Tunes Du Jour Presents Elton John

In the vast landscape of popular music, few names shine as brightly or endure as steadfastly as Elton John’s. With a career spanning over half a century, Sir Elton John, born Reginald Dwight, has left an indelible mark on the world of music. His repertoire is a rich tapestry woven with threads of rock, pop, and ballads, each song a testament to his unparalleled talent and versatility.

From the iconic “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” to the soul-stirring “Your Song,” Elton John’s music resonates with audiences across generations. His ability to craft melodies that evoke emotion and lyrics that tell stories has earned him a place in the pantheon of musical legends. Tracks like “Rocket Man” transports listeners to otherworldly realms, while “Crocodile Rock” ignites a sense of joy and nostalgia.

Yet, beyond his musical prowess, Elton John’s legacy extends far into the realms of philanthropy and activism. As an openly gay man in the music industry during a time when such visibility was rare, he became a trailblazer for LGBTQ+ rights. His foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, has been at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS since its inception in 1992, raising millions of dollars to support prevention, treatment, and advocacy efforts worldwide.

Moreover, Elton John’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident not only in his music but also in his actions. He has used his platform to champion marginalized voices and challenge societal norms, paving the way for greater acceptance and understanding.

As we journey through the vast expanse of Elton John’s discography, we not only revel in the brilliance of his music but also recognize the depth of his impact on the world. His melodies echo through the corridors of time, serving as a reminder of the transformative power of art and the enduring legacy of one of music’s greatest maestros.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 1964

In 1964, the musical landscape was undergoing a seismic shift. From the electrifying British Invasion to the soulful sounds of Motown, 1964 was a year that truly had something for everyone.

One cannot discuss the music of 1964 without acknowledging the unparalleled influence of The Beatles. With their chart-topping hit “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” the Fab Four ignited a phenomenon that would forever alter the course of popular music. Their harmonious blend of catchy melodies and innovative arrangements captivated audiences worldwide, laying the groundwork for the British Invasion that would dominate the airwaves in the years to come.

The UK also brought us The Animals, whose “House Of The Rising Sun” captivated audiences with its electrifying intensity, while The Kinks offered a more garage-band, raw sound with “You Really Got Me.”

But 1964 was not just about the British Invasion; it was also a time of soulful sounds and Motown magic. Artists like Martha & The Vandellas, The Supremes, and The Four Tops delivered soul-stirring performances on classic hits.

The surf rock craze was in full swing, with The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” capturing the carefree California lifestyle. And for those who preferred a more melancholic sound, there were ballads like Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By.”

Beyond the well-known names associated with 1964, this playlist unearths other soundtracks of the year, like “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie Small, a ska track that became a surprise summer hit, and “The Girl From Ipanema” by Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto, a bossa nova masterpiece that brought a touch of Brazilian cool to the airwaves.

This playlist is just a taste of the incredible music that 1964 had to offer, though even a brief exploration of 1964’s music reveals a year brimming with creativity and cultural impact. From the infectious melodies of pop anthems to the raw energy of rock and roll, these songs continue to resonate with listeners today, reminding us of the enduring power of music to capture a moment in time and transport us back. It was a year that changed the landscape of popular music forever, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and entertain generations of listeners.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 1968

In the tumultuous year of 1968, the world was ablaze with social and political upheaval, and the music of the time resonated deeply with the spirit of change. As we reflect on the sounds that defined this pivotal era, it’s impossible not to be swept away by the eclectic mix of genres and emotions that filled the airwaves. From soulful ballads to psychedelic rock anthems, the music of 1968 was a reflection of the turbulent times in which it was created.

One cannot delve into the musical landscape of 1968 without acknowledging the timeless classics that continue to capture hearts and minds today. Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” remains a soulful testament to the power of love and betrayal, while The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” stands as an enduring anthem of hope and resilience. Meanwhile, Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” evokes a sense of quiet contemplation amidst the chaos, its melancholic melody lingering long after the last note fades away.

The year also saw the rise of revolutionary artists who pushed the boundaries of conventional sound and style. Jimi Hendrix’s electrifying rendition of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” redefined the possibilities of guitar-driven rock, while Sly & the Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music” infused funk with a vibrant energy that transcended racial and cultural divides. Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” became the anthem of a generation, capturing the restless spirit of rebellion that coursed through the veins of youth around the world.

Each track on this playlist is a testament to the power of music to unite, inspire, and console, even in the darkest of times. Let us remember the year that was 1968 and the enduring legacy of the artists who helped shape it.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 1-16-24

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something.“       – Sade Adu 

Sade’s last album came out in 2010. The album preceding that one came out in 2000. 

Sade Adu, lead singer and namesake of the band Sade, was born on this date in 1959. A handful of Sade’s best tunes are included on today’s playlist.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents Covers of Show Tunes

The theme of today’s playlist is cover versions of songs that originated in stage musicals. Here are the songs listed with the shows that introduced them:

  • Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin – From The Threepenny Opera (1928)
  • Till There Was You by The Beatles – From The Music Man (1957)
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by The Platters – From Roberta (1933)
  • Little Girl Blue by Nina Simone – From Jumbo (1935)
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & The Pacemakers – From Carousel (1945)
  • I Am What I Am by Gloria Gaynor – From La Cage aux Folles (1983)
  • On The Street Where You Live by Vic Damone – From My Fair Lady (1956)
  • Everything’s Coming Up Roses by The Replacements – From Gypsy (1959)
  • Send In The Clowns by Judy Collins – From A Little Night Music (1973)
  • I Don’t Know How to Love Him by Helen Reddy – From Jesus Christ Superstar (1970)
  • Hair by The Cowsills – From Hair (1967)
  • Put On A Happy Face by Diana Ross & The Supremes – From Bye Bye Birdie (1960)
  • Losing My Mind by Liza Minnelli – From Follies (1971)
  • Tomorrow by Grace Jones – From Annie (1977)
  • My Favorite Things by John Coltrane – From The Sound of Music (1959)
  • Well Did You Evah? by Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop – From DuBarry Was a Lady (1939)
  • The Man I Love by Kate Bush – From Lady, Be Good! (1924)
  • If My Friends Could See Me Now by Linda Clifford – From Sweet Charity (1966)
  • Summertime by Big Brother & The Holding Company – From Porgy and Bess (1935)
  • Cabaret by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – From Cabaret (1966)
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You by Frank Sinatra – From Anything Goes (1934)
  • Don’t Cry For Me Argentina by Festival – From Evita (1978)
  • Somewhere by Pet Shop Boys – From West Side Story (1957)
  • The Lady is a Tramp by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – From Babes in Arms (1937)
  • I’ll Never Fall In Love Again by Dionne Warwick – From Promises, Promises (1968)
  • I Love Paris by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – From Can-Can (1953)
  • Night + Day by U2 – From Gay Divorce (1932)
  • There Are Worse Things I Could Do by Alison Moyet – From Grease (1971)
  • Corner of the Sky by The Jackson 5 – From Pippin (1972)
  • I Enjoy Being a Girl by Phranc – From Flower Drum Song (1958)

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 12-17-23

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong collaborated to write several hits for The Temptations, among them “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” “I Can’t Get Next To You,” “Psychedelic Shack,” “Ball Of Confusion,” and “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” The latter was inspired by Strong’s crush on a woman who didn’t know he existed. It became The Temptations’ third number one single on the Hot 100. 

Lead vocalist on “Just My Imagination,” the late Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations was born on this date in 1939.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 12-12-23

Is technology ruining music? I’ll answer that with another question: If we had GPS in the 1960s, would we have gotten “Do You Know The Way To San José?” If you request Alexa to play “Do You Know The Way To San José” by merely stating its title, would Alexa play it or ramble on about making a left here and bearing right there, which would make for a real crap song? When presented with “Do You Know The Way To San José” by its writers, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Dionne Warwick was not taken by it. “What is this whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa crap?” she asked. I’m paraphrasing. She eventually came around, for decades later she said that winning the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her recording of that song was the highlight of her career. 

Dionne Warwick was born on this date in 1940. Lots of songs performed by her are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-1-23

In 1993, humor columnist Dave Barry surveyed his readers to find the worst song. The clear winner for Worst Overall Song and Worst Lyrics was “Mac Arthur Park.” Culture critic Joe Queenan disagreed with the results “because ‘Ebony and Ivory’ exists, as do ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,’ ‘Baby, I’m-a Want You,’ ‘Feelings,’ ‘Benny and the Jets,’ ‘Witchy Woman’ and ‘Sussudio,’” adding “On a planet where somebody thought it would be a good idea to write ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,’ the best ‘MacArthur Park’ is ever going to earn in the sucky-song sweepstakes is a tie.”

The late Richard Harris was born on this date in 1930. Celebrate his birthday with a piece of soggy cake and by listening to today’s playlist, which includes the song many hate.

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