Category Archives: music

The most soulful soul songs

Wikipedia has about as good a characterization of “soul music” as I could find: Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combined elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues, and often jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in […]

RIP Jimmy Ruffin

Another Motown great left us. This time it was Jimmy Ruffin (born 1936), older brother of David Ruffin, lead singer of The Temptations. Although Jimmy never attained the fame of his brother, he had one indubitably immortal soul song, and that was this one, released in 1966: “What becomes of the broken hearted” was written by William Weatherspoon, Paul […]

Joni at the BBC

Here’s a bit of music to start the week. Here’s the finest folk rock singer/songwriter of our time (I will brook no dissent), performing at the height of her powers: at the BBC on September 30, 1970. She was 26. Joni plays piano, guitar, and dulcimer. Unlike many acoustic concerts, where it’s simply a display of […]

Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Somehow my favorite song as a child came up during a conversation yesterday, and so I listened to it again. It’s “Teddy Bears’ Picnic,” whose tune was written in 1907 (by John Bratton) with the immortal words added in 1932 by Jimmy Kennedy. There are many versions on YouTube, including one by Bing Crosby (!), […]

Goodbye, Allman Brothers

One of the best bands in rock history, and the greatest “southern rock” group ever, is playing its last gig tonight at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Although individual members of the band may continue to play (I find it hard to imagine that Greg Allman will ever hang it up, for what would […]

“Tapestry” comes to life

Over at Colossal, they’ve put up gifs from a music video of Roy Kafri’s song “Mayokero” (don’t ask me who he is).  The video contains a bunch of famous albums that they’ve animated, but the best one is Carole King’s “Tapestry” which—and I hope you know this—has a tabby cat.  You should also know that “Tapestry” […]

Sam Harris responds to the Islam fracas

Here’s a clip with Sam Harris on yesterday’s “The Last Word,” Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC. As usual, Sam is calm and eloquent, but makes his point forcefully, asking for Muslims as a whole to create a “groundswell” repudiating the kind of behavior evinced not only by ISIS, but the less extremist but still tribalistic and barbaric […]

Good morning!

While listening to the Carly Simon song I posted the other day, I decided to go back too see what else she had on YouTube. And I found this rocking version of one of her well known songs, “You belong to me,” written by Simon and Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers. recorded by Simon in 1978. The […]

Good morning!

Carly Simon (b. 1945) seems to have disappeared from the music scene, but for a while she was very visible. Her reluctance to perform live and her stage fright were famous, but they’re not at all visible in this wonderful rendition of one of her classic songs, “That’s the way I’ve always heard it should be.” It […]

Good morning!

The two greatest female pop voices (not singers) of our time belong to Karen Carpenter and Barbra Streisand. I’ve featured Karen many times (she was a heartthrob), but not such much La Streisand. Streisand, of course, had a much better oeuvre of songs, but you shouldn’t turn your nose up at Carpenter’s talents on non-schlocky songs, like “Little Girl […]


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