The Friday Five: Your Car Songs (And A Couple More From Me)

On Memorial Day, I did a post on car songs, because that was the theme for Monday’s Music Moves Me that day. Naturally, you folks came up with a few more songs, and in putting this post together I realized there were a couple I forgot. So, we have ten more car songs for this edition of The Friday Five.

I should mention that I’ve been grouping the videos for these posts into playlists when I have five or more songs, because I know that, the more videos there are in a post, the more time it takes to load the site. How much time this saves, I don’t know, but that’s what I’m doing.

  1. Chuck Berry, “Maybellene” Dan suggested this one. This was Chuck’s first hit, and was recorded at the same time as “You Can’t Catch Me” and “Wee Wee Hours.” It peaked at #5 on the Billboard pop chart (the precursor to the Hot 100) and #1 on the R&B chart in 1955. And yes, that’s the way it’s spelled.
  2. Ricky van Shelton, “Backroads” Dan also thought of this one, and I’m glad he did, because I don’t know much about “modern” country (i.e. recorded after 1990 or so). It was the title track from his 1991 album. It peaked at #2 on the US Country chart and #3 on the Canadian chart in 1992.
  3. Prefab Sprout, “Cars and Girls” Arlee thought of this one. It’s from the 1988 album From Langley Park To Memphis, and reached #44 in the UK that year.
  4. NRBQ, “Ridin’ In My Car” Martha says she kicks off the summer with this one. Haven’t been able to find much about this one except it’s from 1977. The album they recorded with Carl Perkins, 1970’s Boppin’ The Blues, is one of my favorites. A great band that hasn’t gotten much recognition, though everyone seems to know of them and likes them.
  5. Gary Numan, “Cars” Birgit asked about this one. It’s from Gary’s third album, 1979’s The Pleasure Principle, and went to #9 in the US in 1980.
  6. Deep Purple, “Highway Star” Stephen came up with this one. It’s from their 1972 album Machine Head, and Jon Lord claims the guitar and organ solos are based on Bach-like chord sequences. Whatever, he and Ritchie Blackmore really shine on this one.
  7. Walter Egan, “Blonde In A Blue T-Bird” This is another suggestion by Stephen, and it’s one I never heard before today. Information is kind of sparse about the song and the album it comes from, so if you know anything about it, let us know in the comments.
  8. The Cars, “Drive” This one and the next two are songs I thought of while I was throwing this list together, and I decided to add them. This is from The Cars’ third studio album, Heartbreak City, and their highest-charting single in the US (#3 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart) in 1984.
  9. Donald Fagen, “Trans-Island Skyway” From his 1993 album Kamakiriad, which The Blogger’s Best Friend calls “a futuristic, optimistic eight-song cycle about the journey of the narrator in his high-tech car, the Kamakiri (Japanese for praying mantis).”
  10. Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, “Too Many Drivers” Finally, some blues from one of the masters of the harmonica, from his 1973 album It All Comes Back, which I quite literally played the grooves off of during my blues stage.

Thanks to everyone who suggested these songs, and thanks for listening. That’s your Friday Five for June 16, 2017.

The Friday Five: Your “Diamond” Songs

In what is probably becoming a regular thing, there are many more songs than five in this week’s list. Twelve, to be exact. Technically, two of them don’t belong, but I added them anyway, at the end, because I’m just that kind of a guy…

  1. John Denver, “Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stones)” Uncle Jack thought of this back when I featured John Denver on Two For Tuesday. He said he and Aunt Loretta like the philosophy expressed in this one, and I can understand why. It’s the title track from his 1981 album, written by Dick Feller.
  2. Bon Jovi, “Diamond Ring” Annalisa came up with this, and asks us please not to judge her. As I told her, I don’t see why anyone would: Bon Jovi’s a pretty good band. It’s from their fifth studio album, 1995’s these Days.
  3. Joan Baez, “Diamonds & Rust” Janie thought of this one, and Martha heartily agrees. The title track from her 1975 studio album, she wrote it about Bob Dylan, with whom she had a relationship at one time. As a single, it reached #35 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  4. Paul Simon, “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” Ed came up with this, and Martha also liked this one. It was the fourth single from his fifth studio album, 1996’s Graceland, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo provide the backing vocals.
  5. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Big Blue Diamond” Calen chose this version of the song, an old country standard that’s been done by a number of artists. Meaning you’ll see it again for my June 15 Battle of the Bands.
  6. KISS, “Black Diamond” Cathy confessed she used Google to come up with this one and the next two, which is fine by me. This one was the final track on their eponymous first album from 1974.
  7. Eric Clapton, “Diamonds Made From Rain” Another Cathy choice, this is from Slowhand’s 2010 album Clapton.
  8. Enya, “Diamonds In The Water” The third Cathy choice is by the lovely Miss Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, who has Anglicized her name to Enya, thank God. It comes from her 2015 album Dark Sky Island.
  9. Bruce Cockburn, “All The Diamonds In The World” Arlee, our resident Bruce Cockburn fan, remembered this one. This is from his 1977 live album Circles In The Stream.
  10. Shinedown, “Diamond Eyes(Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” Jeanne thought of this one right away. It’s from the soundtrack for The Expendables.
  11. Billy Joe Shaver, “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I’ll Be A Diamond Some Day)” Annie over at McGuffy’s Reader has been running a series by her husband, who has taken the A to Z concept and run with it this month. Cathy thought I should use this one, and since I had already been thinking of it, I thought that was a good idea.
  12. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” Joey suggested this, saying it must be a “mom thing.” As I recall, Mozart wrote the melody, which is the same as for the alphabet song.

