Song Lyric Sunday | “Best of My Love” – The Emotions


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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is Best/Better/Good/Great.

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I was 17 when I attended my first music concert in October of 1977–the Commodores World Tour at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan! Brick House was their current hit and their opening act was The Emotions. I had the keys to my Mom’s gold Pontiac Catalina station wagon and it was loaded to the brim with siblings and friends. 😀

The Emotions released their second album for Columbia Records, Rejoice, in June of 1977, and it spawned two hits, Don’t Ask My Neighbors and Best of My Love.

Best of My Love would go on to top the Billboard Pop and R&B charts and win Grammy for Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals, as well as an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single.

Oh, what a night! 😀 😀

FUN FACTS:

  • The group was originally a gospel outfit known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams who toured the gospel circuit with their father Joe Hutchinson. The Sunbeams sang on Jerry Van Dyke’s “Children’s Gospel” television show and also occasionally performed in the concert with Mahalia Jackson. They eventually became an R&B/Soul act with a popular following in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Soon being renamed as The Emotions, they signed with the Memphis-based Volt imprint of Stax Records in the late 60s.
  • Signing with Columbia Records led The Emotions to an association with Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire that would bring them their greatest level of success.
  • The Emotions originally consisted of three sisters Wanda, Jeanette and and Sheila Hutchinson, however, when Jeanette left for maternity leave in the late 70s, their youngest sister, Pamela, and cousin, Theresa Davis would join in turn.
  • The Emotions were named by VH1 as one of the 18 most influential girl groups of all time.

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Best of My Love

by The Emotions

Songwriters: Al Mckay / Maurice White

Doesn’t take much to make me happy
And make me smile with glee
Never never will I feel discouraged
‘Cause our love’s no mystery
Demonstrating love and affection
That you give so openly, yeah
I like the way you make me feel about you, baby
Want the whole wide world to see
Oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh (oh), you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh (oh), you’ve got the best of my love
Flowing in and out of changes
Kind that come around each day
My life has a better meaning
Love has kissed me in a beautiful way
Oh, yeah
(My love, my love)
Oh, oh, oh, yeah
(My love, my love) ooh
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
Oh, got the best of my love
Oh oh (yes you do), you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Demonstrating free love and affection
That you give so openly, yeah
The way I feel about you baby
Can’t explain it
Want the whole wide world to see
Oh, but in my heart you’re all I need
You for me and me for you
Oh yeah, it’s growing everyday, baby
Oh, oh, oh
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo (ow)
Oh oh oh oh oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh oh oh oh oh you’ve got the best of my love
Oh, giving you the best of my love
My love (my love), my love (my love)
Oh, giving you the best of my love
My love (my love), oh yeah
Oh oh oh oh oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Oh oh oh oh oh oh, you’ve got the best of my love
Oh, giving you the best of my love
(You’ve got the best, you’ve got the best)
(You’ve got the best, you’ve got the best love)
Oh, giving you the best of my love

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

Song Lyric Sunday | “The Sweetest Days” – Vanessa Williams


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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is“Cool/Freeze/Heat/Melt.

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The video for The Sweetest Days is shot in two different ways. The “romantic version” was shot in an apartment overlooking a city skyline while the “urban version” shows the singer walking in a park and through streets. They give the song a different feel but both supporting the same message that despite turbulent times, the warmth and security of love is always a safe haven, and the days we’re living now will one day be “the good old days.”

The song is the first single from Vanessa Williams’ third studio album of the same name in 1994 and was written by the same team who previously penned Save the Best for Last for Williams.

The Sweetest Days reached No. 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the US Adult Contemporary Charts.

FUN FACTS:

  • As an actress, Williams enjoyed success on both stage and screen, receiving an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her portrayal of Teri Joseph in the film Soul Food (1997).
  • Vanessa’s best-known television role is that of Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty (2006–10), for which she was nominated three times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
  • Williams’ paternal great-great grandfather was William A. Feilds, who was born a slave, would go on to serve as an African-American legislator in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
  • Williams was the first African American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. Several weeks before the end of her reign, however, a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized nude photographs of her. Williams was pressured to relinquish her title, and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Thirty-two years later, in September 2015, when Williams served as head judge for the Miss America 2016 pageant, former Miss America CEO Sam Haskell made a public apology to her for the events of 1984.

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

The Sweetest Days

by Vanessa Williams

Songwriters: Philip Edward Galdston / Jon Lind / Wendy Waldman

You and I in this moment,
Holding the night so close,
Hanging on, still unbroken
while outside the thunder rolls.
Listen now you can hear my heart beat
warm against life’s bitter cold.
These are the days.
the sweetest days we’ll know.
There are times that scare me.
We’ll rattle the house like the wind,
both of us so unbending.
We battle the fear within.
All the while life is rushing by us.
Hold it now and don’t let go.
These are the days.
the sweetest days we’ll know.
So, we’ll whisper a dream here in the darkness.
Watching the stars till their gone.
And when even the mem’ries have all faded away,
these days go on and on.
Listen now, you can hear my heartbeat.
Hold me now and don’t let go.
(These are the days, )
ev’ry day is the sweetest day we’ll know.
(These are the days, )

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Take a Letter, Maria” – R.B. Greaves


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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is“Maria/Marie/Mary.

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Even though it’s about infidelity, this upbeat song with a Latin flair was a dance favorite and quickly gained airplay reaching number two on Billboards Hot 100. Released in September of 1969, Take a Letter, Maria was certified gold in early December of the same year. It would go on to sell nearly three million copies.

So many songs about broken marriages leave you crying in your beer or scarfing down Ben & Jerry’s. R.B. Greaves doesn’t seem too broken up over his… since he asks Maria out to start a new life!

The video is from a 1969 television performance… yes, it’s lip-synced, but check out that dicta-phone!

FUN FACTS:

  • R.B. Greaves is Sam Cooke’s nephew. He had one more US Top 40 hit: Always Something There To Remind Me. That one, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, reached #27 in 1970.
  • Take a Letter, Maria was kept from the #1 spot by Wedding Bell Blues by The 5th Dimension.
  • The song was recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio using house musicians, including Donna Jean Thatcher on vocals (later Donna Jean Godchaux of the Grateful Dead).
  • Greaves was one of several Atlantic artists sent to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, but the first to have a hit there.

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Take a Letter, Maria

Written and sung by R.B. Greaves

Last night as I got home, about a half past ten

There was the woman I thought I knew, in the arms of another man

I kept my cool, I ain’t no fool, let me tell you what happened then

I packed some clothes and I walked out, and I ain’t going back again

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

You’ve been many things but most of all a good secretary to me

And it’s times like this I feel you’ve always been close to me

Was I wrong to work nights to try to build a good life

All work and no play has just cost me a wife

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

When a man loves a woman it’s hard to understand

That she would find more pleasure in the arms of another man

I never really noticed how sweet you are to me

It just so happens I’m free tonight, would you like to have dinner with me

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – John Denver

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Jack/John.

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Leaving on a Jet Plane was Peter, Paul and Mary’s biggest (and final) hit, becoming their only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song also spent three weeks atop the easy listening chart.

But their version was a cover.

John Denver was a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio when he  wrote and released the song on his 1966 studio album John Denver Sings with the title Babe, I Hate to Go. After his producer convinced Denver to change the title, Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the song in 1967 for their Album 1700 and released it in 1969.

Denver also recorded the song for his 1969 debut album Rhymes and Reasons, and again for his first greatest hits compilation but never attained the chart success with the single as the folk song group.

FUN FACTS:

  • The song also topped the charts in Canada, and reached No. 2 in both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart in February 1970.
  • Leaving On a Jet Plane was used in commercials for United Airlines in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • Denver claimed that he wasn’t a prolific or systematic songwriter – he wrote songs when they came to him. Some of his popular songs took months to complete, but Leaving on a Jet Plane took him just a few hours to finish.
  • On one of his BBC radio specials, John Denver said: “This is a very personal and very special song for me. It doesn’t conjure up Boeing 707s or 747s for me as much as it does the simple scenes of leaving. Bags packed and standing by the front door, taxi pulling up in the early morning hours, the sound of a door closing behind you, and the thought of leaving someone that you care for very much. I was fortunate to have Peter, Paul and Mary record it and have it become a hit, but it still strikes a lonely and anguished chord in me, because the separation still continues, although not so long and not so often nowadays.”

Forgive me but I got a bit carried away and posted John’s version, Peter, Paul and Mary’s version, and a video of Denver and the group singing together!

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Mr. Big Stuff” – Jean Knight

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Big/Large/Little/Small/Tall/Tiny.

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Mr. Big Stuff was a huge crossover hit for R&B singer, Jean Knight in 1971. The song spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

FUN FACTS:

  • Mr. Big Stuff  went double platinum and was the No. 1 Soul Single of the year.
  • It became one of Stax Records’ more popular and recognizable hits.
  • Mr. Big Stuff was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1972 Grammy Awards.

Knight performed the song on Soul Train on December 11, 1971 during its very first season and that’s the video performance I’m featuring today! So 70s – check out how high her hair is! 😀

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Mr. Big Stuff

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – The Beatles

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Cinnamon/Mint/Parsley/Pepper/Rosemary/Sage/Salt/Thyme.

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In August 1966, the Beatles permanently retired from touring and began a three-month holiday. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian military band that formed the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. The inspiration is said to have come when roadie Mal Evans innocently asked McCartney what the letters “S” and “P” stood for on the pots on their in-flight meal trays, and McCartney explained it was for salt and pepper. This then led to the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band concept, as well as the song.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band appears twice on the 1967 album of the same name–as the opening track (segueing into With a Little Help from My Friends), and as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise), the penultimate track (segueing into A Day in the Life). As the title song, the lyrics introduce the fictional band that performs on the album.

