Memories, like the corners of my mind, misty……………

Many people who know mw are aware that my first love (apart from Katie Hepburn) is Motown. The Four Tops are probably my most favourite group from the Motown era I grew to adulthood (I wish) with. But there is another group who’s singer could melt my kneecaps and send me to the floor. Allow me to present Gladys Knight and her pips with a great track from 1971.

Gladys Knight. Help me make it through the night 1971

Back in the 1960’s we had a few singing outfits that called themselves Brothers. I’ve already played a record by the Walker Brothers- who were not, and now here is another one who aren’t. From 1965 I bring you the Righteous Brothers. William (Bill )Medley and Bobby Hatfield. Though actually this was sung by Bobby alone.

Righteous Bothers. Unchained Melody 1965.

From 1993 a track from a very popular group named after an unemployment benefit form. My wife and I used to sing along to this one in the car. I give you UB40

UB40. Higher Ground 1993

1974 brings me to a group who were from Chicago, Illinois. They had 11 top ten hits in 5 years, 60 to 74. and this one is my favourite.

Chi-Lites, Homely Girl 1974

This last one is from a New Wave group formed in 1983 and hail from Perth in Scotland. The track I’m playing is actually their best known one that peaked at No6 in the UK charts in 1983.. Please forgive the slightly spooky video that backs this song.

Fiction Factory. Feels like heaven 1983

Well, you can breathe easily for another week now. I hope you have a wonderful week, Please bear in mind that there are many people in the world in need of a little kindness. Please try to be that kindness and make someone’s life better than it was when they woke. Sometimes just a hug will do the trick so always carry spares. If you’re not part of the problems of the world, at least try to be part of the solution.

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Some of the Greats

Sometimes a song is Great because of who performs it and sometimes because it just has lyrics that strike a chord with a wide audience. What follows are songs I consider Great for one reason or another or possibly both. I’m going to start with a group that perfected songs that had cross generational appeal. This group came from Australia and the lead singer Judith Durham was a treat for the eyes and ears, having a beautiful clear voice. 1965 song…………

The Seekers- The Carnival is Over. 1965

From 1970 I bring you one of the most recognisable names in the music world with one of their memorable releases of that year. They also released Cecilia and El Condor Pasa the same year. This one is covered by the rule of who sang it and by the brilliant lyrics.

Bridge over Troubled Water- S & G

This progression takes us next to 1972 and though I can’t claim brilliance because of singer or lyrics particularly, it’s great because it has the great Roy Wood (Wizzard) and it has a fantastic title. To my ears it’s a little reminiscent of the Beatles but nevertheless this particular sound belongs to ELO, the Electric Light Orchestra.

ELO-10538 Overture. 1972

As night follows day 1991 is next. For all my age giving me the benefit of some of the greatest groups and sounds from the 60’s to now, none have achieved what our next guests have.. They were the greatest group with the greatest ever lead singer and the greatest lyrics to any number of great songs. This is a real favourite of mine so keep the tissues handy please. From the album Innuendo this song always blows me away.

Queen-These were the days of our lives. 1991 From Innuendo.

To finish our session and to show I’m not an old fuddy duddy we go to 2011. Believe it or not I do have a choice of up to date artistes I consider special but with this one I’m displaying what I think are great lyrics. I think they were written for a vampire film but even that can’t remove the sweetness. So here we have Christina Perri with A Thousand Years.

Christina Perri- A Thousand Years .2011

Have the best weekend you can. If you need a hug you’ve only to ask one of us but if you have hug to spare keep your eyes open for the needy. Manners say you must ask first if it’s acceptable though virtual ones should be OK.

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My Two Penn’orth.

I have a much loved cousin in America who has spent a fair bit of time in hospital over the last few years and her recovery was touch and go. Her medications after hospital were/are not cheap. I have a Dear friend currently in hospital in America and I know that her consultations with her doctor prior to hospital cost a fortune. Not only that but she has a condition that requires medication every day of her life which can’t be missed.

I also hear that many Americans who take medication on a regular basis try to miss things from their prescriptions they think they can do without and also take to cutting tablets in half to make them go further. I know there will be some people who think them fools as obviously if a medication is prescribed it must be needed. But it needs to be acknowledged by everyone that there are some people in America with very limited incomes who must try and set priorities on just how to use that income.

I was pleased to hear that one of the election promises of Joe Biden was to legislate it so that Medicare could negotiate directly with Big Pharma on the price of prescription goods. Despite there being so many drug companies in America they set the prices which are MUCH greater than those charged to the rest of the World. As this was a Democrat proposal and the Democrats having the advantage of numbers with a deciding vote going to the Vice President, you would expect this bill to be a walkover. Especially as it has a high approval rating amongst the voters who have suffered these high charges for many years. And that approval is from both sides of the Political spectrum.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee however failed to adopt the Democrats plan. This is not as you might expect a Republican majority voting it down, this is primarily due to three Democrats, Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Scott Peters of California—who all voted no. The reason for this is simple, on top of the generous salary they receive from the Government, which actually means you the people, they also receive thousands of dollars a year in ‘Contributions’ from none other than Big Pharma. So these three, along with any Republicans who voted No, are placing their own interests above those of their constituents. As I’ve said before. No-one can work for two masters as there will be clashes of interest. I wish these people could be recalled and dropped by the party but as it is there will be elections next year and my hope is that these politicians will be voted out and replaced by Democrats who will vote yes.

A number of years ago before President Obama won his first election I had a friend with whom I used to discuss things. He was not a Democrat so the discussions became quite heated over Obamacare. He told me the country would never accept communist ways. Despite my pointing out that the UK is not a communist country and that our NHS provides cradle to grave care for the population he opined that ‘his’ people don’t like things for free. The NHS is not free. We pay for it as part of our taxes. What is different is that it’s not for profit, so our medical care is not dictated by insurance companies who can say our policies don’t cover full care or money will end before treatment has finished. We don’t need to put money into shareholders hands. America these days is the kind of country that would benefit from being able to offer care to the population that doesn’t depend on income or providing shareholders profits. This is of course just my opinion based on the difficulties experienced by those I care about. But, the dark money accepted by politicians is spoiling so many things and should be stopped. If the people pay you, you work for them and to their benefit. If not, you should walk.

Keep your hugs handy, people need them. Jill Dennison could do with a few please.

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Sleep Induced Music, My own SIM Card

Over the years I’ve found I need less and less sleep. Sometimes I don’t even get to bed and might nod off over my keyboard (hopefully not using it) and wake 2 hours later with a crick in my neck. Some nights I do go to bed but find my leg won’t stop itching so it’s a battle to stop me scritching. Oft times it’s the whirling of my mind that won’t let me sleep and sometimes on those occasions I try and break up my thoughts with music. The music chooses me not the other way round. On a Monday night I very often don’t get to sleep at all as I travel to another Country (an hour and a half on the bus with an escort) the bus is at 6.30 am then I sit in a cafe until my daughter arrives with the grandchildren on their way to school. I have chocolate for the kids and then wait for Yvonne to come back to join me for coffee. This may well be a whirling thoughts and worry night. I’ll share some of the most recent pieces of music. The first is one that got stuck like an ear worm for most of the night. Sarah Brightman was invited to sing this with Andrea Bocelli in Paris 1996. Unforgettable.

Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli. Time to say GOODBYR 1996

This next one is from a Scottish singer who’s led a varied life and who had to wait until 1978 for a big hit and here it is.

Frankie Miller, Darlin 1978

Now, strap yourselves in while I do a big U-turn all the way back to 1959. A group that were a big part of the do-wap sound . This one jumps uninvited into my mind in the hopes of a singalong, which I usually succumb to. I’m hated by cats and neighbours.

Coasters- Poison Ivy 1959

An Artiste from 1988 now. A man who performs in a number of genres but this is probably the only track I know. It’s catchy Steve Earle, Copperhead Road.

The last record is from 1969. I’m sort of cheating as it’s a follow up to one from last week. For some reason it didn’t do as well in the UK making just 28 (it did get to No2 in the Netherlands) but the group never made inroads into the American market. In 1970 they split up and Graham Bonnet went solo for a while before joining Rainbow then a variety of other groups. Great Voice.

Marbles- The Walls Fell Down. 1969

Have a Fantastic Weekend If you meet someone who needs a Hug make sure you’re carrying a spare or two. Big rewards for small efforts.

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To My Surprise.

Talking to my daughter yesterday, I asked whether she knew any of the songs on my latest music post. I know she normally follows my blog on her Facebook page so I was a little surprised when she said she hadn’t seen a post. She signed into the main blog and went through the songs. She said she didn’t know them until she actually started playing them when familiarity dawned and she realised they were all songs she’d heard me play when she was young. As she’s in her forties now that’s a little worrying.

But, I decided to visit Facebook when I got home to check my page and see if there’s a problem. There is, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I found out why. First I checked how many post were missing and after going back quite a way I stopped counting. Apart from a couple of opinion pieces, all my music posts were missing too. I went to my blog and tried to post them again one by one. One by one I received the message that Facebook would not accept them as someone had complained that the content was Abusive or Offensive. Now I know my music won’t be to everyone’s taste, but abusive or offensive seemed a bit strong. I don’t even complain if someone posts Rap music, Heavy Rock or Punk.

So, back to Facebook. I’ve never been in Bad Boys jail before, even on Twitter and believe me I’ve been known to use strong language on there. I didn’t even know Facebook took action on posts given that they’ve carried so many pro-Trump lies there and I know there must have been complaints. It took something horrific before they stopped carrying his quotes but have still carried on allowing the QAnon pro Trump pieces. Anyhoo, I’m in trouble and Facebook threw a few options at me amongst which were, accept it or appeal. I ticked the appeal option expecting to be given the chance to state my case. NO, I’m told that someone will read the pieces in question to see if the complaint is valid. Anyone apart from me think maybe that should have been done when the complaint was made? Unfortunately because of Covid19 there’s a shortage of staff so they can’t say when this will be done.

My guess is that someone was offended by my op-ed piece Differences from Sept 1st. Fair enough, I was offended by the piece which prompted me to write my answer. I’m so easily offended by blatant lies you see. But if that’s the case, why not remove the offending piece and leave the rest alone unless of course someone is so petty that they complained about everything so they could get their jollies. Since they must have access to my Facebook page why not just tell me what they have a problem with and perhaps argue their side. It won’t be the first time I’ve had to defend my opinion and even had to concede a point or two.

So, for the near future at least Facebook is unlikely to be showing anything of mine and I may have to rethink my taste in music. I wouldn’t want to upset any delicate little flowers on any future outings. And if it is the op-eds causing such an upset, they should remember it’s just my opinion and they can always tell me if they think I’m unfair. People do. Doing this though makes them fair game for anyone who disagrees with them.

Have a great week, almost on the second half. Keep Hugging.

I just tried to send this to Facebook and this message popped up on WordPress.

Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.

That’s not bad, I wonder what the abusive content is now.

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Significant to Me.

Each one of us has songs that are significant to us for one reason or another and that when played can transport us to the where and when they first wove their magic or recorded the tragic. If you know exactly what I’m talking about it would be great to know what music does this for you whether or not you want to share the reasons why. This first one is from 1994 and is a classic track from the Stax label.

William Bell and Judy Clay. Private Number.

From 1971 we see what might have been the start of my Reggae period because of the wording of this particular song.

Greyhound Black and White

On the same lines, from 1972 a giant of the Reggae scene who unfortunately passed away in 2020. Amazingly, Nash was born in Texas and started his life singing in a Baptist choir. Jamaica’s loss was Americas gain.

From 1969 now a song that had a profound effect on me from a group I barely knew. This was a bit of a perspective on the Vietnam War. The model Lesley Hornby or Twiggy did a later cover of this.

From 1965 comes a track that had been written by Idris Davies and Pete Seeger and covered by a group that was perhaps one of the most influential of this period and who had started out with a hit provided to them by Bob Dylan, Mr Tambourine Man. This track is another folk rock song that just reminded me of home. In Welsh we say Hiraeth for that longing you get to be where you’re happiest. On the other hand, this is actually about a mining disaster.

As a bonus here is a track from 1968. The singer is Graham Bonnet one of the finest voices in pop music with an early hit as The Marbles. Graham and Trevor Gorden were only together 1968/69 but they had two hits that were brilliant Here’s one. Please forgive the dancing in the background.

The Marbles- Only one woman

Have a fantastic week all and share the Hugs, someone needs them.

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Differences

Kevin McCarthy’s statement

Image

In response, representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted the legal code: 18 U.S. Code § 1505: “Whoever…by any threatening letter or communication…endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede…the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any…investigation is being had by either House…Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned…”

My Response.

Kevin McCarthy, Marjie Greene, Matt Gaetz, and even Mitch McConnell’s attempts to gag private companies with undisguised threats puts every American at risk of not knowing the naames and degree of involvement certain politicians had in the attempted insurrection of January 6th 2021. Without this information American citizens are in danger of becoming subjects of a new form of dictatorial Government possibly under an already failed leader Donald Trump where a large part of the population would not even be allowed to vote. The words Surveillance State are used with the purpose of scaring the population who should know that currently there are already laws in place to prevent this happening though I can well forsee that changing in the future id the Republicans regain thhe Majority through their disenfranchisement of so many people. Yesterday the Texas Legislature pass SB1 voting suppression bill which is but one of many across Republican run States. If Companies don’t comply with the Democrat request they will be in violation of Federal Law which is deigned to find proof of wrongdoing in order to protect the U.S. citizens. Again, compliance with the request is within Federal Law and in order to stop compliance the Republicans return to the age old method of threats.

If the filibuster is dropped then the Democrats can stop the voter suppression laws within the states reinstating the right for voters to give the Majority to whom they please, in a fair and fully transparent way. But whatever happens, the enquiry into January 6th should go forward as planned and those involved in the insurrection should be punished without fear or favour as to whom they are and what position they hold. People died and were injured that day, people have died since that day and millions of dollars worth of damage was done. Your politicians from both sides of the aisle were in fear of their lives. Whatever else is said, this was no normal day and no tour group. Whatever it may be, the people deserve the truth.

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Aidez moi. Help !

There’s a record I like very much. But due yo my advanced terminal stupidity I can neither remember the name of the groul, m The song title or even a snatch of the tune. All I have is a recollection of the video that accompanied the hit. If I gove you a rough outline of the story wil you dredge your memories fir the name of the record and or/the group.

A yoiung boy grows up in love with a girl from the same village. She wants to dance and goes off to the city to join the ballet. She becomes enamoured of drink and ends up losing her place in the ballet, and crippling herself in the process. She resorts to selling hereself to rich men for gifts. The hero comes to take her home to get better..

This is driving me absolutely crazy and believe me it’s a very short journey. Concentrate the minds please. I think it’s a non-Brit group and the record is possibly late 70’s or 80’s.

Hugs for all your help.

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Welcome to Wales. Croeso y Cymru.

Wales is known as The Land of Song. This is chiefly because we have more Male Voice Choirs per square inch than any other place on earth. Most of these came from the coal miners of the South Wales Valleys though it seems that while most collieries had their own choir it soon seemed that every small village soon had one too. Don’t panic though, this post won’t be about the Male voice choirs though I confess I’m moore than partial to a good rendition of Mae Hen wlad fy nhaddau, our National Anthem which translates as Land of my Fathers, as long as there’s a box of tissues close by. Instead I’m going to focus on some of the chart acts who originated here, No-one will be surprised I’m sure if I start off with Sir Thomas John Woodward, Born 1940 in Pontypridd. Known to us all as Tom Jones This song is from 1966 and though not his earliest record it was a soft ballad and very popular.

Tom Jones. Green, Green Grass of Home 1966

Next is a 1970 hit from a Cardiff boy who had started early, in 1954 at age 10 playing in The Edmunds Brothers Duo. Though a prolific singer-songwriter, this is a Smiley Lewis cover.

Dave Edmunds, I hear you knocking.

Up to North Wales and the City of Bangor next where in 1984 Duffy was born, Her 2008 album Rockferry became the year’s best selling album. This is a track from the album which went platinum in 5 countrries and gold in two. In 2011 Duffy left the spotlight with but a brief reappearance in 2015 when she contributed 3 songs to the film Legend. In 2020 she explained he absence was due to having been abducted and subjected to rape.

Aimee Anne Duffy- 1984. Mercy 2008

1992 in the village of Cwmaman, Cynon Valley, South Wales saw the birth of this next act. And what a talented bunch they are. Eleven studio albums saw seven of them go to Number one.This track comes from the 2001 album Just Enough Education to Perform. Say Hi to the Stereophonics.

Stereophonics Have a Nice Day.

This last young lady was born in Pontardawe in 1950 into a Welsh speaking family. The Model Twiggy saw her perform on a TV talent show and recommended her to Paul McCartney. Shew was one of the first people to sign onto the Beatles Apple record label. McCartney himself produced her first single in 1968, Those Were The Days, and she took off. A crystal clear voice and pleasant personality proved a hit. This song is from 1969 and was written by Paul McCartney though as ever was creditted to Lennon-McCartney.

Mary Hopkin-Goodbye 1969

Have as great week Everybody and keep the Hugs coming.

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Pride and Shame.

Many times in my life I’ve been proud of my country. Proud to say I’m from the UK A few times I’ve felt great shame. Today is one of those days where if asked where I’m from, I shall say Wales and hope many people don’t know where that is. For the last few days amid the turmoil that is Kabul, following the departure of the President and the melting away of Afghanistan’s army, I have been watching scenes of Afghanis employed by the various occupying armies trying to get aboard aircraft and head for safety before the Taliban arrived.

President Trump agreed a handover to the Taliban though it’s fallen to Joe Biden to achieve it as peacefully as possible. It’s also been the responsibility of each of the occupying forces to evacuate their men and civilians who have been usdeful to them. The Taliban arrived early and panic has set in from those who feel their lives are in danger. I don’t for one minute doubt that as despite all the promises of a blanket forgiveness and no reprisals there will be reprisals. I saw when the Taliban were in charge last time how the non-reprisals worked. A football stadium filled with blood where unmarried mothers were buried up to their necks so they could be stoned, and we’re not talking a few drinks here. A human head used jokingly as a football. Hands severed for thieves, which included children stealing food.. These are largely uneducated men taught through their religion that a certain set of rules prevail which is why those rules will still apply now. That they are the minority and not what the people want is irrelevant. And so, I have been been watching scenes from the airport.

Children passed over the airport fencing or wall to try to save the life of a child when the parent knows he/she will die and it’s likely his/her whole family will be killed as retribution. . Now I’m told that the UK won’t take single children and these must be repatriated to their parents. What harm in accepting a child though I know in America the far right are up in arms at taking anyone at all.

This evening I listened to a well spoken man explain that he whas been a Translator with the British forces for two years and he quietly tole how he could not get his wife and children on a transport as he couldn’t get into the airport. The reporter was apologising as he finished the interview and I swear he was choked because so was I. These people are our allies and that is likely to cost them their lives. We should be finding them and getting trhem out of danger. How can anyone trust us ever again because I certainly won’t.

Hugs to you all for the new week.

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