Let’s Take A Moment Day 343

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?

Feb 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

Detroit had Motown, Philadelphia had Philly Soul. That genre was not as big nor as successful as the Motor City’s sound but it was still a powerful force in music. The Stylistics, The Delfonics, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The Spinners, Billy Paul, songwriters Ken Gamble & Leon Huff along with Thom Bell were just some of the artists that came out of this musical movement. It was a fusion of soul that had combined elements of sophisticated jazz, funk, big instrumental string & horn arrangements with a side of pop delivered in the vocal. I loved this music despite many music critics citing this sound as the basis from which the dreaded disco era emerged (sorry not a fan).

One of the groups I remember quite fondly was Blue Magic, specifically for today’s song. They formed in 1972 & were led by the beautiful falsetto voice of Ted Mills with harmony & backing vocals by Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt and brothers Vernon Sawyer and Wendell Sawyer. Together they turned today’s song from their debut album into a top ten hit in 1974, selling over a million copies. They had a good run of success for five years before their popularity waned thanks to the aforementioned disco years. They disbanded shortly thereafter but reformed in the 1990’s. There have been many personnel changes since then but they were still performing prior to the pandemic. But I will always love the original lineup the best for giving us today’s fabulous song. .

See the man with the broken heart, you’ll see that he is sad
He hurts so bad
See the girl who has lost the only love she ever had
There’s got to be no sadder show to see
No doubt about it satisfaction’s guaranteed
“.

Blue Magic

Blue Magic’s 1974 self-titled debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blue Magic: “Sideshow” (1974, written by Vinnie Barrett and Bobby Eli).

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 31

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?

music heart

(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 early 1960’s introduced us to the Motown sound out of Detroit.  In the late 1960’s-early 1970’s we were presented with Philly Soul from-where else- Philadelphia.  Motown enthroned us with power groups like The Temptations, The Four Tops & The Miracles.  Philly Soul blessed us with the likes of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O’Jays and the group I am most grateful for from that genre-The Stylistics.  And the reason is today’s song.

Where the other groups were lead by singers with booming mostly baritone voices, the Stylistics were lead by the falsetto of Russell Thompkins Jr.  That unique sound combined with the Philly Soul staple of gorgeous string & horn arrangements set this group apart from the others.  It also gave them a dozen consecutive top ten hits in the 1970’s.  I really like almost every one of them, but I think today’s song is an absolute masterpiece.

Stylistics

The Stylistics circa 1972 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Stylistics:  “You Are Everything” (1971, written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed).

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

Stay well.