Thursday, June 24, 2010

From Georgia to Ontario

I was so excited to see a package waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. Avalon sent me my prize! I won Charlotte Hawkins' "The Tempest" on Avalon's blog a couple of weeks ago.  I see she mailed it on June 9th and it arrived on June 23rd. That's 2 weeks to go from a small place in the state of Georgia, U.S.A. to an even smaller place in the province of Ontario, Canada. Snail mail indeed!

Dear Avalon,
It was so neat to see your address and imagine what it might be like where you live.  So I got to thinking about Georgia -- which immediately brought to mind the song  Georgia on My Mind.
I love when Willie Nelson sings the Blues. You have to wait a bit until Ray Charles comes in, but he's worth waiting for. What I like most about this video is it shows how much fun they seem to be having as well as their mutual respect for each other.
As far as biopics go, one of my very faves has to be Ray with Jamie Foxx deservedly winning an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles. If you would rather hear just Charles's version of this song, please follow this link. It's worth clicking on just to read the introductory blurb below the video!

One of my favourite songs to sing at Karaoke Night down at our local Royal Canadian Legion Hall is Gladys Knight and the Pips' Midnight Train to Georgia. I am always looking for a few good Pips!

How romantic is that? "I'd rather live in his world, than live without him in mine."

Then I remembered my all-time favourite song about Georgia! Brook Benton's 
version of Rainy Night in Georgia.
This is the live version, which is very nice but I still  prefer the original radio hit as it had a more bluesy feel to it. Brook Benton has such a deep and emotional voice, I can't enjoy anyone else's version of it.
The lyrics are wonderful too: "A distant moaning of a train, seems to play a sad refrain to the night..."

Aren't there a lot of wonderful songs about Georgia? Those are my faves, but some of you Country music fans may prefer "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", or how about the theme music for the Harlem Globetrotter's basketball team, "Sweet Georgia Brown". The Globetrotters actually visited my High School way back in the day! There were only a few of them, not the whole team, but they were very impressive and entertaining indeed. ...But I digress...

So now my train of thought has arrived with the book to the hinterland of Ontario. Unfortunately there are not as many songs about Ontario as there are about Georgia. And even less about my neck of the woods -- Northern Ontario, which is as different to Southern Ontario as the proverbial North and South miniseries I keep blathering about!

But luckily, two of my favourite songs by Neil Young are about places in Northern Ontario (or it is at least mentioned).

The first is Helpless from the Crosby Stills Nash & Young album Deja Vu (1970). **UPDATE: I had to replace that video with a LIVE performance from The Last Waltz (with The Band.) I hope this video doesn't disappear too, from the video police! :p

This might well be my very favourite Neil Young song, probably because it does have special meaning for me. But k. d. Lang does a fabulous job of her cover version of this song, performed when Neil was recovering from surgery. Listen to her version here.

 The second offering I have from Neil is Long May You Run

Yeah, I know it's only about his car...(you know how goofy guys are about their cars)! But did you catch the lyrics "Well, it was back in Blind River in 1962..."  That's Blind River ONTARIO, near Elliot Lake where Neil came from before he moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and his music career took root.  Blind River could arguably be the halfway point between Northern and Southern Ontario (on the TransCanada Highway).  It's still part of the North, but it's within a looong day's drive to Toronto. Ontario takes about 3 days to traverse, if you are not a crazy driver. I've known some people to do it in a 24 hour driving stint without stopping. (That's 2 drivers with one sleeping while the other drives.) Which makes me think that Neil Young's paean to his car is not really so silly. A reliable car that won't break down (literally) in the middle of nowhere is a very good thing indeed!

So now, I get to settle down and read Charlotte Hawkins' lovely alternate ending for the Guy of Gisborne story. If you would like to win a copy, you can visit her blog here and leave your email address.
What a treat! I come!

I can't help it! This picture makes me melt!
Or you could say, it leaves me helpless, helpless, helpless, helpless...
(Source: Richard Armitage Central)


Avalon said...

The Devil Went Down to can do that dance! You forgot the Night the Lights went out in Georgia by Reba! That song still brings chills to my soul!

Sadly, Georgia is not what it used to be. It is filled with gangs and meth addicts and crime, well near the city it is. Such a waste of such once beauty. Thankfully our property is not in the city but with meth on the rise we still have to be careful. Just the other day one of my friends from church (an 80 yr old lady) was knocked down at the grocery store in daylight and mugged by some ghetto thug. I almost got mugged or kidnapped two nights before Christmas Eve in the mall parking lot, he tried to force me down into the car but I fought him off and cussed like a sailor so he ended up going to jail. Now I have a gun...God Good that sounds so red-neckish "I got me a gun" lol....

Love the picture of sweet Guy. He seems to be saying "Georgia....hummmm..." He can come to GA and I will be glad to show him around, without my

tyme_4_t said...

Long may you continue to do these great posts!! - Those are my two favourite Neil Young songs!

That has to be one of the most beautiful pics of RA ever...that'll keep you warm during the cold winter nights in N. Ont!

@Avalon - may you never have to use that gun!

fitzg said...

Songs about Ontario: Stompin' Tom Connors and Saturday Night in Sudbury! :) ( which is all I can think of for now!!)

Maria Grazia said...

Now, Enjoy The Tempest!
I'm sure it won't be a snail reading... I couldn't stop. It's a real page turner! And if you use that Guy pic as a bookmark to remind you the handsomeness of the protagonist , get ready to ... more than melt, Phylly!

tyme_4_t said...

@MG - ohhh there is another fantastic marketing idea - Bookmarks featuring RA or RA characters
@Phylly - just think of the increased readership at the library if you had these bookmarks!

- I'd like to order a GoG s2 for medival books, a Lucas North & John Porter for spy thrillers, and a Harry Kennedy with glasses for everything else...And a John Thornton for period pieces...

Phylly3 said...

@Avalon - What a scarey thing to happen to you! You are very brave not to panic. As for the gun thing, that is a frightening thing too, I'm with tyme_4_t in hoping you never have need of it!
@fitzg -- LOL to Stompin' Tom! I think the song you are refering to is Sudbury Saturday Night. (Not one of my faves -- though!) Stompin' Tom is definitely a Canadian icon that I will have to refer to again sometime.
@Maria Grazia & tyme_4_t - Love the bookmark idea!!

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