458 posts categorized "Elder Music"

ELDER MUSIC: The Two Tims

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 a column pretty much guaranteed to depress you. At first glance there may not seem to be much that the two artists today have in common except for the same first name. However, they both started out as folkies and both had a serious interest in jazz that showed in their work and both were extremely influential musicians.

Another unfortunate aspect that links them is their use of hard drugs, which was the cause of death of both of them. The first Tim wrote beautiful melodic songs and the second, well, less so on that score, but they were really interesting if you listen with an open mind.

The first Tim is TIM HARDIN.

Tim Hardin

I'm sure many readers know about this Tim and his songs. Those of you who don't know his name almost certainly will know several of his songs. They have been covered by many people over the years. I'll give you an initial for instance: If I Were a Carpenter.

♫ Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter


I don't know if Tim wrote the next song as autobiographical. I suspect not as he mentioned that he was there "to steal her money". However, he mentioned that the lady's name was Susan Moore and Tim actually married Susan Morss.

Okay, not the same, but still...Lady Came From Baltimore.

♫ Tim Hardin - Lady Came From Baltimore


One of my all time favorite concert albums is "Tim Hardin 3" – Tim wasn't very creative in the naming of his records, his first two albums were called "1" and "2".

"3" was recorded at the Town Hall in New York with a crack jazz band backing him. From that session is Misty Roses.

♫ Tim Hardin - Misty Roses


Another song from that same live album. This one is called Lenny's Tune, and it's about Lenny Bruce. I don't want to psychoanalyze Tim, but the song really does reflect mostly on Lenny's drug problems.

♫ Tim Hardin - Lenny's Tune


Tim's final song would have been covered by even more people than the first one. It's really a very short song (as are most of his songs, but this one even more so). Maybe that's the reason people record it. Reason to Believe.

♫ Tim Hardin - Reason To Believe


Tim Hardin

Unlike the first Tim, the second one didn't really believe in brevity. There are few songwriters outside Dylan who wrote longer ones than he did.

I saw TIM BUCKLEY once, at Winterland in San Francisco in 1970, opening for the Mothers of Invention. Not to be out-weirded by that group, he spent most of his gig playing the bagpipes.

I thought that just a little bit strange, but maybe I was the only one in the audience who wasn't zonked out of his brain. It was an interesting evening.

Tim Buckley

After the first three or four albums, Tim seemed determine to alienate his fans. His experimental work got stranger and stranger and quite frankly wasn't very good.

However, before that he wrote and recorded some interesting songs which, like the other Tim, were covered by many others. One of those is Morning Glory, from the album "Goodbye and Hello" – his breakthrough album.

Well, as much of a breakthrough as Tim ever managed.

♫ Tim Buckley - Morning Glory


The consensus of those who like to speculate of these things is that his finest album is "Greetings From L.A." (I prefer the previously mentioned one). From that album comes the song, Make It Right.

♫ Tim Buckley - Make It Right


Going back to "Goodbye and Hello", here is I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain. Boy, does this one go on. And on and on. It's about Tim's relationship with his by then ex-wife and their son Jeff.

♫ Tim Buckley - I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain


For a complete change of pace, Tim channels his inner lounge singer. Well, as much of one as he was capable. Blue Melody is taken from the album "Blue Afternoon" most of which were songs Tim had meant to record on previous albums but hadn't got around to doing.

♫ Tim Buckley - Blue Melody


Finally, (you may hope) only one more song left. Another one from "Greetings From L.A." and another long song. Get on Top.

♫ Tim Buckley - Get on Top


Tim Buckley


ELDER MUSIC: Soul Men

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 surprised me that I haven't done a column completely dedicated to male soul singers, as I've already done one on the females - quite some time ago. Thus today I'm going to rectify that oversight.

Naturally, with today's title it's axiomatic that I begin with the soul men themselves, SAM AND DAVE.

Sam & Dave

That not only describes them, it's also the name of the song. Well, nearly, it's actually Soul Man.

♫ Sam & Dave - Soul Man


OTIS REDDING is guaranteed to be present today.

Otis Redding

There are scores of his songs that I'd be happy to include but I'll go with the first one he recorded. This was after some other performer's session had ended and there was still time on the clock and Otis pretty much said, "I have a song, could we do it?"

First take, cut, released and a classic was created. He was backed by the band in the studio, Booker T and the MGs. It was far from the last time they performed together. These Arms of Mine.

♫ Otis Redding - These Arms Of Mine


The next song is indelibly associated with Otis but others have performed it too. One of the best of those is ARTHUR CONLEY.

Arthur Conley

Arthur is best known for his song Sweet Soul Music where he name checks the best of the soul singers. Naturally, he left himself off the list, but perhaps he should have been included.

Let's see what he does with I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now), a song written by Otis and Jerry Butler.

♫ Arthur Conley - I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)


CLARENCE CARTER was born blind but he didn't let that set him back.

Clarence Carter

After achieving a degree in music, he began singing professionally with Calvin Scott as Clarence & Calvin later shortened to the C & C Boys (a bit unfortunate, that name).

He began a solo career when Calvin was seriously injured in a car accident. Clarence has recorded a bunch of songs and has had several that crossed over on to the pop charts, including Patches, Too Weak to Fight and the one we have today, Slip Away.

♫ Clarence Carter - Slip Away


Z.Z. HILL, like many soul singers, began his career in a gospel group, in his case The Spiritual Five.

Z. Z. Hill

Later he performed in clubs around Dallas until Otis Redding caught his act and encouraged him to record. Z.Z. went to Los Angeles and joined his brother, who fortuitously, was a record producer.

Z.Z. brought a more blues sound to his soul music, which is no bad thing. You can hear that, as well as some gospel, in Ain't Nothing You Can Do.

♫ ZZ Hill - Ain't Nothing You Can Do


I've stated before that James Brown learnt pretty much his entire act from DON COVAY.

Don Covay

He wasn't particularly grateful as he tried to shoot Don once (he missed).

I've always preferred Don as a performer, which might be the reason I keep mentioning that story. As well as singing, Don was a writer of songs, both for himself and others – Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and Solomon Burke are only a few who have covered his songs.

Here, he gets a bit of a surprise in his song I Was Checkin' Out She Was Checkin' In.

♫ Don Covay - I Was Checkin' Out She Was Checkin' In


The life of Overton Vertis Wright, generally known as O.V. WRIGHT rather parallels that of Z.Z. Hill.

O.V. Wright

In O.V.'s case, he was from Tennessee and the gospel groups he fronted were The Sunset Travelers and later The Harmony Echoes. He was in the latter group with James Carr, one of the all time finest soul singers.

O.V.'s first recorded song was That's How Strong My Love Is, later covered by Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Percy Sledge and many others. Today he sings He Made Woman For Man, that sounds rather gospelly to me.

♫ O.V. Wright - He Made Woman For Man


Okay, this next one isn't entirely a soul man – we have both genders here today. This song has always tickled me but I know others don't like it. You can make up your own mind.

In the eighties one of the more interesting soul singers was RICHARD FIELDS. He generally went by the nickname Dimples because he had (and I bet you can't guess) dimples.

Richard Dimples Fields

One of his most interesting albums from that time was called "Dimples" which I have on vinyl, but I haven't seen on CD (but it's probably out there somewhere).

From that record is a song I think is a real hoot called She's Got Papers on Me. Listening to it the first time, you think that it's just another conventional soul song until towards the end when we get a bit of a swerve to the left when BETTY WRIGHT joins the party.

Betty Wright

♫ Richard Dimples Fields - She's Got Papers On Me


JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY were James Purify and his cousin Robert Dickey. In later years Ben Moore took over as the second Bobby Purify.

James & Bobby Purify

Most of us are probably familiar with the song, Shake a Tail Feather, particularly the version by Ray Charles, even if just from the "Blues Brothers" film. He wasn't the first to record it though, that was The Five Du-Tones.

Some years later James and Bobby tackled the song and did a really good job of it. See what you think.

♫ James & Bobby Purify - Shake A Tail Feather


JOE SIMON may not be a household name but he's had dozens of hits that made both the pop and R & B charts over the years.

Joe Simon1

I won't even try to list those, or even the most significant ones. I'll just play the song I selected, Message from Maria.

♫ Joe Simon - Message from Maria


Here is a very late bonus track. I only learned about this band last Saturday as Norma, the Assistant Musicologist and I were driving to the South Melbourne Market.

This song came on the radio and we wondered who it was, it was so good. Several different people were suggested by us but we were wrong because it turned out to be someone we hadn't heard of. They are THE TESKEY BROTHERS.

Teskey Brothers

These are young folks from Warrandyte, an outer suburb of Melbourne, home of great wines, gorgeous scenery and now, terrific music in the form of Pain and Misery. It demonstrates that the young folks are still producing wonderful music.

♫ The Teskey Brothers - Pain and Misery



ELDER MUSIC: Singing Sisters

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 best harmony singing, with only rare exceptions, comes from siblings. There are many examples in the male singing world, but it holds just as well for females. This is the basis for today's column. Let the singing commence.

VIKA AND LINDA BULL are Australia's foremost female singing duo.

Vika & Linda

They have appeared on hundreds of records (besides their own) and been in quite a few bands. If you need some female backup singers or some lead singers, they are the go-to people. Here, from one of their own records, is Love is Mighty Close.

♫ Vika & Linda - Love is Mighty Close


The trio called the DINNING SISTERS were Lou, Jean and Ginger Dinning.

Dinning Sisters

Jean and Ginger were twins. There were nine kids in the family, all of whom sang really well. There was a young brother named Mark who was a bit of a pop star in the fifties for whom Jean wrote the song Teen Angel.

The trio was some record company's attempt to emulate the Andrews Sister but they were more restrained than their more famous rivals. They perform Better Not Roll Those Blue, Blue Eyes.

♫ The Dinning Sisters - Better Not Roll Those Blue Blue Eyes


THE ROCHES were Maggie, Terre and Suzzy Roche from New Jersey.

The Roches

Maggie and Terre performed as a duo for some years until Suzzy joined them and they became The Roches, as you will hear. Maggie wrote most of their songs with Terre contributing a few. Alas, Maggie died early this year. The group introduce themselves with their song We.

♫ The Roches - We


KATE AND ANNA MCGARRIGLE were not only performers, they wrote terrific songs as well.

Kate and Anna McGarrigle

There's also an older sister, Jane, who occasionally wrote songs and performed with them. Some of the songs that Kate and Anna wrote have been covered by the cream (as well as the milk) of singers.

It was difficult choosing just one song, but I finally decided on You Tell Me That I'm Falling Down.

♫ Kate & Anna McGarrigle - You Tell Me That I'm Falling Down


I could have continued the previous two a further generation. Loudon Wainwright III was once married to Kate McGarrigle and they have a daughter Martha (and a son Rufus). After their divorce, he married Suzzy Roche and they have a daughter Lucy. Martha and Lucy have played and recorded together. However, I thought their contribution was for another column.

Probably the most famous singing sisters were the ANDREWS SISTERS.

The Andrews Sisters

Readers of the column probably don't need to be told that they were LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews. Rather than use one of their famous (and thus too well known) songs, I thought I'd use one I didn't know until I discovered it on my database. Of course those who know them better than I do might be familiar with it. Alone Again.

♫ The Andrews Sisters - Alone Again


THE MCGUIRE SISTERS were sort of the Andrews Sisters of the fifties.

The McGuire Sisters

Christine, Dorothy and Phyllis McGuire had a bunch of hits in that decade until they stopped performing because of (apparently quite founded) rumors that Phyllis was seriously involved with the mobster Sam Giancana.

Anyway, getting back to music, their biggest hit was Sugartime, which might be considered an answer song to Jimmy Rodgers' song Honeycomb. It certainly references that song.

♫ The McGuire Sisters - Sugartime


Whew, this next one brings back memories but I'm not going into details. Here are the POINTER SISTERS.

The Pointer Sisters

The group started out as June and Bonnie Pointer. Later Anita joined them. Later still Ruth turned them into a quartet. The group that was most successful consisted of June, Ruth and Anita. Later, after June died, Ruth's daughter Issa joined the clan.

These days Ruth's grand-daughter Sadako is in the mix. Okay, from the most famous of the various combinations is their most famous song, Slow Hand.

♫ The Pointer Sisters - Slow Hand


The KIM SISTERS were born in South Korea but made their name in America in the fifties and sixties.

The Kim Sisters

They were Sook-ja and her sister Ai-ja Kim and their cousin Minja Kim. Their parents encouraged them to learn instruments and each played several. American soldiers stationed in Korea were impressed with them and would encourage them by giving them records so they could learn the latest songs.

After arriving in America they were featured on many TV shows, most notably on Ed Sullivan's and Dean Martin's programs. They sing Going Back Together.

♫ The Kim Sisters - Going Back Together


The PARIS SISTERS started out in San Francisco and are best known for recording with Phil Spector.

The Paris Sisters

They were Albeth, Sherrell and Priscilla Paris. Priscilla, the youngest, was the lead singer in the group. They had one song that made the top five and several more that tickled the charts a bit lower down. Their big one was I Love How You Love Me.

♫ The Paris Sisters - I Love How You Love Me


Martha, Connee and Vet, known to us as THE BOSWELL SISTERS were all classically trained on piano, cello and violin.

The Boswell Sisters

However, by that stage they were living in New Orleans and the jazz scene there won them over. It also meant they got to experience the best musicians of that style which influenced them considerably.

Although not the first, they were one of the earliest to record the now evergreen song, I'm Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter. They also sing verses that generally aren't heard these days.

♫ The Boswell Sisters - I'm Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter



ELDER MUSIC: Dogs

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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We had Cats last week, so of course we have to have dogs,

Scragger

That's Scragger (or Sid, depending on who you ask), mascot for the Footscray (aka Western Bulldogs) Football Club. They won the flag for the first time in a hell of a long time (Yaaaaay, Whoopee!).

Australians from the real football states will know what I'm talking about (and where my allegiances lie). Americans can glean a little understanding from the analogy of the Chicago Cubs winning the pennant. Those who aren't interested in sport (Hi Ronni) can just ignore this bit.

One of Elvis's early big hits was Hound Dog, but his wasn't the first recording of the song. That honor went to Willie May Thornton, better known as BIG MAMA THORNTON.

Big Mama Thornton

The song was written by the prolific, and excellent, songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was only the second or third of their songs that made the charts.

♫ Mama Thornton - Hound Dog


BOB DYLAN recorded a couple of rather quirky albums in 1970.

Bob Dylan

There was the poorly regarded (by critics, but I liked it) "Self Portrait". This was quickly followed by the much better received "New Morning". For some reason this one has somewhat fallen out of favor over the years. I don't know why, I think it's terrific (and it's Norma, the Assistant Musicologist's favorite of Bob's).

From that one comes the very un-Bob-like If Dogs Run Free.

♫ Bob Dylan - If Dogs Run Free


As with Big Mama, RUFUS THOMAS had a bit of a hit only to see someone else, in this case The Rolling Stones, take it to the top of the charts.

Rufus Thomas

Rufus was a disk jockey, singer, songwriter and many more things besides. He wrote Walking the Dog and of course, was the first to record it.

♫ Rufus Thomas - Walking the Dog


Although not their first hit, Bird Dog was very early in the EVERLY BROTHERS' canon.

Everly Brothers

At the time, pretty much everything they released made the charts, often going to the top. This is no exception. I had no idea at the time what a Bird Dog was (apart from one that retrieves birds). I've just googled the term and found that it's American slang that didn't reach Oz at the time (or since).

♫ Everly Brothers - Bird Dog


RONNIE SELF performed one of the greatest of early rock & roll songs with Bop-A-Lena.

Ronnie Self

From the same session that gave us that song we have his dog song. This isn't as frantic (as they used to say back then) as the other song, but it fits the bill today. Ain't I'm a Dog.

♫ Ronnie Self - Ain't I'm a Dog


This is a variation on the Sherlock Holmes' story about the dog that didn't bark in the night. We have a song by HOWARD TATE, rather than a story.

Howard Tate

It's the same principle, of course and Howard wonders: How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark. I could suggest that it's a very well behaved bulldog, but I think Howard thinks otherwise.

♫ Howard Tate - How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark


JESSE WINCHESTER's first album was a masterpiece.

Jesse Winchester

Most of his other albums weren't far behind either. All I can say is go out and check them all, particularly that first one. From that we have Black Dog.

♫ Jesse Winchester - Black Dog


NOEL COWARD is here to perform his best known song.

Noel Coward

Noel claimed that he wrote the song without the aid of pen, pencil, paper or piano while he was driving between Hanoi and Saigon. Actually, he was passenging, not driving, and he'd sing it to his driver so he wouldn't forget it before he could write it down.

The song is, and I know you're ahead of me, Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

♫ Noel Coward with Ray Noble & His Orchestra - Mad Dogs and Englishmen


The previous song was the inspiration for The Mad Dogs And Englishmen Review, a rock package and tour overseen by LEON RUSSELL and headlining Joe Cocker back in 1970.

Leon Russell

Leon's contribution is a song about that tour. It's called The Ballad Of Mad Dogs And Englishmen. From all reports, mad dogs and Englishmen was an apt description of what transpired.

♫ Leon Russell - The Ballad Of Mad Dogs And Englishmen


PAUL SIMON manages to come up with the most enigmatic song title today.

Paul Simon

That's not too unusual; he rather liked doing that sort of thing, particularly early in his career. He also liked to parade his erudition but I won't fault him for that as I've been known to get a bit up myself in these columns.

Anyway, here is Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War.

♫ Paul Simon - Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War



ELDER MUSIC: Cats

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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Cat

Continuing with the animal series of columns, today it's the turn of the engine that powers the internet – cats. Sorry, there are no cute cat videos today, just songs about them. Actually, checking what we have, there aren't many about the actual animal. Oh well.

I'll start with BOB CROSBY, brother of Bing (he probably got that all his life).

Bob Crosby

Bob was a band leader of a group known as The Bob Cats (ha ha, a little play on words there, Bob). I mention that because his song is all about it - March of the Bob Cats.

♫ Bob Crosby - March Of The Bob Cats


The LOVIN' SPOONFUL's song Nashville Cats is about the studio musicians in that city.

Lovin' Spoonful

The story is that the Spoonful were headlining a concert there and afterwards went to a bar where there was a pick-up band of those musicians. John Sebastian said they played music that the Spoonful could only dream about. However, he wrote a good song about it that became a hit for them.

♫ Lovin' Spoonful - Nashville Cats


If ever there was a cool cat among the British musicians of the sixties who made a splash on popular music, it would be GEORGIE FAME.

Georgie Fame

Georgie's music owed more to jazz than rock & roll and blues. He was especially influenced by Mose Allison, and it shows in his music. Georgie performs Cool Cat Blues.

♫ Georgie Fame - Cool Cat Blues


GENE VINCENT was a serious contender in the early days of rock & roll until he was badly injured in a car accident in London that killed fellow performer Eddie Cochrane.

Gene Vincent

He didn't ever fully recover from that and an earlier motorcycle accident. However, in his short career he wrote and performed many songs that defined rock & roll and are still sung to this day. One of those is Wild Cat.

♫ Gene Vincent - Wild Cat


MUDDY WATERS has featured in several of these animal columns, and today is no exception.

Muddy Waters

He brings some serious blues into what is otherwise a rather frivolous column. In the mid-seventies, Muddy's career seemed to be going nowhere. He left Chess records and Johnny Winter produced a new album (as well as playing on it) for a new record company.

The album, "Hard Again", was a critical and popular success and it revived Muddy's career. From that album comes Crosseyed Cat.

♫ Muddy Waters - Crosseyed Cat


Like Gene Vincent, CARL PERKINS was another early serious contender whose career sputtered out due to a serious car accident. In Carl's case it was while he and his band were headed for New York.

Carl Perkins

However, Carl went on to have quite a successful career as a country musician. From his early days when he was recording at Sun Records next to Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and others, Carl suggests that you Put Your Cat Clothes On.

♫ Carl Perkins - Put Your Cat Clothes On


TOM JONES started out as a soul/R & B/blues singer and then morphed into a middle of the road, Las Vegas type performer.

Tom Jones

In recent times, he seems to have discovered his roots again and is making really interesting music. However, that's neither here nor there as he gives us one of his early hits, written by Burt Bacharach, What's New Pussycat.

♫ Tom Jones - What's New Pussycat


We hope that the ROLLING STONES only sang about under age groupies.

Rolling Stones

Musicians and writers often write about what they know but I won't delve further into that sordid business. I'll just play Stray Cat Blues, from their finest album "Beggars Banquet".

♫ Rolling Stones - Stray Cat Blues


If ever there was a swinging cat it was LOUIS JORDAN.

Louis Jordan

Louis started as a bandleader in the big band era as well as a songwriter and musical arranger. He then led small rhythm and blues combos which were really rock & roll bands in everything but name. His song today is from the early period, 1939 to be exact, At The Swing Cats Ball.

♫ Louis Jordan - At The Swing Cats Ball


BENNY GOODMAN was involved with some short films, cartoons, made by Walt Disney during the war.

Benny Goodman

These were fragments of longer works that weren't completed as most of his staff were drafted. They decided to release them (the films, not the staff) as a series of shorts, and set them to music.

This is one where Benny was featured, and along for the ride is PEGGY LEE.

Peggy Lee

All The Cats Join In is the name of the song and the feature.

♫ Benny Goodman - All The Cats Join In



ELDER MUSIC: 1945 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.

* * *

From my point of view 1945 is the most important year in the history of the universe because it's when I popped out and greeted the world. A few of you will agree with me, but I suspect most of you won't and that's okay. Well, let's see what people were listening to at the time.

Some of them were listening to CECIL GANT.

Cecil Gant

Cecil was in the army during the war and for some of the latter time he performed at war bonds rallies. It was around this time that he recorded the song I Wonder, which became quite a hit for him. Here it is, with him playing the piano as well.

♫ Cecil Gant - I Wonder


The backing for FRANK SINATRA is a bit overblown for my taste but I suppose that was par for the course back then.

Frank Sinatra

Perhaps not though, as we'll see with Bing down a bit. Anyway, this is one of Frank's famous songs, Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week).

♫ Frank Sinatra - Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)


LUCKY MILLINDER was an odd sort of a band leader – he couldn't read or write music, he didn't play an instrument or sing. However, he was a great showman and he could pick talent and many influential musicians began their careers thanks to him.

Lucky Millinder

One who started with him is WYNONIE HARRIS.

Wynonie Harris

It was with Lucky's band that Wynonie first performed the song Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well at the Apollo Theatre. However, due to the shortage of shellac, they didn't record the song until 1945. Here it is.

♫ Lucky Millinder (Wynonie Harris vocal) - Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well


Until I researched this year, I didn't know that BING CROSBY had recorded with LES PAUL. Just goes to show that I learn from these columns as well.

Bing Crosby & Les Paul

This was Les and His Trio, and it was a nice simple arrangement – just two guitars and bass backing Bing. Couldn’t do much better than that. The song is It's Been a Long, Long Time. Naturally, we have the wonderful guitar lead by Les.

♫ Bing Crosby - It's Been A Long Long Time


Although it was considerably later than 1945 (because I wouldn't remember), my sister used to sing this next song to me. She seemed to like these silly songs when she was a kid. Well, I think we all did. In this case the performer is SAMMY KAYE, not my sister.

Sammy Kaye

I believe that's NANCY NORMAN singing along with Billy Williams and the Kaye Choir (which I assume is Sammy's own).

Nancy Norman

If you thought songs in the fifties had silly lyrics (well, that's what the adults told us at the time), clap your ears around this one. Chickery Chick.

♫ Sammy Kaye - Chickery Chick


TONY PASTOR wasn't the biggest name in the Big Band era, at least not to me.

Tony Pastor

He started as a singer and saxophone player in various bands until one evening Artie Shaw walked away from his gig and Tony was roped in to cover for him. This lead to regular gigs in New York that included radio broadcasts.

What he and his orchestra perform is Bell Bottom Trousers with "vocal refrain" by Ruth McCullough and Tony himself.

♫ Tony Pastor (Ruth McCullough & Tony vocal) - Bell Bottom Trousers


DINAH SHORE was around for a long time in the entertaining business.

Dinah Shore

Way back, she auditioned for spots in Benny Goodman's band as well as Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. No one wanted her so she went out on her own and became a huge success as a solo singer; one of the first to do this.

Her personal life was really interesting but I won't go into that; it's freely available to anyone who's interested. This year her song is My Guy's Come Back.

♫ Dinah Shore - My Guy's Come Back


Around this time, jump blues was just starting to emerge from big band music. This was essentially music performed by a small group that led eventually to rock & roll. There were still elements of the big bands and jazz at this time. One of the best of the genre was LOUIS JORDAN.

Louis Jordan

Louis is a semi-regular inclusion in these columns and his song today (or this year, if you will) is Mop Mop.

♫ Louis Jordan - Mop Mop


Because of my age, the first time I heard the song Twilight Time was the great version by The Platters. They weren't the first to record it, however. It was originally an instrumental by THE THREE SUNS.

Three Suns

Buck Ram was a songwriter and manager of The Platters and he wrote the words for it. We're not interested in that today. The Suns were brothers Al and Morty Nevins and their cousin Artie Dunn. They recorded the tune again a couple of years later, but this is the way they first put it down.

♫ Three Suns - Twilight Time


Like Dinah, PEGGY LEE also had a long career in show biz.

Peggy Lee

Her career began when Benny Goodman's wife caught her act and got Benny to come along and listen. He hired her on the spot.

Besides being a fine jazz and pop singer, she also wrote many songs (and added verses to existing ones), as well as acting and supplying voiceovers for films. The song Waitin' for the Train to Come In isn't one she wrote; it's by Jule Styne And Sammy Cahn.

♫ Peggy Lee - Waiting For The Train To Come In



ELDER MUSIC: Life on the Road

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 a lot of good (and many not so good) songs about musicians' life on the road. Some say that this is sheer self indulgence but I disagree because I guess the songwriters write about what they know, which is what all writers are told to do.

After I collected the songs I realized that the baby boomers will love these songs. I know I do, but I'm technically not one of them (just a bit too old).

I'll start with the man who knows all about life on the road. WILLIE NELSON has written several songs on this topic.

Willie Nelson

You probably know the most famous of these but I'm not using that one. Instead, here's an earlier one, written when Willie wasn't so well known as a performer, but my goodness he was already a great songwriter.

This is Me and Paul, the Paul mentioned is Paul English, Willie's long-time drummer (and occasional bodyguard).

♫ Willie Nelson - Me And Paul


I don't know if CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL had problems on the road, but they certainly had possibly the best song about such things.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

I know they had serious problems with their record company as they were screwed out of royalties for many years. That sort of thing was not uncommon in the early days of rock & roll, but a few nasty people continued it for far too long. Anyway, here is Lodi.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lodi


It's one thing to be on the road when you're the headliner. However, things aren't so good when you're just the opening act. The DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS tell us all about it.

Drive-By Truckers

They regale us with tales of sleazy bars and crowds who aren't interested in the music and such like. I'm pretty sure everyone today experienced that sort of thing when they were starting out. Today, the Truckers are The Opening Act.

♫ Drive-By Truckers - The Opening Act


I know of four excellent songs (all different) called On the Road Again. The best of those is by Tom Rush. Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan both have good ones but the one today, just for a bit of change of pace, is by CANNED HEAT.

Canned Heat

My goodness, we're into sixties' hippie mode with this one. Although not their first single, it was the first to make a dent in the charts, paving the way for their better known Going Up The Country. Here we are, On the Road Again.

♫ Canned Heat - On The Road Again


Several of the songs today are about performers who aren't very successful. GORDON LIGHTFOOT takes that another step further in his song.

Gordon Lightfoot

His performer decides to chuck it all in and give up the game. Perhaps because he's at Boulder Dam and it's 10 Degrees & Getting Colder. That'd dampen anyone's enthusiasm.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - 10 Degrees & Getting Colder


JACKSON BROWNE really went all out to provide us with the full on the road experience.

Jackson Browne & David Lindley

His album "Running on Empty" was all about that. Several of the songs were recorded on his tour bus between gigs and others were recorded live at various concerts, including this one.

It's really two songs: The Load Out and Stay. Featured is the fine guitar of DAVID LINDLEY as well as his stratospheric falsetto on Stay.

♫ Jackson Browne - The Load Out~Stay


Now we have Norma, the Assistant Musicologist's favorite steering wheel thumper. People who know about such things could probably guess that's it's by the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND.

Allman Brothers

They had a few songs that would fit that category but the champion in the A.M.'s estimation is Ramblin' Man, written and sung by their guitarist Dickey Betts.

♫ Allman Brothers - Ramblin' Man


On the evidence of his song, Paul Simon got jaded rather early in his career. This is one of the early hits for SIMON AND GARFUNKEL.

Simon & Garfield

Rather than touring, it seems that they would prefer to be Homeward Bound.

Simon & Garfield - Homeward Bound


If any band would know about life on the road it's the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Grateful Dead

Their song is not just about the normal life on the road but the perils of that existence as well. As with Willie's song that opened these proceedings, you have to be careful what you leave in your clothes (and elsewhere). They describe all that in Truckin'.

♫ Grateful Dead - Truckin'


JERRY JEFF WALKER sums up all that's gone before with his song, and he also supplies the title for the column.

Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff knows what he's talking about as he's been doing this for, well, forever. Okay, not literally, but he's been on the road since the sixties (or maybe earlier). He tells us about Life on the Road.

♫ Jerry Jeff Walker - Life on the Road



Happy Birthday, Ronni

Cake20

This is Peter, the Sunday person. I've been selected as the DJ for the party today, which was probably a mistake.I think I was chosen as I'm really cheap, actually I'm free.

Everyone knows you get what you pay for and I've checked my records, a bunch of old 45s and maybe a tattered album or two in boxes from down behind the sofa, and that's what it'll be today.

Some might say that I'm only doing this so I don't have to go out and buy a card (some could be right), then think of something to write in it. Then try to find a stamp or try to find a post office (or both).

Then wait for about six months for it to arrive, thus ensuring a quizzical look when it pops up in the letter box some time around September. So, let's get this pretend birthday card under way.

Delving deep into that box of 45s, quite at random, I came up with a birthday song. What are the odds? Okay, I could bore you with that as I used to be a mathematician but I'll spare the details.

Let's just say it was that hugely successful artist BROOKS ARTHUR.

Brooks Arthur

Okay, that might have been a bit of an exaggeration. I've never heard of him and I don't know why he's in my box but he does sing The Birthday Card, rather appropriate giving all my ramblings above.

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, would probably say this is a country music song as it has talkie bits in it. Who knows?

♫ Brooks Arthur - The Birthday Card


Continuing the way we started, next up on the old turntable is DALE & GRACE.

Dale & Grace

It sounds as if Grace might have gate-crashed Dale's party, probably after the cad dumped her. Although, listening to the words, it could have been the other way round. Who knows? Anyway, Happy Happy Birthday Baby.

♫ Dale & Grace - Happy Happy Birthday Baby


Gee, it's been a whole year for DIANE RENAY and she's still not over him.

Diane Renay

He dropped her on her birthday. Dear oh dear. I hope you're not as downcast as Diane seems to be. Happy Birthday, Broken Heart.

♫ Diane Renay - Happy Birthday Broken Heart


Well, the COOKIES seem to know what they want as a present.

Cookies

I hope someone can oblige them. I Want A Boy For My Birthday is what they are telling everyone who might want to give them a present. I hope they get their wish – Diane's ex seems to be free, and so does Dale.

♫ The Cookies - I Want A Boy For My Birthday


JOHNNIE RAY asks When's Your Birthday Baby?

Johnnie Ray

Well duh, of course we know when it is. It's just that Johnnie seems to be a bit in the dark about it all.

♫ Johnnie Ray - When's Your Birthday Baby


Well, that's got the rubbish out of the way (except for Johnnie Ray, of course), now for some decent stuff, starting with DON MCLEAN.

Don McLean

Don's song wasn't one I knew until I raided the box of records behind the sofa. He called it Birthday Song.

♫ Don McLean - Birthday Song


I hope you don't have the birthday blues today, but B.B. KING seems to.

BB King

That's okay, when B.B. has the blues he makes the rest of us happy. Let's get up and start dancing around to Happy Birthday Blues.

♫ B.B. King - Happy Birthday Blues


JERRY LEE LEWIS seems to be channelling the spirit of Chuck Berry, in particular his song, My Ding a Ling.

Jerry Lee Lewis

It's not surprising, they often appeared together in the early days, each vying for the coveted final spot. Today, Jerry Lee urges us to Keep Your Hands Off It (Birthday Cake).

♫ Jerry Lee Lewis - Keep Your Hands Off It (Birthday Cake)


I'll end with a bit of couth from GEORG HANDEL.

Handel

Old Georg has a birthday ditty called Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74, and the two performers out in front of everyone else are WYNTON MARSALIS and KATHLEEN BATTLE.

Wynton Marsalis & Kathleen Battle

♫ Handel - Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV 74


Anyway, happy birthday, Ronni.

We'll raise our glasses to you (the ones with Champagne in them, not the ones I look through).

Champs


ELDER MUSIC: Where's Phil Ochs When We Need Him?

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.

* * *

Back in the day, if there was a protest in the offing, you could guarantee that Phil Ochs would be there. Even in Chicago, at the Democratic Party convention when the police riot exploded and all the performers chickened out, Phil was there (as were the MC5).

Today, thanks to you-know-who, there's an upsurge in protest music. It's not just the usual suspects either - there are many young performers getting involved. Alas, I'm not really familiar with these new voices so I'll write a column about the ones I remember.

Naturally, I'll start with PHIL OCHS.

Phil Ochs

He was renowned for his in your face protest songs but he wrote others as well. However, just about everything Phil wrote was a protest song but no one outside a small circle of friends realized that.

Sorry to disappoint you, it's not that song either. It's The Party. You might scratch your heads over its inclusion. I don't mind.

♫ Phil Ochs - The Party


MALVINA REYNOLDS would be best known for writing Pete Seeger's biggest hit, Little Boxes.

Malvina Reynolds

Back then, and again these days, the powers that be say that they recognise the right to protest (they're probably just saying that for the cameras) but why not do it so it doesn't inconvenience anyone.

Malvina saw through that gambit and sang about it in her song It Isn't Nice.

♫ Malvina Reynolds - It Isn't Nice


TOM PAXTON was one of the earliest to write about ecological concerns.

Tom Paxton

Of course, Tom was the first to write about just about everything. In fact, he's really the first of the modern singer/songwriters. He was doing that even before Bob got out his trusty typewriter. Tom asks Whose Garden Was This?

♫ Tom Paxton - Whose Garden Was This


I was nearly overwhelmed with choices for JOAN BAEZ.

Joan Baez

I spent most of a morning playing her songs, trying to decide which one to include. I whittled it down to half a dozen, most of which you'd know. However, I finally chose one you may not be familiar with, from out of left field.

I decided on it as it's singularly appropriate for these times. The Trouble with the Truth is that there's not enough of it around these days.

♫ Joan Baez - Trouble with the Truth


Unless you're really familiar with his oeuvre, you probably weren't expecting SAM COOKE today.

Sam Cooke

We all hope fervently that Sam is correct when he sings A Change Is Gonna Come. Well, we hope it's a good change, not the ones that are already taking place.

♫ Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come


As with a couple of songs today, I wondered if the next one really fits the bill. I decided that it did so I've left it in. It's not as if JUDY COLLINS didn't have many songs that would fit today, but this is the one I've chosen.

Judy Collins

The song is The Coming of the Roads, another subtle protest song.

♫ Judy Collins - The Coming of the Roads


Norma, the Assistant Musicologist said, "I suppose you have to include Bob." I suppose she's right, here's BOB DYLAN.

Bob Dylan

You're probably not expecting this one. I played all the obvious songs and rejected them as I didn't think they fit the mood of the column - just a bit strident. So, after doing all that, but not checking all my Bob tracks (that'd take months), I settled on Percy's Song, a more personal protest song than the others.

♫ Bob Dylan - Percy's Song


A long time before any of the other songs today had popped into the mind of the various musicians, BILLIE HOLIDAY had recorded a song that set the tone for the next 60 or 70 years.

Billie Holiday

You all know that I'm talking about Strange Fruit. This is not just here for historical purposes. Rebecca Ferguson was asked to sing at the inauguration and she said she'd do so if she could sing this song. It probably won't come as a shock to you that she was refused.

In her place, however, they had Toby Keith performing a song about lynching what he considered to be ne'er-do-wells. Really! You can't make this stuff up. Well, you can, but it wouldn't be as outrageous as reality.

♫ Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit


I'm about to be inconsistent. I was talking about the mood of the column up there in Bob's contribution and this certainly is at odds with that, but I thought it really had to be present. CROSBY STILLS NASH & YOUNG.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

It's included not just because it's a great protest song, written in a blaze of white hot fury by Neil Young and then recorded and released in a couple of days when the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four students at Kent State University in 1970.

It's also present because Ohio Republican official Dan Adamini said in a tweet: "I'm thinking another Kent State might be the only solution protest after only one death. They do it because they know there are no consequences yet."

I won't even comment on that, not even about the mangled syntax.

Even Trump himself weighed in during the election saying how he liked the old days because protesters would be carried away on a stretcher (I'm paraphrasing a little, but that's the gist of it).

Ohio.

♫ Crosby Stills Nash & Young - Ohio


It's essential that we have another song from PHIL OCHS.

Phil Ochs

The A.M. said that this was her favorite of Phil's (her second was the one we started with). Certain people, especially the buffoon in the White House, should take heed of this one (yeah, as if that's going to happen). There But For Fortune.

♫ Phil Ochs - There But for Fortune


It wouldn't be a protest column if we didn't have a singalong. To supply that we have HOLLY NEAR.

Holly Near

Besides the audience, Holly has some help from Ronnie Gilbert, Arlo Guthrie and (it goes without saying) Pete Seeger. This was recorded back in 1984, but it continues to be relevant. It might be the song for the next four years, Singing For Our Lives.

Holly Near (etc) - Singing For Our Lives



ELDER MUSIC: Send More Chuck Berry

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.

* * *

The spacecraft Voyager 1 and 2 have now left the solar system (or not, depending on how you define it, but we won't go into that) and both have a gold record attached that have sounds of the Earth, people speaking and so on.

There is also music – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Blind Willie Johnson, Louis Armstrong and more. CHUCK BERRY was on there as well.

It seems that at least one of these has been intercepted by aliens and a message they sent back has recently been decoded and it read, "Send more Chuck Berry". Alas, there is no more Chuck but there's plenty of his music in the vaults.

You all probably think you know Chuck's music: Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen, etc.

I'm not here to prove you wrong. After all, those songs and many like them were the template for rock & roll and the world of music would be the poorer without them. Today I hope to show there was more to Chuck than those famous songs.

Chuck

Chuck started out playing the blues and he got together with fellow blues-man Johnnie Johnson. Indeed, Chuck pretty much took over Johnnie 's group, who became his backup band for some years. Johnnie can be heard playing piano on Wee Wee Hours.

♫ Wee Wee Hours


Chuck

I'm not completely eschewing his famous songs; I've included two of them (a couple more if you're really familiar with Chuck's oeuvre). You Never Can Tell was always a bit of the odd one out when it came to his biggest hits. It's one I really like.

♫ You Never Can Tell


Decades early, Chuck seems to be anticipating dub and reggae as well as hip hop all in the one song. Cuban music too, given the title: Havana Moon.

♫ Havana Moon


Chuck

An interesting combination of classic blues style and DooWop with Chuck's lyrics pertaining to school days, young girls and the like. Make of this what you will, Childhood Sweetheart.

♫ Childhood Sweetheart


Chuck

Chuck as lounge singer, with some tasteful guitar playing it goes without saying (even though I've done just that). This was from a rehearsal for a record where someone left the tape rolling. It only surfaced when, as with many other artists, just about everything has seen the light of day. The song is I'm Through With Love.

♫ I'm Through With Love (Rehearsal 1986)


Chuck seems to have had an excessive interest in Brenda Lee in the song named after her. I'm not going to comment further.

♫ Brenda Lee


Now a rare cover song. Drifting Blues was written by Charles Brown, who Chuck, at least initially, sounded awfully like in his singing. Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, wouldn't think that's a bad thing as she's a huge fan of both performers. Here it is.

♫ Drifting Blues


Chuck

Too Much Monkey Business is one of his songs that's rarely covered, probably because it's such a tongue twister. You really have to be on your mettle to perform this one. Lots of the phrases from the song have been usurped for other purposes over the years.

♫ Too Much Monkey Business


Chuck regrets that he can't be understood in Spanish, at least according to this next song. Of course, all he had to do was plug in his guitar and start playing and he'd be understood immediately. I suppose that the guitar might get in the way of what he seemed to be trying to achieve. We'll never know. The song is Lajaunda (Espanol).

Lajaunda (Espanol)


Chuck

I'll end with one of his hits, one of the famous one. I just have to say "Hail, Hail Rock and Roll" and quite a lot of you will know that I'm talking about School Days.

♫ School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell)


Not quite the end. Chuck deserves an extra, one that pretty much defined him and all he stood for: Brown Eyed Handsome Man.

♫ Brown Eyed Handsome Man



ELDER MUSIC: More Hooked on Classics

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

* * *

The name was suggested by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, and has nothing to do with that dreadful bunch of records that came out some decades ago.

This is the second in the series; it's a sister to the columns called "Classical Gas" (another lot named by the A.M.). In this case, I feature more well-known composers, unlike the other ones which are devoted to lesser knowns.

Let's begin with one of the most important composers in history, JOSEPH HAYDN.

Haydn

Papa Jo is most noted for his symphonies, string quartets and other instrumental music - however, he wrote quite a lot of vocal music as well. Actually, he wrote quite a lot of every sort of music.

While he was in the employ of Esterhazy (father and son), he not only wrote and produced his own music, he also staged operas by other composers. One of those was Guiseppe Anfossi and his opera La Metilde Ritrovata. However, it needed something extra so Jo wrote the aria “Quando la Rosa non ha più Spine” for inclusion in it.

Here we have NURIA RIAL performing that aria.

Nuria Rial

♫ Haydn - Quando la rosa


CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS was best known for his symphonies, particularly the Organ Symphony as well as works like The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre and so on.

Saint-Saëns

These really don't float my boat. He wrote smaller works like string quartets, piano trios, violin sonatas and the like. One smaller piece I particularly like is his Romance for Horn and Piano, Op 36. This is for French horn and piano obviously.

♫ Saint-Saens - Romance for Horn and Piano Op 36


I was lying in bed the other morning listening to the radio (which is how I get inspiration for quite a few of these tracks) and they played a beautiful piece of music. That's obviously MOZART, I said to myself but I don't recognise it.

Mozart

Fortunately, they told me what it was and naturally I searched my music and there it was (several times). A version I have was even better than the one they played, not surprisingly it's by RENÉE FLEMING.

Renee Fleming

The aria is L'amerò, sarò costante from one of Wolfie's lesser known operas, “Il Rè Pastore” or The Shepherd King. K 208 for those who are interested in such things.

♫ Renée Fleming - Mozart Il re pastore K.208 - L'amerò sarò costante


Not too long after they played the previous piece of music, they featured this one. I could lie in bed and have my column organised for me I thought at the time. This one was by LUIGI BOCCHERINI.

Boccherini

Old Boccers is another favorite of mine and he had a string quartet augmented by another instrument, in this case a guitar. Actually, two instruments - there are some castanets towards the end of it. Not really needed, but I suppose they add color and movement.

This is the third movement of his Guitar Quintet No. 4. It has the name Fandango (thus the castanets, I suppose).

♫ Boccherini - Guitar Quintet No. 4 (3)


CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH was the second son of the great J.S. Bach to go into the family trade.

Bach-CPE

He was hugely successful in his time and his music is still played today, probably more so than his brothers'.

I want to play for you what is called a Symphony for Strings. It's an interesting amalgam of baroque (although it's gone somewhat beyond baroque) and classical (it isn't quite a fully fledged classical piece). It's as if Vivaldi and Haydn sat down and wrote it together, although that would be unlikely as Haydn was only nine years old when Vivaldi died.

Anyway, here is the first movement of his Symphony No 2 in B flat major.

♫ CPE Bach - Symphony no 2 in B flat major (1)


I think that VINCENZO BELLINI ranks just behind Puccini and Mozart as an opera composer.

Bellini

Vince is not only a favorite of the public; other composers admired him as well. Verdi raved about his compositions and Wagner, who pretty much didn't like anyone but himself, said he was spellbound by his works. Liszt and Chopin were both fans.

Quite a few of his operas are regularly performed today. However, what I've selected is far from his most famous and is not often performed. It's the opera "Adelson e Salvini" and the aria is Dopo l'oscuro nembo sung by LENA BELKINA.

Lena Belkina

♫ Bellini - Adelson e Salvini Dopo l'oscuro nembo


PYOTR TCHAIKOVSKY sure could write a good tune.

Tchaikovsky

Actually, he wrote a whole bunch of good tunes, many of which have become the most popular works in classical music (and some of the best – I'm thinking of his fifth symphony)

Besides writing ballets, symphonies and concertos he also wrote operas, the best known of which is "Eugene Onegin". From act two of that opera is the Waltz, often performed as a stand-alone orchestral piece, as it is today. This is a real earworm. Sorry.

♫ Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin - Waltz


It's difficult to say what is BEETHOVEN's most famous composition, more than a dozen could fit the bill.

Beethoven

The one I've selected today certainly makes the short list. I had not thought about it for a long time until I was reminded of it by my sister, and that was enough for me to include it today.

It's a solo piano work, officially called Bagatelle No 25 in A Minor, and it was probably written for Therese Malfatti, a student of Ludwig whom he wished to marry. She turned him down.

Over the years, Ludwig's original title of Für Therese got lost along the way and these days it's known as Für Elise. The pianist is Gerard Willems.

♫ Beethoven - Für Elise (Bagatelle in A minor) WoO 59


GUSTAV MAHLER wrote nine and a half symphonies – that half, the tenth was incomplete when he died.

Mahler

These are quite long and are considered, by those who dwell on such things, to be important. "Important" is always in implied capital letters. All except number 4, which is shorter and considered of lesser note  That one's my favorite of his.

Like Beethoven's Ninth, it has a vocal final movement, in this case a single soprano, not a choir. One of the versions I have has KIRI TE KANAWA performing that role.

Kiri Te Kanawa

So, here is the fourth movement of Symphony No 4.

♫ Mahler - Symphony No 4 (4)



ELDER MUSIC: Put a Tiger in your Tank

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.

* * *

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake, of course, something we learnt at school, and wondered about rhyming eye with symmetry at the time. Still do.

Tiger

The column on Lions seemed to be pretty popular so naturally when you're on a good thing = thus, tigers today.

I thought of other big cats but there weren't enough songs for any but tigers. In my opinion, the lions' songs were more interesting than these but they're not too bad. I'm sure you'll find something to tickle your fancy.

LEE HAZLEWOOD wrote many, many songs that others have covered but he also recorded quite a few, both on his own and with Nancy Sinatra.

Lee Hazlewood

Lee's on his own today; he wants A House Safe from Tigers. I know that will fit the bill as a song but I wonder where Lee lives if that's what he requires. Actually, I believe there are more tigers in Texas than in all of India so maybe that's what he had in mind.

♫ Lee Hazlewood - A House Safe from Tigers


I haven't featured much DJANGO REINHARDT, a grievous oversight.

Django Reinhardt

I'll make partial amends today because he has a tiger tune. Django, of course, was one of the most influential guitarists in history. He usually played with violinist Stéphane Grappelli, as he does on Django's Tiger.

♫ Django Reinhardt - Django's Tiger


RICHARD CLAPTON (no relation to another musician with the same surname) is an Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Richard Clapton

He had a couple of hits in the seventies and quite a few albums that did well. He's still out there performing and recording. Goodbye Tiger is one of the songs from back then that did okay for him.

♫ Richard Clapton - Goodbye Tiger


Also in Oz, but a bit earlier, from the trad jazz revival of the late fifties, early sixties, FRANK JOHNSON'S FABULOUS DIXIELANDERS were one of the premier performers of that style.

Frank Johnson

When I was looking for tiger songs, I found that this one could have filled two or three columns on its own. You probably don't need me to tell you that it's Tiger Rag.

♫ Frank Johnson's Fabulous Dixielanders - Tiger Rag


MUDDY WATERS has probably performed songs about just about everything under the sun so I wasn't surprised when he turned up here.

Muddy Waters

Indeed, he supplies the title for the column (which of course came from a petrol commercial some time ago – yes, we had it here in Oz too). Muddy wants to put a Tiger In Your Tank. I don't think he's talking about filling up the car.

♫ Muddy Waters - Tiger In Your Tank


APRIL STEVENS had a solo singing career before she teamed up with her brother Nino Tempo. Together they had several really good songs that made the pointy end of the charts. She then went back to singing solo.

April Stevens

One of her hits, which she recorded a couple of times, is Teach Me Tiger.

♫ April Stevens - Teach Me Tiger


Although born in Texas and brought up there and later in Arizona, BUCK OWENS is mostly associated with Bakersfield, California.

Buck Owens

He's credited with creating the "Bakersfield sound", a stripped back form of country music rather akin to honky tonk. Much more interesting than the sausage-factory country music out of Nashville. Buck's song is I've Got A Tiger By The Tail. As long as he keeps away from the other end.

♫ Buck Owens - Ive Got A Tiger By The Tail


Here's one for those of us who grew up in the fifties. There's some dialogue in Stan Freberg's The Old Payola Roll Blues that goes like this when they decided they needed a teenage idol for their record...

"Hey kid."

"Who me?"

"Can you sing?"

"No."

"Good, come with me."

That's Stan's idea of how FABIAN (or someone like him) became a recording artist.

Fabian

He possibly became a film actor the same way, or maybe because he was already a pop idol. Anyway, good luck to him, I say. He had a hit with a song called Tiger.

♫ Fabian - Tiger


Whenever I hear the name RUSTY DRAPER, I always think of the song Freight Train.

Rusty Draper

That song is hardwired into my brain and has been that way since the fifties. Rusty recorded other songs, of course, one of those is Tiger Lilly.

♫ Rusty Draper - Tiger Lilly


JOE HILL LOUIS was a one man band.

Joe Hill Louis

He sang, played guitar, harmonica and drums (and probably other things as well) all at the same time. He recorded for a variety of labels but most notably for Sun Records.

He had a few disks released under his own name and he also played guitar and/or drums on other people's records. One of his songs is Tiger Man which was also covered by Rufus Thomas and Elvis.

♫ Joe Hill Louis - Tiger Man


There's an extra song today and it'll be obvious why. Back in the late fifties and early sixties, answer songs were all the rage. This usually meant putting new words to the previous tune, always a big hit.

As this is an answer column to the Lions one, it's only fair that we have an answer song to one of those from that column. This is provided by THE ROMEOS.

The Romeos

We had The Lion Sleeps Tonight, so now we have The Tiger's Wide Awake. Answer songs were seldom anywhere as good as the original and that is the case today. Oh lordy, this one's bad.

The Romeos - The Tiger's Wide Awake


ELDER MUSIC: Greg Brown and Family

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.

* * *

Greg Brown

GREG BROWN is the best unknown singer/songwriter around at the moment and he's held that status for the last 20 or 30 years now. I will do my best to remedy that situation a little bit.

Greg's recorded more than 30 albums over the years; few, if any, have made a dent on the charts. I have many of them and they are really good, some superb.

I think one of the reasons for his lack of recognition is due to his insistence on living and recording in his native Iowa rather than hanging out at the usual places musicians hang out. Some of you may have heard him as he performed regularly on A Prairie Home Companion.

The songs are in no particular order, except that I'll end with what I consider his best song. There are also a couple from members of his family and a friend. Most of the songs have his long time friend and collaborator BO RAMSEY playing lead guitar.

Bo Ramsey

"44 & 66" is an album from very early in Greg's career and it already points the way that his songwriting would take in later years. That album contains the song Ring Around The Moon and he has the help of Prudence Johnson who was once a singer in the jazz group Rio Nido.

♫ Greg Brown - Ring Around The Moon


Greg Brown

Jumping a couple of decades to the album "Slant 6 Mind". I recount down below how I came across this one, the first of Greg's that I owned. With the song Speaking in Tongues, he really gets into a slow-burning gospel groove.

♫ Greg Brown - Speaking in Tongues


Greg is married to noted singer/songwriter IRIS DEMENT.

Iris Dement

Regular readers of the column will know what a fan I am of Iris's music. She mostly performs her own or (occasionally) traditional music but she has recorded some of Greg's songs. This is one of them, The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home.

♫ Iris DeMent - The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home


Greg Brown

Greg has written a number of songs that reference real people. This one is about the poet Kenneth Rexroth. Well, not him, but his daughter. However, Greg doesn't tell us which one as Ken had two of them.

Anyway, given the subject matter, it's no surprise that the song is called Rexroth's Daughter.

♫ Greg Brown - Rexroth's Daughter


Greg Brown

Another song about real people, well, one real and another for which the evidence is a little shaky. The song is quite tongue in cheek and I always smile when I hear it. Greg sings Jesus and Elvis.

♫ Greg Brown - Jesus and Elvis


Greg has three children, CONSTANCE BROWN, ZOE BROWN, and PIETA BROWN.

Pieta & Constie Brown

That's Pieta and Constie. I couldn't find a picture of Zoe (sorry, Zoe).

All three of them are musicians and Pieta is also a pretty good singer/songwriter. I can recommend her albums (well, the three I own anyway; I can't say about the others). The three of them got together and recorded one of dad's songs, Ella Mae.

♫ Pieta, Zoe & Constie Brown - Ella Mae


Greg Brown

The first song I remember hearing of Greg's, many years ago, is called Mose Allison Played Here. Another song about a real person, alas one who died not too long ago.

My local community radio station played it and mentioned it was from an album called "Slant 6 Mind". I went to my favorite record store and, goodness me, they had it.

They also had a couple more of his CDs which I also bought as I'm a bit compulsive when it comes to music. I wasn't disappointed. Here's that song.

♫ Greg Brown - Mose Allison Played Here


ELIZA GILKYSON is an old friend, so I'm counting her as part of the family.

Eliza is a good singer/songwriter herself. Perhaps it's in the genes, as her father, Terry Gilkyson, was a songwriter in the fifties who also sang as well. Her brother was in a couple of bands and works as a studio guitarist.

Eliza has recorded for Greg's own record label, Red House Records, since 2000 and there are many fine albums out there. Here she covers one of Greg's songs, Sleeper.

Eliza Gilkyson

♫ Eliza Gilkyson - Sleeper


Greg Brown

I kept changing my mind about which song to include in this spot. It depended on my mood. I finally decided to go with You Drive Me Crazy because it was a little different from the other songs, a nice contrast to them. It's more grinding blues than folk music.

♫ Greg Brown - You Drive Me Crazy


Greg Brown

As I said in the introduction, I'll end with the song I consider Greg's best, Poet Game, from the album "The Poet Game". It was recorded in 1994 and is still relevant today. Besides, it's a terrific song.

♫ Greg Brown - Poet Game


ELDER MUSIC: Surf Side Ten

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.

* * *

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist suggested the title. She thinks that inflation has taken its toll over the years and instead of six we have 10. That's fortunate, as that's the number of tracks we have today.

In the late fifties and early sixties there was a craze for surf music. Well, this wasn't universal; it was pretty much confined to the east coast of Australia, particularly Sydney, and the west coast of America, particularly Los Angeles.

Pretty much all the music today will come from those two cities, and from that time (with a couple of outliers).

When you hear surf music, pretty much the first name that will come into your brain is the BEACH BOYS.

Beach Boys

Naturally they'd have to be present but selecting a song of theirs is a bit difficult as there so many of them. In the end I decided on one of their early ones, Surfer Girl.

♫ Beach Boys - Surfer Girl


Although they made quite a few records, THE SURFARIS are best known these days for just two of them.

Surfaris

One of them is the instrumental Wipe Out, probably the quintessential surfer tune. The other is the one we're interested in today, Surfer Joe (which was on the flip side of the single of Wipe Out).

If you know the song, the version today might come as a surprise. It's a longer version than was on that record, there are several extra verses.

♫ The Surfaris - Surfer Joe (long version)


BARRY MANN was a songwriter from the time of most of these, usually with his wife Cynthia Weil.

Barry Mann

He recorded some of their songs as well. These were usually rather tongue in cheek (remember Who Put the Bomp?), and this one is no exception. It is Johnny Surfboard.

♫ Barry Mann - Johnny Surfboard


LITTLE PATTIE had a huge hit in Australia when she was only 15 years old. She was the biggest thing in the country at the time (a little irony there, as she's not very tall, under five foot in American measurements, thus the name).

Little Pattie

For those who are into rock & roll trivia, Pattie's name is Patricia Amphlett and she is a cousin of the late great Chrissie Amphlett, head honcho (honcha? honchess?) of The Divinyls.

Anyway, Pattie's song is (takes a deep breath) He's My Blond Headed Stompie Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy.

♫ Little Pattie - He s My Blond Headed Stompie Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy


After the Beach Boys, JAN & DEAN are the group most synonymous with this music.

Jan & Dean

It's not too surprising as they often sang on Beach Boys' records at the time and vice versa. I listened to quite a bit of their music but I always came back to the obvious song, Surf City. Sounds just like the Beach Boys.

♫ Jan & Dean - Surf City


A lot of surf music was purely instrumental. I've mostly left those out of the mix today but there's one performer who deserves his place in the sun (and the surf).

Some say he invented the genre of surf guitar music. Some may be right. I give you DICK DALE.

Dick Dale

Dick plays several instruments and he claims his style developed because he started out playing the tarabaki, a Lebanese drum.

As a kid he developed his style, a mixture of rhythm and lead playing so he could do everything himself. It was hugely influential on later guitarists.

Dick plays Surf Beat. He once played with a group called The Del-Tones, no relation to the next item.

♫ Dick Dale - Surf Beat


THE DELLTONES formed in Australia back in 1958 and are still going strong (with one original member still present).

The Delltones

They were originally a DooWop group but later morphed into a fully fledged band. Their biggest success was in the sixties where they had several songs up at the pointy end of the charts, and these days they are one the most entertaining live acts around.

One of their hits from back then is Hangin' Five.

The Delltones - Hangin' Five


Just so you won't be bored with all the surfing music (which, I must admit, has caused my eyes to glaze over), here's a bit of change of pace. It's included purely because of the title (and also because the male singer is – or was – an Australian).

The group, really just a duo, is TRUCKSTOP HONEYMOON.

Truckstop Honeymoon

Their song is Couch Surfing with a Family of Six, a song about their family (well, duh).

♫ Truckstop Honeymoon - Couch Surfing with a Family of Six


Okay, you might think that the songs so far aren't very classy, so now we are going to raise the stakes to a considerable degree. This next one could even be classified as classical music. It's about as high class as is possible in this genre.

This is up there with Bach and Mozart. I give you THE TRASHMEN and Surfin' Bird.

The Trashmen

This really is the zenith, the acme, the ne plus ultra of musical culture of the 20th century.

♫ The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird


The final song didn't come from the time period of most of the other songs today. It's quite recent and isn't really in the same genre but it amused me enough to include it. The performer is JIMMY BUFFETT.

Jimmy Buffett

He says that Einstein Was a Surfer. He's not the only one to make that connection; Philip Glass wrote an opera called Einstein on the Beach. I don't think Philip mentions Einstein surfing though, not in the parts I've listened to.

♫ Jimmy Buffett - Einstein Was a Surfer


Einstein


ELDER MUSIC: A Fifth of Classical Gas


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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.

* * *

Continuing this series of columns (originally named by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist) to highlight lesser known composers who are seldom heard on radio or in concert, although some of the music today may be familiar to many of you.

JOHANN GEORG KNECHTEL was a horn player (what we call the French horn these days) in Dresden in the mid 1700s. Jo doesn't seem to have had his photo taken, so no picture for him.

He was principal horn player in the court of Dresden at the time and he wrote many works for the instrument. Alas, few remain as many of his manuscripts were destroyed during the egregious firebombing of the city during the war.

Here is the first movement of his Concerto for horn in D major, with the best French horn player from the last 50 years, BARRY TUCKWELL, doing the honors on the instrument.

Barry Tuckwell

♫ Knechtel - Concerto for horn in D major (1)


Felix always contended that his sister FANNY MENDELSSOHN was a better musician and composer than he was (and that's a big call).

Fanny Mendelssohn

Alas, given the mores of the time, it wasn't the done thing for a woman to earn a living doing that sort of thing. However, with the love and support of both her brother and husband, the artist Wilhelm Hensel, Fanny managed to play (a little) and compose (a lot of) music, and even had some published in her lifetime (under Felix's name mostly).

She did manage to get some out under her own name at the time (a lot more now). There are 460 compositions of hers that are known, and are increasingly becoming part of the musical performing repertoire. She and Felix both died of complications due to massive strokes only six months apart. They were both too young.

Her string quartets are far in advance of any at the time, including her brother's, and even today are somewhat challenging. I had one pencilled in, but sorry, I changed my mind and have gone instead for the third movement of the Piano Trio in D Minor Opus 11.

♫ Fanny Mendelssohn - Piano Trio D-Minor Op. 11 (3)


LOUIS SPOHR was a German composer, violinist and conductor.

Louis Spohr

Besides that, all the violinists since his time are indebted to him because he invented the violin chin rest. It seems such an obvious thing but nobody came up with it until Louis did so.

Aside from that, he was a really prolific composer and his compositions are really worth listening to. One of those is the sixth movement of the Nocturne for Winds and Turkish Band in C-major, Op.34. Turkish themes were all the rage back then, even Mozart did some in that vein.

♫ Spohr - Nocturne for Winds and Turkish Band in C-major, Op.34 (6)


Many of you, perhaps most, would know the name BERNARD HERRMANN, especially the film buffs amongst us.

Bernard Herrmann

Bernie was a major writer of film scores, most notably for those of Alfred Hitchcock. Not just Hitch's films, he also wrote the music for Orson Welles' films likeCitizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and so on. Lots of others, more than 50 in total.

However, he's here today because he also wrote what those inclined in that direction like to call serious music – a symphony, concerto, sonatas etc. One of his compositions was called The Fantasticks, not to be confused with the musical with the same name (he did it first).

This was a piece of music that charted the months of the year. Unfortunately, he only got as far as May and the rest didn't see light of day. That's okay as April is really good (I'm sure April birthday people would applaud that, particularly Ronni, my sister and the A.M.).

Here it is with GILLIAN HUMPHREYS singing the part.

Gillian Humphreys

♫ Hermmann - The Fantasticks April


There's a theme to the remaining tracks, and theme is a singularly appropriate word as you'll see and hear.

ARAM KHACHATURIAN was born in Armenia in 1903. Thus for much of his life he was a citizen of the U.S.S.R.

Aram Khachaturian

He held high positions in the Union of Soviet Composers. Then he was officially denounced as a "formalist" (whatever that is – "anti-people" was the official reason) along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Later he was reinstated. A bit of a yoyo existence being a Russian composer of that time.

Anyway, he wrote music for a ballet called Spartacus. I assume Kirk Douglas wasn't in that one. The movement called Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia may be familiar to people who are long time watchers of BBC TV drama programs, and I'm thinking specifically of The Onedin Line.

♫ Khachaturian - Spartacus ~ Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia


Australian readers will need no introduction to the next piece by RONALD HANMER. It's called Pastorale.

Ronald Hanmer

The rest of the world probably does though. However, I can hear the Oz readers saying, "What are you talking about?" When I say this was the theme to "Blue Hills, I can already hear them going dar dar dar dar dar dar dar dar dar dum dum dum dum.

For the rest of the world, Blue Hills was a long-running radio serial that was broadcast from 1949 to 1976.

Ron was an English composer who eventually settled in Oz in 1975 and he really had no idea the impact his composition had on my country before then.

♫ Ronald Hanmer - Pastorale


CHARLES-FRANÇOIS GOUNOD is probably mostly remembered these days for his opera Faust.

 Charles-Francois Gounod

However, there was a lot more to Charlie than that. He wrote more than a dozen other operas, motets, masses, ballets, lots of songs and the usual symphonies, concertos and so on.

One of the "so on" is a piece called Funeral March of a Marionette. I probably only have to say the words Alfred Hitchcock and you'll know this piece of music.

♫ Gounod - Funeral March of a Marionette


FRANCISCO TÁRREGA was a Spanish composer and guitarist of the 19th century.

 Francisco Tarrega

As a guitarist, he probably did more than anyone to bring the instrument into the classical canon. He also wrote music for it.

Probably his most famous work is Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra). Today it's played by Eduardo Fernández.

Although not its theme, it was included in the film Sideways, which managed to bump up the price of pinot noir and reduce the price of merlot. Swings and roundabouts, I suppose.

♫ Tarrega - Recuerdos de la Alhambra


SERGEI RACHMANINOV (or Rachmaninoff) was a Russian composer who left the country when the Bolsheviks came to power. He spent the rest of his life in America.

Sergei Rachmaninoff

He was an excellent pianist and many of his compositions feature that instrument. People who have seen the film Shine will remember the "Rach 3", that is, his piano concerto no 3. That's not one I like at all, but his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor is a particular favorite.

Here is the second movement. For lovers of old films, this was used extensively in Brief Encounter.

Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2 C Minor (2)



ELDER MUSIC: From the Cutting Room Floor

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 random songs from the cutting room floor, as it were. These are pieces I've written over the years that didn't really fit into the category I was writing about at the time, but I didn't want to just throw them away.

I can't call it recycling as these weren't cycled in the first place. There are now enough of them for a column of their own.

The song Misty Blue was written by Bob Montgomery, whose first paying gig was as a duo with Buddy Holly when they were both teenagers. The song was first recorded by Waylon Jennings and it was closely followed by a number of other country artists. It wasn't until Joe Simon, and more especially, Dorothy Moore recorded it that it became a soul classic.

I have recently heard another version I found really interesting and I thought I'd share it with you. However, I'm going to be really obnoxious and not tell you who the singer is. I won't leave you completely in the dark; I'll let you know at the end of the column.

When I played it for Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, she said, "She's not a soul singer". Norma was right. She also said that the singer sounded young. She was wrong. So, here's SOMEONE singing Misty Blue.

♫ Someone - Misty Blue


While I'm on a quizzical bent, here's a question: Can you tell me the name of a first generation rock & roller from Lubbock, Texas, who recorded with The Crickets and who died in a plane crash at age 21?

For those who said Buddy Holly, I hit the buzzer: bzzzzzzzz. You're out. No, Buddy was 22. The answer is DAVID BOX.

David Box

David recorded an album with The Crickets after Buddy died to fulfil some contractual arrangement. Alas, he also took a light plane to a gig that didn't get to its destination.

Buddy recorded a rare cover version of a song: Fats Domino's Valley of Tears, and I think he improved on the original, difficult to do when it's Fats. Here, David performs a cover of Buddy's cover of Fats.

♫ David Box - Valley Of Tears


Given the title of the column, this next song is a mandatory inclusion. It's by the NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The song was written as a joint effort by a couple of the Nittys', Jeff Hanna and Jimmy Ibbotson, as well as their friend, now sadly departed, Steve Goodman. It's a tale of woe. Face on the Cutting Room Floor.

♫ Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Face On The Cutting Room Floor


In 1981, seemingly out of nowhere, BILLY FIELD released an album here in Australia that went to the top of the charts. Indeed, it was the biggest seller for the year.

Billy Field

Several singles from the album did the same. He released another album that did almost as well and then, apparently, completely vanished. He didn’t of course.

Billy is a pianist and he tours with his own jazz band. Also, with the proceeds of the album and singles, as well as from those who covered his songs, he built a recording studio where he records jazz and blues artists.

What was distinctive about him is that in that era when grown men wore tight Spandex on stage and had big, nay giant hair, sang as if they were produced by a computer voice synthesizer and played instruments that sounded the same way, Billy always dressed in an elegant suit and wore a bow tie.

His music was nominally pop but on his song Bad Habits, the backing sounds as if it is a big band from the forties and his singing was that of a blues musician from the thirties. This is Bad Habit.

♫ Billy Field - Bad Habits


Whenever early rock & roll is discussed JOHNNY BURNETTE doesn’t seem to get much of a mention.

Johnny Burnette

There’ll be any amount of talk of Chuck, Richard, Elvis, Buddy, Fats and on and on. A lot of that comes from me of course - however, Johnny is usually not there.

He started out as The Johnny Burnette Trio (or the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio” as it was also called). This group included his brother Dorsey and Paul Burlison. It was a blazing outfit that showed Elvis a few things about rock & roll trio playing.

The Burnettes were actually from Memphis but didn’t record for Sun records.

Sam Phillips turned them down as he thought they sounded too much like Elvis. Elvis was a friend and would visit them and sing and play. “He didn’t know but two or three chords on that guitar, but he was a good singer” was the way Johnny summed up his performance. This is the Trio with Tear It Up.

♫ Johnny Burnette - Tear It Up


In the eighties and nineties THE DOUG ANTHONY ALL STARS (the name itself is an Australian joke that'd take too long to explain to non-Australians) were the most outrageous and anarchic comedy troupe in the country (and probably the world).

The Doug Anthony All Stars

The group consisted of Paul McDermott, Tim Ferguson and Richard Fidler. They are also gifted musicians, especially Paul about whom Tim once said, "We asked Paul to sing one day and he sang like an angel coming down from a bourbon bender".

Paul has not made a musical album and the only way we can hear him sing is on old TV programs. Here they perform Throw Your Arms Around Me, written by the members of the group Hunters and Collectors, who first performed the song.

PAUL SIEBEL has claimed he wrote his most famous song, Louise, as a joke to see if he could write the ultimate country song. Some joke, it sold squillions by Linda Ronstadt and others.

Paul Siebe

He made a couple of good albums - "Woodsmoke and Oranges" in 1970 and "Jack-Knife Gypsy" in 1971 - and well, just stopped. He performs once in a very blue moon.

Paul’s more known as a songwriter than a performer. Some of the folks who have covered his songs, besides Linda, are Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris, Leo Kottke, Willy DeVille and many others. I was going to go with one of his other songs but I thought: what the hell, here’s Louise.

♫ Paul Siebel - Louise


Back in high school – that's Oakleigh High for those who want to know about such things, but don't try to find it on Google Maps as it was sold off for condominiums in the nineties – we had a reciprocal agreement with a school in Adelaide.

This was all to do with sports, of course, such that we'd alternate sending male and female teams over there and vice versa. I was in the tennis team, but they only sent four not eight, so I missed out and stayed home.

This wasn't really a bad thing as we got the cream of this other school's girls and with all our jocks over there, well I'd be in with a chance, I thought. And so it proved, sort of.

There was one in particular who caught my eye, and she smiled at me as well. Alas, there was another left-behinder who was similarly struck. I can't imagine what she saw in him.

At the school social (sort of like your prom, I guess) she'd alternate dances with us and be quite amused by the whole situation. Neither of us walked her home – the parents of the family she was staying with picked her up. She (and the rest of them) was (were) only here for a week and I still remember her name but I'm not telling you all, just in case she reads this blog (yeah, fat chance of that). I never saw her again.

Quite coincidentally, BOBBY VEE's song Sharing You was high on the hit parade at the time. As you can imagine, it struck a chord.

Bobby Vee

♫ Bobby Vee - Sharing You


RUSSELL SMITH is the singer, main songwriter and occasional rhythm guitarist for the rock group, The Amazing Rhythm Aces.

Russell Smith

He organized that group and he is one of only two of the original members left. Whichever incarnation of the Aces you want to consider, they were and still are the best southern (USA) rock group ever, and yes, I include the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Drive By Truckers in that assessment.

It's mainly because their songs are better, I think. Russell has also recorded several solo albums and here is a track from one of them, I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight.

♫ Russell Smith - I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight


There's someone I really shouldn’t like. His performances are outrageous, which is no bad thing, but it's all tongue in cheek. He plays golf and hangs around with rightwing politicians. That should put him in my “don’t go there” list. However, I really like Vincent Furnier, or as you probably know him, ALICE COOPER.

Alice Cooper

When he puts his mind to it he can come up with some fine songs. This is one of those, You And Me.

♫ Alice Cooper - You And Me


You don't get a prize for guessing correctly, just a warm inner glow of satisfaction. The answer to who is sing Misty Blue is ELLA FITZGERALD. Yes, really.

Chuck and Jess, in the comments below are correct - it's Dorothy Moore singing, not Ella. See - even I didn't get it right.


ELDER MUSIC: 1957 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.

* * *

In 1957 we were right in the middle of the first flush of rock & roll, although that wasn't necessarily reflected on the charts as all sorts of music were still being played on the radio. I'll demonstrate that today.

THE RAYS had a couple of minor hits over the years but I must confess that I don't remember any of them.

Rays

They did have one biggie though and I certainly remember that one. It was called Silhouettes. In the way of things at the time, a white group, The Diamonds, also released an almost identical version which, unusual for that era, didn't sell as well.

♫ The Rays - Silhouettes


In 1956 LAVERN BAKER had big hit called Jim Dandy.

LaVern Baker

Because of its success, Lincoln Chase, who wrote it, came up with another in the saga called Jim Dandy Got Married. That one proved quite popular as well, this time in 1957, fortunately for us today.

♫ LaVern Baker - Jim Dandy Got Married


THURSTON HARRIS first started performing in a band called The Lamplighters.

Thurston Harris

He later went solo (often backed by that band). Bobby Day (of Rockin' Robin fame) wrote and recorded a song called Little Bitty Pretty One. This made the low reaches of the charts. Thurston recorded it and took it way up close to the top. This is what it sounds like.

♫ Thurston Harris - Little Bitty Pretty One


MICKEY AND SYLVIA were Mickey Baker and Sylvia Robinson.

Mickey & Sylvia

Mickey was a music instructor and they met when Sylvia came in for lessons. Mickey was an ace guitarist and later made a good living as a session musician.

He was inspired by Les Paul and Mary Ford's music and decided to start a similar unit with Sylvia (and playing Les Paul Gibson guitars). They were successful enough to start their own record company and a publishing company as well as buying a nightclub.

Their biggest success was with the song Love Is Strange, later covered with equal success by the Everly Brothers.

♫ Mickey and Sylvia - Love Is Strange


By 1957 THE CHORDETTES were on a roll.

Chordettes

A few years earlier, they had recorded the first version of Mister Sandman which even I will admit was better than Emmylou, Linda and Dolly's version. So if they can beat that trio they must be pretty good.

Theirs wasn't the first version of that song (Vaughn Monroe, for heaven's sake, has that honor), but they did it best. Sorry to disappoint but it's the wrong year for that one.

Here is a song from this year that's nearly as good: Just Between You and Me.

♫ Chordettes - Just Between You And Me


LITTLE RICHARD produced some of the most raucous songs in early rock & roll (and, if I might editorialise for a moment, some of the best).

Little Richard

However, now and then he released a song that wasn't like that. This is one of those, Send Me Some Lovin'.

♫ Little Richard - Send Me Some Lovin'


DEBBIE REYNOLDS had a hit with the song Tammy.

Debbie Reynolds

This was taken from a film in which she appeared called Tammy and the Bachelor. She played Tammy and the bachelor was Leslie Neilson. He played it straight, which must have been a bit a strain for him.

♫ Debbie Reynolds - Tammy


JACKIE WILSON's treatment of Reet Petite is rather interesting.

Jackie Wilson

He sings it as rock & roll or maybe anticipating soul music. However, the backing for the song sounds as if it comes from a decade earlier, closer to big band than the music of the time. In spite of that it seemed to work.

♫ Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want To Meet)


In my part of the world, THE HILLTOPPERS had a big hit with the song Marianne.

Hilltoppers

Elsewhere, I believe this version was eclipsed by the one by Terry Gilkyson & The Easy Riders. Terry was something of a songwriter but he didn't write this one. He was also the father of another terrific singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson. However, the version I remember is the one we have today.

♫ Hilltoppers - Marianne


JIMMIE RODGERS was the name of a couple of recording artists, but only one of them was alive in 1957 and that's the one we have today.

Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie had quite a few hits in the fifties. This is one of his biggest, Honeycomb.

♫ Jimmie Rodgers - Honeycomb



ELDER MUSIC: Sweetheart of the Rodeo

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.

* * *

Self indulgence time once again. Today I’m featuring one of my favorite albums of all time by one of my favorite groups of all time: THE BYRDS and "Sweetheart of the Rodeo".

This column is for the nit pickers and obsessives among us (like me), baby boomers and those who like hardcore country music.

Byrds - Sweetheart3

Back in 1968, The Byrds released this album that proved to be hugely influential but at the time was rather scorned. The album, due to the influence of Gram Parsons who was in the group at that stage, consisted of their own songs plus those of other writers old and new.

There is a lot of country music, but not exclusively, there’s some Bob of course and a bit of soul music. Wherever The Byrds performed someone else’s song on the album, I’m going with the original version just so you can hear how it sounded before they got to it.

The Byrds didn’t slavishly copy the originals, they put their own stamp on the tunes, but you won’t know that unless you’re as familiar with the album as I am.

The Byrds at this stage were the two original members Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman plus Gram Parsons and Kevin Kelley.

Byrds

They had some help from their friends and studio musicians. The album is credited with inventing country rock. It didn’t, of course, there were others before it. It may be the one that brought this style into prominence, but I doubt that, as it sold about 17 copies at the time (a couple of which I bought).

It is only in retrospect that the album has gained the kudos it deserves.

The songs today are in the order they were on the album, starting with a BOB DYLAN song, You Ain’t Going Nowhere.

Bob Dylan

In this version, Bob names McGuinn as he believed that he (McGuinn) changed the lyrics on a previous version of the song. On a later version, McGuinn names Bob just to show he was listening (or something).

Anyway, this is (one of) Bob’s version(s).

♫ Bob Dylan - You Ain't Goin' Nowhere


Next is an original song written by MCGUINN and HILLMAN, the two original Byrds still in the group at the time (as I said in the intro): I Am a Pilgrim.

McGuinnClarkillman

That’s them with Gene Clark, another of the original Byrds with whom they formed a really fine trio after The Byrds split. The banjo player on the track is John Hartford.

♫ The Byrds - I Am a Pilgrim


Now a song written by Ira and Charlie Louvin.

Louvin Brothers

Here they are as the LOUVIN BROTHERS with the song they released in 1958, The Christian Life. The Byrds did it better.

♫ Louvin Brothers - The Christian Life


The Byrds didn’t just cover country songs for the album, although that was their main source of songs, there was a soul singer in the mix as well. That was WILLIAM BELL.

William Bell

The song was written by William to express his homesickness when he was in New York, a long way from home. Many people have recorded it but his is the definitive version of You Don't Miss Your Water.

♫ William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water


Next, a song written by LUKE MCDANIEL. He recorded it under a pseudonym, Jeff Daniels.

Luke McDaniel

It seems that Luke didn't like the contracts he was offered as a singer and he decided to write some songs and send them to other artists under his pseudonym. Later he also recorded under that name.

Whoever he was, what we're interested in is You're Still on My Mind.

♫ Jeff Daniels - You're Still On My Mind


Pretty Boy Floyd was written by WOODY GUTHRIE and contains some lines that are still relevant today. It’s not alone in Woody’s canon in that regard.

It wasn’t Pretty Boy’s tale so much as the line “Some will rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen” that caught my ear. Nothing seems to have changed in seventy or eighty years.

Woody Guthrie

Here is Woody’s original version.

♫ Woody Guthrie - Pretty Boy Floyd


Now I can indulge myself with a couple of songs that GRAM PARSONS wrote. The first of these is Hickory Wind.

Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris

Gram later rerecorded the song on his "Grievous Angel" album. That album has also been rereleased with alternate versions of various songs, so I’m going with one of those.

Unlike all the others today, this one was recorded later than The Byrds’ album. Here, of course, we have Emmylou providing harmony.

♫ Gram Parsons - Hickory Wind


These days there are at least three (that I have) versions of the next song. The one from the album that McGuinn sang, a rehearsal version by Gram included on the super duper rereleased CD version of the album with a bunch of extra tracks, and the original recorded version that didn’t appear on the album but has surfaced on their box set.

It seems that McGuinn stripped Gram’s vocals from this one and recorded his own (with some nice harmony in The Byrds’ style from Hillman). Here is the version with GRAM PARSONS singing lead on One Hundred Years From Now, one of his own songs.

Gram Parsons

♫ The Byrds - One Hundred Years from Now


WILF CARTER was Canadian and he was a huge success in his native country, as well as America and elsewhere (including Australia).

Wilf Carter

He also had a parallel career as Montana Slim. His song refers to his native country - The Blue Canadian Rockies.

♫ Wilf Carter - The Blue Canadian Rockies


MERLE HAGGARD needs no introduction from me for people who are interested in this style of music.

Merle Haggard

Merle is one of the half dozen most important people in country music for the last 50 years. He performs his song Life in Prison. He knew about prison life. Fortunately for us (and him), it wasn't life that he spent there.

♫ Merle Haggard - Life In Prison


The original album ended as it began with a BOB DYLAN song.

Bob Dylan & The Band

Bob’s version is from the famous/infamous “Basement Tapes”. This is from when he was holed up in Woodstock after his motorcycle accident with The Band and they’d try out new songs and play old songs and do whatever they liked.

They recorded these to see how they could improve on them. Naturally, as this was Bob, somehow these tapes managed to escape and were released in bootleg form.

When the record company eventually released a “real” version, as with anything of Bob’s from that time, it sold like a new iPod (although I've never understood why they sell so well).

This surprised Bob: he said then that he thought everyone already had a copy. The song is Nothing Was Delivered. This is far from Bob's best, at least this version, and I generally skip it. However, I've included it so the album is complete. The Byrds did a much better job of the song.

♫ Bob Dylan - Nothing Was Delivered



ELDER MUSIC: Name Dropper Hummel

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.

* * *

That heading is rather scurrilous because there's no evidence whatsoever that JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL engaged in that sort of thing but, my goodness, he could have been the greatest name dropper in musical history if he'd wanted to.

After all, he was taught by Joseph Haydn; he lived for a couple of years with the Mozarts; he was a good friend of both Beethoven and Schubert and he taught Mendelssohn.

He was also good friends with Goethe (but he wasn't known for his musical accomplishments, although a lot of his poems have been set to music by several of the finest composers). Besides all that, Jo had a serious influence on the works of Schumann, Chopin and Liszt.

He really could have given up the composing lark and made a career appearing on TV talk shows chatting about all those. So, it's Hummel and the others today, which gives me a good excuse to play some of my favorite composers (and some others).

I'll start with the man himself, JOHANN HUMMEL.

Hummel

Jo was born in Pressburg which these days is called Bratislava in what we now know as Slovakia. Back then it was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

He showed great promise early on, such that he caught the ear of Mozart who decided to take him on as a pupil, and also invited him to live with the Mozart family for a while (that turned into two years).

The musical piece I've chosen isn't from that early period living with the Mozarts; I'm going to jump ahead and play something from later on, his Cello Sonata in A Major, Op. 104, the second movement.

♫ Hummel - Cello Sonata In A Major, Op. 104 (2)


As I mentioned, Hummel lived with the Mozarts (from the age of eight to ten). WOLFGANG MOZART was impressed with his talent and gave him lessons during that time. I imagine Wolfie's father was possibly in the mix as well as he was considered one of the finest music teacher at the time (or since, for that matter).

Mozart

Wolfie probably taught him a thing or two about piano playing as that turned into the main instrument for which he wrote. I thought that, as all the other selections here are instrumental, I'd have some vocal work from Wolfie who was a master at producing great music for the voice, particularly for female singers.

This is the first movement from his Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, sung by KIRI TE KANAWA.

Kiri Te Kanawa

♫ Mozart - Exsultate, jubilate (1)


After Wolfie, MUZIO CLEMENTI was the next to give Jo some music lessons.

Muzio Clement

The Muz was born in Italy but spent most of his life in England which is where he met Jo and taught him. He was a teacher to several of the next generation of composers. Besides all that he designed and built pianos and was also a music publisher, which probably paid more than composing.

However, it's his compositions we're interested in, and the one I've chosen is the Violin and Piano Sonata Op.2 No.3 in G Major, the first movement.

♫ Clementi - Sonata Op.2 No.3 In G Major (1)


All up, Hummel spent about four years in London and he was there when the French Revolution broke out. His next gig was going to be a tour of France but he changed his mind about that.

Coinciding with his stay, JOSEPH HAYDN was on one of his regular London visits.

Haydn

Papa Jo composed a piano sonata for him and Hummel gave the first performance of it for which Papa Jo thanked him and gave him a guinea (a reasonable sum at the time). They both returned to Vienna after that and more lessons eventuated.

Around this time, the keyed trumpet was invented and Haydn, being an adventurous soul (musically), wrote some music for this new instrument. Here is the third movement of his Trumpet Concerto in E flat major.

♫ Haydn - Trumpet Concerto in E flat major (3)


Hummel was a bit of a one for lessons, as he also received some more from JOHANN ALBRECHTSBERGER.

Albrechtsberger

He must have been the most educated musician around and considering who gave the lessons, oh my goodness. Besides being a teacher, Albie was a composer of some note as well, demonstrated by his Partita No. 2 in C major, the first movement.

There's some harp in there as well as flute and keyboard.

♫ Albrechtsberger - Partita No. 2 in C major (1)


ANTONIO SALIERI has had the worst press of any composer in history what with all the books, films and plays about him and Mozart.

Salieri

So, let's set the record straight – he did not murder Mozart, he had no hand in his death. Indeed, they quite liked and supported each other in their musical endeavors. I'm sorry that the truth is a lot less interesting than all that plotting, but that's the way it was.

He's in the mix because he's another who taught our man of the day. So, I'm quite happy to play his music, in this case the first movement of his Chamber Concerto for oboe, two violins, viola and cello in G major. That's really just a string quartet plus oboe.

♫ Salieri - Chamber concerto for oboe, two violins, viola and violoncello in G major (1)


LUDWIG BEETHOVEN was a friend of Hummel for many years but it probably won't surprise you to learn that they had a falling out.

Beethoven

It's conjectured that this occurred because Ludwig didn't like Hummel's piano transcriptions of his symphonies and other works. This might not have been entirely an artistic difference because copyright didn't exist then and Ludwig didn't see a penny for these.

It might also have to do with the singer Elisabeth Röckel, who was a friend of Beethoven's. More than a friend from his point of view but Hummel raced her off and married her.

Much later, on hearing of Ludwig's serious illness, Hummel rushed to Vienna and visited Ludwig several times before he died. Apparently they reconciled in the last days of Beethoven's life.

Here's something from Beethoven that's a little off the beaten track for him, the sixth movement of his Sextet for 2 horns & string quartet in E flat major, Op. 81B.

♫ Beethoven - Septet for strings & woodwinds in E flat major, Op. 20 (6)


FRANZ SCHUBERT dedicated his last three piano sonatas to Hummel. They have the Deutsch numbers 958, 959 and 960.

Schubert

Some say that these are derivative of Beethoven and who could blame him in the sphere of piano sonatas? However, if you listen with open ears, they are distinctly by Franz. See what you think.

Here is the great Daniel Barenboim playing the third movement of hisPiano Sonata No. 21 in B Flat, D.960.

♫ Schubert - Piano Sonata No.21 In B Flat, D.960 (3)


As I mentioned in the introduction, FELIX MENDELSSOHN was one of his pupils.

Mendelssohn

Admittedly it was only for a short time. Robert Schumann thought of becoming a pupil too but didn't, although he did practise a lot of Hummel's piano pieces.

Franz Liszt also wanted to become a pupil but his dad wouldn't pay the tuition fee (which was fairly high by all accounts). So, we're left with Felix and his Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, the third movement.

♫ Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (3)


I'll end with the man himself again. HUMMEL is the only person who has ever come close to matching Mozart for writing music for the clarinet.

Hummel

As an example here is the fourth movement of his Clarinet Quartet.

♫ Hummel - Clarinet Quartet(4)



ELDER MUSIC: Tom Rush

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.

* * *

Little Tommy Rush from New Hampshire (as he once called himself on record) started out as a folkie and an interpreter of blues songs. He began his career in Boston, as he majored in English at Harvard. He became a regular on the folk circuit of the time and is still performing to this day.

Tom Rush

Way back, there was a train that ran between Chicago and New Orleans that had no name, or maybe it was called “The train that ran between Chicago and New Orleans”.

In 1911, in honor of the anticipated opening of the Panama Canal, this train was named the Panama Limited. In 1974, this train had a name change to the City of New Orleans (named after the song).

However, it's the Panama Limited we're interested in and it was still called that when Tom recorded the song early in his career. Tom actually got the source of the train wrong in the song – he said it was Washington rather than Chicago. That doesn't spoil a good song.

♫ Tom Rush - Panama Limited


Tom Rush

Way back in the sixties, some time before Bob Dylan went electric, Tom recorded a (semi-) rock album that nobody commented on at the time except me who thought it was brilliant. I still do.

The album was "Take a Little Walk With Me". If you don't have it, search it out; it's one the finest albums ever recorded.

Side one had Tom backed by a rock band and side two was more traditional, except that he had Bruce Langhorne playing very tasteful lead electric guitar behind him.

So, putting on side one, we find that Tom covered songs by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly and others, as well as one of his own in the same vein. I've chosen Who Do You Love.

This has been recorded many times over the years. One of the interesting ones was by Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks (The Hawks later left Ronnie and became The Band).

Another was by Quicksilver Messenger Service who devoted a whole side of an album to the song. As much as I like Quicksilver, that was a tad too much. There was also the original by the great Bo Diddley.

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, says that Tom's is the best version because she can understand the words. I don't know if that's a good thing in a rock song but we're going with it.

♫ Tom Rush - Who Do You Love


Tom Rush

Turning the record over we have several contenders for inclusion. The one I've chosen is Joshua Gone Barbados written by Rick Von Schmidt.

♫ Tom Rush - Joshua Gone Barbados


I can't help myself; I'm flipping the record back to side one. The song that Tom wrote is called On the Road Again. There have been quite a few songs with that title but this is the best of them.

♫ Tom Rush - On the Road Again


Tom Rush

As a youth I decided to teach myself to play guitar. I learnt the chords, even some of the more esoteric ones - diminished, thirds, sixths and so on. I even managed to change chords without hesitation.

However, whenever I played an album of Tom's, instead of it inspiring me to practise harder and get better, I'd say, "Oh, I'll never be able to do that" and not play for a month or two.

That's why I'm writing this column rather than heading the bill at some guitar fest or other.

Recently (recently in terms of most of the readers of this column), Tom brought out an instructional DVD showing how he played a dozen or so of his best known tunes.

I bought it, not because I wanted to play them - by that stage my arthritis had reached the stage where I couldn't play for more than five minutes or so before it got too painful. No, I bought the DVD because Tom also played those songs right through just accompanying himself on guitar.

I've now given up entirely trying to play guitar. Fortunately, Tom hasn't. From that DVD we have a song and a tune he originally recorded on his "Circle Game" album, No Regrets and Rockport Sunday, joined into a single track.

♫ Tom Rush - No Regrets ~ Rockport Sunday


Tom Rush

Tom was a discoverer of talent before anyone else. He was the first to record songs by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne even before they had recorded albums themselves. It's been said that Tom is the only male who should be allowed to record any of Joni's songs.

I originally had a couple of hers penciled in but alas, hers got the chop. As did Jackson's. James managed to survive with one of his earliest songs, Something in the Way She Moves.

♫ Tom Rush - Something in the Way She Moves


Tom Rush

I gather from what Tom says about it that Child’s Song is one of his favorites. It was written by Murray McLauchlan and Tom's version first appeared on an album called "Tom Rush" that was the one that came out in 1970 - there was an earlier album with the same name.

♫ Tom Rush - Child's Song


Tom Rush

Like quite a few others, Tom recorded a country(-ish) album called "Ladies Love Outlaws" that included that song, but I won't. A more enjoyable one from my point of view is one called Jenny Lynn.

♫ Tom Rush - Jenny Lynn


Tom Rush

Getting right up to date, I'll finish with a couple of songs from his most recent album "What I Know" and after all this time in the business, Tom should know quite a bit.

One of those songs is East of Eden, which as far as I can tell has nothing to do with the Steinbeck novel or the film.

♫ Tom Rush - East Of Eden


Tom Rush

Another song from the album, and one very appropriate for this website, is What an Old Lover Knows.

♫ Tom Rush - What An Old Lover Knows


Tom Rush

These days I've noticed that new albums occasionally have a bonus track. I think that rather strange.

Okay, if they rerelease an old album there may be some songs that weren't originally included that deserve seeing light of day. However, if it's a new one why call it a "bonus" rather than another track? Well, if they can do it so can I.

Here's a bonus track, suitable for all of us reading this called Remember Song.

♫ Tom Rush - Remember