441 posts categorized "Elder Music"

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.

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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.


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.


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.

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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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

♫ Hummel - Clarinet Quartet(4)


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

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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

ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2016 - Part 2

(You will find Part 1 of Toes Up here.)

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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Merle Haggard

MERLE HAGGARD was one of the three or four most important country artists of the last 50 years. He had a huge influence of those who came after him and even on some who preceded him.

He decided to make a career in music when he first heard Johnny Cash play at San Quentin where he was banged up at the time for armed robbery. He turned his life around and country music along with it.

I think he had the finest singing voice in country music. He also wrote many of his songs. It was difficult to come up with one song but I decided on Footlights rather than one of his more famous songs.

The song is about a musician who doesn't always enjoy being onstage the way he used to but doesn't really have a backup plan. Pretty much sums up Merle. (78)

♫ Merle Haggard - Footlights

CARLO MASTRANGELO was an original member of Dion and the Belmonts who had many hits in the fifties and early sixties. He and two classmates formed the Belmonts (named after the street where he lived). Dion DiMucci, also from the same area, later joined and one of the great vocal groups of the era was born. (78)

Kitty Kallen

KITTY KALLEN was a successful singer in the forties, during the war, but more especially just after when her songs hit a nerve with the returning troops and their families.

She sang with all the big bands of the period and her career continued through the fifties and on into the sixties. She began performing as a kid on radio and she never stopped singing. From the fifties is a song I remember of hers, Little Things Mean A Lot. (94)

♫ Kitty Kallen - Little Things Mean A Lot

ROBERT STIGWOOD was an Australian entrepreneur who managed the Bee Gees and Cream. He is also responsible for the films Saturday Night Fever and Grease.

He produced the initial versions of the stage musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita giving Andrew Lloyd Webber his initial success (deep sigh). (81)

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT was an innovative conductor who was a leader in the use of period instruments in playing baroque and classical music. He also conducted many operas as well.

Nik was trained on the cello and later took up the viola da gamba. He played with, and conducted, pretty much all the great orchestras of the world. Here he plays cello on J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No.1 in G, BWV 1007. The Minuet I & II. (86)

♫ JS Bach - Minuet I & II

PRINCE Nelson was a guitarist, songwriter, singer, performer, record producer and all round strange person. He released a considerable number of albums many of which sold millions of copies. He was one of the most influential musicians of the last 30 years. He wasn't my cup of tea but I'll admit he was a really fine guitar player. (57)

Lonnie Mack

LONNIE MACK was one of the electric guitar masters as well as being a fine blue-eyed soul and country singer. He was an extremely influential guitarist and many who followed paid tribute to him.

He started playing early and was busking on the streets of Aurora, Indiana, before he was a teenager. He began playing professionally when he was 13.

Although generally eschewing big cities, he performed in most of the famous venues and besides his own records, he can be heard on albums of others such as The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie Hawkins, Albert Collins, Dobie Gray, Arthur Crudup and others.

He can be honored (or blamed) for the development of the rock guitar solo, combining finger picking and power chords. From his fine album "Glad I'm In The Band", this is Let Them Talk. (74)

♫ Lonnie Mack - Let Them Talk

CHIPS MOMAN was a record producer, guitarist and songwriter who was best known for his work at Stax records. Later, he produced records for Elvis, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, Willie Nelson and others.

He wrote songs that were hits for Aretha Franklin, Waylon Jennings, James Carr and B.J. Thomas. He also played guitar on most of those records. (79)

David Bowie

DAVID BOWIE was a singer, songwriter, performer, guitarist, actor, producer and many other things as well. He changed the face of popular music several times.

David was taken into the collective hearts and bosoms of the generation who were too young for Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Dylan and they installed him on their own pedestal. I've always thought his music, good as it was, to be rather calculated and ultimately there was always something cold at the centre of even his greatest work.

To give him his due, he refused a knighthood; other British performers should have followed his lead. This is a song that made the charts a couple of times, Space Oddity. Even people unfamiliar with his music will know this one. (69)

♫ David Bowie - Space Oddity

JEAN SHEPARD was a pioneering country music singer and songwriter. She first made the charts (with Ferlin Husky) with A Dear John Letter. They followed that with Forgive Me John where she was trying (unsuccessfully) to get back into John's good books after John's brother gave her the flick.

Jean had many country hits, although fewer than she might have as she didn't follow the country music line and went her own way. She was a fine honky tonk musician when that style was out of favor with the controllers of the genre. (82)

Buckwheat Zydeco

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO or Stanley Dural to mum and dad, was a zydeco musician who was one of the few of that genre who crossed over to the mainstream charts. This was probably due to his performing English language songs as well as the standard zydeco repertoire.

He played the accordion and was inspired to take up that instrument when he played with the master, Clifton Chenier. Buckwheat played with many musicians over the years, including Eric Clapton, U2, the Boston Pops Orchestra , Willie Nelson, Keith Richards and on and on.

Here he performs the Bob Dylan song, On a Night Like This.

♫ Buckwheat Zydeco - On A Night Like This

EMILE FORD was a musician and singer from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. Besides singing, he was also a sound engineer and he also invented a system called "Music Minus One" that was the basis for karaoke (deep sigh).

He was responsible for the all-time champion earworm song, What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For? (78)

Glenn Yarbrough

GLENN YARBROUGH was an internationally successful folk, country and pop singer. He started out performing in clubs in Chicago and later moved to Aspen where he started a club called the Limelite where he formed a group that he named, The Limeliters.

They had a number of hits and Glenn went solo and had some more, including The Honey Wind Blows. (86)

♫ Glenn Yarbrough - The Honey Wind Blows

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES was an English classical composer and conductor. He started out writing avant-garde music but later turned his hand to music that people actually liked listening to. He conducted orchestras in Britain, America, Germany and elsewhere. (81)

Sonny James

SONNY JAMES was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddle player and record producer. He had a multi-million selling song in the fifties, that he wrote himself, called Young Love. It was covered by several others at the time.

He was also a bit of an actor appearing with such as Jayne Mansfield, Basil Rathbone, Lon Chaney and others. Like Johnny Cash, he recorded a rather successful live album from a prison, Tennessee State Prison in his case. He also wrote music for several films. Sonny performs his biggest hit. (87)

♫ Sonny James - Young Love

PHIL CHESS, along with his brother Leonard, founded Chess Records, the foremost label for recording blues. Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Lockwood Jr are only a few of the great musicians associated with the label.

Not just blues - Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Etta James all began their careers there as well. (95)

Bobby Vee

BOBBY VEE's career began when he and his band were hastily substituted for Buddy Holly after Buddy's death in the aircraft accident. Soon after they had a regional hit which brought him to the notice of big record companies.

After that he had dozens of Top 100 hits. The hits dried up after the sixties but he kept touring and recording. One of the hits he had, written by Sonny Curtis and Jerry Allison, both members of The Crickets (Buddy's band, who weren't on the fateful tour), was More Than I Can Say. (73)

♫ Bobby Vee - More Than I Can Say

Like a lot of singers, SHARON JONES started singing in a choir at her church. She later made a living as a wedding singer. It took her some time to become a real singer, as it were, but when she did, she and her band The Dap-Kings became one of the most exciting acts around.

They recorded a number of albums and toured constantly (quite often to Australia where she was immensely popular). Alas, pancreatic cancer took her far too soon. (60)

HERB HARDESTY was a New Orleans saxophone player who recorded and toured with Fats Domino for nearly 60 years. He also played on other New Orleans artists' records. He played jazz and was a member of several big bands - Duke Ellington and Count Basie most notably. Besides that he played behind Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. John and Tom Waits. (91)

Leon Russell

LEON RUSSELL was the super-star who never was. I saw him in San Francisco in 1970 and expected a meteoric rise in his career. I was wrong. However, he was a fine musician; he played piano and guitar with equal facility, and probably other instruments as well.

While still a teenager he became a session musician for the "Wrecking Crew", the group who played on all of Phil Spector's hits as well as others such as the Beach Boys. He also wrote many songs with which you'd be familiar. This is Leon with one of his songs that B.B. King covered so well, Hummingbird. (74)

♫ Leon Russell - Hummingbird


PAUL BLEY was a Canadian jazz pianist who one of the notable players in free jazz. (83)

GOGI GRANT had a big hit with The Wayward Wind, and also recorded soundtrack records. (91)

DALE GRIFFIN was a drummer for Mott The Hoople and a record producer. (67)

JOE RIVERS was the "Joe" in the fifties' pop duo Johnnie & Joe. (79)

MADELEINE LEBEAU was a French actress notable for her appearance in the film "Casablanca" leading the crowd in the nightclub singing La Marseillaise. (92)

ROB WASSERMAN was a classically trained violinist and double bass player who turned to jazz and pop. (64)

FRANK SINATRA JR continued in the style of music made famous by his father. (72)

PRINCE BUSTER was a Jamaican musician who was one of the principle developers of ska and rock steady music. (78)

BILLY PAUL was a soul and R & B singer who is most famous for the song Me and Mrs. Jones, and was an outspoken champion of civil rights. (81)

OSCAR BRAND was a Canadian folk singer and had a long running radio program in New York that went for 70 years. (96)

DANIELA DESSÌ was an Italian operatic soprano who performed in all the expected roles. (59)

JIMMY LEVINE was session musician (keyboards) for soul and R & B records. (62)

RICHARD HAMLETT was lead singer for the gospel group The Fairfield Four who modernized the music they recorded. (84)

GIB GUILBEAU was a Cajun, country and rock musician who was a sometime member of The Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Swampwater. (78)

CLIFFORD CURRY was a soul singer who had several hits in the sixties and seventies. (79)

KAY STARR was a fifties' pop singer who crossed many genres of music, best known for the song Rock & Roll Waltz. (94)

RAY COLUMBUS was New Zealand's first rock star. He was a singer, band leader and songwriter who had considerable success in his home country as well as Australia and elsewhere. (74)

JIM LOWE was a singer, songwriter and radio host most noted (by me) for the original version of Green Door. (93)

JOE LIGON was the founder and lead singer for the gospel group The Mighty Clouds of Joy. (80)

RALPH JOHNSON was the lead singer for The Impressions after Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield left the group. (67)

ELLIOTT SCHWARTZ was a classical music composer and music professor. (80)

GEORGE MICHAEL began his career as half of the pop duo Wham and later went on to have a very successful solo career as a singer and an advocate for gay rights. (53)

RICK PARFITT was the guitarist, singer and songwriter for the rock group Status Quo who had many hits in the seventies (68)

ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2016 - Part 1

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.

* * *

Oh my, there are a lot this year. This is the first of two columns.

Guy Clark

GUY CLARK was one of the finest of the Texas singer/songwriters. He was the epicentre of likeminded performers, including Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Jeff Walker and others.

His songs were an interesting blend of poetry and wit and he turned it all into a musical art form that few have matched. All his albums are worth listening to and there are two that I prefer (slightly) more than the others – "South Coast of Texas" and "Dublin Blues".

I listened to them both to select a track; there were many in contention. It was just how I felt on the day of selection, which is as it should be. Today it's South Coast of Texas. (He was 74)

♫ Guy Clark - South Coast of Texas

PIERRE BOULEZ was a French classical composer and conductor. His compositions are generally "challenging" (which translates as unlistenable-to) and as a conductor he presented the works of 20th century composers such as Berg, Stravinsky, Bartok, Debussy and so on.

He also brought electronic music and such into the classical repertoire and was a champion of the works of Frank Zappa. He did more than anyone to bring modern classical music to the forefront. (90)

Glenn Frey

GLENN FREY was the guitarist, songwriter and one of the singers for The Eagles, a band that had the two biggest selling albums in history.

He was born in Detroit and began his recording career there, playing guitar on his friend Bob Seger's early albums. After that, he left for Los Angeles where he encountered Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and others, with whom he performed and wrote songs.

Around this time Linda Ronstadt needed a backing band for an up-coming tour. Taking the advice of her companion, J.D. Souther, she hired Glenn and three others. This group meshed so well that at the end of the tour they decided to stay together as a separate band.

They called themselves The Eagles. They became hugely successful both as a recording group and in performances. They later split (and re-formed several times) and Glenn had quite a successful solo career – his songs were used in films and TV programs and he acted in some as well.

Here is Glenn with a song he wrote and sang with The Eagles, Tequila Sunrise. (67)

♫ The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise

LONG JOHN HUNTER was from Louisiana but he's more associated with the Texas blues scene. He was a singer and guitarist of the first order - however, he's little known outside lovers of electric blues style, possibly because he spent many years in Mexico playing his music there. (84)

Paul Kantner

PAUL KANTNER was one of the founders of the San Francisco rock group Jefferson Airplane. They were blessed with a fine lead guitarist in Jorma Kaukonen and two excellent singers in Marty Balin and Grace Slick but it was Paul who kept the group on track, at least for a few years.

They were the first of the San Francisco groups to receive a recording contract and had a hit album and several hit singles. By the early seventies the band had evolved into Jefferson Starship who were essentially a group playing just the hits and Paul quit amid multitudinous lawsuits. He really didn't do much musically after that. (74)

Signe Anderson

By an amazing coincidence, SIGNE ANDERSON died the same day as Paul. Signe was the original singer for the Airplane but left to care for her baby daughter; that's when Grace Slick came on board.

Signe can be heard on the original album by the group called "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off". (74)

From that album here are Paul and Signe singing Run Around.

♫ Jefferson Airplane - Run Around

OTIS CLAY was a blues and R & B singer who was from Mississippi but made Chicago his home. He could belt out blues with the best of them and sing tender songs that could break your heart. Besides his musical achievements, Otis was known for his charitable work in his adopted city. (72)

Dan Hicks

DAN HICKS was a musician who went against the trends of music in the sixties when he was at his peak.

Not for him the ever increasing volume of the rock bands at the time. He took his inspiration from western swing, Django Reinhardt, the Andrews Sisters, Fats Waller and put his own spin on all of it. He surrounded himself with fine musicians who played in his band the Hot Licks, who shared his musical views.

Although never a top seller, he was very influential and many other musicians took his example to heart. Here Dan and the Licks perform How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away. (74)

♫ Dan Hicks - How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away

The first and definitely the best trio in rock & roll history was Elvis, Scotty and Bill. The last remaining member of that group, SCOTTY MOORE died recently (Bill was Bill Black, and you probably know who the other one was).

Scotty was a session guitarist at Sun Records and was called in by Sam Phillips to play on Elvis's first recordings (along with Bill). They worked well together and eventually recorded a lot more and toured together (later adding D.J. Fontana on drums). (84)

Neville Marriner

NEVILLE MARRINER was an English violinist and one of the world's finest conductors. He founded (and was conductor with) the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, an orchestra that is second to none.

He studied at the Royal College of Music and joined the army when war broke out. Later he was in several orchestras and string quartets and went to America where he started the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and was conductor at several other orchestras.

Upon returning to England he formed the Academy and remained musical director there until recently. He was one of the first to use authentic period instruments in recordings of Baroque and early Classical works. He conducted all round the world.

This is Neville conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with the third movement of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 5. (92)

♫ Neville Marriner: Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No 5 (3)

GEORGE MARTIN was the most important record producer in history because he was the one who allowed The Beatles to do what they wanted to do.

He managed to achieve the sounds they could only hear in their heads. Before the fab four, he produced comedy records, classical ones, pop music and early rock & roll so he was the perfect person for them. He was also classically trained on piano, oboe and composition. (90)

Jon English

JON ENGLISH was an English-born Australian singer, actor and songwriter. He was the singer and guitarist for the group Sebastian Hardie, but he first made it big playing Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar".

He was an in-demand actor on TV playing serious and comic roles. He was a stage actor as well and appeared in a number of Gilbert and Sullivan works. He also recorded songs, many of which became hits. One of those is Carmilla. (66)

♫ Jon English - Carmilla

STEVE YOUNG was a country music singer and songwriter who brought elements of folk, blues, gospel and rock into his work. He was essentially a country-rock performer before that genre had been invented.

Although not very well known to the general public, he wrote songs that were covered by many, including The Eagles, Joan Baez, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jnr, Rita Coolidge and others. (73)

Ralph Stanley

RALPH STANLEY performed with his brother Carter as the Stanley Brothers. They were a major influence in the development of bluegrass and country music from the forties onwards. His "high, lonesome" style of singing was emulated by many and the brothers' harmony was a huge influence on the Everly Brothers and others.

After his brother died, Ralph formed the Clinch Mountain Boys that started the careers of several modern bluegrass musicians, such as Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley. This is Ralph with his brother performing It's Never Too Late To Start Over. (89)

♫ Stanley Brothers - It's Never Too Late To Start Over

MACK RICE was a soul singer and song writer – he wrote Mustang Sally, a big hit for Wilson Pickett.

He first came to notice in a group called The Falcons that also included Wilson and Eddie Floyd. He had a bit of a career as a singer, but his main claim to fame is as a songwriter for musicians, both at Stax records and Motown. The number of singers who recorded his songs is far too extensive to list here. (82)

Ross Hanaford

ROSS HANNAFORD was considered by everyone to be Australia's finest rock guitarist. He had a long collaboration with his friend Ross Wilson with whom he was in several bands starting with The Pink Finks when they were still teenagers.

Later they formed Sons of the Vegetal Mother inspired by the music of Frank Zappa. The two are best known for the band Daddy Cool, one of the most important and loved bands in Oz history.

They were in a later band, Mighty Kong and Ross (Hannaford) later formed several of his own groups, most notably Dianna Kiss.  He also played on many musicians' albums.

Here is Ross with Paul Madigan performing There's Really Nothing You Can Do. Paul sings the first half of the song and Ross plays electric guitar and sings the second half. (65)

♫ Ross Hannaford & Paul Madigan - There's Really Nothing You Can Do

Speaking of Daddy Cool, WAYNE DUNCAN was the bass player for the group. He was also a member of Sons of the Vegetal Mother and was respected by his peers as one of the finest bass players in Oz rock. (72)

Fred Hellerman

FRED HELLERMAN was the last remaining member of The Weavers. He was the main guitarist of the group and wrote songs for them (as well as for others).

They had quite a few hits in the early fifties until the right-wing nut cases blacklisted them from radio and TV. They still performed in concert to great acclaim.

After the Weavers, Fred also produced records (Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant and its successor, as well as Joan Baez's and Judy Collins' first albums). His songs have been recorded by Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Don Williams, The Kingston Trio, Roberta Flack and others.

Fred sings lead vocal with The Weavers on Sixteen Tons.

♫ The Weavers - Sixteen Tons

PETE FOUNTAIN was a New Orleans jazz clarinet player. He didn't restrict himself to traditional jazz but also played in the modern style as well as dabbling in pop, honky tonk and Creole music.

He first came to prominence as a member of Lawrence Welk's orchestra but left after a difference about Pete's wanting to play jazz. He returned to New Orleans and opened his own club that featured most of the best musicians over the years. (86)

Marni Nixon

You've all heard MARNI NIXON sing many, many times and most of you are saying, "Ah yes, of course". There may be a few of you, however, who are going, "Who, who? I know not of what you speak".

To remind you: Marni supplied the singing voice of Deborah Kerr in "The King and I", Natalie Wood in "West Side Story", Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady", Deborah again in "An Affair to Remember" and many others.

She was much in demand for that role because she was classically trained (in violin as well as voice), had perfect pitch and could sight-read extremely well.

Outside of films, Marni was a specialist in the works of modern classical composers such as Stravinsky, Webern, Copland, Schoenberg, Ives, Berg and so on. From Aaron Copland's "8 Poems of Emily Dickinson", this is No 4, Heart, We Will Forget Him. (86)

♫ Marni Nixon - 8 Poems of Emily Dickinson No. 4. Heart, we will forget him

JOHN D. LOUDERMILK was a songwriter and singer whose songs were covered by many famous singers – The Everly Brothers, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, Sammy Davis Jnr, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash and on and on.

He also had some hits himself. I remember fondly Angela Jones and Language of Love. Also, who could forget Calling Doctor Casey? (82)

Mose Allison

MOSE ALLISON was a jazz pianist, singer and songwriter who was influenced by the blues that surrounded him where he grew up in Mississippi. In turn, he had a huge influence on later musicians, particularly those of the first wave of British bands in the sixties.

This is most evident in Georgie Fame's style but also Van Morrison and The Who acknowledge their debt to Mose. His songs have been covered by hundreds of performers over the years and you can also hear hints of him in Randy Newman, J.J. Cale, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and many lesser performers.

Mose sings and plays Lost Mind. (89)

♫ Mose Allison - Lost Mind

JUAN GABRIEL was a Mexican singer who was a superstar in that country and elsewhere in Latin America. He wrote songs for himself and others and performed in many genres. He also sold more than 100 million records; few musicians anywhere have beaten that. (66)

Leonard Cohen

LEONARD COHEN was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and author. He spent much of the sixties on the Greek island of Hydra writing poetry, novels and eventually songs that became the basis of his first two albums. Many other performers took notice of those songs and recorded them as well.

He produced only 14 albums, but all of them contained songs as good as anyone else has written. Although lacking a conventional good singing voice, his concerts were always eagerly anticipated. Nobody sang his songs as well as he did himself (well, almost nobody).

From the first album is the song Sisters of Mercy. (82)

♫ Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy

By a coincidence, MARIANNE IHLEN died this year as well. She was the inspiration of several of Lennie's early songs, most especially So Long Marianne. It's her picture on the back cover of "Songs From a Room". (81)


KEITH EMERSON was one third of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, in which he played various keyboards. (71)

GREG LAKE makes it two thirds of the group; he played bass. Carl Palmer must be looking over his shoulder. (69)

LEE ANDREWS was lead singer for the Doowop group Lee Andrews and The Hearts who had several hits in the fifties. (79)

NED MILLER was a country music songwriter and singer best known for his world-wide hit From a Jack to a King. (90)

AMJAD SABRI was a Pakistani singer of Sufi devotional music, murdered by mad men. (39)

HENRY MCCULLOUGH was a Northern Irish guitarist who played in the Grease Band, Spooky Tooth and Paul McCartney's Wings. (72)

GIORGIO GOMELSKY was a music promoter and record producer who started the careers of the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll. (81)

DALLAS TAYLOR was a session drummer who played for Crosby, Stills and Nash and toured with The Doors and Paul Butterfield's band. (66)

JOAN MARIE JOHNSON was a member of the Dixie Cups who had several hits in the sixties, most notably Iko Iko and Chapel of Love. (72)

JEREMY STEIG was a jazz flute player who also dabbled in rock music and wrote several soundtracks. (73)

GARY PAXTON was a songwriter, singer and record producer who was responsible Alley-Oop and other novelty songs. (77)

DAVE SWARBRICK was an English folk singer and violinist, and a member of Fairport Convention. (75)

MAURICE WHITE was the founder and guiding light of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. (74)

AL CAIOLA was a session guitarist who had instrumental hits of his own. He also performed TV and film theme tunes. (96)

MENTOR WILLIAMS was a song writer, and occasional singer, best known for writing the song Drift Away. (70)

ALAN ZAVOD was an Australian jazz pianist who was discovered by Duke Ellington. He was a student at the Berklee College of Music, and later became a professor there. He played with Frank Zappa, Sting, Eric Clapton, Nigel Kennedy and others. (71)

This has been an awful year (in more ways than one). You can read Part 2 of Toes Up 2016 here.

ELDER MUSIC: Christmas 2016

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.

* * *


Oh dear. Here we go again. Let's see what heartwarming Christmas tunes I can come up with this year. I like songs that you won't hear in your neighborhood mall, so let's see what Santa has packed in his bag this year.

We'll start with the most famous reindeer of them all. You know the one, or at least you probably think you do. We have JUSTIN WILSON performing Randolph, the Rouge Nosed Reindeer.

Justin Wilson

Okay, it wasn't quite the one you thought it was, but it's more entertaining than the other one and sounds rather like it.

♫ Justin Wilson - Randolph, The Rouge Nosed Reindeer

ROOMFUL OF BLUES is a blues and swing band who formed in the unlikely blues state of Rhode Island.

Roomful Of Blues

They began way back in 1967 and are still going strong. One of their founder members is the great Duke Robillard, who's not with them anymore. Some other interesting performers have been in the group – Ronnie Earl, Lou Ann Barton, Ron Levy amongst them.

The current incarnation of the group wonders: Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get the Blues?

♫ Roomful Of Blues - Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get The Blues

AMOS MILBURN is a regular in my columns.

Amos Milburn

He's a particular favorite of Norma, the Assistant Musicologist. Amos made a career performing songs about drinking, partying and generally having a good time. Well, at this time of the year he has it all covered.

This one is rather a slow song, but his heart's in the right place: Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby.

♫ Amos Milburn - Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby

LORD BEGINNER was from Trinidad and was known to his mum and dad as Egbert Moore. Egbert? No wonder he took a pseudonym.

Lord Beginner

Lord (or Egbert) emigrated to England in the late forties where he established his musical career based on the sound of his native land. It seems he imbibed a little too much, as he says that Christmas Morning the Rum Had Me Yawning.

♫ Lord Beginner - Christmas Morning The Rum Had Me Yawning

EDDIE CAMPBELL was from Mississippi but like many who were musically adept from that state, he moved to Chicago (in his case his family did the moving, Eddie went along as he was quite young).

Eddie Campbell

He was another cog in the wheel that invented Chicago blues, one of the finest genres of music from the twentieth century. He played in the bands of musicians such as Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and others before striking out on his own.

Eddie thinks that Santa's Messin' With the Kid.

♫ Eddie Campbell - Santa's Messin' With The Kid

Continuing in the heavy blues vein, we have TEXAS PETE MAYES.

Texas Pete Maye

You can probably guess whence Pete hails. He was also called T-Bone Man, as he played guitar rather like T-Bone Walker (but not nearly as well, in my opinion. Of course, no one played guitar as well as Mr Walker did). Pete's contribution today is Christmas Holidays.

♫ Texas Pete Mayes - Christmas Holidays

Okay, we're on a roll here with some more blues. It's pretty much the theme of the year, after all. Next up is HARRY CRAFTON with the Doc Bagby Orchestra.

Harry Crafton<

Harry is rather upset as his baby has nicked his Cadillac, apparently on Christmas Eve. That's not a good thing to do and he is asking her to Bring That Cadillac Back.

♫ Harry Crafton With Doc Bagby Orchestra - Bring That Cadillac Back

A slight change of pace. MARCIA BALL is also known as a blues performer, and a really good one too, but she does something a little different today.

Marcia Ball

She's channelling some Zydeco music. Not too surprising as she's from Louisiana, so she knows all about that type of music. Here is Christmas Fais Do Do. This will get you all up rocking around the Christmas tree.

♫ Marcia Ball - Christmas Fais Do Do

Back to the blues – I couldn't keep away from them this year. FLOYD DIXON is really laid back and rather resigned to being alone on Christmas day.

Floyd Dixon

Floyd was another Texas blues man, in his case the piano was his main instrument. He took over from Charles Brown when he left the Three Blazers, one of the great cool blues groups.

Floyd eventually tired of the performing life and retired to Texas, emerging now and then to play a concert or two. Floyd has the Empty Stocking Blues.

♫ Floyd Dixon - Empty Stocking Blues

I'll end with my traditional moment of couth. This is SEQUENTIA.


They recorded an album of Christmas music from Aquitanian Monasteries from 12th Century. The composers of this music are long forgotten but the music lives on. This is really gorgeous so get a glass of Champagne or eggnog and listen. O Maria, Deu mai.

♫ Sequentia - O Maria, Deu maire


A Special Elder Music: Time Goes By

Due to bad weather where I live for most of last week, a whole lot of appointments got pushed into this week and it has been difficult for me to keep up with the blog.

Not long ago, Peter Tibbles, who writes the exceptional Elder Music column you read here each Sunday, sent this special Elder Music that I'm posting today. I'll let Peter take it from here.

* * *

For many years Ronni and I have missed the most bleeding obvious category for a music column and it's this one. After all that time the light bulb finally flickered on above our heads and now we have it.

To some it was a pretty obvious category to consider. Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, for one, waited patiently without saying anything for the two dummies to catch up.

So, it's a column about the column (as it were). I hope you'll forgive the self-referencing. Anyway, there are a couple of songs with the same title. And a couple of others, including the most famous one, that are quite similar. Then there are others.

I'll start with the column's title by CHIP TAYLOR.

Chip Taylor

Chip started out as a song writer – Wild Thing and Angel in the Morning are both his – before giving it away to earn a living as a professional gambler.

About 20 years ago he returned to music and has released some interesting albums, several with Carrie Rodriguez. As a trivial aside, he's the brother of actor Jon Voight but he can't help that. Here's Chip with Time Goes By.

♫ Chip Taylor - Time Goes By

Okay, here's the famous one, with the version that film lovers prefer. You know I'm talking about DOOLEY WILSON.

Dooley Wilson

For those who have been on Mars for the last seventy years, this is from the film Casablanca. Dooley was an actor, a singer and a drummer but not a pianist. He just played one in the film. You must remember this:As Time Goes B.

♫ Dooley Wilson - As Time Goes By

MARTY ROBBINS recorded a song with the column's title, a different one from Chip's.

Marty Robbins

Marty was one of the finest live performers around and he was a great singer and decent songwriter (name any of his hits and it's pretty certain to be one he wrote). This is one of his, far from his best, but it fits today's criterion. Time Goes By.

♫ Marty Robbins - Time Goes By

For a complete change of pace, here is SHIRLEY HORN.

Shirley Horn

Shirley was a jazz pianist and singer and she performed with all the greats in that field – Miles, Dizzy, Toots, Carmen, Wynton and on and on. Shirley seems a little surprised about the passing of time (she's not alone) or perhaps just resigned. As she says: My, How The Time Goes By.

♫ Shirley Horn - My, How The Time Goes By

CHAD AND JEREMY have a different song with the same title as the last one.

Chad & Jeremy

C & J were a duo who hung on to the coattails of the Beatles and had quite a successful career at the time, more so in America than in their native country. It doesn't matter, as they were quite good at what they did.

One of those things is a song calledMy How The Time Goes By.

♫ Chad & Jeremy - My How The Time Goes By

Who Knows Where the Time Goes is the name of a rather good album by JUDY COLLINS.

Judy Collins

The song of the same name was written by Sandy Denny, from Fairport Convention. She did a fine version as well, but today it's Judy's turn.

♫ Judy Collins - Who Knows Where the Time Goes

CHRIS HILLMAN from The Byrds and HERB PEDERSEN from The Dillards have been recording together for quite some time. Initially it was in the Desert Rose Band, but lately just as a duo.

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen

Both of their bands were notable for their harmony singing. Chris and Herb continue that tradition in their current incarnation. For them, Time Goes So Slow.

♫ Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen - Time Goes So Slow

Getting slightly away from the actual name of the column, but still with the same basic concept is a song written by Willie Nelson. Willie's wasn't the first version I heard way back; that was by JIMMY ELLEDGE.

Jimmy Elledge

Most of the time the first one you hear is the one that sticks in the brain and is the one you prefer. So it is with me, sorry Willie. Funny How Time Slips Away.

♫ Jimmy Elledge - Funny How Time Slips Away

In their first album, CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH recorded several songs that have become classics of the genre.

Crosby, Stills and Nash7

It depends on your point of view whether this is one of those. It's a bit rockier than the other tracks on the album – Stephen obviously pulled out his electric guitar for this one. This one being Long Time Gone.

♫ Crosby, Stills and Nash - Long Time Gone

I'll end with a song we had earlier, the most famous one today. This is the first recording of that one, it's by RUDY VALLEE.

Rudy Vallee

Besides singing, Rudy played clarinet, saxophone and drums and he is considered to be the first pop star, as we know that concept today. He used the microphone the way others who followed in his wake (Bing, Frank, Elvis) did. He sings As Time Goes By, from 1931.

♫ Rudy Vallee - As Time Goes By

* * *

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.

ELDER MUSIC: Listen to the Lions

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

* * *


This column started out as something completely different from the way it turned out. I thought I'd show the evolution of the song Mbube and got about halfway before I hit a brick wall.

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist suggested that instead of just that, have a column about lions (all will be revealed). She's pretty smart, the A.M. So this is it, a column of two parts, the first five songs are from that original concept. I'll start with the one that set me on this path.

SOLOMON LINDA wrote and recorded a song that might sound vaguely familiar to you. That song is the aforementioned Mbube.

Solomon Linda

That's Solomon on the left; his group is called The Evening Birds. Solomon was South African and worked as a cleaner at a record company. One evening he was allowed to record this song with his group.

Over the years the song and its variants have sold millions but Solomon received a pittance. Recently, and far too late for him, a settlement was made to provide royalties to his descendants (but not nearly enough, it seems). Here is the song that started it all.

♫ Solomon Linda & The Evening Birds - Mbube

Most readers will probably know that THE WEAVERS recorded a version of Wimoweh.

The Weavers

I imagine, if you're like me, you'd think their version to be a cappella, or perhaps just a guitar or banjo backing them. We'd all be wrong. Well, not entirely – that's the way they performed it live, most notably in the Carnegie Hall concerts.

However, their original recording wasn't like that. That was back when their record company insisted on putting over-blown orchestral arrangements (devised by Gordon Jenkins) behind them.

Being a perverse sort of musical columnist, I decided to include that one. Here it is.

♫ The Weavers - Wimoweh

Returning to South Africa we have MIRIAM MAKEBA who was a fierce opponent of the appalling apartheid regime in that country and after leaving in 1959, was not allowed to return until democracy came to her country.

Miriam Makeba

Miriam performs a variation on the original Mbube.

♫ Miriam Makeba - Mbube

By far the best selling version of the song was by THE TOKENS.

The Tokens

They called it The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The Tokens were from Brooklyn and were founded in 1955 and have had a dozen or more members over the years (including Neil Sedaka at one time). They had quite a few hits, but who remembers any of the others?

♫ The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Thanks to Paul Simon featuring them on his album “Graceland” and the subsequent tour in support of it, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO became know around the world.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

The group was formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and included brothers and cousins, and later on sons as well. As of this writing Joseph is still with the group. They perform the original song Mbube, updated somewhat from the original.

♫ Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Mbube

Well, that's got that out of the way, now we have some other songs. The A.M., since she changed the concept of the column, insisted the next track should be present. It's one her favorites by HOYT AXTON and LINDA RONSTADT.

Linda Ronstadt & Hoyt Axton

It's a pity they didn't record more songs together as they did it so well. As far as I can determine this is it. Lion in Winter.

♫ Hoyt Axton & Linda Ronstadt - Lion In Winter

A lot of lion songs seem to be from reggae musicians, which is interesting as there seems to be a dearth of lions in Jamaica. One such musician is Winston Rodney, better known to the musical world as BURNING SPEAR.

Burning Spear

Mr Spear, or Burn to his friends (okay, I made that up), has a song with the simple title of Lion.

♫ Burning Spear - Lion

IAN TYSON continues to write wonderful songs, and record them as well. Alas, the years have taken their toll on his wonderful voice but I'll keep buying his albums as long as he keeps putting them out.

Ian Tyson

From his recent album "Yellowhead To Yellowstone" Ian gives us a female perspective of our category today, with the song Lioness.

♫ Ian Tyson - Lioness

CARLOS SANTANA got together with ZIGGY MARLEY (son of Bob) for this next song.

Carlos Santana & Ziggy Marley

Also along for the recording was the Colombian hip-hop group CHOCQUIBTOWN.


I included this one, again, at the suggestion of the A.M. There were several I considered for this spot and played them for her and this was her choice. The song is Iron Lion Zion.

♫ Santana - Iron Lion Zion (feat. Ziggy Marley & ChocQuibTown)

People who are familiar with oeuvre of the Belfast Cowboy will recognise the (approximate) title of the column. I'm referring to VAN MORRISON, of course.

Van Morrison

Van recorded the song Listen to the Lion for his album "Saint Dominic's Preview", which was the fifth in a row of a string of albums that were as good as anyone has ever made. Listen to the lion for the next eleven minutes.

♫ Van Morrison - Listen to the Lion


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.

* * *


Water is very problematic in this country (Australia, for those who came in late). The top half has far too much of it and the bottom half, where pretty much everyone lives, not nearly enough.

Someone should invent a really big jack to lift up the top bit so the water all flows down to where it's needed.

Of course, there have been plans to divert rivers and where that's occurred, disaster has happened so I'll just forget about that jack. Quite obviously, we're talking and singing about water today. I'll start with one of my favorite songs on the topic.

THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS were a very long lived group who had many songs over the years that made an impact on the charts and elsewhere.

Sons Of The Pioneers

One of the group's founding members was Leonard Slye who was their lead singer for some considerable time before he went off and made a (different) name for himself in films as Roy Rogers. The Sons often joined him in those flicks.

The song today doesn't feature Roy, he was long gone by this time. The lead singer is Bob Nolan and what a great job he does. There are many versions of the song Cool Water, but this is the original, written by Bob himself.

That's him in the centre of the photo.

♫ The Sons Of The Pioneers - Cool Water

WILLIAM BELL was one of the great soul singers from the sixties.

William Bell

William wrote this song and recorded it first (not surprisingly). Many others have covered it but who needs them when we have William.

Fortunately, at least as I write this, William is still with us and performing. You Don’t Miss Your Water.

♫ William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water

PAUL KELLY was influenced by the great short story writer Raymond Carver and the song today is actually based on one of his stories, So Much Water, So Close to Home. It is also the name of the album from which the song is taken.

Paul Kelly

Paul is unusual in the ranks of male songwriters – he writes many songs from the female point of view. This is one of them, Everything's Turning to White.

♫ Paul Kelly - Everything's Turning to White

I had two songs by the SOUL STIRRERS but I couldn't decide which to include. I played them for Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, to get her advice. She said, "Use both of them". She's pretty smart.

Soul Stirrers

The first is Wade in the Water and it's a very old song that goes back to the Underground Railroad and gave instructions to slaves escaping and how to avoid capture.

Many have performed it over the years and there are many versions I could have included but I liked this one best of all. The Soul Stirrers is where Sam Cooke first made his name but that doesn't sound like Sam singing, although I could be wrong.

♫ The Soul Stirrers - Wade In The Water

The other song by the group definitely has SAM COOKE singing lead.

Sam Cooke

It's another song about Jesus and water, called Jesus Gave Me Water.

♫ Sam Cooke - Jesus Gave Me Water

There were two contenders for the song Pouring Water On a Drowning Man that stood out above the rest. The A.M. wanted Percy Sledge. I wanted JAMES CARR. I won because this is my column, and besides it's the better version (but not by much).

James Carr

James was the great unknown soul singer. He didn't like touring or performing. He wasn't all that keen on recording either. He was bi-polar so it's understandable.

The music we do have of his demonstrates what an extraordinary talent he was. Here is his version of the song.

♫ James Carr - Pouring Water On A Drowning Man

There are many versions of The Water is Wide out there and the pick of them is by KATHLEEN FERRIER. However, she calls the song O Waly, Waly.

Kathleen Ferrier

Kath was probably the finest singer of the 20th century - unfortunately, breast cancer brought her career and her life to a premature end in 1953. She was a great interpreter of the works of Bach and Mahler, but they're not what we're about today.

♫ Kathleen Ferrier - O Waly, Waly

HOWLIN' WOLF is an inspiration to all of us.

Howlin' Wolf

Functionally illiterate until his early forties, he went back to school to learn. Not just that, he went on to study accounting and business so that his band became really successful (it already was, but now it became more so).

He was able to pay his sidemen really well and offer them benefits not usually available in the world of touring blues musicians. Thus he attracted the best to perform with him.

He remained a faithful and loving husband for life. He was quiet and rather shy off-stage. His image is quite different from that, but image and reality often don't agree.

Wolf performs I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline).

♫ Howlin' Wolf - I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)

Everyone reading will know THE WEAVERS.

The Weavers

They were a serious influence on folk and rock performers who followed in their wake. They perform Bring A Little Water Sylvie, a song written by Huddie Ledbetter.

♫ The Weavers - Bring A Little Water Sylvie

It's a good week for soul singers, and here's another, WILSON PICKETT.

Wilson Pickett

You Left the Water Running has been performed by quite a few soul singers (and others) and I had fun auditioning them. It surprised me that Wilson's version was better than Otis Redding's (and all the rest as well). Otis is usually my go to man in these situations.

Here is the Wicked Mr Pickett.

♫ Wilson Pickett - You Left the Water Running

BOB WILLS is synonymous with western swing music, although there were others as well, of course.

Bob Wills

Bob generally kept up a running "commentary" through his songs which irritates me somewhat, especially when Tommy Duncan was singing, which he did on most of the songs that are familiar to us. You can hear what I'm saying with Deep Water.

♫ Bob Wills - Deep Water

ELDER MUSIC: Songs About Cities - Santa Fe

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.

* * *

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the United States (founded in 1610), but you all knew that - I just threw it in for something to say.

After California and Massachusetts, I've spent more time in New Mexico than any other American state. Indeed, I've spent more time there than any Australian state except Victoria.

Naturally, having spent all that time there, I've visited Santa Fe a number of times. Santa Fe is known for its arts and crafts and it was in there I first discovered the art work of R.C. Gorman, Georgia O'Keeffe and John Axton. John was the only one of those whose work I could afford.

An interesting insight into the geography of the two countries is that Santa Fe is higher above sea level than the tip of the highest mountain in Australia (Mount Kosciuszko). So, let's go with songs about Santa Fe (or ones that mention the city).

I first discovered ELIZA GILKYSON when I was in New Mexico quite some time ago. Eliza was living there at the time.

Eliza Gilkyson

That was through a very early album of hers called "Love From the Heart" (and she was calling herself Lisa Gilkyson back then). I still have that one (on vinyl); I'm not getting rid of if it as I've never seen it on CD (or any other format).

From later in her career she sings Lights of Santa Fe.

♫ Eliza Gilkyson - Lights of Santa Fe

THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS had several songs that were contenders. I guess they like Santa Fe.

Sons Of The Pioneers

The two most famous members of the group were Roy Rogers (who doesn't appear in the song today) and Bob Nolan. Bob wrote many of their songs, but not this one.

After playing them, including two different versions of the one I chose, I decided on Along the Santa Fe Trail. This one they recorded in 1947.

♫ Sons Of The Pioneers - Along The Santa Fe Trail (1947)

ARTHUR CRUDUP is probably best known these days for writing That's All Right Mama, the first song with which Elvis made the charts. He recorded several others of Arthur's as well.

Arthur Crudup

Arthur is one of the most important links between rhythm and blues (and straight blues) and rock & roll. Many early (and not so early) rockers have covered his songs. The one we're interested in today is Mean Old Santa Fe.

♫ Arthur Crudup - Mean Old Santa Fe

I find it amusing that probably the most famous railway in America, the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe doesn't get to Santa Fe (and never has). I guess, because of that, technically, the song On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe isn't about our city.

That doesn't stop me though. There are a bunch of versions of this song and I'm going for the one I like best by BING CROSBY.

Bing Crosby

You don't need me to tell you about Bing, I'll just play the song. That's Six Hits and a Miss supplying backing vocals.

♫ Bing Crosby - On The Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe

After his motor cycle accident in 1966, BOB DYLAN went to Woodstock (in New York state) to rest and recuperate.

Bob Dylan

Coincidently (or perhaps not), the members of the band who backed him on that famous first electric tour were living just down the road. They were The Hawks but later became better known as The Band.

Naturally they couldn't help themselves and they started playing music together (in the big pink house a couple of The Band were renting).

They recorded a lot of these sessions as demos of new songs for other artists. This music made its way out to the general public and was later officially released as "The Basement Tapes". From that album Bob and The Band perform Santa-Fe.

♫ Bob Dylan - Santa-Fe

JIMMIE DALE GILMORE has two musical careers: as a solo artist and as a member of The Flatlanders with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

He's also a bit of an actor and has appeared in a number of films. However, we're interested in his music, and in particular, the song Santa Fe Thief.

♫ Jimmie Dale Gilmore - Santa Fe Thief

PAUL SIMON doesn't actually mention Santa Fe in his song.

Paul Simon

However, he does reference the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that are a backdrop to the city and that's good enough for me. The song is Hearts and Bones for the album of the same name.

That one is rather neglected in Paul's canon but I think it's a really fine and worth being in your collection if you like Paul's music.

♫ Paul Simon - Hearts and Bones

Although not a tribute band, THE SONS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN somewhat channel The Sons of the Pioneers.

Sons of the San Joaquin

Like their predecessors, they sing of life as cowboys (although they certainly didn't earn a living doing that).

These Sons are brothers Joe and Jack Hannah and Joe's son Lon. They have that sibling, or perhaps familial more to the point, harmony down pat, they make beautiful music together. Here they are with Santa Fe Lights.

♫ Sons of the San Joaquin - Santa Fe Lights

The Sons, just above, first came to notice singing backing on one of MICHAEL MARTIN MURPHEY's "Cowboy Songs" albums. He was so impressed he got them a recording contract.

Michael Martin Murphey

Michael has a few songs that could be considered today. I originally had him inked in performing Santa Fe Trail. However, going back over the others, I decided that I preferred Sante Fe Cantina, so that's the one you have today.

♫ Michael Martin Murphey - Sante Fe Cantina

VAN MORRISON is an unlikely contender today, but I'll use any excuse to include him.

Van Morrison

Van's song is really two for the price of one. They are Santa Fé and Beautiful Obsession.

♫ Van Morrison - Santa Fé ~ Beautiful Obsession

ELDER MUSIC: Classical Gas Goes Forth

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.

We shouldn't confuse JOHANN SCHOBERT with similarly surnamed Franz Schubert because they were different people. Besides, Franz is too well known to fit into this category.


Jo was born in Silesia or Alsace or Nuremberg in 1720 or 1735 or 1740. We do know that he died, though, along with his wife, one of their children, a servant and four friends when Jo insisted that the mushrooms were edible.

In between all that he composed music and played the harpsichord and piano. Here is the first movement of his Piano Trio in B flat major, Op 16 No 1.

♫ Johann Schobert - Trio in B flat major, Op 16 No 1 (1)

Haydn is one of the biggest names in music, but it's not the famous Joseph we're interested in today, but his younger brother MICHAEL HAYDN.

Michael Haydn

Mike was also a gifted composer, so much so that quite a few of his works were attributed to his brother until recent times when modern scholarship has shown conclusively that they really belong to him. This is one such, the third movement of the Violin Concerto in B flat major.

♫ Michael Haydn - Violin Concerto in B flat major (3)

There have been several husband and wife composing teams, the most famous of whom would be Robert and Clara Schumann. They're a bit too well known for this column. In their place I give you the Dusseks, beginning with JAN DUSSEK.

Jan Dussek

Jan was a Czech composer and was widely travelled. He spent 10 years in London where he met Sophia. While in London he was instrumental (sorry) in the development of the modern piano. He wrote mostly for the piano, but he left quite a bit of music for the harp, Sophia's main instrument. This is the third movement of his Piano Quintet in F minor opus 41.

♫ Jan Dussek - Quintet in F minor opus 41 (3)

Jan's wife was SOPHIA DUSSEK.

Sophia Dussek

Sophia was born Sophia Corri in Edinburgh. Her father was Domenico Corri, also a composer of some note at the time. Besides, he was a music publisher, which was handy. Sophia was a singer, pianist and most notably, a harp player. It was for this that she wrote most of her music.

It wasn't all jolly times in the Dussek household, Sophia eventually went off and shacked up with another man (whom she employed to repair her harp – nudge nudge wink wink). Jan left town and they never saw each other again as he died soon afterwards.

This is the third movement of her Harp Sonata No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 2.

♫ Sophia Dussek - Sonata No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 2 (3)

JOHANN BACKOFEN was a German composer who also played the clarinet, harp, flute and bassett horn. Besides that, he was a painter of note.

Johann Backofen

That's really about all we know about Jo, even the year he died is unknown, but some say 1830 because some have to put a number to these things.

Okay, I'll mention the Basset horn: the Basset horn is rather like the clarinet but is larger and has a bit of a bend at the top near the mouth piece. Some examples have another bend in the middle or down the bottom near the horn where all the music comes out.

Here is the first movement of the Quintet in F Major for Bassett Horn and Strings.

♫ Johann Backofen - Quintet in F Major for Bassett Horn and Strings Op 9 (1)

BARBARA STROZZI was adopted by the Strozzi family; she was the daughter of papa (Giulio) Strozzi and his servant, Isabella Garzon.

Barbara Strozzi

It looks as if wardrobe malfunctions aren't only a modern phenomenon. That picture was painted by Bernardo Strozzi, who may be a close relative (or not – no one is quite certain).

Barbara was a singer of some renown and a composer as well, which is why she appears here. Dad was very encouraging of her talents, paying for her to study composition and he even had an academy built where she could perform.

It seems that she was the most prolific composer - man or woman - of secular vocal music in Venice in the middle of the seventeenth century. This is one of her compositions, Sete pur fastidioso, performed by the group LA VILLANELLA BASEL.

La Villanella Basel

♫ Barbara Strozzi - Sete pur fastidioso

FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE was a composer, musician (flute and bassoon mainly) and professor at the Paris Conservatory.

Francois Devienne

He managed to negotiate the Revolution successfully, possibly by setting up a Free School of Music that evolved into the National Institute of Music, and later the Paris Conservatory.

Most of his works are for various blowing instruments, the best known these days are for flute thanks to the work of the great Jean-Pierre Rampal. However, here is something slightly different, the first movement of his Oboe Sonata in G major, Op. 71 No. 1.

Francois Devienne - Oboe Sonata in G major, Op. 71 No. 1 (1)

JAN KALIVODA (or Johann Kalliwoda as the Germans would have it) was born in Prague and studied at the Prague Conservatory.

Jan Kalivoda

Jan was very prolific, and his work covers pretty much every genre of music (except opera, it seems). He was much admired by Robert Schumann who took note of what he was doing (particularly his symphonies).

He led a quiet life (unlike many composers) writing and playing music for many decades for Prince Karl Egon II of Fürstenberg. This is his Nocturne No. 3. Op. 186 for Piano and Viola.

♫ Jan Kalivoda - Nocturne No. 3. Op. 186

ANNA BON was born in Russia because her folks were also in the music biz and got about a bit.

Anna Bon

She was trained in Vienna and apparently became a virtuoso on several instruments but especially the flute. She continued the family tradition of travelling around until she married another musician and the rest of her life is missing from history.

Most of her works that are around today are for flute or harpsichord but here is one of her motets (for an alto singer) called Ad te Virgo caelestis Regina. It's performed by ENSEMBLE LA DONNA MUSICALE.

La Donna Musicale

♫ Ensemble La Donna Mujsicale - Ad te Virgo caelestis Regina

CARLOS BAGUER was taught music by his uncle who was the head organist and composer at the cathedral in Barcelona.

Carlos Baguer

Carlos took over that position when unc died. He's most noted for his symphonies (there are nineteen of them) and he quite obviously listened closely to those that Haydn wrote. He also wrote a lot of religious music, after all that's what he was employed to do.

We'll listen to a bit of a symphony, the second movement of Symphony No. 18 in B flat major.

♫ Carlos Baguer - Symphony No. 18 in B flat major (2)


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.

* * *

We have another really early year with music that was recorded at the time. This year we're deep in the first great unpleasantness, but I've eschewed all the songs that refer to that as I really don't like them at all.

The first song wasn't written in 1916, but it was recorded in this year. It's a Stephen Foster song that's still being sung today (as many of his songs are). The version from this year is by ALMA GLUCK.

Alma Gluck

Alma was born in Romania but her family moved to America when she was a kiddliewink. She was classically trained and had considerable success at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

When this new-fangled recording thingie became popular, she was one of the first to recognise its potential. Besides the classical repertoire, she recorded popular songs of the time and became the first classical singer to sell a million records.

Later she married the famous violinist Efrem Zimbalist with whom she had a couple of kids, including Junior (77 Sunset Strip, etc). One of her big sellers was My Old Kentucky Home.

♫ Alma Gluck - My Old Kentucky Home

JOHN MCCORMACK was an Irish tenor who eventually settled in Australia.

John McCormack

He was also classically trained and appeared at Covent Garden where he met Nellie Melba and toured with her (thus the Australian connection). There's another meeting that's interesting to me.

Early on in his old country, he used to sing with James Joyce (yes, the author) who fancied himself as a bit of a singer. Anyway, John sings The Sunshine of Your Smile.

♫ John McCormack - The Sunshine Of Your Smile

ARTHUR COLLINS and BYRON HARLAN make yet another appearance in these years series.

Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan

They were noted for their comedy records and others as well. This one has the rather inspired title of Oh How She Could Yacki Hacki Wicki Wachi Woo.

I remember when I was growing up my elders would berate me about the silly lyrics of the songs I'd listen to at the time. I wish I had known about this one (and others) back then.

♫ Collins & Harlan - Yacki Hacki Wicki Wachi Woo (That's Love In Honolulu) 1916

THE STERLING TRIO was yet another group with whom Henry Burr was associated.

The Sterling Trio

It seems that he was everywhere in the early days of the century, I'm surprised he had time to sleep. We're not in Hawaii, but we're not freezing our butts off either. This is In Florida Among The Palms, written by Irving Berlin (who lived a long time).

♫ The Sterling Trio - In Florida Among The Palms

OLIVE KLINE and LAMBERT MURPHY perform this next song (the recording quality of which is not good at all)

Olive Kline & Lambert Murphy

They both used stage names, they were really Alice Green and Raymond Dixon, but they weren't the first and were far from the last to assume a different name in show biz. Here they perform So Long, Letty.

♫ Olive Kline & Lambert Murphy - So Long, Letty

The sound quality of this next track is vastly superior to all the rest today. It was recorded by SCOTT JOPLIN who wrote the tune.

Scott Joplin

When I say recorded, he created a piano roll in 1916, which is a form of recording and is good enough for me. Some say that folks at Connorized Music Rolls, who did the recording, tinkered with it somewhat as Scott was suffering from terminal syphilis (from which he died a year later) and he was a bit shaky.

Others contend that what you hear is what was put down. I guess we'll never know. This is Pleasant Moments.

♫ Scott Joplin - Pleasant Moments

It's been said that THE PEERLESS QUARTET were The Beatles of their day. I don't know about that as I wasn't there.

The Peerless Quartet

They were certainly well recorded during the teens of the 20th century. I've featured them in most of these early years, and I'm doing so again as they are a handy resource for these columns.

They perform On the Old Dominion Line.

♫ The Peerless Quartet - On the Old Dominion Line

Initially, when I listened to this, I thought, "That's not AL JOLSON". As the song progressed it became clear that it was.

Al Jolson

The song really isn't indicative of his style that we're used to. I guess he was just starting out, trying various things to see what would work. I don't think this one did, but he did commit it to shellac so we have it for posterity.

The song is I Sent My Wife to the Thousand Isles.

♫ Al Jolson - I Sent My Wife to the Thousand Isles

There seems to have been a considerable number of songs about Hawaii this year, such that I could have filled the column with them. I refrained from doing that. However, here's another one by BILLY MURRAY.

Billy Murray

There's a bit of overlap today as Billy was the lead tenor for the Peerless Quartet. However, this is Billy on his own. The song is about the huge expense of phoning from New York to Hawaii. He should have written a letter (remember them?) Hello, Hawaii, How Are You.

♫ Billy Murray - Hello, Hawaii, How Are You

This could also be considered in the Hawaii category as well, it's called Paradise Blues. The singer is MARION HARRIS.

Marion Harris

Marion was the first white singer who was known for singing jazz and blues songs. There were probably others but she was the one who hit the big time with her songs.

Although this is called Paradise Blues, it doesn't sound very bluesy to me. Oh well.

♫ Marion Harris - Paradise blues

ELDER MUSIC: A Little Glass of Wine

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

* * *

I've done a couple of columns on drinking songs but I haven't produced one specifically about wine, the only alcohol in which I indulge.

If I had my druthers, I would pretty much drink some of these wines in the photo all the time (and a few others like them). My bank manager might have something to say about that though.


I don't like beer – I know, that makes me un-Australian. I don't like Vegemite either so I'm doubly beyond the pale. I don't drink whisky (or whiskey), brandy, vodka or any of those. It's just the grape for me.

Not just me it seems. I found more than 200 songs devoted to the subject (and that's just in their titles). A lot of culling was necessary.

TOM RUSSELL has recorded a number of albums about the area around New Mexico, Texas and Mexico region.

Tom Russell

The album from which this song is taken is not one of those. However, this song is set around the Russian River, a fine wine growing area in California. No matter where the setting is, any song from Tom is worth a listen, and this is no exception. Midnight Wine.

♫ Tom Russell - Midnight Wine

Yet another excuse for me to include JESSE WINCHESTER, and besides, he supplies the title of the column.

Jesse Winchester

Jesse was fond if a glass of wine which we found out when he was here for the Troubadour Weekend, run by winemaker and music buff Andrew Pattison for acoustic and similar performers.

Alas, Jesse is no longer with us and neither is the Troub weekend. Oh well, we still have Jesse's records from which is taken Little Glass of Wine. We also still have Andrew's wines.

♫ Jesse Winchester - Little Glass Of Wine

Almost certainly the most successful Australian rock band in this country, if not internationally, was COLD CHISEL.

Cold Chisel

They were blessed with several excellent songwriters, a great lead guitarist and a charismatic lead singer. They were the real deal. Their song isCheap Wine, something we all want but usually eschew because of its quality – but not always, says he speaking from experience.

