Stream of consciousness day by day (part five)

So… I was talking about days.  Let’s start today with a little CanCon (that’s Canadian content for the record).  And here’s the record…

In some respects they define the “good-time party sound” of the ’80’s… Doug and the Slugs enjoyed a considerable degree of success throughout the decade.  Day by Day may have only reached #92 on the Canadian RPM chart, but it was a staple on pop radio in 1984.  Toronto-born Doug Bennett and his Vancouver-based band charted a total of ten songs in the Canadian Top 100 between 1980 and 1989.

Not your typical slugs…

Speaking of Day by Day, another song with that same title made its mark back in 1972 when Day by Day (from the musical Godspell) reached #13 on the Billboard pop singles chart.

Although it may share the same title as our previous selection, the song and the musical from which it comes explore very different subject matter… the ministry of Jesus Christ as found in the gospel of St. Matthew (but presented with a very “60’s” vibe).  The show has enjoyed great longevity on and off Broadway… as has the musical’s composer, Stephen Schwartz. Schwartz went on (following the success of Godspell) to Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003).  In between you can hear his music and lyrics in a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Prince of Egypt (1998) and Enchanted (2007).  Want more CanCon?  Here’s a young (London Ontario-born) Victor Garber (as Jesus) along with the cast in the film adaptation (An aside: Do see the stage version…it’s far more satisfying!) released in 1973.

More CanCon?  Then try Keith Hampshire…although born a Brit, he “saw the light”, came to Canada and found considerable success here.  In the same year (1972) as Day by Day, Hampshire’s Daytime Night-time reached a very respectable #5 in Canada (although it achieved only #51 in the US).

For (Toronto)Blue Jays fans, it might be noted that Hampshire (and The Bat Boys) recorded “OK Blue Jays” in 1983 and the song remains a staple for the team’s home games.

As I seem to be transitioning from day to night… I’ll continue that transition in my next post…

Stream of consciousness for Another Day (part four)

First, a quick review of how we got to this point…

As I was completing the post on The Free Design, I was contemplating what theme might “amuse” me for a while.  And it was then I decided just to meander from song to song…

My starting point was The Free Design’s arrangement of Where Do I Go, a song from the musical Hair.  That brought me to Three Dog Night and their take on another song from the show…Easy to Be Hard.  And then, because the subject of “dog” came up, I segued into Jane Siberry’s Everything Reminds Me of My Dog.  Siberry‘s venture into alternate identification (Issa) took me to Pet Clark‘s Who Am I.  With a “who” in that title, who else could I choose but The Who and their first hit, I Can’t Explain.  Incidental viewing of The Great Pottery Throw Down (where that Who song was the theme of the first series) led me to Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo (referenced in the second season).  Then emerged other picture-related songs (Pictures at an Exhibition, Paint Me a Picture and, finally, Vincent).  And that is our starting point for today’s musical meander…

Although Vincent was a big hit for Don McLean in 1972, it was still second to his classic track,  American Pie.  In case you haven’t heard it or would like to do so again, check it out…

There continues to be discussion of McLean‘s lyrics in American Pie but it is apparent that “the day the music died” references the untimely death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash in 1959.  McLean wrote (in 2015) that “Buddy Holly would have the same stature musically whether he would have lived or died, because of his accomplishments… By the time he was 22 years old, he had recorded some 50 tracks, most of which he had written himself …in my view and the view of many others, Buddy Holly and the Crickets were the template for all the rock bands that followed”.

Buddy Holly
1936-1959

 

 

 

 

Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas and, in his brief lifetime amassed over a dozen hit songs in just three albums.  One of his biggest of those hits was That’ll Be The Day, recorded (with The Crickets) and released in 1957.

His song Everyday was the B-side of a single which actually featured another Holly classic, Peggy Sue.

I mention this because another influential musician, James Taylor, decided to make his own tribute to this particular song.  While Taylor has chiefly achieved fame for his own compositions, when he chooses to cover another artist, he can be relied upon to provide a fresh and appealing interpretation.  From his 1985 album, That’s Why I’m Here, here’s his Everyday (from a recent 2016 live performance)…

And here’s a Taylor-penned “day” song titled Another Day (here in another live performance)…

Now that I think about it, the word day figures into many song titles (not just Holly and Taylor)… I’ll wander through several further examples in my next post…