Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: The River

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight is the song, Bruce Springsteen’s “The River”.

I first saw this song performed watching the “No Nukes: Musicians United For Safe Energy Concert” Documentary. As soon as I heard it, I knew this Bruce Springsteen knew the kind of place I’d sprang from. You don’t write songs like this ‘less you’ve lived it. And I was on board the E Street Band express.

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Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: The Greatest Ears In Town

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Song is Bette Midler and a gang of backup singers celebrating Arif Mardin with the song, “The Greatest Ears in Town”:

 

Arif Mardin was a composer, arranger and producer first at Atlantic Records, then at EMI. During his tenure with both companies, he either produced or arranged or composed music for such artists as the Rascals, Aretha Franklin, Phil Collins, the Bee Gees, Hall and Oates, Chaka Khan, Queen, Roberta Flack and Norah Jones.

In celebration of his contribution, give a listen to Bette Midler singing her tribute to Arif Mardin. It will make you smile.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Gordon Lightfoot

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is Gordon Lightfoot:

It was late 1969 and I was at the Air Force Base Exchange. I found myself flipping through the records when I chanced upon an album called “Sunday Concert”. In those days, I had gotten into the habit of buying albums based on the cover art. The cover on the album was simple. It was a side view of Gordon Lightfoot on stage. It was a live album.

I liked the cover but I wasn’t sure who this Gordon Lightfoot was. Seems the name had come up before. Didn’t he write a Peter, Paul and Mary tune, “Early Morning Rain”? I checked out the songs. They had interesting titles and it looked like this Lightfoot guy was a folk singer.

This was in the days before Pandora and Spotify. If no one you knew had heard an artist, you took your chances. So I took my chances. Man, am I glad. I loved this Lightfoot and his “Sunday Concert”. Every song was a gem. Little did I realize that this was the last album he was to do for United Artist. His next album, “Sit Down, Young Stranger”, was on the Reprise label and it was a gem too. Had a big hit on it. “If you could read my mind”.

The Guess Who performing “Lightfoot”.

Gordon Lightfoot was something. He wrote great songs. He had a great voice. And he looked like what you would expect a troubadour to look. Over the years, I bought album after album of his as they were released. Twice I saw him in concert. And he’s still out there on the road, doing what a troubadour does.

In his honor, I wrote this lyric:

The ballading man
Spanish guitars play a South-of-the-Border song
On the stage the man sings out loud and clear
Of a land made great by sweat and by blood,
A rose in the wilderness of every man’s fear.

The songs the ways of the past almost forgotten:
Of love’s wisdom, of life, glory and death,
Of battles raging and courageous men,
Conquistadors, el dorado tales of fabulous wealth.

Children, gather ’round and hear a ballading man
Warm as a winter fire by a family hearth
Wild as mountain flowers in early spring,
A natural theology of every man’s worth.

Gordon Lightfoot, “I used to be a country singer”, written by Steve McEown.

And here is one of the my favorites. It’s “Don Quixote”, the title song from his second album on Reprise:

In this day and age, we need more Don Quixotes like this one.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: Party All the Time

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight is the song: “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy and Rick James:

It’s time to get some funk.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: Mama, This One’s For You

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight is for Mother’s Day. It is song, Beth Hart’s “Mama, This One’s For You“.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there. We love you and thank you for putting so much into making us who we are.

And I have to say that Beth Hart has never sounded better than she does on this one.