This group was very popular doing a certain time. Their style was unique and their lyrics were different and intriguing. I am not usually a lyric person but when it came to this particular song I found myself submerged into the meaning of the words. I used to think that musically these guys just closed their eyes and picked any music chord to write their songs, but the great thing about them is that it “worked.” That is what gave these guys a different style. In reading up on them I heard that they were mostly studio musicians that were asked to come in and play (of course, with Donald Fagan as the lead vocalist). To this day their music is a challenge for a lot of musicians to attempt to play. I like that about them. Today I wanted to feature them with one of their songs that I love lyrically. The story behind this tune is a great one in my mind and I hope you feel the same after hearing it. Today I would like to feature none other than Steely Dan with this hit song:
Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer
I remember years ago performing at one of those award shows where I played behind all these different big name stars. I was enjoying the performers but I also had the chance to talk with some of those in attendance. One of the people that actually happened to find me was producer/writer/performer Kashif. During a certain time in the music industry, Kashif was producing hits for a lot of big name artists. I was honored that he came to me to talk, and of course I listened. I was really saddened to hear that he passed away yesterday at the young age of 59. If you would like to know more details about him just check out this link:
Kashif had a lot to tell me in a short amount of time. He told me how the record industry worked and how you can profit off of it if you are involved in it. The one thing he mentioned is that if you are “just” a singer your chances of getting paid are not great at all. Record companies allot a certain budget for each artist and you can bet that “every bit of money they spend on an artist they expect to get back.” If they pay for your video, your clothes, your studio time, your promotion and just about anything else affiliated with your career they “will” get all of their expenses back before you get a cent. Kashif said that the one way to guarantee that you get money is to actually be a writer or producer. Writers and producers are entitled to certain “fees” and often they will get paid before the artist does (in fact, just about everyone gets paid before the artist does in this business). When it comes to setting up your concert tour, the label will get all of that money back as well. Kashif was very informative, and I wished I could have spent the day with him. He let me know that in the music business all artists are expendable and you could be here today and gone today in the same breath. I don’t know if Kashif has a book out there or not, but if he does I think all music hopefuls should take the opportunity to read it. He was a really nice guy to talk to and I share my deepest condolences to his family. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Music producer/writer Kenny Gamble (in center wearing glasses) and Brett Jolly in orange shirt
My father should turn 85 years of age in October. He has had a great life and he has been associated with many big name historians such as Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King, and I even have a picture of him with a “much younger looking” Hillary Clinton. Pop would give speeches that would motivate large numbers of people. He was also very good at singing Gospel music. His mind was sharp, and for me he always had answers to the questions I asked growing up. Time changes all, and currently my father came “very close” to losing his leg due to diabetes. He is currently in a rehabilitation facility where they are trying to get him to walk again. While the leg has gone through improvement, the spirit seems to have traveled in the opposite direction. When you are a diabetic in his stage you have to go through a lot of needles and pricking. Pop also has to be mindful to eat only certain types of food. For a man who was used to being someone that everyone else depended on for most of his life, this transition has not been an easy one. He cannot get up to go the the bathroom by himself. He has lost about 50 pounds from refusing to eat. He cannot continue this pace for too much longer. When I visited him yesterday his spirits seemed to be a little better. He had a plate in front of him but he only ate the soup portion of his dinner and claimed that it hurts his stomach to eat any of the regular food. Don’t get me wrong. 84 years of life should be a blessing, but there is a big difference between just “living” and the “quality of life.” If you have to depend on others for the simple things that you once used to do yourself then obviously your quality of life has greatly diminished. As much as we want to keep my father with us, we often ask ourselves the question “At what cost?” Most of my father’s friends are gone. He is not in the greatest of health and doesn’t like staying in the hospital. However, if he were home he would not even be able to stand or walk without our help. For his needs he is in the best care facility. I want to keep my father forever, but if we can’t guarantee a decent quality of life then would that be fair? People have been known to actually “will themselves” to death. It just feels as though Pop is tired and as difficult as it is to accept that I have to understand it. I struggle with the concept that it would be selfish to keep him here just so he can suffer. I often think to myself how I would feel if I were in the same situation. As difficult as this is to say, I want what’s best for my father. I don’t want him to be in continuous pain. Living life in pain is not the same as living life, and yet I don’t want him to leave. No one lives forever. We are all on borrowed time… The quality of life is important and should not be ignored. For once, I feel as though I don’t have an answer for something that I already know the answer to. Can you love someone enough to let them go? I’m afraid I am about to find out the answer to that question if things don’t change soon. I want whatever is best… I want whatever is best… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
My father, Elton Jolly
Very soon here in the states we will go to the polls to elect a new President. For the Republicans, Donald Trump will represent them. Hillary Clinton is running and representing the Democrats. I have heard a lot of talk about survey polls (I usually don’t pay much attention to them, because when it came to the Presidential race between President and Mitt Romney 4 years ago they were at one point predicting that Romney was dead even with Obama, and we all know what “didn’t” happen there). I understand the platforms of both Republicans and Democrats. Usually most Republican voters go with Republican values and the same can be said for most Democrats. Today I would like to “cast away” the entire concepts of these perspective parties and just state some of the qualities that I would like to see in a President (in other words, “without ANY party influence”). I would love to have a leader who will protect the country but not rush into war at the “slightest” hint of trouble. Some wars can be won with the brain instead of the fist and I think it would be great to have a President who is not afraid to explore those options first. Also, I would like to have a President who knows how to confront the economy with a game plan that will work. Everyone wants to be employed and make money. The best way for that to happen is to have jobs. The President needs to have a plan that sounds successful. Also, the President has to be a great speaker and motivator. I would hate to elect someone who doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. The office of President is usually a thankless one. It would be great to have a President who can shake off insults and not let a sensitive skin make him or her angry. No matter who becomes President someone will always criticize his or her job. Trust is an important issue as well (even though I don’t necessarily believe that any President will tell us the whole and entire truth. Some things they have to keep private). Some experience in the field would make a difference to me as well. The thing that I hate about voting according to the values of the parties is that there are always things with both parties that I don’t necessarily agree with. It would be great to have candidates who don’t have to give in to the desires of their parties (but usually they do). I would like a President who wouldn’t be afraid to “go against” his own party for the good of the people. To me, that is Presidential material. Needless to say, the parties carry much weight and it is difficult to choose a candidate without taking on his or her party values as well. I want a leader who is an individual first. I want someone who will be President for everyone and not just a select few. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing who they want. The best asset we can have is a knowledgable and educated voter. Those who do their homework and vote according to what makes sense for the good of the country. We also need to keep in mind that a leader is only as great as his or her ability to listen to the people who are being led. That being said, I hope that we vote according to what makes sense. Today’s Daily Thought is not about choosing any particular candidate, but rather an attempt to raise awareness of the monumental task of voting. To a great degree our lives depend on it. Let’s treat it as though it does… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Stevie Wonder and Brett Jolly
Johanna is an accomplished singer. She contacted me and asked if I could do a photo shoot on her and we were very pleased with the results. She had not done modeling in a while but needless to say she has not lost anything. I hope you enjoy todays “Red Bass guitar model” and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Yesterday I shared a video of my brother Bill’s group called the Hard Drive Band. Today I would like to feature a special video produced by my brother. This video is designed to get all to come out and vote. It features a beautiful elderly lady by the name of Grandmomma Ijoy. It also features a beautiful young lady who just happens to be my daughter Jazzmin Jolly. The message is important, but hopefully you can enjoy the video as well. This is my brother’s special voter registration video simply entitled “Two Step.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.