Stuck In My Head

What’s Stuck In My Head – 25 March

I awoke this morning to the news that Jackson Browne has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  I guess that’s why several of his songs have been playing in my head since yesterday evening.  It was tough to pick just which song to highlight.  I choose this one on the strength of the lyrics alone.

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must've thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found
I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
But I can't sing
I can't help listening
I can't help feeling stupid standing 'round
Crying is they ease you down
'Cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(Right on Dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(There's nothing you can do about it anyway)
Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone
Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
Just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
(The world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound
Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
That you'll never know
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jackson Browne
For A Dancer lyrics © Swallow Turn Music, Wb Music Corp

If my memory is correct (and it just may not be), my brother introduced me to Jackson’s music about 1975 or so.  I remember we were working on the roof of the house I grew up in and my parents and I were living in. I had a small radio (this was before the days of “Boom Boxes”) and Redneck Friend was playing.  I started laughing at the chorus;

Honey, you shake, I'll rattle, we'll roll on down the line
See if we can't get in touch with a very close friend of mine
But let me clue you in, it ain't like him to argue or pretend
Well, honey let me introduce you to my redneck friend

Naturally that started my brother (always the teacher) to give me an hour-long lecture, I mean history of Mr. Browne and his music.  I was hooked.  And I wasn’t the only one.

In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and given an honorary doctorate of music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him as 37th in its list of the “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time“.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Browne

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 12 March

The title of this song is mantra around our house. I can’t remember how I found this song. I’m pretty sure it was during the year I was stationed in Korea.  But I can’t really be sure.  You know they say the first three things to go when you get old are your sex drive, your patience, and and… I forgot the third thing.

The song is sung in a first-person narrative about a man’s relationship with a woman who does not reciprocate his feelings and regards their sexual encounter as nothing more than casual. The song’s title reflects the woman’s response to the man’s unspoken questions. Later in the song, the woman realizes her mistake and returns to him, trying to mend fences, only to find that the man has moved on and has no feelings left for her, turning on her with her own words.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_the_Way_It_Is,_Baby

While you may not know this song (although it did make it to #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1990), most folks know The Rembrandts #1 pop hit “I’ll Be There For You” which was used as the theme song for the sitcom Friends. Another TV show that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete episode of.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 8 March

Here’s one you probably don’t know. It’s from 1980 and there’s not much about this song on the web. There are several live videos and that’s about it. I played this song a lot when I was in broadcasting training. So it became a favorite of Wifey and me.

This is how this song got stuck. Yesterday Wifey and I were grocery shopping and she pointed at a certain package of cookies and started singing this. Thank you Pepperidge Farms.

In 1981, Watts in a Tank was released in the United States. The single “Sausalito Summernight” rose to #25 on the U.S. Top 40. It reached #1 in Canada. Watts in a Tank itself went up to #68 on the Billboard 200.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_(band)

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 21 February

As I’m sure you know be now, most days I have no idea why a particular song is stuck in my head. And today is no different.

This song has been a favorite of mine even before I understood what the title meant.  I like the rhythm to the song, and at around 12 years of age when it was released, the repetitive lyrics of the chorus were very catchy.

The track was recorded at Trident Studios, London, and the piano on the record was performed by either Rick Wakeman or Blue Weaver. Mark Paytress notes that both pianists may have played separate parts on the song, with Wakeman contributing only the piano glissandos that feature several times throughout the song. Wakeman, who was desperate for work at the time to pay his rent, had bumped into Bolan in Oxford Street, who offered him the session. Wakeman pointed out to Tony Visconti that the record did not actually need a piano player. Visconti suggested that he could add a gliss. Wakeman said that Visconti could do that, to which Bolan replied, “You want your rent, don’t you?” Wakeman did, and earned £9 for his efforts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_It_On_(T._Rex_song)

This video is from a 1971 broadcast on the British TV show, Top of the Pops.  Playing the piano on this video is the one and only Elton John (long before they added the “Sir” to his name.

T. Rex will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Just in case you are up night worring about things like that.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 9 February

Here’s another WTF post. I have no idea why this is stuck in my head today. Now, I was talking with my friend Mel about this song and artist, but that at least 2 months ago. maybe it’s because I’ve started the process to get my medical marijuana card – specifically to help with my sleep. And these weird ass dreams are part of that. Who knows…

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 28 January

Ever have one of those nights where it’s nothing but disjointed weird ass dreams all night? That was me last night. Waking up every 90 minutes or so wondering – WTF is going on???

Luckily just before Wifey’s alarm went off, this song was running round and round my fuzzy brain.

I really enjoyed this group. I mean, what’s not to like? George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and please don’t forget Jim Keltner on drums.

I’m sure my very intelligent readers already know this, but the song’s writer will be the first vocal you hear on the song. So this song is a Harrison composition.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 22 January

Some mornings I wake up with a song that I have no idea why it’s stuck. Now this is indeed, my all-time favorite early Beatles song, I can’t say exactly why. I will admit that as a teenager I could relate to the story the song brings out. But that was a long time ago.

The track doesn’t really have all that strong of a guitar part, so George (my favorite of the Beatles) isn’t really featured. It is primarily a Lennon composition, and as I’ve mentioned before both my brother and I consider John as the best rock and roll composer ever.

This track was released originally in the UK on the 1964 album Beatles For Sale and in the US on the Beatles ’65.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 17 December

The year was 1965, I was 7, and like all the other kids, thought this song about Snoopy. But alas, it’s not.

“My Girl Sloopy” was first recorded by the Los Angeles-based R&B vocal group, the Vibrations in 1964, for Atlantic Records (45-2222). It was a hit, reaching number 10 on the R&B chart, and number 26 on the US pop chart. In April 1965, The group members were Don Bradley, Carl Fisher, Dave Govan, James Johnson, and Ricky Owens. The song then became a local hit in the Pacific Northwest in a cover version by James Henry & the Olympics (Jerden Records), but it was quickly eclipsed in August when the Indiana pop group the McCoys released their iconic retitled version. “Hang On Sloopy” went to number one in the U.S. in October 1965.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hang_On_Sloopy

And just who were “The McCoys“?

The original members were all from Union City; however, the Zehringer boys were initially from Fort Recovery, Ohio. The band members were guitarist and lead singer Richard Zehringer, his brother Randy on drums, and bassist Dennis Kelly. This first line-up was known as The Rick Z Combo, and later known as Rick and the Raiders. When Kelly left for college, the Zehringers were joined by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, saxophonist Sean Michaels, and keyboardist Ronnie Brandon. This was the line-up that took the name of “The McCoys”. Brandon left the group in 1965 and was replaced by Bobby Peterson on keyboards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_McCoys

Never heard of these guys? Well, The McCoys may have been sent to the “one hit wonder” pile of the 60’s, but that Rick Zehringer guy didn’t. You will know him better as Rick Derringer, he of Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo fame. The McCoys did have other hits on the charts including “Fever” (Billboard #7) and “Come On, Let’s Go”, Billboard #21). But this on hit #1 on 2 October.

Mr. Derringer is, supposedly, the subject of Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”. But probably not;

Just to clear up a generation’s worth of rumors about the lyrics of “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” Walter Becker stated for the record in a 1985 interview in the pages of Musician that the “number” in question was not slang for a marijuana cigarette (“send it off in a letter to yourself,” supposedly a way to safely transport one’s dope back before the post office abolished general delivery mail, was held up as the key line), and an uncharacteristically forthcoming Donald Fagen has similarly revealed that the “Rikki” in question was simply a woman he’d had a crush on in college. It says something about Steely Dan’s reputation as obscurantists that even a straightforward lost-love song like “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” could be so widely over-interpreted. … It’s unsurprising that “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” ended up becoming Steely Dan’s biggest commercial hit … as it’s one of the group’s most gentle and accessible songs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rikki_Don%27t_Lose_That_Number

Talking this selection over with Wifey™ we both remember this as Hang On Snoopy. We’re completely wrong of course, but that’s how we both remember it. We seem to recall a cartoon of Snoopy set to this song. But maybe that’s just wishful remembrance.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 7 December

Today’s entry is not really all that odd. But what is odd is that as I’m getting everything together to write this post, Wifey is looking for Elf to stream later tonight to watch with the girls. So how does that relate to whatever song is stuck in my head? Because, apparently, Leon Redbone has a part in the movie, as Leon the snowman. As should be apparent, I have never seen the movie do I intend to watch it. Will Ferrell just grates me the wrong way. I think the only thing I’ve seen of him that I find funny is the SNL “More Cowbell” skit. Everything else, just like Jim Carrey (who according to the IMDB page for the movie was also considered for the part of Buddy), I do not find funny. But that’s me, if you enjoy the movie, please go on and continue to. I’ll be sipping on a single malt and listening to my music and probably doing some genealogy while the girls will be watching it.

So, back to the song and the singer. I believe I first saw Mr. Redbone on SNL performing this song. If I remember correctly (which is questionable), it was a solo act. Just Leon and his guitar. I have a vague remembrance of him wearing a ring with a big red jewel on his left hand. But I cannot find a video of that performance to collaborate that memory. It may have been on The Johnny Carson Show that I saw him instead.

Leon made a career playing “Tin Pan Alley” music, and this is one of those. One part of his stage shows was him claiming to have written these old songs. It was a joke of course, as the music had been written before he was born. And it figures that his obit claims he was 127 when he passed. He wasn’t.

A statement on Mr. Redbone’s website noted his death with cheeky humor: “It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th, 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127.” His longtime publicist Jim Della Croce confirmed that his age was, in fact, 69.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Redbone

Here is the best live recorded video I could find. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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