Monday, November 29, 2010

"China Grove" by the Doobie Brothers.

OK, back to the 70's: This '73 Doobie Brothers classic was a fictional account loosely based upon an actual small Texas town 10-12 mi. south of San Antonio. Written by original lead singer Tom Johnston before being replaced by Michael McDonald due to illness. The original working title was "Parliament" as Johnston used to name his demos after the brand of cigarettes he was smoking at the time. The lyrics came after the melody when Tom heard keyboardist Billy Payne's "oriental-sounding" riff. Part of the "Field Of Dreams" soundtrack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTCyO9MpGUM

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Love (Can Make You Happy)" by Mercy.

OK, more one-hit wonders: This Tampa, FL group's only hit came in '69 with a Jack Sigler, Jr. composition. The ensemble formed while the members were still attending Brandon High. It peaked at #2 on Billboard's Hot 100 and on Adult Contemporary. Over a million copies sold in 4 months; RIAA Certified Gold. Featured on the "Fireball Jungle" soundtrack (Lon Chaney's last movie). Group? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSepq9-JFhs

Yesterday's answer: "A Thousand Miles Away" by the Heartbeats and "Daddy's Home" by Shep and The Limelites.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW25Sg2Rjv
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5XYWXKFe2w
I love the "ra-ta-ta-tat" harmony chorus on "Daddy's Home". The girlfriend literally did move 1,000 miles away.

"A Thousand Miles Away" by The Heartbeats.

OK, back to the 50's: This doo-wop group started out as The Hearts but changed its name in '55. Their biggest hit (#53 Billboard, #5 R&B) was co-written in '56 by James Sheppard and Wm. H. Miller when Sheppard's girlfriend moved to Texas. Recorded in '56 and released in '57. Part of the "American Graffiti" soundtrack ('73). Sheppard left the group shortly after and formed his own ensemble, Shep and The Limelites - in '61 they released an "answer" song that peaked at #2. Group? Song? "Answer" song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW25Sg2Rjv0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5XYWXKFe2w

Yesterday's answer: "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" by Bobby Vee. Bobby still looks and sounds great! Talking about the Brill Building, on the 1st floor, right on Times Square, is Colony Records. You die and go to heaven!!! EVERY recording and sheet music ever published is there - I could spend... days just browsing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACFYJxcN5Wo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" by Bobby Vee with The Johnny Mann Singers.

OK, more 60's: This '63 Weisman/Wayne/Garrett composition marked Bobby Vee's "plunge" into Brill Building teen idol pop music. It peaked at #2 on Billboard's Hot 100, at #2 on Easy Listening and #9 on R&B. Part of the "Dark City" soundtrack in '98. Bobby was also a pioneer of the music video genre.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACFYJxcN5Wo

Yesterday's answer: "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree" by Tony Orlando and Dawn. They did get annoying after a while but they sold A LOT of records! " The origin of the idea of a yellow ribbon as a token of remembrance may have been the 19th century practice that some women allegedly had of wearing a yellow ribbon in their hair to signify their devotion to a husband or sweetheart serving in the U.S. Cavalry". The song found new life in '81 during the Iran hostage crisis. John Wayne's movie was titled "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NCZ4l8FCFc

"Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree" by Tony Orlando and Dawn

OK, back to the 70's: This '73 Levine/Brown composition was based on the true story of a convict returning home as told in a '71 N.Y. Post article. Refers to a 19th century Puritan tradition which also inspired a John Wayne movie. It became an anthem for absent loved ones in the 70's and thereafter. #1 and top-selling single of the year US and UK in '73. Sold 3 million copies in 3 weeks! Billboard's #37 Biggest Song Of All Time. Song? Group?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NCZ4l8FCFc

Yesterday's answer: "The Beatles' "Thank You, Girl". Not one of their biggest hits but I always loved the song. First time I heard it was while having pizza at Mastro's Pizza Palace on Central Ave. in San Juan. It was playing on the little tableside jukebox (remember those?).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_wC5zBOfxY

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Night Walkers

Okey, mas Nueva Ola: Esta agrupacion mayaguezana de los 60-70's comenzo en la television del oeste de la isla en "El Club De Las 5". "Descubiertos" por Alfred D. Herger, vinieron a San Juan donde se popularizaron. Tocaban frecuentemente en "Fin De Semana Musical", "El Show De Iris Chacon" y con Chucho Avellanet. Grabaron 2 discos de larga duracion en el '68. Aunque era un cuarteto, otros musicos se les unian en concierto y para grabar. Gil Rivera, influenciado por el "folk" estadounidense, era director y guitarrista. Enrique (Kiko) Rivera, de tendencia R&B, tocaba la bateria. El roquero Jose (Pepito) Valentin era la primera guitarra. Fernando Ayala tocaba el bajo y su hermano Felix, el "semi-clasico" era arreglista y guirarrista. Jose Raul Feliciano a~adia guitarra. El baladista romantico Oscar (Solo) Vicenty era el cantante. El luego dejo la agrupacion para aparecer como el solista Oscar Solo. Quienes eran?

Respuesta: The Night Walkers. Su mayor exito fue una version del tema de la telenovela "Natacha" del peruano Raul Vasquez.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ESfmJN9IKo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WiqQ95Aczk

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Thank You, Girl" by The Beatles.

OK, more Fabdom: This '63 release was dedicated to the band's many adoring female fans. B-side to "From Me To You". Lennon wrote the verses and Macca the chorus. First Beatles song to utilize double-tracked vocals to emphasize John's lead (he had a bad cold that day!). Two other songs, "One After 909" and "What Goes On?", were recorded during the same session but were not released until much later - "Let It Be" and "Rubber Soul" respectively.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_wC5zBOfxY

Yesterday's answer: John's Aunt Mimi always asked him which guitar part was his on Beatles recordings - he tuned the 4th string slightly flat so she could tell which one was out of tune. The other "unofficial" reason was to annoy the much more obsessive/compulsive Paul.

Flat D-string.

OK, more Fabdom: John Lennon had a habit of tuning his D-string (4th) slightly flat during Beatles recording sessions. Why?

Yesterday's answer: "Scotch And Soda". Considered by many to be "the ultimate saloon song". For some reason I thought Kenny Rankin had covered it - I checked his entire discography and came out empty - hmm.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf9Lsd6uh-o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAXb1gnxoAg

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Scotch And Soda"

OK, back to the 50's: This Kingston Trio classic was 1st released in '58 as part of an album only to be re-released as a single in '62. Despite peaking at #81, it remains one of the group's most popular numbers. They happened upon it through Tom Seaver's parents (yes, THAT Tom Seaver!) who heard it during their honeymoon in Phoenix in '32. They had the pianist jot down the lyrics to make it "their song". Years later Trio member David (Dave) Guard heard it while at the Seaver home and the rest is history. Even though it is copyrighted to Guard, it appears to have been written in '32 by saxophonist/bandleader/composer Charlie Barnett. Wonderful cover by Manhattan Transfer in '76.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf9Lsd6uh-o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAXb1gnxoAg

Yesterday's answer: "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day. Actually, pretty "steamy" story behind the song: " The song begins with a man commiserating his loneliness, when a woman suddenly appears in his bed, and encourages him to make love to her. The rest of the song describes his feelings about her, then he discovers she must leave him, and he is saddened. She tells him to 'go find the right one, love her and then, when you look into her eyes you'll see me again.' "He then explains that was his story, as apparently he has been singing this song to a woman whom he is trying to seduce, and how he wants to look in her eyes to see if she is the reincarnation of the angel he found.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMW5xam4sRo
'77 was a great year in my life!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day.

OK, more one-hit wonders: This L.A. native was a composer for Warner Brothers when they created Pacific Records, a label for their songwriters who also performed. He was the 1st artist signed and his only hit was their 1st release. Launched in early '77 as a single, it topped the charts 4 months later, was the #4 song of '77, sold over 2 million copies and was Certified Gold. Described as a "nocturnal novelette". Dolly Parton sang background vocals. He also wrote "Angie Baby" for Helen Reddy and "Rock And Roll Heaven" for The Righteous Brothers. Artist? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMW5xam4sRo

Yesterday's answer: "Never Gonna Let You Go". Beautiful tune - WAY up there in the all-time makeout song hit parade.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyLGYDBkLzw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVzPTLjTcbc

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Never Gonna Let You Go"

OK, more 80's: This '82 Weil/Mann romantic ballad was first recorded by Dionne Warwick but failed to chart. It was then offered to Earth, Wind and Fire who chose not to record it. Sergio Mendes' '83 version with Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller on vocals peaked at #4 on Billboard's Hot 100, topped the Adult Contemporary charts and reached #28 on R&B. Beautifully covered by Patti Austin and Peabo Bryson. Is this a record number of key changes in a song? I lost count!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyLGYDBkLzw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVzPTLjTcbc

Yesterday's answer: "Got My Mojo Workin' ". A little controversy as Muddy Waters "tweaked" with the lyrics and gave himself writer's credit. Hmm!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V25iA2XPzuA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfBEh8L-Qe8

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Got My Mojo Workin' "

OK, back to the 50's: This '56 Preston Foster blues classic was first recorded by gospel singer Ann Cole but made popular in '57 by Muddy Waters, with whom she toured. #359 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time, Grammy Hall Of Fame 2000 as well as RIAA and NEA Songs Of The Century. Covered by, among many others, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Manfred Mann, The King, Canned Heat, B.B.King and Buddy Guy. "Pulverized" by The Shadows Of Knight on their '66 "Gloria" album.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V25iA2XPzuA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfBEh8L-Qe8

Yesterday's answer: "Silver Threads And Golden Needles". Jack Rhodes co-wrote Porter Wagoner's "A Satisfied Mind" with Joe "Red" Hayes, later covered by The Byrds on their "Turn, Turn, Turn!" album. Linda's version of "Silver Threads" is my fave but, as you know, Linda can "sing the phone book". Earlier covered by The Springfields, a duo with Dusty and her brother Tom.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmFeokCHik
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FiKHaSRMeg

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Silver Threads And Golden Needles"

OK, back to the 50's: Dick Reynolds was a very talented composer but, unfortunately, due to a lifelong battle with alcoholism he was never able to "pull it together". He co-wrote this '56 classic with Jack Rhodes about his fiancee who broke up with him - his first and only love. He never recovered from the breakup. B. C. Money, Jr. also claimed to have written the song but most sources attribute it to Reynolds/Rhodes. First recorded by rockabilly great Wanda Jackson, widely regarded as the 1st female rock & roll artist. Her rendition contained a verse not included in later covers. Linda Ronstadt's '73 version was a Top 20 Country hit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmFeokCHik
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FiKHaSRMeg


Yesterday's answer: "Cherish" by The Association is a perennial on the Top Make-Out Songs Hit Parade ("pa' brillar hebilla"). Actually, my favorite version is The Four Tops'.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89PFFY4JDNMhtt...p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x17KM14PgFU

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Cherish" by The Association.

OK, back to the 60's: Keyboardist Terry Kirkman wrote this '66 romantic ballad about unrequited love in 1/2 an hour. It became a staple of his L.A. band's concert repertoire and their 2nd hit, topping the charts in both the US (3 weeks) and Canada. David Cassidy's rendition in '72 was his 1st solo hit (#9). Also covered by Nina Simone, Petula Clark, The Four Tops and the sensitive Barry Manilow. Featured in the "Pretty In Pink" soundtrack. Group? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89PFFY4JDNM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x17KM14PgFU

Yesterday's answer: "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat". I always liked Herman's Hermits - regulars on "Shindig". I saw them with Peter Noone years ago at the River Fest in Ft. Madison and @ the Ia. State Fair - they STILL sounded great.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXHN8mXlQ6E

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" by Herman's Hermits.

OK, more British Invasion: John Shakespeare and Ken Hawker formed a skiffle band in Birmingham in the late 50's named LVI. They subsequently moved to London and composed under the pseudonyms John Carter and Ken Lewis. They wrote a minor UK hit for Goldie and The Gingerbreads, a cover of which was a #1 US hit in '65 for Herman's Hermits (one of 3 Top 3 hits for them that year).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXHN8mXlQ6E

Yesterday's answer: "Don't Give Up On Us (Baby)" by David Soul. Doggone it, I liked that song (in my ultra-cool powder blue double-knit polyester leisure suit)! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY8APrYU2Gs
"Soul recorded a new version of the song in 2004, allegedly after being embarrassed when hearing it by chance in an elevator as sung by Owen Wilson in the film version of Starsky and Hutch."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Don't Give Up On Us" by David Soul.

OK, more one-hit wonders: The only US hit for this "Starsky and Hutch" star came in '77 with a Tony Macaulay composition. He actually started out as a singer before pursuing an acting career. #1 US for 13 weeks (!), #1 Adult Contemporary and #1 UK. #93 on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders. Artist? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY8APrYU2Gs

Yesterday's answer: "Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison. "Lonely No More" was recorded by the Wilburys. In my book Chris Isaak and Raul Malo are the two modern day crooners that have been left to carry the Orbison torch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOPah8Kby90&feature=fvw
http://www.y...outube.com/watch?v=jLGDAGJxt-Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFyeBku9kQg

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison.

OK, more "Big O": When Roy Orbison co-wrote this "operatic" ballad with Joe Melson in 1960 he intended for it to be recorded by either Elvis or The Everly Brothers. The Everlys convinced him to record it himself and it became his 1st major hit, #2 Pop, #14 R&B, #1UK. "A clenched, driven urgency". Grammy Hall Of Fame Award in 2004 and #232 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Sonny James' cover topped the Country charts in '69; masterfully interpreted by Chris Isaak. Orbison wrote a "sequel" to the song while with the Traveling Wilburys.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOPah8Kby90&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLGDAGJxt-Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFyeBku9kQg

Yesterday's answer: "Ask Me Why" by The Beatles. Not one of their biggest hits but I always loved this tune - one of the 1st Beatles songs I ever heard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OKsR0dZQD0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6QcBTFwpGY

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Ask Me Why" by The Beatles.

OK, more Fabdom: This '62 Lennon/McCartney gem represents THE first time that the two blokes actually wrote a song physically together. B-side to "Please Please Me", their first US single. Used in the early Parlophone auditions when Pete Best was still their drummer. The opening guitar line comes from Smokey Robinson and The Miracles' "What's So Good About Goodbye?". Lennon was greatly influenced by Robinson.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OKsR0dZQD0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6QcBTFwpGY

Yesterday's answer: "White Room" by Cream. "...black-roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.Silver horses run down moonbeams in your dark eyes. Dawn-light smiles on you leaving, my contentment....". Clapton WAS GOD! Guitar line suspiciously similar to "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" - hmm, Eric, what were you thinking - or not!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRqjpuLFXek

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"White Room" by Cream.

OK, more 60's: Beat poet Pete Brown wrote the lyrics and Jack Bruce the music. About "depression and hopelessness...images of waiting in an English railway station 'under the influence' ". Unusual 5/4 time signature - wicked drummin' by Ginger Baker. Features Felix Pappalardi on viola. Perhaps Clapton's most notable use of the Vox Clyde McCoy Picture Wah. #6 US, #24 UK in '68. #367 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All time. Song? Band?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRqjpuLFXek

"We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by The Animals. The Animals were arguably one of the, if not THE, first punk bands, laying the foundation for the genre in the 70's and 80's. Bad boys! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxNEiZhpinY

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by The Animals.

OK, back to the 60's: This '65 Mann/Weil composition was originally intended for The Righteous Brothers. A North England working-class band recorded it and different versions from the same sessions were released in the UK (#2) and the US (#13). It became an anthem during the Vietnam War. Very recognizable bass lead and organ lines. #233 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Song? Band?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxNEiZhpinY

Yesterday's answer: "Stuck In The Middle (With You)" by Stealers Wheel. Definite Dylan and even Don McLean inflections. Man, Tarantino can be bloody!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StG4fFWHqg

"Stuck In The Middle (With You)" by Stealers Wheel.

OK, back to the 70's: This Joe Egan/Gerry Rafferty '72 composition was recorded by their band, peaking at #6 US and #8 UK in '73. Conceived as a parody of Bob Dylan's style, it was a tribute to Scottish comedian/singer Billy "The Big Yin" Connolly. Featured prominently during the torture scene on Tarantino's '92 "Reservoir Dogs". Covered by Juice Newton, Susanna Hoffs and blind guitarist Jeff Healy. Band? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StG4fFWHqg

Yesterday's answer: Elle McPherson was Billy Joel's muse for "Uptown Girl". In my book, one of the best music videos ever. Outstanding Frankie Valliesque harmonies and falsetto as well as seamlessly changing keys twice before returning to the original one. Even though not written about her, Christie Brinkley looked mighty good in the video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCuMWrfXG4E

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel (tricky!).

OK, short and sweet: Billy Joel's muse for his 1983 #3 classic "Uptown Girl" was model_________________.

Yesterday's answer: Marvin Hamlisch, "The Entertainer." "His styling of tempo of the same song set the tone for many scenes". Great music from a great movie! He won 3 Oscars in '73 - only the 2nd person to ever do so.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So-ZINVduMk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPmruHc4S9Q

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"The Entertainer" by Marvin Hamlisch.

OK, more one-hit wonders: Even though this American composer has won Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, Tonys, Golden Globes and Pulitzers, his ONLY hit as a performing artist came in '74 with his cover of a 1902 Scott Joplin piano rag as part of his score for "The Sting" ('73). #3 Pop; #1 Easy Listening. #10 on RIAA's "Songs Of The Century". Artist? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So-ZINVduMk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPmruHc4S9Q

Yesterday's answer: "Let's Face The Music And Dance". Doggone it, they just don't make 'em like that anymore!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjmHoegdWns
http://www.examiner.com/dance-in-los-angeles/jennifer-grey-and-derek-hough-rumba-to-a-perfect-score-video

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Let's Face The Music And Dance"

OK, back to the 30's: Irving Berlin wrote this romantic classic in 1936 for the movie "Follow The Fleet". It was sung by Fred Astaire who danced to it with Ginger Rogers in a performance for the ages. Steve Martin lip-synched Fred in "Pennies From Heaven" ('81). Jennifer Grey ("Baby"!) and Derek Hough did a very respectable quickstep to it Monday night on "Dancing With The Stars".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjmHoegdWns

Yesterday's answer: The Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World", Op. 95, B. 178 (Czech: Symfonie č. 9 e moll „Z nového světa“) by Antonin Dvorak. From my dear friend Dr. Alberto Rodriguez ("Papa Dios"): "Fue su novena y se ha comentado que los temas son eslavos y tienen muy poco que ver, si algo, con el folklore de EE.UU. La mandición es que los compositores llegan a la novena y se mueren. Pero creo que la sinfonía era la 5 porque Dvorak no había ordenado cronológicamente su producción sinfónica. Cuando las puso en orden, la 5 pasó a ser la 9. Buena pregunta." From me: "Well, Papa, I didn't expect any less of you since, after all, you were the one who introduced me to this symphony while in high school and for that I'll always be grateful! He did "cheat" a little bit as far a the order of the compositions but, as you know, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Mahler and Vaughan Williams died after writing their 9th symphonies without completing their tenth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILEsEK-JkJI

Monday, November 8, 2010

Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World" by Antonin Dvorak.

OK, back to the classics: This Czech (Bohemian) romantic composer wrote his most popular symphony in 1893 during his stay in the U.S. from 1892-95. Inspired by Native American music and African-American spirituals. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Orch., it debuted at Carnegie Hall in '93 to rave reviews. Burleigh's spiritual "Goin' Home" is said to be based upon it. One of the most popular works in modern symphonic repertoires. Early on, it was titled "fifth" because of "the curse of the ninth". Composer? Symphony? What is "the curse of the ninth"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILEsEK-JkJI

Yesterday's answer: ""Solitary Man" by Neil Diamond. Solid tune! I just rented a great movie by the same name starring Michael Douglas. I saw Neil Diamond on stage in Ames years ago - one of the best concerts I've ever attended.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql4IiP__5ck

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Solitary Man" by Neil Diamond.

OK, back to the 60's: This '66 autobiographic song was Neil Diamond's debut single as a recording artist (he was already a successful songwriter). Inspired by the Beatles' "Michelle", it was his 1st composition in a minor key. He recorded 2 versions - with and without a pre-recorded background harmony track. It peaked at #55 in '66 but a re-release in '70 went to #21. From a 2005 Rolling Stone article: "There's not a wasted word or chord in this two-and-a-half minute anthem of heartbreak and self-affirmation, which introduced the melancholy loner persona that he's repeatedly returned to throughout his career." T. G. Sheppard's '76 cover went to #14 on the Country charts. Johnny Cash's 2000 cover won him the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql4IiP__5ck

Yesterday's answer: "Dancin' in the Moonlight" by King Harvest. Great memories of listening to that song on the jukebox at the Central Rest., corner of 11th & Spruce in Philly, while having a $.69 breakfast as a freshman in med school with my dear brothers of Phi Chi. Another famous misheard lyric "We get it almost every night" instead of "We get it on most every night". Think "'scuse me while I kiss this guy"," Oh Canada, we stand on cars and freeze...", "just a come-on from the horse on 7th Avenue", "Might as well face it, you're a d**k with a glove", "Let's pee in the corner, Let's pee in the spotlight"...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMc8naeeSS8

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Dancin' in The Moonlight" by King Harvest.

OK, more one-hit wonders: Four expatriate Cornell alumni formed this band in Paris in 1970. Their one hit was penned by Sherman Kelly in '68 and first recorded by Boffalongo in '69. Their version prominently featured a Wurlitzer electric piano and peaked at #13 in '73. Toploader's cover reached #7 in the UK. Band? Hit?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMc8naeeSS8

Yesterday's answer: "Bad To the Bone" by George Thorogood and The Destroyers". That is one bad-a** song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7VsoxT_FUY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9K-EokujcU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO4A6xx65WU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgKIL7qOhOU

"Bad To The Bone" by George Thorogood and The Destroyers.

OK, back to the 80's: This modern Blues classic by a Delaware native was not a success when released in '82 as a single. Its seminal video featuring Bo Diddley and Willie Mosconi made it extremely popular on the then-young MTV - one of the 80's most-recognizable songs. Based on Bo Diddley's (Ellas McDaniel) '55 "I'm A Man", which was, in turn, based upon Muddy Waters' '54 "Hoochie Coochie Man". It also evokes Chuck Berry's "No Money Down". Used in "Terminator 2-Judgment Day" and in the poker scene in the remake of "The Parent Trap". Artist? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7VsoxT_FUY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9K-EokujcU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO4A6xx65WU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgKIL7qOhOU


Yesterday's answer: "Oh, Carol!" by Neil Sedaka. Carol Klein later "became" Carole King. Can you believe that Neil Sedaka is not in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?! Here's a link to a petition to get him in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHm7PnCCd4E

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Oh, Carol!" by Neil Sedaka.

OK, back to the 50's: Neil Sedaka co-wrote this classic with Howard Greenfield about his then high school girlfriend. They attended Abraham Lincoln High in Brooklyn along with Neil Diamond. It peaked at #9 in '59. One of the first "product songs" - he analyzed contemporary hits and used elements from them specifically to create a commercial success. Noted for his spoken recitation of the 1st verse the 2nd time around. The then-girlfriend recorded a jocular response in '63. Song? "Inspiration girlfriend"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHm7PnCCd4E


Yesterday's answer: "Money (That's What I Want)". This is John Lee Hooker's song way before '59 - coincidence???: "The best thing in life is free, But you can give it to the birds an' bees I need some money, Need some money. Oh yeah, what I want"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k5ooaufrLM

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Money (That's What I Want)"

OK, more Fabdom: This Gordy/Bradford '59 composition was THE 1st hit for what was to become Motown - Barrett Strong's rendition peaked at #2 B&B and #23 Pop in '60. The Beatles recorded it in '63 in 7 takes for their 2nd album with John on lead vocals and subsequent piano overdubs by Sir George Martin. #288 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Ever. Performed by John Belushi on "Animal House".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k5ooaufrLM



Yesterday's answer: "Day By Day". Love that song and it is, strictly speaking, from a "one hit wonder" since this was the only hit for the cast. My favorite song from Godspell is "By My Side". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqEHaQ1RbME

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Day By Day" - Godspell.

OK, more 'one-hit wonders": This Stephen Schwartz/John-Michael Tebelak composition peaked at #13 in '72, remaining on the charts for 14 weeks. The only hit for the original "Godspell" Broadway cast with Robin Lamont on lead vocals. The refrain is attributed to 13th century English bishop St. Richard of Chichester. The musical opened in '71 Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, where my dear nephew Janio Marrero is production manager and technical director.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqEHaQ1RbME

Yesterday's answer: "Mandy", originally titled "Brandy". Well, you know Barry, he's a SENSITIVE guy. OK, I admit it, one of those very few songs that I liked the first time I heard it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5IifdSv9Gk

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Mandy" by Barry Manilow (originally "Brandy")

OK, back to the 70's: This Scott English/Richard Kerr composition was a hit in the UK in '71 under another title. Barry Manilow and his producer changed the title in '74 so it would not be confused with a contemporary hit by Looking Glass and made it into a ballad. It was Manilow's 1st #1 single and Gold Record. Urban myths abound saying that the song was about a dog or about recreational drugs. Song? Original title?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5IifdSv9Gk


Yesterday's answer: "Little GTO" by Ronny and The Daytonas". Now, those were cars! I grew up with Pontiacs as my Dad was the attorney for the Pontiac dealership in San Juan - that's all we ever had. Today was THE last day for the brand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_FSicQWimU

"Little GTO" by Ronny and The Daytonas.

OK, back to the 60's: Sad day today - after 84 years, no more! This Nashville-based group had their debut hit in '64, peaking at #4, selling over one million copies and earning them a Gold Disc. "The Goat" was a '64 Tempest body with a 389 CID engine, copying a Ferrari model of the same name. In '70 they offered a 455 option! Doggone it, those were the days when cars were cars, gas was 30 cents per gallon and guys sang about fast cars, surfing and girls (not necessarily in that order!). Group? Song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_FSicQWimU

Yesterday's answer: "Spanish Harlem Incident". Dylan performed it just a couple of times live shortly after the album came out and never again. One of my fave early Byrds tunes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwCgdHvLg5w