Africa: Toto

Monday morning after sifting through literally dozens of versions, band configurations, and covers, we settle on this 2013 version of the 1981 Toto song.

Dave Paich: lead vocals, keyboards and writer

Simon Phillips: drums

Nathan East: bass

Steve Lukather: lead guitar

And because here at Shalblog Industries® we use every part of the buffalo, expect more versions of it posted this week.

Thanks to YouTuber MADIM67

At Seventeen: Janis Ian

Monday morning, a song for misfits.

At the time, 1975, the song was a  highly unlikely candidate for a pop hit. It may have been the first pop song for young women of high school age that wasn’t for the cheerleaders. It might be hard to recall now, in the age of Glee, but songs examining the inner lives of high school students who saw themselves as social outcasts were not, at the time, the common fare. Millions of young women saw themselves in the lyrics of the song, and suddenly the singer/songwriter, Janis Ian, who at age 14 had had a qualified (and often censored) hit with her song of interracial love, “Society’s Child,” was overnight an international star.

The clip above seems so raw, true, and natural that you might think it was just an amateur effort turned lucky. But Ian by that time had already had seven albums of music released and was an accomplished songwriter. It was the one time, though, she said, that she had penned a song and told her manager that she had just written a hit.

Thanks to YouTuber LittleMonster13100

Only The Lonely: Roy Orbison…& Friends

The list of singers who were influenced by Roy Orbison is long. Some of those artists join him onstage here: Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt.

More at RoyOrbison

Fast Car

 

Tracy Chapman was an unlikely singer/songwriter to chart in the top 10 in 1988, but there was something so pure, authentic, and truthful in her singing that this song resonated with many and, improbably, became a hit.

Thanks to YouTuber Folk & Country on MV

Let It Be Me

Reina del Cid and Toni Lindgren sing the Everly Brothers classic. With Toni nailing the electric guitar parts and the harmonies, this is one I listen to several times in a row.

More at Reina del Cid

“Jimmy Mack, You Better Hurry Back”: Martha And The Vandellas

Monday Morning, Martha and the Vandellas put out the call.

Why Berry Gordy named the group The Vandellas seems to be a mystery, but they charted 26 hits in just nine years.

Thanks to YouTuber SuperCanopus

Kissing Other People

I was at a dance theatre concert the other day, and this was one of the songs they danced to in the program. I thought it was a cute pop song, and the accompanying official video by Lennon Stella even more cute.

More at Lennon Stella

“I Wonder How Your Engine Feels”

Monday morning, Josh Turner and his mucho-talented friends steal a lesser-known Simon and Garfunkel song, “Baby Driver,” and joyride.

Keyboard – Adam Saxe, Vocal – Taylor Bloom, Vocal – Ben Cooley (with the grey hat), Guitar – Josh Turner, Bass – Marc Encabo, Percussion – Bob Sale

More at Josh Turner Guitar

Ooh Baby Baby

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Monday morning, loosen your tie with the man, besides Berry Gordy,  most responsible for the success of Motown, the brilliant singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson.

Gotta love the swivel 1.0 choreography for the Miracles, too.

Thanks to Youtuber QuentinCoxBOI

All The Things You Are: Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald

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Monday morning, we go legit. If you follow my blog regularly, you might know that this is one of my favorite jazz standards (see here and here and here for other versions). But it was originally written for a Broadway play for two duets with a lush orchestra. Here are  two wonderful legit singers, Norm Lewis and the extraordinary Audra McDonald, with their heavenly version.

Thanks to YouTuber Kylie Briggs

The Boy From New York City: The Ad Libs

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Monday morning, The Ad Libs a one-hit wonder group from 1965 with a great American Bandstand beat. Mary Ann Thomas from Bayonne, New Jersey on vocals.

Thanks to YouTuber shoderzmuzik