Showing posts with label the eagles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the eagles. Show all posts

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November 4, 1976

1976 was a fun year in pop culture, if fun means cringingly awful. In fashion, women wore patchwork denim ensembles -- pantsuits, vests with skirts (what I will call the Little House on the Prairie look) -- while polyester leisure suits were de rigueur for men, complete with heavy gold chains (or "necklaces") and slippery patterned shirts with deep v-necks; visible chest hair required.

The top movies of the year included Rocky, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, All The President's Men, and Taxi Driver; only two of which I've ever seen, and one I only managed to catch for the first time sometime in 2016 (I won't say which one, but are you talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?)

In TV, we were diligent about not missing M*A*S*H and the Bob Newhart Show. ABC had a hit comedy that featured a real cutie. His character's name was Vinnie Barbarino. I wonder whatever happened to that actor. Fonzie was still saying, "Aaaayyyy" and weren't weren't yet sick of it. Most of the so-called comedies had terrible writing, but what were we gonna do? Sit in the dark and listen to Captain and Tennille on the radio? At least Johnny Carson showcased some new comics once in a while. George Carlin, of course, was my favorite, but I also loved Robert Klein and David Steinberg. And there was no one bigger than David Brenner (oddly).

We were desperate for laughs in 1976, because, well....

On Tuesday, November 2, I waddled into the Jeannette Myhre gymnasium, nine months pregnant, to cast my very first vote for President of the United States. I wasn't in love with Gerald Ford -- he was kind of hapless, really; but shoot, that peanut farmer? That grinning sanctimonious schoolmaster? No thanks. I had a bad feeling about that guy, and I, of course, turned out to be right. I would have to endure four years of economic hell before somebody special came along and saved the country. I don't think I've yet fully recovered from the financial setback Mr. Peanut thrust upon me.

On the late morning of Thursday, November 4, I came home from work (yes, I started work early and got off early), made myself my usual tomato sandwich on toast, sliced a couple strips of Colby cheese and settled at the spindly kitchen table to enjoy my lunch. I'd eaten exactly the same lunch for nine months. Pregnant women get a free pass for weird food cravings. Today I have no excuse, but I really don't need one. I'd informed Mom and Dad that since I was pregnant, I would no longer be their room-cleaning mule, and I demanded a front office job. It was the very first (and only) time they were taken aback by a demand from me, but to be honest, I'd never before made any demands -- I was too conditioned and too frightened.

I settled in to watch Days of Our Lives. Doug and Julie continued to be in love; and, of course, Dr. Marlena Evans was my very favorite.

Around 1:30 I felt a pinch in my tummy. I'd felt phantom twinges before; but then again, I was three days overdue...

By the time water gushed out of embarrassing places, I figured things were happening. I hesitated to call my doctor, because I really didn't want to trouble him for a false alarm, and frankly, I had no clue how this whole dance was supposed to go.

I didn't call anybody. I didn't call my husband. I sure didn't call my mom. Now, in 2017, I'm better about asking for help; but I was a balled-up mess in 1976; afraid to let people know what I didn't know. That came from no one ever wanting to help and everybody expecting me to just "handle things". It came from being the grownup to a couple of "parents" who forgot to grow up.

But I digress.

By the time my husband showed up around 5:00 p.m., I said "maybe we should think about going to the hospital"; hoping I wasn't about to inconvenience any of the hospital staff with a false alarm. Shoot, I could have had my baby at home, in my bed, if I hadn't summoned the courage to take a chance that maybe this was the real thing.

Baby Christopher was born at 10:19 that night. A seven-pound-six ounce baby boy with a full head of blonde hair.

And everything changed.

I don't know if my mom ever thought about the music on her radio in 1955. I doubt it. But I'm a music geek, so I was thinking today about the songs that came out of my home speakers and my car radio that year.

