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
An Iowa man, who received a postcard from his sister, said he was surprised to note the card had been mailed in 1987. Paul Willis, a hog farmer in Thornton, said a postcard appeared in his mailbox, recently, from his sister, Annie Lovell […]. [H]e soon noticed the card bore a picture of Lovell on a Grand Canyon hike in 1987 and a San Francisco postmark from December of that same year.
Willis said the postcard bore a second postmark from April 29 of this year in Des Moines so, he called the post office to see if they had any explanation for the postcard’s tardiness. [An] employee said the postcard may have been discovered while furniture and machines were being moved for cleaning. “She said, ‘Well, the post offices are all going through deep cleaning because of COVID-19…'” Willis [recounted to] the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.
An Illinois woman experienced a similar incident in July 2019, when a postcard showed up at her home that had been mailed 26 years earlier. Kim Draper said the card was addressed to the previous residents of her Springfield home and, [it] recounted the residents’ father’s travels in Hong Kong.
Short Piece on Kim Draper
A song you like that is a cover by another artist…
This will be interesting.
First up, Angel of the Morning. Written by Chip Taylor (uncle to Angelina Jolie), this song has been covered by many. It was originally recorded by Evie Sands in 1967 and it got airplay but, the label went bankrupt and distribution halted. After that, it was a feeding frenzy spanning 45 years, culminating in the very last version by Rita Wilson (Mrs. Tom Hanks).
The two most popular versions, both released in February, 13 years apart, are also mine. I still have both 45s.
Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts 1968
Juice Newton 1981
Next, One Tin Soldier. An anti-war song written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, it was originally recorded by the Canadian group The Original Caste in 1969 and did very well on the Canadian charts. Skeeter Davis’ version in 1972 also did well in Canada.
And, last, Get It On. Originally written & recorded by the British group T. Rex in 1971, it was re-titled Bang A Gong (Get It On) by The Power Station in 1985. Sorry, T. Rex fans. I like this one better.
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
Thirteen years ago, today, Cat 5 monster Hurricane Wilma became the most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. As part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, Wilma’s mbar pressure reached a low of 882 (hPa; 27.05 inHg) and the eye shrank to 2.3 miles in diameter, the smallest ever seen. She made landfall several times but, the Yucatán Peninsula, Cuba and South Florida suffered the worst. She did $27.4 billion dollars in total damage and claimed 87 lives. Her name has been retired.
Other October 19 history: