Special Sub-Topic: A Yearful Of Month Songs
|Which high-flying Scottish band had a number one hit with a song called "January"?|
Pilot. "January, sick and tired, you've been hanging on me
You make me sad with your eyes
You're telling me lies
Don't go, don't go..."
The song spent three weeks at the top of the charts in 1975. Pilot were formed by the ex-Bay City Rollers bandsmen David Paton and Billy Lyall. A year earlier "Magic" had been a Number 11, but the band were never to trouble the top of the charts again, and folded in 1978.
|Which Brooklyn-born singer took a walk on the wild side and made his feelings about the Vietnam war clear when he sang about "Xmas In February"?|
Lou Reed. "Sam was lyin' in the jungle
Agent orange spread against the sky like marmalade
Hendrix played on some foreign jukebox
They were praying to be saved
Those gooks were fierce and fearless
That's the price you pay when you invade
Xmas in February"
The song appeared on Reed's 1990 album "New York".
"Walk on the Wild Side" was Reed's best-known single, hitting Number 16 in the USA and Number 10 in the UK in 1972.
|"Beware the ides of March", or so a Roman Emperor was told. Which 20th Century bunch of English heavy metal rockers recorded an instrumental called "The Ides of March"?|
Iron Maiden. The track was on their 1981 album 'Killers". Iron Maiden had three Number One UK albums between 1980 and 2009 but their best showing in the USA was "A Matter of Life and Death", which was a Number 9 in 2006.
|"But in April it sounds like love
When you call
You call my name
You call my name..."
This was the chorus of a song by a German girl band that shared its name with a hit song by an English band that hailed from Manchester. What was the song, and therefore the name of the girl group?
Wonderwall. "Wonderwall" was a Number Two hit in the UK and a Number Eight in the USA for Oasis in 1995. Led by the Gallagher brothers Noel and Liam, Oasis were the British pop sensation of the latter part of the 20th Century. They saw themselves as the heirs to The Beatles. Although they enjoyed a great deal of chart success and almost Beatle-like adulation from their fans, the band struggled with internal rifts, notably between the Gallagher brothers.
"In April" was the third single off the album "Witchcraft" by Wonderwall - though it's Splash's favourite track from the album. It reached Number 33 in the German charts.
The three wrong answers were all Beatles songs, and of course The Beatles hailed from Liverpool.
|"I took you down to a party
On the night of the 4th of May
And a strange and growing restlessness
Had hung in the air all day
The need to try and tear down
And destroy all that we'd made
Lady of ladies..."
As if singing about a year of the cat was not enough, which Scottish folksinger lamented for a lost love affair that seemed to have it's highlight in the month of May?|
Al Stewart. "Night Of The 4th Of May " was from Al Stewart's fourth album "Orange", which was released in 1972.
"Year Of The Cat" (from the album of the same name), was a US Number 8 hit in 1976 - much higher than its Number 31 in the UK.
|"It's June in January
Because I'm in love
It always is spring in my heart
With you in my arms..." or so sang a member of the revered 1960s 'Rat Pack'. Which Ohio-born crooner, actor and comedian probably thought all his memories were made of this?|
Dean Martin. Despite his popularity as a singer, comedian and actor, Dean Martin only ever had two Number One singles, "Memories Are Made of This" (1955) and "Everybody Loves Somebody" (1963. 'The Rat Pack', was a bunch of wild and glamorous young early 60s stars. Martin maintained his popularity in a 40-year movie career.
|"The moon is full and my arms are empty
All night long I've pleaded and cried
You always said the day that you would leave me
Would be a cold day in July...". Which group originating from Texas lamented a lost love in these words? I'll be they weren't George W. Bush's favorite band (not that they had much good to say about him).|
Dixie Chicks. The Dixie Chicks came together in Dallas in 1989, but it was not until 1998 that they shed their bluegrass roots and attracted attention with a wider range.
They courted controversy, and something of a boycott when Natalie Maines, the lead vocalist, said prior to the invasion of Iraq: "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas".
Before that, they had a string to top 10 country singles, six Number Ones. They also won a host of awards, including 13 Grammys.
|"It was a cold wind in August
Shivers up and down my spine
I was standin' in your garden
In the California pine
I was standing shivering
I've got the fever in the rain
But I can't come on back to see you
Again and again and again..." California was a long way from the Belfast birthplace of a singer/songwriter who liked brown-eyed girls. Whose mother told him he would have days like this?|
Van Morrison. Van Morrison was born in Belfast in 1945 and had early success with the band "Them". He went solo in 1967 and earned a reputation as being a fine songwriter, even if he was known for a less than sparkling personality on stage. Morrison, despite the adulation of fans and critics alike, was a stranger to the upper reaches of the charts, though "Brown Eyed Girl" was a US Number 10 in 1967 and "Domino" climbed one place higher in 1970. "Days Like This", from the 1995 album of the same name, was used by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in a promotional video.
|"What shall I write?
What can I say?
How can I tell you how much I miss you?
The weather here has been as nice as it can be
Although it doesn't really matter much to me
For all the fun I'll have while you're so far away
It might as well rain until September..."
This was a chart hit for a American songstress, even though she wrote it for someone else. Who took "It Might As Well Rain Until September" to a US Number 22 position in 1962?|
Carole King. Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote the song for Bobby Vee, but his management did not want to release it as single. A demo version sung by King was released instead and reached Number 22.
In a 40-year career, King showed her songwriting versatility in such Number One albums as "Tapestry" (1971); "Music" (also 1971); and "Wrap Around Joy" (1974).
|"Well I''m-a going back down maybe one more time
Deep down home, October Road
And I might like to see that little friend of mine
That I left behind once upon a time..."
Which singer/songwriter who braved fire and rain and won five Grammys between 1971 and 2003 wanted to go down October Road to tell someone "you've got a friend"?|
James Taylor. Taylor broke into the big time with his 1971 US Number Three hit "Fire And Rain" and followed that a year later when he took Carole King's "You've Got A Friend" to the top of the charts. As well as those five Grammy Awards, he had 11 top 10 albums and five top 10 singles.
"October Road" was the title track of an album that went platinum in 2002.
|"When November rains
It rides the cool wind
You need somebody holding you tight
When November rains
You need somebody caring
You want somebody sharing your night..." the gloomy month of November was well summed up by a New York City-born singer/songwriter and humanitarian who could probably also have climbed into a taxi to avoid the precipitation. Which Congregational Gold Medal winner am I alluding to?|
Harry Chapin. Harry Chapin was born in new York City on December 7th 1942 and died in a freeway crash on July 16th 1981. It's difficult to pigeonhole Chapin's music, he referred to his "story songs", probably the most famous of which were "Taxi" and his solitary US Number One single "Cat's in the Cradle".
Chapin was a co-founder of 'World Hunger Year', and played many benefits to raise funds for that cause. He was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his championing of social issues and his drive to raise awareness of world hunger.
|"This looks like a December day, this looks like a time to remember day
And I remember a spring such a sweet tender thing
And love's summer college where the green leaves of knowledge
Were waiting to fall with the fall..." it looks as if a certain country singer was not crazy, even if his blue eyes were left crying in the rain by the last month of the year. Which pigtailed Texan singer/songwriter and activist also had a busy film career?|
Willie Nelson. Nelson was famous for a near-outlaw image that included wearing his long hair in braids for many years (OK, I know maybe not strictly speaking pigtails, but allow me some artistic licence).
In the 1960s he wrote "Crazy", which was smash hit for Patsy Cline. "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" was a 1975 US Number One single. He also topped the charts with, among others, "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time" (1976) and ""Georgia on My Mind" (1978). Movies included "The Electric Horseman" (1979); "Outlaw Justice" (1999) and "The Dukes of Hazzard (2005). Nelson was an environmental activist and also campaigned for the legalisation of marijuana.
|"Though April showers
May come your way,
They bring the flowers
That bloom in May..." or so go the words of a song closely associated with "the world's greatest entertainer" and star of the world's first-ever 'talkie' movie. Who was he?|
Al Jolson. "April Showers" was written by Louis Silvers, and B. G. De Sylva and was first performed by Al Jolson in the 1921 Broadway musical "Bombo", Jolson (May 26th 1886 to October 23rd 1950) was one of the most adored singers of his day. He released numerous songs and appeared in large number of movies, including "The Jazz Singer" - claimed as being the world's first talking picture. It was released in 1927. Among those who have cited Jolson as an influence were Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, and Jerry Lewis.
Jolson was given the sobriquet "the world's greatest entertainer"
My January friend
I'm wantin' you again
I wanna touch you
Every single heart that beats pretend
My January friend
I'm wantin' you again
I wanna touch you
Every single heart that beats..."
Which bunch of rockers hailing from Buffalo New York showed they were no babies when they produced five top 10 singles from one LP? Don't dizzy up, girls, or guys, in thinking about this one.|
Goo Goo Dolls. The Goo Goo Dolls emerged onto the music scene in 1986 and had five top singles from their 1998 album "Dizzy Up the Girl." One of those songs, "Iris" picked up three Grammy Awards in 1998. Songwriter and founder John Rzeznik was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.
|"Every time I make a run, girl, you turn around and cry
I ask myself why, oh why
See, you must understand, I can't work a 9 to 5
So I'll be gone 'til November
Said I'll be gone 'til November, I'll be gone 'til November
Yo, tell my girl, yo, I'll be gone 'til November..." which Haiti born hip-hop and reggae singer and political activist took "Gone Till November" to Number Seven in the Billboard charts in 1998?|
Wyclef Jean. Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti in October 1972, but his family moved to the USA when he was nine. He first shot to musical fame as a member of the "Fugees". As a solo artist, he had a busy recording career and was a frequent guest artist and presenter in many TV shows. In August 2010, he announced he would be a candidate in that year's Presidential elections in his native land.
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