Category Archives: Music

Three Thoughts About Music

I was a pretty big star when I was 12 or 13 years old but I never like to talk about it.

Lead singer to a pretty popular group.

The reason I keep it to myself is because no one knew about it but me. You see, I’ve always loved all kinds of music. Well, almost all kinds. Gangsta rap never really appealed to me. Too violent.
Anyway, I used to visit record stores several times a week and had a pretty good collection of 45’s. Used to play them all the time. Even today, fifty years later, I can sing those songs word for word even though I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday.

When I put those records on and stood in front of my bedroom mirror with a brush in my hand I was THE MAN. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t/can’t carry a tune or sing a lick. What was happening in my mind and imagination was much bigger. 

You should have been there. I was a sight to see.

Second thought..

I always though DJ”s had a pretty cool job when I was younger. I realize now it was a tough life but back then they were the voices that connected me to music and I hung on their words. So naturally, guess who wanted to be a DJ? When I was 17 or 18 I bugged my father enough times about it that he took me to this local broadcasting school that was giving free auditions to see if you had talent. I didn’t know it at the time but it was just a ploy to get you to into the building and register for their courses. My father understood but he never let on and indulged my dream.
I got to sit in a sound booth and read from scripted sheets introducing products and making small talk. The coolest part was actually introducing a song called Games People Play by Joe South. If I remember right it won a Grammy for Song of the Year back in 68 or 69. After it was over, they let me listen to my “audition.” They told me I had potential but they were just feeding the itch. Besides, there was still high school to finish. Still, it was an experience I never forgot.

Games People Play is a protest song. I know…shocking for the 60’s. But its words still resonate today. Hatred, hypocrisy, discrimination. It’s all there. Almost fifty years later and it’s still with us.

 

Finally…

I was listening to a station on Sirius radio and the DJ was talking to someone who called in and said he was from South Detroit. So the DJ naturally mentioned the song Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. When the caller said he never heard the song or knew of the group, the Dj was floored. He kept asking him over and over again if he was mistaken and even played a clip of the song which mentions South Detroit to see if he would recognize it, but he didn’t. I don’t know who was more surprised, the DJ or me. I thought everyone knew that song.
I was standing on a line at Epcot several years ago and the song came on. One person started singing the lyrics out loud and within seconds everyone on line was singing. Pretty cool moment.
It was also my youngest daughter’s first dance song at her wedding. It’s a classic and this guy never heard of it or the group, Journey.

So as a public service to anyone out there who hasn’t heard the song and Steve Perry’s incredible rock voice, here’s one of my all time favorite songs. Enjoy!

Meet The Beatles

“We were driving through Colorado, we had the radio on and eight of the top ten songs were Beatles songs.,, I Want To Hold Your Hand, all the early ones. They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. I knew they were pointing in the direction of where music had to go.”
Bob Dylan

For most people, there is no middle ground with these four guys. Either you like their music or you don’t. Not many people are indifferent. Regardless of what you feel about them or their music, it’s impossible to ignore the impact they had on the music industry, and in many ways, the world.

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February 7, 2017 will  mark the 53rd anniversary of their first visit to America, where they broke all kinds of television records when they appeared on Ed Sullivan. But before we get to that appearance, here are some facts about them that many people outside the music industry probably don’t know.

They were the first band to have a record sell a million copies before it’s release. (Can’t Buy Me Love, 1964)

They were the first band to play in a stadium.

The first group to have its drummer sit higher than the band.

The first rock band to designate one of its members as lead guitarist. (George, 1962)

The first band to combine rock with classical music. (Yesterday, 1965)

The first band to create a song that faded out and then in again. (Strawberry Fields Forever, 1967)

The first band to create an album of all original songs. (A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)

The first band to create an album of more than ten songs. (Please Please Me, 1962)

The first band to print the song lyrics inside the album. (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)

The first rock group to use a harmonica in a song. (Love Me Do, 1962)

The first rock group to use a sitar. (Norwegian Wood, 1965)

The first popular band to use electric keyboards and synthesizers in some of its songs.

The first recording artists to use sound effects in their songs.

The first band to combine an early form of reggae called ska with rock and roll. (I Saw her Standing There, 1962)

The first band to create an album in which one song runs into another.

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When they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show soon after their arrival, this country was in a state of hysteria. Incredibly, seventy-three million people watched television that evening, which was the largest TV audience for an entertainment program, ever. The show was watched in more than twenty-three million homes. Remember, this was 1964.
While the program was being aired, much of the nation came to a standstill. It was near impossible to get a bus or taxi anywhere. Even more interesting was that between 8:00-9:00 pm that Sunday night, crime rates in many American cities fell to an all time low.

In 1965 when the Beatles once again toured America, they appeared at Shea Stadium in New York. Until then, the largest crowd to attend a rock concert had been twenty thousand people. More than fifty-five thousand showed up at Shea that night.

It was a different time, one that, for many reasons, may never be repeated. But on February, 1964, these four boys arrived.

imagesWhat happened next, was history.

Perhaps Love

Thirty-five years ago John Denver wrote a song dedicated to his wife Annie. They were separated at the time and headed for divorce.
As he prepared to record the song, someone decided it would be a good idea to pair a country singer with a Spanish tenor. So John Denver and Placido Domingo got together in a studio and recorded what I believe is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.
Though it only had modest commercial success, rising to 59 on the billboard 100 and 22 on the on adult chart, it has sold over four million copies.

On this Sunday morning, following another difficult week in our world, I think we can all find time for a moment of love. What better way than through music.

Smile

With all that’s happened this past week, especially in Orlando, I have been singing this song to myself even though I haven’t heard it in years.

So with a little help from our friends in this video, let’s just try.

God Bless everyone who has lost someone.

 

Springsteen Sunday (Vol.15, Out In The Street)

Song: Out In The Street
Album: The River

Welcome back to the pulpit of Springsteen.

This week is purely fun and one of those songs that I look forward to at his concerts, mainly because the entire crowd sings and the party mood kicks into high gear. images-2

The fact that this song is off The River album which has a range of emotions and carries the listener to all sort of places makes it all the more fun.

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The lyrics are simple by Springsteen standards but like other other songs, he seems to celebrate the second half of people’s lives; those hours that happen after work, when we have the freedom to enjoy our lives in different ways.

Put on your best dress baby
And darlin’, fix your hair up right
Cause there’s a party, honey
Way down beneath the neon lights
All day you’ve been working that hard line
Now tonight you’re gonna have a good time

I work five days a week girl
Loading crates down on the dock
I take my hard earned money
And meet my girl down on the block
And Monday when the foreman calls time
I’ve already got Friday on my mind

When that whistle blows
Girl, I’m down the street
I’m home, I’m out of my work clothes
When I’m out in the street
I walk the way I wanna walk
When I’m out in the street
I talk the way I wanna talk
When I’m out in the street
When I’m out in the street

When I’m out in the street, girl
Well, I never feel alone
When I’m out in the street, girl
In the crowd I feel at home
The black and whites they cruise by
And they watch us from the corner of their eye

But there ain’t no doubt, girl, down here
We ain’t gonna take what they’re handing out
When I’m out in the street
I walk the way I wanna walk
When I’m out in the street
I talk the way I wanna talk
Baby, out in the street I don’t feel sad or blue
Baby, out in the street I’ll be waiting for you

When the whistle blows
Girl, I’m down the street
I’m home, I’m out of my work clothes
When I’m out in the street
I walk the way I wanna walk
When I’m out in the street
I talk the way I wanna talk

When I’m out in the street
Pretty girls, they’re all passing by
When I’m out in the street
From the corner, we give them the eye

Baby, out in the street I just feel all right
Meet me out in the street, little girl, tonight
Meet me out in the street
Meet me out in the street

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This clip is from a New York City concert, which is about as close to playing in his home state as you can get and that’s reflected in the enthusiasm of the crowd. So enjoy one of my favorite concert numbers.

See you down the road.