♫ Don’t Know Much ♫ (Redux)

I have had this bloomin’ song stuck in my head for two whole days now, so you guys know what that means, right?  Yes, it means I simply must share it before it drives me nuts.  Mind you, I love this song … but anything that inhabits your sleeping as well as waking moments really needs to be shared.  I last played this in September 2018, so it’s time to feature it again.


The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this with Tom Snow, who is known for his work on music for movies such as Footloose.  The song first appeared on Mann’s self-titled album in 1980. Bill Medley recorded it in 1981, and Bette Midler released a version called “All I Need To Know” in 1983. But the version that stands above the crowd is this one, a duet with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

Ronstadt and Neville met at the 1984 World’s Fair when both were performing there and realized their mutual admiration. When they decided to work together, they picked this song, which was brought to their attention by producer Steve Tyrell.  This won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by a Pop Group or Duo. Ronstadt and Neville would team up for another Grammy-winning song, “All My Life,” which earned the same prize in 1990.

Neville and Ronstadt portray in the song’s music video a couple still in love in their middle age. Neville told Mojo magazine February 2013 that despite the rumors, he and Ronstadt were no more than friends. He said: “The guy who directed called us in a room and said, ‘Look – if y’all ain’t gonna make this thing believable, there ain’t no sense in doin’ it.’ Linda’s a pretty woman – it wasn’t hard to portray that. But they had all kinda stupid rumors out. None of ’em were true ‘cos we’re friends. We respected each other. But I look at the video and it looks kinda suspect (laughs).”

Don’t Know Much
Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville

Look at this face I know the years are showing
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Look at these eyes they never seen what matters
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

So many questions still left unanswered
So much I’ve never broken through
And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
That only truth I’ll never know is me and you

Look at this man so blessed with inspiration
Look at this soul still searching for salvation

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all there is to know

Songwriters: Tom Snow / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Don’t Know Much lyrics © Karen Schauben Publishing Administration

♫ Everybody Plays The Fool ♫

First released in 1972, this song was written by J.R. Bailey, Rudy Clark and Ken Williams.  It was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Song at the 1973 ceremony.

The first recording of the song to reach the Top 40 in the United States was by the R&B group The Main Ingredient, a trio consisting at the time of Cuba Gooding Sr., Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons, Jr. Their version of Everybody Plays the Fool rose to #3 in the U.S.

The Main Ingredient was a Harlem group that began as the Poets.  This song was actually written for country singer Charlie Pride, but according to Cuba Gooding …

“He listened to it and decided it wasn’t country enough for him to sing. He said, ‘I’ll never be able to sell this as a country song. It’s more like a pop song.’  So we gave it to our arranger, put an orchestra behind it, and recorded it ourselves. But we never liked it — we never believed it was going to be a hit record. We wanted to be more like the Temptations or the Four Tops, and that’s what the rest our album was about.

They sent us on a European tour for two weeks, and when we came back, ‘Everybody Plays the Fool’ was the hottest record on pop radio.”

The record surprised them by becoming the group’s first big hit. But oddly enough, the group, who until that time had been firmly entrenched as an R&B group, at first couldn’t get airplay for it on soul stations.

“Black stations wouldn’t even play it. They said it wasn’t R&B. RCA signed me to a three-year contract as the lead singer for the group, everybody was rolling in dough because of the song, but the black stations wouldn’t play it.”

Eventually, that would change, of course, and the song sold more than a million copies, was awarded a gold record, and was nominated for a Grammy as R&B song of the year.

Aaron Neville recorded a cover of this song in 1991 which also hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, reaching #8 in the fall of that year, and it spent 20 weeks on the chart. This was Neville’s third Top 10 hit on the pop chart, following Tell It Like It Is and his duet with Linda Ronstadt, Don’t Know Much.

Since I like both versions almost equally well, I offer up both for your listening pleasure!

Everybody Plays The Fool
The Main Ingredient

Okay, so your heart is broken
You sit around mopin’
Cryin’ and cryin’
You say you’re even thinkin’ about dyin’
Well, before you do anything rash, dig this

Everybody plays the fool sometime
There’s no exception to the rule
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel
I ain’t lyin’, everybody plays the fool
Falling in love is such an easy thing to do
And there’s no guarantee that the one you love
Is gonna love you
Oh-oh-oh, lovin’ eyes they cannot see
A certain person could never be
Love runs deeper than any ocean
You can cloud your mind with emotion
Everybody plays the fool, sometime
There’s no exception to the rule
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel
I want to tell ya that
Everybody plays the fool

How can you help it when the music starts to play
And your ability to reason is swept away
Oh-oh-oh, heaven on earth is all you see
You’re out of touch with reality
And now you cry but when you do
Next time around someone cries for you

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
They use your heart like a tool
Listen, baby, they never tell you so in school
I want to say it again
Everybody plays the fool
Listen to me, baby

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
(No exception) no exception to the rule
It may be factual, may be cruel, sometime
But everybody plays the fool
Listen, listen, baby
Everybody plays the fool, sometime
They use your heart like a tool

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Kenneth Williams / Ralph Bailey / Rudy Clark
Everybody Plays The Fool (Re-Recorded / Remastered) lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Carlin America Inc

♫ A Change Is Gonna Come ♫

Sam CookeThis one was never a #1 hit, maybe some of you have never even heard it before, but in light of the recent murder by police of George Floyd and the blatant racism we see by our own elected officials, I felt this was a very appropriate song to share.  I do hope you will spend the 3 minutes to listen … it is poignant, moving.

The song was inspired by various personal events in Cooke’s life, most prominently an event in which he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and of those around him, and that pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans.

On October 8, 1963, en route to Shreveport, Louisiana, Cooke called ahead to the Holiday Inn North to make reservations for his wife, Barbara, and himself, but when he and his group arrived, the desk clerk glanced nervously and explained there were no vacancies. While his brother Charles protested, Sam was fuming, yelling to see the manager and refusing to leave until he received an answer. His wife nudged him, attempting to calm him down, telling him, “They’ll kill you,” to which he responded, “They ain’t gonna kill me, because I’m Sam Cooke.” When they eventually persuaded Cooke to leave, the group drove away calling out insults and blaring their horns. When they arrived at the Castle Motel on Sprague Street downtown, the police were waiting for them, arresting them for disturbing the peace.

Upon hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black, and was also ashamed he had not yet written something like that himself. However, his image and fears of losing his largely white fan base prevented him from doing so. Cooke loved the song so much it was immediately incorporated into his repertoire.

Many others, including Aaron Neville and Patti LaBelle have recorded this song, but … well, it belongs to Sam Cooke, so without further ado …

A Change Is Gonna Come
Sam Cook

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ev’r since
It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin’ me don’t hang around
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say brother help me please
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees, oh

There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Sam Cooke
A Change Is Gonna Come lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

♫ Rainy Night in Georgia ♫ (Redux)

I played this one back in October 2018, but tonight I’m playing it again.  Why?  Oh, I dunno … just had a notion to play it again.  I added a version this time, though, so that kind of, sort of qualifies it as a new post, yes?

Written by Tony Joe White in 1967 and popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton in 1970, this song has been recorded by a host of other artists as well, including Ray Charles, Randy Crawford, Johnny Rivers, Hank Williams, BJ Thomas and others.

The backstory by Tony Joe White …

When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.

The Brook Benton version is the most popular …

But I’ve always been partial to Aaron Neville …

But Randy Crawford does it up well, too …

Take your pick!

Rainy Night in Georgia
Brook Benton/Aaron Neville/Randy Crawford

Hoverin’ by my suitcase
Tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night
A heavy rain a fallin’
Seems I hear your voice callin’
“It’s all right”

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Neon signs a flashin’
Taxi cabs and busses passin’ through the night
The distant moanin’ of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

How many times I’ve wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it, think of it
You just got to do your own thing

I find me a place in a box car
So I take out my guitar to pass some time
Late at night when it’s hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I’m all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Rainy Night in Georgia by Brook Benton lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Rainy Night in Georgia ♫

Written by Tony Joe White in 1967 and popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton in 1970, this song has been recorded by a host of other artists as well, including Ray Charles, Randy Crawford, Johnny Rivers, Hank Williams, BJ Thomas and others.

The backstory by Tony Joe White …

When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.

The Brook Benton version is the most popular …

But I’ve always been partial to Aaron Neville …

Take your pick!

Rainy Night in Georgia
Brook Benton/Aaron Neville

Hoverin’ by my suitcase
Tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night
A heavy rain a fallin’
Seems I hear your voice callin’
“It’s all right”

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Neon signs a flashin’
Taxi cabs and busses passin’ through the night
The distant moanin’ of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

How many times I’ve wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it, think of it
You just got to do your own thing

I find me a place in a box car
So I take out my guitar to pass some time
Late at night when it’s hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I’m all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Rainy Night in Georgia by Brook Benton lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Don’t Know Much ♫

The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this with Tom Snow, who is known for his work on music for movies such as Footloose.  The song first appeared on Mann’s self-titled album in 1980. Bill Medley recorded it in 1981, and Bette Midler released a version called “All I Need To Know” in 1983. But the version that stands above the crowd is this one, a duet with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

Ronstadt and Neville met at the 1984 World’s Fair when both were performing there and realized their mutual admiration. When they decided to work together, they picked this song, which was brought to their attention by producer Steve Tyrell.  This won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by a Pop Group or Duo. Ronstadt and Neville would team up for another Grammy-winning song, “All My Life,” which earned the same prize in 1990.

Neville and Ronstadt portray in the song’s music video a couple still in love in their middle age. Neville told Mojo magazine February 2013 that despite the rumors, he and Ronstadt were no more than friends. He said: “The guy who directed called us in a room and said, ‘Look – if y’all ain’t gonna make this thing believable, there ain’t no sense in doin’ it.’ Linda’s a pretty woman – it wasn’t hard to portray that. But they had all kinda stupid rumors out. None of ’em were true ‘cos we’re friends. We respected each other. But I look at the video and it looks kinda suspect (laughs).”

Don’t Know Much
Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville

Look at this face I know the years are showing
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Look at these eyes they never seen what matters
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

So many questions still left unanswered
So much I’ve never broken through
And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
That only truth I’ll never know is me and you

Look at this man so blessed with inspiration
Look at this soul still searching for salvation

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all there is to know

Songwriters: Tom Snow / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Don’t Know Much lyrics © Karen Schauben Publishing Administration

♫ A Change Is Gonna Come ♫

Sam CookeThis one was never a #1 hit, maybe some of you have never even heard it before, but in light of today being the one-year anniversary of the terrible tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, I felt this was the most appropriate song to share.  I do hope you will spend the 3 minutes to listen … it is poignant, moving.

The song was inspired by various personal events in Cooke’s life, most prominently an event in which he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and of those around him, and that pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans.

On October 8, 1963, en route to Shreveport, Louisiana, Cooke called ahead to the Holiday Inn North to make reservations for his wife, Barbara, and himself, but when he and his group arrived, the desk clerk glanced nervously and explained there were no vacancies. While his brother Charles protested, Sam was fuming, yelling to see the manager and refusing to leave until he received an answer. His wife nudged him, attempting to calm him down, telling him, “They’ll kill you,” to which he responded, “They ain’t gonna kill me, because I’m Sam Cooke.” When they eventually persuaded Cooke to leave, the group drove away calling out insults and blaring their horns. When they arrived at the Castle Motel on Sprague Street downtown, the police were waiting for them, arresting them for disturbing the peace.

Upon hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black, and was also ashamed he had not yet written something like that himself. However, his image and fears of losing his largely white fan base prevented him from doing so. Cooke loved the song so much it was immediately incorporated into his repertoire.

Many others, including Aaron Neville and Patti LaBelle have recorded this song, but … well, it belongs to Sam Cooke, so without further ado …

Saturday Surprise — Limericks!

Saturday is finally here, the weekend lies ahead, and it’s time for Saturday Surprise!  I was mopping the floors yesterday, trying to think of what I would do for this week’s post, and I thought, for some reason, of our friend Colette, who has been mostly off the grid since around Christmas … last I heard, they were in Thailand, I think.  Colette is one who can come up with a limerick to fit any occasion on the spot.  And I always enjoy her contributions.  I, however, am not in the least bit poetic.  In fact, when it comes to poetry, my college literature teacher seriously considered a career change after two semesters spent with me.  I am very much a literalist … I do not get sublety nor hidden meanings … I take both words and people at face value.  So no, I did not get that Frost was talking about homosexuality in one of his poems, and I did not understand the author’s meaning in so many stories and novels.

So no, I cannot write limericks, but I do enjoy them.  And so, for today’s post, I went in search of … a few fun and funny limericks!

A patient who kept getting worsetoon-1

Cried out ‘I must go home now, nurse!

You’ve done all your best

And performed every test

But I’ve come to the end of my purse!

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toon-2At times I’m so mad that I’m hopping.

My angriness sets my veins popping.

I yell and I curse,

With swearwords diverse,

But my wife does much worse: she goes shopping”

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toon-3There was a young fellow named Hall

Who fell in the spring in the fall.

‘Twould have been a sad thing

Had he died in the spring,

But he didn’t – he died in the fall.

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There was a young lady named Harris,toon-4

Whom nothing could ever embarrass,

Till the bath salts one day

In the tub where she lay

Turned out to be plaster of Paris

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Now if only Colette would drop by and add hers to the collection …

And on that note, I shall end with a song that has been stuck in my head for the past few days …

And let us not forget that tomorrow is the big day … Super Bowl Sunday!!!

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Have a great weekend everyone!!!