♫ To Know Him Is To Love Him ♫

Determined to play something I hadn’t already played here before, I had to dig all the way back to 1958, the year of my 7th birthday.  Still, I well remember this one and most of my readers likely will too … except you young whipper snappers!

This is the song that launched Phil Spector’s career. He was a 17-year-old senior in high school when he recorded this, and he quickly became a top producer after working with prominent songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. By the time he was 23, he had produced hits like Be My Baby and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ and was already a millionaire.  Wow!!!  He became famous for obsessive attention to detail and a heavily layered sound, but he also had mental health issues. After producing the Beatles album Let It Be and working on solo albums for George Harrison and John Lennon in the 1970s, he went into seclusion and worked only sporadically.

Phil Spector was inspired to write this in early 1958 by a photograph of his father Ben’s tombstone that said “To have known him was to have loved him.” Phil changed the tense of the epitaph on the tombstone and matched it to the music of When the Red, Red Robin Goes Bob-Bob-Bobbin’ Along.  Phil’s father, Benjamin Spector, was a steelworker who had killed himself 9 years earlier.

According to SongFacts …

Along with some high school friends, Phil put together The Teddy Bears (named after the Elvis Presley song), and wrote this so their new vocalist, Annette Kleinbard, would have something new to sing at a recording session. They had an audition with Era Records head Lew Bidell, who thought they were “okay” but needed better material. Kleinbard didn’t like the song, but agreed to sing it anyway. The group consisted of high school seniors Spector and Marshall Lieb, sophomore Kleinbard, and alumnus Sandy Nelson (who later had #4 hit “Teen Beat” and #7 “Let There Be Drums”) on the drum kit. Although Lieb played piano at the recording session, Spector had asked another friend to do it: future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Johnston turned Spector down because he had a date.

This was released on Dore Records as the B-side of “Don’t You Worry My Little Pet” and released in August 1958. After a month, very little happened with the record on the local level. Dore tried again with the record – this time pushing “To Know Him Is To Love Him” as the A-side. Still nothing – it looked like doom for the single. Meanwhile, a radio station in Fargo, North Dakota, began playing “To Know Him Is To Love Him” regularly, and orders began coming in for the record. Then the record started getting airplay in Minneapolis. The record had sold nearly 20,000 copies when it entered Billboard at #88 on September 22. Lew Bedell called Dick Clark in Philadelphia to help him promote the record, which was only a Midwest hit, and Clark played it on American Bandstand on October 3, 1958. The following week, it entered the Top 40, and on October 29, The Teddy Bears appeared live on Bandstand. By December 1, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” was #1 in the nation. It ended up selling nearly one-and-a-half million copies. Spector finished the Dore contract by providing them with a second single, “Wonderful Loveable You” backed with “Till You’re Mine.”

The Teddy Bears left Dore for Imperial Records and released the album The Teddy Bears Sing. It went nowhere and the group soon disbanded, with Spector joining Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood’s Gregmark Publishing and forming a new group called The Spectors Three. Annette Kleinbard had a serious car accident requiring months of recovery time. She did recover and issued a single, “Alibi”/”What Difference Does It Make,” on Imperial under the name Annette Bard. After that single failed, Kleinbard changed her name to Carol Connors (she hated her name because of Annette Funicello’s presence in The Mickey Mouse Club) and later gained fame as a songwriter (“Hey Little Cobra” and “Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)”).

Spector claimed that he learned a great deal from writing, recording and promoting this song. He learned that he didn’t want to be a singer, and he also got a lesson in the brutal nature of the record business when he received only $3,000 out of the $20,000 he thought he had earned from the record. “I learnt about payola and distributors and manufacturing,” Spector said. “I learnt about the Mafia.”

On February 3, 2003, Spector shot actress Lana Clarkson in the mouth while in his mansion (the Pyrenees Castle) in Alhambra, California. Her body was found slumped in a chair with a single gunshot wound to her mouth.  On May 29, 2009, Spector was sentenced to 19-years-to-life in the California state prison system where he remained until he died earlier this year at age 81.  Whoa … how did I manage to turn a fun music post into such a depressing one.  Okay, never mind me and just listen to the song, okay?  Oh, by the way, this song peaked at #1 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK.

To Know Him Is to Love Him
The Teddy Bears

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
Just to see him smile
Makes my life worthwhile

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
And I do

I’ll be good to him, I’ll bring love to him
Everyone says there’ll come a day
When I’ll walk alongside of him

Yes, just to know him
Is to love, love, love him
And I do

Why can’t he see?
How blind can he be?
Someday he’ll see
That he was meant for me

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
Just to see him smile
Makes my life worthwhile

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
And I do

Why can’t he see?
How blind can he be?
Someday he’ll see
That he was meant for me

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
Just to see him smile
Makes my life worthwhile

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
And I do

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
Just to see him smile
Makes my life worthwhile

To know, know, know him
Is to love, love, love him
And I do

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Phil Spector

♫ I’ve Never Been To Me ♫

I played this one a few years back … sometime in 2018 … and this morning, as I was sweeping peanut shells off the back patio, it just popped into my head, where it has remained for much of the day.  When I played it back in 2018, I played only the version by Charlene, the only one I was aware of at the time.  However, my friend Ellen commented that the Temptations had also covered this song on their Reunion Tour in the early ’80s.  Although I love the Temptations, I still prefer the Charlene version of this song, but I will include both this time ’round so you can choose for yourselves!

Charlene, whose full name is Charlene Marilynn D’Angelo Duncan Oliver, is an R&B singer who is known mainly for this one song.  Originally released in 1976, it barely made a blip on the charts, reaching only #97 in the U.S.  Six years later, it was re-released after a Florida radio station started playing it to great public acclaim, by which time Charlene had moved to England and was working in an Ilford, Essex sweet shop. The re-release became a huge hit in both the U.S. and the UK.

I am not one who deeply analyzes songs.  I take lyrics at face value … when I even hear the lyrics, that is!  I hadn’t given much thought to the lyrics, but might have missed the meaning of them anyway.  According to Songfacts …

The song was originally written from a male perspective but was rewritten by Ron Miller for Charlene. The use of the line “I’ve been to crying for unborn children” was not written about abortion. The line refers to a woman who is at a point in her life that she wished she had taken the time to have children.  There are many misconceptions about this song. The spoken bridge in the song was not about or did it mention abortion – it was deemed too feminist and when Charlene’s first album was re-released in 1977, the spoken bridge had been deleted. When the song became an unexpected hit in 1982 it was the version WITH the spoken bridge intact that was released. It has also been widely reported that the 1982 single was a re-recording, it is not.

This was used in the 1994 movie The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. There have been several cover versions of this song by both male and female artists, including Nancy Wilson, Randy Crawford, The Temptations, Walter Jackson and Howard Keel.

I’ve Never Been To Me
Charlene

Hey lady, you, lady, cursin’ at your life
You’re a discontented mother and a rich inventive wife
I’ve no doubt you dream about the things you’ll never do
But I wish someone had a talked to me like I wanna talk to you

Ooh I’ve been to Georgia and California, oh, anywhere I could run
Took the hand of a preacher man and we made love in the sun
But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I had to be free
I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me

Please lady, please, lady, don’t just walk away
Cause I have this need to tell you why I’m all alone today
I can see so much of me still living in your eyes
Won’t you share a part of a weary heart that has lived a million lies

Oh I’ve been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed ’em what I’ve got
I’ve been undressed by kings and I’ve seen some things
That a woman ain’t s’posed to see
I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me

Hey, you know what paradise is? It’s a lie. A fantasy we create about
People and places as we’d like them to be. But you know what truth is?
It’s that little baby you’re holding, and it’s that man you fought with
This morning, the same one you’re going to make love with tonight.
That’s truth, that’s love

Sometimes I’ve been to cryin’ for unborn children
That might have made me complete
But I, I took the sweet life and never knew I’d be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that cost too much to be free
Hey lady, I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me

I’ve been to paradise, never been to me
(I’ve been to Georgia and California, and anywhere I could run)
I’ve been to paradise, never been to me
(I’ve been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht)
I’ve been to paradise, never been to me
(I’ve been to cryin’ for unborn children)

Songwriters: Kenneth W Hirsch / Ronald N. Miller
I’ve Never Been To Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ You Really Got Me ♫

Tonight, for some unknown reason, I wanted to play something older than my usual fare … no, Joe, not THAT old!  So, I pulled a year from my invisible hat and came up with 1964.  Wouldn’t you know that I’ve already played quite a few of the top hits from that year, but I did find a few that I hadn’t yet played here.

You Really Got Me was written by Ray Davies for British rock band the Kinks.  Davies says the song was inspired by a girl dancing in the audience during his college days when he played with the Dave Hunt Band …

“I just remembered this one girl dancing. Sometimes you’re so overwhelmed by the presence of another person and you can’t put two words together.  I was playing a gig at a club in Piccadilly and there was a young girl in the audience who I really liked. She had beautiful lips. Thin, but not skinny. A bit similar to Françoise Hardy. Not long hair, but down to about there. Long enough to put your hands through … long enough to hold. I wrote ‘You Really Got Me’ for her, even though I never met her.”

According to SongFacts …

“You Really Got Me” is the first hit for The Kinks. Before releasing it, they put out two singles that flopped: a cover of “Long Tall Sally” and a Ray Davis composition called “You Still Want Me.”

If “You Really Got Me” didn’t sell, there was a good chance their record label would have dropped them, but the song gave them the hit they were looking for. Soon they were making TV appearances, gracing magazine covers, and playing on bills with The Beatles as an opening act. They didn’t have an album out when the song took off, so they rushed one out to capitalize on the demand. This first, self-titled album has just five originals, with the rest being R&B covers – standard practice at the time for British Invasion bands.

The song has been the subject of some interesting controversies, such as the myth that then-session player Jimmy Page, who later joined the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, played the guitar solo.  Page himself denied that, saying …

“Oh, Crikey! I wasn’t on ‘You Really Got Me,’ but I did play on the Kinks’ records. That’s all I’m going to say about it. But every time I do an interview, people ask me about ‘You Really Got Me.’ So maybe somebody can correct Wikipedia so people won’t keep asking me.”

You Really Got Me
The Kinks

Girl, you really got me goin’
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’
Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

See, don’t ever set me free
I always wanna be by your side
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me
Oh no

See, don’t ever set me free
I always wanna be by your side
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Ray Davies
You Really Got Me lyrics © Edward Kassner Music Co. Ltd

♫ Tell Her About It ♫

Well, as I predicted, last night’s song, Precious and Few, did not attract much attention and few people liked it.  I didn’t really care, expected that, but it was one time that I played it just for me.  However, tonight’s song will, I hope, get a few more toes a-tappin’ and fingers a-snappin’, for it played well on both sides of the big pond!

Per SongFacts …

In his biography The Life and Times of an Angry Young Man, Billy Joel talks about when he first started dating Christie Brinkley. He says that she was the first person he could ever just talk to, and they would spent hours just talking – this was the basis for “Tell Her About It.” It’s simply about an a-ha moment for Joel when he realized that you could actually have a soul mate. Joel and Brinkley met in 1982, married in 1985 and divorced in 1994.

Billy Joel both wrote and performed this one.  The video is a spoof of the Ed Sullivan Show, and shows Joel singing the song as if he were on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963. The cover shot for the UK release of the song was taken from the video, as seen below. An Ed Sullivan imitator (Will Jordan) introduces Joel (as “B.J. and the Affordables”) after Topo Gigio, the talking mouse, finishes his skit. During the song there are different scenes of teenagers watching Joel on TV at home, crowding around appliance store windows watching him, dancing to his song. There is even a brief scene of a Soviet cosmonaut in space listening to the song, with the lyrics displayed at the bottom in the Russian language and in Cyrillic script. At the end of the song, comedian Rodney Dangerfield is there preparing to go on stage under the false impression that he is next, thanks Joel for warming up the crowd. “Patriska the Dancing Bear” is instead called to the stage, much to Dangerfield’s disbelief.

This one reached #1 in the U.S., #4 in the UK, and #5 in Canada.

Tell Her About It
Billy Joel

Listen boy
I don’t want to see you let a good thing
Slip away

You know I don’t like watching
Anybody make the same mistakes
I made

She’s a real nice girl
And she’s always there for you
But a nice girl wouldn’t tell you what you should do

Listen boy
I’m sure that you think you got it all
Under control

You don’t want somebody telling you
The way to stay in someone’s soul

You’re a big boy now
You’ll never let her go
But that’s just the kind of thing
She ought to know

Tell her about it
Tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason to accept
That you’re for real

Tell her about it
Tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her
Let her know how much she means

Listen boy
It’s not automatically a certain guarantee
To insure yourself
You’ve got to provide communication constantly

When you love someone
You’re always insecure
And there’s only one good way
To reassure

Tell her about it
Let her know how much you care
When she can’t be with you
Tell her you wish you were there

Tell her about it
Every day before you leave
Pay her some attention
Give her something to believe

‘Cause now and then
She’ll get to worrying
Just because you haven’t spoken
For so long
Though you may not have done anything
Will that be a consolation when she’s gone

Listen boy
It’s good information from a man
Who’s made mistakes

Just a word or two that she gets from you
Could be the difference that it makes

She’s a trusting soul
She’s put her trust in you
But a girl like that won’t tell you
What you should do

Tell her about it
Tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason
To accept that you’re for real

Tell her about it
Tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her
Let her know how much she means

Tell her about it
Tell her how you feel right now
Tell her about it
The girl don’t want to wait too long
You got to tell her about it
Tell her now and you won’t go wrong
You got to tell her about it
Before it gets too late
You got to tell her about it
You know the girl don’t want
To wait, you got to
Tell her about it

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Billy Joel
Tell Her About It lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ When A Man Loves A Woman ♫

cute-beeTonight I must admit I struggled with a song to play here.  Given my current mood, I was about to opt for “Make The World Go Away”, but … somehow that didn’t seem quite right.  I apologize that tonight’s is yet another redux from 2019, but hopefully it will bring a smile to your face anyway, for there’s nothing quite like the voice of Percy Sledge to warm the heart.  (I’ve got no idea why the cute cartoon bee is here, but he was on the one I played in 2019 and he’s cute, so he gets to stay!


There are a couple of interesting things in the backstory to this song.  First, this song is a huge part of music history, as it is the first #1 Hot 100 hit recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and many other famous musicians would later record some of their classic songs.

Second, is the dispute over who actually wrote the song.  Percy Sledge claims that he actually wrote the song one night when he was so upset over a woman that, while performing with The Esquires Combo, he was overcome with emotion and asked the band to play a slow blues backing – any key, their choice – to which he could sing.  The band started to play and Sledge vented in song for about six minutes.

In Sledge’s story, Quin Ivy was at the show and approached the band about polishing the song and recording it. Sledge says he worked on the lyrics with Lewis and Wright, and recorded it at Norala Sound with Ivy producing …

“When I wrote the song at first, it was called ‘Why Did You Leave Me Baby.’ And I changed it from that to ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’ I just reversed it. Quin told me that if I was to write some lyrics around that melody and the expression I’d put into ‘Why Did You Leave Me Baby,’ he believed it would’ve been a hit record. He was one of the top disc jockeys at that time. Sure enough, he asked me if I had any lyrics for that. He said, “That’s it! Write a story around that title! What a song that would be with that feeling you had!” It was a song that was meant to be. It wasn’t just what I had done; it was the musicians, the producer, the background singers, the right time.”

But, according to Andrew Wright …

“We were set to play a Friday night dance, and we were practicing … I was messing around on the organ when this riff came up out of nowhere. There was no one in the club but us. I told Calvin to go home and write some words.”

According to SongFacts …

In Sledge’s version of the story, he co-wrote the song with his bandmates Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, but let them have sole composer credits, since they gave him the opportunity to sing his heart out. Whether Sledge was acting out of the goodness of his heart or had nothing to do with writing the song is a matter of debate, but the writing credit had huge implications, resulting in a windfall for Lewis and Wright, who get the royalties every time it is played. Since the song went on to be covered by many artists, they get paid for those as well. If it was a goodwill gesture by Sledge, it cost him millions of dollars.

Who knows?  Percy Sledge died in April 2015, at the age of 73, so we will likely never know quite how this song came to be.  It was later recorded by Michael Bolton, among others, but I remain partial to the Percy Sledge version.

When a Man Loves a Woman
Percy Sledge

When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
Trying to hold on to what he needs
He’d give up all his comfort
Sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way it ought to be

Well, this man loves a woman
I gave you everything I had
Trying to hold on to your precious love
Baby, please don’t treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Down deep in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she plays him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Loving eyes can’t ever see

When a man loves a woman
He can do no wrong
He can never own some other girl
Yes when a man loves a woman
I know exactly how he feels
‘Cause baby, baby, baby, you’re my world

When a man loves a woman

Songwriters: Andrew James Wright / Calvin Houston Lewis
When a Man Loves a Woman lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Downtown ♫

Being in something of a black mood after the latest mass shooting, I considered playing Elvis’ In the Ghetto tonight, but then I though perhaps something really upbeat would be a more fitting way to start the weekend.

This one will take you back a ways … for some of you, it will go back to a time before you were even born, but you’ve likely heard the song anyway.  Petula Clark was a British actor, singer and composer who was popular in the UK long before the U.S. discovered her talent.  According to SongFacts …

This was Petula Clark’s first hit in the US, which was slow to discover her talents. In the UK, she was a star as a singer and as a television performer, where she was a regular on the BBC. In the early ’60s, she also caught on in France when she started recording her songs in French. Oddly, she didn’t get an American record deal until late in 1964 when a Warner Bros. executive named Joe Smith, who was vacationing in England, heard the song and signed her to a deal.

When “Downtown” was released in the US, it shot to #1, making Petula the first female singer from the UK to hit #1 in the US during the rock era (after 1955). Remarkably, she didn’t even promote the song before it hit the top spot, as she was touring French-speaking countries at the time.

“The Ed Sullivan Show had been calling every day while I was on tour in Canada, saying, ‘You’ve got to get here,'” Petula told Songfacts. “I couldn’t get there. Eventually I got there, and the record was #1.”

A British songwriter and producer named Tony Hatch wrote this. During the ’60s, he wrote most of Clark’s material, including her follow-up hit, “I Know a Place” (which also deals with city life). Hatch was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.

The word “downtown” had a different meaning in America than it did in the UK. In America, “downtown” is the heart of the city where the action happens. The word wasn’t used much in Britain at the time, but it generally meant the less affluent part of the town’s central area. The song’s writer, Tony Hatch, used the word in its American meaning, as he was inspired by a walk down Broadway during his first visit to New York. These days, the American “heart of the city” use of the phrase is common in the UK.

Petula Clark came to record this song at a time when she had carved a successful career in French, Italian and German-speaking territories. She recalled to The Guardian that Tony Hatch suggested she should be recording again in English. “My head wasn’t in it at the time,” she admitted, “I was totally into French, Italian, German, whatever. I said: ‘Well, you know, if I could find the right song’ and he said he had an unfinished song he wanted to play me, and he played ‘Downtown’ on the piano. I said: ‘Woah, I like that.’ So I asked him to write a lyric up to the standard of the tune, and two weeks later we did it.”

This won a Grammy in 1965 for Best Rock & Roll Recording, making Clark the first British singer to win a Grammy. In 2003, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Clark recorded a new version of this song for her 2013 album Lost in You, which was released when she was 80 years old.

80 years old???  Heck, I’m a decade younger and I can’t, as my late ex-husband used to say, carry a tune in a bucket!  My hat is off to this lady!

I don’t have room nor time to cover all the trivia associated with this song, but if you’re interested, check out the Wikipedia entry, for there is much fascinating info about both the song and the artist.

Downtown
Petula Clark

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go – downtown.
When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help I know downtown.

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown
Things will be great when you’re downtown
No finer place for sure downtown
Everything’s waiting for you.

Don’t hang around and let your problems surround you
There are movie shows downtown.
Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never close downtown.

Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova
You’ll be dancing with ’em too before the night is over
Happy again.

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go – downtown
Where all the lights are bright downtown
Waiting for you tonight downtown
You’re gonna be alright now
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown

And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along.

So maybe I’ll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares
So go downtown
Things will be great when you’re downtown
Don’t wait a minute more downtown
Everything is waiting for you
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown…

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Hatch Anthony Peter
Downtown lyrics © Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Welbeck Music Ltd., Smack Hits, Sony/atv Story Music Publishing, Warner/chappell Music Ltd

♫ Part-Time Lover ♫

Some nights, there’s nothing but Stevie that will do.  I last played this on in October 2018, so it’s been a while, and if you can listen to this, watch Stevie’s energy without wanting to move with the music, without a smile on your face, then … well, I just don’t think you can!


I had two choices on this one … the studio recording, the quality of which is superior, or the live version.  I chose the live version, because the energy, the emotion, I think adds more to the song than can ever come through on a studio recording.  That isn’t always the case, but Stevie Wonder is an entertainer, not just a singer, and he knows how to engage his audience, his energy is contagious.

According to Songfacts:

Wonder was a pioneer when it came to making and recording music using electronics and computers. This is an early example of digital audio recording, which Wonder put together at his own Wonderland Studios.

One of the devices he used was a LinnDrum, a popular drum machine/sampler. “He bought the second drum machine I ever made,” Roger Linn said in a Songfacts interview. “I think he used my drum machine very well on ‘Part-Time Lover.'”

According to Wonder, he drew on two songs by The Supremes as a musical influence for this one: “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “My World Is Empty Without You.”

Syreeta Wright, who was Wonder’s wife at the time, sang backing vocals. She co-wrote Wonder’s 1970 song “If You Really Love Me” and had her own Top 10 hit with her duet with Billy Preston, “With You I’m Born Again.”

Also featured on this track is Luther Vandross, who can be heard humming at the end of the verses.

Part-Time Lover
Stevie Wonder

Call up, ring once, hang up the phone
To let me know you made it home
Don’t want nothing to be wrong with part-time lover
If she’s with me I’ll blink the lights
To let you know tonight’s the night
For me and you my part-time lover

We are undercover passion on the run
Chasing love up against the sun
We are strangers by day, lovers by night
Knowing it’s so wrong, but feeling so right

If I’m with friends and we should meet
Just pass me by, don’t even speak
Know the word’s “discreet” when part-time lovers
But if there’s some emergency
Have a male friend to ask for me
So then she won’t peek its really you my part-time lover

We are undercover passion on the run
Chasing love up against the sun
We are strangers by day, lovers by night
Knowing it’s so wrong, but feeling so right

I’ve got something that I must tell
Last night someone rang our doorbell
And it was not you my part-time lover
And then a man called our exchange
But didn’t want to leave his name
I guess that two can play the game
Of part-time lovers
You and me, part-time lovers
But, she and he, part-time lovers

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Part-Time Lover lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Seasons In The Sun ♫

I’ve been intending to redux this one for several months now … actually since last March when I saved a draft of it, but then never got around to actually playing it here!  Tonight, I am behind on everything … responding to comments, writing my morning post, emails, and sleep!  So, what better time for a redux of this song by Terry Jacks?  Hope you enjoy it!


Little did I know until tonight that this song initially had quite a different set of lyrics in the beginning!  The song was initially titled Le Moribond (The Dying Man) and was written in French by Jacques Brel, a Belgian songwriter. Since the original lyrics and concept are a bit disgusting, I won’t put them on this post, but if you’re the curious sort, you can find them at Songfacts.

Terry Jacks re-worked the song, changing the lyrics in honour of his best friend who had recently died of leukemia.  The song was released in 1973, topping the charts in both the U.S. and the UK, and it became the largest selling single in Canadian history.

Seasons in the Sun

Terry Jacks

Goodbye to you my trusted friend
We’ve known each other since we were nine or ten
Together we’ve climbed hills and trees
Learned of love and ABCs
Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees

Goodbye my friend, it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
Pretty girls are everywhere
Think of me and I’ll be there

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed
Were just seasons out of time

Goodbye papa, please pray for me
I was the black sheep of the family
You tried to teach me right from wrong
Too much wine and too much song
Wonder how I got along

Goodbye papa, it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
Little children everywhere
When you see them, I’ll be there

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song
Like the seasons, have all gone

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song
Like the seasons, have all gone

Goodbye Michelle, my little one
You gave me love and helped me find the sun
And every time that I was down
You would always come around
And get my feet back on the ground

Goodbye Michelle, it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
With the flowers everywhere
I wish that we could both be there

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the stars we could reach
Were just starfish on the beach

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the stars we could reach
Were just starfish on the beach

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song
Like the seasons, have all gone

All our lives we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed
Were just seasons out of time

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun

Songwriters:  Rod McKuen, Jacques Roman Brel

♪ Yesterday ♪

I played this one in October 2018 … I don’t remember why I played it then, but I know why I am playing it tonight.  Our world has done a 180° in the past year, and nothing is as it was a year ago.  It’s Christmas time, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it for most of us.  The world we thought we knew a year ago … well, perhaps we didn’t know it so well after all, but I think that all our troubles look as though they’re here to stay … for a while, anyway. 


According to Songfacts

This is the most covered pop song of all time, with over 3,000 versions Say WHAT??? recorded according to The Guinness Book Of World Records. For years, it was also the song with the most radio plays, but in 1999 BMI music publishing reported that You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ had passed it. Still, at any given time, some version of “Yesterday” is probably being broadcast somewhere.

Paul McCartney wrote this song and was the only Beatle to play on it. It was the first time a Beatle recorded without the others.

McCartney claimed that while The Beatles were touring in Paris, he tumbled out of bed and this tune was in his head. He thought he had heard it somewhere before, and played the melody to different people in the music industry to make sure he wasn’t stealing it. The working title was “Scrambled Eggs” until Paul could figure out lyrics.  Scrambled Eggs???  smh.

This song caused a rift between McCartney and Yoko Ono. When The Beatles Anthology album was released, McCartney asked that the writing credit on this read “McCartney/Lennon,” since he wrote it. Yoko refused, and it was listed as “Lennon/McCartney,” which is how they usually credited songs written by either Beatle.

Some of the artists who have covered this song include Boyz II Men, Ray Charles, En Vogue, Marianne Faithfull, Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, Nana Mouskouri, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes, The Toys, Andy Williams, and Tammy Wynette.  Tammy Wynette???  You’ve got to be kidding me!  

Okay … my curiosity piqued, I had to go listen to Tammy Wynette’s version.  For those who may not know of Wynette, she is heavy, heavy country … twang and all!  I survived a full 17 seconds before I felt ill and exited.  So now, here’s Paul …

Yesterday
The Beatles

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday
Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm

Songwriters: Michel Jean Pierre Colombier / John Winston Lennon / Paul James Mccartney
Yesterday lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ If You Don’t Know Me By Now ♫

It’s funny, but the last time I played this, back in July 2019, I was feeling almost exactly as I am tonight, when I once again seize on this song to bring a bit of relaxation, a reprieve from the angst.  The difference tonight is that I am playing both versions … last time, I was too tired and played only the Simply Red version, but frankly, I like Harold Melvin’s at least as much.  So, sit back and listen to da tunes and let your worries and your cares fade away, if only for a few minutes.


Those of you who write about the serious topics, the heartbreaking things … you know how sometimes you write a post and it just takes everything out of you.  When you hit that “schedule” or “publish” button, you feel drained, exhausted, empty.  So, here I was feeling just that way, and I went into my file of music notes and ideas, and the first one I saw was this, by Simply Red.  It immediately replaced the sadness in my … head?  … heart?  Wherever that sadness was, the music took it away, so this is the song of the day!

A couple of weeks ago I did another song by Simply Red, Holding Back the Years, in which I explained … or tried to explain … my confusion over whether this was a group or a person.  Turns out it was both, but since we’ve already had that discussion, I won’t bore you with a re-hashing.  But, I will say I encountered even more confusion with this song, for while I have never heard of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and when I put the title of this song into SongFacts, it kept trying to tell me that was who did the song.  Sigh.  Why is nothing ever simple?

Anyway, turns out that Harold and his gang of blue notes did record this song first, in 1971.  Now, how Harold et al managed to fly under my radar I’ll never know.  I figured they were likely from the UK, one of those bands that didn’t really do well in the U.S., but no, they were from Philadelphia.  And they were R&B, one of my most favourite genres.  So, I either slept through it all or my memory banks dumped Harold and the gang.  Moving on …

This song was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and as I noted, first recorded by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.  It did well enough, reaching #9 in the UK, #3 in the U.S.  But then, along come Simply Red who covered it in 1989, and it rose to even greater heights … #1 in the U.S., #2 in the UK, and #3 in Canada.

The song was originally written for Labelle, a trio led by Patti LaBelle, but they never recorded it.

If You Don’t Know Me by Now
Simply Red

If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me

All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me like I understand you
Now girl I know the difference between right and wrong
I ain’t gonna do nothing to break up our happy home
Oh don’t get so excited when I come home a little late at night
Cause we only act like children when we argue fuss and fight

If you don’t know me by now (If you don’t know me)
You will never never never know me (No you won’t)
If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me

We’ve all got our own funny moods
I’ve got mine, woman you’ve got yours too
Just trust in me like I trust in you
As long as we’ve been together it should be so easy to do
Just get yourself together or we might as well say goodbye
What good is a love affair when you can’t see eye to eye, oh

If you don’t know me by now (If you don’t know me)
You will never never never know me (No you won’t)
If you don’t know me by now (You will never never never know me)
You will never never never know me (ooh)

Songwriters: Kenneth Gamble / Leon Huff
If You Don’t Know Me by Now lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc