Let’s Take A Moment Day 420

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?

May blog 2021

(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.

Happy birthday to the man born Paul Hewson who we call Bono. He was born May 10, 1960 in Ireland & conquered the world as a humanitarian and as the lead singer of the iconic rock band, U2. I must admit I was not a fan right away when the group’s first album came out in 1980. Their music was a hybrid of punk, new wave, rock & politics, leaving me a tad confused & wary.

But I kept listening to U2’s songs on the radio and watching their videos to see how they evolved. Finally in 1987 I was swayed to their fan base with the release of “The Joshua Tree” album. Since then I have enjoyed most of their songs & watched them take their rightful place in music history as one of the best bands of all time. But more importantly all four original members have stayed together for 45 years. And that makes them rock & roll royalty. Happy birthday, Bono.

Home hard to know what it is
If you’ve never had one
Home I can’t say where it is
But I know I’m going home
“.

u2

U2 at their Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 2005 (L-R: Larry Mullens Jr, Adam Clayton, Bono & The Edge. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2: “Walk On” (2000, written by U2: Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr).

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 278

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?

Dec 19

(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.

Six days before Christmas in 2014, I was still struggling with David Letterman’s decision to retire from “The Late Show” the following year when the moment I knew was coming arrived: The last appearance from Darlene Love to sing today’s song. It was a long standing holiday tradition dating back to 1986 (then on “Late Night With David Letterman” on NBC) for Love to come on and tear the roof of the place with her mighty voice every December. It was as much a part of my Christmas traditions as watching The Peanuts dance during the rehearsals for their holiday play. So the end of this era was going to hurt big time.

But Letterman was always a class act on his show and this night was no exception. He pulled out all the stops and had the entire stage set up for Love’s song. There was a huge gorgeous tree & other sparkly decorations, a full band complete with horns, strings & ten back up singers with everyone dressed in their holiday best. Paul Shaffer played a decorated grand piano which Love stood upon to sing the second half of the song as well as the encore. The performance closed out that night’s episode as a reign of faux snow fell down on everyone present. It was one of the show’s truly bittersweet moments for everyone involved including broken-hearted fans like me. And I remember that moment & how great it felt to be a member of Dave’s world every time I hear this song. U2 does a great version, too, but even Bono’s unbelievable voice is no match for the power of Love.

They’re singing Deck The Halls
But it’s not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year
“.

darlene-love-letterman

Darlene Love (center on top of the piano) from her final appearance on Letterman’s show in 2014. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Darlene Love: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (Live performance from “The Late Show With David Letterman” on December 19, 2014. Originally released in 1963, written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich & Phil Spector).

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 228

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 is another birthday in music upon us and this one belongs to U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Born October 31, 1961 in Dublin, Ireland he began playing drums at age 9 in marching bands. According to the band’s website, Mullen put an ad up at his school in 1976 seeking musicians to form a band that brought him together with his three bandmates. They put out an EP in 1979 and were signed to Island Records a year later. U2’s 1980 debut album gave them their first hit, “I Will Follow”. But it was their 1983 album, “War” that led to worldwide success. Nearly 40 years later, they are considered one of the most successful bands of all time.

I like a great deal of U2’s music and one album I particularly enjoy is 1988’s “Rattle & Hum”. They recorded a lot of it in Memphis at the legendary studios of Sun Records. That was where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and others began their recording careers. One of the song’s U2 worked on there was a collaboration with blues legend B.B. King. Despite how high he raised the bar on this track, U2 was not far behind. The raw intense lyrics from Bono & the music from the rest of U2 helped them keep up with power of The King Of The Blues, resulting in one heck of record.

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
As the music played I saw my life turn around
That was the day before love came to town
“.

U2 BB King

U2 with B.B. King in 1988 (L-R): Larry Mullen Jr., Bono, B.B. King, Adam Clayton & The Edge. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2 (in honor of Larry Mullen Jr.’s birthday) featuring B.B. King: “When Love Comes To Town” (1988, written by U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr.).

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 94

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.

When U2 burst on to the music scene in 1980, it was clear from their song lyrics this was not an ordinary band.  The stories they told were wrought with detail, emotion and meaning.  But I don’t think anyone could have predicted what a humanitarian Bono would go on to become.  He has been trying to end hunger and poverty around the world ever since he recorded the charity single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984.  He has met with  everyone from world leaders to the heads of charitable organizations to the Pope himself.  And throughout all this work, he never took the eye off the ball with the band and continued to make great music.  It also did not affect his impossibly good looks, either.  Today’s song is my favorite from U2’s extraordinary catalog.

U2
U2 circa 2000: Adam Clayton (bass), Bono (lead vocals & guitar) the Edge (lead guitar & backing vocals) & Larry Mullen Jr. (drums).  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2:  “One” (1991, written by U2:  Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr,)

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 88

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 have always been interested in finding out what kind of music inspired and influenced the artists I listen to.  Bruce Springsteen led me to Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.  The Beatles led me to Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins.  Otis Redding led me to Sam Cooke and gospel music.  And Eric Clapton led me to many of the blues greats like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, with the latter becoming a favorite of mine.

He has collaborated with so many singers I love including Clapton (on the 2000 release “Riding With The King”), Elton John (on the song “Rock the House”) and Van Morrison (on the song “Early In The Morning”).  King also recorded a song with U2 (“When Love Comes to Town”).  But when I listen to him, my go to is his 1969 album, “Completely Well” because it has today’s classic on it.  He recorded another version of this song with Clapton for 2005’s “B.B. King & Friends: 80” with a fabulous string arrangement that is now my second favorite.  But nothing beats the original.

BB King     (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

B.B. King:  “The Thrill Is Gone” (1969, written by Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins).

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 32

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.

Today marks the 104th birth anniversary of my beloved grandmother Ida, or as I affectionately called her, Idie.  I think about her and miss her everyday, but even more so since we have been dealing with this pandemic.  She would not have handled the self-quarantine well at all.  She barely went two days in a row without going to bingo so not being allowed to play it for all this time would have undoubtedly put her in a straight jacket by now.  But still, I wish she was still here, for all the obvious reasons.  And so I could have seen the look on her face when she found out that my dream of spending my time listening to music and watching TV all day long not only came true, but is government mandated!!!  Ha!!!  Take that, Idie!!!  LOL.

While I was growing up, we always had music on in the house and usually it was from my records.  Idie learned to like many of the songs I played including “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac and “Factory” by Bruce Springsteen.  But one hour a day, usually while we were cooking together, she made me turn off my albums so she could listen to the local country music radio station.  And that is how I discovered legends like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Don Williams, Merle Haggard and the singer of today’s song, Johnny Cash.

He was usually referred to by his nickname “the man in black” but since I first heard him on the radio, that did not really tell me anything other than his preferred garment color.  But his voice and his songs told me all I needed to know about him.  Yes, he was one of the greatest musical talents to ever exist but he was also my first introduction to a true crossover artist.

He sang everything from country songs to religious hymns, to Americana music (like “The Battle Hymn of The Republic”) to covers of  songs by rock artists like Bob Dylan (“It Ain’t Me Babe”), The Rolling Stones (“No Expectations”) and The Band (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”).  He was also on TV and not just as a musical guest.  He appeared in an episode of  “Little House On The Prairie” as a bad guy turned good guy after meeting the pious people of Walnut Grove.  And he was mentioned in a few “Golden Girls” episodes.  My favorite one is a quip by Dorothy after she & Sophia walk in the house wearing dark clothes and Rose is, as usual, confused.

Rose:  “Why are you both wearing black?  Did you just come from a funeral?

Dorothy:  “No, Rose.  We were singing back up for Johnny Cash”.

He continued to make incredible music for the rest of his life, on his own and as a member of the supergroup, The Highwaymen.  He also covered more rock songs by Neil Young (“Heart of Gold”), Nine Inch Nails (“Hurt) and U2 (“One”).  And he continued to act, most notably on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” with the great love of his life, June, by his side.  I grew up believing there wasn’t anything Cash could not sing or do.  He proved me right.  I am so thankful I discovered his music, all because my grandmother brought country songs into my world.  Thank you, Idie.  And happy birthday.  xoxox

Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues" 7 inch Album Cover

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash:  “Folsom Prison Blues” (1955, written by Johnny Cash).

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 19

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.

“I say to you today, my friends, 

so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, 

I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted 

in the American dream.” 

Those are the opening lines from the “I Have A Dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963.  Very fitting for where we are right now.  Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. who died 52 years ago today.   

“Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride”

U2

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2:  “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (1984, written by U2:  Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr.)

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 2018: Day 13

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

day 13

Project found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Today’s song was written by soul singer/songwriter Donny Hathaway (credited as Donny Pitts) & Nadine McKinnor in 1970.  It did not see chart success until two years later and has since become a holiday radio staple, especially when a film with the same name was released in 2007.

The version I chose is by a woman who has established herself as one of today’s great soul/R&B/hip hop superstars.  She has an incredible vocal range with a lot of power behind it and has recorded with megastars like Elton John, U2 & Andrea Bocelli.  She has also branched out into acting where she also excels, getting Oscar & Golden Globe nominations for her performance in 2017’s Mudbound.

Mary J

Mary J. Blige:  “This Christmas” (2013).

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!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #16 & #17

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

I had some technical difficulties yesterday, so today’s post will celebrate two songs to catch us up.  Double the musical fun!!!

christmas-4

(Original source unknown)

 

The first song is by country music royalty.  He grew up listening to hymns and folk songs to become one of the architects of Sam Phillips’ label, Sun Records.  He brought an edge to country music, joined fellow country icons to become a Highwayman and for all intents and purposes brought the bad guy persona to country music with his “Folsom Prison Blues” song & concert.

And if his contribution to that genre was not enough, he covered many different songs from artists he admired like Neil Young (“Heart Of Gold“), Bruce Springsteen (“Johnny 99“) Nine Inch Nails (a powerful astonishing version of “Hurt“) and U2 (“One), to name a few.  Yet, he will always be best know for his staple songs, namely “Ring of Fire“,  “A Boy Named Sue” and “I Walk The Line“.

He was also one half of one of the greatest love stories of all time, proving to men everywhere that there is absolutely no shame in admitting you need a good woman by your side, and wanting her there as well.

johnny-cash-wedding

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash’s wedding day-March 1, 1968 (courtesy:  JohnnyCash,com

 

He took this Christmas carol and made it his own.  He was, very simply, the Man In Black.

Johnny Cash:  Silent Night.

Second pick:

Not too many people have actually written a Christmas song, only performed the classic ones.  This singer has done both, and I really like some of her music from the early years of her career (mid to late 1990’s) until she moved to her post Tommy Mottola now-I-am-going-to-pepper-my-pop-sound-with-rap years.  But there is no denying the power or beauty of her voice.

love-actually-poster-398878

(Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

 

Call it a guilty pleasure, or a loyalty to someone else from my home region of Long Island, but I do occasionally listen to this singer and this song specifically at this time of year.  If you are a fan of the film “Love Actually” there is no way not to enjoy this song.  (And despite all the baggage surrounding her first acting performance in the movie “Glitter”, I thought her performances in “Wisegirls” and “Precious” were very well done.)

wisegirls11396020100325193254

Mariah Carey, Melora Walters and Mira Sorvino in “Wisegirls” (courtesy of Loins Gate Films)

 

I love this video for this song so much better than the first one.  It may not be Christmasey, but it is not cheesy, either.

Mariah Carey:  All I Want For Christmas.

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

 

christmas-candles

(Original source unknown)

Christmas Song Countdown #13

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

picture-wreath

Courtesy of Widadesign.com 

 

Today’s singer has been performing for decades, and is probably the greatest and most famous back up singer that ever was.  She has worked with the likes of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and Aretha Franklin, whom she channels in today’s song.

A phenomenal singer in her own right, she will probably always be best remembered for her work with Phil Spector’s groundbreaking “Wall of Sound” recordings in the 1960’s; namely ”He’s a Rebel,” ”(Today I Met) the Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” and today’s featured song which she performed regularly on David Letterman’s show during the Christmas season.

She was one of the main singers spotlighted in the 2014 Best Documentary Oscar winning film, “20 Feet From Stardom”.  She also played Danny Glover’s wife in all four “Lethal Weapon” movies and Judy Burrell on my soap “Another World” in 1993.

lethal-weapon

Danny Glover & Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon” (Courtesy of IMDb)

 

If all that were not impressive enough, the New York Times paid her one of the greatest compliments ever when they said her voice is ”as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar and Bob Dylan’s lyrics”.  Wow.  Who would not want to be remembered like that?

Darlene Love:  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

P.S.  An honorable mention to U2 for their version of today’s song.  Who does not want to imagine themselves as the reason for Bono’s pleading?  Or more to the point, who does not want to listen to Bono and the rest of U2, period???

u2-mojo-254-770

U2 by Mattia Zoppellaro for MOJO magazine

 

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!