Aaron’s Radio Show

Episode 12

My Three Songs with Amy Harwood

 

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Notes

Episode Notes

EPISODE TWELVE – My Three Songs with Amy Harwood:  Welcome, everyone, to Episode Twelve. This is the second in our series of episodes called My Three Songs where my guest chooses three memorable songs and we listen to the songs and talk about why they are meaningful to my guest.

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Three Songs

  1. Spanish Moon – Little Feat (1974)
  2. This Land is Your Land – Peter, Paul & Mary (1963)
  3. What the World Needs Now Is Love – Jackie DeShannon (1965)

Aaron’s Radio Show has been licensed by ASCAP and BMI to include songs from their repertories in performances on this website.

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Transcript

This transcript was originally generated using artificial intelligence ("AI") software. It has been edited by a human being, but it may still contain some misspellings, lack necessary punctuation, or include other anomalies. We are regularly working to improve our transcripts!


Jake:

Coming to you almost live from Berkeley, California. It's Aaron's Radio Show ... with your host Aaron Gobler.

Aaron Gobler:

Thanks, Jake. And welcome, everybody to Episode 12. Welcome to My Three Songs, where I play three special songs chosen by my guests, and we talk about why they chose each song. Now today, my guest is fellow high school friend Amy zweisimmen Harwood. Hi, Amy. Can I call you Amy or should I call you by all three names?

Amy Harwood:

No, Aaron, you can absolutely call me Amy.

Aaron Gobler:

Great. I want to thank you for being on my three songs. You are officially the second guest on the show. What made you decide to be on the show?

Amy Harwood:

Well, first of all, I love Jen Lapin. I have known her for many, many years and have been a music follower of her taste and style. And when I saw that she had done it, listen to it. I knew I wanted to jump on board as well.

Aaron Gobler:

Awesome. Awesome. Um, so before we get started, can you tell me something about how music fits into your life? Like is it a key part of your normal day? Or is it mostly like in the background?

Amy Harwood:

I think that music is a soundtrack to your life. So there are certain songs that when you hear them, they bring you back to a period in time. But I grew up with parents who played music in the house all the time. We spent a lot of time at the Philadelphia Orchestra for Children's series. We spent a lot of time at the Mann Music Center or the Robin Hood gal East Robin a dark Yes, before with the Mann Music Center. My parents had very eclectic tastes. So we listened to everything from Mozart and Chopin to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. And then my sister and I had the pleasure of introducing our parents to music, which was so nice. So I think that I love listening to the music. I love what it reminds me of. And every once in a while a song gives you that shiver that you wish it didn't remind you of.

Aaron Gobler:

You know we both of us grew up out outside Philly. We know that Philly has like a deep music history in the Sound of Philly and such but I'm guessing some people may not actually think of Philly when they think of, of, you know, music history and, and then the there were so many venues...

Amy Harwood:

You know, there was 23 East in Ardmore, used to get great bands, the Main Point, which used to get amazing folk music, which was right outside of Narberth, Pennsylvania, one of the suburbs near us. And then of course, there was the Theater of the Living Arts and the Spectrum. And before it was destroyed, JFK was one of the two international hosts for Live Aid. So, you know, millions of people were involved in that project. We also had a very musical High School. We had incredibly talented musicians that we went to school with. And I think the performing arts were celebrated there. thanks to people like Dr. Geirsch and Mr. Peluso who encouraged students to become involved in players whether it be from the variety show with spring musical.

Aaron Gobler:

Amy, you selected three great songs. I'm going to rattle off the titles and artists and then we'll listen to each song and then talk a bit about each. How's that sound? Okay, so so your son gs were Spanish Moon by Little Feat and that was from 1974. This Land is Your Land, the version by Peter Paul and Mary from 1963. And What the World Needs Now is Love ... the very popular version by Jackie DeShannon shine in from 1965. So I don't mean any offense by this because you and I are the same age. But these are all certainly considered oldies by any standard, right? A couple of them are from around the time when we were born. So I'm really eager to hear your stories about them. And first we're going to take a listen to Spanish Moon by Little Feat. Well, Amy, I have to confess, I really don't know much of Little Feat's catalog, and I certainly don't recall this song. But it was a lot of fun listening to and I was kind of bopping around here. It's got I feel like it's got this southern sensibility to it. But it actually has like a real soul and funk core. And, and now I want to go back and listen to like Little Feat ... to their catalog. So thank you.

