Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 12-22-23

The first of nine US number one singles for The Bee Gees was “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” written for Andy Williams by the group’s three brothers (credited to Barry and Robin Gibb on its initial release but later amended to include brother Maurice). The song is from their album Trafalgar, named after where in London they stayed during the recording sessions; however, the single failed to chart in the UK. 

The Bee Gees’ twins Maurice and Robin Gibb were born on this date in 1949. Lots of Bee Gees on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 9-24-22

Today’s playlist celebrates the September 24 birthdays of The Dixie Cups’ Rosa Lee Hawkins, Gerry & The Pacemakers’ Gerry Marsden, Shep & The Limelites/The Heartbeats’ Shep, Kreayshawn, The Muppets’ Jim Henson, Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes, Linda McCartney, and Trinidad James; and the September 25 birthdays of Childish Gambino, Rosalía, T.I., Santigold, Womack & Womack’s Cecil Womack, Ween’s Dean Ween, The Fresh Prince, The Kendalls’ Royce Kendall, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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A Paul McCartney Playlist

Celebrating Sir Paul McCartney’s career in 30 songs is an impossible task. (I initially wrote that it’s a fool’s errand, but that was the first time I typed that expression and it felt weird.) Anyhoosle, this playlist isn’t perfect, though the songs on it are quite spectacular. I do have issues with the opening of “I Saw her Standing There,” however. Putting aside that she was just 17, the “you know what I mean” line that proceeds that rubs me the wrong way. After that, it’s smooth sailing.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (9-24-20)

In the late 70s, people often confused my dad for Kenny Rogers. They’re close in age, and my dad was a white guy with a beard (still is both) and drove around in fancy sportscars you would imagine a country music superstar would drive, so one could see why he was stopped to sign autographs. Many people confused my brother for John Travolta. We grew up one town over from where Travolta grew up, and my brother had the dimple in his chin (still does). Once while the family was eating at a local restaurant, a couple came over to our table to meet John Travolta. They thought they were slick when their opening line was a question directed to my dad: “Excuse me, are you Sam Travolta?” Sam was John’s dad. If I remember correctly, he owned a tire shop in town. My dad replied that he is not Sam Travolta. He’s Kenny Rogers. The celebrity I was often mistaken for was Kermit the Frog. I’m not joking. Frequently people told me of my resemblance to the actor/singer/banjo player/TV host/piece of felt. On a public bus once a woman came up to me and asked “Has anyone ever told you you look like Kermit the Frog?” Yes! All the time! It’s not easy being green.

Today’s playlist is inspired by the September 24 birthdays of Jim Henson, Gerry Marsden, Jack Scott, The Dixie Cups’ Rosa Lee Hawkins, Linda McCartney, Kreayshawn and Shep.

Celebrating Paul McCartney’s Birthday

Paul McCartney has a writing credit on 32 #1 Hot 100 singles. He has 21 Grammy Awards. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – as a solo artist and as a member of The Beatles. His song “Yesterday” is the most covered song in history, with more than 2000 versions in existence. He has 60 gold records. Between 1962 and 1978 he wrote or co-wrote 43 million-selling singles. In the UK he has amassed nearly 100 top ten singles, more than 30 of which went to #1. He is an Academy Award winner who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

And I’m going to reduce his career into a twenty-song playlist. Let me be the first to proclaim how ridiculous such an attempt is.

Today Sir Paul McCartney turns 74 years old. This playlist isn’t complete, but it’s a start.


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Ringo + Macca 2014-06-18

Paul McCartney And Me: Lives In Parallel

On October 24, 1963, The Beatles were in Stockholm, Sweden on the first day of their first foreign tour.

On October 24, 1963, I was born.

Both of these events turned out to be remarkably influential on the culture.

The Beatles, who synthesized American rock & roll with various British music traditions, moved popular music to a whole new place, expanding the types of song structures and lyrical content heard in the hit songs of the day and opening the floodgates for many British bands to prosper around the world.

Using the medium of stand-up comedy, I went to blue collar towns and meetings of Catholic senior citizens and told them of my travails same-sex dating. Just like the USA and Sweden and other parts of the world were exposed to what was happening in Liverpool, so were the people of Allentown, Pennsylvania exposed to what was happening in my love life, which believe me, wasn’t much. The Beatles and I opened peoples’ minds to a world beyond their own. They delivered their message to 55,000 people at Shea Stadium, while I delivered mine to a couple dozen folks at Bananas of Poughkeepsie. I also played to sold-out crowds at Caroline’s on Broadway and StandUp NY, but it’s not my nature to brag about such things. I’m the quiet Beatle.

On October 24, 1979, I turned 16 years old. That same day, Paul McCartney received a medallion commemorating his achievements in music. Having written or co-written 43 songs that sold over a million copies each between 1962 and 1978, he was named the most successful composer of all time. While working on the Licensing departments at Sony, Zomba and Warner, I licensed recordings to 43 Now That’s What I Call Music compilations that sold over a million copies each. It’s like Paul McCartney and I are twins.

Ringo + Macca 2014-06-18
Today, Sir Paul McCartney (he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997, something we don’t have in common. I am not a British citizen, and therefore not eligible.) turns 72 years old. The Beatles’ recordings are not on Spotify, so I’ve worked around that minor inconvenience to create this playlist of some of the finest songs McCartney composed or co-composed.