Musical Interlude: Roots of Happy

May 9th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Don’t worry, I’m not going to link to Pharrell Williams’ huge hit “Happy.”  It’s a great song but it’s everywhere and we try to avoid the obvious here at OTE’s music hall.

But I do consider it my responsibility to provide historical context, whether we’re talking inequality trends or pop hits by a falsetto specialist.

Re the latter, Pharrell’s singing reminds me of the immortal Eddie Kendricks from the Temptations.  Here he is in an early hit and if you’re anything like my age, hearing the first few guitar chords here will make you very…happy.

And here’s Kendricks later when he broke out on his own, kickin’ it with Keep on Truckin’ (extended version)–take note of that funky keyboard in the background called a clavichord that was the rage back then (a few years later, Stevie Wonder kills on it in Superstition, as I recall).

I mean, really, why stop when we’ve got the love train rollin’?…let’s just finish right here and call it checkmate for boomers (EK alert at 4:58).

I know…you’re welcome…have a great and funky weekend…

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4 comments in reply to "Musical Interlude: Roots of Happy"

  1. Nick Batzdorf says:

    Pharrell Williams isn’t a bad musician or anything, but that stuff is a Disney caricature of real music. I found the Grammys in January totally depressing until Carole King came out with Sara Bareilles and reminded everyone what music is: the soul of humanity.

    Corporations aren’t people!

  2. Tammy says:

    Jared, this “call it checkmate for boomers” made me laugh. I don’t think the boomers have anything to worry about. Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to Mrs. Bernstein and have a nice weekend.

  3. Warren Po says:

    The clavinet rocks, but credit where it’s due: “Superstition” was recorded and a hit in 1972, the year before “Keep on Truckin’.” The memory, it’s a tricky thing.