612 posts categorized "Elder Music"


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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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.

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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.

ELDER MUSIC: Home is Where the Heart Is

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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(Part 2, Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig, is here.)

I was overwhelmed with choices of songs about home or, more specifically, with home in the title. There were many I liked and initially it looked as if I was going to do a Doowop/Rock & Roll column, so I thought I’d continue in that vein. There were many songs left over, indeed, so many good ones that I ended up with three columns on the topic.

So, we’re going home…

ARTHUR ALEXANDER wrote and recorded some of the best songs from the late fifties and early sixties.

Arthur Alexander

The Beatles were big fans and recorded some of his songs on their early albums. Ry Cooder was another who performed some as well. As good as these were, Arthur was the best at them. One of those songs that Ry recorded, but the Beatles didn’t, is Go Home Girl.

♫ Arthur Alexander - Go Home Girl

On her song, NINA SIMONE really gets stuck into it.

Nina Simone

It shows she could have been a great gospel singer. Also a great rock singer. She made her name in jazz inspired soul music (or perhaps the other way round). It shows that talented singers can sing anything they set their minds to. In this case she sets her mind to I'm Going Back Home.

♫ Nina Simone - I'm Going Back Home

Possibly the most famous of the songs by THE DRIFTERS is Save the Last Dance for Me.

The Drifters

The song, I'll Take You Home is the antithesis of that one. We’re at the dance, but this time she’s gone off with someone else. Not deterred, our hero spies a likely substitute and the rest is history (we assume).

♫ The Drifters - I'll Take You Home

WILLY DEVILLE formed a number of bands before he settled on Mink DeVille in San Francisco.

Willy DeVille

Although rather successful there, it wasn’t until they went to New York and played at CBGBs, mostly a punk venue, that they first came to general notice. Later, Willy went out on his own and settled in New Orleans, which I think was his natural musical home.

From his days in Mink DeVille here is Just to Walk That Little Girl Home.

♫ Willy DeVille - Just to Walk That Little Girl Home

I thought that Take Me Home, Country Roads should be present, and I expect most would agree with me. A point of contention might arise when I say that I’m not playing John Denver. The version I like is by TOOTS HIBBERT.

Toots Hibbert

Home has shifted from West Virginia to West Jamaica. Of course, it all depends on where home is.

♫ Toots Hibbert - Take Me Home Country Roads

THE IMPALAS were a late fifties Doowop group from Brooklyn.

The Impalas

They had a couple of minor hits and one big one for which they are still remembered. That song is Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home). I really liked this as a young person, and I still do.

♫ The Impalas - Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)

From her first solo album, MARIA MULDAUR gives us My Tennessee Mountain Home.

Maria Muldaur

If you’re looking for this album, and I recommend most highly that you do if you don’t have it already, it has the unremarkable name “Maria Muldaur”. The song was written by Dolly Parton, but I think Maria does it better.

♫ Maria Muldaur - My Tennessee Mountain Home

Here is the oldest song in the column. I wondered if I should include it here or put it in one of the other “Home” columns. In the end I went with inertia because it was already set up here. I give you JOHNNIE RAY.

Johnnie Ray

Johnnie is definitely the outlier here, but he really did point the way to the music we have today. His song is one of his most famous, Walking My Baby Back Home.

♫ Johnnie Ray - Walking My Baby Back Home

There’s a full tilt rock & roll version of Home Before Dark by TOM RUSSELL on his album “Road To Bayamon”. He later recorded a more interesting, gentler version on an album with BARRENCE WHITFIELD, and that’s the one I’m going with.

Tom Russell & Barrence Whitfield

Tom and Barrence have recorded two wonderful albums together (so far – I hope there’ll be more of them). The one from which this song is taken is called “Cowboy Mambo”. I can’t recommend this album highly enough.

♫ Tom Russell & Barrence Whitfield - Home Before Dark

One of the best songs (and that is a big call) that SAM COOKE recorded is Bring It on Home to Me.

Sam Cooke

It has been covered by many singers, but no one beats Sam.

♫ Sam Cooke - Bring It on Home to Me

I thought I’d end with someone who sings like a girl and sings like a frog. Those who know of whom I speak will expect CLARENCE ''FROGMAN'' HENRY, and they’d be correct.

Clarence Frogman Henry

When we were in New Orleans we walked past (and stopped outside) Clarence’s club, hoping he was there performing. Alas, not so. There’s still a chance if we’re ever back there. He sings Ain't Got No Home.

♫ Clarence ''Frogman'' Henry - Ain't Got No Home

I’ll take you home again next week.

ELDER MUSIC: Playing For Change

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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Something a little different today.

PLAYING FOR CHANGE is a movement designed to connect people all over the world through the medium of music. They have organised dozens, maybe hundreds, of people throughout the world to perform, and have filmed and recorded them and put the results on Youtube and their own website.

These are wonderful and I have some of the ones I like best for you today. After seeing the results, I marvel at the editing job someone has done to create these videos.

I had originally selected twice as many as finally made the cut. Any of the omitted ones would have been worthy of inclusion, but I had to be brutal. The whole series is worth searching out – it’s quite easy, and I have included links for you at the bottom of this post.

There are several artists who appear in quite a few of these songs: Roberto, Grandpa, Chaz, Keiko, Mermans. I had fun looking out for the regulars.

My goodness, these are terrific.

Ripple was the first of the Playing for Change songs I discovered. I was a little apprehensive before I played it as I thought the song was the finest moment for the Grateful Dead on record (they weren’t much of a recording band, only two studio albums that are worth more than one or two listens. They were an excellent live band, however).

I was pleasantly surprised at its quality when I played it. There are a few famous musicians along for the ride – it was fun spotting them all. The song was written by regular Dead songwriters, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter.

La Bamba is a Mexican folk song, originally from Veracruz. It was made famous in the English speaking world when Ritchie Valens had a (posthumous) hit with the song. Many have recorded it over the years, including Los Lobos, a couple of whose members are featured.

Rivers of Babylon is a little different from the other songs today, as there are only three players (Rocky Dawuni, Mermans Mosengo and Jason Tamba with some unseen backup musicians).

It was written and performed originally by the Jamaican group The Melodians, and it was featured prominently in the fine film The Harder They Come.

I imagine you all know this one (sorry about that). It was John Lennon’s most famous and popular song he wrote and performed as a solo performer. John gets a piece of the action in this video.

Bombino (Omara Moctar) is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Niger. His song translates to “I greet my country”, and he wrote it after being exiled from his country for years after extremists and the country’s leaders (they overlap) tried to ban the guitar (and probably music as well).

Bombino features prominently in the clip which will certainly get your toes a’tapping.

Dock of the Bay was the last song Otis Redding recorded and was a big hit for him, alas, after he died. He wrote the song with his guitarist Steve Cropper, also a member of Booker T and the MGs.

Today’s version was recorded to celebrate 50 years since the original (50 years! Where does the time go?) Included in the clip are Otis’s two sons.

What’s Going On was the name of a song from the album of the same name. It was recorded by Marvin Gaye and was written by Al Cleveland who first sent it to The Four Tops, but they turned it down.

The album turned into a concept album, a song cycle, the first of its kind on Motown Records. Berry Gordy, head of Motown, hated it and didn’t want to release it. It eventually saw light of day and was an immediate critical and popular success that eventually sold squillions.

The song Congo to the Mississippi probably sums up what Playing for Change is all about better than any. It was written by Mermans Mosengo and Greg Johnson. The song is aptly named, as you’ll see.

This isn’t the rather sappy Bobby McFerrin song that was a huge hit some time ago. This one was written by Pierre Minetti especially for the Playing for Change project. Pierre kicks the song off in fine form.

Everyday People was written by Sly Stone and first recorded by Sly and the Family Stone. It’s been covered by a whole bunch of people over the years. Its message fits perfectly with the aims of Playing for Change.

You will notice several famous musicians along the way as well as a few famous non-musicians.

Redemption Song, written by Bob Marley, was released on his album “Uprising”. Bob wrote it after he’d been diagnosed with the cancer that eventually killed him. On the original, Bob sang and played with just an acoustic guitar. He appears in this clip as does as one of his sons, Stephen.

Robbie Robertson wrote The Weight and it was on The Band’s first album “Music From Big Pink”. It was his most Bob Dylan-like song. Robbie is present on this video along with a drummer who looks vaguely familiar.

If you want to find out more about Playing For Change, you can do that at their website. 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: Classical Whatnot 1

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.

* * *

I checked “whatnot” in the Macquarie dictionary, the official dictionary of Australian English. The first definition was shelves for bric-a-brac. That’s not very appropriate. The second: anything; no matter what; what you please. Now we’re getting somewhere. That will do me.

The third I thought I’d gloss over, but in the interest of honesty, it said: an insignificant or unspecified article. People who don’t like my insignificant articles might go with that one.

So, on with the whatnot...

We’ll ease gently into the column with my favourite 12th century nun, HILDEGARD of Bingen.


Hildegard was an author, counsellor, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist and poet. She was the head nun at the nun shop where she worked. She also wrote music, quite a lot of it.

A series she wrote called Voice of the Blood documents recounts the legend of the slaughter of Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin companions (where did they find them all?) by barbarian soldiers.

In spite of the grim topic, the music is gorgeous. From that set here is Cum Vox Sanguinis.

♫ Hildegard - Cum Vox Sanguinis

There are quite a few instances of brothers who are composers; and even some brothers and sisters who both wrote music. Here is a pair of brothers I wasn’t aware of until recently and they are the Jadin brothers.

They were both born in Versailles in the latter end of the 18th century. Their uncle was also a composer and their father played bassoon in the Royal Orchestra. They had three other brothers who were also musical, but none of their compositions survive as far as we know.

LOUIS-EMMANUEL JADIN was the older brother.


He was a French composer, pianist and harpsichordist, and he wrote about 40 operas, orchestral works and some chamber music. One of those from the last genre is his Sonata for Piano & Flute in G major, Op. 13 No. 1, the first movement.

♫ Jadin L-E - Sonata for Piano & Flute in G major Op. 13 No. 1 (1)

HYACINTHE JADIN was the younger sibling, and in spite of his name, was a bloke.

Hyacinthe Jadin

I find his music more appealing than Louis-Emmanuel’s but they are both worth a listen. Hy wrote a surprising amount of music, some for orchestra, quite a lot for piano in various settings and much chamber music, especially quartets and trios.

I say surprising because he died when he was only 24 (from tuberculosis). In keeping with his penchant for chamber music, here is the fourth movement of his String Quartet in F- Minor, Op. 1, No. 3.

♫ Jadin H - String Quartet in F- Minor Op. 1 No. 3 (4)

Speaking of siblings, MICHAEL HAYDN doesn’t get a lot of airplay these days, almost certainly due to the prevalence of his big brother.

Michael Haydn

Mike spent more than 40 years as Kapellmeister (a fancy word for someone in charge of music making) in Salzburg, which left him free to compose and play music. He was later offered a job by the Esterházy family after his big brother had left that job. He advised him against taking it.

Here is the third movement of his Trombone Concerto in D Major\Trombone Concerto in D Major.

♫ Haydn M - Trombone Concerto in D Major (3)

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN was Polish by birth and French by inclination.


He left Poland at the age of 20 and lived the rest of his life in Paris. That wasn’t all that long as he died at the age of 39. He was always a sickly person and gave few concerts in the last half of his life.

He wrote a bunch of stuff, though, all of which featured the piano in one way or another. One of those is his Prelude in D-flat major Op. 28 No. 15, called 'Raindrop'.

♫ Chopin - Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 in D flat major

Since I’ve been writing these classical columns I have found that a considerable number of composers can be described as polymaths, Hildegard for one. Another was WILLIAM HERSCHEL, originally from Hanover but he spent most of his life in England.

William Herschel

Given my interest in such things, I’ve always associated Will with physics, and in particular astronomy. He was the one who discovered the planet Uranus after all. He was a skillful telescope maker which helped. He also studied biology, and he was the first to determine that coral wasn’t a plant (he made his own microscopes too).

However, and you can see this coming, he was also quite a fine composer as well as playing the oboe, violin, harpsichord and organ. He wrote a couple of dozen symphonies, a dozen or more concertos, sonatas and various other things.

One of those symphonies is his Symphony No. 13 in D major, the first movement. He features flutes in this one.

♫ Herschel - Symphony No. 13 in D major (1)

LUIGI GATTI was born in Lazise, not too far from Verona in what is now Italy.

Luigi Gatti

He was the son of an organist and later was ordained as a priest, although he spent most of his time performing and writing music. He applied for, and received, the job as Kapellmeister in Salzburg, the same position that Michael Haydn held later.

This rather miffed Mozart’s dad, Leopold, as he wanted that job. Later on Luigi healed the rift with the Mozart family and became friends with Nannerl, Wolfgang’s sister, and helped her locate several previously unknown compositions by the great man.

Luigi wrote mostly concertos and chamber works. In that latter category, here is the third movement of his Quartet in C Major for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello.

♫ Gatti - Quartet in C Major for Oboe Violin Viola and Cello (3)

PIERRE RODE was a French composer and violinist.

Pierre Rode

He was born in Bordeaux and then moved to Paris for lessons from the great teacher (and composer) Giovanni Viotti, who was so taken by Pierre’s playing, he didn’t charge him for the lessons.

Pierre later became Napoleon’s violin soloist (I didn’t realise he had one until I did my research). Later he toured extensively throughout Europe, Britain and Russia. Beethoven was so impressed with his skills he wrote a violin sonata for him.

As you might expect, Pierre wrote a lot of music for the violin, including this one: his Violin Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 8, the third movement.

♫ Rode - Violin Concerto No. 6 in B flat major Op. 8 (3)

Speaking of siblings, which we were above, here is the big brother of Michal Haydn, JOSEPH HAYDN.

Joseph Haydn

In my opinion, Jo is one of the four most important composers in history; he was instrumental (sorry) in the development of several genres of music, most of which he invented himself.

One such is the keyboard trio, and here is one, the third movement of his Keyboard Trio No. 32 in A major, the third movement.

♫ Haydn J - Keyboard Trio No. 32 in A major (3)

We opened with a nun, it’s only appropriate that we close with a priest, the red priest himself, ANTONIO VIVALDI.

Antonio Vivaldi

He was called that because he had red hair, not for any political leanings. He also didn’t do very much priesting. He claimed to be asthmatic (I can believe that, as I am as well; I also used to be red headed too) so he didn’t like all the incense and other stuff he had to deal with.

That left him with writing music for the girls’ school for which he was employed. Those girls were pretty talented based on the music he wrote for them, and boy did he write a lot of stuff. One of those is the Violin Concerto No. 12 Op. 3 in E major RV265. This is the first movement.

♫ Vivaldi - Concerto No. 12 Op. 3 in E major RV265 (1)

ELDER MUSIC: Mexico is Different Like the Travel Folder Says

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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Mexican Flag

Mexico has featured in quite a lot of songs. That’s not too surprising considering that the country borders Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, all of which harbor very talented songwriters. Some of those will appear today.

Of course, Belize and Guatemala also border Mexico, but their songwriters are less well known, at least in the English speaking world.

Had the album “Waitress in a Donut Shop” been MARIA MULDAUR’s first solo album everyone would have raved about how good it was. Justifiably so.

However, her first was an eponymous album that is one of the finest ever recorded, so anything that followed that one was certain to be downgraded. It’s time to lift up that second one and give it the kudos it deserves.

Maria Muldaur

From that one we have Gringo en Mexico.

♫ Maria Muldaur - Gringo en Mexico

Here’s just another band from East L.A., as they like to call themselves – LOS LOBOS.

Los Lobos

Much of their music is Mexican in origin or very much influenced by the music of that country. Their song references both their antecedents and the country in which they live: Mexico Americano.

♫ Los Lobos - Mexico Americano

When I was first selecting songs for this column, I chose a bunch and let them roll. When this next one came up, after a single line I knew it had to be present.

The harmony vocals were gorgeous. I wondered who they were and checked it. It was JANN BROWNE, sometime lead singer for Asleep at the Wheel, and EMMYLOU HARRIS (no more needs to be said).

Jann Browne & Emmylou Harris

They perform a song written by Jann along with Pat Gallagher and Roger Stebner. It’s called Mexican Wind.

♫ Emmylou Harris - Mexican Wind

It’s understandable that Americans would write about Mexico, but it’s not so obvious that an Australian would do so. After all, it’s a long way away, and it’s not just a matter of hopping in the car and driving down there.

One of my countrymen, however, seems to be the expert on writing songs about the country, some of the best around really. That person is KEVIN JOHNSON.

Kevin Johnson

I like films (and songs) with an enigmatic ending, and this is one of those: Grab the Money and Run.

♫ Kevin Johnson - Grab The Money And Run

This next song was a really difficult choice for me, not the song itself, it was an automatic inclusion. The choice was which version to include. Normally, I’d go with the writer, and he was one of the two about whom I was tossing and turning.

He is Ian Tyson. However, for once I’ve gone for a cover version. It’s not too surprising that I’ve gone with my musical crush, JENNIFER WARNES.

Jennifer Warnes

If anyone can equal a performance of Ian’s, it’s Jennifer. Here she sings Blue Mountains of Mexico.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - Blue Mountains Of Mexico

Here’s a group I bet you haven’t thought about for some considerable time - KATRINA AND THE WAVES.

Katrina & the Waves

Katrina is an American who found fame in Britain in the eighties, particularly with the song Walking on Sunshine. One song that didn’t get much airplay is simply called Mexico.

♫ Katrina and the Waves - Mexico

It’s not too surprising that MARTY ROBBINS would be present.

Marty Robbins

After all, if you listen to some of his biggest hits they sound as if they were recorded in Mexico. They weren’t of course, but he was really fond of Mariachi trumpets in many of his songs, including this one, Bound for Old Mexico.

♫ Marty Robbins - Bound for Old Mexico

The song Mexican Divorce was written by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard. It was first recorded by The Drifters who did a fine job of singing it. It was later covered by Ry Cooder and later still by NICOLETTE LARSON.

Nicolette Larson

As good as the other versions are, I really like Nicolette’s and that’s the one we have today.

♫ Nicolette Larson - Mexican Divorce

DELBERT MCCLINTON has a story not too dissimilar to Kevin Johnson’s.

Delbert McClinton

Unfortunately for Delbert, it ended worse than it did for Kev. You can never tell the consequences of a falling out among thieves. Delbert goes (or at least he started to go) Down Into Mexico.

♫ Delbert McClinton - Down Into Mexico

Back in the late seventies, STEVE FORBERT was touted as the next big thing, the new Bob Dylan (there was a bit of that at the time).

Steve Forbert

That didn’t eventuate, not through lack of talent; Steve has that in spades. It was due to management issues and disagreements with his record company that prevented him from recording for many years.

He performed during that time and has been recording again for the last couple of decades. His song is Mexico, a different song from Katrina’s.

♫ Steve Forbert - Mexico

You were probably expecting this one, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint you. I’m talking about the song, rather than the singer. Enough waffle, here is the singing cowboy (or one of them), GENE AUTRY.

Gene Autry

Gene was the first of the famous singing cowboys – there were others before him but they didn’t catch on to any great extent. Of course, there was another who followed him, and he was Roy Rogers. However, here is Gene with South of the Border.

♫ Gene Autry - South Of The Border


Yes, finally - this is the final day of the TGB annual donation drive to help support the costs of maintaining Time Goes By. You can read the details on last Monday's post.

Whether you donate or not, nothing changes here. TGB will always remain advertising-free with never a membership fee or paid firewall. If you would like to help support the work that goes on here, click the button below. If not, which is perfectly fine, scroll down for Peter Tibbles's Sunday Elder Music column.

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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.

* * *

Dave Brubeck

DAVE BRUBECK probably did more than any other musician, except Louis Armstrong, to bring jazz to the notice of the general public.

Dave was destined to be a cattle rancher like his father, but his mother, a piano teacher, taught him (and his brothers) to play piano. He went to college to study veterinary science but switched to music.

The war intervened, he was drafted and after hearing him play, the bigwigs in the army ordered him to start a band. Around about then he met his long-time band member Paul Desmond.

There’s a lot more to his background than I have room to cover. He eventually started his famous quartet with Paul on alto sax, Eugene Wright on bass and Joe Morello on drums. Let’s hear them.

I’ll start with something from an album with which you might be familiar. It’s the follow up to his most famous album. When you’re on a good thing, I think was Dave’s thought process.

The album is “Time Further Out”, and the tune is It's a Raggy Waltz, in the not too unusual time signature of 3/4 time.

♫ It's a Raggy Waltz

Brubeck & Desmond

Besides their being half the quartet, Dave and Paul Desmond recorded some albums as a duo. One of those was called, rather unimaginatively, “Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond ~ The Duets”. From that we have a tune you’ll all know, one of the most recorded ever: Stardust.

♫ Stardust

Dave Brubeck

The quartet went into middle-of-the-road territory with the album “Angel Eyes”. Of course, their middle-of-the-road is far superior to most who perform this style of music.

On this album they play other people’s tunes. I think they should stick to their own as they are far more innovative and interesting. However, this isn’t bad for late night listening in front of the fire (or air conditioner), glass of wine in hand, and other things nearby. Here is Angel Eyes.

♫ Angel Eyes

JIMMY RUSHING was a long time singer in the Count Basie orchestra.

Brubeck & Rushing

He had a wide range in his vocals and could sing tenor all the way down to baritone. He could also sing the blues with the best of them. He teamed up with the Dave Brubeck Quartet to record an album called “Brubeck & Rushing”, and from that one we have the old Fats Waller song Ain't Misbehavin'.

♫ Ain't Misbehavin'

Here is Dave on his own playing his own music from an album prosaically titled “Brubeck Plays Brubeck”. The tune is called When I Was Young.

♫ When I Was Young

Brubeck & Mulligan

The quartet that played at the Berlin Philharmonie in 1970 wasn’t his usual quartet. This one consisted of the great baritone saxophonist GERRY MULLIGAN along with Alan Dawson on drums and Jack Six on bass.

The song I’ve selected from that concert is the old Limehouse Blues. As is obvious, this is a live recording which features Gerry quite prominently. Of course, there’s also quite a bit of fine piano playing by Dave.

♫ Limehouse Blues

Dave Brubeck

The next is included for my friend Ann, it’s her favourite song. It’s another nice gentle-by-the-fire sort of tune - one you all know, Georgia on My Mind.

♫ Georgia on My Mind

Here is another vocal track, there aren’t too many of these, and what a vocalist he has: TONY BENNETT.

Tony Bennett     & Dave Brubeck

Dave and Tony were invited to the White House back in 1962. This was when there was a real president in residence. Their concert was recorded and I decided to go with Tony’s most famous song, I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

♫ Tony Bennett & Dave Brubeck - I Left My Heart In San Francisco (Live)

A further example of when you’re on a good thing, something else from “Time Further Out”. From that album we have Unsquare Dance, in 7/4 time.

♫ Unsquare Dance

Dave Brubeck

Dave and the quartet recorded several albums called Jazz Impressions of… Fill in the dots with various places. One of those places, and the most successful of this series, is “Jazz Impressions of New York”. From that we get Autumn in Washington Square.

♫ Autumn in Washington Square

DaveBrubeck~Time Out

You knew this one had to be present, so I won’t disappoint you. Take Five started as a drum vamp by Joe, but Paul took it on board and the following day came up with the finished tune.

In keeping with the album, his is in 5/4 time, thus the name. In his will, he died in 1977, Paul left the royalties for the tune to the Red Cross and they have received in the region of a hundred grand each year since then.

♫ Take Five

ELDER MUSIC: Songs About Cities - Rome

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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All roads lead to Rome; when in Rome do as the Romans do; Rome wasn’t built in a day (but it was burned down in one – sorry that’s my own addition).

There are so many sayings about the Eternal City that I could keep spouting them, but you’d be bored and turn away. So, let’s just have some songs about Rome.

Probably due to the film Three Coins in a Fountain, the fountains of Rome, particularly the Trevi fountain which is the focus of the film, have amassed a considerable amount of loot. This is good for the local kids and others who like to grab all those coins.

The song was sung (uncredited) in the film by Frank Sinatra who had a big hit with it. For something different I’ve decided to use the instrumental version by the VINCE GUARALDI TRIO.

Vince Guaraldi

Vince was a jazz pianist who had a few mainstream hits in the sixties most notably, as far as I’m concerned, was Cast Your Fate to the Wind. We’ll leave that one for another day, and play Three Coins in a Fountain.

♫ Vince Guaraldi Trio - Three Coins In A Fountain

You probably expected DEAN MARTIN to be present, so I won’t disappoint you.

Dean Martin

There were several contenders for him, but it was a matter of who else had recorded them so we could have a variety of artists. With that in mind I chose On an Evening in Roma (Sott'er Celo de Roma).

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

Another likely suspect is MARIO LANZA.

Mario Lanza

He performs the definitely-must-be-present song, Arrivederci Roma. There were many choices for this one, mostly by the artists who are present today singing something else. Mario gives it the full treatment.

♫ Mario Lanza - Arrivederci Roma

Now we have several songs by people who obviously read my opening remarks. The first of these is SAM COOKE.

Sam Cooke

Sam tells us that Rome (Wasn't Built in a Day). I don’t know why he used the parentheses, but it was quite the thing to do back when he was recording. It doesn’t matter; this is Sam who could make anything sound good.

♫ Sam Cooke - Rome (Wasn't Built in a Day)

GLENN CARDIER decided to take the same tack – same title, different song.

Glenn Cardier

He eschews the parentheses and calls it Rome Wasn't Built in a Day. This is an unusual version from Glenn who usually plays guitar, often a National steel one. Indeed, he reminds me somewhat of Tom Waits on this.

♫ Glenn Cardier - Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

As if we didn’t know by now, we have NICK LOWE to belabor the point.

Nick Lowe

Yet another song with the same name. There could be a column in that (light bulb moment). Nick sounds as if he’s just sitting in the room with us playing his guitar. A very intimate version of Rome Wasn't Built in a Day.

♫ Nick Lowe - Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

From late in his career, here is ELVIS in full operatic mode. There must be something about Rome that causes singers to do that (Nick Lowe excluded).

Elvis Presley

The song of his, and it’s not one I was familiar with until it came up on my search, is Heart of Rome.

♫ Elvis Presley - Heart Of Rome

It’s not too surprising that TONY BENNETT is present, as he’s sung a lot of songs in his career.

Tony Bennett & Bill Evans

He has the help of the great BILL EVANS playing piano. I prefer Tony with a stripped back arrangement as we have here and he became an automatic inclusive when I heard this fine version. The song is When in Rome, another of our opening clichés.

♫ Tony Bennett & Bill Evans - When In Rome

Autumn in Rome was another popular song, yet another selection process. This time it is JOHNNY MATHIS who got the nod.

Johnny Mathis

There are several good versions of this song, the one that nearly made the cut is by Peggy Lee. However, on reflection, I liked Johnny’s just a bit more.

♫ Johnny Mathis - Autumn in Rome

Bob Dylan wrote one of the finest songs about the city, and THE BAND improved on Bob’s version.

The Band

Some might say that that’s not too surprising. The song is from what critics called a lesser album for the group. Of course, a lesser Band album is the equal of most others’ best work. From the album “Cahoots”, here is When I Paint My Masterpiece.

♫ The Band - When I Paint My Masterpiece

Among classical composers, OTTORINO RESPIGHI stands out as one who really loved Rome.


Although he was from Bologna, Otto seemed to have an inordinate fondness for the city (he's probably not alone in that), witness his tone poems The Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome and Roman Festival.

I’ll go with the fountains, and the composition Fountains of Rome - The Fountain of Valle Giulia at Dawn.

Respighi - Fountains of Rome - The Fountain of Valle Giulia at Dawn

ELDER MUSIC: Classical Predilections 9

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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Here’s some more music to tickle your fancy as my fancy has been already tickled.

Let’s start the ball rolling with one of my all time favorites, JOSEPH HAYDN.


If you’re going to play a string quartet, which I am – well, my hands don’t hold any instruments, I’m just the D.J. – Joe is your man as he invented it. One of those is his String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op.71 No.1, the fourth movement.

Haydn - ♫ String Quartet in B-flat Major Op.71 No.1 (4)

For a change of pace, and going back quite a few years, we find along the way GIUSEPPE TARTINI.


His name always struck me as being a good name for an Italian ice cream, but that is not the case (as far as I know). No, he was a Baroque composer from the then Republic of Venice, and he was from the part of it that now is Slovenia.

He was most noted as a violin player and composer for that instrument. However, I’m going for something different, his Trumpet Concerto in D major, D. 53, the third movement.

♫ Tartini - Trumpet Concerto in D Major D. 53 (3)

FREDERICK SEPTIMUS KELLY was an Australian composer of the early 20th century.

Frederick Septimus Kelly

He won a musical scholarship to Oxford University where he was also on the rowing team. Unfortunately, the first world war (it wasn’t called that at the time) intervened. He took part in the ill-advised Gallipoli campaign, where he was wounded and wrote music during his down time.

He later was part of Battle of the Somme where he died. He was one of a dozen composers who were killed in that battle. What a waste, not just the composers but everyone in that war. It was totally unnecessary.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, here is the fifth movement, a jig, from his Serenade for flute, harp, horn and strings.

♫ Kelly - Serenade for flute harp horn and strings (5)

ALEXANDER SCRIABIN was one of the first composers to write atonal music, thus it was very improbable that I would include him in one of my columns.


Indeed, it’s improbable that I would bother listening to his music at all. However, early the other morning I was lying in bed when the announcer on the radio said he was going to play some music of his.

I was snug under the covers and didn’t want to get my arm out to switch off the radio or turn it down. Well, knock me over with a feather, or some such expression, I found the piece to be quite enjoyable.

I checked the intertube and found that he was initially influenced by Chopin and wrote music in that style before he switched to what he was most famous for. Here is his Etude Op.2 No 1 played by the inimitable Valdimir Horowitz.

♫ Scriabin - Etude Op.2 No.1

Here is the only violin concerto composed by ROBERT SCHUMANN, and therein lies a tale.


He composed this towards the end of his life for his good friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. Joe didn’t perform the concerto as he thought that Bob had gone completely bonkers and it was unplayable.

He convinced Clara, Bob’s wife, and his good friend Johannes Brahms (who may have had a bit of a thing for Clara, but we won’t go there) that that was the case.

There was some justification for this as Bob had already (seemingly) attempted suicide and he was subsequently banged up in a sanatorium where he died. It was decided (mostly by Joachim) that the concerto was not to be performed until 100 years after Bob’s death. That would be in 1956.

However, in 1933 his great-nieces, Jelly d'Arányi and Adila Fachiri, who were violinists and also apparently somewhat bonkers themselves, held a séance and decided that it was alright to perform it early, so they did.

Anyway, in spite of all that carry on, the concerto is well worth a listen. Here is Violin Concerto in D minor, WoO 23, the second movement.

Schumann - Violin Concerto in D minor WoO 23 (2)

J.S. BACH is well known for his cantatas, he wrote scads of them.


Many of those were for particular days on the religious calendar, but his cantata BWV 51 was designated “for general use”, that is they could slot it in any time they liked, just as a filler I suppose.

The cantata was named Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen which is something along the lines of Shout for joy in God in every land. It is his only cantata scored for trumpet and soprano. From that one we have Elizabeth Watts singing the first aria.

♫ Bach JS - Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen! BWV 51

VINCENZO BELLINI is most noted as an opera composer and most especially the opera “Norma”, but many others as well.


However, there were more strings to his composing bow than just opera. His focus of study was on the works of Haydn and Mozart and that shows in this work, the Oboe Concerto in E-Flat Major, the second movement.

♫ Bellini - Oboe Concerto in E-Flat Major (2)

There are some instruments where it’s problematic for them to be played in a concerto setting. That’s because they are quite soft and the full orchestra tends to drown them out. One of those instruments is the harp.

However, in spite of what I just said, there are harp concertos. One of those is by JOHANN WILHELM HERTEL.


Jo was from a family of composers and musicians, his father and grandfather were both composers of some note. Getting back to the concerto, I notice that when the harp is playing, most of the orchestra stops, there are just a couple of instruments accompanying it.

You can hear that his Harp Concerto in F-major, the first movement.

♫ Hertel JW - Harp Concerto in F-major (1)

At one time in Vienna WOLFGANG MOZART had a violin sonata commissioned to be played in a few days.


He had completed the violin part but had only a few rough ideas about the piano section. Comes the day and that was still the status of the work, so he decided to play the piano himself.

He put a blank sheet of paper in front of him and improvised the whole thing. His wife Constanze reported that Emperor Joseph II, who was present, sent for Wolfie and his score (he’d apparently seen the empty sheet through his opera glasses). Joe thought it was a great joke.

Here is the first movement of his Violin Sonata No 32 in B flat major K454.

♫ Mozart - Violin Sonata D major (1)

I’m not a big fan of JOHANNES BRAHMS but every now and then I find a piece of his music that pricks up my ears.


Some people compare Brahms’ symphonies with those of Beethoven. I suggest that some people should have their ears cleared out.

Anyway, enough ranting, and in spite of what I said, I’m going to play part of a Brahms symphony, the third movement of his Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90. This one is pretty good.

♫ Brahms - Symphony No. 3 in F Major Op. 90 (3)

ELDER MUSIC: Introductions

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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This column is about songs with introductions that most of us didn’t realise had such introductions. Given that, they are mostly pretty old songs, and the versions are just about as old.

Anything Goes is a famous song written by COLE PORTER.

Cole Porter

Most of us wouldn’t have heard the introduction before; I suspect that Cole is the only one who recorded it. I think this is the original version of the song, as there are references in it that I haven’t heard before, some of which are a little dated.

Anyway, here is the way Cole imagined his song originally.

♫ Cole Porter - Anything Goes

The song Love Letters in the Sand is mostly associated in my brain with Pat Boone. However, he didn’t sing the introduction. I could only find two versions of the song where someone did.

One I eschewed, even though it was the better one, because I’m using him for another song, and including his version in another column - pickings are slim in the category so I had to shuffle things around. I ended up with GENE AUSTIN who recorded it in 1931. It was the original version.

Gene Austin

Gene started in Vaudeville as the result of a dare. He later became one of the first crooners. He was also an early champion of Fats Waller, and besides that wrote numerous songs that entered the canon and are still sung today.

This isn’t one of them, it was written by Fred Coots and Nick and Charles Kenny.

♫ Gene Austin - Love Letters in the Sand

Not only did the song Are You Lonesome Tonight originally have an introduction, it also had an extra verse that those familiar with the more famous versions by Elvis and Al Jolson lack. Also, besides losing things, they added that talkie bit in the middle of the song that’s not in the original.

When I say original, I mean it. This is the original recording by CHARLES HART.

Charles Hart

He recorded this back in 1927, and I notice that he really likes rolling his R’s.

♫ Charles Hart - Are You Lonesome Tonight

Like the previous song, this one not only has an introduction, after all, that’s why we’re here, but it also has an extra verse, or perhaps a bridge, that I’ve not heard in elsewhere. This one is by the BOSWELL SISTERS.

Boswell Sisters

This is the only one where I heard the intro. Even Fats Waller, who as far as I can tell, recorded it first, omits the intro and extra verse. Maybe the Boswells were the only one would record the complete song.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it’s I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.

♫ Boswell Sisters - I'm Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

I could have included several songs by FRANKIE LAINE from an album he recorded with Michel Legrand.

Frankie Laine & Michel Legrand

It was a matter of which one that no one else had done. The song I chose is Blue Moon. Years ago I had a column with different versions of that song, so I went back and found none of those had an introduction. Indeed, apart from Frankie’s I couldn’t find another one that did, that’s why he’s included.

♫ Frankie Laine - Blue Moon

I imagine that some of you might be wondering why I included the next song. I know that Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, is one such. The song is one of my guilty pleasures, so it stays. The song is sung by NICK LUCAS as part of the Nick Lucas Troubadours.

Nick Lucas

If you’re wondering what the song is after that introduction (sorry), think Tiny Tim. Yes, you’ve all won a koala stamp for knowing Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips With Me.

♫ Nick Lucas Troubadours - Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips With Me

Back in 1937, Harry Warren and Al Dupin wrote the song September in the Rain for the film “Melody for Two”. That song is only memorable for the song. In that film JAMES MELTON sang it as it was written.

James Melton1

Of course, since then it’s gone on to be a standard, not just for singers, but jazz instrumentalists as well. None of the later versions have the intro.

♫ James Melton - September in the Rain

Normally, I’d include Otis Redding, but he didn’t sing the introduction. I believe that he modeled his version on BING CROSBY’s.

Bing Crosby

I have to take his word on that as they’re as different as night and day. There were a couple of versions before Bing’s but if he’s in the mix, I’ll go with him. The song is Try a Little Tenderness.

♫ Bing Crosby - Try a Little Tenderness

The contribution by ETHEL WATERS not only contains a generally unsung introduction, she also performs extra verses or bridges or something that also don’t usually turn up in her song.

Ethel Waters

Ethel was the real deal, she could sing in pretty much any genre of music and appeared in quite a few films and was nominated for an Oscar for one of those. The song she sings in today’s category is Am I Blue, another I didn’t realise had that intro.

♫ Ethel Waters - Am I Blue

LES GILLIAM recites his intro, rather than singing it.

Les Gilliam

I don’t know if that counts in this category or not, however, it’s a country song so that’s acceptable in that genre of music. The song was a hit in the fifties for several artists, Les not being one that I remember performing it. The song of which I speak is The Shifting, Whispering Sands.

Les Gilliam - The Shifting Whispering Sands

Going way back, indeed to 1928, we have FRANKLYN BAUR.

Franklyn Baur

Back in the 1920s Frank made hundreds of records, sometimes under different names. He performed on radio and made the occasional film. His career declined in the 1930s and he died quite young.

From his heyday, in this case 1928, Frank sings Marie.

♫ Franklyn Baur - Marie

I’ll end with person who is responsible for this column. Well, not quite, that person is Ronni.

She was setting up a column that had LEON REDBONE in it, and noticed that the song had an introduction that generally wasn’t performed by others. We wondered how many other songs out there are like that, and if it could make a column.

Leon Redbone

As you can see, it certainly has. This isn’t the song in question; it’s another as I found that Leon performed several such songs. This one is My Melancholy Baby.

Leon Redbone - My Melancholy Baby

ELDER MUSIC: 1947 Again

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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There was no categorising T-BONE WALKER.


He was a guitarist of great skill and he played in whatever style the song required – jazz, blues, even rock and roll later on. The song today, T-Bone Shuffle, is a standard blues song, but he brought in some elements of jazz to add even more interest.

♫ T-Bone Walker - T Bone Shuffle

In 1947, country music wasn’t as formulaic as it became later. This is especially evident in Bob Wills’s contribution down below. It’s also true of MERLE TRAVIS.


There are all sorts of musical types in this song, So Round So Firm So Fully Packed, a slogan taken from cigarette advertisement from the time. The song was written by Merle, along with Eddie Kirk and Cliffie Stone. Several other people had hits with the song over the years.

♫ Merle Travis - So Round So Firm So Fully Packed

I’ll continue in the vein of the previous song with HOAGY CARMICHAEL.

Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy was not averse to writing and performing novelty songs, and this is a prime example, Huggin' and Chalkin'. He suggests you mark where you’re up to so you can carry on from there next time.

♫ Hoagy Carmichael - Huggin' and Chalkin'

BILL MONROE was a hugely influential musician.

Bill Monroe

Not just himself but for the others who passed through his band. In the song today, one of his most famous, we have guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo player Earl Scruggs. They later went on to form the Foggy Mountain Boys, and later made a name for themselves as just Flatt and Scruggs.

Today, they play and Bill sings Blue Moon of Kentucky. This song was on the very first record that Elvis released.

♫ Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys - Blue Moon Of Kentucky

You don’t usually associate COUNT BASIE with novelty records, but he did some of those.

Count Basie

One of them was Open the Door, Richard! It was recorded by a few people at the time and each version sold pretty well. It was written by several people and was originally a part of vaudeville routines by Pigmeat Markham, Dusty Fletcher and others.

Later, words were added and many people recorded it; the first to do so was Jack McVea. The Count had Harry "Sweets" Edison and Bill Johnson singing on this one. There’s some fine piano playing by the Count.

♫ Count Basie - Open The Door Richard

BOB WILLS’s music has a distinctive style: Tommy Duncan sang the words and Bob chatted away on top of him. I could have done without Bob’s contribution. At least his vocal contribution, he played the fiddle on these records.

Bob Wills

That’s Bob and Tommy in the picture. The song Sugar Moon was written by Bob and Cindy Walker. Cindy was a prolific songwriter, initially for Bob, but later for just about every country artist who needed a good song.

♫ Bob Wills - Sugar Moon

LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS was a singer, guitarist, songwriter and occasional piano player.

Lightnin' Hopkins

He was Houston's poet-in-residence for 35 years and, reputedly, recorded more albums than any other bluesman. He recorded the song Big Mama Jump at least twice (maybe more times), once with him playing piano, and the one we have today, playing the guitar.

♫ Lightnin' Hopkins - Big Mama Jump

EDDY ARNOLD was on a roll this year.

Eddy Arnold

His song I'll Hold You in My Heart was his third number one on the country charts and it crossed over to the pop charts. Indeed, it spent a remarkable 21 weeks at that position. I guess the smoothing out of country songs is not just a recent phenomenon, but Eddy does have a fine voice.

♫ Eddy Arnold - I'll Hold You In My Heart

The next song is attributed to JULIA LEE AND HER BOY FRIENDS. That’s them below.

Julia Lee

Julia was renowned for performing risqué songs, or as she put it, “the songs my mother taught me not to sing”. Sometimes it’s good not to follow your mum’s advice because she made quite a decent living from these. The one today is King Size Papa.

♫ Julia Lee - King Size Papa

To end this year, a pop song pretending to be a country song. Given the real ones above, I don’t know why they bothered. Maybe they thought it wouldn’t be played on the same program, and probably back then, it wasn’t. DOROTHY SHAY gives us her contribution.

Dorothy Shay

Dorothy was billed as the “Park Avenue Hillbilly” which probably explains the situation. The song she sings, her first and biggest hit, is Feudin' and Fightin'. I have to say that this song is quite catchy, and could become an earworm if you played it too often.

♫ Dorothy Shay - Feudin' And Fightin'