Greetings Fellow Travelers and Welcome To 'Stranger In Town'! " Check Out Our Splendor of Bohemia eBay Store":http://stores.ebay.com/splendorofbohemia Renaissance CD and DVD in association with Splendor of Bohemia Records is pleased to meet you! Within this palace of self expression, we hope tha…
THE STORY OF O AND EMany writers and film makers have gone back to Virgil's classic for inspiration over the decades: Tennessee Williams with Orpheus Descending (1957); Marcel Camus' timeless film, Black Orpheus (1959) is a Brazilian Carnavale take, Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice is a theatrical staple, and more recently, the Broadway hit, Hadestown.My offering was composed in the early months of the pandemic, and still retains the urgency of those days. Here are the first 3 songs/episodes, with my spoken introductions. EP 1: OBSESSION - sets the neurotic scene.EP 2: GET OUT! - O fantasizes an escape from the city.EP 3: CHOP WOOD, CARRY WATER - Ensconced upstate, O takes some bucolic counsel.for more reading on the original tale... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_and_EurydiceIn Virgil's classic version of the legend, it completes his Georgics, a poem on the subject of agriculture. Here the name of Aristaeus, or Aristaios, the keeper of bees, and the tragic conclusion was first introduced.Ovid's version of the myth, in his Metamorphoses, was published a few decades later and employs a different poetic emphasis and purpose. It relates that Eurydice's death was not caused by fleeing from Aristaeus, but by dancing with naiads on her wedding day.Other ancient writers treated Orpheus's visit to the underworld more negatively. According to Phaedrus in Plato's Symposium, the infernal deities only "presented an apparition" of Eurydice to him. Plato's representation of Orpheus is in fact that of a coward; instead of choosing to die in order to be with his love, he mocked the deities in an attempt to visit Hades, to get her back alive. As his love was not "true"—meaning that he was not willing to die for it—he was punished by the deities, first by giving him only the apparition of his former wife in the underworld and then by having him killed by women.
WHY DID BOBBY GENTRY STOP SINGING?https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/oct/17/bobbie-gentry-trailblazing-queen-of-countryThe 60s star – who didn't just write her own songs but had her own TV show, made her own clothes and painted her own album art – could count Elvis and, later, Taylor Swift as fans. So why did she retire from public view in 1981?The first time I heard Ode to Billie Joe was on a 1967 Radio 1 special. Amid ornate psychedelic pop sounding a little like Strawberry Fields Forever, this tale of suicide, loneliness and familial breakdown was unlike any record I had ever heard. The place names – Tallahatchee, Carroll County, Choctaw Ridge – were cinematic, the singer's voice was husky, the string arrangement was minimal and eerie. What I heard was thick mud, damp moss, a barely moving river, dead air. The song was an inescapable fug. You couldn't move. You had to listen...A recently released eight-disc box set, The Girl from Chickasaw County, covers the bulk of her recording career: seven albums crammed into a brief period of intense fame between 1967 and 1971. Gentry's stock has risen over the last decade as she been name-checked by country stars such as Nikki Lane and Kacey Musgraves. Taylor Swift has been coy about the subject of her 2012 song The Lucky One, but it is almost certainly Gentry: “They still tell the legend of how you disappeared, how you took the money and your dignity, and got the hell out.” Gentry effectively retired from the studio in 1971, from the stage in 1981 and hasn't done an interview in 30-odd years. It was an almost impossible disappearing act, the kind many would love to pull off. She seems a very modern figure, a pioneer for women in pop, and her unavailability has only enhanced her mystique.
CAN YOU DIG IT?SHAFT by Isaac Hayes (Enterprise, 1971)As a 19 year old, I didn't realize that history was being made, but when I saw Isaac Hayes on the Oscars, bedecked in chain-mail, at the keyboard, being wheeled onstage in a cloud of dry ice to sing The Theme From Shaft, I knew something was up. The chicka-chicka of the wah-wah guitar riff had already surgically implanted in my head by AM radio, along with Haye's chilled delivery of “That Shaft is a baaaad Mutha…” Together, these elements excited the entire country in new and electric ways. Richard Roundtree said years later that he had an instinct that John Shaft would certainly be the best role of his career - (Hayes was considered, but Gordon Parks wisely persuaded The Black Moses to create the indelible ambience instead) - but, he couldn't have prepared for the seismic impact that this film would deliver. Director Parks wanted to make a “fun” picture with a Black Action Hero, but Shaft transcended all that. All the creatives and many of the crew were also black; it was filmed largely in Harlem, and tapped into the prevailing Black Power aesthetic zeitgeist, and the film changed the “Blaxploitation” genre forever. Before Shaft, MGM had been struggling, but the studio was rescued by the film, which made 13 million from a half a mil budget. The soundtrack, with it's laid back, jazz infused arrangements by Johnny Allen, and bolstered by Haye's compatriots at Stax, The Bar-Kays, went platinum. In 2014 it was entered into The Library of Congress list of essential recordings. I coveted a black leather coat like the one that Shaft wore - but the closest I could get was a brown bomber jacket. Nobody was as cool as Shaft or Isaac Hayes - nobody could be. “Damn Straight!”
https://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnny-rivers-mn0000203639/biographyJohnny Rivers Biography by Bruce EderJohnny Rivers is a unique figure in the history of rock music. On the most obvious level, he was a rock star of the 1960s and a true rarity as a white American singer/guitarist who made a name for himself as a straight-ahead rock & roller during the middle of that decade. Just as important behind the scenes, his recordings and their success led to the launching, directly and indirectly, of at least three record labels and a dozen other careers whose influence extended into the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond. Rivers was very much a kindred spirit to figures like Buddy Holly and Ronnie Hawkins, with all of the verve and spirit of members of that first wave of rock & rollers. He had the misfortune of having been born a little too late to catch that wave, however, and took until the middle of the next decade to find his audience. Born John Henry Ramistella on November 7, 1942, in New York, his family moved to Baton Rouge, LA, in 1948, and it was there that his musical sensibilities were shaped. His father, who played the mandolin and guitar, introduced him to the guitar at an early age, and he proved a natural on the instrument. In 1957, he went to New York and wangled a meeting with Alan Freed, who was then the most influential disc jockey in the country. This led to a change of name, at Freed's suggestion, to the less ethnic, more American-mythic Johnny Rivers (which may also have been influenced by the fact that Elvis Presley had portrayed a character named "Deke Rivers" in the movie Loving You that same year), and to a series of single releases under his new name. Johnny Rivers' official recording debut took place with an original song, "Baby Come Back," on George Goldner's Gone Records label in 1958, arranged by renowned songwriter Otis Blackwell. Neither this number -- which sounds a lot like Elvis Presley's version of Blackwell's "Don't Be Cruel" -- nor any of Rivers' other early singles, recorded for Guyden, Cub, Era, or Chancellor, was successful. He made his living largely performing with the Spades and cutting demos of songs for Hill & Range, primarily in Elvis Presley's style. It was as a composer that Rivers experienced his first taste of success off of the stage, when a chance meeting with guitarist James Burton led to one of his songs, "I'll Make Believe," finding its way to Ricky Nelson and ending up on the album More Songs by Ricky....(read the whole article on the Allmusic website)
10-4 GOOD BUDDYSay what you will about America, you cannot deny that, against all odds, fortunes can be made by good old American entrepreneurial invention. Submitted for your approval: advertising executive Billie Dale Fries, aka CW McCall, and his monster radio hit “Convoy”.If you were sentient during 1975 there was no escaping the ubiquitous Citizen's Band modulated, clarion voice of the fictional trucker, CW McCall as he barreled across the highways of America, calling out to his fellow haulers, inspiring them to break through the barricades of the “Smoky Bears”, going 98 mph. It was number one on the Billboard top 100, and number 2 in the UK - proving that everybody in the English speaking world loved CW's rebel attitude.It all started when Adman Billie Dale was working on a campaign for the Bozell and Jacobs agency, to sell “Old Home” bread. He invented a series of spots portraying the flirtations between trucker CW and waitress Mavis, whenever the hauler made his bread deliveries to the “Old Home Filler Up an' Keep on Truckin' Cafe”. The catchiness of the spots led Billie Dale to the notion that a radio hit trading on the CB craze might connect with folks, and boy howdy, was he ever spot on.CW McCall (whose initials stood for “Country and Western,” and whose last name came from a copy of McCall's magazine that was on Billie Dale's desk) was so popular that more albums and movies followed, and later, flushed with Clios and cash, CB bought a vacation home in Ouray, CO, where he ran for mayor and served for 6 years. Shortly before his death at the age of 93, Billie Dale Fries gave his blessing to the “Freedom Convoy” protesters in Canada to use his anthem in solidarity. “BREAKER BREAKER, RUBBER DUCKIE, LOOKS LIKE WE GOT US A CONVOY!”
