Sunday, June 6, 2021

Ya Mama!

I just have to share this hilarious song from 1982 that I discovered (or possibly rediscovered) today.  One of my husband's friends from high school shared this popular rap song that his former suitemates at Sam Houston State University in Texas used to play all the time.

This song is funny!

I was ten years old in 1982, but I swear I don't remember this song, which was a one hit wonder for Wuf Ticket, an American hip hop group that consisted of Mustafa Ahmed, James Mason, Earl McField and Karin Wolf.  Although this song was fairly successful and got to number 21 on Billboard's Black Singles chart, their follow up song, "The Key" didn't chart.  Looks like these folks are now relegated to musical obscurity... but I sure had a good laugh listening to them today.

My friend, Andrew, calls this a "diss track".  I guess it's because the song mostly consists of two guys cutting each other down.  But then, when it gets to "Ya Mama", they rein themselves in, because it's not cool to cut down someone's mama.

I should have posted about this on Mother's Day.  I'm glad to have found it today, when I needed a good laugh.  This definitely qualified as crap from the past that belongs in the Dungeon!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Rest in Peace, B.J. Thomas...

I heard a few months ago that B.J. (Billy Joe) Thomas had lung cancer.  I was sorry to hear it, since his music was a big part of my soundtrack growing up.  I remember hearing his hit song, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", a song he did with Burt Bacharach for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, so many times when I was a young child in the 1970s.  I'm listening to it now, as I write this post, enjoying the retro sound, yet realizing that it still sounds excellent in 2021.  I also remember him for being very handsome.  He had mesmerizing blue eyes and thick, dark hair... He was lucky to have looks and talent going for him.

B.J. Thomas passed away on May 29, 2021.  He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Gloria Thomas, and three daughters, Paige, Nora, and Erin.  Thomas overcame many struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, eventually becoming a Christian.  But he still sang his pop hits in his concerts, and memorably contributed his distinctive voice to the theme song for Growing Pains, a sitcom I used to watch a lot when I was growing up.  In fact, a couple of months ago, I watched the whole series and heard B.J. singing that iconic theme over and over again for each episode.

Here are a few videos by him...

Probably his best known hit...

Another well known song!  Much better than the "ooga shaka" follow up by the group, Blue Swede.

B.J. sang this as a solo and with Jennifer Warnes. He later did a version with Dusty Springfield, which became a hit on the radio.

B.J. Thomas had a beautiful voice... much like his contemporary, Ray Stevens, who was reportedly offered "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" before B.J. was.  I'm glad it was done the way it was... I can't imagine a better singer for that song.  

Thoughts and prayers go out to Gloria Thomas and her daughters as the mourn the passing of their legendary husband and father.  And on another note, I can't believe I never mentioned B.J. Thomas on this blog before.  He really was a wonderful singer, and he came of age at a time when talent really mattered.  I hope he is at peace now... and I know he is no longer in pain.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Fat Boys...

Picture it.  It's the late 1980s.  I'm at a horse show in Hampton, Virginia.  Someone is blaring Top 40 radio.  It's The Fat Boys and their updated version of "Wipeout", which featured The Beach Boys.


Hearing that song at that moment left an indelible imprint on my brain.  Now, whenever I hear The Fat Boys sing "Wipeout", I am reminded of my days as a competitive equestrienne.  Those days are long over, of course.  I haven't been riding in over twenty years.  I miss it.

The Fat Boys came back into my consciousness yesterday, when I heard that one of the founding members died at age 52.  Prince Markie Dee, otherwise known as Mark Anthony Morales, died on February 11, 2021, just eight days shy of his 53rd birthday.  His death came after the untimely death of one of his bandmates, Darren (the Human Beat Box) Robinson, who died in 1995 at age 28.  Robinson died while doing something he supposedly loved-- rapping.  He'd been sitting on chair, performing for friends, when he fell off the chair and hit his head.  He never regained consciousness.  The other bandmate was Damon Wimbley, otherwise known as Kool Rock Ski.

The only other song by The Fat Boys that I remember as a hit was a remake of "The Twist" by Chubby Checker.  It was kind of a fun song, although the 80s update doesn't really stand up to the original.

"Come on baby.  Let's do the Twist."

Morales went on to work with other artists, notably Mary J. Blige.  He's remembered as a great guy, very talented... and he died much too young at age 52.  I certainly wasn't a mega fan of The Fat Boys, but their music always reminds me of a special time in my life-- the high school years.  Seems crazy that they were that long ago.

May Morales rest in peace.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Run Joey Run, by David Geddes...

Over the past week, I've been watching the first season of Glee.  A few days ago, I happened to see the episode in which Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) sang a song with the late Mark Salling entitled "Run Joey Run".  That song was a hit for David Geddes in 1975.  Somehow, I never heard it when I was growing up.  It's pretty awful, although it was apparently popular at the time it came out.

Original version.

As performed by the Glee folks...

"Run Joey Run" was a cheesy story song about a girl, who sounds about twelve or thirteen", begging her dad not to kill her lover, Joey.  But the girl, name of Julie, is unsuccessful in convincing her dad not to get out his shot gun.  As Julie pleads with her dad not to shoot, he opens fire and kills his daughter.

That song seems horribly dated and unbelievable-- at least for its time-- and also doesn't age well, because so many people have died due to gun violence.  The 70s were kind of a magical time, though, weren't they?  We had some real gems of shitty songs that somehow became hits.  I miss those days for a lot of reasons.  I was a little kid in the 70s, so it wasn't such a bad time for me, personally.  The 80s and 90s were more traumatic for me, although those days were less traumatic for the world at large.

I'm not sure anyone will want to cover "Run Joey Run", even for a show like Glee.  Actually, I think Glee is a bit cursed, so I'd be surprised if anyone tries to revive that show.  Sad that they lost three cast members who played students...  even Mark Salling, who was busted for having child porn and was about to be sent to prison when he hanged himself.  I don't rejoice in his suicide, even as I don't condone his crimes.  Very few people are all good or all bad.  I think that's true for Salling, too.  

Anyway, hopefully no one will copycat "Run Joey Run", in any way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Young girl-- get out of my mind!

For some reason, this morning I have an old song in my head.  It's one that hasn't aged particularly well.  It's a song called from 1968 called "Young Girl", and it was sung by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.  It has a nice melody and Gary Puckett's vocals are soulful enough... but the lyrics are about an older guy who wants to get into a young girl's pants.

"That come on look is in your eyes..."  Eeew!

I guess the men of today can relate to this song, patronizing as the words are.  Gary sings, "Get out of here before I have the time to change my mind..."  Yuck!  Control yourself, man!  Well, the words are kind of gross, as is the sentiment, but at least Gary can sing decently.

I don't know what put this in my head today.  I do see that it's in my library, although I don't think I've recently listened to it before today.  And I haven't been a "young girl" myself in over thirty years.

Wikipedia tells me that Gary Puckett and the Union Gap only lasted a few years.  They were active from 1967 until 1971, before I was even born.  However, during that time, they had a hit in "Young Girl" and even played for Prince Charles at a White House reception.  I wonder if the good prince enjoyed this music.  He did marry himself a "young girl" years later.  We all know how that turned out.

I've been neglecting this blog lately, which means it may be time to retire it.  Or maybe I'll just continue to do what I've been doing for years, which is to only write new posts when inspiration hits.  You'd think with as much time on my hands as I have, I could do that every day, but I've been busy thinking about other stuff.  Maybe 2021 will be a less traumatic year for all of us.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Johnny Nash and Eddie Van Halen... RIP!

2020 is really turning out to be a hell of a year for so many reasons.  Last night, as I was about to go to sleep, I got the news that 65 year old Eddie Van Halen, of Van Halen, died after a long bout with throat cancer.  As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up listening to Eddie's distinctive guitar licks.  I was pretty shocked to hear of his demise, although I'm sure he went through hell with cancer.

Not only was he a great guitar player, but he had the most adorable smile!

I was really touched that Valerie Bertinelli, Eddie's first wife, wrote a very sweet tribute to him.  It's lovely that they were able to stay friends after their split.  It sounds like she was on good terms with his second wife, too.  Eddie and Valerie shared their son, 29 year old Wolfgang, who is now the bass player for Van Halen.  However, I can't even imagine how they will be able to replace Eddie.  His sound was unmistakably his.  Rock music lost a great innovator with Eddie's death.  May he rest in peace.

Then this morning, I read about Johnny Nash, singer and guitar player famous for the song "I Can See Clearly Now", also passed away.  Nash was 80 years old and had been in declining health.  He died of natural causes at home in Houston, Texas, where he was born.  

I don't know him as well as Eddie, but I do know this song...  Maybe I need to listen to more of his stuff.

I was just thinking how much 2016 sucked as so many great musicians passed into the great beyond.  2020 is definitely giving 2016 a run for its money in suckitude.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Trump's theme song?

Yesterday, I was listening to music in the dining room and an old song by Don McLean came on. It was called "Everybody Loves Me, Baby", and came from his hit album from 1971, American Pie.  As I was listening to the lyrics, it occurred to me that this song could so easily be about our current POTUS, Donald Trump.

Seriously... the lyrics are so eerie.  Hard to believe they are from almost 50 years ago.

I recommend listening to the song itself, but here are the lyrics:

One, two, three, four!
Fortune has me well in hand, armies wait at my command
My gold lies in a foreign land buried deep beneath the sand
The angels guide my ev'ry tread, my enemies are sick or dead
But all the victories I've led haven't brought you to my bed
You see, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Now the purest race I've bred for thee to live in my democracy
And the highest human pedigree awaits your first-born boy, baby
And my face on ev'ry coin engraved, the anarchists are all enslaved
My own flag is forever waved by the grateful people I have saved
You see, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Now, no land is beyond my claim when the land is seized in the people's name
By evil men who rob and maim, if war is hell, I'm not to blame!
Why, you can't blame me, I'm Heaven's child, I'm the second son of Mary mild
And I'm twice removed from Oscar Wilde, but he didn't mind, why, he just smiled
Yes, and the ocean parts when I walk through, and the clouds dissolve and the sky turns blue
I'm held in very great value by everyone I meet but you
'cause I've used my talents as I could, I've done some bad, I've done some good
I did a whole lot better than they thought I would so, c'mon and treat me like you should!
Because everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Yeah, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

I need to read up about this song.  I'd love to know what or who inspired it.  Don McLean isn't particularly regarded as a great partner himself. 

Last year, he lost a lifetime achievement award because he pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 2016.  He was arrested in Camden, Maine in 2016 and pleaded guilty to domestic violence to avoid jail time.  He also paid a $3000 fine.  His ex wife, Patrisha McLean, claims that he has a violent temper and had been physically and verbally abusing her for decades.  

McLean supposedly pled guilty, not because he's guilty, but because he wanted "closure" for his family...  Well... I suppose that could be true.  But it's still not a very good look for him.

I like his music, though, and I think this song is kind of brilliant.  I'm glad I stumbled across it yesterday.