A New Beginning

This post is meant to serve as an update on what has been happening to the music posts I was producing and what is going to be happening next. So, let’s begin with a quick recap on The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History, first.

In the last two weeks, I have worked hard to make all 500 music posts accessible to you in two different ways: first of all, I produced a series of ten checklists…..organized in groups of 50 songs……that all linked back to each, individual song post, as well as, linking to the other checklists. If you have one checklist, you actually have all 500 posts. Secondly, I placed all 500 songs on a Spotify playlist. All songs on the playlist are written down in descending order, from Song #500, all the way to Song #1….including the 25 Honourable Mention songs that came up at the end. Finally, I have gone back through all 500 posts and updated any of the header photos; removing any that were blurry or out of frame. As a result of all of this work, that music series is now finished and we are ready to move on. ***If you did not see a checklist or receive the Spotify link to access the playlist, let me know in the comments below and I can set you up.

So, what do we do now?

There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the original countdown, with many people asking for it to continue in a new format. So, I put on my thinking cap and thought about the different ways that songs interested me. That thought process allowed me to come up with a variety of categories of songs/music that I felt were worth exploring. This past week I have spent time researching content for each category and am happy to announce that I believe I have more than enough materials to re-start the music post series. So, without further delay, here is what is going to be happening, as of this Monday……which is May 9, 2022.

On Monday…..and on every Monday going forward…..I am starting a series of posts under the heading, “Keeping It Classy”. In this series, I will post one piece of famous Classical music and tell you the story behind it. Believe me when I tell you that you will know all fifty of these musical pieces. In addition, by the time we are finished, we will all sound like professors who know the difference between a sonata, an adagio, a fugue, a concerto, a symphony, an opus and so on. It will be more enjoyable that you probably imagine it will be. I am excited to get started.

On Tuesday, the 10th…….and on every Tuesday going forward……I will explore Canadian music. Specifically, as I fleshed out the songs and artists for this category, I noticed a sub-category emerge and that has caused me to re-evaluate a little bit…..tweaking here and there….so that on this coming Tuesday, we are starting something I call “The Great Canadian Road Trip”. There will be fifty or so songs that all namedrop particular geographic location in Canada or else, an actual bar or restaurant or hockey arena or so on. In any case, I will work that vein until it is tapped out and then, after that, I will split the category into one that it simply “Canucklemania”…..which is purely songs by Canadian singers and bands but, without the geographic connotations….. and another that it remains a travelogue of non-Canadian destinations i.e., “Leaving Las Vegas” by Sheryl Crow, “Shipping Up To Boston” by The Dropkick Murphys, “The Belfast Child” by Simple Minds and so on. I will replace “Keeping It Classy” with the World Travelogue when I run out of Classical tunes. Overall, I should have 250 Canadian songs, as well as, 250 travelogue songs, too.

On Wednesday, the 11th…..and on every Wednesday going forward…..I will be starting a series called, “Stars of Stage and Screen”. In this series, I have 250 songs that come from Broadway musicals or from Hollywood movie soundtracks. Believe it or not, I am confident I can do all 250 songs without repeating a single movie or broadway show. In all cases, I will use each post to highlight the composer of the song, the way it was used in the play or movie, the artist who sang the song and a bit about the play or movie, itself.

On Thursday, the 12th….and every Thursday going forward…..I am starting that most important of categories……”Today’s Top 40″. This is a series that will profile songs that are hits right now, as we speak. Each week, I am going to take a fresh look at the Top 40 charts from KEXP-fm, Billboard Magazine, Spotify and Toronto’s own, Chum-fm radio station. I will start with Position #40…..see what songs are listed there on each chart……determine which one has the best potential for a good story and present that to you in post form. The next week, I will look at chart position #39 and repeat the process. After I get all the way to Song #1 on the four charts, I will simply start all over again at #40 the next week and, in doing so, I can repeat the process indefinitely. Hopefully, by doing this, you will get to meet some new singers and bands that you may not had heard of, otherwise.

Finally, on Friday the 13th……and every Friday going forward……I will start a series called, “Reader’s Choice”. These are songs that you, as my faithful readers, have submitted and have asked me to consider writing up. To start, I have taken all of the extra songs that were submitted during the round of Honourable Mention songs a few months ago and created a new list out of them. I have forty songs to start. Please feel free to add to this list by sending me new requests at any time. The “Reader’s Choice” series will keep going as long as you keep sending me good tunes to write about.

When I was a classroom teacher, I got paid to juggle five or more things at one time all of the time so, doing this “next phase” in the music post series this way feels like putting on comfortable clothes. I intend to do one post per day and then, spend a bit of the extra time I would have put into doing a second daily post…….instead, into creating five new playlists on Spotify and amassing new linked checklists for each series, too. I learned a valuable lesson this past few weeks. It takes a lot of work to do a big job but not so much work to do a series of small jobs along the way. So, I will focus on producing interesting content for you all and organizing it as I go this time around. Hopefully, it will all work out and we will continue to share an interactive, informative and enjoyable journey together through the world of music.

Until next week…..take care. Bye for now.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #224: Tom Sawyer by Rush.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #224: Tom Sawyer by Rush.

