(A2Z) Zip Zap Zoom

Ziggy Marley, ZZ Top, Zac Brown Band, (Frank) Zappa… Ziggy Stardust, Zero to Hero, Zebras and Airplanes… Zither, Zorro (musical 2008), Zombie Prom (musical 1997)… zany choices.

One music type I haven’t really talked about that I am a fan of is swing.  One of my favorite songs is the song Zoot Suit Riot but Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.  It is a great upbeat song.  I had the pleasure of seeing Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in concert before the pandemic hit.  It was also one of the many music styles my Dad would listed to, and he had a couple of BBVD CDs.  Take a minute to enjoy a musical riot…

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) United to Help

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UB40, Usher, U2, Uncle Kracker… Unchained Melody, U and UR Hand, Umbrella, Urgent… Upbeat, ukulele, unison, upright piano… unknown unique songs.

This was an event of my youth.  It was a big undertaking in the music industry in 1985.  It happened in Los Angeles the night of the American Music Awards when most of the artists would be in town.  Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson wrote the single and more than 25 different artists of the time sang it together that January night.   It was called USA for Africa and the song was “We are the World.”

It was inspired by the fund-raising efforts of Bob Geldof and Band Aid overseas.  They raised money with the song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which still gets air play every winter.   “We are the World” did have success on the charts and raised about $60 million.

On Friday April 5th (Good Friday that year) there was a collaboration with many radio stations throughout the United States to play the song at exactly 10:50am EST and I will never forget it.  I was in class and the principal made an announcement and played the 6 minute and 22-second-long song via the local radio station.  It gave me goosebumps to hear it like that with “the nation” at the same time.

Some of the stars that were a part of USA for Africa were Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Huey Lewis, Hall and Oats, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and many more. This is the longer seven minute full version of the song used for the video (it had to be cut shorter for radio play).

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) Song Searching

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Styx, Sawyer Brown, Skillet, Scott Joplin… Seven Nation Army, Stormy Monday, Sweat Pea, Sara Smile… Stage, staccato, Sing Off, symphony… so many singers.

This is all about friendship.  No, it is not Thank You For Being a Friend (it is not on my list for T even).  This is about a friend I got to know about 11 years ago.  He had fallen on some rough times and something about the two of us just clicked.

He didn’t have a perfect life and he developed a bit of an attitude to get him through the worst of it.  One day he called me up and told me to go to my computer to search for a song.  It was by the group Band of Skulls and it was called Sweet Sour.  The reason he wanted me to be aware of the song was the video reminded him of the attitude he had growing up.

The video features kids walking through a neighborhood trying to look tough.  A scuffle takes place and well, just watch.  This one is for you Jack!

Blogging A to Z April Prompt

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(A2Z) Pass the Quarters

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Prince, Panic! At the Disco, Phil Collins, Pink… Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Paint it Black, Photograph… Parody, piano, percussion, polka… pick your poison.

More about my reckless (?) youth.  I still recall the first “video game system” we ever got.  It was pong, and just pong as far as I remember.  (relax… I will get to the music eventually)  Then came the Atari 2600.  I think the first game we had was Combat (or Tank).  Then came Pole Position, Space Invaders, and Surround.  My favorite game we got though was Pacman.  I became the top scorer in the house and in an arcade or two in town I would top the score lists for a while.

By this time I was hooked on video games.  My friend and I adopted the staff from one of the arcades in town.  Somewhere along the line I had a birthday and I got Buckner and Garcia’s album Pacman Fever.  The single was just starting to get airplay and I loved it.  Have you ever had the fever?


Blogging A to Z April Prompt

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O

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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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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