Category Archives: birthdays

“Let ‘er goooo, boys”…

The King of Blue Grass, Bill Monroe, would be 100 years old today. Probably no other artist in the 20th century impacted Country and Blue Grass than mandolinist supreme, William Smith Monroe. His love of music was evident in his performances and in his impact on other artists. Consider “Blue Moon of Kentucky“, likely his most recognizable hit.

And, renditions by some folks you may be more familiar with:

The King of Rock & Roll

The Queen of Country Music

A Few Lads

While they all went up tempo, I still prefer Bill’s original version. Bluegrass is such a guttural genre. It is hurtful, introspective and joyous, all at the same time. Bill Monroe almost single-handedly brought Bluegrass out of the mountain hamlets to the masses. Other “disciples”, like Barbara Mandrell, would continue the message through the years but perhaps the best known is a young boy who first got to play with Monroe on stage at age six:

While this performance is with Flatt & Scruggs (part of Monroe’s original “Bluegrass Boys”), Ricky talks about his first experience of playing with “the man” hisself here:

Likely my favorite, Bill Monroe tune in Uncle Pen, a song, that ironically, became a #1 hit for Ricky Skaggs many years later:

Bill Monroe. A true American icon, lover of music and consemate mentor. Happy Birthday, old boy.

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in birthdays, Country, Influences, music legends


Otis at 70!

The great “Love Man”, Otis Redding would have been 70 yesterday. Killed in a plane crash in December of 1967 at the age of 26, Otis left a relatively small but extremely powerful portfolio of work. His mercuric, yet oh so abbreviated three year run shaped music for the next 40 years. Just recently, Kanye West and Jay-Z collaborated on Otis:

As for me, I’ll stick with the REAL Otis…

Just goes to show that extreme talent and passion endures…


Posted by on September 10, 2011 in birthdays, music legends, Otis Redding


Happy 80th Birthday, Sam Cooke!

Mold-breaker. Extreme talent. Pioneer. Soul Stirrer.


Posted by on January 22, 2011 in birthdays, dudes, inspiration, music legends, Soul


Forty Five


That “thing” again.


Never imagined being 45.  Knew I’d live past 90 as I have VERY good genes, but still never pictured me @ 45.  If I were 40 pounds lighter, it actually would pretty much rock.  But, I have to say that this America is nowhere CLOSE to the America of my youth and I MISS IT.

Went to dinner with some work friends the other night and had the best conversation about Television and TV shows from the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.  Lost in Space, Happy Days, Barney Miller, M*A*S*H, Leave It To Beaver, Wonderful World of Disney, and I could go on and on…Just what happened?  Days like this cause me to reflect on the past and just how much things have changed since that time long, long ago. 

On the other hand, I don’t feel a day over 23 in my mind.  My body throws off aches and pains.  Bad eyesight, tired ankles, and diminished stamina are pervasive, BUT I still look for fun wherever I can find it.  While I am glad to still be here, I’m a bit nostalgic for the “good, old days”.  So, the receipt of a most excellent gift today really had me borderline giddy.  The Beatles’ remastered #1 album in 1964 of Meet the Beatles.

Can I tell you how absolutely “fab” this is?  While the carrier of Lennon-McCartney staples like All My Loving and Hold Me Tight, this sophomore release showcased some of the best covers ever done by The Beatles.

The male version of Please, Mr. Postman is simply superb, while Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven is forever immortalized through this Beatles’ version.  Likewise on Smokey Robinson’s You Really Got a Hold On Me and Barry Gordy’s own Money (That’s What I Want)However, the cover song that I simply ADORE from this album is the staple from The Music Man  — Till There Was You.

Now, just to understand the brillance of The Beatles’ cover of this song, check out the original version by Shirley Jones…

Now, contrast that with Paul’s deftly poetic version:

So, these “rebels” who caused such upheaval and consternation, were actually conessieurs of fine theatre, poetry, art and traditional show tunes.  Who knew?….and it ALL started in 1964.  Ah, yes…a VERY good year.


Posted by on September 24, 2009 in birthdays, the beatles


Happy Birthday, My Friend.

In my thoughts and prayers today.  Dreams can come true…Tink says so.  😉

  Rosie’s Lullaby, Norah Jones

She walked by the ocean,
And waited for a star,
To carry her away.

Feelin’ so small,
At the bottom of the world,
Lookin’ up to God.

She tries to take deep breaths,
To smell the salty sea,
As it moves over her feet.

The water pulls so strong,
And no-one is around,
And the moon is looking down.

Rosie – come with me,
Close your eyes – and dream.

The big ships are rollin’,
And lightin’ up the night,
And she calls out, but they just her pass by.

The waves are crashin’,
But not making a sound,
Just mouthing along.

Rosie – come with me,
Close your eyes and dream,
Close your eyes and dream,
Close your eyes and dream.

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Posted by on November 10, 2008 in birthdays, friends, that's life


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