Season 580 "69 & 70"

Barbablanca

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Hi there and welcome to Season 580 of the Ukulele.

I am afraid it has been a sad few days for us: my father-in-law, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the last three years, died on Wednesday and we have been very busy with funeral arrangements etc. since then. To make matters worse, my mother -in-law is back in hospital with heart problems and was not allowed out to go to the funeral. I very nearly requested a substitution as host. But now, after the funeral, I want to try and get back to some kind of normality.

So, the theme of Season 580 is "69 & 70"

This week I can no longer pretend I am still a young man. I am going to be 69 on the 31st March and will be entering my 70th year. Now, way back in 1969 I was fifteen and for me this was the first year in a golden age of singer-songwriters. Previous to this time, particularly in 1967 and 1968, singer songwriters' songs had been burdened with heavy arrangements with lots of brass and orchestras, etc. (Think Cat Stevens' "Mathew & Son" for example). But in 1969 (and into 1970 and beyond) more and more songwriters started to draw back from such arrangements and put out albums in which the human voice and a single instrument were the norm. This put all of the emphasis on the song and was to be a massive influence on me. I started writing my own songs in this period and have never stopped since.

So, for all of you who like to record covers for the Seasons I am asking you to do a song from any singer-songwriter who was largely famous for playing one instrument and writing songs that were issued in 1969 or 1970. The list is huge, but the main exponents were Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Melanie, Leonard Cohen, Carol King, Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, Dory Previn, John Martyn, Paul Simon and a host of others. Feel free to add songwriters of the period whose names I might not be so familiar with, but who you love.

I will also include in this list tracks from solo albums by members of super groups such as Crosby, Stills Nash and Young that were put out in those years.

For the songwriters, my birthday treat for you is a FREE LUNCH. I'd like you to post songs you have written that you never thought fit a particular theme of the seasons and so have never submitted them. This is your chance to dig through your back catalogue and give us a chance to hear gems that have never fitted any of the varied themes we have had over these 580 weeks. Or else a chance to offer us more recent songs that you have been keen to show off, but that haven't fit recent Seasons themes.

If you'd like to write an entirely new song for this week - then please feel free to write a song inspired by the title of the week "69 & 70".

Most of the usual rules apply:

The video must be newly recorded for this Season, though Rob may submit earlier recordings.

The video must say that it is for SOTU 580 "69-70"

And FOR THIS WEEK ONLY I'd like to hear JUST YOU and YOUR UKULELE, rather than multi-tracking vocals and/or other instruments. To recreate a bit more of that 69-70s Songwriter vibe.

If you choose to submit an original song, please post the lyrics so we can all read them whilst you croon.

Videos must be posted to this thread. But not before midnight on the 25th March, Hawaiian time, in keeping with tradition. (And remember, Season 579 is still in action!)

The Season lasts for 8 days, and ends at midnight Hawaiian time on Sunday April 2nd.

For now I ask you to limit to the number of videos you can submit to ONE a day. This limit may be lifted (or even sharpened up) depending on the state of health of my Mother in Law.



LINK to the PLAYLIST
 

Hi there and welcome to Season 580 of the Ukulele.

I am afraid it has been a sad few days for us: my father-in-law, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the last three years, died on Wednesday and we have been very busy with funeral arrangements etc. since then. To make matters worse, my mother -in-law is back in hospital with heart problems and was not allowed out to go to the funeral. I very nearly requested a substitution as host. But now, after the funeral, I want to try and get back to some kind of normality.

So, the theme of Season 580 is "69 & 70"

This week I can no longer pretend I am still a young man. I am going to be 69 on the 31st March and will be entering my 70th year. Now, way back in 1969 I was fifteen and for me this was the first year in a golden age of singer-songwriters. Previous to this time, particularly in 1967 and 1968, singer songwriters' songs had been burdened with heavy arrangements with lots of brass and orchestras, etc. (Think Cat Stevens' "Mathew & Son" for example). But in 1969 (and into 1970 and beyond) more and more songwriters started to draw back from such arrangements and put out albums in which the human voice and a single instrument were the norm. This put all of the emphasis on the song and was to be a massive influence on me. I started writing my own songs in this period and have never stopped since.

So, for all of you who like to record covers for the Seasons I am asking you to do a song from any singer-songwriter who was largely famous for playing one instrument and writing songs that were issued in 1969 or 1970. The list is huge, but the main exponents were Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Melanie, Leonard Cohen, Carol King, Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, Dory Previn, John Martyn, Paul Simon and a host of others. Feel free to add songwriters of the period whose names I might not be so familiar with, but who you love.

I will also include in this list tracks from solo albums by members of super groups such as Crosby, Stills Nash and Young that were put out in those years.

