Hot Days In July

Phew, what a scorcher July was. We had record temperatures in this country, and if anyone has still to be convinced that climate change is real I feel sorry for their stupidity. But it did at least give me a chance to bastardise a song title for my monthly review. So I took that chance! Apart from sweltering, what else did I get up to last month? Well, there are a few things I won’t be mentioning, but as far as my blog is concerned it was, for me, a busy month – with thirteen posts – so there is plenty to cover in this recap.

The first post in July was my reminder of the previous month on my blog, in the imaginatively entitled June. The same old format as usual: links to all I had posted, plus the song which gave the piece its title. I was rather spoilt for choice but chose a lovely little number from Amy Wadge, who I’m guessing most people have never heard of. She has many songwriting credits to her name and makes lovely music of her own, so she is worth following up.

As always, the mainstay of my month was the Tuesday Tunes series, which seems to just run and run! The first of these was Tuesday Tunes 111: Sleep, which featured music by The Beatles, Semisonic, The Pretenders, Melissa Etheridge, Warren Zevon, Aerosmith, Matchbox Twenty, and R.E.M. A pretty good start to the month, I think, and for once they were mostly well known artists.

The three remaining Tuesday Tunes posts for July formed a mini-series around the theme of day. The first of these was Tuesday Tunes 112: Day which brought music from Badfinger, The Kinks, The Levellers, U2, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, and The Hooters. A real mixed bag!

Next up was another imaginative title, in Tuesday Tunes 113: Another Day in which I played music by The Beatles (again), The Kinks (again), Frank Turner, Matchbox Twenty (again), Paul McCartney, Keith Urban, John Mellencamp, and Bruce Springsteen. I seem to have been relying on my favourites for that one!

I closed the month with the third episode, Tuesday Tunes 114: And On The Third Day – at least I put some thought into that one! The tunes were by The Beatles (yup, them), Steve Earle, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen (together), Mary Hopkin, Gerry Rafferty, The Monkees, The Beatles (who?), and I closed with a really beautiful song by Nick Drake.

During June I also started taking part in the Song Lyric Sunday challenge, and have kept that up. I posted every Sunday in July and intend to keep it going. The five July posts, which responded to the theme we were given for each of these weeks, started with Song Lyric Sunday: Something In The Air . We were given the theme of ‘one hit wonders’ and I went all the way back to 1969 for a song by Thunderclap Newman, which was pretty obscure outside the UK. Still a great song, though, with an optimistic message.

The next week’s challenge was to come up with a song which had been rejected by one band but became a hit for another. I went with another from way back when (i.e. 1969), in Song Lyric Sunday: (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice, a song which had originally been turned down by The Tremeloes but gave Amen Corner their first and only UK number one. Again this was one that didn’t do much anywhere outside the UK, but I was on a mini-mission to show North America what it had been missing!

We were next asked to come up with a song that topped the charts: so many to choose from! I carried on with my education for North Americans with a song which only got to #96 in the US but topped the UK charts in early 1975: Song Lyric Sunday: Make Me Smile which those of you from here will probably remember, with its subtitle of ‘Come Up And See Me.’ It was by Steve Harley – the epitome of cool – and his band Cockney Rebel, and contains one of the best acoustic guitar solos I know.

The next challenge was to play a song by a band who never had a number one. There are some surprising candidates for this, and I went with a band who had just the one chart topping album here and in the US (with different albums) but never had a number one single either side of the pond: Song Lyric Sunday: The Who was what I gave you. The featured track was one of their two number two hits, My Generation, and as a bonus I included a link to a wonderful cover version by The Zimmers, which is huge fun and has to be seen to be believed!

Last Sunday, for the final one of the month, I actually went for something much more recent, and by an American band – I didn’t want to typecast myself! The theme we were given was, quite possibly, one of the least inspiring I have ever seen: we were asked to play a song about illness, injury, or scars. Bring forth an outpouring of doom and gloom, and heavy metal songs about dismemberment! But I didn’t go there. Instead I chose Song Lyric Sunday: Her Diamonds, by Rob Thomas, the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, who *may* have got a look in elsewhere last month. If you don’t know the story, do follow the link to the post: it is one of the most inspiring back stories to a song that I know, and its positive message was one that I felt deserved to be heard for that challenge.

That just leaves three July posts to remind you of. Although, as you have probably noticed, I’m not American I have taken in recent years to marking their big day, and did so again this year in Happy Independence Day!🇺🇸. In this, I shared again the post I had given you for 4th July 2021, which included a trailer for the movie The Madness Of King George, and songs by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Shires, Martina McBride, Gretchen Peters, and Bruce Springsteen. I may have to think of something new for next year!

I shared a mental health-themed post last month, for the first time in a while. This was Mad As A Hatter, which was built around a song of that title by the band Larkin Poe. It was written by the sisters who front the band, Rebecca and Megan Lovell, about their paternal grandfather, who suffered from schizophrenia and dementia and the effect this had on them and their family. It is a powerful, moving song and gave me an opportunity to share my own family experience of what is a pernicious illness.

Last, but very far from least, is the post which meant most to me among last month’s offerings. This was An Anniversary, in which I reworked a piece I had originally written in 2016. That was to mark the first anniversary of the passing of my friend, supporter, and muse, Cyd, who was taken from us by brain cancer in 2015 at the age of just 45, and it felt right to mention her memory again for those – just about all of you – who weren’t following my blog back in 2016. This was one of my most viewed and liked posts in July, and it was pleasing to get your response to it. As I said in the piece, we all need a Cyd in our lives!

So, that was my blogging July. I hope this recap has been helpful for you and who knows, you may have found something you missed first time around. All that remains is to give you the song whose title I ‘borrowed’ for this piece. Anyone familiar with my musical tastes will probably have already guessed what it is:

As the video shows, Cold Day In July was a track on The (Dixie) Chicks’ album Fly, released in August 1999. This was a huge success for them, topping both the Billboard Country and mainstream charts, and even managing to get to #38 here in the UK. It has sold more than 10m copies in the US alone. Eight of its tracks were released as singles, including this one: it got to #65 n the main US chart, and #10 on their Country listing, but wasn’t a hit here in the UK. The song was written by Richard Leigh, who has been involved in a number of hit songs, probably the most well known of which is Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, which got to #2 in the US and #5 in the UK for Crystal Gayle.

That’s all for now, folks. See you again soon, I hope. TTFN.

32 thoughts on “Hot Days In July

    • Thank you. It was busy by my standards, though there are many who post much more than I do. I couldn’t do it! I’m glad you enjoyed this piece, and I hope there are some new songs in there that you will like too.

      Like

  1. It is curious how we go through spells where we post more frequently for whatever reason. Perhaps, a bit more inspiration. My wife and celebrated 36 years together, and our son is back on the football field as the student/athletes are on campus in advance of the general student population. Hopefully, August gives you some relief over there. It’s wildfire season for us in California.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is, isn’t it. My own pattern has become more stable over the past couple of years but used to be very erratic! I’m sure we’ll see that happiness in your life reflected in your posts. Fingers crossed for the weather – for both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we’re too late to acknowledge the climate change. When Al Gore first brought this to our attention, people laughed. The weather in the US last entire year was crazy with extreme cold, hurricane, tornado and now heat waves in the north. People started asking Biden to do something. It’s only the beginning of August, my electricity bill is too high already, imagine the rest of the summer.
    You had a busy month, Clive. I’m never tired of the Beetles. Stay cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw a picture on Facebook the other day of a newspaper report saying that we were too dependent on coal and it would affect our climate: it was from 1912! Al Gore was dismissed by many but has been proved right. I just hope that politicians can break their devotion to the vested interests who pay them and actually do something right for a change. Bills are rising rapidly here too, though Russia is due a lot of the blame for that.

      I’m doing my best to withstand the temperatures, but I’ve never been cool in the ‘down with the kids’ sense! You take care too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes you don’t realize how busy you’ve been until you write down a list of all the things that happened. I’d be surprised myself if I did that, too.
    Great (Dixie) Chicks song. My daughter and I attended their FLY concert in our town in 2000. Awesome performance! A bit of name dropping here – we have been friends of Natalie Maines extended family for many years. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew I’d been posting more frequently but the total surprised me! The song was a natural to amend for my title after the weather we’ve been having. I saw The Chicks at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2003, and they were fabulous. The Thorns were their opening act, so that made for an incredible evening all round.

      That is a name worth dropping 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  4. wow – you have been busy Clive! I went back through the posts that had Bruce in it. Lonesome Day is a wonderful song, and that 20-page article on him must have been great. The collaboration with John Mellencamp was phenomenal, that was the first time I had heard that song. On a side note, I have to admit I am a bit bothered by how much Bruce’s concert tickets are going for…

    I also read your post on Cyd. A beautiful essay, and you were lucky to have someone like her in your life. There are many people who have helped me with my blogging over the years, including yourself.

    Reading your post makes me want to start blogging again. I’ve missed the interactions with you, and the new music you would always share. I’m sure you have had some comments on Boris’s resignation that would have been fun to read. I look forward to reading your future posts – I noticed you’ve created a new series. I hope you and your family have been well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jim, great to hear from you again! Pete mentioned to me that you were starting to reappear and I’m glad you’re here again, even if you haven’t restarted your own posts yet (go on, you know you want to!). The article was very good, and I enjoyed reading it. Maybe you can find the magazine online? I completely agree on the Mellencamp collaboration – I hope they do it again. I think a lot of artists will be charging more for live shows now, having been prevented from playing by the pandemic. And poor Bruce must be in dire need of cash, though selling his record rights might have helped put an occasional meal on his table.

      Thank you for your kind comment on the post about Cyd. I still miss her advice, though I try to keep in mind what she told me as I was starting out. I learned from your posts too, and now I come to think of it the cartoon at the top of this piece could have been drawn for you on the days when inspiration was hard to find!

      I hope you do start again, as I always enjoyed our interactions and it hasn’t felt the same without you. Yes, there has been the occasional comment on the Johnson aftermath, mostly along the lines of wondering which incompetent racist the Tories will inflict on us next. The two final candidates both fill me with dread – they don’t have an honest principle between them.

      Do you mean Song Lyric Sunday? It isn’t mine – I just started joining in with it from June after another blogger shared a post for it. It has been fun so far and I seem to get a good response on the posts. Do stick around for those and whatever else turns up here! I reach a milestone next week and am wondering how to mark it.

      All good here thanks. My younger daughter got married a couple of weeks ago: I couldn’t go, due to my mobility issues, but she is very happy and has found herself a good man. I now have a carer in three times a week, and all seems well. I hope all is well with you and yours: it was good to drop in on you when Pete wrote about his visit. Take care, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Clive! It’s good to be chatting with you again. It looks like the SPringsteen article requries a subscription; perhaps in a few months it will be available on line somewhere. I’m glad I’ve seen him perform a few times, and don’t have to pay the exorbitant prices they are charging these days.

        I did see that cartoon, and I thought the same thing – I often had nothing to write about, but it didn’t stop me from blogging!

        It’s a shame that there are no good candidates for your Johnson replacement. I’m starting to feel the same way about our 2024 Presidential election.

        Yes, it was the Song Lyric Sunday that I saw you writing. Sounds like it is right up your alley.

        Congrats on your daughter’s wedding! Glad youa re doing well, we are all doing well here. There is a good chance I will be teaching in London again, starting in January, and lasting for a couple of months. We are quite excited about the possibility.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Likewise! That’s a shame. I don’t subscribe to Mojo, but I get it through an app called Readly, which is only £9.99 a month and gives access to loads of magazines and newspapers. I think it is available over there as there are quite a few American magazines on it, including the likes of Billboard and Rolling Stone. They used to do a free trial so if they still do why not sign up, read the article and then cancel before they charge you! Unless you fancy having lots to read, of course. It’s also on Apple News+ so you could play that game there too! I’ve never seen him play live, and never will now. I almost did many years ago – our ad agency had some tickets for a London show but I wasn’t as pretty as the girl I worked with and who they chose to take with them!

        “If God had intended us to have an election He would have given us a candidate…”

        SLS could have been made for me! If you do return why not give it a try – we’re asked to link back to the host post so you’ll find Jim Adams, who runs it, through my most recent one. This Sunday’s theme is “pets, names, memories” and I’m buggered if I know what to choose for it!

        It will be good for you to get back over here if you can, as I know you enjoyed it before. I would suggest you bring warm clothing for that time of year but the way climate change is going it will probably be 80 in the shade 😊

        Like

Please leave a reply, I'd like to know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.