Thursday, June 30, 2016

Writer’s Workshop: My Recent Life In Fifteen Sentences

I finished my lymphedema therapy on Tuesday. Diane, my therapist, helped me put on my Juxtalite compression garments and showed Mary and I how to get them on and off. Yesterday was our first time doing it, and I don’t think it went well. When I took the Justalites off at bedtime, I thought I had started swelling up again, but by this morning my legs had shrunk, and today we took our time and got them on comfortably and more or less correctly.

Diane showed me how to do some of the gentle massaging she did to stimulate my lymphatic system and get the fluid from my leg up through my heart, and from there through the kidneys and out. I did some of that last night, and although I was getting up to go to the bathroom about every ninety minutes, it helped shrink my leg down. Mary said she’ll help me with the massaging; she’ll be able to get lower on the leg than I can.

This discussion of my physical ailments probably fits into the TMI area, but there isn’t much to talk about otherwise. It’s been very hot and humid here in Georgia, and we’ve been blasting the air conditioning at night so we can get some sleep. We end up doing it during the day as well. We do escape whenever we can, to Starbucks, where it’s air conditioned. My great-aunt Florence told the story of when she was working in Kansas City. She said the building was air conditioned, and when people would walk out into the hot-and-humid a lot of them fainted. What did we do before then?

I wasn’t sure I could keep this discussion down to fifteen sentences (how I’m interpreting the requirement of “Write a blog post in exactly fifteen lines”). I guess I could.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#1LinerWeds from Fuzzy Memories

This is going to take a minute to set up…

One of my favorite places on the Internet is The Museum of Classic Chicago Television, run by my friend Rick Klein. He takes off-the-air recordings people made on their VCRs and focuses on the commercial breaks (particularly the local commercials), bumpers, newscasts, Emergency Broadcast System tests, technical difficulty moments, signoffs and signons, test patterns and color bars… pretty much the stuff people aren’t interested in, and preserves them for posterity. Originally, he was posting these clips to YouTube, but ran into so many problems that he started his own website. He has since started posting some of the better stuff to YouTube again.

Today he posted this commercial from National Fashions, a now-defunct clothing store that was most active during the Disco Era.

I had seen this commercial a thousand times forty years ago (from whence this came), and seeing it again today and hearing their slogan (“buy it today, wear it tonight”) reminded me of something we used to say whenever it came on…

Buy it today…
Wear it tonight…
Return it tomorrow!

No doubt National Fashions dealt with a lot of that, which is probably why they went out of business.


One-Liner Wednesday is hosted by the lovely and talented Linda Hill. Visit her blog and see the rules and pingback/links from the other participants.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Randy Newman

Continuing our series on songwriters who have written song that Three Dog Night sang, today we look at Randy Newman. Three Dog Night had their first #1 with Randy’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come” in 1970, and also recorded his “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” (Tom Jones’s version of that song was the finale for the movie The Full Monty.)

Randy’s a prolific composer; his songs have been recorded by the likes of Ray Charles, Bette Midler, Dave Van Ronk, Judy Collins, The Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, and Peggy Lee. He’s scored twenty-five films and earned two Oscars (for “We Belong Together” from the soundtrack of Toy Story and “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters Inc.) and six Grammys, among other awards (Wikipedia’s list is here). Sadly, he’s earned all of his awards for his work after 1981, even though he’s been active as a performer since 1967 and as a songwriter since he was seventeen. I recommend you look at his official website, which has the details of his career and a timeline of his awards. He’s also on Twitter and Facebook (where he’s promoting his mailing list).

Randy wrote and performed “It’s A Jungle Out There,” the theme song used in all but the first season of Monk, which starred Tony Shalhoub and ran originally on the USA Network in the US from 2002 through 2009. He sings it here with the help of Vienna’s Radio Symphonic Orchestra/

Randy’s third album was 1972’s Sail Away. Its title track was an imagined sales pitch from an American slave trader to potential slaves. The whole album is excellent; I had a vinyl copy until recently.

Randy Newman, your Two for Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Dave Clark Five!

I had originally set this up as a Friday Five, but then remembered I had something else in mind for last Friday, so I save this one, knowing there would be an opportunity to use this eventually. Well, eventually is today….


Way back when I did my Two for Tuesday series on the British Invasion, I dedicated the second post to The Dave Clark Five. They were the second British Invasion to band to appear on Ed Sullivan’s show, after The Beatles, and their song “Glad All Over” succeeded “I Want To Hold Your Hand” as the #1 song on the British Pop Chart in January, 1964. They had a #1 in the US with “Over and Over” in December 1965.

They started as The Dave Clark Quintet, but since people were having trouble understanding what a “quintet” was, they renamed themselves The Dave Clark Five. The group consisted of Dave Clark on drums, Mike Smith on keyboards and lead vocals, Lenny Davidson on lead guitar, Rick Huxley on bass, and Denis Payton on saxophones, harmonica, and guitar. While it was customary for the drummer to sit on a platform behind the other instruments, Dave, being the bandleader, would often sit at stage floor level, with the other band members on a platform beside him. Other times, he would sit in the middle of the stage, with the rremaining members on either side.

The tendency at the time was to present The Beatles and The DC5 as rivals, competing for the screams of American teenaged girls, but I think they were more complements to each other. The Beatles represented Liverpool and the Merseybeat Sound, from northern England, while The DC5 were (maybe the only) representatives of the “Tottenham sound,” from the northern suburbs of London. The Beatles were primarily a guitar group, while The DC5 were driven by keyboards and saxophone, the guitar and bass primarily background instruments. They were more different than they were similar.

While The Beatles have been remembered, Dave and the band have been largely forgotten, and that’s a shame. So, let’s play some Dave Clark Five today! The songs are from the days when pop songs consistently ran under three minutes and were sometimes played slightly faster than 45 RPM, so stations could brag they played more music per hour.

Glad All Over

Over And Over

You Got What It Takes

Anyway You Want It

Can’t You See That She’s Mine?


Unlike many bands from that period, the DC5 didn’t reunite after they split up in 1970. Dave stopped drumming two years later after damaging his hands in a tobogganing accident. He owns the rights to all the band’s music as well as the rights to Ready, Steady, Go!, a program similar to American Bandstand that ran on British television in the Sixties.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the music of The Dave Clark Five. There’s plenty on YouTube and streaming on the various services, so immerse yourself in the Tottenham sound. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 27, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, and Naila Moon, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Last Week That Was of June

Here are Homer & Jethro for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes!

Henry “Homer” Haines (guitar) and Kenneth “Jethro” Burns (mandolin) were a music and comedy duo who did satires of popular songs. They’re thought of as a comedy duo but both were outstanding musicians, both influenced by none other than Django Reinhardt. After Homer died in 1971, Jethro continued to play in the Chicago area and recorded with Steve Goodman on the latter’s last couple of albums. Jethro’s son John was a guitarist and singer who had a band that played in the Chicago area (and might still be playing). We adopted two kittens many years ago and named one Homer and the other Jethro. Jethro has since passed on, but Homer is still with us.

The Week That Was

Another music-filled and enjoyable week here at The Sound of One Hand Typing!

Monday’s Music Moves Me‘s theme was “summer playlist.” I had put together a playlist for the beginning of the summer last year, so instead I looked at the survey from KHJ radio Los Angeles from June 21, 1967 and shared the Top Five. Some great songs there, including Scott MacKenzie’s “San Francisco,” which brought back memories of us visiting California while Mom looked for a new job. Fabulous Auntie Jill over on Facebook said that it was more than just a passing thought; Mom was ready to take the three of us and move to the San Francisco Bay Area after Dad died. She decided against moving us away from the family and all our friends, I think because she didn’t want to leave Grandma, who had just lost her son. Mom and Grandma were very, very close. That was Grandma: her daughters-in-law were her daughters. I’m glad we didn’t move, but I wonder sometimes what it would have been like. It’s the writer in me.

Laura Nyro was the subject of this week’s Two for Tuesday. Several of you (Arlee, Joey, and JMH) said they were unfamiliar with her, but knew her music. Her music was ubiquitous; she wasn’t, and it’s a shame. Makes you want to head out to YouTube and learn what other songs she wrote, doesn’t it?

My latest Battle of the Bands was won by Glen Campbell, though it was much closer than I thought it would be. I liked both his and June Christy’s version of “I Remember You” about the same, and had the battle ended in a tie, I wouldn’t know which way I’d go. And, know what? I’d’ve let the tie stand.

I shared an image quote I found on Facebook, of all places, for One-Liner Wednesday. You can find some very funny stuff out there, if you can find it through all the political posts. Ally Bean agreed, saying that’s true of just about all social media. We had social media when we were kids; it was the alley between Glenwood and Wayne Avenues.

Well, Mama Kat asked for another summer playlist, and I gave some thought to just republishing last year’s, then decided to create another list. I actually found twelve songs I hadn’t thought of last year and created a new one. Last year, I had built them into a playlist, although I was hearing from some people they were having trouble pulling the playlists up, so I stopped doing it; eventually, though, I’ll build a playlist with the new selections. Joey said she was going to turn up “Saturday In The Park” while she read the rest of her blogs. I love the way Robert Lamm hammers the piano at the beginning of that one. Great song. Madam Dreamweaver said she recognized all the songs and artists, something she can’t say about music recorded after 1987 unless they’ve played it in her Zumba class. I know the feeling, believe me. I’m pretty well lost after about 1992, at least with music on the Hot 100. (What’s a Nicki Minaj?)

A week ago last Friday, it was storming outside our local Starbucks (okay, one of the twenty or so), gave you five songs about storms, and asked for suggestions for another playlist. I ended up with more than five good songs, and turned them into a playlist, and also received a couple of good “rain” songs, which I added to that playlist. The Classics IV, whose “Stormy” kicked off your suggestions, were a Southern band, for a time based in Atlanta, and Lauralynn said she hadn’t realized that Dennis Yost, who was sort of their leader, had fallen down the stairs and caused pretty bad brain trauma from which he died in 2008. I don’t think he was hospitalized the whole time between his accident and death; Wikipedia notes that he made an appearance with the band before choosing Tom Garrett to replace him.

Sometimes I think I should have been a disk jockey…

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “drink,” and I wrote about how I ended up only drinking water and decaf coffee for the most part. I mentioned I don’t drink enough water, and Arlee said it was the same for him. Back in the Sixties, they told us eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. That must be a minimum, because I’m still thirsty after that much water. A nurse practitioner told me that three quarts was the most she’d suggest, because I guess you can drown yourself if you drink too much water (that was the basis for a scene in an NCIS episode, I remember), but I think it varies. I’ve heard one ounce for every pound you’re overweight, but then I’m looking at almost two gallons. I’ll look it up at some point and let you know.

So, that’s last week. Friday is July 1, so I’ll be doing another Battle of the Bands then, plus all your favorite features. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Liquid Refreshment #socs

About the only things I drink now are water and decaf coffee. And milkshakes, the occasional Frapuccino, and the lemonade at Chick-Fil-A.

I used to drink alcoholic beverages to excess, especially when I was in college and when I was in the pipe band. For a long time, I’d have three or four beers at home when I came home from work. I never liked to drink when I was driving, sso that kept me from doing it too much, but when I was in a mood to drink, I did. Then I learned I had high blood pressure, and had to take medication for it. I decided it probably was a good idea to stop drinking beer and whiskey altogether, so I did. I don’t miss it. I was talking to a friend of mine once, and mentioned that. He said, “I’m the same way. I figured I did enough of that when I was younger.”

My problem was the energy drinks, like Red Bull. I’d have a few of those a day, much more than any sane person should. It was probably that constant jacking my metabolism up that brought on my stroke. That and trying to get everything done at once, because I had been putting it off.

When I got out of the hospital, I started drinking a lot of soda. Diet soda, of course, and caffeine-free. The aspartame was screwing up my kidneys, I think, and finally I decided to only drink water and decaf coffee. It took about a week, but I felt so much better not having the aspartame. Now I don’t touch the stuff.

I noticed that, the more water I drank, the lower my blood pressure went. I felt like I had unlocked the secret to the universe. I don’t drink enough water now, but I drink decaf coffee all day. I really need to drink more water. I’m just afraid it’ll keep me up all night going to the bathroom, although with the lymphatic drainage, I notice I don’t as much. I think during the day all the liquid I drank would settle in my leg, then at night when I was lying down it would run through my system and I’d end up going to the bathroom a lot. Not a good thing.



Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week at this time. Linda Hill is the person who runs the blog hop, and you can find all the pingbacks from everyone and the rules here.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Friday Five (and more!): Your Storm Songs

Since it was a little stormy last week, I chose a few “storm” songs (songs with “storm” in the title or about storms) and threw it out to you to make some more suggestions. A lot of you recommended songs about rain, and I’ll add them to my existing playlist, so I haven’t forgotten you. “Rhythm of the Rain” by The Cascades is the first one on the list, in fact.

We ended up with a few more than five songs, and I couldn’t decide which ones to keep and which to leave off, so this Friday Five is actually a seven. I’m sure you won’t mind…

Stormy – Classics IV Carol over on Facebook suggested this, and I’m surprised I didn’t think of it as well.

Knock On Wood – Eddie Floyd Some classic Memphis Soul here by Eddie Floyd. (It was on Stax, so I assume it was Memphis Soul.) Mary B suggested this one, and Liam seconded it. The lyrics at the end of the verses talk about thunder and lightning, after all. Good enough for me.

Mistress of Storms – Bruce Cockburn This one is a beauty suggested by Arlee, an instrumental that was also covered by Michael Occhipinti and Creation Dream.

Quiet Storm – Smokey Robinson Janet suggested this one. The song that launched an entire sub-genre known as Quiet Storm, of which Anita Baker is one of the key practitioners.

Thunder and Lightning – Grapefruit Arlee tells us that Grapefruit was one of the first bands signed by Apple in the late Sixties, and said he thought they might have been a precursor to Badfinger. Whatever the case, it’s a good song.

Like A Hurricane – Kris Delmhorst Liam told me about Kris Delmhorst, who did an album called Songs For A Hurricane, on which all the songs are about storms, either real or metaphoric. Here’s one of them.

Like A Hurricane – Neil Young Mary B recommended this one as well, but I’m not sure this is the one she was thinking of. “Like A Hurricane” is a popular song name, I guess.

Thanks to everyone who participated! That’s your Friday Five for June 24, 2016.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Writer’s Workshop: Summer Playlist, 2016 Edition

I created a playlist for summer last year for WW, so I was surprised to see Kat asking a second time. Not that I mind; if you’ve been reading the blog for more than two weeks you know that I just love sticking YouTube videos into blog entries and making comments on the music. I thought this would be more of a challenge than it turned out to be. I came up with a few more that are either about summer or which I associate with the season (in one case, the song has one line about the season). Here we go…

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer – Nat King Cole No surprise here, right? This was the title track from Nat’s 1963 album, which came out during the summer, oddly enough.

Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) – Perry Como I associate hot dogs with summer, and also this song, even though it reached #1 on the Hot 100 in March 1956, which is also when I made my debut. It’s not actually about hot dogs, but…

Saturday In The Park – Chicago Their first single from Chicago V, which came out during the summer of 1972. I can remember pedaling my bicycle to Montgomery Ward in Deerfield, Illinois the day the album came out, wanting to get there when the store opened and before they sold out. I was the only person in the store and had to look for a cashier. Then it was back on my bike and home to listen to it. The song peraked at #3 on the Hot 100 and the Cash Box survey, and at #2 at WLS in Chicago.

Penny Lane – The Beatles I chose this based on one line of the song, in the chorus after the Bach trumpet solo: “For a fish and finger pie in summer…”

Indian Lake – The Cowsills A song by Tony Romeo about a place you can have summer fun. It reached #10 in 1968 and was the #51 song of the year according to Cash Box magazine.

Palisades Park – Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon More summer fun at Palisades Park in New Jersey. They used to advertise in Superman comics and probably others in the DC world. This song was written by Chuck Barris (of The Gong Show fame) and recorded by Freddy in 1962 as the B side to “June, July, and August.” I don’t remember the latter song, but “Palisades Park” made it to #3 on the Hot 100 in June 1962 and remains Freddy’s biggest hit.

All Summer Long – The Beach Boys If you saw American Graffiti (tag line: “Where were you in ’62?”) you remember this played while the credits rolled. That it wasn’t even released until two years later mattered not at all to the producers of the movie. It was the title track from The Beach Boys’ 1964 album.

The Summer Knows – Frank Sinatra Another one for my Uncle Jack. It was written by Michel Legrand with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman for the 1971 movie Summer of ’42, which starred Jennifer O’Neill and Gary Grimes. The song has been recorded many times over.

Sealed With A Kiss – Brian Hyland Brian recorded this song by Peter Udell and Gary Geld in 1962 and it reached #3 on both the Hot 100 and the UK Singles chart that year. Covers by Gary Lewis and The Playboys and Bobby Vinton got as high as #19. It’s a standard teenage love song, about being separated for the three long months from June through September, but still a classic.

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Brian Hyland It’s a Brian Hyland twofer! Brian recorded this in 1960 and it hit #1 on the Hot 100.

Fire – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but it’s been hitting 90° (32° for you centigrade fans) with alarming regularity here in Georgia. It’s almost like the world is on fire… this song entered the charts in the US in September 1968 after reaching #1 in the UK and Canada, and reached #2 in the US.

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – Steam To me, summer and baseball go together, and when I talk baseball, it’s either the Atlanta Braves or the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox hired a young woman named Nancy Faust to be their stadium organist in the early Seventies, and she brought the tradition of playing this as an opposing team’s pitcher left the field after being replaced on the mound. It was written by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo, and Dale Frashuer, who formed the core of a fictitious band they called Steam. It was released in November 1969, and reached #1 a month later.

So, there you have it. I’ll build this into a playlist so you can listen to them all at once. Hope you enjoyed it!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#1LinerWeds from Facebook

Sometimes you find funny stuff on Facebook. You just have to look past all the political posts.


Linda Hill is the host for One-Liner Wednesday. Her blog has all the details.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “I Remember You” Results


My last battle pitted country singer and guitarist extraordinaire Glen Campbell against the lovely vocal stylings of Miss June Christy. The song was the Victor Schertzinger-Johnny Mercer classic, “I Remember You,” a jazz and country standard I usually identify with British country singer Frank Ifield (Glen’s version sounded a lot like Frank’s, didn’t it?), who had a big hit with it in 1962 on both sides of the pond. The votes are in and have been tabulated, and here is the result.

Glen Campbell: 7
June Christy: 4

This was a lot closer than I thought. As the results trickled in, it looked as though Glen was running away with it, but June more than held her own. Congratulations to Glen, and kudos to Miss Christy for making this a real contest.

The next scheduled Battle of the Bands will be Friday, July 1. Brother Kip gave me several suggestions, and I think I’ll use one of his. See you then!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Laura Nyro

I feel like I should know more about Laura Nyro than I do. Todd Rundgren said that after he heard Laura’s songs, he “stopped writing songs like The Who and started writing songs like Laura.” Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Melissa Manchester, and Alice Cooper, among others, have acknowledged her influence on their music. Oddly enough, I never actually heard her do any of her own songs. It might have been because she took the first part of the Seventies off, or because the radio stations in Chicago didn’t consider her important enough to add to their playlist, or maybe I just wasn’t listening to the stations that were playing her music, or maybe (most likely) I did hear her and just didn’t realize it at the time. I heard plenty of her songs, though: The Fifth Dimension performed several of her songs, as did Blood, Sweat & Tears and, as we know, Three Dog Night had a hit with her “Eli’s Coming” in 1969.

And When I Die” was the third single released off of BS&T’s eponymous second album. It rose to #2 on the Hot 100 in late 1969 and early 1970. Laura wrote the song when she was seventeen and sold it to Peter, Paul & Mary, who recorded it for their sixth album, The Peter, Paul & Mary Album. Here’s Laura’s version, which appeared on her first album, More Than A New Discovery (1967).

The Fifth Dimension recorded “Sweet Blindness” on their 1968 album Stoned Soul Picnic (the title track was also written by Laura). It rose to #13 on the Hot 100 and #45 on the R&B chart. Laura did her version of the song on her 1968 album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

Laura died of ovarian cancer in 1997, just shy of her fiftieth birthday. There is a very well-done website dedicated to her memory, and naturally there’s a Facebook page.

Laura Nyro, your Two For Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Top 5 from KHJ, June 21, 1967

I had to laugh when I saw the topic for this week’s M4:

Summer officially starts on Tuesday. Let’s play songs about summer!

See, I did this on Memorial Day, choosing five songs from a playlist I built for the Writer’s Workshop a year ago. Furthermore, last Thursday I posted the Top Ten from WCFL from this day in 1968.

So, I was stuck. And, any time I get stuck like that, I pop on over to Oldiesloon and go searching through surveys. Since nothing says summer like Southern California, I chose a survey from KHJ (930 kc) in Los Angeles, the radio home of such legendary disc jockeys as Robert W. Morgan, Charlie Tuna, and The Real Don Steele. Here’s what they were listening to on June 21, 1967…

#5: San Francisco – Scott McKenzie 1967 was a significant year for my family. My father died in January, and my mother was considering moving us to northern California. How serious she was about it, I have no idea, but we spent a week in the Bay Area with friends of hers (during which time she had at least one interview) and went into San Francisco frequently. The Summer of Love was in full swing, and the flower children were out in full force. This was an anthem to them, and to all that was peace, love, and flowers.

#4: Don’t Sleep In The Subway – Petula Clark We featured Petula during my series on The British Invasion, which was still running strong in 1967.

#3: Windy – The Association The Association were just off of their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival a few days before (if Wikipedia can be trusted), where they were the first act. They almost seemed out of place, a group of clean-cut young people who sang soft rock and folk rock, but they were a huge hit. This song made it to the top of the Hot 100 the following month.

#2: The Oogum Boogum Song – Brenton Wood I had a hard time placing this one until I heard it. Brenton had two hits in 1967, this and “Gimme Little Sign.” He’s still active on and off.

#1: Light My Fire – The Doors Their first #1 song. Hard to believe it happened this early; I placed it about a year later. This is the single version, without the long jam in the middle; they did a pretty good job of cutting it down to three minutes for Top 40 radio (the album version is here).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this look back to the Summer of Love. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 20, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, and Naila Moon, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Week That Was, Father’s Day 2016 Edition

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Remington electric shavers. Reach for a Remington this Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, and moms thrust into the role. I’m remembering especially Bill Holton, my father, Jack “Tex” Christian, my stepfather, and Joe Kacka, my father-in-law, all of whom were great men and who were instrumental in my life. There were so many men who had an effect on my life. In eighth grade, there was some kind of Boy Scout father-and-son event going on, and Mr. Lee, our Webelos leader, took me aside and said, “We don’t want to leave you out. You come, too, and I’ll stand in for him.” I’ve never forgotten that.

The Week That Was

A lot of music here this past week, starting with Monday’s Music Moves Me. It was a freebie week, and since I’ve been on a Three Dog Night kick, I featured songs by the original authors of some of their hits. I decided that will be my theme for the next several weeks on Two for Tuesday, and featured Harry Nilsson, who wrote and sang “One,” a big hit for 3DN in the late Sixties. Mary said it was good that I linked to the 3DN version of the song when I presented the original for comparison. I did that to show how similar 3DN was to the original; they generally didn’t rearrange songs but adapted them to their harmony and backup band. The result was pretty amazing.

Reocochran reminded me on Tuesday that Nilsson wrote and sang the theme song for the Sixties hit TV show The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father, which starred Bill Bixby, Brandon Cruz, and Miyoshi Umeki as Mrs. Livingston. It was originally a song Nilsson wrote called “Girlfriend,” and he adapted the words for the theme. The show ran for three seasons, and I don’t think I’ve seen it in syndication. I forget a lot about it, other than Mrs. Livington called Tom Corbett (Bixby’s character) “Mr. Eddie’s Father.” I remember another episode where Eddie was worried she was on the brink of committing seppuku, but that’s it.

Be sure and vote in my Battle of the Bands, if you haven’t already done so. It’s Glen Campbell versus June Christy in Battle “I Remember You.” I’ll announce the winner this Wednesday.

For One-Liner Wednesday, I snagged a line from an article by Steve Rose in The Guardian. It was an article about all the things that annoy him about Apple. I bought my first Mac Mini in 2006 when I heard about all the issues with Windows Vista, and I like the base system, but I found myself agreeing with many of the things in the article, particularly the U2 incident…

I had trouble coming up with something to write on Thursday, so I did a Thursday Ten and featured the Top Ten from WCFL radio from 48 years ago tomorrow. My brother Kip said it wasn’t an especially good week for music, but Arlee and JoAnna were happy for the stroll down Memory Lane.

