Musical Dice -- My Music Blog

June 22, 2024

     A very unusual, but very talented female singer/songwriter, celebrates a birthday today! I'm talking about Cyndi Lauper, who turns 71 today! Some of my favorites by Cyndi Lauper include "Money Changes Everything" (#27 in 1985), "She Bop" (#3 in 1984), and "True Colors" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1986). Happy Birthday, Cyndi! ☺

June 20, 2024

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriter/performers of the 70's and 80's has a milestone birthday today! For nine straight years (1978 through 1986), he'd written a #1 song in each of those years! For a list of those songs, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com. I'll just say that the author of all those songs and so much more is Lionel Richie, who turns 75 today! Happy Birthday, Lionel!

     Some of my favorite Lionel Richie songs with the Commodores include "Sweet Love" (their first top 10 hit, reaching #5 in 1976), "Sail On" (#4 in 1979), and "Three Times A Lady" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1978).

     As for Lionel Richie solo hits, here are some of my favorites: "You Are" (#4 in 1983), "Running With The Night" (#7 in 1984), "Dancing On The Ceiling" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1986), and "Ballerina Girl" (Lionel's last top ten pop hit, reaching #7 in 1987). And I must mention "My Destiny," which I think is a great song in its own right, but never hit the Hot 100 (but was a top ten Adult Contemporary hit in 1992).

June 18, 2024

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriters ever, has a birthday today. He is one of the two surviving members of the Beatles. I'm talking about Paul McCartney, who turns 82 today! Among the songs Paul McCartney had outside of the Beatles that I really like, include "Maybe I'm Amazed" (#10 in 1977), "Coming Up" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1980), "Band On The Run" (#1 for 1 week in 1974), "Jet" (#7 in 1974), and "Spies Like Us" (#7 in 1986). They say it's your birthday, Sir Paul, so Happy Birthday to you! ☺

June 17, 2024

     Barry Manilow, known mainly for his ballads, celebrates his 81st birthday today! But one thing I think people tend to forget, is that Barry Manilow also had hits that were uptempo, which were some of his best songs. Those include songs like "Some Kind Of Friend" (#26 in 1983), "It's A Miracle" (#12 in 1975), and "Copacobana" (#8 in 1978). Incidentally, I recently sang "Some Kind Of Friend" karaoke, and several people really liked my performance, but were very surprised when I told them that it was Barry Manilow that made that a hit. Just thought I'd bring these uptempo songs to light to more properly honor the man. Happy Birthday, Barry!

     Another fact I don't always mention, regarding Barry Manilow, is the fact that the first time I'd won a prize in a karaoke contest, it was singing a Barry Manilow song, that being "Weekend In New England" (#10 in 1977). I took third prize. If you want to know who took first and second prize, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com. That is an interesting story in itself!

     As far as Barry Manilow's ballads go, my favorite is "Weekend In New England." Other favorites include "Could It Be Magic" (#6 in 1975), "This One's For You" (#29 in 1976), "Even Now" (#19 in 1978), and "Somewhere In The Night" (#9 in 1979).

June 14, 2024

     Love him or hate him, Boy George of Culture Club is celebrating his 63rd birthday today! Some of my favorite songs by Boy George and Culture Club include "Church Of The Poison Mind" (#10 in 1983) and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" (#9 in 1983), as well as his solo hit "The Crying Game" (#15 in 1993). Happy Birthday, Boy George!

June 7, 2024

     Today, singer Tom Jones turns 84. Apparently, his songs are very popular to sing karaoke. His most popular tunes to sing karaoke include "Delilah" (#15 in 1968 -- that's how I first heard the song), "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (#6 in 1969), "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" (#5 in 1970 -- one of my best performances karaoke was singing this song), and "It's Not Unusual" (#10 in 1965 -- probably his best known song, and one that someone once requested that I sing karaoke!). A very influential artist for sure, and he deserves a birthday wish. Happy Birthday, Tom!

May 26, 2024

     A very talented ecclectic musician/singer/songwriter has a birthday today! I'm talking about Lenny Kravitz! My favorites by him include "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Fly Away," and "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over." Lenny turns 60 today. Happy Birthday, Lenny!

May 26, 2023

     Today also happens to be Stevie Nicks' birthday! She turns 76 today! Nowadays, some of my favorite Stevie Nicks songs include "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers -- #3 in 1981), "Edge Of Seventeen (Just Like The White Winged Dove)" (#11 in 1982), and "Nightbird" (#33 in 1984). I also like "I Don't Wanna Know" (with Fleetwood Mad -- an album track from the "Rumours" album), and "Sara" (with Fleetwood Mad -- #7 in 1980). Happy Birthday, Stevie!

May 20, 2024

     Today, one of the most enduring singers, who's also an actress, celebrates a birthday today! I'm talking about Cherilyn LaPierre, a.k.a. Cher! She turns 78 today! Among my favorites by her, include "The Beat Goes On" and "Baby Don't Go" (with Sonny, of course), "Dark Lady," "Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves," and "If I Could Turn Back Time." Happy Birthday, Cher!

May 16, 2024

     We have a huge musical birthdays today, namely Janet Jackson! Some of my favorite Janet Jackson songs include "Nasty" (#3 in 1986), "Control" (#5 in 1987), "Escapade" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1990), "Black Cat" (#1 for 1 week in 1990), "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" (#1 for 1 week in 1991), "Again" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1993), "70's Love Groove" (the flip-side of the single "You Want This" -- 1994), and "Runaway" (#3 in 1995). Having seen Janet on TV as a 12-year-old in the TV sitcom "Good Times," it's still hard to believe that she's 58 today! Happy Birthday, Janet! ☺

May 13, 2024

     One of my all-time favorite artists, Stevie Wonder turned 74 today. There are so many songs Stevie Wonder had put out that are huge favorites of mine, I can't even list them all here without overloading this blog. Here are just A FEW of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs: "Sir Duke" (#1 for 3 weeks in 19777), "A Place In The Sun" (#9 in 1966), "Master Blaster (Jammin')" (#5 in 1980--I named a bowling team of mine after this song), "Superstition" (#1 for 1 week in 1973), "I Was Made To Love Her" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1967), "Living For The City" (#8 in 1974), "Go Home" (#10 in 1986), "Do I Do" (#13 in 1982), "Heaven Help Us All" (#9 in 1970), and "As" (#36 in 1978). Anyways, Stevie, Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday!

May 9, 2024

     My all-time favorite artist, Billy Joel, hits a huge milestone today, as he turns 75 today! I cannot count all the ways Billy Joel's music has enriched and influenced my life (I just mentioned my favorite song by Billy Joel!). Besides the obvious Billy Joel classics such as "Piano Man" (#25 in 1974), "Just The Way You Are" (#3 in 1978), "My Life" (#3 in 1979), "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1980), "Uptown Girl" (#3 in 1983), "We Didn't Start The Fire" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1989), and "I Go To Extremes" (#6 in 1990), I think some classic album tracks need to be mentioned as well. For I have a theory that what makes a truly great album is when it contains great tracks that are NOT hit singles. The thing that made Billy Joel my favorite singer was the fact that every album of his that I bought, MOST EVERY TRACK was a great song in itself, and lots of times, were songs I could relate to. SOME of these all-time great Billy Joel album tracks include "All For Leyna" (from "Glass Houses"), "Easy Money" (from "An Innocent Man"), "Big Man On Mulberry Street" (from "The Bridge"), "Famous Last Words" (from "River Of Dreams"), "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" (from "The Stranger"), "Stiletto," and "Until The Night" (both from "52nd Street," my all-time favorite album). For all this and more, Billy Joel deserves a great big Happy happy Birthday!!

May 6, 2024

     Another one of the most enduring rockers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! This time, I'm talking about Bob Seger! He turns 79 today! He has so many classic tunes that I'm a big fan of. Some of my favorites by Bob Seger include "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You," "Shakedown," "Still The Same," "Old Time Rock And Roll," "Katmandu," "The Real Love," and "Turn The Page." You truly are a rock and roll icon, Bob! Happy Birthday! ☺

May 2, 2024

     One of the most enduring rockers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! This time, I'm talking about Foreigner's lead singer, Lou Gramm, who turns 74 today! Not only has Lou Gramm been the voice on Foreigner's hits, including "Double Vision," "Urgent," and "That Was Yesterday," three big favorites of mine, he also had some great solo hits, including "Midnight Blue" and "Just Between You And Me." Happy Birthday, Lou!

April 30, 2024

     Today, we lost not only a great rock and roll guitarist, but a great instrumentalist as well. Duane Eddy passed away at age 86. Sadly, instrumentals are very much a dying breed, but Duane Eddy had put out some real good ones back in the day. For example, there was his 1958 #4 hit instrumental "Rebel Rouser." Also, he put out an intense rocking version of the Henry Mancini-penned tune "Peter Gunn" (which was a #8 hit for Ray Anthony in 1957, and #27 for Duane Eddy in 1960--the base-line, you'd hear if you'd ever played the video game Spy Hunter). I'm glad Duane Eddy lived long enough to see himself inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He deserved it. Thanks for the memories, Duane.

April 29, 2024 -- Not So Fast!

     Of course, I was very pleasantly surprised to see via the news, Billy Joel performing "Uptown Girl" on stage, and his ex-wife, Christie Brinkley, joining him via video for the song, of which she was the subject. Yes, it was nostalgic, Billy and Christie performing the song again, like they first did over 40 years ago. An added bonus was that their daughter Alexa, joined Billy on stage for a song, I think it was "Say Goodbye To Hollywood." But before any of you get any ideas, I have to say, please don't look for Billy and Christie to get back together. They've been divorced for 30 years. Billy is married to his fourth wife, and they have two daughters together. Don't look for Billy Joel to get back together with Christie Brinkley. Many of you would probably like for that to happen, but I don't think it's going to happen.

April 29, 2024

     Perhaps the most enduring performer alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! I'm talking about Willie Nelson, who turns 91 today!! And he is STILL performing!! My favorites by Willie Nelson include "On The Road Again" and "Always On My Mind." Happy 90th Birthday, Willie! We salute you!

April 27, 2024 -- "Let's Dance"...By Whom?

     This is another Karaoke Night experience. On this night, my wife and I helped a friend of ours, named Jennifer, celebrate her birthday. She loves to sing "Let's Dance" by David Bowie, from 1983. I told Jennifer that if she sang that song, I'd have a big surprise for her. She sang that song first, and when I got on stage to sing my next song, I announced that I was going to sing a song called "Let's Dance." I didn't sing the David Bowie song, but rather, "Let's Dance" by Chris Montez, from 1962. What happened next really surprised me, for there were several elderly folks, inclusing Jennifer's mom, who apparently remember that song well. In fact, five or six people, including Jennifer's mom, were dancing to the song! That was easily my best performance of the night, and I'd never sung that song before! Jennifer got a big kick out of it, too.

April 24, 2024

     She was bown on 4/24/42. On this mathmatically special day, 4/24/24, she celebrates her 82nd birthday. An extremely talented singer and actress, whom I think would have been happy if she'd only made it as a broadway actress, celebrates her 81st birthday today! Yes, I am talking about the one and only Barbra Streisand! A funny thing happened to her on the way to the stage, and she ended up with these numerous hit songs, like "The Way We Were" (#1 for 3 weeks, and the top song of 1974), "Evergreen" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1977), and "Woman In Love" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1980). Oddly enough, my favorites by Barbra Streisand are some of her duets, those being "Guilty" (with Barry Gibb, #3, 1981), "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (with Neil Diamond, who went to the same high school as her at about the same time! -- #1 for 2 weeks in 1978), and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (with Donna Summer, #1 for 2 weeks in 1979). Happy Birthday, Babs! ☺

April 12, 2024 -- Let Them Sing Their Songs!

     As you probably know, my wife and I love going to karaoke. I do most of the singing betweem the two of us. My wife loves the entertainmant and the drinks (I usually have only one). This particular night, something happened that I feel it's time I address this issue. At this one place that my wife and I have been going to for the past over 10 years (and where I proposed to my wife), there is this guy who loves dancing in front of the stage where the singers would sing their karaoke songs. He would then sing so loud that he'd be trying to drown out the singers on stage. And he sounds WAY more loud than good. He probably was drunk, but just the same, PLEASE let the singers sing their songs! They have just as much right to be heard as you do--even more so, since they're the ones on the stage. When YOU are on stage, THEN you can get as loud as you want. But please, don't disrupt other people's performances. That is very rude and disrespectful. I can't even COUNT all the times Mrs. MusicalDice had to yell at this guy to let the person on stage sing his/her song. He did other things, like trying to get women to dance with him, and some, including Mrs. MusicalDice, was not going for it. Ultimately, one of the security people at the bar had a little talk with him about that. Nonetheless, it's enough to make one not want to come to that place. Please folks, have some respect for others. That's all this is about.

April 7, 2024

     Clarence "Frogman" Henry, best known for his 1957 novelty hit song "Ain't Got No Home," passed away at the age of 87. It was due to this song that he got the nickname of the Frogman, for on the record, he sang like a frog, Rush Limbaugh had used this song as his homeless update theme song on his radio show. He had even once performed the song with Clarence "Frogman" Henry.

     How many of you remember that Clarence "Frogman" Henry had an even bigger hit than "Ain't Got No Home?" While "Ain't Got No Home" reached #20 for him in 1957, he had a hit in 1960 that rose up to #4 on the pop chart. That song was "But I Do," which was later featured in the movie "Forrest Gump." But like so many other artists, his biggest hit is not the song that he's best remembered for. And trust me, we'll remember you, Clarence.

April 5, 2024

     I was kind of surprised to hear about the death of C.J. Snare, the lead singer of the group, Firehouse, a group which had pretty caught the tail end of the Hair Band era. Their heyday was in the early 90's. They had the top ten hits "Love Of A Lifetime" (#5 in 1991) and "When I Look Into Your Eyes" (#8 in 1992). Snare died from complications of diabetes at age 64. "Love Of A Lifetime" was a big favorite of mine. We'll miss you, C.J.

March 30, 2024

     Yes, I know, this man was panned as a candy rapper, but in my opinion, that time period before the gangsta rap took over, was when rap was at its best. For that reason, among others, that's why I'm giving a big happy birthday to rapper M.C. Hammer (real name, Stanley Burrell), who turns 62 today! "U Can't Touch This" is my favorite by him, but "Here Comes The Hammer" is another big favorite of mine. Happy Birthday, Hammer!

     On a personal note, when I used to bowl, I used to be part of a bowling team I initially gave the name, the Blue Hammers, because all four of us had Blue Hammer bowling balls. But then the others decided to change the name to Hammer Time, after I'd say the phrase after one of my teammates gets a strike. What can I say? It stuck, and I loved it. ☺

March 30, 2024

     A very talented and enduring singer/songwriter/musician has a birthday today as well. Today, Eric Clapton turns 79! He's one of the few musicians who can say that he's hit the top ten in the 60's, the 70's, the 80's, and the 90's (including his work with Cream in 1968). My favorite 60's tune by him is his hit with Cream, "Sunshine Of Your Love." My favorite 70's tune by Eric Clapton is "Promises." From the 80's, it's "I Can't Stand It," and from the 90's, it's the unplugged version of "Layla." Happy Birthday, Eric!

March 28, 2024

     Today marks the 38th birthdat of Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta). There are two songs by her that I like. Those are "Poker Face" and my favorite, "Bad Romance." I think that's enough reason to warrant a nice Happy Birthday to Lady Gaga!

March 27, 2024

     A hugely successful and accomplished diva is celebrating her birthday today! This time, it's Mariah Carey, and she turns 54 today! Her first five singles all went to #1, and her first eleven singles all hit the top ten! Oddly enough, two of my favorite Mariah Carey songs were the ones which broke both of those strings. Those songs are "Can't Let Go" (#2 for 1 week in 1992) and "Anytime You Need A Friend" (#12 in 1994). Another huge favorite of mine is "I Don't Wanna Cry" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1991). Another huge accomplishment of Mariah Carey's is the fact that each year for 11 straight calendar years (1990-2000 inclusive), she had at least one #1 hit in each of those years! Happy Birthday, Mariah!

     On a more personal note, Mariah Carey is one of my wife's favorite singers. "Always Be My Baby" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1996) used to be my wife's ringtone for a long time. Also, in our very early days of dating, my then-girlfriend had once dedicated "One Sweet Day" (Mariah's duet with Boyz II Men, which spent a record-setting 16 weeks at #1 in late 1995 to early 1996) to me. If you want to know more about why my then-future wife would dedicate that song to me, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you.

March 26, 2024

     Another timeless singer and entertainer has a milestone birthday today. This time, I'm talking about Diana Ross! She turns 80 today! She has a number of songs that I really love, and have touched me deeply. Those include "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" (#1 for 1 week in 1976), "I'm Coming Out" (#5 in 1980), "It's My Turn" (#9 in 1981), and "Touch Me In The Morning" (#1 for 1 week in 1973). My favorites by Diana Ross when she was with the Supremes include "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1966), "Reflections" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1967), and "I Hear A Symphony" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1965). Happy Birthday, Diana!

     On a personal note, another Diana Ross song, this one with the Supremes, was the new #1 song the week I was born! That song was "Stop! In The Name Of Love." Someone I used to date in high school was a huge Diana Ross fan, and I later learned that another Supremes song, "You Can't Hurry Love" was #1 the week she was born--yes Thressa, I'm talking about you. And finally, the week my wife was born, "Upside Down," Diana's biggest solo hit, was in its 4th and final week at #1. Crazy coincidences, huh? ☺

March 25, 2024

     One of my all-time favorite singers is having a birthday today! He's had dozens and dozens of great hit songs, and is a great songwriter and entertainer as well. I'm talking Sir Elton John, who turns 77 today!! I can go on forever about the great songs this man has created, but I'm just going to list A FEW of my all-time favorites by Elton John: My favorite Elton John song is his original recording of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1974). Other huge favorites include "Daniel" (#2 for 1 week in 1973), "Honky Cat" (#8 in 1972), "The Bitch Is Back" (#4 in 1974), "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (#6 in 1976), "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" (#4 in 1975), "I'm Still Standing" (#12 in 1983), and "Believe" (#13 in 1995). Happy Birthday, Elton!

March 23, 2024

     Today marks the birthday of R & B singer Chaka Khan! Her real name is Yvette Marie Stevens. She is 71 today! Of course, she is best remembered for her 1984 #3 hit "I Feel For You" (written and originally done by Prince) as well as her original version of "I'm Every Woman" (#21 in 1978). Some of my favorites by Chaka Khan with Rufus include "Tell Me Something Good" (#3 in 1974, written by Stevie Wonder), and "Sweet Thing" (#5 in 1976, later remade by Mary J. Blige). Happy Birthday, Chaka!

March 22, 2024

     A really talented jazz and R & B artist and musician, has a birthday today. On this day, George Benson turns 81. He's done some great cover songs, like the Drifters' "On Broadway" (#9 for them in 1963, #7 for George Benson in 1978), and L.T.D.'s "Love Ballad" (#20 for L.T.D. in 1976, #18 for George Benson in 1979). Beyond that, my favorites by him include "Give Me The Night," "Love X Love," and "Lady Love Me (One More Time)." Happy Birthday, George!

March 18, 2024

      A very talented singer and actress, celebrates a birthday today! My favorite songs by her include "Dreamin'" and "Save The Best For Last." She was also great in the movie "Soul Food." Of course, I'm talking about Tarrytown New York native, Vanessa Williams, who turns 61 today. Happy Birthday, Vanessa!