And that’s The Friday Five for May 26, 2017. Have a good Memorial Day weekend, if I don’t see you.

The Friday more-or-less Five: Your Traveling Songs

I did my five traveling songs for Monday’s Music Moves Me, and Kip commented “You left some obvious ones for me to pick!” And he was right, and that was my intention, because I wanted to make sure there were enough songs to go around for eveeryone. Anyway, ya’ll came up with eleven songs (I had to guess at one that Mark had left).

Ricky Nelson, “Travelin’ Man” Kip and Janet both named this one. From his 1961 album Rick Is 21, it reached #1 that year.

Willie Nelson, “On The Road Again” Another Kip suggestion, which Cathy seconded. Classic Willie from 1980, when it reached #1 on the Country chart, #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #20 on the Hot 100.

Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” Kip’s third suggestion is from The Man In Black, circa 1996. This was used as the backing music in commercials for a hotel chain, but I forget which.

John Denver, “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane” Cathy suggested this one, and Calen suggested the Peter, Paul & Mary cover. He wrote it in 1966 and named it “Babe, I Hate To Go.” Milt Okun suggested he change the name, and the rest, they say, is history.

The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” Arlee came up with this one. From the 1972 album Brothers & Sisters, written and sung by Dickie Betts. Capricorn Records couldn’t decide whether to release this or “Wasted Words” as the first single, so they sent a tape of this to stations in Boston (WRKO) and Atlanta (WQXI), and the reaction was so good they chose this one, which went as high as #2 on the Hot 100 because Cher’s “Half Breed” claimed the #1 spot.

Led Zeppelin, “Ramble On” Another Arlee choice, from Led Zeppelin’s second album, the appropriately-named Led Zeppelin II from 1969.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Travelin’ Band” Mary suggested this one, from 1970’s Cosmo’s Factory. It reached #2 on the Pop Singles chart that year.

Steppenwolf, “Magic Carpet Ride” Jeanne thought of this one. It was on Steppenwolf’s second album, 1968’s The Second. (Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?) It peaked at #3 that year.

Metallica, “Wherever I May Roam” Another Jeanne suggestion. This was the fourth single from Metallica’s eponymous fifth album and reached #82 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Album Tracks chart in 1992.

The Beatles, “Ticket To Ride” Joey came up with this, and I didn’t hold much hope of finding a copy on YouTube, but evidently the UMG gremlins missed this one and didn’t manage to get it removed or have the person who posted it taken out and shot. From their 1964 Help! album, this was #1 on the Hot 100 that year.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Travelin’ Man” Not sure if this is the song Mark was talking about when he posted the lyrics in the comment, but it seemed the most likely candidate. From their twentieth album (guess what it was called?) it reached #22 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1997.

Thanks to all who made suggestions! That’s The Friday Five for April 28, 2017.

The Friday Five: Your “Lady” Songs

So, last week I asked for songs with “lady” in the title, and you came back with fourteen of them. Here they are, in no particular order, along with credit where it’s due.

  1. The Commodores, “Lady” Janet suggested this, as did Maryann. From their 1981 album In The Pocket, it reached #8 on the Hot 100, #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #5 on the R&B chart.
  2. Kenny Rogers, “Lady” Janet, Jeanne, and Mamasick suggested this. Written by Lionel Ritchie, it went to #1 on the Hot 100, Adult Contemporary, and Country charts in 1980.
  3. Aerosmith, “Dude Looks Like A Lady” Kip came up with this, as did Jeanne. From the album Permanent Vacation, it reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Rock chart in 1987.
  4. LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” Kip added this. This has been covered a number of times, but the original and probably best of them was LaBelle’s. It went to #1 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Hot R&B chart, and #7 on the Dance chart in 1974-75.
  5. Beyoncé, “Single Ladies” I’m not sure if this is the one Kip was talking about, but it’s the one I found. From her 2008 I Am Sasha Fierce album, The song reached #1 in the US.
  6. Jim Croce, “Mississippi Lady” Ed Thierbach thought of this. This was Jim’s last single, from 1976, though it didn’t make an album until 1980’s Down The Highway. It got as high as #110.
  7. Tom Jones, “She’s A Lady” Calen thought of this one. The title track from his 1971 album, it was a #2 in the US and #1 in Canada.
  8. Chris DeBurgh, “Lady In Red” Maryann made a few suggestions here, including this. This was DeBurgh’s breakout single and went to #3 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It’s also considered one of the most annoying songs of all time.
  9. Bob Dylan, “Lay Lady Lay” Another from Maryann, as well as Jeanne. From 1969’s Nashville Skyline, it peaked at #7 on the Hot 100 that year. It was originally written for the movie Midnight Cowboy, but it wasn’t finished in time.
  10. Lionel Ritchie, “Three Times A Lady” Technically another Commodores song, but it’s mostly Lionel. Maryann and Mary B thought of this. It was released in 1978 and ended up being the only Top Ten song on the Hot 100 that year. It’s from their album Natural High.
  11. Ella Fitzgerald, “The Lady Is A Tramp” Maryann and Dan came up with this. From the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes In Arms, it appeared on her 1956 The Rodgers and Hart Songbook album.
  12. Frank Sinatra, “Luck Be A Lady” Dan, Pat, and Mary B gave us this one. From the 1950 musical Guys and Dolls, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, based on a couple of short stories by Damon Runyon, one of my stepfather’s favorite authors.
  13. Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” Jeanne thought of this one, too. Mark (lecycliste in the comments) and I used to play this one a lot, and it’s a great song. It peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 in 1970.
  14. Joe Cocker, “Delta Lady” Mary B suggested this. I actually remembered this one and posted the Leon Russell version in the comments of the original list, so I’m featuring this one here. This is from Joe’s 1970 album Mad Dogs And Englishmen, a live album taken from the tour of that name.

Thanks to all who contributed. That’s The Friday Five for April 21, 2017.

The Friday Five (Or So): Your Day Of The Week Songs

Okay, so back on March 24, I did a Friday Fifteen (as it turned out) of songs that had days of the week in the title. I asked you to come up with more, and you answered with eight more. I might just combine this with the playlist I did then, but that’s for another day. In the meantime, here’s what you came up with.

The Moody Blues, “Tuesday Afternoon” Dan came up with this. It’s from their 1967 album Days Of Future Passed, on which it’s the first part of “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)” It reached #24 on the Hot 100 and #12 on the RPM Hot Singles chart in Canada in 1968.

The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” Arlee added this, which I forgot about. It reached #16 in the US in 1966.

Simon & Garfunkel, “Wednesday Morning, 3 AM” Ed suggested this one. It’s the title track from their 1964 debut album, which was re-released in 1966 because “Sounds of Silence” did so well on the singles chart that year.

Jim Croce, “Thursday” Ed also suggested this, from Croce’s 1973 album I Got A Name. That was to be his last studio album, released posthumously.

U2, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” Pat and Joey came up with this one. It’s from their 1983 War album, and reached #7 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart that year.

Katy Perry, “Last Friday Night” Pat also shared this one, about which he says, “The latter song is a bit too campy for my tastes, but the video is mildly entertaining (modeled after an ’80s movie) including cameos by Corey Feldman, Debbie Gibson, and Kenny G.” How could I bypass it after that?

Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Tuesday’s Gone” Joey also came up with this. It’s from their 1973 debut album, (Pronounced leh-nerd skin-erd). It’s been covered a bunch of times, including by Metallica, which might have been the version she was thinking of. I’m going with the original; it’s nice to hear a song by Skynyrd that isn’t “Free Bird” or “Sweet Home Alabama,” both of which were played ad nauseum by the local rock station until they gave up the Zeppelin and Skynyrd and started playing The Backstreet Boys (or their modern counterparts)…

The Commodores, “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” Joey came up with this as well, and although the song is named “Easy,” I tossed it in here, anyway, because it’s a great song. Released in 1977, it rose to #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the Hot 100.

Thanks to all for your suggestions. If you have more, let me know. That’s your Friday Five for April 7, 2017.