Hugh’s 51 Weeks:51 Hits from the Past – Week 30

Grapevines

This week Hugh’s challenge features old songs that were used for commercials. In the mid to late 1980s, the California Raisin Advisory Board produced a series of claymation commercials featuring singing raisins. They became so popular that the Raisins had their own figurine and merchandise line, a cartoon show and a movie. The first song used in the commercials was “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.  The California Raisins released four studio albums  between 1987 and 1988, and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” made it to the Billboard Hot 100.  The first video is a compilations of some of those commercials. I have also included the original 1967 version by the great Gladys Knight and the Pips. It’s funny that the label is variations of purple, just like the raisins.

I have fond memories of the raisins. My mom had a huge plastic jar of the figurines in the livingroom. One of the fast food chains (Hardee’s) gave them away.

Join Hugh’s 51 Weeks:51 Hits from the Past – Week 30

 

 

Only in America

Only In America and Some Gave All

For me, 2017 has been a year in which American freedoms and ideals have been under attack. What a difference fifteen years can make. When Brooks and Dunn released Only in America in 2001, it was a celebration of diversity and dreams. As they sang: Everybody gets a chance to dance. It is so sad that the United States has fallen off its pedestal under the current administration, and the fall is accelerating. Fear and isolationism have become the new watchwords. During the 2016 presidential campaign, I learned a hard lesson. Many Americans not only don’t share my worldview (well, I knew this but I didn’t know the breath of the chasm), they want to devolve to a time when racism, misogyny, and religious intolerance were both accepted and promoted. I can’t understand how reasonable Americans gleefully admire a president who has no intellectual curiosity, accept alternate facts without question, promote lunatic conspiracy theories (the latest: the US has established a colony of children on Mars for research and pedophilia), devalue education and ignore science, and brand hate filled messages and threats across social media as patriotism.

Someday, I hope the United States can again aspire to be a place where everyone can dance and dream.

I have included two links to each song incase the official music video doesn’t work in some countries.

 

On the 4th of July, it is important we remember those who have served to keep as free so that we can dream. I love Ray by Billy Cyrus’s 1992 song Some Gave All, in the days he still had a mullet. Its message is one we must remember. Some gave all for everyone, not for one party, not for one social movement, not for one religion, not for the few.

 

 

Hugh’s 51 Weeks:51 Hits from the Past – Week 25

Morning Song

First, I have to say I hate morning—I always have, I always will. I don’t revel in the smell of coffee brewing or the sounds of birds chirping when it is still dark outside. I think it is ridiculous to call any hour with an a.m. after it “morning.” I argue that morning does not start until 5 a.m or later. Anything earlier is still “night” in my world. But I do have a favorite song about morning, one that most people have never heard.

When I was in high school, a homegrown band from Bemidji, Minnesota, called Podipto was on its way to making it big on the national music scene. Several songs from their first album got radio exposure. Podipto concerts (I use that term loosely) were popular in Crookston. I went with friends to see the group play at the National Guard armory, the local venue for dances and band performances. The band’s folk-rock sound and songs captured the feelings of a turbulent generation.

Hugh’s 51 Weeks:51 Hits from the Past – Week 25

From Podipto’s website: Podipto formed in Northern Minnesota in 1969. Until disbanding in 1974, Podipto was known as one of the brightest acts hailing from the Midwest, blending rock, blues and country into a unique sound that would never be forgotten by those who heard them or saw them perform. Throughout the early 1970s, Podipto toured the country, performing with acts such as Elton John, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, The Carpenters, Kenny Rogers, The Guess Who, Poco, John Sebastian and many others. 

This was my favorite Podipto song. It was timely in the late 1960s, early 1970s—it is still relevant today.

 

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