So, here you go, Chris:


This band should have a coffeehouse named after them:

Randy Meisner, what the heck happened to you? I don't care. This is the most enduring song from 1976:

Sorry, you don't get away from your mom's country that easily:

Oh, look! Vinnie Barbarino has made another appearance! Chris, if you want to know anything about the seventies, you need to know about the Bee Gees:

And if you ever care to know what kind of music your mom liked in 1976, here's a representation:

I could go on, but you're forty-one now and your patience with kitschy music is probably waning.

I have to say, though, as your mom, I like reminiscing.  

Years are like a leaf in the breeze. Once I was a kid, much younger than you are now, and I knew exactly what I wanted my son to be.

I hope those things maybe contributed somehow to the man you are today. 

I think they did.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Eagles and Country Music

It may have hit country music lovers the hardest -- the news of Glenn Frey's passing.


Well, because Eagles music is country music. The Eagles can call it whatever they want to call it, but it's country music. Oh yes. Is it any coincidence that Don Henley has just released an album of country songs? No.

I said it before, but it's relevant here -- when I first became aware of the Eagles, I essentially dismissed them; no admission by me that I actually liked those songs. I was inured to the shuffle beat and the moaning cry of a steel guitar that'd roped me into country music in the first place. By the early seventies, though, country music (as I knew it) had gotten lost. I was consigned to listening to songs by people like Billy "Crash" Craddock and Dave & Sugar. People forget how disoriented country music became in that decade. We had Charlie Rich lighting a match to John Denver records, and it was like the 2016 presidential race -- who is pure? Who isn't? Who is that interloper? We hate him! Meanwhile, us little people were just trying to pluck one decent record out of the muck.

This is, I know, obscure, but Tanya Tucker's sister, LaCosta, released a decent album around that time. On it was a track called, "Best Of My Love". I liked it! I thought it was really cool and different. I had absolutely no clue. Eagles? Yes, I'd seen their "Best Of" album in the store, my genre of music, so whatever. Oh, this is an Eagles song? Well, what the hell?

Honest to God, this was how I was introduced to the Eagles:

Thus, I begrudgingly decided I'd give the Eagles a spin. By that I mean, I paid attention when their songs came on the radio. I still wouldn't buy an album that wasn't labeled "country". I heard "Take It Easy" and "Lyin' Eyes", which I thought was good, but too long. It did have something, though. I heard "Already Gone". I did appreciate the harmonies.

Gradually, the Eagles kind of seeped in. "New Kid In Town" caught my breath. I think that was the first single by the group that I actually laid down money for.

Years whizzed by, and in the early nineties, a bunch of country music stars I loved, like Diamond Rio and Brooks & Dunn and Vince Gill, got together and recorded an album called "Common Thread:  The Songs of the Eagles".

That's when it finally hit me: the Eagles are country!

One of the best female country singers ever and my favorite Eagles song:

(Even if one of Trisha's songs has become a perpetual earworm that hasn't subsided, even after all these months.)

Tell me the Eagles weren't country!

Come on!

They could call themselves whatever they wanted. They could deceive themselves, and us. But they were country. I guess they fooled everybody -- every post-hippie who liked them -- every disco'ing guy who dressed up in a powder-blue leisure suit and thought he was hip. But the Eagles, in their subversive way, embedded country music into everybody's consciousness, and nobody was the wiser.

Least of all, me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Songwriting of Glenn Frey

There is apparently a whole culture of hating the Eagles. Sure, I've seen The Big Lebowski, and I always wince at the scene where Jeff Bridges' character expresses his hatred for them. (I've read that the actor,  unlike the character he played, does not hate the Eagles. Whew - because I like Jeff Bridges and I wouldn't want to be disillusioned by another actor.) The Washington Post posted an article today about how "the Eagles outlasted everyone who loved to hate them". Some obscure music critic was cited in the story, giving his lofty pronouncements about the "superficiality" of the Eagles' music. But you know, guys who make a living commenting on other people's creations are so deep.

Let's posit that the Eagles made "superficial" and - gasp! "commercial" music. Name an artist who didn't. Think songwriting is so deep? Come on. Sometimes a song means something and lots of times, it doesn't. I speak from experience, rather than from the perspective of a guy jotting his critiques in a spiral notebook in his basement. Some of my best songs are little bits of nothing; gossamer. My "meaningful" songs are apparently only meaningful to me, and not to the people who've heard them.

And commercial? Shoot! Why in the world would a musician actually want to make money? I know lots of electricians and MD's who work for free. Don't you?

Here's the thing about Glenn Frey:  he wrote perfectly crafted songs. To whit:

Best of My Love
Busy Being Fabulous
New Kid in Town
One of These Nights
Tequila Sunrise*
What Do I Do With My Heart
I Can't Tell You Why

*denotes excellence

There are more, of course. There are a few I'm not fond of, but believe it or not, there are also some Beatles songs I'm not crazy about, either. There are more than a few of my own songs that I despise.

And great songwriting isn't simply a matter of writing down a few pithy lines. A songwriter must marry those words to an evocative melody. Glenn Frey could do both.

Maybe the hatred comes from a general hatred of the decade of the seventies. It did basically reek. Music in the seventies, for the most part, was awful. Sure, we fondly remember Elton John in his giant red glasses and feather boa, singing Benny and the Jets, but that song was hardly substantial. Most songs recorded during those years weren't. So, I guess the Eagles sounded damn good by comparison, right?

And the Eagles sound damn good by comparison to any time in music history.

Thanks Glenn Frey, for the inspiration; and for songs that made me cry, made me dance, made me feel.

Monday, January 18, 2016

It Can't Be True

I was sorely late to the party. In the early nineteen seventies, I would scour Woolworth's record department for country singles. I wasn't into buying albums -- I could barely afford 45's -- but I'd see that blue cow skull picture on the cover of the most prominently displayed album and wonder what the deal was with these "Eagles". Of course, they were "rock"; they weren't Freddie Fender or Charley Pride. I dismissed them.

I have no cognition of hearing The Eagles for the first time. It was like they weren't there, and then they were. And then I begrudgingly sort of liked them.

As time went on, I understood that the country music I knew had evaporated, and I latched onto artists like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Sweethearts Of The Rodeo...and The Eagles. And I thought, what the hell is wrong with you, Shelly? Are you so pasted into your prejudices that you can't see? These guys, these Glenns and these Henleys, are singing the shreds of your soul!

I wrote a song, Ice Storms, exactly to emulate The Eagles. Exactly. I intended it that way. There was never one iota of a doubt, while I plunked on my guitar that February day, what I was doing.

This news takes my breath away.

Here we go:

Shit. My favorite.

Don Henley sang it, but Glenn wrote the words:

And he didn't give it up, even four decades later:

This one hits hard.


This one hits hard.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Country Rock

Country rock is a strange subset of rock music.  It seems that the twain of country and rock should never meet; but at one time, they did.

I thought about that when I heard the song, Amie, on my oldies station today.  There is nothing about that song that even flirts fleetingly with rock music; and yet it was a hit on the rock charts.  

This performance, unfortunately, does not feature the long-since moved-on Vince Gill.

There are artists who immediately spring to mind when talking about country rock music.  I don't want to talk about those artists.

How about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, from 1979?  An American Dream, a performance which eerily includes the voice, but not the actual physical presence of Linda Ronstadt.

Speaking of Linda Ronstadt, who knew, when she was with the Stone Poneys, that she had such a great voice?   Different Drum didn't necessarily show off Linda's vocal abilities.  Did you know that Mike Nesmith of the Monkees wrote Different Drum?  I didn't.  

Here, however, she takes a great Roy Orbison song and makes it her own; and makes it a "rock" hit:

The Beatles even dabbled in a bit of country rock, as evidenced by this song:

John Fogerty has never made any bones about his love of country, or rockabilly, music.  Creedence Clearwater Revival, while unquestionably recording songs that clearly fit within the rock and roll genre, also had a bunch of songs that skirted the line between rock and country.  Like this:

John Sebastian and his Lovin' Spoonful had a great example of country rock music, with their recording of "Darlin' Be Home Soon".  Unfortunately, the only video available for that song has big red letters flashing over it, yelling, "YOUR ARREST RECORD ONLINE!".  Bastards.  If you want to see the video, though, you can find it here.

