Sly & the Family Stone – Everyday People

Sly & the Family Stone was a great band. This song was released in 1968 and it peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 and #36 in the UK Charts. Sly arranged this song perfectly with great dynamics for the chorus. A great piece of songwriting and arranging. It would have been a hit whenever it was released.

Billy Preston played organ on this single and the song has been used in many movies, tv shows, and commercials.

“Everyday People”
Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah, yeah

There is a blue one
Who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one
Trying to be a skinny one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same, whatever we do
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair
That doesn’t like the short hair
For being such a rich one
That will not help the poor one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

There is a yellow one
That won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one
That won’t accept the white one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
I am everyday people

Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man

This song never gets old to me. The song was released in 1968 and peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100, #9 in the Uk. The song was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins.

Dusty Springfield had such a smooth voice.

From Songfacts. 

This was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins. Dusty’s version is the most popular, but it has been covered by many artists, including Elvis Presley, Bobbie Gentry, Foo Fighters, Chet Atkins, Joss Stone, and Natalie Merchant. The song was originally offered to Aretha Franklin (who is a preacher’s daughter), but she turned it down because she thought it was disrespectful. She subsequently changed her mind and did a cover version of it.

The backup vocals were by a female group called the Sweet Inspirations, who were made up of Cissy Houston, Sylvia Shemwell, Myrna Smith and Estelle Brown. They were the sought-after female backup vocalists in the New York area, having performed on albums by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Picket, Van Morrison and many others. With four singers, they could create a rich, soulful sound that suited this song perfectly.

Later in 1969, the Sweet Inspirations went to work for Elvis Presley, touring and recording with him. Cissy Houston left the group at this time so she could spend more time with her children, including her young daughter, Whitney Houston.

Son of a Preacher Man

Billy-Ray was a preacher’s son
And when his daddy would visit he’d come along
When they gathered round and started talkin’
That’s when Billy would take me walkin’
A-through the backyard we’d go walkin’
Then he’d look into my eyes
Lord knows to my surprise

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was
Ooh, yes he was

Being good isn’t always easy
No matter how hard I try
When he started sweet-talkin’ to me
He’d come and tell me everything is all right
He’d kiss and tell me everything is all right
Can I get away again tonight?

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was
(Ooh…) Lord knows he was
Yes he was

How well I remember
The look that was in his eyes
Stealin’ kisses from me on the sly
Takin’ time to make time
Tellin’ me that he’s all mine
Learnin’ from each other’s knowing
Lookin’ to see how much we’ve grown

And the only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was
Ooh, yes he was

The only one who could ever reach me
He was the sweet-talking son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
I kissed the son of a preacher man
The only one who could ever move me
The sweet-lovin’ son of a preacher man
The only one who could ever groove me
Ahh, ooh, ahh….

Small Faces – Itchycoo Park

This song was released in 1967 by The Small Faces and it peaked at #16 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada and #3 in the UK. I was born in 1967 and cannot remember a thing but this song makes me feel like I was there. The song was written by Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott. A psychedelic song that hit on both sides of the ocean which was rare for the Small Faces who never toured America.

Glynn Johns used a new technique of phasing in the drum breaks.

From Songfacts.

“Itchycoo Park” is the nickname of Little Ilford Park in London. An “Itchycoo” is slang for a flower found in the park called a “Stinging Nettle,” which can burn the skin if touched. Said Lane: “It’s a place we used to go to in Ilford years ago. Some bloke we know suggested it to us because it’s full of nettles and you keep scratching.”

McLagan (from Uncut magazine): “I never liked ‘Itchycoo Park’ because me and Ronnie had to sing, ‘It’s all too beautiful,’ and you sing that a few times, and you think… It’s not.”

“But years after that I’d finally, properly, checked out the words, and realised it was about education and privilege,” he added. “The ‘bridge of sighs’ is the one in Cambridge. The ‘dreaming spires’ are a reference to Oxford. Then ‘to Itchycoo Park… That’s where I’ve been,’ Ronnie was saying, ‘I didn’t need privilege or education. Found beauty in a nettle patch in the East End of London.”

 

Itchycoo Park

Over bridge of sighs
To rest my eyes in shades of green

Under dreaming spires
To Itchycoo Park, that’s where I’ve been

(What did you do there?) I got high
(What did you feel there?) well, I cried
(But why the tears there?) tell you why
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful

I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun

I’ll tell you what I’ll do (what will you do?) I’d like to go there now with you
You can miss out school (won’t that be cool?) why go to learn the words of fools?

(What will we do there?) we’ll get high
(What will we touch there?) we’ll touch the sky
(But why the tears there?) I’ll tell you why
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful

I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful, hah

It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful

 

 

Fleetwood Mac – Monday Morning

One of my favorites of Fleetwood Mac and I was surprised to find out that is was the B side to “Say You Love Me” and did not chart. I love the bouncy guitar and catchy verse and chorus.  This song was written by Lindsey Buckingham and intended for the follow up to the Buckingham Nicks album that never came. Instead, it was the song that kicked off the new Fleetwood Mac album in 1975.

From Songfacts.

This was written by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. He and his girlfriend at the time Stevie Nicks were recording as the duo Buckingham-Nicks and had released one album when they were asked to join Fleetwood Mac. This song was written for a second Buckingham-Nicks album, but when they joined Fleetwood Mac they brought this with them along with “Landslide” and “Rhiannon.” These songs helped make Fleetwood Mac a force in the pop music world and establish a strong radio presence for the band.

 

Monday Morning

Monday morning you sure look fine
Friday I got travelin’ on my mind
First you love me and then you fade away
I can’t go on believin’ this way
I got nothing but love for you
Tell me what you really want to do
First you love me, then you get on down the line
But I don’t mind, I don’t mind, yeah

I’ll be there if you want me to
No one else that could ever do
Got to get some peace in my mind

Monday morning you sure look fine
Friday I got travelin’ on my mind
First you love me and then you say it’s wrong
You know I can’t go on believing for long

But you know it’s true
You only want me when I get over you
First you love me, then you get on down the line
But I don’t mind, no, I don’t mind, yeah

I’ll be there if you want me to
No one else that could ever do
Got to get some peace in my mind

But you know it’s true
You know you only want me when I get over you
First you love me, then you get on down the line
But I don’t mind, no, I don’t mind, yeah

I’ll be there if you want me to
No one else that could ever do
Got to get some peace in my mind

Barney Miller

Barny Miller ran for 8 seasons from 1975-1982. The show never was high in the Nielson Ratings. Maybe part of the reason is that it was on ABC who stayed in 3rd place in the major three network race at the time. Maybe it didn’t have enough obvious humor.

One of the best-written sitcoms of any decade.  It centers around the 12th precinct police station. I started to watch this in 1979 and I have been a fan ever since. The show had a core cast that did have changes through the years but the writing was always top notch.

One very interesting part of Barney Miller is they had a bunch of very good character actors pass through the show. They had a very good excuse because usually the guests were either witnesses or they committed some sort of small crime so it was a natural parade of people passing through.

The show was not all about humor. They had stories dealing with domestic abuse, social, and racial tensions and interaction close to real life.

The set really looked like an old run down police station.

The characters were explored so deep and you got to know them…their past, their quirks and inside jokes. They were consistent with their character and the continuity stayed to the end.

The characters were
Barney Miller (Hal Linden) The man that leads with common sense and wisdom over his squad of quirky detectives and officers.

Det. Stan Wojciehowicz..”Wojo”(Max Gail) – An ex-Marine who fought in Vietnam who is sometimes naive and childlike but really looks to Barney as a mentor.Wojo is not always tolerant of people with different views than him but is a good detective but highly emotional.

Det. Ron Harris (Ron Glass) – A well-dressed man who lives beyond his means at times. He wants the finer things in life and can be a little snobbish at times but he is a good guy. As the show continued he was trying to establish a writing career and he wrote the best selling book called “Blood on the Badge” that sometimes disrupted the station but he would stay loyal to Barney even through their differences.

Sgt. Nick Yemana (Jack Soo) – A Japanese Detective that always had an answer, loved gambling and he would call his bookie often… and he made the coffee for the office…and supposedly the worse coffee ever…To me, he was one of the funniest characters on the show. Actor Jack Soo passed away while the show was in its 5th season in January of 1979. During that season the cast did a tribute show speaking as themselves and showed clips of Jack.

Sgt. Arthur Dietrich (Steve Landesberg) – One of a kind character. Dietrich was a know it all…not in the usual way. The guy knew about every statistic on any subject that came up. He was an intellectual but also could have fun with it. One of the funniest and deadpan characters I’ve ever seen on television. He never lost his cool in any situation.

Sgt Philip Fish (Abe Vigoda) – The senior member of the crew who was played by Abe Vigoda always looked older than what he actually was at the time. It was a running joke about him having hemorrhoids, needing to go to the bathroom, being old and delivering many marriage jokes. He would leave the show for a spinoff “Fish” officially in the 4th season. He would come back and make guest star appearances.

