“Cupid, Please Hear My Cry…..” & A Song

Dear Cupid,

Hope you are well.

For Valentine’s Day this year, please bring me my own version of Jack Pearson (you know, the perfect man from “This Is Us“).

He is a great husband, father and friend.

milo as jack

 Jack Pearson (as portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia – courtesy of Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

But more importantly, Jack is a music connoisseur.  Yes, I am referring to the Bruce Springsteen tickets he bought for him & his family to see the Boss himself (not to mention playing a song of his for teenage Kate who was breaking her father’s heart by listening to noise).

How impossibly sad that Jack died before the Springsteen show.  I only hope that he saw him previously, with Rebecca, during the “Born To Run” or “Darkness” tours.  I hope so.  Missing out on his kid’s futures is bad enough, but missing Springsteen live…..that is too sad for words!!!   😦

But Cupid, I digress.

pink cherub

Cupid (original source unknown)

I promise to shower my Jack with all the love, hugs, kisses & support in the world & get us great seats to every Springsteen show within a 300 mile radius so we can take a road trip to the show while we listen to E Street Radio.  I will even pack us a great picnic lunch for the drive and bake delicious chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Thank you, Cupid.  Xoxoxo.

Love, Michele

PS:  Whenever Valentine’s Day rolls around, you know I think a lot about you.  I always picture you as the sweet little cherub icon.  Adorable!!!

That is, however, until I saw Liam Neeson portraying you on “The Late Show” last week.  He was his beautiful, hilarious self so I hope you do not mind if I see you that way from now on.    🙂

Liam-Neeson-as-Cupid-the-Assassin

Cupid (as portrayed by Liam Neeson – coutesy of The Late Show/CBS) 

And Cupid, in celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine, I will make this week’s song a love song.  But not a traditional one as I am not a traditional girl.  This one tells the story of two people in the throws of some difficulties, but despite where they are in the moment, there is no doubt where their hearts lie:

“I got you, in my veins & my blood,
I got you, straight to my heart like a flood,
Like there ain’t no other love,
Hearts aren’t always red, they’re black & blue.
I got you”. 

The song is called “I Got You” by The White Buffalo featuring Audra Mae, who is the great-great-niece of Judy Garland.  And his voice makes me saaaa-woooooooooon!!!

Thanks again, Cupid.  And please remember I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you at the start of this new week?

How was your weekend?  Did you host, attend or avoid a Superbowl party yesterday?  If you missed the game, let me summarize:  Party.  Chips.  Salsa.  Snack foods.  Expensive new commercials.  Congratulations, Broncos 🙂  Better luck next year, Panthers 😦

Super_Bowl_50_logo

Or maybe you acknowledged the 52nd anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America, specifically New York.  And tomorrow, February 9, marks the same number of years since they first made their historic debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show“.  The link contains the entire show, commercials included (I especially loved seeing the now vintage packaging for Pillsbury Flour & All Detergent!!!).  What a treat for those of us not around then to have seen history in the making that night!!!  To say it changed music, let alone the world FOREVER, is almost an understatement.  All hail John, Paul, George & Ringo!!!  We are eternally in love and indebted 🙂

Trivia:  The Beatles performed five songs that night.  What was the first one they sang?  No cheating!!!  LOL

Beatles at JFK

     Source:  Topics.nytimes.com
Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Source:  Cbsnews.com

Speaking of the Beatles, and with Valentine’s Day a week away, I have been listening a lot to my favorite love song ever:  Something***.   Second place:  Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley***.

Saturday I was again lost with no estate sales in my area, so I did the next best thing: looked for treasures on Etsy, Ebay and Craigslist.  Saw many things I loved, but most were out of my budget range.   Sigh.

But I did see this really cute idea on Country Living’s website.  I cannot wait to try this.  What a great way to use vintage or even newer tins by just adding magnets:

country living

Source:  CountryLiving.com/A Pretty Cool Life

Thought about Valentine’s Day.  Forget flowers or jewelry-this is what I want:

Puppy heart

Source:  Pinterest (Original source unknown).

Or maybe just this:

English_Bulldog_Confine_Your_Pup

Source:  Englishbulldog.name

Or this:

romeo-the-pug-puppies-daily-puppy-pug-dogs-puppy

Source:  Rotifresh.com

Watched “The Time Traveler’s Wife“*** for the 9,237th time.  The scene where he sees his mother on the train makes me sob.  Each.  And.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Sigh.

So, how was your weekend?

I do not own the rights to any of the music or videos I am sharing with you, but the starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support 🙂

Have a lovely week!!!

Oh, and “All My Loving” was the first song the Beatles performed on “Ed Sullivan” 🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy 2016!!!  As this is the first Monday following all the holiday craziness, life goes back to normal today with the help of a clean slate in front of us in the form of this brand new year.

With such big changes in my life last year-moving to a different state, getting a new job, two apartment moves (I moved again in December which I will explain more in a future post), a lot of things I loved to do took a back seat to make room for the inevitable adjustments new beginnings bring.  The biggest things I miss are the estate and garage sales.  I want to get back in the game soon and luckily I live in an area where they take place all year round.  Plus, after watching the latest installment of the Hallmark series “Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent”  last night, I am more than ready to dig again!!!

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Source:  Pinterest & howtocleanthings.com

But let’s not call that a resolution because I do not make those anymore.  I did at one time but for my own self-esteem I gave them up.  I used to fall into the trap of becoming a whole new person overnight-one who worked out religiously, ate healthy at every meal, organized her place and saved every single dime she could.  Yes, that all or nothing approach served me well until I went back to work and forgot how much sugar and chocolate is required to help me function.  So before the first week of the new year was over, I failed multiple times.  Woo-hoo 😦

But since I am not a quitter, my resolution-rather, my new life approach-is to stay in the moment.  Yes, the grocery store may already have Valentine’s Day candy on the shelves, but I am not going to buy what I need for that holiday until I am ready.  I came across these displays as I was running some errands this weekend:

V1     V3

I know February 14 is basically a month away, but I need a second to catch my breath.  It has been nothing but commercial candy pushing since just after Labor Day because of Halloween, and with Easter coming early this year (March 27) we should see the baskets and jelly beans on the shelves any second now.  But I am going to hold firm to enjoy where I am now without losing this moment for what is just around the corner.

So what did you do this weekend?  And do you make resolutions for the new year?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #1

The #1 song on the countdown was called “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969 by none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.  It also has the distinct honor of being the most covered Beatles song second only to “Yesterday”.  The top song on my list is…drum roll please…”Something” by the Beatles.

Inspired by James Taylor’s 1968 song “Something In The Way She Moves” and written by George Harrison for his first wife, Pattie Boyd, the song was the masterpiece of his career as a Beatle.  It was released on the album “Abbey Road” and issued with “Come Together” as a double single which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1969.

That was the Beatles 18th chart topper, putting them one song ahead of Elvis Presley’s previous record of 17.  A video of the Beatles and their wives set to the song was also released that year to promote it and the album amid rumors that a break up of the Fab Four was imminent.

Harrison’s lyrics expressed  both his love for his wife while acknowledging the uncertainty that is the future:

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Legends including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Elton John & Willie Nelson have covered “Something” either on record or live in concert.  Sadly Harrison’s marriage to Boyd did not grow, as she eventually left him for his best friend, Eric Clapton.  But that’s another song (“Layla” to be exact).

After the Beatles broke up, Harrison went on to have a successful solo career and hosted one of the first benefit concerts ever-1971’s Concert for Bangladesh.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 by Mick Jagger and Harrison was inducted as a solo artist in 2004 by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who were members of Harrison’s other band-the Traveling Wilburys .

As if the attacks of 9/11/01 were not devastating enough to the world that year, two months after those tragedies we lost George Harrison to cancer, which left only two of the four Beatles around to carry on the legacy of one of the greatest bands of all time.  Sigh 😦

There you have it, Vixens-my picks for the top 14 love songs.  Hope I included some of your favorites or helped you discover some new ones.

***BONUS:  One of my favorite songs is named “Valentine” and it is by E Street guitarist Nils Lofgren, with a little help from the Boss himself.

***BONUS TWO:  If you have never seen the Golden Girls episode entitled “Valentine’s Day“, take about 20 minutes out now to watch it.  I love all their episodes, but this one is in their top 10.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #2

The next singer on the countdown had what I believe was the greatest voice EVER.  No one before or since can sing a song with such a heart wrenching achingly impassioned vocal that was Otis Redding’s signature sound.  His talent for writing songs was also phenomenal, as he either wrote or co-wrote such classics as “Respect”, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”,  “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”, “These Arms of Mine” and the #2 song on the countdown, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long“.

