♫ Running With The Night ♫

I’m in the mood for some Lionel Richie tonight … what do you say?

Richie co-wrote this with the lyricist Cynthia Weil, and co-produced it with James Anthony Carmichael. The electric guitar solo was played by Steve Lukather, best known as a member of the rock band Toto. Lukather sat down in the studio and the engineer played the basic tracks of the song, for him to hear for the first time, so he could plan his part. As the music played, he jammed along on his instrument. At the conclusion of the tune, he said to the engineer, “Okay, I’m ready for a take.” The producer replied, “That was a take.”  Some adult contemporary stations edited out Lukather’s guitar solo “to make the song less rock-sounding.”  That makes no sense to me, but what do I know?

When a young Richard Marx moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and was amassing rejection letters for his demos, Lionel Richie gave him a shot, and had him sing backup on this track. Before he hit it big as a solo artist, Marx lent his vocals to several other Richie recordings, including All Night Long.

Running With the Night
Lionel Richie

The heart of the city street was beating
Light from the neons turned the dark to day
We were too hot to think of sleeping
We had to get out before the magic got away

We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, till the morning light
(We were running, running with the night) oh

You were looking so good girl, heads were turning
You and me on the town, ooh, we let it all hang out
The fire was in us, we were burning
We were gonna go all the way and we never had a doubt

We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, till the morning light
(We were running, running with the night) oh

We were so in love, you and me
On the boulevard wild and free
Giving all we got, we laid it down
Taking every shot, we took the town

We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I and it was so right
Girl, it was so right

Songwriters: Cynthia Weil / Lionel Richie
Running With the Night lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ The Great Pretender ♫

A few weeks ago, I played a verrrrrry oldie by The Platters, and since most of you liked it, I decided to try another favourite by them.

The Platters’ manager and producer, Buck Ram, says he wrote this song in about 20 minutes in the washroom of the Flamingo Hotel in order to have a song to follow up the success of Only You.

What I wasn’t aware of is that this song was revived in 1987 by Freddie Mercury of Queen, and his version was also a hit in the UK, though I don’t think so much in the U.S.  I checked out the Queen version and found it not to my liking.

The Great Pretender
The Platters

Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
Pretending that I’m doing well
My need is such I pretend too much
I’m lonely but no one can tell

Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
Adrift in a world of my own
I’ve played the game but to my real shame
You’ve left me to grieve all alone

Too real is this feeling of make-believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

Yes I’m the great pretender
Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I’m not, you see
I’m wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you’re still around

Too real is this feeling of make-believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

Yes I’m the great pretender
Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I’m not, you see
I’m wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you’re still around

Songwriters: Buck Ram
The Great Pretender lyrics © Panther Music Corp.

♫ Un-Break My Heart ♫

I’ve mentioned before that I am partly deaf … and thus I get most song lyrics totally wrong until I look them up online.  For many years, I thought this song was “Come Break My Heart”, until one day my daughter happened to hear me singing it and corrected my misguided notion.  I always wondered why somebody would ask for their heart to be broken. 🙄

Diane Warren wrote Un-Break My Heart in 1995. When asked about her songwriting process, she said that songs usually come to her from a title, a chorus, or a drum beat. Un-Break My Heart was conceived from its title, and, according to Warren, “it popped into my head, and I thought, ‘I don’t think I’ve heard that before, that’s kind of interesting.’ I started playing around on the piano with these chords and did a key change, and then I knew, ‘OK, this is magic.'” Warren further explained that she wrote Un-Break My Heart as a ballad and dance song, because that was the way she heard it.

When Un-Break My Heart was sent to Tony Braxton, she expressed dislike for the song. According to Warren, “Toni hated the song. She didn’t want to do it.” L.A. Reid, president of Arista Records, was able to convince Braxton to record it, and it later became her signature song.

Spin journalist Charles Aaron positively reviewed the song and joked: “this exquisitely crafted, heart-pumping l-u-v song has been droning in the produce department of my grocery store for about a year now, but I’d just like to go on record as saying that if it ever stops, I’ll really be heartbroken.”