Sgt. Chano Amenguale (Gregory Sierra) – He was Puerto Rican and would be very talkative and emotional. Whenever he was really upset he would start speaking Spanish loudly. I really liked Sierra’s character but he left after the second season.

Officer Carl Levitt (Ron Carey) – Levitt was a short overachiever and kept hounding Barney for a promotion. He would not be too subtle to Barney about his hard working habits. The rest of the station would pick on him but all of them respected his hard work. He would fill in when a Detective was out. He finally got promoted at the end of the show’s run.

Deputy Inspector Frank Luger (James Gregory) – A totally old school superior who would drop by “the old one two” to talk with Barney. Luger never even tried to keep up with the times. He would tell Barney of the good old days…sometimes to Barney’s annoyance. Overall Luger was a great character who was brilliantly played by James Gregory.

Elizabeth Miller (Barbara Barrie) She was Barney’s wife who always wanted him to quit the force because she worried about his safety. She was on regularly at first but the show started to concentrate on the station rather than their home. She was involved in a story later on in the series when Elizabeth and Barney separated for a while…they eventually got back together.

LT. Ben Scanlon (George Murdock) – Scanlon worked in Internal Affairs and was the one bad guy in the show. He would try to find trouble when he visited…always wanted to find some wrongdoing to bring down the 12th Precinct because they had a perfect record.

If you haven’t tried watching this show and you want a smart sitcom…watch this. This is not just another sitcom.

This is a great article on the legacy of Barney Miller

https://www.ibtimes.com/barney-miller-forty-years-later-most-intelligent-literate-us-sitcom-ever-1556406

 

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Peter and Gordon – I Go to Pieces

This song was written by Del Shannon…Peter and Gordon (Peter Asher and Gordon Waller) took it to #9 in the Billboard 100 and #21 in Canada. This was a nice British Invasion song by the duo. Peter Asher is the brother of Jane Asher and became a very successful producer. See the bottom of the post for his producer credits.

You can also see a little “Austin Powers” in Peter Asher.

I Go To Pieces

When I see her comin’ down the street 
I get so shaky and I feel so weak
I tell my eyes look the other way
But they don’t seem to hear a word I say
And I, go to pieces and I want to hide
Go to pieces and I almost die
Every time my baby passes by
I tell my arms they’ll hold someone new
Another love that will be true
But they don’t listen, they don’t seem to care
They reach for her but she’s not there
And I, go to pieces and I want to hide
Go to pieces and I almost die
Every time my baby passes by
I remember what she said when she said
“Goodbye baby. We’ll meet again soon maybe.”
“But until we do, all my best to you.”
I’m so lonely, I think about her only
I go to places we used to go
But I know she’ll never show
She hurt me so much inside
Now I hope she’s satisfied
And I, go to pieces and I want to hide
Go to pieces and I almost die
Every time my baby passes by
Go to pieces and I cry
Every time my baby passes by
Go to pieces and I cry

From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Asher

Peter Asher Producer’s Credits

Year Album Artist
1968 James Taylor James Taylor
1969 Barbara Keith Barbara Keith
1970 Jo Mama Jo Mama
1970 Sweet Baby James James Taylor
1971 Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon James Taylor
1971 Sister Kate Kate Taylor
1971 Tony Joe White Tony Joe White
1971 Bad Girl Songs Tony Kosinec
1972 One Man Dog James Taylor
1973 Don’t Cry Now Linda Ronstadt
1974 Heart Like a Wheel Linda Ronstadt
1975 Prisoner in Disguise Linda Ronstadt
1975 Black Rose J.D. Souther
1976 Hasten Down the Wind Linda Ronstadt
1976 Love Songs David Sanborn
1976 What’s Wrong with This Picture? Andrew Gold
1977 JT James Taylor
1977 Simple Dreams Linda Ronstadt
1978 Living in the USA Linda Ronstadt
1979 Flag James Taylor
1979 The Glow Bonnie Raitt
1980 Mad Love Linda Ronstadt
1981 Dad Loves His Work James Taylor
1982 Get Closer Linda Ronstadt
1983 Reelin’ in the Years, Vol. 1 various artists
1983 What’s New Linda Ronstadt
1984 Lush Life Linda Ronstadt
1984 Moonlighting (Original TV soundtrack)
1985 That’s Why I’m Here James Taylor
1986 An American Tail (Original soundtrack)
1986 For Sentimental Reasons Linda Ronstadt
1987 Canciones De Mi Padre Linda Ronstadt
1987 Cher Cher
1987 In My Tribe 10,000 Maniacs
1987 Storytellers: Singers and Songwriters various artists
1988 The Land Before Time (Original soundtrack)
1989 Blind Man’s Zoo 10,000 Maniacs
1989 Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind Linda Ronstadt
1989 Heart of Stone Cher
1989 You Happy Puppet 10,000 Maniacs
1990 Mermaids (Original soundtrack)
1991 Force Behind the Power Diana Ross
1991 Live in Rio James Taylor
1991 Love Hurts Cher
1991 Lovescape Neil Diamond
1991 Mambo Kings (Original soundtrack)
1991 Swept Julia Fordham
1991 Williams Brothers The Williams Brothers
1992 American Standard Mary’s Danish
1992 Back to Basics Olivia Newton-John
1992 Christmas Album Neil Diamond
1992 Olivia Olivia Newton-John
1992 Time Takes Time Ringo Starr
1993 Made in America (Original soundtrack)
1993 Robin Zander Robin Zander
1993 Up on the Roof: Songs from the Brill Building Neil Diamond
1994 Christmas Album, Vol. 2 Neil Diamond
1994 Randy Newman’s Faust: Words and Music various artists
1995 Don’t Ask Tina Arena
1995 EP Collection Peter and Gordon
1995 Faust Randy Newman
1996 It Takes Two various artists
1996 One Fine Day (Original soundtrack)
1996 Show Me Heaven Tina Arena
1997 Most Beautiful Soul Album on Earth various artists
1997 Superstar Christmas various artists
1997 Under These Rocks and Stones Chantal Kreviazuk
1998 Armageddon (Original soundtrack)
1998 As I Came of Age Sarah Brightman
1998 December Kenny Loggins
1998 Motown 40 Forever various artists
1999 All Time Greatest Movie Songs various artists
1999 Best Party Megamix in the World Ever various artists
1999 Collection Julia Fordham
1999 Runaway Bride (Original soundtrack)
1999 When the Going Gets Tough Boyzone
2000 Gift of Love Diana Ross
2000 More Songs from Pooh Corner Kenny Loggins
2000 Tigger Movie: Songs and Story various artists
2001 Everything I Am Anna Vissi
2001 Motown Anthology Diana Ross
2001 Three Chord Opera Neil Diamond
2001 Ultimate Peter and Gordon Peter and Gordon
2002 Capitol Records 1942–2002 various artists
2002 Everybody’s Got a Story Amanda Marshall
2002 Freedom: A History of Us (Original soundtrack)
2002 Live 2002 Robin Williams
2002 Providence (Original TV soundtrack)
2002 Sweet Is the Melody Aselin Debison
2003 Best of the Definitive American Songbook, Vol. 2: I-Z various artists
2003 Cafeteria: Hear various artists
2003 Earth Rider – The Essential John Stewart 1964–1979 John Stewart
2003 Singers and Songwriters Christmas Songs various artists
2004 California Wilson Phillips
2004 Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings 10,000 Maniacs
2004 De-Lovely (Original soundtrack)
2004 Intermission Amanda Marshall
2004 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Original soundtrack)
2004 Taking a Chance on Love Jane Monheit
2005 Live at Earls Court Morrissey
2005 Goodies, Vol. 1 various artists
2005 Souvenirs Tina Arena
2006 You’re Only Lonely Raul Malo
2007 Siren Sasha and Shawna
2006 I Love You Diana Ross
2010 Live at the Troubadour Carole King and James Taylor
2011 Buddy Holly: Listen to Me; The Ultimate Buddy Party Various Artists – Producer and Host
2013 Love Has Come for You Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
2013 When Will You Come Home (EP) The Webb Sisters

The James Gang – Midnight Man

This is a beautiful song by The James Gang. It Peaked at #80 in 1971. The song is from their album “Thirds.”

Joe Walsh sang with Mary Sterpka and if you have never heard it…it is worth a listen.

This is from Allmusic.

One of the band’s own personal favorites, “Midnight Man” was easily one of the highlights of the Thirds album, the group’s last with guitarist Joe Walsh. A simple and slightly sentimental ballad, the song is an excellent example of Walsh’s overall charm and style. Ostensibly about a clandestine affair, there is a strong and sweet atmosphere here, which is highlighted by guest vocalist Mary Sterpka’s lovely harmonies. A strong Buffalo Springfield/Poco-inspired, country-rock feel highlights this tune, which is a cult favorite of James Gang fans, and for good reason.

 

 

Midnight Man

I’m the midnight man
I do what I can
To make sure that I am
The midnight man
Midnight man’s on time
Everything is fine
All the words in rhyme
With everything[solo]Midnight man, you’re pretty
Midnight man, you’re fine
Midnight man, be careful
Midnight man
Midnight man, be mine