Music. Birthday. Roger. Chaos. 67.

Annie Haslam, Judy Collins, Odetta

Roger.babeWe have the convergence of Saturday, when I generally write about music, and March 7, which is my birthday. Save for the obvious, there is isn’t much I play every year.

Now there WAS a song I played on March 8, a lot. Have a Good Time from my favorite Paul Simon album.

Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life’s a mess
But I’m having a good time

I’ve been trying to remember what music I have received on my birthday. A couple years back, I received an album of Odetta singing Bob Dylan. A couple of those tracks appear here.

There was an album I got on my 16th birthday called Who Knows Where the Time Goes by Judy Collins. I wrote about it back in 2008, but somehow all the YouTube links got mucked up. So here it is again.

I was thinking about a particular song from the album, The Story of Isaac, written by Leonard Cohen. It’s because my Bible guys have been rereading the book of Genesis. Specifically Genesis 22, when Abraham is tested by God.

In 1977, I was in Charlotte, NC, crashing on my parents’ sofa. What I wanted for my birthday was the album Scheherazade & Other Stories by Renaissance. I played it. Don’t think my family appreciated as much as I did. So it goes.

Anyway, 67 suggests sixes and sevens. Chaos. Or at least that’s how I’ll remember how old I am.

Yes, I DID have a happy birthday, thank you

I find that the most efficient venue to write is a public setting, near the guy making wheezing noises, and the guy with the peculiar laugh.

Each month, when there’s a birthday in our office at work, someone, usually the boss, will ask, “What did you do on your birthday?” I thought I’d write it down while I can still remember.

My bride and I got up and had breakfast at a sandwich shop nearby. We might have opted for a more leisurely locale except that: 1) she had to report for jury duty and 2) I had a massage scheduled, and they’ve moved to a place I wasn’t exactly sure of. But find it I did, and it was especially needed.

I walked home, read some newspapers, watched a little TV, notably CBS Sunday Morning, which I never watch actually on the Sabbath, when The Wife came home around noon. Apparently, the court impaneled enough people before they even got into the courtroom.

I went to the library for an hour to blog. For some reason, I find that the most efficient venue to write, in a public setting, near the guy making wheezing noises, and the guy with the peculiar laugh.

The three of us went out to dinner at a family-style restaurant recommended by a bus driver I know. It had been opened since 1996, and I must have passed it dozens of times, but I had never even heard of it. It was good food, though, interestingly, the chicken parm was better as leftovers.

When we got home, PRESENTS! This included Odetta singing Dylan from the 1960s, though the CD version was released around the turn of the millennium. I also received March Book 2, the last of the trilogy penned by Georgia Congressman John Lewis that I received. I got Book 3 as a review copy and Book 1 for Christmas.

Oh, Jaquandor wrote a blog post in my honor!

The following Saturday, I held my annual hearts card game. It’s useful to do this in part because it forces us to clean the house more thoroughly. We talked a lot, ate a lot, and even played cards; I even won one, and by “shooting the moon”, taking all the points, on the last hand.

To paraphrase some song, a splendid time was guaranteed for all.

Throwback Music Saturday: Run On

‘Run On’ is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists.

Bill LankfordAt some point in the 1990s, I bought a box set called Roots ‘N Blues: The Retrospective 1925-1950, “a four-CD box set released on Columbia Records in 1992. The set features five hours worth of early blues, folk/country and gospel recordings from a variety of American artists. Many of these recordings had never previously been issued in any medium.”

Eventually, I got Moby’s 1999 album Play, and stopped short when I heard the song Run On. Continue reading “Throwback Music Saturday: Run On”

Harry Belafonte is 85

Harry Belafonte was an artist who used his celebrity for good.

Harry Belafonte, who turns 85 today, is a hero to me. Based on his record collection, my late father was likewise taken; moreover, I think Belafonte was a model for my father’s life.

If you’re not familiar with him, here’s an apt description from the Charlie Rose website:
Harold Belafonte, Jr. is an African-American musician, actor and radical social activist of Jamaican ancestry. One of the most successful Jamaican musicians in history, he was dubbed the “King of Calypso” for popularizing the Caribbean musical style in the 1950s. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing the “Banana Boat Song”, with its signature lyric “Day-O”. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes. Continue reading “Harry Belafonte is 85”