"Daydream" is not the best example of John's country rock leanings, but it still fits.

Here are a BUNCH OF PEOPLE doing Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages", and as an added bonus, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".  Take that, Gram Parsons.

Speaking of five old country rockers, how about these guys:

Many, many artists contributed to the birth of the country rock genre.  Eventually, though, everything became compartmentalized; and country rock was played only on country stations.  That's where we had to go to hear Dwight and Rosanne.

Country music purists once thought that the Eagles were horning in on country music ~ interlopers, they were.  The joke was on us snobs, though, in the end.  Turns out the Eagles were more country than most artists who audaciously dared to call themselves "country".

The Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 1 was a cornucopia of country rock songs.  I refused to buy that albums for years; thumbing my nose at these pretenders; these charlatans.  I don't remember what exactly I was listening to then, but the 1970's was really a lost decade for country music.  Had I just broken down and bought that blue cow's skull album, I would have regained all the faith in country music that I'd lost.

Better late than never, I say.

Here are the Eagles performing at the 2007 CMA Awards:

Country rock straddled the border between a teen girl's infatuation with rock and roll and her budding love affair with country music.  Country music could really be a bit too corny sometimes.  Added to that was the shame of being a country girl in a rock and roll town.  With country rock, I could relax and just let the music flow.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Singer-Songwriter Series

I am fascinated by good songwriters, although, alas, I am not one. I'm not even sure I want to be one, at this point. A songwriter, I mean. I didn't mean that I wouldn't want to be a good songwriter. That would just be dumb.

I have thought about what makes a good songwriter.

And I believe the answer is.....nothing.

I know this will fly in the face of all those people who want you to part with your money; you know, to become a good songwriter. I have probably single-handedly just killed off a bunch of new start-ups, but c'mon; really. You know, Hank Williams didn't go to "songwriting school".

I think either you have it or you don't.

Oh, I'm not saying you can't get better. My theory is, one can get better at pretty much anything, except math.

But "better" is a far cry from "good".

So, my criteria for what makes a good songwriter are these:

1. Intelligence (both lyrical and melodic)
2. Having something to say (surprise!)

Okay, that about sums it up.

Therefore, I tonight begin my series, "The Singer-Songwriter". This is not to snub the non-singing songwriters, but let's face it.....Unless you're a celebrity, you really don't matter (ha).

No, I may at some point feature some non-singing songwriters. In fact, I'm sure I will. And I'm not really sure which category Kris Kristofferson belongs in (I'm just teasing Kris).

And I'm going with my favorites, because this is my blog, and thus, my prerogative.

So, Singer-Songwriter #1 is Don Henley.

It's quite an honor, I know, Don, to be the debuting star of this series, and I'm sure you'll just be all crabby about it, and think it's part of some conspiracy, and wonder where your share of the earnings are, but really it's an honor just to be nominated. Isn't it?

(Okay, let's get this out of way right now: Don is not making it easy for me to feature him, because the Eagles notoriously do not make their videso available online. Therefore, we're going with the bootlegs and other assorted things that I can find. Thanks, Don.)

But let's start where we should start, shall we?

The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise (Live 2008) by goldrausch

Hotel California- The Eagles by dream_ks

The Eagles - Desperado (Live) by cavapanon

The Eagles - I Can't Tell You Why Live by rvdgu2006

My favorite, and I apologize for the poor video quality:

The Eagles - New Kid In Town (Live) HQ by goldrausch

Eagles-Take It to the Limit-Houston 1976 by hansonataint

My new theme song!....

No performance video of this, but let's talk about cutting right to the heart of the matter (yea, I get the irony of what I just said):

We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde
Comes on at 5
She can tell you about the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry

(c) Don Henley

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When happily ever after fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
But I know a place where we can go
That’s still untouched by man
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie
But I know a place where we can go
And was away this sin
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

(c) Don Henley

Listen and learn, wannabe songwriters. This is your competition.

