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.
Today is Bobby Brown’s 46th birthday. A former member of New Edition, Brown had his first solo hit in 1988 with “Don’t Be Cruel,” which reached #8 on the Hot 100. Though it shares its title with an Elvis Presley #1 hit from 1956, Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” is not a remake.
That brings us to today’s playlist, which I call The Song Retains the Name. It consists of different songs with the same title. I initially planned to include twenty such songs, but more kept springing to mind. Before I knew it, I passed 100 entries. There are plenty more, so I decided to open this up to my reader(s). If you have songs that share titles you’d like to add, feel free to do so.
(NOTES: I included The Jacksons’ “This Place Hotel” because when it was released in 1980 its title was “Heartbreak Hotel.” Thought he didn’t have to, Michael Jackson, the song’s writer, later changed its name to “This Place Hotel” to avoid confusion with the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel.” Whitney Houston didn’t feel the need to make the same Hotel accommodation.
Also, though it is listed on Spotify as “The Best of My Love,” the Eagles track does not have a “The” on the 45 or the band’s On the Border album.)
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Rod Stewart wrote his 1977 hit “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)” about a close friend of his. He tells us Georgie was cast out of his home by his parents after coming out as gay to them. Georgie moves to New York City, where he finds adulation from people who love to be around him and becomes “the toast of the Great White Way.” In the summer of 1975 he tells Rod he’s in love. Leaving a Broadway show, Georgie and his boyfriend are walking arm in arm in Manhattan when they encounter a gang from New Jersey. The original intention of the gang is to mug the couple, but as you may gather from the song’s title, it doesn’t end well for Georgie.
That the story of an unambiguously gay man should become a top 30 hit in 1977 amazes me. How many hit songs have such a main character? There’s the cross-dressing man who calls himself Lola in The Kinks song of that name and then there’s um, hmmmm, uh…there’s our list, then.
Stewart told Mojo magazine that when he wrote the song, “everyone around me was gay.” He had a gay manager and a gay publicist. “I don’t know whether that prompted me into it or not. I think it was a brave step, but it wasn’t a risk. You can’t write a song like that unless you’ve experienced it. But it was a subject that no one had approached before.”
Part I of the song ends with Stewart sharing with us Georgie’s philosophy on life: Never wait or hesitate / Get in kid, before it’s too late / You may never get another chance / ’Cos youth’s a mask but it don’t last / live it long and live it fast.
Today Rod Stewart turns 70 years old. Here are twenty of his finest moments.
The Guardian asked its readers to put aside the selfie and send in a shelfie – a photo of your bookshelves. As Tunes Du Jour is a music blog I figured it makes me sense to take a shelfie of some of my music collection:
One act that takes up a fair amount of shelf space is The Rolling Stones. In fifth grade my music teacher, Mrs. Matzot, played the group’s Hot Rocks for us in class. She knew the secret is to hook ‘em when they’re young. I became a Stones fan that day.
Some of my rarer Rolling Stones CDs, all of which are authorized releases
Today Tunes Du Jour celebrates the 70th birthday of Keith Richards.