About greyzoned/angelsbark

Michele Truhlik is a writer, blogger and small business entrepreneur. Previously an owner of an advertising agency and a bar, she currently has a dog-sitting business and a jewelry business and is much happier being out of the corporate world. She is also following her calling and is an Animal Chaplain/Pet Shaman and will be officially credentialed and ordained in 2015. She has been rescuing and adopting greyhounds since 1999. She has been owned by 8 greyhounds. Pictured here is #7, Picasso. You can find her blogging at angelsbark.wordpress.com.

Battle of the Sexes BOTB RESULTS: Do You Know What I Mean?

It’s December 1st, typically a day when new battles are featured but since the last two weeks have been insane in my life, I’m just now getting to present my Battle of the Sexes Results from the November mid-month battle.

The championship round in the Battle of the Sexes for the cover of Lee Michaels’ 1971 hit “Do You Know What I Mean” had Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys in the male corner up against Genya Ravan in the female corner.

Both came out swinging but you know how it goes, there’s only one winner in this battle. And although Genya Ravan gave it her all (she earned my vote too), the majority of folks preferred the male vocals for this song, giving the win to Kevin Naquin and those Ossun Playboys. 

The final tally was 4 votes for Genya and 7 votes for Kevin.

But one thing was apparent: most everyone agrees with me that no matter how good the cover, no one does it better than the original, Lee Michaels.

I found this fabulous video on YouTube of Lee playing live on a short-lived TV show called the “Faberge Album of the Month”. Does anyone remember that show? I never heard of it but when I did a search, I discovered the announcement of the show development in a February 1971 issue of Billboard, an industry trade magazine. The blurb as published read:

Hughes TV Series to Feature Acts

A series of television specials, which will feature top contemporary recording artists and their hit LPs, will kick off on the Hughes Sports Network late in March. Jackie Barnett, president of Dawn Productions, Inc, a newly formed television production company, will put together the series in association with Faberge. The TV series will be titled the “Faberge Album of the Month.”

Plans call for the development of ten “Faberge Album of the Month” specials to be simulcast in 140 top markets via the Hughes Sports Network.“Each half-hour special,” Barnett said, “will delve into the performance of the artist’s music as well as probe into the personal motivation and musical attitudes of various artists.

The first major artists signed for their own half-hour special are Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Dave Mason and Mama Cass.

(Source: Billboard, Feb 6, 1971 issue, page 24)

Lee Michaels appeared on the show in August of 1971 and the video includes performances as well as interview clips and other cool tidbits about him, like his love of big cats, complete with footage of him with several of his beautiful Siberian Mountain Tigers! The battle song can be found at the 8:50 mark on the video.

In case this video doesn’t embed, here is the direct link to it on YouTube.

As always, thanks for participating in my battle. As previously mentioned, I’m going to go on a temporary blog hiatus for a few months…and a temporary life hiatus, if all goes as planned…

But I will make the rounds and vote in all of your December 1st battles. So see you soon!

Rock on, my friends…

Peace and love always…

 

 

Battle of the Bands with the DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN BATTLE OF THE SEXES

It’s mid-month already! How did that happen? It seems it’s been happening more and more lately, this flyin’ time thing. I find myself saying “Stop the bus! I wanna get off!” … I just want to take minute and breathe. Do you know what I mean?

So I’m going to grab that minute while I can. After dealing with one crisis after another over here I need to take a break. I’m going to pull back from blogging for a few months, at least until after the New Year. Today’s battle, the culmination of my Do You Know What I Mean Battle of the Sexes, will be my last for 2018.

So let’s talk about this battle: One of those crises mentioned above caused me to miss posting the Results for the Female round earlier in the month. Let me fill you in on how that ended. If you were following the comments, you might already know how it ended: Between Gwen McRae and Genya Raven, poor Gwen took a thumpin’. The battle was nearly a shutout but for the vote cast for Gwen by John. Genya Raven handily captured the win in the Female round with a 9 to 1 final tally (including my vote).

And now we have our final duel in declaring the best cover of Lee Michaels’ hit song “Do You Know What I Mean.” Will it be the version with male vocals or female vocals? While I think most will agree that no one does it better than the original recording artist. After all, Lee Michaels, who wrote, performed and produced the song, took it to #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100 in the summer of 1971. The song also closed the year with an impressive finish garnering a rank of #19 on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971.

You’ll get to decide which sex does it better as we kick off this Do You Know What I Mean Battle of the Sexes as our two finalists take the stage. First up is the male contender:

 Contender #1:  Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys

As a quick reminder: Kevin Naquin is a Cajun accordion player in south Louisiana from Ossun, Louisiana. Naquin is the lead singer and accordion player in the Cajun band Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys. In 2000, he won the CFMA – 2000 Album of the Year with his album “Pour La Premiere Fois” and CFMA – 2000 Song of the Year. He has recorded with Swallow Records and Bayou Groove Productions. He released a version of this song on his 2014 album, No Guarantee.

 

And here is this battle’s female contender:

Contender #2:  Genya Ravan

Genya Ravan, a.k.a. Goldie (born Genyusha Zelkovicz; April 19, 1945) is an American rock singer and producer. She was lead singer of The Escorts, Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and Ten Wheel Drive. In 2013, Genya released an album entitled Cheesecake Girl and this cover of the Lee Michaels hit is from that album:

 

Now it’s up to you to declare the winner in the Battle of the Sexes for Best Cover of Lee Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean”.

TIME TO VOTE! Which version gets your vote, the Female contender or the Male contender? 

When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on November 22nd and I’ll post results shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Unlikely Duets

Yay, it’s Monday! Normally I hate Mondays but not lately because Mondays mean music! It’s Monday’s Music Moves Me blog hop and today’s honorary co-host is Stacy from Stacy Uncorked. Her theme for this week is “Unlikely Duets“. I thought I’d have a little fun with this one so here are some unlikely duets that you should enjoy.

Johnny Cash and Miss Piggy sing “Jackson”

Rita Moreno & Animal do “Fever” — this one is adorable:

The Goo Goo Dolls & Elmo sing “Pride”

Elton John and Miss Piggy sing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

Debbie Harry (lead singer of Blondie) and Kermit the Frog sing “Rainbow Connection”

There is also a duet of Miss Piggy and Ozzy Osborne doing “Born to Be Wild” but I couldn’t find a decent video of it.

Since that video quality sucked, I didn’t want to deny you Black Sabbath fans so here’s Beaker and the Muppets rock band doing War Pigs:

This is exactly a duet but it’s funny. Enjoy this Sesame Street 80s Music Mashup Parody:

 

Hope you enjoyed these unlikely and silly duets. Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by Marie of X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by Cathy of Curious as a Cathy and Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and Colette of Jamerican Spice and Alana of Ramlin’ with AM. Be sure to stop by and visit the hosts and the other participants listed below:

 

 

Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – Battle of the Sexes, Round 2: The Women cover Lee Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean”

It’s November 1st and time for another Battle of the Bands. Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween last night. As per my usual tradition, we turned all the lights out, pretended not to be home to avoid incessant doorbell ringing by neighborhood trick or treaters and watched scary movies (Scream and Scream 2).

Speaking of scary movies, I’ve been a long-time fan of the original slasher film Halloween, directed and scored by John Carpenter back in 1978, which introduced the world to the creepy (and until now, apparently indestructible) Michael Myers. Last year on Halloween night, I introduced my Mom to that movie and its many sequels. Yesterday I took her to the new 2018 Halloween.

Set 40 years after the original film, the plot follows Laurie Strode as she prepares to face Michael Myers when he returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, after his killing spree on Halloween night in 1978. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their roles as Strode and Myers, respectively, with stuntman James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers.

So how was it? Well, the Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus gave it a 79% and had this to say:

Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic – yet still effective – ingredients.

I liked it okay. Jamie Lee Curtis was fantastic, in my opinion. And she looked terrific. I loved her attitude. And I really liked her hair…although that was probably a wig. But then, I’m a Jamie Lee Curtis fan. At the end I asked my Mom if she liked the movie. She said, “Honestly?” Yes Mom, honestly. “No.” So there ya go…

And that’s it for Halloween. Today’s battle has nothing to do with the creepy holiday. It is the second of a three battle event, the Battle of the Sexes for covers of Lee Michaels’ hit “Do You Know What I Mean” and will feature the Female cover artists competing for the chance to take on the winning Male cover artist later this month.

