The Friday 5×2: KUBE (93.3, Seattle WA) On This Day In 1984

Let’s head up to the Pacific Northwest today and see what KUBE, 93.3 FM in Seattle, was playing. Currently they’re a rhythmic contemporary station run by the iHeart media conglomerate, but back in 1984 they were a Top 40 station. Their Top 10 as of December 14, 1984.

  1. Morris Day & The Time, “Jungle Love” Along with Prince and several others, Morris Day & The Time defined the “Minneapolis Sound,” which mixed soul and dance with funk, rock & roll and other elements. This song, from their 1984 album Ice Cream Castle, reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B chart.
  2. Hall & Oates, “Out Of Touch” The first single off of their 1984 album Big Bam Boom, this went to #1 on the Hot 100 and Dance charts, #4 in Canada and #11 in Australia, and continued H&O’s streak of Top 10 singles that started with “Kiss On My List” in 1981.
  3. Paul McCartney, “No More Lonely Nights” After his days with Wings, Paul decided to write a musical, Give My Regards To Broad Street, which was universally panned gy the critics, including Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and the show Sneak Previews, who said “skip the movie and go right to the soundtrack.” This song reached #6 in the US and #2 in the UK.
  4. Julian Lennon, “Valotte” Title track from his 1984 debut album and the second single from it, it reached #9 on the Hot 100 and in Canada, #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #2 on the Rock chart. Julian was forgotten not just by his father (to whom he bears a striking resemblance) but by the record-buying public in the US after 1989, but he continues to record and perform.
  5. Pat Benatar, “We Belong” From the lovely Ms. Benatar’s 1984 album Tropico, this was released a month before the album and reached #5 in the US and was the first of her singles to reach the British Top 40 peaking at #22).
  6. New Edition, “Cool It Now” The group that gave us Bobby Brown and Bell Biv DeVoe was just getting started when they released this from their eponymous 1984 album. It was their first Top 10 single, reaching #4 on the Hot 100, it topped the R&B chart and was certified Gold.
  7. Duran Duran, “The Wild Boys” The band considered by many to be the sound of the ’80’s released this off their 1984 live album Arena and it reached #2 in the US and UK.
  8. The Honeydrippers, “Sea Of Love” Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant formed The Honeydrippers along with former Led Zep bandmate Jimmy Page, former Yardbird Jeff Beck, and other sidemen and friends. This peaked at #4 and was their only Top 10 hit. Wikipedia tells us “The band appeared on Saturday Night Live on 15 December 1984 [the day after this survey], performing ‘Rockin’ at Midnight’ and ‘Santa Claus Is Back in Town.’ The band featured Brian Setzer and Georg Wadenius on guitar, Tom Barney on bass, Paul Shaffer on piano, Buddy Williams on drums, Michael Brecker, Lou Marini, and Ronnie Cuber on saxophones, Jon Faddis on trumpet and Tom Malone on trombone.” That’s some serious firepower…
  9. Jack Wagner, “All I Need” Jack is probably best-known for his roles on the soap operas General Hospital (which once boasted Rick Springfield in its cast), Santa Barbara, The Bold and The Beautiful, and Melrose Place, but he had some success as a recording artist. This was the title track from his 1984 debut album and reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  10. Madonna, “Like A Virgin” Title track from The Material Girl’s second studio album and the first single from it, this was a #1 hit in the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan and boosted Madonna into the spotlight.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for December 14, 2018.

Writer’s Workshop: Music To Chill To

There’s a genre on Accuradio that calls itself “chill.” Naturally, I was curious, so I went to take a look at it. It looked to me like a grab bag of disparate music styles. A couple of channels feature electronic music, there’s a New Age channel, a couple of lounge channels (which appeal to my charming, suave and debonair international playboy side), and a couple of other styles. Natually, whenever something confuses me like that, I run immediately to Wikipedia, which defines chill (or chill-out music) as “a loosely defined form of popular music characterized by slow tempos and relaxed moods.”

Duh. It’s music to chill out to.

You can chill out to pretty much anything, from smooth jazz to progressive rock to the sounds of nature to white noise and anything and everything in between. It’s all a matter of taste. So why, then, do they have a specific category called “chill”? The Wikipedia article makes it sound as though there’s something specific about “chill-out music” that sets it apart from all the others, and I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what that is. And that led me to the conclusion that maybe there isn’t anything: maybe the reason those types of music are there is because they don’t fit anywhere else, but that they’re relaxing, so we’ll just dump them in the Chill category and be done with it.

One of the songs that was playing a few minutes ago on the “Transport” channel was “Divine Moments of Truth” from a band called Shpongle.

Interesting, wouldn’t you say? I have no idea what it is, but I kind of like it. I think I’ll need to spend a little more time out there.

Two For Tuesday: Bob James

(Note: I had intended on doing Bob James today, then discovered I had already featured him here all the way back in 2013, when this blog was just a baby. It needed an update.)

Bob James is one of the original smooth jazzers. He is a keyboardist, producer, composer and arranger, has collaborated with a number of artists, including Stanley Turrentine, David Sanborn, and Earl Klugh, and is one of the founding members of Fourplay. He’s possibly best known for “Angela,” which was the theme song from the late-’70’s TV show Taxi.

Our first selection today is “Nautilus,” from his first album One (1974). The website tells us that it’s been sampled 312 times in hip-hop records.

“Take Me To The Mardi Gras” is from Bob’s second album, Two (1975). It has also been sampled frequently, 425 times.

Bob’s full discography can be found on his website, and his most recent album, Espresso, was released this past August. Many of his songs and collaborations are available on YouTube.

Bob James, your Two For Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Xmas Music Xtravaganza 2018, Week 2!

Another batch of Christmas goodies coming your way right…. now!

  1. Walt Kelly, “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie” Uncle Jack wanted to hear this one, because Dad knew the whole thing and taught it to everyone in the family (at least, that’s the way I heard it). Walt Kelly was a cartoonist and the creator of Pogo, a comic that more often than not took on a distinctly political bent (he would bring characters into it who looked like politicians of the day and make cruel sport of them, at least that’s how I remember it). Walt is responsible for the line “We have met the enemy, and he is us!” Walt died in 1973 at the age of 60, but the song and memories of the cartoon live on in the hearts and minds of most people over 50.
  2. The Royal Guardsmen, “Snoopy’s Christmas” The Royal Guardsmen’s “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron” was a megahit in 1966, and they capitalized on it the following year wth this song about Snoopy and The Red Baron calling a truce for a drink during World War I. It was a #1 hit in Australia and New Zealand, and charted on the Billboard‘s “Best Bets for Christmas” chart three times, reaching #1, #15, and #11 in 1967, 1968, and 1969, respectively.
  3. “Hardrock, Coco, and Joe” A stop-action masterpiece created by Wah Ming Chang for Centaur Productions in 1953. One of the three Christmas videos that appeared on Garfield Goose and Friends on WGN in Chicago every weekday afternoon between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But you knew that, because I’m forever talking about it. Gene Autry recorded this sometime before this film was made.
  4. “Suzy Snowflake” The second stop-action classic by Centaur Productions. Rosemary Clooney made a record of this in 1951 and no doubt sang it to Miguel, Rafael, Gabriel and the rest of her children with Jose Ferrer.
  5. Gayla Peevey, “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” This is another classic, sung when she was just 10 years old in 1953. This video includes video of her in 2016, singing the song again. She hasn’t lost a step in the 63 intervening years.
  6. Pentatonix, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” I really enjoy these kids, and I don’t mind saying so. You might notice that Kristin Maldonado, the lone woman in the group, isn’t moving around much in this. One of her legs is in a cast (I’m not sure whether she broke it or something else happened) and she’s using a scooter for the bad leg. I hope she recovers soon, but you can see it hasn’t affected her voice.
  7. Leon Redbone and Dr. John, “Frosty The Snowman” I usually use the UPA animated version of this (the third of the three WGN Christmas videos), but Marie (Xmas Dolly) beat me to it this year. No problem, I like this version as well. Notice it was brought to us by Kodacolor Gold 100 film, which I guess is still around (they stopped making Kodachrome slide film a couple of years ago). I’m not sure anyone uses film anymore. Well, maybe my high school buddy Mark, who’s a photographer, although I think most of his pictures are digital now.
  8. Manhattan Transfer, “Let It Snow” Pentatonix put me inb the mood for more harmony, and who better than Manhattan Transfer to provide it? From their 1992 Christmas album. They released a new album, The Junction, earlier this year, and I can tell you it’s very good.
  9. Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops, “Sleigh Ride” Leroy Anderson, “one of the great American masters of light orchestral music” according to current Boston Pops conductor John Williams, wrote this during a heat wave in 1946 and didn’t finish it until 1948. Fiedler and the Pops, who recorded a lot of Anderson’s compositions, made their first recording of it in 1949. It’s still a staple of their Christmas concerts.
  10. Burl Ives, “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas” One of my favorite Christmas songs and my favorite recording of it. Never mind what I do to the lyrics… (“Oh ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see, somebody waits for you, KICK HER ONCE FOR ME…”)

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for two weeks and one day until Christmas 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.