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  • Writer's picturejim lenz

OLLI Pirate Radio 211

Well, I've had a pretty busy and non-traditional schedule lately, but never in a million years would I have guessed that I would just forget to do Olli Pirate Radio! I could have sworn I did it last Friday, but apparently that was two Fridays ago. Time flies when you're busier than a long-tailed cat at a rcking chair convention.

 

First one I've missed in over four years.

 

Shit.

 

Well . . . a belated welcome to

 

 

OLLI PIRATE RADIO!

 

 

 

Not only did I forget a week of OPR, but my joke at the start of that last one apparently fell almost entirely on deaf ears. When I said my new favorite number was 34, but it would probably increase in the near future, one listener said, "Oh, Walter Payton is your new favorite Bears player?"

 

No. 34 was Walter Payton's jersey number (now retired), and he was a great player, but that's not it.

 

Another said, "Oh, was that Dick Butkus's number?"

 

No! Dick Butkus's number (also now retired) was 51, not 34. Jeeze, everyone knows that! The fact that the Bears management didn't retire the number 51 until twenty years after Butkus retired, so seven player wore it after he did (the last one being Jim Morrissey in 1993), just goes to show that Bears management have often been jerks.

 

Usually, come to think of it.

 

 

34 is the current number of felony convictions of former-president Trump. That is why I said my favorite number is likely to grow in the future.

 

Man . . . tough crowd. (Or dense; I'm not sure which.)

 

 

Moving right along. The Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year, (if by day you mean longest period of daylight, and if not, then they're all pretty much the same length)--was last Thursday, and so now it is officially summer. Of course, for me summer officially began when I brought my Hawaiian shirts out of storage, and for many others it began the first time they turned on their AC.

 

When I think of the Solstice, I think of ancient calendars and ways of keeping time, and you don’t find many more ancient than Stonehenge. Here is a seldom-seen view of the Stonehenge site in England.

 

Little-Known Fact: Those guys are setting Stonehenge ahead one hour for daylight savings time.

 

It now being summer, my thoughts turn to music about summer, and I bet yours do as well. (I say that because it's a thing people say, but I wouldn’t actually bet serious money on it.) So what's more natural than songs about summer?

 

The question was rhetorical.

 

So, first up this week is a very interesting string ensemble and sometimes-jazz-band called Stringspace, hailing from Australia (where summer is cold and dark, and people eat vegemite sandwiches). As near as I can tell, they are primarily a string ensemble who perform at special events of all sorts where a higher class of music is desired. Their repertoire is mostly classical, with a fair amount of jazz as well. They were founded in 2003 and seem to do all sorts of stuff with various-sized groups of musicians. They do recordings as well and I'm seeing more of their stuff on the internet.

 

This is from their 2015 album Quiet Nights: Jazz and Bosa Nova. It's that great song from George Gershwin's 1935 folk opera Porgy and Bess, based on DuBoise Heyward's 1925 novel Porgy. This was the first opera to feature an entirely Black cast. Although the lyrics to a few songs were written by Ira Gershwin, DuBoise Heyward wrote the libretto and almost all of the song lyrics, including the one we are about to listen to.

 

Please enjoy Stringspace performing "Summertime."

 

 

 

Beautiful strings, but I love that sax.

 

Next up is one of my favorite bands from the 1970s and beyond, Chicago. This is from their fourth studio album, Chicago 5 (there was a live album in there as well), and it's sort of a watershed album for them. Their original album, Chicago Transit Authority, was a fairly conventional single-disc album with tight, concise tracks, Then they started doing double albums, with lots of extended tracks that went on and on. But this one was a return to basics: one disc with ten tight tracks in the three-to-six-minute range. This was a great album, got them a lot of critical acclaim, and was their first Number-One-Selling album. The lead single, released before the album, was also a big hit, and no wonder. I still love it.

 

From 1972 please enjoy Chicago performing "Saturday in the Park."

 

 

To round out our summertime musical salute, we have another band from the 1970s, and another release from 1972. The band is Seals and Crofts, the album was their fourth album, titled Summer Breeze, and the song is the title track to that. They're called a Soft Rock group, and that's a fair description. James Seals and George "Dash" Crofts enjoyed a lot of success for a decade or so, and certainly released a lot of albums. I don't think they left much of a lasting impression on music, but I still like this song.

 

One of the more interesting things about them is that James Seals's younger brother Dan was nicknamed "England Dan" because of his love of the Beatles. About the same time Seals and Crofts were hitting it big, the younger Seals formed a singing duo with John Colley (who changed the spelling of his last name to Coley and added Ford as a middle name to "improve the flow"), thus the group England Dan and John Ford Coley, whose biggest hit was "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" from 1976. Later they split but "England Dan" had a second career in country music as Dan Seals, and had eleven number 1 hits in that genre. Huh.

 

But I digress.

 

Please enjoy Seals and Crofts singing "Summer Breeze."

 

Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze (Lyrics)Well, I've had a pretty busy and non-traditional schedule lately, but never in a million years would I have guessed that I would just forget to do Olli Pirate Radio! I could have sworn I did it last Friday, but apparently that was two Fridays ago. Time flies when you're busier than a long-tailed cat at a rcking chair convention.

 

First one I've missed in over four years.

 

Well . . . a belated welcome to

 

 

OLLI PIRATE RADIO!

 

 

 

Not only did I forget a week of OPR, but my joke at the start of that last one apparently fell almost entirely on deaf ears. When I said my new favorite number was 34, but it would probably increase in the near future, one listener said, "Oh, Walter Payton is your new favorite Bears player?"

 

No. 34 was Walter Payton's jersey number (now retired), and he was a great player, but that's not it.

 

Another said, "Oh, was that Dick Butkus's number?"

 

No! Dick Butkus's number (also now retired) was 51, not 34. Jeeze, everyone knows that! The fact that the Bears management didn't retire the number 51 until twenty years after Butkus retired, so seven player wore it after he did (the last one being Jim Morrissey in 1993), just goes to show that Bears management have often been jerks.

 

Usually, come to think of it.

 

 

34 is the current number of felony convictions of former-president Trump. That is why I said my favorite number is likely to grow in the future.

 

Man . . . tough crowd. (Or dense; I'm not sure which.)

 

 

Moving right along. The Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year, (if by day you mean longest period of daylight, and if not, then they're all pretty much the same length)--was last Thursday, and so now it is officially summer. Of course, for me summer officially began when I brought my Hawaiian shirts out of storage, and for many others it began the first time they turned on their AC.

 

When I think of the Solstice, I think of ancient calendars and ways of keeping time, and you don’t find many more ancient than Stonehenge. Here is a seldom-seen view of the Stonehenge site in England.

 




Little-Known Fact: Those guys are setting Stonehenge ahead one hour for daylight savings time.


It now being summer, my thoughts turn to music about summer, and I bet yours do as well. (I say that because it's a thing people say, but I wouldn’t actually bet serious money on it.) So what's more natural than songs about summer?

 

The question was rhetorical.

 

So, first up this week is a very interesting string ensemble and sometimes-jazz-band called Stringspace, hailing from Australia (where summer is cold and dark, and people eat vegemite sandwiches). As near as I can tell, they are primarily a string ensemble who perform at special events of all sorts where a higher class of music is desired. Their repertoire is mostly classical, with a fair amount of jazz as well. They were founded in 2003 and seem to do all sorts of stuff with various-sized groups of musicians. They do recordings as well and I'm seeing more of their stuff on the internet.

 

This is from their 2015 album Quiet Nights: Jazz and Bosa Nova. It's that great song from George Gershwin's 1935 folk opera Porgy and Bess, based on DuBoise Heyward's 1925 novel Porgy. This was the first opera to feature an entirely Black cast. Although the lyrics to a few songs were written by Ira Gershwin, DuBoise Heyward wrote the libretto and almost all of the song lyrics, including the one we are about to listen to.

 

Please enjoy Stringspace performing "Summertime."

 

 

 

Beautiful strings, but I love that sax.

 

Next up is one of my favorite bands from the 1970s and beyond, Chicago. This is from their fourth studio album, Chicago 5 (there was a live album in there as well), and it's sort of a watershed album for them. Their original album, Chicago Transit Authority, was a fairly conventional single-disc album with tight, concise tracks, Then they started doing double albums, with lots of extended tracks that went on and on. But this one was a return to basics: one disc with ten tight tracks in the three-to-six-minute range. This was a great album, got them a lot of critical acclaim, and was their first Number-One-Selling album. The lead single, released before the album, was also a big hit, and no wonder. I still love it.

 

From 1972 please enjoy Chicago performing "Saturday in the Park."

 

 

To round out our summertime musical salute, we have another band from the 1970s, and another release from 1972. The band is Seals and Crofts, the album was their fourth album, titled Summer Breeze, and the song is the title track to that. They're called a Soft Rock group, and that's a fair description. James Seals and George "Dash" Crofts enjoyed a lot of success for a decade or so, and certainly released a lot of albums. I don't think they left much of a lasting impression on music, but I still like this song.

 

One of the more interesting things about them is that James Seals's younger brother Dan was nicknamed "England Dan" because of his love of the Beatles. About the same time Seals and Crofts were hitting it big, the younger Seals formed a singing duo with John Colley (who changed the spelling of his last name to Coley and added Ford as a middle name to "improve the flow"), thus the group England Dan and John Ford Coley, whose biggest hit was "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" from 1976. Later they split but "England Dan" had a second career in country music as Dan Seals, and had eleven number 1 hits in that genre. Huh.

 

But I digress.

 

Please enjoy Seals and Crofts singing "Summer Breeze."

 



Now we come to the part of our show dedicated to a featured artists (or theme) of the month, and this month we're listening to saxophonist David Sanborn. This is a song written by Paul F. Michell, about whom I confess I know next to nothing. Perhaps one of our more erudite jazz scholars can fill in something interesting. The song was on Sanborn's 2010 album Only Everything. It's not exactly a summer song, but its light, lively sax always makes me think of a sunny day.

 

Please enjoy him playing "Hard Times," (not to be confused with the Steven Foster classic of the same name).

 

 


So that's it for this go-round. Have a wonderful week, everyone, and I'll see you next time. . . which hopefully will.

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