Monday Music #3

 

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. Though I grew up in Florida, Georgia has always been that other home I dreamed of. The land of  grandma and cousins and summer vacations.

 

 

 

Midnight Train to Georgia

L.A. proved too much for the man
(too much for the man)
(he couldn’t make it)
So he’s leaving the life he’s come to know
(he said he’s going)
He said he’s going back to find
(going back to find)
What’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so very long ago
Oh yeah

He’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ll be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreaming
(dreaming)
That one day he’d be a star
(a superstar but he didn’t get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don’t always come true
(dreams don’t always come true)
Oh no
(uh uh no uh uh)
So he sold all his hopes
And he even sold his own car
And bought a one way ticket back
To the life that he once knew
Oh yes he did
He said he would

I know he’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on the midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He’s leaving
(he’s leaving)
On a midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
He said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine

I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
Ive got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go
(her man, his girl)
I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
I’ve got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go right now
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)

Written by James D. Weatherly • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Monday Music #2

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. Jacksonville, Florida is where I grew up, so enjoy this tribute to my hometown.

 Jacksonville

It wasn’t even in my plan
A week in the sun and some fun in the sand
I was really only passin’ through
It all began on Ocean Drive
Standin’ in line for a burger and fries
Coincidentally, so were you
We took a quiet corner booth

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

I’m givin’ up my walkin’ shoes
While the wind and the waves wash away my blues
And you help me lose track of time
Rock and roll, you’re holdin’ me
Rockin’ in your arms by a rollin’ sea
It wasn’t easy makin’ up my mind
I can see forever in your eyes, your eyes

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

Songwriters: Pat Mclaughlin / Joshua Otis Turner
Jacksonville lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Ole Media Management Lp

Monday Music #1

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. And I’m attached to some places that are or have been homes for my loved ones. I’m starting out this first installment of Monday Music with a song simply titled Birmingham by Randy Newman.  Newman is a prolific songwriter with numerous awards for his work.

 

Birmingham

Got a wife got a family
Earn my livin’ with my hand
I’m a roller in a steel mill
In downtown Birmingham

My daddy was a barber
And a most unsightly man
He was born in Tuscaloosa
But he died right here in Birmingham

Birmingham Birmingham
The greatest city in Alabam’
You can travel ‘cross this entire land
But there’s no place like Birmingham

Got a wife named Mary
But she’s called Marie
We live in a three room house
With a pepper tree
And I work all day in the factory
That’s alright with me

Got a big black dog
And his name is Dan
Who lives in my backyard in Birmingham
He is the meanest dog in Alabam’
Get ’em Dan

Birmingham Birmingham
The greatest city in Alabam’
You can travel ‘cross this entire land
But there’s no place like Birmingham

Written by Randy Newman • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

The Remagicing of Birmingham

dream

 

I’ve been reading Fannie Flagg’s I Still Dream About You, and it has made me look into so many aspects of Birmingham’s history. One is the refurbishing/reopening of  many lovely buildings downtown, most of which I’ve yet to see. Such as….

 

Florentine Building

Located at Second Avenue North and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard, it first opened in 1926 and has always been an events center. It sat empty for about six and a half years until Corretti Catering bought it and remodeled it. It has a newly renovated ballroom and they hope to have a cafe open for lunch in April.

 

Redmont Hotel

This  hotel first opened in 1925, and some of it’s original features are the 10-foot chandelier, marble staircase, moldings and iron railings found in the lobby. Harvest Restaurant & Bar on the ground floor is a fine-dining restaurant that serves farm-to-table fare with an Italian twist. The hotel’s Cafe 2101 serves pastries and other treats made on-site, along with Revelator coffee.  Two ballrooms and two board rooms make up most of the meeting room space and there are 120 guest rooms. There is also a new rooftop lounge. The Redmont Hotel Birmingham is located downtown at 2101 Fifth Avenue North.

 

Pizitz Food Hall

The Pizitz Building was built in 1925, but it had been vacant since the early 1980s. It recently reopened with restaurants, retail and apartments. Pizitz Food Hall  is a unique dining experience with a wide variety of vendors, from traditional burgers to Asian to Ethiopian to Israeli cuisine.

Thomas Jefferson Tower

The twenty story Thomas Jefferson Tower, completed in 1929, had been  vacant since 1982. The 96 renovated apartments are ideal for living in the middle of the magic of Bham.  The newly opened  Roots and Revelry restaurant here is worth a visit.

 

Lyric Theatre

The Lyric Theatre, built in 1914 for vaudeville shows, underwent an $11 million restoration project and relit its  marquee in 2013. It features a restored 38-foot mural, “Allegory of the Muses,” that was painted by local artist Harry Hawkins.

 

The Carver Theatre

Now known as the Carver Performing Arts Center, it was originally opened in 1935 as one of the first movie houses for African-Americans to see first-run films. It closed in the 1980s, but reopened in 1993 and is now the location of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

 

The Empire Building

This Classical Revival style 16-story building was built in 1909 and was the tallest building in Alabama at the time. After being remodeled, it reopened as City National Bank. It was again sold in 2012. After a $27 million renovation, it is now experiencing new life as the Empire Hotel, which includes a restaurant and rooftop bar.

 

ledz2

photo – Hannah Scofield

Led z

photo – Hannah Scofield

The Alabama Theatre

Now this is one I have been in. And I love it. I’ve been in similar – perhaps sister- theatres in Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida. They are all lovely. The Alabama, built in 1927  as a classic movie palace with gorgeous  Art Deco style, underwent a major renovation and restoration in the late ’90s.
Birmingham has indeed once again earned the right to be called the Magic City.

Music Part Two

Garden & Gun is a must have for southerners, whether born and bred here or transplanted. I find gems in every issue, from music to restaurants to places I want to visit. I even have a playlist on Spotify made just of music I discovered while perusing the pages of this one-of-a-kind publication.

Inspired by an article in the June/July issue, written by Julia Reed, titled Songs of Summer, I got to thinking about songs that stand out in my mind and the memories attached to them. This is part two – you can read part one HERE. I have skipped the 80s as I was having babies in the 80s and just didn’t keep up with the music.

1990s

The 90s songs I know I learned from my kids. Like the Sweater Song by Weezer. I can still remember riding in the car with my youngest, the windows down and us singing the chorus loud and clear. I really didn’t know the other words until I recently googled them. Hmm, maybe I would not have been singing it with her if I had.

I was a latecomer to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice; it cracks me up that he now has a show on the DIY Network. Anyway, I didn’t actually begin to like this one until I got the soundtrack for 13 Going on 30 , with Jennifer Garner, which came out in 2004.

Another 90s hit I like is Everyday is a Winding Road by Sheryl Crow .

I remember a bunch more, but they aren’t exactly blog worthy. Hammer Time was a fun beat. And there is a funny memory of my daughter’s teacher singing My Heart Will Go On. Celine Dion she was NOT.

Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America is pretty catchy. My younger brother was in a short-lived band and this was on their playlist. Watch the goofy video below!

One last hit I like from the 90s is Buddy Holly by Weezer. I never saw the video until I researched it – but I love it! You can read about the song HERE.

2000s

She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 is a song that always reminds me of my older daughter and sometimes makes me cry.

I liked Alicia Key’s Fallin’ , but I’m not so impressed with the video.

Norah Jones is a favorite with me and my husband – we saw her perform in Tampa years ago. Listen to  Don’t Know Why – she has a voice like honey.

A fun listen is “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band. But it makes me miss the beach.

And that’s a wrap.

Thanks for the Musical Inspiration, Garden & Gun

Garden & Gun  Magazine is a must have for southerners, whether born and bred here or transplanted. I find gems in every issue, from music to restaurants to places I want to visit. I even have a playlist on Spotify made just of music I discovered while perusing the pages of this one-of-a-kind publication.

Inspired by an article in the June/July issue, written by Julia Reed, titled Songs of Summer, I got to thinking about songs that stand out in my mind and the memories attached to them. This will just be a sampling through the decades, except I’ll probably skip from the 70s to the 90s. I was having babies in the 80s and just didn’t keep up with the music.

1960s

What came to mind first was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul and Mary. I didn’t realize until I looked it up that it was actually written by John Denver with the original title of “Babe, I Hate to Go”.  My memory comes from a late summer afternoon, riding in the back of my aunt and uncle’s station wagon with my cousins. I learned the song from my cousin Paula, and we were belting it out at the top of our lungs as we rode home from the public pool in Reidsville to their home in Glennville, Georgia. If I close my eyes I can feel the warm summer air blowing on my face, and hear the laughter.

An amusing song, one in which we didn’t get half the words right, was “Judy in Disguise (with glasses)” by Jon Fred & his Playboys. My little brother, when he was about three or four, would sing “Judy in the skies – na na na na…” For some reason it was great fun to egg him on to sing and dance.

JUDY IN DISGUISE (WITH GLASSES) 

I can’t let the 60s go by without a Beatle’s shout out. My cousin, Anita (Paula’s sister, see above), used to play “Eleanor Rigby” on the piano upstairs in the playroom of their house. It was an eerie and intriguing song to me, back in an innocent time of my childhood.

cousins 001

L to R: Us Cousins – Norman who sang “Judy in the Skies”, Paula, Anita, me kneeling, brother David, Serena, Denny

 1970s

Fast forward to my senior year of high school and the disco era. There are just too many songs to mention, but some of my favorites were from KC & the Sunshine band, especially “Boogie Shoes” and “Get Down Tonight”. It was a huge thrill to see them perform live at Disney during Grad Night, 1976. Back then there was a dress code for us seniors and I felt especially cool in my pantsuit, rocking out in the crowd in front of the castle. Check out the the  outfits below – mine AND the Sunshine Band’s!

70s

Me wearing my pantsuit with my brothers and Dad

BOOGIE SHOES

This next song is also on Reed’s list: “Muskrat Love” by Captain and Tennille. This came on my radar in 1977. My college roommate, Donna, was in love with Tony, and this was “their song”. They were a lot like Muskrat Susie and Muskrat Sam. She always kept that youthful silliness and I miss her – she passed away a few years ago.

MUSKRAT LOVE

My last 70s mention is “Brickhouse” by The Commodores. Every time I hear this I go back to my first year at Georgia Southern (then College; now University) where I joined the Chi Omega Sorority and this was like our theme song. I always think of Paula Ferguson and a bunch of us dancing to this over and over, though none of us were 36-24-26.

BRICKHOUSE

Stay tuned for Part Two

WorkPlay

jj2

I had my first experience with WorkPlay this past Friday night and I must say, I liked it!

I was so excited when I found out JJ Grey & Mofro were coming to town. I heard them about 8 years ago in Jacksonville with my daughter – she’s a big fan. She even knows a few band members. Anyway, I convinced my husband to go with me and I ordered the tickets. The show was supposed to be outdoors at Avondale Brewing Company. I am so glad the venue was changed – I do not own any rain boots (but they are on my wish list).

Parking was super easy – a pleasant surprise. Getting in was also easy. This is only the second time I’ve been to a standing-room-only venue. I’m glad I listened to my husband when he suggested we get a spot by the back wall. It was good to have a place to lean on occasion.

The show was opened by Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers. I am now a fan. 🙂 They have a new album, LOVE WILD LOST, coming out April 21st. Their music is described as Americana – take a listen:

JJ Grey grew up in and around Jacksonville, where my husband and I also grew up. Jj was from the westside, my husband from the northside, and I was from the southside, so we got it all covered. 🙂 Grey’s songs are inspired by life in north Florida. One of my favorites is Lochloosa, a spot in the road I’ve driven through many a time between Jacksonville and Tampa. Take a listen:

I will be keeping my eye out for another concert at WorkPlay in the future!