Artist: Michael Martin Murphey
I don’t know guys, I may or may not turn you off with today’s selection? But, like I’ve always said, my tastes are extremely diverse, and that quality is one of the reasons why I decided to start this blog ?. If you asked me which “go to” genre I loved the most, that would be a really difficult question. Perhaps that question would be easier answered, if I broke them down by era. My primary genres really depended on the decade I was in. I think in the 70’s I was drawn to more “easy listening” type music, which included country. I may be bias, but in my opinion, I think the 70s yielded some of the best love ballads of all-times.
A Love Song Between A Man And His Horse!
Now, let me give you some real context. A male country artist (in the 70s) can write a song about his love for a pony, and become a successful hit! I can’t even remember anywhere in time, any American has a song about any animal (not even a dog, and Americans love dogs) and became a massive hit ?! I don’t believe this could be done today, even with the most ardent country music fans.
His Song Made High Scores On The Billboard!
Murphey’s song “Wildfire (1975),” hit #1 in Canada. In the U.S., it hit #1 on Easy Listening, and #3 on the Top 100 Charts. It’s still a beautiful song tho. Very calming, as well as a beautiful story behind the lyrics. Murphy has had quite a few hit songs after “Wildfire.” About 11 Top 10 Hits to be exact. He also one a few awards for some of his albums. However, I’m sorry to say that I only loved “Wildfire.” Not that I thought his music was bad, I just wasn’t drawn to it. If I were to be honest, I think it probably was because he performs traditional country, whereas my country tastes are a little more modern than that. So, I can’t say he’s a “one hit wonder,” just only loved one song. Today, Mr. Murphey is around 75 years old.
Album: Half Nelson (1982)
Genre: Easy Listening
This is why I am a blogger! It’s a beautiful thing when you have a good enough memory that you can share a piece of history with others. You better continue to visit my blog, because I can assure you, you will not “discover” half the stuff I blog about on YouTube! Just because it may be uploaded, doesn’t mean it will show up on anyone’s playlist, or radio playlist. Let me tell you, these two men… Again, unless your family is cultural enough to still play this kind of music, if you’re younger than 20-25 years of age, I doubt you have any idea of their music.
Julio Iglesias Was Sexy As F**k!
I’m not gonna lie, I thought Julio Iglesias was sexy as hell when he was young. Even in the picture about he still looked good around the age of 42 (which indirectly added to the success of the song (I think)). The duet with country singer Willie Nelson proved to be the most successful move in Julio’s career. “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before,” hit #5 on the Top 100 Chart, and hit #1 on the Country Charts. Now, this isn’t to say Julio didn’t have any other #1 hits, they’re just in the Latin categories, whereas the Top 100 is more broad.
You know, it was interesting because, this song in particular seemed to have transcend not only across music cultures, but age as well. I mean, I’ve seen str8 women go bananas when they heard this song come on the radio! Then again, Julio had a kind of voice where, he could have been singing about taking a dump in the toilet, and still sound sexy as hell. ? Such a shame father time was not kind to Julio. I absolutely can’t believe it’s the same person now. Today, he looks so much like Mickey Rourke now. I wonder if Julio had plastic surgery too?
Artist: Jimmy Buffett
Most definitely, this artist’s music is truly obscure. Despite a lot of country fans loved his music, I wasn’t really in to him. “Margaritaville” was the only popular song I really liked from him. I guess largely because it was a very catchy tune. It’s the first “tropical” like country song I’ve ever heard! ? The song reached #8 on the Top 100 Chart. As far as I can tell, Margaritaville remained the biggest hit of his career. At age 72, not only is he still performing, he’s also get a few restaurants in Florida. You’ll never guess what it’s called? Well, Margaritaville Cafe” of course! ?
Believe it or not kids (and some grown ups), Mrs. Olivia Newton-John is most definitely a legend in every sense of the word! She is perhaps one of the few artists I’ve put in to my ultimate favorites category of the seventies and eighties. I think she’s just one of those artists that we don’t realize just how much she has contributed to the entertainment industry until we really look back and reflect. My goodness! Let’s see, she’s an actress, songwriter, business woman, and oh yeah, did you know she was also a model in her younger years?
Olivia Is Most Remembered For The Movie, Grease!
I am confident in saying that of all the phenomenal things that Olivia has done throughout her career, she is instantly remembered for her work in the 1978 movie Grease! She co-starred John Travolta, and they both did an incredible job! Olivia not only acted in the movie, she was also a huge part of the soundtrack as well. Both the movie and the soundtrack were successful hits. “Grease,” performed by Frankie Valli, & “You’re The One That I Want,” performed by Travolta and Olivia were #1 on the charts. “Summer Nights” also performed by Travolta and Olivia hit #5, and Olivia’s “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” reached #3 on the charts! In Australia, the album hit 14x Platinum, and in America 8x Platinum. Back then, those figures were eye popping.
I could be wrong, but I think the project Grease really made a difference in her career! Music was going through a major shift (and that included the world of country music), and I just don’t think she would have been as successful if she didn’t participate in the movie. Listening to Olivia’s music was kind of like listening to an Australian country version of Karen Carpenter. ? Don’t beat me up for that, I loved Karen’s music too.
Beyond The Grease Soundtrack!
Ok, I need to make my readers aware of just how badass Olivia was back in the day! Out of 38 songs that actually registered on the Billboard Charts, she has managed to get 5 number ones, and 15 top tens. That’s an incredible achievement, not only as a woman, but as a mostly country artist. Also keep in mind, she accomplished this just when disco was on its why out, and both rock and pop was slowly dominating the 80s.
Some of my favorites dear to my heart are “Physical (1981),” “I Honestly Love You (1974),” “Have You Ever Been Mellow (1975),” and another badass song “Magic (1980).” I soooo love the beat to “Magic.” And you know, “Suddenly (1981),” was a nice song too, but unfortunately it only reached #20 on the Top 100 Charts (which is not bad technically). If I’m not mistaken “Suddenly” was on the original Xanadu (1980) soundtrack. Olivia didn’t have all that much of a vocal range (in my opinion), but she managed to crank out some huge memorable hits in my lifetime.Barbasol Ultra 6 Plus Value Pack
I’m pretty sure that for most of my readers, the name Crystal Gayle goes right over your heads. In terms of country music, Crystal Gayle was one of the hottest performers in the mid 70s. Her first single released in 1977 called “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” became a massive hit for Crystal. It shot up to #1 on the Country Charts, and #2 on the Top 100 Charts, and #1 in Canada! What this song was like what “Stormy Weather” did for Lena Horne. Crystal Gayle became a household name after her first single.
Her Long Hair Became Her Trademark!
Crystal was young, beautiful, reserved, and her class showed in her album covers. However, even with her (then) massive hit song, it appeared that people remembered her even more for her extremely long hair. It wasn’t before long that her hair became her trademark. I think this was a smart move, as very few female country singers kept their hair as long as Crystal. In fact, I dare to say that the majority of them back in the day wore a lot of wigs. Some of those being Dolly Parton, and let’s not forget about Loretta Lynn.
Her Music Transcends Age & Genre
You know, when I was a kid, I never thought of her music as “country music.” I simply saw them as beautiful ballads. I guess that’s when you know a song transcends over music categories and age groups. This is something I don’t think we’ll ever hear again in the streaming age; unless we are searching for classic music.
Duet With Eddie Rabbitt
She has also made some beautiful & romantic duets; one of which is my favorite called “You and I,” with Eddie Rabbitt. The song was released in 1983, and hit #7 on the Top 100 Charts. I think when I heard this song, was the first time I started to hear the country in her music. If you love Crystal’s music, I recommend another beautiful short ballad called “Talking In Your Sleep.” It was released in 1978 and reached #18 on the Top 100 Chart.
Ok, ok.You can pick yourself from off the floor now from laughter! Yes, I do love some of Dolly Parton’s earlier country music. That’s why I’m a blogger; because my tastes are eclectic; and you can rediscover music history on my blog. Now, Dolly has one of those rare unique voices that requires writers that understands her voice. Having said that, I’m not going to lie, there are specific Dolly songs that I love (over the rest of them). I’ve listened to a lot of her music, and a huge chunk of her music made me feel like I was listening to children’s songs (regardless what the lyrics were). However, I guess that doesn’t really matter because millions of people still love her music today.
Proof of that is her 1980’s song “9To5,” from the movie “9To5 (1980),” which she also co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin (Ringy Dingy). Now, keep in mind that in 1980, there was no Spotify, having said that, as of today, Dolly’s 9To5 as reached over 92+ million plays. That’s a lot of change that song made. Spotify didn’t come to the U.S. until about 2009; so that gives you an idea of her fan base.
Now, I don’t think I remember the full story, but I think it goes something like this. There were two versions of the song 9To5. There was Dolly’s version, and then there was Sheena Easton’s version. Only one could be on the soundtrack, so they chose Dolly’s version. However, the record labels still liked Sheena’s version; so they waited about a year after Dolly’s version was released; renamed Sheena’s song to “Midnight Train (Nine To Five),” so that there was no confusion with the movie 9To5; then released it in 1981. Both became successful hits! Dolly’s hit #1 for two weeks; and Sheena’s version also hit #1 for two weeks!
I know I’ve written more than I planned, but before I close I do want you to check out Dolly’s “Hard Candy (1982).” Dolly said this was her first song she ever written as a child (if I remember correctly) during the xmas season. When I listen to it, I don’t perceive it to be about xmas at all, but someone who just gone through a lot of things, and just trying to pick up the pieces. It’s a beautiful song I think.