You know, having Marilyn Monroe here probably seems a little out of place. Most of the time, when we hear or read anything about Marilyn, it’s usually one of three following things. It’s either about her struggles as an actress; her scandalous relationship with Bobby Kennedy; or whether her death was an accidental overdose or murder. However, as strange as it may seem, I chose to write about her because believe it or not, Marilyn was also a talented singer too. Luckily for us, Spotify has a treasure trove of music history hidden in its massive library.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
Not to sound arrogant or anything, but… I’m willing to wage a bet that for most people, the only singing anybody has ever remembered by Marilyn (if any) was her famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President.” Marilyn sung Happy Birthday to then president John F. Kennedy, for his 45th birthday in 1962. Well, I guess it would make sense, since back in those days, Marilyn was considered a sex goddess. That performance was such a big deal! LOL. She sang to the president in such a way, that it seemed she was trying to seduce the president on stage! 😳
Not only the late Marilyn Monroe could sing, she had several albums to prove it. Now, unfortunately it appears I can’t find any chart information for Marilyn, but that doesn’t mean that she did not have any popular music! Especially when it came to her movie soundtracks! One of the most popular songs I remembered growing up was a song called “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.” The song was recorded in c. 1953. She performed this song in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and it became the inspiration for Madonna’s “Material Girl (1984).”
You know, it’s a shame. Marilyn isn’t really spoken of, unless you happen to watch an old documentary about her, or some sort of conspiracy theory episode on one of those “unsolved mysteries” type of shows. But Marilyn had a powerful influence in American culture. From paintings, to fashion, film, photography, and even music performances. One good example is when Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) from “Bewitched,” turns in to her character “Serena.” She was basically a brunette version of Marilyn. Performers such as Madonna; even Donna Summer! It is said that Donna Summer literally channeled Marilyn when she recorded her hit song “Love To Love You Baby,” in 1975.
I was listening to classic internet radio the other day (which happens to be the best kind of radio nowadays), and “Just You ‘N’ Me” by Chicago came on. I haven’t heard this in ages. Chicago is one of my very, very favorite bands. They had a LOT of hits from back in the day. I place them very high on the music bar; alongside The Eagles, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
Indeed, One Of The Best Bands Of The 70s/80s
The band Chicago is from Chicago Illinois, and was first formed on the year of my birthday in 1967. For the most part, they’re a soft-rock, & pop-rock. Their original name was “Chicago Transit Authority.” Awhile later they decided to shorten it to just “Chicago.” Chicago probably had more employees over the course of their existence than Earth, Wind & Fire. Actually, probably more than any band.
Unfortunately, there are only 3 original members remaining. Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, and James Pankow. I am so amazed and thrilled that they’re still around. You know, from a marketing standpoint, they knew their brand. Has any of my readers who are fans of Chicago took the time to look through Chicago’s album art? Very impressive, and there is no doubt that this played a part in burning this legendary band in to people’s memory.
Only 3 Members Left!
You know what? Large bands like Chicago, EW&F, MFSB, they where one of a kind. Not just because of their music, but I feel that the way the music industry is now, they would never pay for large bands like this anymore. This generation only seems to focus on single artists.
In addition to “Just You ‘N’ Me,” which hit #4 by the way. I’d like to share some more of my very favorite hits. One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard from any band is “If You Leave Me Now,” this song is so romantic. Apparently other fans thought so too, as the song shot up to #1 in 1976. This is the perfect please forgive me song. 😂😂 “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” #1 on the charts, “Saturday In The Park,” #3 on the charts, “You’re The Inspiration,” also peaked #3 on the charts. I could go on and on. Check out their greatest hits album an walk down memory lane!! Oh yeah, check out their website too. It’s really cool. Thanks for reading.
The Quincy Jones Legacy! Man! I can’t believe I found this album. I literally said to myself “eenie meenie miney mo,” ’cause I did not know what was going to be today’s topic. I really struggled trying to figure out what category to put this article in. Quincy is definitely not a forgotten legend, at least as far as the music industry’s concern. However, as far as the general public, he is.
The Quincy Jones Legacy
Quincy is such a phenomenal and talented human being, I think it’s impossible to find the words to describe him. I think in order to figure out who Quincy is, you just have to listen to his works! Quincy has produced so many chart topping hits, that literally helped change the world throughout his career. Even till this day, I’m still finding works I had no idea he produced. One of which is actually on the above 1971 album “Smackwater Jack,” and the piece is called “Ironside.” Ironside is the theme to the hit 60s television series “Ironside,” Starring Raymond Burr. Raymond played Robert T. Ironside, an detective/lawyer who solves crimes in a wheelchair (basically). The show was actually pretty good!
Jazz Music Was His Game!
Quincy was his name, and Jazz music was his game. Very few musicians can touch Quincy when it came to producing music. My man Quincy Jones is clocking 85 years of age now, and he is still kicking butt producing and performing! There is no doubt that music is in his veins and throughout his whole body. Quincy worked with many other artists, including the late Michael Jackson, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington, just to name a few.
Inspired By Ray Charles!
With all the phenomenal artists he has worked with, do you know who was the very person that inspired him to become the person he is today? At about age 14, Quincy met the late Ray Charles and saw him perform in some night club. It was at that moment Quincy knew what he wanted to do with his life. While working very hard on his music career, above all other things, music did not stop him from being a lady’s(s) man. Quincy had been married several times, and fathered several children. According to articles I’ve read, he even had a relationship and 2 children with actress Peggy Lipton, of the original 70s TV show, The Mod Squad (which was another favorite show of mine btw).
I can’t end this article without writing about some of Quincy’s greatest music productions! Some of them include Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” U.S.A for Africa’s “We Are The World,” The Brothers Jonson’s “Strawberry Letter 23,” and Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.”
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” was one of my favorite female songs of the 60s. The song was written by Carole King and Gerald Goffin. This song was so huge, it was crazy how many people covered this song! However, The Shirelles were the first honored to record this massive hit. The song hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, #2 on the R&B charts, and #4 on the UK charts! These girls was not playing around at all! But you know what, even if there were no words to this piece, the melody was beautifully composed. The Shirelles were credited in making “girl groups” accepted in the music industry, predating Motown. Out of all the different covers of this song, I think the Shirelles’ version and Carole King’s version are my most favorites. IMDB has a really tiny bio on them
Wow! When Ray, Goodman, & Brown (formally known as The Moments) came out with this slow jam right here, I couldn’t stop listening to it. I remembered hearing this song all the time on the radio, especially stations like Lite FM. This song was so popular, I don’t know how many times I used to wake up with this song already playing on the radio. “Special Lady,” released in 1980 was #1 on the R&B Charts, and #5 on the Top 100 Charts. The Moments where best known for songs like “Love On A Two Way Street,” and “Sexy Mama.” Almost all the original members of The Moments have past on, including Al Goodman recently in 2012 @ the age of 67. Larry Winfree steps in place of Goodman. One of the last legends of the era of good music!
Not for nothin’, but, James Taylor was very handsome when he first started back in the day. I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since I can remember. He’s kind of like a new age folk singer; almost like a Jim Croce upgrade 🙂 In my opinion, Taylor wrote and performed some of the best love songs of the seventies and eighties. He always seems to sing about the positive side of love and relationships. It was almost as though his music kept him young and in love with someone special. A perfect song that represented that is one of my many favorites he did called “Your Smiling Face,” released in 1977. Another sweet romantic favorite of mine is called “Handyman,” which was also released in 1977. James also worked with the amazingly talented Carole King for many years. It appeared that they had such a close relationship (both professionally and personally), I’m surprised they never married. I think you should check both of their greatest hits albums. They have some great stuff out there 🙂