Musical Dice -- Dedication

     Welcome to the music section of my Musical Dice website! For you music trivia enthusiasts, and those who love to learn about the stories behind the music, you've come to the right place! I love sharing my knowledge of music trivia, so that's why I created this section.

     Back in the day, I used to listen to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem as the host. Every Sunday morning, there I was, listening to the countdown of the top songs of the week. Back then, I really enjoyed the music. Of course, I also enjoyed hearing Casey Kasem share music trivia about the songs and the artists behind the songs.

     One of the most interesting features on American Top 40 was when Casey Kasem would do what he called a Long-Distance Dedication. This was a feature he started in 1978 on American Top 40, where listeners would write Casey with a story, usually with a love or friendly theme to it, talking about someone special, and then dedicating a certain song to that person. This feature on American Top 40 really gave meaning to some of those songs.

     I've realized that one true mark of a great song is how much people can relate to the song, in regards to their own lives. That matters WAY more than how well the song did on the charts. Anyone can promote a song to death, but those that stick around years after they were hits, tend to be songs that people can relate to. And those songs are often dedicated from people to other people. And that's what this article is all about. I shall mention some of those great songs used in dedications.

From American Top 40

     This section of the article is dedicated specifically to songs used as long-distance dedications on American Top 40.

"Desiree" -- Neil Diamond

     The very first song used as a long-distance dedication on American Top 40 was "Desiree" by Neil Diamond. I don't think it was so much the subject matter that made the young man who wrote to Casey Kasem, dedicate this song to a special woman, whom he used to be involved with, but rather, the fact that the woman's name was Desiree. Casey Kasem said on his show that he knew that long-distance dedications were going to be popular, but for some reason, he was hesitant to feature them on American Top 40. But once "Desiree" was played as a long-distance dedication, there was no looking back. On American Top 40 itself, it only peaked at #16 in early 1978. Me, personally, I'd already liked the song before I'd heard of it being featured as a long-distance dedication, or how high it got on the chart.

"My Eyes Adored You" -- Frankie Valli

     The first song I peronally heard as a long-distance dedication on American Top 40, was "My Eyes Adored You" by Frankie Valli. In this case, it was dedicated from a woman, who as a child, knew this guy, and although she deep down inside liked him, she didn't treat him as nicely as she should have, and she regretted having done that. That made me think of something similar I did when I was in grade school. There was this girl Jennifer that I had in both of my two classes I took in summer school, and in one of those classes, a dance class, we were always dance partners. I could tell she really liked me, but my feelings for her weren't quite that strong. I foolishly had my mind and heart set on someone else. What really made me pay attention to this song, as it was being played as a long-distance dedication, was especially the lyrics "You were fifth-grade, I was sixth," for Jennifer was going into the fifth grade at the time, and I was going into sixth grade. One of my regrets was that I didn't give Jennifer more of a chance. But being 10 and 11 years old at the time, what the hell did we know about love? Anyway, I really liked that song ever since then. It even spent a week at #1 in 1975. Makes me think that many guys have a girl like Jennifer from their past, that they wished they would have given more of a chance to.

"Thank You For Being A Friend" -- Andrew Gold

     Perhaps the most frequently played song as a long-distance dedication, was "Thank You For Being A Friend" by Andrew Gold. With a title like that, it's easy to see why. I, personally sang this song at karaoke recently, and dedicated it to a bartender my wife and I has known for years, named Molly, for she did us a big favor a week earlier. I was very surprised to learn that the song only topped out at #25 back in 1978, several years before it was featured on the TV show "Golden Girls." But the mere fact that it was featured on numerous occasions as a long-distance dedication, as well as its being featured on a huge hit TV sitcom, illustrates the true quality of this song.

"Babe" -- Styx

     Another song I heard frequently used as a long-distance dedication was "Babe" by Styx. Many of these stories stem from the fact that someone had found that special someone, but then he/she had to leave that person behind, and this song would fit personally. For songwriter Dennis DeYoung's part, he and the band were about to go on tour again, and he hated leaving his wife and his daughter behind. So he wrote "Babe" as a dedication to his wife. Personally, I hated the song until I heard it used as a long-distance dedication, which gave the song great meaning. It did spend 2 weeks at #1 toward the end of 1979, making me think that MANY people could relate to this song. Casey Kasem even said about this song that he knew it would be a popular long-distance dedication song.

"Weekend In New England" -- Barry Manilow

     Another song I didn't pay attention to until I heard it as a long-distance dedication, was "Weekend In New England" by Barry Manilow. This is another story of falling in love, but then having to leave, wishing he/she could stay with that special person. Now, the song is a huge all-time favorite of mine, plus on two occasions, I sang the song karaoke, dedicating it to people who enjoyed my singing, but I had to move away (once leaving the D.C. Area, heading out to California, and the other time, leaving Jacksonville Florida to move to Houston Texas, where I currently reside). I think the song is much better than its #10 peak in 1977.

"Shannon" -- Henry Gross

     I'd never heard this song until I heard it used as a long-distance dedication. This dedication was from a family to their beloved pet dog which had passed away. And that's precisely what "Shannon" by Henry Gross was all about. From that point on, I really liked the song. It reminds people that dogs are like family members. My wife had a dog that passed away several years ago, and the effect that had on her, was the same as if she'd lost a family member. Apparently a lot of people related to the song, for it peaked at #6 on the chart in 1976.

"It's My Turn" -- Diana Ross

     One of the most interesting long-distance dedications I ever heard, came from a young woman, who had tried for years to get her father to be part of her life, but he always refused. At length, the woman decided that she had to move on with her life, and let her father go. For that reason, she dedicated "It's My Turn" by Diana Ross. I'm sure that was a very painful decision she had to make, but in her case, it had to be done. From the time I first heard this song as a teenager, I definitely felt connected to it, and I still do, at age 56. The song only reached #9 in early 1981, but I think it was every bit as good as her #1 hits, if not better.

"Pilot Of The Airwaves" -- Charlie Dore

     One of the most unusual long-distance dedications I ever heard, came from a young woman who dedicated "Pilot Of The Airwaves" by Charlie Dore, to a local radio disc jockey. You see, this woman would frequently call a certain radio station, and request some very depressing songs. After a while of this, the dee-jay that would take her calls, noticed this pattern in her requests, and had a talk with her. Whatever he said to her, it cheered her up, and helped turn things around for her. So that's why she dedicated this song to him. It topped out at #13 in 1980.

"If Not For You" -- Olivia Newton-John

     Another song I'd never heard until I heard it as a long-distance dedication, was "If Not For You" by Olivia Newton-John. I think this was dedicated to someone who helped straighten out one's life. At any rate, I liked this song from that first time I heard it as a teenager. I'm not sure what prompted Bob Dylan to write this song, but I'm glad he did. I'm sure Olivia Newton-John was glad too, for this song was her first top 40 hit, topping out at #25 in 1971.

"I'm Coming Out" -- Diana Ross

     Every once in a blue moon, there'd be a long-distance dedication song used on American Top 40 that was neither a slow song, nor even a love song. The last song I'm going to mention in this section of this article, is one such song. "I'm Coming Out" was dedicated from an inmate in prison, who was soon getting out. My only hope is that he really did turn his life around for the better after he got out. Anyway, I'd already liked the song a lot by the time I heard this as a long-distance dedication.

     For you die-hard trivia buffs, here's something interesting: In early December of 1980, Diana Ross had three songs in the top 40 simultaneously. "Upside Down" was still clinging on to the top 40 at the time, "I'm Coming Out" was at its peak of #5 at the time, and "It's My Turn" had just debuted in the top 40. The next recording act who would have three songs in the top 40 at the same time would be New Kids On The Block, but not until 1989. Okay, on to the next section! ☺

Personal Dedications

     This section of the article is dedicated to songs that were either dedicated to me, or songs that I've dedicated to other people. Here are some of those songs:

"Anytime You Need A Friend" -- Mariah Carey

     While I lived in Jacksonville Florida, a friend of mine, Gina, dedicated this song to me, singing karaoke. I was pleasantly surprised, especially since this is one of my all-time favorite Mariah Carey tunes. To me, it's one of her best songs, yet it stalled out only at #12 in 1994 (her 12th top 40 hit, and her first not to hit the top ten).

"I Love You" -- The Climax Blues Band

     I am proud to say that I dedicated this song to my then-future wife, singing karaoke to her on the four-year anniversary of our getting together. At the end of the song, I got down on one knee, and proposed to her (she sais yes). As for the song itself, it topped out at #12 in 1981.

"One In A Million You" -- Larry Graham

     My wife always wants me to sing this song to her karaoke, which I'm glad to do, even though I can't really hit the low notes that good. That song had become our theme song, since the beginning, and we've been together 8 years. It definitely fits us. In fact, the week my wife was born in late September 1980, the song was at its chart peak of #9.

"But It's Alright" -- J.J. Jackson

     Some of these dedications are not so flattering, like this one I made to this girl who used to work in the same building as I did, then pulling a nasty trick on me (deliberately standing me up for a lunch date, playing me for a fool). About 2½ years after the incident, I saw her in a bowling alley in Alexandria Virginia, where I first started singing karaoke, and I saw her there. I dedicated "But It's Alright" by J.J. Jackson to her, indicating that I am over what she did to me. Yes, Crystal, I'm talking about you, bitch! She looked shocked and pissed that I did that, but I don't even care. Nor do I care that the song only reached #22 on the pop chart back in 1966. It's a great song, dammit!

"Mr. Roboto" -- Styx

     To understand where this dedication came from, you have to understand something: Back in high school, I was friends with this white girl named Jessica. We had lost a mutual friend named Scott in a fatal car accident. I simply wanted to ask Jessica how long she knew Scott. That's when I found out that she was only pretending to be my friend, for she then looked at me, like she didn't know me, and coldly said that she didn't want to talk about it. Of course, a few minutes later, I saw her and one of her friends hugging and crying about Scott. Fast forward to the last day of high school. I was playing a tape of songs I put together, and one of the songs was "Mr. Roboto" by Styx, a song I had hand-picked for Jessica because of the line "I'm not a robot without emotions, I'm not what you see." I think this snobbish stuck-up bitch knew why I chose that song, and she reacted very negatively to it. She was never really my friend at all, I now know. Maybe she heard the song too much, being that it reached #3 on the chart around the same time, and she was tired of hearing it, but the real deal was, she was tired of ME.

"You'll See" -- Madonna

     The absolute worst relationship I was ever in, was with a woman named Pearl, whom I'd had the misfortune of living with for nearly six months. She was extremely manipulative, and was using me the entire time I knew her, and did her best to milk me for every dollar I had, plus she was mentally abusive. Years after I got out of that horrible relationship, I dedicated this song to her, singing karaoke. I hardly ever sing female songs, but this one I did, especially because of the line "I have truth on my side, you only have deceit." "You'll See" was one of Madonna's best songs, in my opinion, and deserved better than just a #6 peak on the chart in 1995.

"Positively 4th Street" -- Bob Dylan

     From the first time I heard this tune, I knew it would be huge staple in my life, for there are a number of people in my past I'd dedicate this song to, chiefly among them, the just-mentioned Pearl. In fact, on several occasions sang this song, dedicating it to her on the anniversary of my leaving her (12/1). Back in 1965, it was a short-lived #7 hit, for what reason I don't know. "Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan is an awesome song.

"I'll Be There" -- The Escape Club

   nbsp; I think it was in 2015 that a beloved Houston cop was shot and killed in the line of duty, leaving behind a wife and several kids. At karaoke the following Friday night, I sang "I'll Be There" by the Escape Club, as if I was the dead cop, dedicating this song to all his loved ones. Several people who saw my performance, thanked me for singing that song. My guess is that the song was inspired by the movie "Ghost." It climbed to #8 on the chart in 1991.

"You're My Best Friend" -- Queen

     I am glad to say that I was able to dedicate this song via karaoke to a beloved old friend of mine named Libby, who really loved that I did that, and who sadly passed away way too soon from an anneurysm at age 47. To this day, I still think of Libby when I think of this song. It too deserved way better than its #16 peak on the chart in 1976.

"One Sweet Day" -- Mariah Carey/Boyz II Men

     For years, I didn't like this song at all. Much less could I see how Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men racked up 16 weeks at #1 with this song, beginning in December of 1995. But then, about 8 years ago, the woman I had only been dating a few months up to that point, dedicated that song to me. You see, at the time, I was still living in Jacksonville Florida, but I had taken a contract software engineer position in the Houston area, and I met her less than two month later. But after we'd been dating for three months, my contract ended, and I had to head back to Jacksonville. The last Thursday night before I had to leave Houston, we were in one of our favorite hangout bars for karaoke, and at one point, in between karaoke songs, the woman I was with requested that the dee-jay play "One Sweet Day," and dedicate it to me. I was very much surprised and touched that she did that. I loved the song ever since then.

     For those of you who want to know, during the two months I was back in Jacksonville, we talked constantly. There was something between us that refused to die. Then came the opportunity to re-locate out to Texas, and naturally, I chose to re-locate to Houston, because of this special lady, whom I'm proud to say, is now my wife.

     Before I conclude this article, I feel it's only fair to say that much of how a song does on the charts has to do with promotion, plus timing, meaning how well it does compared to what else is out there at the time. The charts only indicate the song's short-run success. But those songs that have become classics in the long run, are those whom people can relate to in some way. And these songs mentioned in this article are all great examples of that.