Monday’s Music Moves Me: Johnny Mathis!

Source: Discogs

Marie is this month’s guest conductor, even though I’m pretty sure she still runs the whole railroad. Her assignment for today was "your favorite Johnny Mathis songs!"

Well, that’s kind of tough when the only two Johnny Mathis songs you know, "Chances Are" and "Misty," are the two that everybody knows. So, I turned to the one source that I knew could give me a bunch of Johnny Mathis songs and could help me pick ten at random: Spotify. They have a playlist called This Is Johnny Mathis, and I shuffled and played it, and picked the first ten songs I heard. There are a couple of good ones here, a couple of collaborations, you name it, this is what I got.

Here are the songs:

  1. "I’ll Be Easy To Find"
  2. "The Windmills Of Your Mind" (we heard Dusty Springfield do this last week)
  3. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (a duet with Ray Charles)
  4. "What’ll I Do"
  5. "Love Me Tender"
  6. "Stranger In Paradise"
  7. "All The Time"
  8. "Maria"
  9. "Wild Is The Wind"
  10. "True Love" (with Henry Mancini)

Funny thing: it turns out that I knew many of these, just not his versions.

Anyway, that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for March 1, 2021.

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: My Spotify “Time Capsule”

Image by Nina Garman from Pixabay

Spotify is a good music streaming service: they have almost everything I’m looking for, they allow me to follow artists and music that I like, they suggest artists to me, and they create some pretty good playlists for me. One of those playlists is called "Time Capsule," which they claim will "take [me] back in time." It’s not a really long playlist, but it’s a good one. Anyway, I took the last ten items from the list and built a playlist for you. It’s uncanny just how well they know me…

  1. Al Green, "I’m Still In Love With You": Title track from Reverend Al’s 1972 album, it topped the R&B chart for two weeks and reached #3 on the Hot 100 that year.
  2. Elton John & Kiki Dee, "Don’t Go Breaking My Heart": A 1976 song by Elton and Bernie Taupin, writing as "Ann Orson" and "Carte Blanche." He originally was going to do this with Dusty Springfield, who was ill, so Kiki Dee filled in and did an admirable job. It reached #1 in the US, Canada and the UK.
  3. Chicago, "If You Leave Me Now": From Chicago X, a song written and sung by Peter Cetera. He wrote it at the same time he wrote "Wishing You Were Here" for Chicago VII and held onto it. This was a #1 song in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Australia.
  4. REO Speedwagon, "Roll With The Changes": From REO’s 1978 album You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish, It’s one of their better-known songs, but only reached #58 in the US and #65 in Canada.
  5. Wet Willie, "Keep On Smilin’": A while back, I remembered that I had seen Jimmy Hall in concert with another band, and wrote to ask what the other band was. He wrote back and was just the nicest guy… anyway, this is the title track from Wet Willie’s 1974 album, and also their most successful single, reaching #10 on the Hot 100.
  6. David Bowie, "Young Americans": Title track from his 1975 album, the first after Bowie dropped the Ziggy Stardust glam-rock style. It reached #28 on the Hot 100, #33 in Canada, and #18 in the UK.
  7. The Dramatics, "In The Rain": From The Dramatics’ 1972 album Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get. The song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
  8. Boz Scaggs, "We’re All Alone": Boz wrote this and released it on his 1976 album Silk Degrees. It became a hit for Frankie Valli and a megahit for Rita Coolidge in 1977.
  9. America, "Tin Man": A 1974 song by Dewey Bunnell for their album Holiday. It reached #4 on the Hot 100, #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart, #7 in Canada, and #5 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.
  10. Hot Chocolate, "You Sexy Thing": Written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, who also wrote "Brother Louie" that was covered by Stories in 1973. It reached #2 in the UK in 1975 and #3 on the Hot 100 a year later in the US.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 22, 2021.

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: Leader Songs

I swear, this is what Pixabay gave me for “leader.” Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

I don’t know why, this prompt gave me trouble. So I did the best I could, with some odd choices (though they made perfectly good sense to me). Here are the ten songs I ccame up with.

