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Monday, January 4, 2021

Music Trivia and Another Tribute #MusicMovesMe

Guess what time it is?

 

It's time for the first #MusicMovesMe post of 2021.  It's going to be a rockin' year.

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only , please!)   First, there is XmasDolly,   Her co-cohostesses are: Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, and me. As Xmas Dolly likes to say, "Applause!"

Each month we have a guest co-hostess who picks themes for the month, and this month it is Cathy at Curious as a Cathy.  Welcome again, Cathy!

Today's prompt is: "Music Trivia - tell us a piece of music trivia about a song and share the song!"

This is such an interesting prompt - I realized I already had a number of these songs on my blog.  So I shouldn't cheat - and I won't, except for my "bonus".

But sadly, I can't begin with the song I wanted to - because yesterday, Gerry Marsden, lead singer for Gerry and the Pacemakers, died at the age of 78.

So, how about a little trivia about the group?  Well, like the Beatles, they originated in Liverpool and, in fact, had the same manager as the Beatles - Brian Epstein.  Gerry and his older brother Freddie's first band was called the Mars Bars, but they had to change the name after the Mars candy company threatened to sue them.


One of their first hits was "You'll Never Walk Alone" (more on that song below), which was adopted by fans of the Liverpool Football Club, and achieved new popularity during the 2020 worldwide lockdown.


 Stevie Wonder was the youngest artist to reach #1 on the Billboard Charts with his "Fingertips Pt 2" in 1963.  He was only 12 years old when he recorded this and 13 when it reached #1.  (And yes, there is a "Fingertips Part 1".)

Oh, why not?  (I have no reason why the 45 shown on the video isn't this song.) Here's "Fingertips Part 1".

One of my favorite songs is "Barracuda" by Heart, a band led by two sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson.  The lyrics aren't talking about a boyfriend of the Wilson sisters, but something different..  The song was written in reaction to a rumor that their record label decided to spread, that Ann and Nancy were - shall we say, engaging in inappropriate sisterly love.  When Ann was confronted by a music promoter after a concert asking about this supposed relationship, Ann was so outraged that she went to her room and wrote this song.


The oldest artist to reach #1 in the United Kingdom?  We can thank the pandemic for this hit.  Captain Tom Moore reached #1 not long before his 100th birthday with his recording "You'll Never Walk Alone" in 2020.  In fact, he achieved age 100 while the song was #1 on the charts.  This was a fundraiser for the NHS (National Health Service). OK, Sir Moore will not win a Grammy for his singing, but Captain Moore fought in both World War I and World War II, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for service to his country.  Not too many recording artists can say that.

Yes, the same song as Gerry and the Pacemakers also covered -a cover of a song from the musical "Carousel". 

More trivia about songs themselves.  The Canadian group Rush released an instrumental called YYZ in the year 1981.  I wondered for years where the name came from - it comes from the ID code for Toronto's Pearson International Airport.  I knew that much, but not the rest of the story.

The beginning of the song is a musical rendition of "Y-Y-Z" in Morse code.  Members of the band had heard a Morse code transmission from the airport one day flying into the airport. As a side note, my spouse had to learn Morse Code as a Boy Scout but says he doesn't remember any of it.  He certainly didn't pick the code up in this song. 

 

Let's move into the past.  Way into the past.  Did you know that King Henry VIII of England (famed for his multiple wives) was an accomplished musician and composer (although, contrary to some popular opinion, he probably did not write the song "Greensleeves".)

One piece of music he did write was "Pastime With Good Company".

Next, those of us with children probably recognize the name Shel Silverstein, who wrote a number of famous children's books, including "Where the Sidewalk Ends"


But he was also a talented songwriter, and wrote "A Boy Named Sue", a big hit for Johnny Cash.


For my final selection, we are going to go back to (possibly) 200 B.C.E. and what is believed to be the oldest complete musical selection preserved in records - a song called the Seikilos Epitaph - Song of Seikilos.   

The date of composition is disputed - some scholars are thinking it was written more in the 100 C.E. era.  The lyrics and music were carved on a tombstone in present day Turkey - fortunately we have knowledge of both the language and the musical notation system used by the ancient Greeks.  Some scholars believe this music was a love song written by a man who had lost his wife.

BONUS: One more, but I'll let this blog post tell the story of Meredith Wilson and President John Kennedy's 60's initiative to promote physical fitness, and the song created as a result.   I've had this on my blog a couple of times in the past. 

And that, my fellow music lovers, is a wrap. Why not go to some of the other sites on the linky and see what trivia they have for your entertainment?

See you again same time, same place, next Monday for another episode.

 

11 comments:

  1. You are speaking my language with those 60s songs!
    Carol Cassara

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  2. Sorry to hear about Gerry Marsden. Our favorites are getting on in years.

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  3. Ah, Gerry and the Pacemakers. Hadn't thought of them in years. It's always interesting wandering down Memory Lane with these music posts. And such memories they are!

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  4. Man, the band in heaven just keeps on getting better! A whole bunch of favourites here. Loved the 'Chicken Fat' song!

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  5. ...all but two of them I know.

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  6. Great post! Of course, I'm a sucker for music trivia. I only pretend to know things, but it's so much fun to learn interesting bits and pieces.

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  7. Love both the songs and the trivia. Very nice. Thanks for sharing them.

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  8. Gerry and the Pacemakers....so sad he died.

    I always associate the song with another Jerry....Jerry Lewis always sang it at the end of the Labor Day telethon.

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  9. Alana,

    I hadn't heard about Gerry passing. WOW! I think I read sometime ago that Stevie Wonder was really young when he started in the industry but I didn't know which song launched his career. I didn't know the backstory to Heart's "Barracuda". There are people who always try to make more out of something than there really is and that's shameful. The good thing is Heart came away with a hit song out of that mess. Over Christmas we were watching something when the narrator mentioned King Henry VIII was a song writer. I was really surprised. I wish I could remember which one they were referring to but it was an old Christmas classic. You did great with the theme. Thanks for enlightening me with such good mewsical info. Have a boogietastic week and may the new year be kind to you, dear friend! {{hugs}}

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  10. Memories kindled- and sorrow remembers. Gerry and the Pacemakers were my favorite (over the Beatles, yes). And, Heart was simply superb. By the time YYZ came out, I was flying to and from YYZ twice a month...

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  11. Awesome trivia and song choices, Alana! Happy New Year! :)

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