Amy Harwood:

Get Waiting for Columbus. Okay, it's a great general album, when they always have those Facebook surveys, which I don't do anymore because I think they use it to hack you. But when somebody says oh, we you know, one of your favorite albums for the next 10 days, Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus always makes it in there. But this song, which is not as popular as Dixie Chicken, or Fatman in the Bathtub, brings me back to the summer of 1986, which I call the last free summer, summer after junior year of college. So you knew that after you graduated college, there was going to be either graduate school or work or something small. Sure. I lived at Ann Arbor, I stayed with my friends that summer, one of my closest friends had been a teaching assistant of mine who was a huge Little Feat fan. So it was always playing in his apartment when you were there. And it was, you know, outdoor Alfresco dinner nights and movies being shown on the side of buildings and dancing to cover bands in the middle of the Diag in Ann Arbor. And this song always was played it the mellow, it's part of the evening, it always put me in a good mood. And as you said, you don't expect to be bopping along but you are. Yeah, I think little fetus is one of the Southern bands people think of the Allman Brothers. They don't necessarily think a Little Feat and they're just great.

Aaron Gobler:

Thank you again for including that I really was enjoying it and tapping stuff on my desk and and I and then I also feel like bad like, wow, why wasn't I listening to this more years ago, like, but now I have something more to explore.

Amy Harwood:

It's never too late.

Aaron Gobler:

Never too late. Okay, all right. Okay. Well, thank you. Thank you for giving me that permission. So the next song is, is certainly a very famous song. And everybody probably has heard this song already. And I can't remember which version of the song I'm some I'm more familiar with. But, but this this is, uh, this Land Is Your Land. And this version is from Peter, Paul and Mary from 1963. So we're going to listen to that. And then on the other side, we'll talk about it. So let's, let's listen to that now.

Amy Harwood:

That song has to put a smile on your face.

Aaron Gobler:

You know, it's it's fun hearing Peter, Paul and Mary my mom played one of their albums for us as kids in the 60s and 70s. But Amy I found that I find it novel that someone included a Heartland classic like this in their list. What made you add the song to to your list today?

Amy Harwood:

Um, so this is a total growing up on Andover Road song. My parents were huge Peter Paul and Mary fans, we saw them at the Mann Music Center. We never saw them at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. They actually never played the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Um, but, you know, my parents were huge hence, and my father would sing along at the top of his lungs, and of course, my sister and I would be mortified and embarrassed. I remember once we were at a national park, and they used to do these, you know, big events for their guests, and they would always be playing the song and my father would be singing along. I think that in a time when people feel so separated about how they feel about the United States in our country. This song somehow manages to not get stuck in that. Okay, um, and it's a song that kids learn how to sang. It does talk about what this country should be or how it should be. It's a kid song that if you really listen to the words, it has a much deeper message. But I think the reason I chose the Peter Paul and Mary version versus the Pete Seeger or the Arlo Guthrie, which are also very well known and very popular versions is my connection. To Noel Stookey who's Paul. His daughter was a friend of mine in grad school, we had the honor of meeting him. But probably one of the things that I got to take with me after I lost my father was that my father was very involved in a medical organization in the year that he was president. The foundation's fundraiser talent was Peter, Paul and Mary. And sitting at our table and watching my father sing along and no longer being embarrassed and mortified. And just being able to enjoy watching him, like it's so much and be so joyful about it. And how that night getting that was so great, that was so great. And how happy being with my sister and I and our partners at the time made him and that my children love the music, and they sing it along as well. It's just one of those songs.

Aaron Gobler:

And it's one of those songs, you'll continue to hear through your life in different situations. And it sounds like there's a bittersweet story to it, but it sounds like when you hear it, it makes you feel good.

Amy Harwood:

Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Gobler:

Thank you for that story. That sounds like something very personal connection to a song and to the artists. Then that the last song that in your set was what the world needs now is love. And it's sung by Jackie DeShannon, of course, written by Burt Bacharach, and Hal David ... two wonderful writers, very prolific writers. So let's listen to Jackie DeShannon's version, and then I'd like to talk about the song afterwards. Amy is as I mentioned, you know, there are many recordings of the song by a lot of artists so the Shannon's version sounds a lot like Dionne Warwick I don't know if that's just in my mind, because I know that she's sung so many...

Amy Harwood:

Dionne Warwick turned it down. I don't even understand. But um, I actually picked this for a very specific reason. So in my parents' eclectic music case, there was the Burt Bacharach album with Hal David and the album of the soundtrack for Alfie and, and so I grew up listening to the Burt Bacharach version and 1997 ish, a movie came out called My Best Friend's Wedding with Julia Roberts, which wasn't a particularly good movie, but had an excellent soundtrack. And that song was on it. And somebody had like, burned their CD of it for me and used to play it in the house. And my son Daniel was about two and a half and I was ridiculously pregnant with my second child. And that song would come on, and Daniel would look at me and go, love sweet love mommy, let's dance to love sweet love. You can Yes, imagine a very pregnant Amy Harwood holding her two and a half year old with the belly trying to dance to this song. I realized when I was picking songs that emotionally meant something to me. This was a song that it meant one thing when Burt Bacharach was singing it and I was listening to my parents, Hi-Fi in the living room, but the shag carpeting and was very different when I was listening to Jackie DeShannon saying it and me dancing with my son instead of my father. And it really, it's a song that, you know, makes the transition and that's what's great about a lot of these old songs, they're coming back and movie soundtracks Guardians of the Galaxy brought a ton of songs from childhood ... introducing it to a whole new generation of people and, and that song was the song of my, you know, my oldest son and I in fact, that was the song we dance together and his bar mitzvah because it's just and still, when we hear it on the radio, we're passing, all four of us will call the love sweet love song. Because that's what it meant was back in 1998. Right before my younger child was born.

Aaron Gobler:

That's, that's a sweet story. And it was, it's very interesting to hear, like, you know, your differences in the versions and how the different versions of the different singer how they are different for you because somebody else might say, well, it's just the same song, you know ...

Amy Harwood:

Dionne Warwick belts it out ... and Burt Bacharach does it to be like, you know, a nightclub singer. Right? And then she does it like it's a sweet love story.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah. Yeah. I think there's even a version on like one of the Austin Powers movies or something. Right. The second his second movie? Yeah. Well, that was thank you for that. Thank you for that story. That's, that's really, that's sweet. And I can understand why it's such a poignant song for you. So, tell me, is there anything else that you'd like to share about your selections in general ...

Amy Harwood:

I think that they're all songs that have been around for way before me and will be around way after us. I mean, I think they're those you know, one hit wonder flash in the pans. That still when you hear it, you love it. But, you know, the other day, I was listening to my younger son sing King Harvest's Dancing in the Moonlight. Right, right. Okay, that I remember singing that at the Friends' Central pool in the early 70s. And kids are singing it now. So, you know, that's the great thing that yeah, the Grateful Dead. There's a whole group of Dead Heads around that weren't even alive when Jerry was still alive. So ...

Aaron Gobler:

and yeah, it's perpetual, right? Yeah.

Amy Harwood:

And they're very bad music out there if I never hear Mony Mony ever again, i'll be okay with that.

Aaron Gobler:

Now, I agree there's some kind of like a flash in the pan or where they were really big at that moment, but there it is, it is fun hearing your kids play music that you don't remember like ever introducing them to or, or that they found out, you know, of that music from Glee or something or some movie or something you're like, Okay, however you did it. That's it is kind of exciting to how some songs can just keep reappearing in each generation. So well. I want to thank you Amy, for your time. This was a lot of fun.

Amy Harwood:

It was so much fun.

Aaron Gobler:

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself too. And I'm hoping that listeners will enjoy this too. And I want to remind our listeners that if you want to be part of this show, you can start by going to our website Aaron's Radio dot show, and clicking on the My Three Songs button on the homepage. And when thank you again, Amy and and say, you know until next time, keep your ears of mind open and let more music into your world.

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