Billy Swan – I Can Help

This song will stay with you…Billy was a one hit wonder but he did it right… #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1974. At the time Billy lived in Nashville and signed with Monument Records. He recorded the song in Young’un Sound Studio in Murfreesboro, TN. It is really hard not to like this song.

Fellow Beatle fan hanspostcard has mentioned this song sounds like a Ringo Starr type song…and I have to agree. Either way, it’s a good song. Now when I hear it…I hear Ringo singing it.

From Songfacts.

Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge brought Billy Swan a little RMI organ as a wedding present. Billy was fiddling around with it when the chorus “I can help” appeared, and within a few minutes he had written the lyrics.

Swan often took his medium-sized dog to his recording sessions. While Swan was recording “I Can Help,” the dog became playful and started tugging at Swan’s pant leg. He finished the take – and earned the applause from the bandmates that is heard at the end of the released song.

Swan wrote Clyde McPhatter’s 1962 hit “Lover Please.” He went on to write some popular country songs, but this was his only hit as an artist

I Can Help

If you’ve got a problem, I don’t care what it is
If you need a hand, I can assure you this
I can help, I’ve got two strong arms, I can help
It would sure do me good to do you good
Let me help

It’s a fact that people get lonely, ain’t nothing new
But a woman like you, baby, should never have the blues
Let me help, I’ve got two for me, let me help
It would sure do me good to do you good
Let me help

When I go to sleep at night, you’re always a part of my dream
Holding me tight and telling me everything I want to hear
Don’t forget me, baby, all you gotta do is call
You know how I feel about you, if I can do anything at all
Let me help, if your child needs a daddy, I can help
It would sure do me good to do you good, let me help

When I go to sleep at night, you’re always a part of my dream
Holding me tight and telling me everything I wanna hear
Don’t forget me, baby, all you gotta do is call
You know how I feel about you, if I can do anything at all
Let me help, if your child needs a daddy, I can help
It would sure do me good to do you good, let me help

Digital Wristwatch

In the mid-seventies, I remember digital watches started to appear around our school. I thought they were really cool. I got one when the price came down. I had a friend named Paul who shunned me a little after I got it. He said he thought they were for only people would couldn’t tell time…no Paul.

After Roger Moore was seen with one in Live and Let Die it was the thing to have. It’s hard to believe a watch could make me so excited back then with its red numbers that only lit up when you clicked it because it would drain the battery if it stayed lit.

Later on, in the early eighties, I went to the now-defunct Service Merchandise and my mom bought me a digital display wristwatch for my birthday that played the Beatles Hey Jude…midi style. I would give anything for that watch now.

In 1972, Hamilton introduced the world’s first commercial electronic digital wristwatch. It retailed for the pricey sum of $2,100.  The Hamilton Pulsar P1 was encased in 18-carat gold.

Image result for first digital watch

Roger Moore as the one and only James Bond…his arm anyway. The Pulsar II

Image result for roger moore pulsar

The very first liquid crystal display (LCD) watch was introduced in late 1972. These Dynamic Scattering LCDs were power-hungry and unstable, and the market soon moved on to TN Field Effect displays. The Seiko 06LC was one of the first to use the new effect display and it stuck for decades.

Image result for Seiko O6LC 1973

Hamilton Pulsar Calculator Watch came in 1976. The buttons were extra small but every model had an improvement.

Image result for Hamilton Pulsar Calculator Watch

By 1977 the watches really started to fall in price. Star Wars watches were everywhere and they were a more affordable 16.95. A long way from the 18-carat gold watches.

Image result for 1977 star war digital watch

In 1982 the Seiko TV Watch was released. It allowed owners to view live broadcast TV on a tiny blue/gray LCD screen embedded into the watch face. But…and there is a but…an external tuning device had to be connected to the watch. I don’t remember these but it is incredible they had these in 1982… If you had one of these please comment…were they clear at all?