Regardless of what the Dude says, I love the Eagles. And Don Henley. A good choice, if I do say so myself, for the first featured singer-songwriter in my series.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Writing Again

It seems like I've spent all my time lately trying to get a (any) computer to work.

It's been a QUEST. As Clark W. Griswold would say. Not a quest to find Marty Moose, but nevertheless a quest to just get things to WORK.

My "main" computer died. I haven't buried it yet, but I'm seriously thinking of taking a hammer to it, because that would make me feel a whole lot better.

My backup computer, well, it's a backup computer. What can I say? I got dang tired of the limitations of Windows ME (yes, Windows ME; that's how old the computer is), so I thought, hey, I've still got my installation disk for Windows XP. Let's try that! Surprisingly, after clicking through countless error messages, I actually got it to load!

Then, unfortunately, my computer didn't recognize my sound card. What the heck was I going to do without being able to listen to audio? So, I did a Google search and found a program that repairs stuff such as this, and again I was pleasantly surprised, because it worked.

Now, however, it won't read my external hard drive, so I'm faced with the dauntless task of re-adding all my music back onto my computer (yea, like THAT'S going to happen). It kind of makes one a bit more picky about their music. I'm currently loading Merle Haggard.

While I was messing with all this (because it tends to be time-consuming), I worked on a few songs. Four, to be exact.

I'm a gal who likes to multi-task, so why go with one song when you can work on FOUR?

The sad part (to me) is, they're sitting somewhere on my external hard drive, which my current computer doesn't seem to recognize, but I think I've got them seared into my memory anyway, so I haven't actually lost them.

And, it seems, I'm working my way through the middle part of the alphabet, because here are my current songs:

F - Fireworks Stand
G - Get Back To It
H - Hello, Old Friend
I - I Will Never Forget You

This whole computer mess has somehow allowed me to be more creative. Maybe it's because when one part of the brain is severely irritated, another part of the brain takes over. I think it keeps one from going insane. It's a defense mechanism.

I wonder what people in the olden days (before computers) did to become enraged. Surely, there must have been something. Maybe the old wringer washing machine broke down.

If the new millenium teaches us anything, it's that life is a series of frustrations. Just when you think things are going good, life smacks you upside the head, to let you know who's actually in charge.

But I've got the last laugh. Because I've got FOUR, count 'em, FOUR new songs. And, if only two of them turn out to be keepers, well, there you go. That's two more than I had before. So, Bill Gates, thanks for everything.

I am now loading George Strait onto my computer. Dwight will be next.

Starting from scratch is actually kind of liberating. It's like a do-over. I have now purged all the extraneous songs from my computer that I sort of, kind of time. And now I can be a bit more selective.

And it has definitely liberated my creativity. So, the glass is half-full. Unfortunately, not half-full with wine, which I could really use right now.

And then I could drink a toast to creativity (yea, that's the excuse!).


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The CMA Nominations - What Year Is This??

I read the list of Country Music Association nominees this week, and I was surprised! I don't even listen to country radio anymore, and even I recognized most of the names on the list.

If I didn't know better, I'd think it was 1998, not 2008. What happened? Is the talent pool a little shallow? (That's a rhetorical question.)

Here's the list. Tell me if you don't agree that we've suddenly taken a voyage back in time.

Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban

Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban

Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood


Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
The Wreckers


Emerson Drive
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts


Cowboy Town - Brooks & Dunn
Good Time - Alan Jackson
Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates - Kenny Chesney
Troubadour - George Strait
Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood

Don't Blink - Kenny Chesney
Gun Powder and Lead - Miranda Lambert
I Saw God Today - George Strait
Stay - Sugarland
You're Gonna Miss This - Trace Adkins

SONG OF THE YEAR (Songwriter's award)

Good Time - Alan Jackson
I Saw God Today - Rodney Clawson, Monte Criswell, Wade Kirby
Letter To Me - Brad Paisley
Stay - Jennifer Nettles
You're Gonna Miss This - Lee Thomas Miller, Ashley Gorley


Don't care; these are needless categories.


Jerry Douglas, dobro
Paul Franklin, steel guitar (they still use those in country?)
Dann Huff, guitar
Brent Mason, guitar
Mac McAnally, guitar

Jason Aldean
Rodney Atkins
Lady Antebellum
James Otto
Kellie Pickler

Let's start out by mentioning the categories that need to be done away with.....(this will also serve to shorten the awards ceremony):

MUSICAL EVENT (what the heck does that mean anyway?)

(I don't watch 'em; therefore, I don't care.)

(They're scrounging to even come up with 5 nominees this year - The Wreckers aren't even together anymore. How about we just roll this one into the VOCAL GROUP category?)

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let me say now that of the singles/albums/songs nominated in their respective categories, I only recognize about two or three, and the only album I purchased was the George Strait one.

So, I say, let's get rid of the SINGLE OF THE YEAR category, and just give George Strait the award for ALBUM OF THE YEAR (since that's really the only one worth buying anyway, in my humble opinion. Alan Jackson's might be okay, I guess. I don't know - haven't heard it; sorry).

Now. NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR. The only one I recognize is Kellie Pickler, and that's only because I watch American Idol. So, since I don't know any of these people, let's get rid of this award also.

We'll keep the SONG OF THE YEAR category, because this is the only piddly little award that actually recognizes songwriters. You know, those people without whom the artists would be releasing recordings of simply dead air. I must say, however, when did we start requiring a committee to write one simple little song? You know, I could even get on board with two writers, but three? If you need three people to write a song, I think you need to go find some better writers.

I wish to retain the VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR award, simply because I think it would be hilarious and ironic for the Eagles to win. They are one of the very few artists who are actually releasing country records nowadays.

As for the other categories that we'll keep, I don't care. Anyone can win. Pick one and get it over with.

Country music has lost its soul. I don't listen to "country" radio, and I won't be watching the CMA's.

There was a time when I got excited about country music. I'm over it. Maybe someday the wheels will turn, and somebody will "re-re-invent" country music; you know, like back in 1998, when Alan, George, Randy, and those guys were hot, and the music was, too. I like to think that that may happen. I'm sort of pessimistic, though.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Seventies! The Number Ones!

Here we are, back to revisit the seventies. I had so much fun with the last post, I decided to keep going! Now, don't get me wrong. I'll admit to a bit of cynicism regarding this decade, but in my last post, I found a bunch of keepers. HOWEVER, as I'm browsing the list of number one songs tonight, I'm beginning to revert back to my original opinion. Interestingly, there are not a lot of number one songs for each year, because, you see, the songs that did reach number one tended to hang on to that spot for several weeks, usually. For example, in 1970, there were only 21 number one songs.

So, to totally drive this topic into the ground, I thought I would choose one number one song from each year. (My standard proviso remains: This is dependent upon what I can find on YouTube.)


Unfortunately, there's a bunch of (bad) acting before the song actually begins. But this was the best I could find. And gee, for a song that so many people hold dear, you'd think there'd be a better video available.

I never really got into the Partridge Family, I guess because I wasn't eleven at the time. I mean, c'mon, they're no Monkees. You know, if you're choosing a pre-fab band, the Monkees are way better. But who am I to stomp all over somebody's cheesy pre-teen memories?


Let me get this straight....Hoyt Axton threw a bunch of non sequiturs together, and made a "song" that someone actually recorded? Well, cool. Sign me up! I can do that. I mean, really, if you listen to the song, it makes absolutely no sense....I guess, unless you're stoned. And to this day, old Hoyt is sitting back, counting his money.

But I really, really do have to feel sorry for Three Dog Night. Can you imagine having to sing that song over and over and over and over for decades? Face it, the song gets tiresome real fast. I mean, I'm tired of it, and I haven't heard it in about 20 years.


"There were plants and birds and rocks and things". You know, those things. Not plants exactly. I guess, not birds. Or rocks. Hmm....what do you call those things?

"Cuz there ain't no one for to give you no pain". Ahhh. Truer words were never spoken.

America had better songs, but this is a nice folk-rocker, and props for sounding like Neil Young.

However, much like Hoyt Axton, people are going to become suspicious when you just string words together. I'm just saying.


Hey! Remember that show, "Midnight Special"? I do! You'd turn that on on Friday nights, after you got home from your drunken carousing. Ha Ha! That's not true!

Too bad that this is the song that most people remember Jim Croce for, because he had a whole bunch of really great songs. And, much like, "Joy To The World", this one gets tiresome pretty quickly. But search out Jim Croce videos on YouTube. You'll find some gems.


One can never really forget the pompitous of love. If one knew what that meant. But this is one of those songs that never leaves you. I remember driving around, hearing this song on the radio. Cuz they played it every 5 minutes, I think. That's okay. I like it. And it really screams, "seventies"!


You may or may not like this song. But I like it. Believe me, if you had been cleaning motel rooms, and pushing your maid's cart from one room to another in the hot sun, this was your only salvation. Thank God for the transistor radio. And you could boogie down as you were stripping sheets off the beds and cleaning toilets. Wow, those heady days of 1975. When I was making $1.25 an hour. Cleaning up after tourists. Ahh, the nostalgia. I can almost smell the Lysol now.


Well, I was pregnant when this song came out. And while I didn't have morning sickness, hearing this song could still make me puke.

Enough said. I'm feeling a little queasy just listening to it again.


I picked this one because I really kinda like it. The Brothers Gibb also had a number one song that year, coincidentally ~ "How Deep Is Your Love". But I like this one. It's a nice pop song. RIP, Andy. Nice song.


FYI ~ Perusing the number one songs from 1978, that year sucked! This is the best I could find. So, I'm nominating 1978 for "worst year ever". Sorry, Matt. I know you were born in 1978, but it's not your fault. But hey, doesn't Paul look young here? (I'm looking for something positive to say.)


Whew! I can end the seventies on a high note. I was worried! Thank you, Eagles, and thank you, Glenn Frey. Nice way to end this! And I didn't have to include even one Donna Summer song in this whole post! Lucky for me!

So, we bid a fond adieu to the seventies. Well, maybe not fond, per se. But we do bid ADIEU!

Look for more to come! The eighties are next!

Friday, March 14, 2008

As The Decades Turn - The Seventies

We (I) like to denigrate the '70's. Who doesn't? That's truly not fair, though. There was some really good music in the '70's. And some really bad music. I think the problem, for me, is that there was so much bad music, that I tend to only focus on that.

As I surfed the net to find the top songs of the seventies (since I had totally blocked them all from my mind), I found a whole cornucopia of widely divergent songs.

So, for fun, I thought I'd mix in a few cringe-worthy songs with the good stuff. You be the judge.


This obviously isn't a vintage video (you think?) This was from a PBS show, which I happened to watch, at least up until the point where Crystal Gayle came on and slurred the words to "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue". Then I had to turn it off. Anyhoo, this song starts us off on an upbeat note. Even though the lead singer can no longer hit most of the high notes, this is still a very decent performance. Then they all hobbled off to their waiting ambulances. ha ha ~ no, that's most likely untrue. As I was browsing YouTube, I was reminded that ABC Network used this song as a promo way back when, you know to advertise their classic shows, such as Starsky & Hutch. Before we say goodbye to Orleans for now, let's remind ourselves that they really look nothing like they did back when this song was a hit:

(Wonder which one is the bald guy....)


Okay, don't even get me started on this one. Here it is, in all its 8 minutes and 30 seconds of glory. You know, Don started to write a novel. Then he thought, wait! I'll make it a song instead! Some people tell me they like this song. I think I might have liked it if, say, there were 2 verses and a chorus. That's about all I can take. Not EIGHT FRICKIN' MINUTES AND 30 SECONDS! Good god! Edit, Don. Edit. Anyway, if you watch this video and like it, cool. I just don't have the time, so I'll take your word for it.


I bet Little Eva is turning over in her.......bed........(cuz she's probably still alive, I guess). This is a wee bit different from her version. I liked this one when it came out. Still like it. It's about as close to heavy metal as I choose to come. Well, this and Deep Purple, of course. And might I say, nothing says THE SEVENTIES more than a lime green leisure suit!


See, you thought I was doing good song, bad song. Right? Ha! This is a GOOD song! I confess, I never liked John Denver when he was at the height of his success. In hindsight, I was wrong, for the most part. This is a great song, well performed, well arranged. It's sort of a classic (now). If this song were released today, it would fall under the heading of "Americana". And it wouldn't get any airplay, because, you know, that's just the way things are nowadays. But luckily, radio stations weren't so inanely stubborn back then. Oh, I'm not saying John didn't get his share of flack. He got a lot of flack. From the country folks. And I was one of the "flackers". "How does he deserve a CMA award?" "He's not country!" Well, today, he would be considered too country to be deserving of any type of award. My, my, my. Haven't the chickens come home to roost? Or some other saying that probably makes more sense in this context.


Hey, I've got no quibbles with this song. Yes, it's disco. And we can basically "thank" the Bee Gees for disco, but this song is aiiight. It's got a good beat; you can thrust your arm up in the air to it. I am struck, however, by Barry's matching white teeth and tight white pants. I'm surprised he could even walk in those pants. No wonder they were walking reallllly slowwwwly at the end of this video.


Again, catchy tune. I wonder how the motorcycle cop got to do the lead on this. I guess the cowboy in the little tiny hat and the Indian were busy fighting border wars. And the construction worker was busy arguing with the leather-clad hell's angel. And the army dude was probably the understudy, in case the motorcycle cop couldn't fulfill his lead singing duties and/or direct traffic. I don't know. I'm just a viewer. I'm not privy to the in-fighting amongst the People.


Grainy video, but well worth watching. I didn't know much about Harry Nilsson, other than this song, and "Everybody's Talkin'". He sure had some pipes! When he gets to the last chorus, and the "Can't LIVE" part, wow! Nothin' wrong with this song! Oh, and by the by, a certain pop star who wears absurdly short, tight dresses, and looks AWFUL in them, re-recorded this song in the nineties. It doesn't hold a candle to the original. Nice try, though.


Well, people make fun of ABBA, but I don't really know why. I liked them. They were pop at its best. And aside from the Saab, what other Swedish import can you think of? None. I will say, however, that Agnetha (apparently) ~ one of the "A's" in ABBA, could have made a better fashion choice than the too-tight pants (sorry, but that midriff bulge was evident) and the Elton John silver boots. But, ah, the Swedes. They march to the beat of their own Swedish drummer. And here he is:


Funny how fate works. Not funny, literally, but odd. Jim Croce was taken before his time, as they say. But I guess God said it was his time. But this was a uniquely talented individual. I would have liked to have him hang around awhile longer, to hear more of his songs. In 2008, he would be recording albums that somebody like me would buy. Just to breathe in his beautifully written songs. But I guess there's been a few (or more than a few) that we wish were still around. We have to console ourselves with what they've left behind.


Gee, is it me? I'm starting to get all sentimental here. Here's Karen singing a brilliant Bacharach/David song from 1970. I'm starting to wish that these folks (like Karen Carpenter and Jim Croce) were still around, because their music was so lovely, and there's not much lovely music out there anymore. At the point in the song when they get to the "ahhhhh's", you kind of just melt. I guess my original assessment of seventies music was kind of off the mark. Because I'm finding some beautiful, timeless stuff. Glad to be wrong.

Okay, I really hate to do this, but here it is:


You knew this one was coming. "Finally a chance to say, hey, I love you." "Hey, love you, babe." And not to be overly critical, but why did Debby always wear her bathrobe when she performed this song? Is it because she, along with the rest of us, was verrrry sleepy?

GREASE - Need I say more?

Well, I've seen this movie approximately 3,548,019 times. And counting. I LOVE this movie.

So, bear with me, as I relive this classic moment:

And finally, to close out this installment of the seventies, I am choosing this one. From a band that just keeps going and going. And frankly, hasn't lost anything in more than 30 years: