Music Throwback Saturday: Thank You

b2m-evolutionBack in 2010, I listed and linked to three Thank You songs for the Thanksgiving weekend. I figure if it was good enough for six years ago, it’s good enough for now. I have all songs in my collection.

Thank the Lord for the Night Time – Neil Diamond, #13 in 1967

While some of his later work I thought was too middle of the road for my tastes, I LOVED early Neil Diamond: Cherry Cherry, Kentucky Woman, Solitary Man, Holly Holy. This was far from the biggest hit for the singer/songwriter, though I wonder if it did better regionally because I heard this a lot in the day. This is probably my favorite of his songs; it is very soulful.

Listen HERE or HERE

Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver, #1 on both the pop and country charts, in 1975; also #1 in Canada.

Written by John Martin Sommers, a guitar/banjo/fiddle/mandolin player in Denver’s backup band, “the song was originally included on Denver’s 1974 album Back Home Again. A version recorded live on August 26, 1974 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles was included on his 1975 album An Evening with John Denver.”

It’s the live version that was the hit, one of four pop songs, and one of three country tuns to top the charts. This and I’m Sorry/Calypso topped both.

Listen HERE

Thank You – Boyz II Men, #21 pop, #17 soul, in 1995

The third single from Boyz II Men’s second studio album, II, this new jack swing song was co-written and co-produced by Dallas Austin and the group. It is almost certainly my favorite song by the quartet, now operating as a trio.

The group had three hits that hit #1 for weeks in double digits on the pop charts: End Of the Road (13 in 1992), I’ll Make Love To You (14 in 1994) and, with Mariah Carey, One Sweet Day (16 in 1995), which was the second question on the first JEOPARDY! game I played.

LISTEN HERE (single version) or HERE (a capella album cut)

February rambling #1: the earth is not flat

Bob and Ray’s Slow Talkers.


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response to rapper B.o.B’s rant insisting that the Earth is flat and we’ve all been lied to.

How 37 Banks Became 4 In Just 2 Decades.

Rebecca Solnit: Men Explain LOLITA To Me. And Amy Biancolli on what women want.

White America’s ‘Broken Heart’.

Weekly Sift: Back to Ferguson.

Say — you want a revolution?“Changing presidents or even changing minds isn’t enough. A real revolution has to change a lot of people’s political identities.”

On Antonin Scalia: On The Death Of A Brilliant Public Servant and Don’t tell me not to be glad.

The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams Shuts Down Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Haters.

Voting in the USA, from overseas.

The Great Dictator Speech – Charlie Chaplin + Time – Hans Zimmer (INCEPTION Theme).

Why People Who Are Scatterbrained Are Actually More Intelligent. Well, duh.

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy. Missing, though, is Bob and Ray’s Slow Talkers. Mr. Bob Elliott died at the age of 92; an appreciation of the duo.

Joe Alaskey, R.I.P. at age of only 63. Boy from Troy, NY made good.

Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis. Or, more politely, the unhelpful things one ought NOT to say.

In Defense of Artist Glenn Brown.

Now I Know: The Crack Tax and Unchecked Baggage and D-N-Nay.

An unfortunate incident on a Friday in the dead of winter.

Why Do Some People Say “Yuge” Instead of “Huge”?

The explanation of the chart below:


Coverville 1111: Dolly Parton and Neil Diamond Cover Stories.

Jaquandor: songs from the movie High Society.

Muppets: Does Dave Grohl Drum Battle Trump Animal vs. Buddy Rich? No, it does not.

Jed Clampett Rocks Out (Beverly Hillbillies Clip).

What’s the point of music? Ask Peter Gabriel.

New Ways Into the Brain’s ‘Music Room’.

NY State Senate’s Bowie resolution.

45s doohickey.

(Definition of SJW)

Google alerts (me)

That’s the Way of the World – Earth, Wind and Fire.

Today we have trolls.

[Top image per IISC.]

Storage media creep, dismal future, and what if Lincoln had lived

Would Lincoln have run for a third term?

Jaquandor, Buffalo’s favorite blogger, who answered so many of my questions that you’d think I was from New Jersey, writes:
(Sorry to be so late in the game with these!)

You’re not late. One can ask me questions anytime, though I specifically request them periodically. Hey, if anyone else has questions, ask away.

To what degree are you tired of “storage media creep” — meaning, the progression from LPs to CDs to MP3s or from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray to streaming?

I am EXHAUSTED by it. I rant about it periodically, especially when it leads to what I like to call W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O. (the World Wide Conspiracy To Get You To Buy New Copies Of Stuff You Already Own). This is why I 1) still have an LP player, a CD player, a VHS player, DVD player, and 2) don’t jump on the next technology bandwagon very quickly. I’m not going to get all of those newfangled things, because of cost and some incompatibility with each other. I do have music in the cloud – I have no idea what that means – but it’s mostly stuff I got from Amazon for free or cheap (Lady Gaga’s last album for 99 cents.)

And what do you think of the increasing sense in which when we buy something, we’re not getting ownership of anything for our money, but merely permission to use it?

It angers me. One library vendor decided, after the fact, that library patrons can only take out an e-book, I believe, 28 times, because that’s some average book circulation number. Then the “book” would cease to operate. It’s also true of library databases, where what’s available seems to change from year to year, not to mention soaring prices.

To this day, I get peeved around Neil Diamond’s birthday. I bought his CD, 12 Songs. Then I discovered that SONY had placed essentially malware on its own disc which prevents me from copying an album that I own onto my iTunes or other devices; indeed, I believe that even playing the album on my computer could damage the computer. So I must play it on a CD player. I read, well after the fact, that there was a recall, but I keep the disc as a reminder of corporate copyright overreach.

When you think of the long-term problems we face, which one(s) bother you the most from the perspective of your daughter having to be part of the generation that deals with them?

The environment, clearly. I think that the melting ice caps will mean catastrophic weather. Corporations will dupe people into thinking that hydrofracking is a good thing until some disaster that will make the BP oil spill look like lint on a new pair of pants. I also expect that there will be major wars in the 21st century over potable water, more so than fuel.

We may have already passed the tipping points on global warming, say scientists at the Planet Under Pressure conference. Worse. on March 19, Tennessee became “the fourth state with a legal mandate to incorporate climate change denial as part of the science education curriculum when discussing climate change… The ALEC bill passed as H.B. 368 and S.B. 893, with 70-23 and 24-8 roll call votes, respectively.”

How different do you think the post-Civil War era would have been had Lincoln not been assassinated?

Wow, this is SUCH a good question, because it’s so TOTALLY UNANSWERABLE. Which won’t keep me from trying.

Like an assassinated President a century later, I believe that Lincoln was evolving on civil rights issues. I can only wonder how he would have dealt with the Radical Republicans that drove much of Reconstruction in his absence. Would there have been compensation to slave owners that remained loyal to the Union? Would blacks ex-slaves have gotten their 40 acres and a mule, which Lincoln supported but which Andrew Johnson rescinded? If these two things had taken place, might some of the racial animosity that exists in America today have been better ameliorated?

And here’s yet another question: would Lincoln have run for a third term? I always thought he felt his destiny to serve. It was only tradition, not the Constitution, which barred it at the time. And he may have proved more tolerable terms for Southern states to re-enter the union, without the seceding states feeling totally demoralized. I think it was the quick end to Reconstruction that helped allow for the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, and the like.

And I just had a debate with someone online about this, so I’ll ask your opinion: how much does the common usage of the phrase ‘begging the question’ bother you? This to me leads to a lot of interesting issues regarding how languages evolve. Thoughts?

It doesn’t annoy me. It has an ancient construction that most people don’t understand. Maybe because it involves “proof” and “logic”, and those are not elements of modern discourse. Politicians beg the question, in the classic sense, all the time.

Its more modern meaning, “raising the question,” the more pedantic complain about, and I can be rather that way, but not on this. Language changes.

I remember that my good Internet friend Arthur was complaining about those folks in the Guy Fawkes masks not knowing who Fawkes really was, or what he stood for. Didn’t bother me.

