My birthday is Sunday, so I’m going to play some of my favorite songs. I have a lot of favorite songs, so keeping it down to ten was a chore, and some of you who know me personally might be asking yourself “Why did he pick _____ instead of _____?” And the answer is, because it’s my birthday.
- Les Baxter, “The Poor People Of Paris” According to most of the sources I’ve read, this was #1 the day I was born.
- Bobby Vee, “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes” I just like this one. Featuring Bobby Vee this week reminded me. It’s good to sing along to.
- Three Dog Night, “Out In The Country” I’ve always liked the guitar in this one.
- Ryu Sakamoto, “Ue O Muite Arukou (Sukiyaki)” I understand why they called this one “Sukiyaki,” but it really detracts something from the meaning of the lyrics. So here it is, with the English translation of them.
- Dee Clark, “Raindrops” Chicago’s Dee Clark recorded this on Chicago’s Vee Jay records, but that’s not the reason I chose this. I’ve always liked the way the melody goes abruptly from major to minor at the end of the verse.
- The Ventures, “Walk, Don’t Run” It was a choice between this one and “Hawai’i Five-O” and this won.
- The Beatles, “Free As A Bird” The story goes that Yoko found a tape with a couple of songs John Lennon recorded and sent them on to the other three Beatles, who added their voices and instruments and turned this into the first new Beatles song since the group broke up in 1970. The first time I heard it, my heart jumped into my throat, and even now, it gives me the shivers.
- George Harrison, “When We Was Fab” George Harrison is the reason I started playing the guitar. The Quiet Beatle had a wicked sense of humor, as demonstrated here.
- Chicago, “Poem 58” Begins with an extended jam by Terry Kath, Jimi Hendrix’s favorite guitar player. Wish I had known that when I was in high school, where Jimi was worshipped and Terry was laughed at.
- Django Reinhardt, “Limehouse Blues” Django’s solo is incredible: he plays so fast, but you can hear every note, and it builds from single notes to octaves to full chords and dissonance.
This was fun. I’ll have to do it again soon. That’s your Friday 5×2 for March 23, 2018.