Today in Music History, March 18

44 years ago today Tommy Roe was atop the U.S. singles charts with “Dizzy.”

It was written by Roe and Freddy Weller and was a major hit In the U.S. and in Europe.  It stayed atop the U.S. charts for four weeks in March 1969.  “Dizzy” has eleven key changes total between a total of four keys. One key is used for the verses, while the choruses get three keys. The key used for the verses is the lowest, while the choruses start off in a higher key, quickly increases to an even higher key, then increases yet again.

Here we see Tommy Roe performing the song among some twirling balloons in 1969:

Thirty years later in 1999, this video shows Tommy performing the tune in front of live audience:

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Today in Music History, March 17

Today’s post has nothing to do with March 17, other than A) It is St. Patrick’s Day and B) I am sure somewhere, this song will be played today.  Today’s post is about the song, The Unicorn that was released in 1968.   That song is “The Unicorn”, which is a recording of a poem by Shel Silverstein.   It reached #2 in the US Adult Contemporary Charts, #7 in the Billboard Hot 100. Despite having virtually nothing to do with Ireland or Irish culture, the song remains popular in Irish pubs to this day.

In the original version of the song, The Irish Rovers speak half of the lyrics, as well as the part of the 4th Chorus. The final line of the 5th verse is spoken freely without the music: “And that’s why you’ll never see a Unicorn to this very day”. On the remakes. the majority of the song is sung, again except for the final line, which is also spoken freely, without the music.

The Irish Rovers  were a Canadian/Irish Folk band.   The Unicorn remains one of the best-known songs of the The Irish Rovers’ long career. It sold 8 million copies worldwide.

Shel Silverstein’s own version was released in 1962 on his album Inside Folk Songs.

Do you know what famous American Country / Crossover artist played guitar on the Irish Rover’s version?

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Today in Music History, March 16

On this date 45 years ago today in March of 1968, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding was atop the U.S. singles charts.  Redding did not live to see this success as he died, at age 26, the previous December in a plane crash in Wisconsin.

It was co-written by Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper. It was first recorded by Otis November 22 and December 8 1967, just days before his tragic death on December 10.   It was released posthumously on Stax Records‘ Volt label in 1968, becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the U.S.

The song features a machine sounding like the ocean waves, coming and going, as well as Redding’s familiar whistling tune, heard before the song’s fade.   Redding had intended to return to the studio at a later date to add words in place of the whistling.  There is no video of Otis Redding performing this song, but this compilation video does a good job and includes Otis talking to Steve Cropper as the recording commences.

The tune has been covered countless times. Do you know who has the top selling cover version?

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Life’s Lessons from my PEZ Collection, Lesson 19

Friends can help a lot !  Listen to their advice.

If you listen to your friend’s advice, sometimes you can overcome your fears and anxieties.  Just like REX the lovable, worrying dinosaur from Toy Story.   Buzz Lightyear gave Rex some good advice on how to roar more effectively and it did wonders for Rex!

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Also, you can help your friends!  You may remember that in Toy Story 3, Rex helps all the toys escape from the garbage bag by using his tail to cut through it!

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Even more Facebook Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch Changes coming

Facebook Timeline changes coming as well as Newsfeed changes.

The timeline navigation will swap places with the Ads.

MUCH MORE HERE

My advice: DEAL WITH IT, maybe this song will help.

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Today in Music History, March 15

On this date, 38 years ago in 1975, The Doobie Brothers were atop the U.S. singles charts with Black Water

The song with Patrick Simmons on lead vocals appeared on the group’s 1974 album entitled “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits”    “Black Water” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 15 March 1975. The song was originally released in early 1974 as the B-side to “Another Park, Another Sunday” but a radio stations withdrew that song from airplay because of the words “.. radio brings me down .. “, and “Black Water” ultimately became the more popular song.

The song is characterized by the melodious a cappella section, with lyrics that are perhaps the most well known in the entire song, which sing: “I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand.” These lines are also featured in the Train song, “I Got You”.  The song is also noted for its instrumental violin section.

The Doobie Brothers performed this song (and others) in 1978 on an appearance of TV sitcom.  Do you know what sitcom?

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Life’s Lessons from my PEZ Collection, Lesson 18

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Be energetic in everything you do……regardless of your age!

Papa Smurf is !

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