Monday’s Music Moves Me: Blue, Green, and Silver

Go Trevians! Source:

This week, guest conductor Cathy tells us "for National Coloring Day song titles/lyrics about art in general – get creative or use your high school colors to build your theme around." I’m going to do the latter and build my playlist this week around my high school colors.

I attended New Trier Township High School, West Campus in Northfield, Illinois from 1971 to 1974. I transferred in from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago in my sophomore year. The East Campus was the original school in the district, and had such luminaries as Charlton Heston and Ann-Margret as students, while we were known for having Playboy CEO Christy Hefner and Rahm Emanuel, former mayor of Chicago, as alumni. East’s colors were green and silver, and their teams were named (in a much less politically-correct era) the Indians. West’s teams were, naturally, named the Cowboys, and, just like their namesake in the NFL, our colors were blue and silver.

In 1981, the number of students at both high schools was low enough that only freshmen were taught at West, while the remaining students had classes at East, and by 1985, the West campus was closed and all students were taught at East. It was then decided to cut down to one set of athletic teams, and that they should be called the Trevians (after the people who inhabited the area of Trier, Germany from which the original residents of the district came) and that the school colors would be green and blue, with silver being retired. Of course, the adolescent population has gone back up, and West is now a freshman campus again.

So, here are a dozen songs, divided evenly between blue, green, and silver (because I’m stubborn!).

  1. The Corries, "The Bluebells of Scotland": A Scottish song written by Dora Jordan, an actress and writer, in 1801.
  2. Elvis Presley, "Blue Hawaii": Theme song from the 1961 movie starring Elvis Presley, Angela Lansbury, and Joan Blackman. Other memnbers of the cast include Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber from The Andy Griffith Show) and Roland Winters (who played Charlie Chan in half a dozen movies).
  3. Lou Christie, "Beyond The Blue Horizon": Written during the Depression and first done by Jeanette MacDonald in the 1930 movie Monte Carlo. Lou’s version of the song is almost identical to Michael Nesmith’s from 1970, but for some reason I like Lou’s better. The lyrics, by (one or more of) Leo Robin, Richard A. Whiting, and W. Franke Harling, are beautiful.
  4. Elton John, "Blue Eyes": Released in 1982 as a single, it reached #12 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  5. Allan Sherman, "Green Stamps": A parody of the song "Green Eyes," the song celebrates the famous Sperry & Hutchinson reward program, which sadly no longer exists.
  6. Lemon Pipers, "Green Tambourine": An early bubblegum song, released at the end of 1967. It reached #1 in February of 1968 and was certified Gold. And we never heard from the Lemon Pipers again…
  7. Porter Wagoner, "Green Green Grass Of Home": Porter recorded his version of this in 1965, a year before Tom Jones did his, and reached #4 on the Country chart with it. The video was taken from an episode of the syndicated Porter Wagoner Show, which also starred Dolly Parton at the time.
  8. The Wolfe Tones, "The Wearin’ O’ The Green": An Irish street ballad that talks of the oppression of the Irish after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, which in many respects was very much like the Scottish Rebellion in 1745 and the American Revolution in 1776. No doubt the British were especially rough on the Irish because they had lost to the Americans.
  9. Fleetwood Mac, Hi-Ho Silver": From the 1970 album Kiln House, their first without Peter Green and last with Jeremy Spencer. Christine McVie, then known as Christine Perfect (if memory serves), played on the album but didn’t become a permanent member until after the album was released.
  10. Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn, "Silver Threads and Golden Needles": From their 1993 album Honky Tonk Angels, this is a fun video that has cameos from a lot of male country artists. And the ladies sound tremendous here.
  11. Bing Crosby, "Silver Threads Among The Gold": Everybody’s favorite crooner recorded this in 1947.
  12. Kris Kristofferson, "The Silver-Tongued Devil And I": Title track from his 1971 album.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 14, 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.

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.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Sayonara, Summer…

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Stacy, our August Guest Conductor, has one more theme for us: songs about the end of summer, which we all know by now (if you’ve been reading this blog) is today. I’m not going to explain all the ins and outs of why that is, although I tried to explain it yesterday, so if you missed that, go back and read it. I have ten songs here to celebrate that, so if you’re quite ready…

Fans of the grid: it’ll be back tomorrow.

  1. Dusty Springfield, "Summer Is Over": "The finest white soul singer of her era," as Allmusic’s Jason Ankeny described her, recorded this as the B side to "Losing You" in the UK (in the US, the B side was "Here She Comes").
  2. Stringspace, "Autumn Leaves": Stringspace is a company of talented Australian musicians, with separate groups in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide. They play music for sophisticated gatherings and specialize in classical and jazz. Here, Briana Cowlishaw from the Sydney ensemble and Hugh (don’t know his last name) from their group in Melbourne play this classic standard.
  3. Billie Holiday, "Autumn In New York": From her 1956 album A Recital by Billie Holiday, this standard was written by Vernon Duke in 1934.
  4. Leonid & Friends, "September": Leonid Vorobyev and his crew of amazing Russian musicians and singers, best known for their covers of Chicago (the band) tunes, have started branching out into the music of other bands with horns. One of their most recent covers is Earth Wind & Fire’s "September," and as always, Leonid has written an arrangement that’s dead-nuts on with the original. They’re amazing.
  5. Nat King Cole, "September Song": My favorite cover of this tune is that of Jimmy Durante, who couldn’t sing to save his life and does one of the most heart-rending performances of this song that practically leaves me in tears whenever I watch it. So I figured I’d use a different cover this time, this by Nat King Cole, who was a remarkable singer and performer.
  6. "School Days": The performer of this tune is known only as "Sheet Music Singer." It was written in 1904 by Will D. Cobb and Gus Edwards and is a classic back-to-school song.
  7. Paul Anka, "Summer’s Gone: Until I put this list together, I hadn’t heard of this, but Paul had a #11 hit with it in 1960.
  8. The Vogues, "Greenfields": The folk group The Brothers Four had a big hit with this in 1960, and The Vogues covered it in 1969. It was written in 1956 by Terry Gilkyson, Richard Dare, and Frank Miller. The Vogues’ version reached #19 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1969.
  9. Michael Jackson, "Farewell My Summer Love": This was a big hit for The King of Pop in the UK, where it reached #7, but barely made the Top 40 here. It was the title track from his 1973 album, but not released until 1984. Michael was 15 when it was recorded, before he started with the plastic surgery…
  10. The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long": I’m including this because it was the last song played in the 1973 movie American Graffiti, as Richard Dreyfuss took off to go to college, thus ending his summer. The movie was set in 1962, two years before the song was released…

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 31, 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.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Tom, Dick & Harry

From left: Tom, Dick, Harry. Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Freebie day, and I couldn’t get the phrase “Tom, Dick & Harry” out of my mind. I took it as a sign. Here are four songs each from men named Tom, Dick and Harry.

What’s New, Pussycat?
Tom Jones
The song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1965 movie of the same name. Tom took this to #3 in the US, his second Top 40 single, while it reached #11 in the UK.
Life Is A Highway
Tom Cochrane
Rascal Flatts weren’t the first people to do this. From Tom’s 1991 album Mad Mad World, this topped the Canadian charts and was a #6 hit on the Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock charts in the US.
Lewis & Clark
Tommy Emmanuel CGP
Chet Atkins bestowed the honorary title Certified Guitar Player on this Australian guitarist, and every time he plays he shows us why. From his 2006 album The Mystery.
Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim
A pioneer in bossa nova music, Tom Jobim has written many of the big hits of the genre, and many of his songs have become standards. “Wave” is the title track from his 1967 album.
Dick Dale
Originally a folk song from the Eastern Mediterranean, Dick Dale’s cover of the song has become a surf rock classic. He plays the song on one string after having seen his father and uncles, all of whom were Lebanese-American musicians, play it that way on the oud. It regained popularity in the 1990’s when Quentin Tarantino used it in the movie Pulp Fiction, and again when it was used in an episode of Mad Men.
Chim Chim Cher-ee
Dick Van Dyke
As fine an actor and song-and-dance man as Dick Van Dyke is, the movie Mary Poppins proved that he couldn’t do a Cockney accent. The song was written by the Sherman Brothers, who wrote lots of music for Walt Disney Studios, and earned the 1964 Best Original Song Academy Award. The Sherman Brothers also earned the Oscar and the Grammy for the score of the movie.
Dick Hyman Trio
You will recognize this immediately as “Mack The Knife.” It was written by Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht for The Threepenny Opera in the 1920’s. Radio station WFMF (later WLOO) in Chicago played the Dick Hyman recording at the top of every hour.
Dickey Betts
“Jessica” was written by Dickey Betts and made its first appearance on the Allman Brothers Band’s fourth studio album, 1973’s Brothers & Sisters. This is video from a 1984 performance.
Harry James
This is an Italian song by Alberto Pestalozza, who wrote it in 1898 with lyrics by Carlo Tiochet. Harry James liked the song so much that he made it his orchestra’s theme song in 1939, from when this was recorded.
Harry Chapin
This song, from Chapin’s 1973 album Short Stories, inspired Hugh Wilson to create the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati. As a single, this reached #36 on the Hot 100, while it reached #14 in Canada and #9 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.
Jamaica Farewell
Harry Belafonte
Another song my aunts used to drive me crazy by singing. From Harry’s 1956 album Calypso.
Jump Into The Fire
Harry Nilsson
From Nilsson’s 1971 album Nilsson Schmillson, it was released as the second single (after “Without You”) in 1972. A real rocker, a departure from Nilsson’s previous releases, it reached #27 on the Hot 100.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 24, 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.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: We Are Family…

Image by amyelizabethquinn from Pixabay

Since it’s Stacy’s sister’s birthday tomorrow (Happy Birthday!), she thought it would be a good idea to do songs about brothers and sisters. I wasn’t really sure where to go with this, so I just picked songs with “brother” and/or “sister” in the title. Hope you like ’em!

# Song
1 It’s Too Late, Brother
Little Walter
Probably not what Stacy was thinking, but still a great song by the king of the blues harmonica. Released as a single in 1956, but didn’t chart.
2 Me And Baby Brother
Interesting to read the comments on some of these. A lot of people dedicated this song to a younger brother who is sadly no longer with us. Reached #15 on the Hot 100 and #18 on the R&B chart in 1973, from their album Deliver The Word.
3 Brother Louie
Hot Chocolate
This story of interracial love was a big hit in the US for Stories in 1973, but the original, by Hot Chocolate, was released earlier that year in the UK, where it reached #7. This version features British bluesman Alexis Korner on one of the speaking parts and Cozy Powell (“Topsy (parts 1 and 2)”) on drums.
4 Brothers In Arms
Dire Straits
Title track from their 1984 album, it was written in 1982, the year of the Falklands War. In 2007, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of that war, they re-released the song for the benefit of the veterans of that war that were suffering from PTSD. Reached #16 in the UK, #10 in Ireland, #5 in New Zealand, and #1 in Poland.
5 We Are Family
Sister Sledge
In honor of the 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, who used this as their theme song. From Sister Sledge’s 1979 album of the same name, the song reached #2 in the US and #1 in Canada.
6 Sister Mary Elephant
Cheech & Chong
Couldn’t resist this classic comedy bit by Cheech and Chong. People ask me if Catholic school was like this; I tell them “not always.” From their 1972 album Big Bambu, it was released as a single in late 1973 and eventually reached #24 in 1974.
7 Sister Moonshine
An album track from their 1975 album Crisis? What Crisis? It wasn’t released as a single.
8 I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Muggsy Spanier
A song that was written by Armand J. Piron and published in 1922, Muggsy Spanier was a cornet player and bandleader from Chicago and was a pioneer of Chicago-style jazz, which was part Dixieland, part swing.
9 Brother, Brother, Brother
Isley Brothers
Title track from their 1972 album, but not released as a single. Brothers singing about brothers…
10 Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
Bing Crosby
Written by Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney, the melody is based on a Russian-Jewish lullaby. Both Bing and Rudy Vallee had hits with this song in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 17, 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.