Saturday, January 27, 2024

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Joanna (1983)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The subject of this week's song, Joanna, is described as someone who never lets you down and can always be counted upon. Who in your life is like that? Elaine. She is consistent, generous and thoughtful.

2) Kool and the Gang vocalist James "J. T." Taylor sings that he will do his best to do what's right for her. Reflect on the last week. What did you devote special effort to? Connie's diet. My girl cat needs to gain weight so I am switching her from canned food to the more calorie-rich kibble. She's ambivalent about this.

3) This video was filmed at the Colonial Diner in Lyndhurst, NJ. Still open 40 years later, the Colonial is known for their Boom Boom Shrimp, aka fried shrimp in sweet chili sauce. Think of your favorite local restaurant. What menu item would recommend? The creamy clam chowder.

4) Kool and the Gang's biggest hit was 1980's "Celebration," which is popular today with disc jockeys at wedding receptions. Are you likely to get up and dance at a wedding reception? Or would we find you enjoying the party from your seat? I'm a spectator. Probably looking at my watch and wondering how soon I can slip out. I hate weddings.

5) Kool and the Gang are proud of their NJ roots. Group founder Robert Bell was given the nickname "Kool" by his Jersey City friends because he was so "laid back." Do you think your friends would describe you as "laid back?" Not a chance!

6) One of the Jersey City's biggest employers is Evergreen, a transportation and shipping company with offices in Evertrust Plaza, a high-rise near the waterfront. What is the tallest building you've ever been in? Were you there for business, or to enjoy the view? Tall buildings hold no fascination for me. My first full-time job was in Sears Tower (110 stories). Since then I've worked in the AON Building (83 stories), an unnamed tower out by O'Hare (49 stories), Illinois Center (a mere 36 stories). When you work in a skyscraper, it's easy to get frustrated with tourists and looky-lous who meander about, trying to figure out which escalator will take them to which elevator.

7) In 1983, when "Joanna" topped the charts, Vanessa Williams became the first African American to be crowned Miss America. Today, Miss America is still among the most popular televised pageants, along with Miss World and Miss Universe. Do you watch beauty pageants? Not since I was a little girl, which was a long time ago.

8) Also in 1983, superstars Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson joined forces for the #1 song, "Say, Say, Say." Each man began his career as part of a group but went on to have success on his own. Can you think of anyone else who started out in band or group but also scored as a solo artist? For a while this quartet performed as The Hoboken Four. Tension surfaced when the young man on the far right proved to have tremendous stage presence and a unique ability to attract female fans. After Frank Sinatra left the group, The Hoboken Four became the Three Flashes. 

9) Random question: Have you more recently eaten bread sticks or carrot sticks? Hmm ... I can't recall the last time I had either. But since I have recently enjoyed bread in the form of burger buns and dinner rolls, I'll go with bread sticks.