When We’re Singin’

I finished reading the book “When We’re Singin’” by Johnny Ray Miller.  It gave me a lot of information about the Partridge Family’s music, so it’s a good guide if you ever want to go back and listen to those albums.  It makes the case that the group of songwriters, musicians, and producers were the best of that era.  Susan Dey didn’t participate in the interviews, but one of the touching quotes from the book is about her.  Suzanne Crough said that she still admired her, and also said, “It’s been a long time, Susan, and I think about you often.  You were a great sister, and I love you.”  Danny Bonaduce talked about the effort it took to learn how to play the bass for “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted.”  The book does give you an appreciation of what it takes to play good music.  Pop music fans are so dismissive of what they don’t like.  The information on the lost tracks is pretty interesting.  I’d like to listen to some of those songs that didn’t make it onto any album or episode.  I liked seeing a photo of the set, too.  Around the time of the “Notebook” album, record sales were declining, and it seemed that the reason was that fans were getting sick of the sound.  It was too many albums, along with all the other merchandise, within a three-year period.  Musicians can’t just hole themselves up in a recording studio.  They need to go out there and see what people are doing and hear what they’re talking about.  How many times on the Partridge Family television show did they refer to current events?  Of course, there’s something to be said about being pressed to produce some results.  The Beatles were obligated to put out those singles and albums, and they were productive for all those years.  I think about the pop stars of today spending years between albums, and all that time just results in mediocre music.  Through most of the pages, “When We’re Singin’” has fun and interesting material.  It gets somewhat repetitive, to a degree reflect the content of the music, has it goes on to its conclusion.  One thing that was needed was someone to proofread the pages.  The most frequent mistake was “use to” instead of “used to.”  Those mistakes were annoying and distracting.  Funny that a theme in the book was perfectionism.  Another good thing in the book was the pages of color photos, some of them showing the memorabilia.  I’ve never seen the Partridge Family record cabinet before.  One of the amusing anecdotes involved Henry Kissinger watching the filming of one of the song performances.  I imagine that he was surprised at what he saw.  When I finished reading the book, I felt sad about the era that’s now gone.  I think the cast members had interesting things to say about the show and its lasting popularity.  I sat down to watch Martin Luther King on the Merv Griffin Show.  I also saw David Bowie and Cher singing “Young Americans.”  Some of the people who died on January 19 include James Dickey (1997), Carl Perkins (1998), Hedy Lamarr (2000), Tony Franciosa (2006), Wilson Pickett (2006), Suzanne Pleshette (2008), Stan Musial (2013), and Earl Weaver (2013).  Today is a birthday for Paul Rodriguez (62), Katey Sagal (63), and Dolly Parton (71).

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