Happiness Playlist #2 – Tracks from Prine, Clark, Chapin, Rush and Goodman! I’m Happy!

So this morning, as I looked at the books lying around I say that Your Playlist Can Change Your Life and I decided to Heads & Talescreate another playlist to make me happy! So I went to Spotify and created one featuring five artists who are at the center of my love for folk music: John Prine, Tom Rush, Guy Clark, Harry Chapin and Steve Goodman. I picked a few of my all-time favorites from each of them and went merrily on my way to Target to pick up some things!! Here’ s the playlist…..

Somebody Else’s Troubles” – Steve Goodman – he’s right many times the troubles of others don’t really bother us!

“Please Don’t Bury Me” – John Prine – Always good for a smile…

“Everybody” – John Prine – another Prine song, from his second album that always makes me laugh!

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This Day in Music – Birthdays for Bill Medley, and “Mama” Cass Elliot -two of the best voices ever!

Mama Cass Elliot


Included in today’s birthdays are:

Bill Medley (The Righteous Brothers) 1940
Cass Elliot 1941 (died July 29, 1974 – 32 years old)
David Bromberg 1945

There are voices and then there are VOICES and for me Bill Medley is the later. From the early days with The Righteous Brothers to Dirty Dancing and “I Had the Time of My Life” with Jennifer Warnes, he had it and he certainly influenced his generation!

As did Cass Elliot, who with her voice, lively personality influence not only music lovers but big woman everywhere, when she showed them size doesn’t matter but heart and spirit do!

Finally, we come to David Bromberg, what a musician a master of so many stringed instruments. I first became a fan through his playing with Jerry Jeff on the Mr Bojangles album. He went on to make many albums, several of which are a part of my musical library. He is always a part of a favorite story I tell. Back in the early seventies I was traveling across Florida from Gainesville to Jacksonville and stopped to get gas. The young attention glanced at the above album cover and kinda’ mumbled “Is that a Jew on the cover?”. I paused for a few seconds composing my response, and then realized he said “Is that YOU on the cover” to which I answered “Yes”, nah, I  truthfully responded,  “No” (Birthday post for David at FreeWheelin’ Safari:Roots)

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This Day in Music – September 4, 1968 – Stations in Chicago and around US refuse to play Stone’s “Street Fighting Man”!

So this morning I was checking what happened on this day in music, when I came across this item at About.com: Oldies Music….Street Fighing Man

1968: Anticipating a protest firestorm at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, Chicago bans the new Rolling Stones single, “Street Fighting Man,” from its airwaves. The song calls for “fighting in the street” and a “palace revolution.” More at Oldies-About.com

I thought that was pretty interesting and I went to find out more about the song.At songfacts.com I found this about the song….

This song deals with civil unrest in Europe and America in 1968. There were student riots in London and Paris, and Vietnam protests in America. The specific event that led Mick Jagger to write the lyrics was a demonstration at Grosvenor Square in London on March 17, 1968. Jagger (along with Vanessa Redgrave), joined an estimated 25,000 protesters in condemning the Vietnam War.

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Two Weeks after Woodstock, the Texas international Pop Festival is held! (August 30-Sept 1, 1969)

On this date August 30th in 1969 the Texas International Pop Festival kicked off at the newly opened DallasTexas Internation Pop Festival International Motor Speedway in  Lewisville, Texas. The event occurred just two weeks after Woodstock. The estimated attendance for the three-day event ranged between 120,000 to 150,000. Like Woodstock, the event was peaceful, no violent crimes were reported. There was one death, due to heat stroke, and one birth during the event! Canned Heat opened the show at 4:00 pm on Saturday the 30th! Here’s the full the line-up for the day.
  1. Canned Heat
  2. Chicago Transit Authority
  3. James Cotton Blues Band
  4. Janis Joplin
  5. B.B. King
  6. Herbie Mann
  7. Rotary Connection
  8. Sam & Dave
The complete list of artists who performed at the festival includes: Canned Heat, Chicago (then called Chicago Transit Authority), James Cotton, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Grand Funk Railroad, Incredible String Band, Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Freddie King, Led Zeppelin, Herbie Mann, Nazz, Rotary Connection, Sam and Dave, Santana, Shiva’s Headband, Sly and the Family Stone, Space Opera, Spirit, Sweetwater, Ten Years After, Tony Joe White and Johnny Winter. One thing that’s interesting about the list of performers is how eclectic the list is. There’s something for almost everyone…there’s the rock of Chicago, Led Zeppelin and Ten Years After and others, the blues of B.B. and Freddie King, and James Cotton, the R&B of Sam and Dave and the jazz fusion of Herbie Mann. Hum. maybe this list and the fact that is was a typical line-up for the era is what laid the groundwork for my love of so many seemingly divergent genres!! Two names caught my attention, Chicago Transit Authority and Herbie Mann. I was a fan of Chicago through the first several albums, with their debut album always being the favorite! After  that the band became a radio band for me and when their music change to more lush ballads in the 1980s, they lost me completely. Through the first several albums for me the driving force of the band was Terry Kath and his great vocals and guitars and after his tragic death in 1979 everything changed. Here’s the band performing their version of “I’m a Man” always a favorite.  


Herbie Mann is an artist whose name I know, but whose music I’ve never really explored. This morning I listened to release Live at the Whiskey A Go-Go composed of two tracks in excess of 10 minutes. I also  to various  other tracks, including his 1969 release Memphis Underground, which is playing now. Scott Yanow gave the album three stars and writes:

Herbie Mann has always been open to new trends in his music. For this 1969 studio session, he and three other top soloists (vibraphonist Roy Ayers and guitarists Larry Coryell and Sonny Sharrock) went down to Memphis and combined their talents with a topnotch local rhythm section. The music effectively mixes R&B and country rhythms with the lead jazz voices, although the material, which includes “Memphis Underground,” “Hold On! I’m Comin’,” and “Chain of Fools,” is rather weak.More

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Today in Music August 26, 1970 – The Isle of Wight Festival opens….later Leonard Cohen quells the crowd!

Isle1970On Thursday August 26, 1970, a few weeks before I would leave home to go to school at the University of Florida, across the pond on the Isle of Wight the last, for a long time, Isle of Wight Festival opened! Here’s what promoter said on the Monday morning after the festival….

“This is the last festival, enough is enough , it began as a beautiful dream but it has got out of control and become a monster. ”

The Festivals were held from 1968 to 1970, from Wikipedia…

The original events were promoted and organised by the Foulk brothers (Ron, Ray and Bill Foulk) under the banner of their company Fiery Creations Limited. The venues were Ford Farm (near Godshill), Wootton and Afton Down (near Freshwater) respectively.[5] The 1969 event was notable for the appearance of Bob Dylan and the Band. This was Dylan’s first paid performance since his motor cycle accident some three years earlier, and was held at a time when many still wondered if he would ever perform again. Followers from across the world trekked to the Isle of Wight for the performance. Estimates of 150,000–250,000 attended. The 1969 festival opened on Friday 29 August—eleven days after the close of Woodstock. Dylan was living in Woodstock, New York, at the time and it was widely believed that he would perform there, after the event had been “put in his own backyard”. As it happened, Dylan left for the Isle of Wight on 15 August—the day the Woodstock festival began.
The 1970 event was by far the largest and most famous of these early festivals; indeed it was said at the time to be one of the largest human gatherings in the world, with estimates of over 600,000, surpassing the attendance at Woodstock. Included in the line-up of over fifty performers were The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, Lighthouse, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Joni Mitchell, The Moody Blues, Melanie, Donovan, Gilberto Gil, Free, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Leonard Cohen, Jethro Tull, Taste and Tiny Tim. The unexpectedly high attendance levels led, in 1971, to Parliament passing the “Isle of Wight Act” preventing gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special license. Read More

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Today in Music – August 24, 1943 – John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service was born!

John CippolinaSo one of the albums that has been on my turntable and then in the CD player and now the iPod since it’s release in 1969 is Happy Trails, the second album from Quicksilver Messenger Service. Mostly because of the lead guitar of John Cipollina, who was born on this date in 1943. John was a founding member of the band along with David Freiberg. Joining the multi-instrumentalist Freiberg who played keyboards, bass guitar, guitar, violin and percussion on Happy Trails were Greg Elmore on drums and guitarist–singer Gary Duncan. Here’s how the and came up with the name, from Wikipedia:

Jim Murray and David Freiberg came up with the name. Me and Freiberg were born on the same day, and Gary and Greg were born on the same day, we were all Virgos and Murray was a Gemini. And Virgos and Geminis are all ruled by the planet Mercury. Another name for Mercury is Quicksilver. And then, Quicksilver is the messenger of the Gods, and Virgo is the servant, so Freiberg says ‘Oh, Quicksilver Messenger Service’.”

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August 17, 1969 – Woodstock continues with “Morning Maniac Music” from the Jefferson Airplane….

So on Sunday morning August 17, 1969 Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane took the stage at the Woodstock festival and opened Bless Its Pointend Little Head 2the day with some morning maniac music! By 1969 the Airplane had already released five studio albums and one live album. I did not pick up on the Airplane until 1968, and their release Crown of Creation by that time they had already had big hits like “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit” (their only top ten hits) but with songs like the title track, “Greasy Heart”, David Crosby’s “Triad”, along with Jorma’s guitar on “Chushingura” the album became one of my all-time favorites! Actually, after Surrealistic Pillow (3) it was their highest charting album peaking at #3 on the US charts. Their next two albums Volunteers and the live release Bless Its Pointed Little Head, with the later being another all-time favorite with the opening track “3/5 of a mile in ten seconds” possibly being my favorite Airplane song!! William Ruhlman writing at AllMusic says this about the album……

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Woodstock Day 2 – August 16, 1969 – with thoughts about Santana……..

August 1969: Mexican-born guitarist Carlos Santana (right) and bassist David Brown perform with the group Santana at the Woodstock Music Festival

August 1969: Mexican-born guitarist Carlos Santana (right) and bassist David Brown perform with the group Santana at the Woodstock Music Festival


Quill opened day two at Woodstock.Since I don’t remember or didn’t know them I went to Wikipedia to find out a little about the band……

Quill was a popular Northeast United States band that played extensively throughout New England, New York and the mid-Atlantic states in the late 1960s and that gained national attention by performing at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. The band was originally founded by two singer/songwriters and brothers from the Boston area, Jon and Dan Cole.


Well, that explains it, if they came to Philly, I don’t remember hearing about them! Anyway Country Joe MacDonald played solo next, he would return later to play with Country Joe and the Fish.

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The Jukebox in My Head plays “Shanty” and thoughts about My Father’s Son on Philly Radio!

Jonathan EdwardsSo this morning after I had posted about Brewer & Shipley, I walked away from the computer and before I made it to the stairs, the jukebox in my head was playing and I was singing these words, We’re gonna lay around the shanty, mama and out a good buzz on” Not that I ever did that but I certainly had some friends and roommates in college that did! But I was always the one who had to drive back from concerts, they were lucky if, they remembered that we BROUGHT a car!!

Anyway, here’s Jonathan Edwards performing “Shanty”….

Hy Lit WDASNow in the brief moments when “Shanty stopped playing in my head. I started to think about drug songs on the radio and that brought my thoughts to WDAS -FM which in the spring of 1968 switched to a progressive rock format with Hy Lit i the director’s chair. We all knew Hy from his years at WIBG but now he was moving us underground!! To a station that played album cuts instead of Pop song, and we would hear Jefferson Airplane, the Moody Blues and evolving rock music that was growing all the time! He came with a bunch of great DJs including: Michael Steve Leon, Ed Sciaky, Gene Shay, Larry Magid, T. Morgan, Wayne Joel, Steve Marko, Rod Carson and the owner’s son, Steve Leon, who called himself “My Father’s Son” on the air! I can remember how radical “My Father’s Son’s (Steve was the son of station owner Max Leon) show was, he would do and say anything that was on his mind and he was suspended from the station several times. Then…..

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This Day in Music – February 25, 1943 – The Youngest Beatle George Harrison was born!!

George HarrisonOn this day in 1943 in Liverpool, the youngest member of the Beatles, George Harrison was born in Liverpool! I don’t think a can really tell anyone anything new about George, so I’ll just pass on some interesting things that i read this morning about this music who was part of probably the most influential band ever!!

One of the first items that I read got me to thinking about how much of rock music is a blending of all musical genres.From this paragraph we see that George early in his musical journey was influenced by a bluesman,a Gypsy music guitarist, a County music guitarist and a black rock and roll artist.and then later, by the music of India. From Wikipedia:


Harrison’s earliest musical influences included Big Bill Broonzy, George Formby and Django Reinhardt; Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and Ry Cooder were significant later influences. By 1965 he had begun to lead the Beatles into folk rock through his interest in the Byrds and Bob Dylan, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. He developed an interest in the Hare Krishna movement and became an admirer of Indian culture and mysticism, introducing them to the other members of the Beatles and their Western audience by incorporating Indian instrumentation in their music

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