Goodnight everyone, and spring into the weekend!

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. 

Wow, that’s some weather we’ve been having.

Folks around these parts of SE Wisconsin understand we really don’t have much if anything of a spring, despite what the calendar says. That’s especially true the closer you get to nature’s air conditioner, Lake Michigan.

I recall when I worked days in Madison (which has a spring BTW) and I’d drive back home to Franklin during post-winter, pre-summer times. At about Brookfield I’d have to roll up the car windows as the temperature plummeted. So above normal conditions are most welcome these days. Related music this week. Let’s get started.

Since winter is typically nine months long we yearn for green grass, blooming flowers, and bright warm sun after that soggy, foggy, cloudy dreary March. Please, please, please. Sun!

From Chicago’s second album, “Wake Up Sunshine” is not really about the weather. Longing to see a loved one’s smile in the morning after a long and cold night, the song’s main figure tries to wake up his partner, who is still sleeping. He wants her to open her eyes and enjoy the sun with him.

The Beach Boys are the only American pop group to sell more records than Chicago.

Next, 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.

Let’s put it this way. Even though my dad loved the Beatle he didn’t buy any Beatles albums. But he bought the Hollyridge Strings’ albums of Beatles hits.

Twin spin that fits our theme.

Music industry veteran Stu Phillips was the mastermind behind the Hollyridge Strings. He also gained fame pridocing hits recordings like the Marcels’ “Blue Moon,” Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel,” and James Darrens’ “Goodbye, Cruel World.”

The sun is such an important part of life on Earth that most ancient civilizations’ pantheons included a Sun god or goddess. In most cultures, the Sun deity was seen as an attractive, radiant, exultant figure. 

From Happy Glastonbury:

A Sun Goddess reflects the rays of the Sun. She is strong, passionate, fiery and stubborn. From the first rays of sunlight at dawn until the last shadows cast at dusk she has drive and determination.

In the 70’s musical superstar Henry Mancini capitalized on the times by producing a disco-inspired album. Not the true disco sound the album was done more in Mancini’s recognizable style.

From Ambient Exotica about Mancini’s Symphonic Soul:

“…released in 1975 on RCA Victor during a time where the importance of orchestras and their luminaries slowly faded away due to the cool slickness of certain other genres. Who wants to listen to their parents’ preferred music anyway? However, Mancini handles these rougher times surprisingly well, and this LP proves it. Symphonic Soul is an astonishingly good and stringent album.

Jon Lind’s and Maurice White‘s exotic Sun Goddess merges a cinematic prelude of prolonged chimes and cymbals with aqueous faux-marimba synthesizers, megalomaniac organ spikes, vivacious string washes and a maraca-based underbrush. Trumpeting horns sound like elephants, adding Exotica to the omnipresent Funk. Dreamy and playful, Sun Goddess is gorgeous.

Check out Mancini’s version of this classic composition. Note concluding instruments and their brief solo notes.

Earth, Wind, & Fire had the biggest hit with “Sun Goddess.”

Lots of health benefits from the sun. From Select Health:

1. Improves your sleep

Your body creates a hormone called melatonin that is critical to helping you sleep. Because your body starts producing it when it’s dark, you usually start to feel sleepy two hours after the sun sets, which is one of the reasons our bodies naturally stay up later in the summer.

Research indicates that an hour of natural light in the morning will help you sleep better. Sunshine regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more daylight exposure you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep.

2. Reduces stress

Melatonin also lowers stress reactivity and being outside will help your body naturally regulate melatonin, which can help reduce your stress level. Additionally, because you’re often doing something active when you’re outside (walking, playing, etc.), that extra exercise also helps to lower stress.

3. Maintains strong bones

One of the best (and easiest) ways to get vitamin D is by being outside. Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight—about 15 minutes in the sun a day is adequate if you’re fair skinned. And since Vitamin D helps your body maintain calcium and prevents brittle, thin, or misshapen bones, soaking in sun may be just what the doctor ordered.

4. Helps keep the weight off

Getting outside for 30 minutes sometime between 8 a.m. and noon has been linked to weight loss. There, of course, could be other factors to this, but it seems there’s a connection between sunlight in the early morning and weight loss.

5. Strengthens your immune system

Vitamin D is also critical for your immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, you can help strengthen it. A healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of illness, infections, some cancers, and mortality after surgery.

6. Fights off depression

It’s not just in your head; there’s a scientific reason being in the sunshine improves your mood. Sunshine boosts your body’s level of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. Increased exposure to natural light may help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder–a change in mood that typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight.

7. Can give you a longer life

A study that followed 30,000 Swedish women revealed that those who spent more time in the sun lived six months to two years longer than those with less sun exposure. More research needs to be done in this area, but it’s something scientists are continuing to study.

Time now for an electronic rock song from 1977 that relates how stunning a blue sky can be following difficult, stormy times. A gorgeous spring day can mean new beginnigs and possibilities. Lyrics include:

Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

And in typical spring fashion the 70’s and 80’s leaveve my area come Sunday.

That’s it for this wee.


Sleep well.

Have a nice weekend!

We close with another twin spin. Just relax everyone. It’s spring.

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