Whereas I’m still bugged by it’s/its, et al. And the word among no longer seems to be in use at all. I learned that it was between two, but among three or more, yet between is now being used to the exclusion of among. I’ve pretty much given up that fight.

Jaquandor, this begs the question (modern sense): what was the nature of the debate you were having?

Kennedy Center Honors 2011

I have seen over half the movies Meryl Streep has made.

The Kennedy Center Honors took place on December 4, and as usual, it is being broadcast the Tuesday after Christmas, December 27 at 9 pm Eastern time on CBS-TV. I always watch it, because it’s always entertaining, no matter how well I know the honorees.

The inductees, as usual, represent a wide array of talent. Singer Barbara Cook I’ve seen perform on televised versions of her extensive Broadway career.

My knowledge of Sonny Rollins is primarily through the Modern Jazz Quartet, who I’ve heard perform, again primarily on TV.

I actually own a couple of albums of Yo-Yo Ma. As the description notes, he is the country’s “cellist-in-chief.” The last time I saw him play was on TV at the 9/11/2011 performance in New York City.

The early work of singer-songwriter Neil Diamond I really loved. Solitary Man has been covered by Chris Isaak and Johnny Cash, among many others; Kentucky Woman by Deep Purple [listen]; Red, Red Wine by UB40 [listen], and I’m a Believer by the Monkees [listen]. He also had hits with Cherry, Cherry [listen]; Cracklin’ Rosie; Holly, Holly; Sweet Caroline; I Am…I Said; Song Sung Blue; and my personal favorite, Thank the Lord for the Nighttime [listen]. I also own his 2005 album 12 Songs.

As for Meryl Streep, I saw her in Holocaust, the 1978 TV mini-series, and heard her on early episodes of The Simpsons. I’m looking forward to catching The Iron Lady, where she’ll play Margaret Thatcher since I have also seen over half the movies she’s made:
2009 It’s Complicated; Julie & Julia
2008 Doubt; Mamma Mia!
2006 The Devil Wears Prada; A Prairie Home Companion
2004 The Manchurian Candidate
2002 The Hours; Adaptation.
1999 Music of the Heart
1998 One True Thing
1996 Before and After
1995 The Bridges of Madison County
1994 The River Wild
1992 Death Becomes Her
1991 Defending Your Life
1990 Postcards from the Edge
1988 A Cry in the Dark
1986 Heartburn
1985 Out of Africa
1985 Plenty
1983 Silkwood
1982 Sophie’s Choice
1981 The French Lieutenant’s Woman
1979 Kramer vs. Kramer; The Seduction of Joe Tynan; Manhattan
1977 Julia


I saw the film Afterglow on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and Somewhere by Tom Waits was particularly affecting.

“Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper are among the musicians who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Tom Waits, Darlene Love, and Dr. John will also join the class of 2011… Other honorees will include Jac Holzman, Leon Russell, and Art Rupe.”

Those nominees who were not chosen for induction this year were Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J. Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Chic, Donovan, J. Geils Band, Donna Summer, and Chuck Willis.

And I remember in the early days of the Rock Hall, which I visited in May of 1998 – they had tributes to recently deceased Carls, Wilson, and Perkins – that I was actually excited who got in. And now it’s, “Meh.”

Whereas I still care about the Baseball Hall of Fame, and to a lesser degree, the Football Hall of Fame. (I need to get to Canton someday.)

Maybe it’s because the notion of “merit” in the rock hall seems even fuzzier; it’s not strictly commercial appeal, for certain. One can argue the inclusion or exclusion of sports figures in their respective halls. But the music selections seem more arbitrary.

What do you think? And what is your favorite song by the inductees, if any? Here are mine:
Alice Cooper-School’s Out
Neil Diamond- Thank the Lord for the Night Time
Dr. John- Right Place, Wrong Time
Darlene Love- Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
Leon Russell- Roll Over, Beethoven
Tom Waits- Somewhere [From West Side Story], used as the outro to the 1997 movie Afterglow; I saw that film on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and the song was particularly affecting.

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