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)
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.”
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!
This is a prompt I can really enjoy. As a matter of fact, I love musicals. I remember as a kid seeing some of the lavish musical productions in movies that my mom would watch. I always thought the ones with the synchronized swimmers were amazing. I am blanking right now on who the star from those musicals was. I keep thinking Esther…. We’ll come back to that.
Then about 5th or 6th grade Grease came out. I LOVED that movie. Saved up money and went to see it six times in the theaters! My friend across the street had the soundtrack and we used to always sing along with it and wish we were Olivia Newton John. My obsession just went on from there.
I even passed it on to my daughter, watching musicals with her growing up. Of course, all the wonderful music in the Disney movies was how it started. When she was maybe 3 or 4, we got the stage production of Cats and she loved to dance and sing with it. So, logically when the touring company came to town my husband and I took her to see it live. She loved it.
We went on to Chicago, Rent, and Across the Universe. We had high hopes the genre may be back when La La Land came out. It did okay but was not a big hit. Unfortunately, we also went to see the new film production of Cats. I won’t say I hated it, but it was so much different from the stage production. There was a nice addition of a tap dance number that wasn’t in the stage production, but it will probably not make it to my DVD shelves.
Now I have a couple of new DVDs from Christmas that are musicals. I think I need to start adding some of those classic ones to my list. Now I must go listen to “The Tango Maureen” – bonus points if you know what musical that song is from. Oh, and yes, it was Esther. Esther Williams, I believe was the star of a lot of the swimming musicals. ♫♪
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – musical