Category Archives: Music

Song of the Day #1960

Song of the Day: Lemon Tree was composed by folk artist Will Holt, who was inspired by a Brazilian song from 1930. It went into the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 in a rendition recorded by Trini Lopez in 1965. Check out that version as well as renditions by Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Kingston Trio, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #1959

Song of the Day: Peaches is credited to a host of writers, including Justin Bieber, who recorded this song for his sixth studio album, “Justice“, which debuted atop the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart in 2021. The song, featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon, hit #1 on both the Hot 100 and the Hot R&B Hip Hop charts. Check out the official video and a remix with Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and Usher [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #1958

Song of the Day: Cherry Pie, words and music by Jani Lane, was a Top Ten Hot 100 Hit for the glam metal rock band, Warrant—the title single to their 1990 album. It’s considered a “hair metal” anthem. The video received heavy airplay on MTV (remember when they used to show music videos?). Check it out on YouTube.

Song of the Day #1957

Song of the Day: I’ll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time was written in 1920 by Albert Von Tilzer and Neville Fleeson. It was first recorded as a waltz by Nora Bayes. It was later covered by such artists as Artie Shaw (vocals by Tony Pastor) and Harry James and Helen Forest [YouTube links]. But it is most well known for having been performed by The Andrews Sisters, whose version was featured in the 1941 Abbott and Costello film, “Buck Privates.” Check out the film clip and studio version [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #1956

Song of the Day: A Taste of Honey, words and music by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow, was first heard in the 1960 Broadway version of the British play of the same name. A 1965 version by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass [YouTube link] would go on to score four Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. Other notable instrumental versions of the song were recorded by Paul Desmond & Jim Hall, Harry James, Jackie Gleason, Chet Atkins, The Ventures, and Emily Remler [YouTube links]. The first vocal versions were recorded by Billy Dee Williams in 1961 and Lenny Welch in 1962, followed by renditions by The Beatles and Barbra Streisand [YouTube links]. But today’s featured rendition is by the legendary Tony Bennett [YouTube link], who celebrates his 96th birthday.

Song of the Day #1955

Song of the Day: One Bad Apple features the words and music of George Jackson, who originally wrote it for The Jackson 5 (no relation). By the end of 1970, the J5 had scored 4 consecutive #1 Hot 100 hits. This song was released in November of that year by The Osmonds, who took this track to #1 for five weeks on the Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B Chart. The Jacksons and the Osmonds would meet in 1971-1972, and Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson would become lifelong friends. Check out this video version of the single [YouTube link], which combines performance footage and clips from “The Osmonds” animated ABC-TV series. (Yes, “The Jackson 5ive” had an animated show too!)

Song of the Day #1954

Song of the Day: Strawberry Fields Forever is considered part of the Lennon-McCartney Songbook, but John Lennon was its composer. In the wake of his tragic death, a section of New York City’s Central Park was declared Strawberry Fields, where his ashes were scattered by Yoko Ono in 1981. The song, recorded by The Beatles, was released as a double-A side single (along with “Penny Lane“) in 1967. It had a huge impact on the development of the emerging psychedlic genre and is credited as a pioneering work in music video. Check out that video, as well as a really cool jazzy rendition by the Nick Grondin Group and a Latin-tinged rendition by vocalist Karen Souza [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #1953

Song of the Day: Passionfruit features the words and music of Nana Rogues and Aubrey Drake Graham, who recorded this song for his 2017 playlist mixtape, “More Life.” Drake’s Top Ten hit mixes elements of tropical house, R&B, pop, and dancehall into a sensuous blend. Check it out here [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #1952

Song of the Day: American Pie, words and music by Don McLean, was the title track to the artist’s 1971 album. The folk-rock song would hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1972, and would be dubbed “one of the most successful and debated songs of the 20th century”—due to an array of interpretations as to its meaning. (And McLean is still making headlines till this day!) Check out the original album version (below), a truncated Madonna rendition, a jazz funk rendition by Groove Holmes, and a “Weird Al” Yankovic ‘Star Wars’ parody, “The Saga Begins” [YouTube links]. A Happy Independence Day to All!

And in Brooklyn, it’s not Independence Day without Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest! Joey Chestnut is vying for his 15th win … after last year’s record-setting 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Ugh.

Go Joey! (Live stream here.)

Postscript: With a ruptured tendon, Joey Chestnut takes his 15th win, consuming 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes in Coney Island!

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Song of the Day #1951

Song of the Day: Sweet Cherry Wine, words and music by Richard Grasso and Tommy James, appeared on the 1969 psychedelic rock album “Cellophane Symphony,” by Tommy James and the Shondells. This anti-Vietnam War protest song was among those included on the jukebox at the Stonewall Inn in the early morning hours of this day, when that gay bar was raided by police for the umpteenth time. But the patrons fought back, asserting the authenticity of their own lives and the right to pursue their own happiness. In looking back on the Stonewall riots, some commentators have cited an urban legend that views the June 27, 1969 funeral [YouTube link] of gay icon Judy Garland—who was born 100 years ago this month (on June 10, 1922)—as an emotional catalyst for the riots late that night. This view has been challenged by many, but there is a poetic irony that gay men of a different generation once referred to themselves euphemistically as “friends of Dorothy” and that Garland’s most iconic song (and LGBTQ anthem), “Over the Rainbow” [YouTube link] (from the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz“) finds its symbolic expression in the rainbow flag of Pride (though its creator, Gilbert Baker, denies the connection). Be that as it may—today, I proudly salute the Stonewall Rebels. From the 1969 Stonewall jukebox, check out “Sweet Cherry Wine” (below).