Engelbert Humperdinck. Yes, you heard right.

What can I say, people? Lately I’ve been thinking about Engelbert Humperdinck.

And no, I don’t mean the 19th-century German composer. I mean the crooner (although apparently he hates having the term “crooner” applied to him) who was ever so popular in pretty much exactly the time period (mid-1960s to mid-1970s) when I was a kid growing up here at the Manse in Queensborough.

Engelbert Humperdinck Another Time, Another Place

The only Engelbert Humperdinck album the Manse had ever had – until recently.

The Sedgwicks were not big Engelbert Humperdinck fans. I believe we owned exactly one of his records (and being a detail person, I’ll tell you that it was this one). And I’m fairly certain that it entered our household only as a result of us having had to order a certain number of albums from the Columbia House Record Club, or another of those “get-15-albums for 99¢!” record clubs that were so popular back in those days. Since the last time the last song on that album (which was I’m Holding Your Memory, But He’s Holding You, if you must know) spun its way around the turntable on the old Electrohome (or was it RCA?) stereo here at the Manse in 1974 or 1975, I doubt I’d thought of Engelbert Humperdinck more than three times. Until about two months ago. But weirdly, he’s come across my aural radar screen several times since.

That first time, a couple of months ago, I was driving to Kingston and amusing myself by listening to the Jim Wright oldies show (I love that show) on good old CJBQ radio, the Belleville-based station of my youth that I’ve written about many times before. Just as I turned off the Marlbank Road, an unintroduced easy-listening-type song by a guy with (I soon decided) a really great voice came on. The voice was oh so familiar, and yet I just couldn’t put my finger on which of the crooners of the late ’60s/early ’70s it might have belonged to. Tom Jones? Not rough and sexy enough. Frank Sinatra? Way too modern-sounding (well, mid-century modern) for that. Pat Boone? Perish the thought. It was a little too cool for that. Elvis? No, not the distinctive voice. By process of elimination, I decided that Engelbert Humperdinck was my best guess. And when Jim got back on the mike, I learned I was right!

But then I almost immediately forgot what song it was, which tends to be the case with those interchangeable midcentury crooner songs. I think it might have been this one – which I will tell you, at the risk of getting ahead of myself, has now become one of my favourite Engelbert Humperdinck numbers because of its sheer hummability:

Or maybe it was this one, which is, frankly, pretty great:

But anyway, it got me thinking after all these years – nay, decades! – about Engelbert Humperdinck. And not just thinking about him, but re-evaluating him. Because I’d always considered him a lower-end Tom Jones, a showboat at whom women even more desperate than were Tom Jones fans would fling underwear at concerts. (And that was true; that did happen.) But what I’d failed to appreciate in my younger days, when I was listening to the Beatles and Bob Dylan and (embarrassingly) the Partridge Family, when I was so (I thought) much smarter than anyone a generation or more older than I, was that Engelbert Humperdinck had – and has – an amazing voice, and an insanely great way of delivering a song.

And so when I happened across an album called Engelbert Humperdinck: His Greatest Hits in the used-record bin one recent Saturday at the wonderful thrift shop in downtown Madoc, I snapped it up, cheesy cover photos and all:

Engelbert Humperdinck's Greatest Hits front cover Engelbert Humperdinck's Greatest Hits back cover

And I took it home and listened to it. And, well… have been humming Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, and Spanish Eyes, and Release Me, and The Last Waltz, on and off ever since.

(But not Quando Quando Quando. That is a terrible song, and I defy anyone to say otherwise.)

Then a couple of weekends ago, I came across still more Humperdinckia!

Engelbert Humperdinck Souvenir Song Album

Yup, it’s an old, battered and stained collection of Engelbert songs, though not really his greatest hits; this one is more about songs made famous by others (Gentle On My Mind, for instance) that he had also covered. But still, it is a great piece of midcentury nostalgia, and I love it.

And hey! Should I ever need to know the chords for A Man Without Love – well, I’ve got them.

But meanwhile, let’s leave with another great song by Engelbert Humperdinck from back in his prime. Heck, let’s go all out and have his greatest hit ever. It’s got emotion, and a love that’s grown cold, and a hot new love waiting in the wings. Not to mention one of those sleek and funky late-1960s microphones. What more could you want?

Have you heard the one about the terrific DJ’s goofy joke?

Oh my my: can anything make you happier than the songs that were on the radio when you were 14 years old?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself on this springlike day in Queensborough, as I’ve been searching out suitable songs to share with you as part of a post that technically isn’t about music at all.

Or at least, it is about music, in that it’s about a radio disc jockey. But really this post is about a joke: a silly, long-drawn-out joke with an unexpected punchline that a long-ago fan of that radio DJ remembered all through the years – and that, thanks to the power of friendship and the internet, I am able to share with you all, including that long-ago fan, right now.

Our story begins – well, where does it begin? That’s a good question.

Does it begin with a post I did here at Meanwhile, at the Manse three years ago this month, looking back at the great songs that one used to hear on AM radio in my childhood and early teen years? (When I was living right here in the Manse in Queensborough where Raymond and I now live once again, and where those songs came to us via good old CJBQ radio out of Belleville.)

Or does it begin with a landmark followup post in October 2014 when I proudly announced that I had found and made contact with Joey Edwards – the very guy who, as CJBQ’s weekday-evening disc jockey, played many of those songs for us?

Or does it begin with a comment on that post that I received only recently, at the start of this month, from a another person with fond memories of the music and voices and stories and hijinks of Joey Edwards?

Actually I think our story begins in about 1974 in the kitchen of a home in Tweed, Ont. (which is just down the road from us here in Queensborough; Tweed is one of two villages that vie for the title of being “town” to Queensborough folks). Let me take you back to that kitchen, where a teenager named Iain is plugging away at his homework while perhaps his mum is finishing up the supper dishes and maybe his dad is reading the latest issue of the Tweed News. In the corner of the kitchen is a radio, and out of that radio come songs like Takin’ Care of Business, and Then Came You, and The Joker, and Let Me Be There, and Top of the World, and Annie’s Song, and Midnight at the Oasis, and Sundown, and… oh, I have to stop. This is just too, too good, music-wise. Let’s take a pause and listen to one of the catchiest of those 1974 hits:

Anyway. Back to that warmly lit kitchen on an early-spring evening in Tweed, a little more than 40 years ago. In between all those great the songs on the AM radio comes the voice – or more correctly, voices – of DJ Joey Edwards. Joey was great at funny voices and imitations (notably of various Beatles), and his between-song patter and jokes were easily as entertaining as the music he played. Here’s how Iain put it this month when he came across my blog post about Joey:

“That is SO COOL! Growing up in Tweed we listened to Joey Edwards doing our homework in the evening… His stories were always great – ask him if he remembers the one that ended with “tag – you’re it!” … Thx again for the memories!”

Now, my response to Iain was that I had a feeling I should remember the “You’re it!” story – but I just couldn’t quite. Since I am fortunate enough to be in contact with Joey, however, I promised Iain I’d ask him about it.

And what a response I got! First, some more memories from Joey about his CJBQ gig all those years ago:

Joey Edwards on the job

Joey Edwards, the star DJ at local radio station CJBQ back in my childhood days at the Manse, and my new friend, thanks to Meanwhile, at the Manse. (Photo courtesy of Joey Edwards)

“I am still amazed that so many people remember my little radio show. Every night at 7 p.m. as I sat in front of that CJBQ microphone, I was never thinking about how many were listening or who they were. There was only ONE question on my mind: ‘I wonder how much fun I’ll have tonight?’ I figured if I was having a blast, so were the listeners. Every night when I did my show, I was like a little kid with a new toy. Even today I am still VERY much in touch with my ‘inner child.’ Now if only I could get in touch with my ‘inner adult!

“But I digress … Nightly on my show I presented my ‘Joke de Jour’ which was very popular. Below is the infamous ‘YOU’RE IT’ joke … It was one of my favourites.”

Upon which Joey proceeded not only to share the text of that kooky joke, but also an audio file of him telling it. Which means that – drum roll, please – Iain and all you other Joey Edwards fans out there (including me) get to hear the story all over again, straight from the source. Without further ado…

Oh boy. I don’t even know what to say, and I bet you don’t either. Except that those were simpler times, and it makes one smile to think that that ridiculous story made kids having a go at their homework in Tweed and Madoc and Queensborough and Belleville and Trenton and Stirling and Frankford and Marmora and Picton and Ivanhoe all stop what they were doing and have a chuckle.

To be followed with another great song from that totally great era of pop music. Let’s pick one with a title appropriate to what we’re doing right now: Reelin’ in the Years. And hey: Thanks, Iain. Thanks, Joey. And, as Joey always said at the conclusion of his show (in a Liverpudlian Beatles accent): Thaynks, Muum.

The stars look very different today.

David Bowie

Photo from wisegeek.com

Tonight I’m interrupting my more-or-less regular schedule of Monday postings, and taking you back to when Friday nights at Meanwhile, at the Manse often meant it was musical-reminiscence time. On various Fridays through the past four years of this blog, I’ve written about the 20 most ubiquitous pop songs from the years (1964 to 1975) when I was growing up here in this very Manse; about the song that went missing from that list; about the sometimes underappreciated Ringo Starr; about one particular ubiquitous song from that era, Please Come to Boston; about the greatest hits on the cafeteria jukebox at Centre Hastings Secondary School back in the early 1970s; and so on.

I wish there were a happy reason for my resumption of that Friday-night musical tradition this week. Sadly – very sadly indeed – it is prompted by the death this past week of David Bowie, an artist who transcended generations and styles, not to mention time and space. I wouldn’t call myself a monster Bowie fan, but there are tons of his songs that I adore, and I’ve always been impressed by his fearlessness, self-reinvention wizardry, and, yes, his oddity. I’ll say it flat out: the world this week lost one of the greatest and most original musical artists of all time.

Now, Bowie’s death basically took over the internet, and it’s putting it mildly to say there’s no shortage out there of collections of best-of-Bowie songs and performances. But in thinking about his music – as I have been, a lot, these past few days – I decided to put a Manse spin on things by collecting videos of his songs that were hits during my childhood here, Manse Era 1.0. The July 1975 cutoff date (when I was 15 and my family moved away from Queensborough to the town of Campbellford, Ont.) means no Ashes to Ashes, no Let’s Dance, no Fame, no China Girl, no Golden Years, and most disappointingly, no Heroes, perhaps Bowie’s most powerful and most lasting song.

But the good news is that those years do include some absolutely great, great songs, and I thought you might appreciate my hour or so of searching out YouTube for videos of Bowie performing them. So herewith, the greatest hits of the early years of the former David Jones of Brixton.

Of course we begin with Space Oddity, the 1969 single that was the first connection that many of us had to this offbeat androgynous Brit singer:

Then there’s Ziggy Stardust from 1971, which I’ve just learned, to my surprise, was never released as a single. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s got the greatest guitar-riff opening of any pop song in history (sorry, Keef):

And speaking of Ziggy, there’s also the wonderful Starman, here performed on Top of the Pops:

Then, from 1972, Changes, featuring the immortal imperative “Turn and face the strange”:

Rebel Rebel, 1974:

Diamond Dogs, also 1974:

And finally, Young Americans from 1975. I love that song, and I love this live performance – from, if you can believe it, the Dick Cavett Show. Wow. Just – wow.

So yeah, David, or Ziggy, or Commander Tom, or whoever you are, and wherever you are this Friday night: Thanks. Thanks so, so much.

Bonnie Hart, that is one heck of a 1960s music scrapbook!

John, Paul and George

I believe you know who these gentlemen are. It’s the yellowed, scotch-taped pages on which I found these photos that I want to tell you about. Remember scrapbooks?

“What should I write about for my Thanksgiving-weekend instalment of Mondays at the Manse?” was the question on my mind last Friday afternoon as I drove home to Queensborough after a long week at work. I was admiring the beautiful fall foliage as the northward-on-Highway-62 miles sped by when the answer came to me out of my radio, courtesy of an old Beatles song – I think it was Please Please Me. Freddy Vette, the hugely popular host of the afternoon/early evening show of 1950s and ’60s hits on good old CJBQ radio, was devoting the whole program to the music of John Lennon. Why? Because Friday would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday. Wow.

(If you’re in the mood for a lot of John Lennon music, Freddy has posted the whole show on his blog. Click here for a listen.)

Anyway, those great old songs – many of which, I should add, date from the years when I was a kid growing up here at the Manse – got me thinking about something I’ve been wanting to share with Meanwhile, at the Manse readers. It is a treasure that came in the form of a gift from Raymond on my birthday this past July, and it was one of the best gifts ever. And appropriately enough, it came from a little antiques and collectibles shop in the hamlet of Ivanhoe, through which I zoomed on Friday on my way home as Freddy played Stand By Me and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Norwegian Wood and so on.

