Tag Archives: Todd Rundgren

Music on a Monday // 1974 was a very good year

Yes, a very good year, indeed!

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I have a spreadsheet in the music file on my desktop called “Best Songs.”  I have listed hundreds of songs and the artists’ who sang them, the songs that collectively make up the melody of my life, tracking every possible emotion and moment in time.  Each song represents an era or strong memory.  Some are great, really noteworthy songs and some weren’t that special to anyone else, but they make me happy and stir up a wonderful concoction of highly-desirable happy-neurotransmitters for my brain.

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Everytime I randomly recall a portion of a song I have ever fancied, I throw it on the list.  And when I put the title there, despite the fact that I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, I can remember where I was, what I was doing and who else was there when I heard it playing on the radio so many years ago.  Going over the list a few months back, I realized that there were an inordinate amount of songs from 1974, when I was 14 and attending Harding Junior High in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

1974, ahhh the 70s…

Who can know the mind of a fourteen year old girl?  She is silly and coming alive.  She is crushing and seriously in love with love.  She is forward-looking for the amazingly gorgeous hunk who will arrive and sweep her off her feet and they will dance to the romantic hits of the early 70s ~ forever.  *smile

Oh, my.  Yes, 1974 was a very romantic and good year for all that.  “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by the Stylistics (my FAV group at the time) was at the top of my own personal hits list.  And John Denver singing “Sunshine on My Shoulders” or “Annie’s Song” (You fill up my senses like night in a forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain…” swoooooon) just got me looking for some one to sing like that to me.  And wasn’t Olivia Newton-John just communicating what my silly-little-heart wanted to pour out to some unknown lover “I honestly…{wait for it}…love you“?  Oh yes, she was!

But 1974 also had some way light-hearted songs that are etched into my memory, like “My Girl Bill,” by Jim Stafford, considered pretty hilarious at the time, I think now would not get any play at, as politically incorrect as it may come across.  Of course, “Seasons in the Sun,” so melodramatically captured our emotional fancies.  And Ray Stevens was even able to turn the streaking fad into a hit single with “The Streak.”  Songs like that preserve history with humor.

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All in all, 1974 was a full-on chorus of melodies and lyrics that really have become “golden” if you’re talking oldies.

I made my list of my top, favorite LOVE-these-1974-songs, and there were about 50.  So, I was forced to edit myself to try to get the list to 20…or 25…and really truly rank them and am listing only my REALLY-SUPER-TOP-FAVORITE-1974 SONGS.  And oh, they just keep jumping past the count-barrier…Numbers 1-7 are probably in order of my TOP favorites, but the rest, just LOVE them all!!!  I have created a YouTube Playlist (for my own fun) that you may feel free to enjoy.  :)  And how could you not?  Enjoy it, I mean. Sooooooooo good!!!

1.  You Make Me Feel Brand New, The Stylistics

They sing “God bless you” in this song, which, preacher’s daughter that I was, gave it extra cachet with me.

2.  Hello, It’s Me, Todd Rundgren

Hello, Todd!  Riding the bus home after school…hoping that guy would call me…This song makes so many of my playlists, it’s ridiculous.  Love.

3.  Best Thing that Ever Happened to me, Gladys Knight and the Pips

This song is just high-quality classic.  I sang it to Dave just after our first anniversary.  He didn’t even know it before then.  Can you imagine?  Not knowing every Gladys-song???  He appreciates it now.

4.  Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Elton John

I wasn’t supposed to be listening to “secular music” but I convinced my mom this was based on the scripture “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath” and so she supported me listening to it as she drove me here and there.  And she used it as a teaching moment, the opportunity to present a devotional about never going to bed angry.  Oh, mamala, :)

Didn’t this song get even better when he sang it with George Michael in the 90s?  Just a good song.

5.  I Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton

Until Whitney Houston took this song to super-hit status for the film, Bodyguard, in 1992, it was not known quite as widely.  However, I like to think I know a good song when I hear it and I loved this song in 1974 even though I was certainly too young to even understand the full-on passion of it.  The song itself has always-always-always been one of my all-time favorites, and as for Dolly – I like it best of all her work.

5.  Sunshine on My Shoulders, John Denver  —  Annie’s Song, John Denver

Yes, I am cheating.  There are 2.  “Sunshine” was the theme for a movie which was a 1000-level *sniffer based on the true story of a dying mom leaving cassette recorded messages for her baby girl since she wouldn’t be there to raise her.  “If I had a day I could to give you…”  Ah, gentle and sweet!  As for “Annie’s Song,” she was John Denver’s wife, and I have never understood how she could FILL all his senses and then he could divorce her?  But really-check out the words and imagine being in the mountains of Colorado which is what he depicted, and beau-ti-ful!

6.  You’re Having My Baby, Paul Anka  —  One Man Woman/One Woman Man

And I am cheating again.  Two songs for the continually prolific singer/songwriter, Paul Anka, who’d actually started charting hits as far back as when my mom was a teenager.   He hit a whole new audience in the early 70s and his songs were just so singable.  Duets.  I love duets.  I want to sing with all the great people.  Maybe Paul Anka will come to town and call me from the audience to sing with him?  I am ready Paul, for both of these songs!  The show, Glee, covered “You’re Having My Baby” a couple years back.  Slightly less “innocent” version.

7.  I Honestly Love You, Olivia Newton-John  —  If You Love Me, Let me Know, Olivia Newton-John

Omygosh, I cannot be trusted.  Here I am trying to shorten the list and now I have given Olivia Newton-John two songs on my list.  Well, some of these people were just hitting their stride that year, obviously.  My hands are tied.

8.  Seasons in the Sun, Terry Jacks

A dying friend is traumatic for a young, teen girl.  Add that the song was French. Bon!  Tres bon!

9.  Rock and Roll Heaven, The Righteous Brothers

“Helluva” band in said rock-n-roll heaven.  My parents would not have been happy.  But these guys sang with such great passion.

10.  Takin’ Care of Business, Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Driving to youth camp, windows down.  Fun to sing and easy to dance to.  Which I was not allowed to do. Haha.

11.  Billy, Don’t be a Hero, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods

Two words: Bill Roby.  I was fourteen and crushing on the class president like crazy  (he wore size 13 shoes, mine were size 6 and only went to his instep…I know this for we compared them) and a song with his name?  Come on!  Doesn’t matter how lightweight it may have been, it HAS to make my list.

12.  Rock and Roll Baby, The Stylistics

Such a Stylistics fan!  I wanted to have one (a rock-n-roll baby)  and I got him: Rocky!

13.  Then Came You, Dionne Warwick and the Spinners

I really loved early 70s soul music, or rhythm and blues.  Yet Dionne was a classy pop singer.  The  mix makes this song easy and fun to sing along. Happy day.

14.  Good-bye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John

Debating the meaning of lyrics ws a fun thing in the 70s.  I am not at all sure what they meant, but you can’t plant me in your penthouse, doggone it!  Don’t even try.

15.  Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd

The Harding Keys even performed this.  They were the dancing-singing early 70s version of Glee Club.  They wore white and chartreuse and were probably just opposite of Lynyrd Skynyrd.  But this song is just so much fun to sing.  I taught it to my kids blasting it on the very good and loud limo stereo in the early 90s.  I am now singing it with my grandkids.  Because it is a song that gets better with age.

16.  Honey Honey, Abba

The lyrics make me blush now, sure.  But then, it was just fun.  “I feel like I wanna sing when you do your thing…”

17.  Angie Baby, Helen Reddy

Oh, how mysterious.

18.  Bennie and the Jets, Elton John

Elton was just prolific!  I remember the girls locker room after PE, all of us sining away getting ready for the next class.

