Category Archives: Music on Mondays

Music on Mondays (9-29-14)—Tie me kangaroo down sport

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My mother died in 2012 at the age of 81. I had only seen her twice since my wise old grandmother adopted me in 1965.

The last time was in the late 1990s at a Mardi Gras party at my sister’s house in Slidell, Louisiana.

We got into a discussion of music, and that’s when she told me that I was a singer at a very young age.

Apparently I liked to lay on the floorboard in the back of the car and sing along with whatever was playing on the radio, or beg mom and dad to play certain records at home so I could sing along.

She could remember the names of only four songs that I loved singing along to, and here they are:

“I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash, 1956

“The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant, 1956

“Tom Dooley” by The Kingston Trio, 1958

“Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” by Rolf Harris, 1963

I was only one in 1956, and three in 1958, so those probably are records that mom and dad had at home.

Those last two are pretty gruesome songs for a young boy to be singing….

By 1963, age 8, yeah, I probably was singing everywhere since I was in the school chorus at that time.

I sang in school choruses through twelfth grade, and then joined the Century Singers at Texas A&M University. After college I sang in the Chancel Choirs at whatever church I was attending, as well as community choruses.

When I came to San Diego in 1993, I joined the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego. Since then I also have sang with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (at the time it was the largest Gay Men’s Chorus in the world with over 350 men) and then back with the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

About these ads

Music on Mondays (9-22-14) — A B C D E F G H….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I have almost a million digital music files, separated into two distinct groups: classical and everything else. I listen to everything else in chronological order. Sunday I finished 2014 and started at the beginning again, way back in 1903.

Every time I finish everything else, I make an attempt to sort through the classical collection. Invariably I don’t get too far because I get frustrated with Jim’s part of everything else where he has every piece of piano music recorded by every pianist ever throughout history.

Piano and violinYesterday I did get to H, though, and re-discovered Joseph Haydn. I say re-discovered because I grew up playing the violin, so I’m familiar with all the orchestra and violin music.

However, I discovered Haydn’s symphonies, 106 in total, and while I was listening to them, I discovered the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra conducted by Adam Fischer. Fischer and the orchestra specialize in Joseph Haydn’s compositions, and they recorded the complete cycle of 106 Haydn symphonies. I now have all of them in my collection.

I haven’t decided yet which one I like the best, so for today’s Music on Mondays, I’ll just leave you with Symphony #1 in D major:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Should anyone want to listen to any of Haydn’s other symphonies, they are in a YouTube playlist here: 106 Haydn Symphonies.

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (9-15-14)—Life is a rock, but we didn’t start the fire

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Billy Joel hit the top of the pop charts in 1989 with “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” There are 119 places and events listed in the song, starting in 1949, when Joel was born, and ending in 1989. You can find all of them listed and explained at Wikipedia.

Blender magazine (and I don’t read Blender magazine; sourcing Wikipedia here) ranked “We Didn’t Start the Fire” No. 41 on its list of the “50 Worst Songs Ever,” stating that production was “bombastic” and that the song resembled “a term paper scribbled the night before it’s due.”

Personally, I love the song because it mixes my love of history with my love of music, and I’m a huge fan of Billy Joel.

Here’s the song, with lyrics:

At the time, I had to tell many of my younger friends that Billy Joel’s idea for a song like that was not original. An ad hoc group of musicians got together as Reunion in 1974 and recorded “Life Is A Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me).”

Joey Levine was lead singer on the song, written by Paul DiFranco (music) and Norman Dolph (lyrics).

All of the places, things, people, and events are listed and linked in Wikipedia.

Here’s the song, with lyrics:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Music on Mondays (9-8-14)—1959 car songs

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Yesterday I got an interesting call from a lady concerning my post about the 1961 Dodge Polara. The caller lives here in Coronado, and next June she and her husband celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They owned a 1961 Dodge Polara when they got married, and she was wondering if I knew the owner of the car I blogged about. If I did, she wanted to know if he might be interested in meeting them at the church where they were going to renew their vows next June and drive them eight blocks to the reception.

How sweet!

Unfortunately, I was of no help to her since I didn’t know the owner of the car.

She did, however, give me the idea for exploring old car songs in today’s Music on Mondays post since we have done it before (see Beep Beep and I wanna be 16 so I can get me a hot rod).

The two previous posts featured car songs from 1957 and 1958, so here are seven of my favorite 1959 car songs:

“Brand New Cadillac” by Vince Taylor

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Hot Rod Baby” by Rocky Davis

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Ford & Shaker” by James Gallagher

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Take A Ride With Me” by Johnny Redd

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Car Trouble” by The Eligibles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“No Wheels” by The Chordettes

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Black & White Thunderbird” by The Delicates

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Music on Mondays (8-25-14)—Look at granny run (still got run over by the reindeer, though)

 

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

When my wise old grandmother died in 2003, her three living sons (my dad died in 1961) disinvited me to the funeral. Now stupid me didn’t realize that you could only go to funerals if an invitation to attend had been extended to you. Stupid, stupid me.

The funeral was to be in Kingsville, Texas, the farming and ranching community where she had lived since 1937. My three uncles, one from Kingsville, one from Houston, and one from Los Angeles (where he had lived since 1967) all thought that I would bring Jim and we would be dressed in drag and making out in the front pew of the Catholic Church. Seriously, that’s what they were afraid of….

My wise old grandmotherIt was more than that. Much more. You see, Jim and I had been to Kingsville many times (yearly from 1995 to 2003) to see Grandma. Jim knew all three uncles and had been out to eat with them many times. Jim had even been to the family reunion for my Grandma’s side of the family…. Twice! So it’s not like no one knew that Jim and I were an item.

Sadly, my Kingsville uncle (we will call him Rodney since that’s his name) warned me that he couldn’t guarantee that nothing would happen if Jim and I came to the funeral. Then in his next sentence he had the gall to ask me to be a pallbearer. That, of course, would mean going to the funeral without Jim, and since Rodney had more guns than the United States Army, I took him at his word and did not go the funeral. My disappointment was assuaged by a friend who told me, “Funerals are for the living, so don’t go if they don’t want you.”

Not only did I not go, but in September 2004, I legally changed my name to Russel Ray (from Russel Ray Kirk). Names are for the living, too! I wanted to change it to Bryan Lynn Austin but Jim (and others) convinced me to just drop my last name and take my middle name as my last name. So there you have it. To this day, I’m estranged from everyone on my dad’s Catholic side of the family except a gay cousin (and from everyone on my mom’s Mormon side of the family, too).

In honor of my wise old grandmother, and grandmothers everywhere, I thought that we’d listen to songs about grandmothers for today’s Music on Mondays. In order to do this, though, I have to break my rule that songs featured in Music on Mondays are songs that I have in my music collection. After listening to these songs, I understand why none of them are in my collection………..

“Look At Grandma” by Bo Diddley

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Hey, Grandma” by Moby Grape

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Grandma’s Hands” by Bill Withers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Funky Granny” by Kool & The Gang

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Boomin’ Granny” by The Beastie Boys

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Let’s Go See Gran’ma” by Joy & Dave

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Look at Granny Run, Run” by Howard Tate

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy

I leave you with this thought that my wise old grandmother told me in 1966:

“Ten percent of the people will love you because that’s the kind of people they are. Ten percent of the people will hate you because that’s the kind of people they are. Eighty percent of the people will love or hate you based on your words and actions, so speak and act lovingly.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE, CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector, I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (8-18-14)—Missing you

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

On January 2, 2014, I upgraded from Internet Explorer 8 to 9.

I didn’t realize it until March 27, 2014, but the day I upgraded from 8 to 9 was the day that I started having WordPress problems when I visited other blogs. LIKE buttons and comment boxes would not load, but only on blogs whose URL ended in wordpress.com.

If someone had an upgraded or self-hosted blog with a URL like mine (russelrayphotos2.com), there were no problems.

The ratio of free (wordpress.com) blogs to upgraded/self-hosted blogs (russelrayphotos.com) is about nine to one.

Since I could not interact with bloggers on nine out of ten blogs that I visited, I kind of quit trying. Thus I got about ten months behind in my daily blogging/liking/commenting life.

On March 27, 2014, I upgraded from Internet Explorer 9 to 10. All problems immediately ceased, and I set about catching up on my daily blogging/liking/commenting life. I like to be about 30 days behind, i.e., if you visit me today, I’ll be by to see you in about 30 days. That allows for people who don’t post very often to have at least 30 days in which to publish just one post. Just one!

Sadly, many people that I was following have quit blogging. At one time my Excel spreadsheet had 3,879 links to bloggers that I was following. That is down to 2,460. Over fourteen hundred people have quit!

So for today’s Music on Mondays, I thought we would listen to some songs about how much I miss you.

“Miss You” by The Rolling Stones

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Miss You Like Crazy” by Natalie Cole

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Missing You” by John Waite

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Missing You” by Steve Perry

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Where’d You Go?” by Fort Minor

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“More Than A Memory” by Garth Brooks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Without You, What Do I Do With Me?” by Tanya Tucker

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (8-11-14)—My favorite bass songs

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I was a mere nine years old when The Beatles invaded America. We were sheltered in Utah, though, so we didn’t know about The Beatles until almost eighteen months later. I was immediately stricken with them when I finally heard their music. Paul was always my favorite Beatles because I found that I liked the way he played bass, often pushing the songs along. I think my favorite McCartney bass is on Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da off of The White Album. McCartney just pushes that song along, and it’s a lot of fun to sing, too.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My favorite post-Beatles bass composition of McCartney’s is “Silly Love Songs” from 1976. Once again, McCartney’s bass drives the song along.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Two of my other favorite bassists from the ’60s and ’70s were Peter Cetera of Chicago, and Tiran Porter of The Doobie Brothers.

When I came to San Diego from Texas in April 1993, I quit collecting music and didn’t listen to it as much. Now, with digital music and the ability to easily buy individual songs and inexpensive collections (previously known as “albums” and “CDs,” I have been catching up on groups that released albums and CDs in the ’90s and up to the present.

One of the groups that I have really grown fond of is Little River Band. I never liked them during the peak of their popularity. Here’s one of my favorite songs of theirs because of the driving bass played by Wayne Nelson.

“No More Tears,” 1983

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Recently Julian introduced me to The White Stripes. Here’s a song that really motivates me, driving me along to success with its great bass, played by Jack White, who also happens to play that mean guitar:

“Seven Nation Army,” 2003

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray