Looking for Mellow (plus, pick your favorite version of this week's classic song)

Less than two weeks after a doctor who performed late-term abortions was killed at church, there was a shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. In one of the most ironic details I've heard in a long time, the security guard who was killed, rest his soul, opened the front door for the 88-year-old white supremacist gunman, who repaid his kind act by fatally shooting him. Talk about bad things happening to good people.

Today is the big changeover for television. Are you ready? All of our sets, the LCDs we purchased when we bought the house last year as well as the older models (including one that was purchased way back in 1987 by my parents and given to us years later), so we shouldn't have a problem, but I've got this creepy feeling that all we'll see is snow on our screens at noon this afternoon. We'll see . . . .

My husband, bless his heart, flew to Washington on Tuesday and didn't think it was worth mentioning to me that his flight's departure from Milwaukee was delayed by hours due to storms in the Washington area (men . . . .) When I started wondering why the heck I hadn't heard from him two hours after he should have landed I tried calling his cell, only to find out that his phone was still turned off. After calling his hotel and learning he hadn't checked in (by now it was nearkly 9PM Eastern Time), and then calling the car rental place and learning he hadn't picked up his vehicle, I had a terrible feeling that something bad had happened. Fortunately, someone at the car rental place informed me that Reagan Airport had been closed for a few hours due to storms and was nice enough to look up his flight for me and give me the revised arrival time. Needless to say, Bernard called as soon as the plane arrived at the gate because he knew I'd be worried. Instead of landing at 6:30PM local time, he landed at 9:05.

In a coincidence, my agent took that same flight home just two days earlier (she had a 4-hour layover, and I picked her up and we had a leisurely lunch). Fortunately, her trip home went without incident. What a difference 48 hours makes!

The singer-songwriter Kenny Rankin passed away earlier this week of lung cancer. Funny thing about Kenny. People either loved his music (I know that easy listening has a reputation for blandness, but Kenny wasn't bland) or they hated it, similar to people's feelings about the sound of jazz singer Michael Franks. He had a wonderful mellow sound that was always welcome to my ears. I all but wore out his Kenny Rankin Album in LP form, then years later purchased it on CD.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any clips on You Tube of any of my favorites Rankin performances, but because some mellow music would hit the spot after a frantic week, so I'm doing something I haven't done in a while, giving you two versions of the same song and asking whick is your favorite. This is a gem of a song written by two of the Burke brothers who made up the group The Five Stairsteps and recorded by them around 1977, a time when the four brothers were performing without their sister and used the name The Stairsteps. The song did not get the recognition I felt it deserved, but did achieve a wider audience shortly after when it was recorded by the group Pockets. In my opinion, I think they're both excellent, but I give the edge to the Stairsteps, because I really like the flute, and I've always loved their voices.

So my question to you as I wish you a good weekend is, which one do you think is the best?

The Stairsteps (original)

Pockets (cover)


shelia said...

Bettye, I know you were worried and were relieved to get his phone call. I've been under a rock lately it seems. I didn't realize Kenny Rankin had died.

bettye griffin said...

I think poor Kenny, while reasonably well known, wasn't considered to "rate" much press coverage. Fortunately, I check The New York Times website at least once a week. They cover the passing of most prominent people.

It's good to hear from you, Shelia! I know you've been swamped.