Monday’s Music Moves Me: Songs About Remembering and Forgetting

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.”
  10. 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.

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.


37 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Songs About Remembering and Forgetting

  1. John, you did it again. My husband has several of the older Chicago albums but it’s been years since I’ve heard Old Days. Or Ringo’s Autograph. And although I’ve been to Johnny Mercer’s grave twice, I’m not that familiar with most of his songs. Thank you for another great theme, John.


  2. Good picks on your list including the one that came to my mind, “I Remember You” which has been recorded by so many artists. A lot of songs can be added to this category. Like “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand. Or “I Remember It Well” from the musical Gigi.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. Best version of “I Remember You” was Glen Campbell’s. I feel funny pulling that out because of the way he died.

      Doesn’t get much better than Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold singing “I remember It well.” He was just so good as a singer and entertainer, English or French. Always thought “The Way We Were” was depressing; the late ’70’s were the Age of Depressing Songs, I think…


  3. I think Jerry Orbach was Lumière in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but when I see him, I don’t think of him as a singer. I didn’t know he did musical theatre before that. No wonder he was cast in that role.

    I love that Patrice Rushen song! Will Smith put part of that song into one of his raps for the Men in Black movie. Instead of “Send me forget-me-nots” it was “Here come the men in black.”


    1. “Beauty and the Beast” featured what I call the “Sunday Night Crowd,” because Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury, and David Ogden Stiers, all of whom were either on “Murder She Wrote” or on one of the many Sunday night made-for-TV movies, voiced Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Cogsworth, respectively. Orbach did an incredible impression of Maurice Chevalier, especially in the song “Be Our Guest,” which features some “Disney Insanity” animation. Whoever did the art for that whole sequence was a genius…


  4. Great job as conductor. I really enjoyed this theme and your choices. I didn’t even realize Jerry Orbach was a singer.


  5. John, you never cease to amaze me! and I totally agree with the lady above me here you did A FANTASTIC job as our Honorary Conductor this month. I’m so sorry to see it’s over now if you’d like to do another month just let me know. So, far we’re only up to August so September on is definitely open. Thank you for passing the word too! Love your collection here the first one I was swaying back & forth in my seat here. So pretty and I didn’t know he sang that’s for sure. He has a very soothing type of voice don’t you think? Your next one we kind of had the same one except mine was with Will Smith (hehehe).. Love that tune to dance too! Your Chicago tune I use to put the radio up when that came on and the next one was another favorite of my Big Brother’s.. (Jr. was 6 yrs. older than I), Bobby Rydell, was big back then. The next tune I’ve heard already on another blog.. “I Remember you” & the Elvis Presley tune too, & as I told her I’ve never heard that Elvis tune before. I was amazed. Your next tune by Ringo was also a big hit in its day. Your next tune is still played today on the radios.. Simple Minds. Love the next one Little River Band – Reminiscing and your last tune I’ve never heard before, Robert Cray, “I’m Gonna Forget About You” is a nice tune to dance too for sure, and it’s also a good tune to play while dusting… ~hehehe~ I do a lot of housework on Monday’s . GREAT JOB MY FRIEND… YOU ROCK!!!!


  6. I actually was able to listen to the whole list and enjoyed it very much. I love Jerry Orbach who had a great voice and was wonderful as the candlestick in Beauty and the Beast, the animated version. I miss his acting and style to this day. Elvis was pretty good for a song not readily known. I always love Simple Minds and the last 2 were great to listen to. I can’t think of any new songs but I do know our Remembrance Day poem which is haunting.


  7. I really loved the themes you chose this month and had a lot of fun with the “name game.” Your first 5 songs were new to me but I did know the second 5.
    BTW, the first EP by the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies was produced by Michael Stipe which is how I heard of them. They were a fun band.


    1. Ringo was always a great drummer, but was never especially known for his singing when he was with The Beatles. He did about one song an album, more as a novelty than anything . When he went solo, I think he surprised a few people. Elvis was always a fantastic singer, and he was more than just rock & roll. He did country, R&B, gospel, and wasn’t all about the fast dance numbers.


  8. John,

    I loved this week’s theme suggestion you came up with, too. There are a lot of songs that works great for it. You and I shared a couple of the same tunes with Simple Minds and Little River Band but when I threw mine together I was certain others would repeat my selections. 🙂 I listened to your entire playlist of fabulous songs. Now, I’m off to dance with someone else, as I’m running behind after being away from the Internet yesterday. Thanks for sharing in the fun, my friend!


  9. I gotta through this out there. Your grandmother and grand aunt Cash used to imitate The Duncan Sisters, a duet from the ’20s and ’30s. Legend has it that they once did their imitation on the radio. Anyway, their favorite Duncan Sister song was titled “Remembr’ng.” Yes, the spelling is correct. Your Mother and aunts have been singing it for years; probably still do. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times.


  10. Hey John,
    GREAT playlist and great theme…again! 🙂
    Oh man, Chicago’s “Old Days”: that’s a perfect song for this! I wish I would’ve thought about it. The lyrics say it all…I think it’s the quintessential song about nostalgia!
    Ringo’s “Photograph” is another great one.
    We both used Simple Minds and Little River Band. All the others were new to me. I especially enjoyed seeing and hearing Jerry Orbach. I had no idea he sang! I was so sad when he passed. I loved him on Law & Order and so many other roles he had over his long career.
    I enjoyed hearing the rest of your playlist too.
    Thanks for being a great Conductor this month! Excellent themes and I had fun putting my posts together…

    Have a good week,
    Michele at Angels Bark


  11. Another fantastic week for the books! I really enjoyed your list of songs and learning about some of those that I didn’t know about. I’m also really glad that you included the link to the linky, as I wasn’t able to grab the code from Marie’s page. I’ve got my post updated with that code now.
    Jingle Jangle Jungle


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