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

 

A Cruel And A Heartless Deed

In late 1970 to early 1971, British singer-songwriter Donovan had a very gentle nature and he found himself involved with the most wonderful project of his entire career, making the double album HMS Donovan, which was his ninth studio album, his tenth overall album and his second double album.  Donovan had a fleeting love affair with model Linda Lawrence, who previously was the girlfriend of the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones and he bumped into her again four years later and they married in 1970.  Many of Donovan songs were inspired by his wife Linda Lawrence.  After Donovan married his muse Linda Lawrence, and she became pregnant with their first child, he started to record and compile a new album that would contain songs to accompany classic poems for and about children and this was his second album dedicated to children.  HMS Donovan was released in 1971, and this was an album of innocence, peace and tranquility, that can magically transport you away from your stressful, materialistic and often harsh, cold and uncaring world with gentle and beautiful lullabies.  The album included his last hit ‘Celia Of The Seals’, but overall HMS Donovan had poor sales and didn’t chart in the UK and ‘Celia Of The Seals’ never sold enough copies to make a UK chart entry, but it did chart #84 in the US when it was rereleased on his 1992 album Troubadour: The Definitive Collection 1964-1976.

Donovan Leitch sang vocals and played acoustic guitar, while Danny Thompson played concert bass fiddle on ‘Celia Of The Seals’This is considered to be the ultimate protest song against the illegal hunting of seals for the needs of humans, such as their fur and meat.  In the lyrics, Donovan attempts to imitate the call of the seal, repeating “Voyna, voyna, voyna, voyna voyna vay”, in a verse of this tear jerking song, while also including sound effects of seals making their actual cry on this song.  The slaughter of innocent helpless seals is seen as being inhumane, because they are often clubbed to death or poked with huge hooks and then dragged across the ice to the ships that await them.  Since there isn’t an abundant market for seal meat, people are angry that these animals are killed only for sport.  The seals are skinned and the meat is left to rot, but fishermen say that it is necessary to kill the seals, because they consume a lot of their food supply.

‘Celia Of The Seals’ is an extraordinary song, but even though Donovan was in a career slump at this time, he was unable to remain silent after watching the butchering of baby seals on beaches.  Donovan normally had a gentle nature, but he was roused into anger and outrage at the horrific slaughter of baby seals and he condemns those who were murdering the baby seals right in front of their mothers.  The song is set to a rhythmic and strident acoustic guitar, and Donovan’s extremely powerful voice is accompanied only by the English multi-instrumentalist Danny Thompson who was a founding member of Pentangle, playing the bass.

Donovan is Scottish and many people think that this song is about the Canadian seal hunt, but it might be about the Scottish seal hunt, as this song mentions the Western Isles which is a part of Scotland where seals were hunted at the time.  The Outer Hebrides, is also known as the Western Isles, Innse Gall or the Long Isle or the Long Island, and it is an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland.  The Hebrides or Western Isles as they are now known is a great place to watch the seals.

Should you wander this land to the North,
And few seldom do,
Should you follow the song of the gull
To enchanted western isles,
Coax a fisherman to take you out
Where the silky seals are seen,
Hear the stories that they tell about
The maiden who is their queen,
The maiden who is their queen.

Celia of the seals,
She knows just how they feel,
Celia of the seals.
“Voyna, voyna, voyna, voyna voyna vay”
“Voyna, voyna, voyna, voyna voyna vay”

Seal hunters are not brave and bold,
They murder her poor wee seals
And cut off their skins to be sold,
Cursed be he who deals.
There’s no reason for this slaughtering,
They’re left on the rocks to bleed
He’s not a man who does this thing,
It’s a cruel and a heartless deed,
A cruel and a-heartless deed.

Celia of the seals,
She knows just how they feel,
Celia of the seals.

Celia of the seals,
Celia of the seals,
She knows just how they feel,
Celia of the seals,
Celia of the seals,
Celia of the seals,
“Voyna, voyna, voyna, voyna voyna vay”
“Voyna, voyna, voyna, voyna voyna vay”

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is “Animal”.

Talking In Your Sleep

Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March of every year in the North America and this requires you to move your clock forward by one hour, which might result in you losing sleep. In Europe this will begin on the last Sunday in March.  Outside of North America and Europe, the time adjustment is only practiced in a very small number of countries, so only about a quarter of the world’s population actually observe Daylight Saving Time.  At 2:00:00 am the clocks are turned forward 1 hour to become 3:00:00 am.  This is also national Check Your Batteries Day which is important for household appliances like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  March Tenth is also International Day of Awesomeness, so please contribute a totally awesome song today where the prompt is “Animal”.

People aren’t the only animals that can carry a tune and everyone is probably aware that birds and insects sing, but some other animals also engage in singing usually to attract a mate, or this can be done to defend its territory.  Male mice sing “ultrasonic” love songs while flirting with female mice, but some male mice are better at wooing by song than others, which leads to “rock stars” in the mouse world.  Frogs, Toadfish. Humpback whales, Killer whales, Beluga whales, Mexican free-tailed bats and Antelope squirrels are all able to sing.  I look forward to reading everybody’s posts and I urge you again to please be patient, as I losing an hour of sleep, but I will still do my best to approve your pingbacks ASAP.

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.
  • 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 ‘Celia of the Seals’ by Donovan this week.  The upcoming prompts will be:
March 17, 2019 – School/Books/Learning
March 24, 2019 – Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months
March 31, 2019 – Record/Juke Box/DJ/Radio
April 7, 2019 – Burn/Fire/Flame

She Wants Him

The female brain is a complete mystery to most men, as women’s thoughts and desires are often impossible to interpret, but a lot can be learned from eye contact.  This song by the Police ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ is not about the lust of a man for a child, it is about the tension that springs up from the desire of something that just can’t happen.  The female student feels that love is in the air, because her male teacher has shown her some attention.  She is probably a smart student, one that pays attention in class, does her assignments and raises her hand to participate in class discussions, but it is very likely that she is not the only girl at the school that fancies him.  The teacher should not be blamed for being young and handsome, but in school people talk and rumors spread quickly and when he takes this young student on as his protégé [teacher’s pet] that makes the other girls jealous.  The student and the teacher probably work together after class hours, and she might help out grading papers for him.

She is willing to do anything that will let her spend more time with him and while they are together, she smiles at him and probably fixes up her hair, looking for any opportunity to put her hands on him, touching his arm, or whatever.  She wants to look beautiful for him to win and keep his attention, so she really does not have any boundaries that she won’t cross and as her desire increases, she may start licking or rubbing her lips.  This girl is definitely jailbait, above the age of puberty, but still half his age and far from being legal, although she has this worldliness, sophistication that makes her appear much older.

After my engineering career was over, companies wanted to hire younger workers that they could pay less money, I worked as a Substitute Teacher for a few years.  The job was easy when I got good students and I did get to attend a two hour training class to prepare me for this new career.  One thing that I learned was to never allow myself to be alone in the classroom with just one student.  This rule does not apply to regular teachers, but it is smart advice for anyone to follow so they can avoid any accusations about improper conduct.  This song is being told (narrated) from the perspective of someone who is able to watch both the student and the teacher and it says, “Temptation, frustration So bad it makes him cry Wet bus stop, she’s waiting His car is warm and dry”.  This segment of the song tells us that the teacher is tempted and frustrated to the point where he actually breaks down to cry.  It lets us know that the student is probably not old enough to drive yet, as she is waiting in the rain for the bus to come.  He thinks about offering her a ride in his car and maybe that is as far as it goes, or maybe it goes much further, we will never know.

“Loose talk in the classroom To hurt they try and try Strong words in the staffroom The accusations fly”, so it is not only the students that are talking, the rumors are being spread among the other teachers now.  The teacher is clearly attracted to his student, even though she is so young.  “It’s no use, he sees her He starts to shake and cough Just like the old man in That book by Nabokov”.  This segment may give us more details if we analyze it properly.  It is reasonable to assume that this time when he sees her, they are not in the classroom and the mere sight of her is really affecting him.  You might also speculate that he could be an English teacher or a Language Arts teacher, or at least the narrator, the person who is observing both the student and the teacher is well read, as it mentions that book by Nabokov.  This is an allusion to the Russian novelist Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov who wrote the book Lolita, which is a tale of inappropriate love and passion by a lecherous man who periodically molests and rapes his 12 year old stepdaughter.  Like the character in this story, the teacher is torn by his feelings for the underage girl, knowing his desires are perverted, but he still wants to enjoy being with her.  He can’t give in to his desires, he must show restraint because of social politics, and he wishes that she would stop getting so close to him, as there is a good chance that he could end up losing his job because of this.

The Police had three songs that reached #1 on the charts, those being ‘King Of Pain’, ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’.  ‘Spirits In The Material World’ peaked at #7, ‘Synchronicity II’ and ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ both reached #9 on the charts.  The Police released ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ twice, the first time in 1981 when it peaked at #11 and the 1986 single reached #10.  ‘Every Breath You Take’ was listed as #83 on the Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and ‘Roxanne’ came in at #398.  Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner who is better known as Sting wrote the song ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’.  Before Sting became a rock star, he worked as an English teacher and soccer coach.  Sting taught for two years at St. Paul’s in Cramlington, England and he has called his job as “One of the most important jobs in the planet.”  He knows that teaching is an important job and teaching children is essential.  He thinks that the entire future depends on kids being educated.

Young teacher, the subject
Of schoolgirl fantasy
She wants him so badly
Knows what she wants to be

Inside her there’s longing
This girl’s an open page
Book marking, she’s so close now
This girl is half his age

Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me

Her friends are so jealous
You know how bad girls get
Sometimes it’s not so easy
To be the teacher’s pet

Temptation, frustration
So bad it makes him cry
Wet bus stop, she’s waiting
His car is warm and dry

Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me

Loose talk in the classroom
To hurt they try and try
Strong words in the staffroom
The accusations fly

It’s no use, he sees her
He starts to shake and cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabokov

Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me

Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me

Written for 3/3/19 Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is “Occupation”.

Response From Helen

The other day Peter asked me if I had heard from Helen and I told him that I hadn’t, but his inquiry gave me an incentive to write to her.  Helen wrote back and said, “Things are pretty much the same, to be honest. I have more doctors appointments lined up and no answers. Some days are ok and some are just bad. I was going to reach out to you soon to tell you that I’m not going to take the hosting of SLS back. If I do return to blogging, I’d like to be more focused on writing. You are welcome to take it and make it yours.”  Helen went on to say, “I feel like SLS became a community, so it’s no longer really ‘mine’ if that makes sense.”  Song Lyric Sunday does not belong to me either, but I will continuing hosting this challenge, because I am enjoying it.  If being the host of this music challenge ever becomes overwhelming for me, I will make sure that a responsible person takes over before I resign.  Music is in the air, lighting up our hearts and filling our dreams as an art form made up of sounds and silence.

The prompt for this week is “Occupation”, which would include many jobs like being an accountant, actor, acupuncturist all the way through being an undertaker, veterinarian and window cleaner.  I am sure that there is a song out there for everyone.  I hope that everyone will contribute a song today and please be patient again, as I will do my best to approve your pingbacks ASAP.

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.
  • 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 a teacher who lusts after one of his students in the song ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ by the Police this week.  The upcoming prompts will be:

March 10, 2019 – Animal
March 17, 2019 – School/Books/Learning
March 24, 2019 – Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months
March 31, 2019 – Record/Juke Box/DJ/Radio

Time Goes By So Slowly

The song that I am writing about today was originally written as part of a score for a 1955 movie starring the former football player Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch called Unchained, which was based on the book Prisoners are People, which was published by Kenyon Judson Scudder in 1952.  Both the book and the movie follow the story of a man serving time in a medium-security prison, and the song was written for the movie to reflect the mood of the prisoners as they wait for time to pass.  The movie features a scene, where an inmate perches on a bed in his prison dorm and sings a song, accompanied only by a mournful acoustic guitar for a group of his fellow prisoners, “Time goes by so slowly and time can do so much”.  He is deeply conflicted and must decide whether to behave himself behind bars and serve out his sentence or try to escape so he can see his wife, who he loves deeply and misses so very much.  The movie version of the song was performed by Todd Duncan, who also had a minor role in the movie.

‘Unchained Melody’ was written by composer Alex North and lyricist Hyman Zaret.  There is a man named William Stirrat who used the pen name Hy Zaret, that took credit for writing the lyrics to ‘Unchained Melody’ when he was only 16 years of age.  He said that he wrote it about the prettiest girl in his neighborhood and had it published in his local newspaper.  The lyrics were inspired by Stirrat’s young unrequited love with Mary Louise “Cookie” Pierce, but he has been considered to be an imposter.  North composed the score for the film and was then asked to write a theme song.  Alex North was an American composer best known for his many film scores, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Spartacus, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.  He was the first composer to receive an Honorary Academy Award, but he never won a competitive Oscar despite fourteen nominations.  Zaret refused the producer’s request to work the word “unchained” into the lyrics, instead he expressed the feelings of a lover who hungered for the touch of his wife “a long, lonely time.”  Other songs that Zaret co-wrote were ‘My Sister and I’, a hit in 1941 for Jimmy Dorsey; ‘So Long, for a While’, the theme song for the radio and TV show Your Hit Parade; ‘Dedicated to You’ which was sung by the Mills Brothers and Ella Fitzgerald and the Andrews Sisters’ novelty song ‘One Meat Ball’.

With Todd Duncan singing the vocals on this song, it was nominated for an Oscar in 1955, but the Best Song award went to the hit song ‘Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing’, which had music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster.  Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, Jimmy Young, Liberace, Roy Hamilton, June Valli, Harry Belafonte, Perry Como and Eddy Arnold all took a crack at this song in 1955 and many of these made the charts, but then the song went into hibernation for 10 years.  When ‘Unchained Melody’ was recorded by The Righteous Brothers it reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 14 in the UK in 1965.

The Righteous Brothers came together from two different California-based doo-wop bands singing songs of the ‘50s in the early 1960s, when their respective groups the Paramours which Bill Medley was a part of, combined with Bobby Hatfield’s Variations.  In 1963 they decided to go it alone using the name The Paramours.  The duo was booked at a club in Irvine California that was frequented by some African-American servicemen who were quite taken with their soulful performance, and would call out, “that was righteous, brothers” at the end of their songs.  Thus the duo known as The Paramours soon became The Righteous Brothers.

While in Daly City in 1964 with one of his groups The Ronettes, music producer Phil Spector happened to catch a performance by The Righteous Brothers.  Spector immediately approached the guys about coming to work for him and learned they were already under contract with Moonglow.  Undeterred, he negotiated a deal with Moonglow that gave him the US, UK and Canadian rights to songs he produced with The Righteous Brothers for his own label, Philles Records.  When Phil Spector leased the Brothers recording contract from Moonglow Records for his own Philles label, he used studio musicians from the fabled Wrecking Crew in their recording sessions including Carol Kay (guitar and bass), Barney Kessel (guitar), Don Peake (guitar), Larry Knechtel (piano), Earl Palmer (drums), Lou Blackburn (horns), and arranger Jack Nitsche are among those who helped create Spector’s “wall of sound” on the Righteous Brothers singles he produced.

Bill Medley is the taller of the two, and he provided the bass-baritone, and blond-haired singer Bobby Hatfield was the tenor. The lead vocal for this song was performed solo by Bobby Hatfield.  ‘Unchained Melody’ was recorded more than 300 times, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which listed it in 1999 as one of the 25 most-performed musical works of the 20th century.  The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003.  Hatfield passed away in 2003 from a heart attack at the age of 63.

Oh, my love, my darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow
To the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers sigh
“Wait for me, wait for me”
I’ll be coming home, wait for me

Oh, my love, my darling
I’ve hungered, for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

Written for 2/24/19 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “Harmony/Melody/Music”.