Your Weekend of Songs–Rick Nelson


July 16, 2016

Your Weekend of Songs–Rick Nelson

After a short break when Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican were in New York and Washington, we are pleased to feature the songs of teenage idol of the 1960’s, Rick Nelson for your entertainment this weekend. He needs no introduction to men and women of Din’s generation. The millennials, however, can visit wikipedia. org for his resume which is indeed impressive.

BTW, our visit to the United States was always exciting with plenty to see. We also made new friends and renewed our contact with old ones.

We were fortunate to be in Washington on the Fourth of July and had the time to spend some time at Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington and Hanover, Va and revisit monuments around the capital and the campus  of The George Washington University, just a few blocks from The White House. The Fourth of July Fireworks in Washington DC was a spectacle. Smokey Robinson and other entertainers were there to entertain all of us. It was an unforgettable occasion, thanks to our host and friend, Ambassador John R. Malott.

Please have a good weekend.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Tribute to Frank Sinatra and His City: NEW YORK, the City that never sleeps


June 26, 2016

New York

Tribute to Frank Sinatra and His City: NEW YORK, the City that never sleeps

Friends,

New York’s Son and Golden Voice–We miss you, Frank

Sunday in New York. And beautiful day. Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican send you and yours our warm greetings from this fabulous city and financial capital of the world. Both of us have been busy with our respective professional duties. Things have worked out well for us and we must admit that being in the Big Apple is always business like, rejuvenating (despite the jet lag) and fun.

What better way  can we pay tribute and respects to this city and its people for their kindness and hospitality and honour the memory of its illustrious son than to feature  Hoboken (New Jersey)-born Francis Albert Sinatra for your weekend entertainment.  Thank You, New York.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

 

Your Weekend Entertainer–Ricky Nelson


May 29, 2016

Your Weekend Entertainer–Ricky Nelson

I began my journey in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and found out there was none, but that quest has been worthwhile. Having taken that the first step 7 + decades ago,  I realise at near my journey’s end that that illusive pot of gold is in Aristotle’s idea of a virtuous life.–Din Merican

Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican take you down memory lane, way back to the late 5os and 6os when Ricky Nelson, the teenage sensation  of that era who burst on the music scene which was dominated by Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and his Comets, Fats Domino, Frankie Avalon, Connie Francis,  Brenda Lee, The Platters,  Cliff Richard, and Beatles. Yes, it was Rock N Roll time.

Ricky Nelson was an early teen idol who had a considerable amount of talent to complement his blue-eyed good looks. On television, he and his older brother David acted out their real-life roles as the sons of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. As a rock-and-rolling teenager on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Ricky Nelson practically grew up in the nation’s living rooms.

For a period of years, beginning in 1957, each episode would conclude with a song by Ricky Nelson and his band. Many teenagers tuned into the show because of him, and these performances – a harbinger of the kind of impact MTV would have decades later by bringing popular music to TV – helped keep Ozzie and Harriet on the air until 1966.

Nelson was a handsome Fifties teen idol who wore his hair in a fashionable flat-top with a ducktail. For his musical debut, he did an Elvis Presley impersonation on Ozzie and Harriet in order to impress a high-school sweetheart who had a crush on Presley. Thereafter, Nelson became a self-contained rock and roller in his own right. His principal influences were Presley, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. On Presley’s side, the feeling was apparently mutual, as he told guitarist James Burton that he never missed an episode.

For his first recording, Nelson cut a double-sided smash: “A Teenager’s Romance” backed with Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’.” Both songs made the Top Five shortly after the single’s release in April 1957, instantly launching Nelson’s musical career. He was all of sixteen years old, and this was just the beginning. All totaled, Nelson would score three dozen hits, making him one of the most successfully prolific of all rock and rollers.

Even though his role on TV had been the launch pad, he more than made the grade as a rock and roller. As unlikely as it may seem, he turned out to be the real thing: a mellow-voiced singer/guitarist with an instinctive feel for the country-rooted side of rockabilly. Moreover, he had good taste in musicians, hiring guitarist extraordinaire James Burton as the mainstay of his band. With his arsenal of expert rockabilly licks, Burton brought serious credibility to Nelson’s musical endeavors.

His less frantic brand, more poppy brand of rockabilly went down easily with America’s suburban teenagers. After the success of his first two singles on Verve, Nelson quickly signed to the Imperial label, where his hit streak extended into the early Sixties. In 1958, Nelson reached #1 with “Poor Little Fool” (written by Sharon Sheeley, who was Eddie Cochran’s girlfriend). His discerning taste in material also led him to “Hello Mary Lou” – his signature song, penned by Gene Pitney – and “Travelin’ Man,” both of which topped the charts. During a three-year period from 1957 through 1959, Nelson owned the pop charts, placing 18 songs in the Top 40 for nearly 200 combined weeks.

For his sixth album – Rick is 21, released in 1961 – Nelson dropped the “y” from his name. As the maturing Nelson’s appeal with the teen audience waned, he foundered for direction in the mid-Sixties. However, he got back on track when he turned his attention to a more country-flavored sound toward decade’s end. A well-received performance at Los Angeles’ Troubadour nightclub, yielding the album Rick Nelson in Concert, helped fuel his comeback. One of the first country-minded rockers – he’d cut an album called Bright Lights and Country Music in 1966 – Nelson experienced a creative flowering on such albums as Rick Sings Nelson (1970) and Garden Party(1972).

He had formed the Stone Canyon Band, whose mellow, California-based country-rock sound anticipated the laid-back likes of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. One of his band members, in fact, was bassist Randy Meisner, a founding member of Poco who’d later find fame with the Eagles. During this era, Nelson had a minor hit with his easygoing remake of Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me.” All the while, he resisted the idea of becoming a nostalgia act, pointedly addressing the issue in “Garden Party.” Based on his experience appearing on a bill of oldies acts at Madison Square Garden, the song became one of the biggest hits of his career reaching #6 in October 1972. Somewhat ironically, early rockers Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley were also in the Top Ten at the same time.

Although Nelson stopped having hits, in the Seventies, he remained a hard-working musician who performed up to 200 dates a year. The decade wasn’t entirely kind to him, as personal problems (including a cocaine addiction) began to mount as his popularity waned. His life ended tragically in 1985 when his tour plane caught fire and crashed near a highway in DeKalb, Texas, killing him and six others.

 

Let us remember this unique talent and acknowledge his contributions to American music and for Din’s generation, Ricky Nelson will  bring back thoughts of the golden era when life was pretty simple. It was a time when our elders were working hard  to recover from the ravages of  the Second World War and the Japanese Occupation of Malaya (Malaysia in 1963).–Dr.Kamsiah and Din Merican

Double 7-Down Memory Lane


May 21. 2016

Double 7–Down Memory Lane with Songs

For my special Double 7 Birthday, I skyped Dr. Kamsiah this evening to ask her what I should do to entertain you. She suggested that we play tunes of the ‘ 40s, ’50s. ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. In addition, I have added my all time favorite voice, Nat Cole. Once you have listened to the crooner with a velvet voice, you will perhaps understand why Nat remains my special man through the last  6 decades.

I hope, you like what we have chosen to play for you this weekend. Be of good cheer, my friends. Pursue your dreams and make them real, I say. Thank you for your good wishes for my Double 7 and for your continued support of and interest in the Malaysian DJ Blogger.– Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Best of the ’60s

Best of the ’70s

Best of the ’80s

Din Merican’s All Time Favorite –Nat Cole

Here comes the Weekend again


May 7, 2016

Here comes the Weekend again–Diana Ross

Before  Malaysians feel depressed about the defeat of the political opposition by Najib Razak and his crony Adenan Satem and their money spinning UMNO-Barisan Nasional juggernaut in the 2016 Sarawak Elections, we should enjoy the renditions of Diana Ross (and The Supremes) and relax. With electoral cheating, control of the media,  and vote rigging, and huge amounts of money spent by Najib, only a miracle can change the outcome.

This remarkable entertainer is an American vocal wonder. If you don’t believe us, we will allow Diana to do the talking ( what we mean do the singing). By the way, she also sings jazz, and is best known as the actress who played Billie Holiday in the movie The Lady sings the Blues.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Your Weekend Entertainment–Here’s Mr. Sam Cooke


April 30, 2016

Your Weekend Entertainment–Here’s Mr. Sam Cooke

May 1 is also Freedom Day for Malaysia

Tomorrow  is May 1, 2016. It is Labour Day. It should be renamed Human Resources Day. Old economics treated labour as a factor of production. Today, perception has changed rather dramatically. Labour is a strategic resource which combined with technology enhances productivity that enables a country to compete in world trade.

Today, Dr Kamsiah and I choose to pay tribute to men and women around the world for their contributions to global prosperity. Your services and sacrifice are no longer to be taken for granted. As they say, “you have come a long way baby”. For Malaysia, May 1 should also be dubbed Freedom Day.

So this weekend, we have chosen to feature the sound, voice and music of Sam Cooke, one of the pioneers of soul music.

Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.

Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown. AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was “the inventor of soul music”, and possessed “an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed”.

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously. Major hits like “You Send Me“, “A Change Is Gonna Come“, “Cupid“, “Chain Gang“, “Wonderful World“, and “Twistin’ the Night Away” are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.-www.wikipedia.org

We hope you like our choice for this weekend.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican