Whatshername

The other day on the street, I could swear I heard someone call out “Jimmy McGregor,” and so I immediately thought of this song, which I hadn’t heard in years. One of the most interesting songs lyrically and musically on a Peter, Paul, and Mary album; it’s sung and written by “Paul,” that is, Noel Stookey.

In glorious vinyl, complete with comforting scratches at regular intervals.

Thanks to YouTuber R.O.K DuKane TV

The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness

With a song title like that, you know the rest of the song just has to be great.

John Prine, with accompaniment by Nanci Griffith who unfortunately died this month.

Thanks to YouTuber derek868

What’s Going On

Monday Morning, Marvin Gaye looks around and sees.

The back story on the conception, release, and reception of the song and its album are fascinating reading, here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What’s_Going_On_(Marvin_Gaye_album)

Thanks to YouTuber Markos Dutra

The Nearness Of You: Larry McKenna

New to me, but wow, what a saxophonist!

Larry McKenna – tenor saxophone
Tony Miceli – vibraphone
Matthew Parrish – bass
Dan Monaghan – drums

Its not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me, oh no
Its just the nearness of you

It isn't your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation, oh no
Its just the nearness of you

When you're in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams come true

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you'll only grant me the right
To hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you.


https://www.letssingit.com/it/andy-cooper-testo-the-nearness-of-you-lpp45s2

Thanks to YouTuber Melissa Gilstrap

All The Things You Are

Longtime readers of this blog may know of my obsession with this song, as I’ve posted various versions over the years. This time we go operatic with Beverly Sills. One thing about Ms. Sills–you never worry that she won’t hit the high notes.

Thanks to YouTuber Vladmir Zworkin

Your Top 50

My younger brother, David, who has a large family, was telling me how he loves to give his family various games to play at the dinner table at family occasions. At one point he proposed the following–what are your top 50 song recordings of all time? Here’s the caveat though–only one song allowed per artist (though we agreed you may choose The Beatles and a separate John Lennon solo song, for example). David’s family answers were fun to hear about, because his children range from their early teens to thirty.

After telling me about some of his own picks, David asked me about mine. So I thought about it for quite a while, and then I wrote up this list. It was tough! Because at some point I realized that there were lots of songs that used to mean a lot to me, but I haven’t heard them in a while. And often there were artists who were important to me, but no single song stood out. Also you could get trapped within one genre of music and leave out others that you had forgotten about. So my criteria became this: What songs could I not live without at this point? What songs, if you told me I could never hear them again, would make me feel sad?

There’s only one cheat here–#6, because technically the song was recorded while George was a Beatle. But the song is so identified with George, that I think I should be allowed to get away with it. I notice in shame almost no song is from after the 70s! If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll probably recognize more than a few here. Feel free to contribute your own list.

In no particular order:

1. If You Could Read My Mind–Gordon Lightfoot

2. My Favorite Things–John Coltrane

3. Hey Jude–Beatles

4. Famous Blue Raincoat–Leonard Cohen

5. Suzanne–Judy Collins

6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps–George H.

7. Like A  Rolling Stone–Dylan

8. All The Things You Are–Ella Fitzgerald

9.  If I Loved You–Carousel

10. Pleasures of the Harbor–Phil Ochs

11. God Only Knows–The Beach Boys

12. Tell Her No–The Zombies

13. Billy Jean—Michael J.

14. Satisfaction–Stones

15. Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying–Gerry and the Pacemakers

16. Runaround Sue–Dion

17. Stay–the original

18. The Weight–The Band

19. Dawn–The Four Seasons

20. Maria–West Side Story

21. If I had a Hammer–Pete Seeger or Peter Paul and Mary version

22. The Lion Sleeps Tonight–The Tokens

23. You Can’t Hurry Love–The Supremes

24. Good Morning Heartache–Billie Holiday

25. The Boxer–Simon and Garfunkel

26. Hearts and Bones–Paul Simon

27. 525,600 minutes–Rent

28. All I Want–Joni Mitchell

29. Reason to Believe–TIm Hardin

30. Maggie Mae–Rod Stewart

31. Killing Me Softly–Roberta Flack

32. The Harder They Come–Jimmy Cliff

33. Georgia–Ray Charles

34. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling–The Righteous Brothers

35. A Change is Gonna Come–Sam Cooke

36. I Only Want To Be With You–Dusty Springfield

37. Summer’s End–John Prine

38. Stayin’ Alive–The Bee Gees

39. American Pie–Don McLean

40. Africa–Toto

41. Take Five–Dave Brubeck

42. Rhapsody in Blue–Gershwin

43. Midnight Train to Georgia–Gladys Knight and the Pips

44. Sweet Dreams are Made of This–Eurythmics

45. I Will Survive–Gloria Gaynor

46. It’s Too Late, Baby–Carole King

47.  Compared to What–Eddie Harris/Les McCann

48. Doctor My Eyes–Jackson Browne

49. Sweet Baby James–James Taylor

50. Do You Know The Way To San Jose?–Dionne Warwick

Laughter In The Rain: Neil Sedaka

Monday morning, after a miserable wet weekend here in New York, Neil Sedaka (still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!) seems well-nigh giddy, and doesn’t seem to mind that his auditory hallucinations are compounding rapidly.

Thanks to YouTuber H. Memo Rhein

The Song In Every Musical That No One Likes

The very clever Sarah Smallwood Parsons sings a truth universally acknowledged, to hilarious effect.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber CharactersWelcome

“Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie”

Monday Morning, Don McLean in a great re-make of “American Pie,” fifty years later. At last, all the verses again–not like the awful truncated version from Madonna. McLean is accompanied by the wonderful acapella group, Home Free. As always, not an instrument in sight; all the percussion you hear are mouth sounds from band member Adam Rupp, in the short-sleeve purple T-shirt. See here if you don’t believe it.

Once, when McLean was asked what the song meant, he replied, “It means I’ll never have to work again if I don’t want to.”

Click on the image to play.

More at Home Free