Monday’s Music Moves Me: Labor Day!

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Happy Labor Day to all my American friends, Happy Labour Day to all my Canadian friends, and Happy Monday to everyone else. Today being a day to honor all working men and women, here are ten songs to commemorate the holiday.

# Song/Artist Comments
1 Work To Do
Average White Band
Average White Band’s cover of this Isley Brothers song appeared on their second album, 1974’s AWB.
2 Workin’ For A Livin’
Huey Lewis & The News
From their 1982 album Picture This, it was released as a single in 1982. It peaked at #41 on the Hot 100 and #20 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
3 Working For The Weekend
From their 1981 album Get Lucky, this was the lead single. More power pop than their usual fare, it did well, reaching #29 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Mainstream Rock chart. WKLS in Atlanta (“96 Rock”) used to play this on Friday afternoon at 5, when most of us were in our cars driving home.
4 9 to 5
Dolly Parton
Title song from the 1980 movie starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman. The song also appeared on Dolly’s 1980 album 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs. Written by Ms. Parton, it was one of her biggest hits of the decade, reaching #1 on the Hot 100, Adult Contemporary, and Hot Country Singles charts nd earning her an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy nominations, of which she won Grammys for Best Country Song nd Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.
5 9 to 5 (Morning Train)
Sheena Easton
Released in the US a couple of months after Dolly Parton’s, Sheena Easton’s was credited as “Morning Train” here so as not to cause confusion. This also reached #1 on the Hot 100 and is itself a great song.
6 Big Boss Man
Jimmy Reed
One of the great bluesmen of the ’50’s and ’60’s, Jimmy had a relaxed approach to his songs, to the point where he’d rush some lines, add a 13th bar to 12-bar blues, etc. And we loved him for it. For much of his career, Jimmy recorded on Gary, Indiana’s Vee Jay Records. This was released in 1961 and reached #13 on the R&B chart and #78 on the Hot 100.
7 Working Man Blues
Merle Haggard
One of Merle’s signature pieces, it was dedicated to the core of his fans, the blue-collar men and women. Released in 1969, it reached #1 on the Country chart.
8 Take This Job And Shove It
Johnny Paycheck
Written by David Allan Coe and recorded by Johnny as the title track for his 1977 album, this spent two weeks at #1 on the Country chart. Jonathon Brandmeier on WLUP (“The Loop”) in Chicago had a regular feature on Friday mornings called the “Shove It” Line, where he invited his listeners to call in and tell their managers, coworkers, companies, etc. to “take this job and shove it!” I tried calling the day I left the bank for the software company to say it, but I couldn’t get through. Life is full of little disappointments.
9 Workin’ In The Coal Mine
Written by Allen Toussaint and originally recorded by Lee Dorsey in 1966, Devo recorded it and included it as a 7″ single with their 1981 album New Traditionalists. Their cover made it to #30 on the Dance chart and failed to reach the Top 40 on any other chart.
10 Blue Collar
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
From their eponymous 1973 album, it was released as a ssingle and reached #21 in Canada but only #68 in the US. It’s a great song, anyway.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 7, 2020.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

18 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Labor Day!

    1. That BTO song has been largely forgotten, which is a shame, because it’s such a good song with a tremendous jam at the end. Now people are “who cares?” when it comes to jamming, but back in the ’70’s, that’s what music was all about.


  1. John,

    You recapped some tunes played multiple times and added a few I hadn’t come across yet on the dance floor. My hat is off to the working class, especially those who are essential employees during this pandemic. I’m glad I’m not in the work force anymore and I’m very thankful DH is able to work from home. Thanks for joining the 4M crew this week. Stay safe, be well, and have a boogietastic week, my friend!


    1. I know what you mean. I feel especially badly for the businesses that were right on the edge, barely scraping the money together to stay open, and all of a sudden this happened, and it wiped them out.


  2. I really like Huey Lewis tunes… thanks for posting him.. I don’t remember this one. Totally cool. You have found so many cool ones… workin’ for the weekend was a big hit when I was working downtown & come Friday we sang this one on the train home. Dang, we were a rowdy bunch. hahaha Now I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot of Dolly today. I believe I posted her recently so I by-passed that one. hehehe Now let’s see what else ya got here! Ahhh yes Shenna Easton I had a boyfriend at that time and use to put it on and I’d be singin’ in the frontroom when he was on his way… dam we were silly when we were young weren’t we? hahaha Oh yeah Merle Haggard he’s definitely cool. Now I’ll tell ya “Take this job & shove it” is still a hit. Many people still sing it and many bands still play it. hahaha Great pickin’ there my friend! hahaa Now the next song so many people recorded this one, but I never heard this version. hahaha Now my friend although your last tune is kinda cool.. I never heard it before. Thanks for sharing all your findings and a BIG HAPPY LABOR DAY TO YOU AND YOURS! Don’t eat too much today and have fun! BIG HUGS TO YOU & YOURS! WOO HOO!


  3. Great song list! I hear “Working For The Weekend” by Loverboy frequently on the 97,1. And, many a time I wanted to apply “Take This Job And Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck!


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