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Posts Tagged ‘Peaches and Herb’

Music for Bloggers Vol. 10

May 15th, 2009 11 comments

It has been a long time since I”ve celebrated the work of my fellow bloggers. So long, in fact, that some which I might have featured along the way have given up (or hopefully just suspended) their endeavours. So, whatever happened to The Urban Woo? Will Catholick Tastes ever blog again? Got The Fever, the mercury is running much too low!

Oh, and if your blog doesn”t feature here, it doesn”t mean I don”t love you. And at this point, I should express my gratitude to all the blogs that link to me, and especially to those that do so in their posts (with special props to Rock God Cred and its sibling blog Retro Music Snob). Click on the heading to visit the blogs reviewed.

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The Vinyl District

vinyl_district

This may look like reciprocation after The Vinyl District (TVD) chose your humble servant to kick off a new series in which that blog visits other blogs, asking them to tell about themselves and offer up a few tunes. Of course I sounded like an idiot, referring to this blog in the third person. TVD, on the other hand, astutely evades exhibitions of idiocy in its bid to promote the delights of trusty vinyl, which is sustaining something of a comeback. In doing so, the blog revisits old records and flags new vinyl releases. Periodically, TVD runs competitions, usually calling on readers to exercise their wit to win a t-shirt, a concert ticket or a deluxe vinyl edition of Jenny Lewis” fine Acid Tongue album (I can never muster the required with, I”m afraid). And I love the website design: the vinyl LP coming out of the album cover. Brilkliant. It seems logical that the song dedication for TVD should be my vinyl rip of a hard-to-find song, a very beautiful 1982 track in the James Taylor vein by the Australian singer Richard Clapton.
Richard Clapton – Walk On The Water.mp3

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Another Nickel In The Machine

another_nickel

This blog is an absolute gem. Taking as its subject London in the 20th century, it is a cultural multimedia journey through eras, from the London which still had the murders of Jack the Ripper fresh in its collective mind to the pre-WW2 years to the Swinging Sixties to the brief punk period. Some posts include music, others photos or videos. The essays are beautifully written and invariably fascinating, even (or especially) for non-Londoners. Along the way we meet eccentrics, gangsters and musicians, read about “the Duchess of Argyll and the Headless Man polaroids” and visit Harry Nilsson”s cursed flat in which first Cass Elliott and then Keith Moon died, or take a look inside “the hippy squat at 144 Piccadilly”, which was guarded by a trio of fey looking Hell”s Angels.
The Smiths – Half A Person.mp3

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Oreo Cookie Blues

oreo_cookie_blues

I like a blog with great pictures and great music. One such blog is Dane”s All Eyes And Ears, which showcases her marvellous photography (which has influenced the way I look for subject matter in my own photographic endeavours) and fine music to illustrate the illustration. Oreo Cookie Blues is another fusion of sound and images, mostly photos taken by the blogger, from Toronto, himself. Some of the photos are utterly exquisite, and so is the music “” for all you Ring Of Fire cover needs, Oreo Cookie Blues” got “em. I must run the all-too obvious song dedication, of course. Any Minor Dude, now 14, recently told me that, when he was small, he thought I was the Cookie Monster because I sounded exactly like him when singing C Is For Cookie. But to compensate for the novelty value of a Sesame Street classic, I also offer an early girl-group soul classic (with a weird spoken bit) from 1956 by a group which we will soon encounter again in the Originals series.
Cookie Monster – C is for Cookie.mp3
The Cookies – In Paradise.mp3

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The Cheese Does Not Wear Me

cheese_does_not_wear_me

I remember my university days with some affection; so much so that when I visit the campus, as I do when I am showing overseas visitors around, I get agonisingly nostalgic. Perhaps I just feel reminded of my rapidly receding youth. So I read Liz”s blog of life on campus in Winnipeg, Canada, with a certain empathy. It helps that Liz (who frequently comments on this blog, for which I love her) is engaging and witty as she shares the minutae of college life. She is at her best when she directs her bile at her more brainless peers. Liz recently completed her Bachelor of Arts degree (hurrah!) and will leave the site of her brainless peers. Happily for us, she is not going to enter the world of gainful employment (other than a summer job), but will continue her studies, post-grad style, at the University of Minnesota, home state of at least three bloggers previously featured in this series. As we know from the film Fargo, Minnesota has its share of dim people, so Liz doubtless will find fertile grounds from which to reap instances of brainlessness on which to comment. In Purple Rain, the objectionable side of Minnesotans was represented by the gloriously preening Morris Day. This is one of the songs Day and his group (which once included future producers Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam) performed in the film. It’s outrageous!
Morris Day & the Time – The Bird.mp3

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Groover”s Paradise

groovers_paradise

I”m not certain I am convinced of the merits of collaborative blogs. Of course, the benefit of pooling expertise and talent is a potential consistency of quality, but somehow I miss the one-on-one relationship between blogger and reader. This is not intended to deprecate such blogs, of course. There are many whose fused work I admire. One of them is Groover”s Paradise, among whose contributors are the always wonderful Gentlebear and the very impressive Setting The Woods On Fire, one of my favourite site for classic country fixes. Groover”s Paradise styles itself as a place “where we celebrate our favorite 20th Century rock, country, and soul music”. Which is as good a description as I might come up with.
Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing (Original 12″ Mix).mp3

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Geezer Music Club

geezer_music_club

The title stakes out this blog”s intended audiences: if you are looking for Kelly Clarkson”s latest single, you probably won”t find it here. And, just in case you need to be reassured that Kelly does not live here, it says: “A special place for SEASONED music lovers.” What one will find is thoughtfully selected music with well researched and written articles of just the right length (in other words, the Big Geez does not waffle as prodigiously as your present interlocutor). I”m not sure at what point one becomes a “seasoned” music lover; I suspect it has to do less with age but with the extent to which one has been immersed in music. Read this way, following this blog can ““ should ““ be inter-generational.
John Prine – Hello In There.mp3

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Beatles Anecdotes

beatles_anecdotes

Can one ever know enough about the Beatles? Beatles Anecdotes offers a fresh nugget of information every day. That is quite an incredible effort: finding something to post, writing it up, logging in, posting”¦every day. That is dedication. And the information is very entertaining indeed. I didn”t know that Lovely Rita, the meter maid, was a real person called, of all things, Meta, whom McCartney met in St John”s Wood (and 20 years later didn”t recognise even after hearing her name). And I didn”t know that John Lennon gave the band Hot Chocolate their name, or that Ringo was briefly a Beach Boy. And here”s the kicker, all three nuggets of extravagant trivia appeared on consecutive days. This is a blog to visit for a daily fix of trivia, and to dip into the archives on a slow day. In tribute, José Feliciano”s fantastic live acoustic version of A Day In The Life from his 1969 Alive Alive-o! Live At London Palladium album (another vinyl rip of mine).
Jos̩ Feliciano РA Day In The Life.mp3

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Number One In Heaven

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And finally not a blog, but those who dabble on Facebook will find at least one group very useful indeed: Number One In Heaven sends out monthly messages notifying subscribers of the latest deaths in the world of pop. I did not know that soul songstress Viola Wills and former Delfonic Randy Cain had died until I received my update earlier this week. The group promotes Jeremy Simmonds book Number One in Heaven: The Heroes Who Died for Rock ‘n’ Roll (retitled in the US The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns and Ham Sandwiches). I haven”t read it yet (seeing as I live in a backwater where the music section in even the best bookshops offers a range of a dozen books, half of them about U2 and Nirvana, and Amazon don”t deliver to South Africa), but it looks like a fantastic work. The reviews certainly seem to suggest so.

And while you are on Facebook, become this blog”s friend (it”s OK, you won”t go to Guantanamo Bay for being friends with something called Amd Whah any longer). Apart from being alerted to new posts ““ and sometimes posts I”m working on ““ you”ll also learn such fascinating things about me as which West Wing character I am, my five favourite brands of ketchup and how well (or not) I perform in quizzes about Pauly Shore”s cinematic artistry. The sort of stuff that will enrich your reading experiences of Any Major Dude With Half A Heart. The song dedication is a bit obvious, though the song belongs in every collection that reserves a special place for spectacularly bad songs, such as this glorious cash-in on the death of Elvis, released within a couple of weeks of 16 August 1977.
Danny Mirror – I Remember Elvis Presley.mp3 (reuploaded)

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Previously featured in Music for Bloggers

The Originals Vol. 24

May 8th, 2009 14 comments

We have a bit of a bumper edition here, with ten quite distinct and all lovely versions of Let It Be Me, four of City Of New Orleans, plus It Must Be Love, My Baby Just Cares For Me and Ruby Don”t Take Your Love To Town. Special thanks to our old friend RH and our new friend Walter for their contributions. I would be interested to know which version of Let It Be Me is the most liked.

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Labi Siffre – It Must Be Love.mp3
Madness – It Must Be Love.mp3

siffre_it_must_be_lovePerhaps I”m stretching the concept of this series a little here; some may well say that they know the Labi Siffre original better than the remake. Still, it is the 1981 Madness cover that was the bigger hit and gets the wider airplay. In my view, their version is better than Siffre”s, though I fully expect to receive dissenting comment calling into question the intactness of my mental faculties (or, indeed, refer to my complete madness). Madness reached the UK #4 with the song; in 1971, Siffre (one of the first openly gay singers in pop) reached #14 with it. Rather endearingly, Siffre made a cameo appearance in the video for the Madness single (he is a violin player).

Siffre periodically retired from the music industry. He most propitiously returned in 1987 when he released his anti-apartheid song Something Inside (So Strong), which has been frequently covered, and then proceeded to co-write most of Jonathan Butler”s fine 1990 album Heal Our Land, which in part was a love letter to South Africa at a time when it had become clear that apartheid was dead.

Also recorded by: Marian Montgomery (1972), Lyn Paul (1975), Jasper Steverlinck (2004), Jeroen van der Boom (2006), Paolo Nutini (2007)

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Mel Tillis – Ruby (Don”t Take Your Love To Town) (1967).mp3
Waylon Jennings – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town (1967).mp3
Kenny Rogers & First Edition – Ruby Don”t Take Your Love To Town.mp3

Mel Tillis – Ruby, Don”t Take Your Love To Town (1976).mp3

tillisA Korean war veteran comes home from doing his “patriotic chore” without his legs and his beloved wife treats him like dirt and goes cheating on him. Much as it may sound like a country music cliché, songwriter Mel Tillis, who released the song in January 1967, said he based the lyrics on a couple in his neighbourhood, with the man having been wounded in Germany in Word War 2, not in Korea. Tillis spared us the bitter end of the story: The ex-GI killed his straying wife and then himself. Though the protagonist of the song imagines putting Ruby into the ground, he has no concrete plans to kill her.

EDIT: Tillis was the first to release the song, but Waylon Jennings actually recorded it three months before Tillis did, in September 1966. Jennings’ version, however, did not get released until August 1967.

The song had been recorded a couple of times before Kenny Rogers decided it would serve to move his group, the First Edition, closer to the country scene. He and the group recorded the song in one take. It became a hit in 1969 (at the height of the Vietnam War), reaching #6 in the US and #2 in the UK. For Rogers it became a signature tune which he would record twice more, in 1977 and 1990. Apparently Rogers likes to send the song up in concerts; it seems to have become a bit of a gag, with the not very humorous Right Said Fred honouring it with a cover version. Personally, I fail to see the capricious angle.

And thanks to commenter Phillip:
Walter Brennan – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.mp3 (direct DL via AprilWinchell.com)

Also recorded by: Johnny Darrell (1967), The Statler Brothers (1967), Red Sovine (1969), Dale Hawkins (1969), Peter Law & The New Pacific (1969), Leonard Nimoy (1970),  Carl Perkins (1974), Gary Holton & Casino Steel (1980), Sort Sol (1985), The Gorehounds (as Ruby, 1989), Right Said Fred (1996), Cake (2005), The Killers (2007) a.o.

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Steve Goodman – City Of New Orleans.mp3
Arlo Guthrie – City Of New Orleans.mp3
Johnny Cash – City Of New Orleans.mp3

Willie Nelson – City Of New Orleans.mp3

steve_goodmanThroughout this series there have been songs that in their original form were far superior to the versions that made them famous. Great though Guthrie”s version (and Willie Nelson”s) is, City Of New Orleans is one such song. Goodman wrote it after travelling on the eponymous train which was about to be decommissioned, recording faithfully what he saw. The song helped to reprieve the line. Having been discovered by Kris Kristofferson, who introduced him to Paul Anka, Goodman recorded the song in 1971. One night in a Chicago bar he approached Arlo Guthrie with a view to introducing the song to Woody”s son. Arlo was not really interested in hearing another songwriter trying to peddle a song, but on condition that Goodman buy him a beer, he mustered some patience. Later he would recall it as “one of the longest, most enjoyable beers I ever had”. The meeting would provide him with his biggest hit, released in 1972. Johnny Cash, no stranger to the subject matter of trains, released his take in 1973.

arlo_guthrieGuthrie changed some of the lyrics: Goodman”s “passing towns” became “passing trains”, the “magic carpet made of steam” was now made of steel, “the rhythm of the rails is all they dream” was now felt. Goodman didn”t seem to mind; he and Guthrie remained good friends until the former”s premature death at 36 in 1984 from leukaemia, the disease he had been diagnosed with in 1969. He won a posthumous Grammy for the song on strength of Willie Nelson”s 1984 version. Read the quite dramatic story of The City of New Orleans train here, and more about Steve Goodman here.

Also recorded by: John Denver (1971), Chet Atkins (1973), The Seldom Scene (1973), Joe Dassin (as Salut les amoureux, 1973), Sammi Smith (1973), Hank Snow (1973), Johnny Cash & June Carter (1973), Henson Cargill (1973), Ted Egan (1973), Hopeton Lewis (1973), Jerry Reed (1974), Johnny Cash (1975), Judy Collins (1975), Rudi Carrell (as Wann wird’s mal wieder richtig Sommer, 1975), Yoram Gaon (as Shalom Lach Eretz Nehederet, 1977), Louise Féron & Jérôme Soligny (as Salut les amoureux, 1993), Randy Scruggs (1998), Maarten Cox (as ‘t Is weer voorbij, die mooie zomer, 2005), Beth Kinderman (2006), Discharger (2006), Lizzie West & the White Buffalo (2006), Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (2007) a.o.

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Ted Weems & his Orchestra – My Baby Just Cares For Me.mp3
Nina Simone – My Baby Just Cares For Me.mp3

weemsWritten by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn for the 1928 musical Whoopee (not to be confused with the rubbish actress going by a similar name), My Baby Just Cares For Me was recorded by a host of artists in the following few years. Ted Weems” was not the first, but certainly among the earliest recordings. His take shows just how great an interpreter of songs Nina Simone was. She recorded it in 1958. It was not her most famous number, much less her signature tune, really becoming well-known when it featured in a British TV commercial for Chanel No. 5.

The bandleader Ted Weems was a star by the time he released his version of My Baby Just Cares For Me in July 1930, having had previous hits with Somebody Stole My Gal (1924), Piccolo Pete, and The Man from the South (1928), and later with Heartaches, which he recorded in 1933. At around that time he became even more famous thanks to a regular spot on Jack Benny”s hugely popular radio show. His band broke up with World War 2, and was reformed briefly in the early “50s. Weems toured until 1953 when he became a DJ in Memphis and then a hotel manager. Weems died in 1963 at the age of 62. Take a look at this great video of Weems and a chorus line of flappers.

