♫ Walk – Don’t Run ♫

Sometimes I prefer an instrumental over a song with lyrics.

Walk, Don’t Run is an instrumental composition written and originally recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954.  The version you are about to hear was recorded and released by The Ventures in 1960 and is considered one of the top 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

There were two live versions that I would have liked to have used here, but the sound quality of this version is so far superior to either of the live versions that I had to go with this one.

♫ Just The Two Of Us ♫

There seems to be a steady stream of songs that run through my head these days.  I no sooner banish one ear worm than another pops in.  No wonder there isn’t room in my head for coherent thoughts … it is filled up with tunes!  Ah well, they are all good tunes, old friends as it were.  Last night, when I was in search of a good version of Pastime Paradise, Google recommended another … Just the Two of Us … released in 1980 by Grover Washington and Bill Withers.

Grover Washington was a very respected Jazz saxophone player who died of a heart attack in 1999. Bill Withers is a songwriter and vocalist responsible for songs like Lean On Me and Ain’t No Sunshine. Withers sang lead on this, but it was credited to Washington and appeared on his album.

According to Withers …

“I’m a little snobbish about words, so they sent me this song and said ‘We want to do this with Grover, would you consider singing it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, if you’ll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit.’ Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The ‘Just The Two Of Us’ thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it. I didn’t like what was said leading up to ‘Just The Two Of Us.'”

When Withers went in to record his vocals, it was the first time he met Washington. They were rarely together when they recorded this, and they never got to know each other very well. Withers admired Washington because Grover did the first cover version of any song he’d written – an instrumental version of Ain’t No Sunshine that appeared on his first album.

Just the Two of Us
Grover Washington Jr.

I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you sometime
And I wanna spend some time with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted water’s all that is
And it don’t make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait
Not for those who wait too late
We gotta go for all we know

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building them castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

I hear the crystal raindrops fall
On the window down the hall
And it becomes the morning dew
And darling when the morning comes
And I see the morning sun
I wanna be the one with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us, just
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building big castles way up high
Just the two of us
You and I

(Just the two of us)
(We can make it, just the two of us)
(Just the two of us)

Songwriters: Ralph Mac Donald / William Salter / William Harrison Withers Jr.
Medley: Just the Two of Us lyrics © Bleunig Music, BMG Rights Management

♫ Never Gonna Let You Go ♫

One thing about doing these mostly-daily music posts is it has challenged me to dig back through my memory banks to recall artists and songs that I once liked but hadn’t thought about in years, sometimes decades.  One such artist is Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes.

Released in 1983, Never Gonna Let You Go is sung by Joe Pizzulo and Leeza Miller.  That’s Sergio on the keyboard.  Songwriters Cynthia Weil (lyrics) and Barry Mann (music) composed the song and originally submitted it to Earth, Wind and Fire, but they ultimately decided not to record it.

Mendes was preparing a new album for an April 1983 release and said …

“All the other songs on the album were up and festive. I needed a ballad on the album, just to change the pace a bit.”

And so this song became the title song for his album.  Mendes is probably best known for his 1968 The Look of Love.

Never Gonna Let You Go
Sérgio Mendes

I was as wrong as I could be
To let you get away from me
I’ll regret that move for as long as I’m livin’
But now that I’ve come to see the light
All I wanna do is make things right
So just say the word and tell me that I’m forgiven

You and me, we’re gonna be better than we were before
Loved you then but now I intend
To open up and love you even more
This time, you can be sure

I’m never gonna let you go
I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so
Gonna hold your body close to mine
From this day on, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go

Lookin’ back now, it seems so clear
I had it all when you were here
Oh, you gave it all
And I took it for granted

But if there’s some feeling left in you
Some flicker of love that still shines through
Let’s talk it out
Let’s talk about second chances

Wait and see, it’s gonna be sweeter than it was before
I gave some then but now I intend
To dedicate myself to giving more
This time you can be sure

I’m never gonna let you go
I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so

Gonna hold your body close to mine
From this day on, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go

Oh, so if you’ll just say
You want me too

I’m never gonna let you go
I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so

Gonna hold your body close to mine
From this day on, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go
Never gonna let you go
Hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so
Hold your body close to mine
Oh, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go

Songwriters: WEIL CYNTHIA / MANN BARRY
Never Gonna Let You Go lyrics © Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Mann And Weil Songs Inc, SONY/ATV SONGS LLC OBO MANN AND WEIL SONGS INC