A-HA – “Take on Me!” Music Video Hits One Billion Views on YouTube!

 

Photo credits: yahoo.com

This is great news for such a talented band with a great song and music video!

One of my all time favorite videos, it has such a fun but romantic vibe, filled with the vocals of Morten Harket who can hit those high notes like with ease.

Iconic hit “Take on Me” has become only the second ’80s music video to notch more than one billion views on YouTube.

The song was released by A-ha, a Norwegian pop trio, in 1985, and was added to YouTube in January 2010. In 2020, the video has been averaging about 480,000 views a day, YouTube told CNN.

The band announced the good news on its Twitter account, along with a new T-shirt to mark the occasion.

A-ha wrote and recorded the first version of this song in 1982 with the title “Lesson One” – it had different lyrics but contained the basic keyboard riff. In 1983, the song got the attention of industry veteran Terry Slater, who became their manager and helped them secure a contract with Warner Bros. Records later that year.

In early 1984, they re-wrote the song as “Take On Me” and recorded it with producer Tony Mansfield. Released as a single only in Europe, it went to #3 in their native Norway, but didn’t chart anywhere else, flopping particularly hard in the UK. A video was made for this version that was remarkably undistinguished compared with the one that came after.

At Slater’s suggestion, they re-recorded the song with producer Alan Tarney, who beefed it up with more instrumentation and energy. Around this time, a record company executive named Jeff Ayeroff moved from A&M to Warner Bros., and championed the song. In the book I Want My MTV, he said: “I fell in love with the song. Then I saw a picture of the band, and it was like, Do people actually look like this? Morten Harket was one of the best-looking men in the world.”

Ayeroff commissioned a new video, hiring Steve Barron, whose work included “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League and “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, to direct.

The video was released in May 1985, and used the new version of the song produced by Alan Tarney. A promotional single was released at the same time with stills from the video in the sleeve art. Warner Bros. promoted the song through the video, getting movie theaters to show it before films and eventually getting it on MTV. When MTV picked it up, radio stations also played the song, and by August it was in the US Top 40. The song continued to climb the charts until it hit #1 on October 19, where it stayed for one week. A week later, the song also reached its UK chart peak, coming in at #2 behind “The Power Of Love” by Jennifer Rush.

This song became a hit in the US because of its innovative video where a cartoon figure beckons the reader to join him in comic. It was created by Michael Patterson and his wife Candace Reckinger, who would later work on videos for “Opposites Attract,” “Luka” and “Impulsive.”

Patterson told us: “We started on a-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ – the project began with my animated film Commuter, which won the student academy award in 1981 – it’s done in the same animation style. I directed the animation and drew everything on that clip – we also did the finish for it here in LA. It’s credited for bringing experimental animation into the mainstream.”

The video was inspired by the transformation scene in the 1980 sci-fi film Altered States. Every scene was shot live then projected onto paper and traced.

It was directed by Steve Barron, who was responsible for much of MTV’s playlist in the 80s, as he also directed “Billie Jean,” “She Blinded Me With Science,” “Karma Chameleon” and “Summer Of ’69.”

A-ha were a Norwegian trio formed by Morten Harket (vocals), Pal Waaktaar (guitar) and Mags Furuholmen (keyboards). They moved to London in January 1983 and signed to Warners later in the year. Furuholmen chose their name as it was a simple exclamation known all over the world.

With this hit, A-ha became the first Norwegian band to have #1 in USA.

Bunty Bailey, the woman Morten Harket falls for and saves in the video, became Morten’s girlfriend for a couple of years after they met on the shoot. After their breakup, she moved on to other music videos, and was one of the girls singing “back-up” for Billy Idol in his video for “Got To Be A Lover.” Look for the blonde in the white outfit in the middle. 

For more on this amazing band, go to https://www.songfacts.com/facts/a-ha/take-on-me

 

Video credit: YouTube.com

We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, okay?

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is okay
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

Oh, things that you say
Is it a life or just to play my worries away
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day (take on me)

(Take on me)
(Take me on, take on me)
I’ll be gone (take on me)
In a day (take me on, take on me)
(Take on me, take on me)
(Take me on, take on me)

Writer/s: Pal Waaktaar, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholm

The Isley Brothers – “Who’s That Lady?”

