Five Star Fav – It Began As A Blues Standard

It's been over four years since our last Five Star Fav so I probably should explain that it's a special feature that spotlights one of my favorite recordings. It's similar to Anatomy of a Song, but instead it focuses on a specific version of a particular song, one that I like so much that I've … Continue reading Five Star Fav – It Began As A Blues Standard

Pat Upton’s Brush With Fate

It always fascinates me to run across odd musical stories, and Pat Upton, the star of the pop group, Spiral Starecase (no, that name isn't mispelled), has a good one. Upton was Alabama-born, and first made his mark in music in the mid-sixties when he joined the Fydallions, a Sacramento-based band formed by a bunch … Continue reading Pat Upton’s Brush With Fate

A Strange Taste Of Mozart

Like most music lovers, I'm a fan of Wolfie - Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theuphilus Mozart, as he was baptized - so my ears always prick up when I hear something about him. (Do ears actually do that?) But it took me a while to warm to a strangely hypnotic song that became a world-wide hit … Continue reading A Strange Taste Of Mozart

Anatomy Of A Song – A Surprising Super Hit

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong were busy and successful music pros who wrote a lot of memorable songs for the Temptations. But one that they avoided for a couple of years would end up as a #1 hit for the group and become a signature song. Written in 1969, "just My Imagination" was a ballad, … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – A Surprising Super Hit

In Pursuit Of Seeing Clearly

You probably remember Johnny Nash's 1972 number-one hit "I Can See Clearly Now" (you can hear it below), but it has added meaning for me because I hope to sing it myself in the not too distant future. (Well, at least hum it -- my singing voice is something along the lines of the sound … Continue reading In Pursuit Of Seeing Clearly

Saluting Silly Songs – A Travelin’ Man

I remember Hank Snow's "I've Been Everywhere" from back in the early Sixties when it was a number-one hit for him. It's all about a travelin' man who has been all over the map, and he  proceeds to rapidly list all the places he's been, many of them with colorful or odd names. But it … Continue reading Saluting Silly Songs – A Travelin’ Man

Masters Of Sunshine Pop

Monkees "Theme Song" Monkees "Last Train to Clarksville" Monkees "Valleri" Monkees "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" (Originally Paul Revere and the Raiders) Jay & the Americans "Come a Little Bit Closer" Curtis Lee "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" Little Anthony & the Imperials' "Hurt So Bad" Fats Domino "Be My Guest" Boyce & Hart "I Wonder … Continue reading Masters Of Sunshine Pop

Ruby And The Romantics – The Pride Of Akron

You wouldn't normally think of Akron, Ohio, an average Midwestern city, as the birthplace of a R&B group with a number-one hit in the 1960's, but that's exactly what happened when Ruby and the Romantics hit the top. Their 1963 recording of "Our Day Will Come" was a huge success, topping the charts in the … Continue reading Ruby And The Romantics – The Pride Of Akron

Writer’s Block Takes Its Toll On BG

My first post since I came back from my medical problems (the last two I posted were actually written months ago) needs to be a special one, but I'm having trouble getting started. Even though I'm home now after something like three months of medical issues, I'm keeping pretty busy with regular home visits from … Continue reading Writer’s Block Takes Its Toll On BG

Jukeboxes I Have Known

(Note: this is the last post I had ready to go before my hospital adventure. From now on I'll have to come up with some new ones, so wish me luck! BG) A good friend of mine, who has been gone for many years now, had a working vintage jukebox in his living room. But … Continue reading Jukeboxes I Have Known