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What Went Wrong?

Barefoot Justine

SimonGarfunkelI’ve had this problem, one that started early into adulthood. The problem is that there is music I love that I cannot bear. Be it in the background at a supermarket, on the radio, with friends, on my own, this music always brings me to tears. Not tears due to the content, it’s something else, something that is so deep in me I never could quite pinpoint it. It’s not a feeling I have about anything else, no matter how much I love, have loved, or how terribly important it has been in my life. It’s Simon and Garfunkel. I have not even owned any of their albums on CD, as the music they made began stirring me to tears way back in the days of vinyl. Why?

I missed the sixties, they were before my time, but I did not miss the aftermath, the music was still in the…

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1971

Outstanding album with tunes like “You’ve got a Friend”, “So Far Away” and several other timeless greats – via Wikipedia

It’s 1971 and I’m nine years old. Trying to decide on my favorite tune for this year is almost impossible. I could list several.

Pop music has not only shifted into a whole new genre in the 70s, but my young brain is maturing now, and I clearly remember all the tunes.

Music was having an increased impact on me. It really is my first love.

All the school, book learning and dabbling in world religions came later as I tried to make sense of our duplicitous world. But as a young kid, most things are taken for granted. You don’t care so much about the weight of the world. You’re just in the moment. Happy and groovin’.

My favorite song for ’71 happens to be a Canadian song. Carole King’s Tapestry hit the charts that year and it contains several timeless, outstanding singles. But for sheer nine-year-old fun, this is the tune! (Great social commentary too).

The album cover pictured (before you click play) isn’t right. That’s from an earlier album by the Five Man Electrical Band. And that is the very first album I bought with my own coin. On sale at Zellers (defunct Canadian retailer) for 2 bucks!

So begins a long career in adoring music.

And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray”
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
I didn’t have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine”

via Wikipedia

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Quincy Jones said he ‘used to date’ Ivanka Trump and the internet can’t stop screaming (mashable.com)

 Justin Timberlake’s Manly Prance Through the Woods (theatlantic.com)

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1970

Clouds (Joni Mitchell album)

Clouds (Joni Mitchell album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 1970 and I’m eight years old. You had to be there to really understand what 1970 meant. Today it seems so long ago, so old-fashioned. I mean, 70s music. That’s dad and mom music. Maybe even grandpa and grandma music!

I remember sitting in junior school and seeing the date written in chalk on the blackboard. I guess it was January after Christmas. I mused how futuristic the numerals looked. This was the space age. Computers and all sorts of electronic devices were coming of age.

Wow, it’s the 70s! Goodbye Get Smart. Goodbye Hogans Heroes. Goodbye Elvis. Hello Three’s Company. Hello M*A*S*H. Hello “Hotel California.”

As a kid my #1 tune was B. J. Thomas’ corny but sweet “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” But as a teen (a few years later), I came to really dig some of the CSNY songs. Especially the ones on the greatest hits LP, So Far.

1970 also signals a new divergence. AM vs FM radio. FM took off in Canada during the 70s. It might have already been cooking in the States, not sure. But in Canada, FM was fantastic. Entire albums, including new releases, were gleefully played by DJs. And without commercial breaks. It was like super college radio. A good, clear stereo signal. Much better sound than AM. I recall one DJ actually telling listeners to “get the tape deck ready” because he was going to play an entire rock album.

This might be the actual model that our family owned. Can’t remember for sure. If not exact, very close. – via Wikipedia

Compare that relaxed openness to the paranoid and punitive mindset of today. Many record companies have always been greedy, IMO. In the 70s they ripped off customers by packaging albums in cheaply made cassettes that sounded crummy, fell apart, stretched or simply broke way before vinyl records would degrade.

Nobody really felt guilty about taping a friend’s album on a higher quality tape like Maxell or TDK. And I think there was a cassette tax in Canada that helped to reimburse the music industry for any lost revenues. So it was all good and out in the open.

Anyhow, enough memory lane for now. Here’s my favorite song for 1970. I didn’t know it as a kid in 1970. So this is a retrospective fav. CSNY had, of course, Neil Young in the band. A Canadian and by far the most talented group member. And the song itself was written by Joni Mitchell, another Canadian. Of course, the wheels of American industry made this song big. But that’s another story for another time.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Neil Young & Promise of the Real Celebrate Nature in ‘Almost Always’ Video (news.radio.com)

 Get a retro wake-up call in the morning with this USB-enabled FM radio alarm clock (mashable.com)

 Music streaming site Spotify preparing smart speaker launch, job openings hint (telegraph.co.uk)

 Westwood One: More AM/FM Listeners Hear Ads Than Pandora, Spotify Users (allaccess.com)

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1964

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arrivi...

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport – Wikipedia

So it’s time once again to pick my fav song for a particular year. This time 1964.

’64 was the year of the British Invasion. Take a look at the Billboard top 100 for that year and you’ll be amazed how many Beatles tunes fill the chart. I started to get mixed up counting at around 10 or 11. The top two songs are also Beatles songs. Simply amazing.

Oh, did I already use that word? 🙂

We all know about the Beatles, so I thought I’d skip those tunes, as fabulous as they are, and focus on another one I really like. My brother had this 45 record and I remember playing it as a young boy and being entranced by the storyline.

Basically, a guy loses his gal in a car wreck and vows to be good so he can reunite with her in heaven.

I guess that was the beginning of my turn to spirituality, but I didn’t know it then.

Enjoy the tune.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

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Grinch moment

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Christmas is for kids

Image via Flickr

Taken today at one of the more economically disadvantaged parishes in Toronto (area-wise). Seems these amazing people are doing the most for kids this Xmas.

And isn’t that usually the way?

Those with a lot grasp on to it and are often cheap and miserly. Those with a little know what it means to be in want, so tend to share whatever they have to help others avoid that unpleasant feeling.

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Another great Trek episode… (slight spoiler alert)

Image – Wikipedia (Star Trek Franchise is pretty strict about sharing images, so it’s hard to find copyright free ones for blogging)

Caught season 1 episode 3 of the new Star Trek TV series last night. I felt this one would indicate if the show was heading somewhere or just going to fizzle, as did Star Trek Enterprise.

Pleasantly surprised again.

The best part, I thought, was how the quirky Captain of Discovery tells Michael Burnham that universal rules are for the rank and file. Kings appreciate the importance of context.

Of course, he could have said Queens appreciate context—that is, they bend Starfleet regulations. And given that the show is trying to be so forward thinking by giving the woman Michael a male name, I thought this was a small glitch.

But other than that… looking forward to the remainder of the season!

 6 ‘Star Trek’ Captains, Ranked from Worst to Best (space.com)

 Claire Foy auditioned for ‘The Crown’ wearing a tiara, gloves, and gown while she was 6 months pregnant (businessinsider.com)

 The man behind ‘Game of Thrones’ has several TV shows in the works – here’s everything you need to know about them (businessinsider.com)