It’s Music Monday, and silence takes over…
Nah, not really. Because if there were silence, then there wouldn’t be music. And we need music to make this whole thing work.
When I was a kid, I knew in my alleged “too cool” heart of hearts, that it was the totally uncool to like any of Kenny G’s offerings. His was the work of VH1 trying to lure in the MTV crowd, while only managing to lure their parents.
By the late 1990s, I started moving away from MTV and more towards VH1 as my music tastes changed. These days, I don’t watch either network, but I do remember the days when I watched VH1 for the times they played good love songs, which was the only way to lure me over there. Play All-4-One, Boyz II Men, or even the music video of today’s featured artist(s), and I’m in. So in. Beyond in.
So…Kenny G. He of the saxophone. The legend of jazz radio. The guy with the long, curly hair. The guy kids loved to hate in the 90s. As I’ve gotten older and admitted to myself that his music was never hard to listen to (I tried to keep up a front over the years), the more I’ve been able to appreciate his talent.
Peabo Bryson’s (real name Robert Peapo Bryson, changed to “Peabo” in 1965) name is familiar to me because of Beauty and the Beast. Yes, young people, before John Legend and Ariana Grande belted out the title song for the 2017 live-action remake of the 1991 animated movie, Peabo Bryson sang it with an up-and-coming French-Canadian singer named Celine Dion. He would later sing another song from another Disney movie only a year later, when he joined with Regina Belle (seriously, what kid knew who either of them were?) for “A Whole New World,” from 1992’s Aladdin. But prior to this, Bryson had a career which began at the age of 14, included many collaborations and love songs, and quite a few albums before Disney came calling. It wasn’t exactly poison for his career either.
“By the Time This Night Ts Over” is a 1993 “duet” from Kenny G’s album Breathless. The song features G doing what he does best, coupled with Bryson doing what he does best. Smooth jazz saxophone glory for the former, seduction via singing for the latter. The song peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the summer of 1993, spending seven weeks in the Top 40. On the Adult Contemporary chart, the song spent two weeks at #1, the third chart topper for both artists.
The music video, which I remember from watching VH1 (in an uncool fashion) during the summer in elementary school (the summer of 1993 put me between fourth and fifth grade), is a live performance. Not sure if this was an actual concert video, or just a great music video meant to look like a live performance. There’s female backup singers, women in the audience who would love to throw their panties while screaming “PEABO!” and Kenny G doing his Kenny G thing.
Don’t believe me, click play below, and bask in the glory of musical seduction!
You know, I think I understand what made Kenny G so laughable to kids when I was one – he was just totally all up in personal space. At least, that’s what it always seemed like. Plus it was the hair. It had that Michael Bolton quality to it. And who didn’t make Michael Bolton jokes back then?
Anyone? Hopefully not just me.
Anyway, that’s about it for this week’s Music Monday. Take the time to admit that you liked a song no matter what you told other people. Truth is, you’ll appreciate the song’s existence more.
Have a great Monday after Easter, and enjoy the music!
My favorite Kenny G song of all time is “End of the Night,” which is also from his album, “Breathless.” I remember hearing it being played on The Weather Channel many times back in the ’90s. They usually played it during the three-minute local forecasts, which were shown at either the top of the hour or the bottom of the hour.
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I remember those too! Those were the days!
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