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Archive for the tag “New York”

California Songs

Santa Barbara, CA

At the last Guitar Train stop, Quirky T looked at New York songs so now it’s time for California songs. I have not spent nearly as much time in California as I have in New York (it’s a long Guitar Train ride to get to the West Coast) so I am biased towards New York and its familiarity. Many California songs make the state into a dreamy paradise while New York (especially New York City) is more gritty and one has to be tough to survive the weather, the congestion, the fast pace, and the people.

 

California Songs I like

 

  1. “Blue Jay Way” – The Beatles
  2. Any surfing song by The Beach Boys
  3. “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas and Papas
  4. “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Billy Joel
  5. “Don’t Mean Nothin’” by Richard Marx

 

Billy Joel also had a song on my list of New York songs I like. He is a New York guy but he lived in California for a few years in the 1970’s which inspired him in writing some songs such as this one on my list.

Huey Lewis concert T-shirt

One song which mentions both New York City and Los Angeles is “The Heart of Rock and Roll” by the San Francisco, CA band Huey Lewis and the News. Actually, New York starts off the song and LA is mentioned later in the song. Along with those two cities, several other rocking cities throughout the United States are named.

Hollywood, CA

 

Before the Guitar Train departs for the next stop, I have one California video mention. For some unknown to Quirky T reason, the British band Genesis filmed the video for their song “Misunderstanding” in Los Angeles. Every time I watch the video, I think, “Yeah, Phil, there is a misunderstanding. You’re driving around LA looking for your girlfriend and she’s back home in England.” That being thought, I do like to watch videos, TV shows, and films shot in California to see locations I don’t normally see just as I like to watch videos, TV shows, and films shot in New York City to see locations which are familiar to me.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite California songs?

 

Get your tickets ready as next month Quirky T conducts the Guitar Train to go “Back in Time” to 1985!

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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?

The Standards – Frank Sinatra

This month on the Guitar Train, Quirky T stops to listen to The Standards – songs from the 1920’s to 1950’s which have been considered part of the Great American Songbook. This first stop looks at Frank Sinatra.

Duets

I really began to listen to Frank Sinatra in 1993 with the release of the CD “Duets” which contains Frank Sinatra’s duets with popular singers. The only reason I bought this CD was for the duet with one my favorites, Gloria Estefan, on the song “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Likewise, I bought “Duets II” in 1994 because of the duet of Sinatra and another favorite of mine, Jon Secada. Their duet on “The Best is Yet to Come” has become a favorite of mine and I think it would make a perfect wedding song. Hopefully on your wedding day, the best is still yet to come, or otherwise what’s the point in getting married?

Duets II

I admire the coolness of Frank Sinatra as evidenced in the original version of the film “Ocean’s 11”. I liked the two “Duets” CDs because it was interesting who Sinatra paired up with and how the songs were re-arranged to become duets. About half of the songs are fastish which I enjoy. Also, some songs even had me finger snapping. The CDs served a good purpose as they exposed Frank Sinatra’s music to more generations such as mine.

Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs

I pushed my interest for this type of music too far when I bought the CD “Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs”. Because of the slow pacing of many of the songs, this CD wasn’t as enjoyable for me to listen to. “My Funny Valentine” strikes me as an insulting love song. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? I’m all for overlooking the flaws of a loved one but how about “Accentuate the Positive”? I wouldn’t want this song sung to me; it’s just not romantic.

Frank Sinatra framed photo

I’m so glad I explored Frank Sinatra’s music as much as I have. I understand why those songs are timelessness yet I don’t feel the need to hear more. I’m content to repeated listening of my favorites such as “The Best is Yet to Come”, “For Once in My Life”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Come Fly With Me”, and “New York, New York”. For some odd reason, I often confuse “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Come Fly with Me”. When I sing them to myself, they often meld into one song which could be called “Come Fly With Me to the Moon.”

New York, New York song story

The song “New York, New York” has special meaning for me as it is played after New York Yankees games at Yankee Stadium. One year, the Frank Sinatra version played after Yankees wins and the Liza Minnelli version after Yankee losses. That was a bit of disrespect towards Liza Minnelli. When Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998, I drove through town blasting this song on the radio as a tribute to a great singer.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which duet with Frank Sinatra is your favorite? Who do you wish he would’ve recorded a duet with?

 

At the next stop on the Guitar Train, Quirky T listens to one of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack buddies, Dean Martin.

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