Rush is such an interesting band. They are comprised of three members; Geddy Lee on lead vocals, bass guitar and keyboards, Alex Lifeson on lead guitar and Neil Peart on drums. They played together for over forty years. Rush is known for the intelligence of their lyrics and the skill with which they all played their instruments and, as such, they were highly-respected by fans and fellow musicians, alike. They have sold over 40 million albums over the course of their career and have had 25 Gold records in that time. They are members of The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, The Canadian Music Hall of Fame and have been enshrined on Canada’s Walk of Fame. However, when you ask anyone about who the best bands of all time are, Rush always tends to fly under the radar, coming in after The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the like. But, make no mistake, among true fans, as well as, most musicians, Rush is as respected a band as there has ever been.

“Tom Sawyer” is just one of many outstanding hits in their musical canon. “Closer to the Heart”, “Limelight”, “Subdivisions” and “Spirit of Radio” are all, also, worthy of the spotlight. “Tom Sawyer” is a song co-written by the members of Rush, along with a gentleman named Pye Dubois, who wrote many of the hit songs for Canadian group, Max Webster. The song is, essentially, about a free-spirited young man heading off into the world, enduring several rites of passage as he travels and gaining maturity in the end because of his experiences along the way. The song has been a staple of all live Rush shows since it was released in 1981. It has been covered by bands such as Foo Fighters and has appeared on TV shows such as South Park. In fact, in the videos below, I am including a video that starts out with a South Park clip before launching into the “proper” version by Rush. I am, also, including a second video that focuses solely on Neil Peart’s drumming. Many people consider Peart to have been the greatest drummer in Rock history. This “drum cam” video shows a master at his craft. The skill is extraordinary. His movements are so efficient and crisp. I, actually, enjoy watching “Tom Sawyer” on the drum cam video more than I do as a regular concert video. Either way, “Tom Sawyer” is a more than worthy entrant on this list of the greatest songs of all time. Enjoy!

The link to the video for the song, “Tom Sawyer” by Rush, can be found here.

The link to the video for the “Drum Cam” version of “Tom Sawyer” by Rush, can be found here.

The link to the video for the Induction of Rush into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame by Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rush, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #93: Baby Love by The Supremes.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #93: Baby Love by The Supremes.

“Baby Love” was the second (of five consecutive) #1 hit songs for the Motown act known as The Supremes. The song was written by the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland and contains a lot of the same musical structure of their initial hit, “Where Did Our Love Go?”. In that song, the word, “Baby” was used over sixty times so, as a bridge to their next hit, having “Baby” in the title seemed like an obvious thing to do.

There really isn’t a whole lot to say about this song. In the factory-like setting of Motown, “Baby Love” was, essentially, just the next song for The Supremes to come down the Holland-Dozier-Holland assembly line. Eddie Holland states that “Baby Love” was based on feelings he had for a girlfriend from his past who had rejected him but, for whom, he still had feelings. “Baby Love” was, also, the song that cemented Diana Ross as a singer who “ooohed” a lot to start off her songs thus, becoming a trademark of her singing style. A final note is that, in an effort to help Motown singers gain some traction in the UK, The Supremes toured there in support of this song and, even did some shows with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr helping out. Consequently, “Baby Love” became the only song by The Supremes to reach #1 in the UK.

As for The Supremes and the story of their career, I covered that already in a previous post about, “Where Did Our Love Go?”. *(which you can read here). For now, here is “Baby Love” by The Supremes. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “Baby Love” by The Supremes, can be found here.

The link to the official website for The Supremes, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #94: September by Earth, Wind and Fire.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #94: September by Earth, Wind and Fire.

As a writer, one of the risks that you face when you centre your story around an event or a particular date in time, is that the date/event ends up becoming the focus of your piece of writing and will detract from whatever message your story may have contained otherwise. However, there are some songs in which the inclusion of a specific date adds to the allure of the song; especially, when that date is left unexplained. Such is the case of “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. By now, in this Age of Information that we live in, whether you are a fan of the band or not, you get inundated with references to this song as we approach “the 21st night of September”. But, what, exactly, is the deal with September 21st, that caused a whole song to be built around it? The truth is that September 21 was not just some random date nor was it a date chosen because of how the words/syllables sounded when they were sung (although there is some truth to that last part). The real reason for choosing September 21st had something to do with lead singer, Maurice White; a secret that he took to the grave with him when he died a few years ago. It was only upon his death that he allowed the real reason to become known. If you want to find out what it was, read on, my friends, for all shall be revealed.

The song, “September” was written specifically as a new, original song to be added to an album called, “Earth, Wind and Fire: Greatest Hits, Volume #1”. The song was written by White, along with a songwriter named Allee Willis. At the time Willis met up with White, it was the early 1970s and, like many bands of the day, the members of Earth, Wind and Fire were dabbling in the “Mysteries of the East”. Before working with Willis (which White had never done before), he gave her a book called, “The Greatest Salesman in the World”, as well as, leads on where to find other books on Eastern philosophy and then, he sent her away, telling her to read up and then come back when she had absorbed this new knowledge. So, she left White and began her homework. By the time she was finished, Willis claims that a sense of Joyfulness was filling her heart and mind. When she returned to where the band was rehearsing, White played a bit of the instrumental structure that would become, “September” and, from there, they wrote the lyrics to the song.

At one point on the song, the nonsense word, “Ba-dee-ya” repeats itself, over and over again. As Willis and White were writing, Willis claimed to have asked White to change “Ba-dee-ya” because it sounded silly. He replied that the syllables matched the notes of the song in such a way that it made perfect sense to him. But, more than that, Willis learned that in an Earth, Wind and Fire song, White never let the lyrics get in the way of the groove of the song and so, “Ba-dee-ya” stayed and has become a joyous mantra to be sung/chanted as the song, September” is played.

Now, as for the significance of the date…..for years and years, as “September” grew in popularity and became a staple of all live Earth, Wind and Fire shows, members of the band were constantly being asked what the significance was to the date of “September 21st”. For almost four decades, the answer given was always the same, “September 21st is just a date that sounds good when it is sung with the groove of the song”. And, while there was some truth to that line, it was not the real reason. In an interview with Maurice White’s widow, Marilyn, in 2016, she revealed that September 21st held tremendous personal significance for her and for Maurice. As she stated, she was pregnant and expecting their first child around the time that Maurice was thinking of writing this song. The due date she was given by her family doctor was, you guessed it, September 21st! Marilyn White said that Maurice was filled with Joy at the prospect of becoming a father for the first time and wrote “September” specifically to commemorate the birth of his child. She said that every single time he performed that song live, he did so as a way of signalling to his son (as the baby turned out to be) that his arrival had changed his life for the better and that he was loved unreservedly.

For most people, “September” strikes them as a happy song. The lyrics lead you to believe it is about falling in love or else, celebrating the love that you have with your partner. To a point, that is correct but, as you now know, the message of the song is not just about loving your partner, it is about “Family” and the completeness that having a family brings. So, let this date, “the 21st night of September” be forever remembered for Family and for Love!

So, without further delay, let’s all enjoy one of the most positive and upbeat songs of all-time. Here is “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. Enjoy!

The link to the video for the song, “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Earth, Wind and Fire, can be found here.

Thanks, as always, to KEXP for supporting all manner of artists and bands. The link to their wonderful website can be found here.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #95: The Boys of Summer by Don Henley.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #95: Boys of Summer by Don Henley.

Don Henley released, “Boys of Summer” in the early 1980s on his debut solo album called, “Building the Perfect Beast”. Just prior to this album coming out, Henley belonged to one of the most successful rock acts of the 1970s, The Eagles. He was their drummer and wrote some of their biggest hits; especially, taking a star turn on the greatest hit of them all, “Hotel California”. All through the 1970s, Henley was immersed in the Southern California music scene. He began as a session player, along with the likes of Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner, performing back up roles for the likes of Carole King, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and, most notably, for Linda Ronstadt. The California music scene was very vibrant and close-knit, with many collaborations occurring between members of different bands and/or between band members and solo artists. The Eagles had a string of great hits and enjoyed much success all throughout the 1970s. Those were heady times to be a musician like Don Henley. But, after the experience of having a mega-hit like, “Hotel California”, the members of The Eagles found it impossible to follow it up in a manner that allowed them to remain a cohesive unit. Instead, internal conflicts arose; particularly between Glenn Frey and guitarist, Don Felder and, as the 1970s drew to a close, The Eagles decided to break up. Each member of the band set out on solo careers. For Don Henley, his solo career began with an album called, “Building the Perfect Beast” and a song called, “Boys of Summer” which, in a nutshell, is a song about Henley taking stock of his life and the lives of his generation. Here is the story of “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley.

Don Henley was always a good songwriter. What he liked to do best was work with someone who would create a musical score and then, Henley would take that music, go for long car rides along the Pacific Ocean and allow the notes and chords to flow over him and into him until such time as lyrics began to form in his mind. The music for “Boys of Summer” was created by Mike Campbell, who was the guitarist in the band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Campbell shared his musical idea with Petty first but, because it didn’t quite fit, musically-speaking, with the songs they were working on for their own album, “Southern Accents”, Petty turned the song down. Campbell shared the song with Henley next. Henley took Campbells track and went for his famous car ride along the coast and came back with a rough outline of a song that became “Boys of Summer”.

Henley built his lyrics upon a foundation that is the mythology of California; sunshine, summer vibes, beaches, driving with the top down, etc. He used the idea of how summer feels to describe the fondness with which he viewed life and love in the recent past. He lets the listener know, right away, that that feeling of “summer” was changing. His opening lines go, as follows:

Nobody on the road.

Nobody on the beach.

I feel it in the air

The summer’s out of reach.

Empty lake, empty streets,

The sun goes down alone

I’m driving by your house

But I know you’re not home.

What was, is not what is, anymore. When I first listened to this song in the 1980s, I always felt he was singing about The Eagles and was putting a formal nail in the coffin of that relationship he used to enjoy and that treated him so well. But, according to Henley’s own words, the song is more about the changing way life was being lived in California. Like The Doors with “L.A. Woman”, Henley was sensing that things were shifting and that the attitude of living on the west coast was transforming into something that he might not agree with. But, before moving on, Henley stopped to take stock of where his generation stood and what the future might hold for them all as a result. What he sees does not please him. His displeasure and sense of unease manifested itself in one of the best lines from any song in the 80s:

Out on the road today,

I saw a “Deadhead” sticker on a Cadillac.

For anyone who doesn’t get the reference….”Deadheads” were what fans of the band, The Grateful Dead, were known as. In their heyday, The Grateful Dead were one of the most famous counter-culture bands in the world. So, to see a Grateful Dead fan driving a Cadillac meant, to Henley, that his generation had sold-out their ideals and compromised their integrity. But, as the song closes, Henley rallies and declares that he will stand strong:

I can see you

Your brown skin shining in the sun

You got your hair slicked back, wayfarers on, baby

I can tell you my love for you will still be strong

After the boys of summer have gone.”

The phrase, “Boys of Summer” refers to baseball players and, in particular, to a book of the same name by Roger Kahn. Kahn’s book was about the story of how the Brooklyn Dodgers broke many hearts in NYC by leaving town and transforming themselves into the Los Angeles Dodgers. By Henley comparing himself to this sports story, he is declaring that his new career will yield great results, too. I suppose it is always a good thing if you can examine the whole of your life and declare, with confidence, that the future will be bright. That is what “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley is, basically, all about.

So, without further delay, here is Don Henley with his first big solo success, “Boys of Summer”. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley, can be found here.

The link to the video featuring Don Henley discussing how he wrote, “The Boys of Summer”, as seen on the Howard Stern Show, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Don Henley, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #96: Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #96: Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley.

“Heartbreak Hotel” is a song that was spawned by a suicide note. In the early 1950s, a man in Florida discovered that his wife was cheating on him with another man. In despair, he took his own life. When the Police examined his body, they discovered a suicide note. That note simply stated, “I walk a lonely street”.

The story of that man’s death was reported in a local newspaper in Florida. The story was read by a music teacher named Mae Boren Axton. She was moved by the lyrical nature of the dead man’s final words and brought the idea to a songwriting friend of hers named Tommy Durden. They both thought that there might by a song hidden beneath the tragedy of this man’s story. As they worked on the lyrics, Mae Axton suggested that if they were going to place the setting of the song in the fictional locale of “Lonely Street” then, they needed to add detail to the location. So, with that in mind, she suggested they place a hotel at the end of the street. Durden suggested stated that the obvious name for this hotel should be “The Heartbreak Hotel”. And so, one of the most famous and important songs in the history of Rock n’ Roll came to be.

Once they had the song written, they took it to a friend who was a local singer. The idea was to make a demo tape and shop it around in the hope of selling the song. When their friend tried singing the song, he found it difficult to do so. “Heartbreak Hotel” is a song that was structured, musically, in a much different manner than most songs of the early 1050s. Those days were the days of the crooners. Frank Sinatra was King. Most songs had an orchestral or big band component to them. Songs were lush and full and often spoke of Love. “Heartbreak Hotel” is the opposite of all of that. It is a song that is stripped down and punctuated with many moments of silence. Axton and Durden’s friend found it difficult to get the proper cadence for their song but, after several frustrating takes, the demo tape was completed. It was now time to shop their tape in hopes of making a sale.

Axton used her connections in the music industry to pitch her song to many people; all of whom turned her down. In fact, many people thought that the song was actually pretty poor, as songs went in those days. After many rejections, Axton heard that there was to be a Country Music festival coming to her town. The headliner was Hank Snow but, on the bill was a newcomer named Elvis Presley. So, Mae Axton contacted Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker and asked if she could play their tape for his client when he was in town. Parker agreed. When Elvis heard the song, he immediately “got it”! He asked to listen to the song over and over again until he had the lyrics memorized and then, he sang it back to Axton. He agreed to buy the song from her if he could play with the lyrics and musical structure a bit. She agreed and thus, Elvis came to have a songwriting credit for “Heartbreak Hotel”.

The funny thing is how wildly different the reactions of others were to this new song. The BBC didn’t even consider “Heartbreak Hotel” worthy of being played because, in their words, it was of such “poor vocal quality”. Elvis’ new recording company, RCA Victor, thought it was a bad song, too. The only way Elvis got it to be recorded professionally was to convince his sound engineer to double-mic him so that he would be free to move around as he sang but the microphone would still be able to clearly pick up his voice. But, as much as Elvis was given resistance by the music industry, the reaction from the public was something else altogether. When he debuted “Heartbreak Hotel” in public, the sound of his voice, coupled with the wild gyrations of his hips, drove the crowd into a frenzy. As word spread of what Elvis was doing on stage, girls began fighting to touch him; often grabbing at his clothes to the point of ripping them to shreds. Young men such as John Lennon and Keith Richards reacted in a similar manner, except, that instead of wanting to rip off his clothes, they realized that new way of making music was happening right before their eyes. To a man, they claim that hearing “Heartbreak Hotel” for the first time, by a white man like them, made them feel as though the Blues were possible for guys like them, too. Prior to seeing/hearing Elvis, Lennon and Richards and Bob Dylan all thought the Blues were the sole purvey of Black singers like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and so on. But now, when Elvis breaking down the barriers that he was doing, the whole world of, what was to become Rock n’ Roll as we know it, became possible.

So, out of one man’s heartbreak came one of the most important songs of all-time. To my knowledge, his family never received any compensation due to the fact that his story was, quite literally, “public news”. But, thanks to the imaginations of Mae Axton and Tommy Durden, just about everyone in the English-speaking world knows the answer to the question: “Where is The Heartbreak Hotel”? It is, of course, down at the end of Lonely Street.

Without further delay, here is Elvis Presley with one of the earliest known videos of him singing this song live, in public. Man Alive! That boy’s hips were made on a swivel! What moves! What a voice! This is the real deal. Enjoy!

The link to the video for the song, “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Elvis Presley, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #97: Let Down by Radiohead.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #97: Let Down by Radiohead.

Just a word of warning: if you are feeling tired and don’t have the energy right now to think about something clever and a bit weighty then, take a break and come back to this post another time. But, if you are in the mood for something that speaks to the human condition; especially, in urban centres AND that is incredibly clever in how it is constructed and presented then, read on because “Let Down” by Radiohead is for you.

“Let Down” by Radiohead is from their album called, “OK Computer”. The album had a lot of terrific songs that explored the concept of our increasing sense of loneliness and isolation that we, as humans, are beginning to feel because of technology. I have loved this album since the very first time I heard it…..waaay back in my Columbia Record Club days in the 1990s. I know that saying I love an album of songs about loneliness makes me sound like someone who is fun at parties! But, I stand by my statement. What attracts me to this album is that it is very intelligently written but, more than that, the way that Radiohead constructed their songs, using advances in the very technology that they are describing, gives these songs a depth of meaning that doesn’t ordinarily exist in most songs.

Specifically, “Let Down” tackles the sense of isolation that one feels in social situations. In particular, it focuses on the value of our time, as humans, when we are commuting. In this song, when you are stuck in the commuter lifestyle, you are always with others but rarely part of a group. You watch others and are watched in reply but rarely ever interacted with. You are not at home nor where you want to be. You are in a nether world of motion and movement but, all the while, you are actually nowhere, doing nothing and wishing against hope that things had worked out differently for you and that you were somewhere else. In essence, “Let Down” is a song about realizing that you have fallen into a trap and that you are simply going through the motions of living while, in reality, the world is passing you by as you whiz through it.

What elevates this song is the clever way Radiohead use technology to further their point. For example, the song is filled with blips and beeps. These tonal notes are meant to stand for commuters. Each beep is someone, going somewhere. As the guitars play, you will notice that the notes seem to be isloated and play crisply and clearly. The guitar notes are meant to act as humans, too. All of the sounds fluctuate from being close to in harmony and then, to being discordant but, not in a painfully annoying way, just slightly askew. This is all meant to replicate the social environment of the commuter. Loads of people, all sharing a common space and direction but lacking community. The lyrics speak to the tedium of commuter travel; comparing it to the soul crushing existence of bugs being stepped upon on the sidewalk. The one ray of hope that is offered by the band in this song occurs near the four minute mark (of this five minute song). At that point, the beeps, blips and guitar chords all harmonize. The tedium-stricken commuter resolves to “grow wings” and live a more fulfilling life. His spirits soar. He feels as though their actually is hope for a better life and then, his train/bus/airplane arrives, the harmony gives way to discordant blips and bleeps again, as everyone leaves the common space and heads out on their separate ways, leaving our commuter alone again, in a crowd, going somewhere he would rather not be.

Obviously, “Let Down” is not a dance song nor a party, rock-out song. Not all songs have to be like that to be great songs. “Let Down”, for me, is akin to reading the George Orwell book, “1984”; it may be bleak in subject matter but, the ideas being discussed are important and the impression left after hearing the song is long-lasting. When I first read, “1984”, the storyline moved me and actually caused me to have a visceral reaction against the protagonist, Winston Smith who, like the commuter in “Let Down”, realizes that he is trapped by the society in which he finds himself. In “1984”, Winston Smith makes a decision that went against everything I believe in and, as such, it provoked in me, an angry reaction. Radiohead leave their song open-ended. They know that for many of us, we are the commuter in this song. We know what it feels like to walk into a crowded subway car and hope to disappear. According to Radiohead, we still have room to make a choice of how we wish to live a more fulfilling life but, time is running out. Our train is about to pull into the theoretical station. What will we do once we arrive? That choice is what “Let Down” is all about.

The beauty of music is that their are songs that fit all occasions and all moods. Sometimes, cranking AC/DC is where I am at. Sometimes, I am in the mood for Celtic fiddle music. But, there are also times when I appreciate the intellectual discourse that a song like “Let Down” provides. It is ok to listen to music and have your mind stimulated by an idea. So, as you listen to “Let Down”, remember that the concept of the song is social isolation and living a fulfilling life. Pay attention to the musical structure; the blips and bleeps and discordant notes that aim to replicate a social scenario where we are surrounded by our fellow humans yet, completely disconnected from them as well. Radiohead are my favourite band for a reason. They make interesting music and, at the same time, make music interesting.

Without further delay, here is Song #97 in our countdown…..”Let Down” by Radiohead. Enjoy…..and think.

The link to the video for the song, “Let Down” by Radiohead, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Radiohead, can be found here.

KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #100: Ahead By A Century by The Tragically Hip.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #100: Ahead By A Century by The Tragically Hip.

As I type these words to you today, we are having a major snow storm roll through my area. All schools have been cancelled which means that for the children in my town, today has been declared as a “Snow Day”. I can remember the joy that I felt, as a child, whenever we would have a “Snow Day”. It meant freedom! It meant fun! It meant a complete break from the regular humdrum of everyday life. It was a glorious feeling. So, as I type these words to you this morning, I do so knowing that my own children lay asleep in their warm beds; blissfully unaware of the joy that awaits when they awaken. It isn’t quite same as Christmas morning but, it is close. Childhood should be a time of magical moments such as these. Yet, far too often we ask our children to bear the burden of adult decisions. Each time we do, we borrow from their bank of childhood innocence, robbing them of treasure that is rightfully theirs. But, on a day like today, we get to give our children a little of their precious childhood back.

We are 400 songs in on our countdown of the best songs of all-time and I can’t help but think that today’s song…..Song #100 on the list…is the perfect song for today. “Ahead By A Century” by The Tragically Hip, is a song whose premise is built upon the notion that there is beauty and magic and wonder in the innocent exploration of our world by children. By the time, “Ahead By A Century” came to be recorded and released, The Tragically Hip were on to their fifth studio album already. It was an album called, “Trouble At The Henhouse”. By this time, many of the members of the band (singer, Gord Downie, guitarists, Rob Baker, Paul Langlois and Gord Sinclair, along with drummer, Johnny Fay) were becoming fathers themselves and were well-versed in the worlds that very young children inhabit. So, who better to tell that tale than a man whose poetic version of Life became the lens through which so many of us, as Canadians, came to view life, too? Gord Downie was a story teller of unparalleled grace. He could make demands of our intelligence with his lyrics but, he could, also, touch our hearts, seemingly at will. And so it was when he came to write the lyrics for “Ahead By A Century”. This is a song that, for my money, has one of the best opening verses ever written. It is a masterclass in the #1 rule of story writing, which is: “Show. Don’t tell”. This is Gord’s take on childhood:

First thing we’d climb a tree

And maybe then we’d talk

or sit silently

and listen to our thoughts.

With illusions of someday

Cast in a golden light.

No dress re-hears-al

This is our life“.

“Ahead By A Century” went on to be The Tragically Hip’s first #1 song in Canada and it became a staple of all of their live shows. It is a song that is easy to love and to feel thus, it was, also, the most appropriate choice as the final song that The Tragically Hip ever sang together live.

In 2015, a news conference was called to announce that lead singer, Gord Downie, had developed a rare form of brain cancer and that, worst of all, his cancer was not curable. He was given less than a year to live…..if he was lucky. If we were lucky. In a Herculean feat for the ages, Gord Downie willed himself to go out with the band for one last, small tour of our country. It was a tour to say, “Thank you” to everyone who had been involved in the journey of the five guys from Kingston, Ontario. This tour involved all of us, as Canadians and united the country in a manner not seen since Terry Fox tried running across this great land using only one good leg. In Canada, our heroes rarely come Hollywood Handsome. In Gord, we had a man with a balding head and a sock, for warmth, wrapped around his neck. For this tour, he often wore a t-shirt with the shark from the movie, “Jaws” pictured on it, along with silver pants. He was quite a sight but we couldn’t have loved him more.

Before Gord could even think about touring, he had to re-teach himself his own songs, as brain surgery had impacted his memory. He, also, had to submit to a battery of fitness and other health-related tests each day in order to keep the liability lawyers and insurance agents at bay; each of whom was worried that our national hero might collapse from the strain of performing and actually die on stage in front of us all. His bandmates each told him that they would put down their instruments and walk off the stage at a moment’s notice….all he had to do was give them the word that he had had enough and couldn’t go on anymore. But, Gord kept on. He kept on all the way through ten shows in ten cities; culminating in one final concert in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario.

At this point, the mythic nature of what Gord had accomplished gave way to the personal. That final show was televised commercial-free by our national television broadcaster, the CBC. It was a Saturday night as Canadians gathered in arenas, in local parks, in basements and backyards….not to watch Hockey Night in Canada but, to watch Gord….one….last….time. We watched in groups that varied in size but, in reality, we watched alone; savouring each and every song that The Hip played….counting them down, marking them off our mental set-list until it came time for the final song which was, “Ahead By A Century”. A song written about the magic of childhood innocence became a song transformed into an anthem of gratitude and a new national hymn. To the crowd that assembled in that hockey rink in Kingston, Gord waved and made eye contact with as many as he could. The boys in the band played on. Then it ended. The boys embraced each other. Gord kissed them all. The crowd cheered and cried. I cheered and cried. Then we all went home.

Gord Downie died not too long after that night in 2016. In life, as in death, Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip always meant more to Canadians than simply being a rock n’ roll band. Whether it was their songs or their musicianship or the seemingly ordinary way their lived their lives as scandal-free, family men who gave back to their fellow musicians as easily as they gave back to us, as fans, The Tragically Hip were special. We knew that because we felt that. Our lives are meant to be lived as joyfully and as artfully as possible. Gord’s final tour was an example of what each of us are capable of. It was self-actualization on display for all to see. It was said by those who loved and admired him that he now walks among the stars. I believe that to be true.

I will play a number of videos below. The first will be the official video for “Ahead By A Century”. The second video will be one that I have shown before, on my own social media pages. It is the one that MacLean’s Magazine put together that showed people from all across Canada watching Gord and the boys play that final song. I will, also, play two videos that show how “Ahead By A Century” lives on after Gord’s death. The first is a TikTok video created by guitarist Rob Baker of The Hip in which he plays the chords to the opening verse of “Ahead By A Century” and invites viewers to submit videos of themselves singing the lyrics. It is wonderful. The joy is very real in all submissions. Finally, regular readers of these posts may be familiar with a man who makes these posts better with his insightful comments, Mr. Ian Jack. In 2016, Ian was teaching at a school not too far from here. He, along with some of his colleagues at the school, managed to record his entire school singing “Ahead By A Century” in tribute to Gord and the band and in recognition of how their music had touched all of our lives. That video went viral and became, what Ian describes as, “one of the highlights” of his life. I will play that video, too, with his kind permission.

As I end this post, I can hear some of the neighbourhood children beginning to head outside into the blizzard to play in the snow that is still falling in copious amounts. I can hear the sound of squeals and of laughter. That sounds like music to my ears. I will wake my own sleeping children in a few moments, too. I am looking forward to witnessing the happiness on their faces at the turn their world has taken for this day. Childhood should be filled with more feelings like that, don’t ya think? It’s a “Snow Day”! It’s, also, Tragically Hip day in the countdown.

Here they are, with a cast of thousands to follow, with their #1 hit song, and the final song they ever played, “Ahead By A Century”. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “Ahead By A Century” by The Tragically Hip, can be found here.

The link to the official website for The Tragically Hip, can be found here.

The link to the video by MacLean’s Magazine, showing Canadians watching Gord Downie sing “Ahead By A Century” one…last…time, their final concert in Kingston, Ontario, can be seen here. ***Be forewarned……I have watched this video countless times and I always, always am moved to tears.

The link to the video that shows guitarist Rob Baker’s TikTok tribute to “Ahead By A Century”, can be found here.

The link to the video for “Ahead By A Century”, as covered by the staff and students of Newcastle Public School, under the musical direction of Mr. Ian Jack, can be found here.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #101: All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #101: All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey rates as one of the most talented and successful singers of all-time. She is every bit as accomplished as Madonna and Whitney Houston when it comes to record sales (over 200 million) and #1 hit songs (11, at last count). But, it was a business-related decision that she and her then-husband, (record producer) Tommy Mottola, made back in the mid-1990s, that makes her stand out from the rest. By the end of 1993, Mariah Carey had already released three studio albums and had scored several #1 hits such as “Vision of Love”, “Love Takes Time”, “Someday”, “Emotions”, “I’ll Be There”, “Dreamlover”, “Hero” and “Endless Love” (with Luther Vandross). She was one of the biggest music stars of the day. But, like all music stars, in 1993, Carey was faced with deciding what to sing about next. Would she continue to produce radio-friendly Pop gems or would she branch out into something new and become more Hip-Hop oriented or even, join the new trend of electronic dance music? Well, as she was mulling over her career choices, the idea of creating a Christmas album came up. At first, it was dismissed out of hand because no one was writing original Christmas music in those days. It almost seemed silly to have even considered it. But then, as a few more weeks passed, the very reason given for rejecting the idea of a Christmas album (that no one was writing original Christmas songs at that time) turned out to be the exact reason why Mariah Carey came to write “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. She and Mottola identified a hole in the crowded music marketplace and sought to exploit it. So, in the middle of the summer of 1994, Mariah Carey sat down and came up with the song that now defines her. This is the story of how Mariah Carey came to be the biggest selling female artist in Holiday Music history and the second-biggest selling Holiday artist of all-time (next to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”).

When Mariah Carey sat down to write “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, she knew that she wanted to write a song that was not overtly religious nor, a song that was fixated on the ever-increasingly materialistic aspects of the holiday. Many of her hits to date had revolved around the subject of Love and of Romance so, she decided to see if she could make her new song be all about Love. To Carey, the greatest gift anyone could ever give or recieve, is the gift of Love. The notion of it is timeless and transcends all of the commerciality that has come to mark Christmas today. It is, also, a concept that exists beyond the walls of a church. Mariah Carey was a church-goer in her younger days and certainly didn’t want to come across as being anti-religion. Instead, she wanted to create a song that could have meaning to anyone; whether you went to church regularly or not. With the idea of Love being a gift, Mariah Carey had found her way into the song….the rest was just her taking dictation from her talented mind, at that point. She claims that the song was, basically, written in one day and that the musical score was fleshed out over a couple of days after that. ***Just a note for those of you who may listen to this song today….Mariah Carey has a beautiful voice, for sure. One of the ways that she maximizes the use of her voice on her songs is by, quite often, singing the back-up vocals herself and then, recording the main vocals over top of that. The effect of doing that is to expand the range of her voice by, in essence, doubling her voice as it appears in the song. So, whenever you listen to any of her hits, keep an ear out for her voice coming at you from multiple locations.

One of the absolutely brilliant aspects of recording a Christmas song is that Holiday songs return to the airwaves, year after year. Unlike regular songs that get played whenever a new album is released but then, fade into the background after a few months, a song like “All I Want For Christmas Is You” gets played every single year. As a result, the sales figures for the song go up every single year, too. As many music critics have noted, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was one of the first original Christmas songs released in almost half a century and, as such, it had the market pretty much all to itself. Since the mid-1990s, other artists have begun to record new Christmas songs, as well but, none have reached the lofty heights of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey.

So, without further delay, here is the song that has come to be synonymous with Christmas, Mariah Carey’s clever Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Mariah Carey, can be found here.

Thanks, as always, to KEXP, for playing the best music, all year round, including the best of the Holidays, too. The link to their wonderful website can be found here.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #102: He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #102: He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones.

When I was a young boy growing up on Cape Breton Island in the 1970s, one of the big TV shows at the time was The Tommy Hunter Show. Mr. Hunter was a Canadian Country Music star and was one of the most well-known television personalities our country had produced up until that point in time. His show was a musical variety show. Each week he would welcome a veritable whos-who of Country Music royalty from Canada and the United States. It was on The Tommy Hunter Show that I first saw and heard singers like Porter Wagoner, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Glen Campbell, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Roy Clark, Wilf Carter, Ian and Sylvia Tyson and, of course, Canada’s sweetheart, Anne Murray.

But, one of my biggest memories of the show was the saga of George Jones and Tammy Wynette that seemed to play out before my eyes like an afternoon soap opera. I have to be honest and admit that, although Country Music was (and still is) quite popular back home, I was never much of a fan, myself. However, like many impressionable young kids, I watched these two people appear on screen; seemingly so compatible and happy. I heard through the grapevine that Jones was a drinker and that he had been married several times but, he seemed changed, somehow, with Wynette and when she sang, “Stand By Your Man”, that seemed to make complete sense. To my way of thinking at the time, a woman would have to have an awful lot of love and patience to be with someone who may have been an alcoholic. So, when Tammy Wynette looked lovingly at George Jones on The Tommy Hunter Show and sang her hit song, it made her lyrics seem very real. Consequently, a few years later, when their D-I-V-O-R-C-E became final and George Jones appeared on screen singing, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, I knew he was singing about Wynette and, even if he was a drinker, he seemed so heartbroken that you couldn’t help but feel every line in that song.

I guess when you get right down to it, singing songs that touch the hearts of ordinary people is one of the things that makes Classic Country Music so endearing to so many. When we listen to our favourite songs, we often do so because we can relate to the lyrics in some way that makes them seem personal to us. So, when George Jones and Tammy Wynette sang to, and about, each other on TV or on the stages of places like The Grand Ole Opry, it left a lasting impression that remains strong even today.

As it turned out, the song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was rejected by George Jones several times before he ever agreed to record it. Initially, he felt it was too slow and too depressing of a song and that no one would willingly want to hear it. But, after losing his marriage to Tammy Wynette, Jones saw the song in a different light. For those who don’t know the song, it is about a man who is pining away for a lost love and wondering if she ever thinks about him anymore because he still thinks about her every day. Then, life passes by and the man eventually dies and his family and friends are left to wonder if his lost love will come to his funeral. Well, SPOILER ALERT!!!….she does. After all this time, she still thought enough about him to show up for one last goodbye. And, that’s how the song ends.

Well, needless to say, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is a tale well-told, that tugs at the heartstrings of those who hear it. In real life, when Tammy Wynette passed away….even though she and Jones had both re-married others, he attended her funeral and sat near the very front of the church. When Jones passed away a few years ago, fellow Country Music star (and great friend), Alan Jackson sang “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. When he finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church. He stepped away from the microphone with a final, “I Love you, George”, as he wiped away his own tears.

George Jones had the biggest hit of his career with “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. It reached the #1 spot on the charts and has gone on to be hailed as one of the top Country Music songs of all-time. In fact, George Jones holds the distinction of being one of the very few singers, in any genre, to have a #1 hit in six consecutive decades, starting in the 1950s and ending in the 2000s. He was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, as well as, every Country Music Hall of Fame that exists. George Jones may have been married four times and lived a life marked by alcohol abuse but, he remains one of the most beloved people to ever play Country Music. When I think back to those days, sitting in front of the TV, watching The Tommy Hunter Show, one of the things I remember most was how friendly and respectful Jones seemed to be toward Tommy Hunter. I always appreciated that, as a Canadian.

So, wthout further delay, here is the legendary George Jones with one of Country Music’s all-time classic songs, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. Enjoy.

PS: Ironically enough, the video I found was not from the Tommy Hunter Show (because I couldn’t find one from that show) but, it is from another Canadian Country Music show called The Ronnie Prophet Show. Ronnie Prophet opened for George Jones on some of his Canadian tours so, in this clip, George Jones is returning the favour by appearing on Prophet’s show.

The link to the video for the song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones, can be found here.

The link to the official website for George Jones, can be found here.

The link to the video of Alan Jackson singing, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” at George Jones’ funeral, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Alan Jackson, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.