Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
Saturday, June 20th marks the official first day of summer, meteorologically speaking. This weekend, however, is considered the first weekend of the summer season. With many communities reopening it’s bound to be active. Lots of sunshine would be most welcome. We get a musical head start on summer this week.
Let’s begin as we take some creative license (nothing weather-related in the instrumental) with a video of four of the best saxophone players today who teamed up for an album and tour in 2013, “Summer Horns.”
Here, the quartet does a great version of a late 60’s Beatles tune that when it first came out was the subject of many rumors and clues circulating about Paul McCartney’s death. One blog writes:
“The theory suggests that Paul McCartney died in a car accident on the 9th November 1966, and was replaced by someone, named Billy Shears, who had surgery to look like Paul McCartney. The evidence was contained in clues in the albums released by the Beatles, in the words and pictures they contained. From Revolver, there are more ‘clues.’ ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ states ‘I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there’ – interpreted as meaning the drive before the accident.”
While we’re on the subject, in the late 60’s through early 70’s, bands like Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Tower of Power mixed rock, even soul with tight horn sections to bring a new sound to pop music. A Canadian band at the time threw an additional component into the mix: strings.
Lighthouse had a huge hit back then, “One Fine Morning.” A far less popular but minor hit followed. Here’s the band from a recording session not that long ago with that follow-up tune.
Called “Canada’s Chicago,” Lighthouse made its live debut at Toronto’s Rock Pile on May 14, 1969, introduced by the legendary Duke Ellington.
Now another visit from the Hollyridge Strings, an orchestra of studio musicians that recorded easy-listening covers for Capitol Records in the 1960s and 1970s. They became quite popular after releasing an album totally devoted to the Beatles that led to more Beatle renditions and tributes to other artists.
Getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face 2-3 times a week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun. In a 30-minute period while wearing a swimsuit, the vitamin D made thanks to the sun plays a big role in bone health.
Caroline Sky was a contestant on Season 12 of NBC’s top-rated music reality show, “The Voice” in 2017. Narada Michael Walden, a Grammy-winning producer of the year, featured her in his Spring Fling show at the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley, California on April 21st, 2013 when she was just 12.
Formed in 2004, the Narada Michael Walden Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supporting music appreciation and education for Bay Area youth. Through grants, scholarships, educational programs, performances, mentorships and collaborations with community organizations the Foundation provides opportunities for emerging young artists.
Now onto a large ensemble I’ve featured in the past.
Best known for recording the hit theme to Soul Train, “MFSB” signified Philadelphia soul, backing several popular groups (The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Stylistics and the Spinners) while recording on their own as well.
The lush, orchestrated Philly soul sound was very popular in the 1970’s, and the studio musicians that comprised MFSB had plenty of work to keep them busy until they disbanded in 1981.
That’s it for this week.
Goodnight sleep well.
Have a great holiday weekend.