One of the Boys

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Otis Redding, Olivia Newton John, O Jays, Ozzy Osborne… Only Women Bleed, Off the Wall, Ode to Billie Joe, One of These Nights… Organ, overture, octave, oboe… only the obvious ones.

I must apologize, I will probably babble on too much.  This is something I have a deep connection with as it is something I have done for about 40 years.  Granted I have gotten older, they have gotten older but there is still a rush when I get the chance to attend an Oak Ridge Boys concert.  Overall if my count is correct, I have been to thirteen concerts, two baseball games they played in, an Open House for their fan club members, and a few encounters at the bar after a show.

I can’t help but get a little teary-eyed thinking about them now as 3 of the band members (not the four singers) who have been a part of most of those live shows are now gone from this earth.  But I have some good memories.

One of the most memorable times was when we had front row seats at the state fair and I flirted big time with the guitarist Steve… at the end of the show he handed me his towel from off the stage (you know, the one he wiped his sweat on… *sigh*).

That particular band member also sang.  There was a shake-up in the organization that put Steve into the spotlight, and he recorded at least 3 or 4 albums at one of the four singers.  One of these songs became the first song my ex-husband and I danced to after our wedding, “One Love, One You.”

As a teenager I was so taken by this group of people… I had one of my senior pictures with an Oak Ridge Boys coffee mug.  Like I said they were a part of my wedding reception and I have requested an ORB hymn at my memorial service when I am gone.  They are great entertainers and wonderful people with their fans.  Hope you enjoy this song as much as I still do…


Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) Need the Night

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Norah Jones, Nat King Cole, Night Ranger… Nashville Cats, New Kid in Town, Naughty Naughty, Need You Tonight… nocturne, Native American flute, natural, notes… need to narrow it down.

One of my all time favorite songs is rarely fully played on the radio.  It is the Moody Blues hit song Nights in White Satin.  Of course my favorite part is the poem at the end that is rarely included with air play.

Breathe deep the gathering gloom

Watch lights fade from every room

Bed sitter people look back and lament

Another days useless energy spent

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one

Lonely man cries for love and has none

New mother picks up and suckles her son

Senior citizens wish they were young

Cold hearted orb that rules the night

Removes the colors from our sight

Red is gray and yellow white

But we decide which is right

And which is an illusion

Written by Hayward David Justin I used to not like it as the music during the poem is a little unsettling and as a kid I thought it was creepy sounding.  But now I love it!

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) Many Musical Moments

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Manhatten Transfer, Monkees, Meatloaf, Moody Blues… Mony, Mony, Maple Leaf Rag, Mad World, Make You Feel My Love… Major, movement, Music Man, melody… many more musical mentions. 

About the time I was 9 or 10 years old, my sister was really into music and would let me listen to records with her.  One she often played had come from a recommendation of our neighbor.  He introduced Mason Proffitt to my folks and my sister really enjoyed them too.  I became hooked on the song they did that made the radio airplay.  It was a song called “Two Hangmen.” 

I grew older and embraced all of the songs.  They were from the 60s and 70s and had messages about freedom, no war, peace, Native American rights… they were very reminiscent of the time.  One of the lines I recall the best is “Flowers beads a good disguise but don’t forget the shades that cover your eyes to keep your mind tied down.  If you’re real, you’ll learn to think as well as feel,” from the song “Walk on Down the Road.” And I know all of “Two Hangmen” by heart.  “… It seems the folks were up in arms, a man now had to die, for believing things that didn’t fit the laws they set aside…”  

One of my favorites is a song called “Buffalo.”  It talks of a Native American upon a buffalo nickel that gets up and looks around seeing things that were wrong.  “… this reservation’s wrong, who’s this white man, my people never smile, where is my brother, my children ignorant, where is my squaw…”  It still sends chills every time I hear it.  

I never thought I would be able to see them preform live, but a few years ago my sister and I got to attend a concert at the Surf Ballroom.  It was magnificent, they sounded as good as the albums even all those years later.  You can also find some of their songs on YouTube from the Wanted and Moving Towards Happiness albums.  Here is another one of my favorites… 

(if this works right… it is part of a playlist, but starting at the song Old Joe Clark)

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) Listen To This

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Lady Gaga, Lindsey Stirling, Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz… La Bamaba, LA Woman, Love Will Keep Us Together, Love Shack… live music, lyrics, largo, lyre… listen to the music.

Ok, I have a confession.  I was once young, foolish and reckless.  Another confession I was heavily into country music in the early 80s – the time of “country rock.”  This is how the two met one day.

A very small county fair had a concert my friend called me about.  It was Louise Mandrell.  You may recall her sister Barbara as the more famous sister, but Louise did ok for herself too.  Anyway, my friend and I went to the fair in a small-town west of us.

Louise put on a great show.  We didn’t have the greatest seats, but we were not blind, she had a cute band member or two.  So, the time in the show where she introduces the band came and my friend and I were very vocal about each introduction.  Finally, Louise said we should come on up stage and meet them.  Oh – my – goodness, we did!  My friend took the lead I ran to catch up and a third girl ran up on stage with us.  We started on the left side of the stage and went around to each band member to get hugs and handshakes. Then we hopped down and went back to our seats.

After the show we got autographs of most of the band.  And it was a night we will never forget… besides we can’t there were pictures taken.  Ha, ha!

I am guessing videos were not big in the career of Louise, as a search came back with few choices.  Here is one of her covering a rock song originally by Dave Edmunds.

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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Know This One?

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Kiss, Kenny Loggins, Kid Rock, Katy Perry… Keep Pushin’, Killer Queen, Kiss You All Over, Katmandu… Kettle drum, Koto, Key, kazoo… Keenly awesome collections.

I struggled a little with a K artist, song or music term to use for this one.  I have decided since on occasion it happens to be on late night television and I do love her singing I will go with Kelly Clarkson.  I am still not so sure I like her for her interviewing skills.  But I love the energy she brings to every performance, 

I will admit we had the DVD To Justin From Kelly in our movie library for a time.  Whether my daughter will admit it or not, she, as a kid, thought it was a good movie.  I barely remember it actually, but want to say it had some good music in it for a “teen movie.”

Here is one of Kelly’s songs that I enjoy…

Blogging A to Z April Prompt…

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Just a Small Town Girl

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Julian Lennon, Joan Jett, Janice Joplin, Jackson 5… Joy to the World, Juke Box Hero, Jack and Diane, Janie’s Got a Gun… Jug band, jive, jam session, jazz… just to name a few.

Don’t Stop Believing was on the Escape (E5C4P3) album that Journey released in July of 1981.  It was a favorite of my friends and I, so much so that we did a lot of talking to our parents as soon as we heard Journey would be in town.  We successfully negotiated being allowed to go to our first concert unaccompanied by parents, for me it was my first concert all together.

It would have been a memorable show just from the amazing performance Journey did on stage.  But honestly, my most vivid memory came from my time sitting in the seats – I was the last one on the right. We were clapping and screaming and dancing in our seats when the lady in the seat just in front and to the left of me turned around and asked if I wanted a hit, holding a joint.  Now, first concert, first encounter with a physical joint in my presence and you must remember my dad was on the police force.  I felt like it took eons for me to answer her with a no, but I really only stumbled over my words for a short time.  I turned to my friend on my left and just raised my eyebrows and we both started to laugh.  I was a very naïve teenager probably 15 at the time.  What an introduction to the world of rock and roll.

Now the night was not a total goodie two shoes night.  One of my friends called her friend and he brought a six pack of beer for us.  I think I had maybe two drinks and was not impressed.  But we were on a live music high… and maybe a little second-hand smoke from the couple in front of us.  Ha, ha!

I will always remember seeing Journey for my first concert, do you remember your first concert?

Blogging A to Z April Prompt …

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(A2Z) I Won’t Ask For Promises

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Ike and Tina Turner, INXS, Idina Menzel, Imagine Dragons… I Am A Rock, I Got You Babe, If I Were A Rich Man, I Can See For Miles… instruments, idol, Into The Woods, impresario… impressive items each one.

I was brave at one time.  Brave or stupid, I am not sure which.  I inflicted my voice on a room full of strangers.  And I did it more than once even!  I am sorry world!  A dear friend of mine was a super singer and liked to do karaoke.  She felt bad making her husband always go with her, and her son got busy with college, so she asked me to join her one night.

It took me a couple weeks before I stood behind the microphone, and then I was not alone.  I made my friend sing with me so I wouldn’t sound so bad.  She said I had a good voice, but I was so quiet.  I went several more nights out with her and got the courage (liquid or otherwise) to sing alone.

I know you are all thinking I have lost it again… karaoke is a K not an I.  The song I got really comfortable singing was “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.”  It was gender neutral, and it was a song that I associated with a special person and would silently dedicate it to him in my heart at night.  Sadly, he didn’t want to see me tonight… ha, ha.  I also used to warble my way through “I Feel Lucky” on good nights.  The other occasional songs were hit and miss.

Here is a REAL singer doing “my song” better than I could ever come close to doing it.  But you know, years later I still associate the song with that one friend I just wish I could spend some time with.

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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Heavenly Harps

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Heart, Hall and Oats, Hank Williams Jr, Huey Lewis and the News… He’s So Fine, Heart of Glass, Hallelujah, Hey Jude… high hat, half note, heavy metal, harmonica… Hundreds of hot hits to choose from.

That is just what I want to talk about… hits.  Every artist wants a hit record.  How do you find out if it is a hit?  The Hot 100 from Billboard or any other hit song list.  Back in the 50s it was your Hit Parade on TV.  But many places will rank songs and albums.  They used to base the charts on sales and radio requests.  Now you have to add in how a video does online with views too.

I remember in high school always listening to the countdowns on the radio.  Of course Casey Kasem’s countdown was the most popular one.  I would even stick a cassette into the radio to record it if I had to go somewhere.  Did you ever listen to the countdowns, or should I say the hit parade?

Here is a look back to when I was 12 years old, the top 30 of 1978.


Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) As Good As Gold

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George Harrison, Genesis, Guns and Roses, Green Day… Gimme Three Steps, Get Back, Glory Days, Girl Crush… golden oldies, greatest hits, Grease, gold record… good group of choices.

Today I write about a family.  A family with a new project in the works.  Let me back up about forty years.  It was December 11, 1981 when me and a friend went to see a country group in concert, the Oak Ridge Boys.  I know what you are thinking, “Leigha, Oak starts with an O not a G.”  Bear with me.  I began something I may discuss more later but after that show I knew who William Lee Golden was (the singer with the long hair and beard).  Through the years I Iearned about his talented family.

He had three sons and two of the three were in a couple of bands.  There was Golden Speer, the Boys Band and the Goldens.  Fast forward to last year.  Covid sent people home.  There were no more concerts to perform.  I believe the seed of the idea came when Chris Golden began some Facebook live concerts and family members started popping in to play and sing along.

Very recently the family announced a new project that not only included William Lee, sons – Chris, Craig and Rusty, but also Chris’s musically inclined children.  As of yet I am not sure if any other family makes an appearance, but I wouldn’t be surprised. 

So all these wonderfully talented people got together in the studio and began creating and I cant wait to hear what they are going to release.  I have been a fan for years and am really excited about this project.  I can’t wait until it comes out!  It is three albums with three generations of Goldens – gospel, county classics and country rock.  It is due out this Spring.

In the mean time take a listen to a little of the Goldens (Chris and Rusty) music…

For Blogging A to Z April Prompt…

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Go Daddy-O

A patriarch is the head of the family, the dad, the father, papa, pa, or at least that is how it used to be.  Now a days it is a little more coparenting than there was in the past.  And you even see fathers with custody of children.  In my home growing up it was a little different.

Mom was the one in charge for the most part.  Although she would often threaten with, “Wait until your father hears about this.”  Dad was more the silent type, so when he talked, you would listen.  I have gathered a few things here related to the patriarch in the family…

“It’s a terrible thing being a patriarch.  I don’t even have a grey beard.  But people keep calling me up for advice.”  Pete Seeger

“My father was my teacher.  But most importantly he was a great man.”  Beau Bridges

“My father had a profound influence on me.  He was a lunatic.”  Spike Milligan (*a special note here, I am not saying my dad was crazy but he did have a great sense of humor that influenced me)

Dad loved BBVD… wish he’d been able to see them live.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – patriarch