Song of the Day – “That’s the Way the Money Goes” – M

Robin Scott (M) gave us some wonderfully daffy “Pop Muzik” back in the ‘80s, including this gem from his album New York London Paris Munich.

Song of the Day – “The Promise” – Tracy Chapman

This beautiful song from this beautiful lady comes from 1995’s New Beginnings.

Song of the Day – “Keep on Smilin’” – Wet Willie

Thursday, I talked about regional labels, and yesterday I mentioned that certain sounds are associated with cities. Today, we’re hearing sounds associated with an entire region – the South was home to Southern rock during the ‘70s. There were the Allmans, Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, the Marshall Tucker Band,  and the list goes on and on. And there was also Wet Willie, who played a lot of good-time music like “Weekend” and “Keep on Smilin’”.

Works for me – I’m smiling right now.

Song of the Day – “Betcha by Golly, Wow” – The Stylistics

Jazz comes from New Orleans, and Chicago has the blues. Detroit is Motown, and Seattle is known for grunge. But if you like smooth soul, you go to Philadelphia and the productions of Mr. Thom Bell. Songs by the Spinners, the O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and many others are a major part of my adolescence.

And if you wanted that perfect song for a slow dance, you’d ask the DJ for the Stylistics. Then you’d have three minutes of swaying with the girl of your dreams, or at least the moment.

There’s a spark of magic in your eyes
Candyland appears each time you smile
Never thought that fairy tales came true
But they come true when I’m near you

They just don’t write them like that anymore, do they?

Song of the Day – “It Comes and Goes” – Sadina

Here’s an example of how difficult it was to pin down who actually did a song back in the fifties and sixties. Labels were regional, and you’d often have the same artist release the record for different labels with different names. Or you’d hear the same song in different parts of the country – one done by a white artist, and one by a black artist. Labels would come and go, and entire catalogs could be lost.

This song, written by Neil Diamond, was released in 1965 on the Mercury label credited to Priscilla Mitchell, and on the Smash label by Sadina. They’re the exact same recording, and it’s a nice little piece of girl-group charm.

Song of the Day – ““New Music” Wednesday – “Be My Friend Awhile”

Pugwash

Pugwash is a band that formed in 1993 in Dublin, Ireland. I featured a Christmas song of theirs last December called “Tinsel and Marzipan”. This is from their 2011 release, The Olympus Sound. Why they’re not famous is beyond me.

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Borderline”

Madonna

Today’s double shot comes from two very different women performers. The first is about as artistic as the spray paint squiggles that Madge puts over everything in this video. But I don’t want to sound pretentious – she made the music, videos, and career she wanted to. Nothing can take away from the fact that she was riding the crest of the wave, and drove fashion for more than a decade. And I think this song is great, even if I don’t think Madonna can compare artistically with the woman who she’s paired with by song name today.

.

Joni Mitchell

Joni is not only a poet (her lyrics do not read as lyrics, but as poetry), but an accomplished painter as well. Witness the self-portrait on the album from which “Borderline” is taken, 1994’s Turbulent Indigo. It’s a pitch-perfect van Gogh hommage.