Un-Break My Heart
Toni Braxton

Don’t leave me in all this pain
Don’t leave me out in the rain
Come back and bring back my smile
Come and take these tears away
I need your arms to hold me now
The nights are so unkind
Bring back those nights when I held you beside me

Un-break my heart
Say you’ll love me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry these tears
I cried so many nights
Un-break my heart
My heart

Take back that sad word goodbye
Bring back the joy to my life
Don’t leave me here with these tears
Come and kiss this pain away
I can’t forget the day you left
Time is so unkind
And life is so cruel without you here beside me

Un-break my heart
Say you’ll love me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry these tears
I cried so many nights
Un-break my heart
My heart

Don’t leave me in all this pain
Don’t leave me out in the rain
Bring back the nights when I held you beside me

Un-break my heart
Say you’ll love me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry these tears
I cried so many nights
Un-break my
Un-break my heart, oh baby
Come back and say you love me
Un-break my heart, sweet darlin’
Without you I just can’t go on
Can’t go on

Songwriters: Diane Warren
Un-Break My Heart lyrics © Realsongs

♫ Guitar Man ♫

I try to leave some space between songs by the same artist or group, and I do realize that I played Bread’s Lost Without Your Love on February 1st, but this song has been stuck in my head all day long, and it really needs to go!  And anyway, you all seemed to enjoy Bread, so surely you won’t mind one more, right?

David Gates

David Gates

The song, released in 1972 was, as most if not all of Bread’s songs, written by David Gates, and is a mixture of the sounds of soft rock, including strings and acoustic guitar, and the addition of a wah-wah effect electric guitar, played by Larry Knechtel.

According to Gates …

“James (Griffin) went out and tried to play a solo that wasn’t sounding right, and I went out and tried it and didn’t have any luck either. Larry plays a little guitar, so I asked him to try it. He hooked up a little wah-wah pedal, and came up with all those things on the spot. I bet that wasn’t more than two hours of work on his part.”

I found a pretty interesting interview with Gates from 2003, if you’re interested.

Guitar Man
Bread

Who draws the crowd and plays so loud, baby, it’s the guitar man
Who’s gonna steal the show, you know, baby, it’s the guitar man
He can make you love, he can make you cry
He will bring you down and he’ll get you high
Somethin’ keeps him goin’ miles and miles a day
To find another place to play

Night after night, who treats you right, baby, it’s the guitar man
Who’s on the radio, you go and listen to the guitar man
Then he comes to town and you see his face
And you think you might like to take his place
Somethin’ keeps him driftin’ miles and miles away
Searching for the songs to play

Then you listen to the music and you like to sing along
You want to get the meaning out of each and every song
Then you find yourself a message and some words to call your own and take ’em home

He can make you love, he can get you high
He will bring you down, then he’ll make, make you cry
Somethin’ keeps him movin’, but no one seems to know
What it is that makes him go

Then the lights begin to flicker and the sound is getting dim
The voice begins to falter and the crowds are getting thin
But he never seems to notice, he’s just got to find another place to play

Fade away
Got to play
Fade away
Got to play

Songwriters: David Ashworth Gates
Guitar Man lyrics © Kipahulu Music, David Gates D/B/a Kipahulu Music, KIPAHULU MUSIC CO

♫ Too Much, Too Little, Too Late ♫

Released as a single in 1978, this song was a comeback of sorts for Johnny Mathis, as it was his first chart-topping hit in the US since 1957’s Chances Are.  Mathis teamed up with Deniece Williams for this song, written by Nat Kipner and John Vallins.

Kipner & Vallins’ demo of the ballad first caught the attention of UK label Polydor Records, and they had one of their signees, an English Pop duo, record a version of the song. Then Kipner’s son, songwriter Steve Kipner, recommended that the song be placed with an American music publisher. Shortly thereafter, Mathis showed an interest in recording the song, and the Pop duo’s version was never released.

The song reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, Adult Contemporary chart, and R&B chart. Outside the U.S., the song peaked at number nine on the Canadian Singles Chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart.

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
Johnny Mathis, Deniece Williams

Guess it’s over, call it a day
Sorry that it had to end this way
No reason to pretend
We knew it had to end some day, this way

Yes, it’s over, the kids are gone
What’s the use of tryin’ to hang on?
Somewhere we lost the key
So little left for you and me and it’s clear to see

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to lie again with you
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to try again with you
We’re in the middle of ending something that we knew

It’s over

Oh, it was over

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to ever try again
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, let’s end it being friends
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, we knew it had to end

Ah, it’s over

It’s over

Yes, it’s over, the chips are down (whoa)
Nearly all our bridges tumbled down

Whatever chance we try, let’s face it widened-eye
It’s over (It’s over)
It’s over

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to ever try again
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, let’s end it being friends
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, we knew it had to end

And it’s over

And it’s over

And it’s over

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to ever try again
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, let’s end it being friendssad

Songwriters: Nat Kipner / John Mcintyre Vallins
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late lyrics © Homewood House Music

♫ I Want To Hold Your Hand ♫

It was 55 years ago today that a young British rock group made their U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.  The name of the group, of course, was The Beatles.

From History.com …

Although it was difficult to hear the performance over the screams of teenage girls in the studio audience, an estimated 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, tuned in to watch. Sullivan immediately booked the Beatles for two more appearances that month.

The group made their first public concert appearance in the United States on February 11 at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C., and 20,000 fans attended. The next day, they gave two back-to-back performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and police were forced to close off the streets around the venerable music hall because of fan hysteria. On February 22, the Beatles returned to England.

Now, I must confess to being a bit strange when I was young … shut up Joe, don’t even say it … and I was not all that impressed with The Beatles that first time I saw them on Ed Sullivan.  Nor was I impressed by the girls ripping off their clothes, screaming and fainting.  Eventually I came to appreciate The Beatles and their music, but unlike some others, it was definitely not love at first sight.

I am including two clips tonight.  The first is a clip from the November 18, 1963 edition of the Huntley-Brinkley Report by Edwin Newman.  The video no longer exists, but this audio-only copy was discovered in 2013, and I think you’ll enjoy it … I did!  The second is a video of one of the songs they performed on 09 February 1964.

I Want to Hold Your Hand
The Beatles

Oh yeah I tell you somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

Oh please say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And please say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand
Now, let me hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide

Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide

Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I feel that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
I Want to Hold Your Hand lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Your Song ♫

I’m in the mood for some Elton tonight, so I hope you are too!

This was one of the first songs Elton John wrote with Bernie Taupin. They met after a record company gave Elton some of Taupin’s lyrics to work with. Eventually, they both moved into John’s parents’ house, where they started working together.
The song was written in 1967, when Bernie Taupin was 17 and Elton was 20. Both Elton John and Bernie Taupin agree that this is one of their best efforts. Said Taupin:

“I think ‘Your Song’ is a gem. Our classic, I’m not sure. I’ll let others decide that. But it’s like an old friend, it means so many things on equally as many levels. It’s certainly proved its worth, and I’ve heard it sung a million times. It’s like a good dog, it’s always there.”

Elton performs this at all his concerts. He once said of this song: “I don’t think I’ve written a love song as good since.” He has called it “A perfect song,” and says that the older he gets, the more the lyrics resonate with him.

 

Your Song
Elton John

It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live
If I was a sculptor but then again no
Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show
Oh I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do

My gift is my song
And this one’s for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind
While I wrote this song
It’s for people like you that oh
Keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting
But these things I do
You see I’ve forgotten
If they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway New York, what we really mean
You’re one of the nicest crowds oh yeah, we’ve ever seen
Thank New York, you’re one of a kind
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but
Now that it’s done

I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world, oh yea yeah

Writer/s: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine ♫

You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine was written by the legendary songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. They were the powerhouse producers behind most of what we today call the Philadelphia Sound, and they wrote this song specifically for Rawls. The track helped lure Rawls to Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International label, as he was impressed that they took the time to understand his voice and write something to suit it. Rawls had bad experiences at his previous labels, Capitol and MGM, and was happy to find a good fit in Philadelphia International.