Also recorded by: Ethel Shutta (1930), Ted Fiorito & his Orchestra (1930), Mel Tormé (1947), Nat “˜King” Cole (1949), The Hi-Lo’s (1954), Tony Bennett (1955), Somethin’ Smith and the Redheads (1955), Tommy Dorsey (1958), Tab Hunter (1958), Mary Wells (1965), Frank Sinatra (1966), Cornell Campbell (1973), Alex Chilton (1994), George Michael (1999), Julie Budd (2000), Natalie Cole (2002), Cyndi Lauper (2003), Laura Fedele (2005), Jaqui Naylor (2006), Amanda Lear (2006) a.o.

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Gilbert Bécaud – Je t”appartiens (1955).mp3
Jill Corey
– Let It Be Me (1957)
Everly Brothers – Let It Be Me (1960)
Betty Everett & Jerry Butler – Let It Be Me (1964)
Skeeter Davis & Bobby Bare – Let It Be Me (1965)
Peaches & Herb – Let It Be Me (ca 1967)
Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry – Let It Be Me (1968)
Bob Dylan – Let It Be Me (1970)
Roberta Flack – Let It Be Me (1970)
Rosie Thomas – Let It Be Me (2005)
All nine cover versions in one file here

becaud-jappertiensLet It Be Me is one of those pop standards that cannot be ascribed to any one particular artist. Most commonly, it might be considered an Everly Brothers song. To me, it is Betty Everett & Jerry Butler”s song; perhaps the most gorgeous version. Some may have heard it for the first time in its vulnerable interpretation by the wonderful Rosie Thomas, duetting with Ed Hardcourt. Not many will think of it as a French song, co-written and first released by the brilliant Gilbert Bécaud as Je t”appartiens (I belong to you) in 1955.

It was not the biggest hit for Bécaud (born François Silly), but it has been prodigiously covered. It took two years to cross the Atlantic, when Jill Corey ““ the youngest singer ever to headline at the Copacabana “” recorded the first English-translation version. It was not a big hit, barely scratching the Top 60. It did become a hit with the Everly Brothers” in 1960, their first recording made outside Nashville “” it was made in New York “” and their first to incorporate strings in the arrangement. Let It Be Me became a hit again in 1964 for Butler & Everett, in 1969 for Glenn Campbell & Bobby Gentry, and in 1982 for Willie Nelson. Bob Dylan recorded it twice; featured here is the first of these, which appeared on his 1970″s Self Portrait album. The same year Roberta Flack gave the song a whole new treatment on her second album. I am also partial to the version by the delightfully named Skeeter Davis with outlaw country pioneer Bobby Bare, which includes aspoken bit by Skeeter, as was her wont.

Also recorded by: The Blue Diamonds (1960), Chet Atkins (1961), The Lettermen (1962), Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (1962), Andy Williams & Claudine Longet (1964), Sonny & Cher (1965), Brenda Lee (1965), Molly Bee (1965), The Shadows (1965), Barbara Lewis (1966), The Escorts (1966), Nancy Sinatra (1966), Arthur Prysock (1966), Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown (1967), The Sweet Inspirations (1967), Sam & Dave (1967), Claudine Longet (1968), Earl Grant (1968), Petula Clark (1969), The Delfonics (1969), Jim Ed Brown (1969), Tom Jones (1969), Connie Smith & Nat Stuckey (1969), Roberta Flack (1970), Elvis Presley (1970), Bob Dylan (1970), Nancy Wilson (1971), New Trolls (1973), The Pointer Sisters (1974), Demis Roussos (1974), Nina Simone (1974), Mary McCaslin (1974), Melanie (1978), Kenny Rogers & Dottie West (1979),Jay & the Americans (1980), Bob Dylan (again, 1981), Willie Nelson (1982), David Hasselhoff (1984), Collin Raye (1992), Marc Jordan (1999), Nnenna Freelon feat Kirk Whalum (2000), Justin (2000), Lauro Nyro (2001), Anne Murray & Vince Gill (2002), Mike Andersen (2003), The Willy DeVille Acoustic Trio ( 2003), Paul Weller (2004),Pajo (2006), Frankie Valli (2007), Charlie Daniels Band with Brenda Lee (2007), Roch Voisine (2008), Jason Donovan (2008) a.o.

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