Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you at the start of this new week?

How was your weekend?  Did you host, attend or avoid a Superbowl party yesterday?  If you missed the game, let me summarize:  Party.  Chips.  Salsa.  Snack foods.  Expensive new commercials.  Congratulations, Broncos 🙂  Better luck next year, Panthers 😦

Super_Bowl_50_logo

Or maybe you acknowledged the 52nd anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America, specifically New York.  And tomorrow, February 9, marks the same number of years since they first made their historic debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show“.  The link contains the entire show, commercials included (I especially loved seeing the now vintage packaging for Pillsbury Flour & All Detergent!!!).  What a treat for those of us not around then to have seen history in the making that night!!!  To say it changed music, let alone the world FOREVER, is almost an understatement.  All hail John, Paul, George & Ringo!!!  We are eternally in love and indebted 🙂

Trivia:  The Beatles performed five songs that night.  What was the first one they sang?  No cheating!!!  LOL

Beatles at JFK

     Source:  Topics.nytimes.com
Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Source:  Cbsnews.com

Speaking of the Beatles, and with Valentine’s Day a week away, I have been listening a lot to my favorite love song ever:  Something***.   Second place:  Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley***.

Saturday I was again lost with no estate sales in my area, so I did the next best thing: looked for treasures on Etsy, Ebay and Craigslist.  Saw many things I loved, but most were out of my budget range.   Sigh.

But I did see this really cute idea on Country Living’s website.  I cannot wait to try this.  What a great way to use vintage or even newer tins by just adding magnets:

country living

Source:  CountryLiving.com/A Pretty Cool Life

Thought about Valentine’s Day.  Forget flowers or jewelry-this is what I want:

Puppy heart

Source:  Pinterest (Original source unknown).

Or maybe just this:

English_Bulldog_Confine_Your_Pup

Source:  Englishbulldog.name

Or this:

romeo-the-pug-puppies-daily-puppy-pug-dogs-puppy

Source:  Rotifresh.com

Watched “The Time Traveler’s Wife“*** for the 9,237th time.  The scene where he sees his mother on the train makes me sob.  Each.  And.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Sigh.

So, how was your weekend?

I do not own the rights to any of the music or videos I am sharing with you, but the starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support 🙂

Have a lovely week!!!

Oh, and “All My Loving” was the first song the Beatles performed on “Ed Sullivan” 🙂

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

 

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The King And I

I can still remember the first time I saw Elvis Presley on TV.  (No, it was not his now infamous “Ed Sullivan” appearance.  I was too young for that.)  My mother was watching “Jailhouse Rock” one afternoon and I sat down to watch it with her.  I was not too happy the movie was in black and white, but when I remembered “The Addams Family” was also, along with certain reruns of “Bewitched” I rolled with it.

My mother began to explain the movie to me (“Elvis was not a bad man.  He just tried to help a woman stay safe from a man who was bad except the judge did not believe Elvis…”).  However, before I heard the rest of the story this beautiful but not bad man with the high hair and unbelievably great voice started to sing:  “The Warden threw a party in the county jail…”.   Sa-woon!!!  OK, I was only 6 or 7 so I did not know the meaning of that word then, but now that I do trust me, it fits!!!

800px-Elvis_Presley_Jailhouse_Rock2[1]

Publicity photo from the movie “Jailhouse Rock” (MGM Inc)

Before I knew it, the not bad man slid down the pole and was doing his hip-shaking, walk-dance amongst the other inmates.  I was mesmerized.  I remember saying to my mother, “Wow, what a great song” to which she replied, “Just wait until you hear him sing a slow song”.  And such was my introduction to Elvis Aaron Presley, not to mention the phenomenal songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Years later, I watched Presley’s film “Change of Habit” with my grandmother.  I could not believe his co-star was my beloved Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) as a nun!!!  But I digress.

Thanks to my mother’s love for Presley, I grew up listening to albums like “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (I still swoon over “Blue Christmas“), “A Date With Elvis”, “For LP Fans Only”, “Blue Hawaii”,  and the rest of the soundtracks.  As much as I love his rock & roll songs, my mother was right:  his ballads are beyond beautiful.  My personal favorite is “Can’t Help Falling In Love“, my mother’s favorite was “Love Me Tender“, but let’s not forget “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Crying In The Chapel“, “The Wonder Of You” or “In The Ghetto” just to name a few more.   I also love the version his daughter Lisa Marie Presley did in 2007 as a duet with her father.

I am profoundly sad to report that my mother’s records were lost when we moved into our house on Long Island.  Sigh.  But I have amassed my own collection of Elvis’ recordings with CD’s and vinyl whenever I am lucky enough to find the latter at garage and estate sales.  And on March 18, a limited edition 60 disc set of Presley’s recording will be released to honor the 60th anniversary of his first album release.  The box set will include three CD’s of rarity recordings and a 300 page book.   I am saving my pennies now.  If that is too much of an investment for your budget, try “Elvis 30 #1 Hits“.

In the meantime, enjoy the King’s performance from “Jailhouse Rock” as we remember him on what would have been his 81st birthday.

elvis-presley[1]

Source:  vagalume.com

I do not own the rights to anything nor have I been sponsored in any way for this post.  I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

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

 

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #1

The #1 song on the countdown was called “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969 by none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.  It also has the distinct honor of being the most covered Beatles song second only to “Yesterday”.  The top song on my list is…drum roll please…”Something” by the Beatles.

Inspired by James Taylor’s 1968 song “Something In The Way She Moves” and written by George Harrison for his first wife, Pattie Boyd, the song was the masterpiece of his career as a Beatle.  It was released on the album “Abbey Road” and issued with “Come Together” as a double single which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1969.

That was the Beatles 18th chart topper, putting them one song ahead of Elvis Presley’s previous record of 17.  A video of the Beatles and their wives set to the song was also released that year to promote it and the album amid rumors that a break up of the Fab Four was imminent.

Harrison’s lyrics expressed  both his love for his wife while acknowledging the uncertainty that is the future:

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Legends including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Elton John & Willie Nelson have covered “Something” either on record or live in concert.  Sadly Harrison’s marriage to Boyd did not grow, as she eventually left him for his best friend, Eric Clapton.  But that’s another song (“Layla” to be exact).

After the Beatles broke up, Harrison went on to have a successful solo career and hosted one of the first benefit concerts ever-1971’s Concert for Bangladesh.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 by Mick Jagger and Harrison was inducted as a solo artist in 2004 by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who were members of Harrison’s other band-the Traveling Wilburys .

As if the attacks of 9/11/01 were not devastating enough to the world that year, two months after those tragedies we lost George Harrison to cancer, which left only two of the four Beatles around to carry on the legacy of one of the greatest bands of all time.  Sigh 😦

There you have it, Vixens-my picks for the top 14 love songs.  Hope I included some of your favorites or helped you discover some new ones.

***BONUS:  One of my favorite songs is named “Valentine” and it is by E Street guitarist Nils Lofgren, with a little help from the Boss himself.

***BONUS TWO:  If you have never seen the Golden Girls episode entitled “Valentine’s Day“, take about 20 minutes out now to watch it.  I love all their episodes, but this one is in their top 10.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #4

A music countdown of any kind would never be complete without a song from the King himself, Elvis.  And a Valentine’s Day list of great love songs would never be complete without his 1961 hit  “Can’t Help Falling In Love“.

Written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore & George David Weiss, the song hit #2 on the Pop chart & #1 on the Easy Listening chart for six weeks.  It was featured in the movie “Blue Hawaii” and the soundtrack went on to spend 20 weeks in the #1 spot on the Albums Chart.

I cannot imagine anyone, male or female, who is not captivated by Elvis’ delivery of such beautiful and heartfelt lyrics:

“Take my hand
take my whole life too
For I can’t help
falling in love with you”

This song was Elvis’ finale for the last decade of his career, but my guess is women swooned as much then as they did during the early days of his hip shaking career.  One listen to this or any Elvis song for that matter and you understand why there was no one like Elvis Aaron Presley and there never will be.

He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 by Julian and Sean Lennon.  This year would have marked the King’s 80th birthday and even though he has been gone almost 40 years, you can still celebrate his legacy by taking a pilgrimage to Graceland.

I had the exquisite pleasure of hearing Bruce Springsteen perform this song as one of his encores, and it was phenomenal.  Of course Bruce’s voice is nothing like Elvis’ but then again who’s is?  But Springsteen gave the song all the passion he had , which made his performance simply gorgeous.  It was especially poignant for me as I sat there in the crowd thinking, “I am watching my musical idol sing a song by my mother’s musical idol.  Too cool.”

If only she could have been there with me to enjoy it in person.  Sigh.

Enjoy!!!

Image result for valentines day clip art

All Hail The King!!!

Photo courtesy of fineartamerica.com

Today Vixens we celebrate the 80th birthday of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis.  This man did it all:  sang, danced and acted (what is referred to today as a triple threat).  But what we are indebted to him for most of all is bringing rock and roll music-complete with country, R&B & gospel roots plus the songwriting geniuses of Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller-into mainstream America.

There is nothing I can write about this man that has not already been written, so I will not bore you with words other than these:  Thank you, Elvis Aaron Presley, for the enormous gift you gave and left us.  We are deeply indebted and grateful.

Here is a link to a YouTube montage clip of His Royalty performing one of those Leiber & Stoller gems, “Hound Dog“.  Pay homage to the King!!!

Enjoy, Vixens!!!

My Top 20 Christmas Songs

Music is such a special part of my life, and Christmas songs are no different.  There have been so many great versions of almost every song, it was hard to narrow it down to just 20.  But with 10 days to go before the big day, I thought I would share my list with all of you.

