The theme is “Colors” again, so I went off in search of songs I hadn’t done before. I added a couple of new ones but most are old favorites.
- Tom Jones, “The Green Green Grass of Home” A country classic, first recorded by Porter Wagoner in 1965, but Tom had the big hit with it, going to #1 worldwide in 1966.
- Dean Martin, “Red Sails In The Sunset” A standard done by everyone from Nat King Cole to The Beatles. Dean makes it look easy on his weekly show, sitting on the couch, cigarette in hand, and singing like he’s in your living room. Which, when you think about it, he was, or in the den or wherever you had your TV.
- 1910 Fruitgum Company, “1 2 3 Red Light” I read once that they named themselves after an old gum wrapper one of the band found in a suit his grandfather owned. This came out in 1968 and went to #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Canadian RPM Singles chart.
- Neil Diamond, “Forever In Blue Jeans” Neil’s written some great songs and this is one of them. Reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1979.
- The Neighborhood, “Big Yellow Taxi” A song by Joni Mitchell covered by a local Chicago band, one of whom lived in my neighborhood. It was a hit on WLS in 1970 and went to #29 nationally.
- Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, “Black Magic Woman” Kind of a twofer, when you think about it. The Sixties version of Fleetwood Mac featured British blues guitar legend Peter Green, who wrote the song and sang on it. This was released in 1968, two years before Santana had a hit with it.
- Perez Prado, “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” Two colors in the title for the price of one! The song was originally titled “Cerisiers Roses et Pommiers Blancs” and the music was written in 1950 by the French composer Louiguy. Jacques LaRue wrote the French lyrics, while Mack David wrote the English ones, but Prado’s instrumental version was a smash hit in 1955.
- The Kingston Trio, “Greenback Dollar” My aunts used to sing this one all the time. Hoyt Axton wrote it, and the Kingston Trio did it on their third 1962 release New Frontier. It peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and reached #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1963, despite radio stations having to bleep out the word “damn” in the chorus.
- Leroy Anderson, “Blue Tango” Leroy Anderson wrote a number of popular and somewhat quirky songs, including “Holiday For Strings,” “The Syncopated Clock,” and “The Typewriter.” The Boston Pops Orchestra recorded many of his songs, including this one. This was the #1 record for 1952.
- Django Reinhardt, “Limehouse Blues” Again, two colors in the name (lime is a shade of green). Django recorded this with Stephane Grappelli and the rest of the Quintette du Hot Club de France in the Thirties.
- Mel McDaniel, “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” Somehow Neil Diamond’s “Forever In Blue Jeans” and this song have become linked in my mind and I can’t do one without the other. This was a #1 hit for Mel in 1984.
- Roger Whitaker, “Yellow Bird” The last time we did colors, my brother told me that, unless I included this song, my aunts would do me bodily harm. There are hundreds of versions of this, including one by The Kingston Trio, but I had already done one by them. I found this, which is a rare version of the song apparently only found on a Canadian children’s album. Roger Whitaker had a great voice and sold lots of albums, mostly from TV comercials.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for March 12, 2018.