Posted in 1960, 1963

Episode 24–Fingertips Part 2

Everybody Say Yeah!

(Yeah!)

I love a good call-and-response.

Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips Part 2” was only the second Number One hit for Motown Records. The first was 1962’s “Please Mister Postman” by the Marvelettes. (Fun Fact: the drummer on both these songs was Marvin Gaye! He was still an up-and-coming artist, so he played as a session musician on a lot of the early tracks for the label.)

But Motown had a bit of a tough time getting audiences to appreciate The 12-Year-Old Genius, and even this song wasn’t the catalyst for his career. It took a little perseverance and the onset of puberty to turn him into one of Motown’s biggest performers, with a career that’s still going strong fifty-five years later, and counting.

Listening to the show: if you have podcast software, you can search for this show by name and listen at your leisure.  Or you can just listen to/download it here:

And, of course, I absolutely welcome feedback of any kind.

Posted in 1960s, 1963, 1966, 1970s, 1975, 1978

Episode 11: Failing Upward

EDITED to fix the link. Which makes the first sentence of this post just a little more poignant, no? 

Hey, everybody makes a mistake now and then. That’s why they put erasers on pencils, am I right?

But once in awhile, someone will make a mistake that manages to enhance rather than detract (“Eminence Front,” I’m looking at you.). And that’s where we’re going this week: we’ll look at four songs that had mistakes in them where the artists made a conscious decision to keep the error in place because it actually makes the song a little bit better.

 

And, as usual, you can listen to the show via your favorite podcatcher, or you can just play/download it from right here:

 

And any feedback is good feedback…especially if it’s good feedback. so please take the time to leave a rating on iTunes or whatever app you’re using to listen to the show. Much appreciated! And for your efforts, here’s a video clip of the the engineer’s point of view behind one of the stories in the show:

Posted in 1960s, 1963

Episode 2: Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto

Sukiyaki sleeve
This is the sleeve for the Danish release of the record.

Click here for a transcript of this episode. 

 

For Episode 2, we take a journey to Japan and look into an international hit from a day when I was about four months old. I’ll tell you about:

  • What ALL the lyrics to the song mean
  • The political turmoil that led to a song about lost love
  • Whatever happened to Kyu Sakamoto, anyway?
  • Why I need to apologize to my wife

Your favorite podcatcher should have this song by now, but just in case, you can listen to, or download it, right here:

Incidentally, I recorded this show about two weeks ago, and I made a brief mention of the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. At that time it was pretty much the Song of the Summer, but according to Billboard Magazine, it’s reaching a new streaming record and about to tie with Mariah Carey & Boys II Men’s “One Sweet Day” for the Most Weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 (that’d be 15 weeks at Number One). If it remains #1 for another two weeks, it’ll be the sole record-holder. Get that story here. 


Some of the sources for today’s show:

The article from the Washington Post that I cited appears here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/06/02/americas-number-one-song-isnt-in-english-that-doesnt-happen-often/?utm_term=.18bbe4fba452   retrieved 7/24/17

Most of the song’s background came from this article:
https://formeinfullbloom.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/a-brief-history-of-i-look-up-as-i-walk-in-anime/  retrieved 7/25/17

Most of the translation I got from this YouTube video. Some of it came from Songfacts.com, but this one seemed a little more reliable.