Each song includes a link to a YouTube video.  I do not own the rights to anything, nor am I associated with any of the channels/videos that I chose.  I just picked ones that showcased either the artists and/or the song enough to give you the best feel for the tune (in my humble opinion).

All opinions are my own.

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?  Tell me in the comments below.

Enjoy!!!

1)  Merry Christmas Baby by Bruce Springsteen ( written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore).

It’s Bruce.  To say this is perfect would only be redundant.

2)  Christmas Time is Here by the Peanuts ( written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi).

The Peanuts were my best friends when I was a kid, and today they are just as special to me.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the main reason why.  If all I did for the holiday season was watch this special, my Christmas would still be perfect.

3)  White Christmas by Otis Redding (written by Irving Berlin).

Yes, I know all about the popularity of Bing Crosby’s version.  However, in my humble opinion, Redding brings such a stunning soulful element to his version of this song I really cannot listen to any other one. And if it was good enough for the “Love Actually” soundtrack, it is good enough for me.

4)  Winter Wonderland by Ray Charles (written by Felix Bernard).

Charles’ take on this is as unique and gorgeous as his version of “America The Beautiful”.  Truly a holiday gem.

5)  Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives (written by Johnny Marks).

Who does not want a singing snowman???  Burl Ives is one of the reasons why I still tune in to watch “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” even now.

6)  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love (written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry).

Love has performed this song on Letterman’s show since 1993.  You have to watch both the studio version and the live version to truly appreciate this song and Love’s voice.

http://youtu.be/4EvZOXEoJ84 (studio version)

http://youtu.be/m7M6wRPuD2w (2013 Letterman performance)

7)  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (written by Charles Wesley).

Between the Peanuts characters singing it at the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and it being the song that celebrated George Bailey’s worth in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, it is impossible for me to hear any version of this song and not get verklempt.  A multitude of singers have covered this song but Martina McBride, Neil Diamond & Frank Sinatra’s versions are among my favorites.

8)  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland (written by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane).

Tony Bennett called Garland the greatest singer he ever heard.  I am in no position to argue with a man of his talent and taste.

9)  Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley (written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson).

It’s ELVIS!!!

10)  O Come All Ye Faithful by Nat King Cole (written by John Francis Wade).

Most people associate him with the most famous version of “The Christmas Song”, but it is this Christmas classic that I love the most of Cole’s holiday recordings.

11)  The Christmas Song by Tony Bennett (written by Mel Torme & Robert Wells).

Tony Bennett is a legend.  If you do not have any of his music in your collection, you are doing yourself a disservice.

12)  It’s a Marshmallow World by Dean Martin (written in 1949 by Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose).

I think Frank Sinatra would even agree that Martin was probably the coolest member of the Rat Pack.

13)  Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins (written by Bob James and Kenny Loggins).

Not a cover of a Christmas classic, but a song of Loggins’ very own is now a holiday staple.

14)  What Christmas Means To Me by Stevie Wonder (written by Anna Gordy Gaye (yes, Marvin Gaye’s first wife) & George Gordy).

Another original Christmas tune that has become a staple of the holiday.  And who can forget Will Ferrell’s “Elf” jumping on the mattresses with his little brother while this song was playing?

15)  Silver Bells by Rosemary Clooney & Bing Crosby (written by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans).

Before her nephew George was probably even born, Rosemary Clooney was Hollywood’s “it” girl.  Anything she sang was perfection and pairing her voice with Bing Crosby’s turned a song into a spectacular event.

16)  Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon (written by John Lennon & Yoko Ono).

From the man who told us “love is the answer”, peace was the gift he wanted for the world, and not just at Christmas.

17)  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams (written by Eddie Pola and George Wyle).

I’ll admit this song now reminds me of back to school shopping thanks to a fabulous campaign several years ago by Staples, but it is a holiday classic nonetheless.

18)  The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth by Bing Crosby & David Bowie (Drummer Boy written by Harry Simeone, Henry Onorati & Katherine Kennicott Davis, and the Peace on Earth music & lyrics written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman and Alan Kohan expressly for the recording by Crosby and Bowie).

In theory this was an odd pairing, but in principle their voices worked so well together it is hard to imagine this season without this song.  But I still wonder what would have happened if Bowie had shown up at Crosby’s house dressed as Ziggy Stardust???  (LOL)

19) O Holy Night by Eric Cartman (written by Adolphe-Charles Adam).

South Park is one of my all time favorite shows, and this clip illustrates just one of the reasons why.  Any reverence I had for this song is gone thanks to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but I would not have it any other way!!!

20)  Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer by Elmo and Patsy (written by Randy Brooks).

This brings back memories of me and my cousins signing this song to my grandmother, who I miss everyday, not just at Christmas.  But this makes me feel a little closer to her.