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.
Every week this feature is based on a theme, and this is one I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The blog title contains a common expression. Why not a blog all about ‘goodnight’ music?
So Kev, you’re going to musically say ‘goodnight’ over and over again? And still be interesting?
Not really. And yes.
Now, before I say ‘goodnight’ for good, let’s get started.
How to begin? We need an opener, but it has to be a goodbye. Hmmm…..
John Lennon reportedly couldn’t stand this song, calling it “three minutes of contradictions and meaningless juxtapositions.” And he was angry that his “I Am The Walrus” was released as the B-side to Paul McCartney’s A-side “Hello Goodbye.“
On the song’s meaning McCartney said, “The answer to everything is simple. It’s a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That’s the amazing thing about life.”
The rock band Chicago has done 37 albums and sold more than 100 million records.
In 1995 the group put out an LP that paid tribute to big band, jazz, and swing music. As one critic noted, the guys took old classics and Chicago-ized them.
The vocal trio Jade sings along and Paul Shaffer of David Letterman fame is on the piano.
OK. Quiz time.
Who originally did “Dream a Little Dream of Me?”
Did you guess…
If you did, that would be wrong.
Ozzie Nelson, father of Rick Nelson first recorded the song in 1931, and just a few days later Wayne King & his Orchestra did it as well.
Fabian Andre and Wilber Schwandt wrote the music for “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” According to National Public Radio Schwandt remembered the duo came up with the composition during a 10-minute break at a job in Paw Paw, Michigan but later said they wrote it in Milwaukee.
In 1950 in Mexico City, little six-year-old Michelle Phillips, who would later join The Mamas and Papas, met Andre. She and the other group members were stunned in 1968 when they got the news Andre had died in a fall down an elevator shaft in Mexico City.
“It was very shocking, you know,” said Phillips. “I said, can you imagine this guy who wrote this fabulous song–and John (Phillips) had remembered, at that point, that I had told him about Fabian and the song and we had never thought about it again until we were all sitting around that day discussing his death, when we started to pick out the song and–to see if we could remember the lyrics to it. And we said, `Cass, come here. Sing this.'”
Mama Cass’ signature song was born.
Back to Chicago.
In August of 1998 I was moonlighting working security backstage at the Main Stage at the WI State Fair. Chicago was one of the headliners that year.
Before the show started founding member, saxophonist Walter Parazaider came out of his trailer/dressing room that I was keeping a close watch on and he and I had a great conversation. My favorite memory was Parazaider relating how the band had played just about everywhere but their places to perform were in the Midwest because the people were the absolute best.
Recently Parazaider made this announcement:
So many of you have been very kind over the years with birthday and well wishes, I want to share some news with you before you saw rumors on the Internet. Five months ago, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Needless to say, my wife, daughters and myself were shocked and devastated. It has taken a while to process this news and the fact is, we still are.
The good news is we have a wonderful medical facility here and I have a very good doctor. I am working hard and not going to give up. With new treatments and therapy, along with my family’s love and support, I feel very positive about the future. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I wish you and your families all the best in 2021 and always.
What happens when you combine one good song with another? Glen Campbell did it in 1976 and then performed the medley in concert often.
A talented studio guitarist, singer, and TV show host, Campbell revealed in 2011 that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In June of that year, he announced he was retiring from music due to the disease. He did go on a farewell tour with three of his children backing him and played 151 shows. In August of 2017 Campbell died at the age of 81.
His widow Kim Campbell said two years later, “When I touch his clothes and when I look at the pictures of us together, it’s heart-wrenching for me, because I miss him every single day. No one did more for country music than Glen Campbell, because when he had his TV show, he brought country music to the forefront. He made the country fall in love with country music.”
She added, “He overcame so much. When I met him, he was an alcoholic and addicted to drugs. He overcame all of that and became the best father and husband I could’ve ever imagined.”
Kim helped plan and organize the opening of the Glen Campbell Museum in Nashville.
We opened with a Paul McCartney tune. This next song was written by John Lennon as a lullaby for his five-year old son Julian. Ringo Starr, the only Beatle on the recording, does the vocal.
“I think John felt it might not be good for his image for him to sing it but it was fabulous to hear him do it, he sang it great,” said McCartney. “We heard him sing it in order to teach it to Ringo and he sang it very tenderly. John rarely showed his tender side, but my key memories of John are when he was tender, that’s what has remained with me; those moments where he showed himself to be a very generous, loving person. I always cite that song as an example of the John beneath the surface that we only saw occasionally… I don’t think John’s version was ever recorded.”
From “The White Album” with producer George Martin conducting the orchestra…
It was actually Lennon, not McCartney who asked Martin to compose a huge orchestral arrangement and even reportedly said to the producer, “Yeh. Corny.”
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
We close with Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Frankie Valli.
Shall we dance?