Thursday, October 21, 2010

Call Me: Call Me (Two Soulful Versions)


Aretha Franklin: Call Me


Al Green: Call Me (Come Back Home)


I'm back from 3 weeks in Europe; didja miss me? I missed SMM, especially Discovery Week, which I watched from afar (and great, great job, everyone!) Every day I wrote a post in my head about a discovery of mine, which I'd change by the next day. I mean, where would I even begin? With my very first 45 record that I listened to over and over on my little kiddie record player at the tender age of 4? That would be The Andrews Sisters "Sugar in the Morning" (and if I could ever get hold of that single, I'd be over the moon!) Or would I write about my most recent discovery, NICO Touches the Walls, a group I'm exploring right this very moment after hearing "THE BUNGY" last week? Because I've been around for a long time, you could say I'm spoiled for choice. And while I may not know you well or even at all, I can pretty much say for certainty that all of you are the same – music moves you and your life. The song may not remain the same but music is important. Do you find yourself at a loss for words when you find yourself fervently proselytizing about some special song or group, only to be told that your listener "doesn't really pay attention to music at all." I'm left guppying in amazement.

Therefore, I'm going to sneak in a bit of discovery for my "Call Me" songs.

I grew up in suburban Detroit (aka The Motor City – Motown) in the '60s, which means I listened to a whole lot of soul music at a tender age on WKNR (Keener 13) and CKLW (which, okay, was technically a Canadian station, but it was just across the river). One of my favorite singers then and now is Aretha Franklin, a Detroit native.

Aretha wrote "Call Me" in 1970 as a slow piano-backed ballad, which is backed with the famous session musicians, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. She pleads with her lover to keep in touch during their upcoming separation, but expresses confidence that love will carry them through. And you get the feeling it will.

Another powerful soul singer expresses the same sentiment in a song of (nearly) the same name. Al Green's 1973 hit implies that his upcoming separation may be permanent and perhaps their love isn't quite so solid, but he urges his lover to "come back home" if the going gets rough.

I was reminded of the staying power of this tune when I heard it Tuesday while shopping at my local Ross, a store that plays some pretty good music and isn't afraid to turn it up, either. I know you notice ambient music, too, admit it. You're the person next to me in the elevator who knows I'm not some crazy woman laughing at nothing - I'm just chuckling at the incongruity of that Muzaked version of "White Wedding."

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