2022 Kennedy Center Honors

George Clooney, Amy Grant, Amy Grant,  Tania León, U2

George ClooneyAs is my tradition, I note the honorees for the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors. Once again, I am very familiar with four of the five selected in this 45th class and the fifth, not at all.

I vaguely remember George Clooney from shows like Roseanne and Sisters, though I seldom saw The Facts of Life.

Nor did I see him on another show. Nevertheless, he won me $1,200 on JEOPARDY in 1998. A VIDEO DAILY DOUBLE: “Hi, I’m Jason Alexander. This actor co-starred with me on a sitcom called E/R before starring in the medical series ER.” Something I must have read in People magazine or Entertainment Weekly got stuck in my head when Clooney first started playing Dr. Doug Ross.

Subsequently, I saw or heard him in several movies, such as Up In The Air, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The DescendantsGravity, and Tomorrowland. He directed and appeared in Good Night and Good Luck and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

He was the executive producer of Far From Heaven and producer of Argo and August: Osage County.

When I saw Alison Krauss and Union Station in Albany in 2003, Dan Tyminski noted how his wife enjoyed hearing his voice come out of George Clooney’s mouth when the actor “sang” Man Of Constant Sorrow in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? I have had the soundtrack for two decades, though I saw the film during the COVID lockdown.

“George Clooney is co-founder and co-President, along with his wife Amal, of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.”

Contemporary Christian and pop singer-songwriter

I may have only one Amy Grant album, a vinyl recording of The Animals’ Christmas with Art Garfunkel. It was written by Jimmy Webb.

She was the first self-identified singer of Contemporary Christian Music to go to #1 on the pop charts. There were “Christians” who were HORRIFIED that Amy was doing pop music, such as Baby, Baby. Oh, please.

Amy married musician Vince Gill in 2000. She’s been active in philanthropy for her entire career.

A legendary singer of soul, Gospel, R and B, and pop

Gladys KnightI must have learned that Gladys Knight won Ted Mack’s The Original Amateur Hour TV show from reading Ebony or Jet when I was growing up. She was eight in 1952.

Gladys Knight and the Pips had minor hits on minor labels, most notably  Every Beat Of My Heart in 1961 (#6 pop, #1 RB). She left the group in 1962 to start a family but rejoined in 1964.

The group signed with Motown in 1966. It always felt that the label didn’t know what to do with the act. Berry Gordy wouldn’t let the Miracles release I Heard It Through The Grapevine, but was OK with the Pips doing so. It became a big hit for the Pips (#2 pop for three weeks, #1 RB for six weeks); it is my favorite version of the song.

Gladys Knight and the Pips did have other hits on Motown, notably If I Were Your Woman (#9 pop, #1 RB) and Neither One Of Us (#2 pop for two weeks, #4 RB). But they also were recording the same songs that The Temptations were also getting.

Their move to Buddah generated their first #1 pop hit (for two weeks),  Midnight Train To Georgia. More Top 5 hits followed. She had an active solo career and acted as well.

Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator

Alas, Tania León is the honoree I do not know beyond what’s in the KCH bio.

Iconic Irish rock band

In 1988, I told a friend of mine that The Joshua Tree by the band U2 was one of my desert albums. My friend said one couldn’t put a one-year-old album on such a list. Maybe not, but I still like it quite a lot.

Lead singer Bono and his wife of 40 years Ali Hewson, were recently interviewed by Norah O’Donnell for CBS News’ Person To Person with U2’s Bono. He talked about his new book “Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.” He shares how the band – he, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. – stayed together for decades and much more.

Here are some songs: Beautiful Day, One, When Love Comes To Town with B.B. King, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Rattle and Hum version), Where the Streets Have No Name, and  Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Watch the show!

The Kennedy Center Honors took place Sunday, December 4th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House. It will be televised Wednesday, December 28th, on CBS. We watch it every year.

Some substitutes for title songs #5

Emmylou Harris, Heaven 17, and especially Amy Grant

peter gabriel.soThese are more substitutes for title songs. The album name appears as a lyric, but it’s not the title song. There is no actual title song, but these can be substituted. I’ve provided links when I could easily find them on YouTube.

Allelujah – Fairground Attraction. Album: The First of a Million Kisses Lyric: “And we’ll kiss the first of a million kisses.”

Emerald Eyes – Fleetwood Mac. Album: Mystery To Me. Lyric: “She’s still a mystery to me.”

Battle of Who Could Care Less – Ben Folds Five. Album: Whatever and Ever Amen. Lyrics: “General apathy and major boredom singing Whatever and ever Amen.”

Home – Foo Fighters. Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace, Lyrics: The echoes and silence, patience and grace All of these moments I’ll never replace.”
All My Life -Foo Fighters. Album: One By One. Lyrics: “All my life, I’ve been searching for something.”

Into the Sun – Roddy Frame. Album: Seven Dials. Lyrics: “So bury me at Seven Dials So my soul can never find its way back to where I kissed you.”

Good Grief – Frazier Chorus. EP: Monkey Spunk

Death Dream – Frightened Rabbit. Album: Painting of a Panic Attack. Lyrics: “A still life is the last I will see of you. A painting of a panic attack.”


Red Rain, Don’t Give Up, That Voice Again, In Your Eyes, Mercy Street, Big Time -Peter Gabriel. Album: SoLyrics.

Even Though Our Love Is Doomed – Garbage. Album – Strange Little Birds. Lyrics: “Such strange little birds devoured by our obsessions.”

Too Many Lovers – Crystal Gayle. Album: These Days. Lyrics: “These days too many lovers. These days not enough love.”

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight – Genesis. Album: Selling England By the Pound. Lyrics: “It seems he’s drowned; selling England by the pound.”

Vanilla Queen – Golden Earring. Album: Moontan. Lyrics: The secret of your beauty was your moontan and your fear.”

Radio King – Golden Smog. Album: Down By the Old Mainstream. Lyrics: Let’s go down together Down by the old mainstream.”

El Shaddai  – Amy Grant. Album: Age to Age. Lyrics: “Age to age you’re still the same.”
Fight – Amy Grant. Album: Unguarded. Lyrics: “I’ve made up my mind now, I don’t want to lose out (Unguarded)”
Baby, Baby  – Amy Grant. Album: Heart in Motion. Lyrics: “And ever since the day you put my heart in motion.”
Turn This World Around – Amy Grant. Album: Behind The Eyes. Lyrics: “We are all the same it seems Behind the eyes”

Here Comes Sunshine – Grateful Dead. Album: Wake of the Flood. Lyrics: “Wake of the flood, laughing water, forty-nine.”

Locomotive – Guns n’ Roses. Album: Use Your Illusion II. Lyrics: “You can use your illusion- Let it take you where it may.”


Trans Am (Highway Wonderland) – Sammy Hagar. Album: Street Machine. Lyrics: “Red on black, she’s a street machine.”

Before Believing – Emmylou Harris. Album: Pieces Of The Sky. Lyrics: “Pieces of the sky were falling in your neighbors’ yard”
Easy From Now On – Emmylou Harris. Album: Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town. Lyrics: “It’s a quarter moon in a ten-cent town.”

Radio Silence – Harvey Danger. Album: Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone.

Community of Hope  – PJ Harvey. Album: The Hope Six Demolition Project. Lyrics: “Here’s the Hope Six Demolition Project switching down the Benning Road.” This is a fascinating story.

How Wonderful You Are – Gordon Haskell. Album: Harry’s Bar. Lyrics: “Listen to the jazz in Harry’s bar.”

Vainglorious -Heart. Album: Jupiter’s Darling. Lyrics: “Jupiter’s darling standing in the ring.”

Key To The World – Heaven 17. Album: The Luxury Gap. Lyrics: “But trying to fill the luxury gap has pushed me to the brink.”
Five Minutes To Midnight – Heaven 17. Album: How Men Are. Lyrics: “You know how men are.”

Izabella– Jimi Hendrix. Album: First Rays of the New Rising Sun. Lyrics: “Girl, here comes the rays of the rising sun.” Live track substitute.


Adios to California – John Hiatt. Album: Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns. Lyrics: “Dirty jeans and mudslide hymns that all began with soon.”

Listening to the Higsons – Robyn Hitchcock. Album: Gotta Let This Hen Out. Lyrics: “Said “‘ gotta let this hen out And give this hen some eyeballs.'”

Boys Keep Swingin’  – Susanna Hoffs. Album: When You’re a Boy. Lyrics (first of many in the David Bowie cover) “Nothing stands in your way When you’re a boy.”

Stuck Between Stations and First Night – The Hold Steady. Album: Boys and Girls in America. Lyrics to the first: “Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.”

Hello To Romance – The Hollies. Album: A Crazy Steal. Lyrics: “Such a crazy steal.”

Preacher In The Ring, Pt. 1 – Bruce Hornsby. Album: Spirit Trail. Lyrics: “Believers out shakin’ on the spirit trail.”

Wheels – Hunters and Collectors. Album: Jaws of Life. Lyrics: “Hadda spit the dummy do a Jaws of Life job.”

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