601 posts categorized "Elder Music"

ELDER MUSIC: Boccherini

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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LUIGI BOCCHERINI was born in Lucca in Italy. His dad was a cellist and double bass player and he taught the young Luigi to play the cello from the age of five, and he turned out to be pretty good at it.

When Luigi was 14, he and dad went to Vienna where they were both employed in the court orchestra.

At the age of 25, Luigi went to Madrid at the behest of the Spanish ambassador whom he met in Paris. He remained in Spain for the rest of his life, being employed to play and compose music for various bigwigs around the place.

He became a cello maestro and many of his compositions feature the instrument to one degree or another. He was greatly influenced by the music of Joseph Haydn and a large percentage of his output consists of chamber music - trios, quartets, quintets, sextets and so on - as will be demonstrated today.

His compositions have been catalogued by Yves Gérard, hence the G number attached to each.

Luigi’s music has been characterised as warm, gentle and elegant but often with an undertow of melancholia - his two wives and three daughters died before he did.

Luigi’s string trios published as Opus 47 are mature works (he was 50 when he wrote them) and although still definitely in the classical mode, they rather suggest to me the coming Romantic style of music that was fast approaching.

This one is his String Trio Op 47 No 5 in D major (G 111), the second movement.

♫ String Trio Op 47 No 5 in D major (G 111) (2)


Although. as I mentioned, Luigi’s composition are Classical in style, this next rather seems to look backward to the Baroque era. It’s not a bad thing to mix the two styles and this is a delightful piece.

It’s his Octet in G (G 470), the first movement. It’s scored for oboe, bassoon, French horn, two violins, viola and two cellos.

♫ Octet G 470 (1)

Luigi wrote a series of arias called “Aria Accademica” based on texts written for operas by Pietro Metastasio. The complete set had 16 of these. He collected 12 of them and presented them to music publisher Ignaz Pleyel (who was also a fine composer as well as a piano maker).

These actually didn’t see the light of day until the 20th Century. One of those is G 549, also known as Care luci che regnate, sung by CECILIA GADIA.


♫ Care luci che regnate (Cecilia Gadia)

Besides chamber music, Luigi liked to write music for his favoured instrument, the cello. Joseph Haydn wrote the two finest cello concertos in music, but Luigi wasn’t far behind him with his 13.

His Cello Concerto No. 9 in B-Flat Major, (G 482) is the most popular and widely performed of his. It’s often used as a teaching tool for budding cellists. This is the first movement.

♫ Concerto for Cello in B-Flat No 9 G 482 (1)


Early in the 1770s, Luigi started composing for the flute. It was at this time he wrote a series of flute quintets, called “little quintets” at the time. These are in contrast to later ones where he was more adventurous.

One series was his opus 19 (which has had several number changes over the centuries) and from that we have his Quintet No 2 for flute and strings in G minor (G 426), the second movement.

♫ Quintet No 2 for flute and strings in G minor G 426 (2)

Another aria from the series “Aria Accademica”, mentioned above, is the G 557, Se d'un amor tiranno. This one is sung by MARTA ALMAJANO.


♫ Aria Accademica in B-Flat Major G. 557 Se d'un amor tiranno


Perhaps it was because he lived in Spain, but Luigi seemed to be fond of the guitar and he wrote a number of guitar quintets, that is a guitar with a regular string quartet. He “cheated” with some of them by using old string quintets or piano quintets and re-scoring them for guitar. It doesn’t matter, they still sound fine.

See what you think of the second movement of his Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D major (G 448). This one is nicknamed "Fandango".

♫ Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D major (2)

Luigi’s Quintet No.3 for Oboe and Strings in D major, Op 45 (G 433) is essentially a string quartet with an oboe plonked on top of it. A lot of his quintets are like that - just string quartets with an extra instrument. Nothing wrong with that, they all sound fine. Here is the second movement of that work.

♫ Quintet No.3 for Oboe and Strings in D major Op.45 (G 433) (2)


Known mostly for his chamber music, Luigi was “asked” by the King of Spain’s younger brother, Luis, Count of Chinchón, to write a liturgical work for him. He produced his Stabat Mater (G 532). From that we have the seventh movement sung by Michele Minne.

♫ Stabat Mater G. 532 (7)

Like all composers of his era, Luigi wrote symphonies. It seems it was a rite of passage for composers back then. He wrote 30 of them that are called symphonies and several more works that really are but under different names.

From his Symphony No 3, op 37 in D minor (G 517) here is the fourth movement.

Symphony G 517 (4)


I’ll end with his most famous, and popular, composition: the String Quintet Op 13, No 5 (G 281). In this case the third movement, a minuet, that is also quite often performed as a standalone work. It’s been featured in many movie scores, most notably the Ealing comedy The Ladykillers from 1955.

String Quintet No. 17 in A Major Op. 13 No. 5 G 281 (3)

ELDER MUSIC: The Forgotten Angel

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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Clyde McPhatter

“The Forgotten Angel” is a name that has been applied to CLYDE MCPHATTER these days. I think it sums him up - somewhat forgotten and singing like an angel - his singing style set the stage for many who followed him.

If you’re looking for a really good musical trivia question, he is the answer to: “Who was the first person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice?”

Since then, others who have done the same refer to themselves as belonging to the “Clyde McPhatter Club”. He was a member of two seminal groups before he became a solo artist, so he could have made it three times.

Clyde began singing in his father’s gospel choir, the starting point for many of the finest singers of the era. His brothers and sisters were there as well and there were enough of them such that they could have been a choir on their own.

After moving to New Jersey, Clyde entered talent nights at the famous Apollo Theatre in New York and won. He was snapped up by a band led by Billy Ward to sing in his group, Billy Ward and the Dominoes.

Billy Ward & Dominoes

The first three songs are by that group, all of them with Clyde singing the lead vocal (as he did on most of their songs). The first of these is Have Mercy Baby.

♫ Billy Ward - Have Mercy Baby

Billy Ward & Dominoes

The song Harbor Lights was written back in the thirties by Hugh Williams (a pseudonym for Will Grosz) and Jimmy Kennedy. It was recorded by many artists, most especially The Platters. They had a hit with the song with the great Tony Williams singing lead, as he did on all their best songs. As good as Tony was, I think that Clyde was more soulful in his interpretation.

♫ Billy Ward - Harbor Lights

Billy Ward & Dominoes

I’ll end the Billy Ward section with possibly the most overwrought song in recorded history. Johnnie Ray had the reputation of crying on his records. He has nothing on Clyde. This is The Bells.

♫ Billy Ward - The Bells

Billy was a real tightwad and didn’t pay much and he also deducted from his musicians’ pay packet for food, taxes, hotel bills and anything else that he could get away with. After Clyde decided to leave, Billy said he had to come up with a replacement singer. Clyde found the young Jackie Wilson.

Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, then signed Clyde to his record company on condition he create a group to lead. He rounded up some singers and called them The Drifters.

After recording a couple of songs, Ahmet was dissatisfied and suggested a different lot of singers. Clyde did that and called the new group The Drifters (well, if you’re on a good thing…)

They worked out better than the previous lot, such that they became one of the best loved groups in singing history.

Drifters (Clyde)

One of the first songs they recorded was Such a Night. This was a reasonable hit for them even though it was the B-side of the record. It was covered by Johnnie Ray and later still by Elvis who took it to the top of the charts.

♫ Drifters - Such A Night

Drifters (Clyde)

Their next song was a huge hit. The song is Money Honey, and it’s been covered by many over the years. The song was written by Jesse Stone.

♫ Drifters - Money Honey

During his time with The Drifters, Clyde was inducted into the army. Fortunately, he wasn’t sent overseas and could continue recording during his time off. After his discharge, he decided to go out as a solo singer.

The Drifters’ manager then disbanded the group and started a new group (and called them The Drifters) built around Ben E King. Goodness, this column contains some of the finest singers from that time (or any time).

Clyde sold his share in the group to the manager. He regretted that decision for the rest of his life.

One of the first things he did as a solo singer was perform a duet with RUTH BROWN, with whom he toured. They were close. Very, very close. Their son now performs as one of the current Drifters.

One of the songs Clyde and Ruth performed together is Love Has Joined Us Together.

Clyde & Ruth

That’s Jerry Wexler, who produced their song; Ruth; Clyde; LaVern Baker and Ahmet Ertegun.

♫ Clyde McPhatter - Love Has Joined Us Together

Clyde McPhatter

Without Love (There Is Nothing) was written by Danny Small. Clyde was the first to record it. Over the years everyone from Elvis to Ray Charles to Tom Jones (to a whole bunch of lesser singers) have recorded it. Of course, as I’ve often said, the first is the best (okay, not always).

♫ Clyde McPhatter - Without Love (There Is Nothing)

Clyde McPhatter

No Love Like Her Love was the B-side of the single that had That’s Enough For Me on the A-side. Neither song made the charts, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good. Lots of fine songs don’t manage to do that.

♫ Clyde McPhatter - No Love Like Her Love

Clyde McPhatter

Now we get to the songs that most of us remember. A Lover’s Question is my favorite of his.

♫ Clyde McPhatter - A Lovers Question

Clyde McPhatter

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist prefers Lover Please.

♫ Clyde McPhatter - Lover Please

Towards the end of his life, and it was brief, he died at 39, Clyde thought that his fans had deserted him. That wasn’t true but he turned to alcohol such that many of his concerts were canceled or he didn’t turn up for them. He died of various complications due to his serious drinking.

I’ll end with a video of Clyde back when he was young and singing like an angel. A lovely smile at the end because he knew that he had nailed it.

ELDER MUSIC: Strange 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.

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These are certainly strange days we’re living through, and that means I get to play some strange songs. Okay, not necessarily strange songs, but those with strange in their title. Quite a few of these are blues which seems strangely appropriate.

Given the title of the column, many people could guess that THE DOORS would lead off proceedings. They are right.

The Doors

They actually have a song called Strange Days, taken from their second album also called “Strange Days”, but that song was a bit too strange. Instead, I’ve gone for one of their more famous songs, People are Strange from the same album.

♫ The Doors - People Are Strange

PATSY CLINE is always welcome in my columns and judging from past comments, you readers rather agree with that.

Patsy Cline

On this song I think that Patsy sounds like Tami Neilson. Of course, Tami wasn’t even born when Patsy died, so it should be the other way around. If you have a chance check out Tami’s music (particularly her song Cry Over You) I suggest you do that to see what I’m talking about. Anyway, here’s Patsy with Strange.

♫ Patsy Cline - Strange

ELMORE JAMES was a particular favorite of the British bands of the Sixties, especially Brian Jones who developed his guitar playing style from listening to his records.

Elmore James

Elmore worked in an electrical store early on and devised his own electric guitars that were in advance of the standard versions of the time. It took years for the others to catch up. He had a wide variety of styles which is probably why he was so influential. Here he performs Strange Kinda Feeling.

♫ Elmore James - Strange Kinda Feeling

Love is Strange was a big hit for the Everly Brothers. However, before them MICKEY & SYLVIA also hit the charts with the song.

Mickey & Sylvia

Bo Diddley claimed that he wrote the lyrics and Mickey and Sylvia also claimed to have done so. Bo was the first to record the song, but his version didn’t see light of day until a recent box set of his complete recordings. Buddy Holly also recorded it, but he didn’t claim to have written it. I’m going with Mickey & Sylvia.

♫ Mickey & Sylvia - Love Is Strange

JAMES HUNTER has recorded Strange But True twice.

James Hunter

The first time was on his album “Kick it Around” with a band and backup singers. He later did it again on “The Hard Way” with minimal accompaniment. I like the stripped back version, but the other isn’t bad either. Actually anything that James records is worth a listen.

♫ James Hunter - Strange But True

OTIS SPANN was easily the finest post war Chicago blues pianist.

Otis Spann

Besides his solo work, he was also Muddy Waters’ pianist for many years. He was also involved in one of the two or three best blues albums ever (“Super Black Blues”) with T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner. That’s another one to check out.

Here is Otis, with some of Muddy’s band, with Strange Woman.

♫ Otis Spann - Strange Woman

NICK CHARLES is a particular favorite of Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, such that we’ve seen him live many times over the years.

Nick Charles

Besides playing in Australia, he’s performed all over the world and played at some of the best blues festivals around the world. He’s a superb acoustic guitar player and quite a decent singer. Here he is with a reasonable sized band backing him with Strange Things Happen at Night.

♫ Nick Charles - Strange Things Happen At Night

Racism has always been present in yours and my societies, but it’s been somewhat hidden until recently when the American president essentially gave licence to the darkest elements of society to raise their heads and spew their vile filth over all of us.

The next song by BILLIE HOLIDAY is as relevant today as it was 80 years ago.

Billie Holiday

The song is Strange Fruit, written as a poem by Abel Meeropol and put to music by him and his wife, Laura Duncan.

♫ Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit

From his fine, but rather underrated album “Believers”, DON MCLEAN gives us the song Isn't It Strange, one he wrote himself.

Don McLean

It is a wry, ironic song about love and the way that men and women see their relationships. On the surface is a pleasant gentle song, but digging deeper into the lyrics reveals the clever and bittersweet exploration mentioned before.

♫ Don McLean - Isn't It Strange

I’ve always thought of CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE as an old bluesman, however, when I investigated him I discovered that he’s only a year older than I am. Okay, that could still make him an old blues man, but not in the way I had in mind.

Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie’s instrument is the harmonica and he also sings a bit (not while playing the harp, of course). He came to prominence in the early sixties with other white blues players like Michael Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield.

Although mainly a bluesman, he has also played with such musicians as Cyndi Lauper, Hot Tuna and Jools Holland. To fit into the column he performs Strange Land.

♫ Charlie Musselwhite - Strange Land

I’m really surprised to find a song by ELVIS from the Fifties I didn’t know.

Elvis Presley

Yep, that can happen even to your musical guru (“That’s a joke, Joyce” – that’s for my Australian readers). The song I discovered hidden somewhere on my computer is Is It So Strange.

♫ Elvis Presley - Is It So Strange

JIMMY JOHNSON is a blues guitarist, and a fine one at that.

Jimmy Johnson

A couple of decades ago he recorded an album called “Johnson’s Whacks” (ho ho) which contained a blues guitar rendition of Paul Desmond’s jazz classic Take Five. It’s worth seeking out. This has nothing to do with today’s selection, I just thought I’d mention it.

From a completely different album (“Every Day of Your Life”), Jimmy plays and sings Strange Things Happening.

♫ Jimmy Johnson - Strange Things Happening

ELDER MUSIC: Ain’t it Funny…

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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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You’d expect that songs that have funny in their titles would be, well, funny. Having collected these songs, it seems that that isn’t so (mostly). They’re good songs nonetheless, if a little on the depressing side of things. Let’s get to the funny songs.

Funny is certainly not the way to describe BILLIE HOLIDAY’s life.

Billie Holiday

She had a really hard life but in spite of that (or maybe because of it), she produced some of the most sublime music ever put on vinyl. He's Funny That Way was written by Neil Moret and Richard Whiting and it first appeared in the film “Gems of M-G-M” in 1929, sung by Marion Harris.

Since then it’s been tackled by many singers of both genders, changing He to She whenever appropriate. This is the way Billie does it.

♫ Billie Holiday - He's Funny That Way

In the early sixties, BURL IVES had a rather unexpected worldwide hit with the song, Little Bitty Tear.

Burl Ives

He followed that pretty much immediately with what to me was a follow-up song, trying to explain what had happened in the first one. A bit like someone trying to talk their way out of an embarrassing situation. I’ll let Burl try to explain that with Funny Way of Laughin'.

♫ Burl Ives - Funny Way Of Laughin'

My Funny Valentine was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. It first appeared in the musical “Babes in Arms” sung by Mitzi Green to Ray Heatherton. Since that time, it’s usually sung by a male to a female, although, if you listen to the words, it makes more sense the original way.

However, you’re probably like me and have pretty much only heard male performers sing and play it, and my goodness, there are a lot of them. It’s certainly popular with jazz musicians, and here’s one of those, CHET BAKER.

Chet Baker

Chet was a fine trumpeter and terrific singer and he threw it all away on drugs. Before his decline this is the way he sounded.

♫ Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine

JESSE BELVIN could have been a contender, up there with Sam Cooke, but he was killed in a car accident in 1960.

Jesse Belvin

The accident was almost certainly orchestrated by the Klan or another white supremacist group as he was returning from the first integrated concert in Little Rock, where there were several death threats.

Coincidentally, Sam was at that one too, along with Jackie Wilson and others. Jesse sings Funny.

♫ Jesse Belvin - Funny

JOHN SEBASTIAN sings a rare happy song in our category today.

John Sebastian

The song She's Funny was from his album “Welcome Back” which was based around the song of the same name that became a big hit when it was used as a theme for the TV program “Welcome Back, Kotter”.

♫ John Sebastian - She's Funny

Funny (But I Still Love You) was an early single for RAY CHARLES.

Ray Charles

That was back in 1953 and was the flip side to his big hit, Mess Around. I image people were surprised when they flipped over the record as it’s a complete contrast to that one. Ray wrote the song and that guitar playing is by ace session guitarist, Mickey Baker.

♫ Ray Charles - Funny (But I Still Love You)

HELEN SHAPIRO was easily the finest female English singer of the sixties, maybe ever (excluding classical ones of course).

Helen Shapiro

Helen toured with The Beatles very early in their career. Actually, it was a matter of The Beatles toured with Helen, it was that early.

She was offered a song they had written but her manager refused it as he didn’t want her recording songs by unknowns who’d be forgotten in a couple of months. She would have been the first person other than themselves to record one of their songs. This isn’t one of them: It's so Funny I Could Cry.

♫ Helen Shapiro - It's so funny I could cry

Things Aren't Funny Anymore was MERLE HAGGARD’s 17th number one song on the country charts. He went on to have 38 of those.

Merle Haggard

Hag was the master of the tear-jerker songs, although not as blatantly as some others, and this is an excellent example of that genre of country music. Of course, there are some who’d say that’s all country music is, but I’m not one of those.

♫ Merle Haggard - Things Aren't Funny Anymore

It probably comes as no surprise that BOB DYLAN is present today.

Bob Dylan

What is a bit unusual is the song he sings: It's Funny to Everyone but Me. It was written by Jack Lawrence in 1939. The Ink Spots were the first to record it and Frank Sinatra followed soon after when he was still with the Harry James Orchestra. Also unusual is the way Bob turns himself into a crooner.

♫ Bob Dylan - It's Funny to Everyone but Me

Okay, just insert here my usual rave about what the record companies insisted on accompanying NAT KING COLE with, rather than his terrific trio.

Nat King Cole36

Good, I’ve got off my chest. Nat recorded and released Funny (Not Much) in 1952 and since then it’s been recorded by a bunch of people. However, I can’t imagine anyone surpassing Nat, even with that orchestra behind him.

♫ Nat King Cole Trio - Funny (Not Much)

Funny How Time Slips Away has become a classic, a standard, over the decades which isn’t surprising as it was written by Willie Nelson. The first time I heard it wasn’t by Willie, it was JIMMY ELLEDGE.

Jimmy Elledge

It was some years before I knew of Willie, but I obviously knew his songs – not just this one, but others by Patsy Cline, Faron Young and so on. I’ve found that the version you first hear tends to make a big impression and that is so with this song. I still prefer Jimmy’s.

♫ Jimmy Elledge - Funny How Time Slips Away

ELDER MUSIC: Songs about Cities: San Antonio and El Paso

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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After searching for songs about certain cities I found that some didn’t have enough good ones, or even enough songs, to justify a column.

However, there were certain good songs that deserved an airing so I’ve decided to put two Texas cities together in the one column because they both had terrific songs about them. San Antonio has more variety than El Paso as it really only has the same song four times (and another one).

First, San Antonio.


You could probably guess that BOB WILLS would be present.

Bob Wills

He wrote and recorded a song called San Antonio Rose, then some time later he updated it to New San Antonio Rose. The newer one is the better of the two and it’s what we have today.

♫ Bob Wills - New San Antonio Rose

DOUG SAHM deserves his place today, not just for a fine song, but he was born and bred in San Antonio.

Doug Sahm

Doug was a musical prodigy, playing several instruments before he even got to school. He also appeared on stage with Hank Williams when he was just 11 years old. This was Hank’s last concert.

If you’re not familiar with his name, he was the founder of the Sir Douglas Quintet and also the leading light of the Texas Tornados. As a solo artist he’s appeared with some of the finest Tex-Mex performers, including Freddy Fender, Flaco Jiménez, Augie Meyers and, dare I mention him in this company, Bob Dylan.

Doug performs (Is Anybody Going To) San Antone.

♫ Doug Sahm - (Is Anybody Going To) San Antone

Susanna Clark was the wife of Guy Clark and friend (or “friend”, who knows?) of Townes Van Zandt. She was an artist by trade, but dabbled in song writing. More than dabbled, she wrote some wonderful songs, including this one sung by EMMYLOU HARRIS.

Emmylou Harris

Emmy performed a few of her songs but the one we’re interested in today is I'll Be Your San Antone Rose.

♫ Emmylou Harris - I'll Be Your San Antone Rose

LOS LOBOS may be from East L.A. but their music covers the territory today.

Los Lobos

Their song is Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio, which sort of means I leave you in San Antonio. My Spanish isn’t good enough (I took French at school) to determine if they’re coming back or not. As this is a song and not real life, I suspect not.

♫ Los Lobos - Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio

The HOT TEXAS SWING BAND takes its cues from Bob Wills, but they are a contemporary outfit. Asleep at the Wheel comes to mind when listening to them.

Hot Texas Swing Band

Like many fine Texas musicians, they are resident in Austin where they have regular gigs. They tour as well, of course. The membership seems to fluctuate between four and eight, depending on the circumstances.

Today, with quite a few of them by the sound of it, they perform Somewhere South of San Antone.

♫ Hot Texas Swing Band - Somewhere South Of San Antone

And El Paso…

Roses Cantina

I’ve been to El Paso, but I’m afraid it didn’t inspire me to return (sorry, readers from that city). The city did produce one of the greatest pop/country songs of all time though and you know what it is.

Before we go hard-core Marty Robbins, here is DON WALSER to kick off the El Paso section.

Don Walser1title=

Prepare yourself for some yodelling because it seems that cowboys must yodel. Don demonstrates that in El Paso Cowboy.

♫ Don Walser - El Paso Cowboy

Marty Robbins

I hope you like MARTY ROBBINS as much as I do as the rest of the songs are either by him, comments on his most famous song or both. I’ll start with the famous song, the one you expected to be present, El Paso.

This is a terrific song made extraordinary by Grady Martin’s guitar playing.

♫ Marty Robbins - El Paso

Marty Robbins

If you thought that song was long – it certainly was for the time it was released – then prepare yourself for the next one which is twice as long. It’s really the same song, only from the point of Feleena.

It’s called Feleena (From El Paso). It’s also sung by MARTY.

♫ Marty Robbins - Feleena (From El Paso)

Marty Robbins

But wait, there’s more. I hope you’re not tired of MARTY yet because we have another one of his. This time it’s a modern take on the same song, El Paso City.

♫ Marty Robbins - El Paso City

Tom Russell

I guess TOM RUSSELL is getting tired of all this because he’s Leaving El Paso. Naturally, he referenced Marty’s song as well.

♫ Tom Russell - Leaving El Paso

I nearly included Kinky Friedman’s Asshole from El Paso, then thought better of it.


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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In 1935, I wasn’t even a glint in my dad’s eye. The glint in his eye was mum who worked in the same store that he did, he was in men’s ware (he was a tailor) and mum was over the aisle selling haberdashery.

It took 10 more years (or really nine, I suppose) for the glint that led to me to appear. This preamble is really to tell you that I don’t remember any of these songs when they first appeared. That doesn’t matter as I know about them now.

Someone I’ve known about from a very young age is BING CROSBY, as he was one of my dad’s favorite singers.

Bing Crosby

The song, Red Sails in the Sunset, I remember from my youth thanks to Fats Domino and Tab Hunter. Bing’s version has an introduction that the later versions lacked.

♫ Bing Crosby - Red Sails In The Sunset

The SONS OF THE PIONEERS were about the best harmony group from this era, well in the genre of country music, as there were many harmony groups around who should be recognized.

Sons Of The Pioneers

In 1935, they still had their most famous lead singer. Regular readers will know that I’m talking about Leonard Slye, better known to us all as Roy Rogers. He was helped by Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer. They must have liked Santa Fe as they recorded four or five songs with it in the title, including Over the Santa Fe Trail.

♫ Sons Of The Pioneers - Over The Santa Fe Trail (1935)

SLEEPY JOHN ESTES was a blues performer from Tennessee.

Sleepy John Estes

He went blind when he was young due to a friend hitting him with a rock (some friend). His songs are pretty much about people he knew or encountered, or about events he participated in or “observed”.

He was a big favorite of blues revivalists in the early sixties. His song is Stop That Thing.

♫ Sleepy John Estes - Stop That Thing

One of the most enduring songs from this year is I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter. It was written by Fred Ahlert and Joe Young. The first recorded version, and one of the best, was by FATS WALLER.

Fats Waller

We know Fats for his wonderful singing (and mugging and whatnot), but he demonstrates his piano playing in the introduction. He then sings the song with a fine jazz band backing him.

♫ Fats Waller - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

Speaking of harmony groups, as I was above, SOL K. BRIGHT & HIS HOLLYWAIIANS were certainly up there with the best.

Sol Bright

I only discovered them a few years ago, but since then I’ve become a fan. You can probably guess that they were from Hawaii, and they integrated that island’s musical culture with what was going around at the time. One of those things was Irving Berlin’s song, Heat Wave.

♫ Sol K. Bright & His Hollywaiians - Heat Wave (1935)

BENNY GOODMAN was at his best when he performed in his small groups.

Benny Goodman & Helen Ward

Of course, at the height of the swing era he knew on what side his bread was buttered, so he organised an orchestra. That included singers as was normal for such things. One of those was HELEN WARD who sang “vocal refrain” on their record of Blue Moon, a Rogers and Hart composition.

♫ Benny Goodman - Blue Moon

Naturally, FRED ASTAIRE was making films in 1935.

Fred Astaire

Also, naturally, his partner in those was Ginger Rogers. The one we’re interested in today is “Top Hat” where Fred sang Cheek to Cheek while dancing with Ginger.

I’ll refrain from saying things about high heels and backwards. The song is yet another written by Irving Berlin, and Fred’s is the first recorded version.

♫ Fred Astaire - Cheek To Cheek

Often cited as the finest guitarist whoever plucked a string, DJANGO REINHARDT achieved that with only three functioning fingers on his left hand. The others were injured, along with quite a bit of the rest of him, by a fire.

Django Reinhardt

Here he is jamming with his long time musical partner, violinist Stéphane Grappelli, on the tune Djangology.

♫ Django Reinhardt - Djangology

Okay, take your partners for a foxtrot, or a hybrid I’d not heard of before, a tango foxtrot. Waving the baton in front of his orchestra is RAY NOBLE, and we have AL BOWLLY on vocal refrain.

Ray Noble & Al Bowlly

The song Isle of Capri was written by Wilhelm Grosz and Jimmy Kennedy. Ray’s and Al’s version was one of the early ones, only being pipped a month earlier by Lew Stone.

♫ Ray Noble and his Orchestra ~ Al Bowlly - Isle of Capri

I’ll end with LOUIS ARMSTRONG in mellow mood.

Louis Armstrong

By 1935, Louis had left his Hot 5 and Hot 7 groups behind him, and he was pretty much going with the mood of the times, employing a larger orchestra. Anything with him playing his trumpet is worth listening to, including I'm In the Mood for Love.

♫ Louis Armstrong - I'm In the Mood for Love

ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up So Far in 2020

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.

* * *

It’s only half way through the year and already too many important musicians have died (a couple because of Covid-19 – it has a lot to answer for).

Little Richard

LITTLE RICHARD Penniman was one of the three or four most important and influential figures in the early days of rock and roll. He, along with the others, took the music to a wider audience, worldwide really, and made it the dominant force in popular music.

Unlike most other rockers, Richard played piano and wrote his own songs. He gave up music and turned to religion at least twice while he was still popular, but always came back to the music.

His songs have been covered by many artists, most appallingly by Pat Boone. No one performed them better, or more outrageously, than Richard himself. The song that kick started his career is Tutti Frutti. (He was 87)

♫ Little Richard - Tutti Frutti

BOBBY LEWIS was a soul singer who had a giant hit in 1960 with Tossin’ and Turnin’. He had a couple more songs that made the charts, and he kept performing until quite recently, which is remarkable when you consider his age. (97)

JIMMY COBB was a jazz drummer best known for playing on the Miles Davis album, “Kind of Blue”, one of the most important albums in history. He played on other Miles’ albums and later teamed up with several others who played on “Blue” to form their own group. Over the years Jimmy played with all the important jazz players. (91)

Barry Tuckwell

For much of his life, BARRY TUCKWELL was the world’s foremost French horn player. He initially studied piano, violin and organ but was given a French Horn when he was 13. He took to it right away, such that he was giving concerts within six months.

He was a member of both the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras while still a teenager. He later was a member of the London and many other renowned Orchestras. He later went out on his own as a soloist, forming his own chamber group and also became a much in demand conductor.

Barry plays the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata for Horn and Piano in F, Op.17. (78)

♫ Beethoven - Sonata for Horn and Piano in F Op.17 (1)

JULIE FELIX was an American born singer whose biggest successes came in Britain. It was there where she recorded, toured and appeared on TV, most notably hosting her own program that featured many of the sixties biggest acts early in their careers. (81)

ELLIS MARSALIS was a jazz musician from New Orleans who started out playing saxophone but switched to piano which became his main instrument. He was the father to a family of jazz musicians who have become household names. (85)

David Olney

DAVID OLNEY died with his boots on. He was performing at a festival when he apologised to the crowd and died of a heart attack.

He was a songwriter of great skill and a poetic bent whose songs were recorded by many others, including Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Tim O’Brien and Del McCoury.

He began performing in the band X-Ray that he formed himself. After a couple of records he went out as a solo performer. Besides his songs, he also wrote poems and sonnets, appearing in Shakespeare festivals. He recorded more than 20 albums. From one of those, “Eye of the Storm”, David performs Queen Anne's Lace. (71)

♫ David Olney - Queen Anne's Lace

CARL DOBKINS JR was a singer and songwriter best known for his fifties hit My Heart is an Open Book. He appeared on TV frequently and later joined an Oldies tour. (79)

MILLIE SMALL was the first person to bring ska music to the world at large. Indeed, her song, My Boy Lollipop, is still the best selling ska record. She was born in Jamaica but went to live in England as a teenager and remained there for the rest of her life. (72)

Bill Withers

BILL WITHERS seemed destined to a career in engineering until he had a chance encounter with famed musician and producer, Booker T Jones (of Booker T and the MGs).

Booker produced Bill’s first album that contained the song, Ain’t No Sunshine. This song became a world number one hit for him. He had several other hits, including Lean on Me, Lovely Day, Just the Two of Us and others.

His music career was brief, only about 10 years as a big record company took over his contract and insisted he make music their way, in spite of his previous success. Bill was one of music’s good guys, maybe the best of the lot. Here is that first hit (with the 26 “I know”s). (81)

♫ Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine

STEVE MARTIN CARO was a founding member and singer for the rock group, The Left Banke. He wrote and sang their first and biggest hit, Walk Away Renée, about his brother’s girlfriend on whom he had a crush. (71)

PAUL ENGLISH was Willie Nelson’s long time friend, drummer and bodyguard – he started with Willie in 1955, and was with him until he died. He was the subject of a terrific song Me and Paul, one of Willie’s best. (87)

Kenny Rogers

KENNY ROGERS was a singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and entrepreneur. Although generally considered a country music performer, he had many crossover hits in the pop charts.

He started his career in the New Christy Minstrels. After that, he and some of the other Christys formed their own group, The First Edition. It was, as the lead singer of that group, he had his first hits.

He later performed on his own and occasionally collaborated with other artists, most notably Dolly Parton. Besides that, he acted in films and in TV programs. Instead of one of his famous hits, I’ve decided to include a lesser known, but really good song, Even a Fool Would Let Go. (81)

♫ Kenny Rogers - Even A Fool Would Let Go

JOSEPH SHABALALA was the founder and director of the singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They achieved worldwide fame when Paul Simon used them on his “Graceland” album and they toured with him to promote that record. Because of that, the group sold a huge number of records of their own music. (78)

MCCOY TYNER was a jazz pianist who initially worked with John Coltrane and later had a long solo career. His piano style was hugely influential and later jazz pianists started out imitating his style. (81)

Robert Parker

ROBERT PARKER was yet another fine New Orleans musician. He started out playing saxophone for Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Huey “Piano” Smith, Irma Thomas and others.

He turned his hand to singing and started making records. Most of these were minor or regional hits, but he had one major success with the song Barefootin’. (89)

♫ Robert Parker - Barefootin'

PHIL PHILLIPS wrote the song Sea of Love, recorded it and saw that it hit the top of the charts. However, he received a pittance for it due to the nefarious dealings of his record company. The song has been used often on film soundtracks (especially the one with the same name). (94)

PETER SERKIN was a classical pianist most noted for his interpretation of the works of J.S. Bach. (72)

John Prine

JOHN PRINE was a songwriter who could break your heart with his songs. Then he would make you laugh with others, or even occasionally the same one. He wrote sensitively and movingly about old age while still in his twenties.

He was generally the best interpreter of his songs, but there are several memorable versions by other artists, generally female. John was done in by Covid-19. I like to think he’d find humor in that, although the rest of us wouldn’t.

I’ll play possibly my favorite song of his, Lake Marie. (73)

♫ John Prine - Lake Marie

BONNIE POINTER was a founding member of the singing group The Pointer Sisters. The four of them really were sisters. They were big in the seventies. Bonnie later had a successful solo career. (69)

BOB SHANE was the last of the original members of the Kingston Trio. The group pretty much single-handedly put folk music on the charts in the late fifties. (85)

Mirella Freni

MIRELLA FRENI was an Italian operatic soprano who started out singing lighter roles. Halfway through her career (of 50 years) she changed tack and started singing meatier parts.

She was born at the same time and lived next to Luciana Pavorotti. They appeared together numerous times. She was best at Mozart, Puccini, Donizetti and Verdi roles. You can hear just a bit of that from her interpretation of Un Bel Di Vedremo (One Fine Day) from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. (84)

♫ Mirella Freni - Un bei di (Madama Butterfly)

ERIC WEISSBERG was an American multi-instrumentalist who became known as a banjo player after his version of Dueling Banjos was featured in the film “Deliverance”. Otherwise he had a successful career as a session musician and appeared on many artists’ records.


DON BURROWS was Australia’s most important and celebrated jazz musician for the last 70 years. He played flute, clarinet and saxophone. Over the years he’s played with the cream of the world’s jazz players as well as with symphony orchestras. (91)

Harold Reid

HAROLD REID was the bass singer for the Statler Brothers, probably the finest harmony singing group in country music. There was no one named Statler in the group, and only two of them were brothers, Harold and lead tenor Don.

Harold was the driving force of the group who achieved their initial success as Johnny Cash’s backing group. Johnny was instrumental in getting them a recording contract of their own. One of their biggest hits was Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott with Harold starting it off. (80)

♫ Statler Brothers - Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott

BETTY WRIGHT was a soul and rhythm and blues singer whose biggest success was in the seventies. She won a Grammy for best soul song and her music was sampled often by lesser performers. (66)

FLOYD LEE was a blues guitarist and singer who performed in New York’s subways and streets for many decades. He later found success as a recording artist and as the subject of an excellent documentary of his life. (86)

Lynn Harrell

LYNN HARRELL was one of the finest cello players of recent times. He had a good start in the classical music biz with a father who was an opera singer at the Met and a mother who was a violinist.

Lynn attended Juilliard but both parents died when he was in his late teens. By that time he had a gig in the Cleveland Orchestra. After that he played with many of the world’s great orchestra and often teamed up with pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy to play cello sonatas, especially those of Beethoven.

Here they are with the first movement of Sonata for Cello and Piano No.5 in D, Op.102 No.2. (76)

♫ Beethoven - Sonata for Cello and Piano No.5 in D Op.102 No.2 (1)

DARICK CAMPBELL was one of three brothers in The Campbell Brothers (as well as their nephew). They played “sacred steel” music, religious music with heavily amplified guitars, including the pedal steel. They were often joined by master blues pedal steel player Robert Randolph. The group was much admired by rock and blues musicians. (53)

KEITH TIPPETT was a British jazz pianist who also played prog rock. Although not a member, he played with such groups as King Crimson and the Soft Machine, as well as gigs with his wife, the musician Julie Driscoll. (72)

Vera Lynn

VERA LYNN was a British singer, songwriter and entertainer who became a huge success with her songs during the Second World War, not just in Britain but around the world as well. She performed for troops in Egypt, Burma and India and elsewhere.

She thought that her singing career would be over when war broke out but that was proved wrong. She kept singing afterwards for several decades and never lost her popularity. I had to play her most famous song, We’ll Meet Again, her signature tune. (103)

♫ Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again

ELDER MUSIC: Classical Whatnot 3

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.

* * *

Here is another container to hold various things. Those things are some interesting classical music. Well, they’re interesting to me; I hope they are to you too.

When the name Water Music is mentioned most of us (including me) think of Mr Handel. However, that Georg wasn’t the only one who wrote music with that name. Another was GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN.


This Georg was a good friend of J.S. Bach and J.S. named one of his sons after him. Georg is generally considered to be the most prolific composer in history, and pretty much everything he wrote was of the highest order, and these aren’t short pieces – Table Music went on for hours.

This one’s a bit shorter, well the bit I have included is, the whole thing is quite lengthy. This is the Overture in C Major, TWV 55D3, from his Water Music.

♫ Telemann - Water Music Overture In C Major

Speaking of Mr HANDEL, here he is with something from his best known work.


That, of course, is “The Messiah”, these days mostly called Handel’s Messiah. From that we have How Beautiful are the Feet, sung by SIOBHAN STAGG.

Siobhan Stagg

I don’t know whose feet he was talking about. It could be my mum’s which were really splendid, and she complained that her best feature was generally covered up.

♫ Siobhan Stagg - How beautiful are the feet (Handel's Messiah)

A double bass concerto is not something you hear every day. They’re pretty rare but there are examples. Some of the best were by Ditters Von Dittersdorf, a friend of Haydn and Mozart with whom he played string quartets.

Another is Johann Vanhal, who was the fourth member of the group. I can imagine the chat after they were done playing: “You know, nobody has written a double bass concerto”. “You’re right, why don’t you do it?” “No, you do it.” “No, you.” “Your turn.” And so on.

None of these folks are who we have today, it is GIOVANNI BOTTESINI.


Gio didn’t play music with any of the others because he was born too late. He was a double bass virtuoso though, something that really didn’t happen again until jazz occasionally put the instrument front and centre.

Gio was taught music by his father, who played the clarinet. I imagine that he kicked himself whenever he had to lug his instrument around that he didn’t follow dad’s lead.

Anyway, he wrote several dozen compositions for the instrument as well as more standard fare, like operas, string quartets, symphonies and the like. Getting back to his instrument, here is the first movement of his Double Bass Concerto No 2 in B Minor.

♫ Bottesini - Double Bass Concerto in B Minor (1)

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH wrote his second piano concerto for the birthday of his son, Maxim.


Maxim played the premiere of the work at his graduation from music college. This is an uncharacteristically cheerful composition (although less so in this movement), unlike most of Dmitri’s output; well he had to satisfy Stalin, no mean enterprise.

As often happens with such works, the critics dismiss it and the public really likes it. I’m one of the public. Thus, here is the second movement of his Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102.

♫ Shostakovich - Piano Concerto No. 2. in F major Op. 102 (2)

I’ve devoted a whole column (I’ll finish it one day) to LUIGI BOCCHERINI but before I get to that, here’s a sample of his music.


Although Italian, Luigi spent much of his life in Spain. He was a cello player (as was his dad, who taught him) and he wrote many works that featured the instrument prominently. He also used the guitar quite a bit, probably due to the Spanish influence.

Today we’re back to his first love, along with a bunch of other instruments in his Concerto for Cello, 2 Oboes, 2 Horns and Strings in D No 10, G 483. The third movement.

♫ Boccherini - Concerto for Cello 2 Oboes 2 Horns and Strings in D No 10 G 483 (3)

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL, what a splendid name, wasn’t the first to write a trumpet concerto for the new keyed trumpet, the sort we have today, but he came close.


At the time he was Kapellmeister at the Esterházy court, a post that Joseph Haydn held for 30 years before him. It was this Jo who pipped our Jo at the post with the first such concerto.

The instrument was designed by famed trumpeter Anton Weidinger who commissioned the work today. He was a friend of both of them and they both saw the possibilities in the new instrument. So, here’s Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto in E or E flat major, WoO 1, S. 49, the third movement.

♫ Hummel - Trumpet Concerto in E or E flat major WoO 1 S. 49 (3)

PHILLIP WILCHER is possibly not generally known to most of the readers of this column, but just ask someone under 7 or 8 years old and they can probably tell you.

Phillip Wilcher

Phillip was an original Wiggle, but he didn’t have a distinctive colored shirt as he left the group before they adopted those. Others might say, “What’s a Wiggle?” That’s why you need to ask a young person.

Besides his Wiggling activities Phil is a composer of really fine music, including his Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello. This is the fourth movement.

♫ Wilcher - Piano Trio (4)

RADAMÉS GNATTALI was a Brazilian composer, conductor and orchestrator of the 20th century.

Radamés Gnattali

Boyd & Metcalf are Australian classical guitarist RUPERT BOYD with American cellist LAURA METCALF, acclaimed soloists in their own right, and just happened to be married to each other.

Boyd & Metcalf

They perform the first movement of Rad’s Sonata for Cello and Guitar.

♫ Gnattali - Sonata for Cello & Guitar (1)

Along with Mozart, GIACOMO PUCCINI is my favorite composer of operas.


One of his best known is La Bohème. From that we have the scene from the first act where Rodolfo and Mimi get to know each other. Here we have David Hobson (especially for Norma, The Assistant Musicologist) and Cheryl Barker (especially for me) from a performance staged by the Australian Opera a little while ago.


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 were taught in English class at school that we shouldn’t begin sentences with a conjunction. Great writers learn those rules and break them whenever it’s necessary.

Today I’m breaking the rule too, at least musically, and featuring songs that begin with “And”. I might cheat and include those whose titles start with that word, even if the songs don’t.

If you think I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one, I can assure you that the barrel is virtually bottomless when it comes to silly ideas for columns.

The first is from that vastly under-rated group THE ZOMBIES.


They were one of the more interesting bands from the sixties. They had a couple of hits and released a couple of albums but weren’t supported by their record company so that after their first couple of hits, the record buying public weren’t able to hear their music.

Now they have been reassessed and all their music re-released to considerable acclaim. One of their initial hits is Tell Her No.

♫ The Zombies - Tell Her No

There are three excellent versions of the song And When I Die. They are Laura Nyro, who wrote the song, Peter, Paul and Mary, which was the first I heard and the one you were probably expecting, BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS.

Blood, Sweat & Tears

This was from their second album, the first with David Clayton-Thomas as lead singer. Before that, Al Kooper, who formed the band, did the honors. However, by this stage he had moved on to other projects like solo albums, producing, session work and so on.

Blood, Sweat & Tears - And When I Die

The song She Cried was written by Greg Richards and Ted Daryll. Ted was the first to record the song. It became a hit when Jay and the Americans tackled it. The song is a quintessential teenage angst song. Those two versions are pretty mournful, so I’ve gone with DEL SHANNON instead.

Del Shannon

Okay, Del’s take isn’t all that jolly either but it’s better than the other two.

♫ Del Shannon - She Cried

TALKING HEADS was formed in New York by a bunch of former art students, most notably David Byrne.

Talking Heads

It’s interesting how many bands were started by all or mostly ex-art students – I guess they could create their own album covers.

About the only notice I took of the Heads at the time was the song Once in a Lifetime. I’ve since come to appreciate them more as time has passed. The song of theirs that fits our category is And She Was.

♫ Talking Heads - And She Was

Paul McCartney wrote the song And I Love Her about his relationship with Jane Asher as things were going well with them at that stage. It appeared in THE BEATLES’ first film A Hard Day's Night.

The Beatles

John wrote most of the music for the film as Paul was somewhat distracted by Jane. He made up for it later.

♫ Beatles - And I Love Her

The London Olympic Committee used the song Jerusalem in the opening ceremony of their Games. This was so excruciatingly awful it set my teeth on edge.

I’m not perverse enough to use that version – I wouldn’t inflict it on you, but more to the point, I wouldn’t inflict it on myself. After all, I’d have to listen to it first.

There are many far superior versions out there – all of them, in fact. This is a version sung by four clean cut young men who sing for a British program called Songs of Praise but I don’t know who they are. We’ll just have to make do with the music.

Oh, there seems to be some discussion about whether it’s a song or a hymn. Consensus seems to be falling on the side of song, so that’s what I’ll call it. The song was taken from a poem by William Blake, the strange but brilliant poet of the 18th and early 19th century. That’s him below.

William Blake

♫ Jerusalem by William Blake

DON MCLEAN would certainly have had a nice little earner from his song And I Love You So.

Don McLean

It’s become a “middle of the road” classic and pretty much everyone from Elvis on down has recorded it. However, Don did it first and he did it best.

♫ Don McLean - And I Love You So

The song Comme D’habitute was written by Jacques Revaux. Paul Anka heard it when he was holidaying in France and got together with Jacques and others and did a deal. Paul wrote English lyrics and called the song My Way.

He rang Frank Sinatra and suggested he might like to record it. Frank did just that and it became a mega-hit, so much so that Frank came to detest the song.

I’m with Frank; it’s a song I really, really don’t like. That is why I’m including what I think is the least worst version around, and boy, there are a lot of them. I can’t imagine there will be many who agree with my choice. Here is SID VICIOUS.

Sid Vicious

Sid was once the bass player for the Sex Pistols. His skill with the instrument was so rudimentary that their guitarist played bass on the records, and they often employed another bass player to play behind a curtain at live gigs.

♫ Sid Vicious - My Way

It’s surprising that HOYT AXTON didn’t become far better known.

Hoyt Axton

After all, he had a fine singing voice, wrote terrific songs and was an actor of considerable ability as well. That’s the way show biz works, I guess, the deserving don’t always get the acclaim. Anyway, here’s Hoyt with Evangelina.

♫ Hoyt Axton - Evangelina

There’s an obvious and clichéd way to finish off and I’m going to go with it. THE BEATLES with The End, their second song today. Well, if they can’t break the rules, who can?

The Beatles

Okay, I’m cheating a bit as there are a few “Oh yeahs” and the like before the song itself kicks in. I like to think of that as introduction. It’s not really a song, more a songlet, one of several from “Abbey Road”.

♫ The Beatles - The End


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.

* * *

Okay, is everyone sitting still? Make of this what you will. I hope I haven’t descended into columns that just contain random words but, you never know, there could be some good songs that way.

Well, there are probably not many songs about sesquipedalian, palaeichthyology or callipygian. Although now that I think about it, there are quite a few about that last one. Here are the “still” songs.

This column was inspired by one of my guilty pleasures. This first one is probably the quintessential country song. Certainly Norma, the Assistant Musicologist would say that, given her criterion for a country song is that there should be a talkie bit in there somewhere.

This one is almost all talkie bit. The talker, and occasional singer, is BILL ANDERSON.

Bill Anderson

I remember this from my teenage years when songs like this helped me get even more miserable after breaking up with a girlfriend. The song is Still. I don’t know how many of you will like this one, but I have a soft spot for it.

♫ Bill Anderson - Still

From its title, I thought that WILLY DEVILLE had cut a cover of the previous song, but on playing it I found I was wrong.

Willy DeVille

Often associated with the music of New Orleans, Willie’s from all over the place. Born and bred in Connecticut, he played in New York, cut his first records and first came to notice in San Francisco, he eventually ended up in New Orleans where he made some his best music.

He was really big in Europe where he toured often. From one of those New Orleans albums (“Loup Garou”) is Still (I Love You Still).

♫ Willy DeVille - Still (I Love You Still)

After blasting onto the music scene in the fifties, JERRY LEE LEWIS hit a bit of a flat patch by the start of the sixties.

Jerry Lee Lewis

He left Sun Records, where he recorded those famous early songs, and for much of the sixties was rarely seen much by the listening public (sorry, that didn’t make much sense).

Then in 1969, Jerry had three massive country hits that brought him back into the limelight from which he’s not strayed since. One of those hits is She Still Comes Around (To Love What's Left of Me).

♫ Jerry Lee Lewis - She Still Comes Around (To Love What's Left Of Me)

I was overwhelmed with choice for the next song, some of the finest performers who ever put their voice on disk – Elvis, Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Isaac Hayes, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison and on and on and on.

In the end, not too surprisingly, I went with the gentleman who wrote the song and recorded it first, HANK WILLIAMS.

Hank Williams

Probably my favourite version is by Ricky because it was on one of the records I had as a kid. That was before I’d heard any of the other versions. These things stick in the brain, even after more than 60 years. However, it’s Hank’s turn today to sing I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You).

♫ Hank Williams - I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)

What can I say about RAY CHARLES that’s not been said before? Well, nothing is the answer to that question.

Ray Charles

Given most of the rest of the songs, you might imagine that Ray’s song came from one of his several country albums, but that’s not the case (although listening to it, it would have fitted in there). The song is Funny (But I Still Love You).

♫ Ray Charles - Funny (But I Still Love You)

One of the finest examples of Doowop music from the mid-fifties was a song by THE FIVE SATINS.

Five Satins

The song has been covered by many artists, parodied by quite a few as well. The original is still the best and I think it still holds up today. In The Still of the Night (or Nite, as some records would have it).

♫ Five Satins - In The Still Of The Night

It amazes me when I consider the songs that artists think not worthy of including on their albums. They often turn up later on box sets, compilations and the like, and I wonder what they were thinking? EMMYLOU HARRIS is one such.

Emmylou Harris

Of course, she’s recorded so much good music that it might be hard to fit it all in. Perhaps she should get me to select her songs (Are you reading this, Emmy?)

One such song is Love Still Remains that turned up on her “Songbird” box set but not on any other record. She has a little help from Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings on this one.

♫ Emmylou Harris - Love Still Remains

Some of the finest singers in country music have recorded the song She Thinks I Still Care. I was wavering about which to include: Marty Robbins, The Statler Brothers, Michael Nesmith, Glen Campbell, John Fogerty, George Jones (who did it first) or MERLE HAGGARD, who’s a better singer than George (Ooo, that’s put the cat among the pigeons).

Merle Haggard

I liked Merle’s as it had a rather stripped back feel. The song was written by Dicky Lee and Steve Duffy, neither of whom recorded it to the best of knowledge.

♫ Merle Haggard - She Thinks I Still Care

After returning to this column after a few months of ignoring it, I wondered why I had selected THE SHIRELLES.

The Shirelles

There didn’t seem to be anything “still” about the song Will You Love Me Tomorrow. That is, until I played it. That was the title of the song, but after the first verse they sing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. Good enough for me.

♫ The Shirelles - Will You Love Me Tomorrow

JOHNNY ADAMS really should have been better known during his lifetime.

Johnny Adams

Yet another great talent from New Orleans, Johnny was equally at home singing blues, rock, jazz, even big band music. His song Still in Love leans towards that last genre.

♫ Johnny Adams - Still in Love

I always see CHRIS SMITHER when he’s in my neck of the woods; he’s such a wonderful performer.

Chris Smither

Just put him on stage with an acoustic guitar, a tapping foot and his supply of great songs and there are few better musical experiences. Today, Chris seems to think that Time Stands Still.

♫ Chris Smither - Time Stands Still

ELDER MUSIC: Together at Home 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.

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Starting with a few people performing at home and putting their songs out on the internet, it’s now become a flood of music. There are so many people performing in all sorts of genres of music that it’s hard to keep up. Here are just a few I’ve found and really liked.

I’ll start with LUKAS NELSON with one of his songs, Just Outside of Austin. He’s joined by his brother MICAH and his father, some little-known journeyman named WILLIE who I believe he is also a singer and songwriter of some renown himself.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and his good lady wife PATTI SCIALFA get into the act with two songs. The first of these is one of Bruce’s, Land of Hope and Dreams.

The second is one of Tom Waits' that Bruce has performed regularly over the years, Jersey Girl. It really sounds like one he could have written himself.

BRIAN MAY makes quite a few of these videos. I originally had him with Shuba (down below), but then I discovered this instrumental he did with master double bass player, BOŽO PARADŽIK.

They perform one of Queen’s songs, usually sung by Freddie Mercury back in the day, Love of my Life. Back then Brian usually played a 12 string acoustic guitar, but here he plucks an electric.

THE DEAD SOUTH is a blue grass band from Canada. They perform the traditional song, This Little Light of Mine. This will get your toes a’tapping.

A feature of this venture is discovering musicians I didn’t know about; there are several in the column today. Another couple of those are SIERRA BOGGESS and JOSHUA DELA CRUZ. They perform the song, One Day from the musical “Dancers at a Waterfall”, written by Richard Maltby and David Shire. Brad Haak plays the piano.

JACK JOHNSON performs his song, Better Together on his front steps. This is a nice gentle piece with Jack playing acoustic guitar. The song first appeared on his album “In Between Dreams”.

Here is the talented and gorgeous MISSY HIGGINS accompanied by TIM MINCHIN on the piano performing one of Tim’s songs. Missy said that she put on her wedding dress for the occasion just because she could.

I don’t think that’s Tim’s wedding outfit, but you never know with him. The song is Carry You.

I featured NEIL FINN on the first of these columns, but I thought he deserved another go. Here he is accompanied by his sons LIAM on guitar and ELROY on drums.

They perform the Crowded House hit Better Be Home Soon. Of course, Neil was the founder and leading light of that group.

Until today. I hadn’t heard of SHUBA. She has certainly bored into my brain after discovering several of her videos, especially the ones she performed with Brian May.

Here she is on her own with something completely different from what she does with Brian, Samjhawan, written by Sharib-Toshi, Jawad Ahmed, Kumaar and Ahmad Anees.

It doesn’t get any better than this. This being the METROPOLITAN OPERA ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, performing Va, pensiero from Verdi’s “Nabucco”.

No matter what governments might say, this thing isn’t over and won’t be for a long time. Here are a bunch of Australian musicians and comedians telling you what you should do.

There is a serious language warning for this one so if you’re offended by that sort of thing, don’t watch. For others, take their advice: Stay at Home. This song will really cement the perception of Australians held by others. It even has a Wiggle, for those who know about such things.

ELDER MUSIC: Good Evening

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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If you’re reading this in the morning or the afternoon, just squint your eyes slightly and pretend it’s evening for that’s what we’re on about today.

Although a blues singer, CHARLES BROWN is more akin to Nat King Cole than Howlin’ Wolf.

Charles Brown

Charles was classically trained on the piano but couldn’t get any work in that field. After a time as a chemistry teacher and jobs in the chemical industry, he took up music as a profession, initially with Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers and then as a solo performer.

Charles is a particular favorite of Norma, The Assistant Musicologist. He opens proceedings with In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down.

♫ Charles Brown - In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down

ARLO GUTHRIE’s album “Alice's Restaurant” had other songs on it besides the famous one.

Arlo Guthrie

One of those is Chilling of the Evening. Arlo rerecorded the album with all the same songs 30 years later. I think that the later versions are superior. It’s not too surprising, he had all those years to hone his craft and if you listen to the songs side by side as I did, it’s quite obvious.

♫ Arlo Guthrie - Chilling of the Evening

BING CROSBY teams up with JANE WYMAN for his contribution.

Bing Crosby & Jane Wyman

You all know that Jane was once married to Ronald Reagan until she saw the light and divorced him. That has nothing to do with the song, it’s just some filler type stuff. Here is In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening.

♫ Bing Crosby & Jane Wyman - In The Cool Cool Cool Of The Evening

DEAN MARTIN was also a contender for the previous song but I preferred Bing’s. Besides Dean has another evening song.

Dean Martin

Dino has yet another ditty about Rome. It’s also about evening, which is useful for us. It is On an Evening in Roma (Sott'er Celo de Roma). There are a few dodgy rhymes, but we can’t blame him for that.

♫ Dean Martin - On an Evening in Roma (Sott'er Celo de Roma)

I remember DON RONDO from the fifties for just one song - White Silver Sands.

Don Rondo

It seems he recorded others as well (well, of course he did). One of those is Evening Star.

♫ Don Rondo - Evening Star

PAUL SIMON has written a bunch of songs so it’s not too surprising that there’s an evening song in there somewhere.

Paul Simon

Late in the Evening was a hit for Paul and it was on the album “One Trick Pony”, sort of the soundtrack album of the film in which he appeared. I say “sort of” because there were songs in the film that weren’t on the record and vice versa.

♫ Paul Simon - Late In The Evening

JUDY GARLAND hasn’t appeared often in these columns. Nothing to do with her, it’s just her songs didn’t seem to fit the various criteria I used. She’s here today though.

Judy Garland

In the Valley (Where the Evening Sun Goes Down) was written by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer and first came to public notice when Judy sang it in the film “The Harvey Girls” in 1946.

♫ Judy Garland - In the Valley (Where the Evening Sun Goes Down)

Rather uncharacteristically, THE SUPREMES sing a blues song.

The Supremes

The song was first performed on record by Leroy Carr in 1928. It was a big hit and has since been covered by many blues performers. Not just blues, as you’ll hear today when The Supremes sing How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone.

♫ The Supremes - How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone

The actual title of this song is St. Louis Blues. However, it fits today because the first line of the song is “I hate to see the evening sun go down”. That’s good enough for me. Many people have recorded this song, but the pick of them that I have is BILLY ECKSTINE.

Billy Eckstine

Here is part 1 and 2 of the song. I assume when it was originally released they were on separate sides of the record. These days they get smashed together, and on the second part Billy does some scat singing to rival the best of those who did this (about three or four of them, apart from those most weren’t very good at it).

♫ Billy Eckstine - St. Louis Blues (Parts 1 & 2)

The INK SPOTS started in the early thirties and kept performing into the fifties.

The Ink Spots

You can still catch “The Ink Spots” as there are about a hundred groups going around claiming to be them. I wouldn’t bother with any of these imposters, the original is still the best, and here they are with A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening.

♫ The Ink Spots - A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening

Recently I featured a video clip of BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL from a concert version of the musical “South Pacific”, playing Emile De Becque. I’m sure many of you went on to Youtube to find more of him.

For those couple who didn’t, here he is again from the same concert with the most famous song from the musical, Some Enchanted Evening. It’s worth it just to see Reba McEntire’s reaction at the end.

ELDER MUSIC: Playing for Change 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.

* * *

Some might think that these are the also-rans, the songs that didn’t make the cut on the first of the Playing for Change. I’ll say yes and no.

Yes, because some of these were thrown out only because they didn’t fit in with the others and because there were too many songs already.

Others I discovered later and thought, “They should have been in the first one”. So, here are some more wonderful songs by wonderful performers.

Here we have Keith Richards being rather cute, singing and playing an acoustic guitar. Based on this, I wish he’d sung the lead on more of the Stones’ songs. To my ears, he sounds a bit like Mark Knopfler.

The song Words of Wonder was written by Keith, Waddy Wachtel and Steve Jordan. It segues into Get Up Stand Up, written by Bob Marley. Keb Mo makes an appearance as well.

Clandestino was written by Manu Chao and it was the lead track from his first album (named after the song). It’s about people who leave their own country, often involuntarily, in search of a better life. They are often undocumented (“clandestine”). Manu knows something of that as his parents fled Spain during Franco’s regime in fear of their life and settled in Paris.

This is another song that really expresses the purpose and joy of Playing for Change. Nothing more needs to be said about it except that Dr John takes part in this one.

The late great Sam Cooke wrote and first recorded Bring It on Home to Me. Here we have a fine lot of soul sounding singers, kicked off by Roger Ridley, who is a street artist in Santa Monica. Grandpa Elliott and others take up the reins.

Over the last several decades, pretty much any news from Colombia involved drugs, murders, cartels and so on, so it’s really good to highlight some good news instead.

The good news is music. It shows that no matter how bad the situation, music can bring people together. Sorry if that sounds a bit idealistic. All the musicians are from Columbia.

Reggae legend Bunny Wailer kicks off Rebel, another of Bob Marley’s songs. Bunny was the main man in The Wailers who backed Bob on that record (and many others). After Bob’s death the Wailers continued as an independent entity. They are still playing to this day.

Love was written especially for and about this project, and it builds to one big sing-along. Imagine trying to organise that over six continents and many countries.

Besides the singing, this one contains virtuoso didgeridoo player William Barton who is usually heard on classical compositions.

Cotton Fields isn’t a “trad” or “anon” song; it was written by Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly) in 1940 and first recorded by him. Many have performed it since from Odetta to Creedence Clearwater Revival, from Harry Belafonte to the Beach Boys and everyone in between. Naturally, we have a bunch of people, lead off by Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton.

Pemba Laka is essentially a jam, from an idea by Hugo Soares from Angola. All the musicians and onlookers seem to be having lots of fun playing, singing and dancing. Another tune in the spirit of Playing for Change.

Gimme Shelter is a Rolling Stones song from their best period for writing songs. It was written by Keith, featured above, and Mick Jagger of course.

I hesitate to single out one group of musicians, as everyone is good, but the Jamaican musicians are outstanding. The always interesting Taj Mahal makes an appearance singing and playing harmonica.

Down by the Riverside is a spiritual that traces its roots back to the American Civil War. Naturally, because of its lyrics, it has been used extensively over the years as an anti-war song. One of our regulars, Grandpa Elliott, kicks this one off and is the main singer for much of the song.

Yes, this is the Doobie Brothers’ song, and Tom Johnston from that group leads off the singing. Also present are Patrick Simmons and John McFee, current members of the band, along with Tom’s Daughter Lara who’s a singer/songwriter as well.

The idea for using this song was hatched when the Doobies played at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia. It’s a good way to end, enjoining all to listen to the music.

If you want to find out more about Playing For Change, you can find their website here. They also have all the videos, although some are blocked unless you become a member. If you prefer to go through Facebook, you can find them here.

ELDER MUSIC: Wynton Marsalis

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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Wynton Marsalis

WYNTON MARSALIS was born and bred in New Orleans which gave him a head start in this whole music lark. He was born into a musical family – his father is a jazz pianist and three brothers are also jazz musicians and it looks as if the next generation is going in that direction as well.

It seems that when Ellis, his father, was sitting at the table one day with Al Hirt, Miles Davis and Clark Terry (holy moley) he joked that he might as well get Wynton a trumpet too. Al gave him one, thus from the age of six he was already blowing his own horn (sorry about that).

Wynton studied classical music at school and his father taught him jazz at home and he eventually ended up at Juilliard studying classical music. Wynton is adept at both genres (and others as well) as we’ll see.

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton recorded six albums under the title “Standard Time” that delved into the history of jazz and popular music in general. I’ll be playing selections from some of these today starting with number one.

This album consists of ballads mainly from the thirties, tunes you’ll all know, particularly this one, A Foggy Day, written by George and Ira Gershwin. Wynton has always been generous towards the other members of his groups, such that he ensures that each gets a turn in the spotlight.

♫ A Foggy Day

From another of the “Standard Time” albums, this one featuring the music of Thelonious Monk, we get the tune Hackensack. The tune is reasonably well known, but on the album Wynton generally plays lesser known ones.

♫ Hackensack

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton writes music in different styles, including classical music. He’s written several symphonies and I’m going to feature part of one today, the fourth, also called The Swing Symphony. It owes a lot to Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington, and Wynton has acknowledged that himself. Here is the third movement, subtitled Midwestern Moods.

♫ Symphony No 4 (3)

Wynton Marsalis

Buddy Bolden is the great mysterious figure of early jazz. He’s credited with inventing the music and it was said that he was a superb improviser. No records of him exist and the closest we can get is with the music of those who played with him, including King Oliver and Bunk Johnson.

A bio-pic of his life was recently released with Wynton playing his music. From that we have the tune Didn't He Ramble, a famous early jazz tune.

♫ Didn't He Ramble


Pachelbel’s Canon is one of the most played pieces in classical music. It’s used, probably over-used, for all sorts of things.

JOHANN PACHELBEL didn’t write this with trumpets in mind, however, Raymond Leppard, head honcho of the English Chamber Orchestra, scored it for three trumpets, perhaps because he thought that it might sell a few more records as John is very popular with classical music buyers.

Anyway, he succeeded in giving a rather tired old warhorse a kick in the nether regions and turned it into something rather interesting. At the time of recording, Ray couldn’t find two more trumpeters of the quality required, so Wynton played all three parts. So, here he is three times with Pachelbel’s Canon for Three Trumpets and Strings, P. 37.

♫ Canon for Three Trumpets and Strings P. 37

Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton

ERIC CLAPTON has a vast amount of music behind him. There was one stage when he tried to disappear, pretending that he was just a member of a group called Derrick and the Dominoes. We weren’t fooled, but this aggregation produced probably his finest hour on record with the song Layla.

He had the help of an equally fine guitarist, Duane Allman, on that track (and others on the record). Duane is no longer with us, but Eric has performed the tune in several different settings, including this one, a jazz/blues interpretation with Wynton, probably unrecognizable to fans of the original.

♫ Layla


JOSEPH HAYDN wrote concertos for pretty much every instrument because he had a decent orchestra at his command, thanks to Prince Paul Esterházy who employed him (and them).

Jo wanted to keep his musicians happy, and they liked a spot in the limelight to strut their stuff. One of his works was the Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, in E-Flat Major Hob.VIIe. Here is the first movement.

♫ Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E-Flat Major Hob.VIIe (1)

Wynton & Ellis Marsalis

The third of the “Standard Time” albums consists of standards from the thirties and forties. Wynton is joined by his father, pianist ELLIS MARSALIS on this record.

The song they perform is I Cover the Waterfront which has been recorded memorably by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and many others.

♫ I Cover the Waterfront


As with Pachelbel, above, Wynton again triples himself. I imagine that when GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN wrote his Concerto in B-flat Major for Three Trumpets and Orchestra he couldn’t envisage that the one person would be able to play all three of the trumpet parts.

Of course, doing that in concert is a different matter. Here is the first movement of his Concerto in B-flat Major for Three Trumpets and Orchestra.

♫ Concerto in B-flat Major for Three Trumpets and Orchestra (1)

Wynton Marsalis & Willie Nelson

On his never ending quest to play with every musician on the planet, WILLIE NELSON has performed in concert several times with Wynton. A couple of those have been recorded. These show what I’ve always suspected: that Willie is really a jazz musician.

From one of those we have one of Willie’s compositions, Night Life. I had culled the songs I was going to include down to three and asked Norma, The Assistant Musicologist, which I should use. This is the one she insisted on.

♫ Night Life

Wynton and KATHLEEN BATTLE have performed and recorded together a number of times.

Wynton Marsalis & Kathleen Battle

Kathleen has a reputation for being “difficult”. I find that when women are described that way it means they are intelligent, strong and don’t suffer fools (mainly men) gladly. I don’t know if Kathleen fits that description, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

From their album of Baroque music, we have Mr Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine (Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74).

♫ Eternal Source of Light Divine (Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV 74)

Wynton Marsalis

The sixth in the “Standard Time” series is subtitled “Mr. Jelly Lord” and is devoted to the music of Jelly Roll Morton, one of the most important figures in the development of early jazz.

Wynton shows what a fine scholar he is of this style of music, but he doesn’t treat the music as museum pieces, they really swing, as he demonstrates on Black Bottom Stomp, a good way to end the column.

♫ Black Bottom Stomp

ELDER MUSIC: Together at Home

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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Covid-19 might have stopped the concerts but it hasn’t stopped the music. Initially, some people started performing at home. It quickly became an epidemic of its own. Musicians in all genres of music are doing it now. Here are just a few of the ones I’ve found.

I’ll start with the first one I discovered and he’s also one of the best singers, writers, performers from the last 50 years, JOHN FOGERTY. John performs one of the old Creedence hits, Lookin’ Out my Back Door, just on acoustic guitar.

It seems that TOM JONES is ageless. He still has a singing ability that most of us envy. Here he performs the old song Glory of Love, backed by a fine unknown (to me) piano player.

JOAN BAEZ has recorded a number of songs for this series. She’s not alone in that regard. I’m sure many of you have seen several of her songs. Rather than the ones you might expect, this is Chanson Pour L'Auvergnat, an homage to Georges Brassens.

The CAMDEN VOICES are a British choir who had to scrap their rehearsals. That didn’t stop them though. They got together virtually with some really fine audio and video. They perform the Cyndi Lauper song, True Colors.

This is a real hoot. It’s Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie. You know them as the ROLLING STONES. They perform one of their most famous songs, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. I really liked Charlie’s drum kit.

LIZZO, or Melissa Jefferson, is a rapper, song writer, regular singer and actress. She performs Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, just accompanying herself on the organ. She is new to me, but she sings really well.

NEIL FINN organised and was the singer and songwriter for Crowded House. He was also in Split Enz earlier when his brother Tim brought him into that group. Eschewing any of the songs from either group, Neil performs David Bowie’s Heroes.

JOHN LEGEND and STAN SMITH are also new to me, but they sure can perform. In this case it’s the song, Stand by Me, first recorded by Ben E King and written by him, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

NORAH JONES is another who has made a number of these videos. Here she sings a tribute to John Prine with his song, That’s the Way the World Goes Round.

STEVIE WONDER performs Lean on Me by his friend Bill Withers who died recently. He then segues into Love’s in Need of Love Today, one of his own songs from the album “Songs in the Key of Life”.

Here’s a bonus track just to show that not everyone is as successful as they’d hoped. It’s understandable as RAY DORSET has an injured finger. Ray was the main man behind Mungo Jerry in the late sixties/early seventies. He performs (a bit) of his/their biggest hit.

There are many more out there, these are just a few that I really liked.

ELDER MUSIC: Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

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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Leon Redbone

Well, we’re not going to go along with the title of the column today.

LEON REDBONE died last year at the age of 127, or so claimed his obituary, which apparently he wrote himself. He was probably only a bit more than half that age, but who can tell with Leon.

He was born in Cyprus, and his birth name was probably Dickran Gobalian – I’m not surprised he changed it. He first came to be noticed as a performer in Toronto. He met Bob Dylan at a folk festival in the early seventies and Bob talked him up such that he was no doubt responsible for Leon getting a recording contract.

Leon specialised in songs from the early years of the 20th century, and he performed them as they were originally written, often with introductions that most of us hadn’t realised they had. He was a national treasure (of several nations) and he died too soon.

If you like music from the first half of the 20th century, this column is for you.

It’s only appropriate that we start with the name of the column. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone. It was written by Sam Stept and Sidney Clare, and it was published in 1930. Leon indulges in a little uncharacteristic yodeling on this one.

♫ Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

Leon Redbone

A while ago I had a column on songs that had introductions that most of us didn’t realise had one, and as I mentioned, Leon likes to include those. This is one such.

Shine on Harvest Moon first made its appearance in the Ziegfield Follies in 1908, performed by Nora Bayes and Jack Norwortth. They also wrote the song. There have been at least two films made with the title – one a western and the other a musical.

♫ Shine On Harvest Moon

Leon Redbone

There seem to be two Christmas Islands, one in the Pacific and another in the Indian Ocean. The Pacific one was used by the British and later the Americans to test hydrogen bombs. Now, from my undergraduate physics studies, I know about the half-lives of the various radioactive by-products of such events so I'll give that one a miss.

The other is an Australian dependency not far from Indonesia. This is one of the places that our current appalling government occasionally sends refugees for processing in "facilities" that resemble maximum security prisons.

So when Leon sings "How'd you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?" my answer is "I wouldn't." It's a pleasant sounding song though, Christmas Island.

♫ Christmas Island

Leon Redbone

You Nearly Lose Your Mind was written by Ernest Tubb and he recorded the first version of the song. Leon’s version is quite different from Ernest’s which, of course, was a country song. Many others have recorded it, but Leon really does it justice.

♫ You Nearly Lose Your Mind

Leon Redbone

The song Roll Along Kentucky Moon is most associated with Jimmie Rodgers, but he didn’t write it. That was Bill Halley. I don’t know if he’s related to the astronomer who first tracked the comet that bears his name (the early rock & roller spelt his name differently). Leon performs it in the style of the Singing Brakeman.

♫ Roll Along Kentucky Moon

It was claimed by one critic that one real revelation of the album “Whistling in the Wind” is Leon's take on Love Letters in the Sand, a song that he said has been almost impossible to listen to since Pat Boone ruined it back in the 1950s. My sister would disagree with that sentiment, and even I would to an extent.

However, I’ll agree that Leon really nailed the song, and he also included the introduction that few of us knew existed.

♫ Love Letters in the Sand

Leon Redbone

Champagne Charlie refers to Charles Heidsieck, who started one of the more famous brands of champagne. Actually, a couple of others in his family also founded champagne brands bearing that name in part as well.

Charlie went to America and it’s claimed that he introduced the wine to that country. I have my doubts about this as both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were fond of French wines and both had considerable cellars.

Charlie was thought to be a Confederate spy during the Civil War, but nothing was proved. It seems that later he owned Denver until he sold it. He was certainly one of the more interesting characters in history. Here is his song.

♫ Champagne Charlie

Leon Redbone

Little Jack Little was doubly appropriately named as he was shorter than anyone reading this column, I’d imagine. Had he been Australian, he’d have been called Lofty or some such – we’re more into ironic nicknames than Americans are.

He was a band leader in the 1930s and also wrote songs. One of those was When I Kissed That Girl Good-Bye.

♫ When I Kissed That Girl Good-Bye

Leon Redbone

There are several songs called Mississippi River Blues. The one that Leon performs was written and first performed by Jimmie Rodgers. The semi-yodel at the beginning of the song, and later on as well, would have given that away.

♫ Mississippi River Blues

Leon Redbone

Ain’t Misbehavin’ (or as Leon calls it, only slightly more grammatically, Ain't Misbehaving) was written by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks. At least they wrote the tune. The words, which is what we most remember, were written by Andy Razaf.

The song is most associated with Fats who recorded it several times over the years. This is what Leon does for it, sounding more like Mississippi John Hurt than Fats.

♫ Ain't Misbehaving (I'm Savin' My Love For You)

Okay, imagine this: let’s get another singer to sing with you. That’s pretty easy. Perhaps he could also play the drums. Well, that reduces the field somewhat. Let’s say that he’s the most famous rock & roll drummer in history. Right, there’s only one RINGO STARR, and he’s present on the last song.

Leon Redbone & Ringo Starr

He and Leon perform My Little Grass Shack. We might also want a chorus as well. Put on your hula skirts for this one.

♫ My Little Grass Shack

ELDER MUSIC: Nearly / Almost

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.

* * *

Here is another column based on a random word, or two words in this case that have similar meanings. I started with “nearly” but didn’t have nearly enough songs for a column, thus the extra word. The reason for the column is right down at the bottom, so have patience.

HAWKSHAW HAWKINS is rarely mentioned these days, and on the few occasions his name comes up it’s usually only in the context of one of the people on the plane with Patsy Cline when it crashed.

Hawkshaw Hawkins

Before that, he was quite a popular country singer, but unlike Patsy he was quickly forgotten. I’ll do my little bit to revive his status a little with You Nearly Lose Your Mind.

♫ Hawkshaw Hawkins - You Nearly Lose Your Mind

A song with almost the same title is I Almost Lost My Mind. There were several contenders for this one, but I decided, with the help of Norma, The Assistant Musicologist, that it should be SAFFIRE, THE UPPITY BLUES WOMEN.


Alas, Saffire called it quits in 2009, and founder member Ann Rabson has since died, so there will be no reunion of the original members. Here is their song.

♫ Saffire The Uppity Blues Women - I Almost Lost My Mind

Another suggestion from the A.M. is DOUG ASHDOWN.

Doug Ashdown

I thought that musicians never retire, but it seems that Doug has done just that. This is a pity as he’s one of Australia’s finest singer/songwriters. Never mind, we still have his records (and his memories for some of us who saw and heard him a lot).

From an early album of his we have the song, I Can Almost See Belfast From Here.

♫ Doug Ashdown - I Can Almost See Belfast From Here

There are many contenders for Almost Like Being in Love. I imagine that each of you can pick one that you like. There were many I liked, but I finally settled on PEGGY LEE, for no real reason.

Peggy Lee

I just thought that we haven’t had Peggy for a while, so let’s go with her, and here she is.

♫ Peggy Lee - Almost Like Being in Love

The A.M. said that I should have a different version of the next song, because I said that it was going to be Tammy Wynette. After some consideration, I decided she was right, and I would use the gentleman who wrote and first recorded it, DAVID HOUSTON.

David Houston

I think it works better as a song from a woman’s point of view, but it’s really a universal theme. David is Almost Persuaded.

♫ David Houston - Almost Persuaded

I remember this song back when I was a whippersnapper sung by Ernie Sigley. Now there’s a name to conjure with for those Australians reading this column (both of you). Sorry Ernie, but I’m going with THE DREAMWEAVERS.

The DreamWeavers

Again for the Aussies, Ernie and I are both supporters of the Footscray Football Club (I refuse to call them by their new name), and in keeping with the name of the column, they are pretty much nearly Premiers a lot of the time, they almost make it (Americans might substitute the Boston Red Sox).

That is until 2016 when they really did (yay). This has nothing to do with the song, I just thought I’d waffle on for a bit about nearly and almost. It's Almost Tomorrow.

♫ The Dreamweavers - It's Almost Tomorrow

Here’s another performer that The A.M. approved of once she discovered she was present today. She is RHIANNON GIDDENS.

Rhiannon Giddens

It’s impossible to categorise Rhiannon: she studied opera, plays bluegrass banjo (and many other instruments), sings the blues as well as any around, was a Grammy winner with the group the Chocolate Drops and has some terrific solo albums to her credit. She’s really worth getting to know.

From one of her solo albums we have The Love We Almost Had.

♫ Rhiannon Giddens - The Love We Almost Had

Those who have been listening to quality music for the last 50 years or more will need no introduction from me for VAN MORRISON.

Van Morrison

He is one of those rare artists who not only made great music when he was young and in his prime, he has kept on doing that right up to the present time. Here he is from quite some time ago with Almost Independence Day, from the album “Saint Dominic's Preview”.

♫ Van Morrison - Almost Independence Day

I don’t know why TANITA TIKARAM isn’t better known.

Tanita Tikaram

She a terrific singer and songwriter (and she looks pretty good too). I guess it’s this thing that talent is not enough, it probably comes down to how much exposure you get on the various social media.

Anyway, I’m not one for that sort of thing, but I’m happy to expose her (as it were) to people who like good music. She sings We Almost Got It Together.

♫ Tanita Tikaram - We Almost Got It Together

CHUCK BERRY thinks that he’s Almost Grown.

Chuck Berry

Of course when he wrote and recorded the song he was well into his thirties. That was the same for all his early songs, but he did have a talent for getting into the zeitgeist of teenagers at the time. The time being the fifties, naturally.

♫ Chuck Berry - Almost Grown

Now we come to the reason for this column. I found this clip on Youtube and was flabbergasted. I wondered when I had last heard and seen a male singer as good as this.

It’s taken from a concert version of the musical “South Pacific”. What I thought on seeing it was “Eat your heart out Ezio Pinza”. I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, the singer is BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL, playing Emile De Becque.

For those like me who aren’t familiar with Brian, he’s a regular on Broadway and has won a Tony award (and was an on-going character of “Frasier” for a while – I remember him from this but he didn’t sing).

Here is the song that caused my flabbergastation, This Nearly Was Mine.

ELDER MUSIC: Classical Whatnot 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.

* * *

Here is some more interesting music to add to your whatnot.

MADDALENA SIRMEN was born Maddalena Lombardini in Venice to a poverty-stricken family in the middle of the 18th century.

Maddalena Sirmen

One of the teachers at the orphanage where she lived was the famous composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini who noticed her talents and took her under his wing. She later married another violinist, Ludovico Sirmen and they toured Europe together.

She was a better composer than Ludo, and reports from the time suggest she was a better violinist as well. From her Violin Concerto No 6 in C Major is the first movement.

♫ Sirmen - Concerto No. 6 in C major (1)

MARIE JAËLL started life as Marie Trautmann in Alsace.

Marie Jaell

She showed great promise on the piano from an early age and had serious lessons from age five. She joined the Paris Conservatoire at 16 and immediately won the piano prize. She later met and married fellow pianist Alfred Jaëll, who was friends of Chopin, Brahms and Liszt.

The couple embarked on an extensive piano playing tour of Europe, England and Russia. Later still, Marie settled down to write music and develop better piano playing techniques.

A lot of her compositions involve the piano, but not all of them. This one does though, the Piano Concerto No 2 in C, the fourth movement.

♫ Jaëll - Piano Concerto No 2 in C (4)

ELENA KATS-CHERNIN is Australia’s finest living composer, and I would contend that she’s in the top half dozen worldwide.

Elena Kats-Chernin

This one is rather tongue in cheek. I ran past Norma, The Assistant Musicologist, what we should play of Elena’s. She and I are big fans of the long running radio talk show Late Night Live.

This is serious stuff, one of the most intelligent of such things in the world. For some time its theme music was Russian Rag, which Phillip Adams, the host, referred to it as The Waltz of the Wombats. That’s the way the A.M. and I know it as well.

♫ Elena Kats-Chernin - Russian Rag (Waltz of the Wombats)

FANNY MENDELSSOHN wrote the best string quartets since Beethoven.

Fanny Mendelssohn

Indeed, they might even be better than his. Not better than Haydn’s or Mozart’s, but she’s up with the best in this regard. Her brother, the famous Felix, always said that she was a better composer than he was.

As more of her music comes to life, it’s obvious that there is some justification for what he said. Here is the fourth movement of her String Quartet in E-Flat Major.

♫ Mendelssohn F - String Quartet in E-Flat Major (4)

HENRIETTE RENIÉ was a French composer and harp player.

Reni é& Friend

That’s Henriette with a friend of hers, an even more famous harpist.

She started out on the piano but when her dad took her to a concert that featured the harp prominently, she was hooked. She was yet another prodigy and was a student at the Paris Conservatoire before she was ten.

Henriette won several prizes at the age as well, and later became famous or her playing, which was frowned on by polite society. She didn’t care.

A gifted teacher, Henriette also wrote the book on harp playing and was instrumental (sorry) in the creation of the chromatic harp. As you can imagine, most of her compositions are for the instrument, including the Concerto for Harp and Orchestra. This is the third movement.

♫ Renié - Concerto for Harp and Orchestra (3)

ANNA BON was an Italian composer and performer.

Anna Bon

Her dad was an artist who also wrote librettos, and her mum was a singer. Anna started music training when she was only four. In her late teens she joined her folks in Bayreuth, later to become famous for its Wagner operas. Anna was employed as “chamber music virtuosa”, and it’s there she wrote her six flute sonatas (before the age of 16).

Later the family joined the court of the Esterházy family and checking the dates, she would have overlapped with the great Joseph Haydn. So, here is one of those flute sonatas, Flute Sonata No 4, Op 1 in D Major. The first movement.

♫ Bon - Flute Sonata No 4 Op 1 in D Major (1)

CLARA SCHUMANN was born Clara Wieck and she was a child prodigy on piano, violin and as a singer. There seem to be a bunch of prodigies today.

Clara Schumann

It turns out that Robert Schumann was a pupil of her father’s and one thing led to another and they decided to get married (Clara and Robert, not her dad). Trouble is Clara was only 18 and dad wouldn’t give his permission, so they sued him and won their case.

Robert seems to have been a sickly and troubled lad, but they stayed together until he died. Clara outlived him by 40 years. She toured extensively giving piano concerts for the rest of her life – she lived to 76 – and she composed quite a few pieces, mostly for piano. One of those is the Romance for Violin and Piano, the third movement.

♫ Clara Schumann - Romance for Violin and Piano (3)

ANNA AMALIA was the ninth kiddie of Karl I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia.

Anna Amalia

In the way of these things, she also had to marry some knob, in this case Ernst August II Konstantin, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Ernie died young, when Anna was only 19, but she had already had a son, and as he was too young to rule, she took over the responsibilities.

It seems she was really enlightened, turning Weimar (for that’s where she was) into a cultural hub, drawing many writers such as Goethe, Schiller, Herder and others to the area. Musicians as well. She established a library that’s still around and it’s one of the most important one in Germany.

Unlike many of her ilk, when her son came of age, she turned over running things to him and she concentrated on composing music. She was really good at that. One of her notable compositions is the Divertimento for Piano, Clarinet, Viola and Cello. Here is the second movement.

♫ Anna Amalia - Divertimento for Piano Clarinette Viola and Cello (2)

SOPHIA DUSSEK was born Sophia Corri in Edinburgh.

Sophia Dussek

Her father was Domenico Corri, also a composer of some note at the time. Besides, he was a music publisher in London, which was handy – the family had moved there. It was there where she met and married Jan Dussek, from Bohemia. The marriage wasn’t successful and they split up and went their separate ways.

Sophia was a singer, pianist and most notably, a harp player. It was for this that she wrote most of her music, including this one – the first movement of Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op 2.

♫ Dussek S - Sonata No. 3 in C minor Op 2 (1)

MARIA SZYMANOWSKA was born Maria Wolowska in Warsaw, Poland.

Maria Szymanowska

Somewhere along the line she married Józef Szymanowski and they had three kids. They then split and later Jó died of cholera and Maria made a (very successful) living touring Europe as a concert pianist.

She eventually ended up in St Petersburg as a court pianist. Her compositions were mostly for the piano, as this one is. Nocturne in B-Flat Major.

Maria Szymanowska - Nocturne in B-Flat Major

ÉLISABETH JACQUET was born in Paris with a lot more names than that, as was the style at the time.

Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

All the members of her family were musicians, or had some connection to music – instrument makers and so on – so it was only natural that she’d going into the family biz.

She was yet another prodigy, and even when she was young she performed for all the bigwigs, including the biggest wig of the lot, Louis IV (the self proclaimed sun king).

Later she suffered a series of tragedies, her husband, son, mother, father and brother all died of various diseases. She kept on trucking though, writing and performing. One of the things she wrote is the Violin Sonata No 1 in D Minor, the second movement.

♫ Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre - Sonata No 1 (2)

ELDER MUSIC: Homeward Bound

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.

* * *

(Part 1, Home is Where the Heart Is, is here.)
(Part 2, Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig , is here.)

Here I am back home again, I’m here to rest. All they ask is where I’ve been, knowing I’ve been west. Sorry, I was channeling Tim Hardin. Just ignore that song as it doesn’t appear today.

After a column of rock & roll/doowop and another that was mostly jazz, here we are with all the rest. These are all over the place, but the quality is there nonetheless.

It’s a bit hard to tell where ERIC BIBB calls home.

Eric Bibb

He was born and raised in New York, then went and lived in Paris. After a while he settled in Stockholm and he has spent some time living in London. Of course, like most musicians he’s on the road, pretty much constantly, so when he sings Heading Home, it’s difficult to tell where that is.

♫ Eric Bibb - Heading Home

Given the title of today’s column, you knew that this song had to be present. After all these years there are many versions of it, but naturally I’m going with the original by SIMON & GARFUNKEL.

Simon & Garfunkel

It’s taken from their album “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme”. This was an album that you could take over to your new gal’s place, put it on and see what happens. Oops, sorry, too much information. Homeward Bound.

♫ Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound

It’s been a little while since I had the great PATSY CLINE in a column, so I’m going to remedy that now.

Patsy Cline

There were three or four of her songs I could have included, but the one that fit the best is When Your House Is Not a Home, written by Little Jimmy Dickens.

♫ Patsy Cline - When Your House Is Not a Home

The Lovin' Spoonful recorded the song Darling Be Home Soon, but that version is rather over-produced in my opinion. The main man from the Spoonful and writer and singer of the song, JOHN SEBASTIAN, regularly sings it in concert.

John Sebastian

It’s one of those versions we have today. The song has been recorded by many over the years, but I still prefer the man who wrote and first sang it. He usually closes his show with it, as he does here with just himself playing acoustic guitar and Paul Harris on piano.

♫ John Sebastian - Darlin' Be Home Soon

For a talented bunch of musicians, it’s a bit of a surprise that the BLUES PROJECT recorded only one studio album.

Blues Project

There were quite a few live albums, however. The group included Al Kooper who went on to form Blood Sweat and Tears (and was thrown out of that group after their first album) and Steve Katz who played the guitar and sang the song we have today. He was also in BS&T.

Also present was Danny Kalb, one of the finest lead guitarists of the era, but also one of the least known. Anyway, here is Cheryl's Going Home from that single studio album “Projections”.

♫ Blues Project - Cheryl's Going Home

CROWDED HOUSE began life in Melbourne as a three-member band consisting of one New Zealander and two Australians.

Crowded House

The membership has fluctuated over the years but the two constants are Neil Finn and Nick Seymour. Although they called it quits some years ago, there have been (and continue to be) reunion concerts, tours, albums and the like. You just can’t keep a good band down.

From their early success, they perform Better Be Home Soon.

♫ Crowded House - Better Be Home Soon

It’s always hard to categorise GREG BROWN.

Greg Brown

I’ve always thought of him as a poet who sings and plays. Indeed, one of his albums (his best in my opinion) is called “The Poet Game”. The first album of his I bought is called “Slant 6 Mind”, from which the song I’ve chosen is taken.Of course, since that first one I’ve done my best to root out all his other albums.

The song is Why Don't You Just Go Home.

♫ Greg Brown - Why Don't You Just Go Home

Keeping it in the family, here is Greg’s wife, IRIS DEMENT.

Iris Dement

Iris is a terrific singer and songwriter in her own right, but today she performs one of Greg’s songs: The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home. It’s from a tribute album for Greg.

I’m quite ambivalent about tribute albums for people who are still alive and performing. I guess it makes someone some money for someone.

♫ Iris DeMent - The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home

I first discovered HERB PEDERSEN when he was a member of the Dillards.

Herb Pedersen

After he went solo, he recorded a couple of really terrific albums. Later he teamed up with Chris Hillman, from The Byrds, first as the group The Desert Rose Band, and later just the two of them as an acoustic duo. From Herb’s album “Southwest” here is Harvest Home.

♫ Herb Pedersen - Harvest Home

What a loss to the music business it was when LEON REDBONE died recently.

Leon Redbone

Fortunately, we still have his records. One of those is called “Long Way From Home” which fits right into our category today. From that we have Sweet Mama Hurry Home or I'll Be Gone, written by Jimmie Rodgers, which we could have guessed by the bit of yodeling in the middle.

♫ Leon Redbone - Sweet Mama Hurry Home or I'll Be Gone

Going back some years, at least as far as the performer is concerned, we encounter BING CROSBY.

Bing Crosby

You could pretty well guarantee he’d be present today, given the topic. Bing always projected himself as a home-loving family man, even if the reality was at odds with that. Today it doesn’t matter, it’s the song that counts, When My Dreamboat Comes Home.

♫ Bing Crosby - When My Dreamboat Comes Home

If they made a film of MARY GAUTHIER’s life, critics would dismiss it as too unbelievable and over the top.

Mary Gauthier

However, it’s her life but I’m not going to try to précis it as I couldn’t do it justice. After some of the things she went through, she turned to songwriting and singing at age 35. Mary hasn’t looked back and has garnered many awards since then. From her album “Trouble & Love”, this is Walking Each Other Home.

♫ Mary Gauthier - Walking Each Other Home

After he recorded a great half album called “Super Session” with Mike Bloomfield (the other half wasn’t bad), AL KOOPER decided to do something similar – that is a jam album in rock style, just as jazz players had done for years.

For this one called “Kooper Session” he employed guitarist SHUGGIE OTIS, son of the band leader Johnnie Otis.

Al Kooper & Shuggie Otis

I’ve selected the song Lookin' for a Home. Shuggie is really some guitarist, and you should know that when he recorded this, he was only 15 years old.

I’m sure when you listen to it you’ll probably think, “Oh that’s a pleasant enough soulish song. Why is he talking up Shuggie because he’s only playing some okay rhythm guitar?”

Then about half way through, Shuggie cuts loose. Remember he was 15. It’s a shame they faded the track, I would have liked to have heard more of it.

♫ Al Kooper & Shuggie Otis - Lookin' for a Home

ELDER MUSIC: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

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.

* * *

(Part 1, Home is Where the Heart Is, is here.)
(Part 3, Homeward Bound, is here)

Last week I had songs about home, all in a rather similar style. More home today but in a completely different style, more jazz influenced. So if you didn’t like last week’s you might like these. Or both of them, as I did.

I’ll start with the classic song You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To. All the big names have performed this one but I decided to go for someone who’s not so well known, ANDREA MOTIS.

Andrea Motis

Andrea is a Spanish jazz trumpeter and singer who sings in several languages including, as is obvious from her version, English. She is really accomplished for someone so young, well worth a listen. If you’re interested, the album from which this is taken is “Emotional Dance”.

♫ Andrea Motis - You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To


Nat King Cole & George Shearing

That pairing (or sextupling, I suppose) would be just about right, but the record company had to add superfluous strings. You must be sick of hearing me say this about Nat’s records, but they really are better without all that adornment.

Anyway, they play and Nat sings Guess I'll Go Back Home.

♫ Nat King Cole - Guess I'll Go Back Home

Although a jazz singer, BARB JUNGR specialises in the songs of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and other such songwriters.

Barb Jungr

Indeed, the album “Shelter from the Storm” was named after a song of Bob’s. The song I’ve chosen from that album wasn’t written by him, it was yet another rather famous writer and singer of songs, Bruce Springsteen. The song is Long Walk Home.

♫ Barb Jungr - Long Walk Home

SUSANNAH MCCORKLE was another tragic figure in the history of jazz.

Susannah McCorkle

After throwing away a career in academia, she went and lived in Europe for a time. She was inspired into singing after listening to the music of Billie Holiday and returned to America to make a rather successful career of singing.

Alas, she suffered from depression and took her own life. Her song is Why Don't We Try Staying Home?

♫ Susannah McCorkle - Why Don't We Try Staying Home

BUD POWELL had many influences on his piano playing.

Bud Powell

His father was a jazz pianist, playing stride piano. Dad hired a classical teacher so that Bud learned proper techniques. He played at rent parties in his youth to earn some money, playing in the style of Fats Waller. Later he became a leading light in Bebop jazz, recording with Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. His tune is Swingin 'Til the Girls Come Home.

♫ Bud Powell - Swingin 'Til the Girls Come Home

LOUIS JORDAN is probably best known these days as a jump blues singer and sax player, however, he began his performing career as a band leader in the swing era.

Louis Jordan

His style also prefigured rock & roll and even had some records in that vein in the mid-fifties. He could not be described as shy and retiring and he appeared in a number of films in the 1940s and was prominent in many jazz festivals and the like. Here he is in rather a mellow mood with Hurry Home.

♫ Louis Jordan - Hurry Home

DAVE BRUBECK needs no introduction from me, and even if you’re unfamiliar with him, there was a column about him only a few weeks ago.

Dave Brubeck

So, that self-serving introduction out of the way, here is Home at Last.

♫ Dave Brubeck - Home At Last

There’s still some hope for the musical world when someone as talented as DIANA KRALL can sell lots of records.

Diana Krall

Actually, anyone selling records these days is a bit of a novelty. I suspect that it’s mostly down to we people who still remember them. She’s also won Grammies and Junos and all sorts of other things. From her album “Wallflower”, here is If I Take You Home Tonight, written by Paul McCartney.

♫ Diana Krall - If I Take You Home Tonight

It wouldn’t be much of a jazz column that mostly featured singers without ELLA FITZGERALD, so here she is.

Ella Fitzgerald

Baby Won't You Please Come Home could be considered a jazz song or a blues song. Really, any style at all depending on who’s singing it at the time. Let’s not quibble about what it is and just listen.

♫ Ella Fitzgerald - Baby Won't You Please Come Home

Rather unusually for an early GERRY MULLIGAN recording, there is a piano present.

Gerry Mulligan

This is because at that time he eschewed the instrument, but I guess he got over that. It’s a good thing because it certainly adds some color to the recording. The tune they all play is You've Come Home.

♫ Gerry Mulligan - You've Come Home

There was no better singing group in jazz than LAMBERT HENDRICKS AND ROSS.

Lambert Henricks and Ross

Unfortunately for us, it was a rather short-lived affair as Dave Lambert was killed in a car accident only a few years into their career. There were various permutations of the group, but none was as good as the original. From early in their career is Come On Home.

Lambert Hendricks and Ross - Come On Home

I’ll be bringing you back home again next week.