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Born on the Bayou

Born on the Bayou Just like the food, Cajun and Creole music has its own flavour. From the south part of Louisiana (in major cities such as Lafayette and Lake Charles) just west of New Orleans, music from the Bayou extends down to the coast and into Texas. Historically, both the Cajun and Creole people are descendants of the Acadians, who were primarily from what is now the Maritime Region of Canada. They were mainly from Nova Scotia but also from Canada's only French-speaking province of Quebec. It's a long story that I'm not very qualified to tell but Colonial French-speaking people were effectively expelled from their homeland and eventually settled in Louisiana starting in the mid-1700s. The music of the region reflects some of their French Canadian Catholic backgrounds, and like many migrants, they took the easiest instruments to carry when they relocated, in this 'case' it was one of their favourites, the fiddle. Added to the fiddle after the migration was the

The 1960's

  The 1960's Fully discussing a decade of music in one post is nearly impossible, but if you look back, I have done blogs titled: 1960, 1969 and The Greatest Pop Rock Ballads of the '60s. I’ve also featured a number of artists and songs that were prominent during those 10 years. However, there are a number of significant gaps where I have missed singers, groups and songs that were popular in the 60s and many have an enduring quality as well. Certainly, the TV and Movie Industry has done a great job using songs from this era, whether the subject matter was from this time period or not. Apart from many of the songs being a lot of fun, others, including myself, have described the 1960s pop music scene as being divided by pre- and post-Beatles/"British Invasion". At the same time, while the Fab Four and similar bands had a significant impact, and were followed by the inevitable look and soundalike bands, enter ' The Monkees ', but not everyone was trying to emulat

Instrumental Songs

Instrumental Pop Songs The instrumental Pop song is very much a thing of the past. At one time there would be several instrumentals on the mainstream charts, some would even hit #1. These days pop artists rarely release singles without vocals, such fare is relegated to the odd addition on an album or in a live performance while the singer takes a break. There are of course instrumental versions of well known popular vocal songs, " Over the Rainbow "(1939) is a melody everyone knows and since David Rose and His Orchestra released the first instrumental in 1942 there are at least three or four new versions every year, totalling into the many hundreds. In 1965, the same year "Yesterday" came out George Martin and His Orchestra released an instrumental version titled " Scramble Egg ", while nobody uses the original working title there are over 500 non-vocal tracks of the song, such as a recent one by the Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola . The Beatles themselves rec

We're Number One! (almost) part 2

We're Number One! (almost) part 2 Here are some more great songs that just didn't make it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since my first post on the topic stopped at 1969, today I list tunes that stalled at #2 on Billboard from the '70s and '80s. 1971 It was early in 1971 when perhaps the greatest #2 song of all time was released, " What's Going On " by Marvin Gaye. It was written by Motown staff writer Al Cleveland (I Second that Emotion), Renaldo Benson of The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. It topped the R&B charts for five weeks (March/April) and the song crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 in March and spent three weeks at #2 in April before dropping off the top 20 by the end of May. It finished at #28 on the Billboard Year End chart. On the R&B chart, the song was #2 at the end of the year behind "Mr. Big Stuff".  For R&B albums it was Isaac Hayes hitting #1 for the second year in a row with "To be Continued" and "Wh

The Sea Shanty

Sea Shanties   I have had this topic as one of 21 ideas in my draft folder for some time and the plan was to release it for International Talk Like a Pirate Day Sept 19, 2020, but I never got around to writing it. I thought about getting to it after I saw the movie about the singing group Fisherman's Friends as well. Now, sea shanties are making news thanks to Nathan Evans and Tik Tok, Youtube and other social media, so it's time to jump on the bandwagon! I have mentioned before I have a friend of Irish descent, and the classic Irish drinking songs are closely related to (if not a few of them considered) sea shanties themselves. Add to this that I'm half Newfoundlander on my mother's side, also - my close friend from a Haven Port in the UK so I'm somewhat familiar with the genre. What is a Sea Shanty? The simple answer is " What Will You Do With a Drunken Sailor? " But there is an interesting history to the songs that have endured the test of time. I gave