Co-written with Jerry Butler and released in the spring of 1965, the song hit #2 on Billboard’s R&B chart & #21 on its  Hot 100 chart, giving Redding his first hit song.  The lyrics are simple, straight forward yet unbelievably powerful in Redding’s pleading vocal:

My love is growing stronger, as you become a habit to me
Oh, I’ve been loving you too long
I don’t wanna stop now

This song is ranked #110 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, with Redding ranked at #8 on their list of the 500 Greatest Singers of All Time.  If you have never heard this man’s glorious voice or this song, please listen to it now.  You have been denied this gift long enough.

Or better yet, watch Redding’s entire performance from 1967’s  Monterey Pop Music Festival.  This song comes on at the 6:53 mark, but all 5 songs Redding delivers in his high energy persona are worth the watch (not to mention a glimpse of Booker T & the MG’s and the Mar-Keys providing the music to his phenomenal show) .  If you have never seen any part of this performance, it will change your life.  Nothing I write will come close to describing this legend of soul.

Redding was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 by Little Richard.

In the blog featuring the #10 song on the countdown, I wrote that the end to Jackie Wilson’s story was one of the saddest in music.  Well, Redding’s is the first, in my humble opinion.  His entire music career took place by the time he was 26 years old, with the exception of his only #1 record which hit that spot several weeks after his death (for “Dock of the Bay”, which also earned Redding two posthumous Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Performance and Best R&B Song).  Add to that the fact that Redding left behind a young wife, three very small children and only gave us a glimpse of what his voice could have done for the world throughout his future career, and the story is almost too sad for words.

Redding died in a plane crash in Wisconsin’s Lake Monona on December 10, 1967.  Five members of his touring band, the Bar-Kays, were also killed.

I have been to the R&R HOF twice since it opened, and while I loved the history of it all and the spectacular artifacts on display to help illustrate the story that is rock & roll, it was unbelievably daunting to come thisclose to the display showcasing parts of the twin-engine Beechcraft plane wreckage Redding was killed in.  The fact that we have lived without his voice for almost half a century is heartbreaking enough on its own.

At least we had him for a little while.  What a gift he was to music.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #3*****

*****Blogger’s Note:  Sorry for the delay, Vixens.  Computer/technical/life difficulties prevented me from finishing the countdown last month.  I will finish it over the next three days and then we will resume our regularly scheduled programming!!!  Thanks for your patience!!!*****

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How do I love Bruce Springsteen?  Let me count the ways.  I can’t-there are just too many.  He is one of my heroes,  not just in music but in life.  I hope I get the chance to thank him in person one day for everything he has given me.

One of those things is the #3 song on the countdown, “If I Should Fall Behind“, from his 1992 album, Lucky Town.  This song is one of the most honest accounts of “what this world can do” to people in a relationship they spent so many years building, but with a little foresight and a lot of commitment, maybe they can side step the landmines if they remember they are in it together:

“We swore we’d travel darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
But I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me”

When he performs this song in concert, it is such a special moment with him and his different band mates taking a turn with the lyrics.  But Springsteen and his guitar remain the steady constant presence on the stage throughout the entire song.   Very comforting.

One of the things I cherish most about the Boss is that he never, even in his younger days, painted a sappy picture of love and romance.  There was always the element of truth that even love was not always enough.  For instance, in the song “I Want To Marry You” (from The River album), he sang:  “To say I’d make your dreams come true would be wrong, but maybe darlin’ I could help them along.”  Pure poetry, utter truth.

Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999 by U2’s Bono.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #4

A music countdown of any kind would never be complete without a song from the King himself, Elvis.  And a Valentine’s Day list of great love songs would never be complete without his 1961 hit  “Can’t Help Falling In Love“.

Written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore & George David Weiss, the song hit #2 on the Pop chart & #1 on the Easy Listening chart for six weeks.  It was featured in the movie “Blue Hawaii” and the soundtrack went on to spend 20 weeks in the #1 spot on the Albums Chart.

I cannot imagine anyone, male or female, who is not captivated by Elvis’ delivery of such beautiful and heartfelt lyrics:

“Take my hand
take my whole life too
For I can’t help
falling in love with you”

This song was Elvis’ finale for the last decade of his career, but my guess is women swooned as much then as they did during the early days of his hip shaking career.  One listen to this or any Elvis song for that matter and you understand why there was no one like Elvis Aaron Presley and there never will be.

He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 by Julian and Sean Lennon.  This year would have marked the King’s 80th birthday and even though he has been gone almost 40 years, you can still celebrate his legacy by taking a pilgrimage to Graceland.

I had the exquisite pleasure of hearing Bruce Springsteen perform this song as one of his encores, and it was phenomenal.  Of course Bruce’s voice is nothing like Elvis’ but then again who’s is?  But Springsteen gave the song all the passion he had , which made his performance simply gorgeous.  It was especially poignant for me as I sat there in the crowd thinking, “I am watching my musical idol sing a song by my mother’s musical idol.  Too cool.”

If only she could have been there with me to enjoy it in person.  Sigh.

Enjoy!!!

Image result for valentines day clip art

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Songs at #5 (Yes, it’s another tie!!!)

What do you get when you combine a Gershwin tune with the First Lady of Song?  You get an event, a magnificent moment in music.  You get “Someone To Watch Over Me” by Ella Fitzgerald.

Her 1950 version of George & Ira Gershwin’s 1926 song is arguably the most famous version of the song despite having been covered by the likes Sinatra, Garland, Vaughn and Clooney.  Fitzgerald earned her accolades as the “Queen of Jazz” & “Lady Ella” for the beauty, sophistication and three octave range of her voice.

I love how cosmopolitan the lyrics are:

“…I like to add his initial to my monogram…I know I could be always be good
To one who’ll watch over me…

Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed,
follow my lead,
Oh, how I need
someone to watch over me.”

This is how Fitzgerald’s website describes her:  “Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra.”  She was also one of the greatest singers this world will ever see.

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When Something is Wrong With My Baby” by the duo of Sam (Moore) & Dave (Prater) is the other song we celebrate in the #5 spot.

Written by Isaac Hayes (“Shaft”) & David Porter, with music performed by Booker T & the MG’s and released by Stax Records (the label who amongst their many accomplishments, introduced the world to soul legend Otis Redding), this song had way too much going for it not to be a hit-#2 on the R&B chart in 1967.

It has the hallmarks of an unbelievably great song:  fantastic composition, sublime passionate vocal, incredible brass accompaniment, exquisite delivery (Dave Prater was a great singer, but on this song he was just phenomenal) and simply beautiful lyrics:

“When something is wrong with my baby
Something is wrong with me
And if I know she’s worried
Then I would feel that same misery

We’ve been through, so much together
We stand as one and that’s what makes it better
When something is wrong with my baby
Something is wrong with me, now listen

Just what she means to me now
Oh, you just wouldn’t, you just wouldn’t understand
People can say, she’s no good
But oh, she’s my woman and I know I’m her man

And if she’s got a problem, oh
I know, I know, I know, I gotta help her solve them
When something is wrong with my baby, 
Something is wrong with me”

Talk about being in it together…..or is it just another case of enabling behavior???  However you look at it, this song did not leave you wondering if this man loved his woman.  You knew it because his delivery made you feel it.  And that is what makes a song great.

Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville recorded a version of this song in 1990 that hit #5 on the Pop chart.

Enjoy!!!

Image result for valentines day clip art

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Songs @ #7 & My Grammy Boycott

There are two songs tied for the #7 spot on the countdown, so we will look at them individually.  The first one comes from a man who is considered by some as not only the inventor of soul music, but the genre’s most distinctive voice as well:  Sam Cooke with “You Send Me“.

This song, penned by Cooke but credited to his brother LC Cook to keep record executives from taking the profits, hit #1 in December 1957,  ending Elvis Presley’s 7 week run in the top spot with “Jailhouse Rock”.

Crooning is what Cooke does throughout this song, using his smooth sophisticated voice’s range to lure the listener into his story of how his feelings came to be (and he even uses the M word):

“At first I thought it was infatuation
But oh, it’s lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To marry you and take you home

Cooke’s roots began in gospel music, but with the success of this song he became fully emerged in secular music. Then he used what he learned to help some other singers crossover from the gospel genre as well, including Lou Rawls who returned the favor by singing on Cooke’s song “Bring It On Home To Me“.

Singing, songwriting and producing records were not the only parts of the business Cooke was interested in. He was one of the first performers to take both artistic & financial control of his career and eventually started his own publishing company and record label.  He also has the distinction of writing a song that went on to become an anthem for the Civil Rights movement, “A Change Is Gonna Come“.  It has been covered by both black and white artists from Otis Redding, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, who inspired Cooke with his song  “Blowin’ In The Wind“.

1964 started on a somber note with the country still mourning the assassination of President Kennedy.  Unfortunately, the year also ended the same way as the country mourned Cooke’s tragic death on Dec 11 at the age of 33 after being shot at a Los Angeles motel.  His murder was eventually ruled a justifiable homicide.  The events of that night have been revisited several times over the last five decades to bring his friends and family a better understanding as to what actually transpired the night Cooke was shot.  Whatever it was does not change the outcome because there was nothing justifiable about the loss of this soul music renegade.  It was a heartbreaking ending to a stellar career.

Sam Cooke was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at its first ceremony in 1986 and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him 4th on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers”.  His music has been featured in several movies over the years, but is most recognizable from “Animal House” (who can forget John Belushi’s character Bluto eating his way down the cafeteria line to “(What A) Wonderful World“) and “Innerspace” (Martin Short & Dennis Quaid dancing to “Twistin’ The Night Away“).

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The other song sharing the #7 spot on the countdown is by a man referred to as one of the greatest singers of all time, and I cannot express it any better than that.  The singer is Van “The Man” Morrison with his song “Have I Told You Lately“.

If you cannot tell, I love words, and this song has some of the most beautiful ones ever set to music:

“Fill my heart with gladness
take away my sadness
ease my troubles
that’s what you do”

“You fill my heart with laughter
Somehow, you make it better
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do”

“There’s a love that’s divine
and it’s yours and it’s mine
and it shines like the sun”

Just stunning.  And the music and delivery are perfect, too, completing the holy trinity hallmarks of a great song.

Even Rod Stewart became choked up with emotion and when he sang his cover of the song on “MTV’s Unplugged” in 1993.

There really is not a genre of music Morrison has not explored with his voice, and that coupled with his immense talent has influenced performers like the Counting Crows, Bob Seger, U2, Bruce Springsteen and The Band.  In fact, that was a bit of a mutual admiration thing as evidenced by Morrison’s part in their swan song movie, “The Last Waltz“.   My favorite performance of his in that movie?  Caravan.

It was one of the members of The Band, guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson, who inducted Morrison into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.  In his induction speech, Robertson said of Morrison:  “…in the tradition of the great Irish poets and the great soul singers, he is the Caruso of rock and roll”.  Compliments do not get much better than that.  And Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Morrison 24th  on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers”.

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SIDE BAR:  Today is the 2015 Grammy Awards and for the first time in more than three decades I will neither be watching the show nor saving it to my DVR.  The only performances I would want to see from the broadcast are Hozier’s with Annie Lennox and Tony Bennett’s, but I can just look them up on YouTube tomorrow.

But I am happy to see super-talented singer/songwriter/musician Ryan Adams up for best rock song (“Gimme Something Good”) and Best Rock Album (for his self-titled release).  Tom Petty and U2 are also nominated in the latter category but I do not think either of them will be there to accept if they win, if that award is even broadcast.

Same holds true for the Best American Roots Performance, which is usually announced before the telecast.  Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal are nominated for their collaboration on “Statesboro Blues”, from “All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs & Voice Of Gregg Allman”.  Keb’ Mo’ Featuring The California Feetwarmers is nominated in the same category for “The Old Me Better” from the album “BluesAmericana”, which is also up for Best Americana Album.

“Twenty Feet From Stardom” is nominated for Best Music Film, and if you like music, this is a must see.  If you never saw “Standing In The Shadows of Motown” either, add that to your Netflix queue NOW.  The history and performances are way too good to miss.

I do like Sam Smith-this decade’s Rick Ashley-who is up for a slew of awards including Record, Song & Album of the Year, but not enough to sit through the boring list of  performers (and speaking of boring, weren’t we all just forced to sit through a very over-hyped lackluster Katy Perry half-time show?)  Shouldn’t her involvement tonight be limited to presenter only?

Let’s make it a rule-rather, a law-that a bubble gum pop princess who is too busy with her make up commercials to learn how to sing well should only be allowed to play one event per month.  Same rule should apply to anything-but-reality people and hosts (yes, Adam Levine, this includes you and your face stubble.  Don Johnson called and said it’s over, move on already!!!).

I am actually refusing to watch this year (read:  BOYCOTT) because the industry is continuing to change for the worse. Between Miley Cyrus even being nominated (and for her entire album no less-UGH) to that irritating trite Meghan Trainor “Bass” song (isn’t it perfect to become part of a new Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish in the not so distant future?  How they got the rights to songs such as “All Shook Up”, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Take Me To The River” in the past is beyond me).

