Season of “The Time” Part One

So…to explain…

I was thinking about my next foray into blog-making and wondering what path to take. In the end, my inspiration (perhaps not surprisingly) was my friend, Gem.

Gem and friend

Now Gem was much loved…but she did have her quirks. Shortly after her arrival in our household she discovered that our television had a push/pull power button (pull to turn on/push to turn off). Soon, with no training save for keen observation, she learned that if she ran at the television set and tapped the power button with the end of her nose, she could affect the same result as her masters’ touch. Thus began a pattern of sudden rushes into the living room (while we were watching tv) and the unsolicited turning off of the set before our eyes. Our response vacillated between amusement and irritation… a situation which persisted until another set was eventually purchased (sans power button) and our canine disruptor was finally stymied.

Now I tell you that tale to tell you this one… Gem also had a favourite song. I know this because, while I engaged in my (more or less daily) exercise routine, she would dart into my space whenever the “exercise set list” reached Time Won’t Let Me by The Outsiders. And, during the instrumental bridge in the middle of the song, she would accompany in a doggie howl which rather resembled the lead guitar. And so, Gemmie, this one’s for you…

As for the song itself, it was recorded by The Outsiders (from Cleveland, Ohio) in 1965 and became a major hit for the group in 1966, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It ranked as the 42nd biggest American hit that year.

So… why the title and introductory video? Why the dog tale (vs. tail)? And…why the song? As you might suspect, I am going to do a series of posts about TIME. It didn’t take long to realize that that time could be the subject of more than one post, given the frequency with which it is referenced in song titles.

Speaking of time, for this post I have my feet firmly in the late 60’s, the time of my adolescence. I have a smallish collection of “pop music” 45’s from the latter 60’s and early 70’s. Few of the songs are instrumentals. Partly because of the predominance of vocal music. Partly because of my fondness for vocal music. But one of those 45’s is a song called Time Is Tight by Booker T and the MG’s. During the 60’s they were the house band for Stax Records and they can be heard on recordings by such soul legends as Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bill Withers and Sam & Dave. They achieved their own success back in 1962 with Green Onions (reaching #2 on the charts that year). Their 1969 recording of Time Is Tight (from the soundtrack of the film Up Tight) rose to #6 on the Billboard Top 100 in February that year. And that exposure prompted me to buy the single! Here it is…

By the end of the decade, a Chicago band (formed in 1967) with the clever name Chicago (actually, Chicago Transit Authority in the early days) emerged with an innovative fusion of pop, rock and jazz. Their first album, recorded and released in 1969 yielded several hits, (for our purposes) including Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is. The single reached #7 on the US charts in 1970 (and #2 in Canada!) Here they are, performing live in 1970…

It’s almost time to go…for now… and I don’t usually find tribute bands as engaging as the originals. Here’s an exception…from Russia with love (you might even like to check out their web site).

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