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Archive for the tag “Frank Sinatra”

Quirky T is Excited about Opening Day

New York Yankees logo

Today is opening day of the Major League Baseball season. I am so excited about the upcoming New York Yankees season. They surprisingly were one win away from going to the World Series last year. With a young, talented team, I’m excited to see how far they can go this season. Interesting note, the Yankees have won the World Series in 1938, 1958, 1978, and 1998. I can see a pattern where this should be the year for their 28th World Series Championship.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

To get on the right musical track for the new Yankees season, here are songs which remind me of going to Yankee Stadium for games.

  1. “YMCA”
  2. “Cotton-Eyed Joe”
  3. “New York, New York”

 

The Yankees grounds crew does a choreographed dance to “YMCA” by the Village People while they rake the infield dirt during the 5th inning. They have been doing this for decades now and it is still a highlight.

 

Not so much of a highlight is the playing of “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in the 8th inning while someone in a straw hat dances in a booth in the stadium. I was never fond of that song and I don’t think it fits in the Bronx, New York. The song has an interesting history, though, which can be read on Wikipedia.

Frank Sinatra framed photo

photo at Yankee Stadium

 

 

Leaving Yankee Stadium with other jubilant Yankees fans after another win with everyone singing along to Frank Sinatra’s, “New York, New York” is one of the best experiences. Fortunately, it is an experience I’ve had repeatedly over the past 22 years. I look forward to more wins this season.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what songs do you associate with your favorite sports teams?

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Quirky T Examines Representative Love Songs

Starship T-shirt

 

Quirky T has some post Valentine’s Day musical observations. Where I work love songs are played constantly since a high percentage of pop songs from the 80’s to today are love songs. My workplace playlist regularly plays Billy Joel, Richard Marx, Peter Cetera, and Elton John so love songs are highly represented on a daily basis. The plus side of the daily repetition is I enjoy these artists. On an almost daily basis, I can also hear two (love) songs from one of my faves, Huey Lewis (“Do You Believe in Love?” and “Happy to be Stuck with You”). I can also hear a favorite (love) song from my favorite movie – The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” from “Benny and Joon”. So the only way I realized that the music selection had changed to a Valentine theme a few days before the holiday was when I heard Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love”. It definitely stuck out among the more modern music. It’s interesting that even though mostly every song being played was a love song, the music programmers thought they had to dig deep decades before the 80’s to find true love songs. It got me excited that maybe next I would hear some Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. I didn’t. Nat King Cole was the anomaly. The other “Valentine’s songs” were from the 80’s to today and included Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Cloud 9 CD cover

I found it interesting when all the possible love songs in the world are narrowed down to just three songs to represent this incredibly large and diverse genre. A store sold musical balloons for Valentine’s Day with only a choice of three songs – “Got My Mind Set on You” the George Harrison version,   “You’re the One that I Want” from the movie “Grease”, and “Hooked on a Feeling”. Of course I prefer the George Harrison song but I don’t think it’s his most romantic song. “Something” and “Old Brown Shoe” come to mind before that cover song. The song from “Grease” is fun but problematic when you consider the scene from the movie where the song appears. Danny makes positive changes to his life to impress Sandy such as giving up smoking and exercising. While Sandy takes up smoking and dressing slutty to attract Danny. So who really is the one that they want? The one who they really are or the one that they become to impress each other? “Hooked on a Feeling” is not the most romantic song as it is more about lust than romantic, lasting love. Plus, whenever I hear that song, I think of the dancing baby on the TV show “Ally McBeal”.

Hallmark, the greeting card company, actually sold vinyl 45 records with their Valentine greeting cards. The three records chosen were Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”/”Marry You”,  Aretha Frankin’s “Respect”/”Think”, and INXS’ “Need You Tonight”/”Never Tear Us Apart”. Again, I am not sure these are the best love songs to represent all love songs. Even being limited to just Atlantic Records recording artists would yield a huge amount of love songs. (For example, my favorite Phil Collins who released a compilation actually called “Love Songs”). The Bruno Mars songs are appropriate, romantic, and current. The Aretha Franklin songs are more warnings to men than love songs. “Need You Tonight” like “Hooked on a Feeling” is more about lust than love. While “Never Tear Us Apart” seems romantically appropriate. I’m surprised that INXS was included with the amazing Bruno Mars and the legendary Aretha Franklin. If not for the quirky fact that my workplace actually plays those two INXS songs on an almost daily basis, I probably wouldn’t have heard those songs since they came out thirty years ago.

