Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy birthday Van Morrison

Today is Van Morrison's birthday. I am doing this blog from my phone so I appologize in advance for any errors or auto in correctness that may occur.

Lets jump right into the mystic..

Van Morrison has provided plenty of great songs through his career. I dedicate this one to my wife..My Brown Eyed Girl..

Hopefully I can get one more moondance..

Her name is not Gloria but if there a e any out there with that name here is a sing for them..

I hope you enjoyed your visit celebrating Van Morrison on his birthday. Come back tomorrow for a new Battle of the Bands post.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

R.I.P Wes Craven

His movies probably left many of us unable to rest in peace after watching them. However, I hope Wes Craven who has passed away at the age of 76  is able to rest in peace. Wes Craven was a master of the horror film. He was a director, producer, writer and actor.

Here is a clip featuring a top 10 list of his horror films...

He is best known for A Nightmare on Elm Street Series and the Scream franchise.

The trailer for the original A Nightmare on Elm Street ...

Here is the trailer for his last film Scream 4...

He also was an author writing two books. The original Scream movie was the highest grossing film of Wes Craven's career earning $173 million.

What was your favorite Wes Craven film? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks for visiting and I will have a new post soon!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Farewell Darryl Dawkins!

Darryl Dawkins nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder" passed away this week. Known for his powerful dunks which included breaking two backboards in 1979. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets, and Detroit Pistons.

Here is a compilation of 20 of his best dunks..

The backboard breaks..

An NBA finals fight..

Do you have any favorite Darryl Dawkins memories? Feel free to share in the comments. It is sad a former professional athlete passing away at the age of 58. I'll be back with a new post soon!

Remembering Michael Jackson on his birthday!

Michael Jackson was the King of Pop. Michael's album "Thriller" has sold more copies than any other album ever. In total his album sales is higher than 400 million. 13 number one hits certainly helped those sales. He won 26 American Music Awards and 13 Grammys. The Grammys also awarded him a Legend Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Starting off in The Jackson Five..

His career appeared as easy as ABC. 
It certainly had it's thrills. Here is Michael with "Thriller"...

Throughout his career Michael Jackson supported a lot of charities..

He even collaborated with other legends like Paul McCartney..

Here he is with another hit ":Billie Jean"..

Thanks for visiting as my blog remembers Michael Jackson on what would have been his 57th birthday. Do you have a favorite Michael Jackson  song or memory? Feel free to share in the comments. I will be back soon with a new post.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Gone 25 years

25 years ago today back on August 27, 1990 Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash and the world lost one  heck of a guitar player. It was a sad day for me and my music loving friends. Stevie Ray Vaughan was quite popular among the folks I hung out with. He was leading a blues rock revival and his music was frequently heard over the radio. I marked the 20th anniversary of his death with a simple blog post, My blogging skills progressed and I added another tribute the following year including him performing "Little Wing" and "Pride and Joy." You can visit that post here.

This time I would like to share a song his brother did as a tribute to Stevie called "Six Strings Down"..

Yes his brother Jimmie Vaughan is a good guitarist who I have seen with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and solo opening for the likes of Eric Clapton and B.B. King, However, he never reached the popularity of his younger brother Stevie Ray Vaughan. Stevie's passing was a "Cold Shot"...

I don't think there is another guitarist who could play Jimi Hendrix like Stevie Ray Vaughan. In a past post I shared Stevie performing "Little Wing." This time around I will share Stevie doing "Voodoo Chile"..

Let's keep the "House a Rockin'" as we celebrate the late Stevie Ray Vaughan..

I'm going to wrap this celebration with "Couldn't Stand the Weather"..

Thanks for visiting my Stevie Ray Vaughan celebration. I hope you enjoyed. What are your favorite Stevie Ray Vaughan songs? Memories? Feel free to share in the comments, I will be back soon with a new post.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Alex Lifeson!

Alex Lifeson the guitarist for the Canadian rock band Rush turns 61 on August 27th. 

Alex Lifeson

Photo from Please visit their site for more on Alex Lifeson, Rush, and the latest news involving the band Rush.

 Why celebrate his birthday? He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted with RUSH in 2013. He is also honored as an Officer in the Order of Canada. Several magazines have listed him as one of the top guitarists. 

Since we are putting him in the "Limelight" here is RUSH with "Limelight"..

Here is "Promise" from Lifeson's solo album Victor..

Here is the Rush piece "Hope" which highlights Alex quite well on the acoustic guitar..

He has proven he is no "Fly by Night" guitarist..

Hope you enjoyed the tunes! What is your favorite Rush song? Happy Birthday Alex Lifeson! I will be back soon with a new post.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Remembering Mother Teresa on her BIrthday

Today August 26, 2015 is Mother Teresa's birthday. Though she passed away 18 years ago. I wish she was still alive doing her humanitarian deeds. One of the reasons is a very selfish reason on my part. I just love to hear what great works she was doing now or anybody. I am tired of the political, racist junk I see when I go onto facebook or read headlines somewhere.

So on her birthday I am missing the positive things she did.  I don't want to go into politics on this post or religion. I am straddling those lines. But that is not where I want to take this post. I simply want to celebrate her life and her great deeds.

Her last speech...

Ronald Reagan presented her with The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985

Below is a miniBio of Mother Teresa...

I am not Catholic but I was wanting to blog about someone positive and Mother Teresa fits the bill. A great time to remember her on her birthday. Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon!

Happy Birthday Sean Connery!

Sean Connery celebrates his 85th birthday today. He is best known as his role as Bond, James Bond.

Here are 50 great James Bond quotes featuring Sean Connery..

He has been knighted and honored by the Kennedy Center. He has won a bunch of awards as well.

Here he is being honored at the Kennedy Center...

He starred in several movies after and during the time he played the role of James Bond. Here is a clip of him in "Highlander"..

What is your favorite Sean Connery film? Was he your favorite James Bond? Feel free to share in the comments. I will be back soon with a new post!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Thoughts on "Operation Rock the Troops"

Obviously I enjoy music. As a writer it is always a bonus for me when I was reviewing a play that featured music. The same is true when I review films with great music. The film Operation Rock the Troops is filled with some great music.

You can read my full review of the film here. Below is the film's trailer to give you an idea of what this documentary is about..

Certainly their mission was important. However, the films message of believing in yourself and finding out what needs to be done to reach your goals is very important as well.

Matthew JC and the JC All Stars deliver the music in the film. I thought I would share a video to give you a taste of their music..."Count on Us"

Here is a bonus tune for your enjoyment..

The film also spawned a very worthwhile charity. You can learn more about that here. Well I will be back soon with a new post!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Remembering John Lee Hooker on his birthday

I became a fan of the late, great bluesman John Lee Hooker through Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin woujld add bits of "Boogie Chillen'" on their live versions of "Whole Lotta Love."  When I saw Robert Plant when I was 17 he pretty much sealed my fate as a JLH fan when he covered "Dimples."

The original "Boogie Chillen'" ,,,,

I am grateful for the rockers for turning me on to John Lee Hooker because it made me seek him out and actually see him perform before his death. However, this post isn't about the ones that lead me to this musician. It is about the musician John Lee Hooker.

Here he is with "Dimples"...

Here is John Lee Hooker live in the 60's with "Boom, Boom"

Thanks for visiting and letting me tell you how I was turned onto John Lee Hooker and his music. Thank you for letting me share a few perhaps you will become a fan of his. What artists have turned you on to other artists? Feel free to share in the comments. See you soon!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Battle of the Bands Winner: The New Riders of the Purple Sage

Before I get to the results. I have to say I am enjoying visiting the other Battle of the Bands participants battles lately. Some really cool artists have been highlighted.

The New Riders of the Purple Sage won my Battle of the Bands over "Panama Red" coasting to a 10-5 victory over Old and in the Way. The voting was close early.

Before I dive in to highlight more music from the winners. I thought I would respond to some comments since I didn't respond to them before.

Birgit asked if that was a banjo? In Old and in the Way. The answer is yes and it is played by Jerry Garcia who is mainly associated with the guitar.

Stephen T. McCarthy made me laugh with his comment: "I had no idea that you wear a Stetson and drink bottled water!" 

Back to the normally scheduled music..

The winners with "Gypsy Cowboy"...

"Glendale Train" with special guest Jerry Garcia..

I am going to wrap it up with "All I Really Wanted"..

There are the results! Thanks for voting and thanks for visiting! Stay tuned for a new Battle of the Bands battle coming September 1, 2015.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Robert Plant Birthday Celebration

It is the third year in a row I have marked Robert Plant's birthday with a blog post. This time I am dubbing it a celebration. When I mark someone's birthday on the blog I do celebrate their work with some clips so it is not a stretch to call it a celebration.

Robert Plant onstage in 2011 at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC photo by me..

The first time I blogged about his birthday I celebrated John Hiatt's birthday as well. You can enjoy that post here. Here is a link to last year's post. Sharing the links because they contain additional music so you can celebrate a bit longer.

This one is dedicated to my Battle of the Bands friends. They may be thinking "It's been a long tome since I Rocked and Rolled" considering my recent contests in that wonderful blog hop.

Led Zeppelin "Rock and Roll" live from Madison Square Garden...

To those who like my musical blends if late here is Robert Plant with Alison Krauss enjoy.."Killing the Blues"...

More in that in vein but different Robert Plant and the Band of Joy.."Harm's Swift Way"

Something rare from the first Band of Joy before Led Zeppelin.."I Gotta Find My Baby"

From his latest release "Rainbow"...

To some he is a Golden God, to others he was the "Tall Cool One"..

Going to end it with "Thru with the Two Step"

Hope you enjoyed the celebration! What is your favorite Robert Plant song, memory? Feel free to share in the comments. I will be back soon with a new post!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Remembering the legacy of Roberto Clemente

Today, August 18, 2015 Roberto Clemente would have turned 81. The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball great died tragically in an airplane crash on New Year's eve of 1972. He was on the plane headed to help Nicaraguan earthquake victims.

Photo by from Wikipedia.

He was a 2-time World Series Champion and the MVP of the 1971 World Series. Clemente was a 15 time All-Star and a 12-time Gold Glove winner. In 1966 he was named the National League MVP. His career span 1955-1972.

Highlights from game six of one of his World Series...

Here is a tribute to the great outfielder who won four batting titles...

The Hall of Fame player was great on the field which allowed him to be greater off the field. His charities involvements allowed him to get recognized after his death with a Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Citizens Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Robert De Niro

Happy Birthday to Robert De Niro August 17, 2015. He is a two-time Golden Globes and Academy Award winning actor.

Academy Awards

He won Best Actor in "Raging Bull" is a clip from that film...

"The Godfather : Part II" he won best Supporting Actor...another clip

A Top Ten 

A top ten compilation of Robert De Niro moments...

What is your favorite Robert De Niro moment? film? memory? Feel free to share with your comments! See you soon with a new post!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Battle of the Bands: Panama Red

The list of Battle of the Bands participants..

 I snagged it from STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands': 

@ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THIS BELLE ROCKS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE

Bluegrass legend and the songwriter of "Panama Red" with yours truly.. 

I was going to go jazz with a good guitar showdown but I through it out the window at the last minute. I decided to continue where I left off on my last Battle of the Band. The picture may indicate bluegrass. However, I think this selection more fits in psychedelic, country rock of the early 70's. I haven't heard the song in years so I am dusting it off for the Battle of the Bands.

Lyrics from nrpsmusic,com:



Warning labels: Adding lyrics kind of like warning labels. Some videos may also have drug references. I did say psychedelic early 70s music and Panama Red was a strain of marijuana as well. 

Contestant One: The Original version (kind of) The New Riders of the Purple Sage

Contestant Two: Old and In The Way

This song was recorded about the same time but released two years later in 1975. Yes I am bringing back Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. Joining them is Peter Rowan, John Kahn, and Vassar Clements.

Changing it up slightly and narrowing it down to just two versions this go away. Vote for the version you like best. There are some great live version out there as well.

I will be back on the 22nd with the winner! Thanks for visiting and remember to vote in the comments!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Remembering Les Paul

Six years ago the legendary musician and guitar innovator Les Paul passed away. I became a fan of his due to his legendary guitar he designed for Gibson the Les Paul. Since my guitar hero in my formidable years was Jimmy Page and Slash was the guitarist of the popular rock band Guns N Roses.

Les Paul's music was different and beautiful in it's own right. However, it was far from the hard rock sounds I had associated the guitar with.

"Waiting for the Sunrise" here is a clip from the Les Paul and Mary Ford Show...

Yes in this tribute I am going to share a bit of music so I hope you enjoy.

Les Paul performing "Sleepwalk"

Les Paul and Stanley Jordan jamming out on a version of "Georgia"

Do you have a favorite Les Paul song or memory? Thoughts on the guitar? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks for visiting and I will be back with a new post soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Mark Knopfler

Today August 12 is Mark Knopfler's 65th birthday! Best known for being the guitarist and vocalist in the band Dire Straits.

He's made his "Money for Nothing"...

That some nice lyrics, a whole bunch of talent, and some tasty guitar notes. Yes, that is.. "What it Is"..

A solo track from his Walking into Philadelphia album. 

"Where ever I go" from his "Tracker" album...

I'll wrap this one up with one of my favorite Dire Straits tunes called "Brothers in Arms"...

What are your favorite Dire Straits or Mark Knopfler songs? Feel free to share in the comments. I can't believe he is 65. Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon!

Remembering Robin Williams: One year Later

One year ago today the world lost the comedic legend and actor Robin Williams. You can read the tribute I wrote about him last year on my blog here. Hard to believe it was just a year ago time passes by so quickly.

Here is a clip from "Patch Adams"....

Obviously I am celebrating Robin Williams and his career and legacy that he left behind. Also trying to choose clips I didn't use last year to make the post a new celebration. Below are some clips from the film "Good Morning Vietnam."

A clip from "What Dreams May Come"....

I could continue since Robin Williams performed so many roles. What was your favorite Robin Williams role? Do you have a favorite bit? Do you have a Robin Williams memory? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed the clips as I remembered Robin Williams on my blog. I will be back soon with a new post!

Monday, August 10, 2015

R.I.P. Frank Gifford

On the same day the National Football League had their Hall of Fame Pre-Season football game kicking off the 2015 season former NFL player, sportscaster  and Hall of Famer Frank Gifford past away at the age of 84.

Frank survived a life threatening injury in 1960...

In his playing days Frank Gifford played both offense and defense. He was an eight time All- Pro being selected at three different positions. Frank won a championship with the New York Giants and was the NFL MVP in 1956. His jersey number 16 is retired by the New York Giants. He joined the NFL Hall of Fame in 1977.

His sportscasting career is best known for his NFL coverage for CBS and eventually ABC where he was part of the Monday Night Football coverage with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. He covered other sports as well. His broadcasting career was highlighted with two Emmy Awards.

Here is Jim Nantz's tribute to Frank Gifford..

I am sure many of sports fans have memories of Frank Gifford. He will be missed by his family.
Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon with a new post!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Remembering Jerry Garcia

It was 20 years ago today when Jerry Garcia passed away. I remember I was in my car driving home from a college course when I heard the news on a classic rock radio station.

This is a taste of my very first Grateful Dead concert...

Needless to say I was hooked after my first show. He was one of the first musicians who passed away that I felt something about. I knew things would change, but I did not know how much until I went to shows of various splinter groups of the band.

Here the Jerry Garcia Band covers The Beatles with "Dear Prudence"..

I recently featured a bluegrass cover Jerry Garcia had done on my recent Battle of the Bands. I will pick another song from that album to spotlight here..."Stealin'" with David Grisman...

I guess in a year that marks 50 years of the Grateful Dead and 20 years of Jerry Garcia being gone. That no matter how you found the music it certainly has been...a long, strange trip..

Thanks for visiting and I will see you soon!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Witnessing history or a magic moment: Kelby Tomlinson

You may have noticed a gap in my blogs for a few days earlier this week. I made another road trip, this time to Atlanta to catch a few baseball games.

Turner Field..the Lego version at Legoland Atlanta...

Major League baseball has a very long schedule stretching from Spring to Fall and teams play 162 games. Over the course of a season there are events that will go down as historic events in the long storied history of baseball. There are also lots of special moments for players and fans that might get lost in the sport's history. When they happen it is difficult to know what these events will turn into. Only time knows.

Kelby Tomlinson...(picture via MLB)

I witnessed Kelby Tomlinson's first major league at bat on Monday, August 3, 2015. Obviously a highlight of this 25-year old rookies baseball career. His first at bat he collected his first hit a single. His first at bat and reaches the milestone of his first hit. It was his only at bat in the game. He was batting 1.000. My stepson summed it up perfectly when he stated "it can only go down from here." It was thrill and he shared his special moment with family who was on hand to cheer him on!

Two days later he made his first major league start. His next two at bats he collected two more hits. Timely hits that drove in three runs. He ended his first start going 2 for 4 at the plate and his batting average was down to .600. Still a promising start to his young Major League career.

As I am writing this post he has played in two more games. He earned a second start. However, he has gone 0 for 5 since leaving Atlanta. His batting average is still pretty good sitting at .300. Time will tell if I witness baseball history. I certainly witnessed a few magic moments in the life of Kelby Tomlinson.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Battle of the Bands Results: Taj Mahal wins

On my last battle of the bands contest I wanted to pay tribute to Jerry Garcia since it was his birthday. It kind of went on it's own long, strange trip. Certainly I could have picked a Grateful Dead classic or a cover the Grateful Dead or the Jerry Garcia Band performed. I picked out of the box! I knew Jerry Garcia enjoyed bluegrass and I knew I would find something worthwhile on "Shady Grove" like the title track.

Doc Watson made since in my mind. Well known in bluegrass circles and a traditional take on the song. I wanted contrast. So, I went with a blues musician called Taj Mahal who has a love for world music.

The voting was down for this contest. Perhaps bluegrass scared some off. I thought for sure this was going to be a tie. I was thinking I might have to break the tie. Luckily for me Guilie Castillo voted on the last day casting her vote for Taj Mahal and deciding the winner.

Your vote counts on the Battle of the Bands and you can vote anytime until the closing date.  I wasn't expecting Taj to win this one. It was a longer version of the song and vocals didn't even play apart of the tune until about 2:30 minutes. However, his version was different and apparently that difference was enough.

Here is the winner with "Fishing Blues"...

Here he is on banjo with a tune called "Slow Drag"...

Thanks for voting! A new Battle of the Bands is brewing for August 15 so stay tuned!

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol!

Went on a bit of a road trip and just got back a little while ago. So here I am returning to the blog after a few days off. Just happens to be Andy Warhol's birthday so I thought it would be fitting to blog about him today.

Here is a discussion on his "Soup Cans" creation taking on the question is it art?

Like most people I knew who Andy Warhol was. However, when I reviewed the play Pop! at the Studio Theatre in Washington about four years ago I discovered a lot more about the artist. You can read my review of that play here.

Here is a video overview of Andy's work..

A song about his Factory..

Do you have any memories of Andy Warhol? Any favorite pieces of art by Mr. Warhol? Feel free to share in the comments. I will be back tomorrow with a new post about my Battle of the Bands competition so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July 2015: Blog Milestones

Generally April is the month my blog gets the most page views. A lot of that can be contributed to the A to Z: Challenge I participate in during that month. One it is a blog hop and secondly it kind of forces you to post everyday. So it is a surprise when a month like last month the blog has the second most successful month ever from a page view standpoint.

I don't know the rhyme or reason of why this happened. Part of it is due to the Battle of the Band posts. Something I like to participate in. However, I like visiting the other sites on that as well. Sometimes I get turned onto a band or musician. Sometimes it fills in holes in my musical education. Most of the time it is a lot of fun.

I write about what I write about, things that interest me like music, theater, movies, sports and fishing. Sometimes I write about my life or things going on in the world. The blog isn't planned out in advanced. I can sometimes let you know what I am thinking about blogging about but what comes out might not be the same thing.

I'm thankful for all the visits last month. I guess it means I am writing about things my audience finds interesting. Thanks for the visits and I will continue to ramble into the future!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Battle of the Bands: Jerry Garcia style with Doc Watson, Taj Mahal

Grateful Dead - Jerry Garcia.jpg

Today is Jerry Garcia's birthday and it is also time for the Battle of the Bands. I'm in the mood to combine things a bit.

Hopefully this is the updated list of participants. I snagged it from STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands': 

@ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THIS BELLE ROCKS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE

Jerry Garcia is best known for his work with the Grateful Dead and his work with his own band The Jerry Garcia Band. However, Jerry also was into folk music and was a fan of bluegrass music. So my selection today is the title track of Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's album "Shady Grove."

It is a beautiful album and if you enjoy this type of music I highly recommend the album.

Now for the competition..

Contestant Number One

Doc Watson

Contestant Number Two

Taj Mahal

A bluegrass legend in Doc Watson battling it out against a blues legend, known for his love of world music and fusion of musical sounds. The song a beautiful traditional piece dating back to the 1800's maybe longer. I think Jerry would enjoy this battle and I hope you enjoy it as well! Please vote in the comments. I look forward to who you favor in this battle.