492 posts categorized "Elder Music"

ELDER MUSIC: Classical Families

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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In the past I have written of several of the more famous classical families – J.S. Bach and his sons plus their extended family, Mozart's father and son, the brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn and some others.

What I have today are some families who aren't as well known as those. Quite a few of them, the majority really, are Czech composers.

I'll start with the Stamitz family. JOHANN STAMITZ was a major composer in the period between the baroque and classical periods. He’s the first of our Czech composers, born Jan Stamic.

Johann Stamitz

Johann was the link between J.S. Bach and Mozart, and was contemporaneous with CPE Bach, the most famous son of the master - although he didn't live anywhere near as long CPE, but longer than Mozart, dying at age 39.

Jo was important in the development of the symphony. He created the four movement structure that is (mostly) the standard to this day. He also expanded the role of wind instruments.

Having said all that, I’m going to play the first movement of his Orchestral Trio in C minor, Op.4 No. 3.

♫ Johann Stamitz - Orchestral Trio in c minor Op.4 No. 3 (1)

Johann had two sons who became quite well known in their time as composers. He also had a daughter who didn’t go into the music biz. The elder, and better known, son was CARL STAMITZ.

_Carl Stamitz

Like his dad, Carl wrote a bunch of symphonies and concertos for various wind instruments. He travelled extensively but eventually tired of that and settled down in central Germany.

Alas, he fell on hard times and died in poverty. To hear what he can do with wind instruments, here is his Clarinet Quartet in A major Op14 No 6, the first movement.

♫ Carl Stamitz - Clarinet Quartet in A major op14 No6 (1)

Next son was ANTON STAMITZ.

Anton Stamitz

Both brothers were taught violin by their dad, and that remained Ant’s main instrument. He went to Paris with his brother and he established himself there. Later, he played at Versailles. He spent the rest of his life in France, but little is known of what happened to him after the revolution.

He is thought to have died in 1809. Here is his Caprice No 1 in G.

♫ Anton Stamitz - Caprice No 1 in G

Next we have father and son Hertel, the father being JOHANN CHRISTIAN HERTEL. Alas, no picture of him.

JCH’s dad was also a musician, a capellmeister in a couple of places. JCH taught himself to play the violin and later took lessons in various keyboards and viola da gamba. Although he was quite a prolific composer, much of his work has been lost or wasn’t published at all.

Something of his we do know is Sinfonia No. 1, for 3 trumpets, timpani, 2 violins, viola and continuo in D minor. Here is the third movement.

♫ J.C. Hertel - Sinfonia No. 1 (3)


JW Hertel

JWH was a whiz on the harpsichord and often accompanied his dad when he toured. He was also pretty good on the violin, having learnt from Franz Benda (see below). In later life he mostly wrote music, and occasionally gave lessons.

One of his compositions is the Bassoon Concerto in E-flat major. This is the first movement. Bassoon players like him as there aren’t many works for the instrument.

♫ Johann Wilhelm Hertel - Bassoon Concerto in E-flat major (1)

The half-brothers Wranitzky came from Nová Říše in the Czech Republic. I'll stick with their more common spelling of their name and start with the elder, PAUL WRANITZKY (or Pavel Vranický).

Paul Wranitzky

He spent most of his life in Vienna where he became friendly with Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Indeed, he was so respected by them that both Haydn and Beethoven often chose Paul to conduct their new works. He composed the usual operas, symphonies, string quartets and the like.

Also concertos, of course, including the Cello Concerto in C Major. Op. 27. This is the second movement.

♫ Paul Wranitzky - Cello Concerto in C Major. Op. 27 (2)

ANTON WRANITZKY (or Antonín Vranický) was Paul’s younger brother.

A. Wranitzky

Ant was a highly regarded violinist and initially he’d travel between Prague and Vienna (and towns along the way). At the urging of Paul he finally settled in Vienna where he got to know the musical bigwigs as well.

His compositions were well thought of at the time and are still played today. His two daughters and two sons all became performers. This is the first movement of the String Sextet in G major.

♫ Anton Wranitzky - String Sextet in G major (1)

We have yet another Czech family, this time it’s the Benda crew, starting with FRANZ BENDA (or František Benda).

Franz Benda

Franz was considered the top violin player of his time and he wrote a number of books on the subject (as well as other books). He also spent some time as a composer for Frederick the Great, which means that he wrote a bunch of music for the flute as old Fred had a penchant for the instument. One of those is the Flute Concerto in E Minor, the first movement.

♫ Franz Benda - Flute Concerto in E Minor (1)

Franz’s younger brother was GEORG ANTON BENDA (or Jiří Antonín Benda).

Georg Benda

Like his big brother he played in Fred’s band, in his case as a violinist. He later skipped around Germany and Austria performing and composing. One of the things he wrote was the Symphony No. 3 in C Major. This is the first movement.

To continue the family tradition, it is played by the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christian Benda, a direct descendant of Franz.

♫ Georg Benda - Symphony No. 3 in C Major (1)

Franz had a daughter who followed her dad into the composing trade. Her name was JULIANE REICHARDT.

Juliane Reichardt

Juliane was living with the family in Potsdam where dad was playing in Fred’s band. Also playing was Johann Reichardt whom she married. Juliane was an excellent singer, pianist and composer.

One of her compositions is the Sonata in G major, the second movement. It’s played on a fortepiano, the forerunner of the modern piano.

♫ Juliane Reichardt - Sonata in G major (2)

The Reichardts had two kids, the second of whom was LOUISE REICHARDT (or Luise, both spellings seem to be in common use).

Louise Reichardt

Louise wrote songs and choral music. She was also a conductor of her works but not in public as the powers that be didn’t allow that sort of thing. She tried to marry twice but both times the husband-to-be died shortly before the wedding. Hmm.

One of Louise’s vocal works is Unruhiger Schlaf. It is sung by soprano Susan Owen-Leinert.

♫ Louise Reichardt - Sonata in G major (2)

The Benda line continues to the present day. In the Czech Republic, Christian Benda is a conductor and his brother Georg Benda a classical pianist. They are descended from the original Franz Benda.

ELDER MUSIC: Jesse Winchester

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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I first heard of JESSE WINCHESTER via a rave review in Rolling Stone for his first album in 1970. When I read that several members of The Band were involved I bought it immediately.

After listening to it I was hooked. He is one performer I would always go and see wherever possible and buy each new album (there haven't been all that many). Unfortunately there won't be any more new albums as Jesse died in 2014 at the too young age of 69.

Jesse Winchester

From that first album a song that resonated with me at the time (and a couple of other times later), Yankee Lady.

♫ Yankee Lady

The song If I Were Free had to be present, but I was tossing up whether to include the version from his album "Humour Me" or the one he performed here in Victoria just with an acoustic guitar.

In the end I decided on the latter as it demonstrates the song beautifully without extraneous instruments getting in the way. I suppose I could have done that with all the songs, but I didn't.

♫ If I Were Free

Jesse Winchester

Getting back to his first album we have The Brand New Tennessee Waltz. This was one of his songs that showed his ambivalence of living in Canada while his roots were in the south of America. Jesse recorded it on another album as a country tune but I prefer the original. Besides it has a couple of members of The Band playing along.

♫ The Brand New Tennessee Waltz

Jesse Winchester

The album that comes closest to the quality of the first one is "Gentleman of Leisure". The next song is the opening track on that one. In Club Manhattan, Jesse has a line, "Just close your eyes, he's a young Steve Cropper" referring to the guitar player in the club.

In a bit of a sly joke, he has the not-so-young-anymore Steve Cropper playing lead guitar on the track, a track where Jesse gets as close to rock & roll as he ever did. Steve was the guitarist for Booker T and the MGs.

♫ Club Manhattan

Jesse Winchester

Jesse was the master of the self-deprecating love song. The best was probably If I Were Free but No Pride at All isn’t far behind.

♫ No Pride at All

Jesse Winchester

Jesse was born in Louisiana but grew up in Mississippi, so he knows about that region. One of his most famous, and most atmospheric, songs refers to that - Biloxi.

♫ Biloxi

Jesse Winchester

Now a song that Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, pretty much insisted must be present. It's one that, unusually for me, I was only vaguely familiar with. That's been rectified. That song is A Showman's Life.

♫ A Showman's Life

I thought that the song Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt came from the thirties, but when I researched it I found it was written and first recorded in 1946. Otis Jackson was responsible for it then. Here is Jesse’s updated (to the mid-seventies) version.

♫ Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt

Jesse Winchester

Like many musicians, Jesse would pick his instrument and play it in times of stress. He turned that into a fine love song (or a love gone wrong song). It doesn’t matter, it’s still beautiful. I Turn to My Guitar.

♫ I Turn to My Guitar

Jesse Winchester

The song Nothing But a Breeze contains the wonderful line, "I want to live with my feet in Dixie and my head in the cool blue North". This probably summed up his situation at the time perfectly, as he was from the south of the USA but was living in Montreal.

♫ Nothing But a Breeze

Jesse Winchester

As you've been such a good audience (and besides, it's Jesse), here is a bonus track, Dangerous Fun.

♫ Dangerous Fun

ELDER MUSIC: Murder Ballads

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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Murder has been a topic of songs for centuries. I imagine it’s the same reason that it’s very popular in books, films and TV. People can get a vicarious thrill without all the messy reality. Today, most get their comeuppance, but not all. Here are some songs about murder.

I’ll start off gently with a song that doesn’t sound as if it fits, but it does. MICHAEL MARTIN MURPHEY can make even the worst material sound good (not worst musically, I’m talking about the content).

Michael Martin Murphey

In this case it’s one of the best known songs of the old west, The Streets of Laredo.

♫ Michael Martin Murphey - The Streets of Laredo

NICK CAVE released a whole album called “Murder Ballads” so there are plenty to choose from in that one. He has the help of KYLIE MINOGUE on the song I selected.

Nick & Kylie

As seems often the case in these songs, Nick bumps off Kylie just because he can. The song is Where the Wild Roses Grow.

♫ Nick Cave - Where the Wild Roses Grow

You knew JOHNNY CASH had to be present today, so I won’t disappoint.

Johnny Cash

Johnny’s song isn’t a tale of the old west, it’s a modern story. That’s not too surprising when you learn that Bruce Springsteen wrote it. Normally I’d have used Bruce’s version, but I think that Johnny really nails it. I imagine Bruce was really pleased when Johnny recorded Highway Patrolman.

♫ Johnny Cash - Highway Patrolman

Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin both had huge hits with Mack the Knife. STING recorded the song too and his version, although also in English, was much closer to the original as written by Kurt Weill.


The song was part of his opera/musical/play with music “The Threepenny Opera” based on the much earlier “Beggar’s Opera”. In the original, Captain Macheath was a good guy, but by the time we get to this one (through a couple of other plays) he’s evolved into Mack the Knife. Jack the Ripper might have been an influence.

♫ Sting - The Ballad Of Mac The Knife

The song Knoxville Girl has a long history, stretching over several centuries, and a number of different countries. It’s also known by various names, but the story is basically the same – bloke kills girl for no apparent reason. Today we have the LOUVIN BROTHERS telling the tale.

Louvin Brothers

The straightforward style of the Louvins admirably suits the old ballad.

♫ Louvin Brothers - Knoxville Girl

Tom Dooley is one of the most famous murder ballads. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Kingston Trio’s version. The Kingston based theirs on the one by FRANK PROFFITT.

Frank Proffitt

In the way of things at the time, they smoothed it out somewhat and changed some the words, but it’s certainly recognisable as the same song. Also in the way of these things, Frank learnt the song from his aunt who learnt if from her mother. The folk process in action. The song was originally called Tom Dula.

♫ Frank Proffitt - Tom Dooley

Very early in his career TOM RUSH recorded a song called Duncan and Brady.

Tom Rush

The song has had several names over the years and many people have recorded it. It tells about Harry Duncan, a bartender, who shot James Brady, a cop. It’s about an actual event that happened in St Louis.

Duncan was eventually hanged even though there are doubts about who was the actual shooter. No such doubts in the song though.

♫ Tom Rush - Duncan And Brady

MARTY ROBBINS is another artist pretty much guaranteed to be present today.

Marty Robbins

This is from his album “Gunfighter Ballads”, so you know that murder is involved somewhere. In this case it seems that They're Hanging Me Tonight.

♫ Marty Robbins - They're Hanging Me Tonight

Marty also recorded a fine version of the next song, but as we’ve just had him I went for someone else. In this case TONY CHRISTIE, who, to my ears, seems to be channeling Tom Jones.

Tony Christie

This was Tony’s biggest hit in England, where he’s from, and was written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander. It’s yet another song of revenge, I Did What I Did For Maria.

♫ Tony Christie - I Did What I Did For Maria

I’ll end with my favorite song in this genre and when you listen to it you might start looking at me a little sideways. Surprisingly, several people have recorded it and the one I like best is by JACK KITTEL.

Jack Kittel

If anyone had bought the 45 record of the song (and I did) they would find that the flip side was the same song played backwards. Make of that what you will. The song is Psycho, written by Eddie Noack.

♫ Jack Kittel - Psycho

ELDER MUSIC: Scott Joplin

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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Scott Joplin

SCOTT JOPLIN wrote more than 40 ragtime tunes, a ballet and two operas. There were probably more compositions that are now lost.

One of those is his first opera “A Guest of Honor” which was about Teddy Roosevelt hosting a White House dinner in honor of civil rights leader Booker T. Washington. The opera was performed once, but due to nefarious shenanigans the score was confiscated and destroyed.

Most of you will be familiar with some of his music but I think I have some things that may be new to you or, perhaps, played differently from the way you’re used to hearing them.

Scott was born in Texas and he started his musical career as part of a vocal quartet as well as a teacher of guitar and mandolin. His big break occurred when he performed his music at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.


By far my favorite album of Scott Joplin’s music is by ITZHAK PERLMAN and ANDRÉ PREVIN.


That album came out in the seventies and was called “The Easy Winners” and the music was scored for violin and piano. When you have two of the best playing those instruments it’s bound to be a great album, and it is.

From that is one of Scott’s most recognizable tunes, The Entertainer.

♫ Itzhak Perlman & André Previn - The Entertainer


For a solo piano version of Scott's music, RICHARD DOWLING is hard to beat.

Richard Dowling

He has a light touch playing the music. I've found that many others tend to thump the keyboard. This is one of the more famous compositions, Elite Syncopations.

♫ Richard Dowling - Elite Syncopations


“Treemonisha” is unique. It’s the only opera written by a black person about the reconstruction era after the civil war who actually lived during that period. It’s also a splendid piece of music and we’ll have three excerpts from it.

Much of it was thought to be lost but many years of research and much digging around have brought it back to life. It’s really only been in recent years that a full production has been possible.

From act 2, we have Treemonisha (a young, educated freed slave) being rescued by Remus just as she’s about to be thrown into a wasps’ nest. It’s called The Rescue.

♫ Treemonisha - The Rescue


One of his first compositions was Maple Leaf Rag which is certainly one of his most recognisable tunes. It pretty much single-handedly was responsible for the popularity of ragtime music.

Instead of the usual piano version, here is DAVE VAN RONK playing it on guitar.

Dave Van Ronk

♫ Dave Van Ronk - Maple Leaf Rag


Felicity Rag was published in 1911 and Scott Hayden might have had a hand in the composition as well. Once again we have Richard Dowling playing piano.

♫ Richard Dowling - Felicity

Harmony Club Waltz

JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL was probably the finest flute player of the 20th century, and he’s joined by JOHN RITTER on piano.


They perform Harmony Club Waltz, a tune published in 1901.

♫ Jean-Pierre Rampal - Harmony Club Waltz


More from Treemonisha, from act 3. Monisha was Treemonisha’s mum, and she implores Ned, Treemonisha’s dad, that I Want to See My Child.

♫ Treemonisha - I Want to See My Child

Solace (A Mexican Serenade)

Spanish-influenced music was popular in the 19th century, mostly from Cuba, but also New Orleans and Mexico. Scott picked up on that and wrote a tune called Solace, subtitled A Mexican Serenade. This is played by Itzhak and André.

♫ Itzhak Perlman & André Previn - Solace (A Mexican Serenade)


Jean-Pierre and John again with a jaunty little number called The Chrysanthemum. It’s sub-titled An Afro-American Intermezzo and was published in 1904.

♫ Jean-Pierre Rampal - The Chrysanthemum


Treemonisha has been elected leader of the group and she was instrumental in removing from the group various ne’er-do-wells who were preying on them. They acknowledge her by performing We Will Trust You as Our Leader.

♫ Treemonisha - We Will Trust You as Our Leader

Sunflower Slow Drag

I'll end with the man himself. SCOTT JOPLIN recorded this in 1901.

Scott Joplin

Well, you can put all sorts of interpretation on the word "record". What he did was create a piano roll. That could be considered an early form of recording.

Scott was considered a fine pianist early in his life and some revelled in beating him in cutting contests. By the time these piano rolls were recorded, he was suffering from terminal syphilis and it’s thought they may have been doctored somewhat. The same thing happens today with recordings.

Anyway, this is Sunflower Slow Drag.

♫ Scott Joplin - Sunflower Slow Drag


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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The Orange Buffoon is still persisting in his idiotic idea to build a wall. I assume he wants to turn America into East Germany, and didn’t that turn out well?

We know this won’t happen and would be pointless even if it was constructed. Has he not heard of aeroplanes? Ships? It may be an idiotic idea to build, but it’s a good one for a music column.

I’ll start with a song about a wall that was actually built (only to be torn down later when it failed to serve its purpose). People of a certain age (and that’d be most of us) will remember the song by TONI FISHER.

Toni Fisher

Toni was a bit optimistic, singing “that soon will fall”. It didn’t come down for another 27 years. The song is West of the Wall.

♫ Toni Fisher - West Of The Wall

Willie Nelson wrote the song Hello Walls, but the first version I heard, quite a big hit in my part of the world, was by FARON YOUNG.

Faron Young

It seems to be the case that the first one you hear is the one that you prefer. That’s generally the case with me (with a couple of exceptions). So, in spite of Willie’s version being particularly good, I’m going with Faron.

♫ Faron Young - Hello Walls

ADAM WADE started out in science but eventually turned to music and TV.

Adam Wade

I assume the money was better, especially when he started hosting TV programs. Initially, he was a singer and what a voice he has. His contribution today is The Writing on the Wall.

♫ Adam Wade - The Writing On The Wall

The writer of the next song certainly listened carefully to I’m Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter. Indeed, letters are an essential component of this song as well. The singer is DEAN MARTIN.

Dean Martin

It seems that his sweetie (or ex-sweetie) was a considerable correspondent, as Dino sings that I'm Gonna Paper All My Walls With Your Love Letters.

♫ Dean Martin - I'm Gonna Paper All My Walls With Your Love Letters

The STATLER BROTHERS were as good a harmony group as any around.

Statler Brothers

Not just harmony, but the interplay of their voices can bring a smile to my face. Besides their solo records, they were often heard backing Johnny Cash. This is probably their best known song, Flowers on the Wall.

♫ Statler Brothers - Flowers on the Wall

BETTYE LAVETTE is ostensibly a soul singer.

Bettye Lavette

However, she doesn’t restrict herself to that one genre, she branches out into rock, gospel, funk, country, blues and whatever else takes her fancy. Bettye’s in a soul mood with a touch of blues thrown in for good measure on Between You Me and the Wall You're a Fool.

♫ Bettye Lavette - Just Between You Me And The Wall You're A Fool

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL recorded the album “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme” during Paul’s pretentious writing period.

Simon & Garfunkel

The song from that album was indicative of that, and it also fit into our category today: A Poem on the Underground Wall.

♫ Simon & Garfunkel - A Poem on the Underground Wall

Since there was a big deal album called “The Wall”, I decided I’d better include something from that or questions might be asked. The album was recorded by PINK FLOYD.

Pink Floyd

There were three versions of the song Another Brick in the Wall on the album and they’re all a bunch of bollocks. This is the second of those, the least painful one.

♫ Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall Part 2

Now for some real music, here are EMMYLOU HARRIS and LINDA RONSTADT.

Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris

From an album they recorded together called “Western Wall”, here is the title song.

♫ Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt - Western Wall

This one’s for you Prez, if you happen to be reading (assuming you can read anything other than tweets, that is). I’ll let TOM RUSSELL tell you all about it.

Tom Russell

The song is Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?

♫ Tom Russell - Who's Gonna Build Your Wall

ELDER MUSIC: Classical - Various 4

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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Here’s some more music that struck my fancy over the last few weeks.

For much of the 20th century ERICH KORNGOLD was probably best known as a composer of film scores (“Captain Blood”, “Robin Hood”, “The Sea Hawk” “King’s Row” and many others).

Erich Korngold

However, he was also a composer of “serious” music as those who like to think in these terms have a wont to say. He wrote sonatas, chamber music of various sorts, concertos and many other things including several operas, one of which is “Die Kathrin”.

From that opera, the wonderful RENÉE FLEMING presents Ich soll ihn niemals, niemals mehr sehn.

Renee Fleming

♫ Korngold Die Kathrin - Ich soll ihn niemals niemals mehr sehn

MICHAEL HAYDN was Joseph Haydn’s younger brother and has always lived in the shadow one of the greatest composers of all time.

Michael Haydn

Mike was no slouch at the composing biz; his style, not too surprisingly, is quite similar to his brother’s. Indeed, until recently, a number of his compositions were attributed to Jo.

Fortunately, evidence has shown that these works were really Mike’s. As far as I can tell, this isn’t one of those, it’s the second movement of his String Quintet in F Major, P. 112, MH 411.

♫ Haydn M - String Quintet in F Major P. 112 MH 411 (2)

KATIE MOSS was an English Composer, violinist, pianist and singer.

Katie Moss

She wrote the words and music to The Floral Dance in 1911 after visiting the Cornish town of Helston, where she attended the town’s traditional Flora Day celebration.

The song has been recorded many times over the years, but most notably by the Australian bass-baritone PETER DAWSON, who was also a composer, in 1912.

Peter Dawson

♫ Moss - The Floral Dance

FRANCESCO DURANTE was born in Naples in the latter half of the 17th century.

Francesco Durante

His father died when he was about 15, and his uncle, who was a musician, took over teaching young Frank. He later became a pupil of the great Alessandro Scarlatti. Frank later became renowned as a musical teacher, and many of his pupils went on to great things.

He is most noted for composing sacred music, but he did other things as well, including his Concerto No 2 G Minor (which seems to be for violin). This is the third movement.

♫ Durante - Concerto n° 2 G Minor (3)

Little is known of the life of GIOVANNI PANDOLFI MEALL other than he was born in Tuscany about 1630. Also, it seems there was no one was around to take a photo of him either.

Well, there is a bit more known: it seems that he murdered a castrato during an argument and he then decided to hightail it to France and then Spain. There he was employed in the Royal Chapel where, I assume, they didn’t care about his previous misdeeds.

All that survives of his compositions is about 30 violin sonatas. This is one of them, Sonata for violin & continuo, Op. 3 No. 1 'La Stella'.

♫ Pandolfi - Sonata for violin & continuo Op. 3 No. 1 'La Stella'

JAMES OSWALD was a Scottish composer about whom we know little before he moved to London in 1741.

James Oswald

He composed a lot of short works, including minuets and Scottish folk songs. He was also a music publisher which is probably how we know these things. He caught the ear of mad king George, who appointed him chamber composer.

Here is a composition for cello called Steer Her up and Had Her Gaun (whatever all that means).

♫ Oswald - Steer Her up & Had Her Gaun

CLARA SCHUMANN was born Clara Wieck and she was a child prodigy on piano, violin and singing.

Clara Schumann

The piano became her main instrument and she toured extensively giving concerts throughout her life – she lived to 76 years old. Robert Schumann was a pupil of her father’s and when Clara was 18 they decided to get married. Dad was against the union and Robert and Clara sued dad to allow this to happen. They won the case.

Robert seems to have been a troubled lad, but they stayed together until he died. Clara outlived him by 40 years.

She composed quite a few pieces, mostly for piano and was held in high esteem for her playing. Here is one of her pieces for solo piano, one of Four Polonaises, Opus 1. It’s the second of those.

To me it seems to anticipate the compositions of Scott Joplin by many years.

♫ Schumann Clara - Quatre Polonoises Op.1 No 2 in C major

Although often referred to as FRANCESCO LANDINI, that almost certainly wasn’t his name (as he wasn’t a member of the Landini family).

Nitpicking scholars usually refer to him as Francesco da Firenze. He’s also been called Francesco degli Organi, Francesco il Cieco or Francesco Cecus.

Francesco Landini

He was born in Florence sometime between 1325 and 1335, and was blind from childhood due to smallpox (thus one of the aforementioned names, for the Italian speakers among us).

He was the most famous composer in Italy in the 14th century and he wrote much sacred music, but none survives today. What have survived are some madrigals, ballads, and music for various combinations of voices. One of those is Sì dolce non sonò chol lir' Orfeo.

♫ Francesco da Firenze - Sì Dolce Non Sonò Chol Lir' Orfeo

FRANZ KROMMER was a Czech composer who was contemporaneous with Mozart, although he outlived him by a considerable amount – even outliving Beethoven.

Franz Krommer

He was a really prolific composer, with over 300 compositions to his name in just about every field that composers of the time indulged in, except operas. He was especially prolific at chamber music, quartets, quintets, duos, trios, sonatas and the like.

We’ve already had some of those sorts of things today, so I thought I’d include his Concerto for Two Clarinets, Op 91, because I like it. This is the first movement.

♫ Krommer - Concert for Two Clarinets Op 91 (1)

ELDER MUSIC: Judy Collins

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.

* * *

JUDY COLLINS started out as a classical pianist; indeed she performed one of Mozart’s piano pieces when she was just 13. She was destined for great things in this realm. Then she discovered the music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and the like and picked up a guitar.

Somewhat later her piano teacher was reported to have said, "Little Judy, you really could have gone places”. Oh well, what goes around, comes around.

Judy Collins

I’ll start with something from Judy’s fifth album, which she imaginatively titled “Fifth Album”. The Coming of the Roads was written by Billy Edd Wheeler, who was a serious songwriter covered by many country artists - Johnny Cash and June Carter spring to mind as well as Neil Young, Elvis, Nancy Sinatra, Bobby Darin, the Jefferson Airplane, and on it goes.

♫ The Coming of the Roads

Way back, JOAN BAEZ wrote one of her finest songs about a phone call she received from Bob Dylan. She called it Diamonds and Rust and it was on the album of the same name. She rerecorded it with Judy on an album called "Paradise".

Here they are singing together helped by The Nashville Rhythm Section. I think Joan's original version is just a bit better, but this one isn't bad.

Judy & Joan

♫ Diamonds and Rust

Judy Collins

I consider “In My Life” to be her finest album. She was still performing folk material, but also show tunes (serious ones), rock & roll and everything in between. One song she performed was Pirate Jenny, written by Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Marc Blitzstein.

This album marked the start of her musical evolution into interesting and quite challenging material.

♫ Pirate Jenny

Ian Tyson wrote the song Some Day Soon and he recorded it with his wife (at the time) Sylvia Fricker (they were known as Ian and Sylvia).

Not too long after that Judy recorded a really fine version on her album "Who Knows Where the Time Goes". I was going to use that one until I came across this one she recorded with JIMMY BUFFETT.

♫ Someday Soon (Feat. Jimmy Buffett)

Judy Collins

Judy was an early champion of Leonard Cohen – she recorded many of his songs before anyone else (including Leonard himself). From the rather gorgeous album “Wildflowers”, here is Sisters of Mercy.

♫ Sisters of Mercy

Like a lot of performers, Judy was fond of the songs of Jimmy Webb. The one I’ve chosen is one that was unfamiliar to me before I researched this column. It’s Campo de Encino. She has a little help from SHAWN COLVIN.

♫ Campo de Encino

Judy Collins

It's easier just to call the next song Marat-Sade. Of course, people who have been around this column for a while will know that I won't be satisfied with that. The song is actually called The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.

I don't know if this came out as a single, but I suspect not – they'd have trouble getting all that on the label. Okay, they could have gone for the short version.

The music was written by Richard Peaslee, and Judy sings a medley of songs from the production. Anyway, is it just me, or does the tune sound like a couple of the arias from Puccini's “Madama Butterfly”? Probably just me.

♫ Marat-Sade

Judy Collins

The “Fifth Album” was Judy’s last straight folk album, if you include contemporary songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot and Richard Fariña in the folk category. The song I’ve chosen was written by Richard (Fariña) and Pauline Marden and is called Pack up Your Sorrows. Richard plays the dulcimer on this one.

♫ Pack up Your Sorrows

It surprised me to discover that she had covered a song of the Traveling Wilburys, the greatest super group in history. She has the help of STEPHEN STILLS on this one.

Judy & Stephen

Stephen has helped her on several of her albums over the years. The song is the best known of the Wilburys songs, Handle With Care.

♫ Handle With Care

Judy Collins

One of the members of the Wilburys was George Harrison who, for those people who have been living on Saturn for the last 60 years, was a member of The Beatles, a rather successful group from the sixties.

One of the songs that group wrote and recorded was In My Life. It's rare that someone can cover a Beatles song and equal their version, but I think Judy does so. She makes it more wistful and regretful than John's version.

♫ In My Life

ELDER MUSIC: Songs About Cities - Los Angeles

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.

* * *

Los Angeles

I worked for some time in Los Angeles and it was pleasant enough where I was, but not a place I'd choose to live. However, because it's one of the music centres of the world, there are a bunch of songs about it so it makes my task of choosing them easy.

I found more about Hollywood, enough so that I have a spinoff from this one. That will appear at a later date (or earlier, depending on how we schedule these things). Everyone in the world knows about L.A., so you don't need me to waffle on about it. I'll just play music about it.

One of the most famous bands associated with the city would be THE DOORS.


Not only associated with the city, but they wrote about it as well. Their best known song about L.A. would be L.A. Woman.

♫ The Doors - L.A. Woman

Freeways are synonymous with L.A. and GUY CLARK has written a song about them.

Guy Clark

It almost certainly is the best one on that topic. That's not surprising as there were few better songwriters around than Guy. This is from his very first album "Old No. 1" and it's called L.A. Freeway.

♫ Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway

The last several trips into the country, Norma, the Assistant Musicologist and I were Coming Into Los Angeles. However, we weren't bringing in anything that would be problematic to the authorities. In contrast, ARLO GUTHRIE seems to be doing just that.


The song now is pretty famous as it was included in the film "Woodstock". The version I'll use is the original one from his album "Running Down the Road".

♫ Arlo Guthrie - Coming Into Los Angeles

RANDY NEWMAN’s songs are all ambivalent to some degree.

Randy Newman

“Does he really mean that?” is often the usual response. Sometimes the answer is an obvious “No.” Other times, we can’t really be sure. Make up your own mind about I Love L.A.

♫ Randy Newman - I Love L.A.

In contrast to Randy, WARREN ZEVON seems less sanguine about the city.

Warren Zevon1

Although associated with other L.A. singer/songwriters like Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and Glenn Frey, Warren’s songs were much darker, violent and more ironic as well. This is his ode to the city, Carmelita.

♫ Warren Zevon - Carmelita

DEAN MARTIN was usually associated in mind with Las Vegas.

Dean Martin

That’d be due to all that “Rat Pack” nonsense, and their almost continuous performances in that city. He was famously born in Steubenville, Ohio, but in this song, Dino assures us that L.A. Is My Home.

♫ Dean Martin - L.A. Is My Home

GLEN CAMPBELL seems to want it both ways (and don’t read anything into that).

Glen Campbell

He claims to be a country boy but he lives in the city, that city being Los Angeles where he was a session musician for quite some time before he became one of the biggest country artists around. His song, that reflects that, is Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.).

♫ Glen Campbell - Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)

KENNY BUTTERILL has said that he admired the great guitarist and songwriter J.J. Cale.

Kenny Butterill

It seems to me that he does more than admire him; he seems to be channeling him as well. There are worse people to emulate. Kenny is rather modest about his achievements – the song I’ve chosen is from his album “Just a Songwriter”. It’s called Making Love in L.A.

♫ Kenny Butterill - Making Love in L.A.

JOHN PHILLIPS was Papa John from The Mamas and The Papas.

John Phillips

He, and they, are associated with Los Angeles, which is where they began as a group. John was the main songwriter and afterwards, he recorded a couple of really fine albums that weren’t very successful, which is a bit of a shame.

From the first of those, “John, The Wolf King of L.A.” is Topanga Canyon, where many of the L.A. musicians hung out (probably still do).

♫ John Phillips - Topanga Canyon

There was a big hit in the early sixties by a group called THE SURFARIS.


Well, they had a few hits but the song I'm interested in is Surfer Joe and it name-checked several places around Los Angeles (and further south). I've recently found an extended version of the song that has even more names, so I'm going with that one of course. Here it is.

♫ The Surfaris - Surfer Joe (long version)

ELDER MUSIC: Forget Me 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.

* * *

Ronni has written quite a few columns on how we forget as we age. Of course, she also made the point that it really is a lifelong phenomenon, not just restricted to the people who will be reading this.

Whenever I decide to do a column on a particular criterion, I usually don’t know what songs will appear in my search. Often there are one or two I have in mind but the rest are as much a surprise to me as they are to you.

Today, it seems there’s a lot of country (or early rock & roll) and soul (or later rock & roll). That’s okay with me, I hope it is for you.

The column was prompted when I heard BOBBY RYDELL sing Forget Him.

Bobby Rydell

That’s a song I haven’t heard for a long time. I won’t say that I had forgotten it (sorry, I hope there won’t be many of those), but it has certainly stuck in my brain from my youth, if more than somewhat buried quite deeply until today.

♫ Bobby Rydell - Forget Him

ARTHUR CONLEY is the first of the soul performers.

Arthur Conley

If I didn’t know this was Arthur, if asked, I would swear that it was Sam Cooke (as did Norma, the Assistant Musicologist when I asked her). Arthur certainly studied the genre, at least it seems so given that his biggest hit was Sweet Soul Music. Today he says I'm Gonna Forget About You.

♫ Arthur Conley - I'm Gonna Forget About You

They don’t make singers like SLIM WHITMAN any more, and that’s a real shame.

Slim Whitman

Slim was huge in the fifties, and sang some of the best songs from that time. One of those is I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know, a song that many people have turned their hand to, and voices too, I guess. Few came close to his version.

♫ Slim Whitman - I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know

Another I had in mind when I started the column is by the KALIN TWINS.

Kalin Twins

They were supposed to take on the Everly Brothers at their own game and we know how that turned out. However, they did have a couple of quite decent songs that made the charts. This is one of them, Forget Me Not.

♫ Kalin Twins - Forget Me Not

Even ELVIS gets into the act with one of his very early songs.

Elvis Presley

This is from the now famous Sun Sessions, back when he was just starting out and recording at Sam Phillips’ Sun studio. Some say that these songs pretty much created rock & roll.

The song is I Forgot to Remember to Forget, recorded by the foremost trio in rock & roll, Elvis, Scotty and Bill (with a little help from D.J. on drums).

♫ Elvis Presley - I Forgot To Remember To Forget

The most entertaining entertainer I’ve had the privilege to see live is MARTY ROBBINS.

Marty Robbins

He was not only a great songwriter (something for which he’s not given enough credit), but he had one of the best voices in the business. And, as I said, he had the audience in the palm of his hand. He’s greatly missed.

A song of his (he didn’t write this one) that many people have performed is Am I That Easy to Forget. I listened to all versions I had and none matched Marty.

♫ Marty Robbins - Am I That Easy To Forget

Someone who should be mentioned along with Otis and Wilson whenever the subject of the greatest soul singers is bandied about is JAMES CARR.

James Carr

He certainly is in my place, and deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Here’s your chance with the song, Forgetting You.

♫ James Carr - Forgetting You

I didn’t get a chance to see PATSY CLINE, more’s the pity.

Patsy Cline

She’s another fine singer who’s always welcome in my columns, and like Marty, sorely missed. We have her records (to paraphrase one of her biggest hits), but there could have been a whole more. Oh well. Here is I Can't Forget.

♫ Patsy Cline - I Can't Forget

Whenever there’s a category where WILLIE NELSON is represented, I’ve found that he nails it, probably better than anyone else.

Willie Nelson

I probably don’t need to introduce him, I could just play the track and you’d know who it was. Willie’s song is I'm Not Trying to Forget You.

♫ Willie Nelson - I'm Not Trying to Forget You

The Nelson family is well represented today, after Willie (and his sister Bobbie playing piano as she normally does on most of Willie’s songs), we have Willie’s son LUKAS NELSON.

Lukas Nelson

Lukas is no slouch in the song writing and singing games too. He’s also a pretty decent guitarist, quite different from his dad, more rock & roll. Indeed, his solo does go on for a bit too long really, but I guess he has to distinguish himself in some way. The song is Forget About Georgia.

♫ Lukas Nelson - Forget About Georgia

ELDER MUSIC: Rod Stewart

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.

* * *

Rod Stewart

I came across ROD STEWART rather late in the piece, in the early seventies, after his stints with Long John Baldry, The Faces and Jeff Beck’s group.

He was already a solo performer by the time I discovered him. I was working in Boston at the time and one day we went on a boat trip (I think it was - wine was involved so it’s difficult to remember). There was a (free) juke box and someone kept playing Maggie May over and over, a song I was unfamiliar with at the time, but by the end of the day it was seared into my brain.

I'll only play it the once for you (although that certainly won't restrict you, of course). Certainly his most famous song.

♫ Maggie May

Rod Stewart

My usual policy in these columns is to play the original version of a song, with luck by the person who wrote it. That’s not a hard and fast rule of course, and I’m breaking it again today with a mix of Rod’s own songs and his interpretations of others.

This next song was written by Cat Stevens and I have Cat’s version, and well, not to put too fine a point on it, it’s less than ordinary. That Rod turned that into a great song demonstrates what a talent he is. The First Cut Is The Deepest.

♫ The First Cut Is The Deepest

Here’s a song from Rod’s days with The Faces. It’s more in a soul vein, something that Rod was good at. It’s called As Long As You Tell Him.

♫ The Faces - As Long As You Tell Him

Rod Stewart

Rod wrote the song The Killing of Georgie (Parts I and II) about a gay friend of his who was murdered in New York. Although others thought at the time this was a brave move, Rod disagreed – “He was a friend of mine, why shouldn’t I write about it?” It was released in two parts, as suggested by the title. I’ve used both parts.

♫ The Killing Of Georgie

Rod and Martin Quillenton wrote You Wear It Well, which was included on Rod’s album “Never a Dull Moment”. Martin also played acoustic guitar on the track (and others on the album as well). It became another big hit.

♫ You Wear It Well

Rod Stewart

Norma, The Assistant Musicologist, often says, “Oh, you only choose slow songs.” There is some truth in that, so here’s one to buck that trend, a bit of serious rock & roll. I threw out a slow one to include this one from Rod's days with The Faces, Stay with Me, a bit of hard core rock & roll.

♫ The Faces - Stay with Me

Rod Stewart

Handbags and Gladrags was written by Mike D’Abo who was the singer for Manfred Mann after Paul Jones left the group. It was first recorded by Chris Farlowe who had a bit of a hit with it.

A then-completely unknown singer (you know who I mean) recorded the song on his first solo album “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” with Mike arranging the song and playing piano on it. The song vanished without a trace except for those people who bought the album. It later became popular due to word of mouth.

♫ Handbags And Gladrags

Rod Stewart

Here’s a song I could have included in one of my several “Drinking Songs” columns. Fortunately, there are plenty of others to include in those. This is Rod from his days with The Jeff Beck Group, and naturally Jeff lets rip on the guitar. I've Been Drinking.

♫ Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart - I've Been Drinking

Rod Stewart

A song almost as good as Maggie May, and also written by Rod, is Mandolin Wind. We tend not to think of Rod as a songwriter, but my goodness he’s written some beauties.

♫ Mandolin Wind

Rod Stewart

The A.M. must be in despair by now as the songs are getting slower, although this one does speed up a bit and indulges in a fine guitar solo.

Here’s another of Rod’s songs, written with Gary Grainger. I can relate to this one, as I was born the same year as Rod – our parents thinking how ridiculous we looked with our fashions of the time, back when we were youths. I imagine it was ever thus (and probably still is). The song is I Was Only Joking.

♫ I Was Only Joking

Rod has also made some records of the "American Songbook" standards, and while I admire what he did, I prefer to hear Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé or Tony Bennett perform those so they didn’t make the cut today.

After I ended in what I thought was the most appropriate way, I decided to give you a bonus and break the mood. It's something I discovered a while ago, and all I can say is "Oh my".

Here is Rod and AMY BELLE with one of his biggest hits, I Don't Want To Talk About It.

ELDER MUSIC: 1960 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 are some fine singers here today, today being sometime in 1960. Not all of them fit that criterion, but enough to satisfy those who like a bit of a good warble.

Generally it’s thought that this year was a bit ho hum when it came to music, coming between the excitement of fifties’ rock & roll and the sixties music explosion. We didn’t know that at the time, we just listened to what was around.

What was around, and here we have one of the finest voices from the period, is JIM REEVES.

Jim Reeves

This year gave us his most popular song, the one that everyone could name when they heard his name: He'll Have to Go. The song spawned several answer songs, as that was the fashion back then, but we can ignore them.

♫ Jim Reeves - He'll Have To Go

Here are some more fine singers, this time it’s a group, THE DRIFTERS.

The Drifters

Over time they had some remarkable singers pass through their ranks, particularly Clyde McPhatter and, in this incarnation of the group, Ben E King. Ben is easily the finest singer in the column today (and yes, I realise that Elvis is present). That’s only my opinion; you make up your own mind. The Drifters sing This Magic Moment.

♫ The Drifters - This Magic Moment

1960 was the high water mark for what later became known as "Death Disks". We have two of the best (or insert whatever description you'd prefer), starting with MARK DINNING.

Mark Dinning

Mark was the younger brother of the members of a singing group called The Dinning Sisters (three of them) who were quite successful in the forties and early fifties. They performed in the mode of The Andrews Sisters. One of his sisters (Jean) wrote Teen Angel, and it was quite a hit for Mark.

♫ Mark Dinning - Teen Angel

The other big hit for the year in the same style is by RAY PETERSON.

Ray Peterson

Ray had a couple of hits, and he was quite popular in Australia where he had more. However, he didn’t achieve too much after this year in spite of his also having quite a decent singing voice. Most of you will know his song: Tell Laura I Love Her.

♫ Ray Peterson - Tell Laura I Love Her

By 1960 CONNIE FRANCIS had already had many hit records.

Connie Francis

Her song that I’m including apparently was the B-side of a record whose A-side is a song that I’ve not heard of. Certainly in my country Everybody's Somebody's Fool was a huge hit. I checked with Norma, the Assistant Musicologist and she hadn’t heard of the other one either.

♫ Connie Francis - Everybody's Somebody's Fool

ELVIS always wanted to be a singer in the style of someone like Dean Martin, rather than, or probably as well as, a rock & roller.

Elvis Presley

He certainly achieved that in the last decade of his career, but even earlier he liked to throw the odd ballad into his repertoire. One particularly famous one was a song originally made famous by Al Jolson, Are You Lonesome Tonight?

♫ Elvis - Are You Lonesome Tonight

JOHNNY O'KEEFE was at the peak of his success in Australia. Had he been born in America, he’d have been a worldwide star.

Johnny O'Keefe

He wasn’t, of course, but he was still one of the greatest entertainers who ever strutted the stage. Unlike most today, he didn’t have much of a singing voice, but it didn’t matter, he held the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he hit the stage until he left (after many encores).

Quite a few visiting musicians refused to appear with him as he blew everyone else off the stage. His song for this year is Come On and Take My Hand.

Johnny O'Keefe - Come On & Take My Hand

JACK SCOTT has one of those earworm songs. Sorry about that folks.

Jack Scott

It’s not the worst in that category, but it’ll linger a while if you dare to listen. There were several like that around this time. His contribution is What in the World's Come Over You.

♫ Jack Scott - What In The World's Come Over You

JOE JONES was yet another talented musician from New Orleans. That’s probably a tautology as every musician from New Orleans is talented.

Joe Jones

He had a hit this year with the song You Talk Too Much. It was written by Reginald Hall, who was Fats Domino’s brother-in-law. He offered it to Fats but he turned it down. Joe took it to the top of the charts.

♫ Joe Jones - You Talk Too Much

Jack Lawrence took Charles Trenet’s song La Mer and wrote English words to it, and otherwise changed it quite a bit. A number of people recorded it but it pretty much flew below the radar until BOBBY DARIN had a go at it.

Bobby Darin

Bobby made it a worldwide hit under the name of Beyond the Sea.

♫ Bobby Darin - Beyond The Sea

ELDER MUSIC: Bullfrogs on my Mind

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.

* * *


Frogs are the proverbial canary in the coalmine when it comes to environmental change and damage. That means many are fast disappearing, which is a great shame, indeed a disaster, as they are an important link in the various ecologies.

Besides, I really like frogs. Anyway, I’ll leave that to people more expert than I am to discuss. I’ll just present some froggy songs.

There is an obvious way to begin the column and I'm taking it. This is CLARENCE (FROGMAN) HENRY.

Clarence Frogman Henry

Clarence not only has a frog in his name (well, nickname) but he also sings about one as well. It was certainly the first song that came to mind when I thought of this column. That song is Ain't Got No Home.

♫ Clarence (Frogman) Henry - Ain't Got No Home

THE LARKS started out as a gospel group. Well, several really, they recorded under a bunch of different names.

The Larks

They used the name The Larks for their Rhythm and Blues records. They were quite popular in the early fifties, but subsequently splintered into several different groups. Here they are with I Ain't Fattening Frogs For Snakes.

♫ The Larks - I Ain't Fattening Frogs For Snakes

MICKEY GILLEY is probably best known these days for the club that bears his name (featured in the film Urban Cowboy).

Mickey Gilley

He started out playing early rock and roll and rockabilly, but was overshadowed by his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis (another rocking pianist). From the early days, Mickey performs Miss Froggy. Gail Collins is also credited on the record but I can’t hear her on this song.

♫ Mickey Gilley - Miss Froggy

Now for some serious music with the great trumpeter DIZZY GILLESPIE. Helping out on this track is the equally great sax player CHARLIE PARKER.

Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker

From a session they recorded in 1950 we have Leap Frog, quite a short tune. My goodness, they were good together.

♫ Dizzy Gillespie - Leap Frog

JEB STUART gives us a little bit of soul music.

Jeb Stuart

I think Jeb is channeling Land of 100 Dances and The Hippy Hippy Shake (and probably other songs) in this one: The Greasy Frog.

♫ Jeb Stuart - The Greasy Frog

PETER PAUL AND MARY seem to be indulging in a bit of bestiality, or perhaps that should be zoophilia. Or amphibiphilia (I just coined that word).

Peter Paul & Mary

This is not one of their most important songs, unless you’re a frog that is. I'm In Love with a Big Blue Frog.

♫ Peter Paul & Mary - I'm In Love With A Big Blue Frog

THE PIGRAM BROTHERS are a seven-piece indigenous band from Broome in northern Western Australia.

Pigram Brothers

Besides playing their own music, various combinations of siblings have also written soundtracks and appeared in films and TV programs. They perform Bullfrog Hole, about places around where they live, with mentions of many animals and birds there.

♫ Pigram Brothers - Bullfrog Hole

Here’s some more jazz, but a style from an earlier period than Diz and Bird. The players are THE FAT BABIES.

Fat Babies

They’re a group from Chicago who like to interpret the styles of the twenties and thirties. Their contribution is Froggie Moore.

♫ The Fat Babies - Froggie Moore

THE DOORS always claimed that they were just a blues band.

The Doors

No one believed them, of course, but they did record one album that demonstrated this aspect of them – "Morrison Hotel". From that album we have Peace Frog. Of course Jim couldn't help himself and put in various Jim-isms.

♫ The Doors - Peace Frog

There are many versions of the song Bullfrog Blues, and it was my job to choose one. Actually, there was no work involved at all, as I was always going to choose DAVID BROMBERG.

David Bromberg

David is a supreme guitar player, but this song doesn't really extend his fingers much although he does play some delightful licks.

I ended the column with this one as it is by far the longest song I've ever used – more than 16 minutes, so if it doesn't float your boat you can go and get a cup of tea and you won't have missed any of the others.

Alternatively, get your cup of tea, put your feet up and go with the flow.

♫ David Bromberg - Bullfrog Blues

ELDER MUSIC: Nina Simone

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.

* * *

Nina Simone

NINA SIMONE was born Eunice Waymon and was a prodigy on the piano. She aspired to be a concert pianist and, with the help of supporters in her hometown, she enrolled at Juilliard.

She applied for a full scholarship to the well-regarded Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and, in spite of an extremely positive audition she was refused. This was almost certainly due to racial discrimination.

To make ends meet she changed her name and became a jazz pianist and singer. Over the years she’s also performed blues, folk, rock, gospel and pop music. There are few around who were her equal in any of those genres. Nina also became a leading figure in the civil rights movement. To the music…

The jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley wrote Work Song, it’s probably his best known composition. Many have recorded it, including Nina, whose version is one of the best.

♫ Work Song

Nina Simone

Here is a nice gentle song to lull you into a false sense of serenity - you’ll be expecting the rest of the songs to be like this. You’ll be wrong. The song, Memphis in June, was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Paul Webster.

♫ Memphis In June

The Bee Gees wrote To Love Somebody with the hope that Otis Redding would record it. When he heard it, Otis was really enthusiastic and said he'd tackle it the next time he was recording. Alas, he was killed in a plane crash before he got around to it so we'll never know the result.

Nina makes it more up-tempo than the original, or the way I imagine that Otis would have performed it.

♫ To love somebody

Nina Simone

Nina has recorded quite a few of Bob Dylan's songs and each has been a fine version. This is no exception. Bob recorded it several times, the second one was a live version that was vicious and snarling that took no prisoners, recorded during his initial electric tour in 1966.

Nina's is a total contrast to that one – it's a rather gentle version: Just Like Tom Thumb Blues.

♫ Just like Tom Thumb Blues

Nina Simone

A contrast to the previous song is perhaps Nina's most famous song. Here she is at her angriest, justifiably so. This is one of the great anthems of the civil rights era. It may be appropriate once again. Mississippi Goddam.

♫ Mississippi Goddam

Mood Indigo was written by Duke Ellington and Barney Bicard for a radio broadcast. It was hugely popular. So much so, he had Irving Mills put words to it and it became an instant (and enduring) jazz standard.

♫ Mood Indigo

Nina wrote the song Four Women to highlight what society had done to African American women through the years. Quite a few people misinterpreted the song and it was banned here and there. It wasn’t the first song of Nina’s to suffer the same treatment. This is a tough song, but well worth a listen.

♫ Four Women

Nina Simone

Continuing with the angry theme, Pirate Jenny was written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht for "The Threepenny Opera". Judy Collins recorded a fine, if rather pretty, version of the song. Nina's version is much tougher. It’s from one of her concert albums.

♫ Pirate Jenny

Nina Simone

Oh boy, this next song is a cheery one. Not. Okay, there haven't been many of those today. It was written by Gilbert O'Sullivan and Nina naturally put her stamp on to it. She changed the gender of her parent, as well as most other aspects of the song, but it seems right. Alone Again Naturally.

♫ Alone Again Naturally

Nina Simone

The Other Woman was written by Ray Parker Jr, and was first recorded by him. I’m unfamiliar with Ray’s version but hearing what Nina does with the song it seems to me that only a woman should sing it. I could be wrong, of course. I’ll end gently with the song.

♫ The Other Woman

ELDER MUSIC: Drinking Songs 3

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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It's time to pull the cork on another bottle of wine, or if you're in Australia, time to unscrew the Stelvin cap. It comes as no surprise to me how many drinking songs there are - indeed, how many good ones.

As you can see from the title there have been two other columns previously and I'm far from exhausting this treasure trove of music. On with the motley.

FLANDERS AND SWANN were Michael Flanders and Donald Swann.

Flanders & Swann

Michael was an actor, singer and raconteur of the first order; Donald was a composer, pianist and songwriter and they formed a musical comedy team who where huge in the fifties and sixties. They were erudite, funny and entertaining. No one these days can match what they did. From one of their live albums we have Madeira M'Dear.

♫ Flanders & Swann - Madeira M'Dear

Within Australia, COLD CHISEL was far and away the most popular rock band ever. Internationally, AC-DC were a lot more successful.

Cold Chisel

It's the Chisels who have a song for us today called Cheap Wine, which was a successful single in Oz, from possibly their most successful album, "East".

♫ Cold Chisel - Cheap Wine

MATRACA BERG is best known, if she's known at all outside the world of music obsessives like me, as a songwriter.

Matraca Berg

However, she has several albums under her belt and what a fine singer she is. The song on the topic today is You and Tequila. Fellow obsessives, and others who are interested in good music, can find several terrific live versions on YouTube.

♫ Matraca Berg - You and Tequila

THE CHAMPS were an instrumental band who were big in the fifties.

The Champs

I'm sure that most of you will know their biggest hit, Tequila. Indeed I know that every one who has heard this tune can sing the lyrics.

♫ Champs - Tequila

There are quite a few versions of this next song. The one that I like best is by JERRY LEE LEWIS.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee laments that What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me).

♫ Jerry Lee Lewis - What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)

It's good to see that someone is advocating for moderation, at least to an extent. That person is JENNIFER SALISBURY with some help from JAMES MUSTAFA.

Jennifer Salisbury

Jen and James lead a big band, well, biggish: it's a seven piece. They call Melbourne home, and that's very sensible of them. They perform My Middle Name Is Moderation.

♫ Jennifer Salisbury - My Middle Name Is Moderation

It's probably no surprise that WILLIE NELSON is present today.

Willie Nelson

Willie, of course, has written songs about every topic under the sun and sung even more of those. He sings about Yesterday’s Wine. Some might object to that but I've found if it's really fine wine, it can be better the next day. I hope that's so for Willie.

♫ Willie Nelson - Yesterday's Wine

TRACY NELSON is not related to Willie, but they have performed together. Not today though.

Tracy Nelson

Tracy is a terrific blues singer and she can also hold her own performing country music as well. Today she's in blues mode when she asks What Good Can Drinking Do. Well, I can answer that but I won't.

♫ Tracy Nelson - What Good Can Drinking Do

It wouldn't be a true drinking column without GARY STEWART making an appearance.

Gary Stewart

Indeed I once thought of a whole column devoted to his drinking songs, but Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, said that that was just a bit too much Gazza. Especially one devoted to a single topic.

He was difficult to categorize which I think is a good thing: he was too rock & roll for country, too country for rock & roll, too honky tonk for both. He was the master of the lyin', cheatin', drinkin' song as will be demonstrated in She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles).

♫ Gary Stewart - She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)

Even this topic can have a moment of couth, and we'll end with it. LUDWIG BEETHOVEN was known to enjoy a drop. He also wrote music about that.


Ludwig set dozens, scores of songs from all over the British Isles to music. This is one from Ireland and I'm not going to make a joke of that considering the topic today.

The song he set to music is called Put Round the Bright Wine. The singer is DANIEL SCHREIBER.

Daniel Schreiber

♫ Beethoven - Put round the bright wine

ELDER MUSIC: Classical - Various 3

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 are some classical compositions selected seemingly at random, but more that they caught my fancy when I was writing this column (well, actually, collected along the way in anticipation of the column).

Scholars have unearthed many gems from the Baroque era in recent times and JAN ZELENKA is one such.

Jan Zelenka

He was a contemporary of J.S. Bach, and old J.S. held him in high esteem and invited him to stay at his home and play music together. Jan's style is very daring with inventive harmony and complex counterpoint. He really was a towering figure of his time, only recently being restored to his pedestal.

This is the second movement of the Trio Sonata for oboe, violin, bassoon & continuo No. 3 in B flat major, ZWV 181/3. This will get your toes a'tapping.

♫ Zelenka - Sonata No.3 in B-flat Major (2)

In complete contrast to Jan's tune, here is a lullaby by AMY BEACH.

Amy Beach

Amy was probably the first successful female composer, born in 1865. She was also a highly acclaimed concert pianist and wrote works for the instrument as well as symphonies, choral works and chamber music.

Her husband, 24 years her senior, disapproved of all this music nonsense and restricted her somewhat. She blossomed as a composer and performer after he died. Her lullaby is called Berceuse, Op. 40, No 2, and it's scored for piano and cello.

♫ Amy Beach - Berceuse Op. 40 #2

If you mention LUDWIG BEETHOVEN in connection with an instrument, most people would say piano.


That's not surprising as he wrote the best piano music in history. However, in his first paying gig playing music, he played both violin and viola. Contemporary reports tell us that he remained a superb violinist all his life.

It's that instrument that we ostensibly feature today: the first movement of his Violin Sonata No 3 in E flat major Op. 12.

Getting back to my initial statement, to my ears, this sounds like a piano sonata or some other piano piece with a bit of violin thrown in for good measure. That's not to denigrate it – the piano part is superb.

♫ Beethoven - Violin Sonata in E flat major Op. 12 No. 3 (1)

FREDERICK THE GREAT, or Frederick II of Prussia was a military leader of some renown, but he was also considered quite an enlightened ruler for his time (middle eighteenth century).

Frederick II

He had a real passion for music and collected the best composers and performers of the time to play with him. It seems that he was a skilled flute player and he also wrote music that was really quite good. Of course, who was going to tell him that it wasn't?

On the basis of his compositions, which are elegant, sophisticated and demonstrate considerable imagination, we have to assume he played as well as he wrote. Here is the first movement of his Flute Concerto in C major.

♫ Friedrich II - Flute Concerto in C major (1)

Whenever anyone mentions ERIK SATIE, the thing that first springs to mind is Gymnopedies, and the next is probably Gnossiennes.

Erik Satie

There's more to Erik but like the previously mentioned works, it's pretty much all to do with the piano. What we have today is called Je Te Veux, which has also been turned into a vocal piece as well, but here's the original played by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and it'll have you waltzing around the kitchen.

♫ Satie - Je Te Veux

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH wrote round about 220 cantatas.

JS Bach

These are some of the finest music in history and I like to listen to one every week or two, maybe more if I'm in the mood. The one for this week is called J'ai mis Mon Coeur et Mon Esprit, BWV 92, the first movement.

♫ Bach JS - Cantata BWV 92 mis Mon Coeur et Mon Esprit (1)

JUAN CRISÓSTOMO ARRIAGA was a child prodigy. Well, he had to be as, unfortunately for us, and even more unfortunately for him, he died at age 19 (probably from tuberculosis).

Juan Crisostomo Arriaga1

He was often called the Spanish Mozart. In his short life he managed to write an opera, a symphony, several string quartets, a number of works for the church, a nonet and quite a few other things. Here we have the first movement of his String Quartet No 2 A Major.

♫ Arriaga - String Quartet No 2 A Major (1)

Speaking of WOLFGANG MOZART, here is another violin sonata, with some similarities to Beethoven's.


It's the last one he wrote and the one respect in which it resembles Ludwig's is that the piano is dominant and the violin plays a lesser role. Indeed, Wolfie suggested that it be called a sonata for piano with violin. Anyway, its official title is Violin Sonata No. 36, F Major K. 547. This is the first movement.

♫ Mozart - Violin Sonata No. 36 F Major K. 547 (1)

CARL MARIA VON WEBER apparently was a brilliant pianist and his compositions for the instrument had a profound effect of Chopin, Liszt and Mendelssohn.

Carl Maria von Weber

His compositions for wind instruments, particularly the clarinet and French horn, were equally influential. He is loved by bassoon players as he wrote for that instrument too, something few others have done.

However, it's the clarinet we're interested in today, and in particular the third movement of his Clarinet Concerto No 1 in F minor, J 114 Op 73.

♫ Weber - Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor Op 73 J1140 (3)

ELDER MUSIC: Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News

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.

* * *

Ronni was the inspiration for this column. I hope she doesn't mind. (Ronni here: Of course, I don't mind.)

I'll start with the song that provided the column's name. The song isn't actually called that, it's part of the lyrics, but I'm sure that if asked, most people who know the song would refer to it that way. It's by ROBERT PALMER.

Robert Palmer

The official title is Bad Case of Loving You, but you can call it anything you want. I know I do.

♫ Robert Palmer - Bad Case Of Loving You

The two best albums THE BEATLES recorded were "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver". From the latter one we have Doctor Robert.


I always think of them as part 1 and 2 of the same album because I didn't buy them when they came out. It was later when I got them on CD at the same time, thus my conflating them that way. Here is that song.

♫ The Beatles - Doctor Robert

It seems only fair that we follow that one with the ROLLING STONES. Something from their best album "Beggars Banquet".

Rolling Stones

It's far from the best song on the album but it fits this column’s requirement. The song is Dear Doctor.

♫ Rolling Stones - Dear Doctor

Unlike everyone else today, RAY CHARLES doesn’t need any medical advice.

Ray Charles

Ray says that I Don't Need No Doctor. Well, I suppose he doesn’t anymore.

♫ Ray Charles - I Don't Need No Doctor

From very early in his career, indeed from his first album, JACKSON BROWNE gives us Doctor My Eyes.

Jackson Browne

This made the pointy end of the hit parade (something that seldom happened for Jackson) and besides that, it was covered by quite a few other artists, so it turned into a nice little earner for him.

♫ Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes

I thought of Doctor Jazz before I even started searching for songs. I remember back in the fifties’ and sixties’ trad jazz revival it was almost de rigueur to include it in every concert. I knew I had quite a few versions. When I spotted JELLY ROLL MORTON, I decided it had to be the one.

Jelly Roll Morton

His was the earliest version I have. It was written by King Oliver in 1926 and Jelly recorded it the same year. As far as I can tell this was the first recording of the tune.

♫ Jelly Roll Morton - Doctor Jazz

JOHN D. LOUDERMILK was mostly a songwriter, he wrote many hits for others in the fifties and sixties.

John D Loudermilk

He also liked to record some of his own songs, several of which did really well on the charts. One of those, in our category today, is Callin' Doctor Casey. Those who watched TV in the early sixties will know of whom he sings.

♫ John D. Loudermilk - Callin' Doctor Casey

I’m quite a fan of MILLIE JACKSON, so I was surprised to find I have only included her in a column once before. So, here she is again.

Millie Jackson

This is far from her best, but even ordinary Millie is well worth a listen. She’s calling for a Love Doctor.

♫ Millie Jackson - Love Doctor

Rather surprisingly, I was unfamiliar with the GUY CLARK song I selected. I thought I knew them all, but there it was on one of his albums ("Old Friends").

Guy Clark

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist didn't know it either but when I played it we both agreed that it should be included. Well, we pretty much think that anything Guy did was okay with us. The song is Doctor Good Doctor.

♫ Guy Clark - Doctor Good Doctor

Rather than, as with everyone else, going to the doc, MUDDY WATERS has decided that he’s one himself.

Muddy Waters

I don’t know if I’d want him to operate on me, but if he played and sang for me I’d be all for it. Here he is telling us that I'm Your Doctor.

♫ Muddy Waters - I'm Your Doctor

...and last and certainly least we have DAVID SEVILLE.

David Seville

This was the recording name of Ross Bagdasarian who was a noted songwriter. He was also responsible for the Alvin and the Chipmunks songs, films, TV programs and what not. Let's hope that Ronni doesn't visit the Witch Doctor.

♫ David Seville - Witch Doctor

ELDER MUSIC: The Everly Brothers

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.

* * *

Everly Brothers

THE EVERLY BROTHERS were unusual in the first blossoming of rock & roll. There were two of them for a start and they brought a country music sensibility to their music. Okay, Elvis and Buddy Holly did the same but it was more up-front with the Everlys.

They had Chet Atkins as producer on many of their records as well as playing lead guitar. With Don, the older brother, they had one of the best rhythm guitarists around as well as a great lead singer. With Phil they had the finest harmony singer in rock & roll.

Their influence was huge – The Beatles, The Hollies, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds and the Beach Boys (and many lesser musicians) have all acknowledged the debt they owe to the brothers.

There was the famous rift when, the story goes, they didn't speak to each other for ten years. Although he denies it, it's pretty certain that guitar whiz Albert Lee was instrumental in getting them back performing again.

Albert was their guitarist and musical director for the rest of their career (about a quarter of a century).

Everly Brothers

From the beginning both Don and Phil wrote songs but early on they also had Felice and Boudleaux Bryant writing them as well. Most of their early hits were written by them, including Take A Message To Mary.

♫ Take A Message To Mary

Everly Brothers

Skipping forward a little, the brothers changed record companies so they'd have greater control over their music.

Unfortunately, because of silly contractual arrangements they weren't allowed to record new Felice and Boudleaux songs. It means they wrote more themselves, including Cathy's Clown, one of Don's, and it was their biggest selling single.

♫ Cathy's Clown

Everly Brothers

One of my favorites from back then, although seldom mentioned whenever their top songs are discussed, is That's Old Fashioned. I think it was more to do with what I was doing at the time (final year of high school).

♫ That's Old Fashioned (That's the Way Love Should Be)

I originally had the song Why Worry penciled in at this spot. It was from their wonderful album "Born Yesterday", from the eighties, on which they performed as well as they did in their heyday.

I have since discovered this Youtube clip featuring Mark Knopfler, who wrote the song and originally performed it with Dire Straits, and Chet Atkins playing guitar. Mark has said that he wrote the song with the Everlys in Mind.

Everly Brothers

I'm a sucker for totally out there songs that make Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, look at me sideways and say, "Oh really?" I mention this as when I was a whippersnapper I bought a 45 of the Everlys' record Ebony Eyes. After a few plays I turned it over and discovered Walk Right Back on the flip side (well, it was really the A side).

♫ Walk Right Back

Everly Brothers

In 1972, not too long before their decade long split, they released a rather fine album called "Stories We Could Tell". This included songs by contemporary (at the time) songwriters like Kris Kristofferson, Rod Stewart, Jesse Winchester as well as some of their own.

From the album, here is the title track Stories We Could Tell, written by John Sebastian.

♫ Stories We Could Tell

Everly Brothers

On a whim, Carole King (who usually wrote songs with Gerry Goffin) and Howard Greenfield (usually with Jack Keller) decided to switch partners for a day (we're talking about writing partners, don't read anything into that).

The song they came up with is Crying in the Rain, which became yet another hit.

♫ Crying in the Rain

Everly Brothers

Wake Up Little Susie was a very early song, and the Everlys' first number one. It's another Felice and Boudleaux composition. For some reason, it was banned in some of the more "respectable" places in the world. Not here in Melbourne, fortunately.

♫ Wake Up Little Susie

Everly Brothers

Don wrote So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) that they took to the pointy end of the charts in 1960. This has been recorded by many performers over the years, most notably, from my point of view, Emmylou Harris.

♫ So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)

Everly Brothers

Arms of Mary was written by Iain Sutherland who performed the song with his group The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver (who were really two groups shoehorned together).

The Everlys recorded it on one of the come-back albums ("Born Yesterday") and did an even better version than the original, itself pretty good.

♫ Arms Of Mary

Phil died in 2014, but as of this writing, Don is still with us.

ELDER MUSIC: The Night They Invented Champagne

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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.

* * *


With a title like that, I'd have to start with that song. It's from the musical (and film in this case) of "Gigi". Throughout the tune you have the voices of LESLIE CARON, LOUIS JOURDAN and HERMIONE GINGOLD.

Leslie Caron etc.

However, the main singing voice, lip-synched by Leslie in the film, is BETTY WAND.

Betty Wand

The track is quite short. In the film it goes on for considerably longer but the second half of the song is instrumental with Leslie dancing around, pouring champagne for everyone, including herself. This would not be acceptable today as her character (Gigi) was quite young. That's okay with me; I was quite young when I first drank champagne.

♫ Gigi - The Night They Invented Champagne

EFFIE SMITH, like many of us, has a champagne mind with a soda water income.

Effie Smith

I know that's a problem for me. Effie's song had the backing of the vocal group The Squires, two of whose members went on to become the fifties rock & roll duo Don and Dewey, who weren't very successful, but the songs they wrote were huge hits for others. Effie's song, as you can possibly guess, is Champagne Mind.

♫ Effie Smith - Champagne Mind

Like Effie, ERIC BIBB has champagne habits on a beer salary. The same thought, different beverage.

Eric Bibb

If Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, has a say in it, Eric would be in pretty much every column where it was appropriate. It's a good thing it's appropriate today. He performs Champagne Habits.

♫ Eric Bibb - Champagne Habits

If I have any say in it, and of course I do as I write these things, OTIS REDDING would appear quite often.

Otis Redding

He's here today with Champagne and Wine.

♫ Otis Redding - Champagne And Wine

I suppose if you're only going to eat French fries you might as well drink champagne with them. At least, that's what THE HOT SARDINES think. Hmm, there's certainly a food thing going on here.

Hot Sardines

The Sardines are pretty much the brainchild of Evan Palazzo and Elizabeth Bougerol. They got their start when they were asked to sing some French songs for a gig on Bastille Day. That turned out to be at the Lincoln Center in New York and they were an instant success.

They perform French Fries and Champagne from the album of the same name.

♫ The Hot Sardines - French Fries & Champagne

WILLIE NELSON is well known for imbibing other substances, but I'm sure he's quite happy to get into the bubbly.

Willie Nelson

That's pretty obvious from his lovely, gentle song Drinking Champagne.

♫ Willie Nelson - Drinking Champagne

JOHNNIE RAY was a bit of an oddity in the music of the early fifties.

Johnnie Ray

He was obviously a proto-rock and roller while still performing music that harked back to an earlier generation. The song today could fit into both categories (if you consider Doowop-style music rock and roll), but probably closer to earlier music. The song is The Lady Drinks Champagne.

♫ Johnnie Ray - The Lady Drinks Champagne

Although usually lumped into the country camp, JERRY JEFF WALKER, just like his friend Willie, covers a far wider spectrum of music than that.

Jerry Jeff Walker

His song today mentions pretty much everything a person could partake of, both legal and illegal. However, he suggests that it's nobody's business but mine (well, his actually). The song is Champagne Don't Hurt Me, Baby.

♫ Jerry Jeff Walker - Champagne Don't Hurt Me Baby

Champagne Charlie is an old music hall song that goes back a long way. I could have chosen any of the old performers, however, I've always liked the way LEON REDBONE sings the old songs.

Leon Redbone

He manages to be true to the original while not being too slavish about that, bringing a modern spirit to his performance.

♫ Leon Redbone - Champagne Charlie

All the previous songs celebrated champagne to one degree or another. However, ROSEMARY CLOONEY gets no kick from champagne.

Rosemary Clooney

Anyone who has listened to music sometime in the last hundred years or so will know where I'm going with the final song. I had a plethora of choices, just about everyone sang it well. It pretty much came down to how I felt about the backing musicians. Although there's a lot going on in this one, I rather liked it. Even the vibes didn't offend me too much. I Get A Kick Out Of You.

♫ Rosemary Clooney - I Get A Kick Out Of 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.

* * *

Way back when I was a whippersnapper, my dad bought a record player. Initially, we had no records but over the next few years we acquired some. Most of mine were because of birthday or Christmas presents (with a bit of gentle hinting on my part).

Anyway, we all managed to collect some records. Not too many as we couldn't afford a lot, but enough to keep us entertained. Also, we lived in a small country town, so there was only one place that sold records and they didn't have a big selection. Here are some of them.

I'll start with me as this is my column. In the fifties, I think I liked BUDDY HOLLY more than any other performer at the time.

Buddy Holly

The record company powers that be brought out the album "The Buddy Holly Story" very shortly after Buddy died. For once, they chose the songs well; every track on it was a classic so it was difficult for me to choose one of them.

I've decided to go with one that's perhaps not as well known as the others (unless you're a Buddy fan, of course). Early in the Morning.

♫ Buddy Holly - Early In The Morning

An LP we had was MARIO LANZA with the soundtrack for "The Student Prince".

Mario Lanza

I think this might have been mine, but it's a bit hard to remember. Mario didn't appear in the film due to a dispute of some sort but his voice did courtesy of lip-synching by Edmund Purdom. One of those songs is Serenade.

♫ Mario Lanza - Serenade

Another soundtrack LP was for "My Fair Lady". This was the Broadway cast recording, not the one from the film (that was quite a bit later than the time this column covers). Thus we had JULIE ANDREWS, not Marni Nixon.

Julie Andrews

There are many well known songs from the musical that were a hit at the time and are still played today. Rather than one of those, I'm going with one from when Eliza was somewhat cheesed off about the men in her life and how they liked to rabbit on at great length (just as I'm doing now). She sings Show Me.

♫ Julie Andrews - Show Me

Dad was a big fan of BING CROSBY, so there were several of his albums from which to choose.

Bing Crosby

For me to choose one of Bing it was almost a case of putting all the names of the songs in a hat and drawing one out. I didn't do that but it was almost the same. In the end I chose one of his most popular early songs, Please


♫ Bing Crosby - Please

I have a confession to make, a guilty secret: I quite liked PAUL ANKA when I was a teenager.

Paul Anka

Okay, he was a songwriter of considerable skill – he wrote Buddy Holly's biggest (posthumous) hit. He also co-wrote one of Frank Sinatra's biggest songs, so he has something going for him. However, I'm talking about when he was teenage idol, and writing and singing songs in that vein.

The album I had of his was the first of many of his called "Greatest Hits". From that one we have Put Your Head on My Shoulder.

♫ Paul Anka - Put Your Head on My Shoulder

Yet another musical - they were big back then and I guess some members of the family liked them. This time it's "West Side Story". One of the most famous songs from the musical is Tonight.

It was apparently sung by Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer in the film, but they were only acting. The real singers were MARNI NIXON and JIMMY BRYANT.

Marni Nixon

That's Marni, but the only pics I could find of Jimmy were for a guitarist with the same name. Anyway, it seems that Natalie was somewhat miffed when they didn't use her singing voice, but Richard was fine with it, going out of his way to mention and complement Jimmy at all opportunities in interviews.

♫ Marni Nixon & Jimmy Bryant - Tonight

I'm certainly not alone when I say that I had a bit of a thing for BUDDY HOLLY. I mentioned that above.

Buddy Holly

Besides "The Buddy Holly Story", I had volume 2 that was rushed out when it was discovered that the first one sold really well. The second one was mostly songs that Buddy was working on just before he died and had recorded with just an acoustic guitar. Naturally, a backing group was added for the record.

I now have the originals in my collection and prefer them that way, but that's not the way they appeared on the record I had back then. One of those songs is Peggy Sue Got Married.

♫ Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue Got Married

My sister was a big fan of JOHNNIE RAY. She had a couple of his EPs, and one or two singles.

Johnnie Ray

Besides being a proto-rock & roller, he also harked back to an earlier generation of music. On one of the EPs he showed that with Walkin' My Baby Back Home (which, I think, is the song for which she acquired it) but it also had the old standard All of Me.

♫ Johnnie Ray - All Of Me

Between my sister and me, we had quite a few singles, and several EPs of ELVIS.

Elvis Presley

One of those EPs, and I don't know who lays claim to it, is "Jailhouse Rock". This had the five songs from the film on it, so it was good value. One of those songs is (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care.

♫ Elvis - (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care

We were friendly with the family next door. Alas, they moved away (only a couple of years before we did the same thing).

About a year after their move, the father made a return visit (he was with the Lands Department, a government body, that meant he moved around a bit for his job). He brought a gift for me, an EP of LITTLE RICHARD. He said his son (another Peter) really liked it.

Little Richard

This might be the best EP of all time as it contained Richard's four best known, and best, songs. One of those is Rip it Up.

♫ Little Richard - Rip It Up

Here is a late entry I've just remembered and the irony is giving me a smack around the chops. It's another EP and it certainly wasn't mine. It had four or five songs from the musical "Salad Days".

I have no idea who performed it as that EP has long flown the coop. I do have a version on my computer and I have no idea who performs on that one either. It sounds like the one we had, but I suppose it would. Anyway, as a final joke on me, We Said We'd Never Look Back.

♫ Salad Days - We Said We'd Never Look Back


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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Even in this age of Facebook and Twitter, there are still some secrets out there. Mostly by governments, although less so as time passes, but people like to keep them as well.

Those secrets really make the basis of many books, films, TV shows and the like. Fortunately, there are a lot of them in songs too. Here are some (from a very long list).

Back in the early sixties, LEROY VAN DYKE made a career of recycling the same theme. Perhaps not recycling, building on the previous song would be a better description.

Leroy Van Dyke

Not the same songs, they were different, but it seems that from his first big one, Walk on By, through If a Woman Answers (Hang Up the Phone), he was trying to tell us something.

He kept that going with How Long Must You Keep Me a Secret. I said the songs were different, but they were all distinctly Leroy.

♫ Leroy Van Dyke - How Long Must You Keep Me a Secret

Once upon a time ROSEMARY CLOONEY was the most famous Clooney in show biz.

Rosemary Clooney

Her nephew has sort of usurped that position, but she was the better singer. Actually, she's better than most. Here she lets us in on the Secret of Life.

♫ Rosemary Clooney - Secret Of Life

The song that inspired this column was by THE BEATLES.

The Beatles

Not too surprising, I'm sure they've inspired many columns (and other things) over the years. The song is from very early, indeed, their first album "Please Please Me". It is Do You Want To Know a Secret, not surprisingly, a Lennon/McCartney song (although they were still recording a few by other writers at that stage).

♫ The Beatles - Do You Want To Know A Secret

I bet you imagined that Doris Day was going to be present with one of her biggest hits. She certainly made the short list and then I discovered that someone else had recorded the song you were expecting.

Normally, I'd go with the original, but I was so taken with this one by FREDDY FENDER that I thought I must include it.

Freddy Fender

Some of you, probably most, will disagree, but it's interesting to get a different perspective on a song you know so well. Freddy doesn't call it Secret Love. For him it's Amor Secreto.

♫ Freddy Fender - Amor Secreto (Secret Love)

JIMMIE RODGERS always seemed to be on the charts when I was growing up. That's Jimmie the folk/pop singer, not the country/blues singer. They weren't related.

Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie's career continued until the end of the sixties when he had a car accident and an altercation with police, the mob or someone else. It's not entirely clear. As I write this Jimmie is still with us although he's suffered several health-related problems in recent years.

His song is Secretly, one of his big hits from the fifties.

♫ Jimmie Rodgers - Secretly

When I was searching for songs I found this one by ERIC ANDERSEN.

Eric Andersen

I thought: I really like Eric, that will probably be included. When I played it I thought, "Hang on, that's a Fred Neil song", and I'm a big fan of Fred's too. Then I thought longer and remembered that it was also an Elizabeth Cotton song, from considerably earlier. I was on the horns of a dilemma about which to include.

In the end I went for the first one I encountered. I've Got a Secret. It's also sometimes called Didn't We Shake Sugaree.

♫ Eric Andersen - I've Got A Secret

There's always room for PATSY CLINE in just about any column.

Patsy Cline

The song is interesting in that it's not like her country or pop songs. Rather, it seems to hark back a decade or two in its style. It's still really good though. How could it not be, it's Patsy. Too Many Secrets.

♫ Patsy Cline - Too Many Secrets

It seems that many of my favorite performers have secrets, and here's another, Z.Z. HILL.

ZZ Hill

Z.Z. was a fine soul singer who didn't get the recognition that others did, although he certainly deserved it. His song is I Don't Want Our Love To Be No Secret. Upon listening to it, Norma, the Assistant Musicologist suggested that "it was turning into Midnight Train to Georgia, which, of course, is no bad thing".

♫ Z.Z. Hill - I Don't Want Our Love To Be No Secret

WILLIE NELSON seems to be channelling his inner Brokeback Mountain with his song.

Willie Nelson

I'd forgotten about this one but when I listened to it I knew it had to be present. Willie suggests that Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other.

♫ Willie Nelson - Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other

When I saw the name GORDON MACRAE, I thought: ah good, he'll bring some quality singing, maybe something from a musical.

Gordon MacRae

Imagine my surprise when I listened to it. He sounded like any old pop singer from the fifties. I was ready to throw it out, but thought that perhaps you all are unfamiliar with this aspect of his career (as was I).

It wasn't all “Carousel” and “Oklahoma”. Gordon tells us The Secret.

♫ Gordon MacRae - The Secret