 

Photo credit: yahoo.com

Music is an essential part of life and the history of music is inseparable from the history of technology. If you could measure the Isley Brothers on a scale from 1 – 10, they would certainly measure a 10 and then some. These brothers not only had singing talent, but could set the stage on fire with their guitar talents.  The Isley Brothers are indeed one of the greatest bands of all time!

In an interview with Ernie Isley on The Isley Brothers: Summer Breeze Greatest Hits Live DVD, he says that this song was originally done as a Cha-Cha/Bossa Nova in 1964 titled “Who’s That Lady.” Ernie originally did not want to re-record it because he felt that it already had been done. Ronald Isley convinced him it would be worthwhile, as they were going to change the melody, tempo, and lyrics and that it would showcase the guitar work of younger brother Ernie, who had become an excellent player. The 1964 recording, which features a horn section, was renamed “That Lady” and is featured on the album 3+3. This version is the more widely known recording of the song.

Ernie Isley learned a lot about the guitar from Jimi Hendrix, who played with The Isleys in 1964. His work on this song is studied and revered by guitar aficionados in much the same way Hendrix is deconstructed. According to Ernie, it was a magical moment when it happened. He said: “When I finished the solo to ‘That Lady,’ Kelly looked at me for 15 minutes straight without blinking. I felt like I had one foot on the ground, one on Mount Olympus. I went from a black-and-white world to Technicolor.”

This crossed over to become a hit on both rock and R&B radio. In the early ’70s, The Isley Brothers were one of the most popular acts in America with widespread appeal.

The younger Isley brothers, Ernie and Marvin, were going to college at CW Post in Long Island when this hit. They became quite popular on campus.

The song was used during the 2004 comedy The Legend of Ron Burgundy. It features as the intro music for the arrival Christina Applegate’s Veronica Corningstone character at Channel 4 News.

The guitar solo at the beginning of the song was sampled by the Beastie Boys for “A Year and a Day,” which was part of their Paul’s Boutique-closing deluxe medley “B-Boy Bouillabaisse.”

This was sampled by Kendrick Lamar for his 2014 single. ” Lamar turned up at Ronald Isley’s house to personally ask permission to borrow from the song.

Credit: songfacts.com

 

Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?
Beautiful lady, who’s that lady?
Lovely lady, who’s that lady?
Real fine lady, who’s that lady?

Hear me callin’ out to you
‘Cause that’s all that I can do
Your eyes tell me to pursue
But you say, look yeah
But don’t touch, baby,
No, no, no, don’t touch

Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?
Sexy lady, who’s that lady?
Beautiful lady, who’s that lady?
Real fine lady, who’s that lady?

I would dance upon a string
Any gifts she’d wanna bring
I would give her anything
If she would just do what I say
Come around my way, baby, shine my way

Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?
Beautiful lady, who’s that lady?
Lovely lady, who’s that lady?
Real, real fine lady, who’s that lady?

I would love to take her home
But her heart is made of stone
I gotta keep on keepin’ on
If I don’t, she’ll do me wrong
Do me wrong, baby

Writer/s: O’KELLY ISLEY, RONALD ISLEY, RUDOLPH ISLEY

 

Kenny Rogers – “You Decorated My Life”

Photo credit: yahoo.com

Kenny Rogers was a Suave Texan with a mellow, raspy voice. I always considered him one of my favorite Country singers with hit after hit and a career that began in 1958 and supplied his audiences with well-crafted pop songs possessing country flavor. I have many favorite songs by Kenny but am only listing one. I love his version of “You Decorated My Life.”

Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Rogers was particularly popular with country audiences but also charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres and topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone. He sold over 100 million records worldwide during his lifetime, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Rest in Peace, Kenny. You truly decorated our lives with your beautiful music!

