Mary over at Jingle Jangle Jungle is this month’s guest conductor, and set today’s theme as “animals.” So, here’s my menagerie…
There are times when you know that you more or less promised people you were going to do something, and when it comes time to do it, you find yourself saying, “I don’t WANNA!” Today is one such day. I know I had asked for suggestions of songs that had units of time and sorta-kinda promised I’d do them today, but when I got up I was feeling like doing something different. So, apologies to everyone who suggested songs expecting to hear them today. I’ll get back to them soon, maybe for the next freebie day, maybe later this week or next, I don’t know.
Instead, I tried an experiment: I let iTunes choose 25 rock songs from my collection (“rock” being a general term that includes a whole bunch of sub-genres, as you’ll see), chose ten of them, and built a playlist. Enjoy.
- Toto, “Lea” Toto recently celebrated their 40th anniversary by releasing 40 Trips Around The Sun, a compilation of songs from all their albums to date. “Lea” originally appeared on their 1986 album Fahrenheit. The guy who made the video added scenes from the 2008 film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley (who was not named Lea in the movie), which I think we’ve seen but I don’t believe this song is in it, so I think “Angel Elvis,” who created the video, was just being artsy-fartsy.
- Traveling Wilburys, “Seven Deadly Sins” From The Wilburys’ second album, called, appropriately enough, Volume 3. Though he appears in the video, Roy Orbison (a/k/a Lefty Wilbury) had passed away before they started recording the album.
- Tommy Emmanuel, “Still Can’t Say Goodbye” This is a live version of the song off of Tommy’s 2004 album Endless Road. He tells the story behind it at the beginning of the video, and it’s quite lovely.
- Huey Lewis & The News, “Walking On A Thin Line” From their ultra-popular 1984 album Sports, it’s a song about the veterans of the Vietnam War who came home to a lot of disrespect, as if they hadn’t already faced enough horror.
- Ambergris, “Play On Player” Ambergris was a strange little band (well, not so little; I think there were nine members). Founded by Jerry Weiss, one of the original members of Blood Sweat & Tears, they recorded one album, an eponymous one from 1970. I had a copy of the album and played the grooves off it (they sounded a lot like Tower of Power, as you’ll hear), but I think I was the only one who did. I would see it in ads for Columbia House, who were always willing to sell you a dozen albums for a penny. Even at one-twelfth of a penny, most thought it overpriced.
- Little River Band, “Everyday Of My Life” From the LRB’s second album, 1976’s After Hours, it reached #29 in Australia that year. I have it on a best-of compilation, which I bought because the only song by them I thought I knew was “Reminiscin’.” Turns out I knew a whole bunch more songs by them…
- Blood Sweat & Tears, “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” Al Kooper heard Chicago’s own The Buckinghams and got all excited to hear rock with horns, so he and fellow former Blues Project member Steve Katz formed the band along with Bobby Colomby, Fred Halligan and others, including the aforementioned Jerry Weiss, and recorded 1968’s Child Is Father To The Man, from which this is taken. Kooper later faded into obscurity, BS&T hired David Clayton-Thomas as its lead vocalist, and they went on to make musical history.
- Dick Dale, “Misirlou” Debbie D., who blogs over at The Doglady’s Den and is a participant in Battle of the Bands (and whose blog you should read), featured this song in a recent battle, where she mentioned that this song is a traditional tune from the Eastern Mediterranean. Dick Dale made it a surf classic that found its way into the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
- The Beatles, “From Me To You” The Fab Four’s first album, Please Please Me, was originally turned down by Capitol Records. Parlophone, their British record label, then licensed the album to Gary, Indiana’s Vee Jay Records, along with a few of their singles, including this song. This is from The Beatles’ 1 album, and it can also be found on the Past Masters: Volume 1 album.
- Chicago, “Reruns” From Chicago 13, which was rated one star by AllMusic.com. It was the band’s second album since the death of Terry Kath, and the last one to feature Kath’s replacement, Donnie Dacus, who is now playing with Chicago’s former drummer Danny Seraphine in a band called “The California Transiut Authority.” As with many Chicago songs, it was written and sung by keyboardist Robert Lamm.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 6, 2018.
Michelle’s idea for today’s theme is “songs in sign language,” where we’re supposed to play two songs interpreted in sign language as well as the original song. I’m going to cheat a bit, because these videos of people interpreting the original songs use the original songs as the soundtrack.