This hit came late in Rawls’ music career, but he was a blinding flash of action nonetheless. He had a substantial acting career, playing bit parts on various TV series throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. This included Sesame StreetThe Big ValleyBaywatchThe Muppet Show, and Martin, as well as voice acting in cartoons including Hey Arnold! and Garfield. Oh, wait, don’t forget the commercial spokesman work for Colonial Penn Life Insurance and Anheuser-Busch. Oh, also don’t forget the charity work with the “Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon” to benefit the United Negro College Fund. Now on top of this, he had a music career in which he released 55 albums between 1962 and 2003. Did the man ever sleep?

This was the first and only time that one of Rawls’ records managed to reach Billboards pop top ten.

You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine
Lou Rawls

You’ll never find, as long as you live
Someone who loves you tender like I do
You’ll never find, no matter where you search
Someone who cares about you the way I do

Whoa, I’m not braggin’ on myself, baby
But I’m the one who loves you
And there’s no one else! No one else!

You’ll never find, it’ll take the end of all time
Someone to understand you like I do
You’ll never find the rhythm, the rhyme
All the magic we shared, just us two

Whoa, I’m not tryin’ to make you stay, baby
But I know some how, some day, some way
You are (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
You’re gonna miss my lovin’ (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
You’re gonna miss my lovin’ (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
You’re gonna miss, you’re gonna miss my lo-o-ove

Late in the midnight hour, baby (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
When it’s cold outside (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
You’re gonna miss, you’re gonna miss my lo-o-ove

You’ll never find another love like mine
Someone who needs you like I do
You’ll never see what you’ve found in me
You’ll keep searching and searching your whole life through

Whoa, I don’t wish you no bad luck, baby
But there’s no ifs and buts or maybes

You’re gonna miss my lovin’ (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
I know you’re gonna my lovin’ (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
You’re gonna miss, you’re gonna miss my lo-o-ove

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
Late in the midnight hour, baby (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
When it gets real cold outside (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
I know, I know that you are gonna miss my lo-o-ove

Let me tell you that you’re gonna miss my lovin’
Yes you will, baby (you’re gonna miss my lovin’)
When I’m long gone

I know, I know, I know that you are gonna miss

Songwriters: Kenny Gamble / Leon Huff
You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Dancing In The Moonlight ♫

I like what this one envisions … a place of joy and harmony, where everyone gets along dancing under the moonlit sky.

It was written by keyboard player/songwriter Sherman Kelly in 1969 after a trip to the Caribbean island of Saint Croix, where he was attacked by natives and left for dead. While he was recovering from his injuries, he wrote this song. “I envisioned an alternate reality,” Kelly wrote on this website. “The dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.”

Every line of the lyric ends with a word rhyming with “light”:

Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark and they don’t bite
They keep things loose they keep it tight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

So, take my hand, and let us dance in the moonlight, shall we … ???

Dancing in the Moonlight
King Harvest

We get it almost every night
When that moon is big and bright
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark, and they don’t bite
They keep things loose, they keep ’em tight
Everybody was dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

We like our fun and we never fight
You can’t dance and stay uptight
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody was dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

We get it almost every night
When that moon is big and bright
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight

Songwriters: Sherman Kelly
Dancing in the Moonlight lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ That’s What Friends Are For ♫

As I was rolling cigarettes tonight, a name came to me:  Dionne Warwick.  A sometimes-overlooked talent, a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice.  So, I decided tonight would be a song from Dionne Warwick, and after I finished rolling smokes, finished my Jolly Monday post, and folded a load of laundry, I sat down to decide which song it would be.  I picked this one to listen to first, and at the 0:33 point, I felt tears welling behind my eyes.  I have no idea why, but I knew then that I had my song.

This version is the 1985 cover version by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. This recording, billed as being by “Dionne & Friends”, was released as a charity single for AIDS research and prevention. It was a massive hit, becoming the number-one single of 1986 in the United States, and winning the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year. It raised over $3 million for its cause.

The song was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for the 1982 movie Night Shift, where it was recorded by Rod Stewart and played over the closing credits.

Hit the full screen button, turn the volume up, and just … enjoy … feel the love …

That’s What Friends Are For
Dionne Warwick

And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe, I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Well, you came in loving me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way
I thank you

Oh and then for the times when we’re apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
Cause I tell you, that’s what friends are for
Whoa, good times and the bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Songwriters: Burt F Bacharach / Carole Bayer Sager
That’s What Friends Are For lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc