Monday’s Music Moves Me: Journeys Near And Far

Robin from Songbird’s Crazy World is tis month’s guest conductor, and she decided on today’s theme, which is “In Honor of Columbus Day, songs about taking a journey.” I’m pretty sure we did this once before, but rather than just repeating that (if in fact we did), I came up with a whole new playlist for you.

  1. Tommy Emmanuel, “The Journey” We’ll start with an instrumental by one of my favorite guitar players. This is the title track from his 1994 album, which was my introduction to him. Unlike most of his other albums, Tommy’s playing an electric guitar (specifically his Fender Telecaster) on most of it. He reworked it for play on four acoustics and the aforementioned Telecaster, which is what you’ll hear here.
  2. Edwin Starr, “25 Miles” Up until recently, the only song I knew by Edwin Starr was “War.” I knew this song, of course, but not who did it. It reached #6 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1969.
  3. Song For Memories, “500 Miles” I’m guessing at the group name here. I knew I wanted to use this song, but wasn’t especially enthused about using Peter, Paul & Mary’s version from 1960. I know nothing about the three people here, but like the way they did it.
  4. The Beatles, “I’ll Follow The Sun” In England, this was on the Beatles For Sale album, while in the US it was on Beatles ’65. It wasn’t released as a single, but it’s awful purty, ain’t it?
  5. The Beatles, “The Long And Winding Road” The version on the Let It Be album was (over)produced by Phil Spector, who added strings and horns and did his best to hide Paul’s vocal. Paul didn’t like that; he preferred this version, which was released a few years ago on the album Let It Be (Naked), where Spector’s additions were backed out of the recording. The result was amazing: the first time I heard it I was driving to work, and was so moved by it that I had to pull off the road and regain my composure.
  6. Steve Goodman, “City Of New Orleans” Steve (not Arlo Guthrie) wrote this song and did it every time I heard him in concert, and I always preferred his version. This was recorded when he played it in his last interview in 1982, before he succumbed to leukemia.
  7. The Three Suns, “Beyond The Blue Horizon” This was originally sung by Jeanette McDonald in the 1930 movie Monte Carlo. The version I’m most familiar with is the one by Lou Christie, but as Charlene Darling used to say, “that one makes me cry.” In fact, this sprightly and almost comical performance from the mid-1940’s is about the only one that doesn’t. The Three Suns were pioneers of exotica, a musical genre that was popular in the ’50’s and early ’60’s.
  8. Steppenwolf, “Magic Carpet Ride” A live version recorded in Louisville, Kentucky in 2004. It reached #3 in the US and #1 in Canada in 1968.
  9. The Amboy Dukes, “Journey To The Center Of The Mind” A band from Chicago that started when Ted Nugent lived there as a teen (later moving to Detroit). That’s Nuge to the right of the singer, from a performance that looks like it might have been on Hullabaloo. The song reached #16 in the US and #19 in Canada in 1968.
  10. The Delta Rhythm Boys, “Take The ‘A’ Train” I used this a while back on Song Lyric Sunday, and loved the arrangement. Yeah, not the most politically correct video, but some of the most remarkable harmony I’ve heard, and the video is a fun one that includes the utterly stunning Dorothy Dandridge. Written by Billy Strayhorn and used by the Duke Ellington Orchestra as their signature song, it’s a jazz standard today.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 14, 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: Cooler Days (Acrostic Time!)

I usually do my M4 posts on Sunday so I can take it easy on Monday (actually, so I can write my posts for the rest of the week on Monday — no rest for the wicked), but yesterday I got to listening to some of the excellent analysis a British guitarist named Fil, who runs the Wings of Pegasus TV channel on YouTube, has done (and which I highly recommend). I finally threw together a playlist and had started the post, but when I woke up I said to myself “c’mon John, you can do better than that.”

It was 97° a week ago Sunday, and 77° yesterday, so it must mean cooler weather is coming, so I did a musical acrostic, spelling out “COOLER DAYS” in song titles. It’s a rather eclectic list. You have been warned…

C

Stringspace, “Corcovado” Last time I used a song by Stringspace, I explained that it’s a collective of musicians in all the major cities of Australia. This group is from Sydney and the lovely chanteuse is Briana Cowlishaw. The song is by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

O

Jim Croce, “Operator” The late Jim Croce was huge in the early ’70’s with songs like “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” “Time In A Bottle,” and this one, which reached #17 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the AC chart in 1972.

O

Brewer & Shipley, “One Toke Over The Line” A song about smoking dope. There’s a rather hilarious story about this song that you’ll find in the video. It peaked at #10 in the US and #5 in Canada.

L

Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” Another song about smoking dope. This one was written by Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, and Josephine Armstead and originally recorded by The Coasters and Ronnie Milsap (two separate records, they didn’t record together) in 1965. Ray recorded it after his 16-month stint in rehab for heroin addiction and took it to #1 in 1966.

E

The Police, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” From their 1981 album Ghost In The Machine, though Sting might have written it as far back as 1976. It went to #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart as well as the Canadian and UK charts, and #2 in Australia.

R

The Dubliners, “Rocky Road To Dublin” A traditional Irish folk tune sung by a modern Irish quintet.

D

Andy Stewart, “Donald Where’s Your Troosers?” As long as we’ve done an Irish song, let’s do a Scottish one. This one was written by Stewart and talks about the reaction some have to seeing a man in traditional Highland dress. He does a pretty good imitation of Elvis at the end.

A

The Beatles, “All My Loving” Live from The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, when Ed and the gang visited Miami. It sounds so much like the record that you’re tempted to think they’re lip syncing, but no, this is live.

Y

Roy Clark, “Yesterday When I Was Young” A song by Charles Aznavour. Roy could go from pickin’ and grinnin’ to singing beautiful songs like this. It reached #9 in the US and #2 in Canada on their respective Country charts and might be Roy’s best-known song.

S

Glen Campbell and Jerry Reed, “Southern Nights” Two masters of the guitar having a good ol’ time at what looks like a picnic. It’s probably from a TV show, but the comments don’t say where or when. Glen and Jerry are now playing together on a much higher stage, probably with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, B. B. King and the other masters of the guitar.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 7, 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: 1962

As the 1973 movie American Graffiti asked, “where were you in ’62?” As for me, I was six, started the year in kindergarten and ended it in first grade at St. Ignatius School, living on Magnolia Avenue. I think that was the year I had the measles, which really messed with my summer (yeah, I had them during the summer). Anyway, today’s assignment from Mary (who did a spectacular job as guest conductor, didn’t she?) is to play songs from the year I turned six, which was in 1962. According to Billboard magazine, these were the Top 10 records of that year.

  1. The Shirelles, “Soldier Boy” From Passaic, New Jersey, The Shirelles had six Top 10 hits before the British Invasion crowded them off the Top 40. This was their second #1 song after “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”
  2. Chubby Checker, “The Twist” This is the cover of a Hank Ballard & The Midnighters song that originally reached #1 in 1960, and is the only record of the rock to reach #1 in two separate years.
  3. The Sensations, “Let Me In” The Sensations had already seen some chart success in the ’50’s before disbanding, then reformed in the early ’60’s and had a couple of hits, of which this song was the more successful and was their most-popular song, reaching #2 on the R&B chart and #4 on the Hot 100.
  4. Little Eva, “The Loco-Motion” Eva was babysitter to Carole King and Gerry Goffin, who wrote this song originally for Dee Dee Sharp, who turned it down. It reached #1 and earned a gold record for her.
  5. Shelley Fabares, “Johnny Angel” Shelley played Mary Stone, the daughter of Alex and Donna Stone on The Donna Reed Show from 1958 until 1963. This particular scene is from a later episode and is told in flashback. The song reached #1 and was certified gold in 1962.
  6. David Rose, “The Stripper” A song that was later used in shaving commercials for Noxzema, it was originally the flip side for Rose’s 1958 recording of “Ebb Tide.” When MGM, the record company, realized they had no B side for that record, they had an office boy go through Rose’s tapes, and he chose this because he liked it. It also reached #1 and was certified gold.
  7. Bobby Vinton, “Roses Are Red (My Love)” This was Bobby’s first hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 and Easy Listening chart and #5 on the R&B chart. He found it in a reject pile at Epic Records.
  8. Dee Dee Sharp, “Mashed Potato Time” Dee Dee had rejected “The Loco-Motion” in favor of this song, and it reached #1 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Pop chart, so she probably made the right choice. It was the basis for Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s hit “Monster Mash.”
  9. Ray Charles, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” This was the lead single from Ray’s album Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music, and was a huge hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 for five weeks on the Hot 100 as well as #1 on the R&B chart and on the British Singles chart. It was written and first recorded by country singer Don Gibson, who reached #7 on the country chart with it in 1958.
  10. Acker Bilk, “Stranger On The Shore” Written by Acker Bilk (real name Bernard Stanley Bilk) for his young daughter and originally named “Jenny” for her, it was the first #1 record for a British artist on the Hot 100.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 30, 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: State Songs

Had a heck of a time trying to come up with a theme. The randomizer thing didn’t work as well as it has (it recommended songs I’ve already done), so I had to think of something. Then, the first song of the following playlist came to me in the mail, and I had my theme. Here are some more-or-less official state songs. Most of these came off this list, the last one I added because I like it.

  1. Tommy Emmanuel featuring Bob Littel, “Georgia On My Mind” The official version of this, by Ray Charles, is the accepted version, but hey, Tommy Emmanuel…
  2. The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” This is the official rock & roll song of Ohio. That’s Rick Derringer on the guitar and vocal.
  3. Dolly Parton, “Rocky Top” Tennessee has ten official songs, by the way, but this is the one they play at University of Tennessee football games. It was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote a bunch of hits for The Everly Brothers. To coin a Southern expression, Dolly Parton hung the moon, as far as I’m concerned. I have a lot of admiration and love for her.
  4. John Denver, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” John Denver is tied with Stephen Foster for the number of official state songs written (2). The guy who named himself Denver wrote a beautiful tribute to West Virginia, which has been that state’s official anthem since 2014.
  5. “Hawai’i Pono’i” This is the official state song of Hawaii, a lovely tune that talks about defending it with spears.
  6. Jimmie Davis, “You Are My Sunshine” Jimmie Davis was governor of Louisiana from 1944 to 1948 and again from 1960 to 1964. Before then, he was a commercially successful recording artist. This has been Louisiana’s state song since 1977.
  7. Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, and cast, “Oklahoma!” From the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, of course. This is from the 1955 film adaptation that starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones.
  8. The Kingsmen, “Louie Louie” The unofficial rock & roll song of the state of Washington, even though The Kingsmen are from Oregon. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing obscene about the lyrics.
  9. Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys, “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” Monroe is generally credited as the father of bluegrass music, and a pretty good mandolin player to boot. He honored his home state with this song.
  10. Patti Page, “Stars Fell On Alabama” Not really an official song for the state, but “Stars Fell On” appeared on their license plates for a time in the ’90’s and early part of this century. Guess it was better than “Heart O’ Dixie.”

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 23, 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: Farm Aid

This week’s assignment is to deliver a playlist of songs by artists who have appeared at Farm Aid, which started in 1985 and has had a host of musical guests over the years. Here are just a few of them.

  1. B. B. King, “To Know You Is To Love You” B. B. was at the inaugural Farm Aid concert in 1985.
  2. Loretta Lynn, “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” (with Conway Twitty) Loretta was also at the 1985 concert.
  3. Steppenwolf, “Don’t Step On The Grass, Sam” Steppenwolf was at the 1987 concert. Considering that Willie Nelson is one of the organizers of Farm Aid, I thought this song was appropriate.
  4. Elton John, “I’m Still Standing” Elton was there in 1990, which is kind of a surprise. You don’t just put Elton and farmers together.
  5. Ringo Starr, “Back Off Boogaloo” Ringo is another surprise, but he was there in 1993.
  6. Dwight Yoakam, “Streets of Bakersfield” (with Buck Owens) Also at Farm Aid in 1993, Dwight keeps the Bakersfield Sound alive.
  7. John Fogerty, “The Old Man Down The Road” John was there in 1997, which is no surprise at all.
  8. Travis Tritt, “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” One of the roads near us in Cobb County, Georgia is Post Oak Tritt Road. When Mary first heard that, she wondered “what’s a Tritt?” Travis’s family owned a lot of land here, including where we currently live. He’s a graduate of nearby Sprayberry High School, also on what was his family’s land.
  9. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Boogie Woogie Country Man” Jerry played the concert in 2004.
  10. Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “St. James Infirmary” The Preservation Hall band played the concert in 2014.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 16, 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.