While the single enjoyed only moderate success until a resurgence in the 70s and 80s, the album was wildly popular. It spent fifteen weeks in the number one spot on Billboards Top LPs, and won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been recorded numerous times over the years by A-list bands and performers.

FUN FACTS:

  • Three days after the album came out, Jimi Hendrix opened a concert with the song. McCartney and Harrison were both there, and were very impressed that Hendrix learned it so quickly.
  • There really is an apostrophe in this song’s title, although on the album cover, it is rendered without. Since the Lonely Hearts Club Band belongs to Sgt. Pepper, it is possessive, thus “Sgt. Pepper’s.”
  • The album was heavily produced and took 129 days and about 700 hours to complete. The Beatles first album, Please Please Me, was recorded in less than 10 hours.
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was never performed live by the Beatles. It was performed by three of the former band members (McCartney, Harrison and Starr) plus Eric Clapton on May 19, 1979, at Clapton’s wedding party.
  • The Sgt. Pepper mythology was re-imagined for the plot of the 1969 animated film Yellow Submarine. In the film, the Beatles travel to Pepperland and rescue Sgt. Pepper’s band from evildoers, the Blue Meanies.

McCartney acts as the master of ceremonies near the end of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band track, introducing Starr as an alter ego named Billy Shears. The song then segues into With a Little Help from My Friends amid a moment of crowd cheer.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “One Toke Over the Line” – Brewer and Shipley

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is End/Finish/Over/Stop.

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“When we wrote One Toke Over the Line, I think we were one toke over the line. I considered marijuana a sort of a sacrament… If you listen to the lyrics of that song, ‘one toke’ was just a metaphor. It’s a song about excess. Too much of anything will probably kill you,” explained Tom Shipley, one half of Brewer and Shipley and co-writer of the song.

The incident that sparked this song happened at the Vanguard in Kansas City, Missouri. The band was playing the show because, in seeking to escape the LA music scene, they started a tour of their Midwest homelands. Shipley reports that he was given a block of hash and told to take two hits. He ignored the advice and instead took three. Shipley recounts in The Vinyl Dialogues, “I go out of the dressing room – I’m also a banjo player, but I didn’t have one, so I was playing my guitar – and Michael (Brewer) came in and I said, ‘Jesus, Michael, I’m one toke over the line.’ And to be perfect honest, I don’t remember if Michael was with me when I took that hit or not. I remember it as ‘not’; I think Michael remembers it as ‘yes.’ And he started to sing to what I was playing, and I chimed in and boom, we had the line.”

Brewer also remembers the occasion. “I just cracked up,” he said. “I thought it was hysterical. And right on the spot, we just started singing, ‘One toke over the line, sweet Jesus,’ and that was about it; then we went onstage.”

Some radio stations refused to play this song because of the drug references, but not everyone got this meaning. In 1971 the song was performed on the Lawrence Welk Show by the wholesome-looking couple Gail Farrell and Dick Dale, who clearly had NO clue what a toke was. Welk, at the conclusion of the performance of the song, remarked, without any hint of humor, “there you’ve heard a modern spiritual by Gail and Dale.”

FUN FACTS:

  • The song peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #8 Cash Box during the spring of 1971, and was the duo’s only Top 40 hit.
  • Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead was brought in to play played steel guitar on the Tarkio sessions. He didn’t play on One Toke Over The Line, but did appear on the B-side, Oh Mommy’ (I Ain’t No Commie).
  • The song is notably mentioned in the opening of Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and was “sung” by Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) in the 1998 film of the same name.
  • One Toke Over the Line appears on numerous compilation albums, making its way onto albums with songs about drugs, hits of the ’70s, and one hit wonders. It remains a major source of income for Brewer and Shipley.
  • Spiro Agnew said the song with its reference to marijuana use was “blatant drug-culture propaganda” that “threatens to sap our national strength,” pressuring the FCC to include the song on its list of music banned from the airwaves because of drug references. (Poor Spiro! He resigned in disgrace and Brewer and Shipley are still collecting royalties! 😀 )

I couldn’t decide which video to use, so you guys get an “old” performance from 1971, a “newer” live performance from 1998, and yes…THE LAWRENCE WELK PERFORMANCE!!! I dare you to watch it without grinning! 😀 😀 😀

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

One Toke Over the Line

Song Lyric Sunday | “How Many Ways” – Toni Braxton

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Song that includes a number.

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How Many Ways is the fifth and final single from American singer Toni Braxton’s eponymous debut studio album, released in 1993.

It was released as double-sided with I Belong to You, which garnered Braxton a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards.

In How Many Ways, co-written by Braxton herself, the protagonist declares there are many ways in which she loves her man, and she does a literal count from one to ten.

FUN FACTS:

  • A remix produced by R. Kelly also was released to radio and music television stations.
  • I Belong to You/How Many Ways peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 21, 1995.
  • The music video for How Many Ways features Braxton and actor Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) riding in a car, frolicking in a playground, and on a veranda.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

~~~

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

How Many Ways

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