This 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.
It’s obvious that I should start with Anything Goes, the song written by COLE PORTER.
Although many have recorded the song, to me, having the writer sing his own song is always my first preference. And so it is today. This is Cole’s version.
Although far from the best singer in the world, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON sure can write a good song. He’s a pretty good actor too, but that’s going a bit off topic.
Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) originally turned up on his “The Silver Tongued Devil and I” album. A while ago, he went back into the studio and rerecorded many of his famous songs, including this one.
That album is called “The Austin Sessions”, and it’s that version I’m using today.
KEELY SMITH is most remembered for her partnership with Louis Prima.
However, after that partnership sundered as well as their marriage, Keely went on to have quite a decent solo career. From that later career we have I Would Do Most Anything for You.
ELVIS gets into act with a song fairly early in his career, if 1962 can be called fairly early for him.
It’s a song I was only vaguely aware of called Anything That's Part of You. This was the b-side (remember when records had two sides?) to Good Luck Charm, and is notable for the distinctive sound of Floyd Cramer playing the piano, and I think it’s a really nice song.
From the previous generation of performers, someone who was also quite influential in his own way is BOB WILLS.
Bob’s music was also part of the various streams that lead to rock & roll, but this track is probably not one of those. It just goes by the name of Anything.
TIMI YURO had one really big hit, but she also had quite a few others that made the charts back in the sixties.
Her song today isn’t one of those, it turned up on one of her albums and is called Be Anything (But Be Mine).
The SONS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN obviously modeled themselves on the Sons of the Pioneers.
They are a family band with two brothers and a son, and they harmonise and otherwise sing beautifully. Their repertoire is mainly cowboy songs and the like. One of those is That’s Why I'll Never Want To Be Anything But A Cowboy.
There were several contenders for the song I Can’t Give You Anything but Love. In the end I went for MEL TORMÉ.
It was a tough call as it’s one of the most recorded songs in history. Even I don’t have all of those, but of the many I have I liked Mel’s the best. Sorry Billie, you missed out today. A rare occurrence.
HOWARD TATE was a soul singer who wasn’t particularly well known by the general public.
He was well known in the music industry though, and Janis Joplin recorded a couple of his songs. He had a number of charting songs in the sixties and retired from the music biz in the late seventies.
An enterprising DJ rediscovered him early this century which led to a second career until his death in 2011. Howard’s contribution is You Don't Know Anything About Love.
BONNIE RAITT was destined to be a musician.
Her father was the Broadway actor and singer, John Raitt and her mother was the pianist, Marjorie Haydock. Bonnie received a guitar for Christmas when she was eight years old and hasn’t looked back.
Later, instead of studying in college, she’d hang around blues clubs and gig with various blues legends. That paid off as she’s one of the world’s great slide guitarists. Although she probably doesn’t believe this, she sings I Don't Want Anything to Change.