 

Songs do send messages so the musical balloons or records with the greeting cards given to a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day could be a way of sending a message that may not be as romantic as the occasion calls for. Of course it’s hard to narrow down a huge genre to less than 10 representative songs. I just found it interesting which songs were chosen to represent that love.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what three songs would you choose to represent Valentine’s Day?

 

Quirky T’s Favorite Christmas Songs (Updated)

Quirky T has previously stopped The Guitar Train to listen to her favorite secular Christmas songs. Here is the new updated list of those fun songs.

  1. “Jingle Bells” – Barbra Streisand
  2. “A Marshmallow World” – Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
  3. “Shake Hands With Santa Claus” – Louis Prima
  4. “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes
  5. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen
  6. “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” – Ringo Starr

No Christmas season would be complete without hearing Barbra Streisand’s highly caffeinated version of “Jingle Bells”. It’s as if before the recording of this song, she was told, “Okay, we only have the recording studio for two minutes. As soon as you finish drinking your extra large espresso, we’ll start.” The result must be heard to be enjoyed. It brings me joy every time I hear it.

Christmas with The Rat Pack

“A Marshmallow World” from the CD “Christmas with The Rat Pack” portrays a lovely winter setting that makes me happy. I wish it would snow enough to re-enact this song.

Mob Hits Christmas

I put Louis Prima in the same category as Lou Monte. Louis Prima’s novelty songs are fun like Lou Monte’s songs. “Shake Hands with Santa Claus” is just a fun, upbeat song. It can be found on the CD “Mob Hits Christmas” which sadly doesn’t contain Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)”, another classic Christmas novelty song. That song is on the first “Mob Hits” CD which was released before the “Mob Hits Christmas” CD.

There are many versions of the song “Sleigh Ride” but by far my favorite is by The Ronettes. Their version is fast and fun. It cuts out the slow, boring verses and ends with you wanting to hear more.

I haven’t heard every single Bruce Springsteen song but from the ones I have heard, he seems to be quite a serious person. What I love about his version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is he seems to be having so much fun. It’s just a happy, energetic rocking song.

Ringo Starr’s Christmas song is a new addition to this list. Ringo released a whole album of Christmas songs called “I Wanna Be Santa Claus” in 1999. “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” is my favorite song from that album. It is a high energy song which I listen to over and over. As I mentioned in last month’s Guitar Train stop, I wish Ringo had played this song at his concert which I was lucky enough to attend.

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite secular Christmas songs and why?

Quirky T’s Favorite Christmas Songs

 

Christmas greetings to all Guitar Train passengers!  To help you celebrate the holiday in a secular way, here is a reposting of Quirky T’s favorite Christmas songs. These are the songs I’ll be listening to repeatedly.

 

  1. “Jingle Bells” – Barbra Streisand
  2. “A Marshmallow World” – Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
  3. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin
  4. “Shake Hands With Santa Claus” – Louis Prima
  5. “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes
  6. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen

 

No Christmas season would be complete without hearing Barbra Streisand’s highly caffeinated version of “Jingle Bells”. It’s as if before the recording of this song, she was told, “Okay, we have only have the recording studio for two minutes. Finish drinking your extra large espresso and let’s go.” The result must be heard to be enjoyed. It brings me joy every time I hear it.

Christmas with The Rat Pack

“A Marshmallow World” from the CD “Christmas with The Rat Pack” portrays a lovely winter setting that makes me happy. I wish it would snow enough to re-enact this song.

 

There are many versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” but Dean Martin’s version is my favorite. It is also on the CD “Christmas with The Rat Pack”. Several of the lyrics (really, the whole scenario of the song) are outdated but I still like this song. The lyrics that always get me are the mention of death from pneumonia if the girlfriend leaves, very romantic.

Mob Hits Christmas

I put Louis Prima in the same category as Lou Monte (see my post on Lou Monte in Happy Month https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/happy-month-on-the-guitar-train/  ). Louis Prima’s novelty songs are fun like Lou Monte’s songs. “Shake Hands with Santa Claus” is just a fun, upbeat song. It can be found on the CD “Mob Hits Christmas” which sadly doesn’t contain Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)”, another classic Christmas novelty song. That song is on the first “Mob Hits” CD which was released before the “Mob Hits Christmas” CD.

There are many versions of the song “Sleigh Ride” but by far my favorite is by The Ronettes. Their version is fast and fun. It cuts out the slow, boring verses and ends with you wanting to hear more.

 

I haven’t heard every single Bruce Springsteen song but from the ones I have heard, he seems to be quite a serious person. What I love about his version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is he seems to be having so much fun. It’s just a happy, energetic rocking song.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite secular Christmas songs and why?

Boarding the Wrong Train – Stop # 2

As frequent passengers on the Guitar Train know, Quirky T conducts this musical train with stops about The Beatles, Phil Collins, Genesis, Gloria Estefan, and Huey Lewis and the News. Along the way, there have been other stops to look at topics such as favorite movie and TV show soundtracks, We Are the World, and Live Aid. Also along the way, passengers have boarded this train by use of search terms on the Internet. Since my first stop on January 8, 2015 https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/boarding-the-wrong-train/ looking at whether these searches led to the correct blog, more interesting search terms have been entered. So let’s analyze them in this second stop.

Abbey Road - reverse angle

The Beatles’ Abbey Road – reverse angle

As in my previous stop on this topic, I am astonished that anyone searching anything relating to The Beatles would be led to my blog. At least people who repeatedly searched “The Beatles Anthology” book and were led to my blog did find mentions of the book in my stops called “Favorites Month – The Beatles” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/favorites-month-the-beatles/ and “Am I Fan Enough?” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/am-i-fan-enough/ Someone who searched “Paul McCartney playing guitar at Abbey Road” was led to my blog. That person did not find whatever he or she was looking for because this blog does not have photos of Paul McCartney playing guitar while literally standing outside on Abbey Road nor does it have photos of Paul McCartney playing guitar inside the Abbey Road Studios. My blog might have been more of what the person who searched “see inside Abbey Road from the angle of each Beatle” was looking for. Assuming the searcher meant the album cover of the same name and not inside Abbey Road Studios, the stop called “The Guitar Train Stops at Abbey Road (kind of) and sees The Beatles in Concert (sort of)” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/the-guitar-train-stops-at-abbey-road-kind-of-and-sees-the-beatles-in-concert-sort-of/ contains photos of the wax Beatles from Madame Tussaud’s in the Abbey Road album cover poise. The photos show the reverse angle behind George Harrison as well as the front view with John Lennon leading the band. My blog couldn’t help the person searching for “George Harrison Salisbury Train”. That is definitely boarding the wrong train.

Bella Luna CD

Luckily some people have boarded the right train as I have mentioned subjects or written Guitar Train stops about subjects they were searching. The person searching for “Frank Sinatra Standards” found the perfect stop at “The Standards – Frank Sinatra”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/the-standards-frank-sinatra/ Whoever searched for “the Bella Luna CD from Starbucks” was led to a mention of that CD in the stop, “Quirky T’s Favorite Instrumental Movie Soundtracks”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/quirky-ts-favorite-instrumental-movie-soundtracks/ The search for “Huey Lewis guitarist” led to the stop mentioning the News’ guitarist James Harrah in “The Guitar Train Stops at a Huey Lewis and the News Concert!!!”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/the-guitar-train-stops-at-a-huey-lewis-and-the-news-concert/ As requested in a search, I have included ticket stubs from concerts by Richard Marx, Steve Winwood, and Phil Collins in the Guitar Train stop “Concerts Quirky T Has Attended”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/concerts-quirky-t-has-attended/

No Jacket Required CD back

There are some searches I feel like I have to correct in order to further my goal of conducting the Guitar Train to the destination of Advanced Musical Knowledge. I can tell the searcher not only “who wrote the music for We Say Hello Goodbye Genesis” but also the correct title of the Phil Collins written solo song is “We Said Hello Goodbye”. Being that it is my absolute favorite song, I better know those facts. Also, “Christie Allie” wasn’t exactly “Walking on Sunshine” but the actress Kirstie Alley did star in the move, “Look Who’s Talking” which contained The Katrina and the Waves song “Walking on Sunshine”. I mentioned this song in the stop “Quirky T’s Favorite Movie Soundtracks”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/quirky-ts-favorite-movie-soundtracks/ That also leads to correcting the search for “Kenny Loggins Look Who’s Talking To”. This I had to actually search for on my own since this topic was never mentioned on The Guitar Train. I found that the actual title of the 1990 movie is “Look Who’s Talking Too” and Kenny Loggins was not involved in the soundtrack for the movie. Interestingly, I did find some Guitar Train related info in my search. The movie soundtrack does contain George Harrison’s version of “Got My Mind Set on You”, John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”, and “Please Mr. Postman” (although it’s the Marvelettes version, not The Beatles version).

Benny and Joon CD

Benny and Joon CD

Good thing the person who searched “Sunshine on Leith Aidan Quinn” was led to my stop “Do I Want To Hear More – The Proclaimers” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/do-i-want-to-hear-more-the-proclaimers/ where I explained that The Proclaimers’ song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” from my favorite movie “Benny and Joon” starring Aidan Quinn led me to listen to more songs by The Proclaimers. “Sunshine on Leith” is the title of their CD containing that song. The person who searched for “Mary Stuart soundtrack instrumental” was probably led to my post about “Benny and Joon” called “The Guitar Train Looks at the 20th Anniversary of Benny and Joon”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-guitar-train-looks-at-the-20th-anniversary-of-benny-and-joon/ The movie also starred Mary Stuart Masterson. Except for the one Proclaimers’ song, the soundtrack for that movie is all instrumental.

 

Now for the category of “how did those search terms lead to my blog?”. I guess I can see why the search terms “train umbrella guitar” led to The Guitar Train blog but what I don’t know is what the person was actually looking for. The train where he or she left her umbrella and guitar? Sorry but I also cannot help the person searching for “Chanel old watches from 1960 – 1970”. The only topic I continually write about from the 1960’s is The Beatles. Although, now I’m curious to see photos of Chanel old watches from 1960-1970.

 

Finally, to answer Bill in the Russian Federation, this train does not stop at York. But to Bill and everyone else who was led to the Guitar Train by Googling and searching, I say, “Welcome Aboard”. Please stay on board for at least a few stops; you may find something else you like even if it isn’t exactly what you were searching for.

 

To other bloggers, have you ever been astonished by the search terms that have led people to your blog?

The Guitar Train’s Top 15 Albums

Help!No Jacket Required

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guitar Train is joining the fun and listing my Top 15 albums today. I found out about this interesting blogging topic from the great Word Press blog 1,001 Albums in 10 Years https://1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/calling-all-artists-list-enthusiasts/  . I have added the twist that my list cannot be all Beatles albums and it has to contain albums from my five favorite bands/musicians – The Beatles, Phil Collins/Genesis, Huey Lewis and the News, Gloria Estefan, and Jon Secada.

 

So here’s my top 15 albums for September 15, 2015:

 

  1. A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
  2. Help! – The Beatles
  3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
  4. Genesis – Genesis
  5. Invisible Touch – Genesis
  6. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  7. Sports – Huey Lewis and the News
  8. Fore! – Huey Lewis and the News
  9. Cuts Both Ways – Gloria Estefan
  10. gloria! – Gloria Estefan
  11. Jon Secada – Jon Secada
  12. Heart, Soul, & a Voice – Jon Secada
  13. Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 – Traveling Wilburys
  14. Mob Hits Volume 1 – Various Artists
  15. Christmas With the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.

gloria!

 

 

 

 

Jon Secada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will definitely be reading other bloggers’ Top 15 Albums lists.


 

 

Traveling WIlburys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guitar Train passengers, how many of my Top 15 Albums are also on your list?

New York Songs

This Guitar Train stop is the first of two stops looking at New York songs and California songs. Since I live on the East Coast, I am more familiar with and associate more with New York songs. Many of the songs written about New York are about one specific area of a large state – New York City. There may be songs about upstate New York towns such as Schenectady or Ithaca but I haven’t heard them.

 

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City

New York songs I like

  1. “Theme from New York, New York” sung by Frank Sinatra
  2. “New York City Rhythm” by Barry Manilow
  3. “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel

 

Gate 4

Yankee Stadium

There’s nothing like a crowd of 50,000 happy New York Yankees fans singing along to “Theme from New York, New York” at Yankee Stadium after a Yankees win. It is a great tradition which brings everyone together in happiness for their beloved team. It is the perfect ending to a day spent at Yankee Stadium.

 

New York City

New York City

Barry Manilow left Brooklyn, New York a long time ago for California but his song, “New York City Rhythm” captures the atmosphere of New York City. It puts a spring in your step while walking through the city in an I’m-in-a-musical-fantasy kind of way.

 

Billy Joel is Mr. Long Island, New York. His song, “New York State of Mind” with its mentions of several specific New York locations does indeed put one in a New York frame of reference.

Phil Collins t-shirt

 

Upon researching this Guitar Train stop, I discovered several Genesis songs with New York connections that I had not previously heard. I found the songs from the Peter Gabriel led 1974 album, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” to be creepy and scary. They reinforced my preference for Phil Collins over Peter Gabriel.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite New York songs?

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