In 1998, NBC aired a two part mini-series on The Temptations, one of Motown’s all time greatest groups, which had, by then, made the leap from songs like "My Girl," "Get Ready," and "The Way You Do The Things You Do" to "Cloud Nine” and "Psychedelic Shack."
Even though there were changes in key positions--the early hits featured lead vocalists Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, later taken over by Dennis Edwards-- one thing that never changed was that amazing choreography (seen on the clip below).
Dennis Edwards died February 1st following complications from meningitis. His passing leaves Otis Williams, the baritone voice heard on so many Temptations’ hits, as the only living member of this legendary group.
The Temptations I Can't Get Next to You Live - YouTube
What could be mellower than a Country song about the calm and comfort of home?
Elton John’s singing and Berne Taupin’s lyrics made it work in 1970 with "Country Comfort" and now Kenny Chesney, and his buddy, A-level Nashville writer and Baby Boomer (59-y/o) David Lee Murphy, suggest we just don’t stress and take a deep breath because "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."
Sir Elton isn’t a “Country” singer, but because he’s a pro, and an artist, he can sing convincingly in that style.
On the other hand, Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy are bona fide Country, Chesney as a performer; Murphy’s "Dust On The Bottle" went to #1 in the mid-90's, and he’s written a slew of hits--together, their “style” is a new low in modern twang, HOWEVER, the song rocks—it’s easy to get into, convincingly mellow, a pleasure--each note and line so predictable, which is exactly the point, it just lulls you into a relaxed state, a break from an overly stimulating environment.
A 3-minute visit to an alternate reality where "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."
Everything's Gonna Be Alright - YouTube
Elton John - Country Comfort (1970) With Lyrics! - YouTube
Back in the summer of 1984, if you liked music and listened to the radio, than you probably heard Dan Hartman’s "I Can Dream About You”--its irresistible mix of pop, rock and soul coalesced into a song with enough mass appeal that it became a smash hit. Just (re) listening to it gave me a buzz.
Los Angeles foursome Foster The People continues the tradition of morphing pop, rock and soul in their newest, "Sit Next To Me," which has melodic threads similar to “I Can Dream About You”
“Sit Next To Me” is charming, sweet, and engaging. How cute is this:
Come over here sit next to me
We can see where things go naturally
Just say the word and I'll part the sea
Just come over here and sit next to me
“Sit Next to Me” is Top 5 on the Alternative chart, and climbing quickly on Adult Top 40.
Foster the People has been around eight years. “Sit Next To Me” is from their most recent, 3rd album.
Dan Hartman wrote “I Can Dream About You for Hall & Oates who ended up taking a pass.
Foster The People - Sit Next to Me (Official Video) - YouTube
I Can Dream About You [Official Music Video] The Sorels (Dan Hartman) - YouTube
Life is good these days for Country traditionalist Chris Stapleton—he’s earned a rare “Album Trifecta” meaning he’s got the #1, #2, and #3 slots on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart, the first time that’s happened since Garth Brooks in 1992, and prior to that, Charlie Rich in 1974.
That’s in addition to his Grammy sweep last month, for Best Country Album, Best Country Song, and Best Country Solo.
Stapleton has stuck with his old-style sound, despite Country’s years long trend toward a pop -flavored sound.
Here he is with fellow neo-traditionalist Sturgill Simpson in a riveting performance of “Midnight Train To Memphis” that recently electrified the “Saturday Night Live stage.” (Simpson has also won a Grammy for Country Album Of The Year.)
Stapleton kicks off his summer tour in June, and it runs through early November
Chris Stapleton: Midnight Train to Memphis (Live) - SNL - YouTube
The Beatles summed it up in 1970: “Let it Be”—and ever since that’s been a recurring sentiment in pop music-- –the acceptance that everyone who plays the games of life and love must come to terms with-- the latest being “Meant To Be” by New York singer/songwriter and producer Bebe Rexha, who, like the Beatles, also expands boundaries and experiments with new sounds.
She’s the real thing, and has had songs recorded by Eminem,Selena Gomez and Lil' Wayne and collaborations One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson and Nicki Minaj --big names whose music is probably unfamiliar to most Boomers.
Now she’s veering Country --“Meant To Be” is sweet, tender, smooth, romantic and easy to listen to. “Boomer Friendly.”
Rexha wrote “Meant To Be” with Tyler Hubbard, of the superstar Country Duo Florida Georgia Line, and they join her on the track.
About the video: very hot. Bebe’s a stunning, super-sexy bleached blond who amps up the vamps and flaunts, which is a bit much in a post-Harvey Weinstein, #Me too world.
Bebe Rexha - Meant to Be (feat. Florida Georgia Line) [Official Music Video] - YouTube
Rock n’ roll, thy name is INTENSITY: primal, but cleaned up enough to take out in public: The Stones, early Elvis, Bruce Springsteen—if “Born to Run” energizes you than check out “Run for Cover” by the Killers; both songs embrace big, bold, thunderous notes-- the kind that delivers the chills.
“Run for Cover” is a “power-packed-production” about an abused wife "running for cover," very different than what Bruce Springsteen was doing while he was making his run, but rock n’ roll is more about feelings than the details, so whatever the story line—it’s the song’s intensity that both grabs and gratifies.
What have you gathered to report to your progenitors?
Are your excuses any better than your senator’s?
He held a conference and his wife was standing by his side
Sunday is former bad-boy but now settled-down Justin Timberlake’s first appearance on the Super Bowl half-time stage since the infamous 2004 nipple- gate/Janet Jackson incident, and it’s timed with today’s release of his new album, "Man Of The Woods." Produced by noted hit maker Timbaland, it features collaborations with Chris Stapleton and Alicia Keys.
Timberlake will most likely perform his current hit, “Filthy,” (which isn’t that good) and may sing his even newer “Say Something,” which is mellow, smooth, and lyrical and is a much better song—it’s the one that features Chris Stapleton. I don’t know what it’s about, but this is a good line:
Sometimes the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all
Not only are gamblers placing bets on the Patriots or the Eagles, but Las Vegas is offering so-called Justin Timberlake "prop bets including: What song will kick off Justin's set? Who will join Justin onstage? And "how will Justin enter the arena on Sunday”: Zipline: 2/1, Jet pack: 15/1, Parachute: 50/1
Cute Factor: the voice of Timberlake’s son, Silas, appears on the last track of the “Man Of The Woods” album.
Justin Timberlake - Say Something (Official Video) ft. Chris Stapleton - YouTube
The unique style and sound of St. Vincent (born Anne Clark) blends numerous music genres, and on her latest hit they all come together in a hypnotic stew.
“Los Ageless”—Los Angeles—is St. Vincent’s love-letter to L.A. that’s gone awry. She covers the usual tropes: the relentless quest for youth, pampered women, excessive exercise, how cruel the City can be, how hard it is to break into “the business.” St. Vincent isn’t strident or shrill, she’s just points out the obvious:
In Los Ageless, the winter never comes
In Los Ageless, the mothers milk their young
She regrets that she can’t quite commit:
I guess that's just me, honey, I guess that's how I'm built
I try to write you a love song but it comes out a lament
In Los Ageless, the waves they never break
They build and build until you don't have no escape
St. Vincent likes wordplay: the name of the album that includes “Los Ageless” is "Masseduction."
While “Los Ageless” isn’t as steamy and languid as Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet,” both songs have a moody, haunting quality.
Myles won 1991’s Grammy for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance" and St. Vincent has a Grammy, too, for 2014’s "Best Alternative Album."
“Los Ageless” is currently Top 10 on the Adult Alternative chart.
The song’s video is tres moderne—bright colors, vivid images (red stilettos, pink hair dryers, manicures…).
St. Vincent - "Los Ageless" (Official Video) - YouTube
In the Spring of ’59, when first wave Boomers were in junior high, the music industry gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the first Grammy awards, honoring the songs and artists of 1958.
“Record” And “Song Of The Year” went to "Nel Blue Del Pinto Del Blue."
“Album of The Year” nominees included two Frank Sinatra collections,("Come Fly With Me" and "Only The Lonely", and "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book,” however, both were beaten out by winner Henry Mancini's "The Music From Peter Gunn."
The “Chipmunk Song“ won Best Comedy Performance and it’s still funny to listen to! (Alvin*%#!) (link is below)
Thirteen years later the ceremony was televised, and by now, it’s an EVENT, staged at Madison Square Garden!
In addition to this year’s big contenders: Childish Gambino, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde and Bruno Mars, “Lifetime Achievement Awards” go Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, plus performances by Emmylou Harris, Chris Stapleton, Sting, musician Jon Batiste (of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert), Brothers Osborne, Alessia Cara, Cardi B, Eric Church, Miley Cyrus, Daddy Yankee, DJ Khaled, Luis Fonsi, Elton John, Kesha, Khalid, Lady Gaga, Little Big Town, Logic, Patti LuPone, Maren Morris, P!nk, Ben Platt, Rihanna, Sam Smith, SZA, Bryson Tiller and U2.
It’s on this Sunday night (Jan 28th) at 7:30 ET on CBS, presented by The National Association Of Recording Artists And Sciences –NARAS.
1958 HITS ARCHIVE: The Chipmunk Song - David Seville (original #1 45 single mix) - YouTube
The name is Sofi Tukker and THEY are youthful and spirited, slim and agile, not at all like THAT Sophie Tucker, the “red hot mama” that early Boomers may recall. (She’s been deceased for over 50 years.)
No, THIS Sofi Tukker, a New York City two-some, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, are making their mark in the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) genre with their newest “Best Friend” and its’ sharp, smart, in your face lyrics:
I think that I’ll keep loving you, way past sixty-five
We made a language for us two, we don’t need to describe
Everytime you call on me, I drop what I do
You are my best friend and we’ve got some shit to shoot
(The song sounds better than it reads; reading can’t convey the crisp, sassy delivery.)
The duo's current track, "Best Friend" got a huge exposure boost via its inclusion on the soundtrack of the video soccer game “FIFA 18.”
Sofi Tukker’s electronic dance rhythms have roots—for example “Pump Up The Jam" by Belgians' Technotronic (1991).
Even if “dance music” isn’t your cup of tea, like any other format, classical to Country, opera to Pop, “a good song is a good song” and it’s always worthwhile to hear something special and exciting, regardless of format.
“Best Friend” is rising quickly in airplay on both Top 40 and Alternative radio.
SOFI TUKKER - Best Friend feat. NERVO, The Knocks & Alisa Ueno (Official Video) [Ultra Music] - YouTube