This is your guest conductor speaking.
Next Monday, of course, is Memorial Day, and it’s also a freebie day. I could have switched them around, making this another freebie week and holding on to this theme for next week, but I said nah, people love their freebie weeks (I know I do). Thus, this week’s theme, in anticipation of Memorial Day next Monday: songs about remembering or forgetting. In this set, I do five songs about remembering and five about forgetting. And, if I remember correctly, I’ve featured most of these songs before.
- Jerry Orbach, “Try To Remember” Most of us remember Jerry Orbach from his days as Detective Lenny Briscoe on the long-running series Law & Order and forget that his roots are in theater, notably musical theater. He was in the original cast of the 1960 play The Fantasticks and the first person to sang this song. Try to listen and not get choked up. I dare you.
- Patrice Rushen, “Forget-Me-Nots” A familiar voice and song to us Smooth Jazz fans, this was from her seventh album, 1982’s Straight From The Heart. It did quite well, reaching #23 on the Hot 100, #5 on the R&B chart, and #2 on the Dance chart.
- Chicago, “Old Days” A song written by Chicago trombonist Jim Pankow and sung by bassist Peter Cetera, who hated this song because he hated the TV show Howdy Doody. Much to Peter’s chagrin, the song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Easy Listening chart in 1975. It was the second single from Chicago VIII, the first being “Harry Truman.”
- Bobby Rydell, “Forget Him” Teen heart-throb Bobby Rydell released this song in late 1963 and it spent 11 weeks on the charts, peaking at #4 in January 1964. It’s said that Paul McCartney was inspired to write “She Loves You” when he heard it.
- Frank Ifield, “I Remember You” The song was written by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger in 1941, and Dorothy Lamour sang it in 1942’s The Fleet’s In. British country singer Frank Ifield gave it a country feel, complete with yodeling. His cover reached #1 in the UK, #5 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Easy Listening chart in 1962.
- Elvis Presley, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” Elvis recorded this Stan Kessler/Charlie Feathers tune in 1955. It was released on Sun Records in August, and re-released by RCA Victor in December. This December release reached #1 on the Billboard C&W Best Sellers in Stores chart in February 1956, spending two weeks there, and spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard C&W Most Played in Juke Boxes chart. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Most Played by Jockeys chart. Elvis was the reason Billboard came up with the Hot 100, which combined the three charts into one. Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis also had hits with this one.
- Ringo Starr, “Photograph” Ringo and George Harrison wrote this one, and it was the lead single from Ringo’s 1973 self-titled album. It went to #1 in the US and internationally, being certified gold for reaching sales of one million units sold.
- Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” Recorded in 1985, it’s probably best known for having been played at the beginning and end of John Hughes’s 1985 film The Breakfast Club (which was, as many of his films were, filmed in the northern suburbs of Chicago, specifically in Des Plaines (Maine North High School), Northbrook (Glenbrook South High School), and Park Ridge). It topped the Hot 100, Mainstream Rock, and Cash Box charts and was certified Gold in the UK and Platinum in Canada.
- Little River Band, “Reminiscing” This was on the charts in late 1978 and early 1979, when I was working nights, and I liked it so much I couldn’t go to bed in the mornings until WFYR played it. It’s their most successful US single, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Easy Listening chart. Evidently, John Lennon, who was separated from Yoko Ono at the time, loved this song, and his girlfriend at the time, May Pang, said it was “their song.”
- Robert Cray, “I’m Gonna Forget About You” A much-covered R&B number, Robert recorded this for his first album, 1980’s Who’s Been Talking. Beyond that, there’s not much to tell.
So, there’s my selection of songs about remembering and forgetting. If you would like to play along on Mondays with Xmas Dolly, Stacy, Callie, Cathy, Michelle, and Alana (and me), come up with your list and link to us on our Linky
where you can also see the other participants in this little weekly project.
That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 21, 2018.