Thank you

Dionne Warwick’s twin

Thank you. If you’re reading this, I want you to know that I appreciate that.

I’m thankful to see the folks at church. Singing in the choir is excellent. I attend weekly library book reviews. These might seem mundane, but after COVID, I’m not taking anything for granted.

There are lots of stories about people feeling isolated. They may be working remotely, or the busyness of life precludes them from seeing their friends and colleagues. I watched one of the morning news anchors pledge to see a friend once weekly because she doesn’t see her buds nearly enough. One needs to be intentional about these things, if at all possible.

I’m happy that I seem still curious about some things I don’t know about. At the same time, I can appreciate whatever small victories I’ve achieved in life without becoming that guy in the Springsteen song Glory Days.

Discovering and often rediscovering music I play on my CD player continues to bring extraordinary joy beyond what I can coherently describe.

I’m thankful I saw many movies, concerts, and theatrical performances this year. I didn’t mention that my wife and I saw Tennesssee Williams’  Glass Menagerie at the Bridge  Street Theatre in Catskill, NY, in early October. The Times Union review headline called it “shatteringly good.”

That’s What Friends Are For

Thanks to those I’ve loved who have passed on. Particularly the one who shared a birthday with Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Sheila E., and Dan Baird. I doubt she knew who the latter two were, but she hated Sinatra, probably for that Rat Pack vibe. Somehow, I never realized until recently that she and Dionne Warwick, who was OK in her book, were born on the very same day.

Thanks to my blogger buddies, especially the Kiwi and the Bison, and condolences again to the latter upon the death of his mother. Also, thanks to my terrestrial friends, acquaintances, sisters, favorite daughter, and wife.

That is all. Well, except for some Sly. I need to prepare to eat some turkey. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks songs, for Thanksgiving

from Beatles to Boyz II Men

Thanksgiving is coming, so I thought I’d link to some thanks songs. All cuts are in my physical music collection.

Thank You Girl – The Beatles, #35 pop in 1964, as the B-side to Do You Want To Know A Secret (#2 pop). Written by Lennon and McCartney, “eyeball to eyeball.”

Thank The Lord For The Night Time – Neil Diamond, #13 pop in 1967. Written by Neil and arguably my favorite song by him.

I Thank You – Sam and Dave, #4 RB, #9 pop in 1968. Sam says, “I want everybody to get off your seat. And get your arms together, and your hands together, and give me some of that OLD SOUL CLAPPING.” Written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.

Thank You – Led Zeppelin, from the group’s second album (1969). Written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Sylvester Stewart

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly and the Family Stone, #1 pop, #1 RB for five weeks in 1969. Written by Sly Stone. Its first album appearance is on the greatest collection along with Everybody Is A Star (the B-side of Thank You) and Hot Fun In The Summertime. It namechecks other songs by the group.
Dance to the music
All night long
Everyday people
Sing a simple song
Mama’s so happy
Mama start to cry
Papa still singin’
We can make it if we try

Thank You For Talkin’ To Me, Africa – Sly and the Family Stone. A reworking of the previous song, also written by Sly Stone, appears on the 1971 album There’s A Riot Goin’ On.

Thank God I’m A Country Boy  – John Denver, #1 pop and country in 1975. Written by John Martin Sommers.

Thank You For Being A Friend – Andrew Gold, #25 pop in 1978. Written by Gold and Brock Walsh. It was also used as the theme for The Golden Girls, sung by Cynthia Fee in 1985.

Thank You – Boyz II Men, #17 RB, #21 pop in 1995. Written by Dallas Austin and the group, Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman.

The Lydster: belated thanks for the gifts

It’s much like how one might take bills one cannot afford to pay and stuff them into a drawer, irrationally hoping they will go away.

When The Daughter was born, we received some lovely and generous gifts from friends and family. Being raised correctly, we tried to send out thank you notes right away. But we were tired, trying to get a handle on this parenting thing.

Finally, in October 2004, only seven months later, we wrote up a bunch of cards of appreciation. Not so bad, really.

My wife reminds me that we were even better with our wedding presents from 1999. The notes went out within three weeks, not bad since we spent nearly a week in Barbados. There were a couple items we were unable to identify – who gave us the $100 J.C. Penney gift card? – but for the most part, we were properly appreciative in a timely manner. And necessarily so, since the presents had taken over the living room.

This past winter, I was wading through a bunch of miscellaneous boxes that had made their way to the attic. I FOUND a handful of thank you cards from 2004! They were in envelopes, the cards filled with personalized messages about the special gifts people had gotten for us. The names were on the envelopes but not addresses; presumably we were going to look them up. They had 37 cent stamps already attached.

I was mortified and immediately threw them back into the box, much like how one might take bills one cannot afford to pay and stuff them into a drawer, irrationally hoping they will go away, which, for the record, seldom works.

So apologies to Jack in my current choir and his wife Sue, and to Lori from my previous choir. Those are the only names I saw before I stopped looking. Apologies to whomever else we failed to fulfill our social obligation.

Maybe next time I find them, I will put on the additional postage and actually mail them out. Hey, Lori, where ARE you in Florida? I’ve lost track.

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)

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