Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Full-throated, Robust Baritone

Within Awakenings is a LOT of music and music history. Tomorrow not only begins a new month but is the last month in yet another year. Let's step back in time to some great recording artists and hits that left an indelible mark in the music world, which touched and continues to touch our lives
Special NOTE: At the bottom of the post is a link that goes to the next day's music spotlight. This format will continue to the end of December where it will begin again with the new year.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Today in Music History: December 1, 1966

Pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel, all have unique sounds of their own. Recording artists cross over from one genre to another but not all master multiple genres with No.1 hits. In other words, only a few have sung it all. In today's spotlight is a full-throated, robust baritone who is one such singing legend.


Tom Jones: a Welsh rock, pop, blues and soul singing legend best known as a hit maker over the last five decades in the U.S. and U.K.

Welsh singer Sir Thomas Jones Woodward is best known by his stage name Tom Jones. Emerging from the British Invasion in the mid-1960s Jones became one of the most popular vocalists of the era. Tom Jones began singing at an early age, regularly singing at family gatherings, weddings and in his school choir. At 12 years old, Jones developed tuberculosis. Many years later he said: "I spent two years in bed recovering. It was the worst time of my life." During convalescence he could do little else but listen to music and draw.

Since then he has sung nearly every form of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel – and sold over 100 million records. Jones' bluesy singing style developed out of the sound of American soul music. His early influences included blues and R&B singers.

1966 Tom Jones was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of 'Green Green Grass Of Home'. It stayed at No.1 for seven weeks giving Decca records its first million selling single by a British artist. The song was also a No.1 in Germany for nine weeks and a No.11 hit in the US.
More on this day...

  • 1958 The Teddy Bears were at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘To Know Him is to Love Him'. The title of the Phil Spector song came from words on his father’s tombstone.
  • 1973 The Carpenters went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Top Of The World', their second US No.1, which was also a No.5 hit in the UK. Country singer Lynn Anderson covered the song and her version became her first hit when it reached No.2 on the US country singles charts in mid-1973.

  • 1984 Jim Diamond was at No.1 in the UK singles chart with 'I Should Have Known Better'. The song was displaced after one week by Band Aid's charity single 'Do They Know It's Christmas’. Diamond publicly requested that people not buy his single, but instead buy 'Do They Know It's Christmas’'
  • 1990 Vanilla Ice started a four-week run at No.1 in the UK with the single 'Ice Ice Baby'. The track sampled the bass intro to the Queen and David Bowie No.1 'Under Pressure'. 'Ice Ice Baby' was initially released as the B-side to the rapper's cover of 'Play That Funky Music', and became the A-side after US DJ's started playing it.
  • 1990 Whitney Houston went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I'm Your Baby Tonight', her 8th US No.1 and the first for writers and producers Reid and Babyface.
1987 A Kentucky teacher lost her appeal in the US Supreme Court over her sacking after showing Pink Floyd's film 'The Wall' to her class. The court decided that the film was not suitable for minors with its bad language and sexual content.
1997 Kenny G set a new world record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. (The record has since been broken by Geovanny Escalante, who held a note for 1 hour, 30 minutes and 45 seconds, using a technique that allows him to blow and breathe at the same time).
Beginning the Christmas Spirit...

2008 Wham's 'Last Christmas' was the most played festive track of the last five years. The Performing Right Society put the 1984 hit at the top of their chart of seasonal songs, just ahead of Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas'. The Pogues came third with 'Fairytale of New York', recorded with the late Kirsty MacColl and first released in 1987. Other featured artists include Slade, Mariah Carey and Bruce Springsteen.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...