The Thanksgiving Ten: Songs About Food


What else would I write about on Thanksgiving? Just so you know upfront, my usual stringent requirements for choosing songs for these lists go out the window today. It’s a holiday! Anyway, here we go…

  1. R. C. Cola and a Moon Pie – NRBQ: The New Rhythm & Blues Quartet has been around for years, flying under the radar of most of the music press. The closest they came to a hit was “Get That Gasoline Blues,” which reached #70 on the Hot 100 in 1974. Still, they have plenty of fans, making them something of a cult favorite.
  2. Fried Pies – Wes Montgomery: I had to include this one from the legendary jazz guitarist.
  3. Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs – Kelsey Grammer: A short segment of this was used as the musc over the credits for Frasier, but here we stretch it out to almost four-and-a-half minutes, throw in some Manhattan Transfer-type harmonies, and let the guys in the band air it out.
  4. That’s Amore – Dean Martin: A love song that compares love to pizza, wine, and pasta e fagioli (pronounced like “pasta fazool” like they do in old Napoli).
  5. Road Food – The Guess Who: The title track from their 1974 album, which I thought was better than the critics did.
  6. Cheeseburger In Paradise – Jimmy Buffett: No collection of songs about food is complete without this one.
  7. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) – Hank Williams: I decided on this version instead of the one by the Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty playing multiple instruments). A song about bringing his best girl Yvonne home to meet the family in Cajun country, and you just know there’s gonna be food.
  8. Eggs and Sausage – Tom Waits: I believe this is from Tom’s appearance on WTTW’s Soundstage, which as I recall was taped at The Quiet Knight, a nightclub in Chicago that he played at frequently. There was a diner next door to the club (the name escapes me; I ate there once, a less-than-memorable occasion) where I think this was filmed.
  9. Hi-De-Ho – Blood, Sweat & Tears: A song by Goffin and King that talks about “that old sweet roll.” It’s off their third album (called, oddly enough, Blood, Sweat & Tears 3), one of the only listenable tracks on it.
  10. Green Onions – Booker T. & the M. G.’s: A great rock instrumental by a band known for their instrumental ability.

Most of these selections came off the top of my head, but the rest can be found on this extensive list of songs about food.

That’s your Thursday Ten for November 26, 2015. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


Top Ten from the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest


One of the things I heard more than once when I did last Friday’s playlist (featuring the top five songs from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest) was that ABBA rose to international fame by winning the contest with their 1974 hit “Waterloo.” I thought it might be fun to revisit the 1974 contest, held in Brighton, England on April 6, 1974, and see who the top ten winners were that year.

Source: Wikipedia, uploaded by AxG, under fair use

The BBC agreed to host the contest in 1974 because Luxembourg, who had won the contest the two previous years, didn’t have the money to host the contest a second year. Seventeen nations participated in the contest, including Greece for the first time (their entry, “Krasi, thálassa, ke t’ agóri mou” (“Wine, Sea, and My Boyfriend”) by Marinella, finished eleventh, just out of the money). France withdrew from the contest, as French President Georges Pompidou had just died and the contest was held the same day as his funeral.

The musical conductor for the broadcast was Ronnie Hazlehurst, who composed the theme songs for many BBC sitcoms (including Are You Being Served? and The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin). Sandie Shaw, a recent contestant in one of my Battles of the Bands, who had won in 1967 with “Puppet on a String,” was in the audience for the contest, as was Dani, who was to have sung the French entry (“La vie à vingt-cinq ans”) before France’s withdrawal.

Anyway, on to the tunes…

Place Song Performer Country Language
9 (tie) Fleur de Liberté
(Flower of Liberty)
Jacques Hustin Belgium French
9 (tie) Canta y sé Feliz
(Sing and Be Happy)
Peret Spain Spanish
7 (tie) Cross Your Heart Tina Reynolds Ireland English
7 (tie) Natali La Khayay
(I Gave Her My Heart)
Kaveret as “Poogy” Israel Hebrew
4 (tie) Celui qui Reste et Celui qui S’en Va
(The One Who Stays and The One Who Goes)
Romuald Monaco French
4 (tie) Bye Bye, I Love You Ireen Sheer Luxembourg French
4 (tie) Long Live Love Olivia Newton-John UK English
3 I See A Star Mouth and MacNeal Netherlands English
2 Si
Gigliola Cinquetti Italy Italian
1 Waterloo ABBA Sweden English

A couple more points of interest:

  • Olivia Newton-John apparently wasn’t all that fond of “Long Live Love” and wanted to do something else, but it was chosen by a public postal vote, so she was kind of stuck with it. She might have done better with a song she liked better. Just sayin’.
  • Mouth and MacNeal’s first hit, “How Do You Do?”, reached #8 on the Hot 100 and was a #1 hit throughout much of Europe in 1972. I knew I had heard of them before…

So there’s your Thursday Ten for November 19, 2015.

TV Themes, Part 5 (5.5?) – Themes by Mike Post


You might remember that, a couple of weeks ago, I posted a Friday Five of TV theme songs, and since there weren’t ten of them I decided that, rather than say it was Part 5, I decided it would be Part 4.5. So here I come with another list of ten themes… what do I call it? Part 5, or Part 5.5? Anyway…

I started putting today’s list together, and realized I had chosen a lot of theme songs by Mike Post. Sometimes he collaborated with someone, usually Pete Carpenter, but most of them he wrote on his own. So, this list is all about theme songs by him. I thought you might be interested in the people who developed the series (because often he worked with the same people) and when the series aired, so I included a table with all that information.

# Show Developed By Sns. Series Begin Series End
1 The Rockford Files 1 Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

6 1974 1980
2 Magnum, P. I. 1 Donald P. Bellisario

Glen A. Larson

8 1980 1988
3 The A-Team 1 Stephen J. Cannell

Frank Lupo

5 1983 1987
4 The Greatest American Hero 2 Stephen J. Cannell 3 1981
5 Quantum Leap Donald P. Bellisario 5 1989 1993
6 Law & Order Dick Wolf 20 1990 2010
7 L. A. Law Steven Bochco

Terry Louise Fisher

8 1986 1994
8 Doogie Howser, M. D. Steven Bochco

David E. Kelley

4 1989 1993
9 Wiseguy Steven Bochco

Frank Lupo

4 1987 1990
10 Hunter 1 Frank Lupo 7 1984 1991

1: written with Pete Carpenter
2: written with Stephen Geyer

Post wrote many more theme songs; his IMDb page has all the details.

That’s your Thursday Ten for November 12, 2015.

Ten “Georgia” Songs


I hadn’t intended on doing a Thursday Ten, because I had done a post already for today. But I started out doing a Friday Five of songs with “Georgia” in the title, and I ended up with ten, so I figured, what the hell…

Sunday completed our 28th year here in Georgia, and to commemorate the occasion, here are ten songs with “Georgia” in the title. I was lucky that Georgia is a woman’s name as well as a state (and a country, now that I think of it); I didn’t differentiate from between the three of them. Too bad I couldn’t find a song about the country, but anyway…

So, here’s list of ten songs with “Georgia” in the title.

  1. Georgia on my Mind – Ray Charles: We naturally start with this one. It was written by Hoagy Carmichael and done countless times, but this version by Albany, Georgia’s Ray Charles is probably the best-known. Georgia Public Broadcasting used to play this at sign-off back in the days they actually signed off. Ray recorded this in 1960 and it hit #1 on the Hot 100 in November of that year. He played the song for the Georgia State Assembly in March of 1979, and a month later it was named the official state song.
  2. The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia – Vicki Lawrence: In addition to playing hundreds of characters on The Carol Burnett Show (reruns of which air on MeTV at 11 PM Eastern weeknights) and playing Mama on Mama’s Family (a character she invented for the Burnett show), Vicki was a one-hit wonder in 1973 with this one, which climbed to #1 in both the US and Canada that year.
  3. Rainy Night in Georgia – Brook Benton: One of those songs that I loved the first time I heard it when it came out in 1970 and still can’t get enough of. This reached #4 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Cash Box survey, #1 on the R&B chart, and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart that year.
  4. The Devil Went Down To Georgia – Charlie Daniels Band: A classic “deal with the devil” song that Charlie and the band released as a single in 1979. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Country surveys in both the US and Canada. Love that fiddle!
  5. Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight and the Pips: Their most successful single, it reached #1 on the Hot 100 for two weeks in October, 1973, and #1 on the Soul chart for four weeks the same month. It was their second single on Buddah Records and won the 1974 Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus.
  6. Georgia Peach – Acoustic Alchemy: Acoustic Alchemy’s international fan club was based in Atlanta for a while; unusual when you consider they’re a British act. But no matter. This appeared on their fifth album, Back on the Case.
  7. Sweet Georgia Brown – Django Reinhardt: Written in 1925 by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey, it’s become a jazz standard. Most people know Brother Bones’s version as the theme song for the Harlem Globetrotters.
  8. Back to Georgia – Loggins and Messina: From their first album, Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin’ In. It was originally to be a solo album by Loggins produced by Messina, but he ended up playing on the entire album, and the rest is history.
  9. Georgia – Boz Scaggs: From his 1976 “lite rawk” classic Silk Degrees, one of the few songs that wasn’t released as a single, but still got plenty of airplay.
  10. Walkin’ Back to Georgia – Jim Croce: From his 1972 album You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, the only Jim Croce album I actually owned, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember this song. The album is probably in a box in the garage.

So there’s your Thursday Ten for November 5, 2015.

Ten “Chicago” Songs


This time I’m not talking about the band, but the city itself.

chicago flag

It’s where I grew up, and I have fond memories of the place it was until Mary and I packed up our things and the cats and moved south. It’s changed a lot, in some ways for the better, in other ways… no so much. But, anyway, here are ten songs about my hometown, gathered into a playlist for your convenience.

  1. Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town) – Quintette du Hot Club de France: Winner of a recent Battle of the Bands here.
  2. Sidewalks of Chicago – Merle Haggard: Had never heard this song before today, but I gave it a listen, and decided it would be wrong not to include it.
  3. Chicago Style – Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby: Another new-to-me song, but hey… Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, and some great Chicago-style jazz (some would say Dixieland) backing them up.
  4. My Kind of Town (Chicago Is) – Frank Sinatra: The definitive version of this classic, from the movie Robin and the Seven Hoods.
  5. The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace: The first time I heard this, I was practically yelling at the radio, “The east side of Chicago is Lake Michigan!” There is an east side of the city, as it turns out, the section by the Indiana border, but something tells me that wasn’t what they were thinking when they wrote the song.
  6. Take Me Back To Chicago – Chicago: Chicago XI, from whence this comes, was released not long before Terry Kath killed himself, and the whole album is kind of a downer, as if they already knew what was about to happen.
  7. Born in Chicago – The Butterfield Blues Band: From their first album fifty years ago. Written by Nick Gravenites, later the singer with The Electric Flag, which included Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Miles.
  8. Chicago (We Can Change The World) – Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young: A protest song written in memory of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and all the riots.
  9. Jesus Just Left Chicago – ZZ Top: Some slow Chicago-style blues from three guys from Texas.
  10. Sweet Home Chicago – Buddy Guy and friends: Buddy is joined by Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, and Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player for many years. Everybody gets a solo!

There are plenty more songs about Chicago, as you can see from this list. Hopefully I’ve added your favorites, but again, this is a playlist; if you don’t see your faves, leave me a comment and I’ll add them.

That’s your Thursday Ten for October 29, 2015.