Music Monday: May 1, 2023

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

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Happy May. A new month brings us new music birthdays to celebrate, so let’s jump right in with a triple play.

The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown, was born 90 years ago on May 3, 1933 in South Carolina. The singer who needed to be revived with a glittering cape to find the strength he needed to finish singing one of his songs taught us all about the power of a great performer, a great stage presence with dance moves to match and a great band featuring a high octane horn section. With all the times I heard his music in a movie or televion show, the three highlights for me were from the man himself in Rocky IV, Robin Williams dancing to “I Feel Good” in Good Morning, Vietnam and Hurley singing the same tune to Aaron “Lost”.

Paul Hewson, the man better known as Bono, will celebrate birthday #63 next week. He was born May 10, 1960 in Ireland and has been the lead singer of U2 since he answered drummer Larry Mullen Jr’s ad in 1976. That was also the same year Bono met his wife, known then as Alison Stewart. When he signed on to sing for Bob Geldof’s Christmas charity single in 1984, Bono became equally moved by the plight of Ethiopia. For nearly 40 years he has been fighting for human rights and social justices all over the globe. This fall the band (sans Mullen) will host a limited engagement at The Sphere in Las Vegas. You can also catch the documentary, “Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming with Dave Letterman” currently streaming on Disney+.

If you followed me for a while, you know that two of my great musical loves are Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The exquisite lyricist & human of that magnificent team was born May 22, 1950 in England, so this month will mark his 73rd birthday. Two of my favorite songs he and John wrote are on the soundtrack for the 1971 British-French film, Friends. Unbelievably I never heard of that album until the title track was featured in the S3 E17 episode of “The Wonder Years“. I can barely remember a moment in my life that has not included this legendary and phenomenal team. Thank you, Bernie Taupin. Happy birthday.

James Brown 1971

Top: M.C. & Cape Man Danny Ray (standing) assists James Brown with his wardrobe staple circa 1971. Middle: U2 circa 2010 (L-R): Larry Mullen Jr,. Adam Clayton, Bono and The Edge. Bottom: Bernie Taupin (L) and Elton John (R) circa 1971. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

James Brown: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” (1966, written by James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome).

U2: “One“: ( 1991, written by U2: Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr.).

Elton John: “Seasons” (1971, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

Stay safe & well.


Let’s Take A Moment Day 150

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.

We have hit another benchmark as we are now at day 150 of the pandemic.  Wow.  So let’s commemorate it with an extra special song & singer to make it easier to realize the five month mark.

Otis Redding.  Otis Redding.  Otis Redding.  My heart belongs to this beautiful talented singer with the most intense, passionate & soulful voice I ever heard.  I swoon over every single note of his music each time it is played.  When I really need an Otis fix, I watch his Monterey Pop Festival performance from 1967 where he literally stole the show from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and other well established musical acts.  Redding’s music has been featured in movies like “Dirty Dancing” (“These Arms Of Mine” & “Love Man”), “Love Actually” (“White Christmas”), “Platoon” (“Dock Of The Bay”) and in TV shows like “The Sopranos” (season 2 episode 9 featured “My Lover’s Prayer”) and in the original “Magnum, P.I.” (season 7 episode 16 featured “Try A Little Tenderness”).  Today’s song, which is included on the album, “Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul”, arguably his best album released in September 1965, was featured on “The Wonder Years” in season 1 episode 6 where Kevin & Winnie danced to it at a school function.  Only Redding’s music could make a show as great as that one even better.

I’ve been loving you a little too long
I don’t want to stop now, oh
With you my life
Has been so wonderful
I can’t stop now“.


Otis Redding at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding:  “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (1965, written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler).

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

Stay well.