Honestly, I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, and the majority of my list of favorite songs include tunes that I have had on my “list” for decades, so I figured I’d be at a loss to figure out what I would have been listening to in mid-April 2010.
I assumed the closest I would come would probably be anything from Dana’s “Evergreen EP,” since it wasn’t released until around the first of the year, but on the other hand, I had certainly been familiar with all the tracks long before that. So this entailed some homework.
I managed to find my purchase history on iTunes and … ta da …
On April 14, I hit the iTunes motherlode when I discovered that they had one of my all-time favorite albums — the eponymous debut LP by amazing singer-songwriter Tim Moore.
Some background history here … I first heard the single “Second Avenue” when it was released as a single in 1974. An obsessive radio-listener, one of my favorite shows was on WPIX-FM and called “The Newies Show.” They’d play brand-new singles released that week and the listeners could vote for their favorite by postcard.
When I heard “Second Avenue,” I was transfixed.
It was, in my opinion, the most beautiful song I’d ever heard. I spent the next two nights filling out postcards. I’d like to think I helped contribute to its winning that week’s “Newies” but I also like to think it would have won anyway.
While “Second Avenue” was the highlight of the album, it was by no means the only great song. “Sister Lilac,” “I’ll Be Your Time,” “A Fool Like You,” and “Love Enough” are among the other remarkable compositions. In fact, there was only one song I regularly skipped over and that was “Aviation Man” (sorry, Tim).
So funny story here … I LITERALLY wore this record out, to the point it was no longer listenable. But by that time it was unavailable in any store. A few years later, while working at the college radio station (WAMH-FM, 89.3 on your dial!), we had a “clean out the station” day where, for our trouble, we could take home any three albums in a “we really don’t play these anymore” pile. And I got to re-add the Tim Moore LP to my collection … temporarily.
A few weeks later, I went out of town for a few days to accompany my dad on a business trip and, as a favor to a friend, gave her the key to my dorm room so she could have some “alone time” with her boyfriend (I think she lived in a triple and he lived in a quad).
The boyfriend also worked at the radio station. While they were availing myself of my room, my bed, my fridge, etc., they were also listening to my records on my stereo. And when he saw I had an album with the radio station’s label on it, he assumed I’d stolen it and so rather than wait for me to return from Austin and ASK me about it, he took it upon himself to return it to the station. By the time I got back, the album was gone (since it was on the “we really don’t play these anymore” pile originally, I think it ended up in the “we’re throwing these out” pile.)
There were no words to express my dismay, my sense of loss, my P-I-S-S-E-D-OFFness (see song from day 20).
Eventually, many years later, I found a used copy of the album in a downtown record store and bought it and cherished it once again … but honestly, with “used” being the operative word, it was never in condition to tape it for posterity. So it wasn’t until a year ago that I finally got good, clean and pure versions of all these songs from my teenage years onto my iPod.
And “Second Avenue” is just as transcendent now as it was the first time I heard it in 1974.
And it is the perfect way to finish off this 30-in-30 project. Hope some of you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.
30 SONGS in 30 DAYS
day 01 - your favorite song ”GOLDEN LADY” by Stevie Wonder
day 02 – your least favorite song “PARTY IN THE USA” by Miley Cyrus
day 03 – a song that makes you happy “HOLD TIGHT” by Fats Waller/little Dana
day 04 – a song that makes you sad “FIELDS OF ST. ETIENNE” by Mary Hopkin
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone “JESSE” by Janis Ian
day 06 – a song that reminds of you of somewhere “SAIL ON, SAILOR” by the Beach Boys
day 07 - song that reminds you of a certain event: “TWO OCCASIONS” by The Deele
day 08 – a song that you know all the words to: “GOD GIVE ME STRENGTH” as sung by Kristen Vigard
day 09 – a song that you can dance to: “I WANT YOU BACK” by the Jackson 5
day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep: “INDIAN PRAYER” by Richie Havens
day 11 – a song from your favorite band: “DROWNING IN SOBRIETY” by The Spring Standards
day 12 - a song from a band you hate: “COAST OF MARSEILLES” by Jimmy Buffett
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure: “TROLOLO” by Eduard Khil
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love: “MOON RIVER” by Henry Mancini
day 15 - a song that describes you: “COFFEE” by Josh Woodward
day 16 - a song you used to love but now you hate: “TODAY’S THE DAY” by America.
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio: “FLYING WITHOUT WINGS” by Ruben Studdard.
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio: “FEEL IT ALL” by Dana Wells
day 19 - a song from your favorite album: “GULF WAR SONG” by Moxy Fruvous (“Bargainville”)
day 20 - a song you listen to when you’re angry: “H-A-T-R-E-D” by Tonio K.
day 21 - a song you listen to when you’re happy: “THAT THING YOU DO!” by The Wonders
day 22 - a song you listen to when you’re sad: “I’LL BE FOREVER LOVING YOU” by the El Dorados
day 23 - a song you want to play at your wedding: “CREEPIN’” by Stevie Wonder
day 24 - a song you want to play at your funeral: “SMACKWATER JACK” by Carole King.
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh: “THAT HAPPY FEELING” by the Bert Kaempfert Orchestra.
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument: “I WANNA BE SEDATED” by the Ramones.
day 27 - a song that makes you feel guilty: “LOUISIANA 1927” by Randy Newman.
day 28 - a song you wish you could play: “I’M AN OL’ COWHAND FROM THE RIO GRANDE” by Johnny Mercer, as performed by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks
day 29 - a song from your childhood: “I SEE THE MOON” as sung by my mommy.
day 30 - your favorite song this time last year: “SECOND AVENUE” by Tim Moore