Inspired by the July 22 birthdays of Rufus Wainwright, Eagles’ Don Henley, Parliament-Funkadelic’s George Clinton, Chuck Jackson, Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers, Futureheads’ Ross Millard, Bobby Sherman, Selena Gomez, Keith Sweat and Supertramp’s Rick Davies.
Inspired by the July 20 birthdays of Carlos Santana, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Kim Carnes, The Exciters’ Brenda Reid, Buddy Knox, JoBoxers’ Dig Wayne and The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor-Taylor; and the July 19 birthdays of Queen’s Brian May, Eagles’ Bernie Leadon, and Commander Cody.
Inspired by the passings of Millie Small and Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider, and the May 6 birthdays of Bob Seger, They Might Be Giants’ John Flansburgh, Man Parrish, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, 3rd Bass’ MC Serch, Mary MacGregor and Meek Mill.
Here in California, our governor has ordered all beaches to remain closed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner disagrees, arguing that going to a beach is good for one’s health. Said Wagner “Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases.” Mr. Wagner believes that air and sunlight cannot be found anywhere in Orange County except on crowded beaches. He seems smart.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters said Joe Biden “has no appeal to anybody.” Interesting. Biden has no appeal to anybody, and yet he received more votes than all of the other candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Someone needs some education. Perhaps Waters should run for office. I suggest Orange County Supervisor.
Today’s playlist is inspired by the May 2 birthdays of Lily Allen, Foreigner’s Lou Gramm, Lesley Gore, Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays, The Vaccines’ Justin Hayward-Young, Shannon, Kevin Morby, Little Sister’s Vet Stewart, Engelbert Humperdinck, Link Wray, David McAlmont, Blow Monkeys’ Dr. Robert, and Broadway lyricist Lorenz Hart.
Inspired by the April 25 birthdays of ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, Erasure’s Andy Bell, Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band’s Cory Daye, Albert King, Hank Azaria, Los Bravos’ Mike Kogel, and Renee Zellweger; and the passing of Bohannon.
Inspired by the March 8 birthdays of The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Eagles’ Randy Meisner, Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes, frente!’s Angie Hart, Gary Numan, Peggy March, Keane’s Tom Chaplin, and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager.
Today is the birthday of Carole King, one of the greatest songwriters of the pop era. Chances are you know songs she had a hand in writing: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “So Far Away,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “The Loco-motion,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Up on the Roof,” “It’s Too Late,” and “I’m Into Something Good” among them.
King isn’t the only rock era songwriter celebrating a birthday today. It is also the birthday of her contemporary Barry Mann, who is not the same person as Barry Manilow. As a performer, Mann had one hit – 1961’s “Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp).” As a writer, he’s charted nearly 100 times in the US. His credits include “Here You Come Again,” “Bristol Stomp,” “Only in America,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” “On Broadway,” and “Sometimes When We Touch,” many written with his wife, Cynthia Weil.
King and Mann feature in today’s playlist, as do others who share their birthday: The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson, Barbara Lewis, and Major Harris. I also threw in some folks who had birthdays yesterday: Daft Punk’s Guy Manuel, England Dan, and James Dean.
Today is the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. You’re officially allowed to start listening to holiday music now. To get you started, I compiled a playlist of what I consider to be 100 of the best Christmas songs. Okay, 98 songs, a stand-up routine and a skit. It’s a mix of standards, versions of standards with which you may not be familiar, and obscure but delightful tunes.
Per the email I received from Spotify in mid-December, my most-streamed track of 2016 was Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” While that is a great song, I don’t recall playing it more than once or twice this year. However, I did spend hours listening to music by those taken from us by the Grim Reaper. I’m not the only person to feel incredible sadness at the seemingly non-stop loss of great talents, which started on New Year’s Day when we heard the report that Natalie Cole died the day before.
With this playlist I want to celebrate the contributions these folks made to our lives and our culture. If I missed someone, forgive me. There were a lot of folks to remember.
Before we get to the Spotify playlist, videos from two whose music is not on Spotify.
Thank you for enriching my life:
Glenn Frey (of Eagles)
Muhammad Ali (nee Cassius Clay)
Maurice White (of Earth, Wind and Fire)
Carrie Fisher (actress best known for Star Wars)
Paul Kantner (of Jefferson Airplane)
Signe Toly Anderson (of Jefferson Airplane)
Sir George Martin (record producer best known for his work with The Beatles)
Attrell “Prince Be” Cordes (of P.M. Dawn)
Garry Marshall (television/film director/producer/writer, creator of Happy Days)
Pete Burns (of Dead or Alive)
Alan Vega (of Suicide)
Don Ciccone (of The Four Seasons)
Keith Emerson (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer)
Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer)
Steven Young (of M/A/R/R/S)
Joan Marie Johnson (of The Dixie Cups)
Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor (of A Tribe Called Quest)
Bernie Worrell (of Parliament)
Gary Paxton (of The Hollywood Argyles)
Rick Parfitt (of Status Quo)
Mack Rice (songwriter whose credits include “Respect Yourself”)
Milt Okun (record producer best known for his work with John Denver)
Marni Nixon (singer/actress best known for dubbing the singing voices of Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady)
Rod Temperton (of Heatwave)
John Chelew (record producer best known for his work with John Hiatt)
Nicholas Caldwell (of The Whispers)
Trisco Pearson (of Force MDs)
Gayle McCormick (of Smith)
Gary Loizzo (of American Breed)
Paul Upton (of The Spiral Starecase)
Carlo Mastrangelo (of The Belmonts)
Fred Tomlinson (co-writer of “Lumberjack Song”)
John D. Loudermilk
Zsa Zsa Gabor