465 posts categorized "Elder Music"

ELDER MUSIC: Various Classical

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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PYOTR TCHAIKOVSKY sure could write a good tune.

Tchaikovsky

The one I have today will be guaranteed to get you up waltzing around your kitchen, bedroom or wherever you happen to be listening. I have selected the Waltz from the start of the second act of his opera “Eugene Onegin”. Set those tootsies free.

♫ Tchaikovsky - Waltz from Eugene Onegin


GEORGE HANDEL was born the same year as J.S. Bach, as well as geographically quite close to each other too. However, there's no evidence at all that the two giants of Baroque music ever met.

Handel

J.S. was somewhat of a homebody and George liked to get about a bit, first around what is now Germany and then to what is now Italy. He was much taken by the Italian style of music and started writing music in this manner.

He returned to Hanover where he encountered another George: the Elector of Hanover. Both Georges went to England where they stayed for the rest of their lives. Our George became one of the greatest composers of all time and the other one had a minor role as George the First.

One of our George's compositions is the secular cantata “Apollo and Daphne”, HWV 122. From that we have Felicissima quest'alma, sung by JULIA LEZHNEVA.

Julia Lezhneva

♫ Handel - Apollo e Dafne HWV 122 ~ Felicissima quest'alma


CHARLES AVISON was an English composer who spanned the Baroque and Classical periods.

Charles Avison

He was born in Newcastle to poor parents. Not much is known of his childhood, but he landed in London and studied with Francesco Geminiani, whom he greatly admired. He was mainly an organist but wrote for many different instruments.

He later returned to Newcastle where he stayed for the rest of his life. Charlie did okay for himself as he died a very rich man and he left the loot to his three surviving kids. Here is the fourth movement of his “Concerto No.6 in D major.”

♫ Avison - Concerto No.6 in D major (4)


FELIX MENDELSSOHN visited Britain many times.

Mendelssohn

Quite a few of his compositions were inspired by his visits or he actually wrote some of them there. He seemed to like Scotland and several of his works reference the country. Probably the most famous of which is the Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56, also known as the Scottish Symphony.

On his last visit before he died, he conducted that symphony and among the gathered throng were Victoria and Albert (the people, not the museum). Here is the second movement.

♫ Mendelssohn - Symphony No.3 in A minor op.56 'Scottish' (2)


CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI is one of the major figures in music – he's up there with Beethoven in the changes and developments he made.

Monteverdi

He is the first person that we know of who wrote operas; certainly his operas are the earliest that are still performed today. He took a little bitty thing called the madrigal and fleshed it out to become wonderful, exciting pieces of music. It's one of those that we're having today.

From his fifth book of madrigals this is Quel sguardo sdegnosetto. See if you can pronounce that early in the morning. The wonderful DANIELLE DE NIESE sings it.

Danielle de Niese

♫ Danielle de Niese - Monteverdi ~ Quel sguardo sdegnosetto


IGNAZ PLEYEL was the 24th child of an impoverished school teacher. No wonder he was impoverished, especially as Iggy was nowhere near the last – there were 38 kids in all. The mind boggles.

Ignaz Pleyel

Fortunately, Iggy was good at music and he caught the ear of some rich noble man who paid for his music education. He was taught by Johann Vanhal, a friend of both Mozart and Haydn, and Iggy went on to a career in music, that alas, is largely forgotten these days.

He was also a music publisher and piano designer and maker. He ended up quite rich. In his day he was considered a rival to both Mozart and Haydn, and his music is in a similar style to both of those. See what you think of the first movement of his String Quartet in D Major, Ben. 337.

♫ Pleyel - String Quartet in D Major Ben. 337 (1)


I have mentioned the birthplace of BERNHARD CRUSELL before, but it's such a wonderful name I'm going to do it again. He was from Uusikaupunki in Finland. Indeed, that town has a Crusell Week each year.

Crusell

Bernie's family moved to Sweden when he was a lad and both countries like to claim him as their own. He was apparently a really fine clarinet player and wrote many compositions for the instrument. Although not devoted entirely to the instrument, it certainly features prominently in the first movement of the Divertimento in C major, Op.9.

♫ Crusell - Divertimento in C major Op.9 (1)


ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK was a Czech composer who also travelled extensively, most notably to Britain and the United States about which he wrote several of his best known and loved compositions.

Dvorák

I'm not using any of those today. What I have is the second movement of one of his Four Romantic Pieces for violin and piano, B. 150 (Op. 75).

♫ Dvorak - 4 Romantic Pieces Op.75 (2)


GIUSEPPE JACCHINI was an Italian cello player and composer in what's now Italy in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Giuseppe Maria Jacchini

His skill on the cello and his many works for the instrument put it on the map – he was one of the earliest composers to feature it. He also wrote many works for the trumpet and we're going out with a bang with one of those. Here is the first movement of his Sonata D Minor.

♫ Giuseppe Maria Jacchini - Sonata D Minor (1)



ELDER MUSIC: Songs of Frank Loesser

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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Frank Loesser wrote songs in the usual manner of tin pan alley, but he also wrote musicals for Broadway – both music and lyrics – "Guys and Dolls" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" are the couple that spring immediately to mind.

He managed to gather a Tony Award, a Pulitzer Prize but only managed a nomination for an Oscar. Although Frank's dad was a piano teacher, he didn't teach him as even by the age of four he could play by ear pretty much any music he heard.

After dad died Frank had to go out and earn a living in non-musical pursuits. He eventually got hired to write songs and his future was assured (with some bumps along the way).

Let's get to the music itself, starting with the "Divine One", SARAH VAUGHAN.

Sarah Vaughan

It's been said by some that Sarah could have been an opera singer if the opportunity had arisen. We'll never know. She sings a song that many others have also tackled, but few as well as she. Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year.

♫ Sarah Vaughan - Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year


Another song that many have performed – okay, I think you'll be able to say that about everything today – is Baby, It's Cold Outside. I considered a number of versions, but the one that tickled my fancy was by WILLIE NELSON and NORAH JONES.

Willie Nelson & NorahJones

Willie and Norah are admirably suited to the laid back nature of this song.

♫ Willie Nelson & Norah Jones - Baby It's Cold Outside


Here is MILES DAVIS with his classic early quintet.

Miles Davis

That is John Coltrane on tenor sax, Red Garland piano, Paul chamber bass and Philly Joe Jones drums. It really doesn't get any better than that. Their contribution is If I Were a Bell from the musical "Guys and Dolls".

♫ Miles Davis - If I Were a Bell


From one of the musicals mentioned at the beginning, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", ROBERT MORSE sings to himself.

Robert Morse

This is from the scene when he is in the loo with a bunch of others and he serenades himself in the mirror. If you get a chance to see the film it's worth it for this scene alone. Robert assures himself that I Believe in You.

♫ Robert Morse and Co - I Believe in You


We have another film tie-in, this time it's "Thanks for the Memory" – that's the name of the film. You can probably guess who the singers are, but that's not the song we're using (although it was in the film, as you can imagine).

First, for those not familiar with that particular song I'd like to say that the singers are BOB HOPE and SHIRLEY ROSS.

Bob Hope & Shirley Ross

The song is Two Sleepy People. Frank had the help of Hoagy Carmichael for the lyrics on this one.

♫ Bob Hope and Shirley Ross - Two Sleepy People


Another musical/film is "Guys and Dolls", already mentioned, and from that we have the song, A Bushel and a Peck. This was all over the hit parade at the time, with multiple versions.

I listened to a bunch of them (that was a bit of a trial), and the one that least offended me was by FRANKIE LAINE and JO STAFFORD.

Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford

Here's what they sound like.

♫ Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford - A Bushel And A Peck


"Greenwillow" is not a musical with which I'm familiar, but I'm not a big musical fan so it's not too surprising. Lesser Samuels and Frank Loesser wrote it and Frank wrote all the songs for it – about two dozen of them.

One of those is Never Will I Marry, which has been recorded by a bunch of people. I'm not going with one you're probably familiar with, instead here is ANDREA MOTIS.

Andrea Motis

Andrea is a Spanish musician and on this track she not only sings, but plays trumpet as well.

♫ Andrea Motis - Never Will I Marry


I originally had Chet Baker pencilled in at this spot, but I heard BILLY ECKSTINE sing the song and changed my mind. It's pretty unusual for me to throw out Chet, however, I know that Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, will approve of my including Billy.

Billy Eckstine

Billy really did have one of the finest voices in music. I wasn't keen on all those strings, but it was the fashion back then. Hear what he makes of I've Never Been in Love Before.

♫ Billy Eckstine - I've Never Been In Love Before


Frank's songs seem to lend themselves to jazz treatment, and the next is no different. In this case it's by BILL CHARLAP.

Bill Charlap Trio

Bill came from a musical family, his mum sang on Perry Como's TV program and dad was a Broadway composer. Bill plays piano and has his trio along to perform On a Slow Boat to China.

♫ Bill Charlap - On A Slow Boat To China


This is the sort of material that's really suited to MEL TORMÉ, so of course, he gets into the act as well.

Mel Torme

Mel's version of Once in Love with Amy is pretty well known, but it's always good to hear it again.

♫ Mel Tormé - Once In Love With Amy



ELDER MUSIC: Till I Waltz Again With You

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

I was searching for a completely different song for a different column when I discovered a "waltz" song. Ah ha. Light bulbs. I abandoned my original search and created this column (another example of "Oh, look at that shiny thing over there").

I thought of five songs before I even started looking, so with half the music already set I knew I had a column. Of course, it's about waltzes and is skewed towards the fifties and country music, so there won't be a Strauss in evidence.

The first song I thought of, and the one first mentioned by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist when I told her about the column, is by PATTI PAGE.

Patti Page

I imagine we weren't alone in thinking of this one, a huge hit for Patti, and one I've used several times over the years but it's still worth another listen. Tennessee Waltz.

♫ Patti Page - Tennessee Waltz


The second one has a very similar name, and it's by JESSE WINCHESTER.

Jesse Winchester

It's difficult to think of one without the other, at least for me. Jesse called his song The Brand New Tennessee Waltz.

♫ Jesse Winchester - The Brand New Tennessee Waltz


Here is the title track, and those who know these things will easily respond with TERESA BREWER.

Teresa Brewer

The song was written by Sid Prosen, and according to Wiki, it's not a waltz but a slow AABA shuffle (whatever that is). It was a huge success for Teresa and got stuck at number one on the charts for several weeks. Till I Waltz Again With You.

♫ Teresa Brewer - Till I Waltz Again With You


As a total contrast to just about everything else today, here is DAVE BRUBECK (and his quartet, of course).

Dave Brubeck

This is from the second of his really successful "Time" series of albums, "Time Further Out". The tune is It's a Raggy Waltz.

♫ Dave Brubeck - It's a Raggy Waltz


COWBOY COPAS is largely forgotten these days, and when his name does come up it's usually just to mention that he was also in the plane with Patsy Cline that crashed, killing them both (along with Hawkshaw Hawkins and Randy Hughes, the pilot).

Cowboy Copas

Before that, he was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry and had a number of hits in the forties and fifties. This is one of those, I'm Waltzing With Tears In My Eyes.

♫ Cowboy Copas - I'm Waltzing With Tears In My Eyes


In the fifties, the mainstream decided they had to do something about this Rock and Roll fad (that's the way they thought). If they couldn't beat it, they might as well join it. Boy, did they get it completely wrong when they tried. The next song is a prime example of that. It's by KAY STARR.

Kay Starr

Anyone who listened to the charts back then will know the song in question: Rock and Roll Waltz.

♫ Kay Starr - Rock and Roll Waltz


From phony Rock and Roll to completely genuine music. I give you EMMYLOU HARRIS. Well, if she were mine to give, I wouldn't.

Emmylou Harris

From her somewhat underrated album "Cimarron" we have The Last Cheater's Waltz. It wasn't the only waltz song on it, Tennessee Waltz was there as well, but we've had that one.

♫ Emmylou Harris - The Last Cheater's Waltz


When I was a whippersnapper, the first time I heard the next singer's name on the radio I thought he was a duo – Ferl and Husky. A little later I found he was only one person FERLIN HUSKY.

Well, it's an unusual name so it's an easy mistake to make, although The A.M. looked at me a bit sideways when I told her.

Ferlin Husky

Ferlin's song is a bit of a downer, but we need some contrast. He's looking forward to The Waltz You Saved for Me.

♫ Ferlin Husky - The Waltz You Saved for Me


LEON REDBONE always brings a smile to my face, his performances are so wonderful.

Leon Redbone

The A.M. and I saw him in Albuquerque and it was, to put no fine point on it, effing cold. He played his first song (on the guitar) with gloves on (white ones, she reminded me). I don't blame him. He was so good he could have left them on for the rest of the performance. I don't think he's wearing gloves for this one, Bittersweet Waltz.

♫ Leon Redbone - Bittersweet Waltz


MARTY ROBBINS is somewhat more into the heavy country style than is normal for him.

Marty Robbins

It's all about the steel guitar and he's not at all happy about it. Oh well, that's the way it goes, Marty, when you try to waltz to a steel guitar. Marty laments about the Crying Steel Guitar Waltz.

♫ Marty Robbins - Crying Steel Guitar Waltz


Here's an extra track that I acquired after all the music was selected. Rather than throw something out, I'll add it as a bonus. It's from an artist I wouldn't expect to have an entry in this genre, NEIL YOUNG.

Neil Young

It's from a new/old album of his. New, because it's only recently been released for the first time, and old, because he recorded it in 1976. It's surprising that it hadn't seen the light of day earlier, not even as a bootleg, as most of his others were.

Neil's song is The Old Country Waltz.

♫ Neil Young - The Old Country Waltz



ELDER MUSIC: Wolves

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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BigBadWolf

Here is yet another entry in our series about animals, in this case the wolf. This animal is the top predator in many areas and as such is critically important to the ecology of the area (and surrounding areas, research has shown). Not only for animals but plant species as well. So, let us praise wolves.

The obvious place to start is with HOWLIN' WOLF, not just because of his name, but his song as well.

Howlin Wolf

It was said that "no one could match Howlin' Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits." In spite of that, he was a kind man and dedicated and loving husband and father who also paid his band very well, including all benefits.

Because of that, he attracted the best musicians. It seems that The Wolf is at Your Door.

♫ Howlin' Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door


WARREN ZEVON's best known, but far from his best, song makes the grade today.

Warren Zevon

A lot of you will know of which I speak. It's from his fine album "Excitable Boy" and it's called Werewolves of London. It's not to be taken seriously.

♫ Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London


So, to just another band from East L.A., as they like to call themselves, LOS LOBOS.

Los Lobos

They're too modest of course, they are one of the finest bands around. From a very early album of theirs ("How Will the Wolf Survive") they perform Will the Wolf Survive?

♫ Los Lobos - Will The Wolf Survive


PAUL SIMON seems to have become a hip hop artist with his contribution.

Paul Simon

Not completely, he does sing a bit but it's certainly different from what we expect from him. It's not a song I was familiar with until I searched my computer. It's always interesting to see how Paul stretches things with his songs. It's just called The Werewolf.

♫ Paul Simon - The Werewolf


TERRY ALLEN was born in Kansas, made a name for himself in Lubbock, Texas (home of a surprisingly high number of musicians) and lives in Santa Fe.

Terry Allen

Besides being a songwriter and singer, he's an artist of some renown and has lectured (and been a professor) in various artistic endeavours. From one of his albums (there have been about eight of them) we have The Wolfman of Del Rio.

♫ Terry Allen - The Wolfman Of Del Rio


GREGORY PORTER is the odd man out in the column today, and not because he has a great voice – we have a couple of those.

Gregory Porter

No, it's because he's more jazz oriented than the rest. I like to throw in something from left field (generally, it's not always appropriate) just to mix things up a bit. His best selling album was "Liquid Spirit" and it's from that one we have Wolfcry, although I didn't detect any wolves in the words of the song.

♫ Gregory Porter - Wolfcry


Alas, IAN TYSON doesn't have the wonderful voice that he used to.

Ian Tyson

He's not the handsome man of his youth either (well, who is?), but he's not bad (I wish I could say the same about me). However, he can still write fine songs and make good records. One of those is Wolves No Longer Sing.

♫ Ian Tyson - Wolves No Longer Sing


CHAMPION JACK DUPREE received his moniker in his early career as a boxer, he was even earlier called William Dupree.

Champion Jack Dupree

Jack was one of the great honky tonk pianists. He learned to play in the Colored Waifs Home in New Orleans when he was orphaned at age eight. This was the same place that Louis Armstrong got his start on the trumpet (well, cornet, technically).

Jack moved to Europe in 1960 where his music was in great demand. He stayed there and in Britain for pretty much the rest of his life. His contribution is Black Wolf Blues.

♫ Champion Jack Dupree - Black Wolf Blues


For the last 30 years or so there have been few better singer/songwriters than TOM RUSSELL.

Tom Russell

Tom is too modest to suggest such a thing, he would claim Ian Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot and others for the title, but we know, Tom. I would suggest searching for his albums if you're unfamiliar with them. From "Modern Art" Tom sings The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

♫ Tom Russell - The Boy Who Cried Wolf


I'll end as I began, with HOWLIN' WOLF. I think it's only appropriate.

Howlin Wolf

The Wolf rocks out with Howlin' Wolf Boogie.

♫ Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf Boogie



ELDER MUSIC: 1953 Yet Again

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

It's 1953 and I'm in grade 3. Most of the songs today I remember from that time, but there's a ring-in that I didn't find out about until later. I'll start with that one.

I must admit that my first exposure to the song Just Walkin' in the Rain was via the Johnnie Ray version a few years later than 1953. It was a few years after that I happened upon the original, far superior, version by THE PRISONAIRES.

Prisonaires

The song was written by Johnny Bragg and he was the group's lead singer.

♫ Prisonaires - Just Walkin' In The Rain


Hi Lili Hi Lo seemed to be around for a bit in 1952 and 1953 (and later as well). As far as I can tell DINAH SHORE was the first to record the song, and that was in 1952.

Dinah Shore

However, I think the hit was in 1953 (perhaps it was one that straddled the years). That rationale is good enough for me because I wanted to include it, and besides, I've already selected the songs for 1952.

Hi Lili Hi Lo was written by Bronislau Kaper and Helen Deutsch and it made an appearance in the film "Lili", sung by Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. Helen Deutsch also wrote the film's screenplay.

♫ Dinah Shore - Hi Lili Hi Lo


Not too long before he burst on the scene with Rock Around the Clock, BILL HALEY was already morphing from a country performer into rock and roll.

Bill Haley

He was already recording covers of jump blues artists, most particularly Big Joe Turner's songs, and he was also writing his own songs in the same vein, one of which is Crazy Man Crazy.

♫ Bill Haley - Crazy Man Crazy


I mentioned JOHNNIE RAY above, and here he is singing a duet with DORIS DAY.

Johnnie & Doris

At this time Johnnie was often a welcome relief from the rubbish on the charts. Alas, he sometimes slipped and fell and recorded some of that himself – like this one, Let's Walk That-A Way.

♫ Doris Day & Johnnie Ray - Let's Walk That-A Way


Between Frank Sinatra, a few years earlier, and Elvis, a few years later, EDDIE FISHER was the one that set the teenyboppers squealing.

Eddie Fisher

He was closer to the Frank mold (with less talent) than Elvis, but he was what we had at the time. Eddie seems to be a bit of a stalker in his song, I'm Walking Behind You.

♫ Eddie Fisher - I'm Walking Behind You


GUY MITCHELL was all over the charts around this time (and later as well).

Guy Mitchell

Like Johnnie Ray, he was also a relief from the music on the charts. However, he slipped as well, and at pretty much the same time, with She Wears Red Feathers. Here's your chance to catch up on your cocynuts and huly huly skirts.

♫ Guy Mitchell - She Wears Red Feathers


The FOUR LADS want to return to a city that doesn't exist anymore. Okay, it does, but under a different name.

Four Lads

Those who were listening to the hit parade in 1953 will know to what I refer. The song is Istanbul (Not Constantinople). The song was written by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon and it surprised me a little that the city changed its name as recently as 1930.

♫ Four Lads - Istanbul (Not Constantinople)


Back around this time there was an English radio series, which we got here in Oz, called "Take it from Here". The next artists were all in that program. They are JOY NICHOLS, DICK BENTLEY and JIMMY EDWARDS.

Joy, Dick & Jimmy

If I were ranking the songs included today, this one would be at the very bottom (and there's some stiff competition). However, it was ubiquitous at the time and it's been stuck in my brain ever since, so now it's your turn to be so affected. The Little Red Monkey.

♫ Joy Nichols Dick Bentley & Jimmy Edwards - The Little Red Monkey


Thank heaven for PEARL BAILEY, so she can wipe that previous song out of my brain for a few minutes.

Pearl Bailey

Quite a few people recorded this one, but this is the one I prefer. Takes Two to Tango.

♫ Pearl Bailey - Takes Two To Tango


Here is a song that the Peter who lived next door and I sang together (The Two Petes – well we didn't call ourselves that, I just made that up). It's China Doll by SLIM WHITMAN.

Slim Whitman

The other Peter was better at the yodelling parts than I was (I don't know if anyone else would consider that a plus). Anyway, we had fun.

♫ Slim Whitman - China Doll



ELDER MUSIC: Mozart's Lesser Known Operas

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Mozart's operas are among the best loved and most often performed. Well, some of them – “Don Giovanni“, “Cosi Fan Tutte“, “The Marriage of Figaro“, “The Magic Flute“ and a few others. However, he wrote a whole bunch more and it's those that we're interested in today. Fortunately, these have been recorded, if not often performed.

As with all good operas, I'll start with an overture. This is from, as far as we know, the first opera Wolfie wrote. He was 12 years old.

Mozart

It was apparently first performed in the back yard of Franz Mesmer (of hypnosis fame) who commissioned the work. It's the overture to Bastien and Bastienne.

♫ Bastien and Bastienne - Overture


La Finta Semplice (The Feigned Simpleton) was also written when Wolfie was 12. It was scheduled to be performed in Vienna but the bigwigs at the opera there conspired against it and threatened a riot, claiming it couldn't have been written by such a young person, and it was really by his father.

Dad, prudently, withdrew the performance and it was produced for the first time a year later in Salzburg.

This is the aria Marito io vorrei sung by TERESA BERGANZA.

Teresa Berganza

♫ La Finta Semplice ~ Marito io vorrei


Another finta - “La Finta Giardiniera” (The Pretend Garden Maid, or some such). This one is especially silly and this is how it goes...

We have Don Anchise who is in love with Sandrina. Sandrina, the Marchioness Violante Onest, likes to dress up as a gardener. Then there is Arminda, niece of Don, who is engaged to Belfiore but was previously in love with Ramiro. Belfiore, before he was engaged to Arminda, had the hots for Sandrina, but he stabbed her in a fit of rage (apparently suffering no consequences).

Ramiro wanders about love-struck (not surprisingly, as he was originally played by a castrato), but in the end, Arminda gets back together with him. Serpetta is Don's servant and she is in love with him, but nothing comes of this. Finally, Roberto, Sandrina's servant, likes to dress up as her dressing up as a gardener. He ended up with Serpetta. Got all that? No; neither did I.

Anyway, we have an aria sung by PLACIDO DOMINGO (as Belfiore) called Che beltà, che leggiadria.

Placido Domingo

♫ La finta giardiniera ~ Che beltà che leggiadria


If you think that was silly (and it was), consider “Mitridate, Re Di Ponto” (Mithridates, King of Pontus).

Mithridates, after a battle with the Romans, is thought to be dead (he isn't). That fake news is passed to Aspasia (his fiancée) and Farnace and Sifare (his sons) who certainly don't see eye to eye.

Sifare is in love with Aspasia, and it seems Farnace also has the hots for her and is a bit overly aggressive in this regard. Sifare helps Aspasia which does nothing for the brotherly love.

Around this time it's learnt that Mithridates is still alive and the brothers pretend everything is hunky dory between them, except that Farnace conspires with the Romans to do dad in.

Mithridates arrives in town with another chick in tow (Ismene) and when Farnace sees her he wants a bit of the action as well. Ismene is taken with Farnace and that causes friction with dad (not forgetting that Aspasia and Sifare are still at it).

Mithridates discovers the plot that Farnace hatched with the Romans and arrests him. He is rescued by Ismene but falsely suggests that Sifare was also involved, and besides dad, he's bonking your fiancée. Dad plans revenge on him as well.

That's only Act 1. There are two more to go but I'll spare you.

In the end dad forgives both sons who marry the appropriate women and then he commits suicide in fine operatic tradition.

From all that we have DIANA DAMRAU (as Aspasia) singing Al destin che la minaccia.

Diana Damrau

♫ Mitridate rè di ponto ~ Al destin che la minaccia


“Il Sogno di Scipione” (Scipio's Dream), as the title suggests, all takes place in a dream. When Scipio wakes up he realizes that was so, and, well, that's it really. A bit less complicated than the previous couple.

From that we have the wonderful RENÉE FLEMING (as Fortuna, whom we haven't met) performing sono al par del viento.

Renee Fleming

♫ Il sogno di Scipione ~ Lieve sono al par del viento


“Ascanius in Alba” (Ascanio in Alba) involves goddesses, nymphs and shepherds, the usual love affairs, broken hearts, city building (well, that's new) and everyone living happily ever after for a change. Here is an instrumental break, the first Ballet.

♫ Ascanio in Alba ~ Ballet No.1


“Il Rè Pastore” (The Shepherd King) concerns a pair of lovers, one of whom is a shepherd, but he is the long lost king of Macedonia. He is eventually recognised as such but in the mean time all of the usual operatic shenanigans occur.

He eventually ends up as king and everyone marries whom they should and no one commits suicide.

Here Aminta (the shepherd king) and Elisa (his main squeeze) have a bit of a warble together. For some reason Aminta (who's a bloke) is sung by JOHANNETTE ZOMER (who isn't) and Elisa is sung by FRANCINE VAN DER HEYDEN (they got the genders right this time). Vanne a regnar ben mio.

Johannette & Francine

♫ Il Re Pastore ~ Vanne a regnar ben mio


“Apollo et Hyacinthus” (Apollo and Hyacinth) is very early Wolfie, he was 11 when he wrote it. This is one that may or may not be an opera, or it could be a song cycle.

The synopsis of this one was so complicated I couldn't make head nor tail of it. It involves gods, sacrifices, storms, murders, the usual convoluted love affairs, more shepherds and a discus.

What follows is a duet by Apollo, who is a god, but likes to mingle with the common herd, and Melia, once attached to the king who was making a sacrifice to the big guy, but she now has the hots for Apollo. Their relationship is far more complicated but we'll just blip over it.

Apollo is sung by RALF POPKEN and Media by VENCESLAVA HRUBA-FREIBERGER. They perform Discede Crudelis!

Ralf & Venceslava

♫ Apollo and Hyacinth ~ Discede Crudelis!


“Lucio Silla” is another Roman opera. Lucio is dictator of Rome and has had senator Cecilio exiled and has spread rumors that he's dead. There are a number of interlocking love affairs, a few murders and whatnot. It's even more complicated than any of the others.

In the end (and this is the most unbelievable bit of the lot), Lucio sees the error of his ways and steps down. Cecilio is restored to his rightful position and everyone gets married and lives happily ever after (at least, those still alive).

Now we have an aria by Cecilio, again another bloke sung by a woman: MARIANNE CREBASSA, singing Pupille amate.

Marianne Crebassa

♫ Lucio Silla ~ Pupille amate


Naturally, I'll end with a finale. In this one everyone gets to strut their stuff. The big ending to “The Shepherd King”, Viva! Viva l'invitto duce!

♫ Il Re Pastore ~ Viva! Viva l'invitto duce!


It shows you what teenagers can do when they set their minds to it. Everything in today's column Wolfie wrote when he was between eleven and nineteen. He might be an exceptional case, though.

Mozart


ELDER MUSIC: Divorce

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Here's a topic I know a little bit about as I've had one of them. It was fairly civilized as we were (still sort of) friends. That's sort of the reason we got married, we were best friends and we'd thought it would be a great joke if we told all our friends that we were going to get married.

No one got the joke (except us), and that's not really a good basis for marriage – never marry your best friend, especially not as part of a joke, the marriage won't work and you'll lose a friend. I think I've gone on a bit here, so I'll just let the music do the talking.

It was interesting to me that after I had selected the music today, it had turned into a pretty hardcore country music column. I don't know what this says about the family values that are always championed by that segment of society. Make of that what you will.

I'll start with the best song about today's subject. There are three really fine versions of the song, Quits. They are by the writer of the song, Danny O'Keefe, as well as Gary Stewart and CHRIS HILLMAN.

Chris Hillman

As good as Danny's version is, I think the other two are just a bit better and it was a tossup which I'd include. It came down heads and Chris got the nod. As the boomers and anyone with an interest in the music of the sixties know, Chris was one of the original Byrds. This song is from later in his solo career.

♫ Chris Hillman - Quits


TAMMY WYNETTE spelled it out because she thought that her kid didn't know how to do that.

Tammy Wynette

She was probably wrong. Kids are smarter than we think they are. At least, that's what I'm told; I've never had any or really been around any since I was one myself.

Her song is D-I-V-O-R-C-E. It seems that only on the day that the D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final that they tell the kiddy (or not, depending how you interpret the song).

♫ Tammy Wynette - D-I-V-O-R-C-E


The song Mexican Divorce was written by Burt Bacharach and Tom Hilliard, and it was originally recorded by The Drifters. As with the first song, I really prefer a cover version. In this case it's NICOLETTE LARSON.

Nicolette Larson

Nicolette started as a really fine pop singer and evolved into a really fine country singer. Alas, she died at age 45 due to various complications. She had two marriages and one divorce, so she fits in.

♫ Nicolette Larson - Mexican Divorce


Besides being a singer, MERLE TRAVIS was a songwriter of note as well as a hugely influential guitarist.

Merle Travis

He wrote his song for this column back in 1946 (and I'm sure that he thought at the time that in the twenty-first century someone will want to feature it on the internet). It is Divorce Me C.O.D.

♫ Merle Travis - Divorce Me C O D


KITTY WELLS is somewhat conflicted about her divorce.

Kitty Wells

She thought her hubby was out doing her wrong, so she decided to do the same. It seems she was wrong but we don't get to hear his side of the story when she says I Hope My Divorce Is Never Granted.

♫ Kitty Wells - I Hope My Divorce Is Never Granted


DAVID ALLAN COE had a whole album called "Just Divorced".

David Allan Coe

The title song was in the running for inclusion but it was a bit of a downer so I thought I'd use It's Great to Be Single Again. It's a nice contrast to many of the others, so I thought we'd need a bit of perkiness around about now.

♫ David Allan Coe - It's Great to Be Single Again


MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER seems to fly a little under the radar.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

She has a beautiful voice and writes terrific songs but lesser talents seem to get a lot more prominence. Okay, that's the way it is in the music industry, and show biz generally. Anyway, here she is with What to Keep and What to Throw Away.

♫ Mary Chapin Carpenter - What to Keep and What to Throw Away


I've only recently discovered this next song, although I believe it's been around for a while. Upon hearing it, I knew it had to be in a column and this seems the most appropriate one. The singers, who also wrote the song, are DOYLE AND DEBBIE (Bruce Arntson and, at the time of recording, Jenny Littleton).

Doyle & Debbie

I know nothing about this pair but they tickle my funny bone (and other parts). Their song is Think of Me. People who know these performers will realize that I have changed the name of the song slightly.

♫ Doyle and Debbie - Think Of Me


We pretty much think of ABBA as a happy group with fun, jolly songs that put you in a positive mood.

ABBA

However, towards the end of their reign at the top of the charts things weren't so happy in the group. This was reflected in several of their songs. One of those is about our topic today; I think it's their best song: The Winner Takes It All.

♫ ABBA - The Winner Takes It All


I don't know if GEORGE JONES is singing about his divorce from Tammy Wynette, who has her own song up above.

George Jones

It'd be a bit hard tell really, as there were three other wives besides Tammy. Whichever one it is, George takes us on The Grand Tour.

♫ George Jones - The Grand Tour



ELDER MUSIC: Classical Gas Part 8

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

This series was named initially by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, to highlight lesser known composers who are seldom heard on radio or in concert.

JEAN-XAVIER LEFÈVRE was born in Switzerland but spent most of his life in France.

Lefevre

He happened to be in the National Guard when the Revolution broke out and became a conductor for the Guard's band. He later taught at the Paris Conservatoire and records suggest he was excellent at that as many of his pupils gained first prizes.

His main instrument was the clarinet and most of his surviving compositions are for that instrument. That's what I'll be featuring, the third movement of the Clarinet Sonata No. 7 in G minor.

This is a little unusual, as it doesn't have the standard piano or harpsichord as an accompanying instrument; instead it's a harp.

♫ Lefèvre - Clarinet Sonata No. 7 in G minor (3)


FRANZ XAVER SÜSSMAYR is probably best known these days as the person who completed Mozart's Requiem after Wolfie died.

Sussmayr

He was well known in his day which is probably why he got that gig. His musical life began as a member of the choir at a monastery in Austria. When his voice broke he played violin in its orchestra. They also put on operas and young Franz was exposed to the opera composers of the day.

He later wrote quite a bit of religious music as well as secular compositions. One of those is his Divertimento No. 1 in C major. This is the first movement.

♫ Süssmayr - Divertimento No. 1 in C major (1)


NICCOLÒ JOMMELLI was from Naples and spent much of his life in what was then called the Holy Roman Empire (which certainly wasn't holy, it wasn't Roman and not much of an empire either) and France.

Jommelli

Although he wrote cantatas, oratorios and other religious works, he's mostly remembered for his operas - he wrote about sixty of them. One of those is Attilio Regolo (there are various spellings of the name) about a Roman Consul during the Roman Republic.

From Act 1 comes the aria “Par che di giubilo” sung by JOYCE DIDONATO.

Joyce DiDonato

♫ Jommelli - Par che di giubilo (Attilia)


For many years, decades – a couple of centuries even – this next piece of music was attributed to J.S. Bach. Modern scholarship has shown that was actually written by CHRISTIAN PETZOLD.

Petzold

Most of you will be familiar with this, at least those who were listening to pop music during the sixties because a couple of blokes put some words to it and it was recorded by The Toys as A Lover's Concerto. The original was written for the harpsichord, but I rather like this version for violin and piano, Minuet in G Major.

♫ Petzold - BWV 114 115 - Minuet In G Major- violin


WILHELM GOTTLIEB HAUFF was an organist and wrote music for the horn. He lived in the second half of the eighteenth century.

Hauff

That's about the sum total of my knowledge of the man except that his father (with the same name) was also a musician. So, without further ado, let's hear the first movement of his Horn Quintet in E-flat major.

♫ Hauff - Horn Quintet in E-flat major (1)


GIROLAMO CRESCENTINI was most noted during his life as a singer and singing teacher.

Crescentini

He was a castrato (Ooooo!) but that style of singing was already going out of fashion. He wrote some operas when he retired from singing that anticipate the opera style that was to come, particularly Rossini.

He also wrote short pieces, called these days, Italian Ariettas. We have one of those today called Mi lagnerò tacendo, performed by the mezzo soprano MARINA COMPARATO.

Marina Comparato

♫ Crescentini - Mi lagnerò tacendo


ANTONIO BARTOLOMEO BRUNI was born and died in Cuneo, which is in what's now Italy.

Bruni

However, he spent most of his life in Paris. That covered the time of the reign of terror, so it wasn't the safest place to live. But he survived. He was a bit of an archivist and he made a list of all the musical instruments recovered from the noble houses (that included six hurdy-gurdies – I just threw that in for my own amusement).

Tony was also a bit of a composer and most of his compositions were for various small ensembles of string instruments – duos, trios, quartets and so on. An even smaller ensemble is his Viola Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 27 No. 4. This is the third movement.

♫ Bruni - Viola Sonata in E-flat major Op. 27 No. 4 (3)


These days symphonies are thought of as grand, magnificent things, and are often quite long – just think of Beethoven and Mahler. However, before Haydn set to work on them (and boy, did he work – 104 official symphonies and several more works that should be considered) they were little bitty things. The symphonies of WILLIAM BOYCE are prime examples of this.

Boyce

Bill was sort of a link between the Baroque period and the Classical, although he lived well into the latter era. He wrote eight symphonies and I have them all. This is quite easy as they all fit on a single CD. Here is all of Symphony No. 1.

♫ Boyce - Symphony No. 1


The consensus seems to be that CARL ANDREAS GÖEPFERT was a really shy man who was reluctant to assert himself, so he missed out on several important positions. He was considered an honorable, upright and lovable person by all who knew him.

Göepfert

At one stage, he took lessons from Mozart who was so impressed he employed Carl to orchestrate some of his (Mozart's) compositions for various other instruments.

Carl was a virtuoso clarinet player and wrote wonderful music for that instrument. However, I'm a bit perverse and I will feature one of his compositions that doesn't employ the clarinet. It is the first movement for the Sonata for Bassoon & Guitar, Op. 13. An interesting combination of instruments.

♫ Göepfert - Sonata for Bassoon & Guitar Op. 13 (1)


Both Australia and New Zealand claim ALFRED HILL as one of their own. This isn't unusual except it's usually Australia claiming Kiwis rather than the other way round as in Alf's case.

Alfred Hill

He was born in Melbourne and spent some of his early life in New Zealand. As an adult he switched between the two countries as he married a New Zealander. He finally settled in Sydney and played in and conducted several of the local orchestras. He was one of the musical advisers when the (Australian) ABC (TV) began.

Alf wrote music in a number of genres – more than 2000 works: 13 symphonies, eight operas, many concertos for various instruments, piano and choral works and so on. What I think is his high point is the string quartets (17 of them), some of the best of the twentieth century.

His String Quartet No. 5 in E-Flat Major was written to commemorate the victory in World War I, and is named "The Allies". This is the second movement.

♫ Alfred Hill - String Quartet No. 5 in E-Flat Major (2)



ELDER MUSIC: Gordie Revisited

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Sorry, I'm indulging myself this week (yet again) because I've already done a column on GORDON LIGHTFOOT, but he's such a favorite of mine that I think he deserves another.

You could say that I used up all his best songs on the first column but I would disagree - he's written so many terrific ones there's more than enough for another (and probably more).

Gordon Lightfood

In the first column it was a toss-up which of his first two big hits I would include. The one that missed out is For Lovin' Me, so that's the one we'll kick off with today.

This came to my notice because of cover versions by Peter, Paul and Mary and Ian and Sylvia (and many others later). Naturally, I think Gordie does it best. He recorded it a few times over the years but this version is the first time he put it on record.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - For Lovin' Me


Gordon Lighfoot

Gordie wrote a number of songs about life on the road. He wasn't alone in that regard. Probably the best of them was 10 Degrees and Getting Colder that I featured in the first column. Not far behind that one is Somewhere USA.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Somewhere USA


Gordon Lightfoot

From early in his career is a song about lost love; he was a master of that sort of song. This one really nails as far as I'm concerned but you know he doesn't really mean it (I think). I'll Be Alright.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - I'll Be Alright


Gordon Lightfoot

I managed to get a seat in the front row of a couple of his concerts. Naturally, along with others, I asked for a song. I was the only one to whom he replied. He said he wouldn't play it (in rather emphatic terms). That song is Mountains and Marian.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Mountains and Marian


Gordon Lightfoot

A song that just missed the cut in the first column pretty much by the toss of a coin is the next one. Naturally it had to be included this time, and here it is: Never Too Close. It is about friends and lovers who are sometimes the same person. A beautiful song.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Never Too Close


Gordon Lightfoot

The album “Don Quixote” is one of the two or three finest albums that Gordie recorded - there's not a dud song on it. Of course, there's seldom a dud song anywhere, but these are a cut above most of the others.

The songs range far and wide: love, lost love (of course), the environment (ahead of its time), ships and the sea, Canada and even a rare protest song. From that album, here is the title track, which really fits none of the genres I mentioned.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Don Quixote


Gordon Lightfoot

I've always thought that Rainy Day People is a companion song to Never Too Close. I don't know if Gordie meant it that way, but it seems to me that he's singing about the same people.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Rainy Day People


Gordon Lightfoot

Of his first dozen or so albums, "Back Here on Earth" is probably the least regarded. Of course, even an ordinary Gordie album is worth a listen now and then. I have to admit though that the song Bitter Green is the only song from that I listen to with any regularity.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Bitter Green


Gordon Lightfoot

One of the best break-up songs, maybe the best (although there's a lot of competition), is Second Cup of Coffee. It's also a really good song about life on the road and the distractions that that life holds.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Second Cup of Coffee


Gordon Lightfoot

Miguel is a rather enigmatic song. Different people have quite varied ideas about it. Is Miguel a revolutionary, or just a bandit? Perhaps an illegal immigrant, although crossing the border a hundred times or more may put paid that to that idea. Maybe he just likes swimming. Make up your own mind.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Miguel


Gordon Lightfoot

I was going to stop there, but I can't help myself. I'm including a song I used in the first column because it's so beautiful, and check out that wonderful walking bass line.

It continues the theme of Never Too Close to my mind. The song is I'm Not Supposed to Care.

Gordon Lightfoot - I'm Not Supposed to Care



ELDER MUSIC: Believe It Or Not

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

There is a song by DON COVAY called Believe It Or Not.

Don Covay

Don played rhythm and blues, rock & roll, funk and various other genres of music. Some say that Mick Jagger pretty much pinched his singing and performing style, and the Stones recorded his songs early on in their career.

Believe It Or Not is from the fifties and Don name-checks so many songs I thought I'd use it as the basis for a column. I've haven't included all those he mentioned, there are too many, so it's just the ones I like. They are pretty much in the order he references them.

♫ Don Covay - Believe It Or Not


The first that caught my ear was Peggy Sue, and that, of course, was written and recorded by BUDDY HOLLY.

Buddy Holly

Buddy and Little Richard were my two favorites from that time; they kept me sane. Their songs are included in today's song, so I can indulge myself.

♫ Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue


LITTLE RICHARD is very well represented.

Little Richard

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, suggested that I only have one song from each artist, but when Richard is in the mix, I'm going to have them all. You have been warned, starting off with possibly his most famous song, Tutti Frutti.

♫ Little Richard - Tutti Frutti


Without stopping for breath, Don managed to mention another song by LITTLE RICHARD.

Little Richard

In this case it's Good Golly Miss Molly.

♫ Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly


The prolific song writing and producing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote the next song for THE COASTERS.

The Coasters

The Coasters didn't really take themselves too seriously, although they certainly recorded some fine rhythm and blues and rock and roll songs. Their songs could go either way. The one Don mentioned is Yakety Yak.

♫ The Coasters - Yakety Yak


Way back at the school I attended their predominant color for sports and such was purple. Naturally, when this next song became popular, the other schools started singing it, trying to get a rise out of us. We took it on board, and sang it back to them as a token of pride.

If you were listening closely to the initial song you know that I'm talking about The Purple People Eater. This was performed by SHEB WOOLEY.

Sheb Wooley

Those well versed in TV and movies will know that he was also an actor and played Pete Nolan in Rawhide and Frank Miller (one of the baddies) in High Noon. There were many other roles as well but they are just the ones that tickled my fancy. Here's that song.

♫ Sheb Wooley - The Purple People Eater


I said there's going to be several from LITTLE RICHARD, but you can blame Don for that. I hope you're as big a fan as I am (or you at least like him somewhat).

Little Richard

His next song is Long Tall Sally. Way back I had to wait for the Beatles' version to determine what he was actually singing. It's easier these days with the web.

♫ Little Richard - Long Tall Sally


Okay, that's all for Richard. Now we take the musical quality down somewhat. Well, considerably, really. Ross Bagdasarian was a musician who played many instruments and wrote songs that became huge hits for other people. He created a musical persona called DAVID SEVILLE.

David Seville

He was responsible for all those Alvin and the Chipmunks songs, films, TV programs and what not. He also recorded the Witch Doctor.

♫ David Seville - Witch Doctor


Michael Jackson had a really awful version of Rockin' Robin that became a big hit. Fortunately, the original by BOBBY DAY was a lot better.

Bobby Day

The song was written by Leon René, also known as Jimmie Thomas (I think his real name is superior). If you're unfamiliar with the original, here it is.

♫ Bobby Day - Rockin Robin


Like Byron, LARRY WILLIAMS was mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Larry Williams

He wrote and performed some of the earliest and best of the rock and roll songs. However, he later seriously dabbled in drugs (dealing and otherwise) and violence and died of a gunshot to the head in mysterious, and still unsolved, circumstances. One of those early songs is Dizzy Miss Lizzy, covered by many over the years.

♫ Larry Williams - Dizzy Miss Lizzy


BOBBY DARIN wrote the last song, Splish Splash, as a bet from the disk jockey, Murray the K.

Bobby Darin

Bobby was up to the task and the song became his first hit. Most people think of Bobby as a singer in other genres, not rock & roll, but he performed pretty much every way possible.

♫ Bobby Darin - Splish Splash



ELDER MUSIC: JAM

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

JAM

JAM was an occasional conglomeration of three musicians: KEVIN JOHNSON,

Kevin Johnson

DOUG ASHDOWN and

Doug Ashdown

MIKE MCCLELLAN.

Mike McClellan

These three are probably the finest singer/songwriters Australia has produced (if you discount Paul Kelly and Glenn Cardier, which I am only for the purpose of this exercise).

They all began their serious performing and recording careers from the sixties to the early seventies and have continued to the present day, although Doug is pretty much retired and doesn't perform often these days.

Mike and Kev, however, are better than ever: it's the decades of performances that hone the skills. The three of them got together for some gigs around about 2001, and were a great combination.

As I mentioned, JAM really was only an occasional thing, they were all mostly solo performers. I've seen them in both categories although in his early days Kev usually had a full band with him.

So, let's run though them in order of their collective name, starting with KEVIN JOHNSON.

Kevin Johnson

Kev's biggest hit, one that has set him up for life because many people have recorded this song and most have sold pretty well, was Rock & Roll I Gave You the Best Years of my Life. I've used that song in a couple of columns, so I'll go with another one from the same album.

This one is Bonnie Please Don't Go. This is about people leaving on ships rather than planes. Remember when people did that?

♫ Kevin Johnson - Bonnie Please Don't Go


DOUG ASHDOWN started as a rocker in Adelaide but became better known as part of the folkie scene in the sixties.

Doug Ashdown

He decided to become a professional songwriter and moved to Nashville with his co-writer and producer Jim Stewart. It was there they wrote Doug's most famous song, Leave Love Enough Alone, generally known as Winter in America, which he decided to record himself.

It was a considerable hit in his native country, to which he returned after the success of the song.

♫ Doug Ashdown - Winter In America


MIKE MCCLELLAN has been performing since the sixties and there's no sign of him slowing down.

Mike McClellan

He released his first album in the early seventies but his second "Ask Any Dancer" is the one that really established him. That one is a classic and contains so many great songs that he didn't need to release any more. Of course, he did.

From the album we have the story of Mike in song: Song and Danceman.

♫ Mike McClellan - Song and Danceman


KEVIN JOHNSON may be a Man Of The 20th Century, as his song posits.

Kevin Johnson

The sentiments are equally applicable to the current century. For most of the song he seems to be on a plane, that's something Australians take for granted, especially if they want to go somewhere else. People from other countries seem to grumble if it's suggested that they might want to come and visit us.

♫ Kevin Johnson - Man Of The 20th Century


I've seen all three performers many times and they mostly play solo with just an acoustic guitar. Late in the evening at some gigs DOUG ASHDOWN has been known to strap on a Fender Telecaster and play full tilt rock and roll.

Doug Ashdown

That's not what we have here. He usually performs the song Marianne without adornment. I prefer it that way, however, the only version I have is from his album from the seventies that has a band with added extras. They weren't needed.

♫ Doug Ashdown - Marianne


My favorite MIKE MCCLELLAN song, and that's really a hard call, would be Saturday Dance.

Mike McClellan

I originally had in this spot the version from his album mentioned above which had strings and heavenly choruses, the whole gamut. Just after I finished writing the column I bought a DVD of Mike playing at The Basement in Sydney with just an acoustic guitar.

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, and I watched it over lunch and we both spontaneously applauded when this song finished. There might have been some Kleenex involved as well as some wine.

I hope you like it as much as we did. Here is that version, rather than the one from the album.

♫ Mike McClellan - Saturday Dance


If you listen to the words of KEVIN JOHNSON's song Grab the Money and Run, it seems to me that it would make a great film. It would be far from the first one made from a song.

Kevin Johnson

As far as I know no one has done that but you can imagine it as you listen carefully.

♫ Kevin Johnson - Grab The Money And Run


There are two songs that DOUG ASHDOWN has to sing whenever he performs.

Doug Ashdown

The first is the one featured at the top, the second is Willie's Shades. This is a version from one of his concerts, with Kirk Lorange playing lead guitar.

♫ Doug Ashdown - Willie's Shades


MIKE MCCLELLAN is still performing and recording. Indeed he's recently released a fine new album called "No Intermission".

Mike McClellan

His song isn't from that one, I thought I'd let you know in case you want to search for these albums. The song is Lovers Never Wind up Friends from earlier in his career.

♫ Mike McClellan - Lovers Never Wind Up Friends


JAM didn't ever record together but a couple of their performances were captured at the Troubadour Weekend back in 2001. This is Kevin with the others singing harmony and Kirk Lorange playing lead guitar. The song is Night Rider.

♫ Kevin Johnson (with Mike Doug & Kirk) - Night Rider


But wait there's more. When I mentioned to my friend Ann I was writing about JAM she sent me this track. It was also recorded at The Basement and it had the A.M. and me a'hoppin' and a'boppin' to it and we thought it should be included as a bonus track. Taking the Long Road Home.

♫ JAM - Taking The Long Road Home



ELDER MUSIC: 1925

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

No introductory notes for 1925 as it was 20 years before I was born so I don't remember anything from that year.

FRANK CRUMIT was the first person to play the ukulele in a musical on Broadway.

Frank Crumit

Frank was originally going to be a doctor but switched to electrical engineering. That career didn't last long as he discovered music along the way. He thought of going into opera but that didn't work out. Somewhere he discovered the uke.

Here is probably the best known song about the instrument, Ukulele Lady.

♫ Frank Crumit - Ukulele Lady


From the ridiculous to the sublime, the great BESSIE SMITH.

Bessie Smith

Oh my goodness, this is superb: Careless Love Blues, a song that's been performed by countless people but none better than this.

♫ Bessie Smith - Careless Love Blues


There have been many really good versions of the Rodgers and Hart song Manhattan. This isn't one of them. It's by BEN SELVIN & THE KNICKERBOCKERS.

Ben Selvin

I can't think of anything positive to say about Ben's version except that it came from 1925.

♫ Ben Selvin & the Knickerbockers - Manhattan 1925


ETHEL WATERS was the first person, but far from the last, to record the song Dinah.

Ethel Waters

Apparently Ethel had a horrible childhood (she said she didn't have one really), and was married at 13 to an abusive husband. She got out of that and joined a vaudeville troupe.

After a bit she was performing with Bessie Smith who insisted that Ethel must not sing blues (we wouldn't want to upstage her), so she sang mostly pop songs and the like.

Eventually she found herself in New York and was a leading light in the Harlem Renaissance at the time. There's a lot more to her story, but we'll have to wait for another day.

♫ Ethel Waters - Dinah


THE HAPPINESS BOYS was a radio program in the early twenties that featured Billy Jones & Ernest Hare.

The Happiness Boys

They also recorded under that name which is why they are present today. Billy and Ernie were both trained opera singers and they would occasionally sing opera in a burlesque manner on their program. Their group name is from the fact that they were sponsored by the chain of Happiness Candy stores.

The song they sing today is still quite well known, it's Don't Bring Lulu.

♫ The Happiness Boys (Billy Jones & Ernest Hare) - Don't Bring Lulu


MARIAN ANDERSON recorded Nobody Knows the Trouble I Seen in this week's year.

Marian Anderson

However, for once I'm going against my policy of only using songs that were recorded, or released, in the particular year. I have that version but it's really scratchy.

This was another Marian made some time later and she is such an important musician, and person if it comes to that, that I feel you should hear how the song really should sound.

Marian Anderson - Nobody Knows the Trouble I See


JOHN MCCORMACK died the day I was born and obviously his singing talent passed on to me.

John McCormack

People who know me are now rolling around the floor laughing about that (including me, I hasten to add). John was an Irish tenor who later became an Australian tenor. He was a noted opera singer, but many of his recordings were of popular music, including this one, When You and I Were Seventeen.

John McCormack - When You and I Were Seventeen


VERNON DALHART was born Marion Try Slaughter. No wonder he changed his name.

Vernon Dalhart

Vernon received voice training at the Dallas Conservatory of Music and later he saw an advertisement for singers to record so he decided to check it out. He was auditioned by Thomas Edison himself and got a gig recording light classical pieces and dance band music.

The Prisoner's Song doesn't really fit into either category, so I guess he recorded other stuff as well.

Vernon Dalhart - The Prisoner's Song


We have two hugely important musicians this year, three maybe. The next one is PAUL ROBESON.

Paul Robeson

Paul was one of the most significant people of the 20th century and you don't need me to tell you about him. The only thing I'll say is that he was the first person to sing at the Sydney Opera House. That was when it was still a building site – he sang to the workers.

Today he sings the old spiritual, Steal Away.

Paul Robeson - Steal Away


MARION HARRIS was billed throughout her career as a jazz and blues singer.

Marion Harris

Perhaps things have changed over the years but she doesn't sound to me like either of those. She seems to be more a straight pop singer. Nothing wrong with that, it's just that when we've had Bessie and Ethel, she rather pales.

Anyway, she does a decent job of I'll See You In My Dreams.

♫ Marion Harris - I'll See You In My Dreams



ELDER MUSIC: Classical Gas Part 7

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

I thought this series, named initially by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, to highlight lesser known composers who are seldom heard on radio or in concert, would end after two or three, but that's not the case. There are always interesting composers around that aren't very well known.

Giacomo Puccini is one of the most famous classical composers; he created a bunch of the best loved (and best) operas ever, so he doesn't belong in this column. I just mentioned him because his dad was a bit of a composer as well.

Dad was MICHELE PUCCINI.

Michele Puccini

The only thing I have of Mich's work is a Concertone for flute, clarinet, horn and keyed trumpet so I'll use that (well, that's pretty obvious).

The first two movements of this sound awfully like the overture to an opera. Maybe that's where young Gia got his inspiration. Instead, I'm using the third movement of that work. Actually, parts of this one also sounds a bit like opera music too.

♫ Michele Puccini - Concertone for flute clarinet horn and keyed trumpet (3)


Speaking of Puccinis, here's another one. This time it's DOMENICO PUCCINI.

Domenico Puccini

Dom was Mich's dad and his music is more in the mold of late classical – Haydn and early Beethoven – than the later operatic style of son and grandson. He was pretty much a contemporary of Beethoven's, although Ludwig outlived him by a bit over a decade.

Dom's contribution is the second movement of the Piano Concerto in B-flat major.

♫ Domenico Puccini - Piano Concerto in B-flat major (2)


Continuing the theme (which is a rather grand term for what is really a loose association), the next two composers were both princesses of Russia. I suppose if you were one of those you needed something to pass the time, particularly if you have the talent for it.

They both wrote singing things and we have the same singer in each case and the same instrumentalists as well. Not too surprising as they came from the same record.

Starting with NATALIA IVANOVA DE KOURAKINE (or Kourakin or Kourakina, take your pick). She hung around from 1755 to 1831, and apparently didn't stand still long enough to have her photo taken or picture painted.

Nat started out as Natalia Golovina and she married Prince Aleksei Borisovich Kurakin (when she was 16, but I guess that was the thing back then). He was a bigwig in the administration of Tsar Paul the first (until he fell out with him).

Nat was very well educated, spoke several languages, played the harp and guitar and sang. She also composed music, usually vocal with those two instruments accompanying.

Today we have Je Vais Donc Quitter pour Jamais. The soprano is ANNE HARLEY, guitarist OLEG TIMOFEYEV and violinist ETIENNE ABELIN.

Anne Harley & Oleg Timofeyev & Etienne Abelin

♫ Natalia Kourakine - Je Vais Donc Quitter pour Jamais


VARVARA DOLGOROUKY was also a Russian princess of some sort and lived from 1769 to 1849. That's about the sum total of information I've been able to find. Also, no picture of her either.

Her music is called Thémire Fuit and it has the same performers as the previous one.

Varvara Dolgorouky - Thémire Fuit


You'd think there was a connection between the next two, after all, they both have the same surname, both were born in Germany about roughly the same time, but that's it I'm afraid. No relation that I can find, but I'm including them both anyway.

The first is GEORG SCHNEIDER, born the same year as Beethoven.

Georg Schneider

Georg's main instrument was the horn, but he was proficient on others, particularly the violin, as well. He started out as court composer for Prince Frederick Henry Louis of Prussia, but when Napoleon invaded, he (Georg), fortuitously, was in Vienna where he decided to stay.

In spite of being contemporaneous with Beethoven, his music is much closer to the earlier composers Haydn and Mozart. That's fine by me. This is the first movement of his Flute Quartet in G minor, Op. 69 No. 3.

♫ Georg Schneider - Flute Quartet in G minor Op. 69 No. 3 (1)


The other is FRIEDRICH SCHNEIDER.

Friedrich Schneider

Boy, old Fred looks like a rock musician from the sixties. He was an organist and a pianist, and he played piano at the premier performance of Beethoven's fifth piano concerto (the Emperor).

He wrote music for the piano, operas, masses, cantatas and symphonies (amongst a lot of other things). From his Symphony No 17 in C minor, this is the second movement.

♫ Friedrich Schneider - Symphony No 17 (2)


You'd imagine that poor old ANTON FERDINAND TITZ would have been teased mercilessly when he was at school, he certainly would have been if he lived in Australia or America.

Ferdinand Titz

However, we're above that sort of thing. So, old Titzie (sorry, I mean Anton) was from Nuremburg and he started out as a painter. He switched to music and became the organist at the local church. He also played the violin and viola d'amore.

For the last 40 years of his life he lived in St Petersburg where he was in the employ of Catherine II. A lot of his music has been lost and little of the remaining has been recorded. This is one of those, the fourth movement of the String Quartet in C minor, Op. 1 No. 4.

Ferdinand Titz - String Quartet in C minor Op. 1 No. 4 (4)


Now we have an interesting pair of instruments, the horn and cello. The person who put those together is FRÉDÉRIC DUVERNOY.

Frederic Duvernoy

Fred hit his peak around the time of the French revolution, probably not an auspicious time to do that. However, he survived and was in the orchestra that Napoleon had for his delectation along with his brother (that's Fred's brother) who played the clarinet.

He wrote quite a bit of music, mostly concertos and chamber works, but others as well. Here is the third movement of his Sonata No. 1 for Horn & Cello

Frederic Duvernoy - Sonata No. 1 for Horn & Cello (3)


You can tell by all the consonants in her name that MARIA SZYMANOWSKA was Polish.

Maria Szymanowska

Rather surprisingly for the time (late 18th, early 19th century), she made her living as a concert pianist and toured extensively throughout Europe. She eventually retired to St Petersburg where she spent the rest of her life composing music, performing and giving piano lessons.

Her compositions were mostly for the piano, and often quite short. Here is an example, Waltz No 1 in E-flat major.

Maria Szymanowska - Waltz No 1 in E-flat major


ANTONIO XIMÉNEZ was born into a family of musicians in Spain. Sorry, we don't know what he looks like. He toured extensively playing violin for an opera company, but they got into trouble because they were considered too frivolous.

Antonio wasn't affected by this and he was invited by King Carlos III to play for him. He remained there for the rest of his life, playing and composing. One such composition is his Guitar Trio No. 1 in D major, the first movement.

♫ Antonio Ximénez - Guitar Trio No. 1 in D major (1)



ELDER MUSIC: Better Than Bob?

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Whenever a headline in a newspaper ends with a question mark, the answer is always an emphatic "No!", and so it is today.

I'm always happy to produce a column featuring the songs of the finest songwriter from the second half of the twentieth century (and continuing into the twenty-first).This isn't the first time I've done this.

My preference is for him to perform the songs but there are some, Norma, the Assistant Musicologist among them, who contend that others perform them better than he does.

I don't generally subscribe to that thesis but I will admit that some others have produced fine versions of his songs and even a couple, I'll admit, that are better. Here are some of the better ones; I'll leave it up to you to decide if these artists perform Bob Dylan's songs better than he does.

My inspiration for the column was hearing DAVE ALVIN perform Highway 61 Revisited.

Dave Alvin

It's not one of Bob's songs that has been covered very often (okay, Johnny Winter springs to mind), and Dave's version I find particularly interesting. Perhaps it's the dichotomy of his fine baritone voice over a full tilt rock band that does it for me. Whatever it is, here's Dave.

♫ Dave Alvin - Highway 61 Revisited


Bob recorded the song Wallflower on a Doug Sahm album called "Doug Sahm and Band" where Doug managed to get some heavy hitters along to record with him. That's the only place where Bob's version appears (apart from the now ubiquitous "Bootleg" series of albums of his).

Others have tackled the song since; one of those versions is by THE HOLMES BROTHERS.

Holmes Brothers

This fine group consisted of Sherman and Wendell Holmes plus Popsy Dixon. They sound as if they should be a gospel group, and they did sing some of that, but they mostly performed soul, blues and even country music. Alas, as of the writing of this column, Sherman is the only survivor.

♫ The Holmes Brothers - Wallflower


GORDON LIGHTFOOT rarely recorded anyone else's songs.

Gordon Lightfood

He made an exception with Bob. Bob returned the favor and has recorded a couple of Gordie's tunes. Indeed, Bob is reported to have said that Gordie was his main rival in the songwriting department back when they were starting out.

Anyway, here's Gordie performing Ring Them Bells, one of Bob's lesser known songs. Gordie makes it sound like one of his own.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Ring Them Bells


The terrific duo of RODNEY CROWELL and EMMYLOU HARRIS can be counted on to make even inferior songs sound good. Bob's songs don't fall into that category.

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell

Before he went out as a solo artist, Rodney was a member of Emmy's band, not just playing and singing, but writing songs that she recorded to great acclaim. Since then he has recorded them himself. Today, though, it's about Bob and the song they sing is Shelter from the Storm.

♫ Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris - Shelter from the Storm


ALAN PRICE started a group called The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo that later became The Animals.

Alan Price

He played keyboards, particularly the organ, an integral part of the music they made. Alan was instrumental in getting the group to the prominence it held in the sixties until a virtual coup d'état by the singer forced him out.

He later formed several other groups as well as performing with others such as Georgie Fame. Alan sings and plays a beautiful version of To Ramona.

♫ Alan Price - To Ramona


FAIRPORT CONVENTION had three of Bob's songs on their finest album, "Unhalfbricking".

Fairport Convention

For some reason, they sang one of those in French. Bands did pretentious things like that back then. This isn't that one, it's one they sing straight, Percy's Song.

♫ Fairport Convention - Percy's Song


There are two artists whose presence in this column you could pretty much guarantee, so I won't disappoint you. Here's the first, JOAN BAEZ.

Joan Baez

Farewell, Angelina was both the name of the song and the album from which it was taken.This was reasonably early in Joan's recording career but it gave hints of her move from straight folk songs to a more varied repertoire.

♫ Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina


RICHIE HAVENS made a name for himself covering songs written by Bob and The Beatles.

Richie Havens

He also made a name for himself for performing for three hours on the first day of the Woodstock festival when no other performer was in a fit state to go on. The song Just Like a Woman wasn't one he performed there, but it was on his fine early album "Mixed Bag".

♫ Richie Havens - Just Like a Woman


THEM was responsible for the classic rock song, Gloria.

Them

They started out in Belfast and a young musician called Van Morrison joined them to play the saxophone. He soon took over as lead singer as well as their main songwriter.

Here is the young Van out front of Them singing It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.

♫ Them - It's all over now baby blue


We couldn't have a column about Bob's cover versions without THE BYRDS, the second mandatory inclusion.

The Byrds

Their song is from the time they, if not invented, were seriously involved in country rock. This was completely due to the influence of the tragic Gram Parsons. The song is You Ain't Goin' Nowhere.

♫ The Byrds - You Ain't Going Nowhere



ELDER MUSIC: A Bit of Jazz

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

It's time for some more jazz. It may seem to you that these performers were chosen at random. You wouldn't be too far from the truth.

I was wandering through my jazz catalogue in search of something interesting and when something struck my fancy I put it in. Actually, I had about 30 tracks so I had to go through and take some out again, see which fitted best. This is the result.

Of course, those other tracks will turn up in another column one day. Waste not, want not.

CURTIS COUNCE was a bass player who was best known for playing bebop and hard bop (whatever that is).

Curtis Counce

Unfortunately he died of a heart attack when he was only 37. Before that (well, of course before that, dummy) he recorded several albums as leader of his group and a bunch more as sideman.

Here with his own group that included Jack Sheldon on trumpet, Harold Land on Sax, Carl Perkins (presumably not the rock and roll singer) on piano and Frank Butler on drums. This is a tune you'll know: Stranger In Paradise.

♫ Curtis Counce - Stranger In Paradise


CHUCK WAYNE was a jazz guitarist, one of the first to play bebop.

Chuck Wayne

He played with and was greatly influenced by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. His first major gig was with Woody Herman and he was the first guitarist in George Shearing's group. Later he was musical director and accompanist for Tony Bennett.

His style was a major influence on later jazz guitarists. Chuck plays Taking A Chance On Me.

♫ Chuck Wayne - Taking A Chance On Me


Bill Evans wrote the tune Waltz for Debby and it became one of his best known compositions. Later Gene Lees put words to it and today, singing those words, we have the incomparable JOHNNY HARTMAN.

Johnny Hartman

On this version Hank Jones played piano, rather than Bill, and he does an admirable job.

♫ Johnny Hartman - Waltz for Debby


TEDDY CHARLES was classically trained at Juilliard as a percussionist.

Teddy Charles

His main instrument as a jazz player was the vibraphone but he also played piano and drums. From one of his least known albums "Coolin'" we have him smacking those vibes, with the help of several others, with Reiteration.

♫ Teddy Charles - Reiteration


LOU DONALDSON is yet another alto saxophone player who was influenced by Charlie Parker – well, most of them were.

Lou Donaldson

Later Lou was also influenced by rhythm and blues but he still seems more bebop to my ears. Before he went in that direction he recorded an album called "Lou Takes Off" that the record company didn't like but the public and the critics for once agreed that it was a fine piece of work.

From that we have Dewey Square. Along with Lou there's Donald Byrd on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone and Sonny Clark playing piano.

♫ Lou Donaldson - Dewey Square


The MODEST JAZZ TRIO shouldn't be confused with the similarly named Modern Jazz Quartet. It seems they are so modest they don't want their photo taken. I know someone else like that. This is the only one I could find of them.

Modest Jazz Trio

The MJT was the brainchild of the late great guitarist Jim Hall. The other two are Red Mitchell on piano (who is best known for playing the bass) and Red Kelly on bass. It's the same instrumentation as one of the greatest groups of all time, the Nat King Cole Trio but without a singer of Nat's quality.

That doesn't matter as they play really well and nobody sings, as you'll hear on I Remember You.

♫ Modest Jazz Trio - I Remember You


MAX ROACH was another classically trained percussionist, and he was the drummer you had to have if you were playing bebop in the fifties and sixties.

He played with everyone at the time – Diz, Bird, Monk, Miles, Bud and on and on. He has also led his own groups over the years. One of those recorded the album "Jazz in ¾ Time".

Max Roach

He had the great Sonny Rollins on this one playing sax and Bill Wallace tinkling the ivories. Blues Waltz.

♫ Max Roach - Blues Waltz


ELLYN RUCKER was classically trained on piano.

Ellyn Rucker

Like many others she discovered jazz and switched to that style of music. She not only plays piano, she's a pretty marvellous singer as well. Her piano playing reminds me of Bill Evans, and there's no higher praise then that.

On this track she has the help of Pete Christlieb on tenor sax. The track is The Night Has 1000 Eyes - not the Bobby Vee pop song.

♫ Ellyn Rucker - The Night Has 1000 Eyes


Amanda Petrusich, writing in The New Yorker, reported that jazz fan Jeff Caltabiano wants to rename the Williamsburg Bridge, the SONNY ROLLINS Bridge. That probably won't happen – even Jeff admits it.

He did say, however, that there should be a plaque on the bridge celebrating Sonny's music. This is because for about three years, back at the turn of the fifties into the sixties, Sonny used to practise playing his sax on the bridge rather than disturb his neighbours. Apparently there was less pedestrian traffic back then.

Before that time, Sonny recorded an album called "Way Out West" and from that we have the old tune, I'm an Old Cow Hand.

Sonny Rollins

Sonny seems an unlikely cowboy, but he sure can play that saxophone. He has the help of Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums.

♫ Sonny Rollins - I'm An Old Cowhand


Is it just me, or does ANDY BEY sound like Tony Bennett? Could do worse.

Andy Bey

Andy started out in a trio with his two sisters. They were reasonably successful, toured Europe, performed with Chet Baker and made a couple of albums. As a solo performer, Andy has worked with Horace Silver, Stanley Clarke and (a surprise to me) Nick Drake.

He's made more than a dozen albums, including "The World According to Andy Bey" from which The Joint is Jumpin' was taken.

♫ Andy Bey - The Joint Is Jumpin'



ELDER MUSIC: The Jealous Kind

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

"O beware my lord of jealousy! It is the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on".

That, of course, was from the greatest play about jealousy, Othello. So, the green-eyed monster rears its head today. Actually, I've always had a problem with that phrase as my eyes are green and I always think they are talking about me. Okay, that could be so, but let's skip over that and get to the music.

Possibly the most famous song on the topic was by JOHN LENNON.

John Lennon

From his best selling album as a solo performer, "Imagine", we have the song Jealous Guy. This was later covered by Bryan Ferry and Donny Hathaway. Donny's version wasn't bad, but neither is as good as John's.

♫ John Lennon - Jealous Guy


LES PAUL AND MARY FORD seem quite perky about it all.

Les Paul Mary Ford

Of course, Mary (double or triple tracking herself) doesn't seem to be jealous of anyone in particular, it's more about horticulture and such things as far as I can tell. Les plays his usual splendid guitar but it sounds as if they pinched Lawrence Welk's bubble machine. The song is Jealous.

♫ Les Paul & Mary Ford - Jealous


In total contrast, LULA REED really has the blues.

Lula Reed

Lula started her professional musical career as the featured singer in Sonny Thompson's band. Later, when she went solo, Sonny was still along to supply backing. They later married. Her song is Jealous Love and I assume Sonny is in there somewhere. I hope the song isn't about themselves.

♫ Lula Reed - Jealous Love


To the title of the column. It was a really tough call to determine which version of The Jealous Kind to use. Okay, I'm lying to you as I knew immediately which one I was going to include.

This song, written by Bobby Charles who did his own fine version, has many great covers – Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Johnny Adams and Clarence (Frogman) Henry all would have been an automatic inclusion if DELBERT MCCLINTON hadn't recorded the song.

Delbert McClinton

Delbert is a superb interpreter of songs (and he he's a good writer of them as well), and that's all I need to say.

♫ Delbert McClinton - The Jealous Kind


From the sublime to the pretty good. Okay, TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD has a technically better voice than Delbert, but I'd rather listen to Delbert.

Tennessee Ernie Ford

I'm sorry if it sounds as if I'm denigrating you, Ernie, I'm not. It's just that someone has to follow Delbert, and you lost the toss. Here is Jealous Heart.

♫ Tennessee Ernie Ford - Jealous Heart


Some of you might be expecting this next one, so I don't want to disappoint you. Here is FRANK SINATRA.

Frank Sinatra

Frank's recorded so many songs that I imagine there'd be one for any topic I could conceive of. In this case he sings Hey Jealous Lover.

♫ Frank Sinatra - Hey Jealous Lover


The song from PATTI PAGE called My Jealous Eyes had one really good thing going for it.

Patti Page

I'm talking about the original 45 release of the song. The thing about it was that if you played it, it means you weren't playing the flip side of the record. On that other side there was a song about a window, a dog and probably some money was involved. That's all I'm going to say about that.

♫ Patti Page - My Jealous Eyes


MUDDY WATERS goes all out with Jealous Hearted Man.

Muddy Waters

That's probably because he was reinvigorating his career when Johnny Winter recorded him, and played on the album, after Muddy seemed to be losing the ear of the public. The album "Hard Again" stopped the rot, as it were, and put him back on the charts and won him a Grammy.

♫ Muddy Waters - Jealous Hearted Man


After all the downers we've had so far I'll end with a couple that will really get your toes a'tapping, and you can't beat tapping toes on a Sunday morning.

There were a couple of good versions of the next song, I had to play them several times to determine which to include. They all tried to sound like Elvis and the backing group sounded like The Jordanaires in each case. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if it was them as they were the go-to backup singers at the time. Eventually, I settled on BOBBY COMSTOCK.

Bobby Comstock

Bobby not only sounds like Elvis, the song sounds to me like Teddy Bear. Well, if you're going to rip off someone, go for the best. This is Jealous Fool.

♫ Bobby Comstock - Jealous Fool


In the last years of his life, LEVON HELM, drummer, singer and player of other instruments for The Band, held regular concerts, jams, get-togethers in his barn in Woodstock, New York.

Levon Helm

Musicians who were in the area were roped in to perform. Actually, not much roping was required as pretty much everyone wanted to play with him.

One of the regular members of his group was LARRY CAMPBELL, also its guitarist and musical director. Besides that he sang occasionally, including on I’m a Jealous Man. Levon can be heard singing in the background, and drumming, of course.

Larry Campbell

♫ Larry Campbell - I’m a Jealous Man



ELDER MUSIC: 1961 Yet Again

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

There's a truism that the period between Buddy Holly dying, Elvis going into the army, Chuck Berry going to jail, Little Richard finding religion, Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 13 year old cousin and the rise of the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the rest was a musical wasteland.

Today's column will put paid to that in no uncertain terms. Of course, I might be biased as this was the music that was around when I was in my mid-teens, the time when that sort of thing gets seriously imprinted on one's brain.

There's no better way to start the year than with the incomparable BEN E KING.

Ben E King

Ben first came to my notice as the lead singer of the Drifters. He then had a successful solo career. One of his first hits was one of the finest songs from that time, Spanish Harlem.

It was written by written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector and produced by Jerry and his usual writing partner Mike Stoller, not by Spector who was more noted as a producer than a song writer (if you can follow all that).

♫ Ben E King - Spanish Harlem


Another great singer from the period is GENE MCDANIELS.

Gene McDaniels

Gene started out as a jazz singer and that's where he ended up. However, around this time he was persuaded to sing some pop songs. Naturally, he did them better than most of the other singers who were around at the time. This is one of his big hits, Tower of Strength.

♫ Gene McDaniels - Tower of Strength


The Beatles had a big hit with this next song, but THE MARVELETTES did it first and did it better.

The Marvelettes

They had other songs that made the charts but the one for which they are most remembered is Please, Mr. Postman.

♫ The Marvelettes - Please Mr. Postman


CURTIS LEE left his native Arizona and went to New York to break into the music industry.

Curtis Lee

He initially found a little success writing songs with Tommy Boyce (who later became hugely successful in that area with his later writing partner Bobby Hart). Curtis recorded some songs under the direction of Phil Spector that became hits.

Later, without Phil's direction, the hits dried up and Curtis left the music biz. One of his biggies is Pretty Little Angel Eyes.

♫ Curtis Lee - Pretty Little Angel Eyes


FLOYD CRAMER was the go-to man whenever a pianist was needed on a country music recording.

Floyd Cramer

Floyd also recorded a few tracks himself, some of which made the charts. This is one such, an instrumental called On the Rebound. He had a distinctive style and you could always tell when he was present on a record. He was one of the great studio musicians.

♫ Floyd Cramer - On The Rebound


Billy CRASH CRADDOCK was a huge success in Australia, much more so than in his native country.

Crash Cradock

Because of that he toured here often. He later became a successful country singer but he will always be remembered in Oz for his many hits from the time. One of those is One Last Kiss. Bobby Vee was another who made the charts with this one.

♫ Crash Craddock - One Last Kiss


CLARENCE (FROGMAN) HENRY is another fine musician from New Orleans.

Clarence Frogman Henry

His first hit, Ain't Got No Home, was essentially improvised in the recording studio. It was from that song that he gained his nickname. He later toured with The Beatles. After all that he had his own club in New Orleans where he'd perform now and then.

He still appears in festivals (as of the writing of this column). A song of his from 1961 is But I Do, written by Bobby Charles.

♫ Clarence (Frogman) Henry - But I Do


My goodness, ADAM WADE had a great voice. Still does, as far as I can tell.

Adam Wade

Adam started out as a lab assistant to Jonas Salk on the polio research team. He left that to pursue a career in music. He had a number of hits around this time and later turned to television and films. One from this year is Take Good Care of Her.

♫ Adam Wade - Take Good Care Of her


I'm rather surprised that I didn't include this next song in either of the previous incarnations of 1961. I'm going to correct that oversight with THE SHIRELLES.

The Shirelles

I'm also talking about their biggest hit, at least it was around where I lived. I've always put them at the top of my list of female singing groups from the time. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

♫ The Shirelles - Will You Love Me Tomorrow


I don't know if EDEN KANE was known in America, but he had a major success in both Britain and Australia with the song Well I Ask You.

Eden Kane

Eden was born in India and both his parents were classically trained musicians. He had two older brothers (Peter and Clive Sarstedt) with whom he also collaborated. Peter also had success with the song Where Do You Go to (My Lovely).

Eden (real name Richard Sarstedt) was the first of the brothers to hit the pop charts with this song.

♫ Eden Kane - Well I Ask You


I have a bonus track. Quite some time ago I rediscovered a song from my past, one I hadn't heard or thought about for decades, and thought, "Oh, I have to include that in a column". I found that it was from 1961 and as I hadn't created a third incarnation of the year at the time, that'd be where I would put it.

Time passed and I remembered that I was going to produce a 1961 column but I had forgotten about the catalyst for it. It was only later when I finished that I remembered.

Rather than throw something out, I've included it as an extra. Now, once you hear what it is, you might wonder why I bothered. That's 1961 for you. Here is PAUL EVANS with Show Folk.

Paul Evans

♫ Paul Evans - Show Folk



ELDER MUSIC: Even More Hooked on Classics

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

This is really classical music, nothing to do with the dreadful series of records that came out many years ago with that name. The name of the original column was suggested by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist. Over time when I hear something I like, I save it. When I have enough for a column, it magically appears (if only). Let the magic begin.

RALPH VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS was offered a knighthood several times during his life and he refused each time. I applaud him and that alone is enough to get him into one of my columns. However, this is a music column so that will do for my commentary.

Ralph Vaughan-Williams

Ralph wrote some beautiful music - The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis immediately come to mind. I'm not using either of those. Instead, here is something out of left field.

The tuba isn't used very often as a featured instrument. Before I found this I wouldn't have been able to name one instance. However, thanks to Ralph, we have a Tuba Concerto in F Minor, the second movement.

♫ Vaughan-Williams - Tuba Concerto (2)


Given his ubiquity these days, it might seem surprising that from soon after his death until the twentieth century, ANTONIO VIVALDI was completely unknown.

Vivaldi

Even now new works of his are being discovered in attics and toolsheds (okay, perhaps not those places, but they are being found). One composition that was known and performed in his lifetime is "Juditha Triumphans", an oratorio celebrating the victory of Venice against the Turks, and the recapture of the island of Corfu.

From that we have Juditha’s aria Transit aetas, performed by JOHANNETTE ZOMER.

Johannette Zomer

There's some mandolin work going on as well.

♫ Vivaldi - ‘Juditha Triumphans’ RV 644 Juditha’s arias ~ ‘Transit aetas’ for soprano mandolin & strings


I've never been a big fan of FRANZ LISZT, he's a bit too much of a show-off for my taste. Obviously, many others think differently as he's very popular, but that's alright.

Liszt

He was the rock star of his day and could show any of the modern musicians a thing or two in that regard. As you all no doubt know, his main instrument was the piano for which he wrote many compositions.

One of his compositions I like a bit is La Campanella in G Sharp Minor, although even this one has a bit too much extreme right hand work for my taste. This is from a series of six études for the piano based on compositions by Paganini. The pianist is Lang Lang.

♫ Liszt - La campanella in G Sharp Minor


GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN was the most prolific composer in history – he wrote more compositions than anyone, thousands, and they were all at least good, and many magnificent.

Telemann

In spite of all that, he only wrote one viola concerto. Indeed, he is the first to have written one of those. His good friend Johann Sebastian Bach obviously listened closely to this as he wrote some violin concertos that sound almost identical, well, to the fourth movement anyway.

That's what we are going to listen to, the fourth movement of Georg's Concerto for Viola, Strings and Continuo TWV 51-G9 in G.

♫ Telemann - Concerto for viola strings and continuo TWV 51-G9 in G (4)


CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS showed early promise, not just as a musician, but in all academic studies - Greek and Latin, literature, mathematics, astronomy and so on. He retained an interest in all these throughout his life.

Saint-Saëns

His musical instruction was at the Paris Conservatoire where he found fellow (later) composers César Franck, Georges Bizet and Adolphe Adam. Camille later taught as well, and one of his pupils, Gabriel Fauré, became a life-long friend.

Camille's best known works are his Organ Symphony and the musical suite Carnival of the Animals. Those don't float my boat.

What does, though, is the Romance for Horn & Piano, Op.67, here performed by two of the finest musicians from the last 50 years - BARRY TUCKWELL on French horn and VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY playing piano.

Barry Tuckwell & Vladimir Ashkenazy

♫ Saint-Saëns - Romance for Horn & Piano Op.67


JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH was born in a small town just outside Weimar in 1688.

Friedrich Fasch

Later he travelled throughout what is now Germany and held a number of musical positions in various towns and cities. He was once offered the job of Kapellmeister and court composer in Prague but he turned it down. That went to the second-best applicant, J.S. Bach.

He wrote many cantatas, symphonies, concertos and chamber music but none of his music was published in his lifetime. It's all been discovered since. Not all; it's thought that quite a lot has been lost.

Something that hasn't is the Concerto for Bassoon, Two Oboes, Strings and Basso Continuo in C minor, FWV L c2. This is the first movement.

♫ Fasch - Concerto for bassoon, 2 oboes strings and basso continuo in C minor (1)


It's not surprising that today's musical offering from BEETHOVEN features the piano. After all, he was the greatest composer for that instrument who ever strode the planet.

Beethoven

However, it isn't one of his famous sonatas or concertos. It's a piano trio, so there's a clarinet and cello along for the ride. It was written early on when he was still living in Bonn, where he was born, before he moved to Vienna to become the most famous composer in history.

Here is the third movement of the Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11.

♫ Beethoven - Piano Trio in B-flat major Op. 11 (3)


CÉSAR FRANCK, or to give him his full first name, César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck, was born in what's now Belgium but was then part of the Netherlands. However, he spent most of his life zipping around France.

Cesar Franck

Besides being a composer, he was considered to be a master of the organ and piano. As well, he had a reputation as a great improviser on both instruments. A century later he could have played jazz. He eventually settled down and became a professor at the Paris Conservatoire.

His compositions were the usual symphonies, chamber music and piano pieces. Besides those, he wrote the communion anthem Panis Angelicus. We have the sublime CECILIA BARTOLI singing that with harp, cello and organ playing along.

Cecilia Bartoli

♫ Franck - Panis angelicus


These days, GIOACHINO ROSSINI is best known, maybe only known, for his operas. Perhaps even just for the overtures to those - think "The Thieving Magpie", "The Barber of Seville", "William Tell" (the A.M. insisted I mention the Lone Ranger at this point, but I'm above that sort of thing).

Rossini

However, he wrote other works, some of which I'm amazed are not more well known or popular. One (or some, he wrote six of these) is what he called a string sonata. This is really a string quartet under a different name, with a double bass substituting for the viola.

He wrote all six of these when he was just 12 years old and before he had started formally studying music. What were you doing when you were 12?

The photo above was taken when he was a little older than that. The third movement of String Sonata No.3 in C Major.

♫ Rossini - String Sonata No.3 (3)



ELDER MUSIC: Twilight Zone

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

”There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.”

They're Rod Serling's words, not mine, and they mean that it's twilight time.

Naturally, I'll start this column with THE PLATTERS, as they have the best twilight song that I know about.

The Platters

As I've said before (because I can't think of anything original to say), The Platters were by far the best vocal group in the fifties. This is one of their biggest hits, one that most of you will know. Twilight Time.

♫ The Platters - Twilight Time


The Band recorded a song called Twilight for their "Islands" album, their "financial obligation" record. It didn't appear on the original LP, and I've always wondered why as it's a better song than any of those that did.

It did appear on the rereleased CD with all the extras. RICK DANKO was the singer for the song.

Danko-Fjeld-Andersen

Later, he recorded it a couple more times, one of which I think was better than he did with The Band. This is from one of the albums he made with Eric Andersen and Jonas Fjeld under the name Danko-Fjeld-Andersen. Here is that version.

♫ Danko-Fjeld-Andersen - Twilight


It's difficult to know what to say about ART PEPPER.

Art Pepper

He recorded a number of fine albums and played in Stan Kenton's and Buddy Rich's bands. However, all that was punctuated with a number of spells in prison for drug-related offences. What a waste of time and talent.

We have his records though, and his tune is Blues at Twilight.

♫ Art Pepper - Blues At Twilight


At the behest of the Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, and I quite agree with her because I hadn't thought of it, we have the next song in place of the one I had originally included. The singers are JO STAFFORD and GORDON MACRAE.

Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae

I didn't think of it as it doesn't have twilight in the title, however, it's certainly a twilight song. I'm talking about Love's Old Sweet Song. This is occasionally called Just a Song at Twilight.

♫ Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae - Love's Old Sweet Song


It's a bit hard to categorise KEIKO MATSUI.

Keiko Matsui

That's no bad thing in my opinion, I don't like pigeon-holing music. Keiko is ostensibly a jazz pianist but she brings elements of rock, classical and other genres into her music, as will be demonstrated by her contribution today, The Edge of Twilight.

♫ Keiko Matsui - The Edge of Twilight


Given the name of the column, we have to have a song that references the twilight zone, and it falls to CHUCK BERRY to do that.

Chuck Berry

Chuck's song is I'm In the Twilight Zone, not one of his biggest hits.

♫ Chuck Berry - I'm In The Twilight Zone


I need no excuse to include JULIE LONDON.

Julie London

Fortunately, she has a twilight song. It's from her album where she sang a song about each month of the year, useful to me way back when I did a column on the same topic. Julie sings November Twilight.

♫ Julie London - November Twilight


The DESERT ROSE BAND was really just two of my favorite singers from two of my favorite bands with some backup musicians.

Desert Rose Band

They are Chris Hillman from The Byrds and Herb Pedersen from The Dillards. These days they don't even pretend to be a band, they just perform as a duo. They harmonize wonderfully together, and that's not surprising as both bands were noted for that. Here they are with Twilight Is Gone.

♫ Desert Rose Band - Twilight Is Gone


SAM COOKE is rather out of his comfort zone with his song.

Sam Cooke

It sounds as if it could have come from western movie – perhaps it did, although I wasn't familiar with the song until I selected it. I could find out, but I'd rather just play it. Twilight on the Trail.

♫ Sam Cooke - Twilight On The Trail


There was considerable turnover of musicians in this spot. Initially, it was a tossup between Van Morrison and Dr John, but they both got the chop because, really surprisingly for those two fine musicians, their songs weren't very good.

Lou Reed took their place and he was there for quite a while. His song was good for the first half, but then he turned up his amplifier just to annoy us.

It was actually a few weeks later that I thought, "Why didn't I use DAVID LINDLEY with his song Tiki Torches At Twilight?"

David Lindley

The corollary is: why didn't it come up when I searched my database? I investigated and found (duhh) I had forgotten (over the years) to transfer my CD to my computer. So, Lou is out and David is in.

David is most noted as a guitarist, but if a musical instrument has strings he can play it brilliantly. Besides being a solo performer, he's worked with Jackson Browne a lot (as well as other performers). Here is the song I forgot about.

♫ David Lindley - Tiki Torches At Twilight



ELDER MUSIC: I Don't Want to Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

This column was originally called "Songs About Rock and Roll", but Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, suggested the title above, based on the final song today.

The column might appeal only to people of a certain age and that age is round about mine. I was 10 years old when rock and roll blasted on to the entertainment scene, and that age is critical. It's like Pavlov's dogs; it imprinted on my brain and stayed there for all those many decades since.

I have done columns on rock and roll in one form or another, this one though is songs about rock and roll. These are not from that seminal era, well mostly not.

KEVIN JOHNSON wrote and recorded the best song ever about rock and roll.

Kevin Johnson

This is somewhat unusual as Kevin is an Australian singer/songwriter whose songs tend towards the folkie end of the scale, albeit with more instruments than is usual in that genre. This song was a mega-hit for him, it was one of those once in a lifetime songs that probably set him up for the rest of his life.

Those who know his name will know that I'm referring to Rock & Roll I Gave You the Best Years of My Life.

♫ Kevin Johnson - Rock & Roll I gave you the best years of my life


Even when rock and roll was a new phenomenon there were already songs about it, tributes indeed. I have a couple today, starting with DANNY AND THE JUNIORS.

Danny & Juniors

They were a fine DooWop and rock and roll group and even during that era they were writing songs about it. In this case it was Rock And Roll is Here to Stay. They certainly got that right.

♫ Danny & The Juniors - Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay


The column today was inspired by The A.M. and my watching a concert by the Righteous Brothers, one of the A.M.'s faves (and I like them too). They performed a couple of songs that would fit today, one of which was a cover of BOB SEGER's Old Time Rock and Roll.

Bob Seger

Rock and Roll Heaven was also originally in the mix but didn't make the final cut. So, here's Bob rather than Bill and Bobby with Old Time Rock and Roll.

♫ Bob Seger - Old Time Rock and Roll


Back in 1977 MUDDY WATERS' career had pretty much ground to a halt – his record company had dropped him and he attracted fewer people to his concerts.

Muddy Waters

Johnny Winter, who was a huge fan (well, who isn't?), got him a recording contract with Blue Sky Records and produced the record himself, as well as playing on it. It became one of Muddy's biggest selling albums and his career went into overdrive.

From that album comes The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock & Roll.

♫ Muddy Waters - The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock & Roll


The A.M. thought we should have Starship's We built This City on Rock and Roll because it offered a contrast to the other songs. While I agree with her reasoning, I really didn't go for the eighties' drum machines and synthesizers, so I over-ruled her. In its place I decided on LONNIE MACK, for this spot.

Lonnie Mack

Lonnie was a guitar hero before the category was invented. His guitar playing influenced several generations of pickers. Alas, he died last year, but his musical legacy lives on, in today's case with the song Rock And Roll Like We Used To.

♫ Lonnie Mack - Rock And Roll Like We Used To


THE SHOWMEN were from Virginia, but they all moved to New Orleans to record there.

The Showmen

They weren't stupid – they managed to get the great Allen Toussaint as their record producer. In spite of the many songs they recorded, only one really made a dent on the charts and it's this one: It Will Stand. It's another from the time when the music was still young, but they were already singing about it.

♫ The Showmen - It Will Stand


Australians universally know the next song as It's a Long Way to the Shop if You Want a Sausage Roll, by ACKER DACKER.

AC-DC

Okay, translating for those not conversant with Oz-speak, that's AC-DC performing It's A Long Way To The Top If Ya Wanna Rock And Roll. This is the rockiest song today, and as an added bonus there are bagpipes.

♫ AC_DC - Its A Long Way To The Top If Ya Wanna Rock And Roll


I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll) was written by Nick Lowe. He was in a really good group called Rockpile in the seventies with DAVE EDMUNDS.

Dave Edmunds

Nick did a fine version of the song, but Dave's version really captures the essence of the song and it's his we have today.

♫ Dave Edmunds - I Knew the Bride


There must be something in the water here in Australia that causes the local singer/songwriters, who are mostly folkies, to write songs about rock and roll. It's probably because of our small population that musicians of any stripe have to be versatile and be able to play music in any genre so they can earn a living.

Also, some of them started out as rockers. MIKE MCCLELLAN would be a super-star if he lived in a bigger country. Well, he is here in Oz.

Mike McClellan

Mike's song is Rock ’n Roll Lady. Rick Nelson was really taken by the song and recorded it. Alas, that was shortly before he died so he didn't get a chance to perform it widely. Here is Mike's version.

♫ Mike McClellan - Rock’n Roll Lady


There is really only one way to end this column, and that's with CHUCK WILLIS.

Chuck Willis

Chuck was a great song craftsman who honed and polished his songs before he'd record them, or let anyone else do so either. His is another song from the rock and roll era because he died in 1958, at the peak of his career, from peritonitis while he was undergoing surgery. I Don't Want to Hang up my Rock and Roll Shoes.

♫ Chuck Willis - Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes