Fats Domino, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Sinatra, Fall Out Boy… Faithfully, Fat Bottom Girls, Flowers On The Wall, F***ing Perfect… French horn, forte, fugue, flute… fun and fantastic finds.
What is your favorite type of film? I had seen the big music productions from the fifties, but it was when a movie about a group of high school kids hit the big screen I really connected. The movie was Fame. I saw the movie several times, read the book and then they did a TV series that ran from January 7, 1982 to 1987 and I would tune in weekly.
I was not a dancer, a musician or an actor want to be, but I did love words and had dreams of writing song lyrics someday. And I had the biggest crush on Lee Curreri who played Bruno Martelli. He was actually the first person I wrote a fan letter to… and he actually sent back an autographed picture. At 16 years old I was over the moon!
The show did not focus solely on aspiring performers, but kids in high school and all that comes with that too. But they did have musical numbers and dancing every episode… I loved the show! And I will share a clip from one episode where Lee/Bruno sang a song I loved, “Be My Music.” Incidentally it was cowritten by Lee Curreri and Ethan Hurt.
England Dan and John Ford Coley, Eric Clapton, Exile and the Eagles… “Every Breath You Take,” “Every Time You Go Away,” “Elvira,” and “Everyday People” … earphones, encore, ensemble, eight-track… each one an exceptional choice.
Where were you on August 16th in 1977? I realized some of you younger readers were not even a twinkle in your parent’s eyes yet. But it is one of a handful of days I will never forget. My friend from across the street was over and we were listening to the radio and heard a news break. Elvis Presley was dead at the age of 42.
My friend and I flew downstairs to see if it was true. My mom was a fan and had the news on TV about it. My friend took off back home as her mom was a big fan and she knew it would be rough news for her. I sat with my mom for quite a while with the news trying to figure out what was going on.
The most tragic thing about his death, was the fact someone could have stopped it if only they had forced the issue. He was given so much more in prescriptions than he should have been. He had a room full of yes people to give him anything he wanted and sadly no one thought this was bad. It was an enormous loss for the music industry.
Deep Purple, David Bowie, Dr Hook, Don Henley… Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Diamonds, Dixie Chicken, Do You Believe In Love… drums, demo, downbeat, disco…. Decisions, decisions, what to do?
In my youth, there was a little radio show that I would listen to on my local radio station. If I remember correctly it was on Sunday nights. And it introduced me to some doozies- Ti Kwan Leep, Fish Heads, Polka Dot Undies, Shaving Cream, just to name a few. Of course, I am talking about the Dr Demento Show. It was a radio show that introduced parodies and novelty songs to the audience.
It was the first place I heard of Weird Al and was a big boost for his career. The host, the doctor himself, had done a novelty hit called Shaving Cream, but the song was originally done by Benny Bell in 1946. The doctor would have special guest in the studio and always had a countdown of the funny five.
Sadly. shortly after I graduated they stopped airing the show in this area. But I had a few Dr Demento CDs I still listen to. It just isn’t Christmas without “I’m Getting Nuttin’ For Christmas” and “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.”
Chicago, Cream, Credence Clearwater Revival, Cher… Crying, Come On In, Calling All Angels, Carry On Wayward Son… Cello, crescendo, concert… what can I choose?
One of my first favorite songs impacted my love of smooth harmonies. I recall my mom being a fan of Mama Cass Elliot and we watched her on Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas that I vaguely remember (could have been a rerun too). I just remember Mom pointing her out and then hearing California Dreaming not long afterwards. The sound was great!
I have since listened to many of the Mamas and Papas songs but still go back to “California Dreaming” as my favorite. They had some of the best harmonies I have heard, and it was so smooth… and who doesn’t want to think about someplace warm on a winter’s day?
Beach Boys, Boston, Bee Gees, Blondie… Bad to the Bone, Big Time, Brass in Pocket, Bohemian Rhapsody… bass, baritone, bagpipes… so many choices.
In most articles about an artist, they will be asked who inspired them. I am not sure if inspired is the right word, but there is a group that shaped a lot of rock and roll that I happen to like. I bet you have heard of the group of four men… George, Paul, John and Ringo, better known as the Beatles. I can’t say I ever saw them in concert. I did get to see Paul in an area stadium, and he was the size of an ant – thank God for those big screens.
I recall a school project me and a friend did for a Media class where it was a voice over a song… we chose “Yesterday” and I think it was for a photo developing company we were promoting. I just remember playing the song over and over and over again trying to get the right speech with it. Either one of us would break out into the song and sing along, laugh and then have to start it again.
I also have a favorite episode of Quantum Leap… when Sam leaps “home” and sings “Imagine” to his little sister, just him and a guitar. I own the movie Across the Universe. I had a little trouble getting used to the changes in the way they did the songs but love the movie. I also recently got the film Yesterday which is an interesting twist to an up-and-coming star.
The music is good and not all one style, they grew and changed as a group. There is something on every album you can find to like. And they all went on to do good things in their solo careers. Now if we could just have seen what more John and George could have done had they not died so early… and a reunion, wouldn’t that have been amazing!
The month of April is upon us and it brings with it the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Now I have been a little behind on my blog, so I did not officially enter the challenge, but I am still going to give it a go. My very general topic will be music… whether it is artist, song, album, video or concert it will have to do with music. So, without further ado let’s find something for A.
We start at the beginning with letter A. Aerosmith, AC/DC, America, Alabama… American Woman, All Night Long, At the Hop… accordian, amplifiers, air guitar… where should I begin? Let’s go back a few years.
I remember a particular summer at my grandparent’s house in Omaha and for some reason the stereo was on. I can vividly see my Grandpa coming into the living room and then calling for his wife to come into the room. He began to dance with here right in the middle of the room. Grandpa told me after the dance and song were over that it was his favorite songs, Alley Cat. That is such a fun memory for me of an unexpected moment from my Grandpa. From that day on I always remembered he liked that song.
When we were planning the music for my Dad’s memorial service, he had a couple of favorite CDs that were honky-tonk piano and ragtime music. We left a few favorite and the funeral home picked the rest. Alley Cat ended up being one of those songs. It made me smile on an otherwise sad day.
I like where I live. I’m in the Midwest where we have all four seasons. I am in a city that is big enough to have plenty of activities to do, but small enough to drive across town in less than 20 minutes. The neighborhood where I live has a lot of families and young couples. There is a grocery store less than a mile away. A gas station about five blocks away. And only 3 blocks from the clinic I go to. All of these things leave me grateful for the zones where I live.
From Animal Crossing to zones I have shared a bit of me with this A to Z Challenge of gratitude. Tomorrow begins a new month, new things to be written. I hope you will stay with me to see what comes next. THANKS for reading!
April is drawing to a close. May starts on Friday and I look forward to a new goal. I have such messed up sleep patterns with my fibro, that I am not setting the bar really high. I want to start a workout a week until the 15th then two workouts a week and I will try to keep that up for a while before I consider three. Almost 2 years ago I got a morning yoga DVD that I did maybe twice before I opted for the pool. Now with some of the covid19 shutdowns there is no pool time, so I NEED to get back into some sort of exercise. Yoga done gently doesn’t usually produce a lot of pain the next day for the fibro. I just will take it easy. I am going to need time to get the movements right anyway. I absolutely loved the yoga/pilates class I took years ago before my health decline. I know I can’t do that intense of a workout but this gentle yoga I think I can do… slowly. I will bid April goodbye tomorrow and be grateful for a yoga workout plan starting Friday.
This is where the honesty comes out. This is when you find out what kind of a person I really am. I admit it. I have a guilty pleasure most people roll their eyes at. The year was 1980 and I was in junior high school. A friend from across the street and I were over the moon for the movie Grease… the only movie (well, besides Rocky Horror Picture Show) that I have paid to see multiple times in a theater. So, for two years we had been memorizing the soundtrack and recreating scenes from the movie when it hit. Olivia Newton-John had a new movie.
Yes, with Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelley how could Xanadu go wrong. Well, it kind of did. It got bad reviews and was out of the theaters fairly quickly, but… I liked it. I loved the music – ONJ, ELO and Cliff Richards. I still need (Ok, want) the DVD but, every once in a while, it shows up on TV and I step back into my youth.
I loved watching Gene Kelley dancing; he just glides and makes it look so easy. The roller skating was not the best part of the movie, but at the time roller skating was big so I put up with that to get to the music.
It is not a great movie, but it is my guilty pleasure. I own the soundtrack for Xanadu and for that I am grateful!
(Here is a video of a mash up of music styles from the visions the characters have of the bar they are creating)
There is a small little town here in Iowa that had a water ban placed on it last year, nearly 14 months ago. They still are without drinkable water and have no clear date when they will have the problem resolved. Flint, Michigan has had bad water for years. I never take my faucets for granted. I have clean fresh water to drink with just a slight twist of the handles. There are places all over the world where clean water is far too scarce. Places where it takes days to get water. Places where they use the water anyway because there is no alternative. I am very grateful to have clean fresh water at my disposal and hopefully always will.