Cathy pulled out her calendar again for this week’s M4 theme. Evidently today is National Battery Day, so have a good one. She gave us four words, smoke, alarm, battery and charge, around which to center our songs. I added a fifth, change, because I thought there might have been some miscommunication; after all, Time Change Sunday is coming, a day when we not only change the clocks, we change the batteries in the smoke detectors. Sound good?
So, the list starts with two songs about smoke. First is Buck Owens, the Bard of Bakersfield, with his cover of Red Ingle and His Natural Seven’s “Cigareets, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women.” I usually use the version done by Peter Sellers and The Muppets, so I figured you could use a break. Then, “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke That Cigarette,” the 1947 original by Tex Williams, who wrote it with the Dean of Fingerstyle Guitar Players, Merle Travis.
Next, a couple about alarm. First is “Incense and Peppermints,” the 1967 hit by Strawberry Alarm Clock (see what I did there?). It was their one and only hit, reaching #1 and earning a Gold record. Next is Peter, Paul & Mary’s “If I Had A Hammer,” because, after all, hammering/ringing/singing out danger and warning sounds like an alarm to me.
On to battery… now, in this case, I relied on the fact that the French word for a drum kit is la batterie and chose a couple of songs that feature some amazing drumming. First, a couple of scenes from the 1941 comedy classic Ball of Fire, which starred Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck and featured the incredible drumming of Gene Krupa, appearing with his orchestra, on “Drum Boogie.” Miss Barbara’s voice was dubbed by Martha Tilton on the song. Then, The Surfaris with their 1963 hit song “Wipeout.” A friend of mine (who came from another school) said that he and his friends all owned copies of the record and would play the drum part on their desks when the nun was out of the room.
Next is charge. To do this, I looked up songs that had “charge” in the title, coming up with the finale of Rossini’s “William Tell,” also a part of the Overture and the theme song for the radio and TV versions of The Lone Ranger, and a song called “Charge” done by an electronic band called Bossfight. I have no clue if this is music from a video game or just stands on its own, but I thought it sounded interesting.
Finally, since I thought change was appropriate (also giving me five groups of two songs), we have a couple of “lite rawk!” favorites: The Little River Band’s “Cool Change” from their 1979 album Just Under The Wire, a song that reached #4 in the US that year, and Jimmy Buffet’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” title track from his 1977 album.
And that’s your Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 18, 2019.