CLASSICS: EASY LISTENING / SOFT MUSIC (SINGLES)

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I love “easy listening” type music, but I find much of Roberta Flack’s music to be way too slow, even for me. Actually, to be quite honest, I think that a lot of her music is very boring and depressing (and I am as open minded (musically) as they come). She has only had one hit every couple of albums that really struck my fancy; such as “Feel Like Making Love,” and “The Closer I Get To You.” However, “Killing Me Softly,” was the song that put her on the map! I think Roberta is probably best remembered for “Killing Me Softly,” than any of her songs. When Lauren Hill was with the Fugees, she made the song a big hit once more with her rendition. However, the album I wanted to write about is what I believe to be her first album called “First Take (1969).” This album contains another huge hit from Roberta called, “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face.” The song was number one for 6 weeks, and to my understanding, it became a hit by word of mouth only! There is another song from the album that has a really thick jazzy funk rhythm to it, it’s called “Compared To What.” It has a sick beat to it, and it has become one of my favorites that few people remember. I enjoyed the song called “Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” again, very heavy rhythms with the use of base violins, very nicely done. Lastly, I thought the song called “Angelitos Negritos” was interesting. It was the one and only time actually heard her sing Spanish. Anyone who loves traditional jazz, I think you’ll like the song entitled “Tryin’ Times.”

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Captain and Tennille, was one of my favorite musical Duos. Although I hated their variety TV show back in the 70’s; they’ve made a string of recorded hits, such as “Do That To Me One More Time,” and “Lonely Nights,” and “Come In From The Rain,” which all three happen to be one of my favorites. Well, after almost 40 years of marriage, Toni Tennille finally called it quits and filed for divorce last year. How ironic that another one of their huge hits was called “Love Will Keep Us Together,” guess it didn’t. It’s very possible that they’ve just been performing for too long, and fell out of love for each other. It’s been alleged that Toni filed for divorce because her husband Daryl Dragon was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. If this is true, then that means bottom line, she does not want to be burdened by taking care of him. Interesting, it appears a lot of celebrities have this disease doesn’t it? What a shame. This was almost a story book marriage.

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I’m sure I’ve written before, of how much I love The Mamas & The Papas. In my opinion, they had the most beautiful and unique voices of their time. I can’t remember any other sound like theirs. The only group that could somewhat come close is “The Fifth Dimensions.” The Mamas and The Papas group formed just at the beginning of the folk music era; and during the huge success of The Beatles to my understanding. I really loved how they harmonized; all four of their voices were so different and yet they blended beautifully. I found it interesting how Mama Cass had such a powerful and dominant voice, yet it never over powered the other three.You know, even though they’ve been put in the “folk” category, I never viewed their music as folk. To me, their music was more like very, very soft rock kind of; the kind of “easy listening rock” of their time. This group was so talented, it saddens me when I think about how drugs spoiled their career. They broke up around 1968. The Mamas and The Papas “Gold” album is a collection of their greatest hits. My favorites are, “Monday, Monday,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Go Where You Wanna Go,” “California Dreamin,” “”Dedicated To The One I love,” “My Girl,” “Creeque Alley.”

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