Google Engine: Find What You Need
I sincerely hope that all my readers and first time visitors are doing well during this crazy pandemic. I apologize for the long, long hiatus. I really needed that time to think some things through in regards to my blog. I really struggled deciding whether to keep my blog or not. In the midst of trying to decide the future of my blog, I was having what they call “blogger’s burnout.” I learned the hard way that blogging everyday is not healthy! Regardless of what other opinionated bloggers say. It’s just too much work for a single person to do. Now, that’s not a complaint, it’s just a fact that the brain needs rest, and blogging everyday consecutively is just not reasonable for a single blogger. But, unfortunately, every single blogger that recommend this as a way of gaining followers is an utter lie. Especially when you consider the fact that we are all bombarded by so many different images and links everyday on the net. In fact, I learned for myself, it’s important NOT to blog everyday, so that you don’t completely lose interest in your blog projects.
There is bullshit lies everywhere, as far as tips from how to design and build a blog, to how exactly we should blog. Now, I’m not saying everything out there isn’t useful information, but I think we should be asking ourselves, is the advice realistic? Then again, I guess we wouldn’t know whether or not something is realistic unless we do some of these suggestions. As I’ve mentioned before, I still love what I do, so it’s not a matter of self insecurity, but more about the frustrations of dealing with social media and how they now operate.
It really can be frustrating when you’re doin’ something unique, and you literally can’t find anyone to model after, or at least use as some sort of guide. But, what I do know, I still think that blogs that focus on classic culture is incredibly important. Not just from the standpoint of keeping history alive. I realized that if other people didn’t make content available on social media, I would never find 90% of the news I curate for twitter. That brought a new realization for me. Although, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t a whole lot of obstacles that a blog owner face trying to get seen on social media.
I was inspired by another classic music blogger, who had his blog online for a long time too. Although he hadn’t made a blog post for a few years, his blog was still available for others to see, and his twitter followers still interact with him. I sent him a short message thinking him for in essence reigniting my interest in continuing to blog. I once again felt proud I’m a site owner/and technically a writer. However, I think I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself, and I needed to step back and do some analyzing.
So, I decided to keep my blog around a little longer. To save money on storage and SSL features, I changed my server. I hope you’ve noticed my blog is a little faster now 😜! Also, because my blog is a personal blog, I decided to add an option for my readers to donate. I hate asking for donations, but the reality is server costs are expensive. With cancel culture in full force, I think personal blogs are more important than ever, as our voices should not be stifled (especially by a nonhuman computer algorithm)! I’ve had music ads removed because of an innocent word blocked by algorithms. Algorithms cannot account for context, and this is why it means our free speech is and has been violated. So, this is why it is necessary that bloggers have our own platforms. I have chosen to use BitCoin as a way for you to donate to my blog. Any little bit helps. I don’t require any personal information, in addition, cryptocurrencies are decentralized.
Now, I’m not sure just how frequent I will blog, I’m still figuring that out. However, at least you can look forward to new oldies content in the near future. I’m usually very active on twitter. So, as always, follow me on twitter to get my latest blog pins. Thanks everyone for your understanding and support. Remember, America is really going through a tough time, but don’t let that cause you to forget our American music history!
Genre: Sweet Reggae
This was probably my most difficult handpicked playlist yet!! 🤣 I know it seems like I say that all the time, but it really is true. These days, it’s really hard to find a good cover song. Because either the artist’s voice don’t fit the song, or the musical arrangements are just terrible. I much prefer the 80s covers and older. I know a lot of artist feel like they can sing and do anything the want. However, as a fan of music I beg to disagree. I think a true artist is honest enough to know when a song doesn’t suit them, and if you try to force sing it, it only makes it sound worse. I think the most problem I usually have is with the musical arrangements, particularly today’s cover songs from certain countries. Many cover songs today (both Reggae and some American songs) appear to have a distinct sound; tunes that sound as though the artist purchased their first Yamaha keyboard (earlier models) with artificial drum beats and other electronic “push button” flat sounds that try to mimic other natural instruments. These kind of equipment makes the end product sound outdated, karaoke*ish, and sometimes like an amateurish live performance. Therefor, I’m extremely particular about the covers I listen to.
I’m Extremely Particular About The Covers I Listen To!
So, now that I’ve aired out my pet-peeve, I’d like to draw your attention to a great female reggae artist known by one name, Fiona. Fiona recorded a few covers, but my most favorite cover she did is a song called “You Don’t Know My Name,” which was recorded by Alicia Keys. It was upsetting to know this got so little plays on the streaming platforms, because in my opinion this song is freakin’ amazing! So much great music overlooked. I guess the young people aren’t interested in true love songs anymore; they’re only interested in what they can jiggle their ass to. Another amazing cover I highly recommend you check out, is a female artist known as Natty Bong. She released a cover called “Royals,” which was written and performed by Lords. Natty Bong’s cover got over 5.5M plays from just Spotify alone. It’s a really great song! Check it out!
Enjoyable Cover Songs Are Harder To Find These Days!
Let’s go back a little further in time. 1961 to be exact, when the late Peter Tosh released his cover of a song called “Here Comes The Sun.” The late Peter Tosh recorded this song with the legendary reggae band, The Wailers. “Here Comes The Sun,” was originally written and performed by The Beatles (if I’m not mistaken). I’m shocked as to how many reggae musicians done so many covers by them. Then again, I forget that their are a LOT of British reggae performers.
The Most Shocking Was Bob Marley’s Cover!
I have to say, I think the most shocking cover I ever heard was by the late Bob Marley, when he recorded a song called “Sugar Sugar,” which is the original theme song for the 1968 TV cartoon, The Archie’s. The reason why Bob’s cover shocked me was because, of all the diverse American covers made in to reggae, I just never pictured someone like Bob Marley to do this kind of music. Perhaps it’s because my mind associated his music with political messages, and cartoon themes just wasn’t on my radar. Today, I could see it, but not then. Check out my playlist, I have plenty more surprises in it. I hope you enjoy!
Just wanted to share some very positive energies and wishes to Olivia Newton-John who is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. I am so shocked by this news. But it’s a constant reminder that no matter how much money you have, it doesn’t always buy you your health. And mind you, Olivia is practically a vegetarian! Not saying you shouldn’t eat healthy, but, sometimes a carrot is not always enough to heal. Keep fighting Olivia!! We believe in Magic.
Artist: Hanson & Davis
Album: Can’t Stop (c. 1988) (2010)
O-M-F-G!!!!!! Talk about obscurity!!! 😮 These guys were thrown into obscurity like a Barry Bonds’ fast ball!!! Then again, let’s be honest… The whole freestyle genre kind of died along with it’s cousin disco (shortly after). I don’t think that enough credit has been given to the freestyle genre. Perhaps this was because this music was predominantly produced by the poor Black & Latino communities. Make no mistake, freestyle was a money machine. Yet, you’d never know it in the 80s, because mainstream news never really gave it the time of day (unless there was no other news to report).
Great Memories Of Being In The Record Shop!
Listening to freestyle music gives me many fond memories of spending hours upon hours in the record shop. Shit, I remember being in the record shop for so long, I had back pain a many of times, because I was slouching over looking for that “gem” of a record. Back then, shop owners would play a record for you before you bought it. Some record shops even had multiple turntables with their own headphones, as each customer had an opportunity to play the music before they buy. That whole experience made music so personal, and I really really miss that. Now, vinyl records are not only a luxury, but a rare specialty that costs music fans significantly more.
I’m Dumbfounded That These Guys Aren’t In Any Greatest Freestyle Hits Album!!
I’m really devastated and shocked that these guys do not appear in any of the classic freestyle compilations. Well, at least I have never seen any. Their song “Hungry For Your Love,” was so popular! I literally don’t understand why it did not register anywhere on the top 100 charts, or even the top 200. I heard this on the radio ALL the time! Talk about overlooked talent! There was a category I didn’t even know existed, called “U.S. Club Plays,” which I guess it was the equivalent of poor people’s dance music, or music that wasn’t considered “real mainstream music.” In this category, the song reached #16th position. Other than that, they got no real recognition. The duo broke up after only about 3 years.
Song: Fast Car
Artist: Tracy Chapman
Album: Tracy Chapman (1988)
Genre: Modern Folk
I’m pretty sure that anyone under 20 years of age has never heard of Tracy Chapman. As far as I’m concerned, I most definitely consider her a classic music legend. I also consider a huge legend of the LGBT community as well. For someone of the LGBT community to receive such a positive and accepting response globally was and is still very rare. Only a handful of LGBT icons have reached mainstream level. Perhaps the most widely known are Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, K.D. Lang, and Boy George. They’ve all made music that is literally timeless! We can listen to this kind of music in any point and time, and never feel their music sounds “dated.” Artists today just don’t have that kind of skill anymore. This is what happens when your career is purely driven by money, and not by the art of music.
I Always Thought She Was A Handsome Young Man! LOL
I was about 21 years old when her album called “Tracy Chapman (1988)” came out. I think I heard her smash hit on the radio “Fast Car,” then I went around begging my friends to tell me who that person was singing on the radio. Back then, cassettes was still the preferred way to consume music. When I first saw her picture on cassette, I said to myself “wow, that’s a cute guy.” Now, keep in mind, guys still had “Tracy” as a first-name, and sometimes both guys and girls would spell it the same way. So I still had no idea he was actually a she at first. LOL I really didn’t care to be honest, I was just digging her music. “Fast Car,” reached #6 on the billboard charts. Pretty impressive for a new LGBT artist on the scene at the time.
It’s Unfortunate That Her Peak Success Only Lasted Her Second Album!
Although only one song from this album was a hit, the entire album is quite good! I consider her music a “modern folk” type music. I haven’t enjoyed good folk music like that since Jim Croce. The entire album is relaxing, and it is playable from beginning to end. This is one of those “coming to age,” type albums. Come to think of it, that kind of music was very common for the 80s. You should check out “Across The Lines,” and “Baby Can I Hold You,” are two of my favorite songs from the album. Her next huge hit would be a song called “Give Me One Reason,” from her “New Beginning (1995)” album. The song shot up to #3 on the Top 100.
Song: Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Album: 90185 (Deluxe) (1983)
Well, today’s title should not be mistaken to mean “phenomenal,” I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a joke of this band’s name. YES. I know some heavy rock fans may hate me for this, but, this was not a favorite band of mine at all. Then again, I’ve also said many times before, rock music was never a significant genre I played a whole lot of. Although, I didn’t particularly care for their music at all, they produced one massive hit that became my one and only favorite by them.
There Was Only One Major Hit As Far As I’m Concerned!!!
This song was huge enough that I’m sure even the most mediocre music lover has heard of. The song was called “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” The song reached #1 in America, and remains to be their biggest hit here. I should mention that they do have several hits under their belt, they’re just not in my taste. Songs such as “RoundAbout (1972),” and “I’ve Seen All Good People (1981).” Maybe I should also mention that this group comes out of the England/UK. I’ve always been really particular with music that comes from the UK. I like UK music almost as little as I enjoy rock music (in general). You know, I always used to get confused when I heard “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” on the radio back in the day, because this particular song reminded me so much of “The Police.” It sounds very much like the kinds of music The Police would do.
Song: Let Your Love Flow
Artist: The Bellamy Brothers
Album: The Bellamy Brothers (1976)
Of all the genres I’ve written about, this is probably about the second country band that fell in to the black obscure hole. Well, at least to those who may not be serious country fans. I think folk who like country music tend to have a better memory of obscure country artist than any other genre (I think anyway). I can’t say that I was really in to The Bellamy Brothers’ music very much. However, I do think they were talented tho. If I heard them on the radio I’d listen and usually enjoy, but I wasn’t moved enough to buy their records.
The Bellamy Brothers Where One Hit Wonders!!
