♫ Hello ♫ (Redux)

According to my records, I last played this one in September 2019, just two years ago.  I’m still reduxing this week to conserve my small amount of energy, but this one always brings a happy feeling to my heart … partly, of course, because … well, it’s Lionel!!!  And partly because it’s a beautiful song in my book.

Tonight’s selection, Hello, was Lionel’s second #1 song after leaving the Commodores and going solo (Truly, which I almost played tonight, was his first).  The album that features tonight’s song, Can’t Slow Down, won the 1984 Grammy for Album of the Year, and is the biggest-selling album in the history of Motown Records.

When you think of Motown, you probably think of Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and The Temptations, but Lionel Richie was also one of their biggest stars, and Hello was one of their biggest hits, especially in Britain. It was Motown’s first ever UK million selling single.

The song was promoted with a much derided video which included dialogue. Lionel Richie plays a teacher, Mr. Reynolds, who falls in love with a blind pottery student, Laura. When he looks in at her class, he finds that she has made a perfect clay model of his head. During the making of the video, Richie protested to the director Bob Giraldi that the story about the blind woman had no relationship to the song. Giraldi replied to him, “You’re not creating the story, I am.” The video was voted the worst music video of all time (don’t worry — I’m not playing that one!) in a poll of 8,000 music fans by UK TV music channel The Box, but Giraldi, who also directed Michael Jackson’s Beat It, stands by it. He’s quoted in the book I Want My MTV as saying, “I came up with the idea of a blind girl and Lionel as a teacher. ‘Hello’ is one of the top videos ever.” Giraldi adds that Richie was concerned that the bust didn’t look like him, until Giraldi pointed out that the girl making it was supposed to be blind.

Hello

Lionel Richie

I’ve been alone with you inside my mind
And in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times
I sometimes see you pass outside my door
Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You’re all I’ve ever wanted, and my arms are open wide
‘Cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much, I love you

I long to see the sunlight in your hair
And tell you time and time again how much I care
Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow
Hello, I’ve just got to let you know

‘Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven’t got a clue
But let me start by saying, I love you

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
‘Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven’t got a clue
But let me start by saying I love you

Songwriters: Lionel Richie / Eddy Marnay
Hello lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ September Morn ♫ (Redux)

Okay, I have a number of friends a generation or so younger than I who laugh and say I’m showing my age when I say I like Neil Diamond, but they don’t scare me off.  I like Neil Diamond.  There, I said it.  Sweet Caroline, Cracklin’ Rosie, I am … I said, Song Sung Blue … and all the rest … they resonate.  Fine, throw those rotten tomatoes if you will, but I still like them.

I was feeling a bit nostalgic tonight … it’s been rather the week from hell and I am, as I told my daughter, rather mad at the world at the moment.  As I was reading and responding to comments tonight, a friend had mentioned the word “September” and that was all it took for my mind to start playing this song, September Morn, in my head.  “We danced until the night became a brand new day …” over and over.

There isn’t a lot of interesting trivia about this song, except perhaps this …

The Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo was 20 years old when she vanished on April 13, 2011. As usual in cases of this nature, a number of “psychics” came forward with information that could assist the investigation. Authorities made it clear that these dubious tips were interfering with the investigation, but volunteer groups pushed to follow the leads.

Among the calls that came in was one from a person who insisted that the lyrics to “September Morn” contained clues to Bobo’s disappearance. Just what the lyrics supposedly revealed about the case was unclear, but it made news along with other odd claims.

Naturally, nothing came of it, although sometime later, one September in 2014, her remains were found.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you … Neil Diamond …

September Morn
Neil Diamond

Stay for just a while
Stay and let me look at you
It’s been so long, I hardly knew you
Standing in the door

Stay with me a while
I only wanna talk to you
We’ve traveled halfway ’round the world
To find ourselves again

September morn
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day
Two lovers playing scenes
From some romantic play
September morning
Still can make me feel that way

Look at what you’ve done
Why, you’ve become a grown-up girl
I still can hear you crying
In a corner of your room
And look how far we’ve come
So far from where we used to be
But not so far that we’ve forgotten
How it was before

September morn
Do you remember
How we danced that night away
Two lovers playing scenes
From some romantic play
September morning
Still can make me feel that way

September morn
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day
Two lovers playing scenes
From some romantic play
September morning
Still can make me feel that way

September morn
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day
Two lovers playing scenes
From some romantic play
September morning
Still can make me feel that way
September morning
Still can make me feel that way

Songwriters: Gilbert Becaud / Neil Diamond
September Morn lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Unforgettable ♫ (Redux)

I’ve really missed doing my music post these past couple of weeks.  I knew I didn’t have the energy to start a new one tonight, so I went back through my archives, I haven’t played this one since 2018 and … listening to it just made me feel happy inside, so I decided to redux it.  I hope you enjoy …

This song was first released by the late, great Nat King Cole with orchestra leader and arranger Nelson Riddle in 1951.  Nat King Cole was biggest seller for Capitol Records for much of the late ’40s and early ’50s. He did a lot of work with Nelson Riddle at Capitol, but Unforgettable was the first session where Riddle got an official credit for his arrangement. The two continued to work together, with Riddle doing orchestrations for The Nat King Cole Show, a variety show Cole hosted in 1956 that was the first of its kind starring a black man. Riddle also did a lot of work with Frank Sinatra when he joined Capitol in 1953.

Nat King Cole’s daughter, Natalie, grew up in his shadow and largely made an effort to stay away from singing so she wouldn’t face the expectations of being Nat King Cole’s daughter.  Her father died just 11 days after her 15th birthday.  In 1991, forty years after the original release, Natalie Cole breathed new life into the song, dubbing her vocals with his to make a new hit.  It is the title song on her album, Unforgettable… with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole seven Grammy Awards.

Natalie Cole died on 31 December 2015 of congestive heart failure.  She was 65 years of age.

Unforgettable
Nat King Cole

Unforgettable
That’s what you are
Unforgettable
Tho’ near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more
Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why darling it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why darling it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Songwriters: Irving Gordon
Unforgettable lyrics © Bourne Co.

♫ Have I Told You Lately ♫

This song was originally written and recorded by Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison for his nineteenth studio album Avalon Sunset (1989).  Although he would later rerecord the song with The Chieftans in 1995 which would go on to win a Grammy, Van Morrison’s original recording wasn’t wildly popular, ranking only at #12 in Ireland and the U.S., and #74 in the UK.

In 1991, Rod Stewart covered the song for his album Vagabond Heart.  When the single was released in 1993, it made the big time, charting at #1 in Canada, #5 in both the U.S. and the UK.  I didn’t recall Van Morrison’s recording of it, but I well remember liking Rod Stewart’s back in the day.

The song has been covered by many including Della Reece, Engelbert Humperdinck, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, and Barry Manilow.  Admittedly, I did not listen to the rest, so I cannot speak of them, but I did listen tonight to Van Morrison’s and Rod Stewart’s versions.  My preference is Rod Stewart, but I offer both so you can decide for yourself!

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Rod Stewart

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there’s no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do

For the morning sun and all it’s glory
Greets the day with hope and comfort, too
You fill my life with laughter
And somehow, you make it better
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do

There’s a love that’s divine
And it’s yours and it’s mine
Like the sun
And at the end of the day
We should give thanks and pray
To the one, to the one

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there’s no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do

There’s a love that’s divine
And it’s yours and it’s mine
Like the sun
And at the end of the day
We should give thanks and pray
To the one, to the one

And have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there’s no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do

Take away all my sadness, fill my life with gladness
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do
Take away all my sadness, fill my life with gladness
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Harold Rome
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You lyrics © Chappell & Co., Inc., Barrule Uk Ltd

♫ Green Green Grass Of Home ♫

After nearly three weeks of being under the weather, I’m trying very hard this week to get back in the saddle, back to my routine postings, including the morning music post.  But, since I’m still a bit weak and shaky, I may have to take a shortcut or two.  So … shhhhhh 🤫 … don’t tell anyone, but I stole this one from David’s Saturday music post!  It was at the top of the list and … well who doesn’t love Tom Jones?  Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to visit David’s music post where he offers much, much more!

Tom Jones decided to record this after hearing a version by Jerry Lee Lewis, a legendary rocker who had started making country records. A year after Johnny Darrell’s original version, Lewis recorded this on his album Country Songs For City Folks.

Jones recalled to The Mail On Sunday February 6, 2011:

“I used to collect anything Jerry Lee Lewis recorded, and still do. I was in New York in 1965 when I bought his country album Country Songs For City Folks. Green Green Grass Of Home stuck out.

I got on well with Jerry Lee. I did have a bit of a dust-up with him one night in Vegas, but most of the time, we got on great. He came over to do a British tour in 1966 and I had just recorded the song. He told me he’d love to hear it, so I played it to him in his hotel room. He was knocked out with it and said: ‘You’ve done something different here, the arrangement is great. It sounds like a No 1 to me.’ I said: ‘I hope you’re right.’ He was.”

Jones also discussed the song’s content in that interview …

“I think the lyrical content is important here. The guy in the song is really in a jail cell, but you don’t know until the end. That got to me. Good God, it paints a picture and yet a lot of people who love Green Green Grass Of Home don’t even realise that. This is about a man who is going to be hanged and he’s just reminiscing on the precious parts of his life.

It made me think of Wales when I recorded it – ‘the old home town looks the same’. When I went back to Pontypridd in those days, getting off the train from London, those words would ring true. It seems like a lot of people relate the sentiment to their home too.”

This song, released in 1965, hit #1 in the UK, #5 in Canada, and #11 in the U.S.  Sorry, Michael, I don’t believe it charted in Germany.  And now, thank you David for allowing me, although unknowingly, to ‘borrow’ a bit of your work!

Green Green Grass of Home
Tom Jones

The old hometown looks the same
As I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my mama and papa
Down the road I look and there runs Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they’ll all come to meet me
Arms reaching, smiling sweetly
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

The old house is still standing
Though the paint is cracked and dry
And there’s that old oak tree that I used to play on
Down the lane, I walk with my sweet Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

Then I awake and look around me
At four grey walls that surround me
And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming
For there’s a guard and there’s a sad, old padre
On and on, we’ll walk at daybreak
Again, I’ll touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they’ll all come to see me
In the shade of that old oak tree
As they lay me
‘Neath the green, green grass of home

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Curly Putman

Green Green Grass of Home lyrics © Tree International, Tree Publishing Co. Inc.

♫ The Everly Brothers — A Brief Tribute ♫

In my current state, it would almost certainly have escaped my notice, but for my dear friend Ellen who sent me an email to let me know that Don Everly, the older of the two Everly Brothers, had just died on Saturday at the age of 84.  He was preceded in death by his brother and musical partner, Phil, who died in 2014, sixteen days before he would have turned 75.

I well remember listening to the Everly Brothers as a child and during my early teen years.  They began writing and recording their own music in 1956, and their first hit song came in 1957, with Bye Bye Love, written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The song hit #2 in the spring of 1957, and additional hits would follow through 1958, many of them written by the Bryants, including Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do Is Dream, and Problems.  In 1960, they signed with the major label Warner Bros. Records and recorded Cathy’s Clown, written by the brothers themselves, which was their biggest selling single.

The Everly Brothers charted 31 singles on the Hot 100, including three #1s: Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do Is Dream, and Cathy’s Clown. The latter was the first single to top the US and UK charts simultaneously.  The Everly Brothers’ career slumped in their home country in the wake of the British Invasion in 1964. However they retained a faithful following in countries including Canada, Australia and the UK. They scored nine Top 40 hits in the UK between 1963 and 1965, including the self-penned The Price Of Love.

The Everly Brothers ended their partnership in 1973 after a gig on July 14, 1973, at Knotts Berry Farm in California, at which Phil smashed his guitar and stormed off the stage.  Embarking on a solo career, Phil charted three times as a solo artist with the #37 peaking Who’s Gonna Keep Me Warm being his biggest hit. He also had a Top Ten entry in 1983 on the UK singles chart with She Means Nothing To Me, a duet with Cliff Richard. The brothers reunited in 1983, when they appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The concert spawned a well-received live LP and video.

The Everly Brothers were part of the first group of ten artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Rather than a single song and set of lyrics, I shall post a few of their most popular songs as a tribute to a fine duo whose music will live on.

All I Have to do is Dream (1958)  Charted at #1 in both the U.S. and UK

Cathy’s Clown (1960)  Charted at #1 in both the U.S. and UK

Wake Up Little Susie (1957)  Charted at #1 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK

Bye Bye Love (1957)  Charted at #2 in the U.S. and #6 in the UK

♫ Lady In Red ♫ (Redux)

I last played this one in 2019 … it wasn’t a huge hit among my readers, but most did like it.  For some reason, it popped into my head this evening, and knowing I didn’t have the energy to dig for a new song and set it up, I decided to redux this one. 


I just hopped out of the shower … yeah, yeah, I know that not everybody showers at 1:30 in the morning, but I am, um, unique and my schedule doesn’t mesh well with the bulk of society.  Anyway, if you’ll allow me to finish … where was I … oh yeah, the shower.  I had just finished writing my ‘good people’ post and was trying to think of what song I wanted to play tonight, and two songs came to mind:  Midnight Train to Georgia, and Lady in Red.  I checked, and found I had played Midnight Train in late October, so that left me with Lady in Red.  About that time, Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin popped into my head.  You can see why my mind is sometimes rather messy and goes bouncing off on its own.  Anyway, if you looked at the title of this post, you can see that I settled on Lady in Red.

Quite honestly, I could not remember who sang this song, only that I liked it.  Turns out, it is both written and sung by British-Irish singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh.  Released in June 1986, the song was responsible for introducing de Burgh’s music to a mainstream audience worldwide.

According to de Burgh, he started writing this song about his wife Diane, after an argument, but he was having a hard time finishing it. Part of the problem was that he needed a title: he didn’t want to use The Way You Look Tonight, because there there was already a song with that name. As de Burgh tells it, five months later he saw Diane, wearing red, across a crowded nightclub, which gave him the idea for the title. On the British TV series This Is Your Life, de Burgh said that the song was inspired by the memory of when he first saw Diane, and how men so often cannot even remember what their wives were wearing when they first met. On his website, he said the song was not specifically about Diane, but about appreciating the most important people in our lives, who we often take for granted; how we often fail to notice what attracted us to another person in the first place. In this account, he was already married to Diane but didn’t realize it was her when he spotted her across the room.

Chris de Burgh was born in Buenos Aires but moved with his family to Ireland when his diplomat father retired. He and Diane had two sons and a daughter named Rosanna Davison (Chris uses his mother’s maiden name for showbiz – his real name is Chris Davison) who was chosen Miss Ireland, 2003 and went on to win the Miss World pageant.

The Lady in Red
Chris de Burgh

I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I’ve never seen you shine so bright
I’ve never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They’re looking for a little romance, given half a chance
And I have never seen that dress you’re wearing
Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes
I have been blind

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek
There’s nobody here, it’s just you and me
It’s where I want to be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I’ll never forget the way you look tonight

I’ve never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I’ve never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing
I’ve never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled, it took my breath away
And I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek
There’s nobody here, it’s just you and me
It’s where I want to be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I’ll never forget the way you look tonight

I never will forget the way you look tonight
The lady in red, the lady in red
The lady in red, my lady in red

I love you

Songwriters: Chris De Burgh
The Lady in Red lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Monster Mish-Mash

Since I was not able to do a music post this morning, I am instead sharing our friend David’s Saturday music treats! He’s done a great mix today, one that will brighten your day and give you something to sing about! Thanks, David!

The BUTHIDARS

Or, where my mind takes me. And for a start it takes me back to an old favourite straight away. Let’s slip back to 1973.

Dobie Grey- Drift Away.

Back to 1968 now and a truly unusual record.

Sly and the family Stone – Everyday People

1985 next finds one of my favourite groups outside Motown in action.

Commodores- Nightshift

I’m getting almost modern now with a single from 1978. Bob Segar is a World Class writer and performer. Here he is with his Silver Bullet Band.

Bob Segar- Hollywood Nights

Finally, from 1985 I bring you a man whom some say the word conceited was written. Well, judging by some of his partners I’d say he has every right. But, and this is the important bit. He’s hugely talented and this single was what blew me away when I first heard it. Simply Red with Holding Back the Years…

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♫ I Saw Her Again ♫

When I played ♫ Dedicated To The One I Love ♫ a couple of nights ago, I mentioned that in my search for a Mamas & Papas song that I hadn’t already played here, I found not one, but two songs that fit that bill.  This one, I Saw Her Again, is the other one!

An interesting, and kind of sad story behind the origins of this song.  Turns out that John Phillips wife and fellow band member, Michelle, had been having an affair with the other ‘Papa’, Denny Doherty.  This affair, combined with an affair between Michelle Phillips and Gene Clark of The Byrds, resulted in the brief expulsion of Michelle from the group for about two months.  Denny Doherty is given credit for co-writing the song, but some say that the song was John’s retribution against Doherty for the affair.

The group broke up in 1967, and John & Michelle divorced two years later.  Tragically, Mama Cass, who was doing well with her solo singing career, died in her sleep of a heart attack at the age of only 32.

This is one of the most popular of the Mamas & the Papas songs, reaching #1 in Canada, #5 in the U.S., and #11 in the UK.

I Saw Her Again
The Mamas & the Papas

I saw her again last night
And you know that I shouldn’t
To string her along’s just not right
If I couldn’t I wouldn’t
But what can I do, I’m lonely too
And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me

I’m in way over my head
Now she thinks that I love her
Because that’s what I said
Though I never think of her
But what can I do, I’m lonely too
And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me

Every time I see that girl
You know I want to lay down and die
But I really need that girl
Don’t know why I’m livin’ a lie
It makes me want to cry

I saw her again last night
And you know that I shouldn’t
To string her along’s just not right
If I couldn’t I wouldn’t
But what can I do, I’m lonely too
And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me

But what can I do, I’m lonely too
And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me

Every time I see that girl
You know I want to lay down and die
But I really need that girl
Don’t know why I’m livin’ a lie
It makes me want to cry

I saw her again last night
And you know that I shouldn’t
To string her along’s just not right
If I couldn’t I wouldn’t

I’m in way over my head
Now she thinks that I love her
Because that’s what I said

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Edmund Andrew Phillips
I Saw Her Again lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Rain ♫

Well, wouldn’t you just know it?  I mentioned yesterday when I played ♫ Paperback Writer ♫ that Roger had sent me Rain (the song, not the precipitation that falls from the sky), and told me it was the ‘B-side’ to Paperback Writer.  Then he said that it was his favourite Beatles tune, but he didn’t specify which, so I guessed Paperback Writer.  WRONG!  He meant Rain.  So tonight I must make amends, and thus I give you … Rain!

According to SongFacts …

John Lennon wrote most of Rain. It was his first song to get really deep, exploring themes of reality and illusion – after all, rain or shine is just a state of mind.  

This was the first song to use a tape played backwards, which created the strange audio effect. John Lennon discovered the technique when he put the tape for “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the wrong way. He was stoned at the time, and producer George Martin had to convince him that using a backward recording for the entire song was a bad idea.

Ringo Starr has said this is his best drumming on a Beatles song. “I felt ‘Rain’ – that was another character playing drums itself,” he told Yahoo Entertainment. “The way I play, I’m more of there’s breaks and tom-toms, and [‘Rain’] was all on the snare. So I used to say that. That drove people mad.”

Said John Lennon …

“After we’d done the session on that particular song – it ended at about four or five in the morning – I went home with a tape to see what else you could do with it. And I was sort of very stoned and tired, you know, not knowing what I was doing, and I just happened to put it on my own tape recorder and it came out backwards. And I liked it better. So that’s how it happened.”

Rain peaked at #23 in the U.S., but being a ‘B-side’, it did not chart in the UK … or if it did, I’m not seeing it.  However, Rolling Stone magazine ranks Rain 463rd in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. On a similar list compiled by the New York radio station Q104.3, the song appeared at number 382.

And now, Sir Roger, I give you … Rain

Rain
The Beatles

If the rain comes
They run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes
If the rain comes

When the sun shines
They slip into the shade
(When the sun shines down)
And sip their lemonade
(When the sun shines down)
When the sun shines
When the sun shines

Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine

I can show you
That when it starts to rain
(When the rain comes down)
Everything’s the same
(When the rain comes down)
I can show you
I can show you

Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine

Can you hear me?
That when it rains and shines
(When it rains and shines)
It’s just a state of mind
(When it rains and shines)
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?

Sdeah reiht edih dna nur yeht
Semoc niar eht fi
(Rain)
Niar
(Rain)
Senihs nus

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lennon John Winston / Mccartney Paul James