Chuck Berry

Voyager 2, the first of two Voyager spacecraft (Voyager 2 was launched before Voyager 1 — go figure), was sent to explore the planets of our solar system on August 20, 1977.

Aboard each space craft is a Golden Record, “a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth” so that extra-terrestials might learn about life on our planet. Among the music is Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, various native music and Chuck Berry performing “Johnny B. Goode.” 

If we ever hear from extra-terrestials, I imagine their message to us will be, “Send more Chuck Berry.”


  1. Hallelujah was first released in 1984 on Leonard Cohen’s album, Various Positions.
  2. Cohen once told Bob Dylan that it took him two years to write the song.
  3. Dylan himself has sung it live, and there are bootleg versions in circulation of his performance. It has also been sung by Bono and Bon Jovi.
  4. More than 100 versions of the song have been recorded.
  5. The best known is by Jeff Buckley, whose unadorned version was on his 1994 Grace album.
  6. Cohen has recorded two versions – the second one appeared on a live album in 1988 – with very different endings; one upbeat, one dark.
  7. Buckley’s version was used in the soundtrack to the American TV series, The OC.
  8. Other TV shows to have used the song include The West Wing, ER, Scrubs, and Holby City.
  9. The full version of the song has 15 verses.
  10. Cohen, a notorious perfectionist, is said to have originally written 80 verses.
  11. Cohen is set to earn £1 million in royalties from sales of singles by X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
  12. Burke’s version is the fastest selling download single in history.
  13. Former Velvet Underground member John Cale’s version was used in the film Shrek.
  14. The Shrek soundtrack album featured a version by Rufus Wainwright, who also sang it in the Leonard Cohen tribute film, I’m Your Man.
  15. Cohen was once asked why the song is so popular. “It’s got a good chorus,” he replied.
  16. It has become a mainstay of live shows by Cohen’s fellow Canadian singer-songwriter, kd lang.
  17. The English singer and songwriter Kathryn Williams once introduced her version of Hallelujah in a live show by saying, “I really, really, really want to shag Leonard Cohen.”
  18. The song is broadcast at 2am every Saturday night by the Israeli defence force’s radio channel.
  19. Hallelujah is a Hebrew word, meaning “praise Yah”.
  20. Cohen has said of the song’s meaning: “It explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist, and all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have equal value.”

20 facts about Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Telegraph

— Reposted from 2011

Bob Dylan

Saw Bob Dylan in Tulsa Sunday night at the historic Brady Theater — they say it’s haunted by Enrico Caruso.

Here’s what I posted 10 years ago, the other time I saw Dylan.

What possesses people to spend $60 or $100 on a concert ticket and leave before the encore? A couple of years ago, I noticed this phenomenon at a James Taylor concert. Hello, you folks that are streaming out, he hasn’t sung “Sweet Baby James” yet. Why would you come to see James Taylor if you don’t want to wait and hear “Sweet Baby James”?

Same thing last night with Bob Dylan. People leaving by the scores, while the rest of us are screaming and clapping to coax an encore. And what were the encore songs — “Like a Rolling Stone” and “All Along the Watchtower.”

Now I’m sorry, I know not everyone gets into it like I can, but seeing Bob Dylan perform “Like A Rolling Stone” has got to be the equivalent of seeing “Hamlet” or “King Lear” with Shakespeare in the cast. Great as it sounds, hard as it rocks, the moment transcends even the music.

But not for some, more intent on beating the traffic.

One can’t actually say Dylan sounded great — he’s never “sounded” great — but he sounded like Bob Dylan and the songs were great and the music rocked and that seemed to please most of us. It’s a testament to his staying power that he could open with the 2000 Oscar-winner “Things Have Changed” and follow it with a classic from 1964 “The Times They Are A Changin’.” It was all music, no chatter other than introducing the band, no playfulness, no recognition that it was the 45th anniversary (to the day) of his New York debut. Ever a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Ever a legend.

Albuquerque 2006 Set List

Things Have Changed
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
To Ramona
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
Love Sick
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Ballad of A Thin Man
I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
Cold Irons Bound
Lay Lady Lay
Cat’s in the Well

Like A Rolling Stone
All Along the Watchtower

Tulsa 2016 Set List

Things Have Changed
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Highway 61 Revisited
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
High Water (For Charley Patton)
I Could Have Told You
Early Roman Kings
Love Sick
Tangled Up in Blue
Lonesome Day Blues
Make You Feel My Love
Pay in Blood
Desolation Row
Soon After Midnight
All or Nothing at All
Long and Wasted Years

Blowin’ in the Wind
Why Try to Change Me Now

Juan Gabriel

Juan Gabriel’s Death, Like His Music, Brings Mexicans Together. The New York Times obituary.

It is difficult to overstate the popularity in Mexico of Juan Gabriel, whose music tapped a deeply sentimental vein in Mexican culture. His appeal transcended regional, racial and class boundaries in an otherwise stratified and fractured society. His music was played at children’s birthday parties and the wedding anniversaries of retirees. It provided the soundtrack for joyous occasions and, just as much, for heartbreak.

Big Spender

Just bought a song on iTunes by mistake. Inadvertent click of the mouse. It’s Charlie Puth with Selena Gomez, “We Don’t Talk Anymore.”

I thought about trying to get a refund but then noticed it had cost only 69¢. I’m going to play it enough to get my 69¢ worth. It is catchy. 😏

Last month I bought Puth’s track with Meghan Trainor, “Marvin Gaye.” I did buy that one on purpose.