Two for Tuesday: Gregg Karukas

An original member of The Rippingtons (he was on their first album, 1987’s Moonlighting), pianist Gregg Karukas experimented with several instruments (drums, guitar, trumpet) before pursuing music as a full-time career when he was in high school (around the same time I was). At 16, he was one of the first people to own a Minimoog synthesizer. He spent five years with the band East Coast Offering before moving to LA, where he worked with David Benoit, Richard Elliot, and other smooth jazz and pop artists. He recorded his first of 12 albums, The Night Owl, in 1987. He’s been nominated for a number of Oasis and National Smooth Jazz awards. His most recent album, 2014’s Soul Secrets, was issued on his own label, Nightowl Records.

From Soul Secrets, “Rio Drive.”

From 2005’s Looking Up, the title track.

His website tells us that he’ll be at the Laguna Beach (California) Festival of the Arts on July 25. He has a Facebook page and you can find more of his music on YouTube and Spotify.

Gregg Karukas, your Two for Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

Weekly Song Challenge, Round 22!

After a week off, I’m back taking Laura’s Weekly Song Challenge!! Here are the rules:

  • Copy rules and add to your own post, pinging back to this post (Laura’s post, linked above).
  • Post music videos for your answers to the musical questions.
  • Tag two people to participate!

Here we go!

Post a video of a “feel good” song. #1 on the day I was born: Les Baxter and His Orchestra, “The Poor People Of Paris.”

Post a video of a song that brings tears to your eyes. The opening of this was used on the station ID’s for WGN-TV for many years, but the song is beautiful: Roger Whittaker, “The Last Farewell.”

Post a video of a song that gives you strength personally. Don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t say: Dave Brubeck Quartet, “Take Five.”

I’m tagging all of you. Let’s see what you come up with.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (and Monday’s Music Moves Me): “Evil Woman”

Another freebie day here for Monday’s Music Moves Me, and I realized I have a Battle of the Bands due, especially since I didn’t do one two weeks ago. So I decided “why not?” and declared that I would combine the two!

What this means is (a) I won’t be doing as many songs as I usually do, for the M4 people, and (b) I’ll be doing a few more songs than we normally do for BotB. To both groups, I beg your indulgence…

The last couple of BotB’s I’ve done have featured battles between different songs with the same name, which I think has worked well. I found this page that’s an index of songs that fit this description. There are five (count ’em!) different songs named “Evil Woman.” I’ve gathered the five into a playlist, which follows immediately.

Our five contestants are:

  1. Electric Light Orchestra
  2. Spooky Tooth
  3. Crow
  4. Doobie Brothers
  5. Black Sabbath

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is:

  1. Listen to the playlist.
  2. Decide which song you like the best.
  3. Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment with your choice. If you feel like telling us why, feel free.
  4. Then, visit the other participants and vote in their Battles:

I’ll tally the votes on Monday, July 22, and announce the winner in a post that day, so be sure and have your vote to me by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to all our contestants!

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.

The “Happy 119th, Grandma!” Week That Was

First, a public service announcement from the Muscular Dystrophy Association of America.

People in the US and Canada (and maybe other places around the world) remember Jerry Lewis’s telethon for the MDAA over Labor Day weekend (called Labour Day in Canada and the first weekend in September in the rest of the world). He worked tirelessly for them; I don’t think he slept. Whatever you might think about Jerry Lewis otherwise, he certainly did his part for people (mostly kids) afflicted with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases.

Continue reading “The “Happy 119th, Grandma!” Week That Was”

Song Lyric Sunday: “Spooky”

This week, Jim gave us the prompt(s) “Haunted/Magic/Mystery/Supernatural/Trick.” The song that came to mind for me was “Spooky,” by the band that’s credited with establishing “soft Southern rock,” Classics IV, led by their lead singer, the late Dennis Yost. Wikipedia tells us

“Spooky” was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr., which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop charts. Its best-known version was created by James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie for the group Classics IV when they added lyrics about a “spooky little girl”.

“Spooky” went to #3 on the Hot 100 and #46 in the UK. From 1968, Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost, “Spooky.”

The lyrics, from AZLyrics:

In the cool of the evenin’
When everything is gettin’ kind of groovy
I call you up and ask you if you’d like to
Go with me and see a movie

First you say no
You’ve got some plans for the night
And then you stop, and say, all right
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you

You always keep me guessin’
I never seem to know what you are thinkin’
And if a fella looks at you
It’s for sure your little eye will be a-winkin’

I get confused
‘Cause I don’t know where I stand
And then you smile and hold my hand
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you
Spooky, heh, yeah

If you decide someday to stop
This little game that you are playin’
I’m gonna tell you all the things
My heart’s been a-dyin’ to be sayin’

Just like a ghost
You’ve been a-hauntin’ my dreams
So I’ll propose on Halloween
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you

Spooky, spooky
Oh, whoa, all right, I said spooky
Oh, yeah, yeah, I said spooky
Yeah, yeah
Oh spooky, spooky
I said spooky

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for July 14, 2019.