51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 28: Billy Joel- Piano Man

The minute I read Hugh’s post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past, I knew which song I would share featuring my favorite instrument. Hugh and I share a love of piano music, so my selection this week probably comes as no surprise:

Released by Billy Joel in 1973, it was his first single AND his first big hit. Talk about hitting the ground running! This song kicked off a successful career by a talented musician. That he plays the piano is just bonus.

I’ve always been a sucker for a song with a strong piano presence and Piano Man fits the bill!

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

Have a beautiful day!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 26: Walter Murphy- A Fifth of Beethoven

A favorite song that does not feature lyrics- that’s what Hugh shared for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past. Here’s mine-

Just the facts:

  • Adaptation of the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
  • Recorded by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band
  • Released in 1976
  • Included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
  •  A snippet of “A Fifth of Beethoven” is played at Chicago Bulls games when the opposing team loses possession of the ball.

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

Looking at the year it was released, I’m thinking that this might have been my introduction to Beethoven. I had been taking piano lessons for a short time by this time and had just began encountering the classics in my studies. I have always been drawn to powerful pieces and this adaptation fits the bill.

Have a great day!

-Kat 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 25: The Rolling Stones- You Can’t Always Get What You Want

As I was reading Hugh’s post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, I was trying to think of a song I listen to every morning but nothing came to mind. The one song that did keep running through my head this morning was the Rolling Stones 1968 hit “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. I have seven year old CJ to thank for this.

I might have mentioned that my father is responsible for nurturing a love of music in my life and that I hope that I was able to pass it on to my children.

“For every situation, there is a suitable line from a song.”

Growing up, if we said something that struck a chord with him, he would begin singing a song that he felt applied to the situation. This resulted in us all finding musical connections between everyday life and songs or maybe just song snippets that we knew. Although I continued the tradition with my children, I quickly realized that there were times when I knew a snippet, but not where it came from. This led me to dig a little deeper so when I was sharing a song, my poor kids were subjected to not only a song applying to whatever hapless comment they made but also an explanation of what the song was.

My oldest child, Michael, has carried this on with his children. It was evident the day CJ started singing “You always can’t get what you want” when his little brother protested when told no. Our first reaction was to look around at each other and ask, “Did he just sing that?” followed by “Did he say you always can’t instead of you can’t always?” Upon further investigation, we learned that his Daddy sings that song to him A LOT but the reversal of always and can’t were most likely CJ’s seven year old take on life. We have since adopted “You always can’t get what you want” as CJ’s tagline.  Oh, to be seven years old and so misunderstood!

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

 

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 24: Bonnie Tyler- Total Eclipse of the Heart

This song was released in 1983. It came out when I had just entered what would be one of the most trying times of my life.  I had fallen in love and it was incredible and terrifying and painful and just plain awful. At the time I didn’t realize that it would take me on a roller coaster ride that would last just a little too long. I didn’t know that I had the power to get off the ride and walk away.

And this song seemed to put into both music and words what I was experiencing. It made me cry at the time. It still tugs at my heart when I hear it but it really is a great song. At least, I think so!

I would like to thank Hugh for sharing songs with us each week. 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past has given me the opportunity to look at songs with fresh eyes.

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

Ah, first love…..there’s nothing like it, huh?

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 23: Casey Abrams- Have You Ever Seen the Rain

This week Hugh shared his preferred cover version of a song and asked if we had one of our own. For 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 23, I’m sharing one of my favorite covers by one of my favorite performers- Casey Abrams.

I was first introduced to Casey Abrams (through the tv screen) when he was a finalist on American Idol in 2011, leaving in sixth place. He made such a lasting impression on me that five years later when I heard he was performing at a smaller venue not far from me, I knew I had to go. I was not disappointed.

Here is another cover I found while looking for the video above.

Casey is freakishly musically talented, not only having a great voice, but also playing LOTS of instruments. He often pairs up with Haley Reinhart (fellow Idol contestant) and their chemistry and beautiful voices blending make them winning combination. “Never Knew What Love Can Do” was written by Casey and shown here performing with Haley.

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

Have a great weekend!

-Kat

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 22: Don and Al

I’ve missed more than a few weeks now but I’m jumping back into Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 22 with Don McClean’s- “American Pie.” This 1971 song was also known as “The Day the Music Died” referring to February 3, 1959 when American singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P Richardson “The Big Bopper”, were killed in a plane crash along with their pilot.

I grew up listening to this song and although it was sad, I liked it. And then we reached the year- 1999- and the way I heard the song changed forever. Do you have any idea where I’m headed with this? Let me give you a hint- and if you don’t know immediately, you probably just won’t know until I tell you.

“WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC-

Weird Al is an American singer, songwriter, parodist, and more! In 1999, he released a parody of Star Wars Episode 1- The Phantom Menace, 

Set to the tune of “American Pie,” “The Saga Begins” recounts the plot of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s point of view. Yankovic gathered most of the information he needed to write the song from Internet spoilers.[2] Although Lucasfilm declined a request for an advance screening, Yankovic eventually attended a costly pre-screening for charity.[2] He had done such an accurate job with the story line that after the pre-screening, he ended up making only very minor alterations.[2]

McLean approved of the song and,[2] according to Yankovic, also has said that his children played it so much that “he’d start thinking about Jedis and Star Wars, and it would mess him up” in concert.[3] According to Yankovic’s official website, Lucasfilms’ official response to the song was, “You should’ve seen the smile on (George Lucas’) face.”[4] This is the second Star Wars song Weird Al has created, with the first being 1985’s “Yoda”, a parody of “Lola” by The Kinks. 

                                                                                                                                -Wikipedia

“A long, long time ago
In a galaxy far away
Naboo was under an attack
And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn
Could talk the federation into
Maybe cutting them a little slack
But their response, it didn’t thrill us
They locked the doors and tried to kill us”

Sorry, I got carried away. I just knew that I couldn’t share “American Pie” without including “The Saga Begins.”

“A long, long time ago
In a galaxy far away
Naboo was under an attack
And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn
Could talk the federation into
Maybe cutting them a little slack
But their response, it didn’t thrill us
They locked the doors and tried to kill us”

Much thanks to both Don McClean and Weird Al for creating two very different and yet both very entertaining songs!

-Kat

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