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June 26, 2009

Song of the Day #940

Song of the Day: P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), words and music by James Ingram and Quincy Jones, was the sixth single release from Michael Jackson's Grammy award winning and all-time best selling album, Thriller (which generated seven Top Ten hits in total).  I've highlighted so many of Jackson's songs through the years on my "Song of the Day"; today, I feature this one in the wake of his death. It's just fun ... a reminder of what fun Jackson's music was. And, well, "now is the perfect time..."

June 25, 2009

Ed, Farrah, and Michael... RIP

This has been a tough week for those of us boomers who grew up and came into our own in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. First, it was reported that Ed McMahon passed away. His presence on late night TV with Johnny Carson and on annual MDA Telethons was always a source of joy.

Then, word came early today that Farrah Fawcett had lost her battle with cancer. From "Charlie's Angels" to "The Burning Bed," Fawcett showed versatility, and acting chops. And even I bought that famous poster and Playboy issue.

This morning, I repeated to a friend of mine one of those old adages: "They say that famous people die in threes. Ed, Farrah... jeez... guess we should expect another one."

Late this afternoon, I found out that Michael Jackson passed away.

I can't even begin to communicate how stunned and saddened I was to hear this. We were roughly the same age, and I grew up on his music, from his early Motown years with the Jackson Five to his remarkable solo career; I danced to his beats, marvelled at his raw talent, and was fortunate enough to see him two times in concert: once on the Victory Tour, with his brothers, in the wake of his unbelievably successful album, Thriller (one of my favorite albums of all time) and a second time on his first solo tour, the Bad World Tour. Soft spoken in interviews, the man became a moonwalking lion on stage. I've never seen anyone like him in live performance ... before or since.

Unfortunately, in later years, so much of this magnificent talent was overshadowed by tabloid stories, sordid scandals, trials, and tribulations. None of it erased, in my mind, the talent of this entertainer, or the happiness his music, groundbreaking videos, and electrifying performances brought me.

Ed, Farrah, and Michael. All gone too soon.

June 07, 2009

Song of the Day #939

Song of the Day: There's No Business Like Show Business, words and music by Irving Berlin, is from the Broadway musical, "Annie Get Your Gun." In honor of the 63rd Annual Tony Awards, which is being broadcast tonight on CBS, I feature this classic song in a version by Ethel Merman (YouTube clip at that link), from the 1954 film of the same name.