Let’s Take A Moment Day 529

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?

Aug 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.

On August 21, 1961 country legend Patsy Cline recorded her signature song. Written by fellow country superstar Willie Nelson, her version became a crossover hit, reaching #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart that year & #2 on its Country chart in 1962.

The accompanying vocals, provided by Elvis Presley’s backing quartet, The Jordanaires, not only complimented Cline’s voice but helped elevate it as well. But even without the four men, she brought a range, depth, beauty & heartache to this song that no one has matched in the 50 years since she made it her own.

I knew
You’d love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You’d leave me for somebody new
“.

Cline

Patsy Cline circa 1961. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Patsy Cline: “Crazy” (1961, written by Willie Nelson).

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 356

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?

March 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.

In July 1983 Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard had a #1 hit with their version of today’s song. Emmylou Harris released her own version in 1976. I did not hear either of them until after I discovered the original 1972 version by the songwriter himself, Townes Van Zandt. He is another one of those obscure but legendary cult heroes who wrote several notable songs made famous by many artists in & out of the country genre. But he never achieved a successful performing career of his own due to his lifelong battle with mental illness and addiction.

He was born 77 years ago on March 7, 1944 in Texas. He started playing guitar by age 12 after he was inspired by an Elvis Presley TV performance. When Van Zandt was in college the first signs of alcoholism & depression emerged, leading to his bipolar diagnosis which prevented him from being accepted into the Air Force. A course of insulin therapy treatments impaired his long term memory. By 1965 he gave up a stint in law school for a career in music.

Van Zandt was writing songs steadily between 1968 and 1973 and was considered a rising country star., but that path was marred by addiction. Even so by the end of the decade he had achieved cult figure status for his poetic songs of sad tales featuring various characters and the worlds they lived in. In addition to Harris’ cover of today’s song, she also recorded his tune, “If I Needed You” as a duet with Don Williams in 1981 which became a top ten hit.

In 1990 Van Zandt toured with The Cowboy Junkies & supposedly turned down several invitations to write with Bob Dylan, who was also a fan. But despite those successes, Van Zandt’s career never moved past the dive bar circuit because of his substance abuse struggles & his ongoing mental health issues. He died in 1997 at the age of 52 from health problems related to his addictions. .

I chose a live version of today’s song because unlike the studio track, this one features a hauntingly beautiful violin accompaniment that comes in during the second verse and stays until the end of the track. It underscore the pensive mood of the music, the lyrics & the singer’s poignant tone. Happy birthday, Townes Van Zandt.

“Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath’s as hard as kerosene
“.

Townes

Townes Van Zandt circa 1977. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Townes Van Zandt: “Pancho & Lefty” (Recorded in Oklahoma in 1978, from the 1993 album, Rear View Mirror. Originally released in 1972, written by Townes Van Zandt).

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 223

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 are songs from my childhood that have followed me my entire life. I may have lost track of them occasionally along the way but then they always find me and usually at the most unexpected times. I remember watching the 2003 movie, “Stuck On You” (Greg Kinnear was a RIOT!!!) and hearing the melody of today’s song. Immediately my memory started humming along with it and suddenly I was singing the chorus. The supreme version in the movie was by the sorely underrated musician Pete Yorn. The original was by Albert Hammond. (His son, Albert Hammond Jr., is the guitarist for The Strokes).

Today’s track may be what Hammond is best known for as a singer & songwriter but he also co-wrote other big hits including “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies (1974), “When I Need You” by Leo Sayer (1977), “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias (1984), “One Moment In Time” by Whitney Houston (1988) and over a dozen others. Hammond is also credited as a co-writer for the song “Creep” by Radiohead (1992) because the band admitted they based that song on “The Air That I Breathe”. But no matter how many other tunes Hammond has helped create, it is today’s song, released October 21, 1972, that I will cherish forever. Swoon.

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it
Had offers but didn’t know which one to take
Please don’t tell ’em how you found me
Don’t tell ’em how you found me
Gimme a break, give me a break”.

Pete-Yorn

Albert Hammond

Top: Pete Yorn circa 2000. Bottom: Albert Hammond circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Albert Hammond: “It Never Rains In Southern California” (1972, written by Albert Hammond & Mike Hazelwood).

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 171

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?

Bruce quote
(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.

He was introduced to the world as Johnny Cougar on his debut album in 1976. By his third album in 1979 he was billed as John Cougar. In 1983 he added his real last name so he became known as John Cougar Mellencamp. Eventually he was simply John Mellencamp. He has been singing about his love of music and his midwestern roots for nearly 45 years in close to 25 studio albums. He co-founded “Farm Aid” in 1985 with Willie Nelson & Neil Young which still continues today with one big concert each year.

Whatever name you associate with him, you probably immediately recall Mellencamp’s more well known hits like “Jack & Diane”, “Hurts So Good” or “Lonely ‘Ol Night”, to name a few. My favorites include “Check It Out”, “Cherry Bomb” and “Pink Houses”. But to narrow it down to one, today’s song wins in an extremely close race. It is from his fourth album, 1980’s “Nothing Matters And What If It Did”, produced by soul legend & guitar great, Steve Cropper. This was Mellencamp’s third career single and the first to crack to top 40. The premise is a lot like “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”, where the singer describes how he was the love them & leave them type until he met the one he could not walk away from. I must admit I really like songs where guys own what the right one does to their heart.

You got your arms around my shoulders
You got my soul confused with my heart
You were too smart to believe all those tired lines
And I was too dumb to know what had started
“.

John Cougar Mellencamp circa 1980 (L) and 2019 (R). (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

John Cougar Mellencamp:  “This Time” (1980, written by John Cougar Mellencamp).

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 9

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

day 10

Vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s artist, Roy Orbison, 30 years ago this month.  He started his career in the late 1950’s at Sun Records but eventually moved to Monument Records in the 1960’s where he met Willie Nelson, who wrote today’s song.  The 1980’s saw Orbison in a  career resurgence thanks to his part in the super group, Traveling Wilburys.  Bruce Springsteen is a huge fan of his, even immortalized Orbison in “Thunder Road”  (“…as the radio plays…Roy Orbison singing for the lonely…”) and inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.  Springsteen and several other musicians took part in HBO’s “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” which was filmed a year before Orbison’s death.

He began his career singing emotional ballads in an almost operatic style underscored by his wide vocal range.  Many of his songs were about lost love (“Crying”) or losing love (“Running Scared”) or just admiring someone probably out of his league (“Oh Pretty Woman”).  Even his one contribution to holiday music is sad, but the chance to hear his fabulous unique voice anytime of year is worth it.

VARIOUS

Roy Orbison circa 1960 (original source unknown). 

Roy Orbison:  “Pretty Paper“(1963).

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!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 7

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

day 7

Found on Pinterest/House Beautiful Magazine’s page.

Today’s song was written by Gene Redd & blues singer Charles Brown in 1960.  Brown recorded the original version the same year and it has since been covered by the likes of the Eagles, Willie Nelson, Martina McBride and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few.  The original is my favorite followed very closely by the 1993 version by a soul and R&B powerhouse who began as a solo performer in the 1960’s, then joined a group with his brothers in the 1970’s before hitting the top of the charts with a couple of duets with Linda Ronstadt in 1989 & 1990, including the #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary smash “Don’t Know Much”.

charles brown              aaron

Charles Brown (circa 1960’s)                                Aaron Neville (circa 1990’s)

Aaron Neville:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (1993).

Charles Brown:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (1960).

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 #21

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

tree

Courtesy of:  The City Sage (original source unknown)

 

Today’s pick was an easy choice.  My Christmas season is not complete until I hear this song by Elvis Presley himself.  Let’s be real-there was not a piece of music the King sang that I did not like.  His delivery was always impeccable with just the right amount of emotion in his velvety smooth voice.  Combine that with the heavy bass line and the fantastic back-up singers and you have one heck of a song.

But as much as I love Elvis’ Blue ChristmasI remembered another version of this song that I love, too.  It is by an artist who died on his 79th birthday in April.  Another country music star who had that heavy-drinking-fast-living-outlaw persona but that started from his past as a convict while he was in his late teens and early 20’s.  While in jail he realized that all he would get for a life of petty crimes and robberies were those steel bars, so he began to turn his life around, especially after seeing Johnny Cash’s San Quentin concert in 1959.

elvis

Courtesy of:  Elvis.com

 

This artist’s version of Blue Christmas is acoustic and his voice is much edgier than the King’s, bit it still works.  Maybe because I’m a fan, maybe because I am sorry he is gone, maybe a little of both.  The last time I saw him perform was on the 2014 Grammy Awards.  where he sang with his buddies Kris (sa-woon) Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.  Some of his hits include “If We Make It Through December“, “Silver Wings“, “That’s The Way Love Goes” and “Bar Room Buddies“, a duet with Clint Eastwood from the movie “Bronco Billy”.  However, he will probably best be remembered as an “Okie from Muskogee“.

Merle Haggard:  Blue Christmas.

merle

Merle Haggard Courtesy of:  ABC News (original source unknown)

 

P.S.  I found this on YouTube the other day, and I still have not stopped laughing.  I am not a big fan of Porky Pig’s, but his performance.of this song is just too funny!!!  Enjoy!!!

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!!!

silver-bells

 

 

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!!!