For the songwriters, my birthday treat for you is a FREE LUNCH. I'd like you to post songs you have written that you never thought fit a particular theme of the seasons and so have never submitted them. This is your chance to dig through your back catalogue and give us a chance to hear gems that have never fitted any of the varied themes we have had over these 580 weeks. Or else a chance to offer us more recent songs that you have been keen to show off, but that haven't fit recent Seasons themes.

If you'd like to write an entirely new song for this week - then please feel free to write a song inspired by the title of the week "69 & 70".

Most of the usual rules apply:

The video must be newly recorded for this Season, though Rob may submit earlier recordings.

The video must say that it is for SOTU 580 "69-70"

And FOR THIS WEEK ONLY I'd like to hear JUST YOU and YOUR UKULELE, rather than multi-tracking vocals and/or other instruments. To recreate a bit more of that 69-70s Songwriter vibe.

If you choose to submit an original song, please post the lyrics so we can all read them whilst you croon.

Videos must be posted to this thread. But not before midnight on the 25th March, Hawaiian time, in keeping with tradition. (And remember, Season 579 is still in action!)

The Season lasts for 8 days, and ends at midnight Hawaiian time on Sunday April 2nd.

For now I ask you to limit to the number of videos you can submit to ONE a day. This limit may be lifted (or even sharpened up) depending on the state of health of my Mother in Law.



LINK to the PLAYLIST
So sorry to hear that you and your Family are having such a difficult time, Berni! I hope this week will provide some distraction for you; it's a great theme and phew .... we don't necessarily HAVE to write an original!
 
Super intro and theme, Berni, thank you so much for stepping up to host, especially in your current circumstances. I hope, well, I'm sure, the week will be a distraction full of great music - what a wonderful era you've picked for us for covers, and a great challenge for songwriters too.
 
Happiest of birthdays under trying circumstances, Berni. Love you, man.

Fine theme for a season.
 
So sorry to hear about your family's challenges and loss, Berni. Hugs and ukulele love from all of us to all of you. 💕
And happy birthday!

I picked this one because I got a point for my trivia team last week by instantly recognizing the first beats of the opening riff to "Spirit in the Sky" and confidently blurting out "Norman Greenbaum!" before the triviamaster had even asked the question ("Who's the artist?"). And of course no one on my team of Aussies believed that that could possibly be the right answer ... and of course it is!

An acoustic guitar singer-songwriter from this exact period, Norman Greenbaum was (and still is, at 80) an observant Jew, and a dairy farmer, who recognized a good opportunity when he thought of it, and quickly penned what became his one huge hit, an odd but epic kind of jangly rock gospel song that is still popular today (and, apparently, from the many comments on YouTube, played at heaps of funerals).

I was a kid in 1969-70, and I remember this song well. I loved it then and still do, even more so now that I know its backstory.

I wore my hair long in front and my dark glasses as a kind of homage to Norman Greenbaum.

He's known as a one-hit wonder, but he actually had a second hit soon after called "Canned Ham", also in 1970. The original demo of "Spirit in the Sky", before the studio made him add the iconic fuzzy electric guitar and backup singers, was just him and his acoustic guitar, totally in the spirit of your theme, Berni, and is on Norman's YouTube channel, so I've added that for fun and context, plus video of the recorded hit featuring Norman.


 
Hi Berni, so very sorry to hear about your families hardships... I recently lost my step-mother and am still grieving. I do love your theme this week, it is the era in which I really feel in love with music and began playing the guitar, mostly due to the influence of Carole King, James Taylor, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. I have not entered in the Seasons for a few years.... but I will really try to do a song this week.... also in thanksgiving for how these singer/songwriters changed my life.
 
And we are off... and first out of the gate, like in the old times, is Brian (Pabrizzer) with a hard hitting song about hypocrisy and not living up to your ideals. A plea for a more humane attitude towards refugees.

Close on Brian's hooves comes Caledonian Rob of Finland with one of my favourite songs by Leonard Cohen, given the full "Old Gardener Guy" treatment.

Hot on their heels comes Wendy with a spirited take on the Norman Greenbaum classic: "Spirit in the Sky".

Val shot onto the straight combining two of my loves from that period A.A. Milne and Melanie. What a memory shake up that was. I had entirely forgotten that track from the album.

Gaining ground with me for a lovely version of Cat Steven's "Wild World" comes Bystander. Not content to live up to his name on this one he offers us some worldly advice on life.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts too people! ❤
 
Thanks for hosting Bernie! Very sorry to hear about your loss and the health challenges Your mother-in-law is facing.

I'm about to turn 60 which is a big number, and I never expected to be here at this age. Just doing my best to cherish the days that remain!

This is such an excellent theme for my taste! I hope I can make the time to bring one with Jon this week, as I am sure this one resonates with him as well!

I was feeling pretty exhausted after getting hardly any sleep last night and getting up early to set up for and perform at an outdoor Kite Festival today. My friend Bob carpooled with me, and when we got back, he got word he needed to pick up a family member from the airport. So he had about 30 minutes to burn and we worked up this arrangement and had just enough time to down a shot of tequila grab a single take of this fine fine tune from a favorite of mine, Gordon Lightfoot ~

 
Cheers Berni. Best wishes in this tough week. Like you I'm a bit of an insomniac. But when I sleep I dream. It's nearly always the same theme. I'm supposed to be somewhere, do something but events conspire to stop it happening (no Freudian or even Jungian frustration analysis please :).
This original kind of skirts that territory in a bit of a wayfaring stranger way. Lyrics on tube.
 

Hi there and welcome to Season 580 of the Ukulele.

I am afraid it has been a sad few days for us: my father-in-law, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the last three years, died on Wednesday and we have been very busy with funeral arrangements etc. since then. To make matters worse, my mother -in-law is back in hospital with heart problems and was not allowed out to go to the funeral. I very nearly requested a substitution as host. But now, after the funeral, I want to try and get back to some kind of normality.

So, the theme of Season 580 is "69 & 70"

This week I can no longer pretend I am still a young man. I am going to be 69 on the 31st March and will be entering my 70th year. Now, way back in 1969 I was fifteen and for me this was the first year in a golden age of singer-songwriters. Previous to this time, particularly in 1967 and 1968, singer songwriters' songs had been burdened with heavy arrangements with lots of brass and orchestras, etc. (Think Cat Stevens' "Mathew & Son" for example). But in 1969 (and into 1970 and beyond) more and more songwriters started to draw back from such arrangements and put out albums in which the human voice and a single instrument were the norm. This put all of the emphasis on the song and was to be a massive influence on me. I started writing my own songs in this period and have never stopped since.

So, for all of you who like to record covers for the Seasons I am asking you to do a song from any singer-songwriter who was largely famous for playing one instrument and writing songs that were issued in 1969 or 1970. The list is huge, but the main exponents were Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Melanie, Leonard Cohen, Carol King, Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, Dory Previn, John Martyn, Paul Simon and a host of others. Feel free to add songwriters of the period whose names I might not be so familiar with, but who you love.

I will also include in this list tracks from solo albums by members of super groups such as Crosby, Stills Nash and Young that were put out in those years.

For the songwriters, my birthday treat for you is a FREE LUNCH. I'd like you to post songs you have written that you never thought fit a particular theme of the seasons and so have never submitted them. This is your chance to dig through your back catalogue and give us a chance to hear gems that have never fitted any of the varied themes we have had over these 580 weeks. Or else a chance to offer us more recent songs that you have been keen to show off, but that haven't fit recent Seasons themes.

If you'd like to write an entirely new song for this week - then please feel free to write a song inspired by the title of the week "69 & 70".

Most of the usual rules apply:

The video must be newly recorded for this Season, though Rob may submit earlier recordings.

The video must say that it is for SOTU 580 "69-70"

And FOR THIS WEEK ONLY I'd like to hear JUST YOU and YOUR UKULELE, rather than multi-tracking vocals and/or other instruments. To recreate a bit more of that 69-70s Songwriter vibe.

If you choose to submit an original song, please post the lyrics so we can all read them whilst you croon.

Videos must be posted to this thread. But not before midnight on the 25th March, Hawaiian time, in keeping with tradition. (And remember, Season 579 is still in action!)

The Season lasts for 8 days, and ends at midnight Hawaiian time on Sunday April 2nd.

For now I ask you to limit to the number of videos you can submit to ONE a day. This limit may be lifted (or even sharpened up) depending on the state of health of my Mother in Law.



LINK to the PLAYLIST
Thank you for this season, Berni, and condolences for your family’s loss. Alzheimer’s is such a cruel curse, not only for the person who’s afflicted but as much or more so for everyone who loves that person.
What a great Season’s theme!
 
In 1969, Country Joe McDonald released the LP Thinking Of Woody Guthrie on Vanguard. It was an acousic album of Woody's songs. One of the songs was Blowin' Down That Old Dusty Road. Here'san acoustic version Berni.
Thinking_of_Woodie_Guthrie.jpg creaky chair.jpgSorry 'bout that creaky old chair, but it's really comfy.


A couple of decades ago, my brother Bob and I went to Hamilton's Festival Of Friends. The evening lineup was Bruce Cockburn, Allison Moorer, Steve Earle, John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald. All of the guitars looked like acoustics, but all except Country Joe were plugged in and played through a pickup. They all sounded very twangy and quacky and far from acoustic. What a relief it was when Joe came on and played his guitars through a mic which sounded like an acoustic guitar should.
Joe said, "I don't get invited to many folk festivals these days. They're probably afraid I'll do this: GIMME AN F!"

 
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Darn kids gave me a cold last week- still struggling through it (having a cold again is weird), so my voice is rough. That said, some of my favorite songs fall into this theme so we are doing this!
Tecumseh Valley- Townes Van Zandt 1969.
Happy Birthday mate.