Category Archives: Elton John

Songs and Bands Stand the Test of Time

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While driving in your car, especially here  in America, we have the

luxury of a radio, sometimes if a newer car, Syrius. I used to have

this feature and would program my ride somewhere with such fun

topics as “Coffee Shop” tunes or “Old Rock and Roll.” I was listening

to Casey Kasem’s “America’s Top 40” program on the radio. Rest in

peace, you good man! (Casey Kasem died in June, 2014, at age 82 of

sepsis.) I was struck by this comment, paraphrased since my mind is

not a recorder nor a computer:

 

“More than 23,000 songs were written and sung during the seventies

in the United States, only 370 were major grossing songs, (making

Top Ten lists). In this time period, only TWO were number one hits

written by a duo of song-writers.

I will come back, from the commercial to tell you who they were. . .”

 

Of course, I tried to memorize this comment, was an a red light and

jotted down the two numbers and waited ‘with bated breath’ for the

answer. Why the excitement in this upcoming response? You may not

know me well, but music is a special part of my life and the 70’s were

my stomping grounds, where music laid its foundation and made a

huge impact on my life.  I was in band from 4th grade on, played in

three bands in high school, marching band, symphonic band, pep

band for the basketball team and homecoming pep rallies, along with

the stepping stone to symphonic band: concert band. I loved the way

current songs on the radio made their way into our performances,

along with learning the meaning of different musical terms and the

way the music would build and pull on my heartstrings and soul,

during crescendo’s.

 

The two songs were “Loco-Motion” and “Go Away, Little Girl”

whose authors were Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

The first song has such an incredible legacy, along with being a

fun song. It is one of the only songs of all time, which has been

number one in three different decades sung by three different

styles or cultures. What a landmark song!

1. Little Eva, who is African American, sang the song, “Loco-Motion”

in 1962. This helped her career in singing really soar.

 

2. Grand Funk Railroad, (rock and roll, Caucasian band), sang it

in 1974 and put their own ‘brand’ on the song, “Loco-Motion.”

 

3. The Austrailan singer, Kylie Minogue, made this song go

international with her 1988 rendition.

Way to go, Carole King and Gerry Goffin for making this song

a catchy tune that went across generations and cultures.

 

The second song, this tremendous duo wrote, “Go Away, Little

Girl” was one of my favorites in my teenaged years. When I had

a crush on a senior in high school, Todd D. of Science Club and

marching band “fame,” I pictured Todd singing this to me, along

with meeting me by the Bay High Rockets’ goal posts in five years

after I graduated from high school. (I was only a mere freshman

when I had this ‘crush.’)

1. “Go Away, Little Girl” was first sung by Bobby Vee in ’62. Soon

to be followed and reaching higher sales, by Steve Lawrence later

the same year, in 1962. This made the Popular Top 20 list.

2. The Happenings sang and got this song into the top selling

songs in 1966. This was also a popular song with my friends.

3. The most popular version and more often played song, “Go Away

Little Girl” is sung by Donnie Osmond, 1971.

 

While listening to Casey Kasem, another time, I wrote down this

short note on a scrap of paper last Autumn.

The “most popular song played at funerals” is Frank Sinatra’s

popular top 10 song, “My Way.” I can imagine a lot of people who

would embrace this in their different life styles and endeavors but

had no idea that this was so beloved.

It would take years to ‘replace’ this song but a new hit being played

at funerals is from the British comedy movie, “Life of Brian.” Who

could imagine choosing a song from this movie? Well, I can tell

you one: my brother Randy still roars in laughter while watching

this Monty Python spoof movie, once a year with my family. I am

surprised though at this musical choice:

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle of Monty

Python wrote this as a reaction to “Give a Little Whistle” from

the Disney franchise of upbeat movies, “Pinocchio.”

 

I am sure Eric is laughing out loud should he find out how popular

this song has become over the years.  Somehow, I thought a more

popular song would be, “Taps” or “Amazing Grace.”

 

Frankly, I feel this is refreshing and would cheer me up to know

I don’t have to listen to “Candle in the Wind,” at Randy’s memorial

service, should I outlive him. This may irreverent comment, but

believe me, Randy would be amused at this song being played,

so ‘Always Look at the Bright Side of Life,” will be on the playlist,

brother. Oh, that reminds me, I will have to add one of the songs

from his other ‘favorite’ movie, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

 

MORE MUSICAL NOTES:

 

The recent death of the Gospel legend, Andrae Crouch, requires a

respectful “note” and pause. At age 72, Andrae had influenced many

listeners with his heartfelt lyrics and soulful songs. Here are a few

which you may wish to check out:

“Let the Church Say Amen.”

“Soon and Very Soon.”

“Take Me Back.”

Along with being what many considered a fine singer and composer,

Andrae helped influence three legendary musicians. Although, he

may not have helped increase each of their popularity levels; he

undoubtedly changed their lives. This was the kind of man Andrae

Crouch was. The tributes and interviews all held warm memories

and kind thoughts of this man.

Michael Jackson was helped with his own song, “The Man in the

Mirror,” by Andrae Crouch’s adjusting its musical arrangement.

Elton John and Madonna received positive influences upon their

careers, by Gospel leader, Andrae Crouch.

 

 

The James Band was one of the alternative rock groups I sometimes

listened to in the 80’s. Do you have any memories of this different band?

Their roots came from Manchester, England. They took breaks in their

recording and individual careers. Some time off, as you may remember.

The first’break’ was a rather long one, after being popular in the 80’s

and leaving the musical scene in 2001;  they got back together in 2007.

Then, another 7 year time span ensued, until last year (2014).

While the members followed their individual pursuits, the James Band

still played on the alternative rock scene on the  radio, though.

Their sales over the years amount to over $25 million.

 

Imagine my surprise and pleasure to say the James Band are back

on the road and had a new album come out in June, 2014 titled,

“Le Petit Mort” including a popular new song, “Moving On.” This

is a solemn, questioning song, one which shows how aging and time

passing influences how you choose your path. James Band has

changed their sound and song choices.  The wisdom found while

growing older is reflected here in their music. The slow pace rises

and slowly builds into a crescendo, with trumpets and guitars

playing. Here are a few snippets of the lyrics I heard of this “new”

song, “Moving On,”

“Leave a little light on. . .”

“Will we recognize our friends when this cycle ends?”

“Will it start again?”

There are moments where time is like seeds being planted,

dreams taken for granted.

Welcome back, James Band!

 

Mick Jones poured out his long and winding road life’s path,

in an interview on the 12/28/14 CBS Sunday Morning show.

Mick’s path is one which encompasses being part of a British

“Spooky Tooth” band, playing with “C’est La Vie” and a French

man named Holliday. Mick Jones said Holliday forgives his

leaving the group to find his own way. Holliday was a “French

Elvis,” according to Jones. Then, Jones proceeded to get to the

‘meat’ of his musical career with “Foreigner.” Not being one

who studies musicians’ lives as they are progressing, I was very

interested in how Jone’s compelling journey went. I always liked

Foreigner’s  songs, “Feels Like the First Time,” “Head Games,”

and “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You.” When the group

‘went soft’ in one of the band member’s eyes, (or ears)- they parted

ways and the band split up back in 2003.

Mick Jones and Ian McDonald were inducted into the Songwriters’

Hall of Fame, June, 2013, with Elton John presenting them this

prestigious award. They have never made it into the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame.

Foreigner was unique in its combination of three British and three

American band musicians and singers joining forces. The band’s

3 Brits were Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliot, while

the 3 Americans were Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

 

Wow, this has been 12 years since then! Their music is still daily

‘in my ears’ on the radio. Foreigner is a group which has stood the

‘test of time,’  I believe. Only one member of the original band,

has passed away. Ed Gagliardi died in May, 2014.

All have not worked together since 1989. They have had a few varied

combinations of the players.

In 2013,  Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Lou Gramm renewed their

ties and are working on a new collaboration. They were part of the

Summer of 2013 Tour, including Eagles’ Don Felder playing with

Foreigner and the band Styx.

 

What are some “musical notes” you have been listening to?

What musician or group do you feel has stayed the most ‘current’ ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolling with Laughter

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Coworkers are my source of humor and constancy in my daily routine.

We tend to miss each other over weekends, sometimes I feel it is due

to our being ‘displaced’ from our lines of preferred professions. All of

my fellow table mates at lunch and break were in other jobs before they

came to work at the warehouse.

When Melvin went off to Massachusetts, the week seemed to drag

forever.

 

This week, just the first three days already, have been hysterical. He

regales us with tall tales of lobster 3 or 4 times eaten daily. He is also

teaching us more and more about the Army life he led.

 

You may remember a long ago post about Melvin being raised by

parents from an island. By the time they came to America, they had

chosen Massachusetts as their home. I think the link, “cous cous” may

connect you to that story. . . We feel this is an interesting ‘thread’ that

connects the two of us. Since my Mom’s parents were both immigrants,

meeting on a street corner in New York City, but choosing to live in

Connecticut. My Grandpa’s father had chosen Massachusetts, where

my Grandpa went to school and his sister lived there, once adults.

Grandpa had moved away from there to go to the engineering or

‘technical college’ in New York City. He knows we both like many of

the New England specialties, too.

 

Melvin had been a good student in school. He decided to go into the

Army to get a ‘free education.’ Instead, he found his true interest or

“calling” in cooking. He did not go to culinary arts institute. He went

to Germany while in the Army, where he had an amazing time learning

about German food preparation. Then, he followed this with his next

tour of duty being spent on the Army base in Hawaii. Where native

fresh fruits are part of the daily Army diet. He excitedly described to us

at break today, they are also cut specially into shapes like lotus flowers

and birds, presented on the platters as ‘garnishes.’

We pursued this culinary specialty subject awhile, “Not in Officer’s

Club, but Mess Hall grub has garnishes?”

“Yes,” Melvin intoned then elaborating, “The different things you

can create varies from vegetables to fruits. A large melon, zucchini,

radishes or apples you make sliced criss-crosses, blanch them in

boiling water and quickly place them in icy water. The hot water gets

them to open up like a lotus blossom.”

He added, “Did you know that the Army never adds new amounts

of a food to an older dish?” (You know how while at a buffet or a

salad bar, they add more potato salad to the old? Nope, this NEVER

happens in the Army dining room!)

 

So, Melvin brought me the delicious German wine last year, which

he mentioned that in Germany at Christmas, the shops downtown

have little tables of treats and ‘shot glasses’ of drinks. They also warm

their wines and give out tastes of these. He contributed to my sense

of ‘culture’ while I shared this with my Mom and family last year.

Mom said a toast in German, which was one about health and love.

(My Mom’s mother was born in Germany. She told me to thank

Melvin. He had bought this on the Rickenbacker Air Force base,

as a gift to me. So thoughtful, you can see why he is a ‘keeper,’

when it comes to friends!)

 

Another morsel he shared with us was of an Army skill he acquired

while in Germany. He informed us they would bring in huge blocks

of ice and there would be one skilled ice sculptor who would create

lovely centerpieces for Army banquets at holidays. He apprenticed

and learned this amazing skill.

Again, we asked Melvin, “Do you mean ordinary Army enlisted men

would have banquets with carved ice decorations on their tables?”

We were incredulous. I am hoping there may be some enlisted men

from the past, who will confirm this outlandish ‘story.’

Really, please let me know. . .

“Yes,” Melvin looked and sounded like he had the Bible and would

“solemnly swear that this was the truth, the whole truth, so help

him God.”

Melvin then proceeded to tell us about mountains, ski cabins and

other etchings in his German ice sculptures. Then, he decided to

mention how he created elaborate Hawaiian ice sculptures with

volcanoes, trees and ocean waves along beaches. He had learned

how to, sculpt detailed floral arrangements out of ice. We wished

he had photographs but we believe his stories.

 

So, when Melvin got back from Massachusetts, we listened to how

he and his ‘my lady’ had lobster omelets, lobster rolls and lobster

linguini. He emphatically repeated this annoying part (we were

jealous, that is why we were annoyed), “I ate lobster 3 or 4 times

a day!” Upon repetition,  we still did not roll our eyes, since he was

entertaining us quite brilliantly. Never a dull moment at the good,

old warehouse with Melvin around.

 

Melvin’s accent had changed over his one week “Back home, out East.”

He vocalizes the sound of his “r’s” to “h’s” so his car was a “cah.” You

could close your eyes and imagine a Kennedy speaking. He sounds so

“cultured.” We tell him he should take his “lady friend” to England

and get their full ‘edification.’ Come back with a British accent. Then,

being the dramatic ‘ham’ that he is, he put his little pinky out and

pretended to hold a tea cup and saucer. He attempted an imitation

British tea party, exclaiming “Cheerio, my deah ones, we need to

order some crumpets and scones.”

 

Melvin told us how offended he was McDonald’s thinks “frappes”

sound like “frapays” while most New Englanders know “frappes”

rhyme with “wraps.” The real ‘frappes’ are delicious old fashioned

milk shakes made of real ice cream and whole milk, with flavors with

real chocolate syrup or real whipped cream. It makes me think of the

rants that began with this funny question, “Don’t you understand the

words that are coming out of my mouth?” from the two movies, with

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour’ (one and two.)

 

Whenever Melvin opens his mouth, we laugh. He is full of spirit, likes

to tease and pull your leg. There is always a chance,  at any moment,

for his voice to  become high-pitched and indignant about something.

This is what he calls his “Ohio homey’s” slang and attitude.

 

The story Melvin finished with was about his days of being the Head

Cook at the Marysville Penitentiary. He claims that at any point in

time, you could run into a sister of a male inmate, while she is in

the female cellblocks. Or a mother! There was a special occasion,

where the Warden had arranged for a comedienne named, Monique,

to entertain the inmates. She is a known African American stand-up

comic, who uses ‘blue’ (vulgar) humor in her sketches and anecdotes.

Melvin smiled wide, snorting while remembering some of the skits

or jokes she told.

Melvin finally stopped laughing and  said, “The Warden got up from

his seat in the front of the room, apparently unaware of her type of

humor, with a bright red face, looking down as he walked to the back

of the room, quietly exiting. Everyone clapped and hooted, encouraging

this Monique to ‘carry on,’ with her crass jokes.”

 

I had a chance to change the subject at second break and told my

good friends that yesterday was the 51st anniversary of Push Button

Telephones. (I had already decided to post about the serious subject

of Malala and her Nobel Peace Prize.) So, you are finding this fact

out a day later than my coworkers!

 

ATT first presented these new phones to Pennsylvania residents on

November 18, 1963. The original Push Button phones had only ten

buttons, while in 1968 they added two more buttons (#) and (*). This

squared off phone replaced my favorite old fashioned  rotary phone.

Going along with the raucous humor and our improved mood, since

it was our Melvin’s long-lost return, we used our fingers to squeeze

our noses, to make our vocalizations to sound nasal and together

we imitated one of the greatest comedians ever, Lily Tomlin, by

chanting:

“One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy” and so forth, making the funny

character of the old time operator from variety shows of the 60’s

of “Ernestine,” come back alive. Tammy and I were rolling while

Melvin, who is a great imitator of voices, was pretending to be

the character.

 

In honor of Melvin, though, I will tell you his favorite singer is not

who you would expect. If you remember my post, “Someone Saved

My Life Today,” you may remember Melvin loves Elton John, so

does his girlfriend. The songs he says are ones that get him up and

dancing are:

“Honky Cat” and “Crocodile Rock.”

Melvin is one ‘hep cat’ who knows how to ‘jive!’

 

Summer Laughs

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Thanks to Mark, who gave me this title on a Hump Day, a week or so, back.

It was where I had little funny jokes or stories, where a witty comeback line

‘closed’ each one of them. I love the idea of looking for ‘summer’ chuckles

so here are some that I found for you to enjoy!

Now, if Mark will guffaw loudly enough to be heard by all, from his Syracuse,

New York location, this will make my day!

http://markbialczak.com

 

After the jokes, there will be a musical moment, since Mark’s posts include

sports (which I am ‘sketchy’ on), entertainment and his perspectives on Life.

 

In the days when I was a single Mom, I discovered the quaint and the very good

idea of bringing children and being a faithful Christian by going to church every

Sunday and Wednesday nights!

One summer Wednesday evening, I heard our pastor catch my attention and the

whole congregation’s by exclaiming out loud:

“Sex!”

The congregation quit fidgeting and suddenly were giving their full and rapt

attention!

Everyone had fallen into total silence.

Then, they started to look nervously at each other, afraid to say anything.

In the back of the church, one of the elderly women stood up, she was a

sweet and beloved member of the church.

She started singing in her soprano voice,

“Memories.”

(This is a joke, hope you liked this first one of my Summer Laughs’ Series!)

 

2. “One lazy summer morning, a long married couple were sitting

over their coffee, toast and cereal, being quiet and thoughtful.

The husband was reading the newspaper, they had the radio on

and this was a nice way to begin one of their many retirement days.

The husband looked up from the paper and happened to say to her,

“Dear, when I die you may go ahead and remarry. I just hope you

don’t choose a jerk the next time around.”

The wife sat, chewing her breakfast, drinking sips of her coffee and

then, stunned  her husband by replying:

“Honey, what makes you think I would make that mistake again?”

A few funny summer jokes, found in pieces of mail from my Mom’s

friend, Pookie, from California follow!

 

3. In a crowded city at a busy bus stop, a woman who was wearing

a tight skirt, approached the bus.

As it was her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was

too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step

of the bus.

She was slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus

driver, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking

that this would give her enough slack in the skirt to raise her leg.

This time she still wasn’t able to raise her leg high enough to

embark on the bus.

She looked at the bus driver, embarrassed again, reaching behind

to unzip her skirt.

She tried this one more time attempting the step.

Once again, to her chagrin, she could not raise her leg.

About this time, a tall Texan who had been standing behind her the

whole time, waiting himself to get onto the bus, picked the young

woman in her tight and fashionable pencil skirt and placed her

gently on the bus.

The young woman exclaimed,

“How dare you do this? I don’t even know who you are!”

The Texan smiled and drawled,

“Well, Ma’m, normally I would agree with you. After you

unzipped my fly three times, I kinda’ figured we were friends!”

 

4. A “Maxine” Fourth of July joke:

This older woman, wearing an American flag on her shirt,

from the comic strip created by John Wagner, “Maxine” says:

“Until you almost lose a finger helping set off fireworks,

you can’t really call yourself a Patriot!”

My 85 year old Mom liked that one, but added:

“If you haven’t had your whiskers singed by a sparkler,

then you really haven’t had a ‘blast’ for the Fourth!”

(She was a big provider of sparklers, over the years,

to my children, and now, grandchildren!

 

5. This joke should be actually considered a little bit of a ‘rant!’

It could be considered,”Lesson on Changes in Technology!”

It is accompanied by an appropriate photograph!

“All you, young ‘whippersnappers’ will never know…

The satisfaction of slamming down a receiver on a

Rotary Phone!!”

 

(Now, if you are ever in Goodwill or Salvation Army,

check out all those old-fashioned phones. If you have

any grandchildren, grab one or two. They absolutely

LOVE playing with the dials and the buttons on either

the dial rotary phones or the push button ones! I have

a couple and the grandkids call each other. I also wish

to share this fact: In the song, “Five Little Monkeys”

there is a line, where you use the motion of actually

dialing a telephone, “Mama called the Doctor and the

Doctor said, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

My grandkids now understand the reason why you

use one hand up to your ear and the other to make a

circular motion!” Also, my preschoolers, special ed.

teaching experience loved how heavy those phones

were, dragging their cords around behind them, while

“pretend” talking on them!!)

 

 

Oh, if you didn’t see the great article in the Sunday newspaper about

the 23 year old, Ed Sheeran, don’t forget that he did a collaboration

with Pharrell Williams, who I featured in the post, “The Man Behind

Happy.”

Ed Sheeran, who sang, “Daydream,” and was nominated for a Grammy

this year, made it into my 1/28/14 post about the Grammy Awards.

Also, that he is a Brit, who had played with Taylor Swift, on her “RED

tour,” and has been friends with two of the show, “Friends, Courtney Cox

and Jennifer Anniston.

“The Lego House” and “A Team” led him to be in the Top Ten songs’ lists,

along with his becoming close to Elton John, Usher and other famous

singers are helping this young man to soar. I am happy to report that one

of his goals is to be ‘settled down with a family by age 33!’ He is dating a

chef, who he is close to but doesn’t bring her into the limelight. His mother,

father and brother are very important to him, too!

Ed Sheeran, also was in my post about the “Voice” and “American Idol”

season finales, since one or two of his songs made it onto those shows. His

carefree spring/summer song is, “Sing” done in collaboration with Pharrell

Williams.

HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!

All around the world:

LET FREEDOM RING TO LAUGH!!

 

The Opposite of Fix is to Break

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As a counterpoint essay on a subject opposite of the “fix” post, I thought that it

would be fun to use the word, “broke” and all of its variations. This will follow the

pattern that I used last time, analysis, wordplay and include a popular song, which

has an unusual use of ‘broke’ within its lyrics. Like last time, I would like you to

help me to determine if this detracts from the friendly, caring tone it is trying to

set. I feel the One Direction’s song, “The Story of My Life,” is quite lively and goes

at such a quick pace, that you may not have noticed the words I heard the other

day.

If you watched, “American Idol,” 2014, you may have caught Alex Preston

singing this song. I am not sure, since they edit the song to fit a timed format,

if it included the phrase that concerns me. I will show the passages before this

and let you know by using *s to indicate the phrase which include the word,

“broke inside.”

“The Story of My Life”

The story of my life,

I take her home

I drive all night to keep her warm

And time is frozen

(the story, the story)

The story of my life,

I give her hope

*I spend her love

until she’s broke inside.”*

I found myself pondering this long and hard. It seems that the author loves

and cares for the woman, but then that just feels like hurtful words to say

in amongst the love messages. It seems rather ‘cold’ instead of depicting

‘warm’ feelings.

What do you think? Let me know…

The words, “break, broke, break-up and broken” all have a variety of

definitions. Most have emotions and feelings attached. I allowed myself

to add “Heartbreak” to this post, while listing positive and negative

meanings.  I had several positive reactions to the “fix” post, so hope

you will like some of the brain-storming that my coworkers did between

the first post and this one.

POSITIVE uses of the variations of “Break, etc.”

We all enjoy ‘breaks!’

From school- Summer Vacation!

From work- Vacation!

During school-

Recess,

Gym,

Music,

Art

and

Lunch.

At work in an office- The Water Cooler.

Almost all jobs have Vending Machines for snacks.

Lunch,

Break-time

and

Daily stretches.

Some of us wished we lived where “Siestas” were a daily afternoon event!

Breaking bad habits (always a positive)

Break from Ordinary Routines = Extraordinary Experiences.

Making a “clean break” is good from a bad relationship.

When two people are having some rough patches, they may wish to “take a break.”

When two people are in a committed relationship and are raising children, they

may wish to have a “break” which is otherwise known as, “Date Night!”

A “break” during a long movie or play is called “Intermission.”

When you are putting all your money into the Pot, in a game, you may say these

words, “I’m going for Broke!”

“Breaking barriers” is a good way to allow communication and relationships

between cultures, countries or other situations to grow and develop.

“Breaking Bad” was a good and entertaining television show.

“Breaking the Ice” is also good, to allow people to have more fun. One game

that was an “ice breaker,” in the old days, while a teenager, was “Spin the

Bottle.” One my parents ‘approved of,’ was “Twister!”

NEGATIVE uses of the word, “Break, etc.”

Being “broke” (when not playing a game of Monopoly) is a bad thing.

Being ’emotionally broke’ may mean you are empty inside or possibly

unemotional.

“The Break Up” was the title of a not so funny movie with Jennifer Anniston

and Vince Vaughn. (Maybe it was just me!)

Melvin mentioned that one of his favorite Clint Eastwood ‘war themed movies,’

was “Heartbreak Ridge.”

Broken hearts are so sad.

Broken engagements may leave one of the two parties involved, happier. One

much sadder.

Broken objects.

Cars broke down or breaking down.

Broken bones do hurt.

(Sticks and stones may break your bones,

And words DO hurt you, too!)

Marriage Break Up’s:

1. Accidental-

Unplanned, fall out of love, curiosity or boredom

may lead to an affair. Lack of interest with partner.

Situational and sometimes out of anger or a rash

reaction.

2. Intentional-

Separation. One or both parties chooses to leave.

Counseling ‘didn’t work.’ Too many problems, wide

disparity in personalities.

3. Emotional-

Grow apart. Reaching a breaking point. Some habits

that are not mutual, possibly addictions. The statistics

for two people, raising a child with disabilities, chances

of divorce goes from the “norm” of 50% up to 75%.

Stress and depression can be part of this ‘break up.’

When you ‘tame a horse,’ you have to ‘break’ them of

their freedom. I put this under negatives, but can see

it going either way. Depends on the perspective, the

horse or the owner.

I loved the way my coworkers helped me to compile a

list of songs with ‘heart break’ as its core. If you wish to

add some more, please do so in the comments section.

1.  “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?”

This song was released in 1971, by the Bee Gees. Robin

and Barry Gibb mainly are the ones who wrote the lyrics.

2.  “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song was released on January 27, 1956 by Elvis Presley.

3.  “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song, totally different from Elvis’ in its lyrics and melody,

was released in 1998 by Whitney Houston.

4.  “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

Sung by Bonnie Raitt, more recently by Adele. Written in 1991.

4.  “Heartbreaker”

This was an exciting title for many famous songs!

a. Led Zeppelin, in 1969, English rock band.

b. Pat Benatar in 1979, totally different song.

c. Dionne Warwick in 1982, another song.

d. Mariah Carey in 1999, another song.

e. Justin Bieber in 2013, his own song.

Lastly, when googling this subject, I had no idea it would include

such a diverse group of performers singing the one I knew best,

Pat Benatar’s, which also was sung by Jena Irene, on “American

Idol,” 2014. We cannot go too far on this, it would generate a

whole other post!

5.  “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

a. First title song, one I did not remember was Dionne Warwick’s

singing this in 1976. This was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The one that I saw performed in Cincinnati at what was then called,

Riverside Stadium was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It

was with two ‘youngsters’ born in the same year of 1947:

Elton John and Kiki Dee.

6.  “Cecilia”

Sung by Simon and Garfunkel. This song was on their album in 1970.

An ‘oldie but goodie!’

The first line in the song goes like this, “Cecilia, you’re breaking

my heart. You’re breaking my confidence daily….”

(Notice two uses of the word, ‘breaking.’)

The part where the man gets up to use the bathroom and comes

back to bed, to find someone else taking his place; made us all laugh

hysterically, thinking that we had gotten away with listening to this

rather wild, risqué song! (And our parents had all liked S & G!)

7. “Achy Breaky Heart”

First sung in 1991, by the Marcy Brothers. Don Von Tress wrote this

song, that was later made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus, of course!

What song would you include from the band,

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musical Legend: Mavis Staples

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Wishing an early “Happy Birthday to Mavis Staples!” Her birthday will be

July 10, 1939. Wow! In her 75th year of singing a rich and still fresh

combination of blues, soul, folksong anthems, and Gospel music, she

just put out another album in 2013!

Way to go, Mavis Staples!

Mavis’ newest album is titled, “One True Vine.” I learned more about

her personal journey through her life and also, a definite proposal

and romance I had no idea existed! You may not guess which famous

singer asked her “Pop’s” for permission to have her hand in marriage!

Mavis’ “Pop” put together the family singing act called, “The Staple

Singers” long ago, while she was at the tender, young age of 8 years

old! While the Peace Movement and Civil Rights Movement were the

ones who ‘took her there,’ the popular song, “I’ll Take You There,” was

what got the group on the top of music charts!

Listening to the lyrics, knowing it was originally a gospel song that

was intended for the listener to believe in going to a place called

“Heaven,” makes it even more spiritual and inspiring.

During the sixties, being on stage with Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King,

Jr. made her inspired and gave her so much encouragement for the

world. Her life was spent traveling around to big cities, performing and

feeling the wave of love and hope rising amongst African Americans.

On an interview with CBS Saturday Morning, (5/17/14), Mavis said that

being around MLK, Jr. was to feel ‘unbelievable joy.’ To be in his ‘presence’

brought her so much meaning to her life.

During this timely period in the United States, there was another

young ‘mover and shaker’ in the music industry. Mavis spent a lot of

time with that curly haired, good looking Bob Dylan.

There came a time, Mavis recounted that,

“Bobby told my Pops, ‘I want to marry Mavis.'”

Pops responded,

“‘Don’t tell me, tell Mavis!'”

While grinning happily, telling the interviewer this love story,

he asked with some excitement,

“What did you say to Bob?”

She reflected, smiling and said,

Well, remember I was very young, so I told him, ‘Let’s wait awhile.'”

She went on to say (the essence of this moment being the real meaning

in her words, paraphrased here):

She wondered what changes her life would have had, how marrying Bob

Dylan would have impacted her life and then used a phrase that I will

tell you the interviewer had to ask her to repeat and explain.

Mavis wondered what it would have been like to make ‘chrome-crushers’

with Bobby.

The words meant, children or babies with him. She was pondering this

and looking happy, still. She felt that she had been attractive, I

forget if she called herself a ‘fox’ or what, but he was definitely

someone she had love for and a huge crush on, too!

Mavis says that her life was spent ‘coming at it with her heart.’

When Mavis Staples won her first Grammy, she remembered that her

Pops had said not to worry about that but they were (basically)

singing for the Lord and “to reach people.” It was a great piece

of philosophy, not to worry about your awards in life, just what

actions you do and how it effects people.

At the 55th Grammy Award ceremony in February, 2013, Mavis Staples

won the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, looking very

stunning and vibrant. If you punch in her name and Grammy 2013, you

will see her the way she still looks. So beautiful inside and out!

She performed, by the way, in a tribute to Levon Helm, with the ‘likes’

of Elton John, Zac Brown Band and Mumford and Sons that fantastic

evening show to remember!

Mavis laughed, saying that she did, “Buy a stand for that Grammy,”

though!

The upbeat tone in her speaking and singing voice wins you over,

despite her vocal range not being as wide as I am sure it was in her

‘heyday!’ She has two songs that were very special to me.

I have sometimes, like many people do, worried about my appearance

and this song, “I Like the Things About Me,” including her comments

in the song disparaging her hair and her lips. She uses this verse,

“I like the things about me, that I once despised…”

“There was a time I wished my hair was fine…”

“There was a time I wished my lips were thin…”

In the end, the message was similar to today’s artist, Lady Gaga’s.

Mavis’ lifetime of having racial hurdles to overcome, make her

simple songs even more powerful. And timeless…

“Love yourself.”

(The essence of the lyrics was she came to the point in her life,

when she could accept ‘the me that I am.’)

The lively and pretty song, “Freedom’s Highway,” still has a world

wide application. As she mentioned the children (girls who were

kidnapped in Nigeria) and ‘everywhere looking at America to see what

we will do.’

“March each and every day,

Made up my mind and won’t turn around,

Made up my mind and won’t turn around.

There is just one thing,

I can’t understand, my friend.

Why some folk think freedom

Was not designed for all men,

Yes, I think I voted for the right man,

Said we would overcome.”

She repeated that ‘the whole world is wondering why America

is not stepping in to help those girls.’

Mavis Staples’ songs to look up on Youtube and listen to are:

“You Are Not Alone,” (2010)

“Eyes on the Prize,” (2007)

“One True Vine” (2013).

I was uplifted by Mavis’ energy and her loving nature shown in the

interview this Saturday morning. I needed only to see her face, to

remember that, not too long ago, Grammy Awards Show.

Where I had really listened to Mavis Staples’ singing and messages.

Adding to everyone’s loving voices raised in tribute to Levon Helm.

(If you were a fan of “The Band,” you were listening to his drumming

and percussion skills.)

Now go out, sing dance and march to the music!

No More Milk Mustaches!

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The Dairy Council has decided their advertising

campaign that includes the words, “Got milk?”

and famous persons with white mustaches is going

in a different direction. Those ‘milk mustaches’

were rather clever, I think. It made me have a

bout of nostalgia and got me reminiscing about

different products and their advertisements or

television commercials.

The background information is that the firm of

Goodby Silverstein and Partners came up with this

catchy slogan and advertising campaign for the

California Milk Processor Board in 1993. When Naomi

Campbell wore the first mustache, this was twenty

years ago in 1994.

The “Milk Life” ads were created to promote milk’s

protein power. The ads that have graced many magazines,

billboards and television commercials have come to an

end, yesterday on February 24, 2014.

The famous people have included a diversity of

subjects wearing that iconic white mustache. Here

are a few samples: Sir Elton John, Mariska Hargitay

and her daughters, Katie Couric and Bill Clinton.

This is not a ‘new’ subject for me. I have had

written before about product placement and t.v.

advertising. This includes different subjects and

my focus on cereal makes sense, due to the recent

‘demise’ of the “Got milk?” ads.

When I think back to when we were children, most of

my early childhood was without a color television.

My memory is of watching commercials in black and

white.

Strangely, I remember only a few actual products

that were in the black and white commercials. I can

think of more cleaning products (like Cheer, Tide and

Windex) than any other ones. Does this say something

about my mindset? Hmmm…By the way, Cheer came about

in 1950, Tide has been around since 1946 and Windex

was created in 1933!

But cleaning products don’t ‘go with milk!’

Mostly, my memories come from early Saturday mornings

watching cartoons like “Mr. Magoo” or the “Roadrunner”

(versus Wily Coyote.) We liked “Yogi Bear” and “Bugs

Bunny,” too at our house.

Those Saturday morning commercials were to get kids

to nag their parents for different and “new” brands

of cereal, juices and during holidays: toys!

My favorite black and white commercial had Tony the

Tiger recommending that we try Kellogg’s Frosted

Flakes.

When you look up the details, I think that you may

be surprised as much as I was, that there are many

family members in Tony’s imaginary “family!”

Tony the Tiger appeared as an advertising action

mascot in 1951. He has become known as a ‘cereal icon’

and has lasted past most of other cereal logos. He had

a son, Tony, Jr. in the 1950’s. He did not get a wife

or mother until the 1970’s!

Mama Tony and Mrs. Tony appeared a long time after

we were used to seeing Tony with his boy tiger. I

have never even heard of Antoinette, who was Tony’s

daughter, who became part of the advertising family.

She also did not appear until the other two lady

tigers’ arrival, in the seventies.

Tony’s expression of “It’s Grrrreat!” was also part

of his special signature. I always liked the frosted

sugary flavor of this brand of cereal and enjoyed

the different sports figures that his animated tiger

would interact with in the television commercials.

Another detail that may, or may not, seem familiar is

that there was another cereal that Tony recommended:

Tony’s Cinnamon Krunchers. Have you ever eaten these?

Another commercial, which I liked was for the Kellogg’s

Rice Krispies with the slogan “Snap, Crackle and Pop!”

Of course, that also included three little elves with

the names of Snap, Crackle and Pop. I loaded on brown

sugar or honey on these, (as I did for Cheerios, too.)

My ‘sweet tooth’ has been a lifelong attribute, now

considered dangerous and ‘bad!’

This cereal came about much earlier than Frosted Flakes’

arrival. It was a simpler cereal, rice, malt barley and

they were made into a shape (they called it “berries”)

that crackled, once its hollowness caved in; when milk

was applied.

Rice Krispies was marketed in 1927, then released in

1928. This forecasting a product before its arrival

in the stores, has become a way to ‘tease’ the public

and build anticipation, along with sales.

A fantastic advertising campaign included in 1963,

The Rolling Stones singing and recording a television

advertisement! Wow! I don’t remember being impressed

back then, at age 8 but now I am!

Rice Krispies is known as “Rice Bubbles,” in Australia

and New Zealand.

