January rambling #2: Don’t Wanna Fight

Jeopardy! Contestants Present: “Get Well Soon, Alex!”, some of whom I know personally.

Doomsday Clock Now ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’

Amy Biancolli: life is huge

John Green: On emergencies

The Women’s Marches Could Have Lasting Consequences

How Arafat Eluded Israel’s Assassination Machine

Water run out: Days are numbered in Cape Town

Evangelical toadies are destroying the Christian brand and The death of Christianity in the U.S.

I Was a Successful Journalist When a Doctor First Handed Me Opioids

Good People Don’t Defend A Bad Man

How he convinced America that character doesn’t matter

His Racism: The Definitive List

How democracies die

Why Don’t Norwegians Immigrate to the United States?

More than 160 women say Larry Nassar sexually abused them; here are his accusers in their own words and It’s Time For Every Last Coward Who Enabled Nassar To Pay For Their Sins

When convictions are clearly wrong, these prosecutors don’t just hinder justice—they actively work against it

N.Y. gun violence costs state economy over $5.6B a year

An experiment involving monkeys watching cartoons shows how far Volkswagen went to manipulate research on the harmful effects of diesel fuel

FACEBOOK begins its downward spiral

“Keep going today. Keep moving amid every obstacle. Keep moving amid every mountain of opposition” – MLK, Jr.

The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics

A Tiny New York Town With Not One, But 5 Indie Bookstores

10 Letters We Dropped From The Alphabet

Ursula K. Le Guin, acclaimed science fiction writer, is dead at 88; Le Guin on Tolkien

RIP Hugh Wilson (WKRP)

Connie Sawyer, World’s Oldest Working Actress, dies at 105

Comic strip creator Mort Walker, R.I.P. Beetle Bailey was the brother of Lois in Hi and Lois

Jeopardy! Contestants Present: “Get Well Soon, Alex!” and Alex Trebek returned to taping Jeopardy!

From Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr’s collection of vintage ephemera, circa 1912

How STAR WARS was saved in the edit and Star Wars’ infamous Holiday Special, explained

Some nice Albany photography

Hello Chuckthewriter.blog!

Now I Know: How Fire and Fury Fueled a World War II Revival and Now I Know: How Some Places are Beeting the Snow and When A Penny Saved is Ten-Thousand Pennies Earned and The A-Maze-Ing Solution to a Bar’s Legal Problems and Why Nike Makes Glowing Sneakers

Aristocrat, friend of royalty and cad and card cheat Sir William Gordon-Cumming


Holly Holy- Neil Diamond (live 1971)

Sunny Afternoon – the Rodford Files

Cry Like A Rainstorm – Bonnie Raitt

Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

John Knowles Paine Symphony No. 2: In Spring

Coverville 1201: Cover Stories for Pat Benatar and Shawn Colvin and 1202: Cover Stories for the Kaiser Chiefs and the Thompson Twins and 1203: Journey and Cheap Trick Cover Stories

The River Cam – Eric Whitacre

H.P. Lovecraft’s “Nemesis” has the same meter as Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”

Nights at White Castle

5 Songs You’ve Never Heard That You’ve Heard 1000 Times

Two Catskill HS Students to Perform at Carnegie Hall, one of whom I know well

Hugh Masekela, great South African jazz trumpeter, died at 78

Edwin Hawkins, Known for the Hit ‘Oh Happy Day,’ Is Dead at 74

Mark Edward Smith (1957-2018) of The Fall

Denise LaSalle, singer and writer of earthy songs dies at 78

Hormones appear to affect our musical preferences

Music Throwback Saturday: Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)

Lay Down was a song that I would hear on an album and then play again right away.

melaniesafkaMelanie Safka, who performed under her first name, appeared at the Woodstock festival in 1969. Although she doesn’t appear in the 1970 movie, she does have songs on the second album from the three-day concert.

Her first single was What Have They’ve Done to My Song, Ma, which became a much bigger hit for the New Seekers later in 1970 (#14 US Billboard).

Her first big smash, though, inspired by her Woodstock experience, was Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) for which she enlisted her Buddah Records label mates, the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

From American Songwriter: “Melanie had to beg the group to join her on the song since they were reluctant to perform any song that didn’t make specific mention of the Lord. ‘But he’s in there,’ she told them in the studio, and she must have been convincing. ‘By the time I finished singing,’ Safka says, ‘they were joining me in the chorus.'”

It went to #6 on the Billboard charts. #3 in Australia, #5 in Canada, #1 in the Netherlands, and #4 in France.

On the US version of the Candles in the Rain LP, which I own, there’s a spoken-word track that segues into the singing portion.

single version (3:50)
spoken word intro (5:45)
live version (6:15)

She would have several Top 40 hits in the United States, notably Brand New Key, which was #1 for three weeks in the fall of 1971. But it is Lay Down that I would hear on an album and then have to play again right away.

Music Throwback Saturday: Oh Happy Day

George Harrison said “Oh Happy Day” was a primary inspiration in the writing of his 1970 hit single “My Sweet Lord.”

EdwinHawkinsThe 8 April 1966 cover of TIME magazine asked the question, “Is God Dead?” John Lennon made a controversial statement about Beatles’ popularity in relationship to Jesus that same year.

So it was interesting to me that, in a period of songs of protest about war and the human condition, “Oh Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, a gospel group out of northern California, became an international hit in 1969, reaching No. 4 in the US, No. 2 in both the UK singles chart and Irish Singles Chart, and No. 1 on the German Singles Charts. The Grammy-winning song has since become a gospel music standard. The lead singer was Dorothy Combs Morrison.

I did not know this:

It began as a hymn written in the mid-18th century (“O happy day, that fixed my choice”) by English clergyman Philip Doddridge (based on Acts 8:35) set to an earlier melody (1704) by J. A. Freylinghausen. By the mid-19th century it had been given a new melody by Edward F. Rimbault, who also added a chorus, and was commonly used for baptismal or confirmation ceremonies in the UK and USA. The 20th century saw its adaptation from 3/4 to 4/4 time and this new arrangement by Hawkins, which contains only the repeated Rimbault refrain, with all of the original verses being omitted.

I did know that George Harrison had “stated the song was a primary inspiration in the writing of his 1970 international hit single My Sweet Lord.” [LISTEN] In fact, some musicologists believe the Harrison tune is more inspired structurally by the Hawkins tune than by the Chiffons’ song, “He’s So Fine” [LISTEN], over which Harrison had legal issues.

Dustbury’s write-up of the song.

LISTEN to Oh Happy Day – The Edwin Hawkins Singers
Oh Happy Day from Sister Act 2
A music great died this week, Jean Ritchie. Read about her HERE.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial