51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 18: Paul Simon- You Can Call Me Al

For 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, this week was supposed to be “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” but as I was looking for a good video of the song, I saw this one in the Up Next column on the right of the screen and had to check it out.

“You Can Call Me Al” was written and performed by Paul Simon. According to Wikipedia:

The names in the song came from an incident at a party that Simon went to with his then-wife Peggy Harper. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who was attending the same party, mistakenly referred to Paul as “Al” and to Peggy as “Betty”, inspiring Simon to write a song.[1][2]

Paul Simon did not like the original music video that was made, which was a performance of the song Simon gave during the monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live in the perspective of a video monitor.[7] A replacement video was conceived partly by Lorne Michaels and directed by Gary Weis, wherein Chevy Chase lip-synced Simon’s vocals, with gestures punctuating the lyrics.[8]

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

#AtoZChallenge W is for Wicked (the Musical)

“Are people born wicked?

Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?”

Wicked, the Musical

This is the 2nd time Wicked finds its way into the A to Z Challenge. Last year, it appeared with D is for “Defying Gravity”.  Wicked is the book by Gregory Maguire and musical based on the book, telling the story of Elphaba and Galinda, the witches from the Wizard of Oz.

I love the friendship between Elphaba and Galinda. They are polar opposites, from different worlds, vastly unique personalities- both quite strong yet vulnerable women. The story touches on many different lessons but I am always drawn back to friendship component. Watching Elphie and Galinda’s friendship grow as they discover all they have in common while learning to appreciate their differences reminds us that this is the foundation on which friendships are made.

“For Good” is about Elphaba and Galinda’s farewell as they each go their separate ways- one presumably good and one presumably wicked. It was written by Stephen Schwartz in 2003.

“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…”

“So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine

By being my friend…

-“For Good”

While looking for a good recording of the song- “For Good”- from Wicked, I found Out of Oz: Wicked Studio Sessions, a cool series where Wicked performers both past and present using reimagined songs.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite Elphaba quotes from the musical-

  • “I don’t cause commotions, I am one.”
  • “I’m the other sister, Elphaba. I’m beautifully tragic.”
  • “Well, we all can’t come and go by bubble.”
  • “Who steals a dead woman’s shoes? Must have been raised in a barn!”

This song is doing double duty for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past:Week 17 and A to Z Challenge.

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 16: Van McCoy- The Hustle

I think I might have missed a week but I’m back with my song to share for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

In 1975 Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony released the disco hit- “The Hustle”.  The song was written after McCoy’s music partner watched people doing the dance by the same name in a New York City nightclub.

A few years ago, CJ who was four at the time, caught us off guard by humming this song. When we questioned where he heard it, he told us that his grandma listened to it all the time. Mystery solved. We showed him a video of what the dance that accompanied the song looked like and he was thoroughly entertained, asking us to play it over and over.

I admit to being a bit of a clutz, so I actually have never done “The Hustle” but if you are interested in learning, here is a video (although a little creepy because the guy’s head is chopped off—-watch it, you’ll see what I mean), it gives you the steps.

And if you haven’t gotten enough of the song yet, here’s an interesting video I came across while looking for one that showed the steps. It’s definitely the 70’s!!!

So, tell me- can you do The Hustle?

#AtoZChallenge M is for Music

M

“Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m not sure I agree with this statement. I know that although I love music, I would rather write while listening to music than make the music. My youngest child, Andy, is blessed to be both a gifted writer and musician. His eloquence with words, innate humor and endless imagination could have easily led him to a career in writing.

In middle school he took part in a solo competition, where he played his trombone accompanied by a pianist in a room where he was judged by a music teacher he did not know. He was around 12 years old at the time. The only people in the room besides the judge were my husband and me. As always, my husband was video taping.

His solo began without incident but as he went to turn the first page, we saw a look of panic cross his face. While the pianist was playing, he mouthed to us, ‘Missing a page!’ I bent down to search through his belongings, not even sure what I was looking for. He completed the song without the missing music and with my husband whispering, “Does he have it memorized?” I kept my facial expression positive and supportive as I hissed back, “No clue.”

Afterward while the judge worked on the score, Andy spoke briefly with his pianist, we thanked her and then we awaited his results. Andy shared with us that he had improvised a good part of the song, making sure he was back in place when he reached the part where he had the music once more.

That day Andrew received the highest rating, with impressive comments from the judge. We never knew if he realized that Andy had been winging it. His ability to think quickly on his feet and improvise served him well. If he had been giving a speech and that happened, I’m not sure if the words would have come that quickly.

But he chose music. And that’s where he should be.

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

 

 

Imagine- We Are the World #AtoZChallenge

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
-John Lennon, “Imagine”
Maybe it is unrealistic to think that we could all “be as one” as John Lennon dreamed but I would like to think there’s hope that we can step closer to living in peace. Horrible things are happening to people all over the world, not only here in our own backyards.
Sometimes we get it right and I think “We Are the World” is an example.

“We Are the World” is the song I am sharing for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.  The idea for this song originated with Harry Belafonte, who asked Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers to take part. From there, more artists were included until it culminated into an incredible success, never losing sight of the end goal- to provide relief for starving people in Africa.

Just the facts:

Released- March 7, 1985

Written by- Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie

Produced by- Quincy Jones

Awards- 3 Grammy Awards, American Music Award and Peoples Choice Award

Raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the U.S. with over 20 million copies sold.

Performed by- Quincy Jones, Conductor

Soloists- Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson,  Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Darryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles

Chorus- Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Jackie Jackson LaToya Jackson,  Marlon Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, The Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson.

Instruments played by-  David Paich – synthesizers, Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming,  Paulinho da Costa – percussion,  Louis Johnson – synth bass, Michael Omartian – keyboards, Greg Phillinganes – keyboards, John Robinson – drums

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Peace,

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 13: Baha Men- Who Let the Dogs Out?

This week’s song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past is Who Let the Dogs Out? performed by Baha Men.

The 2000 song was a chart topper in the US and UK as well as Australia and New Zealand. It’s popularity grew when it was featured in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. This song has the distinction of taking 3rd place on Rolling Stone’s 20 most annoying songs list, as well as 8th on their poll of worst songs of the 1990’s, and also ranking first on Spinner’s 2008 list of the “Top 20 Worst Songs Ever.”

This song was brought to you compliments of seven year old C.J. His little brother loves The Cat Came Back, which he sings all the time. After finding himself humming and singing it himself, he suggested Who Let the Dogs Out? as the perfect song to pair with it. I’ve included a video of The Cat Came Back, in case you aren’t familiar. But really, doesn’t everyone know this song???

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: G or H

Here are my photos for Cee’s Black & White Challenge: G or H

bw glasses
Glasses
bw giraffe and horse
I don’t know what farms little Beej visits but apparently giraffes and horses hang out together in the barn.
bw handles
Handles
bw hideaway
Hideaway- maybe not so secret with no leaves on the trees and bushes to conceal it

Cee's BW Challenge

Have a great day!

-Kat