Saturday, August 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: KILLING ME SOFTLY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the August 1st, 2015, smack down of the Battle of the Bands. Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.


I wonder if your voting on Killing Me Softly will be a case of choosing the version with which you grew up. 

For me, it was Roberta Flack, who sang her way to a number one hit in 1973. I heard at the time that the song was about Don McLean of American Pie fame, and no, I don't mean the movie. I also thought that Flack composed the song. 

I was wrong about that. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"'Killing Me Softly with His Song' is a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The song was written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman, who recorded the song in late 1971."

The song is meant to convey the strong reaction Lieberman had when she heard McLean sing. I won't include Lieberman's version here because it might confuse the issue. Let's go straight to the beloved Roberta Flack, who first sang the song live in 1972 when she opened for Marvin Gaye at The Greek Theater.

Flack's version won the 1973 Grammy for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Here's your first option, Roberta Flack:



The song has been covered many times, most successfully in 1996 by by the hip hop group the Fugees, with Lauryn Hill singing the lead. It went to number two in the U.S., and number one in the United Kingdom.

Killing Me Softly was the Fugees' biggest hit. It was on their album, The Score, which won the 1997 Grammy for Best Rap Album. Killing Me Softly won Best R&B performance by a duo or group.

Here's your second option, the Fugees, featuring Lauryn Hill:




Please vote for your preferred version of Killing Me Softly in your comment, and I'll be back on August seventh to tell you the winner. If you express an opinion, but you are not voting, then please say so.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, July 31, 2015

THE CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE: MOM & ME & MOM BY MAYA ANGELOU

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Before I discuss today's book, I have something very important to say:

Happy Birthday, Dr. The Hurricane!

Now it's time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid.


The idea is simple: On the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

My book for this month is Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou. I'm cheating because I didn't finish the book this month. It's been a while since I read it, but I left it sitting out so I could feature a quotation from it on Dr. The Hurricane's birthday.


I was sad when Maya Angelou died, but I was grateful for her extraordinary life and the way she chronicled it in a series of memoirs that began with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I encouraged The Hurricane to read Maya Angelou's books.

Maya's mother, Vivian Baxter, sent Maya and her brother to live with their grandmother when they were young children, leaving Maya with feelings of abandonment. In this book, she describes her relationship with her mother over the years--a relationship that grew into a great love.

Here's the quotation from the book that I dedicate to my darling baby girl:

My mother stopped me and said, "Baby."

I walked back to her.

"Baby, I've been thinking, and now I am sure. You are the greatest woman I've ever met."

She continued. "You are very kind and very intelligent and those elements are not always found together. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, and my mother--yes, you belong in that category. Here, give me a kiss."

The chapter ends with Maya taking in what her mother said to her. She writes: Imagine I might really become somebody. Someday.

Wherever you are today, my baby girl, I send you love, blessings, hugs, and kisses. You are already somebody.

Franklin sends you kisses, too.

Mom & Me & Mom and The Hurricane earn The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. 

I purchased this book on Amazon at http://goo.gl/IOz6JW.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, July 27, 2015

PLEASE VISIT ME AT SHADY DELL MUSIC & MEMORIES

Dear Hearts and Gentle People,

I am not in my bloghouse today. A kind gentleman named Shady Del Knight allowed me to write a guest post for his blog, so I'm at Shady Dell Music & Memories. It's a good thing he lives in Florida. If I had to travel all the way across the country I would get very tired.

Therefore, I ask that you read my inspiring guest post at Shady Dell Music & Memories, and if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, is my advice.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, July 24, 2015

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT MOM DID

Hi! hi hi hihihihihihi, every buddy! It's me! It's me! Franklin the Bordernese. Mom says I am the bee's knees.

I don't know what that means. It sounds kinda silly.



I wrote you won't believe what Mom did, but it's really what Mom didn't do. I always get a biscuit when we go to bed. Sometimes it's on the rug in the bedroom. Sometimes it's on the tile in the bathroom. 

I don't care where it is as long as I get it.

Last night we went to bed, and I could not find my biscuit! Mom actually got in her bed without giving me my biscuit. She was about to put her head on the pillow, and I didn't have my biscuit. I had to stare at her and look all around to show her I didn't have my biscuit. She remembered my biscuit then. It's a good thing she did because I don't sleep well without my biscuit.

Do you know that Middle Child is getting merried? I think that means she'll be happy.

This next part is what Mom wants me to write. She says that on Monday she'll have a guest post on Shady Dell Music & Memories. She hopes lots of people will read the guest post and comment on it, and I will like it if the comments are nice.


Mom might have forgotten my biscuit, but I won't forget to read her guest post on Monday. 

I loves my mom.

Okay I love you bye-bye.


Franklin the Bordernese

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BOTB: A CLEAR WINNER FOR LA VIE EN ROSE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I announce the winner for my recent Battle of the Bands. It's


Celine Dion with twenty-one votes.

Her competitor receives a respectable thirteen votes, including my own:


Thanks for turning into a serious singer, Lady Gaga.

Now, let's enjoy a couple of other versions of La Vie En Rose.

Some of you mentioned Satchmo, so here he is:




Thank you, Louis Armstrong. That was wonderful. We miss you.

Last but never least is the woman who wrote the song and made it her signature tune: The great Edith Piaf.



Thanks for voting! I enjoyed all the battles.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, July 16, 2015

WE MUST EDIT

With Franklin by my side, I edit away. I'm shutting down comments here, but please go to

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: I CAN'T RESIST LA VIE EN ROSE


to vote for Celine Dion or Lady Gaga, if you haven't already voted. 

You have until midnight EST on Monday, July 20th, 2015, to cast your vote.

Woof!
Thanks, Franklin.
I appreciate your assistance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: I CAN'T RESIST LA VIE EN ROSE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the July 15th, 2015, smack down of the Battle of the Bands. Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.

I perused The Huffington Post on July 14th, and there was Lady Gaga singing La Vie En Rose. She dedicated the song to her parents, and said she had always wanted to sing La Vie En Rose while wearing a pink dress made by her sister Natali, a fashion student. This particular performance was at Radio City Music Hall. Lady Gaga has toured with Tony Bennett of late, but here she sings solo:




If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you might recall I am gaga for Gaga, whose parents named her Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. When I first heard about Lady Gaga, I didn't know what it meant. The Hurricane explained to me that Lady Gaga was a singer, but more of a performance artist. When I saw her on TV, I thought she was cool.

Then on the most recent telecast of The Academy Awards, she sang a medley from The Sound of Music, and wowed me with the power, range, and beauty of her voice.

So your first possible choice is Lady Gaga. 

The second is Celine Dion. I am not a Celine fan, but I know many people are. She is French Canadian so the French words and accent come naturally to her. Here's Celine, who is also known for the power, range, and beauty of her voice:



I think I like Celine better when she sings in French. I didn't like that song from the movie Titanic because for months I heard it everywhere I went. Her style was too dramatic for me. She sings in a simpler and more natural style here.

This performance by Celine is a younger version of her on a TV show in Paris during 1993. My ability to read French is rather limited, so I appreciate the subtitled lyrics in English. "I see life in pink" is similar to seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.

I wanted to pit Lady Gaga against the great French singer, Edith Piaf, but when I listened to a recording of her signature song, I felt it wasn't fair to make anyone battle against the Frenchwoman who wrote the song in 1945 and released it as a single in 1947.

We'll listen to Edith another day--perhaps when I announce the results.

Let's recap: The song is La Vie En Rose. Please vote in your comment for Lady Gaga or Celine Dion.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug