Tag Archives: David Bowie

My iPod Has Issues – It Has Been a Busy Day

11 Oct

It has been a busy day. It all started with a Historic Lebanon meeting at 7:30. Then, I went to work and prepared for my 9:30 class. After a quick lunch, it was time for my 12:30 class. At that point, I spent time at the copy machine making tests. That involves pushing more buttons than they push in a NASA control room.

I left campus and went to the bank. There were deposits to make. Then, it was to a meeting about city council issues. When that meeting was over, I drove to a meeting of the James E. Ward Agriculture and Community Center Management Committee. Yep, that is a along name. A lot of government committees have long names.

At that point, I went back to campus to finish making copies of tests. Of course, that involved pushing a bunch of buttons. On a mission to find copy paper, I ran into a couple of the other history professors and talked to them for a bit.

After all of that, I made it home to have a dinner of cold pizza. To wind down, I decided to have a little bourbon and see what is going on inside the mind of my iPod.

“Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin

“Keep A Knockin'” by Little Richard

“Changes” by David Bowie

“You Could Be Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

“Sleeping Bag” by ZZ Top

“Standing in the Safety Zone” by The Fairfield Four

“Tombstone Blues” by Bob Dylan

“Lady Marmalade” by Labelle

“I Just Can’t Help Believing” by B.J. Thomas

“No Better for You” by Gay Crosse and the Good Humor Six

“Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers

“Westbound and Down” by Jerry Reed

“Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro

“Next to Me” by Clyde McPhatter

“We Will Rock You” by Queen

“Bring It On Home to Me” by Sam Cooke

“Help Me” by Joni Mitchell

“Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino

“Baby Please Don’t Go” by Van Morrison

“I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – Kicking It Off With Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

31 Aug

My family is watching the MTV Video Music Awards, and I am in my office getting mentally prepared for tomorrow’s classes. The desk is a mess and needs to be cleaned. Looking around, I only see a few things that need to be kept.

The latest edition of National Geographic.

A new voter registration card.

A stack of books that includes Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne.

Oh yeah, there are a couple of vinyl albums, “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd and “Nashville Skyline” by Bob Dylan.

The Country Music Hall of Fame has a new exhibit about Dylan and Johnny Cash. I will see it before it is gone. In honor of that exhibit and the fact that I do not have the time to put together a real post, we will look into the mind of my iPod. Most of it will be random, but I am going to cheat on the first song.Cash and Dylan

“Girl From the North Country” by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

“Bustin’ Out” by Rick James

“Tree of Level” by The Fairfield Four

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John

“Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen

“Walk On By” by Dionne Warwick

“Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards

“She Never Knew Me” by Don Williams

“Love is Strong” by The Rolling Stones

“The Cowboy Rides Away” by George Strait

“Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band

“La Grange” by ZZ Top

“Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere and the Raiders

“White Lightning Ballad” by Charles Bernstein

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2

“C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran

“Stockholm Blues” by Tony Joe White

“You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” by Judas Priest

“Fantastic Voyage” by Lakeside

“I Want To” by Joe Tex

The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1983

5 Apr

When we get into the car, my stepdaughter hooks her iPod up to the system, and the sounds of the 2010s come blasting through the speakers. She sings and can tell us anything we want to know about the people who are singing. Without her, my pop culture knowledge would be zero.

Some of the music is good, and some of it is less desirable. However, it is always fun to see how much enjoyment she gets out of it.

The other day, we were riding and jamming when I started thinking about the effect of music on our formative years. These are the songs we grow up with, and they stick with us throughout our lives. I came to age in the 1980s and, like others my age, feel a connection to the music of that time. I am not saying it was the best of all time, but it belongs to us.

The songs of the 1980s are the soundtrack of our youth just as the songs of the 2010s are the soundtrack of my stepdaughter’s youth. Because of that, each generation holds its music in a little higher esteem than everyone else does.

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to look back at my high school years and see what was at the top of the charts. I entered high school in 1983, and that will be our starting point. I will also use the Billboard Top 100. Obviously, there are other charts for other genres, but we do not want to go down a rabbit hole and never get out.1983

“Maneater” by Hall and Oates held the spot for the first two weeks of the year. These days, John Oates does a lot of work in Nashville.

The next three weeks were dominated by “Down Under” by Men at Work. This is one of my favorite songs from that year.

For one week, Toto’s “Africa” hit the top spot. It is interesting that two songs about other parts of the world made their way to the top of the American charts. It is also interesting that Men at Work returned to the top place after this one week.

Patti Austin and James Ingram hit it big with “Baby, Come to Me”, but were soon overwhelmed by a 1980s superstar.

In March, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson became the Number One song and stayed there for seven weeks.

Here is a good trivia question. Who knocked “Billie Jean” out of the top spot? It was Dexys Midnight Runners with “Come On Eileen”. However, their success was short-lived.

After one week, Michael Jackson came back by putting “Beat It” in the top spot. It would stay there for three weeks.

The next week, “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie made its way to Number One, but it did not hold on for long.

Irene Cara’s “Flashdance…What a Feeling” was a hit on the radio and on the big screen. For six weeks, guys listened to this song and pictured a dancer pouring water on herself.

A song about stalking was next on the list. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police is a good song, but it gets weird as you listen closer to the lyrics. Actually, it was the biggest hit of 1983 and stayed Number One for eight weeks.

Eurythmics rode “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” up the charts. In my mind, this is also one of the best songs of the year.

Then, we have “Maniac” by Michael Sembello. This is the second song from the Flashdance soundtrack to make it to the top of the charts.

Billy Joel was on top with “Tell Her About It” for one week and was overtaken by “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. This is also one of my favorites and held its position for four weeks.

The country went the Pop Country route with “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. They are both in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

They were at the top for two weeks before Lionel Richie came through with “All Night Long (All Night)” in November. He stayed there for four weeks.

The year ended with a four-week stay at the top by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. “Say Say Say” was a duet that proves McCartney is not new to collaboration. His recent work with Kanye West and Rihanna is just the most recent example.

That is it for 1983. In the next post, we will look at 1984 and find out which of these performers kept their momentum into the next year.

Obviously, these are not the only songs of the year. What were some of your favorites?

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – The Eve of Christmas Eve

23 Dec

Christmas is almost upon us. All those hours of decorating, shopping and “ugly sweater” partying comes down to a couple of days.

In our family, Christmas is spread over a couple of days. The afternoon of Christmas Eve is spent at the home of my parents. Christmas Eve night is a bit of a puzzle. Traditionally, my mom’s family and her mom’s family get together at the exact same time in two different counties. For that reason, we compromise and alternate years. This year, we will go to her mom’s place.

Through the years, Christmas Day has been less hectic. We go to my brother’s home for breakfast with his family. For me, that used to be the end of it. We used to celebrate with my dad’s side of the family, but most of them are no longer with us. Since out marriage, we drive a couple of counties away to visit my father-in-law’s relations.

In other words, the next couple of days are going to be crazy. Of course, Christmas is like that for a lot of people. We are lucky that our families do not live half way around the world.

Drive. Eat. Open gifts. Drive. Open gifts. Visit. Eat. That is a ton of activity. Then, it is all over. The decorations come down. The food leftovers are put into Tupperware. Normalcy returns.

In anticipation of the craziness to come, let us explore the craziness of my iPod. Unfortunately, it will not be Christmas themed because there is only one Christmas song on the playlist. However, I will cheat a little and start things off with that solitary Christmas tune.Bing Crosby

“Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

“Green Green Grass of Home” by Porter Wagoner

“You Must Believe in Spring” by Tony Bennett and Bill Evans

“Mumblin’ Guitar” by Bo Diddley

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

“Jump, Jive And Wail” by Louis Prima

“Soul Francisco” by Tony Joe White

“Season In Hell” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band

“Blood And Roses” by The Smithereens

“Farther Along” by Mississippi John Hurt

“Youth Gone Wild” by Skid Row

“The Heart Of The Matter” by Don Henley

“Rockin’ The Joint” by Esquerita

“Walk Away Renee” by The Left Banke

“The Fat Man” by Fats Domino

“Mercado Muevo” by John Murphy

“Contempt – Theme De Camille” by Georges Delerue

“Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley

“Before Today” by Everything But The Girl

“Walk On By” by Dionne Warwick

If I do not get back to the blogging world before Christmas, then I hope everyone has a great one.

 

The Problem With Christmas

15 Dec

This blog began as a sarcastic view upon the world. Simply, I was going to write about the dumbness that we encounter in our everyday lives. There was a diatribe about gas pumps that used to get tons of hits. Then, there was part of the Sonic Drive-In business model. Recently, I went after people who choose to drive big ass vehicles.

It is now the season to discuss the problem with Christmas. Actually, we should make that plural.Christmas

Food – I have no problem with the food that is prepared for Christmas. I think it is awesome. In fact, it is awesome enough that it should be prepared all year. That, therefore, is the problem. If something is good enough to eat in December, then it is good enough to eat in June.

Sausage balls are one of my favorite foods, but I only get them at Christmas. That is a ridiculous concept that needs to be immediately changed. They should be a staple of the daily diet.

I also like boiled custard. Those of you who drink eggnog are doing the wrong thing. You should be drinking boiled custard. You should also be drinking it all the time.

Music – There is only one good Christmas song, and it only has one decent version. The season is not complete without hearing Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing “Little Drummer Boy.” However, even it should only be played on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is no reason to start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween.

That, therefore, is the problem. Christmas songs are played too early and too often.

The Three Wise Guys – They traveled from afar while following the brightest star in the sky. They bore gifts for the child that they knew would be found under its light. The journey must have been difficult and long. The three men, being wise, had plenty of time to contemplate the importance of their mission. I wonder if they knew the impact their trip would have on the world’s economy.

Three men bearing gifts for a newborn child created a tradition that would overwhelm the holiday designed to honor that very child. That, therefore, is the problem. The giving and receiving of gifts dominate Christmas. People fight to grab products on Black Friday. Stores cannot wait for the end of the year because they know that is when profits will be made. The holiday has become a contest to see how many gifts we can cram under a tree.

If the three wise guys had left the gold, frankincense and myrrh at home, then things would be quite a bit different.

Paganism – I have no problem with paganism. In my opinion, women can dance naked in the woods all they want. That, therefore, is not the problem. The issue is that people fill their houses with pagan symbols and do not realize it.

All of those Christmas Trees that people spend time setting up and decorating. Yep, it is a pagan symbol. It may come from some nature rite. It could be a way to bring nature into the home during a long winter. It could be a lot of things, but it definitely comes from a time before Christianity reached Europe.

Oh yeah, we cannot forget the wreaths. These things have a long pagan history. Heck, Roman emperors even wore them on their heads like a crown. Those would be the same Romans that Pontius Pilate worked for. Yep, paganism.

Characters – Santa Claus. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Frosty the Snowman. The Grinch. Heat Miser. Cold Miser. There are a ton of characters that have been created for Christmas. That, therefore, is the problem.

All of those Christmas characters have come to dominate Jesus, the character for which the holiday was created.

Reason for the Season – We spend a lot of time doing a lot of things at Christmas. People prepare special food. People spend a lot of time listening to songs. People spend a lot of time spending a lot of money. People spend a lot of time decorating their houses. People spend a lot of time watching television specials and taking pictures with Santa Claus.

That, therefore, is the problem. We spend all that time and forget about what Christmas is all about. I am not the most religious person in the world, but we should not forget that Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of a man who greatly altered the world.

This is not meant to be a religious debate. Some people believe, and some people do not. Millions upon millions believe in other religions and religious figures. However, no one can deny that this is a holiday that honors the man who one of the world’s major religions is based on. All of this other stuff just takes away from that.

My iPod Has Issues – Or Maybe Not

8 Oct

This History of American Music course that I am teaching has me digging deeper into my iPod than I ever have. I knew there was a bunch of stuff in there. Heck, I downloaded it all. However, I did not realize that depths of its knowledge. When I want to play a sample for the class, I find it on my iPod. It makes me realize that the iPod does not have any issues at all. It is simply steeped in music history.iPod

In honor of this newfound respect for the iPod, I have decided to explore its inner workings and see what is there. Besides, I cannot think of anything else to write about.

“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition

“Night Train” by Alvino Rey

“Wild World” by Cat Stevens

“America” by Neil Diamond

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

“Luck Be a Lady” by Michael Civisca

“You Really Got Me” by The Kinks

“John Barleycorn” by Traffic

“Changes” by David Bowie

“When I Can Afford to Lose” by Will Hoge

“Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters

“Sweet Tennessee” by Judah and the Lion

“The Road to Hell” by Chris Rea

“High Fever Blues” by Bukka White

“Don’t Cry” by Guns N’ Roses

“My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

“All the Young Dudes” by Mott the Hoople

“Elevation” by Television

“Still” by The Commodores

“Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp

Yeah, maybe my iPod is not as crazy as everyone thinks.

 

My iPod Has Issues – The Griswold’s Go to D.C.

14 Jul

Tomorrow, my wife, my stepdaughter and I are traveling to Washington, D.C. to explore the halls of power and see a lot of cool stuff. We are doing it the old-fashioned way – by driving. Well, that is not as old-fashioned as the way Andrew Jackson went to Washington after his election, but it is old-fashioned in the terms that we are not flying.

I grew up going on road trips across the country. My wife grew up going to one place and hanging out for a while. This trip is a compromise. I get to drive, and she gets to stay in one spot for most of the time. We are also mixing in historic stuff with a foray to a beach after the D.C. adventures are finished.Griswold

Later, we will start packing the vehicle, and my mind will start focusing on getting us from here to there. For the next week, I will check-in and read blogs, but I will not be writing any. Upon our return, I am certain that there will be some good stories to share.

In the meantime, I leave you with a selection of songs from the old iPod.

“Young Americans” by David Bowie

“You Must Be Evil” by Chris Rea

“Honky Tonk Women” by The Rolling Stones

“Radar Love” by Golden Earring

“Wasted Time” by The Eagles

“Main Street” by Bob Seger

“Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan

“That’s the Way of the World” by Earth, Wind and Fire

“Sandman” by America

“Let the Four Winds Blow” by Fats Domino

“Sittin’ Here Drinking” by Christine Kittrell

“Yesterday’s Wine” by Willie Nelson

“Boom Boom” by The Animals

“Wild Thing” by Jimi Hendrix

“Missing You” by John Waite

“Deadwood Mountain” by Big and Rich

“Just Pretend” by Elvis Presley

“The Lonely Man” by Tennessee Ernie Ford

“Rites” by Jan Garbarek

“The Searchers” by Sons of the Pioneers

I will catch you on the flip side.