Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy Birthday, Charles Elmer Hires!

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.

The birthday boy! (source: Wikipedia, public domain)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, 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: More Randomness

Did this a couple of weeks ago, and I got good feedback on it, so I’m doing it again. I start with the first song that comes to mind, and just let YouTube dictate the rest of them.

  1. David Essex, “Rock On” I had this song on my mind for whatever reason, so I figured it was a good place to start. This was his lone US hit, from 1973, when it reached #4.
  2. Steely Dan, “Do It Again” From their 1972 debut album Can’t Buy A Thrill, it reached #6 on the Hot 100. Steely Dan gradually backed off the Top 40 thing.
  3. Sugarloaf, “Green Eyed Lady” A favorite of mine from 1970. It reached #3 on the Hot 100, and they wouldn’t have another hit single until 1974, with “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You,” which oddly enough was about their struggles to get another record on the chart.
  4. Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Spooky” It stands to reason that a band made up mostly of former members of Classics IV would try to cover one of their early hits, and they tried in 1979. While the original reached #3, ARS’s version only got as far as #17.
  5. Al Stewart, “The Year Of The Cat” This was the title track from Stewart’s seventh studio album in 1976, which is considered his masterpiece. The song helped the album reach #5, though the song only reached #8.
  6. Gerry Rafferty, “Baker Street” For some reason, I always get Gerry confused with Al, but anyway… This is from 1978, when it reached #2 on the Hot 100. You might recognize Gerry’s voice from the Stealer’s Wheel hit “Stuck In The Middle With You,” on which he also provided lead vocal.
  7. 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” This was their 1975 worldwide breakout hit, from their third album The Original Soundtrack. It reached #2 in the US.
  8. Double, “The Captain Of Her Heart” We take a sudden ten-year leap, to 1986 for this, by the Swiss duo Double (pronounced “doo-BLAY”). It only reached #16 on the Hot 100, but #4 on the AC chart, and is still a staple of “lite rawk” radio.
  9. Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” From Simply Red’s 1985 album Picture Book, it was released in 1985, when it went nowhere. Reissued the following year, it reached #1 in the US. Timing is everything, or so they say.
  10. Spandau Ballet, “True” Title track from their third studio release in 1983, it reached #4 in the US for their only Top 10 hit here. Two subsequent releases barely reached the Top 40 in this country.

I’m the guest conductor on this musical journey, and unfortunately I can’t show you who all is participating this week, but I can share this:

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That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 12, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, 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: Woof!

Guess who’s in charge this month? Me!

For my first “theme” day, I’ve chosen songs about dogs, because we’re in the “dog days” of summer, given that name because the star Sirius rises during the middle of summer. Since Sirius is over 8 light years away, its effect on the weather here is pretty much nothing, but its rising usually signals the beginning of the hottest, most humid, and stormiest part of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway; it’s winter on the other side of the Equator). So, my usual public service announcement for this time of the year, for those of us in the US and Canada: get a weather radio.

So, here is my list of ten songs (some of which really aren’t songs) about dogs. I’m sure there’ll be lots of repeats today, and I don’t care.

  1. Walter Brennan, “Old Shep” Get the tissues out. Walter Brennan, one of my favorite actors, made a lot of records where he spoke over music, and this is one of them. It’s a story about love and loss, as are most songs about dogs.
  2. Walter Brennan, “Ode to a Dog” I found this one while I was searching for the last one, and liked it.
  3. The Real McKenzies, “The Ballad of Greyfriar’s Bobby” We go from The Real McCoys to The Real McKenzies. We learned about Greyfriar’s Bobby when we were in Edinburgh in 1979. He was a Skye terrier who guarded the grave of his master (who was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard) for 14 years until he himself died. The story is here.
  4. The Beatles, “Martha My Dear” Paul McCartney had an English sheepdog named Martha, who will be forever remembered because of this song on the white album. The video features clips of Paul, Linda, various kids, and Martha.
  5. Gilbert O’Sullivan, “Get Down” I’ve developed a certain fondness for Gilbert, who was pretty popular back in the early and mid ’70’s. This is from 1973, when it reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100 singles.
  6. Lobo, “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” This was Lobo’s (real name: Kent LaVoie) first single, from 1971, when it reached #5.
  7. “God Made A Dog” I’m not sure who did this, but evidently someone was inspired by Paul Harvey’s “God Made A Farmer” and decided dogs needed the same sort of tribute.
  8. Jordon Frank (Schneider), “Chasing Butterflies” This was a tribute that Jordon wrote for his late dog.
  9. James Stewart, “Beau” James Stewart was a great actor who took time off from acting in World War II and became a war hero. He also wrote poetry. “Beau” was a tribute to his dog, who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. (And no, I did not include that.)
  10. “Siberian Husky Temper Tantrum” Seems like just about all the videos here are really sad, so I thought everyone could use a laugh.

Usually, the guest conductor puts the Linky in somewhere in here, showing all the participating blogs and links to them. Unfortunately, I’m not able to put Javascript into my posts, because that would require a Professional license on WordPress.com, and I’m too cheap to buy one. Instead,

CLICK HERE

to see the Linky for this week. You can also see the Linky on the pages of our regular conductors, all of whom are linked below.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 5, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, 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: Randomness

I’m sure it happens to everyone: I had no idea what to do today. Don’t ask why, I couldn’t tell you. So I decided to play Random Jukebox and let YouTube pick songs for me. A lot of these are songs I play a lot; I guess YouTube knows me pretty well by now.

  1. Procol Harum, “Whiter Shade of Pale This song was, for many of us, our introduction to Procol Harum. It came out in 1967 during the Summer of Love here in the US and made it to #5 on the Hot 100 despite having very little promotion.
  2. The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” Came out in late 1969 and reached #10. 1970 was a year of reflection for me, so it was appropriate.
  3. Carpenters, “Close To You” The first time we heard Karen Carpenter, and of course, being 14, we hated it. The rest of the world didn’t think like us, much to our chagrin, making it an international #1 hit. It took a while, but I learned to admire the songwriting of Burt Bacharach and Hal David and to fully appreciate one of the more beautiful voices in the world of pop music.
  4. Chicago, “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” Peter Cetera was becoming the face and voice of Chicago (the band) in 1982, four years after the tragic death of Terry Kath. He wrote this and sings lead on it, and it reached #1 on the Hot 100 for two weeks in 1982. It was nominated for the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
  5. Christopher Cross, “Sailing” It’s a real shame that Christopher Cross dropped out of the public eye so quickly (a real-life case of “video killed the radio star”), because he wrote and performed so many great songs and had a good voice. This was a #1 song in the US and Canada in 1980.
  6. Litle River Band, “Reminiscing” A real favorite of mine during my 3rd shift days. This song was especially popular in the US in 1978-79, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the AC chart.
  7. Starbuck, “Moonlight Feels Right” Another song that I just can’t get enough of. It reached #3 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Cash Box chart, and #1 on the Record World chart in 1976. The late Bo Wagner plays an iconic marimba solo on this. Lead singer and songwriter Bruce Blackman reprised the song in 2014 and breathed new life into it.
  8. Ozark Mountain Devils, “Jackie Blue” The Devils had an earlier hit with “If You Wanna Get To Heaven” in 1974, but they had an even bigger hit with this in 1975, when it reached #3 on the Hot 100 and spent two weeks at #1 over at Cash Box. The two songs are totally different.
  9. Firefall, “Strange Way” This was Firefall’s third Top 20 hit, from their 1978 Elan album. Like its previous single, 1977’s “Just Remember I Love You,” it reached #11.
  10. Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Imaginary Lover” Members of the Candymen and Classics IV got together in 1970 and became the house band for Studio One recording studio in Atlanta. By 1974, they were known as the Atlanta Rhythm Section and recorded their first album for Decca Records, although they didn’t find chart success until late 1977 with “So Into You.” “Imaginary Lover” was their second Top 10 hit, reaching #7 in 1978.

