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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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little drummer boy

Music on Mondays — The little drummer boy wants it straight, no chaser

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone everywhere.

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite Christmas songs, renditions, and videos for today, starting off with my favorite Christmas song, Little Drummer Boy. My favorite version of Little Drummer Boy is also my favorite Christmas song video, performed by my favorite all-female ensemble, Celtic Woman, accompanied by chorus and, of course, the Little Drummer Boy (who is anything but little):

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Then there’s Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ version of Little Drummer Boy, substantially Joan Jetted up, from their 1981 album I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the more interesting versions of Little Drummer Boy was performed by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Actually titled Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy, the counterpoint was written and performed by David Bowie specifically for Bing Crosby’s 1977 TV special Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In surfing through the YouTube videos, I found this snare drum performance from Church of Southland in Anaheim, California. I’ve always been infatuated with snare drums and this reaffirms my infatuation. Take five minutes and watch this.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My all-time music favorite, Sir Paul McCartney, wrote Wonderful Christmastime back in 1979, and it’s become a staple of Christmas radio airplay to this day:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The first Christmas song I can remember hearing on rock radio was by The Beach Boys, Little Saint Nick, from 1963:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, we couldn’t possibly forget The 12 Days of Christmas. Let’s have a little fun with it with Straight No Chaser, a messed-up version as only Straight No Chaser could mess it up:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you ever get a chance to see Straight No Chaser in concert, take it. You’ll have a lot of fun and come away absolutely amazed at what they do, how they can take beautiful songs and mess them up beautifully.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos