In 1976 Elton John & Kiki Dee had a global hit with their sassy, light-hearted, cute duet, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” …
…which is the exact same name of the latest by Backstreet Boys, except that theirs isn’t sassy or lighthearted, rather, it’s a serious song about love and commitment.
I'm not that kind of person who can fall in and out of love with you
That's not what love's supposed to do
BSB lit the fuse for the 90s Boy Band craze, and now they are grown-ups, celebrating their 20th anniversary--you can clearly see on their video, and also by the content of their new song, that they aren’t boys anymore.
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is their first release since 2013, and it’s skyrocketed into #17 on Adult Top 40 and #26 on the Top 40 charts.
Songs with the same name remind us of Humphrey Bogart’s remark in “Casablanca” --“of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Rephrasing that to “of all the words in the English language, isn’t it incredible that completely different kinds of songs can have the exact same title?”
One would think with literally thousands of word combinations that no hit song title would ever be borrowed for a different tune, but there are numerous examples of this happening: "Shout" by the Isley Brothers and "Shout" the 80's hit by Tears For Fears, and "One" from 3 Dog Night in the late 60's to "One" by U2 in the early 90's and the first Motown hit, Barrett Strong’s "Money" and Pink Floyd's classic "Money."
Backstreet Boys - Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Official Video) - YouTube
Elton John - Don't Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee) - YouTube
D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley’s drummer from 1954-1968, has died in his sleep in Nashville. He was 87 years old, the last of the original members of Presley’s band.
Fontana’s energy, power, and excitement were key contributors to Elvis’ unique sound—together, they recorded more than 400 sides for RCA, including hits like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t be Cruel” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
Beginning in his hometown Shreveport, LA high school marching band, Fontana studied the structure and style of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and the Dorsey Brothers, later playing with western swing bands, and as the house drummer for the famed Louisiana Hayride, where he first met, and played with, Elvis.
After Elvis’ death, Fontana continued to record, primarily as a Nashville session musician, and in 1999, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Elvis Presley - Hound Dog (1956) HD 0815007 - YouTube
We live in an age of High! Tech! Events are Bigger, Louder and Ever More Spectacular!!
Simplicity isn’t even in the conversation!
Except… that… Florida Georgia Line is whistling and strumming their way up the Country chart with " Simple” described by one half of the multi award winning duo as "four chords and heart" --his musical partner says, "we feel like we upped our game on this project".
Simple” is upbeat, has a catchy tune, cute lyrics and a corny delivery:
It's like one, two, three
Just as easy as can be
Just the way you look at me
You make me smile
Ain't no need to complicate it, we both know that's overrate
We've been there, it's safe to say it ain't our style
We used to live on Instagram
Worry 'bout who all gives a damn
'Bout where we've been and where we ended up
Then I met you and you met me
And all the rest is history an epiphany
Claiming that the “modern” world is just "too much" is a sentiment that cuts across generations.
Almost 50 years ago the Statler Brothers sang the same message, also with cute and catchy lyrics and an uncomplicated melody. “Do You Remember These” touched on Howdy Doody, Ovaltine, and a slew of other cultural cues that implied 1972 was just too complicated compared to those earlier times, simpler, years.
Florida Georgia Line - Simple (Lyric Version) - YouTube
When Maroon 5 released "Girls Like You" (their newest), an up-tempo love song, the buzz was instantaneous. Almost every Top 40 and Adult Top 40 outlet had the song in high rotation, resulting in millions of streams and millions of views. In less than 2 weeks the song is top 20.
“Girls Like You,” featuring adorable rapper Cardi B, is hip and jumpy, with non-challenging lyrics: a short story with a happy ending:
He flys 24 hours to see her, hoping that she’ll ignore his failings; they make things right.
The video is a treat, featuring 2-second cameos by at least two dozen powerful, strong women of various sizes, shapes and colors ranging from Gal Gadot, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J Blige, Ellen Degeneras to Olympic athletes, political activists, writers…
Apparently, a rock song about “girls like you” is an evergreen. In 1967 The Rascals took a different approach, and had a hit with "A Girl Like You.”
Lots of attention paid this week to the 50th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s death (Thurs., June 6th), which came just two months after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, both events occurring as the war in Viet Nam was escalating---CNN dubbed it "the most turbulent time in American history."
This was the world that the first wave of Boomers (born 1946) were entering, as they graduated, en masse, from college.
The nation’s soul needed soothing and Dion lent the perfect amount of emotion in “Abraham, Martin, and John”, a soliloquy written by songwriter Dick Holler, that became a hit and that helped calm a nation that was reeling from one calamity to the next.
(BTW, photojournalist Harry Benson’s picture book, “RFK”, came out last month.)
We would be remiss to not mention that yesterday (June 7th) would have been Prince’s 60th birthday. To mark the occasion, there will be a weekend event in Henderson, Minn, about 50 miles from the Twin Cities, where most of “Purple Rain” was filmed.
There’s always a place at the Country music table for men crying in their beer after losing a good woman--it’s just a question of modernization and packaging.
And just like real estate, a lot has to do with location, location, location.
For George Strait it was that “Ocean Front Property”--in Arizona--(with the Golden Gate Bridge thrown in for free), his 1987 monster hit which no doubt helped heal his broken heart, and now here’s Country heart-throb Sam Hunt‘s "Downtown's Dead" (because—why else—she’s not there) rocketing into the top 20 just weeks after its release, no doubt helping to heal HIS broken heart.
When George Strait sang “Ocean Front Property," 30+ years ago, he wore a cowboy hat and a shirt with pearl buttons and a patterned yoke; he was a nice, non-threatening kind of guy, with a sound that was clearly, definitely, Country; Sam Hunt is buff, wears a black T-shirt and is famous for his looks and sex appeal. His sound is mild Country.
Both guys have “it.” George Strait has racked up more #1 songs than anyone in Country music history. Sam Hunt’s recent "Body Like A Back Road" spent 34 weeks at #1, the longest stretch in Country music history!
Sam Hunt - Downtown's Dead (Lyrics/Lyric Video) - YouTube
When 24-year old super-star Ariana Grande opened the Billboard Music Awards two weeks age with her hit "No Tears Left To Cry,” she bowled us over with her vocal range and soulful sensitivity that brought the song’s lyrics to life.
Naturally, our thoughts turned to a pre-diva 20-something Mariah Carey and her 1991 #1 hit, “I Don’t Want to Cry,” which bowled us over with HER vocal range and soulful sensitivity that also brought lyrics to life. Carey's "Tears" are slow and torchy--Grande's are faster and more "modern," but both sing of the same emotionally fraught moment, when a good love starts going bad.
Ariana Grande is as much a pop culture sensation as Mariah Carey was back in her day; Grande sings and acts and is a social media superstar with millions of fans; she’s the third most followed person on Instagram.
“No Tears Left To Cry” is in heavy radio rotation and charting near the top 10 on Top 40 and Adult Top 40 formats.
Grande releases her 4th album this summer; her previous three have been certified platinum.
In the midst of the Memorial Day BBQs, beaches, and hitting the road, we completely overlooked the legendary singer/songwriter AND Boomer Stevie Nicks' 70th birthday, which was last Sat. (May 26th).
Men have had their fantasies about her, and many women have, too, wanting to emulate her style, and maybe capture that unique aura.
Nicks still performs as a solo act, and later this year she'll tour with Fleetwood Mac minus Lindsey Buckingham and now with Mike Campbell, formerly guitar player with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn of Crowded House.
Stevie Nicks- Edge of Seventeen (Lyrics) - YouTube
Mt. Joy plays to an Alternative and Adult Alternative fan base, so it’s OK if you’ve never heard of them, however, they are prepping for the mainstream, i.e. announcing their first ever festival sets at the legendary Bonnaroo and Newport Folk Festivals, which is the equivalent of climbing the corporate ladder or “paying your dues” for the rest of us.
The band’s latest, “Silver Lining,” is a moody, dark-ish, forceful rock song, written 5-6 years ago by Matt Quinn, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, when he was a college student.
…wear that silver lining
Wear it close to your skin
Not all his lines are as good as those, but if you are jonesing for that Springsteen vibe--jammed-up energy, like in a jack-in- the-box, the kind that is experienced by those younger than we, than this could be a song for you.
Quinn was inspired by Bruce Springsteen; he says “Thunder Road" “might be his all-time favorite tune."
“Silver Lining” is #2 on the Adult Alternative chart.
Mt. Joy’s two founding members are from Philadelphia, PA. They’ve added three more band mates, and are based in Los Angeles, CA.
Mt. Joy - Silver Lining [Official Music Video] - YouTube