♫ I Heard It Through The Grapevine ♫

Marvin Gaye.  Motown.  Sigh … they just don’t make it like that anymore, my friends.

This song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966.  Strong first came up with the idea and asked the famous Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland to work on it with them, but the team refused to credit another writer, so Whitfield and Strong it was.

The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967 when it went to number two in the Billboard chart.  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles were the first to record the song, but theirs wouldn’t be released for

The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Motown founder Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye

Ooh, I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew
‘Bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys you know I love you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday
Don’tcha know that I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
Oh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh)

I know a man ain’t supposed to cry
But these tears I can’t hold inside
Losin’ you would end my life you see
‘Cause you mean that much to me
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else
Instead I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

People say believe half of what you see, son
And none of what you hear
But I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don’tcha know I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Baby I heard it through the grapevine
Ooh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Honey, honey, I know
That you’re lettin’ me go
Said, I heard it through the grapevine
Heard it through the grapevine

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield
I Heard It Through the Grapevine (American Tour Live) lyrics © Stone Agate Music, Emi Music Publishing France, Jobete Music Co Inc, Stone Agate Music Corp

♫ ?? ♫

I’m doing something a bit different tonight, but you’re gonna love it!  A friend who knows I love Stevie Wonder sent me this video.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with ‘Carpool Karaoke’ or not, but it’s something relatively new, a recurring segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden in which host James Corden, invites famous musical guests to sing along to their songs with him whilst travelling in a car driven by Corden on a planned route usually in Los Angeles, usually under the pretense of needing to get to work and preferring to use the high-occupancy carpool vehicle lane, or the pretext of needing directions from a local when in a new town, such as London (with Adele) or Liverpool (with Paul McCartney) or New York City (with Madonna) or Las Vegas (with Céline Dion).

I had seen the one with Paul McCartney, but didn’t realize there was an entire series of the ‘Carpool Karaoke’ videos!

James Corden, for my U.S. friends, is a British television late night host who, along with  with Welsh actress Ruth Jones, co-created and co-wrote the brilliant British sitcom Gavin & Stacey which, by the way, daughter Chris absolutely loves!

Now, take a couple of minutes to watch … you’re going to laugh, I promise, especially when Stevie does his British accent!

♫ Wooly Bully ♫

Here’s one I bet you haven’t heard in a while!  The year was 1965 and this was the first and biggest hit for Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs.  It became a worldwide success, selling three million copies and reaching #2 in the U.S.  It reached #11 in the UK and was the first U.S. record to sell a million copies during the British Invasion, influenced by the British rock sound mixed with traditional Mexican-American rhythms.

The lyrics of “Wooly Bully” were hard to understand, and some radio stations actually banned the song. The lyrics describe a conversation between “Mattie” and “Hattie” concerning the “Wooly Bully” (a creature which Mattie describes as “a thing she saw [that] had two big horns and a wooly jaw”) and the desirability of developing dancing skills, though I have no idea what the connection between the two are.  “Let’s not be L-7”, means “Let’s not be square”, from the shape formed by the fingers making an L on one hand and a 7 on the other.  I never knew that!

Sam is Domingo “Sam” Samudio, known for his camp robe and turban and hauling his equipment in a 1952 Packard hearse with maroon velvet curtains.Sam-Sham-hearseAccording to Sam …

“The name of my cat was ‘Wooly Bully’, so I started from there. The count down part of the song was also not planned. I was just goofing around and counted off in Tex-Mex. It just blew everybody away, and actually, I wanted it taken off the record. We did three takes, all of them different, and they took the first take and released it.”

Wooly Bully
Sam the Sham, & The Pharaohs

Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro
Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw
Had two big horns and a wooly jaw
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Hatty told Matty, let’s don’t take no chance
Let’s not be l-seven, come and learn to dance
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Matty told Hatty, that’s the thing to do
Get you someone really to pull the wool with you
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Songwriters: Domingo Samudio
Wolly Bully lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Music Sales Corporation

♫ Abraham, Martin and John ♫

Most nights when I post my music post, I am feeling in the need of something upbeat, or something Motown to calm my frazzled nerves and remind me of a seemingly happier day.  Tonight, however, I am feeling more … introspective.  Looking back at what might have been … and what was.  So, instead of light and happy, or sad and sappy, tonight I give you …

A tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans, all icons of social change: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy.  This song was written in response to the assassination of King and that of Robert Kennedy in April and June 1968, respectively.  More than 50 years … can it really have been so long ago?  I remember it … truly as if it were just a few weeks ago.  As I listen to this song, I cannot help but choke … remembering … the hope these men brought us … how I wish they were here today … 😢

The original version was recorded by Dion Francis DiMucci, better known simply as Dion.  Although the song has been recorded by many of my favourites such as Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, the Brothers Four, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Whitney Houston, and Smokey Robinson, to name a few, the Dion version remains my favourite.  And so, I bring you, in honour of four truly great men whose lives, because they were great, because they worked tirelessly for equality for all, were cut far too short …

Abraham, Martin And John
Dion DiMucci

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend John,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Didn’t you love the things they stood for?
Didn’t they try to find some good for you and me?
And we’ll be free,
Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him walkin’ up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin and John.

Songwriters: Richard Holler
Abraham, Martin And John lyrics © Regent Music Corporation, Stonehenge Music

♫ Hard To Say I’m Sorry ♫

I’m hungry … and therefore, it is inevitable that I would play something by Chicago tonight, right?

This song marked a resurgence for Chicago, who had been dropped from their longtime label, Columbia Records, and picked up by the Full Moon label, distributed by Warner Bros.  Hard to Say I’m Sorry was their first single on Full Moon, providing an instant return for the label when the song went to #1 in the U.S. and even became a rare UK hit for Chicago, reaching #4.

Chicago vocalist Peter Cetera wrote this with David Foster, who also played piano on the track.  Foster worked on a similarly themed song for Earth, Wind & Fire a few years earlier in After The Love Has Gone .

Steve Lukather (guitar), David Paich (synthesizer) and Steve Porcaro (synthesizer), all played on this track. These guys were top studio musicians as well as members of Toto. Bringing them in caused plenty of friction in the band, which didn’t like the idea of other musicians playing their parts. But David Foster knew exactly what he wanted, and was willing to bring in the guys who could achieve it.  Bill Champlin, who joined the band in 1981 and suggested they use Foster, explained …

“Foster would just as soon call the A players and bring them in, and I really don’t blame him. Real major players that can get this stuff for you in a minute. They really eyeball with the producer once and give it to him on take one.”

Hard to Say I’m Sorry
Chicago

Everybody needs a little time away
I heard her say
From each other

Even lovers need a holiday
Far away from each other

Hold me now
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to stay

After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to

And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just a part of me I can’t let go

Couldn’t stand to be kept away
Just for the day
From your body
Wouldn’t want to be swept away
Far away
From the one that I love

Hold me now
It is hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to know
Hold me now
I really want to tell you I’m sorry
I could never let you go

After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to

After all that’s been said and done
You’re just a part of me I can’t let go

After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to

Songwriters: Peter P. Cetera / David Walter Foster
Hard to Say I’m Sorry lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Black Is Black ♫

The world may be falling apart before our very eyes, but there’s one thing that can help us shut it all out for a little while, help us remember a saner time, things that mattered once upon a time, can bring a smile to our face and make us tap our toes, if only for a short time … music.  I was in the mood for some toe-tapping tunes tonight, and I happened across one from way back in 1966 that I always liked.

This song is by Los Bravos, a Spanish quintet with a German lead singer – Mike Kogel.  It is one of the few songs by a group from a non-English speaking country to have an international hit, in part because they were one of the few Spanish acts to sing in English.

After getting tipped to the group by someone at Decca Records in Spain, the British producer Ivor Raymonde took a trip to that country and signed the group, who at the time were using the name Mike & The Runaways. He brought them to London and had them record “Black Is Black,” which was their first release as Los Bravos.

This song was written by the British team of Michelle Grainger, Tony Hayes and Steve Wadey.

Now, I’m playing two versions here … both by Los Bravos, but one is the 1966 Los Bravos, and the other, just for fun, is Los Bravos … um … some years later, though I’m not sure of the exact date, I believe it is circa 2015.  Quite honestly, I think they sound just as good, maybe even better, nearly 50 years later as they did way back when, and the sound quality of the video is far superior!

Black Is Black 
Los Bravos

Black is black, I want my baby back
It’s grey, it’s grey, since she went away, oh oh
What can I do, ’cause I, I’m feelin’ blue

If I had my way, she’d be here today
But she’d go in time, and leave me to cry again, oh no
What can I do, ’cause I, I’m feelin’ blue

I can’t choose, it’s too much to lose when our love’s too strong
Maybe if she would come back to me, then I can’t go wrong

Bad is bad, that I feel so sad
It’s time, it’s time, that I felt peace of mind, oh oh
What can I do, ’cause I, I’m feelin’ blue

I can’t choose, it’s too much to lose when our love’s too strong
Maybe if she would come back to me, then I can’t go wrong

Black is black, I want my baby back
It’s grey, it’s grey, since she went away, oh oh
What can I do, ’cause I, I’m feelin’ blue

‘Cause I, I’m feelin’ blue, ’cause I, I’m feelin’ blue

Songwriters: Anthony Hayes / Michelle Grainger / Steve Wadey
Black Is Black Mono Single lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Rock With You ♫

I literally just spun the wheel and blindly put my finger down tonight, and it happened to land on this one!  Well, the 4th time, anyway.  😉

Released in 1979 by Michael Jackson, this was produced by Quincy Jones and written by Rod Temperton, who was the keyboard player and primary songwriter in the group Heatwave.  The song was first offered to Karen Carpenter, but she turned it down … somehow I cannot picture Karen doing this song.

The original title was “I Want To Eat You Up,” but it was quickly changed to fit Jackson’s image as a wholesome heartthrob.

Music critic J. Edward Keyes of Rolling Stone said …

“What’s remarkable about “Rock With You” is how unobtrusive it is: a silky string section and barely-there twitch of guitar — Michael doesn’t even hit the word “Rock” all that hard — he just glides over it, preferring to charm with a wink and a smile rather than with aggression or ferocity.”

I know of at least one person who’s going to hate this selection (rawgod), and maybe some others, but hey … it’s where the finger landed!  Fickle finger of fate, I believe it’s called.

Rock With You
Michael Jackson

Girl, close your eyes
Let that rhythm get into you
Don’t try to fight it
There ain’t nothing that you can do
Relax your mind
Lay back and groove with mine
You gotta feel that heat
And we can ride the boogie
Share that beat of love

I want to rock with you (all night)
Dance you into day (sunlight)
I want to rock with you (all night)
Rock the night away

Out on the floor
There ain’t nobody there but us
Girl when you dance
There’s a magic that must be love
Just take it slow
‘Cause we got so far to go
You gotta feel that heat
And we can ride the boogie
Share that beat of love

I want to rock with you (all night)
Dance you into day (sunlight)
I want to rock with you (all night)
Rock the night away

And when the groove is dead and gone (yeah)
You know that love survives
So we can rock forever, on

I want to rock with you
I want to groove with you

I want to rock (all night) with you girl (sunlight)
Rock with you, rock with you girl (yeah) (all night)
Dance the night away

I want to rock with you (yeah) (all night)
Rock you into day (sunlight)
I want to rock with you (all night)
Rock the night away

Feel the heat feel the heat
Rock you into day (sunlight)
I want to rock-rock the night away.

Songwriters: Rodney Lynn Temperton
Rock With You lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Tratore

♫ Rainy Day People ♫

The mind wanders … at 2:00 a.m. … at age 68 … at times when it is troubled.  I was rolling smokes tonight … a pain, but it saves me around $2,000 per year, so well worth it … and I found myself humming this one.  Why?  I dunno.

There is almost no trivia I can find on this one by Gordon Lightfoot, other than when he was once asked who his rainy day people are, he replied ….

“That one is so easy, it’s the family. It’s the extended family. They are the rainy day people.”

I read the lyrics, listened to the music, and … I have lots of ‘rainy day people’ … if you are reading this today, you’re most likely one of them, and I thank you from the core of my being.  Love ‘n hugs to you all …

Rainy Day People
Gordon Lightfoot

Rainy day people always seem to know when it’s time to call
Rainy day people don’t talk
They just listen till they’ve heard it all
Rainy day lovers don’t lie when they tell you
They’ve been down like you
Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two

If you get lonely, all you really need is that rainy day love
Rainy day people all know there’s no sorrow
They can’t rise above
Rainy day lovers don’t love any others
That would not be kind
Rainy day people all know how it hangs
On their peace of mind

Rainy day lovers don’t lie when they tell you
They’ve been down there, too
Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two

Rainy day people always seem to know
When you’re feelin’ blue
High stepping strutters who land in the gutters
Sometimes need one, too
Take it or leave it or try to believe it,
If you’ve been down too long,
Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside, they just pass it on

Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside, they just pass it on

Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot
Rainy Day People lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Hold On ♫ (Redux)

I played this one in October 2018, but I was talking with a friend … the same friend whose suggestion prompted me to play the song the first time … a couple of nights ago, and neither of us could remember whether I had actually played it or not.  I checked, and I had, but I thought I’d play it again tonight.  Why?  Just because it’s a good song and it suits me to play it again.  😊

In this case, the group has a more interesting history than the actual song itself.  The group, Wilson Phillips, is a trio of three female singers:  Chynna Phillips, Carnie Wilson & Wendy Wilson. Chyna Phillips is the daughter of John & Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas, and the two Wilson girls are the daughters of Brian Wilson of Beach Boy  fame, and Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys.  They all grew up together in Southern California and the girls started the group when they were only teens.

The song, Hold On, released in 1990, hit the #1 spot in the U.S. and Canada, and #6 in the UK and New Zealand.  The song won the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for 1990. At the Grammy Awards of 1991, the song received a nomination for Song of the Year, losing to From a Distance by Julie Gold and performed by Bette Midler.

Hold On
Wilson Phillips

I know there’s pain
Why do you lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you
Don’t ever let anyone step all over you
Just open your heart and your mind
Is it really fair to feel this way inside?

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day

You could sustain
Or are you comfortable with the pain?
You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness
You got yourself into your own mess
Lettin’ your worries pass you by
Don’t you think it’s worth your time
To change your mind?

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day

I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and
Break free the chains
Yeah I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and you
Break free, break from the chains

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day yeah
If you hold on

Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
If you hold on
Can you hold on
Hold on baby
Won’t you tell me now
Hold on for one more day ’cause
It’s gonna go your way

Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can’t you change it this time

Make up your mind
Hold on
Hold on
Baby hold on

Songwriters: Carnie Wilson / Chynna Phillips / Glen Ballard
Hold On lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ ? ♫

It’s been a bit of a rocky week here in the U.S.  I haven’t had much music running through my head, only words that you’d rather not hear.  So, as I was traipsing around the ‘Net tonight in search of a song, I came across a medley by two of my favourite artists, Stevie Wonder and Tom Jones from Tom Jones’ television show in 1969 — way back when.  I listened … I found a strange sensation on my face … like something tugging at the corners of my mouth … pulling them upward.  Could it be … could this actually be … the beginnings of a smile?  And then, I played it a second time … and yeah, there’s a smile alright … damn but these two guys are goooooood … doesn’t matter what they sing … they’re solid gold all the way.  So tonight, no trivia, no lyrics, just music and two very talented artists … just listen, relax, and … SMILE!