I was driving home from work this morning and I was listening to some old time radio shows. Suspense has always been a favorite of mine. Around Halloween, Radio Classics on Sirius XM starts playing some classic “spooky” radio shows. One of the shows that almost always gets played is from Arch Obler’s “Lights Out” – Chicken Heart.
I became familiar with the Chicken Heart as a kid, but it wasn’t because of the show. I knew it as a classic comedy bit from Bill Cosby’s 1966 Wonderfulness Album.
This, along with many other Cosby albums, was something that my dad and I used to listen to all the time. In Cosby’s bit, he talks about being left home while his parents went out. He was supposed to stay in his room, but he would leave the room and listen to scary shows on the radio. He used the Chicken Heart as his example.
The original bit from Lights Out is only about 8 minutes long. Honestly, it’s not that scary. It’s actually kind of silly. Cosby, however, takes the bit and makes it hilarious. As someone who was more familiar with the Cosby version, when I heard the original on Sirius XM, I remember thinking, “Wow! That was really the premise for a show!!”
There is some uncertainty as to the date of the original broadcast, some say 1937 and some say 1938. Here for your listening pleasure is Chicken Heart from Lights Out ….
Now, compare it with the much funnier version as presented by Bill Cosby…
As I listened back to this bit before writing this post, it made me think of all the great comedy albums we used to listen to growing up. So many laughs ….
This blog is part of Turntable Talk, a feature created by Dave at A Sound Day.
Since I started this blog four years ago, I have wanted to write a blog about The Beatles. Outside of a few “mentions” and a couple guest blogs from my buddy Max, I have just never tackled a Beatle Blog. So let me tell you how I was finally “forced” to write about the boys from Liverpool.
Of the many blogs I follow, many of them are musically oriented. One of those is A Sound Day. Dave is the author, and you can follow Dave’s blog here: https://soundday.wordpress.com/
Dave reached out to a few of us and had an idea for a monthly blog topic. The topic would be music oriented and geared toward something that we’d all be familiar with. Each of us will write on that and it will be featured on his blog. The first topic suggested was “The Beatles – why are we talking about them 50 (+) years on?”
With that being a “base” to start with, we were given the option to write about (1) why they are still relevant (2) why they remain popular (3) is their popularity justified, etc… The Beatles themselves was the “prompt” and we can veer off how we want to. That being said, the questions that Dave presented are among many “sub” topics that I have in my notebook (Beatles Cover Songs, Songs covered by the Beatles, Favorite album, Top 10 favorites, etc…)
I have to admit, I had a difficult time trying to decide what angle I was going to go with. Then I began to think, “What if someone was unfamiliar with The Beatles? How would I introduce that person to their music? If I could only pick 10 of their songs to give an overall picture of the group, what would they be?” I made a list. This blog will reflect that list.
Before I go on, let me say that I hate my list! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I struggled to narrow it down to 10 songs that encompassed what I felt expressed why the Beatles were so fantastic. Oh, the songs that I cut from my list! There are SO many fantastic songs, and no doubt, you will question why certain ones did not make this list. I found myself questioning that, too.
After editing, re-editing, adding and removing songs, and editing again, I finally said “This is the list. No going back.” Like it or not, here are the 10 songs that I chose to introduce someone to the Fab Four:
I Saw Her Standing There
This has always been one of my favorite tracks. Paul’s “1-2-3-4” count off into the driving guitar grabs me every time. It was the first track of their first album – what a way to start an album! After all the years, I was still playing this at weddings and parties when I was DJing and it always filled the dance floor.
The story goes that Paul saw a teenage gal dancing the Twist at a dance and that event was the basis for this song. It is hard not to tap your foot as you listen to this one. (Side note: I feel the guitar solo in this song is kind of lame. The boys were still quite young at this time. Compare this solo with solos from songs just 3 years later and you can get a feel for just how far they came musically.)
If I Fell
When I think of the Beatles, I think of their harmonies. As I tried to pick songs, I tried to find one that showcased some of those harmonies. In a Playboy interview in 1984, Paul said If I Fell was recorded during “our close-harmony period.”
John called this his “first attempt at a ballad proper.” As a music guy, I love the chord changes in this song. Simple chords, diminished chords, and some ninth chords are all featured in the song. It is simple, yet complex.
On a personal note, after my divorce, I heard this song on the Beatles channel on Sirius XM just as my current wife and I were starting to date. I related to these lyrics. Who isn’t scared about starting a new relationship after being hurt by someone?
Got To Get You Into My Life
Brian Epstein wrote in his 1964 autobiography that the Beatles were turned down by Decca Records. He was told “guitar groups are on their way out.” I chose this song because it shows that they were more than just a guitar group. This was the first time the group ever used a horn section in one of their songs.
Paul admits that the song is an ode to marijuana. That is certainly not why it made my list. I’ll be honest, I never would have guessed that. I always heard it as a guy wanting a girl. I guess I’m just dumb. I chose it because, as a horn player, I loved the brass in it.
I’ll Follow The Sun
As you can see by the photo above, the song is credited to both Lennon and McCartney as writers, but the truth is that Paul wrote it. He remembered, “I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road. I was about 16. ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ was one of those very early ones. I seem to remember writing it just after I’d had the flu and I had that cigarette. I remember standing in the parlour, with my guitar, looking out through the lace curtains of the window, and writing that one.”
He said that the group was always ready to sound different. They didn’t want to get into a place where all their songs sounded the same. This one certainly was a very different sound. I love the guitar work in this one. It is beautiful. This is another song that features some good Paul/John harmonies.
Eight Days A Week
This is a song that never left my list. It has always been one of my top Beatles songs. It’s a feel good song. I love the message of this song – There aren’t enough days in a week to show how much he cares about his love.
This was the group’s second #1 song in the US. It is just a solid Beatles pop song. It’s hard NOT to like it. There are varying stories as to how they came up with the title. Some sources say it was a “Ringoism,” something Ringo said that struck a chord with John and Paul. Another source says that Paul was in a car and he asked the chauffeur how he was. The driver supposedly replied, “working hard – working eight days a week.”
It is one of many Beatles songs that features “hand clapping.”
While the bulk of the Beatles songs were penned by Lennon and McCartney, George Harrison was responsible for writing some fantastic songs. A perfect example is Something. It is what some call “the perfect love song.” Frank Sinatra (who never really had a lot of nice things to say about the Beatles) even called it “the greatest love song of the past 50 years.”
George says he wrote it “on the piano while we were making The White Album. I had a break while Paul was doing some overdubbing so I went into an empty studio and began to write. That’s really all there is to it, except the middle took some time to sort out.” George actually gave the song to Joe Cocker a year before they cut it.
The song was George’s first single and first number 1. It has been covered by many artists, and George has said that his favorite cover was done by James Brown!
A Hard Day’s Night
This song had to be on my list. Musicologist Alan Pollack says that this song “arguably holds a place within the upper echelon of the Beatles catalog.”
According to A Hard Day’s Write, Ringo is quoted as saying, “I came up with the phrase ‘a hard day’s night.’ It just came out. We went to do a job and we worked all day and we happened to work all night. I came out, still thinking it was day and said, ‘It’s been a hard day…’ looked around, saw that it was dark and added…’ ‘s night.”
There is a lesson in this song – If you work hard, romantic and domestic bliss will follow.
This song gets me from that opening chord! It’s also one of the great cowbell songs of our time!
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
This one is another George Harrison composition. Some have called this his greatest song. To me, this is a great example of just how mature the group had become in 4 years. The guitar work in this song is fantastic (Eric Clapton appears on the song). I love the interplay between the piano and high hat cymbal in the intro.
When I worked in Classic Rock, someone played me a clip of a comedian (can’t remember who) who goes off on classic rock radio. He says that there are more classic rock songs that “Stairway to Heaven,” “Layla,” and “While My Guitar gently Weeps.” This is funny, but it is a good example of just how popular this song is with music fans.
This song has the distinction of being covered by more artists than any other song in history. Paul calls it his “most successful song” and says that it is “amazing that it came to me in a dream.” Paul stated that he had the melody from the dream but didn’t have the words – so he “blocked it out with ‘Scrambled Eggs’.”
