‘Twas Not Rachel, Bridgette or Carman

CommonSenseTom

Yesterday, I blogged about the robocalling robo-women, Rachel, Bridgette and Carmen… told how the persistence of these scammers… their flat out refusal to take my “no” for an answer… has ruined my life… has gotten me to the point where I actually dread answering my landline phone.

My true story, in this day’s post, points out why we must never permit these vile entities to sour our view of our world…

‘Twas in the waning days of December ‘15, when my phone rang. Glancing over at the clock… it was still well before 9 p.m…. so… the window of opportunity for more robocall abuse was still wide open. I had even considered letting my answering machine field the call… but…

Just before the fourth ring I picked up the handset… time seemed to freeze. Palpable was that moment of hesitation, both the caller’s and mine. Then I heard a female voice…

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BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 1

 

Five Decembers ago on the 14th… I first learned of the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. My heart immediately sank. I could only imagine the ghastly horrors experienced by the traumatized student body and staff… how they were forced to endure watching a mentally disturbed individual so callously and casually blow away 20 young children and 6 educators.

My thoughts then turned to the grieving survivors…of how the families and friends of these victims would be undergoing a mourning process, made even more unbearable because of the close proximity of Christmas… a holiday that is all about families and friends.

In the days to follow, with the crime scene tape still fluttering in death’s icy wind, I naively thought…

Newtown has got to be the very tragedy that’s sure to trigger an open, honest discussion about gun control… one, which will break down that wildly partisan, stone-hearted, stone-headed Republican stonewall. What Republican would not FIRST see this as America’s wake-up call and NEXT be as publicly and visibly moved… perhaps even to the point of fighting back their own tears… the same way President Barack Obama had had to do.

Death is tough enough to accept but that gets compounded a zillionfold when we consider how 20 of the victims were innocent school kids… children who had not yet lived long enough to have seen more than 6 or 7 lit candles on their birthday cakes… how they’d been denied all the good things life has to offer… growing up, discovering their innate talents, joining our workaday world, falling in love, marrying and watching their own kids growing up.

This Christmas morn, I dusted off my family photo album to leaf through its old-school, black construction paper pages… to fondly reminisce over two Christmases past… the very years when I, too, had been age 6 and 7. Yep, there was my all-caught-up-in-the-holiday-spirit, younger self… my ear to ear grins, eyes wide with wonderment. Yeah… those had been the cherished Christmas mornings that, within my memory, have lasted all my life. I could feel my present day face recreating those same smiles… but not for long.

My thoughts now turn to this morning… to Newtown’s surviving, still mourning parents… of how their own photo albums have wound up with missing of photos, empty black pages… and will continue to do so.

December 14, 2017 came and went without so much as even one whisper of the Sandy Hook massacre by the new, so-called prez. To these survivors he would not even be deadpanning or Tweeting one of his patent pending, insincere, robotic, braindead, “You are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Far worse… well… let’s now quote Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School. From her Facebook post, which went viral… she justifiably lambastes Donald Trump…

 

“Not only did he ignore the five-year remembrance completely ― not even a single tweet ― he slapped us all in the face by having none other than NRA President Wayne LaPierre at his White House Christmas party that night. The appalling lack of humanity and decency has not gone unnoticed. While they ignorantly partied and remained uninformed on an issue that kills thousands of Americans every year, I was crying myself to sleep. While they got the chance to kiss their children goodnight, I kissed the urn holding my beautiful boy’s ashes.”

 

To be sure, the alleged prez has no need to fight off tears… for he has none to fight. True, his handler, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would likely spin this with her snotty, smarmy and sycophantic, Geeze what the hell is the big deal? What do ya want… blood? After all, this shooting incident did occur five long years ago.

To any such bullcrap, I’d counter…

 

“Oh yeah? Then how come I saw my eyes welling up this morning?”

 

During this new DC regime’s first year, we’ve seen even more massacres… to name two… Las Vegas and Texas… the latter one involving a church… A CHURCH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Yet, even mass murder’s blood stained, stained glass locales have yet to trigger that sorely needed, open, honest discussion about gun control… have failed to prod the infantile minded powers-that-be to take even the first baby steps towards keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people… to cure American society of its gun sickness.

I realize my tough talk may’ve bummed some folks out this holiday morn. But… long sigh… any momentary depression I may’ve caused you would pale in comparison to the lifetime of grief and sorrow which the Sandy Hook massacre survivors will be forced to endure. If there are any doubters amongst my readers, just scroll up to re-read Nicole Hockley’s eloquently stated, spot-on words.

We must never forget there are countless survivors of countless other mass shootings, too. And what about those shootings that fly under the media radar because of what? Too few deaths? As if what? One person dying isn’t enough to warrant coverage? Folks, the day society becomes jaded to the point where every such death does not move us… well… long sigh… that is the death of said, sad society.

Getting back to the music… I fully and freely admit that my featured Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas Song #1, Christmas In Heaven, is not the feel good music that will paint smiles on the faces of decent folks… but until indecent, NRA propped up politicians are cured of their sociopathy, corruption, avarice, lust for power and gun sickness… we really don’t have much to smile about… now do we?

 

Read related article HERE

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 2

A holiday tradition can sometimes start where and when least expected.

Talk show host David Letterman certainly found that out. He presided over NBC’s Late Night from 1982 – 1993 and CBS’s Late Show from 1993 – 2015. From 1986 to 2014, he kept multiple millions of his loyal fans (inclusive of yours truly) tuning in, annually, to watch and be wowed by songstress Darlene Love… to hear her sing her heart out while performing the holiday classic, Christmas, Baby Please Come Home.

Letterman’s sidekick, music director and musical genius, Paul Shaffer, never ceased to top his previous years’ already superb musical scores… his efforts even further enhanced by stunning, festive decor, lighting and visual effects (e.g. simulated snowfall).

The lead video, above, features Love’s spectacular final Late Show performance in 2014.

I’m also including Love’s 2002 appearance for it has extra-special meaning to me. That year was my Mom’s last Christmas on Earth… the last time we had watched it together. Setting my sentimentality aside, this clip also provides us a really cool comparison of Shaffer’s scores.

For the real diehard Letterman fans I’m also including Love’s 1986 debut performance, as well. Sorry for the substandard audio quality but this clip is from a pre-digital TV era.

For those who would like to be wowed even further, check out the magnificent, post-production work of an editor, who mashed up several of Love’s performances.

Naturally, I’d never forget those of us who’ll enjoy ear witnessing the 1963, recording studio birth of this song.

A few days ago, my fave online news source, HuffPo, reported some great news! NBC Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon along with Anna Kendrick, Darlene Love & The Roots raised their voices in song… this very song… Christmas, Baby Please Come Home. With Letterman now in retirement, we can only hope Fallon’s talk show will become Love’s new venue… that she’ll be back for many more years to come. After all…

A (new) holiday tradition can sometimes start where and when least expected.

 

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the final installment of 2017’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting song #1 tomorrow… Christmas Day.

 

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to all and to all a Good Night!

 

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast ~ Our Pleas For Peace, Love & Understanding

 

So glad you’ve been able to safely and sanely survive the holiday rush and, yet, find some time to spend here for our holiday get-together.

Giving credit where credit is due, my thanks to Elvis Costello because a portion of one of his song titles inspired my blog title. My undying thanks and mega-kudos to all the YouTube recording artists, videograhphers and contributors who have cast their creative, brilliance upon my Holiday BlogCast. Obviously, my show could not glow without YOU!

Since this DJ’s philosophy is to let the music speak for itself, we’ll get to the music shortly. However, I could not resist briefly sharing with you the backstory of this program’s grand finale track.

While performing my musical reconnaissance over @ YouTube, I thought to myself…

 

Gee… I sure wish someone would do a mash up of Joy To The World with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

Well… what did I have to lose? I typed in those search parameters and… Lo and Behold… a passing thought of mine materialized right before my very ears and eyes. The Magic of the Season! My Christmas wish came true!

May the Magic of the Season and your Christmas / Holiday wishes come true, too! And may my song selections be music to your ears.

 

The two sides to a long distance relationship…

 

The Carpenters ~ Merry Christmas Darling

Al Martino ~ I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

Our heartfelt pleas for harmony, tolerance and peace…

 

Bryan Adams ~ Christmas Time

Josh Groban ~ Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

 

Our Ode To Joy / Joy To The World best wishes…

 

The Florin Street Band ~ My Favourite Time of Year

The Piano Guys ~ Ode To Joy To The World (With Choir & Bell Ringers)

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to check out the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th. I’ll be posting later today and, of course, tomorrow.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Till next time…

 

I wish you all the best life has to offer throughout the holidays…

and in all the years to come!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 3

Mere words can hardly describe the mighty mind and vibrant voice of singer / song writer / guitarist and progressive rock pioneer Greg Lake. During his nearly five decade long professional career he played in the bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).

Considering how much life Lake breathed into damned nearly every song he ever performed and recorded… how his subject matter was typically “dark”… how the body of his mind-blowing work, which he leaves behind, still gives off so much figurative heat… the reports of his death on Wednesday, December 7, 2016… even now, one year later… still seems surreal.

Since highlighting Lake’s music is the best way to pay tribute to him, I’m offering up a linked to YouTube mini-discography. These five compositions do support the undeniable truth… Lake had been a force to be reckoned with.

Stated in sixties vernacular, the five tracks to follow are the quintessence of “progressive rock”… terminology that not only aptly describes the music, itself, but also the radio stations that originally aired it. Courtesy of those bygone broadcast towers, us “hippies” first heard the King Crimson track, Epitaph and the ELP tracks Lucky Man, Battlefield, From The Beginning and Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2.

True, it’ll mostly be diehard Lake fans (such as yours truly), who will gleefully playback these songs, in their entirety. Still, I do encourage everyone else to sample each track. Even if this isn’t your “cup of tea”, musically, consider the lyrics themselves. I know that many of my readers and followers who are poets will be impressed in that latter regard.

I do know that my being fully impressed by both Lake’s music and lyrics weighed heavily in my decision to BlogCast his compostion… I Believe In Father Christmas… his take on the over-commercialization of this holiday… an overall POV I share with him.

On a more personal note… there was one other consideration in my BlogCasting his holiday commentary.

You see, on this very day 43 years ago, (@5 p.m. in the U.S. Eastern timezone) ELP’s Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2 became the very first song I played on my very first on the air radio broadcast. My substitute DJ, weeklong gig, which followed, certainly made my Christmas 1974 extra special… all of that ranking right up there as one of the best gifts I have ever received.

Returning now to the music… while auditioning YouTube offerings, I did discover a couple more view-worthy vids… the first clip features Lake’s reprise of I Believe In Father Christmas set to alternative imagery… the second performance features Thomas McKanna’s fine piano cover medley.

I now thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

Till next time…

 

Here’s hoping that you have a

Merry Melodious Christmas and Happy Harmonious Holiday Season!

 

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 4

Throughout 2017… as has been the case from time immemorial… too many of the good people of our world have been and still are being treated badly. And if there never, before, was a more perfect example of an understatement, you’ve just finished reading it.

As a human being and a humane blogger, who hardly ever holds his political and social commentary “cards” close to his chest… hardly ever pastes on a “poker face”… rather than giving into the temptation to elaborate further re our world in turmoil… in this rare instance, I’ll be “folding”. Even more amazingly… I’ll even be attempting to turn my frown upside down. So, just what is it that just might get me… hopefully you, too… smiling?

Today’s BlogCast feature track… that good ol’, hold nothing back, feel good, sing-along, toe-tapping, hand clapping music… namely… Chicago’s performance of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.

The only thing “bad” about this track is its too short runtime. But that problem can easily be overcome.

Since one can never smile too much, I’m also providing you… my listeners / readers… the opportunity to keep (y)our mood soaring and flying high. How so?

By following the links and giving a listen to five other recording artists who’ve turned in some great performances. Listen to one or to ‘em all… that’s for you to decide. Personally, I’ll be running down the entire…

 

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree Menu

Brenda Lee (B.L. was the original vocalist to commit this tune to vinyl)
LeAnn Rimes (Country Music Superstar turns in her fine rendition)
Brian Setzer Orchestra (Ex Stray Cats rocker turned Big Band Cool Cat)
Fab Forever (Beatles Tribute Band performs their I Saw Her Standing There mashup)
Fab Four (Beatles Tribute Band performs their Got To Get You Into My Life mashup)

BONUS TRACK (A Feel Good Non-Holiday Tune)

Sir Paul McCartney (P.M.’s Got To Get You Into My Life, KICK ASS LIVE Performance)

 

I now thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

Till next time…

 

Keep on Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree!

Or anywhere else you may opt to Partay!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 5

Once upon a time… a hospital parking lot attendant, mistaking me for being a doctor, raised the gate and began motioning me to exit… sans paying. Only my honesty compelled me to stop, anyway… to hand over the currency and coins, which I had owed him.

Indeed, I was not then… am not now… nor will I ever be a doctor. From time to time, I just playact being one in cyberspace. And clearly, the time has come for me to FIRST don my virtual, crisp white lab coat and shiny stethoscope and NEXT kinda-sorta hang out my equally virtual shingle here on the www.

I can virtually hear you ask: “Why?”

It’s because actual last minute, holiday shoppers are feeling stressed out. And with there being less than three shopping days before next Sunday, it’s unlikely that this level of anxiety will be easing.

More to the point… we need to find a solution to this problem. Hence, I’m writing out a virtual Musical Rx to any virtual patient in need.

I can virtually hear you ask: “Why a Musical Rx?

To better understand the nature of this virtual Doc’s unorthodox prescription, one must first take some creative liberties with a classic William Congreve quotation… thusly…

 

Music hath charms to soothe the stressed out, last minute holiday shoppers.

 

With that in mind, this Real DJ and Pretender MD now highly recommends that you give a listen to today’s musical selection… Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas… as performed by the Pretenders.

Of course, as is true with some extreme cases of stress, a single dosage may not be sufficient to fully ease your symptoms. But that’s nothing to fret about… after all… it’s perfectly safe for you to double the musical dosage. And since this song, composed in 1944 by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, was specifically, originally intended for movie star and chanteuse Judy Garland, why not give her rendition a listen HERE.

Now that we’re all feeling a bit more relaxed, I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

May you all have yourself a Merry Little… no strike that…

a Merry Massive Christmas… Now!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.