It was a scrapbook, people! Remember scrapbooks? Yes, I know that “scrapbooking” is kind of a thing once again, but I confess that as a grammar nerd I am put off by the fake verb alone. So whatever people (and I believe it is grownups, not teenage girls) are putting in scrapbooks in 2015 – well, you’re on your own, folks. Not my thing.

Bonnie Hart's scrapbook

But this was a real scrapbook, a 29¢ product from the venerable Canadian company Hilroy, one in which a teenage girl of the 1960s – perhaps growing up somewhere in the Ivanhoe area, i.e. right here in Hastings County – had taped and pasted and otherwise preserved photos and news clippings and bubble-gum cards featuring primarily the Beatles but also a treasure trove of other 1960s bands and performers, including some rather weird and obscure Canadian ones. To flip through this scrapbook’s fragile, yellowed pages is to enter a lost world; it is an utterly delightful exercise in nostalgia.

Bonnie Hart

But before I show you some of those pages, a question: does anyone know who Bonnie Hart might be? I ask because Bonnie Hart was the maker and keeper of this scrapbook. I know this thanks to her signature on the front cover – along with the handwritten notation (though that might have been added later, perhaps by an antiques dealer) “67 Beatle Cards.” I imagine it’s eminently possible that teenage Bonnie Hart now has, these several decades later, a different last name because of marriage, but I would be tickled to death if any reader might be able to steer me to her. I’d like to say thanks for putting together such a fantastic scrapbook, and to assure her that it has found its way to a good home here at the Manse.

Anyway, I’m sure you’d like to see some of the pictures that Bonnie collected, and enjoy your own little trip through some musical nostalgia. So let’s go, starting with black-and-white Beatles bubble-gum cards:

Black-and-white Beatles cards

Wacky Beatle card

The Beatles as you’ve rarely seen them!

Paul and Ringo

Now we move into colour bubble-gum Beatles cards. Groovy!

Beatles cards in colour

And now we start to move on from the Beatles to some other classic bands. I’m feeling Glad All Over!

The Beatles and the Dave Clark Five

Ah yes, the competition – the Stones. And one of my own personal favourites, The Monkees!

The Rolling Stones and the Monkees

Peter Tork of The Monkees

I think Peter was Bonnie’s favourite Monkee. Me, I’m a Micky girl.

All right. Shall we move into the heady days of life in the canyons of Los Angeles with the Mamas and the Papas and friends?

John and Michelle Phillips

It looks like Bonnie was keen on The Lovin’ Spoonful‘s Zal Yanofsky, very probably because he was Canadian:

Zal Yanofsky

And now we start to get photos of bands that are (to put it mildly) not quite as much household names as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Monkees, the Mamas and the Papas and the Lovin’ Spoonful. The Fiends, anyone?

The Fiends

How about the Wee Beasties? Evidently a Toronto band; don’t you just love that the chaps’ outfits are by another venerable Canadian company, Tip Top Tailors?

The Wee Beasties

Okay, here’s The Trackers, apparently out of Rochester, N.Y.:

The Trackers

The Trackers

And The Westbury Union. Anybody know anything about them? Great outfits, guys!

The Westbury Union

I think we are now seriously into Canadian, and more specifically Toronto, bands. Ah, the Yorkville scene

The Last Words

Little Caesar and the Consuls

The Quiet Jungle

And here, people, is the absolute best. Have you ever heard of Marshmallow Soup Group? Well, neither had I. But after this photo from Bonnie’s scrapbook. you’re unlikely to forget them. After all, their slogan seems to have been “M.S.G. until eternity” …

Marshmallow Soup Group

Really, you could not make this stuff up. And I don’t just mean the weirdness of Marshamallow Soup Group. I mean the great days preserved in Bonnie Hart’s scrapbook: when Yorkville was a musical scene; when the Mamas and the Papas were living the Summer of Love in California in 1967; when the Monkees were starring in a goofy TV show and producing great pop songs; when the Dave Clark Five were hitting it out of the park with catchy, memorable stuff.

And when John Lennon was a young Beatle. Happy birthday, John, wherever you are.

And to Bonnie Hart (and Raymond): thank you so much for the memories!

Songs in the key of Grade 3

Songtime 3Does this book trigger any school-day memories for you? It sure did for me when I came across it recently in a thrift shop in Campbellford, Ont., and so of course I snapped it up. It is one in a series – the third, clearly, given its title – produced for classroom use back in the days when I myself was in the classroom, at Madoc Township Public School not far from the Manse here in Queensborough. Songtime 3 was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston – a Canadian publishing company that as far as I can see is no longer with us –  in 1963, just in time for my school days.

Days, I might add, when singing was something that was actually taught and practised in the classroom. Every school had a music teacher (who might be shared among a few schools, but nevertheless who was there in your classroom for music class at least once a week), and we not only learned and sang songs, but actually learned something about how music works – doh, re, mi, fa, sol and so on, but also a little bit about how to write music: half-notes and whole notes and quarter notes and bass clefs and treble clefs and all that stuff. Is there a hint of this in today’s elementary-school classrooms, I wonder? I suspect not, and more’s the pity.

Anyway, it’s a trip back in time to leaf through Songtime 3, and I’m going to take you on that little trip.

The first time I examined it, standing in that thrift shop in Campbellford, I failed to recognize any of the songs I came across, and wondered if perhaps my experience with the Songtime series began in Grade 4 as opposed to Grade 3 (when, again from its title, I’m assuming this book would have been used in the classroom). But later, when I went through it more carefully, some of the little ditties started to come back to me. Ah, the soundtrack of school days!

The first thing the struck me about the book was the funky midcentury-style drawings that accompany the songs. Sometimes they are quite cool, like in these two:

Five Little Pumpkins

Home on the Range

And other times, especially when illustrating songs supposedly representative of other countries and cultures, they are more than a little bit facile and stereotypical:

Come, Senorita

Chiapanecas

One thing that really struck me was the prevalence of Christian hymns and songs:

Morning Hymn

Away in a Manger

God Who Touchest Earth With Beauty

Prayer at Evening

I mean, I suppose the argument could be made, with some of these songs at least, that they were directed at the God of one’s choice and not necessarily the Christian version of God; but Away in a Manger is pretty definitively Christian. Now, as someone who considers herself a Christian I don’t have a problem with this on a personal level, obviously; but in multicultural Canada of 2015 it’s pretty hard to imagine – even if you lived through it, which I did – a time when it was considered perfectly okay to includes songs like this in the standard classroom songbook. Had any Jewish or Muslim kids happened to show up in class at Madoc Township Public School, they would have felt pretty uncomfortable, I imagine.

A few other things that struck me during my perusal of Songtime 3:

The inclusion of songs paying tribute, in a possibly ham-handed way but doubtless well-meaning, to our country’s First Nations:

Indian Children

Lullaby of the Iroquois

A once-popular song I would never have thought of again in my entire life if I hadn’t spotted it here:

Polly Wolly DoodleAn astoundingly inappropriate (by today’s standards) number called Mother, I Want A Husband:

Mother, I Want a Husband

(Though I think it is quite sweet that the young woman who wants a husband – apparently more than anything else in life – rejects  “a Frenchman,” “a German” and “an Englishman” for … a farmer. That particular element of the song was very appropriate for the rural Ontario environment in which I grew up.)

And finally – well, of course any Canadian school songbook would have to end with these two numbers:

Canada/God Save the Queen

It was a sweeter time and a simpler time, wasn’t it? There were some wackadoodle and inappropriate songs in that book; but there were some really good ones too. And of course the funky illustrations.

And they taught kids about music and singing in those days. Even if it was to the tune of Mother, I Want a Husband.

Can you help me find missing Song #7?

I’m sure many of you know that I like to feature musically themed posts on Friday night, kind of in keeping with the weekend-is-here spirit. Tonight I’m going to combine some musical touches with a bit of a mystery that I’m hoping you might be able to help me unravel.

Here’s the thing: on a Friday night back in January 2014, I also did a musically themed post (which you can find here), this one featuring my picks for the Top 20 Ubiquitous Pop Songs from the years (1964 to 1975) when I was growing up here at the Manse in Queensborough. I’ve always been rather fond of that post, and I believe some others were too; in fact I have it on good authority that Raymond’s little grandson Henry and his parents spent a happy evening dancing around their kitchen in the Eastern Townships of Quebec to my musical picks from the past.

Now, I should explain again, as I did in that original post, that my Top 20 picks were very much my own and not based on any musical charts from those years or anything official like that. They are the songs that run around in my head whenever I think back to the era of my childhood and early youth. And since I spent much more time listening to pop music in my early-teen years than I did when I was a little kid, the list skews very heavily toward the early 1970s – when I would have heard a lot of those songs on the jukebox in the cafeteria at Centre Hastings Secondary School in Madoc. Hence you won’t find the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction, from 1965, or Knights in White Satin, from 1967, or anything at all from the Beatles. Hey, it’s my blog, and I can have the songs I want!

Okay, so here’s the mystery. We fast-forward about a year from the time I published that list. For some reason I happen to click on the post – only to discover that the video of one of the songs in my Top 20 list has disappeared without a trace from YouTube. Right there between Olivia Newton-John’s If You Love Me, Let Me Know at #8 and Terry Jacks’s Seasons in the Sun at #6 was only this at #7:

Missing video

Which, if you clicked on the Play button, brought you only this:

This video does not exist.

And the worst of it was, I hadn’t included the name of the song, or the band/singer, in my text. And I can’t remember now, more than a year later, what on earth that song was.

What could it have been, people?

Well, I’d like to hear your suggestions. I have a few of my own for you, which will serve the equally useful purpose of bringing you still more pop-music memories from the early 1970s, whether you want those memories or not.

One possibility, of course, is the song you will hear if you click on the video at the top of this post. Many songs by The Carpenters were pretty inescapable in those years, but that one perhaps more than most. (And I don’t know about you, but I will never tire of listening to Karen Carpenter’s incredibly rich and perfect voice.)

Here are some other possibilities, some a little more far-fetched than others:

The very ubiquitous Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings:

The inescapably happy Good Morning Starshine, from the musical Hair, sung by the one-name-wonder Oliver:

The gorgeously, gothically weird Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry:

And then this, which I am quite certain was not my Song #7, and in fact was not even on my list, but in retrospect should definitely have been at or near the top of it. And of course it remained inescapable for many a year, especially at the close of high-school dances:

So what do you think, people? What might missing Song #7 be? One of the above? What other suggestions would you like to send in? Come on, it’s Friday night: time to kick back and think about bustles in hedgerows. And whatnot.

On this Friday night, let’s talk about Ringo

Ah, Friday night. Best night of the week! Regular readers will know that I often devote Fridays to musically themed posts, because I figure that both you good people and I need a diversion that doesn’t require too much brain power, or reading, at the end of a long work week. On Friday night, it’s nice to just sit back and relax and listen to some music.

On this particular Friday night, I’d like to feature a friend of us all (that last bit being a turn of phrase that George Harrison used to introduce Bob Dylan at the Concert for Bangladesh; thanks, George): Mr. Ringo Starr.

Why Ringo? Well, mainly because his classic song Photograph has, for some unknown reason, been running around in my head, day and night, for much of the past week. (Click on the video at the top of this post and it can be running around in your head too!) It’s a song I hadn’t thought of in many a year, and suddenly I can’t stop humming it. I know it well because it was played often by everyone’s (well, everyone around here, anyway) favourite 1970s radio DJ, Joey Edwards, on CJBQ-AM (Belleville and TREN-TONNNNN!, as the jingle went) back when it was a new release in 1973. Which just happens to be the era when I was a young teenager right here at the Manse in Queensborough, tuning in to the hits Joey played every weeknight on his popular show. (Would you like to know more about Joey Edwards – who, I am very proud to say, is a reader of Meanwhile, at the Manse – and how I made contact with him after all these years? Click here. And for a little more, here.)

And thinking about Photograph, and what a simple but great pop classic it was, and is, got me also thinking about some of Ringo’s other post-Beatles hits, which also coincided with the years when I was a kid here in this house that, through a happy chain of circumstances, I now live in once again with my wonderful husband, Raymond.

After the Beatles busted up, Ringo had quite a good run, I have to say. Let’s take a little trip back. There was the oddball hit (written by the wondrous Hoyt Axton, whom I previously featured here) The No No Song:

And the wackadoodle Goodnight Vienna:

And the even more wackadoodle Snookeroo:

And I don’t even know what to say about Back Off Boogaloo:

And then finally, there is the utterly, indisputably great It Don’t Come Easy:

Ringo! That guy brought a lot of joy into people’s lives as the clowning but talented drummer in that British band that we’ve all heard of. But you know, in the first half of the 1970s – a great time, and I don’t care who hears me say it – he also brought us some fantastic music all on his own. Music that brings back good memories – and more to the point, makes me hum along. I hope it gets you humming too. Because, you know –

Every time I see your face it reminds me of the places we used to go …