INTERESTING STUFF – 12 November 2016
An Elder's Notes on the New World Order

ELDER MUSIC: Singing with Van

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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Van Morrison

VAN MORRISON is quite happy (or as happy as Van can get) to share the stage and recording studio with other performers. Van may not quite match Willie Nelson in that regard but he is known for performing duets, so today's column will feature some of them.

At one time Van lived in Woodstock, New York, and members of THE BAND were also close by.

Van & The Band

They weren't alone. Bob Dylan, Maria Muldaur and Paul Butterfield were there as well, at least until it became common knowledge and the town was inundated by musical tourists.

The Band recorded their album "Cahoots" at Bearsville, just down the road, and Van dropped in one day and performed a duet with Richard Manuel on the song 4% Pantomime.

♫ Van Morrison and The Band - 4% Pantomime

LINDA GAIL LEWIS is Jerry Lee Lewis's daughter.

Van & Linda Gail Lewis

She and Van recorded an album together called “You Win Again”, named after the Hank Williams song. I've decided to use the title number.

♫ Van Morrison & Linda Gail Lewis - You Win Again

In recent times TOM JONES has recorded some really fine soul and rhythm & blues songs. Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, and I thought he should have done more of that during his career but he might not have had the success he achieved, I suppose.

Van & Tom Jones

In that vein, here he teams with Van on Sometimes We Cry.

♫ Van Morrison & Tom Jones - Sometimes We Cry

Van often performed with his good friend JOHN LEE HOOKER and they also recorded an album together.

Van & John Lee Hooker

Here they are together with a very atmospheric version of I Cover the Waterfront.

♫ John Lee Hooker & Van Morrison - I Cover The Waterfront

MARK KNOPFLER has a distinctive guitar sound. I think it's because he doesn't use a pick so there's a softer sound to his playing. The A.M. especially likes it. I do too.

Van & Mark Knopfler

He has a pretty distinctive voice as well. Mark and Van perform The Last Laugh.

♫ Mark Knopfler & Van Morrison - The last laugh

B.B. KING recorded a couple of albums of duets with various people (and I'm just getting an idea for another column).

Van & B.B. King

His duet with Van is called Early in the Morning.

♫ Van Morrison and BB King - Early In The Morning

GEORGIE FAME was a regular member of Van's band for quite some time.

Van & Georgie 

Indeed, Van still calls upon his services as a keyboard player. Not just that, he also gets him to sing as well, both as a solo and a duet. It's that latter category we're interested in today. Together they perform Centerpiece.

♫ Van Morrison & Georgie Fame - Centerpiece

Van recorded a song called Whatever Happened to PJ Proby on his album "Down the Road". On his later album of duets he performed the song again and naturally, he had P.J. PROBY along to sing with him.

Well, you would, wouldn't you?

Van & P.J. Proby

P.J. was big in the sixties with a fine baritone voice but became famous for splitting his pants. The first time was accidental, but if you're on a good thing…

♫ Van Morrison & PJ Proby - Whatever Happened to PJ Proby

JAMES HUNTER deserves to be a lot better known.

Van & James Hunter

Van has done his bit in that regard by appearing with him in concert. He also sang on a couple of songs on James's excellent debut album "Believe What I Say". From that album I've taken the old soul tune Turn on Your Love Light.

Van Morisswon and James Hunter - Turn on Your Love Light

MAVIS STAPLES and Van resurrect a song that was originally on Van's album "His Band and Street Choir".

Van & Mavis Staples

That album didn't receive the credit I think it deserved, probably because it followed maybe the two best albums in rock history. However, Van and Mavis rerecorded the song If I Ever Needed Someone, which is well worth a listen.

♫ Van Morrison & Mavis Staples - If I Ever Needed Someone


One of my favorite albums is Focus con Proby. I didn't really know who he was, and at the time Focus fans really didn't like this album. Still after 38 years I enjoy the juxtaposition of his voice and the guitars.

Thank you, Peter. You, like Ronni, are very generous and your selections were particularly welcome this morning. (I've been listening to Stevie Wonder's "Heaven Help Us All" over and over again.)
I greatly appreciated "Sometimes We Cry" and I always love listening to Mark Knopfler.

I really enjoyed this, Peter - so good for the soul!

I missed Sunday's column because I was at a painting class. The instructor played 'massage' music. I wish she'd have played the tunes from your column and other Van Morrison albums.
Thanks for a treat this morning.
Elle in Oregon.


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