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In case you missed it, the first round was the Male round on October 15th, featuring Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys battling Myles Goodwyn (with Lee Aaron).

The Male Round RESULTS post announced that Kevin Naquin & his Ossun Playboys would be advancing to the final battle, to take on the winner from today battle.

So now we’re on to the Female cover contenders as they battle it out for the gender win in this three-part battle. If you’d like to listen to the original song by Lee Michaels for reference, this link will take you to YouTube to hear it. It is a great song and one of my favorites from the 70s.

Now let’s listen to our female contenders:

Female Contender #1:  Gwen McRae

Gwen McCrae (née Mosley, December 21, 1943, Pensacola, Florida) is an American singer, best known for her 1975 hit “Rockin’ Chair.” She began performing in local clubs as a teenager, and singing with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents. In 1963, she met a young sailor named George McCrae, whom she married within a week.

From 1963, she recorded as a duo with her husband George; the couple received a solo recording contract, with Henry Stone’s TK Records. The couple were discovered in 1967 by singer Betty Wright, who helped get them signed to Stone’s Alston record label.

Signed to TK subsidiary Cat as a solo artist, she found success on the U.S. R&B charts with her cover version of Bobby Bland’s “Lead Me On” in 1970, followed by “For Your Love”. Following husband George’s unexpected solo success with “Rock Your Baby”, Gwen went on to have a major hit of her own in March 1975 with “Rockin’ Chair”, a #1 R&B hit which also reached number 9 in the United States’ Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up “Love Insurance” also made the R&B chart (#16).

After TK Records collapsed, McCrae moved to New Jersey and signed with Atlantic Records, recording two albums and having another hit with “Funky Sensation” in 1981 (#22 R&B). She continued to record and the success of some of her earlier recordings on the UK’s Northern Soul scene maintained her popularity as a live act in Europe. McCrae moved back to Florida, recorded this cover, a one-off single for the small Black Jack label in 1984 called “Do You Know What I Mean”, and then temporarily retired from the music industry.

This is her long version so there is a lengthy introduction with a lot of “Do You Know What I Mean” line repeats and can get a bit monotonous when time is of the essence so to get right into the song, start at the 1:00 minute mark:

 

Female Contender #2:  Genya Ravan

Genya Ravan, a.k.a. Goldie (born Genyusha Zelkovicz; April 19, 1945) is an American rock singer and producer. She was lead singer of The Escorts, Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and Ten Wheel Drive.

Genya was born in Łódź, Poland, and arrived in the United States in 1947, accompanied by her parents and one sister. They were the only family members who had survived the Nazi Holocaust in Europe; she also had two brothers, who both died. They did not speak any English. Genya was named ‘Goldie’ by her mother, who claimed Genyusha was not American enough.

Goldie’s career started in 1962 on a dare in a Brooklyn club called The Lollipop Lounge, which is also the title of her autobiography published by Billboard Books. On a dare in a bar, she jumped up to sing. “That was the first time I ever heard my voice”. She was asked to join the band The Escorts. In 1963 she formed Goldie and The Gingerbreads after Genya met drummer Ginger Bianco in a Greenwich Village bar.

After seeing the band at a party for the Rolling Stones, Atlantic Records Chairman Ahmet Ertegün signed them to Atlantic subsidiary Atco Records. Goldie & the Gingerbreads were the first all-girl rock band in history to be signed to a major label and climb the charts.

While playing New York City’s hot spot The Wagon Wheel on 45th Street in Times Square, Mike Jeffries, Eric Burdon, Hilton Valentine, and Chas Chandler spotted them, and wanted them to come to England. Goldie and The Gingerbreads toured with the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, and Manfred Mann. They reached the charts with their hit “Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat” in 1965.

They recorded three albums for Polydor Records: Construction number 1, Brief Replies, Peculiar Friends Are Better Than No Friends. They had many fans, but the group did not take off. Genya left the band in 1971. She was signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis where she made one album in 1972 titled simply Genya Ravan. Four more solo albums followed through the 1970s.

Ravan performed at the Atlanta Pop Festival, twice at Carnegie Hall and twice at Madison Square Garden, along with various clubs in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, including the famous CBGB. She appeared on The Mike Douglas Show, The Johnny Carson Show, Della and The Dick Cavett Show television shows.

In 2011, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum included Goldie and The Gingerbreads in their Women in Music exhibit which traveled from state to state. Genya Ravan toured in 2013, selling out New York City’s Iridium and is going back by popular demand.

Also in 2013, Genya released a new album entitled Cheesecake Girl. This cover of the Lee Michaels hit is from that album:

TIME TO VOTE! Which version of the Female contenders do you like better and why? The winner of this battle will go up against the the Male Artist cover winner in the grand finale Battle of the Sexes on November 15th! 

When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on the November 9th and I’ll post results on the 10th or shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

Monday’s Music Moves Me – Songs About Aging & Getting Old(er) – Part 4 of 4: TIME TRAVEL

It’s the final Monday in this month of October and I’ve been thrilled to be the Honorary Co-Host of the Monday’s Music Moves Me blog hop. I’d like to thank Marie and all the other hostesses, Cathy, Alana, Stacy & Collette, for such a warm welcome into the circle of 4M co-hosting. I’d also like to thank all the 4M participants for playing along with my two themes this month. I hope you all have had as much fun with them as I have. This final week is a Freebie and I’m looking forward to seeing what you all have put together. My freebie offering is the last of my Songs About Aging and Getting Old(er) Series.

Today’s post is PART 4 of my SONGS ABOUT AGING AND GETTING OLD(er) Series. If you missed Part 1, entitled Time Passages, you can check it out here. Part 2 was about one of my favorite things to do: Reminiscing. Check it out here. And Part 3 is titled something that I find myself saying all too often lately, Gettin’ Old Ain’t for Sissies! and can be found here.

As for the series’ finale, Part 4 songs explore traveling through life’s paths with all its twists and turns along the way. Join me in a playlist of fabulous time-traveling songs.

TIME TRAVEL

Here is a list of the songs in this playlist, with a little background info for ya:

The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles (1970) – “The Long and Winding Road” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1970 album Let It Be. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. When issued as a single in May 1970, a month after the Beatles’ break-up, it became the group’s 20th and last number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It was the final single released by the world’s most famous quartet, commonly referred to as the Fab Four.

FUN FACT: Paul McCartney offered this song to Tom Jones in 1968 on the condition it be his next single. He had “Without Love (There is Nothing)” set for release so he turned down the offer, something he would later regret. Speaking with Media Wales in 2012, Jones explained: “I saw him (McCartney) in a club called Scotts Of St. James on Jermyn Street in London. I said to him ‘When are you going to write me a song then Paul?’ He said, ‘aye I will then.’ Then not long after he sent a song around to my house, which was ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ but the condition was that I could do it but it had to be my next single.

Paul wanted it out straight away. At that time I had a song called ‘Without Love’ that I was going to be releasing. The record company was gearing up towards the release of it. The timing was terrible, but I asked if we could stop everything and I could do ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ They said it would take a lot of time and it was impractical, so I ended up not doing it. I was kicking myself. I knew it was a strong song.”

“Without Love” did well for Jones – it reached #5 in the US and #10 in the UK, but didn’t have anywhere near the staying power of this Beatles classic. Jones did eventually record a Paul McCartney song, but not until 2012 when Paul wrote “(I Want To) Go Home,” which was released on Jones’ album Spirit in the Room.

FUN FACT: This was the only Beatles song where John Lennon played bass. He was ordinarily their rhythm guitarist. Harrison and Ringo had their parts removed by Phil Spector, so they don’t appear on this at all.

This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore by Elton John (2001) – This piano ballad finds Elton John in a reflective mood, looking back on his past glories and thinking about how he feels now. Using a railroad metaphor, he sings about how he used to be a huge star (“the main express”), but now he’s done with those days (“this train don’t stop there anymore”).

These are not the words of Elton John, but of his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, who throws light on one side of Elton’s personality. His days of high excess may have ended, but Elton’s train kept going and making lots of stops along the way, as he kept touring, continuing to put on grand performances.

The song has a very memorable video directed by David LaChapelle and starring Justin Timberlake as a young Elton John at the height of his fame. Timberlake walks in slow motion as he lip-syncs the track, mingling with fans and industry associates along the way. Paul Reubens also appears in the clip.

Stop This Train by John Mayer (2006) – The song “Stop this Train” was written during a time of, what Mayer calls, “solitary refinement;” He was in bed suffering from double kidney stones and living in a hotel while finding a new residence. He explained to the Daily Mail December 21, 2007 that this song about getting older touched on a time when he suffered from a ‘quarter-life crisis’ in 2001: “My 20s were so great I could have rented them out. But, at 27, I crashed. Now, at 30, I’m more settled.”

My Generation by The Who (1965) – from the My Generation album this song is the Who’s most recognizable song. A nod to the mod counterculture of the time, one outstanding line in the lyrics is “I hope I die before I get old.” In 1965, Roger Daltrey stood by this song’s lyric and claimed he would kill himself before reaching 30 because he didn’t want to get old. When he did get older, he answered the inevitable questions about the “hope I die before I get old” line by explaining that it is about an attitude, not a physical age.

Pete Townshend wrote this for rebellious British youths known as “Mods.” It expressed their feeling that older people just don’t get it. The song has been said to have “encapsulated the angst of being a teenager.” Townshend wrote this on a train ride from London to Southampton on May 19, 1965 – his 20th birthday. In a 1987 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Townshend explained: “‘My Generation’ was very much about trying to find a place in society. I was very, very lost. The band was young then. It was believed that its career would be incredibly brief.”

Incredibly brief it was for The Who drummer Keith Moon: he died of a drug overdose in 1978 at age 32.

Back in 1967, Pete Townshend called this song “The only really successful social comment I’ve ever made.” Talking about the meaning, he explained it as “some pilled-up mod dancing around, trying to explain to you why he’s such a groovy guy, but he can’t because he’s so stoned he can hardly talk.”

Roger Daltrey sang the lead vocals with a stutter, which was very unusual. After recording two takes of the song normally, their manager Kit Lambert suggested to Daltrey that he stutter to sound like a British kid on speed. Daltrey recalled to Uncut magazine October 2001: “I have got a stutter. I control it much better now but not in those days. When we were in the studio doing ‘My Generation’, Kit Lambert came up to me and said ‘STUTTER!’ I said ‘What?’ He said ‘Stutter the words – it makes it sound like you’re pilled’ And I said, ‘Oh… like I am!’ And that’s how it happened. It was always in there, it was always suggested with the ‘f-f-fade’ but the rest of it was improvised.”

The song was released as a single on October 29, 1965, reaching No. 2 in the UK, The Who’s highest charting single in their home country but it never cracked the Top 40 in America, reaching only No. 74. I found that an odd fact, given the song’s wild popularity and frequency of air-play.

Turn Turn Turn by the Byrds (1965) – “Turn! Turn! Turn!” – sometimes known as “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” – is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title, which is repeated throughout the song, and the final two lines, are adapted word-for-word from the English version of the first eight verses of the third chapter of the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes. The song was originally released in 1962 as “To Everything There Is a Season” on folk group the Limeliters’ RCA album Folk Matinee and then some months later on Seeger’s own The Bitter and the Sweet.

The song became an international hit in late 1965 when it was adapted by the American folk rock group the Byrds. The single entered the record chart at number 80 on October 23, 1965, before reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on December 4, 1965. In Canada, it reached number three on Nov. 29, 1965, and also peaking at number 26 on the UK Singles Chart.

The song is notable for being one of a few instances in popular music in which a large portion of the Bible is set to music, other examples being the Melodians’ “Rivers of Babylon”, Sister Janet Mead’s “The Lord’s Prayer”, U2’s “40”, Sinead O’Connor’s “Psalm 33” and Cliff Richard’s “The Millennium Prayer”.

The song’s plea for peace and tolerance struck a nerve with the American record buying public as the Vietnam War escalated. The single also solidified folk rock as a chart trend and, like the band’s previous hits, continued the Byrds’ successful mix of vocal harmony and jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing. Pete Seeger expressed his approval of the Byrds’ rendering of the song.

A Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon & Garfunkel (1966) – “A Hazy Shade of Winter” is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel, released on October 22, 1966 initially as a stand-alone single, but was subsequently included on the duo’s fourth studio album, Bookends (1968). The song peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Paul Simon wrote the song and uses seasons as a metaphor for the cycle of life. Dating back to Simon’s days in England in 1965, the song follows a hopeless poet, with “manuscripts of unpublished rhyme”, unsure of his achievements in life.

Like “Turn, Turn, Turn”, this is another song that uses the ebb and flow of nature as a metaphor for the cycle of life. Now in the winter of life, or old age, the central character reflects on the “springtime” of his youth and decisions he made. The singer seems to be lamenting how he was looking for something (or someone) perfect, but never found it, and now time is running out on his dreams.

The lyrics recall the transition from fall to winter, repeated in the final chorus of the song:

I look around,
leaves are brown
And the sky
is a hazy shade of winter

Look around,
leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground.

Fade In/Fade Out by Nothing More (2017) – Nothing More is an American rock band from San Antonio, Texas. Formed in 2003, the band spent much of the 2000s recording independent albums and struggling to maintain a steady lineup or attract record label interest. Towards the end of the decade, the band’s long-time drummer, Jonny Hawkins, decided to switch to being the band’s frontman and lead vocalist, stabilizing the band’s core lineup along with other long-time members Mark Vollelunga (guitar) and Daniel Oliver (bass). The band self-funded and recorded their fourth studio album, Nothing More, over the course of three years and used it to gain the attention of Eleven Seven Music record label, who signed the band to a five album record contract upon hearing it. The album became the band’s breakthrough release in 2014, with multiple charting singles, including “This is the Time (Ballast)”, which hit number 1 on the Mediabase Active Rock chart and number 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and “Mr. MTV”, Jenny”, and “Here’s to the Heartache” all charting in the top 15 of both charts.

The band began working on a follow-up in 2016 while continuing to tour in support of their self-titled release, and in September 2017, released their fifth studio album – their second on a major record label – The Stories We Tell Ourselves.

“Fade In/Fade Out” is from that album. Said Mark Vollelunga:

“I got the idea for this song when my wife and I finally decided on the name of our son, Fenix. I can only hope that my fire continues to burn in him long after I fade out; the same fire my father passed on to me. May we all remember our parents and never let words or feelings left unsaid. Don’t let it be too late.”

Yesterday, When I Was Young by Roy Clark (1969) – French singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour wrote and recorded this in 1964 as “Hier Encore,” or “Only Yesterday.” Herbert Kretzmer wrote the English-language lyrics that tell of a man reflecting on his life. He recounts how he had wasted his youth on self-centered pursuits, and that, now that he is older, he will not be able to do all that he had planned; this implies that he may be close to his impending death.

Country singer Roy Clark, who had just started his long-running gig as the co-host of Hee Haw, covered the song in 1969 and landed in the Top 10 on the country chart. Peaking at #19, this was Clark’s highest-charting hit on the pop tally and his only entry in the Top 40. In Canada, the song reached #7 on the pop chart, #2 on the country chart, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Clark’s spoken-word intro leads into a somber recollection of a wasted youth that led to a lonely adulthood:

It seems the love I’ve known

Has always been the most destructive kind

I guess that’s why now

I feel so old

Before my time

FUN FACT: Clark honored a request from Mickey Mantle and sang this at the former New York Yankee’s funeral in 1995.

Young at Heart by Frank Sinatra (1953) – This pop standard was written by Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh. Originally an instrumental by Richards called “Moonbeam,” it became “Young at Heart” when Leigh added the lyrics. Frank Sinatra, who had been absent from the pop charts for a few years, came back with a million-selling hit when he was the first to record the song in 1953. Three years after releasing it as a single, he would include it on his 1956 album This Is Sinatra!

Sinatra’s friend and frequent arranger Nelson Riddle introduced him to the song. “Nelson told me he had a song that had been floating around Vine Street [Capitol Records] and other companies for weeks or months,” he recalled in Frank Sinatra: An American Legend by Nancy Sinatra. “‘I think it’s a good song,’ Nelson said, ‘but nobody wants to do it.’ I didn’t even ask him if I could hear it. I just said let’s do it, and it turned out to be ‘Young at Heart.’ We did a single, and it was a big hit.”

The single was so successful on the (pre-Billboard Hot 100) pop charts that the film Sinatra was working on with Doris Day was renamed Young at Heart. The song plays during the opening and closing credits.

Forever Young by Rod Stewart (1988) – “Forever Young” is the second single released by Rod Stewart from his Out of Order album in 1988. The song was a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #12, and #7 on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts.

The structure of the lyrics in this song is very similar to a Bob Dylan song of the same title. After its completion, the song was then sent to Dylan, asking whether he had a problem with it. The two men agreed to participate in the ownership of the song and share Stewart’s royalties.

Stewart wrote the song with two of his band members: guitarist Jim Cregan and keyboardist Kevin Savigar. Stewart told Mojo magazine in 1995 that he considered “Forever Young” to be one of his favorite songs and the reason for writing it was:

“I love ‘Forever Young’, because that was a real heartfelt song about my kids. I suddenly realized I’d missed a good five years of Sean and Kimberly’s life because I was so busy touring all the time. With these kids now I don’t make that mistake- I take them on tour with me, so I can watch them grow up. So that’s another favorite. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a big hit in England, but it’s like a national anthem here (America)”.

The video for this song features Stewart singing to a child [played by Alex Zuckerman] while scenes of rural America pass by.

Both Sides Now by Judy Collins (1968) – “Both Sides, Now” is one of the best-known songs of Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. First recorded by Judy Collins, it appeared on the U.S. singles chart during the fall of 1968. The next year it was included on Mitchell’s album Clouds (which was named after a lyric from the song). It has since been recorded by dozens of artists, including Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson and Herbie Hancock.

Shortly after Mitchell wrote the song, Judy Collins recorded the first commercially released version for her 1967 Wildflowers album. In October 1968 the same version was released as a single, reaching #8 on the U.S. pop singles charts by December. It reached #6 in Canada. In early 1969 it won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance. The record peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Easy Listening survey and “Both Sides, Now” has become one of Collins’ signature songs. Mitchell disliked Collins’ recording of the song, despite the publicity that its success generated for Mitchell’s own career.

FUN FACT: Judy Collins version is featured as the end title music of the 2018 supernatural horror film Hereditary, written and directed by Ari Aster, in his feature directorial debut. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne as a family haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother. It was acclaimed by critics, with Collette’s performance receiving particular praise, and was a commercial success, making over $79 million on a $10 million budget to become the American independent entertainment company A24’s highest-grossing film worldwide. I didn’t see this movie but I want to as I’m a Toni Collette fan.

It Was a Very Good Year by Frank Sinatra (1965) – Ervin Drake wrote this examination of the various stages of his love life – at ages 17, 21 and 35 – for The Kingston Trio in 1961, when he was 42 years old. Frank Sinatra’s 1966 cover is the preferred version, especially for the dignified way he sings the final verse, in which Drake imagines himself looking back from a ripe old age and realizing that every moment is as precious as the last: “Now I think of my life as vintage wine / From fine old kegs / From the brim to the dregs / It poured sweet and clear / It was a very good year.”

Sinatra’s version, with its dramatic vocals and lush instrumentation, won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male in 1966. Gordon Jenkins was awarded Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the Sinatra version. This single peaked at #28 on the U.S. pop chart and became Sinatra’s first #1 single on the Easy Listening charts. That version can be found on Sinatra’s 1965 album September of My Years.

The song recounts the type of girls with whom the singer had relationships at various years in his life: when he was 17, “small-town girls on the village green”; at 21, “city girls who lived up the stair”; at 35, “blue-blooded girls of independent means”. Each of these years he calls “very good”. In the song’s final verse, the singer reflects that he is older, and in the autumn of his years, and he thinks back on his entire life “as vintage wine”. All of these romances were sweet to him, like a wine from a very good (i.e., vintage) year.

Ervin Drake’s inspiration to write the song was his then wife-to-be, Edith Vincent Bermaine. She was a showgirl, whom he had dated, and eventually married twenty years after the song was written. Said Ervin Drake on Sinatra’s rendition, arranged by Gordon Jenkins:

“Someone played it to me down a telephone. It wasn’t a great phone line, but I knew I’d heard a masterpiece, and I fell in love with it, and I’ve never stopped loving it.”

The song was covered by a great many over the years. In 1966, nine months after Sinatra charted with his rendition, Della Reese made #99 with her version, which flipped the gender and changed the lyrics appropriately (“Small town boys and soft summer nights,” “blue-blooded boys of independent means”).

FUN FACT: This was parodied on The Simpsons episode “Duffless” (1993) as Homer poured his beloved Duff beer down the drain. He sang:

When I was seventeen

I drank a very good beer

I drank a very good beer

I purchased with a fake I.D.

My name was ‘Brian McGee’

I stayed up listening to Queen

When I was seventeen…

Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News (1985) – I would be remiss if I didn’t include this song in a collection called Time Travel. “Back in Time” is a song by Huey Lewis and the News written for and featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future, the top-grossing film of 1985. The song is heard near the end of the film when Marty McFly wakes up in his own bed, after returning from 1955, to the song playing on the radio. The lyrics are essentially a summary of the movie.

It is also played during the closing credits. Lewis wrote the song with his bandmates Johnny Colla, Chris Hayes and Sean Hopper specifically for the film, incorporating plot elements in the lyrics:

Tell me, doctor

Where are we going this time?

Is this the ’50s?

Or 1999?

In contrast to the band’s number-one hit from the movie, “The Power of Love”, the lyrics for “Back in Time” specifically refer to the story and characters of the film.

Although not released as a commercially available single, the song (mixed by Bob Clearmountain) reached number three in September 1985 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. The video for the song features bloopers and “never-before-seen” clips from the band’s other hit videos, including “I Want a New Drug”, “If This Is It”, “Heart of Rock & Roll”, and “Heart and Soul”.

100 Years by Five for Fighting (2003) – “100 Years” is a song by American singer John Ondrasik (born January 7, 1965), known by his stage name Five for Fighting. Best known for his piano-based rock, he adopted the name “Five for Fighting”, an ice hockey term that means a five-minute major penalty for participating in a fight. Ondrasik is a lifelong fan of the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings.

“100 Years” was released in November 2003 as the first single from the album The Battle for Everything. The song’s melody is borrowed from “Plainsong” by The Cure, originally released in 1989. The single reached number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This song is a simple reminder about how precious life is. How we should sink in every moment. How we should look up to what we have. John Ondrasik wrote the lyrics about his life: when he was 15 he couldn’t find a girl, at 22 he found the girl and got married, at 33 he had his first child.

The music video was directed by Trey Fanjoy and premiered in January 10, 2004. It placed at number 30 on VH1’s Top 40 Music Video Countdown of 2004, spending 18 weeks on VH1’s weekly Top 20 countdown. The video shows Ondrasik at a magic piano where he appears at various life stages: images of Ondrasik singing and playing the song at the piano are intercut with fictional, idealized versions of himself as a 15-year-old boy, a man in his middle 40s, and a 99-year-old man, reflecting the song’s lyrics. At the end of the song, Ondrasik meets his older self.

“The sea is high

And I’m heading into a crisis

Chasing the years of my life”

The Best is Yet to Come by HinderHinder is an American rock band from Oklahoma that was formed in 2001 by lead singer Austin Winkler, guitarist Joe “Blower” Garvey, and drummer Cody Hanson. The band released four studio albums with Winkler; Extreme Behavior (2005), Take It to the Limit (2008), All American Nightmare (2010) and Welcome to the Freakshow (2012). After Winkler left the band in 2013, they looked for a new lead vocalist, and added Marshal Dutton. When The Smoke Clears (2015) was Hinder’s first album featuring the new lead vocalist. The band was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

This song is from their 2008 album Take It to the Limit. Drummer Cody Hanson told MTV News that he thinks a lot of people will relate to this track, “because it’s a song about all those dumb things that you do when you’re young, and you just learn to embrace it, because that’s what happens in life – you learn from it, and things get better as you get older.”

It can be hard for musicians to pick just one of their favorite songs from their own catalogues because their songs are so personal, but in 2012, Cody Hanson told us that “The Best is Yet to Come” was one of his picks.

Hmm. The best is yet to come. Is it? Is it really?? You tell me…

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And that concludes my series on Songs About Aging and Getting Old(er). As one who is painfully aware of the aging process of late, I’ve enjoyed exploring the songs that speak to life’s inevitable process. I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along on this journey with me. 

Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by Marie of X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by Cathy of Curious as a Cathy and Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and Colette of Jamerican Spice and Alana of Ramlin’ with AM. Be sure to stop by and visit the hosts and the other participants listed below: