Monday, April 20, 2015


It’s THAT time again.  Tax time.  In the U.S. taxes were due April 15th.  In Canada, it’s April 30th.  So, to ease the pain of filling out those forms and giving so much of your hard earned money back to the government, here’s a quiz about ‘money’ songs.  ALL of the songs in question have the word ‘money’ in the title and believe me, there’s no shortage of ‘money’ songs.  For example: Pink Floyd’s “Money” from their 1973 album, “Dark Side of The Moon”.  Then there’s tTHA.  he song “Money (That’s What I Want)”.  Did you know that charted four times by four separate performers?  That doesn’t include The Beatles version from their first album, which was never released as a single.  Barrett Strong, who co-wrote “Money (That’s What I Want)”, initially took it to # 20 on the singles chart in 1960.  Four years later, The Kingsmen (“Louie Louie”) climbed even further up the charts to # 16 with their version.  Then, Motown saxophone star Jr. Walker (“Shotgun”) brought it back on the charts in 1966, where it reached # 52.  Finally in 1980, The Flying Lizards (who could ever forget them), had a # 50 hit with that same song. 
In 1997, the late Notorious B.I.G. had a # 1 hit with “Mo Money Mo Problems” feat. Puff Daddy & Mase.  You see, there are lots of songs with ‘money’ in the title to choose from.  So, if you’ve figured out the plot by now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of ‘money’.

1.  In April 1976, this tartan clad group that had girls all over the world screaming and sighing and buying their records, ’rolled’ their ‘money’ song to # 9 on the singles chart for one week.  A few months earlier, they’d climbed to # 1 with their debut hit, ”Saturday Night”.  What’s the name of the group and their ‘money’ song?     
2.  This singer had a great many hits during her career, including “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”, a duet with Barbra Streisand.  All of those songs were # 1 hits.  This performer’s ‘money’ song almost made it to the top, but was stalled at # 3.  Can you name the singer and while you’re in the mood, name her ‘money’ song as well?                  

3.  This ‘money’ song is used by Donald Trumps’ hit TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice”.  The group is from Canton, Ohio and only one # 1 hit, 1973’s “Love Train”, although some of their other famous hits include “Back Stabbers” in 1972, 1976’s “I Love Music (Part 1)” and “Use Ta Be My Girl” in ‘78.  Who is the group and what was their ‘money’ song? 

4.  Sting is featured on this 1985 # 1 hit single, but it wasn’t by The Police.  The album this song was on also climbed to # 1 in the summer of ‘85 for 9 consecutive weeks and sold 30+ million copies.  This multiple Grammy award winning group from Great Britain formed in 1977 and during their career has sold over 120 million albums.  Their first charted hit, 1979’s “Sultans of Swing” climbed to # 4 on Billboards’ Hot 100 singles chart, but it would be 6 years before this song became their first # 1 hit.  Can you name the group as well as their # 1 ‘money’ hit?                

5.  “The Joker”, “Rock’n’Me” and “Abracadabra” are this groups’ only # 1 hits, although they had a whole lot more that didn’t make it to the top of the singles chart.  Their ‘money’ song did climb to # 11 in 1976.  Who is the group and what’s the name of their ‘money’ hit?    


1.  It was the week of April 3rd, 1976 when Scottish group, the Bay City Rollers hit # 9 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart with “Money Honey”.  It only remained in the Top Ten for two weeks, but survived on the chart for 15 weeks.  In Australia and England it reached # 3.  In Canada, where ‘Rollermania’ became rampant, “Money Honey” climbed to # 1 on RPM’s national chart.  It was a completely different song from Elvis Presley’s 1956 song “Money Honey”, that was included on his self titled debut album.  The Bay City Rollers song was written by Rollers guitarist Eric Faulkner and multi instrumentalist Stuart John Wood.        
2.  Donna Summer had 4 # 1 hits during her career, but her 1983 ‘money’ song, “She Works Hard For The Money” only made it to # 3, although it reached # 1 for three weeks on the national R&B chart.  It was written by Summer and her then record producer Michael Omartian.

3.  “For The Love Of Money” performed by The O’Jays is the opening theme for Donald’s Trumps’ annual TV series “Celebrity Apprentice”.  Prior to being used for that series, it was a Top Ten hit for two weeks in June of 1974.  The song was written by Philadelphia International Records honchos Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, along with Anthony Jackson (who plays bass on the song).  The single version was edited from the original 7:14 to run 3:42.  In 1975, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for ’Best R&B Vocal Performance – Duo, Group or Chorus’ but lost to “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus.     

4.  It was the week of September 21st , 1985 when Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” hit # 1 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart.  It remained on top for 3 weeks and was replaced by “Oh Sheila” from Ready For The World.  The album “Money For Nothing” was on, “Brothers In Arms”, reached the # 1 spot on Billboard Magazine’s album chart during the week of August 31st, ’85 and remained on top for 9 consecutive weeks.  Sting’s cameo in “Money For Nothing” is the beginning section, “I Want My MTV”, and not surprisingly, was the first video played on MTV Europe.  In 1986, “Money For Nothing” won the Grammy Award for ‘Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal’.
5.  The Steve Miller Band took their 1976 hit, “Take The Money And Run” to # 11 on the singles chart.  This was the groups’ 5th charted single and came two years after their first            # 1, “The Joker” in ‘74.  “Rock’n’Me” was the group’s next single and their second # 1 hit, also in ‘76.  Their third (and final # 1) was in 1982 with “Abracadabra”.      

Sunday, April 5, 2015


It took waaayy too long, but Spring officially showed up and in our neck of the woods, everything is slowly getting warmer.  But not warm enough for me.  I want summer and I want it NOW!  But since Mother Nature doesn’t listen to me anymore (it’s a long sad story), we’ll just have to make summer happen right here.  This week’s five questions are all about summer and every one of these songs made the Top Ten in their respective years.  As an added plus, all the answers have the word ‘summer’ in the title.  Once you’ve got a taste for summer, it’ll get you in the mood for spring.

1.  The year was 1966.  This ‘summer’ song cracked Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 singles chart for two weeks in the late summer.  Despite charting 12 songs in the Hot 100 from 1962 until 1969, this song was his only Top Ten hit.  He’s not related to Rod Stewart, although their last names are the same.  Can you name the singer as well as his only ‘summer’ Top Ten hit?     
2.  There’ve been any number of great summer hits – “Summer Wind” which Frank Sinatra took to number 25 in 1966; “Summer Song”, a number 7 hit for Brits Chad & Jeremy in 1964; Paul Anka’s number 11 hit from 1960, “Summer’s Gone” and Canadian orchestra leader and composer Percy Faith’s only number one hit, also from 1960, “Theme From A Summer Place”, but the ‘summer’ song we’re looking for in this question was recorded by a duo from Texas who both played in the group The Champs (“Tequila” was their biggest hit in 1958).  These two Texas troubadours had their first charted song on Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 chart in 1972.  This ‘summer’ hit eventually reached number six.  Despite charted a dozen songs on the Hot 100, only two others made the Top Ten and ironically, both of those got to number six as well.  They were “Diamond Girl” in ‘73 and 1976’s “Get Closer”.  What’s the name of this duo and their ‘summer’ hit song?                

3.  First it was a successful Broadway play, running from 1972 until 1980 for 3,338 performances,  Then in 1978, Hollywood made it into a hit movie starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.  OK, you most likely know the name of the play/movie by now, but what was the name of the ‘summer’ song from the movie? 

4.  This Canadian superstar has been successful on the singles chart with both rock songs and ballads, but he’s also been successful in the movies.  Not as an actor, but with writing and recording songs for movies.  In fact, all 4 of his # 1 hits were featured in motion pictures.  He was born in Kingston, Ontario, but grew up in such countries as Portugal, Austria and Israel.  He has homes in England and Vancouver and these days is also a professional photographer.  Although he’s never been “Reckless” in his personal life, he did release an album by that name.  His ‘summer’ song was a hit in 1985.  Can you name this artist and his ‘summer’ song?            

5.  This performer started his career as a rapper, became quite successful, then branched out into television with his own hit TV series.  That turned into a red hot movie career and he became a superstar with hit movies such as “Independence Day”, “Enemy of The State”, “Men In Black” 1,2 and 3, “Bad Boys” 1 and 2 (plus the recently announced “Bad Boys 3”), “Ali” and “I, Robot” among many others.  This 1991 ‘summer’ hit had the same title as our very first question, although it was a totally different song.  Who’s the rapper/TV/movie star and what’s the name of his and his ‘jazzy’ pal’s ‘summer’ hit?    


1.  Billy Stewart barely climbed into the Top Ten at # 10 for the first time on Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 singles chart for the week of August 27th 1966 with “Summertime”.  The # 1 song that week was “Summer In The City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.  “Summertime” remained in the # 10 spot for one more week, (September 3rd).  The # 1 song for that week was “Sunshine Superman”.  Billy Stewart died in a car crash in Smithfield, North Carolina on January 17, 1970, just two months shy of his 33rd birthday.             
2.  It was June of 1972 when Seals & Crofts’ hit “Summer Breeze” blew up the charts to    # 6.  Jim Seals and Dash Crofts met when they were both playing in local Texas bands.  Although they did became part of The Champs in 1958, it was after “Tequila” had been a hit.  The two left the group with Champs guitarist Glen Campbell and formed Glen Campbell and the GC’s.  That only lasted a couple of years and everyone went their separate ways.  Jim and Dash got back together in the late 1960’s.  Both Seals and Crofts are longtime members of the Baha’i faith.  Seals & Crofts split up, reunited, then split up again.  Their last album together was 2004’s “Traces”.

3.  “Grease” was the word and the song in question from “Grease” was “Summer Nights” sung by Olivia Newton-John (who played Sandy) and John Travolta (who played Danny).  The song climbed to # 5 in the fall of 1978.  Another Newton-John/Travolta duet from “Grease”, “You’re The One That I Want” made it all the way to # 1 and sold over 6 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.  On her own, Olivia took a third “Grease” song, “Hopelessly Devoted To You” to # 3.  That one was nominated for an Academy Award in 1979 in the ‘Best Original Song’ category, but lost to “Last Dance” from “Thank God It’s Friday”.       

4.  It was the summer of ’85, June to be exact, when Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69” first started climbing the singles chart, reaching # 5 on Billboards’ Hot 100 during the last week of August.  The song, co-written by Adams and Jim Vallance, was taken from Adams’ 1984 album “Reckless”.  Bryan recently completed a Canadian tour in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his “Reckless” album, and from April 11th until near the end of July, he’ll be touring the U.S. 
5.  DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince aka Will Smith warmed up the singles chart in 1991 with their completely ‘fresh’ version of “Summertime”.  The credits include 12 separate writers, including Jeff Townes (Jazzy Jeff), Will Smith (The Fresh Prince) and several members of Kool & The Gang.  The song, released in May of 1991, came from the duo’s fourth studio album, “Homebase”.  It climbed to # 4 on Billboards’ Hot 100 singles chart, but made it all the way to # 1 in the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.  This version of “Summertime” also won a Grammy Award in 1992 for ‘Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group’.       

Monday, March 23, 2015


1990 was 25 years ago, but some of that music still sounds as fresh today as it did when it first came on the radio.  But how many # 1’s of the ‘90’s can you remember.  If you’re 25 or under, you might have a bit of a problem with this quiz, but everyone who grew up or throughout the 1990’s should zip right through it.  These # 1’s by the way could be either singles or albums, but all 5 questions are multiple choice anyway.  And we’re off and running...!

1.  Janet Jackson had an amazing year in 1990.  Four of her songs climbed into the North American Top Ten chart.  Two of them made it all the way to # 1.  “Black Cat” was one of those two # 1 hits.  Which of these Janet Jackson 1990 Top Ten hits also made it to # 1?  Was it: a. “Rhythm Nation”  b. “Escapade”  c. “Come Back To Me”   
2.  In 1994, Celine Dion’s hit “The Power of Love” was # 1 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart for 4 weeks.  “Bump N’ Grand” from R. Kelly also stayed at the top of the singles chart for 4 weeks.  But one # 1 song from ’94 staved off all comers for 14 consecutive weeks.  What song was it?  a. “The Sign” by Ace of Base  b. “All For Love” from Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting  c. “I Swear” by All-4-One          

3.  Talk about a massive hit…“Whitney Houston’s 1992/93 mega smash song, “I Will Always Love You” was # 1 on the North American singles chart for 14 straight weeks.  Five of those weeks were in November and December of ’92.  The other nine weeks were the first nine weeks of ’93.  The song was a show stopper in the Kevin Costner/ Whitney Houston film, “The Bodyguard”.  Who wrote “I Will Always Love You”?  Was it:               a. Country star Dolly Parton  b. Record producer David Foster  c. Hit songwriter Diane Warren   

4.  Alanis Morissette was just inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2015 JUNO Awards this month.  Back in October 1995, her debut American album “Jagged Little Pill” climbed to the top of the album chart for 12 weeks.  Only they weren’t consecutive weeks.  “Jagged Little Pill” was the # 1 album for two weeks in October ’95, then got bumped by Mariah Carey’s “Daydream” album.  “JLP” returned to # 1 for one week in February of ’96, with 2Pac’s “All Eyez On Me” replacing it.  It jumped back to # 1 for three more weeks in March of ’96 before being replaced by The Beatles’ “Anthology 2” for one week, then Alanis was back on top for an additional 3 weeks and was replaced by Rage Against The Machine’s ”Evil Empire” album.  So that’s 9 weeks in total so far.  “Jagged Little Pill” hung around the Top Ten for the next three and a half months until the week of August 24th, when it zoomed back to # 1 for its final 3 weeks.  What album finally ended Alanis Morissette’s 12 week run at # 1?  Was it:         a. “Home Again” from New Edition  b. “No Code” from Pearl Jam  c. “Falling Into You” from Celine Dion          

5.  1991 was the year that Bryan Adams had his biggest hit EVER!  “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” climbed to # 1 for the week of July 27th and stayed there for 7 weeks.  It was a song featured in what 1991 movie?  a. “The Fisher King”  b. “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”  c. “Father of The Bride”  

1.  b. Escapade was the other Janet Jackson hit to make it to # 1.  It survived at the top of the singles chart for three weeks in March 1990 and was knocked off by “Black Velvet” from sultry Canadian singer Alannah Myles.  Although “Rhythm Nation” made its chart debut in November of 1989, it eventually stalled at # 2 in early January of ’90.  “Come Back To Me” also only made it to # 2 in August that year.  “Black Cat” was # 1 for one week in October of ’90.  A 5th Janet Jackson song, “Love Will Never Do (without You)” first charted in the middle of November 1990, but didn’t reach # 1 until the week of January 19th, 1991.        
2.  The correct answer is c.I Swear” from All-4-One.  It was the groups ONLY # 1 hit single, although in 1995, the All-4-One single, “I Can Love You Like That” did climb to # 5.  From 1990 until 2002, Celine Dion had four # 1 hits with “The Power of Love” being her first.  That was followed in 1996 with “Because You Loved Me”.  1998 saw the amazing success of James Cameron’s epic, “Titanic” and Celine’s hit song from that movie, “My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)”.  “I’m Your Angel”, Celine’s duet with R. Kelly climbed into the top singles spot in early 1999.         

3.  If you answered a. Dolly Parton give yourself a pat on the back (but don’t hurt yourself).
Dolly had released “I Will Always Love You” in June of 1974.  It was the second single from Dolly’s album, “Jolene”.  Dolly says she wrote it for her former singing partner and mentor, Porter Wagoner.  Interestingly, the song went to # 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Hot  Country Songs chart TWICE…once in June of ’74 and again in October of 1982.  Dolly was the first person to have a # 1 record twice with the same song as a singer and three times as a songwriter (including Whitney Houston’s version).  Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” was # 1 for 14 consecutive weeks from November 18th until the week of February 27th 1993 and won the Grammy Award for ‘Record of the Year’ in 1993.  Whitney won the Grammy for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female”.

4.  If you guessed b. “No Code” from Pearl Jam, then you are absolutely correct.  The week of September 7th, 1996 was “Jagged Little Pill’s final stay at # 1.  “No Code” remained # 1 for the next two weeks and was replaced by New Edition’s “Home Again” for one week, then for the week of October 5th 1995, Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” album commanded the top spot on the North American album chart.  Billboard Magazine ranked “Jagged Little Pill” as the # 1 best selling pop album of the 1990’s.  “Jagged Little Pill” won the Grammy Award for ‘Album of the Year’ in 1996, which made then 21 year-old Alanis Morissette the youngest artist in history to win that award.  She held that record for 14 years until 20 year- old Taylor Swift won ‘Album of The Year’ for “Fearless”.  “Jagged Little Pill” also won the Grammy for ‘Best Rock Album’, Alanis took home the Grammy statue for ‘Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female’ for “You Oughta Know”, which also won for ‘Best Rock Song’.         
5.  b. “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” is the movie that “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” was featured in.  It was co-written by Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange (Shania Twain’s ex-husband).  Kamen did the score for the movie and ‘Mutt’ Lange was producing an album with Bryan Adams in London, England at the time.  The song went to # 1 in 19 countries and sold over 15 million copies.  Composer Kamen died in 2003 after having scored dozens of motion pictures including “Die Hard 1, 2” and “Die Hard With A Vengeance”, “Lethal Weapon 1,2, 3 & 4”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Don Juan DeMarco” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus”.