March 15, 2024

     Sometimes, it seems like yesterday that I first saw the group Poison, when they appeared on the Joan Rivers show in 1987, the week that their first hit "Talk Dirty To Me" had debuted in the top 40. These guys looked so young and so energetic. It almost seems shocking, therefore, that Bret Michaels, the lead singer of Poison turns 61 today. My favorite song by Poison is "Something To Believe In," written by Bret Michaels, which was inspired by the death of a friend of his. Happy Birthday, Bret! ☺

March 11, 2024

     I was kind of sad to hear about the death of singer/songwriter Eric Carmen. For some of his music I'd basically grown up with, like "All By Myself" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1976) and "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" (#11 in 1976). As a kid, I'd even heard of the group Raspberries, in which he was the lead singer. To me, their 1972 hit "Go All The Way" (#5) has one of the most recognizable guitar rifts, which I intepret to be like a shot in the arm. I also liked his later hits, those being "Hungry Eyes" (#4 in 1988) and "Make Me Lose Control" (#3 in 1988). Eric Carmen also wrote two of Shaun Cassidy's top ten hits. Carmen wrote "That's Rock And Roll" (#3 in 1977) and "Hey Deanie" (#7 in 1978). Eric, you'll be greatly missed. Rest in peace, man.

February 26, 2024

     A great singer and songwriter that was writing hits before he really became famous, has a birthday today. He wrote "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" which was first a hit for Laura Branigan in 1983 (#12), as well as "I Found Someone" which Cher had a hit with in 1988 (#10). Some of my favorites by this singer include "When I'm Back On My Feet Again" (#7 in 1990), "Missing You Now" (#12 in 1992), and "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" (#6 in 1993). Of course, I'm talking about Michael Bolton! He turns 71 today! Happy Birthday, Michael! ☺

February 19, 2024

     An extremely talented and enduring singer/songwriter, who has been making music for well over 60 years, has a birthday today! Yes, I'm talking about William "Smokey" Robinson! He turns 84 today! If one sign of a classic song is the fact that it's been covered by multiple artists, then dozens of Smokey Robinson's songs have become classics for that reason. Just SOME of those classic songs include "Shop Around" (#2 for 1 week for the Miracles in 1959, #4 for the Captain & Tennille in 1976), "Ooh Baby Baby" (#16 for the Miracles in 1965, #7 for Linda Ronstadt in 1979), and "The Tracks Of My Tears" (#16 for the Miracles in 1965, #10 for Johnny Rivers in 1967, #25 for Linda Ronstadt in 1976). Then we get to the great songs Smokey wrote, but somebody else made into huge hits. Those include "My Guy" by Mary Wells (#1 for 1 week in 1964), "My Girl" by the Temptations (#1 for 1 week in 1965), and "Get Ready" (#29 for the Temptations in 1966, #4 for Rare Earth in 1970). Then we get to the great solo work Smokey has done. My two favorites by Smokey Robinson are "Cruisin'" (#4 in 1980), and "Being With You" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1981). To quote one of Smokey's personal favorite songs: "Nothing can compare when Smokey sings." Happy Birthday, Smokey! ☺


February 12, 2024

     A very very talented singer/songwriter and musician turns 72 today! Michael McDonald, formerly of the Doobie Brothers hits this milestone birthday today! He was a great backup vocalist on such songs as "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross, "Peg" by Steely Dan, and "This Is It" by Kenny Loggins -- a song he co-wrote with Loggins (the duo also wrote "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers). Plus Michael McDonald wrote "You Belong To Me," which Carly Simon made into a top ten hit in 1978. Plus, there were his hits outside the Doobie Brothers, like "I Keep Forgettin,'" "Sweet Freedom," and "On My Own" with Patti LaBelle, which became a #1 hit, and the top R & B song of 1986. Definitely an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician, who deserves a great Happy Birthday today!

February 11, 2024

     A very talented singer and actress has a birthday today! Her maiden last name is Norwood, but she's best known only as Brandy! She turns 45 today, can you believe it? Happy Birthday, Brandy!

February 9, 2024

     Today's birthday girl is not only an accomplished singer, who had one of the top songs of 1971, but also had for nearly three decades, the biggest selling album of all-time by a female, AS WELL as a very accomplished songwriter. I'm talking about Carole King, who turns 82 today! Her hit "It's Too Late" spent 5 weeks at #1, and was one of the biggest hits of 1971. The album that the song was from, "Tapestry," was the biggest selling album of all-time by a female (I think Shania Twain and Britney Spears changed that in 1999). Other hits Carole King had as a singer, include "So Far Away" (#14 in 1971), "Jazzman" (#2 for 1 week in 1975), and "I Feel The Earth Move" (the B-side of "It's Too Late"). I think a lot of people tend to forget that Carole King is also a very accomplished songwriter. Some of the many hits she wrote (many with her then-husband Gerry Goffin) include "The Locomotion" (#1 for 1 week for Little Eva in 1962, #1 for 2 weeks for Grand Funk in 1974, and #3 for Kylie Minogue in 1988), "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" (#8 for Aretha Franklin), and "One Fine Day" (#5 for the Chiffons in 1963, and #12 for Carole King, herself, in 1980). For all this and more, we salute you, Carole, and Happy Birthday! ☺

February 5, 2024

     I was quite surprised to hear about the death of prolific and respected country artist Toby Keith. Although I'm not familiar with his songs, his name I'd hear a lot, and for some reason, I thought he was close to my age. Apparently, at aged 62, he was a few years older. He died of stomach cancer, still too young, in my opinion. Rest in peace, Toby.

January 30, 2024

     Also known as the Cabbage Patch Kid of Rock & Roll, a very talented singer/songwriter/musican, AND actor, in fact, has a birthday today! Phil Collins, who was an actor first (he played the Artful Dodger in "Oliver," until age 14, when his voice changed, and he had to give up the role), then a drummer, then a lead vocalist and songwriter, turns 73 today! With Genesis, my favorites by Phil Collins include "Land Of Confusion" (#4 in 1987), "I Can't Dance" (#7 in 1992), "Throwing It All Away" (#4 in 1986), and "No Son Of Mine" (#12 in 1991). As a solo artist, my favorite Phil Collins song is "I Don't Care Anymore" (#39 in 1983). Other favorites include "Take Me Home" (#7 in 1986), "Both Sides Of The Story" (#25 in 1993), "Everyday" (#24 in 1994), and "In The Air Tonite" (#19 in 1981). Happy Birthday, Phil!


January 24, 2024

     Today is the birthday of one of my all-time favorite singers. He also is a prolific and very talented songwriter, who wrote "I'm A Believer" for the Monkees, "Red Red Wine," which UB40 TWICE made a hit out of, plus he wrote "Sunday And Me," a hit for Jay & the Americans, the very first top 40 composition for Neil Diamond, who turns 83 today! I had the pleasure of meeting Neil in person back in December of 1981, when "Yesterday's Songs" was a current hit. Very nice and funny guy. Some of my all-time favorites by Neil Diamond include "Forever In Blue Jeans" (#20 in 1979), "Love On The Rocks" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1981), and "Holly Holy" (#6 in 1969). "Sunday And Me" is a great song too. Happy Birthday, Neil!

January 19, 2024

     A very accomplished country/pop singer/songwriter has a birthday today! I'm talking about Dolly Parton, who turns 78 today! Most people remember her for her #1 hit "9 To 5" from 1981, or her #1 hit duet with Kenny Rogers, "Islands In The Stream," from 1983. But she also had some great early tunes as well. There was "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," both originally from 1974 -- the latter of which was a #1 country hit for Dolly in 1974 and 1982 (when it was featured in the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas," which she co-starred in). Of course, Whitney Houston took her version of that song to #1 on the pop charts for 14 weeks. As the songwriter, Dolly must have made a mint off that song. We salute you, Dolly, and Happy Birthday!

January 16, 2024

     A very enduring talented blind country artist turns 81 today! Yes, I'm talking about Ronnie Milsap! My favorites by him include "It Was Almost Like A Song" (his first top 40 pop hit, #16 in 1977), "Stranger In My House" (his last top 40 pop hit, #23 in 1983), and "Smokey Mountain Rain" (the first song by Ronnie Milsap that I heard, #24 pop in 1981). Happy Birthday, Ronnie!

January 10, 2024

     One of the greates female rockers of all-time, has a birthday today, as she turns 71 today! I'm talking about Pat Benatar! She has a number of great songs, including "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (#9 in 1980), "Heartbreaker" (#23 in 1980), "Love Is A Battlefield" (#5 in 1983), and "We Belong" (#5 in 1984). Other songs she did that are big personal favorites of mine include "Treat Me Right" (#18 in 1981), "You Better Run" (barely missed the top 40 by two spots in 1980), and "We Live For Love" (#27 in 1980). Happy Birthdau to you, Pat, and rock on! ☺

January 10, 2024

     A great talent in songwriting as well as singing has a birthday today. Rod Stewart turns 79 today! My favorites by him include "You're In My Heart" (#4 in 1978), "Passion" (#5 in 1981), "The First Cut Is The Deepest" (#21 in 1977), "Reason To Believe" (the unplugged version -- #19 in 1993), and yes, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" (#1 for 4 weeks in 1979) Happy Birthday, Rod!

January 7, 2024

     A very very talented singer/songwriter and musician turns 76 today! Our birthday boy is Kenny Loggins! He has a lot of great songs, both as a solo artist, as well as collaborating with other people. Some of my favorites include "Danger Zone" (#2 for 1 week in 1986), "Heart To Heart" (#15 in 1983), and "I'm Alright" (#7 in 1980). Some of my favorites of Kenny Loggins collaborating with other people, include "My Music" (Loggins & Messina -- #16 in 1973), "Don't Fight It" (with Steve Perry -- #17 in 1982), and "Whenever I Call You Friend" (with Stevie Nicks -- #5 in 1978). He was known as Mr. Movie Soundtrack in the 1980's because all four of his top ten hits in the 80's (including "Footloose" -- #1 for 3 weeks in 1984, and "Nobody's Fool" -- #8 in 1988) were from movies. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention two great songs that he co-wrote with Michael McDonald. Those songs include "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers (#1 for 1 week in 1979), and "This Is It" (#11 for Kenny Loggins in 1980). For all this and more, we wish you a very happy birthday, Kenny! ☺

January 4, 2024

     Today, we lost a talented singer and actor. He played Hutch on TV's Starsky & Hutch back in the late 70's. Plus, he also had the classic hit song "Don't Give Up On Us" (#1 for 1 week in 1977). To me, this was one of the prettiest and best ballads ever recorded. For that reason, I decided to honor David Soul, who lived to be 80 years old. Thank you for the memories, David.

December 18, 2023

     A truly talented versatile singer has a birthday today. Today's birthday wishes goes out to Christina Aguilera, who turns 43 today! Happy Birthday, Christina!

December 15, 2023 -- Falling Into 1983

     It isn't often that I put my own musical experiences into this blog, but today, I'm putting one in from last night at karaoke.

     I hadn't even intended to sing all songs from 1983. I had intended to sing "The Little Drummer Boy" as done by Bob Seger (from 1989), but I'd forgotten that this dee-jay didn't have Bob Seger's version. I had a couple of other songs I wanted to sing, including "Mr. Roboto" by Styx, and "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John. But then I remember all the hip-hopsters that were flooding the jukebox with songs, prior to karaoke starting, and I decided to tweak them by announcing that I was going to sing "Stranger In My House," but sing the song by Ronnie Milsap, not Tamia. Like the Elton John song and the Styx song, this song was also from 1983. I sang all three songs eventually, plus "Stray Cat Strut" by the Stray Cats, and "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel. I think that went over pretty well, even though this wasn't planned at all.

December 12, 2023

     One of the greatest female singers alive today, celebrates her 83rd birthday today! That singer is Dionne Warwick! I'd grown up listening to a number of her songs. Some of my all-time favorites by Dionne Warwick include "Walk On By" (#6 in 1964), "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" (#10 in 1968), "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (#6 in 1970), and "Then Came You" (with the Spinners--#1 for 1 week in 1974). Happy Birthday, Dionne!

December 11, 2023

     Although he was greatly overshadowed by younger siblings Michael and Janet, Jermaine Jackson, I think, still deserves a Happy Birthday today because he's still a great singer, and has contributed some great songs to the music world. My favorites include "Do What You Do" (#13 in 1985), "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy" (featuring Devo on backup vocals, #18 in 1982), and "I Think It's Love" (#16 in 1986 around the same time Janet had her first big hit "What Have You Done For Me Lately"). There also were his two #9 hits "Daddy's Home" (1973), and "Let's Get Serious" (1980). Jermaine Jacksom turns 69 today. Happy Birthday, Jermaine!

December 2, 2023

     Today, one of Louisiana's biggest superstars has a birthday today. The birthday girl is none other than Britney Spears, who turns 42 today! Happy Birthday, Britney!

November 22, 2023

     Today, the singer who made "Mr. Big Stuff" a classis (#2 for 2 weeks) in 1971, passed away today. Jean Knight, whose one hit was "Mr. Big Stuff," died today at age 80. My mom (whose first name was also Jean) saw Jean Knight in person in Las Vegas in 1975, and according to my mom, Jean Knight was still acting like a big shot, even though her one hit was four years earlier. Anyway, thanks, Jean, for giving us such a great classic song.

November 17, 2023

     Today, Kool & the Gang lost another member. Drummer George "Funky" Brown died at age 74. He gave Kool & the Gand their trademark backbeat sound. We miss you, George. And thank you for your many contributions to the success of Kool & the Gang.

November 5, 2023

     One of the best rock and roll singer/songwriters of all-time, hailing from Canada, has a birthday today. Today's birthday boy is Bryan Adams, who turns 64 today! Some of my all-time favorites by Bryan Adams include "Cuts Like A Knife" (#15 in 1983), "Straight From The Heart" (#10 in 1983), "Summer Of '69" (#5 in 1985), "It's Only Love" (with Tina Turner -- #15 in 1986), "Please Forgive Me" (#7 in 1993), and "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" (#1 for 7 weeks in 1991 -- the top song of 1991). Happy Birthday, Bryan! ☺

November 5, 2023

     We must not forget the other half of one of the most famous duos of the rock era, Simon & Garfunkel. Today, it is Art Garfunkel who has a birthday, turning 82. Besides being part of Simon & Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel has had some great solo hits. To name two, he had "All I Know" (#9 in 1973) and his rendition os "I Only Have Eyes For You" (#18 in 1975), which I've mentioned in an earlier blog entry. Happy Birthday, Art! ☺

October 30, 2023

     One of the most enduring female rock and roll singers, has a birthday today! Grace Slick, of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship fame, turns 84 today! Happy Birthday, Grace!

October 30, 2023

     The last surviving original member of the Temptations, Otis Williams, has a birthday, turning 82 today! Happy Birthday, Oat!

October 24, 2023

     One of the biggest female R & B singers of the 90's has a birthday today. Monica Arnold, a.k.a. Monica, turns 43 today! She had the 2nd biggest hit of 1998 with Brandy with "The Boy Is Mine," as well as the 3rd biggest hit of 1999 with "Angel Of Mine," as well as one of the ten biggest hits of 1995 with "Don't Take It Personal." I think Monica deserves to be recognized, so Happy Birthday, Monica!

October 14, 2023

     One of my all-time favorite English singers has a birthday today! Cliff Richard, best known in the U.S. for songs like "We Don't Talk Anymore" (#7 in 1980), "Dreaming" (#10 in 1980), and "Devil Woman" (#6 in 1976), turns 83 today! Other favorite Cliff Richard songs of mine, include "Give A Little Bit More" (#41 in 1981), and "A Little In Love" (#17 in 1981). Happy Birthday, Cliff!

October 13, 2023

     One of the greatest singer/songwriters alive today, has a birthday today. It is Paul Simon celebrating his 82nd birthday today! Some of my favorite Paul Simon songs, include "Loves Me Like A Rock" (#2 for 1 week in 1973), "Kodachrome" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1973), and "Late In The Evening" (#6 in 1980). Of course, as half of Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon has had many more great songs, like "The Sounds Of Silence" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1966), "I Am A Rock" (#3 in 1966), "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (#1 for 6 weeks in 1970 -- the top song of 1970, which he had written with Aretha Franklin in mind), and "El Condor Pasa" (#18 in 1970). Paul Simon is truly a talented songwriter and musician. Happy Birthday, Paul!


October 13, 2023

     Another great singer has a birthday today. It is Marie Osmond, also celebrating her birthday today! Of course, she is most famous for her being half of the duo Donny & Marie Osmond, with such hit songs like "I'm Leavin' It (All) Up To You" (#4 in 1974) and "Deep Purple" (#14 in 1976). But Marie Osmond also had a successful solo career as well, with her 1973 #5 hit "Paper Roses." Marie Osmond turns 64 today! Happy Birthday, Marie!

October 7, 2023

     One of the greatest R & B singers alive today, and who has one of the biggest hits of the Rock Era, has a birthday today! Toni Braxton turns 56 today! Favorites of mine by Toni Braxton, include "Un-Break My Heart" (#1 for 11 weeks in 1996-1997), "You're Makin' Me High" (#1 for 1 week in 1996), and "Seven Whole Days." Happy Birthday, Toni!


October 7, 2023

     Another great singer/songwriter/musician turns 72 today! Hailing from Seymour Indiana, the birthday boy is none other than John Mellencamp! (formerly John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp) He had the top album of 1982 ("American Fool") and two of the ten biggest hits of that year ("Hurts So Good" and "Jack And Diane"). Other great songs of his include "I Need A Lover," "Pink Houses," "Rooty Toot Toot," "Wild Night" (the Van Morrison remake that was a duet with Me’Shell Ndegeocello), and "I'm Not Running Anymore." Happy Birthday, John!

October 2, 2023

     Today, not one, but TWO famous singers have birthdays today!

     First of all, singer Tiffany, who sang the #1 hits "I Think We're Alond Now" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1987) and "Could've Been" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1988), turns 52 today! The other singer celebrating a birthday today is Sting. He turns 72 today! Both Tiffany and Sting each had a top ten hit called "All This Time." Tiffany's song was a fine, often-overlooked ballad that reached #6 for her in 1989, while Sting's song was an uptempo song that reached #5 for him in 1991. Happy Birthday both Tiffany and Sting!

September 27, 2023 -- Birthday

     On the occasion of my wife's birthday, which is today, I played for her "Birthday" by the Beatles, then realized that I had forgotten to include Underground Sunchine's remake of the song in the Beatles Remakes article. So now, you'll get to hear that version too.

September 23, 2023

     One of the greatest singer/songwriters alive today has a birthday today! Some of my favorites by this singer include "Hungry Heart," "I'm On Fire," "Brilliant Disguise," "Human Touch," "Fire," and "Born To Run." Yes, I'm talking about the Boss, Bruce Springsteen! He turns 74 today! Happy Birthday, Bruce!

September 20, 2023 -- Bob Welch, Not Steve Miller

     Two nights ago, an interesting discussion occurred at the poker table, when the song "Ebony Eyes" was playing over the P.A. system. Some players at the table thought that was the Steve Miller Band, but I had to correct them, that it really was Bob Welch, formerly of Fleetwood Mac, who actually had made the song a hit in 1978. This has inspored me to write an article about other songs people had mistakenly thought one artist did the song, when it was actually someone else. In this case, such an error was totally understandible, for it sounds somewhat like a Steve Miller song, plus the fact that I had once made the same mistake. So look for a new music article called "Mistaken Identity" in the near future.

September 20, 2023 -- Oh! Darling!

     I realized after I wrote the Beatles Remakes article, that I had forgotten to mention Robin Gibb's cover of the Beatles song "Oh! Darling." So now I've updated the article.

September 13, 2023

     I usually wouldn't mention the death of an artist who had only one major hit. But this artist's one hit in the U.S. had really touched my heart, and was a special song for me and my mom when she was dying of cancer (she passed away in 2012), that I felt it was only right to mention the singer of that great song here. The singer that passed away today was Roger Whittaker, who was age 87 when he died. His one hit in the U.S. was "The Last Farewell," which was a #19 hit in 1975, but I think this song deserved a lot more attention. I provided a link to a YouTube video playing the song. I'll let you be the judge. Anyway, thank you very much for that beautiful song, Roger. BTW, I played it for my mom just one hour before she died.

September 4, 2023

     Today the queen of hip-hop, Queen-B herself, Beyonce turns 42 on Labor Day! Happy Birthday, Beyonce!

September 4, 2023

     A real talented and innovative artist passed away today. Gary Wright died today after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 80 years old. When I was 11 years old, I first heard "Love Is Alive," and later, I heard "Dream Weaver." Both are great songs, as was his 1981 hit "Really Wanna Know You." Damn! Another artist I grew up with, passed away! Who's next? Anyway, rest in peace, Gary.

September 4, 2023

     Damn! We lost another one! This one really affects me, since Steve Harwell, lead singer of Smash Mouth, was close to my age. He passed away today from liver failure at age 56. There were some songs by Smash Mouth that I really liked, including "All-Star" and "Then The Morning Comes." Rest in peace, Steve!

September 1, 2023

     This was a shocker, hearing about the death of Jimmy Buffett. "Margaritaville" was one the early songs I fell in love with. Later, I learned Jimmy Buffett had other great songs like "Come Monday" and "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes." These songs will live forever, but the artists, unfortunately, don't live forever. Jimmy Buffett died today at age 76. Rest in peace, Jimmy!

August 31, 2023

     A very talented singer/songwriterproducer, who was the youngest person to write, sing, and produce a #1 hit song, has a birthday today. Debbie Gibson turns 53 today! When "Foolish Beat" went to #1 in June of 1988, Debbie Gibson, who sang, wrote, and produced the song, was still only 17 years old! That's an incredible accomplishment. "Foolish Beat" and "Staying Together" are my two favorite songs by Debbie Gibson. Happy Birthday, Deb!

August 28, 2023

     One of the most talented and successful country and pop artists alive today, celebrates her 58th birthday today! A very Happy Birthday goes out to Canada's own Shania Twain! I still hear "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" (#23 in 1999) from time to time. And when I gamble and win, sometimes when I leave a table, I say "I'm outta here, like Shania Twain." (an expression I first used, apparently, just a week before her birthday in 1999). Happy Birthday, Shania!

August 23, 2023

     A very talented singer, songwriter, and actor, who had been labeled a teen idol in two completely different times in his career, has a birthday today. That person is Australian-born Rick Springfield! He turns 74 today! Happy Birthday, Rick!

     My personal favorite songs by Rick Springfield, include "I've Done Everything For You" (#8 in 1981), "Love Is Alright Tonite" (#20 in 1982), "State Of The Heart" (#22 in 1985), and "Rock Of Life" (#22 in 1988).

August 17, 2023

     A very talented and diverse female singer celebrates her milestone 65th birthday today. Today, I'm talking about Belinda Carlisle! Happy Birthday, Belinda!

     Some of my favorite Belinda Carlisle songs include "Circle In The Sand" (#7 in 1988), "I Get Weak" (#2 for 1 week in 1988), and "Summer Rain" (#30 in 1990). And I do have to include some of her songs with the Go-Go's as some of my favorites. Those include "Vacation" (#8 in 1982), "Head Over Heels" (#11 in 1984), and "Our Lips Are Sealed" (#20 in 1981).

     Just recently, I learned that there were people, especially back in the day, that were trying to compare Belinda Carlisle. To me, trying to compare these two singers, is like trying to compare apples and oranges. To me, the only real similarities between these two singers, is that they are both female, and that Belinda Carlisle is just one day younger than Madonna. To me, that's where the similarities end. To me, Belinda Carlisle and Madonna are two completely different artists. For one thing, they came from completely different backgrounds. Belinda came from the punk rock/new wave scene in L.A., while Madonna hails from Pontiac Michigan, and was part of the New York dance scene. And while Madonna wrote most of her songs, I don't know about Belinda Carlisle writing hers. If the people around Belinda Carlisle were trying to make her into a Madonna clone, I think they made a big mistake. Belinda Carlisle is not Madonna, and I never regarded her as anything close to Madonna. She is a great artist, which I think should have received more attention (for one thing, "Summer Rain" by Belinda Carlisle, is an awesome song, and deserved much better than a #30 peak on the chart).

August 16, 2023

     One of the Rock Era's most accomplished recording artists, with over 30 top ten hits to her credit, celebrates her 65th birthday today! Happy Birthday, Madonna!

     Here are some of my personal favorites by Madonna: "Live To Tell" (#1 for 1 week in 1986), "You'll See" (#6 in 1995), "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" (#8 in 1997), "Rescue Me" (#9 in 1991), and "Take A Bow" (#1 for 7 weeks in 1995).

     One thing I have to say is that Madonna wrote or co-wrote most of her songs. I think she'd be much more respected, if more emphasis was put on that, rather than some of the other stuff people think of, when they think of Madonna.

August 11, 2023

     Singer/songwriter Joe Jackson is having a birthday today! He turns 69 today. It doesn't seem like it's been 40+ years since his classic hit "Steppin' Out" came out, but that did happen in 1982 (reaching #6 on the U.S. pop chart). I just recently heard one of his other hits, "You Can't Get What You Want ('Til You Know What You Want)" (#15 in 1984). You are no one-hit wonder, Joe. Happy Birthday! ☺

July 26, 2023

     Oh man! We lost YET ANOTHER one! This time, it's Randy Meisner who's passed away. He was a founding member of the Eagles, as well as a founding member of Poco. Randy Meisner was the one who sang lead on the Eagles' classic hit "Take It To The Limit" (#4 in 1976). Plus he had some great solo work, like his hits "Deep Inside My Heart" (#22 in 1980), and "Hearts On Fire" (#19 in 1981 -- a very underrated song, in my opinion). Randy died at age 77 of C.O.P.D. We really miss you, Randy!

July 26, 2023

     I was quite surprised to hear about the death of Sinead O'Connor. This one kind of affects me, as does the death of anyone that was close to my age or younger, for Sinead O'Connor was only 56 years old when she died (I felt that way but even more so when Princess Diana died in 1997, for she was only four years older than me). No doubt, everybody remembers her for her one big hit "Nothing Compares 2 U" (written by Prince, #1 for 4 weeks in 1990). In my opinion, there was another song from the same album called "The Emperor's New Clothes," which, although it failed to get anywhere near the top 40, I thought, was still a good song (the video with Sinead flailing her arms about, didn't do her justice). Thanks for the memories, and rest in peace, Sinead.

July 26, 2023

     One of the most talented rock and roll musicians ever, celebrates his milestone 80th birthday today. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones has his birthday today! Some of my favorite Rolling Stones songs include "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (#1 for 4 weeks in 1965), "19th Nervous Breakdown" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1966), "As Tears Go By" (#6 in 1966), "Street Fighting Man" (#48 in 1968), "Start Me Up" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1981), and "Undercover Of The Night" (#9 in 1983). Mick also had some great songs outside of the Rolling Stones like "Just Another Night" (#12 in 1985) and "Let's Work" (#39 in 1987). Plus, he did backup vocals on Carly Simon's classic hit "You're So Vain." A hell of a lot of great work. Happy Birthday, Mick! ☺

July 22, 2023

     Today, Don Henley of the Eagles celebrates his 76th birthday! Some of my favorites by Don Henley include "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" (#9 in 1985), "The End Of The Innocence" (#8 in 1989), "Dirty Laundry" (#3 in 1983), and "The Last Worthless Evening" (#21 in 1989). I should also mention his duet with Patty Smyth, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (#2 for 6 weeks in 1992). Happy Birthday, Don!

July 21, 2023

     A true musical legend passed away today. I'm talking about Tony Bennett. Although he isn't the kind of singer that I'd typically listen to (Tony Bennett is basically from my dad's generation), I still think he's worth mentioning, for he was truly a great singer, performer, and stylist. There is one song that Tony Bennett did that Stevie Wonder made a huge hit out of, that I'd like to mention, which is "For Once In My Life" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1968 for Stevie Wonder). Thanks for the memories, Tonu!

July 15, 2023

     Today, one of the most talented and versatile singers alive, celebrates a birthday. I'm talking about Linda Ronstadt! She turns 77 today!

     When I started going to junior high school, that was when I started getting exposed to Linda Ronstadt's music. Back then, it was "It's So Easy," "Back In The U.S.A.," and "Just One Look" (the latter I heard extensively in a car commercial). When I started really getting into music, when I was 15, many of Linda Ronstadt's other hits trickled in as well.

     Today, some of my all-time favorites include "I Can't Let Go" (#31 in 1980), "You're No Good" (#1 for 1 week in 1975), "Different Drum" (#13) in 1968, "Hurts So Bad" (#8 in 1980), "Long Long Time" (#25 in 1972), "Don't Know Much" (a duet with Aaron Neville, #2 for 2 weeks in 1989), and "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" (#31 in 1978).

     Happy Birthday, Linda! ☺

July 7, 2023

     Today, the oldest living Beatle turns 83 today! Of course, I'm talking about Ringo Starr (real name, Richard Starkey). Happy Birthday, Ringo! ☺

July 5, 2023

     Today, Hugh Cregg III, a.k.a. Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis & the News, turns 73 today! One thing I like about this band is the fact that there's something honest and pure about their music. Their songs are songs that millions can relate to. Thank you, Huey, and Happy Birthday!

June 22, 2023

     A very unusual, but very talented female singer/songwriter, celebrates a milestone birthday today! I'm talking about Cyndi Lauper, who turns 70 today! Some of my favorites by Cyndi Lauper include "Money Changes Everything" (#27 in 1985), "She Bop" (#3 in 1984), and "True Colors" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1986). Happy Birthday, Cyndi!

June 20, 2023

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriter/performers of the 70's and 80's has a birthday today! For nine straight years (1978 through 1986), he'd written a #1 song in each of those years! For a list of those songs, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com. I'll just say that the author of all those songs and so much more is Lionel Richie, who turns 74 today! Happy Birthday, Lionel!

     Some of my favorite Lionel Richie songs with the Commodores include "Sweet Love" (their first top 10 hit, reaching #5 in 1976), "Sail On" (#4 in 1979), and "Three Times A Lady" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1978).

     As for Lionel Richie solo hits, here are some of my favorites: "You Are" (#4 in 1983), "Running With The Night" (#7 in 1984), "Dancing On The Ceiling" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1986), and "Ballerina Girl" (Lionel's last top ten pop hit, reaching #7 in 1987). And I must mention "My Destiny," which I think is a great song in its own right, but never hit the Hot 100 (but was a top ten Adult Contemporary hit in 1992).

June 18, 2023

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriters ever, has a birthday today. He is one of the two surviving members of the Beatles. I'm talking about Paul McCartney, who turns 81 today! Among the songs Paul McCartney had outside of the Beatles that I really like, include "Maybe I'm Amazed" (#10 in 1977), "Coming Up" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1980), "Band On The Run" (#1 for 1 week in 1974), "Jet" (#7 in 1974), and "Spies Like Us" (#7 in 1986). They say it's your birthday, Sir Paul, so Happy Birthday to you! ☺

June 17, 2023

     Barry Manilow, known mainly for his ballads, celebrates a milestone 80th birthday today!! But one thing I think people tend to forget, is that Barry Manilow also had hits that were uptempo, which were some of his best songs. Those include songs like "Some Kind Of Friend" (#26 in 1983), "It's A Miracle" (#12 in 1975), and "Copacobana" (#8 in 1978). Incidentally, I recently sang "Some Kind Of Friend" karaoke (for the first time), and several people really liked my performance, but were very surprised when I told them that it was Barry Manilow that made that a hit. Just thought I'd bring these uptempo songs to light to more properly honor the man. Happy Birthday, Barry!

     On a personal note, the first time I won any kind of a prize in a karaoke contest, was when I won 3rd Prize for singing "Weekend In New England." If you want to know more about who won that contest, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll gladly tell you.

     When it comes to Barry Manilow's ballads, "Weekend In New England" (#10 in 1977) is my favorite. Other favorite Barry Manilow ballads include "Even Now" (#19 in 1978), "This One's For You" (#29 in 1976), and "Could It Be Magic" (#6 in 1975).

June 14, 2023

     Love him or hate him, Boy George of Culture Club is celebrating his 62nd birthday today! Some of my favorite songs by Boy George and Culture Club include "Church Of The Poison Mind" (#10 in 1983) and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" (#9 in 1983), as well as his solo hit "The Crying Game" (#15 in 1993). Happy Birthday, Boy George!

June 7, 2023

     Today, singer Tom Jones turns 83. Apparently, his songs are very popular to sing karaoke. His most popular tunes to sing karaoke include "Delilah" (#15 in 1968 -- that's how I first heard the song), "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (#6 in 1969), "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" (#5 in 1970 -- one of my best performances karaoke was singing this song), and "It's Not Unusual" (#10 in 1965 -- probably his best known song, and one that someone once requested that I sing karaoke!). A very influential artist for sure, and he deserves a birthday wish. Happy Birthday, Tom!


June 1, 2023

     It's times like this that I feel that songwriters should be recognized more often. A truly talented songwriter, Cynthia Weil, passed away today at age 82. You may not recognize her by name, but I'm sure you've heard many of the tunes she'd written with partner and husband, Barry Mann. Songs that immediately come to mind that were co-written by Cynthia Weil include "On Broadway" (#9 for the Drifters in 1963, #7 for George Benson in 1978), "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (#1 for 2 weeks for the Righeous Brothers in 1965, #12 for Hall & Oates in 1980), "I Just Can't Help Believing" (#9 for B.J. Thomas in 1970), "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration" (#1 for 3 weeks for the Righteous Brothers in 1966), "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place" (#13 for the Animals in 1965), "I Love How You Love Me" (#5 for the Paris Sisters in 1961, #9 for Bobby Vinton in 1968), "If Ever You're In My Arms Again" (#10 for Peabo Bryson in 1984), and "Love Will Conquer All" (#9 for Lionel Richie in 1986). There are so many more great songs co-written by Cynthia Weil that I can't possibly list them all here. But all I can say is, we love you, Cynthia, and thanks for those great songs! ☺

     I've sung a number of these great songs karaoke. One of my favorites to sing karaoke, especially around the 4th of July is "Only In America" by Jay & the Americans (#25 in 1963). A side note to this song: At one point, I was wondering who wrote this one, since it sounds like a Drifters song. I first thought Lieber & Stoller wrote it, since they wrote many of the Drifters' early hits. But then I thought maybe Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote it, since they wrote "On Broadway" by the Drifters. It turns out, all four of them wrote "Only In America." Damn, I'm good sometimes!

May 26, 2023

     A very talented ecclectic musician/singer/songwriter has a birthday today! I'm talking about Lenny Kravitz! My favorites by him include "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Fly Away," and "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over." Lenny turns 59 today. Happy Birthday, Lenny!

May 26, 2023

     Today also happens to be Stevie Nicks' birthday! She hits a milestone today, turning 75 today! Nowadays, some of my favorite Stevie Nicks songs include "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers -- #3 in 1981), "Edge Of Seventeen (Just Like The White Winged Dove)" (#11 in 1982), and "Nightbird" (#33 in 1984). I also like "I Don't Wanna Know" (with Fleetwood Mad -- an album track from the "Rumours" album), and "Sara" (with Fleetwood Mad -- #7 in 1980). Happy Birthday, Stevie!

May 24, 2023

     I was saddened to hear about the death of Tina Turner today. She was 83 years old. We really lost a true enduring music icon. She had hits in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's. Not only did she have such great top ten hits like "Proud Mary" (with Ike Turner -- #4 in 1971), "What's Love Got To Do With It" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1984), and "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" (#2 for 1 week in 1985), she had other great songs that weren't exactly top ten hits, like "It's Only Love" (with Bryan Adams -- #15 in 1986), "The Best" (#15 in 1989), and "Steamy Windows" (#39 in 1990). This lady was truly talented, and she will be greatly missed. We love you, Tina!

May 20, 2023

     Today, one of the most enduring singers, who's also an actress, celebrates a birthday today! I'm talking about Cherilyn LaPierre, a.k.a. Cher! She turns 77 today! Among my favorites by her, include "The Beat Goes On" and "Baby Don't Go" (with Sonny, of course), "Dark Lady," "Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves," and "If I Could Turn Back Time." Happy Birthday, Cher!

May 16, 2023

     We have a huge musical birthdays today, namely Janet Jackson! Some of my favorite Janet Jackson songs include "Nasty," "Control," "Escapade," "Black Cat," "Love Will Never Do (Without You)," "Again," "70's Love Groove," and "Runaway." Having seen Janet on TV as a 12-year-old in the TV sitcom "Good Times," it's still hard to believe that she's 57 today! Happy Birthday, Janet! ☺

May 13, 2023

     My second-favorite artist (next to Billy Joel) is having a birthday today. I'm talking about Stevie Wonder! He turns 73 today! This time, like last year on his birthday, at karaoke, I sang Stevie Wonder's classic #1 hit from '73, "Superstition," to celebrate his 73rd birthday. Stevie Wonder has SO MANY classic tunes that I love, I can't possibly list them all here, but the ones I shall mention, include "Sir Duke," the song that turned me on to Stevie Wonder (#1 for 3 weeks in 1977), "My Cherie Amour" (#4 in 1969), "Superstition" and "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" (both #1 for 1 week in 1973), "Living For The City" (#8 in 1974), "Master Blaster (Jammin')" (#5 in 1980), and "Do I Do" (#13 in 1982). Happy Birthday to you, Stevie! ☺

May 9, 2023

     My all-time favorite artist, Billy Joel, turns 74 today! I cannot count all the ways Billy Joel's music has enriched and influenced my life (I just mentioned my favorite song by Billy Joel!). Besides the obvious Billy Joel classics such as "Piano Man" (#25 in 1974), "Just The Way You Are" (#3 in 1978), "My Life" (#3 in 1979), "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1980), "Uptown Girl" (#3 in 1983), and "We Didn't Start The Fire" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1989), I think some classic album tracks need to be mentioned as well. For I have a theory that what makes a truly great album is when it contains great tracks that are NOT hit singles. The thing that made Billy Joel my favorite singer was the fact that every album of his that I bought, MOST EVERY TRACK was a great song in itself, and lots of times, were songs I could relate to. SOME of these all-time great Billy Joel album tracks include "All For Leyna" (from "Glass Houses"), "Easy Money" (from "An Innocent Man"), "Big Man On Mulberry Street" (from "The Bridge"), "Famous Last Words" (from "River Of Dreams"), "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" (from "The Stranger"), "Stiletto," and "Until The Night" (both from "52nd Street," my all-time favorite album). For all this and more, Billy Joel deserves a great big Happy happy Birthday!

May 6, 2023 -- THIS IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!

     Last night, something happened at the bar where my wife and I went for karaoke, that I just have to say something about. At about midnight, this woman brought her 3-year-old daughter into the bar, and she let the girl run around. She was even dancing to the last song I was singing ("Shakedown" by Bob Seger -- it became his birthday, being that it was after midnight). Most everybody thought it was cute, but to say the least, my wife and I were not amused at all. WHAT THE DAMN HELL IS A BABY DOING IN A BAR???!! I don't care if the daddy happened to be in a pool tournament at that time, YOU DON'T BRING A BABY INTO A BAR!! Among other things, that exposes a very young child to drunks, rowdies, and other unsavory characters and things that a child shouldn't be exposed to. Besides that, if the police happened to come into the bar, and see this, not only could the parents have been busted, and the child taken away from them, the bar itself could have been shut down, ruining things for a lot of people, including me and my wife, who have been coming to this particular place for over 5 years now. I know that nowadays, people have been conditioned not to say anything about things like this, citing the "new millenium," but dammit, what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong, and my wife and I are not to say that THIS IS JUST PLAIN WRONG! My wife even posted a picture of this, similarly saying that this is just dead wrong. If this means that I'm too damn opinionated, then so effing be it!

May 6, 2023

     Another one of the most enduring rockers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! This time, I'm talking about Bob Seger! He turns 78 today! He has so many classic tunes that I'm a big fan of. Some of my favorites by Bob Seger include "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You," "Shakedown," "Still The Same," "Old Time Rock And Roll," "Katmandu," "The Real Love," and "Turn The Page." You truly are a rock and roll icon, Bob! Happy Birthday! ☺

May 2, 2023

     One of the most enduring rockers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! This time, I'm talking about Foreigner's lead singer, Lou Gramm, who turns 73 today! Not only has Lou Gramm been the voice on Foreigner's hits, including "Double Vision," "Urgent," and "That Was Yesterday," three big favorites of mine, he also had some great solo hits, including "Midnight Blue" and "Just Between You And Me." Happy Birthday, Lou!

May 1, 2023

     I was kind of saddened to hear about the death of singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. I really liked all four of his top 10 hits, which were "If You Could Read My Mind" (#5 in 1971), "Sundown" (#1 for 1 week in 1974), "Carefree Highway" (#10 in 1974), and "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1976). It's hard for me to pick a favorite out of those four because they are all such great songs. Gordon Lightfoot was 84 years old. Thanks for those wonderful songs, Gordon!

April 29, 2023

     Perhaps the most enduring performer alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! I'm talking about Willie Nelson, who turns 90 today!! And he is STILL performing!! My favorites by Willie Nelson include "On The Road Again" and "Always On My Mind." Happy 90th Birthday, Willie! We salute you!

April 24, 2023

     An extremely talented singer and actress, whom I think would have been happy if she'd only made it as a broadway actress, celebrates her 81st birthday today! Yes, I am talking about the one and only Barbra Streisand! A funny thing happened to her on the way to the stage, and she ended up with these numerous hit songs, like "The Way We Were" (#1 for 3 weeks, and the top song of 1974), "Evergreen" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1977), and "Woman In Love" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1980). Oddly enough, my favorites by Barbra Streisand are some of her duets, those being "Guilty" (with Barry Gibb, #3, 1981), "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (with Neil Diamond, who went to the same high school as her at about the same time! -- #1 for 2 weeks in 1978), and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (with Donna Summer, #1 for 2 weeks in 1979). Happy Birthday, Babs! ☺

April 11, 2023 -- Honorable Mentions

     Those of you who have read my latest music article, Top Songs Of 1988, may think I overdid it, mentioning six top ten hits that did not make 1988's 100 biggest hits of the year. But yesterday, I was reminded of another top ten hit from that year that also didn't make that list. That song being "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin (#9). I then thought of three other top ten hits that year that also didn't make the list. Those include "It Would Take A Strong Strong Man" by Rick Astley (#10), "Just Got Paid" by Johnny Kemp (#10), and "Circle In The Sand" by Belinda Carlisle (#7). And I still probably haven't gotten them all!

March 30, 2023

     Yes, I know, this man was panned as a candy rapper, but in my opinion, that time period before the gangsta rap took over, was when rap was at its best. For that reason, among others, that's why I'm giving a big happy birthday to rapper M.C. Hammer (real name, Stanley Burrell), who turns 61 today! "U Can't Touch This" is my favorite by him, but "Here Comes The Hammer" is another big favorite of mine. Happy Birthday, Hammer!

     On a personal note, when I used to bowl, I used to be part of a bowling team I initially gave the name, the Blue Hammers, because all four of us had Blue Hammer bowling balls. But then the others decided to change the name to Hammer Time, after I'd say the phrase after one of my teammates gets a strike. What can I say? It stuck, and I loved it. ☺

March 30, 2023

     A very talented and enduring singer/songwriter/musician has a birthday today as well. Today, Eric Clapton turns 78! He's one of the few musicians who can say that he's hit the top ten in the 60's, the 70's, the 80's, and the 90's (including his work with Cream in 1968). My favorite 60's tune by him is his hit with Cream, "Sunshine Of Your Love." My favorite 70's tune by Eric Clapton is "Promises." From the 80's, it's "I Can't Stand It," and from the 90's, it's the unplugged version of "Layla." Happy Birthday, Eric!

March 28, 2023

     Today marks the 37th birthdat of Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta). There are two songs by her that I like. Those are "Poker Face" and my favorite, "Bad Romance." I think that's enough reason to warrant a nice Happy Birthday to Lady Gaga!

March 27, 2023

     A hugely successful and accomplished diva is celebrating her birthday today! This time, it's Mariah Carey, and she turns 53 today! Her first five singles all went to #1, and her first eleven singles all hit the top ten! Oddly enough, two of my favorite Mariah Carey songs were the ones which broke both of those strings. Those songs are "Can't Let Go" (#2 for 1 week in 1992) and "Anytime You Need A Friend" (#12 in 1994). Another huge favorite of mine is "I Don't Wanna Cry" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1991). Another huge accomplishment of Mariah Carey's is the fact that each year for 11 straight calendar years (1990-2000 inclusive), she had at least one #1 hit in each of those years! Happy Birthday, Mariah!

     On a more personal note, Mariah Carey is one of my wife's favorite singers. "Always Be My Baby" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1996) used to be my wife's ringtone for a long time. Also, in our very early days of dating, my then-girlfriend had once dedicated "One Sweet Day" (Mariah's duet with Boyz II Men, which spent a record-setting 16 weeks at #1 in late 1995 to early 1996) to me. If you want to know more about why my then-future wife would dedicate that song to me, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you.

March 26, 2023

     Another timeless singer and entertainer has a birthday today. This time, I'm talking about Diana Ross! She turns 79 today! She has a number of songs that I really love, and have touched me deeply. Those include "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" (#1 for 1 week in 1976), "I'm Coming Out" (#5 in 1980), "It's My Turn" (#9 in 1981), and "Touch Me In The Morning" (#1 for 1 week in 1973). My favorites by Diana Ross when she was with the Supremes include "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1966), "Reflections" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1967), and "I Hear A Symphony" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1965). Happy Birthday, Diana!

     On a personal note, another Diana Ross song, this one with the Supremes, was the new #1 song the week I was born! That song was "Stop! In The Name Of Love." Someone I used to date in high school was a huge Diana Ross fan, and I later learned that another Supremes song, "You Can't Hurry Love" was #1 the week she was born--yes Thressa, I'm talking about you. And finally, the week my wife was born, "Upside Down," Diana's biggest solo hit, was in its 4th and final week at #1. Crazy coincidences, huh? ☺

March 25, 2023 -- NEW LOOK

     I am very excited to be unveiling a whole new look for this website. Basically, I added a lot more pictures, converted the HTML files to PHP, which is more dynamic, and was able to bring in my own custom page hit counters, instead of having to use those from a third party, which to me always looked absolutely hideous. You'll also notice that the photos of the artists mentioned in this blog, are larger again. I hope you'll agree that this was a welcome change. Also, expect more music articles in the future. Stay tuned! ☺

March 25, 2023

     One of my all-time favorite singers is having a birthday today! He's had dozens and dozens of great hit songs, and is a great songwriter and entertainer as well. I'm talking Sir Elton John, who turns 76 today!! I can go on forever about the great songs this man has created, but I'm just going to list A FEW of my all-time favorites by Elton John: My favorite Elton John song is his original recording of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1974). Other huge favorites include "Daniel" (#2 for 1 week in 1973), "Honky Cat" (#8 in 1972), "The Bitch Is Back" (#4 in 1974), "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (#6 in 1976), "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" (#4 in 1975), "I'm Still Standing" (#12 in 1983), and "Believe" (#13 in 1995). Happy Birthday, Elton!

March 23, 2023

     Today marks the birthday of R & B singer Chaka Khan! Her real name is Yvette Marie Stevens. She is 70 today! Of course, she is best remembered for her 1984 #3 hit "I Feel For You" (written and originally done by Prince) as well as her original version of "I'm Every Woman" (#21 in 1978). Some of my favorites by Chaka Khan with Rufus include "Tell Me Something Good" (#3 in 1974, written by Stevie Wonder), and "Sweet Thing" (#5 in 1976, later remade by Mary J. Blige). Happy Birthday, Chaka!

March 22, 2023

     A really talented jazz and R & B artist and musician, has a milestone birthday today. On this day, George Benson turns 80. He's done some great cover songs, like the Drifters' "On Broadway" (#9 for them in 1963, #7 for George Benson in 1978), and L.T.D.'s "Love Ballad" (#20 for L.T.D. in 1976, #18 for George Benson in 1979). Beyond that, my favorites by him include "Give Me The Night," "Love X Love," and "Lady Love Me (One More Time)." Happy Birthday, George!


March 18, 2023

      A very talented singer and actress, celebrates a milestone birthday today! My favorite songs by her include "Dreamin'" and "Save The Best For Last." She was also great in the movie "Soul Food." Of course, I'm talking about Tarrytown New York native, Vanessa Williams, who turns 60 today. Happy Birthday, Vanessa!

March 15, 2023

     Sometimes, it seems like yesterday that I first saw the group Poison, when they appeared on the Joan Rivers show in 1987, the week that their first hit "Talk Dirty To Me" had debuted in the top 40. These guys looked so young and so energetic. It almost seems shocking, therefore, that Bret Michaels, the lead singer of Poison turns 60 today. My favorite song by Poison is "Something To Believe In," written by Bret Michaels, which was inspired by the death of a friend of his. Happy Birthday, Bret! ☺

March 14, 2023

     Today, we lost yet another singer/songwriter, namely, Bobby Caldwell. He was best known for his 1979 hit "What You Won't Do For Love" (his only top 40 hit as a singer, which peaked at #9). What some of you may not know about Bobby Caldwell, is the fact that he wrote at least three other top 40 hits. He co-wrote "Heart Of Mine" by Boz Scaggs (#35 in 1988), "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?" (#5 for Chicago in 1990), and "The Next Time I Fall" (#1 for 1 week in 1986 for Peter Cetera and Amy Grant). Bobby Caldwell was 71 years old.

March 5, 2023

     Today, we lost a legendary guitarist and songwriter, namely, Gary Rossington of the group Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some of the most famous guitar rifts ever recorded, came from Rossington's guitar, like "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Freebird." Gary Rossington (one of the survivors of the 1977 plane crash that killed several other Lynyrd Skynyrd members), passed away at age 71.

February 26, 2023

     A great singer and songwriter that was writing hits before he really became famous, has a milestone birthday today. He wrote "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" which was first a hit for Laura Branigan in 1983 (#12), as well as "I Found Someone" which Cher had a hit with in 1988 (#10). Some of my favorites by this singer include "When I'm Back On My Feet Again" (#7 in 1990), "Missing You Now" (#12 in 1992), and "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" (#6 in 1993). Of course, I'm talking about Michael Bolton! He turns 70 today! Happy Birthday, Michael! ☺

February 19, 2023

     An extremely talented and enduring singer/songwriter, who has been making music for well over 60 years, has a birthday today! Yes, I'm talking about William "Smokey" Robinson! He turns 83 today! If one sign of a classic song is the fact that it's been covered by multiple artists, then dozens of Smokey Robinson's songs have become classics for that reason. Just SOME of those classic songs include "Shop Around" (#2 for 1 week for the Miracles in 1959, #4 for the Captain & Tennille in 1976), "Ooh Baby Baby" (#16 for the Miracles in 1965, #7 for Linda Ronstadt in 1979), and "The Tracks Of My Tears" (#16 for the Miracles in 1965, #10 for Johnny Rivers in 1967, #25 for Linda Ronstadt in 1976). Then we get to the great songs Smokey wrote, but somebody else made into huge hits. Those include "My Guy" by Mary Wells (#1 for 1 week in 1964), "My Girl" by the Temptations (#1 for 1 week in 1965), and "Get Ready" (#29 for the Temptations in 1966, #4 for Rare Earth in 1970). Then we get to the great solo work Smokey has done. My two favorites by Smokey Robinson are "Cruisin'" (#4 in 1980), and "Being With You" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1981). To quote one of Smokey's personal favorite songs: "Nothing can compare when Smokey sings." Happy Birthday, Smokey! ☺

February 12, 2023

     A very very talented singer/songwriter and musician turns 71 today! Michael McDonald, formerly of the Doobie Brothers, is our birthday boy today! He was a great backup vocalist on such songs as "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross, "Peg" by Steely Dan, and "This Is It" by Kenny Loggins -- a song he co-wrote with Loggins (the duo also wrote "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers). Plus Michael McDonald wrote "You Belong To Me," which Carly Simon made into a top ten hit in 1978. Plus, there were his hits outside the Doobie Brothers, like "I Keep Forgettin,'" "Sweet Freedom," and "On My Own" with Patti LaBelle, which became a #1 hit, and the top R & B song of 1986. Definitely an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician, who deserves a great Happy Birthday today!

February 11, 2023

     A very talented singer and actress has a birthday today! Her maiden last name is Norwood, but she's best known only as Brandy! She turns 44 today! Happy Birthday, Brandy!

February 8, 2023

     I was saddened to hear about the death of songwriter and composer Burt Bacharach. He was one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. He had written SO MANY all-time classic songs. Just a sample of the songs he'd written or co-written, include "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald (#1 for 3 weeks in 1986), "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick and friends (Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Gladys Knight -- #1 for 4 weeks in 1986), "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick (#6 in 1964), "I Say A Little Prayer" (#4 for Fionne Warwick in 1967, #10 for Aretha Franklin in 1968), "(They Long To Be) Close To You" by the Carpenters (#1 for 4 weeks in 1970), "When I Need You" by Leo Sayer (#1 for 1 week in 1977), "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" by B.J. Thomas (#1 for 4 weeks in 1970), "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Vallance" by Gene Pitney (#4 in 1962), and "Only Love Can Break A Heart" by Gene Pitney (#2 for 1 week in 1962) -- the latter two, I believe, were the first two Burt Bacharach compositions to hit the top ten. Burt Bacharach lived to be 94 years old. He lived a long life, but I suspect that his songs will live on forever! Thanks, Burt! ☺

     On a personal note, in 2006, I saw Burth Bacharach perform many of his great compositions, including the ones I mentioned, in concert. I was amazed that he was still putting on concerts at age 78. Many of the songs were performed by guest vocalists, but he sang some himself (he couldn't sing!). It was a wonderful concert.

January 30, 2023

     Also known as the Cabbage Patch Kid of Rock & Roll, a very talented singer/songwriter/musican, AND actor, in fact, has a birthday today! Phil Collins, who was an actor first (he played the Artful Dodger in "Oliver," until age 14, when his voice changed, and he had to give up the role), then a drummer, then a lead vocalist and songwriter, turns 72 today! With Genesis, my favorites by Phil Collins include "Land Of Confusion," "I Can't Dance," "Throwing It All Away," and "No Son Of Mine." As a solo artist, my favorite Phil Collins song is "I Don't Care Anymore." Other favorites include "Take Me Home," "Both Sides Of The Story," "Everyday," and "In The Air Tonite." Happy Birthday, Phil!


January 24, 2023

     Today is the birthday of one of my all-time favorite singers. He also is a prolific and very talented songwriter, who wrote "I'm A Believer" for the Monkees, "Red Red Wine," which UB40 TWICE made a hit out of, plus he wrote "Sunday And Me," a hit for Jay & the Americans, the very first top 40 composition for Neil Diamond, who turns 82 today! I had the pleasure of meeting Neil in person back in December of 1981, when "Yesterday's Songs" was a current hit. Very nice and funny guy. Some of my all-time favorites by Neil Diamond include "Forever In Blue Jeans" (#20 in 1979), "Love On The Rocks" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1981), and "Holly Holy" (#6 in 1969). "Sunday And Me" is a great song too. Happy Birthday, Neil!

January 19, 2023

     Today, we lost another legendary musician. David Crosby has died at age 81. I'd grown up listening to David Crosby's music, whether it was as part of the Byrds, or as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Hell, I even sang Crosby's solo duet with Phil Collins, "Hero" at karaoke. David, you will definitely be missed.

January 19, 2023

     A very accomplished country/pop singer/songwriter has a birthday today! I'm talking about Dolly Parton, who turns 77 today! Most people remember her for her #1 hit "9 To 5" from 1981, or her #1 hit duet with Kenny Rogers, "Islands In The Stream," from 1983. But she also had some great early tunes as well. There was "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," both originally from 1974 -- the latter of which was a #1 country hit for Dolly in 1974 and 1982 (when it was featured in the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas," which she co-starred in). Of course, Whitney Houston took her version of that song to #1 on the pop charts for 14 weeks. As the songwriter, Dolly must have made a mint off that song. We salute you, Dolly, and Happy Birthday!

January 16, 2023

     A very enduring talented blind country artist turns 80 today! Yes, I'm talking about Ronnie Milsap! My favorites by him include "It Was Almost Like A Song" (his first top 40 pop hit, #16 in 1977), "Stranger In My House" (his last top 40 pop hit, #23 in 1983), and "Smokey Mountain Rain" (the first song by Ronnie Milsap that I heard, #24 pop in 1981). Happy Birthday, Ronnie!

January 11, 2023

     We've lost another music legend today. Rock guitarist Jeff Beck, died of meningitis at age 78. He'd been linked to Rod Stewart on more than one occasion. His guitar work was featured on Rod Stewart's hit "Infatuation" (#6 in 1984), plus he and Rod Stewart were both part of the group Faces. Ironically Jeff Beck died just one day after Rod Stewart turned 78. We're going to miss you, Jeff!

January 10, 2023

     One of the greates female rockers of all-time, has a milestone birthday today, as she turns 70 today! I'm talking about Pat Benatar! She has a number of great songs, including "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (#9 in 1980), "Heartbreaker" (#23 in 1980), "Love Is A Battlefield" (#5 in 1983), and "We Belong" (#5 in 1984). Other songs she did that are big personal favorites of mine include "Treat Me Right" (#18 in 1981), "You Better Run" (barely missed the top 40 by two spots in 1980), and "We Live For Love" (#27 in 1980). Happy Birthdau to you, Pat, and rock on! ☺

January 10, 2023

     A great talent in songwriting as well as singing has a birthday today. Rod Stewart turns 78 today! My favorites by him include "You're In My Heart," "Passion," "The First Cut Is The Deepest," "Reason To Believe" (the unplugged version), and yes, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Happy Birthday, Rod!

January 1, 2023

     It's a sad way to start off the new year, but it's a constant reminder that a lot of the great artists that I'd grown up listening to, are dying out in droves these days. Yesterday, on New Year's Eve, we lost another one, namely Anita Pointer, part of the Pointer Sisters group. Anita died of cancer at age 74. She is the one you hear singing lead on such hits as "Slow Hand," "Fire," "He's So Shy," and "I'm So Excited." The only surviving member of the Pointer Sisters is Ruth, the one with the deeper voice, the one you hear sing lead on "Automatic" and "Neutron Dance." We're going to miss you, Anita!

December 18, 2022

     A truly talented versatile singer has a birthday today. Today's birthday wishes goes out to Christina Aguilera, who turns 42 today! Happy Birthday, Christina!

December 12, 2022

     One of the greatest female singers alive today, celebrates her 82nd birthday today! That singer is Dionne Warwick! I'd grown up listening to a number of her songs. Some of my all-time favorites by Dionne Warwick include "Walk On By" (#6 in 1964), "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" (#10 in 1968), "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (#6 in 1970), and "Then Came You" (with the Spinners--#1 for 1 week in 1974). Happy Birthday, Dionne!

December 11, 2022

     Although he was greatly overshadowed by younger siblings Michael and Janet, Jermaine Jackson, I think, still deserves a Happy Birthday today because he's still a great singer, and has contributed some great songs to the music world. My favorites include "Do What You Do" (#13 in 1985), "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy" (featuring Devo on backup vocals, #18 in 1982), and "I Think It's Love" (#16 in 1986 around the same time Janet had her first big hit "What Have You Done For Me Lately"). There also were his two #9 hits "Daddy's Home" (1973), and "Let's Get Serious" (1980). Jermaine Jacksom turns 68 today. Happy Birthday, Jermaine!

December 2, 2022

     Today, singer and entertainer Britney Spears turns 41 today! I do like a couple of her songs, namely "Sometimes" and "Toxic." Happy Birthday, Britney!


November 30, 2022

     The death of Fleetwood keyboardist/singer/songwriter Christine McVie kind of hit me hard, for Fleetwood Mac was one of those groups I more or less grew up on. Christine McVie was 79 years old. Out of the 18 top 40 hits Fleetwood Mac had in the U.S., 9 of them were written by Christine McVie. And out of the 9 top ten hits Fleetwood Mac had in the U.S., 3 of them ("Don't Stop," "You Make Loving Fun," and "Little Lies") were written and sung lead by Christine McVie. That's not even counting the one top ten hit that was credited as being written by all five members ("Hold Me" which reached #4 for them in 1982). Some of my favorite Christine McVie-penned songs include "You Make Loving Fun" (#9 in 1977), "Love In Store" (#22 in 1983), "Everywhere" (recently featured in a commercial -- #14 in 1988), and her solo hit "Got A Hold On Me" (#10 in 1984). We're going to miss you, and I'll say that we love you, Christine. ☺

November 27, 2022

     I was rather surprised to hear about rapper Coolio's death, but probably more so, that I didn't hear about it until this morning, when YouTuber Harmless Dave mentioned it on his channel, actually talking about the death of Irene Cara. Anyway, Coolio actually died September 28th of cardiac arrest, at age 59. He was the first rapper to have the top pop song of the year, when "Gangsta's Paradise" became the #1 pop song of 1995. Of course, he also hit the top ten on the pop chart with "Fantastic Voyage" (#3 in 1994), and "1 2 3 4 (Sumpin' New)" (#5 in 1996).


November 26, 2022

     Today, singer Tina Turner celebrates her 83rd birthday! Sbe was great with her then-husband Ike on songs like "Proud Mary" (#4 for Ike & Tina Turner in 1971) and "Nutbush City Limits" (#22 in 1973), as well as a solo singer, with such great songs as "What's Love Got To Do With It" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1984), "Better Be Good To Me" (my personal favorite by Tina Turner -- #5 in 1984), and "I Don't Want To Fight" (#9 in 1993). Happy Birthday, Tina!!

November 25, 2022

     I was rather saddened to hear about the death of singer/actress/songwriter Irene Cara (born Irene Cara Escalera). I was first familiar with Irene Cara as an actress, having watched Roots II, where Irene Cara played the role of Alex Haley's mother. Of course, she is best known for her hits "Fame" (#4 in 1980) and "Flashdance...What A Feeling" (#1 for 6 weeks in 1983). She had one other top 10 hit, that being "Breakdance," which reached #8 in 1984. But to me, her best songs were the three top 40 hits of hers which DID NOT hit the top 10. My favorite song by Irene Cara is "Why Me?" (#13 in very late 1983), which she co-wrote. The hit that she had very soon after "Why Me," I think was very inspirational, and like "Why Me" should have gotten more attention. That song being "The Dream (Hold On To The Dream)," which only reached #37 in early 1984. And of course, "Out Here On My Own" was a gem as well. It reached #19 in 1980. We're going to miss you, Irene. She died at age 63.


November 5, 2022

     One of the best rock and roll singer/songwriters of all-time, hailing from Canada, has a birthday today. Today's birthday boy is Bryan Adams, who turns 63 today! I remember when he had his first U.S. top 40 hit, "Straight From The Heart" in 1983, Casey Kasem on American Top 40, said he was only 23 years old. Wow! How time flies! Happy Birthday, Bryan! ☺

October 30, 2022

     One of the most enduring female rock and roll singers, has a birthday today! Grace Slick, of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship fame, turns 83 today! Happy Birthday, Grace!

October 30, 2022

     The last surviving original member of the Temptations, Otis Williams, has a birthday, turning 81 today! Happy Birthday, Oat!

October 28, 2022

     Today, one of the early pioneers of rock and roll, as well as a very dynamic musician, singer, and performer, Jerry Lee Lewis, passed away at the age of 87. He's best known for his 1957 top ten hits "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On" (#3) and "Great Balls Of Fire" (#2 for 4 weeks), but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his other top ten hit, "Breathless" (#7 in 1958). All three, in my opinion, are great great classics. Thanks for those great songs, Jerry!

October 24, 2022

     One of the biggest female R & B singers of the 90's has a birthday today. Monica Arnold, a.k.a. Monica, turns 42 today! She had the 2nd biggest hit of 1998 with Brandy with "The Boy Is Mine," as well as the 3rd biggest hit of 1999 with "Angel Of Mine," as well as one of the ten biggest hits of 1995 with "Don't Take It Personal." I think Monica deserves to be recognized, so Happy Birthday, Monica!

October 15, 2022 -- SEVENTH SON

     Today, I made a slight addition to the Special Notes section of the Numbered Groups And Matching Chart Peaksarticle. The Special Notes section mentions songs that somewhere in their titles, there is a number that matched how high the song got on the chart. One song I sang last night at karaoke (for the first time in this case), fit that category. That song was "Seventh Son" by Johnny Rivers, which could have been talking about Donny Osmond, who is a seventh son, who happened to be only 7 years old at the time that the song was a hit!

October 14, 2022

     One of my all-time favorite English singers has a birthday today! Cliff Richard, best known in the U.S. for songs like "We Don't Talk Anymore," "Dreaming," and "Devil Woman," turned 82 today! Happy Birthday, Cliff!

October 7, 2022

     One of the greatest R & B singers alive today, and who has one of the biggest hits of the Rock Era, has a birthday today! Toni Braxton turns 55 today! Favorite of mine by Toni Braxton, include "Un-Break My Heart" (#1 for 11 weeks in 1996-1997), "You're Makin' Me High" (#1 for 1 week in 1996), and "Seven Whole Days." Happy Birthday, Toni!


October 7, 2022

     Another great singer/songwriter/musician turns 71 today! Hailing from Seymour Indiana, the birthday boy is none other than John Mellencamp! (formerly John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp) He had the top album of 1982 ("American Fool") and two of the ten biggest hits of that year ("Hurts So Good" and "Jack And Diane"). Other great songs of his include "I Need A Lover," "Pink Houses," "Rooty Toot Toot," "Wild Night" (the Van Morrison remake that was a duet with Me’Shell Ndegeocello), and "I'm Not Running Anymore." Happy Birthday, John!

October 2, 2022

     Today, not one, but TWO famous singers have birthdays today!

     First of all, singer Tiffany, who sang the #1 hits "I Think We're Alond Now" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1987) and "Could've Been" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1988), turns 51 today! The other singer celebrating a birthday today is Sting. He turns 71 today! Both Tiffany and Sting each had a top ten hit called "All This Time." Tiffany's song was a fine, often-overlooked ballad that reached #6 for her in 1989, while Sting's song was an uptempo song that reached #5 for him in 1991. Happy Birthday both Tiffany and Sting!

September 23, 2022

     One of the greatest singer/songwriters alive today has a birthday today! Some of my favorites by this singer include "Hungry Heart," "I'm On Fire," "Brilliant Disguise," "Human Touch," and "Born To Run." Yes, I'm talking about the Boss, Bruce Springsteen! He turns 73 today! Happy Birthday, Bruce!

September 10, 2022 -- PALISADES PARK

     Today, I made an addition to the Placing The Tunesarticle. I added the song "Palisades Park" by Freddy Cannon, also correcting the spelling of his first name on all his songs in the article. Check it out.

September 7, 2022

     One of the greatest songwriters who ever lived, has a birthday today! She has written such classics as "Solitaire" by Laura Branigan, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship (the first composition of hers to reach #1), "Just Like Jesse James" by Cher, "How Can We Be Lovers" by Michael Bolton, "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith, and many many others (I plan to do a future article showcasing the hits Diane Warren has written). If there was anyone in the music business I wished I could emulate, it would be our birthday girl, Diane Warren, for she makes her money behind the scenes, meaning she can be rich, and won't be hounded for autographs when she's at the supermarket, for example. Diane Warren turns 66 today! Happy Birthday, Diane!

September 6, 2022 -- PAPER ROSES

     Every once in a blue moon, I have to update one of my music articles, and put in some information I accidentally left out, for example. Today, I made an addition to the Songs And Remakes, Same Chart Peakarticle. I added the song "Paper Roses" to the list. Two different versions both peaked at #5. Check it out.


September 4, 2022

     Today the queen of hip-hop, Queen-B herself, Beyonce turns 41! Happy Birthday, Beyonce!

August 31, 2022

     A very talented singer/songwriterproducer, who was the youngest person to write, sing, and produce a #1 hit song, has a birthday today. Debbie Gibson turns 52 today! When "Foolish Beat" went to #1 in June of 1988, Debbie Gibson, who sang, wrote, and produced the song, was still only 17 years old! That's an incredible accomplishment. "Foolish Beat" and "Staying Together" are my two favorite songs by Debbie Gibson. Happy Birthday, Deb!

August 28, 2022

     One of the most talented and successful country and pop artists alive today, celebrates her 57th birthday today! A very Happy Birthday goes out to Canada's own Shania Twain! I still hear "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" (#23 in 1999) from time to time. And when I gamble and win, sometimes when I leave a table, I say "I'm outta here, like Shania Twain." (an expression I first used, apparently, just a week before her birthday in 1999). Happy Birthday, Shania!


August 23, 2022

     A very talented singer, songwriter, and actor, who had been labeled a teen idol in two completely different times in his career, has a birthday today. That person is Australian-born Rick Springfield! He turns 73 today! Happy Birthday, Rick!

August 16, 2022

     One of the Rock Era's most accomplished recording artists, with over 30 top ten hits to her credit, celebrates her birthday today! Happy Birthday, Madonna!

August 14, 2022

     David Crosby, of Crosby, Stills & Nash, turns 81 today! Some of his best works include "Hero" (his duet with Phil Collins, from 1993), "Heart Full Of Soul" (the Yardbirds, which Crosby was part of, 1965), "Teach Your Children" (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, from 1970), and "Southern Cross" (Crosby, Stills & Nash, 1982). Happy Birthday, Dave!

August 11, 2022

     Singer/songwriter Joe Jackson is having a birthday today! He turns 68 today. It doesn't seem like it's been 40 years since his classic hit "Steppin' Out" came out, but that did happen in 1982 (reaching #6 on the U.S. pop chart). I just recently heard one of his other hits, "You Can't Get What You Want ('Til You Know What You Want)" (#15 in 1984). You are no one-hit wonder, Joe. Happy Birthday!

August 8, 2022

     I was particularly saddened to hear about the death of singer Olivia Newton-John. She had been battling breast cancer for years, and today, she lost the battle. She was 73 years old. I really liked her songs, especially her earlier ones. I remember first hearing an Olivia Newton-John song when I was nine years old. That song was "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)." A few month later, I saw her perform "I Honestly Love You" on one of those late-night shows. To this day, that song is still my favorite Olivia Newton-John song. Other huge Olivia Newton-John favorites of mine include "Please Mr. Please," "Summer Nights" (with John Travolta), and "A Little More Love." And I was even thinking about "Make A Move On Me" by Olivia Newton-John this morning. We're gonna miss you, Olivia.

August 7, 2022 -- True Classics

     My wife and went to a church retreat this weekend, and they had karaoke the last night. A large group of kids were there, and I figured they'd all sing current songs, songs I don't care for. Boy, was I in for a surprise! The vast majority of songs done by these kids were old-school classics, mostly from the seventies and eighties! They sang such songs as "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor (1979), "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran (1983), "Dancing Queen" by ABBA (1977), "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" by Whitney Houston (1987), and "All-Star" by Smash Mouth (1999). I was blown away by their reaction and singing to a song I performed, which was "Piano Man" by Billy Joel. I even let the audience sing the second chorus. I ended up getting a standing ovation for that performance. I was completely stunned by that, but even more stunned by the fact that these young kids knew these old classics that were integral parts of MY young life! But my wife's mom explained to me that these kids simply listened to music that their parents and grandparents listened to. Still, I was surprised that they'd rather sing those songs at karaoke rather than the later tunes that they, no doubt, listen to as well. I think these old school songs that these kids are into, qualify as true classics. What do you think?

July 26, 2022

     One of the most talented musicians ever, celebrates his 79th birthday today. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones has his birthday today! Happy Birthday, Mick!

July 22, 2022

     Today, Don Henley of the Eagles celebrates his 75th birthday! Happy Birthday, Don!


July 7, 2022

     Today, the oldest living Beatle turns 82 today! Of course, I'm talking about Ringo Starr (real name, Richard Starkey). Happy Birthday, Ringo! ☺

July 5, 2022

     Today, Hugh Cregg III, a.k.a. Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis & the News, turns 72 today! One thing I like about this band is the fact that there's something honest and pure about their music. Their songs are songs that millions can relate to. Thank you, Huey, and Happy Birthday!

June 26, 2022 -- Denying It

     I just watched a video on Harmless Dave's YouTube channel, about Styx not doing a 50th anniversary reunion tour with ex-founding memmer Dennis DeYoung. Dave went on to say that longtime Styx member James "JY" Young, in an interview, did everything he could do to deny everything that Dennis DeYoung ever did for the band, or to portray everything Dennis did in a negative light. Nowadays, many of Dennis's big hit compositions for the band, Styx no longer performs. Harmless Dave said that to do that is so wrong, since Dennis wrote and sang the majority of Styx's big hits (out of their eight top ten hits, only one, "Too Much Time On My Hands," was not written and sung by Dennis DeYoung -- Tommy Shaw wrote and sang lead on that one, my favorite Styx song).

     My feelings on this, are decidedly mixed. To me, Styx reminds me of a marriage or a relationship that went horribly wrong. My parents' marriage was like that, so much so, that if one was to ask my dad if there were any good times in his marriage to my mom, he'd probably deny it. This is what JY is doing (or attempting to do) with Dennis DeYoung. Indeed, I've had a few relationships that went so bad that I'd deny there were ever good times in that relationship. However, I agree with Harmless Dave that JY is wrong for him to act this way, and for the band not to play many of Dennis's compositions in concert. The fans want to hear this stuff! But I can understand JY WANTING to deny everything Dennis ever did for the band. But there's no way to deny Dennis's great contributions to Styx, regardless of how things ended between Dennis and the others. Indeed, my dad cannot deny his marriage to my mom, because, for better or for worse, that marriage produced two offspring, myself being one of them. My task to deny the relationships that I mentioned, is the easiest, for there was hardly anything tangible that came out of those relationships that was positive; unlike in the case of Styx, or my parents' marriage. Ultimately, I can't deny it either, because, for whatever reason why it happened, it did happen.


June 20, 2022

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriter/performers of the 70's and 80's has a birthday today! For nine straight years (1978 through 1986), he'd written a #1 song in each of those years! For a list of those songs, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com. I'll just say that the author of all those songs and so much more is Lionel Richie, who turns 73 today! Happy Birthday, Lionel!

June 18, 2022

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriters ever, has a special milestone birthday today. He is one of two surviving members of the Beatles. I'm talking about Paul McCartney, who turns 80 today! Among the songs Paul McCartney had outside of the Beatles that I really like, include "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Coming Up," "Band On The Run," "Jet," and "Spies Like Us." They say it's your birthday, Sir Paul, so Happy Birthday to you! ☺

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June 17, 2022

     Barry Manilow, known mainly for his ballads, celebrates his 79th birthday today! But one thing I think people tend to forget, is that Barry Manilow also had hits that were uptempo, which were some of his best songs. Those include songs like "Some Kind Of Friend" (#26 in 1983), "It's A Miracle" (#12 in 1975), and "Copacobana" (#8 in 1978). Incidentally, I recently sang "Some Kind Of Friend" karaoke (for the first time), and several people really liked my performance, but were very surprised when I told them that it was Barry Manilow that made that a hit. Just thought I'd bring these uptempo songs to light to more properly honor the man. Happy Birthday, Barry!

June 16, 2022 -- Andrew "Fletch" Fletcher 1962 - 2022

     I just heard of the death of Andrew "Fletch" Fletcher of the group Depeche Mode. He was 60 years old. It was said that he died of natural causes. Maybe they don't really know what he died of just yet, but like I said regarding Tawny Kitaen's death at age 59, there has to be more to this than a natural causes death at such a young age. For I was born just three years after Fletch. Maybe that's why Fletch's death has affected me some. But I seriously doubt that if I was to suddenly die like that in the near future, it would be of natural causes.

June 14, 2022

     Today, Boy George of Culture Club turns 61 today! Besides his great work with Culture Club, he also had a great solo hit in 1993, which was the title song from the movie "The Crying Game" (#15 in 1993). Happy Birthday, Boy George!

June 7, 2022

     Today, singer Tom Jones turns 82. Apparently, his songs are very popular to sing karaoke. His most popular tunes to sing karaoke include "Delilah" (#15 in 1968 -- that's how I first heard the song), "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (#6 in 1969), "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" (#5 in 1970 -- one of my best performances karaoke was singing this song), and "It's Not Unusual" (#10 in 1965 -- probably his best known song, and one that someone once requested that I sing karaoke!). A very influential artist for sure, and he deserves a birthday wish. Happy Birthday, Tom!


June 4, 2022 -- Real Effing Music

     Last night, my wife and I, along my in-laws and some of their siblings and significant others, went to a restaurant where they played primarily uptempo R & B and pop tunes primarily from the 1950's and early 1960's (which was fine for one of us, who was celebrating a birthday, having been born in 1956). Most of the songs went over my head, meaning that I didn't recognize them, but as I told my mother-in-law, who is a huge music fan too, I'd rather listen to these tunes than that electric synthetic pre-fabricated crap they have out there now. It was refreshing hearing actual musical instruments playing, where everything was not coming out of a synthesizer, and the songs are not trying to pound the beat into your head, and the song is not repeating the same words over and over again. Without giving away the name of the place, the restaurant is primarily a seafood restaurant in the Montrose area of Houston, and its first word in the name is ACME. If you want to hear some real old school music while you enjoy seafood, this is the place to go to. Hey, it's my blog, and my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.

     Among the tunes I recognized that they played, included "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels (#1 for 3 weeks in 1963), "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s (#3 in 1962), "Little Darlin'" by the Diamonds (#2 for 8 weeks in 1957), "Personality" by Lloyd Price (#2 for 3 weeks in 1959), "Come Softly To Me" by the Fleetwoods (#1 for 4 weeks in 1959), "Along Comes Mary" by the Association (#7 in 1966), "Shambala" by Three Dog Night (#3 in 1973), and "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang (#1 for 2 weeks in 1981). Just my opinion, but THAT is some real effing music!


May 26, 2022

     A very talented ecclectic musician/singer/songwriter has a birthday today! I'm talking about Lenny Kravitz! My favorites by him include "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Fly Away," and "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over." Lenny turns 58 today. Happy Birthday, Lenny!

May 26, 2022

     In recent days, one of Stevie Nicks' most famous compositions has been very influential in my decision not to quit my career as a contract software developer (even though it's been VERY frustrating lately). That song was "Landslide" (written in 1975 for the Fleetwood Mac self-titled album). The reason why I mention this is because today happens to be Stevie Nicks' birthday! She turns 74 today! Happy Birthday, Stevie, and thanks for the inspiration! ☺

May 20, 2022

     Today, one of the most enduring singers, who's also an actress, celebrates a birthday today! I'm talking about Cherilyn LaPierre, a.k.a. Cher! She turns 76 today! Among my favorites by her, include "The Beat Goes On" and "Baby Don't Go" (with Sonny, of course), and "If I Could Turn Back Time." Happy Birthday, Cher!

May 16, 2022

     We have a huge musical birthdays today, namely Janet Jackson! Just yesterday, I heard one of my all-time favorite songs by her, "Love Will Never Do (Without You)." With me, other favorite Janet Jackson songs include "Nasty," "Control," "Escapade," "Black Cat," "Again," "70's Love Groove," and "Runaway." Having seen Janet on TV as a 12-year-old in the TV sitcom "Good Times," it's still hard to believe that she's 56 today! Happy Birthday, Janet!

May 13, 2022

     My second-favorite artist (next to Billy Joel) is having a birthday today. I'm talking about Stevie Wonder! He turns 72 today! And this year, it's extra special because it falls on Friday the 13th, and most of you remember Stevie Wonder's classic #1 hit "Superstition." Stevie Wonder has SO MANY classic tunes that I love, I can't possibly list them all here, but the ones I shall mention, include "Sir Duke," the song that turned me on to Stevie Wonder (#1 for 3 weeks in 1977), "My Cherie Amour" (#4 in 1969), "Superstition" and "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" (both #1 for 1 week in 1973), "Living For The City" (#8 in 1974), "Master Blaster (Jammin')" (#5 in 1980), and "Do I Do" (#13 in 1982). Happy Birthday to you, Stevie! ☺

May 9, 2022

     Today's birthday boy is not only my all-time favorite artist, he is a very very accomplished singer, songwriter, and performer, who has recorded dozens of classics! His best-known songs include "Piano Man" (#25 in 1974), "Just The Way You Are" (#3 in 1978), "My Life" (my personal favorite, #3 in 1979), "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1980), "Uptown Girl" (#3 in 1983), and "We Didn't Start The Fire" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1989). Of course, I'm talking about Billy Joel, who turns 73 today! Happy Birthday to you, Billy! ☺

May 6, 2022

     Another one of the most enduring rockers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! This time, I'm talking about Bob Seger! He turns 77 today! He has so many classic tunes that I'm a big fan of. Some of my favorites by Bob Seger include "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You," "Shakedown," "Still The Same," "Old Time Rock And Roll," "Katmandu," "The Real Love," and "Turn The Page." You truly are a rock and roll icon, Bob! Happy Birthday! ☺

May 2, 2022

     One of the most enduring rockers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! This time, I'm talking about Foreigner's lead singer, Lou Gramm, who turns 72 today! Not only has Lou Gramm been the voice on Foreigner's hits, including "Double Vision," "Urgent," and "That Was Yesterday," three big favorites of mine, he also had some great solo hits, including "Midnight Blue" and "Just Between You And Me." Happy Birthday, Lou!

April 29, 2022

     One of the most enduring performers alive today, is celebrating a birthday today! I'm talking about Willie Nelson, who turns 89 today! And he is STILL performing!! My favorites by Willie Nelson include "On The Road Again" and "Always On My Mind." Happy Birthday, Willie! We salute you!

April 24, 2022

     An extremely talented singer and actress, whom I think would have been happy if she'd only made it as a broadway actress, celebrates her 80th birthday today! Yes, I am talking about Barbra Streisand! A funny thing happened to her on the way to the stage, and she ended up with these numerous hits. Oddly enough, my favorites by Barbra Streisand are some of her duets, those being "Guilty" (with Barry Gibb, #3, 1981), "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (with Neil Diamond, who went to the same high school as her at about the same time! -- #1 for 2 weeks in 1978), and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (with Donna Summer, #1 for 2 weeks in 1979). Happy Birthday, Babs! ☺

March 31, 2022 -- A Day Of Infamy

     Today marks the anniversary of what I call a huge day of infamy. For it was on this day in 1995 that beloved singer Selena was murdered by Yolanda Saldivar. Also, March 31st, 1995 was the day that N.W.A. member Eric "Easy-E" Wright died of AIDS. It was ALSO on that same exact date and year that congressman John Lewis made his infamous speech, "They're coming for our children! They're coming for the poor!" The context of that speech was the school lunch program where the Republicans were proposing a slight reduction in the rate of increased government spending for the program, and people like Lewis were calling this a cut. In making that speech, John Lewis was comparing the Republicans in congress to German Nazis. Really, John? Yes I know. John Lewis's speech was merely the cherry on top, as to why I call March 31st, 1995 a big day of infamy.


March 30, 2022

     Yes, I know, this man was panned as a candy rapper, but in my opinion, that time period before the gangsta rap took over, was when rap was at its best. For that reason, among others, that's why I'm giving a big happy birthday to rapper M.C. Hammer (real name, Stanley Burrell), who turns 60 today! "U Can't Touch This" is my favorite by him, but "Here Comes The Hammer" is another big favorite of mine. Happy Birthday, Hammer!

     On a personal note, when I used to bowl, I used to be part of a bowling team I initially gave the name, the Blue Hammers, because all four of us had Blue Hammer bowling balls. But then the others decided to change the name to Hammer Time, after I'd say the phrase after one of my teammates gets a strike. What can I say? It stuck, and I loved it. ☺

March 30, 2022

     A very talented and enduring singer/songwriter/musician has a birthday today as well. Today, Eric Clapton turns 77! He's one of the few musicians who can say that he's hit the top ten in the 60's, the 70's, the 80's, and the 90's (including his work with Cream in 1968). My favorite 60's tune by him is his hit with Cream, "Sunshine Of Your Love." My favorite 70's tune by Eric Clapton is "Promises." From the 80's, it's "I Can't Stand It," and from the 90's, it's the unplugged version of "Layla." Happy Birthday, Eric!

March 28, 2022

     Today marks the 36th birthdat of Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta). There are two songs by her that I like. Those are "Poker Face" and my favorite, "Bad Romance." I think that's enough reason to warrant a nice Happy Birthday to Lady Gaga!

March 28, 2022 -- TRIVIA QUESTION AND ANSWER

     Two days ago, asked the trivia question, what unusual chart feat did Diana Ross accomplish in Novemner of 1980? ANSWER: She had three songs in the top 40 simultaneously. "Upside Down" was on its way down, but was still clinging onto the top 40. "I'm Coming Out" was at its chart peak of #5. And "It's My Turn" had just debuted in the top 40. The three songs were actually in the top 40 together for three weeks, for the weeks ending November 15, 22, and 29 of 1980.

March 27, 2022

     A hugely successful and accomplished diva is celebrating her birthday today! This time, it's Mariah Carey, and she turns 52 today! Her first five singles all went to #1, and her first eleven singles all hit the top ten! Oddly enough, two of my favorite Mariah Carey songs were the ones which broke both of those strings. Those songs are "Can't Let Go" (#2 for 1 week in 1992) and "Anytime You Need A Friend" (#12 in 1994). Another huge favorite of mine is "I Don't Wanna Cry" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1991). Another huge accomplishment of Mariah Carey's is the fact that each year for 11 straight calendar years (1990-2000 inclusive), she had at least one #1 hit in each of those years! Happy Birthday, Mariah!

     On a more personal note, Mariah Carey is one of my wife's favorite singers. "Always Be My Baby" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1996) used to be my wife's ringtone for a long time. Also, in our very early days of dating, my then-girlfriend had once dedicated "One Sweet Day" (Mariah's duet with Boyz II Men, which spent a record-setting 16 weeks at #1 in late 1995 to early 1996) to me. If you want to know more about why my future wife would dedicate that song to me, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you.

March 26, 2022

     Another timeless singer and entertainer has a birthday today. This time, I'm talking about Diana Ross! She turns 78 today! She has a number of songs that I really love, and have touched me deeply. Those include "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" (#1 for 1 week in 1976), "I'm Coming Out" (#5 in 1980), "It's My Turn" (#9 in 1981), and "Touch Me In The Morning" (#1 for 1 week in 1973). My favorites by Diana Ross when she was with the Supremes include "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1966), "Reflections" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1967), and "I Hear A Symphony" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1965). Happy Birthday, Diana!

     On a personal note, another Diana Ross song, this one with the Supremes, was the new #1 song the week I was born! That song was "Stop! In The Name Of Love." Someone I used to date in high school was a huge Diana Ross fan, and I later learned that another Supremes song, "You Can't Hurry Love" was #1 the week she was born--yes Thressa, I'm talking about you. And finally, the week my wife was born, "Upside Down," Diana's biggest solo hit, was in its 4th and final week at #1. Crazy coincidences, huh? ☺

     TRIVIA QUESTION: What unusual feat did Diana Ross pull on the pop singles chart in November of 1980?

March 25, 2022

     One of my all-time favorite singers is having a birthday today! He's had dozens and dozens of great hit songs, and is a great songwriter and entertainer as well. I'm talking Sir Elton John, who turns 75 today!! I can go on forever about the great songs this man has created, but I'm just going to list A FEW of my all-time favorites by Elton John: My favorite Elton John song is his original recording of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1974). Other huge favorites include "Daniel" (#2 for 1 week in 1973), "Honky Cat" (#8 in 1972), "The Bitch Is Back" (#4 in 1974), "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (#6 in 1976), "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" (#4 in 1975), "I'm Still Standing" (#12 in 1983), and "Believe" (#13 in 1995). Happy 75th, Elton!

March 23, 2022

     Today marks the birthday of R & B singer Chaka Khan! Her real name is Yvette Marie Stevens. She is 69 today! Of course, she is best remembered for her 1984 #3 hit "I Feel For You" (written and originally done by Prince) as well as her original version of "I'm Every Woman" (#21 in 1978). Some of my favorites by Chaka Khan with Rufus include "Tell Me Something Good" (#3 in 1974, written by Stevie Wonder), and "Sweet Thing" (#5 in 1976, later remade by Mary J. Blige). Happy Birthday, Chaka!

     A few additional notes about Chaka Khan: She is credited as being the first woman to have a solo hit while still with a group (Rufus), when "I'm Every Woman" hit the top 40 in 1978. BTW, Stevie Nicks, while with Fleetwood Mac, had a duet with Kenny Loggins a few months earlier in the year with "Whenever I Call You Friend." Another note about Chaka Khan is the fact that her birthday is the same as mine! So how old am I today? Let's just say that Chaka Khan has me by 12 years. ☺

March 22, 2022

     A really talented jazz and R & B artist and musician, has a birthday today. On this day, George Benson turns 79. He's done some great cover songs, like the Drifters' "On Broadway" (#9 for them in 1963, #7 for George Benson in 1978), and L.T.D.'s "Love Ballad" (#20 for L.T.D. in 1976, #18 for George Benson in 1979). Beyond that, my favorites by him include "Give Me The Night," "Love X Love," and "Lady Love Me (One More Time)." Happy Birthday, George!


March 22, 2022 -- TRIVIA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

     In the last entry, I asked the questions, (1) what was Ronnie Milsap's only top ten pop hit, and (2) what 1999 Tamia song was I referring to, when I said it only reached #21 (on the pop chart), and it pissed somebody off? Answers: (1) Ronnie Milsap's only top ten pop hit was the rather egotistical hit of his (which I do like), "(There's) No Gettin' Over Me," which went to #5 in 1981 (for 5 weeks, in fact). (2) The Tamia song I was referring to, was actually a duet with Eric Benet, called "Spend My Life With You," which only reached #21 on the pop chart, but nonetheless, made the 100 biggest pop hits of 1999 (at #65). I have since heard the song, and it sounds good.


March 19, 2022

     I love singing karaoke, and my wife and I went to one of our favorite bars, so we could do that. The only problem was, last night, there were a group of women (late 20's, most likely), about 8 of them, who clearly were there to get drunk and act a fool. That's fine up to a point, but when on each song they'd sing, it would be some hip-hop song, that a group of them would get up there, and get loud on the song (not particularly good, mind you), yes, it got downright irritating! I actually like to SING my songs, and yes, they are considered old school to this group of women (my dad wouldn't consider them old school).

     Toward the end, I decided to tweak these hip-hopsters a bit, and my wife had inadvertantly helped me along with that, for as I was coming up to the stage, she asked me what I was going to sing. I had just gotten the microphone, and I said that I'm about to sing a song called "Stranger In My House." I knew what the hip-hopsters were going to think. Boy, were they surprised, when, instead of the hip-hop R & B song from 2001 that I figured they'd know, it was "Stranger In My House" by Ronnie Milsap (from 1983) that I was singing, instead! I even said during the instrumental break, "Did you actually think I was going to sing Tamia?" Some of them did enjoy the song, however.

     That experience also inspired two trivia questions, which I'm going to ask you: (1) Ronnie Milsap, on the pop singles chart only had one top ten hit, and it wasn't "Stranger In My House" (it only reached #23 in 1983). What song was it by Ronnie Milsap that hit the top ten? Hint: Think 1981, and a rather egotistical hit tune of Ronnie's at that time. (2) Back in 1999, I managed to tweak someone else, regarding a Tamia song, when she kept going on and on about this particular song of hers, and I kept telling this woman that I'd never heard of the song. While I had her on chat, I did some quick research on this song, and I found that the song had only climbed up to #21 on the chart. I told her that, just to illustrate why I never heard of the song, and she got pissed off! QUESTION: What song by Tamia am I referring to? Hint: It's a duet.

March 18, 2022

     A very talented singer and actress, has a birthday today! My favorite songs by her include "Dreamin'" and "Save The Best For Last." She was also great in the movie "Soul Food." Of course, I'm talking about Tarrytown New York native, Vanessa Williams, who turns 59 today. Happy Birthday, Vanessa!


March 18, 2022 -- TRIVIA QUESTION AND ANSWER

     In the last entry, I asked the question, what Poison song, written by Bret Michaels, was inspired by the death of a friend of his? The answer: "Something To Believe In" by Poison.

March 15, 2022

     I'm going to tell you right now, this month has a lot of celebrity birthdays that I know of. One of them is Bret Michaels, the lead singer of the group Poison. He turns 59 today. My favorite song by Poison is the song written by Bret Michaels, which was inspired by the death of a friend of his. TRIVIA QUESTION: What song was that? If you think you know, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com. In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Bret! ☺

March 12, 2022

     One of the Braxton sisters passed away today. Since the Braxton sisters as a musical group didn't really make it, normally, I wouldn't say anything, but when I learned that it was Traci Braxton who had given Toni the push to go solo (after the record company only wanted Toni), I felt it was appropriate to do a little tribute to Traci Braxton, who passed away at the age of 50. Thank you Traci, for inspiring Toni to spread her wings!


February 26, 2022

     A great singer and songwriter that was writing hits before he really became famous, has a birthday today. He wrote "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" which was first a hit for Laura Branigan in 1983 (#12), as well as "I Found Someone" which Cher had a hit with in 1988 (#10). Some of my favorites by this singer include "When I'm Back On My Feet Again" (#7 in 1990), "Missing You Now" (#12 in 1992), and "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" (#6 in 1993). Of course, I'm talking about Michael Bolton! He turns 69 today! Happy Birthday, Michael! ☺

February 19, 2022

     An extremely talented and enduring singer/songwriter, who has been making music for well over 60 years, has a birthday today! Yes, I'm talking about William "Smokey" Robinson! He turns 82 today! If one sign of a classic song is the fact that it's been covered by multiple artists, then dozens of Smokey Robinson's songs have become classics for that reason. Just SOME of those classic songs include "Shop Around" (#2 for 1 week for the Miracles in 1959, #4 for the Captain & Tennille in 1976), "Ooh Baby Baby" (#16 for the Miracles in 1965, #7 for Linda Ronstadt in 1979), and "The Tracks Of My Tears" (#16 for the Miracles in 1965, #10 for Johnny Rivers in 1967, #25 for Linda Ronstadt in 1976). Then we get to the great songs Smokey wrote, but somebody else made into huge hits. Those include "My Guy" by Mary Wells (#1 for 1 week in 1964), "My Girl" by the Temptations (#1 for 1 week in 1965), and "Get Ready" (#29 for the Temptations in 1966, #4 for Rare Earth in 1970). Then we get to the great solo work Smokey has done. My two favorites by Smokey Robinson are "Cruisin'" (#4 in 1980), and "Being With You" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1981). To quote one of Smokey's personal favorite songs: "Nothing can compare when Smokey sings." Happy Birthday, Smokey! ☺


February 17, 2022 -- TRIVIA QUESTION AND ANSWER

     As mentioned in the Craps Blog (under Day 3 of the Tunica trip), I have the answer to a music trivia question I posed to the people running the Sun Recording Studio museum. The question was: Which year was the one year that both Elvis Presley and the Beatles had among the 10 biggest hits for the year as a whole?

     The answer is 1965. Elvis had "Crying In The Chapel" as the #9 biggest song for the year. The Beatles had "Help!" as the #7 biggest hit for 1965.

     This is going to be a new feature, which I'm going to do from time to time. Anybody have any music trivia questions to ask me, submit your questions to musicaldice323@gmail.com.

February 12, 2022

     A very very talented singer/songwriter and musician turns 70 today! Michael McDonald, formerly of the Doobie Brothers hits this milestone birthday today! He was a great backup vocalist on such songs as "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross, "Peg" by Steely Dan, and "This Is It" by Kenny Loggins -- a song he co-wrote with Loggins (the duo also wrote "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers). Plus Michael McDonald wrote "You Belong To Me," which Carly Simon made into a top ten hit in 1978. Plus, there were his hits outside the Doobie Brothers, like "I Keep Forgettin,'" "Sweet Freedom," and "On My Own" with Patti LaBelle, which became a #1 hit, and the top R & B song of 1986. Definitely an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician, who deserves a great Happy Birthday today!

February 11, 2022

     A very talented singer and actress has a birthday today! Her maiden last name is Norwood, but she's best known only as Brandy! She turns 43 today! Happy Birthday, Brandy!

January 30, 2022

     Also known as the Cabbage Patch Kid of Rock & Roll, a very talented singer/songwriter/musican, AND actor, in fact, has a birthday today! Phil Collins, who was an actor first (he played the Artful Dodger in "Oliver," until age 14, when his voice changed, and he had to give up the role), then a drummer, then a lead vocalist and songwriter, turns 71 today! With Genesis, my favorites by Phil Collins include "Land Of Confusion," "I Can't Dance," "Throwing It All Away," and "No Son Of Mine." As a solo artist, my favorite Phil Collins song is "I Don't Care Anymore." Other favorites include "Take Me Home," "Both Sides Of The Story," "Everyday," and "In The Air Tonite." Happy Birthday, Phil!

January 24, 2022 -- A BAD TREND

     In light of it being Neil Diamond's birthday, there's something I have to say about one of his most famous tunes. "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)," which was a #4 hit for him in 1969, is one of my all-time favorites by Neil Diamond. In fact, it was the first song by him that I heard as a kid. What I love about that song is the gentle instrumentation. It KILLS me that whenever someone sings this song karaoke, at the choruses, after the song goes "Sweet Caroline," people sing out "Bomp Bomp Bomp!" And when the song goes "Good times never seemed so good," people yell out "So good! So good!" When they do that, the tender ballad turns into a raunchy party song, and I hate that! Am I the only one that thinks that? Please let me know!

January 24, 2022

     Today is the birthday of one of my all-time favorite singers. He also is a talented songwriter, who wrote "I'm A Believer" for the Monkees, "Red Red Wine," which UB40 TWICE made a hit out of, plus he wrote "Sunday And Me," a hit for Jay & the Americans, the very first top 40 composition for Neil Diamond, who turns 81 today! I had the pleasure of meeting Neil in person back in December of 1981, when "Yesterday's Songs" was a current hit. Very nice and funny guy. Happy Birthday, Neil!

January 20, 2022

     I was saddened to hear about the death of Meat Loaf. He was truly a great singer and entertainer. I personally like his hits "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" and "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" the best. Meat Loaf (real name Marvin Lee Aday) was 74 years old. We miss you, Meat!

January 19, 2022

     A very accomplished country/pop singer/songwriter has a birthday today! I'm talking about Dolly Parton, who turns 76 today! Most people remember her for her #1 hit "9 To 5" from 1981, or her #1 hit duet with Kenny Rogers, "Islands In The Stream," from 1983. But she also had some great early tunes as well. There was "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," both originally from 1974 -- the latter of which was a #1 country hit for Dolly in 1974 and 1982 (when it was featured in the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas," which she co-starred in). Of course, Whitney Houston took her version of that song to #1 on the pop charts for 14 weeks. As the songwriter, Dolly must have made a mint off that song. We salute you, Dolly, and Happy Birthday!

January 16, 2022

     Today, a very enduring talented blind country artist turns 79. Yes, I'm talking about Ronnie Milsap! My favorites by him include "It Was Almost Like A Song" (his first top 40 pop hit, #16 in 1977), "Stranger In My House" (his last top 40 pop hit, #23 in 1983), and "Smokey Mountain Rain" (the first song by Ronnie Milsap that I heard, #24 pop in 1981). Happy Birthday, Ronnie!

     On a personal note, the first time I really paid attention to "It Was Almost Like A Song," it was at a time when I was trying to get over a breakup, and things were going bad at my job, which was greatly in jeopardy. I was in a diner on a lunch break, and I selected the song from a jukebox. I damn near cried when I listened to the dramatic ending to the song.

January 10, 2022

     A great talent in songwriting as well as singing has a birthday today. Rod Stewart turns 77 today! My favorites by him include "You're In My Heart," "Passion," "The First Cut Is The Deepest," "Reason To Believe" (the unplugged version), and yes, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Happy Birthday, Rod!

December 18, 2021

     A truly talented versatile singer has a birthday today. Today's birthday wishes goes out to Christina Aguilera, who turns 41 today! Happy Birthday, Christina!

December 12, 2021

     One of the greatest female singers alive today, celebrates her 81st birthday today! That singer is Dionne Warwick! I'd grown up listening to a number of her songs. Some of my all-time favorites by Dionne Warwick include "Walk On By" (#6 in 1964), "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" (#10 in 1968), "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (#6 in 1970), and "Then Came You" (with the Spinners--#1 for 1 week in 1974). Happy Birthday, Dionne!

December 11, 2021

     Although he was greatly overshadowed by younger siblings Michael and Janet, Jermaine Jackson, I think, still deserves a Happy Birthday today because he's still a great singer, and has contributed some great songs to the music world. My favorites include "Do What You Do" (#13 in 1985), "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy" (featuring Devo on backup vocals, #18 in 1982), and "I Think It's Love" (#16 in 1986 around the same time Janet had her first big hit "What Have You Done For Me Lately"). There also were his two #9 hits "Daddy's Home" (1973), and "Let's Get Serious" (1980). Jermaine Jacksom turns 67 today. Happy Birthday, Jermaine!

December 10, 2021

     I learned today about the death of Michael Nesmith, one of the members of the Monkees. I felt it necessary to mention him, because Nesmith was one of the bona-fide musicians of the Monkees all along. Not only that, Michael Nesmith was an accomplished songwriter. He wrote Linda Ronstadt's first hit, "Different Drum" (a #13 hit in 1968). Michael Nesmith died of heart failure today at age 78 (just 20 days shy of his 79th birthday). Rest in peace, Mike.

December 2, 2021

     I must say, today's birthday girl must be feeling like she'd just been emancipated, given her recent court victory over her father. Of course, I'm talking about Britney Spears, who turns 40 today! What a milestone! Maybe "Milestone" or "Emancipation" should be the name of your next album, eh Britney? ☺

November 26, 2021

     Today, singer Tina Turner celebrates her 82nd birthday! Sbe was great with her then-husband Ike on songs like "Proud Mary" (#4 for Ike & Tina Turner in 1971) and "Nutbush City Limits" (#22 in 1973), as well as a solo singer, with such great songs as "What's Love Got To Do With It" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1984), "Better Be Good To Me" (my personal favorite by Tina Turner -- #5 in 1984), and "I Don't Want To Fight" (#9 in 1993). Happy Birthday, Tina!!

Novemver 10, 2021 -- Has It Really Come Down To This?

     I am deeply saddened by what went down at the Travis Scott concert this past Friday night. Not just because I live in Houston, where this took place, but also, because it begs the question, why weren't more precautions taken to prevent this tragedy? Eight people dead, and dozens more injured? Couldn't Traviss Scott's people have forseen something like this? They knew how many tickets were being sold, and therefore could have estimated how many people were going to attend this concert. Now I would think someone would have been able to determine how many people could fit comfortably into that space allocated for the festival, and thus realized that there would only be so many tickets that could be sold for this event, to ensure everybody's safety. Amd furthermore, based on the massive ticket sales for this event, couldn't someone have realized that they needed far more security officers for this event? Clearly, such precautions were not taken, and as a result, all these people got trampled, and some will never come home again.

     Even more disturbing is the fact that most of the attendees of this concert were under-aged kids listening to this gangsta rap, with all its violent imagery, abd explicit adult lyrics. Now when I was a teenager, there were A FEW songs here and there that had such explicit lyrics, but nothing of this magnitude, like we have today. To be clear, there is NOTHING glamorous or glorious about the gangster lifestyle, and I find it repugnant that today's rappers are glorifying that kind of life. Would you want your kids to live that kind of life?

     Some of the blame for this lies on the parents of these kids, for it seems to me that these kids have not been taught that what they see on TV, or hear on the radio is different from how one is supposed to act in real life. Everyday problems are not meant to be solved with guns or knives. And using alcohol and/or illegal drugs is no solution either. Yes I know that a lot of you are probably going to say that you DID teach your kids all these things. Well at LEAST. what seems to be lacking is this idea that there are consequences to every action taken. Far too many kids don't think about what they're doing. and what might happen if certain actions are taken. Yes I know that teenagers rebel against parents and their teachings and authority, but what isn't talked about enough is the price of rebellion. And often times, that price is steep, like an unwanted pregnancy, or a drug overdose, or something catastrophic like this happening.

     What I find EVEN MORE disturbing about what happened at the Travis Scott concert. was what I heard of people sticking other people with syringes, shooting them up with drugs, which I'm sure, contributed to the stampede. Now, if I was Travis Scott, I'd be wondering if I have saboteurs in my inner circle doing this crap, because people injecting others with drugs are making Travis Scott look real bad. Moreover, this sort of thing really begs the question, has it really all come down to this?? Is this really the kind of behavior we are to expect from now on? For this is not the first Travis Scott concert that this has happened at (though not to this magnitude). And Travis Scott is not the only one promoting this kind of degernerate behavior (yes I know that Travis Scott had refunded all the money back to the rest of his shows that were scheduled in Houston, and had agreed to pay all funeral expenses, but that is mere damage control, as this comes as very little comfort to the loved ones of that nine-year-old boy whose skull was crushed, and who is now on life support. And for the 22-year-old woman, who had been declared brain-dead. I don't think Travis Scott doing all this stuff NOW, meand a hill of beans to her loved ones).

     This blog entry is a sad commentary on what happened at the Travis Scott concert the night of November 5th, 2021, but more importantly, it's a sad commentary on today's society. For it really wasn't that long ago that such things were not allowed to happen. Our kids were better equipped, so that such things that happened at that concert, would not happen. Maybe, I'm just a gray-haired old man at age 56, and I need to accept that this is the new millenium, and this is the way things are now. Well I'm sorry. I DO NOT accept that this is the way things are now, and there is nothing we can do about it. Forget this new millenium crap! What's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong! And THIS IS WRONG, what's happened to our society! We can do much better than this!

     We need to.

Novemver 6, 2021 -- Natural Causes?

     I watching Harmless Dave's YouTube channel, and he was talking about the death of Tawny Kitaen (the bombshell that was in the Whitesnake videos "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love"--she actually died about six months ago), at age 59 of natural causes. The comments section of that video was turned off, so I decided to comment on this in my own forum. I have a big problem with that, not only because I have a dad, still alive at 91, and an aunt still alive at age 92, and also, this also brings up how they said Jerry Garcia (of the Grateful Dead) died in 1995 at age 53. My own age is right in the middle of Tawny Kitaen and Jerry Garcia's st the time of their deaths. Harmless Dave had a problem with this whole natural causes thing, because he, too, is in his fifties. I am not a medical expert by any means, but I think from a layman's point of view, I think what happened in the cases of both Tawny Kitaen and Jerry Garcia was that the long-term effects of prolonged substance abuse is that the body is greatly weakened in ways that aren't apparently clear. In Jerry Garcia's case, they said there weren't any drugs in his system at the time of his death, but in my opinion, the damage had already been done from his many years of substance abuse. I stronly suspect that something similar was the case with Tawny Kitaen. I'd heard of something similar with poker Stu Ungar, who died in 1998 at age 45, with, they said not enough cocaine in his system to be fatal, but his many years of prior cocaine abuse had already taken its toll on his body. Same thing pretty much with Andy Gibb, whom they said, died of an inflammatory heart virus in 1988 at age 30. His many years of prior heavy cocaine abuse had been well-documented. At the time of death, there may not have been anything that can be easily pinpointed that specifically caused these people's deaths, but I think most intelligent people can figure out what LED to these people's deaths.

     If I was to die today at age 56, chances are near 100% that my death would NOT be due to "natural causes."

November 5, 2021

     One of the best rock and roll singer/songwriters of all-time, hailing from Canada, has a birthday today. Today's birthday boy is Bryan Adams, who turns 62 today! Some of my all-time favorites by Bryan Adams include "Cuts Like A Knife," "Straight From The Heart," "Summer Of '69," "It's Only Love" (with Tina Turner), and "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." Happy Birthday, Bryan! ☺

October 30, 2021

     Today, not one, but TWO old-timers are having birthdays! First is Otis Williams, the last surviving original member of the Temptations, who turns 80 today! Also, there is Grace Slick, the female who was with Jefferson Airplane, which evolved into Jefferson Starship, and then Starship. Grace Slick turns 82 today! Happy Birthday, Oat and Grace!

October 24, 2021

     One of the biggest female R & B singers of the 90's has a birthday today. Monica Arnold, a.k.a. Monica, turns 41 today! She had the 2nd biggest hit of 1998 with Brandy with "The Boy Is Mine," as well as the 3rd biggest hit of 1999 with "Angel Of Mine," as well as one of the ten biggest hits of 1995 with "Don't Take It Personal." I think Monica deserves to be recognized, so Happy Birthday, Monica!

October 14, 2021

     One of my all-time favorite English singers has a birthday today! Cliff Richard, best known in the U.S. for songs like "We Don't Talk Anymore," "Dreaming," and "Devil Woman," turned 81 today! Happy Birthday, Cliff!

October 7, 2021

     One of the greatest R & B singers alive today, and who has one of the biggest hits of the Rock Era, has a birthday today! Toni Braxton turns 54 today! Happy Birthday, Toni!


October 7, 2021

     Another great singer/songwriter/musician turns 70 today! Hailing from Seymour Indiana, the birthday boy is none other than John Mellencamp! (formerly John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp) He had the top album of 1982 ("American Fool") and two of the ten biggest hits of that year ("Hurts So Good" and "Jack And Diane"). Other great songs of his include "I Need A Lover," "Pink Houses," "Rooty Toot Toot," "Wild Night" (the Van Morrison remake that was a duet with Me’Shell Ndegeocello), and "I'm Not Running Anymore." Happy Birthday, John!

October 2, 2021

     This is one of those rare occasions that not one, but TWO famous singers have a birthday today, and BOTH are hitting milestones today!

     First of all, singer Tiffany, who sang the #1 hits "I Think We're Alond Now" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1987) and "Could've Been" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1988), turns 50 today! The other singer celebrating a milestone birthday today is Sting. He turns 70 today! My favorites by Sting include "Love Is The Seventh Wave," "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" (both #17 hits in 1985 and 1993 respectively) and "Brand New Day." Among his hits with the Police, my favorites include "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," "Don't Stand So Close To Me" (both #10 in 1981), "King Of Pain" (#3 in 1983), and "Synchronicity II" (#16 in 1983). Oddly enough, both Tiffany and Sting each had a top ten hit called "All This Time." Tiffany's song was a ballad that reached #6 for her in 1989, while Sting's song was an uptempo song that reached #5 for him in 1991. We salute and congratulate both of you on your milestones today. Happy Birthday both Tiffany and Sting! ☺

October 2, 2021 -- Moved To Tears

     In the 26 years that I've been singing karaoke, I never had a performance of mine actually move someone to tears. That is what happened last night.

     You see, what happened was, there was a group of people there, who was honoring a friend of theirs who had recently passed away. The organizer insisted on calling it a celebration of the woman's life. It was with that in mind that I first sang "I Just Want To Celebrate" by Rare Earth, which was very well received, especially by that group of people. But it was the second song I sang, "I'll Be There" by the Escape Club, that had the most profound effect. I introduced the song as one that a lost loved one would dedicate to those living, if he/she could. So I sang the song, admittedly not even my best performance, but apparently, the organizer of the event was so moved by my performance that when I finished, she hugged me and thanked me for singing that, and the woman was crying profusely. I was stunned that my performance had this effect on people. My wife told me shortly thereafter that a bunch of people there also had tears coming out of their eyes. I NEVER had that kind of effect on people when I sang karaoke before, and I am still stunned and amazed that I did. All I can say is thank you to those who were moved by my performance.

September 27, 2021

     My wife's birthday is today, and she shares it with a great singer, both in talent, and in size. Of course, I'm talking about Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday). He turns 74 today. Happy Birthday, Meat Loaf!

     A few extra notes on Meat Loaf: one of his most famous songs ("Paradise By The Dashboard Light") was played as part of a wedding proposal at a karaoke party. Also, for one of the five weeks that "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" was #1, so was the album that it came from ("Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell"). My favorite Meat Loaf song is his hit "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" (#13 in 1994), a song that was first a hit for his primary songwriter and producer, Jim Steinmann (featuring an unknown singer on the vocals). Steinmann's version only climbed to #32 in 1981. "Two Out Three Ain't Bad" is another great Meat Loaf song (#11 in 1978). You're not just that fat kid, Meat! ☺

September 23, 2021

     One of the greatest singer/songwriters alive has a birthday today! Besides the 12 top ten hits he sang on, he also wrote the Pointer Sisters' #2 hit from 1979, "Fire," as well as the #1 hit "Blinded By The Light," which was a hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1977. Yes, I'm talking about the Boss, Bruce Springsteen! He turns 72 today! Happy Birthday, Bruce!

September 7, 2021

     One of the greatest songwriters who ever lived, has a birthday today! She has written such classics as "Rhythm Of The Night" by DeBarge, "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher, "Blame It On The Rain" by Milli Vanilli, "When I'm Back On My Feet Again" by Michael Bolton, "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion, "Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton, and many many others (I plan to do a future article showcasing the hits Diane Warren has written). If there was anyone in the music business I wished I could emulate, it would be our birthday girl, Diane Warren, for she makes her money behind the scenes, meaning she can be rich, and won't be hounded for autographs when she's at the supermarket, for example. Diane Warren turns 65 today! Happy Birthday, Diane!

September 4, 2021

     Today marks a milestone birthday for the queen of hip-hop. Today Beyonce turns 40 years old! Happy Birthday, Queen Bee!

September 3, 2021 -- Black People And Country Music

     While my wife and I were at karaoke last night, we talked with an old friend of ours who said that she listens to country music, and she is black (in case you don't know, my wife and I are both black). That was a welcome change from what I hear from most blacks, who say that they'll never listen to country music. Those who think that way, I believe, really don't know just how many of the R & B classics they listen to, actually started out as country songs.

     I'm going to mention some of these R & B songs that started out as country songs here. For example, "Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore was twice a country hit in the 60's before she made a pop and R & B hit out of it in 1976. There was also "I Swear" and "I Can Love You Like That" which were both originally sung by country artist John Michael Montgomery before All-4-One had hits with them. At least four of the top ten hits Ray Charles had were originally country songs. Those include "I Can't Stop Loving You" (written as a country song in 1956), "You Don't Know Me" (first done by country artist Eddy Arnold), "Take These Chains From My Heart" (A Hank Williams original), and "Crying Time" (written and originally sung by Buck Owens). The biggest example I can think of, where a classic R & B song started out as a country song, was "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston (written by, and was twice a country hit for Dolly Parton).

     Of course, all the above songs were given an R & B spin, but the point is, there may be another country song out there, where the words can fit anyone, not just those who listen to country music. All I'm saying here is just have an open mind, please. ☺

September 3, 2021 -- Running Off At The Mouth

     Last night, my wife and I went to one of our favorite karaoke spots, and we got there to enjoy the dinner they have there. But what got on our both of our nerves, was the fact that for quite a while, every song coming out of the jukebox there were these songs that featured some guy talking real fast to some pre-packaged beat, and little to no actual melody to the song. Am I the only one to think that this is really not music?

     I mean, anyone can have diarrhea of the mouth, but it takes true talent to write and put together a great song that has a good melody with actual musical instruments, not merely something coming out of a synthesizer, and an actual drum or bass beat to organize the melody, and give it tempo, and as a bonus, having easy-to-follow and understand lyrics (I say a bonus, because some of my all-time favorite tunes are instrumentals--when was the last time you heard a new tune that was an instrumental?). And when you have a person or people who can SING a song, and not merely go off at the mouth, all that together is what makes a song enjoyable and nice to listen to. I hear very little of these things in today's music--and I wouldn't even call it music. Am I the only one who feels this way?

     Of course, some of you will say that I, at age 56, am a gray-headed old fart, who is out of touch. I prefer to look at it, like I'm experienced enough to know what good music is, and what isn't good music. People say that this is a new time and a new era, and things have changed. I'm sorry, but what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong, and I don't see talking fast on a recording being nearly as good as a good singing voice on a recording. There's no way you're going to tell me that something like "Stick 'Em" by the Fat Boys (an old-school rap tune, that I find entertaining, in fact) is a better quality song than let's say "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. And I'd pick "Stick 'Em" over most of the crap I hear nowadays.

     Now it is true that musical styles and arrangements have changed dramatically over the years. The music I listen to is not what my parents would listen to. My dad, who is still alive, for example, listens to mostly classical music and big bands. I like some of that kind of music, but not a lot of it. I prefer my rock era music, which has completely different musical arrangements from the classical and big band musical eras. But the basic concept is essentially the same--good quality melodies and instrumentation, and for vocals, good quality singers. Again, I hear very little of this in what passes today as music.

     Of course, some will say that today's music talks about what life is really like in the ghetto, and on the streets. My answer to that is, have you ever heard songs like "In The Ghetto" by Elvis Presley, "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel, "Living For The City" by Stevie Wonder, "Ball Of Confusion" by the Temptations, or "I've Got To Use My Imagination" by Gladys Knight & the Pips? These songs and countless others sing about the struggle too. I happen to think they do a far better and more elegant job of illustrating the struggle than just some schmuck merely running off at the mouth.

     Of course, this blog entry is merely one man's opinion on today's music. But since this is my blog, I am entitled to that opinion.


August 31, 2021

     A very talented singer/songwriter/producer, who was the youngest person to write, sing, and produce a #1 hit song, has a birthday today. Debbie Gibson (or Deborah, as she calls herself these days) turns 51 today, hard to believe, huh? When "Foolish Beat" went to #1 in June of 1988, Debbie Gibson, who sang, wrote, and produced the song, was still only 17 years old! That's an incredible accomplishment. "Foolish Beat" and "Staying Together" are my two favorite songs by Debbie Gibson. Happy Birthday, Deb!


August 28, 2021

     One of the most talented and successful country and pop artists alive today, celebrated her 56th birthday today! A very Happy Birthday goes out to Canada's own Shania Twain! Favorite songs by her include "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" I think Shania Twain is the singer closest to my age (I was born 5 months and 5 days before she was).

August 24, 2021

     For well over 50 years, the backbeat sound which had been a trademark of the Rolling Stones, was pounded out by Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones. Sadly, he passed away today at age 80. The Rolling Stones will never be the same without you, man.

August 23, 2021

     A very talented singer, songwriter, and actor, who had been labeled a teen idol in two completely different times in his career, has a birthday today. That person is Australian-born Rick Springfield! He turns 72 today! Happy Birthday, Rick!

     Oddly enough, my favorite song by Rick Springfield is one that he didn't write, but had a big hit with in 1981 (#8). That song is "I've Done Everything For You" (written and originally recorded by Sammy Hagar in 1978).

     Some people had mistaken Rick Springfield for Bruce Springsteen (so much so that Rick Springfield wrote a song about it called "Bruce."). I never got the two confused, for although they are both rockers, their styles are completely different, in my opinion. However, they do have a few similarities. Aside from how similar their last names sound, they also have somewhat similar birthdays. While Rick Springfield's birthday is today, August 23rd, Bruce Springsteen's birthday is September 23rd, and the two were born the same year, and thus, they're only a month apart, in terms of age. Also, both artists had a top 40 hit called "Human Touch" (Rick Springfield's "Human Touch" went to #18 in 1983, while Bruce Springsteen's "Human Touch" went to #16 in 1992).