We've got a cure for this winter's Seasonal Affective Disorder: the sunny Samba stylings of master Sax-smith Stan Getz along with the sensual murmurings of Astrud Gilberto - in one of the most "audio-erotic" recordings of all time: THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA.Jobim's masterpiece started the Bossa Nova craze, and became on of the most covered songs in history, and your dogged musicologists, Bill and Rich, will attempt to uncover why. From: https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/brazil/articles/the-mystery-behind-the-girl-from-ipanema/So who was the girl that inspired such beautiful lyrics? She was Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (now Heloísa Pinheiro) who was just 17 years old at the time. She lived in Ipanema and would go out shopping or to the beach, often accompanied by wolf-whistles from locals. Morales later wrote a book called Revelação: a verdadeira Garota de Ipanema – Revealed: The Real Girl from Ipanema – where he describes Pinheiro and the effect she unintentionally had on him and Jobim. He says she is the true paradigm of a Carioca girl, “the golden girl, mixed with flower and mermaid, full of light and grace but whose vision is also sad, because she carries with her, on the way to the sea, the feeling of what passes, of beauty that is not only ours – it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholy and steady flow.”This song propelled Pinheiro into the spotlight where she became a successful model, including modeling as a Playboy Playmate in 1987 and again in 2003 when aged 58. “The Girl from Ipanema” was also used during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which consequently led to the song being streamed on Spotify an incredible 40,000 times a day seeing it once again entering the Billboard charts in the U.S.
ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEAPAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS GREATEST HITS by Paul Revere and the Raiders (Columbia, 1967)This group, this record: they were fundamental elements in the experience of the 13 year old Captain Billy. My band, The Full House, played a smokin' cover of “Steppin' Out”; Dick Clark's WHERE THE ACTION IS tv show was a can't miss, daily after-middle school check in; I coveted those Vox amps and Mark Lindsay's ponytail. And, re-listening to this setlist 56 years later verifies that this band kicked hard and tight. Just ask Quentin Tarantino, who included two of the cuts for the soundtrack of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. America's answer to the British Invasion actually started earlier, in 1958, in Boise Idaho, when keyboardist Paul Revere and sax player Mark Lindsay met and collaborated in the instrumental group The Downbeats. Revere was the organist's actual name, so the subsequent donning of Revolutionary outfits was a natural, if cringey gimmick. The fact that Mark Lindsay was also one of America's best rock singers was a secret weapon.The initial bombshell was dropped in April, 1963, in Portland, Oregon, when the group recorded the seminal rock standard “Louie Louie” in the same year and the same studio as the Kingsmen (the version everybody remembers): The Northwestern Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings, Inc. studio. But, that didn't matter. Yes, The Kingsmen's recording was a one hit mega-wonder, but, the Raiders became a national institution with a string of 12 top 30 hits. The first incarnation of the Raiders dissolved around the same time that this collection came out, but they kept reforming in various line ups until Revere's death from cancer in 2014. Like their contemporaries, The Monkees, there was a media hyped, manufactured quality (Producer Terry Melcher fattened their sound with the help of The Wrecking Crew), but the Raider's street cred as musicians was impeccable, and very few could wail like Mark Lindsay.
Margaret Wycherly (1881-1956) was an English stage actress who appeared in one silent film at the age of 38 (The Thirteenth Chair, 1929, dir. Todd Browning). 12 years later she reemerged as Ma York in Sgt. York opposite Gary Cooper, and was nominated for an Oscar. But in White Heat, as the conniving and murderous Ma Jarrett, mother to psychopathic killer Cody Jarrett, played by James Cagney, she positively electrifies the screen every moment she appears. The plot hinges on her throughout, and at the end Cody dies calling her name. This performance is for the ages!https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_WycherlyMargaret Wycherly was born in London, England on October 26, 1881. She was predominately a stage actress, continuing stage work even after performing in films. Her first film role came when she appeared in The Fight (1915) at 34 years old. It was not until 1929 that audiences got another glimpse of her in The Thirteenth Chair (1929). Playing largely character roles, one of her finest performances was as Gary Cooper's mother in Sergeant York (1941). She later gave stellar performances in The Yearling(1946) and Forever Amber (1947). She appeared on the then-new medium of television on The Philco Television Playhouse (1948). After a small role in The President's Lady(1953), Margaret retired at age 72. Three years later, on June 6, 1956, she died at age 74.- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson & MOThis British actress, born in 1881, is probably best remembered as the mother in her two best-known roles, Sergeant York (1941) opposite 'Gary Cooper' and White Heat (1949) opposite James Cagney who closes out the film screaming "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" as he goes to a fiery death. Margaret spent her early acting days on stage touring across England, and later working with stock theatre companies in the US, before making the jump to Broadway. There she starred in two memorable plays, Tobacco Road, a successful commercial play, and The Thirteenth Chair which proved to be a critical success. Her performances caught the attention of the studios and she wound up reprising her role in the The Thirteenth Chair (1929) film adaptation opposite Bela Lugosi. Returning to the stage, she periodically returned to Hollywood, making the film Midnight(1934), followed by roles in 17 movie films. The most notable being Sergeant York (1941) for which she earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.- IMDb Mini Biography By: Keith Burnage firstname.lastname@example.org, & MO
WHAT THE F**K WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?HOW NOW DOW JONES by The Original Cast (RCA, 1967)This is the second Broadway soundtrack that Captain Billy has covered, the first being Lerner and Loewe's Camelot, and even though as a small child I had memorized my parent's Oliver, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady albums, after Rock, Folk and Soul music entered my life, I lost interest in the musicals of the Great White Way completely. As I explained in previous episodes, many of the carts in my collection were not chosen by me; they arrived in big lots, and the experience of discovering some of these hidden treasures is akin to sticking one's hand into a bag of….. (fill in the blank). Despite its catchy title, this show was totally unknown to me, although it did run for 220 performances. It was produced and directed by Broadway titans David Merrick and George Abbott. It was film scorer Elmer Bernstein's only Broadway composition; the book was by Max Shulman, of Dobie Gillis fame, and the lyrics were by Carolyn Leigh — a totally respectable crew. The cast included Woody Allen's avatar, Tony Roberts, and the whiskey throated Brenda Vaccaro in the leads, and there was even a Tony awarded to featured actor Hiram Sherman for his turn as a crusty stock broker. Yet, somehow the collective memory of this musical was lost to the ozone pretty quickly. Maybe it's the complicated plot- (It was always part of the charm of these albums to try and imagine the story as I listened) - but here the labyrinthian plot and convoluted conjunction of characters - (tycoons, stock brokers, government officials, suicidal, mismatched lovers, tour guides, and “the voice of Wall Street”) - had my Pandemic-addled brain yearning for a YouTube training video.There was a hit that emerged from the chaos, “Step to the Rear”, which you might recognize: it was even used in a Lincoln-Mercury campaign, and there is a charming video of Tony Roberts with a stage full of investor ladies from the suburbs marching around the stage to the song.Give this recording a try, and see if you can figure it all out.
As he walks on, the Man doesn't feel happy or sad, but balanced. Who he is is still left to be determined, and that is fine with him. “Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.” — The Buddha
Georgie Fame, born Clive Powell in Leigh, Lancashire, June 1943 is one of British R&B music's founding fathers. Fame is the only British star to have scored three number one hits with his only Top 10 chart entries – ‘Yeh Yeh' in 1964, ‘Get Away' in 1966 and ‘Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde' in 1967. But it's more important to acknowledge his cultural influence. Fame popularized and educated in equal measure. The black music he championed with his band The Blue Flames brought new sounds to Swinging London and bossed venues like the Flamingo Club and the Marquee where he turned the English mod movement on to a whole bag of soul and authentic US urban and country sounds and also the ska and early reggae he heard in the Jamaican cafes and clubs in the Ladbroke Grove area of London. Like his great friend and collaborator Van Morrison, Georgie Fame found himself raised on jazz and blues with a penchant for Mose Allison and Willie Mabon and of course Ray Charles, not to overlook a grounding in the sophisticated rock and rollers like Chuck Berry who defied categorization.With Latin pop also part of his skill set, Fame can turn his hand to just about anything and since his piano and Hammond organ keyboard brilliance – he is also a fine guitarist – is matched to a gorgeously relaxed vocal style he takes audiences on a melodic journey that combines the sweetest nostalgia with the most up to date interpretations of great songs and songbooks. As a sideman, he has recorded with many artists, including Gene Vincent, Prince Buster, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading, Andy Fairweather-Low, Bill Wyman and Van Morrison. Ever on the road, Georgie Fame continues to perform his unique blend of jazz/rhythm and blues for live audiences at clubs and music festivals throughout Europe. He is revered in Scandinavia and Germany and even took a local version of the Blue Flames to Australia where he escaped the English winter and built a rapport with fellow players from another hemisphere.Having taken piano lessons at an early age the man born Clive Powell in the cotton weaving area of Leigh, Lancashire became a professional musician in the 1950s playing at holiday camps before departing to London aged 16 to seek his fortune. He touted his talents up and down the legendary Tin Pan Alley area of Denmark Street just off Soho where he was spotted by impresarios Lionel Bart and Larry Parnes who christened him Georgie Fame – somewhat against his will. Working with touring rock and rollers like Joe Brown, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran young Fame became battle-hardened and was snapped up by Billy Fury in 1961 to lead his backing band The Blue Flames for whom he arranged and sang. The Blue Flames and Fury parted company and so Georgie took over and secured a three-year residency at the Flamingo Club. The debut Rhythm and Blues at the Flamingo came out in 1963 and was engineered by Glyn Johns and produced by Cliff Richard's console maestro Ian Samwell. After promoting himself via the offshore pirate radio stations Fame struck gold with his version of “Yeh, Yeh”, a tune first recorded by Mongo Santamaria in the Cuban style. The next significant hit, “Get Away”: was another #1 in 1966 with production from Denny Cordell and a Clive Powell writing credit. The perfect sound for the emerging summer of love
A singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, award-winning children's writer, and actor, Shel Silverstein grew up in Chicago. He started out as a cartoonist, publishing work in Playboy and the military publication Stars & Stripes, before turning to children's books. Silverstein is the author and illustrator of numerous books, including The Giving Tree (1964), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981), and Falling Up (1996). His books have been commended for their appeal to both adults and children.Silverstein's poems are often darkly humorous, irreverent, and populated with invented characters, such as the “Bloath” in Where the Sidewalk Ends, who dwells “[i]n the undergrowth” and “feeds upon poets and tea.” Silverstein's poems and stories are accompanied by his simple yet energetic pen-and-ink illustrations. The Giving Tree, a fable about a lifelong relationship between a boy and a tree, has become a classic in the canon of children's literature and has sold over five million copies.As a songwriter, Silverstein wrote “The Cover of the Rolling Stone,” recorded by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show; “Unicorn Song,” for the Irish Rovers; “A Boy Named Sue,” for Johnny Cash; and “Queen of the Silver Dollar,” which Emmylou Harris covered on Pieces of the Sky. Silverstein collaborated with playwright David Mamet on the screenplay Things Change (1988), and they and Elaine May staged a series of one-act plays called Oh, Hell (1991).
WHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN FOR BAD PEOPLEMETAMORPHOSIS by The Rolling Stones (ABKCO, 1975)Where to begin? Briefly, Allen Klein (1931-2009), the notorious wheeler-dealer who managed both the Beatles and the Stones, put out this collection in order to grab some shekels during a contentious negotiation with his disaffected cash cows. (Jagger studied at the London School of Economics, so he had gotten wise, but not early enough). Klein's bagatelle paid handsomely - the album made it to #8 on the US Billboard chart. The Stones got some back royalty payments, but couldn't break free of Klein's ironclad contract. Mr. Klein's portfolio was extensive, and a mire I don't want to wade through here. Suffice it to say that this collection of oddities is worth experiencing, especially if you are a die-hard Stones fan. Even the Kafkaesque cover art elicits morbid delight. Compiled originally by Bill Wyman, the Stone's bassist, the album is comprised of some demos intended for other artists, and outtakes from the Beggar's Banquet, Let it Bleed, and Between the Buttons sessions. Versions of the familiar “Out of Time” and “Heart of Stone” are especially fascinating here, embellished with orchestra, choral voices, and pedal steel. Listening to Mick sing Stevie Wonder's “I Don't Know Why” made me smile. Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Nicky Hopkins, and other luminaries are lending their support here, and the musicianship is great throughout. In fact, as the track list progressed, I had the feeling that I was on a safari across a vast Savanna of the Stone's influences and influence, and entertained the quixotic notion that their trash had become treasure in the hands of a mercenary.
As the man stands in front of his former home, he is confronted with the thought that, perhaps, things are better left as they are. …The spirit-world around this world of senseFloats like an atmosphere, and everywhereWafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense A vital breath of more ethereal air.Our little lives are kept in equipoiseBy opposite attractions and desires;The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,And the more noble instinct that aspires…(from Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Warren Zevon has been finally been nominated to enter The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.Zevon is truly the only class of '23 inductee I truly give a damn about with the exception of George Micheal whom I feel is one hell of a great vocalist and Willie Nelson who is.......well, Willie Nelson.Warren's induction could assist his estate in many ways, including providing the grand finale to getting his deserved bio film made.Zevon was so much more than some Rock and Roll singer/ songwriter, Werewolf or Excitable Boy.He was The Hunter S. Thompson of Popular music. Warren was dangerous, aggressive, poetic, eclectic, loving, politically astute, fragile and as brilliant as a huge comet soaring through the night, Accidentally Like A Martyr.It took way too long to give him his due primarily because Jan Wenner and his corporate Hall are too busy pandering to an expanded base and are leaving a trail of forgotten giants in the mist of the money they require to remain relevant.Zevons strengths exceed or are on par with most who have contributed to the history of popular music. His Ride's Here at last.Next year, I can only hope that with the continued inclusion of vital figures from varied musical art forms, the Hall can understand why Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and John Coltrane should be considered next.All music is a Love Supreme. Get it?
The man, having remembered his former life, struggles with his conflicting desires, whether or not to return to it. “You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, … back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”Thomas Wolfe
The concept to which The Rascals were dedicated was, in Felix Cavaliere's words, "Marvin Gaye's voice, Ray Charles' piano, Jimmy Smith's organ, Phil Spector's production and The Beatles' writing. Put them all together and you've got what I wanted to do." A White Rock band playing Black Soul music was a new idea for Pop in 1965. "The great thing about music in the 1960s was that people were discovering there was no color barrier in the business. We were respected by the Black groups we loved as much as we respected them," noted Cornish. The Rascals' music was dubbed blue-eyed Soul, a term Cavaliere never cared for. "I always hated the label because it created a separation between Black and White music. It was a marketing concept. As soon as you put a drum in music, it's R&B. I wish it wouldn't have been called blue-eyed Soul. My eyes aren't blue."The band's first release for Atlantic was called "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" which rose to #52 in the U.S. in 1965, but it was their 1966 effort, "Good Lovin'" that made them Rock 'n' Roll stars. The song quickly rose to the number one spot on Billboard's Hot 100 and went Gold. They followed with two more Top 20 hits, "You Better Run" (#20) and "I've Been Lonely Too Long" (#16) later the same year.The writing was a key component of the band's success, as sixteen of their eighteen chart records were written by Cavaliere alone or in tandem with frequent collaborator Eddie Brigati. As the song writing progressed, social commentary began to show up in the music. The group's growing ambition was reflected in the change from The Young Rascals to simply The Rascals. The word "young" had originally been inserted before the band's name for legal reasons. It seems there was a group named Johnny Pulleo & The Harmonica Rascals who claimed a proprietary interest. "We were embarrassed about that, 'cause we were trying to be a Soul band," said Cornish. "It wasn't The Silver Rascals or The Rockin' Rascals, it was The Young Rascals! And we had to live with it. By the time we got to Groovin', we said, 'Well, enough of this. We are The Rascals.'"A high point for both Cornish and Cavaliere was 1968's #1 hit "People Got To Be Free". "The message in songs like 'People Got To Be Free' is as important now as it ever was," said Gene. It was written in reaction to the King and Kennedy assassinations that year. In fact, Cavaliere had worked for the RFK campaign. "That the song was #1 in places like Berlin and South Africa meant a lot to me," said Felix. Despite the initial resistance to the political nature of the song, it went on to become The Rascals' biggest-selling record. It was also their last #1 hit. The Rascals followed with "A Ray Of Hope" (#24 in 1968), "Heaven" (#39 in 1969), "See" (#27 in 1969) and "Carry Me Back" (#26 in 1969). Two other 1970 releases, "Hold On" (#81) and "Glory Glory" (#71) failed to crack the Top 40, and a song called "Love Me" was a miserable flop when it peaked at #99 during a one week stay on the Hot 100 in the Summer of 1971. The Jazz-tinged experimentation of later albums like "Peaceful World" and "The Island Of Real" (which Cavaliere once called "The best record I ever made") proved less commercial than the group's earlier Garage Band Soul. Management was less than supportive of the new directions the band was headed in and a switch to the Columbia label in 1971 failed to provide the new life they were looking for. Personal frictions were on the rise too, and eventually Brigati and Cornish quit the band. They were replaced with Buzzy Feiten (from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band) and Ann Sutton, who had sung with various Soul and Jazz groups in Philadelphia. By 1972, The Rascals called it quits.In 1974, Cavaliere began his solo career with the release of the album "Felix Cavaliere". Eddie Brigati recorded a solo album with his brother David in 1976. Cornish and Danelli started a new band called
SPIRIT ANIMALJONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Neil Diamond (Columbia, 1973)There were alot of self-help manuals popularized in the 70's; I remember gifting my mother the book “Your Eronneous Zones” (but that's another story)…. My acting teacher in college based her syllabus on Eric Berne's “I'm Ok, You're Ok”. But one of the biggest New Age parables making the rounds was Ex-Aviator Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the story of an anthropomorphized Christ-like Seagull, who has to fly off from the pack to find his true self.It was a zeitgeist sensation, and spawned a movie with this soundtrack by the immortal Neil Diamond. Maestro Diamond is currently in the middle of a career renaissance - his biographical musical A BEAUTIFUL NOISE is playing on The Great White Way, and although he struggles with Parkinson's he continues to work on new music. No one was bigger in the 70s, and although the 1960s Neil Diamond that I loved, the Brill Building song plugger who wrote and recorded Cherry Cherry, You Got to Me, and Solitary Man had seemingly transformed himself into a borscht belt crooner, there was no denying his powers of voice and composition, no matter how cheesy the venue (The Jazz Singer?)I chuckled ironically when I pulled this tape from the pile, anticipating mounds of Velveeta. But now, listening for the first time, I am moved to tears. (This is probably because all my youthful cynicism has given up the ghost). It's a beautiful musical meditation produced by Tom Catalano, and arranged by Lee Holdridge, and Neil's voice soars, aloft on chords of longing. Indeed, the album out-grossed the movie by 10 million dollars, and garnered the 1974 Grammy for Best Original Score, demonstrating that although the radio-controlled gliders representing the flying birds in the film might have been fake, Neil's inspiration was not.
ELLIE GREENWICH -SONGWRITER HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE- 1991Ellie Greenwich is one of the most successful songwriters of the modern pop music era. She was one of the major influences on the 60's rock and roll, a music that continues alive and well today. Her songs, which have sold in the tens of millions, have earned her 25 gold and platinum records.Born in Brooklyn, her young life was filled with singing and dancing recitals and winning first prize in a local newspaper's poetry contest. At 11, she moved to Levittown, Long Island, and her musical career became serious when she took up the accordion and by 13, was writing songs. Along with two high school friends, she formed her first "girls group," The Jivettes, and the trio performed original songs at hospitals, schools and charity benefits throughout Long Island.About this time, Greenwich's mother arranged a meeting for Ellie with Cadence Records president Archie Bleyer (of Everly Brothers and Chordettes fame). His advice to "keep writing but finish school... the music business will always be there," stuck in the young writer's head and she did just that. She attended Hofstra University, was its Spring Queen and graduated with top honors with a BA degree in English, and a listing in "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities."During her latter years in college, she met Jeff Barry at a family gathering and the two became good friends almost immediately. "He was the first male I could actually harmonize with," she recalls. Eventually, the couple married and went on to become co-writers of some of the most memorable classic rock hits.After graduation in 1962 and following a High School English teaching career which lasted three and one half weeks, she began free-lancing and working out of the offices of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, a pair of hot songwriters in their own right, in Broadway's Brill Building, one of the music business headquarters of that time. She wrote songs with Doc Pomus and Tony Powers and enjoyed her first chart successes with "This Is It," by Jay and the Americans, and "He's Got the Power," by the Exciters. She and Barry formed The Raindrops, who skimmed the top 16 with "What a Guy" and "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget."Teaming with Phil Spector, the two managed number one hits with "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Chapel of Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High." Greenwich and Barry also continued their successes with such number one smashes as "Hanky Panky," and co-written with Shadow Morton, the epic, "Leader of the Pack." During these years, too, Greenwich reigned as one of New York's top demo singers and session vocal arrangers/singers, working with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. During one of the many demo sessions in which she was involved, Greenwich met and "discovered" Neil Diamond and went on to co-produce such early Diamond hits as "Cherry Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman," doing background vocals as well.During the latter part of the 60's, Greenwich found continued success in collaborations with Bob Crewe, in writing for The Hardy Boys TV series, and in singing on popular commercials for Cheerios
On an early morning ramble, the Man is stopped dead in his tracks by an unexpected encounter with a wild denizen of the area. In Native American culture, the Coyote is seen as an important messenger of personal transformation through self-reflection. ... Coyotes also remind us that anything we do to others will come back to us—good or bad.
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLEIF I COULD ONLY REMEMBER MY NAME by David Crosby (1971, Atlantic)The Reaper continues its rampage, cutting swathes across the aging population of musical pioneers. Last week it was Jeff Beck, yesterday David Crosby. In fairness, it was actually amazing that the Croz lived as long as he did. He had diabetes, and In 1994 underwent a liver transplant (paid for by Phil Collins), after suffering for years with Hep C. But despite a notorious reputation for drug abuse that would cripple even a hardened junkie, David kept forging an unfettered path, making enemies with his thoughtless taunts, enduring break ups and reunions, yet still creating some of our greatest music with his frenemies, solo, and for the last mile in collaboration with his long-abandoned and rediscovered son, James Raymond.David Van Cortland Crosby, the son of Academy Award Winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, was a California boy who became foundational to the California folk-rock soundtrack of our generation, and despite the fact that near the end of his life he had to stay on the road and sell his catalogue to pay off his mortgage, those songs will reside forever in the Laurel Canyon canon. Crosby was a notoriously difficult character who burnt nearly every bridge he ever crossed. His bandmate from the Byrds, Jim McGuinn steadfastly refused to work with him again despite David's constant imprecations to reunite; he boldly dissed and insulted Neil Young's soul-mate Darryl Hannah after the death of Neil's first wife Pegi, and somehow alienated his biggest supporter in life, Graham Nash. But, despite this, musician Melissa Etheridge solicited his sperm to make her babies. Maybe because, trumping all the difficulty, David's harmonic acumen was unmatched and a divine gift from God. So, there he undeniably stands: a twice inducted Rock n Roll Hall of Famer for founding two of the most important groups in Rock history. And, this etherial, transcendent solo effort, recorded with the aid of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Graham Nash, along with members of The Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead represents an artist whose questing musical imagination was always and eternally of a deeply spiritual nature. Humans are so complicated. As Dylan said: “I contain multitudes,” and David Crosby was an exemplar of that.
Mitch Ryder, one of the most distinctive and soulful voices to come out of Detroit's 1960s rock music scene, will be inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame June 11, at the Music Hall in Detroit.This year's crop of inductees also includes Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Impressions, Larry Williams, and posthumous inductees James Brown, Isaac Hayes and Mary Wells.Ryder may have fronted a rock band, but make no mistake, his soul props are solid. As a suburban teenager, he made the trek from Warren to hang out at the Village club just off Woodward, to catch sets by the likes of Nathaniel Mayer. By the time he was 17, Ryder sang (and recorded) with a soul group, the Peps.Later he fronted his own rock band, Billy Lee and the Rivieras, which was renamed Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. The group had an explosive sound that combined the drive of garage rock with Ryder's raw, emotional vocals. That sound drove Bob Crewe-produced hits that included “Devil with a Blue Dress,” “Jenny Take A Ride,” “Sock it to Me, Baby” and “Little Latin Lupe Lu.”Ryder was pleased to hear of his induction alongside some of his soul idols. “I looked at the names of some of those who came before me and it became a celebration of joy for me,” Ryder said in a statement released by his publicist, Cary Baker. “I mean, Aretha Franklin, David Ruffin, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke and so many other voices that brought me great pleasure throughout my life and career. It is still thrilling me, and I'm afraid to wake up from the dream!”After the Wheels split up, Ryder teamed up with Booker T. and the MGs for the acclaimed album “The Detroit-Memphis Experiment.” Later, he joined back up with Wheels drummer Johnny Badanjek in a group they dubbed Detroit, which was managed by Creem magazine publisher Barry Kramer. Detroit recorded a memorable cover of Lou Reed's “Rock and Roll,” which many felt surpassed the original. Later, John Mellencamp produced Ryder's solo album “Never Kick a Sleeping Dog,” which featured his superb rendition of Prince's “When You Were Mine.”Ryder is on the short list of artists who have been unjustly overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but in a sense, the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame is the more fitting place for him.For his part, Ryder says his induction is “an honor which will stay cherished by me for the rest of my life.”The 5th annual Black Tie Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday June 11 at the Music Hall, 350 Madison, in Detroit. The event will serve as a fundraiser to secure a permanent building for the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
F U DEATHTRUTH by Jeff Beck (Epic, 1968)Ok, I'm fuckin' sick of this parade of loss, Death. We just started 2023, and you take Jeff Beck without warning, while on tour with Johnny Depp - (as if he needs any more grief)?! Bacterial Meningitis…? I mean, WTF?! Of the three guitar gods that descended from Mt. Yardbird - (Clapton, Page, Beck) - for my money, the best that ever bestrode the earth was Jeff Beck. Every lick was original, surprising, mind-blowing. And his growth towards mastery through the decades was breathtaking to hear. I had some trouble with the Jan Hammer jazz fusion stuff, but even those cuts had me on the edge of my seat. He kept expanding and growing his repertoire. Eventually he hit upon this fluid, lyricism that brings tears to my eyes. Check out his versions of A Day In the Life, and People Get Ready. He arrived at that terra firma where every artist yearns to land: home. He found his truest voice… so relaxed and expressive, and was able to make his instrument sing with an iridescent humanity…. Becoming one with it. This 4-track (that's right, kids… predating the 8 track) is his first solo effort. And, what a legendary debut it is! Aided by Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Ronnie Wood, and Rod Stewart on vocals, every cut (Shapes of Things, Morning Dew, You Shook Me, Beck's (fucking) BOLERO!!!) Is a game changer. This is one of those recordings by which I created my musical calendar; there was B.Truth, and A.Truth, and nothing was the same for me after experiencing this album. RIP Jeff. Track listing: Shapes Of Things | Let Me Love You | Morning Dew | You Shook Me | Ol' Man River | Greensleeves | Rock My Plimsoul | Beck's Bolero | Blues De Luxe | I Ain't Superstitious
The "Soul Diva" Annette Snell died tragically young in a plane crash, and this glorious artifact testifies to her greatness.
ARE THEY FOR REAL?Look what you get to do if you're a monstrously famous and beloved comic performer: you get to live out your soul man fantasies, backed by some of the greatest living musicians. You get to sell 3.5 million copies of your vanity-project album, and then, parlay your karaoke delusion into a couple of hit movies. I saw John Belushi in Lemmings at the Village Gate in 1973, doing his immortal Joe Cocker impression in the Woodstock parody: “Woodshuck - Three days of peace, love, and death”. When he fell on the floor, convulsing and salivating, he captivated my imagination, and I fell in love. When SNL happened two years later, followed by his indelible turn in Animal House, Belushi became a star for the entire world. The Blues Brothers were first incarnated on SNL as a kind of joke, but Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi's commitment and obvious love of Soul and Blues were undeniable. Musical Director Paul Shaeffer put together the most deluxe ensemble to sell the illusion, and the conceit scored. The boys couldn't really sing like their idols, but it was a sleight of hand trick, bolstered by their unbridled zest and style. As I listen to JB's croaking throughout this recording, I'm reminded of the super nova of his career that shot up and imploded like the Challenger rocket. The hit Blues Brothers movie of 1980, directed by John Landis, got packed with so many musical idols (Ray Charles and Aretha, etc) that the boys musical shortcomings were easily covered up, and their comedic acting skills were always the point anyway.For me, the most amazing cut on this album is Dan Ackroyd's “Rubber Biscuit” , in which Elwood babbles like a psychedelic auctioneer with the most articulately rapid-fire mouth movements. That song was released as a single, and made it up to 37 on the Billboard chart. So, here's my question: is this music? Is it comedy? Is it both? Is it real or is it Memorex?
The man decides to try his hand at panhandling, which doesn't go well, except that out of this failure he experiences a self-realization, and an inkling of his identity. 7 Sales Strategy Secrets from an Expert Panhandler (from Google)Satisfy a compelling customer need. This is most important--for panhandlers or any business. ...Project the right image. ...Choose a tax-favored business. ...Location, location, location. ...Communicate a simple message. ...Keep overhead low. ...When you find something effective, keep doing it.
ELUSIVE GODDESSMary Hopkin possesses one of the most achingly beautiful voices in creation. You wouldn't be blamed, though, for only remembering her for the Paul McCartney produced debut single, “Those Were the Days” from 1968. That song was ubiquitous and sold a million and a half copies in the US alone. She and the cute Beatle followed it up with “Goodbye”, which also hit big. Then, this, her second album, produced by future husband Tony Visconti, was recorded. After, that… relative silence, until 18 years later with the release of 1989's “Spirit”. She is quoted as saying that Earth Song Ocean Song was the album that she wanted to make, and so she refrained from scratching the Show Business itch, dedicating herself instead to raising her children. She made some appearances, and even starred in a BBC 1 TV series, but, mostly she took charge of her own choices, as opposed to being formed and manipulated by others. This is indeed a definitive folk music showcase, lovingly produced by Visconti, with covers by Cat Stevens, Ralph McTell (Streets of London), and string arrangements by the majestic Richard Hewson (of Beatles' and Nick Drake fame). It is an obscure gem by one of England's finest folk muses. Mary Hopkin was victimized by her massive early success. “Those were the Days” was an anomalous monster pop hit for the 18 year old, unrepeatable and out of sync with its own times. Mary's hope of establishing a respected recording career after that was akin to Henry Winkler's struggles to escape the popular effect of being The Fonz. He did it eventually, with Bill Hader's BARRY, but it took over 40 years of trying. Put the Welsh goddess Mary Hopkin on the roster of the greatest British female folk vocalists like Sandy Denny, Jacqui McShee, Shirley Collins, Anne Briggs, June Tabor, and Maddy Prior. Discover and enjoy.
In honor of the documentary THE VENTURES: STARS ON GUITARS, currently running on Amazon Prime, Bill and Rich are reposting their tribute to the instrumental group that promoted surf music and Mosrite guitars around the world, recorded over 200 albums, and out-sold the Beatles in Japan 2 to 1. (which only goes to show, once again, that your faithful correspondents, The Splendid Bohemians, have their arthritic fingers on the racing pulse of cultural relevance). This doc is also a moving tribute to maternal love: Don Wilson's mom, Josie, gave the group their name, produced their first single, and made sure their early records got played. Shows you what great things can happen for a fellow when his mom decides to support her son's passion.
“Motherlove” is the uncontested alpha of the North Hollywood encampment; They are an inspirational motivator who sees every person as valuable, and this shared vision helps lift the entire camp.The Man is immediately smitten by Motherlove's charisma, and falls under their spell. The HUD brochure asks: Why do some people choose encampments over the shelter system? One reason: a desire for Autonomy and Privacy. In contrast, Motherlove leads beneficently, and the residents follow gladly. People can go and come as they please; they are independent. But, they willingly submit for the good of the group because they know whatever benefits the group, profits each individual.
It's a triple play - no, not "Tinkers to Evers to Chance-" but, a spectacular combo nonetheless: Dion (The Wanderer), Jay Black of Jay and the Americans (Cara Mia), and Bobby Rydell (Wild One). Bill and Rich, The Splendid Bohemians, present these titans to you for three cautionary, yet inspiring examples of late-career, Show Biz road warriors. They may have been bloodied, but they were unbowed, and stood in the ring until the final bell tolled. Dion remains, and is the last man standing, but our Bronx Bomber still shines on brightly like a bluesy diamond.
Hear the whole sordid story of the oddest pairing in Christmas music history! Der Bingle didn't know who The Thin White Duke was, and Bowie was not a fan of Bing's. And, yet here they are...
John Lennon and Yoko Ono gave this gift to the world, and it has become a perennial. Merry Christmas, and God Bless Us, Everyone!
In his dreams the bereft man is visited by the spirit of his departed pet, who's disappearance was never solved. From the book of symbols:Dogs never desert their masters, apt cause for them to be regarded in diverse mythologies and religions as accompanying their masters even unto death and as guides in the afterlife. In nearly every world mythology, our constant companion the dog has come to be associated with our other constant companion, death…The leash we hold on the dog links us to the energies of life and death. How we manipulate the leash says everything about how we are going to experience the ambivalent nature of the dog's death realm. The dog is keenly sensitive to its master's love or abuse.
STREET CREDWhen talking about Paul Butterfield there's a lot to cover, and I can't do it all justice in this small space. I recommend the documentary HORN FROM THE HEART to get all the nuances in Paul Butterfield's story. However, listening to this compilation, one can get a nice view of the shapely arc of this band's journey from young-turk, blues afficionados to Americana pioneers - each step along the way characterized by a stirring evocation of authentic feeling.It's hard from this distance to understand how massively important this group was in terms of fusing blues with folk, rock, and jazz, not to mention world music. At the center of it all was the harmonica prodigy, born on the south side of Chicago, trained at the feet of the blues masters, but then adopted by Dylan and the Newport folkies, and instrumental to the explosion that became our modern music of the 60s and 70s. East-West (1966) still blows my mind. This 13 minute magnum jazz-raga opus, featuring the amazing Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop on guitars with Paul wailing on harp remains stubbornly on my Sunday morning playlist. Joe Boyd and Paul Rothchild at Elektra discovered them and lovingly brought their sound to our turntables, and on this cart from six years later, the highlights from that company's influence is captured for all time. It was important for Elektra's transition from folk label to one of the premier purveyors of quality rock; it was important for Dylan's transition from troubadour to rock god, and it was an important liaison for us white American teenagers appreciation of our blues heritage. You might argue that this was another example of “white savior” appropriation, but The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was an integrated outfit, featuring Howlin' Wolf's rhythm section of Sam Lay and Jerome Arnold, and Butterfield, born in Chicago and raised at the master's feet had all the right moves.For a deeper dive: https://www.hornfromtheheart.com/
The man trudges on, to where he doesn't know. He just needs a place to land. The air is hot and choking, his brain is racing. Then, he realizes: it's Santa Ana season. “The baby frets. The maid sulks. I rekindle a waning argument with the telephone company, then cut my losses and lie down, given over to whatever is in the air. To live with the Santa Ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior. ...[T]he violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.”— Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. (1968)
https://futurerocklegends.com/Artist/Frank_Sinatra/Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of FameEligible since: 1965First Recording: 1939Previously Considered? No what's this?Kennedy Center Honoree: 1983Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1994 (ranked #13 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .R.S. Top 500 Albums (?) | Rank | VersionIn the Wee Small Hours | 282 | 2020In the Wee Small Hours | 101 | 2012Songs for Swingin' Lovers! | 308 | 2012 ... etc., etc....
In acknowledgement of the unabated parade of beloved ones passing - (the latest being the lovely Christine McVie), and the mind boggling proliferation of American mass shootings, we are reposting these "anti" holiday favs for the more dyspeptic seasonal celebrants among us.
As the man struggles to collect his memories, he finds himself getting lost in the labyrinth of his disordered mind. Labyrinth (From “The Book of Symbols”):The essentially dual, paradoxical nature of the labyrinth is both circular and linear, simple and complex, historical and temporal. Contained within a compact space, a long and difficult path constantly doubles back on itself, leading circuitously to a mysterious and invisible center. From within, the view is extremely restricted and confusing, while from above one discovers a supreme artistry and order.
De Vorzon founded Valiant Records in 1960. During the 1960s, he signed the Association to Valiant, and produced its first single, a cover of the Bob Dylan tune "One Too Many Mornings."De Vorzon wrote "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" for the Cascades, but the group did not record it. In 1963, De Vorzon recorded the song himself, with his group Barry and the Tamerlanes. Also in 1963 he co-wrote the ballad "Shy Girl" which was recorded by the Cascades.De Vorzon wrote the tune "Girls" for Johnny Burnette. It reached No. 37 in the UK 1961 charts.He composed the soundtracks to many 1970s and 1980s films, and one of the tunes, "Cotton's Dream" (from Bless the Beasts and Children) was retitled "Nadia's Theme" and re-released by A&M Records for the television soap opera The Young and the Restless. "Nadia's Theme" hit No. 8 on the US Top 40 in 1976 and the album from which it was taken peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard 200; in 1977, it won a Grammy Awardfor Best Instrumental Arrangement. The main title song, "Bless the Beasts and Children," was recorded by the Carpenters and received an Academy Award nomination.De Vorzon composed the tune "It's Christmas Once Again in Santa Barbara," which was re-recorded with various other city names, such as San Francisco and San Diego. He also wrote the "Theme from S.W.A.T.", and co-wrote the Eagles' hit "In the City" with Joe Walsh. In 1979 he wrote the music for the movie The Warriors.De Vorzon was one of the developers of the MasterWriter creative software for songwriters and lyricists.
Shit. I've burst into tears three times just trying to get through the opening track on this cart, He Stopped Loving Her Today. What is it about good country music that provokes such gut wrenching spasms of lonely grief? And here, the keening majesty of Mr. Jones' voice proves he was the undisputed master of the emotional body blow. He Stopped Loving Her Today revived Jone's career, even though he hated the song initially. He was quoted as saying that his: “…4 decade career had been salvaged by a 3 minute song.” It won him a Grammy and CMA Song of the Year. Producer Billy Sherrill loaded up the album with a raft of songs that reflected George's reputation for out of control drinking and self destruction, and the recording feels like an intimate tell-all. Sherrill testified that the singer was in such bad shape during the making of the album that he had to record the recitation portion of the hit song 18 months after laying down the first verse. The track became inextricably linked with The Possum, making the top country charts, for the second time, a week after the singer's death in 2013. The toxic co-dependency between the singer and his wife Tammy Wynettte is the stuff of legend, and one of the most compelling soap operatic storylines in Country music history. And, it underlines every lyric offered here. The couple divorced in 1976, but kept working together, all the while as the dissipated Jones kept hoping for a reconciliation. (They recorded their single “Two Story House” in the same year as this album). Thankfully, in 1981, George met and married Nancy Sepulvado who provided a stabilizing influence for him. She managed his career and got him sober (mostly), and surviving to the age of 81. This is a classic recording by one of the all time greats.
Welcome to Mesmerized with Bill Mesnik. Presenting "Summer Journey," a 10 episode story in song. Setting the scene: It's a sweltering summer day in Los Angeles, California, and choking fires are raging all over the area. A middle aged man falls in the street from heat exhaustion, and suddenly becomes amnesiac - He is without ID, and cannot remember his name or where he lives. Throughout the ensuing episodes he will become homeless and endeavor to find his way back to himself. The first episode is entitled "Impact" and this is where we come upon him.
From Purple Hearts to Flying Crosses, veterans can hold any number of decorations, but few can boast the title of Oscar winner.For his role as double amputee Homer Parrish in 1946's The Best Years of Our Lives, actual veteran Harold Russell earned unique distinction as the first non-professional actor to win an Oscar and the only one in history to win two Oscars for the same role (Supporting Actor and a Special Oscar for "bringing aid and comfort to disabled veterans through the medium of motion pictures").Russell wasn't a star or even an aspiring actor when cast as Homer Parrish. After signing up to serve in the army, Russell was stationed at Camp Mackall in North Carolina where he trained army paratroopers. There, while demonstrating to his trainees, a defective fuse on a stick of TNT caused an explosion and Russell lost both of his hands. Russell opted for practical hooks — as seen in the film — over prosthetics because of their functionality (prosthetics have significantly improved since the 1940s).Following his accident, Russell was recruited to appear in the day-in-the-life short Diary of a Sergeant. "It was basically to show the day in the life of a disabled veteran and to inspire other veterans that you can still live a normal, fruitful, happy life," says Jill Blake, writer and cohost of film podcast Criterion Now. Russell had no dialogue in the short, but instead went about his day underscored by voiceover narration.But his performance got him noticed by government higher-ups, who recruited him to do appearances for the eighth war loan drive, a war bond campaign. At events around the country, they would screen Diary of a Sergeant and Russell would come out to speak about his own experiences.At one of these events, The Best Years of Our Lives director William Wyler was in attendance — and he was struck by inspiration. The character that would become Homer Parrish was originally written to be suffering from a traumatic brain injury, but Wyler decided casting Russell and making the character a double amputee would serve the story better.The 1946 film remains a paragon of depicting the challenges that soldiers face readjusting to life back home, in part because Russell's life was incorporated into Homer's story. "What makes this film unique is a person with a disability is playing a person with a disability," adds Blake. "The spirit of the film and that authenticity in Russell's performance is timeless."Part of that authenticity was inspired by Russell's appearances in the bond drives. Looking to connect with people, he would find ways to break the ice and get people to focus on him as a person rather than his disability. These tactics included extended his hook to shake someone's hand, encouraging them to set aside any discomfort. Additionally, he'd light cigarettes with a match until it burned out, noting that he couldn't burn his fingers anymore. And he'd often joke that one thing he couldn't do was pick up the check. All these moments found their way into the Years script."He went through so much in his recovery," notes Blake. "But he chose to be optimistic and use it to his benefit and the benefit of the people around him. And I think that's what really drew Wyler to him."
Several years ago, I wrote a time-travel film treatment called “Song Trippers” about a quartet of lonely, damaged people who found solace through music. Each lost soul connects to a song that transports them back in time to the place in their youth when they were the happiest. Of course, we all know that music has magic power. There are songs that can trip my memory far from the here and now to earlier states of joyful wonderment, and sadness, too, if that's what's called for. It's strong medicine.For each episode in this series, I'll take an 8 Track down from the shelf and share it with you, along with some special memories, bonded by that spiritual epoxy that has forged the framework of my life's scaffold. - Captain Billy"A FANCY COVER BAND"PROCOL'S NINTH by Procol Harum (Chrysalis, 1975)Gary Brooker passed on recently, and the outpouring of grief for this titan was enormous. It had been a long time since Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale dominated the airwaves, but the baroque timelessness of that tune has stayed in our consciousness throughout the decades, and the chesty rumblings of it's golden throated frontman definitely had staying power. Moreover, the Reid and Brooker songbook boasts an epic collection of enigmatic narratives that invite repeated listenings. They were a unique outfit with a singular sound and style.I suppose the reason this album suffers by critical comparison to some of the others - is that it plays it safe. Produced by Lieber and Stoller with the goal of producing a hit (which it did with Pandora's box - the group's last top 20), it is a spare set: clean, tight, poppy, and mixed well, albeit a little cramped sounding. But, why the flaccid covers? L&S had them record their own I Keep Forgetting, (to which the band reportedly objected) and, God help me), …. a sluggish, tired sounding rendition of Eight Days a Week. There are some decent originals: The Unquiet Zone, and the Final Thrust come to mine, yet it's interesting to note that two of the Brooker/Reid compositions on the record - Without a Doubt and Typewriter Torment - seem to be about writer's block, which makes perfect sense: the team was clearly writing about what they were experiencing. To be fair though, the album isn't as bad as had been described, even it the band sounds hand-cuffed, and the production is clean to the point of sterility. Despite this, Procol Harum is still Procol Harum, and that's ok by me.1 | | Pandora's Box | 3:372 | | Fool's Gold | 4:003 | | Taking The Time | 3:394 | | The Unquiet Zone | 3:405 | | The Final Thrust | 4:376 | | I Keep Forgetting/ 3:287 | | Without A Doubt | 4:318 | | The Piper's Tune | 4:289 | | Typewriter Torment | 4:2910 | | Eight Days / 3:00
Both Rich and I are in the process of moving; Rich from his Florida manse to the green hills of North Carolina, and I…. to who knows where, or when? But it'll be soon. I have lived in my house for 24 years, and the amount of accumulation is mind boggling, and paralyzing. Since the death of my wife, Chemayne, two years ago, I've been unable to face the tremendous lift it's going to take to purge a lifetime of stuff. But, it must be done, and I'm gritting my teeth. And, Rich, following the death of his mom, June, is smack dab in the middle of his own major life shift, which is exacting a toll on his spine and spirit. As is my usual response to the challenges of living, such reflections often result in the writing of a song - in this case, an ode of sympathetic solidarity, which I offer in tribute to my friend.
In October, 1966, the singer Nico began a residency at a bar in the East Village. She wore a white pantsuit and wielded a tambourine; her drawn vowels hung in the smoky air. She was still playing occasional shows with the Velvet Underground, whose first album would be released the following year. But, to Nico's dismay, the band's leader, Lou Reed, refused to play guitar at her solo shows, and barred the rest of the group from joining her. Onstage, she was forced to sing to a prerecorded backing from a small cassette player. “The tears would roll down her face because she just couldn't remember how the buttons worked,” Andy Warhol, who managed the Velvets, recalled. Humiliation was a theme: four months later, at a club called the Dom, Warhol tried to make her perform inside a Plexiglas box.Nico was used to being treated as a physical spectacle. At the Dom, Leonard Cohen was a regular guest, and he began writing songs in hopes of seducing her. Her improbable bone structure, and her role in “La Dolce Vita,” intrigued prominent rock managers like Albert Grossman, who worked with Bob Dylan. But her songs were less appealing, and the Dom's clientele often laughed through her set. She was eventually accompanied on guitar by Tim Buckley, and then by Jackson Browne, who had just arrived in New York. Browne became enamored with Nico, and before they fell out—she accused him of harassing her with obscene phone calls—he gave her two songs: “The Fairest of the Seasons” and “These Days,” both of which appeared on her 1967 début, “Chelsea Girl.”Few songs so beautifully misrepresent a singer as “These Days.” The clarity of Browne's fingerpicked guitar lines, and the delicacy of Nico's languor, is rendered just alien enough by her vocals, a more tuneful version of the stentorian drawl she used with the Velvets. “Please don't confront me with my failures / I had not forgotten them,” she sings. Since its inclusion in Wes Anderson's 2001 film “The Royal Tenenbaums,” where it accompanies a kohl-eyed Gwyneth Paltrow, “These Days” has become Nico's best-known song, a hymn of stifled glamour. It reinforces her popular image, which has been confected from late-sixties publicity stills, bits of blank-stare footage from Warhol films, and photographs of her with Reed and John Cale, the Velvets' Welsh savant. She migrates in the mind between fashion and folk, downtown bohème and Fellini-sponsored stardom. And always, in case you don't know, there is the spectre of her heroin addiction, the protracted ruin of her personal life. -The New Yorker
Several years ago, I wrote a time-travel film treatment called “Song Trippers” about a quartet of lonely, damaged people who found solace through music. Each lost soul connects to a song that transports them back in time to the place in their youth when they were the happiest. Of course, we all know that music has magic power. There are songs that can trip my memory far from the here and now to earlier states of joyful wonderment, and sadness, too, if that's what's called for. It's strong medicine.For each episode in this series, I'll take an 8 Track down from the shelf and share it with you, along with some special memories, bonded by that spiritual epoxy that has forged the framework of my life's scaffold. - Captain Billy"CARRYING A TORCH"THE END OF THE WORLD by Julie London (Liberty, 1963)That indelible contralto voice… smoky, sultry, and so sexy: the quintessential “torch” singer, Julie London's singing career almost didn't happen. She had given up show business for her first husband, Jack Webb (Sgt. Friday in Dragnet, and successful Hollywood producer). When the marriage broke up she linked up with their friend, Bobby Troup, the musician and composer of Route 66, and great things started happening for the vocalist.In 1956 she recorded Cry Me a River, produced by Troup, for the film The Girl Can't Help it, and the tune entered the ledger of all time classic jazz standards (#48 in NPR's 50 Greatest Jazz Vocals). She went on to make over 30 albums, and this one, released in 1963, though more heavily orchestrated, features her blasé, no frills approach, standing unperturbed at the center of the lush arrangements. Adaptation was easy for this singer - check out her insouciant cover of Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy. (MUCH BETTER than the original).In legendary fashion, the gorgeous Julie Peck was discovered in 1945, running an elevator in Los Angeles, and an acting career was inevitable. 30 years later, still alluring, Julie was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Dixie McCall in Emergency! (Produced by ex-husband Webb). Troup was also in the series: they all stayed friends.I'm melting as I enjoy this lounge classic, and in full agreement with record producer Simon Waronker's observation: “the lyrics poured out of her like a hurt bird”. Julie was a chain smoker from the age of 16, and it was lung cancer that brought her down in 1999. Was it a “Faustian” bargain: to trade the ravages of tar and nicotine for an eternally immortal sound? I'll let the philosophers puzzle that out.
"Two Trains Running" - From The Blues Project Album "Projections"STEVE KATZ: It was Danny's tribute to Muddy Waters. Danny lived for Muddy Waters, which is sort of understandable given how wonderful, how monumental Muddy and some of his songs were. And that was one of his most monumental songs.AL KOOPER: We started playing it and as we became a better band it became a better arrangement. And there were amazing things in it. It was a really great arrangement. It's nothing like the Muddy Waters version.DANNY KALB: It's one of the great things done by any blues band there is, white or black. And we're going through it and it's powerful, it's like a rock opera but short. And it's Muddy Waters. But it's also us. And it's also showing that America was going down the road through music and a lot of other things of integration. The music was making people take a second look at the hatred.AL KOOPER: What's really funny is on the version that's on the album, Danny's string went out of tune and as part of the arrangement he tuned it back up. It was fabulous, we didn't have to stop. Normally you would stop. But he made it part of the arrangement. That was a great moment.DANNY KALB: We were up there in the studio and there's magic in the air. We were right before the end and I hit one bad note, but I quickly made the bad note into a good note in a quarter of a second. And the thing comes together and ends right and we've got a masterpiece.STEVE KATZ: There was no creativity on the engineers. They were busy setting up for Eric Burdon. They probably were bringing in microphones while we were doing our take.DANNY KALB: I'd been playing it for a long time. I was a folk guitarist and a blues guitarist. I studied with the great Dave Van Ronk, he was my teacher. Dave was one of the greatest. A great blues singer, a great teacher and a great soul. He died a few years ago. He changed my life, he changed [Bob] Dylan's life. We always gave tribute to our mentors. When we played on the same bill as Muddy Waters, who was our hero, a top man, we did "Two Trains Running." After the show, his band was packing up, the show was over and I was packing up and I saw Muddy leaving the Café au Go Go and I had to find out, in my deepest part, what he thought of our version of this tune that started out in the South many years ago, before he recorded it with any electric band. And these strange white people were doing this song. What was that about? So right before Muddy opened the door to go, I went up to Muddy Waters and I said to him, "Mr. Waters -- well, what did you think?" And I knew at that point that he knew what I was asking him. And he said to me, "You really got to me." If I had died then, it would have been enough.
FROM OUR 2020 "DIG THIS" ARCHIVES TO WISH GARNET MIMMS A HAPPY 89th BIRTHDAY!Best known for his original rendition of "Cry Baby," later a major item in Janis Joplin's repertoire, Garnet Mimms' pleading, gospel-derived intensity made him one of the earliest true soul singers. His legacy remains criminally underappreciated. Garnett Mimms was born in Ashland, West Virginia.He was brought up in Philadelphia, and began singing in church as a child.As a teenager, he was a former member of the Philadelphia-based gospel groups, the Evening Stars, the Harmonizing Four and the Norfolk Four.The latter he recorded his first record for in 1953.Garnett served several years in the military, and upon his release, he returned to Philadelphia in 1958 and formed a doo wop quintet called the Gainors.The line-up included Sam Bell, Willie Combo, John Jefferson and Howard Tate.The Gainors recorded singles for several labels over the following three years, including 'Red Top' (later picked up by the Cameo label), Mercury (from 1959-1960), and Tally Ho (in 1961).The group subsequently evolved into Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters, where the singer and Sam Bell were joined by Charles Boyer and Zola Pearnell.They met songwriter / producer Bert Berns, who signed them to United Artists, in 1963, and Bert teamed them up with another songwriter / producer, Jerry Ragovoy.Jerry's work helped create some of R & B's finest moments.The song 'Cry Baby' was an immediate U.S. hit, while 'Baby Don't You Weep' and 'For Your Precious Love' consolidated their arrival.The group split in 1964, when Garnett embarked on a solo career.Although the Enchanters found a new vocalist and continued to record, they were overshadowed by their former leader.Garnett' subsequent releases, 'Look Away', 'It Was Easier To Hurt Her' and 'I'll Take Good Care Of You' (the latter Garnett's last Top 40 hit in 1966), were well received, highlighting the singer's church roots against Ragovoy's musical backdrop.Such excellent records were not always well received, and in 1967, Garnett was sidelined to United Artists' subsidiary Veep.'My Baby' and 'Roll With The Punches' followed, but the singer's precarious artistic standing was confirmed when the latter was only released in Britain.Ragovoy then took Garnett to Verve Records (where he was also producing Howard Tate), but the four singles that appeared, although good, did not do as well as expected.It was not until 1977 that the singer returned to the chart.Credited to Garnet Mimms And The Truckin' Company, 'What It Is' was a minor R & B hit and even reached the UK chart at number 44.The track was produced by Randy Muller of Brass Construction fame.Garnett Mimms is now a born-again Christian and has not recorded for many years.