Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallowe’en… ehh, whatever #socs


As I mentioned the other day, I’m not exactly into Hallowe’en, and really never was. You might think that’s strange. I don’t. Nor do I think it’s strange that I’m really not all that into horror movies, or science fiction, or anything dealing with the paranormal. I mean no offense by that. I know a lot of you read and write horror, science fiction, and other stories dealing with the paranormal. It just doesn’t do anything for me.

See, none of that is anywhere near as terrifying to me as putting on a costume and knocking on a stranger’s door. When I was growing up in the 1960’s, I was always hearing stories about kids who received an apple with a razor blade in it, or a popcorn ball laced with LSD. There were places you could take your candy to have it x-rayed to make sure there wasn’t anything meant to cause immediate harm (razor blades, needles, etc.), but there was no way to tell if there was poison or some illegal substance wrapped up in that Mary Jane.

I had the great fortune and great misfortune of learning to read at an early age. One day when we were living with my grandparents, I was sitting looking at a grocery store ad in the Tribune while Walkie, my grandmother, was bustling about the kitchen making breakfast. I looked up and said, “Look, Walkie! Oranges are on sale at the A&P, only three cents each!” Walkie stopped in mid-bustle and said, “Where did you hear that, Johnny?” “It says so right here,” I said, pointing at the picture in the ad. I was three going on four, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, taking this newly-acquired superpower, I read just about everything, including the poison labels on various household cleaning products. I’m pretty sure I asked my father what “harmful or fatal if swallowed” meant. When I found out I could get very sick and die from swallowing the contents of the container, I understood what the skull-and-crossbones meant. And it scared me.


See, life was scary enough. I was scared of plenty of things, even a few strange things: water heaters (especially in the bathroom); EBS tests; public restrooms maintained by the Lien Chemical Company (a successful and no longer existing restroom sanitation service based in the Chicago area, who cleaned most of the restrooms along US Route 66 and, it seemed, the world); fire drills; and a host of other seemingly-innocuous things and occurrences. We had a major solar eclipse on July 20, 1963, and, for weeks prior to it, commercials from the Hadley School for the Blind warned us (probably against their selfish interests) against looking at it, lest we be struck blind as a bat. Those ads, combined with all the warnings in the newspapers and on TV, had me scared to death to even leave the house on what turned out to be a very nice summer afternoon. When I did go out, I stayed on the porch, and when a friend from down the street came over and told me that he and his grandfather had been watching the eclipse through Grandpa’s telescope, I was convinced that he was blind, even though he could see fine.

I look back now, and think I must have been the strangest kid in the world.


This Stream of Consciousness Saturday entry is brought to you by Linda Hill, sponsor of the blog hop. Go over to her blog and you can see all the people who entered this week and all the rules for participation.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Five MORE: More Chicago Songs

Yesterday, we did ten songs that had Chicago in the title. By doing that, I managed to omit a whole bunch of songs that were about Chicago, or mentioned Chicago in the lyrics, or mentioned specific parts of Chicago. One song in particular was omitted, and people have been asking me, “Hey, why didn’t you include ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown’?”

Anyway, my mind wouldn’t let me rest unless I played that song, and a few others that didn’t fit the theme from yesterday, but I liked, or that I hadn’t heard until yesterday and liked, or whatever. So, here are five more Chicago songs, beginning with…

  1. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce: When this first came out, Wally Phillips on WGN-AM in Chicago played it on his morning show every day for more than a month, and his listeners couldn’t get enough of it. This song spent two weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in July 1973, and was the #2 single of that year according to Billboard magazine. It reached #1 in Chicago on WLS the week of July 16, but peaked at #5 on WCFL.
  2. LA Goodbye – The Ides of March: Jim Peterik and the boys from Berwyn, Illinois released this beautiful tune in early 1971. It reached #2 on WCFL the week of April 15, #5 on WLS a week earlier, but only rose as high as #73 on the Hot 100.
  3. Lake Shore Drive – Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah: Another beauty that was a minor hit in the Chicago area, mostly on FM stations (I couldn’t find it on the chart at either WLS or WCFL).
  4. South Side Irish – Arranmore: A song about growing up Irish on the South Side. I didn’t, but became an adopted South Sider when I married Mary, which was only permitted when she told her father I was a White Sox fan. Has a great line about the crosstown rivalry.
  5. Windy City Boogie – Nature Boy Brown and his Blues Ramblers: No lyrics, but the title mentions the Windy City and they are, after all, the Blues Ramblers. Wasn’t able to find much about Nature Boy, but it’s a great tune.

And that’s five more for Friday, October 30, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

For the end of Daylight Saving Time…


Another disruption of our circadian rhythms happens this weekend. Yes, Daylight Saving Time ends in the US and probably Canada at 2:00 AM this Sunday. If you’re still up then, you can set your clock back to 1:00 AM, or if you’re like me (and most of you are), you can set your clock back one hour before bedtime. Or, just let it set itself automatically, if you have a clock connected to the Internet (e.g. the clock in your computer) or if you use your phone as your watch, like I do.

Anyway, I put together a playlist of five songs (out of the hundreds of songs available) with “time” in the title. These are the ones I thought of off the top of my head. You’ll notice there are a couple of songs from the 1980’s mixed in here. Hope you like them!

  1. Time of the Season – The Zombies: I featured this song when I did the Zombies during my British Invasion series on Two for Tuesday. This song reached #3 on the Hot 100, and hit #1 in Canada and on the Cash Box survey in 1969.
  2. Time (Clock of the Heart) – Culture Club: This is an extended version (the “ultimix” version) of Boy George and crew’s 1982 single, which reached #3 in the US and #4 in Canada. It was certified gold in Canada.
  3. No Time – The Guess Who: Off their 1970 album American Woman, this song reached #1 in Canada and #5 in the US that year.
  4. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper: The followup to her 1983 hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” this lovely song reached #1 in both the US and Canada that year. It was certified Gold in the US and Platinum in Canada.
  5. Time Has Come Today – The Chambers Brothers: This is the long version, clocking in at over eleven minutes. You have been warned. A great example of psychedelic rock mixed with R&B, it was their most successful single, reaching #11 on the Hot 100 in 1968. The Time Has Come, the album it came from, reached #4 on the Pop Album chart and #6 on the Black Album chart, so clearly the album (long) version was preferred.

As always, feel free to suggest other songs to add to this playlist. For now, there’s your Friday Five for the last Friday in October, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ten “Chicago” Songs


This time I’m not talking about the band, but the city itself.

chicago flag

It’s where I grew up, and I have fond memories of the place it was until Mary and I packed up our things and the cats and moved south. It’s changed a lot, in some ways for the better, in other ways… no so much. But, anyway, here are ten songs about my hometown, gathered into a playlist for your convenience.

  1. Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town) – Quintette du Hot Club de France: Winner of a recent Battle of the Bands here.
  2. Sidewalks of Chicago – Merle Haggard: Had never heard this song before today, but I gave it a listen, and decided it would be wrong not to include it.
  3. Chicago Style – Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby: Another new-to-me song, but hey… Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, and some great Chicago-style jazz (some would say Dixieland) backing them up.
  4. My Kind of Town (Chicago Is) – Frank Sinatra: The definitive version of this classic, from the movie Robin and the Seven Hoods.
  5. The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace: The first time I heard this, I was practically yelling at the radio, “The east side of Chicago is Lake Michigan!” There is an east side of the city, as it turns out, the section by the Indiana border, but something tells me that wasn’t what they were thinking when they wrote the song.
  6. Take Me Back To Chicago – Chicago: Chicago XI, from whence this comes, was released not long before Terry Kath killed himself, and the whole album is kind of a downer, as if they already knew what was about to happen.
  7. Born in Chicago – The Butterfield Blues Band: From their first album fifty years ago. Written by Nick Gravenites, later the singer with The Electric Flag, which included Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Miles.
  8. Chicago (We Can Change The World) – Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young: A protest song written in memory of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and all the riots.
  9. Jesus Just Left Chicago – ZZ Top: Some slow Chicago-style blues from three guys from Texas.
  10. Sweet Home Chicago – Buddy Guy and friends: Buddy is joined by Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, and Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player for many years. Everybody gets a solo!

There are plenty more songs about Chicago, as you can see from this list. Hopefully I’ve added your favorites, but again, this is a playlist; if you don’t see your faves, leave me a comment and I’ll add them.

That’s your Thursday Ten for October 29, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#1LinerWeds: Say the secret woid…

Created with Quozio

A recent article in the Washington Post talks about the research of two men, Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Knight at the University of Southern California, who think they’ve found the solution to the tricky problem of creating passwords: randomly-generated poems.
The inspiration for Ghazvininejad and Knight’s study was actually a cartoon, created by Randall Munroe of Xkcd, which showed how a password made up of four random words – like “correct horse battery staple” – is far more secure and a lot easier for people to remember than the typical jumble of random letters, numbers and symbols that most people think of as a secure password.
There is a website that will generate sample two-line poems for you. They caution that the poems might not be that secure, as a hacker could conceivably download all the poems and try them, but they show what can be done.
Anyway, it’s an interesting idea, although many websites’ password rules might make them impractical.

Linda Hill runs One-Liner Wednesday, not to be confused with the One-Line Wednesday someone else is running on Twitter. She has the rules and a list of the participants at her blog.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#TwoForTuesday: Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby


Bert Kalmar had been a vaudeville performer whose career as a dancer was cut short by a knee injury, after which he turned to writing songs full-time. Harry Ruby, who had worked for Kalmar as a song plugger, got Kalmar a songwriting job at the Tin Pan Alley firm of Waterson, Berlin, and Snyder. After working with several partners, Ruby felt a compatibility with Kalmar, and by 1920 they were writing songs and comedy scripts for Broadway and Hollywood, a partnership that lasted until Kalmar’s death in 1947. The 1950 movie Three Little Words, starring Fred Astaire as Kalmar and Red Skelton as Ruby, is based on their lives and careers.

Our first song is “Three Little Words,” written for the 1930 movie Check and Double Check, starring Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden as Amos ‘n’ Andy. The script for the film was also written by Kalmar and Ruby, assisted by J. Walter Ruben. Lack of political correctness 85 years later notwithstanding, this film introduced Duke Ellington to the world beyond Harlem. Here’s Duke with his Cotton Club Band, with vocals by The Rhythm Boys (Bing Crosby, Harry Barris, and Al Rinker).

Our second song is “Just Wait ’til I Get Through With It,” from the 1933 movie Duck Soup, starring the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont. Kalmar and Ruby wrote the script as well as several musical numbers.

Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, your Two for Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Hallowe’en Tunes


Before we get started, an admission: I don’t get into Hallowe’en. Really never did. I never got into anything that required I knock on strangers’ doors and asked them for anything. That includes Hallowe’en and anytime I had to sell anything for school, and thank God there was only once that I had to do that. And costumes? Forget it.

But that’s just me. If it’s the highlight of your year, by all means, have a happy one.

Anyway, I had a little trouble putting this list together until I thought about that which really, really scared me, and it was this…

Public Domain, created by Preuninger for Wikipedia

Not the symbol itself, although when it would pop up on TV when a station was running its EBS test, it would freak me out. But what it stood for in the mid-20th century USA: nuclear disaster. Granted, Civil Defense did a lot more than coordinate evacuations while ICBM’s from Russia were in the air, but that was the thing I associated with it.

Anyway, my playlist this week includes a few songs I generally associate with Hallowe’en, as well as a few spoken-word goodies that were recorded during the Cold War. The list of songs follows the video.

