#MusicMonday – January 4, 2021

We’ve been together since way back when…

Almost nine years of blogging, and 3 1/2 years of Music Monday. That’s a long time!

Welcome to 2021, and a new year of blogging! Though we could easily argue that the new year of blogging actually started this past Friday, this is a new week, and the holidays are officially over, so I’d consider this officially the new year of blogging.

This week’s song is one that popped into my head randomly during the month of December, in the midst of all those Christmas songs. I’m not sure why, other than the fact that it did, and my brain just works this way. It’s a song I’ve always liked, since hearing it on the local Lite Rock station as a kid, and always seemed like a “fun” song.

“Still the One” is a single by the soft rock group Orleans, release in August 1976 from their album Waking and Dreaming (also known as the “naked band members” album cover). Released as the album’s lead single, it is an up-tempo love song, with the man describing his feelings for the woman he loves. The song was written by Orleans founding member John Hall’s wife, Johanna, who wrote the song, according to Orleans member Lane Hoppen, after a friend asked her why someone couldn’t write a good love song about a couple that stays together, rather than one that breaks up. Johanna wrote the lyrics on an envelope, and gave it to her husband, who then created the music in about fifteen minutes. However, Johanna’s recollection is that she thought of the the lack of songs about long-term relationships while doing laundry, and wrote the lyrics on a napkin and gave it to her husband.

However they thought of the lyrics, Orleans had a hit on their hands. “Still the One” landed in the #5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (#82 year-ending 1976). The song has been used in political campaigns, advertising campaigns for Applebee’s, and was the American Broadcasting Company’s (ABC) jingle in 1977-1978 and 1979-1980. In ABC’s usage, the lyrics were sometimes adapted for local station promotional advertisements. Nine Network in Australia used the song as part of its network advertising from the 1970s until the mid-2000s.

And of course, because my mind always remembers commercials, it was used in a Burger King advertisement in 1997 to promote a 99-cent Whopper.

It’s a great song, even if it was used to promote the sale of a chain’s popular hamburger’s “no strings attached” low price.

Waking and Dreaming was the last album to feature founding member John Hall, who left the group in 1977 to pursue a solo career. Hall later went into politics, serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives, from 2007 until 2011, representing New York’s 19th Congressional District. It was a career that began with his work as an environmentalist and community activist. He had still been active in music, eventually reuniting with Orleans, but left music for Congress. He lost his re-election bid in 2010, but has been back with Orleans since 1985. Orleans itself has been together since 1972, one of those groups that has survived the changing times of music, and the use of their songs in advertising.

As for John Hall’s marriage to Johanna, she was “still the one”…until they weren’t a couple in a long-term relationship. They divorced in 1985 (another Boy Meets Girl story?), which is proof that even a song that has meaning for the songwriters, doesn’t always bode well for the actual relationship.

But at least we have the song, and the hope that we too can have a relationship that stands the test of time that these songs like to glorify.

I mean, the Whopper didn’t stay 99 cents forever, right?

Oh, and because I mentioned its use in a commercial to promote a value Whopper…

It probably hasn’t been 99 cents in years.

I just checked, the last time this promo ran was January 2003, and prior to that, June 1998.

…especially when they cost 99 cents.

We’re still having fun, despite that.

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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