by Robert Wilkinson
Today we send out a Happy Birthday to two incredibly gifted vocalists and a great composer!
Cass Elliot (September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974), of course, was THE VOICE in the Mamas and the Papas. She died way too young of a heart attack at age 32 in 1974 (NOT choking on a sandwich), but her powerful pipes left us some beautiful music for the ages. Today we have a few of her best!
Here are the the Mamas and the Papas at Monterrey Pop doing their iconic first hit that took the country by storm, "California Dreamin'."
Here’s a good clip pieced together from several performances of their iconic song, “California Dreamin’
At the Hollywood Palace in 1966, the Mamas and the Papas lip-synching their monster hit, "Monday Monday."
Here they are in 1966 doing the oh so soulful (and thought to be revolutionary at the time!) “Dancing In the Streets”
From 1967 on Ed Sullivan, here they are live doing their autobiographical hit “Creeque Alley”
Also from Ed Sullivan, here are the Mamas and Papas live with Cass out front, belting out “Words of Love”
Here’s one of Cass’ signature tunes, done in 1967 with the Mamas and the Papas, “Sing For Your Supper”
From 1968, a live performance of a great honky tonk arrangement of a tune originally written by John Lennon, "I Call Your Name."
You can hear here powerful soaring voice in other Mamas and Papas hits! Here are the original studio versions of:
From her post-Mamas and the Papas career, a special treat! Mama Cass, Mary Travers, and Joni Mitchell doing Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released."
Here’s a great medley of Cass with Tom Jones in a live video duet! From 1969, “One Night,” “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” and “I Guess I’ll Always Love You”
Also from 1969, very much live with her beautiful voice in full bloom, “Cass Elliot performing live on the Johnny Cash Show”
Here’s a hit for Cass in 1969 after she went solo! “It’s Getting Better”
From 1972, Mama Cass and Julie Andrews doing a great medley of Simon and Garfunkel songs! "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy), Sounds of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, Scarborough Fair, Homeward Bound, Bridge Over Troubled Waters."
From the Midnight Special tv show in 1972, Mama Cass and John Denver doing "Leaving on a Jet Plane."
Cass solo live doing her hit "Make Your Own Kind of Music."
We'll close with a studio version set to still photos of Cass doing "Does Anybody Love You."
Now we move to Bill Medley, the extremely soulful voice of the Righteous Brothers. One of the top groups in the 60s, Bill Medley (September 19, 1940) and Bobby Hatfield (August 10, 1940 – November 5, 2003) could send cold chills through your spine with their soaring melodies and harmonies! For your birthday enjoyment, here are the Righteous Brothers!
Here they are in b/w on Shindig doing their first major breakthrough, the Phil Spector produced blue eyed Soul monster hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." Here they are again in 2003 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions in great form doing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."
From 1965, a great live performance of "Just Once In My Life."
Here they are on Shindig in 1964 doing a dynamite song that Bill wrote and Mitch Ryder rode into the top 20, "Little Latin Lupe Lu." Also from Shindig in 1964, the Righteous Brothers doing "Let The Good Times Roll."
I found a great 15 minute clip of several Righteous Brothers performances on Shindig! For your enjoyment, the Righteous Brothers live performing “Justine,” “Just Once In My Life,” “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” “The Night Time is the Right Time,” and a brief clip of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (in the segment of “The Night Time” they’re backed by the Blossoms and Darlene Love, the voice of the Crystals and “He’s A Rebel”)
Also from Shindig in 1965, Bobby and Bill live, backed by the Blossoms, doing 7 minutes of “Unchained Melody” and “Fare Thee Well”
For our finale, Bobby and Bill live in 1983 at LA’s Roxy Theatre! We start with “The Old Time Rock and Roll”
Want more? Here’s Bobby and Bill doing the Sam and Dave monster hits, “Hold On I’m Comin’” and “Soul Man”
Finishing this brief set at the Roxy, here’s a 15 minute medley of “Ebb Tide,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “Let It Be Me,” “Guess Who,” “Just Once In My Life,” and “Rock and Roll Heaven”
From 1981, doing a live performance of their final major hit, "Rock and Roll Heaven."
We'll finish Bill's birthday salute with 7 1/2 minutes of him performing live in 2006, led by a montage before the performances. Bill Medley live in Branson MO.
For our encore, we'll finish Bill's birthday salute with 59 minutes of the Righteous Brothers performing live. The Righteous Brothers – Legends in Concert
We close today's birthday celebration with a toast to the great Paul Williams (who is not the Paul Williams of the Temptations, nor the boxer, nor the rock critic!) From Wikipedia, Paul Williams (September 19, 1940) is "an Academy Award-winning American composer, musician, songwriter, and actor.... best known for popular songs performed by a number of acts in the 1970s including Three Dog Night's "An Old Fashioned Love Song", Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World", and the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays", as well as his contributions to films such as "Evergreen" from A Star Is Born and "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie." So here they all are!
I saw these guys back in the early 70s, and they put on an amazing stage show. With 3 lead singers, it was quite an experience! For your enjoyment, Three Dog Night live in 1975 doing Paul's composition, "Old Fashioned Love Song."
Here's Helen Reddy in a duet with Kermit the Frog doing Paul's song "You And Me Against The World."
We'll close today's birthday celebration with a song sung by Kermit the Frog for The Muppet Movie. This was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song in 1979, when the single of this song reached #25 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart. For your enjoyment, Kermit (Jim Henson) singing the Paul Williams composition "The Rainbow Connection."
I hope you've enjoyed this birthday blast through the past as we also join with millions pondering the global importance of International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Avast ye lubbers - time to celebrate! Arrrrgh......
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson