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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, 5/19/24) Song 720: Rockin' Robin by Bobby Day, written by Leon Rene (second e accented). You can find a YouTube video of it here. Before the Beatles rocked my world in early 1964, I paid little attention to most of the music on the radio, with a couple of exceptions, so I probably knew nothing about this tune when it arrived in 1958. I may very well have heard it after I started listening to RnR, but I also would not have known about it being a Golden Oldie unless it got that label when it got played. In the early 1970s, when, as a young adult, I expanded my knowledge of, and collections of, the music I liked to listen to, I also learned a lot about the earlier phase of the rockers, mainly from my Rolling Stone subscription. However, at least one Chicago-area radio station at the time did a revival of rock's founders, and so I got to enjoy hearing about how a certain flying character rocks in the tree-top all the day long, particularly around the time Michael Jackson got his version riding the airwaves. In doing so, I felt especially impressed by a winger who out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole.

(Sunday, 5/12/24) Song 719: Black Water by The Doobie Brothers, written by Patrick Simmons. You can find a YouTube video of it here. As the early spring of 1975 started to unfold, this aquatic anthem hit the top of the charts. I had found an affordable place to live in south Evanston, only a few blocks from the Lake Michigan beach, and sometimes when driving in my neighborhood, I got to hear the song on the radio while also seeing a part of the lake nearby, although the waves from that body of water had a turquoise tone, not an inky one. I enjoyed the tune's lyric flow, and I had a vague thought about someday crafting a similar message about a dark tide. What I ended up doing, three decades later, was writing a ballad about the Blackwater Boys and you can see a lyric video of that song about the 2005 New Orleans situation by clicking on the title. Back during the era when I went rollin' along with this ride's waves, I did not like the Windy City's snowy season, but during the warmer months, I felt that if it rains, I don't care - that would make no difference to me.

(Sunday, 5/5/24) Song 718: Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations, written by Mike d'Abo and Tony Macaulay. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Now that the April showers have brought us May flowers, we can celebrate a blooming melody that actually started growing on the charts during the winter of my HS senior year in early 1969. Along those colder stretches, I couldn't listen to the local top-40 station inside my parents' home because they didn't approve of the devil's music, but I could get to hear some moving hits when hanging out with friends, which I frequently did in that era. One friend that I often visited back then had an attractive sister who I also hung out with, and as the scenes unfolded, eventually I could have pointed a finger at her and vocalized this piece's lyrics. Initially I didn't feel that way, although, from the start, I did sense that she wanted to rope me in. After I came around to having a date with her, I felt attracted to her all the more, and at that point, she seemed to want to build me up, not to have a genuine romantic exchange, but simply just to let me down and mess me around.

(Sunday, 4/28/24) Song 717: Running in the Rain by Jane Byaela, 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 roving jaunt comes from another one of my Fast Folk colleagues. While I didn't have a close connection with Ms. JB, I did often see her and share spaces with her at FF gatherings. I also saw her perform one of her tunes at a FF event on a street in The Village one afternoon, and the piece she played that day might have been this moving ramble. As the final week of the shower month arrives in my area, sometimes I feel the clouds spinning and I might wrestle with the wind, so maybe I can conquer my misfortune and turn it into fate.

(Sunday, 4/21/24) Song 716: The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin, written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. You can find a YouTube video of it here. As the April moisture continues to come down from the sky in the Northeast, another ballad about downpour currently has a strong resonance in this area. When the LZ Houses of the Holy 33 arrived in the early spring of 1973, my wife and I lived in an attractive apartment at the south end of Evanston, IL. The place's living room had a gas-powered fireplace, which could make an entertaining flame appear, although neither of us had any particular interest in relaxing next to such a blaze, so we rarely watched the fire that grew so low. We did find out, much to our surprise, that soon after we adopted a pair of feline siblings, the male tabby climbed up the fireplace's small vent and got to the building's roof. Fortunately, our upstairs neighbor alerted us to the meow sounds coming from above her space, so I rescued our furry buddy Joker. A few months earlier, I had felt the coldness of my winter in the Windy City region, and I would experience that frigidity more times over the next few years before heading to the milder temperatures of the East Bay. During my decade on the West Coast, I did not have to see the white flakes coming down - just a little rain during certain stretches.

(Sunday, 4/14/24) Song 715: Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka, written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Facing another week of likely April showers puddling up my neighborhood again, I don't dismiss the possibility of hearing giggling during the downpour, although I doubt that I myself will snicker at any of the precipitation. When Mr. Sedaka started to get folks chuckling over the drizzle in the early fall of 1974, my wife and I had returned to the Chicago area, splitting up and finding separate places to snooze under covers. We had parted due to my sense of something missing in the relationship - a misunderstanding triggered by a previous romance, as I explain in the second edition of my book Expecting the Broken Brain to Do Mental Pushups, which I now have released, and which can be purchased from Amazon - the links are at mentalpushups.com. While singing along with Neil could raise a smile 50 years ago, I personally did NOT love the rainy days then, and I don't feel that way these days either. I do try to always remember to take my parasol with me whenever I might need it, because without an umbrella, I could get soaked to the skin.

(Sunday, 4/7/24) Song 714: Baby the Rain Must Fall by Glenn Yarbrough, written by Elmer Bernstein and Ernie Sheldon. You can find a YouTube video of it here. As the April showers start falling in the U.S. northeastern states, all of us in that area understand the basic reality expressed by this tune's title and chorus line. After the Beatles rocked my world in early 1964, at first I mostly paid attention to them and their fellow British invaders, but by the time the following year arrived I also had noticed at least a few memorable musical rambles coming from domestic sources, including this melodic forecast which climbed the charts during the colder stretch of early 1965. I was not rich or famous at the time, but I didn't dismiss the possibility - I did NOT swim the sea or fly above the sky, but I DID climb a mountain or two, and I always understood that wherever my heart leads me, that's the place I must go.

(Sunday, 3/31/24) Song 713: The Joker by The Steve Miller Band, written by Eddie Curtis, Ahmet Ertegun and Steve Miller. You can find a YouTube video of it here. With tomorrow being this year's April Fool's Day, tonight feels like a good time to feature a particular musical comedian. When this farcical gag came along in the fall of 1973, my wife and I had lived in the southern part of my college town of Evanston, IL, for about a year. During that stretch, I got to know a fellow I would describe as a low-level crook, and who once said to me, "Getting high is not my thing." While I soon concluded that I had little in common with this guy, I did share his POV regarding alcohol and/or drug intake. I did not become a smoker or a midnight toker, despite being a picker and a grinner. I would gladly play my music in the sun whenever possible, though I had limited options during the Windy City frigid months, but I would get to do it a lot more often starting in the following February when my partner and I moved to the much milder Atlanta, GA, area. Back in that era, I had decided that regardless of my own personal situation, I sure don't want to hurt no one and it would bother me if I did do so, even in some unintended manner.

(Sunday, 3/24/24) Song 712: I Love a Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbitt, written by David Malloy, Eddie Rabbitt and Even Stevens. You can find a YouTube video of it here. When this amorous anthem came along around the beginning of 1981, I had gotten a few months into a third year at an attractive comfortable home in Oakland, CA. I would often spend time sitting by the place's small front porch with my housemate and close friend Doug, listening to the interesting sounds the radio brought our way as we savored the moderate Bay Area temperatures, and this one quickly got us both roped in. While I didn't feel the same enjoyment of precipitous experiences that the singer expressed, I greatly appreciated having left the frigid Windy City, and, given the choice, I would much prefer warm downpour over chilly white flurries. I might NOT love to hear the thunder, but I could watch the lightning when it would light up the sky at night, and it felt good to know I would probably wake up to a sunny day the next morning.

(Sunday, 3/17/24) Song 711: Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys, written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian. You can find a YouTube video of it here. After the Beatles rocked my world 60 years ago in February, I mostly paid attention to the British Invaders, but a few hits from this side of the Atlantic Ocean also lit my ears, including a handful of chart toppers from a particular West Coast quintet of seashore fellows. This moving hot rod ride had arrived during the previous summer, before I got pulled into the RnR airwave current, and when I heard it soon after I started spending more time with the transistor radio, I probably didn't know it was a golden oldie, but I sure did know that I enjoyed the musical zone that it quickly covered. Hearing it felt like coming off the line when the light turns green, and it made me feel like maybe I had a set of wings so that, in a tuneful way, I could fly. On a sad side note, I decided to do a Beach Boys song this week after hearing the sad news that Brian Wilson lost his wife in January of this year. I feel sorry for his loss, and I wanted to send some good vibes his way.

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