“Doesn't matter if you discover it decades later, what enters your ears stops you in your tracks. You can't believe how good it sounds, how it makes you feel. And that's what we're in search of. This greatness.” Bob Lefsetz
Sly And The Family Stone
I’m thankful for greatness of any kind. We may define it differently; we might recognize right away or find it down the line. It shapes us and molds us. It influences the choices we make, the things we love and the life we lead.
It’s Thanksgiving time here in the U.S. and a time we all count our blessings. Thought it was a good time to be thankful for the music that set me on a path I’m still on. Hard to choose five but here it goes.
1) Motown. Started in ’59. Smokey, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, the Temptations and on and on. Songs of Holland, Dozier and Holland. In those days these songs were played right on the radio alongside the stuff your parents listened to but it wasn’t your parents music, not even close. Soul.
2) The Beatles. I can’t begin to count the songwriters and musicians I know who tell the same story. Ed Sullivan, Feb 9th, 1964, the next day we were all combing our hair down on the bus and saving for Rickenbackers and Hofners. Our world was never the same. My Dad watched it with me and was dying laughing when he said “ these guys will be gone in 2 weeks”! Sorry Dad, wrong.
3) Everything else after the Beatles for the next few years. The British Invasion, The California Sound, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan to name a few.
4) Jazz. Parker, Coltrane, Miles and Mingus. These guys are the Mount Rushmore of cool and opened up all kinds of possibilities for melody. This was the kind of greatest that I found way down the line but is a huge part of my being.
5) Steve Jobs. Love him or loathe him, he reinvented the way we listen to music. He loved music and envisioned a time when we could take all of our favorite songs with us. Everywhere, all the time. Some people equate his Apple to that other one in the Garden Of Eden. Like it led to a musical wilderness. Most can’t remember a time before the iPod. Me, I’m grateful for his greatness.
Who’s on your list?
Happy Thanksgiving to all the songwriters, musicians and music lovers… let’s be thankful and celebrate greatness wherever we find it!
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Dedicating all my blogs this year to the memory of John Braheny. I still ask every songwriter or artist I coach to pick
up his book before we start talking.
There is also a college scholarship in John's name, through the California Copyright Conference (John was a past president)...here's the link:
Image: Google Images
Mark Cawley's songs have appeared on more than 15 million records. Over a career based in LA, London, and Nashville his songs have been recorded by an incredibly diverse range of artists. From Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Wynonna, Diana Ross and Chaka Khan to The Spice Girls, Tom Scott, Kathy Mattea, Paul Carrack, Will Downing and Pop Idol winners in the UK. He has had #1 records in the UK and throughout Europe as well as cuts in Country, Jazz & R & B. His groundbreaking website Song Journey created with Hall of Fame writer Kye Fleming was the first to mentor writers from around the world one-on-one online. He is currently writing and publishing as well as helping writers and artists worldwide with a one-on-one co-active coaching service, iDoCoach.