Back in 1974 I paid for (and enjoyed, immensely) an America holiday. Because it was an excursion into the best parts of musical imagination. And…what? You think I misspelled it? Oh, I see. You think it should have been American with the n at the end. Yeah, I get it. But no.
I got it right. America Holiday.
But maybe I should clear up the mixup. I should have added “album.” I paid for (and enjoyed, immensely) an America Holiday album. Whew. Thank goodness we got that straight.
Back then, when you bought an album, you actually got an album. On vinyl. And typically the album contained lyrics and other tidbits of info inside the cover. So, you didn’t just “stream” a song. You listened to it. And you read the lyrics as you listened. Or, at least, I sure did.
And since I had gotten a lot of classical voice training in high school, I greatly appreciated when the pop/rock groups of the day incorporated classical instrumentation into their songs.
So, two songs on the Holiday album, from the band, America, piqued my musical imagination right away. And there’s classical music influence through the whole album. And that’s thanks, mainly, to the production work of George Martin. Maybe you’ve heard of him? He also produced for an obscure band from England…the Beatles.
If you’ve never listened to the Holiday album, and you’ve got about 36 minutes to spare, check it out. Or, at the very least, skip the commercials (of course) and listen to Miniature/Tin Man
But there’s something else that’s even better.
Dan Peek, one of the founding members of America, left the band in 1977 because he was tired of all the travel, recreational drugs, and groupies. I read that he “renounced drugs and alcohol” and “renewed his Christian faith.” And he became a “pioneering artist” in the Christian pop music genre.
He did a remake of the hit song “Lonely People” and changed some lyrics to reflect his Christian faith. Instead of singing the lines: “And ride that highway in the sky” and “You never know until you try” he sang “And give your heart to Jesus Christ.”
Sadly, Dan died 10 years ago today. November 1, 2011. He was only 60. But he shed the Tin Man and put on the New Man. So, I’ll bet he’s singing brand new songs now.
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Or how about some music for kids