♫ Cold Chisel - Cheap Wine

You could probably guarantee that DEAN MARTIN would be present in this column, so I wouldn't want to disappoint you.

Dean Martin

Dean recorded some country sounding albums during his career and the song Little Ole Wine Drinker Me is taken from one of them.

♫ Dean Martin - Little Ole Wine Drinker Me

Three great jazz singers, Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross, got together in the fifties and called themselves LAMBERT HENDRICKS AND ROSS.

Lambert Hendricks and Ross

They were certainly the best jazz singing group that ever was. Over time, Annie left and was replaced by Yolande Bavan. Alas, Dave was killed in a car accident in the sixties. As I write this, Jon and Annie are still with us and I hope neither goes toes up for quite some time.

Their contribution today is Gimme That Wine.

♫ Lambert Hendrics and Ross - Gimme That Wine

I could write a whole column on GARY STEWART's drinking songs.

Gary Stewart

Indeed, I already have but Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, said that's far too much Gary Stewart on a single topic and besides, they're pretty much all the same song, she said.

So, that one has been shelved for now. However, I've used one of the songs today, Backslider's Wine.

♫ Gary Stewart - Backslider's Wine

KIERAN KANE first came to my notice as half of the group The O'Kanes (with Jamie O'Hara as the other half).

Kieran Kane

Since then he's performed on his own as well as with Kevin Welch as another duo, and occasionally adding multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin into the mix. From one of Kieran's solo albums we have Honeymoon Wine. Gotta watch that wine on your honeymoon.

♫ Kieran Kane - Honeymoon Wine

STICK MCGHEE (or Granville McGhee, as his folks knew him) was a jump blues singer, guitarist and songwriter.

Stick McGhee

He was also the younger brother of blues guitarist Brownie McGhee. Stick wrote the song Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee and it's been covered by many over the years, most notably by Jerry Lee Lewis.

The original lyrics to the song had to be cleaned up considerably before it could be recorded and let loose on a poor unsuspecting public. Here's the clean version.

♫ Stick McGhee - Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee

JOHNNY MERCER (and Henry Mancini) wrote the song The Days of Wine and Roses for the film of the same name.

Johnny Mercer

The film's a bit of a downer really but the song sounds quite nice and pleasant. Andy Williams had a big hit with it but we're going with Johnny's version.

♫ Johnny Mercer - The Days of Wine and Roses

I've included this next tune merely because it's such a wonderful title – judging a song by its cover, I suppose. The performers are DOC & MERLE WATSON, father and son.

Doc & Merle Watson

I thought I knew my wine grape varieties but Scuppernong was certainly a mystery to me. Thanks to Dr Google, I found that it's a variety of muscadine native to the southern areas of the United States. It also said that scuppernong is the state fruit of North Carolina.

Well, well, well. To the song, it's Broomstraw Philosophers and Scuppernong Wine.

♫ Doc & Merle Watson - Broomstraw Philosophers and Scuppernong Wine

ELDER MUSIC: Rodgers & Hart

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.

* * *

Rodgers & Hart

RICHARD RODGERS and LORENZ HART first met in 1919, when they were both at Columbia University. They were asked to write an amateur show, and just kept writing together after that.

Eventually they produced a couple of dozen musicals, a number of films and hundreds of songs until Lorenz died in 1943 at just 48 years old. Richard then teamed very successfully with Oscar Hammerstein but that's not pertinent to today's column.

This is a column of really mellow music. We need something like this every now and then.

My Funny Valentine is an odd sort of a song, a bit passive-aggressive if you listen to the words. Or is that just me being a bit up myself? Yeah, probably that.

It's been recorded by many over the years so others probably don't share my analysis of the song. This is one of the best of them by CHET BAKER.

Chet Baker

It was one of his biggest sellers.

♫ Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine

I was down to two versions of I Could Write a Book. Lovers of cool jazz will be disappointed that I finally threw out Miles Davis's version. People who know me well will be very surprised by that. The one that made the cut is by DINAH WASHINGTON.

Dinah Washington

There will be some who would think I made the wrong choice, but that's the way it goes in the music blogging business.

♫ Dinah Washington - I Could Write A Book

In contrast, there will be no argument about who should sing Mountain Greenery. Well, there may be but I will not listen to any. MEL TORMÉ is not only the obvious choice, he's the only one I considered.

Mel Torme

This is from his excellent album "Live at the Red Hill", and he had the help of one of the best in the business, as you'll hear.

♫ Mel Tormé - Mountain Greenery

Oh my goodness, what an array of talent we have today, and there's more to come. Next up in that category is TONY BENNETT.

Ton yBennett

This is a really nice laid back arrangement, suitable for late night listening, of My Romance.

♫ Tony Bennett - My Romance

I've already done a whole column devoted to the song Blue Moon so I thought I'd use a version that wasn't in that one. Rather surprising to me, I omitted NAT KING COLE. Thus, he's an automatic choice today.

Nat King Cole

I would have preferred that he had recorded the song with just his trio rather than having all those warblers in the background but you can't have everything I guess. Nat makes up for it. Just about.

♫ Nat King Cole - Blue Moon

An instrumental track next from JUNIOR MANCE who has played with all of the great jazz performers of the last 50 years. Not just them, you can add in Buddy Guy, Aretha Franklin and other such performers as well.

Junior Mance

Junior plays piano as well as anyone you can name and his contribution to our column is Falling in Love with Love.

♫ Junior Mance - Falling In Love With Love

BILLIE HOLIDAY performs I Didn't Know What Time It Was.

Billie Holiday

This is from the Ben Webster and Harry Edison Sessions that also had Barney Kessel along playing guitar. What a fine bunch of recordings this produced.

♫ Billie Holiday - I Didn't Know What Time It Was

When I noticed that JOHNNY HARTMAN had recorded It Never Entered My Mind I stopped looking further.

Johnny Hartman

There may be a better version but I'd find it hard to imagine. Besides, why would we want another?

♫ Johnny Hartman - It Never Entered My Mind

As with Johnny, if JULIE LONDON is in the mix I'll go with her.

Julie London

She certainly is today, with Where or When.

♫ Julie London - Where or When

ANITA O'DAY wasn't going to be the "girl singer" in a band, she was going to be one of the musicians.

Anita O'Day

She succeeded admirably and appeared with most of the great jazz bands of the time but alas, took to drink and drugs, especially the latter, like too many of her contemporaries.

In spite of that, Anita turned out a solid body of work that includes You Took Advantage of Me.

♫ Anita O'Day - You Took Advantage Of Me

Here is a bonus for you. I had selected all the songs and then remembered (or discovered) that I had forgotten about this next one. It's really a mandatory inclusion, but I didn't want to throw out any of the others. Besides that, I had already used MEL TORMÉ but having him twice is fine by me.

Mel Torme

The song Manhattan first appeared in the review "Garrick Gaieties" in 1925. Since then it's been in more than a dozen films and been recorded too many times to recount. As an extra treat, here's Mel again.

♫ Mel Tormé - Manhattan

ELDER MUSIC: Debut Albums

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

* * *

There's an old cliché that artists spend 25 years or so producing their first album but have to come up with a second one in six months. There's a bit of truth to that as there are a bunch of really good first albums and considerably fewer good second ones (The Band is the great exception to that).

These are mostly from the sixties because before that time (except for jazz albums and people like Frank Sinatra) albums were mostly vehicles for a few hit songs and a bunch of filler.

I’ve excluded the first solo albums by John Lennon, Paul Simon, Lou Reed and George Harrison as they, quite obviously, had come to prominence earlier in other guises. I also mention several others at the end who really deserve a place as well, so this isn't really the definitive selection.

I'll start with one of the finest first albums, THE DOORS – that's both the group's name and the album's.


There wasn't a dud track on the album but let's go with their most famous song, Light My Fire, the song that had them banned from The Ed Sullivan Show because they didn't censor the words as Ed requested at their first and only appearance.

♫ The Doors - Light My Fire

I first came across JESSE WINCHESTER's first effort because of a rave review in Rolling Stone.

Jesse Winchester

They also mentioned that there were a couple of members of The Band playing along. That was enough for me to go out and buy it pretty much immediately. I wasn't disappointed and I have every one of his albums and I've seen him perform a number of times.

As with The Doors, the album was named after himself. The song is Yankee Lady.

♫ Jesse Winchester - Yankee Lady

I mentioned above that I’m excluding solo artists who had previously become known in earlier bands. To be consistent I should exclude the next artist but, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

Also, not surprisingly, Oscar Wilde said something similar some years later ("Wish I'd said that." "You will, Oscar, you will").

So here is JESSE COLIN YOUNG who came to our notice as the head honcho of The Youngbloods.

Jesse Colin Young

While we're on inconsistency, nitpickers might aver that “Song For Juli” was actually his fourth album. It depends how you count these things, and what you include – things get a bit murky.

I don't care, I'm using it anyway because it's a great album, and the first of his I encountered. This is the title song, Song For Juli.

♫ Jesse Colin Young - Song for Juli

When Columbia records signed THE BYRDS, they were told they had one chance only and that was to record a single and if it didn't do any good they were out the door.


The song they recorded, with the help of session musicians, was Mr Tambourine Man which went gangbusters. The record execs decided that they could record a whole album after all. That was named after that single of course.

Taken from album is I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better, written by Gene Clark who was their main songwriter in the early days of the group.

♫ The Byrds - I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better

I changed my mind several times about who should be included at this point. You can see some of those I considered at the end of the column. Finally I settled on ARLO GUTHRIE.


Most of you will be familiar with the song after which the album is named – Ronni features it every Thanksgiving. I won't use that song, but one of the others on the album (yes, there were others). The one I've chosen is I'm Going Home.

♫ Arlo Guthrie - I'm Going Home

Every song on MARIA MULDAUR's initial release would be worthy of inclusion. What a ripper this one is (that's Oz talk signifying approval).

Maria Muldaur

Maria had previously made an album with her husband Geoff but that doesn't count as far as I'm concerned. Besides, this one is a quantum leap in quality over that one.

Choosing a song is the hard part but I've settled on the beautiful I Never Did Sing You a Love Song.

♫ Maria Muldaur - I Never Did Sing You a Love Song

The FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS could be considered in the exceptions too as all four members were previously in The Byrds at one time or another, but I won't let that stop me.

Flying Burrito Brothers

It had two of the finest exponents of country rock in the group – Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman – and a couple of others who were, as mentioned, also in The Byrds. They carried on from where they left off on The Byrds' album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo".

The Burritos' album had the wonderful name, "The Gilded Palace of Sin". From that is Do You Know How It Feels (To Be Lonesome).

Flying Burrito Brothers - Do You Know How It Feels (To Be Lonesome)

ELVIS COSTELLO burst on to the scene with the name of one early rocker (Elvis, of course) and the look of another (Buddy Holly).

Elvis Costello

In spite of these blatant plagiarisms (if the word can be used in the context of name and appearance), he turned out to be a very interesting artist indeed. A song that Linda Ronstadt covered quite well is Alison.

♫ Elvis Costello - Alison

JAMES HUNTER is a major talent who hasn't really made an impact on the wider listening audience.

James Hunter

That's a shame and I hope to do my little bit to bring him to a slightly wider audience. His first album had the added boost of Van Morrison duetting on two of the songs.

I won't use those (as I've featured them elsewhere). Instead here is James with a little help from Doris Troy singing Hear Me Calling.

♫ James Hunter - Hear Me Calling

I first noticed RODNEY CROWELL's name as one of the musicians in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band.

Rodney Crowell

I next noticed him as the writer of several songs Emmy included on her albums. Naturally, when his first solo album was released I grabbed it. I wasn't disappointed.

Here is Rodney with a bit of help from Emmy and one of the songs she covered, Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight.

♫ Rodney Crowell - Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight

Honorable mentions to The Band “Music From Big Pink”, Kris Kristofferson “Kristofferson”, Tom Waits "Closing Time", Leonard Cohen “Songs of Leonard Cohen”, Norah Jones "Come Away With Me", Dire Straits and The Pretenders. All these deserved a place.

I would have liked to have included James Taylor "Sweet Baby James", Emmylou Harris "Pieces of the Sky" and Warren Zevon, but they were second albums – their first ones were pretty obscure (so much for my rave on Jesse Colin Young).

ELDER MUSIC: His Slight Muse Do Please These Curious Days

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.

* * *


William Shakespeare wrote songs into his plays. He also wrote poems and sonnets, some of the best ever. Naturally, over the years composers have put these to music. I'm going to feature some of these today.

There is a mixture of composers who actually worked with Will at the time, up to others who wrote the music just this year. This year is sort of important as it's 400 years since Will turned his toes up.

That most prolific of composers, Anon, starts the ball rolling today. To perform Mr or Ms A's composition we have ALFRED DELLER.

Alfred Deller

Alf was (and probably still is) the best known counter-tenor. This singing style replaced the previous castrato and is an improvement over that as the singer retains all the requisite parts of his anatomy.

Alf's contribution is O Mistress Mine, from Twelfth Night.

♫ Alfred Deller - Anon ~ O mistress mine (Twelfth Night)

Coming right up to date we have DAVID GILMOUR.

David Gilmour

Dave is best known for being a member of the group Pink Floyd which he joined as a replacement for founder Syd Barrett when Syd went off the rails in a big way.

Dave performs probably the most famous of Will's sonnets, number 18. That's the one that starts, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate..." and so on.

♫ David Gilmour - Sonnet 18

Speaking of "best knowns", BRYN TERFEL is almost certainly the world's best known bass-baritone.

Bryn Terfel

Bryn has sung in every famous opera house on the planet and a lot of other places as well. His song is It Was a Lover and his Lass from As You Like It. This was set to music by Gerald Finzi, who was a British composer best known for his choral works.

♫ Bryn Terfel - It was a lover and his lass

FLORENCE WELCH is the songwriter and singer for the English band Florence and the Machine.

Florence Welch

She (and they) has (have) had several albums that topped the charts but I'm afraid that I missed those. I haven't missed her Shakespeare though, and she performs Sonnet 29 (When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes).

♫ Florence Welch - When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29)

PHILIPPE SLY is another bass-baritone.

Philippe Sly

Phil was born and bred in Canada which is where he received his training. These days he's a member of the San Francisco Opera. He performs Hey, ho, the Wind and the Rain, a song from Twelfth Night.

♫ Philippe Sly - Hey, ho, the wind and the rain

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT recently released a complete album devoted to Will.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufe certainly has musical pedigree – his father is Loudon the third, mother Kate McGarrigle (making his aunt Kate's sister Anna). His sister Martha is also a singer and writer of songs (ones that bare her soul to a considerable degree). His step-mother is Suzzy Roche, and I'd better stop there as I'm running out of space.

I've selected Sonnet 20 from his album, that's the one about a woman's face.

♫ Rufus Wainwright - A Woman's Face (Sonnet 20)

The musical HAIR had some Shakespeare in it.


This might or might not surprise you. In my collection, whenever I collected this, I just labeled it "Hair" so I have no idea which version it is or who is singing (because that was quite a while ago). It's a chorus, so there are several people anyway.

What they perform is What a Piece of Work Is Man, from Hamlet.

♫ Hair - What a Piece of Work Is Man

IAN BOSTRIDGE and ANTONIO PAPPANO recorded an album of Will's songs.

Ian Bostridge & Antonio Pappano

Ian did the singing and Tony tickled the ivories. The song I've selected was again written by Gerald Finzi, who is a bit of a one for putting tunes to Will's songs. In this case it's Who is Silvia? from Two Gentlemen of Verona.

♫ Ian Bostridge - Finzi ~ Who is Silvia

Australian national treasure and most famous singer/songwriter PAUL KELLY was another who released an album this year devoted to the works of Will.

Paul Kelly

From that I have taken Sonnet 138. This one starts "When my love swears she is made of truth..." It sounds rather like one of Paul's own songs. He must have studied the master's works closely.

♫ Paul Kelly - Sonnet 138

I originally had this last song pencilled in first to be performed by Alfred Deller. However, on hearing EMMA KIRKBY perform it I knew she had to be the one, and Alf got a different song.

Emma Kirkby

Emma is one of the finest performers of early music and I can testify to her greatness as I had the good fortune of seeing and hearing her here in Melbourne.

From The Tempest, Emma sings Where the Bee Sucks, There Lurk I.

♫ Emma Kirkby - Thomas Arne ~ Where the Bee Sucks, There Lurk I


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's some Australian money if you're wondering. I didn't take that photo; I don't have that much loot lying around (those green ones are $100).

We were the first to use plastic money and producing them for other countries has been a serious export earner over the years. There's only about one country left these days that still uses paper money.

KEVIN JOHNSON is an Australian singer/songwriter who would be a superstar if he'd been born in New York or Los Angeles.

Kevin Johnson

For we folks in Oz, he is just that anyway. It's a pity that most of the rest of the world don't know about him. I'll do my little bit to spread the news.

His song is Grab the Money and Run. He mentions in the song about going to Mexico. This may seem normal to Americans but for folks from these parts, that's a major trek. I love the tongue in cheek lyrics.

♫ Kevin Johnson - Grab The Money And Run

ERNEST KADOR was a minor musician from New Orleans who had a couple of minor hits, including this one.

Ernie KDoe

He changed his name to Ernie K-Doe and became a star. However, the song is from his initial period as a musician. It's called No Money.

♫ Ernest Kador - No Money

After Hank Williams, LEFTY FRIZZELL would probably be the most influential person in country music.

Lefty Frizzell

Even super-duper stars like Willie Nelson cite him as an influence. Like Hank, Lefty wrote a bunch of songs that have gone into the country music canon. Other genres as well. This is one of his more famous songs, If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time).

♫ Lefty Frizzell - If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time)

LOUIS JORDAN was an extremely popular band leader in the thirties and forties - probably only the Duke and the Count could beat him (I'm excluding all those bland band leaders).

Louis Jordan

Unlike those other two, Louis didn't take himself too seriously. He was later one of the leading practitioners of Jump Blues, one of the main precursors to rock & roll. Louis urges us to Put Some Money in the Pot, Boy, 'Cause the Juice Is Runnin' Low.

♫ Louis Jordan - Put Some Money in the Pot, Boy, 'Cause the Juice Is Runnin' Low

KEB' MO' was born Kevin Moore but thought he'd shorten his already quite brief name (actually, it was all his drummer's doing).

Keb Mo

At least it distinguishes him from all the other Kevin Moores out there. Keb's a fine blues performer but is not restricted to that genre. He brings in elements of rock, jazz and folk into his music. His money song is More For Your Money.

♫ Keb Mo - More For Your Money

I remember this song from MARGARET WHITING back in 1956.

Margaret Whiting

We all dreamed that this would happen to us. I'm still having those dreams. Okay, more daydreams, my real dreams are far more disturbing, but we won't go there.

I give you (and I bet you wish I could) The Money Tree.

♫ Margaret Whiting - The Money Tree

JIMMY JOHNSON had a couple of brothers who preceded him into the music business.

Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy worked as a welder and was over 30 by the time he made music his full time work. In spite of the late start (or maybe because of it), he quickly became a well respected blues guitarist and pretty good singer.

Jimmy performs I Need Some Easy Money.

♫ Jimmy Johnson - I Need Some Easy Money

Several tracks came and went in this spot. I'd put one in and then go, "Nuuuhhhh" and throw it out again. Finally, I just threw up my hands and went with the last one I included.

The last person standing when the bell sounded is TOM RUSH from New Hampshire.

Tom Rush

Tom had a couple I could have used, both from the terrific album "Take a Little Walk With Me". The selected song is Turn Your Money Green, an old Furry Lewis song.

♫ Tom Rush - Turn Your Money Green

Here is TINY TIM. No, don't move on to the next song quite so quickly. This isn't the way you're used to hearing him.

Tiny Tim

Tim is singing with his real voice, as it were. It won't hurt to have a quick listen to him performing I Ain't Got No Money.

♫ Tiny Tim - I Ain't Got No Money

WARREN ZEVON comes up with the ultimate power trio in his song.

Warren Zevon

Those familiar with his oeuvre will know of what I speak. Here is Lawyers, Guns and Money.

♫ Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns and Money

Okay, I imagine you were expecting Barrett Strong's Money (That's What I Want) or The Beatles' cover of the same song. Another that's missing is the various versions of Money Honey.

Yes, I know I could have bumped Tiny Tim for one of those. Sorry to disappoint.

ELDER MUSIC: Franz Hoffmeister, et al

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.

* * *

Franz Hoffmeister was a music publisher who managed to get the works of the most famous composers of his time (or any time if it comes to that) out into the world.

Besides that, he was a really prolific composer himself. Today we'll play some of his music as well as the published composers who are among my favorites, so it's yet another excuse for me to play music I love.

Franz was born in Rottenburg am Neckar, which is in the south of what's now Germany. He went to Vienna as a teenager and studied law there. It surprises me the number of great composer who started out in the law game but gave it up for something more useful – like making music.

While he was writing music, he started a music publishing house that attracted the cream of the crop. He published his own works as well as those of the important composers of the time including Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Clementi, Albrechtsberger, Dittersdorf, Pleyel and Vanhal.

They are the ones we have today and they were also Franz's personal friends. Try as I might, I've only found the names of a few of the works that he published – I wanted to devote the column to those. So, I just went with compositions I like.

Before we get to the others, let's start with the man himself.

I could have done a whole column on music for the double bass, something that's very unusual in classical circles as a solo instrument. I'm going to start with it in a rather interesting way (well, interesting to me). Here is the man himself, FRANZ HOFFMEISTER.


He wrote several double bass quartets which were string quartets where he substituted the bass for the first violin, thus making it the lead instrument. It certainly makes a different sound from the standard string quartet, and is surprisingly melodic.

See what you think with the second movement of the Double Bass Quartet No. 2 in D Major.

♫ Hoffmeister - Double Bass Quartet No. 2 in D Major (2)

Next we'll have the elder statesman of the group, JOSEPH HAYDN.


Papa Jo wrote so much music it's difficult to untangle who published what, so I'll just go with a piece of music I heard on my radio a few days ago that really caught my fancy. It's the Piano Concerto in D, Hob XVIII-11, the first movement.

It's the last piano concerto he wrote. This one is as good as any that Mozart wrote (and that's saying something).

♫ Haydn - Piano Concerto In D, Hob XVIII-11 (1)

There is one composition we know that Franz published and it's the next one. He commissioned WOLFGANG MOZART to write three Piano Quartets, a rather new style at the time.


Wolfie came up with one, generally considered the first ever piano quartet. Franz was aghast as he thought it was too complicated – he wanted to sell sheet music to the general public to play – and released Wolfie from his contract to produce the others.

In spite of that, Mozart wrote a second piano quartet just because he could. He wasn't paid for that one. Here is that first one, the second movement of the Piano Quartet in G minor, K478.

♫ Mozart - Piano Quartet in G minor, K478 (2)

I also know of a few compositions by LUDWIG BEETHOVEN that Franz published.


These are the Piano Concerto Op. 19 (that's number 2), the Septet Op. 20, the Symphony Op. 21 (that's number 1, the one that sounds like one of Mozart's) and the Piano Sonata Op. 2 (that's number 11).

These were all quite early works. I really like the Septet, such that I've used one of its movements in an earlier column on Beethoven. I'll use another movement, the second, of the Septet for strings & woodwinds in E flat major, Op. 20.

In case you're wondering, it's scored for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and double bass.

♫ Beethoven - Septet for strings & woodwinds in E flat major, Op. 20 (2)

MUZIO CLEMENTI was born in Italy but spent most of his life in England.


He was also a music publisher, as well as a composer, pianist and piano maker. He was highly regarded as a pianist and once, in London when Mozart was visiting, he engaged in a piano contest with him. There's no report of who won, but I can imagine.

He's another who was famous in his day, second only to Haydn in that respect, but pretty much forgotten these days. In spite of his also being a publisher, he had Franz put some of his music out as well.

I don't know who published this, it's the second movement of his Sonata Op.35 No.1 In C Major. It's for piano, violin and cello.

♫ Clementi - Sonata Op.35 No.1 In C Major (2)

The trombone seems to be the forgotten instrument in classical music. It's pretty much always present in the orchestra but seldom gets to put up its hand in concertos and the like. Here we have just that, though, and the composer is JOHANN ALBRECHTSBERGER.


This one was originally written for the wonderfully named sackbut, a forerunner of the trombone. About the only real difference is that it was a bit smaller than the modern instrument and the bell isn't as pronounced.

Johann got the idea for this work after attending a concert of a similar concerto by Michael Haydn (Papa Jo's younger brother) and he fell into conversation with Mike about it.

The result of that meeting is the Concerto in B flat major for Alto Trombone, the first movement.

♫ Albrechtsberger - Concerto in B flat major for Alto Trombone (1)

Back to double bass. CARL DITTERS VON DITTERSDORF was one who featured the instrument rather prominently.


Old Ditters was anxious for a title and managed to get one, thus the von and the name repetition.

Like the rest today, he knew everyone and used to jam with Haydn, Mozart and Vanhal (who was his pupil) playing string quartets. We're not having that in his section, instead, as I implied earlier, this is the first movement of his Concerto in E major for Double Bass.

♫ Dittersdorf - Double bass concerto E major (1)

As I mentioned, JOHANN VANHAL was a pupil of Ditters and like him, he was also fond of featuring the double bass in his music.


However, we're going for the other end of the music spectrum and we are going fluting. Here is the first movement of his Flute Quartet, Op. 7, No. 2.

♫ Vanhal - Flute Quartet, Op. 7, No. 2 (1)

I like to feature IGNACE PLEYEL as he's a bit of a favorite of mine.


We have some cross pollination, as it were. Besides being a composer, Iggie was a publisher and published a number of the composers we have today too. In particular, and for this I raise my hat to him, quite a few of Haydn's string quartets.

However, we're interested in Iggie's music, and this is the second movement of his Symphonie Concertante in B flat major, B. 112.

♫ Pleyel - Symphonie Concertante in B flat major, B. 112 (2)

There are a few others I could have considered, but we'll return to the focus of this column and have something else by Franz Hoffmeister.


I started him off with the double bass but as I said already with Vanhal, we'll go to the other end of the orchestra and have some more flute. This is the third movement of the Flute Concerto No.16 in C major.

♫ Hoffmeister - Flute Concerto No.16 in C major (3)

ELDER MUSIC: 1962 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.

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Perhaps I've been doing this too long because I'm about to quote myself. The first time through for 1962 I said, "1962, what a dreary old year you were musically. This year could be considered the nadir of the sixties.”

Now I'm going to see if I can prove myself wrong without using any of the songs I've used previously and remember, there have already been two columns devoted to 1962. Quite a challenge I know.

I don't know if I succeeded but I found enough so I wasn't disappointed. Let's see if they are worth including.

Over the years there have often been "the next" when it come to popular music – the next Elvis, the next Bob Dylan, the next Beatles and so on. I'll start with one of those, the next Buddy Holly, BOBBY VEE.

That's not too surprising as Bobby was quickly substituted on the tour after Buddy was killed in the plane crash. Fortunately, Bobby evolved into a decent artist in his own right.

Bobby Vee

He was already established by 1962, and the song The Night Has a Thousand Eyes was probably the biggest of his career. He was one of the most underrated performers of this era.

♫ Bobby Vee - The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

THE CRYSTALS were a real group who had a number of hits.

The Crystals

However, their producer was Phil Spector and he really didn't care about the personnel of his various groups as long as they sounded good. That means that on a number of their records, it was actually Darlene Love and/or The Blossoms singing.

Not on this one though. It's the actual Crystals with one of their hits written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Uptown.

♫ The Crystals - Uptown

DEL SHANNON was one of the few bright lights who turned up between fifties rock & roll and sixties rock.

Del Shannon

Del had a bunch of fine songs during his career. This wasn't his best but it was the one from this year and we can't have everything. Little Town Flirt.

♫ Del Shannon - Little Town Flirt

BARBARA LYNN wrote and recorded You'll Lose a Good Thing, and took it up to the pointy end of the charts.

Barbara Lynn

It was later covered by Aretha Franklin and Freddy Fender who both had success with the song. Others have performed it too.

Barbara started out playing piano but later switched to electric guitar – it was unusual at the time for a woman to be out front playing lead. We hope things have changed but they may not have progressed to the point where this isn't remarked upon.

♫ Barbara Lynn - You'll Lose a Good Thing

MARY WELLS had a huge hit with the song My Guy, but that was in 1964.

Mary Wells

As she was on Motown Records, that song and most of her other hits were written by Smokey Robinson, including the one from this year, You Beat Me to the Punch.

♫ Mary Wells - You Beat Me to the Punch

Any year with the EVERLY BROTHERS having a hit can't be a complete write-off.

Everly Brothers

Most of their big hits were behind them by this year but they were still bringing out good music in spite of barely tolerating each other. This, alas, continued for the rest of their lives. Here is Crying in the Rain.

♫ Everly Brothers - Crying In The Rain

JOANIE SOMMERS made a singing career (she was also an actress) singing jazz and standards.

Joanie Sommers

However, she'll always be remembered (at least by me, and probably others around my age) for singing her only number one hit, Johnny Get Angry. Sorry, Joannie.

♫ Joanie Sommers - Johnny Get Angry

ETTA JAMES can be pretty much guaranteed to shake things up, and she does so today.

Etta James

Something's Got A Hold On Me was written by Etta along with Leroy Kirkland and Pearl Woods. It was recorded at the home of the blues, Chess records. It's been covered by many others but Etta did it first and did it best.

♫ Etta James - Something's Got A Hold On Me

As they always did, New Orleans musicians were guaranteed to produce good music, and they did it this year as well. One of those was BARBARA GEORGE.

Barbara George

Barbara wrote the song, I Know (You Don't Love Me No More) and it became quite a hit for her. It's been covered by quite a few others over the years.

Barbara wasn't able to match that song's success and she faded somewhat and retired from the music biz.

♫ Barbara George - I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)

There were no better singers this year than HELEN SHAPIRO.

Helen Shapiro

Actually, there have been few better singers than she in the history of popular music. The song I've chosen wasn't one of her biggest hits but I like it as I liked most of hers from around this time (before she became an "all round entertainer").

It is Little Miss Lonely.

♫ Helen Shapiro - Little miss lonely

Thank heavens for the women, they made this year acceptable.

ELDER MUSIC: The Late Great Townes Van Zandt

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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All the other Texas songwriters claim that Townes Van Zandt was the most influential and best songwriter from that state, and as we have Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett in the mix, that's a big statement. Willie Nelson might have something to say about it, however.


Michael Hall in the Texas Monthly sums up Townes best:

”He remains today what he was all his wild, heartbreaking life: a cult artist honored by peers and ardent fans but largely unknown in the mainstream.

“He never released an album on a major label. He was never a music business professional and was never much concerned with his career. He was never concerned with much of anything in fact, but writing, touring, and hanging out with friends and family.

“He loved paradox - living it and spreading it. Born into comfort, he preferred the company of the poor and desperate and sometimes gambled away what money he had. He was a lighthearted prankster who wrote some of the saddest songs of the century. He sang about how precious it was to be alive yet spent a good deal of his life killing himself with drugs and alcohol.”


A man who can name one of his albums "The Late Great Townes Van Zandt" while he was still alive has something strange going on in his brain. When he died in 1997 at age 52, the most surprising thing was that he had lived so long.

On his first album, TOWNES recorded many of his best known songs, but he was dissatisfied with the result such that he rerecorded most of them on subsequent albums.

Having heard both versions of all of them, I agree that was the wise thing to do. One of those songs appeared on his very next album.

Although far from his best known song, it is my favorite of his. It's a really beautiful song with some gorgeous (and simple) guitar playing from Mickey White. His songwriting is so evocative you can picture Maria without any trouble. (Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria.

♫ Townes Van Zandt - (Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria

Many artists have recorded Townes' songs and I'm going to include a few of them. I'll start with one you could have pretty much guaranteed would be present. EMMYLOU HARRIS.

Emmylou Harris

Emmy has the help of Don Williams on If I Needed You.

♫ Emmylou Harris - If I Needed You

Townes once said, "I want to write songs so good that nobody understands them, even me". He succeeded with this next one.


Pancho and Lefty is certainly his best known song. He said it came through the window of a seedy hotel room to settle in his brain. "I was just tapped on the shoulder from above and told to write these songs, as opposed to wanting to be a success in the music business,” he said.

It's a mythical song that no one knows what it's about, but who cares? Bob Dylan would have been proud to own this one.

♫ Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty

NANCI GRIFFITH recorded a couple of interesting albums where she got a whole bunch of people to perform duets (and trios and on and on) with her.

Nanci is a fine songwriter but on these she performed songs written by others, I suspect mostly her favorites or those who have influenced her over the years. Naturally, there was a Townes song in the mix. On that one she had the help of ARLO GUTHRIE.

Nanci Griffith & Arlo Griffith

The song they performed is Tecumseh Valley, one of the most interesting songs that Townes wrote.

♫ Nanci Griffith and Arlo Guthrie - Tecumseh Valley


I imagine that people who haven't been there think of New Mexico as hot and dry. It is that, but they probably don't think of snow. I have been there when it snowed and it gets damn cold.

Raton is in the northeast of the state, nearly in Colorado and that's a state that is associated with snow. Put all that together and you have Snowin' on Raton.

♫ Townes Van Zandt - Snowin' on Raton

GUY CLARK was a close friend of Townes' and they occasionally shared a small glass of sherry together (well, that's the politically correct version of what they did).

Guy Clark

Guy rivals Townes in the Texan singer/songwriter department and since Townes' demise, Guy has always included one of his songs on each new album (as well as in concert, of course). Out of several I've chosen To Live is to Fly.

♫ Guy Clark - To Live's to Fly

Don't You Take It Too Bad has been recorded by many of Townes' friends and others as well. None did it better than Townes though.


This is his version of the song.

♫ Townes Van Zandt - Don't You Take It Too Bad

Townes wrote songs that were deceptively simple - not for him the epic stories of Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. Now and then, however, he showed that he could match those two at their own game. This is one that either of those writers would be happy to call their own, Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel.


♫ Townes Van Zandt - Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel

As mentioned at the beginning, Townes wrote the saddest songs anyone ever committed to paper and disk, and the general consensus is that the saddest of the lot is Marie. This is a five hankie or full Kleenex box affair. WILLIE NELSON's stark approach to the song highlights this.

Willie Nelson

It's just Willie and guitar and that's all that's needed for it.

♫ Willie Nelson - Marie

I'll finish with a song that could have easily fitted into my "Seasons" columns. Townes sings Come Tomorrow.


I could say this is another sad song but that would be redundant.

♫ Townes Van Zandt - Come Tomorrow