May BlogCast ~ Spring Thoughts Of Love

 

Welcome to my monthly BlogCast.

To say the very least… back in the 19th Century, Great Britain’s poet laureate Alfred Tennyson observed…

“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

To say much more… to modernize that passage with some much needed inclusiveness… such an emotional state certainly does span the vast spectrum of gender identities and seasons.

On this fine May Day, there’s a smile on my face and feelings of renewal throughout my body. TMI? Well… uh… not really. Let me explain. You see, my Michigan compatriots and I have been freezing our butts off for the past, SIX LONG WEEKS (ever since the alleged vernal equinox). But now? WOW! With today’s temps predicted to soar into the 80° Fahrenheit / 27° Celsius range, at last, it’s safe to say that spring has sprung… even the trees and shrubs have finally started to leaf out.

But enough about meteorology. Instead, how about a merger of psychology with musicology? In other words… let’s blend our love of love into the musical mix.

My three featured selections, when segued in the presented order, below, do work out well on a multitude of levels.

Beyond the fact that all are Sixties era love songs, we find that, within the Temptations’ lead track, My Girl, songsmiths Smokey Robinson and Ronald White actually have given a lyrical nod to the “month of May”. Additionally, their musical arrangement calls for a concluding, key signature shift… in this instance… from C to D major… which means everything plays out with plenty of chords in common with Mercy’s Love Can Make You Happy and the Troggs’ Love Is All Around.

You’ll also discover that, while the Beats Per Minute do slow down after the lead track, there’s still a similar percussive style… most noticeable being the Troggs’ tick-tock quality.

Hmmm… having just said, “tick-tock”, that does remind me that it’s time to allow the music to speak for itself. So… start clicking onto those playback buttons and enjoy. Even if your weather may not be springlike wherever you may reside in our world, lest you’ve forgotten that apt Robinson / White lyric…

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.”

 

The Temptations ~ My Girl

Song Facts and Chords

 

Mercy ~ Love Can Make You Happy

Song Facts and Chords

 

Troggs ~ Love Is All Around

Song Facts and Chords

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to click back here for my next monthly BlogCast, which typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into a variety of appealing themes. My next program is slated to hit the www during the first week of June 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 (click onto this blog’s headline to access the “LIKE Button” “Reblog Button” and “Comment Box”).

 

 

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April BlogCast ~ Timeless Heartfelt Sentiments

 

Welcome to our monthly musical get-together.

We, who came of age in the Sixties… an era seething with military madness, political unrest and societal upheaval… had no shortage of songs interwoven with antiwar, political and social commentary. These TIMELY and TIMELESS song lyrics pointed squarely at (in some cases with the middle digit) the aggression and injustices, which were sullying and degrading humanity all across America and throughout our world.

Throughout the decades that followed, when liberal minded presidents were at the helm, we did manage to take some baby steps towards extricating ourselves from such ills. But… to keep it real… there were also conservatives who would not stand for any part of what we stood for… who were (still are) hell bent on undoing any and all progress. Which means…

There still is so much of our work that remains undone.

More recently, Barack Obama, our nation’s very first biracial President, did offer average Jane and Joe Americans that sunny ray of hope. But his plan to effect change we could all believe in head-on collided with political gridlock… “courtesy” of his obdurate opponents. Net effect, these archconservatives had been the political equivalent of an endless, total eclipse of the sun.

And considering how the present-day, backward, reptilian brained, Tyrant-o-saurus Rex has been on a national and international rampage… making his primary ongoing mission to muddy and cover up each and every forward moving footprint his predecessor had left… well… now more than ever, there is an ever-growing need to “air” this month’s BlogCast songs.

On a more positive note, if such lyrical sentiments are ever, truly taken to heart by the powers-that-be, we could wind up with an energizing soundtrack that’ll, eventually, fight and win the war against aggression, oppression and discrimination in all of their grotesque, deplorable forms. Well, at least we can dream about it, right?

You likely noticed those two capitalized and italicized “T” words at the outset of this blog. The TIMELY and TIMELESS quality of this music has the capability of engaging critical thinkers wherever we may be… at the very least… inspiring a far greater liberal turnout at the polls this midterm election year.

On a more technical note: Admittedly, choosing between featuring original recordings vs. cover versions was a tough call. To resolve this, I’ve formatted the covers to appear onsite and link to the originals offsite over @YouTube. For any of you, who choose to click onto the smaller font’s artist/song names beneath each vid’s main title, you’ll be treated to a comparative study of the earlier artists’ interpretations / renditions.

So, sans any further delay, let’s all ear and eyewitness how all of these recording artists have so adeptly and passionately infused their heart and soul into the musical mix. Be these songs Sixties era or more recent, they’ve kept my hope alive… and hopefully yours too… hope for a better global society and better tomorrows.

 

Lena Markley & Brother Sanford ~ Get Together

Youngbloods ~ Get Together

“L” Debois ~ What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye ~ What’s Going On

VazquezSounds ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan ~ Blowin’ In The Wind
Stevie Wonder ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Justice Collective ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

Hollies ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

 

In parting… all I can add, here, is…

As consequential, expressive and inspirational this program’s timeless songs have been, what a shame that the political wasteland we are presently slogging through has made them so desperately needed and damned relevant. Maybe someday they’ll be played purely based on their musical merits. Someday…

Thank You for listening, viewing and reading. I’ll be posting my next monthly BlogCast during the first week of May ’18.

To access past programs, click onto my BlogCasts and Music categories.

If you’ve found our musical get-together enjoyable, don’t forget to like, comment and share. Those options can be accessed by clicking onto each blog title.

 

 

 

February BlogCast ~ Tracking Thru The Rain

 

Thanks for stopping by for our monthly musical get-together.

For me, coming up with BlogCast themes sometimes happens when least expected. This time around, it occurred while I was having fun producing a double C-90 cassette mixtape… my segued tracks featuring Ma Nature’s “greatest hits” (e.g. her ocean’s roar, gales, gulls, rumbling thunder and rainstorms), which recording artists mix into their songs.

While finding no shortage of rain titled tracks within my “library”, I already knew that many of them would not include my sought after pitter patter of raindrops… BUT…

That was when a sub-theme for a potential future mix tape did emerge… namely… women recording artists who possess exquisitely, distinctive vocal qualities. At that point the question became… Why not make that future happen right now?

Hence the following four tracks.

Since no further set up is necessary, just don your virtual rain gear and go for a walk in the rain… or perhaps stay indoors and cozy up next to that computer generated… or if you’re fortunate… actual fireplace… before clicking onto those PB buttons. Oh, btw, a brief thunderstorm is forecast towards the end of this musical set.

 

 

Cassandra Wilson ~ Come Rain or Come Shine

Billie Myers ~ Kiss The Rain

Annie Lennox / Eurythmics ~ Here Comes The Rain Again

Madonna ~ Rain

 

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to click back here for my next 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 on Thursday, March 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 (click onto this blog’s headline to access the “LIKE Button” “Reblog Button” and “Comment Box”).

 

 

 

 

BlogCast: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve / Day?

Following Ella Fitzgerald’s fine, smooth, lead performance above, I now welcome you to my New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day BlogCast. Since each song title says it all, there’s no need for any special setup. So… let’s just keep on clicking onto those playback buttons…

B.B. King ~ Bringin’ In A Brand New Year

Naturally, you can check out our next vid (a two decades old, spirited B.B. King / David Gilmour performance) just for the pure enjoyment of it… BUT

It’s also possible for you to don your DJ cap and more actively participate. How so?

Well, first, you’ll need to find a timepiece that can tick off the seconds and, next, understand that approximately midway into this clip, the band will stop playing. As the Midnight Hour nears, everyone counts down the arrival of New Year’s Day 1998.

So, to properly synchronize the arrival of New Year’s Day 2018, simply hit the playback button when your clock tells you it’s precisely 11:55:42 p.m.

B.B. King & David Gilmour ~ Ring in New Year ‘98

There’ve got to be, literally, hundreds of recordings of Auld Lang Syne to choose from… BUT… it was our next video’s bagpipes accompanied by the breathtaking, eye-opening imagery, which caught far more than my ears and eyes.

You see, it’s the sights of Earth’s, fragile, natural beauty… in this case the Scottish Highlands… which remind us of what we all stand to lose if ignorant, petty, self-destructive, mentally ill world leaders maintain their chokehold… if they stay their collision course with disaster… one, which guarantees ecological and economic ruin and societal decay.

Never forget that bagpipers also frequently perform Amazing Grace at funerals. We must never allow foolish leaders and the foolish people they oft pander to to co-conspire… to bury our precious world.

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards ~ Auld Lang Syne

Now, just to prove that I’m not all doom and gloom… or more to the point… that I’ve not forgotten how to Rock in the New Year…

U2 ~ New Year’s Day

 

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to click back here for my next 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 on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

 

I now wish all of you… my listeners, readers and followers…

the happiest, healthiest, safest, sanest New Year 2018 possible!

 

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 (click onto this blog’s headline to access the “LIKE Button” “Reblog Button” and “Comment Box”).

 

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.