The Sunday That Changed Everything

February 9, 1964.  Fifty five years ago.  One night.  One show.  One band.  And the rest, as they say, was history.

beatles-ed-sullivan-pic-cbs
 Photo courtesy of CBS.  

Beatles

Photo courtesy of CBS. 

There isn’t anything to add to this moment in history.  It was perfect.  And it changed music and subsequently the world forever.  Thank you, Mr. Sullivan, for introducing us to John, Paul, George & Ringo.  For all they gave us, for all those they inspired and all those that came after them.  This was the moment that started it all.

The performance of this song does not get as much recognition as the other songs they sang that night, but it was during this number that each of the Beatles were identified by their first name.

The Beatles:  “Till There Was You” (1964).

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

Until next time, happy listening!!!

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25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 11

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

shiny brites

Vintage Shiny Brite ornaments found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s singer over the summer, and a part of me died that day, too.  I still have not stopped crying.  My world lost a great deal of its light.  Life will never sound the same without her in it.

She was without a doubt the greatest female singer this world has ever known.  In 1958 when she was 16, she met singer Sam Cooke, who died 54 years ago today at the age of 33.  He wanted her to sign with his label, RCA Records.  However, her father-a minister who was her first manager-eventually had her sign with Columbia Records.  She and Cooke remained friends and fans of each other’s work, and she recorded several of his songs after his death, most notably “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1967) and “You Send Me” (1968),  She referred to him as “a prince of a man”.

From the second I heard she died, all I could think of was how even more beautiful Heaven sounded now that she and Cooke could sing together.  I cannot even imagine what a breathtaking sound that was.  The true definition of Heaven itself.

Yes, I believe in Heaven.  And I believe one day I will be there myself.  And after I have thanked God in person for everything he gave me, and hugged and kissed all my family and friends that passed before me, I want to be front and center to hear this woman sing with Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, Jackie Wilson, Luciano Pavorotti and anyone else she chooses.  Maybe Jim Morrison???  And then I will bow to her, which is the appropriate action to take when meeting a Queen.

Aretha.jpg

Aretha Franklin:  “Angels We Have Heard On High” (2008).

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, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 8

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I love simple, natural, elegant, neutral holiday displays like this one.  I think it is so pretty.  What do you think?

day 8.jpg

Found on Pinterest/homedit page.

Every year on this day I remember the man who died 38 years ago today.  It was a devastating loss to the world but for a few days at least, people were united in their shared grief.  The petty annoyances and ballast of everyday living were temporarily put aside as the world reflected on the loss of a good man, a husband, a father and the loss of innocence his death brought to so many.  But together those who mourned survived, observed a 10 minute moment of silence to honor the man they loved and lost and went on with their lives with a hole in their hearts that never quite healed.

But let me be clear-I want to celebrate this man more than acknowledge his death.  He stood for many things, but the two things I remember most about him were his music and his desire for a peaceful world.  He wrote about it in his songs, campaigned for it in his actions, spoke about it whenever he could and lived his life reflecting this desire.

And his one musical contribution to the Christmas season is a testament to what he wanted for the world and each one of us as individuals.  So maybe as you listen to this beautiful song, you can think of the ways to achieve peace for yourself, whether that means mending a broken relationship, or ending a destructive one once and for all, choosing to forget the materialism this season can bring and choose to reflect on the things you have that cannot be bought, to choose to spend the holidays your way instead of being guilted into a family holiday that brings you nothing but stress (remember, there are 364 other days you can spend with your loved ones), or to not feel bad if you do not have the big warm family gathering we see all over TV this season.  Peace is about what brings you happiness and joy, what calms your soul and fills your heart.  And no one can define that for you except you.  So let this be the year you bring peace to your world.

John-Lennon-Happy-XmasRough-127822

John Lennon & Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band the Harlem Community Choir:  “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” (1971).

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, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 16

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

christmas_village_streetview_640

(Original source unknown.)

Tall, dark, handsome & sexy are a few ways to describe this artist.  Unbelievably talented is another.  He paints, sculpts, writes, arranges, produces & performs great music for himself & other artists.  He also plays one mean trumpet.  He co-wrote “Wonderful World” which was initially made famous by Sam Cooke, sang one of my all time favorite Burt Bacharach songs ever (“This Guy’s In Love With You“) which hit #1 in 1968 and was the A of A&M Records which signed the The Carpenters in 1969.

This man had several hits in the 1960’s with his band, the Tijuana Brass (“A Taste Of Honey“, “Whipped Cream” and “Spanish Flea“, which is also known as “The Bachelor’s Theme” from The Dating Game).  On his own he hit #1 again in 1979 with “Rise” (also known to “General Hospital” fans as the song that was playing in Luke’s disco when he raped Laura) and #5 in 1987 with “Diamonds“, with one of his A&M singers, Janet Jackson, on vocals.

He has won all the awards, done all the shows and continues to make great music.  This year he treated us to two releases:  “Music Volume 1” came out in July with some really great new music as well as a lovely cover of the Beatles’ “Michelle” and an absolutely beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Imagine

“A Christmas Wish” came out in the fall, and all of the songs are wonderful.  But I really like this one since it was originally recorded in 1970 by his old friends, The Carpenters.  I think it shows this man’s heart, loyalty and love of a good song.

kc1971alpert

Richard & Karen Carpenter with Herb Alpert circa 1971 (original source unknown)

Herb Alpert:  “Merry Christmas, Darling

The Carpenters:  “Merry Christmas, Darling” (original 1970)

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!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 8

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

chistmas-music-ornament

(Original source unknown)

Music has been my refuge for as long as I can remember.  It enriches my mind, my heart and my soul.  It pulls me through when I do not think I can take another step.  It inspires me when I am at a loss.  And at Christmas, it sometimes makes me sad.

Yes, the holidays are tough and bittersweet for those of us who have lost loved ones, so we may not feel very festive in every moment throughout the season.  But another reason I sometimes get sad at Christmas is because I hear this song.

We lost the singer 37 years ago today, but I know myself and many others never recovered.  His death ended a beautiful dream that began on February 9, 1964 when he and the rest of his band played on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, changing music and the world for the better.  Any chance the four original Beatles would ever reunite died with this man on December 8, 1980.

Beatles on Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan with The Beatles circa 1964 (original source unknown).

There are all the obvious reasons why his death is so sad:  he was only 40 years old, he had two sons, one who was only five at the time, he was enjoying a resurgence in his career after taking five years off to become a house husband & stay at home dad by his own choice, he had a wife he loved and together they were living the dream in NYC.

You may not have liked him or his music, but the one thing about him no one can dispute is that this man’s dream for our world was peace.  He told us so in his bed-ins for peace in the 1960’s and in his song “Give Peace A Chance”.  And just in case we missed it, he shared his dream with us again in the 1970’s in his song “Imagine”.  Almost four decades later and I still cannot reconcile how a man who did so much in the name of peace died in such a horrible violent way.

I am sad that he is not here for his wife, his sons, the music industry, the world and myself.  We all lost so much but no matter how much I grieve this loss, every year when Christmas rolls around and I start hearing this song on the radio, I feel so sick inside I just want to cry.

Imagine-John-Lennon-Memorial-Central-Park-Strawberry-Fields

The John Lennon Memorial in Central Park (original source unknown).

Artists all over the world have done tributes to him since his death, but my favorite is Ozzy Osbourne’s cover of “How“.  He recorded it seven years ago to honor what would have been this man’s 70th birthday.  Even if you do not like Ozzy, watch the video.  The ending is beautiful.  And so is today’s song, even though it makes me sad.

John Lennon:  “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

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!!!

 

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 3

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

tree

(original source unknown)

Several musical genres define the 1960’s:  Rock & Roll, Motown, The Beatles, The British Invasion, the San Francisco sound and the Wall of Sound-a technique which layered music tracks for a song to give the music a deeper sound.  Introduced to the world courtesy of songwriter and producer Phil Spector, the sound would become synonymous with his premier girl groups like the Teddy Bears, the Crystals and the Ronettes whose song “Be My Baby” stands as a definitive example of the unique sound Spector created.

He worked with men too, most notably the Righteous Brothers on “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling“, the Walker Brothers on “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and the Beatles (he was responsible for finishing the “Let It Be” album after the group broke up).  He also co-produced four of John Lennon’s solo albums & three of George Harrison’s, as well as several of their singles.  Bruce Springsteen channeled the Wall of Sound sound on his epic “Born To Run” album while his bandmate/best friend Steven Van Zandt regularly features Spector produced records on his “Underground Garage” radio show.

Spector album

(original source unknown)

In 1963 Spector released an album of holiday songs which were given the Wall of Sound treatment.  Entitled “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector” , it featured primarily all women, two of whom are my favorite female singers of all time:  Darlene Love & Ronnie Spector.  So to avoid making a difficult choice, I am including a song from each to share with you today.  Enjoy!!!

Darlene Love:  “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)“.

Darlene Love

Darlene Love circa 1963 (original source unknown)

The Ronettes “Sleigh Ride“.

Ronettes

The Ronettes circa 1963 (original source unknown)

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 #8 & Goodbye To An American Hero

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

Today’s song is a no-brainer.   It honors the man who died 36 years ago.  He taught us to peacefully question what we thought was wrong with the world, to imagine it as one, that all we need is love and that being a stay at home dad is a valid life choice, even when he became one in 1975,  Of course he did so much more, but that is what we remember the most.

Oh, and he was one of the Beatles   🙂

john-lennon

Original source unknown

Side note:  Did you know there is a park dedicated to John Lennon in Havana, Cuba?  It features a bronze statute of him sitting on a bench.  I cannot decide if it is creepy or cool.

Thoughts?

Oh, and the glasses are removable.

And we have a winner:  creepy it is.

Read more about the park and the glasses here.

john-lennon-figure Courtesy:  CNN

His Christmas song has become a holiday classic, and there are so many great versions of it by so many diverse artists I really could not decide which one you would like to hear.

So, today you have a choice.

Which version of “Happy Xmas War Is Over” would you like to listen to?

John Lennon’s original version;

Or Celine Dion’s;

celine-dion

Original source unknown

Or Darius Rucker’s;

Or Christina Perri’s

Or The Three Tenors‘;

3-tenors

Courtesy of kinoarena

Or Sleeping At Last’s;

Or Sarah McLachlan’s;

sarah-mclachlan

Courtesy:  sarahmclachlan.com

Or Neil Diamond’s.

Also today,  we lost another famous John.  A true hero to our country & in many respects the entire world:  John Herschel Glenn Jr.  Our first man to orbit the earth, he was a pioneer who made the dream of outer space a reality that inspired children everywhere to believe that they, too, could one day follow in his footsteps.

He quit college after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of that attack) to join the military and stayed for over two decades.  He served in World War II and Korea, then became a US Senator from Ohio.  He died at the age of 95, a good long life for a man who had so much to give and inspire us with.

Thank you for being one of America’s greatest men.

Rest in peace, Colonel Glenn.

This one is for you.

Elton John’s Rocket Man.

john-glenn

Courtesy:  Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

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!!!