19.  A Love Song, Anne Murray

My dad actually introduced me to Anne Murray, and she, like Karen Carpenter before her, sang in my range. One of the greatest voices ever.

20.  Please Come to Boston, Dave Loggins

Passionate pleading.  Please-please-please come here!  This minute!!!

21.  I Love, Tom T. Hall

I wasn’t really able to admit to liking anything country at that time (how uncool it might seem), but this song crossed over, so it was sort of OK.  I love it way more today than then, because now I have experienced some life and he is really right about all the things there are to love. And I love country.  So, there.

22.  Come Monday, Jimmy Buffet

Spring.  Slight breeze…I recall an outdoor art class painting project and this song.

23.  Cat’s in the Cradle, Harry Chapin

The singer-songwriter, thought-provoker-type was waning to a degree (following the folk songs that had shaped social thought in the late 60s), but this one was too powerful to ignore.

24.  The Streak, Ray Stevens

People just got naked and ran through public places and events.  Scandulous!  Ray Stevens gave us an historical and humorous song to remember it by.

25.  Until You Come back to Me (that’s what I’m gonna do), Aretha Franklin

Aretha!  Come on – “Though you don’t call me anymore, I sit and wait in vain…” because every 14-year-old girl was waiting the THE call!  :)

26.  Midnight at the Oasis, Maria Muldaur

I didn’t know what it meant, but it sounded a little naughty.  But you know, Cactus is our friend.  {???}

There.  I have tempered all I can possibly temper.  And if you count accurately, there may or may not be 29  (30?) songs in actuality…

OH, WAIT!!!  I just realized I failed to include Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot //  Rock Me Gently, Andy Kim  //  The Air that I Breathe by The Hollies // or The Night Chicago Died, Paper Lace (which my own kids love).  Oh, forget it.  1974 was just an incredible year for music that moved me. 

Here is the playlist, you can listen to it all. or pick and choose.

Dang it!  How can I not add “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” Jim Croce?  And I was not allowed to like Mac Davis’ “One #### of a Woman,” but I actually sort of did/do.  :)

Notably: at least 4 songs from my Telephone-Songs Playlist were from 1974, which may or may not have been a telephone high-usage year for me.

Oh, yes:

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 True story.  Which ones do you love with me???



Music on a Monday // Echo-Valley 26809, I used to call that number…

Before Lady Gaga hit the radio airwaves with her, “Telephone,”  and long before “Call Me, Maybe” was all the trendy, silly rage,  I loved and sang-along on songs about telephones and phones calls and calling some one or getting a call.  I know, I know – you’re thinking Jeanie never answers her phone.  Ok.  I am not a phone person (grrr), but I love the songs about phone calls.  That counts, yes?

“When I call you up, your line’s engaged.  I have had enough, so act your age!”  -The Beatles.  And in my head, Anne Murray.

This list of mine is in no way exhaustive.  It is just most of the ones I have liked over the years.  If you know more, tell me, though.  Maybe I missed some that I totally LOVE.  However, for instance, Reba Mcentire had one that would have worked, but I just didn’t even like it.  So, some are missing because they just don’t belong on my list.

This is just my little list. Of TWENTY-FIVE {25} songs…

Favorites are***…there are 10 of them.

266-7121, my York Street phone number in Des Moines, Iowa in the 1960s.  There are numbers I NEED to know now, but have no brain-space for – because stuff like this is rattling around.

Songs in which telephone calls are made, referenced, desired or hung up on.  In no particular order – just how they came to me.  Click. 

***Echo Valley 26809 by The Partridge Family.

Echo Valley 26809, I used to call that number all the time

But the last time that I called you, we hung up cryin’

This is the song that kicked this post into being.  I was listening to one of their old albums and just remembered how thoroughly, romantically swishy (is that a word?) I had been as a young girl in the early 70s when I’d hear this song on the radio.  When it got to the part where David Cassidy actually, longingly and sweetly spoke, “Operator, can you connect me with Echo-Valley 26809?”  Swoooooooooooooon.

That cruel, cold operator answered him “You have reached a disconnected number.”  How could she? [just after 2:00 on the vid]

Oooooooooh poor David.  Here is MY number, David Cassidy – you can call me {is what all of us little bubblegum-pop girlies were thinking, yes we were!}.  Enjoy!

Sylvia’s Mother by Dr Hook

This song was actually playing around the same time as Echo Valley 26809 and was much more raw and agonizing.  “And the operator says 40-cents more for the next 3 minutes...”  Man, that Sylvia’s mother was a tough cookie!

I did not know until I went looking for a Youtube on this song that the lyrics were by Shel Silverstein and that there really was a “Sylvia’s mother.”  Haha.  Those guys look 1972-stoned!

***Hello, It’s Me by Todd Rundgren

Like x 1000, LOVE this song!  This song was the bus-ride home from Harding Junior High, school year 73-74.  It was Todd’s only big hit.  Technically, no one ever says it is a telephone conversation, but I always imagined it was.

Hello, it’s me

I’ve thought about us for a long, long time

Maybe I think too much but something’s wrong

There’s something here that doesn’t last too long

Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine


***Nobody by Sylvia

Speaking of Sylvia – We lived in Kokomo (youth pastors at Central C of G 1981-85) when this local-Kokomo-girl-gone-Nashville hit it big with this song.  What a clever play on words. Reminds me of early marriage, a red Honda Prelude with a sun roof, and a sweet bunch of kids we got to hang out with.

Well your nobody called today – she hung up when I asked her name

Well I wonder does she think she’s being clever.

You say nobody’s after you – the fact is what you say is true

But I can love you like nobody can, even better


***Ain’t No Mountain by Diana Ross

It was a beloved old song by then and had been recorded by many people, but when she sang this in Central Park in the early 80s, with her big white fur cuffs and just belted this out for what seemed like an eternity, when she made this strong promise of undying love and help that she would give no matter what –  well, I knew I wanted to be Diana Ross.  This song deeply inspired and characterizes my deep belief that your love for your people should be able to overcome any possible obstacle you are facing – just call me.  If it is within my power to do so – I will move mountains. This is an anthem, my creed.

Listen, baby, ain’t no mountain high

Ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough, baby

If you need me, call me, no matter where you are

No matter how far, don’t worry, baby

Just call my name, I’ll be there in a hurry

You don’t have to worry…

Ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me from getting to you!


You Don’t Have to Tell Me (The Partridge Family)

Why a Partridge Family song {again}?  Really?  Do you need to ask me that?

You don’t have to tell me who’s been knockin’ down your door

It’s not the first time, no, we’ve been there before

I only called you to let you know I haven’t seen you and I miss you so


***Hello Again by Neil Diamond

Hello again, hello

Just called to say ‘hello’

I couldn’t sleep at all tonight

And I know it’s late

But I couldn’t wait


Hello, my friend, hello

Just called to let you know

I think about you every night

When I’m here alone

And you’re there at home


Please just tell me you revere his voice and lifetime of work as much as me or get the heck off my blog.  I LOVE him.

He has written and sang some of the best songs ever.  This one?  Maybe Neil’s best, although, it is hard to make a decision when I visit his website and go through his songs.  It’s tough to make a definitive choice {click here to see what I mean}.  If this blog post was not about to be so long, I would put the whole song here.

***The One You Love by Glen Frey

Tragic.  In this scenario, the phone call is causing pain to Glen Frey.  Glen Frey, people!  This was during his solo career before hell actually froze over and the Eagles reunited and then kept reuniting when they found out that icy or hot, they could make truckloads of money as The Eagles, which is a good thing.  But during their hot “separation,” Glen was my fav.  For the lovers….

I heard you on the phone

You took his number

Said you weren’t alone, but you’d call him soon

Isn’t he the guy

The guy who left you crying

Isn’t he the one who made you blue


***I’d Really Love to see You Tonight, England Dan and John Ford Coley

This is a windows down on a mild summer night , teen-age girl kind of riding around singing song.

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.

Not much, how ’bout you?

I’m not sure why I called,

I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.

And I was thinking maybe later on,

We could get together for a while.

It’s been such a long time,

And I really do miss your smile…

I’d really love to see you tonight.

Yes, I left out the part that he wasn’t interested in a real relationship.  Because teen-age girls {stupidly} do that.  1976.  This song takes me back.

Telephone Line  ELO

This great song comes with all the dial-tones and the anticipation and sound of a person on the other end of a land-line, people!  History!

Hello?  How are you?  have you been alright?

All those lonely-lonely-lonely-lonely nights?

What can I say?  I’d tell you everything

If you’d pick up that telephone


Ring Ring by Abba

I was sitting by the phone I was waiting all alone

Baby by myself I sit and wait and wonder about you…

Ooooh, ring-ring.  Why don’t you give me a call?

It was just the Abba era.  Otherwise I probably would never have liked this.  But Abba music had its’ time!

I Just Called to Say I Love You  by Stevie Wonder

Happy.  “I just called to say ‘I love you’.”  How can you go wrong with a phone call like that?

Call Me by Debra Harry/Blondie

There are other Blondie songs I like way more.  But “call me any-anytime, call me” is fun to sing.


***+***Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell

A song about a telephone line installer // Is there actually a more beautiful song and sentiment than this?  This song contains one of those rare lyric-matches-melody-and-you-know-it-came-by-divine-inspiration moments.  I just think there are some songs that have within them sacred, breathtaking phrases and tunes that marry, indelible {indelible!} seconds of consummated musical magic.  This has one of those phrases:

And I need you more than want you

And I want you for all time

And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line


Ricki Don’t Lose My Number by Steely Dan

Harding Junior High.  Again.  I almost left this off, but when I re-listened to the percussion and all the instruments – just very classic.

Happy Together by The Turtles

Well-known 1960s song, the lyric of which is quite dated by that “investing a dime” on a call reference.  Those were the days.

Hey remember when you could actually use a payphone without fear of contracting a life-threatening disease?

If I should call you up, invest a dime

And you say you belong to me and ease my mind

Imagine how the world could be, so very fine

So happy together

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life


Call Me by Petulia Clark

I think I really started liking this 60s easy-listening tune when Billy Crystal was trying to reach Meg Ryan in the 1980’s blockbuster, When Harry Met Sally.  She wouldn’t answer him so he left cute messages on her machine, “Call me, don’t be afraid to just ‘phone moi,'” he personalized the lyrics.  :)

***You Won’t See Me by Anne Murray

The queen of my vocal range remade this Beatles tune.

Pennsylvania 6-5000 by Glenn Miller

Fun song from the WWII era.  I love how the image on the vid is a phone.  :)  I can remember, even looking at this now, the feeling of my fingertip dialing a rotary….

Jim Croce’s Operator (That’s not the Way it Feels)

He is just calling to tell his old girl who is with his ex-best-friend that he is ok with it.  But, that is not the way it feels.

Operator, well could you help me place this call?

Well, I can’t read the number that you just gave me.

There’s something in my eyes, you know it happens every time

I think about a love that I thought would save me.


***I’ll have to say I Iove you in a song by Jim Croce

Well, I know it’s kind of late

I hope I didn’t wake you

But what I got to say can’t wait

I know you’d understand

Every time I tried to tell you

The words just came out wrong

So I’ll have to say I love you in a song

Well, if you are going to call me so late, please do sing me a song.  Jim Croce just effortlessly, masculinely, yet tenderly delivered his urgent message of love that could not be contained until morning.

I Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now

Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now

And I don’t know how I can do without

I just need you now

Dave made a video of pictures of us for me using this song a couple of years ago.  He told me to watch it every night while I was on an extended trip and I thought it was so sweet.  Then Tredessa told me it was a “booty call” song.  Has changed it for me ever since.  But I still think of it sweetly.  ;).

Party for Two by Shania Twain and Billy Currington

This one is probably the most annoying of them all and all I can say is even though I don’t want to sing it and it technically doesn’t mention a phone call, I made the unfortunate mistake of watching the video when it first came out and it was just so pretty (chalk drawings, swinging chandeliers, a garden lit up at night) I could not resist.  And, in the vid, they are talking on the phone.  That is how the invite came;

It doesn’t matter what you wear

‘Cause it’s only gonna be

you and me there (Whoa!)

So, even when Shania does that ridiculous “Whoooooooooooooa” sliding thing she does, I am all in.  I am actually wishing the whole time that Billy really will stand strong against her bold advances, but we all know it’s Shania.  Resistance will be futile…


Call Me by Aretha Franklin

When this came out, I was just a little girl, way too naive to get the intense passion for her “baby-baby-baby-baby-baby,” but Aretha?  Wonderful.

Baby will you call me the moment you get there?

Because you’re taking me with you

And I’m keeping you right here in my heart


Alone by Heart

This is one of the few 1980s songs I remember.

I hear the ticking of the clock

I’m lying here the room’s pitch dark

I wonder where you are tonight

No answer on the telephone

And the night goes by so very slow

Oh I hope that it won’t end though


Till now I always got by on my own

I never really cared until I met you

And now it chills me to the bone

How do I get you alone

These are my 25…with my fav 10…

The full playlist may be enjoyed {click} H E R E!

 O and…ONE LAST SONG:  Weird, but true.  I obviously put this post together over the weekend.  My plan was just to hit the publish button this morning.  I woke up with “I’ve Just Got to Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees on my mind, which is weird because I love the Bee Gees, but that really isn’t a song of theirs I have ever liked that much.   So just for fun (and because I was singing it and realized I knew very few of the words and that vexes me), I googled the lyric and guess what???

The preacher talked to me and he smiled,

Said, come and walk with me, come and walk one more mile.

Now for once in your life you’re alone,

But you ain’t got a dime, there’s no time for the phone.


Ive just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.

One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on.

It shows your brain knows stuff you are wholly unaware of .  Show off.

Adding it to the playlist. Now there are 26…

The Best of Badfinger

I know you will find this hard to believe, but I didn’t really know what this band’s name meant when I was a kid.  I thought some one had a “bad finger,” as in a bum digit.  Hahaha.  Yes.  I have to laugh at myself.  Innocent little preacher’s daughter.

They had some great early 70s stuff.  As Guini would say, “That’s just some rock. and. roll!”

These are the ones I really liked waaaaaaaaaaaay back when.

Baby Blue 1972

They have actually disabled the embeddable version of this, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go listen to it via this link, because it is my FAVORITE one!


Day after Day 1971

This song was produced by George Harrison (apparently the Beatles were the first to sign and mentor Badfinger) and Todd Rundgren, who, by the way, sings one of my for-all-times favorites, “Hello, It’s Me.”  AND he was in the American Idol audience this past week, yes, he was!

No Matter What

Without You

Harry Nillson covered this and it went to #1.  Then everybody else in the world, including Mariah Carey and Celine Dion did, too.  It is a great song and Badfinger wrote and performed it first.  Then they were tragic.  Their main talent killed himself in the 70s and a few years later, in the early 80s, the band member who had founf him did the same.  Tragic.  Talented.  Sad.

Then there is just the love of the music they made that a dumb little girl, 12 or 14 – and now old enough to really understand, loves still, for the innocence it reflects in her heart.

BONUS, baby!  Here is some Todd.  Hello, It’s Me!