25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 9

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 9A

Charlie Brown and his faithful pup, Snoopy, and that tree in a scene from the iconic “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. (United Feature Syndicate. Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

When Charles M. Schulz’s young group of Peanuts made their debut on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers across the country, one of the most beautiful chapters in American culture and history began. The nation embraced Charlie Brown, his loyal and occassionally mischievous pup, Snoopy, their friend, Linus and the other characters from the gang.

Fifteen years later “A Charlie Brown Christmas” debuted on December 9, 1965. The sweet friends “Sparky” created became some of the best friends many of us have ever known while an international movement celebrating all things Peanuts came to be. And it continues today in the year we celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of Schulz on November 26, 2022.

As if all that were not enough, the Christmas special featured songs that are still warming our hearts and adding to our holiday cheer. They became as important to the Peanurs world as if the music was a character all its own, providing the soundtrack to skating, dancing and celebrating the tree that just needed a little love. The world created by Sculz and his friends, Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi, is one I never want to leave. Thanks to their legacy, I never have to. And neither does anyone else.

Three iconic images from 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. (United Feature Syndicate.  Images found online. Original sources unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, music by Vince Guaraldi, lyrics by Lee Mendelson).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Music Monday: November 28, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I hope you all had a wonderful extended holiday weekend of eating, shopping, resting or all three. Before we get to today’s songs (yes, plural as we have another triple play) let me remind you that the Christmas Music Coundtdown begins on December 1. For each of the 25 Days of Christmas, I will feature a different holiday song. I would love to hear some of your favorite music choices for this festive season so please share them with me in the comments below.

Today we are celebrating three milestones with three songs. The first is about one of my childhood heroes. Charles M. Schulz, the absolute genius who gave us Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, was born 100 years ago on November 26, 1922. Nothing in my life was ever the same after my first glimpse of the characters Schulz created. Meeting that brilliant, warm, quirky, kind, wise, friendly, talented, and irascible group introduced me to some of the best friends I ever had.

Their holiday specials, books and the comic strip, the merchandise & the movies remain as much a part of my life now as they ever did. And it is all thanks to the man known as “Sparky” to his friends. Part of the appeal of his gang was how relatable and human they were-they had real feelings, real hopes, real wants, real needs and real fears. They were children but not childish. And they loved to have fun which translated into lots of music and dancing to grown up songs. How do you thank one man for so much?

CB and Sparky

Family Circys Schulz tribute

For Better For Worse  - fb_c221126.tif

Lockhorms Schu;lz tribute

Top: Charles M. Schulz and his famous friend, Charlie Brown, circa 1965. Then three of the many cartoonists who remembered Sparky on the 100th anniversary of his birth including Bil and Jeff Keane of “Family Circus“, Lynn Johnston’s “For Better or For Worse” and Bunny Hoest and John Reiner’s “The Lockhorns. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Twenty years later one of the most iconic films of all time was introduced to the world when Casablanca  premiered on November 26, 1942. Eight decades later, Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman’s tale of love and loss during World War II remains one of the most beloved movies of all time with a theme song no one can ever forget.

Casablanca

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a scene from “Casablanca:. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

That same year one of the greatest musicians to ever set an instrument on fire-both figuratively and literally-came into the world. James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was born  November 27, 1942 in Seattle, WA. A singer, songwriter and performer best remembered as one of the prenier guitarists in rock music made a name for himself with original songs but also with one of a kind covers of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and our National Anthem.

According to his website, Hendrix was a member of the “Screaming Eagles” paratroop division during his serivce to the U.S. Army in the early 1960’s. By the middle of that decade, he was playing with Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little Richard before forming his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. The rest is rock music history. Despite his death over 50 years ago, Hendrix is still unsurpassed in his esteem & tenure as one of the greatest of the greats.

Jimi

Jimi Hendrix circa 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Linus And Lucy” (1964, written by Vince Guaraldi).

Frank Sinatra: “As Time Goes By” (1962, remastered in 1999, written by Herman Hupfeld).

Jimi Hendrix: “Little Wing” (1967, written by Jimi Hendrix).

Stay safe and well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 9

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 9

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I cannot remember a time when The Peanuts characters were not part of my world. I had sheets with their adorable faces on them when I was a kid, along with a lunch box & various other toys & collectibles. I still have many of those cherished items today. Every one of the beautiful characters Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz gave us became part of my heart at an early age. They remain my safe place, my familiar place, my constant and my home. And I am convinced that love affair started the first time I watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” which premiered on December 9, 1965. This season would not be the same without this TV special & its exceptional music. Today’s song is my favorite from that wonderful soundtrack.

Linus

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, music by Vince Guaraldi, lyrics by Lee Mendelson).

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!!!

Let’s Take A Moment Day 268

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?

CB 1

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” turns 55 this year. (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.

Another holiday show anniversary is upon us. This one turns 55 this year & remains a beloved seasonal & cultural phenomenon to this day. On December 9, 1965 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was introduced to the world. The Peanuts taught us all the true meaning of Christmas, friendship, being part of a community and how far a little love can go. It is my absolute favorite Christmas special of all time. The characters Charles M. Schulz created had real feelings, real thoughts, real fears and real problems, making them no different than the kids watching their shows or reading their comic strip each Sunday. Showing me & kids around the world we had a place to feel safe was an invaluable gift and the reason why Schulz will always be one of my heroes.

Home is not a place for me, it is a feeling. And today’s song overwhelms me with it like no other. It is comfort defined.

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
“.

Peanuts Skating

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, music by Vince Guaraldi, lyrics by Lee Mendelson).

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 229

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.

There’s only one song for today. kids. And that is what we should all strive to be on Halloween-kids. So eat lots of candy, watch “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (I have it on DVD so you did not ruin my day after all, Apple TV!!!) and then sing & dance it up to today’s song. No need for scary antics, either. This year has done that for us already. Happy Halloween, everybody!!!

The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group The Crypt-Kicker Five
“.

Peanuts trick or treat

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bobby “Boris” Pickett: “Monster Mash” (1962, written by Leonard Capizzi and Bobby Pickett).

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 168

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?

Bruce 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 is the 75th birthday of Sir George Ivan Morrison, better known simply as Van Morrison.  I adore this man-his voice, his poetry, his blues-infused soul and his romantic heart.  He also plays one mean saxophone and harmonica, among other instruments.

He has written so many songs honoring my favorite season, autumn, that I cannot imagine the gorgeous colors of fall without his music as the soundtrack.  (My favorites include “Autumn Song” (feels like something pulled right from the Peanuts “Great Pumpkin” television special), “Golden Autumn Day” and the exquisite “When The Leaves Come Falling Down”).

Today’s song has an arrangement that is just too beautiful to describe.  Morrison is a master at incorporating sweeping orchestral moments in his songs and in my opinion, this is one of his best.  Happy birthday, Sir Van.  You are an absolute gift in every sense of the word.  Swoon.

Will the blush still remain
On your cheeks, my love?
Is the light, is the light always seen in your hair?
Gold and sliver they placed
At your feet, my dear
But I know you chose me instead
.”

Van-Morrison

Van Morrison circa 2010.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison:  “Queen Of The Slipstream” (1987, written by Van Morrison).

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 90

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?

Kerouac

(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.

I used to think I was lucky because of my name.  After all, the Beatles have a song with my name in it, spelled incorrectly I hasten to add.  It also has some pretty lyrics in French.  How could I lose?  I’ll tell you how.  I was not named Patty.  Girls named Patty, however they choose to spell it, seem to be luckier than most.  Peppermint Patty gets to hang out with Charlie Brown & the rest of the Peanuts gang.  Pattie Boyd was married to George Harrison-a Beatle, for goodness sake, and Eric Clapton.  And then there is the biggest Patti of all:  Patti Scialfa.  You may know her as Mrs. Bruce Springsteen.  Or as I like to call her, the luckiest woman to ever breathe air.  Not only has she been married to The Boss for nearly 30 years, but she is the mother of his three children, a member of his E Street Band AND she got to be with just him for quarantine.  Say it with me:  COME ON!!

This is my absolute favorite song by lucky Patti’s husband and my favorite song of all time.  Springsteen turned an ordinary weekend in New Jersey into a rock opera..  It was no longer just about music but an event not to be missed.  I swooned the first time I heard it, especially the first 25 seconds featuring an absolutely gorgeous piano/violin intro.  And I have been swooning ever since.  I think it is the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard.  I adore this man and his poetry.

The midnight gang’s assembled
And picked a rendezvous for the night
They’ll meet ‘neath that giant Exxon sign
That brings this fair city light”.

BTR

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen:  “Jungleland” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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

Stay well.

The Battle Is On

A week after Halloween and we are divided.  What side are you on?  Is it still fall or are you in Christmas mode?

My feet are firmly planted in the current autumn season.  I love it WAY too much to end it so abruptly (not to mention prematurely).  And luckily there are many people I follow on Instagram who feel the same way, like Mayra who posted her beautiful mantle.

cupcake IG post

(Courtesy of @cupcakecountrygirl)

But there are just as many pictures of Christmas decorations in my feed which I like, too, for ideas and inspiration.  Just like this gorgeous tiered tray by Crystal.

Crystal

(Courtesy of @crystaltara).

But I cannot start Christmas decorating at the expense of Thanksgiving!!!  I just can’t!!!

Some people let the seasons collide, sort of like at the retail stores where this time of year you can find Halloween clearance, Thanksgiving decor and Christmas items on display together.  This was evident during a recent trip to one of my favorite places on earth, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (not sponsored).  They are promoting their delicious menu for Thanksgiving along with their beautiful Christmas decor items.

The ambiance in the restaurant is very much all autumn:

CB hearth

CB bounty

CB menu

And the General Store is well stocked with fall items, too:

cb harvest truck pillow

CB kitchen towel

CB grit and grace pillow

But Christmas is in full swing at the Store as well:

cb Christmas display

cb snowman

Peanuts tin.jpg

cb tree

I just L-O-V-E this tree topper hat!!!

cb hat tree topper

And these two are my favorites of all their pretty ornaments.

cb gingerbread house ornament      cb barn ornament

Even though Halloween is over, Cracker Barrel still has plenty of mega-sized candy available that could be a great gift for a difficult person on your list who may have a sweet tooth:

cb kit kat

cb mallo cup

cb rice krispie treats

So, what season is it for you right now?  What does your decor look like this time of year?

Now for a song.

This summer we lost a singer who was a sentimental favorite of mine.  Not just because he had a great husky voice with a blue-eyed soul thing going on, but because he was also family.  Community family.  He grew up in the same town I did and graduated from the same high school I went to.  And he put us on the map for a good reason after a lot of bad publicity stemming from an extraordinarily mortifying book banning incident.

He initially tried to join the family business as a cop in the NYC Police Department like his grandfather, dad & brother did before him.  However, he soon realized his heart was really in music, so he headed west to begin his career.  His debut album was released in 1977 and he was off.  He had more hits in the 1980’s & 1990’s, but his first one has always been my favorite.  In today’s social media driven world where many struggle to be  thankful for what they have vs. what they see, the lyrics are as relevant as ever:

“Don’t be thinkin’ ’bout what’s not enough, now baby
Just be thinkin’ ’bout what we got
Think of all my love, now
I’m gonna give you all I got.”  

Eddie Money    Eddie Money 2010

  Eddie Money’s 1977 album cover & in 2010 at the LI Music HOF ceremony (original sources unknown).  

I had the chance to meet him in 2010 at the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Huntington, NY.  He was sweet, kind and gracious and reminisced with me about our junior high vice principal.  It was a great thrill for me to meet him and a fantastic night of music to be a part of.  He was also a quiet champion for our veterans.  Rest in peace,  Edward Joseph Mahoney.  And thank you from all of us in your Levittown and Island Trees families.  You made us unbelievably proud.

Baby Hold On” – Eddie Money (1977, written by Eddie Money & Jimmy Lyon).

I do not own the rights to anything in this post.  I just enjoy sharing what I love with you.

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

 

 

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 20

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I follow a lot of unbelievably talented & creative women on Instagram, and since their pictures are so beautiful, I wanted to share a few with you.

