♫ The Long And Winding Road♫ (Redux)

This is a redux from one I played back in 2020 … eons ago! 

Tonight’s selection is strange, in that it is a Beatles recording, yet while it reached the #1 spot in the U.S., it did not chart in the Beatles home country, the UK!  For me, at least, this is one of those that can get stuck in my head for days at a time, for I mostly love the tune, never knew the full lyrics until tonight!

From their 1970 album Let It Be, this was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.  The road McCartney is talking about is the B842 which runs down the east coast of Kintyre and on into Campbeltown near his Scottish farmhouse.  Says McCartney …

“I just sat down at my piano in Scotland, started playing and came up with that song, imagining it was going to be done by someone like Ray Charles. I have always found inspiration in the calm beauty of Scotland and again it proved the place where I found inspiration.”

Paul McCartney offered this song to Tom Jones in 1968 on the condition it be his next single. He had Without Love (There is Nothing) set for release so he turned down the offer, something he would later regret. Speaking with Media Wales in 2012, Jones explained:

“I saw him (McCartney) in a club called Scotts Of St. James on Jermyn Street in London. I said to him When are you going to write me a song then Paul? He said, aye I will then. Then not long after he sent a song around to my house, which was ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ but the condition was that I could do it but it had to be my next single.

Paul wanted it out straight away. At that time I had a song called ‘Without Love’ that I was going to be releasing. The record company was gearing up towards the release of it. The timing was terrible, but I asked if we could stop everything and I could do ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ They said it would take a lot of time and it was impractical, so I ended up not doing it. I was kicking myself. I knew it was a strong song.”

The Beatles recorded this in January 1969 as a fairly simple ballad. By 1970, The Beatles were breaking up and and Phil Spector was brought in to go through the tapes and produce the album. Spector was known for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, where he added many instruments and layered the tracks to create a very full sound. On this track, he took out most of The Beatles instruments and added a string section and choir (The Mike Sammes Singers). The result was very different from what the group originally had in mind.

Even though he wrote this song, Paul McCartney didn’t go to the sessions where Spector produced it. When McCartney heard the results, he made it clear that he hated what Spector did to his song, and tried to get the original version, which was mixed by engineer Glyn Johns, on the album. The band was already falling apart, and this caused further turmoil within the group, as Harrison and Lennon both supported Spector. Paul has not changed his stance over the years, and still believes Spector butchered it. Lennon and Harrison felt otherwise, and each had Spector produce their next solo efforts. Lennon said of Spector’s work on Let It Be:

“Phil was given the s–ttiest load of badly recorded s–t with a lousy feeling to it, and he made something of it.”

Some of the many artists who covered this song: Tony Bennett, George Benson, Cilla Black, Ray Charles, Cher, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Cissy Houston, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Liberace, The London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Mantovani, Johnny Mathis, Bill Medley, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Ocean, Stu Phillips, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Kevin Rowland, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Williams and Nancy Wilson.  Whew … that’s quite a list!

In an interview shortly before he became British Prime Minister, after five years as Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron told Q magazine that this is his favorite Paul McCartney song. He explained:

“It has a wonderful melody and emotion and pretty much sums up the life of the Leader of the Opposition.”

The Long and Winding Road
The Beatles

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway, you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Long and Winding Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Stevie & Tom ♫ (Redux)

Tonight I need me some Stevie!  Digging around to see what I have or haven’t played recently, I came across this one by two of my favourite artists, Stevie Wonder and Tom Jones from Tom Jones’ television show in 1969 — way back when.  I listened … I found a strange sensation on my face … like something tugging at the corners of my mouth … pulling them upward.  Could it be … could this actually be … the beginnings of a smile?  And then, I played it a second time … and yeah, there’s a smile alright … damn but these two guys are goooooood … doesn’t matter what they sing … they’re solid gold all the way.  Okay, so I just played it in 2020, but … 2020 was a looonnnnngggg time ago, right?  And I do so need the smiles this one brings, so for tonight … just listen, relax, and … SMILE!  Humour an old woman.

♫ Green Green Grass Of Home ♫

After nearly three weeks of being under the weather, I’m trying very hard this week to get back in the saddle, back to my routine postings, including the morning music post.  But, since I’m still a bit weak and shaky, I may have to take a shortcut or two.  So … shhhhhh 🤫 … don’t tell anyone, but I stole this one from David’s Saturday music post!  It was at the top of the list and … well who doesn’t love Tom Jones?  Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to visit David’s music post where he offers much, much more!

Tom Jones decided to record this after hearing a version by Jerry Lee Lewis, a legendary rocker who had started making country records. A year after Johnny Darrell’s original version, Lewis recorded this on his album Country Songs For City Folks.

Jones recalled to The Mail On Sunday February 6, 2011:

“I used to collect anything Jerry Lee Lewis recorded, and still do. I was in New York in 1965 when I bought his country album Country Songs For City Folks. Green Green Grass Of Home stuck out.

I got on well with Jerry Lee. I did have a bit of a dust-up with him one night in Vegas, but most of the time, we got on great. He came over to do a British tour in 1966 and I had just recorded the song. He told me he’d love to hear it, so I played it to him in his hotel room. He was knocked out with it and said: ‘You’ve done something different here, the arrangement is great. It sounds like a No 1 to me.’ I said: ‘I hope you’re right.’ He was.”

Jones also discussed the song’s content in that interview …

“I think the lyrical content is important here. The guy in the song is really in a jail cell, but you don’t know until the end. That got to me. Good God, it paints a picture and yet a lot of people who love Green Green Grass Of Home don’t even realise that. This is about a man who is going to be hanged and he’s just reminiscing on the precious parts of his life.

It made me think of Wales when I recorded it – ‘the old home town looks the same’. When I went back to Pontypridd in those days, getting off the train from London, those words would ring true. It seems like a lot of people relate the sentiment to their home too.”

This song, released in 1965, hit #1 in the UK, #5 in Canada, and #11 in the U.S.  Sorry, Michael, I don’t believe it charted in Germany.  And now, thank you David for allowing me, although unknowingly, to ‘borrow’ a bit of your work!

Green Green Grass of Home
Tom Jones

The old hometown looks the same
As I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my mama and papa
Down the road I look and there runs Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they’ll all come to meet me
Arms reaching, smiling sweetly
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

The old house is still standing
Though the paint is cracked and dry
And there’s that old oak tree that I used to play on
Down the lane, I walk with my sweet Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home

Then I awake and look around me
At four grey walls that surround me
And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming
For there’s a guard and there’s a sad, old padre
On and on, we’ll walk at daybreak
Again, I’ll touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they’ll all come to see me
In the shade of that old oak tree
As they lay me
‘Neath the green, green grass of home

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Curly Putman

Green Green Grass of Home lyrics © Tree International, Tree Publishing Co. Inc.

♫ The Way We Were/Try To Remember ♫

This song is actually a compilation of two songs, The Way We Were, originally sung by Barbra Streisand, and Try To Remember, originally sung by just about everybody, including Gladys Knight.  This is a redux, last played here a couple of years ago, but it is a beautiful piece of music and well worth hearing again.  Besides which, last time I played it, I gave you no accompanying trivia, for it was one of those nights when I was too exhausted to do anything more than post the song & lyrics.  I shall try to do better tonight!

This song was penned by the Texan writing team of Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones) and Harvey Schmidt for the 1960 musical comedy The Fantasticks, where it was originally sung by Jerry Orbach. The show was an off-Broadway production with a minuscule cast. It ran for 42 years, clocking up 17,162 performances, and became the world’s longest-running musical.

The only time Try to Remember reached the US Top 40 was in 1975 when Gladys Knight and The Pips recorded a medley of this song and Barbra Streisand’s The Way We Were. It also peaked at #4 in the UK.

Okay, so I didn’t give you much trivia, but that was all I could find!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the music …

The Way We Were – Try To Remember
Gladys Knight

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were

Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Marilyn Bergman / Marvin Hamlisch
The Way We Were – Try To Remember lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ She’s A Lady ♫

How about a little Tom Jones tonight, folks?

According to a brief clip in the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame …

Paul Anka wrote She’s A Lady in 1971, while on a plane returning home from London, England.
Tom Jones’ manager, Gordon Mills, had asked Paul Anka to write a song that would be a guaranteed hit in the U.S., so as Anka sat on the plane, he began thinking, ‘Tom…women…’ and the rest is history.

Brimming with male bravado, She’s A Lady became a tremendous hit for Tom Jones, who recorded it in 1971 on his album Sing She’s A Lady. The song reached #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and became Jones’ biggest selling single of all time, giving Anka his first #1 hit in the USA and his only #1 hit in CashBox Magazine.

The success of She’s A Lady was another notch in Anka’s belt and yet another example of his versatility as a songwriter. The cheeky lyrics and swinging beat were perfect for Jones, a crooning Casanova known for his sexual energy on stage.

Although Paul Anka himself recorded this song first in 1970 for his album Paul Anka ’70s and again in 2013 for his Duets CD with a new rendition featuring Paul Anka & Tom Jones, the most successful recording was performed by Tom Jones, and released at the beginning of 1971.  It remains Jones’ highest-charting single in the U.S. to date.  It reached #1 in Canada, #2 in the U.S., and #13 in the UK.

She’s A Lady
Tom Jones

Well she’s all you’d ever want,
She’s the kind they’d like to flaunt and take to dinner.
Well she always knows her place.
She’s got style, she’s got grace, She’s a winner.

She’s a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa,
She’s a Lady.
Talkin’ about that little lady,
And the lady is mine.

Well she’s never in the way
Always something nice to say, Oh what a blessing.
I can leave her on her own
Knowing she’s okay alone, and there’s no messing.

She’s a lady.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
She’s a lady.
Talkin’ about that little lady,
And the lady is mine.

Well she never asks for very much and I don’t refuse her.
Always treat her with respect, I never would abuse her.
What she’s got is hard to find, and I don’t want to lose her
Help me build a mountain from my little pile of clay.
Hey, hey, hey.
Well she knows what I’m about,
She can take what I dish out, and that’s not easy,
Well she knows me through and through,
She knows just what to do, and how to please me.

She’s a lady.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
She’s a lady.
Talkin’ about that little lady

And the lady is mine.
Yeah yeah yeah She’s a Lady
Listen to me baby, She’s a Lady
Whoa whoa whoa, She’s a Lady
And the Lady is mine
Yeah yeah yeah She’s a Lady
Talkin about this little lady
Whoa whoa whoa whoa
Whoa and the lady is mine
Yeah yeah She’s a Lady
And the Lady is mine.

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Paul Anka
She’s A Lady lyrics © Chrysalis Music, Chrysalis Standards Inc

♫ Stevie & Tom ♫ (Redux)

Tonight I need me some Stevie!  Digging around to see what I have or haven’t played recently, I came across this one by two of my favourite artists, Stevie Wonder and Tom Jones from Tom Jones’ television show in 1969 — way back when.  I listened … I found a strange sensation on my face … like something tugging at the corners of my mouth … pulling them upward.  Could it be … could this actually be … the beginnings of a smile?  And then, I played it a second time … and yeah, there’s a smile alright … damn but these two guys are goooooood … doesn’t matter what they sing … they’re solid gold all the way.  Okay, so I just played it in February, but … February was a looonnnnngggg time ago, right?  And I do so need the smiles this one brings, so for tonight … just listen, relax, and … SMILE!  Humour an old woman.

