Thursday, August 28, 2014

August's Underappreciated Music: "In Memoriam" Songs

Hello all. The Labor Day weekend is upon us, and unofficially brings Summer 2014 to a close. I hope your summer was a fun and restful one.

For this month's Underappreciated Music, I decided to go with a theme. I recently came across a couple of songs I cateogrize as "In Memoriam" songs, songs which pay tribute to someone who has passed, particularly a celebrity. The following songs are just a few that represent the concept well.

The first song I feature this month is the one that got me thinking about this theme, the 1972 Righteous Brothers hit "Rock and Roll Heaven." In a sad irony, member Bobby Hatfield is himself no longer with us.

The most beautiful example of this type of song I've ever heard is a dedication to John Lennon, Elton John's "Empty Garden." Arguably Bernie Taupin's best work.

Lennon's Beatles bandmate George Harrison wrote and recorded his own tribute to Lennon, "All Those Years Ago."

Ringo Starr would in turn dedicate a song to Harrison upon his death, the wistful "Never Without You."

Next to the deaths of John Lennon and Buddy Holly, no singer's passing affected audiences like that of Elvis Presley. Here is a tribute to the King, a #1 song from Alannah Myles, "Black Velvet."

Finally, a smooth way to complete this collection is this song, a tribute to both Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, the sweet, soulful "Nightshift."

Everyone please have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend! Next week, we go Back to School!

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