♫ Sexual Healing ♫ (Redux)

I am playing this one again tonight for someone special … you know who you are … but I hope you all enjoy it!


A bit of background:

In the winter of 1981, Marvin Gaye had relocated to Ostend, Belgium, following the end of a European tour amid financial difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service and the end of his second marriage. Struggling with depression and cocaine addiction, Gaye had agreed to move to Ostend on the advice of longtime resident Freddy Cousaert. While in Ostend, Gaye began to curb his drug use and recover from his depression, partaking in Ostend’s beaches. Gaye also began cutting ties with his longtime recording label, Motown, following the release of In Our Lifetime, an album the musician did not declare to be finished. He declared that he would never record with the label ever again after he accused the label of betraying his creativity.

Sexual Healing reached number one on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, where it stayed for a record ten weeks before being replaced by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet, “The Girl Is Mine”. The success was similar on the Hot 100 where it peaked at number three. This peak at number three made Gaye the second artist in the history of the Hot 100 chart (after Aretha Franklin) to have a hit song peak at each position from one to ten on the chart.

When Gaye left Belgium and toured to support the Midnight Love album, he started using drugs again and became mentally unstable. He moved in with his parents and was shot and killed by his father after an argument on April 1, 1984 – the day before his 45th birthday, which I have mentioned before.

Now sit back and like you some Marvin Gaye, okay?

Sexual Healing
Marvin Gaye

Oh, baby now let’s get down tonight
Ooh baby, let’s get down tonight

Baby
Baby let’s get down tonight
Ooh

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
Ooh
Baby now let’s get down tonight

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
I need some lovin’
And baby, I can’t hold it much longer
It’s getting stronger and stronger

And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing, oh baby
Makes me feel so fine

Helps to relieve my mind
Sexual healing baby, is good for me
Sexual healing is something that’s good for me

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
I need some lovin’
And baby, I can’t hold it much longer
It’s getting stronger and stronger

Baby, I got sick this mornin’
A sea was stormin’ inside of me
Baby, I think I’m capsizin’
The waves are risin’ and risin’

And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it’s such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it’s good for us

Sexual healing, baby, it’s good for me
Sexual healing is something that’s good for me

You’re my medicine, open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate
You’re my medicine, open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate

Baby, open up and let me in
It’s getting stronger and stronger
Baby, open up and let me in
I can’t wait for you to operate
I can’t wait for you to operate, baby
I can’t wait for you to operate
Baby, open up and let me in
I can’t for you to operate

Songwriters: David Ritz / Marvin Gaye / Odell Brown
Sexual Healing lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ This Old Heart Of Mine ♫ (Redux)

Exhaustion seems to be my perpetual state of being these days … not sure if it’s roots are physical, emotional (state of the nation), or a combination of the two, but at any rate, I’m settling for a redux once again tonight.  I have played this only once, back in 2019.


Earlier this evening, I was reading a transcript of a podcast, part of a fascinating series put together by Jonathan Capehart for The Washington Post called Voices of the Movement about how music propelled the Civil Rights movement.  It’s a fascinating series in case you’re interested, and you can either listen to the podcast or read the transcript.  Anyway, as I was reading, this song by the Isley Brothers literally popped into my head.Isley-BrothersThe Isley Brothers became one of the most successful acts of the ’70s, and also one of the most independent – they wrote, produced and released their own music throughout the decade. But in 1966, they were signed to Motown Records, who teamed them with the songwriting/production team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), who originally wrote this song for The Supremes.

Released as their first Motown single, it was a hit, but their last Top 40 with the label, who reassigned Holland-Dozier-Holland to other artists. In 1968, The Isley Brothers left Motown to record on their own label, T-Neck Records. Their first T-Neck release was the group’s biggest hit: It’s Your Thing.

Lamont Dozier said this song was inspired by girl he just couldn’t give up …

“The more I tried the deeper I fell. I made excuses for her and all the wrong she had done to me. She was a necessary evil that I just couldn’t overcome.”

Rod Stewart, a huge fan of both Motown and The Isley Brothers, recorded his own version in 1975 and released it as a single. His rendition was a big hit in the UK, climbing to #4, but it only went to #83 in the U.S. He did a lot better stateside when he recorded the song as a duet with Ronald Isley in 1989. This version made #10 in the US.

This Old Heart of Mine
The Isley Brothers

This old heart of mine been broke a thousand times
Each time you break away, I fear you’ve gone to stay
Lonely nights that come, memories that flow, bringing you back again
Hurting me more and more

Maybe it’s my mistake to show this love I feel inside
‘Cause each day that passes by you got me
Never knowing if I’m coming or going, but I, I love you
This old heart darling, is weak for you
I love you, yes, I do
These old arms of mine miss having you around
Makes these tears inside start a-falling down

Always with half a kiss
You remind me of what I miss
Though I try to control myself
Like a fool I start grinnin’ ’cause my head starts spinnin’ ’cause I

I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you, yes I do, yes I do

Ooh, I try hard to hide, my hurt inside
This old heart of mine always keeps me cryin’
The way you’re treating me, leaves me incomplete
You’re here for the day, gone for the week now

But if you leave me a hundred times
A hundred times I’ll take you back
I’m yours whenever you want me
I’m not too proud to shout it, tell the world about it ’cause I

I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you

I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you, yes I do, yes I do
I love you, yes I do, darling is weak for you

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Sylvia Moy / Brian Holland
This Old Heart of Mine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Dancing In The Street ♫ (Redux)

When rawgod mentioned this one tonight, it immediately began playing in my head and, since I was pondering what to do for a music post, I seized upon it!  Hope you guys like it!


I hope you’re in the mood for a bit of something upbeat tonight, for I am greatly in need of what I think of as ‘happy music’, which often leads me to Motown, and tonight is no exception.

This song was written by Motown songwriters Marvin Gaye, Ivy Jo Hunter, and William “Mickey” Stevenson. It became the biggest hit and trademark song for Martha & the Vandellas.  According to the song’s co-writer Mickey Stevenson, the idea for dancing came to him while riding with Marvin Gaye through Detroit. During the summer, the city would open up fire hydrants and let the water out in the streets so they could play in the water to cool off. They appeared to be dancing in the water.  I actually remember one city I lived in as a child doing that … opening the fire hydrants on hot summer days!

Martha Reeves was the leader of the group.  Back in the early days, she was trying to get her foot in the door at Motown, but they wouldn’t even give her an audition, so she applied for and got a job as secretary.  Part of her secretarial duties was singing lyrics to new songs onto tapes so backup singers could learn the words. This led to fill-in work as a backup singer, where she impressed Motown executives with her voice.  She convinced them to hire her friends, Annette Sterling and Rosalind Ashford, and thus was born Martha and the Vandellas!  After backing up Marvin Gaye on some of his songs, Motown gave them songs to sing on their own, including the hit Heat Wave.

Martha Reeves told the story behind this song …

“Marvin Gaye had recorded ‘Dancing in the Street” when I first heard it, and he had put a real smooth vocal on there, sort of like (jazzy singing) ‘Calling all around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat baby?’ and for some reason, Marvin said, “let’s try this song on Martha.” I was in the office and they let me hear the song, but I couldn’t quite feel it that way. I had been to Rio De Janeiro, I had travelled to New Orleans during Carnival time, so I just knew it had to be somewhere about dancing in the street. I said, ‘Can I sing it the way that I feel it?’ And they said, ‘Go ahead.’

So, I sang it (singing on the beat) ‘calling all around the world are you ready for a brand-new beat,’ and, they loved it. There was all kinds of congratulatory hand slaps and ‘hey man, we got a hit in that window up there,’ and the engineer, Lawrence Horn, looked and said, ‘I didn’t turn the machine on.’

I had to sing it again. So, the second time I sang it, there’s a little bit of anger there because I had to repeat it. It was a straight performance and that’s why it sounds live. I think that’s the secret of the success of the hit – the fact that I had to do it again, and I did it without a mistake or without any interruption, and the feeling was just right on that song.”

The song took on a different meaning when riots in inner-city America led to many young black demonstrators citing the song as a civil rights anthem to social change which also led to some radio stations taking the song off its play list because certain black advocates such as H. Rap Brown began playing the song while organizing demonstrations.

The British press aggravated Reeves one time when someone put a microphone in her face and asked her if she was a militant leader. The British journalist wanted to know if Reeves agreed, as many people had claimed, that Dancing in the Street was a call to riot. To Reeves, the query was patently absurd. ‘My Lord, it was a party song,’ she remarked.

Like many a Motown hit, this song has been covered by many, including The Mamas and The Papas, Val Halen, Grateful Dead, David Bowie & Mick Jagger as a duet, and many more.  But to me, Martha and the Vandellas own this one.

Dancing in the Street
Martha and the Vandellas

Calling out around the world,
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the street.
They’re dancing in Chicago,
Down in New Orleans,
In New York City.

All we need is music, sweet music.
There’ll be music everywhere.
There’ll be swinging and swaying and records playing,
Dancing in the street.
Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there.
So come on, every guy, grab a girl.
Everywhere around the world
They’ll be dancing.
They’re dancing in the street.

It’s an invitation across the nation,
A chance for folks to meet.
There’ll be laughing, singing, and music swinging,
Dancing in the street.
Philadelphia, P.A.
Baltimore and D.C. now.
Can’t forget the Motor City.

All we need is music, sweet music.
There’ll be music everywhere.
There’ll be swinging and swaying and records playing,
Dancing in the street.
Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there.
So come on, every guy, grab a girl.
Everywhere around the world
They’re dancing.
They’re dancing in the street.

Way down in L.A. ev’ry day,
They’re dancing in the street.
(Dancing in the street.)
Let’s form a big, strong line, get in time,
We’re dancing in the street.
(Dancing in the street.)
Across the ocean blue, me and you,
We’re dancing in the street.

Songwriters: Marvin Gaye / William Stevenson / Ivy Hunter
Dancing in the Street lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc

♫ Stop! In The Name Of Love ♫

I was in the mood for something upbeat tonight, and the Supremes seemed like an answer to that, so I dug back through the archives but either I had already played them within the last 2 years, or they didn’t go over that well, so I decided to go with one I hadn’t yet played.  I’m surprised to find I hadn’t already played this one, so I double-checked the data, but nope … I haven’t!

Like so much of Motown music, this was written by the songwriting team Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland/Dozier/Holland). Dozier got the idea for the title after an argument with his girlfriend (she caught him cheating). In the heat of battle, he said, “Baby, please stop. In the name of love – before you break my heart.” He was trying to diffuse the situation, but it didn’t help – she was still going to break up with him. So, he asked her to “think it over.”

When the song rose to #1 in the U.S., The Supremes became the first act to land four consecutive singles at the top of the Hot 100. They made it five with their next one, Back in My Arms Again.

This song received a Grammy nomination in 1966 for Best Contemporary Performance – Group (Vocal Or Instrumental); it lost to the Statler Brothers’ hit Flowers on the Wall.

While the song reached #1 in the U.S., it peaked at #3 in Canada and Germany, and only #7 in the UK – still not too shabby, eh?

Stop!  In the Name of Love

The Supremes

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart

Baby, baby I’m aware of where you go
Each time you leave my door
I watch you walk down the street
Knowing your other love you’ll meet
But this time before you run to her
Leaving me alone and hurt
(Think it over) After I’ve been good to you
(Think it over) After I’ve been sweet to you

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over

I’ve known of your
Your secluded nights
I’ve even seen her
Maybe once or twice
But is her sweet expression
Worth more than my love and affection
But this time before you leave my arms
And rush off to her charms
(Think it over) Haven’t I been good to you
(Think it over) Haven’t I been sweet to you

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over

I’ve tried so hard, hard to be patient
Hoping you’d stop this infatuation
But each time you are together
I’m so afraid I’ll be losing you forever

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love

Writer/s: Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Lamont Dozier
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ Being With You ♫ (Redux)

Some nights, there is a song I particularly want to play, and other nights I’m at a loss.  I was just cruisin’ through my archives tonight, not having the stamina to post a new song, and this one seemed like a pretty good choice!  So, let’s love us some Smokey Robinson tonight!


Robinson wrote this for Kim Carnes after she recorded his song More Love, which was produced by George Tobin. What Smokey didn’t know was that Carnes and Tobin were no longer working together, but instead of explaining that to Smokey, Tobin brought him in and convinced him to record the song himself.

Tobin had his own studio, and floated an unusual idea: he would record and produce the song as a Smokey Robinson solo effort. Robinson, who was one of the top Motown producers, had never been produced before as a solo act, but he went for the idea. They started work on the song that night and were finished the next day. The result was Robinson’s biggest hit as a solo artist, reaching #2 on the Hot 100. It was held out of the #1 spot in the US by Bette Davis Eyes, which was recorded by… Kim Carnes!  Talk about coincidence!

According to Scott Edwards, who played bass on this song …

“George Tobin, he went to Smokey Robinson and he told the Motown Machine that if they let him cover all the expenses for the session, play with the musicians, be totally economically responsible, then he wanted some huge percentage of the profit. And Motown, thinking, ‘This cat doesn’t know what he’s doing,’ and ‘How can we lose?’ they agreed to it. So he went in the studio and cut these tracks on Smokey and one of them was ‘Being With You.’ In the session, he would give us basic guidelines on what he felt different times. We’d throw things at him and he’d say, ‘Yeah, do that.’ So he was not a musical person at all, but he had a helper, a co-producer named Mike Piccirillo who was a guitar player. So between the two of them, they would let you know what they wanted.

He came up with the tune and he said, ‘Do this, Scott.’ So I did it and chordally it worked out. Then later on when I heard it, I said, They knew what they wanted. I didn’t, but they did. And it worked out. But they would give you guidelines and then if you had something better, they would leave you alone and let you go with it.

Smokey wrote the song, but as far as the interpretation of it, it was totally George Tobin and Piccirillo. That turned out to be one of Smokey’s biggest tunes, and Motown had to fork over part of that big percentage that they just knew was not going to work out.”

According to this song’s producer, George Tobin, Motown president Berry Gordy didn’t think this would do very well, but when it started to climb the charts he put a lot of promotion behind it. The song was unusual in that it was released on Motown Records, but through an arrangement with someone outside the company. On the single, it said, “Produced and arranged by George Tobin in association with Mike Piccirillo for George Tobin productions.

The song hit #1 in the UK, #2 in the U.S., and #5 in Canada.

Being With You
Smokey Robinson

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

Honey don’t go, don’t leave this scene
Be out of the picture and off of the screen
Don’t let them say “we told you so”
They tell me you’ll love me and then let me go

I’ve heard the warning voice
From friends and my relations
They tell me all about your heart-break reputation

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say, no
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

People can change, they always do
Haven’t they noticed the changes in you?
Or can it be, that like love I am blind?
Do I want it so much ’til it’s all in my mind?

One thing I know for sure
Is really really real
I never felt before the way you make me feel

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
Being with you
Being with you

I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
I wanna be with you

I don’t care if they start to avoid me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: William Smokey Robinson Jr.

♫ I Will Survive ♫ (Redux)

Doggone it!  Every time a song pops into my head and I think, “OHO!  That’s one I haven’t featured on my music posts yet!”,  I find that indeed, I have featured it, often more than once.  I’m beginning to think perhaps my repertoire is too limited … I KNOW there are more songs I love but haven’t played here before!  Anyway, tonight this one is stuck in my head, I haven’t played it for two years, and I like it, so … just sit back and enjoy Ms. Gloria Gaynor at her finest!


This song has become known as a “female empowerment” song, and most often it is associated with the break-up of two lovers.  But …

Dino Fekaris, the song’s lyricist, was a staff writer for Motown until he was fired.  Says Fekaris, of the inspiration for this song …

“They let me go after almost seven years. I was an unemployed songwriter contemplating my fate. I turned the TV on, and there it was: a song I had written for a movie theme titled Generation was playing right then (the song was performed by Rare Earth). I took that as an omen that things were going to work out for me. I remember jumping up and down on the bed saying, ‘I’m going to make it. I’m going to be a songwriter. I will survive!”

Freddie Perren was another former Motown songwriter, and he & Fekaris paired up on this song, and went on to form their own production duo and scored big with Peaches & Herb, taking Reunited to #1.

Gaynor sees this song as just a simple song about survival, regardless of what you have to overcome.

“I love the empowering effect, I love the encouraging effect. It’s a timeless lyric that addresses a timeless concern.”

When last I played this in early 2020, my dear friend Bee commented and included a link to a handwashing video Ms. Gaynor had done to the tune of this song.  I found it fun, so I’m including it as well!  Thanks, Bee!

And my heartfelt thanks to Ellen Nothstein … if you’re reading this, Ellen … this one’s for you.

I Will Survive
Gloria Gaynor

At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
And so you’re back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?

Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive, hey, hey

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
And I spent oh-so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high and you see me
Somebody new
I’m not that chained-up little person and still in love with you
And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free
Well, now I’m saving all my lovin’ for someone who’s loving me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?

Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive

Oh
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?

Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive
I will survive

Songwriters: Dino Fekaris / Frederick J. Perren
I Will Survive lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ There’s A Ghost In My House ♫

As a rule, I typically play only songs that I like at least a little bit here on Filosofa’s Word.  However, once or twice in the past I’ve stepped outside that box, and today is yet another such time.  A few days ago, our friend Clive mentioned R. Dean Taylor.  Now, the only song I could recall by Taylor was Indiana Wants Me, which I played here last year, but Clive mentioned There’s A Ghost In My House, which I was pretty sure I had never heard.  Veni, Vidi, Odi.  I came, I saw, I didn’t like.  However, since Clive is a good friend, I decided to give it a second shot yesterday.  It was slightly less annoying than the first time I listened.  Clive is convinced I won’t play it here, so … being a somewhat stubborn person, and liking to have a bit of fun, I decided to surprise Clive!  Note, friends, that if you listen a second time, it’s not quite so bad the second time around. 😊  The lyrics, in fact, are actually quite touching.

I was surprised to learn that this was co-written with Brian Holland, Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier, for I typically love all of their work.  According to SongFacts …

This uptempo track about a love that is no more flopped in the US but was a big hit in the UK. In R. Dean Taylor: raising a ghost, an article/interview published in the July 6, 1974 issue of Melody Maker, Taylor said it was originally recorded on Tamla Motown several years previously, but the label never did anything to promote it. They weren’t really interested in him as an artist because they had a name for being a black label. He added: “I hope it will eventually be strong for white artists too, but I can’t wait for that. I can’t hang around. I could be 68 years old.” He was “staggered but delighted” when “Ghost” started leaping up the British charts having been adopted by the Northern Soul and disco circuit.

Although recorded early on in his career, it remains one of the white Canadian’s two biggest hits.

I could find no additional trivia about the song, so here it is, in all it’s {cough} splendor …

There’s a Ghost in My House

R. Dean Taylor

There’s a ghost in my house
The ghost of your memories
The ghost of the love you took from me

Where our love used to be
Only shadows from the past I see
Time can’t seem to erase
The vision of your smiling face
Though you found someone new

I can’t get over you
There’s a ghost in my house
I can’t hide
(Ghost in my house)
From the ghost of your love that’s inside
(Ghost in my house)

It keeps on haunting me
(Ghost in my house)
Just keeps on reminding me
(Ghost in my house)

In my mind I know you’re gone
But my heart keeps holding on
To the memories of those happy times
To the love that once was mine
Though we’re far apart

You’re always in my heart
There’s a ghost in my house
I can’t hide
(Ghost in my house)
From the ghost of your love that’s inside

You’re still such a part of me
(Ghost in my house)
Still so deep in the heart of me
(Ghost in my house)

I just keep hearing your footsteps on the stairs
When I know there’s no-one there
Every day I love you more
So much more than the day before

Sittin’ in my easy chair
I feel your fingers running through my hair
Lookin’ down in my coffee cup
I think I see your face lookin’ up
All alone in my gloom

You voice echoes through the room
There’s a ghost in my house
And I can’t hide
(Ghost in my house)
From the ghost of your love that’s inside
(Ghost in my house)

It keeps on haunting me
(Ghost in my house)
Just keeps on reminding me
(Ghost in my house)

I just keep hearing your footsteps on the stairs
When I know there’s no-one there
You’re still such a part of me
(Ghost in my house)

Still so deep in the heart of me
(Ghost in my house)
I can’t hide
(Ghost in my house)
From the ghost of your love that’s inside
(Ghost in my house)

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Brian Holland / Edward Holland / Edward / Jr. Holland / Jr. / Lamont Dozier / Lamont Herbert Dozier / R. Dean Taylor

There’s a Ghost in My House lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ This Old Heart Of Mine ♫ (Redux)

I was planning to do a different song tonight, one that I had not played here before, but time got away from me and it’s now well after 2:00 a.m. and I’d like to go to bed sometime, so I decided to redux this one from back in 2019, but have added a second version for your listening pleasure!


Earlier this evening, I was reading a transcript of a podcast, part of a fascinating series put together by Jonathan Capehart for The Washington Post called Voices of the Movement about how music propelled the Civil Rights movement.  It’s a fascinating series in case you’re interested, and you can either listen to the podcast or read the transcript.  Anyway, as I was reading, this song by the Isley Brothers literally popped into my head.Isley-BrothersThe Isley Brothers became one of the most successful acts of the ’70s, and also one of the most independent – they wrote, produced and released their own music throughout the decade. But in 1966, they were signed to Motown Records, who teamed them with the songwriting/production team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), who originally wrote this song for The Supremes.

Released as their first Motown single, it was a hit, but their last Top 40 with the label, who reassigned Holland-Dozier-Holland to other artists. In 1968, The Isley Brothers left Motown to record on their own label, T-Neck Records. Their first T-Neck release was the group’s biggest hit: It’s Your Thing.

Lamont Dozier said this song was inspired by girl he just couldn’t give up …

“The more I tried the deeper I fell. I made excuses for her and all the wrong she had done to me. She was a necessary evil that I just couldn’t overcome.”

Rod Stewart, a huge fan of both Motown and The Isley Brothers, recorded his own version in 1975 and released it as a single. His rendition was a big hit in the UK, climbing to #4, but it only went to #83 in the U.S. He did a lot better stateside when he recorded the song as a duet with Ronald Isley in 1989. This version made #10 in the US.  Last time I played this, I only included The Isley Brothers’ version, but this time I decided to add the Rod Stewart one with Ronald Isley. 

This Old Heart of Mine
The Isley Brothers

This old heart of mine been broke a thousand times
Each time you break away, I fear you’ve gone to stay
Lonely nights that come, memories that flow, bringing you back again
Hurting me more and more

Maybe it’s my mistake to show this love I feel inside
‘Cause each day that passes by you got me
Never knowing if I’m coming or going, but I, I love you
This old heart darling, is weak for you
I love you, yes, I do
These old arms of mine miss having you around
Makes these tears inside start a-falling down

Always with half a kiss
You remind me of what I miss
Though I try to control myself
Like a fool I start grinnin’ ’cause my head starts spinnin’ ’cause I

I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you, yes I do, yes I do

Ooh, I try hard to hide, my hurt inside
This old heart of mine always keeps me cryin’
The way you’re treating me, leaves me incomplete
You’re here for the day, gone for the week now

But if you leave me a hundred times
A hundred times I’ll take you back
I’m yours whenever you want me
I’m not too proud to shout it, tell the world about it ’cause I

I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you

I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you, yes I do, yes I do
I love you, yes I do, darling is weak for you

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Sylvia Moy / Brian Holland
This Old Heart of Mine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ True ♫ (Redux)

As I was working on my ‘good people’ post late last night, this song kept going through my head.  Needless to say, I couldn’t remember the lyrics, but remembered a snippet … “I bought a ticket to the world …”, so Google helped me come up with the title and group.  AHA!  I thought.  One I haven’t featured here before!  But just to be sure, I checked the archives and … DAMN!  I played this one a couple of years ago.  But, as I listened to it, I found it does something to me … it brings a smile and a nice, happy feeling.  So, you get to hear it again!


True was composed by group leader Gary Kemp, who wrote the song at his parents’ house while living there. It is a song that in part pays tribute to the Motown artist Marvin Gaye, who is mentioned in the lyrics, and the sound he helped to establish. According to Kemp …

“I think I wanted to write a song that was a bit like a Marvin Gaye, Al Green song, a blue-eyed soul song. It was at a time when it was me concentrating on melody first rather than the sort of riff and the groove. ‘True’ became a song about writing a love song. Why ‘Why do I find it hard to write the next line? I want the truth to be said?’ Because I didn’t want to write it down—because there’s nothing more embarrassing.”

The song was partly about Kemp’s platonic relationship (and unrequited love) with Altered Images singer Clare Grogan …

“I was infatuated with Clare Grogan. I met her on Top of the Pops and, at one point, travelled up to Scotland to have tea with her and her mum and dad. Although my feelings were unrequited and the relationship was platonic, it was enough to trigger a song.”

Some phrases in the lyrics were adapted from the novel Lolita, a copy of which Clare Grogan had given Gary Kemp.

“The lyrics are full of coded messages to Clare.  I’m still berated for the line ‘Take your seaside arms’ but it’s straight out of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, which she had given me as a present – although in the book, it’s ‘seaside limbs.’ The line ‘With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue’ is also a bastardisation of Nabokov.”

Kemp did an interview with The Guardian back in 2014 that you might find interesting:  Spandau Ballet: We wanted to design the next decade’s pop culture

Released in 1983, this is the only song by the British group to make the top ten in the U.S.  It hit #1 in Canada, Ireland and the UK, and #4 in the U.S.

True
Spandau Ballet

So true, funny how it seems
Always in time, but never in line for dreams
Head over heels when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
I want the truth to be said

I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun
Listening to Marvin (all night long)
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

Always slipping from my hands
Sand’s a time of its own
Take your seaside arms and write the next line
I want the truth to be known

I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I
Ooh, I know this much is true, I know this much is true

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
I want the truth to be, I want the truth to be said

I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I
Ooh, I know this much is true, I know this much is true

This much is true

This much is true
This much is true
This much is true
This much is true
This much is true
This much is true

I, I-I-I, I, I
Know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I, I
Know this much is true
This much is true
This much is true
I know, I know, I know this much is true

This much is true
This much is true
This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
I know this much is true

This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
Know this much is true
This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
Know this much is true
I know, I know, I know this much is true

This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
I know this much is true
This much is true

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Gary Kemp
True lyrics © Reformation Publishing Co Ltd

♫ What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted

Hey!!!  Guess what???  I found one of my favourite Motown songs that I haven’t played here before!  It’s nothing short of a miracle!  No, it’s not by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.  I have no idea why, but I somehow thought I remembered this one as being by the Four Tops!  Not even close, as it happens.

This was written by Motown writers Jimmy Dean, Paul Riser, and William Witherspoon. They wrote it for The Detroit Spinners, but Jimmy Ruffin, brother of The Temptations’ David Ruffin, convinced the Motown writers to let him try it, and they liked what they heard.

Many Motown songs deal with heartbreak, but this one is especially bleak. The poor guy has recently joined the ranks of the brokenhearted, and he’s not sure what happens next. He knows he can’t take the pain much longer but keeps coming up empty in his search.

Originally, this contained a spoken intro:

A world filled with love is a wonderful sight

Being in love is one’s heart’s delight

But that look of love isn’t on my face

That enchanted feeling has been replaced

It was cut out before the song was released, but the version with the intro did appear on a British compilation which also included Ruffin’s version of the song in Italian (“Se Decidi Cosi”).

Smokey Robinson produced this track. He worked on many Motown classics as an artist, writer and producer.  Other Motown acts to record this song include Diana Ross and The Supremes, who did a cover of this for their album Let the Sunshine In, and The Contours, who did it at a faster tempo. Both of these versions contains the spoken intro.

In the UK, this charted at #10 when it was first released in 1966 but reached #4 when it was re-released in 1974.  In the U.S., it made it to #7.

Dave Stewart (not the one from Eurythmics) released a keyboard-driven version of this song in 1980 with Colin Blunstone of The Zombies on vocals. This rendition, which had Amanda Parsons and Jakko on backing vocals, hit #13 in the UK.  The British duo Robson & Jerome took this song to #1 in the UK when they released it as a single along with covers of Saturday Night At The Movies and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Vonda Shepard recorded this for an episode of the TV series Ally McBeal. Paul Young recorded this for the 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes. His version went to #1 on the US Adult Contemporary charts and made #22 on the Hot 100 (the only version besides Ruffin’s to make this chart).

The theme song from the 1992 Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard was Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, but according to her leading man Kevin Costner speaking at her funeral in February 2012, the first choice was this song, which ended up being used in Fried Green Tomatoes (the Paul Young version).

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted

Jimmy Ruffin

As I walk this land with broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer
I walk in shadow searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone to care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
But someone look, there’s a growing need
Oh, he is lost, there’s no place for beginning
All that’s left is an unhappy ending
Now, becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind

I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I’ll be looking everyday, I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
And I’ll be searching everywhere
I know I gotta find a way
I’ll be looking

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoonn

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC