Music Monday: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury

Today’s music choice was discovered thanks to Shazam, an app that can identify music, movies, advertising, and television shows, based on a short sample played and using the microphone on the device.

But before I get to the song, when I hear the word Shazam, what comes to mind is Gomer Pyle, the main character in a TV show of the same name. It was one of the catch phrases used by Gomer when he was in a good mood. Here’s a two-second clip of Gomer:

While I was searching for that clip, I came across some background info on the word Shazam, and apparently it stands for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, first noted in the Captain Marvel comic books.

Scrawny teenager Billy Batson would shout, “Shazam!” and a bolt of lightning would then strike the boy, granting him the powers and abilities of these ancient heroes, transforming him into Captain Marvel.

I’m not sure if that’s where the music app gets it name from, or if it was just a name the developer came up with out of the blue.

Anyway, I was listening to some music while waiting in a doctor’s office this week, and a wonderful song came through the speakers that I was not familiar with. So out came my phone and I opened up the Shazam app, and within a couple of seconds it told me that the song was: BT · Yo-Yo Ma · Joshua Bell · Edgar Meyer · Mark O’Connor · Mike Marshall · Sam Bush

Here’s an audio playing of the song:

Over the past few years I’ve really grown to enjoy music that features fiddles and banjos, and has the feel of bluegrass. This song seemed to fit into that genre.

The song is from the album Short Trip Home.

According to Wikipedia, Short Trip Home is an album of classical chamber music by a quartet unusual both for its membership and its instrumentation. Double bassist Edgar Meyer wrote the majority of the compositions recorded on the album for a quartet of violin, double bass, mandolin, and guitar. Classical violinist Joshua Bell joins bluegrass musicians Sam Bush and Mike Marshall and Meyer on the album. In addition to classical music in an American vernacular, the quartet occasionally breaks out on more traditional instrumental bluegrass tunes.

And it appears that at least on this one song from the album Yo Yo Ma also sat in.

I’ve listened to a few other songs from the album, and each one is wonderful. Highly recommended.

So thank you Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

Who knew they had the power to help someone discover a new song or musician.


80 thoughts on “Music Monday: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury

  1. So glad you heard this at the doctor’s office. It’s my kind of music. A little country bluegrass with a bit of Irish sound. I love banjos, fiddles and steel guitar playing. Well, I just love music!

    Gomer Pyle was one of my inspirations for going into the Marine Corps. Shazam was always in my head when we had field day (cleaning of the barracks). I always chose to clean the heads (bathroom). I was always alone in the feat so I had time to play music in my head for hours and talk to myself. I always passed inspection with high marks. It was the only alone time I got. LOL! I can’t believe I didn’t know the Marvel trivia behind it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like we have similar tastes in music, at least when it comes to this type of music.
      So did you ever have anyone like Sergeant Carter when you were in the USMC?
      and what a clever strategy by you – find a job that no on wants, do it well, and people leave you alone!
      I just learned the Marvel story, not sure if that’s where the Gomer Pyle writers picked it up, but the article I found seemed to suggest that it was a good possibility…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love country and bluegrass music. Grew up on it in Texas. I don’t care for the new country because it is more pop than rooted country music.
        There were a few jackasses in the USMC and some in my direct command. The show may have been filled with comedy but Sgt. Carter was underplayed by the real deal. There wasn’t much comic relief in bootcamp. Full Metal Jacket portrays the real strip-down of a person’s dignity so they can build them back up and turn them into Marines. Unfortunately, hazing got out of control and people died (real cases). It was still happening when I was in. Lucky for me, I never got hazed except once when I got a metal pinned to my chest. It was tradition that all those in your unit came by and punched you in the chest where the metal was pinned. It was thought to be honorable. That got stopped too when someone died of a heart problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I understand the power of rituals and tradition, but there needs to be some common sense as well. glad that chest punching stopped.

        Do you have a favorite bluegrass artist?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There is still hazing but in secret. It is not tolerated by the military any longer and you can get court martialed for it.

        Alison Krauss & Union Station (her band) is probably my favorite. “Man of Constant Sorrow” is one of my favs!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ll look forward to it. I like Ricky Skaggs too. My mom was married to his second cousin. I’ve never met Ricky, but my ex-step dad looked just like him. There really are so many. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I just listened to a lot of Alison on Spotify yesterday. She has a great voice. I think my favorite was a duet with John Prine…

        Maybe Ricky Skaggs this weekend…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I love John Prine too! I was really upset when he died last April. I have his last Austin City Limits on my DVR. Here is the link to the YouTube of it.

        You are probably going to disown me once I get going on this subject. LOL! 🙂


      7. I have only recently grown to really appreciate John Prine; I’ve liked every song of his that I have listened to. This gives me more music to listen to this weekend! Keep it coming! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Marty Stuart is one of my all time favorite country music/bluegrass stars. He is married to Connie Smith who is a great artist in her own right. The Marty Stuart Show started in 2008 but ran through 2016. Not sure if it is ever coming back. Here is one of the episodes that has Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys on it. Let me know when you run out of homework. Who da teacher now? LOL! I’m having so much fun with this. Almost as much as the birds. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I had never heard of Marty until that Ken Burns special in which he was prominently featured; I did not see any link to the Ralph Stanley clip… I just hope there is no test at the end… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. LOL! Hope you are listening to some fine bluegrass music this weekend. You inspired me, so while I sat working at my computer this week, I hit it on YouTube and listened to a bunch of grassroots music this week. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Just watched a bit of the Marty Stuart show – Earl Scruggs was his guest. They sounded great together. And then Marty’s wife came out and sang with them – outstanding!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I also loved Lester Flatts and Earl Scruggs as a kid and still do. My mom was married to Ricky Skaggs’ second cousin. I’m a huge Vince Gill fan too. Frank got me tickets to his concert for my birthday a few years ago. Too many favs!

        Do you have a favorite? Here is another great clip.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Yes, it was outstanding! Everything he does is excellent, but the Country Music ones were over the top and reminded me of my childhood, Texas and my grandparents. I’ve watched it more than once. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I ran out of room on my DVR so I had to delete somethings. It didn’t stick around because I can YouTube anything at anytime that I want to listen to. When it comes back on again, I will probably record it again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of Gomer – I guess that was one that didn’t travel over here. But I do love that kind of music. Yo-Yo Ma has done a lot of crossover collaborations, many of which are on YouTube. The one with Alison Krauss for the Wexford Carol is especially lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gomer Pyle was a show set in the United States Marine Corps, so it probably wouldn’t travel well.

      I’m glad you liked the music; it also reminded me a bit of an Irish session.

      I will check out the Yo Yo Ma and Alison Kraus collaboration, thanks for the suggestion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some do, some don’t. It looked similar vintage to Bilko, which was popular here.

        That one, and others, will be worth your time. Also worth taking a look for Edgar Meyers, who played double bass on this one – loads more collaborations to enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve looked it up. No mention of it ever being aired here so I guess that for some reason our tv companies didn’t want it, despite showing Bilko.

        I think they enjoy mixing with musicians from other genres – it stretches their creativity and they produce good results from it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. the star of Gomer Pyle was a pretty accomplished singer besides being on a couple of popular TV shows.

        I’m sure it’s nice to do those collaborations with other creative types..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Quite a few actors are good singers as well. Probably something to do with being trained to project their voices.

        They all seem to enjoy them, and it isn’t just in the country and bluegrass fields either. I’m thinking I should do a post on musical collaborations – I could start with a friend who is a classically trained soprano: her version of Sweet Child Of Mine is lovely.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a name from the past, Gomer Pyle, we used to watch that in Australia. Television was really quite new in Western Australia when we arrived in 1964 and they showed lots of English programmes and even more American comedies and other shows. We didn’t have a TV at first and Mum and Dad weren’t going to get one until they filmed a documentary at Dad’s work and he was going to be in it – he rushed out and rented one! Soon we were watching Ed The Talking Horse, Gilligan’s Island etc…. What a good idea Shazam is, how often we hear a piece of music and never find it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s funny about how you ended up getting a TV! And it sounds like you got to see some classic TV comedies, some better than others. And yes, Shazam is a tech marvel….


  4. “Shazam!” Another thoroughly unique post from the master. My wife uses her Shazam app in the car when she can’t figure out who is singing a song on the radio. Since I am driving, she is the Shazam in Charge.

    Liked by 1 person

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