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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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

♫Pompatus of Love♫

Oftentimes a word appears in the lyrics of a song that definitely allows the melody to flow rhythmically but leaves a questionable thought as to its meaning. More than likely very seldom is the word investigated, one just simply accepts it as part of the song singing along with the tune not giving it another thought. Then, one day someone asks, "What does the word pompatus mean? You know, in the song Pompatus of Love."

Today in Music History: January 12

Welcome into the Spotlight...

Photo: Steve Miller Band Children Of The Future - Capitol 2920.
Released June 1968. L-R top row. Tim Davis and Lonnie Turner.
Bottom Row. Jim Peterman, Steve Miller and Boz Skaggs.

This star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame shines with focus on music encompassing three decades. With a string of mainly mid-70s hit singles, the songs became staples of classic rock radio, as well as several earlier acid rock albums. More importantly is this light hasn't dimmed well into the 21st century.

Steve Miller Band: Call him the Gangster of Love. Call him Maurice. You can even call him the The Joker or Space Cowboy. Everybody knows that Steve Miller speaks the pompatus of love.

Steve Miller's career has encompassed two distinct stages: one of the top San Francisco blues-rockers during the late '60s and early '70s, and one of the top-selling pop/rock acts of the mid- to late '70s and early '80s with hits like "The Joker," "Fly Like an Eagle," "Rock'n Me," and "Abracadabra." The American rock band known as the Steve Miller Band formed in 1966 in San Francisco, California managed by Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals. The Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits 1974-1978, released in 1978, sold over 13 million copies. They continued to produce more albums and in 2016, Steve Miller Band is still going strong touring with the rock band Journey: Steve Miller Band Concert Dates

1974  The Steve Miller Band were at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Joker', the group's first of three No.1's. In 1990, more than 16 years later, it reached No.1 in the UK singles chart after being used in "Great Deal", a Hugh Johnson-directed television advertisement for Levi's, thus holding the record for the longest gap between transatlantic chart-toppers.
Songfacts: The line in this song, "I speak of the pompatus of love," has baffled listeners for some time. Greil Marcus provided the best explanation we've seen in a 2002 article for Los Angeles Magazine titled "In The Secret Country." The word "Pompatus" does exist in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it means "to act with pomp and splendor." Miller most likely heard the word on a song called "The Letter," which was recorded by the Los Angeles Doo-Wop group The Medallions in 1954. It was written by their lead singer Vernon Green, who was 16 at the time and crippled with polio. The song contained these lyrics:
"Let me whisper sweet words of dismortality, and discuss the pompatus of love. Put it together and what do you have? Matrimony."
The Pompatus Of Love is the name of a 1995 movie starring Jon Cryer, and Cryer tracked down Vernon Green to ask him about these lyrics. Green defined "Dismortality" as "Words of such secrecy they could only be spoken to the one you loved" and "Pompatus" as "A secret paper-doll fantasy figure who would be my everything and bear my children."
Memories From the '70s...

  • 1974 Jim Croce started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with You Don't Mess Around With Jim.
    Tidbit of "Don't Mess Around With Jim" Trivia...
    This song was Croce's first single. After several years struggling for success and battling music industry politics, the song got the promotion it deserved when rep at ABC/Dunhill named Matty Singer visited radio stations in the Philadelphia area to promote the song. It got solid airplay and national attention, which was followed by lots of positive press for the album. You Don't Mess Around With Jim wasn't released until nine months after it had been recorded

  • 1975 Barry Manilow - 'Mandy': One week at No.1
    Tidbit of 'Mandy' Trivia...
    The Simpsons parodied this in the episode in which Homer feels torn between his attractive new co-worker (Mindy) and his own wife. They were in a hotel room together, and a turkey slips behind the bed. Later, when Homer brings Marge to the room, he starts singing to her, "Oh, Margie, you came and you found me a turkey."

  • 1976 Barry Manilow - 'I Write The Songs': One week at No.1
    Tidbit of 'I Write the Songs'' Trivia...
    From the liner notes of The Complete Collection And Then Some...: Manilow was originally reluctant to record this song, saying to Arista Records chief Clive Davis, "This 'I Write The Songs' thing Clive, I really don't want to do it." Manilow says his worry "was that the listeners would think I was singing about how "I" write the songs, when it was really about the inspiration of music."
  • 1977 Leo Sayer - 'You Make Me Feel Like Dancing': One week at No.1
    Tidbit of 'You Make Me Feel Like Dancing' Trivia...
    This song has also popped up in the soundtrack to the 2000 film Charlie's Angels, which is based on the TV series. Sayer also performed it for an episode of The Muppet Show, and even re-recorded it with The Wiggles, an Australian group of children's entertainers, for their 2006 DVD of the same title. This is quite a head-spinning fact when you consider that The Wiggles aim themselves at the preschool demographic, while this song is as '70s as a disco ball in bell-bottoms.

  • 1978 Player - 'Baby Come Back': Three weeks at No.1
    Tidbit of 'Baby Come Back' Trivia...
    In 2008, this song made a most improbable comeback when it was used to pitch the Swiffer WetJet, a mop which sprays floor cleaner. The song is used humorously, as the old mops try to win back the housewives who have tossed them out.

1981 It was reported that the White House had expanded its record library by including albums by Bob Dylan, Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

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