Credit: Wikepidia.com

Song Lyrics –

All my life was a paper
Once plain, pure and white
Till you moved with your pen, changin’ moods now and then
Till the balance was right
Then you added some music
Every note was in place
And anybody could see all the changes in me by the look on my face

And you decorated my life
Created a world
Where dreams are a part
And you decorated my life
By paintin’ your love all over my heart
You decorated my life

Like a rhyme with no reason
In an unfinished song
There was no harmony, life meant nothin’ to me until you came along
And you brought out the colors
What a gentle surprise
Now I’m able to see all the things life can be, shinin’ soft in your eyes

And you decorated my life
Created a world
Where dreams are a part
And you decorated my life
By paintin’ your love
All over my heart
You decorated my life

Written by: Debbie Hupp and Bob Morrison

Austin Roberts – “Rocky”

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I sat and listened to Dickey Lee’s version of this song, and found it to be quite nice and country. It almost seemed to be a little too slow, but that could also be because I have always heard Austin Roberts version, so for my own listening pleasure, my preference is the faster version sang by Roberts.  I think it’s great that Dickey Lee’s version  made it all the way to #1 on the country charts. Both versions are great, and tell a sad story of young love cut short!

Rocky” is a song written by Jay Stevens (aka Woody P. Snow) and performed by American country music artist Dickey Lee. It was released in July 1975 as the fifth single and title track from the album Rocky. On the country chart, “Rocky” was Lee’s most successful single, and his only number one. It spent fourteen weeks on the chart, including one week at number one.

Other versions were recorded by Austin Roberts (1975) and Orion (1979). Austin Roberts’ version reached number 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in Canada in 1975 The track reached #22 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1975; Roberts’ only chart appearance in the UK.

In a paradoxically upbeat melody in a major key, Rocky, the title protagonist, tells the tragic story of his young wife in first person. He first recalls the day four years earlier where, as an 18-year-old college student, he met his wife-to-be (unnamed in the song) and recalls how well they hit it off. She accepts Rocky’s marriage proposal, and they spend the next several months fixing up an old house to make their home. The two soon learn they are expecting their first child, a girl.

Although the family has its usual problems, the happy memories outweigh the bad. One example is a particularly rambunctious first birthday party for the couple’s daughter. With things going well and the family settling in on a content life, Rocky soon gets devastating news: his wife has been diagnosed with an apparently inoperable illness — the specific illness is unidentified in the song — and that she has only a short time to live.

All of this is told in flashback, as in the final verse, his young wife has died. Rocky is now a widower and raising his daughter alone. He feels a sense of sadness every time he looks at his daughter, who strongly resembles her mother, and now doing the same things alone that he once did with his wife. However, he feels a sense of hope, with his wife looking down on him and the couple’s daughter and reassures that his love for her will always remain safe.

Each of the first three verses — telling one of the chapters in the couple’s life — ends with the woman having a sense of fear of the unknown, expressed through the refrain’s statement, “Rocky, I’ve never…,” followed by the appropriate follow-up (“been in love before,” “had a baby before,” “had to die before”) and the unassured, “Don’t know if I can do it.” However, both he and she realize that the strength they have in each other can help them meet each challenge head on. At the end, Rocky says that “if the world would end, your love is safe with me.” The fourth refrain has Rocky envisioning hearing his deceased wife reassure, “Rocky, you know that you’ve been alone before, you know that you can do it,” and that in her own way, she can still advise him in his time of need.

 

 

 Song Lyrics – 

Alone until my eighteenth year
We met four springs ago
She was shy and had a fear
Of things she did not know
But we got it on together
In such a super way
We held each other close at night
And traded dreams each day

And she said,
Rocky, I’ve never been in love before
Don’t know if I can do it
But if you let me lean on you
Take my hand, I might get through it” (through it)
I said, “Baby, oh sweet baby
It’s love that sets us free
And God knows if the world should end
Your love is safe with me”

We found an old gray house
And you would not believe the way
We worked at night to fix it up
Took classes in the day
Paintin’ walls and sippin’ wine
Sleepin’ on the floor
With so much love for just two
Soon we found there’d be one more

And she said,
“Rocky, I’ve never had a baby before
Don’t know if I can do it
But if you let me lean on you
Take my hand, I might get through it” (through it)
I said, “Baby, oh sweet baby
It’s love that sets us free
And God knows if the world should end
Your love is safe with me”

We had lots of problems then but
We had lots of fun
Like the crazy party
When our baby girl turned one
I was proud and satisfied
Life had so much to give
‘Till the day they told me
That she didn’t have long to live

She said,
Rocky, I’ve never had to die before
Don’t know if I can do it…”

Now it’s back to two again
The little girl and I
Who looks so much like her sweet mother
Sometimes it makes me cry
I sleep alone at nights again
I walk alone each day
And sometimes when I’m about to give in
I hear her sweet voice say, to me

“Rocky, you know you’ve been alone before
You know that you can do it
But if you’d like to lean on me
Take my hand, I’ll help you through it” (through it)
I said, “Baby, oh sweet baby
It’s love that sets us free
And I told you when the world would end
Your love was safe with me”

She said,
“Rocky, you know you’ve been alone before
You know that you can do it
But if you’d like to lean on me…

Song Lyric credit: https://songlyricstoday.com

 

 

Boy Meets Girl – “Waiting For a Star to Fall”

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When you take a look back at the 80’s, and all of the great singers and song writer’s from that era, it is hard to believe that it’s been 32 years since this song was released. I remember it like it was yesterday and I remember how it was played over and over on the radio and also MTV.  This has to be one of the most beautifully written songs of the 80’s and still a beautiful song now.  This song has many memories attached to it and will always be a part of my early adult years!

Waiting for a Star to Fall” is a song released by the pop duo Boy Meets Girl in 1988. It was a worldwide hit and became their signature song. Since its release, it has been remixed and covered by many artists, including Cabin Crew and Sunset Strippers.

“Waiting for a Star to Fall” was written by Shannon Rubicam and George Merrill, and was inspired by an actual falling star that Rubicam had seen during a Whitney Houston concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The duo did not initially consider recording the song themselves, instead submitting it to Houston’s manager Clive Davis, in the hope that he would decide to use it on her next album. Even though Rubicam and Merrill had written Houston’s previous hits “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” Davis rejected “Waiting for a Star to Fall” suggesting that it did not suit her. The song was then offered to and recorded by Belinda Carlisle for her 1987 release Heaven on Earth, at the insistence of her label, but Carlisle disliked it and refused to include it on the album. This version has, however, circulated on an unofficial compilation of that album’s outtakes.

The tenor saxophone solo on the Boy Meets Girl version was provided in a session recording early in the career of Andy Snitzer, who later found success as a solo artist.

Merrill and Rubicam decided to record the song themselves for their second album Reel Life. Released as a single on June 10, 1988, it became a hit in the United States, slowly climbing the charts and eventually peaked at #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart and number five on the Billboard Hot 100 Released in the United Kingdom on November 30, 1988, the song reached number nine on the UK charts during January 1989, having entered the chart in December 1988. It also reached number 35 on Australia’s ARIA Charts in April 1989.

The song was used as the closing track to the 1990 movie Three Men and a Little Lady, and the single was re-released as a movie tie-in, with a new picture sleeve featuring the actors of the film. It peaked at number 76 in the UK.

The video game Grand Theft Auto IV included the song in the playlist for the in-game radio station Vice City FM.

Johnny Loftus of AllMusic remarked that the song was “just classic”, and that “the urgency as it drives toward its chorus is a clinic for durable songwriting.

The video for the song, directed by Australian director Claudia Castle, features scenes of Merrill and Rubicam singing it on a beach and inside a house. Also featured are scenes of a group of children playing with bubbles, including the couple’s young daughter Hilary

 

Song Lyrics – 

I hear your name whispered on the wind
It’s a sound that makes me cry
I hear a song blow again and again
Through my mind and I don’t know why
I wish I didn’t feel so strong about you
Like happiness and love revolve around you

Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star
So many people love you baby
That must be what you are

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That’s where you belong
In my arms baby, yeah

I’ve learned to feel what I cannot see
But with you I lose that vision
I don’t know how to dream your dream
So I’m all caught up in superstition
I want to reach out and pull you to me
Who says I should let a wild one go free

Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star
But I can’t love you this much baby
And love you from this far

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That’s where you belong
In my arms baby, yeah

Waiting (however long)
I don’t like waiting (I’ll wait for you)
It’s so hard waiting (don’t be too long)
Seems like waiting (makes me love you even more)

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That’s where you belong
In my arms baby, yeah

Writer/s: George Robert Merrill, Shannon Rubicam

“The Eternal Song”- Poem by Rosemonde Gerard – Poets Who Inspire!

