It won’t officially be winter until December 21st, but in some places, “the snow is snowing, the wind is blowing” already. Winter is a time for people to enjoy the outdoors - skiing, skating, tobogganing or just taking a walk in the snow. Throughout rock and roll’s history, many groups or solo artists have done either a Christmas album or single, but we’re NOT talking Christmas...at least not just yet. That’ll come in a quiz a couple of weeks from now. We’re talking about Winter, in all its magnificent splendor. Gwen Stefani had a song called “Early Winter” in 2007, Gordon Lightfoot recorded “Song For A Winter’s Night” in 1967. In ‘68, The Doors had “Wintertime Love”, in 2006, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released a song called “Snow” (OK, that one probably wasn’t about winter), Steve Miller had “Winter Time” in 1977 and of course, Frank Zappa’s infamous “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” in ’74. So, all of the songs in our questions this week are about winter in some form or another. Most were hits, although none of them went to # 1. There’ll be a hint with every question, so you won’t have to tax your brain too much. It’s much too cold for that. Good luck!
1. This ‘winter’ song was a hit twice. Once in 1966 by a world famous duo and again in 1988 by an all female group. One line of the lyrics is: “Ahhh, season’s change with the scenery. Weaving time in a tapestry. Won’t you stop and remember me. At any convenient time.” If those lyrics don’t ring a bell, maybe the opening line will: “Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.” What’s the name of this two time hit? (HINT: Hopefully, your mind is clear and not ‘hazy’)
2. OK, hopefully we’re not getting too obscure here. This song was on the flip side of the 1971 holiday hit 45 record, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over), which made it to # 3 on Billboards Christmas holiday chart. I’ll even give you the title - “Listen, The Snow Is Falling”. This time we want to know who sang this ‘winter’ song? (HINT: The opposite of oh yes).
3. This one should be a snap. The opening lyrics are: “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. I went for a walk on a winters day”. What’s the name of this ‘winter’ song? (HINT: Winter is a ‘state’ of mind).
4. The opening lyrics to this 1970 song are: “Beneath this snowy mantle cold and clean. The unborn grass lies waiting for its coat to turn to green.” It was the first hit for a Canadian female singer who went on to have many more, including a # 1 in 1978. What’s the name of this Top Ten song? (HINT: It’s a word used to describe Canadians who go south for the winter months, usually to Florida).
5. This singer is known for his 1960’s hits such as “Sheila”, “Sweet Pea” and “Hurray For Hazel”. The ‘winter’ song from this performer that we’re looking for was a medium hit in early 1967. It only made it to # 23 on Billboards’ Hot 100, but it’s still played on oldies radio stations a lot during this season. (HINT: Row, Row, Row your boat)
1. Simon & Garfunkel’s “A Hazy Shade of Winter” peaked at # 13 on the singles chart in 1966. The Bangles did even better with the song in 1988, taking the Paul Simon written song to # 2 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart. That version was used in the 1987 film, “Less Than Zero”, which starred Andrew McCarthy, Jamie Gertz and Robert Downey Jr. The Bangles version didn’t appear on any of their albums until The Bangles “Greatest Hits” package released in 1990.
2. This could have been a tough one, but the single of “Listen, The Snow Is Falling” was sung by Yoko Ono, wife of John Lennon and a talented artist in her own right. John and Yoko met at the Indica Gallery in 1966 and fell in love. The song John Lennon wrote about their marriage and subsequent honeymoon, “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” went to # 8 on the singles chart. It was credited as The Beatles, but only John and Paul McCartney played and sang on it. John and Yoko’s last album together while Lennon was still alive, was “Double Fantasy” which featured seven of John’s songs and seven of Yoko’s. The album went to # 1 during the week of December 27th, 1980 and remained at the top of the album chart for 7 weeks. Lennon was killed on December 8th, 1980 as he and Yoko returned home from the recording studio.
3. If you didn’t guess this one, you might want to hand in your trivia players’ card. The song in question was “California Dreamin’” from The Mamas & The Papas. Lead singer, Denny Doherty from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was the groups’ first charted hit and peaked at # 4 in 1966. That same year, The Mamas & The Papas next hit, “Monday, Monday” went straight to # 1 and stayed there for 3 weeks. On Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, “California Dreamin’” is # 89.
4. “Snowbird” was the song we were looking for. It was Anne Murray’s first Top Ten hit, peaking at # 8 in 1970. Anne started her singing career on a weekly CBC TV network show called “Singalong Jubilee”, broadcast out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Anne came to the attention of ARC Records in Toronto, who signed her to a contract. After one album, Capitol Records Canada snapped her up and “Snowbird”, written by Gene MacLellan, was on Anne’s first capitol LP. Anne’s other Top Ten hits include: “Danny’s Song” (# 7 in 1973), “You Won’t See Me” (# 8 in 1974) and “You Needed Me” (# 1 in 1978).
5. The singer was Tommy Roe, who took his 1967 song “It’s Now Winter’s Day” to # 23 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart. Roe’s hit making career, which started in 1962 with his first # 1, “Sheila”. Tommy’s songs made the Top Ten six times, including two # 1’s, “Sheila” in ’62 and “Dizzy” in 1969.