Where I live, summer has arrived and this time of extended daylight hours invites more opportunities to enjoy leisure activities and social functions. I perceive that summertime used to symbolize a season to relax and kick back a bit, but it’s been many years that I’ve felt relaxed in any sense of the word. In fact, I believe it’s accurate to claim that many people have to make an effort to relax, which is definitely a contradiction in terms.
For myself, music allows me to explore worlds of emotions that belong only to me. When I need inspiration, when I need comfort, when I need hope, when I need peace, when I need to relax, music is my counsel. A staple for music that helps me relax is “Up on the Roof”. Though it is not his original song, the version by James Taylor is tied at the top of my list for musical therapy (Dan Fogelberg’s music is at the top of my list, as well). I continually thank these amazing artists and more for their counsel throughout my life.
So, through all of the nonstop action, long nights, lack of sleep, and limited times of relaxation, my soul feeds on music to help me through all of it. I’d anticipate others have their coping mechanisms to overcome their daily struggles. Music is “it” for me.
My dad celebrates his 74th Birthday this week. Happy 74th Birthday, Dad! Thanks for all that you do and all that you inspire us to do, Pops. Your genius, will power, passion, and desire to do what you believe, has no equal. Thank you for continually leading the way for our family.
"Up on the Roof" is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and recorded in 1962 by The Drifters: released late that year, the disc became a major hit in early 1963, reaching number 5 on the U.S. pop singles chart and number 4 on the U.S. R&B singles chart. In the UK it was a top ten success for singer Kenny Lynch, whose version was also released in 1962.
James Taylor, who had played guitar on Carole King's remake of "Up on the Roof" on her album Writer and who had performed a duet with King on the song at her Carnegie Hall concert of June 18, 1971, remade "Up on the Roof" for his 1979 album release Flag. Issued as the album's lead single, Taylor's version of "Up on the Roof" evidenced the eclipsing of Taylor's impact as a mainstream hit maker by peaking at number 28 in July 1979 (the lead single from Taylor's precedent album JT, a remake of "Handy Man", had peaked at number 4.) Although Taylor reached number 11 in 1981 with his duet with J.D. Souther entitled "Her Town Too", "Up on the Roof" remained Taylor's final Top 40 hit as a soloist. Rearranged around Taylor's trademark acoustic guitar playing and vocal accents and interjections, his version of "Up on the Roof" became a concert staple, often with a star-lit urban dreamscape presented behind the stage halfway through the number as his band played unison ascending notes to echo the song's theme. It was included on his 1993 live album (LIVE) and his 2000 Greatest Hits Volume 2 compilation and was played at The Concert For New York City following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks where he introduced it as representing his and the writers' positive feelings for the city. Taylor and King performed the song together, switching back and forth from one's arrangement to the other, as the first encore during their 2010 Troubadour Reunion Tour shows.
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