phoenix fun: Old MacDonald Had a Pumpkin Patch. - 10/13/21 11:10 AM

It is fall, a time for transition. In Scottsdale, AZ fall is a time to put those hot summer days behind us and get back outdoors to enjoy the clear skies and cooler sunny days.
As the weather mellows, we begin to welcome back visitors and many of our annual fall festivities. One fall festivity that has become a yearly event is The Pumpkin Patch at MacDonald's Ranch in North Scottsdale.
Owned by the Richardson Family, MacDonald's Ranch has been a western-themed fun park that offers horseback riding, hayrides, and paintball outings since 1956.
Each year the owners convert the ranch to The Pumpkin … (5 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - John Denver - 06/19/21 10:57 AM
I have to admit when I was younger, I was not much of a John Denver fan. I preferred the music of other artists. It was not until a few years ago when I saw a documentary film on John Denver that I came to appreciate all that he accomplished as a singer/songwriter and as an actor
Denver produced so many popular songs. Like Country Road, Rocky Mountain High, and today’s selection Annie’s Song.
In the mid-1970s Denver began to speak out about a number of political causes like world hunger, for which he was ultimately awarded the Presidential World Without Hunger Award … (7 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Ed Sheeran - 06/18/21 09:43 AM
Most of the songs I have posted up this season have been from the 1960s or 1970s, with good reason. There were a lot of good music produced in those days. Much of it still relevant today. Yet, this Soundtrack does not have to be just oldies. We always find new music and new performers that worm their way into our ears and leave us singing in the shower.
One artist that has caught my eye is a young Englishman named Ed Sheeran. If you like love songs, then Ed Sheeran is someone that you will want to add to your playlists.
Ed … (9 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Willie Nelson - 06/16/21 01:10 PM
Today’s artist is a man that needs no introduction. Willie Nelson has been around what seems like forever. Actually, he hasn't been around forever. He was born in 1933 and at 88 years old is still performing to sellout crowds.
Always known as a Country singer, Willie and friends perfected the outlaw sound. Nelson has worn many hats as an entertainer including author, disc jockey, song writer and movie star. Willie had parts in 30 movies including his starring role in Honeysuckle Rose.
In the 1980s Nelson joined with John Mellencamp and Neil Young to establish the Farm Aid benefit concerts to help … (13 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - The Eagles - 06/16/21 12:54 PM
I haven’t featured The Eagles on the Soundtrack since 2018 an oversight that I am correcting right now. After all, The Eagles are the largest selling rock band of all time.
A lot of great music has come from this group since their early days when Glenn Frye and Don Henley split off from the Stone Ponies to form their own band. Over the years there have been a few changes to the personnel , but the band has only gotten better with each year.
Today’s song Hotel California has, more than any other song, become their signature sound. For my money, no … (9 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - The 5th Dimension - 06/15/21 10:42 AM
What ever happened to the Age of Aquarius? If you ask the astrological experts, they will tell you it is still forthcoming. But in 1967 a Broadway musical named Hair, declared we were at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius.
The song was the opening song for the play and later recorded and released as a single by singing group The 5th Dimension. The 5th Dimensions version topped the charts for six weeks in 1969 and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It is listed as number 66 on Billboards Greatest Songs of All Time.
The expression Age … (9 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Campbell / Paisley - 06/11/21 11:58 AM
Today we are going to try something a little different. We are going change over to the Country genre and at the same time give you two versions of the same song. Back in the 1970s a lot of Country stars were crossing over to the Rock charts. These days, it seems a lot of former Rockers are crossing over to the Country charts. I guess what goes around comes around.
Todays’ song is Try a Little Kindness first recorded by Glen Campbell. Campbell took the song to number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also topped the charts on … (4 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Peter Frampton - 06/10/21 11:41 AM
I had the good fortune to see Peter Frampton at the Kinetic Playground a famous nightclub on Chicago’s north side. The year was 1973 and Frampton, still a relative unknown, had just released the album Frampton’s Camel. He shared the stage that night along with The J. Giles Band who opened the show for psychedelic band King Crimson.
Frampton, who was rather clean cut, with long hair and sparkling costumes had a unique sound compared to the other bands that were emerging at the time.
Frampton employed a new sound that had not been used in rock music. The talk box, a synthesizer … (5 comments)

phoenix fun: Sountrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Grand Funk Railroad - 06/09/21 10:05 AM
Grand Funk Railroad is a hard rock band that originated in Flint Michigan. Despite the word “funk” in the band’s name their sound was purely rock. With hit songs like “We’re An American Band” and the cover of the Little Eva song, “The Locomotion” they sold over 25 million records worldwide. At one-point Grand Funk was so popular they outsold the Beatles
One of their biggest hits was the 1975 single Bad Time written and sung by Marc Farner. The story goes that Farner was going through a nasty divorce when he supposedly met “the girl of his dreams.” He wrote the … (10 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Santana - 06/08/21 02:13 PM
Today we are going to flip the calendar forward to blend a little old with a little new. Carlos Santana has been one of the premier guitarists since the 1960s. A lot of people first started rocking with Santana from their appearance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in 1969. But Santana never stopped and continues to make great music and keep up with the times.
Today’s song finds Carlos teaming up with Pop artist Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty to provide some top-notch lyrics and create a great song for modern times.
Released in 1999 Smooth topped the Billboard 100 for … (6 comments)

phoenix fun: Sountrack of A Lifetime - 2021 - Little Anthony and The Imperials - 06/07/21 04:24 PM
We are rolling the clock way back to the doo-wop era. In the late 1950s and early 1960s R&B music was finding its way onto the pop charts. Singing groups would harmonize with voices from deep bass to falsetto, behind a lead singer with a variety of made-up sounds (doo-wop) that kept the beat.
One of the more popular groups was Little Anthony and The Imperials. Their first big hit single was Tears on My Pillow which sold over a million copies to achieve gold status from the Recording Industry Association of America.
Little Anthony’s child like high pitched voice added a distinct … (7 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - The Temptations - 06/07/21 09:19 AM
Think the world is a confusing place? If you do, I can reassure you that your feelings are not new or different.
Many of you are too young to remember the turbulent 1960s. It was a time not unlike our current period. There was a lot of disagreement and many protest movements. The music of the time reflected many of those viewpoints. One song that seemed to sum it all up was a song by the Soul group The Temptations. Psychedelic music was just gaining a foothold in the industry and The Temptations transitioned their repertoire from love songs to songs about … (7 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Earth, Wind and Fire - 06/06/21 11:16 AM
Today we are going back to my old hometown of Chicago to listen to a band that originated in Chicago but went on to international acclaim. Earth, Wind and Fire. Earth Wind and Fire’s music fits into a lot of categories. Some consider it R&B, others Soul, still others identify with their funky Disco sound.
Their music is complex with a variety of percussion and horn sections. Their stage shows were equally complex with elaborate costumes, perfect for the times, and precision dance routines.
Earth, Wind and Fire has been honored with 6 Grammy Awards, 4 American Music Awards and a Grammy Lifetime … (7 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Kyu Sakamoto - 06/05/21 07:00 AM
You can probably count on one hand the number of foreign language songs that made it to the top of the charts in the U.S. In 1963 a song from Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto made it to the U.S. and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song sold over 13 million copies.
The song's title was Ue o Muite Aruko or translated into English, "I Look Up as I Walk".
The story goes that British record producer Louis Benjamin heard the song on a visit to Japan but was concerned that westerners would not be able to identify with the … (4 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Carly Simon - 06/04/21 12:53 PM
Every so often a song comes along that becomes the identity for another art form. In this case, our song today Nobody Does It Better became synonymous with the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The song broke with tradition in that most theme songs from the James Bond films were titled with the name of the film.
The song was composed by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager and of course was performed by Carly Simon. Nobody Does It Better received an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, and a nomination at the 1978 Grammy Awards.
It was … (10 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Paul Simon - 05/31/21 12:01 PM
Are you ready for a fun music video? Why not?
Today’s Soundtrack song is from one of my favorite artists Paul Simon. Simon who’s career has spanned generations has tried his hand at so many different genre’s you will always be guessing what he will do next.
The song is about two boys hanging out in the schoolyard who were caught doing something that one should never do. Just exactly what they did is and forever will remain uncertain. When the songs character “Mama Pajama” reports them, the police arrest them. Fortunately for the boys the radical priest comes to their aid and … (9 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Buffalo Springfield - 05/31/21 11:52 AM
Think that times have changed? Maybe not as much as you think. Many of my readers may be too young to remember the turbulent 60’s. It is hard to believe it has been 50 years. Yet, many of the same problems that faced the world in those days still face us today.
We all have our opinions of the way the world should work. Do I have all the answers? Sorry to disappoint you.
But I do know that I still like to listen to music. My music is a library of songs that spans sixty years everything from Nat King Cole to … (5 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - Bob Dylan - 05/31/21 11:44 AM
Bob Dylan’s name has been bandied around in the musings of this Soundtrack dozens of times. Dylan wrote so many of the songs that were popularized by other artists. He has become almost ubiquitous in the world of Folk, Pop and Rock music. He also played with so many other artists in concert and on recordings that you take him for granted.
Bob Dylan was the first pop artist to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, “For his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”, in 2008. (He was later joined by … (8 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - The Rolling Stones - 05/31/21 11:28 AM
Welcome back! It is Day 2 of The Soundtrack of a Lifetime.
Since we started with the British Invasion, let’s keep it going with a Rolling Stones song. June features two birthdays for members of the Rolling Stones.
Yesterday, June 1st was guitarist Ronnie Wood's 74th birthday. So Happy belated Birthday to Ronnie. Today, June 2nd will be drummer Charlie Watt's 80th birhday, so Happy Birthday to Charlie.
"Start Me Up" has become the most popular song that the band has used to open their live shows.
The song started life in the 1970’s as a reggae song, named “Never Stop”. But the band never … (11 comments)

phoenix fun: Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2021 - The Beatles - 05/31/21 11:05 AM
It is that time again!!! 30 Songs in 30 days.
Like so many other baby boomers, I grew up listening to Rock & Roll. From the mid-1950s right on up to the present day, Rock has endured. Even when we think the genre has run its course a new record or album surfaces that brings us back into the fold.
In June of 2018, I launched an effort to write a blogpost everyday for thirty days. I called it The Soundtrack of a Lifetime.
Listening to the songs was so much fun I decided to reprise The Soundtrack each year in June. Over … (20 comments)