I’ve been working on the next chapter of “We Make a Little History” (a “history” of us that I’ve been slowly creating as a post series), and it has taken me back to the beginnings and all our “firsts”. So many songs flood my mind and memories while I revisit the start of our love. Today, one of the songs he sent me (we trade songs when we are apart, something we’ve done since before we met in person) was a track that took me back to the start, and back around the time, I’m writing about. I’ve played it a few times already and had to stop and take a break from the next installment in order to do a Song of the Day, because this song that he sent to me this afternoon needs to be today’s Song of the Day, without a doubt.
“If You Need Me” was originally recorded by Wilson Pickett, in 1963. It became a bigger hit later by Solomon Burke, who sent the song to #2 on the R&B charts that year. (from Wikipedia)
Today’s Song of the Day is the original, by Wilson Pickett, the version that my love sent me today, and the version I remember him sending me at the start of our relationship. The version that is one of “our” songs, one of the many that will be with us always. Though the Burke version is great, this version, the original, is my favorite – especially since it is full of so many memories of us.
“If You Need Me” (1963) by Wilson Pickett
Song of the Day
“If You Need Me” was written by Wilson Pickett with two former members of the Satintones, Robert Bateman and Sonny Sanders. It was recorded originally by Pickett on March 15, 1963, for Lloyd Price’s Detroit-based Double L Records. It had been rejected by Jerry Wexler, who nevertheless had purchased the publishing rights. According to Solomon Burke, Pickett gave the song to him on a tour bus:
“Wilson sang the song for me in a bus on a tour. I loved it so much that I got Wilson to do it. Atlantic refused to sign him at that time, so we got Wilson to release the song on the Lloyd-Logan label. We were the best of friends. As a matter of fact, I promoted his record and he promoted mine.”
However, Pickett claims Wexler lifted it from demo tapes he had sent to Atlantic. Burke recalled in 2003:
“I was furious when Wexler rejected Pickett [and] when radio personality the Magnificent Montague started spinning Pickett’s original version, Wexler rushed out Burke’s, with both in Billboard’s ‘Singles Review’ column on April 13 and both featured on Billboard’s ‘Artists’ Biographies’ on May 4, 1963.”
Although Burke ultimately won the chart war, Burke broke rank and supported his rival:
“I would go to the radio stations and say, ‘Hi, I’m Solomon Burke, and I’m here promoting the new record “If You Need Me”…by Wilson Pickett.’”
“If You Need Me” by Solomon Burke
Despite his efforts, Burke’s version jockeyed with Pickett’s for position in the ‘Hot 100’, before “beating Pickett to the punch” because of “Solomon’s popularity and Atlantic’s distribution.” Both versions featured Cissy Houston singing backup vocals.
Although he was still angry, in 1964, Pickett signed with Atlantic because he needed the money. While Burke’s version spent 5-weeks at #2 in the R&B charts in the Summer of 1963, it was kept from the #1 position by Jackie Wilson’s “Baby Workout” and Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night”. Pickett’s original stalled at #64 in the Pop charts, and #30 on the R&B chart.
I still prefer Pickett’s, and it will always feature high in the “charts” of our songs.
One more cover for the end of today’s Song of the Day. This one by The Rolling Stones. Enjoy.
“If You Need Me” by The Rolling Stones
I’m starting with Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions today. Last week I went on a bit of a hiatus for a variety of reasons. Mostly because I was struggling with words and emotions. Sometimes taking a break from words helps. Though in this case, I think it made it harder on me. Writing has always been my solace, a place to sort out myself and my feelings, and a source of sanity, and clarity. Its no wonder that by the end of the week I felt like I was falling apart. Not that it was only that, the lack of writing, but I know it didn’t help. This week, though, I’ve made the active choice to be a good one. No matter how hard things are in a day, a week, a month, a year, a life, there are always so many good things to remember. And, I truly believe, if we try hard enough we can turn things around, put good into things, and make things better. That’s my goal this week. To make things better, and to remember all the good things. Especially love.
A realization I made during my week of no words did not hit me until late last night. I had trouble sleeping, also for a variety of reasons, and so for a while, I went over the last week in my mind, the good and the bad, and the roughest of moments. Last week was very rough, but there were also moments that were so beautiful, so blissful, so full of love, that I could not put them aside. Last night, too, before the lights went out and we said our goodnights, I realize had some moments that were so beautiful, so blissful, and so full of love that it made my heart feel like it might burst. One thing kept coming to mind, kept repeating in my thoughts and feelings, and heart, and that was that the love we have for each other is so strong, so real and true, and so much bigger than anything else in our lives, that there is no way we won’t make it. That with every day, even the roughest ones, our love grows stronger. And, I realized, right then, in the glow of the street lights and the sound of the man I love breathing next to me, that I finally found it, the trust I’ve been struggling so much with. I trust him, and I trust us. It took longer than I wanted it to, but it was there, clear and strong and true, and I am walking around this morning tired, but full of that trust, and full of so much love. It’s a powerful feeling, a healing one, and something I know will never leave me. I’m so grateful he didn’t give up on me. I’m grateful we found each other and found all of what we have, even the rough moments. All of it. All of us.
And, so now for the Top 5 Music Obsessions for today. All 5 songs I heard on my commute into work and all of them touched me in different ways, making this Monday, though definitely not my favorite day of the week (no, it really is one of the two toughest days of the week) better.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Monday, October 8, 2018
1. “Go Easy” by Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
from the album, Cardinology (2008)
“If only to say this to you now,
I love you still,
and I always will.
If only to say this to myself,
I will always love you,
I will always love you,
so go easy on yourself.”
I don’t know why trust finally came like it did. After the week we went through it seems somewhat unlikely, but then again, maybe it is because of all we went through, and that we came out of it still holding each other, still loving each other, still wanting all that we have. There is a lot to sort through, to understand, to find solutions to, but finally I truly believe that this is forever, that he is not going to walk away, or give up on me, even when I’m having a hard time, and feeling like I’m falling apart as I have felt for days. I don’t feel okay yet, not completely, but I feel more than okay about us, I feel everything good about us, I know we are going to make it, that we are going to get better and stronger, and that we are forever. I know we are more than okay. I know we are love. More than that even. I know we are everything.
2. “I Feel Like Going Home” by Yo La Tengo
from the album, I Am Not Afraid Of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006)
“Sometimes late at night,
while running from the rain,
running from the voices filling up my brain.
Now I wish they’d leave me alone,
and let me be,
to go off on my own.
Let me be to go home.
I feel like going home.”
I wish I could go home, right now, at 9:10 in the morning. I wish I could crawl back in bed next to him, fall back asleep for a bit, and wake up to a day where we didn’t have to go anywhere, just stay there, together, at home. Our home. For the day. But, its Monday, and there’s work to do and things to start, and finish. So, I will just have to wait until the clock changes to 5:00 and I can pack up and head to my car, and go home to us.
3. “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” by Otis Redding
from the album, Dock of the Bay (1968)
let me sit down beside you,
I’ve got something to tell you,
you should know.
I just couldn’t wait for not another day.
I love you,
for more than words can ever say.”
My first Otis album. It may be my favorite because it was my first. This song came on this morning and I knew I had to send it to him. The first song of the morning to send. I do love him more than words can ever say. Always.
4. “Blue Moon” by Big Star
from the album, Third (1978)
“Let me be your one light,
and if you’d like a true heart,
take the time to show you’re mine.
And, I’ll be a blue moon in the dark,
while you sleep you’ll see me there,
clouds race across the sky.
Close your eyes and don’t ask why
and I’ll be a blue moon in your eyes.”
Every morning, waking up next to him is bliss. Falling asleep next to him, even on nights where I have so much trouble sleeping, is everything. I’m so lucky to have this love. I wish I’d found it sooner, but I’m so grateful to have it now, and for the rest of all my mornings and nights, forever.
5. “Sound and Vision 2013” by David Bowie
from the Sound and Vision 2013 single (2013)
“I will sit right down,
waiting for the gift of sound and vision.
And, I will sing,
waiting for the gift,
of sound and vision.”
What a beautiful version of this track. I’ve never heard it before today. I love the piano in it. I wish we were lying in bed listening to it this morning. Together.