Electronic Home Monitoring of Elders


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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Whenever someone asks me who my favorite female singer is I'll usually say Cecelia Bartoli. Sometimes I'll say Jessye Norman or to be different, Kathleen Ferrier.

Of course, most people who ask that question aren't interested in classical music, or they think I'm being perverse (always a possibility) so they modify the question.

I then mentally review the situation – Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Nina Simone, Etta James, Julie London, Patsy Cline. However, on reflection, the one I seem to enjoy most is JENNIFER WARNES.

Of course, that could change next week. In the meantime, here is a column of her music.

Jennifer Warnes

I'll start with the first song I first heard that registered her name in my brain. This is from her excellent album from the seventies called "Shot Through the Heart." It wasn't her first but I didn't know that at the time.

The song is I Know a Heartache When I See One.

Jennifer Warnes

♫ Jennifer Warnes - I Know a Heartache When I See One

From that same album comes a song from Norma, the Assistant Musicologist's favorite Bob Dylan album, "New Morning." The song is Sign on the Window.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - Sign on the Window

Jennifer Warnes

Here's a song I can empathise with although less so today than it was when I was younger. I imagine Jennifer feels the same way. Pissed Off 2 AM.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - Pissed Off 2 Am

Early on, Jennifer was a back-up singer for Leonard Cohen.

Jennifer Warnes

She later progressed to co-singer and later still recorded an album of his songs called “Famous Blue Raincoat,” easily the best covers of Lennie's songs anyone has done. From that album we have the title song.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat

From the beginning Jennifer sang duets with many people - Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Roy Orbison, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Sam & Dave, Bobby Womack, and Tina Turner are just a few of them.

There are a couple of others you can probably come up with (who won't be in the column, even though they won Oscars). I've selected JACKSON BROWNE.

Jennifer Warnes & ;Jackson Browne

They recorded a couple of the songlets from The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album. They call it Golden Slumbers.

♫ Jennifer Warnes and Jackson Browne & Jennifer Warnes - Golden Slumbers

Jennifer Warnes

Another song from her Lennie album is the first on that disk, and maybe the most interesting, First We Take Manhattan.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - First We Take Manhattan

Another duet, and they don't get much better than HARRY BELAFONTE with whom to sing. The song is Skin To Skin, and Harry sounds as if he's 20 years old. I imagine Jennifer would do that for any red blooded male.

Jennifer Warnes & Harry Belafonte

♫ Jennifer Warnes & Harry Belafonte - Skin To Skin

From considerably earlier in her career, Jennifer recorded one of Jimmy Webb's songs (well, probably more than one, but it's a particular one we're interested in today).

Jennifer Warnes

In this case, it was a song that I've not heard anyone else perform apart from Jimmy himself. That song is P.F. Sloan. It's about another singer/songwriter whose main claim to fame is that he wrote the song Eve of Destruction.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - P.F. Sloan

I had half a dozen songs penciled in for this spot, so I ran them past the A.M. She chose this one. It's another duet, this time Jennifer has DOYLE BRAMHALL along to help out.

Doyle Bramhall & Jennifer Warnes

Doyle also plays guitar on the track which is the Eddy Arnold/Cindy Walker classic, You Don't Know Me. On this they really give Ray Charles a run for his money in pure passion. It's terrific.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - You Don't Know Me

From her album "The Hunter” thus the following photo, I've selected the song Lights of Louisianne.

Jennifer Warnes

You can probably tell from the title that there's a Cajun influence in the song. You'd be right.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - Lights of Louisianne


Well, I know that there are no limits to my ignorance about so many things, but today's post was quite an eye-opener for me, so double thank you, Peter (and Norma). Jennifer Warnes was a new experience for me and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Always fun to learn.

And I, too, am a big fan of Cecilia Bartoli's!
Buona domenica!

I, too, was not familiar with Jennifer Warnes, or at least the name. What a pleasure to listen and learn this morning. Thank you.

I so enjoyed this column. The first time I saw and heard Jennifer was when she appeared as Sheila in the Los Angeles production of Hair in late 1968. She sang Easy to be Hard so beautifully. We went back to see it two more times.

Then in early 1969 we went to see her at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. The house was packed with celebrities and most of her fellow cast members were in the audience. She had a great set including several Cohen songs, and when she performed Easy to be Hard, Ben Vereen ran onto the stage to hand her a flower as he had done in his role in Hair.

I continued to follower her and was thrilled when she won a Grammy with Joe Cocker for their duet of Up Where We Belong. It's great to listen to her this morning!

Wish you would include lyrics -- my old ears are ruined from listening to loud rock all my life...

That's asking a lot, lyrics for every song and it would take up huge amounts of space between the music and the paragraphs.

You can find pretty much any lyric that exists by searching [lyric "name of song"] without the brackets. I've never failed to find them that way.

Thanks Peter and Norma for this excellent selection today.

My first exposure to her was Roy Orbison's "Black and White Night" (or something like that) video, in which Jennifer was one of the back-ups, with Bonnie Riatt and kd Lang. It's one of my all-time favorites to which I'll sing my own back-up along with the women on screen.

What a treat to find the duet with Jackson Browne!

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