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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, 5/15/22) Song 615: The One That Got Away by Tom Waits, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of it here. When Mr. Waits first crossed my radar, he didn't sound very interesting to me, but that shifted in a large way when his Small Change appeared a couple of years later in 1976, so during the last two years I resided in the Chicago region, I became a big Tom fan. I gave SC plenty of turntable spins while on that stretch, relishing the clever illuminating word-play territory that the 33 rode along. I doubt that I personally could have been on Easy Street or had irons in the fire, and I don't recall wearing any peculiar-looking trousers or old Italian shoes, plus I don't think I've ever had a snakeskin sportshirt. Even if I suddenly lost my equilibrium and my car keys and my pride in the cold outside, no matter how much the tattoo parlor's warm, I would not hustle there inside because I have no interest in the ink, regardless of The One That Got Away.

(Sunday, 5/8/22) Song 614: Boss Man by Gordon Lightfoot, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of it here. In the summer of 1970 I listened a lot to LPs by new guy James Taylor and veteran folkie Judy Collins that I had added to my collection in the spring, during my college freshman year, and their influence helped me refine my own personal original singer/songwriter style. As my sophomore year unfolded that fall, I included a few other prominent acoustic-guitar handlers in my 33 stack, with Gordon soon getting plenty of turntable spins. In the late winter and early spring of 1971 I rode an unexpected romantic roller coaster, but behind the passion scene Mr. Lightfoot's intriguing rambles lit up my background quite well. Back then, people often spoke of Dylanesque protest songs, implying that such a form seemed simplistic and obsolete. I thought it ridiculous to dismiss stuff like anti-war anthems, especially as the Viet Nam death toll hit a new level, and I liked the way GL wrote and released works that addressed current event issues, with this sparkler quickly becoming a shining example. I would bet many folks hearing this piece around the time it came out would recognize the kind of brutal manager it portrays, but these days, a much bigger percentage of US laborers have holes in their pockets and holes in their shoes while the company plan takes all their pay. Hopefully the recent Starbucks and Amazon union victories are a sign that workers are finally starting to get this wheel back on the track, and maybe at some point in the near future it can roll again. On a side note, the coal-mining boss at the center of the lyric sounds very similar to those who did the bidding of a certain Mr. Hatfield who managed The Sago Mine, and you can check out my illuminating lyric video of the sad event there that killed 12 miners in 2006 by clicking on that title.

(Sunday, 5/1/22) Song 613: Mama He's Crazy by The Judds, written by Kenny O'Dell. You can find an amusing YouTube video of it here. I had intended to spotlight someone else tonight, but then the sad news arrived that yesterday Naomi, the mama in this mother/daughter duo, left the land of the living, so this became an appropriate moment to feature them, in particular doing a song where the word mama appears lots of times. This marks the second Judd appearance in this bunch - I branded Why Not Me as Song 287 back in early 2016. During the era when The Judds started getting noticed in the 1980s, I lived in the East Bay area and had begun playing bass with a country bar band, among my many activities, so as a result I paid more attention to country stations, and I really relished the rambles by this mother and daughter team, including this humorous excursion. Later, in the 1990s, I made a sly reference to the pair in the line from my anthem As Long as Merle is Still Haggard (which you can hear and see a YouTube video of by clicking on the title) where I mention that Wynonna, she's Judd fine. Wynonna, of course, is the daughter, who is still with us, fortunately. This tune, interestingly enough, has a line He thinks I hung the moon and stars. Currently I'm working on producing an updated CD version of my 1985 cassette-only release Going My Way which includes a number titled Moon and Morning Sun in which I assert that a certain young female I know IS to me both the moon and the star that lightens our planet every morning, so I guess it makes sense that, inspired by this ride, I wrote a country-flavored jaunt called I'm Just Crazy. So do you think you'd better look before you leap? I'd say maybe so, but here I go.

