to find out how many classic rock staples were theirs: “You Really Got Me”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, “Lola”, “A Well Respected Man” and “Stop Your Sobbing”. It was quite an education for me to discover that despite The Kinks being in my peripheral view, I had been enjoying their music all along thanks to FM radio. Today’s track, released October 23, 1964 in the UK, features a heavy power chord riff, a captivating rhythm line & Davies’ unique phrasing of the lyrics. That makes it my absolute favorite Kinks tune ever, even if Ray Davies won a UK lawsuit against The Doors for using this as the basis for their song, “Hello, I Love You”. I think Jim, Ray, Robbie & John made their mark with the rest of their staggering music, don’t you? 🙂

I believe that you and me last forever
Oh yeah, all day and nighttime yours, leave me never
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl, I want to be with you all of the time
“.

The Kinks 1964

ray davies

Top: The Kinks circa 1964 (L-R): Pete Quaife (bass), Dave Davies (lead guitar), Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar & songwriter) and Mick Avory (drums & percussion). Bottom: Ray Davies in 2017 after he was knighted by Prince Charles. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Kinks: “All Day And All Of The Night” (1964, written by Ray Davies).  

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 196

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?

Jane Austen 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.

Today in 1968 The Beatles song, “Hey Jude”, hit the #1 spot in America where it stayed for nine consecutive weeks. Their success in this country began with their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964. Coincidentally, today marks the 119th birth anniversary of the host of that show. Edward Vincent Sullivan, who was born in Harlem, NY today in 1901, is undoubtedly best known for that Sunday night variety show which ran for an astonishing 23 years from 1948 until 1971. It remains the longest running variety show in US broadcast history.

Sullivan was raised in Port Chester, NY and began his career writing about sports for a local paper while he was still in high school. His career in print media continued after he graduated, first as a sports reporter then as that department’s editor for The Evening Graphic in 1927. Two years later he was given the slot as Broadway columnist to replace departing writer Walter Winchell. But then Sullivan moved to The New York Daily News which was a tabloid paper at the time. He wrote a column, “Little Old New York”, which was still focused on Broadway happenings but also included celebrity & local gossip. By 1933 he appeared in a film he wrote, “Mr. Broadway”, where he went to several NYC hotspots to meet various entertainers and celebrities. This led to his 1941 variety radio show, “Summer Silver Theater”, because throughout his years as a writer, Sullivan was also active as a producer and director in that medium & vaudeville shows. By 1948 Sullivan was hired by CBS to host “Toast Of The Town”, the weekly variety program that would go on to turn him into the legendary host he became.

In an interview about The Doors 1967 appearance on that show, Ray Manzarek said Sullivan “was like Barnum & Bailey. He presented the greatest show on television. You could see everybody……..you would always see a rock & roll band”. Well, it was not just that type of music you would see on that ground breaking program. Nearly every genre of musical artist appeared on the show: Motown, soul, R&B, country, Americana, jazz, standards, big band, swing, classical & anything else you can imagine. YouTube has a station devoted to hundreds of the Sullivan show performances, and not just the musical ones. You can see comediennes, skits, acrobatic acts and many others. There is even a clip from 1970 where Coretta Scott King introduces two of her husband’s taped speeches, “I Have A Dream” & his last public one in Memphis where he spoke about threats against him before he uttered these heartbreaking words: “Like anybody I would like to live a long life”. That is just one example of how diverse and progressive Sullivan’s show was.

It featured women entertainers when they were still considered homemakers only. It presented all types of music during the changing times of the turbulent 1960’s and people of all different races who were only looked at for their ability to captivate the audience and nothing more. That was all Sullivan, who never saw race or gender at a time when the world was focused on it. He only saw variety and shared it with the world. No wonder he was dubbed “The Starmaker”.

Initially I thought I would never be able to choose one performance from the Sullivan show to commemorate his birth anniversary given how many there are to pick from. But then I saw the clip of today’s song and suddenly the choice was clear. My parents loved The Bee Gees and I inherited that feeling for all their older music (read: their music BEFORE the infamous disco era). My mother’s favorite song of theirs was “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” but the group did not perform that one on the Sullivan show. So I chose one of the songs they did sing in 1968. It features Barry on vocals alone sans beard, Maurice on bass, Robin on piano and about a dozen string players. And since tomorrow, September 29, marks what would have been my mothers 81st birthday, I thought this beautiful song was a great way to honor her, too.

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away
“.

Ed and The Beatles 1964

Bee Gees

Top (L-R): Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Ed Sullivan, John Lennon & Paul McCartney from their appearance in February 1964. Bottom (L-R): Robin Gibb (piano), Vince Melouney (guitar), Colin Petersen (drums), Maurice Gibb (Bass) and center, Barry Gibb (vocals) at their March 1968 performance. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Bee Gees: “Words” (Performed live on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on March 17, 1968. Written by Barry, Maurice & Robin Gibb).

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 155

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.

One of the things I really love about Carole King ‘s “Tapestry” album is how she used woodwind instruments on a few of her songs.  There is the beautiful flute solo at the end of “So Far Away” and the gorgeous sax solos on “It’s Too Late” & “Way Over Yonder”.  The man behind those performances was Curtis Amy, who was primarily known as a saxophone player.  You may not recognize his name but you most likely heard his work.  If you are a fan of The Doors, you heard his solo on “Touch Me“, especially towards the end of the song.  He also worked as the musical director for Ray Charles’ orchestra and played on songs by Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Rawls, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, amongst others.  Amy also released nine of his own albums in the 1960’s.  His wife, Merry Clayton, is a singer & actress.  She sang backing vocals on “Tapestry” (most notably on “Way Over Yonder”) but her voice is best known from being featured in “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones.  She also had a major role in the movie, “Maid To Order” as Audrey James, the head housekeeper.

King co-wrote today’s song as a tribute to Amy’s sound.  As someone who loves woodwinds in music of any kind, I feel very blessed to have been introduced to his talent.  And today’s song earned King a nomination for Best Female Pop Performance at 1975’s Grammy Awards.  She lost to “I Honestly Love You” by Olivia Newton John.  I honestly cannot believe that.

When the jazzman’s testifyin’ a faithless man believes
He can sing you into paradise or bring you to your knees
It’s a gospel kind of feelin’, a touch of Georgia slide,
A song of pure revival and a style that’s sanctified“.

carole king

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Carole King:  “Jazzman” (1974, written by Carole King, music and David Palmer, lyrics).

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 151

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.

As someone who loves music I owe an immense amount of gratitude to the blues.  It is the one genre of music that is the common denominator behind so many of the singers and bands I adore.  Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors and others have payed homage to the old blues singers and their songs.  Even Led Zeppelin considers their roots in that genre.  But one of my favorite bands that always honored their blues roots was The Allman Brothers Band.  They covered such classics as “Come On In My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson, “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell and “Trouble No More” by Muddy Waters, amongst others.  But today’s song is the one I love the best because despite how many other artists performed this one, the dueling guitar playing of Duane Allman & Dickey Betts is unmatched.  Plus, Greg Allman made it his own from the first note he sang.  I absolutely adore their version of this song.

Lord, I’m foolish to be here in the first place
I know some man gonna walk in and take my place
Ain’t no way in the world, I’m going out that front door
‘Cause there’s a man down there, might be your man I don’t know“.

Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers Band (L_R):  Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Duane Allman (lead & slide guitar), Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriter), Jaimoe Johanson (drums), Butch Trucks (drums) & Berry Oakley (bass) in 1971 as photographed for the cover of their second album, Idlewild South.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.) 

The Allman Brothers Band:  “One Way Out” (1972, written by Elmore James, Marshall E. Sehorn and Sonny Boy Williamson)

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 145

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.

In September 1967 The Doors were invited to perform two songs on “The Ed Sullivan Show“.  The first one they sang was “People Are Strange” and just watching Jim Morrison swagger up to the microphone is EVERYTHING!!!  SA-WOON!!!.  The second song they performed was “Light My Fire” which was a number one hit for three weeks that summer (July 29-August 18).  Sounds simple enough, right?  Wrong.  About 30 minutes before airtime a network producer from the show met with the band backstage and told them they had to change the lyric “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” because it could be inferred as a drug reference which was not in line with Sullivan’s family oriented program.  (The show also made The Rolling Stones change “Let’s Spend The Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” when they were on the program earlier that year).  None of The Doors wanted to do that but keyboard player Ray Manzarek told the producer they would.  However, as soon as he left the room Morrison supposedly said, “We are not changing a word” & Manzarek said, “Exactly, man.  Let’s not change the word.”  Once on stage, the band performed the song as written leading to Sullivan banning The Doors for life from his show.  And that, boys and girls, is what we call rock & roll.

Love me one time
I could not speak
Love me one time
Yeah, my knees got weak
But love me two times, girl
Last me all through the week“.

Doors

The Doors circa 1968:  (L-R):  Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore & Jim Morrison.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors:  “Love Me Two Times” (1967, written by The Doors:  Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger & Ray Manzarek).

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 53

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?

Peanuts music

(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.

“The future’s uncertain and the end is always near.”  If that does not sum up the essence of life, especially in the year 2020, I can’t think of another line that does.  And that is just one example of the magnificence of Jim Morrison.  To me, he was the greatest frontmen of all time:  sexy, beautiful, strong, commanding, brilliant, defiant, poetic and was inspired by two of the best:  Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.  Morrison also wore leather pants like no one else.

He co-founded The Doors in 1965 with keyboardist extraordinaire Ray Manzarek.  The band released its first album in 1967 and made five more before Morrison’s death in July 1971.  I hate that his story had the tragic rock star ending where he died before the age of 30, but there is no rewriting history.  Luckily, Morrison & the Doors are part of the classic rock landscape making them one of the most phenomenal bands of all time.  Out of all the  staggering music they gave us, this is the song I love the most.

The Doors

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors:  “Roadhouse Blues” (1970, written by Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger & Ray Manzarek).

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

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 16

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

I just swooned over this gorgeous Christmas tree.  Looks like pink was popular as an alternative Christmas decorating color long before it became known as shabby chic.  Whatever the style was called, I just love it.

day 16

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Occasionally two different songs have the same title.  Some examples include the Beatles and the Doors with “The End”, Ringo Starr and Def Leppard share “Photograph”, Queen and Jefferson Airplane share “Somebody To Love”,  R.E.M. and the Cars share “Drive” to name a few.  Today’s song was released first but when a more popular and successful singer released her song with the same title in 1994, it all but sent today’s version into  non-existence.  But over the years the first one found its way back to regular air play thanks in part to all the 24 hour a day Christmas music stations across the nation.  That also helped to land this song on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart seven times between 1994 and 2002.

The original version is sung by a country/pop/novelty group with lead vocals by Lisa Layne who was known as Lisa Burgess Stewart at the time of the recording.  It is considered a country song, yet when a country artist recorded her own version of it, she did it with a jazzy, bluesy big band feel.  That sound combined with her powerful voice makes her version my current favorite of the two.

As for the other song with the same title, it is a holiday staple.  I love the way it is featured in the movie “Love Actually“.  And last month it cemented its place in history by garnering three Guinness World Records for 2020.  The honors include highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the U.S. Hot 100 chart by a solo artist, most weeks in the U.K. singles top 10 chart for a Christmas song and most-streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours (female).  That must qualify the singer as the Christmas Queen.

vince vance

Vince Vance & The Valiants:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1989, written by Troy Powers and Andy Stone in 1989).

leann rimes

LeAnn Rimes:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (2004, written by Troy Powers and Andy Stone in 1989).

mariah carey

Mariah Carey:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1994, written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff f/k/a Baby Love in 1994).

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, happy listening!!!

Fourth of July Music Celebration

Hello, fellow Vixens!!!  Happy July!!!

With the long holiday weekend to celebrate our nation’s independence upon us, I thought I would share the songs I listen to whenever I take a road trip.  There is something about the open highway that is invigorating and inspiring to me. Seeing this beautiful country from different vantage points reminds me how lucky I am to call it home.

SONY DSC

One of my favorite buildings in Waxhaw, NC.

Copyright 2011 by Michele Antonio.

I celebrate that freedom with the musicians who have contributed to the soundtrack I live my life to.  The songs I chose may not specifically mention or relate to the holiday at all, but they or the artists singing them remind me of home.  This is my comfort music.

And given the current climate with the Supreme Court’s ruling and one state’s steps to see us all as equals under the same flag, this year’s observance of the 4th of July seems more important than ever.

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The view from one of my favorite antiques barns in Jeffersonville, VT.

Copyright 2013 by Michele Antonio.

So here is what I will be listening to this weekend:

10)  “Feeling Stronger Every Day” by Chicago.  A great American band named for their home city.  And what a message for anyone who needs some encouragement.

9)  “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  America’s all American band born on the bayou by way of California.

8)  “The Weight” by the Band.  The late Levon Helm at his best.

7)  “American Pie” by Don McClean.  An unlikely anthem if ever there was one.

6)  “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas.  Does it get more American than Motown-a/k/a Detroit-where Chevys were made?  Remember the car maker’s old tag line?  “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet”.  What a visual.

5)  “Roadhouse Blues” by the Doors.  The harmonica adds the perfect amount of Americana to this rocker.

4)  “Me & Bobby McGee” by Kris Kristofferson.   A song about falling in love while on the road with the “windshield wipers slappin’ time”.  Jack Kerouac would have been so proud.

3)  “This Land is Your Land” by Pete Seeger & Friends.  Forget why they were there.  Just focus on the moment when Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and others stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to sing one of the greatest songs celebrating our country.

2)  “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen.  New Jersey’s elite music master celebrates the best of this country (see #3) and the worst (“Born in the USA”).  But no one does it with more passion, grace or heart than Freehold’s fortunate son.

1)  “America the Beautiful” by Ray Charles.  It’s Ray Charles singing.  Enough written.

Bonus:  ANYTHING by Otis Redding.  My top choices are “Tramp” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay“.

What will you be listening to over the holiday weekend?

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, Vixens!!!

SONY DSC

The display in front of one favorite antiques stores in Babylon, NY.

Copyright 2011 by Michele Antonio.