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.
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.
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…
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.
So, just now I’m flipping through my Twitter feed and see this;
This was news to me (and my brother). I am a big fan of The Bangles. They really appeal to my “Pop-Music” side. I knew Prince wrote lots of songs that other artists made famous. Sinead O’Connor’s cover of Nothing Compares 2U (1990) made it to number one, Chaka Khan’s 1984’s hit I Feel For You made it number three on the charts. And another I didn’t realize, Stevie Nick’s Stand Back (1983) made it number 5. That is just the short list. Rolling Stone Magazine has a short article with 15 songs.
The song was on The Bangles second album, Different Light, which also had their monster hit (and a favorite of my granddaughters), Walk Like An Egyptian.
“Manic Monday” went on to become a number-two hit in the US, the UK and Germany, outsold at the time only by another Prince composition, his own “Kiss“. The band’s second album Different Light (January 1986) was more polished than its predecessor and, with the help of the worldwide number-one hit “Walk Like an Egyptian” (written by Liam Sternberg), saw the band firmly in the mainstream. The song was sent to them in mid-session and the group was divided about whether it would be a failure or a success. When the song was released the group was amazed to discover that it brought them a new audience of female fans, most of them very young. Commented Michael Steele to a Nine-O-One Network Magazine writer: “When I go out now it is usually girls who recognize me.” Three additional hit singles released from the “Different Light” album were: “Following” (top 40 in Ireland), “Walking Down Your Street” (#11 on the US Billboard Hot 100), and the wistful “If She Knew What She Wants“, written and first recorded by Jules Shear (which reached 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1986 and was in the German Top 20 for 13 weeks).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sorry for the lack of recent posts, but Wifey and I have been painting the granddaughters rooms and making some major changes for them. But that will be another post here in a day or two.
I’m not filing this post under my usual “What’s Stuck In My Head” category, although it would fit nicely there. This is a remembrance post for one of my guitar gods. It seems that on this day, 29 November, in 2001 we lost George Harrison. It was a tough day for me.
George was probably the second person to be put on my “guitar gods” list (Michael Nesmith of The Monkees was the first – I was very young when I started said list). The list isn’t ranked in any way. In fact it’s quite fluid as to who is on the top of the list at any given time. And don’t let the masculine term “god” worry you, there are ladies on the list as well.
George’s music, from the early Beatles, to his solo work, to The Traveling Wilburys is always on any of my playlists. “Don’t Bother Me” would be the first solo written credit, appearing on the 1963 album “With The Beatles”.
His “Handle With Care” was supposed to be a “B-Side” to European single but the record company said it was too good for a “B-Side”, and wanted an entire album. Thus was born The Traveling Wilburys.
I would imagine that the one song of George’s that everybody knows (even Frank Sinatra called the greatest love song ever written), would be Something. Written for his first wife, Patti Boyd. I believe Ms. Boyd should be known as the greatest muse of 70’s British rock and roll. Not only did George write this beautiful love song about her, Eric Clapton (another on the “guitar gods” list), penned the iconic “Layla” about Patti. Clapton wrote several other songs about her before, during, and after their marriage as well.
There are so many great songs of George’s to include in this post. It took a long time to decide which on to use. I picked this video because, one it’s a great track, and this live version has both Harrison and Clapton. And you can’t go wrong with two guitar gods! Enjoy!