  1. Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett: I had to throw this in, although the one I really wanted was the one done by Boris Karloff himself. I know it’s out there somewhere…
  2. Experiment in Terror – Henry Mancini: Ominous-sounding music that once was the theme song for WGN’s Creature Features, their Saturday night screamfest.
  3. Civil Defense PSA – Boris Karloff: Not especially scary (he almost sounds like he’s reading a bedtime story), but the idea that your house might not survive a nuclear war made you sit up and take notice.
  4. I Put A Spell On You – Creedence Clearwater Revival: This song was a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ hit song, but I like this version better than the original.
  5. Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Öyster Cult: A somewhat ominous-sounding song that was popular in the mid-1970’s. It could really use more cowbell…
  6. Superstition – Beck, Bogert, and Appice: Evidently Stevie Wonder wrote the song for them, and they were going to release it as a single, but Stevie beat them to it. Too bad, because I like their vesion better.
  7. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix: From his 1968 Electric Ladyland album, some fine blues playing. Here’s Buddy Guy’s impression of Jimi, in case you’re interested.
  8. Civil Defense Radio Recordings – WCCO, Minneapolis: Back in 1961, WCCO radio (830 kHz AM) had staff announcers Howard Viken and Dick Chapman record these announcements to be used in the event of a possible or actual nuclear attack. Probably a good idea to do them before they needed them, because I don’t know how calm things would be if they were trying to make these announcements live. At the end, there’s an announcement from Minnesota Governor Elmer L. Andersen (no one names their kid Elmer anymore, have you noticed?).
  9. CONELRAD Radio Alert – WBEN, Buffalo: An announcement that lets listeners know that WBEN (930 kHz AM) is leaving the air and to tune their radio receivers to 640 kc if they live in Erie County, and to 1240 kc if they live in Niagara County, for news and official information or instructions. The announcement is preceded by a 15-second 960 Hz tone, the standard for CONELRAD.
  10. Watching Joey Glow – Steve Goodman: The late Chicago-based folksinger included this on his last album, 1984’s Affordable Art. He died of leukemia in September of that year at the age of 36.

That’s the Hallowe’en edition of Monday’s Music Moves Me. Next week, movie theme songs! Join us then!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Sunday, October 25, 2015

End of October (and Daylight Saving Time) The Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Eastern Airlines. Come Fly With Eastern!

When I first started coming to Atlanta, Eastern was the second-biggest airline flying in and out of Hartsfield Airport, at the time the second-busiest in the country (behind O’Hare Airport in Chicago). By the end of the 1980’s, they were out of business, leaving one and a half concourses empty and a whole lot of pilots, flight attendants, ground crew, and ticket agents out of work. Guess it was all the bad talk about how lousy they were, although I have to say every time I flew Eastern it was a pleasant experience: flights were on time leaving and arriving, baggage never lost, and everyone was pleasant. Don’t know what they were talking about. Anyway…

The Week That Was

Another musical week here. Monday’s Music Moves Me was another “freebie,” so I selected ten songs that had “free” in the title for your listening enjoyment. Arlee suggested a couple by Bruce Cockburn, which I added to the list, and thank you, Arlee, for suggesting them.

Two for Tuesday featured the songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin. The songs were taken from the 1937 film Shall We Dance?, which starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers and also featured the man behind the voice of Fractured Fairy Tales, Edward Everett Horton.

One-Liner Wednesday was taken from that day’s blog post by blogger and hedge-fund manager James Altucher. His blog is worth reading, and is rarely about hedge funds. From the comments I received, it spoke to many of you. I wish I had heard his advice (not just in this article, but from his entire blog) forty years ago, but then, forty years ago, he was a child of five…

I also announced the results of my most-recent Battle of the Bands on Wednesday. This one, over whose 1964 single of Bacharach/David’s song “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” people liked better, was a squeaker, with Lou Johnson winning by two votes over Sandie Shaw. The next Battle will be next Sunday, so be sure and watch for that.

The Thursday Ten featured songs in languages other than English. It was while putting the song list together that I learned about the Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 60th year, meaning the next contest, to be held in Sweden (since they won this year’s contest) May 10-14 of next year will be the 61st. (The contest started in 1956, like me). Expect some future Thursday Tens to feature winners and runners-up from that contest.

The Friday Five were five songs with “blue” in the title. There are hundreds, thousands even, of songs that have “blue” in the title, and I invited everyone to chime in with their favorites. Kip added five (of probably the hundred or so he could come up with) and Mollie added one. All of those will be added to the playlist, along with any others y’all can come up with, any time you can come up with one. Eventually I’ll create a page with the names and URL’s of all my playlists, since their numbers are growing.

Yesterday’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “beef,” so I kicked it off with the Wendy’s commercial from 1984 that featured Clara Peller saying “where’s the beef?” That careened into a discussion of the Chicago Stockyards and a business that grew up not far from there, a grocery called Moo and Oink. The commercials, incidentally, are a riot, and there’s a link to all of them and an example of one in the article.

This is the last Sunday of Daylight Saving Time. Be sure and “fall back” one hour at 2 AM next Sunday, as Ellen DeGeneres tells you in this PSA.

And congratulations to Michele over at Angels Bark on her second Blogiversary. You really ought to read her blog, if you don’t already. She does lots of music, too.

That’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. I’ll see you soon!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Saturday, October 24, 2015


You just knew I was going to say that, right?

The people who made that commercial thought the line that would make it a hit was “It’s a big, fluffy bun.” My favorite line is, “I don’t think there’s anybody back there!”

That commercial, incidentally, is from 1984. 31 years ago. Feel old now?

Mary grew up in the neighborhood called Back of the Yards in Chicago, and after we were married we lived there for almost ten years. The Yards, of course, refers to the Union Stockyards. Remember Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle? Those stockyards. Remember Carl Sandburg calling Chicago “Hog Butcher for the World”? Uh huh, that’s because of the stockyards. Our telephone exchange was DRover 6, and Mary’s aunt and uncle had a phone number with the exchange YArds 7. We didn’t bank there, but the main bank in the neighborhood was the Drovers Bank. You know where the money came from.

Of course, by the time I moved down there, the Yards had been closed for at least 15 years. They moved to Peoria, if I’m not mistaken. A friend of mine and I drove through there, and it was amazing: the cattle pens were still up, the grass was as tall as I was…. no one had thought to develop the land, though there were a few businesses there. The International Amphitheater was still there, and the arch that announced you were entering the Yards was still there.

All that was left was the arch by the time I got there. We have a sketch of the arch as a reminder of where we used to live (Source: Wikipedia)

There were still a few meat-packing plants in the neighborhood. I applied for a supervisor job at one. The guy who interviewed me was wearing a coverall that was caked in blood, and talked about the hardest part of the job being handling the knives. Uh, that’s okay, I think I’ll find a nice computer programming job.

There was a business north of the Yards named Calumet Meats, “The Home of Moo & Oink.” They sold some of the meat from the Yards that you couldn’t get anywhere else. Eventually, they renamed the business “Moo & Oink,” and made funny commercials, like this one.

Sometimes I miss the old neighborhood. Not often, but sometimes. Nothing for us there anymore.

This post is a Stream of Consciousness Saturday entry. Linda Hill, who hosts the blog hop, has the rules and list of other entrants here.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Friday, October 23, 2015

Five “Blue” Songs



This one’s easy. Almost too easy. “Blue” comes up in the names of so many songs, I’m sure I’m going to leave out your favorite. But, that’s okay. Leave me a comment here or on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ with your favorite “blue” song or songs, and I’ll add them to the playlist. Here’s how it starts…

  1. Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton: The Polish Prince, from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (as is Perry Como), has a wonderful voice and sings all kinds of songs like this one. I could probably do this whole Friday Five from songs he recorded. This one, from 1963, went to #1 on the Hot 100, the Cashbox singles chart, and on the Adult Contemporary chart that year.
  2. Blue Collar – Bachman-Turner Overdrive: I know I put this one in every chance I get, and I don’t care: I love this song, especially the guitar jam at the end. This was their second single, and rose to #68 in 1973.
  3. Yer Blues – The Beatles: Had to do this one for Lauralynn XD… Was never a single, but it’s still a great song.
  4. Bluer Than Blue – Michael Johnson: I should add this to the “lite rawk!” playlist, because it’s from that period. It rose to #12 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1978.
  5. L’Amour Est Bleu (Love is Blue) – Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra: A song written by André Popp, with lyrics by Pierre Cour. It was entered into the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest, but didn’t win; however, the vocal version by Vicky Leandros (she did two versions, in French and English) became an international hit, joining Domenico Modugno’s “Volare” and Mocedades’ “Eres Tú” (both of which were featured yesterday) as the only songs that didn’t win the Eurovision contest to become international hits. Mauriat’s instrumental topped the Hot 100 in February and March of 1968, the only French artist to ever top that list.

That’s your Friday Five for October 23, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ten Foreign-Language Hits


According to at least one of my readers, Americans don’t speak English, but that’s not what I’m talking about…


But seriously… There have been a few songs in languages other than English (American or otherwise) that have charted in the US over the years. I gathered ten of them into a playlist, which you can see below.

Here are the songs and a little about them:

  1. Dominique – The Singing Nun (French): Jeanine Deckers, also Sister Luc-Gabrielle, OP, “Soeur Sourire” (“Sister Smile”), or The Singing Nun, was a Belgian Dominican nun who was encouraged by her superior to record an album of her songs, of which “Dominique” was one. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1963-64. I had the album at one time. It was popular among Catholic schoolkids everywhere.
  2. Ue O Muite Aroukou (“Sukiyaki”) – Ryu Sakamoto (Japanese): I featured this almost exactly one year ago in my Battle of the Bands for November 1. This is a beautiful song whose lyrics tell the story of a young man walking and trying not to cry over a lost love. It was named “Sukiyaki” by record executives because they felt American recordbuyers wouldn’t be able to pronounce the Japanese name. The song reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary charts in 1963.
  3. Guantanamera – The Sandpipers (Spanish): The music for this was written by Joséito Fernández, and the words of a José Martí poem were added to make the official version. It is Cuba’s best-known patriotic song. The Sandpipers’ arrangement was written by Pete Seeger. It reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1966.
  4. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens (Spanish): This is a folk song from the Mexican state of Veracruz. Valens’ version reached #22 on the Hot 100 in 1958. The cover by Los Lobos, part of the soundtrack for the Valens biopic La Bamba, reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1987.
  5. 99 Luftballons – Nena (German): This German anti-war song was from Nena’s first album in 1983. When the German version proved popular, it was re-recorded in English with lyrics by Kevin McAlea. The German version reached #2 on the Hot 100.
  6. Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) – Domenico Modugno (Italian): Written by Modugno and Franco Migliacci, this spent five non-consecutive weeks atop the Hot 100 in August and September 1958 and was Billboard‘s #1 single for the year. It’s been covered by a lot of singers, including Dean Martin, Al Martino, and Jerry Vale; my favorite cover is by the Gipsy Kings.
  7. Pata Pata – Miriam Makeba (Xhosa): This is the South African singer’s signature song. It was released in the US in 1967 and reached #12 on the Hot 100.
  8. Seemann, Deine Heimat ist das Meer (Sailor, Your Home Is The Sea) – Lolita (German): The US version featured a verse read in English by the singer. This reached #5 on the Hot 100 in 1959, the most successful German-language song until “99 Luftballons.”
  9. Eres Tú – Mocedades (Spanish): This was popular in 1974, the year I graduated high school and started college. Mocedades is a Spanish band and the vocal is done by Amaya Uranga. It reached #9 on the Hot 100 and is still heard on “lite rawk” stations.
  10. Gangnam Style – PSY (Korean): The video for this one has been watched 2,435,937,379 times on YouTube (the last time I looked), and you have to admit, it’s catchy. It debuted on the Hot 100 at #64 the week of September 22, 2012. It rose to #11 the following week, and to #2 the week after that, where it peaked.

That’s your Thursday Ten for October 22, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” Results


Compared to most of my Battles of the Bands lately, this one was a squeaker!

The Song: “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

The Contestants: Lou Johnson (1964) and Sandie Shaw (1964)

The Results:

Lou Johnson: 10
Sandie Shaw: 8

When the first several votes came in for Sandie Shaw, I thought she’d run away with it, because that’s the way it’s gone lately. But Lou Johnson made a strong showing after that, then Sandie finished strong, but not strong enough. So, congratulations to both of them, but especially to Lou, who squeaked by with two more votes.

Our next Battle of the Bands will be on Sunday, November 1. That’s All Saints’ Day in the Catholic Church, so expect something related.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

#1LinerWeds from James Altucher


If you don’t read James Altucher‘s blog, you should. This is a line from this morning’s article.

My contribution to today’s One-Liner Wednesday. Linda Hill runs it, and she has the rules and pingbacks from all the other participants here.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#TwoForTuesday: George & Ira Gershwin


Their official website says that George and Ira Gershwin “will always be remembered as the songwriting team whose voice was synonymous with the sounds and style of the Jazz Age.” Both brothers had worked with other songwriters and composers before 1924, but from 1924 until George’s death in 1937 they wrote together exclusively. They wrote over two dozenn scores for Broadway and Hollywood in that time, and many of their songs have become jazz standards. In fact, the chord changes from “I Got Rhythm” are a part of the jazz lexicon and can be found in many songs, including the theme song for “The Flintstones.”

Our first song today is “Shall We Dance?” The 1937 film of the same name starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and was the second musical the Gershwins wrote for Hollywood.

Our second song is “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” from the same film. Here it’s performed by Frank Sinatra.

George and Ira Gershwin, your Two for Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday’s Music Moves Me: “Free” Songs


Today, according to X-Mas Dolly, is a “freebie.” Accordingly, I chose ten songs with “free” in the title and built a playlist. You can find the list of songs immediately following the playlist itself.

  1. Free – Chicago: I’m a big Chicago fan, as you might have guessed. Actually, I’m a big Terry Kath fan. This song, from their third album, features Terry’s chunky guitar playing. Even though he doesn’t have a solo, it’d be hard to imagine this song without him.
  2. People Got To Be Free – The Young Rascals: The Young Rascals were a band out of New Jersey active from 1965-1972. They had nine Top 20 singles in the period from 1966 to 1968, including this one; it reached #1 in the US and Canada in the summer of 1968.
  3. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd: One of those songs that plays daily on most classic rock stations, best known for the extended guitar solo in the middle. Skynyrd is from Alabama, next door to Georgia, and I heard it so much I got sick of it. Haven’t heard it in a while, so I included it.
  4. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty: Off 1989’s Full Moon Fever album. I bought that album the same time I bought The Traveling Wilburys, Volume 1, which also featured Tom. Both albums were excellent, and I recommend them enthusiastically.
  5. Free As A Bird – The Beatles: Around the time the remaining Beatles were planning their huge “Anthology” project, Yoko Ono found a tape with this song and another (“Real Love”) on it, and gave it to them. They added their instruments and vocals to John’s piano and voice, and came out with the first new Beatles music in twenty years. The first time I heard it, I was stunned; it was as though it was 1968 all over again.
  6. Freedom – Richie Havens: I bent the rules just a little bit to include this gem that Richie played at Woodstock (this is a studio version of it), mostly because I like it so much.
  7. I’m Free – The Who: From the rock opera Tommy, a straight-ahead rocker.
  8. I Feel Free – Cream: This was a single they recorded in 1966, that was included on their US release Fresh Cream.
  9. Free Ride – The Edgar Winter Group: From their 1972 release They Only Come Out At Night, it reached #14 on the pop singles chart in 1973. I remember the story behind the cover on this album: they had made up Edgar for the picture with the rest of the group (the one on the back of the album cover), and got a little crazy with the makeup…
  10. Herbert Harper’s Free Press News – Muddy Waters: From his 1968 album Electric Mud. Marshall Chess suggested Muddy record an album of psychedelic blues to try and revive his career. He was accompanied by the Chicago band Rotary Connection rather than his regular crew. the album sold over 150,000 copies, enough for people to realize what a serious mistake it was and tell their friends not to buy it. A guy I knew threw away the record and hung the gatefold of the album, which featured Muddy in a monk’s robe and sandals playing a Fender Jaguar, on his wall. I also own a copy, which thankfully I can’t play because I don’t have a turntable, and I’m not certain where it is, anyway….

And that’s this week’s edition of Monday’s Music Moves Me. Hope you liked it!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing