“Oh My, But That Little Country Boy Could Play…”

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry circa 1955 (original source unknown).

 

This is, indeed, a tremendous loss. As one of the architects of rock and roll, Chuck Berry’s contribution to music, for those who play it, listen to it and love it, will always be immense. The guitar riff that opens “Johnny B. Goode” is perfection defined.  Nearly 20 years after its release, it was included on Voyager 1’s Golden Record.  And in 1985, it took us all “Back To The Future“.

 

Chuck and Bruce

Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry performing together at the Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Sept. 1995 (Courtesy Mike Duncan/AP).

 

When the Beatles came to America on February 7, 1964 and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” two days later, it changed the world.  When the Beatles performed their first concert in the United States later that same year – in Washington, DC – their opening song was “Roll Over Beethoven” because Chuck Berry changed their world.

Thank you for everything, Chuck. We miss you already.

 

Advertisements

Grammy Thoughts With A Valentine

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy Monday!!!

Did any of you watch the 59th Annual Grammy Awards last night?  When I heard Justin Bieber was somehow nominated for Album of the Year (I know, WTH???) I debated a boycott of the show again like I did last year (read more about that here), but in the end I wanted to see a few of the performers (and Bieber cry and/or throw a tantrum when he lost) so I decided to watch it.  Besides, it is a great way to catch up on the new music worth hearing that I might have missed throughout the year.

59th_grammy_awards_oep1

Here are my thoughts from the show.  I will start with the bad:

The politics.

I look forward to all the big awards show every year.  I love to watch what dresses the women will be wearing, how humble the acceptance speeches might be, the host, the presenters, the bad jokes-all of it.  But so far both the Golden Globes & the SAG Awards have turned into personal political platforms.  This is not something new.  For example, in 1973 Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor Oscar for “The Godfather” in  protest of the film industry’s treatment of American Indians.  But given the immaturity and over-inflated egos of many of today’s Top 40 singers, I knew last night would be worse.

 

tim-faith-grammy-2

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill looking as great as ever at last night’s Grammy Awards

(original source unknown). 

 

To be clear, I believe and support the First Amendment with all my heart.  However, after such a long ugly race for the White House, all the protesting which sometimes turns violent (like on Inauguration Day) or laughable by people attending dressed as a sex organ, the ongoing disrespect for the office and the refusal of the people who supported the losing side to accept that it is over, I am exhausted by all of it.  I watch the awards shows to escape into the grown up equivalent of the land of make believe (Hollywood) so I am not interested in hearing personal political opinions during these presentations.  We are in the age of social media.  Take to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or whatever source you enjoy and rant till your heart is content.  Let me and the rest of the audience enjoy our mini-escape into your world for one night.

The Newly Self Appointed Fertility Goddess (or the artist formerly known as Beyonce).

Talk about a completely ego driven performance-this was the worst I have seen.  Between her mother introducing the number, to the bizarre images and pre-recorded sounds and narrative, to the camera constantly cutting to her smiling husband to her daughter running around her, it was an absurd mess.  And shame on the powers that be at the Grammys for giving her nine full minutes to showcase that spectacle while cutting off people’s acceptance speeches.

Double dipping.

bruno-mars

Bruno Mars saluting Prince at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards (original source unknown)

 

I love Adele and was so happy to watch her perform the show’s opening number.  But since she was slated to perform the George Michael tribute, wasn’t there someone else who could have opened the show?  (And this has nothing to do with her do-over.  Mistakes happen and it proves her singing is real, not lip synced).  The same with the Prince tribute.  Was Bruno Mars the only person who wanted to participate, other than The Time?  It just can’t be.  And he had performed a song less than an hour earlier.  The Grammys did the same thing last year with Lady Gaga as the only person to salute David Bowie.  There is a wide range of musicians out there.  Tom Petty won the Music Cares Person of the Year Award and Sly Stone (of Sly & the Family Stone) won a Lifetime Achievement Award.  A performance by either one would have been welcome.  Let all the voices in music be heard.

The Bee Gees Salute.

I grew up listening to “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” because it was one of my mother’s favorite songs.  To this day I know all the words and cannot help but sing along with it when it comes on the 70’s music channel.  The Bee Gees made some great  music before they went disco with “Saturday Night Fever”.  Yet every time there is a salute to their songs, it is usually focused on that record, much to my chagrin.  Add to that the salute was done by a bunch of previous Disney stars took it from bad to worse.  I am a Springsteen fan.  That is the music equivalent of being a Harvard graduate.  Disco is the music equivalent of getting a GED.  Does that visual make you feel my pain???

The Rap segment.

It was rap.  No further explanation needed.

Now for the good:

James Corden.

james-corden

James Corden in his underwear after the guys from Twenty One Pilots (below) accepted their award that way (original sources unknown)..

21-pilots

 

This man is hilarious.  And after seeing the skit with his parents, it is clear where he got it from.  From his opening show rap, to the impromptu “Carpool Karaoke” (led by the great Neil Diamond, who should have had a full performance slot on the show), to Corden appearing in his underwear to mirror the guys from Twenty One Pilots to dressing up to act like a presenter, he was great for the entire show.  I must remember to DVR his show more often.

 

David Bowie.

bowie-the-independent

Courtesy of The Independent (original source unknown)

 

The rock star won 5 posthumous awards for “Blackstar”:  Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Recording Package & Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.  Well done, Major Tom.  Wish you were able to accept them in person.

 

The Beatles.

ron-hoard

Ron Howard, Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney (original source unknown).

 

Best Music Film was awarded to Ron Hoard for his labor of love, “The Beatles:  Eight Days A Week–The Touring Years”.  I still have not seen it but it is next on my list.  Don’t judge-Springsteen’s autobiography took up a lot of my time last year  🙂

 

Sturgill Simpson.

sturgill_simpson_photo_2016

Original source unknown 

 

His album “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” (love that title) won Best Country Album and it was well deserved.  He performed one of the songs from it, “All Around You” with the Dap- Kings and it was one of my favorite moments of the night.

 

Maren Morris.

maren-morris

Courtesy of Billboard 

 

Wow, this girl is incredible.  Her voice, her lyrics, her stage presence-she has it all.  Her nominations included Best Country Album (for “Hero”), Best Country Song (for “My Church“, a song I should have written) and Best Country Solo Performance for the same tune which she won over the likes of Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Miranda Lanbert. Last night she performed a different song from the record – “Once” – with Alicia Keys and it was sensational.  A few online stories that I read about Morris said she was turned down by both American Idol and The Voice.  I do not watch reality shows because I do not think there is anything real about them, and this just proves my point.  I think this girl has a huge career in front of her.

Adele.

adele-grammy-press-room-2017-grammys-billboard-1548

Courtesy of Billboard.com (original source unknown)

 

Fantastic as always, even with the do-over.  Five well deserved Grammys.

But I thought her fawning over Beyonce was way too much.  If Adele did not want to go up against Beyonce, she could have taken her album out of the running.  I am so sick of hearing about how white the Grammys are every time a black person loses to a white one.   Where was the white uproar when Kanye West hijacked the stage at the 2009 VMA’s and embarrassed the hell out of Taylor Swift because he did not think she deserved to win?  Or when 50 Cent walked across the Grammy stage in 2004 cursing because he did not win Best New Artist?

This year another rapper, Frank Ocean, not only boycotted the show but refused to put his two albums in the running for any nominations (as if they would automatically be nominated) because he thought Kendrick Lamar’s album deserved to win the Best Album Award last year over Taylor Swift’s.  This bad sportsmanship and sense of entitlement is beyond rude.  I don’t know about anyone else,  but I am really tired of hearing about the race card.  Why is that more important than the gender card?  I am a woman living in a country where a black man became president before a woman ever became vice-president. Women still earn less than men do at the same jobs.  As far as I am concerned, the gender issue needs to finally be addressed.

This post was about the Grammys, right?  🙂

I do not own the rights to anything.  All opinions are my own.

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, here is one of my favorite love songs ever (set to an adorable little video).  Enjoy!!!

Bruce Springsteen:  Should I Fall Behind.

love

(original source unknown)

 

Until next time, fellow Vixens, keep digging!!!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!!! Song #25

Merry Christmas, Vixens!!!

Thank you for letting me share my favorite holiday music with you!!!

Peace.jpg

Original source unknown.

 

May we all receive the gift of peace today and in the new year.

Peace in our lives, peace in our hearts, peace in our world.

Gladys Knight:  Let There Be Peace On Earth.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

 

peace-2

Original source unknown.

Merry Christmas & Song #24

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

 

o-holy-night-390x250

Courtesy:  Sanctuary United Church of Christ (original source unknown)

 

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday or whatever celebration you choose.

There is only one choice for today’s song.  All I had to do was pick which version from all the many wonderful ones to choose from.

I finally settled on this one.  The musical arrangement is stunning.  And the singer performs it beautifully.

Faith Hill:  O Holy Night.

Here’s another cover of the song that I cannot get enough of.  Yes, it may be totally irreverent, but that does not make it any less funny.

 

south-park

Courtesy:  Comedy Central.

 

From South Park:  Eric Cartman’s version.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening & Merry Christmas!!!

 

img_17261

Christmas Decorations & Countdown Song #23

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Today’s post will also feature some of my decorations.  I hope you enjoy them!!!

After I put the ornaments on the tree, I light it up to see how it looks before I add whatever topper I am going to use. It’s like my seal of approval that the tree is ready.  This was the first picture I took to check it and I was so happy with how pretty it turned out.   I love real trees, especially the chubby ones!!!

 

img_20161218_1831361

 

Here’s a look at it during the day,  I usually do not do themes for Christmas.  I prefer to focus on the colors of the season that I enjoy the most, like green, silver, white or natural hues like from the raffia bow.

 

img_17261

 

I absolutely A-D-O-R-E adding some greenery to an Ironstone pitcher.  The color of the pine needles just pop in the neutral container.  It also adds some wonderful fragrance to whatever room I put it in.  This is one of my bed side tables so I can inhale the heavenly scent all night long!!!  And I love the contrast of the rich white pitcher and the rusty goodness of the cabinet.  I found it exactly like this and could not resist the wonderful patina.   Swoon!!!

 

img_20161223_0835221

 

I used this child’s Windsor chair-my very first purchase from my very first Brimfield trip in 2005-to give a few cherished items a place of honor.  Many, many years ago I went to my first day-after-Christmas sale.  I lived near a Fortunoff’s store and they had an entire second building next to the main store dedicated to Christmas for the last three months of the year.

Since it was 100 years ago, that was unheard of…..and a sight to be seen.  When I went for my yearly decoration search, the clerk at the register mentioned the big sale the day after Christmas.  I do not know why I had the day off-perhaps Christmas fell on a weekend like this year.  Anyway, I knew that meant I was going to the sale.  I spent Christmas day with my grandmother and my aunt, and we all decided to go together.

 

img_17421

 

The snowman was the first thing I saw at the sale that I wanted, and luckily there were a number of them so I had no problem snagging mine.  We looked at decorations for hours, just taking in all the exceptional items the store carried while making our way through the hordes of other shoppers doing the same thing.  Then my grandmother spotted the Holy Family figurine (mixed in with other religious statues) and she became a woman obsessed.  She got right in the middle of the huddle and was tossing boxes side to side trying to find the one she wanted.  My aunt and I started helping her, and finally my grandmother found it-at the same time my aunt found one for herself.  Success all around.

After our shopping trip, we decided to have lunch at a nearby diner.  As we were sipping our hot beverages of choice, my grandmother pulled the figurine out of the box to give it a closer look….or so I thought.  She placed it on the table between our plates, then reached for the box and placed it in front of me on the table.  Then she slid the figurine over to me.

“You take it home,” she said.

I told her no, that she wanted it and worked so hard to get it, that she should treasure it.

But she shook her head no.

“I have a nativity set.  I bought this for you,” she said.  “You need to at least have the Holy Family in your house for Christmas.”

She was like Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” reminding me what Christmas was all about.

 

img_17721

 

My grandmother raised me.  She cooked and cleaned for me, took care of me when I was sick, listened to Bruce Springsteen with me and taught me how to cook.  She shared my joys and my heartaches with me.  She also made me nuts and gave me gray hair.  But I know she loved me without question.  When I think of her pushing through that crowd and digging through those boxes for me, I remember how she fought to give me back my faith when I was struggling with it.  And it was not through her well honed tactics like guilt, lecturing, yelling or fighting.  It was important enough for her to to show me by making a gesture.  A quiet, enormously grand and loving gesture.  And one of my most cherished Christmas memories ever.

Hence, the place of honor 🙂

 

img_17631

 

Today’s song is from “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”.  It is one of two songs sung by Sam the Snowman, who narrates the story.  I know he was not real, but to me he seemed so much more “alive” than Frosty.  Sam was wise, kind and very smart.  Frosty just melted.

I love both songs Sam sings, but this one I love just a bit more.

Burl Ives:  Holly Jolly Christmas.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #22

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

perfect-snowman

 

Original source unknown.

 

Today’s song is for the adults traveling to their childhood home for Christmas;

For the college kids going home for the semester break;

For the soldier who’s tour just ended & is en route home;

For the person who has been sick but is now well enough to go home;

For the estranged member of a family who is forgetting the grudge that took them away;

For the friends getting their guest rooms ready for their visitors to arrive for the holidays;

snowmen-3

Original source unknown.

 

For the grandparents waiting for their grandchildren to come home;

For anyone who found a home this year;

For anyone who rescued a dog this year;

For those still so far away from home but will see their families through Face Time;

For the wounded hero finding comfort in a new home;

For those who look forward to finding home and hearth in the new year;

For those just happy to be around for another Christmas.

This song is for you.

Kenny Loggins:  Celebrate Me Home.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

two-snowmen

Original source unknown.

 

Christmas Song Countdown #21

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

tree

Courtesy of:  The City Sage (original source unknown)

 

Today’s pick was an easy choice.  My Christmas season is not complete until I hear this song by Elvis Presley himself.  Let’s be real-there was not a piece of music the King sang that I did not like.  His delivery was always impeccable with just the right amount of emotion in his velvety smooth voice.  Combine that with the heavy bass line and the fantastic back-up singers and you have one heck of a song.

But as much as I love Elvis’ Blue ChristmasI remembered another version of this song that I love, too.  It is by an artist who died on his 79th birthday in April.  Another country music star who had that heavy-drinking-fast-living-outlaw persona but that started from his past as a convict while he was in his late teens and early 20’s.  While in jail he realized that all he would get for a life of petty crimes and robberies were those steel bars, so he began to turn his life around, especially after seeing Johnny Cash’s San Quentin concert in 1959.

elvis

Courtesy of:  Elvis.com

 

This artist’s version of Blue Christmas is acoustic and his voice is much edgier than the King’s, bit it still works.  Maybe because I’m a fan, maybe because I am sorry he is gone, maybe a little of both.  The last time I saw him perform was on the 2014 Grammy Awards.  where he sang with his buddies Kris (sa-woon) Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.  Some of his hits include “If We Make It Through December“, “Silver Wings“, “That’s The Way Love Goes” and “Bar Room Buddies“, a duet with Clint Eastwood from the movie “Bronco Billy”.  However, he will probably best be remembered as an “Okie from Muskogee“.

Merle Haggard:  Blue Christmas.

merle

Merle Haggard Courtesy of:  ABC News (original source unknown)

 

P.S.  I found this on YouTube the other day, and I still have not stopped laughing.  I am not a big fan of Porky Pig’s, but his performance.of this song is just too funny!!!  Enjoy!!!

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

silver-bells