I am a music purist so for me the rules are simple:  If you make bad music PLEASE STOP NOW before someone gets hurt (do you hear me Miley, Meghan, Gwen, Katy, Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas, whether as a group or individually, for starters).  If you make good music please don’t sell out to hear it in a TV commercial.  It demeans us all.  I do not want nor do I expect to hear decent music used in commercials with the exception of car ads.  Those seem to leave the songs virtually intact with some redeeming qualities to them.

A good example from this year:  Bobby Day & the Satellites’ “Beep Beep Beep” used in a Kia Sorento spot.  Some bad examples:  The Who’s “I’m Free” in a local cable commercial ad & the Kinks selling yogurt with “All Day & All Of The Night”. The worst use of a phenomenal song to sell ANYTHING:  The Allman Brothers’ exquisite “Midnight Rider” as part of the Geico campaign (one more reason why that that dippy little gecko needs to disappear!!!).

But to be honest, the biggest reason why I will not watch the Grammy Awards is because I prefer to remember Sir Paul McCartney, a freaking Beatle for God’s sake, the way he was……before he chose to collaborate with the ego-maniacal Kanye West (or did West kidnap McCartney and torture him until he said Uncle?  That would make this easier to swallow, not to mention understandable).

Whatever possessed Sir Paul to even appear at the same award show as West is belittling enough to us Beatles fans, but actually working with that poor sport brat is so over the line it has now been eradicated.  I did not think anything could top the colossal lack of judgement U2 showed several years back when they decided to let no talent No Doubt open for them for a leg of the tour.  I am still wearing black and taking mood stabilizers from that debacle.  But this Sir Paul misstep may require me to go on a 72 hour suicide watch with round the clock doses of ECT treatments.

But it does make me profoundly sad that the longest tradition of my life is coming to an end after 30 years.  Music is so important to me & continues to be that.  It is a part of me, like a dear old friend.  I have looked forward to the Grammy Awards ever since I was a kid.  I loved getting the chance to finally see my favorite singers on TV (as this was the pre-music video & pre-internet age-yes, I know I am old!!!) and the outfits they wore, what collaborations they would participate in and what songs they would perform.

My favorite Grammy moment ever?  Aretha Franklin’s performance of “Nessun Dorma” in 1998.  Unbelievably gorgeous. Some of my favorite collaborations (“London Calling”  with Bruce Springsteen & friends; “The A-Team” by Ed Sheeran & Elton John; “Across The Universe” introduced by the sinfully gorgeous Anthony Lapaglia) and salutes to some of those who died (Solomon Burke, Warren Zevon &  Levon Helm’s tributes).

Here’s to hoping the 2016 Grammy Awards are something worth tuning in for.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #8

The next song on my countdown is another duet (like song #14) but this one features a female/male collaboration by two of rock music’s most notable voices.  My pick at #8, a song which reached #6 on the Hot 100 Chart in 1982, is “Leather & Lace“.

The song was written by legendary singer/songwriter/Fleetwood Mac band member Stevie Nicks who recorded it with one of her old flames, Don Henley of the Eagles.  Nicks originally wrote the song for country superstar Waylon Jennings and his wife Jesse Colter’s 1981 album.  Despite naming it after the song, the husband & wife duo ended up leaving it off the record (I know, right???).

So Nicks added it to her debut solo album, “Bella Donna”, which was released the same year.  The song was the second single after “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around“, another duet recorded with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“Leather & Lace” is like many of Nicks’ songs:  well written and well performed.  But the biggest appeal of it for me is how grown up and unschmaltzy the lyrics  are.  I love how direct they are, and how in their beautiful honesty you hear the story of love between adults, first from the perspective of the strong self-assured woman:

“I have my own life and I am stronger
Than you know
But I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won’t be walking out the door”

To the open and honest standpoint of the male putting it out there without fear of being shot down or belittled (OK yes, it is written by a woman but come on, Ladies, which one of us would not melt if a man ever said (or sang) these words to us):

“And you were right
When I walked into your house
I knew I’d never want to leave
Sometimes I’m a strong man
Sometimes cold and scared
And sometimes I cry”

To both parties acknowledging their desires and differences not as obstacles, but rather as things to be shared:

“I need you to love me
I need you today
Give to me your leather
Take from me my lace”

If there was ever a song perfect enough to celebrate that all important moment when a couple crosses over from “we” to “us”, I believe it is this one.

Enjoy!!!

BONUS:  If you want a good laugh, check out Will Ferrell and Dave Grohl’s version here.

TRIVIA:  Do you know what happened 51 years ago today?  The Beatles arrived in America for the first time.