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Your Annual Dose of John Denver

This post was originally published on 12/11/2012. You can find the link to the original here:

https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2012/12/11/rocky-mountain-christmas/

To most, John Denver is a joke.

To me, he is the sound of Christmas.

When I was a kid, my mom had the record (large, round, vinyl black thing with grooves) Rocky Mountain Christmas by John Denver. She played it every year at holiday time. Christmas starts for me with the first few tinkling notes of Aspenglow.

Rocky Mountain Christmas by John Denver on CD & record, and John Denver: Christmas in Concert on CD

I would be happy if it was the only Christmas album I ever owned or played.

My mom didn’t own any other John Denver records. My crazy friend knew that I liked this Christmas album, so then on mix tapes she would put other non-Christmas John Denver songs. She didn’t understand. It wasn’t so much that I liked John Denver, it was that I liked his voice with this collection of Christmas songs from this period of time. From my childhood.

John Denver sings nice, straight-forward renditions of the classics: The Christmas Song, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the seldom-heard Silver Bells, Away in a Manger, What Child Is This, Oh Holy Night (a spectacular version), and Silent Night. There is no Mariah Carey warbling.

The original songs on the album are some of my favorites. I already mentioned Aspenglow. Christmas for Cowboys paints a wonderful musical picture of a lonely holiday on the snow-covered plains. My husband likes Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas). A Baby Just Like You is my favorite. John Denver wrote it for his own son Zachary. I love to belt out “MERRY CHRISTMAS LITTLE ZACHARY!” at the top of my lungs.

I know, I’m weird.

Sometimes now I change it to be my sons’ name.

Inside cover of Rocky Mountain Christmas, featuring the lyrics to A Baby Just Like You (I used to love to look at the details of this picture when I was a kid)

Several years ago my mom bought the album on CD, so it was very nice to be able to listen to it again. The problem was, we had only one copy that we shared. (I have no idea why I never thought about burning a second copy. Oh ya, because that would be illegal.;)

Last year I found my own copy of Rocky Mountain Christmas on CD. I even found a concert version of the same songs. My mom is very happy I am no longer hogging her CD.

I still don’t understand why none of the Christmas music radio stations play anything off this album. They play other seldom-played artists. They always need different artists singing the same 12 traditional songs. And it would make me so happy.

A Christmas Together: John Denver & The Muppets – Also a nice album, but just not the same for me

I kept my mom’s record of Rocky Mountain Christmas all these years, even though there was no way to play it.

Last year, my husband and I picked up a Fisher Price children’s record player from the 80’s at a garage sale and a handful of records.

So, while I totally enjoy digital clarity, the ability to listen to it in my car, and load it on my iPod, I am playing the original record for my son as I write this. Sure, it is scratchy from 37 years of use and improper storage and probably a pretty dull needle. But it takes me right back to being a preschooler myself in my living room in our house in Riga, Michigan. In the terrible 70’s clothes that my mom dressed me in.


When you listen to the CD, you don’t have to see his dorky appearance.

What I Learned This Week – 12/21/14

This week I learned that “Last Christmas” seems to be the song of Christmas 2014.

The last few years, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” has been clogging up the airways. I REALLY do not like that song. It grates on me. It makes me want to go kill an elf on the shelf every time that it plays.

But it seems this year, “Last Christmas” is being played all the time. I am not in the love with the song, but it does have a catchy hook that is easily stuck in everyone’s head. Even my 4 year old son M busts out singing it now and then. (Except, his version is “Last Christmas, I gave you my poop…”)

And any excuse for radio to play more George Michael I am all on board with. The man has a beautiful voice.  Plus, he wrote and produced it.  He must get a nice royalty check every year come January.

I find it impressive that a 30 year old song is having such a resurgence.

And all versions of “Last Christmas” are being played to death, not even just the original version from Wham. I hear the versions by Taylor Swift and the cast of Glee on the radio as well. The Taylor Swift one is very surprising because while she isn’t one of my favorite artists, she usually puts lots of emotion into her singing. Her version of “Last Christmas” is very flat and bland. Very unlike her. Hard to believe it is from the same person who sings “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space”.

I wanted to include the video so that everyone would know what song I am referring to. I was afraid the original video would frighten everyone with it’s 1984 fashions and hair, so here is a lyric video instead…

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Alt Country Mix Nov 14

Remember my post about the Luke Bryan song “Play It Again” a few weeks ago?

Well, here is the mix CD that song inspired, along with my commentary and select YouTube clips where appropriate.

1. Play It Again – Luke Bryan

All the reasons for this song can be found right here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/11/11/oh-my-god-this-is-my-song/

2. Under The Light of The Texaco – Lisa Stewart

This is a country song from 1993. It is a song that I have tried hard over the years to remember the title and artist. According to Wikipedia, it never charted. Which is why it is hard to remember much about it. But that summer, I watched a lot of music videos on TNT and CMT. This video was in heavy rotation, and featured a very brief cameo by Davey Allison. I was impressed by this because I had just begun to watch NASCAR races (Shout out to Jeff Gordon!). Also, Davey Allison would die that same summer in a helicopter crash.

Under The Light of The Texaco on YouTube


3. Boom Clap – Charlie XCX

Love this song. Good beat, good lyrics, great to crank up to the max in the car and drive.

Boom Clap on YouTube

4. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

I am a little over this song now, but included it on this collection anyway. I was impressed with how original the sound was when I first heard it on the radio on our vacation to Gettysburg in August. I feel like it is the kind of song my best friend in high school and I would have run out and bought the cassette single of.

5. Don’t – Ed Sheeran

I got so excited when I heard this song on the radio. I was like, “Oh, one of my favorite American Idol alums Blake Lewis finally has a hit song that all the stations are playing.” Then I discovered it was actually Ed Sheeran who sings it. If some white boy was going to sing this song, it should have been Blake. He was robbed.

6. Cool Kids – Echosmith

I like this. Very me in 6th grade.

7. Habits – Tove Lo

This girl has a life I could never imagine living.

8. Yeah – Joe Nichols

I like Joe Nichols because I always think that he sounds like George Strait, although not so much in this song. This song is very similar to “Play It Again.” Hence, why I did not put them right next to each other.

9. God Made Girls – RaeLynn

This is a really sexist song, with lyrics such as:

Somebody’s gotta wear a pretty skirt,
Somebody’s gotta be the one to flirt,
Somebody’s gotta wanna hold his hand so God Made Girls

Somebody’s gotta make him get dressed up,
Give him a reason to wash that truck,
Somebody’s gotta teach him how to dance,
So God made girls.
(Written by RaeLynn, Nicolle Galyon, Lori McKenna, & Liz Rose)

And the girl’s voice annoys me because it reminds me of the girl who plays Scarlett on ABC’s Nashville. If these are truly the reasons why God made girls, then I am a complete failure as a girl.  But it has a good beat and sounds like classic country, so I included it.

10. Girl in a Country Song – Maddie & Tae

This would be the antithesis of the previous song. And the next song. Which is why I LOVE that these three songs appear together in this order on this CD.

I love these lyrics:

Well I wish I had some shoes on my two bare feet
And it’s gettin’ kinda cold in these painted on cut off jeans
I hate the way this bikini top chafes
Do I really have to wear it all day?

Aww no, Conway and George Strait
Never did it this way
Back in the old days
Aww y’all, we ain’t a cliché
That ain’t no way
To treat a lady
(Written by Taylor Dye, Maddie Marlow, & Aaron Scherz)

Any song that references classic hit-makers like Conway Twitty and George Strait is number one in my book. And they totally have a point about the bikini tops and Daisy Duke shorts. And they manage to spin it into a very catchy song.

Girl in a Country Song on YouTube

11. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line

Cruise was released to pop radio as a mix with rapper Nelly, and was a huge hit. A few years ago. Yes, I am behind.

This song is exactly the type of song that Maddie & Tae were just rallying against. The girl is in her bikini top, riding along silently in the man’s pickup truck, traveling down a dirt road she doesn’t even want to be on. I love these songs as much as the next person (I did include it on this CD, afterall), but does EVERY country song have to sound like this?

Oh My God, This Is My Song

“Play It Again” by Luke Bryan is totally stuck in my head.  All day long.

It is the only song  I want to hear right now.  Constantly.

I scanned all the country channels my whole way home in the car looking for it.  Which is ironic, because that is what the whole damn song is about.   And if the girl in the song had a fully-charged cell phone on her with a strong signal, she could just play the song again and again. But that is part of the song’s charm.  It has a very traditional country sound.  The lyrics are pretty traditional as well.

I grew up on late 70’s & 80’s country. That is the sound I like best. This song might be the beginning of a Country renaissance for me. I haven’t listened to Country music regularly since 2000. That is pretty much when I discovered Kid Rock.

She was like, oh my God, this is my song
I’ve been listenin’ to the radio all night long
Sittin’ ’round waitin’ for it to come on and here it is*

How many days and nights have I been this girl? And how many other girls out there have been in the same situation? And how has NO ONE written this song years ago?

Watch the video on YouTube below…

* Written by Ashley Gorley

What I Learned This Week – 2/16/14

This week I learned what “THAT” is, as in when Meatloaf sang “I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”

With Valentine’s Day this week, you may have seen this underwear on the Internet, especially as a Facebook joke meme:

Front: I would do anything for love Back: Butt I won't do that

Front: I would do anything for love
Back: Butt I won’t do that

The lyrics being a little unclear, I believe a large amount of the American population wonders if that is what the song actually means.  But, Meatloaf clears it up in the clip below (click on the picture):

Yahoo Daily Shot

Yahoo Daily Shot

He says the line of each verse is what he will NEVER DO,  and then “I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that” relates back up to it.  Apparently the songwriter told him no one would understand it, but he was like “How could people not?”  Below are the ones he lists in the clip:

“I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life….I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that”

“I’ll never forget the way you feel right now….I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that”

Hmmm.  I just read the lyrics online, and I am still confused by this song, even with his explanation.

The cast of Phenom (1993-94) Angela Goethals, Judith Light, Todd Louiso & Ashley Johnson

The cast of Phenom (1993-94)
Angela Goethals, Judith Light, Todd Louiso & Ashley Johnson

This week I was also presently surprised to find Todd Louiso pop up in my Entertainment Weekly, with his reaction to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death.

Go ahead.  Ask.

Who the hell is Todd Louiso?

Well, after a quick check of IMDb.com, he has apparently been steadily working for years and I just didn’t know it.

I know and love him from a short-lived sitcom from 1993 called Phenom.  He played the older, neurotic brother of a tennis phenomenon.

I looked it up and sure enough, someone put a whole bunch of episodes TV-to-VHS-to-YouTube.  And I see why I watched this show in the first place.  It would have been Judith Light’s first show after Who’s The Boss? and Ashley Johnson’s first show following Growing Pains.  (I LOVED Who’s the Boss and especially Growing Pains .)

This comment from IMDb.com describes why I watched the show as well as I ever could:

The premise for the t.v. show “Phenom” was actually pretty original but the show was not particularly amazing. It was just ok. What I found myself tuning in to see was the older brother character played by Todd Louiso. He was neurotic and funny, not to mention much less gifted than the main character (played by Angela Goethals). He was a very original character for a sitcom…

You can watch the pilot on YouTube here:

Apparently, Todd has recently been on Suburgatory recently as “Bob”.  I watch Suburgatory religiously every week and I have no idea who that character is 😦

I appologize for the Phenom theme song.  It is, well, bad.  It makes me want to tune out before the show even starts!

If you want to hear about an even OLDER TV sitcom with a much BETTER theme song, stop back buy on Tuesday for my next post.

Sara Rue was on Phenom as well.  I love her.  Stay tuned to I’m Not Stalking You, and in a few weeks I will talk about another old show that featured Miss Rue.

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