And that, at long last, is Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 29, 2019.

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

Monday’s Music Moves Me: “Evil Woman” BotB Results and Sapphire!

First, a little unfinished business…

Last week, as you might remember, I threw five songs named “Evil Woman” at you and asked you to pick your favorite. Only the first three got any votes, which basically tokld me don’t make these battles any more than three songs. The results:

ELO: 8
Spooky Tooth: 3
Crow: 3

Congratulations to ELO on this decisive victory, and a hearty “well done” to Spooky Tooth (who was actually kind of a surprise) and Crow (which, if I gave myself a vote, would have gotten it). And to The Doobie Brothers and Black Sabbath, what can I say? Sorry, guys.

Now on to the regularly scheduled portion of our program.

This week, we were given the task of playing songs from our favorite American Idol or The Voice pewrformer(s). This put me at a definite disadvantage because I’ve only ever seen one episode of the former and only the ads for the latter, because life is too short. So, I was going to do something completely different, except when I was browsing around, I found a bunch of videos for the British version of Little Big Shots, which precedes the US version by a few years. It’s hosted by Dawn French, who starred in The Vicar Of Dibley and was one of the talking paintings in the Harry Potter movies. She featured a young woman named Sapphire one evening…

Of course, when I heard she had a YouTube channel, I had to find it, and when I did, I knew who I was going to feature today. DuckDuckGo-ing her led me to Famous Birthdays, where I learned she was 16 and that this Little Big Shots appearance was two years ago. Here’s what else they said about her:

  • She became the youngest ever to have a #1 song featured on the Beat100.com chart. (I just checked and the page is down for maintenance. I have no idea how long it’s been down: might be a couple of hours or a couple of years.)
  • She first gained a following as a singer when she won Kids Got Talent in 2012.
  • She was a grand finalist on OpenMicUK 2014 and was the winner of Music For Kids International 2013 broadcast live on RTV in Romania.
  • She was the winner of the Ryanseacrest.com best cover of an Ellie Goulding song in 2014.

Let’s get to the tunes…

  1. “And I Cry” Her first single, recorded in 2013 (she was 10). A song dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. Sapphire says “The lyrics were written by Demelia Denton on the day of the 9/11 event in New York, Demelia [Denton] wrote the words as she watched and listened to the events unfolding, the words flowed as she felt such sadness for the loss and heartache of loved ones. Demelia then approached me this year to sing/produce a melody to her words along with Bret [Sinclair, composer and producer] and Marco [Turrini, string arranger]. I know this song is very special to Demelia and feel honoured to have been given this opportunity.” She doesn’t say she came up with the melody…
  2. “On My Mind” Recorded in 2015, this is a cover of an Ellie Goulding song (though I’m not sure if this is the one she won the Ryan Seacrest contest with).
  3. “Sorry Not Sorry” Recorded last year, a cover of Demi Lovato’s song. Her voice is a lot stronger here.
  4. “Havana” From 2017, a cover of the Camilo Cabello song.
  5. “…Ready For It?” Sapphire has a younger sister named Skye, a YouTube star in her own right. Here they team up to cover Taylor Swift’s song.
  6. “Gorgeous” This is from her album Candy 3, from 2017. The whole album (along with a Katy Perry song that ended up in there) is on YouTube as well.
  7. “Best Part Of Me” A recent (a week ago) cover of Ed Sheeran. Skye shows up here as well.
  8. “Someone You Loved” Some more acoustic goodness from June of this year. A cover of Lewis Capaldi.
  9. “Exhale” A cover of Sabrina Carpenter, also from June.
  10. “On My Way” From April, this cover of a song originally by Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, and Farruko.

What can I say? She’s fantastic, and there’s nowhere but up to go. Follow her on YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify, visit her website and Instagram (she’s on Twitter and Facebook as well), and someone get this young lady a contract…

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 22, 2019.

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