Kathy Young & The Innocents – A Thousand Stars

I don’t know how many people know this song but it took me twenty years to find it. I heard it in 1986 on an oldies station. I just caught the middle to the end and it intrigued me. Every time they would play it I would not catch who it was…it never dawned on me to call the station and ask. It was kind of haunting to me but I loved it. It took me till around 2008 to remember enough of it to track it down.

It was released in 1960 and peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100. This was their one and only top ten hit. It was written by Eugene Pearson.

A Thousand Years

A thousand stars in the sky like the stars in your eyes

They say to me that there’ll never be

No other love like you for me

A thousand stars in the sky make me realize

You are the one love that I’ll adore

Tell me you love me

Tell me you’re mine once more

Once more, once more

Each night I count the stars in the sky

Hoping that you aren’t telling me lies

You’re with me tonight, I’m captured by your charms

Oh, pretty baby, won’t you hold me in your arms?

A thousand stars in the sky make me realize

You are the one love that I’ll adore

Tell me you love me

Tell me you’re mine once more

Once more, once more

Each night I count the stars in the sky

Hoping that you aren’t telling me lies

You’re with me tonight, I’m captured by your charms

Oh, pretty baby, won’t you hold me in your arms?

A thousand stars in the sky make me realize

You are the one love that I’ll adore

Tell me you love me

Tell me you’re mine once more

I’m yours

Al Green – Tired of Being Alone

This song never gets old and listening to Al’s voice certainly never gets old. This song peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100. Al Green has had twenty songs in the Billboard top 100, eight top 10 songs and a #1 with Let’s Stay Together.

Al Green is currently the Pastor at Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis TN.

From Songfacts on writing the song.

According to Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Singles, this came to Green when he woke up before dawn the day after a show in Detroit at a motel in rural Michigan with a song forming in his mind. Half an hour later, he had it written, but his producer Willie Mitchell wasn’t much interested in Green performing his own material. Said Green: “I was toting my song around in my pocket for days on end, saying, ‘Hey, I got a song.’ Finally, at the end of the session, I said, ‘Well, I still got a song.'” It became Green’s first hit.

Tired of Being Alone

I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Won’t you help me, girl,
Just as soon as you can.
People say that I’ve found a way,
To make you say,
That you love me.
But baby,
You didn’t go for that,
Ha, it’s a natural fact,
That I want to come back,
Show me where it’s at, baby.
I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Won’t you help me, girl,
Soon as you can.
I guess you know that I, uh,
I love you so,
Even though,
You don’t want me no more,
Hey, hey, hey, hey I’m cryin’ tears,
Through the years,
I tell you like it is,
Honey, love me if you can.
Ya baby,
Tired of being alone here by myself, now
I tell ya, I’m tired baby,
I’m tired of being all wrapped up late at night,
In my dreams, nobody but you, baby.
Sometimes I wonder,
If you love me like you say you do,
You see baby, I, I, I, I’ve been thinking about you,
I’ve been wanting to get next to you, baby,
Sometimes I hold my arms and I say,
Oh baby, yeah, needing you has proven to me,
To be my greatest dream, yeah
Awh!
I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Sometimes late at night I get to wonderin’ about you baby,
Baby, baby, ya ya, baby you’re my heart’s desire

Iron Eyes Cody commercials

Maybe the most famous tear in pop culture. Iron Eyes Cody, an actor in Native American clothing showing us the tragedy of littering. He made his debut in 1971 at the close of a public service advertisement for the anti-litter organization Keep America Beautiful.

At the time of the commercial’s debut, the counter-culture was starting to embrace Native Amercian Culture. Iron Eyes Cody could be seen in printed ads, television, and billboards. He was known by the press as the “Crying Indian.”

Born on April 3, 1904, as Espera Oscar de Corti, Cody’s parents were both Sicilian immigrants (Antonio de Corti and wife, Francesca Salpietra). He grew up in Gueydan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, where his parents ran a grocery store.

He portrayed Indians in television shows and movies dating back to 1926. His last appearance was in the 1970s spoof movie The Spirit of 76 released in 1990. He played the role on-screen as well as off…He would deny he wasn’t Native American as late as 1996 and until he passed away in 1999 at the age of 94.

Real or not he did have an effect on me…To a young kid, this hit home. I remember this commercial rather well and there is another anti-littering commercial that I remember. Only people in Tennessee would probably remember it was called “Tennessee Trash.” I have it below the Iron Eye’s Cody video.

The below commercial in 1976 was so popular that they remade it twenty-two years later. I have to say the song will stay in your head. It was filmed on an unopened stretch of I-24 at the time. The theme was sung by country singer-songwriter Ed Bruce and features Irving Kane as the ultimate litterbug.

 

 

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

This great song was released in 1970 and peaked at #1 on the Billboard 100, #1 in the Uk and #7 in Canada. It was written by Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Hank Robinson.

This would be their only #1 hit in the Billboard 100. They had 42 songs in the top 100 and 6 top ten hits. Smokey would soon leave the Miracles after this song.

From Songfacts. 

Stevie Wonder came up with the music for this song with a top Motown producer named Hank Cosby. They recorded an instrumental demo and asked Robinson to complete the song – it was common practice for Motown writers to work on each other’s songs at the time.

Robinson listened to the song for a few days and decided it sounded like a circus – he came up with the lyrics based on the clown. “I was trying to think of something that would be significant, that would touch people’s hearts, but still be dealing with the circus,” said Smokey. “So what is that? Pagliacci, of course. The clown who cries. And after he makes everyone else happy with the smile painted on his face, then he goes into his dressing room and cries because he’s sad. That was the key.”

Tears of a Clown

Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that’s quite a different subject
But don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I’m sad
(Sad, sad, sad, sad)
Oh I’m sadder than sad
(Sadder than sad)
You’re gone and I’m hurtin’ so bad
(Hurtin’ so bad)
Like a clown I pretend to be glad
(Sad, sad, sad, sad)

[Pre-Chorus]
Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than

[Chorus]
The tears of a clown, when there’s no one around
Oh yeah baby

[Verse 2]
Now if I appear to be carefree
It’s only to camouflage my sadness
And honey to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don’t let my show convince you
That I’ve been happy since you
Decided to go
(Decided to go)
Oh I need you so
(I need you so)
I’m hurt and I want you to know
(Want you to know)
But for others I put on a show
(It’s just a show)
Ooh yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than

[Chorus]
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around
Oh yeah

Tootsie Roll Pop Commercial

The commercial came out in 1968 – 1970 and I still see it every once in a while. The spot leaves us with a puzzling question…How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

The original commercial was 60 seconds long and that one is not seen as much…it was edited down to 15 seconds and all we see is the boy and  Mr. Owl…but the original had more….here is the script…

Boy: Mr. Cow…
Mr. Cow: Yeeeeesss?
Boy: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Cow: I don’t know, I always end up biting. Ask Mr. Fox, for he’s much clever than I.
Boy: Mr. Fox, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Fox: Why don’t you ask Mr. Turtle, for he’s been around a lot longer than I? Me, hee hee hee, I bite.
Boy: Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Turtle: I’ve never even made it without biting. Ask Mr. Owl, for he is the wisest of us all.
Boy: Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Owl: A good question. Let’s find out. A One… A.two-HOO…A three…
(crunch sound effect)
Mr. Owl: A Three!
Boy: If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s a smart owl.
Narrator: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
(crunch sound effect)
Narrator: The world may never know.

After the commercial, Mr. Owl became the mascot for Tootsie Roll Pops, appearing in marketing campaigns and on the packaging.

Researchers at New York University and Florida State University conducted a study in 2015 to find out how many times one would need to lick a Tootsie Pop to reach the center. Their findings revealed that 997 licks are needed to get there… Mr. Owl was off by 994!
However…many other colleges tested it with different results…I guess we will never know the answer.

The original 60 second commercial with Mr. Cow, Mr, Fox, Mr. Turtle, and Mr. Owl.

My favorite Tootsie Roll commercial was this one from 1977

The world looks mighty good to me

Cause Tootsie Rolls are all I see

Whatever it is I think I see

Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me

Tootsie Roll, how I love your chocolatey chew

Tootsie Roll, I think I’m in love with you

Whatever it is I think I see  Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me

Blues Image – Ride Captain Ride

This would be a one-hit wonder band but an impressive one hit. Ride Captain Ride made it to #4 in the Billboard 100 and the Canadian Charts. It charted in 1970 off an named called “Open” which made it to #147.

I always thought this song was about some event…but no it was just made up.

This is from Songfacts. 

Blues Image lead singer Mike Pinera wrote this with their keyboard player Skip Konte. Mike’s wife Valerie told us:
“Ride Captain is a story from his imagination. I know when he was in the studio recording that album, they needed another song and he wrote it on the spot. He came up with 73 from the keyboard having 73 keys. A lot of people say it relates to a few different stories.”

The keyboard they used was a Rhodes electric piano, and this was an early use of the instrument on a popular song. Other songs featuring the Rhodes include “Just The Way You Are,” “Peg” and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

 

Ride Captain Ride

Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay,
Rolled off of their ship and here’s what they had to say.
“We’re calling everyone to ride along to another shore,
Where we can laugh our lives away and be free once more.”

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you’ve got there on your trip.
Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of the things others just might have missed

No one heard them calling, no one came at all,
‘Cause they were too busy watching those old raindrops fall.
As a storm was blowing out on the peaceful sea,
Seventy-three men were sailing off into history.

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you’ve got there on your trip.
Ride captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of the world others just might have missed

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you’ve got there on your trip.
Ride captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of the world othersjust might have missed

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip.
Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of a world others just might have missed.

Keep On Truckin’ Poster

I have this hanging in my music room. I saw it on shirts, bumper stickers, and on walls everywhere once upon a time. This phrase was used in a song from the 1930s called “Truckin’ My Blues Away” by Blind Boy Fuller and is the origin of this image.

Besides the smiley face…it’s one of the most iconic graphics of the 1970s. It was created by Robert Crumb for Zap Comics in 1968. The image was used many times without his permission for years. It was claimed that the Trademark symbol ™ was not on the original drawing.

Crumb went to court and the court ruled it Public Domain. The decision was later reversed in 1977. He sued many from using it including Amazon 2005. Crumb also came up with Fritz the Cat…

Quotes from Robert Crumb on the drawing.

For a while I was most well known for that [the Janis Joplin album cover, and for “Keep on Truckin’.” That was a drawing that came out of LSD trips, and the words came from a Blind Boy Fuller song from 1935. I drew it in my sketchbook and then for Zap. It sort of caught the popular imagination. It became a horrible popular thing.

Take Keep On Truckin’… for example. Keep on Truckin’… is the curse of my life. This stupid little cartoon caught on hugely. … I didn’t want to turn into a greeting card artist for the counter-culture! I didn’t want to do ‘shtick’—the thing Lenny Bruce warned against. That’s when I started to let out all my perverse sex fantasies. It was the only way out of being “America’s Best Loved Hippie Cartoonist.”

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