25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 3

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

christmas day 3.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Another day.  Another song.  Another legend.

Picture it:  Sunday, February 9, 1964.  Four lads from Liverpool were introduced to America thanks to their earth shattering performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”  This man was the final piece of the Beatles puzzle.  The last one to join, but the one who set the foundation of the group with every beat of his drums.  As great as the other three were, would “Yellow Submarine” or “With A Little Help From My Friends” have sounded the same if they were sung by John, Paul or George?  No.  Sir Richard Starkey made them all his own.  He began as a poor boy, too, who eventually played his drums for a king.  Just like the little boy in today’s song.

Ringo

Ringo Starr (original source unknown).

Ringo Starr:  “The Little Drummer Boy“.

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!!!

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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 #19

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

durango-co-christmas

Durango, Colorado  Courtesy:  TopValueReviews.net (original source unknown)

 

The singer with today’s song is another phenomenal soul and R&B singer.  Like the others in the countdown, he got his start singing in church. That early training laid the foundation for the passionate delivery on almost every song he sang.

He recorded some music at Stax records and worked with the house band-also known as Booker T. and the MG’s-and Isaac Hayes, who would go on to win an Oscar for “Shaft”.  This singer also wrote his own music, putting him on the same level as contemporaries Sam Cooke and Otis Redding; but, he is also known for a fantastic cover of the Beatles song, “Hey Jude“, which features a pre-Allman Brothers Band guitarist named Duane Allman.

 

wilson-duane Wilson Pickett and Duane Allman circa 1968 (original source unknown)

 

This singer recorded several Christmas songs, but this one is my favorite.

Wilson Pickett:  Jingle Bells

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!!!

small-town-christmas

Courtesy:  Cape Night Photography 

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!!!

 

So Long, January!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How crazy is it that we arrived at the end of January so quickly?  What did you take away from the first month of the year?

I took in my new place surroundings and pondered my decorating scheme, which I have yet to act on LOL!!!  But I did get some great inspiration (thank you Kathleen at Faded Charm), explored some more local sights, got back into my groove of “estate saling” (although I have not had a chance to really dig for a treasure yet but I am hopeful it will happen soon!!!), figured out some shortcuts to a few of my regular places (work, grocery store, antiques stores) and decided I have to get out more despite all that I have to do at home.  So I got my library card, joined a church and a book club.  For our meeting next month, we are reading “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng.  Have any of you read this yet?

book

January also brought the first snowstorm of my CT residency.  To mark the occasion with more than just snow boots, I made home made chicken soup, which turned out pretty well for my first attempt at it.  I do not use salt at all due to its negative health benefits, so once I got the seasonings to a correct balance (pepper, oregano & basil), it was not bad if I do say so myself.  It was so hearty I did not even add noodles!!!

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But most of all for me, January was an unbelievably sad month for the music industry.  Losing an icon like David Bowie was an incredible blow, and we will not see a visionary artist like him again in our lifetime.  For a career to span as many decades as his and encompass as many musical genres as his did only underscores that point.  He left us with a parting gift, “Black Star“*** which is as classic and bold as we remember Bowie to be.

But in the end he was also a beloved man who was taken from his wife and family way too soon, and that is the worst part of the story.  Hopefully 2016 will be the year we finally see cancer obliterated from our world.

Bowie

Source:  YouTube (original source unknown)

Bowie’s loss was followed by those of Glenn Frey of the Eagles; R&B singers Otis Clay and Nicholas Caldwell, who was a member of the group, “The Whispers“; Rene Angelil, who brought us the voice of Celine DionPaul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame and one of his co-founders of Airplane, Signe Toly Anderson, who died on the same day.  What she and Kantner did in their band changed the landscape of music forever.  In the mid 1960’s, rock and roll bands were a boy’s only game:  The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Moody Blues, the list goes on and on.  But when Airplane was being formed, another co-founder Marty Balin along with Kantner, knew how important a female voice & presence was.  Anderson provided that until she left the band in 1966 to have a baby.  But the precedent was set and it was a vital turning point in rock and roll and music overall.  Think about who soon followed:  Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Carole King, Deborah Harry, et al.  Thank God for Balin’s & Kantner’s vision.

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Paul Kantner & Signe Toly Anderson, second and third from the left.  Source:  Tumbler (original source unknown).

And today marks what would have been the 70th birthday of Terry Kath, a founding member, guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for the band Chicago.  Kath was the unbelievably gorgeous voice behind classics such as “Colour My World” and “Make Me Smile“.  He was compared to Jimi Hendrix for his musical ability and to Ray Charles for his vocal style.  He died from an accidental gunshot infliction a week before his 32nd birthday in 1978.  He will be inducted posthumously into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Chicago at the induction ceremony in April.

Kath

Source:  premierguitar.com

But things are starting to turn around.  Reports are circulating that Paul Rodgers, who’s latest solo release*** includes fabulous covers of classic songs like “Walk On By” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”, and Bad Company are working on a new record together, which I PRAY is true!!!  What a band!!!  Swoon!!!  But best of all Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” tour is in full swing to promote “The Ties That Bind:  The River Collection“***.  All is right in my world when the Boss is on the road and headed my way (next month in Hartford!!!)  Double swoon!!!

I do not own the rights to any of the music 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 🙂

So, how was your first month of the year?

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