April 5, 2020

hey, hey, hey – what's happening?

My friend Sue recently told me that her first concert was The Doobie Brothers on Cape Cod in 1978. I immediately thought of this:

What's Happening!! (1976-79) was one of my favorite shows as a kid. Rerun (Fred Berry) was well-known for his locking. Check him out.

Here are some kids locking on American Bandstand circa 1975.

March 31, 2020

Boston's WBCN

As a teenager in the late 1970s and early 80s, radio stations were my window to the world. During junior high after getting a clock radio for my bedroom, JB105 out of Providence, RI was my favorite station for pop music. In the 9th grade while briefly diggin' hard rock, WAAF out of Worcester, MA did it for me. During the 10th grade, WCOZ was very popular and many kids wore COZ t-shirts to school. But in the 11th grade, I discovered WBCN and was obsessed. My parents bought a new car that year and without permission I slapped a BCN sticker on the bumper. It was 1982 and music was changing. New-wave was becoming big and BCN rotated this new genre into its repertoire. I would travel to Boston to Newbury Comics when there was only one store on Newbury Street to buy my 45s because Strawberries didn't carry the local music I was hearing on BCN. Below, are some of the actual 45s that I bought during that unique time in music history:

WBCN introduced me to Lene Lovich, one of my favs from that era:

March 26, 2020

hands across the water...

...and everywhere else must be kept clean. Stay safe folks!

March 16, 2020

separated at birth

Jean Knight performs Mr. Big Stuff on Soul Train in 1971.

March 8, 2020

Sunday morning dose of 1965

This 1965 Shangri-Las tune has a definite Motown influence.

March 1, 2020

keep it simple

I'm fascinated with simple, minimalistic atmospheres. Here's a segment about a 1936 art deco building designed as an experiment in minimal living. Here's another cool one from Hong Kong.

February 22, 2020

February 1, 2020

chicks that rock

Here's a terrific live version of Live by The Bangles. It was originally recorded in 1967 by the west-coast band The Merry-Go-Round.

January 25, 2020

hee hee hee

This scene from 1969 is so delightfully bizarre, I'm making reservations at this place immediately. The choreography is by Bob Fosse.

January 18, 2020

Voices in the Sky

Sometimes we just need to slow down, sit still, listen to a beautiful song and let the feelings flow. This has been my top choice as of late.

January 12, 2020

I challenge you to a shimmy

Instead of shooting missiles at each other, what if we had dance-offs
to solve our world problems? Do The Monkey, Trump, shake it!  :-o

January 5, 2020

December 29, 2019

That Old Black Magic

This 1959 performance makes me laugh every time. I love their chemistry. Learn about this talented husband and wife team.

Jump, Jive an' Wail, Louis Prima, 1956

December 22, 2019

December 14, 2019

Looking for a new job?

Then try to dress as professionally as possible for the best results.

December 7, 2019

Is your organ happy?

The Booker T. show still has me jonesing for more organ so I've reconnected with my old friends Cherry Wainer and Don Storer. Thank God for people like Cherry. How cute and fun was she?! I'm impressed her teeny poodle sitting on the bench could stand all that stimulation.

The Happy Organ, Dave "Baby" Cortez, 1959

November 29, 2019

Happy day-after Thanksgiving

Ate too much pie? Y'all cats and chicks will need these tips.

November 23, 2019

Booker T. Jones

I saw one of my favorites at The Narrows in Fall River last night – a new venue for me. It’s about an hour from Boston but a breeze coming home. I will definitely be going back. You can bring your own food and drink. Tables are reserved but seats are first come first served. Booker T. Jones read from his new memoir, had a brief QA with the audience, and jammed with his son and 2 other fabulous musicians. What a blast to hear him play his Booker T. and the MGs greats right there on his Hammond organ. He talked about recording Dock of the Bay, which was the last time he played with Otis Redding. While he sang it, the audience joined in with the whistling that occurs at the end of the song. I’ll never forget that. Check out this joint. Learn about Stax Records.

Hip Hug-Her, 1967

Soul Limbo, 1968

Time Is Tight, 1968

November 22, 2019

three-part harmonies

Really diggin' this video of The Hollies doing their thang. Woohoo!

November 9, 2019

Ghost Riders in the Sky

I love everything about this circa 1961 performance by Neil LaVang.

November 2, 2019

Southern California beach culture

I've always been a beach person and intrigued by the SOCA lifestyle. Have you? Then check out the history of this coastline. Cowabunga!

October 26, 2019

October 19, 2019

Saturday morning dose of The Stones

The Rolling Stones perform on The Ed Sullivan Show circa 1964.

Here's a great montage of the appearances on the show in the 1960s including their infamous Let's Spend Some "TIME" Together performance. The audiences were outta control. I get it though.

A lot going on here. Some approve, some don't – just like life.

October 15, 2019

Try some, buy some, fe, fi, foe, fum

I loved this song when it came out 40 years ago and still love it today. It reached number 1 in the United States in November 1979.

October 5, 2019

Saturday morning dose of The Beatles

The band sing Two of Us in 1969 from the 1970 Let It Be film.

Two of Us, 1969

September 28, 2019

Are you a cool one?

Then you must know The Tantrum. Slip on your go-go boots, tug on those tight pants and shake it! Hurry up time machine invention.

Lets all give a round of applause for the fabulous Mrs. Miller.

Downtown, Mrs. Miller, 1966

September 24, 2019

Ken Burns' Country Music

I love learning through documentaries. The combination of the narration, visuals, film footage, music, and interviews make it so easy for concepts to sink in. The recent documentary on PBS has been one of my favorites to date. Even if you don't dig country music, it's a fascinating lesson in 20th century American history. My dad would often break out into tunes I had never heard before, at times with a strange, yodelly twang. Those songs make so much sense to me now after seeing the segments from the 1930s and 40s. The sections of the documentary from the 1950s and 60s made me the most tingly. This music always makes my ears prick up. The backstories are so interesting to me – how one's life progressed from being dirt poor, troubled or doubted by others to becoming world-famous and influencing so many. Yippee-ki-yay!

I love the talent that came out of 1950s and 60s country music:

Johnny Cash    Patsy Cline     The Everly Brothers
Elvis Presley    Kris Kristofferson    Dolly Parton
Faron Young    George Jones    Tammy Wynette
Jeannie C. Riley   Bobbie Gentry   Loretta Lynn 
Glen Campbell    Don Gibson    Marty Robbins
Brenda Lee   Hank Snow   Hank Williams

If you have any interest in music, it'll behoove you to catch this series.
I challenge you not to tap your feet and want to sing along.

Above are photos of my parents in the 1930s during the Great Depression when they were hearing folks like Gene Autry and Jimmie Rodgers while gathered around the radio like the Walton family.

September 20, 2019

Fly Like an Eagle

I was saddened by the recent passing of musician/artist Ric Ocasek of the band The Cars. Shortly after turning 13 during the summer of 1978, I bought The Cars' debut albummy second 33 rpm record. The album sat in the back seat of the car while shopping with my mom and warped from the hot sun. When I played it, the needle would bop over the bumps but it never skipped. Lesson learned. The first 33 rpm record I bought was Book of Dreams by The Steve Miller Band. It didn't contain the tune Fly Like an Eagle, but that song was one of my favorites at that time. Sometimes in life, we think bad things are happening to us, but in reality, the Universe is nudging us in another direction towards our true purpose and path, which will bring us more joy, fulfillment, and happiness. When we have the courage to look inward, dive deep, heal past wounds, follow our dreams and move on with gratitude, we are rewarded. We are then truly able to fly like an eagle and soar.

Fly Like an Eagle, The Steve Miller Band, 1976

Here are some Cars videos that will forever make my heart smile:

Just What I Needed
My Best Friend's Girl
Danerous Type 
Let's Go
All Mixed Up
Bye Bye Love 
Since You're Gone

Above are the first two albums I ever bought while a 7th grader.

September 14, 2019

beautiful Janis

Broadway came to the Cabot last night with A Night with Janis Joplin and it was better than great. Janis' spirit and voice took over the body of Mary Bridget Davies. Incredible. The show centers around Joplin telling stories of the singers who inspired her – from Bessie Smith, Odetta, The Chantels, Etta James and Aretha Franklin to Nina Simone. The four women who played these roles received many standing Os but what blew everyone away was the voice of Davies. My favorite scene was the character of Janis talking about cleaning the house with her siblings every Saturday while her mom blasted Broadway albums. These tunes influenced Janis deeply – Summertime from Porgy and Bess being one of them. She would then channel Joplin, belting out her renditions. If you're a Janis Joplin fan, you will loooooooove this show. Everything about it is fantastic: the performances, the band and the set with a balcony from where the "inspirations" sang. Prepare to be awed.

September 13, 2019

Naturally 7

I saw the most unique, inspiring and entertaining show at the intimate TCAN last night. Naturally 7 is a 7-person vocal band where no instruments are used. All sounds come from their mouths and it is mind-boggling. Beatboxing x10. I never wooooohooooooed so much in my life. Originally from NYC and together for 20 years, they've been traveling the world performing their thang to much delight. Besides original work, they sang familiar tunes from Englishman in New York to While My Guitar Gently Weeps with an incredible vocalized guitar solo. How he did that, I'd like to know. Two members are brothers and they talked about having no non-religious music in their home growing up except for 3 albums: a Glen Campbell album, a John Denver album and a Simon and Garfunkel album – then breaking into a melodious S&G medley. If these guys come to your area and you want your mind blown, see them. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. What a way to start a new chapter in life! Once again, wooooooohoooooooooooo!

September 9, 2019

don't panic

I think there's more panic nowadays other than in Detroit. Here's
David Bowie discussing the throes of having long hair in 1964.

Panic in Detroit, 1973

August 31, 2019

Saturday morning dose of The Beatles

Paperback Writer and the B-side Rain were released in May 1966.

August 25, 2019


While attending a wonderfully bizarre and galactified weekend retreat,
I could not get this song outta da head. How does your light shine?

August 18, 2019

Paul Simon on Sesame Street

Check out the cutie innocently upstaging Paul Simon in the 70s.

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, 1972

El Condor Pasa (If I Could), 1970