♫ The Long And Winding Road♫

No redux tonight!  I finally finished my morning post and responding to comments early enough to have the energy left to properly research a song!

Tonight’s selection is strange, in that it is a Beatles recording, yet while it reached the #1 spot in the U.S., it did not chart in the Beatles home country, the UK!  For me, at least, this is one of those that can get stuck in my head for days at a time, for I mostly love the tune, never knew the full lyrics until tonight!

From their 1970 album Let It Be, this was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.  The road McCartney is talking about is the B842 which runs down the east coast of Kintyre and on into Campbeltown near his Scottish farmhouse.  Says McCartney …

“I just sat down at my piano in Scotland, started playing and came up with that song, imagining it was going to be done by someone like Ray Charles. I have always found inspiration in the calm beauty of Scotland and again it proved the place where I found inspiration.”

Paul McCartney offered this song to Tom Jones in 1968 on the condition it be his next single. He had Without Love (There is Nothing) set for release so he turned down the offer, something he would later regret. Speaking with Media Wales in 2012, Jones explained:

“I saw him (McCartney) in a club called Scotts Of St. James on Jermyn Street in London. I said to him When are you going to write me a song then Paul? He said, aye I will then. Then not long after he sent a song around to my house, which was ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ but the condition was that I could do it but it had to be my next single.

Paul wanted it out straight away. At that time I had a song called ‘Without Love’ that I was going to be releasing. The record company was gearing up towards the release of it. The timing was terrible, but I asked if we could stop everything and I could do ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ They said it would take a lot of time and it was impractical, so I ended up not doing it. I was kicking myself. I knew it was a strong song.”

The Beatles recorded this in January 1969 as a fairly simple ballad. By 1970, The Beatles were breaking up and and Phil Spector was brought in to go through the tapes and produce the album. Spector was known for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, where he added many instruments and layered the tracks to create a very full sound. On this track, he took out most of The Beatles instruments and added a string section and choir (The Mike Sammes Singers). The result was very different from what the group originally had in mind.

Even though he wrote this song, Paul McCartney didn’t go to the sessions where Spector produced it. When McCartney heard the results, he made it clear that he hated what Spector did to his song, and tried to get the original version, which was mixed by engineer Glyn Johns, on the album. The band was already falling apart, and this caused further turmoil within the group, as Harrison and Lennon both supported Spector. Paul has not changed his stance over the years, and still believes Spector butchered it. Lennon and Harrison felt otherwise, and each had Spector produce their next solo efforts. Lennon said of Spector’s work on Let It Be:

“Phil was given the s–ttiest load of badly recorded s–t with a lousy feeling to it, and he made something of it.”

Some of the many artists who covered this song: Tony Bennett, George Benson, Cilla Black, Ray Charles, Cher, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Cissy Houston, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Liberace, The London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Mantovani, Johnny Mathis, Bill Medley, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Ocean, Stu Phillips, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Kevin Rowland, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Williams and Nancy Wilson.  Whew … that’s quite a list!

In an interview shortly before he became British Prime Minister, after five years as Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron told Q magazine that this is his favorite Paul McCartney song. He explained:

“It has a wonderful melody and emotion and pretty much sums up the life of the Leader of the Opposition.”

The Long and Winding Road
The Beatles

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway, you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Long and Winding Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ What’s New Pussycat? ♫

Every evening, I take a couple of hours for ‘family time’ between supper and around 10:00, when I return to working on the blog, emails, etc.  For no discernible reason, this evening during family time, this song popped into my head and took a brutal choke-hold, not willing to give me a moment’s peace.

While I love Tom Jones, and find that this song is upbeat and always brings a smile to my face, it wasn’t what I had on the docket for tonight.  But alas, since I’d like to be able to sleep once in a while without having Mr. Jones pecking away at the inner workings of my mind, I shall exorcise the tune here and now!

This was written by Burt Bacharach for Peter Sellers’ character in the movie What’s New Pussycat?  Said Bacharach …

“It was an instrumental first and then words were put on it.  I think if you’ve got a theme like ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ and that music comes from watching Peter Sellers and his craziness in that movie and you’re trying to make it that way and out words to it. Then you get Tom Jones to sing it, you get lucky. Here was a theme, which was basically an instrumental, and if it’s a good melody you’ll always fit words.”

Burt Bacharach knew he had the chops to convey the right tone in the song, and convinced Jones to do it.  According to Tom Jones …

“When I first heard it I thought, Christ! What the bloody hell do they want me to sing this for? But Burt Bacharach explained, I want the big voice to sing this bloody crazy song, and you put it on, it’s a classic.”

And so he did, and so it was.

What’s New Pussycat?
Tom Jones

What’s new pussycat ? Woah, woah
What’s new pussycat ? Woah, woah
Pussycat, pussycat
I’ve got flowers
And lots of hours
To spend with you
So go and powder your cute little pussycat nose!
Pussycat, pussycat
I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat nose!

What’s new pussycat? Woah, woah
What’s new pussycat? Woah, woah

Pussycat, pussycat
You’re so thrilling
And I’m so willing
To care for you
So go and make up your cute little pussycat face!
Pussycat, pussycat
I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat face!

What’s new pussycat? Woah, woah
What’s new pussycat? Woah, woah

Pussycat, pussycat
You’re delicious
And if my wishes
Can all come true
I’ll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips!
Pussycat, pussycat
I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat lips!
You and your pussycat eyes!
You and your pussycat nose!

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Hal David / Burt Bacharach
What’s New Pussycat? lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ ? ♫

It’s been a bit of a rocky week here in the U.S.  I haven’t had much music running through my head, only words that you’d rather not hear.  So, as I was traipsing around the ‘Net tonight in search of a song, I came across a medley by two of my favourite artists, Stevie Wonder and Tom Jones from Tom Jones’ television show in 1969 — way back when.  I listened … I found a strange sensation on my face … like something tugging at the corners of my mouth … pulling them upward.  Could it be … could this actually be … the beginnings of a smile?  And then, I played it a second time … and yeah, there’s a smile alright … damn but these two guys are goooooood … doesn’t matter what they sing … they’re solid gold all the way.  So tonight, no trivia, no lyrics, just music and two very talented artists … just listen, relax, and … SMILE!

♫ I Who Have Nothing ♫

It is rare that I prefer a later version to the original of a song.  And, even rarer that I prefer another over Ben E. King, for he’s a longtime favourite.  But, I have to admit that my preference for I Who Have Nothing is none other than that Welshman, Tom Jones.

King’s version, released in 1963, went to #29 on the U.S. charts, but didn’t play well elsewhere, from what I can find.  Then it was covered by:

  • 1966 Terry Knight and the Pack (who later became Grand Funk Railroad) (#46)
  • 1970 Liquid Smoke (#82)
  • 1970 Tom Jones (#14)

The song’s melody was based on an Italian song, “Uno Dei Tanti,” (English: “One of Many”), which King had heard in Italy. King’s producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller translated the lyrics into English.

As far as I can tell, the Tom Jones version hit #16 in the UK, but I could not verify that, so if anybody is aware of anything different, please feel free to correct me.  This wasn’t his most successful song, but since it was stuck in my head this evening, I decided it must be the song of the day!

I shall offer up both Tom Jones’ and Ben E. King’s versions …

I Who Have Nothing
Tom Jones

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you and want you so
I’m just a no one with nothing to give you but, oh
I love you

He, he buys you diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
But, believe me, dear, when I say
That he can give you the world, but he’ll never love you the way
I love you

He can take you any place he wants
To fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else when, darling, it’s I
Who loves you

I love you
I love you
I love you

Songwriters: Giulio Mogol Rapetti / Carlo Donida / Mike Stoller / Jerry Leiber
I Who Have Nothing lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Songtrust Ave