Remembering Lesley Gore

A nod to Lesley Gore who recently departed the mortal realm. At the age of 17, in 1963, she hit the charts with the iconic “Its my party and I’ll cry if I want to”, and the defiant “You don’t own me.” To give an idea of the enormous shadow he casts over popular music, Quincy Jones discovered here and produced these early hits. The attached youtube performance may actually be a live performance of Lesley, as she’s a bit more defiant than the hit version. Enjoy, and bless her soul.

RIP Gerry Goffin

As a Brill Building songwriter, he wrote or co-wrote some memorable hits from the 1950s and 60s. With Carol King he wrote:

  • Will you love me tomorrow? (#1 Shirelles 1961)
  • Take good care of my baby (#1 Bobby Vee 1961)
  • Go away little girl (#1 Steve Lawrence 1962)
  • The Locomotion (#1 Little Eva 1962)
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (#3 Monkees 1967)
  • Hey Girl (#10 Freddie Scott 1963)
  • One Fine Day (#5 Chiffons 1963)
  • Up on the roof (#5 Drifters 1963)

List indicates highest chart position, artist, and year. For a complete list, see Wiki Goffin/King songs

For all the catchy hooks and chart-topping songs they wrote, Carol King’s pensive 1971 performance of Love Me Tomorrow?, from her Tapestry album, touched me the most–expressing a fundamental and enduring question.

RIP Queen of Disco

Sad to hear that Donna Summer died at the young age of 63. She started her commercial career as a backup singer for Three Dog night in the early 1970s. While she is perhaps best known for her mainstream disco hits like the 1979’s Bad Girls and Hot Stuff, my favorite by far is the techo-pop she did with producer Giorgio Moroder. If one of the beauties of music is to momentarily release us from the banalities of our corporeal existence, prepare to soar past the planets with her 1977 Morodor collaboration ‘I feel Love’.

RIP Donald “Duck” Dunn

Well, the Duck died this weekend. As a bass player for the Stax Records house band, Booker T and the MGs, as well as coupling with guitarist Steve Cropper, Dunn performed on many beloved R&B hits–most of the hit songs charting during the 1960s. He can also be seen as part of the dream team band put together by Belushi and Akryod in the Blues Brothers movie. As an aside, this movie is a bit of a gem in terms of the highly accomplished, but little known, session musicians performing in the movie.

His storied discography can be found here:

I will let Belushi do the introductions–Dunn is smoking his trademark pipe:

My mother remembers her father’s death, April 10.

My grandpa, Adolph Bachman, was much beloved, and is much missed by me. I remember t00-26 years ago I was in my second year of law school, back at the apartment, when I heard the message my mom left informing me of his death. Here is what mom had to say today:

Today, April 10, brought a special memory back to me.  26 years ago, my Dad died.  You may remember that he LOVED Martins and made houses for them.  He often donated them to nursing homes and others.  When my mom, my sister and I were in the funeral home arranging for his funeral, the Administrator of the Lennox nursing home came in to tell us a special story.  He said that when Daddy gave him the Martin house, he instructed him to have it cleaned and ready to put up on April 10 as that’s the day the Martins will return.  He looked out and sure enough, the Martins were coming back.  Then he heard on the radio that our Dad died that same day and he saw that we were at the funeral home and he came to tell us that story.  We were so thrilled.  It made the day happier.  When the funeral director asked us what kind of flowers we wanted for his coffin, we looked at each other and said  “He wasn’t a flower person. What shall we do?”  The director said another choice could be wheat.  Our hearts were again happy.  He was definitely a wheat person. So his coffin and his grave had wheat for the birds to enjoy.
    Thanks for sharing this love memory with me.


The passing of Lucille Haugen

The past week has brought a grim harvest. While attending the funeral service of a childhood neighbor, Kathy Krug, my ex-mother in law, Lucille Haugen was struggling in her final illness. She died today. I don’t say this lightly, but I believe her to have been a saint. Unfailingly kind, loving, generous, and a wonderful cook. May the Lord bless her, keep her, make his face shine upon her, be gracious unto her, and bring her peace.