August 21, 2021

     Although the Everly Brothers' music was before my time, I still am familiar with some of their tunes, for songs like "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Bye Bye Love," and "'Til I Kissed You" (which I very recently heard), have all become timeless classics. For this reason, I feel it necessary to mention the death of the last surviving Everly Brother, Don Everly, who passed away today at age 84. Your music will live forever, Don.

August 16, 2021 -- Am I The Only One To Find THIS Strange?

     It never fails. Whenever August 16th comes up, the media focus way more on this being the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death in 1977, and especially now, since today is also the anniversary of Aretha Franklin's death in 2018, rather than the birthday of Madonna. Am I the only one who finds this strange? Sure, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin were legends, but they're long gone (in fact, Elvis has now been dead 44 years, and he only lived to be 42). I'd rather focus on those legends that are still alive. Madonna, a legend in her own right, celebrates her 63rd birthday today. Happy Birthday, Madonna!

     Some of my all-time favorites by Madonna, include "Live To Tell," "Oh Father," "Rescue Me," "You'll See," and her cover version of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina." Just my opinion, but I think Madonna would be a lot more respected if she concentrated more on the fact that she wrote or co-wrote most of her hits, rather than all the outrageous stuff she'd done over the years. I, for one, never cared about all the extra stuff. If the song was good, that's all I cared about.

August 14, 2021

     Regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his era, David Crosby, of Crosby, Stills & Nash, turns 80 today! I saw the guy in person at some diner in Beverly Hills California, back in 1997. My mom took me there in March of that year to celebrate my birthday, and she pointed him out to me, but she didn't remember his name. I recognized him at once as David Crosby. He was at a table with two young children, presumably his grandchildren. My mom and I didn't bother him. Anyway, Happy Birthday, David!

August 13, 2021 -- Am I The Only One Who Thought This Strange?

     For years, I thought it rather strange that the media, when it came down to mentioning celebrity birthdays, would always mention Fidel Castro on August 13th, but almost never Dan Fogelberg. In other words, the media would rather remember the birthday of a brutal murderous dictator, rather than a great singer/songwriter of the 70's and 80's. Am I the only one who thought that strange? Dan Fogelberg, who would have turned 70 today, is best remembered for his four top ten hit ballads "Longer" (#2 for 2 weeks in 1980), "Same Old Lang Syne" (#9 in 1981), "Hard To Say" (#7 in 1981), and "Leader Of The Band" (#9 in 1982). It's easy to forget that he had some great up-tempo songs too, like "Part Of The Plan," "Love Gone By," and "The Power Of Gold." Oh yeah, Dan Fogelberg rarely gave interviews. So effing what? So he was a very private person. Is that why the media chose to diss Dan Fogelberg, because they felt he dissed the media, by rarely giving interviews? Well those who know his music, know what a great musician he was. And most every New Year's Eve or Christmas Eve, I'd hear "Same Old Lang Syne." We remember you, Dan, even if the media chooses to forget you. The one time I heard both Fidel Castro and Dan Fogelberg's birthday mentioned on August 13th, was in 2007. I later learned that Dan Fogelberg had died just four months later of prostate cancer, at age 56. On today, what would have been Dan Fogelberg's 70th birthday, I choose to remember him with this blog entry. Maybe people will think this strange, but I don't care! ☺

August 11, 2021

     Joe Jackson, whose style of music was once described by Musician Magazine as Chameleon Cool, is having a birthday today! Joe Jackson turns 67 today. It doesn't seem that long ago that Joe Jackson was teaching us about steppin' out, but that song came out in 1982. My, how time flies! Anyway, Happy Birthday, Joe!

August 7, 2021

     I am once again reminded that the singers and groups I'd grown up listening to on the radio, are now dying out. I was saddened to hear about the death of Dennis "Dee-Tee" Thomas, one of the founding members of Kool & the Gang, who died today at age 70. He was the saxophone player you'd hear on such hits as "Cherish" (the long version) and "Too Hot," which I had sung karaoke, just two nights ago. I saw Kool & the Gang in concert in Oceanside Californis 20 years ago, and they were awesome. One other member died a few months earlier. We love you guys!


July 28, 2021

     Being a Houstonian these days, I couldn't help being somewhat sad to hear about the death of Dusty Hill of ZZTop, who named themselves that because they wanted to be the last names in rock and roll. Well, they were certainly one of the most unforgettable bands ever. That distinct guitar and backbeat sound of theirs was unmistakeable. Dusty Hill provided the bass sound for the band. He will definitely be missed. He was 72 years old.

July 26, 2021

     One of the most talented musicians ever, celebrates his 78th birthday today. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones has his birthday today! There are so many Rolling Stones tunes that have become real classics with me. To mention a few of them, they include "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Street Fighting Man," "Start Me Up," "Emotional Rescue," "Undercover Of The Night," and "Rock And A Hard Place." I even like his solo hits "Let's Work" and "Just Another Night." There aren't many like you, Mick. Happy Birthday!

July 25, 2021 -- You Like What You Like

     It kills me when people criticize other people for liking a certain song (or not liking a certain song). The fact of the matter is, you like what you like, for whatever reason. You're entitled to your own opinion, just like I am entitled to mine.

     This issue came up for me earlier this morning because of a comment I made on one of the Professor Of Rock's YouTube videos. I love his vlogs, talking about the songs I grew up on, and interviewing singers, musicians, and songwriters that were part of those tunes. I often leave comments about my experiences with the songs of the people who recorded the songs.

     This time around, the subject was the Flamingos' 1959 hit "I Only Have Eyes For You." Now it was an interesting article about how the Flamingos' version of the song came together, but jyst the same, I only commented that I like Art Garfunkel's 1975 version better. And I was harshly critized for that! Someone said that the arrangement of Garfunkel's version was inspired by the Flamingos' version, so it was hard to appreciate my comment. First of all, there are SOME similarities, but I find Art Garfunkel's version very different, plus more simple and easy to understand. But that's just my opinion.

     While we're on the subject of different versions, there was a time a few years ago, when my dad and I were watching TV, and the Flamingos' version of "I Only Have Eyes For You" was playing in a commercial. I pointed out the song's title, and my dad was shocked! He said "THAT is 'I Only Have Eyes For You?'" But I knew why he said that. It's because he remembers the original Ben Selvin version from 1934, and the Flamingos' version was radically different from what he heard as "I Only Have Eyes For You." I think it was an adaptation of Selvin's version that I heard on an old cartoon called "I Only Have ICE For You."

     The only reason why I'm commenting on this, is because it kind of brought me back to the Christopher Cross incident (mentioned in an earlier entry), when I was labeled a non-conformist for saying that "Sailing" was my least favorite Christopher Cross tune, when the others at the table said that it was their favorite song. Again, you like what you like. Remember what I say at the bottom of each of these web pages: Be true to yourself, always love and respect yourself, and never be afraid to be yourself. And part of being true to yourself, is saying what you truly feel, regardless of how many people may disagree with you. Is my dad wrong with preferring Ben Selvin's original #2 hit version of "I Only Have Eyes For You?" Are the people who like the Flamingos' #11 hit version of the song? Am I wrong for liking Art Garfunkel's 1975 #18 hit version the best? No! You like what you like. It is what it is.

July 24, 2021

     A very talented actress and singer, who did a superb job of portraying Selena in the movie about her, celebrates a birthday today. Today, Jennifer Lopez celebrates her 52nd birthday. Happy Birthday, J.Lo!

July 22, 2021

     Today, Don Henley of the Eagles celebrates his 74th birthday. He is truly a great musician, singer, and songwriter. As a member of the Eagles, songs that he sings lead on, which are huge favorites, include "Witchy Woman," "The Long Run," and of course, "Hotel California." As far as his solo hits, my favorites by Don Henley include "All She Wants To Do Is Dance," "Dirty Laundry," and "The Last Worthless Evening." Happy Birthday, Don! And you're right, you don't have to have the lips to sing. ☺

July 18, 2021 -- Something I Have To Say

     I just finished putting together the Novelty and Comedy Tunes article, and one song I almost forgot about, I decided to include, even though I think it's the stupidest song ever recorded! That song is "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis. To me, the only thing that makes sense about that song, are the names used, like Shirley, the singer, and Lincoln, Shirley Ellis's husband, and the one who wrote the song. I do admit that I'm probably biased here, since I've been called all sorts of names A LOT. It is what it is.

     Since I mentioned my all-time worst song, I might as well mention my all-time best song as well. That song is "My Life" by Billy Joel, a song that has been my anthem ever since age 15. I mention this here to say, don't let the charts or the critics determine what songs you like. If YOU like the song, that's all that matters, no matter how it performed on the charts, or who else may like it, or not. Sometimes, I have to remind people that for all my talk about #1 and all that, my all-time favorite song never spent a day at #1, instead, topping out at #3 in 1979.

July 16, 2021

     I was very surprised to hear about the death of rapper Biz Markie, who died today from complications from diabetes at age 57. I really liked his hit "Just A Friend." It was one of those songs that despite the subject matter, reminds you not to take life so seriously. We'll miss you, brother.

July 7, 2021

     A very Happy Birthday goes out to the oldest (in terms of age), and one of two surviving members of the Beatles, Ringo Starr, who turns 81 today! The first rock and roll song I ever heard, which occurred when I was five, was "Yellow Submadine" by the Beatles, which Ringo wrote, and sang lead on. I like a lot of his solo hits too. "Photograph" is a huge favorite of mine, and "It Don't Come Easy," "Oh My My," and "No No Song" are great tunes too. Happy Birthday to you, Ringo!

July 5, 2021

     Very Happy Birthday wishes go out today to Huey Lewis, lead singer of Huey Lewis & the News! Huey turns 71 today. A great man, and a great group! My biggest favorite songs by them include "The Heart Of Rock And Roll," "Perfect World," "Do You Believe In Love," and "Jacob's Ladder." Happy Birthday, Huey!

July 4, 2021 -- Neil Diamond & Karaoke

     I have so much to say about this topic that I'd considered making a full-fledged article out of this blog entry. For I have several noteworthy experiences regarding Neil Diamond and karaoke (something I've done as a hobby for over 25 years), for Neil Diamond is one of my favorite singers, and I've sung over a dozen of his tunes karaoke.

     I was singing karaoke this past Friday night, and the song I sang that got the best response was "Forever In Blue Jeans." Seeing some of the people moving, swaying, and singing along to the tune, brought me back to the time when I first heard the tune, when I was 16 years old. I was in line at a Wherehouse record store in Mountain View California at the time, and Neil Diamond was inside giving autographs. While a bunch of us were waiting in line outside to get our autographs, the P.A. system was playing Neil Diamon's songs. One that really had people moving was "Forever In Blue Jeans." I had never heard the song before, but I instantly liked it. By the time I bought his third volume of his greatest hits album, a few months later, which contained the song, it was already my favorite Neil Diamond tune. It is beyond me why the song only peaked at #20 on the Billboard chart. Apparently, it has become a stone classic, regardless.

     And oh yeah, when I actually met the man, he was nice, gracious, and even funny. He was happy to give me an autograph. I still have it nearly 40 years later.

     And since today is the Fourth of July, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that sometimes at karaoke, on the 4th of July, I'd sing "America" by Neil Diamond. One time, someone else got to sing the song ahead of me, and I had to settle with singing "Only In America" by Jay & the Americans, which was still cool. More on that later.

     There was one time I was at karaoke, and someone else was singing "Cracklin' Rosie" by Neil Diamond. The karaoke video didn't merely have the lyrics, but it featured a country guy and a country girl, presumed to be Rosie, romancing. I busted out laughing, for the video missed the whole point of the song. For "Cracklin' Rosie" isn't about a girl named Rosie, but a bottle of rose. How many people do you know can be described as crackling?

     I was once at karaoke, and I'd sung "Holly Holy" by Neil Diamond. I had a great reaction from the audience, but there was this one guy, who had the nerve to say to me, "Great song, but it's NEIL DIAMOND," as if singing a Neil Diamond song was the most un-cool, politically incorrect thing I could have done. My response to him was "I'll sing Milli Vanilli, if the song is good." Little did this smart-ass know, that I actually DID sing a Milli Vanilli tune karaoke, a few months earlier. E-mail me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, if you want me to tell which Milli Vanilli tune I actually sang.

     Given that I'd actually sung karaoke two nights ago, it may seem strange that I waited until now to make this entry into the blog. Well, there are two reasons for that. One, I waited until the 4th of July, when "America" by Neil Diamond would be an appropriate song to sing and play. Secondly, I waited until today, Sunday morning to make this entry into the blog because the first Neil Diamond-written song to hit the top 40 was called "Sunday And Me" by Jay & the Americans. Now you know. ☺


July 3, 2021 -- Christopher Cross

     Christopher is a great musician and songwriter, and I like all of hits. But there are a couple of things personally I have to share, regarding Christopher Cross:

     Both personal experiences about Christopher Cross are in relation to my first year of college. First of all, there was a time where I was having dinner in my dorm with about six other people, and the topic came about to favorite Christopher Cross tunes. While everybody else said "Sailing" was their favorite Christopher Cross tune, I said what I truly felt, that to me, "Sailing" was my least favorite Christopher Cross tune, instead, picking "Ride Like The Wind" for my favorite. One of the others at the table, had the nerve to say to me "Damned non-conformist!" Yes, Robert, I'm talking about you. I will not say something just to conform to a group opinion. That is called being fake and phony, and those are two things that I am not. Now mind you, "Sailing" is a very good song (I like it more now than I did back then), but I still like the other hits Christopher Cross had even better. It is what is. In part, it was this experience which is why I have the saying of being true to yourself down at the botton of each page on the website. I have to be me.

     The other Christopher Cross experience I had was at the same school during my freshman year, when there were a group of us watching General Hospital. The song "Think Of Laura" by Christopher Cross, one of the tunes that I like better than "Sailing," was playing, as it did a lot during this time period, and I had made the comment that the song had come out some months earlier, and it wasn't until it was featured on GH that it became a hit. KEEP IN MIND, others including a girl named Dorothy, were making comments about what was going on in the episode, but yet and still SHE yells at ME, for talking during the program! Well EXCUSE ME FOR EXPRESSING MY THOUGHTS, LIKE YOU DO, YOU STUCK-UP HYPOCRITICAL BITCH!! Maybe because I wasn't part of her clique, or I had the wrong paint job, or I looked like a nerd, I wasn't supposed to say anything, but dammit, I HAVE JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE THERE AND SAY STUFF JUST LIKE YOU DO!! I think Dorothy was one of the others at that table that night of the "Sailing" incident.

     That's all for now. Count on more personal musical insights and experiences, via this blog. But don't count on each blog entry containing this much snake venom. ☺

July 3, 2021

     It occurred to me today that merely making blog entries about famous recording artists' birthdays and deaths, isn't going to be very interesting. From now on, I'm going to also include my own personal thoughts on certain musical topics. Some of my views, you may not agree with, but this is my blog, and I intend to illustrate via this blog, my own personal experiences with music, much like I do with craps on the craps blog. Anyway, enjoy the additional content that's bound to come up as a result of this epiphany.

June 20, 2021

     Today's Happy Birthday wishes go out to a great pop and R & B singer/songwriter who had written some of the most classic tunes of the 70's and 80's. Some of his tunes I can't stand, but many more of them have become staples in my life. Those tunes in the latter category include "Sweet Love" (with the Commodores), "Sail On" (with the Commodores), "You Are," "Running With The Night," "Hello," "Dancing On The Ceiling," "Ballerina Girl," and "My Destiny." Of course I'm talking about Mr. Lionel Richie, who turns 72 today. Happy Birthday to you, Lionel Richie!

June 19, 2021

     My wife and I were in Lake Charles recently, and we were in the adult pool at the casino we were staying at, and we met another couple, of whom the wife said she is into musical trivia. She and I had a great long conversation about musical trivia. She said she was born 6/13/1986. If she's reading this blog, the new #1 song in the country the week she was born was "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle/Michael McDonald (I'd told her that it may have been "Live To Tell" by Madonna, but in fact, it was bumped from #1 that week). For the lady I was talking to, you'll know what I mean when I sang part of "La-La Means I Love You" to you.

     I realized that it's because of people like you and her, that I have this section of this website up. If you enjoy musical trivia, you've come to the right spot!

June 18, 2021

     One of the most accomplished singer/songwriters ever, has a birthday today. He is one of two surviving members of the Beatles, and has penned many of the Beatles' most famous tunes, like "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude." As a member of the Beatles, he twice had the top song of the year ("I Want To Hold Your Hand" was the top song of 1964, and "Hey Jude" was the top song of 1968), and outside of the Beatles, he twice more had the top song of the year ("Silly Love Songs" was the top song of 1976, and "Say Say Say" [with Michael Jackson] was the top song of 1984). Of course, I'm talking about none other than Sir Paul McCartney, who turns 79 today! It is hard to find a music lover, NOT touched by at least ONE of Paul McCartney's songs. So a VERY Happy Birthday goes out to you, Sir Paul!

June 17, 2021

     Love him or hate him, Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus) celebrates his 78th birthday today. To me, he's had some great tunes, like "Mandy," "This One's For You," "Copacobana," "Even Now," and especially "Weekend In New England" (which won me my first prize in a karaoke contest, when I sang that, instead of the expected "Copacobana"). Happy Birthday, Barry!

June 14, 2021

     Love him or hate him, Boy George of Culture Club is celebrating his 60th birthday today! Can you believe it? Happy Birthday, Boy George!

June 7, 2021

     Today, I'd like to wish singer Tom Jones a very Happy Birthday! He turns 81 today. His music has been quite influential on me, personally, as a karaoke singer, for I've sung many of his tunes, and the way Tom Jones sings has made me a better karaoke singer.

     Of course, if Prince was still alive, he'd have a birthday today as well. He would have been 63 today.

     On that note, some of you are probably aware that Tom Jones once re-made one of Prince's songs--"Kiss." It went to #31 for him and the Art of Noise in the beginning of 1989 (Prince's original version spent two weeks at #1 in April of 1986. In fact, Prince died in April, 2016, 30 years to the week later). I only know of one other case of an artist re-making a song of another artist who shares the same birthday. That occurred in 1970, when Aretha Franklin re-made "Border Song," originally recorded by Elton John, earlier in the year. Both share(d) March 25th birthdays (Aretha's version went to #37, compared to #92 for Elton John).

May 30, 2021

     I am very excited to establish this music blog, which will contain my thoughts on recent events related to music and the recording artists surrounding the music. I'm including a few recent events that happened to artists that I care about. Enjoy the blog!

May 29, 2021

     I was kind of sad to hear about the death of singer B.J. Thomas. He died of lung cancer today at age 78. He had some great tunes. He had five top ten pop hits, including two #1's, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song." My personal favorite by B.J. Thomas is the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil-penned tune "I Just Can't Help Believing," which peaked at #9 in 1970 (as a side note, "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey also peaked at #9, in 1981). Rest in peace, Billy Joe.

May 26, 2021

     We have two big musical birthdays today! Stevie Nicks turned 73 today, and Lenny Kravitz turned 57 today. Let's wish these two great artists a big Happy Birthday!

May 20, 2021

     Today, one of the most enduring singers, who's also an actress, celebrates a milestone birthday today! I'm talking about Cherilyn LaPierre, a.k.a. Cher! She turns 75 today! Among my favorites by her, include "I Got You Babe" (with Sonny, of course), "Dark Lady," "Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves," "I Found Someone," and "Believe." Happy Birthday, Cher!

May 16, 2021

     We have a big musical birthday today! Janet Jackson turned 55 today, can you believe it? Anyway, Happy Birthday, Janet!

May 13, 2021

     One of my all-time favorite artists, Stevie Wonder turned 71 today. It'll be even more special next year when his birthday falls on Friday the 13th (given his hit "Superstition"). Anyways, Stevie, Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday!

May 9, 2021

     My all-time favorite artist, Billy Joel, turned 72 today. And his birthday fell on Mother's Day this year! (as a side note, I graduated from college on this day in 1993, which was also on Mother's Day, and Billy Joel's birthday) I cannot count all the ways your music has influenced my life (I just mentioned my favorite song by Billy Joel!) Happy happy Birthday to you, man!