BATTLE OF THE BANDS: "Cry, Cry, Cry" Results

My last battle pitted Johnny Cash, also known as "The Man In Black," against Bobby "Blue" Bland, both of whom had done a song called "Cry, Cry, Cry." I’ve tallied the votes and here are the results:

Johnny Cash: 7

Bobby “Blue” Bland: 5

An excellent battle, if I say so myself. Congratulations to Johnny Cash and kudos to Bobby "Blue" Bland.

My next battle is already written and waiting to be released next Sunday, December 15, and I hope everyone reading this will participate. All you need are ears and an opinion. See you then!

Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Ella Fitzgerald, "Here In My Arms"

Jim’s been on a body thing the last couple of weeks. Last week it was face stuff, this week it’s limb stuff, "arms, elbows, knees, legs." Got a shortie here today: Ella Fitzgerald’s "Here In My Arms." It was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1925 for the musical Dearest Enemy, and it’s become a standard. This is from her album Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook.

The lyrics, courtesy of AZLyrics:

Here in my arms it’s adorable!
It’s deplorable
That you were never there.

When little lips are so kissable
It’s permissible
For me to ask my share.

Next to my heart it is ever so lonely.
I’m holding only air.

While here in my arms it’s adorable!
It’s deplorable
That you were never there.

That’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for December 8, 2019.

People Are The Key #socs

The bulk of my career (twenty years minus one month) was spent with a company that changed hands several times while I was there. When I started, it was Management Science America, or MSA. After another company, Mine Safety Appliances, who also called themselves MSA, objected and took my MSA to court, we had to be sure to indicate that we were "MSA, The Financial Software Company" (later just "MSA, The Software Company") and we gave them a free license to our Payroll system, which I believe they run to this day.

Whenever someone started with the company, they were given a Tiffany key pin like the one shown above, a large one for the women, a small one for the men. Our corporate motto was "People Are The Key," and it was a way to remind our clients (and ourselves) of that. When you started, they gave you a silver key. After five years, they gave you a gold one, and after 10 years, the women received a gold key with a pretty good-sized diamond in it, while the men received both a gold key with a tiny diamond and a clock. I received my gold key in July 1989; four months later, we were sold to Dun & Bradstreet, who owned our biggest competitor. D&B announced their intention to merge the two software companies together, and we were ordered to 86 the keys.

The president and CEO of MSA was a man named John Imlay. He owned the majority of the stock, and when the sale was complete, he became a very wealthy man, in addition to remaining as CEO (and having the opportunity to fire his counterpart with the company we merged with). He decided to take the money he made and start The Imlay Foundation, which "helps entrepreneurial and established community organizations expand their capabilities and reach," according to its website. The keys had been John’s idea (you never called him Mr. Imlay; I did once and he told me "Mr. Imlay was my father, I’m John"), and since we were no longer using the key device, he adapted and adopted it for his foundation. He retired after about five years and spent the rest of his life running his foundation, playing golf, purchasing a minority interest in the Atlanta Falcons, and going around making speeches. He passed away in 2015.

Meanwhile, the rest of us poor bastards who were left behind had to learn to work together. As one friend of mine put it in an all-company meeting after the sale, "who are we supposed to hate now?" Another friend said that our new motto was "No longer to be confused with Mine Safety Appliances." (He had a bunch of them, including "It’s not just software, it’s one damn thing after another.") It gets complicated after that…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now this public service message from CBS.

Song of the Day: Cliff Nobles & Co., "The Horse"

Cliff Nobles, who had moved from Mobile, Alabama to Philadelphia, originally signed with Atlantic Records and recorded several singles for them, none of which went anywhere. He formed Cliff Nobles & Co. with Bobby Tucker (guitar), Benny Williams (bass), and Robert Marshall (drums), and with the help of producer Jesse James got a recording contract with Phil-L.A. of Soul Records.

Their second single, in 1968, was "Love Is All Right". It was recorded with a horn section that later would become part of the band MFSB. The flip side of that record was "The Horse," which was nothing more than "Love Is All Right" with the vocals removed. As luck would have it, "The Horse" caught on with radio stations and the listening public, selling a million copies in three months and being awarded a Gold record by RIAA and reaching #2 on the Hot 100 and the Hot Soul Singles chart, kept out of the #1 spot on the former by Herb Alpert’s "This Guy’s In Love With You." Nobles, realizing he had a good thing going, continued to release instrumentals and eventually an album titled The Horse, which reached #159 on the Hot 200 albums chart.