All About Love
Artist: Elvis Presley
You know, It’s a shame.. In this day and age, if anyone were to play any of Elvis’s music, someone would probably scream “turn that shit off!” 🤣 But, seriously. Elvis wasn’t some ordinary street dude who got hooked on drugs. Elvis was a brilliant performer that racked up 7 number one songs, and 25 top 10 hits! Do you really know how incredibly hard that is to do? Not only that, he acquired these things within 20 years from the start of his music career. In my generation, that was literally damn near Michael Jackson status (if not equivalent). It’s so heartbreaking to know that sad stories like Elvis’s life were so common, and still is.
Now, Elvis Is Just A Novelty!
It’s really mind-boggling to me, how someone who was a mega superstar, someone who reached greater heights than most performers of his time. Yet, after his death, our memories of him had shifted from being the greatest hit maker of the 50s, to a straight up novelty act, and that includes his likeness. I don’t think there is/was anyone else on this planet, that has been not only impersonated the most, but where people have made a livable career out of it, other than Elvis.
I also think it’s kind of sad that even those performers who imitate him (a large portion of them), whore costumes that projected (what I interpret to be) the worst points of Elvis life (towards the end of his career/life). Make no mistake, Elvis was a hot tamale when he was young. Maybe I’m viewing this the wrong way. But, when I was younger, I felt there was a fine line between entertaining the public, and making fun of Elvis after the fact. The playlist I made for you has many of his #1 hits, some redoes, and songs you may not have heard before. It has 26 of what I considered his best recordings. I think ultimate favorite is a song called “Suspicious Minds,” released in 1969.
Song: Hello, It’s Me
Artist: Todd Rundgren
Album: Something/Anything? (1972)
Do you remember this guy? Todd Rundgren’s music really isn’t obscure (I don’t think), but relative to today’s masses, he’s unheard of. Although he performed many different genres, so far the ones I found worth listening has been his pop songs. He started his career in the mid seventies, and has been known for his outrageous/unconventional wardrobe. Now, I don’t know, I always thought that his music required a certain taste. But, much to my surprise, it appears that a LOT of people love his music! For me, I only loved one song he has written. And that song was “Hello It’s Me,” from his 1972 album “Something/Anything?.” The song hit #5 on the Top 1000 Charts. I played this song so much back in the day, it wasn’t even funny. I was barely 5 years old when this song came out. What the hell was it about the song I loved so much? I thought perhaps it was the arrangements of the synthesizers; or perhaps his voice. Till this day, I still can’ figure out why only this song, and not none of his other works? I should have put him in the “one hit wonder” category, but this may or may not be exactly true. Check out this remix of “Hello, It’s Me,” I found by Philip Steir. Two years later, in 1974, the legendary Isley Brothers performed a cover of “Hello, It’s Me.” It’s a shame that the Isley’s cover didn’t appear anywhere on the Billboard’s 100/200 charts. I loved their version too.
Song: Dancin’ The Night Away
I wasn’t planning on blogging today, but I just had to share with you guys this obscure disco gem! This song right here!!!! 😜 Is one of my top ultimate favorite disco songs ever!! I think this is one of those rare disco songs that is both beautiful and elegant at the some time. I don’t recall feeling that way about any other disco song I’ve heard around that era. Each time I hear this song, it literally thrusts me back in to the 80s. Actually, this song could also be thought of as a bridge to the next decade, because this song is just as much mid 70s as it is it was 80s! Not only did “Dancin’ The Night Away” hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed number one for 3 consecutive weeks! I know a good song when I hear one. 🤣
I Was Elated When I Heard This Song Recently!
Almost nothing is written about this singing duo. Voggue consisted of two Canadian women named Chantal Condor, and Angela Songui. Unfortunately they only made about two albums in their career together before they broke up. Not sure what was the reason for that (unless they weren’t actually a group, but more of a temporary project). I’ve written before, how a lot of labels did this in the seventies. I’m going to assume that for many labels, disco may have been very experimental, and simply wanted to see how well the label would do in said genre.
Another amazing song from this album was “Roller Boogie.” This song is a little more fast paced, if it were not for the bridge, it would have been practically all instrumental. Every time I hear this songs, it reminds me of being inside one of those HUGE roller skating rings we used to have in NYC. Both guys and girls wearing white shorts w/ red stripes that were so high up in their crotch. How do I know this? 🤣 I remember being taken by family members, between the ages of 10-12. I’m not sure if many of these skating rings exist anymore. These two songs unfortunately were the only things on this album worth listening too.
Song: Our Day Will Come
Artist: Fontella Bass
Album: The New Look (1966)
This is another perfect example of why we need more older classic music fans of color blogging. Or at least some sort of national record database, independent of Billboard. Although I eventually found out my answer, but it was only because of some faint memories I had, and some smarts. Let me explain what I mean. You see, growing up as a child, the song “Our Day Will Come,” sung by Fontella Bass was one of my favorite songs. Problem? The version of Fontella’s song is completely different from how I remembered it.
Even Recording Studios Make Mistakes.
I may not always remember lyrics, or names of artists, but I am usually very good with remembering tunes and melodies. I had an old cassette tape with various artists on it, and one of them on it was Fantella, singing “Our Day Will Come,” the version I remembered. I can no longer find that tape, however, I now have Spotify. Looked her up, and the song is completely different from how I remembered it! Well, long story short, the cassette that stated the version of “Our Day Will Come” is from Fontella Bass, was actually from Ruby & The Romantics, recorded in 1963. I’m not sure if they were on the same label, and this was printed by mistake? Or there was an even bigger error. Now, both versions are actually nice, but I think I like Ruby & The Romantics’ original version slightly better. I could just imagine how easy arguments and disagreements made because of that mistake among fans who purchased that same cassette I did. You might also remember Fontella by her second biggest popular hit called “Rescue Me (1966),” from the same album. By the way, I absolutely LOVE Amy Winehouse version of the song. I still haven’t gotten over the fact she’s gone now. I’m so pissed. What a talent, and a power badass she was!
Song: It Hurts To Be Alone
Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Genre: Reggae Love Songs
Unless you come from the Islands, most of those that profess their fanhood for Bob Marley, know nothing of this song right here! Now, I know that “It Hurts To Be Alone,” is a sad song, but it’s a very true song, and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. You know, I think I’ve mentioned this before; in my opinion, Bob Marley was what Lionel Richie was to the Commodores; meaning in terms of overall fandom, it’s always been just Bob Marley. It’s a shame that America could not comprehend his brilliance, until after he passed. Just my opinion. Almost immediately after Bob’s Death, I remember people breaking their necks trying to buy as many Marley albums as possible, as we all knew there would be a price hike like never before!
I was reminiscing on some old music, and thought of Bob Marley, and then remembered “It Hurts To Be Alone.” This was one of many sweet classic reggae songs my late grandpa used to play. You know it’s interesting, because when I heard people talk about the late Bob Marley growing up, the conversation was almost always about his political lyrics, and how he was educating everyone about apartheid, poverty, things that were happening that America was totally oblivious to. But, Bob performed a lot of sweet reggae love songs too. He was quite diverse. Check out their song called “I Need You,” released in 1965. Also, check out “And I Love Her,” released in 1966. And oh yeah, shame on myself, for almost forgetting his most successful love song “Waiting In Vain (1983).”Elton John tickets starting at $18!
Artist: Frank Sanatra
Genre: Vocal Jazz
I wouldn’t say that I’m a diehard fan of Frank Sanatra, but considering how much I love Barbra Streisand, a lot of his music is up my alley 😇. Frank Sanatra started recording music since the early 1940s. He made a LOT of albums. I was never attracted to what I called “Bing Crosby type of music,” but out of all his many many albums, this playlist I put together contains all of my Frank favorites.
The Reality Of Demographics.
Sometimes I become sad at the reality that within my demographics, most people would never listen to someone like Frank Sanatra, and would never be open to it either. It’s one of the many explanations for our lost musical culture. But… I digress. I remember reading about so much controversy over said friendship of Frank and Sammy Davis Jr. The newspapers and television literally had two entirely different views of what their relationships was actually like.
One narrative painted Sanatra as a racist who never liked Sammy, and only used him for his talents. Then we were fed another narrative of the supportive Frank, that stuck up for Sammy through a then much more racist era; especially when Los Vegas became pupular. Just for a moment, if we can just remove whatever bias, and enjoy Sanatra for his music alone, here are some of my favorites I’ve added to the playlist. A popular tune I’m sure everybody recognizes is “Love & Marriage,” which happens to be the theme for the hit cult classic TV show “Married With Children.” Another popular song was called “Come Fly With Me.” I think it was in an official Pan Am commercial. I’m not exactly sure, but I know it was in some commercial. “Young At Heart,” was my late grandpa and I favorite. It’s funny I was so young, yet I was able to connect to the nostalgia of that song. There are 18 popular hand picked Sanatra songs for you to enjoy!
Song: Safe And Sound
Artist: Capital Cities
Genre: Alternative Music
I love this song so much when it came out. One of the main things that attracted me to this piece, was the clear 80s energy that was definitely present in this song. Yet, it felt so familiar to me. So much so, that at times when I listen to this song I often felt like I had “Déjà Vu.” I searched all over to see if this was a remake, or if there was another song “Capital Cities” sampled from. So far, I couldn’t find any. So weird guys.. 🤣 The song did very well all over the world, and in many different categories. In the U.S., it peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 Charts, & #1 on “Alternative Songs” Billboard.
Artist: Alice Clark
Album: Alice Clark (1972)
Holy shit! Talk about a lost talent! Brooklyn born Alice Clark was so underrated it wasn’t funny. It’s really upsetting to learn just how much power these record companies had back in the day. Alice had rhythm, she had soul, and she sang her ass off. There was absolutely no reason why these record companies could not had promoted her a little more. In my opinion, her style and caliber was similar to Gladys Knight. There was no excuse for this labels. Such a damn shame. Listen to the song “Never Did I stop Loving You.” She tore this song up! Alice only produced one album as far as I can tell. There is a second album floating around, but that was a special edition/ vinyl reissue. Which means it probably costs a pretty penny.