I knew going into this month that I wanted to do another “Musical Acrostic,” a playlist where the first letters of the song titles spell out a word or phrase. Problem was, I didn’t know what phrase to use, so I looked up the calendar on Wikipedia to see who was born on this day, and it told me that Charles Elmer Hires, who was the person who brought root beer to the masses, was born on this day in 1851.
So, to honor the occasion, I asked everyone to build a playlist in which the first letters of the songs spell out “ROOT BEER.” Here’s mine; it’s not exactly “boogietastic,” as some of the regular conductors would say, but it’s pleasant listening.
- The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” One of those songs I just like. Maybe it’s because The Marmalade are from Scotland, maybe it’s because the first few chords are the same as The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life,” or maybe it’s just a good song.
- Steely Dan, “Only A Fool Would Say That” The last song off their initial release, 1972’s Can’t Buy A Thrill. Already you can hear the jazz influences that would become a big part of their music ten years later.
- Ringo Starr, “Only You” Ringo covers the classic tune by The Platters and gives it a whole different feel. From 1974’s Goodnight Vienna, it was released as a single and reached #6.
- Jerry Orbach, “Try To Remember” I can’t get enough of this. Those of you who only know Jerry as Detective Lenny Briscoe on the long-running Law And Order might not know he was a song-and-dance man, and that he was the first person to sing this in the off-Broadway play The Fantasticks in 1962.
- Barbara Lewis, “Baby I’m Yours” A song written by Van McCoy (who later wrote “The Hustle” during the disco days). Barbara Lewis recorded it in 1965 and took it to #11 on the Hot 100 (it reached #1 in Detroit and #4 in Chicago) and #5 on the R&B chart.
- Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” An international hit, reaching #2 in the UK and Ireland and #1 in the US and Canada in 1985. It’s one of their signature songs, along with “Shout.”
- Three Dog Night, “Easy To Be Hard” Reminds me of slow dancing in 7th and 8th grade. From the Broadway musical Hair, it was a #4 on the Hot 100 in 1969.
- Rick Derringer and The Edgar Winter Group, “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo” Derringer, originally with The McCoys and an established performer and producer, replaced Ronnie Montrose in The Edgar Winter Group after their first album, 1972’s They Only Come Out At Night. This is Rick’s composition, which Edgar’s brother Johnny had recorded in 1970.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 19, 2019.