Monday, February 28, 2022

#NewMusicMonday • February, 2022

A little bit of folk a little bit of rock 'n' roll. A hand-made curated playlist like no other...

Let's start with some new folk music from a duo that has just released their second album, One Day by The Cactus Blossoms. Often artists and bands get tagged with, "they sound like..." as I'm sure The Cactus Blossoms are sick of hearing that they sound like... The Everly Brothers. First off nobody will ever sound like the Everly Brothers who are forever in the rarified air of music heaven. It's really a bit unfair as the Cactus Blossoms have actually many influences that probably even date back further than Duane Eddy, who also comes to mind. Anyway give these guys a listen as you'll appreciate them for all their influences to make their own Americana music in the 21st century.

One of my best sources for finding new folk/bluegrass/Americana music (or whatever genre label you want to stick here) is the online publication, The Bluegrass Situation. I came across Janis Ian's latest and she says her last studio album at age 70, Better Times Will Come. Most of us were introduced to Janis Ian through her huge hit in 1975, At Seventeen. Well Janis has actually made 25 albums and like so many others I have come to appreciate her work in a second round in my 60's. The songwriting on Better Times Will Come is outstanding, as I just kept adding songs to the playlist this week. 

Hey for all you rock 'n' rollers out there, we actually have some new tunes by some classic people who made a big splash back in the 80's and 90's: Tears For Fears, Spoon, Johnny Marr (from The Smiths), and Eddie Vedder doing a solo album (from Pearl Jam). It's hard to find one worthy new rock 'n' roll album released in a month, much less four for this month. Enjoy my friends!

Note- Starting this week my YouTube playlists will come in two formats - 

  • Below is the playlist in its usual embedded format in the blog.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Fifty Years of Music • February, 1972

February 1972 , I get down to the record shop to promptly purchase Neil Young's new album Harvest. It's got a great album graphic but I'll never forget the tactile textural feel of the recycled paper cover. Vinyl albums for me in the 1970's sometimes became a total sensory experience. Now in my opinion Harvest is a really good album, but not as great as his previous album in 1971, After The Gold Rush. Harvest would become the best selling album of 1972. 

The success of Harvest scares Neil, he's become too mainstream, too popular and promptly retreats into making non-commercial albums for many years thereafter.

Sometime in 1972, I visit my friend Paul Hobbs as he wants me to listen to Todd Rundgren's new double album, Something/Anything? We both love it! In 2003, the album was ranked number 173 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The success of Something / Anything? apparently scares Todd too. He's become too mainstream, too popular and promptly retreats into making non-commercial albums for many years thereafter.

What the f***?

Paul, I guess we were just two young and stupid consumer capitalists feeding the corporate record gods. Geez and 1972 was a good music year too... but not as great as 1971...

1972 is a continuation from the late 60's of all these wonderful bands just falling apart and members making solo albums or forming new splinter bands. This past week, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Hot Tuna, the break-off project of Jefferson Airplane's members Jorma Kaukonen (guitarist/vocals) and Jack Casady (bassist). I also enjoyed Traffic's Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi's solo albums. But that lead me down the path of 'what if' these bands had just stayed together and made better albums together with their mothership bands. I guess it was just 'too soon' at the time with my break-up traumas of The Beatles and CSNY. Hell, I still haven't gotten over that, not to mention the late 60's break-ups of Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and The Mamas & The Papas.


Speaking of  The Beatles and 1972, let's finish this installment with my recommendation to watch Good Ol' Freda. (Here is the link on Amazon Prime.) This is a 2013 documentary about The Beatles secretary, Freda Kelly hired by Brian Epstein when she was only 17 years old. She was also the The Beatles fan club president and worked for them from 1962-1972. I came upon it the other night and thought it was fantastic.

Enjoy the playlist my friends!

Monday, February 14, 2022

A Happy Heart

A Vintage Chubby Cherub (it runs in the family)

This post has the perfect landing, Valentine's Day. Now in a few days (February 17th) I celebrate the 20th anniversary of my heart attack. I can't think of a better way to celebrate heart day with the worst day of my life.

As Elton John is still singing, I'm Still Standing or better yet, Willie Nelson's Still Not Dead, I guess I'm part of the philosophy, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Andy Rooney once said, “I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.” The last twenty years sure seem that way, although now supplied with my 2-ply metaphor – Lipitor® and a Lower-Carb Lifestyle – I'm still ready to roll.

Research shows that taking a statin like Lipitor greatly reduces the chances of me having a second heart attack, but it's always important to remember my personal health factors. I'm not a smoker, but almost all of my immediate family going back a couple of generations have had heart attacks. My dad had two heart attacks and a stroke, but also smoked since he was 15. My mom had a heart attack about 5 years ago, not a smoker but she did inhale all that second hand smoke, not to mention the complete stock of See's Candies® over the years. A sincere Happy Valentine's to my mom.💓

I also want to make the distinction between 'low-carb' and 'lower-carb' eating, a big difference. Low-carb diets have almost turned into a religion where one has to basically live in a state or cycles of ketosis. "Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel." In my opinion, living full-blown ketosis is flat out torture and is an unnecessary 'cold turkey' strategy. Even if you think carbs are a drug, a slower withdrawal strategy of eating lower portions of carbs is the more sane and sustainable approach. You just have to consistently gut check your weekly carb intake, but it's hard, for me the hardest thing.

I've been running and walking for exercise since I was 18. Next month I celebrate my 67th birthday. Aerobic exercise is very important as I've stated many times here in the blog, but I had my heart attack at 46 while mountain biking. You could say my biggest risk factor is genetic, but I have to just keep my focus on what I do have control of, the McIntosh/McWilliams food gene... we all live to eat. 

Yeah, some short and stocky guy put an arrow in my heart around Valentine's Day in 2002, but his identity was more likely to have been the ghost of Edwin McWilliams, my grandfather. Edwin had a massive heart attack at 43 and without any medical technology, passed away a couple years later when my mom was only 12 years old. 

Reflection is part of life. We need to consistently look back so that we can move forward. I've got a wonderful family, life-long friends, not much in the stress department these days, and I've got the exercise thing wired. The thing that always circles back is my food choices and intake, my achilles heel. It's like writing the word, "heel." It literally made me think of a heel slice of hot toasted sourdough bread as I spread it with butter instantly melting it into the bread, pure heaven!

Losing weight is the hardest thing. So last year, on the 19th anniversary of my chest grab, I came up with the idea of losing 20 pounds in the spirit of my ancestors (my Grandma Mary made the best homemade cinnamon rolls on earth). Actually, starting in the spring of 2020 and the great pandemic, I put on the Covid 15 (pounds) and by Feb. 2021, I was at the second highest weight of my life. Blending homemade frozen strawberry banana margarita's during the lockdown in the afternoon had started to take its toll, around my belly. 

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you've also heard my friend Mark Hunter's mantra, "health is a lifestyle." After the heart attack, my wife and I started eating more 'heart smart' that lead to several good attempts at Weight Watchers® over the years, but it was still a diet. In counting my successes and failures at dieting, the main thing I learned was to lose all the diet schemes and just, live a lower-carb lifestyle. See Mark had the answer way back in our college days when we had only enough money at the end of the month for heating tortillas on top of the stove and making peanut butter burritos. Oh remember the good ol' days when ya didn't have think about carbohydrates!

So last year, I needed to get my morals straight and lose some weight. In my reflection cycles I've learned - The slower I lose weight, the longer I keep it off. This is exactly the opposite of any diet scheme on the market today. With that thought, I was going to hatch the perfect plan = No plan at all. Well okay, there is that one thing, I had to consistently live the lower-carb lifestyle throughout a month.

So, if you take 20 pounds and divide that by 12 months, that equals to losing 1.5 pounds a month (actually 1.6). Sounds doable right? In theory that sounds great. I forgot to mention one other rule– I had to be at least 20 pounds down on my year-end weigh-in.

Here's my cut to the chase 12 month journey in only five bullet points.

  • I started great! I basically eliminated bread and cereal on a daily basis and rewarded myself with those carbs now and then. I lost a pound a week for about 8 weeks, then I hit the first wall. The wall is your body saying, "okay wait a dog gone minute (or several weeks) here."
  • But eventually, the body realizes I'm not a caveman starving in the wilderness, and I break through the wall and start to lose weight again, sometimes a pound a month sometimes two.
  • By late October I've lost 18 pounds and I'm going to coast in to the finish line, right? Well, the holiday season starts and that goes through December... I eat, drink, be merry, and gain six pounds.
  • In early January, I get my morals back, realize the prize is at hand, if not my personal goal hanging over my head saying, "You will do this motherf***er!"
  • I get my lower-carb lifestyle working on all cylinders, again, and drumroll... I lose a year total of 20.2 pounds at my weekly weigh-in this past week!
Perfect NO, but yes "a messy win" as they say on sports shows. It was like kicking the winning field goal against the Dallas Cowboys as the clock runs down to 0:00. I'll take it! (Actually I did take it with a couple of Mango Cart beers to celebrate.)

Every day is a winding road –Sheryl Crow

Actually, every month is a winding road. Give yourself time to take the curves and up hills along with the straights and downhills. Stick to the general plan of not having a narrow plan, and you'll have wonderfully messy successes. 

Here's my Valentine's heart health proclamation that's a good month and a half removed from the 'kiss of death' New Year's resolutions that people make, especially about weight. I'm publishing the following statement in writing for my own accountability with myself... whatever it takes dude.

Next year at this Valentine's time, I'm going to lose 7 more pounds to get to my goal weight that I've wanted to weigh since my mid 30's. I'm sure it will be a very messy journey.

This blog post and the playlist are for me this week. The songs below all have a special meaning to me and I hope you enjoy my mix too.

In the end, what the f*** do I know? All I know is that I'm still here... filled with a happy heart.

Now And The Evermore
by Colin Hay

Woke up Sunday morning
Salvation army at my door
Playing Onward Christian Soldiers
'Til I couldn't take it any more
I ran across the graves at night
With those three witches at my tail
I heard the wail of the now and the evermore

All things are never equal
And I don't know who's keeping score
Nobody gets a sequel, no
Everyone gets shown the door
I'll be counting on the rising sun
To give me all my waking days
Until it sets up on the now and the evermore

Goodbye to the life we knew
Don't save it 'til the end
It could be me it could be you or some old long lost friend
And if I'm calling out your name
I know if you can hear me you will come
You can leave a note or light a flame
Sing a song or even bang a drum

I saw The Lady Catrina
She was all a jingling at the bar
Playing an Italian concertina
You know she's really quite the star
She told me everything's a circle dance
And we had been here many times before
And we're all a part of the now and the evermore

Goodbye to the waterside and down that shady lane
In case you're lost and wandering
It does not look the same
Goodbye to the life we knew
Some roads you just can't bend
It's made me one with everything before I reach the end

Monday, February 07, 2022

Under The Influence • Songs of 1956-1959

Songs of 1949-1951 • 1952-1955 • 1956-1959 • 1960-1962

Elvis Presley's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (September 9, 1956).
Scottie Moore is on guitar, Bill Black is on bass.
1956 through 1959 is Elvis Presley. As a young good looking white singer from Memphis, Elvis has a ton of charisma and sex appeal with the ability to take other people's songs and make them his own. More than anyone in the 1950's, he makes 'the devil's music' mainstream in the bible belt and the rest of the world. In England, guys like Keith Richard are listening and watching too. Elvis' guitar player Scottie Moore is Keith's blueprint and nine years later will be in the same role opposite Mick Jagger on the Ed Sullivan stage.

Rock 'n' roll is by its various influences a force of integration. The music becomes an instrument of change beginning with radio stations who stray from their local programming format. Black and white artists and groups from Pop, R&B, Country, and Rock 'n' Roll start to appear on a single radio station's rotation. Listeners across America tune in and absorb the impact. In the years ahead, live performance shows and concerts will slowly evolve into integrated audiences all loving the same music. In 1956 I'm literally a baby, as the post World War II generation known as the "boomers" feed off this pioneering group of rock 'n' rollers, including: B.B. King (born in 1925), Chuck Berry (1926), Fats Domino (1928), Bo Diddley (1928), Little Richard (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Johnny Cash (1932), Elvis Presley (1935), Gene Vincent (1935), Buddy Holly (1936), Eddie Cochran (1938), Duane Eddy (1938), The Everly Brothers, Don (1937) and Phil (1939), Ricky Nelson (1940), and Richie Valens (1941) .

Note- All dates and timeline descriptions below in italic are from Wikipedia (1950's in Music). What I have done in this cut and copy exercise is to only include the interesting and influential stuff (from my perspective) from 1956-1959. I have also interjected some commentary of my own in regular text.

1956 in music

  • January 26
    • Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
    • Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records.
  • January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released. It goes on to be Elvis's first #1 hit.
  • March – The Coasters' recording career begins, with "Turtle Dovin'".
  • March 10 – Carl Perkins' single "Blue Suede Shoes" enters the R&B charts, the first time a country music artist has made it on the R&B charts. Carl Perkins would never get his due in my opinion.
  • March 24 – The first regularly scheduled nationally broadcast rock & roll show, Rock 'n Roll Dance Party, with Alan Freed as host, premières on the CBS Radio Network.
  • March 26 – Colonel Tom Parker formally becomes Elvis Presley's manager. This would probably be one of Elvis' biggest mistakes as agents like Parker stole from both white and black artists alike.
  • April 6 – Paramount Pictures signs Elvis Presley to a three-picture deal. Elvis is too young and stupid to see 'the big picture.' Most of all his movie roles will not bode well on his image now and into the 60's. Again, Tom Parker is only there for the quick buck and not helping Elvis for the long run.
  • April 10 – A group of racial segregationists (followers of Asa Earl Carter) rush the stage at a Nat King Cole concert in Birmingham, Alabama, but are quickly captured.
  • May 2 – For the first time in Billboard magazine history, five singles appear in both the pop and R&B Top Ten charts. They are Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" (#1 pop, #6 R&B), Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" (#4 pop, #3 R&B), Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" (#9 pop, #1 R&B), the Platters' "(You've Got) The Magic Touch" (#10 pop, #7 R&B) and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (#7 pop, #4 R&B). Presley's and Perkins' singles also appeared on the country and western Top Ten chart at #1 and #2 respectively.
  • June 5 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
  • July 9 – Dick Clark hosts American Bandstand for the first time. He essentially looks the same for the next 50 years. 
  • July 22 – The first UK Albums Chart is published, in Record Mirror; Frank Sinatra's Songs for Swingin' Lovers! tops it for the first two weeks. Frank had the girls screaming in the 40's, Elvis in the 50's, who would be next?...
  • Summer – John Lennon forms a skiffle group, The Quarrymen, with friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, England, originally Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton.
  • November 5 - Nat King Cole becomes the first major black performer to host a variety show on national television, when The Nat King Cole Show is broadcast. Racism is alive and well as Cole gets NO national corporation brand sponsors.
  • November 28 – Yoko Ono, recently divorced from Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi, marries Anthony Cox. How old is Yoko now? 88.
  • December 4 – Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash record together at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The sessions are later released under the name "the Million Dollar Quartet." I'm sorry folks, I cancelled Jerry Lee way back when I was a teenager in the 70's. I always thought he was an ass, and then you find out the perv married his 13 year old cousin when Lewis was 22 at the time in 1958. 
  • December 19 – Breaking the record for the highest number of concurrent singles by a single artist, Elvis Presley holds 9 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Presley would hold the record until 1964 when the Beatles hold 14 positions on the chart.

1957 in music

  • January 16 – The Cavern Club opens in Liverpool, England, as a jazz club.
  • January 6 – Elvis Presley makes his final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. I find this shocking. I think Colonel Tom Parker thinks he doesn't need Sullivan's show (the most influential gig in the world) anymore because he's got all the record and movie contracts making himself rich.
  • February 8 – Bo Diddley records his songs "Hey Bo Diddley" and "Mona" (aka "I Need You Baby").
  • March – Chicago's Cardinal Stritch bans all rock and roll and rhythm and blues music from Catholic-run schools, saying that "its rhythms encourage young people to behave in a hedonistic manner." Meanwhile the Catholic priests are...
  • March 1 – The Everly Brothers record in Nashville their first single "Bye Bye Love" for Cadence Records. In an era that is often time-locked, The Everly Brothers are timeless and relevant in any era.
  • March 19 – Elvis Presley purchases a mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and calls it Graceland. Elvis keeps his bedroom dark and at deep freeze temperature, yeah come on in Priscilla!
  • March 26 – Ricky Nelson records his first three songs. Ricky did have a leg up when he started performing on his parents TV show, but he did have real talent and think he was swept under the 60's rug. A very underrated talent. In fact, how many artists who became stars in the 1950's would be stars in the 1960's? Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Muddy Waters and B.B. King finally got their due in the 60's when the white kids finally discovered them, but artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Rick Nelson would have to wait to the 1970's to be seen and heard again.
  • July 6 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles first meet at a garden fete at St. Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool, England, at which Lennon's skiffle group, The Quarrymen, is playing (and in the graveyard of which an Eleanor Rigby is buried).
  • August 5 – American Bandstand begins its 30-year syndicated run on US network television.
  • August 7 – The Quarrymen first play at The Cavern Club in Liverpool in an interlude spot between jazz bands; when John Lennon starts the group playing Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", the club's owner at this time hands him a note reading "Cut out the bloody rock 'n roll".
  • Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel name themselves Tom and Jerry and begin their recording career. Their first single, "Hey, Schoolgirl", backed with "Dancin' Wild", hits #49 on the Billboard pop charts. Garfunkel is Tom Graph (so called because he likes to write the pop charts out on graph paper) and Simon is Jerry Landis, a pseudonym he used during his early 1960s solo recordings. They tour for eighteen months before retiring to become college students and then reforming in 1963 as Simon & Garfunkel.

1958 in music

  • January 1 — Johnny Cash performs at San Quentin Prison. One of the audience members is Merle Haggard, in the midst of a two-year prison term for burglary.
  • January 24 – Paul McCartney makes his first appearance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool with The Quarrymen.
  • February — Struggling singer-songwriter Don Gibson finally gets a career break when his first major hit, "Oh Lonesome Me" reaches No. 1 on Billboard's "C&W Best Sellers in Stores" and "Most Played C&W by Jockeys" charts. The flip side of the single is "I Can't Stop Loving You," which went on to be recorded more than 700 times. Gibson is considered by many to be one of the originators of the Nashville Sound, a form of country music that uses pop music-styled arrangements (such as orchestrated strings) rather than traditional honky-tonk sounds.
  • February 19 - Motown released its first record Got a Job (Smokey Robinson and The Miracles).
  • March 24 – Elvis Presley enters the U.S. Army.
  • July 12 – The Quarrymen (Paul McCartney, John Lennon (lead vocals), George Harrison, Colin Hanton (drums) and John Lowe (piano)) record a single 78 rpm shellac acetate disc at Phillips' Sound Recording Services in Liverpool: "In Spite of All the Danger" (McCartney–Harrison) and a cover of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day".
  • August 4 – Billboard magazine launches its "Hot 100" singles chart, with Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool" as the #1 record.
  • Marvin Gaye begins recording with his first group.
  • Otis Williams & the Distants begin their musical career. They will later join with The Primes and become The Temptations.
  • Phil Spector begins his recording career. Underneath that hairball is a psychopath.
  • RCA introduces its first stereo LPs.
  • The major record labels begin to cease production of 78 rpm records.
  • Bob Bogle and Don Wilson founds the surf instrumental group The Ventures.
  • The Country Music Association (CMA) is founded as the first trade association dedicated to a single music genre.

1959 in music

  • January 22 – Buddy Holly records some acoustic demos in his New York City apartment, the last songs he will record. Songs included "Peggy Sue Got Married", "Crying, Waiting, Hoping", "Learning the Game", "What to Do", "That's What They Say", and "That Makes It Tough."
  • February 3 – "The Day the Music Died": Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper are killed in a plane crash in Iowa. Future country star Waylon Jennings was scheduled to be on the plane, but instead gave his seat up to The Big Bopper. What was incredible in doing the blog this week is to realize that Buddy Holly was only 22, and Riche Valens was only 17!
  • March 2–April 22 – The recording sessions for the extremely influential Miles Davis jazz album Kind of Blue take place at the CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City. 
  • May 4 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles. Henry Mancini's The Music from Peter Gunn wins Album of the Year,.
  • November 29 – Though they are held in the same year as the inaugural ceremony, the 2nd Annual Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles and New York and are notable for being the first televised Grammy Award ceremony. Frank Sinatra's Come Dance with Me! wins Album of the Year, Bobby Darin's version of "Mack the Knife" wins Record of the Year and Jimmy Driftwood's song "The Battle of New Orleans" wins Song of the Year. Darin is also awarded Best New Artist.
  • Joan Baez performs at the first Newport Folk Festival as a surprise guest and becomes an underground favorite.
  • The Supremes are founded as a quartet ("The Primettes").
  • Jimi Hendrix buys his first electric guitar: a White Single pickup Supro Ozark 1560 S. So in 1959 Jimi Hendrix gets his first electric guitar and 8 years later he's the best electric guitar player in the world! 
The trio starting out left to right in 1955,
Scottie Moore, Elvis, and Bill Black
In the early 1960's, I remember as probably a 7-9 year old going over to my friend, Albert Lopez's house. Albert had a much older brother named Frankie. Frankie was way ahead of his time because he had converted a backyard shed into his personal man cave. Frankie had carpet in this room, painted the walls, a record player, and hung every one of his Elvis Presley records on the walls of his pad. Albert and I would sneak in there and play Elvis, Chuck Berry or other records from Frankie's collection when he wasn't home. I remember thinking, why is this Elvis guy Frankie's idol? 

Now from my perspective and from my peer group – the later boomers born in the mid-1950's, Elvis Presley was always an old guy. As a 9 year old, my experience with rock 'n' roll begins in 1964 with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones being on The Ed Sullivan Show. How did Elvis become so irrelevant by 1964? 

A couple years back, I ran across a Bob Dylan song that was first recorded on the New Morning album in 1970, Went To See The Gypsy. This song is a supposed scenario about Dylan meeting 'The King' in a hotel. Now Dylan's far too smart or coy to say, Went To See The King, as songs are written for our own interpretation. Anyway, I like to think it's about Elvis although Dylan actually never met Presley as he says, and we'll take him at his word on that. In 2009, he did give Rolling Stone magazine an interview that does land on the subject. I love this following quote here as I think Dylan captures my and many other's thoughts about Elvis Presley.

“I never met Elvis, because I didn’t want to meet Elvis. Elvis was in his Sixties movie period, and he was just crankin’ ’em out and knockin’ ’em off, one after another. And Elvis had kind of fallen out of favor in the Sixties. He didn’t really come back until, whatever was it, ’68? I know the Beatles went to see him, and he just played with their heads. ‘Cause George [Harrison] told me about the scene. And Derek [Taylor], one of the guys who used to work for him. Elvis was truly some sort of American king. His face is even on the Statue of Liberty. And, well, like I said, I wouldn’t quite say he was ridiculed, but close. You see, the music scene had gone past him, and nobody bought his records. Nobody young wanted to listen to him or be like him. Nobody went to see his movies, as far as I know. He just wasn’t in anybody’s mind. Two or three times we were up in Hollywood, and he had sent some of the Memphis Mafia down to where we were to bring us up to see Elvis. But none of us went. Because it seemed like a sorry thing to do. I don’t know if I would have wanted to see Elvis like that. I wanted to see the powerful, mystical Elvis that had crash-landed from a burning star onto American soil. The Elvis that was bursting with life. That’s the Elvis that inspired us to all the possibilities of life. And that Elvis was gone, had left the building. from Bob Dylan’s Late-Era, Old-Style American Individualism, Rolling Stone, May 14, 2009.

But let's remember here as Bobby says so eloquently, "the powerful, mystical Elvis that had crash-landed from a burning star onto American soil"... and in song, "So I watched that sun come rising from that little Minnesota town."

In putting together the playlist this week, I hear and see the brilliance of all these burning stars and their impact on Frankie Lopez and the youth of the world in the 1950's. Long live the king.

Update - 2/26/22
On a run the other day, a song came up on my phone from Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show, Growin' Up that just completes this whole blog post and playlist. It's a 12 minute song/dialogue that I've now included as the last song on the playlist. Bruce tells a wonderful story about the 7 year-old Bruce Springsteen watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan ShowSeptember 9, 1956 and the impact it had in that moment and time.