Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Six pick.
Moving into 1986… My first introduction to R.E.M. wasn’t the radio or MTV. It was an odd video channel on Cablevision in the early 80s in my NC hometown (my mom only had basic cable…no MTV). I’ve talked at great length with Max (Powerpop Blogger) about this obscure video channel. I remember two VJs, one named “Dr. John” (not the musician) that wore blue scrubs and one named “Carrot Top” (not the comedian), that, of course, was a red-headed dude. I have no idea where this channel broadcast from but, it was a seriously stripped down operation. It was just rotating VJs, sitting at a desk, talking into a camera…and playing music videos. The first video I recall seeing was Radio Free Europe, the Murmur version, not the Hib-Tone single (I later found out). I was immediately hooked but, totally missed who the band was. (Interestingly, the Hib-Tone version was recorded at Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, NC and the Murmur version was recorded at Reflection Studios in Charlotte, NC.) Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school and I see some of So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) on MTV. I had no idea that this was the same band. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, when Driver 8 came out (another one I like), that a buddy of mine told me who R.E.M. was…a college band out of the University of Georgia (Bulldogs). Every piece of music of theirs that I was lucky enough to catch, I loved. Finally, in 1987, The One I Love broke thru to #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and they seemed to be everywhere. Their highest charting hit was Losing My Religion, getting to #4 in 1991. Out of their entire catalog, which is gi-hugic, Fall On Me wound up being my favorite, with my introductory piece, Radio Free Europe, coming in second. I wish I had seen them live.
Bit of odd trivia…five strange degrees of separation. R.E.M. had a manager by the name of Jefferson Holt. He was with them until 1996 when they got rid of him for sexual harassment. Jefferson Holt is from Chapel Hill and his mother is named Bertha “B” Holt. She was an NC State Rep. from 1975 to 1994, representing my home county (and another one). She was quite the pioneer, advocating for the ERA and married rape victims (which is ironic as hell considering her son’s behavior). My paternal grandmother was in Democratic politics in the 60s, 70s & 80s, running for local office, herself (and on first-names basis with several governors). She campaigned heavily for her favorites and “Bee” Holt was one of them. I met Bee Holt several times as a kid and remember all of her “Bee” 🐝 paraphernalia all over my grandmother’s house.
I guess this makes me closer to R.E.M. than Kevin Bacon! 😉 😊 ~Vic
Released 0n August 11, 1986, it was the third track from the album Lifes Rich Pageant. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #96 the weekend of October 4, peaking at #94 on October 11 before finally disappearing from the chart on October 25. It did better on the Album Rock Tracks, making it to #5 for one week on September 6.
“Of the genuinely new songs, Peter Buck’s basic music track for Fall On Me dated back to July of 1985, when Stipe had written a lyric about acid rain [but], the song had been virtually re-written, melody and lyrics, by the time it came to be recorded. Stipe, who declared in 1991 that “…this may be my favourite song in the R.E.M. catalogue…”, has described the final version as “…pretty much a song about oppression.” Trainspotters might like to know that the counter-melody used in the second verse is actually the song’s original tune.
Johnny Black (2004)
Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.
His Favorite Song
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Two pick.
I grew up around lots of music. My dad had his tastes, my mom had hers and I got some exposure to my grandparents music, too. There was plenty of Elvis, Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Gene Pitney, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, instrumental music (think Hugo Montenegro or Paul Mauriat), funny stuff like Ben Colder/Sheb Wooley, Ray Stevens or David Seville (my dad’s stuff), The Four Seasons, Motown, soul music, beach music (my mom’s stuff), big band music (my paternal grandparents) and, bluegrass, country and Latin/jazz (maternal grandparents). One song, in particular, that reminds me of my dad the most is Cathy’s Clown. When I was a kid, my dad liked to just get in the car, drive around and listen to the radio. It was, literally, No Particular Place To Go. When I became an adult, we’d still get in the car and cruise. He and I would sing Cathy’s Clown, together, with me taking Phil’s harmony. I still own my dad’s original 45. ~Vic
Written by Don, it was recorded in March and released in April 1960. It was recorded live, in a single take, with both brothers sharing a microphone. Floyd Cramer was on piano, Floyd Chance on bass and Buddy Harman on drums. An odd song, it has a chorus and bridges but, no verses. It was their first single for Warner Bros. It spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, one week on the Billboard’s R&B chart and seven weeks at #1 on UK’s Singles chart. It was their biggest selling single and their last #1 after Wake Up Little Susie and All I Have to Do Is Dream.
The song is ranked at #150 Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and it was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2013. Covers have been done by Reba McEntire and Neil Sedaka (1983) with McEntire’s version reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and Canada’s RPM Country Tracks chart in 1989. There is even a Jan and Dean version on Filet Of Soul Redux: The Rejected Master Recordings (2017).
“We owe those guys everything. They started it all.” ~Bob Dylan
Additional Reading & References:
The Everly Brothers: That Sibling Sound (BBC News/2014)
Cathy’s Clown ~ The Everly Brothers (Library of Congress/PDF)
Recording Cathy’s Clown (Steve Hoffman Music Forum)
Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show 1960
Up until this point, the only TV shows I have been posting were American. I will be branching out a bit. Naturally, the first non-American show I choose doesn’t have a lot of information written about it…or a video. ~Vic
Fifty-five years ago, today, the British comedy mini-series It’s Not Me, It’s Them! debuted on BBC2. Produced by Graeme Muir and written by Donald Churchill (The Hound of the Baskervilles), it starred Churchill, Norman Bird (Fawlty Towers), Jack Bligh (Doctor Who), George Betton (Coronation Street) and Anthony Dawes (Fawlty Towers).
[This was] an early series from the pen of actor/writer Donald Churchill, focused on Albert Curfew, […] a young man unable to hold down a job for any length of time. The title came from a regular saying of Curfew’s every time he lost his job. Churchill (who also starred as well as wrote the scripts) claimed he based the series on a close friend of his. Guest stars in the single season show included Liz Fraser, Bill Kerr and Kate O’Mara.
Changing things a bit. I’ve got Music Mondays and I’ve had Tune Tuesdays (I may return to that) that showcase music by release date, in five year increments (if I can). Early on, I listed number ones, only. There was also my jump into the 30-Day Song Challenge back in December 2018. Now, I’m stretching Saturday out a bit for some music, too…an idea I got from the Nostalgic Italian. I might even stretch it to Sunday, if I take a notion to. It just depends upon my mood. All blogs evolve and, I’m always looking for new and different things.
This is a song on my playlist on my phone. I have a lot of music on my phone…things that I love to hear when I go out for my afternoon and evening walks or, just sitting in my Adirondack chair, watching the sunset. ~Vic
From Mix Online:
Paich recalls writing Africa on his living room piano.
“Over many years, I had been taken by the UNICEF ads with the pictures of Africa and the starving children. I had always wanted to do something to connect with that and bring more attention to the continent. I wanted to go there, too, so, I sort of invented a song that put me in Africa. I was hearing the melody in my head and, I sat down and played the music in about 10 minutes. And, then, the chorus came out. I sang the chorus out as you hear it. It was like God channeling it. I thought, ‘I’m talented but, I’m not that talented. Something just happened here!'”
Paich, then, proceeded to work on the lyrics for another six months. He brought the skeleton to drummer Jeff Porcaro with the idea of having percussion being an integral part of the composition.
“Jeff got out African sticks with bottle caps that his dad (Joe Porcaro) and Emil Richards (both percussionists) used on National Geographic films. He brought in a marimba and a wooden xylophone kind of thing. This was pre-synthesizer. We didn’t have samples back then. You’re hearing bass marimba, that other instrument and you’re hearing, probably, one of the first loops that was ever done.”
Sadly, Jeff Porcaro passed away nearly ten years later.
A suicide bomber drives a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack. The U.S. Marines were part of a multinational force sent to Lebanon in August 1982 to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon.
In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community and other groups. During the next few years, Syrian, Israeli and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting and, on August 20, 1982, a multinational force including 800 U.S. Marines was ordered to Beirut to help coordinate the Palestinian withdrawal.
[Following] the massacre of Palestinian refugees by a Christian militia, [the] next day, the first U.S. Marine to die during the mission was killed while defusing a bomb. Other Marines fell prey to snipers. On April 18, 1983, a suicide bomber driving a van devastated the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. Then, on October 23, a Lebanese terrorist plowed his bomb-laden truck through three guard posts, a barbed-wire fence and into the lobby of the Marines Corps headquarters in Beirut. [He] detonated a massive bomb killing 241 Marine, Navy and Army personnel. The bomb, which was made of a sophisticated explosive enhanced by gas, had an explosive power equivalent to 18,000 pounds of dynamite. The identities of the embassy and barracks bombers were not determined but, they were suspected to be Shiite terrorists associated with Iran.
Serious questions also arose over the quality of security in the American sector of war-torn Beirut. The U.S. peacekeeping force occupied an exposed area near the airport but, for political reasons, the Marine Commander had not been allowed to maintain a completely secure perimeter before the attack.
On February 26, 1984, the main force of Marines left Lebanon, leaving just a small contingent to guard the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
This one hits home. One of the Marines killed in that bombing graduated from my high school. He graduated in 1982 (two years ahead of me) and I never got to meet him but, I knew his younger brother whom was a year behind me. Many years later, I wound up married to the Corps for 12 years. My ex and I visited the Beirut Bombing Memorial in Jacksonville when he returned from Iraq War duty. I took pictures but, I don’t remember what happened to them. ~Vic
Burlington Times-News Article (Johnny’s name on the wall…)
Today was Living History Day. I didn’t make it to the festivities but, my buddy Ray did. The weather was just too damp for me and I was busy with other things. He graciously provided me with copies to post and four short video clips.
This area (a five county span) was a hotbed of struggle during the War of the Regulation, the Battle of Alamance, the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Guilford Court House, the Civil War and was the site of the last & largest Confederate Surrender. We, collectively, have seen a lot.
We also have a lot of actors and reenactments. Some of the uniforms and gear are quite impressive. Hopefully, I will make it next year.
Ray had a little trouble keeping his filming steady. Overcast skies can interfere with viewing ability. Apologies.
A song by an artist whose voice you love…
I covered Darius Rucker, Linda Ronstadt and Susanne Sundfor, yesterday. I’ve posted Paul Durham, Maria McKee, Emily Hackett, Pat Benatar, Sarah McLachlan, Enya, Amy Lee, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Anna Nalick, Sia, Patty Smyth, Loreena McKennitt, Kenny Loggins, Kelly Holland, Elvis and George Harrison.
Here are five more…
There are SO many Olivia songs…way too many to choose from. This song, in particular, showcases her range well. She was my hero as a teen…beautiful voice, gorgeous face, stunning hair and perfect teeth. We may not have her much longer. She is my mother’s age.
I was given a CD of her music by a friend. She is my age and such a powerhouse. She did a CMT Crossroads episode with Pat Benatar and she was an even match in range.
And, of course…Adele…
I like her squeaky voice.
This one is so cute.
Fellow blogger Britchy at Bitchin’ In The Kitchen challenged all of her readers to join in. I could not resist this fun as I am a music nut. That being expressed, I sit on day six so, this first post is a catch-up. Tomorrow, I will join the normal festivities for day seven.
So, without further ado…here we go.
A song with color in the title.
Oh, my, my, my…this immediately popped into my head. This was released in 1983…my junior year of high school.
Little Red Corvette
A song with a number in the title.
Black Lab appeared on the Alternative Rock scene in 1997 with their début album release Your Body Above Me. This song is particularly haunting to me and I could listen to Paul Durham sing all day long.
Ten Million Years
A song that reminds you of summer.
Dear Lord…the summer of 1984, the year I graduated. Myrtle Beach, alcohol & Prince. This was released ahead of the album Purple Rain‘s release and the movie of the same name. Have mercy… As a side note, Wendy in the background playing guitar in stockings and high-top tennis shoes is just bad ass.
When Doves Cry
A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.
I love this song but, the person that it reminds me of…I wish I could rip them out of my head.
Set Fire to the Rain
A song that needs to be played loud.
Oh, yeah…also played extensively at the beach for graduation…the louder, the better. We wore out a cassette tape.
A song that makes you want to dance.
Honestly, this one is hard…too many to choose from. I will go with…
Say It Right
Thanks, Kristian for rolling the ball to Britchy. ~Vic
Thirty-five years ago, today, the number #1 Billboard Hot 100 song was Islands in the Stream, a duet sung by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Written by the Bee Gees, it was named after the Ernest Hemingway novel (published nine years after his death) and was originally intended for Marvin Gaye. Barry Gibb did a demo for Kenny Rogers (released in November 2006) and, the Bee Gees did two covers of their own in 1997 in Las Vegas with Barry on lead and in 2001 in the studio with Robin on lead.
This song was simultaneously #1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart, the Billboard Adult Contemporary (Pop) chart and the Cash Box Top 100. It also reached #1 in Australia, Austria and Canada (in four different categories).
♡ Top Vocal Duet (1984 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards)
♡ Single Record of the Year~Artist (Dolly Parton/1984 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards)
♡ Single Record of the Year~Artist (Kenny Rogers/1984 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards)
♡ Single Record of the Year~Producer (Barry Gibb, Alby Galuten & Karl Richardson/1984 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards)
♡ Single Record of the Year~Record Company (RCA Records/1984 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards)
♡ Favorite Country Single (1984 American Music Awards)
★ Pop Vocal Group (1984 Grammy Awards)
☆ Single of the Year (Dolly & Kenny/1984 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards)
☆ Song of the Year (Barry, Maurice & Robin/1984 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards)
☆ Vocal Duo of the Year (1984 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards)
☆ Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group (1984 American Music Awards)
☆ Favorite Country Male Artist (1984 American Music Awards)
☆ International Single of the Year (1984 Canadian Juno Awards)
It’s Flick Friday! The number one movie 35 years ago, today, is National Lampoon’s Vacation!
[I saw this movie in the summer before beginning my senior year of high school. It is a very different movie from the sequels as there was nudity. It wasn’t considered a ‘family friendly’ movie back then. It was very risqué. It is the only movie of the series with an ‘R‘ rating. The movies afterwards were toned down. And, it’s a little embarrassing, too. My mother’s maiden name is Griswold. I kept my mouth shut in school but, boy did my cousins take some ribbing. And, yes. We are just that weird. LOL! ~Victoria]