A Bold World

‘Feeling Good’ became Nina Simone’s signature song. It was written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the 1965 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd, which was a parable disguised as a comic allegory about the class system in England.  Nina sings about feeling good as she continues to refer to things in nature and how dawn always brings about a new day.  With each new day she senses new life, making her feel good about fish in the sea and blossoms on the trees.  She sees the “Butterflies all havin’ fun”, and this allows her to “Sleep in peace when day is done”.

Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me, yeah
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me, ooh
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River running free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know?
Butterflies all havin’ fun, you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done, that’s what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world, for me

Written for Ragtag Community – Bold.

Thinning Hair

My hair is important to me and most people are born with about 100,000 scalp hair follicles to start with, and on average, people lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day, also about 100 hair roots a day are supposed to make a fresh start, but that is not the case for me, as every day I seem to have a lot less than the day before.  It is hard to believe that this is the latest non-evasive trend is hair restoration, but I have reached a point where I am willing to try almost anything. I have already tried almost everything except surgery and I guess hair plugs are next, if this contraption doesn’t work out for me.  Neither Minoxidil or Rogaine have done anything for my receding hairline and it seems that nothing that I know of is 100% effective.  I figured that I would rub this goop into my scalp and sit back and watch my hair grow fuller and denser, so my girlfriend could run her fingers through it and be happy.  I have even tried acupuncture, but I saw no improvement.

I am delighted that I have come across this new medical therapy treatment, called Dango’s Damn Machine, which is supposed to deliver some of world’s most technologically advanced laser hair growth, which I can enjoy from the comfort of my own home.  The individual laser lights target my hair follicles and establish a new photonic pathway from each sebaceous gland directly to my brain that should restore my hair to a healthy state.  I don’t know this Dango guy from Adam, but I saw his picture and he has a full head of hair and he claims that he was once almost completely bald.

This bizarre contraption also incorporates vibrators along with the lasers and it is guaranteed to work in three weeks or less, or else you can get half of your money refunded.  The vibrators are supposed to be like having hundreds of artificial fingers giving your scalp a gentle message while you sleep.  This will stimulate the circulation of blood to reverse baldness by improving hair growth and slowing hair loss and if it doesn’t grow hair, it will give your bald head a youthful glow.  The hair and scalp vibrators also periodically send out an arc of sparks, so caution is urged when using this device.  For an extra $300 Dango also has a vacuum device which he claims will remove oil from your hair follicles and this works on an anti-gravity principle which you will not be able to put down.

444 words written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #5.

2019 AZ Challenge

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when the Easter Bunny told me that he was not real, but many people still believe in dragons, fairies, mermaids and unicorns.  For as long as human beings have existed, there have been fantastic stories of cryptids (animals whose existence is unsubstantiated), monsters, legendary beasts, unimaginable, supernatural beings, which many still believe to be real.  Most people enjoy a good scary tale, and we have been telling them since the dawn of time.  These cryptids, legendary beasts, magical beings, paranormal creatures, imaginary monsters may have their origins in mythology, or folklore, or even stem from religion, but the line between mythology and religion is a slippery one, so please don’t take any offense to what I write, as I mean no disrespect.  The cool thing about stories is that they allow people to become entranced, baffled, tantalized and even shocked by urban legends, tall tales, medieval beasties, ghosts, vampires, sea monsters, or whatever.  Cryptozoology is not considered to be a real science, as it is the study of creatures whose existence has yet to be or else cannot entirely be proved or disproved by science yet.  Sometimes things that are thought to be hoaxes and they turn out to be real.  Anyway, I am pretty sure that my theme reveal below is what I will be going with for the 2019 AZ challenge.

A is for Angel
B is for Banshee
C is for Centaur
D is for Dryad
E is for Elf
F is for Fairy
G is for Gnome
H is for Harpies
I is for Imp
J is for Jinn
K is for Kobold
L is for Leprechaun
M is for Mermaid
N is for Nymph
O is for Ogre
P is for Pixie
Q is for Qilin
R is for Roc
S is for Satyr
T is for Troll
U is for Unicorn
V is for Valkyrie
W is for Wraith
X is for Xing-xing, or possibly xixi zhi yu as I am not sure yet
Y is for Yeti
Z is for Zombie

Don’t Know Much

Lou Adler was born on December 13, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois and he was raised in East Los Angeles.  While he was attending LA City College studying journalism, he teamed up to write songs with his good friend Herb Alpert, a young trumpet player who wanted to sing.  In 1957, Adler and Alpert wrote the song ‘(What a) Wonderful World’, Alpert cut a demo, and they took to Keane Records, which was Sam Cooke’s label and this song was later recorded by Sam Cooke and released on April 14, 1960.  Cooke revised the lyrics to mention the subject of education more and he is given a song writing credit for his efforts.  Barbara Campbell became the collective song writing credit for Sam Cooke, Lou Adler and Herb Alpert.  ‘Wonderful World’ was Adler’s first time producing on his own and the song reached number twelve on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and number two on the R&B chart.  Adler and Alpert were offered jobs in the company’s A&R department, working as apprentice artists and repertoire men under Robert “Bumps”  Blackwell, where they were taught how to break down lyrics and recognize quality song writing.

In 2004, the song was placed 373rd in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  The theme of this song says that neither knowledge nor education can dictate feelings, but instead love could make the world a wonderful place to be in.  The personnel on this song consisted of Cooke, guitarist Cliff White, bassist Adolphus Alsbrook, teenage drummer Ronnie Selico and a quartet of singers that Cooke biographer Peter Guralnick believes may have been the Pilgrim Travelers which was made up of J.W. Alexander, Lou Rawls, and George McCurn who was nicknamed Oopie.  During their reign, they influenced such singers as Ray Charles, Lou Rawls and Sam Cooke.  The Pilgrim Travelers were inducted into the Gospel Hall Of Fame in 2001.

In 1971, Lou Adler won two Grammy awards, one for Record Of The Year with ‘It’s Too Late’ by Carole King and one for producing the Album Of The Year Tapestry which was also by Carole King.  In the 1970s, Adler worked with Cheech and Chong producing their albums Big Bambú (1972), Cheech & Chong’s Wedding Album (1974) and the soundtrack for the film Up in Smoke (1979).  Adler was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.  In 2013, Lou Adler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2019, he was given the Grammy Trustees Award by The Recording Academy for making significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.

As a recording artist, Alpert has had 5 albums reach number 1 on the Billboard chart, is the only artist to reach the top as both a vocalist and an instrumentalist, and has won nine Grammy Awards.  Alpert has three recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame including ‘Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66’, ‘The Lonely Bull’ and ‘A Taste Of Honey’.  ‘A Taste Of Honey’ was a Top 10 hit in 1965 and it won the Grammy for Record Of The Year, Best Instrumental Arrangement and the Best Instrumental Performance, Non-Jazz.  In 1966, he won two Grammys for his song ‘What Now My Love’, those being for Best Instrumental Performance other than Jazz and Best Instrumental Arrangement.  In 1979, he won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance with ‘Rise’.  In the early 1980s, Alpert formed the Herb Alpert Foundation with his wife, Lani Hall to provide funding for charitable organizations and institutions.  The foundation is dedicated to supporting the mechanisms and means through which young people can discover, harness and fully develop their unique creative energies and their special talents. He also won the Grammys Presidents Merit award twice.  Alpert and Jerry Moss founded A&M Records in 1962 and the duo received a Recording Academy Trustees Award in 1997.  Alpert and Moss were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 as non-performer lifetime achievers for their work at A&M.  In 2013 Albert won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album with Steppin’ Out.  In 2013 Herb Alpert was awarded The National Medal of Arts Award by President Barack Obama for his musical, philanthropic and artistic contributions.

Sam Cooke wrote many of his best songs by himself, including his first hit, the ethereal ‘You Send Me’, which shot to number one on all charts in 1957 and established him as a superstar.  In 1964, he was shot to death at age 33 by a motel manager.  Cooke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and in 1999, Sam Cooke was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

This song says, “Don’t know what a slide rule is for” and that is probably more true today than it was when this song was written.  Before the smartphone, the laptop and the graphing calculator, there was the slide rule, which is a mechanical device that slides in an out to show relationships between different sets of numbers.  There is a scene in the movie Apollo 13 where the crew is preparing to “slingshot” around the back of the moon, and Tom Hanks calculates the total fuel amounts in the various fuel tanks by mathematical addition using a slide rule.  Slide rules were popular in the 1950s and 1960s, before pocket calculators existed, which came around in the mid 1970s, because they were much easier to use.  The first Slide rule was built by William Oughtred, and he based it on John Napier’s discovery of logarithms.  Most people find slide rules difficult to learn and use.  I actually had one in High School, because the first microprocessor which was built by Intel and needed to make the calculator, did not come out till 1971.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about science books
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don’t know much about geography
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra
Don’t know what a slide rule is for

But I know that one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

I don’t claim to be an ‘A’ student
But I’m trying to be
Maybe by being an ‘A’ student, baby
I can win your love for me

I don’t claim to be an ‘A’ student
But I’m trying to be
Maybe by being an ‘A’ student, baby
I can win your love for me

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about science books
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

What a wonderful world this would be
What a wonderful world this would be
What a wonderful world this would be
What a wonderful world this would be
What a wonderful world this would be

Written for March 17, 2019 Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is School/Books/Learning.

Spring Break

Spring Break spans the period between late February to mid-April, with March being the peak period.  Since dates can vary depending on your school, it is best to double check the exact dates.  Teachers put in long hours and they probably need these breaks more than the students do.  A Spring Break can also be utilized to make-up for those days that were missed because of early and mid-winter snowstorms.  Where I live in Central Florida, last Friday March 15, 2019 was a non-student day meaning that the teachers are required to work that day and all next week is Spring Break.  Friday was also the end of the 3rd marking period, so the teachers need to get their students papers graded.

Last week on SLS it was International Day of Awesomeness and it went very well with 24 awesome songs being contributed. I want to thank crushedcaramel Melody Finch, Jingle Jangle Jungle Mary B, Kalt In Thought, Tao Talk Li, All About Life Lisa, magnoliajem Judy, pensitivity101 Di, the only deadhead in the hameau, A.C. Melody, Light Motifs II Paula Light, This, That, And The Other Fandango, willowdot21 Willow, Nesie’s Place Felicia Denise, Felicia Denise, Author Felicia Denise, Peter’s pondering Peter, Poetry For Healing Christine Bolton, J-Dubs Jill, teleportingweena ghostmmnc Barbara, The Sound of One Hand Typing John Holton, My Corner Abby, one letter UP, scr4pl80 Janet’s Smiles Janet, LydiaA1614 Being Lydia! Lydia and Unexpected in common hours for contributing songs.

This week the prompt is School/Books/Learning which I am pretty sure that the students on Spring Break won’t be doing a lot of, as I never even looked at a book when I was on Spring Break.  The weather will get a bit colder in the upcoming week here, with highs only being in the mid 70s and lows about 60, but nice enough for the students to wind down on a beach if they desire and maybe some of them will open up a book.  Kids usually think about spring break for weeks before it arrives, dreaming of not having to set their alarm clock and enjoying a whole week where they have nothing to do but relax.  I think that the parents have to suffer the worst of Spring Break and they are probably counting down the days until it’s over.  I would appreciate it if you can be patient, and wait for me to approve your pingbacks.

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the song ‘(What A) Wonderful World’ by Sam Cooke this week. Next week I will write about the Grateful Dead song ‘Attics Of My Life’.  The upcoming prompts will be:
March 24, 2019 – Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months
March 31, 2019 – Record/Juke Box/DJ/Radio
April 7, 2019 – Burn/Fire/Flame
April 14, 2019 – Freeze/Cold/Ice

 

Green Beer, Corned Beef and Leprechauns

Happy Saint Patrick’s day, I hope everyone has something green to wear, so you don’t end up getting pinched by any leprechauns.  If you are not Irish, than you might not be aware that leprechauns are not able to see anyone who is wearing green and thus it keeps you from being pinched.  I have my corned beef in the crock pot with my potatoes, but it is on slow and I will not eat it till tomorrow.  Erin Go Bragh, or Erin go braless, whatever floats your boat.  I will leave you with the Green Beer song which is only made once a year.

Let Me Die In Your Arms

John Denver wrote this incredible love song titled ‘Annie’s Song’ for his then-wife at the time, Anne Martell Denver, after she and him had a major fight and brief separation.  Apparently, Denver wrote the song in 10 minutes while he was riding a ski lift up Ajax mountain in Aspen, Colorado, reflecting on how thankful he was that they didn’t break up.  As Denver was skiing down the mountain, he became totally immersed in the beauty of the colors and sounds that filled all senses and this caused him to reflect on all the joy that he found in his marriage and his relief that they had got back together.  John became hypersensitive to how beautiful everything was, with all of these things delighting him with happiness, and these overwhelming images flooded out of him one after the other merging into his time spent with Annie.  That song was the embodiment of the love that he felt at that time.

The song was released as a single from Denver’s album Back Home Again.  ‘Annie’s Song’ was his second number-one song in the United States, occupying that spot for two weeks in July 1974.  It also went to number one on the Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 25 song for 1974.  The musicians that played with John Denver on his 1974 Back Home Again Tour included John Denver (guitar, vocals), Steve Weisberg (guitars, pedal steel, dobro), Dick Kniss (bass guitar), John Sommers (guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin), Hal Blaine (percussion) and Herb Lovelle (drums).  In their post-Wrecking Crew days in the mid-to-late 70s drummer Hal Blaine, Guitarist James Burton, and woodwind player Jim Horn toured and recorded with Denver.

John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (which was not the best name for a recording artist) on December 31, 1943 in Roswell, NM.  His greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, starting in the 1970s.  He was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists.  After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career in folk music groups in the late 1960s.  John Denver was one of the most successful singers and songwriters in the history of music.  Throughout his life, he recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed, with total record sales of over 33 million.  Denver’s music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning him twelve gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs being ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’, ‘Annie’s Song’, ‘Rocky Mountain High’, ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’, and ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’.  Although he composed and sang some of the most peaceful and beautiful songs of his generation, John Denver fought demons and an addiction to alcohol.

In the early 1970s, America longed for a simpler way of life, evidenced by the success of television series The Waltons and Little House On The Prairie.  At the heart of that era from a musical standpoint was the easy-going and gentle sound that Denver personified.  Whether it be love songs, nostalgia, or paying tribute to the area where he was from, Denver became one of the biggest-selling acts of his time, dominating Pop, AC, and Country playlists, while also becoming a huge TV and movie star.  He starred in the 1977 film Oh, God! opposite George Burns.

John and Annie Denver separated in 1979, and John left their home in Aspen and went to Switzerland for six days, however they reconciled and remained married until 1982 when their marriage eventually ended.  Annie was overwhelmed by John’s success, and this caused her to withdraw from John and left them unable to communicate with each other.  Their divorce was a messy, bitter, intense battle, they fought over the division of property during the divorce proceedings.  John Denver became so enraged with his estranged wife that he tried to choke her.  He was so angry that he took a chainsaw to their marital bed and sawed it in half.

Thankfully we have this beautiful song to remember the love that the iconic songwriter and his wife once had.  Denver married Australian actress Cassandra Delaney in 1988, after a two-year courtship.  Denver’s life ended suddenly when the plane he was flying, an experimental Rutan Long-EX, crashed into Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove, California, passing away on October 12, 1997 at the age of 53.  In 1996, John Denver was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2011, he was the first inductee into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again