Little Farmstead.jpg

Courtesy of Julie @ Little Farmstead 

If you like simple rustic farmhouse elegance, then you need to visit Julie’s Instagram page, @littlefarmstead.  Her neutral palette is punctuated with natural elements and lots of texture.  She also shares life on her farm with her beautiful family.  If all that were not enough, this year they added a few baby doll sheep to all the fun.  And yes, they are as adorable as they sound.  Visit her IG page to see them & the rest of her pretty pictures.  Thanks, Julie, for letting me share your picture!!!

Now to today’s song.

Remember when we were kids and we had to wait ALL YEAR to watch the Christmas specials-Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and my all time favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas?  Once a year was never enough for me.  I hummed the music all year long, danced the same dance as all the characters did when no one was looking and replayed the ice skating scene over and over again in my head in the middle of the summer when winter seemed years away.

Over the years I bought the corresponding book, the DVD and the music CD.  I probably watch the special on average once a month and I never tire of it.  When I am having a bad day and cannot adult another second more, I climb into bed, get under my covers and escape into that beautiful world of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the rest of the gang.  And after 30 minutes in the safest most perfect world I have ever known, all becomes a little easier in the one I have to live in.  And I make no apologies for that.

Here is my favorite song from this heartfelt special along with a few covers that deserve honorable mentions.

peanuts-2

The Peanuts by way of the Vince Guaraldi Trio:  “Christmastime Is Here” (1965).

Anita Baker:  “Christmas Time Is Here” (2005).

Shawn Colvin:  “Christmastime Is Here” (1998).

Diana Krall:  “Christmastime Is Here” (2005).

Kenny Loggins:  “Christmastime Is Here” (1998).

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!!!

25 Days of Christmas Music 2018: Day 1

Hello, everybody!!!

Thanksgiving is behind us (great parade as always, especially the Peanuts and Santa floats) and so is the fall finale of “This Is Us” (if you have not watched it yet, I have three words for you-ERIS BAKER.  WOW.).  So that brings us to that magical time of year again:  my 25 Days of Christmas music countdown.  Yay!!!

christmas music day 1

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I am just starting to decorate my place, and I will not get my tree until next week, so I will start sharing pictures of my decor then.  But I am definitely getting into the holiday spirit by listening to all-Christmas-music-all-the-time radio stations as well as researching holiday songs on YouTube.  How about you?  What is getting you in the holiday spirit?

To start us off, I went with the man I have loved and adored since I was 12 years old.  He has been all over the news this last week for a few reasons.  First, because the new issue of Esquire came out.  Say it with me:  SAAAAAA-WOOOOOOON.

springsteen-esquire    ESQ120118_073

Second, his Netflix special is set to air on Sunday, December 16 (see the trailer here), the day after his historic Tony award-winning Broadway show comes to an end after 15 months.  If you were not lucky enough to see this show live (like I was, thank you God) or you need to see it again to savor every word, every note, every emotion  (again, like me), then this is your chance.  To me, the show was like his song “Jungleland”:  so beautiful it hurt.  And if you do not like my words, here are some from the NY Times (“There may never be anything as real and beautiful on Broadway” ) and Rolling Stone (“An intimate triumph”, “Compelling and profound”).  Or choose your own words when you watch it for yourself.

Three, his Esquire interview dives deeper into his battle with depression and how his father’s late in life diagnosis as a paranoid schizophrenic made this legend have a conversation with his own three children about what is in their DNA.  I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating:  I love Bruce Springsteen for a multitude of reasons:  His music, his poetry, his heart, his empathy.  But his openness about his and his father’s struggles with mental illness have given this awful, debilitating and unbelievably scary disease a name and a face to be reckoned with.  It has given it more attention, more conversation and more validity when in the past it was viewed as a weakness instead of an illness.  Springsteen’s courage and forthrightness should (hopefully) bring to an end the fallacy and misunderstanding that this illness can be beat if only we were “stronger”.  Wrong.  Strong has no more effect on mental illness than placebos have on cancer.  A disease must be treated, not simply willed away.  So thank you, Bossman, for once again giving us exactly what we need with your carefully chosen and profound words.  It is a debt no honest man can pay, to quote you.

bruce santa

So let’s celebrate this man and this season with his two contributions to holiday playlists everywhere.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Merry Christmas, Baby

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!!!