“Deacon Blues” is a song written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1976 and recorded by their group Steely Dan on their 1977 album Aja. It peaked at number 19 on the Billboard charts and number 17 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100 in June 1978. It also reached #40 on the Easy Listening chart. In Canada, it peaked at #14, a position it occupied for two weeks, and #20 Adult Contemporary. – WIKI
Steely Dan – Deacon Blues Live with the lovely Caroline Leonhart
On this date in 1969, CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION by TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (August 19, 1969)
Composed by Eddie Gray, Tommy James and Mike Vale, CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION motored on a gentle-tempoed garbage groove built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement.
The sound was more akin to The Rascals’ at the time than to James’s contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. It included melodic passages for an acoustic guitar, as well as a bass pattern, played between the bridge and the third verse of the song.
According to James’s manager, James was actually inspired by his readings of the Book of Ezekiel, which (he remembered as) speaking of a blue Shekhinah light that represented the presence of the Almighty God, and of the Book of Isaiah and Book of Revelation, which tell of a future age of brotherhood of mankind, living in peace and harmony.
“‘I wrote ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ with Eddie Gray and Mike Vale,” explained Tommy James.
“Eddie came up with the little guitar riff, and Mike and I did the lyrics. And it just felt very right as a sort of semi-religious poetic song, but it turned out to be one of the hardest records I’ve ever made.”
“It’s out of the Bible. The imagery was right out of Chapter 19 of the Book of Revelation, about the lake of crystal, and just what John sees. The imagery was just right there. ‘Crystal blue persuasion,’ although those words aren’t used together, it was what the image meant to me.”
The lyrics, “It’s a new vibration,” are about James becoming Christian, but many listeners had their own interpretation.
He explained: “Of course, everybody thinks if they don’t understand what you’re talking about it must be about drugs. But it wasn’t. We were going through a real interesting time back then, and a very wonderful time. Everybody in the band, by the way, became Christian. And we’re very proud of it. And ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ was sort of our way of saying that in a kind of pop record way.”
This would have made a great performance at Woodstock, and the song was peaking on the charts at the time of the famous festival.
Tommy James & the Shondells were invited to appear, but, as Tommy explains: “Like dopes we turned it down. I gotta tell you what – we were in Hawaii at the foot of Diamond Head. This was in August of ’69, and we played a date in Hilo, and then we had two weeks off and then we were gonna play in Honolulu. They put us at these gorgeous mansions at the foot of Diamond Head, right on the ocean. And our biggest decision of the day was, Do I go in the ocean or in the swimming pool? We were sitting around drinking margaritas, and it was wonderful. And I get this call from JoAnn, my secretary, and she said, ‘Artie Kornfeld was up,’ Artie Kornfeld was one of the principals at Woodstock, and he was also a friend of mine. He produced the Cowsills and a whole bunch of other acts, and he was very successful producer. We had the same lawyer. And so she said, ‘Artie was up and asked if you could play at this pig farm up in upstate New York.’ I said, ‘What?!?’ ‘Well, they say it’s gonna be a lot of people there, and it’s gonna be like a really important show.’ And I said, ‘Did I hear you right? Did you say would I leave paradise, fly 6,000 miles, and play a pig farm? Is that what you just asked me?’ She said, ‘Well, you could put it like that, but it’s gonna be a big show. It’s important.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you what, if I’m not there, start without us, will you please?’ And I hung up the phone. And they did. And by Thursday of that week we knew we messed up really bad. (laughing) But in the end I think I got probably more mileage out of that story.”
When he wrote this song, Tommy James was working with a group called Alive ‘N Kickin’. According to their keyboard player, Bruce Sudano (who later married Donna Summer), James wanted them to record “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” but the head of James’ label wouldn’t let him give up the song. James ended up writing another song for Alive ‘N Kickin’ called “Tighter, Tighter,” which ended up being a big hit for the group.
“Sleep Walk” is an instrumental tune written, recorded, and released in 1959 by brothers Santo & Johnny Farina, with their uncle Mike Dee playing the drums. Prominently featuring steel guitar, the song was recorded at Trinity Music in Manhattan, New York City. “Sleep Walk” entered Billboard’s Top 40 on August 17, 1959. It rose to the number 1 position for the last two weeks in September and remained in the Top 40 until November 9. “Sleep Walk” also reached number 4 on the R&B chart. It was the last instrumental to hit number 1 in the 1950s and earned a gold record for Santo and Johnny. In the UK it peaked at number 22 on the charts.
A lot of us like to say, that Columbus discovered America.
I like to say, that I discovered, AyseDeniz.
This classy woman with hectares of talent is, good looking, brilliant, vivacious, personable – in fact – she’s bursting with personality.
Ayşedeniz Gökçin (Anglicised as “AyseDeniz Gokcin“) is a Turkish classical pianist and composer who was born in 1988.
After graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree from Eastman School of Music,* Gökçin completed a master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in 2011.
She is known for recording an EP of her arrangements for solo piano of the music of the rock band Pink Floyd in the style of Franz Liszt, Pink Floyd Lisztified. The EP comprises three tracks, which, she says, form a fantasia. These are: “Hey You”
“Wish You Were Here” and “Another Brick in the Wall.”
*these notations are from a WiKi page.
Here is AyseDeniz performing an impossible rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean:
Here’s more stuff about AyseDeniz: Biography, Short
AyseDeniz is a classical/rock crossover pianist currently splitting her time between Los Angeles, London, and Istanbul. She started playing piano at age five and was considered a child prodigy in her native home of Turkey. She completed her Bachelor’s in Piano Performance at Eastman School of Music in New York and her Masters in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
AyseDeniz is recognized internationally for her ability to unite the classical genre with classic rock and creating original rock arrangements and compositions, which she now performs for fans worldwide to sold-out shows. She has appeared on BBC News, Vogue, Classic FM, Prog Rock Magazine, and more. The Arts Council England endorses her under the Exceptional Talent Visa.
“Come Softly to Me” is a popular song recorded by The Fleetwoods, composed of Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis, and Gary Troxel, who also wrote it. The original title was “Come Softly”, but was changed en route to its becoming a hit. Bob Reisdorf, the owner of Dolphin Records, which in 1960 changed to Dolton Records, was responsible for the title change. He thought that “Come Softly” might be too obvious and considered risqué, so he had it changed to “Come Softly to Me.” The title phrase never appears in the song’s lyrics.
Recording the song at home, the group sang it a cappella with the rhythmic shaking of Troxel’s car keys. The tape was then sent to Los Angeles where the sparse instrumental accompaniment was added, including an acoustic guitar played by Bonnie Guitar, herself a successful singer-songwriter (“Dark Moon”) and Reisdorf’s in-house record producer. Released in 1959, the single reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in April.
Meaning of “Haitian Divorce” by Steely Dan
BY SMF · PUBLISHED APRIL 9, 2018 · UPDATED SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
“Haitian Divorce” is a song performed by the American rock band Steely Dan. The lyrics of the song tell the story of a married woman who travels all by herself to Haiti in order to get a quick divorce from her husband. While in Haiti, she has a very brief romantic affair with a Haitian man and somehow ends up being unable to get the divorce that took her to the Caribbean country in the first place. She returns home to America only to find out that she’s pregnant. Nine months later she gives birth to a half Haitian baby.
“The lyrics of “Haitian Divorce” are inspired by how 1970s Haiti used to be a hot spot for Americans looking for a quick and easy divorce. In the early 1970s, the Haitian government made it ridiculously easy for foreigners (especially Americans) to come into their country and get divorced from their spouses. The laws in Haiti made the divorce process so easy for foreign nationals by getting rid of a number of red tapes, including lengthy waiting periods and residency requirements. In addition to that, both partners were not required to be present at the hearing on their divorce. All in all, a foreigner could enter into Haiti and obtain a divorce in just a matter of hours!”
“It’s noteworthy that in addition to giving foreign nationals the opportunity of obtaining a quick and painless divorce, Haiti also gave couples the option of a very quick marriage devoid of so many red tapes. So generally speaking, a married foreigner could just travel to Haiti with his/her wife/husband-to-be, get a divorce and get married to his/her new flame within a matter of days.”
“Hollywood Nights” is a song written and recorded by American rock artist Bob Seger. It was released in 1978 as the second single from his album, Stranger in Town. The single edit reached No. 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the UK, the full five-minute version was released as a single on black and silver vinyl, and gave him his chart debut at No. 42. A live version from the in-concert album Nine Tonight in 1981 was issued in the UK as a single and charted at No. 49, while a reissue of the original version in 1995 charted at No. 52.
“El Paso” is a western ballad written and originally recorded by Marty Robbins, and first released on Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs in September 1959. It was released as a single the following month, and became a major hit on both the country and pop music charts, reaching No. 1 in both at the start of 1960 (the first No. 1 hit of the 1960s). It won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1961, and remains Robbins’ best-known song.
From The NewYorker.com
“A century ago, Butte, Montana, a.k.a. Dashiell Hammett’s Poisonville, was the rowdy epicenter of American copper mining; these days, it’s a source of excellent local-history podcasts. “Richest Hill” alchemized a toxic-waste saga into riveting entertainment; the new, independently produced series “Death in the West” unspools the story of the murder of the martyred union organizer Frank Little—still regarded by many as a “recently passed comrade”—in 1917, when Butte was “a city tailor-made for conspiracy and mayhem.” Reported, written, and hosted by Chad and Zach Dundas and Erika and Leif Fredrickson, the series employs rigorous reporting, memorable details (a hook-handed gunman, a Prohibition-era speakeasy), and sophisticated sound design (cemetery crickets, archival interviews and songs), as well as local flavor: music by Montana bands, support from a record store and an ice-cream shop.”