Weekend Wrap Up

What a crazy weekend! As much as I hate not getting a lot of sleep, I have to admit that some of the funniest stories I write about are due to lack of sleep. Take Saturday for example:

We needed groceries and a few things, so Sam went to the store. On her way home, she texted me, “On my way. I have Easter things. Like bubbles and chocolate, so watch it unloading.” So when she got home, I go out to start unloading the van. She sent Ella outside because she has been cooped up inside. The first thing she sees is two books that Sam bought. She looks up and me as says, “Go inside and read books?”

So she walks in with the books. Sam looks at me like, “what the hell?” I told her she spotted them and wanted to come inside and read them. Sam told me that she was going to put them in her Easter basket. I had no idea.

A few days ago, Sam mentioned getting some rain boots for Ella so she could splash around outside. There was a pair in the back of the van and when I walked in I said, “Looks like mommy bought some rain boots” as I held them up. Sam shoots me another look and says, “Those were for Easter, too!” “Easter things” to me are chocolate, candies, etc… I had no idea the boots or books were Easter things.

Needless to say, she has worn her rain boots almost every day since!

The day became even more uncomfortable when I had to have a talk with my middle son. It was one of those “Dad/Teen” talks that made us both squirm as we talked. I remember my dad and I having a similar talk when I was about his age. It had to happen, I just wish I had been a little more prepared for it.

Andrew had his first taste of real food this weekend. Carrots to start. I was really surprised at how well he did. With each day, he gets better and better at eating. I loved seeing the “this stuff is so much better than the stuff in the bottle you keep giving me” smile!

Even though it hasn’t been that long since Ella was in the high chair, I had already forgotten just how messy feeding the baby can be!

At one point this weekend, Sam just happened to have both kids on her lap. I snapped this one and I just love it.

Monday morning, Ella walks over to me as I am sitting in the living room. “Daddy needs socks,” she says. Then she proceeds to put one of AJ’s socks on my foot and walks away. “You did it, Daddy!” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how it looked!

Andrew has been getting up earlier than Ella the past week or so. Him and I were already out in the living room playing on the floor when I saw that she was awake in the monitor. So I went to go get her. As I brought her out to the living room and she says, “Play with Bubby (that’s what she calls him)?” So I put her down and she went over to his toy box and dumped it out. She sat down and started playing with him. It was truly a heartwarming moment!

Looking ahead

You may recall a while back that my buddy, Max, wrote a couple “guest” blogs for me. His topic was the Beatles. I have said to him numerous times that I want to write a Beatles-themed blog, but just haven’t had the chance to really think about what to write. There are so many things I could do.

Well, Max and I are taking part in some musically themed blogs with our friend Dave. He will offer a topic and we (and a few other bloggers) will be writing on those things. For the first topic – he chose the Beatles. He has a specific angle he is shooting for, but he is also giving us a bit of freedom within that theme. So I am sitting her scratching my head on just how to tackle it. That should be posting within the next week, so hopefully I have something ready by then….

Thanks for reading!

Sooner Than Later?

To quote the Beatles song, “It Won’t Be Long!” It’s been some time since I’ve given an update on our baby boy, and after today’s OB appointment, now is a good time to do so.

Sam has really had a rough time the last few weeks, and as we enter the final month her discomfort grows daily. She’s been having Braxton Hicks contractions for quite some time now. There are nights that I will roll over in bed and can tell that she is having them. Of course, (because I’m a dumb guy) I always ask, “Is it time? Do we need to go to the hospital?”

She had a visit to the OB today and it looks like he may decide to make an appearance sooner than later. The due date is October 13 (or 14, depending on who you ask), and the doc had already said that he would probably induce a week early to avoid either one of us being at work when Sam goes into labor. Today’s visit really made us realize just how NOT ready we are.

The doc said that baby seems to have turned and is getting into position for delivery. He is “sunny side up” or posterior. This is basically what happened with Ella. Being in that position leads to extremely painful back labor.

When the baby is in the posterior position, the baby’s head pushes against the mother’s back, which causes the pain. I remember how excruciating the pain was for Sam when Ella was in that position. We can hope and pray that he turns over before she goes into labor.

At her last OB appointment, the doc told Sam that the baby would probably be a little early. At today’s appointment, he said that the baby could be here as early as next week! This was quite eye opening for Sam and I, as we don’t even have a bag packed! Now that I think about it, we don’t even have a BAG! I think we loaned it to someone!!

Needless to say, I need to sit down and start looking at the “baby bag checklist” and get that bag packed! We also have to get a bag packed for Ella. She obviously can’t go to the hospital with us, so we’ll have a “sleep over bag” ready for her, too.

There were a few other things that we sat down and realized that we still needed to pick up to be ready for baby. We still have some bins in the basement with newborn stuff in them that I will need to go through ASAP to be sure that everything is upstairs and available.

I actually chuckled on my way in to work tonight because I remember how our living room was all about Ella when she was a baby. We had bouncy seats, floor time mats, stacks of burp cloths, the pack and play, and just about every other item in there. Today that room is literally Ella’s play room! There are toys all over the place! I laughed because I wondered just where in the world we are going to put all that other stuff!!

So the countdown is on … we are excited and anxious to meet the newest member of our family. Rest assured that you’ll be able to read all about it here – sooner than later!

Happy 79th to Capitol Records

On this day in 1942, Johnny Mercer and Glenn Wallichs launched Capitol Records in the United States. Wallichs was the man who invented the art of record promotion by sending copies of new releases to disc jockeys. It wasn’t until 13 years later, in 1955, that the now famous Capitol Records building was built.

The first artist to record at Capitol was Martha Tilton in April of 1942. She recorded the song “Moon Dreams”

Capitol Records was home to some of the biggest musical artists in history! Here are just a few:

Nat King Cole –

(Mona Lisa, A Blossom Fell, Answer Me My Love, Unforgettable)

Louis Prima and Keely Smith –

(Just a Gigolo, Old Black Magic, Jump Jive & Wail, What is This Thing Called Love)

Peggy Lee –

(‘Deed I Do, Fever, Big Spender)

Dean Martin –

(That’s Amore, Return To Me, On An Evening in Roma)

Frank Sinatra –

(One For My Baby, I Get a Kick Out of You, Love & Marriage, All The Way, Young At Heart)

The Beach Boys –

(Help Me Rhonda, Fun Fun Fun, Surfin’ USA)

The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney –

(TOO many to list!)

Stan Freberg

St. George and the Dragonet, Yellow Rose of Texas, Heartbreak Hotel, The Great Pretender)

The Bee Gees, Garth Brooks, The Letterman, Jerry Lewis, Heart, Al Martino, Johnny Mercer, The Steve Miller Band, Katy Perry, Sammy Davis Jr., Tennessee Ernie Ford, Gene Vincent, Bob Seger …. The list goes on and on!

So many amazing singers and talents sang in the Capitol Records studios. Happy Birthday!!

Super Tune Top Ten

It’s been awhile since I posted a musical blog, so in a way this is overdue. In a way, it is also sort of a twist on a combination of older blogs.

What Prompted This Blog?

While I wouldn’t consider my daughter a “TV Head,” PBS Kids or Disney Channel is usually on in the background while Sam and I play with her. Sam has the PBS Kids app on her phone and every once in a while, she will watch a show on there. She knows that every time she presses a new character, the new show will play.

There are three shows on the app that are Super Hero oriented: Hero Elementary, Super Why!, and Word Girl. As Ella presses the buttons, she usually listens to the theme songs and then moves to another show. For whatever it is worth, she must have played the theme song to Word Girl about 6 times in a row the other day. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a pretty cool theme song. I love the driving bass line and horns in it! Give it a listen:

Kudos to the gal singing that! Those are some pretty difficult lyrics to sing that fast.

Anyway, that song got me to thinking about how most super heroes have cool theme songs. So I thought I would present my Top 10 Super Hero Theme Songs. I’m sure yours may differ from mine. Feel free to comment with your favorites, your top 10, or ones you feel I missed….

10. The Greatest American Hero

Probably the wimpiest Super Hero ever, I agree! However, the song went all the way up to #2 on the charts for Joey Scarbury. It also was so popular that George Constanza created his answering machine message to the tune of it…

Fun Fact – William Katt is the son of actress Barbara Hale, who played Della Street on Perry Mason.

9. Batman Movie Theme (1989)

This ominous theme song by Danny Elfman set the tone for the Batman movie starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Obviously, this is MUCH darker and more serious than the 1966 incarnation.

The Elfman score got it’s entire album. Some of the music went on to be a part of Batman: The Animated Series, and can be heard in many video games, too.

8. The Super Friends

Ok, maybe this is cheating a bit. This show contains many super heroes who will appear on this list separately with there own theme. However, this was the show that introduced me to many of them. From 1973-1986, there were 7 different versions of the Super Friends. The great Ted Knight (of Caddyshack and Too Close For Comfort fame) did the narration until 1977, when Bill Woodson took over.

As a bonus – here are all 7 intros to the show….

I never understood why the first series had Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog. They were more annoying than anything. I was never really fond of Aquaman, either, but thought Norman Alden (who voiced him) was a great actor.

7. Underdog

I saw this in reruns/syndication. It originally ran from 1964 to 1967, and again in syndication until 1973. The theme song may have been one of the first songs I learned how to sing. I loved Underdog as a kid, but never realized he spoke in rhyme until much later.

George S. Irving (the voice of Heat Miser in the Year Without a Santa Claus) was the narrator and Wally Cox voiced Underdog. Fun Fact: TV Guide ranked Underdog as number 23 on its “50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” list

6. Superman

I remember seeing this in the theater. I was probably not in band yet, but I remember the trumpet fanfare opening of this song and it really caught my attention. I will forever think of this song when I think of Superman.

This is just one of MANY great movie themes written by the great John Williams (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc…)

5. Wonder Woman

Let me be clear – the TV show Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter was one of my first celebrity crushes. She was (and still is) one of the most beautiful women. The theme for the show is just “funky.” “In your satin tights, fighting for your rights, and the ole red white and blue….” The running bass line throughout the song and 70’s “gospel-ish” singers singing her name – what’s not to love?

Fun fact: Lyle Waggoner, who plays Steve Trevor, once did a screen test to play TV’s Batman!

4. The Incredibles

Yes, the entire family has a theme song – and it is awesome! The film score was composed by Michael Giacchino. The film’s director, Brad Bird, was looking for a specific sound as inspired by the film’s design — the future as seen from the 1960s. It truly is a musical masterpiece.

Full Credits Score is here – The horns in this are just amazing!!

3. Hong Kong Phooey

How can a theme song sung by the legendary Scatman Crothers not make the list? Ok, to be fair, I might be a little biased. This show only aired in 1974 (and in syndication until 1976), and it is technically only 40 seconds long, but it’s cool! It’s “groovy!” The “number one super guy” had to be on my list ….

Fun Fact: The band Subline covered this song in 1995.

2. Batman (1966)

In 1966, the campiness of Batman took the TV world by storm! Adam West was Batman, Burt Ward was Robin and the celebrity villains were larger than life. The theme song for Batman was created by Neal Hefti. The guitar riff is instantly recognizable. The song was a top 20 hit for him, despite the fact that the lyrics consisted of repeating “Batman” over and over and over….

Here is the “hit” version:

The TV version:

The Marketts also scored a top 20 hit with their version:

Fun Fact: Give the Beatles “Taxman” a listen and see if you can hear a Batman influence. George Harrison based the music for that song on the Batman theme. He was a big fan of the show.

and…..

#1 Spiderman

No surprise to anyone who knows me. This is one of the “baddest” and “coolest” theme songs. While I think there are other super heroes who are cooler than Spidey, he certainly has my favorite theme song! “Is he strong, listen bud, he’s got radioactive blood” – what a great line!!!

The original theme is cool, and then Michael Buble’ comes along and throws an amazing Big Band arrangement of it….. I absolutely love this! I wish I had the sheet music for this. Check out his cover:

Fun fact: The Ramones covered this, too, in 1995.

Ok, so what ones did I miss?

Guest Blogger: Beatles Songs Covered (Max – Part 2)

Making his triumphant return this week to my blog is my pal Max. His blog can be found here:

https://powerpop.blog/

Last week, he presented a blog of his favorite Beatles songs that were cover songs (songs originally done by other artists). This week, he looks at the other side of the coin. Here now, is his presentation of great covers of Beatles songs by other artists. I hope you enjoy it! Take it away, Max…

Beatle Songs By Others …

Hello everyone welcome back this week for the conclusion of the Beatlefest on Keith’s site. Today I’m going to list my favorite Beatle covers. Although I like these a lot…I usually still go with the Beatles version. There is one that I do like better than the original…and that is…well you will just have to read on. I did include some live versions of songs. 

I added two at the bottom as runner ups but they just as well could have been in this list. Many songs could have been…depending on which day I was deciding. . I never thought about how many covers there were out there until Hanspostcard started to have a series on Beatle covers…there are a bunch! (KEITH: Hans posted some rare ones that I have never heard before!)

10: Aerosmith – Come Together...Aerosmith did a good job on this song. They didn’t stray too far at all from the original off of Abbey Road. This song was the one good thing about the movie Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band…there weren’t very many bright spots. Peter Frampton fighting Steven Tyler on film was also a keeper. (KEITH: I certainly love this one – but their cover of “I’m Down” is my favorite!)

9: Chris Cornell  – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away – Chris’s voice is incredible in this and it’s the way he phrases that I like so much…it’s a lot of depth and feel in his version. Eddie Vedder also has a good version. (KEITH: Great song, but I tend to lean toward the original)

8: Fats Domino – Lady Madonna – This song sounds like it was written just for Fats Domino. He did a great job. He did a wonderful job every  time he covered the Beatles. (KEITH: Fats was one of the great influences of Beatles music. I would tend to agree that this really sounds more like a Fats song)

7: Emmylou Harris – For No One – I can listen to anything she sings but on this she re-worked the song in her own way and it works great. I was told about this cover by Aphoristical a year or so ago and ever since…I’ve wore it out. It puts a new light on the song. (KEITH: I have a buddy, Ken, who just loves Emmylou. Because of our many conversations about her, I stumbled on this one. Great voice.)

6: Stevie Wonder – We Can Work It Out – Stevie puts his incredible spin on this song and lifts it up. (KEITH: Love that Stevie really made this on his own!)

5: While My Guitar Gently Weeps – At the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions you had Tom Petty, Dhani Harrison, Jeff Lynn, Steve Winwood, and Prince. Prince stole this performance with his amazing solo…you could tell Dhani (George Harrison’s son) was really enjoying it. (KEITH: When I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a year or so ago, they played the video of this amazing song. Prince – WOW!)

4: Al Green – I Want To Hold Your Hand – I would have never put these two together but Al Green turns his version of I Want To Hold Your Hand into an Al Green song. (KEITH: How can you co wrong with Al Green + The Beatles?!)

3: Johnny Cash – In My Life – This version is heartbreaking to listen to knowing that Cash was looking hard at his own mortality. (KEITH: That was my thoughts exactly when I heard this cut. Johnny is VERY reflective in his vocal…)

2: Wilson Pickett – Hey Jude – Duane Allman was a studio musician at Muscle Shoals when he brought this up as a single to Wilson Pickett. The Beatles version was still on the charts at the time. No one wanted to do it but Wilson agreed when he heard Duane’s version.  They re-worked it and it worked. After Eric Clapton heard this version he wanted to know who the guitar player was at the end of the song. That is how Eric found out about Duane Allman. (KEITH: The Wicked Mr. Pickett! This one has been a favorite of mine for some time. )

1: Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends – This is the one cover that I like better than the Beatles original. He turned the song into a show stopper. (KEITH: A Cocker Classic! I agree, Max. Such a powerful cut!)

Runner Ups

Larkin and Poe – In My Life – Christian at christiansmusicmusings turned me on to. This one is a lovely version of In My Life. (KEITH: Have never heard this one before – but I like it!)

Aretha Franklin – Eleanor Rigby – She is the one and only Queen of Soul. My favorite female singer of all time. She turns this into a soul song. (KEITH: Everything she touched was gold! She was amazing! Great cut. I would say that Ray Charles version is equally as good!)

THANKS, MAX!

I want to take a moment and thank Max for taking the time to write for my blog. I guess I need to write my Beatles Blog now.

Guest Blogger: My Buddy Max

As I announced a few blogs ago, I am happy to present to you a blog written by my pal, Max. I stumbled on his blog when I first started blogging. I found he and I were around the same age, loved the same music, TV shows, and movies and we’ve become very good friends. You can find his blog here: https://powerpop.blog/

I mentioned that I have wanted to write a blog on the Beatles for some time. Max is quite a Beatles fan, too. I thought he’d be the perfect guy to write a Beatles blog for me. Actually, he’s gonna do two! He recently interviewed me for his blog regarding my radio career, so he kind of owed me at least one blog! LOL. So without any further ado, here’s Max and the first “official” Beatles blog on this page …

COVER SONGS BY THE BEATLES

Hello everyone! I want to thank Keith (nostaligicitalian) for allowing me to interview him for my blog. Keith mentioned to me about guest hosting his blog. I’m sorry to say this to all the readers, but I will be here twice! What I’m going to do is list my top 10 songs that the Beatles covered (today)…and my top 10 songs that people covered of the Beatles (next Saturday). I want to thank Keith for thinking enough of me to let me share this.

I first found the Beatles when I was 8 years old (in 1975) and have read and listened to them ever since. Their original songs are what set them apart from everyone else then and now, but they did play some interesting covers. 

The Beatles did mostly covers when they played Liverpool and Hamburg before their fame. They had great taste picking them and they also did some B sides because they wanted to do songs every other Liverpool band wasn’t doing. Although I’m a huge Beatles fan…I’m not suggesting that any of these are better than the original (Except a couple). In some cases though the Beatles brought attention to the song which the original artists were usually really grateful.

I’m only listing songs that were on studio albums not any live albums like Live at the BBC. So lets get this started!

10: Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes version will always be my favorite of this one…and I remember the Carpenters did it also in the 70s. 

The Beatles version was good, but I have heard a live version that is a little more up. Would American audiences be interested in a young white British group covering a black R&B pop smash hit? Capitol Records didn’t think so. They decided against including the song on their first album “Meet The Beatles!” for just that reason.

 After three million copies of the album had been sold by mid March, Capitol was ready to rush-release another album to cash in on the excitement. And you better believe they included “Please Mister Postman” on that next release, “The Beatles’ Second Album.”

9: Bad Boy – For me this is punk Beatles. John’s voice carries this song. They were in the middle of filming Help! when Capital Records in America requested a few more songs. 

They went back in their Hamburg/Cavern days and picked two to record – Dizzy Miss Lizzy and Bad Boy. The Beatles don’t stray too far from the original Larry Williams rendition of the song while compensating for the saxophone and piano dominated arrangement with guitars and subtle organ/electric keyboard work…it is a bit more energetic than the original. (KEITH: I actually had no idea this was a cover song, until I bought a Larry Williams album!)

8: Slow Down – Larry Williams wrote this song. They recorded 3 of his songs. More than any other songwriter but themselves. 

There was no internet or a good way to get lyrics back then. Ted “King-Size” Taylor from the rival Liverpool group The Dominoes remembers that The Beatles all sat in a row and took down one line each of all the songs they did… Dizzy Miss Lizzy and Slow Down all of those – and “the next time we saw them they were playing all our stuff.” (KEITH: I never heard this story!! That’s great!!!)

7: Money – It fit their style perfectly but John sounded as if he held back a little on this one. I still like it but it probably could have been better.

The Beatles performed the song live, vocals and all, for six full takes until everyone was satisfied. George Martin play piano on this song. (KEITH: Barrett Strong’s version was a staple on Michigan oldies stations. It was written by Barry Gordy and was the first Motown hit!)

6: Dizzy Miss Lizzy – This is one of the first guitar riffs I learned on guitar. It’s simple and if played right it can light up a club or bar. A song written by Larry Williams, John Lennon would later cover this live in 1969 at the concert in Toronto. 

This was recorded on the same day as Bad Boy. (KEITH: I think the Beatles version of this has a bit more “oomph” to it. Larry’s version sounds weak in comparison.)

5: Long Tall Sally – Paul did his Little Richard best on this song. They were playing this song way back in 1957.

Long Tall Sally has the longest legacy of all the songs in The Beatles catalog, but that is the song held an affectionate place in the hearts of The Beatles all of those years. (KEITH: What a vocal on this one! Paul knocks it out of the park!)

4: Rock and Roll Music – I was introduced to the song by the Beatles.

Their backs were up against a wall. They were not able to compose enough material on such short notice to fill an entire album. So they were happy to record their renditions of some of their favorites. “Rock And Roll Music” fit the bill. It’s another song that they knew well. They kept playing this song through their touring career. (KEITH: A classic by Chuck Berry, however, the Beatles kick it up a notch. Such a great sound to this one.)

3: Roll Over Beethoven – Everything from George’s guitar to his vocals are spot on in this Chuck Berry cover. “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’” John Lennon.

They had perfected this song on stage during the last seven years. It was the first of two numbers immortalized by The Beatles from the catalog of the most influential songwriter/performer of the fifties…Chuck Berry. (KEITH: The song itself is a great track. I always though the Beatles version was better than Chuck’s. If I had to pick a favorite version – it might be the version by ELO.)

2: Twist and Shout – John Lennon sounds demented in this song in all the right ways. It was the last song they cut that night after recording the entire album and John just got through it. They adapted the original arrangement within their limited ‘guitar-bass-drums’ format and did so very well.

Although The Beatles’ adaptation was a direct reflection of the hit version by The Isley Brothers, I feel safe to say that this version became the definitive version of the song. (KEITH: I would agree. How can you even touch this version of Twist and Shout?!)

1: You Really Got A Hold On Me – This is my personal favorite. The popular opinion would probably be on Twist and Shout as being the best song they covered…and  I think John was beyond great on that…but these harmonies are hard to beat on this one. You can’t compare Smokey to anyone…but the versions are apples and oranges. 

It had been recently recorded by its writer Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and first hit the charts only earlier that year, debuting on the Billboard singles chart on January 12, 1963. Yet just over six months later, The Beatles chose to translate the song themselves. This was the first song they chose to record for the album. They do a unique version of it that has stuck with me. Below we have a bonus…an isolated vocal of this song. (KEITH: I like their version better than Smokey’s. Cool vocal track. Never heard it before. Thanks for sharing.)

More next week….

Thanks, Max!

These are some of my absolute favorite Beatles cuts!

I’m looking forward to Max’s follow up next week, which will feature songs by the Beatles that were covered by other artists! I hope you are, too!!

Tunes from Toons

thebeatles-wallpaper_blogspot_com_cartoon1

I spent a lot of time in the car with my sons this past weekend.  My oldest son asked me if I remembered some of the shows he used to watch as a kid.  We began listing the shows he and his brother watched and had many laughs as we remembered specific episodes.  This led to us talking about songs from shows. With every song we recalled, the more I thought about the possibility of it being a topic for a blog.

The picture above may be a little misleading.  The Beatles cartoons all featured a Beatles song.  There were cartoons that were about bands like Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw, Butch Cassidy, The Banana Splits, The Archies, and The Chipmunks.  I am not talking about these cartoons.  This blog is about songs that were featured in cartoons NOT about bands.

The songs I wrote down are all songs that I remember instantly when I think about these cartoons.  They are NOT the theme songs to the cartoons themselves, although many of those theme songs are just awesome.  Some of these songs will stem from cartoons my kids watched, while many will be from toons I watched growing up.

I also want to point out that these songs are NOT from movies.  Almost every Disney film has 2-5 songs that come from them.  Yes, they are animated cartoons, but I am specifically talking about non-movie songs.

Let me start with a classic.  In the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Hillbilly Hare”, an innocent square dance becomes a physical brawl between two brothers (thanks to Bugs).  This scene and song was something my morning show partner and I talked about on the air one day!

My brother grew up watching Animaniacs.  We always laughed that they had a character based on Perry Como, who they called Perry Coma. Anyway, they have a few songs that stand out – one naming all the countries in the world, another naming all the presidents (up to Clinton, if I remember right), and one naming the all the states and their capitals.  I wish I had this song to memorize when I was growing up.

There was a season of Scooby Doo where they would play songs during the “chase scenes”.  There was always one song that stood out for me.  I never knew the name of it until I found it on an album of Scooby Doo songs.  It was called “Tell Me, Tell Me”.  Remember this one?

My boys watched a lot of SpongeBob Squarepants.  There were some episodes that were very funny, and others I found extra annoying.  One song from this show that my boys just loved was “Sweet Victory”, which they performed at the “Bubble Bowl”

They weren’t all “Rock” songs, but the Flintstones certainly had a few that stick out to me.  Hoagy Carmichael (one of the great songwriters of all time) appeared as himself on the show and sang “Yabba Dabba Doo”, there was the Soft Soap jingle, “Listen to the Rockin’ Bird”, and my favorite – The Bedrock Twitch, sung by Rock Roll (or in this clip, Fred).

There are some who would argue that the best song from the Flintstones came from Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, so here is that one.

There was one song from the Jetsons that I always remember.  Judy loves singer Jet Screamer (played by Howie Morris).  Elroy’s secret code gets sent into a song writing contest and becomes his next hit record.  Remember Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah?

An earworm that drove parents everywhere crazy came from the Ren & Stimpy Show.  Time to get Happy Happy with Stinky Wizzleteats…

The Simpson’s has had their share of amazing music in their over 30 years on the air.  There have even been albums of just music from the show.  There is one little gem that I can’t get enough of – and it is only about 45 seconds long.  Homer becomes a Stonecutter and they have their own song!  Yes, I often hit repeat when this comes on the iPod.

Ok, technically, this entire cartoon is a song.  I have to include it on my list, because, well, it’s my list and I love this!  Stan Freberg tells the story of the Three Little Bops with music by Shorty Rogers!

If I had to pick one cartoon that I LOVED watching with my kids, it would be Phineas and Ferb.  If you have never seen the show, its just plain fun with a new song in almost every episode.  Candace is always trying to bust her brothers (Phineas and Ferb – who make the most out of every single day of summer) while Perry (their pet platypus – who is also a secret agent) tries to save the Tri-State area from the evil scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

There are many songs I could pick from (My Undead Mummy and Me, My Nemesis, My Goody Two Shoes Brother, Busted, S.I.M.P – Squirrels In My Pants, and Perry’s Theme), but I will turn to one of their early episodes for my favorite.

In one episode, Flop Starz, they decide to write a hit song.  Their mom explains what a “one hit wonder” is and they are off to write it!  The result – Gitchee Gitchee Goo.  The song itself has been reviewed by critics who have said that the song could have easily been a hit song!

Your turn.  What songs do YOU remember from your favorite cartoon shows?

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Back in Time?

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All writers get writer’s block.  I am hardly a “writer”, but sometimes stare at the blank page and wonder what to write about.  Since I began blogging, I have stumbled on blogs written by others who share some of the same interests as me.  I have followed blogs that feature movies, TV, music, nostalgia, positive thoughts & quotes, and more.  There have been many instances where I read another blog and an idea will pop into my head.  My friend Max and I tend to “borrow” ideas from each other often.

Many ideas I adapt from those blogs.  For this blog I am literally stealing the idea, and giving credit, and creating some rules for it.  The Anxious Teacher wrote a blog after watching Back to the Future III.  You can read it here:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/94480307/posts/2458827458

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What a great idea for a blog!  If you had a time machine – where would you travel?  As I thought about this, I wanted to limit myself to a few things.  First of all, because I have watched the Back to the Future movies, I know that if you go back and change something in the past – it will affect the future.  So Limit #1:  If I go back, I am simply there to observe.  Many of the things I thought I would like to go back and witness happened over a period of time, so Limit #2 – no real time limit.  Limit #3 – wherever I go, I will be dressed appropriately as to not raise suspicion.  I know, it’s silly, but it’s my blog and my rules.

I actually thought about adding what I would call the “Ebenezer Scrooge” element to this.  What is that?  Well, remember when Scrooge was transported into the past, present & future?  He could witness everything, but he could not interact with anyone.  Those events happened and the people were not aware he was even there.  Perhaps that would be the best thing, right?  That way, if I went back in time, I would not be tempted to change things.

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General times and places

As my blogger friend said, I think it would be very cool to visit the old west.  I have watched many westerns on TV and in the movies.  I have read many books set in the old west.  I think it would be pretty cool to walk through one of those western towns.  How cool would it be to visit the saloons, or the general store?  I think it would be cool to don a cool cowboy hat, boots & spurs and ride a horse to get from place to place.

I also think it would be cool to visit the ancient times and watch the building of the pyramids, or buildings like the coliseum.  Those historic buildings are still standing.  How awesome would it be to see just how they put them together?

As someone who has been a huge fan of the 1950’s, I would love to live a year or two in this decade.  It’s fun to see how the ’50s are portrayed in movies like Back to the Future, and I would love to see it in person.  I would love to hear the old radio stations playing those early rock and roll songs.  I would love to see those classic films in a theater.  I would love to have a meal at a real 50’s diner or drive a classic car!

I would love to visit the 1940’s, too!  The music of the great band leaders, the early music of Sinatra, and of course, those great old radio shows! Of course, World War II was going on, but it would be interesting to see how life in America was at that time.

Everyone wants to visit the future … that peaks my interest, but is it something I would do?  I don’t know.  I’d be tempted to come back to the present and use the information for personal gain, or to alter outcomes.   I’m not sure visiting the future would be something I’d want to do – unless I knew it was something specific I wouldn’t be able to see.

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General People of Interest

I would love to watch Beethoven or Bach (or any composer, really) writing and composing a piece of their music.

I would love to watch someone like Edgar Allen Poe or William Shakespeare writing a poem or story.

I would love to sit on a set and watch them shooting a Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy film.

I would love to be in the room where the First Continental Congress held meetings and watch men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and others in action.

I would love to attend a taping of an old episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or a taping of the Dean Martin Show.

I would love to be in the audience at a Rat Pack show in Chicago or Las Vegas.  Come on!  Dean, Frank and Sammy!!

I would love to be an extra in one of my favorite movies.

I would love to watch Elvis in the recording studio.

I would love to watch Thomas Edison working on the phonograph or the electric light.

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Specific Events

I would love to watch the moon landing (on TV or from space).

I would love to watch the first flight with the Wright Brothers.

I would love to see JFK’s inauguration.

I would love to see a Beatles concert.

I would love to see Lincoln deliver his Gettysburg Address.

I would love to witness the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I would love to witness the launch of Titanic on her maiden voyage.

I would love to be in the stands at Tiger Stadium at the final game of the 1984 World Series.

I would love to be in the crowd at 1985’s Live Aid concert.

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Personal Things

I know I put some limits on what can or cannot happen if I went back in time, but if there were no limits there are a few things I would like to do with that time machine.

I would love one more conversation with my mom.

I would love one more pinochle game with grandma and grandpa.

I would love one more Christmas Eve with grandma and grandpa.

I would love one more radio show with Rob.

I would love one more cribbage game with my grandpa.

I would love to play my trumpet in one more high school band concert.

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Just One Day

For whatever reason, writing this blog made me think of the Nat King Cole song, “That Sunday, That Summer”.  The lyrics of the song say:

“If I had to chose just one day, to last my whole life through, it would surely be that Sunday, the day that I met you.”

With a time machine, you could go back to one day.  You could pick the day.  You could relive whatever happened that day.  What day would that be?

I don’t know that I could pick just one.

What I do know is that there are plenty of days that I am looking forward to that haven’t happened yet – the birth of my daughter, the graduations of my sons, etc…. I am perfectly content moving forward and experiencing the days to come.

Here is sit, remembering the past – loving the present – and looking forward to the future.

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Time. Life. Death. Ripples.

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The longest song I ever played on the air was Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie which is just over 18 minutes long.  We played this on the classic rock station (and sometimes on the oldies station) every Thanksgiving.  To those who love the song, it was the perfect length.  To those who hated the song, it went on too long.  Their feelings about the song depended on their perception of time.  (Incidentally, the shortest song I ever played on the radio was Her Majesty by the Beatles.  I think it clocks in at just over 20 seconds long.)

Time. I have found myself thinking a lot about time over the past month or so. I have had the word “time” written on my list of blog topics for a while, but have never felt that I am ready to blog about it.  In all honesty, I am still not ready, but I had to write something to clear my head.

There is no shortage of great quotes about time:

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst” – William Penn

“Time isn’t the main thing.  It’s the only thing” – Miles Davis

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted” – John Lennon

“Lost time is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin

Time is one of those things that is constantly moving.  It moves second by second.  Hour by hour.  Day by day.  Year by year. The truth of the matter is that time is constant.  3 minutes is 3 minutes.  How one perceives that 3 minutes depends on the situation.  In some cases, 3 minutes can feel like 10 minutes. In others it can feel like just 1 minute.  Think of an 8 hour work day and compare it to 8 hours on vacation.  Vacation time is flying by while the clock at work moves slowly.

Earlier this month, Facebook was flooded with “First Day of School” pictures.  My friends posted pictures with captions that read: “Where did the time go?”, “Wasn’t she just in kindergarten?”, “How did he grow up so fast?”, and “Last First Day of School”.  I can relate to that last one as my oldest son started his Senior year this year.  My Facebook “Memories” feed has been full of my own kid’s “first day of school” pictures, and I, too, have wondered those same questions.

So why am I rambling about time??

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In my 49 years on this planet, I have lost many people close to me, many at a young age.  Some of them, I have blogged about: my mom (who was only 58),  my grandpa (mom’s dad, also 58), my radio buddy, Rob (only 56), and my Uncle Tom (just 68).  This week, I found out a good friend passed away unexpectedly at only 47 and another friend was basically told her days are numbered – she is 48.  I can’t imagine how time will proceed for her.

I understand that death is a part of life.  I am reminded of a quote from my psychology class that said, “The hardest part of losing someone isn’t having to say goodbye, but rather learning to live without them – always having to fill the void, the emptiness that’s left inside your heart when they go.”  This is so true.  Leo Buscaglia said, “Death is a challenge.  It tells us not to waste time.”  Also true.  Bruce Lee, who died at the young age of 32, said, “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” 

I sit here staring at this computer screen and my thoughts are all over the place.  Is this blog about Time or Death?  I don’t know.  I guess they both tie together somehow in my mind.  I guess Life also ties in with them.  “Live every day as if it were your last. Someday, you’ll be right.” That quote, which I read on the band room announcement grease board 31 years ago, will always remain with me.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that those three things (life, death, and time) do all go together.  Looking back at the people I have quoted, they have all passed away, yet their words are still here making an impact.  I guess this proves the quote of another person who is no longer here.  The late author Terry Pratchett says this: “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”  

I still talk about my mom – ripples.

I still tell stories about my Uncle Tom – ripples.

I still laugh along with Rob when I listen to our old shows – ripples.

Thinking of my buddy Rob, I remember ad-libbing a poem on the air about an upcoming station event.  He looked at me and his Elvis character voice he said to me, “Man! You’re a real Carl Sandburg today.”  It’s probably a coincidence that I have a Carl Sandburg quote about time to share:

“Time is the coin of your life.  It’s the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

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As I re-read this blog, I realize that it is a jumbled mess of thoughts.  For that I apologize to anyone who has ever read my blog and said “You’re a good writer.”  Usually my blogs have a point to them, I am not sure this one does.  Hell, I don’t even have a title yet!  I really wish I had planned this out a little better.  Tell you what, for now, let’s say this blog is a “tease” to the “real” blog about “time” to come at a future date.  And as far as the point, or moral, or lesson?  Uh….how bout this….

Make good use of your time and live your life so that you will be forever causing ripples.

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