The Friday Five: Songs With “Yellow” In The Title

Haven’t done a color post in a while, and as far as I can tell I haven’t done one for yellow, so here you go. As always, if I missed your favorite, leave me a comment and I’ll get it in next week’s post.

Mellow Yellow – Donovan The followup to “Sunshine Superman,” Donovan reached #2 in the US and #8 in the UK with this fifty years ago.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John The title track from his 1973 album, it reached #2 in the US, #1 in Canada, and #6 in the UK that year.

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles From 1966’s Revolver, it later inspired the animated film of the same name. As a single, it only went to #2 in the US, but spent four weeks at #1 on the UK charts. And yes, this version only has Ringo, since WMG or BMG or whoever does stuff like this has managed to banish nearly all of The Fab Four’s music from YouTube. No matter; Ringo’s is the only voice that matters, plus if you listen hard enough, they’re playing the original in this one.

Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn This song went to #1 worldwide, and in 2008 Billboard ranked it at #37 in the history of the Hot 100.

Big Yellow Taxi – The Neighborhood Joni Mitchell wrote it and recorded it on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon. Not long afterwards, a local Chicago band, The Neighborhood, covered it and it was a minor hit in The Windy City. I’m using their version because The Neighborhood’s lead guitarist lived in my neighborhood and his younger brother is a friend of mine. On the picture, I believe he’s the one behind the “Yellow” sign on the roof of the taxi.

There’s one other song that I’ve decided to use as my next Battle of the Bands, which is next Thursday, December 15. Look for it then.

That’s your Friday Five for December 9, 2016.

Pushy (Writer’s Workshop)

I spent a significant part of my career installing, troubleshooting, supporting, and training people in the use of the software sold by my company. When people would call with problems, they were quite rightly upset that the software failed, sometimes in a spectacular fashion, and often I was asked to go on-site and help them with it. More importantly, I had to reassure the clients that everything would be fine.

Most of the time, everything was fine: I’d go on-site, fix the problem, they’d be happy and grateful that I was able to get the programs to work the way they were supposed to. It felt good to be able to do that for them. On occasion, though, they would be a little pushy and insistent, on the order of “I’ve already contacted our lawyers, and if you don’t come out here right now and make this software work, you’ll find yourself in court.” It always seemed to happen on a Friday, and their problem had to be fixed immediately, because… well, whatever. And I’d be the person they sent to fix the problem, because I was codependent enough to deal with them in a diplomatic manner and keep the process servers off the company’s doorstep.

One Friday afternoon, not long after I had transferred to Atlanta (which I had done so I wouldn’t have to travel anymore), my manager in Support came to me and said, “we got a problem. We need you to go to Hartford and deal with this client…” Evidently, we had spent many hours on the phone trying to get this client to install a patch to one of the programs, and they had gotten a little pushy with the person that had been working with them, insisting someone from the company be onsite to oversee the fix to the problem. So, guess who they sent?

I call the travel agent and get the next (and last) flight to Hartford (at 6:00 that evening), call Mary and tell her what’s going on and I’ll see her tomorrow, and head to the airport. Naturally, I took Delta, whose name is an acronym for “don’t even leave the airport,” and my flight is delayed for over an hour because neither the plane, which is coming from one city, nor the flight crew, which is coming from another city, has made it to Atlanta. When both plane and flight crew arrive and let us board, we spend an hour on the tarmac, because it’s Friday evening in Atlanta, which is nuts to begin with, and since we’re late departing, we lost our place in line and have to wait.

I finally get to Hartford at quarter to ten, meet the client, and get into his car to go onsite. About halfway there, he says, “oh, by the way, we applied that patch and everything is working fine. We just need you to check what we did.” I spent about twenty minutes at the client site, give them my imprimatur on the patch, after which they hand me the keys to a rental car and sorta-kinda give me directions to the hotel, which were wrong and I ended up driving around in the pitch-dark countryside outside of Hartford like the Flying Dutchman for almost an hour.

Next morning, the client led me back to their office (about ten minutes away) where I drop off the car, then he took me to the airport. As he’s letting me out, he says, “Really sorry about that.”

“No problem,” I said. “Wait until you get my bill.”

Mama Kat said “Write a blog post inspired by the word: pushy.” Hope you enjoyed it.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Night And Day” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

The Song: Cole Porter’s “Night And Day”
The Contestants: Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra
The Results:

Ella Fitzgerald: 13
Frank Sinatra: 2

This wasn’t even close. Frank Sinatra garnered only two votes (both, I might point out, from members of my family). Uncle Jack compared the battle between Ella and Frank to some of the greatest battles in history (Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Louis, Babe Ruth vs. Hank Aaron, etc.). I guess you could say Ella won by a knockout. Or a home run. Maybe I should have declared the winner by the weekend, citing the mercy rule (a/k/a the slaughter rule).

No matter. Both Ella and Frank were incredible singers. Congratulations to Ella, kudos to Frank, and a big “thank you” to them from me and music fans everywhere for the sheer volume of fine music each of them turned out in their lifetimes.

Next battle is next Thursday, December 15, 2016, so mark your calendars.

A Quote from Dorothy Kilgallen #1LinerWeds

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I just started reading Richard Shaw’s book The Reporter Who Knew Too Much, which probes the death of reporter/columnist/media icon/writer Dorothy Kilgallen and suggests she might have been murdered, rather than committed suicide or accidentally overdosed on alcohol and barbiturates. At the time of her death, she had interviewed Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, President Kennedy’s assassin, and might have learned who had been behind the assassination. When I finish the book, I’ll be sure to post a review.


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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station, and is sponsored this week by Kellogg’s, the best to you each morning!

Two for Tuesday: Lena Horne

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I saw Lena Horne a lot on the variety shows of the Sixties and Seventies, and always thought she was beautiful, especially that smile of hers, and a voice to match. She was a singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist who started in the chorus line at the Cotton Club when she was just sixteen years old, and for seventy years was active in movies, television, and nightclubs.

“Stormy Weather” was a hit for her in 1943, reaching #21 on the US Pop chart.

“Love Me Or Leave Me” reached #19 on the Pop chart in 1955.

Lena Horne, your Two for Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Hanukkah Songs! (Monday’s Music Moves Me)

I just have to be a smartass, don’t I?

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This year, Hanukkah begins on December 25 and ends on January 1, 2017, so I think it’s appropriate that we recognize that our Jewish friends will be celebrating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem at the same time we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus, who was Jewish, as were Mary, His mother, Joseph, His stepfather, and all the people who were His family and friends. Additionally, Jewish composers wrote many Christmas songs, so it’s only right.

The Hanukkah Song – Adam Sandler I had to include this one, because if I didn’t everyone would ask me, “Hey! Why didn’t you include Adam Sandler’s ‘Hanukkah Song’?”

Candlelight – Maccabeats A friend of mine told me about The Maccabeats, whose name is a play on Maccabees, the Jewish rebels led by Judah Maccabee (“The Hammer”) who drove the Greeks away and rededicated the Temple. Appropriately, they have this Hanukkah song with the story in it.

Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah – Barenaked Ladies I fell back on Judaism.About.com to get the next three songs. Barenaked Ladies, who also sang the theme song for The Big Bang Theory, included this on their 2004 album Barenaked For The Holidays.

I Have A Little Dreidel The dreidel is a little spinning top that kids play with during Hanukkah. Here’s a traditional song about the game.

The Latke Song – Debbie Friedman Food is a big part of Hanukkah celebrations, especially foods fried in oil, like latkes (potato pancakes). AND DONUTS! This is a great song sung from the point-of-view of a latke.

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And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for December 5, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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The Week That Was for December 4, 2016

Here’s Robert Young for Sanka Brand Decaffeinated Coffee. Enjoy your coffee, and enjoy yourself!

I seem to recall doing something with Sanka before, maybe even with Robert Young, but I couldn’t find it. Not even in my index. Oh well.

The Week That Was

Cold and rainy here in the beautiful South. We’ve needed the rain, believe me, with fires in North Georgia and Tennessee. It’s been really dry, up until recently. Still getting over Amy’s death; she was doing poorly for sometime, so we were expecting it. Still, she was a good cat, a little goofy, maybe, but we loved her. Wish I had a picture of her to show you, but as I’ve said, we’re really bad about pictures. Anyway, the rest of the week was okay. Here’s this week’s summary.

We all shared Christmas music this week, and since I’ve done a lot of Christmas music posting over the years, I also did a post of all the Christmas posts I’ve done in the past. Dan said I should do a post of songs that aren’t playing in every public arena, which I’ve tried to do in some of the other posts. Arlee says that, as an old codger, he prefers the old hymns and carols. Christmas carols are some of the first songs every kid learns, and as Thanksgiving becomes Black Friday they find their way to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Several of you enjoyed BB King’s “Merry Christmas Baby,” one of my favorite of the non-traditional songs.

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Ella Fitzgerald was the featured artist this week. I shared a couple of songs from her Cole Porter and Jerome Kern songbook albums. She’s a favorite of mine, and I take it a favorite of yours as well. Joey said Ella’s one of her “doin’ stuff around the house” singers, and it’s not hard to see why. She always struck me as a very “up” person, and that voice…

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I featured a line from the “Aussiest Interview Ever,” with a guy who helped apprehend a driver who had crashed his car into a Brisbane business and fled the scene. The interview is funny, and the guy has the kind of attitude I think we all should emulate.

Kat said “Write a post in exactly 100 words,” so I did, and talked about Amy and my latest obsession, collecting pictures from Instagram. There are some excellent photographers out there. Thanks to everyone for your condolences.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My latest battle is “‘Night And Day’: Ella Fitzgerald vs. Frank Sinatra.” I’ll announce the winner on Thursday, so get your vote in soon.

I’ve been thinking for some time that, when I do a survey post, I really ought to take the songs from the bottom of the list, because often those songs are either ones that are falling off the survey or just entering it, and many of them don’t get much play anymore. Friday’s list included a few that I never heard, and I was around when those songs made the survey.

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The prompt Linda picked for this week was to find a word that starts with “sh” and use that as a prompt. And of course I ignored what I was supposed to do, but I think it came our fine, anyway. I started by referring to an old Schweppes ad campaign from the Sixties, “Sch… You know who,” even though it starts with “sch” but is pronounced “sh.” From there I discussed how I think The Big Bang Theory, which stars Jim Parsons as Sheldon (there’s your “sh”), has jumped the shark. New reader Catherine Lynn (welcome!) said her husband had told her they were going to cancel the show after this season, which I wouldn’t mind at all, the way things are going. I had heard they had a contract through 2018, but there are always ways around that. Janet says she’s mostly watching the reruns and hasn’t seen many of the new episodes, and pointed out that Howard’s wife Bernadette has gone into labor, so the shows in the new year will probably center around that. I’m sorry, but I think the show was better when they were four socially-awkward college professors and a street-smart beauty. But that’s just me.

This past week, I ordered The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen, and it should find its way to my Kindle on Tuesday. Watching the reruns of What’s My Line? has made me curious about her, especially since I’ve learned she was born and raised in Canaryville on Chicago’s South Side, not far from where Mary and I lived after we were married (and near where Mary grew up). She’s introduced on the old shows as a theater columnist, but she thought of herself as a reporter. Not long before she died, she interviewed Jack Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK’s assassin). While the coroner said she had mixed narcotics and liquor, leading to her death, the official cause of death is listed as “unknown.” Richard Shaw, the author, has evidence that suggests she was murdered to keep her quiet about what Ruby told her, and if so, her killer might still be at large. It looks like it could be an interesting read. I have my suspicions about that. I’ll let you know what I think of the book when I finish it, which might be later this week or next.

Besides that, more of the usual. See you this week!

Schweppes and Sheldon #socs

First thing I thought of was the old Schweppes ad campaign, “Sch… you know who,” but that’s not “sh,” is it?

That’s William Franklyn starring in that ad. Here in the US, there was a bearded man that did the “sch…”ing. Couldn’t find one of those commercials.

I wonder how much longer they plan on keeping The Big Bang Theory going. Sheldon is really getting on my nerves. All of them are, actually. I think it’s run its course. Of course, Happy Days ran for like eight more seasons after Fonzie “jumped the shark,” where that expression comes from, so I guess we’ll just have to wait. I’m at the point where I’m looking for excuses to watch old game shows. Seriously, we watch NCIS and TBBT on network TV and that’s about it.

I’d write more, but I realized that, sh!t, I have nothing else to say…


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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station.

The Friday Five: WLS’s Bottom Five, Fifty Years Ago Today

I promised you that the next time I did a survey post I would take the bottom five of the survey and play those instead of the top five. As I was putting this together, I realized I had never heard any of these songs, at least not by the artist that recorded the one on the survey. My guess is, neither have you, which is why I do these posts.

#40: Just One Smile – Gene Pitney I have heard this one before, by Blood, Sweat & Tears from their first album, Child Is Father To The Man. It was written by Randy Newman. By this week, WLS had been playing it for six weeks, and it just entered the Silver Dollar Survey today. Nationally, it reached #64, though it reached #8 in the UK.

#39: (Come ‘Round Here) I’m the One You Need – The Miracles WLS had been playing this for five weeks, and on this week had fallen from #37. Nationally, it reached #17 eventually.

#38: There’s Got To Be A Word – The Innocence The Innocence were Peter Anders and Vincent Poncia and were previously known as The Videls and The Trade Winds. This reached #34 nationally, and had risen from #39 the week before at The Big 89.

#37: Louie Louie – The Sandpipers Their followup to “Guantanamera,” this reached #30 nationally, and had fallen from #28 this week, its eighth week on WLS’s Silver Dollar Survey. The Kingsmens’ version is the best known.

#36 – The Wheel of Hurt – Margaret Whiting Margaret had been a pop and country singer in the Forties and Fifties, and this was her second single after a five-year hiatus. Nationally, it reached #26 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It had been on the survey for five weeks and had fallen from #31 the previous week.

And that’s your Friday Five for December 2, 2016.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Night And Day”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

Falling back on another standard this week, the song is Cole Porter’s “Night And Day.” Written in 1932 for the show The Gay Divorce, later the Astaire-Rogers film The Gay Divorcee, it’s probably Porter’s most famous tune.

The battle is between a couple of singers who haven’t fared well in my battles. As good as they are, they’ve lost the battles they’ve been in. See, this way, one or the other will win. Clever, huh? Here we go.

CONTESTANT #1: Ella Fitzgerald Ella recorded this on Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook.

CONTESTANT #2: Frank Sinatra The title track from Frank’s 1962 album.

Give these two great performances a listen and let me know in the comments which you prefer. Then, visit the other BotB participants and do the same for them.

Jingle Jangle Jungle
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
Janie Junebug Righting & Editing
Tossing It Out
THE DOGLADY’S DEN
J. A. Scott
YOUR DAILY DOSE
STMcC Presents ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ *
Angels Bark
Cherdo on the Flipside
DiscConnected

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winner next Thursday, December 8, so get your vote in by then. The lines are now open… Good luck to Ella and Frank!