Tag Archives: Ray Charles

My iPod Has Issues – Too Early For Bed

16 Jun

The summer class that I am teaching is halfway finished.

The meetings I had today did not last long.

The dinner we had at the local pizzeria was quite good.

Everyone else is in bed, but I cannot go to bed before 10 pm. Going to bed before 10 pm means I have reached a time in life that I am not ready to admit. When I was a kid, I would beg my parents to let me stay up until the local news was over. I usually made it through Johnny Carson’s monologue or through the beginning of a John Wayne movie on the late show. Nope, I will not go to bed earlier than that.

Instead, I will delve into the mind of my psychotic iPod and see what is going on.

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Search for Vulcan” by Leroy Holmes

“Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle

“Carolyn” by Merle Haggard

“Stereotomy” by The Alan Parsons Project

“Ebo Walker” by The Dillards

“Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone

“She’s Got You” by Loretta Lynn

“Got My Mojo Working” by Muddy Waters

“Memphis Exorcism” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

“Garden Party” by Ricky Nelson

“6 Underground” by Sneaker Pimps

“Free Ride” by Edgar Winter

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin

“Lazy River” by Pete Fountain

“Hallelujah I Love Her So” by Ray Charles

“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys

“More Than You Know” by Mel Torme

“O Death” by Ralph Stanley

“Down Together” by The Refreshments

A Musical Story About Georgia

11 Jun

My wife had to go to Atlanta for business, so we drove down for an overnight stay. On the way back, I started thinking about songs with Georgia in their titles. This post is the result of the string of ideas that my mind put together. As you can tell, strange things run through my brain when I am driving.

Ray Charles called Jim Croce and said, “I’ve got Georgia on My Mind.” Jim replied, “Let’s start Walkin’ Back to Georgia.” As they walked down the road, Gladys Knight and the Pips passed on their way to the station. She yelled out of the window, “We’re taking the Midnight Train to Georgia. You guys should come with us.”

Ray and Jim jumped into the car with Gladys and the Pips. Before boarding the train, Gladys got a text from Brook Benton saying that it was a Rainy Night in Georgia. Despite the news, they still wanted to go. However, things would get worse.

When they disembarked, the station was totally dark. People were scrambling. Then, they ran into Vicki Lawrence who told them the bad news. This was The Night That the Lights Went Out in Georgia. Nobody knew what happened. The lights just went out. It was almost supernatural.

Suddenly, a bell sounded throughout the station. Someone spoke through a megaphone. The voice sounded familiar.

Ladies and gentlemen, please do not be alarmed. We are working on the lights, and we have discovered the problem. The Devil Went Down to Georgia and blew out all of the transformers.

They looked up and saw Charlie Daniels assuring people that everything would be alright.

With nothing else to do, Ray, Jim, Gladys and the Pips sat on benches, and someone finally asked Ray an important question. Why did you want to come to Georgia? He simply answered that he wanted to meet up with Sweet Georgia Brown.

My iPod Has Issues – Back Porch Blogging

13 Jun

I am sitting on the back porch with the laptop in my lap. Is that not where it is supposed to be? The sun is shining, and the birds are chirping. I can hear a lawnmower somewhere in the distance. They say that storms will be overhead later in the day. That is typical for a June afternoon in Tennessee.

Unused firewood is taking up one corner of the deck. It is beside some chairs that are fading in the sun. I can see the strand of a spiderweb attached to one of them as the sunlight glistens off of it. I suppose that I should knock it down, but the spider has spent a lot of time working on it.

It is a relaxing time, and nothing much is going through my mind. There are no clever ideas for a post. There are no psychoses that need to be addressed. It is simply a normal porch-sitting experience.image-38

With nothing to write about, I could end the post, but it does not seem right to stop at 177 words. At least, that is how many words WordPress said I had typed when I typed 177. Instead of stopping, I will turn on the iPod and see what it going on. After that, I will go back to staring at the trees. There is a dead one out there that needs to be dealt with.

“Tetragon” by Woody Shaw

“Save My Soul” by Blues Saraceno

“Fly Away” by John Denver

“Let The Good Times Roll” by Ray Charles

“You Got That Right” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“The Day Begins” by The Moody Blues

“Loving Her Was Easier” by Kris Kristofferson

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by The Righteous Brothers

“Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra

“Tulsa Time” by Don Williams

“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC

“Sweet Georgia Brown” by The California Ramblers

“Lucifer” by The Alan Parson Project

“Slip Away” by Clarence Carter

“Rollin'” by Big and Rich

“She Loves You” by The Beatles

“Amie” by Pure Prairie League

“I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones

“The Beat” by Lou Johnson

“Drops of Jupiter” by Train

The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1985

7 Apr

Wow, I cannot believe that 1985 was thirty years ago. I started the year as a sophomore and ended the year as an upperclassman. For a high school kid, that makes all the difference in the world. I could not play an instrument, but I could play the radio.1985

The year began with Madonna continuing her “Like a Virgin” dominance of the charts. In fact, the entire month of January belonged to her.

In February, her song was replaced by “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. It was one of my favorites and was a big deal for a kid who really wondered what love was all about.

It was soon replaced with “Careless Whisper” by Wham! featuring George Michael. This should have been a clear signal to the other guy. George was about to be the star of the duo. I guess that is why I call him the other guy.

REO Speedwagon was up next with “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. Honestly, I never understood the fascination with this band or this song.

“One More Night” started a big year for Phil Collins. This would be the first of three Number One songs for the singer/drummer. Or, is it drummer/singer?

Phil Collins was good, but he could not hold off a bunch of stars raising money for Africa. “We Are the World” was a song, an event and a pretty good video. It was performed by USA for Africa, a group of singers who were not all from the USA. Ever wonder who took part in this project? Wonder no more. The group was made up of (in alphabetical order):

Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Hall and Oates, James Ingram, Jackie Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Al Jarreau, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis and the News, Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, Jeffrey Osborne, Steve Perry, The Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder

It stayed on top for four weeks before Madonna struck back with “Crazy for You”.

She stayed in that spot for a week and was knocked out by a song that played over the end credits of a movie. The Breakfast Club struck a chord with high school kids, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds was the song that made this chord stick.

Wham! returned with “Everything She Wants” and made sure “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” would have to be remembered because, after one week, it was a thing of the past.

Then, one of my favorite 1980s groups hit the Number One spot. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears was, in my opinion, the best song of the year.

Unfortunately, it was soon replaced by the overrated Bryan Adams with “Heaven”.

“Sussudio” by Phil Collins made sure that Bryan Adams went away. Although, I still have not figured out who or what Sussudio is supposed to be.

James Bond could save the world, but he could also put a theme song at the top of the carts. “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran held the Number One spot for two weeks. They did it despite being connected to Roger Moore, one of my least favorite 007s.

Paul Young and “Everytime You Go Away” accomplished what no villain could. He defeated James Bond. However, he did not hold on for long.

Tears for Fears returned with “Shout”, which was not as good as their previous hit. I have no idea how it stayed at the top longer than the other one.

I admit that the 1980s were cheesy. That cheesiness was defined by Huey Lewis and the News, a group that hit Number One with “The Power of Love”.

Unfortunately for Huey, the Brat Pack would not be denied. They drove Simple Minds to the top. Now, they did the same thing for John Parr. “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” was the theme song for the movie with the same name.

The fire was doused by one of the greatest videos of the 1980s. “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits provided a regular person’s view of music superstardom. The video was early computerization at its best. The song was Number One for three weeks and was followed by a string of one-week wonders.

“Oh Sheila” by Ready for the World started the trend. That was followed by “Take On Me” by a-ha, a song that was driven by its awesome video.

Whitney Houston had a Number One song with “Saving All My Love for You” and was followed by Stevie Wonder with “Part-Time Lover”. It looks as if those songs have two different philosophies.

Another theme song reached the peak of the charts. “Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer was an instrumental that took the country by storm. Of course, Miami Vice also took the country by storm and influenced 1980s lifestyle and fashion. This is where I should admit that I have never seen an episode of Miami Vice. I may be a product of the 1980s, but I still have television taste. Give me The Equalizer and The A-Team anytime.

Jefferson Airplane? Jefferson Starship? Starship? They need to make up their minds. Anyway, Starship had a hit called “We Built This City”.

The year could not end without another Phil Collins hit. However, “Separate Lives” was a duet with Marilyn Martin.

Another typical 1980s group replaced the work of Phil and Marilyn. “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister held the top position for two weeks. However, the year ended with the return of Lionel Richie and “Say You, Say Me”.

Did you have any favorites that did not reach Number One? Let me know.

 

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – Looking for the Red Light

27 Jan

There are many things in this world that I do not understand, and, earlier, I witnessed one of them. It was during an after work trip to the grocery store to get bananas and Spic ‘n Span. I also got a magazine that will turn into a good blog post.

Anyway, I pulled into the parking lot as another car was coming out. They were trying to turn left onto a five lane road, and the traffic was heavy. In other words, they were going to be there a while. It is a common occurrence. However, they did not have to wait several minutes to pull out in front of another car and risk their lives. The other parking lot exit had a red light.

This is what I do not understand. When leaving a parking lot and turning left, why do people not use the exit with the red light? It does not take that long, and they do not have to play Frogger.Frogger

I always look for the red light and use it. This does not make me some driving genius. It just makes sense. People only have to think ahead.

I know this is a crazy post about something that is not a bi deal, but it bothers me every time I see it happen. When people learn to drive, looking for a red light while leaving a parking lot should be near the top of the list.

In honor of the craziness that is non-red light parking lot exiting, we will look into the craziness that is my iPod. Even it knows to think ahead and make this maneuver the easiest way.

“The Road to Hell” by Chris Rea

“Highway Chile” by Jimi Hendrix

“Standing at the Crossroads” by Johnny Shines

“Chauffer Blues” by Big Mama Thornton

“Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles

“Go Speed Racer Go” by Sponge

“The Long and Winding Road” by The Beatles

“Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers

“The Old Man Down the Road” by John Fogerty

“King of the Road” by Roger Miller

“Carefree Highway” by Gordon Lightfoot

“Little Red Corvette” by Prince

“Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan

“16th Avenue” by Lacy J. Dalton

“How Fast Them Trucks Can Go” by Claude Gray

“Passing Zone Blues” by Coleman Wilson

“Pursuit of the Pimpmobile” by Isaac Hayes

“Free Ride” by Edgar Winter

“The Road” by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

“Interstate” by The Refreshments

Remember, always look for that red light.

Hilton Head – Driving Down the Musical Highway

23 Oct

We got a late start on our trip to Hilton Head because I had a midday meeting. This meant that we would be driving through the late afternoon and into the night. On top of that, we had to hit five different interstates to get there.

Whenever I am on a long drive, my mind starts to entertain itself. This means that useless trivia moves from the back of my brain and dominates my mind. It is a good way to stay awake and a good way to go crazy. On this drive, music was the category of choice, and it all started as we made our way over Monteagle.

For those who do not know, Monteagle is a ridge that has to be crossed just north of Chattanooga. The grade is steep and trucks have a hard time making their way up one side and down the other. Each time I drive over Monteagle, I think about the opening song of Smokey and the Bandit and start singing it under my breath.

In case you do not remember the opening to one of the greatest movies in cinema history, the song recounts how the Bandit became famous in the truck driving world. I wrote an entire post about it, but, simply, it talks about how he lost control of his rig on Monteagle. With heroic driving skills, he was able to make it to the bottom.

(Brief Interlude: While writing that post, I looked up the lyrics of the song. All of the sites had him crossing something called Montvale. It is not Montvale. One of my life’s goals is to get those lyrics corrected and give Monteagle is rightful place in Smokey and the Bandit history.)

Of course, driving through Chattanooga brought to mind “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, but the route through north Georgia made my mind go musically dead. Atlanta played a big role in that. It does not matter what time you drive through Atlanta. The traffic is always bad, and your focus needs to be on the road. However, I still heard Ronnie Van Zant telling Billy Powell to “play it pretty for Atlanta.”

Eventually, we made our way to Macon and hit a desolate stretch of road toward Savannah. It was getting later. It was getting darker. That is when I saw a sign for Statesboro, Georgia, the subject of “Statesboro Blues” by the Allman Brothers. That meant that the next several miles were filled with an internal soundtrack of their tunes.

After several days in Hilton Head, which I will write about in the next post, we retraced our journey. This time, the excitement of a vacation was behind us, and we were making that long, tired drive toward home. That does not mean that the musical journey was over. As the miles passed, I tried to think of songs that have Georgia in their titles.Georgia

I ended up with the following.

“Sweet Georgia Brown” (I can see Curly Neal dribbling around Meadowlark Lemon.)

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie D. lives not too far down the road.)

“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (Yep, Vicki Lawrence can sing, too.)

“Midnight Train to Georgia” (The Pips make this song stand out.)

“Rainy Night in Georgia” (The Tony Joe White version is the best.)

“Georgia on My Mind” (It is hard to beat Ray Charles.)

“Marching Through Georgia” (I only know this one because it was mentioned in a John Wayne movie.)

“Walkin’ Back to Georgia” (One of Jim Croce’s lesser known songs.)

Before I knew it, we were back at Monteagle, but it was not before I thought of something else. Does anyone remember a television show called Carter Country?

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – A Messy Mental State

20 Jun

I am seriously having a hard time coming up with something to write about. Wait, that is not accurate. There are plenty of things bouncing around in my mind that I should write about. However, the energy to write about one of them is not with me. This has been an eventful day for not much to have happened, Quite frankly, I am worn out.Worn Out

I should probably not write anything. There is nothing worse than putting up a throwaway post that has no meaning behind it. Despite that, I feel that something needs to be put on the screen, but it is going to be something easy. I thought about doing a Movie Wisdom post about Robert Duvall or Liam Neeson. Then, I decided that was not a good idea. They have both filmed a ton of movies, and looking up movie quotes takes more time than you could imagine.

Instead, we are going to delve into the mind of my iPod. Its mental state is a mess, and, embarrassingly, I let myself get into a mental state throughout the day. Since my iPod and I have a lot in common at the moment, we will shuffle it up and see what is going on in there.

I know we just did one of these, and I apologize for that.

“Da Funk” by Daft Punk

“American Roulette” by Robbie Robertson

“Rubberneckin'” by Elvis Presley

“One” by Three Dog Night

“Your Love Is Where It Ought To Be” by Big Mama Thornton

“Jesus Walks” by Kanye West

“Brown Eyed Handsome Man” by Chuck Berry

“That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets

“Nancy Lee” by Vintage Trouble

“The Unforgiven” by Metallica

“Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles

“Slide It In” by Whitesnake

“Bostich” by Yello

“The High and the Mighty” by Dimitri Tiomkin

“Baby Get Lost” by B.B. King

“She’s Just Killing Me” by ZZ Top

“Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach

“How Fast Them Trucks Can Go” by Claude Gray

“She Wears My Ring” by Jimmy Bell

“Help Me” by Joni Mitchell

Yep, the old iPod is pretty messed up.