Posts tagged music friday

Music Friday Flashback: R&B Legend Etta James Wants Diamonds, Not Flowers, in 1961's 'Tough Mary'

Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you vintage songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today the spotlight shines on the legendary Etta James and her 1961 satirical romp, "Tough Mary."

In this song that tells the story of a pretty girl and the boys who try to impress her with gifts, we hear Tough Mary's sassy way of expressing her distaste for posies. James belts, "Don't bring me flowers; don't bring me the sea / Just bring me diamonds, that'll suit me fine / And I'll love you forever, and you'll be mine."

"Tough Mary" is the fifth track on James' At Last! album, a release that spawned four hits. One of those was the title song, which was to become the R&B legend's signature tune. In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine ranked At Last! #119 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Born to a teen mother in 1938, Jamesetta Hawkins never knew her father and was raised primarily by her grandparents and foster families. She received her first professional vocal training at the age of five and soon became a popular singing attraction at the St. Paul Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles. She formed the doo-wop singing group — the Creolettes — with her friends in the early 1950s and scored her first hit single as a 15-year-old.

One year later, James was going steady with B.B. King ("The King of the Blues") and believed that King's 1960 blockbuster hit "Sweet 16" was about her.

James went on to become a headliner in the early 1960s with a string of chart-toppers, including "The Wallflower," "At Last," "Tell Mama," "Something's Got a Hold on Me," "Stormy Weather" and "I'd Rather Go Blind."

Her unmistakable voice, unique style and ability to bridge so many musical genres — such as blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel — earned James coveted spots in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Often referred to as the "The Matriarch of R&B," James passed away in 2012, just five days shy of her 74th birthday. The world misses Etta James, but her music — and her Facebook fan page with 1 million followers — lives on.

We hope you enjoy James' performance of "Tough Mary." The video and lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Tough Mary"
Written by Lorenzo Manley. Performed by Etta James.

Tough Mary, Tough Mary (Yeah, that's me)
Tough Mary is tough

The boys would come from miles around, with presents every day;
But when they'd call on Mary, this is what she'd say:

Don't bring me poses, when it's shoes I need;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) Don't bring me flowers; don't bring me the sea
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary is tough) Just bring me diamonds, that'll suit me fine;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) And I'll love you forever, and you'll be mine
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary is tough!)

Well, Mary, she's a very pretty girl; I guess she was born that way;
But whenever they would tell her that, this is what she'd say:

Don't bring me poses, when it's shoes I need;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) Don't bring me flowers; don't bring me the sea
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary is tough) Come on and bring me some diamonds, that'll suit me fine;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) And I'll love you forever, and you'll be mine
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary is tough!)

Tough Mary
Tough Mary
Tough Mary

Don't bring me poses, when it's shoes I need;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) Don't bring me flowers; don't bring me the sea
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary is tough) Come on and bring me some diamonds, that'll suit me fine;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) And I'll love you forever, and you'll be mine
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary is tough!)

Oh, I'm tough;
(Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary, Tough Mary) Yeah, yeah I'm tough

Credits: Facebook.com/EttaJames

Music Friday: Andra Day 'Gave Up Gold for Grains of Sand' in Her Bluesy New Release

Just last month, Rolling Stone magazine named Andra Day one of the "10 New Artists You Need to Know," and after listening to the vintage vocals of her brand new release, "Gold," we couldn't agree more.

Welcome to Music Friday when we introduce to you fresh music featuring jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Day's bluesy ballad is framed as an heartfelt apology to a former lover. She betrayed him even though he treated her "like a precious gift," and soon after, she learned a hard lesson when her new lover cheated on her.

Day describes her heartache with this line: "I gave up gold / For grains of sand / Slipping through my hand."

In an NPR interview preceding a live acoustic performance, Day explained how "Gold" was born.

"I was with someone that I was not good to, and wasn't faithful to," she said. "I used to be ashamed to talk about it, and 'Gold' was really my moment to say, 'I'm going to talk about it. I'm going to purge because other people experience this.'"

She continued, "So, it's basically a letter to him apologizing for what I had done. Sort of spelling out my experience and heartbreak after that — having someone betray me and what it felt like. And then letting him know that I now understand what [he] went through... It's a whole candid story told from beginning to end."

"Gold" is featured on Day's debut album,Forever Mine, which is scheduled to release next Friday. NPR Music posted the live acoustic video of Day's "Gold" on August 11. Besides being anointed by Rolling Stone as a new artist we need to know, Day has catapulted onto the music mainstream with a slew of high-profile appearances.

The singer-songwriter performed at the 2015 BET Awards and the LA2015 Special Olympics World Games Closing Ceremony. Also recently, she opened for Lenny Kravitz' tour and performed at the 2015 McDonald's 365Black Awards.

The San Diego native got her career jumpstarted in 2012 when a series of her popular song covers went viral on YouTube. Those videos caught the attention of numerous record labels, which courted the future star. Eventually, she signed with Warner Bros. Records.

We know you will enjoy the video of the fabulous live acoustic performance of Day singing "Gold." Close your eyes for a moment and you'll swear that a time machine just delivered you to a nightclub in the 1950s. Of course, the lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

"Gold"

Written and performed by Andra Day.

He don't know I call him the teacher
He had a hard lesson for the kid
I get I put you through hell
He put me under the same spell
He lied man, he stressed me out
You loved me like a precious gift
And he loved me like a sloppy kiss
You would tell me your heartaches
Now I understand the pain
Oh why did I let you drown

Baby would you believe
That I've been broken
You say memories
Play again and again
I see the reel now it's real to me
I gave up gold
For grains of sand
Slipping through my hand (2X)

You had no problems with commitment
Like a king is loyal to what’s his
You looked for a ring to fit
While I played wifey with a kid
Oh the irony makes me sick

He tried to make me look crazy
Nothing new about his kind of scheme
I laugh when I think about
His face when truth nearly spilled out
He looked like me I get that now

Baby would you believe
That I've been broken
You say memories
Play again and again
I see the reel, now it's real to me
I gave up gold
For grains of sand
Slipping through my hand (4X)

Baby would you believe
That I've been broken
You say memories
Play again and again
I see the reel, now it's real to me
I gave up gold
For grains of sand
Slipping through my hand (4X)

Music Friday: Meghan Trainor's 'Like I'm Gonna Lose You' Has the Singer Dreaming in Silver and Gold

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature Meghan Trainor singing her brand new release, "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," a jazzy ballad about never taking loved ones for granted and always making the most of life's precious moments.

In the first verse, Trainor sings, "I found myself dreaming in silver and gold / Like a scene from a movie that every broken heart knows / We were walking on moonlight and you pulled me close / Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone."

Trainer, who co-wrote the song with Justin Weaver and Caitlyn Smith, explained to Digital Spy that the impassioned song was spawned by an all-too-real nightmare.

"['Like I'm Gonna Lose You' has] very emotional lyrics that take you to a real place," she said. "You know when you have those nightmares that your brother or sister or boyfriend just dies? And you wake up sweating and crying, and then you have to go check on them to make sure they're still alive, and they are. And you're like, 'Oh my God, thank God.' It's like, I'm going to love you like I'm going to lose you because I know what it feels like from that dream and I'm not going to let it happen."

Released just 24 days ago as the fourth single from her chart-topping album, Title, "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 this week at #95. With Trainor performing the song at the "2015 Billboard Music Awards" and on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, we expect "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" to catapult into the Top 20 in short time.

The song was originally intended to be a solo recording, but Trainor and her management team presented her demo to John Legend, who reportedly told Trainor, "I love this, I want to be a part of it. It's gonna be cool." The result is a beautiful collaboration between two of the music industry's brightest talents.

The music video depicts Trainor staring through the window of a candlelit room as the rain pours outside. Legend sings his part from the outside of the building, separated from Trainor by a paned-glass wall. Interspersed are scenes of companions standing in the rain. Among them are a mother and infant child, a homeless man and his dog, a woman and her elderly mother, a man on crutches and his girlfriend, and a soaked-to-the-skin Legend, who plays Trainor's love interest.

In the end, the sun emerges, the sky lightens and Trainor and Legend join hands as if to symbolize a love that has conquered all.

Trainer was recently in the news when she canceled her concert tour due to a hemorrhage on her vocal cords. The red-hot artist was ordered by her physician to completely refrain from singing during her recovery.

Fortunately, we have her official video below. Please enjoy Trainor and Legend performing "Like I'm Gonna Lose You." The lyrics are included if you'd like to sing along.

"Like I'm Gonna Lose You"

Written by Meghan Trainor, Justin Weaver, Caitlyn Smith. Performed by Meghan Trainor, featuring John Legend.

I found myself dreaming in silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie that every broken heart knows
We were walking on moonlight and you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone

I woke up in tears
With you by my side
A breath of relief
And I realized
No, we're not promised tomorrow

So I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you

[John Legend:] In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is you never know

So I'll kiss you longer baby
Any chance that I get
I'll make the most of the minutes and love with no regrets

Let's take our time
To say what we want
Use what we got
Before it's all gone
'Cause no, we're not promised tomorrow

[Both:] So I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you

Hey
Whoa

I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you

Images: NBC, YouTube screen capture.

Music Friday: Sleeping With Sirens’ Kellin Quinn Has a 24-Karat Vision of Success in the Brand New Release, ‘Gold’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Sleeping With Sirens' frontman Kellin Quinn has a 24-karat vision of success in the group’s brand new single, “Gold.”

Released on Wednesday with an exclusive premiere on Billboard.com, “Gold” alludes to the band's six-year-long, often-bumpy ride to the top of the charts, and how they overcame adversity and never took their eyes off the prize.

Quinn explained his inspirations for writing the song.

“It kind of goes back to those early days of us touring in a van and the experience of touring, getting where you needed to go, not being afraid," Quinn told Billboard.com. "When you're coming up as a band you have this excitement. The only place to go is forward. So that was kind of the idea for me, thinking about the climb and the getting there, some of the most exciting parts of the journey of being in a band and being an artist, creating songs in your garage. That's where the song started for me."

Showcasing his unique tenor leggiero vocal range, Quinn sings, “We made our mistakes / It's not too late / We had to learn the hard way / Bridges will burn / Now it's our turn / We had to learn the hard way / Because all we ever want is gold.”

“Gold” is the third track from the band’s album, Madness, which is set to release on March 17. Billboard.com is predicting that Madness will debut in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The band’s previous album made its debut at #3 on the album chart.

Sleeping With Sirens, which boasts three million Facebook followers, is currently on the European leg of a five-month world tour, which started in Fresno, Calif., in November and will end in London next month.

We invite you to listen to Quinn and his band singing “Gold.” The video and lyrics are below…

"Gold"
Written by Kellin Quinn. Performed by Sleeping With Sirens.

All we want, what we want is
All we want is gold
Sun sets on my nylon
Pull the windows down in the van
Lost my map on the Jersey turnpike
But it's okay we ain't looking back

All we ever want is gold
One way on this winding road

We made our mistakes
It's not too late
We had to learn the hard way
Bridges will burn
Now it's our turn
We had to learn the hard way
Because all we ever want is gold
We made our mistakes
It's not too late
We had to learn the hard way

It's two in the morning
Can't seem to find the words for a song
I remember my dreams and how fun they seem
I can't believe how far we have come
Cause all we ever want is gold
So is sixty miles on this open road

We made our mistakes
It's not too late
We had to learn the hard way
Bridges will burn
Now it's our turn
We had to learn the hard way
Because all we ever want is gold
We made our mistakes
It's not too late
We had to learn the hard way

Don't lose your faith in me (Don't ever look like, don't ever look like)
It's never what it seems

You make your mistakes
But it's never too late
We had to learn the hard way
You made your mistakes
It's not too late
You had to learn the hard way
Bridges will burn
Now it's your turn
You had to learn the hard way
Cause all we ever want is gold
All we ever want is gold (We had to learn the hard way)
All we want, what we want is
All we want is gold
All we want, what we want is
All we want is gold

Music Friday: Check Out Tim McGraw’s Brand New Single, ‘Diamond Rings and Old Barstools’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we give you a sneak peek at what promises to be a sure-fire country music hit — Tim McGraw’s “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools.”

Set to be released next Monday as the fourth single from McGraw’s chart-topping Sundown Heaven Town album, “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” was touted by Billboard magazine as “the crowning moment of the disc.”

“It’s high on emotional drama, high on steel, and high on some outstanding harmony from McGraw’s cousin Catherine Dunn — who proves there’s more talent in the family genetic pool,” Billboard gushed.

“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” is a song about former lovers who finally accept the bitter truth that their relationship will never work out. McGraw sings, “Diamond rings and old barstools / One's for queens and one's for fools / One's the future and one's the past / One's forever and one won't last.”

McGraw will be performing “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” during his upcoming “Shotgun Rider Tour ’15,” which will kick off in June and visit 30 cities in North America. McGraw will bring his high-energy show to a combination of amphitheaters, arenas and festivals. The tour is named for the three-time Grammy Award-winning artist’s most recent #1 single, “Shotgun Rider,” which spent four weeks at the top of the country charts. The album Sundown Heaven Town was released in September 2014 and peaked at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart.

McGraw, who has been married to country star Faith Hill since 1996, has sold more than 40 million albums since he first burst onto the country music scene in 1992. Twenty-five of his singles have gone to #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, and 10 of his 12 studio albums have topped the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart.

We know you will enjoy McGraw’s live performance of “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools.” Click the video below and check out the lyrics if you’d like to sing along…

"Diamond Rings and Old Barstools" Written by Barry Dean, Luke Laird. Performed by Tim McGraw with Catherine Dunn.

Diamond rings and old barstools
One's for queens and one's for fools
One's the future and one's the past
One's forever and one won't last

[Chorus:]

It ain't like midnight and cigarette smoke
It ain't like watered down whiskey and coke
I guess some things just don't mix like you hoped
Like me and you
And diamond rings and old barstools

The wrongs and rights, the highs and lows
The "I love you's," the "I told you so's"
Past few miles to wherever's home
Another morning waking up alone

[Repeat Chorus]

We ain't like midnight and cigarette smoke
Nothing like watered down whiskey and coke
I guess some things just don't mix like you hoped
Like me and you
And diamond rings and old barstools