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Dave Elder's Favorite Songs Playlist

What's my favorite song? That's a tough question, and this playlist is my answer. I don't know that I could ever pick just one song. These are the cuts that I listen to, and that mean something to me. I have lots of memories and stories tied up with them, and I share a portion of those tales on this list. Surely you will recognize some of the tracks here, but probably you'll find some that you don't, and hopefully I can help you discover some good music. You might notice that some numbers are missing, including number 1, and that's because the linked videos are no longer available, so those songs have been removed from the list.

This page only includes a few recent bits. If you'd like to read some older ones, the previous link below will take you to the post before the last one, on my Blogspot runway, which has links to earlier writings. The Master List page has links to all of the playlist Blogspot articles. However, my earliest playlist rambles, before Song 185, only live on this website, since I didn't start posting on Blogspot until February of 2014.


Recent Songs

(Sunday, 6/23/19) Song 465: All I Want to Do is Dance by John Sonntag, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Seven weeks after my previous personal friend song post, this week the playlist features a buddy who I hung out with a lot back around the turn of the 1990s, to the point where we even considered forming a musical partnership. This cut appears on his 1996 album One More Midnight and I remember him performing it a few times during appearances at small clubs and coffeehouses a number of years before the CD release. I thought the tune sounded pretty good then, with just his voice and acoustic guitar, and when I hear it now, All I Want to Do is Dance. Perhaps I'm not supposed to feel this way, but then, there ain't nothing here to hide, so maybe I should take someone in my arms and sway, and maybe you might want to do that as well when you listen to the track.

(Sunday, 6/16/19) Song 464: Don't Go Near the Water by Sammy Kershaw, written by Chapin Hartford and Jim Foster. You can find a YouTube video of it here. The New Country bunch promoted by the NYC country music station that I listened to in the early 1990s sounded to me like an updated version of the mid-1970s country rock scene, with this entertaining 45 being a prime example. I liked it so much that I got a copy of the record, and when I acquired my first iPod a decade and a half later, I soon created a playlist of favorite 1990s tracks which included this one. To this day, I still enjoy being reminded that with a lover, you can fall right in way over your head, and you can sho 'nuff get your feet wet, but you don't have to go near the water to do so.

(Sunday, 6/2/19) Song 463: Let It Ride by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, written by Randy Bachman and Fred Turner. You can find a YouTube video of it here. When this single came along in the spring of 1974, I had a pretty good steady gig playing piano at a pizza joint in Atlanta, GA. The gig lasted for a few months, and during the chart run of this 45, the weather that spring was really nice there, plus, I lived in a decent, inexpensive apartment that was half of the first floor of a house. The building had a good porch for sitting and playing guitar, and the quiet side street didn't pose any serious risk to my 2 cats, so I have plenty of pleasant, warm, sunny memories linked to this cut. For example, one of the first things I noticed when I moved there was hearing the birds singing outside my bedroom window in the morning when I woke up, which I certainly hadn't heard in Chicago. However, one bad thing did happen there one evening - after I had walked to the end of the block, and crossed the busy main street at the corner, I looked back at my place and saw the female cat of the bother/sister duo headed my way, and I couldn't stop her. As she crossed the road, a van hit her, knocking her to the pavement, and then passing over her without the wheels or any other part of the vehicle touching her. After the van passed over her, she got up and ran by me into the park that I had entered, disappearing around a nearby culvert. I called her name and searched for her in vain. After a while, I gave up and went back to my place. I came back 15 minutes later, called her name and searched for her, and again got no result. I did that twice more, and indeed, the third time was the charm. Expecting nothing, when I called her name that time, she meowed her reply, and I finally found her. I carried her back home, and she never showed any physical problems from that incident, but in her mind, she clearly couldn't Let It Ride. Following that episode, her behavior was never quite the way it had been before, and I was grateful that she hadn't suffered any physical harm, but I also knew that no matter how much we might try, try, try, she would never Let It Ride.

(Sunday, 6/2/19) Song 462: Those Were the Days by Mary Hopkin, written by Boris Fomin and Gene Raskin. You can find a YouTube video of it here. I graduated HS 50 years ago, in June of 1969, and during the fall of my senior year, this 45 had gotten a lot of spins from the local station. It seemed to fit my final HS year quite well, and it also seems to fit the 50th anniversary. When it came out, Gene Raskin got credit for the composition, and I only recently learned that in the early 1960s he had actually written new English lyrics for a Russian song from decades earlier. During its chart run, I really liked the sound of this record, which Paul McCartney had produced, though I didn't then consider myself much of a folk music fan, so perhaps it's not that surprising that within a couple of years I became much more of a folkie, both as an artist and a listener. While in my friend circle we did not meet in a tavern, we might sometimes raise a glass or two (of soda), and we often laughed away the hours and dreamed of all the great things we would do, certain that we'd sing and dance forever and a day, we'd live the life we choose, we'd fight and never lose, for we were young and sure to have our way. Of course, then the years went rushing by us and we lost our starry notions on the way, but I will also admit that in my heart, the dreams are still the same - not all of them, but a few of the major ones.

(Sunday, 5/26/19) Song 461: Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of it here. I knew almost nothing about RnR when the Beatles rocked my world back in the winter of 1964, and I mistakenly thought the Fab Four had invented the form. That didn't start to change until the turn of the 1970s, when a 1950s revival came across the airwaves, and a Rolling Stone subscription began to fill in the blanks for me. Thanks to what I heard and what I read, I soon began to appreciate the significance of this Berry guy. I had previously noticed his name as a songwriter on a couple of Beatles records, and John Lennon's 1975 version of this tune got my attention, but by that time, I had already begun to truly relish the original hit. While this record is now well over 60 years old, I would bet that as long as They're really rockin' in Boston, In Pittsburgh, PA, Deep in the heart of Texas and round the Frisco Bay, All over St. Louis And down in New Orleans, that All the cats still wanna dance with Sweet Little Sixteen.

(Sunday, 5/19/19) Song 460: Whenever We Wanted by John Mellencamp, written by Don Covay and Steve Cropper. You can find a YouTube video of it here. When Mellencamp's 11th album arrived in the fall of 1991, buses all over Manhattan had ads featuring the cover, and I liked the way it looked. A few tunes from the record came rippling across the airwaves, including this title track, quickly convincing me to get my own copy of the disc. As an indication of how much I have relished the LP, this marks the third cut from the album to make the playlist: Get a Leg Up is Song 111 and Crazy Ones is Song 285. Back when he released it, JM called WWW one of his best efforts, and at the time, I agreed with his POV, so it surprised me to learn that in more recent years, he has disparaged the project. While it might not mean much to him these days, I still enjoy hearing him sing about a lover who held her breath once for seven minutes And never turned blue and who Used to rest on a bed of burning coals Every single night.

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