Music on Mondays (3-16-15)—Imagine a get together on the peace train

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Today seems to be a big war day because on this day in history, the United States Military Academy was established, the Battle of Averasboro (North Carolina) occurred in 1865, President Reagan ordered troops into Honduras in 1988, United States troops massacred unarmed villagers in Vietnam in 1968 in what would become known as the My Lai Massacre, and fighting on Iwo Jima ended in 1945.

So maybe we need to explore some songs about peace for today’s Music on Mondays….

Peace lily

At the top of my list of songs about peace would be John Lennon’s classic hit “Imagine” from 1971. Imagine if there were no religion and no countries. No gods and no borders to fight over. The world might truly live in peace….

“Imagine” by John Lennon

Surprisingly to me, “Imagine” only spent nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #3. That made me wonder what #1 and #2 were. So here’s some history:

“Imagine” debuted at #20 on October 23, 1971. #1 was Maggie May/Reason To Believe by Rod Stewart.

“Imagine” jumped to #6 on October 30. #1 was Maggie May/Reason To Believe by Rod Stewart, and #2 was “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” by Cher.

“Imagine” moved to #4 on November 6. “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” took over the #1 spot, and #2 was “Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes.

November 13 saw the same #1 and #2 songs with “Imagine” moving to #3.

November 20: Cher and Isaac Hayes switched places with Lennon staying at #3.

November 27: Isaac Hayes remained at #1, Cher at #2, with Lennon falling to #6.

December 4: “Imagine” fell to #10. “Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone took over the #1 position. “Theme from Shaft” fell to #2.

December 11: #1 and #2 stayed the same. “Imagine” fell to #13.

December 18: “Imagine” fell to #23. “Family Affair” remained #1 while “Brand New Key” by Melanie took over the #2 spot.

December 25: “Brand New Key” moved to #1 with “Family Affair” falling to #2. “Imagine” dropped completely off the chart.

In retrospect, I think “Imagine” has had a much longer shelf life than any of the other songs.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The rest of the songs are in no particular order. Just whatever came across my mind as I was writing this post.

“Get Together” by The Youngbloods

Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together and try to love one another right now

“Get Together” original was released in late 1967 but only made it to #62 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was re-released in 1969 when it was chosen as the theme for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, making it to #5 on the charts.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Peace Train” by Cat Stevens

Oh, I’ve been smilin’ lately,
Dreamin’ about the world as one

“Peace Train,” released in 1971, peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Cat Stevens probably is the epitome of walking the talk. In December 1977, Cat Stevens (neé Steven Demetre Georgiou) converted to Islam, adopted the name Yusuf Islam in 1978, and auctioned all of his guitars in 1979 and donated the money to charity. He left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has received several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including the 2003 World Award, the 2004 Man of Peace Award, and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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11 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (3-16-15)—Imagine a get together on the peace train

  1. frederick anderson

    ‘Imagine’ remains one of the top entries in my itunes list, and I get quite boring with my constant replaying of the song. Those lyrics, though typical Lennon, were very profound in their time. The songs which competed for space on the top slot surprise me: I thought ‘Imagine’ was later than either ‘Tramps and Thieves’ or ‘Maggy May’. How time can deceive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      One of the reasons why I like blogging so much is because I get to revisit history and rediscover things that I had forgotten or never even knew to begin with. That and I get to travel the world without ever leaving Zoey the Cool Cat behind!

      Liked by 1 person


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