Any Major Soul 1975 Vol. 1

August 25th, 2016 3 comments

Any Major Soul 1975 Vol. 1

The first Any Major Soul mix for 1975 — another excellent vintage — has that wonderful sunny feel of Philly soul, even if most of the songs aren’t from Philadelphia. But that is how pervasive the sound was in the mid-’70s.

Of course, a fair number of acts here are Philly Soul exponents, such as Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, The Intruders, Bunny Sigler. The Spinners were on Atlantic but had many of their records, including the present song, produced by Philly soul pioneer Thom Bell.

Sounding much like the O’Jays on the featured track are South Shore Commission, a Chicago band who had a dance hit that year with Free Man.

Defying our expectations, the Chicago Gangsters were actually from Ohio, recording in Cleveland. The song here is a very fine ballad, the title track of their debut album. The album also featured Gangster Boogie, which LL Cool J sampled for Mama Says Knock You Out.

Ronnie McNeir’s track Nothing But A Heartache has the joyful sound of Philly, but it’s very much a Detroit song: Alabama-born McNeir who arranged the album himself, recorded it at Holland, Dozier, Holland Studios in Detroit. On drums is Carl Graves, who’ll turn up in his own right on Volume 2.

Jimmy Ruffin’s track also has that Philly vibe, but that is thanks to Van McCoy producing the album for Motown. McCoy was, of course, the man who brought us the most Philly non-Philly song ever: The Hustle.

Also from Detroit was Sugar Billy, whose joyous Super Duper Love was covered almost three decades later by Joss Stone. There seems to be little known about Sugar Billy Garner.

I have introduced Jim Gilstrap before, but feel duty-bound to repeat: he’s the guy who sings the first verse of Stevie Wonder’s You Are The Sunshine Of My Life. The track here is from his debut LP, Swing Your Daddy.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers. PW in comments.

1. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Keep On Lovin’ You
2. Sugar Billy – Super Duper Love (Are You Diggin’ On Me)
3. Maxine Nightingale – If I Ever Lose This Heaven
4. James Gilstrap – House Of Stranger
5. The Intruders – A Nice Girl Like You
6. Bunny Sigler – Things Are Gonna Get Better
7. Black Ivory – Will We Ever Come Together
8. South Shore Commission – Train Called Freedom
9. Billy Paul – My Head’s On Straight
10. The Spinners – Honest I Do
11. Ronnie McNeir – Nothing But A Heartache
12. David Ruffin – I’ve Got Nothing But Time
13. Natalie Cole – Needing You
14. Jackie Moore – Make Me Feel Like A Woman
15. Bobby Womack – (If You Want My Love) Put Something Down On It
16. Joe Simon – It’s Crying Time In Memphis
17. Sam Dees – The Show Must Go On
18. Chicago Gangsters – Blind Over You
19. Gwen McCrae – He Keeps Something Groovy Goin’ On
20. Lea Roberts – Loving You Gets Better With Time
21. Maxine Weldon – I Want Sunday Back Again
22. Allen Toussaint – When The Party’s Over

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Life In Vinyl 1984 – Vol. 2

August 18th, 2016 1 comment

Life in Vinyl 1984-2

The first part of 1984 was the South African leg of the year; this part soundtracks the road trip in Europe and taking up residence in London.

I mostly listened to Motown and ’60s and ’70s soul and Purple Rain while I terrorised the highways of Europe, often on the way to football games. Among new releases at the time, I bought the cassette tapes of Heaven 17’s How Men Are, Madonna’s debut album, as well as by German acts BAP and Herbert Grönemeyer; the former sang in the Kölsch dialect that is peculiar to the city of Cologne — and yet they were about the biggest German act at the time. I went to see BAP in concert; it was one of the most energetic gigs I’ve ever been to. Frontman Wolfgang Niedecken had something of a German Springsteen (or Bono) about him.

The others of the first five tracks on this mix I recorded off the radio, as well as the 12” mix of Wham!’s Freedom, which I include as a bonus track. There were other tracks that unaccountably played in my car which I don’t include here, for which you’ll thank me: Hazell Dean’s Whatever I Do, Fox the Fox’s Precious Little Diamond, Al Corley’s Square Rooms and a musical disaster by Jermaine Jackson and retired gerontophile Zia Padora called When The Rain Begins To Fall.

covers gallery 1

I remember listening to the radio in Germany one afternoon when the DJ announced that after the break he’d play Stevie Wonder’s brand-new single. Being a big Stevie Wonder fan — the Original Musiquarium collection was a regular in my tape deck — I was so excited. Then I heard I Just Called To Say I Love You. My heart sank. I still deeply dislike the song, as most other Stevie Wonder fans do. I still bought the Lady In Red album on cassette. Big mistake; it was not very good..

Coming to London, I was pleased to find Chaka Khan’s I Feel For You topping the charts. Armed with my excellent portable radio-tape combo, I prodigiously downloaded from Capital Radio, finding delight in discovering new songs that would still become hits.

Still, there are three hits of 1985 I found by other avenues in late 1984: Big Sound Authority’s This House (Is Where Our Love Stands), which featured on Shoulda Been A Hit Vol. 1, was on the setlist of the excellent gig I attended at Camden Palace in December 1984 from which this video comes; Since Yesterday was performed by Strawberry Switchblade as they supported, ahem, Howard Jones.  And Immaculate Fools’ eponymous song that closes this collection was on the video juke box in the Notting Hill pub I used to hang out in with my new Irish friends. I don’t think many people were pleased when I put it on — many times. It entered the charts in January 1985, peaking at #51.

covers gallery 2

1. Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face
2. Heaven 17 – This Is Mine
3. OMD – Tesla Girls
4. Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights
5. Chaka Khan – I Feel For You
6. Alison Moyet – Invisible
7. Pointer Sister – I’m So Excited
8. Murray Head – One Night In Bangkok
9. The Stranglers – Skin Deep
10. Meat Loaf – Modern Girl
11. Paul Young – Everything Must Change
12. Eugene Wilde – Gotta Get You Home With Me Tonight
13. Spandau Ballet – Round And Round
14. Lloyd Cole And The Commotions – Rattlesnakes
15. Tears For Fears – Shout
16. Style Council – Shout To The Top
17. Aztec Camera – Still On Fire
18. Immaculate Fools – Immaculate Fools
Bonus Track: Wham! – Freedom (12″ mix)

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Song Swarm: Girl From Ipanema

August 11th, 2016 2 comments

ipanema covers gallery 3Once upon a time, The Girl From Ipanema was the ultimate square song. You’d hear it piped in the elevator before you entered the lounge where the piano player would tinkle out the most laid back song in pop history to the point of banality.

Today, the song is cool again. At the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, supermodel Gisele Bundchen came out strutting out to it. And this song swarm shows a fairly high number of recent covers for a song that resides recognisably in the 1960s. The Girl From Ipanema is cool again.

Bundchen got to play the girl from Ipanema, but the actual woman who inspired the song was not invited to the opening ceremony. And it’s not like Helô Pinheiro fell into obscurity after the poet Vinícius de Moraes immortalised her in the song.

Songwriters Antônio Carlos “Tom” Jobim and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes were sitting in the Veloso bar in the Ipanema beachfront district of Rio one winter’s day in 1962 when they noticed a pretty school girl — Helô Pinheiro  — walking past them in her jacket-and-tie school uniform, and later in her bikini on the way to the beach. And day by day, they’d see her again, passing by and being observed by the two middle-aged men. And sometimes the 15-year-old would come into the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother.

Helô Pinheiro, the inspiration for The Girl Fom Ipanema, on the beach.

Helô Pinheiro, the inspiration for The Girl Fom Ipanema, on the beach.

 

Folklore has it that the men wrote this new, yet untitled song right there in the bar. In truth, they wrote it separately, Jobim working out the melody meticulously on his piano; de Moraes investing his poetic energy in creating that bitter-sweet erotic yearning of man for the unattainable — a melancholy underscored by the rising minor key changes in the “Oh, but he watches so sadly” set of lines. And so the song that started life as “Girl Passing By” emerged as Gârota de Ipanema — The Girl From Ipanema..

The newly-hatched song was first performed at Rio’s Bon Gourmet restaurant, with the singer João Gilberto on vocals. Gilberto also recorded an unreleased version before it was cut on record by a vocal group called Os Cariocas (which means The Rio de Janeireans) and then by bossa nova singer Pery Ribeiro and the otherwise quite forgotten Tamba Trio. These four early versions are feature here. They are not bad, but it would take a stroke of genius to create the template from which almost every other version would flow.

In 1963 the jazz saxophonist Stan Getz had become obsessed with that new bossa nova sound from Brazil, and invited its pioneers, Tom Jobim and João Gilberto, to New York for an album of collaborations. Lyricist Norman Gimbel — the only famous songwriter to have corresponded with this blog — was called in to write English lyrics for the lilting tune about the girl from… oh, he was going to change that unpronounceable name. As Jobim remembered it years later in conversation with the music journalist James Woodall — and Gimbel might have different recall — it took a taxi ride in bitterly cold New York to persuade the American lyricist that firstly, a word such as Ipanema existed, and secondly to leave the name of the beach in the lyrics, for “maybe one day everyone will know about it”.

ipanema covers gallery 2And so Gilberto, Jobim and Getz found themselves in the studio with Gimbel’s reworked lyrics. The problem was that Gilberto’s English wasn’t really up for the new version. So his wife Astrud was roped in — not quite as much by chance as myth would have it, and she certainly wasn’t the novice of legend. Although not yet a professional singer, Astrud had sung with João before, and she was in the studio with a view of singing something. That this something was The Girl From Ipanema was the stroke of genius. Astrud’s cool voice gave the song an innocent sexuality, as if she was the girl from Ipanema singing about herself in the third person. And even as she made the song more sexual, by dint of being a sung by a woman the lyrics lost the innate creepiness of a middle-aged man lusting after a teenage girl.

The Girl From Ipanema was a big hit. Released on the Verve label, it peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts and won a Grammy. And it became an instant standard. Even Mrs Miller did a butchered version (it is here, if you dare to listen). Frank Sinatra recorded it with João Gilberto to great effect, as did fellow crooner Sammy Davis Jr, helped by Count Basie. And Lou Rawls’ take might be the best of the lot. Whereas Henry Mancini turned it into revoltingly cheesy easy listening. In Brazil the Astrud Gilberto template apparently didn’t hold: the 1965 version of by the flamboyant bossa nova singer Cauby Peixoto, who died in May this year, pays no mind to what came before.

What became of the protagonists in this story? Astrud had a moderately successful singing career, though she never shook off the Ipanema girl burden. She unofficially retired in 2002. Aged 76, she is still alive. Stan Getz, whose affair with Astrud put an end to his working relationship with João for the next 12 years, died in 1991. Jobim went three years later, shortly after finishing his final album, Antonio Brasileiro. He died a national treasure, having also written such Brazilian classics as Desafinado and One Note Samba. João Gilberto, who like Gimbel is still alive, is still recording. Vinícius de Moraes died in 1980 at the age of 66.

And the Girl from Ipanema, Helô Pinheiro, who wasn’t invited to the opening ceremony of the Olympics where the famous song about her was highlighted as a legacy of Brazilian culture? She had stints as an actress and as a model, posing twice nude in Playboy (in 1987 and again 2003, with her daughter!).

In 2001 the heirs of the composers sued Pinheiro for naming her boutique Garota de Ipanema, arguing that her inspiration of the song was just incidental and she therefore had no right to use the song title for her store. Pinheiro, who received widespread public support, won the court case, having cited a press release by Jobim (who had been the best man at her wedding) and de Moraes in which the composers named her the original “Girl from Ipanema”.ipanema covers gallery 1And so here are 69 versions of The Girl From Ipanema/Gârota de Ipanema. To unpack the lot you will need both files.

1962: João Gilberto Gilberto • Os Cariocas 1963: Pery Ribeiro •  Tamba Trio • Getz/Gilberto  • Antônio Carlos Jobim • Anita O’Day  1964: Henri Mancini •  Andy Williams & Antonio Carlos Jobim •  Oscar Peterson Trio •  Peggy Lee •  Stan Getz Quartet feat. Astrud Gilberto  (Newport Jazz Festival) •  Jacqueline François  (as La Fille D’ipanema) •  Little Anthony & The Imperials •  Sarah Vaughan •  Julie London •  Sacha Distel & Dionne Warwick •  Vince Guaraldi & Bona Sete •  Nancy Wilson •  Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass  1965: Cauby Peixoto •  Nat King Cole •  Sammy Davis & Count Basie •  Charlie Byrd •  Petula Clark •  Esther Phillips  1966: Walter Wanderley •  Lou Rawls •  Shearing Quintet •  Cher •  Supremes •  Chad & Jeremy •  Freddie McCoy •  Chris Montez •  Mrs. Elva Miller  1967: Baden Powell •  Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim  1968: Erroll Garner •  Lena Horne  1969: Denny McLain  1970: Roger Williams  1971: Nara Leão  1972: Percy Faith and his Orchestra   1974: Toots Thielemans   1975: Eartha Kitt  •  John Holt – Girl From Ipanema   1976: Gilla (as Machen wir’s in Liebe) •  Giovanni Fenati  (as La Ragazza di Ipanema)  1977: Astrud Gilberto  (Disco Version)   1981: Ella Fitzgerald  1983: Vinicius e Toquinho   1990: Nigel Kennedy   1996: Teddy Edwards & Houston Person  •  Crystal Waters   1997: Al Jarreau & Oleta Adams  •  Salena Jones   1998: Gabriela Anders   2000: Rosemary Clooney feat. Diana Krall  2001: Walter Bell  2003: Lisa Ono   2005: Dan Gibson’s Solitudes  2008: Eliane Elias  2011: Placido Domingo •  Amy Winehouse •  Pat Metheny   2013: Andrea Bocelli

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Previous Song Swarms:
By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Hound Dog
Sunny
These Boots Are Made For Walking
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Like A Rolling Stone
Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Over The Rainbow
Georgia On My Mind
Blue Moon
Light My Fire

 

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In Memoriam – July 2016

August 4th, 2016 6 comments

IM0716_aAmong the many acts that are considered inventors of punk, Suicide have a good claim, having been among the first to use that term to advertise themselves. The New York duo even had the violence at their gigs to underscore that claim. With the death at 78 of singer Alan Vega of natural causes, half of Suicide is now gone (multi-instrumentalist Martin Rev is still alive at 68). After Suicide, Vega had a varied solo career, working a lot with The Cars’ Ric Ocasek. His last album appeared in 2010, two years before he suffered a stroke. Vega was also an exhibited artist.

On the same day Vega died, we also lost the producer Gary S. Paxton, perhaps remembered best for producing the hits 1960s Monster Mash and The Associations’ Cherish. If an enterprising scriptwriter were to tell Paxton’s lifestory faithfully in a film, he might be unjustly accused of taking literary licence. Born in 1939, Paxton was adopted at the age of 3 and grew up in rural poverty. He was molested when he was 7, and contracted spinal meningitis at 11. He recovered and at 14 joined a band that played country and the new-fangled rock & roll music. Stardom arrived in 1959 when he had a #1 hit with It Was I as Flip in Skip & Flip. They had another hit, Cherry Pie, and then split. Now living in LA, Paxton began producing records. Still only 21 he produced a #1 hit, Alley Oop, for The Hollywood Argyles. More hits followed as Paxton opened five studios and a series of record labels.

Paxton was a skilled, albeit eccentric, self-promoter. Once a radio station refused to play one of the records from his label because it was “too black”. Paxton registered his protest by staging a procession to the radio station building led by 15 cheerleaders and an elephant pulling a Volkswagen car. For his troubles Paxton was arrested – because the elephant was defecating in the street. In 1967 he returned to his country roots, first in Bakersfield and then in Nashville. In the early 1970s, following the suicide of his business partner and his own struggles with addiction, he found God and became a follower of the hippie Jesus movement while recording gospel music.

In 1980 he escaped an assassination attempt, apparently set up by a country musician whom he was producing. Paxton fought off the first hitman, getting part of a finger shot off after slapping away the gun that was pressed between his eyes. He got hold of the gun and shot the killer in the chest. But a second assassin managed to shoot Paxton three times in the back. It took Paxton eight years to recover; he later visited those involved in the hit in prison and forgave them. Shortly after recovering from the shooting, he nearly died of hepatitis C. Death finally claimed Gary S. Paxton at the age of 77 on July 16.

Classical sopranos don’t usually feature in this series, but Marni Nixon is an exception. When Audrey Hepburn sings in My Fair Lady, or Deborah Kerr in The King And I and An Affair To Remember, or Natalie Wood in West Side Story, it is Marni Nixon’s voice you hear. On the latter film’s Tonight, she also sang Rota Moreno’s part. She overdubbed also for Sophia Loren, Margaret O’Brien and Marilyn Monroe (the high notes on Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend). Nixon made her first on-screen appearance as Sister Sophie in The Sound of Music. Married three times, Nixon was the mother of the late singer Andrew Gold.

With the death of Allen Barnes, we have lost a great crossover jazz-soul-funk multi-instrumentalist. Barnes, who was primarily a saxophonist, was drafted by Donald Byrd into his Blackbyrds. On their greatest hit, the joyful Walkin’ In Rhythm, Barnes played the flute solo. He also wrote songs for the band, including 1974’s Summer Love, which featured on Any Major Summer Vol. 5. He recorded with many other artists, including Nina Simone, Prince, Martha Reeves, Bootsy Collins and Sonny Rollins. On stage he backed Gil Scott-Heron on saxophone and synthesizer. He also recorded under his own name and with singer/songwriter John Malone as the unsnappily-named funk band Malone & Barnes and Spontaneous Simplicity.

IM0716_bLast month we lost Chips Moman, who with Dan Penn founded the famous American Sound Studio in Memphis. Among the successful bands they produced were The Box Tops, who are most famous for that perfect slice of pope, The Letter. In July the Box Tops’ drummer Danny Smythe passed away at 67. Smythe drummed on the classic Neon Rainbow album as well as on the 1968 #2 hit Cry Like A Baby. But by the time the latter became a hit Smythe had left the band, having decided to go to college in order to avoid the Vietnam War draft. When the classic line-up of The Box Tops reunited in 1996, Smythe rejoined the bands, staying with it until 2010, when lead singer Alex Chilton died.

On July 7 I posted the Song Swarm of By The Time I Get To Phoenix. Among the 82 versions was one by jazz/funk organist Shirley Scott. Playing guitar on that version was the Antiguan jazz guitarist Roland Prince. Eight days after I posted it, Prince died at the age of 69. Which merits mention here, I think. Prince released a few solo albums, but was more usually a sideman to artists like Scott, James Moody, Roy Haynes, Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band, and especially Elvin Jones.

On the same day as Roland Prince, drummer and drum manufacturer Johnny C. Craviotto passed away. He started as a drummer in the 1970s for acts like Ry Cooder, Arlo Guthrie, Moby Grape, Neil Young, and Buffy St. Marie. In the 1980s he founded a drum company with Huey Lewis & The News’ drummer Billy Gibson, the Select (later Solid) Drum Company, whose products seem to be particularly popular among country and indie drummers.

Finally, it is necessary to pay tribute to long-time Mad magazine cartoonist (all those covers he did!)  Jack Davis, who has died at 91. His link to music? He also designed LP covers, such as that below for Johnny Cash.

cashnut

 

Teddy Rooney, 66, bassist of rock band The Yellow Payges, on July 2
The Yellow Payges – Our Time Is Running Out (1967)

William Hawkins, 76, Canadian folk musician and poet, on July 4
3’s a Crowd – Gnostic Serenade (1968, as songwriter)

Danny Smythe, 67, drummer of The Box Tops, on July 6
The Box Tops – Neon Rainbow (1967)
The Box Tops – Cry Like A Baby (1968)

Rokusuke Ei, 83, Japanese lyricist and author, on July 7
Kyu Sakamoto – Sukiyaki (1963, as co-writer)

Gérard Bourgeois, 80, French composer, on July 8
Françoise Hardy – Rendez-vous d’automne (1966)

Geneviève Castrée aka Woelv aka Ô PAON, 34, Canadian indie musician, on July 9

Steven Young, member of British electronic bands Colourbox and M/A/R/R/S, on July 13
Colourbox – The Moon Is Blue (1985)
M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up The Volume (1987)

Roland Prince, 69, Antiguan jazz guitarist, on July 15
Shirley Scott – Lean On Me (1972, on guitar)

Erik Petersen, 38, founder and leader of folk-punk band Mischief Brew, on July 15
Mischief Brew – Coffee, God, And Cigarettes (2006)

