Let’s Take A Moment Day 237

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.

Time for another cautionary rock & roll tale. This one belongs to Gram Parsons who was born Ingram Cecil Connor III in Florida on Nov 5, 1946. He overcame a tough childhood (both parents were alcoholics, which led to his father’s suicide when Parsons was 12 & his mother’s from cirrhosis when he was in high school). He quit Harvard University in 1965 after one semester to pursue music, a talent he acquired when he learned how to play the piano as a child.

By the late 1960’s he met Chris Hillman of The Byrds & contributed to the band’s 1968 album, “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo”. It is considered to be one of the earliest country rock records due in large part to Parson’s influence of what he called “Cosmic American Music”. Then he & Hillman formed The Flying Burrito Brothers and continued with that sound.

It was also around this time that Parsons met The Rolling Stones and became fast friends with Keith Richards. The friendship centered around music and drugs, but the latter began to dominate Parsons life and career. By 1971 he had been dismissed from the Burrito Brothers & was all but kicked out of Richards house (and life) by his girlfriend and allegedly Mick Jagger as well. That is when Parsons started his solo work with a young female singer named Emmylou Harris, who provided harmony vocals for all his songs, including today’s pick.

It was written around 1960 with the original version credited to The Everly Brothers in 1961 followed by Roy Orbison’s rendition later the same year. But for the younger crowd, the more well known version of this song was released in 1974 by the band, Nazareth. That was my favorite rendition until I heard Parsons’. Since it is basically a duet with Harris, it highlights the sadness of the lyrics as if they were singing about their own heartbreak to each other. The slower tempo and stripped down musical arrangement only adds to the desolate feeling of the song. It is truly beautiful.

So is the version Richards performed with Norah Jones at the 2004 tribute concert for his old friend, who covered “Wild Horses” with the Burrito Brothers in 1970 for their second album. Parsons died in 1973 from a drug overdose at the age of 26. His second and final solo album, “Grievous Angel”, was released a year after he died and features today’s track.

Some fools think
Of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves, I guess
They’re not foolin’ me
“.

Gram Parsons

Harris and Parsons

Top: Gram Parsons circa 1972. Bottom: Emmylou Harris & Parsons circa 1972. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Gram Parsons featuring Emmylou Harris: “Love Hurts” (1974, written by Boudleaux Bryant).

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 222

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.

On this day in 1936 The Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman was born in London, England. In 1973 he received a #1 record to celebrate his 37th birthday when today’s song hit the top of the US charts for one week. I wonder what he will get to commemorate his 84th?

After 31 years with the Stones, he left the band in 1993 to raise three children with his third wife. He started his own band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, and wrote scores for television and movies. He also pursued other hobbies like photography & archeology. He is featured in the 2019 documentary, “The Quiet One” that I have yet to see but I am guessing that a film on any member of the Stones is bound to be interesting.

Today’s track is another gorgeous Stones ballad that I completely adore like “Wild Horses” (Day 103). But unlike the guitar driven medley of that song, today’s pick is led by a sublime piano performance by the band’s frequent session player, Nicky Hopkins, and an unbelievably gorgeous string arrangement. Hopkins played with other bands throughout his career including The Who, The Kinks and The Rumour, amongst others. But I think he did his best work with Wyman’s old band.

Remember all those nights we cried
All the dreams were held so close
Seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear
“.

Stones

The Rolling Stones In Concert, O2, London, Britain - 29 Nov 2012

Top: The Rolling Stones circa 1967 (L-R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman & Brian Jones. Bottom: Richards at a 2012 Stones concert where Wyman joined the band on stage. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Angie” (1973, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards).

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 103

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.

The Beatles introduced us to the songwriting team of Lennon & McCartney while The Rolling Stones gave us Jagger & Richards. They have written so many great songs that rock over the last 56 years, but out of all of their ballads, this is my absolute favorite.

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can’t let you slide through my hands
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away.”

Stones

The Rolling Stones circa 2010:  L-R:  Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger & Ron Wood.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones:  “Wild Horses” (1971, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards).

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

Stay well.