Image result for 1982 seiko tv watch

Now with Apple watches that can tell you your heart rate and bank account…they have come a long way.

 

https://www.pcmag.com/feature/296609/the-digital-watch-a-brief-history/5

 

Let The Good Times Roll: Kenney Jones The Autobiography

The audio version is 12 hours and it went by fast… I will get the hard copy of this book.

Kenney Jones was the drummer of three of England’s most influential bands – The Small Faces, The Faces and for a few years The Who. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Kenney keeps the book interesting from his childhood, teen years, swinging London, the Swinging Seventies, up til now.

I never knew much about the Small Faces and Faces and this book answered some questions I had about both bands.  He gave much more information than Roger Daltrey did in his book about Jone’s tenure as the drummer of the Who and their difficulties. Personally, I don’t think Kenney was the right drummer for the Who but then again…I don’t think anyone could have taken Moon’s place. He does give an interesting perspective on it though.

I didn’t’ realize that Keith Moon and Kenney were as close as they were.  Kenney had played with the Who before in sound checks when the Small Faces and Who were touring with each other and Moon couldn’t be found. After Moon died a few strange things happened to Kenney right before Bill Curbishley (The Who’s Manager) called to see if he would join. The strange events helped him make the decision.

He goes over his career thoroughly and he doesn’t leave any gaps. He also talks about being in the band “The Law” with Paul Rodgers and now he is with The Jones Gang that had a #21 hit with Angel in 2005. He also owns a Polo club, is working on an animation of Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, and fighting for the control of the Small Faces music which was lost a long time ago. He doesn’t need the money he just wants it put right.

Near the end, he sums up the three big bands he was involved in… The Small Faces were the most creative, The Faces were the most fun, and The Who were the most exciting and professional. You can tell though that his love is with the Small Faces and he does wonder how far they could have gone if they would have had decent management. He said they never realized how good of a band they were.

I cannot recommend this book enough.

 

Gary Numan – Cars

This song was released in 1979  was one of many signs a change was coming in music. The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100,  #1 in the UK and #1 in Canada. The song was keyboard driven with a synth riff.

Gary Numan on the inspiration of the song. “A couple of blokes started peering in the window and for whatever reason took a dislike to me, so I had to take evasive action. I swerved up the pavement, scattering pedestrians everywhere. After that, I began to see the car as the tank of modern society.”

Numan has stated that he has Asperger syndrome, which is a mild form of autism, but until he was diagnosed, he had a lot of trouble relating to other people.

From Songfacts.

Even though the message of this song is that cars lead to a mechanical society devoid of personal interaction, it didn’t stop automakers from using it in commercials. Both Nissan and Oldsmobile have used it in ads.

A more clever approach came from Diehard, who created a commercial where Numan played the song on 24 car horns powered by just one of their batteries. Numan has no problem with his song being used in commercials, telling us, “I’m up for that, actually. I think any use of it at all. It would be great if it happened again.”

In the UK, this was used in an American Express commercial in the ’80s, as well as an ad for Carling beer that ran in 1996. The beer commercial gave the song new life in the UK.

TV series that have used this song in some form include The SimpsonsFamily GuySouth Park and Two and a Half Men.

Numan made a video for this with special effects that look ridiculous now, but were cutting edge in 1979. When MTV went on the air in 1981, it was one of about 200 videos they had, so they played it over and over. This made the song a hit in the US.

Numan explained to Rolling Stone how he came up with this song’s synthesizer hook: “I have only written two songs on bass guitar and the first one was ‘Cars.’ I had just been to London to buy a bass and when I got home the first thing I played was that intro riff. I thought, ‘Hey, that’s not bad!’ In 10 minutes, I had the whole song. The quickest one I ever wrote. And the most famous one I’d ever written. More people should learn from that.”

Numan took his surname from a plumber in the telephone directory called Neumann Kitchen Appliances. He told NME he tried to find a two-syllable name, “because my real name Webb didn’t seem very cool.”

Cars

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It’s the only way to live in cars.

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days in cars.

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please
If I open my door in cars

Here in my car
You know I’ve started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right in cars.

 

Bad Company – Movin On

Bad Company has something in common with the Steve Miller Band…both are classic radio fatalities. Some of their songs have been overplayed so much. Paul Rodgers is great as always on this song. He is one of the best lead singers in rock and roll.

This one I haven’t heard as much as some of their others. Movin On was released in 1975 and it peaked at #19 in the Billboard 100 in 1975. Mick Ralphs wrote this song and he brought it over from his days in his former band Mott The Hoople.

Bad Company was signed to Led Zeppelin’s record label Swan Song.

Movin’ On
I get up in the morning and it’s just another day
Pack up my belongings, I’ve got to get away
Jump into a taxi and the time is gettin’ tight
I got to keep on movin’ I got a show tonight

And I’m movin’ on, movin’ on from town to town
Movin’ on, baby, never seem to touch the ground

I check in to the ticket desk I have an hour to go
Headin’ for the boarding gate I’m feelin’ pretty low
Fifteen minutes later I’m sittin’ on my plane
Fastening my safety belt I’m takin’ off again

And I’m movin’ on, movin’ on from town to town
Moving on, baby, yeah I’m never touching the ground

Movin’ on, movin’ on from town to town
Movin’ on, I can’t seem to stop now

Movin’
Movin’ on

I got to move on, move on from town to town
I got to move on
And I never seem to slow me down

I’m movin’ on, movin’ on from town to town

I never seem to slow down

Everyday of my life I’m moving on

 

Small Faces – Tin Soldier

This a great R&B single from The Small Faces in 1967.  It’s a song that Steve Marriott wrote about Jenny Rylance who he met in 1966 and ended up marrying her in 1968. This song was released right after Itchycoo Park. The band wanted to get back to the R&B music they wanted to be known for. P.P. Arnold was the female singer on this song.

The song peaked at #9 in the UK and #73 in the Billboard 100. This is a good representation of the band.

 

Tin Soldier

I am a little tin soldier that wants to jump into your fire
You are a look in your eye
A dream passing by in the sky
I don’t understand
And all I need is treat me like a man
‘Cause I ain’t no child
Take me like I am
I got to know that I belong to you
Do anything that you want to do
Sing any so song that you want me to sing to you
I don’t need no aggravation
I just got to make you
I just got to make you my occupation, oh yeah
(I got to know that I belong to you)
(Do anything that you want to do)
(Sing any so song that you want me to sing to you)

All I need is your whispered hello
Smiles melting the snow, nothing heard
Your eyes, they’re deeper than time
Say a love that won’t rhyme without words
So now I’ve lost my way
I need help to show me things to say
Give me your love before mine fades away, yeah, baby
(I got to know that I belong to you)
(Do anything that you want to do)
(Sing any so song that you want me to sing to you)

Oh, no, no
Oh, no
I just want some reaction
Someone to give me satisfaction
All I want to do is stick with you,’cause I love you

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World

We all know this song from the Wizard of Oz but this is a great version in its own right. I first heard this song in Life On Mars and will never forget it. Israel (IZ) fits “What a Wonderful World” in this and it is fantastic.

Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole recorded this in a medley with “What a Wonderful World” for his 1993 album Facing Forward. This version was used in the films Finding ForresterMeet Joe Black, Life on Mars and 50 First Dates as well as on the television show ER.

The song peaked at #22 on the Adult Contemporary Chart in 2004.

Over The Rainbow

Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, oohSomewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullabySomewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true someday, I wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I? Well, I see trees of green and red roses too
I’ll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful worldWell, I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
And the brightness of day
I like the dark
And I think to myself what a wonderful worldThe colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
And also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shaking hands saying
How do you do?
They’re really saying I, I love you

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more then we’ll know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
World

Someday I wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dare to
Why oh, why can’t I?

Ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh