Monday, April 19, 2021

Fifty Years of Music • April, 1971

The last couple of weeks I've featured two entire albums from April 1971, James Taylor's Mudslide Slim and the Blue Horizon, and the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers. A complete album feature is often the kiss of death in terms of people hitting the blog post and/or sampling the playlist. I did take a drop in the hit count these past couple of weeks, but for 1971 we are still very much in the sweet spot of the classic generation of the rock 'n' roll era, and I plan on featuring more entire albums in the months ahead from fifty years ago, and the continual roll in time. 

April, 1971 also featured fine albums from John Denver, The Doors, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, John Sebastian, James Gang, and CSNY. 

Palomar Observatory, photo source- hikespeak
John Denver's Poems, Prayers & Promises was not on my hit parade in 1971, but by the time I became
a summer camp counselor for individuals with disabilities in 1976 at Camp-A-Lot on Palomar Mountain, John Denver was in heavy rotation at the campfire sing-alongs. I'm tripping back right now to a memory of friend Mark Hunter playing and singing Sunshine On My Shoulders with the band of acoustic playing counselors while a beautiful young camp counselor named Kim provided sign language with a ton of good vibes interpretation.

I believe in the summer of 1977, John Denver did in fact visit the Palomar Observatory for a television special he was filming that featured some of our campers from Camp-A-Lot, and a dream come true for many of them to see and interact with him on that day... take me home country roads.

Where's The Money (1971) is another album that didn't register for me until the summer of 1973 when I started dating a special girl who turned me on to the very funky and funny swing band, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. She had all of Dan's albums, with one of my favorite songs ever... How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away? 

In 2014, I reconnected with music in a big way after years of doing the day job career thing. That special girl and I wanted to start going to concerts again, and she found out online that Dan Hicks would be performing just north of San Diego, in Escondido. We hopped at the chance and got tickets right away, as this was to be our first concert together after many years. Shortly after, we found out the show had been cancelled as Dan had developed both lung and liver cancer. Dan Hicks died in 2016, and we didn't get that chance to see him live. I'm sure his many fans miss him dearly, and I never skip his songs when one comes on during a run.

This past week I also enjoyed listening to John Sebastian'sCheapo-Cheapo Productions Presents Real Live John Sebastian (1971). Like Dan Hicks, Sebastian's a good musician and terrific entertainer who puts a smile on all who listen to his records or see him live. John Sebastian, born in 1944 and raised in Greenwich Village grew up in what would be the epicenter for folk music in the early 60's and is part of the folk and rock 'n' rollers that influenced a generation, and... a younger girl keeps rollin' 'cross my mind.

Enjoy my friends, stay well, and mask-up!

2 comments:

  1. Really liking this! Those James Gang singles were all great though Walk Away is definitely the best. They sound so crisp and precise and yet edgy coming over the airwaves. All the under the radar stuff, Dan Hicks, JB Sebastian, and some old John Denver! Where do you hear this stuff these days? Good work Doug

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    Replies
    1. For the monthly 50 Years in Music post, I use this Wikipedia site to pick out the albums I'm interested in and then go to YouTube to start making the playlist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_in_music

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