Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #10

We’re taking a bit of a departure this week for tonight’s serenade.  Wichita Lineman isn’t exactly a summer song, but I wanted to note the loss of another great musician this past week.

I can remember watching Glen Campbell on television when I was a kid.    I can recall my little brother calling him ‘Glim Candle.’  Of course, back then I had no appreciation for the amazing talent the man was.  He was a singer, songwriter, gifted musician, and he even tried his hand at acting.

He was in the original True Grit, the good one, with John Wayne, not the sorry remake from a few years back.

He succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s, the same disease that took my grandmother.  To say that it’s an awful thing is a massive understatement.  People always think of confused old people who don’t remember the names of their family members.  But that’s just where it starts.

My grandmother started running away from her home because she didn’t recognize my grandfather, her husband of over 50 years.  He finally moved her into a nursing home, where she felt more at peace.  But the disease began to eat away at her other functions: mobility, sight, hearing, the ability to swallow.  It’s devastating.

While looking for tonight’s song, I came across this interview with Alice Cooper about his good friend Glen Campbell.  At one point he says that when he found out about Glen’s diagnosis, he hoped it would take him quickly.  I get that.

Wichita Lineman is a simple, beautiful song about a hard-working man who’s away from his love.

I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main road
Searchin’ in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin’ in the wire, I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

I know I need a small vacation but it don’t look like rain
And if it snows that stretch down south won’t ever stand the strain
And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

I hope you’re spending a wonderful August weekend, doing what you love with those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.  Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017

It’s back again–HBO’s annual special, their broadcast of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for 2017, held earlier this month.  This year’s inductees are talented and diverse.  The class of 2017 includes Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, ELO, Yes, Joan Baez, and Nile Rodgers.  Rolling Stone posted tiny snippets from the ceremony on Instagram the following day, and if those little tidbits are any indication, we’re in for a great show.

While I appreciate all of the inductees, Journey and ELO hold special places in my heart.  Journey always takes me back to my college days.  Don’t Stop Believin’ has become a part of our cultural landscape, as a song in its own right, but also as the last thing we heard as The Sopranos headed off into the sunset.  And have you ever seen the Broadway show, Rock of Ages?  Journey’s quintessential anthem is the show’s finale.

But that seemed like a way too easy pick for this occasion.  So I went to one of my all-time favorite ELO songs, Mr. Blue Sky.  Mr. R disagrees with me, he’s not a fan of the Electric Light Orchestra, but I say he’s wrong.  Which he sometimes is when it comes to music.  I mean, he likes Bread for corn’s sake!

I hope you join us, and probably a couple of other people, tonight as we relive the glory days with some of rock’s royalty.  It’s a great way to spend a few hours.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Witchcraft

I’m in a Halloween-y sort of mood.  There are quite a few songs that fit the bill.  But tonight I’m going all retro.

Precious few have ever been as cool as Frank Sinatra.  Even if you’ve heard all the stories about how he was ‘connected’.  Or maybe in spite of them.  I can never look at him and not think about Johnny Fontane from The Godfather.

There was one about the time he paid a guy $50 to punch writer Dominick Dunne, a fact oddly mentioned in Dunne’s obituary.  The man apologized beforehand.  “It’s not the money.  I’m afraid not to.”

Frank Sinatra cool............Happy Friday.:

Another story tells about the time a valet brought his car around.  “What’s the biggest tip you ever got?” he asked the young man.  “$100,” he answered.  Frank gave him $200 and asked who gave him the $100.  “You did, sir.  Last week,” was the reply.

But back to Halloween.  Here’s Frank Sinatra singing Witchcraft, a perfect song for an October Saturday night.  You might even take the one you love and foxtrot to this smooth classic.  Happy Saturday night!