Five For Friday: RRHOF Omissions, Part 6

Here is part 6 of the series from BestClassicBands.com’s list of 100 bands or artists who have not yet been considered for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The blurb after each comes from the article.

  1. Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band”: One of the first truly divisive rock bands, but love ’em or hate ’em you can’t deny they helped popularize hard rock.
  2. The Grass Roots, “Temptation Eyes”: Easy to forget them until you look at their long string of smashes: “Midnight Confessions,” “Let’s Live for Today,” “Temptation Eyes” and many more.
  3. The Guess Who, “American Woman”: The Canadian band led by Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman was another hit machine: “American Woman,” “These Eyes,” “No Sugar Tonight,” etc.
  4. Emmylou Harris, “Sweet Dreams”: Few singer-songwriters so successfully straddled the worlds of traditional Nashville country and the modern singer-songwriter genre of the ’70s and ’80s. And she still sounds amazing today.
  5. Richie Havens, “Here Comes The Sun”: One of the most distinctive voices ever, he made every song he covered his own. And he opened the Woodstock fest.

And that’s your Five For Friday, May 27, 2022.

Throwback Thursday No. 40: Birthday Blasts #TBTmemory

A happy belated birthday to Lauren, who celebrated hers last week. Appropriately, her topic for TBT is "Birthday Blasts."

What’s your earliest birthday memory? Earliest would be my 11th birthday, which was the one after Dad died. I got a clock radio, and a friend of mine gave me the single of Herman’s Hermits’ "There’s A Kind Of Hush"/"No Milk Today."

What was your favorite birthday and why? Mom’s birthday was the day after mine and we would celebrate them together. The year I turned 38, she turned 62, which made it our joint 100th birthday. Mary suggested we fly in to Chicago and celebrate it, so we did.

What’s the best birthday present you have ever received? Mary gave me a guitar for my 21st birthday. I still have it, too.

Did you ever get money as a birthday gift? Pretty much always.

What did you like to do on your birthday as a kid? Eat cake. What do you like to do now? Eat cake. Some things never change…

Did you have birthday parties with friends or family parties? With family…

Did you get to pick the food for your birthday? Sometimes. Did you prefer to eat a home cooked meal or to eat out at a restaurant on your birthday? Go to a restaurant.

Did your family have any fun birthday traditions? Not really, other than dinner. Since I don’t have any kids, obviously I didn’t pass them on.

Did you ever get to take the day off school on your birthday? Only when it was on a weekend. As an adult did/do you take the day off? I’m retired, so now they’re all days off.

Love that song… Bruce was the lead singer of Starbuck.

Have you ever had a surprise birthday party? No, sorry!

Bonus Question: If you had a million dollars to spend only on your next birthday, what would you do? Invest the million and buy a cake. It’s my birthday, I can do whatever I want, right?

See you next week!

Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

Writers Workshop: Flat As The Brim Of Your Hat

I think the guy that made this was making designs for countertops. Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

Do you remember the Disney cartoon about Columbus where he was trying to get funding for a trip where he was going to sail west and reach India, rather than around Cape Horn, which was a long and treacherous way to go? Of course, he never actually reached India, he reached the east coast of North America and some of the islands in the Caribbean, something he hadn’t counted on being here. Still, he had the right idea: it’s a lot easier to go around that way. When I flew to Singapore, I flew from Atlanta to Chicago, then Chicago over the top of the world to Hong Kong, and then on to Singapore…

Sorry, I got sidetracked. Anyway, in this cartoon (which I couldn’t find on YouTube), he persists in singing the line "The world is round like a ball!" and the people who didn’t want to give him the money answer with "The world is flat like the brim of my hat!" Back then, they believed that the world was flat and anyone foolhardy enough to sail west would fall off the edge and never be heard from again. Maybe they were hoping that he’d stop singing "The world is round like a ball!" and sail off the edge of the world and gave him the money, I’m not sure.

There are, of course, those who still insist that the world is flat, and they make some pretty interesting arguments on behalf of that belief. I don’t believe the world is flat, but I don’t see any harm in believing it. Besides, the world is neither round nor flat, it’s pear-shaped. We think of it as being round because it’s easier to make a round globe than a pear-shaped one, and besides, portraying the world as a ball is close enough for folk music, horseshoes, hand grenades, and government work.

I got to thinking about it, and even though we sit still for significant portions of the day, we’re still moving, because the Earth is rotating on its axis as it revolves around the Sun, the Sun is revolving around the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way galaxy is revolving around the center of the universe. And we’re booking, too. It feels like we aren’t going anywhere, but that’s because everything is moving.

I didn’t make that up, I learned that in Physics in my junior year of high school from Mr. Heikkinen, who demonstrated it with vectors, which are kind of like rays in Geometry. Mr. Heikkinen had kind of a square head, and I always thought it was appropriate that we could draw pictures of him with a ruler, which is used to draw vectors. He was the person who told us that Physics would be a lot easier if we bought and learned to use a slide rule to do many of the calculations. There were electronic calculators by 1972, but they cost more than a house payment. So I bought an inexpensive slide rule and learned to use it, and yes, it made Physics easier.

Everyone called him "Heik," which sounds like "hike," which was appropriate because he was a football coach as well as a Physics teacher. He was also a proud son of Finland, though he was born in the US, in a town right at the western tip of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, almost in Minnesota. Finlanders have a reputation for being laconic and not especially outgoing. An instructor I had once said that an extroverted Finlander stares at your shoes.

There I go again… Today is Ascension Thursday, the day when Christians believe that Jesus, having been crucified and risen from the dead, ascended into Heaven with the Apostles watching. (The Catholic Church moved the observance to the following Sunday, because so many people weren’t going on Thursday, but that’s beside the point.) Back in the Sixties when there weren’t many songs written for the New Rite of the Mass, music ministers would play whatever they knew. A friend of mine told me that he heard this at a Mass for Ascension Thursday…

Okay, it’s way off the subject, but don’t you love the song? The Fifth Dimension has always been a favorite of mine. Happy Ascension Thursday!

Song of the Day: Peggy Lee, “Is That All There Is?”

Norma Delores Egstrom, better known as singer and songwriter Peggy Lee. would be 102 years old today. "Is That All There Is?" was written by the songwriting team Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and was the title track from Peggy’s 1969 album. She took the single to #11 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Easy Listening chart, #6 on the Canadian Top Singles chart, and #1 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.