I wrote The Friday Five during a torrential rainstorm here, so the keyword was “storm.” I have a number of suggestions for other “storm” songs, and that will probably be next week’s Friday Five.

Finally, Stream of Consciousness yesterday was about one of my friends from grammar school, who had an unusual reaction to a hypothetical posed by the nun in Religion class. I’m glad many of you got a laugh out of it.

That’s what happened here this past week. The theme for M4 tomorrow is “summer songs,” which I used as my theme a couple of weeks ago, so let’s see what new life I can come up with. Laura Nyro will be the featured artist on Two for Tuesday. And after that, I’m not sure. You’ll just have to come by and find out… See you this week!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Class #socs

When I was going into seventh grade, it was decided that St. Ignatius School would be integrated by busing a number of students from Holy Angels School on the South Side. Chicago was still pretty segregated in the late Sixties, and we really didn’t know what to expect. I think a couple of parents pulled their kids out of school, but for the most part the parish pitched in, and several families agreed to host the kids while they were in the neighborhood. The combined seventh grade class that September included three boys, Mathis, Montrice, and Michael, and two girls, Donna and Carla. Cultural differences aside, we did what any kids would do, and soon we didn’t think of them as outsiders, they were our friends.

I didn’t get to know the girls that well, largely because all the boys were in one class and the girls in another. In the mornings, half the boys and half the girls switched classrooms, and the girls from Holy Angels always seemed to be in the other classroom from me. Montrice and Michael were quiet and studious, although in Montrice’s case that might have been because he was tired most of the time and occasionally had trouble staying awake. Mathis, on the other hand, while quiet, was a bit of a mixer. He didn’t cause trouble per se, but when he opened his mouth, watch out.

By eighth grade, they decided to have coed classes, since we spent so much time together anyway. I was in one class, and the kids from Holy Angels (except Donna, who decided not to come back) were in the other. I mention this because I was in the other room at the time and got this story secondhand.

Sister Rosemary, who we called “Rocky” because she had a tendency to hit us (usually because we deserved it), was teaching Religion to the other class one morning, and at one point she said, “Let’s say I’m St. John the Baptist…”

Mathis hopped out of his chair and exclaimed, “You can’t be no St. John! You ain’t got no penix!”

As I recall, he didn’t get in trouble for that, although he was lectured for using the word “ain’t.”


Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday was brought to you by the word “class.” Linda Hill hosts this feature every week, and if you follow this link (which might or might not leave a pingback), you’ll find the rules and links to all the other participants.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Friday Five: Storm Songs

When we left the house to come to Starbucks this afternoon, the area was under a severe thunderstorm watch. After we were here about five minutes, this is what we were looking at…

So, I had my theme: songs with “storm” in the title, with one exception…

Thunder and Lightning – Chi Coltrane This was the first song that came to mind, as we were getting thunder and lightning before the rain you just saw. Chi’s almost a one-hit wonder; she had a #1 hit in The Netherlands with “Go Like Elijah” in 1975, a song that only reached #94 in the US that year, although it got “considerable airplay,” according to Wikipedia. This one reached #17 on the Hot 100 in 1972.

Riders on the Storm – The Doors The Doors’ last #1 hit, released after the death of Jim Morrison in 1971. It was on the L. A. Woman album, and reached #14 on the Hot 100.

Stormy Weather – Billie Holiday A jazz standard, done by artists such as Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Ethel Waters and others. Here’s Lady Day’s version.

Stormy Monday – B. B. King A blues standard. Most of the biggest names in the blues have done this one, as well as The Allman Brothers, Cream, and other rock acts. Ain’t no bigger name in the blues than B. B. King, who’s playing this one with Albert King, if I heard correctly.

Ridin’ The Storm Out – REO Speedwagon The pride of the University of Illinois, they started in 1967 and played a lot of the clubs in the Chicago area on their way to international fame. This is from their 1973 album of the same name; a live version charted at #94 in 1977.

Have any favorite “storm” songs? Let me know in the comments. That’s your Friday Five on this soggy afternoon, June 17, 2016.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing