Let’s Take A Moment Day 264

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?

kurt v

(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.

Eighty eight years ago today the world received a gift like no other when Richard Wayne Penniman, a/k/a Little Richard, a/k/a “The Innovator”, was born in Macon, Georgia on December 5, 1932. His talent broke barriers in the 1950’s when his exciting & ground breaking sound crossed over to reach audiences of all races. His music blended R&B, soul, funk and pop to form the highbred known as rock & roll. He also paved the way for his contemporaries to not only build on that foundation but to expand each of those musical genres in the decades to come.

Today’s song is the from the 1956 film of the same name. It is a fun watch (and currently free to see on YouTube) and it is introduced as a “story of music”. Richard sings two numbers (“Ready Teddy” & “She’s Got It”) and there are also fantastic performances by Fats Domino, Gene Vincent and others. It is also a wonderful opportunity to see two people who died much too young: early rock & roll pioneer Eddie Cochran (“Summertime Blues“, “C’mon Everybody“) & actress Jayne Mansfield. And here’s a little trivia for you: Singer & actress Julie London was also in this movie and sang her hit, “Cry Me A River”. She was married to Bobby Troup, a jazz pianist, singer, songwriter and actor. The couple starred in the 1970’s show, “Emergency” with London as Nurse Dixie McCall & Troup as Dr. Joe Early. He wrote today’s song.

If she walks by the men folks get engrossed
She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it
If she winks an eye the bread slice turn to toast
She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it
If she’s got a lot of what they call the most
She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it
“.

Little Richard

Little Richard circa 1996. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Little Richard: “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1956, written by Bobby Troup).

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 56

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.

In one of my all time favorite movies, Diner, there is a great scene where a husband admonishes his wife for not following the correct procedure to listen to his records.  He worships music, she just likes to hear it.  How they ever got together is beyond me.

Wife:  “What are you getting so crazy about?  It’s just music.  It’s not that big a deal.”

Husband:  “It is!  Don’t you understand this is important to me!”

Later, he gives her a record and tells her to ask him a question.  “You never ask me what is on the flip side of a record.”

Wife:  “No, because I don’t give a shit.  Who cares about what’s on the flip side of a record!”

Husband:  “I do!  Every one of my records means something.  When I listen to my records, they take me back to certain points in my life.”  Amen.

The record in the middle of this exchange was “Good Golly Miss Molly” with “Hey Hey Hey Hey” on the flip side.  The artist?  Little Richard, who we lost over the weekend.  I am so very sad to say goodbye to this incomparable talent.  His outlandish and commanding stage performances, his high pitched “woos” and his boogie woogie style piano playing helped him become one of the first crossover black artists in the late 1950’s while laying the groundwork for soul and funk.  No wonder he was given three titles of honor:   The Innovator, The Originator and The Architect of Rock & Roll.

The Beatles were part of his earliest admirers and opened for his concerts when he was touring Europe in 1962.  The US leg of that same tour featured Sam Cooke as the opening act.  Billy Preston and Jimi Hendrix were both members of Little Richard’s bands in 1962 and 1964, respectively.  When John Lennon made his “Rock & Roll” record in 1975 it included two Little Richard covers:  “Slippin’ and Slidin'” and a medley of “Rip It Up/Ready Teddy”.  Little Steven Van Zandt added the “Little” to his name in honor of his musical hero.  The list of admirers is endless.  Little Richard was just that good.  Was.  Past tense.  Incredibly big sigh.

I have not shared a song by him yet because I was having trouble trying to pick only one.  I had it narrowed down to three but got stuck there.  But he needs to be honored so I am choosing the last song of his I listened to prior to his death.  Godspeed, Richard Wayne Penniman.  You were one of the greatest kind.

 

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Little Richard:  “Long Tall Sally” (1956, written by Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell and Richard Penniman).

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

Stay well.