The sheer beauty of this song is in the arrangement. It is Paul, a guitar and a string quartet – and it works. It is hard to imagine it any other way (despite the countless covers). When Paul played it for the group, Ringo said it didn’t need any drums and John and George said it didn’t need any more guitar, and from there, it became the first “solo” song.
Fun Fact: The four members of the string quartet had never played together as a group before they played on the session.
Right up until the time I was ready to start writing, the final question I had was – “Let it Be” or “Hey Jude”? Which one do I include? In the end, Hey Jude won out because it is sort of an anthem. It is a stand alone Beatles song. It’s like none other.
At 7 minutes long, it is what radio people called a “bathroom song.” Before the days of automation, DJ’s had to start a new record when one ended. Today, computers do that for them and they can walk away from the computer or studio for 10 minutes at a time as long as they didn’t have to talk. Back in the day, though, that wasn’t the case.
If you really stop and think about it, the song itself is only 3 minutes long. The last 4 minutes is just a refrain and fade out. The end of the record is longer than the song itself!
The song was written by Paul for John Lennon’s son Julian, who was then 5 years old. He was upset about his father and mother getting a divorce. It was written to help console him. Julian said, “It’s hard to imagine that this man was thinking about me and my life so much that he wrote a song about me…If I’m in a bar and the song comes on the radio, I still get goose pimples.”
I was dead set on Let it Be being the final song, until I listened back to both. Hey Jude is more “Beatles” to me, in that we have great lyrics, great instrumentation, and great harmonies. Let It Be, almost falls into that “solo” status, as it is pretty much Paul.
After writing on these 10 songs, I looked back over my initial list of like 50 songs. It makes me sad that I didn’t include some of them. Others, I had on the list just because I liked them. Should I have added a Ringo vocal song? There were some good ones, but … no.
So back to Dave’s question: “The Beatles – why are we talking about them 50 (+) years on?”
Their stuff from 1964 still sounds fresh and stands out. People still request their songs, sing along with their songs, and dance to their songs! Movies are being made about them (Yesterday, Get Back). Their albums still sell. They have their own Sirius XM channel. The only answer I can come up with is “Because they are THAT good.”
Thanks, Dave for allowing me to take part in this! I look forward to reading the other posts from you and my music blogger friends.
I’m out! I got “Whammed” on Tuesday by a co-worker.
Another co-worker and I were just talking about this on December 1st. Do you play Whamageddon? Do you even know what it is? If not, I’ll tell you.
It’s probably one of the stupidest and silliest games of the holiday season. The objective? Avoid hearing Last Christmas by Wham from December 1st to December 25th (although there are some people who try to avoid it the entire month of December).
Here are the rules:
When I was working part time at Cars 108, it was especially difficult to avoid hearing it, because the station played all Christmas music during the holidays. However, now that Covid has pretty much forced my retirement from radio, I have a bit more control over things.
Yes, I still do flip through the channels on the radio, but it is mostly Sirius XM stations that probably wouldn’t play the Wham version. However, there were times that my wife and I were driving where we were scanning through local stations and the risk factor was higher. I thought for sure if I was gonna be “Whammed” it would be driving in the car, but that is not what happened.
One of our co-workers was listening to a variety of music on YouTube Tuesday night. I know for a fact that she was here the night me and my other co-workers were talking about Whamageddon. Whether she heard the discussion or not, I don’t know.
She was playing Christmas songs of her choice – meaning, she was searching and then selecting the songs to play. She literally turned to us and said, “Here’s one for you” and started Wham! My buddy and I looked at each other and were like, “Really!? Why would you play that?!” She said she had no idea about the game. That was NOT the way I thought I’d lose the game! I am sure that there was a look of disgust and defeat on our faces!
I suppose I’ll give it a go again next year … Maybe I can go longer than 15 days!
I feel like I haven’t really blogged about “life” lately. I kinda feel like I haven’t really even had a minute to sit down and write. Between wacky schedules at work and an even wackier sleep schedule, writing has been a challenge. So here are some highlights from the past couple weeks….
Right after Halloween, Sirius XM radio launched a bunch of their holiday channels and the Christmas music was readily available.
I took advantage of a rare 60 degree November day and put up the outside Christmas lights. I know, I know, people think I am rushing the season. The truth is, I don’t like putting them up in the cold. They have been up for a couple weeks now, and the only time I have turned them on is to make sure they looked ok.
The side porch takes the most lights. I always check the strands before stringing them up to make sure they work. For some reason, one of the strands had a cluster of lights in the middle that didn’t light up. Both ends lit up, but not the ones in the middle. I went through and tested bulbs, but couldn’t find the problem. So I put them up anyway! I just made sure the unlit portion of the lights was covered by lights I knew worked!
We don’t do much to the front porch, though I’d like to. I got razzed about how I didn’t get up and string lights on the roof by some friends. I’ve never been a fan of heights, so, these are the highest my lights will go. Besides, I only have a three step ladder!
AJ celebrated being one month old a week or so ago. It is amazing to come home from work and see just how different he looks to me after only one day! He is much more alert and his sister just loves him! He is starting to take notice of a lot of things around him. Recently he discovered the mobile on his swing.
Every year, we take a trip up the Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth (“The World’s Largest Christmas Store”) and get an ornament for the Christmas tree that represents a big event from the past year. Sam and I have one for our engagement, our first Christmas as husband and wife, when Sam was pregnant with Ella, Ella’s first Christmas, and now we needed to go and get one for AJ’s first Christmas.
Obviously, life at our house is pretty crazy with two little ones. We had planned to all go to Bronner’s as a family day trip. AJ was napping and Sam suggested that Ella and I go, since we knew exactly what we wanted. There is an ornament that is exactly like Ella’s except it is blue for a baby boy.
Finding the ornament took all of 5 minutes. The line to get it personalized was long and we stood in line for almost 30 minutes (Thank goodness I had the PBS app on my phone, so Ella didn’t lose her mind waiting!). I had pictures of Ella’s ornament and how they did hers, and we wanted AJ’s to be done the same way. Ella and I walked around a little bit while they worked on the ornament. There are plenty of photo ops throughout the store and outside.
It was close to lunch time, so we snapped a couple pictures, picked up the ornament, and drove home. I hope to be able to take a drive up there one night when the lights are all lit up and grab a couple pictures.
Later that day, I took advantage of nap time and brought the tree up from downstairs. We’ve been trying to decide where to put it this year. We’ve moved everything around in our living room two or three times due to the addition of Ella toys or furniture, so it was unclear where it would go. There is a little nook in our living room where we had moved a lot of her toys, easel, toybox, etc…. We decided to find somewhere else for those things and that the tree should go there.
So, the tree is up and the lights are on it. However, we will decorate it this weekend or next weekend. I did have some help with the lights as I put it up …
…and, of course, little brother had to get into the act …
I’m excited for the holidays this year. Ella is at the perfect age for unwrapping presents! It is going to be a fun holiday season ….
April is National Humor Month and I only recently discovered that Sirius XM had added a comedy channel that I really have enjoyed. The Comedy Classics channel can be found for a limited time on Channel 104. Here is what Radio Insight quoted from the press release:
This is not a prank: SiriusXM announced today a new channel, Comedy Classics, that will honor timeless stand-up from the 1950s-1970s. The line-up includes iconic moments from legends who shaped the landscape and defined comedy for generations. The limited run channel is available now on SiriusXM channel 104.
Building on SiriusXM’s enormous classic stand-up library, the channel will add material from legendary comedians like Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, and the infamous Friars Club Roasts that paved the way for the comedy that we love today. SiriusXM’s Comedy Classics now pays tribute to these icons showcasing their immense talent and funniest moments. In addition to the aforementioned legends, each week the channel will spotlight both never-before-heard and rare stand-up highlights that haven’t been heard in decades, featuring comedy from Jackie Gleason, Buddy Hackett, The Smothers Brothers, Flip Wilson, and more.
Also not to be missed are Bob Hope’s Thanks for The Memories special, stand-up from The Garry Moore Show, and the Colgate Comedy Special featuring Nipsey Russel, Rowan & Martin, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and more.
“Whether you’re feeling nostalgic, looking to discover the roots of modern-day comedy, or just hankering for a great laugh, Comedy Classics will appeal to a wide range of listeners,” said Jack Vaughn, SiriusXM’s Senior Vice President of Comedy Programming. “The era provided such a wealth of amazing talent, material, and inspiration that we had to properly honor it with its very own channel.”
Comedy Classics is available now on channel 104, and will subsequently be available exclusively on the SiriusXM app and desktop player.
What I have really enjoyed is hearing some of the early stand up stuff from guys like Jon Byner, Buddy Hackett, Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor and more. Some of these cuts are taken from the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV appearances. Others are cuts from classic comedy albums. What I enjoyed listening to the most are the cuts from the Friar’s Roasts and the Dean Martin Roasts.
Some of the material is dated and some of it might be considered “politically incorrect” today, but I found myself enjoying much of it!
I ran out this afternoon before work to grab dinner for Sam and me. I turned on Sirius XM’s 50’s on 5 channel for the short trip and got a pleasant surprise – back to back songs from Ray Charles. Not only are both songs fantastic, they also were used in two very memorable TV and movie scenes.
Night Time Is The Right Time
This is a song that was recorded way back in 1937 by a guy named Roosevelt Sykes. It was redone in 1957 by Nappy Brown and in 1958 by Ray Charles. Nappy said that the difference between his version and Ray’s was that his was slower and had a gospel group backing him, while Ray’s version was more uptempo and had Margie Hendrix and his Raelettes backing him.
In 1985, “Night Time Is the Right Time” made cultural history when it became the centerpiece of one of the most beloved episodes of The Cosby Show. In this episode, It was lip-synched by the Huxtable family to celebrate their grandparents’ 49th wedding anniversary. In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode number 54 on its ‘100 Greatest Episodes of All Time’ list.
Mess Around is a song that was written by the president and founder of Atlantic Records. It was actually one of Ray Charles’ first hits, released in 1953. It is a classic boogie woogie blues song that is just fun to listen to. The song was covered by the Animals and the 80’s group, Squeeze. Jools Holland, an original member of Squeeze, said Ray Charles was so impressed that they were doing a version, Ray sent the band his suit.
The song is featured in the 1987 John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It plays on the radio as John Candy’s character (Del Griffith) is driving a car at night while Steve Martin’s character (Neal Page) sleeps. John Candy is “dancing” along and playing piano on the dashboard in the scene.
What a joy to hear these two songs back to back today.
Sirius XM Radio has a few holiday music channels. They each kind of fall into a category – Country Christmas, Uptempo Holiday favorites, etc… I often find myself listening to the channel they call Holiday Traditions. This channel focuses on songs and artists from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. I hear a lot of my favorite artists on there like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, etc… They also play instrumental favorites, too.
On my way into work this week I noticed they will often play Christmas songs from the Ray Conniff Singers. As kids, I think my folks had two Christmas albums from them. I don’t really recall being a fan of them.
Listening to their version of Frosty the Snowman, I began to think. I wondered why they play so much Ray Conniff, but never play any Christmas songs by another singing group we had on LP – Mitch Miller.
Among the many Christmas albums we had (Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Bing Crosby), the above Mitch Miller album got a TON of play at our house. If memory serves me right, this album was one that my dad put on when we opened Christmas gifts. Mitch Miller had a TV show in the 1960’s where his singers sang songs and the lyrics were on the screen so viewers could sing along. He had many albums, too. I’m not sure just how many holiday albums, but I know we had that one!
Must Be Santa
Of all the holiday songs on the album, there is one that really stands out from my childhood – Must Be Santa. This song was not on any of the other holiday albums we owned. It was not a song that you ever heard on the radio. It was, in a sense, a Mitch Miller exclusive! As a matter of fact, Mitch was the first to record it, as far as I can tell. He released it in November of 1960.
The song is based on a German drinking song (the Schnitzelbank song) and is a “call and response” song. The lead singer sings a question and the singers answer back (Full Lyrics below).
I remember as kids loving this song. We often sang along with the “answer back” lines. As I grew older and heard the song, I remember noticing something I hadn’t really before. There was one voice that screamed through as they sang “Must be Santa” and it was awful!
It was a piercing voice. It almost sounds like a kid whose voice is changing. I cringe when I hear it now. It always seemed like that voice always sang a second longer that every other voice. Plus It was almost like some sort of fake vibrato in that voice. Give the song a listen in the YouTube video and see if you can’t hear the voice….
Now that I think about it …. maybe that voice is why they don’t play more Mitch Miller on the radio ….
Who’s got a beard that’s long and white? Santa’s got a beard that’s long and white Who comes around on a special night? Santa comes around on a special night
Special Night, beard that’s white
Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Who wears boots and a suit of red? Santa wears boots and a suit of red
Who wears a long cap on his head? Santa wears a long cap on his head
Cap on head, suit that’s red Special night, beard that’s white
Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Who’s got a big red cherry nose? Santa’s got a big red cherry nose
Who laughs this way: “HO HO HO”? Santa laughs this way: “HO HO HO”
HO HO HO, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that’s red Special night, beard that’s white
Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Who very soon will come our way? Santa very soon will come our way
Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh? Santa’s little reindeer pull his sleigh
Reindeer sleigh, come our way HO HO HO, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that’s red Special night, beard that’s white
Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
I believe I have blogged in the past about Sherlock Holmes. I guess it is interesting that while I have never read a Sherlock Holmes book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I have read books loosely based on the character. There was a series out not too long ago called The Baker Street Mysteries, that focused on a lawyer who resided at the famous address of Mr. Holmes. It seems they would get letters addressed to the famous detective all the time. I read a few of them, but the last one was quite boring to me, so I stopped.
I always enjoy when the Radio Classics channel on Sirius XM plays old Sherlock Holmes shows. Some of them even featured the Sherlock Holmes I was most familiar with as a kid – Basil Rathbone. He and Nigel Bruce did many Sherlock Holmes films, too.
Over the years, many actors have played the great detective. In the theater recently, Robert Downey Jr. teamed up with Jude Law to play Holmes and Dr. Watson. The first movie was in 2009 and followed by the sequel (Game of Shadows) in 2011. In May of this year, it was announced that Downey and Law will reprise their roles in another sequel.
In 2015, Sir Ian McKellen played a retired Sherlock Holmes in the very touching film, Mr. Holmes. This was very well done and I recommend it if you haven’t seen it.
Without a doubt, my favorite incarnation of the character was in the British series Sherlock. Set in modern times, Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman is Dr. Watson. I loved everything about this show! I really wish they’d make more episodes.
This brings me to the main reason for this blog. Over the weekend, my wife said she had seen something while surfing Netflix that she thought I’d be interested in watching. We watched Sherlock together and so when she saw the post about Elona Holmes, she saved it on her “to watch” list.
When she mentioned it, she thought it was a series, but it was actually a movie. It is based on a novel by Nancy Springer. It seems that there are actually 6 books in the Enola Holmes series. I’d never heard of these books, and it seems the reason is that they are written for young adults.
The movie is based on the first book in the series, The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was first published in 2006.
The movie focuses on the teenage sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, Enola. Her mother turns up missing and she’s on a mission to find her. I found the movie to be quite enjoyable. Enola is played by Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown. Her mother Eudoria is played by Harry Potter’s Helena Bonham Carter. Mycroft and Sherlock are played by Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill. The basic plot: when Eudoria mysteriously disappears, Enola undertakes her first missing persons case and reconnects with her estranged detective brother along the way.
It is currently on Netflix and has been well received. There is talk of further sequels based on the other books.
As far as Sherlock’s go, Cavill is ok……but he’s no Benedict Cumberbatch.
Yesterday (9/25) was National One Hit Wonder Day. A One Hit Wonder is a song that would be considered the only hit song for an artist. In surfing through Sirius XM while driving, almost all of the “Decade” channels were playing one hit wonders yesterday.
The book pictured above is filled with great stories about some of music’s One Hit Wonders. There are also many One Hit Wonder collections available on CD. The list below is a poor representation of some of my favorite One Hit Wonders. What are your favorites?
Life used to have a routine. I could plan my day. Phrases like: Business as usual, status quo, day to day affairs, normal activities, daily grind, staying the course, standard practice, and as per usual – don’t mean anything anymore. Nothing is normal anymore. As a midnight shift worker, it’s hard to know what day it is, but when the routine is thrown off, it becomes more difficult.
Give Me Just A Little More Time
I have been seriously trying to make time to sort through thoughts. Believe it or not, it’s been a little easier to do since I have been at home a bit more. Last week I only worked about half of my 40 hours because of low census and the eventual closing down of our lab. I was able to get some hours helping out in the Labor Pool at the hospital.
Our techs were reassigned. Some had jobs in the hospital, but I was reassigned on Wednesday night to go to the hospital to help direct traffic. We were given one of those orange vests and we were sent out to the main parking lot. Our job was to make sure the cars that were lined up to be screened for the Covid-19 virus had first been checked in at the ER.
Basically, a check in at the ER determined whether or not your situation or symptoms warranted actually getting the test. You probably know that there are a limited amount of tests, so the ones who would benefit from a self quarantine were sent home, while others drove to where I was and got in line to be screened. Screenings were done in their cars.
I reported to work at 6:45 pm. Seeing the line of cars made this whole thing much more of a reality for me. There were plenty of cars in line. Some of them had not been screened at ER, so we had to instruct them to go there first. As you can imagine, there was a lot of stress, worry, and anger going on. I saw a road rage incident while we were out there. Apparently, a car in front of another was not pulling up far enough and the rear car kept beeping at him to move forward. A few beeps and the driver was out yelling at the other. Security had to be called. It was nuts!
As the evening progressed, the line became shorter. Testing ended at about 2 am, and that was when we left. I had to go inside to use the restroom at one point and I can tell you that the doctors, nurses, and staff in the hospital were busy! They were frazzled, but it was a picture of controlled chaos. Kudos to these men and women, who are doing everything they can to help stop this thing!
I was standing in the parking lot directing traffic at midnight yesterday. I set an alarm so I would not forget to wish my wife Happy Anniversary. I posted this on my Facebook page:
“Two years ago today, I married my best friend. Two years ago today, I married my one true love. Two years ago today, I married the woman who completes me, brings me joy, companionship, encouragement, support, and love. I swore two years ago that I could never love another female like I loved her … then she gave birth to our daughter. I am blessed beyond measure having these two in my life!
Happy anniversary, Sam, I cannot wait for the years ahead.
Thank you for two amazing years – our adventure continues….”
Covid-19 is a worldwide issue! It is everywhere and it is effecting everyone. In my many years on the radio, I have had the chance to meet and become friends with some musical artists. Working in country radio, I can tell you that the country artists are just amazing. I could sit and chat with them about songwriting, their tour, their families, etc… I always enjoyed having the chance to interview them on the radio.
With all of the social distancing and people being told to stay home, the musical artists are taking a hit. You may be upset that the concert you planned to attend has been postponed, but I can tell you that the artists are just as upset. Going out on tour, talking to radio stations, meeting fans, and performing for you is what they love to do! Covid-19 has forced them to stay home, too!
You probably read where Garth Brooks is going to do a live concert on the internet this week. There are many other artists who are doing the same! Brad Paisley did an acoustic session on Facebook, so did Jewel.
My buddy, James Otto, was the first one I heard mention that he was going to do it. I was at work when it was live, but I did catch it afterward on Facebook. It was great! It was so simple and awesome. It reminded me of the time he had come through town before his hit Just Got Started Lovin’ You hit the air. He came in, we interviewed him on the air, and then he did a little acoustic set for the staff in the conference room. God, do I miss those! My apologies to James for this incredibly terrible screen shot of his live stream.
He sounded great! Thanks for the much needed “pick me up”!
It’s also been great to see video messages from Simon Pegg, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Buble’ and other celebrities! These messages have brought music, hope, laughs, and entertainment to folks cooped up in the homes. I have read about celebrities offering dance instruction, comedians doing comedy sets, celebrities reading books to kids, chefs doing cooking lessons, and more! It’s great to see so much good amidst the craziness in the world.
The WiFi is working at my house, and I use it not only to surf the internet, check e-mail, and to write this blog, I also use it to make video calls. I have an Android phone and just can’t convince myself to switch to an iPhone. My wife tried to get me to switch so we could use FaceTime. Well, I found Google Duo does the same thing. So I am able to video chat with her and see the baby while at work at night. I can also video chat with my dad and my brother so they can see the baby, too!
My buddy Johnny Molson (more on him in a minute) has been taking part in Zoom meetings. Basically group chats with friends, so they can all keep in touch. Restaurants, bars, and places to gather have been closed, so these video group chats can allow folks to gather while social distancing themselves from others.
My new doctor has tele-medicine available. We can video chat with her if we need to. My therapist is actually going to be doing my session via video today. It should be interesting. I will keep the phone above the waist….I am wearing my Minion pajama bottoms! LOL
Already bored with TV
I don’t have a whole lot of stuff I watch on TV. Lately, it’s been The First 48, Forensic Files, Live PD, and a few others. Some of these cable channels are doing these all day marathons, and I wish they wouldn’t. I love a good rerun, but I I don’t think I like them with these types of shows. Maybe I am just picky. Hell, I will watch reruns of old shows like Sanford and Son, Columbo, Perry Mason, and Mission: Impossible all day – it doesn’t bug me at all. I just can’t sit and watch these over and over.
This is where the internet is helpful again. Does your imagination need a workout? Books can help, but if you want to “watch a show”, may I recommend Old Time Radio Shows? They are like watching TV shows, only without the video. Families would gather in front of the radio at night and listen to their favorites – remember the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie is listening to Little Orphan Annie?
I have Sirius XM in my car, and I love the Old Radio Show Channel. I’m not sure if the copyright on some shows are a factor or what, but I have heard the channel host say that “certain shows are no longer available” for them to play. I end up hearing a lot of shows that I was never really interested in.
I realize that these shows are dated, but they are still very entertaining. Many are available on YouTube. If you like crime shows – check out Dragnet, Broadway is My Beat, Sherlock Holmes, or Gangbusters. If you like mystery and suspense – try The Mysterious Traveler, Suspense, The Whistler, or Nightbeat. For Movie adaptations – try Lux Radio Theater, Screen Directors PlayHouse, or CBS Radio Mystery Theater. If you want to laugh – try The Jack Benny Program, Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos and Andy, Our Miss Brooks, The Fred Allen Show, Burns and Allen, The Life of Riley, or Abbott and Costello. Sometimes I do a google search for an actor and find shows they were on (“Edward G. Robinson on radio” will bring up a few). Let your imagination get a workout while stuck at home!
New Sleep Habit
As a sleep technologist, we tell patients all the time of the importance of having a bedtime routine. That can really help assure that you fall asleep and keep you in a regular sleep pattern. With a 6 week old baby, you can imagine how the bedtime routine has changed! Sam has a routine with the baby ever night. When I am home – I basically throw that routine off.
The baby has a sound machine that plays music. The bassinet has a button that makes it vibrate. Then she has a stuffed animal that lights up and puts lights on the ceiling.
Hers is an elephant, but the dog above shows how it works. At any rate, all of these things are on as Ella goes to bed. It’s been a routine now for 6 weeks.
I noticed this week after coming home after my shift and trying to sleep during the day, that I was having an issue falling asleep. You know what it is? I have found that I actually find it hard to fall asleep now without that silly music on! I thought it was crazy, until Sam told me that she felt like she had to turn the stars on so she could see them on the ceiling to fall asleep. If you are a parent, has something like this happened to you?
“Buy me a coffee”
I noticed this recently on some of the blogs I follow. At the end of their blog, there is an icon that says “Buy Me a Coffee.”
So, is this like a “tip?” “Hey, buddy. Nice blog – have a coffee.” I hadn’t noticed this before, but I am seeing it more and more. Don’t get my wrong – I LOVE coffee, but I am not going to beg my readers for one. I’m all for getting together and having coffee together, I would love that! I just think it’s odd. I mean, if you really want to buy me something, I’m not going to turn away diapers or formula! LOL
Parting thoughts ( that I wish I had written )
I mentioned Johnny Molson, above. He wrote a very cool piece that I shared on Facebook and I wanted to share it here as well. I could have copied and pasted it, but I didn’t want to be accused of plagiarism. So surf over here and check out this piece that really speaks to our current situation.