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The Joe Osborne Collection

December 17th, 2018 1 comment

 

 

R.I.P. Joe Osborn. There aren’t many rhythm sections that have scored more hits than Joe Osborn on bass, Hal Blaine on drums and Larry Knechtel on keyboards. With Osborn’s death at 81 on Friday, only Blaine is still with us of this particular combination of Wrecking Crew alumni.

Osborn appeared on many of the tracks included in the two volumes of songs featuring the drumming of Hal Blaine (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), as well as some on the Jim Gordon (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and Jim Keltner  (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) collections.

You will have Osborns basslines many times. Osborne — who was not the only Wrecking Crew bassist — was involved in an astonishing number of hits. They are listed here. Some of them are stone cold classics: California Dreaming and Monday Monday by the Mamas & The Papas, San Francisco by Scott Mackenzie,

Up Up And Away and Wedding Bell Blues by The Fifth Dimension, Gentle On My Mind and By The Time I Get To Phoenix by Glenn Campbell, Cracklin’ Rose by Neil Diamond, Never My Love  and Windy by the Association, Delta Dawn and I Am Woman by Helen Reddy, Midnight Confession by the Grass Roots, Just Dropped In  To See… and Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (and later Roger’s mega hit Lucille), Lonely People and Ventura Highway by America, Dizzy by Tommy Row, Stoney End by Barbra Streisand, Free Electric Band and The Peacemaker by Albert Hammond, and many more.

But his major associations were with Simon & Garfunkel (with Blaine and Knechtel, he played on most of their big hits, including Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Boxer), Johnny Rivers, the Partridge Family and, especially, the Carpenters. In fact, Osborn continued to work with Richard Carpenters when the duo was on its commercial decline and on veracious projects after Karen’s premature death.

The trio, with other Wrecking Crew luminaries, also played on the original musical soundtrack of The Rocky Horror Show.

After the Wrecking Crew faded away, Osborn played on such classics as England Dan & John Ford Coley’s I’d Really Love To See You Tonight and We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again, Olivia Newton-John’s Sam, Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps album, and in the 1980s on many records by country acts including Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.

Louisiana-born Osborn started out as a guitar player, even recording as coupler of instrumental singles as part of Jim & Joe. He also wrote a few songs, but really started to attract attention for his bass work with Ricky Nelson, particularly on the hit Travellin’ Man, using the Fender Precision which he had bought in 1958. He used that bass guitar for much of his career.

He died on December 14 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

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

1. Jim & Joe – Fireball Mail (1963)
2. Ricky Nelson – Travellin’ Man (1960)
3. P.F. Sloan – The Man Behind The Red Balloon (1966)
4. The Mamas & The Papas – Somebody Groovy (1966)
5. Neil Diamond – Holly Holy (1969)
6. Johnny Rivers – When A Man Loves A Woman (1967)
7. Simon & Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy in New York (1970)
8. Carpenters – It’s Going To Take Some Time (1972)
9. Barbra Streisand – Beautiful (1971)
10. Thelma Houston – I Just Gotta Be Me (1969)
11. Helen Reddy – Delta Dawn (1973)
12. B.W. Stevenson – My Maria (1973)
13. The Dillards – Listen To The Sound (1968)
14. The Everly Brothers – Less Of Me (1968)
15. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Sail Away (1979)
16. America – Don’t Cross The River (1972)
17. Albert Hammond – The Peacemaker (1973)
18. England Dan & John Ford Coley – I’d Really Like To See You Tonight (1976)
19. Tim Curry – Sweet Transvestite (1974)
20. The 5th Dimension – California Soul (1968)
21. The Monkees – Valleri (1968)
22. The Association – Windy (1967)
23. Partridge Family – I Woke Up In Love This Morning (1971)
24. The Grass Roots – Where Were You When I Needed You (1966)
25. Laura Nyro – Save The Country (1969)
26. Glen Campbell and The Wrecking Crew – I’m Not Gonna Miss You (2015)

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Previous session musicians’ collection:
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2

The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3
The Larry Carlton Collection
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Ringo Starr Collection

Categories: Mix CD-Rs, Session Players Tags:

Any Major 1980s Christmas

December 13th, 2018 3 comments

 

This year it’s the 1980s in Any Major Dude’s yulecastle (following the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s), with the obvious and lesser known  Christmas songs represented.

It was a debate whether or not to leave out Fairytale Of New York or Last Christmas, but how could it be a 1980s Christmas without them. One ‘80s Christmas song not featuring here, however, is the best-selling of them all: Do They Know It’s Christmas. Good intentions aside, the lyrics are atrociously condescending. Do the people of Ethiopia know it’s Christmas? Given that Christianity in Ethiopia precedes the evangelisation of most of Europe, I think they do.

But Do They Know It’s Christmas reminds me of this following, doubtless true story.

It was one year around Christmas time when U2 had lined up a series of big charity gigs. They got together on the day of the first gig to soundcheck and Bono noticed that The Edge was looking a bit sickly. “What’s the matter, The Edge?” Bono asked The Edge.

“Ah, look, it’s nothing, Bono,” the guitarist replied. “It’s just… you know that Japanese promotional tour we did last week, right? I think I picked up something. Maybe some kind of flu, but I’m feeling pretty bad.”

“Well, The Edge,” replied Bono, “if you want to pull out of the gigs, you just say so.” But The Edge shook his head. “No way Bono. These gigs are important. Think of the children, not my aching guts.”

“Aye, that’s the spirit, The Edge,” said Bono. That night U2 took to the stage. They played all the hits and the crowd was well into it. For a big climax, because it’s for charity and around Christmas, they performed “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Bono was emoting, Adam was running basslines, Larry was merrily drumming along. Suddenly The Edge began to feel very ill indeed. He turned, dropped his guitar, and started running towards the back of the stage. But he didn’t quite make it and threw up all over Larry Mullen Jr and his drumkit.

“Jaysis, The Edge!” Larry yelled. “My brand-new drums!” The Edge was mortified. “Eh, sorry Larry, I couldn’t help myself. It’s this flu, you know.”

Next night The Edge was back up there on stage, riffing away. The gig was going really well, but then as “Do They Know It’s Christmas” started, The Edge began to feel sick again. He started to run off the stage but to no avail. As he got to the bassist’s spot, he puked all over Adam Clayton.

“Me best leather waistcoat,” wailed Adam Clayton. “The Edge, you’re more beast than man!” The Edge apologised profusely but Bono was furious after the gig. “The Edge, you’ve gone too far this time. I’ve just been on the phone to Sting, he can take your place tomorrow.”

The Edge was almost in tears. “Please, Bono no, this gig means so much to me. It’s for the children. I know I’ve got it all out my system now. I’ll be fine tomorrow, I promise, you have to let me play.”

‘OK, The Edge, one last chance,” Bono said. “But I warn you, any more antics like the last two nights, then that’s it, you’re out of U2.” The Edge promised to be good.

 

The Edge, recovering from a bad flu, and Bonzo.

 

The next day The Edge took lots of vitamins and come evening he was feeling fine. The gig was amazing, even Discotheque was sounding alright. Bono was pleased, Adam’s new waistcoast looked good, Larry’s drums were sparkling clean, The Edge was happy.

They started Do They Know It’s Christmas, and Bono moved over to stand shoulder to shoulder with his pal and really belted out the tune.

Suddenly The Edge didn’t feel too good. His face was contorting, he struggled manfully, but it was no use. He turned to Bono with a look of desperation and suddenly hacked up an enormous greenie, right into Bono’s face.

The song stopped. The Edge was paralysed with horror. “Bono, I can explain, I’m truly sorry, you can’t believe how sorry I am,” The Edge stammered.

Bono wiped the snot off, turned to Edge and said: “Well, tonight thank God it’s phlegm instead of spew.”

On that note: HAVE YOURSELF A  MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS!

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

1. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1985)
2. Bryan Adams – Christmas Time (1985)
3. Vince Vance & The Valiants – All I Want For Christmas Is You (1989)
4. Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) (1987)
5. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping (1981)
6. Prince and the Revolution – Another Lonely Christmas (1984)
7. Gap Band – This Christmas (1984)
8. Alexander O’Neal – My Gift To You (1988)
9. Ray Charles – That Spirit Of Christmas (1985)
10. The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York (1987)
11. Pretenders – 2000 Miles (1983)
12. Fay Lovsky – Christmas Was A Friend Of Mine (1981)
13. Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas (1986)
14. Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas (1984)
15. Wham! – Last Christmas (1984)
16. Mavis Staples – Christmas Vacation (1989)
17. Ray Parker Jr. – Christmas Time Is Here (1984)
18. Run DMC – Christmas In Hollis (1987)
19. Max Headroom – Merry Christmas Santa Claus (1986)
20. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone (1985)

GET IT!

 

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major Doo Wop X-Mas

December 6th, 2018 12 comments

 

This Christmas we’re going doo wopping, with The Cameos, Marquees, Marshalls, Moonglows, Penguins, Ravens, Dominoes, Voices, Marcels, Uniques, Melodeers, Martells, Larks, Orioles, Falcons , Ebonaires, Ebb Tides, Blue Notes, Valentines, Sherwoods, Playboys and some of their pals.

I had written up a nice post about the stories of some of these acts — and it somehow disappeared. So, here is the mix without a history lesson.

Companion mixes to go with this would be Any Major ’50s Christmas and ’60s Christmas, Any Major R&B Christmas, and Christmas in Black & White Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and Vol. 3.

Happy Advent season! And if your Dutch, Belgian or German, happy Saint Nicholas Day!

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-shoo-da-ba-da-ho-ho-hoed covers (which, I must confess, I’m quite pleased with). PW in comments.

1. The Cameos – Merry Christmas (1957)
2. The Marquees – Santa’s Done Got Hip (1959)
3. The Marshalls – Mr.Santa’s Boogie (1951)
4. The Moonglows – Hey Santa Claus (1953)
5. La Fets & Kitty – Christmas Letter (1957)
6. The Five Keys – It’s Christmas Time (1951)
7. The Penguins – Jingle Jangle (1957)
8. The Ravens – White Christmas (1958)
9. Billy Ward & The Dominoes – Christmas In Heaven (1963)
10. The Voices – Santa Claus Baby (1957)
11. Frankie Lymon – It’s Christmas Once Again (1957)
12. Lonnie & The Crisis – Santa Town USA (1961)
13. The Marcels – Don’t Cry For Me This Christmas (1961)
14. The Uniques – Merry Christmas Darling (1963)
15. The Platters – Santa Claus Is Comin To Town (1963)
16. The Melodeers – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1960)
17. The Martells – Rockin’ Santa Claus (1959)
18. Oscar McLollie and his Honey Jumpers – God Gave Us Christmas (1955)
19. The Larks – All I Want For Christmas (1951)
20. Sonny Til & The Orioles – O Holy Night (1950)
21. The Ebonaires – Love For Christmas (1955)
22. The Cashmeres – I Believe In St. Nick (1960)
23. The Drifters – I Remember Christmas (1964)
24. The Dynamics – Christmas Plea (1962)
25. The Falcons – Can This Be Christmas (1957)
26. Nino & The Ebb Tides – The Real Meaning Of Christmas (1958)
27. Blue Notes – Winter Wonderland (1960)
28. The Valentines – Christmas Prayer (1957)
29. The Playboys – The Night Before Christmas (1963)
30. The Sherwoods – Happy Holiday (1961)

GET IT!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: Mix CD-Rs, X-Mas Tags:

In Memoriam – November 2018

December 3rd, 2018 3 comments

For a change, this month’s In Memoriam comes to you on a Monday. On Thursday the first of this year’s two Christmas mixes will run, and in between the annual round-up of the year’s most significant music deaths. And, as always, the year will end with a disco mix for your New Year’s Eve celebrations (at a party or to boogie down in the kitchen as you prep your TV snacks). Here, then, are November’s dead and their music.

To American country fans, and general TV viewers, Roy Clark was a household name as the presenter, alongside Buck Owens, of the long-running variety show Hee Haw. A recording artist in his own right, Clark welcomed many country artists to “Kornfield Kounty”. Elvis was a fan and wanted to appear on the show, but was afraid that Colonel Parker would nix the idea. Although Hee Haw was popular in urban centres, in 1971 TV execs tried to be hip to the youth and cancelled a bunch of shows aimed at rural and older demographics. These included Hee Haw and The Lawrence Welk Show, as well as series such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres). Welk and Hee Haw continued with much success in syndication, but Clark made his displeasure known by recording a novelty song titled The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka.

The French composer Francis Lai wrote a huge number of film scores, and in that pursuit he came up with two tunes which wormed themselves into every ear of their generation: the love theme of Love Story, which became a hit for Andy Williams as Where Do I Begin, and before that theme of A Man And A Woman, which you’ll know even if you can’t place the title. Lai also wrote many songs for the likes of Edith Piaf, Yves Montand or Mireille Mathieu.

Another track that might feature in the Originals series is Jamaican rocksteady band The Melodians’ The Rivers Of Babylon, which became a huge hit in the 1978 cover by Boney M. Of course, for reggae fans it is hardly a lesser-known original: in The Melodians’ hands, it was an anthem for the Rastafari movement when it came out in 1970. Its use on the soundtrack of the 1972 film The Harder They Come helped introduce reggae to a broader audience. Even before that, they were one of the pioneering bands to make the transition from ska to rocksteady. With the death of Trevor McNaughton at 77, all three original members of the band are now dead. As the last survivor, McNaughton released an album with a new version of The Melodians only last year.

Just a day after his original version on the Barry Manilow hit Mandy appeared on the 1970s Originals mix, Scott English died at 81. In the 1960s he had co-written the American Breed hit Bend Me, Shape Me, The Animals’ Help Me Girl and the Jeff Beck hit Hi Ho Silver Lining, which he also produced (and which is still going to feature in the Originals series). The man with the most self-contradictory of names also produced Thin Lizzy’s eponymous 1971 debut album.

As an orchestra should, the Electric Light Orchestra featured strings. And most prominent among those was the cello, played from 1973 to 1978 by Hugh McDowell. The classically trained cellist — an alumnus of the Yehudi Menuhin School who made his professional debut at the age of 11 — also was a dab hand at the new-fangled Moog synth, which he played with Roy Wood’s Wizzard. Later he got into computer programming, writing several music-related programmes.

You might not guess it, but later 1990s pop/hip-hop outfit LFO, best known perhaps for their 1999 hits Summer Girls and Girl On TV sold more than 4 million CDs worldwide. Hearing these songs again now evokes another age, which is a strange sensation for somebody like me who is still coming to terms that were living in the 21st century. This came to mind with the death of 41 of LFO singer Devin Lima. Born Harold Lima, he had been as hardware store worker when the Lyte Funkie Ones roped him in to be their new singer — and Lima promptly renamed them LFO. After LFO split in 2002 (they reformed a couple of times later), Lima had a solo project and formed a few bands, but nothing replicated LFO’s brief but of great success. Lima as diagnosed with stage four cancer last year. On 21 November he lost that fight.

Vinny Mazetta, 83, saxophone player, on Oct. 14
The Five Satins – In The Still Of The Night (1956, on saxophone)

Ray Owen, member of British blues rock band Juicy Lucy, on Oct. 31
Juicy Lucy – Who Do You Love? (1969)

Monique Wakelin, keyboardist of Australian rock band iNsuRge, announced Oct. 31
iNsuRge – I Hate Stupid People (1998)

Dave Rowland, 74, lead singer of country trio Dave & Sugar, on Nov. 1
Dave & Sugar – I’m Knee Deep In Loving You (1977)

Tom Diaz, 32, Indie singer and musician, on Nov. 1

Roy Hargrove, 49, jazz trumpeter, on Nov. 2
Roy Hargrove Quintet – Once Forgotten (1994)
John Mayer – Waiting On The World To Change (2006, on horns)

Josh Fauver, 38, bassist of indie band Deerhunter, on Nov. 2

Glenn Schwartz, 78, rock guitarist, on Nov. 2
Pacific Gas And Electric – Bluesbuster (1969)

Maria Guinot, 73, Portuguese singer, on Nov. 3

Tama Renata, ex-member New Zealand reggae band Herbs, on Nov. 4
Herbs – Till We Kissed (1993)

Roman Grinev, 41, Russian jazz-fusion bassist, on Nov. 4

Hugh McDowell, 65, English cellist with ELO, Wizzard, on Nov. 6
Wizzard – Bend Over Beethoven (1973, on Moog, also as writer)
ELO – Evil Woman (1975)

Francis Lai, 86, French film score composer, on Nov. 7
Edith Piaf – Musique A Tout Va (1962, as co-writer)
Francis Lai – Theme From ‘A Man And A Woman’ (1967, also as composer)
Andy Williams – Where Do I Begin (Love Story) (1970, as composer)

Wolfgang Schlüter, 85, German jazz vibraphonist and percussionist, on Nov. 12

Lucho Gatica, 90, Chilean bolero singer and actor, on Nov. 13

Brian Rusike, 62, songwriter and keyboardist with Zimbabwean band Pied Piper, on Nov. 13
Pied Pipers – Lets Work Together (And Build Zimbabwe) (1980)

Sonny Knowles, 86, Irish showband singer, on Nov. 15

Roy Clark, 85, country singer and presenter of TV show Hee Haw, on Nov. 15
Roy Clark – The Tip Of My Fingers (1962)
Roy Clark – The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka (1972)
Roy Clark – Tennessee Saturday Night (1982)

Ivan Smirnov, 63, Russian folk/fusion guitarist, on Nov. 15

Scott English, 81, songwriter and producer, on Nov. 16
Scott English – High On A Hill (1964)
Eric Burdon & The Animals – Help Me Girl (1966, as co-writer)
Scott English – Something’s Missin’ In My Life (1974)

Al James, 72, bass guitarist of British pop band Showaddywaddy, on Nov. 16
Showaddywaddy – Hey Rock n Roll (1974)

Thierry Lalo, 55, French jazz musician, composer and arranger, on Nov. 16

Alec Finn, 74, bouzouki player of Irish folk band De Dannan, on Nov. 16
De Dannan – Coleraine Jig (1981)

Norris Weir, 72, singer of rocksteady band The Jamaicans and gospel singer, on Nov. 16
The Jamaicans – Ba Ba Boom (1967, also as co-writer)

Cyril Pahinui, 68, Hawaiian guitarist and singer, on Nov. 17

Jens Büchner, 49, German pop singer, on Nov. 17

Eddie Reeves, 79, songwriter and record label executive, on Nov. 18
Sonny & Cher – All I Ever Need Is You (1971, as co-writer)

Bill Caddick, 74, English folk singer and guitarist, member of Home Service, on Nov. 19
Bill Caddick – Superman (1986)

Chris Burroughs, 60, singer-songwriter, on Nov. 19

Trevor McNaughton, 77, singer with Jamaican reggae band The Melodians, on Nov. 20
The Melodians – Lay It On (1966)
The Melodians – Rivers Of Babylon (1970)

Eddie C. Campbell, 79, blues musician, on Nov. 20
Eddie C. Campbell – All Nite (1968)

Roy Bailey, 83, English folk singer, on Nov. 20
Roy Bailey – What You Do With What You’ve Got (1992)

Devin Lima, 41, singer of pop band LFO, on Nov. 21
LFO – Summer Girls (1999)

Mike Zero, 47, German punk musician, on Nov. 26

Skip Van Winkle, 74, musician and singer of Teegarden & Van Winkle, on Nov. 27
Teegarden & Van Winkle – God, Love And Rock & Roll (1970)

Johnny Maddox, 91, ragtime pianist and historian, on Nov. 27
Johnny Maddox and The Rhythmasters – Eight Beat Boogie (1953)

Roger Neumann, 77, jazz saxophonist and arranger, on Nov. 28

Gary Haisman, 60, English singer and rapper, on Nov. 28
D. Mob feat. Gary Haisman – We Call It Acieed (1988)

Erik Lindmark, 46, singer-guitarist of death metal band Deeds of Flesh, on Nov. 29

GET IT!
(PW in comments)

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