Johnny Craviotto, 68, drummer and drum developer, on July 15
Claudia Lennear – It Ain’t Easy (1973, on drums)

Alan Vega, 78, half of protopunk duo Suicide, on July 16
Suicide – Ghost Rider (1977)
Alan Vega – Goodbye Darling (1983)

Gary S. Paxton, 77, producer and singer-songwriter, on July 16
Skip & Flip – It Was I (1959) (1959, as “Flip”)
Bobby Boris Pickett  & The Crypt-Kickers – Monster Mash (1962, as producer)
The Association – Cherish (1966, as producer)

Bonnie Brown, 77, member of country group The Browns, on July 16
The Browns – The Three Bells (1959)

Claude Williamson, 89, jazz pianist, on July 16
June Christy & Pete Rugolo – Look Out Up There (1954, on piano)

Karina Jensen, singer of Danish pop band Cartoons, announced on July 18
Cartoons – Witch Doctor (1998)

Tamás Somló, 68, singer of Hungarian rock band Omega, on July 19

Lewie Steinberg, 82, first bassist of Booker T. & the M.G.’s (replaced by Donald Dunn), on July 21
Booker T. & the M.G.’s – Green Onions (1962)

Mika Bleu, 34, singer of French grindcore band Miserable Failure, hit by a car on July 22

George Reznik, 86, Canadian jazz pianist, on July 23

Keith Gemmell, 68, British musician with Audience, Stackridge, Pasadena Roof Orchestra), on July 24
Audience – Indian Summer (1971)

Marni Nixon, 86, American singer, on July 24
Marni Dixon & Yulk Brynner – Shall We Dance (1956, The King And I)
Marni Nixon  – I Feel Pretty (1961, West Side Story)

Allan Barnes, 67, jazz/soul saxophonist with The Blackbyrds, on July 26
The Blackbyrds – Walking In Rhythm (1974, on flute)
Malone & Barnes And Spontaneous Simplicity – Workin’ Plan (1977)
J Dilla – Requiem (2012, on flute)

Sandy Pearlman, 72, producer, songwriter and manager, on July 26
Blue Öyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (1976, as co-producer)
The Clash – Tommy Gun (1978, as producer)

Roye Albrighton, 67, guitarist and singer with British rock group Nektar, on July 26
Nektar – Do You Believe In Magic? (1972)

Jack Davis, 91, illustrator, cartoonist with Mad and record cover designer, on July 27

Pat Upton, 75, singer and guitarist of pop band Spiral Starecase, on July 27
Spiral Starecase – More Today Than Yesterday (1969)

Lucille Dumont, 97, Canadian singer, on July 29

Fred Tomlinson, 90, English singer and composer, on July 29
Monty Python – Lumberjack Song (1969, as co-writer)

Penny Lang, 74, Canadian folk-singer, on July 31

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Beatles Recovered: Revolver

July 28th, 2016 11 comments

Revolver Recovered

August 5 will see the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ seminal Revolver album. If Rubber Soul was the moment when the besuited moptops handed over the Beatle baton to the more experimental stoners, Revolver was the moment the stoners became adults, doing things on their own terms.

George Harrison’s I Want To Tell you is perhaps most emblematic of that progression. The melody could have been on Rubber Soul, or even Help!, but the arrangement and especially the lyrics absolutely couldn’t.

The first song which the Beatles recorded for the album was one that set the scene for what innovation was to come. Tomorrow Never Knows, which was born almost exactly four months before Revolver’s release (on April 6), was a radical departure from the pure, relatively uncomplicated pop and rock & roll which the band had produced just a year earlier on Help (which was released on August 6, 1965, almost exactly one year before Revolver. Let that timeline sink in!). The song was subject to such experimentations as tape loops and running the vocals through a speaker normally used for the Hammond organ, plus Ringo using a novel drum-pattern.

The cover of that song here is a sparse affair from 1970 by the blues/R&B singer Junior Parker, recorded a year before his death at the age of 39 during surgery for a brain tumor.

Harrison had already experimented gingerly with Indian music on Rubber Soul. Here, on Love You To, he went full Indian — I guess it must have been even more startling to Revolver’s first listeners than Tomorrow Never Knows. It is covered here by the Don Randi Trio, who recorded the whole of Revolver in their jazz interpretation, within weeks of the album’s release. Their version respects the original’s Indian core.

Revolver had several moments of genius. Eleanor Rigby in particular is a masterpiece, lyrically and musically (I’ll leave it to you whether Ray Charles’ interpretation trumps the original). McCartney’s other two ballads on the album — For No One and Here, There And Everywhere — are remarkable as well. Emmylou Harris features here with her gorgeous take on the often neglected For No One, from 1975’s Pieces Of The Sky LP. She might also have been included for her version of Here, There And Everywhere, recorded the same year for the Elite Hotel album. That song is covered to equally lovely effect by that other country woman of crossover appeal, Bobbie Gentry.

Lennon was more hit-and-miss on Revolver than Paul. Tomorrow Never Knows and I’m Only Sleeping tower above the serviceable but usually not unduly overlooked Dr Robert, And Your Bird Can Sing and She Said She Said, decent tracks though they are. Dr Robert was the most difficult song to find a cover for. Here it is done by an Italian band called Slow Feet (an allusion to Eric Clapton’s nickname Slow Hand), which specialises in covering classic rock songs.

In don’t know why Paul’s excellent Good Day Sunshine doesn’t receive more love. Roy Redmond’s southern soul cover reveals a depth to a song which in The Beatles’ version is “just another” Beatles pop song.

Critics don’t love Yellow Submarine, written by Paul specifically for Ringo and deliberately as a children’s song. It ought to have been only a b-side (as it also was, to Eleanor Rigby), not an album track. But while the purists hate it, the public loved it, as would be the case two long, long years later with the much maligned yet ferociously popular Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

The Pickin’ On Picks recording was the only feasible version of Yellow Submarine that I could include here (though I include the 1976 Sesame Street version — three monsters harmonising in monstrous ways — as a bonus). The Pickin’ On Picks was a 1990s project whereby session musicians would render the catalogue of a particular artist in the bluegrass genre. Cross-genre appropriation sometimes works well, and sometimes does so only in small doses. This is such a case: one or two songs at a time are great; more than that is quite enough.

The obvious choice for a cover of Got To Get You Into My Life might have been that of Earth, Wind & Fire, or perhaps that by Thelma Houston, which surely inspired the EWF arrangement. That itself might have borrowed from the one used here, by Blood, Sweat & Tears. The EWF version previously featured on Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66; the Thelma Houston version you can get on the Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2.

Naturally the mix fits on a CD-R, and includes home-renovated covers. PW in comments.

1. The Loose Ends – Tax Man (1966)
2. Ray Charles – Eleanor Rigby (1968)
3. Lobo – I’m Only Sleeping (1974)
4. Don Randi Trio – Love You To (1966)
5. Bobbie Gentry – Here, There And Everywhere (1968)
6. The Pickin’ On Picks – Yellow Submarine (1995)
7. Hedge & Donna – She Said She Said (1971)
8. Roy Redmond – Good Day Sunshine (1967)
9. Spanky & Our Gang – And Your Bird Can Sing (1967)
10. Emmylou Harris – For No One (1975)
11. Slowfeet – Doctor Robert (2006)
12. Chris Stainton & Glen Turner – I Want To Tell You (1976)
13. Blood, Sweat & Tears – Got To Get You Into My Life (1975)
14. Junior Parker – Tomorrow Never Knows (1970)

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More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles – Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles – Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2
Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)

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The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3

July 21st, 2016 5 comments

The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3

At last, here’s the third Steve Gadd mix — with the Steely Dan track featuring what many regard as one of the most iconic drum solos ever. It was also the first ever drum solo on a Dan record.

Gadd’s versality is on show here: from the disco-pop of Leo Sayer’s opener and the soul tunes of Bill Withers and Aretha Franklin to the faux-reggae of 10cc to the folk-rock of Judy Collins, and lots of stuff in-between. Don’t be fooled by this being a third Gadd mix, with the notion that this might be a collection of left-overs. Just see the Steve Gadd Collections Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 for the diversity of acts he has drummed for, and then imagine how many more mixes there might have been. But three must suffice, so we can move on to other session giants.

Al Jarreau already featured on the first mix, and policy prevents repeat acts in this series (though I am cheating a little with Grover Washington Jr; it is really Bill Withers I wanted here). But I include Jarreau’s remarkable Spain as a bonus track, partly for Gadd’s superb drumming on it — a masterclass — and partly for Al’s reworking, with his own added lyrics, of Chick Corea’s 1973 instrumental which in turn borrowed from the adagio from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

As always: CD-R length, covers, PW in comments.

1. Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing (1976)
2. Andy Gibb – Desire (1980)
3. Rickie Lee Jones – Pirates (So Long Lonely Avenue) (1981)
4. Steely Dan – Aja (1977)
5. Lee Ritenour with Bill Champlin – Morning Glory (1978)
6. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Little Bit Of Love (1977)
7. Margie Joseph – Sign Of The Times (1975)
8. Aretha Franklin – Sing It Again – Say It Again (1974)
9. Bill Withers & Grover Washington Jr – Just The Two Of Us (1981)
10. Spyro Gyra – Oasis (1982)
11. Melba Moore – Get Into My Mind (1975)
12. Patti Austin – More Today Than Yesterday (1976)
13. Dionne Warwick – Heartbreaker (1982)
14. 10cc – Oomachasaooma (Feel The Love) (1983)
15. Elliott Randall – Samantha (1977)
16. Judy Collins – Angel, Spread Your Wings (1975)
17. Jim Croce – Five Short Minutes (1973)
18. Arif Mardin – Dark Alleys (1974)
Bonus track: Al Jarreau – Spain (1980)

GET IT!

Previous session musicians’ collection:
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1

The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Ringo Starr Collection

 

Categories: Mix CD-Rs, Session Players Tags:

Any Major Disco Vol. 4

July 14th, 2016 9 comments

Any Major Disco Vol. 4

Tuesday, July 12, saw the 37th anniversary of the notorious “Disco Demolition Night” at Chicago’s Comskey Park, a night I have discussed with Any Major Disco Vol. 1, and touched on Any Major Disco Vol. 3 (which focussed more on disco as a vehicle for the assertion of gay identity and driver for later black dominance of pop). To mark the anniversary, here is a seriously funky mix of disco tracks — the sort of disco the more discerning of the mob at Comiskey Park might have appreciated, had they opened their hearts and ears.

So, in memory of all that was good about disco, put on your dancing shoes and shake those hips — Travolta moves not required.

As always, CD-R length, covers. PW in comments.

1. Splendor – Take Me To Your Disco (1979)
2. The Whispers – It’s A Love Thing (1980)
3. Teena Marie – I Need Your Lovin’ (1980)
4. Debra Laws – On My Own (1981)
5. Gene Chandler – When You’re Number One (1979)
6. The Isley Brothers – It’s A Disco Night (Rock Don’t Stop) (1979)
7. The Miracles – Love Machine (1975)
8. Sex O’Clock USA – Get It Up Baby (1976)
9. The Real Thing – Can You Feel The Force (1979)
10. Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King – I Don’t Know If It’s Right (1977)
11. Gwen Guthrie – It Should Have Been You (1977)
12. LaToya Jackson – If You Feel The Funk (1980)
13. Front Page feat. Sharon Redd – Love Insurance (1979)
14. Crown Heights Affair – Your Love Makes Me Hot (1982)
15. Heatwave – Too Hot To Handle (1976)
16. Bill Brandon – We Fell In Love While Dancing (1977)

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More Any Major Funk/Disco
More Mix CD-Rs

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Song Swarm: By The Time I Get To Phoenix

July 7th, 2016 19 comments

This is a reworked and extended version of a post from March 2010. Back then it was 23 stops to Phoenix; now we have 81.

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By The Time I Get To Phoenix is not even my favourite Jimmy Webb song, much as I love it — there are songs on the Jimmy Webb Collection Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 I love more. But I cannot think of many other songs in pop music that traverse interpretations and genres as effortlessly as this. Here I am offering a bunch of versions that cover pop, country, soul, jazz and easy listening.

By The Time I Get To Phoenix sounds like it belongs in any of these genres. And even when interpreted by artists from the same genre, it is an immensely flexible a song. Just compare the soul versions by the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Erma Franklin, Isaac Hayes, the Intruders, Lloyd Price, the Mad Lads, Billie Stewart, William Bell, The Escorts, and New York City. So I think one can listen to all the versions here without necessarily getting bored.

The first version of the song was recorded by Webb’s mentor, Johnny Rivers, in 1966. Since then it has been covered many time. Apparently there are more than a thousand versions of it.

Rivers’ version made no impact, nor did a cover by Pat Boone. The guitarist on Boone’s version, however, picked up on the song and released it in 1967. Glen Campbell scored a massive hit with the song, even winning two Grammies for it. In quick succession, Campbell completed a trilogy of geographically-themed songs by Webb, with the gorgeous Wichita Lineman (written especially for Campbell) and the similarly wonderful Galveston.

Another seasoned session musician took Phoenix into a completely different direction (if you will pardon the unintended pun). Isaac Hayes had heard the song, and decided to perform it as the Bar-Keys’ guest performer at Memphis’ Tiki Club, a soul venue. He started with a spontaneous spoken prologue, explaining in some detail why this man is on his  journey. At first the patrons weren’t sure what Hayes was doing rapping over a repetitive chord loop. After a while, according to Hayes, they started to listen. At the end of the song, he said, there was not a dry eye in the house (“I’m gonna moan now…”). As it appeared on Ike’s 1968 Hot Buttered Soul album, the thing went on for 18 glorious minutes.

The fine version of soul singer Doug Haynes changes the perspective: here she has gone to Phoenix, and Doug is making the call where the phone is just keeps ringing off the wall. Wanda Jackson’s version, titled By The Time You Got To Phoenix, is really an answer record (turns out, she is not that unhappy to see the dude gone). The Harden Trio don’t change the lyrics, as Haynes does, but offer the twist of the female voices singing from their perspective and the male lead taking the traditional leavers’ narrative.

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There are those who scoff that it is physically impossible to complete the song’s itinerary — Phoenix, Albuquerque, Oklahoma — in a day. But I think the itinerary makes perfect sense, presuming it starts in Los Angeles.

He gets to Phoenix when she is normally getting up from bed. From LA to Phoenix it’s about six hours drive. Assuming she rises around 6am, our friend left LA at around midnight. By the time he hits Albuquerque, our narrator thinks she’s about to have lunch; more or less at 1pm. From Phoenix to Abuquerque it’s another six hours. That gave our friend time to spare to reach the city of Walter White. By the time he makes Oklahoma she’ll be sleeping. The distance from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City (guessing that this is his destination) is about eight hours drive. Setting aside aside breaks for food, rest and ablutions, by the time he hits Oklahoma it will be past midnight, when she will indeed be having a tear-interrupted sleep. The timeline fits.

One act that was not going to make any such journeys any time soon was The Escorts. These soul singers were incarcerated in a New Jersey jail. In 1968 one inmate, Reginald Haynes, started a singing group which would become The Escorts. They were discovered by producers and went on to record two albums. Their version of Phoenix is from the first of these, 1973’s All We Need Is Another Chance which became a hit, selling 300,000 copies. After his release, Haynes tried to launch a solo career; that attempt was cut short when he was unjustly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Read the remarkable story here.

Back to the music, I do like the well-executed 1930s radio pastiche by The Templeton Twins. And the best individual moment in this collection might be The Pips responding to Gladys Knight‘s announcement that she was leaving with a sad, “Oh no” on their live version from 1970’s All In A Knight’s Work LP. Also check out Jermaine and the Jackson 5 doing the song on The Tonight Show in 1974; Jermaine takes the lead and Michael harmonises.

So, apart from Isaac Hayes’, which version is your favourite? I think I like Al Wilson’s best. Or the Four Tops’. Or Erma Franklin’s. Or Pete Shelley’s discoish take. Or Nick Cave’s. Or Thelma Houston’s majestic version from 2007. Or, of course, Glen Campbell’s. Or maybe the 2010 version by the song’s writer, with Glenn Campbell on backing vocals and, I think, Mark Knopfler on guitar.

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The collection comes in two parts. You will need both. PW = amdwhah

1966: Johnny Rivers • 1967: Glen Campbell, Santo & Johnny • 1968: Vikki Carr, Marty Wilde, Georgie Fame, The Lettermen, Marty Robbins, Roy Drusky, Charlie Rich, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Mills Brothers, Four Tops, Joe Tex, Ace Cannon, Roger Miller, Harry Belafonte, Andy Williams, Nat Adderley, Johnny Mathis, Al Wilson, Herbie Mann, Solomon Burke, Raymonde Singers, Eydie Gorme,  Peggy Lee, Toots Thielemans, The Magnificent Men, The Intruders, The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett, Wanda Jackson, The Harden Trio, Frankie Laine, Gloria Lynne,  Jack Jones, Tony Mottola with The Groovies, Ray Price, Bobby Goldsboro, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra • 1969: José Feliciano, Dorothy Ashby, Billy Stewart,  Oscar Peterson, Burl Ives, Andy Kim, A.J. Marshall, Erma Franklin, Henry Mancini, Isaac Hayes, Lloyd Price, The Springfield Rifle, Family Circle, The Mad Lads, The Dells (in a medley with Wichita Lineman), Al Caiola, William Bell • 1970: Stevie Wonder, Autumn & Barrie McAskill,  The Manhattans, The Templeton Twins, The Ventures, Jimmy Smith, Main Ingredient (in a medley with Wichita Lineman),Wayne McGhie & the Sounds of Joy, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Willie Tee • 1971: Jimmy Webb,  Fabulous Souls • 1972: Shirley Scott • 1973: New York City, The Escorts • 1974: Jermaine and the Jackson 5, Doug Haynes • 1975: Peter Shelley• 1976: Junior Mance Trio • 1977: Isaac Hayes & Dionne Warwick (with I Say A Little Prayer) • 1986: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds • 1995: Reba McEntire • 2007: Thelma Houston • 2010: Jimmy Webb

GET IT: Part 1 & Part 2

Previous Song Swarms:
Hound Dog
Sunny
These Boots Are Made For Walking
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Like A Rolling Stone
Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Over The Rainbow
Georgia On My Mind
Blue Moon
Light My Fire

 

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In Memoriam – June 2016

July 4th, 2016 6 comments

IM1606_1The year 2016 continued to be a bastard in June. But instead of killing off superstars, June took from us some important names.

Imagine what it was like for audiences in mid-1956 to be confronted with the explosion of loud energy that was Elvis’ Hound Dog. Louder and more aggressive than most Rock & Roll hits that came before, to ears used to Perry Como and Bing Crosby it must have sounded positively dystopian. Playing the guitar on Hound Dog, and all those 1950s Elvis hits, was Scotty Moore, who has died at 84. In fact, Elvis’ early Sun records were credited to “Elvis Presley, Scotty & Bill” (Bill being bassist Bill Black, who died in 1965). As such, Moore was instrumental, as it were, in introducing power chords and guitar solos to this new musical form. Rock & Roll Elvis left the building when he went to the army, but Moore continued to play on some Elvis records in the 1960s — including Good Luck Charm, Devil In Disguise, Surrender and Bossa Nova Baby — and appeared on the 1968 Comeback Special.

Moore was not the only artist with an Elvis connection to die in June. Only time prevented me from putting together a special collection of songs written or produced by the great Chips Moman, who has died at 79. His crowning moment might have been the resurrection of Elvis as a serious singer, having produced the sessions that yielded the glorious Suspicious Minds and In The Ghetto at Memphis’ American Sound Studio, which Moman founded with Don Crews. The studio produced many classics produced by Moman, including Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, BJ Thomas’ Hooked On A Feeling, Merilee Rush’s Angel Of The Morning, and Dusty Springfield’s Dusty In Memphis album. Before he started the studio, Moman worked at Stax, producing hits such as Carla Thomas’ Gee Whiz. Moman was a fine songwriter, too, co-writing hits such as Aretha Franklin’s Do Right Woman Do Right Man, James Carr’s The Dark End Of The Street, BJ Thomas’ (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, and Waylon Jennings’ Luckenbach, Texas (which featured on Any American Road Trip 2). On top of all that, Moman was also a session guitarist, playing with acts such as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Picket, Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Johnny Cash and Guy Clark (who died last month).

Just over a week after Moman passed, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns died. The Memphis Horns were led by Jackson on trumpet and Andrew Love (who died in 2012) on tenor sax. They produced some signature sounds in music, perhaps most famously the intro to Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness. Where there is brass on Stax records, you’d hear The Memphis Horns. Later Jackson and Love decamped to Stax-alumnus Chips Moman’s  American Sound Studio where they played on those career-reviving Elvis records. Later they played at Hi Records, giving Al Green some horn (oh, behave!), including on Let’s Stay Together. They played with King Curtis on his fantastic Live At The Filmore album. They also backed non-soul acts like James Taylor, Tony Joe White, Doobie Brothers, José Feliciano, Jerry Reed, BB King, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Steve Winwood, Billy Joel, Robert Cray Band, Peter Gabriel and many others. Jackson is getting a bunch of tribute tracks here, but you can also hear him on Aretha Franklin’s I Never Loved A Man and Elvis’ Kentucky Rain, both of which listed in tribute to Moman.

At the next karaoke when somebody does an impression of The Commitments’ version of Mustang Sally, spare a thought for Sir Mack Rice, who wrote and first recorded the song, later a hit for Wilson Picket. Rice had another minor hit with Coal Man, but his success resided in writing for others, especially on the Stax label. The biggest hit of these was Respect Yourself for the Staple Singers.IM1606_2There are few artists left who made their mark in the 1940s and have continued to perform into this decade. With the death at 89 of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, we have lost one of those. The importance of Ralph Stanley in bluegrass cannot be overstated. Over seven decades in music, Stanley was known to be a fine man and a willing mentor to many who would become stars in bluegrass and country music. With his brother Carter, the banjo virtuoso was half of the Stanley Brothers and co-leader of The Clinch Mountain Boys. Starting in 1946 they were among the very first acts to play the bluegrass music of the genre’s pioneer, Bill Monroe (who initially resented the Stanleys and his erstwhile collaborators Flatt & Scruggs for “stealing” his music). Carter died in 1966, but Ralph continued on his own, releasing records — many of them gospel — right up to the last one in 2015. In 2002 Stanley won a Grammy for his vocal performance on the old Appalachian song O Death, which featured on the acclaimed O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack.

The legendary Bernie Worrell of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective changed funk with his keyboard grooves, especially once he became only the second person in the world to be given a Moog synthesizer by its inventor, Bob Moog. Armed with his Moog, Worrell had a lasting influenced on dance music, hip hop and new wave through songs like1977’s Flash Light. Worrell also arranged the horn sections for Parliament-Funkadelic. He appeared on the albums released by the outgrowths from the collective, such as Bootsy Collins, and played with Talking Heads during their Stop Making Sense period, as well as with acts like Lou Rawls, The Spinners, Stephanie Mills and Gil Scott-Heron.

Ask anybody who has worked with him, and they’ll tell you that ex-Wings and Spooky Tooth guitarist Henry McCullough was the loveliest of men. He backed Joe Cocker at Woodstock as a member of The Grease Band and played on Spooky Tooth’s 1970 The Last Puff album before joining Paul McCartney’s Wings in 1971, playing on hits such as My Love (that guitar solo is his), Hi Hi Hi, and Live and Let Die. In between he dabbled with Pink Floyd: at the end of Money on The Dark Side Of The Moon, you can hear him speak the words, “I don’t know; I was really drunk at the time”, a reference to a confrontation he had had the night before with his wife. In 2012 McCullough suffered a severe heart attack, leading Ireland’s RTE broadcaster and the BBC to announce his death. The rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated, but death caught up with the guitarist on June 14.

The Fairport Convention defined British folk, and the group’s guiding member Dave Swarbrick defined fiddle-playing in British folk. Swarbrick introduced the electronic fiddle to the isles’ folk scene, and was much sought-after as a session musician by rock acts. Swarbrick was declared dead (yes, another case of that) by the Daily Telegraph in 1999 — a time before Twitter false alarms and hoaxes — when he was hospitalised with a serious chest infection. Swarbrick’s response: “It’s not the first time I’ve died in Coventry.” The false alarm prompted a fundraising effort which culminated in the musician receiving a double lung transplant in 2004. Which leads me to ask you: have you registered as an organ donor? And if you haven’t, why not?IM1606_3In the same month that Swarbrick left, another important figure in the British folk scene died. Karl Dallas was a Christian socialist (he was named after Marx and, by way of middle name, Engels) and peace campaigner. In the run-up to the illicit invasion of Iraq, Dallas got the better of the lying wear-monger Tony Blair in a televised debate. He was also a journalist who passionately advocated for folk acts such as the Fairground Convention and Steeleye Span, especially during his long association with the Melody Maker.  As a songwriter himself, he had much empathy with those whose music he was writing about. Initially he gave Bob Dylan a very bad review but later became a fan. Arlo Guthrie reportedly wrote parts of Alice’s Restaurant as a guest of Dallas’ in London. Dallas’ best-known songs are The Family Of Man, written in 1955, and Derek Bentley, about a teenager executed for killing a policeman.

Manchester lost a local music legend in promoter Alan Wise who was instrumental in the launch of the Factory club which became the record label of that name, home to Joy Division and New Order, among other acts. He was also a key figure in the city’s Hacienda club, which was famous in the 1980s well beyond Manchester. Three months ago Wise’s 22-year-old daughter died of suicide after health authorities failed to provide the counselling for 18 months. Wise was loudly outspoken about this failure at the time; his criticism found an echo in his obituaries.

Few singers’ career path takes them from the stage to the benches of the judiciary and back, but so it was with Dutch songstress Corry Brokken, one of the Netherlands’ biggest stars in the 1950s and’60s. Brokken won the second-ever Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 with Net Als Toen (Just as it once was). She had unsuccessfully represented the Netherlands the year before, and tried to defend her title the year after her win. She came last, thus holding the distinction of being the only Eurovision contestant to finish top and bottom. She presented the Eurovision in 1976, the year England’s Brotherhood of Men won. Just after that she retired from the music industry and, at the age of 44, began studying law. In the 1980s she became an attorney and then a judge. She made a music comeback in the 1990s.

The Memphis Horns have fallen silent. After the death of Andrew Love (left), Wayne Jackson left us this month to join the great horn section in the sky.

The Memphis Horns have fallen silent. After the death of Andrew Love (left), Wayne Jackson left us this month to join the great horn section in the sky.

Corry Brokken, 83, Dutch singer, Eurovision Song Contest 1957 winner, on May 30
Corry Brokken – Net Als Toen (1957)

Alan Wise, 63, British music promoter and manager on June 1

Häns’che Weiss, 65, German jazz guitarist and composer, on June 2

Dave Swarbrick, 75, fiddler with British folk band Fairport Convention, on June 3
Fairport Convention – Walk Awhile (1970, also as co-writer)
Dave Swarbrick – Queen’s Jig/Dick’s Maggot (1978)

Muhammad Ali, 74, American boxer and occasional singer, on June 3
Cassius Clay – Stand By Me (1964)
(More Ali-related music)

Bobby Curtola, 73, Canadian pop singer, on June 4
Bobby Curtola – Fortune Teller (1962)

Brian Rading, 69, bassist of Canadian rock group Five Man Electrical Band, on June 8
Five Man Electrical Band – Half Past Midnight (1966)

Habib, 63, Iranian singer-songwriter, on June 10

Christina Grimmie, 22, singer-songwriter, contestant on the The Voice (US), murdered on June 11

Kim Venable, 72, drummer of pop band The Classics IV, on June 12
The Classics IV – Where Did All The Good Times Go (1970)

Chips Moman, 79, songwriter, producer, engineer, guitarist, on June 13
Carla Thomas – Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes) (1960, as producer)
James Carr – Dark End Of The Street (1967, as co-writer)
Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) (1967, on guitar)
Elvis Presley – Kentucky Rain (1970, as producer)
Willie Nelson – Always On My Mind (1982, as producer & engineer & on guitar)

Randy Jones, 72, jazz drummer, on June 23

Henry McCullough, 72, Northern Irish guitarist with Spooky Tooth, Wings, on June 14
Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends (Live at Woodstock) (1969, on guitar)
Wings – My Love (1973, on guitar)
Henry McCullough – Lord Knows (1975)

OJB Jezreel, 49, Nigerian singer and producer, on June 14

Jerome Teasley, 67, soul drummer (Motown), on June 16
Jr Walker & The All Stars – What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) (1969, on drums)

‘Sir’ Charles Thompson, 98, jazz pianist, on June 16
Leo Parker’s Quintette – New Look Swing (1948, on piano)

Tenor Fly, British raga singer, rapper and freestyler, on June 17

Attrell Cordes, 46, singer with soul band P.M. Dawn, on June 17
PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (1991)

Alejandro Jano Fuentes, 45, American-Mexican singer, murdered on August 18

Bob Williamson, 67, English musician and comedian, on June 19

Chayito Valdez, 71, Mexican-American folk singer and actress, on June 20

Wayne Jackson, 74, legendary trumpeter (The Memphis Horns), on June 21
Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1965, on trumpet)
Dusty Springfield – Son Of A Preacher Man (1969, on trumpet)
Al Green – Let’s Stay Together (1972, on trumpet)
Doobie Brothers – Takin’ It To The Streets (1976, on trumpet)
Memphis Horns – Memphis Nights (1977)

Freddy Powers, 84, country singer and songwriter, on June 21
George Jones – I Always Get Lucky With You (1983)
Merle Haggard – The Road To My Heart (2010, as writer)

Karl Dallas, 85, folk songwriter, writer and peace campaigner, on June 21
Colin Wilkie & Shirley Hart – The Family Of Man (1972, as writer)

Steve French, 56, singer with gospel band Kingdom Heirs Quartet, on June 22

Jim Boyd, 60, singer-songwriter, on June 22
Jim Boyd – Father And Farther (1998)

Leo Brennan, 90, Irish musician (father of Enya and Clannad members), on June 22

Ralph Stanley, 89, bluegrass legend, on June 23
Stanley Brothers – Let Me Be Your Friend (1948)
Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys – Memory Of Your Smile (1959)
Ralph Stanley – O Death (2000)
Ralph Stanley – John The Revelator (2011)

Shelley Moore, 84, jazz singer, on June 23
Shelley Moore – The Thrill Is Gone (1962)

Bernie Worrell, 72, keyboard player with Parliament-Funkadelic, on June 24
Parliament – Flashlight (1977)
Bernie Worrell – Woo Together (1978)
Talking Heads – Girlfriend Is Better (1984)

Lor Scoota, 23, rapper, shot dead on June 24

Mike Pedicin, 98, American jazz bandleader, on June 26
Mike Pedicin Quintet – The Large Large House (1956)

Mack Rice, 82, soul songwriter and singer, on June 27
Sir Mack Rice – Mustang Sally (1965)
Staples Singers – Respect Yourself (1972, as co-writer)

Scotty Moore, 84, pioneering Rock & Roll guitarist, on June 28
Elvis Presley – Too Much (1956)
Roy Orbison – Crying (1962, on guitar)
Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Keith Richards & The Band – Deuce & A Quarter (1997)

Rob Wasserman, 64, Upright bass player, on June 29

Don Friedman, 81, jazz pianist, on June 30
Don Friedman Trio – So In Love (1962)

GET IT!
(PW = amdwhah)

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Any Major Coffee Vol. 1

June 30th, 2016 10 comments

Any Major Coffee

Here’s a mix that has been brewing for a number of years now — on the subject of coffee. There are surprisingly many songs that are in some way about coffee, enough to fill a few mixes.

As always, I set myself rules. These sort of reflect our relationship with coffee (if we have one). The featured songs must be about coffee or the act or idea of drinking coffee. In some songs the act of drinking coffee is at the centre of the lyrics, in others coffee plays an incidental but not unimportant role.

So, no songs about coffee machines that need fixing, or metaphors about clouds in your coffee or your brew gone cold because the one you love does not love you anymore. I do allow one coffee as a metaphor song, as a bonus track, because I think you might like it: LaVern Baker’s wonderful 1958 version of Bessie Smith’s Empty Bed Blues, recorded 30 years after the original.

If you are a coffee drinker and this mix — or the mere reminder of caffeine — motivates you to go out in search for a fix, please do me a kindness and seek out an independent coffee shop. These independents are being squeezed out by the franchise stores, led by the unaccountably popular Starbucks. Help keep the independent coffeeshops going.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R and includes home-percolated covers. PW = amdwhah.

1. The Ink Spots – Java Jive (1941)
2. Ella Mae Morse – 40 Cups Of Coffee (1953)
3. Scatman Crothers – Keep That Coffee Hot (1955)
4. Peggy Lee – Black Coffee (1956)
5. Otis Redding – Cigarettes And Coffee (1966)
6. Delbert McClinton – Your Memory, Me, And The Blues (2005)
7. Mighty Mo Rodgers – Black Coffee And Cigarettes (2011)
8. The Jayhawks – Five Cups Of Coffee (1989)
9. Fountains Of Wayne – Yours And Mine (2003)
10. Landon Pigg – Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop (2008)
11. David Bowie – When The Wind Blows (1986)
12. Bob Dylan – One More Cup Of Coffee (1979)
13. Gordon Lightfoot – Second Cup of Coffee (1972)
14. Glen Campbell – Truck Driving Man (1971)
15. Hank Locklin – You’re The Reason (1962)
16. Lefty Frizzell – Cigarettes and Coffee Blues (1958)
17. Kris Kristofferson – Here Comes That Rainbow Again (1981)
18. Guy Clark – Instant Coffee Blues (1975)
19. Lyle Lovett – Just The Morning (1994)
20. Cowboy Junkies – Anniversary Song (1993)
21. Simon & Garfunkel – The Dangling Conversation (live) (1968)
22. Walker Brothers – Where’s The Girl (1966)
23. Natalie Cole – Coffee Time (2008)
24. Frank Sinatra – Same Old Saturday Night (1964)
25. Julie London – Sunday Mornin’ (1969)

GET IT!

More Mix-CD-Rs

 

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