It’s finally here, my favorite season of the year: Autumn. I am always jumping for joy when the Fall season rolls around because I know that I’ll soon be released from the torturous heat of yet another Austin summer. What I found interesting in putting this seasonal playlist together is that most of the songs about Autumn are rather melancholy and depressive even. I guess some folks mark it as the beginning of a dreary time with trees going dormant and cold weather setting in. But I love the season. I deeply miss seeing the amazing Fall colors (the leaves don’t really change down here in Texas) but still, I am beyond thrilled that cooler temperatures will be ushered in and ultimately lead to the winter months. I always find myself hoping that it will be an extremely cold winter but that never happens here in Austin. If I’m lucky, I might get a few days of Brrrr weather and maybe an opportunity to wear a jacket or a sweatshirt once or twice.
Anyway, here is my Autumn playlist. The first few songs I thought of right away when thinking about Fall but then I had to go searching for other songs to fit the theme. I am excited to have found some new-to-me songs and bands. Hope you enjoy them all. Below the playlist is a list of the songs in order and some background info on the music.
Seasons of Wither by Aerosmith – One of the first songs that came to mind and definitely a favorite of mine: “Seasons of Wither” is a power ballad by American hard rock band Aerosmith. It was written by lead singer Steven Tyler. It was released in 1974 on the band’s second album Get Your Wings.
According to Tyler, the song was inspired by the Massachusetts landscape in wintertime. He wrote this song during the Winter of 1973, inspired by the winter landscape around the house he was living in with drummer Joey Kramer in Needham, Massachusetts. Tyler explained in the Aerosmith autobiography Walk This Way: “I used to lie in my bed at dawn, listening to the wind in the bare trees, how lonely and melancholy it sounded. I was pissed off about my taxes and getting mad helps me to write, so one night I went down to the basement where we had a rug on the floor and a couple of boxes for furniture and took a few Tuinals and a few Seconals and I scooped up this guitar Joey gave me, this Dumpster guitar, and I lit some incense and wrote ‘Seasons of Wither.'”
The song’s lyrics also discuss a relationship. It is one of Tyler’s favorite Aerosmith songs. The song is highlighted by acoustic guitars, slow haunting vocals, and a strong rhythm. On the Get Your Wings album, the song starts off with a crowd of people cheering, which gradually fades to the howling wind and an acoustic guitar played by Tyler.
California Dreamin’ by the Mamas & the Papas – This is one of the first songs I think of when I think of cooler weather approaching. Even though it’s more about winter, the song reminds me of Fall up north — which often feels like winter to some.
“California Dreamin'” is a song written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and was first recorded by Barry McGuire. However, the best known version is by The Mamas & the Papas, who sang backup on the original version and released it as a single in 1965. The song became a signpost of the California Myth and the arrival of the nascent counterculture era.
The single was not an immediate breakthrough. After gaining little attention in Los Angeles upon its release, Michelle Phillips remembers that it took a radio station in Boston to break the song nationwide. After making its chart debut in January 1966, the song peaked at number 4 in March on both the Billboard Hot 100, lasting 17 weeks, and Cashbox, lasting 20 weeks. “California Dreamin'” was the #1 single of 1966 in Billboard and tied for number 1 with “Ballad of the Green Berets” in Cashbox. “California Dreamin'” also reached #23 on the UK charts upon its original release and re-charted after its use in a Carling Black Label commercial in 1997, eventually peaking at number 9 there.
“California Dreamin’” was certified as a Gold Record (single) by the RIAA in June 1966 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. It is #89 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The lyrics of the song express the narrator’s longing for the warmth of Los Angeles during a cold winter in New York City.
In a 2002 interview with NPR (National Public Radio), Michelle Phillips explained how this song came about. It was 1963, and she was newly married to John Phillips. They were living in New York City, which was having a particularly cold winter, at least by Michelle’s standards as she was from sunny California. John would walk around the apartment at night working out tunes, and one morning brought the first verse of the song to Michelle. It was a song about longing to be in another place, and it was inspired by Michelle’s homesickness.
Michelle enjoyed visiting churches, and a few days before, she and John visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which inspired the second verse (“Stopped into a church…”). John hated the verse, as he was turned off to churches by unpleasant memories of parochial school, but he couldn’t think of anything better so he left it in. So glad he did! I love that line.
This is a rare pop song that contains a flute solo. Even more surprising, it’s an alto flute, which is larger than a regular flute and plays in a lower register. A Jazz player named Bud Shank was brought to the session to play it. Doug Thompson tells this story:
Denny Doherty once told me that when they were recording that song, they wanted a solo, but didn’t want the usual guitar solo. John Phillips walked out into the hall of the Hollywood recording studio they were at and Bud Shank was in that hallway as well. John grabbed him and brought him into the studio. Shank listened to the hole he was supposed to fill and nailed it on the first take.
Harvest Moon by Neil Young – “Harvest Moon” is the title track from Canadian musician Neil Young’s twentieth studio album, released in November 1992. Many of the musicians appearing on it also appeared on his 1972 album Harvest, and it is considered by many to be the unofficial “sequel” to Harvest.
Neil Young’s credits on the song “Harvest Moon” include guitar, banjo-guitar, piano, pump organ, vibes, and of course his unmistakable vocals.
The moon is a big deal to Neil Young. It shows up in 28 of his songs, and he uses it to guide him. Industry folks know that he is more likely to take on a project if it coincides with a full moon. In a 2005 interview with Harp, he explained: “Before there was organized religion, there was the moon. The Indians knew about the moon. Pagans followed the moon. I’ve followed it for as long as I can remember, and that’s just my religion. I’m not a practicing anything, I don’t have a book that I have to read. It can be dangerous working in a full moon atmosphere, because if there are things that are going to go wrong, they can really go wrong. But that’s great, especially for rock ‘n’ roll.”
Forever Autumn by the Moody Blues – “Forever Autumn” is a song written by Jeff Wayne, Gary Osborne and Paul Vigrass. The original melody was written by Wayne in 1969 as a jingle for a Lego commercial. Vigrass and Osborne, the performers of the original jingle, added lyrics to the song and recorded it for inclusion on their 1972 album Queues. Their interpretation was also released as a single and gained moderate commercial success in Japan, selling more than 100,000 copies and becoming a top-20 hit on the country’s record chart.
The best-known version is the recording by Justin Hayward from the album Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. Wayne wanted to include a love song on the album that sounded like “Forever Autumn” and he decided that the best course of action was to simply use the original song. Wayne chose Hayward, of The Moody Blues, to sing it saying that he “wanted that voice from ‘Nights in White Satin.'” It was recorded at London’s Advision Studios in 1976. The song reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1978.
A slightly different mix (notably excluding the narration from the album) was released as a single. The latter version was included in the Moody Blues’ box set Time Traveller. Although sometimes falsely credited as being an original single by the Moody Blues itself, Hayward has performed the song live with that group.
A new version was released in late 2012, sung by Gary Barlow for the new album Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation.
Leaves That Are Green by Simon & Garfunkel – “Leaves That Are Green” is a song from Sounds of Silence, the second studio album by Simon & Garfunkel, released on January 17, 1966. A solo acoustic version of “Leaves That Are Green” (along with “I Am a Rock”, “April Come She Will”, “A Most Peculiar Man”, and “Kathy’s Song”) appeared on Paul Simon’s first solo album, The Paul Simon Songbook, released in August 1965 in London.
Autumn Changes by Donna Summer – “Autumn Changes” was the third track from American singer-songwriter Donna Summer’s Four Seasons of Love, and like the rest of this 1976 concept album, was co-written by the lady herself with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Running to around 5 minutes 28 seconds, it is the second song on Side 2.
Four Seasons of Love is her fourth studio album. Released on October 11, 1976, this concept album became her third consecutive successful album to be certified gold in the US. It peaked at #29 on the Billboard 200. In addition, all the cuts on this album went to number one on the disco chart.
This was the third concept album Summer had made, though unlike the previous two which had contained one long track on side one and a small selection of slightly shorter ones on side two, Four Seasons of Love was more equally balanced. The album told the story of a love affair by relating it to the four seasons. Side One contained “Spring Affair” and “Summer Fever”, both disco tracks, and Side Two contained “Autumn Changes” (a slightly slower disco number) and “Winter Melody” (which had an even slower beat), plus a reprise of “Spring Affair”. This concept was reflected in the four photos of Summer, one for each season of the year, in a pull-out 1977 calendar included with the original LP album. The photo on the cover was, fittingly, the Summer photograph. Summer’s “first lady of love” image came across strongly on this album, though her trademark moans and groans were slightly less evident than on previous work. Pics included “Winter” in a fur with a tear on her cheek; “Spring” in a Scarlett O’Hara style hoop skirt on a swing; and “Autumn” re-enacting Marilyn Monroe’s famous scene from The Seven Year Itch with the billowing white dress over the subway grate – an allusion to her song “Love to Love You Baby”, which she has been quoted as using Monroe for inspiration on her recording of it.
September by Earth, Wind & Fire – “September” is a song by American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, written by Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis. It was recorded during the I Am sessions and released as a single in 1978. Featured on the band’s album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1, “September” reached #1 on the US R&B chart, number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, and #3 on the UK singles chart.
This song has a tendency to make people happy when they hear it. Allee Willis describes it as “Joyful Music.”
According to Maurice White, he got the idea for this song in an unlikely place: a hotel room in Washington DC while there was some kind of protest going on below. Said White, “There’s all these cats screaming and throwing things and going crazy and this tune just evolved.”
While there are many theories as to the “21st night of September” in the opening lyrics, the truth is they just felt right. Willis told us:
“Maurice had that very first line, and I said to him, ‘Why the 21st?’ Because I’m someone who likes to tie up all the ends very neatly, so if I’m saying the 21st, I want to know during the song what’s the significance. But he always told me there was no real significance. So whether that’s true or not I can’t say. But as far as I know, it’s just something that sang really well. And I would say the main lesson I learned from Earth, Wind & Fire, especially Maurice White, was never let a lyric get in the way of a groove. Ultimately it’s the feel that is the most important, and someone will feel what you’re saying if those words fit in there right. I do remember us experimenting with other dates, but 21st just sang phonetically fantastic.”
Although many people hear the first words in the chorus as “Party On,” it’s really “Bada-Ya.” Allee Willis explained in her Songfacts interview:
“I absolutely could not deal with lyrics that were nonsensical, or lines that weren’t complete sentences. And I’m exceedingly happy that I lost that attitude. I went, ‘You cannot leave bada-ya in the chorus, that has to mean something.’ Maurice said, ‘No, that feels great. That’s what people are going to remember. We’re leaving it.’ We did try other stuff, and it always sounded clunky – thank God.”
The Autumn Stone by Small Faces – Small Faces was an English rock band from East London. The group was founded in 1965 by members Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston, although by 1966 Winston was replaced by Ian McLagan as the band’s keyboardist.
The band is remembered as one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s with memorable hit songs such as “Itchycoo Park”, “Lazy Sunday”, “All or Nothing”, “Tin Soldier”, and their concept album Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake. They later evolved into one of the UK’s most successful psychedelic acts before disbanding in 1969.
After Small Faces disbanded, with Marriott leaving to form Humble Pie, the remaining three members were joined by Ronnie Wood as guitarist, and Rod Stewart as their lead vocalist, both from The Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up was renamed Faces, except in North America, where this group’s first album (and only their first album) was credited to Small Faces. This practice has continued on all subsequent North American reissues of the album to this day. A revived version of the original Small Faces existed from 1975 to 1978.
Small Faces was one of the biggest musical influences on the Britpop movement of the 1960s. Despite the fact the band was together for just four years in their original incarnation, Small Faces’ music output from the mid to late sixties remains among the most acclaimed British mod and psychedelic music of that era. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
The song “The Autumn Stone” is the title track from The Autumn Stone, the posthumous retrospective double album released in the UK by Small Faces in 1969 on the Immediate label. The double album contains most of the Immediate and Decca (British record labels) original 7″ single releases together with live recordings from a concert at Newcastle City Hall and unreleased material from their unfinished fourth LP 1862, including “Autumn Stone”, an alternate version of “Afterglow Of Your Love”, covers of two Tim Hardin songs (“If I Were A Carpenter” and “Red Balloon”) and the instrumental “Wide Eyed Girl On The Wall”. It was released by Andrew Loog Oldham (the record producer who set up UK’s independent record label Immediate) soon after the band announced their break up in 1969.
September in the Rain – “September in the Rain” is a popular song by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, published in 1937. The song was introduced by James Melton in the film Melody for Two. It has become a standard, having been recorded by many artists since. I’m including three versions here. The first is a nod to the first one to chart it, taking it to #1 in the US: Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, recorded on February 2, 1937.
Another version that I thought was cool is that of the Beatles. This was part of their Decca audition. On January 1, 1962, before they reached international stardom, the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, north London. In what is considered one of the biggest mistakes in music industry history, Decca rejected the band, selecting instead Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.
The third version I’m presenting is by Rod Stewart from his album Fly Me to the Moon… The Great American Songbook Volume V, which was released in October 2010, and was the fifth title in Rod Stewart’s series of covers of pop standards. The video is a gorgeous ice-skating duo performing to the song.
The September of My Years by Frank Sinatra – Frank Sinatra also did a version of “September in the Rain” but I am presenting another one of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ September songs: The September of My Years. “The September of My Years” is a song composed in 1965 by Jimmy Van Heusen, with lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and introduced by Frank Sinatra as the title track of his 1965 album of the same name. At the Grammy Awards of 1966, “The September of My Years” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
Autumn Almanac by The Kinks – “Autumn Almanac” is a song written by Ray Davies and recorded by the rock group The Kinks in 1967. “Autumn Almanac” has since been noted for being an “absolute classic”, “a finely observed slice of English custom,” and a “weird character study,” and praised for its “mellow, melodic sound that was to characterize the Kinks’ next [musical] phase…” Some have placed this and other Davies compositions in the pastoral-Romantic tradition of the poetry of Wordsworth, among others.
In his 1995 autobiography X-Ray and in subsequent performances of his VH1 Storytellers effort, Davies described the song as being inspired by a local hunch-backed gardener in his native Muswell Hill neighborhood of North London.
November Rain by Guns & Roses – “November Rain” is a power ballad by the American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses. Written by the band’s lead singer Axl Rose, the song was released as a single in 1992 from their third studio album, Use Your Illusion I (1991). It features a sweeping orchestral backing and is one of Guns N’ Roses’ longest songs.
“November Rain” peaked at #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the longest song in history to enter the top ten of that chart. Since its release, the song has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
The music video: The narrative quality of the music video accentuated the epic nature of the song. The video, directed by Andy Morahan, portrays Axl Rose marrying his then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, intercut with a live performance in a theater. Particularly, it can be noted for its large budget (about $1 million, including Seymour’s dress) and sweeping cinematography by Mike Southon, which won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography. It is one of the most expensive music videos ever. GNR’s lead guitarist Slash is prominently featured in some of the video’s most memorable scenes, including a sequence of helicopter shots swooping around him as he plays the first guitar solo and a later scene where he plays the third solo while standing on Rose’s piano onstage. Casting coordinator Mark Roberton observed: “the camera-man had a lot of responsibility, as the crane-cam was so close to Slash, precariously standing atop a piano that was near the stage edge. One wrong twitch and the guitarist would’ve had a long drop!”
The video for “November Rain” uses the full version of the song as opposed to an abridged version. The Orpheum Theater, a theater in downtown Los Angeles, was acquired for an evening shoot that went several hours into the night, and, unlike usual common practice, they did not mime for any of the takes. Between several differing versions of “November Rain”, while the cameras on cranes that swooped close to Slash’s frets were reviewed and set up for the next shot, the band entertained the 1,500 extras, by playing more of their songs.
As stated at the end of the video, “November Rain” is based on the short story “Without You” by Del James, available in his 1995 book The Language of Fear. The story concerns a rock star grieving over the death of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, who had committed suicide (inspired by Rose’s troubled relationship with Erin Everly).
While much speculation exists about how Seymour’s character in the video died, the relationship between the video clip and James’ short story strongly suggests that she kills herself. She appears looking visibly troubled during one shot of the wedding and during the funeral sequence, a mirror is visible, covering over half her face, a technique used by funeral homes to allow victims of head trauma to have the appearance of a full face in the event of an open casket funeral.
The video remained popular throughout the rest of the decade. At the end of 1992, MTV placed “November Rain” at #1 on their top 100 videos of that year. Subsequently, it often appeared at #1 or in the top 10 of several future all-time MTV countdowns throughout the 1990s. In addition, the video was voted “Best Video Clip” in Metal Edge’s 1992 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Autumn Leaves by Eva Cassidy – Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American vocalist and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz and blues. In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by the 1996 live solo album titled Live at Blues Alley. Although she had been honored by the Washington Area Music Association, she was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, DC. She died of melanoma in 1996.
In 1993, Cassidy had a malignant mole removed from her back but did not follow up with regular check-up appointments. Three years later, during a promotional event for the Live at Blues Alley album in July 1996, Cassidy noticed an ache in her hips, which she attributed to stiffness from painting murals while perched atop a stepladder. The pain persisted and X-rays revealed a fracture. Further tests found that cancer had spread to her bones, causing the fracture, as well as to her lungs. Her doctors estimated she had three to five months to live. Cassidy opted for aggressive treatment, but her health deteriorated rapidly. On September 17, at a benefit concert for her at the Bayou, she made her final public appearance, closing the set with “What a Wonderful World” in front of an audience of family, friends, and fans. Additional chemotherapy was ineffective and Cassidy died on November 2, 1996 at her family’s home in Bowie, Maryland. In accordance with her wishes, her body was cremated and the ashes were scattered on the lake shores of St. Mary’s River Watershed Park, a nature reserve near Callaway, Maryland.
Wake Me Up When September Ends – “Wake Me Up When September Ends” is a song by American rock band Green Day, released on June 13, 2005, as the fourth single from the group’s seventh studio album, American Idiot (2004). The song was written by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong regarding the death of his father.
The song became a hit single, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a top ten single in the United Kingdom, Belgium, New Zealand, and was a number one single in the Czech Republic. In the United States, the song became symbolic after Hurricane Katrina, where it was dedicated to victims of the disaster and also regarded as a dedication to the victims of the September 11 attacks that occurred in 2001. The song became the fourth single from American Idiot to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
So Fell Autumn Rain by Lake of Tears – This is a new-to-me band and I’m thrilled that I discovered this song as both the song and the band’s sound is perfect for this Autumn theme. Lake of Tears is a Swedish heavy metal band originally formed in 1994, generally considered to play gothic metal and doom metal. However, their sound has expanded to include psychedelic rock and progressive rock elements. The band broke up in 2000 amid creative differences, but reunited in late 2003, releasing the acclaimed album Black Brick Road. They released their eighth studio album, Illwill, in April 2011. In 2014 they released their first live album, By the Black Sea.
Lake of Tears was founded in the early 1990s by Daniel Brennare, Jonas Eriksson, Mikael Larsson and Johan Oudhuis. Their first album, entitled Greater Art, was released in 1994. The album is doom metal featuring coarse, ragged vocals and crushing guitars. The band would subsequently steer away from such a directly categorized style, only revisiting it on their 2011 release Illwill.
Lake of Tears wowed critics and fans alike with their second album, Headstones, released in 1995, followed by A Crimson Cosmos in 1997. The music underwent important changes, expanding on the riff-base of doom metal to achieve a more melodic and melancholic sound. The lyrics also explored new territory, intensely mournful and psychedelic fantasy imagery enhancing the album’s heavy, autumnal soundscapes.
“So Fell Autumn Rain” is from the band’s fourth studio album Forever Autumn, released in July of 1999. It is an intensely quiet and introspective album. Keyboardist Christian Saarinen was briefly included as an official band member, adding an extra layer to the band’s sound. Fantasy imagery was rife and the album’s overall effect was sedate and sorrowful.
Give this song a listen. It’s really good! And then listen to another autumnal song, the album’s title track “Forever Autumn.”
Autumn Shade by The Vines – “Autumn Shade” is a track on the debut album Highly Evolved by The Vines, released in July of 2002.
The Vines is an Australian rock band formed in 1994 in Sydney. Their sound has been described as a musical hybrid of 1960s garage rock and 1990s alternative rock. The band’s current line-up consists of vocalist and guitarist Craig Nicholls, bass guitarist Tim John and drummer Lachlan West.
The Vines’ success in the Australian recording industry resulted in winning an ARIA Award in 2002, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Single’, for “Get Free” and receiving five other nominations for their debut album Highly Evolved, plus two further nominations in subsequent years. In 2003, the album went platinum in Australia, and since then the band has released four albums and a best-of compilation from their time at Capitol Records. The Vines have released six studio albums to date.
Autumn ‘68 by Pink Floyd – This song is from Pink Floyd’s The Endless River, the fifteenth and final studio album by the English rock band. It was released in November of 2014. It was the third Pink Floyd album led by guitarist and singer David Gilmour following Roger Waters’ departure in 1985 and the first following the death of keyboardist Rick Wright in 2008, who appears posthumously.
The Endless River album consists almost entirely of instrumental and ambient music based on material Pink Floyd wrote, recorded and produced with Wright during sessions for their previous album The Division Bell (1994). New material was recorded in 2013 and 2014 aboard Gilmour’s Astoria boat studio and in Medina Studios in Hove, England.
Background: After the departure of founding member Roger Waters in 1985 and his failed attempt to dissolve the band, guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour became the leader of Pink Floyd. He and drummer Nick Mason invited keyboardist Richard Wright back to the band after Waters had fired him during the recording of The Wall (1979). Under Gilmour’s leadership, Pink Floyd recorded two studio albums: A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). The latter saw a greater participation from Wright, who shared his first writing credits on a Pink Floyd album since Wish You Were Here (1975), and recorded his first lead vocal since The Dark Side of the Moon (1973). The sessions were held in 1993 and 1994 in Britannia Row Studios in London and aboard the Astoria boat studio.
Wright died of an undisclosed form of cancer on September 15, 2008 at the age of 65. Tributes to Wright included statements from Gilmour, Mason and Waters, performances by artists such as Elton John and television and radio specials.
In 2012, Gilmour and Mason decided to revisit recordings made with Wright prior to his death in 2008 to create a new Pink Floyd album. Gilmour said: “Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st-century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”
Bassist and songwriter Roger Waters, who left Pink Floyd in 1985, was not involved in the recording. Gilmour stated that he was “pretty certain” that The Endless River would be the final Pink Floyd album. The Endless River album, according to Gilmour, is “a continuous flow of music that builds gradually over four separate pieces.” It is made up of mostly ambient and instrumental music. Gilmour told Mojo:
“Unapologetically, this is for the generation that wants to put its headphones on, lie in a beanbag, or whatever, and get off on a piece of music for an extended period of time. You could say it’s not for the iTunes, downloading-individual-tracks generation.”
Mason described the album as a tribute to Wright:
“I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound. Listening back to the sessions, it really brought home to me what a special player he was.”
“Autumn ’68” features a recording of Rick Wright playing the Royal Albert Hall‘s pipe organ in 1968. The track also has additional keyboards, added more recently by Damon Iddins. The video here is a wonderful tribute to Wright: it is Richard playing that mighty pipe organ at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Pretty amazing sound. Be sure to give it a watch.
Autumn by the Edgar Winter Group – Edgar Winter is an American rock and blues musician. I didn’t realize that he and his older brother Johnny are Texas boys, both born in Beaumont. By the time Edgar Winter left his hometown in the 1960s, he was already a proficient musician. He is known for being a multi-instrumentalist — keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist and percussionist — as well as a singer. His success peaked in the 1970s with his band, The Edgar Winter Group.
In late 1972, Winter brought together Dan Hartman, Ronnie Montrose and Chuck Ruff to form The Edgar Winter Group, who created such hits as the number one “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride” (with lead vocals by its writer Dan Hartman). These hits were on their album They Only Come Out at Night, released in November 1972. The album peaked at the number 3 position on the Billboard Hot 200 and stayed on the charts for an impressive 80 weeks. It was certified gold in April 1973 by the RIAA and double platinum in November 1986.
In addition to “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride”, the song “Autumn”, a ballad written by Dan Hartman, is also on this album. “Autumn” was a regional radio hit in New England.
Autumn in New York by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – “Autumn in New York” is a jazz standard composed by Vernon Duke in 1934 for the Broadway musical Thumbs Up! which opened on December 27, 1934, performed by J. Harold Murray. Many versions of the song have been recorded over the years by numerous musicians and singers. The only version to achieve chart success as a single in the USA was that by Frank Sinatra which reached No. 27 in 1949.
Jazz versions have been performed by Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Stan Kenton, Sarah Vaughan and Sheila Jordan. A duet of the song was also recorded by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald and is the one that I decided to showcase here.
I liked this song because, unlike so many of the others presented here that seem to have an air of melancholy and sadness, “Autumn in New York” promises hope and new love and new adventures. And that is precisely how I feel about the Autumn season: it’s tantalizing, fascinating, beautiful, cozy and homey. Who doesn’t want to feel that?!
Here is a picture slideshow of autumn in my hometown,
Niagara Falls & Western New York.
Oh how I miss these breathtaking views!
Oh, I have one more song that kinda fits this seasonal theme. It’s called:
The Boys of Fall by Kenny Chesney – “The Boys of Fall” is a song written by Casey Beathard and Dave Turnbull and recorded by American country music artist Kenny Chesney. It was released in July 2010 as the lead single from his 12th studio album Hemingway’s Whiskey.
Not only does the title reflect the Autumn season but the song is about the one thing that really excites me most at the end of August: the beginning of football season! When football season starts, I know that, finally, Fall is upon us and that cooler weather is headed our way. The beginning of football season is like that light at the end of the long, hot hot summer tunnel…
Specifically, the song talks about playing high school football. Chesney says the song “is a perfect description of how I grew up and where I grew up.”
Matt Bjorke of Roughstock gave the song a four-out-of-five stars review, saying that if the song “is an indication as to where Hemingway’s Whiskey is going,” he predicts that Chesney has a “monster of an upcoming album.”
The music video debuted on August 2, 2010 on ESPN’s SportsCenter. It features many famous football players and coaches talking about their experiences playing high school football and advice they would give to kids, as well as clips of famous players and coaches from the college and professional ranks, past and present. Directed by Shaun Silva, the video is over eight minutes in length.
Much of the video was shot in and around Celina, Texas, specifically at Celina High School’s football stadium (Celina High is one of the state’s dominant football teams, having won or co-won eight state titles). Other scenes were filmed in Naperville, Illinois, at the Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee, Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, and at Gibbs High School in Tennessee, where Chesney played football.
I think I’ll end this post with my favorite Fall fight song:
Happy Autumn Everyone!
Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by JAmerican Spice, Stacy Uncorked and Curious as a Cathy. Be sure to stop by the hosts and visit the other participants.
Pretty extensive list of Autumn Songs
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thanks for stopping by Mike
Michele, what an amazing “Autumn” tunes compliation! Many of these I know but am always delighted to hear again and some are new-to-me. I’m keeping track of everyone’s picks that move me to add to my current Autumn playlist. You really went all out for this one, didn’t you? I love reading the factoids about the artists and the lyrics. Also, love the slideshow of your hometown. I’d love to visit Niagra Falls in the fall. Autumn is my favorite season. We are fortunate to have the changing season reflective in the landscape around us. However, dry conditions will no doubt yield low colors in the leaves… that is if we have any left! It rained all day yesterday and the storm over us I’m told is from the hurricane coming out of Mexico. Thanks for dancing with the 4M gals, dear friend and have autumntastic week!
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Thanks for coming by! Glad to have brought some new songs to you.
I hope your Fall season turns out to be colorful and gorgeous! Maybe the rains you’re getting now with help with that. I’ve been through Tennessee…when I moved down here to Texas as a matter of fact. It truly is one of the most beautiful states I’ve ever been through!
Have a great week
You really did your homework again this week, putting together a mega playlist of seasonal songs about autumn. Like you I very much look forward to fall and especially to winter so that I can emerge from my hibernation den and enjoy fresh, cooler air for a change. (Winter in Florida only lasts from Dec. 31 to Jan 1. 🙂 While folks in the deep south tend to enjoy the cooler seasons, most of the country is sorry to see summer end, and most songs about autumn are indeed quiet, sad, solemn or even bleak. Some songs many make reference to lost life or lost love.
Many of your offerings were brand new to me and I enjoyed listening and learning. New discoveries for me include Aerosmith’s “Seasons of Wither” and songs by other artists I know which include the Moody Blues, Donna Summer, Small Faces, the Kinks, Guns N Roses, Pink Floyd and Edgar Winter Group. I especially enjoyed “Autumn” by Edgar Winter. I’ll never forget the huge impact of “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas & Papas, a big hit on the radio and on the jukebox at the Shady Dell. The lyrics “All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray” have stuck with me through the years and have served as a metaphor for the “winters” of my life, the hard times. Another great lyric phrase is found in Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence”:
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
S&G’s “Leaves That Are Green” is another simple yet wonderful song along the same lines. It made me very sad to learn the story of Eva Cassidy whose life was cut tragically short. Her beautiful voice and sad song touched me deeply. In the decades before Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve came along, my family made it a tradition to listen on the radio and later watch on TV Guy Lombardo’s New Year’s Eve broadcast. I remember the song and big band melody of Guy’s “September in the Rain.” Notice how the band plays for almost a minute-and-a-half before the vocal begins. That was typical during the big band era. I never heard the versions by the Beatles and Rod Stewart and enjoyed both.
Sinatra’s “September of My Years” is an excellent choice for this post. Another Sinatra classic that follows the theme is “It Was A Very Good Year,” a song that I mentioned on Cathy’s site which includes the lyrics:
But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
Lake of Tears perked up my ears. I love those Swedish metal bands and “So Fell Autumn Rain” is my Pick-To-Click. i was also happy to discover the Aussie band Vines. Great stuff!
Thank you very much, dear friend Michele!
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I forgot to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the slideshow giving us a look at the scenic beauty of your old stomping ground, the Niagara Falls area of Western NY.
Thanks for telling me! Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Don’t you miss your native Pennsylvania at this time of year? One of these days, I’m going to go back up there during the Fall. The pictures are great but certainly not as magnificent as in person.
Oh, and I had a late addition to my post: not sure if you caught the last song on the playlist, “The Boys of Summer” by Kenny Chesney. That definitely reminds me of the Fall season too!
I’m going to head over to your Soul Train post later today. I have to leave shortly to take Picasso to the vet. Keep him in your thoughts. I’m nervous about this one.
Yessum, I watched and listened to the Kenny Chesney song “The Boys Of Fall.” When coach Tony Dungy appeared in the video it reminded me of better years for the Tampa Bay Bucs leading up to their Super Bowl Victory.
What’s wrong with Picasso? You have me concerned. Please let me know what the vet had to say. I’ll be thinking about your dog.
A great Pick-to-Click choice Shady! I really liked the Lake of Tears sound and was thrilled that they contributed two songs to today’s Autumn theme!
Glad you enjoyed the new-to-you songs. Aerosmith’s Seasons of Wither is such a great song. That whole album (Get Your Wings) is great. I especially like the beginning that was described, with the wind howling…
California Dreamin’ and the Sounds of Silence are two of my favorite songs. (I find myself saying that often: I guess I have a ton of favorites!). Great lyric that you posted here. S&G were poetic geniuses!
Thanks for coming by today!
The Buffalo Bills put together a catchy fight song using the old Isley Brothers hit “Shout.” I’ll bet that song whips fans into a frenzy!
You compiled quite a list of autumn songs. Autumn is a favorite time of year for me as well–a lot of good memories for this season. In Los Angeles the autumn season is barely noticeable since most of the leaves don’t change. It looks like we are going to have a cooling trend this week with temperatures in the 80s instead of 90s like last week. At least it will be in the 60s and even 50s at night. Sounds refreshing.
Tossing It Out
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Nights (and days, for that matter) in the 50s and 60s sound magnificent to me! I hope that happens here soon!
Thanks for coming by and checking out my Autumn playlist!
Have a good week Lee.
Never realized it was Bud Shank (one of my favorite jazz guys, a founding member of the LA 4 with Laurindo Almeida) that did the solo on “California Dreamin’.” Good list!
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oh fun! I bet that was neat to find out, that Bud Shank did the flute solo, especially since he’s one of your favorites.
Thanks for coming by John. Have a great week…
A lot of research there. You did a wonderful job, thanks for sharing.
Hey Patrick, Thanks! I’m glad you liked it.
For some reason your comment ended up in my Spam folder but I fished it out and unspammed you. 🙂
I don’t know why WordPress does this sometimes. I have some folks who have been regular commenters for a long time and all the sudden, I have to approve their comments before they can post. Weird. Anyway, if you ever make a comment and don’t see it, I’ll probably find it because I’m kinda getting in the habit of checking for yet-to-be-approved comments and those that inadvertently ended up in spam. Thanks much!
You did a great job in your research. Thanks for sharing all the info.
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Great picks today! I appreciate the extensive nature of the post too. 🙂
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Thanks so much! I appreciate your comment! Thanks for stopping by.
PS: you had me thinking of Viggo Mortensen all day! 🙂
Holy Smokes! That’s a lot of songs for a tough challenge! You’re a lot smarter than me 🙂 I’d add the linky to my page, but can’t seem to find the code. Oh well. It also looks like freebie and the next theme had dates switched. Another Oh Well… Looking forward to BOTB next week!
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Lol Mary. Girl, if you even knew what a dumbass I am you wouldn’t be saying that! 🙂
Are you talking about the Linky code, to put the rest of the participants on your page? I never use a code. Didn’t know you could use a code. I always just copy all the participants from Marie’s page and paste them into my post. I have to keep doing it and it’s kind of a pain because new people sign on all the time so I’m cutting and then copying and pasting again, and again, and again…but I’m used to it now. You mean there’s an easier way???
And I didn’t notice a date change with the themes. Of course I just looked at the theme schedule the other day.
Oh my gosh, I am in awwwweee! You did so much work on this Post & I feel my meer sentence or two isn’t near enough to tell you how great this Post actually is! You are awesome and you have totally ROCKED the house! You are completely amazing! BIG HUGS is not enough! The pictures the information, the tunes… omg I can’t believe ME of all people is at a loss for words! YOU ROCK!
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You’re so funny Marie! You, at a loss for words?? !!! Lol.
Hey, thank you so much for your amazing compliment! I so appreciate it. Glad you liked my post!
See you on Monday! Enjoy the rest of your weekend…
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I never knew there were so many songs about Autumn and so many I haven’t heard of, and yet I recognise most of the artists. I hadn’t heard that Aerosmith song before and I now love it, especially the story behind it and the beginning.
Eva Cassidy has such a beautiful voice and such a shame the world didn’t get to hear more of her.
A song I would put on the list is Autumn by Paolo Nutini – it’s really lovely.
Thanks for sharing the pictures of your hometown – you certainly come from a beautiful area.
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Thanks for coming over. And thanks for the recommendation of Paolo Nutini’s Autumn song. It really is fabulous.
So glad that I could turn you on to an Aerosmith song that you didn’t already know. Seasons of Wither has always been one of my favorites. It’s so haunting… and even moreso when you learn the backstory.
I agree about Eva Cassidy. Can you imagine what an incredible career she would’ve had all these years had she not passed?
Thanks for coming by. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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