End of Summer, Beach Bummer…

“…I rock to and fro like Ray Charles at the piano, as their trademark harmonies grow…”

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As a lover of summer (as long as there is silently cool a/c at night to sleep in), the start of Autumn can be a bummer, which is one reason I love a  South Carolina beach, where I’ve enjoyed surf and sandy days in October!

That is as far south as I plan to trek ; maybe someday, I’ll buy a house there with an ocean-facing deck. September somehow also makes me always want to hear The Beach Boys.  Maybe because as a disc jockey, I’d never play them again in a typical year until their Christmas song.

This tune from their Holland Days (sauce) sessions, with new singer for the time-being, Blondie Chaplin is my Fall folly anthem.  It took me a “minute” to realize it was them singing it too!  Part of the problem was that it was played on Rock stations and the jocks rarely back-announced it; same for the Pop stations of those early 1970s days.   Still a smooth Indian Summer groove and its those trademark, in-unison background “ooos” and “ahhs” that ultimately give it away to my ears as a classic “Beach Bums” jam.  I rock to and fro like Ray Charles at the piano, as their harmonies grow.  Just like good vibes, fun, California Girls and T-birds, for my every summer, they sing the last words of inspiration:

“Seldom stumble, never crumble Try to tumble, life’s a rumble Feel the stinging I’ve been given Never ending, unrelenting Heartbreak searing, always fearing Never caring, persevering Sail on, sail on, sailor…”

 

“Hold ON!” Eddie Money and My First Real Radio DJ Gig

“I can still see the four or five Harris cart machines in front of me and behind the suspended microphone on 1490, WFLB AM, where I first played “Baby Hold On To Me” in 1978…”

Here is my DJ story about Eddy Money, who we lost this week at 70 years young:

I “met” Mr. Money when I had to play his song, “Baby Hold On To Me” in-rotation, as I jocked “The Midnight Express” (a title I inherited from the previous jock who had moved on to 15WLAC, Nashville) radio show on Top 40, WFLB AM 1490, Fayetteville, NC in 1978.

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I was just getting used to strictly formatted radio and we were part of the ABC Contemporary network.  I would listen to other overnight jocks in major markets, like Viv Roundtree, in cue during long songs because I was so starved for material and bored.  Very homesick – my first time a long way from home after college – and at the time, engaged to marry my college sweetheart, who I’d left behind in Long Island, New York, it was my first commercial gig on the air after my college station years.

Every time I’ve heard of Brooklyn’s own, Eddie Money during the ensuing years, I am back in that second floor studio, behind and overlooking the the McDonald’s restaurant takeout window on Bragg Boulevard, thinking and hearing “Baby Hold On”, its cold ending and the following record I would front-announce.  What a strong song!!

We played music on “carts” back then in radio; they resembled 8 track tapes.  I can still see the four or five Harris cart machines in front of me and behind the suspended microphone on ‘FLB AM, where I first played “Baby Hold On To Me” in 1978.  The Program Director, “Dr. Larry Cannon” had taped a sign whose phrase I carry with me to this very day.  It read, “Communication Is The Key“.

RIP Eddie Money; I hope you finally got at least one “Ticket To Paradise”!

 

Be sure to check in over at my mothership blog, achilliad.wordpress.com for op-ed musings and other content.  Thank you and please leave your comment!

 

New Countrytime musikal lemonade revu: Sylvia “Second Bloom – The Hits Re-Imagined”

“I’d never heard of her previously, apparently these songs were originally released three decades ago!  Wow, they are still fresh and relevant.  From the first orchestral notes of the album, “Drifter” paints a story…”

 

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June 8, 2018 saw the reincarnation and rejuvenation of ten tunes by Country/Pop and Adult Contemporary singer, Sylvia, entitled “Second Bloom – The Hits Re-Imagined” [Red Pony Records RPR-1104].  Since that date, she’s been holding court at Country music conventions and hosting radio shows! All grown up now since her early 1980s debuts of these tunes, Sylvia (Hutton) croons often about romantic heartbreak.

I’d never heard of her previously, apparently these songs were originally released three decades ago!  Wow, they are still fresh and relevant.  From the first orchestral notes of the album, “Drifter” paints a story that could be a cowboy plains rider or old USA western-style movie – Pause! “Country & Western” is what people used to call this music! images

The proof is on track three, when she tells her friend, “Tumbleweed”, “you live in a cowboy’s dream…”. Initially sounding like a yodel, that track grew on me!

Slightly sad but not depressing, Sylvia sings about the quirks in romantic relationships from a woman’s perspective; often unrequited with cheatin’ involved like on “Nobody”, a cute play on the word, and often-used tactic by the writers.  I can hear why these were hits – and they still are!

Sylvia’s selections are delivered in typical blunt Country music style,but without the raw edges and always with a lesson. You get ten songs, 70% of which are instant tune wedgies and 60% penned by the duo of Fleming and Morgan.   718oyIXF2kL._SX522_

I dig the fiddle and arrangement on “Fallin’ In Love”!  I like how she handles the boyfriend assuming the posture of “oh she’s just a friend” on “Like Nothing Ever Happened”and the catchy little ditty, “Snapshot”, track eight, which is a different kind of “hold it, say cheese…” as in “caught ya cheatin’!” This version is more mature-sounding that the 1983 original, which had a bubblegum feel to it.  Its “you’re busted, Dude” story-line and playful melody will entrance you instantly! No wonder that the song originally rose to #5 with a bullet from her third album.

“Sweet yesterday” is almost acapella at times and showcases her perfect pitch.  Later, you get a wee taste of easy Caribbean island flavor on “I love You By Heart”.

Professional, crisp and clearly enunciated polished singing, Sylvia is a natural with excellent phrasing like on “Cry Just A Little” which begins with a nice acoustic guitar intro of a few licks. How can we not love this music?

Finally, there once was only one “Sylvia” in my musical life, the late Ms. Robinson, head of Englewood, New Jersey’s R&B label, All Platinum (“Pillowtalk”).  Now, I am happy to add another. Therefore, unequivocally I give this four-out-of-five western boots to “Second Bloom” and you should add it to your collection.   ls

Compare the “blooms” for yourself and watch for any new videos of the re-imagined…

 

and the “Second Bloom” version

Check out her website!  www.SylviaMusic.com  and as always, check in with my mothership www.achilliad.wordpress.com    Thank you and please leave comments.