Monday’s Music Moves Me: Gettin’ Old

September’s Guest Conductor is my friend Cathy over at Curious As A Cathy. The theme she’s chosen for today is “songs about being a grandparent or growing old.” Now, I have no experience with the former, but I do with the latter, so I’ll have more of them here. I think, anyway…

  1. Frank Sinatra, “It Was A Very Good Year” Right off the bat, we hear from The Chairman of the Board. Ervin Drake wrote this in 1961 for Bob Shane and The Kingston Trio, but the real famous version is by Sinatra, who heard the Kingston Trio’s version and knew he wanted to record it.
  2. The Little River Band, “Reminiscing” I pull this one out a lot, because I love it. From 1978.
  3. Carl Perkins with NRBQ, “Boppin’ The Blues” Originally a #1 single by Mr. Blue Suede Shoes, this is the title track from the album he and the New Rhythm and Blues Quintet (there were five at the time) did in 1970. The album is a rock ‘n’ roll classic, so if you see it, buy it. Listen to the last verse for the “old” part.
  4. Walter Brennan, “Old Rivers” Walter sounded like an old man even when he wasn’t, I swear. This was written by country singer Cliff Crofford in 1961, but Walter did it as a recitation and it’s really good, like everything else Walter did.
  5. Gwen McCrae, “Rockin’ Chair” Gwen’s greatest hit, it followed her husband George’s “Rock Your Baby,” so you can see this one as a response to it, I guess. Gwen left out the disco beat and did this as straight R&B. I usually associate rocking chairs with the old, so…
  6. Hoagy Carmichael, “Rockin’ Chair” A completely different song than the last one. Hoagy wrote this in 1929 for singer Mildred Bailey, who used it as her signature tune. This is from the ’50’s. An early Peanuts cartoon showed Charlie Brown and Lucy listening to this, and when it was over, Lucy asked “What’s a ‘rocking chair’?”
  7. Frank Sinatra, “My Way” A double shot of the Chairman this week. He recorded it in 1969 after Paul Anka wrote the lyrics and set them to the tune of Claude François’s “Comme d’habitude” (French for “As Usual”), which has nothing to do with Paul’s song. When we went to see the pastor of Mary’s parish to set up our wedding, he went on a rant about this song being inappropriate for a Catholic wedding, funeral, etc. Needless to say, we avoided it.
  8. Jimmy Durante, “September Song” Jimmy was not the world’s best singer, but given the words to this song, I can’t think of anyone else who could do a better job with it.
  9. The Three Stooges, “When You Wore A Tulip” For whatever reason, I associate this with getting old. From an episode of The Ed Wynn Show which must have aired before 1955, when Shemp Howard died. This was back in the days where entertainers did it all (sing, dance, act, tell jokes, etc.).
  10. Bing Crosby, “Silver Threads Among The Gold” A sentimental oldie from 1873 and a favorite of barbershop quartets, it gets the Bing Crosby treatment here. It’s recorded on the British Decca label, who later rejected The Beatles because “guitar groups are on their way out.” They redeemed themselves by picking up The Who when the Fab Four went over so well…

So that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 10, 2028.

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.


27 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Gettin’ Old

  1. I can relate to these songs. Maybe there’s one out there that is titled something like, “my knees hurt, I can’t sleep, I’ve lost my hair, and my grandkids are all grown up.”


    1. They don’t make movies like that anymore, I’m afraid, which is why it’s so great to see the clips from the old ones. We used to watch Turner Classic Movies when we had cable, and they were always good for showing the musicals. I saw this clip of Bob Hope and James Cagney dancing up a storm; I could watch this all day…


  2. As usual, I was pleasantly surprised. The Three Stooges? Yes, our generation remembers! The Chairman of the Board? My husband has a cousin in her 30’s who adores him – I should have thought of My Way because – well, because. Jimmy Durante – yes, I remember him too. Hoagy Carmichael? Wow. But you conquered us all with a song originally from 1873. Yes. We’ll all be old one day.


    1. Dad used to sing barbershop (at least that’s what Mom tells me) and “Silver Threads” is an old classic he’d do around the house sometimes. Weird the things you remember sometimes, isn’t it?

      I love how some of the classic movie stations will run Three Stooges shorts occasionally. Remember when parents would write angry letters to TV stations demanding they be taken off the air? Compared to some of the stuff that passes for entertainment for children these days, that was mild, almost wholesome, pie fights and slapstick notwithstanding.


  3. John,

    I love your spin on the theme! You didn’t necessarily use songs about being old but what makes you think of getting old. Fabulous! Your playlist consisted of mostly never heard of tunes by me, so it was a delight to listen to snippets of each song. I’m going to revisit in the morning to hear everyone in its entirety. Things are a bit chaotic today playing catchup coupled with DH’s appointment to see my ENT to address a concern he has for the first time. The doc wants him to have a CT Scan since he couldn’t see anything from the routine examination which looked good but he wants to make sure there’s nothing hiding. He’s a thorough doctor which I like. On top of all of this, I called my mom to ask about an aunt recently diagnosed with cancer to see what new things they found out when I learned another aunt has stage 4 cancer. It’s in a couple of different places which doesn’t sound good but I know with God anything is possible. I have to place my trust in Him that everything will work out ok. This aunt of the two I was quite close to as a teenager. Please say prayers for Loretta and Carol if you would. Thanks so much and it’s great seeing you on the dance floor. I’ll be by first thing in the morning!


    1. The hits just keep coming sometimes, don’t they? 2000 was like that for us: we had just about recovered from my mother’s death when we got a call that Mary’s mom was ill. I’m sorry about your aunts and will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.


  4. I went off theme this week but now I’m thinking of all those songs like John Prine’s “Hello In There” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Grandpa Was a Carpenter.” You picked some good ones.


    1. That John Prine song is a good one. He started getting popular while in Chicago. Another good one by him is “Souvenirs,” which could be made to fit the theme. And you reminded me of a perfect one: Steve Goodman’s “The Dutchman.”


  5. These were good to listen Walter Brennan and the 3 Stooges can sing and dance..being vaudeville men and I always love Ed Wynn. I wonder would “Ole Man River” work? I am also thinking of that song, “I remember it well”, sung by Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gringold.


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