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Reelin’ in the Years 189: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head. RIP B J Thomas

Sadly, another death. The second such post in a row. This time it was B J Thomas, best known for singing the song below which was used in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The song was actually released in 1969 but didn’t become a hi until 1970 (though even then only a minor one in the UK, and his only one.)

Still remembered fondly.

B J Thomas: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

This is how the song was used in the film:-

Billy Joe Thomas; 7/8/1942–29/5/2021. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 188: In My Own Time

You can’t mistake vocalist Roger Chapman’s distinctive voice. A Family signature.

Family: In My Own Time

Reelin’ in the Years 187: Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Joe Jackson’s first hit. From 1979.

Joe Jackson: Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Reelin’ in the Years 186: Conquistador

This is a song from 1967 but it wasn’t a hit until this performance live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra was released as a single in 1972, when it became Procol Harum’s third UK top thirty entry. There would be only one more.

Procol Harum: Conquistador

Reelin’ in the Years 185: Nathan Jones

I was so sad to hear of the death of Mary Wilson of The Supremes. The group had one of the signature sounds of the 60s more or less introducing Motown to British audiences.

Though she started the group Wilson was not given the post of lead singer, perhaps because Diana Ross began a relationship with Motown boss Berry Gordy. Ross was pushed so much to the fore that the group’s name was altered to feature her. When she left singing duties were shared more fairly.

This is one of those later post-Ross hits, where all three members took the lead.

The Supremes: Nathan Jones

Mary Wilson: 6/3/1944 – 8/2/2021. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 184: Nantucket Sleighride – RIP Leslie West

One more of 2020’s depredations.

Two days before Christmas the band Mountain‘s guitarist singer and songwriter Leslie West, died.

His guitar playing is credited with influencing heavy metal but to those of my generation in the UK his work is more familiar from this song:-

Mountain: Nantucket Sleighride

This is for the simple reason that part of Nantucket Sleighride was used as the theme for the ITV politics programme Weekend World. It always seemed a bizarre choice of tune for the programme’s usual subject matter:-

Weekend World Theme

Leslie Weinstein (Leslie West;) 22/10/1945 – 23/12/2020. So it goes.

Some Good News (and Reelin’ in the Years 183: Here Comes the Sun)

Something cheerful this week. In celebration.

One day last week we were woken up by a phone call where my and the good lady’s very happy eldest son told us of the birth, a little earlier than expected, of his baby daughter, our first grandchild, Isobel Skye, 6 lb, 6 oz. (All those years, over 50, of nothing but the metric system being taught in Scottish schools and we still announce birth weights in Imperial units!) Mother and child are both doing well.

A welcome good thing arriving in what has been a dismal year. Sadly due to Covid restrictions we have not met Isobel in person. Soon, we hope.

This song was a hit for Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel in 1976 (Richie Havens had also recorded it in 1971) but it was first heard on The Beatles album Abbey Road in 1969.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel: Here Comes the Sun

And the original:-

The Beatles: Here Comes the Sun

Reelin’ in the Years 182: Easy Livin’ – RIP Ken Hensley

So this week it was Ken Hensley, keyboardist and chief songwriter for the metal band Uriah Heep, who has died.

I have featured the band twice before with Rain, which Hensley wrote, and Come Away Melinda.

They never troubled the British charts much (a no 76 and a no 85, both in 1983) but had more success in Germany.

This song was their first and biggest hit in the US. More representative of their œuvre I would say.

Uriah Heep: Easy Livin’

Kenneth William David (Ken) Hensley: 24/8/1945 – 4/11/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 181: Angie Baby – RIP Helen Reddy

This makes a companion piece to last week’s offering in this slot as the two songs share a girl’s name.

Sad that nearly coincided with the death of Helen Reddy.

Reddy is famous for writing the feminist anthem I Am Woman. I always thought her voice wasn’t quite strong enough to carry that song though.

It was more suited to this, her only significant UK hit.

Helen Reddy: Angie Baby

Helen Maxine Reddy: 25/10/1941 – 29/9/2020. So it goes.

Mac Davis

Nine years ago I featured Mac Davis, who died last week, at Reelin’ in the Years 22.

I suppose, though, that the song he wrote that most people will recognise would be In the Ghetto which was a hit for Elvis Presley who also recorded Davis’s A Little Less Conversation and Don’t Cry Daddy.

It wasn’t just Elvis who had success with Davis songs. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition had a hit with his song Something’s Burning (see Reelin’ in the Years 173) as well as Everything a Man Could Ever Need, a hit for Glen Campbell.

I see from his Wiki page Davis also wrote Rock And Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life) which was a hit in the UK for Kevin Johnson and I had as Reelin’ in the Years 32.

Here is Davis himself singing In the Ghetto.

Scott Mac Davis: January 21/1/1942 – 29/9/2020. So it goes.

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