Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette.

OK, back to the 90's: One-half of this Swedish duo, Per Gessle wrote this power ballad in '87 but it sat "gathering dust" until it was unearthed two years later when they were contacted to provide a song for the 1990 Gere/Roberts film "Pretty Woman". The movie propelled it to #1 in the U.S. and quite a few other countries. A lonely cold winter day after a breakup. The group's 3rd #1 U.S. single (they subsequently had one more U.S. #1). The #2 selling single of 1990 after "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips. Duo? Hit? For extra credit, other 3 #1 hits?

Yesterday's answer: "Help Me" by Joni Mitchell. OK, I'm an old folkie. I saw Joni Mitchell in '76 at The Spectrum in Philly - one of the best concerts ever. She opened with "Help Me". Unfortunately saw her again a few years later at the Valley Forge Music Fair during her "jazz phase" - horrendous! First time I've ever walked out of a concert - together with many others.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Help Me" by Joni Mitchell.

OK, more 70's: This 1974 confession of troubled love remains Joni Mitchell's biggest-selling single and her ONLY Top 10 hit (#7) during her illustrious musical career. Accompanied by jazz-fusion ensemble Tom Scott's L.A. Express. Still unclear as to whether it was dedicated to Glenn Frey of The Eagles or percussionist John Guerin from Tom Scott's group, both of whom she had affairs with at the time. Ranked #282 among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Yesterday's answer: "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" by Glen Campbell. Although it is geographically incorrect, Frank Sinatra called it "the greatest torch song ever written".

"By The Time I Get To Phoenix" by Glen Campbell.

OK, back to the 60's: A 21 year-old Jimmy Webb wrote this '65 torch song during his breakup with Susan Ronstadt, Linda's cousin. First recorded by Johnny Rivers. Glen Campbell had his first Top 40 hit with his cover in '67, taking it to #2 Country, #26 Pop and #12 Easy Listening. It won him two Grammys and is ranked #450 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Yesterday's answer: "Ain't That A Shame" by Fats Domino. Originally titled "Ain't It a Shame". Pat Boone also suggested renaming it "Isn't It A Shame" to appeal to a "broader" audience but it was quickly nixed by the producers.

"Ain't That A Shame" by Fats Domino.

OK, more 50's: Fats Domino co-wrote this 1955 breakup tune with Dave Bartholomew. It topped the R&B charts and peaked at #10 Pop. Pat Boone's cover later on that year topped the white Pop charts making it THE first bona fide crossover hit. It was Boone's first hit single. Part of the "American Graffiti" ('73) soundtrack and ranked #431 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Legend goes that during a concert Fats Domino invited Pat Boone on stage. He showed a big gold ring and said "Pat Boone bought me this ring."

Yesterday's answer: "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett. I've always enjoyed playing the Amaj7/Dmaj7 transition on the bridge - a stroke of songwriting genius!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"El Relicario"

Okey, mas viejeras del a~o de las guacaras: Nacido en Almeria, Jose Padilla compuso este pasodoble en el 1914 con letra por Oliveros y Castellvi. El debut por Mary Focela no fue exitoso. Raquel Meller la convirtio en un exito internacional en el '20. La melodia alegre contrasta con la mortal herida que sufre el torero. En el '52 se hizo la cancion tema de la campa~a presidencial de Dwight D. Eisenhower. Cantada por Sara Montiel en "El Ultimo Cuple". Cancion? Para credito extra, los otros 2 exitos de Jose Padilla?

Resuesta: "El Relicario". Sus otros dos exitos fueron "La Violetera" y "Valencia".

"Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett.

OK, back to the 70's: This '74 crossover composition was Jimmy Buffett's first Top 40 hit, peaking at #30 Billboard Hot 100, #3 Easy Listening and #58 Country. He dedicated it to his wife - missing her and his family while on tour and looking forward to being reunited. Part of his "Big 8" songs that he performs in every concert.

Yesterday's answer: ‎"That's Life (That's Tough)" by Gabriel and The Angels. A toughie with help from my dear sister Gina.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"That's Life (That's Tough)" by Gabriel and The Angels.

OK, more 60's one-hit wonders: The only hit for this Philly-based doo-wop quintet came in '62 with a Richard Kellis composition on the Swan label. The group was formed in '57 and evolved from The Five Sharps. They followed it in '63 with the suggestive but unsuccessful "The Peanut Butter Song" with "All Work - No Play (makes Jack the President)" about JFK as its B-side. Group? Only (minor!) hit?

Yesterday's answer: "Lonesome Town" by Ricky Nelson. I always wonder how much further Ricky Nelson's career would have gone had Elvis not been on the scene.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Lonesome Town" by Ricky Nelson.

OK, back to the 50's: This Baker Knight ballad was a #7 hit for Ricky Nelson in '58. Best known as the background song during the famous $5.00 milk shake scene between John Travolta and Uma Thurman at Jack Rabbit Slim's in "Pulp Fiction"('94). During his outstanding career Nelson had 53 tunes on Billboard's Hot 100, 36 Top 40 hits and 19 Top 10 hits. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in '87.

Yesterday's answer: "Out Of Limits" by The Marketts. It was originally titled "Outer Limits" but they got into a little copyright trouble with the TV show so they renamed the song. Great memories of our dear friend Gilberto "Tito" Mercado playing it on the old Kent electric at Yeo's house!

"Out Of Limits" by The Marketts.

OK, back to the 60's: This Hollywood, CA-based surf-rock garage/studio instrumental band had 3 Top 40 hits during their brief career. The first one was "Surfer Stomp" in '62, peaking at #31. Their cover of the "Batman Theme" (which, by the way, they did NOT compose) hit #17 in '66. Their biggest hit (#3 in '64) was based upon a popular TV mystery show which ran between '63 and '65. Part of the "Pulp Fiction" ('94) soundtrack. Masterfully covered by the Ventures. Group? Biggest hit?

Yesterday's answer: "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor. The unique video features mostly a close-up of her face as she sings - towards the end two tears run down her cheeks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor.

OK, more 90's one-hit wonders: Prince wrote this '90 ballad for one on his protegee bands. It was instead recorded by a controversial Irish singer/songwriter - her only chart hit. Prince did not participate in the production of the record or its video, causing quite a rift between the two of them. Won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance and earned 2 other nominations - she boycotted the ceremony. Topped the charts in 17 countries and is ranked #162 among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Artist? Song?

Yesterday's answer: Nicanor Zabaleta. One of my Dad's faves. He elevated the harp to a higher level much like Segovia did with the classical guitar.

Nicanor Zabaleta

OK, more bio: Born in 1907 in San Sebastian, Spain, this virtuoso became the preeminent harpist of the 20th century along with Carlos Salzedo from France. His father, also a musician, bought him a used harp at age 7. He helped popularize the harp and secured its respect as a solo instrument with his tireless touring and recording, selling more than 4 million records. While touring in Puerto Rico in '50 he met Graziela whom he married in '52. He was once quoted as saying, "...but you see, the harp is not so difficult"(!). He died in '93 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Yesterday's answer: "What You're Doing" by The Beatles. Young Jim McGuinn and David Crosby were so impressed after watching "A Hard Day's Night" that they immediately went out and bought a 12-string Rickenbacker and a Gretsch Country Gentleman respectively and the rest is jingle-jangle folk-rock history!

"What You're Doing" by The Beatles.

OK, more Fabdom: Even though the music is upbeat, this '64 Macca composition was based upon his rocky relationship with Jane Asher as their breakup was imminent. Part of "Beatles For Sale" (UK)/"Beatles VI" (U.S.). One of the very rare Beatles tunes to start with a drum intro. Classic 12-string Rickenbacker jingle-jangle pervasive motif repeated after each verse in the same instrumental voicing. It inspired a young Jim "Roger" McGuinn 6 months later as he recorded "Mr. Tambourine Man" with The Byrds.

Yesterday's answer: "Cavatina" (Theme from "The Deer Hunter") . One of my Top 10 favorite movies. Such a sweet melody in contrast to the harsh reality of the Vietnam conflict.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


OK, more 70's: British jazz musician Stanley Myers composed this neoclassical piece for the piano in the early 70's. Guitar virtuoso John Williams asked him to transpose it for guitar and he first recorded it in '73. Shortly thereafter Cleo Laine added lyrics and recorded it as "He Was Beautiful" accompanied by Williams, charting in the UK. It is best known as the theme for the 1978 Oscar-winning movie "The Deer Hunter". English tenor Paul Potts included it in his debut album.

Yesterday's answer: "Eight Days A Week". Ringo was prone to Yogi Berraisms on a smaller scale.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Eight Days A Week" by The Beatles

OK, more Fabdom: Two versions exist as to the inspiration for this 1964 Macca composition. One is a malapropism from Ringo and the other a quote from a chauffeur that drove him to John's house. We'll never know. Released in the UK on "Beatles For Sale" and in the U.S. on "Beatles VI". Never released as a single in the UK, in the U.S. it topped the charts in '65 with "I Don't Want To Spoil the Party" as its B-side. FIRST song that The Beatles took to the studio unfinished to "polish" during the session and the FIRST Beatles song to begin with a "fade-in".

Yesterday's answer: "Save The Last Dance For Me". I had the privilege of seeing Bucky and John Pizzarelli in Ames shortly after moving to Iowa 30 years ago - now, THAT'S GUITAR!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Save The Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters.

OK, back to the 60's: Doc Pomus was struck with polio at an early age and ambulated with crutches. His wife was a Broadway dancer and actress. In this 60' Latin-melody collaboration with Mort Shuman he shows his vulnerability and fear especially when they would go out to parties. It topped both the Pop and R&B charts and is ranked #182 among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. First recorded by The Drifters with Ben E. King on lead vocals and the great Bucky Pizzarelli on Spanish guitar. Produced by Leiber and Stoller and co-produced by a young and yet unknown Phil Spector. Masterfully covered by Jay and The Americans. (Lyricist Jerry Leiber left us yesterday at the age of 78.)

Yesterday's answer: Blood, Sweat and Tears. "And When I Die", "Spinning Wheel" and "You Make Me So Very Happy". Garibaldi coined the phrase "blood, toil, tears and sweat" in 1849. Teddy Roosevelt also used it in 1897. Most famously spoken by Sir Winston Churchill while addressing The House of Commons of Parliament in 1940: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blood, Sweat And Tears.

OK, back to the 60's: This popular brass-driven jazz-rock ensemble was formed in '67 in NYC. Original leader Al Kooper came up with their name after playing a late-night gig with an injured hand and is loosely based upon a 1940 speech by Sir Winston Churchill. They had three #2 hits in '69 but NEVER topped the charts. Group? Three '69 #2 hits?

Yesterday's answer: "Shop Around".

"Shop Around" by The Miracles.

OK, back to the 60's: Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy co-wrote this '60 soul classic in 20 minutes. A mother's advice to her son on how to find the perfect woman. Originally written for Barrett Strong, it was instead recorded by The Miracles. First recording for Motown and for the group to top the R&B charts and to sell one million copies. Grammy Hall Of Fame 2006; #495 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Toni Tennille altered the lyrics from a woman's perspective and The Captain and Tennille's cover peaked at #4 Pop in '76.

Yesterday's answer: "See You Later, Alligator". Their other two million-selling singles were "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll". p://

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"See You Later, Alligator".

OK, more 50's: This '55 12-bar R&B classic was written and first recorded by Bobby Charles based upon a popular catchphrase of those days. An ethnic Cajun, it was widely assumed he was black. The best-known version came from Bill Haley and His Comets that same year. They sped it up from a shuffle to pure rock and roll. Featured in their '56 movie "Rock Around The Clock", THE first major rock and roll film. It was their 3rd and last million-selling single.

Yesterday's answer: "I'm Walking To New Orleans". Many assumed that Bobby Charles was black - he was an ethnic Cajun.

"I'm Walking To New Orleans" by Fats Domino.

OK, back to the 60's: Bobby Charles wrote this 1960 R&B classic for his hero Fats Domino in 15 minutes. Domino invited Charles to his home in The Big Easy but he had to politely decline as he didn't have a car and would have had to walk a great distance. Dave Bartholomew arranged it and added orchestral strings, a rarity in those days. #6 Pop, #2 R&B. Robert "Bobby Charles" Guidry, a native Cajun, left us last year at the age of 71.

Yesterday's answer: "You Always Hurt The One You Love". Cute scene in "Blue Valentine" - she does a tap dance to the song - worth watching.

"You Always Hurt The One You Love"

OK, back to the 40's: This beautiful Allan Roberts/Doris Fisher pop ballad topped the charts for The Mills Brothers in '44. Clarence "Frogman" Henry's '61 cover hit the Top 20. Memorable rendition by Ryan Goslin sung to Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine" (2010).

Yesterday's answer: "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do". Played during the scene where Forrest gets Jenny out of the car and punches out her boyfriend.

"I Don't Know Why (But I Do)" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry.

OK, back to the 60's: Clarence "Frogman" Henry's biggest hit (#4) came in 1961 with a Paul Gayten/Robert "Bobby Charles" Guidry swamp-pop ballad. Featured in Fiat Cinquecento TV ads in the 70's (remember those little things?) and part of the "Forrest Gump" soundtrack ('94).

Yesterday's answer: "Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore. Part of the "Phenomenon" soundtrack.​ch?v=RMONGMDEerI​ch?v=PlXvm8C_PIQ

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore.

OK, back to the 60's: Bob Montgomery, Buddy Holly's high-school singing partner, wrote this '66 Pop/C&W/R&B standard for Brenda Lee in 20 minutes. When she refused to record it both Eddy Arnold (#3) and Wilma Burgess (#12) had C&W hits with it that year. The best-known version is Dorothy Moore's, her biggest hit. She recorded it in one take in '73, peaking at #3 Pop and #2 R&B in '76. It became an international hit and has been covered over 200 times.

Yesterday's answer: "Little Deuce Coupe" by The Beach Boys. Good old days of innocence when guys sang about fast cars, surfing and pretty girls! Brian could write melodies like no one else but was not well versed in the SoCal car/surfing lingo. Roger Christian and subsequently Gary Usher were masters at that!​ch?v=ZXFFLuoaMzM​ch?v=6Wklo_5AOLI

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Little Deuce Coupe" by The Beach Boys.

OK, back to the 60's: This '63 street drag racing tale was Brian Wilson's first collaboration with DJ and lyricist Roger Christian. An ode to a souped-up 1932 Ford Model B. Released as the flip-side to "Surfer Girl", it was The Beach Boys' first charting B-side at #15 and the title track of their 4th studio album. It remains Brian Wilson's favorite Beach Boys car song. This was Brian's first effort as a producer and David Marks' last recording as the group's rhythm guitarist. With Hal Blain on drums instead of Dennis, it also marks the group's first use of studio musicians.

Yesterday's answer: "Don't Get Around Much Anymore". The opening line "Missed the Saturday dance..." has often been misheard as "Mr. Saturday dance" and "Mr. Saturday night". Of course, who can forget " 'scuse me while I kiss this guy" and "the horse on 7th Avenue"?!​ch?v=8TmSEgDl-Cg​ch?v=_SZHMySBX_A

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

OK, back to the 40's" Duke Ellington penned and instrumentally recorded this jazz standard in '40 as "Never No Lament". Bob Russell "retrofitted" lyrics in '42/'43 and renamed it. It charted in '43 for The Ink Spots (#2) and for Glen Gray and The Casa Loma Orchestra (#7). "A jilted lover prefers to stay home rather than be haunted by memories of happier days spent at dances and nightspots". The opening line is one of those famous often-misheard lyrics. Again, masterfully covered by Willie Nelson on his '78 "Stardust" album.

Yesterday's answer: "Come Softly To Me" by The Fleetwoods. Originally titled "Come Softly", it was considered risque and suggestive (!) so it was renamed "Come Softly To Me" even though that line does not appear in the song. "Mr. Blue" topped the charts in Nov. '59. Their telephone exchanges in Olympia were FLeetwood2 and FLeetwood7.​ch?v=Lc4o_wNoOBk​ch?v=xgNnEkzWwt8

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Come Softly To Me" by The Fleetwoods.

OK, back to the 50's: Gretchen Christopher and Gary Troxel were high-school seniors in Olympia, WA when they composed this '59 romantic ballad while waiting for a ride home from school. They recorded it a capella at Christopher's home with another female classmate, calling themselves "Two Girls And A Boy". The original song title was changed by a Dolphin Records executive afraid that it might have been "too suggestive". The group was also renamed based upon their telephone exchange (remember those?). It was subsequently instrumentally overdubbed with the only percussion being the sound of car key in Troxel's hands. THE first group to have two #1 hits during the same year. Group? Song? For extra credit name their other '59 #1 hit.

Yesterday's answer: "Susie Q". CCR defined "roots rock" even before the term was even coined - no fancy electronics - just pure raw talent!​ch?v=LX2wIs7DsyM​ch?v=1mxaA-bJ35s

Monday, August 8, 2011

"So Much In Love" by The Tymes.

OK, more 60's: This Philly-based vocal ensemble started out in '56 as The Latineers. After acquiring a new lead singer in '60 they changed their name. Their first and biggest hit came in '63 with a Williams/Jackson/Strighis collaboration that topped the charts. It starts out with birds singing and the sound of the ocean surf. Elected as one of the "Songs Of The Century" in 2001. Part of the "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" soundtrack ('82). Art Garfunkel's cover peaked at #11 Adult Contemporary in '88. It was also the 1st hit for R&B group All-4-One, peaking at #5 in '93. Group? Song?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Susie Q"

OK, back to the 50's: Louisiana native Dale Hawkins wrote this '57 blues-infused rockabilly classic and recorded it in less than one hour with 15 year-old James Burton on lead guitar. The title is based upon a 1930's dance. Peaked at #7 R&B and #27 Pop. Creedence Clearwater Revival's '68 8:37 min. cover was their first single and launched their career, peaking at #11. Their only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty.

Yesterday's answer: "On The Sunny Side Of The Street". Willie's "Stardust" album is one of those that I would need if I were stranded on a deserted island - a masterpiece!​ch?v=vZmgv1ywdkw

"On The Sunny Side Of The Street"

OK, back to the 30's: This '30 McHugh/Fields bouncy, cheerful and optimistic jazz standard became a welcome relief to depression-weary listeners. It debuted on the short-lived B-way musical "Lew Leslie's International Revue". Harry Richman and Ted Lewis and His Orchestra charted with it in '30. The best-known version came in '45 by Tommy Dorsey and The Sentimentalists. My favorite happens to be Willie Nelson's on his '78 "Stardust" album.

Yesterday's answer: "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine".

OK, more 60's: Barrett Strong co-wrote this '66 Motown psychedelic soul classic with Norman Whitfield based upon a painful episode in his own love life. A man finds out his woman is cheating on him. First recorded by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Marvin Gaye's '68 version was his first #1 hit, became his signature song and, at 7 weeks, was Motown's longest-running #1 tune. Backup vocals by The Andantes; accompanied by The Funk Brothers and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Ranked #80 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time and inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. Part of "The Big Chill"('83) and "Remember The Titans" ('01) soundtracks. Creedence Clearwater Revival's '70 version was 11 minutes long - one of their very few covers. Who can forget the Claymation California Raisins in '86 - their signature tune?!

Yesterday's answer: "Act Naturally". Even being a non-drummer myself, Ringo was always my favorite Beatle. Ultra cool bloke!​ch?v=fOpgL4mqEis​ch?v=58Amodaf-g8

Yesterday's answer: "So Much In Love" by the Tymes. The Tymes are one of the very few acts that have had only one #1 hit in the US and the UK with different songs ("Ms Grace" - UK #1 in '75).​ch?v=df45f9qe-bc​ch?v=GwsMhc6u-1k​ch?v=Tsu4yRmxNWc

"Act Naturally'

OK, more 60's: This '63 Russell/Morrison collaboration was Buck Owens and The Buckaroos' first #1 Country hit. Also covered by Loretta Lynn. The Beatles' '65 version featured Ringo on lead vocals and peaked at #47. Released as the B-side to "Yesterday" and on "Yesterday And Today", they played it during their 3rd Ed Sullivan Show appearance and on their famous Shea Stadium concert. Buck Owens and Ringo released a single and video in '89 (#27 Country).

Yesterday's answer: "Mon Homme (My Man)". God, I love La Mome Piaf - you can just hear the tobacco and the alcohol in that voice!​ch?v=J_43tgFprrY​ch?v=RKivfzjQxOQ​ch?​ch?v=v1R8A0A8EVE​ch?v=TzQb2uJfMX0​ch?v=Aqa3eWQxrqw​ch?v=AHJLg2ZCGI8​ch?v=cuycKKYDrpY

"Mon Homme (My Man)".

OK, back to the 20's: This Charles/Pollack/Willemertz/Yvain French ballad was first recorded in 1916 by chanteuse Jeanne "Mistinguett" Bourgeois. The English version was popularized by Fanny Brice in '21 (Grammy Hall-Of-Fame '99). Billie Holiday released a jazz/blues version. Edith Piaf covered it in French in '40. Rediscovered by Barbra Streisand in '65 during her B-way run in"Funny Girl", the movie role of which earned her the Best Actress Oscar in '68. Sung by Diana Ross in '70 during her final live appearance as a Supreme. Masterful versions by Sara Montiel in Spanish and by Lea Michele on "Glee".

Yesterday's answer: "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". Dennis Quaid nailed it in the movie!​ch?v=8yRdDnrB5kM​ch?v=bp11vxr_pD4

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".

OK, more Killerdom: Dave "Curlee" Williams and James Faye "Roy" Hall (aka Sonny David) were drunk in a boat on Lake Okeechobee when they wrote this '55 rockabilly classic. First recorded by Big Maybelle produced by a young Quincy Jones. Jerry Lee "The Killer" Lewis recorded a SMOKIN' version at Sun Records in '57 - his 2nd single and his 1st hit, topping the R&B and Country charts and peaking at #3 Pop. He debuted it on The Steve Allen Show and, almost immediately, many radio stations banned it because of its "suggestive" lyrics. Ranked #61 on Rolling Stones' 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Yesterday's answer: "Hound Dog". It remains The King's best-selling single.​ch?v=5XUAg1_A7IE​ch?v=5XUAg1_A7IE​ch?v=VR_BV37BU1s&feature=r​elated

"Hound Dog"

OK, back to the 50's: Leiber and Stoller were still teenagers when they penned this 12-bar blues classic first recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in '52 (#1 R&B). Freddie Bell and The Bellboys reworked the lyrics in '55. The best-known version was Elvis Presley's from '56. The King and his band heard Bell in Vegas, rearranged it and the rest is rock & roll history. He debuted it on The Milton Berle show before a TV audience of 40 million without his guitar to hide his gyrations - the outcry earned him the epithet "Elvis The Pelvis". It was his concert- closing number for many years. Ranked #19 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time and was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in '88. The B-Side to "Don't Be Cruel", it remains THE only A and B side individual #1 single in the U.S. It topped the charts for 11 weeks. Part of the "American Graffiti", "Grease" and "Forrest Gump" soundtracks.

Yesterday's answer: "All Along the Watchtower". Hendrix's guitar solo consistently figures among the best ever in most polls and in a 2008 poll conducted by a panel of experts for Total Guitar Magazine, this was voted the best cover song of all time.​ch?v=jkok1Z4WJuY

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"All Along The Watchtower"

OK, more 60's: After his motorcycle accident in '66 Bob Dylan spent a year of quiet introspection recovering both physically and spiritually. He altered his lifestyle and turned to The Bible. This 1967 classic from "John Wesley Harding" was inspired by Isaiah 21:5-9. He has performed it live more than any other of his songs. It was popularized by The Jimi Hendrix Experience in '68 - their only Top 40 hit in the U.S. at #20. Interestingly, ever since then Dylan has performed it a la Hendrix on stage. Dave Mason played 12-string acoustic on the recording and filled in on bass after Noel Redding left the sessions in anger. Hendrix himself played the bass line towards the end of the song. His version is ranked #48 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Featured in the "Forrest Gump" soundtrack.

Yesterday's answer: "Help!" by The Beatles. Great memories of my friends and I standing in line for HOURS at the Cinerama Theater (corner of Fernandez Juncos and Bolivar) in'65 in order to be the first kids in San Juan to watch "Help!".​ch?v=3t8MeE8Ik4Y

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Help!" by the Beatles.

OK, more Fabdom: This '65 Lennon composition came from the stress he experienced caused by The Beatles' meteoric rise to fame. It became the title for that year's movie and its soundtrack album. #1 in the U.S. and the UK - #29 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. The first Beatles song to be licensed for a U.S. TV commercial - '85 for Lincoln-Mercury.

Yesterday's answer: "Besame Mucho". Has been translated into over 20 languages. She also wrote "Cachito".​ch?v=9A49e1Egz_A​ch?v=cul6cOm7g2I​ch?v=sIu85M-Eu7U​ch?v=dg48JepkiRo

"Besame Mucho"

OK, back to the 40's: Mexican piano prodigy and composer Consuelo Velazquez was not quite 16 and had never been kissed (considered sinful in those days!) when she penned this 1940 enduring pop standard and global phenomenon. Inspired by Granados' "Goyescas" suite. English version by Sunny Skylar in '44. First Recorded by Mexican vocalist Emilio Tuero but popularized in '53 by Chilean Lucho Gatica. Only Mexican song to top the U.S. charts (12 weeks!). Sung by The Beatles as part of their unsuccessful Decca Records audition.

Yesterday's answer: Cole Porter's "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)". Pretty racy lyrics - clever songwriting. If you like Woody Allen DON'T MISS "Midnight In Paris" - his best film in many years.​ch?v=lXYKGL6MgKM​ch?v=F2BxQuDEKtw​ch?v=DzsMGJ2Nw6o