Category Archives: Music on Mondays

Music on Mondays (4-14-14) – Taking it easy

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Since I will be a vendor at the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser the weekend of May 3, I pretty much decided that I won’t be going to Los Angeles for National Train Day (May 10) this year. I’ll miss it because ATSF 3751, a steam engine built in 1927, is always there since it is housed just a mile south of Union Station.

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fortunately, ATSF 3751 always shows up a month earlier at San Bernardino Railroad Days. That’s where I went yesterday, taking the
San Diego Trolley from La Mesa to the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego,
then Amtrak from San Diego to the historic Union Station in Los Angeles,
then Metrolink from Los Angeles to the historic Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino.

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

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Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I left the driving to them, which allowed me to take it easy. Ah that peaceful, easy feeling as the train left here yesterday morning. Sadly, none of the trains went by the Hotel California.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (4-7-14)–Catch ‘em surfin’ at Del Mar

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I left College Station, Texas, on April 15, 1993, my intent was to go to Canada to kill myself. Really. Interestingly, I took $5,000 with me and a car full of CDs, about 500 of them. I guess you already know that I didn’t kill myself, winding up in San Diego and never going back to Texas. Mid-life crisis?

The CD collection which I took with me included a complete collection of music by The Beatles (including all of their individual solo music), The Who, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Several months later I was listening to The Best of Beach Boys, Vols. 1, 2, and 3. The Beach Boys were from Hawthorne, California, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles. Their songs expressed the ’50s and ’60s Southern California lifestyle of wine, women, and song.

Wait! What? Wine, women, and song? That was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby!

The Beach Boys were the Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. One song in particular, “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” piqued my interest since I now lived in Southern California.

Here is the song and the lyrics:

If everybody had an ocean
Across the U.S.A.
Then everybody’d be surfin’
Like californ-I-A
You’d see ‘em wearin’ their baggies
Huarachi sandals, too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin’ U.S.A.

You’d catch ‘em surfin at Del Mar (Inside, outside, U.S.A.)
Ventura County line
Santa Cruz and Tressels,
Australia’s Narabine,
All over Manhattan,
And down Doheny Way
Everybody’s gone surfin’
Surfin U.S.A.

We’ll all be plannin’ out a route
We’re gonna take real soon
We’re waxin’ down our surfboards
We can’t wait for June
We’ll all be gone for the summer
Were on safari to stay
Tell the teacher we’re surfin’
Surfin’ U.S.A.

At Haggerty’s and Swami’s
Pacific Palisades
San Onofre and Sunset
Redondo Beach, L.A.
All over La Jolla
At Waiamea Bay
Everybody’s gone surfin’
Surfin’ U.S.A.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I decided I would try to visit all of the places mentioned in the song. I have made it to all of the Southern California places, but Australia’s Narabine (correctly spelled Narrabeen, but the Aboriginal word is Narrabine, still not spelled like the lyrics have it spelled. Tressels also is misspelled; it should be Trestles). I also have not made it to Waiamea Bay…. some day.

Now all I have to do is go back to all those places and take pictures. Here are a few pictures of the places I have visited:

Del MarDog Beach, Del Mar, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Swami’s at sunsetSwami's at sunset

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Onofre
(The state beach is to the left of the nuclear
power plant,  which was not there in 1963.
Construction on it began in August 1964.)San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

L.A.
(specifically Santa Monica, one of the best surfing spots)Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La JollaSunset at La Jolla Cove, 10-17-12, La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays–I never promised you a rose garden

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Many decades ago, around 1968, my wise old grandmother had me dig out a huge plot of grass and create a rose garden. I was forever down on roses. Still am. If it had been my idea….

As I was looking for a good subject for today’s Music on Mondays post, I realized that I never got around to doing a Friday Flower Fiesta post last week.

So why don’t we combine this week’s Music on Mondays and with last week’s forgotten Friday Flower Fiesta and let you listen to Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden” while looking at some pictures of the beautiful roses that were blooming this past month, all made into Photographic Art.

Happy End-of-March day!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art of a rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you see an effect you like, I do custom work using YOUR photos and the cost is only $20.00. Email me at photoartsd@aol.com if you’d like some custom Photographic Art!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (3-24-14)–I’m in the Army now….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On this date in 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the United States Army as a private at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. He went through basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, near Waco. On October 1, 1958, after training, he joined the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany. He donated his Army pay to charity, purchased television sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit.

Presley had been convinced by his manager that he should serve his country as a regular soldier rather than in Special Services, where he would have been able to give musical performances. RCA and Hill & Range had prepared for Presley’s two-year Army stint and kept up a steady stream of successful releases which resulted in ten Top 40 hits, Presley standards such as “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck”, “Hard Headed Woman”, “One Night” “(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I,” and “A Big Hunk o’ Love” which hit #1 in 1959.

Although I now have a complete discography of Elvis Presley in my music collection, I actually did not become familiar with him until August 1969; I was too into The Beatles in my formative years. August 1969 was when “Suspicious Minds” was released, and I quickly spent my weekly allowance to buy the 45 single at the Kingsville Drug Store

(smile if you ever bought a 45 single at a drug store;
laugh if you had a weekly allowance;
cry if your weekly allowance was less than 50¢ a week).

“Suspicious Minds” rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #1. It spent one week at the top position, and was Presley’s seventeenth, and last, #1 record. In December 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Suspicious Minds” #91 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (3-17-14)—If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I woke up this morning to two email notifications from Fine Art America. Two sales, both yesterday! These are the two pictures that sold (click on the pictures to go directly to my oneline store at Fine Art America):

Beach mansion at 1900 Spindrift Drive in La Jolla Shores, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ocean Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Those two sales prompted me to find money songs to share in today’s Music on Mondays post. The first one that came to mind was “For the Love of Money,” a #9 hit for The O’Jays in 1974.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The second one that came to mind was “Money, Money, Money,” a minor hit for Abba in October 1977.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Then there’s the classic Pink Floyd song, “Money,” from their 1972 album “Dark Side of the Moon” and a #13 hit for them in May 1973.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Remembering Pink Floyd prompted me to remember “Take the Money and Run,” a #11 hit for The Steve Miller Band in May 1976.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Of course, anytime you make money, the taxman is likely to pay you a visit shortly thereafter. Here is “Taxman,” the lead track from The Beatles’ classic 1966 album “Revolver.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (3-10-14)–Because I’m happy

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The radio this past week has been overplaying a song by Pharrell Williams titled “Happy.”

I admit that it’s an infectious song, but as my wise old grandmother always said, “Too much of a good thing is bad.”

If you haven’t heard the song, click on the video below, which has lyrics, and sing and clap along.

It’s fun, and should get your Monday off to a great start because you’re happy!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (2-24-14)—To the thirteen days of glory, and the men of….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Kingsville, TexasI grew up in Kingsville, Texas, a little farming and ranching community of 23,000 people. My family were typical country (and western) music fans, so I learned the Texas two-step, country line dancing, how to dance while actually touching your dancing partner, and similar things. However, when I was by myself, I usually preferred pop music, rock & roll, and, since I played the piano and violin, classical music. However, one of my favorite country artists at the time (and still), Marty Robbins, was well represented on my listening list.

I still have a wide interest in all types of music, except hip hop and rap (don’t like the lyrics, if that’s what you can call them). As I was trying to think about what to do for today’s Music on Mondays, history came to the rescue. From my daily email sent to me by history.com:

Scott #1043, The AlamoOn this day in 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issued a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army.

On February 23, 1836, a large Mexican force commanded by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana arrived suddenly in San Antonio. Travis and his troops took shelter in the Alamo, where they were soon joined by a volunteer force led by Colonel James Bowie.

Though Santa Ana’s 5,000 troops heavily outnumbered the several hundred Texans, Travis and his men determined not to give up. On February 24, they answered Santa Ana’s call for surrender with a bold shot from the Alamo’s cannon. Furious, the Mexican general ordered his forces to launch a siege. Travis immediately recognized his disadvantage and sent out several messages via couriers asking for reinforcements. Addressing one of the pleas to “The People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” Travis signed off with the now-famous phrase “Victory or Death.”

Only 32 men from the nearby town of Gonzales responded to Travis’ call for help, and beginning at 5:30 a.m. on March 6, Mexican forces stormed the Alamo through a gap in the fort’s outer wall, killing Travis, Bowie and 190 of their men. Despite the loss of the fort, the Texan troops managed to inflict huge losses on their enemy, killing at least 600 of Santa Ana’s men.

The brave defense of the Alamo became a powerful symbol for the Texas revolution, helping the rebels turn the tide in their favor. At the crucial Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 910 Texan soldiers commanded by Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana’s army of 1,250 men, spurred on by cries of “Remember the Alamo!” The next day, after Texan forces captured Santa Ana himself, the general issued orders for all Mexican troops to pull back behind the Rio Grande River. On May 14, 1836, Texas officially became an independent republic.

And with that, I present to you Marty Robbins and his hit from 1960, “Ballad of the Alamo.”

Lyrics

In the southern part of Texas
In the town of San Antone
There’s a fortress all in ruins that the weeds have overgrown
You may look in vain for crosses and you’ll never see a-one
But sometimes between the setting and the rising of the sun
You can hear a ghostly bugle
As the men go marching by
You can hear them as they answer
To that roll call in the sky.

Colonel Travis, Davy Crockett, and a hundred eighty more
Captain Dickinson, Jim Bowie
Present and accounted for.

Back in 1836, Houston said to Travis
“Get some volunteers and go
Fortify the Alamo.”
Well the men came from Texas
And from old Tennessee
And they joined up with Travis
Just to fight for the right to be free.

Indian scouts with squirrel guns
Men with muzzle-loaders
Stood together, heel and toe
To defend the Alamo.

“You may ne’er see your loved ones,”
Travis told them that day
“Those who want to can leave now
Those who fight to the death let ‘em stay.”

In the sand he drew a line
With his army sabre
Out of a hundred eighty five
Not a soldier crossed the line
With his banners a-dancin’
In the dawn’s golden light
Santa Anna came prancing
On a horse that was black as the night.

Sent an officer to tell
Travis to surrender
Travis answered with a shell
And a rousing rebel yell
Santa Anna turned scarlet
“Play deguello!” he roared
“I will show them no quarter
Every one will be put to the sword!”

One hundred and eighty five
Holding back five thousand
Five days, six days, eight days, ten
Travis held and held again
Then he sent for replacements
For his wounded and lame
But the troops that were coming
Never came, never came, never came…

Twice he charged and blew recall
On the fatal third time
Santa Anna breached the wall
And he killed ‘em, one and all
Now the bugles are silent
And there’s rust on each sword
And the small band of soldiers…

Lie asleep in the arms of the Lord…

In the southern part of Texas
Near the town of San Antone
Like a statue on his pinto rides a cowboy all alone
And he sees the cattle grazing where a century before
Santa Anna’s guns were blazing and the cannons used to roar
And his eyes turn sorta misty
And his heart begins to glow
And he takes his hat off slowly…

To the men of Alamo.

To the thirteen days of glory
At the siege of Alamo…

Hip hop and rap should study Marty Robbins (and others) to learn how to write lyrics.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (2-10-14)—Putting out fire with gasoline

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m trying to do a Music on Mondays post and there is this cat sitting smack dab in front of the computer monitor so that I can’t see a thing. Looks kind of like this:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I told her that if she would go sleep on the printer, I would post some cat songs. I’m not sure if she’s sleeping or ignoring me, but at least she’s on the printer and I have my desk back.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Here are the cat songs I found this morning:

  1. “I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat” by Mel Blanc, 1950
  2. “The Siamese Cat Song” by Peggy Lee, 1955
  3. “Mean-eyed Cat” by Johnny Cash, 1960
  4. “The Cat” by Jimmy Smith, 1964
  5. “What’s New, Pussycat?” by Tom Jones, 1965
  6. “Cat in the Window (The Bird in the Sky)” by Petula Clark, 1967
  7. “Phenomenal Cat” by The Kinks, 1968
  8. “Cat in the Window (The Bird in the Sky)” by The Turtles, 1970
  9. “Honky Cat” by Elton John, 1972
  10. “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin 1974
  11. “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart, 1976
  12. “Cat Scratch Fever” by Ted Nugent, 1977
  13. “All Cats Are Grey” by The Cure, 1981
  14. “Stray Cat Strut” by Stray Cats, 1982
  15. “The Love Cats” by The Cure, 1983
  16. “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” by David Bowie, 1984
  17. “Look What the Cat Dragged In” by Poison, 1986
  18. “Black Cat” by Janet Jackson, 1989
  19. “Pussycat Meow” by Deee-Lite, 1992
  20. “Cat Daddy” by Rej3ctz, 2011

I have eleven of the songs in my music collection: #5, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #17. Out of all of them, “Stray Cat Strut” is probably my favorite, followed closely by “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

I listened to those I don’t have, and David Bowie took first place with Janet Jackson coming in second.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition

Music on Mondays–The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Some readers might not know that I have a few billion digital music files and that I listen to them in chronological order.

The oldest digital file in my music collection is “Lover” by Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers & Hammerstein fame. You know, musicals like “Oklahoma,” “South Pacific,” “The King & I,” “The Sound of Music”), dating to 1932.

The newest digital file is the EP “American Authors” by American Authors.

I happened to listen to 1986 this weekend and thought I would share a song by Timbuk 3 (instead of Timbuktu; get it?). It’s titled “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades.”

And I thought they were on drugs…………..

I study nuclear science, I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher who wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades

I gotta job waiting for my graduation
Fifty thou a year will buy a lotta beer
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades

I’m heavenly blessed and worldy wise
I’m a peeping-tom techy with x-ray eyes
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades

Yeah, I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades
Yeah I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades, I gotta wear shades
Gotta wear shades, got to wear shades
I’m heavenly blessed and worldy wise
I’m a peeping tom techy with x-ray eyes…..

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays—Add some music to your days

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Since Jim and I canceled cable television in October 2013, I have had more time to listen to more music. I seem to get more done each day now, and with that, I’m a much happier person.

I did notice very early on in my life that I’m actually a much happier person when I have music playing. My wise old grandmother couldn’t understand how I could study, and maintain straight A’s, with my little clock radio tuned to KTSA AM out of San Antonio, KLOL FM out of Houston, or the new (1975) KZFM out of Corpus Christi. Those were the three stations that my little transistor clock radio picked up best.

I have music in my collection that can put me in any mood, and bring me out of any mood, too. On the other side of the coin, there simply is too much violence and foul language on television, and I think I’m better off by not subscribing to it.

If you’re having difficulties or need some motivation, try adding some music to your day.

Put on some headphones, turn the volume up, and listen to the words and music from “Add Some Music To Your Day,” by The Beach Boys, from their album “Sunflower,” released in February 1970. There’s not much that can compare to harmonies from The Beach Boys—Hollies, Beatles, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young are the only others that come immediately to mind. Words are below the YouTube video.

The Sunday mornin’ gospel goes good with a song
There’s blues, folk, and country, and rock like a rollin’ stone
The world could come together as one
If everybody under the sun
Add some music to your day

You’ll hear it while you’re walkin’ by a neighbor’s home
You’ll hear it faintly in the distance when you’re on the phone
You’re sittin’ in a dentist chair
And they’ve got music for you there
To add some music to your day

Add some music, music everywhere
Add some, add some, add some, add some music
Your doctor knows it keeps you calm
Your preacher adds it to his psalms
So add some music to your day

Music
When you’re alone
Is like a companion
For your lonely soul

When day is over
I close my tired eyes
Music is in my soul

At a movie you can feel it touching your heart
And on every day of the summertime
You’ll hear children chasing ice cream carts
They’ll play it on your wedding day
There must be ’bout a million ways
To add some music to your day

Add some music to your day

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos