I Thought You Loved Me

The Poppy Family consisted of the Canadian duo of Terry and Susan Jacks, who were husband and wife from 1967-1973 and two other musicians.  The group recorded the song ‘Which Way You Goin’ Billy?’ for their 1969 album of the same name.  Terry Jacks wrote the song while Susan sang lead and ‘Which Way You Goin’ Billy?’ went to #1 in Canada and Ireland.  It was also a significant hit in other parts of the world, reaching #2 on both the U.S. Cash Box and Billboard pop charts and it charted #7 in the UK.  It hit #6 on Billboards Easy Listening chart and it ranked as one of the ten biggest singles of the year (at #9) on the Canadian ‘List of Biggest Singles of 1969’ chart.  In Billboard’s ranking of the Top Hits of 1970, it was listed at #26 for the year.  It also ranked at #5 on the ‘List of RPM Biggest Adult Contemporary Hits of 1969’.  It was kept from the #1 spot by both ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ by Ray Stevens and ‘The Long and Winding Road’ by The Beatles.   Allmusic critic Mark Deming said, “If the ‘70s were supposed to be about having a nice day, ‘Which Way You Goin’ Billy?’ shows the Poppy Family were one band waiting for a cloud to blot out all that annoying sunshine…”

Terry Jacks was a big Buddy Holly fan, and he started writing the song with the working title ‘Which Way You Goin’ Buddy?’  He had the melody, but he couldn’t come up with a lyrical theme.  After he formed The Poppy Family, he hit on the idea that this song was about guys going to Vietnam and leaving their women behind, which he thought must have been awful.  He knew some guys that had to go to war and their wives or girlfriends didn’t know if they were coming back.  He felt that it was a stupid war, and he wanted to write about this woman that gets left behind.  Terry Jacks decided to name the lead character in this song “Billy” after hearing a song ‘Billy, Billy Went A Walkin’’ by one of his favorite acts, a Montreal group called The Beau Marks.  Jacks thought the name was a good fit, because lots of people are called Billy.  At Susan’s suggestion this song was rewritten to be sung by a female and Susan had a brother whose name was Billy.

When Susan did her vocal for this song, Terry thought it came out perfect, but it was too perfect, as it soundrd too happy with her beautiful voice, so it wasn’t right.  They were living over at 21st and Marine Drive in West Vancouver, way up in a high-rise, the Sea Strand.  The couple went home and they argued over whether or not she should redo it, as Terry felt it needed to include some type of heart being ripped out thing.  Terry eventually convinced her to give it another try.  The next day they went into the studio and she did it on her first take, probably because she was a mess from being tired and worn out, and that allowed her to capture the feel that this song needed.  When a couple is romantically involved and they make music together, the romance can fade, especially when the producer husband tries to coax a better vocal out of the singer wife.

This was the first song The Poppy Family released outside of Canada.  One night when the Chessmen were performing on a Canadian TV show, Terry Jacks met a singer named Susan Pesklevits.  Susan Pesklevits recorded her first singles with two other well-known Vancouver performers, Howie Vickers and Tom Northcott, using the name The Eternal Triangle.  In 1966, 18-year-old Susan Pesklevits asked Terry Jacks to back her at a gig when she needed a guitarist where she was scheduled to sing.  Terry Jacks’ group, the Chessmen, had already disbanded, so he agreed to fill in.  From there the pair formed a duo and started to perform at small nightspots.  The Poppy Family consisted of Satwant Singh, a tabla player, and the guitarist Craig McCaw.  Terry and Susan married, and they had several hits in Canada and internationally, with their biggest being this song.  The song was written and produced by Terry Jacks which earned him a Gold Leaf Juno award (Canada’s version of the Grammys) in 1970 for Best Produced Single.

Which way you goin’, Billy?
Can I go too?
Which way you goin’, Billy?
Can I go with you?

I really love you, Billy
And all this time
I thought you loved me, Billy
And you were mine

I’m gonna miss you, Billy
And though I’m trying
I’m hurtin’ so bad, Billy
I can’t help cryin’

You are my whole babe
My heart and my soul babe
I’d have nothing to show babe
If you should go away

You are my whole babe
My heart and my soul babe
I’d have nothing to show babe
If you should go

Which way you goin’, Billy?
Or need I ask?
‘Cause you don’t want me, Billy
You’re free at last

I won’t forget you, Billy
For all my life
I’ll always love you, Billy
I’ll stay your wife

You are my whole babe
My heart and my soul babe
I’d have nothing to show babe
If you should go away

You are my whole babe
My heart and my soul babe
I’d have nothing to show babe
If you should go

You are my whole babe
My heart and my soul babe
I’d have nothing to show babe
If you should go away

Written for Thursday Inspiration #119 Seasons in the Sun.

Thursday Inspiration #119 Seasons in the Sun

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word wine, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Seasons in the Sun’, or by going with another song by Terry Jacks, although Jacks never had another big hit like this, so just go with anything that you think fits, as it shouldn’t be all that difficult to find another depressing song.  It is a bit gloomy, but the self-produced single ‘Seasons in the Sun’ from the 1973 album of the same name, sold over eleven million copies worldwide, going to #1 in the US and the UK.  It went on to win two Juno Awards for best male vocalist and best contemporary/pop single and it was the best-selling single in 1975.  Terry released this on his own label, Goldfish Records, and was amazed when it became the largest-selling single in Canadian history, selling more than 285,000 copies sold in a matter of weeks.

This song is about a man who is about to die and he says his goodbyes to his loved ones, which must be heartbreaking.  The French Belgian poet-composer Jacques Brel wrote and performed this in 1961 and it was titles as ‘Le Moribond’ which translates to ‘The Dying Man’.  Originally this song was written about an old man who was dying of a broken heart, because his best friend was screwing his wife.  Brel wrote his version while he was in a whorehouse in Tangiers, and the words were quite different and done to a marching tune.  While the old man was dying of a broken heart, he was saying goodbye to his priest and his best friend and his wife Francoise, who cheated on him.  He forgave her for cheating on him with his best friend, and he admitted that without her that he would have had a lonely life.  Brel was a family man and cardboard-factory worker until his breakthrough in the 1950s.  In the clubs of Paris, he became a hipster chansonnier, a cabaret hero who was compared with Dylan, and he was an inspiration for David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and many others.  Shortly before Terry’s recording came out, Jacques Brel retired, at the peak of his popularity.  Fans around the world were stunned, but the composer gave no reason for his retirement.  As it turned out, Brel succumbed to cancer after a quiet, six-year battle with the disease and died on October 9, 1978.

The American poet Rod McKuen translated the lyrics to English, and in 1964 The Kingston Trio released the first English-language version of the song.  Terry Jacks heard this version of the song, and that became the basis for his rendition.  Rod McKuen, being a poet didn’t just slavishly translate Brel word for word, instead he drew on the original song to create a new work.  Brel’s version of the song, was much darker, telling his good friend Emily, his priest and his wife that he was about to die, and Rod McKuen decided to lighten up the lyrics, however he did credit the writing of this song to Jacques Brel.  Terry Jacks made some significant musical changes and wrote an entirely different last verse, but didn’t get a songwriter credit, since he never claimed one.  Jacks says he didn’t think of it at the time, and never anticipated the song becoming a royalty-generating hit.

The original version is rather morbid, but Jacks had an earnest inspiration for his reworking of the song after his good friend developed leukemia, and was given just six months to live.  Sadly, his friend passed after just four months, and that made Jacks remember this song of an old man dying of a broken heart, which he liked some of the melody and felt that it had promise, so he rewrote the song about his good friend.  The Kingston Trio rewrote the chorus to include, “We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun”.  Jacks rewrote it again, taking out all the cheating-wife stuff and replacing it with uncomplicated declarations of love about his friend that just died.

The Beach Boys became friendly with Jacks, and asked him to produce a song for them, which Jacks was honored to do.  Terry played them his arrangement of ‘Seasons in the Sun’ and suggested that they record it, since he thought it would sound great with their harmonies and with Carl Wilson singing lead.  They went to work on the song together, but the Beach Boys were in a state of flux at this time.  The Beach Boys were going through all this weird stuff at the time, with Mike Love coming into the studio in a white guru suit with a girl on a watermelon fast and although this is supposed to be a healthy diet, it is known to cause bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.  Dennis Wilson was out playing around in the desert with Charles Manson, and one night he came home and found all his car windows broken.  They were trying to keep the group together and Brian Wilson the band’s troubled production genius was off in la-la land, trying to take over wanting to work on songs until they sounded perfect to him.  Other members of the band disagreed when Wilson kept trying to tinker with Jacks’ production, and Jacks eventually got sick of all the intra-band drama and it never got finished.  Brian wanted to get hold of the tape and add some things, and the engineer would have to take the tape home at night so that Brian wouldn’t get hold of it.  This went on and on, causing Jacks to almost have a nervous breakdown, because he put so much energy into this thing and the stress really got to him.  Jacks shopped the song around to some other people and then he eventually decided to record the song himself.  Al Jardine and Carl Wilson were great, and Jacks worked with Al Jardine on the backing vocals and came up with an arrangement that he used when he recorded the song.

According to Terry Jacks, a young David Foster played a bit of piano and did some engineering on this song, his specific contributions being the piano arpeggio after the “flowers everywhere” line, and doubling the bass after the “Goodbye papa, please pray for me” line.  Link Wray supposedly played the opening electric guitar riff on this song.  Jacks didn’t think this song was going to be a hit, so he never gave himself a songwriting credit, even though he could have done that.  This song about pure heartbreak, when somebody realizes that they are going to die and would rather be alive, watching and listening to “all the birds are singing in the sky.”

Before releasing this song, Terry Jacks had considerable success in his native Canada as half of the duo The Poppy Family with his wife, Susan.  Singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer Terry Jacks was a member of the hippie generation, who joined the Vancouver, British Columbia-based band The Chessmen as both a singer and guitarist in the mid-60s.  The group had a few minor local hits before breaking up.  Jacks subsequently met singer Susan Pesklevits and formed a duo with her called The Poppy Family.  They married and she became Susan Jacks.  With the money he made from this song, Jacks purchased a boat, which he christened “Seasons in the Sun”.  He began sailing up and down the west coast of Alaska and Canada, and had some revelations along the way, becoming a Christian and participating in a quest to protect nature.  He gave up music and became an environmental activist, fighting the Canadian paper mills, which he accused of dumping toxins and destroying forests.

But the wine and the song
Like the seasons have all gone
We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun

Martinis, Girls, and Guns

The song ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ was performed by Sheryl Crow and it was used for the theme song to the James Bond film of the same name.  Sheryl Crow and Mitchell Froom (currently the keyboardist for Crowded House) wrote the song and David Arnold composed the score of Tomorrow Never Dies which was the 18th James Bond film released in 1997, starring Pierce Brosnan as the fifth 007.  Pierce Brosnan made his debut in 1995 as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond in the film GoldenEye.  Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli found and hired Eric Serra to score this film, but the music received very harsh reviews by fans and critics.  In 1997, composer John Barry who was known for his unforgettable motifs being interpolated into the score, decided that he no longer wanted to be involved in writing title tracks for Bond movies.  David Arnold was thought to be the perfect replacement for John Barry, because he just released his James Bond tribute Shaken Not Stirred, a collection of title songs and a few instrumentals redone by artists.  At this time the producers started courting big chart stars, which allowed the songs to become separated from the scores, and this process started with Tomorrow Never Dies.  Arnold has the second most Bond scores under his belt.

The producers initially thought about using the k.d. Lang song ‘Surrender’, a bold, classic-style James Bond theme song and both songs feature the phrase “tomorrow never dies”, but they made a last-minute request that a more ‘chart friendly’ artist of the moment should be used.  After much overnight searching, American singer Sheryl Crow was invited to come up with a title song.  Crow had burst onto the music scene in 1993 with her global smash hit ‘All I Wanna Do’ and had followed this in 1996 with ‘Everyday Is A Winding Road’ and ‘If It Makes You Happy’.  Working with producer Mitchell Froom, Crow recorded her song ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ and it was instantly accepted and subsequently used as the song for the new 007 film.  Lang’s song was used over the closing credits to the film which began with the legend ‘In loving memory of Cubby’, referring to Albert R. Broccoli who just died on June 27, 1996.

Bruce Feirstein is an American screenwriter and humorist, best known for his contributions to the James Bond series and his best-selling humor books and he worked with Jeffrey Caine on GoldenEye, before writing the story and the screenplay for Tomorrow Never Dies.  The movies’ villain, Elliot Carver, is a media mogul who runs a publication called Tomorrow.  Feirstein had a different title in mind Tomorrow Never Lies which tied in with the newspaper more.  This appeared as the ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’ slogan of Tomorrow, the flagship of an international newspaper chain owned by the evil media baron who was bent on (start macro here) Global Worldwide Domination.  Feirstein credited the Beatles for inspiring his original title, and he said that he was inspired when he heard the Beatles’ song ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ and by accident the title became Tomorrow Never Dies.  The lyrics are sung by a woman who is in love with a spy who left her and she is waiting for him to return.  “Tomorrow never dies” shows that she has hopes to see him again and she will wait patiently till he returns.

Darling I’m killed
I’m in a puddle on the floor
Waiting for you to return
Oh what a thrill
Fascinations galore
How you tease
How you leave me to burn
It’s so deadly my dear
The power of having you near

[CHORUS]
Until the day
Until the world falls away
Until you say there’ll be no more goodbyes
I see it in your eyes
Tomorrow never dies

Darling you’ve won
It’s no fun
Martinis, girls, and guns
It’s murder on our love affair
But you bet your life
Every night
While you chase in the morning light
You’re not the only spy out there
It’s so deadly my dear
The power of wanting you near

Chorus
Until the day
Until the world falls away
Until you say there’ll be no more goodbyes
I see it in your eyes
Tomorrow Never Dies…

Until the day
Until the world falls away
Until you say there’ll be no more goodbyes
See it in your eyes…
Until the day…
Until the day…
Until the day…….

Written for Thursday Inspiration #118 Touch Me in the Morning where the prompt is tomorrow.

Thursday Inspiration #118 Touch Me in the Morning

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word tomorrow, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Touch Me in the Morning’, or by going with another song by Diana Ross, or anything else that you think fits.  This song deals with a woman who wants to end her relationship on the high note, by spending this last night with her man who will be giving it to her one last time and then she will always be able to look back filled with good memories of the time that they spent together.  There is no tomorrow for them, they will only be able to reflect on the yesterdays that they spent together, as when they wake up in the morning, he will touch her for the last time and then they will both walk away.  This is a very amicable breakup, where neither of them gets hurt, they are just moving on to other things and most likely they will be able to communicate respectfully with each other and they may even remain friends, because the love they shared cancels any anger.  No two breakups are the same, but some of them are inevitable and that is what we have here.

‘Touch Me in the Morning’ was written by ballad lyricist Ron Miller and songwriter/producer Michael Masser and the other producer was keyboard/piano player Tom Baird.  It was a #1 hit for Diana Ross in the US and it charted #9 in the UK.  This was released in 1973 on her fourth studio album which was named after this song which peaked at #5 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart.  Ron Miller entered the music industry as a staff songwriter for Motown Records and he found success by breaking the rules, being white and writing songs in a show tunes style, allowed him to reach the forefront of black American music.  Stevie Wonder had a lot of success with the Ron Miller songs that he recorded including, ‘A Place in the Sun’, ‘For Once in My Life’, ‘Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday’, and ‘Heaven Help Us All’.  Songwriter/producer Michael Masser had his first major success with this dong, and he followed that with the chart-topping ‘Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To?)’ which was co-written with lyricist Gerry Goffin and received an Oscar nomination for best Original Song.  Masser also wrote several hits for Whitney Houston.
This song was somewhat of a comeback for Ross in the music industry as it was released when she was receiving excellent reviews for her 1972 film debut Lady Sings the Blues. where she played Billie Holiday and stared with Billy Dee Williams.

Ross felt that this song was too difficult for her calling it a draining experience and she recorded several takes to get the vocals right.  This resulted in several near-emotional breakdowns recorded in the early morning hours, as was her custom after she began raising her children.  It was worth the extra effort as it became her longest-charting Pop record and also became her first #1 Adult Contemporary hit.  Miller said he dreamed up this title for this song, although he didn’t have the vaguest idea what it meant, so he started to analyze Diane as a person, thinking this girl is out on her own now after being the big attraction for The Supremes and bow she’s an adult and a movie star.  He thought of her as being a contemporary woman that was much more liberal about expressing her sexual values.

In the 1950s, half of all American women were mothers before their 22nd birthday, shuffled into a life of motherhood and homemaking before they had a chance to think about what they wanted to do with their lives.  As the feminist movement evolved in the late 1960s, women started challenging their exclusion from politics and the workplace.  They also began to question traditional sexual roles which was a radical concept at the time, but they felt that they should be treated just like men, because they enjoyed sex and had sexual needs.  Once women’s liberation arrived, they were allowed to talk about sexual feelings say things like needing to have someone to hold them and be around to touch them the next morning.  Ron Miller knew that Diane was a liberated woman, although she was ostensibly a sophisticated woman, so she would still be crying inside to be touched in the morning.  This song became Ross’s second solo #1 single (and 14th over her career) on the Billboard Hot 100.

Touch me in the morning
Then just walk away
We don’t have tomorrow
But we had yesterday

Everybody Smiles at You

The English rock band Electric Light Orchestra song ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ was written by Jeff Lynne and recorded on their 1977 seventh studio album Out of the Blue, and due to its sunny and uplifting vibe and lively groundbreaking sound that celebrates sunshine, it became a very popular song.  This celebration of a sunny day brings the listener a feeling of freedom that comes from having fun and being playful and accepting whatever the winds will bring our way.  Out of the Blue was the group’s most commercially successful studio album and it is a double album where the third side of this album is a quartet of loosely themed songs known collectively as Concerto for a Rainy Day.  These four songs ‘Standin’ in the Rain’, ‘Big Wheels’, ‘Summer and Lightning’ and ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ are joined together in a lose concept starting with the dark of a midnight rainfall and ending with the sunlight of a special afternoon, where the weather mirrors a person’s mood toward renewed optimism as the day gets brighter.

In the Spring of 1977, Jeff Lynne holed up in his Swiss chalet, where it was dark and misty for 2 weeks and he couldn’t come up with anything, but then he woke up to a bright sun cresting over the mountains backed by a blue sky and he captured this in the song that he wrote ‘Mr. Blue Sky’.  Jeff was staying here while attempting to write ELO’s follow-up album to A New World Record.  Once Jeff Lynne found his inspiration, his writer’s block disappeared and he couldn’t stop writing, as in just two weeks’ time, he wrote most of the songs for this album.  The extended period of dreary downpour and thunder, blocked Lynne’s creative spirit, and during that period he didn’t come up with any music, but when the rain came to an end, Lynne wrote this iconic song.  Suddenly when the sun broke, he was amazed looking at the beautiful Alps and ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ came out of this along with 13 other songs in just two weeks.

The song’s arrangement has been dubbed “Beatlesque”, and its harmonies were compared with the Beach Boys and the Bee Gees.  The song has a prominent use of a cowbell-like sound, which is credited on the album to percussionist Bev Bevan, using a drumstick to strike the side of a fire extinguisher.  It contains the most freaked out vocoder since the 1947 children’s audio story Sparky’s Magic Piano, where a young boy who doesn’t like to practice the piano, changes his mind when his piano comes to life and takes him on an adventure, however the robotic voice of the piano was considered disturbing to many children.  Vocoders (a category of voice codec that analyzes and synthesizes the human voice signal for audio data compression, multiplexing, voice encryption or voice transformation) first became popular in music in the ’70s and this was one of the first pop albums to make an extensive use of this electronic musical instrument.

A second vocoded segment at the end of the song is often incorrectly interpreted as saying “Mister Blue Sky”, but it is actually saying “Please turn me over”, as it is the end of side three of the vinyl record, and the listener is being instructed to flip it over.  ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ reached #6 in the UK chart in 1978, but it only got to #35 in the US.  Due to its popularity and frequent use in multiple television shows and movies, it is known as ELO’s signature song, and has been one of the most downloaded and streamed songs of the 1970s.

Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ everybody’s in the play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey

Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mr. Blue Sky is living here today, hey hey

Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Hey you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration, Mr. Blue Sky’s up there waitin’
And today is the day we’ve waited for

Oh Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Hey there Mr. Blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

Hey there Mr. Blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

Mr. Blue, you did it right
But soon comes Mr. Night creepin’ over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind I’ll remember you this
I’ll remember you this way

Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Hey there Mr. Blue (sky)
We’re so pleased to be with you (sky)
Look around see what you do (blue)
Everybody smiles at you

Written for Thursday Inspiration #117 I Feel the Earth Move.

Thursday Inspiration #117 I Feel the Earth Move

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word sky, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘I Feel the Earth Move’, or by going with another song by Carole King, or anything else that you think fits.  In April 1971, Carole King released ‘I Feel the Earth Move’, which was a double A-side record with ‘It’s Too Late’ for her second solo album Tapestry, she wasn’t even 30 years old yet and she had already penned some of the biggest hit songs of the ‘60s.  Tapestry sold 25 million copies and critics hailed Carole as a great singer-songwriter.  This became an enormous hit for Carole King, one that was unexpected, as her first album, Writer, was barely noticed.

On Tapestry Carole King played keyboards and sang lead vocal backed by Joel O’Brien on drums, Charles Larkey playing electric bass and Danny Kootch on electric guitar.  Joni Mitchell was in the studio next door working on her Blue album when Carole King was recording Tapestry.  Carole noticed that Mitchell’s studio had a red Steinway that King thought sounded special, so when Mitchell vacated King’s band had three hours in the room, and that was where they recorded ‘I Feel the Earth Move’, so Carole could be on that piano.  This rollicking song was the first song on the first side of this album and it was intended to get people up and dancing.

This song was thought to carry a sexual innuendo about a female orgasm, a double entendre sexual interpretation of otherwise innocent lyrics, that reflected where King was in her life at this time and it also fit in with the expansion of women’s liberation in America.  ‘I Feel the Earth Move’ is sung to a lover who makes King’s heart tremble, as she cries, “Oh, baby, I can’t stand it”, and her romantic interest causes her to lose control, down to her very soul, and she gets hot as well as cold all over.  The fast tempo allows the listener to feel the singer’s excitement over being near her lover, and these lyrics express sexual tension even though that tension is left unspoken.  The piano provides the crashes while King’s voice strains against its limits, rolling with the melody, evoking a sense of physical reaction.  This pulsing, rhythmic arrangement about elevating love that gets a person’s soul racing in multiple good ways, incorporates elements of doo-wop and contemporary a cappella beneath a barn-burning solo.  The earthquake metaphor can be seen as King’s coming out, opening her album with confidence and setting the stage for a new sound.

Most women describe their orgasms as being like fireworks and since they are subjective experiences, a universal definition for an orgasm can’t be agreed upon, although most people consider climaxing to be a pleasurable encounter.  The mechanisms that trigger female orgasms are still unclear, even though popular culture typically portrays women achieving effortless, earth-shattering orgasms with every sexual encounter.  Some women will squeal, and scream, feeling earth-shattering explosions, which could be embarrassing making them feel uncomfortable.  If the earth does move for them, this is an honest exploration of female sexuality that should be admired.  Tapestry connected with a huge number of listeners and a lot of them were women.

‘I Feel the Earth Move’ was released as a single in April, two months after Tapestry arrived.  The song, along with its flip side ‘It’s Too Late’, went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June, where it remained for five weeks.  King’s record label Ode Records and producer by Lou Adler selected this as the A-side for the album’s first single.  However, after a few weeks of continuous airplay many DJs began to play the slower, lamenting B-side ‘It’s Too Late’, and not long after ‘It’s Too Late’, ended up topping the charts.  Cash Box singles chart, tracked the progress of both sides of a single separately, but Billboard declared the record to be a double A-side so both songs are listed as having reached #1 on the Hot 100 chart.  Together these two songs were named by the RIAA as #213 out of 365 Songs of the Century.

In 1988, the Cuban-American singer Martika covered ‘I Feel the Earth Move’ and it rose to #25 on the singles chart.  DJ’s stopped playing it on the radio following the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 that occurred on the central coast of California, feeling that it was insensitive to air a love song in the aftermath of an earthquake that claimed the lives of 63 people and left almost 4,000 others injured.  Carole King has become one of the most successful singers of the 20th Century, with more than 30 solo albums released, a slew of singles and numerous Grammy Awards.

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumblin’ down
I feel my heart start to tremblin’
Whenever you’re around

Tomorrow May Rain

In February 1964, the Beatles arrived in the United States and their televised performances on The Ed Sullivan Show were viewed by approximately 73 million people.  The band became instantly popular, and had unprecedented domination of the national sales charts and in six weeks the Liverpool foursome went from being unknowns to the biggest pop stars in the USA.  Their singles and albums sold millions of records, and at one point in April 1964 all five best-selling U.S. singles were Beatles songs.  From the start of 1964, their world tours were characterized by the same levels of hysteria and high-pitched screaming by female fans, both at concerts and during the group’s travels.  In mid-October of 1964, The Beatles were in a jam, as they were contracted to have a new single and an entire new album complete and in the stores for the Christmas shopping season.  Their last album A Hard Day’s Night had just reached the record shops three months earlier, but Beatles fans were eagerly awaiting new material for the end of the year.

The problem was that the group was just too busy, they performed an extensive 18-day marathon concert season in Paris, played throughout London, entered into the whirlwind of American Beatlemania for the first time, filmed their first motion picture, embarked on their first international tour and recorded two full albums as well as singles and an EP.  They squeezed in a few recording dates, but they had only completed seven contenders for the sixteen required songs.  The decision was made to include some of their favorite cover songs, but they still needed to write more material themselves.  Being under this kind of pressure led them to purge their memories for songs they may have written years ago, but never got around to doing anything with.

Paul McCartney had certain songs from way back that he never really finished up, and ’I’ll Follow The Sun’ was one of those.  It wasn’t easy being tasked with recording their fourth album Beatles for Sale in a little more than a year, but the Beatlemania-battered quartet quickly shuttled to the studio for a loose set of covers, tossed-off originals and a few gems.  Paul wrote ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’ in 1959 at McCartney’s family home in Allerton, Liverpool on the front parlor in Forthlin Road when he was 16.  He said that he wrote this just after he had the flu and he remembered looking out through lace curtains of the window with his guitar while writing this.

One day, you’ll look
To see I’ve gone
For tomorrow may rain, so
I’ll follow the sun

Some day, you’ll know
I was the one
But tomorrow may rain, so
I’ll follow the sun

And now the time has come
And so, my love, I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you will know
Oh-oh-oh

One day, you’ll find
That I have gone
But tomorrow may rain, so
I’ll follow the sun

Yeah, tomorrow may rain, so
I’ll follow the sun

And now the time has come
And so, my love, I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end, you will know
Oh-oh-oh

One day. you’ll find
That I have gone
But tomorrow may rain, so
I’ll follow the sun

Written for Thursday Inspiration #116 (They Long to Be) Close to You.

Thursday Inspiration #116 (They Long to Be) Close to You

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word follow, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’, or by going with another song by The Carpenters, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’ was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and The Carpenters recorded it on their second studio album Close to You in 1970.  The single with instrumental backing by L.A. studio musicians from the Wrecking Crew topped both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts and it reached #6 on the UK charts.  The Carpenters won a Grammy Award with this song for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus in 1971.  The Carpenters were signed with A&M Records, which was co-owned by Herb Alpert and he produced the arrangement for the Carpenters.

Karen Carpenter was the lead singer and drummer in this group, but she was reduced to just being the singer when Herb Alpert brought in Hal Blaine to take her place, while Richard Carpenter stayed on piano, Joe Osborn played bass, Chuck Findley played trumpet, Bob Messenger played the flute and the vibraphone player went uncredited.  Richard created the arrangement for this song and he composed a flugelhorn solo for Herb to play, but he was unavailable at the time, so session player Chuck Findley was hired for the task and he was coaxed into playing it in the same style of Herb Albert.  Richard was always going to be in the shadow of his sister’s wonderful singing, but he did a great job on this song.

Richard said that he encountered a problem arranging the ending of this tune, because he didn’t like fade-outs and he always tried to avoid them.  He had the background vocals doing the wah-ah-ah-ah-ah part and then wondered what should come next, so he thought, how would Bacharach do this?  He liked what Burt did at the end of ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’ which B.J. Thomas recorded for the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.   Bacharach told BJ that he could do his own thing on this song, after he did it precisely how it was written, so BJ threw in the “meeeee” at the end.  This is why Richard decided that the song should end with the wahs, then Karen came up with the idea to push syncopate (place the accents on beats that are normally unaccented), and it came out great.

This was the Carpenters second single and their breakthrough hit.  This song is sweet and pretty, and also corny, but some people feel that it may be the greatest love-song ever written.  It is also a sad song, as this girl falls in love with this guy who couldn’t be more perfect, but he probably doesn’t even know she’s alive.  She is longing to be with him because the angels got together deciding to create a dream come true, sprinkling moon dust in his gold hair and starlight in his blue eyes, making him the most popular guy in town.   The Carpenters have sold over 90 million records with three #1 singles and five #2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and fifteen #1 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, in addition to twelve top-10 singles.

The Carpenters were an American vocal and instrumental duo consisting of siblings; singer and drummer Karen (born March 2, 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut) and musician, record producer, songwriter, and music arranger Richard Carpenter (born October 15, 1946). They first performed together as a duo in 1965 and formed the jazz-oriented Richard Carpenter Trio followed by the MOR group Spectrum, before settling on The Carpenters when they were signed to A&M by an impressed label owner and legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert in 1969.

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Clean Fresh Air

‘A Beautiful Morning’ was the Rascals’ first single after they shortened their name from being the Young Rascals.  The song was written one morning in Honolulu, Hawaii by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati when the band was invited to perform there by promoter Tom Moffatt.  It became a big hit in the United States, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went on to reach #35 in the year-end edition of Billboard charts for 1968.  Beginning with their first visit to Hawaii in 1966, The Rascals enjoyed a mutual love and respect for the people and places of the islands that lingers today.  Their performances at the H.I.C Honolulu International Center Arena in Honolulu from 1966-1969 broke attendance records.  They would often bring their families and make the trip a vacation spot as well.  Cavaliere said The Young Rascals were the biggest stars in Hawaii and he was madly in love with this woman, and was gonna marry her, while ‘Groovin’’ was #1.  Everything was so wonderful and he felt that he had to write a song so that everybody could feel that good forever.  The beauty and magic of all the islands inspired three Rascals songs ‘Island Of Love’, ‘My Hawaii’ and ‘A Beautiful Morning’.

In 1957, concert promoter Tom Moffatt brought Elvis Presley to perform on the islands and later he brought other acts like Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix, Elton John and Michael Jackson there.  The Rascals are considered ‘blue-eyed soul’ like The Righteous Brothers, and they had an impressive five-year reign atop the charts which showed in their record sales.  The Rascals started out as a home-made group, once Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish were able to come together.  They came up with the name Rascals while playing at The Choo Choo Club in Garfield, NJ.  They were a bar band working just a few blocks away from Eddie Brigati’s house, when one night someone said, “You ought to call the band The Little Rascals.”  The Little Rascals were very popular back then, so they thought it was a good idea and they decided to dress up like the characters from Spanky and Our Gang.  They purchased these knickers in the Village, this was their gimmick, their theatrical costume attempt and they incorporated this look into their act.  They made short ties to go with their round collars and the knickers, and when they got their first gig for Soupy Sales, he insisted that they wear the knickers when they did ‘The Mouse’ on his show and this became the group’s infamous Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit look.

The band worked a three-month residency on The Barge, a floating nightclub in Westhampton off Southampton, Long Island, where they were discovered by promoter Sid Bernstein.  A lot of record executives had summer homes in Long Island.  Ahmet Ertegun (president of Atlantic Records) came to see them and heard them play the Rudy Clark and Artie Resnick song ‘Good Lovin’’ and he knew that it was a hit.  They signed with Atlantic and Ahmet put them together with Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, who produced them.  Their individual talents as songwriters and performers have largely been overlooked, but while they were together, they made some beautiful music.

It’s a beautiful morning, ah
I think I’ll go outside for a while
And just smile
Just take in some, boy
No sense in staying inside
If the weather’s fine and you’ve got the time
It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day
Either way

It’s a beautiful morning, ah
Each bird keeps singing his own song
So long
I’ve got to be on my way now
No fun just hanging around
I got to cover ground
You couldn’t keep me down
It just ain’t no good if the sun shines
When you’re still inside
Shouldn’t hide
Still inside
Shouldn’t hide
Still inside, shouldn’t hide.
Oh, oh, oh

Ooh-ah-ah
Ooh-ah-ah

There will be children with robins and flowers
Sunshine caresses each new waking hour

Seems to me that people keep seeing more and more each day
Gotta say, lead the way
It’s okay, brand new day
Gotta say, it’s okay
Brand new day, gotta say, lead the way
Oh, oh, oh

Ooh-ah-ah
Oh, oh, oh
Ooh-ah-ah
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh
Ooh-ah-ah
Oh…
Ooh-ah-ah
Oh, oh, oh

Written for Thursday Inspiration #115 People Got to Be Free

Thursday Inspiration #115 People Got to Be Free

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word free, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘People Got to Be Free’, or by going with another song by The Rascals, or anything else that you think fits.  The Rascals recorded ‘People Got to Be Free’ on their 1969 album Freedom Suite and the single went to #1 on the US chart and it became their last #1 hit.  This was their fifth studio album and it was a double album, which was sort of a concept album, including songs about assassinations and police actions at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.  The first popular double album came out three years earlier in 1966 with Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, which was soon followed by The Mothers of Invention’s debut album Freak Out!.  1968 was a big year for the double album with The Beatles’ releasing their White Album, The Animals Love Is, Cream Wheels of Fire, Donovan A Gift from a Flower to a Garden, The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland, and Santana Live At The Fillmore.  By 1969, the double albums became mainstream with the Bee Gees Odessa, Chicago The Chicago Transit Authority, Grateful Dead Live/Dead, Small Faces The Autumn Stone, Muddy Waters Fathers and Sons, and The Who Tommy.

The Young Rascals were formed in 1965 from Garfield, New Jersey, by keyboardist Felix Cavaliere and vocalist Eddie Brigati, along with drummer Dino Danelli and guitarist Gene Cornish.  Cavaliere, Brigati and Cornish left the group Joey Dee and the Starliters who are best known for their hit ‘Peppermint Twist’ and the fact that before The Beatles opened for them before they got big.   Felix, Eddie and Dino recruited Danelli was working with The Unbeatables to form The Young Rascals.  “Young” was prefixed to the Rascals’ name, because the name “Rascals” was already registered to an all-harmonica group that formed in the 1920s playing the vaudeville circuit called Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals.  When the boys from Jersey reached their late 20s, the “Young” was dropped.

Felix and Eddie were the lead singers in this blue-eyed soul group, and also the two principal songwriters for the Rascals, who together changed the direction of pop music in 1965.  They were the first white-only act to be signed by Atlantic Records and they were made up of three Italians and an Irishman.  The Rascals have 17 Top-20 hits, seven Top-10 hits and three No. 1 hits and from 1965 through 1969, The Rascals were one of the best-selling groups on the pop charts.  They scored with classic chart entries as the #1 hit ‘Good Lovin’’, #1 ‘Groovin’’, #3 ‘A Beautiful Morning’, #4 ‘How Can I Be Sure’, #10 ‘A Girl Like You’, #16 ‘I’ve Been Lonely Too Long’, and this #1 ‘People Got to Be Free’.  These hits were marked by such a distinctive mix of R&B and rock, and romance and social consciousness, that in 1997, The Rascals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Rascals were doing some shows in the South, in places like Tampa and Orlando traveling by themselves without a Dick Clark representative and their tour bus broke down near Fort Pierce, which is about half way between Orlando and Miami.  They ran into some rednecks with rebel flags who caused them problems, telling them that they couldn’t figure out if they were boys or girls and I am guessing because they had long hair.  The police were reluctant to help them and a bunch of people on motorcycles were threatening them.  After playing a series of jobs in the South during this Dick Clark tour, Cavaliere was determined to do something and shortly after they released ‘People Got to be Free’.  Felix announced a new appearance policy, where the Rascals wouldn’t perform at any more shows that didn’t include at least one black act.  This became a permanent financial sacrifice for the group and the Rascals wanted to “Shout it from the mountains on down to the sea/people everywhere just got to be free”.  Unlike most other acts of the era, The Rascals didn’t just sing about ideas and ideals in which they believed, they employed these values and they took a stand on Civil Rights.

The band fell apart in the early 1970s and their lyrics about racial integration may have had something to do with that, along with their insistence to have an African-American act playing with them on their concert bills and them trying to dabble in psychedelic music.  They did the right thing by taking a political stand on racial issues, forcing people to confront prejudice, but they sacrificed a good portion of their own career by doing this.  This song represents freedom in every sense for the 60s and it symbolizes the civil rights movement and the hippie counter-culture and movement away from the norm.  ‘People Got to Be Free’ was inspired by the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a tragic event where a champion of freedom was lost.  At this time, controversy was sparking up over Vietnam as well, so this song could be used to demonstrate how people all over just want to be free as opposed to being under communist rule.

Hear the shoutin’ from the mountains on out to the sea
No two ways about it, people have to be free (they gotta be free)
Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
Natural situation for a man to be free