  1. Jimmy Reed, "Big Boss Man": A song by Luther Dixon and Al Smith that was recorded by Jimmy in 1961. Backing Jimmy are Mamma Reed (Jimmy’s wife) on vocals, Lee Baker and Lefty Bates on guitars, Willie Dixon on bass, and Earl Phillips on drums. It reached #13 on the R&B chart and #78 on the Hot 100.
  2. Ernie K-Doe, "Mother-In-Law": I’m lucky in that my mother-in-law wasn’t bossy, but there are some who are. The latter kind get songs written about them. Also from 1961, written by Allen Toussaint, who also played piano. Ernie had a #1 on both the Hot 100 ane the R&B chart with it.
  3. The Coasters, "Yakety Yak": From 1958, a song by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller about parents, who can really be bossy (no offense). It reached #1 and stayed there for 7 weeks on the R&B chart and spent a week at #1 on the Hot 100.
  4. B. B. King, "Paying The Cost To Be The Boss": A song written by B. B. and released as a single in 1968. It reached #10 on the R&B chart and #39 on the Hot 100.
  5. Luke Kelly & The Dubliners, "Kelly The Boy From Killanne": A heroic song about John Kelly of Killanne who commanded the rebels from County Wexford during the Irish Uprising of 1798 and who was hanged as a result.
  6. Tannahill Weavers, "The Atholl Highlanders/Johnny Cope": John Cope was the commander of British forces at Prestonpans against the Scottish rebels during the Jacobite uprising in 1745. In the face of the Scots, the British troops turned tail and ran, and were easily defeated. Cope faced a court martial and was exonerated, the blame placed on the troops. The song remains to tell what a lousy leader he was.
  7. "Who’s The Boss? Theme Song": Theme song from the 1984-92 sitcom that starred Judith Light, Tony Danza et al.
  8. Chicago, "Harry Truman": From 1975’s Chicago VIII, not one of Chicago’s better albums, this tribute to President Harry Truman, who would probably go medieval on everyone in government if he were to come back…
  9. Dion, "Abraham, Martin & John": Dion’s 1968 tribute to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. The song reached #4 in the US and #1 in Canada, if that tells you anything…
  10. James Brown, "Funky President (People It’s Bad)": Recorded toward the end of the Watergate debacle, James calls on Gerald Ford to be the "funky president" we needed at the time.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 15. 2021.

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: Kent Nishimura

Kent Nishimura. Source: https://www.kentnishimura.online/

I think I was listening to some Maneli Jamal when YouTube suggested I listen to somemusic by a young Japanese man named Kent Nishimura. He was really amazing, and when I read his story on his website and discovered the kid will only turn 18 in March, I figured it might be a good idea to feature him on an upcoming Monday, which happens to be today.

His biography says that he started playing the guitar when he was five. After about a year, he heard the music of Kotaro Oshio, another Japanese fingerstyle player, and decided right then that he wanted to emulate Oshio. In the short period of time since he made that declaration, he’s managed to record three albums and a couple of singles.

You’ll notice that the nails on his right hand are filed to a point, which gives him better control and tone when he plays. I haven’t figured out whether they’re false nails or his own, but I guess that’s not important. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify. Without further ado, here’s Kent Nishimura.

Here are the songs Kent covers, along with who did them originally.

  1. Toto, "Africa"
  2. Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr., "Just The Two Of Us"
  3. Norah Jones, "Don’t Know Why"
  4. Tears For Fears, "Everybody Wants To Rule The World"
  5. Foreigner, "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
  6. Michael Jackson, "Rock With You"
  7. George Michael, "Careless Whisper"
  8. Earl Klugh, "Living Inside Your Love"
  9. Anita Baker, "Sweet Love"
  10. "Fly Me To The Moon"

I am really impressed with the way he plays, and I hope you’ve enjoyed him enough to go listen to more. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 8, 2021.

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: Sweets For The Sweet

Yes, I used it yesterday. No, I’m not sorry.

Robin, this month’s guest conductor, said today is "National Baked Alaska Day. It is also Candy-making Day, Candy Decorating Day and Dark Chocolate Day. So let’s have songs about ‘sweet’ things." You got it, Robin! Here are ten such songs.

  1. The Cryan’ Shames, "Sugar And Spice": One of the great garage bands from 1960’s Chicago. This is a cover of The Searchers’ 1963 song (more from them in a minute); it went to #49 nationally for The Shames, but went to #4 on WLS in Chicago.
  2. The Drifters, "Sweets For My Sweet": A song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, The Drifters took this to #16 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the R&B chart in 1961. The aforementioned Searchers took it to #1 for two weeks in the UK in 1963, but the song didn’t chart in the US.
  3. Muddy Waters, "Sugar Sweet": This was the B side of Muddy’s 1955 single "Trouble No More."
  4. Willie Dixon, "Spoonful": A song by Willie that’s been covered by countless others, including Howlin’ Wolf, Paul Butterfield, and Cream. Have to listen for the line "Could be a spoonful of sugar" in the third verse.
  5. Carole King, "Sweet Sweetheart": From Carole’s 1971 album Writer, which didn’t start selling until Tapestry came out. This has been covered by Bobby Vee, Carla Thomas, Charlie Starr, and The Brady Bunch (!), among others.
  6. Tommy James & The Shondells, "Sweet Cherry Wine": From their 1979 album Cellophane Symphony, it reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada.
  7. Strawberry Alarm Clock, "Incense & Peppermints": Hey, peppermints are sweet, aren’t they? Their only hit, it reached #1 in the US and Canada.
  8. Al Hirt, "Cotton Candy"/"Sugar Lips"/"Java": "Cotton Candy" and "Sugar Lips" were title tracks from two albums recorded in 1964, and "Java" was from his 1963 album Honey In The Horn. So they all kind of fit.
  9. The Strangeloves, "I Want Candy": The Strangeloves were channeling their inner Bo Diddley with this one. From 1965, it reached #11 on the Hot 100.
  10. 10,000 Maniacs, "Candy Everybody Wants": Dan used this yesterday, and I found it in ime to add it to the list. Thanks, Dan! From their 1992 album Our Time In Eden, it only reached #67 on the Hot 100, but #5 on the alternative Airplay survey.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 1, 2021.

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.