♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

Concentrating on my ‘good people’ post this evening, I hadn’t even given a thought to my music post.  But, after finishing the ‘good people’, and turning to comments from yesterday’s posts, I came across one from friend John Howell that led me to this song.  I’ve posted it before, and will do so again, for it carries a message that we need to be reminded of over and over.  John provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of …

“I loved the Michael Jackson comment to all the stars that were in studio for the “We are the World” recording session. He said that egos were to be left at the door and that anyone who had a problem with that would be driven home…by Stevie Wonder.”

I don’t imagine too many egos were on display after that!!!

This song … it is what we need today … and every day.  Please listen and enjoy.


Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Right Here Waiting For You ♫ (Redux)

I first played this one back in November 2018.  I am playing it again tonight for reasons that … must remain my own.  Nonetheless, I hope you all enjoy the music!


Singer and songwriter Richard Marx wrote this song on the road as a love letter to his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes.

“I wrote the song for my wife Cynthia who was in South Africa shooting for a film. We were not married then and I wanted to meet her because I had not seen her for a few months. But my visa application was rejected and when I came back I wrote this song which was more of a letter from me to her. It was the fastest song I wrote, in barely 20 minutes. And this was the time when there was no Skype and Social networking so I had to ship the track to her. The song was very personal and was not intended to go public. But my friends pursued me to record it.”

A bit about Richard Marx … His father wrote TV jingles for chocolate bars and peanut butter, and Richard made his professional debut singing on some of his dad’s commercials. When he was 18, Marx left his hometown of Chicago and headed to LA, where another commercial-minded musician, Lionel Richie, took the young singer-songwriter under this wing. After a 5-year apprenticeship in which he sang harmonies on several of Richie’s hits had some of his compositions recorded by artists such as Kenny Rogers and Chicago, Marx finally landed his own recording contract. And he was poised for stardom: Marx’s self-titled 1987 debut album yielded four top-10 hits, including the #1 song Hold On To The Nights.

Marx originally pitched the song to Barbra Streisand. But she had a few issues with his lyrics. “She called and said, ‘I love this music, this melody is gorgeous, but if I’m going to record it, I’m going to need you to rewrite the lyrics because I’m not going to be right here waiting for anybody,'”  I’m rather glad he kept the song … and the lyrics.

Right Here Waiting for You
Richard Marx

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn’t stop the pain

If I see you next to never
How can we say forever

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I took for granted, all the times
That I thought would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can’t get near you now

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I wonder how we can survive
This romance
But in the end if I’m with you
I’ll take the chance

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you
Waiting for you

Songwriters: Richard Marx
Right Here Waiting for You lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

♫ Through The Years ♫

I had another song already scheduled for this morning.  I was finishing up responding to comments, was on the last one, in fact, and planning to head upstairs to bed at just after 3:00 a.m., when a ‘Breaking News’ banner flashed on my screen:  “Country Music Legend Kenny Rogers Dies at 81”Noooooooooooooooooooo.  cryingI am not a country music fan, but for the most part, I didn’t think of Kenny’s music as hardcore country.  I loved his voice, loved his music, and he wasn’t too hard on the eyes either. 😉 So, tonight I shed a tear and play one two of my favourite Kenny Roger’s songs, Through the Years and Islands in the Stream.

Released in 1981, this song was written by Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer.  The song was produced by Lionel Richie, and it was Richie who decided Through The Years was a good fit for Rogers.  According to co-writer Steve Dorff …

“Kenny was actually the third or fourth person that was approached with that song. Barry Manilow and Mac Davis passed on it. Glen Campbell passed on it. Those were the notable ones. Lionel Richie had heard the song and loved it and played it for his people and that’s how it happened. I got a phone call from Gene Page, that great arranger, who called me and said, ‘Congratulations! We just cut your song with Kenny Rogers, and it sounds amazing.'”

kenny-rogers-1kenny-rogers-2kenny-rogers-3

kenny-rogers-4

Through the Years
Kenny Rogers

I can’t remember when you weren’t there
When I didn’t care for anyone but you
I swear we’ve been through everything there is
Can’t imagine anything we’ve missed
Can’t imagine anything the two of us can’t do

Through the years
You’ve never let me down
You turned my life around
The sweetest days I’ve found
I’ve found with you
Through the years
I’ve never been afraid
I’ve loved the life we’ve made
And I’m so glad I’ve stayed
Right here with you
Through the years

I can’t remember what I used to do
Who I trusted whom, I listened to before
I swear you’ve taught me everything I know
Can’t imagine needing someone so
But through the years it seems to me
I need you more and more

Through the years
Through all the good and bad
I knew how much we had
I’ve always been so glad
To be with you
Through the years
It’s better everyday
You’ve kissed my tears away
As long as it’s okay
I’ll stay with you
Through the years

Through the years
When everything went wrong
Together we were strong
I know that I belonged
Right here with you
Through the years
I never had a doubt
We’d always work things out
I’ve learned what love’s about
By loving you
Through the years

Through the years
You’ve never let me down
You’ve turned my life around
The sweetest days I’ve found
I’ve found with you
Through the years
It’s better everyday
You’ve kissed my tears away
As long as it’s okay
I’ll stay with you
Through the years

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Martin Panzer / Stephen Hartley Dorff
Through the Years lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


Islands in the Stream
Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside
There was something going on

You do something to me that I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on

Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

I can’t live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothing if you got no one
And you did walk in the night
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one
In love forever
We can ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb
Islands in the Stream lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ You Are ♫

I was in the mood for Lionel, but it took me a bit of time to find one that I hadn’t already played!  I had forgotten about this one …

Lionel wrote You Are with his then-wife, Brenda Harvey Richie, and it was his second ‘solo’ after leaving the Commodores.  Truly, also released in 1982, was his first, and this was a follow-up.  There isn’t a lot of background that I could find about this song, but according to Richard Marx who sang backup on this song …

“Every session I ever did with Lionel, or for him, was a very fun atmosphere. I’ve been on so many sessions where it’s a downer, and you just try to get through it and nobody is having fun. Lionel is always having fun – no matter what.”

Lionel actually did a video for this, but MTV ignored it. The network didn’t give black artists significant airtime until Michael Jackson broke through in 1983. Later that year, Richie was welcomed on MTV with his video for All Night Long.

You Are
Lionel Richie

Baby you’ll find
There’s only one love
Yours and mine
I’ve got so much love

And needing you so
My love for you
I’ll never let go
I’ve got so much love

All I want is to hold you
Let me show how much I love you baby (show you)
I don’t mind and I don’t mind (loving you)
Girl I love you
There’s no one above you

[Chorus]
You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

Tell me it’s true
I can’t believe you do what you do
I’ve got so much love
And my love you’ll see
We’ll stay together, just you and me
I’ve got so much love

Only you (know me)
Tell me how to love you baby (show me)
I don’t mind and I don’t mind (tell me)
Girl, I love you
Always thinking of you

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

I know you know the way I feel
And I need your love for always
‘Cause when I’m with you
I fall in love
Again and again and again, baby.

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

You are the sun
You are the rain, baby
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

Songwriters: Brenda Harvey-Richie, Lionel Richie
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

♫ Easy ♫

It was almost too easy.  In a back-and-forth comment, Padre Steve mentioned something called “Sirius Radio 70s on 7”.  Now, I vaguely remembered hearing of Sirius Radio, but really had no idea what it was, or how it worked.  But, I decided to check into it, and I’m so glad I did.  It’s so easy that even I could figure it out, and while there are hundreds of different decades and genre combinations to choose from, I decided to stick, for my first foray into the unknown, with Padre’s recommendation.  Wow … better than my ipod playlist, more variety!  And best of all … it’s FREE! The third song I heard was one by the Commodores … surely I must have already played that one, right?  A trip to the archives, check, double-check … nope … I can’t believe I haven’t already played this one.  Almost too Easy!

Commodores lead singer Lionel Richie wrote this song, which became a crossover hit for the band, bringing them into pop and adult contemporary territory when they were previously pure funk.

The guitar solo, played by group founder Thomas McClary, was tricky business.

“When you have lyrics in a song that say, ‘Why in the world would anybody put chains on me? I’ve paid my dues to make it,’ you have to match the intensity of those lyrics to a sound and a feel that musically portrays the same intensity and the same context of what you’re saying. A lot of ballads, the song would just end, but we wanted the guitar solo to take it to another level of intensity. So that was basically the inspiration behind it.”

I never knew, until tonight, how the Commodores got their name.  The seven original members each had a name they liked, so they agreed to throw a dictionary in the air and blind-pick a word on the page it landed on. That word was “Commodore,” which was a ranking in the United States Navy that is no longer used. They came very close to being “The Commodes.”

Easy
Commodores

Know it sounds funny
But, I just can’t stand the pain
Girl, I’m leaving you tomorrow
Seems to me girl
You know I’ve done all I can
You see I begged, stole, and I borrowed! (yeah)

Ooh that’s why I’m easy
I’m easy like Sunday morning
That’s why I’m easy
I’m easy like Sunday morning!

Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?
I’ve paid my dues to make it
Everybody wants me to be
What they want me to be
I’m not happy when I try to fake it! no!

Ooh that’s why I’m easy
I’m easy like Sunday morning
That’s why I’m easy
I’m easy like Sunday morning!

I wanna be high, so high
I wanna be free to know
The things I do are right
I wanna be free
Just me! Whoa, oh! Babe!

That’s why I’m easy
I’m easy like Sunday morning, yeah
That’s why I’m easy
I’m easy like Sunday morning, whoa
‘Cause I’m easy
Easy like Sunday morning, yeah
‘Cause I’m easy
Easy like Sunday morning

Songwriters: Lionel Richie
Easy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Hello ♫

With a bit of angst … quite a bit, actually … to work off tonight, I sought out my old friend Lionel Richie and asked if he could help bring a bit of a smile to my tired ol’ face.  In my mind, at least, he said, “Sure thing, honey pie … name your pleasure!”  Sigh.

So anyway, I settled on this song, double-checked to make sure I hadn’t played it before, and found, much to my chagrin, that I played it last October.  Now, typically I would go in search of another song, but I had my little heart set on this one, and I’m too tired to start over, so … if you are bothered by my repetitiveness … put your headphones on and listen anyway … just this once, okay?

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

♫ We Are The World ♫

Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Truly ♫

Some nights, ya just want some Lionel, y’know?  This is one of those nights.  I’ve got worries on my mind tonight, and I want Lionel to take them away for just a few minutes.

Released in 1982, this was Lionel’s first solo single after leaving the Commodores earlier in the year.  Richie’s co-producer on this track was James Anthony Carmichael, who worked on most of the Commodores material.  Richie wrote the song and co-produced it with James Anthony Carmichael.

After 18 nominations (mostly for songs with the Commodores), Richie finally won his first Grammy when this took the award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1983. Richie almost skipped the ceremony, as he was nominated each of the previous five years and had come up empty handed each time.

Truly
Lionel Richie

Girl, tell me only this
That I’ll have your heart for always
And you want me by your side
Whispering the words “I’ll always love you”

And forever
I will be your lover
And I know if you really care
I will always be there

I need to tell you this
There’s no other love like your love
And I, as long as I live
I’ll give you all the joy
My heart and soul can give

Let me hold you
I need to have you near me
And I feel with you in my arms
This love will last forever

Because I’m truly
Truly in love with you, girl
I’m truly head over heels with your love
I need you, and with your love I’m free
And truly, you know you’re all right

With me

Songwriters: Lionel Richie
Truly lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Sail On ♫

‘Tis one of those nights when I am melancholy, memories of times past are replaying in my mind, and I’m recovering from the “Day From Hell”.  Now, you all know where I turn on nights like this, right?  Gotta be either Lionel or Stevie.  I seem to have played most of their best ones, but tonight I found an old favourite that I haven’t played here yet.

I was able to find very little background information about this song other than that it was produced by both Commodores and James Anthony Carmichael. The song reached the top ten on both the US and UK music charts that same year. Richie later recorded the song with Tim McGraw for 2012’s Tuskegee.  So … just listen and (hopefully) enjoy.

Sail On
Lionel Richie

Sail on down the line ’bout-a half-a mile or so
And-a don’t really wanna know-a where you’re goin’
Maybe once or twice, you see, time after time
I tried-a to, to hold on to what we got, but-a now you’re goin’
And I don’t mind about the things you’re gonna say, Lord
I gave all my money, and my time
I know it’s a shame, but I’m givin’ you back your name, yeah, yeah
Yes I’ll be on my way, I won’t be back to stay
I guess I’ll move along, I’m lookin’ for a good time

Sail on down the line, ain’t it funny how the time can go on-a
Friends say they told me so, but it doesn’t matter
It was plain to see that a small town boy like me
Just-a wasn’t your cup of tea
It was wishful thinkin’
I gave you my heart and I tried to make you happy
And you gave me nothin’ in return
You know, it ain’t so hard to say, “Would you please just go away,” yeah, yeah
I’ve thrown away the blues, I’m tired of bein’ used
I want everyone to know I’m lookin’ for a good time, good time

Sail on honey
Good times never felt so good
Sail on honey
Good times never felt so good
Sail on sugar
Good times never felt so good

Songwriters: Lionel Richie
Sail On lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Three Times A Lady ♫

Y’know how some nights you’re just in the mood for something and nothing else will do?  Like … cracked pepper potato chips, or jalapeño cheese dip … or Lionel Richie!  So, tonight I had a whole medley of Lionel going through my head, from Lady to Still, but of course I’ve already played most of the ones I heard in my mind.  The two I hadn’t played were Easy and Three Times A Lady.  I looked all around for a coin to toss, finally found a penny, tossed it, and it came up heads, and thus … you get this song tonight!

Three Times a Lady, released in 1978, was written by Lionel Richie who said …

“I wrote it back in 1978 and it was a very personal meaning to me. I attended the wedding anniversary of my parents and my father made a speech about how much he loved my mother and appreciated the way she had stood beside him for 37 years. It was beautiful and I started to think about my own life and how my wife stands by me, how she does so many things without being asked or thanked. So, I wrote ‘Three Times A Lady’ as a dedication to my wife and my mother. I think my next door neighbor summed it up when she said that if a man wanted to buy her a present, all he need do is buy her that record and he wouldn’t have to say anything else.”

Awwww … doesn’t it bring a tear to your eye?  Ladies, if you are ever lucky enough to have a man say that to you, hold him tight and never let him go, for he’s a keeper!

This was the first #1 hit Lionel Richie wrote, but far from his last: he wrote songs that were #1 US hits in each of the next seven years, giving him the record for most consecutive #1 songs by a songwriter who was never a Beatle (Paul McCartney wrote songs that went to #1 1964-1971).  In the UK, this was #1 for five weeks. It was the biggest UK hit for Motown Records.

Three Times a Lady
Commodores

Thanks for the times that you’ve given me
The memories are all in mind
And now that we’ve come
To the end of our rainbow
There’s something I must say out loud!

Your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you
Yes, your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you!

You shared my dreams
My joys
My pains
You made my life worth living for
And if I had to live my life over again, dear
I’d spend each and every moment with you

Your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you
Yes, your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you!

When we are together
The moments I cherish
With every beat of my heart
To touch you, to hold you
To feel you, to need you
There’s nothing to keep us apart
You’re once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you!
I love you !

Songwriters: Lionel Richie
Three Times a Lady lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC