8-Track Tapes

I  had a stereo that had a record-able 8-track system built in. I would record straight off the radio to the 8-track and from records. I will add that it could be a miserable format to listen to music. If you had a favorite song that you wanted to hear a couple times in a row…get ready to wait till it came back around and then for the infamous “click” and you would switch tracks…and either wait some more or miss the beginning.

But there is more… you may be listening to a song and suddenly the song fades out for a while because it’s too long for the track and then finally the “click” and it finishes out on the next track.

William Powell Lear, the man behind LearJet, was also the inventor of the 8-track cartridge tape system. In 1964 William Lear convinced Ford to install the 8-track in their cars.

In September 1965, Ford Motor Company offered 8-track players as an option in their 1966 model cars.  A Ford spokesperson reported that 65,000 players were installed in the first year.  As a result of the popularity, the 8-track player soon became standard in all Ford cars.

In 1966 home units and portable units were offered. Now people could share their tapes with each other. The peak years of the eight-track were 1967 through 1975. Then, improvements in the tape quality of smaller cassettes and decreasing quality in eight-tracks led consumers away from the eight-track tape.

The last official release on 8-track was Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits in 1988. By then though Compact Disc had taken over the market.

I did have quite a collection of official 8-tracks and self-made 8-tracks. I also have an old 8-track system in my closet…hey you never know.

This video is a must. It shows an Eight Track Museum. It is interesting.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-track_tape

 

 

Rufus – Tell Me Something Good

Great song great music great voice. This song was performed by Rufus with Chaka Khan and written by Stevie Wonder. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and #21 in Canada in 1974. The Talk-Box which Frampton later used sounds great in this song.

Rufus evolved from a group called The American Breed, who had a hit with “Bend Me, Shape Me.” They took their name from a column in Popular Mechanics magazine called “Ask Rufus,” later shortened to Rufus when Chaka Khan joined the band in 1972.

From Songfacts.

Stevie Wonder wrote this song and recorded it himself on December 13, 1973 – he copyrighted it on January 3, 1974. His version was never released, as he gave it to Rufus, since Stevie was a fan of their lead singer, Chaka Khan. Around this time, Wonder was turning many of his best songs over to female singers with otherworldly voices: Aretha Franklin recorded his “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” and Minnie Riperton did “Lovin’ You.”

The story Chaka Khan tells is that Wonder was going to bring them a song in the studio, and when he dropped by and played her the song, she stunned her bandmates by telling the mighty Stevie Wonder she didn’t like it; Chaka says she was 19 and pregnant, so she was a little prickly at the time. Wonder asked her astrological sign, and when she told him Aries, he delivered “Tell Me Something Good.” According to Chaka, she loved it and they worked out the song together in the studio, although Stevie is the only credited writer on the song.

Tell Me Something Good

You ain’t got no kind of feeling inside
I got something that will sure ‘nough set your stuff on fire
You refuse to put anything before your pride
What I got something will knock all your pride aside
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
Got no time is what you’re known to say
I’ll make you wish there was forty eight hours to each day
The problem is you ain’t been loved like you should
What I got to give will sure ‘nough do you good
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
You ain’t got no kind of feeling inside
I got something that will sure ‘nough set your stuff on fire
You refuse to put anything before your pride
What I got something will knock all your pride aside
Tell me something good (oh, yeah, yeah)
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
Tell me something good (tell me baby baby, tell me)
Tell me that you love me, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah
Tell me something good (oh, tell me, tell me, tell me)
Tell me that you like it, yeah, yeah, don’t you like it, baby?

Dr. Suess on the Loose

I’ve always liked the peculiar World of Dr. Suess. It could be strange but it was wonderful. The strange creatures that spoke in rhyme kept me hooked.

In 1973 the cartoon “Dr. Suess on the Loose” (Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories) aired and featured three stories. The Sneetches, The Zax, and the great Green Eggs and Ham. I still enjoy this cartoon.

I will admit that every time I watch a Dr. Suess cartoon that when I have a conversation afterward I want to talk in rhyme.

The Zax – One day in the Prairie of Pax a North-Going Zax and a South-Going Zax run into each other. Both are trying to get to their desired locations, but neither will move out of the way to let the other one pass. Both are too proud to compromise, they fail to see that the world continues on moving and time passes by.

zax.jpg

The Sneetches – The Sneetches is about two types of creatures, separated by having or not having stars on their bellies. The Star-Belly Sneetches think they are the best, and look down upon Sneetches without stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches remain depressed and cannot associate with the Star-Belly Sneetches…Until a fellow named  Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes with a Star off and Star on machine and after every Sneetch goes the machine over and over again…and McBean takes all of their money…No one knows who had stars or not… It’s a great message in this…to treat everyone the same no matter their background. (http://www.umich.edu/~childlit/Sneetches/display1.htm)

 

sneetches.jpg

I am a sucker for Green Eggs and Ham. Still, love it and can read it or watch the cartoon in a box…with a…nevermind. The book was released in 1960 and as of 2016, it has sold over 8 million copies. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Eggs_and_Ham)

Green Eggs and Ham – is about Sam-I-Am, trying to convince an unnamed character to try green eggs and ham. He will stop at nothing but the more he tries to convince him to try green eggs and ham the more this character refuses. I love the wordplay in this as Sam-I-Am is a persistent little…uh…whatever he is…but he wins at that end.

“GREEN EGGS AND HAM” (by Doctor Seuss)

I AM SAM. I AM SAM. SAM I AM.

THAT SAM-I-AM! THAT SAM-I-AM! I DO NOT LIKE THAT SAM-I-AM!

DO WOULD YOU LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM?

I DO NOT LIKE THEM,SAM-I-AM.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.

WOULD YOU LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE?

I WOULD NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I WOULD NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

WOULD YOU LIKE THEM IN A HOUSE?
WOULD YOU LIKE THEN WITH A MOUSE?

I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A HOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A MOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

WOULD YOU EAT THEM IN A BOX?
WOULD YOU EAT THEM WITH A FOX?

NOT IN A BOX. NOT WITH A FOX.
NOT IN A HOUSE. NOT WITH A MOUSE.
I WOULD NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE.
I WOULD NOT EAT THEM ANYWHERE.
I WOULD NOT EAT GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

WOULD YOU? COULD YOU? IN A CAR?
EAT THEM! EAT THEM! HERE THEY ARE.

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN A CAR.

YOU MAY LIKE THEM. YOU WILL SEE.
YOU MAY LIKE THEM IN A TREE!

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT IN A TREE.
NOT IN A CAR! YOU LET ME BE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A BOX.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A FOX.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A HOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A MOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN!
COULD YOU, WOULD YOU ON A TRAIN?

NOT ON TRAIN! NOT IN A TREE!
NOT IN A CAR! SAM! LET ME BE!
I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN A BOX.
I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, WITH A FOX.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN A HOUSE.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT EAT GREEM EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

SAY! IN THE DARK? HERE IN THE DARK!
WOULD YOU, COULD YOU, IN THE DARK?

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN THE DARK.

WOULD YOU COULD YOU IN THE RAIN?

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT IN THE RAIN.
NOT IN THE DARK. NOT ON A TRAIN.
NOT IN A CAR. NOT IN A TREE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM, YOU SEE.
NOT IN A HOUSE. NOT IN A BOX.
NOT WITH A MOUSE. NOT WITH A FOX.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE!

YOU DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM?

I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

COULD YOU, WOULD YOU, WITH A GOAT?

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT WITH A GOAT!

WOULD YOU, COULD YOU, ON A BOAT?

I COULD NOT, WOULD NOT, ON A BOAT.
I WILL NOT, WILL NOT, WITH A GOAT.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN THE RAIN.
NOT IN THE DARK! NOT IN A TREE!
NOT IN A CAR! YOU LET ME BE!
I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A BOX.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A FOX.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN A HOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A MOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE!
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

YOU DO NOT LIKE THEM. SO YOU SAY.
TRY THEM! TRY THEM! AND YOU MAY.
TRY THEM AND YOU MAY, I SAY.

sAM! IF YOU LET ME BE,
I WILL TRY THEM. YOU WILL SEE.

(… and he tries them …)

SAY! I LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!
I DO! I LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM!
AND I WOULD EAT THEM IN A BOAT.
AND I WOULD EAT THEM WITH A GOAT…
AND I WILL EAT THEM, IN THE RAIN.
AND IN THE DARK. AND ON A TRAIN.
AND IN A CAR. AND IN A TREE.
THEY ARE SO GOOD, SO GOOD, YOU SEE!
SO I WILL EAT THEM IN A BOX.
AND I WILL EAT THEM WITH A FOX.
AND I WILL EAT THEM IN A HOUSE.
AND I WILL EAT THEM WITH A MOUSE.
AND I WILL EAT THEM HERE AND THERE.
SAY! I WILL EAT THEM ANYWHERE!
I DO SO LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU, SAM I AM.

 

 

Be Bop A Lula

I watched a UK documentary on Gene Vincent recently and have been reading about his interaction with the Beatles. This is some info on Be Bop A Lula

Free Fallin'

Recorded by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps in 1956 its influence would be huge on Rock N Roll. The song was released in June 1956 on Capitol Records’ single F3450, and immediately sold well. The song was successful on three American singles charts: it peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard pop music chart, No. 8 on the R&B chart, and also made the top ten on the C&W Best Seller chart peaking at No. 5. In the UK, it peaked at No. 16 in August 1956. In April 1957, the record company announced that over 2 million copies had been sold to date.

The story of how the decidedly un-complex lyrics of “Be-Bop-A-Lula” got written is shrouded in a certain amount of controversy. Officially, Gene Vincent’s business manager, Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis, is credited as the co-writer, but Sheriff Tex, a savvy 40-year-old from Connecticut, seems an…

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Fats Domino

Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. was not flashy and wild like some of his 1950s peers such as Elvis, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The first I heard of Fats Domino was on “Happy Days” and the song Blueberry Hill. I was at a relative’s yard sale when I was a kid and was given his greatest hits.

Domino was the youngest of eight children in a musical family, he spoke Creole French before learning English. At age 7 his brother in law taught him how to play the piano. By the time he was 10, he was already performing as a singer and pianist.

Fat’s first hit in the Billboard 100 was the great “Aint That A Shame” in 1955 written by  Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew that peaked at #16 and his last charting song was a cover of the Beatles “Lady Madonna”(great version) that peaked at #100 in 1968. He had 45 songs in the top 100 and 4 top 10 hits…many more top 10 hits in the R&B Charts.

My favorite song by him is “I’m Walking” because it’s so simple but yet effective. The odd beat sounds modern and it hooks you. He was inspired to write the song when his car broke down and someone said “Hey Fats Domino is Walking” and he thought to himself…Yea I’m walking.

Ricky Nelson covered the song and it went to number 4 on the charts.

What is sad to me is Pat Boone covered Aint That a Shame and it went to number 1 while Fat’s version only made it to 16 in the same year. That was the era where some parents would buy their kids the Pat Boone version of the song and the kids would hide their self-bought Fats Domino version… Same went with Little Richard also.

Domino received The Lifetime Achievement Grammy, a National Medal of the Arts from President Bill Clinton and the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fats semi-retired in the 80s and said he would not travel outside of New Orleans.

During Hurricane Katrina, he lost most of his possessions and him and his family were rescued by the coast guard. He unselfishly made many personal appearances to raise money for the hurricane relief. His house was hit hard and he lost his National Medal and gold records but George Bush gave him another medal to replace the lost one and the RIAA gave him replacement gold records.

To raise money for repairs for his own home, friends and fellow musicians recorded a tribute album, Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino, featuring the likes of Robert Plant, Elton John, and Sir Paul McCartney. He as living in New Orleans at the time of his death on October 24, 2017.

He was a huge influence on The Beatles, Elton John, Robert Plant, Randy Newman, and Elvis even called Fats “The King.”

Here is an article stating that Fats Domino helped start “ska” music. 

I’m Walking
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, and I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me (yes)
I’m lonely as I can be, I’m waitin’ for your company
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me
What ‘ya gonna do when the well runs dry?
You’re gonna run away and hide
I’m gonna run right by your side, for you pretty baby I’ll even die
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, and I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me (yes)
I’m lonely as I can be, I’m waitin’ for your company
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me
What ‘ya gonna do when the well runs dry?
You’re gonna sit right down and cry
What ‘ya gonna do when I say bye-bye?
All you’re gonna do is dry your eye
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me

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.