There should be a law against saying “Willie Nelson” and “80th birthday” in the same sentence. Good thing there isn’t, though, because I’d be going to jail right about now.
In honor of the Red-Headed Stranger’s birthday, here’s his version of “The Rainbow Connection,” first made famous by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie (1979). The video has quite a long intro; Willie comes in at 1:51.
Happy birthday, Willie! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.
Today would have been Roy Orbison’s 77th birthday.
The first time I’d ever heard of him was in 1987, when The Traveling Wilburys (Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Tom Petty) released “Handle with Care.” I had heard Van Halen’s version of his classic “Pretty Woman,” but somehow failed to make the connection between Orbison’s original and the 1980s cover.
No matter. This song was so unlike anything on late-1980s radio that I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of Roy Orbison. That fragile, haunting voice—where’s it coming from? His mouth barely moves, yet all this world-weary heartbreak still pours forth.
But the next year, he died of a heart attack at 52, and his record company released Mystery Girl posthumously. My favorite from that album, “You Got It,” was a simultaneous #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary, and Hot Country Songs charts. It was also his first hit in nearly 25 years.
“Portland, Oregon” is one of my favorite tracks from Van Lear Rose. The entire album is stellar, though, so it’s hard to choose just one. Since nearly everyone’s familiar with Loretta Lynn’s best-known work, I thought I’d share this in honor of her special day.
The “cat and owl playing” video is the first time I ever heard this post’s featured Random Song. Too bad Sopa De Cabra broke up before I got a chance to see them live. Of course, I probably couldn’t have understood a single thing they sang, as all their lyrics are in Çatalan. Who cares? The music’s good.
As usual, here are five songs I chose at random (more or less) from my music collection. I used Random.org’s number generator to come up with the numbers and choose which songs I’d feature this time. Want to join in the fun? Post your selections and/or the URL for your own random song blog post in the Comments section. And, of course, happy listening! Continue reading →
If you’re like me, you’ve been sick of Christmas songs since the week after Halloween. But don’t worry—no cheesy holiday music here! Anyway, you’re probably hearing plenty of it elsewhere, even if you’d rather stick candy canes in your ears than hear it again. “Blue Christmas,” ”Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer” were all right the first 400 times.
U.S. readers return to work and school today after a long Thanksgiving break. After so much food and relaxation, we could all probably use a boost. Perhaps starting this edition of Five Random Songs with a Wilson Pickett classic will help. If neither the song nor Pickett’s awesome pink suit and tie don’t wake you up, you’ve got bigger problems than I can help you with.
No corny music allowed for today’s Five Random Songs! I couldn’t live with myself if I subjected you to “Monster Mash” one more time. Even “Thriller” gets on my nerves this time of year. How could it not when I’m sick of Halloween in late July? Note to big-box retailers: Leave holidays where they belong.