Thursday, May 05, 2016

Song #415: "Wasted On The Way"--Crosby, Stills and Nash (1982)

It was one of the more surprising hits of the Summer of 1982, and very pleasantly so! Several 1970's acts such as America and Steve Miller enjoyed a return to Top 40 action back then, and so did Crosby, Stills and Nash.

This song, which features some background work by Timothy B. Schmitt of the Eagles, peaked at #9 just as I began my first year at Patrick Henry (10th grade).

Two songs down, and one to go, later on, for this group as our countdown rolls on. Can you believe we're getting close to the 20 percent mark already??


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Song #416: "It's All Been Done"--Barenaked Ladies (1998)

Going back to the latter years of my newspaper route, I would occasionally flip over to, then, B103.7 and catch some of Bender and Jackie's morning show, usually at the tail end of the route, on my way home to prep for a day of taking care of the kids, working on church things, and the like.

In early 1999, this single was released, and, as opposed to the group's first single from their CD of the time, "One Week", which summarily drove me up the closest wall, this tune immediately caught my attention. Anybody who can weave being a contestant on The Price Is Right in the year 2981 deserves a shot.

And, in the end, they make their lone countdown appearance with one of the rare 1990's tunes to make the list.


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Song #417: "Kung Fu Fighting"--Carl Douglas (1974)

Remember K-Tel?

Of course, you do!  If you are at least, ahem, a certain age, of course.

In late 1974, it was this song appearing on the K-Tel record "Out Of Sight" on a television commercial that had me searching for coins underneath couch cushions, doing whatever I could to collect $4.99 so I could get my hands on this album, which would be the first one I had ever owned.

Though I didn't really watch the show, I later proudly took my "Kung Fu" lunch box to school as well. This was one of the first songs I really went ga-ga over, and, though its sheen has lost some glisten over the decades, I still have a special place in my heart for Carl Douglas' masterpiece, made in the last ten minutes of a recording session as an afterthought, until someone at the record company said, make it the Side A song.

Good decision, it went number one around the world and sold eleven million copies. :)


Monday, May 02, 2016

Song #418: "This Time I Know It's For Real"--Donna Summer (1989)

This tune, the first of two on the countdown from the late Donna Summer, reminds me of the early days of my fourteen-year odyssey with a morning newspaper route.

Begun to help a financially struggling Bonnie and Rob in the first year of marriage (sound familiar most everyone?), what we thought would be a six-month gig became a 173-month gig, finally coming to a close at the end of 2002. The Raintree subdivision in the West End of Henrico was our beat, we had the main drag and the western side streets.

My mornings would start on WCBS 880 in New York for news, then over to WRVA for, then, Alden and Tim, and, later, Tim and John. And, in 1989, WRVA still spun the tunes! And that's where I discovered this gem from Summer, even though the video lacks (She Works Hard For The Money's video is much better).  :)


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Song #419: "Turn To Stone"--Electric Light Orchestra (1977)

First in our countdown 34 songs ago, back in late March, it's time for the second of eight appearances, if my early morning counting skills are working correctly, from the great ELO.

This time we go back to late 1977 and their double LP, "Out Of The Blue", for a song that, despite never making it into the top ten on the charts in its "shelf life", developed a lasting legacy on many classic rock, and some classic hits, radio formats.

It's vintage Electric Light Orchestra, and a lot of fun to sing along to, especially on a rainy day like today when you'd need a pick-me-up in the car since opening the sun roof is not an option. Unless you need to take a shower.  :)


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Song #420: "I Know It's Today"--Shrek: The Musical (2008; Jaguar Drama Performance By Aly Campana, Anna Houtz & Lainie Cole, 2015)

This song didn't jump out at me as Jaguar Drama prepared to perform "Shrek: The Musical" as Rachel's final production one spring ago...until opening night. And, by closing night, I'm sitting on the front row at Glen Allen High School just bawling.

Sure, it was already an emotionally charged weekend, but I cannot express to you just how beautifully Aly, Anna, and Lainie performed this song, which goes back and forth from seriousness and concern to moments of great comedy (they said pee AND bi-polar on stage!). These three young ladies absolutely nailed it.

Unfortunately, thanks to good ol' copyright laws, I can't post the Glen Allen version, and it's a darn shame, because Aly, Anna, and Lainie deserve to be heard. But, until that day comes, enjoy the original soundtrack version.

Thanks, ladies. I, for one, will never, ever forget your version of this wonderful song.  :)


Friday, April 29, 2016

Song #421: "I Only Have Eyes For You" (Original 1934, Art Garfunkel Version 1975)

A song originally written for the movie "Dames" (I haven't seen it, have you?), and also used in later films, I Only Have Eyes For You has been covered by countless artists, including the Chairman of The Board, with an especially popular version done by The Flamingos in 1959.

But in 1975, for his "Breakaway" solo album, Art Garfunkel placed his spin on it, and this is the version I think of when this song comes to mind. Art's vocals are silky smooth, and the song sounds, frankly, like a cross between the moment you say I love you to her for the first time and the first time you make love to her (I hope it's on your honeymoon....)  :)

Art will be back later, accompanied by Paul, in our countdown.