Louise-Rose-Étiennette Gérard, known as Rosemonde Gérard (April 5, 1871, Paris – July 8, 1953, Paris) was a French poet and playwright. She was the wife of Edmond Rostand (1868–1918, author of Cyrano de Bergerac), and was a granddaughter of Étienne Maurice Gérard, who was a Marshal and a Prime Minister of France.

When you are old and I am old,
When my blond hair will be white hair,
In the brightening sun of the May garden,
We’ll go and warm our old trembling limbs.
As renewal sets our hearts in joy,
We will still believe to be young lovers,
And I’ll smile at you while shaking my head,
And we’ll be an adorable old couple.
We’ll look at each other, sitting under our vine,
With small eyes, tender and bright,
When you are old and I am old,
When my blond hair will be white hair.

On our friendly bench, all greenish with moss,
On the bench of old, we’ll talk again,
We will have a tender and very sweet joy,
Each sentence always ending in a kiss.
How many times may I have said “I love you”?
Then with great care we will recount them.
We will remember a thousand things, even
Exquisite little nothings we will ramble on.
A ray will descend, with a soft caress,
Among our white hair, all pink, to rest,
When on our old bench all greenish with moss,
On the bench of old, we’ll talk again.

And as every day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and much less than tomorrow,
What will facial wrinkles matter then?
My love will be more thoughtful—and serene.
Considering that everyday memories are piling up,
These memories of mine will be yours too.
Those common memories entwine us all the more
And constantly between us weave other links.
It’s true, we’ll be old, very old, weakened by age,
But stronger each day I will squeeze your hand
For you see, every day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and much less than tomorrow.

And of this dear love that passes like a dream,
I want to keep everything at the bottom of my heart,
To remember if I can the too short impression
To slowly savour it again later.
I bury everything that comes from it like a miser,
Hoarding with ardour for my old age;
I will be rich then of a rare wealth
For I’ll have kept all the gold of my young love!
So from this ending past of happiness,
My memory will sometimes bring back the sweetness;
And all this dear love that passes like a dream
I will have it preserved at the bottom of my heart.

When you are old and I am old,
When my blond hair will be white hair,
In the brightening sun of the May garden,
We’ll go and warm our old trembling limbs.
As renewal sets our hearts in joy,
We will still believe in the happy days of yesteryear,
And I’ll smile at you while shaking my head
And you will quaver love words to me.
We’ll look at each other, sitting under our vine,
With small eyes, tender and bright,
When you are old and I am old,
When my blond hair will be white hair.

Poem and photo credit: https://allpoetry.com/poem

B.W. Stevenson – “My Maria”

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When I hear the song “My Maria,” I immediately think, Wow, this song is about the true love a guy had for his girl and how every thought of her puts him in a happy place!

B.W. Stevenson (B.W. = “Buck Wheat”) was a singer/songwriter from Dallas, Texas who died in 1988 at age 38. “My Maria,” featuring Larry Carlton on guitar, was by far his best-known song. It was a #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart.

A 1996 cover version by Brooks & Dunn was a huge Country hit, going to #1 and being named by Billboard as the Country Song of the Year. Their version also made #79 on the Hot 100.
In February 1973, Stevenson released the song “Shambala,” which was written by the composer Daniel Moore. Two weeks later, Three Dog Night released their version of the song, which became the much bigger hit, charting at US #3 while Stevenson’s version stalled at #66. Stevenson and Moore then got together and re-wrote “Shambala” as “My Maria,” changing the lyrics so the song became an ode to a beautiful woman. The ploy worked, and Stevenson had by far his biggest hit – his next closest chart entry was “The River of Love” at #53, also written by Moore.

I probably would never have finished ‘My Maria’ without B.W.’s assistance. I had been working on the song for two years at the point I showed it to him. Of course, he wrote the rest of the lyrics in about 15 minutes. Bless his heart.”

The song’s writer Daniel Moore says he earned far more for the cover than for any previous versions. Says Moore: “The original sold 950,000 singles; Brooks & Dunn’s version has sold over 6 million. The original version got about 1,500,000 US radio performances. The Brooks & Dunn version is over 6,500,000 US radio performances and still going.”

“Shambala” was often credited as being written by Stevenson. Moore told us: “My co-writer on ‘My Maria,’ B.W. Stevenson and I got together in 1987 and I busted him for taking credit for writing ‘Shambala.’ He had this big grin on his face and said, ‘I never said that I wrote it.’ Then his grin got bigger and he said, ‘But I also never said that I didn’t write it.’ Poor guy died the next year from a staph infection after a heart valve operation in Nashville. The operation went fine, but 3 days later he got the staph infection and it killed him. So much for the hospitals in Nashville.

Song Lyrics –

My Maria don’t you know I’ve come a long, long way
I been longin’ to see her
When she’s around she takes my blues away
Sweet Maria the sunlight surely hurts my eyes
I’m a lonely dreamer on a highway in the skies

Maria, Maria I love you

My Maria there were some blue and sorrow times
Just my thoughts about you bring back my piece of mind
Gypsy lady you’re a miracle work for me
You set my soul free like a ship sailing on the sea
She is the sunlight when skies are grey
She treats me so right lady take me away

My Maria
Maria I love you
My Maria
Maria I love you

My Maria Writer/s: JOHN DAVIES CALE  and B.W. STEVENSON

The Mother of Rock and Roll, “Sister Rosetta Tharpe!”

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If there was ever a person that was born with a guitar in their hand, people would honestly think it was Rosetta Tharpe. A natural guitar player and incredible Gospel, Blues and Rock and Roll singer. This woman put the rock and the roll in music. As you watch the videos of Ms. Tharpe playing, you can see her looking up as many have stated that she would look up at the sky as if giving thanks to God. She has influenced many artists of her era and is still influencing artists in present day!
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. She attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment that was a precursor of rock and roll. She was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the Godmother of rock and roll”. She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Tharpe was a pioneer in her guitar technique; she was among the first popular recording artists to use heavy distortion on her electric guitar, presaging the rise of electric blues. Her guitar playing technique had a profound influence on the development of British blues in the 1960s; in particular a European tour with Muddy Waters in 1964 with a stop in Manchester on 7 May is cited by prominent British guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards.

Willing to cross the line between sacred and secular by performing her music of “light” in the “darkness” of nightclubs and concert halls with big bands behind her, Tharpe pushed spiritual music into the mainstream and helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel, beginning in 1938 with the recording “Rock Me” and with her 1939 hit “This Train” Her unique music left a lasting mark on more conventional gospel artists such as Ira Tucker, Sr., of the Dixie Hummingbirds. While she offended some conservative churchgoers with her forays into the pop world, she never left gospel music.

Tharpe’s 1944 release “Down by the Riverside” was selected for the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress in 2004, which noted that it “captures her spirited guitar playing and unique vocal style, demonstrating clearly her influence on early rhythm-and-blues performers” and cited her influence on “many gospel, jazz, and rock artists”. (“Down by the Riverside” was recorded by Tharpe on December 2, 1948, in New York City, and issued as Decca single 48106.) Her 1945 hit “Strange Things Happening Every Day”, recorded in late 1944, featured Tharpe’s vocals and electric guitar, with Sammy Price (piano), bass and drums. It was the first gospel record to cross over, hitting no. 2 on the Billboard “race records” chart, the term then used for what later became the R&B chart, in April 1945. The recording has been cited as a precursor of rock and roll. On December 13, 2017, Tharpe was chosen for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence.

Musical Influence –

Tharpe’s guitar style blended melody-driven urban blues with traditional folk arrangements and incorporated a pulsating swing that was a precursor of rock and roll.

Little Richard referred to the stomping, shouting, gospel music performer as his favorite singer when he was a child. In 1947, she heard Richard sing before her concert at the Macon City Auditorium and later invited him on stage to sing with her; it was Richard’s first public performance outside of the church. Following the show, she paid him for his performance, which inspired him to become a performer. When Johnny Cash gave his induction speech at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, he referred to Tharpe as his favorite singer when he was a child. His daughter Rosanne Cash stated in an interview with Larry King that Tharpe was her father’s favorite singer. Tharpe began recording with electric guitar in the 1940s, with “That’s All”, which has been cited as an influence on Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. Other musicians, including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis and Isaac Hayes, have identified her singing, guitar playing, and showmanship as an important influence on them. She was held in particularly high esteem by UK jazz/blues singer George Melly. Tina Turner credits Tharpe, along with Mahalia Jackson, as an early musical influence. Such diverse performers as Meat Loaf, Neil Sedaka and Karen Carpenter have attested to the influence of Tharpe in the rhythmic energy she emanated in her performances (Carpenter’s drum fills are especially reminiscent of Tharpe’s “Chorlton Chug”).

In 2018 singer Frank Turner wrote and performed the song “Sister Rosetta” about her influence and how she deserved to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The single was released on July 3, 2019.

To read more about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, please follow the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sister_Rosetta_Tharpe

Video Credit:YouTube.com

The Rolling Stones – “Paint it Black”

Photo credit: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images

 

Listed as one of the greatest songs ever written, “Paint it Black” is a song that takes you from point A to point Z on the radar as far as Mick Jagger’s high pitched and vocal range and Keith Richard’s amazing guitar riffs, and the band delivers and doesn’t hold back from beginning to end!

The song was written from the viewpoint of a person who is depressed; he wants everything to turn black to match his mood. There was no specific inspiration for the lyrics. When asked at the time why he wrote a song about death, Mick Jagger replied: “I don’t know. It’s been done before. It’s not an original thought by any means. It all depends on how you do it.”

The song seems to be about a lover who died:
“I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black” – The hearse and limos.
“With flowers and my love both never to come back” – The flowers from the funeral and her in the hearse. He talks about his heart being black because of his loss.
“I could not foresee this thing happening to you” – It was an unexpected and sudden death.
“If I look hard enough into the setting sun, my love will laugh with me before the morning comes” – This refers to her in Heaven.

http://www.songfacts.com

The general consensus is that the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” is based on the narrator grieving over a deceased romantic partner. And there is imagery presented in its singular verse to support this theory. However, its singer and co-writer, Rolling Stones’ front man Mick Jagger, has stated that such is not particularly the case. Rather the song is about depression in general, with the titular color black serving as a symbol of this unfavorable mood. 

And, the case may be that Jagger is not singing about a dead partner at all. Rather he is referring to himself and his own aforementioned depression. As such, he does not see any positivity in the world. Instead where there is color he wants it “painted black”, alluding to a general acceptance and potency of this negative mind state.

he production of “Paint It Black” was handled by renowned record producer, Andrew Loog Oldham. It’s important to state that Oldham served as The Rolling Stones’ manager in the mid- 1960s. Mick Jagger partnered with his longtime collaborator and bandmate Keith Richards to write this song.

Upon its release, this song was initially titled “Paint It, Black”.  However, the comma in the title was later removed. Interestingly enough, The Rolling Stones currently don’t own the rights to “Pain It Black”. And why is the case? Simply because they sold all rights to this track to Allen Klein (a former manager of the band). This occurred somewhere in the 1960s.

According to the Rolling Stone magazine, “Paint It Black” is one of the greatest songs ever written. The magazine placed the song at the 176th position on its 2004 list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Paint It Black” was released officially on the 13th of May 1966 on their album titled “Aftermath,” and peaked at #1 on the U.S. billboard 100.  Despite being one of the Stones’ most iconic songs, “Paint It Black” never received a nomination for a Grammy Award.