I actually have some experience with this: I used to be in Music Ministry at my church, and a couple of times a month the Mass we did was interpreted for the deaf by a very nice woman. She would “sing” along with us. Anyway…
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
“Let It Go,” from the movie Frozen
And now, a list of songs with measures of time in the title. That’s “hour,” “minute,” “second,” “day,” “week,” “month,” and “year.” I looked for “century,” “fortnight,” “eon,” etc. but couldn’t find any. Maybe if you can think of any, I’ll play your ideas next week. That’ll give me time to think of more…
- Wilson Pickett, “In The Midnight Hour” Wilson Pickett was a great R& singer whose songs regularly crossed over to the Pop charts. This song hit #1 on the R&B chart and just missed the Top 20, coming in at #21.
- The Dominoes, “Sixty Minute Man” This song is marked as maybe the first rock & roll song. Whether or not it is, I’ve loved it since I heard it in the movie Bull Durham, maybe the best baseball movie ever, at least tied with Field of Dreams, both of which star Kevin Costner, who does very well with baseball movies or in movies where he plays a baseball player.
- Jake Owen, “Eight Second Ride” The title refers to the amount of time a bull rider has to stay on the back of a bull to consider it a successful ride. Professional bull riding has two sets of stars: the riders and the bulls.
- Dinah Washington, “What A Difference A Day Makes” The original version of this, which has been done by Esther Phillips, Angelina Jordan, and Amy Winehouse, among others.
- The Beatles, “Eight Days A Week” Originally on 1964’s Beatles For Sale in the UK, it was issued as a single by Capitol Records and later appeared on the 1965 album Beatles VI.
- The Anomalies, “Employee Of The Month” Don’t know much about either the band or the song, but YouTube suggested it and I thought it sounded good.
- Frank Sinatra, “It Was A Very Good Year” This was written by Ervin Drake and first done by The Kingston Trio, but Frank did the definitive version of it.
- The Doobie Brothers, “Minute By Minute” When Donald Fagen and Walter Becker turned Steely Dan into a recording-only band, they cut everyone else loose. Guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Michael McDonald ended up joining The Doobie Brothers and making them sound like Steely Dan.
- Tears For Fears, “The Working Hour” The ’80’s were arguably a great time for music, and Tears for Fears were arguably one of the reasons why. This is from their 1985 Songs From The Big Chair album.
- The Beatles, “A Day In The Life” I know, two Beatles songs, but I don’t care. This is from the Fab Four’s 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which I maintain is one of the better albums from the period.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 30, 2018.
The idea for this came from my Uncle Jack, who suggested the song “A Bushel and A Peck” as a possible fit for last week’s M4. Now bushel and peck aren’t numbers per se, but they’re associated with numbers: they’re units of measure. Immediately songs titles suggested themselves, and I had this week’s theme.
- Doris Day, “A Bushel and A Peck” Uncle Jack’s suggestion. It was written by Frank Loesser for the 1950 musical Guys And Dolls, but was left out of the 1955 film version, replaced by a song called “Pet Me, Poppa.” I’m not making that up, The Blogger’s Best Friend told me so. Doris’s version reached #30 in January 1951 and became popular again in 2017 when State Farm Insurance used it in a commercial. A peck is two dry gallons, or 8.8 liters; a bushel is four pecks, or 35.2 liters. Just thought you’d like to know.
- Julie Andrews, “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring Julie, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber, with whom I share a birthday and who would be 62 if he hadn’t died in 1977. I remember Dad taking Mom and the three of us to see it one Sunday. What I remember of the day was it was cold, we stopped at Grandma’s, she gave me an old clock, and I bawled uncontrollably at “Feed The Birds,” which was written by the Sherman Brothers and was Walt Disney’s favorite song (when Walt was having a bad day, he’d summon the Shermans to his office and have them play it for him). Assuming the spoon is a teaspoon, it’s 5 ml, 15 ml if it’s a tablespoon.
- The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” Scottish twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid were the core of The Proclaimers. This record was #11 in the UK and #1 in Australia in 1988 and #3 in the US in 1993. I needn’t tell you that 500 miles is 800 kilometers, as 1 mile is 1.6 kilometers.
- The Byrds, “Eight Miles High” Folk-rock pioneers The Byrds only took this to #14 in the US and #24 in the UK in 1966. For ten points, eight miles is how many kilometers?
- Harry Chapin, “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” From his 1974 album Verities and Balderdash, it was based on an actual incident in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was very popular in concert among Harry’s fans but not among Harry’s band members, who uttered the phrase “Harry, it sucks!” on a live recording. It became a catchphrase aming his fans, who even had it printed on t-shirts. Wikipedia, from which I got all that information, also tells me that 30,000 pounds of bananas (or anything else, for that matter) is equivalent to 14 tonnes, where one tonne (pronounced “tunny,” because I said so) is 1000 kilograms.
- Aerosmith, “Big 10-Inch Records” From their 1975 album Toys In The Attic, it takes a risqué double entendre and turns it into a rather good song about a guy impressing his girlfriend with his collection of 78 rpm blues records, which are ten inches (25.4 centimeters) across.
- Peter, Paul & Mary, “500 Miles” The Beatles’ least-favorite folk act (John Lennon called them “Pizza, Pooh and Magpie”) released this as the B side to their 1963 single “Settle Down (Goin’ Down That Highway)” from their 1963 album Moving. I told you what 500 miles was in kilometers already. 😉
- The Who, “I Can See For Miles” Recorded on their 1967 album The Who Sell Out, it was the only single from that album and was their only single to reach the Top Ten, peaking at #9 in November of that year. We already established that a mile is 1.6 kilometers…
- Howlin’ Wolf, “Spoonful” The song is by the legendary Willie Dixon, who wrote a lot of songs recorded by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and just about everyone else on the South and West sides. Wolf’s recording came out in 1960, and Etta James had an R&B hit with it the following year. Cream recorded for their first album, 1966’s Fresh Cream. See #2 for appropriate conversion information.
- Keith, “98.6” A song that really belonged with last week’s theme, I throw it in here because nearly everyone knows that 98.6 refers to normal body temperature, 98.6° Fahrenheit, 37.5° centigrade (or Celsius, whichever you prefer). And, I like the song. James Barry Keefer, a/k/a Keith, had a #7 hit in the US in 1967 with this. And, Wikipedia tells us, “Australian Radio Station smoothfm re-recorded a version of this song and replaced 98.6 with their on air frequencies of 95.3 and 91.5. Australian recording artist Rick Price sings vocals on the new version.”
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 23, 2018.
So, today, Michelle wants songs with numbers in the title. I’ve already done a couple of numbers posts (here and here), so I cannibalized those, leaving several songs out and adding a few I thought you’d enjoy.
- Stacey Q, “Two Of Hearts” From 1986, this was the lovely Miss Q’s biggest hit, reaching #3 in the US and #1 in Canada.
- The Four Aces, “Three Coins In The Fountain” Theme song from the 1954 movie, it was written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1955. The Four Aces took it to #1 in 1954.
- Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Sixteen Tons” The song was originally performed by Merle Travis in 1947, but Ernie took it to #1 on both the Country and Pop charts in 1955. Not bad for such a downer of a song, but that voice…
- From The Music Man, “76 Trombones” The final scene from the 1962 film adaptation of the Meredith Wilson-Franklin Lacey musical.
- Tommy Emmanuel and Frank Vignola, “Swing 42” Django Reinhardt wrote an annual song called “Swing (the year),” and this is the one from 1942. Tommy and Frank give an impromptu performance backstage while waiting to go on.
- Tommy Tutone, “867-5309/Jenny” I did not know this: Tommy Tutone is the name of the band, whose lead singer is Tommy Heath. The original name of the band was Tommy and the Tu-Tones. This was their one big hit, reaching #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1982.
- Ry Cooder, “One Meat Ball” In 1855, George Martin Lane write “The Lone Fish Ball” while a student at Harvard, and it became a favorite of undergraduates there. It was modernized in 1944 by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer as “One Meat Ball”, and Ry Cooder recorded it for his 1970 eponymous debut album.
- Traffic, “40,000 Headmen” From Traffic’s first live album, 1971’s Welcome To The Canteen. I first heard the overblown version done by Blood Sweat & Tears off their third album, and I like this one better.
- Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra, “Route 66 (TV Theme)” CBS, who originally carried the 1960-1964 series Route 66, didn’t want to pay royalties to license Bobby Troup’s 1946 song originally done by Nat King Cole, so they commissioned Nelson Riddle to write a theme song. The piano riff that dominates the song was Riddle’s tribute to the original.
- Warren Barker Orchestra, “77 Sunset Strip (TV Theme)” The series ran from 1958 to 1964 and starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith and Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, and the only thing I remember is the song…
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 16, 2018.