Here are the rest of the Rice Krispies cereals, along

with some international names that make me chuckle!

Cocoa Krispies is known as “Coco Pops” in the United

Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Italy, Australia and

New Zealand.

Frosted Rice Krispies is our American name for a

sugar coated RK, while in the UK and Ireland, they

call this cereal, “Ricicles.”

Rice Krispies can be found in Canada, “with Vanilla

Flavour.”

Strawberry Rice Krispies can be found in South Africa.

Since 1993, Rice Krispies Treat Cereal has been around

in the United States.

For a period of time starting in 2007, Chocolate and

Vanilla Rice Krispies existed.

General Mills’ Wheaties has the most amount of famous

sports figures featured in their advertising. This is

due to their iconic slogan, “The Breakfast of Champions.”

I like Wheaties but have been adding raisins and extra

sugar to my cereal bowls all of my life. I am so glad

that they came out with Raisin Bran so I could stop my

having to supplement my cereal with all the ‘work’

of getting the sugar bowl and raisins out!

I was fascinated by the Wheaties creation story. Hope

you won’t mind reading about this, too!

This cereal came about due to an accidental spill

of a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove by a clinician

in 1922. She worked for the Minnesota located Washburn

Crosby Company. Later, General Mills became the name of

the current company.

The final product (cereal) went through a couple of

years in attempting to strengthen the flakes to

endure packaging. Washburn’s head ‘miller,’ George

Cormack labeled the cereal, “Washburn’s Gold Medal

Whole Wheat Flakes,” in 1924. Later, they held an

employee contest where the name, “Wheaties” won.

While advertising on the radio in Minnesota, where

the company was founded, they had a jingle that

went to the popular tune of “She’s a Jazz Baby.”

The beginning line was, “Have you tried Wheaties?”

The advertising through radio and placement on

billboards at ball fields led to the interest of

athletes in being part of the advertising.

I can think of many Olympic athletes, along with

professional athletes that have been the faces

who were promoting Wheaties to young people.

Hope you enjoyed this ‘walk down nostalgia lane,’

and won’t mind discovering the new commercial logo

that the milk processors and dairy farmers choose.

I will miss the “Got milk?” ads. It’s been around

for the majority of my children’s lives, twenty

years.

Someone Saved My Life Today

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There are times when I feel like I am on the verge of tears, sometimes

I am thinking, “You are too old… for working here, for having been in

love and then, not anymore,” and other little negative tailspins. I was

happy to hear a love story at lunch today.  I also, on the way to work,

had a light easy listening radio station on and heard Elton John’s sweet

song, “Someone Saved My Life Today.”  These two things, the music

and the story helped me (excuse the swear words!) “keep my shit

together” at work today!

Trevinal is a funny and interesting man who works in the receiving

department. He has always shared with me, different things about his

growing up and “bad educational experiences,” ever since I started and

somehow, he had heard I had started as a middle school Language Arts

teacher. His name is unique and his mother tells him it was found in one

of those books. I may look it up, if I have time, but mainly he wanted to

tell me that he did some incredibly special and nice things for his wife’s

and his 17th anniversary.

Trevinal sits at our lunch table but not our break time table. So, we have

more time to hear about his life. He had a whole week off last week, but

his wife only gets one week a year and they had already had a nice trip

down to the southern states. He was excited to tell me that he had

bought a bouquet of  pink roses, got dressed up in nice khaki slacks with

a polo shirt on, drove to his wife’s work place and delivered them with

quite a lot of pomp and circumstance!

Trev was just bubbling because when his wife arrived home, he also had

stopped at the Kroger’s seafood area and purchased a nice lobster, two

baked potatoes, and made a delicious layered salad. She came in, he

told her to go check out the bathroom, he had washed out the tub,

(he admits he falls short usually in the kitchen and bathroom cleaning

chores area) and had placed a set of brand new towels in a pretty

lavendar color he had bought at Sears in the Southland Mall in Marion,

Ohio.

Trev’s wife, Suzie, was esctatic! He said he was given so much loving

attention, hugs, kisses and he raised his eyebrows up and down, with

a kind of Marx brothers, dramatic flaired look on his face, saying these

silly words,

“And you know what other attention I got!”

The reason I want to go back to Trevinal’s mentioning his educational

experiences, is because this is also an area I am proud to know about.

He had almost all D’s and F’s except for a few, rare C’s in school. His

mother and father never yelled, sought help frequently but his situation

sounds like he was considered “slow” but in today’s world would be

considered, “learning disabled.”

Trevinal met his wife in high school, has been married since they were in

their early twenties, and they have one son. He is studying right now,

taking tests, learning at Marion Technical College, how to be a Nursing

Assistant. He would like to proceed to becoming a nurse, RN! He is very

successful in his studies, but has also gone up to each and every professor,

telling them of his horrendous past educational experiences. Each have

accomodated his learning, in one way or another.

Trevinal and Suzie are a success, not only in their personal achievements

such as their longlasting marriage, but both have tough jobs and still

manage to juggle their educational pursuits. This family has come a “long

way” towards making it in this world.

Their love story and the way Trevinal and Suzie are accomplishing more

than they had planned while in high school, are very inspiring! This “saved

my life” in the way it brightened my day!