INTERESTING STUFF – 6 October 2018
That #$%^&* Republican RGB “Joke” Video

ELDER MUSIC: Nothing

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.

* * *

Nothing ain’t nothing.

Nothing is a roiling mass of quantum effects where particles and anti-particles wink into existence and return to nothingness. This happens billions of times a second. Once upon a time one of those random events got out of hand and created the universe – it expanded exponentially (generally called the Big Bang), then slowed down, then speeded up again.

Oops, sorry, this isn’t a physics column, it’s all about music. On with the nothingness.

After I had collected the songs, I noticed that it had pretty much turned into a column replete with soul music. That’s fine with me; I hope it is with you as well.

I’ll start with the greatest soul singer, OTIS REDDING.

Otis Redding

He says that I'll Let Nothing Separate Us. I hope he’s right, but this is the real world.

♫ Otis Redding - I'll Let Nothing Separate Us


Next we have the only singer who could have taken Otis’s crown from him, if there hadn’t been that “incident”, SAM COOKE.

Sam Cooke

Sam could sing songs from just about any genre of music and make it his own. Not just his own, but better than just about anyone else. His song is Nothing Can Change This Love.

♫ Sam Cooke - Nothing Can Change This Love


For a change of pace, we have the song that inspired this column. When I saw a vid of the rather fine British group, The Beautiful South, perform a cover of a song by IRIS DEMENT, I knew I had a column.

Iris Dement

Iris was also in their show. Naturally, I’m going with her original version of You've Done Nothing Wrong.

♫ Iris DeMent - You've Done Nothing Wrong


TOUSSAINT MCCALL only had two songs that made the charts, and only one that got to the pointy end.

Toussaint Mccall

That song is Nothing Takes the Place of You. I don’t know why he wasn’t more successful as he was a fine singer, but we know how fickle the music industry is.

♫ Toussaint Mccall - Nothing Takes The Place Of You


JAMES HUNTER had the help of VAN MORRISON on his first album “Believe What I Say”.

James Hunter & Van Morrison

This was a really terrific soul/rhythm & blues-based album that’s worth seeking out, as are James’s subsequent records. From that first album, with Van in tow, we have Ain't Nothing You Can Do.

It was written by Deadric Malone and Joseph Scott and first recorded by Bobby Blue Bland, whose version is excellent.

♫ James Hunter - Ain't Nothing You Can Do


Here are PAUL MADIGAN and ROSS HANNAFORD from an impromptu jam session they performed a few years ago.

Ross Hannaford & Paul Madigan

Paul sings and plays acoustic guitar and Ross plays electric guitar and sings a bit towards the end of the song. Ross was the guitarist for the group Daddy Cool (and others as well). He was easily the finest rock guitarist Australia has produced. Unfortunately, he died recently.

The song they perform is There's Really Nothing You Can Do.

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


THE BEARDS are completely tongue in cheek but you wouldn’t know because they all have big beards so you can’t see any cheeks.

The Beards

According to their song, it seems that you can achieve anything if you have a beard - world peace, stop global warming and perform several rather more interesting things. I can attest to that - after all, There’s Just Nothing Better Than a Beard.

♫ The Beards - There’s Just Nothing Better Than a Beard


There were a number of contenders for the next song but with BILLIE HOLIDAY in the mix, it’s a done deal as far as I’m concerned.

Billie Holiday

The song is from the recordings she did that later became known as The Ben Webster, Harry Edison Sessions where some of the finest songs of the era were recorded. One of those was Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me.

♫ Billie Holiday - Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me


CLYDE MCPHATTER is one of several singers that first came to prominence as lead singer for The Drifters.

Clyde McPhatter

He then went on to have a successful solo career. He was one of the best of the pop/soul singers and this song is an example. Although having said that, the song sounds more like a gospel song with some of the words tweaked to fit in, but then a lot of soul music does just that. I really like it. Without Love (There Is Nothing).

♫ Clyde McPhatter - Without Love (There Is Nothing)


It tickles me that PETER PAUL & MARY always had an ampersand in their name rather than the word “and”.

Peter, Paul & Mary

That’s just me; I get distracted by these rather trivial things. Anyway, they perform a song of Bob Dylan’s, not too much of a surprise there.

This is one from the period when he was recovering from his motor cycling accident when he wrote songs and sent them out to people he knew would do a good job with them. PP&M certainly did that with Too Much of Nothing.

♫ Peter, Paul & Mary - Too Much Of Nothing


I’ll end as I began, with a great soul singer. This time it’s PERCY SLEDGE.

Percy Sledge

Percy is another in the top echelon of soul singers - there are quite a few of them as this genre seemed to attract really good singers, many from gospel backgrounds.

Percy is best known for his classic song, When a Man Loves a Woman. From around the same time we have When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters).

♫ Percy Sledge - When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)



Comments

Oh, Peter, how could you have missed the nothingest nothing song of all? It's just pure "Nothing," from The Fugs' First Album.

I began scrolling, waiting for The Fugs' song - although I had a feeling it wouldn't be listed. Dianne made me smile.

My only explanation for its omission: "Nothing" obviously towers above all the offerings and was disqualified from competition.

I always enjoy your columns, Peter, but one omission on this one kind of surprised me - Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U," either by him or the better-known version by Sinead O'Connor.

I have the Fugs’ first album on vinyl, but I haven’t got around to putting it on my computer, that’s why I missed it. A grievous oversight, obviously.

Oh good grief, people! Peter offers you a wonderful selection of music and your only response is to complain about an omission? Has anybody ever heard the expression "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"?

I don't mean to be cranky, but really...

Nothing beats a Peter and Norma compilation.

Though I, also, felt the Fugs were an obvious choice I think your selections are perfect.

I forgot how much I liked Percy Sledge

I had to immediately go and play Nothing from Nothing by Billy Preston. Your posts are such fun.

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