However, I was hooked on one song they recorded called “Let Your Love Flow.” I was about 8 years old when this song came out. The song not only shot up to #1 on the American Billboard Top 100 Chart, it also did well in Canada and Australia. Spotify has them registered as over 61M plays. Understand (well, at least in my opinion) that that number is huge, when you consider there was no music streaming in the 70s or 80s.
Their Love Definitely Flowed Directly To Their Bank!!
There is no question that “Let Your Love Flow” was the song that catapulted their career (in my opinion). From the little information I gathered from the Billboard Charts, it looks like this was their only official number one hit. Only two other songs registered on the charts. A song called “Satin Sheets (1976),” which reached #75th position. And a song called “Hell Cat (1976),” and reached #70th position. All 3 were actually on the same album. “Hell Cat,” was actually a great song. It’s a shame it did not claim hire than it did.
Genre: Streaming News
It’s been a really long time since I’ve written about any streaming news. I wanted to share something I discovered a couple of days ago. Occasionally, one of the things I liked to do is use built-in radio from various free streaming applications, such as iHeartRadio & Slacker. They all have different algorithms that offer the chance to hear even more diverse music. Well, I hadn’t done this for a while until a couple of days ago. I decided to login to YouTube music. Oh boy, has it changed! It changed a LOT, and for the better.
YouTube Music Has Become Very Spotify Like!!
First off, I must say that YouTube Music has become very “Spotify Like.” As much as these streaming services want to be unique, at the end of the day, they all windup looking very much the same (if not aesthetically, at least have many of the same elements). I still maintain the belief that when it comes to music, there isn’t too much you can do differently to attract new customers/free users. Users either like your service or they don’t.
So, in essence Google has replaced GooglePlay with YouTube Music. If you still have GooglePlay installed on your phone, Google gives you the opportunity to download all your old uploaded music. You can also transfer your uploaded music to your new YouTube Music account. I have to say I’m really impressed, yet, I’m not surprised either. I’ve predicted this many times in the past before. It’s not gonna matter what service you use, it will all be a matter of preference. However, I’m not gonna lie, I think YouTube has one up on all the other services (including Spotify), and that is the licensing. I’ve been noticing this for quite some time. I think YouTube is the only giant entity where music licenses don’t expire! Come to think about it, they’re probably the only large entity that is literally almost immune to all and any music licenses. No other company can get away with that! In terms of the artist themselves, this has got to feel kind of f*cked up, as real legitimate streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn Pandora, etc, all must adhere to a different set of rules, and additional set of sub-rules within those rules. But, as messed up as that sounds, it’s a benefit to music fans, as this means access to music content is truly unlimited. No other streaming services (including Spotify) can match that.
One of the biggest complaints I used to have with YouTube was that, as a music fan (especially of classic music), there was no access to original albums. Music was just sloppily spread all over the place. That was a huge problem for me, because I realized we were dealing with two entirely different music cultures. I’m not talking about the issue of old music and the new music either. The new breed of young music listeners are only interested in the “single hit song of the week.” Young music listeners are not really interested in albums (I think). I am confident this is true, since a significant majority of them has never seen an actual 12 inch vinyl before.
Kids and Teenagers Are Not Interested In Albums!!
This made it difficult for older folk like me, because we remember good music on old albums that did not hit the music charts. This is one of the reasons I make it a point to post original album covers, because it adds to the whole nostalgic experience. But, I’m not gonna lie, if YouTube NOW was the same as when I started streaming (6-7 years ago I think), I’d probably be using YouTube instead of Spotify. But, I still don’t think YouTube’s algorithms are as good as Spotify tho. YouTube Music (specifically) knows how to match up similar music, whereas Spotify’s algorithm learns the listener’s listening habits. I’ve also noticed that both free version of YouTube and Spotify are pushing less ads/less intrusive. My complaints among these services are becoming less and less. My only pet peeve now seems to be I can’t use all of the services to tweet, as they are often missing the album cover when tweeted. That’s annoying 🤣. Hey guys, just as a reminder, if you ever want to convert my Spotify playlist to your YouTube Music account, you can simply use Soundiiz for free! I encourage you to try out other free music services.