With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

12 Days To Christmas – Day 6 – Grace Kelly December 18, 2017

Filed under: Christmas — justwilliam1959 @ 1:00 am
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GRACE KELLY ACTRESS (1952)

Day 6 and Christmas is fast approaching. My twelve days to Christmas famous historical people in songs themed post today brings you Grace Kelly. Another beautiful and iconic figure that we lost way too young. In the 1950s she starred in some classic films including; High Noon, To Catch A Thief and Rear Window. She retired from acting aged just 26 in 1956 to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco and take the position of Princess Grace. She suffered a stroke while driving home in September 1982 and died from injuries from the resulting car crash. Her father John B Kelly won three Olympic Gold Medals for Sculling.

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Grace Kelly has been referenced in many songs; by Madonna in “Vogue” and Billy Joel in “We Didn’t Start The Fire”. But the song that I have included in this post is from Lebanese born singer songwriter Mika and it is simply titled “Grace Kelly”. The song takes its melody from an aria in Rossini’s ‘The Barber Of Seville’ and was written in a kind of protest at the record company who asked Mika to be a bit more like Craig David. In 2007 the song made the top 5 in at least ten countries and topping the charts in five of them; UK, Belgium, France, Ireland and Italy.

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 5 – Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and JFK December 17, 2017


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Day five of the Chrimbo countdown and todays historical characters theme brings you a song that includes three iconic figures in the title and another within the lyrics. It is the stunningly beautiful and moving song “Abraham, Martin And John”. The song was written by Dick Holler in 1968 in response to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. It also refers to Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy (JFK). All for were great advocates for significant social change and all four were gunned down in cold blood.

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The song was originally recorded by Dion and his single was a big US hit. The song has been covered by many artists including Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Ray Charles, Emmylou Harris and Marvin Gaye. It is Marvin Gaye’s version that features as a part of this post. It is my favourite version of this fantastic song. Taken from his 1969 album ‘That’s The Way Love Is’ the song was never issued as a single in the US but reached number 9 in the UK charts that year. Some say it was a precursor to the themes that Marvin explored on his career defining ‘What’s Going On’ album from 1971.

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 4 – Jackie Wilson December 16, 2017


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The 16th December, oh boy the big bearded weirdy in the red coat is not far away now is he? So it is now day four of my blogs twelve days to Christmas post with the theme this year being famous people from history in songs. Today it is a song about Souls and R & B legend, the late, great Jackie Wilson. Wilson was born in Detroit in June 1934 and died in 1984 aged just 49. He had collapsed with a massive heart attack on stage in 1975 and was in a coma for 8 months. He was semi comatose for the rest of his life. He was known as Mr Excitement and had 14 US top 20 hits. His only UK number one was the posthumous re-release of “Reet Petite” from 1957 in 1986.

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The opening track on Van Morrison’s 1972 album ‘Saint Dominic’s Preview’ honoured Wilson and was called “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”. Morrison often noted the influence of Wilson on his vocal styling. It has been covered by many other artists, notably Dexy’s Midnight Runners for their 1982 album ‘Too-Rye-Ay’. It was released as a single by the band and made it to number 5 in the UK singles chart in 1982. It remains the band’s last top 10 hit in the UK to date and it was the follow up to their worldwide smash hit “Come On Eileen”

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 3 – Henry Hudson December 15, 2017

Filed under: Christmas,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 1:00 am
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Day 3 on the trip and countdown to Christmas and the theme of famous people from history in songs continues. Today it is a song titled “Hudson” from the particularly magnificent Vampire Weekend. The lyrics are based on a poem that the band’s singer Ezra Koenig once wrote about seafarer Henry Hudson. The song was included on the band’s 2013 US number one album ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’.

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Henry Hudson was in search of a North West Passage to Asia and on one such trip in 1611 he was cast adrift by his crew, along with his son and seven others. The crew mutinied as they did not want to proceed any further. Hudson and his party were never seen again. His legacy is that the Hudson Bay and Hudson River are named after him. Nothing much is known of his early years other than he was English and was born most likely somewhere between 1565 and 1570.

 

 

12 days To Christmas – Day 2 – Buddy Holly December 14, 2017

Filed under: Christmas,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 1:00 am
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It is day two of the twelve days of Christmas famous people from history songs. Today it is Buddy Holly who is honoured in song. Weezer formed in Los Angeles in 1992 and are still going strong. Perhaps their best known song is “Buddy Holly”. It was on their self titled debut album from 1994 which is often referred to as the Blue Album. The single hit number 12 in the UK chart and number 2 in the US Alternative charts. The song also mentions Mary Tyler Moore the American Actress who died in January 2017 aged 80.

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Buddy Holly was killed in a fatal air crash that also took the lives of Richie Valens and the Big Bopper on February 3rd 1959. Holly’s demise has featured in many songs, perhaps most notably in Don McLean’s 1972 classic “American Pie” which refers to that fateful day as “the day the music died”. The video for the Weezer song is set in Arnold’s Drive In from the 1970s American SitCom ‘Happy Days’. It was directed by Spike Jonze. The video was also one of the songs on the Windows 95 set up CD.

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 1 – Rubin Carter December 13, 2017

Filed under: Christmas,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 1:00 am
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I thought I would resurrect my themed twelve days of Christmas posts for 2017. The theme for this year is songs about historical figures from many branches of life. First up is probably my favourite ever Bob Dylan song about Rubin Carter a.k.a. The Hurricane a middleweight boxer who was jailed for twenty years for a triple murder that he did not commit. He was born in New Jersey in 1937 and died in Toronto, Canada in 2014.

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Carter was tried and convicted twice for the 1966 murders (in 1967 and 1976). The second of those was overturned in 1985 and Carter finally became a free man as a result. Dylan read Rubin’s book ‘The Sixteenth Round’ which lead to him writing (with Jacques Levy) and recording the epic (more than 8 minutes long) song “Hurricane”in 1975. It was the lead off track on the 1976 Dylan album ‘Desire’. “Hurricane” was released as a single in 1975 in edited form. It reached the US top 40, number 43 in the UK and made the top ten in Australia. For me when Dylan was angry he was stunning, especially on this song.

 

 
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