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For My Daughter – A Tribute to My Daughter & All Daughters

For my daughter, on National Daughter’s Day, September 25th, a tribute to her, and all daughters.  I won’t embarrass her with any photos of when she was younger or with any dumb dad jokes, but will express my overflowing and unending love for her, for she holds such a special place in my heart.

As is usual for my blogs, I have videos and a Spotify Playlist.  The lyrics and videos below are among my favorites, and express more than I ever could some of the feelings I have for my little girl.  Some highlights include a new song and video I just discovered, “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith, Toby Keith’s daughter.  Another new song I absolutely love is by a friend of mine, Sean Forrest, with “Stay A Little Longer.”  Another great song and video are “Dance With My Daughter” by Jason Blaine.  And of course there’s “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman, “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, and “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, and “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Al Martino, among others.

You’re Gonna Be

6 pounds and 9 ounces, lookin’ up at me
Like I have all the answers
I hope, I have the ones you need
I’ve never really done this, now I know what scared is

Sometimes, I’ll protect you from everything that’s wrong
Other times, I’ll let you just find out on your own
But that’s when you’ll be growin’
And the whole time I’ll be knowin’

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase
You’re gonna cry but know that that’s okay
Sometimes life’s not fair but if you hang in there…

…I’m afraid you’ll have to suffer through
some of my mistakes
Lord, knows I’ll be trying, oh, to give you what it takes
What it takes to know the difference between getting by
and livin’

Cause anything worth doing is worth doing all the way
Just know you’ll have to live with all the choices
that you make
So make sure you’re always givin’ way more
than you’re takin’…

…You’re gonna see that sometimes bad is good
We just have to believe things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be

Someone’s everything
You’re gonna see
Just what you are to me

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase
We just have to believe things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be, always loved by me…

reba mcentire

In My Daughter’s Eyes

In my daughter’s eyes
I am a hero
I am strong and wise
And I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter’s eyes

In my daughter’s eyes
Everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter’s eyes

And when she wraps her hand around my finger
How it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It’s hanging on when your heart is had enough
It’s giving more when you feel like giving up
I’ve seen the light
It’s in my daughter’s eyes

In my daughter’s eyes
I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
And though she’ll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I’m gone I hope you’ll see
How happy she made me
For I’ll be there
In my daughter’s eyes…

martina mcbride

Lady

…I can make you laugh ’til you cry
But she can make your tears dry, and
When you get your heart broke by the wrong guy
She can make it right

I hope you look just like your momma
And love her like I do
You’ll see close to perfect patience
If you watch her every move
You can always run to daddy
You’ll always be my baby, but
Look at her, baby girl
And you’ll learn how to be a lady…

brett young

I’ll Be Your Man

You’re gonna make the finest momma someday
Some man will take you away
But until then
Chase down your dreams
Laugh all the time and believe
That love’s gonna conquer all things
So until then
I’ll be your man

There was a time when I thought I knew love
Until you came into this world
Time keeps on flying
But your always gonna be my baby girl

So as you walk through this life you will see
The world’s what you want it to be
But until then
Go on and dance
Dance like there’s no one around
Never stop singing out loud
And until then
I’ll be your man…

…Go have a ball
Take every chance that you make
You know I’ll be one call away
I’ll always be
I’ll always be your man…

zac brown band

Stay A Little Longer

…Saw you coming down the stairs
Blue dress, a high school dance
Beautiful and free just like a dream
Once I held a baby girl
Now you’re taking on the world
You know I’m your biggest fan
And I always will be

Could you stay a little longer
Before the strike of midnight takes you
Off to your Prince Charming
But you’ll always be my daughter
It went too fast just like they say
Wish you could stay, stay a little longer

I knew this time would come
One day you’d be out on your own
And though my heart is aching
I know that it’s ok
I’ve got memories
And I love the ones you made

Work was piling up so high
Heavy on my mind
You took my hand
Said babe I’ve got to show you
An amazing sunset
And ou’re the one I want to see it with
Lets pour a glass of wine
And give thanks for all the good times

So lets stay a little longer
And remember all the things
That God has done
With so much wonder
Like the color that fade from the sky
Its flying by too fast just like they say
So lets stay, stay a little longer…

Sean Forrest

Butterfly Kisses

…She’ll change her name today
She’ll make a promise
And I’ll give her away
Standing in the bride-room
Just staring at her
She asked me what I’m thinking
And I said, “I’m not sure”
“I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl”
And she leaned over

Gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk me down the aisle, Daddy, it’s just about time”
“Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy?”
“Daddy, don’t cry”
Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve her love every morning
And butterfly kisses

I couldn’t ask God for more
Man, this is what love is
I know I gotta let her go
But I’ll always remember
Every hug in the morning
And butterfly kisses…

bob Carlisle

Cinderella

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me saying dad I need you
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancin’
Oh, please, daddy, please

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone…

Steven Curtis Chapman

Dance With My Daughter

…Greatest gift in the world
Is a new baby girl
Feels like God took a chance
Placing her here in my hands

Gonna dance with my daughter
Spin her around under the lights
‘Cause I’m just a father
Making the most of this moment in time
Before she lets me go, I’ll hold her close
Caught in this race against time
Right now all I want is to dance with my daughter tonight…

Jason Blaine

I Loved Her First

…I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she’d find you someday
But it’s still hard to give her away
I loved her first

How could that beautiful woman with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairytales to
And tucked into bed all those nights

And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time
I loved her first, I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me…

Heartland

Daddy Dance With Me

I know what you see when you look at me
As we walk down the aisle
Little pink tutu, bows and tennis shoes
In the wide eyes of your child
Those are all the memories you will cherish and you’ll carry
No matter how much time has come and gone

Daddy dance with me
I want you to see the woman I’ve become.
Daddy don’t let go
I want you to know I’ll always need your love.

Today I became his wife
But I’ll be your baby girl for life
Don’t know what to do when I look at you
Words can’t say enough
What you’ve done for me

You gave me what I need
You were tender, you were tough
Cause the world you built around me
Is the strength that will surround me
And protect me now that I am on my own…

Krystal Keith

Daddy’s Little Girl

…He always used to tell me, “Don’t grow up too fast
Love will come, love will go, your first won’t be your last”
I didn’t always listen when he gave me advice
No, I hate to admit it, but that man was always right

Used to wrap my hands around his little finger
Turns out he was wrapped around mine
He said, “You can be anything you want to
in this great big world”
But I’m always gonna be daddy’s little girl,
daddy’s little girl

When I count my blessings, I know where to start
He might not hold my hand no more
But he’ll always, always hold my heart…

The Shires

My Wish

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin’ ’till you find the window
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile…

…I hope you never look back, but ya never forget
All the ones who love you, in the place you left
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get

Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake
And always give more than you take

But more than anything, yeah, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life
becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you,
and wants the same things too
Yeah, this, is my wish…

rascal flatts

My Father’s Daughter

I am my father’s daughter
I have his eyes
I am the product of his sacrifice
I am the accumulation of the dreams of generations
And their stories live in me like holy water
I am my father’s daughter…

…I am my father’s daughter
I have my Grandma’s eyes
I am the product of such sacrifice

jewel featuring dolly parton

Daddy’s Little Girl

You’re the treasure I cherish, so sparkling and bright
You were touched by the holy and beautiful light
Like angels that sing, a heavenly thing
And you’re daddy’s little girl

mills brothers

So on to my playlist, for my daughter, and daughters everywhere:

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

Video Killed the Radio Star – Celebration of One Hit Wonders

September 25th was declared at National One Hit Wonder Day by music journalist Steve Rosen to commemorate songs that are often artist’s only claim to fame.  One hit wonders are songs that achieved great notoriety and fame, typically top 40 hit songs, by artists that never achieved future songs of such significant popularity.  

Sometimes they are the one shining moment of artists who otherwise fade into obscurity.  Songs that come to mind are “Precious And Few” by Climax, “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks, “Romeo’s Tune” by Steve Fobert, “Maniac” by Michael Sembello, or “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell (a song helped by being the son of Motown founder Barry Gordy, and backing vocals by Michael Jackson).

Other times they are the pinnacle achievement, the song that the artist is most identified by, though having otherwise quality song releases that didn’t achieve such high accolades.  Such songs and artists include “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.  They also have some great songs in “Alive & Kicking” and “Sanctify Yourself.”  Or Georgia Satellites with “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” and “Hippy Hippy Shake,” The Fabulous Thunderbirds” with “Tuff Enough” and “Wrap It Up,” A-ha with “Take On Me” and “The Sun Always Shines On TV.”  Or think of Warren Zevon “Werewolves of London,” Rick James “Superfreak,” Lou Reed “Walk On The Wild Side,” and Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Relax.”  Some of these artists will be the subject of a future blog and playlist of what I call Two Hit Wonders (and sometimes Three…)

Some popular artists appear as one hit wonders, most notably Eric Clapton.  His “Can’t Find My Way Home” with Blind Faith as well as “Layla” with Derek & The Dominoes made the list, the only big hits of those short-lived bands.  And the Grateful Dead, for all their hippie following, was never a band looking for hits, but found their one and only with “Touch Of Grey” in 1987.  Somewhat ironic a song about their getting older drew the most attention.

The title of the blog and playlist are a tribute to the Buggles and their song “Video Killed The Radio Star,” the first ever video featured on the then brand new network MTV.  It’s joked that video/MTV killed the Buggles, as the song is their only hit, their 5 minutes of fame.

The Marvel movie Guardians Of The Galaxy sets the bar for the most One Hit Wonder songs in one movie, with at least 10, including Come And Get Your Love, Hooked On A Feeling, Go All The Way, Spirit In The Sky, Fooled Around And Fell In Love, I’m Not In Love, Cherry Bomb, Escape, O-o-h Child, and Magic.

The first Spotify playlist is an offering of some of the best One Hit Wonders of the ‘70s and ’80s.  I made a similar though much shorter playlist of the best of the best One Hit Wonders of the ’50s and ’60s.  There are a few songs, namely “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Spirit In The Sky,” and “Get Together” that straddle both lists.  Though released in 1969, they seem to be a bridge to the ‘70s, so I included them in that playlist as well.

And as I mentioned, I will be blogging about my Two (and occasionally Three) Hit Wonders, a few of whom are on the One Hit Wonder list, that I feel have other noteworthy songs that shouldn’t necessarily relegate them to a flash in the pan.  We’ll see what you think.  More on that in a week or two 😉

For a nice review of the history of National One Hit Wonder Day and the growing attention to one hit wonders, see:

Other great One Hit Wonder videos include:

A-ha “Take On Me,” perhaps one of the greatest music videos every made:

Taco – “Puttin’ On The Ritz” – so silly:

Peter Schilling – “Major Tom” – space exploration had a resurgence in the ’80s back to it’s late ’60s to early ’70s glory:

Newcelus – “Jam On It” – this is perhaps the epitome of ’80s break dancing scenes – such memories of school dances!:

Twisted Sister – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – a kid’s anthem of the ’80s:

Cameo – “Word Up” – a college classic:

Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”- loved Tiffany and this song:

Alannah Myles – “Black Velvet” – as well as loved Alannah and this song:

Extreme – “More Than Words,” love the song and video, as well as Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon’s cover video (check it out in my Cover Songs blog):

Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby”

4 Non Blondes – “What’s Up” – an interesting tidbit – “What’s Up” isn’t in the lyrics, but was chosen as a title to avoid confusing the song with Marvin Gaye’s iconic “What’s Going On.” Also, until just recently, I thought the lead singer was a guy. Hey, I never saw the video, never connected the name necessarily referring to women, and well, the ’80s were a decade of returning to the falsetto of the ’50s 😂:

CeeLo Green – “Forget You” – a great song and video, and prefer it to the R-rated version, especially for my blog:

Orianthi – “According To You” – watch her unparalleled female guitar prowess:

The Lumineers – “Ho Hey” – love the folky feel of this:

With several One Hit Wonders the theme song of several hit TV shows including:

Happy Days – Pratt & McClain – “Happy Days.” We all loved this show, Mr. & Mrs. C., and a glimpse of the ’50s: 

Welcome Back, Kotter – John Sebastian – “Welcome Back,” a classic ’70s show, and the springboard for Vinnie Barbarino a.k.a. John Travolta’s career:

The Greatest American Hero – Joey Scarbury – “Believe It Or Not” – such a silly, if not stupid show, but we all loved it – a hero who was unmistakably human, yet still managed to do good:

Cheers – Gary Portnoy – “Everybody Knows Your Name,” just a classic sit-com and recognizable song. Who didn’t want to hang out at this place?:

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you’ve got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to get away?

All those nights when you’ve got no lights
The check is in the mail
And your little angel
Hung the cat up by its tail
And your third fiance didn’t show

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee’s dead
The morning’s looking bright
And your shrink ran off to Europe
And didn’t even write
And your husband wants to be a girl

Be glad there’s one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to go where people know
People are all the same
You want to go where everybody knows your name

Friends – The Rembrandts – “I’ll Be There For You,” one of the best TV series ever. I do believe “Just The Way It Is, Baby” makes them more of a Two Hit Wonder. More to follow:

Cops – Inner Circle – “Bad Boys,” perhaps one of the most iconic TV theme songs:

And several prominently featured in movies (with Guardians the true champion as mentioned above):

The Poseidon Adventure – Maureen McGovern – “The Morning After,” not the best movie and such a sad song:

Saturday Night Fever – Yvonne Elliman – “If I Can’t Have You,” a classic song and movie of the disco era:

An American Werewolf In London – Warren Zevon – “Werewolves Of London,” such a great song for the movie, along with CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising”:

Rocky III – Survivor – “Eye Of The Tiger,” the song that made the movie, with the audience cheering on Rocky to beat Clubber – yes, I remember people in the audience at the theater in Rocky I and Rocky III cheering him on!:

Flashdance – Michael Sembello – “Maniac.” This song and scene made the movie:

The following video, a compilation of scenes from the movie, is also great:

Valley Girl – Modern English – “I Melt With You.” Not a good movie, but a great song:

Beverly Hills Cop – Harold Faltermeyer – “Axel F.” My college cheerleading squad did a routine to this song!🤣:

The Breakfast Club – Simple Minds – “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” a song turned down by Billy Idol. I bet he wishes he had a “do-over” on that one. He did later record a version of the song – not as good as Simple Mind’s classic original:

Pretty In Pink – OMD – “If You Leave,” A great Molly Ringwald/John Hughes movie and great song and soundtrack:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Yello – “Oh Yeah.” I’ve seen a meme around Facebook that we know we’re getting older as we identify more with the principal and think Ferris is a hoodlum 🤣:

St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr – “Man In Motion.” I recently watched this movie again, such a testament to the ’80s:

Reservoir Dogs – Stealers Wheel – “Stuck In The Middle With You” (video not included – a bit too graphic to be a part of my usually PG-13 blog 😂)

Guardians Of the Galaxy – Elvin Bishop – “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” [Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord explaining his attachment to his mother’s pop music of the ’70s, as mentioned above, mostly One Hit Wonders]:

Now onto the Playlists.  I think you’ll love them.

Video Killed The Radio Star – ‘70s & ‘80s One Hit Wonders [with video killing the Buggles as well 🤣]:

Get A Job – ‘50s & ‘60s One Hit Wonders [suspecting many of these acts had to get a(nother) job 😂]

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the Music!

WILD One & Boot HILL – Wild & Hill Songs

On July 30, 1966, the Troggs started a 2 week run at No. 1 on the US singles chart with “Wild Thing”:

“Wild Thing” is the inspiration for the theme of the first of two playlists this week, songs including the word Wild in their title.  Among some great songs are “Born To Be Wild,” “Wild Night,” “Wild Summer Nights,” “Wild World,” “Wild Is The Wind,” “Walk On The Wild Side,” “Wild Horses,” “The Wild Boys.”  A few Wild derivations lead to the inclusion of “Your Wildest Dreams,” “Wildfire” and “Wildflower.”

Perhaps one of the greatest pairings of a song and movie scene is “Born to Be Wild” in the 1969 movie starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson – Easy Rider:

In a somewhat surprising collaboration between two dissimilar artists, “Wild World” performed by Cat Stevens and Chris Cornell:

And in a pretty unusual video, though par for the course in the 80’s, Duran Duran with “Wild Boys”:

And who can forget Ton Loc doing the “Wild Thing:”

I always liked this video of “Wildest Dreams” by the Moody Blues:

On this day in 1958 Kate Bush, British singer and songwriter, was born.  She had the 1978 UK No. 1 single “Wuthering Heights” at the age of 19.  Her 1985 UK No 1 album Hounds of Love spent 1 year on the UK charts.  She is having a bit of a resurgence with the prominent placement of her 1985 hit song “Running Up That Hill” in the 4th season of the Netfilx series Stranger Things.  Since the start of the new season, the song has gone viral, racing up the Billboard charts:

The song title lends itself to the second playlist featured this week, which includes songs with the word Hill in their title.  Among the song greats are “Blueberry Hill,” “The Fool On The Hill,” “Solsbury Hill,” “Red Hill Mining Town,” “One Tree Hill,” “Over The Hills And Far Away,” “Boot Hill,” and “Beverly Hills.”  Though not containing Hill/s in the title, I took the liberty of including the following song for obvious reason: “the hills are alive with ‘The Sound of Music’…” 

In this video of Led Zeppelin in 1973 performing “Over The Hills And Far Away” it becomes apparent the reason many consider Jimmy Page and John Bonham among the best rock musicians ever:

Also on July 30 in 1955 Johnny Cash recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was inspired to write the song after seeing the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison” while serving in the Air Force in West Germany.  If you haven’t seen the 2005 movie “Walk The Line” it’s among the must-see music biopics, along with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Ray,” “The Doors,” “The Buddy Holly Story,” “La Bamba,” and “Judy.”  Reese Witherspoon won best actress for her portrayal of June Carter Cash, and Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for best actor:

Also sharing a birthday with Kate Bush on this day, though born 13 years earlier, in 1945, is saxophonist David Sanborn.  His remarkable career included playing with the likes of James Brown, Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Elton John, Carley Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Roger Waters, Steely Dan, The Eagles, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, and Toto.  He will be one of the featured artists in one of my upcoming blogs on saxophone and horns prominent in rock and pop music.  Stay tuned.

And now on to the playlists – the Wild playlist, WILD One:

And the Hill playlist, Boot HILL:

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

Here Comes The SUN – Fun Sun Songs

July 24, 1969 the Beatles recorded “Sun King” for their Abbey Road album.  Since we’re in the midst of summer, I though in addition to my recent Summer Songs and Summertime Fun Songs playlists, I’d feature a playlist of Sun songs to enjoy during the summer, or any time of year, if trying to be bright, cheery, or warm up.  Songs include those with various iterations of Sun in their title, including Sun, Sunny, Sunshine, Sunrise, Sunset, and Sundown.

The song “Sun King” is, per John Lennon, “a piece of garbage I had around,” and, per Paul McCartney, utter nonsense.  Its title is a nod to King Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, as the universe revolved around him.  His reign of over 72 years is the longest in history for any monarch of a country. 

The lyrics borrow a few foreign words strung together in meaningless fashion, along with a Liverpool expression, “chicka ferdi,” that while John says means “ha ha ha,” Paul intimates it means “f*** off.”

A few other Beatles gems are on the list, including the playlist title song “Here Comes The Sun,” “I’ll Follow The Sun,” and “Good Day Sunshine.” Here is a brief snipet of George Harrison along with Pete Ham of Badfinger doing an acoustic version of “Here Comes The Sun” in The Concert for Bangladesh:

MonaLisa Twins, a sister duo group originally from Vienna Austria, now out of Liverpool, known mostly on YouTube for covers of the Beatles and other ‘60s bands, offer their version of the song, with beautiful guitars and lovely harmonies:

And an American roots version including mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and upright bass by the Petersens:

And a fantasic acoustic guitar cover by Gabriella Quevado:

And I have to give Macca his due, after featuring George, with “I’ll Follow The Sun” from his 2005 US Tour:

I had never seen the video to the Police song “Invisible Sun,” their first release off Ghost In The Machine, which ponders people’s ability to find the will to go on living in countries plagued with war, poverty, and strife.  This seems particularly relevant for our current world, in particular the Ukraine, though with continued conflict in places such as Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Israel, South Sudan, Madagascar, Ethiopia, and Yemen:

The Animals performance of “The House of the Rising Sun,” recorded in 1964, is vocally and musically superb, their cover arguably the best of the over 600 versions. It was originally recorded in 1933 as a blues song by Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster, but has never been better than that offered by the Animals:

Though I do love this version by my girl Haley Reinhart, American Idol alum:

And such a different era, the following from the Ed Sullivan Show, Gerry & The Pacemakers “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying”:

And this has to be one of the greater duet concert moments in history, with George Michael and Elton John in 1991 on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (viewed over 140 million times on YouTube!):

This song is a nod to my daughter, from a favorite artist of hers, Chris Cornell, with “Black Hole Sun” by his then band Soundgarden:

And here’s a beautiful acoustic version by Chris – so talented, so sad his life cut short:

Another American roots song “Being A Woman (Is Like Being The Sun)” by a new favorite of mine, Caroline Jones, who has toured with Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band:

A great cover of “You Are My Sunshine” by The Dead South follows:

Ginger Baker, one of the world’s best drummers, paired with Eric Clapton, one of the world’s greatest guitarists, along with Jack Bruce on lead vocals and bass in a Cream reunion performance of “Sunshine of Your Love” at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005 is just spectacular:

MonaLisa Twins do Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” justice, with some great slide guitar, from the Cavern Club in Liverpool:

And holy 1969 Batman, again a different era, The 5th Dimension with “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In,” like, far out!:

One of my favorite soft rock Canadian artists (along with Bruce Cockburn, Michael Buble, and Celine Dion, with Rush, Bryan Adams, The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Steppenwolf, Triumph, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell,Robbie Robertson/Rick Dank (The Band), Aldo Nova, April Wine, Loverboy, Corey Hart, Men Without Hats, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies, Nickelback, and Justin Bieber all hail from the Great White North), here’s Gordon Lightfoot singing “Sundown”:

Song greats on the playlist include, in addition to the songs above, “Waiting for the Sun,” “Soak Up The Sun,” “Seasons In The Sun,” “Behind The Sun,” “Sunny,” “Sunshine,” “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Sunday Morning Sunshine,” “Walking On Sunshine,” “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Heart of the Sunrise,” and “Sunset Grill.”  Another fun summer playlist:

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the sunny moments.

Listen to the MUSIC!

FOREVER Man – A Tribute to Scott Evans

I’d like to dedicate this blog to a college classmate of mine who passed away this past winter.  I preface it with the fact that out of respect, and sensitive to the feelings and privacy of his family, I have reviewed my intentions with them and have received their approval to share this post.  It was comforting and offered some sense of closure to speak with Scott’s sister Ann.  My heart goes out to his son and daughter, mother, sisters, and extended family, and I share this in hopes of honoring his memory.

Scott & his children

For most of us who were not a part of his day-to-day life, his passing was sudden and too soon.  To this end we all must come.  And to paraphrase the Bard of Avon, “Alas, poor Scott!  I knew him, Ann.  A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.”  And that Scott truly was.  He had an infectious smile that beamed ear to ear, and flashed it with regularity, whether in friendship, having fun, when happy, or up to no good.

Death is one of those constants in life.  A seeming oxymoron, we all are touched over our years by the death of those around us – some family members, some friends, some acquaintances.  Some succumb to chronic health problems, others to brief illness, yet others to sudden accident or tragedy.  Some struggle and suffer mightily as death approaches.  Others never see it coming.  But come it will. 

Sometimes you will never know the value of something until it becomes a memory.

DR. SEUSS (THEODORE GEISEL, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE 1925)

I have shared in previous blogs the power of music to heal amidst such sorrow and loss (see “Dance With My Father,” “I Won’t Forget You,” and “Seasons Of Love”).  It also can help connect us to memories of times, events, and people, keeping them close in mind and heart.  Thus I hope this blog and playlist to be a tribute to memories of Scott, and a reminder to all of us to not take life for granted, to not wait to tell people how we feel, and to try to stay connected and be available in whatever way we can in people’s lives, in whatever way they might need or might be willing to accept.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

dr. seuss (Theodore Geisel, Dartmouth college 1925)

I invoke the Broadway Musical “Evan Hansen” not because Scott had the same struggles Evan did, but because it seems an appropriate springboard for conversation about such a topic, in addition to Scott actually commenting on it on our college class Facebook page a few years back as being his second favorite musical after “Hamilton”:

Here is the Hamilton-Dear Evan Hansen mashup video cited in this exchange to which Scott replied “That’s just not fair”:

Dear Scott Evans:

For those who saw the Broadway musical or Movie:

Dear Evan Hansen,

Turns out this wasn’t an amazing day after all. This isn’t going to be an amazing week or an amazing year, because why would it be?

I know, because there’s Zoe, and all my hope is pinned on Zoe, who I don’t even know, and doesn’t know me. Maybe if I could just talk to her. Maybe nothing would be different at all. I wish everything was different.

I wish I was part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered to anyone. I mean face it, would anyone notice if I just disappeared tomorrow?

Sincerely,

Your most best, and dearest friend, Me

As the musical and movie bring to awareness, there are those around us who feel lost, unseen, who are struggling with themselves and/or life. They may have just been dealt a bad hand of cards in this game of life.  Or perhaps they suffer from acute illness, chronic illness, terminal illness, mental illness or substance addictions.  Or maybe life ends abruptly and untimely, through some other illness or tragedy.  Scott endured such struggles and was open enough to share some of what he was experiencing with our class.  A few years back, as our 30th college reunion approached, he had the candor to let us know that he was struggling, and didn’t feel a part of the world he had once not only been a part of, but thrived in if not led and dominated.

Scott was a friend to all.  I can’t recall when I first met him, but just know that even though I wasn’t a part of his circle of friends, he always made me feel welcomed and important.  I felt he cared about me, a student who he had no reason to care about.  He would go out of his way at frat parties to talk to me, or to chat between music sets.  I hung out with him a little more due to eventually sharing a mutual friend.  I recall spending an afternoon with him at Casque & Gauntlet one day senior year, during commencement week, just hanging out, sharing a pizza, and talking about school and life, as if I were his best friend. 

For Forever

End of May or early June
This picture-perfect afternoon we share
Drive the winding country road
Grab a scoop at À La Mode
And then we’re there

An open field that’s framed with trees
We pick a spot and shoot the breeze
Like buddies do
Quoting songs by our favorite bands
Telling jokes no one understands
Except us two
And we talk and take in the view

All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Feels like we could go on for forever this way
Two friends on a perfect day

We walk a while and talk about
The things we’ll do when we get out of school
Bike the Appalachian trail or
Write a book or learn to sail
Wouldn’t that be cool?

There’s nothing that we can’t discuss
Like girls we wish would notice us but never do
He looks around and says to me
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be”
And I say, “Me too”

And we talk and take in the view
We just talk and take in the view

All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Feels like we could go on for forever this way, this way

All we see is light for forever
‘Cause the sun shines bright for forever
Like we’ll be alright for forever this way
Two friends on a perfect day…

All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Buddy, you and I for forever this way, this way

All we see is light
‘Cause the sun burns bright
We could be alright for forever this way
Two friends
True friends
On a perfect day

dear evan hansen

It’s eerie how much this song parallels my afternoon with Scott. It was the end of May or early June, a picture perfect afternoon, though pizza from C&A, not a scoop from A La Mode, quoting some of our favorite bands, telling some bad jokes, taking in the view of an amazing Spring day in Hanover, letting the world pass us by, talking about things we’d do when we got out of school, talking about girls, two friends on a perfect day. Only, different then Evan Hansen, this perfect day was real. And Scott made me feel like a true friend, a buddy. He had a way of doing that. Feeling we’d be alright for forever, on a perfect day.

I recall he was a member of C&G, which was, per their website, “founded in 1887. It is a senior society that unites those who have strong character and high ideals, encourages members in worthy activities, promotes their mutual welfare and happiness, and renders loyal service to Dartmouth College.”  And that was exactly what Scott epitomized.

Though he also had a carefree, fun, gregarious, joy de vivre side.  Rumor had it that Scott attended his freshman week alcohol awareness meeting with his freshman undergraduate advisor group dressed in a bathrobe sipping a martini, a la Hawkeye Pierce in MASH.  Such was the legend of Scott Evans.  He was the bass player in a kick-ass college cover band.  He campaigned for and won election as senior class president.  In law school at UVA he continued his musical escapades, playing in with “Blowfish,” no, not Hootie – this was before Hootie & The Blowfish ever put out an album…

Scott in Dartmouth College band NRO

When looking for housing at UVA after accepting a pediatric residency position there, I contacted Scott to see if my girlfriend (soon to be fiancé and eventual wife) and I could crash at his place to save a few bucks by not staying at a hotel.  Such was the life of a poor medical student.  I’m not quite sure how I knew he was in Charlottesville, or how I got his number.  This was back in the days before cell phones.  All I know is he said yes without hesitation and wanted to meet us on The Corner for dinner when we got down there.  Totally unsure of how we hooked up for dinner, again without cell phones.

We stayed at his place, more of a frat room than an apartment, slept on a less than comfortable couch with noise all around us, and Scott getting in sometime in the wee small hours of the morning.  The frat room/bachelor pad shower was a free-standing claw tub with a shower curtain running around it that had so much mold that I think we felt less clean getting out of the shower than when we got in.  But hey, it was a free room.  Beggars can’t be choosers.  And Scott was ever the gracious, caring host.  While not best friends over the years, he made me feel like I was, and embraced meeting and hanging out with my girlfriend.  I ended up seeing him play a few times in C’ville before he left for greener pastures, seeking to make a name for himself in his law career.  From there going forward I lost touch with Scott (again, pre email and cell phones).

Scott (left, on bass) playing at an impromptu front porch gig in Boston with none other than
Carlos Santana (center) dropping in to jam!

Fast forward 30 years, and there was at least a point in his life where something had dramatically shifted.  Something had changed.  Scott was no longer on top of the world.  He shared that life was a struggle, life had its ugly underbelly.   As classmates we were able to glean some information from a post he made on our college class Facebook page as our 30th reunion approached.  He was frank, if not blunt, half expecting to get a rise out of people, but in addition to honestly and sincerely share his feelings with us, his classmates in a very vulnerable fashion:

Sometimes I wanna barf. I haven’t raised a kid who went or will go to Dartmouth. Those days are over. I’m not a CFO of a Fortune 500 company. Or managing partner of a major law firm. Mostly I’m a lacrosse coach. And a writer. I’ve fought progressive fights. My kids fight them too. Daily. Sometimes our well being depends on it. One as a brown skinned actress, one as an adopted dropout who watched his classmate get shot. We have battled drug addiction, depression, suicide attempts and a school shooting. Life is neither easy nor glamorous. But we care and we love. And usually that is enough. I’m so grateful for many of my classmates particularly those at NRO (the band). But honestly, my connection with most of Dartmouth is gone. I wish it weren’t so. I love Dartmouth. It just doesn’t belong to me anymore.”

scott evans
Scott coaching lacrosse

Many reached out on our class Facebook thread, in support of him and others feeling such difficulties, such disconnect with a past and with life.  They encouraged him to attend our reunion and to reconnect with friends who cared.  Among the many responses was mine:

Scott responded to the many comments of support and caring:

Scott more recently commented some on my Facebook listentothemusic.com blog post regarding “Love”, wondering if I had included some songs in my Spotify playlist:

Little did I know that would be my last conversation with Scott, albeit a digital/social media conversation, yet a conversation no less.  I do believe the last time I saw Scott in person was sometime in 1993 when playing in Charlottesville, likely playing in his band, though I may have seen him at our 20th or 25th reunion if he was in attendance.  I just don’t recall.  But I know it saddens me that his smiling face, his laugh, his infectious energy, enthusiasm, and passion is no longer on this planet.  I worry for his children, and how his loss will impact their lives.

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us.

albert einstein

How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?

carson mccullers

We don’t know what tomorrow may bring.  We don’t know many days, years, or decades we each have left.  We don’t know challenges we may face in life, what storms we need to weather, was struggles we need to endure, and how such events may strain and even break us.  And how do we continue on from there?  What hope is there to dig out from under such burdensome weight?

We must try not to sink beneath our anguish… but battle on.

Albus dumbledore, harry potter & the half-blood prince

“ If you see him in the street, walking by himself, talking to himself, have pity. He is working through the unimaginable.” [Hamilton] As we go through our day to day lives, we forget to show grace and understanding towards others. We easily come to the judgement of those around us and forget that there are those facing worse trials and hardships.

Carrie r.

Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light

albus dumbledore, harry potter & the prisoner of azkaban

What we can try to do is be available to each other, to try to stay in touch with each other, to let others know we are available and care and are there if needed.  Is that enough?  What else can we do in support of those with struggles, whatever they may be?

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

harriet beecher-stowe

Just prior to reading on our college class Facebook page that Scott had passed I posted a blog on Heaven, with a link to the following Spotify playlist:

Coincidence?  I think not.  I believe such timely happenstance, aligning of the cosmos type occurrences are more divinely directed.  The playlist includes “Heaven” songs by the likes of Hendrix*, Joplin*, Morrison*, Lennon, Bonham, Cobain*, Winehouse*, Van Halen, Cornell and company, all of whom died untimely deaths, many* part of the infamous “27 Club,” dying at the age of 27. Scott made it just a bit beyond twice that, with today marking what would have been his 56th birthday.

Below is the playlist that will forever remind me of Scott, with vivid images of his youthful college self playing “Forever Man” with his Cheshire cat grin ear to ear, giving me a shout-out, and chatting with me between songs and sets. 

Here’s to you Scott.  Thanks for the impact you have made in so many lives, for rocking, for caring, for defending, for supporting, for loving, for being a friend.  You will be sorely missed.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

queen elizabeth ii

Forever Young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

bob dylan

Now And Forever

Whenever I’m weary
From the battles that rage in my head
You make sense of madness
When my sanity hangs by a thread
I lose my way but still you seem to understand
Now and forever
I will be your man

richard marx

Hold On Forever

Another night and here we are again
All our faults laid out ahead
Let it out, then let it right back in
All those voices in your head

And we both know everything, but we can’t learn to leave
So I’ll tell you what you need

First thing: we make you feel better
Next stop: we pull it all together
I’ll keep you warm like a sweater
Take my hand, hold on forever
Just fall apart if you need to
I’m here and I won’t leave you now
Don’t look down
Hold on forever

Lay down all your troubles end to end
They could reach up to the stars
So many roads, you don’t know where you’ve been
But you still know who you are

rob thomas

Forever Love

Minutes and hours and years may go by,
But my heart knows nothing of time
So don’t cry, just keep me right there,
In your dreams…
And hold on to these words of mine…

Forever love
I promise you
Someday we’ll be together,
Forever love

reba mcentire

You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

Life is full of sweet mistakes
And love’s an honest one to make
Time leaves no fruit on the tree
But you’re gonna live forever in me
I guarantee, it’s just meant to be

john mayer

While not Forever songs, I wanted to include the following two songs in the blog post as well as the playlist, as they seem a fitting tribute to Scott and what he was about. They are the full versions of the two songs included in the Hamilton-Dear Evan Hansen video mashup that was mentioned in Facebook conversation not long before his passing. The first is from his favorite musical, Hamilton:

The Story of Tonight

I may not live to see our glory
But I will gladly join the fight.
And when our children tell our story
They’ll tell the story of tonight…

Raise a glass to freedom
Something they can never take away
No matter what they tell you…

Hamilton

And this from Scott’s second favorite musical Dear Evan Hansen, a plea of sorts, though you may feel abandoned and alone in moments of sadness, frustration, anger, pain, dejection – that “you are not alone”…

You Will Be Found

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will come running
And I know, they’ll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found…

There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown
And every time that you call out
You’re a little less alone
If you only say the word
From across the silence your voice is heard

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found…

Out of the shadows
The morning is breaking
And all is new, all is new
It’s filling up the empty
And suddenly I see that
All is new, all is new

You are not alone…

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found!
So when the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found…

dear evan hansen

Scott – I believe had I been there as you transitioned to journey on to your next venue to rock it out, I might have heard you shout out to me something like “Stay Gold Ponyboy.”    And I might have responded, as I live my life in music, with song quotes “it’s so hard to say goodbye,” “thanks for the memories,” “I won’t forget you,” “you’ll be in my heart,” “until we meet again”…

May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.

j.r.r. tolkien, the hobbit

And onto the playlist, which really takes a backseat in importance compared to the significance of the blog itself with memories in tribute of Scott. Still there are some great songs, of course Clapton’s “Forever Man,” which will forever make me think of Scott, as well as Alphaville’s, Bob Dylan’s, Rod Stewart’s, and Chris Isaak’s “Forever Young,” Queen’s “Who Wants To Live Forever,” The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever,” Rick Astley’s “Together Forever,” and Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl,” among so many other offerings.

And to clarify, the playlist is NOT a list of songs reminding me of Scott. It pre-dates his passing. The impetus for dedicating it to him is the “Forever Man” connection, as well as several songs being poignant to the sentiment, but many are just songs with Forever in their title. Still a fun playlist:

I also made a companion playlist of Country Forever songs. The playlist is dominated by Dolly Parton. I guess “forever” really resonates with Dolly.

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems… But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh” 

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Little prince

When I listen to “Forever Man”, or when I look at the stars, I’ll remember you and your ear-to-ear grin, that Cheshire cat smile, and smile myself for having known you, for I’ve been changed for the better, changed for good.

For Good

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return…

Because I knew you
I have been changed for good…

WICKED

For those touched by Scott in their life and who may want to do something in his memory, his family has asked for consideration of contributions to the Jed Foundation, “a nonprofit that protects the emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, giving them the skills and support they need to thrive today… and tomorrow.”

https://jedfoundation.org

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