(Sunday, 4/24/22) Song 612: Inside by Patti Rothberg, 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's enchanting dive comes from a fellow singer/songwriter who has definitely lit up my past 2 decades. Appropriately enough, we met each other in a studio one evening in the fall of 2003, and the more I got to hear her music after that, the bigger fan I became. This gem, which enlivens her first album Between the 1 and the 9 and rolled out as her first single, rose to #25 on the Billboard magazine Alternative chart, though I hadn't heard it until I met her. It also spiced a 1998 movie The Misadventures of Margaret that appeared in France and the U.K. She gave me copies of her CDs, which got plenty of spins on the player, and when I got my first iPod in 2008, I soon added her albums to it, so this tune and all her other ones have often brightened my scenery ever since. As the weird pandemic scenario unfolded and the world turned strange over the last 2 years, a lot of folks haven't done a thing on many days but just sitting around, wasting time away, and even if they wanted to, all too often, they couldn't go outside, because there was nothing they'd be allowed to do. Hopefully we have gotten beyond the oddball situation and we won't have to go down into a big black hole.

(Sunday, 4/17/22) Song 611: Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon) by The Moody Blues, written by Justin Hayward. You can find a YouTube video of it here. This marks the first appearance of TMB on this list, despite my intention to add them much sooner. If I knew anything at all about the group during my HS phase when this ramble arrived, I think I would remember it, particularly in light of my own long history with violins and orchestras in that period. Along that stretch, my interest in RnR seemed to conflict with my classical experiences. When, as a young independent adult a few years later, I had more freedom to explore the sounds I liked as I crafted my own personal singer/songwriter style, I found this crew and their Days of Future Passed album a captivating ride, and it, along with other influencers like King Crimson, helped me to add a classical element to my own tunes. In the summer of 1972, my female companion and I spent about a month residing in a Nashville apartment with my close childhood buddy who got a place in that area because of serving in the military. Though he may have had a few other LPs, nothing else in the place interested my partner or myself, so we listened to DoFP at least a few times every day, and I will forever associate the 33 with my month in Music City. Interestingly enough, in doing this blog, I learned that my older brother, who sadly died 11 years ago, had been a big fan of The Moody Blues, often singing along with them as he played their records on his machine. When the third day of the week arrives, if you're looking at yourself with reflections of your mind, it's just the kind of day to leave yourself behind, but gently swaying through the fairyland of love with the right sweetheart, maybe you'll see the beauty of Tuesday afternoon. On a side note, during my late teen years I thought of 2 WRONG band names, and I've yet to find a use for them, but this may be the appropriate moment to mention them - The Bloody Muse and The Dreadful Grape.

(Sunday, 4/10/22) Song 610: Lovesick Blues by Hank Williams, written by Cliff Friend and Irving Mills. You can find a YouTube video of it here. It initially amazed me when I realized that I had passed #300 on this number set before including Mr. Williams in the group. I made Honky Tonkin' Song 301 in May of 2016, and since then, I've added 6 of his other movers, commemorating how he had gotten my attention and admiration very early on. During my single-digit years in the 1950s, my family visited the Ohio relatives every summer, and residing with my aunt and uncle, I got to listen to their amazing country music LP collection. Doing so, I soon got to know, and relish, this classic shiner. Hank had originally performed the piece in his opening appearance on the Louisiana Hayride radio show in 1948, and the favorable response motivated him to record his own version and then reease it in eary 1949. The 45 soon topped the charts, becoming his biggest hit, and understandably so. While HW had died well before I got to hear and know his music, I savored his compelling legacy during most of my first 2 decades, also at some point riding along a biographical film about him that raised my respect even more. Personally, if I'm in love with a beautiful gal and that's what's the matter with me, that seems like such a beautiful dream I would hate to think it's all over and I'm nobody's sugar daddy now, but if that's the case and I don't know what I'll do, I guess all I could do is sit and sigh.

(Sunday, 4/3/22) Song 609: Every Breath You Take by The Police, written by Sting. You can find a YouTube video of it here. This hit came along shortly before the summer of 1983 arrived, which would actually mark the mid-point of my decade in the East Bay, although of course I couldn't know that at the time. During that stretch, one of my guitar comrades handed me a golden deal where for a very affordable price I bought his grandmother's 1967 car, which only had around 40,000 miles on it when I got it, so for the next 5 years I had a reliable vehicle. The City of Berkeley has an excellent public transportation system, but having a good car, in addition to making it easier to get to gigs, also made it possible for me to visit inspiring places like Yosemite and other Sierra treasures. Not long after I got the wheels, I did at least 2 or 3 trips where I got to hear this gem sailing the radio waves, and it made the ride feel even smoother. You might already know this, but these days, every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, every vow you break, every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay, someone might be watching you, so you should probably watch your step, your smile, etc.

(Sunday, 3/27/22) Song 608: Back Door Man by The Doors, written by Wiilie Dixon. You can find a YouTube video of it here. 3 years after the Beatles rocked my world, when the summer of 1967 rolled around, I didn't know what to make of their new psychedelic direction when a certain Lonely Hearts Club Band appeared. However, soon after, a captivating hit by an L.A. quartet topped the charts and the air waves, essentially dousing the question. While living in a home where the adults did not approve of the devil's music I could not have acquired a copy of The Doors (and I probably couldn't have afforded it anyway at the time), I had close friends who did have the LP, so I quickly got to know the entire 33 quite well. When I began my junior year that fall, I again participated in the monthly school newspaper production sessions, which went on a few hours after classes ended, and The Doors became a regular feature of those work meetings. Of course, as a fundamentalist teenager, I felt some guilt over the sexual implications of a bunch of the disc's tracks, including this rumbler, and I tried to avoid focusing on that aspect of their lyrics. A few years later, as a young adult listening to the music I treasured and not feeling any religious guilt, I got a chuckle when I recognized a second sexual overtone in the words. I had always pictured a male cheater knocking on a woman's home back door to have a secret affair with her, but I hadn't previously thought about the rear entrance of a female body. Hey, all you people that are tryin' to sleep, you can get your rest, but in the dark, am I out to make it with my midnight dream? Yeah, I am! Side note: this marks the fifth cut from The Doors to appear on this gathering: Soul Kitchen is Song 56, The Crystal Ship is Song 323, Twentieth Century Fox is Song 432, and Light My Fire is Song 490.

(Sunday, 3/20/22) Song 607: Here You Come Again by Dolly Parton, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Ms. Dolly first showed up on my radar in 1973 as I started to become a Maria Muldaur follower. Maria's debut LP highlighted the Parton saga My Tennessee Mountain Home (Song 310) which I truly relished, and once I began paying attention, I saw and heard more and more from DP. A few years later, in October of 1977, as I prepared to face my final winter in the frigid Chicago area, this sparkler appeared as the opener, title track and top hit for her 19th solo studio album. In recent years, she has had her name (and her image) on a number of books, including one that I saw featured on a visit to Barnes & Noble a couple of days ago. As I mention in verse 2 of my song As Long as Merle is Still Haggard, Dolly, beg your Parton, puts up a good front (and you can find the Merle video on YouTube by clicking on the title). Similar to what happened the last time around, now, just when we'd begun to get ourselves together, here they come again to lie those pretty lies, just for messin' up our minds and fillin' up our senses.

(Sunday, 3/13/22) Song 606: Glad All Over by Dave Clark Five, written by Dave Clark and Mike Smith. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Shortly after the Fab Four rocked my world in February of 1964, other members of the British Invasion got my attention, including this particular quintet, and tonight marks their first appearance in this gathering. I quickly became a fan of the 5 as well as the 4, and I have a vague memory of a warm afternoon, before summer vacation arrived, when a school group that included me got to attend a free short set by the DC5 in the town across the river. I had heard this hit enough to truly relish it, and I recall it enlivening the sound waves that we the audience on that warm afternoon got to savor. Despite the troubling aura of things taking shape on the horizon lately, I want to send out an optimistic vibe, hoping that most of us will have no sorrow, that we'll never be blue, and that we can look forward to feelin' Glad All Over. That's how I felt when I first heard this tune, and that's how it makes me feel hearing it now.

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