Tag Archives: sparks of ancient lights

Music on Mondays (9-19-16)—All your ways are known to me

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

About five decades ago I wanted to be a history teacher. Then I found out how much money teachers made in Texas and decided to be something else. I still love history, though, so when I saw the following bumper sticker” in front of me at a traffic signal, I had to figure out a way to get a picture of it since it was rush hour traffic. I ended up following him for several miles, turning where he turned, speeding up, slowing down, doing everything necessary to stay behind him. I wonder if he thought he was being followed, like in the movies….

History, it's not just about dead guys

Since this is Monday, I thought it might be interested to explore history in music, and when I thought about that, the first person who came to mind was Al Stewart.

According to Wikipedia, Alastair Ian “Al” Stewart was born September  5, 1945, in Glasgow, Scotland. His unique style combines folk rock songs tales of characters and events from throughout history. He played at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970, knew Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon, and shared a London flat with a young Paul Simon. He’s interconnected with a lot of my favorite musicians., and I do have a complete collection of his music. I first discovered Stewart in 1976 as a junior at Texas A&M University when he released his super-album “Year of the Cat.” Here’s the title track:

“Year of the Cat” from “Year of the Cat” (1976)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

He hasn’t had quite the commercial success that he had with “Year of the Cat,” possibly because too many people don’t study history and, thus, don’t have a clue what he’s singing about.

Look at the titles to many of his albums and you can see Stewart’s interest in history:

Past, Present and Future
Modern Times
Time Passages
Last Days of the Century
Between the Wars
Sparks of Ancient Light

“Year of the Cat” used to be my favorite Stewart album until I was able to get a complete collection of his music. Now it’s #2 behind “Past, Present and Future.”

Here are a few of my other favorite Al Stewart songs:

“Roads to Moscow” from “Past, Present and Future” (1973)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Nostradamus” from “Past, Present and Future” (1973)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“(A Child’s View of) The Eisenhower Years” from “Sparks of Ancient Light” (2009)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat