In the Book of Love’s Own Dreams

‘Attics Of My Life’ is a Grateful Dead song which is sung a cappella, featuring a vocally challenging harmony which is filled with melody from their 1970 American Beauty album written by Garcia and Hunter.  ‘Attics of My Life’ is about being a songwriter, and it is about the songwriter’s relationship to something that is greater than themselves.  Robert Hunter said about this tune, “If I could say it in prose, I wouldn’t need to write the song.”  This song is really a poem and poetry is evocative, it’s meant to communicate to deeper levels and approach the levels of non-verbal experience, thus this song is meant to touch your soul.  A soul exists to create things and if your soul lacks the ability to create, that could be because you are out of inspiration.

The attics of a person’s life could be a reference to looking back at your younger self, or an attic can be used to store things, like a person’s memory.  This song is full of vivid images like, “cloudy dreams”, “tastes no tongue can know” and “lights no eye can see”.  This song contains a group of unlikely scenarios such as, “When there was no ear to hear You sang to me, I have spent my life Seeking all that’s still unsung, Bent my ear to hear the tune, And closed my eyes to see, When there were no strings to play You played to me.”  Hunter wrote, “When I had no wings to fly You flew to me” and these words say love or desire to be with someone making this a spiritual song, almost hymn-like exhibiting the concept of grace.

What a nice gesture that would be to sing to someone without ears and it is a nearly impossible feat to play without strings (although Jimi Hendrix was known for playing his guitar without touching the strings), but spending your life in search of what is unsung and closing your eyes to see, are lyrics that make up the essence of poetry.  This song gets really deep here, “In the book of love’s own dreams Where all the print is blood Where all the pages are my days And all my lights grow old”.  When you have no wings to fly, it might be time to pack it in, as once your inspiration has dried up there is nothing left of your soul.  Kind of sad, but this was a sad time for the Grateful Dead as Garcia’s mother had just been in a car crash and Phil Lesh just lost his father.  This song does end on a happy note, “When there was no dream of mine You dreamed of me”.

Robert Hunter was an avid reader and there is a real good chance that he was familiar with the 17th century Quaker activist Mary Dyer who left England in 1635 as an outlaw, because the Puritan religious faith was declared illegal by the national Church of England, but her faith came first, even if it meant her death.  She sailed with her husband William Dyer to New England and arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony where the Puritan Church governed all aspects of life and Mary began to doubt some of their church’s teachings, which was not good as anyone who questioned the official faith was treated as a criminal.  Mary Dyer was convicted and sentenced to be executed and as she was escorted to the place where she would be hanged, she said, “It is an hour of the greatest joy I can enjoy in this world.  No eye can see, no ear can hear, no tongue can speak, no heart can understand the sweet incomes and refreshings of the spirit of the Lord which now I enjoy.”  If Hunter drew on this quote for his song, he used the eye seeing and the ear hearing sensory organ expressions, but he changed the tongue to tasting instead of speaking.

Several Biblical references also include this theme, as in 1 Corinthians 2:9, Paul says, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”, and in Isaiah 64:4 it is written, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”  Jesus said to His apostles, “I will give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has not entered into the heart of man.

In the attics of my life
Full of cloudy dreams; unreal
Full of tastes no tongue can know
And lights no eye can see
When there was no ear to hear
You sang to me
I have spent my life
Seeking all that’s still unsung
Bent my ear to hear the tune
And closed my eyes to see
When there were no strings to play
You played to me
In the book of love’s own dreams
Where all the print is blood
Where all the pages are my days
And all my lights grow old
When I had no wings to fly
You flew to me
You flew to me
In the secret space of dreams
Where I dreaming lay amazed
When the secrets all are told
And the petals all unfold
When there was no dream of mine
You dreamed of me

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee says that this extra February Day can be used as a good-by, so we can choose whichever love song we like.

Gonna Make Everything

‘Black Water’ is a song by The Doobie Brothers that was written by their guitarist Patrick Simmons for their 1974 album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.  The song charted #1 in the US and this was on their fourth studio album which went 2× Platinum in the US and became Silver in the UK.  The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band from San Jose, California.  They were active for five decades, and they had their greatest success in the 1970s.  The group’s current lineup consists of founding members Tom Johnston (guitars, vocals) and Patrick Simmons (guitars, vocals), veteran member Michael McDonald (keyboards, vocals), longtime member John McFee (guitars, pedal steel, violin, backing vocals), and touring musicians including John Cowan (bass, vocals), Bill Payne (keyboards), Marc Russo (saxophones), Ed Toth (drums), and Marc Quiñones (percussion).

The song is about the Mississippi River, with lyrics likely inspired by Mark Twain’s books Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, which depicted life on the Black Water.  This song ended up becoming their first #1 single and it was the first song that Pat wrote.  This song tells the story of time spent floating down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft, capturing the feeling of a lazy weekend where “Catfish are jumpin’, that paddle wheel thumpin’”  This song is about a paddleboat trip, down the Mississippi, to New Orleans. New Orleans is known for its carefree lifestyle, it makes no difference non caring and nothing to worry about way of life.  Catfish are bottom feeders, so they don’t jump.

It remained one of the Doobie Brothers’ signature songs for nearly 40 years, and while a substantial portion of its appeal rests on those supremely mellow lyrics, it was also helped by the fact that it didn’t sound like anything else on the radio at the time and it went against the pop formula for a record.  It started off as an acoustic song, just an acoustic guitar for the first third of the record, then the drums come in.  The Doobie Brothers scored a string of hits with two different lead singers: Tom Johnston in the early ‘70s and Michael McDonald from 1975 to 1982.  The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floatin’
Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my name
Catfish are jumpin’, that paddle wheel thumpin’
Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Yeah, keep on shinin’ your light
Gonna make everything
Pretty mama, gonna make everything all right
And I ain’t got no worries
‘Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all
Well, if it rains, I don’t care
Don’t make no difference to me
Just take that streetcar that’s goin’ uptown
Yeah, I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland and dance a honky-tonk
And I’ll be buyin’ ev’rybody drinks all ‘roun’
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Keep on shinin’ your light
Gonna make everything, everything
Gonna make everything all right
And I ain’t got no worries
‘Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
(By the hand) hand (take me by the hand) pretty mama
Gonna dance with your daddy all night long
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with your daddy night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a love song that contains color and the prompt is thanks to Barbara.

The Nights Grow Cold

The Beach Boys ‘Summer’s Gone’ was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Joseph Thomas and Brian Wilson and this song was on their 2012 twenty-ninth studio album That’s Why God Made The Radio.  The album reached number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was their highest charting studio album of new material since 1965, placing them second all-time with longest span of top 10 albums at 49 years which their previous album Surfin’ USA hit the top ten on June 15, 1963.  They broke the record set by The Beatles who had Meet The Beatles in 1964 and One in 2011.  However, that record just relates to groups, and the longest top ten span goes to Frank Sinatra, being 52 years between Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! in 1956 and Nothing But The Best in 2008.  In 2005, The Beach Boys were listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the longest amount of time, 22 years, between #1 songs, ‘Good Vibrations’ in 1966 and ‘Kokomo’ in 1988.

According to record producer Joe Thomas, Brian Wilson inquired about some demo tapes that were recorded during the sessions for his 1998 solo album Imagination thinking that there may be some forgotten songs that were overlooked. Brian said that he had some ideas for new Beach Boys songs, and wondered if there were recordings existing that flew under the radar that he did not put on any of his solo records.  Joe Thomas had more than a few, so they met with Mike Love who agreed to collaborate on a new album.  Wilson’s brothers, both original members of the group, were dead, drummer-singer Dennis drowned in 1983 and singer-guitarist Carl succumbed to cancer in 1998.  In the late 2000s, reports began to circulate that the surviving members of the Beach Boys would reunite for a 50th Anniversary tour and album and on December 16, 2011 it was announced that Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks would reunite for another tour.

In 2005, Jon Bon Jovi wrote the song ‘Last Cigarette’ where he sings, “You always lose the girl in a Brian Wilson world”, so I guess that they knew each other.  Joseph Thomas and Brian Wilson wrote one verse to ‘Summer’s Gone’ and they were stuck on that song for 10 years, then Jon Bon Jovi came by the studio one day and he called it Brian’s ‘My Way’, a reference to the Frank Sinatra classic.  Thomas said, “Jon collaborated with us a little on it, changing the melody in a couple of spots.  He wrote some really nice verses that kind of tied it all in together.  We definitely appreciated the contribution because it took it from one great verse to one great song.”   Brian loves Frank Sinatra and it took a guy like a Jon Bon Jovi to come in to give Brian a new thought on how to approach it.

Summer’s gone
Summer’s gone away
Gone away
With yesterday
Old friends have gone
They’ve gone their separate ways
Our dreams hold on
For those who still have more to say
Summer’s gone
Gone like yesterday
The nights grow cold
It’s time to go
I’m thinking maybe I’ll just stay
Another summer gone
Summer’s gone
It’s finally sinking in
One day begins
Another ends
I live them all and back again
Summer’s gone
I’m gonna sit and watch the waves
We laugh, we cry
We live then die
And dream about our yesterday

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a song about love in autumn.

I Wish You Love

Dolly Parton wrote and originally recorded the iconic song ‘I Will Always Love You’ in 1973 and it hit #1 on the country charts the next year.  Parton recorded it again for the soundtrack of her 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and it went to #1 again.  Whitney Houston recorded it in 1992 for The Bodyguard and that reached the top of the pop charts and stayed there for 14 weeks.  Linda Ronstadt also sang this song in 1975.  Elvis Presley wanted the song, but he was denied when his manager Parker demanded that Presley receive a hefty chunk of the publishing rights.  When Dolly heard that Whitney was using Linda Ronstadt’s recording as a template, she called producer David Foster to give him the final verse, which was missing from the Ronstadt version, as she felt it was highly important to the song.  After Houston recorded this, most of the other major artists stayed away from it, probably out of fear that they could not do justice to this song which Whitney now owned.

In 1967, Dolly was invited by country star Porter Wagoner to co-host his TV show, where they became famous for their duets.  However, her huge talent soon eclipsed that of her mentor, and she moved on to bigger things.  She wrote the song for him to show her appreciation for their time together.  Dolly wanted to assert her independence as an artist after years of successful duets with Porter Wagoner.  It was the right move for her career, but the departure caused understandable acrimony between the pair at the time, but this song helped to heal those wounds.  Among its many accolades, the song won two Grammys in 1994 for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  Dolly’s lyrics sound like a conversation that a person would have in in a breakup, or, if the face-to-face was too difficult, it would make a heartfelt farewell letter.

If I should stay, I would only be in your way
So I’ll go, but I know
I’ll think of you every step of the way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
You, my darling you, hm
Bittersweet memories
That is all I’m taking with me
So, goodbye
Please, don’t cry
We both know I’m not what you, you need
And I will always love you
I will always love you, you
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of
And I wish to you joy and happiness
But above all this, I wish you love
And I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you
I, I will always love you
You, darling, I love you
Ooh, I’ll always, I’ll always love you

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a love song that charted in the Top 10 or better.

I Gotta be Cool

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and got to #2 in the UK and it was a song that came out on the Queen’s eighth album The Game.  Splish splash Freddie Mercury was taking a bubble bath in his room at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, when the idea for this song came to him.  Peter Hince, the head of Queen’s road crew, said Freddie emerged, wrapped in a towel, so he handed him the guitar and he worked out the chords composing the tune on guitar.  Freddie had multi-instrumental musical talent and he played the piano in many of Queen’s most popular songs, but he is most known for his role as the lead singer and songwriter for the band.  He lacked confidence in his guitar playing skills because he only knew how to play a limited number of chords.  This restriction ended up being a blessing as it kept him contained within a small framework which was a different sound for the group. Freddie said that he wrote this song as a tribute to Elvis Presley.  Fred had this knack of knowing a great pop song.

Pop music is the genre of popular music that produces the most hits.  A hit is a song that sells many copies, and the latest hits are listed every week on the charts.  To get on the charts, a song must be released as a single, although most singles are also released on an album.  Songs that become hits almost always share certain features that are sometimes called the pop-music formula.  They have a good rhythm, a catchy melody, and are easy to remember and sing along to.  They usually have a chorus that’s repeated several times and two or more verses.  Most pop songs are between two and five minutes long, and the lyrics are usually about the joys and problems of love and relationships.  Queen was a British rock band formed in London in 1970 that recorded progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.

The classic lineup for the band from 1971-1991 included Freddie Mercury as the lead vocalist, Brian May on lead guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, and John Deacon on bass.  May and Taylor had played together in a psychedelic band called Smile, of which Mercury was a fan.  He encouraged Smile to experiment more with music and joined May and Taylor in 1970 to form what became Queen.  All four members wrote at least one of their hits.  Since they all wrote music, this gave them a very diverse sound.  Queen first toured the US as the opening band for Mott The Hoople in 1974.

In 1970, Freddie Mercury changed his name from Farookh Bulsara due to racial abuse he had suffered in his early teens.  Mercury died of AIDS on November 24, 1991 at age 45, the day after he announced that he had the disease.  Queen was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2001 and in 2003, they became the first band to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.  They were inducted into the UK Music Hall Of Fame in 2004, and they have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  According to the official UK charts company, Queen sold more albums than The Beatles from 1955-2005 in the UK.  Queen’s Greatest Hits sold a little over half a million more copies than The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and almost 2 million more than Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.  Queen did mot make the list of the 35 best-selling albums in the US.

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ spent two weeks at No. 2 in the UK and it was held off the top spot by Dr. Hook’s pop confection ‘When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman’.  In the US, ‘Crazy Little Thing’ removed the Captain & Tennille’s ‘Do That To Me One More Time’ from the No. 1 spot and it stayed there for four weeks, before being succeeded by another British rock classic, Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’.

This song is about a guy who is agitated with love mostly because he does not understand it and it discusses the things that love makes him become and do.  The expectations, the urges, the electrifying feelings and every little other thing is entrapped in the emotion of love.  This guy feels like he is not ready, but there is something about love that he likes.  His girl knows how to rock n roll, she drives him crazy, and makes him sick with love.  She gives him a hot and cold fever and leaves him in a sweat.  Freddie Mercury tries to handle what love is doing to him but he needs to clear his head, so he decides to take a ride on his motorbike, till he is ready to handle love.  He is not ready to make a commitment, maybe he wants to find his own path in life before he gets involved in love.

This thing called love, I just can’t handle it
This thing called love, I must get round to it
I ain’t ready
Crazy little thing called love
This thing (this thing)
Called love (called love)
It cries (like a baby)
In a cradle all night
It swings (woo woo)
It jives (woo woo)
It shakes all over like a jelly fish
I kinda like it
Crazy little thing called love
There goes my baby
She knows how to rock ‘n’ roll
She drives me crazy
She gives me hot and cold fever
Then she leaves me in a cool cool sweat
I gotta be cool, relax, get hip
And get on my track’s
Take a back seat, hitch-hike
And take a long ride on my motorbike
Until I’m ready
Crazy little thing called love
I gotta be cool, relax, get hip
And get on my track’s
Take a back seat (ah hum), hitch-hike (ah hum)
And take a long ride on my motorbike
Until I’m ready (ready Freddie)
Crazy little thing called love
This thing called love, I just can’t handle it
This thing called love, I must get round to it
I ain’t ready
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Crazy little thing called love
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah
Crazy little thing called love, yeah, yeah

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a pop song about love and the prompt is thanks to Barbara.

Because My Love is Near

‘I Love Paris’ is a popular song written by Cole Porter and published in 1953.  The song was introduced by Lilo in the musical Can-Can and in the 1960 film of the same name it is sung by Frank Sinatra & Maurice Chevalier.  A line in the song’s lyrics inspired the title of the 1964 movie Paris When It Sizzles.  Cole Porter wrote many infectious scores for the Broadway stage and Can-Can opened on Broadway on May 7, 1953.  Can-Can was originally written as a book by Abe Burrows and it is set in 1893 in the Monmartre district of Paris near the Moulin Rouge, telling the story of the lascivious dance hall Bal du Paris, owned and operated by one La Mome Pistache (Lilo).  The musical was adapted into a film with Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Jordan.  Paris is considered to be the most romantic city in the world and this song is a literal love letter to the city.

Every time I look down on this timeless town
Whether blue or gray be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
More and more do I realize:
I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.
I love Paris every moment,
Every moment of the year.
I love Paris,
Why, oh, why do I love Paris?
Because my love is near.

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a love song that contains a location and the prompt is thanks to Paula.

Dressing So Fine and Looking So Pretty

‘Summer in the City’ is a song that was recorded by The Lovin’ Spoonful and written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone.  It came out on their 1966 album Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful and the single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went to #8 in the UK.  The song became a gold record and it is ranked #401 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  It features car horns and jackhammer noises during the instrumental bridge, to represent the sounds of a noisy city street.

The group found an old-school radio engineer who worked for Columbia that used to create the soundscapes for shows.  This guy Roy Halee came in with a huge library of street sounds, which the band went through for hours.  They wanted the scene to build, so it starts softly (the horn at the beginning comes from a Volkswagen Beetle), and grows to a gridlock nightmare.  To close the scene, they used a pneumatic hammer pounding away at the pavement.  Roy Halee was best known for producing several albums with Simon and Garfunkel, including the Grammy-winning Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Roy has also worked with other groups such as The Byrds, Journey, Willie Nile, Laura Nyro, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Blue Angel.  Halee was named to the TEC Awards Hall of Fame in 2001.

The song discusses what it is like to live in a large city contrasting the differences between the day and the night.  The city is depicted as being crowded and hot in the day, making it difficult to walk around then, but when night comes it’s great, because the temperature got cooler and everyone is ready to party, providing a lot of opportunities for you to chase after women.  The band formed in New York City, so that is most likely where this tales place.  John Sebastian’s brother Mark Sebastian was 15 years old when he wrote a poem that John used as the basis for the song.  John especially liked the bossa nova part of this tune that included the chorus, “But at night it’s a different world, go out and find a girl.”  John added the verse, “Hot town, summer in the city Back of my neck getting’ dirt and gritty.”  The Lovin Spoonful’s bassist Steve Boone came up with the middle eight.

The Beatles and The Lovin Spoonful were contemporaries, but they lived in totally different countries and they played different styles of music, however the Beatles became fans of Spoonful.  On April 18, 1966 the Lovin’ Spoonful played the Marquee Club in London and George and John were in the audience.  By this time the Lovin’ Spoonful had made quite a name for themselves and they had several hits including, ‘Do You Believe in Magic’, ‘You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice’, and ‘Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind’.

John Sebastian started writing this song when he returned from England, and the recording starts out with session man Artie Schroeck playing piano and a whack-o drum smash.  John Sebastian sings lead vocals, and plays Vox Continental organ, acoustic guitar, autoharp, and sound effects, while Zal Yanovsky does backing vocal, and electric guitars.  Steve Boone is on bass, and he plays a Vox Continental organ, while Joe Butler also does a backing vocal, as well as playing drums and percussion, and Artie Schroeck plays a Hohner Pianet electric piano.

‘Summer In The City’ was the only #1 song that The Lovin Spoonful had.  During the summer of 1966, a heat wave boiled New York City at the most brutal temperatures recorded since 1869, the year weather data began to be consistently collected.  For 34 days it was 90 degrees or higher.  The war in Vietnam continued to escalate, NASA’s Project Gemini was completed after ten manned launches, and the USSR successfully landed a vehicle on the Moon.  The summer of 1966 was a time of riots over racism that started to break out.  A guy in Austin climbed a clock tower and shot dozens of people.  In New York City, everyone was walking around, sweaty and stressed out.

‘Summer in the City’ was the #19 single for 1966, coming in behind the #1 by Frank Sinatra ‘Strangers in the Night’, #2 Nancy Sinatra ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’, #3 The Beach Boys ‘Good Vibrations’, #4 The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’, #5 The Beatles ‘Paperback Writer’, #6 The Rolling Stones ‘Paint it Black’, #7 Simon & Garfunkel ‘The Sounds of Silence’, #8 The Mamas & The Papas ‘Monday Monday’, # 9 The Beatles ‘Michelle’, #10 The Beach Boys ‘Sloop John B’, #11 The Rolling Stones ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’, #12 New Vaudeville Band ‘Winchester Cathedral’, #13 Herman’s Hermits ‘No Milk Today’, #14 The Four Tops ‘Reach Out (I’ll Be There)’, #15 The Beatles ‘Eleanor Rigby’, #16 Percy Sledge ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, #17 The Troggs ‘Wild Thing’ and #18 Los Bravos ‘Black is Black’.

The Lovin’ Spoonful were never able to duplicate what they did with ‘Summer In The City’ and the group didn’t last much longer.  That same summer, Yanovsky was arrested with weed while leaving a San Francisco party, and because he was afraid of being deported back to his native Canada, he ratted out the friend who sold it to him.  Word got out about Yanovsky being a snitch, and there was a massive backlash against the band.  Yanovsky quit soon after.  And by the time Sebastian played a solo set at Woodstock three years later, the band was done.  This song proudly remains as a blueprint of Rock and Roll and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head
But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright
And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
That the days can’t be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city
Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I’m wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop
But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright
And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
That the days can’t be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city
Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head
But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright
And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
That the days can’t be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a song about love in summer.

Deeper Than Any Sea

‘For Your Precious Love’ is a song that was written by Jerry Butler, Richard Brooks and Arthur Brooks in 1958 and it was performed by Jerry Butler and The Impressions.  This is the year that I started school and although I did not hear this till many years later, it peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores and Top 100 charts.  The song was ranked #335 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2010.  The song started as a poem that Jerry Butler wrote in High School, and after the Impressions formed, Butler and the Brooks brothers set the words to music.  The Impressions were considered to be architects of Rhythm and Blues and they were comprised of brothers Richard and Arthur Brooks, Sam Gooden, Emmanuel Thomas and Curtis Mayfield.  The Impressions got their start with this song and despite the success that the group had with this song, Jerry Butler and the Impressions went their separate ways shortly after.

In the 1960s, The Impressions defined Chicago Soul, being a mixture of gospel, pop and Black reality, and Curtis Mayfield defined The Impressions, as their lead singer, writer and producer.  They had an astonishing run of R & B and pop chart successes, including 19 consecutive R & B hits, 12 of them crossing over into pop.  In 1961, the revamped Impressions had its first Mayfield-era hit, ‘Gypsy Woman’, which reached No. 2 on the R&B chart, No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Cash Box chart.  Unlike at Motown, where they had a factory of writers who created the hits, Curtis was the factory for the group.  For the rest of the decade the group remained hot with 14 Top 10 hits including an amazing run of five Top 20 songs in 1964.  In 1964, The Impressions had their biggest hit to date with the Mayfield song, ‘Keep on Pushing’ and this song got the group a lot of attention from the Civil Rights Movement.

Curtis Mayfield was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, and one of the most influential musicians behind soul and politically conscious African-American music.  Curtis dropped out of high school, joining The Roosters, a doo wop group led by Jerry Butler and he was only16 when he joined The Impressions.  He was an integral part of something called the Chicago Soul sound that began in the late Fifties. Mayfield quit the Impressions in 1970.  Curtis Mayfield died from diabetes at the end of 1999, but original members Cash and Gooden are still alive.

After leaving The Impressions, Jerry has had over 55 Billboard Pop and R&B Chart Hits as a solo artist, including some 15 Top 40 Pop Hits in the Hot 100, and 15 R&B Top 10’s.  In 1960, he had a #7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘He Will Break Your Heart’, a song that 15 years later would be a #1 hit for Tony Orlando and Dawn.  His 1964 song ‘Let It Be Me’ went to #5 and his 1969 song ‘Only the Strong Survive’ that he wrote with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff reached #4.  Otis Redding and The Black Keys have both recorded his songs.  Spanning five decades, Butler’s musical career has produced over 50 albums, numerous hit songs and three Grammy Award nominations.  In 1991, Jerry “The Iceman” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1994.

Than any love could ever be.
For when I wanted you,
I was so lonely and blue,
For that’s what love will do
And darling, I’m so surprised,
Oh, when I first realized
That you were fooling me.
And darling, they say that our love won’t grow.
But I just want to tell them they don’t know.
For as long as you’re in love with me,
Our love will grow wider,
Deeper than any sea.
And of all the things that I want,
In this whole wide world, is
Just for you to say that you’ll be my girl.
Wanting you, I’m so lonely and blue.
That’s what love will do.

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a love song from the year that we started school. I don’t remember going the Kindergarten and it may not have been popular when I was young, but I bet that I would have been really good at playing in the sandbox, but maybe not so good at making it to the toilet.

Flowers Everywhere

The Cowsills hit song ‘The Rain, The Park and Other Things’ was written by Artie Kornfeld and Steven William Duboff.  The Cowsills are an interesting phenomenon in the history of American pop music.  The group originally formed in 1965 with just two brothers (Billy and Bob) but they became a true family band, and at some point, all six siblings (Bill, Bob, Barry, John, Paul & Susan) plus mom Barbara were in the band.  They could all play their instruments and sing lead or harmony.  In 1967 they released their first album and a hit single that is a perfect time capsule of that period, the sunshine pop classic ‘The Rain, The Park & Other Things’.  The song charted #2 in the US and Susan Cowsill was only nine years old when this reached the Top 10, making her the youngest rock performer to have a Top 10 hit in America.  The Cowsills were the first of the sibling-oriented groups like The Jackson 5 and The Osmonds.  The Cowsills made many television appearances during the late 1960s and the early 1970s and they were an inspiration for the Partridge Family.

This is a very happy song as this guy sees a girl sitting in the rain and the raindrops were falling on her, but she didn’t seem to care.  She just sat there and smiled at him with flowers in her hair.  Right then he knew that she was the one to make him happy.  He had to say hello when she caught his eye and when he did that, she took his hand and they walked through the park alone seeing flowers everywhere.  She seemed so sweet and kind, that he wondered if he was losing his mind.  Suddenly the sun broke through and when he turned around, she was gone and all he had left was one little flower from her hair.  He was not sure if she was reality or just a dream, but she had made him happy.

Artie Kornfeld is a singer, songwriter, record producer and music executive, who best known as the music promoter and creator of the Woodstock Festival that was held in 1969.  Kornfeld found himself with a record deal and he appeared on stage with Dion and the Belmonts singing backup with The Skyliners.  Kornfeld met Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas when he was in college.  Artie Kornfeld was a member of The Changin’ Times. Kornfeld became the vice president of Capitol Records in his early 20’s, making him the youngest to hold the position and the first vice president of rock and roll ever.  By 1966, Kornfeld had written over 75 Billboard charged songs and participated in over 150 albums.  The song was recorded at A&R studios which was managed by Phil Ramone.

Woodstock was a four-man effort, involving Artie Kornfeld, Michael Lang, Joel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts.  Artie wrote several songs for his group The Changin’ Times and a couple for The Cowsills.  Along with Brian Wilson, Jan Berry and Roger Christian he wrote ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ for Jan & Dean and collaborating with Gerry Goffin and Toni Wine he wrote ‘Only to Other People’ for The Cookies.  Other songs that he wrote are ‘I Adore Him’ by The Angels, ‘Guess Who?’ by Dusty Springfield, ‘Judy Loves Me’ by Johnny Crawford, ‘Tonight You’re Gonna Fall in Love with Me’ by The Shirelles and ‘Another Page’ by Connie Francis.  Artie was the Manager and Creative Director of the band Survivor and he took this unknown band to the top selling single of all time ‘Eye of the Tiger’.  Kornfeld lost his first wife in the early ‘80s and then his 16-year-old daughter to a drug overdose.  Artie Kornfeld won a HMMA Hollywood Music in Media Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Steven Duboff co-wrote with Artie Kornfeld the ‘60s hits ‘The Rain, The Park and Other Things’ and ‘We Can Fly’ which were recorded by the Cowsills, and Crispian St. Peters’ ‘The Pied Piper’.  He and Kornfeld were also the recording and performing in the group The Changin’ Times, who opened on tour for Sonny and Cher.  Later he worked as an A&R executive at ABC Records.  Duboff also wrote songs for Ringo Starr, the Turtles, Connie Francis, Al Hirt, Wayne Newton, the Addrisi Brothers, the Monkees, the Bon Aires and more, working with co-writers including Doug Morris, Gerry Robinson and Neil Levinson, with whom he ran Du-Lev Productions.  Duboff produced records for the Insect Trust (who he also managed), the Emeralds, Hugh McCracken, Guy Mitchell, Bit A Sweet and Lenny Williams.  Duboff died in 2014 at the age of 62.

I saw her sitting in the rain
Raindrops falling on her
She didn’t seem to care
She sat there and smiled at me
And I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew)
She could make me happy (happy, happy)
Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere
I love the flower girl
Oh, I don’t know just why
She simply caught my eye
I love the flower girl she seemed so sweet and kind.
She crept into my mind.
I knew I had to say hello (hello, hello)
She smiled up at me
She took my hand and we walked through the park alone
But I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew)
She had made me happy (happy, happy)
Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere
I love the flower girl
Oh, I don’t know just why
She simply caught my eye
I love the flower girl she seemed so sweet and kind
She crept into my mind
Suddenly the sun broke through (see the sun).
I turned around she was gone (where did she go).
And all I had left was one little flower from her hair.
But I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew)
She had made me happy (happy, happy).
Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere
I love the flower girl
Was she reality or just a dream to me?
I love the flower girl
Our love shall lead the way
To find a sunny day
I love the flower girl
Was she reality or just a dream to me?

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a song with love & flowers and the prompt is thanks to Barbara.

A Cloud That Holds a Lot of Rain

‘Love Hurts’ was written and composed by the American songwriter Boudleaux Bryant and first recorded by the Everly Brothers in July 1960, but the first hit version of this song was by Roy Orbison.  Love does hurt sometimes, and it can even leave scars on your heart and other marks on you that go all the way deep down inside of you.  The guy in this light pop song, is obviously young and he cries a lot because some girl left him.  He recalls a few things he learnt from her.  He is perplexed not understanding those who experience warm and explosive feelings from love, like happiness, blissfulness, and togetherness, because he is heart-broken.

Young love can burn hot with passion, but that heat has a way of burning anything when it gets too hot and there are a number of the terrible things love can do to you, especially if you are not strong enough to withstand the pain.  The guy in this song has just made this discovery, which is a revelation of sorts, that all those who are singing the praises of love are fools who will soon be burned, as love is just a lie made to make you blue.  ‘Love Hurts’ is the kind of song that you could play over and over again, if you ever got dumped.  In 1975, the group Nazareth had a big hit with this song and other cover versions have been done by Jim Capaldi, Cher, Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, Don McLean, Rod Stewart, Joan Jett, Sinead O’Connor, the Who and Pat Boone.  The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and Phil Everly died in 2014.

The group Nazareth was sometimes shortened to Naz like Led Zeppelin was called Led Zep, were a hard-rock band from Scotland who formed in 1968 and they took their name from the reference to Nazareth, Pennsylvania in the song ‘The Weight’ by The Band.  Nazareth had a knack for stamping their very own identity on somebody else’s hit song, which proved to be the key to their success.  Pete Agnew formed the original Shadettes in 1961 and was a lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist and 4 members of Nazareth ended up coming out of that group.  Darrell Sweet joined in 1963 as the drummer, Dan McCafferty joined in 1965 as another lead vocalist, Manny Charlton joined in 1968 as the lead guitarist and Pete Agnew joined the group in 1971 as the bass player.  In 1975, the group released an album titled Hair of the Dog that was produced by guitarist Manny Charlton and their biggest hit ‘Love Hurts’ came from that album.  It reached #8 on the Billboard pop charts, and went to #1 in many other countries.  Nazareth recorded 22 studio albums, 7 live albums and 5 compilation albums and they are still on tour.  Today, only bass player Pete Agnew continues as an original member of the band and Darrell Sweet died in 1999.

Cher recorded her first version of ‘Love Hurts’ in 1975 for the album Stars, but did not release this version as a single.  She later recorded a second version in 1991 for her album of the same name.  This single peaked at #43 on the UK Singles charts.

Love hurts
Love scars, love wounds and mars

Any heart not touched
or strong enough
can take a lot of pain
Take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud
Holds a lot of rain
Love hurts
Love hurts

I’m young, I know
But even so
I know a thing, or two
I’ve learned from you

I really learned a lot
Really learned a lot
Love is like a stove
Burns you when its hot
Love hurts
Love hurts

Some fools rave of happiness
Blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves I guess
But they’re not fooling me

I know it isn’t true
Know it isn’t true
Love is just a lie
Made to make you blue
Love hurts
Love hurts
Love hurts

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a song about a love that hurts, or is about a breakup or a heartbreak.