Read more at: https://www.songmeaningsandfacts.com/meaning-of-paint-it-black-by-the-rolling-stones/

 

 

Song Lyrics –

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev’ryday

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and I must have it painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I want to see your face painted black, black as night, black as coal
Don’t want to see the sun, flying high in the sky
I want to see it painted, painted, painted, painted black, yea

Song lyric credit: http://www.songfacts.com

 

Eddie Kendrick’s – “Keep on Truckin”

Photo credits:https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images

The 70’s were something special and oh what fun it was to hear the latest songs released. I still remember when this song hit the radio and all of the teenagers as well as adults went wild! I can still remember some of the funky dances back then, even though I was never quite the dancer, I still loved watching others move and groove to the music as I tried my hand at learning each new dance. Eddie Kendrick’s had such a smooth voice that seemed to spread over each song lyric like a good brand of butter! A fun song with hidden meanings directed at his former band, but still a song that has never grown old and is always exciting to hear Eddie’s voice as he continues to remind us to keep on truckin!

“Keep on truckin” is a phrase of encouragement meaning to stay focused regardless of circumstances or setbacks. The term originates from a song first recorded by Blind Boy Fuller in the 1930s, “Truckin’ My Blues Away.”

Truckin’ on down the line
Hey hey hey
I say keep on truckin’
Truckin’ my blues away

The phrase was popularized by the US underground cartoonist Robert Crumb in a one-page comic published in the first issue of Zap Comix in 1968. In this song, Kendrick’s is in pursuit of good lovin’, as he’s truckin’ to see his girl.

This song was Eddie Kendrick’s’ first major hit as a solo artist, coming two years after his departure from The Temptations. He believed it was the title that ensured it was a success. “The old people used to truck when they were dancing. And I knew the trucking industry would embrace the record,” Kendrick’s told Fred Bronson.

The song’s grooves were clearly aimed at the dance floor and it was arguably the first-recorded and released disco hit record. Other possible candidates for the first disco hit include “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” George McRae’s “Rock Your Baby,” The Hues Corporation’s “Rock The Boat” and Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.”

The line, “In old Temptation’s rain, I’m duckin'” is a sly reference to Kendrick’s’ former band, The Temptations.

Released in 1973 on the album “Eddie Kendrick’s,” the song peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 100. Upon its release in the summer of 1973, the song would finally bring Kendrick’s out of the shadow of his former band as the song’s catchy beats and melody became a crossover hit.

 

 

Song Lyrics –

Ooh…
Ooh…
Ooh…

Keep on truckin’, baby
I got to keep on truckin’
Got to get to your good lovin’
Huh…huh…huh…huh…huh…

Shame
A double shame on me, yeah
Love
Love, I let it control me, yeah

From just one kiss I am inspired
To lovers in time there’s a fire

And I’ll keep on truckin’, baby
I got to keep on truckin’
I got to get to your good lovin’
Huh…huh…huh…huh…huh…

Baby, its bad
It’s so hard to bear
Yes, babe
You’re hard to bear

I’ve got a fever rising with desire
It’s my love jones and I feel like I’m on fire

And I’ll keep on keep on truckin’, baby
I got to keep on truckin’
Got to get to your good lovin’
Huh…huh…huh…huh…huh…

Feelin’ good
No, you can’t stop the feelin’
No, you can’t stop the feelin’
No, not now

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

Keep on truckin’ on
Keep on truckin’ on
Keep on truckin’

Keep on truckin’ on
Keep on truckin’

Yes, I’ve got a fever rising with desire
It’s my love jones and I feel like I’m on fire

And I’ll keep on keep on truckin’, baby

I’m the red ball express of lovin’
Diesel-powered straight to you, I’m truckin’
In old Temptation’s rain, I’m duckin’
For your love through sleet and snow, I’m truckin’, ooh

I’m the red ball express of lovin’
Diesel-powered straight to you, I’m truckin’
In old Temptation’s rain, I’m duckin’
For your love through sleet and snow, I’m truckin’

Ain’t nothin’ holdin’ me back nothin’
I’ll keep right on, right on truckin’
Ain’t nothin’ holdin’ me back nothin’
I’ll keep right on, right on truckin’

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, truckin’
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, truckin’

Writer/s: ANITA POREE, FRANK EDWARD WILSON and LEONARD CASTON