Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Thank God For Women (and a Few Good Men)

With the exception of my grandfather, John Henry Peoples, and President Jimmy Carter,

Autograph Carters

women have always seemed to inspire me more.

inspiration

This started with my dear mother, Dessie and Jessica Savitch of NBC News in the 1970s and 1980s, to Hillary Clinton!  I’m still with her!

Hillary AP

In the 1980s, I was obsessed and inspired by Madonna, Janet Jackson, Taylor Dayne, and Whitney Houston.

Reba Anthony 2005

In the 1990s, for me, it was Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless, Mariah Carey, LeAnn Rimes, Toni Braxton, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, and Gillian Anderson.

The 21st century highlighted a 1980s favorite, Kylie Minogue, and Britney Spears (who debuted on the pop scene in late 1998).  Both overcame what could have been career-ending obstacles (cancer and a breakdown) to show their strength, thus inspiring millions!

But today,  my blog is really dedicated to the first four female singers who made a big impact on my formative years — the 1970s.

While they all dominated the music world that decade, one charted her biggest hit in the 1980s and one of the others had massive hits in her genre into the mid-1990s!

Ironically, it wasn’t until the past five years or so that I finally got to see three of them in concert.  While radio only plays their classics now, they sounded amazing live well past their radio dominance!

In honor, I’ll start with the one that’s no longer with us.

Karen

Karen Carpenter’s voice was so angelic and the music of the Carpenters was inescapable starting with “(They Long To Be) Close to You” in 1970, which was their first Top 40 hit and it went on to top the chart.

“Merry Christmas Darling” is my second favorite Carpenters song and this one is my favorite.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

In September, Olivia Newton-John celebrated her 70th birthday.

As a kid, I absolutely fell in love with her when “Let Me Be There” hit the Billboard Country Top Ten in 1973.

Olivia has charted 27 Top 40 hits (pop and country).  Of those, 15 reached the Top Ten.

Five of those smashes reached #1:  “I Honestly Love You” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “You’re The One That I Want” (1978, with John Travolta), “Magic” (1980), and “Physical” (1981), which spent ten weeks at the top of the chart becoming her biggest hit.

I saw her in concert in Las Vegas in May 2014.

Olivia 2014

“Xanadu” is my favorite Olivia Newton-John song!  It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980.

If you’d like to read a full blog I dedicated to Olivia, here’s the link and it’ll open in a new window when you click on it.

I’m Still Hopelessly Devoted To Olivia

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/im-still-hopelessly-devoted-to-olivia/

TANYA TUCKER

I’ve been a huge Tanya Tucker fan since she exploded onto the country music scene in 1972 with “Delta Dawn”.

While Tanya is just six years older than me (she just celebrated her 60th birthday), it was fun seeing a teenager dominating country music.

delta_dawn-1973-tanya_tucker

I finally got to see Tanya in concert in December 2017 in Las Vegas.  She looked and sounded amazing.

Tanya.jpg

I’ve written two blog about her.

One was about her book “Nickel Dreams”, which covered her music career and her crazy personal life.

I’m Glad Tanya Tucker Shared Her Nickel Dreams

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/im-glad-tanya-tucker-shared-her-nickel-dreams/

The other was a countdown of my 20 favorite Tanya hits before I saw her in concert!

My 20 Favorite Tanya Tucker Songs

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/my-20-favorite-tanya-tucker-songs/

Spoiler alert!

spoiler-alert

If you don’t click on that to see what my 20 favorite Tanya songs are, here’s my favorite!

“Lizzie and the Rainman” hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart in 1975.

But the star of today’s blog is Helen Reddy, who’s celebrating her 77th birthday (October 25, 2018)!

HelenReddy2

Charting 14 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (three made it all the way to #1), she was referred to as the “Queen of 70s Pop”.

I was fortunate enough to catch her in concert outside of Chicago in March 2013.

Helen Reddy Sign.jpg

Helen Reddy 1

I almost got to meet her, but there was a mix-up at the theater.  😦  However, my friend Jim, who works for Helen, arranged for this gorgeous consolation gift!Helen Reddy Autograph

In honor of her birthday, I’m counting down my 10 favorite Helen Reddy songs!

#10  “YOU AND ME AGAINST THE WORLD”

#9     “AIN’T NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY”

#8    “EMOTION

#7   “PEACEFUL”

#6  “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM”

5

“LEAVE ME ALONE (RUBY RED DRESS)”

Interestingly enough, Helen now condemns the song “Leave Me Alone” as repetitive and points out that you hear the title of the song 43 times in the single.  I bet you’ll go back and listen to it now and count along.  🙂

When I saw her in concert in 2013, she didn’t perform it.

She once told an audience that it is “one song I will never ever sing again” and “that sort of songwriting doesn’t do much for me, but it was a hit. However, I don’t have to sing it anymore if I don’t want to, and I don’t want to.”

4

“ANGIE BABY”

#3 CD

“DELTA DAWN”

#2 CD

“KEEP ON SINGING”

This was featured in the medley for #5, but I’m posting the full version here.

Another number 1

“I AM WOMAN”

I’ve dedicated three blogs to Helen over the years and here are the links if you’d like to read them.  Again, each will open in a new window when you click on it!

Helen Reddy, Thank You For Making Me The Advocate I Am Now! (February 2012)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/helen-reddy-thank-you-for-making-me-the-advocate-i-am-now/

Helen, Here’s To Many More Happy Birthdays (October 2012)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/helen-heres-to-many-more-happy-birthdays/

Why Helen Reddy Will Always Remember Moline (September 2014)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/why-helen-reddy-will-always-remember-moline/

To each of these beautiful and wonderful ladies, thank you for music and the memories.  And, to all of the women (and Jimmy Carter and my grandfather), thank you for the inspiration!

Happy Birthday Helen and Happy Belated Birthday Olivia and Tanya!

Anthony

Look For The Silver Lining & Not The Cloud

This blog is not about weather.  However, I’m going to quickly mention it.  From a statistical standpoint, the middle of January is the coldest part of the winter.

Frosty Cold

This time of the year, you probably notice some people are more depressed.  It may have nothing to do with boyfriends or girlfriends, their life or lack of a life, or their financial situation.  Those people could not only be sad, but they could be suffering from “seasonal affective disorder”, or SAD.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about it:  “a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

Those people are excluded from what I’m talking about today.

Positive Thinking

I consider myself an “optimist”.  I always try to think that the best things will happen for me, my loved ones, and for mankind.  With that being said, I really consider myself a “realist”.  And, not only do I try to live my life that way, I’ll always tell you the way it is.  I’ve made people cry before and then I feel guilty.  Yes, I’ve made people cry!  I confess.

And, I shed tears, too.  Back at Murray State University, as a 20-year-old, I remember crying to “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon, and pining for a boy who out of my reach and wondering if I would ever find someone “like me”.  I can listen to that song now without being sad, but I still think back to those days in the mid-1980s.

I cried when my mother died 22 years ago and I remember the very dark years that followed.  The loss of my mother, turning down my first career job to move home, being single, and battling bulimia were great burdens and allowed little happiness in my life.

That was then and this is now.  That is why I’d never want to be in my 20s again and I sympathize with those trying to find themselves in their 20s.  I love my 40s and I can’t wait to see what my 50s bring in a couple of years.  Don’t do the math!   Use the brain cells for something else. 🙂

Cozumel December 22

This is a picture I took December 22, 2012, somewhere out in the western Caribbean after we left Cozumel and were cruising slowly back to reality.

When I see this, as I do in life, I see the sun breaking through the clouds.  Many people only see the clouds.  And, when you’re part of a mammoth social network like Facebook, you see “the clouds” a lot more in people’s posts.

I never want to paint it that my life is perfect.  It isn’t, but it’s mine.  I get agitated. I get bored.  And, that boredom, especially since I haven’t been working, leads to thinking — which sometimes makes me sad.

ABBAAnthonyBD2011

Additionally, it’s closing in on a year now since Miss ABBA crossed the “rainbow bridge” and left us.  I think of her a thousand times a day.  But, I don’t cry anymore about her.  I smile now thinking of that goofy golden.  I think of all of the wonderful days we had together.

When she first died, I thought about the times I had scolded her when she was bad.  And, it took me months to know that she needed to be disciplined at the time.  I don’t dwell on those times anymore.  I only think of the wonderful times we shared because that was our life.

Looking Ahead

I took this majestic picture on Spirit Lake two years ago.  Looking out over this frozen tundra made me realize that life is too short to dwell on all of the negatives in our life.  We all have them.  I have friends that are struggling to pay rent, feed their families, make utility payments, and I have some friends that would rather just be negative about any situation.

Tomorrow, I’m making a quick trip to Chicago to help an old friend that has destroyed their life by making a stupid decision two years ago.  This has resulted in losing their job and career, losing touch with their family, several run-ins with the Chicago Police Department, and now, financial ruin and depression.

I know going there tomorrow will not change anything for my friend.  My friend has to take responsibility.  No one else can do that for them.  When something bad happens to good people, it takes more energy to fight back than to accept defeat. I never want to know that I didn’t give it my all in life.  And, that’s why I’ll always smile through the tears.

I hope this quick trip to Chicago gives my friend the courage, the conviction, and the strength to fight.  If you’re in this situation, I hope you find that same courage, conviction, and strength.

As for me, I miss television and I miss forecasting weather.  It was so much fun to fill in for my old friend, Neil Kastor, and do radio weather the past three days for WSDR in Sterling, Illinois.  While I’m still angry at WQAD for their decision not to renew my contract, I know that something good is coming my way this spring.  I’ll wait out the storm and I’ll keep my positive attitude.

When it happens, you can call me Stefano DiMera, of “Days of Our Lives”.  That man has been killed off so many times and like the Phoenix, he rises from the flames.

ABBA December 2010

I want to live my life and I want my friends to live their lives like Miss ABBA.  This picture was taken three months before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  When she was given two to three months to live, we had the best two to three months living life to the fullest.  Those three months turned into ten months and she never wavered one day with sadness or sickness until the day before she died.

Miss ABBA, you’re my inspiration.

And, I hope I can relay that inspiration to the people I care about the most.  Smile, my friends, and look for the silver lining.  We only live once.

Anthony